Bethesda Desperately Wants Modders To Focus On Starfield, Not Skyrim

It appears that the update was Bethesda's way of telling modders to focus on Starfield instead of Skyrim.

Story Highlights

  • Bethesda launched an update for The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim recently, causing most mods to stop working.
  • There’s no guarantee that there won’t be any more updates in the near future.
  • Starfield is set to receive mod support in early 2024.

Recently, Bethesda dropped an update on The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition, rendering most mods useless. On the other hand, 2024 is just around the corner, and so is Starfield‘s mod support. Are these two things, perhaps, connected? While it may sound far-fetched, let’s take a more in-depth look at what Bethesda wants, which is for you and the modding community to focus on their latest project.

Bethesda’s work on The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, however flawed it may be, is commendable. But that isn’t the only reason why Skyrim is such a successful game, even after more than a decade. The majority of Skyrim’s success can be attributed to the modding community. Mods have fixed about every single flaw the game had, and if there’s anything you can think of, there’s likely already a mod for it.

On the other hand, Starfield is a great game, but the way Bethesda has been handling it isn’t. Bethesda promised a lot of things and ultimately failed to deliver on most of them. Despite launching recently, Starfield is lacking behind The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition in terms of concurrent active players. Bethesda doesn’t want this. It wants you to buy their latest game and mod it instead.

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Skyrim’s Latest Official Update

If you play vanilla Skyrim/don’t use mods, you might not know that modding is highly sensitive to official updates, to the point that a minor update can render all your mods useless. It is a well-known fact that official updates ruin mods, and with Skyrim, that’s mostly what the game is all about a decade after its launch.

While it’s true that most players can downgrade again to a more stable version of the game and are able to use the mods. However, it is different for modders as they have to change and, in some cases, redo the entire work to make the mod work on the latest version of the game. Note that these new features should’ve been part of the Anniversary Edition update long ago.

Bethesda’s latest update of Skyrim added support for Steam Deck, Ultrawide monitors, and paid content, alongside a few quality-of-life changes. But was this really necessary? Mods for just about any feature are already available on the internet, and there was no need for Bethesda to go out of their way to drop an official update years after the game’s launch.

A glimpse of modded Skyrim.
A glimpse of modded Skyrim.

Why Would Bethesda Do It?

The most probable reason behind this update could be that Bethesda wants players to turn their attention toward their latest game, Starfield. They want modders to focus on Starfield instead of Skyrim. Why? Because it gets them more money and attention. Bethesda is quite lazy when it comes to fixing their games, and Starfield has lots of places where it could use an improvement.

Right now, The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Special Edition sits at over 60,000 mods, while Starfield has only 6,200+ mods at NexusMods. Considering that Starfield launched recently, it is still a massive number, and in coming years, it might even surpass Skyrim. But, for now, that is not the case. Currently, Starfield doesn’t give modders as much freedom as Skyrim, which is why it could take a long while until it catches up to its predecessor.

A comparison between total mods and downloads of Skyrim and Starfield on NexusMods.
A comparison between total mods and downloads of Skyrim and Starfield on NexusMods.

Bethesda has put a lot of time and money into Starfield. It was expected to be a successor to Skyrim in a way, but seeing how things are for now, it doesn’t look like it will be succeeding anything. Of course, it might change in the future when Bethesda launches official mod support for Starfield and the modding community finally takes it into their hands to fix Bethesda’s mess.

Expectations From Starfield

Starfield is set to receive full mod support early next year, as stated by Bethesda’s official website. After that, modders will likely have more freedom and will be able to do just about anything they can do in Skyrim. But why would players leave Skyrim and start focusing on Starfield when there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it? That’s where the update kicks in.

The update can be interpreted as Bethesda trying to tell modders to leave Skyrim alone and start focusing on Starfield instead. There’s no guarantee Skyrim won’t receive further updates in the future, and while there is a way to downgrade these updates with the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch – USSEP on NexusMods, for modders, it will be a headache.

But what can they do to avoid all that? Easy! Focus on Starfield instead. The moment modders start focusing on Starfield, the rest of the players will follow. That’s likely the plan Bethesda has set in motion with their latest update. But did they really have to do it? If they had made Starfield a better game from the get-go, more players would be willing to play it.

It was known that the modders of Skyrim Together had been working on a similar multiplayer mod for Starfield. However, as reported by VG247, one of the modders behind the project revealed that they had stopped working on a multiplayer mod for Starfield. The modder claimed the game is “boring, bland, and lacks the main draw of Bethesda Games.”

This further strengthens the fact that modders don’t want much to do with Starfield in its current state. Bethesda will have to do something about it to make the game less boring instead of hoping that the modders will eventually abandon Skyrim if it continues to drop updates one after the other.

Space combat from Starfield.
Space combat from Starfield.

Aside from that, Starfield has a bright future ahead of itself. The mod support will open many doors for the game and its popularity. However, Bethesda doesn’t have to force people to turn their eyes toward Starfield like this. The best it can do is improve the game and let it grow. Hopefully, in a few years, Starfield will be a lot better than it is today, and the credit will go entirely to the modding community.


Bethesda’s latest update to The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim might be a way for it to tell its players that they should focus on Starfield instead. The update has caused most mods to fail, and while the players can use a workaround to downgrade the game again, for modders, it is nothing short of a headache to make their mods usable on the latest version of the game.

With Skyrim being a good enough game as it is, there’s no need for players and modders to look towards Starfield, and that’s likely why Bethesda is trying to stir something up. Additionally, there’s no guarantee there won’t be more future updates. On the other hand, Starfield is set to receive official mod support early next year and will likely feel a surge in player count.

Bethesda’s best bet is to believe in Starfield and in the modding community and give the game some time. It will grow slowly but surely. Starfield isn’t a bad game, but Bethesda is to be blamed for the game’s poor performance and issues. Hopefully, it will learn from this and improve to deliver something that far surpasses anything they’ve ever created in the near future.

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Fahad is a news reporter at eXputer with a huge passion for fighting games. For the past year, he has been utilizing his skills to report on the latest and greatest in the gaming industry. Side by side with his bachelor's in computer science, Fahad has also acquired a certification in English for Journalism from Coursera. Fahad now dedicates all his time to either playing video games or reporting news at eXputer.

Experience: 1+ Years || Covers News Stories at eXputer || Bachelor's in Computer Science.

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