Like the Kinect voice control before it, Bethesda is once again making good on their promise to bring new and exciting features to the world of Skyrim. This newest addition, horse combat, is a little more inclusive, and will be releasing as part of the 1.6 update for the game.

Along with the inclusion of horse combat (of both the melee and ranged varieties) the 1.6 update will also bring with it a ton of bug fixes to correct any of those nagging issues. Some of those issues were only unfortunately introduced by the game’s previous update, the aforementioned Kinect voice control update.

Bethesda didn’t reveal when console gamers might see the release of update 1.6 but it is available now for anyone who is part of the Skyrim beta program on Steam. To sign up for the beta program all players need to do is go into their settings tab in Steam and opt into it.

While the introduction of horse combat has been an oft-requested feature, and looked extremely cool when Bethesda showed it off, the lack of mounted enemies to fight takes some of the excitement out of the feature. Furthermore, the mountainous terrain in Skyrim doesn’t exactly suit the type of scenario needed to have engaging combat encounters on a horse, but nonetheless it should bring some Elder Scrolls fans back into the fold.

Here’s the full list of changes:


  • General stability and memory optimizations
  • General AI pathfinding optimizations and bug fixes
  • Optimizations and crash fixes for data leaks
  • Fixed rare crash with lighting
  • Fixed crashes related to loading and saving games
  • Fixed crash with summoned creatures/NPCs
  • Fixed rare issue where saves would be corrupted
  • Improved logic for when ranged kill cams are played
  • Fixed issue with ranged kill cams while killing a dragon
  • Fixed rare issue with certain ranged kill cams not playing properly
  • Fixed issue with nirnroot lighting not properly cleaning up
  • Fixed issue where bow damage was being calculated incorrectly
  • Fixed rare problem with werewolf kill moves would not finish animating properly
  • In “The Break of Dawn” fixed rare issue where Meridia’s Beacon would disappear from player’s inventory
  • Fixed occasional issue where followers would disappear after player pays off a bounty after committing a crime
  • Fixed issue where certain creatures and NPCs would fail to respawn properly
  • Fixed rare issue with dialogue subtitles not displaying properly
  • Fixed issue with water appearing blurry when loading a saved game after creating a save underwater
  • Fixed issue where map cursor would occasionally disappear after closing a message box with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed rare issue with shouts only performing the first level and not other unlocked levels with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed issue where the shout buttons would stop working properly if users mashed LB and RB during cooldown with Kinect enabled  (Xbox 360)

Along with announcing this new update Bethesda also revealed that they are hard at work on Dawnguard, the first piece of downloadable content for Skyrim. Though not much is known about the DLC, Bethesda’s track record and previous claims suggest that this will be more than your average side quest or mission.

Along with The Elder Scrolls Online and Dishonored, we expect that Bethesda, or more specifically ZeniMax Media, will hit E3 2012 with some substantial information about Dawnguard including a trailer and release date.

Does the prospect of horse combat give you enough of an incentive to return to the world of Skyrim? Are there any beta participants out there who want to comment on this new addition?

Source: Bethesda Blog