Here’s When The Skyrim Special Edition Unlocks

Get ready for another 100 hour save file, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition [official site] is coming to Steam on October 28. Skyrim Special Edition will include all the RPG’s DLC and feature remastered art effects, dynamic depth of field, and other graphical improvements, but all you probably care about is getting back into that sweet, sweet Dovahkiin action. As we overlooked these details before, hey, now’s a good time to bring up the unlock times and system requirements.

For PC gamers this is a great time to play for the first time if you’ve somehow avoided entering the world of this meme machine. If you’ve already dragon shouted your way through the frozen vistas of Skyrim and Solstheim and own The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn DLC or the Skyrim Legendary Edition on Steam then on October 28 you’ll receive the Skyrim Special Edition for free as a separate item in your games list.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition requires a bit more horsepower than the original release, as indicated in Bethesda’s suggested system requirements:


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945.
  • 8GB of ram.
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 470 1GB /AMD HD 7870 2GB


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-2400/AMD FX-8320.
  • 8GB of ram.
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB /AMD R9 290 4GB

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition unlocks at 12am UTC on October 28, so that’s not much longer for you to have to wait. Region-specific times are:

  • 5pm Pacific Time (October 27)
  • 8pm Eastern Time (October 27)
  • 1am British Summer Time (October 28)
  • 2am Central European Summer Time (October 28)
  • 11am Australian Eastern Time Zone (October 28)
  • 1pm New Zealand Time (October 28th)

If you haven’t purchased The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition or a base copy of Skyrim and the DLCs required to unlock the Skyrim Special Edition, you can buy them now on Steam on sale for £19.19.


  1. Antongranis says:

    Not something i would have spent money on, but i dont have to. I have the legendary edition on steam, so i get it for free:)

    I have played something like 800 hours of this game, so we will see if i can get back into it.

  2. Solidstate89 says:

    The 64-bit executable is going to unlock so much more potential for the modding community.

    • ulix says:

      First it’s going to break a ton of more complicated mods (all mods running with SKSE for example). Then you have to hope there’ll be a 64bit SKSE, then all modders will have to check if their mods still run… some of which aren’t even active in Skyrim modding anymore.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Ugh, it sounds like that would break the essential SkyUI mod because I think that uses SKSE. Not that I was planning on re-entering Skyrim anyway, but that would be a deal-breaker for me. I don’t think I could go back to the vanilla UI. I hope the modders manage to work around this.

      • Yontevnknow says:

        If that’s true, will you be able to roll your SE version back to one that is compatible with the years of modding that have been supporting the shallow base game?

      • Regicider 12.4% says:

        I’m not worried, the Skyrim mod scene is still huge and the release can only breathe new life into it.
        Any essential mods and SKSE will be ported, in most cases even if the original author has gone AWOL.

        If there are problems with author permissions it’s enough for someone to patch the scripts and esp files and require you to download the original for any resources first.

        Just don’t expect any mod miracles on day 1. Give it enough time to mature.

  3. Stevostin says:

    Wow. I am on 391 hours with all add ons. It was nice (obviously) but I don’t get why I would go back. Must have done 90% of the content and the rest is nothing but revamping. Moreover questing is a step back from F3 (although gameplay is clearly improved OTOH).

    The thing really missing from Skyrim is good questing. Interesting multi threaded stories. You have that in F3, FNV, and then it stops. I really want to see a Bethesda RPG where you can’t become an “ace of all” character that ends up dovakhim, master of warriors, mage, thieves, killers, cops, vampires etc.

    • brucethemoose says:

      “ace of all”

      Oblivion was like that too (though to be fair, some of the guild quests like The Dark Brotherhood were excellent).

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        I loved the Dark Brotherhood quests in Oblivion. By far the best part of a generally mediocre game.

        Skyrim’s guild quests are a complete disaster. It really doesn’t help that the vast majority are just absolutely typical Skyrim linear dungeons, consistently the worst, most boring dungeon design I’ve seen in any recent CRPG.

        And yet, I’m really looking forward to the Skyrim Special Edition. It’s a fun brainless game, not unlike Diablo. And I have a new GPU to exercise.

        • Solidstate89 says:

          No, sorry. Dragon Age II has the worst dungeons of any RPG in the last 20 years. That’s a god damn fact.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I’d probably call the Shivering Isles the best part. That place was brilliant.

      • Regicider 12.4% says:

        All the TES games allows you to do everything in that regard. Even in Morrowind, you could be a member of the Tribunal Temple, Imperial Legion and House Telvanni at the same time without any consequences (like being leader of both the nazi party and the communists simultaneously).
        It’s up to the players to restrict for min-maxing or roleplaying.

        • suibhne says:

          As soon as you let game designers off the hook for designing coherent, compelling worlds with affecting gameplay choices, and displace that responsibility to players, all games become varying degrees of Awesome(tm).

    • Rainshine says:

      While I feel similarly — that I want meaningful choices — I’ve also accepted, as others noted, that such openness is just the way Elder Scrolls games are. But Torment is coming!

  4. fish99 says:

    You can find the Legendary Edition for under £10 btw.

    I’ve been itching to play Skyrim again for a few months, so I’ll definitely be playing this. Got 500+ hrs played in two complete playthroughs.

  5. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Are there any gameplay changes, or is this purely visual/technical improvements?

    • eqzitara says:

      No gameplay changes. Tons of mods that offer gameplay changes.

      Probably best to wait a month or two at least and pick it up if you want the best experience for gameplay changes though. Tons of kinks are bound to happen when people try to rush there ports over.

      Not sure if you picked up Fallout 4 after update for modding but its pretty streamlined now. Unlike old skyrim modding [yikes]

  6. The Velour Fog says:

    Isn’t this just duplicating what a lot of mods have already done?

    • anHorse says:

      64 bit exe and being able to use more than 4gb of RAM is huge

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        More than 3.5GB, you mean. I think it’s a quirk of how Windows handles hardware peripherals that you don’t even get the whole 2^32 byte address space.

        Also, I haven’t looked at any screenshot comparisons with modded Skyrim, but I’m guessing that professionally made high-res textures and effects probably look better and more consistent. I wasn’t super impressed last time I tried to make Skyrim look prettier with mods.

        • Yontevnknow says:

          Alot of the original Hi Res pack looked quite bad compared to the modding work. Most could be considered subjective though, except for the the textures they never touched.

        • Regicider 12.4% says:

          Having a lot of graphical effects built-in, that you only got through ENB before is going to be a lot kinder to the system requirements at least. Skyrim with uncompressed HD texture mods and injected ENB effects can quickly murder most framerates you throw at it.

          (I’m hopeful they included the memory handler fixes and garbage collection from F4, the bugs caused tons of crashes when handling bursts to memory or lots of simultaneous NPC’s before).

        • Herring says:

          This is really scraping my 20-year old MCP knowledge but I think the 3.5GB limit comes because each process is given a 4GB address space to share between the app and system. The system part of the address space is about .5 GB.

  7. Zankman says:

    8GB, really? -.-

    • Otterley says:

      What is the problem with that exactly?

      • ThePuzzler says:

        640K should be enough for anything.

      • cryora says:

        I don’t think 8GB should be a minimum requirement unless you actually have to have 8GB or it won’t run. Why couldn’t it run with just 4GB?

    • phelix says:

      Just buy the extra 4GB stick so you can meet the requirements for… er, pretty much every AAA title that has come out over the past two years.
      RAM isn’t that awfully expensive.

  8. Mac says:

    No need to pay £20 for it – you can get the Legendary Edition from cdkeys . com for £10 and you will get the Enhanced Edition by having the base game and DLC … enjoy :)

    • eqzitara says:

      I paid $8 g2a the other day. Not really comparing just saying in case anyones looking for cheaper.

  9. leeder krenon says:

    Will old saves be compatible?

  10. Menthalion says:

    Only mod I ever really need to get into any of the later Elder Scrolls (Oblivion onward) would have been a hotbar with equipent swap options. It never came about though.

    I can’t believe for a series where combat is so important it has been so unbelievably clunky.

    • yusefsmith says:

      SkyUI has that built in. Groups and all.

      • Menthalion says:

        Tried SkyUI in various iterations, but it’s still the same crap controller limitations underneath that let’s it down.

  11. phelix says:

    Hmm, this looks to be an update to the FO4 version of the “Creation Engine” (aka GameBryo rebrand). Which would be nice, mind.
    If it has FO4’s rain occlusion and improved lighting i’ll be on board; those were some of my bigger gripes with Skyrim.

  12. brgillespie says:

    Watching a few Youtube “advance play” videos, it looks essentially the same. It’ll be more stable, of course, with the 64 bit executable, but don’t get too excited about how it looks. The folks who’ll get the most enjoyment will be the ones who were stuck playing it on X-Box 360 a few years ago.

    More importantly… it plays the same. To date, I still haven’t been able to complete Skyrim. I get dead-bored with the gameplay by the time I meet Paarthurnax.

    • Risingson says:

      Skyrim follows the noble RPG route of “this gameplay mechanic works: let’s make the player repeat it millions of times!”. It would have been better without most of the sidequests.

    • Romeric says:

      Paarthurnax is guaranteed to bore anyone to tears… Interesting fact though: the voice actor is the same man who voices Mario.

  13. dmastri says:

    Not sure what the hype is about, Skyrim follows the same trajectory as all Bethesda games: giant promising open world hampered by pathetically awful story and extremely boring one note quests, generally of the “fetch this” variety. With all their money you’d think they’d hire some writers or something, yeesh.

  14. Faxanadu says:

    Great. Faaaantastic.

    A useless “addition” that will split the modding community and break half everything.

    Who actually WANTED this?

    • malkav11 says:

      It exists because Bethesda needs an excuse to resell Skyrim to people with the current generation of consoles (and introduce limited mod support to the console version). Since it exists, people would complain like crazy if it wasn’t made available for the PC as well. But Bethesda have (semi)sensibly realized that there’s no incentive for PC players to actually pay for it, so we get it free. At least to start with. The language being used suggests new buyers probably won’t have the same option after it comes out. But we’ll see.

    • leeder krenon says:

      Me, I don’t use mods.

    • Regicider 12.4% says:

      The old version isn’t going anywhere so it’s not “breaking” anything. About “split the modding community” – not even close to what the passing of time or any new Bethesda release does to their older modding communities, like the release of Fallout 4.

      The game is half a decade old and the Special Edition is going to reinvigorate the Skyrim mod community more than anything.

    • Thurgret says:


      I tried using mods to enhance the game visually, but it was a nightmare of working out what worked well and what didn’t, and then trying to get everything disabled after running across some horrific looking modded thing, then saved games not necessarily working right, or worst of all, the intermittent crashes that I always got whenever I put mods in.

      I want to play Skyrim again sometime and don’t want to go through all that trouble with mods again, but having it look nicer is no bad thing.

      • Jay Load says:

        When I heard about this a month ago I reinstalled Skyrim, got the DLC, then decided to build a heavily modded version of the game so when I started from scratch it would be different enough to maintain my interest. Over the next two weeks I must have installed and fiddled with close to 100 different mods, mixing and matching from ‘best-of’ lists I found online. Stability did become an issue so I eventually started cutting them back. I think I’m running about 50-60 mods now and the experience is rock solid and smooth as silk, and a massive improvement over the vanilla game despite me having to give up on the big Town and City Graphical upgrade mods.

        The only issue I’m now having is hoping that most of these mods are eventually ported to the new 64-bit version otherwise I’m going to suffer a significant drop in gameplay experience!

  15. Mr. Perfect says:

    Skyrim Special Edition will include … dynamic depth of field

    That you won’t be able to turn off through the settings menu, because it’s really just grand and no one would ever want it off!

    .ini edits, away!

    • Christo4 says:

      I can’t understand why devs don’t put options in the game menu, but put them in the inis. Some very complicated one that can break the game are ok, but depth of field or other things are just really peculiar…

  16. shadowviper1229 says:

    Only a 100 hour save file? This isn’t Fallout 4 (ZING).

  17. Christo4 says:

    The ONLY thing i care about… Can you make ugrids higher in this version without it crashing? I HATE the pop-ins at a distance…

  18. Ben 'O' War says:

    I was one of those who “suffered” at the hands of my shady little console. I still loved it, despite the flaws. Hell, I still play Morrowind and that’s been out 14 years and is practically broken in many respects. I’m on PC now, and what this game has the potential to mean for Skywind is exciting. I know that’s another dream, but there are better parameters for game modifications now. That surely can’t hurt the scope of this particular mod! Anyway, until that happens this is just fine. Winter is almost upon us and I have a shit tonne of DS3 to get through before I crack open the Skooma for old times’ sake. I’m certainly happy with games these days.