Video Games

Skyrim Switch game-breaking frustration

I picked up Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch when it came out a couple of weeks back. I’ve been on board with the game since 11/11/11. I waited in line to get a copy at GameStop because I still hadn’t used Steam all that much and thought it’d be faster to get a physical disk, not realizing that the physical game only had a copy of the Steam installer.

I went to a conference for work the day after the game launched and spent most of my first night playing the game. I’ve modded it to hell and back on PC and played several different builds logging more hours than I care to commit.

I love that game, is what I’m getting at, and so it seemed like a no brainer to pick up a copy for the Switch. I was even pleasantly surprised. It looks damn good for being on a relatively underpowered console. I never felt like I wasn’t getting the full Skyrim experience even if I couldn’t mod it to kingdom come.

Sometimes nodding a game to peak performance on a tricked out gaming PC is nice. Sometimes it’s nice to have a version that you just pick up and play.

At least it was nice until I got to the game breaking bug. It started with the Companions quest line. I took a job from Farkas to clear out a dungeon. So far so good. The problem was I got there and the named boss in that dungeon was already dead because I’d already cleared the dungeon.

I did some searching online. I discovered that this is an issue that’s affected all the console versions of Skyrim. Dungeons respawn after thirty days, but named dungeon bosses don’t. So if you get a quest to kill a boss in a dungeon you’ve already cleared you’re screwed. This is a bug people have been complaining about for six years and yet they couldn’t be bothered to fix it for the Switch release.

If you’re playing the PC version the fix is easy enough. Open the console and either bring the boss back to life or mark the quest as complete. On the console your only recourse is to either go back to a save point before you took the quest and wait long enough for a different objective to show up from that character or go back to before you cleared the dungeon. Though there are instances where this is impossible because there are dungeons that show up in multiple quests and you have to pick what h quest line you want to advance.

Also? You totally let e all progress if you have to reload from a previous save. There are no good options.

This is inexcusable. The game has been out for six years now. They’ve known about this bug since the beginning because there are forum posts going back to 2012 complaining about the issue. And yet they shipped a new console version going for $60 that has this game breaking bug.

It’s frustrating. I wanted to enjoy Skyrim on the Switch. It was enjoyable until I ran into this bug, but I’ll be going back to PC as I don’t know when I’ll run into another one of these bugs or when it’s going to break another quest.

Brightness in Skyrim for Nintendo Switch

I love roleplaying games, and Elder Scrolls games are like catnip for me. I’ve been playing through Skyrim on Switch and so far it’s been a wonderful experience except for one small issue.

Brightness is really a problem in some dungeons. Like it’s seriously to the point that you can’t see anything without a torch or using a Candlelight spell.

I did some searching around the Internet to see if other people were having this issue, and of course they are. There are people who inevitably chime in with “Hurr durr dungeons are supposed to be dark use torch lol,” but that’s not a satisfactory answer.

I’ve been playing this game since it launched back in 2011. I’ve invested countless hours and I never had trouble seeing in a dungeon on the PC version. I visited the same locations on PC and Switch and sure enough I could see fine on the PC version and not so well on the Switch. It was frustrating and ruining an otherwise wonderful port of an incredible game.

Turns out the fix is easy though. The issue is the auto brightness setting for the Switch. I’m sure it was put in to preserve battery power, but if you want to play Skyrim and actually see what you’re doing in a dungeon you’re going to have to sacrifice that battery power.

The fix is easy enough:

  1. Hit the Home button.
  2. Go to System Settings
  3. Select Screen Brightness
  4. Turn off Auto Brightness Adjustment
  5. Turn the brightness all the way up

Voila. After doing that I didn’t have nearly as much trouble seeing in Skyrim’s many very dark locations. Hope that helps you out if you’re enjoying portable Skyrim on the Switch!