What Gaming Engine Does Bethesda Use in 2023? – Magic Behind Their Best Titles

What Game Engine Does Bethesda Use

Whenever development for a new game title starts, the development studio has to decide which gaming engine to use. Bethesda is a well-known game developer, which created games such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Fallout 3. But, what engine do they use to create their games?

Bethesda uses The Creation Engine, based on the previous Gamebryo engine, created in 1997. The Creation Engine was used to create their latest titles, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76. Because Microsoft bought Bethesda, Todd Howard stated that the engine will receive a large overhaul.

Here is a list of all games developed by Bethesda and which game engine they use:

The Creation Engine: Gamebryo:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Fallout 3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Fallout 4
Fallout 4 VR
Fallout 76

In addition to the game engine, there is also a modding tool for Creation Engine games, called the Creation Kit. The Creation Kit takes advantage of the Creation Engine’s modular nature and allows modders to create worlds, races, NPCs, weapons, updated textures, and even bug fixes.

These custom mods created by the community are hosted on Steam Workshop, Nexus Mods, Bethesda.net, and many other sites. In April 2016, an updated version for Fallout 4 was released.

The Creation Kit is an enhanced version of Bethesda’s editor developed for Gamebryo, generally known as The Elder Scrolls Construction Set for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

For Fallout 3, it was called The Garden of Eden Creation Kit, referencing an in-game item of the same name.

Exploring the various time periods and settings that games developed on the Bethesda engine allow, you may be interested in our comprehensive guide on top-notch games set in the Middle age era, filled with castles, knights, and epic quests, which can be found here.

Why Does Bethesda Use The Same Engine?

A game engine is the base of how physics, lighting, character generation, AI, and many other things work. There are many good engines out there, such as Unity, Unreal Engine, GameMaker, or CryEngine. So, why does Bethesda still use the same engine?

Bethesda still uses the same engine because they upgraded it to their needs. Switching to a different engine like Unity or CryEngine could break existing games, cost a lot of money, and requires lots of programming.

Because switching to a different game engine would be expensive and requires a massive amount of work, game developers rather upgrade their existing engine, as they have access to the source code.

If Bethesda would use an engine like CryEngine, which every developer could use (no matter which size), they would not have access to the game engine’s source codes.

Depending on the engine developers, they could pay a fee to access the source code, but this would cost a lot of money.

Will Bethesda use a new engine?

Creating an engine requires a lot of work, money, and dedication. Bethesda’s current engine, The Creation Engine, received many updates, but with new technologies for game development, is it possible that the studio will use a new engine?

Bethesda may create a new engine for their new titles, but The Creation Engine will receive a large overhaul because Microsoft bought Bethesda Game Studios. The updated engine will then be used to power Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls 6. Thus, it is unlikely that Bethesda will create a new engine over the next few years.

Note: After the release of Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, it is much more likely that Bethesda will upgrade the Creation Engine once more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Gaming Engine Does Bethesda Use

1. What distinguishes the Creation Engine from other game engines?


While other engines, like Unity or Unreal, offer robust capabilities, the Creation Engine has been continuously updated to meet the unique requirements of Bethesda’s games. This customization, including specific enhancements in areas like AI, physics, and lighting, gives Bethesda more control and flexibility over its game development.

2. How has the acquisition by Microsoft impacted Bethesda’s game engine?

The acquisition has ushered in a new era for the Creation Engine. It is set for a major overhaul, which is expected to significantly boost its capacities and features. This will power the development of upcoming games, like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.

3. How does Bethesda’s use of its own engine influence its game development process?

Bethesda’s use of its custom engine facilitates a more streamlined development process. As they have complete control over the engine’s source code, they can adjust and adapt it according to their specific needs. This can significantly save time and resources.

4. How does the community contribute to Bethesda’s games through the use of the Creation Kit?

Bethesda has a large, dedicated modding community. These talented individuals use the Creation Kit to create everything from small tweaks to massive overhauls, breathing new life into Bethesda’s games long after their release. They’re a big part of what keeps Bethesda’s games fresh and engaging for years on end.

Remember, while game engines may seem like mystical tools, they’re simply platforms for creativity. And with Bethesda’s Creation Engine, the possibilities for immersion and innovation in the world of gaming are endless.