Skyrim system requirements announced (updated)

Skyrim’s launch is less than three weeks away!! To help you prepare for the game’s release, here’s the recommended and minimum PC requirements.

Recommended Specs

  • Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD CPU
  • 4GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD space
  • DirectX 9.0c compatible NVIDIA or AMD ATI video card with 1GB of RAM (Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or higher (i.e GTX550Ti); ATI Radeon 4890 or higher).
  • DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet access for Steam activation

Minimum Specs

  • Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor
  • 2GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD Space
  • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM
  • DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet access for Steam activation
Wondering if your setup is up to snuff? Check out this graphics cards hierarchy chart at Tom’s Hardware. And to discuss with fans, jump into our forums.
Updated: We’ve seen plenty of comments relating to the game only requiring six gigs of HDD space. Don’t worry… there’s still a ton of game in there. The total HDD space relates more to the compression opitmizations we’re able to do with The Creation Engine. Not only are do we think you’ll be impressed with how the game looks, but also how much faster it runs..


Reader Comments

    • specify?
      32-bit systems will support up to 4GB but I think it will only use 3.3GB of RAM, rather the application can use more or not.

      64 bit systems can do better. If you have a 64 bit system, then maybe Skyrim will use the extra ram, but I havent seen any official word yet.

      • Yes, I meant in the case of a 64bit system. There were LAA hacks for Oblivion and FO3, but native support would be ideal, clearly.

        • Don’t count on it. Last I heard there will be no 64bit executable, but who knows. It would be nice.

          The fact that they say 4GB is recommended could indicate they have set the LAA flag though, which would be a nice gesture and a reasonable compromise that wouldn’t require special support.

          • I think you got it all wrong. Applications (including games) do not have to be 64-bit to use more than 4 gigs or memory. Actually, it is not up to them to decide how much RAM is dedicated to them, it’s up to operating system. Furthermore, theoretically you will be able to play the game with 1 GB or RAM, but it will be almost unplayable. Thing is, operating systems does something known as paging: it uses hard disk as a supplement for not having enough memory. This process is far more slower than actually writing-reading high speed RAM. So, to put it simply: Skyrim will use as much RAM as possible. If the amount of data that it needs to load from the disk exceeds 4 GB – it will use more of it. If you do not have this amount of RAM – do not worry, you will only experience a small performance drop due to slow hard disk writing/reading, but the game will be playable.

          • @Nikola Malesevic: Nope. I’m not wrong. A 32-bit process cannot address more than 2GB of RAM without a special flag to allow it to go to 4GB.

            You require a 64 bit executable on a 64 bit OS in order to be able to exceed 4GB.

          • My laptop has a 32-bit system and it has 4GB of RAM, is this mean the game can only use 2GB of it? Can you please tell me how to use the “special flag” to let the game use more RAM because I don’t know what that is? Thanks.

    • right… im also sure the game will be amzing.
      but when you consider that their latest game has gone BACKWARDS in hdd space, you can’t help but wonder.

      your lack of concern is more irritating in comparison. It’s like saying its okay to sell us less with the newer games.
      Fallout 3 and FONV both were larger games in terms of HDD space… so it’s rational thought that leads to people thinking we are losing out here, Skyrim being the newer game should have more to offer.

      for reasons I listed in a higher post tho- it’s probally not a big deal, but I do believe anyone is entitled to be ‘very’ concerned about this.

    • It seems rather low though, truly. Even considering the videos we have seen so far.
      It is a possiblity games like Fallout, which used the old engine, required “larger” file sizes for textures models etc. do to it’s inneffeciency.

      Regardless, It seem porty, which sucks.

    • A GTX 460 with 1GB of memory will play the game nicely. The Recommended hardware requirements list a GTX 260 and a HD4890 wich is aimed at being able to play the game at “High” settings. The former was released in June 2008 and the latter in April 2009. So they are both over 3 and 2 years old respectively. The GTX 460 with 1GB of memory has better performance then the aforementioned cards so you will be able to atleast play the game at “High” settings. No need to upgrade just yet.

      Please please ignore Tom’s uninformed reply.

    • That video card is significantly better than the GTX 260 if I am not mistaken. You will definitely not need a better card to run it smoothly at a decent setting and a decent resolution, though perhaps on a huge resolution at max settings you might need something ridiculous.

    • Minimum spec is a DX9c capable card with 512MB. Recommended (higher) spec is a GTX 260 which is LOWER spec than your 460.

      You’ll be fine.

    • You should be able to run the game on highest possible setting, GTX 460 is very powerful, but still a little old, but you should have no problem running the game on very high.
      and phenon II x6 has similar performance as intel’s 2nd generation cpu’s, in other word. very powerful.

  1. 10 gigs can probably be compressed down to 6 depending on the file types (guessing since it’s mostly graphical anyways), but I really doubt I will find any troubles enjoying this game on ultra settings for the hundreds of hours i put into it.

  2. If I want to have the highest / best possible level of resolution and speed, what is needed then? I will probably buy a new computer.


  3. I am sure the game will be amazing. Just look at the previews and gameplay. Have faith in Bethesda’s ability to make an amazing game. Look at Oblivion and Morrowind, both great games mistakes they made in one were fixed in another. Although I think fast travel should be removed, but that’s my opinion.

    • I agree, I was very upset when I saw fast travel. Although it’s nice to have in long-distance quests, I believe a Stilt Strider would feel much less distracting from the fact that I’m playing a video game.
      Mark and Recall, please.

  4. Wow, it’s great that Bethesda chose to use all cores available. Games had a really bad time switching to multiple cores, and it’s so nice to see that hexacore processors will come to their full potential. Great stuff, Bethesda, thank you!

  5. Excuse for errors I from Kazakhstan, I use online the translator:)

    A little it is not clear why in recommended requirements it is specified DX9? Really there will be no effects on DX11?

  6. Crap. I don’t think my 7900GTO is going to be able to handle this. Not that I really expected it to, but sometimes you get pleasant surprises.

    • Because the new engine that uses the “MegaTexture” which is actually the virtualization tech. Already trimmed it on the market since the game Shadow of the Colossus, but in version Carmack. In short, you can create huge empty shells, using a texture quite large, where everything is designed right into the scenario. but limits the chance of people developing their own content, at most should launch an editor to make some maps with the existing material.
      For me, very inflexible.

  7. Hi I am tossing up between two laptops and am just wondering which gpu will be better? Radeon HD6770M or Geforce GT540M? All other specs are the same (i7, 8gig ram, etc).


  8. some of you might find it a stupid question, but I am far from being a computer expert…

    I have a Dual Core 2.1 with 4GB RAM and a pretty crappy gfx card ati mobility radeon hd4570 512mb. It’s a laptop.

    I am not hoping to run the game smoothly on high settings, rather I am asking if I would be able to play the game without huge lags on low settings? I’m really after the story, not the best graphics…

  9. will i be able to run on medium/high settings with no AA
    duel core x2 5200+ 2.67ghz
    geforce 9500gt 512mb ddr3
    4gb ram
    windows 7/64bit

  10. I just wanted to ask you proffestional computah experts: will my little ol’ PC be able to run it on a graphic higher than X-Box without lags?
    9600GT Nvidia (512mb)
    4GB RAM
    Intel Core Duo 2.53GHz

    I mean i know i’ll be able to run it, but i want to play it with good graphic without lags so VERY BADLY!!!

  11. Hey im not very good at comparing specs and wanted to know if anyone could inform me how my specs compare to the games requirments

    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6000+ (2CPUs), ~3.0GHZ
    Memory:5120MB RAM
    Name:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS
    approx. Total Memory: 2914
    display mode: 1280 x 1024 (32 bit) (60Hz)

    Thanks 🙂 need to know if im buying it on PC or Xbox lol

  12. So where are the maximum requirements? “recommended specs” seems more useful for those who want to set everything to average. I want everything to run smoothly on maximum settings, so what do I really need?

      • recommended is for playing on high, not ultra. don’t know what you will need to run ultra though, and i doubt we will until the game is here. Its quite subjective though, if you are playing at a lower resolution you might be able to get away with a lesser graphics card for example, others think that turning off AA to give better frame rates is an improvement. Just depends. To be sure of maxing it out at 1080p with all the bells and whistles then you could go with a GTX 560Ti which should cover it 🙂

  13. Is the first time that the consumer of the Bethesda (TES) will play at Creation Engine. The new engine, of course, set out to better focusing on three platforms. Standardize the texture is important for the look, guarantees the stability of the resource consumption of video, avoiding problems like … “Rage” the black sheep of ZeniMax in 2011 X)
    Bethesda knows that the PC offers much to the look and the creation of customization, sure we’ll see DLC, a package of textures on high and maybe more, to encourage content creators. My pre-order is prepared, should relax with Steam, is a tremendous resource for consumers, from another country. my case.
    Relax and get ready for a great TES.

  14. I meet the other minimum requirements, but not sure about my graphics card..
    it’s a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT with 256MB dedicated graphics memory, but using shared system memory there’s 1022MB available… will this work? I know it won’t be able to run on full specs, but will the game be playable?
    Any advice appreciated before I spend my hard-earned on a potentially unplayable game 🙂

  15. These numbers are worrying me. I hope this looks like everything I have been dreaming about. They need to get it straight: design on high-end PCs and scale down, not the other way around.

  16. I’ve seen a lot of comments about the 6gb. I wouldn’t worry about that. With the new game engine, we’re able to do much more with compression on all things — from art to voice to world data.

    The game’s faster than ever, too.

    • Since snow and some other bits are being created procedurally, I am assuming that a texture with and without snow would not need to be created (ie, snow would be procedurally added on top of the base texture during runtime). So I assume this would mean dual textures (with and without snow) are not needed and halve the size of such textures?

    • and what about people who are unable to make use of Steam? Mil deployments, low speed areas, etc. they just screwed? If we’re buying a game disc why isn’t that enough?

      Figure it’s too late to change now, the discs are probably being pressed or are already pressed. I guess I’m just going to have to cancel my preorder.

  17. wow.. Besides the information on the blog, and be able to discuss. Is evident that Rage was really a “bomb” for the publicity of ZeniMax. Even Skyrim, your engine and look, even beautiful, need to improve every day, to escape the shadow of Apophis.
    Doom 4 will be the Apocalypse literally.

  18. Thanks to the staff for answering our concerns! Also for some of the people with lower spec computers, there is a good possibility the game will still run, but it may be very choppy. A 256mb card most likely will show stuttering, and the 512s should show a more manageable playing state. The shared memory doesn’t matter as much as the raw gpu (shared is more like a buffer in between being sent to the card itself). Hope that helps.

  19. pls tell me will i be able to run on medium/high settings without AA?
    duel core x2 5200+ 2.70ghz
    geforce 9500gt 512mb ddr3
    4gb ram
    windows 7/64bit

      • ok thx but never trust system requirements 100%…ive run crysis 2 on high ,witcher 2 on high with little bit lag,rage on maximum without lag

        • It’s going to depend on what details you turn up. You can probably get away with medium on a low end system if you leave shadows off. Shadowing is what mostly kills lower systems and while it looks great, it’s not required to enjoy a beautiful game.

    • Something like that, perhaps, but no one can be sure at this point so don’t rely too heavily on it. Keep in mind Oblivion is now five years old and actually pretty outdated, but running Skyrim at all is surely better than not having it. 🙂

  20. Geforce gt 430
    intel i7 2600 cpu 3.40ghz
    4 gb ram

    Will i be able to run it smoothly on minimum settings and 1280×1080 resolution?
    thx 🙂

    • Yes, you should probally be able to enhoy it on low-medium settings smoothly. However, upgrade your graphics card and you would see a dramatic increase in performance.

    • Not sure if this is a serious question when people with sandy bridge chips ask about running the game at minimal resources. With that resolution you should be running smoothly on high detail, anything higher will probably need a newer video card.

    • sandy bridge chips are very powerful, however your graphic card is rather out of date, you could probably run it on high, but turning on AA would cause some serious lag i presume.

  21. The thing I would like to ask is if Bethesda has included a benchmarking utility to allow us to tweak the settings to where we want it. I have in mind Metro 2033’s benching utility in which you could change the settings and then see how the FPS changes. Just wondering. Other tests would be nice, such as marks or a unigine bench on the rig used to run at minimum, recommended, etc. Thanks team for such great games.

  22. Will Intel Integrated HD Graphics be supported? Oblivion did it, then Fallout 3 didn’t. Then New Vegas did and I am going to be very angry/sad if Skyrim does not support it. It’s not that bad for a laptop graphics adapter, it is just relatively unsupported, which irritates me.

  23. I’m not good with computer specs but I think I have a pretty good computer. Will an Intel quad core q9300, 8gb of RAM, Radeon HD 5770 graphics card with Windows 7 64-bit be able to run this maxed out setting do you think?

  24. Well I’m seriosly worried now. Those requirements are nothing, and DX9 ancient tech. This game would have run even on my old PC, and that was a bad pc. Looks like you took the low road againg, designing a game for 5 year old tech in the consoles and leaving your PC crowd behind. Unless you have some serious upgrades advailable for high end systems (not likely when you set recommended so low)this game is going to be less than impressive and potential performance problems are a serious concern when you make the game run under what seems like extreme constrictions.

    • crysis 2 has almoust the same system reqirements and it looks pretty good in my opinion it looks better than bf3 and for bf3 u need a very good pc ….and you got now patch i think for crysis 2 to be direct x 11 so that means it will be for skyrim later…i think this is ok now low pcs can run it and later it will come patch for better graphics and direct x 11 for better pcs

  25. T4300
    2G RAM

    t is a rather old ASUS notebook which i bought 2 years ago
    It can run TES 4 perfectly well under very-high setting

    suppose it can still run TES5 at mid-low (close to XBOX graphic unless i am wrong)

    I have had the experience of playing Oblivion with 9700m and X700m (768m RAM and AMD3600 something of CPU)
    while the graphic was acceptable, the game was not running smooth (around 10-25 FPS)

    so the question is ‘how smooth can i expect to play Skyrim with my current laptop (what FPS i am to expect)?’

  26. IMO I would go with ATI because its probably cheaper with almost equal performance. I went with a 6990m with basically the same setup and still concerned about running this with Ultra setting…when the mods (like HD textures ((quarn)) / companion / Overall Hauls) come out ofcourse.

  27. Sweet I can play it but my graphics card is a ATI Radeon HD 4250 so Will this play it on Recommended or on Minimum or somewhere in between?

  28. i think my pc can run this on max settings. atleast it can run it very easily. i pre-ordered the collector’s edition but i don’t wanna use steam so i’ll use a crack. it doesn’t seem nice if my game is bound to something and can’t run without it.

  29. Sorry I meant to say (I think its 6 gigs off HDD and the rest off the disc, so I think this game will require the disc to play.) and I missed the message about the 6 gigs at the bottom of the post, so just ignore what I said….. And great job Bethesda. 😀

  30. Access to Steam? Sorry, guys. You just lost a fan. I won’t play a game that includes that sort of DRM, and I’m going to recommend to my friends that they don’t either. Punish the pirates, not the people who actually pay you.

  31. I’m happy to see the PC version includes Steam activation.

    Will the Xbox/PS3 versions contain a Steam key too? If so, I can buy now and play on my roommate’s PS3 until I can get a better computer. Otherwise, I have to hold off… I’ll get a new computer when I can afford it, but I have no plans to own a console. Plus, mods. Mods are good.

  32. I want to thank you for the link to the graphics cards hierarchy chart at Tom’s Hardware. Some of us are only minimally tech-savvy, so that is a big plus.