The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

Ever wish you could take Skryim with you on long car rides or flights?

A lot of people rolled their eyes when it was announced Skyrim would be coming to the Nintendo Switch – how many times has this game been released, again? Promising an authentic Skyrim experience with a few added features, Skyrim for the Switch, to me, maybe the best platform yet to vanquish foes, slay dragons, and once more earn the title of Dragonborn.  This is our Skyrim Switch review.

The first thing I want to talk about is what you’re going to get out of this version of Skyrim.  You will be treated to the original experience in all its glory as well as the three expansions.  It’s not going to eat up ALL the space on your Switch but it does come in at around 14GB, which is a very substantial amount.  I don’t have an FPS counter for the Switch but best I can tell is we are running at about 30 frames per second which is pretty standard for most consoles these days.  The visuals aren’t even watered down all that much and deliver a visual experience on par with the original release of Skyrim on consoles.  As of this writing, there is currently no mod support for this version of Skyrim, so prepare to do the intro for the umpteenth time.

When playing as a hand-held, my biggest beef is the UI size.  I feel like it wouldn’t have been overly difficult to upscale the UI a little bit because it’s awfully small on the Switch’s screen.  It’s not unreadable, mind you, but it does border on uncomfortable – especially if you are visually challenged.  I also expected to find the Switch getting hot playing this visually demanding game but 2 hours in (and 75% battery) I was pleased to find that I was wrong.  The Switch performed admirably and wasn’t even warm to the touch during my first Skyrim marathon.

SkyrimThe controls while playing as a hand-held are exactly what you would expect and mirror an experience on a traditional console with one caveat: motion control.  Much to my annoyance, I found that aiming a bow and arrow triggered motion control similar to Breath of the Wild and I immediately turned it off.  When I’m playing with joy cons connected the motion control of the bow just doesn’t perform correctly and I found myself constantly missing easy shots.

On the flip side, though, when I have my Switch in console mode and the joy cons comfortably in each hand the motion control is a joy.  In this detached mode, you are not only aiming arrows with motion control but you can swing your weapon, block, and perform heavy attacks if you swing hard enough.  Sure, it can feel a little gimmicky, but there is something immensely satisfying about swinging your arms for attacks in Skyrim and it really gets me excited for the VR version (I suppose I should get a VR headset for that).

The Elder Scrolls 5: SkyrimOutside of the aforementioned talking points, there isn’t much else to review.  It’s Skyrim. It’s been around for years and if you love it you’ll love it on the Switch.  If you don’t like it, you probably won’t like it on the switch.  To me, this might very well be the way I play Skyrim from now on because it’s so easy to put down when my daughter or wife need me and pick it right back up once my free time starts rolling in again.  So yes, if you’re a Nintendo Switch owner I fully recommend buying Skyrim (again) if you still find yourself wanting to be Dragonborn, like myself, after all these years.


I don’t personally own any amiibo, but there is support for them in Skyrim.  By tapping compatible amiibo figurines you can claim the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, the Champion’s Tunic, and more.  Compatible amiibo figurines can be found here.

Note: Our copy was reviewed on Switch with a code provided by PR. 

COMPARE TO: Skyrim, other TES games, Fallout 3 or 4

  • It’s Skyrim!
  • Motion controls in console mode are a blast
  • All DLC comes with it
  • Sub-par motion controls in handheld mode
  • You have to buy Skyrim, again.
  • No mod support
Written by
Robert is a full-time Respiratory Therapist with the U.S. Army but that doesn't stop him from doing what he truly loves: playing and reviewing games and staying up to date on the latest and greatest PC hardware. He also streams part time on Twitch when he works nights ( and writes for

1 Comment

  1. I can’t really imagine playing Skyrim with motion controls, at the back of my head I’m already formulating a biased opinion that it would be clunky. Are the controls for other weapons, except the bow, okay? Or do they all feel clunky?

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