There aren’t that many. Only genuine Nintendo Switch MMORPGs have made the cut here – no ‘games that are kind of similar’ included to fill up space like on some other Nintendo Switch MMORPG roundups.
Nintendo Switch MMORPGs worth playing in 2023
- DC Universe Online
- Elemental Knights R
If you’re a Pokemon fan, Temtem is without a doubt the Switch MMORPG for you.
It clearly borrows a lot from Pokemon (there are six main islands to explore, battling in dojos along the way, etc., etc.) but does things sufficiently differently to justify its position as a unique IP.
The MMO elements make the world feel like it’s buzzing with activity at all times, though you’ll need a good connection to make the most out of the multiplayer interactions (and you need to be online at all times – even when playing through the main story).
You can play the whole story in co-op mode too, which makes this a good Switch game for couples.
Overall it doesn’t quite seem to have nailed that true MMO immersion, but future updates may change that.
DC Universe Online
I think DC Universe Online is pretty impressive for what it is – a free-to-play MMORPG on Nintendo Switch.
DCUO has been around for a long time but was only released on Switch in 2019. The game feels huge and there is a ton of content to explore both in terms of exploration and character development.
DCUO can sometimes feel a bit pay-to-win (is there a free MMO that doesn’t?) but there are plenty of active players and it’s still well worth trying in 2023.
I know it’s an old game but, given the Switch’s lack of power compared to other consoles, it’s nevertheless impressive to see the Switch handling an MMORPG of this scale without too much trouble.
Elemental Knights R
For something totally different, you could do worse than Elemental Knights R.
There is something super charming about this game, especially if you grew up playing RPGs in the 90s.
The localization is hilariously bad at points and the game does not look great. However, it’s a genuinely chill experience and there are lots of beginner guides and other helpful content on YouTube to help you get started.
It’s almost always on sale for $1 or less so it offers great value for money if you accept its faults as part of its nostalgic charm. I probably wouldn’t pay much more than that, though…
Trove is a Minecraft-inspired free-to-play MMORPG on Switch.
The early-game grinding can get a bit tedious, but not disastrously so. It’s a sandbox experience and there’s more than enough going on for new players to get started without spending premium currency.
One nice feature is the ability to teleport from the start area of each world to an active group of players, which makes it easy to be social.
Its simplicity, voxel art style, and range of character customization options make this a great option for kids.
Sci-fi fantasy free-to-play game Skyforge is probably the most recognizable of the four Switch MMORPGs featured here.
At one point it had a stable population but, unfortunately, Skyforge is a bit dead in 2023.
Any fun remaining has been sucked away by pay-to-win mechanics that feel predatory even for a free-to-play title. If you’re in it for the grind (some people are) then sure, have a go. If not, it’s probably not worth your time.
What about these Switch MMORPGs I’ve missed?
So, there aren’t many true Nintendo Switch MMORPGs, but there’s plenty of discussion online about these games:
Phantasy Star Online 2
Phantasy Star Online 2 is a free-to-play MMORPG for Switch, so why haven’t I included it in the section above?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not (officially) available to play on Nintendo Switch outside of Japan.
The original PSO title was the first console online RPG and that one classmate of mine who had a Dreamcast would not stop talking about it.
It’s apparently possible to play PSO2 outside of Japan simply by setting changing the region on your Nintendo account. For all law-abiding citizens outside of Japan, your best bets are the PlayStation, Xbox, or Windows versions.
Warframe is a sci-fi multiplayer third-person shooter.
It’s not an MMORPG. It’s better described as a ‘lobby co-op’ game and, while there is now an open area zone, even that is limited to team members.
Shoot your way through dungeon after dungeon after dungeon after dungeon… Seriously this one is a grind fest. It’s pretty fun, though, if you have the right group of friends playing with you.
You might want to brush up on the differences between archive and delete on Switch if you want to download Warframe – the install size is 23.2GB.
Dauntless is a free-to-play action RPG on Nintendo Switch.
You play in teams of four (it’s not really an MMO in that sense) on a quest to track down huge monsters roaming across the world causing all sorts of trouble.
The simple, stylized art style and straightforward gameplay loops make it easy to pick up and play.
It’s heavily influenced by the Monster Hunter and feels like the leaning curve for Dauntless is not as steep as with Monster Hunter.
Overall, it is a decent game that might appeal to you if you’re looking for an MMORPG.
Onigri is a free-to-play MMORPG that used to be available on Nintendo Switch.
Yep, the game is still available on mobile, on Steam. and for PS4 players, but the Nintendo Switch servers were shut down in September 2022.
I never got around to playing the Onigiri Switch version, but I’ve read up on it and it sounds like it ran terribly and was best avoided.
Dragon Quest X
Lots of games in the much-loved JRPG series Dragon Quest have found their way onto shelves in Europe and North America.
Dragon Quest XI and the two spinoff Dragon Quest Builders games are both available on Switch but, unfortunately, Dragon Quest X – an MMORPG set in the Dragon Quest universe – is not available outside of Japan.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for a localized version to be added to the 1800+ games already available on Nintendo Switch in North America.
What’s the definition of a Nintendo Switch MMORPG?
Well, first things first: It has to be available on the Nintendo Switch.
Maybe one reason that there aren’t many MMORPGs on Switch is that, due to the nature of these games, you cannot play them offline.
That puts some heavy restrictions on players trying to take advantage of the Switch’s portability (one of the key reasons why the console has sold so well).
In terms of what makes a game an MMORPG, I’ve tried to be quite strict in my selections because I think people searching for this stuff are looking for:
- Open exploration of huge, open, and persistent worlds
- A large (‘massive’) number of players to interact with
- The ability to meet other players, NPCs, and enemies anywhere rather than simply in pre-defined hub areas.
Many online multiplayer RPGs for the Nintendo Switch have some elements that are inspired by or are similar to MMORPGs but aren’t really in the same category if we’re being really strict (like we are).
As mentioned above, that means games like Warframe don’t really count as MMORPGs for this list, even though they might still be worth trying as they sort of scratch the same itch.
After all, who really cares about the definition? If you like the game, play it!
For something a little different, check out the Switch indie game CrossCode: It’s a single-player game set in the world of a fictional MMORPG called CrossWorlds.