Console commands are a privilege that Skyrim PC players often boast about. Even though conventionally using them is considered cheating, there are plenty of ways to use them to solve issues related to the game as well. But what happens when console commands stop working altogether? It happens rarely, luckily, but still, a significant number of players are affected by this “bug.” Due to that, we’ve decided to create this guide. Let’s see how to fix issues with your console in Skyrim.
If your console commands are not working, first ensure you are using the command correctly. Some of them have complicated syntaxes, and this usually turns out to be the cause of most issues. Likewise, you can troubleshoot your “tilde” key or modify your launch settings so the console is included.
Now that we’ve covered the most common issues affecting Skyrim player’s when it comes to console commands, it’s time to analyze them in more detail. If you’re interested in more, or the simplest solution doesn’t work for you, stay with us and keep reading!
Console commands rarely stop working
Console commands are usually used to resolve some bugs in the game. For example, you can use console commands to advance bugged quests when you cant seem to progress to the next stage. You can use the commands to reset NPC dialogues if they are not giving you appropriate lines.
But what happens when console commands themselves stop working? This is not that common, and the issue mostly lies somewhere else. In the rest of this post, we’re going to cover the most common issues and how to fix them.
Make sure that you are typing the commands the right way
Plenty of console commands in Skyrim are short and convenient to use. For example, “tgm” triggers the so-called “god mode.” “Tcl” turns off collision and allows you to fly. The “kill” command is pretty self-explanatory, as is the “resurrect” command. If you suspect that your console commands are not working, try typing some short, uncomplicated commands and see what happens.
Some console commands can have elaborate syntaxes. For example, teleporting requires a couple of steps and a refID of a certain NPC to be successful, and most people aren’t aware of that or simply type in the refID wrong or confuse with the baseID of a certain NPC. To minimize the chances of that happening in the future, you can see all refID and baseID codes for every NPC in the game on this link.
One more common problem are items and NPCs added by expansion packs. If you’ve ever attempted to add items from Dragonborn, Dawnguard, or Hearthfire to the game or spawn an NPC related to those DLCs, you will notice that codes associated with those items and NPCs on the wiki start with “00x.” There is a good reason for that, and if you type the code as is by including the “x,” the command will not work.
The “x” needs to be replaced by a number that the expansion in question has in your load order. The fastest way to check your load order is to simply launch Skyrim and click on the “Data Files” button. If your load order is correct, Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn esm. files should be top three on the list.
The “x” needs to be replaced by that number.
Some commands require you to input the number of items or NPCs you want to summon or add to your inventory, and if you are missing that number, the console will return an error as the output. One such example is adding gold. To add gold to your inventory, you need to use “play.additem 000000f 100000,” as you can see, the quantity is the core feature of the command and cannot be left out.
Before you attempt to use any kind of command, always make sure that you are executing it correctly. If you are getting an error code, that doesn’t mean that console is not working. It means that you are giving the console the wrong input.
Make sure that your tilde key is working
If you’re having trouble even getting the console to show on screen, it’s likely that your tilde key isn’t working as expected. Tilde or “~” can usually be found on the top left corner of your keyboard directly underneath the “Esc” key. It’s possible that your layout changed for some reason, or the keyboard itself has a different layout. Try using different combinations of keys until the issue is resolved. Some of the most common combinations are:
- Shift + `
- Alt + 126
- AltGr + ^
You can always likewise use “Character Map” to copy the needed symbol if you can’t figure out how to type it.
Make sure that console is included in your launcher options
If you’ve verified that you are typing the commands correctly and that your tilde is working, it’s time to get technical. Sometimes you need to give specific instructions to Skyrim on how to launch the game. To add a console to the launch options, follow these steps:
- Launch Steam.
- Navigate to Skyrim and right-click on “Properties.”
- In the general tab, the last option should be “Launch Options.”
- Add “+console.”
- Save the changes and launch the game.
And this is pretty much it. One important thing to remember is to always be careful while using commands. They can break your game unpredictably, and you might not notice it until it’s too late.
Always back up your save game file before you attempt to use any script-related or quest-related console commands to avoid having your playthrough corrupted.