The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR has jacked into PC

It’s time to hang a pine-scented Little Tree air freshener from your cybergoggs because The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR last night launched on PC, following its console debut in November 2017. It’s Skyrim but in VR, yeah? Put your feet in a foot spa while you sit by a river in the rain, hang an old sock over your nose when venturing into Blackreach, and punch yourself in the knee any time you drag up tired memes. Ow.

Skyrim VR is… it is Skyrim but in VR–for both good and bad–you know? Much like Fallout 4 VR. Some bunch of idiots at some website named Rock, Paper, Shotgun declared Skyrim their favourite game of 2011, which is of course nonsense given that the plot, quests, writing, combat, stealth, loot, movement, and crafting are all totes rubbo, but jacking into Skyrim VR surely delivers an experience closer to what Skyrim is good at: going for a nice walk inside a distant virtuaworld.

Well, it is also good for larking about (sometimes even dicking about) with mods, and regular Skyrim mods will work in Skyrim VR after a little fiddling. Though I’m not a gogghead myself, I do like the idea of slamming in mods to spread forests and reduce enemy spawns then going for a virtuastroll.

I’m telling you, Skyrim is a perfect demonstration of the anxiety at the heart of many big fancy open-world games: they want to be walking simulators but don’t have the confidence so they’re pumped full of shonky gamebits to justify wandering an unknown land looking at ruins and/or wildlife and occasionally making friends. But those fools at ‘RPS’ will tell you this bag of jank is great, so whatever.

Skyrim VR packs Skyrim’s three expansions, Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. It supports Vive, Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality cybergoggles for your face and a gamepad or motion controllers for your hands. It’s out now for £40/€60/$60 on Steam. No, there is no discount for people who’ve already bought either version of Skyrim.

Here’s an old trailer from the PSVR version:

32 Comments

  1. Kefren says:

    They often don’t show the UI in promo stuff – have they improved the inventory and interface screens for the VR version? It would seem weird to still have scrolling lists in VR. It was the UI that killed Skyrim for me each time I tried it. I think the longest I lasted was two hours before uninstalling again.

    • fish99 says:

      Same inventory.

    • waltC says:

      If you didn’t mod PC Skyrim the game wasn’t worth it, imo. Modded, even the inventory shined (Sky UI.)

      I love these various VR photos–this one looks like the guy’s head is being crushed in a vice and his mouth is open because he is screaming in agony…;)

    • Kefren says:

      Thanks, I’ll pass then. Even SkyUI was awful for me – just turned it from a list into a spreadsheet. The UI I like is the one from Might&Magic/Dungeon Master/Morrowind/Grimrock etc etc (items in a backpack that can be dragged round, and equipped by putting them in slots on your figure/character). In VR they could do something more innovative. But scrolling lists are horrible.

  2. napoleonic says:

    Logged in to say that was an ace tooltip.

  3. WarderDragon says:

    I’ll probably pick this up for my Vive, but not until modders have fixed the UI and not until the price drops. I’m not paying full price for a game I already own.

  4. dagnamit says:

    Love the title picture.

    I also would have accepted “lady with joystick sitting too close to the monitor with a VIVE on her head, but the screen still shows Skyrim as if she’s looking at it through the headset.” I have no photoshop skills, just dreams.

    • Catchcart says:

      Well, you can never have too much “lady with joystick sitting too close to the monitor”. In fact, how great would an all stock-image week at RPS be? It’s the kind of constriction that drives creativity.

    • Don Reba says:

      Hey, that’s a great idea! Here you go: link to i.imgur.com

      • Premium User Badge

        Qazinsky says:

        MVP right here, people. Bonus points if any news station uses this picture to represent PC gaming in a story.

  5. Vandelay says:

    What are those RPS lot smoking? Never did trust them, that is why I stay here at Alice & Lads’ Plunkbat & Devil Daggers Fan Site.

    Despite never having played much more than a few hours of Skyrim, I would be tempted to pick this up at a reasonable price. They have done better than Fallout 4 by including the DLC, but £40 for such an old game really doesn’t seem justifiable.

  6. Vacuity729 says:

    This stuff is basically what may persuade me to buy some goggles. Is Skyrim a great computer game? Not exactly, but it’s a great experience, and that seems like a natural fit for VR.
    I’d really like to know how good movement, stealth, combat and so on are like. Does anyone have as link to one or more good reviews? Not a Youtube review, please.

    • Grim_22 says:

      link to roadtovr.com

      Sadly, it seems that it’s not up to par. Melee combat feels wonky and weightless and locomotion is either teleport or directed by hands instead of head (wtf?). But the one thing that really got to my nerves was that they didn’t bother to model hands, and instead show your motion controllers when nothing is equipped. Even though they already have perfectly fine hand models in the existing assets! It’s ridiculous.

      On the plus side, it’s supposed to be amazing to walk in the environments, though.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        I want to point out that hand-based smooth locomotion is what most people prefer, so it is often the default in smooth loco VR games. Head-based is a vocal minority. I can’t stand it personally, but yeah, it would have been good to include.

        It should be easy to enable in an ini, I’m sure someone has already figured out the command.

        • Grim_22 says:

          Really? I’ve been using the Rift for a good few years now and the only game I’ve played with hand-based locomotion is (the admittedly absolutely stellar) Echo Arena.

          Fair play if that’s the case, though – my personal preferences aside.

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            I can’t wait until we get some basic torso tracking and can ditch both systems, personally.

      • fish99 says:

        The movement based on controller direction thing is already fixable via ini tweaks, but I’d sure like that option in the game instead.

      • David says:

        Actually, I was playing yesterday, and at one point, I unequiped my sword, and shield, and voila!, I could see my hands just fine. However, there does seem to be graphical glitches, as sometimes my sword will disappear, and during combat, this could be especially hazardous to one’s health. I do hope they intend on releasing patches to this, as it does seem buggy. Sometimes, after releasing a dragon shout, it will keep shouting; after swing my weapon, it will keep making the sounds as if I am still swinging the weapon; things like that. I loved Skyrim on the PC, and I want to love it in VR, but these glitches need to be addressed.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’ve been enjoying all the core systems of the game in VR. Some people complain about the lack of weight to the swords, but I don’t really get it. I find it extremely satisfying to swing them around in real space. And the bow mechanic is wonderful. You actually knock and release the string (just make sure you turn on realistic aiming if you ever want to actually hit anything).

      Magic casting is where it really shines, since the Skyrim magic system is a very natural fit for VR.

      Stealth is Skyrim stealth, so pretty basic, but it works.

      The sense of scale really changes things. Suddenly the buildings are massive, as are the rabbits, oddly.

      Overall, while I wish they’d redone the interface and added better VR physics interaction (and the ability to grip items with your hand, instead of just re-using the original item pickup system) I think this is one of the real must-own VR titles.

      • Hone McBone says:

        The melee combat for Skyrim was never that great on keyboard & mouse or a controller, I think it’s actually a lot better using motion controllers where you can block with a shield, side step & thrust.

        Did you set stealth from comfort to crouching? Crouching really adds to the immersion for stealth.

        The interface is a bit weird, while the majority of it is a flat UI (which is usable) the map is fully 3d & the talent constellations wrap right around you & look great.

        Definitely the definitive version of Skyrim & a quality port to VR.

      • Xigageshi says:

        The magic casting is literally awesome. I loved the original pretty much entirely because it let me bomb around the world shooting lightning at things but this is a cut above.

        You can independently target spells with each hand, meaning you can “spark” two targets simultaneously, and being able to freely target any direction around you without having to look in the direction is amazing and has probably already ruined regular Skyrim for me.

        It has flaws sure, and be sure to go over all the settings both in the menu and in the INI (there’s a reddit thread for that I believe) those settings solve a lot of gripes, including the hand based movement that some people were mentioning. I never had a problem with the UI, so it’s probably no surprise that I don’t here. It’s also still kind of plagued by not quite knowing what it wants room-scale to be used for, Which is a problem it shares with fallout vr and a load of other games really.

        Caveats aside though, if you’ve ever wanted to murder scores of people with waves of lightning coming out of your hands while screaming “UNLIMITED POWER” well then, Skyrim VR was made for you.
        (I literally did this, woke up most of my house with two straight minutes of mad cackling like a drunk-on-his-power dungeon master.)

  7. Moonracer says:

    I’ll probably hold out a little longer before picking this up. There are some great VR experiences like Vanishing Realms that do this sort of combat right and (from what I’ve read) it seems Skyrim VR did not attempt to learn from those titles.

  8. geldonyetich says:

    Having played it a bit, it’s a great port. Plays just fine on my Oculus. I will say that Skyrim’s already wonky balance is even a bit wonkier when you can teleport around, melee attack several times a second, and fire your bow as fast as you can draw it. But it’s great fun, and the community had mods up and working day one, with any SE-edition mod that doesn’t require SKSE working like a charm.

  9. mlj11 says:

    I don’t get why it’s so fashionable to hate on Skyrim. It came out way back in 2011 and as far as 7 year old games are concerned it’s still pretty good today.

    Subjective tastes aside Skyrim’s open world is still one of the best virtual places to explore, especially when accompanied by its stellar soundtrack. Its other gameplay systems may not have aged quite so well but these can be mitigated by it having one of the best mod libraries for any game ever.

    In fact I’m personally waiting for another playthrough later this year when some of the established mods for the older edition get ported to the Special Edition.

    • Sandepande says:

      Well, it’s popular while having a number of perceived flaws, most of them subjective.

  10. fish99 says:

    I’m having a ball so far. Done Bleek Falls Barrow and then killed the first dragon. Archery is especially good, and feels very satisfying when you pull off a hard shot. It feels way more like it’s based on your skill, plus you can shoot as quick as you can draw the bow. Melee feels a bit meh, but I don’t know how they would simulate weapon weight when they can’t restrict how quick your arms move. You can always fix some weights to your wrists if you want :p

    What it’s really about though is that extra immersion, having a life-like scale to everything, and getting closer to feeling like you’re actually there.

    Playing on a Rift with a 1070, using smooth turning and locomotion.

  11. Sin Vega says:

    I still walk everywhere in Skyrim. I still haven’t even looked at the map, or seen a dragon, or joined any guilds. I mostly just hunt and sell stuff and stroll about trying not to get killed.

  12. TheCze says:

    I never was a fan of the original Skyrim, played only for an hour or so, but man this VR version is really awesome. Everything looks just super impressive.

  13. Kandello says:

    I politely shit on all the fancy new we-just-recycle-a-seven-year-old-game-to-milk-the-cash-cow-versions os Skyrim. Just gimmme Elder Scrolls VI!

  14. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I quite like Skyrim. Yes they’re milking the girl dry, but it’s still a fun romp now and then, and slapping a few dozens mods on it can make it feel fresh, for a while.

    But frankly the conversion to VR seems a bit pants. I mean, you still click buttons to open doors, open chests, etc. You don’t physically exist any more than before, you can just look around a bit. At least that’s the impression I get from what I’ve seen.

    How dull. Still though, being able to look around is neat. Maybe I’ll pick it up when it’s not full price for a game I already own two of.