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How to Downgrade From the Latest Version of Skyrim Special Edition?

Because Bethesda is greedy!

Nedim Fetahovic

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How to Downgrade From the Latest Version of Skyrim Special Edition?

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is probably one of the best-known games of all time. With millions of copies sold, and a million more mods to go with it, players are still enjoying this one-of-a-kind masterpiece that is 13 years old!

Recently, Bethesda decided to launch a massive update, the first of this kind in many months, that promised to fix bugs, add content, and overall, improve the quality of the game.

However, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Among the added things is something called the Creation Club

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

In essence, what this did, is mess up all of the installed mods by either disabling them completely or making them incompatible with the new version of the game.

This means that players who spent hours modding the game to perfection, now have a broken game. To make matters worse, you can reinstall these mods via the creation club. However, you do have to pay for them

Paid mods? Good job Bethesda and hats off to Todd Howard, you have truly hit an all-time low!

But, on another note, there is a fix to this issue! And we’re here to guide you through it. Namely, you can still downgrade to Skyrim 1.6.640 (version just before the update launched) and restore all that has been lost. Let’s begin!

Steam Console

To start this quest for restoring mods, you need to type in the following link into your browser. It can be any browser whatsoever so don’t worry about that. The link is the following:

steam://nav/console

The browser will then open a small pop-up window asking you for permission to open Steam. Click Open Steam. See the screenshot below for more details.

Steam Console Browser Command
Source: Apoqsi

Once you have done this, open up Steam if it’s not open already. You should now see a Console section appear on the top of your screen. Go ahead and click on it. It will look like this:

Steam Console

Downloading Skyrim Depots

The next step is to download 3 separate Skyrim Depots using the aforementioned console. We will provide the commands you have to type in so please follow this guide step by step. You will have to paste each of the following lines separately for this to work. In essence, you are downloading the old version of Skyrim this way.

Make sure you have enough storage space and remember that the download speed depends on your internet connection!

Paste the following commands, one by one into the Steam Console:

  • download_depot 489830 489831 3660787314279169352
  • download_depot 489830 489832 2756691988703496654
  • download_depot 489830 489833 5291801952219815735

Copy each of the lines separately and hit enter after each one. On your screen, you will see the size of the files that are downloading.

Downloading Depots

Once the download has finished, the following will appear on your Steam Console. You will need to highlight and copy the exact location of the download without quotation marks and the last depot folder. We marked it for your convenience.

Depot Directory

Copying Skyrim Depots Into the Game

For the next step, you will have to open your File Explorer and copy the aforementioned directory into the search bar. This will open up the location of your downloaded Skyrim depots.

File Explorer Directory

Each depot has 1 folder. There are files within each of these folders which you need to copy into your Skyrim install directory. 

To find the location of the installed Skyrim game, go to your Steam Library, navigate to TESV: Skyrim Special Edition, right-click and select the option “Manage” and then select “Browse Local Files”.

Skyrim on Steam Local Files

Folder 1

Now go back to your depots and open up the first depot folder. Inside, highlight everything and copy it to your Skyrim directory. Once asked how you want to proceed, click replace all files in the destination.

1st folder directory

Folder 2

Go back to your depots now and open up the second depot folder. Again highlight everything and copy it to the Skyrim directory replacing everything that is already there.

2nd folder directory

Folder 3

Finally, open up the last depot folder and copy the single executable file in there to the Skyrim directory. Once again select replace files in the destination.

3rd folder directory

With this, you have successfully downgraded Skyrim to the 1.6.640 version and you can now launch it using the Mod Manager.

Preventing future updates

A good thing to also consider doing is blocking all future updates to Skyrim that could undo the work you just did. To do this, go back to your Skyrim install directory and go back to the SteamApps folder.

Remember that Verifying your game files via Steam will also restore Skyrim to the latest version!

steamapps directory

Here you will see a lot of manifest files with seemingly random numbers assigned to them. This is not the case. These numbers are anything but random. You are looking for appmanifest_489830.acf.

Right-click on this file and select Properties. Here, you will need to go to Attributes and check the box that says Read Only. This box needs to be checked. Now simply click Apply and you have successfully prevented all future updates to the game. If you change your mind at some point, you can always uncheck this box and update your game.

File properties

With this, we will conclude today’s guide. We hope you found it easy to follow along and if you have any suggestions or comments, be sure to let us know down below!

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