Guide: Survival Mode in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

The owners of the Anniversary Edition upgrade , which was released on the tenth anniversary of the release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim , received a Survival Mode add-on. It changes the gameplay and makes it more hardcore (or stuffy – that’s for anyone else).

In fact, this is a compilation of ideas from popular mods (Wet and Cold, No FastTravel, Frostfall, Some Tweaks and Needs and Diseases) with some caveats.

In this guide, we’ll tell you what has changed, and at the same time how to survive in the updated “Skyrim”.

How to turn Survival Mode on and off in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

When you load the game after the update, you will be immediately prompted to enable the new mode. If you have started a new adventure, then you will receive such an offer after you leave Helgen.

You can turn it off or turn it on yourself like this:

  1. Go to the pause menu.
  2. Select “Settings”.
  3. Go to the “Game” section.
  4. In the section, find the option “Survival Mode”.

You can change this setting at any time.

How Survival Mode changes the game

  1. Fast travel becomes unavailable.
  2. The game now has warm and cold spots that change depending on the weather.

The temperature is displayed on the compass. The brighter the symbol of the sun or snowflake, the warmer or colder Dovahkiin

  1. The character needs to be fed. If you are hungry, you will receive a maximum amount of stamina penalty. The longer you are hungry, the less stamina you will have.
  2. Need to sleep. If you do not sleep for a long time, then the modifier “Fatigue” appears (it, like “Hunger”, can be seen in the magic menu on the “Active effects” tab). The modifier grants a maximum mana penalty and increases over time.
  3. You can die from the cold. The longer you freeze, the lower your maximum health. Also, in this state, you lose the ability to quickly and stealthily move and pick locks.
  4. Health no longer regenerates  on its own.
  5. To level up, you need to sleep well .
  6. Arrows and lockpicks now have mass . Plus, you can now carry much fewer items. Even the Sign of the Horse now only gives +50 to the carrying capacity. The longer you are overwhelmed, the more you get tired.
  1. There was more diseases . If the disease is not treated for a long time, it goes into a difficult stage and brings more debuffs. A chronic illness is called an “ailment”. Even after you undergo treatment, the ailment will remind of itself for a long time until it passes by itself.
  2. Blessings on most altars now cost 100 coins .
  3. There were new food recipes .

Tip # 1:  Choose your race wisely

If you start a new game, then pay attention to the passive characteristics of each race. They remained the same as in the “vanilla” “Skyrim”, but now some of them have acquired a completely new sound.

So, now the Nordic hardening allows you to better survive the cold, and the Argonian immunity to poison makes it possible to eat raw food (however, you will freeze faster than others). Orcs and Khajiit are also among the most resistant to cold races.

Tip # 2: Keep Warm As Long As Possible

When we wrote that you could die of cold, we were not joking. It is worth poking unprepared into the northern regions of the province – and you are a corpse (especially for Winterhold during a blizzard).

The game suggests that a torch will help you stay warm, but in reality it is hardly an option. A really good way out of the situation is with the fire cloak spells and the items for setting up the camp in the inventory. But in general, try to stick to roads and paths, because along them you can much more often find huts and camps of enemy and friendly NPCs. You can also go to the caves to warm up.

The opposite is also true – do not climb into icy water and frost spells once again.

Tip # 3: The best armor doesn’t mean the warmest

In order not to freeze longer, you also need to wear warm clothes. You can find out what this indicator is in the inventory menu on the item information panel (“heat” parameter).

In general, it is time to pay attention to the fur armor, which hardly anyone used during the passage. This is especially true when traveling in the northern part of Skyrim. If possible, take a “change” kit with you.

Tip # 4: don’t walk alone

With the changes in the carrying capacity system, you will not carry many items with you, even with a specific pumping and a backpack. Be sure to take a companion with you. Better also the dog, which can be handed an extra bag for storing things.

A horse will be a good helper when traveling across frosty expanses. Unlike you, she does not freeze and does not receive a corresponding penalty on movement speed. Believe me, you will have to gallop to the nearest tavern of Dawnstar or Morphal more than once in order not to die.

When you are frozen, everything turns into cold shades.

Tip # 5: eat right

In order not to receive a penalty to stamina, you have to eat well. Each of the edibles from the Food section in your inventory now has satiety points. The value is indicated in the item description. Boiled beef, deer chop, mammoth steak, and some soups are best satiated (giving 380 satiety). But sweet rolls and Nordic honey are best left for dessert to maintain a well-fed state.

At the same time, the state of simple satisfaction and saturation differs. In the latter case, you not only do not receive debuffs, but you are also rewarded with a bonus to stamina.

Never eat raw meat unless you are Khajiit or Argonian. Raw meat will slow down your stamina and mana regeneration and make it impossible for you to regenerate health when you eat.

Prepare food in advance and purchase from the hearty food vendors. Also, throw in a couple more apples and pies in your backpack for a normal meal. And cooking with fiery salt can keep you warm on the journey.

Tip # 6: Monitor your health. In all senses

The school of recovery has never been so attractive. Since automatic health regeneration is disabled, you will have to constantly heal after battles. Considering that you won’t be able to handle carrying a battery of potions and tons of food with you, download healing spells or enchant armor for healing. In a cold area, you will thank yourself more than once for such thoughtfulness.

Also, don’t forget to treat illnesses. As we already mentioned. the disease in its neglected form flows into an ailment. Ailments can lower your weapon proficiency, the amount of damage you deal, and reduce the likelihood of a theft and burglary success. Be sure to keep with you a couple of potions for healing diseases and an emergency supply of a couple of hundred gold for blessing.

The only diseases that can do you well are lycanthropy and vampirism. Thanks to them, you will be able to satisfy your hunger by feeding on enemies, and you will not freeze.

Tip # 7: plan your route

The point that logically follows from all the previous ones and the lack of fast travel is that the trip must be planned in advance . Of course, everything is unlikely to go exactly according to plan, but its complete absence will kill you as surely as the dragon priest on the “Master”.

A useful map for those who travel the provinces in survival mode

Remember that in Survival Mode, the journey from one end of Skyrim to the other cannot be done in one go. Often times, you will need time and space to breathe even when moving from one property to another. So you have to think in advance where you can look on the road.

A place to sleep is also an important detail. If you sleep on the street after a hard day even a whole day, then you will not rest normally. So you have to find shelter, get housing, make friends or pay for rooms in taverns.

Cross-country running away from the highways can be a tough and long ordeal, so don’t run too far away from settlements and roads (see map above).

In addition, do not hesitate to use the carriages that are parked at the stables of all major cities, as well as boatmen. In survival mode, this is the only available way to travel long distances quickly. And be sure to buy a carriage if you live in one of the rebuilt estates. Carriers located on the territory of the estate will be able to take you to many more places.

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