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Guide: Play Skyrim without Steam Running


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#1
ladicen

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Hey everyone. How's it going?

As the title says, this post is a Guide on how to play Skyrim without Steam running while you play. The wording is very important here because legal copies of the game force you to use Steam to open Skyrim. Therefore, its safe to conclude that those who want to play without Steam running, and own a legal copy, are trying maximize the system resources available to Skyrim. Or they just really hate Steam.

This guide is broken into two parts:

-Part 1: How to play Skyrim without Steam running
-Part 2: Directions to optimize performance of Skyrim

____________________________________________________

Part 1: How to play Skyrim without Steam running

1) Open Steam. Set it to "Offline Mode" and let it restart. *a

2) Open Task Manager and leave it open. Then run Skyrim as per usual.

3) Once at the Continue/Load menu, Alt-Tab out of Skyrim and into Task Manager.

4) In Task Manager goto "Processes". Select "steam.exe" and then click "End Process". When prompted, press "End Process" again.

5) With Task Manager open, Alt-Tab back to Skyrim. MORE THAN LIKELY THE CONTINUE/LOAD SCREEN WILL NOT SHOW UP - THIS IS FINE! DO NOT CLOSE SKYRIM!

To get back to Skyrim:

6a) Alt-Tab again to Task Manager and then close it. It should automatically switch back to Skyrim and be functional.
6b) If 6a didn't work for you, you will need to leave make sure "explorer.exe" is running. While at the blank Skyrim screen, press the "Start" button on your keyboard to bring up the Start Menu over top of the Skyrim screen. Now click anywhere on the black, empty Skyrim screen and it should be functional again.
6c) When I was using Windows XP I only had to click the black screen 3 times to make it work. Just try whatever comes to mind and mess with this until it comes back, or just start over. *c

And there you have it. No more Steam during Skyrim.

____________________________________________________

Part 2: Directions to optimize performance of Skyrim

NOTE: If this section confuses you, you probably are not familiar with it so it's best to not do any of the following. Realisitcally, at worst, you'll just crash the computer and have to restart. I doubt you'll do any serious damage, but it's better to not risk it if t his is foreign territory to you.

1) Download GameBooster. It's free and ad-free. It works by closing out unnecessary programs that would otherwise take up memory and hinder Skyrim's performance. Explore it and tweak it. You can find guides online wih directions to maximze it's usefulness.

2) Set GameBooster to close "explorer.exe" . You can set GB to restore all processes upon the game being exited. You can also close "explorer.exe" manually in Task Manager. To manually reopen it in Task Manager go to "File", "Run", and type in "explorer". This will revive your desktop. On a side note, you can also this "Run" screen to browse to the folder containing the main exe of your brower of choice if all you want to do is look something up online quickly. If you're using IE8/9, just type in "iexplore", no need to browse to it.

3) Look for anything else that GameBooster didn't close and close it yourself. Just be sure it's safe. Google it if you're not sure whether or not it's a necessary process.

4) Right click on "TESV.exe" and scroll down to "Set Priority". Change it to "High". *d

5) Disconnect from the internet so that any programs trying to access the internet can't do so and therefore take up less resources.

____________________________________________________


I hope this helps some people out who've been trying to get rid of Steam while playing. Good luck and enjoy your game!

____________________________________________________

*a - This works without changing to "Offline Mode". But in the interest of saving resources, I disconnect from the internet while I play.
*b - I haven't gained an Achievement while doing this. I'm not sure how Skyrim would react to trying to log an achievement into Steam while its closed.
*c - The white Windows cursor may end up appearing along with the Skyrim cursor. If this happens, keep trying Step 6 until it goes away, or just start over. I've never had it happen twice in a row and it rarely happens anyway.
*d - I've heard it's not a good idea to set any processs to Realtime. This would dedicate all resources to Skyrim but can be harmful. I have yet to try it. If you've got the stones, go for it and let us know what happens.

____________________________________________________

Edited by bben46, 04 August 2012 - 11:24 AM.


#2
Psiberzerker

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I don't really use it in game, except for screencaps, and mod subscriptions. Thing is, I don't really need it for optimizing, since it's a dedicated machine, and I've got the settings dialed in. Graphix are good enough to suspend disbelief, it doesn't lag, or load over long. I already figured most of this out, or a not disimilar method, but it's just to acces my account from another machine while I'm playing. (I have a roomate who plays too.)

Edited by Psiberzerker, 04 August 2012 - 08:18 AM.


#3
ladicen

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I don't really use it in game, except for screencaps, and mod subscriptions. Thing is, I don't really need it for optimizing, since it's a dedicated machine, and I've got the settings dialed in. Graphix are good enough to suspend disbelief, it doesn't lag, or load over long. I already figured most of this out, or a not disimilar method, but it's just to acces my account from another machine while I'm playing. (I have a roomate who plays too.)


What are the specs on your PC?

#4
Psiberzerker

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I don't really use it in game, except for screencaps, and mod subscriptions. Thing is, I don't really need it for optimizing, since it's a dedicated machine, and I've got the settings dialed in. Graphix are good enough to suspend disbelief, it doesn't lag, or load over long. I already figured most of this out, or a not disimilar method, but it's just to acces my account from another machine while I'm playing. (I have a roomate who plays too.)


What are the specs on your PC?

Quad Core, GF460, blablahblah. Like I said, it's less about Hardware than Software, or lack thereof. I've got "Win"dows streamlined for minimum processes, partitioned for dedicated RAM (from the 106 Gig I've got full of mostly Movies, and Music) and so forth. It's just like turning off Steam, but instead all that background crap that windows likes to pile up, because microsoft programs by comitte. Internet Exploiter goes unused, I've got a netbook for surfing, and forum posts in parallel on the wireless router, so I don't have to push/pop to look up a quest code, or post my latest outfit. Our household has about 5 active machines, though, a LAN server, and a good connection. I want to play Skyrim, I've got a login for that. Otherwize, all that machine is doing is managing the connection.

Also, I learned Visual interface on Amiga, back in the 80s. Most of the coding I know is Unix/LinX. I can't stand MSoS, but Bethesda didn't give me a choice.

BTW, I'm not the Computer Wiz around here. I'm no slouch, but my roomate is a genius who learned to program in RLL with a Soldering iron. I live with one of the founders of the internet, but he's not a household name millionare, because he was one of the thousands of grunt techs, instead of a CEO.

Edited by Psiberzerker, 04 August 2012 - 06:06 PM.


#5
gsmanners

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I strongly suggest ini tweaks for optimizing performance. Especially if you have low end hardware.

#6
SheraDunlike

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by  ladicen -Part 1: How to play Skyrim without Steam running --Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:03 AM

 

Is this still applicable, or have you tried these steps since the last two Steam updates?  I used to use the Task Manager window to shut down steam.exe and the game was running much much better, however, as of one of the last 2 or 3 auto-updates provided by Steam, the game window shuts down when you end the steam process, or shortly thereafter.

 



#7
SheraDunlike

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Hey everyone. How's it going?

As the title says, this post is a Guide on how to play Skyrim without Steam running while you play. The wording is very important here because legal copies of the game force you to use Steam to open Skyrim. Therefore, its safe to conclude that those who want to play without Steam running, and own a legal copy, are trying maximize the system resources available to Skyrim. Or they just really hate Steam.

This guide is broken into two parts:

-Part 1: How to play Skyrim without Steam running
-Part 2: Directions to optimize performance of Skyrim

____________________________________________________

Part 1: How to play Skyrim without Steam running

1) Open Steam. Set it to "Offline Mode" and let it restart. *a

2) Open Task Manager and leave it open. Then run Skyrim as per usual.

3) Once at the Continue/Load menu, Alt-Tab out of Skyrim and into Task Manager.

4) In Task Manager goto "Processes". Select "steam.exe" and then click "End Process". When prompted, press "End Process" again.

5) With Task Manager open, Alt-Tab back to Skyrim. MORE THAN LIKELY THE CONTINUE/LOAD SCREEN WILL NOT SHOW UP - THIS IS FINE! DO NOT CLOSE SKYRIM!

                                                                                                                                       

6c) When I was using Windows XP I only had to click the black screen 3 times to make it work. Just try whatever comes to mind and mess with this until it comes back, or just start over. *c

And there you have it. No more Steam during Skyrim.

____________________________________________________

Part 2: Directions to optimize performance of Skyrim

4) Right click on "TESV.exe" and scroll down to "Set Priority". Change it to "High". *d

5) Disconnect from the internet so that any programs trying to access the internet can't do so and therefore take up less resources.

____________________________________________________


I hope this helps some people out who've been trying to get rid of Steam while playing. Good luck and enjoy your game!


*c - The white Windows cursor may end up appearing along with the Skyrim cursor. If this happens, keep trying Step 6 until it goes away, or just start over. I've never had it happen twice in a row and it rarely happens anyway.
*d - I've heard it's not a good idea to set any processs to Realtime. This would dedicate all resources to Skyrim but can be harmful. I have yet to try it. If you've got the stones, go for it and let us know what happens.

____________________________________________________

 

I use WINXP still, have performed these tasks in the past until October 30th update, they no longer work.  Also, I did run tes.exe in realtime and just got some beeping from my processor.  I've had this happen when the processor is overclocking so I simply reset the game to High. 

 

Needless to say, no one has comented on whether or not the instructions are still working for them or not (other than me) so I hope someone is trying to figure out how to bypass Steam with some other method.  I'm off to Bethesda website to see what the converse is relative to Steam and all the recent lag issues, if there is even a conversation taking place.  Given the complaints at Steam, and they've deleted quite a few threads on the matter, I sure hope Bethesda or someone comes up with an answer to the mess.



#8
Bethgael

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I use WINXP still, have performed these tasks in the past until October 30th update, they no longer work.  Also, I did run tes.exe in realtime and just got some beeping from my processor.  I've had this happen when the processor is overclocking so I simply reset the game to High. 

 

Needless to say, no one has comented on whether or not the instructions are still working for them or not (other than me) so I hope someone is trying to figure out how to bypass Steam with some other method.  I'm off to Bethesda website to see what the converse is relative to Steam and all the recent lag issues, if there is even a conversation taking place.  Given the complaints at Steam, and they've deleted quite a few threads on the matter, I sure hope Bethesda or someone comes up with an answer to the mess.

 

 

Doesn't work for me, either. Lag issues are terrible--and completely reliant upon my internet connection "lag" (as judged by other users in the house on WoW and whatnot). Bad lag = poor performance. Indicates to me it's a Steam issue.

 

I despise Steam and its ilk (although I guess they could be worse. They could be EA). Single player games should never need an online app to play. Sigh.


Edited by Bethgael, 30 December 2013 - 03:57 AM.





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