Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have been released for 3DS, and while the two games are largely based on the previous Sun and Moon versions, they set themselves apart from last year’s titles with a host of new content. Along with an expanded story that sheds more light on the mysterious Legendary Pokemon, Necrozma, the pair introduce a handful of new features and even Pokemon to the series.
If you’ve already played Sun or Moon and are unsure if the upcoming titles differ enough to warrant a return trip to Alola, we’ve rounded up all of the new Pokemon, moves, and features Nintendo has announced thus far to give you a better idea of what’s new in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. You can read more about the games in our Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon review. And if you’re unsure which version is right for you, we broke down the major differences between Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
In the original Sun and Moon versions, Ultra Beasts are powerful, unidentified Pokemon that traveled to the Alola region from other worlds through wormholes. Naturally, they once again play a major role in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and this time the games introduce a couple of new ones to the series.
At least three new Ultra Beasts appear in the titles: UB Burst, UB Assembly, and UB Adhesive. The former two are exclusive to a specific version. The jester-like UB Burst only appears in Ultra Sun and is a Fire/Ghost-type Pokemon that learns an exclusive move called Mind Blown. UB Assembly, meanwhile, is a defense-oriented Rock/Steel-type Pokemon that’s exclusive to Ultra Moon.
The third new Ultra Beast, UB Adhesive, is a Poison-type that is said to be able to understand humans if it spends enough time among them. It first appears with the Ultra Recon Squad, a mysterious new group of trainers that travels to Alola through a wormhole. Which members of the Ultra Recon Squad you encounter depends on the version you’re playing.
Dusk Mane / Dawn Wings Necrozma
While the mysterious Legendary Pokemon Necrozma appeared in the original Sun and Moon versions, it plays a much larger story role in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Depending on which version you pick up, it merges with the games’ mascot Pokemon, Solgaleo or Lunala, to turn into its new Dusk Mane and Dawn Wings forms, respectively.
Along with taking on a new appearance and typing, Necrozma is able to use Solgaleo and Lunala’s signature attacks when it merges with the two Legendaries. Dusk Mane Necrozma is a Psychic/Steel-type and can unleash Sunsteel Strike, while Dawn Wings Necrozma is a Psychic/Ghost-type and can use Moongeist Beam. Both forms also have the ability Prism Armor, which reduces the damage Necrozma takes from super-effective attacks.
Dusk Form Lycanroc
Depending on which version you played, the Rock-type puppy Pokemon Rockruff would evolve into one of two possible forms in Sun and Moon; in the former game, Rockruff would become Midday Form Lycanroc, while in the latter it would evolve into Midnight Form Lycanroc. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon introduce a third possible variant, this one called Dusk Form Lycanroc.
Like its name implies, Dusk Form Lycanroc is a cross between its Midday and Midnight forms. It has an orange and white coat and can learn both forms’ signature attacks, Accelerock and Counter. It also comes with a different ability, Tough Claws, which increases the power of attacks that make direct contact with an opponent. Dusk Form Lycanroc is exclusive to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and so far, the only way to obtain one is to purchase either game by January 10; do that and you’ll receive a special Rockruff that evolves into Dusk Form Lycanroc as a free gift.
Team Rainbow Rocket
In addition to the Ultra Recon Squad, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon introduce another new villainous group called Team Rainbow Rocket. Nintendo hasn’t revealed many details about the team, but we know it is led by Team Rocket boss Giovanni and is made up of the leaders from every previous enemy team, including Archie and Maxie (Team Aqua/Magma from Ruby/Sapphire), Cyrus (Team Galactic from Diamond/Pearl), Ghetsis (Team Plasma from Black/White), and Lysandre (Team Flare from X/Y).
Ultra Wormholes were an important story element in Sun and Moon, allowing the Ultra Beasts to arrive to Alola from other worlds. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you’ll actually be able to travel through these wormholes atop either Solgaleo or Lunala and visit the worlds the Ultra Beasts come from. You’ll also be able to encounter other powerful Pokemon by traveling through Ultra Wormholes, including previous Legendaries such as Mewtwo and Ho-Oh, neither of which appeared in the original Sun and Moon versions.
Beyond encountering Legendary Pokemon, you’ll also use Ultra Wormholes to travel to a new area known as Ultra Megalopolis. Nintendo hasn’t revealed many details about the mysterious city, but it has been described as “a world that has had its light stolen by Necrozma” and will undoubtedly play an important role in the games’ story.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon introduce several new areas to the Alola region, as well, one of which is a new battle facility called the Battle Agency. As in the Battle Tree, players can take part in a series of three-on-three Pokemon battles against a gauntlet of AI opponents; however, you can only take rental Pokemon into battle. The variety of Pokemon you can rent at the Battle Agency increases the more you use the games’ communications features with other players.
The reward for winning battles in the Battle Tree and at other facilities across Alola is Battle Points, or BP, which can be spent on a range of rare, competitive battling items like Mega Stones. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you’ll also be able to spend your BP on new moves for your Pokemon, including some that they cannot normally learn through leveling up or with TMs.
The Rotom Dex plays an expanded role in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. In the new games, you’ll be able to form a bond with your Rotom Dex the more you interact with it, which in turn will affect its personality. If you develop a strong enough bond with your Rotom Dex, you’ll unlock its own unique Z-Power, which allows you to use a second Z-Move during battle.
Your Rotom Dex also has a new feature called Roto Loto, a slot machine-style mini-game that you can play at any time to get new items. The items can have a variety of different effects; some increase the amount of experience or money you earn for a period of time, while another temporarily decreases the amount of time it takes for Pokemon eggs.
Mega Evolution was one of the most notable features introduced in Pokemon X and Y, but in Sun and Moon, it was largely replaced with Z-Moves. At the start of your journey, you’re given a Z-Ring, a special bracelet that allows your Pokemon to perform these ultra-powerful moves once per battle when it is equipped with a particular Z-Crystal.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon expand on this by introducing a handful of new Z-Moves to the mix, many of which are exclusive to a particular Pokemon. In the new games, the Pikachu lookalike Mimikyu can use a new Z-Move called Let’s Snuggle Forever when it’s equipped with Mimikium Z. All three forms of Lycanroc can also use an exclusive Z-Move, Splintered Stormshards, while the Fighting/Dragon-type Kommo-o gets its own signature Z-Move called Clangorous Soulblaze.
The Legendary cover Pokemon Solgaleo and Lunala get their own exclusive Z-Moves in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as well, which can also be used by Necrozma when it takes on its two new forms. Solgaleo and Dusk Mane Necrozma can use the Steel-type attack Searing Sunraze Smash when equipped with Solganium Z; Lunala and Dawn Wings Necrozma can unleash the Ghost-type Z-Move Menacing Moonraze Maelstrom when they hold Lunalium Z.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon introduce a new mini-game called Mantine Surf. When you summon Mantine, you can use it to manually surf between the different islands of the Alola region. You can also perform a variety of tricks while surfing, which will increase your high score and reward you with BP.
Like last year’s games, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon eschew traditional gym battles for island trials–different challenges that culminate in a battle against a Totem Pokemon. What sets these monsters apart from regular Pokemon is their size; Totem Pokemon are much larger than normal ones and are surrounded by an aura that boosts their stats.
This time around, you’ll be able to add your own Totem-sized Pokemon to your team thanks to new Totem Stickers. These collectibles are hidden throughout the entire Alola region, and you’ll be able to get your own giant Pokemon depending on how many Stickers you collect. Some of the Totem-sized Pokemon are exclusive to a specific version; Ultra Sun players, for instance, can get a giant Lurantis, while those with Ultra Moon can get a Totem-sized Salazzle.