Do Mods And Cheats Ruin The PC Version Of Skyrim?

Do Mods And Cheats Ruin The PC Version Of Skyrim?

Many consider the ridiculous amount of mods and easy access to console commands the best things about playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the PC. In today’s Speak Up on Kotaku,, commenter Daemon_Gildas disagrees.

Alright, PC-gamers, it’s time to have one of the severe down-sides of your choice of console pointed out.

So, a few months ago I rented Skyrim for the 360. I knew from buying Oblivion on the 360 that I would want Skyrim on the PC, but I didn’t want to wait for a Steam Sale to at least play the game. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it, even though Oblivion had bored me to tears.

Recently, I picked up Skyrim on the PC, and the modding community is absolutely amazing at what they do. Seriously, I downloaded a mod that adds Frostmourne to the game, and I swear it’s even more detailed than in the actual Blizzard cinematics!

However, it also presents a very real issue; the game itself kind of gets lost in the mix. With so many possibilities — which is great, don’t get me wrong — Skyrim itself feels rather bland by itself.

Worse, still, is that with consoles-commands RIGHT-FREAKING-THERE, you have to make a conscious effort to not abuse them. That isn’t fun. Using them isn’t fun, either, but when presented with an “I-Win button”, it’s kind of a crappy feeling to always have it lingering in your head.

As well, it’s just so easy to clutter everything up to the point that it just feels like a crappy fan-game, as opposed to a breathtaking experience. Granted, Skyrim is by no means a perfect game, but between the easy access to cheats, and the seemingly-infinite add-ons, I think it just kind of ruins the actual game itself.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That’s why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That’s the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we’ll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.


  • I had a steak. But I also had marshmallows in the cupboard. So I added the marshmallows to the steak, and now I’ll never eat steak again. 😐

  • Wait… so the PC version has OPTIONAL mods that you CAN install, there are commands you can research to find that you COULD use, and somehow this is “one of the severe down-sides” of PC gaming?
    I am not even sure how this logically follows, except pointing out that the author finds it uncomfortable to control themselves.
    Very odd.
    This article is more an insight to the author than anything to do with Skyrim.

  • I’m someone who mostly plays on consoles now, but I used to play everything on PC so I know what it’s like to be able to use console commands to cheat and have many mods I could DL. Anyway I really disagree. It’s not hard to just play through the original game.

    Sure cheating everywhere may be a laugh for a bit, but once it gets boring it aint hard to go back to the regular game. If it’s really that hard for you then I’d suggest doing a full playthrough first before you start messing with the console.

    As for mods, some will be crappy and so you disable them after trying them. But if they make the game much more awesome, and so you don’t want to give them up? Congratulations, your game has become more awesome for you. Your experience may be different from some others playing the game, but so what? You’re playing for fun and if your enjoyment is increased then that’s a plus.

          • Oh my god, just shut up. People like you are the reason comment sections everywhere have become filthy pits full of irrational morons and knee-jerk drama queens. Do you honestly think people will listen to you and take your word for whatever it its you’re rambling about? Whatevs brah. Each to their own is what I say.

          • Speaking up against something bad is not irrational.
            But using terms like “people like you” “whatevs brah” are what makes comment sections what they are today. I don’t have to shut up just because I have the good decency to call out console companies and their enthusiasts as people who are bad and should feel bad. They need the truth told to them – and it is unfortunate that not enough people care enough to ensure they are told the truth.

          • People don’t need your skewed version of the truth. You bagged an entire group of gamers for absolutely no reason, and pretty much labelled them the worst thing on the world. Man, this is the biggest injustice in your life that you’ve been fighting, then good for you.

          • wooohoooo my first inappropriate comment, thank you kotaku, I only swore twice though…and it was pretty funny wasn’t it???

          • Now I’m sad your comment was flagged before I got to read it! 🙁 But meanwhile I did get the privilege of not having to read Cymelion’s either -> which from the looks of it would have made me sadder.

  • I never felt the need to use console commands when playing Skyrim, or any other PC game for that matter. I never felt the urge to download any mods for the game either, at least for my first time playing through it. I felt the opposite actually. I wanted to experience the game as it was originally intended, not with mods altering the experience. I would never, ever mod a game until I’ve finished it at least once.

    Having finished the game though mods are a great way to add new things for you to do or to fix little issues you may have with the original game. Console commands are also great for a second or third playthrough so you don’t have to spend ages regrinding levels or gear if all you want to do is muck around in the game or try and rush through the quests as fast as you can.

  • Is player having fun?
    Is players fun non-detrimental to other players?

    If the answer to both these questions is ‘yes’, then you should stop making your chair out of branches.

    Most of the good mods make Skyrim more Skyrim anyway. Midas magic, skyUI and better followers comes to mind right away, and I have a mod that makes the night sky a thousand times more stunning.

    So, problem here isn’t the console or the mods, it’s your mentality.

  • Having the console commands was extremely helpful to me though. I suffered from a particular bug that many encountered which prevented me from advancing the main story questline. A quick dabble with the console commands fixed that straight away.

    It’s about showing restraint. Just because the console commands/mods are there doesn’t mean you have to install/use them at all. I don’t see how it ruins the experience at all.

  • It’s a single player game, it’s up to you on what you’re going to do with the game. If you don’t like the mods/’cheats’ don’t use them.

    How do you even get your articles published?

    • In fairness, this is just something posted in the speak up section of Kotaku US that got enough attention that they decided to publish it, similar to the “Blow off some steam” feature Mark sometimes indulges us with here at Kotaku AU.

      It presents a discussion point, there’s no need to agree with it or consider it an informed opinion.

  • I am going to bring up WoW as my comparison to this, I know it is about skyrim but it is also about the effect that optional extras to “enhance the game in some way or form” have on the original iteration.

    Reliance on mods and automatic installation of said mods that break every patch causing an entire community to rage and scream because they are completely incapable of playing a non modded version of the game has destroyed my faith in the existence of a mostly intelligent player base. MoP beta was shocking as everyone was whinging about being unable to perform a simple task like dispelling a debuff without 4 different mods telling them what to press and when to press it.

    On the skyrim side of things, I believe graphic enhancements are nice and that certain gameplay changes and ui mods etc aren’t horrible but they are also unnecessary, it is not as though the game is ugly or unplayable to begin with

    • The difference is that those who rage in wow rage because suddenly all the tools that told them player 22 wasn’t dealing enough damage, the off tank has more aggro than the main tank and that the third healer hasn’t healed anything are gone and they don’t have any Idea who the hell they should be screaming at when they wipe

      • True that, though I suppose my main issue is not with their usefulness (which they are to the right people) it’s the reliance on them. I main healed/tanked pretty much since release and have never used mods, I was comfortable enough in my own performance that I felt no urge to use them, all the people who I raided with knew this and were, for some unfathomable reason, impressed with my effort.

        For PUGs I suppose there is the desire to know who was being awful but for a guild raid you generally have a good idea of who was pulling their weight and who wasn’t based on past experience

  • Part of why I don’t prefer PC gaming is it seems like, for me, the main advantage would be modding.

    I honestly don’t see the point of modding in stuff that doesn’t belong, or making super-powerful weapons/items, or whatever. I get that that’s fun, and more power to people who want to do it, but I don’t really consider it a benefit of playing the game and I have no interest in it.

    I played Skyrim on 360 and I don’t feel like I’m missing out.

    Does it “ruin” the game? Well, if people find a mod they like and put it in, and it increases their enjoyment, then the answer is no.

    • Many mods are lore friendly and balanced and really add to the game. Just because everyone seems to post screenshots of MLP when they talk about modding and skyrim doesn’t mean it’s all crap. Browse some mods for skyrim and see if you actually are missing out.

    • With the better mods that provide DLC or better level content additions it can add new levels to the game.

      But yeah anything that serves to change the balance of the game is fairly crap.

      But in saying that you could already do that in skyrim to begin with you can blacksmith armour to the point the game simply goes while you have 1000+ armour max armour is around 600(from memory) and your only going to get the 80% damage reduction anyways.

      There are plenty of stupid mods. But ten there are those that turn games from alright looking to amazing

    • I usually play the vanilla game and then add the wild stuff for fun later. However, your missing the fact that many mods are theme appropriate or make the game harder (as well as easy).

      Counter example: the radio stations in fallout: NV were incredibly limited and bugged. Big Iron would play every three times. Fortunately some dedicated modder added a number of new radio stations (with theme relevant tracks), that in my mind made the game 100% better.

      And you did miss out with Skyrim – I’ve played several mods that introduced better quests than anything in the vanilla game. They also made the game play better – one simple tweak fixed the games FOV and color scheme, which you might not even realise is borked till you fix it, at which point you realise the combat is massively improved.

      • I like to experience the vanilla games 1st too, then use mods for extra end game content, or to have a different experience on 2nd play through.

        But it always good to have the console when you encounter bugs and glitches that havent been patched yet, such as skyrims 1st 6 months after release

        • Indeed, playing Skyrim on 360 and I’ve gotten stuck in some rocks a few times. Also my companion has dissapeared randomly (in areas that are already clear). It would have been nice to have a console command to right the world to the way it should be.

  • I’m sorry but the guy who wrote this article is the biggest idiot I’ve come across all week. Hopefully he can read over all that nonsense he typed and I won’t need to explain what’s wrong with it.

  • I agree with the premise to some extent, that mods can overwhelm the main game sometimes to its detriment, but I don’t agree with your reasoning at all. Everyone’s covered the disagreement part pretty well (author lacks self control), so I’ll leave it at that.

    I came to the Oblivion party late, and by that time there were TONS of mods available. The problem was that the available mods were strewn across multiple DB sites and it was difficult to find the “definitive” mods to have the ideal Oblivion experience – you had to try every mod that sounded good until you had the combination you wanted. For me that was very overwhelming and the process of curating my mods was arduous. I think that problem has been fixed by the centralized Steam Workshop though, so I’m all good this time around. 🙂

  • Sorry but I have some willpower and love my free community DLC that usually is better then what devs try to charge me $15 for

  • I used the console commands once during my first playthrough of skyrim, I got stuck inside a rock. Without them that would have ruined that days playtime.

    The only thing bad about playing skyrim on pc is that my ass misses my nice comfy lazboy recliner i have near my PS3 and Xbox. The modding comunity should fix that for me then everything would be sweet.

  • *facepalm* So just because something is OPTIONAL it makes the PC version bad?

    Kotaku, your PC related articles are getting beyond stupid with how pro-console they are. Can’t we have both or does it always have to be one or the other for you all? It is extremely annoying as well, as you draw mainstream attention a fair bit and the fact you’re constantly hammering on the misconceptions of PC gaming it’s getting beyond ridiculous.

  • Is this author insane? How can more variety and customisation POSSIBLY negatively affect the quality of a game?

    I couldn’t stand playing vanilla Skyrim, without FOV tweaks to say the least, but more importantly something to make the combat more than just spamming LMB. In addition, why is it a problem that the console is there? I play the PC version constantly and I’ve never felt like turning on god mode. The only time I use the console is if I get stuck or if a quest bugs itself.

  • You do know the “i-win” buttons are completely optional, right? How the shit does mods ruin Skyrim? Do you actually want to play a game with bland graphics on technology from 2005? I’d wager $20 that the author is a “gamer” who plays Angry Birds on their iPhone/iPad.

  • do people here really not understand where this guy is coming from? It’s possible to feel differently about something. Not everything has exactly the same effect on people.

    • I understand EXACTLY where he is coming from, and it’s a pathetic mindset.

      you have to make a conscious effort to not abuse them

      This right here tells me he has very little if any will power or self control.

      That isn’t fun. Using them isn’t fun, either, but when presented with an “I-Win button”, it’s kind of a crappy feeling to always have it lingering in your head

      He claims to not like using console commands to cheat, yet at the same time complains that it’s a conscious effort to not use them and lingers in his head. This tells me that he is likely finding the game very difficult to play, thus feeling a strong urge to cheat through it. Perhaps he needs to turn down the difficulty setting?

      And if it’s not the difficulty that the problem, and it really is just knowing that there is a way to just get it over with and “win”, perhaps he just doesn’t enjoy the game? But then why would he enjoy the console version?

      I see two reasons behind this, which may or may not both be true:

      1: He is just posting nonsense to promote consoles over superior PCs.


      2: He has mental issues which he needs to go see a counselor about.

  • Perhaps a solution would be that the game devs only allow console access and access to the modding community after each player has played through the games main quest line at least once. I would very much be FOR this option.

  • Personally I don’t care if anyone cheats at a singleplayer game except to laugh at them a bit, it doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the thing in any way. Mods I can understand if they enhance the experience rather than give them a +100 sword of killing everything in sight, and lets face it, the elder scrolls games really only fixed by the community patches that come after all the official patches and the content creation program are well known. I know mods fixed my stereoscopic 3d issues a week after the game came out, so I am in favour of them.

  • I love the mods on Skyrim. It does make the base game feel a bit vanilla I guess but so what? It makes it more fun, therefore I do it.

    I never used console commands except to fix up the FOV though. That’s not gaming, that’s just lazy.

  • In Skyrim’s case, yes I did use mods, but mainly for magicka balance. Going from Oblivion’s magic system to Skyrim’s, Destruction mages just got really weak.

  • Select mods that enhance your enjoyment of the game. I hated the default female body models and the walking animations. I installed the acdale eyecandy mod, associated clothing mods, luscious faces and the Victorias female walk animation mod. This enhanced my own enjoyment of the game.
    I added better night skies and enhanced aurora. I added immersive thunder. I added the unofficial high definition pack. I tweaked the configuration files to enchance performance while keeping the level of detail I was accustomed to.

    I chose not to install the MLP mount mod or add frostmourne to the game. I generally don’t add anything that isn’t doesn’t aesthetically enhance my experience if it’s not lore friendly.

    Just because a mod exists, doesn’t mean you’re obliged to install it.

  • This has to be one of the god damned dumbest things i have ever read on Kotaku, If you dont want to install mods then guess what, you dont have to install them, the same thing applies to the console commands.

    I am not sure what his argument is other then he wanted to be featured on Kotaku Speak Up.

  • “Alright, PC-gamers, it’s time to have one of the severe down-sides of your choice of console pointed out.”
    “PC-gamers … your choice of console”


    • okay to be fair a PC is as much a console as a console is a computer, even though it IS amusing to use that word when we all know that most people use it to mean Xstations and playboxes (out of the gutter) and whatnots.

      Hell, the new Xbox is basically a PC anyway, as far as i know its basically running windows 8.

  • Mods are crap! Think about all the terrible mods, like Counter Strike, and Day of Defeat etc..

    You say “cheating on pc” like consoles are free of it. Most console games have had button combinations in them since the beginning of time, not to mention “Game Genie ” etc.

    Coming up next: Your thread about how Food companies are making you fat, and Alcohol companies made you an alcoholic.

  • People can play games anyway they god damned want. Mods are 100% optional, proselytising, about their moral ambiguity is irrelevant.

  • Its difficult to comprehend that this was even said, How in any way could more choice be a downside?

    Also, you didn’t want to wait for a steam sale to make the game cheaper so you paid MORE to buy the console version?

    Its just… I don’t even… How do you put on your pants in the morning?!?!

  • Oblivion was boring? Sounds like one of the guys that complained about Crysis and its lack of linear instruction. If you can’t find something exciting to do, chances are you’re just unimaginative.

  • Just because the mods are there doesn’t mean you have to use them. Saying that it becomes cluttered is something of the author’s own fault. If this is the case, remove them. The mods aren’t hard coded into the game or anything. I can understand that people have different tastes but saying that mods ruin a game is very silly when they are completely optional.

    I can understand the temptation to cheat side of things but I wonder why anyone would cheat with a game like Skyrim. It wasn’t that hard to beat was it? Again though, if it’s ruining the experience, don’t use them. How is the urge to cheat stronger than the thought of your experience being ruined? I used to cheat all the time in Starcraft but then got bored so I played the game as it was meant to be played.

  • I played this through vanilla with the exception of a menu mod that made the UI more user friendly on PC in my opinion. But then i got to go back and do it again using some of the great mods available. It made the game more valuable in that i can try all these different ideas that people have allowed by providing mods.

  • Yet a nother HORRIED artical from the wankers in the US… can we
    please just boot them from the interent? There stupied, anf have no
    clue what there talking about ALL THE TIME.

  • Well I just wan’t to say you sound like someone who would easily have a drug addiction problem if you can’t stop yourself from using a console command…this articles feeble attempt at making pc versions of games look bad is just sad…please dont ever write another article again if you’re going to sound like such a tool.

  • Okay so, I just have to kind say this doesn’t really make any sense.. Mods are bad, and a “severe down-side” to my choice of computer.. because the mods are BETTER than the original game?

    So.. this is a joke, right? I’m missing something and this is just satire right? Because thats downright pants-on-head stupid right there. I can’t even call this much of an article. Damn.. i need to contact kotaku because if this is what constitutes an article i could be churning out like a dozen of these a day.

    While yes, i TOTALLY agree with you that Skyrim (like most of the series) is a mess, the UI is bad, its buggy and the graphics aren’t nearly as good as they could be, so you can use mods to make it SO much better..

    That does not mean its bad, thats amazing. The PC version of the game is made better by SELECTIVE use of mods, if you overmod the game, thats your own fault (and the devs for making a poor game, maybe).

    I can’t even think of a comparison.. Its like saying a car is bad because all the optional extras detract from the car itself so you should just get a motorcycle because its less distracting or something.


  • I personally only install mods that enhance the base game and fix issues with it. Almost all of my 150+ mods are lore friendly. Only one of my mods even comes close to cheating, and even then all it does is trade in 2 dragon souls for a skill point. Not to cheaty unless abused. And on the topic of abusing cheats or the console, there’s this great thing called “self control”, might wanna check it out, helps alot when you know, you live in the real world.

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