Regarding the epic world of Skyrim, gamers are often conflicted between the Skyrim Legendary Edition and the Skyrim Special Edition. Each version presents unique features and enhancements that cater to different gaming needs.

This comprehensive guide aims to break down every detail and provide you with a thorough understanding of both editions, making your choice easier.

Skyrim Legendary Edition vs Special Edition

Introduction to Skyrim


Skyrim, officially known as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is a popular action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios.

Launched in 2011, Skyrim’s vast open-world setting has captivated gamers, providing an immersive experience that revolves around the protagonist’s quest to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a dragon prophesied to destroy the world.

Exploring Skyrim Legendary Edition

Skyrim Legendary Edition

The Legendary Edition, released in 2013, includes the original game and three DLC (Downloadable Content) expansions: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn.

This edition is 32-bit, with a RAM capacity of 2GB. It’s known for its compatibility with older hardware and can comfortably run on decade-old systems, making it the go-to choice for players with less powerful PCs.

Key Features of Legendary Edition

  • Includes original Skyrim game and all three DLCs.
  • A 32-bit system with 2GB RAM.
  • Better compatibility with older hardware.
  • Extensive library of user-created mods.

Delving into Skyrim Special Edition

Skyrim Special Edition

Skyrim Special Edition, launched in 2016, is a remastered version of the original game. It features a 64-bit system with 4GB+ RAM, improving performance and stability. In addition to including all three DLCs, the Special Edition offers enhanced graphics and introduces modding on consoles.

Key Features of Special Edition

  • Includes original Skyrim game and all three DLCs.
  • A 64-bit system with 4GB+ RAM.
  • It improved game stability and performance.
  • Enhanced graphics with volumetric lighting (“God Rays”), dynamic depth of field, and more.
  • Support for mods on consoles.

System Requirements: Legendary vs. Special

Skyrim Legendary vs. Special Edition system requirements (1)

System requirements play a vital role when choosing between Skyrim Legendary Edition and Special Edition. As previously mentioned, the Legendary Edition is more suited for older hardware, while the Special Edition demands a more robust system for optimum performance.

The Price Factor

Skyrim Legendary Edition price (1) Skyrim Special Edition price (1)

Pricing can be a deciding factor for many gamers. Generally, the Legendary Edition is cheaper than the Special Edition due to its older release. However, you may find the Special Edition available at a comparable price during sales.

Gameplay and Graphics Comparison

Skyrim Legendary vs. Special Edition graphics comparison


While both editions offer the same core gameplay, the Special Edition wins regarding graphics quality. It features remastered art and effects, volumetric lighting, dynamic depth of field, and screen-space reflections, making the world of Skyrim more immersive than ever.

DLC Inclusions: Legendary vs. Special

Skyrim DLCs

Both editions come with the three significant DLCs: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn. Dawnguard revolves around a vampire lord who intends to end the tyranny of the sun.

Hearthfire lets players buy land and build their homes from the ground up. Dragonborn features a new island, Solstheim, and the quest to defeat the first Dragonborn.

Platform Availability

Skyrim Legendary Edition and Special Edition are available on multiple platforms, including PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. However, only the Special Edition is available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Community Support and Modding Opportunities

Skyrim modding

While the Legendary Edition has a vast library of user-created mods, the Special Edition has made modding more accessible, even introducing it to consoles. Moreover, the Special Edition has better support and stability, making it safer for heavy modding.

Final Verdict: Which One to Choose

Both Skyrim Legendary and Special Editions offer unique features. If you have older hardware or are on a tight budget, the Legendary Edition is a great choice.

However, the Special Edition is worth the investment if you desire improved graphics, performance, and console modding.


What is the difference between Skyrim Legendary Edition and Special Edition?

The primary differences are system requirements, graphics, performance, and modding support.

The Legendary Edition is 32-bit and works well on older hardware, while the Special Edition is 64-bit and offers enhanced graphics and performance.

The Special Edition also introduced console mods.

Which edition of Skyrim is better?

The “better” edition depends on your specific needs and system capabilities. The Legendary Edition is ideal for players with older systems or a tight budget.

With its improved graphics and performance, the Special Edition is suitable for players with an immersive experience and those with newer consoles.

Does Skyrim Special Edition include all DLCs?

Yes, the Skyrim Legendary Edition and Special Edition include all three DLCs: Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn.

Can you mod Skyrim Special Edition?

Yes, the Special Edition introduced modding on consoles and offers better modding support and stability on all platforms.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.