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Planning to buy a Nintendo Switch during the festive sale. I read some reports of users complaining that some of the games that are not developed directly by Nintendo, like Doom, Hitman, etc. experience some level of lagging.

Is it true? Please confirm if it is. Also, if you have a workaround, please let me know.

P.S- I am interested to buy the console (grey market) from India, where the Switch hasn't officially launched.

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    The Switch has generally weaker hardware than its competition, so its very possible, but how much of a lag or stutter, I'm unsure.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:20
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    For games that are played through cloud streaming, stuttering or lag may come from poor internet Commented May 9, 2023 at 19:44
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    Switch wasn't even competitive at its release since it's using Tegra X1 which was released in 2015 (and Switch was released in 2017!). Yes it's customized, but not in a good way - normal Tegra X1 uses 1232 pins to get some power for gaming and such, but Switch's Tegra X1 only uses 960 pins to reduce power consumption. ... Just FYI, even Pokemon has serious lags and stutters, if you ask me.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented May 9, 2023 at 22:17
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    I don't know? Probably because there's many games that are only available in Switch (such as Pokemon, Mario, SSBU, Zelda etc...)? Plus, they're more cheaper than other current gen consoles.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 5:08
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    Of course there will be performance differences compared to other machines - the Switch is tiny, nowhere near as powerful, and a lot cheaper. Nintendo games generally tend to look the best as Nintendo are most familiar with the machine (it being, y'know, their machine) and they tend to pour money and resources into their exclusives, compared to other companies who may treat a Switch port as a bit of an afterthought compared to PS5/Xbox Series X which can manage all the bells and whistles. Having said that, as @Nolonar says, performance issues affect multiple machines depending on the game.
    – user25730
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 4:18

2 Answers 2

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Disclaimer. I do have some reservation on this question since currently it looks like you want a confirmation that "Switch bad, PS5 rulez", even if this may just be an unconscious attempt to justify what you already decided.

With that behind us, to your actual question.

Yes, some Switch games have lag. And some may have decreased resolution or removed details when compared to the other consoles. Yes, generally speaking anything made by Nintendo will run better, but you have to be careful about what you consider Nintendo. Pokemon games were mentioned, but those are Gamefreaks, not Nintendo... and Gamefreaks has shown multiple time that they can't develop anything with decent performances - Pokemon Scarlet doesn't just have shuttering and heavy fps drops, it has also characters stuck in T-pose during the game intro cutscene and skipped animation frames on distant object (and apparently this last "fature" is even intentional to 'improve stability').

That said, should you then avoid any third party game? Nope. There is plenty of games that run perfectly fine even if they were developed by third parties. Xenoblade 3 for example runs far better than Pokemon Scarlet (that said, anything runs better than Scarlet...), No Man Sky is good enough too even if it has decreased resolution compared to the PC and PS5 versions and it is a 3d procedural generated game while Minecraft doesn't manage to do the same even with a voxel based engine and a far lower graphical complexity (console Minecraft has a story of poor optimization).

If you are serious about your doubts and your plans about getting a Switch, I can only suggest the following:

  • First, evaluate if you care enough for games that are only available on a Switch console. Personally, Mario and Zelda alone make a Switch worth owning, but this may not be your case.
  • Second, when possible try to look on Youtube for "performance tests" when planning to buy a new game. This is to avoid games that have really poor optimization (see: Pokemon Scarlet for example).
  • Third, if the game is available on both Switch and PS5 and you own both you may want to look for comparisons too. Even when the game is not at all "Next Gen" and could probably run fine on a Switch if proper optimization was made, lazy conversion can end up cutting edges. See this for example
  • Fourth. Always keep in mind that the docked performance of the Switch is not the undocked performance. If you plan to play "on the go" always try to check if the game has any problem when playing undocked.
  • Final suggestion: censorship. While most times censorship is not worth noticing because all you lose is just fanservice nonsense it is also true that sometime you get censorship that has no reason to be there. Example: Doki Doki Literature Club - an horror game - is censored on Sony consoles but uncensored on Switch.

Atlas, this question can't have a single answer. You can have games with trash performances on every single platform including the "PC master race" some are so proud of. All it takes is for some company like CD Projekt Red to publish the next bug ridden unplayable at launch Cyberpunk.
What puts the Switch at disadvantage is that games made for multiple console will take the more powerful ones as the standard and then try to port the game to Switch - this will often end up quite bad. You can get lag when playing Binding of Isaac on an undocked Switch... yet Bankai-O ran beautiful on a DS.

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  • I should have mentioned Mario Odyssey I guess. They're made by Nintendo and at least I feel lags and stutters.
    – Skye-AT
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 12:15
  • Disclaimer on the answer I guess, it is indeed interesting that the first result for "Mario Odyssey shuttering" on Google is about Yozu. Imho I didn't notice anything noteworthy on an actual console, but a) I play docked and b) I am not really interested in arguing about this either.
    – Ꮢedacted
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 13:09
  • Suggestion still stand - one should look up any info available from trusty sources and then decide if it is acceptable for them. Trusting your internet "Average Joe" without actual evidence or letting them persuade you that any game is unplayable when all you notice is some minor slowdown in some cases is not worth your time. After all, you are the one that will play the game, not them.
    – Ꮢedacted
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 13:10
  • Fair enough. Perhaps because I am too sensitive to the lags and such (I once was a competitive pro-ish FPS player).
    – Skye-AT
    Commented May 10, 2023 at 13:33
  • One thing you may want to add - being able to play "on the go". I think it's great that I can play a game while on holidays, or that I can play something while my wife plays something else on the TV.
    – user25730
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 4:26
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A few more things could be find more useful, i.e. are you using an additional SD card, which can slow some of your games? It can be a thing if you use a slow SD Card. There are a few on the market, which are designed specially for Switch.

From my personal experience, Nintendo exclusives work much better on Switch than other games, but as mentioned in the 1st sentence - performance also depends if you are using the built storage or an external one.

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