PS3 Skyrim lag problem caused by bookshelves? Now fixed? PC beta patch notes suggest so

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may have won game of the year awards left, right and centre, but that didn’t bring much joy to PS3 owners of the massive RPG. A game-breaking bug on the version for Sony’s console saw game save files rocket to extraordinary sizes, with the game’s framerate dropping so severly that it became a stuttering, unplayable mess.

PS3 owners have been crying out for a fix since near the game’s launch, and it finally seems as though developers Bethesda have come up with the goods, though the location of the fix won’t do PlayStation owners much good for the time being.

Bethesda have released the beta version of patch 1.4 via Steam for owners of the PC version of the game. In its reference notes are many quest and bug fixes, but also this interesting line:

Optimized bookshelf script in player-owned houses that would occasionally cause active scripts to lag and also cause an increase to saved games filesize (PS3)

Making explicit reference to the PS3 within the patch notes, it seems that Bethesda have isolated that lag and file save issue. It was those pesky bookshelves! And, while it wont be a major patch point for PC gamers, when that update eventually lands on the PS3, it’ll likely prove a massive help for fans of the game.

The only question that remains now is, when will it hit the PS3?

For those looking to give the beta patch a try on the PC (and we urge caution if doing so, as it too may cause problems in its beta stage), you need only open Steam, go to File > Settings, look for the section marked Beta Participation, then click “Change.” You’ll then be offered the option of taking the Skyrim 1.4 beta for a spin.

The full notes for the PC patch can be found below:


Skyrim launcher support for Steam Workshop*


General optimizations for memory and performance

Optimized bookshelf script in player-owned houses that would occasionally cause active scripts to lag and also cause an increase to saved games filesize (PS3)

Improved compiler optimization settings

Memory optimizations related to scripting

Fixed crashes related to pathing and AI

Fixed crash in Haemar’s Shame if player had already completed “A Daedra’s Best Friend”

Fixed rare crash with loading saved games

Fixed issue with accented characters not displaying properly at the end of a line

Fixed issue where quests would incorrectly progress after reloading a save

Fixed issues with placing and removing books from bookshelves in the player’s home

Fixed issue where weapon racks and plaques would not work correctly in player’s house if player immediately visits their house before purchasing any furnishing.

Fixed issue where the player house in Windhelm would not clean up properly

Fixed crash related to giant attacks and absorb spells

Fixed issue with ash piles not cleaning up properly

Fixed occasional issue where overwriting an existing save would fail

Fixed memory crash with container menu

Fixed infinite loop with bookshelves

Fixed issue where traps in Shalidor’s Maze would not work properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian versions

Fixed issue where transforming back to human from werewolf would occasionally fail

Bows and daggers will display properly when placed on weapon racks


The Unusual Gem inside the Thalmor Embassy is now accessible after finishing
“Diplomatic Immunity”

In “Breaching Security”, the quest token is no longer required to receive a fortune reading from Olava the Feeble

Fixed issue where Galmar would not complete Joining the Stormcloaks properly if “Season Unending” was an active quest

Fixed issue where starting “Season Unending” after finishing “Joining the Stormcloaks” would prevent “The Jagged Crown” from starting properly.

Fixed issue progressing through “Message to Whiterun” while “Season Unending” was still open would block progression for both quests.

In “Arniel’s Endeavor”, fixed issue where a quest journal would trigger multiple times
In “Forbidden Legend”, the amulet fragment can no longer disappear after player leaves a dungeon without taking it

Fixed rare issue in “Forbidden Legend” where killing Mikrul Gauldurson while sneaking would make his corpse inaccessible

In “The White Phial”, the phial can no longer disappear if player leaves dungeon without taking it

“The White Phial” will now start properly if player already has a briar heart in their inventory

Player can no longer get stuck in Misty Grove after completing “A Night to Remember”

Fixed issue where leaving Riften during “A Chance Arrangement” would prevent quest from progressing

In “Darkness Returns”, a door in Twilight Sepulcher will properly open if the player leaves the dungeon for an extended period of time before completing the quest

In “Revealing the Unseen”, if the player leaves the Oculory for an extended period of time after placing the focusing crystal and returns, the quest will proceed correctly

“Onmund’s Request” will now start properly if player has already found Enthir’s staff before receiving this quest

Fixed instance where Tonilia would stop buying stolen items and also would not give Guild Leader Armor

“Repairing the Phial” will start properly if player already has unmelting snow or mammoth tusk in their inventory

Finding Pantea’s Flute before speaking with Pantea no longer prevents her quest from updating

In “The Break of Dawn”, fixed rare instance where a quest object would spawn incorrectly on the Katariah during Hail Sithis

Fixed rare issue in “The Mind of Madness” where player is unable to equip the Wabbajack

Fixed issue in “Pieces of the Past” where Mehrunes Dagon’s Razor will not trigger properly if player leaves the cell for extended period of time before activating it

“Blood’s Honor” will start properly if you visited and completed Driftshade and an extended period of time passes before starting the quest.

Fixed rare issue where “Dampened Spirits” would not start properly

Fixed issue where killing guards in Cidhna Mine would block progression for “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine”

Fixed numerous issues with “Blood on the Ice” not triggering properly

In “Blood on the Ice”, Calixto can now be killed if player owns a house in Windhelm

In “The Cure for Madness”, killing Cicero then resurrecting him no longer impedes quest progress

Fixed rare issue in “To Kill an Empire” where an NPC would fail to die properly

Clearing Knifepoint Ridge before starting “Boethiah’s Champion” no longer prevents quest from starting.

*Steam Workshop not yet available.

Gerald Lynch
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  • This is so cool. I am such a huge fan of their work. I really am impressed with how much you have worked to make this website so enjoyable

  • millions purchased skyrim the week of release and millions opened the game case hoping not for another bug fest or that they were one of the lucky few that own a magic console or pc that the game plays flawless for hundreds of hours.
    i read reviews and if a game is crap on the ps3 i just pass on it as there are many games that do play great on my ps3. i learned from my fo3 goty experience not to buy a new game before checking gamers posts. those unpaid game testers that have 20 hours in of game play 21 hours after the game is released provide a lot more info then game trailers or episodes of x-play.

  • I downloaded the patch last night and the game still lags. This patch is no more than a “band-aid” on a deeply infected wound. Sorry PS3 owners it looks like you’re s.o.l. 🙂

    The lag in the PS3 version of Skyrim is permanent I’m afraid…But trade your copy in and get the PC version, you’ll live a happier life. ;-D

  • If the bookshelves are the only thing causing the lag problem on the PlayStation 3 version then it shouldn’t be too hard to fix.
    I hope they are able to fix it anyway as it has made me lose faith in games like this. The only thing that keeps my hopes up is the fact that Bethesda did a good job fixing the problems which were on Fallout: New Vegas. Now I know that Obsidian had involvement with that game but that isn’t really such a big deal.
    If the lag problem isn’t fixed on Skyrim, I will be getting rid of my copy and getting a game which I can actually enjoy.
    Having to think more about the lag than the game whilst actually playing it isn’t fair on those that bought that game not being able to wait to play it.

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