The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the long waited sequel of The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. Just like its predecessor, the game features impressive graphics, so you may wonder whether it's going to run on Intel HD Graphics. Well, wonder no more, as I can confirm that the game runs fine as long as you play on a reasonable resolution and settings. Read on to find out which settings will let you enjoy a smooth Skyrim gameplay on Intel HD Graphics.
The screenshot below shows the settings I have found to provide smooth gameplay in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on my Intel HD Graphics 3000 equipped laptop (Intel Core i3 2310m CPU), i.e. the game is perfectly playable on the medium settings preset (simply click the Medium button) at 1280x720 resolution.
The medium preset puts textures on high, which makes the game look really good, but the compromise is that all other settings are put to low and all effects are turned off. Nevertheless, this is the way to go if your computer is with integrated graphics card as this will give you both nice image quality and high enough frame rate (more than 30 FPS most of the time).
If your laptop is equipped with a newer version of Intel HD Graphics, for example Intel HD Graphics 4000, Intel HD Graphics 4600, etc. or you are on a desktop with Intel HD Graphics 3000 or newer, then you can try to further increase the details and/or the resolution. However, if your computer is equipped with an older or weaker version of Intel HD Graphics like 2000, 2500 or the Intel HD Graphics in Celeron and Pentium processors, you may need to lower some of the proposed in this article settings in order to enjoy smooth gameplay.
If you are on a laptop, no matter which settings you choose to play on, don't forget to monitor the temperatures of your CPU at least for a few game sessions each time you increase the settings, because higher settings will stress your laptop's hardware more, which will result in more heat. Temperatures above 80°C indicate that your computer is having a hard time running Skyrim on the current settings, so you should lower one or more of the settings and/or the resolution to ensure your laptop won't overheat and turn off to prevent further damage.
I hope this article helped you enjoy a lag free gameplay of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Let me know if these settings work well for you, too or if you have found that other ones suit you better.