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How does Hades run on Nintendo Switch?

It’s time for another trip through the Underworld

Hades running on a Nintendo Switch Image: Supergiant Games
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

The Nintendo Switch sees a steady stream of games that are ported from other, more powerful, platforms like the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

But the Switch lacks the graphical horsepower of those other platforms, so concessions must frequently be made to get the game running. Because of these concessions, a great game on one platform might be an absolute disaster on the Switch. Or, in the best-case scenarios, the core strengths of the game are able to transfer over, despite the graphical or performance hit.

Today we’re looking at the Switch version of Hades.

What is Hades?

At its core, Hades is a roguelike action game set in the bowels of the underworld of Greek myth. You control Zagreus, the son of the titular lord of the underworld. Like any roguelike, Hades features a ton of death, forcing you to restart from scratch.

But in a twist to the formula, the narrative of the game acknowledges these deaths and actually evolves over the course of dozens of playthroughs, with new characters, abilities, and weapons introduced. It’s made by the team behind Bastion and Transistor, which means stellar art design, voice work, and writing.

You can read our full review if you’d like to know more.

What’s the biggest difference between the Switch version and other platforms?

The biggest differences between playing Hades on Switch versus on Windows PC (currently the only other platform) boil down to resolution and performance.

As expected, the Switch version is capped at 1080p while docked and 720p while in handheld mode. On PC, the resolution can be cranked up to 4K, making all the hand-drawn art even sharper and more gorgeous. That said, the game still looks stunning on Switch, albeit less stunning than it might look on PC.

The only other difference we noticed on Switch is that, occasionally, there can be a frame drop or two in the gameplay when things get really hectic. These slight and rare performance hitches never impeded my enjoyment of the game, which generally runs flawlessly at 60 frames per second.

Otherwise, the two versions are identical in terms of content and price.

Is the Nintendo Switch version worth your time?

Hell yes.

Hades is one of the best roguelikes in recent memory. Its live-die-repeat nature makes it a great fit for the Switch in handheld mode, where you can grind away at runs without being locked to a computer. In fact, we’d recommend the Switch version as the ideal platform for Hades because of this feature. But regardless of the platform you’re on, Hades is stellar and easy to recommend.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.