DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince - Everything you need to know

The monstrous new RPG is out now for Nintendo Switch. Learn all the details here, including story, gameplay and more!
By Duncan Heaney

Do you have what it takes to become the master of monsterkind?

That’s the challenge you face in DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince - out now for Nintendo Switch. This brand-new entry in the beloved series sends the titular dark prince, Psaro, across fantastical worlds full of weird and wonderful creatures, quirky characters and ever-changing seasons.

You can get a taste of what to expect in the new trailer or read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this monstrous new RPG!


The new game puts you in the capable shoes of Psaro - a young man who is cursed by his father, the Master of Monsterkind, to be unable to harm any creature with monster blood.

The adventure proper starts in the tranquil town of Rosehill, where monsters and dwarves live together in harmony. It’s there that Psaro will learn the ways of monster wrangling - he may not be able to directly harm a monster, but he can make other monsters do the job for him!

Of course, to become a world-class wrangler, he needs training - and that’s where Fizzy comes in. This effervescent expert in monster wrangling offers guidance and words of wisdom, as Psaro sets off to explore the plains of the human world to battle local monsters and gain valuable experience

When his training is complete, the kind-hearted Monty - something of a father figure for Psaro - suggests that he head to Endor Colosseum to test his skills in a Monster Megabrawl.

Psaro (and by extension you) will need to make use of your monsters’ many skills, from DRAGON QUEST staples like Sizz and Whoosh, to powerful restorative spells.

Winning in the Colosseum leads Psaro to meet Rose - a kind-hearted Elven girl with the special ability to reach the monster realm of Nadiria. Each echelon of this dark and dangerous realm is full of fascinating monsters and fearsome fights. And in the distance of the Circle of Conquest is the Maulosseum, where Nadiria’s greatest monster wranglers gather to do battle…

Does Psaro have what it takes to compete with the best? And what else does his adventure have in store?

You’ll have to play to find out…

What do you do in DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince?

As you may expect, this game tasks you with scouting numerous monsters from around the world, and then taking them into battle - either by commanding them directly or letting them fight it out on their own with auto-battle.

On your quest to find ever-more marvellous monsters, you’ll explore the fantastical environments of Nadiria. These sprawling lands are as varied as they are beautiful - and they’re ever-changing. As the seasons pass, so too do the landscapes - for example, you may find previously inaccessible areas become possible to traverse depending on the current conditions.

What’s more, certain monsters will only appear during specific seasons - so there’s plenty of opportunity for a keen-eyed Monster Wrangler to build their army!

Of course, scouting is only one way to get new monsters - you can also use synthesis. By combining multiple monsters, you can create entirely new additions to your party - and their skills and traits can carry over, resulting in some wonderfully unique rosters.

In fact, the synthesis system in DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince is the deepest it’s ever been, with a staggering number potential results and more intuitive combinations!

Of course, the true test of a monster wrangler is the combat, and you should expect fast-paced, strategic turn-based encounters. You can issue precise orders to each monster, or set general tactics for the party such as ‘Show no Mercy’ or ‘Focus on healing’ and let them make the moment to moment decisions - either way, your tactics and the makeup of your party will mean the difference between defeat and victory.

To learn more about the combat, be sure to check out our article:

What about online modes?

When you’ve built a good party, and progressed the story sufficiently, you can talk to Fizzy and take the fight to others with multiple online modes.

You can battle other players directly in Ranked Matches - and as you rise through the ranks, you’ll earn valuable rewards like rare accessories. Or, if you’re up for friendlier competition, you can play Friend matches against registered pals. No ranking worries here - just a friendly match between pals. Alternatively, up to eight players can go head-to-head in knockout Multiplayer Tournaments!

You can also take part in Quickfire Contests. These are massive competitions that use the data of 30 players to conduct battles automatically in the blink of an eye. Not only will you be able to see how your team stacks up against others, but you’ll also earn valuable rewards and items that can raise your monsters' stats!

There’s also an online shop, which lets you spend the gold you earn in-game to buy special items, accessories and more. The Online Shop has different stock according to the day of the week (meaning real-world days, rather than in-game days!), but the items available can also change as you progress through the story. Stock changes regularly, so it’s worth checking in daily to see what’s new.

To learn more about the online modes, check out this guide:

Wait… Psaro… why does that sound familiar?

We suspect some long-time DRAGON QUEST fans may be asking themselves that question. Indeed, You may recognize Psaro, Rose and a few other familiar faces from the classic DRAGON QUEST IV: Chapters of the Chosen. In fact, there’s some wonderful fan service to discover in the game - but we’ll let you discover that for yourselves.

Of course, if you’re not familiar with DRAGON QUEST IV, don’t worry - the game’s story is self-contained. It’s a completely standalone experience, so you’ll be able to follow the events and characters just as you would with any other game.

How many monsters are in the game and which ones are they?

There are more than 500 monsters to scout and battle in DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince, from iconic series mainstays like the humble slime and dracky to brand new monsters never before seen in the series!

In fact, the first decision you’ll make after you start the game and can move freely (other than your name) is which one to start with. You’ll either get:

  • Platypunk - A scheming monster from the beast family. The Naturalist talent provides it with abilities to weaken opponents.

  • Fright Bulb - A plant-like monster from the slime family. The Soothesayer talent enables it to cast a variety of healing and support spells.

  • Mud Mannequin - A monster in the material family that's made of mud. It can learn a range of dances from the Dancer talent.

  • Cruelcumber - An animated vegetable from the nature family. The Blowy Slasher talent teaches it wind-elemental spells and abilities.

All awesome, all iconic and all just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll find plenty more in the full game.

How to get DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince

DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince is available now for Nintendo Switch, both physically and digitally.

In addition to a Standard Edition, the DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince Digital Deluxe Edition is now available. It includes the following bonus content:

  • The Mole Hole (Includes the 'Gothic Vestment' outfit) - Delve underground for a reunion with monster types you've befriended once before. You'll also have the opportunity to scout monsters that are otherwise very tricky to synthesize.

  • Coach Joe's Dungeon Gym (Includes the 'Cake-Maker's Clobber' outfit) - Explore these randomly generated dungeons and battle legions of powerful monsters. Each dungeon comes with unique requirements that require players to carefully assess and construct their party. Dispatch the boss that awaits in the final room to earn rare items that will aid you in raising ever-stronger allies.

  • Treasure Trunks (Includes the 'Monstrous Mail' outfit) - Every time you open these mysterious treasure chests, you'll obtain an exciting reward. However, you'll have to wait a little while before you can open the chest up again and obtain the next exciting reward on the list! Keep opening them and you're guaranteed to get your hands on some very enticing items indeed!

The game is available now:

he DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince Demo is also available from the Nintendo eShop.

It lets you explore several unique environments - and their seasons - while battling and recruiting monsters. Additionally, two battle arenas are available to try in the demo and you can even try your hand at synthetizing monsters to see what combinations you can produce.

Saved monster rosters from the demo can be carried over into the full game, letting Monster Wranglers continue playing with their favorite monsters.

To find out more, check out this article:

7 awesome things in the DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince demo

Finally, to stay up to date with news and information about DRAGON QUEST MONSTERS: The Dark Prince and other games in the series, be sure to follow us on social media: