Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun: Which game should you get?

Pokémon is known for releasing a singular third version that is usually an update of the original pair. For example, how Pokémon Yellow was a third version of Pokémon Red and Blue, and Pokémon Crystal was for Pokémon Gold and Silver. But there are also times when some generations have gotten a sequel pair or remakes like Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon which was an enhanced version of Pokémon Sun and Moon.

I usually love the sequel pairs more than the singular third versions because it comes with a longer storyline and amazing new updates. So, when I heard that Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were to be released, I was elated.

Because I had played Pokémon Sun, I was curious to know what the Ultra Sun would add to it. Still, I was weary of whether, getting Ultra Sun after having the Sun version, would be a wise investment. What if they were mostly similar? Would it be worth it?

Because I didn’t have a lot of information to go on at the time, I decided to follow my curiosity and get the Ultra Sun. The main benefit of that is I now have experience with both versions, which I will be sharing with you in this article. By the end of it, you’ll have a detailed comparison of the two, to help you decide whether getting one is better than getting the other.

Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun – How They Compare

Below is a summary table of the main variations between the two versions and how they differ:


Pokémon Sun

Pokémon Ultra Sun


A clearer narrative that flows better.

An expanded and more complex narrative.

Legendary Pokémon



Version Exclusive Pokémon

  • Alolan Vulpix/Ninetales
  • Lycanroc (Midday Form)
  • Turtonator
  • Passimian
  • Alolan Sandshrew/Sandslash
  • Lycanroc (Midnight Form)
  • Drampa
  • Oranguru


  • Battle Royal
  • Festival Plaza
  • Mantine Surfing
  • Poke Finder
  • Poke Pelago
  • Poke Refresh
  • Zygarde Cells
  • Battle Royal
  • Festival Plaza
  • Mantine Surfing
  • Poke Finder
  • Poke Pelago
  • Poke Ride
  • Ultra-Wormhole

What are the differences between Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun?

Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun
Pokémon Sun. Image source: Nintendo

Being that one is the sequel of the other, it’s natural to wonder, what the main differences are between Pokémon Sun and Ultra Sun. Well, the following are some key differences, I thought were worth noting:


The core gameplay and structure of the story in both versions are largely the same. But since Ultra Sun is meant to be an enhanced version of Pokémon Sun, it obviously provides an expanded storyline with new characters and a post-game storyline revolving around Ultra Recon Squad. With Ultra Sun, you’ll get new dialogue, battles, and some expanded roles for some of the original characters in Pokémon Sun.

Even so, I would say that the storyline in Pokémon Sun is way better than in Ultra Sun. For example, the story on Lusamine in Pokémon Sun is well done. It clearly portrays her as the terrible and self-centered mother she is, especially to Lillie. But in Ultra Sun, the story awkwardly changes to portray her as a good person in a manner that just didn’t fit in the story. Additionally, I felt that in Ultra Sun Mohn and Lusamine’s story reached an unsatisfying climax leaving me with many questions.

So overall, I thought Pokémon Sun had a better storyline than Ultra Sun, even though the latter did try to add complexity to the narrative by introducing new content and expanded backstories.

Legendary Pokémon

Like in Pokémon Sun and Moon, the legendary Pokémon, better known as the mascot of the respective version, is also different in Ultra Sun. In Pokémon Sun you’ll get Solgaleo, a psychic and steel-type Pokémon. On the other hand, in Ultra Sun, your legendary will be Necrozma.

While Necrozma is naturally a pure psychic type, it has two new forms. Dusk mane is the first form that makes it a psychic/steel-type, while Dawn Wing is the second form that makes it a Psychic/ghost-type. In terms of ability, I’d say, that while Solgaleo has better speed stats, Necrozma has better stats when it comes to special defense and attack, not to mention better versatility. In addition, I love that Ultra Sun gives a background story on Necrozma in terms of its origin and mission.

So, undoubtedly, I think Ultra Sun has the better legendary, and that is definitely worth getting whether you’ve played Pokémon Sun or not.

Version Exclusive Pokémon

Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun
Pokémon Ultra Sun. Image source: Nintendo

While most of the Pokémon in Sun are present in Ultra Sun, there are still some that are exclusive to either version. This is obviously in line with Pokémon’s tradition to encourage players to trade. While the list of different exclusives isn’t as long when comparing Sun vs Ultra Sun, they each present great choices.

Still, if I had to choose, I would say the exclusives in Pokémon Sun have a better advantage than in Ultra Sun. For example, Passimian (Exclusive to Sun) is a much better Pokémon, especially in competitive battles, compared to Oranguru (exclusive to Ultra Sun). Similarly, Alolan Ninetales (exclusive to Sun) is a better pick than Alolan Sandslash (exclusive to Ultra Sun) because it has lesser weaknesses and I think it’s prettier.

Overall, I think Pokémon Sun has better exclusive Pokémon than Ultra Sun. However, if you’ve already played the Sun version, then it won’t make a difference or result in a loss when getting Ultra Sun.


Pokémon Sun vs Ultra Sun
Pokémon Sun (Nintendo 3DS). Image source: Pinterest

I enjoy playing minigames as a way to take a break from the main quest. It’s a great way to pass the time and earn some great rewards while at it, including exclusive Pokémon, depending on the version you’re playing. Every Pokémon generational release comes with its set of minigames and the same goes for Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Ultra Sun.

Since Ultra Sun is based on Pokémon Sun, most of the minigames in both versions are similar. However, being that Ultra Sun is an enhanced version of the latter, then it’s only expected that it would have more choices when it comes to mini-games you can play.

Both versions have minigames like Festive Plaza and Battle Royal. After Pokémon Sun got an update, more mini-games were introduced like Mantine Surfing, which is also available in Ultra Sun. What was new and exclusive to Ultra Sun, however, were Poke Ride and Ultra Wormhole. Poke Ride was a feature that allowed me to ride different Pokémon like Charizard to explore new areas. I thought it was a fun and cool feature.

Ultra-wormholes on the other hand was a new feature that allowed me to travel through different wormholes to discover new areas. Other than exploring new areas, I found that depending on the warp hole, there were chances I could encounter a rare Pokémon, which, for me, was exciting.

So, overall, I would say Ultra Sun wins this category, purely because it offers more mini-games than its predecessor.

Final Verdict: So, Which one should you get? – Pokémon Sun or Ultra Sun

Since Pokémon Ultra Sun is ideally an enhanced version of Pokémon Sun, it would mean it is the better version, given its new updates and features. Still, I would suggest figuring out what is more important for you when playing Pokémon. If the storyline matters, then your better off going with Pokémon Sun. This version also has some great exclusives you won’t get in Ultra Sun.

Still, Ultra Sun does have better graphics and expounded storylines with more complexity. So, it is not an entirely bad option. Not to mention it does have the better legendary Pokémon mascot of the two versions. Also, if you’ve already played Pokémon Sun, then your choice would be easier. You can get Ultra Sun as a continuation of the Sun version.

FAQ Section

Who is more popular Pokémon Ultra Sun or Pokémon Sun?

This will depend on who you ask. But according to the sentiments shared by various fans and players across different platforms, it would seem Pokémon Sun is more popular than Ultra Sun. Possibly because it has a better storyline.

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

Pokémon Sun seems to have been more successful, since overall, Pokémon Sun and Moon sold 15.44 units while Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon only sold 7.51 million units.

Is Pokémon Ultra Sun a sequel to Pokémon Sun?

No, Pokémon Ultra Sun is not a sequel to Pokémon Sun. The sequel for the latter seems to be Pokémon Sun 2 while the former could be seen as more of a remake.

Is Pokémon Ultra Sun easier to play than Pokémon Sun?

Not really. Granted that Pokémon Ultra Sun is an expansion of Pokémon Sun, so you can expect it to be slightly more difficult due to the complexity of the storyline. But since the core of the game is the same in both, the difficulty shouldn’t be too significant.

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