Digital Foundry - DOOM Eternal Switch port analysis

Pushing Switch to its limits

Join John Linneman for a deep dive into the remarkable Switch conversion of Doom Eternal, brought to us by the highly talented Panic Button. It's the most ambitious idTech port yet for the Nintendo console hybrid, and it's also the most performant! But has too much been cut from the game to make it viable?

Official DOOM Twitter account celebrates 2021 with DOOM Guy and Animal Crossing's Isabelle

Power couple

2020 brought us new installments in the DOOM and Animal Crossing franchises. You might remember that DOOM Eternal launched on PS4/XB1/PC the very same day that Animal Crossing: New Horizons came to Switch. That led to weeks and weeks of fan-art from DOOM and Animal Crossing fans that saw both DOOM Guy and Isabelle become the best of friends. Many fans haven't forgotten the new-found friendship, and it seems the gang behind DOOM hasn't either.

The official DOOM account kicked off 2021 by showcasing DOOM Guy and Isabelle hanging out once more, this time in their Nendoroid form. The might have seemed like the unlikeliest of friends at first, but the juxtaposition makes the duo that much more enjoyable!

DOOM Zero now available as a free add-on for DOOM and DOOM II

30 new levels!

The free content for DOOM and DOOM II just keeps coming! Bethesda has released DOOM Zero for both games today, which adds in another 30 levels of brand-new content to enjoy. You can get more details on DOOM Zero in the official description below.

Don’t let the name fool you: This ain’t no ‘lite,’ low-calorie version of DOOM. Made in celebration of DOOM II’s 25th anniversary, DOOM Zero contains a whopping 32 levels filled with new enemies, new bosses, new sounds, new music and new sprites. Despite being faithful to ‘vanilla’ DOOM’s classic gameplay, DOOM Zero still brings its own original ideas to the old-school formula, from branching paths to challenges that’ll get even seasoned Slayers putting on their thinking caps.

IGN Video - DOOM Eternal Graphics Comparison: Switch vs. Xbox Series X

Want yet another look at how DOOM Eternal on the Switch compares to other versions? Check out the video from IGN above, which puts the Switch version side-by-side with the game on Xbox Series X.

Check out some handheld gameplay for DOOM Eternal

We've seen plenty of gameplay footage from the docked version of DOOM Eternal, but what about the handheld side of things? The video above shows off how the Switch handles the game when not connected to a TV.

Save humanity from demons in DOOM Eternal, available now on Switch

Eternally yours today

Its been a long-time coming, but the day is finally here. DOOM Eternal has made its way to Switch, and it's ready to rip and tear its way to your heart. Check out the official press release for DOOM Eternal's launch below.

Warning: the Slayer has entered the facility!

Rip and tear anytime, anywhere in DOOM Eternal, available now for the Nintendo Switch™ system. Become the Slayer and conquer demons across dimensions to stop the final destruction of humanity.

Gear up and show these demons what you—and they—are made of!


Move fast and think faster in adrenaline-pumping action. Harness the full power of the DOOM Slayer to slay your way through the demonic hordes. Master a shoulder-mounted flamethrower, retractable wrist-mounted blade, upgraded guns and mods, and abilities.

Demons have what you need to keep fighting—so go and get it. Low on health? Unleash a Glory Kill to recover health. Strapped for armor? Set your enemies ablaze with the Flame Belch to stock up. Need some ammo? Bust out that Chainsaw and cut down the hordes of Hell.

Use Motion Aiming to immerse yourself in the action using motion controls, allowing for precise aiming.

Test your skill in BATTLEMODE, a 2 vs. 1 online* multiplayer experience. A fully-armed DOOM Slayer faces off against two player-controlled demons, fighting it out in a best-of-five round match.

Discover the Slayer’s origins and learn more about his enduring mission to tear asunder the forces of Hell.

Panic Button explains why DOOM Eternal's Switch port took so long, and the challenge in shifting to work-from-home

Challenges on numerous fronts

The wait for DOOM Eternal on Switch is almost over. We'll be able to download the title on Dec. 8th, 2020, finally giving us a chance to see how Panic Button did with their latest port. In an interview with NintendoEverything, senior producer Cody Nicewarner explained why this release has been in the works for so long.

“When we took on the project we knew that Doom Eternal was going to be a large undertaking that would require every ounce of experience we had. We’ve obviously had previous experience working with the idTech engine to bring games like Doom (2016), Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood to Nintendo Switch. But Doom Eternal is on another level entirely. Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin have both talked about Doom Eternal being one of the most ambitious projects in id Software’s history, and we couldn’t agree more. Faithfully recreating that ambition for Nintendo Switch players took a little extra time. We’re confident it will be worth the wait!”

While the game itself provided numerous challenges, the work environment did the same. The pandemic caused a shift in work flow as employees started to work from home. Lead engineer Travis Archer talks a bit about that change.

“Other than the sheer size and ambition of the game we did not encounter any unique factors that impacted development. However, like many other companies, we face the challenges of a work-from-home environment. Our company reacted early and has kept the health and safety of our employees as a top concern. With that transition, we were forced to deal with an unfamiliar work environment, but with some collaboration and support from id Software and Bethesda, we were able to quickly adapt and accomplish the goal of bringing Doom Eternal to Nintendo Switch. We are very excited about it and look forward to launch!”

Panic Button shares what they're most proud of in their Switch port of DOOM Eternal

The toughest project yet

Bringing DOOM Eternal to the Switch might be the toughest port any company has taken on, but Panic Button was more than willing to give it a go. We don't know how the project turned out yet, but there's no doubt Panic Button is proud of their work.

In an interview with Ntower, Panic Button's Cody Nicewarner (Senior Producer) and Travis Archer (Lead Engineer) talked about what they're most proud of in their Switch port of DOOM Eternal. You can check out their answers below.

Cody: I think it’s almost as easy as saying the whole game. Because if you take it out of the dock and just hold it in handheld-mode, it’s just an incredible sensation just knowing you’re holding Doom Eternal and you can walk around your house or hop on a bus or a train and take it with you. And you compare that experience to the other platforms you have, that is just unique and having that in front of you on demand is in itself the best experience.

Travis: There is one level in particular that stands out for me: the mars core area. I won’t go into any spoilers if you haven’t played it, but it’s a very inventive level. The scope is huge and there is some technical challenges in supporting a level of that scope. So getting this to work was a particular challenge but it was very exciting when we finally got it to where we want it to be. That was a proud moment.

DOOM Eternal Switch FAQ confirms gyro controls, DLC, and more

Everything you could want to know

DOOM Eternal is coming to Switch next week, and it's the full-fat game that other platforms got. Still, there are some questions Switch owners have that they'd like answered before launch. Thankfully, Bethesda has put together a FAQ that shares a number of details, including gyro controls, upcoming DLC, and more. You can check out the FAQ in full below.

When can I download DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch?

December 8, 2020 at midnight 00:00am ET

Where can I buy DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch?

Directly from the Nintendo Switch eShop, or via direct digital codes from select retailers

What's the game's Storage Size?

DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch is 18.8gb (TBD)

Is there a physical cartridge edition of DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch available?

Not at this time - DOOM Eternal for Nintendo Switch is available only as a digital download

I pre-ordered DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch from a retailer prior to 12/8 and I have received notice that my order has been cancelled. What do I do?

If you pre-ordered DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch from retailers before 12/8 - please reach out to your retailer for instructions

How can I get the "early purchase" bonus (Rip & Tear Pack + DOOM 64) of DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch?

For customers inside US, Canada, Latin America:

The Rip & Tear content will be automatically downloaded and applied to your game. This would be the same as if you purchased the pack of additional content and it would be applied to you in the same way.

A Nintendo eShop digital download code of DOOM 64 will automatically be sent to your e-mail that is associated with the Nintendo Account that purchased DOOM Eternal/redeemed a download code of DOOM Eternal.

NO CODES for bonus content will be provided at retail

You have until 8:59AM PT/11:59AM ET on December 23rd to redeem your purchased DOOM Eternal Nintendo code from retail to get the bonus items

Please note that this timing ONLY applies to the US, Canada, Latin American market as other territories may execute their end times slightly differently

For customers inside Europe, Asia, Japan & ANZ:

If you purchased and redeemed DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch eShop from 12/8, 06:00 CET - 12/22, 05:59 CET the “early purchase” bonus will be auto-redeemed for you

If you pre ordered or purchased DOOM Eternal from a retailer and redeemed before 12/22, 05:59 CET the “early purchase” bonus will be auto-redeemed for you

What languages will be supported?

English/French/Italian/German/Spanish (Spain)/Spanish (Mexico)/Brazilian-Portuguese/Russian/Japanese - Text and Speech

Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Korean – Text only

Are there any unique controls for DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch?

DOOM Eternal has optional gyroscopic controls that can be tuned and turned ON/OFF in the main menu and are compatible with the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite

Will DOOM Eternal on Nintendo Switch have multiplayer?

Yes, BATTLEMODE is a 2 versus 1 multiplayer experience that pits a fully-armed DOOM Slayer against two player-controlled demons, fighting it out in a best-of-five round match of intense first-person combat

When will The Ancient Gods: Part One release on the Nintendo Switch version of DOOM Eternal?

The Ancient Gods: Part One will arrive at a later date. We’ll share specific release information as soon as we can!

Known Issues

Issue: Players in the Recent Players menu appear to be removed from the list of boosters without any player input

Resolution: A known issue with the Boosters menu results in more than 3 Boosters appearing when replacing Boosters. The replaced Boosters are removed when returning to the menu later.

Issue: The equipment launcher appears pink while using flame belch and taking a photo in Photo Mode

Resolution: A known issue that occurs when using photo mode and the Onslaught power up or cheat code causes the equipment launcher to appear this way

Issue: The Slayer falls through the bottom of the West cannon elevator when reaching the top in ARC Complex

Resolution: This has been observed when the Slayer is standing in a very specific position on the edge of the elevator. Standing in the center of the elevator resolves this issue.

DOOM Eternal's resolution is "comparable to" DOOM (2016) and Wolfensten 2

Blurring the lines

Switch owners are quite eager to see just how closely DOOM Eternal on Switch measures up to the other versions of the game. In an interview with NWR, lead engineer Travis Archer talked a bit about what players can expect when it comes to resolution.

I can’t be precise because it varies so much, but I can tell you that it’s comparable to our previous titles with Doom 2016 and Wolfenstein 2 being the most obvious examples there. We’re trying to achieve the same performance despite a much higher quality bar, and so that was a big challenge, but that was kind of our goal - it has to be as good as the other titles despite the increased complexity.