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Skyrim SE's First Patch Tackles Sound, Speed & Saves

Though popular, the latest Bethesda RPG has been met with grumbling about technical whatnots, because really that’s just an unhealthy habit that everyone on both sides of the equation has fallen into. As per usual also, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition [official site] has started up the patch engines, with the first one addressing grump-o-causing issues such as sound quality, AWOL NPCs and savegame compatability.

There’s nothing that’s going to Fus-Ro-Dah your copy of the game into looking ten times prettier or running twice as fast, but the patch notes certainly read like a good start at tackling the various issues raised to date:

  • General performance and optimization improvements
  • Fixed rare issue with NPCs not appearing in proper locations
  • Fixed issue with saves erroneously being marked as Modded, even though no mods are active
  • Updated some sound files to not use compression

The last one relates to a complaint that Skyrim SE uses lower quality music and sound effects than the original. It’s something that many, if not most, people will even notice, but it’s nice to see that they’re doing something about it for those whose ears scream in misery about it.

The savegame thing is handy, though doesn’t relate to the wider issue of Skyrim SE very often not playing nice with saves from modded Skyrim saves – the good news is that there are ways to fix that yourself.

The first entry is probably the closest we have to a humdinger, even though it’s entirely short on detail. There have been complaints that Skyrim SE runs significantly worse than maxed-out Skyrim + official HD texture pack, despite not looking enormously improved on PC. I’ve certainly found that to be the case, albeit not disastrously so as I have a Freesync monitor, but for the 60fps or GTFO crowd there’s been teeth-grinding about not necessarily being able to run the thing at Ultra settings.

So: noticed any boost because of the patch? If you haven’t, it might well be because you need to manually opt into a beta update. Bethesda tend to trial their patches to opter-inners before making them mandatory updates, y’see.

If you want it, right-click on Skyrim SE in your Steam library, click Properties, select the Betas tab, then choose Beta from the drop-down list. Hit OK, then sit through the game updating itself. Then go see if matters are any better.

Meanwhile, the mods, they’s a comin’, so if anything’s been annoying you, it’s worth checking the Steam Workshop to see if anyone who feels similarly has been motivated enough to do something about it.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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