The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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This page is for the original release. For the Special Edition, see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. For the VR version, see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim cover
Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda Softworks
Creation Engine
Release dates
Windows November 11, 2011
Metacritic 94
Monetization DLC
Microtransactions None
Modes Singleplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres ARPG, Open world
Art styles Realistic
Themes Fantasy
Series The Elder Scrolls
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on HowLongToBeat
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on IGDB
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim guide on StrategyWiki
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on MobyGames
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Wikipedia
The Elder Scrolls: Arena 1994
The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall 1996
An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire 1997
The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard 1998
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind 2002
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 2006
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 2011
The Elder Scrolls Online 2014
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition 2016
The Elder Scrolls: Legends 2017
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR 2018
The Elder Scrolls: Blades TBA
The Elder Scrolls VI TBA

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a singleplayer first-person and third-person ARPG and open world game in the The Elder Scrolls series.

Key points

A wide array of bugs have been fixed through the community patches. See Unofficial patches.
Active modding community, more mods can be found here

General information

Official manual
Official forums
Steam Community Discussions
GeForce Tweak Guide


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
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Icon overlay.png
Legendary Edition also available. Also available in The Elder Scrolls Anthology.
Icon overlay.png
Legendary Edition also available.
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Legendary Edition also available.
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Legendary Edition also available.
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Legendary Edition also available.
Icon overlay.png
All versions require Steam DRM.
Owners of Skyrim and all DLC received The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition for free (limited time offer, ended on release date of Special Edition).[1]

Version differences[edit]

The Elder Scrolls Anthology includes Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim along with all the main expansions and DLC.
The Legendary Edition is a complete edition of Skyrim with all its DLC.


DLC and expansion packs

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Modify configuration file[2]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Go to the [General] section.
  4. Add the following line sIntroSequence=.
  5. Save your changes.
Go to <path-to-game>\Data\Video and delete BGS_Logo.bik[3]

Enabling data files[edit]

Modify configuration file[2]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Go to the [Launcher] section.
  4. Add the following line bEnableFileSelection=1.
  5. Save your changes.


Before installing any mods, SKSE and either Vortex or Mod Organizer should be installed.

Unofficial patches[edit]

Community-created patches which fix many issues which otherwise remain unresolved in the official patches, such as rendering issues and subtitle coding errors.
Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch.

Mod Organizer[edit]

Powerful and easy to use mod manager with mod virtualization, in order to keep the installation folder clean.
Features a configuration editor, the SKSE executable can also be set to be launched through the configurator.


SkyUI is required by certain mods in order to tweak and configure them.
Advanced user interface, optimized for keyboard and mouse usage while being highly customizable.

Corrupted NIFs Patches - CNP[edit]

Replaces NIF files in the official game files and mods for a CTD-Free game.
Greatly reduces the amount of CTD to occur during in-game.

Crash Fixes[edit]

Requires SKSE.
Fixes some of the crashes in Skyrim.

Bug fixes[edit]

Requires SKSE.
Fixes some engine related bugs in game.

PerformanceHitRelief Remastered - PHR_RE[edit]

Removes grass, trees, clouds, fog and many more to keep a stable game.
Greatly improves FPS performance, but also reduces visuals to the point the game looks unrealistic.

A Comprehensive and Helpful Guide To Increase Skyrim's Performance - FPS and Stability[edit]

Tweaks every aspect of the game to achieve maximum stability and FPS performance.
Greatly improves stability as well as FPS performance.
Depending on choice, no affect on visual whatsoever.


Available as a Steam-based mod for ease-of-use.
Required by most mods.
Save bloating cleaner[citation needed]

This is a partial fix for loose scripts, more advanced editing is required in order to remove broken scripts which may be stuck on the game's currently used thread.

  1. Go to <path-to-game>\data\SKSE
  2. Open SKSE.ini.
  3. Add ClearInvalidRegistrations=1 under the [General] section.
Memory Management Fix[citation needed]

This fixes crashes and infinite loading screens that occur when the game engine fails to allocate more memory than the engine was originally intended to due to modding.[4]

Only works with SKSE 1.7 or newer.
  1. Go to <path-to-game>\data\SKSE
  2. Open SKSE.ini.
  3. Add the following lines under the [Memory] section.


To figure out if you need the extra memory you can use the SKSE plugin Memory Blocks Log. This can reduce performance and should only be used while testing.


Use the installation instructions from the preset if used.
Fixes issue when there is no more available video memory, a problem that occurs when using high resolution texture mods.
Allows for significant graphical improvements, such as real-time reflections, image-based lighting, and volumetric sky rendering.
Can force V-sync, frame limiter, and Borderless-Windowed mode.
Installing ENB Without graphical improvements[citation needed]
  1. Download the version of the ENB for Skyrim.
  2. Unzip files and transfer all files inside "WrapperVersion" to the installation folder.
  3. Open enblocal.ini with Notepad and use the enblocal.ini Setup Guide to assist with the settings. Make sure "UsePatchSpeedhackWithoutGraphics" and "SpeedHack" is set to "True".


You have to start the game with enbhost.exe if SKSE is not installed.
Only install weather helper mod if preset requires it.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/72850/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Saves\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/72850/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Stores up to 200 MB of game saves online (maximum 1000 files).


Launcher video settings.
Launcher video settings.
Launcher advanced video settings.
Launcher advanced video settings.
In-game display settings.
In-game display settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Use Flawless Widescreen or Widescreen Fixer.
Set in SkyrimPrefs.ini.[citation needed]
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
See Field of view (FOV)
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use OneTweak.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
See Anisotropic filtering (AF).
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA, MSAA. SGSSAA can be utilized through anti-aliasing compatibility bits 0x000002C1 under Nvidia Inspector.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
See Vertical sync (Vsync) to disable.
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Havok physics do not function correctly past 60 FPS without first editing a configuration file.[5] See Frame rate (FPS).

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

Modify configuration file[2]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Add the following lines under the [Display] section:
Replace X with your preferred FOV.
Console command[6]
  1. Open the console ingame (~) and type in the following: fov X.
  2. Replace X with your preferred FOV.


This is not permanent, the FOV will reset after restarting the game.

Anisotropic filtering (AF)[edit]

Enable improved AF for Nvidia graphics cards[7]
  1. Open Nvidia Control Panel.
  2. Select Manage 3D settings.
  3. Select Program Settings tab.
  4. Under 1. Select a program to customize: select Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  5. Under Anisotropic filtering select your quality of preference.
  6. Click Apply and close Nvidia Control Panel.
  7. Open Skyrim Launcher and select OPTIONS.
  8. Under Anisotropic Filtering, in Skyrim Launcher, select Off (best performance) then click OK.

Vertical sync (Vsync)[edit]

Modify configuration file[2]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Change iVSyncPresentInterval=1 to iVSyncPresentInterval=0 to disable Vsync.

Fast Sync tweak[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. See Vertical sync (Vsync) to disable Vsync.
  2. Enable Fast-Sync through the Nvidia CP for TES V: Skyrim (Nvidia Drivers 368.22 and later).
  3. Limit or cap the frame rate with Nvidia Profile Inspector to 60 FPS.


This reduce "input lag" as well as eliminates the screen tearing that would occur when playing with v-sync normally off.
This is only suitable for certain PC configurations: ie. 60 Hz monitor with a high-end GPU which is able to render TES V: Skyrim over 60 FPS constantly.

Frame rate (FPS)[edit]

Nvidia have added a FPS cap fail-safe to the game. Use Nvidia Profile Inspector to disable FPS cap.
These tweaks allow playing the game at high frame rates without the known physics problems that occur. It is possible this fix will negatively affect scripts and cause unforeseen issues. Use at your own risk.
Automatically fix high FPS physics[8]
This method has the advantage of preventing FPS drops caused by the game not being able to achieve the target FPS.
  1. Install SKSE.
  2. Install the SKSE Havok Fix mod.


The plugin will automatically edit iPresentInterval to an appropriate value for the current FPS.
Manually fix high FPS physics[5]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Under section [Display] add line iPresentInterval=0
  4. Add the section [HAVOK] and under it add line fMaxTime=(1 / Desired refresh rate) to correct the physics, e.g. for a 144 Hz monitor you would add fMaxTime=0.0069.


Skyrim must still be limited to the new refresh rate in order to avoid glitches
Set Refresh rate on 60hz[citation needed]


In-game gameplay settings.
In-game gameplay settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
The Favorites system may not work if you remap keys related to it.
Mouse acceleration
The bMouseAcceleration= setting in SkyrimPrefs.ini has no effect.[9]
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Certain input fields require a keyboard.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
For DualShock use the SkyUI-PS3Buttons Mod
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Use Controller and keyboard simultaneously mod to make keyboard and gamepad work, no support for mouse.[10]


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, sound effects, footsteps, voices and music.
Surround sound
Up to 5.1 only.[11]
Dialogue and general sounds.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
On by default, see Mute on focus lost to disable.
EAX support
Use X3DAudio HRTF. Requires 24000Hz .mhr file to prevent sounds playing at full volume at any distance, or possible crashes.[12]

Mute on focus lost[edit]

Modify configuration file[13]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Under [General] add the following line bAlwaysActive=1.
  4. Save your changes.


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Vanilla and Hearthfire. A translation is available here.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, download.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
TriDef 3D
G3D, Z3D, DirectVR
Officially supported Game. Excellent 3D in all Modes.
Devices Native Notes
Novint Falcon

Issues fixed[edit]

Ambient Occlusion Bleeding on Nvidia graphics cards[edit]

The official Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000029 has bleeding issues.[14]
Use Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000032 instead[14]
  1. Download and run Nvidia Profile Inspector.
  2. Under Profiles select Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  3. Under Ambient Occlusion compatibility insert the flag 0x00000032.
  4. Under Ambient Occlusion usage select Enabled.
  5. Under Ambient Occlusion setting select your quality of preference, but in order to use HBAO+ you must use Quality or High Quality.
  6. Click Apply changes.

Blurry text[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Open the AMD Control Center.
  2. Add TESV.exe, and disable the Morphological Filtering.


If AMD complains about an existing profile the error can be safely ignored.

Stuttering on a laptop[edit]

This fix only applies to laptops running on Windows 7.
Changing the maximum processor state[citation needed]
  1. Open the Start menu and write Edit Plan then push Enter.
  2. Open Change advanced power settings, then go to Processor power management, Maximum processor state and set the value to 90%.

Quiet audio[edit]

Skyrim has multiple issues with Realtek HD boards.
Change the Realtek HD Audio settings[15]
  1. Open the Control Panel, Hardware and Sound then open Realtek HD Audio Manager.
  2. Under Speakers, change the speaker configuration 5.1 Speakers.
  3. Untick everything but the Front left and right checkbox.
Enable loudness equalization[16]
  1. Push Win+R and write mmsys.cpl then push Enter.
  2. Open the Default Device and navigate to the Enhancements tab, then enable the Loudness Equalization.


The sound quality will be drastically reduced (makes it harder to pinpoint the location of sounds).

Crash on startup[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Crash on startup (before the logo is displayed) is a sign of missing master file, one of your active mods is missing a mod it depends on, Wrye Bash will display which mod is missing what mod.
  2. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  3. Delete or rename SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  4. Disable all or any recently installed mods.


If the game crashed with the following error message - Application Load Error P:0000065432 - then simply restart Steam.

Slowdown and stutter in cities[edit]

Disabling the official high resolution texture pack[citation needed]
  1. Open the Skyrim Launcher, and open Data Files.
  2. Uncheck any entries related to the high resolution pack.

Allow pressing Alt+F4 to close the game[edit]

Use Elys Alt+F4 Tweak[citation needed]


Not needed by anyone using ENB or ENBoost, as per the STEP modification guide. Installing both Elys Alt+F4 and ENB at the same time may cause issues with the hotkeys they are supposed to enable.

Double cursor after Alt+Tab[edit]

Use Double cursor fix[citation needed]
Use OneTweak[citation needed]

Mouse not responding[edit]

After playing Watch Dogs the mouse may become unresponsive.
Close the game and restart the computer[17]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Physics are tied to frame rate. Going over 60 FPS will cause physics issues unless config files are edited.[5]
Interface Scaleform 3.3.92[18]
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.99f

Enabling shadows to be cast from trees and rocks[edit]

  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Find the following lines, and set them to these values.
This SHOULD cause little to no performance loss.

Continue rendering in the background[edit]

Set always active[13]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Add bAlwaysActive=1 under the [General] section.
  4. Save and close the file.

Skyrim Configurator[edit]

Allows the game to be fully tweaked.
Certain tweaks are unstable and may break the game.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Dual Core 2.0 GHz
System memory (RAM) 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB
Video card (GPU) 512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible


  1. 1.0 1.1 File/folder structure within this directory reflects the path(s) listed for Windows and/or Steam game data (use Wine regedit to access Windows registry paths). Games with Steam Cloud support may store data in ~/.steam/steam/userdata/<user-id>/72850/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (72850) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.