Smash Ultimate Portable Runs Better Than Docked

Smash Ultimate portable appears to run better than when it’s docked—picking up your Nintendo Switch and taking the game on the go seems to give a slight boost to overall performance.

We’ve had Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for a week now and everyone’s been having a ton of fun playing the game and discovering all kinds of cool secrets. They’re also discovering quite a few technical quirks with the game, like a black screen issue that has popped up for some unfortunate users. What’s more, the lag in the game may very well be the worst we’ve seen yet. However, it seems that players can at least improve their gameplay experience slightly by taking Smash Ultimate portable.

Digital Foundry recently ran a technical analysis of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Buried in all of the data they discovered is the startling fact that taking Smash Ultimate portable can actually improve the framerate slightly in certain high-stress situations.

The test that Digital Foundry ran was centered on having eight characters playing as the Ice Climbers, making for a total of 16 characters on screen. A replay of a fight was created and software was used to analyze the frame rate. Their analysis showed that Smash Ultimate portable can give you an increase of 2-3 FPS as compared with the same scene playing out with the Nintendo Switch docked.

This marginal improvement makes for a good reason to run Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in portable mode if you want the best performance. Even so, this slight bump wasn’t able to alleviate a substantial number of instances in the test where the framerate dropped below 60.

In fairness to the developers, this stress test undertaken by Digital Foundry used an extreme situation that’s rarely likely to occur during normal gameplay. Tests that were undertaken earlier in the video showed both the portable and docked replays running at a stable 60 FPS when four different characters were on screen. If you do happen to encounter slowdowns during some particularly busy battles, the best thing that you can do right now is to take Smash Ultimate portable by removing it from the Switch dock.