Bethesda Announces New Skyrim Play Mode DLC – What Is Survival Mode In Skyrim?

Just a little over a year after Survival Mode for Fallout 4 was announced in beta, Bethesda has thrown gamers in another one of its hottest properties into deep water as well. Players of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are getting their very own Survival Mode as the Creation Club launches in Skyrim.

According to Bethesda, Survival Mode will introduce new features meant to change the way a player approaches the land of Skyrim, much like Survival Mode in Fallout 4 introduced challenges to the Sole Survivor. Included among the many challenges are climate zones, which introduce cold and frostbite, hunger, and the need to rest. Additionally, fast travel is disabled; players must travel by horse or on foot. Players can use a boat or carriage to travel, but doing so puts them at risk of arriving cold, fatigued, and hungry.

Each of these has its own danger in Survival Mode. Cold reduces the player’s total health pool, creating a dead zone inside the health bar. As the dark region increases, it begins to affect things like movement speed, and the abilities of pickpocket and lock picking. Eventually, your health pool will drop to almost zero, and dying from exposure becomes a possibility. You can reduce the impact of cold by eating the right foods, dressing for the cold, warming up near a fire, or just heading south for a bit. Players will know if they’re getting warmer or colder by the appearance of a sun or snowflake icon to the left of the compass.

This map shows where players will need to bundle up to avoid freezing in Survival Mode. [Image by Bethesda]

Like cold affects the health bar, fatigue affects the magicka pool. The longer a player goes without sleep, the more fatigued they become. This also affects their ability to recuperate magicka and stamina. Additionally, the location that a player sleeps is important. In order to get the Well Rested bonus, a player needs to sleep in a bed indoors. Sleeping outside is much less effective and will leave the player with fatigue.

Cold is only one of the dangers awaiting the Dragonborn in Skyrim Survival Mode. [Image by Bethesda]

Another danger in Survival Mode in Skyrim is swimming in icy rivers. No longer will a player be able to take a refreshing polar bear plunge. Instead, as soon as they start to swim in freezing water, they begin taking damage and suffering the effects of cold. It is possible to prevent the effects of the icy water by using a Flame Cloak spell or using the Ancestor’s Wrath ability of the Dunmer.

There are multiple other hazards for players exploring Survival Mode as well. Leveling up now requires that a player sleeps on a bed. A player’s carry weight is drastically reduced as well, and arrows and lockpicks now have weight. Walking around while over encumbered also drains stamina, increasing the rate at which fatigue accumulates.

A host of debilitating conditions awaits foolhardy adventurers. [Image by Bethesda]

There is also disease, which carries significantly more penalties. They can also morph into other diseases if left untreated. Uncooked food doesn’t heal as much as prepared foods do, and uncooked meat can now cause Food Poisoning, a special disease. Additionally, leaving any of the aforementioned conditions leaves the player open to Afflictions. An affliction is similar to a disease, but it will also naturally wear off after time. Three of the afflictions that Bethesda mentioned are Weakened, Addled, and Frostbitten, with effects listed here.

  • Weakened: You are less effective at using melee weapons and blocking damage with your shield.
  • Addled: All enchantments and spells cast are less effective.
  • Frostbitten: You are less effective at picking locks, picking pockets, and doing damage with a bow.

Shrines still will cure diseases, but they no longer do it for free. Now players must make a gold tithe for public shrines. Shrines that exist in player’s housing are still free, however.

For people who have opted to become a werewolf or a Vampire Lord, there are some benefits. First, they can restore hunger by feeding on victims and cold doesn’t affect them as much while they are transformed into their monster forms.

There is no set date for Survival Mode to go live in non-beta form. However, if players would like to try it out, they can opt in on the beta through their Steam account and try Survival mode for free. Console players should get access to Survival Mode early next month, according to Bethesda.

[Featured Image by Bethesda]

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