Wednesday , April 3 2024
Differences between Skyrim Special Edition vs Skyrim.

Differences Between Skyrim Special Edition Vs Skyrim

You’ve probably seen a few debates online regarding Skyrim Special Edition vs Skyrim (Skyrim original / Skyrim vanilla). Right now, you probably have decided to go for one or are still confused about which one to choose. Whatever situation you might be in right now, we’re going to clear your confusion in this guide.

Differences Between Skyrim Basic Vs Skyrim Special Edition

Skyrim is one of the games that actually made Bethesda one of the best game publishers. The game used all types of advanced engines and graphics to become an instant hit among the gamers. But the popularity of the original game saw a downfall in 2016.

In 2016, Bethesda released an advanced, Special Edition for the game with so many extra benefits that actually made the franchise regain its popularity, which was taken by the new edition. At that point, gamers got somewhat confused on which one to get, especially the absolute beginner gamers. 

Up until now, there have been many discussions on the internet regarding choosing the right Skyrim version. But not all the forum discussions or youtube videos talk about the core changes between the original vanilla version of the game and the Special Edition. A little bit of confusion always remained among the gamers.

You should go for the Special Edition. But since you’re reading this guide, it’s plausible that you’re interested to know the major differences between these two editions. We’re going to talk about a few points now to make things clear to you.

Gaming Benefit

You have two options to choose from now. You can get the Skyrim original or the vanilla version, as some people call it. Or you can get the Special Edition. But which one you should pick depends on a few factors. In the following, we’re going to have a brief look at all two versions that you can choose from:

Vanilla Skyrim

You are not going to lose anything per se if you’re going to get an original Skyrim. As a matter of fact, if you’re totally new to Elder Scrolls, then this could really be a nice entry point into the game for you. It’s very old; thus it’s one of the least expensive yet enjoyable games out there. 

But the bad thing is that you’re going to miss a lot of stuff that Bethesda developers put into the modern versions. You must give something to get something, right? That’s how things are. If you’re looking for a basic Elder Scrolls experience while hardly spending any money at all, this is what you have to go for.

Special Edition

After Skyrim launched in 2011 and allowed modding support, the modders immediately started creating modern mods for the game. Up until 2016, a lot of mods were made that made the game even more fun to play. But this changed after the Special Edition was launched in 2016.

This game was so much better than the vanilla version that the good modders left the vanilla version to work on this one. And sadly, the mods for the Special Edition didn’t have support for the vanilla edition. So, if someone wanted to stay with vanilla, he had to only stick with the old mods. It became a big turn-off.

Newer DLCs, town, and map designs for the game started to come as the mods were working hard for these. With more time, the Special Edition became more enjoyable to play. 

On the other hand, the vanilla version’s mods are still the same old mods that they used to be. These mods have been left and not updated for nearly a decade, making the vanilla edition basically less than optimal one to go for. Vanilla edition isn’t getting any significant newer content at all. Special Edition is the winner here too.


Some people are happy with the main game only. They don’t like mods much. But the number of people in this group is very low. So low that it’s not worth talking about them.

Most Skyrim gamers like and play the game for years after its release for a single great reason: its mods. The mods are so good that they keep the game popular for years after years. 

Mods made in the last few years are only for the Special Edition. You may find one or two mods for the vanilla game, but that’s about it. Mods make this game even cooler to play, and this is why you should go for Special Edition.

Some people plan to get the legendary edition, but there are no logical reasons behind doing so. You won’t save money by choosing legendary over Special; why go for the less updated edition when you can get the best for the same price? Special Edition will always be a much better version in terms of everything.

Technical Differences

Bethesda developers released Special Edition 5 years after the original one. In this time, they’ve made sure to use the most advanced tech that they can get their hands on. The new edition has a few nice additions that you’re going to love.

Snow and water shaders have improved because of graphics development, and now they look almost realistic, much better than what it was like with the original. Lighting and depth of field have been changed that you’re going to notice immediately. HD graphics have been used that upgraded all the colors.

Animations and the advanced game engine together have made the game faster and even playable in low-power computers with high gaming performance. The remaster Special Edition is the best option you have right now; at least that’s the case until Bethesda decides to release a new edition of that.


Now that you’ve read our discussion, you should steer your way clear from the confusion you previously had related to Skyrim special edition vs Skyrim original. You know which one you should go for, at least you can rest assured until there’s suddenly a new announcement from Bethesda about the Skyrim series. 

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