There was always a slight flaw with the Elder Scrolls series since the days of Oblivion. People would locate their very first horse – very rarely through the conventional means of paying gold for their steed, but I digress – and begin trotting around the expansive plains looking for adventure. While galloping down the paths, they’d catch sight of a deer by the side of the road, and the thought of “Man. I wish I could peg that while going at full speed with my bow and arrow. That’d be badass” came to mind. Until now, this was just a ‘shrug-and-move-on’ affair; Bethesda has confirmed that your very own Dovahkiin will be able to swing their sword from their steed, making horses just that little bit more useful.

“Have at you, deer!”

This update is detailed on their blog, giving details on the mounted combat plus a plethora of bug-fixes for the game. As well as being able to perform ranged and melee attacks from your horse, the update also includes stability and memory optimizations, some AI tweaks, and other tweaks to things such as lighting and rare savegame corruptions.

The good part about this update is that it’s totally, 100% free; the best part about this update is that, while it hasn’t actually been officially released yet, Steam users can still give the beta a spin by performing the following, as mentioned on the blog:

  1. Log into Steam
  2. Click on Steam in the upper menu
  3. Select Settings
  4. Under the Account tab, go to the Beta Participation section and select Change.
  5. A drop down menu will appear. Select Skyrim Beta.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Steam will now restart. After Steam restarts, Skyrim will be updated to the Beta version currently available.

As all betas go, prepare for nasty game-breaking bugs, including deletion or corruption of save games. You have been warned!