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Skyrim player turns Dragonreach into a VR bowling alley

Skyrim
(Image credit: Bethesda)

A Skyrim VR player has turned the Jarl of Whiterun's dining room into their own personal bowling alley.

In a post on Reddit, user SpaceCadet_Kevin showed off their efforts. Holding up a Centurion Dynamo Core - an item traditionally used to power Dwemer automatons - to Jarl Balgruuf the Greater, before turning round to show off a dining table empty but for a stack of wine bottles. 

The throw is pretty good - SpaceCadet_Kevin scores a spare on what they swore to GamesRadar+ was their first try - but the effort that went into setting up the alley is even more impressive. The idea stemmed from an impromptu game of 'basketball.' "I'd basically find anything that worked as a ball," whether that be a cabbage, a skull, or any other vaguely round object, "and try and shoot it into a cauldron. After that I started wondering what other games I could play and bowling was one of the first that popped into my head."

The game itself might be simple, but the setup was anything but. Having cleared the table at the centre of Dragonsreach, Kevin opted for wine bottles as pins. Those were a good choice, but the decision of what to use as a ball was trickier - an early attempt proved a cabbage was too light to knock down the bottles and then, in a moment of ill-thought spontaneity, he sent the 'pins' flying with a well-aimed shout, which resulted in a number of disgruntled guards going after the bowling Dragonborn. 

To even get the bottles in place, however, the base game needed modding. Kevin says that "interactivity with the game world in vanilla Skyrim is fairly limited," but they modded the game almost as soon as they bought it to improve the experience. Central to the process was the HIGGS mod - Hand Interaction and Gravity Gloves - which allows players' hands to collide with items. The mod can be used to improve combat, but it can also be used to allow items to interact with one another, meaning the pins could be placed straight onto the tabletop. Combined with a well-timed quicksave, that meant that the alley could be setup in just a few minutes, as opposed to the several hours it might take without the mod.

Kevin says they're aiming for a perfect game. Ten strikes in a row is no mean feat, but it would mean minimal cleanup, as Whiterun's premier bowling location does require you to reset your own pins after every throw. To hit that goal, however, there might be some fine-tuning to do. Other players have suggested using different items as the ball - both Sigil Stones and Meridia's Beacon are a little more spherical than the Core, which could make things a little easier.

This SkyrimVR player spent $15,000 to create the most immersive setup possible.

Ali Jones

I'm GamesRadar's deputy news editor, working with Ben T across our gaming news articles. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.