Dragon Quest XI continues the gameplay of previous games in the series, in which players explore worlds and fight against various monsters, including the ability to explore high areas. The Nintendo 3DS version features a different style than the PlayStation 4 version, showcasing 3D graphics on the top screen and 16-bit styled sprites on the bottom screen. Before entering battle, players can also toggle between the 3D and 2D graphical styles. According to Jump magazine, the split styles of 3D and 2D will not be present on both screens for the entire game, but only during the opening stages of the game; instead, players will have to select in which style to play, but will be able to switch between both styles at any time. The game’s battle system will be the series’ traditional turn-based battle system.
Dragon Quest XI is under development for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo Switch. The PlayStation 4 version features high definition graphics using the Unreal Engine 4 game engine. Square Enix’s press release for the game’s announcement revealed ORCA Inc. and Toylogic Inc. would be collaborating on the development of the game. In January 2016, series creator Yuji Horii stated that the story was nearly finished and that the game’s intro section was playable.