Today marks the release of Skyrim Special Edition, a revamped version of Bethesda’s hit RPG which not only brings the game to current-gen consoles, but also allows console users to experience the joys of Skyrim modding for the first time. However, just how much joy a console player gets out of the Skyrim Special Edition mods will be determined by their console of choice. At the moment, it sounds like PlayStation 4 players aren’t just getting the short end of the stick, they’re being beaten over the head with said stick as well.
We already knew from previous reports that—due to Sony’s rigid stance towards console-based mods—that mods for the PlayStation 4 versions of games like Skyrim Special Edition and Fallout 4 can’t utilize external assets. Yet the issue seems to go much deeper than that, as the PlayStation 4 has only 1GB of dedicated hard drive space for mods (as opposed to the Xbox One’s 5GB) and that “no external assets” rule applies not only to licensed content but to anything that isn’t already in the Skyrim game files.
As Redditor Thallassa points out in this Reddit-based guide to modding in Skyrim, the lack of support for all external assets severely hamstrings what modders can do on the PS4:
“Mods that add new types, or drastically alter existing gameplay? No deal, those require scripts. Quest mods? No go, those require scripts (except for the absolutely simplest of mods, like "go fetch this sword." Anything cool requires scripts for various stages). New characters? No go. No new weapons or armor. No retextures or graphics mods.”
Given the above information, it’s probably not too surprising that (as of the time of this writing) there are a total of 124 different mods on Xbox One, many of them making drastic changes to the core experience, whereas the PS4 has 47 in total with the most ambitious of that bunch being a collection of new spells made using existing spell effects and assets.
For more on Skyrim Special Edition, be sure to check out our coverage of the game’s graphical comparisons trailer. Also, if you’d rather check and see if the Special Edition upgrade can run on your PC, we also took a look at the updated PC system requirements.