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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

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

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition cover
Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda Softworks
Creation Engine
Release dates
Windows October 27, 2016
Metacritic 74
OpenCritic 81
Monetization One-time game purchase, Subscription gaming service
Microtransactions Cosmetic, Currency, Infinite spend, Unlock[1]
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 Special Edition on HowLongToBeat
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on IGDB
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition guide on StrategyWiki
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on MobyGames
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition 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 Special Edition is a remastered version of the 2011 fantasy role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and its DLC. Improvements include higher-quality textures, built-in modding, engine optimization, full 64-bit support and a variety of new graphical and lighting effects. However, a significant number of graphics options are missing from the launcher's graphics option menu. The number of tweakable options in the config files has also been significantly reduced.

The Special Edition was available free of charge to those who owned the original game and all its DLC on or before October 28, 2016.[2]

General information

Official forums Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Epic Games Store
Epic Games Launcher
Anniversary Edition also available.
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition also available.
Gamesplanet logo.svg
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition also available.
Anniversary Edition also available.
Green Man Gaming
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition also available.
Humble Store
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition also available.
Microsoft Store
Microsoft Store
Included with Xbox Game Pass for PC
Anniversary Edition also available.
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition also available.
Windows (unavailable)
Icon overlay.png
Anniversary Edition was also available.

Version differences

The Anniversary Edition includes the Anniversary Upgrade.


Type Notes
One-time game purchase The game requires an upfront purchase to access.
Subscription gaming service Available via Xbox Game Pass for PC.


The Creation Club feature is not available on the version. On, Creation Club content can only be accessed via the Anniversary Edition.[3]
Type Notes
Cosmetic New outfits, mounts, pets, decorations, and material skins can be purchased with Creation Club Credits.[4]
Currency Creation Club Credits are a real money purchase that can be exchanged for exclusive content created by Bethesda and outside development partners.[4] Creation Club Credits can also be spent on Fallout 4 content.[5][6]
Infinite spend Creation Club Credits can be purchased repeatedly without a practical limit.[6]
Unlock New types of gameplay (like Survival Mode), abilities, locations, enemies, companions, and items can be purchased with Creation Club Credits.[4]

DLC and expansion packs

Name Notes
Anniversary Edition Upgrade Part of the Anniversary Edition.

Essential improvements


Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch

Community-created patches which fix many issues which otherwise remain unresolved in the official patches, such as quest bugs, rendering issues, and subtitle coding errors.

Unofficial High Definition Audio Project

Replaces the game's audio files with the higher-quality files found in PlayStation 4 version.
Supports languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Russian.

SSE Engine Fixes

Fixes multiple bugs, including CTD-inducing ones, in Skyrim game engine.
Requires SKSE64 and Address Library for SKSE Plugins.

Cleaned Skyrim SE Textures

Repacks and recompresses all textures to have less artifacts, remove poor bicubic upscaling and improve performance.

Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Downgrade Patcher

An automated patcher to downgrade Skyrim from the new Anniversary Edition version to the previous Special Edition version, without redistributing files or requiring any sort of complexity.
Allows to use mods made for the older version, without losing access to the new content, that was introduced by the Anniversary Edition.
Does not support the GOG version, which uses a later version (1.6.659.0.8) than supported by the mod (1.6.640.0).


BethINI (pronounced "Bethany") is an attempt to restore decency to the INI configuration files for games created by Bethesda, while optimizing your game settings for optimal graphical fidelity and performance.


Skip intro videos

Modify configuration file[7]
  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 and close the file.

Game data

Configuration file(s) location

System Location %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition GOG\
Microsoft Store
Steam %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/489830/pfx/[Note 1]

Save game data location

System Location %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition GOG\Saves\
Microsoft Store
Steam %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\Saves\
Steam Play (Linux) <Steam-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/489830/pfx/[Note 1]
Save data from the original game can be copied and used with Special Edition;[8] however, save files that are using mods may not work.[9]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Epic Games Launcher
GOG Galaxy
Syncs up to 700 MB of saves online.
Requires enabling backup of the Documents folder in OneDrive on all computers.
Steam Cloud
Syncs up to 953.67 MB of saves online.
Xbox Cloud


Launcher graphics settings.
Launcher graphics settings.
Launcher advanced graphics settings.
Launcher advanced graphics settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.

Widescreen resolution

Manually set resolution in SkyrimPrefs.ini[11]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Change iSize H and iSize W to the display resolution's height and width respectively.


Changing options in the launcher may undo this edit.

Vertical sync (Vsync)

Disable Vsync[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Change iVSyncPresentInterval=1 to iVSyncPresentInterval=0 to disable Vsync.
  4. Save and close the file.

High frame rate

Havok physics do not function correctly past 60 FPS by default.[12]
SSE Display Tweaks allows playing the game at high frame rates without the known physics problems that occur. It also has the advantage of preventing FPS drops caused by the game not being able to achieve the target FPS by automatically editing iPresentInterval to an appropriate value for the current FPS.
Use SKSE64 with SSE Display Tweaks[13]


In-game input settings.
In-game input settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Character name screen requires keyboard inputs.
Launcher requires mouse input.
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
Xbox button prompts
Impulse Trigger vibration
Use X1nput[14]
PlayStation controllers
Requires a third-party wrapper.
PlayStation button prompts
Use Playstation 4 Button Icons for SkyUI
Light bar support
Adaptive trigger support
DualSense haptic feedback support
Connection modes Wired, Wireless (Bluetooth), Wireless (DualShock 4 USB Wireless Adapter)
Generic/other controllers
Additional information
Button prompts
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M
Use Auto Input Switch mod to make keyboard and gamepad work.


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

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Up to 5.1 output.[16]
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
See Mute on focus lost.
EAX support
Use X3DAudio HRTF. Requires 24000Hz .mhr file to prevent sounds playing at full volume at any distance, or possible crashes.[17]
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Fan translation for Anniversary Edition. Nexus Mods, Google Drive. Work in progress. Still untranslated: 50% of in-game books.
Traditional Chinese
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation, Nexus Mods. Audio and voice: AI dubbed, Nexus Mods.

Mute on focus lost

Set mute in background[citation needed]
  1. Install Special K by following the Special K Unofficial Guide.
  2. Start the game and press Ctrl+ Shift+← Backspace to toggle Special K's Control Panel.
  3. Expand "Window Management" and "Input/Output Behavior".
  4. Enable "Mute Game" under "Background Behavior".

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Nvidia 3D Vision
See Helix Mod: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.
G3D, Z3D, DirectVR
Officially supported Game. Excellent 3D in all Modes.

Issues fixed

AMD frame rate stuttering/screen tearing

Default Skyrim v-sync frequently causes frame rate stuttering. Disabling in-game v-sync causes physics glitches. Enabling frame rate limiting in Crimson causes tearing
Set iVSyncPresentInterval to 0[18]
  1. Disable Vsync.
  2. Download Skyrim SE ENB v0.488.
  3. Extract the "WrapperVersion" folder and copy d3d11.dll, d3dcompiler_46e.dll and ENBlocal.ini into the Skyrim Special Edition installation folder.
  4. Open ENBlocal.ini.
  5. Under LIMITER, change EnableFPSLimit=true to EnableFPSLimit=false
  6. Under ENGINE, change ForceVsync=false to ForceVsync=true.
  7. Save and close the file.


Game will start with a black screen and may take a solid minute or two for the main menu screen to appear.

No In-game music bug

Uncommon occurrence wherein in-game music will be disabled somehow, regardless of verifying data files.
[citation needed]
  1. Download Bethesda Archive Extractor.
  2. Extract sounds.bsa found in the Data folder using the Besthesda Archive Extractor
  3. Manually copy the extracted music files into the Data folder
  4. Now in-game music will be playing properly again.

G-Sync frame rate stuttering

With Nvidia G-Sync enabled frame rate becomes unstable.
Disable Vsync[19]

Game crashes every 10-15 minutes on Windows 10

Disable the Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service on Windows 10[11]
  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter.
  3. Search for Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service on the list of services, double-click on it.
  4. Make sure that the service name is TabletInputService.
  5. Change Startup type to Disabled and click the apply button to disable the service from auto-starting.
  6. Click the stop button.

Game runs at incorrect refresh rate

The game has a hardcoded limitation of 60 Hz by default.
Make the game request the highest available refresh rate
  1. Download SKSE64 and SSE Display Tweaks.
  2. Copy the contents of the archives to the installation folder.
  3. For displays capable of running above 240 Hz, open <path-to-game>\Data\SKSE\Plugins\SSEDisplayTweaks.ini and modify MaximumRefreshRate=240 to change the upper limit of what the game is allowed to request.
  4. Start the game with skse64_loader.exe.

Allow pressing Alt+F4 to close the game

Use SKSE64 with Keyboard Shortcuts Fix[citation needed]

Continue rendering in the background

Set always active[20]
  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.

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 11
Executable 32-bit 64-bit Notes


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok
Interface Scaleform 3.3.92
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.99f


Mods for Skyrim Special Edition can be found at Skyrim Special Edition Nexus

See Essential improvements for modifications that fix bugs and improve performance.

Recommended mods

Mod managers

Mod managers simplify mod installation, among various additional features and are optional.
  • Vortex - Official mod manager made by Nexus Mods. Designed to make modding games as simple as possible for new users, while still providing enough control for more experienced users.
  • Mod Organizer 2 - 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.


  • SSEEdit - An advanced graphical module viewer/editor and conflict detector. Can be used to view, detect conflicts, and edit module files.
  • Load Order Optimisation Tool (LOOT) - Plugin load order optimiser for Skyrim Special Edition and other games. Provides thousands of plugin-specific messages, including usage notes, requirements, incompatibilities, bug warnings and installation mistake notifications. Highly customisable, has been translated into multiple languages, and is simple to use.
  • Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD) - Adds distant LOD for objects and trees to the game. By combining DynDOLOD with xLODGen users can create drastically enhanced static object LOD + tree LOD and the new, optional dynamic distant object LOD in a few simple steps. Can increase or decrease the performance depending on the selected quality.

User Interface

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

Bug Fixes

  • SSE Fixes - Alleviates a bug that causes frame drops. Not needed if SSE Engine Fixes is installed.

Sound and Voice


  • Colorful Lights No Shadow - SSE - Modifies lighting to remove glitchy shadows while maintaining color and brightness for improved performance and image quality.
  • Static Mesh Improvement Mod - A massive project to greatly improve the appearance of countless static 3D models in Skyrim. May cause FPS loss.
  • Enhanced Lights and FX - Improves lighting of exteriors and interiors without changing overall atmosphere. May cause FPS loss.


System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 7
Processor (CPU) Intel Core i5-750
AMD Phenom II X4 945
System memory (RAM) 8 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 12 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce GTX 470
AMD Radeon HD 7870
1-2 GB of VRAM
DirectX 11 compatible
A 64-bit operating system is required.


  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>/489830/ in addition to or instead of this directory. The app ID (489830) may differ in some cases. Treat backslashes as forward slashes. See the glossary page for details.
  2. DLSS/FSR/XeSS versions are not directly set. The mod offers to choose and download DLLs separately. Confirmed to work with DLSS 2.5.1 and FSR 2.1.


  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - MICROTRANSACTION.ZONE - last accessed on 2020-04-22
  2. Skyrim Special Edition is 1 week away! - last accessed on 2016-10-21
  3. - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - last accessed on 2022-09-29
    "Please note that the DRM-Free version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition does not include the Creation Club feature. The entire Creation Club content (74 items) is included in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Creation Club | Summer 2017 - last accessed on 2020-04-22
  5. Creation Club | Summer 2017 - last accessed on 2020-04-22
    "Creation Club is available via in-game digital marketplaces in both Fallout 4 and Skyrim and purchased with Credits. Credits are available for purchase on PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam. Your Credits are transferable and can be used in both games on the same platform for Steam and Xbox Live."
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Creation Club on Steam - last accessed on 2020-04-22
  7. Verified by User:Blackbird on 2018-06-22
    Gets straight into the menu.
  8. Pete Hines on Twitter: "Chatting w Todd just now, able to confirm on Skyrim SE for PC: 64-bit Saves should transfer Separate creation kit to upload mods to Bnet" - last accessed on 2016-6-16
  9. Skyrim PC saves that use mods don't work with Special Edition • - last accessed on 2016-10-29
    "Existing save games from the original PC game will work in the PC version of Skyrim Special Edition. Simply copy your old saves from My Games/Skyrim to My Games/Skyrim Special Edition. Only use original saves that have never been used with mods. Do not use your original save game if this error appears when you load it in Skyrim Special Edition: 'This save relies on content that is no longer present."
  10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition - Creations Update Patch Notes - last accessed on 2023-12-05
    "Support for Ultrawide monitors (16:9, 16:10, 21x9, 32x9)."
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Unofficial Bug / Crash + Resolution Thread :: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition General Discussions
  12. Skyrim Special Edition: Vsynced 144Hz - YouTube - last accessed on 2016-12-10
  13. [1]
  14. Custom Xinput DLL with Impulse Trigger support on Xbox One Controllers - last accessed on May 2023
  15. This mod makes it possible to switch between gamepad and keyboard/mouse control on the fly. - last accessed on May 2023
  16. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up - last accessed on May 2023
  17. Error shows up in Skyrim (old version)'s log a bunch of times involving missing dataset for 24 kHz samples #21 - last accessed on 9 June 2023
  18. Reddit - last accessed on May 2023
  19. Reddit - last accessed on May 2023
  20. How-To: Alt tab without pausing the game: skyrim - last accessed on May 2023
  21. Matt Grandstaff on Twitter: "@Rebelzize yes, it's 64bit" - last accessed on 2016-6-15