Analysis of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. A portable universe

Elder Scrolls
Written by Kamran Haider

The Skyrim experience in the palm of your hand. In this analysis focused on the Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim we return to Tamriel to discover how well the Bethesda game has adapted to the new Nintendo console, both in technical terms and options and control. Hundreds of hours that you can now enjoy wherever you want.

Of all the first ports of games for Nintendo Switch, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may be the most important. Not so much for how easy or difficult it has been to take it to the hybrid of Nintendo (after all, it is a game born in 2011) but for what it represents. Skyrim was and is one of the most important videogames of his generation, which trapped hundreds of hours for many players and devoted to this long-running franchise. To be able to say that you take such an unattainable work to any place in a portable way is not enough as a direct message: a formula that, without counting the latest microcomputers, no platform can claim.

Unlike the latest version for the current generation, you will not see the Special Edition tagline on the cover of the Switch version. It was confirmed in his announcement, however, that this port would be based on the special edition, but that does not mean that it contains all the improvements of this edition. We have seen in some textures and improved details that remain the same as the vanilla version. The greater abundance of vegetation and the care that was put to the cities and roads of this region in the special edition are included but reduced to be able to adjust to the power of the machine. It is also missing that improved volumetric lighting that bathes in gold throughout the landscape of the Nordic people, although you can notice a greater clarity in some environments compared to the version of Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

Note, however, that the game contains all the upgrades and downloadable content that was created so far, including the Dawnguard expansion, focused on the faction of the Guardians of the Dawn and the vampiric transformation; Hearthfire, smaller and without history but that adds all the necessary components to create our own home; and Dragonborn, the main and largest of the three that took us to Solstheim and the deserts of Morrowind to explore our origins as Dragon’s Blood. All this translates into an enormous amount of hours, a luxury for one who today has not yet approached the universe of Skyrim.

The game contains all the improvements and downloadable content that were created so far

The physical cartridge version does not require space in the internal memory or microSD of the console, while for the digital 14.3GB of space is required, something that makes it possible to install in the console without the need for an external card, although occupying a good part of the total space. It is important to note that both versions come from the source with the audio in English (and the subtitles in Spanish). To access the dubbing in our language as the title came at first, we must download a patch from the shop completely free. Interestingly, this version without patch download is the only console that offers English voices and subtitles in Spanish, for those who like this option.

Dovahkiin portable

Technically, and as we anticipated, the version of Skyrim for Nintendo Switch conforms to the power of the machine, taking into account that it is not a game designed for her from the start. Once connected to the dock of the console, the resolution reaches 900p, while the version for the native screen of the console reaches 720p with some reduction in the horizontal resolution. However, in all our tests we have seen how the game looks much better on the Switch screen, camouflaging the cuts better. Playing on television sometimes leaves a less round feeling, with more aliasing and where the lack of detail, the distance drew and the reduction in vegetation is more pronounced ..

Playing in portable or tabletop mode is, therefore, our recommendation for this edition of the Bethesda game. Touring the province of Skyrim in your hands and being able to perform a small mission at any time is a delight. It has its drawbacks, of course, on some occasions where the size of the screen does not allow us to see exactly what happens in the distance, be it a danger or a point of interest. Therefore, one of the fundamental requirements when recommending this edition is that you can not access the Special Edition or PC, or have the portable mode as the highest priority. Thus, you will have an immense game that you can take with you and will accompany you during a countless number of hours.

It will do it, in addition, with great smoothness, of 30 frames per second that behave stable during the course of all our tests, without we have appreciated any fall at any time. The loading times are also quite tight, especially for what they were at the time, which could get to despair the most patient. An initial charge of a saved game is made around 19-22 seconds; enter or exit Carrera Blanca: 14-17 seconds; and enter a private house or inn, about 4-5 seconds. These times are achieved thanks to the cartridge format or the installation in internal memory, faster than the classic disk. They can not be compared to the speeds achieved on a solid-state hard drive, but they are quite tight.Dovahkiin portable


Bethesda has not forgotten to incorporate some of the characteristics of Nintendo Switch into the equation. The game is controlled in a classic way with both the Joy-Con and the Pro controller, but there are some functions that take advantage of the gyroscope of the new Switch controls. With a command in each hand, we can execute light or strong attacks as well as cover with our weapon or shield shaking the respective Joy-Con. It is not a drastic implementation and although they work effectively, it seems somewhat anecdotal.

Something more useful arches, since when tightening the rope we can adjust the aim moving our joy-with right, very useful to achieve the final precision that is not so easy with the analog stick at the time of aiming. The last gimmick is provided by the picks and the HD vibration when forcing a door, with a more intuitive response when it comes to finding the exact point of the lock.

The Amiibo function has also been implemented, as you could see in the presentation trailer, and responds in the form of Powers under the Magic section, invoking objects according to the amiibo you use. We have already seen the Link of Breath of the Wild, which showed a very special chest that can contain the clothing and equipment of the hero of Hyrule. Once per day, you can access objects inspired by the saga, but it will not be so easy since there is a 20% chance to get a piece of equipment. The rest will be replaced with food, gems, gold, weapons, and armor, while compatible amiibo other than The Legend of Zelda will offer only this generic booty.

Finally, it should be noted that the Nintendo Switch version does not include access to mods of any kind. While this was an exclusive feature of the PC version, the Special Edition of Xbox One and PS4 mods were added to customize the experience, although not all created for the compatible. This version of Switch, unfortunately, does not add this feature.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in its version for Switch is a great conversion that has as main attraction to have the gigantic world that Bethesda built in the palm of his hand. Technically, it is a version halfway between the original and the Special Edition and, taking into account the price of each, is relegated to those players who only have a switch to play or look for the portable character above any other priority. It is not to say little, since to take with itself the hundreds of hours that this delivery offers, next to all its expansions, is a very attractive option.

  • A good adaptation, including all the contents and without requiring additional space
  • Carry the hundreds of hours of Skyrim wherever you want in the palm of your hand
  • The game behaves fluidly at all times.
  • It is not adapted for the mods that also appeared in the console.
  • The controls by a motion sensor, except perhaps the arc, are anecdotal.

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Kamran Haider

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