Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Digital Foundry Tackles Xenoblade Chronicles 2 For Nintendo Switch

The team over at Digital Foundry’s latest project is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The tech team has analysed the game from a technical standpoint and have come away unimpressed with the game in handheld mode. They state that in portable mode the resolution  range from 552p or so to 432p and even as low as 368p in some cases. While they admire the game itself they aren’t too blown away with its performance on the platform and suggest playing it docked for the best experience:

However, everything changes when playing in handheld mode and image quality takes a nose dive. Unlike docked mode, playing on the go sees the developers deploy a dynamic resolution solution. The results range from 552p or so to 432p and even as low as 368p in some cases. There are probably other values in there as well but it’s clear that this is not a game that ever comes close to reaching the native resolution of the Switch’s integrated display. In fact, this is one of the lowest resolutions we’ve pixel counted since the PlayStation Vita era.

What’s worse, a strong sharpening filter is used here on top of the low resolution and the temporal anti-aliasing, resulting in a messy image overall. There’s evidence of this filter in docked mode too but it’s much stronger when playing in mobile mode, introducing nasty edge ringing everywhere. There’s no doubt about it: Xenoblade 2 has the worst image quality we’ve yet seen in a Switch title running in handheld mode.

You can read their full write-up here.


  1. Hmmm, sub 480p is too much. I think something wrong happened in the optimization. Xenoblade Chronicles X was 720p on the Wii U. That team is not known for launching games with that kind of compromises.

    1. I think they were really rushed to release this game by holiday 2017 in order to broaden the Switch’s library. Hopefully they’ll patch it or something later.

  2. That’s ok. I haven’t been bringing my switch with me as much lately and this is a game that I’d rather sit down and play for long periods of time anyway. Just play it in docked mode and enjoy

  3. There is much more fps problems than the problems DF mentioned. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a very bad optimised game and there is a reason maybe is because they release it abit earlier. Im glad i dont care for portable mode on this game. Also they said it is 720p? i though it was 900p due my 4k tv and when i start the game in the very first area inside the forrest looks pretty pretty good. i am at 27hours atm.

  4. Ugh those sub resolution values on portable really hurt as I use my Switch mostly on portable, living in a full house there is no way in hell I’m playing this on a TV where anyone can easily see an “innapropriate” scene specially with these characters, I’m fine with them but others are very judgemental.

    Anyways I’ve played and enjoyed worse looking and running games on the Vita so I’ll make do.

  5. Passing on this game for now because of this. I mainly play my Switch handheld and since I’m currently playing Horizon Zero Dawn when I want to play a game on my TV, I’d rather just wait till I finish HZD and then play Xenoblade strictly docked.

  6. Ugh, that sucks. I would play this game mostly in handheld mode anyway because of those terrible anime designs with giant boobs and revealing clothing. It seems to me that this game was really rushed in order to make its holiday release date; It would’ve been better imo to take the time to localize it more by fixing the lip sync and getting it running more smoothly in handheld mode.

  7. I have only played the game on handheld up until now. I’m 8 hours in and I don’t really care about the specific numbers it looks perfectly fine to me. I expected a downgrade on handheld and it runs smoothly so far which is most important to me, good thing u can’t put a number on fun that’s for sure.

  8. Something tells me corners were cut to meet the Dec. 1st deadline. I’m sure this can be mended though- if Konami could do it with Bomberman R, Monolith can do it with Xeno.

  9. It isn’t as bad as they say in handheld, I have played in handheld about 6 hours and never felt it was a terrible experience, it isn’t as good as docked but they make it sound like it is trash tier when in reality there are a few framerate drops that get noticeable and a bit of slowdown sometimes but other than that the game runs fine on handheld mode. The low resolution isn’t really noticeable unless you go directly from playing on the tv to handheld mode otherwise if you had a good time playing Xenoblade Chronicles and its terrible resolution on the Wii you will be delighted by this in handheld mode.

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