Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Experience a more immersive Skyrim without being forced into annoying micromanagement.

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The Frozen North is the realization of my vision for how I think survival and immersion should be handled in Skyrim. Skyrim is known for being one of the coldest regions of Tamriel, and we can experience harsh weather such as snowstorms, but in the vanilla game this is not even an inconvenience. Food items are like clutter that just incidentally have minor magic effects attached to them. Sleeping gives you a bonus but it doesn't even last the whole day to encourage a normal sleep schedule. The idea of this overhaul is to change just enough to make all of these elements feel like they mean something, without making them into major mechanics that overshadow the rest of Skyrim's gameplay. The light touch of the changes also helps to keep high compatibility with mods that add more content to the game.

The functions of the mod should be somewhat intuitive, so if you don't care about all the technical details, here is a very quick rundown of the main features that you should know about:
  • Cold weather can make you cold, which makes your Stamina regenerate slower, or at more extreme levels drain your Stamina and Health.
  • Wearing clothing or being near sources of heat can keep you warm.
  • Being cold prevents waiting and fast travel.
  • Eating a meal in the hours before sleeping (6+ hours) gives you a minor bonus for the next day.
  • Eating throughout the day gives you a minor bonus.
  • You must sleep to level up.

For more of the technical details, read on.


Factors such as weather and time of day will now influence the local temperature, which in turn can make you feel cold. To mitigate the effects of the cold, you will have to find ways to stay warm, or take advantage of food items such as soups to keep you healthy.

Cold environments

Weather is the main factor in determining the ambient temperature. Cloudy weather will be chilly (-32 warmth), and rainy and snowy weather will be cold (-64 warmth). Note that there is another modifier for snowy or icy locations that generally makes regions with snowy weather colder than this.

Time of day
The time of day has an effect on how cold it can be in addition to the weather conditions. Outside of sunlight hours (8:30 AM to 8:30 PM), the weather conditions will be one stage colder (-32 warmth).

Snowy and icy locations
Areas with snow or ice will tend to be two stages colder (-64 warmth) in addition to other modifiers. This includes interior and exterior locations.

Swimming causes you to feel one stage colder (-32 warmth).

Staying warm

Warm clothing
Wearing clothing or armor increases your warmth rating. This uses the same system as Creation Club Survival Mode. The warmest set of clothing can give you up to +131 warmth.

Heat sources
Being near a fire will warm you up (+96 warmth).

Note for content add-ons: Compatibility for heat sources must be added manually. If you report these to me, I can update the mod to support them out of the box. Currently supported mods:
- Campfire
- Campfire Cabin
- Campsite

Other influences
Having additional Frost Resist also makes you less susceptible to the cold. Having an active Flame Cloak can keep you warm regardless of other conditions. Being undead (i.e. from vampirism) makes you completely immune to the cold, but also prevents you from feeling warmth.

Effects of being warm or cold

If your overall warmth rating from all of the aforementioned factors is negative, it can result in a debuff, as follows:
-32 to -1: Chilly - Stamina regenerates 35% slower.
-64 to -33: Cold - Stamina regenerates 80% slower.
-65 and below: Freezing - Stamina regenerates 125% slower.

If you are near a heat source and it brings your total warmth to at least 64, then you can also receive a buff:
Warm - Stamina regenerates 30% faster.

If you have Cold or Freezing, you will not be able to rest or fast travel because you are too cold. In addition, if your overall stamina regeneration rate drops to a negative value, then you will gain an additional debuff:
Low Body Temperature - Drains 1 Stamina per second, increased to 3 while running or swimming. Drains Health when out of Stamina.

Soup and alcohol

Just like in vanilla, soups can restore your Health or Stamina over time. This does not remove the debuffs from being cold, but it does counteract them to provide relief. The vanilla soups have been rebalanced so that the restore over time effects are more common, and they now range in duration between 240 and 720 seconds. Unlike in vanilla, you cannot consume multiple soups at once to increase their effectiveness.

Alcoholic drinks, like in vanilla, restore some Stamina instantly but cause you to regenerate it slower for a period of time afterwards. This means they can provide some immediate relief from the cold, but will tend to have a negative effect overall. If you are already cold, it can be risky to consume alcohol because it can potentially enable the Low Body Temperature debuff, which can make you lose a large amount of Stamina. Unlike in vanilla, Magic Resist does not protect against the negative effects of alcohol.


Food and rest can now give you small bonuses to reward you for eating and sleeping well. However, a lack of food or rest will not cause nagging, nor will it inflict debilitating debuffs. Thus, it is a system which you may opt in or out of whenever it suits you.

Eating and drinking

Food that restores your Health now also keeps you sated. Eating enough food to give 10 points of Health enables this buff:
Well Fed - Health regenerates 20% faster for 8 hours.*

*When you get this effect, your 10 points of food will gradually decrease to 0 over a course of 8 hours, after which the effect will be removed. You can eat again during this time to make it last longer. For example, one can eat 10 points at 8:00 AM, 5 points at 12:00 PM, 5 points at 4:00 PM, and 5 points at 8:00 PM to stay fed the whole day.

Every time you drink alcohol, you also receive this effect:
Buzzed - You feel slightly intoxicated for 2 hours.


You get the vanilla resting bonuses the same way as before, but they have been slightly buffed and extended to last the whole day:
Rested - All skills improve 8% faster for 16 hours.
Well Rested - All skills improve 15% faster for 16 hours.
Lover's Comfort - All skills improve 15% faster, and buying and selling prices are 5% better for 16 hours.

In addition, if you have the Well Fed effect before sleeping for at least 6 hours, you wake up with a different buff:
Fast Metabolism - Stamina regenerates 20% faster for 16 hours.

Likewise, if you have the Buzzed effect before sleeping for at least 6 hours, you wake up with a different buff:
Clear Mind - Magicka regenerates 20% faster for 16 hours.


Q: Is it configurable?
A: The Survival Mode features that TFN uses can be customized using Survival Control Panel. As for TFN-specific options, there is no MCM right now, but if you're inclined to make changes, you can always open up the plugin in SSEEdit and fiddle with global variables and magic effects. Since an MCM has been requested quite a bit, I will probably add an optional add-on that allows tweaking those variables. If you would like to disable cold survival entirely, you should be able to toggle off "Survival Mode" under Settings -> Gameplay.

Q: I have a food overhaul I like (CACO, Food Adjustments, etc.). Can I use this mod with it?
A: If you have to ask, the answer is probably no for the full version. Use the Cold Standalone version.

Q: Stamina Regen is body temperature now? Does that mean that those potions and enchantments make me warmer?
A: Yes, this is an abstraction that came about naturally while iterating on effects for cold and food and drink. While it could potentially make those potions and enchantments more valuable, I see this as an incidental dynamic and not so much a harmful one.

Q: Why can't I power attack and bash at low Stamina anymore?
A: There is an issue where effects that restore Stamina ignore the delay in regeneration when Stamina drops to negative values. Because of this, items such as Vegetable Soup would make it possible to continuously use power attacks or bashes at minimal cost. This mod rebalanced the vanilla soups so that these Stamina restoration effects are much more common, so the minimum Stamina was introduced as a further balance measure.

Q: Why do arrows have weight now?
A: This mod spoofs Survival Mode in order to enable the Warmth Rating UI elements, as well as the Temperature Level HUD elements. This causes certain other features to be enabled, including sleep to level up and arrow weight. If you want to change this, use Survival Control Panel.

Q: What do you mean about spoofing Survival Mode?
A: Some of the nifty little features that appear in Survival Mode were coded into the Skyrim Special Edition executable itself. They were most likely meant to be used exclusively by Survival Mode, but if we don't want to use Survival Mode, we can actually hijack those features for our mods.

Q: Can this be used on VR? Can it be ported to Classic?
A: No, unfortunately that's not possible with the way it's been implemented. It relies on features that only exist in SSE.

Q: Actually, that's not exactly how the human body should work, scientifically.
A: Okay, I don't really care. The mechanics were designed to prioritize immersion over realism. This is a video game and it doesn't always make sense to follow the same rules as real life.


Many thanks to my fellow mod authors who helped make this possible.
  • Narue, the author of Frostbite, which this mod's cold survival scripts were based on.
  • Chesko, the author of Frostfall, which this mod's visual effects were based on.
  • QDR, the mysterious author of Creation Club Survival Mode, which built some handy new features into the game, including clothing warmth and UI widgets.
  • GonDragon, the author of SkyUI - Survival Mode Integration, who graciously allowed me to bundle their mod's assets into this mod.
  • Jaiim, for the very useful Survival Spoof implementation.
  • Pierre Despereaux and Simon Magus, who helped me name this mod.