Pokémon Heart Gold vs. Gold: Which Version is a better choice?

When Heart Gold was released, I knew I had to get itūüėÉ. This was mostly because Pok√©mon Gold was my first and among my favorite games as a child. Even though Heart Gold was meant to be an improved remake of Pok√©mon Gold, I never thought of comparing them to see how well Game Freak, improved the game.

It wasn’t until recently when my brother and I were discussing the two games, that the question, “Which version is a better choice?” aroseūü§Ē. I‚Äôve also noted a lot of players asking such questions, because they don‚Äôt know whether they should get Heart Gold, or if playing it is worth it, compared to Gold.

So, to contribute to the discussion and to help players like yourself make up their minds about these two games, I decided to come up with this article. In it, I will share detailed insights into what I thought playing both games. In the end, I will share my final verdict on which was better. Make sure you read the entire article to understand my verdict‚ėļÔłŹ.

Pokémon Heart Gold vs. Gold РHow They Compare.

To start us off, below is a summarized comparison of the two games, highlighting the differences I will be discussing in detail later:


Pokémon Gold

Pokémon Heart Gold

Available Pokémon

  • Smaller Pokedex
  • Pok√©mon evolutions limited to Gen II
  • Doesn‚Äôt have the three starters and three legendary birds from Red and Blue
  • Can‚Äôt transfer Pok√©mon from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
  • Bigger Pokedex
  • Some Pok√©mon include Gen IV evolutions
  • Has the three starters and three legendary birds from Red and Blue
  • Can transfer Pok√©mon from Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

Game Features

  • No female player option
  • Pok√©mon can‚Äôt travel out of the Poke balls
  • Pok√©mon don‚Äôt have interactions or personalities.
  • Has a female player option
  • Pok√©mon can travel out of the Poke balls
  • Pok√©mon do have interactions or personalities.


  • No Battle Frontier
  • No re-battles with gym leaders and Elite Four
  • Has Battle Frontier
  • You can re-battle gym leaders and Elite Four

What are the differences between Pokémon Heart Gold and Gold?

Pokémon Heart Gold vs. Gold
Pokémon Gold Version. Image source: Pokemon

As you may know, Pokémon Gold is a second-generation game in the series, whereas Pokémon Heart Gold was released in the 4th generation. As the remake of Pokémon Gold, Pokémon Heart Gold remains the same when you consider the core aspects of the game including the region, storyline, and so on.

But, considering they are from different generations in the game series, there are some notable differences between them as well. The following are the differences I thought, set them apart:

Available Pokémon

Heart Gold being a remake of Pokémon Gold, meant it had most of the Pokémon in the latter as well. But true to Pokémon traditions, each game comes with exclusive Pokémon you can’t find in the other. The same can be said for Heart Gold and Gold as well.

While playing Heart Gold, I noticed that the game had a larger Pokedex, meaning that there were more Pok√©mon available for capture as well as a wider variety. For example, unlike in Gold, I was able to capture Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and the three legendary birds that were first in Red and BlueūüėÉ. I also thought it was cool that some of the Pok√©mon in Heart Gold, like Togekiss, got Gen IV evolutions. This wasn‚Äôt possible in Pok√©mon Gold.

The best part, however, is that in Heart Gold it is possible to get all 493 Pok√©mon, being that it is a Gen IV game. Honestly, I haven‚Äôt been able to yet, seeing as you will have to trade some, but it‚Äôs still cool to know that it‚Äôs possibleūüėĆ.

Therefore, when it comes to available Pokémon, Heart Gold takes the crown for having more available Pokémon compared to Gold. It also offers a wider variety and you can trade from games like Diamond and Pearl, which isn’t possible with Gold.

Game Features

Pokémon Heart Gold vs. Gold- Which Version is a better choice?
Pokémon HeartGold Version. Image source: Pokemon

As you would expect, remakes are meant to be a step up from their predecessors and I feel Heart Gold did not disappoint me in this regard. Considering it came out 2 generations after Gold, I expected to see some significant changes, which I believe the game deliveredūüėĆ.

For starters, Heart Gold built on some of the enhancements introduced in Pok√©mon Crystal and Pok√©mon Yellow. Like in Crystal, the remake has a female player option which was originally not available in Pok√©mon Gold. Also, similar to Yellow, my Pok√©mon could travel out of the Pokeball with me, throughout the game. But what‚Äôs even cooler, is that in Heart Gold, the Pok√©mon had improved personalities and interactions with you as their trainer. I could tell whether my Pok√©mon were happy or notūüėÄ. It made the game a more immersive experience while playing it.

Pokémon Heart Gold vs. Gold

Via Quick Meme

Other than that, Heart Gold had significantly improved graphics and visuals. The colors were more vibrant and the game had improved animations. Additionally, whereas Pokémon Gold was originally designed in 2D, Heart Gold can be played in 3D on Nintendo DS. The latter is also compatible with other Gen IV games, meaning you can transfer Pokémon between the different games in that generation.

So, overall, in terms of game features, Heart Gold takes the lead. It has made some significant improvements to Pokémon Gold and improved the overall gameplay experience.


I’ve always heard players speculate on the fact that earlier Pok√©mon games are much more challenging compared to the Pok√©mon games we have now. I can understand that since the core aspects of the game haven’t changed as much from when we played as kids, plus the recent generations are a lot more user-friendly.

But I am still inclined to believe that Heart Gold did add a layer of challenge to Pok√©mon Gold by adding several features to the game. For example, the Battle Frontier wasn’t available in Pok√©mon Gold, and I found it was a great way to challenge and improve my skills as a player and a trainer in the game‚ėļÔłŹ. Additionally, the remake included a feature that allowed me to re-battle the gym leaders and Elite Four.

The best parts were part was that I could re-battle them as many times as I needed until I leveled up enough to face Red, the Champion on Silver Mountain, at the very end of the game. The only downside was that there were restrictions on when I could have certain rematches, especially with the gym leadersūüôĄ.

But overall, I would say that Heart Gold did include an extra layer of challenge to the game. But that’s not to say that Pok√©mon Gold isn’t a challenging enough game. It ultimately boils down to your level of skill and how frequently you play Pok√©mon games.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? ‚Äď Pok√©mon Heart Gold or Gold

Now that we have compared different aspects of the two games, it is safe to say that Heart Gold is a better choice compared to Pokémon Gold. Being a remake of the latter, the game has done a good job of improving the content of the game as well as the mechanics. As such, I would advise getting Heart Gold instead of Pokémon Gold.

But for the sake of nostalgia, you can always play Pok√©mon Gold to see what the earlier games were like. Also, if your budget allows you can always play both games and make your own comparison. But seeing as Heart Gold is the same game as Gold, only an improved version, I’d say playing the improved version, would be worth your money.

FAQ Section

Which is more popular Pokémon Heart Gold or Gold?

The answer may vary from one player to another, but according to Bulbapedia, Pokémon Gold seemed to have had a better reception compared to Pokémon Heart Gold. The site reports that while IGN gave Pokémon Gold and Silver a 10/10 naming the duo a masterpiece, Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver got 8.5/10.

Is Pokémon Heart Gold more successful than Pokémon Gold?

No. Based on the sales, it would appear Pokémon Gold is more successful compared to Heart Gold. According to VGChartz, as of May 2023, while Pokémon Gold and Silver sold 23.1 million copies, Pokémon Heart Gold and Soul Silver only sold 12.72 million copies. Additionally, according to Bulbapedia, in Japan, Gold had sold over 3 million copies after 372 weeks after its release. On the other hand, Heart Gold only sold about 1.86 million copies after 225 weeks from its release.

How many hours does it take to finish Pokémon Heart Gold and Gold?

Pokémon Gold will take you about 30 hours to complete the main objectives of the game, whereas Heart Gold will take about 37 hours. On the other hand, if you want to fully complete the game, then Gold will take around 162 hours to achieve that, whereas Heart Gold will take you about 214 hours.

Which game is longer between Pokémon Heart Gold and Gold?

Pokémon Heart Gold is a longer game compared to Pokémon Gold since it has more content to cover and takes about 7 to 52 more hours to complete.

Can you replace Pokémon Heart Gold with Gold?

If you are asking whether you can play Gold instead of Heart Gold then, no. Since Heart Gold is a remake of Gold, it has more improvements and added content you won’t get in Gold. So, it would be better to play Heart Gold instead of Gold or play both. But you can trade or switch the games with willing players who have either version, you, however, can’t return one version, in exchange for the other.

Does Pokémon Heart Gold and Gold follow the same story?

Yes, given that Heart Gold is a remake of Gold, the majority of the story elements are the same aside from a few improvements and added content.

Which one has a better game, Pokémon Heart Gold or Gold?

Both games are great, although Heart Gold is a better game, given the life improvements, added content, and improved graphics.

Is Gold harder than Heart Gold?

Ideally, the difficulty level in both games will mostly be based on your skill as a player. However, many players speculate that Pokémon games are increasingly easier with each new release. But I feel, added features like the Battle Frontier, make Heart Gold more challenging that Gold.

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