If You Have Skyrim PC Saves that Use Mods, They Won't Work With the Special Edition

If You Have Skyrim PC Saves that Use Mods, They Won't Work With the Special Edition

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If you've ever used mods on your Skyrim save, it probably won't work on the Special Edition.

At this point, I think that most everyone playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PC has used at least one mod. It's hard to blame you, as there are mods that do everything from add new hairstyles to add lots of new content. But there's some bad news out there today: any Skyrim saves that use mods probably won't work in the Special Edition.

According to the documentation provided to outlets with review copies of the Skyrim Special Edition (emphasis mine):

"Existing save games from the original PC game will work in the PC version of Skyrim Special Edition. Simply copy your old saves from My Games/Skyrim to My Games/Skyrim Special Edition. Only use original saves that have never been used with mods. Do not use your original save game if this error appears when you load it in Skyrim Special Edition: 'This save relies on content that is no longer present.'"

Apparently the Skyrim Special Edition and Skyrim are considered two separate games, rather than just two versions of the same game. That means that most mods will likely need to be updated to work with the Special Edition as well. It also wouldn't surprise me to see a mod come along that makes these mod-contaminated saves compatible with the Special Edition.

The Skyrim Special Edition launches today on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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I played the Special Edition and honestly, I couldn't really see any noteworthy differences between it and the normal version with the official HD Texture Pack. Well, besides that I had a horrible framerate instead of solid 60.

And considering that most mods aren't going to be ported for a bit and SKSE will need quite a while to be ported to make things like SkiUI work, I can wait a year or so before I play the Special Edition again.
But for PS4 and XBone players, it's probably still a good idea to pick up instead of the previous version.

As if i needed an excuse to start a new game. Though i guess i leave the modding till SKSSE, and mods depending on it, is up.

Do not use your original save game if this error appears when you load it in Skyrim Special Edition: 'This save relies on content that is no longer present.'

This sounds like the typical message when you remove a mod. The game may still work but may not.

Eh, worse case is that I'm gonna have to quest all over again but I'll just cheat back to level 70.

Well that's the Special Edition down the drain...

Like there is a soul who plays without the numerous Unofficial Skyrim Patch mods.

Will be quite a while before I play the special edition as most good mods won't be compatible anyway.

That said, it's to be expected that you would have to start a new game. Given that you're best off doing that when you install a massive mod as well.

Imre Csete:
Like there is a soul who plays without the numerous Unofficial Skyrim Patch mods.

To be fair I don't specifically use the unofficial patch but then again by the time I stopped playing my game was so heavily modded as to be near-unrecognisable from the original.

Unsurprising news to be honest. If anything a big part of the appeal for me was starting with a clean slate to start modding from again.

This article is a it off base. Any mod that changes scripted events will most likely break the game. But most mods do not do this. Most mods can be cleanly removed and with some fiddling you can easily make them work again. I did it today using these steps:

1. Start Skyrim Vanilla
2. In the mod section, just un-check any non-first party mods and the of course the official texture packs (make sure you leave the officials expansions checked)
3. Start the game and load your game
4. Create a new save (I do this so as not to cause issues with my game in case I come back)
5. Exit Skyrim
6. ONLY IF YOU HAVE THE OFFICIAL HI RES TEXTURE PACK ON YOUR ACCOUNT:
- highlight Skyrim in your game list and un-check the official hi res texture from the list of installed DLC so it removes it from your mod list and removes it from the game install
7. Verify the integrity of the game cache
- this will re-download any default textures and items that may have been replaced by a mod and also replace any ini files that may have been changed
8. Start Skryim and double check to make sure the mods are not active (The Hi Res texture pack shouldn't even be there now)
9. Load into Skyrim and check the newest save to make sure there is no messages indicating that the save relies on any mods
- the message I had originally seen was cleared at this point.
10. Copy your save files to the SE save directory
- from c:\users\username\documents\my games\Skyrim
- to c:\users\username\documents\my games\Skyrim special edition
11. Play and enjoy

I should finish Skyrim one of these days. To clarify, I have finished the main quests for the base game and Dawnguard (disappointed with Dawnguard, but topic for another time). Never really finished Dragonborn. I do like running mods, so I may decide to pass on this edition, until the mod authors update (if at all).

Really? That's facinating. I can hear 27,000 modders going "Challenge Accepted". We'll see who blinks first.

...well, good thing I got it for free then, means I didn't have to spend any money on it while I wait 6 months for all my favourite mods to be brought up to date.

Wrex Brogan:
...well, good thing I got it for free then, means I didn't have to spend any money on it while I wait 6 months for all my favourite mods to be brought up to date.

One of my favorite (core) mods is Balanced Magic. But its author didn't write a comment or post since 2013. Luckily the new Creation Kit got an automated Update mechanic for (SKSE free) mods. The most work updating seems to be around water. Beth redone the textures and meshes(?). So object in cells with water need to be placed correctly again.

https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrimmods/comments/5a0l55/sse_megathread_4_no_really_read_it Under "How will mods work for SSE on PC?".

Baresark:
This article is a it off base. Any mod that changes scripted events will most likely break the game. But most mods do not do this. Most mods can be cleanly removed and with some fiddling you can easily make them work again. I did it today using these steps:

1. Start Skyrim Vanilla
2. In the mod section, just un-check any non-first party mods and the of course the official texture packs (make sure you leave the officials expansions checked)
3. Start the game and load your game
4. Create a new save (I do this so as not to cause issues with my game in case I come back)
5. Exit Skyrim
6. ONLY IF YOU HAVE THE OFFICIAL HI RES TEXTURE PACK ON YOUR ACCOUNT:
- highlight Skyrim in your game list and un-check the official hi res texture from the list of installed DLC so it removes it from your mod list and removes it from the game install
7. Verify the integrity of the game cache
- this will re-download any default textures and items that may have been replaced by a mod and also replace any ini files that may have been changed
8. Start Skryim and double check to make sure the mods are not active (The Hi Res texture pack shouldn't even be there now)
9. Load into Skyrim and check the newest save to make sure there is no messages indicating that the save relies on any mods
- the message I had originally seen was cleared at this point.
10. Copy your save files to the SE save directory
- from c:\users\username\documents\my games\Skyrim
- to c:\users\username\documents\my games\Skyrim special edition
11. Play and enjoy

Pretty much this. Worst comes to worst, you just uninstall everything, make a new save with your "totally vanilla" version of Skyrim, and Bob's your uncle.

FalloutJack:
Really? That's facinating. I can hear 27,000 modders going "Challenge Accepted". We'll see who blinks first.

Bethesda won't blink until modders add in a blinking animation, which they'll apply whether Bethesda likes it or not.

I wonder if the Skyrim script cleaner tool would make this process relatively simple. Not sure if it works with the new version saves or not, though.

Bindal:
I played the Special Edition and honestly, I couldn't really see any noteworthy differences between it and the normal version with the official HD Texture Pack. Well, besides that I had a horrible framerate instead of solid 60.

And considering that most mods aren't going to be ported for a bit and SKSE will need quite a while to be ported to make things like SkiUI work, I can wait a year or so before I play the Special Edition again.
But for PS4 and XBone players, it's probably still a good idea to pick up instead of the previous version.

What you see in game at a glance is just some models with a higher poly count, higher resolution textures, and new and improved shaders. But more importantly, there are big changes under the hood. First off, it's now an x64 application, meaning it has VASTLY improved memory handling and capacity. Not only does this mean you can go above 3.1GB without crashing, it also means its memory constraints are less restrictive and can therefore deliver much greater performance in almost all respects. If you, for example, spawned 100 NPCs in the original Skyrim, the game would likely crash, and even if it didn't, you'd get terrible framerates. Your computer could be a quad GTX 1080 with a 50GHz i9 superprocessor with 200GB of RAM, you'd still get low framerates because of the memory constraints. Only a few of those NPCs could actually 'do' things at any one time, because the engine doesn't have enough room to control them all at the same time. None of that is an issue in the new version. Provided your computer's powerful enough for it, you could summon 400 NPCs and still get smooth 60+ FPS.

 

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