How to Switch Between 2D and 3D Graphics in Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is out now on Switch. A port of the excellent Dragon Quest XI, which appeared on PS4 last year, the definitive edition retains everything in the core game while building on it to make this the best version to play. Aside from its mouthful of a title, one of the “definitive” features of the new Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition is the ability to switch the graphics of the entire game between 2D and 3D.

Dragon Quest XI 2D Mode

The 2D mode in Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition may be new to western players, but it’s adapted from a feature in the Japan-only 3DS version of the game. In that version, the bottom screen of the 3DS showed the action in 2D, while the top screen displayed a downscaled rendition of the 3D graphics players got on PS4. It even pulled some neat tricks like approximating what was happening in cutscenes in 2D on the bottom screen. While the Switch Definitive Edition doesn’t have anything quite that cool, it does let players swap between 2D and 3D graphics throughout the game.

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Before Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition came out, many assumed players would be able to swap between the graphics styles any time they wanted. While there’s technically nothing stopping you from initiating the change as often as you’d like, the truth is a bit more complicated than that.

How to Swap Between 2D and 3D in Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition

You’ll get your first chance to choose the graphics style right at the start of Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition. If you already know you want to play the entire game in either 2D or 3D, nothing is stopping you there. Once you get into the game, though, you’ll need to plan your style switches a little more carefully to avoid repeating content.

After you start the game, you’ll only be able to switch graphics modes by visiting a church. That means that if you immediately want to change your initial choice, you’ll have to get through the game’s introductory scenes first. It also means if there’s a particular area you want to see in a different style than the one you entered with it, you need to go to a church to change it.

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On top of that, there’s another catch that makes swapping styles even more of a hassle. When you visit a church to change Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition’s visual style, you won’t be able to start playing immediately. Instead, you’ll have to go back to the beginning of a chapter and start over with your newly selected graphics.

If you’re deep into a chapter already, you probably won’t want to replay everything you’ve already done to see it with different graphics. So while you can switch graphics whenever you want, the best time to do it is right at the start of a chapter. If you’re going to see all of Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition in both 2D and 3D, it means you’ll need to play through the entire thing twice. That may not be the worst idea given that it’s an excellent game.