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At this point, as a gamer, if you haven’t played Skyrim, you’re likely never going to. But for those of you that have always been curious, or for those wondering if they can play it a bit differently than they’re used to, there are Skyrim mods that completely change how the game is played.
While there are mods that change characters’ locations and even add entire new quests, very few actually change how the base games work as a whole. Skyrim Requiem is a mod that does just that.
Not only does it add several new systems into the game, but it functionally rebuilds the entire game in the process, introduces us to a much more dangerous and strategic version of Skyrim that is every bit as good as the original and better in a lot of ways as well. Here’s everything there is to know about Skyrim Requiem.
The main mission of this mod is to make Skyrim feel more realistic and make the RPG aspects of the game matter less compared to your overall skill as a player. It was created by a small team and what started as just a personal project for them became a massive release that has garnered praise from every player brave enough to try it.
At its core, it changes to combat, magic, player stats, item stats, and even changes a bunch of things in the player interface as well. It also does something called deleveling to the world, which changes how strong enemies are, changes up rewards in certain quests, and more.
The result is not only a very different feeling world but a far more dangerous one that requires players to be thoughtful, creative, and most importantly, observant when it comes to the various encounters in Skyrim’s world. It also adds a better system of character growth as well.
First things first, you absolutely must start a new playthrough. This mod changes so much that starting it mid-game will cause tons of issues, so don’t even try it, as you’ll likely break your current playthrough.
You should also be wary that this mod adds several other mods as well, so to be safe, disable all of the other mods you might have active to prevent anything from conflicting.
How to Activate the Mod
In order to download the mod, visit the Nexus page for Skyrim Requiem and go to the file page. Once you’re there, download the file and activate it using either Vortex or Mod Organizer 2. I prefer Mod Organizer 2 as it keeps everything tidy and puts your mods in order as well. Once you’ve done that, you can play the game, and when you start a new game, you’ll be playing Skyrim Requiem.
What Does it Feel Like to Play?
Right off the bat, you’ll notice how much more difficult things are going to be this time around in Skyrim Requiem. It doesn’t just change the difficulty and add health onto enemies, turning them into damage sponges. It instead changes how damage works as a whole and incorporates armor type, weapon type, and so much more into the game.
Early on in the game, you’ll notice that you’ll die to enemies you used to mop the floor with. Simple rats and spiders and even Mudcrabs will cause you considerable damage, so it’s important to approach every single encounter as a dangerous one this time around.
If you’re ill-equipped in Skyrim Requiem, you’re going to be very vulnerable, so regardless of what armor you find early, you’ll want to equip it.
Combat changes a lot depending on what your chosen specialty is going to be as well. For example, warriors who train in block and armor can shrug off even the most dangerous attacks, but rogues, rangers, or magicians will be very vulnerable and take far more damage from certain attacks.
Even if you’re a warrior, you won’t be able to survive much punishment, and if you get hit with a stray arrow, regardless of what your class is, you’ll be taking some serious damage.
To counter some of this, you need to think differently. See that bandit camp ahead? We want to defeat them, sure, but can we actually handle that at the moment? Without a Follower at your side, your best course of action is going in slowly, drawing one bandit out at a time.
Aside from combat, all the other skills are reworked as well, from speech to lockpicking to crafting; it all is completely this time around, so be sure to pay attention when any new tutorials pop up.
The main thing to know while playing Skyrim Requiem is to be patient. This is no longer a game you can blow through with little opposition. If you wander off into a mysterious cave, you better be armed well and prepared with healing potions, as it’s going to be a really rough trip almost every time.
How to Survive
Now that you’ve journeyed into this scary new world, you’ll want to know the keys to survival. Let’s break down the best way to survive as a combatant.
When it comes to dealing damage in Skyrim Requiem, you will notice that there are different kinds of damage spread out amongst the different kinds of weapons. You get sustained damage from spells, bows and swords/greatswords, burst damage from maces and hammers, big spells, and crossbows. The difference between these is damage over time vs. damage all at once.
Of course, the tradeoff here is how long it takes to load up the attacks. Your swords will go faster than your hammers, and your bows will go faster than your crossbows.
Sustained damage will work better against larger enemies as they generally have larger health pools, while human enemies are more easily handled by burst damage. You’ll want the option to switch between these, so seek out as many weapons as you can find that satisfies each of these damage types.
New to Skyrim now is the concept of armor penetration. This concerns how much damage your and your enemy’s weapons will do vs. armor. Two-handed hammers are the most damaging weapon in the game against armor, and high power spells come in a close second depending on which spell it is.
This means that when you come up against an enemy with a lot of good armor on, you want to switch to spells or a two-handed hammer in order to deal with them. You can also use maces and axes, though the damage will be a little bit lesser than the two-handed hammer.
Ranged weapons now work completely differently as well. Crossbows have become more useful than ever before as they now act as the main armor-piercing weapon from afar. Spells work great to pierce armor as well, but unlike the base game, you need to focus your build on getting spells that will be strong enough to pierce any kind of armor, so a heavy weapon or crossbow works far better.
Surviving Melee Encounters
Now that you see how everything works, it’s time to step into battle. Something to keep in mind is the kind of armor you’re wearing when you start these battles. Is the enemy a melee combatant? Are they ranged attackers? Do they have good armor as well? All of this has to be taken into account from now on as it could be the difference between life and death.
If an enemy has a hammer or mace and you’re just wearing some weak leather armor, you’re going to get completely stomped, regardless of how good that leather armor is.
The key to survival is constant movement in Skyrim Requiem. Whereas the base game would allow you to just tank an absurd amount of damage as long as you were wearing great equipment, here, you need to make sure you’re moving at all times as not only can enemies with great armor-piercing melee weapons end you quickly, but stray arrows can now take you down as well.
If you’re going to survive as a magic user in Skyrim Requiem, it’s time to forget about how magic used to work. In the base game, magic was an easily abusable resource that would allow you to spam spells as long as you had the Magicka bar available to cast them with.
A new feature of Skyrim’s Requiem is that Magicka is lost whenever you’re hit or when you run. In order to keep this from happening, you need to equip items that come with Magicka regen enchantments. You can find these on various robes and other items that are equippable.
Spells come in all shapes and sizes as usual, but in order to really make an impact, you’re going to have to dedicate yourself if you want to be a consistent damage dealer.
Early on, you should do the College of Winterhold questline so you can gain access to the Lesser Ward spell. This will guard you against opposing mages and, at the start of the game, will be a massive help when it comes to taking on dragons on elves.
Healing is the most important spell you can have in the game, as you’re going to be taking so much more damage than you’re used to. It’s not the only way to heal in Skyrim Requiem, though, as you can still use potions and food to heal.
If you’re traveling the Alchemy tree, you can get a perk that allows you to constantly be healing. There are also several weapons with a health drain enchantment attached to them. If you combine the healing spells and potions along with heavy armor and high resistance from various enchantments, you will most likely be we’ll be prepared for pretty much any encounter.
Fighting the Draugr
The Draugr are one of the most common and plentiful enemies you’ll find yourself against while playing Skyrim. They inhabit the crypts and sacred areas of the game, but they were generally pretty easy to deal with in their base form. In Skyrim Requiem, even the most pedestrian Draugr can annihilate you if you aren’t careful.
This time around, it’s almost required to have a silver weapon by your side to fight them with. You’ll also want a solid fire spell or even a torch to bring along with you. Fire eats through their armor pretty fast, so combining a fire spell and a sword in each hand will do you well throughout most of these fights.
If you’re a magic-user, you will want to unlock the perk on the destruction tree to bypass enemy armor with your spells. Draugr generally are wearing tough, Heavy Armor, and having a way to bypass this protection is a massive advantage.
Dragon shouts need to be utilized a bit differently than they were in normal Skyrim. Here, Dragon Shouts act as bonuses for each kind of build you’re using instead of just acting independently as they normally did.
For example, melee will want to get Whirlwind Sprint and Elemental Fury as soon as possible. Whirlwind Sprint lets you zip right to the enemy in the distance and gives Archers and Mages little time to attack you before you can get close and personal with them.
Elemental Fury will add buffs to those melee attacks as well, so using it after you’ve done Whirlwind Sprint becomes a great strategy.
Spellcasters, on the other hand, can rely on standbys like Unrelenting Force to give them some immediate space to start launching spells at the beginning of a fight. Ice Form is also incredibly useful as well in this regard, as turning melee enemies into blocks of ice at the start of a fight will let you hit them while they’re down.
Basically, the way you want to use shouts is to supplement a weakness. Melee users, your weakness is going to be range, so any shouts that reduce that range quickly are crucial. Magic users, your weakness is proximity, so any shouts that increase the distance between you and your enemy is a huge benefit.
Stealth users, on the other hand, can pretty much use any damaging shout they can find as their reduced damage input when not sneaking around is less than ideal. Archers, you’ll want to use shouts similar to magic users so you can increase the damage on your shots.
If you were quick to brush off the Lydias of the world in regular Skyrim, you should definitely reconsider that stance in Skyrim Requiem. You’re going to need all the help you can get when it comes to combat, and having a few Followers by your side to take the brunt of your enemy’s attacks is a huge boon to have.
Don’t just go about recruiting any followers you see. Make sure the ones you pick are ones that are going to directly help your playstyle out. This means that a melee user should be gathering Followers that will double or triple down on their melee assault.
You might think this would mean you’d need some ranged backup, but because of how quickly you can die in Skyrim Requiem, you want to make sure your encounters are as quick and painless as possible. If you decide to be a melee character that needs ranged threats behind you, make sure that you are picking ranged characters who will directly supplement what you’re trying to do.
Crossbow wielders are awesome backup for melee builds as their bolts can pierce armor quite easily. The same goes for fire and lightning-based magic users, as they will cause consistent damage over time which will act as a buff to your melee attacks.
The same goes for ranged magic users. You want to have melee characters to attack as much as possible up close so that you can take headshots or line up your huge spells anytime you’d like.
Smithing is completely reworked in Skyrim Requiem. What used to be a simple system that could be entertaining in short bursts has now become a crazy in-depth system requiring a lot of careful understanding of what’s at play.
First off, tons of different armors have been completely rebalanced. Instead of Light and Heavy Armors, you now also have a Middle Armor to work with. This allows for much more variation than before. Now, armors are more important than ever, and each one has a specific purpose.
Heavy armor is great, but you won’t be able to move much in combat, so that makes you pretty useless in melee combat. Medium armor will provide you some flexibility here, and you’ll be able to move rather quickly while having good protection in the process. You will also need to recover certain items in order to increase your Smithing knowledge.
If you want to be a smith in Skyrim Requiem, you better act like it. You need the knowledge to create this awesome armor.
Question: Can You Play Skyrim Requiem in VR?
Answer: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to play Skyrim Requiem in VR in a natural way. Basically, the mods at play within the Skyrim Requiem mod are too complex to allow VR to seamlessly fit into it.
Mainly, the issue is the changes to combat and locational damage. Skyrim Requiem allows you to focus more on locational damage, and with the VR combat system, there’s a different system in place already, and those two don’t get along.
Question: Can You Play Skyrim Requiem on an Already Started Save File?
Answer: While there have been instances where the mod works pretty well on a recently started game, you definitely don’t want to mess with deleveling a game world mid-game as it can cause issues from glitches to complete crashes to desktop.
Question: Is Skyrim Requiem a Difficulty Mod?
Answer: Not necessarily. Skyrim Requiem is a mod that changes the entire game, and in a way, that actually makes the game more difficult, but only if you let it.
This mod makes you think more about combat, and if you come into combat completely prepared, combat will be fine, and you’ll actually take on challenges far easier than ever. Come into combat without preparation, though, and you can consider yourself a goner.
Skyrim Requiem Mod Guide: Conclusion
If you’ve played Skyrim 100 times, but you just can’t get enough of the awesome flavor it provides, then perhaps Skyrim Requiem would be just the change you’re looking for. Imagine if Dark Souls had a child with Skyrim, and that’s the result with Skyrim Requiem.
You will have your mind challenged, and you’ll find yourself preparing for combat and thinking about how systems like armor and buffs work more than ever before. To me, this is the definitive Skyrim experience, and there’s a reason it’s one of the most popular Skyrim mods ever.