You Can Transfer Your 360 Skyrim Characters to PC

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Posted by Brad (2932 posts) -

After playing Skyrim for several dozen feverish hours in the course of the review process, I figured it must be the mark of a truly special game that I immediately wanted to sink in several dozen more hours as soon as I had the time. It's just that good.

But the release-day discovery of the low-quality texture bug on the Xbox 360--the first version we got in for review, and the one I spent the bulk of my time with--gave me a good reason to hold off. One of these games only comes along every few years; might as well ensure it looks as good as it can while I see everything (else) it has to offer for the first time. I wasn't about to abandon my level-30 character to restart on another platform, so I grudgingly decided to wait for the issue to be corrected, which may still be as much as two weeks away from happening.

In a strange twist of fate, it seems like I might not have to wait after all, now that users over on Reddit have posted a set of easy steps to extract your save file from the 360 version of Skyrim and bring it directly into the PC version. I verified that the process only took about five minutes before I was up and running with my old Imperial mace-and-shield fighter from my original playthrough, except this time with a mouse and keyboard instead of a controller.

While the need to change platforms is probably rare, the PC version looks and runs dramatically better than its console counterparts, and of course features the much-ballyooed support for mods that's already yielded a Skyrim Street View feature, among other novelties. Due to those distinct advantages, some players might find themselves ready to try the PC version in a few weeks or months, maybe after the inevitable Steam sale.

The Xbox 360 is such a closed platform that the very idea this even works is sort of magical to me. Granted, the necessary tools can certainly be put to a more questionable purpose than this one, but like hardware mod chips before them, this seems like the rare situation where console modification lets you do something that's unique and ethically sound at the same time.

If you've heard about a way to do something similar with the PS3 version as well, I'm sure some readers would appreciate it if you posted your info in the comments.

Staff
#1 Posted by Brad (2932 posts) -

After playing Skyrim for several dozen feverish hours in the course of the review process, I figured it must be the mark of a truly special game that I immediately wanted to sink in several dozen more hours as soon as I had the time. It's just that good.

But the release-day discovery of the low-quality texture bug on the Xbox 360--the first version we got in for review, and the one I spent the bulk of my time with--gave me a good reason to hold off. One of these games only comes along every few years; might as well ensure it looks as good as it can while I see everything (else) it has to offer for the first time. I wasn't about to abandon my level-30 character to restart on another platform, so I grudgingly decided to wait for the issue to be corrected, which may still be as much as two weeks away from happening.

In a strange twist of fate, it seems like I might not have to wait after all, now that users over on Reddit have posted a set of easy steps to extract your save file from the 360 version of Skyrim and bring it directly into the PC version. I verified that the process only took about five minutes before I was up and running with my old Imperial mace-and-shield fighter from my original playthrough, except this time with a mouse and keyboard instead of a controller.

While the need to change platforms is probably rare, the PC version looks and runs dramatically better than its console counterparts, and of course features the much-ballyooed support for mods that's already yielded a Skyrim Street View feature, among other novelties. Due to those distinct advantages, some players might find themselves ready to try the PC version in a few weeks or months, maybe after the inevitable Steam sale.

The Xbox 360 is such a closed platform that the very idea this even works is sort of magical to me. Granted, the necessary tools can certainly be put to a more questionable purpose than this one, but like hardware mod chips before them, this seems like the rare situation where console modification lets you do something that's unique and ethically sound at the same time.

If you've heard about a way to do something similar with the PS3 version as well, I'm sure some readers would appreciate it if you posted your info in the comments.

Staff
#2 Edited by dvorak (1496 posts) -

This is amazing. I'm totally doing this when I go home.

#3 Posted by ABritishNerd (318 posts) -

So close.

#4 Edited by roughplague (131 posts) -

awesome

I just hoped it could go the other way, and to the ps3 aswell

#5 Edited by Mumrik (1077 posts) -

The textures honestly aren't too hot. They're in the "console port" territory, so I'd have gone with;

"A vast world of actual HD awaits you. Not to mention load times far too short to read the text."

This would probably be (even) cooler for the Mass Effect series...

#6 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4424 posts) -

@Brad said:

...some players might find themselves ready to try the PC version in a few weeks or months, maybe after the inevitable Steam sale.

hehehehehe

#7 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

Thats great, and the textures on pc are much nicer.

#8 Posted by tekmojo (2302 posts) -

Yessir Brad, come to the Darkside.

#9 Posted by HydraHam (1338 posts) -

Atleast the 360 players are only effecting texture problems which isnt a big deal, us ps3 players are fucked.

my game literally runs at 2fps.

#10 Edited by Linkster7 (1023 posts) -

I love you for telling me about this. Seriously.

This is great.

Edit: If you can do this the other way around, how does that affect achievements?

#11 Posted by ValiantGoat (376 posts) -

The only problem I have with the PC version is that I never get to read the text during load screens because it loads so fast.

#12 Posted by Jimbo (9805 posts) -

If you're already used to using a pad then you will probably want to continue using a pad on PC, lest the truly awful M&K interface makes you flip out and punch a kitten.

#13 Edited by Zaxex (583 posts) -

I just S-ranked Skyrim, took about 100 hours. If my experience is the same as everyone elses I don't see how people can even talk about textures. I've had load times of 1:22 fast travelling from one city to another. Something I've done probably hundreds of times (looking at you Thieves Guild). No save or load is quicker than about 20-30 seconds for me.

I am in the Xbox Live Metro beta, so maybe installed games don't work, but even so. A minute and a half.

I'm buying Skyrim on Steam right now.

Edit: Does this violate any terms of service with Microsoft? I don't want to lose my gamerscore because I wanted to play on PC too.

#14 Posted by huser (1077 posts) -

@Mumrik said:

The textures honestly aren't too hot. They're in the "console port" territory, so I'd have gone with;

"A vast world of actual HD awaits you. Not to mention load times far too short to read the text."

This would probably be (even) cooler for the Mass Effect series...

Those can likely be delivered by the huge mod community for Bethesda games. Fallout is just another game with all the weather/lighting/texture mods...the first time it rained it blew my mind especially watching the clouds roll in.

#15 Edited by megalowho (965 posts) -

Wow, this is great. Been thinking about building a new PC too, would love to have the character I'm using now on there once I do.

#16 Posted by DougQuaid (1274 posts) -

So would it technically be possible to import a 360 save to PC just to redistribute perks via command console and then transfer back?

#17 Posted by Kaps (38 posts) -

Can you go the other way around though? PC to Xbox 360?

#18 Posted by Jack_Daniels (1413 posts) -

@Kaps said:

Can you go the other way around though? PC to Xbox 360?

Yes you can, to convert a save from PC to Xbox, you simply take your PC save, and rename it to savedata.dat. Then using modio, open up any xbox save with the rehash and resigner and replace the savedata.dat on your xbox save with the save you changed from your PC save. After that rehash and resign your xbox save and inject it to your device and enjoy

#19 Posted by onan (1285 posts) -

Looks like it works for Fallout 3 too! I'm totally bringing my dude over.

#20 Posted by onan (1285 posts) -

@Zaxex said:

I just S-ranked Skyrim, took about 100 hours. If my experience is the same as everyone elses I don't see how people can even talk about textures. I've had load times of 1:22 fast travelling from one city to another. Something I've done probably hundreds of times (looking at you Thieves Guild). No save or load is quicker than about 20-30 seconds for me.

I am in the Xbox Live Metro beta, so maybe installed games don't work, but even so. A minute and a half.

I'm buying Skyrim on Steam right now.

Edit: Does this violate any terms of service with Microsoft? I don't want to lose my gamerscore because I wanted to play on PC too.

Dude, you're crazy. Did you even sleep? Also, no, they won't reset your gamerscore unless they catch you cheating at it. i.e., if you try to reimport your save back to the Xbox with a bunch of new achievements ready to be unlocked. Seeing how you just spent 100 hours on the game, I doubt there are many left even if you did do that.

All your Xbox is going to see is you copying a save to a usb stick, and that's perfectly normal. It's completely out of the loop after that point.

#21 Posted by rjayb89 (7720 posts) -

Wow, that's pretty sexy.

#22 Posted by McAnuff (19 posts) -

This is great. Possibly one step closer to having integration between platforms. Transfering saves is cool, but please let us play multiplayer games against (or with) other platforms. I dream of one big (happy) gaming community. :)

#23 Posted by Designer0 (56 posts) -

The textures aren't that great on the PC either, but the load-times are amazing if have a newer computer with a SSD. The game stores a huge amount of information in each save file(10+ megs after you have played a while) , but they only take 2-3 seconds to load on a SSD.

#24 Posted by spazmaster666 (1966 posts) -
@onan

@Zaxex said:

I just S-ranked Skyrim, took about 100 hours. If my experience is the same as everyone elses I don't see how people can even talk about textures. I've had load times of 1:22 fast travelling from one city to another. Something I've done probably hundreds of times (looking at you Thieves Guild). No save or load is quicker than about 20-30 seconds for me.

I am in the Xbox Live Metro beta, so maybe installed games don't work, but even so. A minute and a half.

I'm buying Skyrim on Steam right now.

Edit: Does this violate any terms of service with Microsoft? I don't want to lose my gamerscore because I wanted to play on PC too.

Dude, you're crazy. Did you even sleep? Also, no, they won't reset your gamerscore unless they catch you cheating at it. i.e., if you try to reimport your save back to the Xbox with a bunch of new achievements ready to be unlocked. Seeing how you just spent 100 hours on the game, I doubt there are many left even if you did do that.

All your Xbox is going to see is you copying a save to a usb stick, and that's perfectly normal. It's completely out of the loop after that point.

Not to mention that Microsoft really only resets gamerscores for people who hack their profiles for achievements not gamesavers since it's often impossible for them to determine when achievements are gained illegitimately with game saves. Really they just want to prevent people from cheating online.
#25 Posted by Zaxex (583 posts) -

@onan: Thanks man. That's a relief. I did sleep a little lol, only 6 hours in the first 3 days though.

And I have no intention of cheating for any points, I have 148,000 something after finishing Skyrim.

I've got a friend whose score was reset at 125,000 when we were racing.

More Skyrim!

#26 Posted by project343 (2818 posts) -

@tekmojo said:

Yessir Brad, come to the Darkside.

We have sweet rolls!

#27 Posted by nERVEcenter (173 posts) -

From incredibly simple nature of those steps, it's definitely clear that save games are formatted exactly the same across all platforms, barring version discrepancies. Which makes sense, but it's kind of hilarious that it boils down to "Open the Flash drive and copy the save file." Sorting through directories on a console game disk and finding the copy protection files or ripping the soundtrack is probably just as familiar a process to many PC users.

#28 Posted by Zaxex (583 posts) -

@spazmaster666: Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully their system is good enough that so long as I don't cheat I won't get reset.

Also, this feature is one that Microsoft should look into. With their new cloud saves and maybe some Xbox PC synergy it could be pretty awesome.

#29 Posted by LLJK_Jasta (292 posts) -

@Designer0 said:

The textures aren't that great on the PC either, but the load-times are amazing if have a newer computer with a SSD. The game stores a huge amount of information in each save file(10+ megs after you have played a while) , but they only take 2-3 seconds to load on a SSD.

I don't have an SSD but I do get those same fast load times.

#30 Posted by Vexxan (4620 posts) -

Hey that's pretty cool. 

#31 Posted by Mumrik (1077 posts) -

@huser said:

@Mumrik said:

The textures honestly aren't too hot. They're in the "console port" territory, so I'd have gone with;

"A vast world of actual HD awaits you. Not to mention load times far too short to read the text."

This would probably be (even) cooler for the Mass Effect series...

Those can likely be delivered by the huge mod community for Bethesda games. Fallout is just another game with all the weather/lighting/texture mods...the first time it rained it blew my mind especially watching the clouds roll in.

I hope so. I like the game, but I've got to admit I was disappointed by what they did graphically in the PC version. Really seemed like they didn't make the effort.

#32 Posted by TehJedicake (884 posts) -

If anyone has a computer that is able to handle Skyrim, but you're still playing on console, then I think you're crazy, I'm sorry, but I really do.

#33 Posted by DarkbeatDK (1269 posts) -

Great news for Jeff. He was complaining on the podcast that he didn't wanna start over on the PC version although he felt like he should.

#34 Posted by kyrieee (379 posts) -

@Mumrik said:

The textures honestly aren't too hot. They're in the "console port" territory, so I'd have gone with;

"A vast world of actual HD awaits you. Not to mention load times far too short to read the text."

This would probably be (even) cooler for the Mass Effect series...

You can do it for Mass Effect but I think it's a big hassle

#35 Posted by dvorak (1496 posts) -

The most important thing to know is that it goes both ways.

#36 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

Fuck yes. I'll make the switch once I'm done with my playthrough on 360.

#37 Edited by Teclo (139 posts) -

You console guys sure are in for a treat when you get some fine PC textures like these (and this is on Ultra, by the way):

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/3608/2011111300001h.jpg

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9431/2011111600009.jpg

#38 Edited by CitizenJP (1016 posts) -

BwAaAaAaHH?!?! That's awesome. Too bad I have a PS3. Tehe. :3

edit: Although I do miss owning a 360. ;/

#39 Posted by wickedsc3 (1046 posts) -

That "street view" is pretty sweet.

#40 Posted by Cataphract1014 (1313 posts) -

@Teclo said:

You console guys sure are in for a treat when you get some fine PC textures like these (and this is on Ultra, by the way):

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/3608/2011111300001h.jpg

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9431/2011111600009.jpg

Rage got a lot of flak for having bad textures, but it was probably the best looking game of the year in motion on PC. Textures aren't really everything, but that said people are already working on HD texture packs.

#41 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

Let me know when there's a relevant update, like iPad support.

#42 Edited by Cday (165 posts) -

@Teclo:

That is a ground texture and a rock texture that isn't supposed to be viewed up close. It's as if you haven't played a video game before.

I'm sure you could modify some settings document to get the LOD farther. I'm sure that would work great for your performance.

If you're actually trying to claim that the 360 version and PC on ultra are comparable texture wise then you should watch the Skyrim Marathon videos. It's not even close.

#43 Posted by DrWhat (280 posts) -

I thought I had heard somewhere that some of the texture-loading issues still exist on PC (there have been a few places where I've seen some awful textures on my PC playthrough) but it's still massively better. Also, having a mouse for archery? So good.

The Skyrim UI kind of sucks with mouse & keyboard, but you get used to it. I highly suggest using a 360 controller for picking master-level locks, too. But other than that, it's definitely the best way to play. Watching the load times on the 360 is torture.

#44 Posted by Zaxex (583 posts) -

I've done this. Load times are like 15 times faster as are saves. Already have all the Skyrim achievements, not going back to 360 except for DLC.

Seriously though, the longer you play on Xbox 360 the worse it gets. Mine really couldn't reasonably handle the 13mb saves (the file size increases over time) and the loads were unbearable.

If I go back to 360 for DLC I'll probably still have to start a new character.

#45 Edited by Ratcabbage (250 posts) -

@Teclo said:

You console guys sure are in for a treat when you get some fine PC textures like these (and this is on Ultra, by the way):

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/3608/2011111300001h.jpg

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9431/2011111600009.jpg

That second image looks all too familiar to me. It's what I see when I look out from Solitude. I've done some .ini tweaking but still can't get it to look much better than that. On the bright side, I'm sure some modder will come out with something to fix that, but for now it just makes me cringe. Especially since so much of the rest of the game is breathtaking.

#46 Posted by BoOzak (909 posts) -

@Mumrik said:

The textures honestly aren't too hot. They're in the "console port" territory, so I'd have gone with;

"A vast world of actual HD awaits you. Not to mention load times far too short to read the text."

This would probably be (even) cooler for the Mass Effect series...

They still look quite abit better than the 360 version and the game in general looks amazing. (in my opinion, and i'm only running it on high)

I'd definately pay double for the ability to import my saves to and from for Mass Effect though. Wouldnt be a problem if those games supported gamepads like they should have from the beginning.

#47 Posted by Slaker117 (4838 posts) -

That Modio thing refuses to download for me. It seems the hosting service is being shitty.

#48 Edited by Lunar_Aura (2779 posts) -

@Brad: Use a wired 360 controller on your PC or a wireless PS3 controller in 360 compatibility mode. Screw waiting for that texture fix!

#49 Posted by onan (1285 posts) -

@DrWhat said:

I highly suggest using a 360 controller for picking master-level locks, too. But other than that, it's definitely the best way to play. Watching the load times on the 360 is torture.

I haven't picked up the game yet, but the mod community has put out some incredible stuff, including something I'm sure Hardcore Dave would appreciate: Lockpick Pro. It shows your remaining lockpick health and the lock sweet spot.

... So yeah, you don't really need a controller.

#50 Posted by illmatic19 (964 posts) -

Is there any glimmer of hope for this happening for PS3? Man I really wish this used Steamworks....

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