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]


Graphical enhancements

Several graphical features of Skyrim were enhanced with the Special Edition, as follows:[5]

  • 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.[6]

Console mods

In September 2016, Bethesda announced that Sony had blocked user-created mods from coming to the PS4 version of the game.[7] However, in October 2016, they stated that Sony had rescinded their block and would allow the usage of player-made mods in the game, and explained the process by which players could create mods on console:[6]

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 account, you’ll be able to browse and try mods right from within the game.[6]

Other improvements

Bethesda employee Matt Grandstaff stated on Twitter that the Special Edition would be 64-bit.[8] The Special Edition is also the first game in the series to offer use of the Creation Club to purchase mods licensed by Bethesda.[9]


The Special Edition did indeed offer slight graphical improvements over the original game, as demonstrated by PC Gamer.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] Several online gaming journals also cited this post in articles of their own.[13][14] Bethesda has since confirmed that they are looking to fix this issue by the following week.[15]

System requirements

The following are the official system requirements for the Skyrim – Special Edition:[5]


  • 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)




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 IGN: Skyrim Special Edition Officially Headed to PS4, Xbox One, PC This Year
  2. 2.0 2.1 IGN: Skyrim: Nintendo Switch Edition Release Date Announced
  3. Bethesda Game Studios on Twitter
  4. Skyrim Special Edition is Free to PC Gamers Who Own All DLC
  5. 5.0 5.1 Skyrim Special Edition – Gone Gold & System Requirements
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mods and 4K Coming to PlayStation 4 for Skyrim and Fallout 4
  7. PS4 Mod Update
  8. Matt Grandstaff on Twitter
  9. Creation Club official website
  10. Skyrim Special Edition settings, comparison shots, and performance
  11. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition on Steam
  12. The Skyrim Special Edition features a significant audio quality downgrade.
  13. Skyrim Special Edition's audio is noticeably worse than the original's
  14. Skyrim Special Edition On Xbox One, PC Has Worse Audio Than The Original
  15. Matt Grandstaff on Reddit

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

*Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Fandom will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+