Pokémon Moon vs Ultra Moon: Which game is the better choice?

I am a Pokémon enthusiast who likes to keep up to date with the latest games in the series. However, by the time Sun and Moon were released, I was in a bit of a financial fix. Because of that, I ended up playing Sun over Moon because that was what was available to me🤷.

A while back, however, I was able to switch games with a fellow player and finally got to play Moon. I realized the game was just as good as Sun aside from a few differences. That made me curious to see if Ultra Moon was any different as well. Before buying the game, I thought of asking around, but got mixed reactions about whether Moon was better than Ultra Moon or vice versa😕.

As such, I ended up getting Ultra Moon anyway, so I could make the comparison myself🙂. Now that I’ve played both games, I wrote this article to share detailed insights based on my first-hand experience. I will discuss which of the two games was better and why. So, ensure you read until the end to understand how I arrived at my final verdict.

Pokémon Moon vs Ultra Moon – How They Compare.

But before we go into the nitty-gritty of how the two games compare, the table below summarizes what we will be discussing later in the article:


Pokémon Moon

Pokémon Ultra Moon

Game and Post-game content

  • Replaced gyms with Island trials and Totem Pokémon.
  • Introduced new content like Pokeride and Festive Plaza
  • Introduced Hype training
  • Added new trials and a gym-style arena for trainers to battle.
  • Added more mini-games like Mantine surf
  • Added Battle Agency
  • Extended post-game content by adding Team Rainbow Rocket

Available Pokémon

  • Introduced Ultra Beasts
  • Introduced Alolan variations of Pokémon
  • Added four more Ultra Beasts
  • Added a new form of Lycanroc (Dusk)
  • Had access to the mythical Pokémon Zeraora

Mascot Legendary Pokémon

  • Lunala
  • Dawn Wings Necrozma

What are the differences between Pokémon Moon vs Ultra Moon?

When Pokémon Sun and Moon came out, I was among the fans who thought there would be a third version from this generation, Pokémon Stars (because of Sun, Moon, and Stars, get it?😂). But the creators thought it was better to release remakes of the generation instead.

Pokémon Moon vs Ultra Moon

Via Memedroid

While it was a bummer not getting Pokémon Stars, I didn’t mind playing Ultra Sun. Since I also enjoyed playing Pokémon Moon, I wanted to see what Ultra Moon, the remake, would add to the table. Of course, one being a remake of the other, means the two are essentially the same game. However, I did note a few differences worth considering. I’ve discussed them below as follows:

Game and Post-game Content

Pokémon Ultra Moon
Pokémon Moon. Image source: Pokemon

Pokémon Sun and Moon, are among the generations that revolutionized the game series. It introduced a lot of changes that switched up the gameplay experience. For example, in Moon, instead of the usual gyms and gym leaders, the game replaced them with Island trials and Totem Pokémon😃. The game also introduced new content like Pokeride and Festive Plaza.

All of these new additions are, gratefully, a part of Ultra Moon. The remake also went ahead and added a few more fun things and improved the game. For instance, I found that the game added new trials like the Fairy-type challenge. It also introduced the Battle Agency, where I could rent a Pokémon. I thought it was a great way of testing out a Pokémon I wasn’t sure I wanted as a part of my party😊.

That’s not all, Ultra Moon also came with a bunch of new games like Mantine Surf and new areas to explore in the game like Pikachu Valley. There was also this cool feature, called Alola Photo Club. It allowed my character to take pictures with my Pokémon, and I could either post the pictures online or save them on an SD card.

But I have to say that the best part of playing Ultra Moon for me was the extended post-game content that included Team Rainbow Rocket. This villain team was made up of leaders from all the villain teams encountered in past generations🤯. It was a nostalgic experience playing that part of the game😌.

So, overall, I would say that Ultra Moon had more to offer in terms of game content. While Moon introduced a lot of new content to the game series, Ultra Moon built on that and improved the overall game.

Available Pokémon

Another thing that the 7th generation Pokémon games brought to the table was the introduction of new Pokémon forms. Several Pokémon like Sandshrew got Alolan forms in the Pokémon Moon. The game also introduced a new sub-group of Pokémon called Ultra Beasts (UBs), who could be encountered in Ultra Space. I thought they were a pretty cool addition to the mainline game series.

Since Ultra Moon is a remake, you’ll be happy to know that it has the same Pokedex and Pokémon Moon, but slightly wider. Not only are there new Pokémon to capture, but there are also cool new forms😎. For example, instead of the Midday and Midnight Lycanroc in Sun and Moon respectively, Ultra Moon had Dusk Lycanroc, which combines the features of the Midday and Midnight forms.

In addition, I found that Ultra Moon also added four more Ultra Beasts to the mix😁. The new UBs were Naganadel, Blacephalon, Poipole, and Stakataka. I was also able to unlock Zeraora, the mythical Pokémon in Ultra Sun, but it was also possible in Ultra Moon. Unfortunately, this may not be the case now, since you needed a code to access the mythical Pokémon, but you can always trade with another player who has it if you really want one.

Overall, Ultra Moon wins this category as well. While both games had largely the same Pokémon available for capture, Ultra Moon adding the new forms and Ultra Beasts, not to mention a mythical Pokémon, really tipped the scales⚖️ in its favor.

Mascot Legendary Pokémon

Pokémon Moon vs Ultra Moon
Pokémon Ultra Moon. Image source: Pokemon

In most generations, the mascot legendary remains the same between the original game and its remake, with some slight upgrades. For example, how in Omega Ruby, Groudon took up a primal form. But things were different with Pokémon Moon and Ultra Moon.

Whereas the mascot legendary in Pokémon Moon was Lunala, in Ultra Moon it is replaced by Dawn Wings Necrozma. In my opinion, Necrozma isn’t the strongest compared to Lunala. But being a prism Pokémon, it can steal light, which is how it takes over Lunala in Ultra Moon to form Dawn Wings Necrozma.

While Lunala and Dawn Wings Necrozma have the same total base stat, I found that the stat distribution in Dawn Wings was better. Additionally, both Pokémon have the same moves and z-moves, although Dawn Wings Necrozma has an added move, Photon Geyser.

Although the difference is small, I found Ultra Moons Mascot Legendary was slightly better given the added move. But I still prefer Lunala’s design in Pokémon Moon.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Pokémon Moon or Ultra Moon?

Pokémon Moon 
Pokémon Moon. Image source: Pokemon

All things considered; it is clear that Ultra Moon is a better game compared to Pokémon Moon. This is, however, to be expected given that it’s a remake. So, it simply built on what Pokémon Moon had and fixed some of the bugs in the game to improve the overall experience.

Still, it would be a better pick over Pokémon Moon since it has additional content and more Pokémon available. But of course, if you can get both games, then there’s no harm in playing both of them. Otherwise, go with Ultra Moon, it will be more worth the value.

FAQ Section

Which one is more popular Pokémon Ultra Moon or Pokémon Moon?

It depends on who you ask, but based on the discussion on various forums, many players seem to favor Ultra Moon. According to Bulbapedia, the two games seemed to have received an equally positive reception from the press, with IGN giving both games a 9/10.

Which one is more successful, Pokémon Ultra Moon or Pokémon Moon?

Based on sales, Pokémon Moon is more successful than Pokémon Ultra Moon. According to Bulbapedia, as of March 2023, Sun and Moon had sold 16.3 million copies worldwide, whereas, Ultra Sun and Moon had only sold 9.15 million copies globally. Additionally, the site reports that in Japan, Pokémon Moon had sold 783,090 copies in the first week of release, but Ultra Moon only sold 331,896 copies in its first week.

Is Pokémon Ultra Moon easier to play than Pokémon Moon?

Not entirely. The two games are essentially the same. Ultra-Moon just fixed a few of the bugs that were in Moon and added new content. But the level of difficulty should ideally be the same although since Ultra Moon is the improved version it does have a smoother playthrough.

Can you replace Pokémon Ultra Moon with Pokémon Moon?

If you mean play Ultra Moon instead of Moon, then yes. The former is the remake of the latter, so it is identical to Pokémon Moon but with a few improvements. With that said, you wouldn’t be missing anything if you skipped Moon to play Ultra Moon.

Is Pokémon Ultra Moon an upgrade of Pokémon Moon?

Yes. As a remake of Moon, Ultra Moon improves on the game, by fixing the bugs and adding new fun content to make the game more interesting.

Which is the better game between Pokémon Moon and Pokémon Ultra Moon?

Objectively, Ultra Moon is a better game compared to Moon, since it is an improved version of the latter. But the two games are essentially the same so the experience of playing both won’t differ so much.

Should I play Pokémon Ultra Moon before or after Pokémon Moon?

No, if you have to play both games, it is better to start with the original followed by the remake. That way you will appreciate the improvements made to the game better.

Which game is longer between Pokémon Ultra Moon and Pokémon Moon?

Neither, both game will take you roughly 33 hours to complete if you focus on the main objectives. However, if you want to fully explore the game then Pokémon Moon will take slightly longer by about 16 hours. However, this will depend on how frequently you play the game and your skills as a player.

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