Apart from the textures getting better resolutions and bug fixes, is there anything different regarding quests in Skyrim: Special Edition compared to the old Skyrim?

What I mean is:

  • Are there any new quests?
  • Do some quests now have possible new outcomes?
  • Have some story beats been changed or streamlined?

I'm currently debating if I'm better off buying the Special Edition or Vanilla Edition + DLC + Mods on Steam. If the Vanilla Edition has the same content, but I can get up to Special Edition likeness with Mods, I would buy Vanilla. But if there's new stuff, I would go for Special Edition.

  • I think SE was moreso made for us console players, who never had the opportunity to use mods before.
    – Evorlor
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 14:09
  • There is no new stuff. Buying the Special Edition gets you all three DLCs and improved graphics. eurogamer.net/articles/…
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    If you don't have any version yet, I recommend the Special Edition. Mod authors may or may not port their creations to the new version, but the update from DX9 to DX11 means the performance should be much better than it was before. Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 22:51
  • The last two edits should be rolled back; they narrow the question scope far beyond what was intended.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 23:00
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What are the differences between Skyrim & Skyrim: Special Edition?
    – Philipp
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 23:07

6 Answers 6


Gameplay wise the game is the same as the old ones. The new version comes with DX11 and 64-bit supported. So it will run better than the old one and looks better. But there are no new quests or anything.

  • 2
    Source? Tends to help a little bit if you have something backing a statement up
    – Draken
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 14:49
  • 1
    @Draken Currently on mobile, I'll link a source when I'm back behind a pc
    – Riley
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 15:22
  • 1
    This page about what has changed for modders says this: "Absolutely no changes to any of Skyrim's 13000+ scripts were made beyond many of the DLC ones getting recompiled with their debug statements commented out." Now this isn't an official statement and there are are other files in quests besides scripts, but it does lead support the idea that nothing has changed. Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 16:41

A few quests seem to run out differently. For instance I did not run into the warriors guild (forgot the name of them) outside of whiterun fighting the giant like I normally do.

  • That's the Companions.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 0:32
  • And sometimes if you take too long the giant is slain before you get there. It's normal.
    – Oak
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 9:01

Very minor changes I noticed on day 1

  • when you reach Whiterun stable you can see uthgerd the unbroken having conversation with the npc about her travels

  • when you reach Dragons reach for the first time, irileth won't stop you for interrupting the Jarl's conversation until you actually reach near him

Simply the way npcs interactions are improved and there are seemed to be more dialogues going on

Also I noticed the way dragons fight you look more believable from seeing how dragons handle the battlefield.

  • 1
    Are there any different quests though? This answer doesn't answer that question.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 7:12

The Blessings of Nature quest given by Danica in Whiterun played out differently for me than my first two times on the 360. I've stumbled across a couple of caves that I don't remember as well, and I explored very thoroughly before.

  • 7
    You didn't explore very thoroughly. Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 20:45

Yes, it seems that they have added some things here and there. I noticed an area in whiterun that in the special edition that I did not see in the normal version, this area had three pillars that you could turn and it opened a trapdoor that allowed you to search a chest. I don't think it was major (please correct me if I'm wrong about the trapdoor area)

  • This also exists in oldrim.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Commented Jan 2, 2021 at 10:58

One difference I know of so far (although it's a minor one), the Torturer's Hood (from the torturer in Helgen Keep) is now obtainable.

  • 1
    Although it may be a difference, this is probably better suited as a comment rather than an answer, as it doesn't attempt to answer the other questions the user asked in their question. Once you have enough reputation you can comment on any post.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 22:43

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