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How to play Skyrim for Alexa on your iPhone or Android device

You don’t need to own an Amazon-branded smart device to make it work

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Watch Brian Gilbert and Tara Long play Skyrim for Alexa on an iPhone
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Tonight during its pre-E3 press conference Bethesda showed off a very special port of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Called Skyrim: Very Special Edition, it’s an audio version that can be played on any Amazon Alexa smart device.

Initially, everyone thought it was just an elaborate goof featuring a cameo by Keegan-Michael Key. But it’s actually a real app, referred to as an Alexa “skill,” that you can activate and play right now — on Amazon Echo or the Amazon (shopping) app.

The Amazon Echo is the flagship Alexa-enabled smart device; it runs for around $100. The Dot is its smaller cousin, which retails for $49.99. There’s also a new children’s version. But all of these devices are merely the endpoints for the intelligent, cloud-based digital assistant. As it turns out, you don’t actually need an Amazon smart device to play. You can use virtually any iOS or Android device, so long as you have the Amazon app installed.

Here’s how to get started.

  1. Download and install the Amazon shopping app for your iOS device or the Amazon Alexa app for your Android device.
  2. Tap the circular Alexa icon. For the Alexa app on Android, it’s located on the bottom of the screen. For the shopping app on iOS, you’ll find it in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, to the right of the search line and the camera icon, directly below the shopping cart.
Amazon Shopping app on iOS - search bar
The search bar in the Amazon shopping app on iOS. the Alexa icon is the circle to the right, next to the camera and below the shopping cart.
Amazon

3. Say, “Alexa, open Skyrim.”

That’s it. You’re off the the races in a Zork-like adventure through the land of the Nords.

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