Skyrim Mod Troubleshooting: Best Practices

Skyrim Mods Best Practices and Troubleshooting

Are you a mod newbie? Have you visited mods.elderscrolls.com and subscribed to some highly rated, popular mods? Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Back up your saves. Your saves are located in your My Documents/My Games/Skyrim/Saves. Just make a copy of that directory as a backup.
  • Do not overwrite existing saves. Only make new saves while playing mods so that your original saves still exist if you decide you want to go back to playing without mods.
  • When you play Skyrim with a mod, in most cases, the new data for the mod will be written into any new saved games you create. For example, if you play Skyrim with Mod X and create a save, the next time you load that save, the game will expect Mod X to also be loaded. If you no longer want to play Skyrim with Mod X, it is best to unload Mod X (by unchecking the plugin under Data Files in your Skyrim launcher) and loading a save that does not require Mod X, usually an older save or a backed up save.
  • When trying mods with updated graphics settings, make sure your computer meets or exceeds Skyrim’s recommended specs <link>. We strongly recommended running with Windows Vista/7 with at least 4 GB of RAM and a video card with at least 1 GB of Video RAM.
  • Visit our mod forums. There are sticky threads and a decades old community of modding veterans – a treasure trove of information about creating and playing mods.

Click through for more frequently asked questions.

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Happy Modding Day! Creation Kit, Skyrim Workshop, High-Res Texture Pack released!

Modders rejoice! We’re pleased to announce that the Skyrim Creation Kit is now available!

With the Creation Kit’s release, fans can now upload, download, and install custom content through the Skyrim Workshop on Steam. Get a crash course by reading level designer Joel Burgess’ blog post, and be sure to read up on our list of best practices for modding. Need more help? Don’t forget to to check out the official Wiki at www.CreationKit.com. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be sharing tutorial videos for beginners and experts alike. Check out the first tutorial above, and visit the Bethesda Game Studios YouTube Channel for more.

In addition to releasing the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop, today we’re allowing players to experience Skyrim as you’ve never seen it before with the Skyrim High-Resolution Texture Pack. Before downloading it from Steam, make sure your system requirements exceed Skyrim’s recommended specs before attempting to install, including Windows Vista/7, a minimum of 4GB of system RAM, and a DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with at least 1 GB of RAM and the latest drivers.

1Up.com predicts Super Bowl with Skyrim

During Super Bowl week, it’s pretty common for gaming sites to use the latest iteration of Madden NFL Football to pick the winner of today’s big game. Kudos to 1Up.com in taking a new creative approach.

Speaking of the big game, anyone that correctly picks tonight’s winner and the final score correctly will be  entered to win a random drawing for a Skyrim-related prize. Email bethblog@bethsoft.com to enter.

1.4 update now on Steam, Xbox LIVE (Updated)

Update 2/9: 1.4 update is now live on Xbox LIVE. PS3 update is looking good for today as well. If we get an update from Sony, we’ll let you know.

Today we’ve taken Skyrim’s 1.4 update out of beta and made it available for everyone on Steam. In addition to bug and quest fixes, 1.4 adds launcher support for the Skyrim Workshop. Currently we’re putting the final touches on the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop and will let everyone know as soon as they’re up.

As an update to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 users, we’re submitting 1.4 to the console manufacturers this week. When these updates are available, we’ll let everyone know.

After the break, check out the final release notes for 1.4. The changes impact all platforms unless noted.

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First Look: Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop (Updated)

Update:

The Creation Kit is on track for release on Tuesday!

The Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop (mods.elderscrolls.com) are nearly here! To get PC players ready for its release, watch our preview video and check out a new diary from Production Director Ashley Cheng.

Here’s Ash…

With each game we release — Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and now Skyrim — modders continue to use our worlds as a canvas to build the most incredibly creative and fun mods in gaming. The fact that Morrowind’s modding community is still going strong 10 years after its release is a testament to how essential our community is to the success of our games.

We’re big believers that if we go the extra mile and make our games as moddable as possible, the game will only be better for it. So the gameplay of “do whatever you want” extends to “make the game do whatever you want.” As we were building Skyrim and its tools, we made it a goal to try and keep the transition from our previous titles to Skyrim as smooth as possible for modders. More importantly, we want to make it easier for more people to enjoy mods. So we teamed up with Valve and created the Skyrim Workshop. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turning out. Mods are a big part of what makes our games special, so we urge everyone to try it out. We’re going to keep looking for ways to get mods to more people, and hopefully one day to our console audience.

With Skyrim Workshop, you can browse and search for the latest or highest rated mods, subscribe to any that interest you, rate your favorites and post feedback. Once you’ve subscribed to some mods, start the Skyrim launcher and you’ll see your subscribed mods automatically download. The launcher will even check if a mod has been updated and grab the latest version.

If you want to try making mods (and we think everybody should), the Creation Kit will be a free download via Steam under Tools. The Creation Kit has lots of new features, including the ability to build archives. Plus you’ll want to check out the Creation Kit Wiki, our online documentation and help file, for more details.

Of course, you’ll still be able to use popular fan-hosted mod sites like Skyrim Nexus to find great mods to play. We did not change any functionality to exclude the way mods worked previously. We even added a few features to help out — for instance, custom INI files can now be packaged into mods so you don’t need to backup your INI files anymore.

And we’re not done. Neither is Valve. Give us your feedback on the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop in our forums. We both have updates in the works, so give us your thoughts.

Big thanks to programmers Ken Cockerham, Mike Lipari, and Shannon Bailey for getting the Skyrim Workshop up and running with Skyrim. And special kudos to Joel Burgess (who originally brought up the idea of using Steam Workshop) for shepherding this process along the way.

We’d also like to give big shout outs to Valve. We are all big Valve fan boys. Thanks to David Sawyer, Josh Weier, Pieter Wycoff, Kurtis Chinn, Tom Bui, Alden Kroll and Jason Holtman.

Finally, we’d like to thank all the modders who volunteered to beta test the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop. Your feedback has been invaluable.

We can’t wait to see your work!

Skyrim lands on Conan O’Brien, front page of the Wall Street Journal

On last night’s episode of Conan, longtime sidekick Andy Richter shared a segment about his magnificent voice work for Skyrim. Too bad he wasn’t a member of the cast… apparently it increases your shot at landing an Oscar nomination.

Elsewhere, today’s front page of The Wall Street Journal includes a feature about players taking the peaceful/pacifist route when playing Skyrim. The article includes quotes from Todd Howard and Felix the Peaceful Monk creator, Daniel Mullins.

Skyrim around the web

We’re back with more of our favorite Skyrim videos, comics, awards, and more. One of my personal favorites this month was  live-action tribute, Fus Ro Dah!!!!. Watch it above..

Elsewhere on the web, check out these Skyrim-related goodies…

Last but not least, visit Game of the Year Picks Blog to check out an updated list of the GOTY awards Skyrim has received. By their count, the game has won 190 GOTY awards — making it the third Bethesda Game Studios title to be named their “Big Winner”.

Now on Steam: Beta Update for Skyrim (Updated)

Update 2/2: With the 1.4 update available, we have disabled the beta update. Thanks to everyone that participated.

Update 1/30: A third beta update (1.4.21) is now available on Steam. The update features one new change:

  • Fixed bug related to hitching between cell boundaries.

We really appreciate the feedback from our Steam Beta. We anticipate the 1.4 update going live this week for all on the PC and being sent to the console manufacturers. The Creation Kit won’t be far behind.

Update 1/26: A new version of the Beta Update (1.4.20) is now live on Steam. It addresses the following:

  • Fixed occasional audio issue that would play sound effects louder than intended
  • Master Criminal achievement/trophy unlocks properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian
  • Fixed issue where dragon priest masks would not render correctly
  • Fixed issue where player would be unable to become Thane of Riften if they purchased a home first

Original Post: Skyrim is using Steam’s beta functionality to give users an early look at the 1.4 Update currently in development.

What does beta mean? This patch is still in development. Apply the update at your own risk and only if you are affected by issues listed in the fix notes.

Be sure to back up your saved games or simply be careful not to overwrite your existing saves. If you decide to opt out of the beta program, your old saves will still work with the current release of Skyrim (v 1.3).

To get the beta, you need to do the following:

  1. Log into Steam
  2. Click on Steam in the upper menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Under the Account tab, go to the Beta Participation section and select Change.
  5. A drop down menu will appear. Select Skyrim Beta.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Steam will now restart. After Steam restarts, Skyrim will be updated to the Beta version currently available.

If you decide you don’t want to run the Beta anymore, redo steps 1 – 4. At the drop down, select NONE – Opt out of all beta programs. Let Steam restart, and Skyrim will automatically update itself back to the latest released version.

To provide feedback on the beta update, use our beta forum.

Skyrim voice actors collect Oscar noms

The nominees for the 2012 Academy Awards were announced this morning, and two Skyrim voice actors were amongst those honored in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Christopher Plummer — voice of Skyrim’s Arngeir — was nominated for his work in “Beginners,” while Max von Sydow — Esbern himself — was recognized for his role in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

Congrats to them both!