‘Skyrim Anniversary Edition’ update may be disruptive for modders

"Back up your executable now, and disable updates in Steam"

Skyrim modder has warned that the upcoming Skyrim Anniversary Edition is going to be “much more disruptive to the modding scene than is commonly believed”.

Reddit user extrwi is one of the developers behind Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE), a plug-in that many mods depend on to run on the most recent release of the game, Skyrim Special Edition. It’s not the only one that mods rely on, as many also use “the Address Library by meh321” and “code signature matching, which finds functions that “look like” a specific pattern”.

In a lengthy Reddit post yesterday (October 12), they claimed, “With the [Anniversary Edition] AE update, all of these methods will break, and addresses will need to be found again from scratch.”

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Skyrim Anniversary Edition
Skyrim Anniversary Edition. Credit: Bethesda

They explained that “Bethesda has decided to update the compiler used to build the 64-bit version of Skyrim from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2019. This changes the way that the code is generated in a way that forces mod developers to start from scratch finding functions and writing hooks.”

While some players may prefer to just enjoy existing mods and not care for the Anniversary Edition – though it will include new free content, such as the ability to fish – the greater issue is that rather than a separate product listing on Steam, the Anniversary Edition is a patch to existing Special Edition installations, which makes it unavoidable unless players opt out of any updates.

For now, extrwi has advised the community, “Back up your executable now, and disable updates in Steam”, warning that the native modding scene “is going to be broken for an unknown length of time after AE‘s release.”

Elsewhere, Quake is now available for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and users who previously bought the PS4 or Xbox One versions will be eligible for a free upgrade to their respective console family.

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