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How to play ‘Skyrim’ with Alexa: A quick guide to our favorite new skill

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During a keynote presentation at E3 in Los Angeles, Bethesda Softworks showed off Skyrim: Very Special Edition, a new spinoff version of their massively successful game The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. The video game developers have been porting it to various home consoles since 2011, but it was a little surprising in that the new version is audio-based with voice commands for the Amazon Echo. It’s also available for any Alexa-enabled devices for iOS and Android via the Amazon shopping app.

While most people thought the game trailer was a joke or some sort of stunt — namely because it stars the hilarious Keegan-Michael Key — it turns out its very real and we’re kind of obsessed with it. Here’s a step-by-step how to on playing Skyrim: Very Special Edition with Amazon Alexa.

First you need to enable the game on your Amazon Echo. Simply login to your Amazon account and enable the skill from this page.

2. Ask Alexa to open Skyrim

Simply say, “Alexa, open Skyrim.” If you don’t have an Amazon Echo, you can still play it through the Amazon shopping app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Once installed, look for the Alexa icon (on iOS it’s on the upper-right hand corner of the app, while it’s at the near bottom of the screen on Android), tap it and say “Alexa, Play Skyrim” to begin your quest.

3. Listen to Alexa

Skyrim: Very Special Edition is similar to Zork, a text-based role playing computer game from the late 1970s and early 80s. It’s also like reading a choose-your-own-adventure story where the action stops and a few story choices appear that give you options on the direction of the outcome. 

The game begins with a few stats on your player level. Alexa will then give you a short scenario with two or three options for you to start the adventure, such as you’re standing at a crossroad, and then asks if you want to explore a fortified town or a foggy dock. It may also ask if you want to go to an isolated shack or an ancient stone to begin. Your response will guide the story to its next scenario. If you exit the game, it will resume where you left the quest.

4. Make good choices

During the game, you might encounter friends who might need your help, battle enemies who want to hurt you, come across supplies and gear you need throughout the story, as you explore dungeons, become a master of your weapon, and cast spells and use shouts. You can also level up your skills, if you successfully use them. 

5. Go to battle

If you choose to battle, you’ll have options for casting spells, using your weapons, use a shout, or simply flee — which Alexa will even quip “you scamper off with your tail between your legs, no need to mention this to anyone.” 

6. Check your health

The voice assistant will tell you the outcome of each decision, once you select it. Moreover, Alexa will also tell you how much damage you’re taking or how much you’re hurting your enemies during battles. Just ask “what’s my health?” at any point.

Skyrim: Very Special Edition is a single player game that can go as in-depth as you take it. Maybe you just want to explore the world and its people or you just want to get in as many battles as you can. And like most role playing games, the adventure is up to you.

7. Tell all your friends.

Learn more about Skyrim for Alexa and download the skill here.

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