Skyrim Switch Motion Controls Guide - How to Play, Should you use Motion Controls?

Skyrim Switch Motion Controls Guide - How to Play, Should you use Motion Controls?

With Skyrim’s move to the Nintendo Switch players are getting more than a simple port job. This guide will detail how to use Skyrim Switch’s motion controls.

Do you remember when everyone was making memes about taking an arrow to the knee and shouting Fus Ro Dah? Well, that time is about to return thanks to the release of Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch. Part of the Switch release’s exclusive features is motion controls. In this guide to Skyrim Switch motion controls we’ll explain how to play this massive adventure game by throwing your hands about to use weapons, cast magic, and more.

For more Skyrim help, head over to our dedicated Skyrim guide hub. It’s got info on key quests as well as tips to help you understand Skyrim if it’s your first time playing.

Skyrim Switch Motion Controls Guide

Motion controls in Skyrim are used for three main things: Melee combat, Magic, and lock picking. In this guide we’ll explain how you can use the Joy-Con motion controls to perform these actions, and we’ll look at if using motion controls is the best option.

Skyrim Switch Basic Attack/Defend Motion Controls

Performing basic attacks and blocks in Skyrim on Switch is very easy using motion controls. We’ve got the full move set for you below:

  • Swing left Joy-Con - Attack or Defend with the weapon or shield in your left hand
  • Swing left Joy-Con (Harder) - Attack with more force using the weapon in your left hand
  • Swing right Joy-Con - Attack or Defend with the weapon or shield in your right hand
  • Swing right Joy-Con (Harder) - Attack with more force using the weapon in your right hand

Skyrim Switch Magic and Bow Motion Controls

When casting magic in Skyrim on Switch or using a bow you can use motion controls to aim. With spells, the Joy-Con you used to cast the spell (cast with ZL or ZR) is used to aim via motion control. If you’re dual casting the Joy-Con that was used to cast first will control your aim.

Skyrim Switch Lock Picking Motion Controls

Lock Picking in Skyrim on Switch can be carried out by using the motion control capabilities of the Joy-Cons.

  • Left Joy-Con - Hold ZL and twist the Joy-Con to rotate the pick
  • Right Joy-Con - Hold ZR and twist the Joy-Con to turn the lock

As you perform the lock picking you can feel the pick scrape against the tumblers via the rumble in the Joy-Cons.

Should you use Motion Controls in Skyrim Switch?

While it’s nice to have motion controls added to the Switch port of Skyrim, the big question is whether or not you should use them. The short answer is no, but the slightly longer answer is sometimes. While I’d never recommend swinging a Joy-Con to swing a sword or defend yourself with a shield (unless you like that kind of thing), due to the lag between the move and the in-game action, aiming with the Joy-Cons is pretty intuitive and fast. If you can get used to it, motion control aiming is recommended.

If you’re planning to play Skyrim on Switch with the console in handheld mode, then motion controls are out as it’s just not sensible to be swinging the whole machine around.

Use our guide to getting the Zelda items in Skyrim Switch for info on finding the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, and Champion's Tunic with or wthout amiibo.

Tom Orry

Audience Development Manager, Gamer Network

Tom started life on a circus in Australia before his family moved to the UK. His love of gaming started soon after, which essentially meant he bought every video game magazine available and worked numerous part-time jobs as a child in order to afford costly N64 games. He created UK site VideoGamer.com, of which he was the Editor for over a decade. He now doesn't like circuses.

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