Nothing to dread as Metroid patch notes confirm game-crashing bug is over

Nintendo E3 2021
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has released its first hotfix for Metroid Dread, bringing the game to Version 1.0.1. This minor update weighs in at roughly 164MB, and confirms that the game's biggest known issue – that being a late game door that would cause crashes – has now been fixed.

Patch notes were released alongside the update for the Nintendo Switch title, detailing the fix for the aforementioned door glitch. But besides that, they're quite vague, the only other point in the patch notes being: "Fixed several other issues to improve overall gameplay experience." 

The update is available to now, and you'll be prompted to download it the next time you boot up Metroid Dread on your Switch console. Although if you already have the game on standby, it'll need to be restarted for the update to be applied.

The fix for the door glitch was expected, but it's the second point in the patch notes that's got Metroid Dread fans confused. It's early days, but no one seems to know as of yet what improvements have been made to the overall gameplay experience.

The term is oddly non-informative, but it's possible that the tweaks made here are extremely minor, and perhaps something Nintendo didn't think getting into the nitty gritty on was entirely necessary.

Analysis: Should we expect many more patches?

One of the best things about Metroid Dread is how remarkably polished the final product is. During our playtime, we can't recall encountering anything resembling a game-halting bug, unless you count the very buglike enemies that inhabit Planet ZDR.

Unless another semi-serious bug like the one detailed above should be discovered, any future updates to Metroid Dread could be as minor as more vague improvements to the gameplay experience.

But if anyone's going to figure out just what these gameplay improvements are, it's probably the players who are already turning Metroid Dread inside and out: speedrunners.

There have been some concerns that the Version 1.0.1 update could have nullified certain speedrunning and sequence breaking strategies. That is, to obtain essential powerups outside of the intended order to progress to late game areas much earlier. 

However, nobody's seen evidence of this so far, and not to mention that Metroid Dread seems to actively encourage sequence breaking from those who are looking for it. One boss fight, for example, has sequence breaking accounted for with an entirely unique cutscene.

The speedrunning community has already got its Metroid Dread times down to an impressive level, many players finishing the whole game in around 90 minutes. This requires expert levels of play, and players have to be intricately familiar with how they can move and act with Samus to a painstaking degree. 

So if anything changes gameplay wise, it's likely going to be the speedrunners of Metroid Dread who'll be the first to figure it out.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.