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How to play The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition on Linux

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition is a remastered release of the original Skyrim released in 2012. It includes all DLC expansions as well as graphical and technical improvements. Here’s how to play the game on your Linux system.

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition on Linux
 

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition on Linux

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition works on Linux but only with Proton and Steam Play’s help, which the Steam Linux client provides. For this reason, we must go over how to install Steam on Linux before showing you how to get the game running.

Install Steam

To get Steam working, follow the installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the Linux OS you use.

Ubuntu

If you’re an Ubuntu user, you can install Steam by using the following Apt command in a terminal window.

sudo apt install steam

Debian

On Debian Linux, it is possible to get Steam working. However, it would be best if you didn’t try to install the app through the Debian software sources, as enabling it is quite tedious. Instead, download the latest Steam DEB package from the internet using the wget command below.

wget https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.deb

The wget command will download the latest DEB package of Steam from Valve’s official Steam website directly to your home folder (~). You can install the DEB package of Steam on your Debian Linux PC by using the dpkg command below.

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

The dpkg command will install Steam on your Linux PC. However, the installation likely introduced some dependency errors. To fix these errors, you will need to run the apt-get install -f command below.

sudo apt-get install -f

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, the Steam application is made available to all users, provided they have the “multilib” software repository enabled. To get the Steam app working on your Arch system, enable the “multilib” software repository in your Pacman configuration file. Then, enter the following pacman command to get everything working.

sudo pacman -S steam

Fedora/OpenSUSE

Both Fedora and OpenSUSE have a native release of Steam available for Linux users in RPM package files. However, the installation of the Steam app via RPM is less than user-friendly for new users. For this reason, we suggest skipping the RPM instructions in favor of the more straightforward Flatpak instructions.

Flatpak

Steam is available as a Flatpak package. If you’d like to install Steam as a Flatpak on your Linux PC, the first step is enabling the Flatpak runtime on your system. To enable the Flatpak runtime on your system, install the “flatpak” package. If you have issues setting up the runtime, please follow our guide on the subject.

After setting up the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC, the next step is to set up the Flathub app store on your computer. Flathub has the Steam application, so Flathub is critical. To enable Flathub, enter the command below.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

Once Flathub is enabled on your Linux PC, install the Steam application on your Linux computer by entering the command below.

flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Install the Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition on Linux

With Steam installed, launch it by searching for “Steam” in the app menu. With the app launched, log into your account using your user credentials. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below to get Skyrim Special Edition working on Linux.

Step 1: Open up the “Steam” menu in Steam. From there, find the “Settings” button and click on it to access the Steam settings. Once in Steam settings, locate the “Steam Play” section and check both “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” and “Enable Steam Play for all other titles.” 

Click “OK” to save.

Step 2: Find the “STORE” button at the top of the window and click on it to access the Steam store. Once in the Steam store, find the search box, and click it with the mouse. Then, type out “Skyrim Special Edition” and press the Enter button to search.

Select “Skyrim Special Edition” in the search results to access the game’s store page.

Step 3: On the Skyrim Special Edition store page, find the green “Add to cart” button and click on it to purchase and add the game to your account. Then, find the “LIBRARY” button and select it with the mouse to access your Steam library.

Step 4: Search for “Skyrim Special Edition” in your Steam library. Then, right-click on it in the sidebar and select “Properties.” 

Inside of the “Properties” window, click the “COMPATIBILITY” tab. Then, check the box that says “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool.” 

Set it to “Proton 5.0-10,” and close the window.

Step 5: Find the blue “INSTALL” button in Skyrim Special Edition in your Steam library to download and install the game.

Step 6: Find the green “PLAY” button, and click on it with the mouse to start up Skyrim Special Edition on Linux. Enjoy!

3 Comments

  1. Well, success, sort of. Starting the game resulted in a number of modules being downloaded. But I got Skyrim’s opening screen, started the game and a new game, and got the lead in screen in the wagon. I had sound effects of the wheels turning and could look around with the mouse, but as the first character started talking, I had no dialog. Then I got the prompt to use the mouse to look around and the next movement of the mouse froze the screen. No keyboard input is being accepted, so it looks like I’ll have to force a reboot and start troubleshooting. I do have a question, while setting up it is stated under compatibility, “Proton 5.0-10,”. There are other versions available that appear to be later versions as well as “experimental’. Do you think that one of those might work better?

  2. I had about given up on finding a way to play Skyrim under Linux when I came across this article. As I type this, I have made all the setting changes recommended and am downloading the game. We’ll see if it plays under Linux Mint Cinnamon with the Steam application installed.

    A few comments on the process to get to this stage:

    I first tried installing the Steam OS on my fairly recent Dell Latitude notebook. I could never get it connected to my Internet; Ethernet cable nor wifi. Likely a driver mis-match, although I could actually log into my steam account, but when the player overlay was loaded, I lost connectivity.

    After reloading Mint and installing the Steam application, I ran into trouble getting into my Steam account. I got as far as my name and password, but I could never get Steam to send me the confirmation code to my email address of record. I had just about given up when I tried to get in using my browser and going to my Steam account online. Again Steam wanted to send me a confirmation code, but this time the code was sent to my email. Instead of using the code within my browser window, I still had the Steam application open waiting for the code, so I used that code in the app window and it worked! I still don’t know why Steam never sent the code from the Steam app.

    50% downloaded, so I’ll post again with my success (or failure…)

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