Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Rebalances travelling on foot to apply fatigue mechanics to Stamina, Health and Magicka and factors in encumbrance effects. Allows full customisation attributed to this through the MCM.

Permissions and credits

Run from Falkreath to Winterhold without stopping or getting tired?

Wear heavy armour, carry a warhammer and run without any fatigue?

Still able to run even when your Stamina is depleted?

Swim across the sea of ghosts and feel fresh as a daisy right?

Not any more.

Cardio SE

Mod Features

  •  Stamina loss while running, swimming or sneak running - Toggle on/off or choose from 3 difficulty levels. 

  • Link Inventory weight so that the amount of weight you carry now affects Stamina drain, the more you carry, the quicker your stamina will run out  - Toggle on/off or choose from 3 difficulty levels. 

  • Magicka and Health regeneration will be affected while your are running or swimming, this is linked to weight carried, the more weight, the lower the regeneration rate - Toggle on/off. 

  •  Health now affects Stamina Regeneration, the lower your health, the slower your Stamina Regen  - Toggle on/off.

  •  The player will now automatically walk when stamina runs out - Toggle on/off.

  •  All NPCs still move at the same speed as the player. (Not Optional)

  •   The player must walk (toggle walk mode or ease up on the analogue stick) or stop for a rest to allow Stamina, Health and Magicka to regenerate. (Not Optional)

  •  Choose Health regeneration off or on. If you choose No Regen and you need to heal, you must either heal physically with magic, by potion or by sleeping - Toggle on/off.

  •  Movement speeds have been adjusted to be more realistic. Walking is slightly faster (vanilla is painfully slow). Running and Sprinting are slower (vanilla is way too fast). (Not optional through MCM- separate file in files section required).

  •  New movement speeds have been added for Khajiit and Argonian races. Khajiit now run, sprint and sneak faster than other races, Argonians swim faster. (Not Optional)

  •  Inventory Weight now affects Sneak Skill - Toggle on/off or choose from 2 difficulty levels.
  •  Fully customisable Stamina Regeneration rates - Toggle on/off or choose from 5 difficulty levels.

  •  Fully customisable Magicka Regeneration rates Toggle on/off or choose from 3 difficulty levels.

Gameplay Changes
The stamina loss occurs when running or swimming at any time, this also applies to combat. Be mindful of this as combat already drains stamina so the effects will stack.The same applies to fleeing, if you sprint away from danger once you run out of stamina you will be easier to catch. Running backwards will not drain stamina as you can't run backwards fast enough to tire you out (useful in battle if you can block while walking backwards to allow your stamina to regenerate). Management of stamina and health becomes crucial, make sure you have stamina/health potions or spells available before you go dungeon crawling, or at least take a bedroll.


Q. Will you make Stamina drains for Jumping/Bow Drains?

A. I have looked into it already for both of these things and there are a lot of mods that already do this for bows. Also this type of thing is best done with scripts and the only scripts running in this mod are in the MCM. I would like to remain as script free as possible. If you want a stamina drain for bows I suggest using Wildcat or Smilodon. Both are highly configurable so you can choose the elements you like. Jumping Stamina loss requires scripting. I might look into it in the future but for now, no.

Q. Will you link the Stamina drain to inventory weight at some point?

A. This has been implemented in version 3.0.

Q. This mod didn't used to make the player slow down to a walk. Why did you introduce that that element?

A. In a nutshell, it's more immersive. In the past I had difficulty making it work consistently well due to the nature of magic effects involving movement speeds but in this version it works flawlessly.

Q. So what has actually changed compared to the old version?

A. a) The player is now forced to walk when Stamina is depleted.
     b) Everything is linked to inventory weight.
     c) Stamina, Health and Magicka are all linked to each other and are affected in some way by exertion mechanics.
     d) New movement speed have been added for Khajiit running and Argonian swimming.
     e) The mod is now fully configurable through the MCM.

Q. Will you be porting this mod over to Skyrim LE?

A. Yes. It's currently work in progress but it will take time as I have a busy schedule.

Q. I have selected "No Regen" on the Stamina Regen options in the MCM but my it still regenerates slowly. What gives?

A. There is still a tiny regen rate in there, this is to allow regen potions, spells, enchantments and artefacts to continue to work as they should but obviously their effect will be lesser due to the minimal regen rate. Also if you have Imperious installed and you are using the patch provided, you will find that some races have a racial bonus of Stamina regen. This is reflected in the patch to ensure that you see the benefit of the mod, so it will still apply in this case.

Q. Does the Stamina drain also apply to NPCs?

A. As it stands, the answer is no. It's something that I have investigated and as far as I can see I will need to apply scripts to a cloaking spell on the player to make it work. Cardio SE is a very simple and streamlined mod that is designed to be un-intrusive in your load order. Scripting is something that I am keen to avoid as much as possible. I'm not really convinced that there is that much value in it as outrunning your opponent is not something that you need to do on a regular basis.

Mod recommendations and configuration suggestions

The following mods are highly recommended to compliment Cardio SE:-

Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul

great mod that vastly improves food, alchemy and potions. The little offerings on stamina etc can really help you in a bind when used alongside Cardio SE, it really adds to the importance of food and ingredients.
Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim

In the MCM it is recommended that you:-

Disable health based regeneration.
Disable slow at 0 stamina.

Disable stamina cost incurred by swimming.
You might want to consider altering the stamina cost of attacks as when combined with Cardio it can be very challenging. If you like it tough, then keep it as is.


Frostfall - Hypothermia, Camping, Survival- Compatible

RS Children Overhaul - Ensure that the "RS Children esp." plug in is loaded after Cardio SE.

Immersive Stamina & Encumbrance

If you are already a ISE user and wish to switch to Cardio SE - It should be safe to do so midgame but please remember to uninstall ISE first and then make a clean save before installing Cardio SE.

Racial Body Morphs SE

Requires a patch which can be found in the files section.

Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim

Wildcat has minor adjustments in speed that will overwrite Cardio SE if loaded after it. Place Cardio SE after these in your load order. Also as mentioned above, I recommend that you change a few options in the config menu for this mod in order to enjoy the best out of both.

Smilodon - Combat of Skyrim

At this point Smilodon has no option to switch off swimming fatigue, which puts into direct conflict with Cardio SE. The only way to fix this is to disable Dynamic Combat in Smilodon, which kind of defeats the purpose of having it. I am currently working on an update to Cardio SE that will fix this issue and allow the two mods to play nice. Watch this space

Imperious - Races of Skyrim

Requires a patch which can be found in the files section.

Mortal Enemies SE

Put Cardio SE after this in your load order, otherwise it will overwrite the speed adjustments made. Unless you prefer it that way. If you are using Vanilla speeds then it wont make any difference.

Left Hand Rings Modified SE

Fully Compatible

FNIS Animations.

There has been a report of issues with PCEA2 - see the sticky in the posts tab if you experience anything like this.

Survival Mode

If you choose the no health regen option I would imagine that puts Cardio SE at direct odds with survival mode or other mods that implement this, I have not tried it but I would suggest avoiding using it with survival mode to be on the safe side.

Use the mod Manager of your choice. Just click on the link and let the mod manager do the rest. If for some reason you do have issues please post in the forum and I will do my best to assist. Cardio SE is best installed on a new game due to the functionality of some options in the MCM. If you do install mid game you may find that some options do not function correctly. I will not help people who complain at me if they have issues and they have installed mid game.

Simply disable in your mod manager and remove. I do not recommend you do so mid game. The nature of Skyrim means there is always the potential for something to be left behind, especially with heavily scripted mods. It's the way the game was made unfortunately. It's not the modder's doing. If you must do it then make sure you make a clean save.


Updating on a new game.
No special instructions, out with the old, in with the new. Simple.

Updating mid game.
Make a new save.
Uninstall Cardio SE version "X"
Load your save that you just made.
Check to see that Cardio SE MCM is no longer registered in the MCM.
Save again.
Install new version.
Load up your game and check all the functions work in the MCM.
If everything is ok, save again and carry on playing.

There should be no issue if you follow the above steps but please understand that there is no guarantee that everything will function correctly after updating mid game, particularly with MCM functions.

Other Great Mods to consider:

Immersive Hud iHud Special Edition

iNeed - Food, Water and Sleep

Loot & Degradation SE
You Hunger SE
Scarcity - Less Loot Mod

Skyrim is Windy
Convenient Horses
Simply Knock SE
Master of Disguise

Use LOOT for Load Order. -  I recommend that you edit your metadata to reflect the previously mentioned compatibility recommendations.

Thanks to everyone who has advised and helped out with comments and suggestions.
Thank you to the authors of the above mods 
Special thanks to Bethesda for helping the modding community thrive
Thank you to all who have downloaded, endorsed but most of all played with my mod installed in their game.
Lastly and most importantly, Thank You to you, the modding community, for making Skyrim the fantastic game we have today.

My Other Mods:-

Immersive Stamina & Encumbrance

Encumbrance Message Gone

Please note - If you have Cardio SE installed, you do not need Encumbrance Message Gone. Cardio SE has this feature built in.