The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Survival Mode Announced

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been around for the better part of a decade and it still manages to make headlines. Whether it be the upcoming release of the game on Nintendo’s latest console, or the never ending waves of updates to the game itself, Skyrim has managed to stay fresh in gamers’ minds everywhere. The latest update for the game–Survival Mode–was announced yesterday and seeks to make the famed RPG even harder, forcing players to focus on their warmth, fatigue, hunger, disease, afflictions, and the absence of fast travel and health regeneration.

You can check out a full list of the challenging additions below.

The update, new for Skyrim Special Edition, is available now for beta testing on Steam, and only requires that players opt in. Xbox One and Playstation players will be able to face the challenges of Survival Mode early next month.

Interestingly, the update mentions that Survival Mode will be free for PC and console players for one week after it launches, though it is not clear what will happen after that. This isn’t the first time a Bethesda game has had a hardcore mode though, Fallout: New Vegas’ Hardcore Mode is a particular favorite of mine.


Hunger will kick in in a similar way to real life. When you don’t eat for a time you will get hungry. That hunger here will impact your total stamina as well as your ability to wield weapons. Cooking food the right way will grant more health than uncooked food and uncooked food can cause disease and food poisoning.


Fatigue affects adventurers who avoid sleep. Over time, fatigue will begin to decrease available magicka and decrease the effectiveness of potions and stamina regen. Sleeping outside though will not grant the well-rested bonus.


Skyrim has always looked like a cold place to live, and now it feels like it too. The cold will decrease your health and movement speed as well as your ability to pick both locks and pockets. If you stay out in the cold too long–you die. You can stay warm with fires, hot soup, or warmer locations. Warmth will also be provided by certain armor and clothing.

Freezing Water:

Freezing water will cause a lot of damage to your health, and taking too long of a dip could result in death. Flame Cloak or the Dunmer Ancestor’s wrath ability can allow you to be immune to the frigid water for a time.

Fast Travel:

Yeah, that’s not happening. You’ve got to go everywhere on horseback or by foot, so be sure to stack up all your quest turn-ins before venturing anywhere. You can also use carriages or boats but the other effects of the game, including cold, hunger, and fatigue, will still apply.

Health Regeneration:

You can’t regenerate health. You’ve got to rely on potions, restoration spells, and food to get that red bar back up.

Leveling Up:

You can’t just do this on the go anymore. To level up, the player must sleep in a bed.

Carry Weight:

You can’t carry as much as you used to be able to. If you try and carry too much you’ll start to notice fatigue kicking in. Sadly, arrows and lockpicks now have weight.


Aside from everything else, you now have to worry about the diseases that wandering animals carry, as well as being sure to cook meat before you eat it. Diseases can progress and may evolve over time.


With all of the above mentioned, staying unhealthy for too long can result in additional afflictions that can impact your strength, spellcasting, as agility skills.


This ain’t no charity. Shrines now require gold offerings in order to cure diseases, but you can craft a free one in your house.

Perks and Standing Stones:

The Extra Pocket perk and Steed Stone are half as effective as before, granting only 50 extra carry weight.

Vampires and Werewolves:

If you run out of food and happen to be one of these bloodthirsty creatures, you can opt for flesh. You will, however, become very cold and slower as a result.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is arriving on the Switch on November 17. You can check out the latest trailer for it here. You can read up on Skyrim VR, including our preview, here. The map for Survival Mode is available below.


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