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Skyrim Elysium modpack explained and how to play

Skyrim
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Skyrim Elysium modpack has become a big deal for many players, a huge curated batch of mods, enhancements, changes and customisation options that elevate the fifth Elder Scrolls game and turn it into something new and fresh. However, there's a lot of questions worth answering in advance: how does the Elysium modpack change Skyrim, how do you install it, and is it worth going through the effort? We'll explain below, as well as the Elysium estate mod that's also been very popular.

Skyrim Elysium modpack explained

Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The Skyrim Elysium modpack is a massive general upgrade for Skyrim that includes hundreds of new mods to add new quests, items, graphics, characters and more, some of which expand into whole new locations and additions to the world. Elysium is also designed to be fully compatible with the Creation Club (though it's not mandatory that you have Creation Club content added). As with all mods, a certain amount of "buyer beware" should be remembered - we've only heard positive things about the Elysium modpack and creator TitansBane, but you are altering your game and computer regardless. It's always important to exercise caution accordingly.

The Elysium modpack contains dozens of mods, which alter pretty much every aspect of the game in some way or another, ranging from minor enhancements and tweaks to major redesigns. It even includes the original Forgotten City mod, a whole new questline that became its own critically-acclaimed standalone game. Players and prospective downloaders can find the mod list here.

How to install Skyrim Elysium

Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Players who want to install Skyrim Elysium can find the instructions to do so here, which presumes you're utilising the Steam version of the game. It also requires you to download a mod called Wabbajack, which is a kind of automated modlist installer for Skyrim. Basically, once you have Wabbajack set up, you can effectively slot Elysium into it and set it running as painlessly as possible (all this is explained in the Elysium installation instructions). It also recommends that you delete Skyrim and redownload it in advance, just to make sure you have a clean copy that isn't being altered by any existing mods.

Skyrim Elysium for consoles and Anniversary Edition

Skyrim fishing

(Image credit: Bethesda)

At time of writing, Skyrim Elysium is PC and Steam exclusive - it's not available on the Xbox or PlayStation ports. It's also not compatible with any form of the Anniversary Edition, though players who have the Special Edition released previously will still be able to play it. The cause of this appears to be several key coding alterations that mean it's not currently compatible with the Wabbajack modpack installation program. Until we hear otherwise, we can't recommend using it either, though it's very likely that efforts are underway to make Wabbajack work with the new form of the game, along with all the previous mods.

Skyrim Elysium Estate explained

Skyrim Elysium

(Image credit: Bethesda/thejadeshadow)

A point of confusion here is that there's also a very popular mod on Nexus Mods by creator thejadeshadow called the Elysium Estate. This mod is also PC and Special Edition exclusive, but basically introduces a large, filled out house of the same name just outside the city of Whiterun, one in which players can move in and own in the same manner as any of the Hearthfire DLC homesteads. It's much better though, and those who value real estate can always take a look at the mod here.

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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.