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Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel Is Flawed, But You Can Make It Better

yu-gi-oh! rush duel: dawn of the battle royale!!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! is part of a long line of Yu-Gi-Oh! games, but something of a new start too. This is because Rush Duel is a distinct rule set with its own card pool. It’s meant to be faster and more action-packed, as well as a return to the simplicity of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s early years.

Unfortunately, Dawn of the Battle Royale!! is full of flaws and rough edges. It’s slow! It struggles technically! And it even makes some strange design decisions that hold it back. But there are some things you can do to mitigate these problems and get the most enjoyment you can out of the title.

yu-gi-oh! rush duel: dawn of the battle royale!!

Turn off a lot of nonsense in the menu

In theory, Rush Duel is meant to be fast. (Hence the word “Rush” in there.) It drops all the fancy special summons of the last 20 years of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and you essentially play all your cards every turn and draw back up to five next time. In practice, though? Not so much.

Despite being a reinvention of the rules of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Rush Duel is a slow game. We live in a world of digital-first games, and even physical designs like Magic and Pokemon have managed more streamlined adaptations. So all the cut-in comments, prompts to view cards as they’re played and such? You gotta get rid of them or matches are going to take forever.

With all these hindrances off, things are a lot more manageable. You’ll still have to deal with the game asking what you’re targeting when there’s only one valid target, and we wish you didn’t have to do that. But it’s still closer to playable.

turn off these menu options

Unlock deck building ASAP

By default, Rush Duel locks deckbuilding away for something like ten hours of gameplay, which is truly aggravating for a game all about it. Instead, you’re forced to use pre-built decks. Some games could be okay with this for a while, but Yu-Gi-Oh! is notorious for printing and including cards that are objectively worse than others. Why use a no-effect monster with lower stats? Plus this isn’t KeyForge. Crafting a deck is itself most of the gameplay, and playing your cards right should be secondary since it’s a lot of luck.

A patch in the Japanese version added a way to unlock deck-building within the first two hours, and the Western release includes this feature. You’ll need to play the main story until you defeat “Number 6” at the park, then head to the Student Council room. Once you’re there, go into the corners until you find a spot where the minimap disappears, then input the Konami Code.

For a more detailed look at how to do this, check out a video from YouTube creator ItsBradazHD.

unlock deckbuilding number 6

Play Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle instead

A lot of Dawn of the Battle Royale!! is structured like another 2021 Switch release, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle. The story, world and even icons feel a lot like it, too! Which isn’t a great comparison, honestly. Shadowverse’s visuals are buttery-smooth, and its writing (for what it is) is more entertaining and better-localized. It does so many things right, and it’s hard to find anything that Rush Duel manages better. Still, though, maybe you like the IP, and that’s fair.

yu-gi-oh! rush duel: dawn of the battle royale!!

There’s some real value in Dawn of the Battle Royale!! for Yu-Gi-Oh! fans. Most notably? It’s the only way to play the Rush Duel format outside of Japan and Korea. That exclusivity brings with it some pressure, though. With a little more time to develop and revise, it’s possible that it could have been a real gem. As it is? At least you can manage some player-side remedies.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Dawn of the Battle Royale!!, developed by Matrix Software and published by Konami, is available now on Nintendo Switch.

Graham Russell
Graham Russell, editor-at-large, has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.