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Box art
Developer Bethesda Softworks
Release Date
17 November 2017
Anniversary Edition
Release Date
28 September 2022

The purpose of this page is to document some aspects of Skyrim that are specific to the Nintendo Switch version of the game. The vast majority of gameplay is identical on all platforms (PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch): the quests are the same, and the glitches are the same with the exception of lag issues being less prevalent on PC.

The Nintendo Switch version of Skyrim was released on November 17, 2017, with all add-ons (Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn) included. It is based on the Special Edition and contains gameplay features and patches incorporated into that release. The Anniversary Edition released for Switch on September 28, 2022 is available as a standalone version or as a DLC upgrade for existing owners.

The Switch edition also features motion controls and compatibility with Nintendo's amiibo figures.

Missing PC Features[edit]

Some of the PC features that are not available on the Nintendo Switch are:

  • The console. This means that in many cases bug fixes that are used by PC players are not available to Nintendo Switch players. It also means that most cheats and exploits are not available.
  • The Creation Kit. The Creation Kit does not directly affect game play; rather it allows the game files to be viewed and edited. A lot of the information on the Wiki is derived from the Creation Kit, because it allows the factors controlling game play to be easily identified.
  • Mods cannot be used on the Nintendo Switch version of the game.
  • Achievements are not present in the Nintendo Switch version of the game.

Gameplay Differences[edit]

The new blue eye color option for Bosmer
The chest at the Throat of the World
  • Random events added by Dawnguard where vampires would attack settlements have been removed from the Nintendo Switch version.[1]
  • Male Bosmer have been given an additional eye color option at character creation: blue, man-style eyes, similar to Link.
  • Motion controls are available for fine-tuned aiming with archery and spellcasting.
  • Gesture controls are available for melee combat. Swinging the left or right joy-con controller will attack with an equipped weapon in that hand or block with an equipped shield. Swinging more forcefully performs a power attack or shield bash.
  • Gesture and controller rumble have been incorporated into lockpicking. While standard left and right thumbstick controls can still be used, holding ZL and rotating the left joy-con will rotate the pick, while holding ZR and rotating the right joy-con will attempt to turn the lock. Rumble represents the lock as a series of "notches," vibrating as the pick rotates across them, with a slightly stronger vibrating effect on the notches surrounding the sweet spot. The more difficult the lock, the more notches are present. This can make lockpicking substantially easier than on other versions of the game.
  • Saved games are now categorized for each character and grouped and displayed separately on the main menu.
  • Torturer's Hoods are now marked as playable and can be obtained as loot from the Torturer and generic Thief NPCs. They could not be obtained or used in the original release.
  • New Champion's Tunic.
  • New Hylian Shield.
  • New Master Sword.
  • New amiibo Lesser Power.
  • New Chest at the summit of the Throat of the World containing a Champion's Tunic, Hylian Shield, and Master Sword.
  • This version of the game does not include Aloe Vera Leaves.

Interface Differences[edit]

Although the PC keyboard and Nintendo Switch controller clearly provide very different methods of interacting with the game, most of the controls work the same way. Some differences, however, include:

  • On the Nintendo Switch there is no way to toggle Automove.
    • Walking vs. running is controlled by how far forward you push the left thumbstick. Slight motions of the thumbstick will cause your character to walk; pushing the thumbstick as far as it will go will cause your character to run. (This is most obvious if you use third-person view).
  • The Quick Save and Quick Load shortcuts, as well as a number of other shortcuts only available on the PC, are not available on the Nintendo Switch. Save, Load and Quick Save are only accessible through the Menu options.

Downloadable Content[edit]

As in other Special Edition releases, all three official add-ons are already included, and cannot be disabled individually.

All owners of Skyrim on Nintendo Switch received an update on September 28, 2022 adding four Creations at no additional charge, namely Saints & Seducers, Rare Curios, Survival Mode, and Fishing.[2]

All other Creation Club content is available as a single DLC through the Anniversary Edition, which was released for Switch on September 28, 2022. The Anniversary Edition can be purchased as an upgrade for Special Edition or as a standalone version.


For more information, see the page for Switch Patches.