The gameplay mechanics stay identical, but there are some engine upgrades (graphics, sound, fixed glitches). This edition also changes the place where some Pokémon are acquired as well as which ones need to be traded from other versions.
Pocket Monsters Ao and its counterpart versions were rereleased for the 3DS Virtual Console to celebrate the Pokémon franchise's 20th anniversary in 2016. Since the Nintendo 3DS isn't compatible with the long-obsolete Game Link Cable, these releases use the system's local wireless features for link trades and battles. Additionally, several attack animations have been toned down for the safety of players with photosensitive epilepsy or other sensory conditions.