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Nintendo’s hardest Switch games to 100 percent complete

Posted on June 1, 2024 by in Features, Switch

Hardest Switch Games to 100 percent

Given the scale of the games that have released on Switch, it’s safe to say that the first-party titles on the console are lengthier and more involved than any generations of games we’ve seen from Nintendo. Today, we’re going through a big list of some of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent complete, plus small tidbits on what that completion entails.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 100%

In a way, Breath of the Wild is sort of iconic as being one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent complete. People had a good idea of the commitment it would take to complete even on launch. Indeed, there’s so much content in this game that it would almost certainly take you well over 150 hours! Koroks are the most obvious time sink here, as there are 900 of them spread throughout Hyrule. They’re also somewhat difficult to keep track of because you have to zoom in on the huge world map all the way to see the locations of Koroks you’ve already found. Map completion is another problem; it’s even more difficult to keep track of the individual locations and landmarks you found. In our experience, we had all but one landmark and had to double check every single one in the game before finding a plain-looking bridge we hadn’t recorded yet.

Breath of the Wild also has DLC, which adds even more content to the mix. That said, the DLC actually helps with 100 percent completion more than it hurts it. The Master Cycle Zero travels faster (and uses significantly fewer resources) than any contraption you can realistically use in Tears of the Kingdom, and it comes in handy when you have to farm Star Fragments or otherwise quickly traverse along the ground. It’s true that Breath of the Wild is still one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent, but Tears of the Kingdom is even tougher.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom are both known for being particularly egregious to 100 percent complete – but Tears of the Kingdom more so, because there’s even more content on offer here. In this game, you’ll need to complete almost 200 total side quests and side adventures, over 20 main quests, recall all 18 memories, obtain and fully upgrade all 135 armor pieces, defeat every single overworld boss, collect all of the Sage’s Wills, find all of the Old Maps, unlock all of the Paraglider fabrics (plus amiibo too, if you’re a true completionist and have access to them), all Lightroots, all Shrines, all Korok Seeds, all Bubbul Gems… the list goes on. There are well over 200 hours of work to do if you’re trying to fully complete this game.

In our experience 100 percent completing Tears of the Kingdom, we actually used an item duplication glitch that was available in the game at the time. Upgrading all 135 armor pieces four times each requires an incredibly high amount of materials. Star Fragments, Lynel parts, and other such items are generally very time-consuming. If you don’t have access to a duplication glitch, you might expect our 200-hour estimate to jump up by another 40 or 50 hours. Tears of the Kingdom is certainly one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent, but not in terms of pure difficulty. Most of the things you have to do for 100% completion are easy in a sense, it’s just that they take a really long time. If you’ve got the patience to tough it out, fully completing this game can be rewarding.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 100%

In a similar vein to Tears of the Kingdom, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another massive game with a huge amount of things to do for 100 percent completion. Unlike Tears of the Kingdom, though, there is some notable difficulty involved with some of these challenges. Given the extra difficulty plus the gigantic time commitment, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is certainly one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent. It involves clearing every quest, every Hero quest, every Ascension quest, finding every map landmark and location, fully leveling up each party member’s class level in every single class, and much more.

Between all of those challenges plus fighting the Unique Monsters on every difficulty, maxing out Colony Affinity, obtaining every Soulhacker Art and Skill, crafting every Level X gem, purchasing all items from the Nopon X-Change, unlocking all of Ino’s Inoswap options, and achieving S Ranks on every Land of Challenge fight, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 100% completion is crazy. There’s a near-endless amount of content to fully finish here, and it’ll almost certainly take you over 150 hours.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 100%

The reason we’re talking about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 after its sequel is because Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is far easier to 100 percent complete. Xenoblade 2 is one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent, if not the single most difficult one thanks to the time commitment here. One thing you’ll need to do is farm Core Crystals until you get every Rare Blade, which in and of itself takes a while. Plus, you could theoretically continue to use Core Crystals forever without pulling KOS-MOS, the single rarest Blade in the game. The gacha system isn’t the main problem with completing this game, though. It’s the near-astounding amount of content there is to complete. You’ll need to complete well over 100 quests, defeat all 85 Unique Monsters, view over 70 Heart-to-Hearts, complete over 270 time-locked Merc Missions, collect all the shop deeds, grind Tiger! Tiger! to obtain all the Poppi parts… this one’s tough.

Some would argue this doesn’t count for 100 percent completion, but filling out the Affinity Chart for all Rare Blades and then maxing out their trust to S+ is perhaps one of the most egregious 100% tasks in any game ever. To max out trust, you need to get hundreds or thousands of pouch items and spend several hours in a row mashing the A button to slowly increase the Blade’s trust little by little. There are 50 Rare Blades. That’s almost 100 hours of grinding just for that! You’re almost certainly better off playing this game without worrying about 100% completion.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition 100%

Continuing the reverse order of Xenoblade games, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is almost certainly one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent. The interesting thing here is that it is actually impossible to complete everything the game has to offer because several quests are mutually exclusive. This means if you take on one quest, another one becomes inaccessible to you. If you look at the official requirements on a Xenoblade 100% speedrun, it just tells you to “do as many quests as the game allows”. You also need to defeat over 150 Unique Monsters, finish the Collectopaedia, and completely fill out the map by visiting every landmark.

The quests are definitely going to be the toughest part. You need to talk to certain NPCs to then trigger other NPCs into giving you a quest, and some NPCs are only present on the map for a few minutes during each day/night cycle. It’s also impossible to tell which NPCs have new dialogue and which ones you’ve already talked to, so it takes a ton of coordination and a really good memory to pull off completing every quest. Not to mention a lot of these are permanently missable after certain story points.

Kirby’s Dream Buffet

Kirby's Dream Buffet 100%

To be perfectly clear, Kirby’s Dream Buffet is not one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent. That being said, we’ve included it on the list because we’re not sure why anyone would want to 100 percent complete it in 2024. We did so over a year ago, and the online servers were sparsely populated even back then. We can only imagine there’s absolutely nobody playing online these days. In Kirby’s Dream Buffet, full completion is obtained by maxing out your Gourmet Rank to 135 (we’re not sure why it’s this specific number). To level up your rank, you have to play the main game over, and over, and over again until you earn enough points to level up. You earn more points when playing online, even if all of the other opponents wind up being bots. That’s at least a good thing.

All in all, 100 percent completing Kirby’s Dream Buffet will take around 30 hours. That’s not quite as much as the other games on this list, but it’s 30 hours of the exact same thing over and over again with no variation whatsoever. You’ll also have to obtain all the character treats – you obtain some after each match you play, and by the time you get to Gourmet Rank 135 you will almost certainly have all of them. On the bright side, 100% completing Kirby’s Dream Buffet does mean you’ll unlock all of the game’s costumes and cosmetics along the way.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe

Pikmin 3 Deluxe 100%

We actually wrote a guide on how to 100 percent complete Pikmin 3 Deluxe a while back. We finished all four Pikmin games on Switch, and 3 Deluxe is the one that we think is the most difficult. It’s one of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent, because a big part of that is obtaining Platinum medals on the game’s side stories and earning 50 achievement Badges. We would absolutely recommend following along with a YouTube guide to streamline the process, but even then following along requires at least a decent amount of skill.

Though Pikmin 4 has Dandori Challenges to earn Platinum medals on, Pikmin 3 Deluxe has far more individual missions, side stories, and challenges that all require Platinum medals for full 100 percent completion. Pikmin 4 also doesn’t have an achievement system in the form of Badges, which is why we think Pikmin 3 Deluxe is more of a challenge to fully complete.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe

Recent Kirby games are generally rather straightforward to 100 percent complete, but Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is something of an exception to this rule. For the most part, things are how you’d expect: clear every level of the game’s story mode and collect all 120 of its Energy Spheres scattered throughout each stage. After doing this, you unlock Extra Mode, where you have to clear every stage and collect all 120 Energy Spheres again with a higher emphasis on difficulty. Still, that’s not too tough! Things get complicated when you include Merry Magoland, however, because you have to clear all 100 of its minigame missions. These aren’t very difficult, but there are 100 of them, so between clearing the story mode twice and then doing all these, you’ll have plenty to do.

If you really want to go for full 100 percent completion, you’ll also have to get Platinum medals on the Challenge stages within the Lor Starcutter twice – once for story mode, and once for Extra Mode. These are surprisingly difficult, and to get the best possible score you’ll often need to pull off an absolutely perfect run. Merry Magoland also has 20 True Extra Missions that are even more challenging than the initial 100. Some of these are so specific that you might even need to hook up extra controllers so you have more control over what happens in each minigame.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze 100%

A lot of the hardest Switch games to 100 percent are only difficult because of the time commitment involved. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is something of an exception: it’s difficult to complete because of its difficulty. The first thing you’ll need to do is play every stage, collect all the KONG letters, and find every secret exit and level. That should get you to 100 percent, but the real challenge is going for 200 percent completion. After getting 100%, you will unlock hard mode, which lets you play through each level with one heart, no extra Kong buddies from barrels, and no items allowed. Completing a level like this and obtaining its KONG letters will add to your 100% completion, and doing it with every level will get you to 200 percent.

It’s important to note that there are no checkpoints either, which makes this much more difficult. You’ll also need to obtain Puzzle Pieces found throughout each level to unlock entries in the art gallery, though this isn’t as difficult as clearing every level on hard mode.

There are some honorable mentions here like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Paper Mario: The Origami King, and Yoshi’s Crafted World, but we could go on and on about the hardest Switch games to 100 percent complete forever. Which games have you fully completed, and which ones do you think you’d add to the list if you could? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below.

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