What is Skyrim Anniversary Edition and Will It Disrupt Mods?

Published: November 8, 2021 12:00 PM /


A logo of skyrim anniversary edition on a background made out of tiles with shots from the game

On the Nov. 11, Bethesda will celebrate 10 years of its megahit The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by releasing Skyrim Anniversary Edition for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

What's inside Skyrim Anniversary Edition?

Dubbed "the most definitive version of Skyrim," it's a next-generation console upgrade to the existing Skyrim Special Edition, combined with a heap of DLC. It comes with all 48 existing add-ons from the Skyrim Creation Club, which has been releasing internal and third-party paid DLC since 2017, along with 26 new items.

That amounts to a lot of content packed into Skyrim Anniversary Edition, with existing add-on items like player homes, pets, and fleshed-out map areas alongside newly announced DLC packs, ranging from whole new questlines to a farm to tend in Whiterun. 

Bethesda has priced the standalone release at USD $49.99 / GBP £47.99 / EU €54.99, while Special Edition owners can purchase a full upgrade for USD $19.99 / GBP £15.99 / EU €19.99.

Alternatively, owners of Special Edition will be able to download a limited version Anniversary Edition as a free update to their current game, adding next-gen enhancements and access to four free Creation Club DLCs. These packs are the Survival Mode of the game, the Saints & Seducers expansion based on The Shivering Isles which comes with Rare Curios for Khajit traders, and the long awaited Fishing pack.

Shot from Skyrim Anniversary Edition. Two armed warriors, one in gold armour, one in silver plate, wearing masks and large roman style head adornments, stand in battle stances weapons raised and alert. The shot is framed as if they are about to fight.

Skyrim Anniversary Edition modding risk?

PC modding has been highly popular with Skyrim players since the start and has produced some of the most famous content associated with the game. But the mod development scene has expressed concern about the upcoming update to Special Edition as potentially disruptive to running and creating Skyrim mods. While the game will remain the same as Special Edition in most technical aspects, updating from Special Edition to Anniversary Edition will likely mean the Skyrim Script Extender required for many mods, especially newer ones, will no longer work.

In a warning on Reddit, one of the developers of the script extender explained that "the reason for this is that as part of the AE update, Bethesda has decided to update the compiler used to build the 64-bit version of Skyrim from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2019."

This means that the Skyrim Script Extender and plugins will need to be rewritten for Anniversary Edition, and it's very likely that the original authors of mods would now have to update them to work with the new version. The developer goes on to advise modders to back up their files in order to be able to access the pre-Anniversary Special Edition, and for Steam users to turn off updates to Skyrim.

What else?

Aside from this, Bethesda are encouraging people to celebrate 10 years by submitting their fan art to the Skyrim Museum, a community gallery of works dedicated to the game which contains some fun curated fan art.

May you walk on warm sands.

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Bethesda Game Studios
Bethesda Softworks
PC, Playstation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Release Date
November 11,2011
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