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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch Review

William Murphy Posted:
Columns The RPG Files 0

Skyrim is one of those games that I’ll play again and again, and apparently buy again and again. I’ve bought it at least three different times now, and I’m thankful Bethesda saw fit to send us a review copy of Skyrim for the Switch to review on the site. Finally, one of the best open world RPGs of all time is truly portable. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s still just as fun as ever. This is our Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch review.

I won’t bore you to death with the details about how Skyrim plays. I’m fairly certain you all know the ins and outs of Fus Roh Dah-ing now. It’s been some time since I sat down with Skyrim, and I completely forgot how engrossing it can be. The immediacy of having it in portable mode on the Switch means I can take my Dragonborn with me wherever I go. The downside? It’s only in 720p when in handheld mode, and the graphics are noticeably handicapped there.

However, in docked mode, Skyrim looks great on the Switch. As close as it’s going to get to the PS4 and XBOX One remastered editions, but the downer is that no mods are available as of yet on the Switch version. It does however come packed with all three of the official expansions, which is a welcome feat.

The big additions to Skyrim on Switch are twofold - the addition of Amiibo support and the motion controls. The former is fantastic for Amiibo collectors, as there are dozens of supported Amiibo that give loot and special items. See the page HERE for details. My Redguard can dress up like Link and use the Master Sword? Yes, please.

The motion controls are a bit more of a mixed bag. In handheld mode, they’re pretty much useless. Aiming your bow while holding the Switch in both hands just doesn’t work. I turned it off immediately, as I do in Splatoon 2. But on the other hand, when holding the JoyCons in either hand and with the Switch docked on the stand, it’s awesome in practice. Holding the bow in your left JoyCon and pulling back the string with the right just works really well. And similarly, like Zelda way back on the Wii, swinging your weapons with the controllers feels great too, especially when mixed with the rumble feedback. Is it a gimmick? Sure, but it’s a fun one and a new way to play Skyrim.

Look at those Amiibo chests!

Skyrim may be aging, but it’s still easily one of the best RPGs ever made, and a pure joy to play on the Switch. Add-on support would be nice, and the PC version is still definitely the most “complete” version because of the modding, but if you’ve ever wished you could have Skyrim on the go - Bethesda and Nintendo just granted that wish.

Final Score: 9/10


  • It’s freaking Skyrim on the Switch!
  • All expansions included
  • Motion controls are a blast


  • No mod support
  • Looks muddy in handheld mode


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.