The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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This page may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. The specific problem is: Test stuttering and the relation between odd physics (allegedly running at 64Hz) and the iFPSClamp setting: see talk page. Rewrite and make certain sections more readable (SKSE, ENB, the whole Vsync affair). You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim cover
Developers
Bethesda Game Studios
Publishers
Bethesda Softworks
Engines
Creation Engine
Release dates
Windows November 11, 2011
The Elder Scrolls
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 2016

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

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 and here.
Due to the v-sync used as a frame limiter, disabling it or playing with a non ~60 Hz screen will result in the physics behaving incorrectly.[1]

General information

Official forums
Steam Community Discussions
Geforce Tweak Guide

Availability[edit]

All versions require Steam DRM.
Owners of Skyrim and all DLC will receive The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition for free.[2]

Version differences[edit]

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

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
Dawnguard Available here.
Dragonborn Available here.
Hearthfire Available here.
High Resolution Texture Pack Available here.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intro logos[3]
  1. Go to %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\
  2. Open Skyrim.ini.
  3. Go to the [General] section.
  4. Add the following line: sIntroSequence=

OneTweak[edit]

Provides a native borderless mode, skips the main intro along with some other tweaks and fixes such as the double cursor issue.

Elys Alt+F4 Tweak[edit]

Allows the player to close the game by pushing Alt+F4, while also fixing an issue which caused media keys to not work.
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.

Mods[edit]

Before installing any mods, SKSE and either Nexus Mod Manager 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 Patch
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch

--- Or use the Legendary Patch that combines all 4 previous patches into one. The old unofficial patches are no longer being supported. ---

Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch

Mod Organizer[edit]

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

SkyUI[edit]

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.

SKSE[edit]

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 the following line under the General section.
[General]
ClearInvalidRegistrations=1
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 line under the Memory section.
[Memory]
DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB=768
ScrapHeapSizeMB=256

Notes

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.

ENB[edit]

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 game directory
  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"

Notes

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\

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Saves\

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

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

Video settings[edit]

Launcher video settings.
Launcher video settings.
Launcher advanced video settings.
Launcher advanced video settings.
In-game display settings.
In-game display settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Use Flawless Widescreen or Widescreen Fixer.
Ultra-widescreen
Set in SkyrimPrefs.ini.[citation needed]
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Use Flawless Widescreen or Skyrim Configurator.
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Use OneTweak.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
FXAA, MSAA. SGSSAA can be utilized through anti-aliasing compatibility bits 0x000002C1 under NVIDIA Inspector.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Enabled by default. Can be disabled.[5]
60 FPS
120+ FPS
Havok physics do not function correctly past 60 FPS,[1] but frame rate is unlimited.[6]
See Frame rate (FPS) or cap the frame rate to 60 FPS.

Vertical sync (Vsync)[edit]

.ini file[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open skyrimprefs.ini.
  3. Change iPresentInterval=1 to iPresentInterval=0.
  4. Save and exit the text editor.

Notes

Never disable v-sync, it will cause all kinds of issues with the game.
iPresentInterval has no effect on the most recent version of the game.[citation needed] V-Sync needs to be forced off via Nvidia CP or equivalent. If you must disable V-Sync, then it should be substituted with a 60 FPS frame cap to prevent physics issues.

Fast-Sync Tweak[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Disable in game V-Sync for TES V: Skyrim (read Above).
  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.

Notes

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]

This tweak allows playing the game at high frame rates without the normal glitches that happen.
It is unknown as to whether it will impact your saves, break quests, or cause lag. Use at your own risk.
Possible fix for high FPS[7][8]
  • In Skyrim.ini, add this line under [HAVOK]:
    • fMaxTime=0.0333 for 30 FPS, may help performance on slow computers
    • fMaxTime=0.0166 for 60 FPS
    • fMaxTime=0.0133 for 75 FPS
    • fMaxTime=0.0111 for 90 FPS
    • fMaxTime=0.0083 for 120 FPS
    • fMaxTime=0.0069 for 144 FPS
    • fMaxTime=0.0042 for 240 FPS+

Input settings[edit]

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

Mouse acceleration[edit]

Disabling the mouse acceleration[citation needed]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Find the following line, and set it to this value.
[Controls]
bMouseAcceleration=0

Notes

If the line doesn't exist then add it manually.[citation needed]

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, sound effects, footsteps, voices and music.
Surround sound
Up to 5.1 only.[9]
Subtitles
Dialogue and general sounds.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Certain ambient noises are still audible.

Localizations

Language UI Audio CC Notes
English
Czech
French
German
Italian
Japanese
Polish
Russian
Spanish
Turkish
Vanilla and Hearthfire. A translation is available here.

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
TriDef 3D
iZ3D
Headsets Native Notes
HTC Vive
Oculus Rift
A workaround is available here.
Devices Native Notes
Tracked motion controllers
Razer Hydra works with Sixense MotionCreator bundled profile.[10]
Keyboard/Mouse

Issues fixed[edit]

Ambient Occlusion Bleeding on NVIDIA graphics cards[edit]

The official Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000029 has "bleeding" issues.[11]
Use Ambient Occlusion flag 0x00000032 instead[citation needed]
  1. Download NVIDIA Inspector.
  2. Open NVIDIA Inspector and click on the crossed wrench and screw icon.
  3. Under Profiles select Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  4. Under Ambient Occlusion compatibility insert the flag 0x00000032.
  5. Under Ambient Occlusion usage select Enabled.
  6. Under Ambient Occlusion setting select your quality of preference, but in order to use HBAO+ you must use Quality or High Quality.
  7. Click Apply changes.

Blurry text[edit]

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

Notes

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

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[12]
  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[13]
  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.

Notes

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 SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  4. Disable all or any recently installed mods.

Notes

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.

Media keys not working[edit]

See Elys Alt+F4.

Mouse not responding[edit]

After playing Watch Dogs the mouse may become unresponsive, close the game and restart the computer.[14]

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
64-bit executable
64-bit will arrive with Skyrim Special Edition[15]

Improved Anisotropic Filtering for NVIDIA graphics cards[edit]

Force Anisotropic Filtering through NVIDIA Control Panel.[16]
Using Anisotropic Filtering through NVIDIA Control Panel[citation needed]
  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.

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Physics are tied to framerate. Going over 60 frames per second will cause physics issues.[1]
Cutscenes Bink Video 1.99f

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

Instructions[17]
  1. Go to the configuration file(s) location.
  2. Open SkyrimPrefs.ini.
  3. Find the following lines, and set them to these values.
[Display]
bTreesReceiveShadows=1
bDrawLandShadows=1
This SHOULD cause little to no performance loss.

Skyrim Configurator[edit]

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

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7 Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) Dual Core 2.0 GHz Quad Core Intel or AMD
System memory (RAM) 2 GB 4 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 6 GB 8 GB
Video card (GPU) 512 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
AMD Radeon 4890
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
1 GB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrimmods/comments/2edkiv/is_there_a_fix_that_lets_you_play_at_144120_fps/
  2. BethesdaGameStudios on Twitter: "If you own #Skyrim and all its add-ons or own Legendary Edition on Steam, you'll get a free upgrade to Skyrim Special Edition on Oct 28 #BE3"
  3. Guide:Skyrim Configuration Settings - S.T.E.P. Project Wiki
  4. Skyrim Mod Sanctuary 84 : Skyrim Memory Patch (Fix freezes and crashes)
  5. Do NOT disable vSync! - PC - Bethesda Softworks Forums
  6. Let's play Skyrim :D - Marioysikax - YouTube - Showing vanilla skyrim running with 144Hz monitor.
  7. 1st Video of Before & After High Frame Rate .ini tweak
  8. 2nd Video of Before & After High Frame Rate .ini tweak
  9. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  10. http://sixense.com/skyrim
  11. http://forums.guru3d.com/showpost.php?p=4965160&postcount=1258
  12. Skyrim Volume is too low - Steam Users' Forums
  13. How can I increase Skyrim's Volume? - StackExchange: Arquade
  14. Mouse control isn't working. - Skyrim Technical Support - The Nexus Forums
  15. [1]
  16. http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/guides/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-tweak-guide#5
  17. Skyrim Tweak Guide 2.3