NPC Knockout Overhaul by Sevencardz and Noobzor
Skyrim » Combat
Added: 05/04/2014 - 12:37AM
Updated: 17/09/2014 - 03:30AM

1,130 Endorsements

3.1 Latest version

12,092 Unique D/Ls

13,933 Total D/Ls

86,907 Total Views

Uploaded by sevencardz


Last updated at 3:30, 17 Sep 2014 Uploaded at 0:37, 5 Apr 2014


Big thanks to Brodual and EonBY for making the videos!


NPC Knockout Overhaul (NKO) makes it possible to knockout nearly any humanoid NPC in Skyrim, the DLCs, and any mod that adds humanoid NPCs to the game. An NPC can be knocked out by a sneak attack or by anything that does enough damage to incapacitate, but not actually kill the NPC. Once an NPC is knocked out, a variety of options become available for manipulating the NPC's unconscious body. NKO can also be configured to protect all unique NPCs from death by any source except the player.

Humanoid races that can be knocked out include: Breton, Imperial, Redguard, Nord, Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, Orsimer, Argonian, Khajiit, Dremora, Vampire, Lycanthrope, Hagraven. Any NPC who belongs to one of these races and who is not invulnerable or a ghost can be knocked out under certain conditions. Children can also be knocked out if Non-Essential Children is installed.

An NPC suffers a stealth knockout when...

  • The NPC is hit with a sneak attack from a mace.
  • The NPC is hit with a bash sneak attack from a shield or weapon.
  • The NPC is hit with a sneak attack from a punch (but not if the NPC is wearing a helmet).

An NPC suffers a damage knockout when...

  • The NPC is beaten in a brawl (Brawl Bugs Patch required).
  • The NPC takes non-fatal damage in the bleedout state (NPC is injured and crawls on the ground).
  • The NPC remains in the bleedout state too long and passes out from blood loss or goes into shock.
  • The NPC suffers a stealth knockout, but then takes a large amount of damage afterwards.
  • The NPC is essential or protected and takes what would normally be a fatal amount of damage.

Once an NPC is knocked out, you can...

  • Push the body around by activating the NPC repeatedly while standing.
  • Loot and/or disarm the NPC without it being considered stealing by crouching and activating the NPC.
  • Have a snack if you're a hungry vampire (requires Better Vampires).
  • Revive the NPC with any non-hostile spell, such as a healing spell or a courage spell.
  • Revive the NPC by adding any kind of potion to the NPC's inventory (potion is used immediately).
  • Push the NPC off of a cliff and let gravity take care of the rest.
  • Kill the NPC if the NPC is not flagged as essential or protected.


Sneak up and whack an NPC in the back of the head with a mace or bash sneak attack the NPC with your shield or any other weapon and and watch its helpless body fall to the ground before your feet (stealth knockout). A fist works too, but only if the NPC is not wearing an armoured helmet (unless you have the Fists of Steel perk and heavy gauntlets). You can neutralize entire guarded areas without racking up bounties for assault or murder, just make sure no one spots you and you're not nearby when they wake up...

NPCs are also knocked out if they remain in the bleedout state too long or if they take damage while in the bleedout state (damage knockout). Once an NPC takes a knee and begins bleeding out, a countdown begins which is equal to the NPC's current level, measured in real-time seconds. If the NPC has not recovered from bleedout before the time period elapses, then the NPC is knocked out. Be sure to finish off any enemy essential or protected NPCs when they take a knee because they recover from bleedout with full health. Note: Lycanthropes and Hagravens do not have bleedout states.

How long knockouts last and how lethal they are depends on how you have the mod configured. By default, stealth knockouts last for 15 in-game minutes to 1 in-game hour and damage knockouts last for 1 to 2 in-game hours. You can even turn off stealth or damage knockouts entirely by setting the corresponding time intervals to 0. All of this is configurable via MCM or console commands. During knockout, you can access the NPC's inventory and take what you want, and it doesn't count as stealing. Feel free to push the NPC's unconscious body out of harm's way, or into a pile of other bodies, or into a slaughterfish pond, or off of a cliff to go splat, whatever suits your purpose...

Any healing or non-hostile spell will revive an NPC from knockout, provided that NPC has restored an adequate amount of health. The percentage of health needed to revive an NPC who is knocked out is configurable via MCM. Potions can also be used to revive NPCs from knockout. Simply crouch down to access the NPC's inventory and give away any potion you have - the potion will be used immediately and the NPC will regain conciousness if the NPC has enough health. The mod can also be configured to prevent NPCs from reviving from knockout for any reason until combat is over. You can also configure damage knockouts to be fatal if the NPC is not revived in time or is left for dead.

NKO can be configured to protect all unique NPCs from death by any source except the player, provided those NPCs are not already protected, essential, invulnerable or ghosts. This feature works by adding the protected flag to unique NPCs as they are encountered and works with any DLCs and mods you have installed. Unique NPCs no longer need to flee like cowards during bandit raids, vampire attacks, or dragon sieges. Instead, they can join you in glorious battle, get knocked out, get revived, get knocked out again, and so on, all without any risk of death unless you decide to kill zem! As the player, you can still kill protected NPCs, so be careful not to engage in any unintentional friendly fire. Please be aware that this feature is scripted and applies to all Humanoid, Non-Essential Child, and Vampire NPCs. Certain NPCs are excluded from protection because they are meant to die in quests. Lycanthropes and Hagravens are also excluded from protection to prevent issues.

The advantage to scripted protection is that it is automatically compatible with any mod that adds unique NPCs to the game. This includes the big boys, like Interesting NPCs and Inconsequential NPCs. The disadvantage is that it can potentially cause issues with NPCs who are are meant to die in quests, however, I believe I have excluded most or all of them. If you encounter any issues with quests due to NPCs not dying as they should, check the Unique NPCs with Scripted Deaths for NKO spreadsheet to see if the NPC is listed and please report your findings in the forum if there is a problem. I also recommend NPCs Protected Redux by Blattgeist if you prefer a more comprehensive solution with more features.


NKO requires Skyrim version and Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) 1.7.1 or above. SKSE is free to download here:

NKO uses cloaked magic effects to dynamically attach scripts to NPCs. This method is well known to cause brawl bugs, so be sure you've installed the Brawl Bugs Patch to prevent these issues.

To use the MCM menu, you will need to have SkyUI installed, but like, who doesn't?

I highly recommend the following tools for use with NKO and for Skyrim modding in general:
Mod Organizer because it's freaking awesome.
LOOT to help order your mods correctly.
TES5Edit to clean up dirty edits and merge mods.
Skyrim Startup Memory Editor to improve game stability.

Before uninstalling, I recommend making sure all NPCs have recovered from knockout and then save your game and then uninstall the mod. My users report that you will also need to use a script cleaner of sorts to get rid of any remaining scripts baked into your save, but that could cause more harm than good if you don't know what you're doing, so I would only recommend that for advanced users. The best solution is to start a new game or be prepared to revert to a save game from before you installed the mod. See the FAQ for how to remedy issues that may occur if you wish to uninstall the mod without starting a new game.


NKO is now configurable via a Mod Configuration Menu (MCM), provided by noobzor who volunteered to make it for us! A scholar and a gentleman, that noobz. Note: You can also change any configuration option for NKO by changing the value of the global variable via the console. See the NPC Knockout Overhaul.ini file for details.

NKO can be pre-configured by editing the NPC Knockout Overhaul.ini file, which is installed based on the preset you choose during installation. Initialization will only happen once per save game when the mod is first loaded, after which you are free to change and experiment with the settings via the MCM. Once you have found your preferred settings, you can edit the INI file and save it with your mod installation to have the mod automatically load your preferred settings whenever you start a new game.


I highly recommend these great mods to complete your Skyrim combat experience:

Dragon Combat Overhaul by ApolloDown
NPCs Protected Redux by Blattgeist (disable protect uniques in NKO)
Interesting NPCs by Kris Takahashi
Inconsequential NPCs by Ripple
Better Vampires by Brehanin
Non-Essential Children by The Team Mystery
Combat Evolved by CrushBoss
Revenge of the Enemies by MyEvergreenHometown
High Level Enemies by Dalquist
NPC Smarter Water AI by John Jarvis
Faster Get Up Stand Up Animation by DarkAngel13
Follower Trap Safety by Alek
Extensible Follower Framework by Expired
Cerwiden Smart Healer Companion by Mujuro
Requiem by Xarrian and Ogerboss (disable steadfast enemies in Requiem)
Sneak Tools by Borgut1337 (disable knockout feature in Sneak Tools)
Death Alternative - Your Money or Your Life by BralorMarr (disable follower tracking in DAYMOYL)


The ESP file for NKO changes the game setting fBleedoutRate from 15 to 120. This makes bleedout time last long enough to give NKO some control over NPC recovery from bleedout. The ESP file also adds an IsUnconscious condition onto the DialogueGeneric, DialogueGenericUniqueVoices, and WICastMagicNonHostileSpell01 quests to prevent NPCs from making comments while they are knocked out or asleep.


Some NPCs do not trigger a bleedout state in vanilla and so these NPCs will not suffer from damage knockouts. Lycanthropes and Hagravens are also part of this group because they do not have normal bleedout states. However, these NPCs can still be knocked out by sneak attacks.

NPCs do not seem to drown, as much as I would like them to.


Q: One of my NPCs is permanently knocked out and won't revive! What do I do?

A: Open the console (tilde [~] key), click on the NPC, and enter the following commands:

forceav paralysis 0
setunconscious 0

If that still fails, use command: recycleactor

Q: Should I overwrite SCONUtil.pex from Dragon Combat Overhaul?

A: Yep, allow it to overwrite. It is a newer version of the same file.


1. Turn on Papyrus trace logging in your Skyrim.ini file:


2. Turn on Debug KO in the MCM or open the console and type -> set debugko to 1

3. Confirm that you can recreate the issue with a given NPC or NPCs. If you can not make the problem happen consistently, then the problem is not caused by NKO. Most likely a mod conflict, load order problem, or corrupted save game.

4. Confirm that you can recreate the issue after starting a brand new game with only minimal mods. I highly recommend using Mod Organizer to do this. It will allow you to quickly and easily setup a profile with only a select few mods and start a game completely separately from your other save games so that you can test things out in isolation like a proper modder.

5. Provide my team with as much information as you can about the NPC(s) in question: name, ID, mod, quest, location, papyrus logs, load order, what seems to cause the issue, and any other relevant information you can think of. More is better here. Use or a similar service to post large text such as papyrus logs or load orders so as not to clutter the forum.


NKO was originally designed with the intention that it would not require an ESP and that it would make only minimal changes to the game while acceptably achieving its goal. Although the minimalistic philosophy still applies, in order to keep said philosophy, an ESP is now required to support certain key features, improve efficiency, and fix bugs. I will consider requests to add features or mod compatibility changes that fall within the scope of this mod and which complement the overall goal in some way.

To give you a better understanding as to why this mod exists, here are some of the reasons I made this mod:

Essential and Protected NPCs were broken and it annoyed me, so I fixed them.

I punch Farengar and run away. Farengar misses me and hits a guard with a firebolt. Guard kicks his ass and knocks him out. I come back and take Farengar's stuff. Thanks Farengar, I'll go get your stupid Dragonstone now.

Follower bothering you? Go around behind him, knock him out, push him into the river. He wakes up an hour later downstream somewhere like it's cool bro, I must have deserved that.

Follower blocks hallway. Follower gets mace to the back of the head. Follower falls on floor. Follower no longer blocks hallway.

Walk into a shop but shopkeeper is rude. Knockout the owner and steal everything in sight. Prop the shopkeeper up with a fur bundle under his head. Thank him as you leave the building.

Crap, that dragon just killed everyone in town. Oh wait, I can just revive them with my magicks because all of the important ones are still alive and because I'm awesome.

and last, but not least... YOU JUST GOT KNOCKED THE F%#$ OUT MAN!!!


Some mods just seem fun, others add something novel, and then there are mods like this. Mods that notice an irritating or broken aspect of the game and take it for a long drive out to the woods, push it out of the car, and then release a pack of snarling wolves on top of that. - Peccadillo

I absolutely love this mod. I decided to take on some strangers at the risk of getting a bounty. However, I noticed some of them, during the fight, fell unconscious rather then died. So I piled the bodies up and burned them, just to make sure they were dead. Morbid stuff. - Thingamajig

I dropped a bunch of things on the floor in the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood, including some armor. Suddenly, several NPCs run over, and start arguing over who is going to take it. "I'll take that." "Not if I have anything to say about it." "I'd like to see you try!" Before long, a brawl ensues, that eventually sucks in almost every NPC in the building, and when the dust settles, the only ones left standing are Delphine and me... and a pile of knocked out fools. - noobzor

I love this mod. Love it love it love it. Probably more than would be considered healthy by members of the psychiatric profession. - TwilightStar

I am eternally thankful for your efforts. - crisandleon


Bethesda for creating Skyrim and allowing us to mod it so easily.
Nexus for hosting the mod and supporting the community.
The entire SKSE team for providing more functionality to mod Skyrim with.
Special thanks to noobzor for creating NKO's Mod Configuration Menu.
Special thanks to Blattgeist for researching which unique NPCs should not be protected.
Special thanks to kryptopyr, Seb263, fireundubh, tonycubed2 and others for helping me to improve the mod.
Special thanks to Brodual and EonBY for making the mod videos.
Additional thanks to the Nexus community for testing the mod and suggesting interesting ideas.