Pokémon Omega Ruby vs. Alpha Sapphire: Which is the better version?

Although I played both Ruby and Sapphire as a child, I wasn’t able to play Emerald, as well as the remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. What can I say, at the time other remakes like FireRed and LeafGreen along with newer generations like X and Y seemed more enticing at the time.

Eventually, though, I knew I wanted to experience playing Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (as well as Emerald) to see how they had evolved from the original versions and once again which of the two was better. Although finding the copies wasn’t as difficult as finding a copy of Emerald, I wasn’t able to get both versions until recently.

Now, after completing both games, I thought I’d come up with this article to share my insights on which version trumps the other based on my recent experience and knowledge. So, for those of you who have been struggling with the decision of which version is worth getting or simply can’t decide which was better, this article will have the answers you need.

Pokémon Omega Ruby vs. Alpha Sapphire – How They Compare

Before we get into the details, let’s start with a quick summary of how the two versions compare as demonstrated below:


Omega Ruby

Alpha Sapphire


  • Team Magma
  • Want to expand the land by awakening Groudon
  • Team Aqua
  • Want to expand the sea by awakening Kyogre

Version Exclusive Pokémon

  • Seedot/Nuzleaf/Shiftry
  • Solrock
  • Mawile
  • Zangoose
  • Kabuto
  • Shieldon
  • Archen
  • Skrelp
  • Throh
  • Lotad/Lombre/Ludicolo
  • Lunatone
  • Sableye
  • Seviper
  • Omanyte
  • Cranidos
  • Tirtouga
  • Clauncher
  • Sawk

Legendary Pokémon

  • Groudon (main)
  • Latios
  • Ho-Oh
  • Palkia
  • Reshiram
  • Tornadus
  • Kyogre (main)
  • Latias
  • Lugia
  • Dialga
  • Zekrom
  • Thundurus

What are the differences between Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire?

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. Image source: Nintendo

Over the years of playing Pokémon, I’m used to Game Freak’s long-standing traditions of releasing dual versions of a generation in the game series, be it originals or remakes (unless it’s an enhanced third version). Now, how similar or different the two versions will be has varied with different generations.

In this case, while the remakes of Ruby and Sapphire also share general similarities in the overall graphics and mechanics of the game, some interesting differences set them apart from each other. These differences are as follows:


Seeing as Omega Ruby was adapted to the original Ruby version and Alpha Sapphire was adapted to the original Sapphire version, as expected the two remakes also differed significantly when it came to the storyline. Similar to the original versions, the antagonists you faced in the remakes were different.

In Omega Ruby, you’ll face Team Magma, a villain team with the goal of awakening Groudon and using its power to expand the land. As such Groudon was the main legendary at the heart of the story in Omega Ruby and therefore was exclusive to that version. In Alpha Sapphire, however, the villain you’ll face is Team Aqua. Their motive is slightly different and that is to awaken Kyogre and use its power to expand the sea. So, similarly, Kyogre was the main legendary at the heart of Alpha Sapphire’s story and therefore exclusive to that version.

There were also slight differences in other types of Pokémon that were available in either version, but we’ll get to that later. But just like with Ruby and Sapphire, I still felt that the difference in antagonists faced in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire made the experience of each story even more unique to each.

At first, I was worried that Game Freak would decide to borrow from Emerald and make both teams and legendries available, not that I didn’t find that plot exciting as well. But I’m glad they chose to retain the dynamic difference in the storyline of the original versions. Even with that said, both teams were equal in terms of the challenge they presented in defeating them. The only difference would be in the aesthetics of how the teams looked and how the story was told based on their differing motives.

In the end, I would say, it was a tie when it came to which version had a better Antagonist. It’s up to you whether you prefer to go against the predominantly water-type team Aqua or the predominantly ground/fire-type team Magma.

Version exclusive Pokémon

Pokémon Omega Ruby 
Exclusive Pokémon. Image source: Nintendo

As is the Pokémon tradition, the biggest difference between dual versions is the type of Pokémon you can catch in either version. This is no different in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. In this case, I hoped Game Freak would borrow from Emerald and make the exclusives in either Ruby or Sapphire available in both remakes.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. The remakes remained faithful to their respective original versions. So, the exclusives that were in the Original Ruby version, you’ll find in Omega Ruby and the same goes for Alpha Sapphire. The bonus, however, was that Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, increased the number of Pokémon available in the remakes, some being exclusive to either version.

Objectively picking which of the two versions had better exclusives, isn’t possible since it depends on the type of Pokémon you will be interested in catching. It is important to pick the version that has more of the Pokémon you want, that way you won’t have to trade a lot after playing the game.

Personally, I preferred the selection that Omega Ruby provided. In terms of typing, I found that this version had a wider variety of types, despite following a predominantly fire-based theme. It also offered some of my favorite Pokémon like Ho-oh. Alpha Sapphire had more single water types or water-type combos. But I guess that was in line with the water theme the version followed. Still, I would expect being recent remakes, they would have more options of fire-type Pokémon.

Overall, both versions offer a decent selection of Pokémon. Picking the better version will depend on the Pokémon you are more interested in. Personally, I was more inclined towards the balanced typing variety available in Omega Ruby, compared to Alpha Sapphire, but that’s my opinion.

Legendary Pokémon

Pokémon Omega Ruby vs. Alpha Sapphire
Legendary Pokemon. Image source: Pinterest

Another major difference that was retained from the original versions, was the legendary Pokémon that was available in either version. As I mentioned above, in Omega Ruby, Groudon is still the main legendary exclusive to the version, and in Alpha Sapphire you still get Kyogre exclusively as the main legendary of that version.

Additionally, as part of exclusive Pokémon, the remakes also introduced new Legendary Pokémon in the post-game content, some of which are exclusive to one version or the other. For example, you get Ho-oh, Palkia, and Reshiram in Omega Ruby. In Alpha Sapphire, the additional exclusive Pokémon are Lugia, Diagla, and Zekrom.

Once again, the choice between which legendries are better is subjective. Personally, I prefer the selection of exclusive Pokémon in Omega Ruby. I thought Groudon’s ground-type and fire-type move pool was much better compared to Kyogre’s move pool which essentially comprised only water-type moves. Additionally, say what you will, but I think Groudon’s signature Drought move is more powerful than Kyogre’s signature Drizzle move. Also, Omega Ruby had most of my all-time favorite legendries, like Ho-oh and Reshiram.

Therefore, if it was up to me, I would say Omega Ruby had a better selection of legendries. But that is my biased opinion based on which legendry is my favorite. Objectively speaking, the exclusive Pokémon Legendries are equally powerful, so it will depend on which ones you’d like to capture.

Final Verdict: So, Which is better? – Pokémon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire

All things considered, it’s my humble opinion that Omega Ruby is the better version of the two. But my biased opinion is based on the fact that Omega Ruby has more of my favorite legendries and the typing of exclusive Pokémon is more balanced in this version. Even with that said, I appreciated the Pokémon sprites in Alpha Sapphire more.

But objectively speaking, both versions are equally great. The challenge level is similar and the main plot is largely the same. The slight variations in the story, while offering a unique experience, don’t really affect the overall gameplay experience as much.

So, if you had to choose, you can either get the remake of the original you played as a child if you want to play it safe. You can also pick the opposite remake if you want a slightly new experience. Alternatively, you can go with the version that has most of your preferred Pokémon.

FAQ Section

Which is more popular Pokémon Alpha Sapphire or Omega Ruby?

From playing both games and based on players’ opinions on several forums, both games have their perks and therefore their share of fans. So, it depends on who you ask.

Which one sold more between Pokémon omega ruby and Pokémon alpha sapphire?

Pokémon Alpha Sapphire is said to have sold more than Omega Ruby. According to Bulbapedia, although both copies sold a total of 14.57 million worldwide, in Japan, by January 2021, Alpha Sapphire had already sold over 200,000 copies (221,271 copies to be exact) more than Omega Ruby.

Is Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby the same story?

Yes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, share the same general plot of a protagonist seeking to be Champion by collecting Pokémon and defeating Gym leaders and the Elit 4. The story between them only varies slightly in terms of the Pokémon and Villains you’ll encounter in each.

Which game is harder to play between Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon Omega Ruby?

Having played both, I would say both games presented an equal challenge. Also, given that the core mechanics of the game are the same, the difficulty shouldn’t differ so much, if at all. It all boils down to how skilled you are at playing Pokémon games.

Who came first between Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire?

Both games were released at the same time. The remakes were first released in most regions of the world, including Japan, Australia, and North America, by November 2014.

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