Elder Scrolls
Elder Scrolls

For the original game, see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
For the Alexa game, see The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Very Special Edition.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition is a 2016 remastered version of the 2011 game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series. It was released for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on October 28th, 2016.[1] It was also later released for the Nintendo Switch on November 17th, 2017.

Steam users who already owned all of the game's DLC or owned the Legendary Edition received a free digital copy of the remaster.[3] Like the Legendary Edition, the Special Edition comes with the three DLCs Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn.[4]

On August 19, 2021, Bethesda announced that Special Edition owners would be given free Creation Club mods and other perks accompanying a purchaseconfirmation needed of the Anniversary Edition, which is set for release on November 11, 2021.[5]


Graphical enhancements

Several graphical features of Skyrim were enhanced with the Special Edition, as follows:[6]

  • Remastered art and effects
  • Volumetric lighting (“God Rays”)
  • Dynamic Depth of Field
  • Screen-space reflections
  • New snow and water shaders

The Special Edition also offers native 4K support for both PC and the PS4 Pro.[7]

Console mods

In September 2016, Bethesda announced that Sony had blocked user-created mods from coming to the PS4 version of the game.[8] However, in October 2016, they stated that Sony had rescinded their block and would allow the usage of player-made mods in the game, and explained the process by which players could create mods on console:[7]

Mods on PlayStation 4 will allow you to modify and create your own content by using our Creation Kit available here. You will not be able to upload external assets with your PlayStation 4 mods, but you will be able to use any assets that come with the game, as most mods do. By creating a Bethesda.net account, you’ll be able to browse and try mods right from within the game.[7]

Other improvements

Bethesda employee Matt Grandstaff stated on Twitter that the Special Edition would be 64-bit.[9] The Special Edition is also the first game in the series to offer use of the Creation Club to purchase mods licensed by Bethesda.[10]


The Special Edition did indeed offer slight graphical improvements over the original game, as demonstrated by PC Gamer.[11] As of October 29th, 2016, the game has a 60% ("Mixed") rating on Steam. Many reviewers stated that the game did not perform well on their systems.[12]

On October 28th, 2016, a post on /r/skyrimmods on reddit indicated that the Special Edition's audio quality was noticeably worse than in the original.[13] Several online gaming journals also cited this post in articles of their own.[14][15] Bethesda confirmed a week later that they were looking to fix the issue.[16]

System requirements

The following are the official system requirements for the Skyrim – Special Edition:[6]


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945.
  • 8GB of ram.
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 470 1GB /AMD HD 7870 2GB


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-2400/AMD FX-8320.
  • 8GB of ram.
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB /AMD R9 290 4GB

Console storage needs


  • 20 GB (North America)
  • 33 GB (Europe)

Xbox One

  • 17 GB (North America)
  • 25 GB (Europe)