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Reading questions here and elsewhere about Skyrim makes it very tempting to buy. This would become a certainty if I know that I will be able to play it entirely in 3rd person. From the horse question I know that it's possible to at least view yourself in 3rd person on a horse, but that isn't quite enough to dispel my motion sickness concerns.

Is Skyrim playable entirely in 3rd person view under any circumstances or configuration?

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    There is a brief period at the start where you can't go into third person (because you haven't picked a race yet).
    – Amy B
    Nov 27, 2011 at 18:01
  • possible duplicate of Why can't I see my character?
    – mordi2k
    Nov 27, 2011 at 20:02
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    And to make things worse for motion sickness, it's on a moving cart. Still, you can just close your eyes for that part and pretend they blindfolded you. Nov 27, 2011 at 20:05
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    Depending on the cause of your motion sickness, you may be able to improve the situation by increasing the field of view (open the console and enter fov 90 or whatever angle works best for you) or using a mod to reduce/eliminate head bob (I'm pretty sure I've seen at least one of those on Skyrim Nexus already). Nov 28, 2011 at 14:30
  • there's also a mod that lets you start in alternate starting points so you don't have to deal with that interminably lengthy intro after the first time you've seen it. May 28, 2018 at 10:41

2 Answers 2

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Yes! A simple touch of a button can switch you between first and third person. On the PC, this button is 'F'. On consoles or if you use a controller, click the right thumb stick. It's entirely plausible to play the entire game in this view if that is your preference.

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    Or just scroll the mouse wheel in and out, can give you a fairly far back view.
    – Viper_Sb
    Nov 27, 2011 at 17:33
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    This is how I play. I even use 3rd person for my archer-type characters. I just like seeing how cute I look :P
    – Snailer
    Nov 28, 2011 at 0:52
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    It is worth noting that you cannot view yourself in third person until after the NPC cuts your bound hands during the tutorial.
    – Nellius
    Nov 28, 2011 at 12:59
  • There are also several quests and cutscenes where you may be temporarily forced into first person. The longest I experienced this is in a quest near Dawnstar where you relive the memory of another person.
    – Mike
    Dec 16, 2011 at 0:08
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It is playable in third person for the most part. Although if by "playable" you mean "practical", then I would say that a a few things are easier done in first person.

Aiming the bow can be easier to do in 1st person, as sometimes your character gets in the way of the camera.

In caves and other cramped areas, it's easier to search all the nooks and crannies for loot in first person as well.

I also enjoy the third person mode and happy to say 90% of the game can be played that way with no disadvantages.

Fighting in particular is fun in third person, and can be easier to do that way, if you want to see where you're going when trying to place power attacks.

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    +1. Worth noting that switching perspectives is bound to a button, and can be swapped as easily as looking down a scope or crouching. I am in 3rd person about 70% of the time, and swap to 1st for shooting my bow and carefully looting.
    – DCShannon
    Jun 6, 2016 at 22:35

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