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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch Game Poster Image
Skyrim's move to Switch brings huge adventure on the go.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Players follow their own moral guidelines throughout the game, dealing with the inevitable consequences of their actions. Get caught stealing? You'll get thrown in jail. Players also have to deal with people on more philosophical matters such as religion, politics, tolerance, more.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Non-playable characters (NPCs) run the gamut from sinner to saint, warrior to priest, and every shade of gray between. Meanwhile, players themselves start off fresh, evolving over time based on decisions made into characters that can run just as wide a range.

Ease of Play

Basic controls aren't too difficult to learn, generally focusing on things like equipping items in each hand, managing inventory, etc. Certain actions, such as crafting and menu navigation, can be a bit more complicated. Big shift here are motion controls exclusive to Switch. While they do a lot to make the experience more fun and immersive, they can also take a lot of practice to use effectively. If it's too much, motion control features can be turned off for a more standard console experience.


Filled with bloody violence. Opening moments show a beheading in all its gory glory. Players hack, slash each other with a variety of brutal medieval weapons, devastate foes with magical spells that can poison, electrocute, even burn enemies alive. Players can also use this same level of violence against innocent bystanders, should they choose. Presented in a visceral manner, with blood, gore, cries of pain, etc.


No nudity, but world doesn't shy away from sexual themes, innuendo. Some conversations touch on subjects such as prostitution, sex slaves, even rape.


Some women called "whores."


While The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has seen many paid expansions, the Switch version already includes this content from the start. It does feature support for Nintendo's amiibo figures, which can be used to gain additional treasures, including some exclusive content based on Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Players' characters can drink wine, ale, other alcoholic drinks throughout the game, even to the point of getting drunk. Herbs collected include a powerful narcotic.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch is an open-world action role-playing game available for the Nintendo Switch. This version of the hit game has been enhanced with various Switch-specific features, including motion controls, support for amiibo figures, and exclusive content based on Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda franchise. The optional motion controls add an extra level of immersion, but also some extra complexity that requires a lot of practice. Skyrim can be a graphically violent adventure depending on players' actions, filled with bloody combat that can be quite brutal. While the game does include previously released expansion content in this package, there's still an incentive to use Nintendo's amiibo figures (purchased separately) to unlock additional and exclusive content. There's also lots of alcoholic beverages that can be consumed to the point of drunkenness, as well as illicit narcotics that can be taken, and some women in the game are referred to as "whores."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAdam Tan March 8, 2018

Great for 10 years old and up!!

This game is so fun! It is if you are in Lord Of the Rings. It says there are things about sex and stuff, but I have played this with my son for hours and hours... Continue reading
Adult Written byJohn R. March 8, 2018

Great game for 11 and up

As long as your child is mature, I think this game is completely fine. I watched my son play it and saw almost nothing wrong, except some mild violence.
Kid, 11 years old December 16, 2017

Amazing but hard to get into at first game

Great game on portable system but takes a long time to do progress and it’s pretty frustrating but fun,also amiibo adds a whole lot of new content. Violence 8/1... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old March 31, 2018

One of the Best Games Nintendo can offer!

I had this game on my Xbox previously with no DLCs or anything and still loved it. When I played it on Switch however, it took things to a whole new level. Ther... Continue reading

What's it about?

The Last Dragonborn is back, as the hit role-playing adventure THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM returns once more -- this time for the Nintendo Switch. It's a dark time in the world of Skyrim, as civil unrest and chaos lead to danger lurking in every shadow. Worse still, these events bring about the return of Alduin, the World Eater, a powerful black dragon that legends state has brought about the apocalypse once before and now seeks to wipe clean the world once again. Skryim's only hope lies in the prophecy of the Dovahkiin, "a warrior with the body of a mortal and soul of a dragon" destined to defeat Alduin. Players learn of their role as this Last Dragonborn, setting out on an epic quest to hone their new powers and save all of Skyrim from the dark dragon's wrath. Now players can take the adventure on the road with this Nintendo Switch release, which includes the game's three expansion packs, new motion control features, and support for amiibo, which can be used to unlock exclusive content based on Nintendo's The Legend Zelda franchise.

Is it any good?

Some games are grand adventures that take on a life of their own, making you return to them over and over again. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Switch falls firmly into this category, putting players in the starring role of an epic story they craft for themselves through the choices they make. The world of Skyrim feels like a real living, breathing world, and players can explore that world to their heart's content. Whether it's following the unfolding plot from point to point or ignoring the bulk of the quests to just take in the sights, Skyrim's biggest draw has always been that it gives players the freedom to play it however they want. It's why even now, six years after its initial release, the game still has a huge fan following.

After getting a Special Edition release last year for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has made its way to the Nintendo Switch. While the game lacks a bit of the visual polish of the Special Edition, it still looks and runs great, particularly on the portable screen. Use of the Switch's motion controls give the game more of a VR feel, with the left and right Joy-Con responsible for their respective hands' actions. It's a more immersive experience, but it's not always precise and takes a lot of getting used to. Plus, most motion controls are useless in portable mode. These are all optional, though, and can be adjusted or turned off in the settings. Players with amiibo figures can also get a little extra boost once per day, using the Nintendo figures to drop treasure chests with extra goodies to help in players' adventures. None of these drops are ever overpowered or game-breaking, but there is some fun, exclusive Legend of Zelda content that can be unlocked. The only big omission from the Switch version of Skyrim is the addition of user-created PC mods, something missing from the other console version. Even so, faithful transition of the game and the ability to take the adventure with you make this version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim one of the best, if not the best, versions of the game available to date.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. What are some of the ways that violence in games can affect a person, especially younger gamers? Are you more likely to avoid conflict and combat when given the option, or are you more willing to instigate fights wherever possible?

  • Talk about choice and consequence. What are some of the factors involved in making tough choices? What are some positive ways to consider the possible future benefits and consequences of decisions you make today?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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