Fans of the Elder Scrolls rejoice. Thanks to Daggerfall Unity, players can now experience the epic fantasy game Daggerfall, which released in 1996, in the modern era of gaming. Daggerfall Unity is a port of the original Daggerfall to the Unity engine which helps the game run better than ever. It’s quite an undertaking, considering the second title in the Elder Scrolls series is a whopping 62,0000-square mile colossal adventure that set a precedent for many RPGs to follow and preceded Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim.
Daggerfall is a massive open-world action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Softworks that allows players to traverse the Illiac Bay of Tamriel—the provinces of Hammerfell and High Rock. The game features over 15,000 towns and settlements, and each guild, faction, and religion offers countless hours of repayable content. With plenty of political intrigue, rival factions, nuanced story, the spirit of a vengeful king, and an army of Necromancers, the player has their work cut out for them. Listing the features of the original game would entail writing an entire novel because there’s so much to do with endless possibilities and various character builds to keep the game fresh.
Daggerfall Unity makes playing Daggerfall an entirely new experience and allows players to enjoy the game in all its glory—with plenty of added features and tweaks to enhance absolutely everything.
Being over 20 years old, Daggerfall is a bit of a chore to run for the modern gamer, but Daggerfall Unity fixes thousands of bugs, slashes loading times in half, and boasts widescreen support and high-resolution textures. There are tons of other perks for gamers to enjoy, like improved enemy behavior, better combat, and support for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Right from the start, it offers customizable options to activate, such as swopping the health and stamina bar colors (in the original game, the health bar is green and the stamina bar is red) and giving the player an option of whether they want to spawn in the regular starting dungeon or outside in the world.
Be warned, however—the game is still difficult, and it might take players who’ve only experienced the joys of Oblivion and Skyrim a bit of time to adjust. Once you get the hang of it, Daggerfall Unity is addictive to play. The game also offers mod integration, so all you have to do once you have both versions of Daggerfall is download mods from the Nexus, most of which require you to extract the files into Daggerfall Unity‘s data folder.
Note: I took these screenshots with different mods installed, so depending on what mods you have, your game may look a little different.
Developer Gavin “Interkarma” Clayton has been working on Daggerfall Unity since 2014, but he’s created Daggerfall-related content and experimented with the game since the early 2000s when he played around with files and rendered them in a 3D engine he was working on. It’s inspiring to see how a person’s initial curiosities lead them through such an expansive journey, and the end product is essential for any Elder Scrolls fans. It’s also inspiring what Clayton’s accomplished on top of leaving his job and starting his own IT company and handling everything life tends to throw our way.
This information is located on the Daggerfall Unity website. The story of Daggerfall Unity’s creation is worth the read and fascinating.
Clayton’s love of and passion for the game shines through in the sheer amount of time and attention to detail he put into the project. Furthermore, he and his contributors want everyone to experience and enjoy the game—which is free to download— that was born from a place of love. On the Daggerfall Unity website, he writes:
Daggerfall Unity is made by the Daggerfall community out of love and love alone. This project has never been and will never be monetised. This site has no advertisements and no donation button. I didn’t create a Patreon for the whole of Daggerfall Unity’s development. Every time someone offered to contribute money to me or the project, I politely refused. At every turn, I tried to send a clear message this project is not about making money from Bethesda’s intellectual property. Even the name Daggerfall Unity is more a play on words – it references the engine used but is really a testament to the open development process. Daggerfall Community Edition would have been just as good a name.
Note: For Daggerfall Unity to work, you need to own a copy of Daggerfall. The original game is free, and you can download it from the Bethesda website. I included a link to the original copy in the links section of this article.
From the moment the game begins, an appreciation for Clayton’s work sets in. I’ve sunk several hours into the game and it runs near perfectly. The environments look fantastic, the text is crisp and easy to read, and overall, I have a sense of joy and wonderment at the sheer scope of the project and the abilities of fans who create such a thing from love and hard work. Everything in the game feels new and exciting but still invokes the feelings of engaging in a classic fantasy adventure, and it doesn’t betray or deviate from the original game. Daggerfall Unity not only provides an escape, but it elevates my appreciation for the Elder Scrolls series as a whole.
Give the game a try! Just remember: SAVE EVERY TWO MINUTES, if not more. Trust me.
If you need assistance installing Daggerfall and Daggerfall Unity, check out the video guide down below. You’ll also find links for the download of the original game, as well as a link to the Daggerfall Unity website. I’ll post some tips and tricks for new players and my favorite mods that complement the game, so stay tuned for those.
Links to Download
Note: You can also find these on the Daggerfall Unity website:
Daggerfall original game download: DaggerfallGameFiles.zip
Daggerfall Unity Windows 64 Installation: Device Detection (unity3d.com)
Daggerfall Unity Windows 32 Installation: Device Detection (unity3d.com)
Daggerfall Unity Linux 64 Installer: Device Detection (unity3d.com)
Mac Installer: Device Detection (unity3d.com)
Daggerfall Unity Additional Mods: Daggerfall Unity Nexus
Installing Daggerfall Unity
Here are some video guides that will help you install the game. I followed each guide step-by-step, and it didn’t take much time at all, just some coffee and some patience. The video also highlights how to install mods like Airships, D.R.E.A.M, Real Grass, and others that enhance the game.
Please ‘like’ his video because YouTuberTheMisterMonte saved me loads of time and stress with their installation guides. Don’t forget to check out Daggerfall Unity‘s website which has all the information you need.
If you want to see more Daggerfall Unity content as well as all things Elder Scrolls and pop culture, check out my website.