Skyrim Special Edition Is An Underwhelming Upgrade On PC – But!

Though consolefolk are revelling in a spike from fuzzy 720p to crisp-textured 1080, on PC The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition [official site] is about as transformational as wiping the toilet seat (well, depending on who exactly used it before you did). Play it today and you’ll be lucky to feel there’s been any meaningful change. If anything, you might find that it’s a step down from your modded original Skyrim with the Bethesda high-res texture pack, and a dark return to the infuriating official interface to boot. A brand new, truly 2016 Skyrim this is not – but it might yet be.

The special edition boasts various new graphical features on paper, but in practice you’ll be hard pushed to notice many of them. Lighting gets a boost, in a way that will probably prove divisive if anything, and it goes out of its way to show off a new but ultimately incidental depth of field effect in its introductory sequence.

I switched repeatedly between it and an unmodded Skyrim original install with Bethesda’s official high-res texture pack added in, and it didn’t take long to reach that perfect pitch of meaningless insanity that is deciding between two different shades of white to paint your bathroom. Ultimately, I came damned closed to preferring the original. Not from some Paul Weller Fan purism, but because the two were so similar, save for a inspecific sense that the balance of brightness and sharpness seemed more comfortable on the original. Bloom, particularly, seems overdone in some Special Edition scenes, resulting in a greater sense of contrast and detail in the original. E.g.



On the other hand, in some scenes the original looks noticeably more drab, and the depth of field effects makes NPC conversations look a little fancier than they did. There’s no way you’d ever mistake Skyrim Special Edition for a true 2016 game, but sometimes it does seem a year or two younger than it really is.

If minor appearance changes were the only factor, I’d say go for the Special Edition if you’re planning on a slightly lengthy return to Skyrim, as that’s where mods will now focus and there are almost certainly going to be patches. This is the platform that will see the most evolution in the near future.

Of course, it’s not the only factor: the other is that the Special Edition does not yet support many mods, and all those we came to rely upon in the original have to be ported across. This will require manhours that may not be possible, and many creators have long moved on. So, to have the best possible Skyrim experience, I absolutely come down on the side of the original with your mods of choice installed.

Original Skyrim

I don’t mean elves in the nuddy or some everything-spoiling Dark Ethereal Bieber Marine Armour ++++++++ addition. I mean replacing the inventory and map screen with something that wasn’t made for a gamepad and a 1280×720 screen.

I mean skyboxes full of life, more dynamic weather and all the snow-flecked trees you can handle. I mean faces that look like people rather than misprinted Bratz dolls. I mean a hundred different lighting and texture and quality of life improvements that we all installed in 2011 or 2012 then took for granted but have to do without in Skyrim Special Edition.

The key stuff will come back. Of course it will. I earnestly believe that, three months from now, I’d be saying ‘SE not OG without a doubt’. But today is the day that you’re thinking “yeah! Skyrim! Fancy a bit of that again!”, and the simple truth is you’re going to have a better time with the original edition and a few carefully-chosen mods, particularly UI ones.

Skyrim Special Edition

Unless you never played with the official high-res texture add-on, the visual difference between the two Skyrims is honestly minor, and most of the improvements can be achieved or even bettered by adding ENB or SweetFX to Old Skyrim.

There is also the very strong chance that your age-old Skyrim saves will not be supported by the Special Edition. A few folk are claiming that their saves made it through the net, but I have had zero luck across dozens of attempts, the Special Edition crashing for each, and I am a long, long way from alone in this. (FYI, I found some ancient saves from my original review, before any mods were out, and which did load. These provided the screens for this post, e.g. the one at its top).

This alone is a reason to steer clear of the Special Edition until you can somehow establish if the campaign you put dozens or hundreds of hours of your life into will be supported. Or unless you’re happy to start over entirely – not unwise, given any long-lived Skyrim character will be an impossible superhuman powerhouse with zero meaningful obstacles anyway.

I’ve also seen people talk of bugs, though I have not encountered any myself but admittedly am only a couple of hours in, and those who are attuned to such things report that the sound quality has been downgraded.

I will note that it’s running worse for me than the original Skyrim, hanging around 40 frames per second maxed-out as compared to 60+, and given that it doesn’t look meaningfully improved to my eyes, this is a fairly steep price to pay, though I imagine a combo of new drivers and patches will take the edge off before too long.

Skyrim Special Edition

There is, however, a silver lining to a cloud that is not particularly grey anyway, given that it is a free upgrade to anyone who owned Skyrim and its expansions and adds to their Steam account before today ends.

That is that Skyrim has moved from 32-bit to 64-bit, which means it is in theory capable of loading so much more into memory, and in turn that should mean far more epic mods, be it massive dragon armies or far more of the world being visible at anyone time.

In time, at least. All is theory for now. The new Direct X 11 support in theory offers the potential for more effects frippery too, but again this will be in the hands of modders, as Bethesda have not chosen to overhaul textures or character models for the Special Edition.

The truth is that, if you choose to play or replay Skyrim right now and can’t be fussed with mods, it all but doesn’t matter which version you pick. The difference is not profound enough.

If you’ve got Skyrim Special Edition for free and run modless, sure, go with that, but definitely, definitely don’t spend £30 on it if you’re discounted from the free offer because you didn’t get all the expansions first time around or didn’t grab the freebie before it expired.

However! Ask me again in three months. I can’t wait to see what happens with this.

Skyrim Special Edition is out now on Windows via Steam for £30/$40/€40. It can be freely claimed by those who bought Skyrim and its three DLC packs or the Skyrim Legendary Edition (which included the DLC).


  1. falcon2001 says:

    Huh. I thought they said that mods would be natively supported without porting needed?

    • GenialityOfEvil says:

      It depends on the mod. Even patches will break plenty of mods and saves, there’s no way to avoid that.

    • vorador says:

      They’ve updated to the latest version of the CreationKit engine, so there’s several changes under the hood.

      If you want to know what’s changed for mods to require updating
      link to

  2. minty says:

    mods that use SKSE defenatly wont run, SKSE will need to be updated to 64 bit for then to have any hope of runing and even then the mod may need to be updated to work with the new SKSE.

    wait a few weeks and things are going to be getting very interesting with the mods :)

    • Ieolus says:

      And that depends on if the SKSE developers decide to port it over.

      • minijedimaster says:

        Well they already made F4SE for Fallout 4. So changing it over to Skyrim I would assume is somewhat trivial.

      • Niyu says:

        They have said they are working on it. No ETA yet though.

      • behippo says:

        We have started the work on SKSE64 for the Skyrim Special Edition. We expect it to take a good amount of effort, as the game seems to be in-between Skyrim and Fallout 4 in terms of the game engine. Hopefully we’ll be able to leverage what we have learned from both SKSE and F4SE, but there is a lot that simply has to be redone with each game.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Special edition is 64 bit? Oh man, if all the mods DO find their way over, that could be fantastic (probably wouldn’t and I’m misunderstanding the technical bits, but maybe…?). I remember so many tedious issues installing mods thanks to 32 bit ram limitations.

  3. brucethemoose says:

    “the sound quality has been downgraded”

    Really? They went and compressed the audio too much… Why Bethesda, why?

    • tonicer says:

      consoles … that’s why. Otherwise they can’t achieve the 30fps target. But hey it’s 64Bit so it can take all the RAM not just 3GB of it.

      • perilousrob says:

        audio isn’t downgraded because of anything to do with consoles. In fact, PS4 sound is fantastically higher quality – so much so that those in the know are asking for those files to be distributed as a fix.

        Bethesda team member /u/gstaff (on reddit) confirmed low audio quality was an issue on PC and that it wasn’t supposed to be using such highly compressed samples. A fix is due.

  4. Deptfordx says:

    Yeah. Got it for free. Think I’ll walk away till the New Year and see what the modders have been up to in that time.

    • Noshido says:

      This is probably what a lot of people will do. I can understand that. I really don’t get all the hate people are hurling at this game. The fact is Bethesda implemented a lot of features that could not be implemented by mods. Once modders go crazy with the graphics mods and import the existing ones, the game will look better than it ever has. I personally will be interested to see the static mesh improvements implemented again. It’s going to look fantastic. As far as it being a cash grab, they told us what it includes, so if we buy it and expect something different, that’s on us, not the devs.

      • fdel says:

        Once modder go crazy ?
        I m not that sure that the great modders will go crazy over a 5 to 6 year old turd that still has at it s center some 10 year old engine that is as weak as its name: Papirus.
        I really hope the people that put Frostfall, Hunterborn, FNIS, comunity uncapper, Huds galore, Cloak of skyrim, WIC, dragon combat overhaul, and some more beefy ones like Perkus maximus, climate of skyrim and etc will come back.
        OTOH maybe Flora averhaul, realistic water and some similar stuff may not be necessary anymore… maybe

  5. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    There are some quality-of-life improvements that have made their way over from Fallout 4: Alt-tab actually works properly now, and saves are organized by character. For the most part though it’s exactly as advertised: a graphical update with everything else intact. I personally really like the new lighting system–everything feels a little bit warmer and brighter, the colors a little bit richer–though I suppose could see someone preferring the original. They’ve also updated the water effects. It’s a nice little upgrade all around imo.

  6. Niente says:

    So now RPS has become jaded and pissy like the majority of PC gamers who are bitching and moaning about the game on the Steam forums?

    One idiot complained he/she couldn’t run it on ultra on their mighty GT 740M GPU.

    Bethesda didn’t have to do this but I’m really glad they did. If nothing else I get to play through the vanilla game again with far better graphics and that in itself is something worth celebrating.

    RPS, you have gone down in my estimation.

    • X_kot says:

      That bauble around your neck…did you pay the iron price for it, or the gold?

    • ChefSquid says:

      Ah yes, praise be oh generous Bethesda, for plopping out a half-assed 40$ cash grab!
      They didn’t have to, but they sure couldn’t resist.

      • lordfirefox says:

        Didn’t get the Original and all DLCs I take it? Sounds like you have only yourself to blame.

    • Baines says:

      When a new “improved” release is inferior to what the previous release offered, it should be a big deal. The graphical upgrades are very comparable to what people were already achievable in classic Skyrim. Audio quality has been degraded. Performance has apparently dropped significantly. Mod compatibility is lost (with no guarantee that makers will return to port them to SE), which is more than just a loss of nude mods and frivolities, but also quality of life fixes (some just general and some for Bethesda’s poor designs specifically) and additional content.

      So currently there just isn’t much reason to buy Skyrim Special Edition. That may change in the future (which is why Alex says to ask again in three months), particularly if people start porting mods, but in its current state SE is arguably a worse value than vanilla. That’s a pretty big deal when Bethesda is trying to sell Special Edition as an upgrade.

      • Manco says:

        You do realize that the Legendary Edition still exists for previous owners? Which considering the many, many, MANY hefty promotions in the past should be nearly everyone even remotely interested in RPG’s.
        So them “selling” this as an upgrade is portraying this pretty unfair.

        And you really can’t blame them for mod incompatibilities. A large amount of mods needs only minor adjustments (or even none at all), and the larger ones were the ones who already needed to update with each patch. And on top of that, Beth remains – despite the many misgivings – one of I think only 3 major devs even supporting mods.

        • Baines says:

          Wait, you are arguing that even though Bethesda is currently selling Special Edition, Bethesda isn’t “selling” Special Edition because they gave it free to people who already owned Legendary? You are aware that the “free” upgrade is time limited deal, ending tonight?

          • DelrueOfDetroit says:

            No, they mean that anyone who is interested in playing Skyrim likely owns it already so Bethesda aren’t going to sell many copies on the PC.

          • Sic says:

            The only thing ending “tonight” is the ability to buy whatever DLC you’re missing to be eligible for the free copy of SE. If you have what you need (which is everyone and their granny), you already have the SE in your library, and it will stay there no matter what you do.

          • Someoldguy says:

            I guess I must be nobody because I didn’t bother with the DLC. However unless official stats have changed significantly in recent years that would put me in the majority of users.

        • fdel says:

          Behtesda is being Bethesda, trying to blood milk the cow as far as they can with half assed stuff.
          I bet they thought that it would be a bit pushing the line, too much even for them, to sell its former customers, another time, a game they already paid for, especially the ones with the DLC. Especially an half assed upgrade, that is by all PC standard, obsolete (ENB or not). SE It comes in its full glory with all the bugs and shortcomings (minus 2 or 3)…and of course all the broken quests. So lazy they weren t even able to incorporate the unoficial patches that correct their drollings.
          But ho! wait! This SE ain t intended for PC gamers, it is intended to poor consoles bastard!!!! Well lets sell it for PC also..see what we can cash grab.
          Come on Bethesda has been an terrible company with half assed products since morrrowind…They do half the basic the modder do the rest and fix and sell for them.
          Bethesda haven t changed the damn engine since 2002. Its been freaking 15 years almost, 5 games + a pletora of DLC that loaded their butt of money. And no decent engine.
          But since they are on a market with no competition, they vomit any garbage product full of bugs, half assed gameplay, mainstreamed, badly written, and there s still people kissing they rear end in full joy.

          • lordfirefox says:

            Yup a total cash grab, especially since everyone who already owned the Original +Mods got it for FREE.

    • minijedimaster says:

      Of all the flavors you could have picked… you chose salty.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Jaded and pissy? I don’t think they are being harsh enough. All this time and a ‘special edition’ is some minor graphical tweaks? As if the graphics are the thing that needed messing with in Skyrim? Come on, this just screams missed opportunity to at least learn from the most popular mods in use.

      • Archonsod says:

        Somehow I don’t think Bethesda or Steam want to go down the naked elf route …

        • Skaraok says:

          There are plenty of enormously popular Skyrim mods that make actual improvements to gameplay, not just ones that add pixelated female bosoms. Updated UI; new game mechanics; hell, even a couple of new quests or NPCs would have been a welcome change, instead of “Oh, we increased the texture quality by another 240p.”

          I don’t see what makes this Special Edition so “special” when all it does is add some new lighting and a couple of graphical options. We’ve had both of those things for years.

          • lordfirefox says:

            They added in 64-bit support which in itself is better than what the Original had.

    • fish99 says:

      Not saying I disagree with your general point, but the SE doesn’t have far better graphics, it’s a modest improvement.

      • Xzi says:

        It’s a downgrade compared to what many people already had installed for graphics mods. Looks like I can launch either version from Steam though so pretty much a neutral change. Hopefully mods run better on the new version once available, at least.

  7. Kian Alvane says:

    So far SE is a disappointment. First it used my integrated graphics card instead of GeForce card, then for some reason the borderless fullscreen mode had less resolution options than fullscreen so it didn’t cover my whole screen (I had to edit the ini file to fix this) and the worst of all: game crashes every time I try to enter the Mods menu. Overall it feels like they made a cheap console port and didn’t care about SE working well on PC :(

    • minijedimaster says:

      they made a cheap console port and didn’t care about SE working well on PC

      So its a Bethesda game? Thanks capt obvious.

    • Noshido says:

      The crashing issue is related to a windows issue. Press the windows key + R to open the run command, then type “services.msc” and enter. Navigate the list to the “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service” and open its properties. Then choose startup type: Disabled. Restart your system and your game will no longer crash. Hope this helps.

      • Kian Alvane says:

        Thanks for the reply but that didn’t help. I’ve read this helped people who experienced random crashes after 10-15 min of playing while my game crashes a few seconds after I choose Mods option. The game is trying to log in into the mod menu and then it CTDs.

  8. Distec says:

    I’ve been really confused by the criticism of NPC faces in recent Bethesda games. Even with the relatively recent FO4, I still see people complaining about “potato faces” and the like.

    But I’m just not seeing it. The absolute worst of this was in Oblivion. Even FO3 showed a marked improvement in this regard, and I’d say they’ve gotten better with each game. They’re not perfect, obviously; still more work to do there given you still get a few odd ones and they’re all stiff as a board. But they seem fine by all the standards of “modern games”, at least as far as I can tell.

    There’s a metric ass-ton to complain about when it comes to Bethesda games. But this particular one is starting seem like an old joke that’s worn thin; something people repeat like it’s common knowledge even though it has long stopped being the case.

    Or maybe my eyeballs have fallen out of my head and I have yet to realize this.

    • ffordesoon says:

      I agree, pretty much. The faces in vanilla Skyrim and Fallout 4 look fine. They’re not particularly expressive, and the quality varies, but they’re a damn sight better than the frightening molding-clay abominations in Oblivion and Fallout 3.

      The glaringly shitty thing in this day and age is really the relative lack of character model variety and bespoke animations. This is more true in Skyrim than Fallout 4, which does make some strides in that area, but both games definitely look stiff and plastic in a way games which run on newer tech don’t. I’m hardly a stickler for pretty graphics, which I often see as something of a waste of resources better allocated to other stuff, but The Witcher 3 is a testament to the narrative power of expressive bespoke animations for NPCs.

      • K_Sezegedin says:

        Ever notice how Skyrim’s crafting and labor animations are actually pretty good? You know, just the canned stuff your character or NPC’s do when forging, chopping wood, operating a sawmill or using the mortar and pestle.

        I bet Bethesda outsourced those cause they are so unlike any of the other animations in the game.

        • TillEulenspiegel says:

          Those animations can practically be treated as cutscenes. They’re completely fixed, with absolutely nothing else going on.

          That’s why they’re “better” than walking on arbitrarily sloped terrain while at the same time doing one of many attack animations in any direction. That shit is really complicated to get right.

          • K_Sezegedin says:

            Yeah I’d agree with you except that its not animation chaining or the real complicated stuff Beth seems bad at, they can’t even get the extremely basic things like a walking cycle on a flat surface or vertical jump to look like it was made by anyone with a modicrum of animation talent.

  9. ErraticGamer says:

    It’s been a long time since I Skyrim’d, and I’m sure I was never using the “best” mods, but the upgraded water was immediately apparent as soon as I got to the first town by the river. Looks real nice. The lighting and particle upgrades look pretty, too.

    I’m happy to start over. It’s a nice game to come back to.

  10. Deptfordx says:

    I can see the difference in the surface world.

    I have to say though, when you go underground for some dungeon delving, I really can’t see much of a difference between the Vanilla and Remastered. At least on PC with those offical Hi-res textures they released a while back.

  11. mxmissile says:

    Really wish they would have followed Paradox’s achievement/mod API rules. Where if a mod did not mess core game play it would still allow achievements. Mods like SKSE, Quick Start etc should still allow achievements. But mods that add sum-sword-plus-1000 would of course disable achievements.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      if a mod did not mess core game play

      This can be incredibly difficult to define and evaluate. I haven’t written a Bethesda game mod since Oblivion, but I think it would require some moderately sophisticated static analysis.

      IMO, just allow achievements regardless. It will always be cheatable with a tiny bit of effort.

      • sithalo says:

        i dont see most games being cheatable for their achievements with just a tiny bit of effort. i guess i dont really look either but the only time ive seen people cheating for achievements where when mods wouldnt stop them.

        • Regicider 12.4% says:

          If people like to cheat for achievements on PC, most of the time they just have to paste a save file into a folder. I know I got a bunch by accident in Skyrim by just playing around with the console while testing mods and saving/loading.

          It was the same when people competed for gamescore on Xbox 360 when achievements took off, before developers started locking and encrypting savefiles (like GfWL), because Achievements and Leaderboards are The Serious Olympics of Gaming.

          The usual procedure was
          •Buy/trade/rent game.
          •Download saves.
          •Import and Load saves.
          •Achievements get.
          •Return game.
          Some weird people lived for that stuff.

  12. Turkey says:

    Countdown to CD Project using the opportunity to pull a SEGA/Nintendon’t pr move on Bethesda.

  13. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    If you’d been thinking that this would surely be better than the original Skyrim five days ago, you wouldn’t have been able to read a review to inform you of the reality. Just putting that out there.

  14. karmamule says:

    One thing they managed to do that no mod was able to do was get rid of almost all the z-fighting. That constant distant mountain shimmer in some places as you moved was really annoying. One particularly bad example was when leaving White Run.

    It’s gone in all but a few small cases, and that alone makes me very happy. I’m annoyed they couldn’t fix the 21:9 HUD scaling problem, but I’ll live with that for now and hope the author of flawless widescreen puts out a fix.

    As an alt-aholic having character-specific saves is also a really big deal for me, so I appreciate that too. Overall I’m happy with it. I’m not going to get all bitter about something given to me for free. :)

    • Yontevnknow says:

      Hearing this makes me very happy. I remember having to turn down and adjust alot of settings to keep my backdrop from driving me insane.

    • K_Sezegedin says:

      They got rid of z-fighting? Wow that is a big deal.

  15. agholt1 says:

    Not sure why this happens, it is just since I got the updates version of Skyrim, I can be in a fight and the game stops, I just hope this issue gets fixed, plus on my other pc the game acts like it if trying to freeze up. I hope these issues gets fixed. Skyrim is one of my favorite games.

  16. sabrage says:

    Guess I’m gonna be the squeaky wheel again: what the hell happened to full-size screenshots? First the captions, now the pixels…

    You even mock “fuzzy 720p” right before posting agonizing 260p!

  17. pfooti says:

    Yeah, I installed it yesterday evening and played the first few hours. It didn’t strike me as qualitatively better, graphics-wise, than the original version with high-end texture packs and other extensions. I did immediately notice that the stock windmill blades look tiny, and longed for the mod I had that made the windmills look more wind-mill-y.

    On a whole, I find it worth what I paid for it (nothing). I can’t say I’d pay for it, unless I hadn’t already owned Skyrim.

  18. Rizlar says:

    They fucking love them some bloom effects and depth of field. It’s sort of ridiculous. Like playing Guild Wars: Skyrim. Even with DOF turned down to zero in the options, whenever you move it still blurs everything like some sort of indiscriminate motion blur effect.

    Runs way smoother than vanilla Skyrim though, if you are after the ultimate modded run this seems like the one to go for.

    • Dave Money says:

      The blur on everything when you move is the temporal anti-aliasing, not the DOF. Looks bad though, I agree.

      Sorry for mega-late response, i was just browsing these comments, cos i only just got round to checking out the special edition ;)

  19. Stevostin says:

    I don’t understand all the fuss about UI. Skyrim’s vanilla UI just works for me. It’s not really a concern. Can’t say I spend ages on it. UI was an issue in FNV, with some features (extra crafting) clearly not suited for the way the UI works. But people don’t realise it’s more of a drag than say Massive Effects because you actually do massively more things with that inventory. Way, way more items. Potions, enchanting, all sort of crafting, selling to the right shop, companion inventory, stolen goods etc. There’s no way it can end up super simple. Some would prefer “windows like” or “excel like” UI. I don’t. Windows or Excel, I’ve got at work. It’s the last feel I want for a game about evasion from reality. Can I do everything I need fast ? I certainly can. I tend to think that if you can’t, you may be clumsy.

    • Sandepande says:

      Oh yes.

    • Rizlar says:

      Indeed, it didn’t take long to get used to the menu interface and since then it’s been fast and easy to use. Installed SkyUI once and the clicking felt clumsy and massively worse.

      But that’s just me. Different people have different tastes. If you prefer SkyUI, more power to ye. Personally I find the default UI to be fine.

  20. drinniol says:

    So, day 1, Skyrim SE looks as good as Skyrim graphically modded (instagram filter ENBs notwithstanding). There’s also 13 pages of mods on the Nexus. I’m having trouble seeing what all the complaints are about.

    Oh, and the instagram filter ENBs are there, too.

    • brucethemoose says:

      I know what you mean, but with access to the depth buffer, post processors like ENBs can do more than just that.

  21. wbarnes1989 says:

    I’ve been playing Skyrim since it came out. I started modding it after about 2 hours of vanilla hell. My average mod build runs around 150-200 mods with or without ENB. And I will say right now, if you can’t tell the difference between vanilla Skyrim and the Special Edition you are either blind or paid to pretend. The lighting improvement is easily noticable. The shadows are DEFINITELY improved. Instead of the horror show that was the original blocky shadows. They are now mostly smooth and good looking. The textures look great, although modded textures do look better that’s not the point. The game runs better and at higher resolutions. I’m easily 4K’ing skyrim. The mod interface is easy to use but could be better. As soon as the game was unlocked I was able to install 20 or so decent mods. I carried over my Sounds of Skyrim mod for extra audio. Because if anyone did their research the main unsupported mods require SKSE or are BSA archives. ESP only and audio are still, for the most part, cross-compatible. Also, The game actually takes advantage of my M.2 where as vanilla skyrim did not. I have practically 0 load time at any point after start up. The 64bit support has made a huge stability leap for the game in high load scenarios. This article is just pure garbage. It was free for anyone who gave a crap. Who took a dump in your cheerios bro?

    • fdel says:

      You sir deserve to read this:
      I bet they thought that it would be a bit pushing the line, too much even for them, to sell its former customers, another time, a game they already paid for, especially the ones with the DLC. Especially an half assed upgrade, that is by all PC standard, obsolete (ENB or not). SE It comes in its full glory with all the bugs and shortcomings (minus 2 or 3)…and of course all the broken quests. So lazy they weren t even able to incorporate the unoficial patches that correct their drollings.
      But ho! wait! This SE ain t intended for PC gamers, it is intended to poor consoles bastard!!!! Well lets sell it for PC also..see what we can cash grab.
      Come on Bethesda has been an terrible company with half assed products since morrrowind…They do half the basic the modder do the rest and fix and sell for them.
      Bethesda haven t changed the damn engine since 2002. Its been freaking 15 years almost, 5 games + a pletora of DLC that loaded their butt of money. And no decent engine.
      But since they are on a market with no competition, they vomit any garbage product full of bugs, half assed gameplay, mainstreamed, badly written, and there s still people kissing they rear end in full joy.

      • Yontevnknow says:

        Yes, how dare they.
        You need to request steam take back your free game.

        Yep, its was a buggy, ugly, boring game, that was limited by the amount of memory it could use.
        In a few months, it will be a buggy, ugly, boring game, that is only held back by the mod limit, and by what your computer can handle.

      • perilousrob says:

        So… all those people on consoles that for years desperately wished to be able to mod Skyrim… ignore them?

        Ignore those who get to play Skyrim on their new console at all, despite the enormous graphical and stability upgrade it represents vs the ps3/xb360 versions?

        Ignore all those people who, from day dot, complained & asked for a 64bit version of skyrim? Ignore every single frickin complaint about memory handling, engine bugs, and so on & so forth…

        And why are they to ignore all this? Because some idiot will decide it’s a cash grab and feel free to bad mouth a company for doing *exactly* what it’s been asked to.


        Bethesda makes *two* of the few series of video games I know I’ll buy. Sure, they do depend on the modding community a little more than they should. It would be nice if they’d address engine bugs a bit more quickly than 5 years later. Still, every game has represented an engine update. Your talk of no changes since 2002 is total BS. Are you also complaining at Epic for still using Unreal Engine? Clearly a version number change means nothing to you.

        Regardless, other than a very few other titles, who else creates games that have people with *thousands* of hours of playtime? I have 2336 hours of playtime in original skyrim on steam. I know people with more too. People pay full-price for a game with 1/100th of the play-time. Those who hated NMS and played it just more than their allowed 2hrs (before they couldnt refund) got 1/1000th of what I’ve had from Skyrim. And you have the gall to call Skyrim Special Edition a cashgrab?

        Get over yourself.

    • Elric666 says:

      I don’t understand why everyone is saying the lighting was improved. I compared screenshots on various sites and in the SE -everything- simply looks brighter and especially paler, which for me makes everything look flatter. Compare these shots on PC Gamer especially the one with Solitude in the background. The Special Edition is completely missing the shadow of the mountain on the water. The god rays are an improvement, but otherwise all of the shots look worse to me than in the original. But perhaps I simply prefer my Skyrim to be gloomier and not as bright.

      • drinniol says:

        The lighting depends much more on the weather now, and the screenshots on PCGamer have tended to be much sunnier than it usually is in the game.

        • Elric666 says:

          I hope so. Anyhow, I guess once some essential mods get ported over, I’ll prefer the SE anyway for the stability improvements. Still have some story mods on my list that I haven’t touched yet, Moonpath, Forgotten City, Gray Cowl of Nocturnal…

  22. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Played 10 minutes of the game tonight. Ralof bugged out and couldn’t make it through the door for the first fight against the two Stormcloaks. Then the game crashed.

    Feels good to be back in Skyrim.

  23. Aldehyde says:

    All I ever wanted from Skyrim was improved quest logs so that I wouldn’t have to use magic makers on the map to know where to go.

    It took away my whole sense of actually exploring the world since it seemed I knew exactly where things were already. Even If I was, supposedly, on the hunt for something the quest giver only had a vague idea about where I had to go.

    I looked for a mod to do something like that for the first few months to a year after release. Has there been something like that?

    It’s something that keeps me from enjoying most open world games. I just don’t see the point if my character seems to magically know the whereabouts of everything already.

  24. Legion1183 says:

    about as transformational as wiping the toilet seat

    This made me really laugh out loud, lolz

  25. Radavvadra says:

    Some mods dont even need to be ported to work just to be user friendly. Model and texture replacers can be pretty much just copied from normal skyrim and they will work. Warning though some of them will cause CTD on the character creation menu, but they can just be temporarily disabled by renaming the model and texture folders in skyrim data folder to get around this.

  26. shagen454 says:

    I loaded it up for shits and giggles. Definitely could not tell much of a difference.

    The only good remaster I’ve played is the Homeworld remaster. And Day of the Tentacle, but I honestly never liked that game.

    The only game, in my opinion, that actually needs a well done remaster is Interstate ’76. Seriously, use a modern engine, stay close to the original design / artwork assets. AAA game right there.

  27. lordfirefox says:

    What I expected from Skyrim: Special Edition:

    1. Pretty graphics
    2. 64-bit support

    What I got from Skyrim: Special Edition:

    1: Pretty Graphics
    2. 64-bit support

    What everyone else expected from Skyrim: Special Edition:

    1. The second coming of Jesus Christ.

    • Neurotic says:

      64-bit support has been there almost from the beginning, as a minor adjustment to some .ini file or something. I forget now. :p

      • FoolishOwl says:

        You might be thinking of some tweak to texture settings or something like that. This is a more significant change, and definitely not one that was present from the beginning: the executable code has been compiled as 64-bit, meaning it can access significantly more RAM and make greater use of CPU power.

        Honestly, it’s been astonishing to me that, long after 64-bit CPUs became common, when it’s difficult to even find a personal computer with a 32-bit CPU, most Windows apps are still compiled 32-bit. It’s especially weird with games, which could really take advantage of the improved resources.

  28. SaerwenGloom says:

    Is anyone else experiencing a severe loss of audio? I mean like seriously I can hardly hear the npc’s talk. It is horrible. I went back to my modded Skyrim.

  29. werwerwsx says:

    Question for you lot, as someone who bought the Legendary Edition a year ago on sale, before never actually getting around to playing it. Which one should I play? I got SE for free, but according to some the original is better. Any opinions would be great!

  30. Robmonster says:

    So, for people considering a return to the original game what are the Must Have Mods to apply?

  31. tryst46 says:

    Well they got further than I did. Having to sit through that long and drawn out intro that you can’t escape from did it for me. I think I made it to halfway through it before realising that Bethesda hadn’t listened to a word any of the fans said, otherwise they would have put in a means to escape that intro at the very least.

    Seems to me that, apart from a few graphical changes that are not even on par with the original if you’d added the texture packs, the code appears to be simply the original source run through a 64 bit compiler.

  32. Safetytrousers says:

    The game at max settings at 1440p runs at a completely constant, rock solid, 60fps for me.
    I can easily notice differences between the previous PC version and the SE. They are totally clear and obvious to me. Honestly, the article writer should not be able to allowed to write anything if he propogates misrepresentations like he has in this article.

  33. FoolishOwl says:

    I found performance acceptable on my system, which is between the minimum and recommended specs, when Skyrim SE was released. Shortly after that, there was an update to Nvidia’s graphic drivers that noticeably improved performance.

    Now I find the game plays as well as ever, with some subtle graphic improvements. The only reason I can see not to prefer this version is if there’s a mod that hasn’t been ported to the new version. It looks like actively maintained and popular mods are being ported rapidly, however.

  34. twocastles says:

    When I start the Special Edition, it does not get the proper graphics card information. It limits me to widescreen settings, despite “identifying my graphics display settings”. I want to set it to 1280 x 1024, but, it doesn’t find it. It’s annoying. Still trying to find a solution.

    • Taurnil says:

      Imagine my unsurprised annoyance that I still have to jump hoops for it to look good and mostly right on my LG 34UM95. Unfortunately Flawless Widescreen doesn’t have a plugin in for SE and while I can twiddle with this and that this is the 21st Century for Pete’s sake. Is it that hard to support 3440×1440 (21:9)?

  35. Taurnil says:

    Well. OTOH I applaud Bethesda for making a 64bit version of Skyrim. Now at least 4G ram barrier is gone. Thank you.

    Now for the other hand. The folks responsible for the Unofficial Skyrim patches have done more than a bangup job correcting more errors than can be counted. As they have repeatedly stated the changes/fixes made by their patch do not required SKSE or anything other than the base game and DLCs.

    For me it is a head slap why Bethesda continues to ignore their work and not include them in updates. For Pete’s sake Bethesda, they did all the work for you and you couldn’t/can’t spend the 15 minutes to incorporate them?