Skyrim Switch Performance Comparison Reveals Resolution And Framerate Statistics

Textures, depth of field, and ambient occlusion have been dialed back, but not too much else.


Even though The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is several years old at this point, it's still often referenced as one of the greatest games of the past console generation. Skyrim was long-touted as a primary drawing point to the Nintendo Switch, too — even before Nintendo's hybrid console had been released, promotional images and videos made a big show of being able to play Skyrim on-the-go.

Naturally, many fans were left wondering just how many corners would have to be cut to get the game running on Nintendo's portable console. And as it turns out, the answer is "not many." The bright minds over at Digital Foundry have run some performance comparisons between the PS4 and Switch versions of the game, and aside from downscaled resolutions and a few dialed-back graphics settings, the game really does manage to shine.

Among the most obvious changes between the Nintendo Switch version and the PlayStation 4 edition of Skyrim is the game's running resolution: in docked mode, Skyrim seems to be running at a steady 900p resolution. Undocked, however, Skyrim dynamically scales the resolution, doing its best to keep the game running around 720p but occasionally dipping down to around 896x720.

There are other caveats, too — shadows aren't as dynamic, the draw distance seems to be slightly reduced, and features like ambient occlusion are either pared back or missing entirely in some scenes. Foliage in particular is just less dense than other versions of the game, but textures and overall sheen are still quite good, if not much better than expected.

Still, the old argument is as valid as ever — the fact that Skyrim is up and running in a nearly-complete form on the portable hybrid console is no small feat, and most players who still haven't dived into Bethesda's massive open-world RPG probably won't notice the difference or even care that differences exist. As for how the rest of the game holds up, be sure to check out Shacknews' review of Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at

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