Is Minecraft Dungeons worth playing on Nintendo Switch?

Minecraft Dungeons Switch
Minecraft Dungeons Switch (Image credit: Windows Central)

Minecraft Dungeons is a fun game, with an accessible approach to the ARPG format. The game is available on virtually every platform, including Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. We've mostly been playing the game on Xbox and PC as we pick through all of the game's details for our coverage, and thought we'd try out the Nintendo Switch version on the side.

Minecraft Dungeons Xbox / PC review

How does it stack up? Let's take a look.

Minecraft Dungeons on Switch: The good

Minecraft Dungeons on Nintendo Switch is still very much Minecraft Dungeons. The controls, gameplay, and features all line-up with the Xbox and PC versions, although the typical "A" button controls are swapped on the Nintendo Switch when compared to the Xbox controller, which threw me a bit to start with. You can sign in with your Microsoft Account to get your friends lists up, using a website link in-game, to help you set up multiplayer sessions.

Gameplay-wise, Minecraft Dungeons is a fun and accessible take on the ARPG style set by Diablo. Many of Minecraft's signature mobs return, such as the iconic creeper and the game's various undead creatures. Alongside them, there are some new mobs like the Necromancer, that can spawn tons of undead mobs, and Wraiths, which can spew fire across the map. If a spider web lands on you in the fire, it can get you killed pretty quickly.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Therein lies the best thing about Minecraft Dungeons. While it's accessible and easy to grasp, it can be quite challenging if you ramp up the difficulty. Naturally, you'll get better gear for doing so as well, becoming a satisfying loop of risk and reward.

It's nice to have Minecraft Dungeons in the palm of your hand, though. This is the perfect game to grab a quick dungeon in here and there, as you grind your way up the gear ladder, and unlock the game's various hidden levels. However, there are some notable downsides about the Switch version when compared to Xbox and PC that are worth being aware of.

Minecraft Dungeons on Switch: The bad

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The first gripe is that Minecraft Dungeons doesn't support the Nintendo Switch's video capture feature, which is annoying. Almost every other game supports it, but for some reason, Dungeons doesn't. There are bigger problems, though.

The biggest gripe on the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft Dungeons is the performance.

The biggest gripe on the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft Dungeons is the performance. It already takes a hit compared to the Xbox and PC versions, dropping to 30 frames per second vs. 60 frames per second at its baseline. What's worse is that the performance can dip below 30 frames pretty harshly, picking up stuttering and freezing when there are lots of mobs on-screen. This is playing with just one player too, with four players, I imagine the performance takes an even bigger hit, as more mobs swarm around on-screen. This game definitely needs a performance bump update, somewhere down the line.

Finally, it sucks that there's no cross-play or cross-save functionality for the Nintendo Switch version. Considering Minecraft has pioneered cross-play and cross-save with its Realms platform, bringing players together from iOS, Android, VR, consoles, and PC. The fact Minecraft Dungeons doesn't have this from launch is odd and frustrating, although it is confirmed to be coming "later."

Minecraft Dungeons on Switch: Should you buy it?

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

For any Xbox, PC, or PS4 player, the Minecraft Dungeons Nintendo Switch port should be a great companion version for portable play... at least once it gets cross-play, cross-save, and a performance boost. Right now, it's not particularly great as a side-option, given the limitations, and the performance degradation.

If you only have a Nintendo Switch, though, Minecraft Dungeons is still a fun game, even with the performance issues. You may want to wait for the game to start getting updates, though, before diving in. Either way, it's only $20 on the Nintendo Store, so it's not exactly a wallet-buster.

Minecraft Dungeons


Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • I like it both on the Switch and my SP7. The controls work really well on the Switch and it preforms well for the majority of the game.
  • It's a bit of a shame because this is the sort of game that would be perfect for on the go play. Hopefully the issues can get sorted out.
  • I prefer it on the Switch despite performance issues. The performance issues may not even be a big deal to some people. If you are an avid Switch player then the relative under performance of the Switch compared to other platforms is an expected trade-off for the mobility. If you are used to high end PC gaming then the Switch might be rough. The reason I prefer the Switch is that mobility. I can play MCD any time any where. Just pick up my Switch and play a game. That's sort of the selling point of the Switch and just depends on what you want more: mobility or potentially better performance. I have MCD on both PC and Switch and have played the Switch version 10 times more easily. If they can get cross play and more importantly (to me) cross saves it would be so good.
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