Creation Engine

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Creation Engine
Screenshot from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: player character using magic fire against giant spiders.
Screenshot from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: player character using magic fire against giant spiders.
Developer(s) Bethesda Game Studios
Initial release November 2011; 6 years ago (2011-11)
Development status Active
Written in C++
Platform Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Type Game engine
License Proprietary

The Creation Engine is a 3D video game engine created by Bethesda Game Studios based on the Gamebryo engine. The Creation Engine has been used to create role-playing video games, like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4.


The Creation Engine is an in-house engine created by Bethesda Game Studios (XnGine being the previous in-house engine by Bethesda). After using Gamebryo to create The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and Fallout 3, Bethesda decided that Gamebryo's graphics were becoming too outdated and began work on Creation Engine for their next game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, by forking the Gamebryo codebase used for Fallout 3. None of the improvements in the Fallout: New Vegas engine were carried over to the Creation Engine, due to a different company (Obsidian Entertainment) developing that game.

Following the completion of Skyrim, Bethesda set out to enhance the graphical core of the Creation engine by first adding a physically based deferred renderer to allow for more dynamic lighting and to paint materials object surfaces with realistic materials. Bethesda worked with technology company Nvidia to implement volumetric lighting through a technique that makes use of hardware tesselation.[1] The updated version of the Creation Engine powering Bethesda's Fallout 4, offers more advanced character generation.[2]


  • Havok Behavior is a flexible animation tool that allows the developers to blend animations together in a few clicks. This means that animations like walking and running can be blended together seamlessly to make the animations look much more realistic. This important addition enabled Bethesda to improve character animations in their games.[3]
  • An upgraded version of Radiant AI allows non-player characters (NPCs) to dynamically react and interact with the world around them. The player can observe an NPC eat breakfast, go to work, go to the pub, and then go to sleep. The improved AI allows NPCs to react to the player's actions and they can become friendly or hostile to the player because of their actions.[3]
  • Radiant Story allows for NPC's to dynamically create new quests for the player in unexplored places.[3]
  • In previous games, Bethesda licensed Speed Tree for trees and foliage, but when making Skyrim with Creation Engine, the Bethesda team made their own foliage rendering system. The new system is capable of rendering larger amounts of foliage at one time and allows for more freedom with animations.[3]

Creation Kit

The Creation Kit is a modding tool for Creation Engine games. The Creation Kit takes advantage of the Creation Engine's modular nature. It was created by Bethesda Game Studios for the modding community of The Elder Scrolls series.[4] The tool can be used to create worlds, races, NPCs, weapons, update textures, and fix bugs. Mods created using this tool are hosted on the Steam Workshop, Nexus Mods, and various other sites.

A Fallout 4 compatible Creation Kit was released in April 2016.[5]

Games using Creation Engine


  1. ^ "The Graphics Technology of Fallout 4". Bethesda Softworks. November 4, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Chapple, Craig (June 15, 2015). "E3 2015: Fallout 4 running on next-gen version of Creation Engine". Develop. NewBay Media. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Bertz, Matt (January 17, 2011). "The Technology Behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved October 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Creation Kit Preview". February 1, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Fallout 4 Creation Kit and mod support are now available". PC Gamer. April 26, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2017. 
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