The prospect of playing The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim with a friend or a group of fellow fans has been beguiling the game’s community since the RPG released in 2011, a situation that was made even more complicated when 2012’s Elder Scrolls Online launched and wasn’t the multiplayer Skyrim many had hoped it would be. But now, six years and countless dreams later, it appears that players will able to experience multiplayer in Skyrim this year — possibly as early as next month.
Rewinding a bit for context, when Elder Scrolls Online hit retails shelves and gaming systems five years ago (and turned out to be a captivating MMO but not an effective substitute for a co-op Skyrim), mod-makers began filling the gaps and attempting to add online functionality to Skyrim. One such mod is Tamriel Online, the work-in-progress add-on that allows two or more players to band together in-game.
Enter Skyrim Together, a mod that takes what Tamriel aimed to do and offers a more fine-tuned multiplayer experience. The mod was intended to release its first stable build in September, but the developers chose to delay its launch to work out a few kinks and polish it up.
The team behind the mod plan to release the inaugural version soon, with a potential launch date of sometime in October. However, next month isn’t entirely guaranteed, as those who work on the multiplayer mod only do it part-time and aren’t compensated for their work. Skyrim Together team member Ananace told PCGamer that the team “should be able to get it out this year at least,” so even if October isn’t feasible, those interested in the mod won’t have to wait too long to get their hands on it.
Once the mod officially launches, the team wants create an application programming interface (API) that will allow players to create and implement their own mods within Skyrim Together. For now, though, the minds behind Skyrim Together are first focusing their attention on the vanilla functions — like network optimization, on-demand servers, and a ground-up party system, for instance — before diving into additional features.
Though Bethesda has long said that multiplayer is possible with the game, every installment of The Elder Scrolls series thus far has been single-player, pushing fans to take matters into their own hands to create the gaming content they want to play. And while multiplayer Skyrim mods have been a dime a dozen over the last few years, it seems like Skyrim Together could be the answer everyone is looking for.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.