Mounted Combat arrives in 1.6 Skyrim Update

The team at Bethesda Game Studios is excited to announce another new feature making its way into Skyrim… Mounted Combat! Like the recently added Kinect support (360) and new kill cameras, this highly-requested feature that was seen in the Skyrim Game Jam video is arriving for free. In fact, by opting into the latest Steam Beta Update, PC users can check out the feature today. As far as release on other platforms, we’ll let you know when we have more information.

Thanks again to all our fans, we remain committed to supporting the game through our free updates, mod tools, and more. And yes, we’re still working on our first add-on, Dawnguard – some great stuff to show you soon, stay tuned!

Read the current 1.6 release notes below…

1.6 Update (all platforms unless specified)


  • Mounted Combat – Skyrim now allows you to do melee and ranged combat while riding a horse


  • General stability and memory optimizations
  • General AI pathfinding optimizations and bug fixes
  • Optimizations and crash fixes for data leaks
  • Fixed rare crash with lighting
  • Fixed crashes related to loading and saving games
  • Fixed crash with summoned creatures/NPCs
  • Fixed rare issue where saves would be corrupted
  • Improved logic for when ranged kill cams are played
  • Fixed issue with ranged kill cams while killing a dragon
  • Fixed rare issue with certain ranged kill cams not playing properly
  • Fixed issue with nirnroot lighting not properly cleaning up
  • Fixed issue where bow damage was being calculated incorrectly
  • Fixed rare problem with werewolf kill moves would not finish animating properly
  • In “The Break of Dawn” fixed rare issue where Meridia’s Beacon would disappear from player’s inventory
  • Fixed occasional issue where followers would disappear after player pays off a bounty after committing a crime
  • Fixed issue where certain creatures and NPCs would fail to respawn properly
  • Fixed rare issue with dialogue subtitles not displaying properly
  • Fixed issue with water appearing blurry when loading a saved game after creating a save underwater
  • Fixed issue where map cursor would occasionally disappear after closing a message box with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed rare issue with shouts only performing the first level and not other unlocked levels with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed issue where the shout buttons would stop working properly if users mashed LB and RB during cooldown with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)


If you’d like to download the 1.6 Beta Update on Steam, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  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 opt into the Beta, 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 on Steam (v 1.5).

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.

Reader Comments

  1. I think Bethesda is doing a wonderful thing by creating a better game after it’s release, and not just saving these features for another title.

    • Yes. Considering current business practices I’d generally expect developers to make something like this a $10 DLC. I’m glad to see Bethsoft isn’t like that.

      • They used to be like that, i still remember the cheapy ol’ Horse Armour back in Oblivion that people payed for… and it had no point. Horse Armour has a point now, but its something that is either patched in or added in a large DLC, and not a puny one like before.

      • Don’t hold you breath. The only reason it’s free is that the game was so horribly bugged at the start,they are still fixing it to this day. If they charged for this sort of thing they’d have a mass PC gamer revolt over it. Wait until most of the bugs are fixed and we’ll see how long this content stays free.

  2. Super psyched for this, but could you please make save data copyable on PS3s? I’d like to have the same character on multiple accounts without making it and starting over several times.

  3. Thank you Gstaff! Woo-hooo!!! =D
    I’m one of the “minority” who play on the PS3, so am greatly looking forward to this. Still enjoying the new features from the last update. Thank you for making the game better for those of us who cannot participate in the modding community.

    One other thing I must say is: Thank God someone else wants working boats! I thought I was the only one! That and night not being dark enough are my two greatest frustrations with the game. If I ever make my own game, the first thing I’ll make sure of is that it will have working boats!!

    Meanwhile, I’m chomping at the bit for this new update! XD

    • Yes! Boats! I think it comes down to the fact that the engine doesn’t seem to be very good at handling “vehicle” physics, dealing with inertia and that sort of thing, but it’s definitely a feature I’d love to see. I have a feeling this is a step in the right direction.

  4. Are they going to fix the glitch for the ps3 that automatically freezes you’re ps3 if you enter any water that makes you swim because I basically can’t do any mission that has a large pool of water near it or go any where near water in general Ita quite frustrating.

  5. Now to start a new character, unlock Shadowmere and find myself a Nazgul armor mod and I’ll be set!

    With that being said, interesting update. Much smaller than I expected, but I suspect some much more interesting features are coming in Dawnguard. Looking forward to that as well.

  6. I am glad Bethesda is making use of the few PC gamers left, as many of them have very high potential and is overall a good place to test updates.

    • I like the one person’s comment of the “few PC gamers left”. Tell that to the thousands of people that play single player and multi-player games on their PCs

      Unless you mean there are very few PC players playing Skyrim – which I still find hard to believe

    • Few pc gamers left? Skyrim sold over ten million copies. Diablo III 6.5 million.Hell, saints row the third sold over three million copies on pc alone. Yeah..lot of pc gamers out there 😛

  7. Please fix the glitched quests (specifically “Dragon Seekers”) before adding new toys. 300+ hours wasted because Farkas initiates dialogue EVERY time hes withi range.

    • Oh yes, please… help me get rid of Farkas. Entered the Dragon Seekers mission after killing the dragon… now there is just no way of getting rid of the guy. One advantage: I now have an unkillable follower.

    • I used to have the same issue. It’s solvable. It means you have a bounty on your head somewhere. Just clear the bounty and he will act normal again.
      I had a bounty in Markarth and Farkas wouldn’t let me be until I cleared the bounty.

      • Actually, I think you are talking about *another* glitch. Ignore what I said but it’s a solution to another glitch nonetheless 😉

  8. How about adding actual consequences to our game choices? Like shop keepers refusing to sell to you after you kill Ulfric rather than telling us they hate our guts but selling to us anyway and then telling us to have a nice day in a pleasant tone of voice or removing access to diametrically opposed guilds once certain guilds are joined?

    • Yes, I’ll second that as well. The longer I play the game, the more I want stuff like this.
      there’s also the issue of re-spawning. Everything you kill in the game is there again later if you come back. That’s one of the things I really HATE about games like WOW. Makes me feel like: “What’s the point?” Of course, the treasure chests re-spawn as well, so you can also collect more loot, but this really breaks the immersion. I recall that in Oblivion, if a cave etc. was cleared there might be creatures there when you came back, but they were different creatures. That, at least, is a big step in the right direction. Too bad this was not carried over into Skyrim like I thought it would be.

  9. Dear Gstaff,
    I apologize if this is not the appropriate venue for this comment, but it was the best way I could think of to contact you, as I know that you do read these comments.
    I have been playing as a vampire in Skyrim for a while now, and would like to make some suggestions for this “character type”. I hope that you’ll indulge me and take these things into consideration, as I believe they would go some length into making vampire play more immersive.
    1. Wolves and skeevers should not attack player vampires.
    2. Player vampires should not always be attacked by NPC vampires. Sometimes, yes, but not always.
    3. Player vampires should be able to use open coffins as beds.
    4. The penalty for being in sunlight should be more harsh, but perhaps more nuanced (i.e.: not as bad on overcast days, in shaded areas, etc.). Yes, the penalty in Oblivion seemed too harsh (although I loved seeing my character start smoking as soon as sunlight hit him!), but the penalty in Skyrim just seems too lax by comparison.
    5. It would be nice if fellow vampires that the player has befriended in the game (in one of the factions, for instance) could recognize & comment on the player’s new status.
    That’s all I really wanted to say. I thought maybe some of these things had perhaps not been thought of as the game was in development. I don’t believe they would adversely affect game balance, and they would provide a more “authentic” experience for those who try out the vampire role.
    Thank you for the consideration.

  10. Thanks Bethesbros! Super of you guys to add new features after release.

    Excited for the Dawnguard DLC this summer. Hope it’s as good as Shivering Isles! (though we have to wait a month after Xbox users get it :[)

    • I wonder what the story with Dawnguard will be?
      I would love to see some DLC involving the Nightingales, where you would have to actually use your powers to defend the Twilight Sepulcher! That would be awesome….

  11. This is exactly why Bethesda earned the “Best Game Studio Award” at VGA 2011. Considering how large of a company they are, they still show that they care about the quality and satisfaction of their customers instead of just our money by giving us updates and new additions to the game free of charge. You guys are awesome – thank you for your support to the community and creating one of the greatest games of all time!

  12. Any chance the item ordering that you can do using Kinect will arrive in the PS3 version eventually via a button press?
    My containers are a bit mismatched and being able to tell the game to A-Z them would be pretty helpful.

  13. Good start for mounted combat. Archery on horseback has a few issues:

    1. You physically cannot shoot to your right if you hold the bow in your left hand and draw with the right hand, vice versa for lefty shooters. It just looks wrong in the game when you do it.

    2. The player needs to be able to shoot targets that are behind them. Once you level the mouse that way, you start to turn under the current system. The player should have a firing arc of 180 degrees on their left side.

    It’s rather nitpicky, but the devil is in the details.

    A game that has near-perfect mounted archery is Mount & Blade: Warband, check it out for a proper example.

  14. I found an specific glitch in my xbox 360 version of Skyrim, when I went to Konjanvund (or however it is spelled) the game displayed the animation of a newly obtained word of power (Slow time), therefore I opened my Shout menu to unlock it but it didn’t appear there even though the game clearly displayed that I did learn it. After this incident my game has gotten slower (it takes around 3 min. to open the Items menu) and when I went to the Hag’s End I found a word wall; but rather than displaying the animation or sound effect made by approaching it, only produced an apeshit sound (no offense, but it sounds like a million bats flapping their wings right beside your ear) and not giving me the word of power. I highly except you find the source of this glitch because it is really annoying for this to happen to you.

  15. Great Divines! I think i just fell off a speeding horse and smiled with uncontrollable happiness!

    Pretty fantastic addition to SKYRIM and as others have mentioned the type of thing one would have expected in future title. The new patch fixes also look fabulously fantastic!

    Hail Bethesda! They are beyond the zenith of ultimate excellence!

  16. Ah! Thank God! i was getting tired of TES-O SPAM in! Great news cant wait to try mounted combat!

    When are you guys giving the foot prints, seasonal foliage, flow based water and Verlet Surface for non rigid objects… ill take as much realism and physics as i can.

  17. just got done watching the video for the mounted combat on ign and find out you can only use weapons while riding on a horse, no spells. that really f%#k up. i was really excited for this featured, now im left quite disappointed.

  18. Japanese and Asian (NTSC-J) versions are still not updated with Kinect patch. Does 1.6 patch include Kinect feature for all regions?

  19. Im impressed bethesda. Its not often that new features are added to single player games via patches.

    – Kinect support
    – New kill cam animations
    – mounted combat (i hope NPCs can do this too)

    Now if you guys add that werewolf perk tree i will fall in love with the game agian.

    I love playing a werewolf, but as they are now, they are useless unless you perma knockdown someone with the werewolf strafe power attack.

  20. I play on PC and since the latest update, I can no longer see underwater. It’s just gray when I go beneath the surface. I think there should be an option to go back to before the update because it’s been a little while since this happened and I have yet to see a solution. This seems to be an obvious problem with this update, why hasn’t it been fixed yet?

  21. I have to say mount and blade was awesome I hope this is somewhat near that. I am super super excited by the prospect though. Great job bethesda, now do something with RAGE.

  22. I ♥ Bethesda. Any logical, reasonable comparison between Bethesda and Activision Blizzard is day and night. And not just any night. More like Realistic Lighting kind of night.

  23. There is a bug, whenever I draw my sword while on the horse, my character is standing with his arms drawn out instead of sitting.

    • Yes… Yes… this idea intrigues Fenrat… Horse Armour 200 years ago made no since, as we had not learnt the ways of horse combat… but now… the world can make since again. No longer will we cry a great sorrow at the pointless armour that coated our horses.

      Fenrat would love for many varients, From Iron-Dragon Bone

      All should be craftable, and the less rare like Iron, Steel, and Orc should be purchasable from all stable masters.

      But horse armour like Deadric, Dwarvern, Dragon, Ebony, Elven, etc. should only be craftable by master smiths. And they should be Upgradable just like our own armours.

  24. A “Skyrim Mom” type player here, saying thanks for recent updates that believe it or not have greatly improved my personal enjoyment of the game: snowy and waterline transitions. It’s just plain fun now to tramp around in the hills and go swimming. I’m glad y’all care to tweak these small things along with having the glamorous cams and horseback- and I’m looking forward to normal nirnroots!

  25. There is one game breaking glitch in my game that I wish you guys would fix. The quest is “hired muscle” one of the first few quests in the companions storyline. I was supposed to intimidate faendal in riverwood, but he was killed in a dragon attack a long time ago and now the quest cannot be finished. I think you may have prevented the problem with the last few patches, but for all of us who had this same problem, we’re still having the same problem. Farkas keeps saying “I already have given you a job, now get to it” I wouldn’t care to much if it was a miscellaneous side quest, but I cannot finish or progress any further in the companions storyline. I hope you read this and consider it. I don’t think it would be too hard of a change, just a few lines of dialog and code. It’s one of the last few game breaking glitches there is. By the way my system is xbox 360. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  26. Aaawww yeah! Although feel kinda sorry for Rongphale for his mounted combat mod 🙁
    Does the pathifinding stuff refer to the navmesh issue in any way?

  27. I was sort of sad to see the hilariously inaccurate ranged kill cams fixed. Watching some hapless elk narrowly dodge my fireball made for a bit of excitement. Still, I’m not at all sad to see the dremora at Mehrunes Dagon’s shrine are FINALLY respawning for me. A more than fair trade for losing my kill cam adventures.

  28. The ability to fight from horse back sounds awesome but I also want to see some changes with the werewolves. I played the bloodmoon add on for morrowind and I loved it, but I want to see some of that in anytime as well like free roaming werewolves and a feral lycanthropy disease. Another thing that would be cool is werewolf or vampire companions.

  29. Bethesda, if what I’ve played of the v1.6 beta is making it into the final release, you have my gratitude. I’m not talking about the gameplay additions either; I’m talking about the navmesh bug. So far no issues in new cells so I’m hoping this is the end of that issue once and for all and not just another false alarm.

  30. Now this is how a company should treat its gamers. Bethesda i will always support you by buying your games. Just keep it up

  31. the addition of mounted combat is excellent, but please, make it so that you have a button to enable free-look whilst on the horse, so you can aim your bow in any direction in front, as at the moment you have only five directions you can shoot whilst riding, so you have to track enemies directly from behind.

    If a free look enabling button, and NPC using mounted combat (and a lot more people riding horses), this could be one of the best things in the game. I’d love to see some missions chasing along side caravans, and carts darting around mountain paths.

  32. You guys are proving to all those puny videogame companies that you are really No. 1 and that you really care about your gamers by bringing this out as free content.
    One day I’ll work for you as a Concept Artist guys, I promise!

  33. I have tried the beta and you guys need to fix the bow aiming system, its pretty bad, and why there is not magic combat on the horse too?
    one question more, NPCs also have mounted combat? i hope so.

  34. Any chance “The house of horrors” is going to get a quick fix? I have read up on just about all the breaks in it and I hit about 60% of them, boiled it down to just one (the one being reversed lockout occurring after becoming trapped in the alter trying to return outside rather then when you enter locking you inside so you have to go down the unlocking after your done down there)

    • also forget E3 you know you want to do an epic announcement (and maybe let me play the demo of dawnguard?) at Comic-Con 2012

  35. Awesome! Thanks a bunch, Bethesda! It’s always felt so odd to have to stop and dismount every time a couple of enemies pop from the bushes. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this new update. (PS3 Player)