How Do You Change to the Third-person View in Skyrim? (PC, Xbox, PS, and Switch)

Skyrim third person perspective

Skyrim is one of those games that gives you the ultimate freedom to explore the world and truly feel like you are a part of it. When experiencing in-game worlds perspective is everything, so today we have a special guide prepared for you. If you don’t feel like playing as a floating pair of hands, or you merely want to look at your modded armor more, you must be wondering how do you switch to a third-person view in Skyrim?

On PC you switch to a third-person view by pressing F or scrolling your mouse wheel. On PS you switch by pressing the R3 button. On Xbox, you need to click the right stick. And on Switch, you can change the view by pressing the right stick.

Now that you have the controls you’re probably wondering is there more to it. Yes, Mods. I have some perspective-improving tips up my sleeve, so keep reading!

Problems with the third-person view in Skyrim

I’ve never liked the third-person view in Elder scrolls games. That somewhat improved with Skyrim. But I was still using first-person perspective like 90 % of the time. It was simply a matter of immersion for me. I don’t like to feel detached from my character. And it’s definitely a superior perspective when it comes to aiming with ranged weapons and exploring the environment.

The Third-person view is mostly reserved for showing off my armor and taking screenshots. I also like to shift to it sometimes when I’m not expecting any combat so I can look at the character that I’ve spent like an hour creating. It’s a matter of choice and your personal preferences, but there are still objectively some problems with the third-person view.

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It sometimes feels like your character is in the way of everything and the camera feels a bit too far. Response time between your actions and when the character actually does them sometimes feels sluggish.

Some players had the opposite problem, the camera was too close. If you’re unable to zoom out of your character, it’s definitely a bug.

Sometimes the whole concept of the third-person view in Skyrim feels unfinished. Luckily we have mods. So, what’s the best mod for the third-person view in Skyrim?

True Directional Movement – Modernized Third Person Gameplay

It’s really the best mod around. As the author stated, at its inception this mod was supposed to be just a plug-in for SKSE. What he ended up with was an attempt to bring the third-person view to the level of more current and polished games. And he succeeded. This mod has tons of features, I’m going to mention just my favorite ones, so I don’t get too technical.

This mod implements a target lock. As soon as you engage the enemy you will face it. You can shift between multiple targets, and the best part is, that you will have the most natural view since the mod does not force your target to be in the middle of the screen constantly. It feels more natural than that.

Target lock in True Directional Movement

The other feature I love is more intelligent headtracking. It’s absurd how many times I’ve focused on a specific NPC and yet my character starts tracking a random passing NPC. The sudden, slightly unnatural turning of your character’s neck makes matters worse. There are loads of head-tracking mods out there, but it’s implemented in this one too.

One other small but important and clever feature is the ability to rotate your camera fully while mounted. And while we’re at it, this mod improves mounted ranged combat too.

True Directional Movement is compatible with other popular gameplay-altering mods like SmoothCam and Combat Gameplay Overhaul. There are a few requirements you need to check before installing it, but if you’re familiar with Skyrim modding you’re probably using SKSE and SkyUI already.

Sadly, this mod is reserved for Skyrim Special Edition only. This means if you have any other version, it won’t work. Luckily I have an alternative for you.

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If you don’t have Skyrim SE you can always use 3PCO -3rd Person Camera Overhaul mod. It has far fewer features than True Directional Movement, but it’s still a neat mod to try out. Like the previously mentioned mod, 3PCO too attempted to modernize the third-person perspective. It managed to do that by placing the focus of the camera on the player, but it changes its position based on whether the player is moving left or right. You can read the more fancy and technical explanation on the mod’s main page.

And there you have it. Now you know far more about Skyrim’s third-person view than you’ve ever dreamed of knowing. If you’re a first-person player like me, I truly recommend True Directional Movement, it makes perspective less buggy and unintuitive.