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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - What games are better in handheld mode or docked

What Switch games do you consider to be better served by being played in handheld mode or docked on a larger TV?

To me, the games that are best served by being played docked are shooters with gyro controls, that are best served with being able to use the joycons individually to aim, and games like the Xenoblade series where a large part of the experience is the beautiful vistas but which tend to launch with very low resolutions in handheld mode that detract from the visuals.

In handheld, games that have the same resolution as in docked mode like Bayonetta 2 will usually look better on the smaller screen.  Games that use the touch-screen extensively are usually better in handheld mode, like Okami.  Some games are better specifically on the oled model, like Metroid Dread, which benefits from the deeper blacks.

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Almost every game is better played on the TV.

The only games that are better in handheld mode are Picross and games similar to it where you have to pay a lot of attention to numbers at all times. It's just easier on the eyes.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.

I play most games in handheld mode. I think Tetris 99 is better in handheld mode. I feel like the control is more responsive.
Smash Bros ultimate is also a game that should benefit from better response but that game is for me near unplayable without a proper controller.

Like Rol said, almost all games better on TV. Card based games are better in portable mode as well. Basically games that play better with touch screen are better in portable mode.

I prefer to play my Switch on dock, but when it comes to handheld mode I don't mind it if its playing a simple game that doesn't require a lot of movements (ie. card games, turn based JRPG etc.)

Also if a game has stunning visuals it deserves to be played on a big screen and enjoying the graphics relaxing on your couch. A tiny screen doesn't do it justice.

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Games that have a distinct art style where their colors really pop on the Switch OLED's screen. I've been playing Unicorn Overlord primarily in handheld because of how amazing the art style looks on that kind of screen. I unfortunately don't have an OLED TV or Monitor, so this is the next best thing. I'm looking forward to playing 13 Sentinels the same way.

All games are better on a big screen. Handheld is only as need be.


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None in particular, its more about your own pet peeves about it.

Personally, I dont like to play on the TV games that grapically look ugly AF, so I rather play them in handheld mode while I use the TV for something else. I do this most notably with Pokemon games.

Last edited by Jpcc86 - on 26 March 2024

Touch based games obviously work better in handheld mode, but there aren't that many of them.

It's less about the games themselves and more about how much attention I want to devote to them. If I'm fully invested in an experience I'll probably do it on the TV. But if I'm looking for something just to kind of pass the time and may also have the TV on or something I'll do handheld. And, I play my Switch a lot on my commute, so games that work well in that sense (Hades for instance where I can usually do a run or two on the way to work) are most often played in handheld.

It's just a matter of personal preferences to which way you prefer to play certain genres of games differently than others.
The OLED model also offers better contrast and colors which helps but just use an OLED TV and the same can be done on docked mode.

I remember BOTW was better played on handheld mode since it reportedly had less slowdowns than the docked mode.

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