Dragon Quest 11 Switch – Beginner Tips

dragon quest 11 s title screen on the nintendo switch

In an era where role-playing games continue to add complexity, Dragon Quest 11 S is a refreshing return to the genre’s roots. The battle system is easy to understand, exploration is straightforward, and the skill-tree is familiar. Although the Dragon Quest 11 Switch edition adds a large amount of new content, the game remains true to itself. While the game is simpler than others, players can overlook many of the game’s subtleties. Below is a list of 13 beginner tips for Dragon Quest 11 S. Enjoy!

1. Charm and Deftness Explained

The majority of DQ11’s stats are easy to understand; however, there are a few confusing stats. In particular, deftness and charm are not explained very well within the game. Here are the definitions of these two stats:

  • Deftness determines how likely a character will catch enemies unaware, and higher deftness stats will make it more difficult for enemies to flee from battle.
  • Charm determines the odds of enemies becoming entranced by a player, which increases the odds of enemies not being able to act as a result.

The Traveler’s Tips sub-menu contains the complete list of stat definitions.

2. Concentrate Skill Tree Points

While DQ11’s skill tree is easy to understand, selecting which nodes to unlock can be paralyzing. The key is to select a weapon class for each character and focus skill tree points for the selected weapon type. For example, the Hero can equip swords and greatswords. Instead of unlocking nodes in those two areas, players should initially focus their skill tree points on one weapon class. This approach allows players to unlock stronger spells and abilities earlier in the game, which will reduce the need to grind.

3. Focus on Hidden Skill Tree Nodes

As most players will soon discover, select nodes on the skill tree have a question mark. To view these skills and abilities, players need to unlock four nodes that surround the question mark. These hidden skills are costly but can provide significant advantages in battle. For this reason, players should focus on unlocking nodes that are adjacent to multiple question blocks. Because nodes that are adjacent to multiple question marks cost more skill tree points, players need to conserve skill tree points after each level increase.

4. Find All Sparkle Locations

Each area in DQ11 contains a list of consumable items that are annotated by a blue sparkle. These locations give players consumable items that can be used to craft equipment, which is critical to obtaining strong weapons and armor. Finding each sparkle location could not be easier. Players need to simply open the map menu and select “Sparkle Spots.” Upon finding a sparkle location, the information is added to the game’s internal database. The item sub-menu contains each location where the player found the desired item and makes it easy to track down upgrade materials.

5. Forge Items (Do Not Buy)

Money is hard to come by in Dragon Quest 11. Enemies will typically drop less than 100 gold, and even basic equipment can cost 1,000 gold. While the shops in each town offer a decent selection of equipment, players can forge better armor and weapons with the Fun-Size Forge. The Dragon Quest 11 Switch version makes forging items easy. If players are missing materials, the fun size forge allows players to buy the needed items, and purchasing items costs less than most armor and weapons from town shops. For this reason, players should always craft before buying equipment.

6. Check all Bookshelves for Red Books

To forge new items, players must locate craft recipes. As players visit each town, they will soon discover bookshelves that hold red books. Most of the time, these books contain lore about the town or people of interest; however, red books sometimes contain craft recipes. As previously stated, forge items are normally stronger than those sold in shops; therefore, players should scour bookshelves in each town for recipes. Doing so will result in the best armor and weapons, which prevents the need to grind.

7. Talk to Everyone

Let’s face it. Dragon Quest 11 is a traditional JRPG, which means that players will be talking to NPCs. While most dialogue options are filler, some provide useful information. DQ11 does a good job explaining that NPCs with purple icons give quests and NPCs with pink icons give main quest info. Outside of these two categories, a few “normal” NPCs in each town will provide players with crafting recipes. While most of these recipes are for cosmetic outfits that do not boost character stats, the recipes provide a fun way to customize each party member. I mean common. Who doesn’t love Jade’s bunny outfit?

8. Rework Found Items

DQ11’s world is littered with hidden chests that contain armor and weapons. While these items are normally stronger than those purchased from shops, equipment found in the wild is always at a base stat level. Using the fun size forge, players can upgrade any item to a status of +3. Doing so will increase the base stats of found equipment, which can dramatically enhance its utility. Although reworking equipment costs perfectionist pearls, players can earn pearls each time they successfully craft an item. This strategy not only increases attack and defense levels but it also saves players money by not needing to buy equipment from shops.

9. Save Tockle Quests for Late Game

The Tockle quest content is unique to the Dragon Quest 11 Switch edition. While these quests are optional, they show off a retro 16-bit style aesthetic. To access each tockle quest, players will need to locate unique tockles that are scattered across the world. When entering a new area, players can check to see if a tockle is present by viewing the “Pastwords” option in the “Info” sub-menu. While fans of the Dragon Quest series will likely want to dive right into this new content, many of the tockle quests are dependent upon each other and are not available until later in the game. For that reason, we recommend locating the tockles in each area and saving the quests until much later in the game. As a reminder, the entrance to Tickington can easily be accessed by using the “Zoom” fast-travel mechanic.

10. Use the Map Sub-Menu for Navigation

The world of Dragon Quest 11 is huge. The mountains and deserts and valleys are all diverse; however, navigating to a specific point in each of these sections can sometimes be hard. The sub-menu map option has a unique feature that makes this navigation easier. When opening the map with the “Y” button, the Hero’s icon is displayed with a yellow arrow. While viewing the map, use the right analog stick to point the Hero in the desired direction. This technique allows players to orient themselves to the landscape in an easy and elegant way.

11. Eric’s Nose for Treasure

Hidden treasure is a staple of the JRPG genre, and the Dragon Quest 11 Switch edition makes discovering items much easier. Eric’s “Nose for Treasure” is unique to the Nintendo Switch; however, this ability is often misunderstood. Most players assume the “nose for Treasure” will display the number of treasure chests in a given town or area, which is not true. Eric’s “Nose for Treasure” includes treasure chests, items in breakable pots and barrels, and items found in wardrobes. For that reason, players should search each area and town not only for chests but also for pots, barrels, and wardrobes. Doing so rewards players with gold, recipes, consumables, and unique items.

12. Ride Enemies

While horses in Dragon Quest 11 provide a fast way to traverse large areas, the hero can also ride certain enemies. The game highlights these unique monsters with yellow sparks, and the hero must defeat these enemies to take advantage of their unique platforming abilities. DQ11 also places these strategically in certain areas to allow the player access to hidden areas. For example, in an early part of the game the player can ride a bee enemy over large bodies of water to access hidden sparkle marks. If you see a rideable enemy, a secret is likely nearby.

13. Heal Quickly Post-Battle

Nothing is more frustrating when playing a JRPG than navigating a game’s sub-menus. Most JRPGs force players to use items or spells to heal after a long battle, which are buried in sub-menus. Dragon Quest 11 has an elegant solution to this problem. Instead of forcing players to open multiple menu pages, DQ11 allows players to heal the entire party with the press of a button. When playing on the Nintendo Switch, simply open the main menu with the “X” button and then press “Y”. Items or magic will heal the entire party in the most efficient way possible. Be sure to monitor magic points, especially if Serena or Rab are in your main party.

Bonus – How to Grind Quickly

Our friends at GameXplain published a YouTube video about the easiest way to grind for experience points in Dragon Quest 11 Switch edition. Enjoy!


And there you have it. Our top 13 beginner tips for Dragon Quest 11 Switch edition. But we want to hear from you. What are your favorite tips and tricks for playing Dragon Quest 11? Let us know in the comments section below or the social media links on the right.

If you enjoyed these beginner tips, be sure to check out our other tips for Astral Chain and Fire Emblem Three Houses. Visit our homepage to subscribe to our newsletter and stay on top of all GamingROI content. Cheers!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.