Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition released on the Nintendo Switch last month, and it brought along with it a lot for any Zelda fan to get excited for. All the DLC that was available across both the Wii U and 3DS versions were present, as well as some additional goodies. Not only that, the performance was improved, unlocking the frame rate up to 60fps, which is definitely nice to see.
It isn’t all smooth sailing where performance is concerned though, as Digital Foundry have shown. When the console is docked, the game struggles to hit that 60fps mark often. The game still runs a lot smoother than it ever did on the Wii U and especially the 3DS, which is good to see. Judging from my own experience with the game, the performance is fine when docked, with the slowing frame rate never getting so low that it ruins the experience.
The same cannot be said when in handheld mode though, and Digital Foundry shed light on why that might be the case. A curious decision has been made concerning the resolution: When docked, the game runs in 1080p, which is quite impressive, but it also runs at the same resolution when in handheld as well. This is a strange decision considering that the Switch has a 720p screen, meaning the game doesn’t have to render at full 1080p. Mix that with the fact that the Switch, when in handheld mode, down-clocks the console’s GPU, and you have a recipe for sub-30fps. That sub-30fps is very noticeable, which can affect gameplay.
If you would like a much more detailed explanation of the games performance issues, check out the video below, where you will find Digital Foundry go over what they have found contributes to the games unstable frame rate.