Another year, another busted version of Skyrim. After being on the market for over a decade, Bethesda’s game that never dies just saw its Anniversary Edition update hit Nintendo Switch. (This edition, which hit other platforms last year, includes a new fishing mini-game along with other exclusive content.) You can pick up just the upgrade for $20 if you already own the full game which still runs for $60 on Nintendo’s hybrid console, or buy the complete Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition for $70, a price point becoming more ubiquitous across platforms. Unfortunately, it seems that whichever way you get it, players say Skyrim’s Anniversary Edition is totally broken on Switch, with reports of dropped frame rates and frequent game crashes flooding the internet.
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The Anniversary Edition of Skyrim is the latest version of the colossal open-world RPG game, but I wouldn’t blame you for confusing it with any of the other versions Bethesda Softworks has dropped. By some estimates, there are at least 17 different editions of Skyrim by this point. The Anniversary Edition, also available on PC and other consoles, is essentially the complete version. It packages all the content of 2016's Special Edition (including the DLC and creation tools) and introduces new features like aquariums and fishing. So, if you’re looking to get the full Skyrim experience, bugs and all, the Anniversary Edition is the way to go—even if you’re tired of buying it. I mean, I know I am and I have only purchased the game maybe two or three different times so far.
People who have bought Skyrim’s Anniversary Edition on Nintendo Switch, though, aren’t happy. All over the internet, from Reddit to Twitter to YouTube, are reports from players criticizing the game’s atrocious performance. Users in r/NintendoSwitch, the subreddit dedicated to all things related to the handheld-console hybrid, have discussed just how shitty Skyrim runs, with frame rates dipping below the standard 30 constantly and crashes happening frequently. Folks have reportedly discovered that deleting and reinstalling the game resolves the crashing issues, but the frame rate problems continue to persist.
“Don’t buy Skyrim Anniversary Edition on Switch,” Redditor fmo94 said in their post on r/NintendoSwitch, with a video showcasing the game in action. “Frame rate drops terribly.”
“Hey Elder Scrolls [and] Bethesda so since this Switch update, there has been serious frame rate issues in some cities but mainly Riften,” Twitter user Pentonize said in response to the game’s official Twitter account promoting the Anniversary Edition’s Switch release on September 29. “The update is great to have on the Switch, but we need a patch to make this back to the way it was!”
YouTuber Xiphos Gaming uploaded a video on September 30 showing Skyrim’s garbage frame rate. Walking around a few different major cities, such as Dawnstar and Whiterun, you can see the game frequently dip below 30 frames per second. In some cases, like Morthal and Riften, the Skyrim Anniversary Edition on Switch absolutely chugs, barely hitting 20 frames per second.
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Bethesda said on its support page that it is aware of what’s going on and “investigating reports of performance issues on Nintendo Switch.” Time will tell if these problems, which have been happening for a few days now, will get ironed out soon. However, it’s certainly not a good look for a game that’s over 10 years old, has been re-released ad nauseam, and more or less worked fine on Switch before this update. You’d think performance wouldn’t be a worry with how often Bethesda has worked on Skyrim. I guess some bugs are unkillable.
Kotaku has reached out to Bethesda Game Studios for comment.