Misery and despair have haunted you all your life. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, you've been arrested and thrown in the dungeons. Your trial was supposed to be weeks ago, only nobody has come for you. It's been so long since seeing daylight you no longer know what month it is anymore. The dungeon is cold, damp, and worse still, you're running out of food. At least you have that leak in the wall for water. It seems as though you've been forgotten, soon to rot away and die. The eight have forsaken you! Or... have they?

Live Another Life provides an alternative means to start the game for those who do not wish to go through the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. You will be given the opportunity to choose your race and then choose a new life for your character to lead. A wide variety of choices will be available. What you choose will have a lasting impact, so choose carefully or the gods may forsake you again!

Additional support has also been provided to allow you to extend Live Another Life with your own starts.

Check out the video review GamerPoets did for his first episode:

Live Another Life Bug Tracker

Installation Requirements

Skyrim Special Edition 1.6.353 or greater.
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch 4.2.7 or greater.

You will need to turn on subtitles to see the text for the startup quest.

Alternately, download and use Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent Voice to see subtitles only on those NPCs with no voiced audio. This requires SKSE, so it will only work on PC copies of the game.

Installation - Wrye Bash BAIN

Drop the archive into your Skyrim Special Edition Mods\Bash Installers folder, then install as usual.
Make sure the mod is active in the Wrye Bash mods tab.

Installation - Manual

Drop Alternate Start - Live Another Life.esp, Alternate Start - Live Another Life.bsa, Alternate Start - Live Another Life - Textures.bsa, and Alternate Start - Live Another Life.ini into your Data folder.
Activate the mod using whatever management tool suits you.

Uninstalling Live Another Life

Due to the nature of Skyrim mods, especially those adding scripts, it is strongly discouraged to attempt uninstalling a mod from your active game. Any mod that is more than pure mesh or texture replacements has the possibility to leave behind permanent changes to your save that you may not want. This is not something modders can correct for. It is how the game was designed by Bethesda. No support will be provided for anyone who uninstalls this mod from an active game and continues on with that save.

That said, should you insist on going forward with doing so you must adhere to the following:

First things first. You need to be sure the main quest has been started before you can uninstall this mod. The quest "Live Another Life" must have been marked as completed, AND you must have "Before the Storm" listed in your journal. Uninstalling prior to this will break the main quest as well as the civil war.

It should also go without saying that if you're using the farmhouse start, clean your stuff out of it first because if you don't you'll lose it all.

Clean your stuff out of any other start location containers you may be using, including any that are part of the vanilla game because they will NO LONGER BE SAFE STORAGE!!!

Once that's done, use your preferred method to uninstall the mod. The .esp, .bsa, and ini files must be removed entirely.

Load Order

Due to the sensitive nature of the mod, it should be loaded relatively late in the load order. A lot of other mods may seek to make modifications to Helgen and the charactergen quests. Moving this further down in your list will likely help, a lot. I highly recommend going with the order LOOT specifies.

Starting the Main Quest

Skyrim has a lot more flexibility in pursuit of the main quest, even when playing the default Helgen scenario. Alduin's appearance does not force one to pursue the main quest beyond Helgen. So this mod is mainly providing a mechanism to bypass Helgen and not encounter Alduin either. The game will patiently wait for you to follow along. So there's no special effort really needed to avoid it, just don't do it :)

For most of the starts, it will appear as though your "Live Another Life" quest has stalled. You will not have an active objective telling you where to go next. When you are ready to begin pursuing the main quest, talk to an innkeeper and ask them for rumors. You'll be given a generic rumor about Helgen and told to travel there. You can also simply go to Helgen on your own without anyone telling you to do so.

The main quest will also start if you join the Civil War, complete the first two missions for your chosen side, and then get sent to Whiterun. Once there, you'll find Whiterun closed. If you manage to bribe or persuade your way in, the next guard you pass by who delivers the line about Helgen being hit by a dragon will resolve the beginning portion. Otherwise asking them what they mean by dragons will get you pointed toward Helgen and you can proceed from there.

If you somehow avoid all the guards and get into Dragonsreach without ever hearing about Helgen, the MQ will be force-started upon entering the main hall. Sorry, but this failsafe is required because it is not possible to advance the Civil War until Bleak Falls Barrow and Dragon Rising have been completed. Bethesda did not supply dialogue to allow for a Stormcloak takeover of Whiterun before starting the Main Quest.

Choosing the campsite start will begin immediately with the encounter with Alduin.

Using this mod to follow the default Helgen sequence will play out the same as the vanilla game.


As of version 2.5.0 and higher, Live Another Life allows for extensions to be written to provide additional starting options. This is a known list of extensions that are available:

City Guard - the example extension provided on the Nexus page for LAL.
Legacy of the Dragonborn - An extension to allow you start as a relic hunter for the mod's museum in Solitude.
New Beginnings - Several new start options using the extension framework.

Compatibility Patches

Starting Spell Choice


Tested and confirmed to work with Open Cities Skyrim.

Known to be incompatible with any mod which attempts to remove the essential flags from any NPCs in Helgen.

Not compatible with Opening Scene Overhaul due to conflicts with edits to MQ101. Moving LAL after it in the load order should resolve the problem but obviously that then makes the opening scene overhaul a moot point because it will be overridden. If you ignore this and leave it with OSO after LAL, the initial load screen will freeze and the game will never load. There is nothing that can be done about this.

Helgen Reborn – Fully compatible, even with the vanilla start option.

Shlongs of Skyrim (ugh, yes, there really is a mod about that) - This has been reported to completely mess up the cart ride for the vanilla start option. If you're going to use that mod, it is best to wait until you're off the carts and inside the keep before installing it.

Become High King of Skyrim - Edits MQ101, though it's a dirty edit. Either clean the mod using TES5Edit or make sure it loads BEFORE Live Another Life so that it won't cause the "new game" menu to get stuck.

Better Vampires - No issues should arise from using LAL and BV together. Even the vampire start should work properly as the method LAL uses to change you into one uses script calls BV retains in its edited version of the player's vampire quest.

Mods altering the Abandoned Prison (cell 00021594) will probably need to be patched since the navmesh has been edited.

Mods which alter the following quests will not be compatible without a patch:

MQ101 - Unbound
MQ102 - Before the Storm
WERoad01 - Farmer refugees after dragon attack

Mods which edit the following scripts will not be compatible unless patched:


Known Issues

The Thane offer won't be available in every city right away if you use a property owner start. The quest interaction makes doing so impossible without sacrificing too much of the content to it.

When picking the Companions guild start, you need to go watch the fight before Vlikas will go outside to train you.

When choosing one of the two civil war starts, you are strongly advised to let the Jagged Crown scene play out. If you don't, the quest may fail to start and the entire civil war quest line will get jammed.

There may be some unfound dialogue that references Helgen. If you find some and have NOT witnessed Alduin fly overhead yet, please report those with as much detail as possible.

Some quests in a major city you pick a start for may not be available until after you've left that city and returned later. This is normal. It's due to how "Change Location" events work in the game and there's nothing that can be done about it.

If you pick the ship arrival start for Raven Rock, the mouse is not being locked down for some reason when the function is called to run the animated ship ride. No know solution for this exists as of yet. Avoid moving the mouse. It will disrupt the scene, even though the boat will arrive properly. It just looks goofy as hell.


Chesko - For his polygon shape detection script.
Nikkita - For her awesome work on the voiced lines for the statue of Mara in the starting cell.
Dwip - The new mesh section for the farmhouse interior.


This mod is not made, guaranteed, or supported by Microsoft, Zenimax, Bethesda Game Studios, or any of their affiliates.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and an Anniversary Edition has been announced. New features, new mod content, and all DLC content up to now will be included. Whilst you wait, here’s a few mods to try out, and a few to look forward to in the future! (Please note we sampled from both Skyrim and Special Edition for this list, so make sure you’ve got the right version of the game before downloading)


By SureAI

Enderal - Forgotten Stories#2

Skyrim’s world is huge and expansive, and the world of Elder Scrolls is rich with lore. The systems within the game, however, lend well to an original story in an original universe, and Enderal is just that! A total conversion with all new quests, characters, and a new world to explore, it’s a remarkable new experience for even experienced Skyrim players.

Alternate Start

By Arthmoor

Thalmor 15

Chances are that if you’re still playing Skyrim in 2021, you’ve seen the opening dozens of times. Whilst it’s a great introduction into the stakes of the world, playing any game’s lengthy introductory quest can be tiring after a while. With this mod, you’ll get a much quicker and more decisive start in Skyrim, having multiple avenues to begin your journey anew. A must for Skyrim players committed to replaying the game over and over.

Open Cities

By Arthmoor

Windhelm Gate 11

Morrowind’s cities are often hailed as being highly immersive, with no separation from loading screens and the like. Skyrim’s cities, whilst vastly more detailed and larger in scale, are split into zones the player loads in and out of. This mod project brings back the open environments of the cities, allowing for more natural exploration and divergent gameplay like running to city guards for aid against a stray bandit!


By Rebelzize

Whilst Skyrim has received several of its own remasters over the years, the next two projects on this list have their sights set on older Elder Scrolls games. Skyblivion, aiming to remake the often lauded TES IV: Oblivion, is a herculean effort by hundreds of developers, and whilst not yet available, the progress made in development diaries is thrilling to watch.


By Egrets


The other major remake project, Skywind instead tackles the oldest of The Elder Scrolls’ fully 3D installments, Morrowind. Whilst still a respectable RPG, the game’s dated graphics and unwieldy gameplay make it a struggle to replay without its own mods. Skywind promises to make old new again, and much like Skyblivion, we wait in anticipation to play it ourselves!

Legendary, Special - Now Anniversary

Skyrim’s 10th anniversary is just around the corner, and Bethesda have decided to celebrate the occasion with a new release of the monolithic RPG. It has become something of a joke the amount of re-releases Skyrim has received, but it’s hard to deny the game’s staying power and the influence of each and every remaster. Legendary Edition in 2013 gave players a one-stop-shop to all prior DLC content; Special Edition in 2016 brought graphical updates to the game to keep it competing with other modern titles; and Anniversary Edition will carry its own slew of new features to keep the hype for Elder Scrolls alive into the 2020s.

Skyrim Special Edition screenshot

Skyrim is the most expansive of Bethesda’s RPGs to date, with mountains of content (literally!)

New Content, New Mechanics, Same Game

Skyrim Anniversary Edition’s new content will feature, according to Bethesda, “over 500 unique pieces of content from Creation Club”, and those players who have stayed up-to-date with Skyrim’s re-releases in the form of Special Edition will be able to upgrade to Anniversary Edition at a discounted price. It’s worth noting the figure of 500 comes from individual pieces of content within Creation Club addons; all in all, Anniversary Edition will come with the 48 available publicly, and another 26 still to be announced.

Skyrim Special Edition screenshot

Special Edition takes the already charming world of Skyrim
and makes every locale a genuine vista in its own right

Staying Special

Whilst Bethesda’s focus is on the new release, owners of Special Edition aren’t being left behind. Whether they choose to upgrade or not, three new bits of content will be coming to SE for free, two from the current Creation Club lineup: Survival Mode, which intensifies the core gameplay loop and adds a host of new survival mechanics; Saints & Seducers, a quest set in the Shivering Isles and with potion ingredients from previous installments of The Elder Scrolls featuring too; and lastly, fishing, complete with new fishing quests, mechanics, and ways to pass the time in Skyrim. All three will mean even those content with Special Edition will have their own part in celebrating the anniversary.

Check out more Skyrim mods on ModDB!

Make sure you check out the lineup of mods for Special Edition, too!

Right now we don’t have word on how much work it’ll take for mod creators to get their mods compatible with Anniversary Edition, but if previous re-releases are any indication, it seems likely you’ll need to wait till compatibility patches are rolled out for your favourite experiences.

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Misery and despair have haunted you all your life. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, you've been arrested and thrown in the dungeons. Your...

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