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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by booman, Sep 26, 2013.

  • by booman, Sep 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM
  • booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

    Dec 17, 2012
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    Linux, Arizona
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    Skyrim is 5th series of the epic saga known as The Elder Scrolls. Famous for the first person shooter and open-world view, Skyrim continues the Role Playing genre retaining all the favorite aspects of Morrowind and Oblivion while introducing a bunch of new features.


    New classes, new guilds, new civilizations, new state-of-the-art graphics and...
    wait for it...

    Follow my step-by-step guide on installing, configuring and optimizing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in Linux with PlayOnLinux.

    Note: This guide applies to the Steam version of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

    Tips & Specs:

    Try SteamPlay before using this guide as Valve now uses a fork of Wine called Proton and should run most Windows games.

    To learn more about PlayOnLinux and Wine configuration, see the online manual: PlayOnLinux Explained

    Mint 17 64-bit
    PlayOnLinux: 4.2.8
    Wine: 1.7.49-staging

    Wine Installation

    Note: Wine versions older than 2.0.2 and 2.12-staging no longer work with Steam.

    Click Tools
    Select "Manage Wine Versions"

    Look for the Wine Version: 1.7.49-staging

    Select it
    Click the arrow pointing to the right

    Click Next

    Downloading Wine


    Downloading Gecko


    Wine 1.7.49-staging is installed and you can close this window

    PlayOnLinux Setup

    Launch PlayOnLinux
    Click Install

    Click "Install a non-listed program"

    Click Next

    Select "Install a program in a new virtual drive"
    Click Next

    Name your virtual drive: skyrim
    Click Next

    Check all three options:
    • Use another version of Wine
    • Configure Wine
    • Install some libraries
    Click Next

    Select Wine 1.7.49-staging
    Click Next

    Select "32 bits windows installation"
    Click Next

    Wine Configuration

    Applications Tab
    Windows Version: Windows 7
    Click Apply

    Graphics Tab
    Click "Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen windows"
    Check "Emulate a virtual desktop"
    Desktop size: 1024x768
    Click OK

    PlayOnLinux Packages (Libraries, Components, DLL's)

    Check the following:
    • POL_Install_corefonts
    • POL_Install_d3dx10
    • POL_Install_d3dx9
    • POL_Install_tahoma
    • POL_Install_vcrun2008
    • POL_Install_xact
    Click Next

    Note: All packages will automatically download and install

    Click Browse

    Navigate to your desktop
    Select "SteamSetup.exe"
    Click Open

    Click Next

    Click Next

    Check "I accept the license..."
    Click Next

    Select Language
    Click Next

    Click Install

    Click Finish


    dwrite isn't enabled yet, so there won't be any fonts
    Click The "X" and close Steam

    PlayOnLinux Shortcut

    Select "Steam.exe"

    Name your shortcut: Skyrim
    Click Next

    Select "I don't want to make another shortcut"
    Click Next

    PlayOnLinux Configure

    Back to PlayOnLinux
    Select Skyrim
    Click Configure

    General Tab
    Wine version: 1.7.49-staging
    Arguments: -no-dwrite -no-cef-sandbox
    This fixes the missing font and store problem

    Note: -no-dwrite will allow the fonts in Steam

    Display Tab
    Video memory size: Enter the amount of memory your video card/chip uses

    Launching Skyrim

    Select Skyrim
    Click Run

    Note: Click Debug to see errors and bugs

    Login to Steam


    Select Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    Click Install

    Click Next

    Skyrim is about 6 Gigs
    When its finish downloading...
    Click Finish

    Click Play

    Detecting Video Hardware
    Click OK


    Click Options

    Graphics Adapter and Resolution
    • Graphics Adapter
    • Aspect Ratio
    • Resolution
    • Antialiasing
    • Anisotropic Filtering
    • Detail
    • Windowed
    Click Ok

    Advanced Detail
    • Texture Quality
    • Radial Blur Quality
    • Shadow Detail
    • Decal Quantity
    • FXAA
    • Water Reflections
    Click Close

    Advanced View Distance
    • Object Fade
    • Actor Fade
    • Grass Fade
    • Specularity Fade
    • Light Fade
    • Item Fade
    • Distand Object Detail
    • Object Detail Fade
    Click Close

    Click Play

    Rule of Thumb
    High settings = More detail, lower frame rates
    Low settings = Less detail, higher frame rates

    Skyrim ran beautifully on my GeForce 550 Ti with everything set on High or Ultra. Wine 1.7.49-staging does a great job and I didn't have too many issue:
    Tree animation was not smooth and the shadows moved irregularly
    Can not see underwater (underwater view can be disabled in the .ini files)





    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
    HelmiUrfi and vashin like this.


Discussion in 'Guides' started by booman, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Andrew P
    For some reason when i open the game and go to load my save it gets stuck in the loading screen even when the game starts i can hear the sound but it shows me the loading screen
  2. booman
    Did you ad/remove any mods recently?
    I noticed that when I remove a mod, I get a warning that there will be missing content.
    Maybe the save game is corrupted. This happens in Windows as well. I actually backup my saves to my Google Drive, just to be safe. 100+ hours in a game isn't worth loosing.
  3. Andrew P
    No i have not added/removed a mod i try to go to my save but i cant i even made a new game just to see if that works but the same thing happens again its just stuck in the loading screen but i can hear the game.
  4. booman
    hat is definitely strange. I never had that problem any time I tested Skyrim.
    Did you follow this guide?
    You may want to try a newer version of Wine like 1.9.11-staging
    Or try re-installing the game again.
  5. supergr35

    Having a problem where every single time I exit the game via "quit to desktop" it freezes and I'm forced to hard shutdown.

    Help would be appreciated.
  6. booman
    Hi, Welcome to the forum. Many games refuse to close "gracefully"
    There are a few steps you can try instead of forcing a shutdown of Linux.

    1. Alt+Tab
    2. Go to Desktop
    3. Go to PlayOnLinux Configure
    4. Select shortcut (left side)
    5. Wine Tab
    6. Kill Processes
    1. Alt+Tab
    2. Go to Desktop
    3. Open Terminal
    4. type: ps -g username
    5. Look for name of game .exe
    6. type: killall nameofgame.exe
    System Monitor
    1. Alt+Tab
    2. Go to Desktop
    3. Launch System Monitor
    4. Find game exe
    5. Right-click
    6. Kill Process
    Sometimes Alt+Tab won't work
    You can also try changing to another desktop with Ctrl+arrow-keys
  7. Conor McGuigan
    I've tried multiple different guides on installing skyrim through PlayOnLinux and I feel my directories are a mess now regarding wine installations/virtualdrives etc. Is there anyway to start from scratch. My main problem is the really low fps outdoors with an rx 480 and i5 3470. Particularly in this guide where it says to navigate to desktop and select SeamSetup.exe, this does not appear in my desktop but I presume it is located somewhere in the .Playonlinux/ directory but I am confused as I have tried multiple times and my have ended up with duplicate files within this directory. Basically is there a way to uninstall Playonlinux and wine (even the install components such as xact/d3d10 etc), is it just a matter of sudo apt-get purge playonlinux or will there be leftovers? SOrry for the long winded question.
  8. booman
    Welcome to the forum Conor.
    Yes you can definitely start over with a new Virtual Drive.
    Just go to Configure, select the virtual drive (left side) and click Remove.
    I recommend leaving the "default" one, but you can remove the other Skyrim Virtual Drives. This way, you can start over with a brand new one. Also, when you download the Windows Steam installer, just save it to your Desktop. If its not there, then its probably in your Downloads folder. That is normally a default for internet browsers like Chrome or Firefox.

    Sounds like you previously got it working, but it runs too slow. I recommend checking your AMD drivers. Try installing the proprietary drivers or just use the open-source drivers. I've heard AMD drivers do not perform so great...

    You can also, mess with the game video settings. Crank down the resolution or distance settings to improve performance.
  9. Conor McGuigan
    Oh I presumed you download steam through PlayOnLinux, my bad. When I got to this stage I exited the installer and proceeded to install steam through PlayOnLinux and currently installing skyrim through that or would you recommend starting over and installing steam separately from PlayOnLinux. As for drivers I am using amdgpu as the pro version is not available on ubuntu 16.10
  10. Conor McGuigan
    Just an update, I got it installed using your guide successfully. However I have a few issues, steam workshop/store does not open and when I launch into skyrim the keyboard does not work. Still using amdgpu drivers, funny enough I did not install any drivers for this card so it seems the card came with this driver pre-installed. Any ideas on how to fix these issues?
  11. booman
    They keyboard issue... i'm not sure. Haven't heard of that one before. Try using a newer version of Wine. You can easily download it from Tools - Wine Manager.
    Then go to Configure - Select skyrim - General Tab - Downarrow to select Wine

    The store can be fixed by going to Configure - Select Skyrim shortcut (left side) - Enter this in Arguments: -no-dwrite -no-cef-sandbox
  12. Conor McGuigan
    Ok the keyboard and store issue fixed when I selected windows xp, I already had those arguments setup and it was not working prior and as regards the keyboard issues its apparently suppose to do with running through a virtual machine. With everything working the fps is below 20 on vanilla skyrim sadly. Do you think this is purely video card driver related issues. By doing a google search on rx 480 drivers ubuntu 16.10, there is literally no info on a stable driver for this version. Do you think it is just a matter of waiting until they release official stable drivers for ubuntu 16.10?
  13. booman
    You wrote "virtual machine" did you mean "virtual drive"?
    Just making sure....

    I'm not versed in AMD drivers. I have one computer with an older AMD card and the drivers really suck. I have a touchscreen with AMD and it runs ok with open-source drivers. Thats about all I know.
    All of my other machines and GeForce video cards and they run GREAT!

    I'm guessing this is a laptop right?
    All you can do is wait for some stable drivers, or try some of the beta one's... at your own risk of course. Sometimes things can break and its hard to bring your system back.
  14. Conor McGuigan
    But I assumed with using wine there is some method of virtualization being used here as the window that appears when running skyrim is essentially a windows environment or maybe that is purely because of the virtual drive. This is a desktop with an i5 3470 and RX 480 and you would assume that you would achieve more than 20fps from a relatively old game. As you say I should probably wait until official drivers are released, there is a blog on setting up "amdgpu-pro" on 16.10 but I think it involves tweaks on the kernel side but I am going of avoid that as I only pernamentally switched to Linux 2 months ago. Note that when I check my driver version it states I am running "amdgpu" not the pro version. It seems that these amdgpu/pro open source drivers are in their early development stages as I believe they are transitioning from fglrx to these open source drivers. Thanks for the replies but I guess there is not much troubleshooting we can do if its primarily driver related.
  15. booman
    Good point!
    The benefit of using Wine is that it is "not" emulation or virtualization. From what I've read, its actually a sandbox environment that packages all the basic windows dependencies in order to run Windows programs. It still uses all the native drivers and hardware connectivity through Linux. It does require Wineserver running in the background so that may eat-up some CPU cycles, but its minimal.

    I'm glad you have a Desktop... this is good news. Unfortunately even though you have a sweet card... drivers can still kill your performance. That card should handle any modern game!

    I suggest doing some research on your card and drivers. You might find some success! Worst case scenario is the driver messes things up and you have to re-install Linux again. I'll mess around with Mint 18 and my old AMD card drivers. I'll see how easy/hard it is to install drivers through a PPA
  16. Conor McGuigan
    Another thing that might be causing the issue is that when I go into the skyrim options it doesn't detect my rx 480 instead it assumes I am running an ATI HD 2900 XT. When I think about it this may be the real issue of the low fps, is there any workarounds to get wine to detect my graphics card properly?
  17. Conor McGuigan
    Just another update, I was able to get skyrim to detect the rx 480 with the latest version of wine but fps is still below 20 outdoors.
  18. booman
    I've had similar problems with Crysis games and my video cards.
    I just remembered there is a special Wine version just for AMD cards: Wine Gallium Nine

    I've read there are some huge performance boosts with this and AMD cards. Not sure if you need to be using open-source or proprietary drivers...
    In fact, PlayOnLinux should already have some of these Gallium Nine Staging versions in the Wine Manager.
  19. steve723
    AMD drivers have Linux issues that's why I always try to get an NVIDIA card since their driver work well with Linux.:)
  20. booman
    I totally agree, but as you know... some gamers come from Windows to Linux and already have a gaming machine with a decent AMD card. The frustrating drivers is a complete turn-off and pushes them away.
    I would definitely prefer AMD to optimize their drivers instead, but I know that a whole $$ battle. It is happening, but slowly...

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