NPC Knockout Overhaul by Sevencardz and Noobzor
Skyrim » Combat
Added: 05/04/2014 - 12:37AM
Updated: 16/08/2014 - 10:29PM

692 Endorsements

3.0 Latest version

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Uploaded by sevencardz


Last updated at 22:29, 16 Aug 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.

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 is knocked out when...

1. The NPC is hit with a sneak attack from a mace.
2. The NPC is hit with a bash sneak attack from a shield or weapon.
3. The NPC is hit with a sneak attack from a punch (but not if the NPC is wearing a helmet).
4. The NPC is beaten in a brawl.
5. The NPC takes non-fatal damage in the bleedout state (when the NPC is injured and takes a knee).
6. The NPC remains in the bleedout state too long and passes out from blood loss or goes into shock.
7. 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...

1. Activate the NPC repeatedly while standing to push the body around.
2. Crouch down to loot and/or disarm the NPC without it being considered a crime or stealing.
3. Have a snack if you're a hungry vampire (requires Better Vampires).
4. Revive the NPC with any non-hostile spell, such as a healing spell or a courage spell.
5. Revive the NPC by adding any kind of potion to the NPC's inventory (potion is used immediately).
6. Push the NPC off of a cliff and let gravity take care of the rest.
7. 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 the NPC with your shield or any other weapon and and watch its helpless body fall to the ground before your feet. 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. Once an NPC takes a knee and begins bleeding out, a countdown begins which is equal to the NPC's current level, measured in 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.

When an NPC is knocked out, the NPC will be completely incapacitated for a random period of time between 30 in-game minutes and 2 in-game hours (configurable). During this time, you can access the NPC's inventory, 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 pond to drown, or off of a cliff to go splat, whatever suits your purpose...

Any healing spell will revive a knocked out NPC once the NPC has at least half of its full health restored (configurable). Any other non-hostile spell can also revive a knocked out NPC if the NPC has enough health to be revived (think Illusion spells like Courage). 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 NPC will use it immediately and regain consciousness. The mod can also be configured to prevent NPCs from reviving from knockout until combat is over or until the knockout period has elapsed or both.

NKO can also be configured to protect all unique NPCs who are not already protected, essential, invulnerable or ghosts. This feature works automatically with any DLCs and mods you have installed by adding the protected flag to unique NPCs as needed. Unique NPCs need not 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. However, the player 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 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 for 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 dynamically attached scripts to add effects to NPCs. This method is well known to cause brawl bugs, so make sure you install the Brawl Bugs Patch to prevent these issues.

I also 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 your dirty mods.
Skyrim Startup Memory Editor for general game stability.

Before uninstalling, I recommend making sure all NPCs have recovered from knockout and then save your game and then uninstall the mod. Failure to do this could leave part of this mod's script in your save game, which may cause problems once you remove or change the mod it depends on. See the FAQ for how to remedy issues that may occur if you have already uninstalled.


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.

  • SkipBleedout - Set to 1 to have NPCs get knocked out immediately at low health, rather than going into the bleedout state with a chance to recover.
  • NoCombatRevive - Set to 1 and NPCs will not be able to revive from knockout until combat has ended.
  • ProtectUniques - Set to 1 and all unique NPCs will be given the protected flag to protect them from death by any source except the player.
  • HardcoreKO - Set to 1 and NPCs will not be able to revive from knockout until their knockout time has elapsed and sufficient health is restored.
  • MinKOTime - Adjusts minimum knockout time for NPCs (in game hours).
  • MaxKOTime - Adjusts maximum knockout time for NPCs (in game hours).
  • MinHPRevive - Adjusts health percentage NPCs need to revive from knockout (1-100).
  • DebugKO - Set to 1 to print knockout related debugging information to the papyrus log.

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
Revenge of the Enemies by MyEvergreenHometown
High Level Enemies by Dalquist
NPC Smarter Water AI by John Jarvis
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)


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 have bleedout-induced 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.


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.


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.


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


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 and others for helping me improve the script.
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.