In my latest playthrough I'm running any quest mod that teases my curiosity.

But I'm also a Completionist (or 'Garbage Collector/Resource Hoarder', if you prefer), I have as much stuff as I can find stored in chests, wardrobes or desks - everything from every mod (armors, weapons, statics, journals, notes etc as well as tons of ores, ingots, hides and gems even if I might not need all of them.

And recently, with my new GPU, a GTX 660 2GB, I noticed Skyrim is very buggy. Random CTDs are the most annoying, of course, but the loading time is very frustrating. Worse! The overall performance is not greater than it was with my iGPU.

I read here and there that big save game files (mine are ~25MB each) can cause these issues. I tried to clean them with tools provided in Nexus site but the size still the same, which probably means there is no unintentional leftovers.

So to summarise: Does collecting stuff in Skyrim cause instability?

If I want to reduce my save game files, and thus reduce the stuttering, lag, random CTDs and long load times, do I have to empty all my bookshelves (which I filled with every single book, mostly handpicked in Apocrypha), dispose all unique items coming from quest mods, reduce my storage to a barely minimum amount of supplies and throw away all armor sets of each tier just to get stability?

  • 1
    ...do you even mean all the pots and pans and plates you nick from the bandit camps..?
    – Ben
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:03
  • @Ben - I think you beat me by about 2 seconds with that edit :)
    – Robotnik
    Jan 6, 2015 at 3:17
  • 1
    I'm neurotic, but not that far :p Jan 6, 2015 at 9:11
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    A shitload of items in a container makes moving items into and from the container take a long time. Also happens in fallout, and oblivion. Which is annoying. But never crashed my game.
    – Ids
    Jan 6, 2015 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


No, but the items themselves may be related to issues which can cause instability

Each item that you get in Skyrim that is not unique is, well, not unique, in that if you have multiples of them, they'll stack. Having 2000 Leather Armor will generally not cause much problem, they're basically just one item but can be multiplied when necessary.

Having 2000 enchanted Leather Armor, however, will cause a problem, especially if you store them all in one container. This is because the game treats each enchanted item as unique, even if they all have the exact same enchantments right down to the percentages. Reading the entries of all of those items takes a long time whenever you open the container. Too many items can take a ridiculously long time, though this generally does not cause instability during gameplay

If by "in-game item" you mean "items placed in the game world" then the answer is still kind of no. Having too many items on screen at the same time can cause instability, primarily by taxing the system, especially if they all have scripted effects that interact with the world. However, the core issue is the scripted effects, not the items themselves

Instability is usually caused by mods conflicting with each other and/or leaving orphan scripts running endlessly. Check with your mod author and/or community and see if they have known issues.

Large save files are generally attributed to growing item references. The save file contains data of what items you have and what areas you have encountered (to reset the encounters when necessary), thus the more places you discover, the more items are placed in the world and the more scripts you have running, your save file will grow bigger and bigger. This is normal. As long as the mods are playing nicely and don't have substantial bugs (especially with scripts) large save file size is not a problem gameplay-wise (but may be a problem hard-disk-space-wise)


Basically, no. Collecting stuff in Skyrim is not "Forbidden", otherwise you wouldn't be able to do it. In terms of it affecting your file size and load times, it's too miniscule to make a difference.

However I'm sensing that your question is a bit deeper than that, and you're asking if your antics are causing issues in the game.

Depending on how many mods you currently have loaded in your game has a significant impact on the file size of your game. The more mods you have loaded, the larger the file size, and the longer the load times. I have seen reports of people running at least 160 mods, and the file size also being rather spectacular, so my suggestion would be to lay off a few quest mods that you don't play anymore.


Your file size has most likely absolutely nothing to do with it, although it's probably connected to the number of mods or more fitting, the lack of additional compatibility in your game files.

If you install or uninstall any mod, always run the programm "Loot" afterwards, it's free and it will organize your mod-order for you.

If you have install/uninstall a mod which adds items to vendors/enemy inventory, always create a "bashed patch" using the program "Wrye Bash".

If you install any animation mods, be sure to install FNIS (Fores new Idles) and use the "Generate FNIS Behavious for Users" tool.

Last but not least try not having multiple mods changing the same stuff (like multiple store overhauls for one location etc.), except when they're mentioned as compatible or when they're patches for it.

If you always do that you can easily run 250+ mods (I'm at ~270 now) without any problems or CTD's.

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