The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action-driven game that has immersing graphics and visualizations which are appreciated throughout the world. From campaigns to open worlds, Skyrim has indeed set a standard in the gaming industry. The game was released on several different platforms including Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, and Play Station 3.
However, despite the popularity, numerous face an issue where they are unable to hear any sound in Skyrim. This issue occurs in various variations, for example, in some, the users hear the logo but nothing afterward and in some, the sound is completely gone. In this article, we will go through all the different workarounds which you can perform to get your sound back up and running.
What causes No Sound in Skyrim?
Due to the nature of the issue, there can be several different causes that may be creating the sound issue in Skyrim. After analyzing all the different user reports and conducting our investigation, we concluded that the issue occurred due to several different reasons. Some of the reasons this issue occurs are but not limited to:
- DirectX not installed properly: DirectX seems to be a requirement of almost every game nowadays. This popular API by Microsoft is a necessity when playing Skyrim and if it isn’t present, you will experience numerous issues.
- Computer in Error State: There is another situation where because of your computer being in an error state, the game will not function properly. Here, power cycling your computer helps a lot.
- Corrupt Saved File: Skyrim allows users to save their current progress in the game using a ‘saved file’. If you are loading from the saved file and it is corrupt, you will experience numerous issues.
- Third-party application controls: Another case where you will not hear the sound in your game is where a third-party application has access to your computer hardware and it is turned off the sound.
- Outdated Drivers: This may be one of the most common reasons why you experience sound issues. If the very drivers are outdated/corrupt, the game will not be able to send sound information to the hardware.
- Mods: Mods are famous in Skyrim for making the game even more playable. However, since they are third-party, they might inflict issues on your computer and cause bizarre behaviors.
- Skyrim in Linux: This is not a cause; instead, it is a scenario. Mostly users in Linux are unable to hear Skyrim properly because of some conflicting modules in the OS. Fixing these through the command line usually works.
- Sound issues: Another thing which we should not forget is that if the sound settings themselves are not proper on your computer, you will not hear any sound.
Before you start, make sure that you are logged in as an administrator on your computer and have an active internet connection present as well.
Pre-requisite: Checking Sound Settings in OS
Before we start with the troubleshooting methods, make sure that your sound functions are functioning normally on your computer. If you are not hearing any type of sound on the computer including multimedia files etc. you should check out our article of Fix: Windows 10 No Sound.
Sound mixers are another important feature of Windows OS. They allow the user to change the individual sound levels from different applications as well instead of controlling the sound system-wide. It may be possible that accidentally, you have lowered the volume of Skyrim and hence there is no sound coming. Here is the step on how to make sure that the sound mixer is set correctly for Skyrim.
- Launch Skyrim as an administrator. Also, launch another application in the background.
- Once inside the game, alt-tab to the other application (or press Windows + D) to go to the Desktop.
- Once in the Desktop, right-click on the sound icon and click Open Volume Mixer.
- Now, make sure that Skyrim’s volume is at its full. Save changes and exit. Now alt-tab back into the game and see if the issue is resolved for good.
Solution 1: Checking Third-party Sound Mixing Applications
Another thing to check before we move on to more technical issues is checking whether any third-party applications are running in the background which might conflict with the system and hence cause several issues.
Here, we will navigate to the task manager and check whether any third-party applications are running in the background. These applications might not be visible directly in the task manager hence you should check your Desktop tray. If you find any such application, right-click on it and select Exit. Some applications include Sonic Studio, ‘Nahimic’ etc. Also, keep a lookout for NVIDIA’s GeForce Experience application and make sure that sound levels are up there as well.
- Press Windows + R, type “taskmgr” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once in the task manager, search for any ongoing third-party sound applications which are running. If you find any, right-click on them and select End Task.
- After making sure there are no third-party applications, launch Skyrim and check if the issue is resolved for good.
Solution 2: Verifying Game and Cache Files
If there are no third-party applications and the sound settings are correct as well, it might be the case where the very game-files of Skyrim are corrupt or have some modules missing. When this occurs, the game will not play at all or show bizarre issues including the one under discussion.
In this solution, we will navigate to the game’s properties and then use an in-built tool to verify the integrity of game files and see if it makes any difference in our case. Log in using an administrator when performing this task as well.
- Launch Steam and click on the Library button present on the top tab.
- Now, locate Skyrim on the left navigation pane. Right-click on it and select Properties.
- Once in the game’s properties, click on the Local Files tab and select Verify integrity of game files.
- Let the process complete. After it is done, restart your computer completely and check if the issue is resolved for good.
Solution 3: Installing DirectX
If none of the above methods work, we will try going downwards into the error components and make sure that all the modules are running properly. We will start with the DirectX API. DirectX’s function is to provide the game with different libraries which it uses in its mechanics to run the game. If DirectX is missing from your computer or is not installed properly, you will experience numerous problems.
People usually assume that DirectX is only related to video but it is not. It also has contributions to the sound of the game. Here in this solution, we will navigate to Microsoft’s official website and download the latest version of DirectX.
- Launch your Browser. Now, navigate to Microsoft’s DirectX Website and download the installer from there to an accessible location.
- Now, launch the executable and install DirectX on your computer as an administrator.
- Restart your computer after the installation is done and check if the sound is back on Skyrim.
Solution 4: Removing Corrupt Saved Files
As mentioned before, Skyrim has a feature where you can load your game data from a saved file that you created to save your progress. If the saved file is somehow corrupt or incomplete, the game will not load properly and you will experience the sound issue.
Here, you can try launching a new game and then check whether the sound issue persists. If it doesn’t, it will solidify the fact that you had a corrupt saved file and you can discard it. Corrupt saved files are usually made when the saving process is interrupted by shutting down the computer or the game and is a very common scenario.
Solution 5: Checking Installed Mods
Mods are very popular in Skyrim where users can change their interface completely and add cool new features that aren’t usually available inside the game. However, since these mods are created by third-party developers, there are a lot of instances where they are either corrupt or have incomplete files. Hence, you should disable these mods and see if this makes any difference in your case.
If you are not using any type of mods, make sure that your game is fully updated with the latest build. After disabling all the mods, restart your computer and see if the Sound issue goes away.
Solution 6: Reinstalling Audio Drivers
If none of the above methods work and you are still unable to hear any sound on Skyrim, we will shift our attention towards the reinstallation of Audio drivers on your computer. Audio drivers are the main components that transmit information between the low-level audio hardware and your OS.
If your very audio drivers are somehow corrupt or incomplete, you will experience numerous problems with the game audio. If the drivers are indeed at fault, you might have issues hearing sound in other modules in the computer as well.
First, we will simply try Disabling and Enabling audio drivers. If this doesn’t work, we will try to install the default drivers. If the default drivers don’t work as well, we will update the drivers to the latest build and see if this fixes the problem.
- Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once in the device manager, expand the category of Audio inputs and outputs, right-click on your sound device and select Disable Device.
- Now, wait for a few seconds before Enabling the device again. Now check if the issue gets resolved.
If simply enabling/disabling the sound device doesn’t work, we will move on and install the default sound drivers.
- Right-click on the sound hardware and select Uninstall device.
- Now right-click anywhere on the screen and select Scan for hardware changes. The computer will not scan for any hardware not installed and will find the sound module. It will automatically install the default drivers.
Now check if you can hear Skyrim’s sound properly. If you still cannot, right-click on the sound hardware and select Update driver. You can then prompt for an automatic update. You can also navigate to your manufacturer’s website and download the latest sound drivers and install them accordingly in your computer.
Solution 8: Power Cycling
Power cycling is an act where you completely turn off your computer and also remove the static power. This in turn completely removes all the temporary configurations or settings from your computer. If you have any corrupt configurations or bad settings, there are chances that the game doesn’t run properly or gives random issues like the one under discussion. Follow the steps listed below to power cycle your device.
- Take out the main power cable of the router and your computer (after shutting it down) from the socket. Now, press and hold the power button for around 4-6 seconds.
- Now, wait for around 3-5 minutes to make sure all the power has been drained completely.
- After the time has elapsed, re-plug everything back and then wait a few minutes so the network is broadcasting again properly and your computer starts up.
- Now check whether the issue is solved and you can hear sound in Skyrim.
Bonus: Fixing Skyrim in Linux
As a bonus to our readers, we will be showing you how to fix Skyrim not outputting any sound while playing in Linux. Users can easily play the game using Steam Works in Linux just like any other operating system. However, playing in Linux isn’t without its complications. Here is the workaround:
- Launch Steam and Enable Steam Beta Restart Steam and if anything downloads, let it and restart again.
- Now, navigate to Settings > Steam Play and Enable Steam Play for every game you have.
- Now, go to the marketplace and install Skyrim through Steam.
- Press Windows + T to launch the terminal and use the following command to install winetricks:
apt install winetricks
- Now, find the following directory and make sure that it has a pfx directory with a .cd present inside it.
- Now, execute the following commands in order:
WINEPREFIX=$PWD/pfx winetricks --force xact WINEPREFIX=$PWD/pfx winecfg
- Now, in the Libraries tab, create overrides for the following and set both to native:
- Restart your computer and check if the sound works again.