So what is Skyrim Anniversary Edition? No, it’s not some elaborate self-parody of Bethesda about its habit of re-releasing The Elder Scrolls V. It’s actually a new version of the long-running and ever-popular open world RPG of 2011 that Bethesda is launching for the game’s tenth anniversary. Bethesda calls it “the most definitive version of Skyrim to date”, which I suppose leaves us open to the very real possibility of a Skyrim Extra Special 15-Year Barrel Aged Edition five years from now.
In any case, Bethesda is launching The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition in November. Given the number of Skyrim versions that have already been released over the years, you will want to know exactly what this one contains to determine if it’s an upgrade worth buying. Here’s all we know about what the Skyrim Anniversary Edition will contain.
When is the release date for Skyrim Anniversary Edition?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition launches on November 11, 2021. It’s been ten years since the original game came out, if you do not remember the clever “11/11/11” marketing from that time. If you already own the 2016 Skyrim Special Edition, it will be released as an update to your current game instead of a separate playlist in your library.
What is Skyrim Anniversary Edition?
Bethesda calls the Anniversary Edition “the most definitive version of Skyrim to date.” That’s not the most concrete explanation, so it might help to think of Skyrim Anniversary as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition – Definitive Edition. It definitely clears things up, right?
Okay, Skyrim AE is a bit like a Game Of The Year release for the Skyrim Special Edition. It includes Skyrim SE and also bundles in all the previously released premium Creation Club add-ons. It will also add some next-generation upgrades, Bethesda says, but we do not know what it will be yet and how much of an impact they will have on PC players.
What is included in the Skyrim Anniversary Edition?
When you buy Skyrim Anniversary Edition, here’s what’s actually included:
- Skyrim Special Edition
- Skyrim’s original DLCs: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn
- Next generation improvements to Skyrim SE
- All 48 previously released Creation Club items
- 26 new Creation Club items
If you had forgotten Bethesda’s Creation Club, it’s a paid DLC marketplace developed either internally by Bethesda or by approved external creators. The 48 current Creation Club items that you can access as part of Skyrim AE range from special weapons to new enemy types, mission expansions, and gameplay changes.
Some of the new Creation Club items arriving alongside Skyrim SE on November 11 include Morrowind-inspired weapons and armor and a quest expansion called The Cause. In total, Bethesda says the 74 Creation Club items included in Skyrim AE represent over 500 new gameplay elements.
Players who do not upgrade to Skyrim AE will also receive four of these Creation Club items for free on November 11th. They will receive the Saints and Seducers quest expansion, the Rare Curious expansion, Survival Mode, and the Fishing skills and missions.
What if you already own Skyrim Special Edition?
So what happens if you already own Skyrim SE? Bethesda says current owners and Xbox Game Pass subscribers will have the option to upgrade to Skyrim AE. Bethesda has not yet revealed the prices for buying a new copy of Skyrim AE versus upgrading from Skyrim SE.
Even if you does not buy the Anniversary Edition of the game, these four free Creation Club items will be added to your game for free.
Will Anniversary Edition ruin your mods?
As is often the case with game updates: yes, Skyrim AE is likely to affect some game modes you have installed for Skyrim SE. It is not yet clear how much of an impact it will have and how long certain mods will be out of action.
Some modders are prepare for the worst. They expect the Skyrim Script Extender, a basic mod for many other Skyrim SE mods, to be updated. SKSE’s developers suspect that other plugin mods will also be affected for an unknown period of time until they can be updated. Some mods on our list above best Skyrim Special Edition mods requires SKSE, such as SkyUI and Legacy of the Dragonborn.
If you are particularly attached to your modded version of the game, the sure advice seems to be to turn off automatic updates on Steam before the launch date of November 11th. That way, you do not end up with a game version that is suddenly incompatible with all your mods, like happened with Fallout 3 recently.
System requirements for Skyrim Anniversary Edition
Bethesda has not yet revealed the system requirements for the Skyrim Anniversary Edition. Since Skyrim AE is a version of Skyrim SE with some next generation updates, we can probably expect its system requirements to meet or exceed Skyrim SE’s. Here are the recommended system specifications on PC for Skyrim Special Edition as a starting point:
- Operating system: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 (64-bit version)
- Processor: Intel i5-2400 or AMD FX-8320
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB or AMD R9 290 4GB
- Storage: 12 GB free space
What else do we know?
Bethesda has said that in November, all Creation Club-installed quests will not be initialized at startup, meaning you will not be bombarded with new quest notifications every time you start a new game. Instead, you will find these quests out in the world.
Bethesda will also host an anniversary concert on November 11 at 11.00 PDT with the London Symphony Orchestra live on Youtube and Rich.