Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC system requirements confirmed

Bethesda today unveiled the system requirements for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, revealing that, really, as long as you're not still rocking the computer you built in 2006 to play Oblivion, you're probably all right.


With The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fast approaching, how will your PC hold up? Bethesda today unveiled the system requirements, revealing that, really, as long as you're not still rocking the computer you built in 2006 to play Oblivion, you're probably all right.

Recommended PC specification:

  • Quad-core Intel/AMD CPU

  • 4GB RAM

  • DirectX 9 video card with 1GB RAM - Nvidia GTX 260/AMD Radeon 4890 or better

  • Windows XP/7

  • 6GB hard disk space

  • DirectX compatible soundcard

Minimum specification:

  • 2GHz dual-core CPU

  • 2GB RAM

  • DirectX 9c video card with 512MB RAM

  • Windows XP/7/Vista (32 or 64 bit)

The specs were confirmed by Bethesda marketing man Pete Hines on Twitter. Hines also explained that the minimum specs "get you playing," while the recommended will let you play with the graphics set to "High." If you want to bump it up to "Ultra," though, he says you'll want a "beefier rig."

And, as Skyrim is a Steamworks title, you'll need an Internet connection to activate retail copies. Or to download it digitally, obviously.

Skyrim arrives for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 11.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 25, 2011 12:15 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC system requirements confirmed.

    Bethesda today unveiled the system requirements for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, revealing that, really, as long as you're not still rocking the computer you built in 2006 to play Oblivion, you're probably all right.

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 12:17 PM

      Q6600 Quad core, 4 gigs of ram, and 550 Ti.

      Am I good still (like I am with BF3) or should I get it for Xbox?

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 12:18 PM

      i'm so pumped the thing will run on highest settings on my laptop \m/

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 1:33 PM

        Specs? Keep thinking about a gaming laptop but want 14" or less... so basically m11/14x hmmm

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 1:36 PM

          highest end 15" mbp, ordered yesterday. 2.5ghz quad core i7 w/8gigs, 256 SSD, 1gb Radeon 6770

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 12:22 PM

      requires an internet connection? in 2011? this is an outrage!

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 1:12 PM

      So, graphics cards from two generations ago and 6GB of HDD space... I can see where Bethesda's priorities lie.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 1:13 PM

        We knew this was going to be the case since they showed their first footage.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 1:37 PM

        so I'm confused. Are you happy the game will run on lower end PCs or pissed your $500 video has gone to waste for this game?

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 2:13 PM

          since when have you paid $500 for a video card? Most go for under $200, with the top of the line ones going for around $300.

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 2:57 PM

          This type of comment always cracks me up. Perhaps he's upset that it's not utilizing all the features and new technology his newer card supports, like a modern PC game should. See - Crysis 2 pre-DX 11 patch.

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 3:56 PM

          A $500 card is never a waste, unless you're not interested in the best gaming equipment.

          • reply
            October 26, 2011 3:51 AM

            Spending $500 on a video card is the definition of a waste of money.

            • reply
              October 28, 2011 9:20 AM

              Says the guy with the shitty computer, I guess.

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 4:24 PM

          Why not make a game that runs on both? You know, computers are not consoles. They have different levels of hardware. Why not tone back the settings so they can run on crap boxes like your own and look good on high end hardware?

          I really don't understand why people think all computers are static objects that never change or vary. It's either on or off. It either runs well or it doesn't run at all.

          I'm starting to think this line of thinking is a epeen stroking contest, where people with ancient computers want to be able to run everything on maximum settings without ever putting money into it... I don't even understand why they would want to do that if quality on Low for one game is the same as Maximum for another it shouldn't matter, except for the word LOW and MAXIMUM.

          I really hate consolization.

          • reply
            October 25, 2011 5:19 PM

            I think it's more of an epeen argument where someone wants to spend 4k on a computer and then say "I get to run it on max settings," rather than the other way around. I'm sure that within weeks of the game's launch, there will be some high res texture packs for most of the scenery and tweaks for the ini will probably show up within hours.

            • reply
              October 26, 2011 11:58 AM

              You can't magically make scenery look better when it's source isn't higher res. There aren't any magic tweaks for console ports.

              I don't believe so at all. Since there is no downside to making everything look good and just having lower settings.

          • reply
            October 25, 2011 7:02 PM

            The game *DOES* run on both, and I'm sure the low and ultra settings will look quite different.

            • reply
              October 26, 2011 11:59 AM

              Heh... you'd assume that. You know what I meant about having a game made for high end PCs and then running on low end PCs too.

          • reply
            October 27, 2011 1:49 PM

            I am not saying that games shouldn't run at both extremes, but as a developer that shit costs time and money. And for what? to make 1% of the gaming community happy about their video card purchase? Maybe the content of the game is better because they focused on that instead. Or maybe its just so they can run on consoles easier. who knows.

            So its a trade off I'm sure they considered and decided not to target the high end of PC gaming. Their priorities are making a good game that makes money. Making the visuals as nice as possible only becomes a priority if the number of people enjoying those visuals is significant.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 6:38 PM

        In selling as many copies as possible? Yeah. Crazy stuff huh? Go figure.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:05 PM

        Well, they are supporting XP, so that limits them to DX9.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:10 PM

        Hose the sand out of your vagina. We knew where their priorities were back when Oblivion came out, but they still do a decent job of supporting PC users and historically have been very good about releasing mod tools.

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 6:37 AM


    • reply
      October 25, 2011 1:36 PM

      I like how Vista isn't in the Recommended list of OS's

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 2:08 PM

      I'm kind of shocked my laptop will be able to grind this out on low.

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 2:32 PM

      Wow, only 6 gigs of hdd space. Thank you!

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 2:48 PM

        Just wait until modders create super hi res textures and you download 50 mods. Then your instal folder will get very full.

        • reply
          October 25, 2011 3:20 PM

          Yeah, it's gonna be great. Modders would have made those anyway, so at least we start at 6 gigs :)

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 4:19 PM

      Pretty weak... the recommended specs you could buy in 08. Oblivion you could buy in 06, but the same recommended specs as Skyrim were what was needed to run Oblivion fluidly.

      So, Oblivion had software that pushed hardware for two years after it's release. Skyrim needs hardware that was available three years ago. In other words, Skyrim doesn't look any better then Oblivion either objectively or subjectively.

      Yay for consolization?

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 4:26 PM

        Not at all.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 5:16 PM

        How the fuck can you look at low system requirements as a bad thing? An optimized engine is a good thing!

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:03 PM

        Except that if you look at literally *ANY* of the footage of Skyrim out there, it clearly looks better than Oblivion.

        • reply
          October 26, 2011 11:59 AM

          It doesn't... what footage have you been looking at?

          • reply
            October 27, 2011 9:38 AM

            I've been playing Oblivion for the past couple of weeks - Skyrim blows the shit out of Oblivion's ass with a magical Boot of Ass Kicking +5.

            And this after I modded Oblivion with 4 gigs of graphical mods and addons.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:12 PM

        What the shit? haha

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:13 PM

        Seriously? Like, I understand putting your head in your hands over stuff like Rage, or Deus Ex: HR or Dragon Age II, but I have no problem with people aiming for lower specs and optimizing. I mean if you want to reach a broad audience. Not 3000k hard cores who have a PysX card. The game looks amazing. Just like Crysis 2 did this year. I don't mind aiming for console specs as long as you support your mod community and have scalability.

        Death with console ports. Not consoles.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 11:16 PM

        "Skyrim doesn't look any better then Oblivion either objectively or subjectively."


      • reply
        October 25, 2011 11:17 PM

        Get off my internet.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 11:24 PM

        Last time I checked, what affects graphics quality is how it looks, not how it runs. By your logic, a driver update that improves performance would make the game look worse.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 11:59 PM

        aside from the obvious, where does the subjective value of Skyrim's graphics get addressed by this, or anything besides how an individual feels?

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 12:25 AM

        sometimes i wonder why i come here

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 12:50 AM

        you're right, I can't see any difference. fucking consoles



        • reply
          October 26, 2011 4:37 AM

          Tooth is chipped would not hit

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 12:55 AM

        Too... many... logical.... leaps...

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 1:11 AM

        You are what I hate about PC gaming. And there isn't much else that I hate about it, so thanks.

        • reply
          October 26, 2011 5:09 AM

          same. PC gamers are the whiniest group of gamers i have ever come across.

          • reply
            October 26, 2011 5:54 AM

            That's because PC gaming at its best is the best the entire gaming medium has to offer.

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 5:08 AM

        maybe you should find a different hobby.

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 5:49 AM

        Hey I appreciate what you're doing, but try not to wear yourself out

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 12:03 PM

        Pretty sad line of comments following this.

        This is exactly like what I said in the thread up a bit. People want a epeen stroking sensation of having everything on maximum without ever needing to update their hardware, even if it means a low quality game (graphically).

        This isn't a heavily optimized engine, just like Rage doesn't look that amazing either. It's made for consoles that's why the specs are so low.

        Oblivion COULDN'T be run on all the highest settings for TWO years after it's release, but it COULD be run on lower settings. This game will simply CAN run on it's highest settings on hardware that came out THREE YEARS AGO.

        See the difference in variation? This game has none in terms of graphical fidelty. You're getting what it looks like on a console and nothing more. It's a overall loss.

        • reply
          October 27, 2011 9:42 AM

          Have you even played Fallout 3 or New Vegas? That shit was NOT consolized. The graphics were/ are phenomenal. Stop posting half-baked dumb comments.

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 4:21 PM

      Unfortunately, I'm still rocking the computer I built in 2007. So It will run it... barely. Its definitely time for an upgrade. I preordered collectors addition, but going to probably set this one on the shelf until I upgrade sometime after Christmas.

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 4:29 PM

      Woo, DX9! Thank you Xbox. At least we can run it with crazy anti-aliasing if we want.

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 7:09 PM

        What does the Xbox have to do with it? Plenty of multiplatform games also run on DX10 and DX11. Blame Bethesda.

        • reply
          October 26, 2011 12:05 PM

          Name console ports that run DX10 and 11.

          I can only think of one and that's Crysis 2 with a shitty content pack that was released after the game came out that changes almost nothing besides what it says in the release notes.

          • reply
            October 26, 2011 2:23 PM

            Really? You posted this without research?


            There's a ton of console games in there.


            Not as many here, but a few, including BF3, Dirt 3, Dragon Age II, FEAR 3, Metro 2033, Lost Planet 2, HAWX 2.

            Not to mention the games that will be coming out soon.

            It's kind of a staggering amount, which makes Dynotaku's post all the more ridiculously stupid.

            • reply
              October 26, 2011 3:05 PM

              Yes, and you know how many of those games are built off the Unreal Engine? Just because the engine itself, which can run on consoles can use DX10 features DOES NOT mean the game has features from it.

              That is completely putting aside that the list you linked to lists games that support DX10... That means it can run under a DX10 environment (or DX11 for your other list), but does not mean the game is inherently DX10. It's merely a compatibility list.

              For instance Homefront, if you played that, has absolutely no features from DX10 or 11, yet it's listed under the DX10 list and DX11 list because it's based on the UE3 engine.

              Adding to that consoles only have hardware support for DX9 and below, so games that are made for consoles and ported to PCs don't have features for DX10 or 11 because they're based around the lowest common denominator.

              Fear, Dirt 3, BF3, and Metro were not designed for consoles. They were ported to it, not the other way around. Lost Planet is a tech demo for all intents and purposes. That leaves DA2, which had patches released afterwards to fix it up for the PC (not nearly as well as DA1 either).

              • reply
                October 26, 2011 4:44 PM

                Fear, Dirt 3, BF3, and Metro were not designed for consoles

                Do you have any evidence to back that up? Because my first instinct is to say you're dead wrong. BF3 if anything, was a simultaneous development effort, like Rage's.

                I don't see anything there that says there was any "porting."

                Re: Homefront

                So are you saying that they never implemented any DX11 features? Can you list what was left out?

                Sounds to me like Dirt 3's engine isn't PC-centric either, so porting from one platform to the other would seem to be a misnomer.

                Many of the multiplatform engine games are not "ported" at all, and if they are, is it not very trivial to enable certain DX10 and 11 features of the engine with very little effort. In everything I've read, that's the advantage of using something like the Unreal 3 engine.

                Either way, I'm done arguing about this since no matter what, it's a developer's decision whether or not to put the effort into turning on existing support for things like Directx 10 or 11 in the PC version of their engine. Blaming the actual console market for it is complete stupidity.

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 4:48 PM

      Not mentioned: Xbox 360 controller

    • reply
      October 25, 2011 5:15 PM


    • reply
      October 25, 2011 11:47 PM

      God damnit people, it's an Elder Scrolls game. Countless mods will be made for the PC version and I'm sure plenty will give the game the ability to run like a complete turd on your machines. It looks gorgeous in screenshots and videos, so quit complaining!

      • reply
        October 25, 2011 11:53 PM

        Problem is, people are going to now use BF3 on Ultra as the pc graphics benchmark. When this game actually looks totally awesome in its own way.

        • reply
          October 26, 2011 12:22 AM

          Let them. Skyrim doesn't need to be a graphics benchmark.

    • reply
      October 26, 2011 4:28 AM

      The bitching over the system requirements is so. goddamn. hilarious. There are a million videos out there showing extensive gameplay of it. Who gives a fuck what the requirements are? You can already tell it looks great from the videos!

      I guess I'll just be playing the hell out of Skyrim while everyone else is simultaneously crying and jerking off to the CPU bench of 3DMark.

      • reply
        October 26, 2011 6:39 AM

        it's only a fear that the game experience could be lessened so the console kiddies can play too. We jerk off and cry for the possibilities of a world of these epic games tailored only to a PC.

    • reply
      October 26, 2011 4:30 AM

      I can't wait for this game to have size 70 fonts and scrolling through 3 items at a time in my inventory thanks to said fonts.

      I hope you have to press enter for everything too...that would be excellent

    • reply
      October 26, 2011 7:00 AM

      Everything about this game looks great to me except what I read on Skyrim's wikipedia page about Bethesda's Creation Engine: "The resulting game engine was dubbed the Creation Engine, which was based on the Gamebryo engine used for Oblivion and Fallout 3..."

      I don't really know how you could improve the Gamebryo engine, other than totally throwing it out and shooting it several times in the face. If the basis for Creation is Gamebryo, and in the end it feels like Gamebryo (i.e. horrible) I will be very disappointed. Can anyone who's played a preview build confirm/deny that Creation looks/feels/plays completely different than Gamebryo?

      • reply
        October 27, 2011 9:52 AM

        Morrowind and Oblivion, if I recall correctly, both used the Gamebryo engine (unfortunately).

      • reply
        October 28, 2011 9:21 AM

        Fallout 3 and New Vegas looked fantastic, not sure what you're talking about here.

Hello, Meet Lola