DNF Duel from Eighting, Arc System Works, and Nexon hit PS5, PS4, and Steam last year. I had no prior Dungeon Fighter Online experience, but still enjoyed a lot of what it had to offer including the excellent online. When I reviewed the PS5 and PC versions last year, I said DNF Duel did a great job at introducing the characters while also being very accessible to newcomers to fighting games. It felt like it nailed what Granblue Fantasy Versus was setting out to do. I’ve been playing DNF Duel on Switch for review for over a week now, and I wanted to make sure I tested the online play alongside seeing how it was scaled down visually compared to PS5.
DNF Duel Nintendo Switch contents
DNF Duel on Switch includes everything the PS5, PS4, and PC versions of the game have barring rollback netcode. Despite shipping with rollback netcode on other platforms last year, the Switch version uses delay-based netcode. This isn’t ideal, but I will get to how it held up online in my testing below. DNF Duel on Nintendo Switch also got a physical release which is always good to see. It is unclear if DNF Duel on Switch will get updates and DLC alongside the other versions, but at least no features were cut for this port.
DNF Duel online on Nintendo Switch
So delay-based netcode means it is the worst version of the game when it comes to online play. In my testing, it doesn’t have any additional issues over the usual delay-based netcode ones. Having compared it to other games across the last few days in a similar test environment over a wired connection, DNF Duel holds up better than the Street Fighter collections and is similar to Persona 4 Arena Ultimax online on Switch.
If you’re wondering about how the online holds up barring that, the biggest issue right now is the lack of people playing online. This applies to other platforms as well, but I’ve found it to be much worse on Switch right now which is surprising considering it just released here compared to being available for a while now on other systems. I tested across multiple time zones, and found almost no one online playing. Cross play would’ve been amazing, but the netcode differences likely made sure that wasn’t possible.
DNF Duel Switch Vs PS5
Over the years, I’ve ended up owning and playing every single fighting game available on Switch. These include late ports like BlazBlue Centralfiction, Samurai Shodown, Skullgirls, and also simultaneous releases like Mortal Kombat 11. In most cases, the Switch versions are the worst way to play a fighter, but many of them deliver a competent experience like with Arc System Works’ releases. We also have situations where I would not recommend buying a Switch port at all like with Samurai Shodown that is beyond disappointing on Switch. DNF Duel is lacking visually compared to other platforms, but it is still worth playing if you only have a Switch and want a fun fighter.
In my DNF Duel PS5 review, I compared the PS5 and PS4 visuals. I was curious to see how it would scale down on Nintendo Switch compared to PS5. The visuals are cut back for characters and environments. Load times are not too bad compared to PlayStation, but they are worse. I haven’t encountered any major issues in the story mode or online play thankfully. The comparison below should give you an idea of what to expect visually on Switch docked compared to PS5.
In its current state, DNF Duel is a good fighting game on Switch, and one of the better ports despite its cutbacks. DNF Duel itself is hard to recommend at full price on any system right now, but I’m going to remain optimistic for the future and revisit it when the first paid DLC releases.
DNF Duel Switch port review: This review focusses on the Nintendo Switch version and port quality of DNF Duel that previously released on PS5, PS4, and Steam. Read my review of the PS5 version here and PC version here.