A new survival Skyrim mod overhauls the vanilla Bethesda RPG game experience to make survival infinitely less tiresome and tedious, and it’s for the best. So if you want to completely change how you interact with Skyrim, Tamriel, and your day-to-day gameplay loop, this Skyrim mod is for you.
After diving into their Skyrim cooking mod, the Simonrim team is back at it, this time with a survival mode overhaul. Called Starfrost, it’s a “lightweight overhaul of survival mode designed to introduce survival mechanics into the game with the least amount of tedium possible.” Who doesn’t like less tedium?
Basically, the Simonrim team wants to rejig the Bethesda survival mode in Skyrim because of many unnecessary mechanics it has, streaming the survival mode experience. “If you like the idea of survival mode, but always find yourself turning the mod off after the first few hours, then Starfrost just might be for you,” the team writes, as this mod aims to be significantly less punishing than the base game.
If you have the Blade and Blunt mod installed, you’ll have a chance to be injured (lowering your max health) depending on how low your health is when hit. So if you have less than 50% health, there’s a 20% chance you’ll be injured (losing a percentage of your max health in the process).
To remedy this you’ll need to sleep in a bed or bedroll for a certain amount of time depending on the injury level. If you don’t heal your injuries they’ll also get infected, which lowers health regeneration to the point where you can’t heal at all – with the infection cured exactly how you cure diseases in vanilla.
Like in real life, you also need to make sure that you sleep. Otherwise, you’ll go from tired, to very tired, and finally to exhausted. These reduce your max stamina and magicka by incremental amounts, while different levels of rest (from the length of sleep) give you extra experience buffs.
If you install the aforementioned Gourmet cooking mod you’ll also get foods that buff health, stamina, and magicka regen, while having multiple of these buffs at once will also give you a higher percentage of experience.
Skyrim’s vanilla cold and warmth mechanics are also overhauled (which were previously reliant on arbitrary art directions for outfits), as outlined by the Simonrim team.
“In ‘vanilla’ survival mode, warmth is largely determined by the clothes your character is wearing. Unfortunately, this produces erratic and inconsistent gameplay, since the ‘warmth’ rating of a pair of clothes is determined arbitrarily, and is usually based purely on the art direction of the armor. Starfrost standardizes warmth based on the type of gear you have equipped, while overall de-emphasizing the role of gear within the cold system,” the team writes.
“When you are standing near a fire or another heat source, or resting in an inn, your warmth will increase rapidly.”
So while warmth gives you a health regen buff, cold does the opposite, with different levels of cold slowing your movement and eventually giving you stamina damage. Freezing water is also worse, so no more crossing frozen rivers with no worries.
There’s a whole lot more about carry weight, diseases, and even vampires and werewolves in the Simonrim survival mod, but we’ve covered the basic changes that should make your Skyrim gameplay loop all the more interesting.
You can find the Skyrim survival mod here, which also recommends some more mods that optionally integrate to make all the features that much more impactful.