Skyrim running on an old laptop looks like first-person Runescape

(Image credit: Bethesda)

One Skyrim player has lowered the game's graphics straight through the floorboards by running it on a laptop charitably described as old, and we can't get over its demastered look.

how_skyrim_looks_on_my_2012_laptop_any_questions from r/skyrim

Reddit user SomberKlepto shared an ancient-looking version of Skyrim apparently running on a laptop from 2012. The ironic thing is that Skyrim was originally released in 2011, so either this laptop was outdated even back then or it's running one of the newer, slightly updated versions of the game like the Special Edition. Probably both. If this is how the base game looks, we don't even want to think about what the Skyrim: Anniversary Edition and its 500 mods might do to this machine.

The image speaks for itself. Shadows have been stripped out or reduced to crude gradients. Textures either haven't loaded in or have been flattened to obscurity. Our hero's sword looks like a shaped bone with shoe laces and the NPCs at this cathedral are apparently sharing one low-res face. Come on, the big guy in the back looks like a playable fighter we haven't unlocked yet. 

If you told us this was Old School Runescape's first stab at a first-person VR mode, we'd believe you. Seriously, there are dedicated Skyrim demaster mods that look infinitely smoother than this. Reputable optimizer LowSpecGamer got Skyrim Special Edition running on machines well below the game's minimum system requirements and it looks more modern. SomberKlepto's laptop is some kind of time bubble – an overlay of old and new that shouldn't even work. Yet here we are staring at Whiterun NPCs that have come down with a bad case of mummification. 

Check out the other end of the graphical spectrum with this Skyrim mod for photorealistic forests.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.