Skyrim Special Edition system requirements are a lot higher than the original's

The system requirements for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition have been revealed, and I hope none of you were expecting that they'd be more or less the same as they were for the original release. They are not. 

Come on, are you surprised? The original Skyrim is five years old, after all, and no, that's not exactly an eternity in the realm of PC hardware, but it is an awfully long time. The minimum required spec for Skyrim OG was a 2.0 GHz dual core CPU, 2GB RAM, and a DX9.0c-compliant video card with 512MB of RAM. I'm pretty sure my phone packs a heavier punch than that.   

So here's what you're going to need if you want to roam the prettier-than-ever lands of Skyrim SE: 


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-750/AMD Phenom II X4-945
  • 8GB RAM
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • Nvidia GTX 470 1GB /AMD HD 7870 2GB


  • Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-bit Version)
  • Intel i5-2400/AMD FX-8320
  • 8GB RAM
  • 12 GB free HDD space
  • Nvidia GTX 780 3GB /AMD R9 290 4GB

Bethesda has previously announced that Skyrim SE will be free for people who already own "all the Skyrim stuff" that's already been released. More specifically, as it explained on Steam, that means anyone who owns the original game and the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn DLCs, or the Skyrim Legendary Edition, which is all of the above in a single bundle.

That's really the way to go if you're looking to leap into the land of the Nords for the first time: Skyrim SE will sell for $60, while the Legendary bundle is $40. You've got until the Skyrim SE release date of October 28 to pick it up if you want the free upgrade.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.