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Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences and new additions, and where to find them

Skyrim
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences are fairly numerous, with upgrades, changes and additions beyond the DLC and already-established enhancements. But what are you actually getting when you upgrade the game, and what does it amount to? And how does the Creation Club content enter into all of this, when it seems like some of it is going to be free? We'll lay out all the Skyrim Anniversary Edition changes below, as well as where you can find all the new content. We've also listed where to find a lot of the new content that might be giving players some trouble, including some of the specific quests and items that players want to find.

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All Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences and upgrades

Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Skyrim Anniversary Edition has multiple changes, enhancements and upgrades to mark it as distinct from the existing Special Edition, or any of the other various Skyrim versions that have come out over the last ten years. We'll lay out the basic changes that players need to know about below, and what they'll be getting.

  • Free PS5/Xbox Series X/S next-gen graphics and load time upgrades
  • All three Skyrim DLC packs: Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn
  • Survival mode Creation Club content and mechanics
  • Fishing content and mechanics
  • Saints and Seducers Creation Club content
  • Rare Curios Creation Club content and mechanics
  • Numerous other content additions from the Creation Club, including new quests, items, spells and locations

While the whole list of Creation Club additions made to the game would be too extensive to be anything other than a small book, we can show you where to find all the bigger features listed individually above, so that nobody's lost when it comes to finding the selling points of Skyrim Anniversary Edition.

How to play Survival Mode

Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences additions changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Survival mode is an optional feature that can be triggered once you leave the caves of Helgen for the first time and properly enter the game. It's a complete reinvention of the mechanics that actually demands the player go through the nuts and bolts of keeping themselves alive, including finding food, a good place to sleep, and curing diseases before they escalate into permanent injuries. A text box will come up when Survival Mode is available asking if you want to turn it on, but whatever you decide, you can toggle it in the Settings from the pause menu. There's also a full tutorial of all the ways that Survival Mode changes the game in the Help section, also in the pause menu. 

Where to find the fishing mechanics and quests

Skyrim anniversary edition fishing

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fishing is a new mechanic that can be done anywhere, provided you have a Fishing Rod and Fishing Supplies, but there is a central hub related to this activity, much in the same way that magic users would head to the College of Winterhold. Aspiring anglers should find the Riften Fishery, a small building on the docks outside of the main city, and talk to all of the characters inside. They'll not only teach you how to fish, but provide you with useful tips and even quests related to the activity. Of course, you should also check out our full guide on how to fish in Skyrim Anniversary Edition, where you'll learn how to be a master angler.

How to start Saints and Seducers quests and content

Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences additions changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Saints and Seducers incorporates multiple quests and side-quests, but to start the main chain you want to find the Khajiit Ri'saad. Unfortunately, this isn't easily done: Ri'saad is in a moving caravan with several other Khajiit, one that moves around and puts up tents randomly outside the entrances to all the major cities. Effectively it's a dice roll that every time you show up to a main area that his group will be camped outside the main gates, usually near the stables or the fast-travel horse. We found he could be prompted to appear by effectively fast travelling back and forth between Whiterun and Markarth. Eventually the camp did appear, but warning - one time the tents spawned with no Khajiit in them, so either they were all out partying or there's some sort of glitch in play. 

Nevertheless we kept trying and eventually he spawned opposite the stables outside Whiterun. To begin the first quest, Balance of Power, talk to him and say "I've heard you've been running into trouble along the road." He'll provide you with a Note that details the next steps and starts the quest.

Where to find Rare Curios

Skyrim Anniversary Edition differences additions changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

There's nowhere to really look for the Rare Curios DLC, as it's kind of everywhere - it's a massive influx of new alchemy, crafting and enchanting ingredients, with new recipes to make use of them all. While a lot of these can be found as random drops, most of them can be found sold by travelling Khajiit caravans and mechants - whenever you see a whiskered peddlar walking the paths of Skyrim, look through their stocks to see what you can find. Then tinker with the new gear at one of the alchemist's or enchanting tables and see what a healthy application of guesswork does to these new items. When has chemistry ever gone wrong?

All new Creation Club content

Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The game adds a vast amount of new content besides, with new armour, weapons, spells, areas - a whole bunch of stuff that covers all the bases, taken from dozens of different Creation Club additions. While there's no way to cover it all, you can check for yourself by going into the Creation Club from the main start menu, where you'll get a list of all the different DLC content additions that have been added, as well as which ones can download, as well as any others you can also peruse. That being said, we've listed some of the key quests and items that players seem to be interested in below, and where you can find them for yourself.

The Unquiet Dead and Farming

Skyrim Anniversary edition differences changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The trigger quest for the entire new Farming path in which players can operate and run their own rural good life, the Unquiet Dead starts by locating the Goldenhills Plantation, a little farm east of Rorikstead that we've marked on the map above.

Ghosts of the Tribunal and The Cause

Skyrim Anniversary edition differences changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

A giant expansion that draws on elements from the beloved Morrowind, Ghosts of the Tribunal kicks off with a quest called The Cause, in which players have to find the Mythic Dawn cult. Head to Windhelm marked above and talk to the sailor captain just outside the city on a boat, and pay him 250 gold to go to the island of Solstheim (part of the Dragonborn DLC), He'll take you to a town called Raven's Rock - from there, head to the temple and find the quarters inside. There'll be a book on a table called Heretic's Dossier: Blacksmith's Confessional. Read that to prompt the quest and start this new chain.

Bittercup and A Dying Wish

Skyrim Anniversary edition differences changes where

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The quest "A Dying Wish" that starts the Bittercup questline is found very easily - simply head to the town of Falkreath, marked on your map from the start, and head to the tavern called Dead Man's Drink. There'll be a readable document there called Mysterious Altar, which will start the quest and set you going.

Joel Franey

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist and podcaster with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. Consequently he chooses to spend his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.