How well does Resident Evil Village Cloud run on Nintendo Switch?

Resident Evil Village: Creepy lady
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Last year, Xbox, PlayStation, and Windows players were able to dive into one of the most highly-anticipated horror games of 2021. However, many Nintendo fans were left wistfully twiddling their thumbs while thinking about Lady D, one of the game's hit antagonists. But now that Resident Evil Village has finally come to Switch, more people have the chance to experience it. 

Of course, Resident Evil Village cannot run natively on Switch with the visuals and processing demands it has in place on other platforms, which is why it's available via Nintendo Switch Cloud Streaming. And yes, it is available for purchase, but you might not realize how complicated it is to buy the game on Switch

I've been going through the horror adventure for several hours now. While it is playable, it has gotten somewhat choppy, making it a frustrating experience at specific points. But if it's your only way to experience the game, it might be worth it, depending on what Switch you have.

Better on Switch OLED than Switch or Switch Lite

(Image credit: iMore)

When Resident Evil Village first came out in 2021, I played it on PS5 and absolutely loved it. It's an incredible survivor horror adventure that pulled me into a genre that I usually do everything to avoid. So, when I heard it was coming to Switch, I was curious to see just how good this Cloud version was.

As most people know, the Switch is not the most impressive gaming device out there regarding processing power and visuals. So it was nice to see such realistic renders and detailed locations on my Switch OLED while I played. Admittedly, some background details are a bit murky, but compared to what I usually see in the best Nintendo Switch games, the Resident Evil Village Cloud version is a huge step up. However, you might want to avoid playing in handheld mode unless you have a Switch OLED.

As you'd expect, Resident Evil Village is a very dark game with plenty of creepy things waiting in the shadows, so the best Switch experience is on the Switch OLED. That's because the OLED display is far better compared to the Switch. It picks up darker darks as well as more details in general. Meanwhile, dark visuals on a Switch and Switch Lite come through far cloudier in comparison when playing in handheld mode. As a result, it could be easy to miss a subtle hint that a terror is waiting in the shadows nearby or aim at the wrong place in some low-light regions.

Choppiness that chops to pieces

(Image credit: iMore)

As with any Cloud-streamed game, players need to expect a bit of lag. While the game ran relatively smoothly overall in handheld mode, there were times when it was more laggy and choppy than I was willing to put up with. Lag often comes into play when there is difficulty relaying a cloud game from a distant server or when the Switch has a bad Wi-Fi connection. If you didn't know, you need to be connected to the internet when playing cloud games. This means you can't play Resident Evil Village Cloud on the go unless you have internet, and you cannot put your Switch to sleep while playing, or you risk dropping said connection and losing any unsaved progress.

Regarding TV mode, the Switch OLED's dock has an ethernet port, and I've set mine up to take advantage of that faster internet speed. I'm also fortunate to have good internet speeds with low latency, so I was hoping for a smooth experience in docked mode, at least. However, this game got choppy on my Switch OLED, even docked with this wired connection. 

A small icon sits on the screen's top right to indicate how good the connection is. I knew there would be a problem whenever it dipped to two bars. That's not something you want to deal with in the survival horror FPS genre since ammo is hard to come by, and every shot is essential.

Most disappointing of all was when I made my way into Lady Dimitrescu's castle and had my first encounter with the gargantuan patroness. Instead of the glorious cutscene I was looking forward to, my Switch froze, and the word "Connecting" appeared over the shot. When the cutscene continued, the video was extremely choppy, and the audio was off from the characters' movements by several seconds. The game then froze again for a minute or two, and when it came back, I realized that the cutscene had ended, but I hadn't gotten to see the rest. 

At this point, I rushed to my phone and checked my internet speeds only to find they were good with 632.7 Mbps download speeds, 914.5 Mbps upload speeds, and only 13 ms latency, which theoretically should have provided me with a smooth enough experience. The game righted itself shortly after this happened, but the damage was already done by then. I no longer felt like I could fully enjoy the game, as I could miss losing out on sections at any moment. 

In a bind

There is a lot to love about Resident Evil Village. The story keeps you invested, it's full of exciting antagonists, and the survival horror gameplay will keep your heart pounding. Unfortunately, the best gaming experience cannot be found on Switch. 

If you have another platform for playing Resident Evil Village, I highly recommend using it. During my Switch experience, multiple cut scenes lagged, with audio getting out of sync on more than one occasion. In addition, the gameplay was unbearably choppy at specific points, which you don't want in a first-person shooter with severely limited ammo. Of course, if a Nintendo Switch is the only platform you have to enjoy this fantastic horror game, you're kind of stuck for options. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic game, so if you have the patience to deal with choppiness and lag, you might want to consider experiencing it. 

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.