Bethesda’s announced a Skyrim remaster called Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. Here, we take a look at the most important things to know about the Skyrim Special Edition release date and more as we push away from its release date.
In 2011, Bethesda released Skyrim, an open-world RPG that was set two hundred years after the events in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Last year, Bethesda told gamers that it got Skyrim running on the Xbox One but that it only did so as a technical exercise. At the time, Howard told the publication that fans of Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls series shouldn’t get their hopes up “yet.”
Howard left the door open and at E3 2016 Bethesda confirmed Skyrim remaster officially called Skyrim Special Edition.
With that in mind, we want to take a look at everything we know right now about the Skyrim Special Edition, the big changes and its upcoming release date.
We’ll continue to update this roundup with new details as we approach the game’s release so check back frequently.
Skyrim for PS4 & Xbox One
As expected, the Skyrim remaster will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC. Next year, it should head to the new Nintendo Switch but Bethesda hasn’t confirmed it outright. It won’t be released for the PS3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo’s Wii U.
Bethesda says that “if you own the PC version of Skyrim and all its add-ons – Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn – on Steam, you’ll get a free upgrade to Skyrim Special Edition” when it releases later this year. The same applies to anyone who owns Skyrim Legendary Edition on Steam.
Steam has started adding the game to the libraries of those who own the game and all of the DLC. The process will take some time:
We have started added Skyrim Special Edition to the libraries of customers who own Skyrim and all of its add-ons, and opened the game for pre-load for those users. Unfortunately, the process of adding the game to people’s accounts is going a bit slower than we originally anticipated. If you already own Skyrim and all the DLC but you aren’t seeing Special Edition in your Steam Library, don’t panic! We should have it added to everyone’s accounts within the next 24 hours, and then we will continue adding it to people who complete their collection in batches as we approach the Special Edition launch on Thursday.
Steam is currently offering a discount on the regular version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and all of its add-ons noting that you’ll get the Special Edition version of Skyrim for PC when the game arrives later this year.
There won’t be any such discount for those who own the game for Xbox 360 and/or PS3, it seems. Skyrim owners on Xbox 360 and PS3 will have to pay full price for a copy of the game.
@joehind I have confirmed repeatedly that it will not. PC is the same platform as previous version, Xbox One is a new platform.
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) July 8, 2016
The Skyrim remaster will also come with all of the DLC add-ons Bethesda released after the game’s arrival in November of 2011.
Bethesda released three pieces of paid Skyrim DLC including Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. The last of these, Dragonborn, was released in late 2012 for Xbox 360 and early 2013 for the PS3 and Windows PC.
The developer says that all of the DLC will be integrated into Skyrim Special Edition so you most likely won’t have to download several different files to jump into the game and its DLC content.
Unfortunately, the old DLC will be it. The company says that it won’t be making any new Skyrim DLC for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 so you’ll need to rely on developers and Skyrim mods to alter your game down the road.
Chatting w Todd just now, able to confirm on Skyrim SE for PC:
Saves should transfer
Separate creation kit to upload mods to Bnet
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) June 15, 2016
Bethesda’s Todd Howard also confirms that Skyrim saves on PC should transfer to the new version of the game. If you’ve used mods with your Skyrim saves, it might not be as straightforward. We’ll know more once the game arrives.
@aedegroot94 it's not something that happens "in game". If you move them over, they should work. But w mod use it's hard to be definitive
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) October 11, 2016
That’s obviously big for those that invested a ton of time in the open-world RPG. Unfortunately game saves will not transfer from Xbox 360 to Xbox One or PS3 to PS4.
A few other notes:
- If you pre-order Skyrim Special Edition you won’t get it any earlier than October 28th.
- Skyrim Special Edition will be its own entry in your game library (not a patch).
- Skyrim Special Edition won’t feature Fallout 4’s Survival Mode.
- There won’t be a Skyrim Special Edition Collector’s Edition released down the road. What you see is what you get.
- The game will be released in the languages supported by the original version of the game.
- You’ll be able to re-do trophies and achievements. For a list of Skyrim’s achievements, take a look at this long list.
- Digital pre-orders on the PlayStation Store will net you a Skyrim Dragon Symbol Theme.
- Don’t expect Bethesda to do a Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion remaster.
- Skyrim Special Edition won’t have Kinect support on Xbox One.
- Prima Games will re-release its Skyrim strategy guide for the Special Edition. The guides, both the physical and the e-guide, will be released on October 28th.
- You can also purchase these guides via the Bethesda Store.
- If you’re looking for a deal on the Skyrim Special Edition guide, take a look at Amazon’s offer.
- We still don’t know how big the file size will be. We expect to have the exact file size figured out much closer to the game’s release.
- The company won’t open up console commands on PS4 or Xbox One.
- Character creation will be the same as it was in the previous version.
- Skyrim Special Edition pre-orders are finally available on Xbox Live after a short delay. If you wish to order via the Xbox Live store, head right here to do so.
- The company notes that it will be supporting the new PlayStation 4 Pro with native 4K resolution.
- You’ll probably want to bookmark Bethesda’s Skyrim help page. Skyrim Special Edition will have bugs and some of them could mirror issues with the previous version of the game.
Bethesda’s confirmed a Skyrim Special Edition console. If you enter the contest you could win a special Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 Pro.
— The Elder Scrolls (@ElderScrolls) October 25, 2016
We’ve been getting tons of questions about the Skyrim Special Edition PC requirements. Bethesda has finally confirmed the Skyrim Special Edition PC requirements. Here’s a look at what you’ll need to run the game:
The minimum Skyrim Special Edition PC requirements:
- 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
The recommended Skyrim Special Edition PC specs:
- 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
As for the game’s size on PS4 and Xbox One, it’s pretty big. Here’s what you’re looking at in North America and Europe.
- 20 GB (North America)
- 33 GB (Europe)
- 17 GB (North America)
- 25 GB (Europe)
Skyrim Special Edition Release Date
The Skyrim Special Edition release date won’t arrive this summer. Instead, it lands just ahead of the holidays.
The release date is confirmed for October 28th on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. A release date for the Nintendo Switch is unclear.
Skyrim Special Edition Release Time
As for the Skyrim Special Edition release time, it’ll deploy at 8PM Eastern for PC and midnight Eastern for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Those of you on the west coast of the United States will be able to start playing the digital version of the game starting at 5PM Pacific on October 27th.
Here is the full rundown of the Skyrim Special Edition release time for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Pre-loading has already begun for some and it will open up to everyone next week.
Skyrim Special Edition will be available to purchase at its global release time of 12am UTC on Friday, October 28. Here are the unlock times for specific regions:
- 5pm Pacific Time (October 27)
- 8pm Eastern Time (October 27)
- 1am British Summer Time (October 28)
- 2am Central European Summer Time (October 28)
- 11am Australian Eastern Time Zone (October 28)
- 1pm New Zealand Time (October 28th)
- 2pm Japan (October 28th)
Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Skyrim Special Edition will unlock for Xbox One and PS4 at 12am local time throughout European territories, midnight Eastern for North American players, and 2pm in Japan. The links below provide some resources for those looking to pre-order.
- Xbox One: Pre-loading is now available.
- PlayStation 4 (North America) – Preloading is anticipated to begin midnight ET on October 26th.
- PlayStation 4 (Europe) – Preloading is anticipated to begin at midnight local time on October 26th.
- Steam – Skyrim Special Edition will unlock for players to download at the global release times outlined above.
If you plan on picking up a physical copy, note that retailers like Best Buy will be hosting midnight launch events to accommodate your needs.
Skyrim Special Edition Reviews
If you’re hesitant to commit to the game, note that Skyrim Special Edition reviews probably won’t be out until after its release date on October 28th.
Bethesda says that it will continue its policy “of sending media review copies one day before release.”
The reason? The company wants “everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time.”
Those of you on the fence will probably want to wait a few days, maybe longer, for feedback about the game to emerge.
Bethesda’s Skyrim Special Edition will come with a fresh coat of paint for Xbox One, Windows PC, and PlayStation 4.
Bethesda notes that Skyrim Special Edition comes with remastered art and effects including volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, new snow shaders, new water shaders, and screen-space reflections.
The trailers up top give you a good look at some of these changes in action and the screenshots here show you the difference between the PlayStation 3 version of Skyrim and the remastered version on the PlayStation 4.
Needless to say, it looks much better on the current-generation console.
The company says there won’t be any VR content available for Skyrim Special Edition, at least not at the beginning. Bethesda appears to be focused on the Fallout 4 VR release which is set to arrive on HTC Vive sometime next year.
Skyrim Special Edition Price & Deals
Skyrim Special Edition for PS4 and Xbox One will cost a full $60. Fortunately, if you don’t want to pay the full $60, you won’t have to.
Amazon will cut the price for its Amazon Prime members down to $47.99. And yes, this deal will be available to those who using a trial Amazon Prime account.
Best Buy will also offer 20% off for Gamers Club Unlocked members and Green Man Gaming will almost certainly offer a voucher for the PC version of Skyrim Special Edition.
Keep an eye out for additional deals as we make our way toward the Skyrim Special Edition release date in late October.
Skyrim Mods for PS4 & Xbox One
Earlier this year Bethesda pushed Fallout 4 mods for Xbox One. The company also planned to push out PS4 Fallout 4 mods though they were delayed and nearly cancelled. Fortunately, Bethesda and Sony have been able to work things out and Skyrim mods will be available for the PS4 when the game launches on October 28th.
In a recent announcement, Bethesda confirmed plans to bring Skyrim mods to PS4 . That’s obviously a huge change of events and excellent news for those looking to get the most out of Skyrim Special Edition on PS4. Skyrim mods will work on both the regular PS4 and the PS4 Pro.
@Lannister0223 you can use mods that use everything that comes in the game and dlc. You can't add or change art, audio, etc
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) October 5, 2016
Unfortunately, developers “will not be able to upload external assets with” PS4 Skyrim mods. Developers will, however, be “able to use any assets that come with the game.”
This will limit what developers can do with PS4 Skyrim mods because nothing new can be added to the game.
According to Howard and Hines, there is a separate Creation Kit that will be used to upload mods for Skyrim Special Edition to Bethesda.net. The Skyrim Special Edition Creation kit will go through a beta before its released to the public in November and those looking to test it can sign up now for a beta.
You will need a Bethesda.net account to signup for the Skyrim Special Edition beta. Creating an account takes all of a few minutes. You can find the Skyrim Special Edition mod guidelines right here.
Skyrim mod developers will need to run their mods through a brand new creation kit in order for them to work with the new game. Mods running at 32-bit will need to be changed to be compatible with the game as its 64-bit.
At least some Skyrim mods for Xbox One and PS4 should be available to download on release day though don’t expect to see thousands sprout up immediately. We’ve already seen some mods emerge but the list is a short one.
@Sindershift worth noting that mods that don't use external assets take up significantly less space.
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) October 20, 2016
As for Skyrim mods size, Bethesda notes that mods will reserve 5 GB on the Xbox One and 1GB on the PlayStation 4. Which, of course, is a huge difference.
In the meantime, check out our Skyrim mods wish for Xbox One and PS4 in the list below. These are some of our favorite Skyrim mods for PC.