Care For A Wee Taste of Skyrim 1.4?

Bound to be Skyrim's greatest legacy

The beta version of the latest Skyrim patch is now on Steam, though Bethesda have warned, in tones dripping with sulphur and doom, that “Apply the update at your own risk.” Anything could happen! The Earth might split asunder! Vampires might eat your fingers! Sickly cats might become weirdly fixated upon you! Or, more likely, you’ll hit a load of bugs and/or your savegames will go all squiffy.

Full patch notes are below, and if none of the fixes mentioned in them is relevant to your Skyperience you’re probably better off waiting for the final 1.4. That said, the beta patch should bring a first taste of the official mod adding/removing/rating ‘store’ that’s probably got the good folk behind Skyrim Nexus shaking their fists at the sky, so you might want a sneaky-peek at that. To apply the update, you need to check your Steam settings then opt-in to the Skyrim beta listed there. Bethesda recommend backing up your savegames first, in case of DOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

Exact details on how to apply the update are here, and below is the full list of fixes’n’that. No mention of giving Lydia some alternative item-trading dialogue, sadly.


Skyrim launcher support for Steam Workshop (PC)

General optimizations for memory and performance
Fixed occasional issue with armor and clothing not displaying properly when placed on mannequin’s in player’s house. (PS3)
Improved compiler optimization settings (PC)
Long term play optimizations for memory and performance (PS3)
Memory optimizations related to scripting
Fixed crashes related to pathing and AI
Fixed crash in Haemar’s Shame if player had already completed “A Daedra’s Best Friend”
Fixed rare crash with loading saved games
Fixed issue with accented characters not displaying properly at the end of a line
Master Criminal achievement/trophy unlocks properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian
Fixed issue where dragon priest masks would not render correctly
Fixed issue where quests would incorrectly progress after reloading a save
Fixed issues with placing and removing books from bookshelves in the player’s home
Fixed issue where weapon racks and plaques would not work correctly in player’s house if player immediately visits their house before purchasing any furnishing.
Fixed issue where the player house in Windhelm would not clean up properly
Fixed crash related to giant attacks and absorb spells
Fixed issue with ash piles not cleaning up properly
Fixed occasional issue where overwriting an existing save would fail
Fixed memory crash with container menu
Fixed infinite loop with bookshelves
Fixed issue where traps in Shalidor’s Maze would not work properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian versions
Fixed issue where transforming back to human from werewolf would occasionally not fail
Bows and daggers will display properly when placed on weapon racks


The Unusual Gem inside the Thalmor Embassy is now accessible after finishing “Diplomatic Immunity”
In “Breaching Security”, the quest token is no longer required to receive a fortune reading from Olava the Feeble
Fixed issue where Galmar would not complete Joining the Stormcloaks properly if “Season Unending” was an active quest
Fixed issue where starting “Season Unending” after finishing “Joining the Stormcloaks” would prevent “The Jagged Crown” from starting properly.
Fixed issue progressing through “Message to Whiterun” while “Season Unending” was still open would block progression for both quests.
In “Arniel’s Endeavor”, fixed issue where a quest journal would trigger multiple times
In “Forbidden Legend”, the amulet fragment can no longer disappear after player leaves a dungeon without taking it
Fixed rare issue in “Forbidden Legend” where killing Mikrul Gauldurson while sneaking would make his corpse unaccessible
In “The White Phial”, the phial can no longer disappear if player leaves dungeon without taking it
“The White Phial” will now start properly if player already has a briar heart in their inventory
Player can no longer get stuck in Misty Grove after completing “A Night to Remember”
Fixed issue where leaving Riften during “A Chance Arrangement” would prevent quest from progressing
In “Darkness Returns”, a door in Twilight Sepulcher will properly open if the player leaves the dungeon for an extended period of time before completing the quest
In “Revealing the Unseen”, if the player leaves the Oculory for an extended period of time after placing the focusing crystal and returns, the quest will proceed correctly
“Onmund’s Request” will now start properly if player has already found Enthir’s staff before receiving this quest
Fixed instance where Tonilia would stop buying stolen items and also would not give Guild Leader Armor
“Repairing the Phial” will start properly if player already has unmelting snow or mammoth tusk in their inventory
Finding Pantea’s Flute before speaking with Pantea no longer prevents her quest from updating
In “The Coming of the Dawn”, fixed rare instance where a quest object would spawn incorrectly on the Katariah during Hail Sithis
Fixed rare issue in “The Mind of Madness” where player is unable to equip the Wabbajack
Fixed issue in “Pieces of the Past” where Mehrunes Dagon’s Razor will not trigger properly if player leaves the cell for extended period of time before activating it
“Blood’s Honor” will start properly if you visited and completed Driftshade and an extended period of time passes before starting the quest.
Fixed rare issue where “Dampened Spirits” would not start properly
Fixed issue where player would be unable to become Thane of Riften if they purchased a home first
Fixed issue where killing guards in Cidhna Mine would block progression for “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine”
Fixed numerous issues with “Blood on the Ice” not triggering properly
In “Blood on the Ice”, Calixto can now be killed if player owns a house in Windhelm
In “The Cure for Madness”, killing Cicero then resurrecting him no longer impedes quest progress
Fixed rare issue in “To Kill an Empire” where an NPC would fail to die properly
Clearing Knifepoint Ridge before starting “Boethiah’s Champion” no longer prevents quest from starting.

Phew! If you made it this far through the post, here is your reward.


  1. Dominic White says:

    Hmmm, “Improved compiler optimization settings (PC)” makes it sound like they’ve officially used those optimization tweaks that fans managed to hack in a while back. Good on em’ if they have – that, along with making the game large address aware should help the game quite a bit in the long-term.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      I’m honestly shocked they did this, it’s nice they are listening to the PC community for once and are embracing it with things like Steam Workshop.
      If the problem was on 360/PS3 nobody would know how to fix, but on the PC people looked at the code and said “here’s what is broke and here’s how fix it. Think of the trainwreck over Uncharted 3’s laggy aiming controls, nobody knew exactly what was causing it and Naughty Dog was reluctant to address it for weeks, if it was on the PC it would have been documented and fixed in days.

    • LionsPhil says:

      My flabber is indeed gasted that they’d make such a significant change in patch for a lower-priority platform. There’s no way they could have invested in testing this thoroughly, surely.

    • Dominic White says:

      Given that it’s deep compiler-level tweaks that they’ve done here, it’s almost certainly why they’re putting this out as a Beta first, just in case it causes peoples computers to explode.

      And I doubt the PC is a lower-priority platform. It’s the one they’re going to be supporting the most with mod tools and Steam integration/sharing features. Console versions are a much simpler, easier job to maintain.

    • Gimpanse says:

      In reality they probably just passed two more command line options (/O2 /Og ?) to their C++ compiler to enable more agressive optimizations.

      This should be more or less “free” for them since they seem to be offloading the QA to the community :P

    • Lobotomist says:

      “”Hmmm, “Improved compiler optimization settings (PC)” makes it sound like they’ve officially used those optimization tweaks that fans managed to hack in a while back.””

      Thats excellent. I can confirm that the optimisation mod does wonders. But question is.
      Will you need optimisation mod now? Do they do the same thing ? Will they clash ?

    • Stevostin says:

      “My flabber is indeed gasted that they’d make such a significant change in patch for a lower-priority platform.”
      Hum. It’s a patch that brings a huge feature (TES editor) for “that-platform-only”. You know this kind of tool that nearly only Bethesda publish because it’s so costly to make it even half “public ready”. And they sold in millions on Steam with at least twice the margin they do vs retail boxes. So really. No way it’s a “low priority platform”. It’s quite possibly the first one in term of net income, and even if not, it’s still a very big piece of the cake. And that’s a very big cake.

  2. bladedsmoke says:

    “Fixed issue where the player house in Windhelm would not clean up properly”

    DAMMIT! I quite liked my house in Windhelm being full of blood and bones. It was a conversation piece.

    • King Toko says:

      Yeah the last occupant was a motivated seller.

    • terry says:

      I quite liked having the body around, it was a nice conversation piece. By that I mean Lydia would inspect it and say “Oh my goodness! What happened?” every three minutes

  3. Llewyn says:

    Or, more likely, you’ll hit a load of bugs and/or your savegames will go all squiffy.

    Such a blessed relief that Skyrim owners will be able to avoid that by waiting for Bethesda to deem the patch ready for release, eh?

    Fingers crossed that Steam will use this as an excuse for another Skyrim daily deal. I think this is probably a good time to dive into it.

    • Baines says:

      After the backwards dragons and missing magic resistance, maybe they are just playing it safe and calling any future patches “beta” versions until the userbase does the testing for them.

  4. c-Row says:

    I think we need a DOOOOOOOOOOOOM tag.

  5. diamondmx says:

    Just how buggy must a beta patch for a Bethesda game be, if what they release as ‘done’ is, to understate the point, eccentric.

  6. DSVella says:

    “In “The Cure for Madness”, killing Cicero then resurrecting him no longer impedes quest progress”

    Things like this is why I love this game.

    Also I wish they would fix the unusual Gem quest as I cant speak to anyone to start it since I may have pissed someone off!.

    • King Toko says:

      That quest initiates with the Thieves Guild. I don’t think theres any other way.

    • Jerusahat says:

      I borked mine too – cancelled out of a conversation, and got the progress stuck. I ended up fixing it via the console.

  7. King Toko says:

    I feel privileged to test out and find bugs on behalf of Bethesda. Also those patch notes are the same as the 1.4 patch notes they have changed a bit since then.

  8. Smashbox says:

    If you made it this far, here’s your reward [Enhanced]:

    link to

  9. Khemm says:

    Is this the patch that makes the game something more than a MMO-like grindfest in a static world with walking sim elements tossed in?
    I can waltz around for hours and kill random stuff in Far Cry 2 too, and this is supposed to be a 10/10 “RPG”. So little RPG in this “RPG”.

    • Sivart13 says:

      What made you decide you had to post this revolutionary opinion on this post, of all places?

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      The dark ritual to summon wizardry is complete.

    • spongthe1st says:

      @DigitalSignalX: This made me lol a fair bit. Thanks :D.

    • LionsPhil says:


      (…was not as good as Fallout 1.)

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Yeah, fuck that shitty game. I mean it. Seriously guys, just…just…fuck that game!

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      Considering I hate MMOs for being grindfests and love Skyrim for NOT being a grindfest, allow me to remark that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Good day.

    • shizamon says:

      Can you gain additional skills in Far Cry 2?


  10. boywithumbrella says:

    Fixed issue where weapon racks and plaques would not work correctly in player’s house if player immediately visits their house before purchasing any furnishing.

    well what about all the other cases when weapon racks and plaques fuck up, apart from visiting my house before purchasing furnishings?

    • smartalco says:

      In those cases the Daedric god of Bethesda bugs comes and deletes your save game.

  11. wazups2x says:

    Looking down from the top of Whiterun.

    Before patch: 17 Frames

    After Patch: 33 Frames

    Huge improvement in performance.

    • Deepo says:

      Top of stairs in Whiterun:

      Before: 42

      Before, with skyboost: 48

      1.4, just patch, no skyboost: 60

      Finally! :D

    • Lobotomist says:

      Is this with SkyBoost + patch , or just Patch ?

  12. milkmansrevenge says:

    Somewhat relevant: Usher vs. Goat Yelling Like A man

  13. neolith says:

    “I am swooooo…” – “STFU, LYDIA!!!” – “…ooooorn to carry your burdens.”


    • Xocrates says:

      Honestly, people complain about Lydia because that’s the only companion they ever use. I had Erandur for most of the game, and after hearing how he had never been to Whiterun or how Windhelm is freezing for the umpteenth time Lydia is mercifully quiet.

    • roryok says:

      I don’t expect more dialog options for lydia, since they’ll hardly get the voice actors back in for a patch. However, I do feel like they could have made a bit more effort to put in more dialog options to begin with.

      For example, guards voiced by different actors say identical things. Couldn’t they have written slightly different dialog options for each actor? It wouldn’t have taken much effort.

      And yet, some of the dialog is masterful. I remember being in windhelm at the forge, and stopping what I was doing to listen to a conversation between the shatter shield guy and a neighbour, about how he was coping with the loss of his daughter. It was a real conversation, and it was totally immersive. I turn a corner and a female guard asks me if I’ve seen the redguards? Curved swords!

      Yes, I fucking KNOW they have curved swords.

  14. roryok says:

    RPS. Where gaming never sleeps.

  15. Sic says:

    Bethesda needs to actually focus on GAME MECHANICS soon. Not that I appreciate bug squashing, but there are ridiculous omissions/ faults in/with this game that could easily be fixed.

    Mods can wait, finish your game first.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But aren’t finishing Bethsda’s games for them what mods are for?

      I mean, somewhat seriously, Bethsda’s modding fanbase can’t really fix engine bugs. They do their damndest to fix everything else, though. Ergo Bethsda working on the bits the modders can’t is probably actually the biggest winner for players.

    • diamondmx says:

      Actually, I’d quite like them to finish fixing the bugs, such as the one that can break PS3s.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Eh. The PS3 can deal.

    • Sic says:


      I choose to believe that you’re not actually serious.

  16. Anaphiel says:

    If you’re running mods which require SKSE, you’ll probably want to hold off on this update until they have a compatible version out.

    I also wonder if SkyBoost and/or TESVAL actively conflict with the new version, help a little bit in some cases, or are just rendered pretty much useless by the compiler optimizations this patch contains.

  17. helgih88 says:

    Holy crap, my fps on top of Whiterun went from meager 33 fps to 60 fps. I’m running Skyrim on i5 2500 3.3Ghz CPU with GTX 460 GPU (20% overclock). I’m guessing this is a CPU optimization because I’m definitely not limited by my GPU.

  18. Buttless Boy says:

    So is the CK out too, or is this just the (beta version of the) patch?

  19. Bostec says:

    “Fixed issue with ash piles not cleaning up properly”

    Thank shit for that. Theres an ash pile in some city and I go past it all the fucking time and I always automatically look down to see if there is any loot. Its really annoying and looks messy, I like a good clean street even if you never see the council sweep anything up.

  20. TODD says:

    Skyrim Nexus is a fucking toxic cesspool. I have high hopes for the Steam mod service.

    • Rob Maguire says:

      To be fair, that’s largely because without the Construction Kit, mods are limited to interface tweaks, graphics mods, and (to a somewhat lesser extent) scripting changes. And nude mods tend to be just loose model/texture files ported directly from the nude mods for the LAST game, so they go up fairly quickly after release. The big user-made content – such as new quests, companions, and areas – will come after 1.4 hits for real, and the Skyrim Construction Kit with it.

  21. busfahrer says:

    Let’s see how this will turn out

  22. Derppy says:

    Steam Workshop, a lot of optimization and bug fixes? Sounds great!

    I hope the optimization helps, I get FPS drops to ~30 on 2×6950 / 2500K -setup using only medium settings at 1440p.

  23. kenoxite says:

    I think you meant “Skyrience”.

    Skyperience is the hip word for using Skype.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      actually I think you’ll find that “Skyrience” means the science of playing Skyrim. For example: after a repulsive amount of hours, I have a Phd in Skyrience.

  24. Judas says:

    Sadly, I don’t see any indication of NPC’s using equipped Bows the player may have traded to the NPC. Instead they all use their basic hunting bow. It’s super aggravating if you want a companion as a mule, not as a fighter to get in your way, or as a mage to AOE you with fireballs, but a ranged archer to pick of targets, which is severely broken currently.

  25. Guvornator says:

    Will Steam etc. automatically update Skyrim with the patch? Bit of a bugger if it does, what with it being Beta and everything. If it breaks the game (and if even Bethesda think it might, I reckon it’s a dead cert) I can see high speed shit + fan interfacing…

    • Unaco says:

      Did you bother to read the article?

      To apply the update, you need to check your Steam settings then opt-in to the Skyrim beta listed there.

      So… No, it doesn’t automatically apply the update. You must explicitly opt-in.

  26. Innovacious says:

    I started a new game with the beta patch. first quest out of helgen broke. Luckily it doesnt lead anywhere and you can just go directly to whiterun to skip it.

  27. Prime says:

    I know we moan about games like this needing patched but I think it’s worth saying that we should be thankful that companies like Bethesda DO come back and keep patching their games up to a reasonable standard. With so many companies these days choosing to release their games and flat-out ignoring the players afterwards we should really stop giving the likes of Bethesda such a hard time when they work hard post-release to address the game’s bugs and performance. In other words, Thank you Bethesda.

    I’d also like to give mad props to Egosoft who just released a patch for Albion Prelude that included a stunning increase in framerate.

  28. spacedyemeerkat says:

    Well, my house in Windhelm hasn’t been cleaned up. Blood everywhere still.

    • Tyraa Rane says:

      I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of those “fixes”–like cleaning up Hjerim and ash piles and things–won’t apply retroactively. If you’ve already somehow skipped the bit that tells the game to clean up the mess in Hjerim, the patch isn’t going to go back and fix it for you. But it should be fixed in new games, or old saves prior to that point.

      I can hope that such things apply retroactively…I’ve been stupidly using Dawnbreaker quite a bit (mostly because it’s awesome vs. undead), which has a side effect of creating lots of ash piles. So now my savegame’s all bloated with old ash piles that the patch may or may not tidy up.

  29. Sfitz says:

    I am sworn to carry your burdens.

  30. Demievil says:

    Never search ‘Goat + Skyrim’