Updated on May 5, 2023 – Updated Ys IX Monstrum Nox PS5 vs PS4 vs Switch vs PC guide with new details about the native PS5 version and the PC version on Steam Deck.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox for the West finally arrived back in 2021 through the PS4 version well after it debuted in Japan. Falcom’s previous mainline Ys game then hit PC and Nintendo Switch platforms with a post launch patch adding improved visuals on PS5 through backward compatibility. It is also on PS5 with a new native release thanks to NIS America. With the game being available on so many platforms, I wanted to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each to help you find the best version for your specific use case by covering the visuals, price, performance, features, options, and more available across PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (including Steam Deck). Here’s what you need to know about Ys IX: Monstrum Nox on all platforms.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox on PS4 and PS4 Pro
Ys IX debuted on PS4 platforms in Japan and saw patches improve the performance following the rocky launch. Having played the original Japanese release on PS4 day one, the current version available is a lot better on PS4 Pro at least with near perfect performance in dungeons and fluctuations in the city of Balduq. Ys IX, unlike Ys VIII, was not built for any portable and was developed specifically for PS4 platforms from the start. It definitely felt like the game needed more time in the oven and I’m glad patches managed to improve the performance.
In its current state, Ys IX is great on PS4 Pro but still has issues on base PS4 when it comes to performance. Both versions are a big step down performance wise compared to the rock solid Ys VIII. The other issue with the PS4 version on PS4 and PS4 Pro is the image quality. There are a lot of aliased edges and the draw distance is pretty poor. The original Japanese version looked and felt like a bad Nintendo Switch port when running around in the city of Balduq. While performance has been improved, the visuals are still sadly not as good as they should be on PS4 systems. Ys IX is available for $59.99 or Rs. 3,499 on PS4.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox on PS5 – play native release or via backward compatibility?
Ys IX for PS4 got patched to add 4K support when played on PS5 and it made a huge difference. A lot of my image quality-related complaints with the PS4 version were addressed with this and it even supersamples when played on a 1080p display. Ys IX on PS5 already sorted out most of the performance issues from the PS4 and PS4 Pro version so it was great to see Falcom address image quality as well. Ys IX for PS4 when played (patched) on PS5 is a mostly amazing experience. The biggest complaint I have with it is still the draw distance when it comes to the technical aspects.
Ys IX’s new native PS5 version is more of an enhanced port of the PS4 version than a complete upgrade like the PC version. I was hoping to see the draw distance improvements from the PC version make their way over, but the PS5 version is very close to the PS4 Pro version played via backward compatibility. It runs smoother overall though, which is good to see, and it includes all cosmetic DLC as shown in the screenshot below right in the base game.
If you already own the PS4 version and have a PS5, I’d recommend sticking to the backward compatibility version. The PS5 release, while better, doesn’t offer much beyond the cosmetic DLC included. It lacks PS5-specific features and offers no save data transfer or upgrade path. If you don’t own the game on PlayStation, the PS5 version is the way to go. It is worth noting that the PS5 version has improved load times compared to the PS4 version played on PS5.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox on Nintendo Switch
Having seen how Ys IX looked and ran on PS4 across its updates and even with the most updated version, I was most curious about how it felt on Nintendo Switch. Ys VIII, while better than PS Vita, was not as good as it should’ve been on Nintendo Switch. Ys IX on the other hand, mostly gets the job done in a lot of parts of the game but suffers greatly in Balduq during exploration. This port has been developed by Engine Software who also handled Trails of Cold Steel III and IV on Nintendo Switch. The PS4 Pro performance problems in Balduq are a lot more pronounced here through draw distance, slowdown, frame drops, and pop-in near the player. Despite that, my experience has been better than that playing Ys VIII overall on Switch.
Ys IX Monstrum Nox on PC
Just like Ys VIII’s big update that fixed the game, Ys IX for PC has been ported over by PH3 Games. PH3 Games has consistently delivered fantastic Falcom PC releases and Ys IX might be the most impressive one yet for me because of how much better than the console versions it is. Not only do you get a scalable release that even runs on very dated laptops, but the image quality issues are completely eliminated. The only complaint I have with Ys IX on PC is the draw distance and pop-in issues still being present regardless of the settings used. It is still above the PS4 Pro version but is noticeable.
While the console versions including both the PS4 and PS5 versions are limited to 60fps, Ys IX on PC supports up to 144hz and you will have no trouble running it well above 60fps even on slightly older hardware once you spend some time in the display and graphics options. Ys IX will be available for $59.99 on PC or your regional equivalent through Steam.
Which platform to buy Ys IX on for the best price
This is likely going to be PC because of regional pricing. If not that, a retail discount on the PS4 version is the most likely to be the cheapest for you. Nintendo Switch is so far the most expensive given import prices in some countries and the fact that it is just launching with no digital discount for the base game unlike the PC version through other storefronts on PC.
Which is the best version of Ys IX for portability
Ys IX on Nintendo Switch is the only portable console version of the game while Ys VIII also had a PS Vita version. If you played and enjoyed Ys VIII on Vita and want to continue playing these games on the go through a console, Ys IX on Switch gets the job done, but it isn’t the best portable version. The best portable version of Ys IX is playing it on Steam Deck. It is Steam Deck Verified as well. I’d go so far as to recommend the PC version in general above all consoles for Ys IX.
Which is the best version of Ys IX for frame rate
If you own a PS5, it offers a near-perfect 60fps experience with small drops or frame pacing issues only in parts of Balduq. If you own a PC and a high refresh rate display, the PC version can go up to 144hz and is easily the best version right now.
Which is the best version of Ys IX for graphics
The PC version followed by the PS5 version are the best looking versions of Ys IX. The Ys IX PC release compared to the PS4 versions of the game still reminds me of the difference between Trails of Cold Steel when I first tried it on PC after playing it on PS Vita and seeing how it ran on PS3. Sadly, the PS5 version doesn’t look massively better than the PS4 version when played via backward compatibility.
Which version of Ys IX has the most features and content
Unlike Square Enix releases that see more gameplay features only on PC sometimes, Ys IX has the same feature set across the board. Ys IX on PC does have a lot of visual options to improve and scale the game to suit your needs across different hardware. The PS5 version right now offers the best value though. It is priced at $49.99 and it includes all cosmetic DLC for Ys IX which comes to between $24.99 and $29.99 depending on your region and platform. The other versions still retail for $59.99, so the PS5 version is definitely the best option on console.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is now available on PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC platforms including Steam. Read my PS4 review here, Switch review here, and PC review here.