Game Details
Developer Square Enix
Publisher Square Enix
Available on PS4 · Xbox One · Nintendo Switch · PC
Reviewed on PC
Release Date December 4, 2020

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age originally released on PS4 and PC via Steam before it got an enhanced release for Nintendo Switch as Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition a year later. This version sported multiple enhancements and improvements to the game in addition to bringing in new story content, voice acting, a 2D game mode, music options, and more. Read about all the enhancements here. Square Enix brought Dragon Quest XI S to PS4, Xbox One, and PC platforms last month as a brand new release with no upgrade path for existing owners on PS4 or PC. I’ve been playing Dragon Quest XI S on PC and here’s what you need to know.

Dragon Quest XI S PC requirements

Considering Dragon Quest XI S uses the Nintendo Switch version as a base, it isn’t surprising that it runs a lot better not just on PS4 and Xbox One systems but also on PC. The Dragon Quest XI S minimum and recommended requirements are lower than those of the original (now delisted) Dragon Quest XI and you will likely not have any trouble running this even on older hardware.

Dragon Quest XI S minimum requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 / Intel Core i3-3330
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 260X / Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 / 1 GB VRAM / Shader Model 5.0 or higher graphics card is required
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 40 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • Additional Notes: 60 FPS at 1280×720. This game is compatible with XINPUT gamepads.

Dragon Quest XI S recommended requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or Intel Core i5-6500
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 370 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 with 2 GB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 40GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • Additional Notes: 60 FPS at 1920×1080. This game is compatible with XINPUT gamepads.
Dragon Quest XI S graphics options

Dragon Quest XI S PC graphics settings

Dragon Quest XI S lets you modify the graphics settings from within the game from the miscellaneous settings menu or from the titlescreen. You can tweak things on the fly and see the performance and visual impact immediately. This isn’t like some games that require a restart for certain settings thankfully.

The graphics options and display settings for Dragon Quest XI S will look very familiar if you’ve seen those for Dragon Quest XI on PC. For post-processing, there are three options from low to high while anti-aliasing has six options from low to high. check pc gaming wiki for AA stuff. There is also a V-sync option. It is disappointing that there is no direct way to adjust the draw distance or anti-aliasing type. Both can be adjusted by editing the ini file.

Dragon Quest XI S PC performance – frame rate and resolution

Compared to Dragon Quest XI, Dragon Quest XI S runs a lot better on the same hardware. There have been visual changes since Dragon Quest XI S uses the Nintendo Switch version as a base but the end result is still a gorgeous game that remains one of the best JRPGs in years. On a laptop with an AMD Ryzen 5-3550H processor (2.1GHz Base speed up to 3.7GHz), 16GB DDR4 RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GPU, I could run Dragon Quest XI S at 1080p and managed to get around 78fps during most situations. It goes up during the closed areas but hovers around the high 70s in the open towns. Comparitively, Dragon Quest XI ran at 45fps with everything turned up in the graphics options. 

With everything turned to minimum or off at 1080p, Dragon Quest XI S ran at around 100fps with Dragon Quest XI running at 80fps on the same laptop. Dragon Quest XI S supports up to 4K in the display options but only has 16:9 aspect ratio support. 

Having played Dragon Quest XI S on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, and PC since launch, it is evident that the PC version is the best given the scalability above and below what the consoles offer even without any tweaking to further improve visuals.

Dragon Quest XI S PC contents

Dragon Quest XI S on PC is based on the Nintendo Switch version which includes the plethora of enhancements, quality of life improvements, and new content over the original Dragon Quest XI release in the West. On PC, barring the contents and feature set of the Nintendo Switch version, you also get drastically improved image quality and frame rate options.

If you already played Dragon Quest XI on PC or PS4, the additions and improvements are more than worth the effort and time you will be putting into this release. If you already played Dragon Quest XI S on Nintendo Switch, there isn’t anything new here barring the higher quality visuals and better performance options.

Should you buy Dragon Quest XI S on PC

There are two different ways of looking at this. If you already own Dragon Quest XI and are considering Dragon Quest XI S, you will likely be looking at only the new content and the visual changes. If you don’t own any version of Dragon Quest XI S and want to know how it is on consoles compared to PC or how the new release in 2020 improves on the 2019 Nintendo Switch release, it is better across the board on every system but obviously lacks the portable play possibilities of Nintendo Switch.

Dragon Quest XI S vs Dragon Quest XI on PC

The biggest difference barring the contents and features that Dragon Quest XI S added is in the visuals. Dragon Quest XI S uses the Nintendo Switch version as a base which had redone character models, changed lighting, and some texture differences. The draw distance is also worse in Dragon Quest XI S when compared to the original on PC. Given the Nintendo Switch version serving as a base, it also runs a lot better than Dragon Quest XI. 

Dragon Quest XI S scales really well across hardware and if you haven’t played it yet on any system. If you already own Dragon Quest XI on PC and want to know if Dragon Quest XI S is worth the purchase, it definitely is with all its new content and features. If you don’t own the original Dragon Quest XI, you don’t have an option anymore since Square Enix delisted it and only sells Dragon Quest XI S on PC now

Dragon Quest XI S is now available on PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and the Microsoft Store as a Play Anywhere title.