A few weeks ago we had a call with our friends at GOG who told us about a very special new release that was going to be exciting for our community. Skyrim was going to be added to GOG, completing the Elder Scrolls set on their website. You could say Skyrim is now officially a Good Old Game. Since then we've been working closely with them to ensure that the GOG build is as modding-friendly as possible.
You might be wondering what's different about this release compared to the versions available on Steam or through Xbox Game Pass, so here's a quick rundown of why this version is interesting:
- DRM-free - Like all games offered on GOG, this version is completely free of pesky DRM so you won't be locked out of titles you paid for, or constantly asked to prove you own them - this is DRM-free gaming.
- No Creation Club or Bethesda.net - The Creation Club and Bethesda.net menus have been disabled for this release meaning that you cannot access these services in-game. However, you will still be able to get all of the Creation Club content by purchasing the Anniversary Edition from GOG.com.
- Rollback easily* - Don't you just hate it when Skyrim gets updated and you either have to wait for all your favourite SKSE dependant mods to be updated or mess about trying to roll back? This is quite difficult on Steam or Xbox but GOG has got you covered. Through the GOG Galaxy? app, you can easily roll back to an older version of the game or turn off updates entirely to keep modding without interruption.
I'm sure you have questions at this point so here's a brief FAQ covering what we've learned from this build so far.
Can I manage my mods with Vortex?
Yes. We're just about to release Vortex 1.6.12 which includes automatic detection of the GOG version and will allow you to manage your mods, plugins and saved games like any other edition of the game. Other modding tools may require an update (see the bottom of this post).
Does this version work with Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)?
We have ensured that the Silverlock team behind SKSE have been a part of the conversation leading up to the release and GOG has generously given them early access to the build, so you can expect a GOG-compatible SKSE release in the next few days.
Do all existing mods work with the GOG version?
Most mods that do not require SKSE will work correctly at launch. However, due to some changes to remove the Bethesda.net and Creation Club menus, mods that alter the game UI (specifically the main menu and pause menu) may need to be updated before they are compatible.
Can I transfer my saved games over?
Yes. You can move your saved games from any other version into the GOG build by copying the saves folder from "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\Saves" to "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition GOG\Saves". Keep in mind that if you're playing with mods it's not a good idea to move over mid-save but if you do make sure you have all the same mods installed to the GOG version.
I have purchased Creation Club content on Steam/Xbox can I transfer it?
No. As this version of Skyrim has no link to Bethesda.net, it is not possible to transfer your purchases over.
Will you be making copies of the GOG version available to mod authors via the Mod Rewards Program?
We're discussing the possibility of this with GOG so keep an eye on the Donation Points Store. If we're able to secure some copies then we'll let Mod Authors know via the dedicated forums/Discord server.
Is GOG going to release the original 2011 or VR versions?
At the moment there are no plans for GOG to offer these editions of the game.
Can I get the Creation Kit from GOG?
No. At present, the Creation Kit is only available on Steam. Bethesda has confirmed the GOG version is not compatible with the Steam Creation Kit but all mods created using the Creation Kit will work with any PC edition of the game.
For tool developers (or just those of you who are curious) here are the notable differences between the GOG version and the Steam/Xbox releases:
- The game version is 1.6.659.0.
- Game settings (INI files) are stored under "%userprofile%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition GOG".
- Saved games are stored under "%userprofile%\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition GOG\Saves".
- Load order data (plugins.txt and loadorder.txt files) is stored under "%localappdata%\Skyrim Special Edition GOG".
That about wraps it up. What do you think of Skyrim coming to GOG? Let us know in the comments.
* Bethesda will still be able to remove old versions from this option if required but GOG has said that in most cases they will remain available.
** Disclaimer: We are a member of GOG.com's affiliate program. This means if you use any of the links in the article above to make a purchase from GOG.com, we get a very small cut. It's another way to help us keep the lights on and we're always happy to promote such a great company!