Advances in gameplay
This generation is to Generation III as Generation II was to Generation I, being compatible with the GBA games by allowing players to transfer up to six Pokémon per cartridge ahead to Sinnoh every 24 hours. Additional advances are as follows:
- Day/Night system returns from Generation II, with better transitions between the three time periods.
- An actual 3D rendering of the overworld, as opposed to only sprites.
- Distinction between Physical and Special moves, characteristics which are no longer dependent upon the move's type.
- 47 new abilities, bringing the total up to 123 (124 including the removed ability Cacophony).
- 107 new Pokémon, including many new evolutions and pre-evolutions of older Pokémon, bringing the total to 493.
- 113 new moves, bringing the total to 467.
- Another new villainous team, Team Galactic.
- Wi-Fi battling and trading over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, similar to the Mobile Adapter used in conjunction with Pokémon Crystal.
- New versions of Contests, with more rounds.
- Underground bases and mini-games including capture the flag.
- Some Pokémon now display differences between genders.
Though it was rumored that the Template:Type2/Template:Type2/Template:Type2 trio would be replaced instead with a Template:Type2/Template:Type2/Template:Type2 trio, that much proved to be false, and Diamond and Pearl's starters are the Grass-type Turtwig, the Fire-type Chimchar, and the Water-type Piplup.
New abilities for old Pokémon
Some old Pokémon gain new abilities:
- Pidgey, Pidgeotto, Pidgeot, and Spinda can have Tangled Feet.
- Nidoran♀, Nidorina, Nidoqueen, Nidoran♂, Nidorino and Nidoking can have Rivalry.
- Cleffa, Clefairy and Clefable can have Magic Guard.
- Paras and Parasect can have Dry Skin.
- Venonat, Venomoth, and Illumise can have Tinted Lens.
- Meowth, Persian, Scizor, Scyther, Hitmontop, and Smeargle can have Technician.
- Mankey, Primeape, and Tauros can have Anger Point.
- Machop, Machoke and Machamp can have No Guard.
- Seel and Dewgong can have Hydration.
- Shellder and Cloyster can have Skill Link.
- Drowzee, Hypno, Smoochum, and Jynx can have Forewarn.
- Hitmonlee can have Reckless.
- Hitmonchan can have Iron Fist.
- Tangela, Hoppip, Skiploom, and Jumpluff can have Leaf Guard.
- Kangaskhan and Miltank can have Scrappy.
- Horsea, Seadra, Kingdra, Remoraid, and Octillery can have Sniper.
- Mr. Mime can have Filter.
- Pinsir can have Mold Breaker.
- Eevee can have Adaptability.
- Porygon and Porygon2 can have Download.
- Sunkern, Sunflora, and Tropius can have Solar Power.
- Murkrow and Absol can have Super Luck.
- Granbull, Poochyena, Mightyena, Teddiursa, and Ursaring can have Quick Feet.
- Shuckle, Zigzagoon, and Linoone can have Gluttony.
- Swinub and Piloswine can have Snow Cloak.
- Stantler, Shuppet, and Banette can have Frisk.
- Tyrogue can have Steadfast.
- Shroomish and Breloom can have Poison Heal.
- Skitty and Delcatty can have Normalize.
- Sableye can have Stall.
- Numel can have Simple.
- Camerupt can have Solid Rock.
- Barboach and Whiscash can have Anticipation.
- Snorunt, Glalie, Spheal, Sealeo, and Walrein can have Ice Body.
Other Generation IV games
Pokémon Battle Revolution features a Pokémon Stadium-like arena for battle, allowing Diamond and Pearl to link to it through wireless communications between the Nintendo DS and Wii, much like previous generations' games would link to Colosseum, XD, Stadium, and Stadium 2. Battle Revolution also features online battles with players around the world via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
- It is currently the only generation in which Kanto is inaccessible.