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3 Reasons Why Your Character is Walking Slow in Skyrim

3 Reasons Why Your Character is Walking Slow in Skyrim

Traveling through the outskirts of Skuldafn can feel extremely perilous. However, it is nothing compared to the tension you get when your character starts walking slow for no visible reason. Finding new bugs and errors in such an old game is unlikely. But, there has to be a culprit, right?

Now you could make an informed guess by searching for any visible status ailments that might lie dormant on your character or you can choose to ignore everything and hope for the best. Regardless of the path you take, getting rid of these annoying slows becomes a necessity.

Different player and environment-driven actions can have unique effects on the Movement Stat. For example, sprinting can cause you to move faster while crouching can slow you down. Similarly, your abilities can also influence how fast you go. 

Confused? You don’t need to worry since the Movement Speed mechanic implemented in Skyrim is pretty straightforward to understand. 

Movement Speed System in Skyrim

The Movement Speed is a gameplay mechanic present in virtually every ARPG title. It’s a system metric that dictates how fast a player or an object can move. Higher movement speeds can often account for easier dodging, faster travel, and effective exploration.

However, the stat is relatively sensitive to certain actions and can increase or decrease depending on what you do. Needless to say, there are methods that can help you get back to your base movement speeds.  

With that said, stopping your movement speed from decreasing takes more priority than increasing it. This is because having an unreliable primary action can confuse important events. You could fail to dodge a boss’ lethal attacks while being unable to calculate its weapon trajectories in time. 

Factors that Decrease Movement Speed

As mentioned, certain interactions and abilities can cause a temporary reduction in movement speeds. While most of these are fairly easy to identify and cure, others require in-depth knowledge of the game. With that said, here are the main factors that decrease movement speeds in Skyrim:

Player Initiated Actions

Certain actions will have an effect on your overall movement speed. For example, horse riding will be inevitably faster than walking barefoot. Therefore, when you switch from horse rigging to walking, you’re essentially experiencing a reduction in movement speed. 

With that said, here are the official values for player based actions available in Skyrim:

Movement typeForward SpeedBackward Speed
WalkingSwim “walking”803.8723.3
RunningSwim “running”Bow drawn running with Ranger perkBlock running with Block Runner perk37017.32059.6
Walking while sneaking472.2432.0
Running while sneaking22210.41507.0
Walking with a drawn bow1205.6653.0
Running with a drawn bow1356.3984.6
Walking on a horse1255.91085.1
Running on a horse45021.11085.1
Sprinting on a horse60028.1
Swimming on a horse2109.8

Source: The Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages

In-Game Bugs

There are certain bugs that trap you in infinite slow walks. You don’t need to have a certain status condition to be walking slow. However, this can be fixed by implementing a few community-known fixes. You can find them below:

  • Try Sitting Somewhere: Sitting is often considered a good way of refreshing the in-game script. However, there are times when it works and there are times when it doesn’t, but trying it costs nothing. 
  • Open and Close The Overlay: Another good way of refreshing is by pressing shift-tab to open the Steam overlay. After that, simply press caps lock and close the overlay. 
  • Talk to NPCs: Talking to NPCs while holding alt-shift has worked out for a few players. Therefore, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. 
  • Kill Yourself (In-game): If the mentioned options don’t work then you can try killing yourself by typing /stuck in the command line. Doing so will instantly kill your character while causing slight damage to your equipped gear and equipment.
    This can get rid of the bug most of the time but the cost associated is not light. Therefore, only perform this if no other method is working out for you. 


Enemies can cast specific magic spells that can slow your character down. However, the effect is generally short-lasting and can wear off within a few seconds. There is not much to do here other than killing the chumps attacking you. 

Related: 7 Ways That Elden Ring is Like Skyrim

Doing so will not instantly remove the debuff but might be enough to satiate your anger.

Can You Change Your Base Walking Speed in Skyrim?

Unfortunately, there are no .ini tweaks that could let you change the values. You might be able to find something useful if you fiddle with 22.7 GB worth of files. However, the chance is extremely slim. 

The game still gives you the option to switch between walking and running by using CAPS LOCK, but it can still feel a bit slow. There are times when the CAPS LOCK functionality will activate on its own and the only way to go about fixing it is by doing random chores in hoping it will reset your movements. 

If you are a PC player then it might be possible to change your movement speed using the in-game console. Simply enter – setav SpeedMult {new speed value] and change the new speed value in terms of percentage. 

For example, setav SpeedMult 120 will cause your base movement speed to increase by 20%.

All in all, Skyrim is an old title, therefore it comes with its limitations. While there are certain workarounds for such bugs, there is not much to do if your game refuses to respond.

Therefore, it is recommended to save your game wherever possible, It will not only keep your progress save, but will also provide you with a safe point if anything goes wrong during gameplay.