Bethesda fixes Skyrim's creepy moving mannequins, modder promptly unfixes them

Skyrim wooden mannequins
(Image credit: Bethesda)

As the Dragonborn in Skyrim you quickly collect more suits of armor than you can wear in a single lifetime, and at a certain point there's no reason to sell them because you've got more coins than Scrooge McDuck. Thus: mannequins, wooden statues that reside in your various homes that you can dress up in your spare outfits and armor sets. There's no point in killing all those brave warriors and stripping them naked if you can't show off your accumulated loot, after all.

But Skyrim's mannequins can be a bit buggy. In the past, players have reported armor placed on mannequins going missing, or sometimes being duplicated. Occasionally the wooden statues will hover a bit above the ground. Certain items aren't displayed on them properly, and some helmets can cause a mannequin's head to simply disappear when equipped. Stuff like that.

But far more chillingly, mannequins will sometimes move. Imagine playing Skyrim late one night and you're walking around your house at Honeyside or Proudspire and the mannequin in the corner turns and looks at you as you walk by. It's downright terrifying. And at times it wasn't just an eerie head-turn but a complete idle animation playing on your lifeless wooden armor display unit. You can see how disturbing it is in this video.

Bugs in Bethesda games are obviously nothing new, nor is the fact that in many cases Bethesda simply never fixes them. And sometimes these bugs are strange or silly enough that players actually wind up enjoying them, just another goofy quirk in the open world RPG. 

So when Bethesda abruptly does fix a bug that's been around for a decade, as they recently did with the moving mannequins, it almost feels like the removal of a beloved feature rather than a patch for an annoying problem.

Well, that's what we have modders for. Not only do they fix bugs Bethesda doesn't, they unfix bugs Bethesda does. A modder has unfixed Bethesda's fix, or as I like to think of it, they've corrected Bethesda's correction. The Mannequins Move mod on Nexus mods, created by TheBlackCladWanderer, re-enables the wooden statues creepy ability to move so once again you can enjoy puttering around your Skyrim home and suddenly having your heart leap into your throat because your dress-up doll turned to look at you.

"Mannequins should no longer not move," the mod's page says. After reading that a couple times to be sure I've understood it, I can safely say everything is right in the world of Skyrim again.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.