What’s New In Pokémon Ultra Sun And Moon? A Heck Of A Lot


Exactly one year after Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon hit the Nintendo 3DS to widespread acclaim (we loved it), we’re getting two follow-up games that add even more juicy content to what was already an incredible handheld experience. Possibly the last Pokémon title we’re going to get on the 3DS, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon are two outstanding ways to go out on one of Nintendo’s most beloved devices.

While these Ultra editions are technically updated versions of Sun and Moon, they are some pretty significant tweaks that will make diehard fans want to say “Aloha” to Alola all over again. For those who are still on the fence about taking that return trip back to Alola, here are the key differences between the original Sun and Moon iterations and these Ultra updates.

One of the most exciting extras in Ultra Sun and Moon is the post-storyline addition of a new villainous outfit called Team Rainbow Rocket. Led by Giovanni, the group is comprised of teams from past Pokémon’s entries, like Aqua/Magma from Ruby/Saphire and Team Flare from X/Y. Think Ramona’s seven evil exes from Scott Pilgrim.

Let’s talk about wormholes, those wacky things that allowed Ultra Beasts to travel to Alola from far away worlds. While these were a clever element to the story, now you can actually travel through them on top of Sun mascot Solgaleo or Moon mascot Lunala to visit the places these Ultra Beasts came from. Travelling to such far off places will also give you the opportunity to encounter previous Legendaries that didn’t appear in the original Sun and Moon, like franchise favourite Mewtwo.

On the subject of Ultra Beasts, the new games live up to their Ultra status by introducing several new ones: UB Burst, UB Assembly, and UB Adhesive. While encountering the first two Ultra Beasts will depend on which title you pick up (UB Burst appears in Sun, UB Assembly appears in Moon), UB Adhesive appears in both games, alongside an enigmatic group of trainers called Ultra Recon Squad.

Along with new Ultra Beasts, these Ultra editions also introduce a host of fresh Pokémon. While not exactly new, Legendary Necrozma is a key Pokémon in these versions, absorbing Solgaleo or Lunala to turn into either Dusk Mane Necrozma or Dawen Wings Necrozma.

Dusk Form Lycanroc is new form of Lycanroc that appears in both Ultra Sun and Moon. In the non-Ultra version, Rockruff would evolve into either Midday Form Lycanroc or Midnight Form Lycanroc, but now there’s a third variant called Dusk Form Lycanroc. Be warned that this evolution can only be achieved as an early purchase gift if you get your hands on the games between now and January 10, 2018.

There’s more to Ultra Sun and Moon than new just new Pokémon—a handful of unexplored areas have opened up in the Alola region. One of the most notable new spaces is the Battle Agency, a  facility where players can rent three Pokémon to take part in Single Battle. The more players you meet online means more Pokémon you can rent, so get connected.

Another nifty feature in these Ultra games is the ability to ride the waves with Mantine Suft. While riding on Mantine’s back, you can catch major waves for a high score and also get between islands in no time. Just be sure to pull off some sweet moves on your speedy travels  for extra BP. Speaking of fast travel, upon getting the Ride Pager items, you’ll also be able to Ride Pokémon to get to new places you couldn’t easily access before.

Clearly, there are tonnes of fresh features to discuss, like new Z-Moves when you put on your fancy Z-Ring (Mimikyu’s wonderfully weird Let’s Snuggle Forever is a highlight), collectible Totem Stickers (which unlock totem-sized Pokémon for your team), and a souped-up Rotom Dex with a newfound sense of personality. So consider this your primer, now go out there are catch some snazzy new Pokémon.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon are both available now exclusively on Nintendo 3DS. Check out the trailer below.