Elder Scrolls System Optimization

Almost as important as any in-game setting is the way your Windows installation is

configured. A great many problems and performance issues, especially stuttering,

crashes and slowdowns, can be traced directly to sub-optimal settings in Windows and

out-of-date or badly configured drivers. Take a look at our Stable Gaming Guide for

tips on how to get your PC in the best shape. At the very least make sure to update

your graphics drivers to the latest available version.
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Performance Measurement
To successfully conduct any tweaking, you will need some way of objectively measuring

your performance in Frames Per Second (FPS). The easiest way to do this is to use the

free FRAPS utility. Download, install and launch FRAPS before starting up Skyrim. You

will now see a yellow FPS counter displayed in the corner of your screen. Pay

attention to your FPS during the game, particularly during graphically intense

scenes, such as in heavy combat or in large outdoor areas, especially around cities.

If your FPS dips into the low double or single digits for example, this is a good

indication that you need to adjust various settings until your minimum FPS is

consistently above around 25 FPS so as to maintain appropriate responsiveness.

Note that in Skyrim a form of Vertical Synchronization (VSync) is enabled by default,

and cannot be disabled using the in-game settings. This means your framerate will be

capped to your refresh rate (typically 60 FPS), and you may also experience mouse

lag. Several alternatives for dealing with this form of VSync are covered in the

Advanced Tweaking section of the guide.

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