Today, [ALL] the modding guides received massive updates. Skyrim LE/SE, Witcher 3, Oblivion, FNV and DOS2 - each has lots of usability improvements and new mods to pick from. It's the biggest update as for today.
My mods were also updated, and now are being hosted on a single page for your convenience.
Read the changelog of every guide itself to see the more detailed description of "what's new". It's also briefly presented in this video on the YT channel.
This is a one-time popup - close it and it won't appear again. Good luck on the path!
This guide is a brother of my Skyrim LE graphics and gameplay guides, in a single one - and a result of many months of modding Skyrim SE. My goal is a complete guide to save other people time that they can have a complete base list of mods for ultrarealistic graphics and challenging, nextgen gameplay, knowing how much these mods will affect on performance and in what order they should install the mods, which are compatible and which are not, etc. Skyrim have thousand of mods here at Nexus and there's very hard to check them all, but I spent some time and did this - from the 1st till the last page (I'm not joking hehe) of all the mods on Nexus and chosen almost everything you need to transform your game and also to have some variants of similar mods to choose from. List of 3600+ mods (but at the same time "quality about quantity", including different variants to choose from) to install to make your Skyrim graphics look nextgen and gameplay feel on absolutely next level - everything structurized properly so you can build both 50 and 1500 mod setups, depending on your goal. Installation order, performance notes, patches list and personal recommendations included.
This guide has both graphics and gameplay parts, two in one. For graphics mods installation, the [installation] order matters the most - so, for the best results, it's humbly recommended to follow the same order as mods are listed. For gameplay guide, installation order doesn't matter, but load order does, so read the mod pages/my own notes if preset carefully. Also you can check the videos at my YT channel to see how game can look when fully-modded. To make guide navigation easier, I placed guide sections into so called "spoilers" - when you see "Show" button - just click on it to expand corresponding group of mods. Click "Hide" again to close it :) Please also note that this guide is still designed for modern rigs - yet, guide also has section for low-end rigs, and many other advises here and there, as well as performance-hungry mods marked - so, you can build an ultimate setup for your own PC, no matter what it strength is.
But here comes another exciting part! Guide also has so called "modules" - a premade mod lists (don't confuse with mod packs please) for different tastes and goals - which you only need to mimic, without worrying about incompatibilities and other issues. Modules will fit perfectly to the people who don't have enough of free time to go through whole guide themselves.
Feel free to suggest any mod you want to see in this list or ask me any compatibility/stability questions I'm running Skyrim SE without any crashes and issues with about 1000 mods installed - and you can have even more and still have your game fully stable. That's not some kind of exaggeration - everything you need is to follow the guide attentively :)
Should you mod Skyrim SE or LE? Is there even a sense to mod LE over SE (or vice versa)?
You may be asking yourself "which game version should I mod, LE or SE" (I have a complete modding guide for LE separated into graphics and gameplay parts). Many players also see the answer a somewhat obvious, but it's not quite like that. You may want to understand the practical differences between them and which pros/cons each has:
- Stability. Generally, when modded properly and if the stability section of the guide is applied, both Skyrim SE and LE are fully stable - there are no memory related crashes (until you overload your game with ridiculously heavy setup just too heavy for your system ofc, and unlike the popular misconceptions, LE doesn't have memory-related issues as well since late 2016 due to combination of ENBoost and Crash Fixes memory allocation upgrades), engine related crashes are fixed more or less equally too. This said, SE is somewhat [less] stable in a long-time perspective and when being heavy-modded and (some SE versions of massive mods being ported hastily or not by mod authors themselves which results in more bugs compared to LE versions of the mods, more crash cases generally throughout a game world which appeared in SE and never existed in LE to begin with). This said, it doesn't mean SE will be crashing hard or something - but with medium-to-heavy modded game, you'll have sometimes have more headache with it. In return, SE requires a bit less stability mods (read - its stability section is shorter than LE one) and so, somewhat less time required for this part. But this is only about stability section itself - roughly said, if you can apply LE guide stability section in an hour, in SE you'll need 30 minutes. Yet, this is a a pretty neglectable difference as you'll most likely spend many more hours of joyful modding the game's graphics and gameplay parts. Tldr: Stability is almost the same for both SE and LE today - you can run a fully stable heavy-modded game without issues in both versions, with LE having a slight benefit in a long timespan.
- Graphics. SE has worse ENB graphics - the engine limitation towards ENB from DX11 on which SE runs (LE runs on DX9 that has much better ENB support) - which results in much less amount of ENB effects and so, directly worse graphics capabilities. Additionally, parallax (3D look imitation for objects) for SE is supported only for terrain, while LE has a complete parallax support for all objects in general. Here's a simple comparison of just some effects that SE ENB lacks, open imagine in fullsize. The difference is still really noticeable (and it's not guaranteed SE will ever catch up to LE in this matter). Tldr: If you're aimed on a graphics enhancement most of all, LE is definitely a better pick.
- Performance: due to reasons mentioned above, LE doesn't have any memory issues in general anymore. There's only one part where SE being 64 bit actually gives a noticeable FPS difference - cities. In LE, even if you generally have ~60fps everywhere, you will most likely still have lower FPS inside/near the cities, especially if you have mods expanding them. In SE this issue doesn't exist. Practically, this is a little difference, as you don't spend much time in cities and mostly only come there only to trade and take/finish quests. Tldr: With a rig which can run modern games without issues, you won't have performance troubles in both LE and SE, yet SE will have higher FPS inside/near the cities.
- Amount of mods SE is chronologically newer version of the game, so expectably, it has a more active modding stage as for today. LE modding stage is active as well - but SE receives more new mods in general. At the same time, considering that LE modding stage is active for 5 more years, it still provides more mods in general - this is usually not related to "prominent" mods, but when it comes to "devil in details" part, SE often lacks some nice mods here and there. The choice here lies personally for every player - it's better to inspect both SE/LE guides gameplay mods sections and see yourself which game provides more for the setup you want to have. Tldr: both versions have mods other version don't have, so choice here is personal. You can also port mods so both version can actually benefit from this difference - read below.
- Porting/backporting the mods: Most of the mods which are not tremendously complex, can be ported yourself without any issues both LE ==> SE and SE ==> LE sides. Model and texture mods can be ported via few clicks in CAO (further in the guide), most of plugins can be ported without issues as well, and animations can be ported too. Only SKSE-dependant mods are basically impossibly for a regular mod user to port, as SKSE code differs between LE/SE, so it requires and experienced person to do this (read - SKSE mods require mod author/other experienced person with a permission for the port). Tldr: with just a little practice, you can port almost all mods asides from really huge ones and SKSE plugins, yourself - so difference in mods arsenal for two game versions can actually only come in handy.
- Base game content: SE and LE are absolutely identical (yes, meaning content-wise, SE is just the same game re-released).
As you can see, the are actual reasons to mod exactly SE or LE, but as for today, it's rather a matter of a personal perspective depending on your modding goal. I'm supporting and updating guides for both versions (so technically, nothing stops you from modding both haha), so read, think and make choice yourself - and best of luck with modding :)
Do not re-upload this guide to other website and/or resources, do not claim it as own work and do not sell it. In the rest - feel free to translate into other languages (just message me in Discord first), I'd be glad if you'll link it to help other people and so on. I'm here to serve - the more people can have stable ultramodded game, the happier I will be :)
Complete list of graphics and gameplay mods for ultimate nextgen game, 3600+ mods in total. Landscapes, clutter, flora, weather & lighting, armors, clothing & weapons, towns & villages, body, face & skin mods, combat, magic & perks, creatures & factions, quests, new lands & dungeons, survival & utility - and much, much more. Not a single texture will remain ugly after you finish this, and all possible gameplay mechanics will be improved, as well as tons of new ones can be added, hell yeah!
Everything you need yet nothing excess. Not a huge mod list, filled with subjective choices, yet a roadmap showing you how to build your own dream setup. While, if you lack time - there are some mod lists prepared for you, in [addition] to guide itself.
Detailed installation order.
Comfortable and easy-to-navigate design.
Patches list for compatibility and my personal remarks for the best result.
List of all basic things/tools/tweaks you need to start modding and have stable game.
ENB installation guide + tweaks/fixes advice.
The biggest problem of heavy-modded games, script overload, didn't go anywhere in SE, unfortunately - game script engine, Papyrus, was not changed and having too many script-heavy mods may break even the most stable game. Worry not! Many script-heavy mods are marked with special mark in the guide, so you'll know in advance which mods you'll need to be careful with.
Merging the mods easier then ever before! Mods that can be easily merged in a few click - marked with a special sign - so you don't need to spend own time checking for many factors. Currently, more than 200 mods are marked already, meaning that's literally more than 200 mods you can merge straight away, and I will expand this gradually.
Separate section for low-end PC owners (which you can still use even if your PC is strong, to have FPS boost).
Pre-made mod lists for different tastes and goals, which you only need to mimic and don't worry about incompatibilities and other issues - in addition to the whole guide itself.
Constant updates and support :)
How to Support:
This project is completely free. Still, it takes insane amount of my time to build and expand it - the modding guides and other related modding content already took me over 5000 working hours in total. The more independent I will fee myself as an author - the less stress and more free time I'll have - and so, the faster new updates and modules will arrive, and new projects will appear as well. But support only if you really want it and able to:
Current guide version, changelog & future updates:
Version: 3.0 for Skyrim Special Edition, at September 2021.
- Over 700 new mods in total for you to pick
- Outdated mods or those not needed as better alternatives were added, were removed
- Furtherly improved navigation and sections look. Huge amount of mods that previously were grouped into a humongous chunks of lists, were sorted and divided into subsections, as well as new expandable subsections added for easier navigation and not that "scary" look of some of them. For instance, "The Rest" section in graphics part is now visually 70% shorter while having more mods in total, and you will see a noticeable difference when navigating in it. Same applies to other sections.
- Over 300 typos fixed with their presence in the guide now being zero to absolutely minimal. Huge thanks to Lossrec and Daralima (and everyone else from the community) for helping with the typos for SE guide <3
- Addition to low-end section (graphics part) for even more FPS gain
- New module, "Average Dovah", as well as adjustments/additions to existing modules (gameplay part)
- Modules updated with the mods added in the update where it made sense
- Lots of new merging marks, for both new and existing mods - around 380 in total now!
- Atm - fixes of typos and broken links, if present
- New modules
- More merging marks
- To report the issues with the guide (typos, broken links etc) - please drop a message in #suggestions_to_sinitar room in our Discord server.
An example of how your game can look like in simple before/after comparison:
Some of most beautiful graphics mods for Skyrim SE:
Q: What are the PC specs needed to run the same modded setup as you do, to have [best] possible graphics and gameplay? A: Not such NASA PC as you may think! Intel i5 6600k or AMD analogue, GTX 980Ti/1070 or AMD analogue, 16GB RAM - with similar specs you'll be be able to run absolutely monstrous setup with everything retextured, all needed lighting/weather/immersion mods, at ultra settings, with any ENB you want, 3D LODs and so on. Yes, this guide is made for ALL rigs - no matter if your PC strong, not that much or a complete potato - you can find recommendations, and build best possible modded game.
Q: So I should install ALL mods from this list? A: You technically can ofc, but that's not mandatory. This is a guide - it gives you an ability to compare and choose. Open mod pages, browse the images, read the description. Install what you like and don't install what you don't like :) Lastly, there are pre-made mod lists for you to mimic.
Q: I have the game in language other than English, is it a problem? A: The guide is made for original, i.e. English version of the game. Graphics mods will ofc work fine in most of cases, but as for the gameplay mods, there is no guarantee that they will work with non-English version of the game, or work at all. Moreover, many translations are often outdated which leads to various bugs and conflicts. If you want to be able to use Skyrim modding stage and this guide on its fullest, use English version of the game. I won't be able to give any troubleshooting support for non-English versions.
Q: I also want to install ENB, where's a tips for it? A: Sure! Whatever you want - it is here ;) Just read a bit further.
Q: I got infinite loading screen/my game crashes/I have FPS drops while having a modern rig. A: Please read "How to start" section carefully. Read it and install all the things needed before starting to install mods themselves.
Q: That doesn't help! A: Trust me, if you have read everything carefully and installed mods carefully, it will solve all your problems in 99% of cases. If not, feel free to join our Discord server and community members or I will try our best to help you :)
Q: Where are you from? A few words about you? A: Ukraine. Gamer, retarded slavic youtuber, One Piece & JJBA fan, gym addict. Web-developer in past, fitness trainer and nutritionist now (as hobby).
Q: Will you expand this guide and add this/that? A: Sure - I will update and improve it. Unstoppably :)
Q: Ok, guide just received massive update, but how can I see the little new additions? A: I add mods and fix text errors few times per week. All the mods freshly added to the guide will be marked with red-colored "==NEW==" sign.
Q: Wait, why the popular [mod_name] is not here? A: One of the main goals of the guide always was to keep your game stable. There are some absolutely great and popular mods, but the thing is popularity now always equal same great quality and stability. Some mods are not included simply because they have major or too many minor issues and not fitting concept of stable heavy-modded game. Nothing more besides that.
Q: Can you just upload your Skyrim folder with all your mods somewhere so I can just download it and not to choose and install mods one by one? A: Unfortunately, no. The reasons: Firstly - I can't do this as many mods from the list are Nexus-excslusive and mod authors didn't give a permission to re-upload their works somewhere. I respect their work. Secondly - everyone has absolutely different PC specs and different taste, and my setup can be absolutely unplayable for many people from both these aspects. Trust me - when you're making your mod setup by yourself the result will be way better because most of mods are absolutely matter of taste.
Q: But there are a lot of modpacks in internet! I saw them! Even Nexus itself should have modpacks soon!
A: Of course. Modpacks are easy to find and get, but it's also one of the main reason of myth about "heavy-modded fully stable Skyrim isn't possible" exists. For very same reasons, modpacks simply can't run the same good for everyone. In best case, modpacks is very, very subjectively made pick of mods, which will never fit your taste on 100% and almost always filled with arguable and outdated mods. In worst case, it will just break your game eventually. And if you're installing some list of mods via automated tool, even if all the mods are installed in correct order, you still will have to solve a lot of conflicts, merge mods, make bashed/merged patches, setup the MCMs and so on - and that's the point when you'll have no idea what to do, as this mod list was not made by you. From that point, you can either play the game as is, which will lead to glitchy gameplay and eventually a lot of wasted time, or you'll have to go to point zero and learn about all the mod in the modpack yourself, basically, doing what you had to to from the very beginning, but once again, wasting some time. Modpacks are like those ads in internet that are promising you 6-pack in 7 days without diet and training. There's no "magic button" in case of TES or FO games, and it's no matter who made it - random internet person or they are distributed by some popular authors or websites - it doesn't change anything in terms or aspects listed few lines above. Modpacks [can] work for other games with much smaller and simplier modding stages, yet for TES/FO games the only [real] ultimate game, in both graphics and gameplay terms, is the one you've built yourself <3
Q: That's all cool and everything, but I wanna stay tuned on updates and have modding chatting, something you can offer? A: Sure! Just join our Discord server - the biggest and most experienced Discord modding community.
Now, the first and most important rule. No exceptions:
Before you start reading, watch this short video:
Before you'll start modding. Disable Steam overlay, Afterburner overlay, add Skyrim to your antivirus/firewall "white list". Disable all possible overlays, "boosters", "tuners" programs you may be using in general. All of them can and most likely will screw up your modded game and/or it's many settings. Follow the guide slowly without a rush. If it's written here to limit your fps using enblocal fps limiter - do it, and don't use and third-party software for it, and so on. You got the idea. Also, never have Skyrim installed in Program Files. If you have it there - reinstall it on another drive, or at the same drive, but out of Program Files folder. Lastly, it's heavily recommended to disable game autoupdates in Steam.
1) Download and install mod manager.
Choose between Nexus Mod Manager (use the .exe file), Mod Organizer 2 or Kortex Mod Manager . All 3 of them are great mod managers, each with something own to benefit player. I personally use NMM. What's the difference? NMM is "simple yet effective". MO is a mod manager packed with tons of cool features, mod manager on steroids if we can say so. Kortex is something in between, more similar to MO, but has own pros and cons over it (look here for comparison). Almost all mods can (and should) be installed via mod manager. Do not install mods manually. The guide contains notices regarding some exceptional cases when you'll need to install some mod/part of mod manually, but for the 99.9% of cases - always use mod manager. You may also find these NMM tutorial, MO2 tutorial and Kortex info page useful. Extra note: If using MO2, make double, triple sure you have watched the tutorial linked and know how to use it properly before asking for troubleshooting support :)
IMPORTANT NOTE #1: Kortex mod manager was tested by myself for working properly - I liked it, just don't personally prefer it over MO2 or NMM. Also, it's not quite the most popluar mod manager, so it lacks usage tutorials, and you'll need to learn how to use/troubleshoot it yourself. Due to the same reason, I won't be able to provide Kortex troubleshooting support in Discord - but once again, it's a great mod manager and you should be absolutely feel free to try it. IMPORTANT NOTE #2: Nexus Mods team is currently developing new mod manager called Vortex. It's looking pretty fancy visually, but sadly, it's still very glitchy and pretty dysfunctional. I won't be able to provide any troubleshooting support if you're using it as it's not suitable for modding games like TES or FO. My advice atm is, if really want to, track it and test it by modding some other games with much simplier modding stages. Do not use Vortex to mod Skyrim. Once again, DO NOT USE VORTEX TO MOD SKYRIM. Yes, this note still applies for 2021. If it will be fine one day, I'll let you folks know.
2) Download and install SKSE. If you allready have it - great. If no - install it. It's obligatory.
SKSE is [essential]. Stability mods are also working through it, as well as vast majority of amazing gameplay mods. Consider it a basic invisible evolution element of Skyrim.
Download the SE version as marked here. Download the archive somewhere, unpack it. From the folder, get the .dll, .exe files and \Data folder, and place them to your Skyrim SE folder, as showed here. MO users should archive the \Data folder and install it as any other mod trough MO (you can do the same in NMM as well if you wanna). From now on, launch your game only via SKSE (skse64_loader.exe), not the game regular launcher.
3) Download and install SkyUI.
As mod itself, SkyUI is basically a "PCfication" of ugly vanilla Skyrim interface. On practice, it's also required by most of well-known mods in addition to SKSE. Also install this fix for it and this.
Optionally (but very recommended as it's just looks so much more alive and beautiful) install animated icons mod for it. Also optionally, install this "wider" addon for MCM look. Also install iHUD.
4) Download and install LOOT.
Get the .exe version and just run it.
LOOT is a must-have tool if you're planning to have many mods. It's very easy to install and use.
Its most basic and important function is mod sorting. Many mods should be loaded in strict load order to work properly together. "This mod should be loaded before that mod, but after that", and so on. LOOT makes miracles! You can automatically sort most of your mods properly by just clicking a button twice. Sometimes (it happens rarely, so you probably won't have to think about it) some mods have direct instructions about how they should be loaded, in this case it's also easy to sort them manually using it. Also, LOOT shows you all you need to know about your installed mods - errors, missing records etc. In many cases, if something is not right - it will let you know and it will advise you. Actually, you'll not need to read and learn more than this to use it, but if something is unclear or you want to look at very in-depth guide, check this awesome Gopher's video. Use LOOT sorting each time after you've installed a few mods.
5) Install Address Library for SKSE Plugins.
This mod is a partial solution to endless game update issues in SE (which breaks dll SKSE mods) - it allows for such mods to keep working properly not depending on the game version. Solution is partial because it doesn't work automatically - each dll SKSE mod must be updated by its author to depend on this one, and as not all authors are aware about this or just active, this solution won't be universal - but it clearly will help you with many mods which are usually broken after every update.
6) Install SSE Engine Fixes.Note: mods has TWO parts - first main file, the "Part 1" you can install with mod manager. Second, "Part 2", you should download manually, unpack and place all 3 .dll files to your Skyrim root folder (where Skyrim exe is).
7) Install Bug Fixes SSE.
Fixes some SE engine bugs. In its configuration file (BugFixesSSE.config.txt), disable the ability condition bug fix (set both FixAbilityConditionBug.Enabled and FixAbilityConditionBug.ForceAccurateCheck to false instead of true).
8) Install SSEEdit.
It's an awesome tool for cleaning your mods, making changes to mod records (like balancing various values up to your taste, deleting conflicting and/or unneeded objects and so on) and more. Mods may contain "dirty" records and some other issues, and when you have hundreds of mods, that could be a problem and cause crashes. Clean all mods that have dirty records (until it's directly written by mod author to not do that for some reason) and all Skyrim's DLCs (which have [hundreds] of dirty records. Yeah - Betheshda didn't even bother to do this for the game "remaster"). Don't be afraid of it, it's not as hard to use as it may look. Check these awesome video tutorials about it. Also there is a lot of info and videos on its Nexus page. Note #1: Make double sure to clean all base game master files (Update.esm and all 3 DLC .esm plugins) - otherwise you'll experience random crashes. Note #2: MO2 users can try to download and use zEdit as an alternative. zEdit is like a successor to xEdit - but please take into account though that it's still a WIP (work in progress) project. If you're a newbie modder - better just stick to xEdit (SSEEdit) now as it's absolutely fine. zEdit may provide better functionality than xEdit, but it's still not fully stable and there are not as many video tutorials for its usage as for xEdit. It doesn't mean it's bad - quite the opposite, but until it's officially and fully released, I won't be able to provide troubleshooting support for it - so use it at your own wish. There's a basic documentary and description of it here.
9) Install Wrye Bash.
Scroll down and download the .exe version and install it. The link now is temporary, as it's the newest release that fixes some bugs - so track the WB page itself from time to time to see if the newer version is uploaded at the mod page.
Amazing and essential tool to achieve maximum possible compatibility between all your mods.
We will use it later in our journey, so just grab it for now. I'll explain it later in the guide :) Note: if you'll be noticing you're clearly going above 255 active .esp plugins limit somewhere still in process of adding more and more mods - refer to step #1 in "actions to be made in the end" section at the deep bottom of the guide.
10) Download Merge Plugins.
Yes, it's hosted in Skyrim LE sections and yes, it does work with SE absolutely fine :) You will need this if you'll make really heavy load order and reach the 255 plugins (.esp) limit. This amazing tool can technically allows you to have almost endless amounts of mods installed, so you will be limited only by your PC specs and mods themselves (meaning no using broken/dangerous mods and not overloading your game with script-heavy mods). It easily merges plugins into one .esp file, drastically decreasing the total amount of plugins and allowing you to install more and more mods. For A to Z simple tutorial about using it, watch this amazing video and follow the steps. Note #1: But what about .esl'fying the mods? It's allegedly a cool feature, so maybe we don't need to merge mods at all anymore? There is a bit more about that - indeed, marking plugins as .esl is a new alternative way of not reaching the 255 plugins limit, but: 1) not all the same mods you can merge can be esl'fied, so sooner or later, you'll eventually need to merge mods anyway 2) esl plugins have some specific bugs - you can avoid them, but this will mean spending additional time 3) Some other mods, especially mods with dynamic patchers (like ASIS, Bashed Patch etc) simply don't recognize .esl plugins [AT ALL], meanining that if you'll, let's say, have 200 esl plugins, and then build a Bashed Patch (which is essential for any medium-to-heavy modded game), all the changes/additions, whatever those plugins are doing, will be not present in your game with utmost chance, making them meaningless to begin with. The sooner you'll learn how to merge mods (guide provides assistance with this), the better it will be for you - moreover, as soon as you'll get the basics, you'll see there's nothing to fear at all :3Note #2: MO2 users, once again, can use zMerge which is inbuilt into zEdit, instead of Merge Plugins. You can also watch this tutorial video. Note #3: if you'll be noticing you're clearly going above 255 active .esp plugins limit ever after making Bashed Patch somewhere still in process of adding more and more mods - refer to step #2 in "actions to be made in the end" section at the deep bottom of the guide.
11) Install Alternate Start - Live Another Life (+ optional addons here and here==NEW==), Skyrim Unbound Reborn, RASR - Random Alternate Start Reborn or Realm of Lorkhan - Freeform Alternate Start.
Why you need this? These mods provide wide amount of alternative starts to the game for those who do not wish to go through the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. The thing is that vanilla start (scene in Helgen) is VERY heavy-scripted. And when you will install let's say, 200+ mods and start a new game, your Skyrim will be very heavy overloaded. And there's very high chance that your game will crash (because the Papyrus, Skyrim's script engine, was [not] updated in SE and it's same clunky and limited), even if the game itself is absolutely stable. And now these mods save the day! You can just skip this heavy-scripted scene and start anywhere you like. Besides, they have a really wide amount of alternative start, great for roleplay.
Which one to use, what is the difference? Long story short, ASLAL provides more "roleplay-wise" starts - you will appear in a certain cell, depending on your start option choice, and also has plenty of additional start options addons. Unbound will spawn you randomly, so less "immersive" start, but it allows you highly adjustable character customization (gear, spells etc) which ASLAL doesn't, and the most important - it allows you to play as NON-Dragonborn (but you can "become" it in MCM anytime), which is really a great option. RASR is somewhat like a mix of these two, a pretty underrated gem and Realm of Lorkhan is a really fresh and unique alternate start mod, which may look note quite "lore-friendly" to some players, but it's really well-designed and give you very interesting starting choices for your character class and even curses - negative attributes to balance class bonuses (if you want so, all these features are entirely optional - my only 2 cents about it is that some class bonuses are still somewhat too strong even with curses, so you may want to adjust them in SSEEdit, which is very simple). I personally recommend to use Skyrim Unbound or Realm of Lorkhan, but it's totally up to you. Lastly, Realm of Lorkhan has on pretty immersion-breaking (for some players) thing - crystals you appear from after starting the game are not going anywhere and are just scattared across Skyrim. To remove them, use this patch. Also, make sure to install this fix==NEW==.
12) Get the Cathedral Assets Optimizer
This step is optional. Easy-to-use tool to convert meshes from LE to SE (and backwards as well). Skyrim SE has less coverage in terms of remodels/retextures, and while you can mostly use textures from LE into SE (and vice versa) without issues, the meshes you need to convert. This tool will help you.
13) The last in this section, but important and mandatory step.
Install all these amazing mods/patches/fixes which are oriented on fixing huge amount of various little bugs or irrational things in game or just to make you your game much more comfortable.
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
This mod should be already considered as part of vanilla game. It fixes literally thousands glitches and bugs in Skyrim.
.NET Script Framework
Framework for memory editing, native code hooking and writing DLL plugins in any .NET language. Required by some other things.
Character creation menu how it should have been originally and great amount of customization options. Also get this.
Stay At The System Page
This mod brings back the behavior of original Skyrim's Journal Menu. Whenever you press the Escape key, mod will open the System page instead of Quest page. Muh convenient!
Whose Quest Is It Anyway
Swaps the "Quest items cannot be removed..." message for a more descriptive message informing you which quest the item belongs to.
Yes Im Sure
Disables annoying message prompts asking you if you're sure you'd like to craft/improve/exit menus.
Better Dialogue Controls + Better MessageBox Controls
Ever pick the wrong item in a dialogue with a NPC or struggled with not cozy controls in messagebox popups? No more!
1st Person Candlelight Fix
Have you ever been annoyed that the candlelight spell is much brighter in 3rd person view than 1st person view? This mod aims to reduce that difference and make them more equal. Note: Don't let any other mod overwrite it, in case of what. Also, if you're modding Skyrim "VR", use this one instead.
Better Jumping SE
Allows to jump while sprinting.
Glow Be Gone SKSE Updated
Dynamically removes annoying edge glow from shader effects via an SKSE plugin. Similar to "No More Ugly Effects" for Skyrim LE.
Player Eyes Blink Fix
Enables blinking eyes for the player.
Blacksmith Forge Water Fix
Skyrim SE forge water still looks terrible. Fortunately, this solves the problem. Get the USSEP version. CRF patch in addition if you have or plan to have this mod.
Equip Enchantment Fix==NEW==
Fixes engine bugs where item enchantments don't apply when equipped or stop working while the item is still equipped. SKSE64 plugin.
Gain FPS across Skyrim with no visual difference.
This SKSE plugin which provide a somewhat more comprehensive log when a crash occurs. If you'll implement this section carefully and won't use broken mods, you will not experience crashes in general, but ofc, it's not literally 100% guaranteed as Skyrim is still Skyrim and some rare unforeseen incompatibility cases can lead to this. Together with MFG console for glitches troublehsooting, this plugin can help a bit more if you'll have some situational crashes - just don't expect it to be some sort of magic - most likely, you'll still need to apply logic and assume why crash is taking place. Yet, this is mostly "just in case" :)
Assorted mesh fixes==NEW==
Fixes various issues with vanilla Skyrim meshes that caused them to render incorrectly.
NPC AI Process Position Fix==NEW==
Fixes the vanilla game engine bug that NPCs AI process positions could not be updated after you waited/slept/fast travelled.
Don't Stay in The Water==NEW==
Fixes the bug that stupid enemies may stay in the water and look at you angrily but just don't come up.
Some bug fixes and improvements to with reanimation effects.
A collection of several misc engine bug fixes, including couple of dll alternatives to existing plugin form of some bugfifixes. Make sure to read the mod description page for the list of features and (possible) compatibility notes.
Similar thing here as well.
Stagger Direction Fix==NEW==
Fixes the character's wrong stagger direction bug when the stagger triggered by spell, shout and range weapon.
Better Combat Escape==NEW==
Improves the vanilla game combat escape\stopping mechanism, to prevent you stucking at combat state with super far away enemy.
Modern Toggle Walk-Run Fix==NEW==
This mod fixes the old issue of Shift key sticking after leaving conversation or killcam mode. Updated and script-free version of similar fix in past.
Tired of bandits chasing after deer instead of fighting you? This one helps.
Atlas Map Markers - Updated with MCM
Essential mod that drastically increases amount of map markers. Remember how you was able to fast travel only to Whiterun itself or Dragonsreach? Now you can fast travel to Arcadia's Cauldron, Jorrvaskr etc. More than 700 new map markers! Also grab these small fixes and make sure to endorse the original mod.
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes + Armor and Clothing Extension
These two mod fix hundreds of bugs and inconsistencies for Skyrim's weapons, armors, clothing, jewelry, and clutter items and add more diversity and lore-friendly clothing options and gives NPCs more appropriate attire.
Complete Crafting Overhaul
Essential mod from author of previous two fixes. CCOR is reworking all vanilla craft recipes, offers many options for mining, chopping, smelting and so on - simply making everything crafting-related to be logical and really interesting. That's why you need it even if you never actually crafted a single thing in Skyrim - because now it's not that dull crafting system. Consider it as the vanilla part of the game as it always should have been from the release. Most of mod options can be enabled/disabled and configured via MCM.
Gives more realistic harvesting for flora and ingredients and death items on animals/creatures. Heartfires Houses Building Fix
Restores proper models of some building parts and furniture in crafting menu.
An SKSE plugin which removes the quiver/bolts when equipping weapons and spells or when the character unequips the bow or crossbow. Improved version of "Auto Unequip Ammo" mod.
More Informative Console
This mod edits the UI to show a great deal of additional information on npcs, items, and other objects when the console is opened, similar to the way MFG console worked for Skyrim LE. It may help you in various cases of game testing and possible issues solving.
Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent Voice
An SKSE plugin that adds support for unvoiced in-game dialogs. Isn't doing anything by itself, by it's needed for many mods for mod-added dialogues to work properly.
Actor Limit Fix
Fixes a bug where if you have more than 128 actors in the same place they start floating around weirdly. Also fixes bug where NPC lips stop moving when a lot of them are nearby.
This mod makes that the player and allies have the same difficulty damage factor. As a result, it will be corrected that the higher the difficulty, the less damage will be caused to the followers and the summoned actors.
Congrats, you're ready now!
Before you start, download this little software:DDS VIEWER It's a free, small and awesome tool that allows you to open .dds (texture) files just like any other images. Doing this, you can compare same textures from different mods and decide which one to install. It's a must-have tool. P.S. Installer .exe file doesn't contain eny viruses. Just ignore your antivirus. P.P.S. If you have problems with it on Windows 10 and you're NVIDIA user, try this. P.P.P.S. If you're happy Photoshop owner, simply install this plugin instead and enjoy.
Important tip #1: During the installation process, overwrite all the files when you will be notified about this. There will be a few cases when you not need to overwrite some files or you need to install texture partially/manually, but I will notify about it.
Important tip #2: To install 200 mods and then launch your game is not a best idea. I personally recommend to do in this way: install a few mods (let's say 5-7 if these mods are big, 20-25 if small), sort them with LOOT, launch your game, check it's stable. Install 5 more and so on.
Important tip #3: Don't use the "Vortex" button on top of mod pages to download the mods. This button automatically downloads the main version of the mod and that's it - it may be not the version you need, it may be not the only file you need etc. So make a good habit now - never use this button. Instead, always just go to "Files" tab and see what files are there.
Important tip #4: Don't use 4k textures untill you have 4k monitor with huge monitor size itself and you have Titan videocard and you're not aiming for screenarchery (like shotting a bugs or leaves). You won't see any difference between 4k and 2k textures until you come absolutely closely to them. 2k is perfect option for 1920 and even higher (2k) monitors. Using 4k textures you'll just waste tonns of VRAM but won't notice this actually. Using 2k will save tonns of VRAM and you're still having beautiful textures. The only where you can install 4k textures are interior cells (caves/mines etc) as interior use much less VRAM and some underground creature retextures (Dwemer/Falmer) due to the same reasons, as well as personal standalone armors/weapons mods. If your PC is not the strongest, or you just want to save some VRAM for something else - for example, latest ENB effects or 3D LODs from DyndoLOD - simply don't waste your memory on that. Graphics quality will be just fine.
Q: But why "waste" of VRAM? A: It's pretty simple. Texture is basically a square img file. Most of people are used to think that 2k uses x2 more VRAM then 1k, and 4k uses x4 more VRAM then 1k, for example. But as texture img is a square, we will receive a bit different values. 1x1=1. 2x2=4. 4x4=16. So as you can see, 2k textures actually use x4 more VRAM compared to 1k, and 4k use x16 more VRAM, which will be not a big deal for people on beefy rigs, but can be also a dealbreaker for ones one mid to low end rigs.
Q: What is ENB? Why I ever need it? A: Ok, listen, young padavan. ENB is a graphical enhancement engine that adds visual affects that are not supported by the game initially, at all. Proper antialiasing, real HDR, qualitative bloom, ambient fog effects, various new shaders, ambient occlusion, complex particle lighting, depth of field and much-much more. ENB is also a PC-only engine - that's why modded Skyrim graphics are looking so superior compared with Skyrim graphics on consoles.
Q: I have the feeling ENB in SE doesn't look same good as in LE...am I hallucinating? A: You aren't. The thing is, indeed, ENB in Skyrim SE is not able to look the same good as in LE. But wait, SE is 64bit and LE is 32bit, and SE is newer, how come, you may ask. Yeah, but all those facts are not related with ENB possilities, in which SE engine is somewhat limited because of running on DX11, while LE is running on DX9. Long story short, ENB works different on DX11 and has less powers. It doesn't support some features and has overally weaker shaders quality and features quantity in general. Lastly, it often has less (or none) customization options for many essential shaders (see the comparison here). All together, this leads to worse look and much smaller diversity of ENB presets compared to LE. If you are aimed on 101% of modded graphics results, you may want to mod Skyrim LE (which is literally fully stable today even heavy-modded, and sometimes, even more stable than modded SE as SE introduced more bugs/crash cases which never existed in LE to begin with) instead, following my existing guide.
Q: How much FPS will ENB eat? How do I know that? A: First of all, you need to understand that ENB is ofc FPS-hungry and as it interracts with objects in game and adds a lot of visual effects, ENB performance will depend on many factors - how much texture mods are installed, what our PC specs are etc. But ENB effects are totally and more than worth their price :) Also, in SE, almost all ENB presets make more or less same FPS hit, so if you can normally run one ENB preset, you most likely will be able to run any preset without issues.
Q: Why installing ENB before the graphics mods? Texture mods are most important, no? A: No. The thing is, as already mentioned, ENB adds completely new shaders and visual effects to the game - that's why it's the most important part of graphics transformation. A game with good ENB preset and no texture mods at all will always look better than game with even 200 texture mods but no ENB. ENB preset is very much determining the visual style your game will have - so first, it's better to decided which ENB preset you like the most and get it, and then tune your game with retexturing and other mods.
Q: But what about weather/lighting mods? ENB preset I want to use requires that weather mod! A: Don't worry. You can install weather/lighting mods required anytime. Weather/lighting "incompatibility" with ENB will not cause crashes, it's just about how the ENB colors and other effects are looking the best possible exactly with required weather/ligting mods.
Q: My PC/laptop is pretty weak and ENB gives me really low FPS! A: Rrefer to the end of the guide where I prepared a section especially for low-end PCs - most likely it will allow you to use ENB even if your PC is pretty weak (up to some extent, ofc).
Q: I saw your videos and I like that ENB, what's the name? A: I'm using the amazing Rudy ENB for Obsidian Weathers.
Some of the best Skyrim SE ENB presets comparison:
Before installing the ENB, make a few tweaks/installations for ENB to work and look 100% properly:
Disable ingame DOF (depth of field) like it's shown here.
In Skyrim SE launcher settings, disable Ambient Occlusion.
In Skyrim SE launcher settings disable the improved snow options, or in SkyrimPrefs.ini (make sure you're editing the one in \Documents (NMM) or MO's own folder (MO), not the one inside the game \Skyrim folder), set bEnableImprovedSnow= value to 0.
In SkyrimPrefs.ini, make sure bDrawLandShadows= and bTreesReceiveShadows= values are set to 1.
In SkyrimPrefs.ini, make sure fGamma= value is set to 1.0000.
Install particle patch for ENB. Download the archive, add it to your mod manager and install as any other mod. Also install this lil fix ==NEW==.
Now, install the ENB binaries (core files) themselves: go here and download the latest version. Unpack the archive and from \WrapperVersion folder, grab d3d11.dll, d3dcompiler_46e.dll and enblocal.ini, and place them to your Skyrim SE root folder (where game .exe is located). That's it!
Choose and download the ENB preset you like and drop it's content to the same folder (where Skyrim .exe is). Usually, it's simply the \enbseries folder and enbseries.ini file. Basically, the process of siwtching between ENB presets is as simple as deleting your current \enbseries folder and enbseries.ini and placing a new ones into Skyrim root directory. That's it.
Make sure to cap your fps at 59 in enblocal.ini (set EnableFPSLimit= to true and FPSLimit= to 59).
Antialiasing: there are a few options. First one - use the edge AA from ENB (set EnableEdgeAA=true in enblocal.ini). Second one - don't use ENB AA and use TAA (set in game launcher settings). Third one - use ENB SMAA. Not every ENB preset provides it - usually you can choose it in ENB GUI (like in Rudy ENB, for example). Fourth one - DSR (dynamic super resolution). With DSR enabled, game is rendered in higher resolution than your monitor resolution is and then squeezed to your monitor resolution. The difference between those methods: Edge AA is the most simple and fps-friendly, but the also not perfectly smooth (yet still superior to awful ingame AA). TAA is looking very good, but often causes weird "ghosting" artifacts when moving. SMAA is the best in terms of fps price and quality. DSR is superior to any of them, but the most fps-hungry due to how it works. Try all of them and choose the one most suitable for you. If you have somewhat midrange rig, it's either Edge AA, SMAA or TAA. If you have pretty strong rig and video memory is not a problem for you at all, try DSR for sure.
Not a tweak itself, bur rather a useful info that not everyone are aware about: DOF (depth of field, "blurred effect/focus") is usually different for each ENB preset - as certain author sees it better in own perspective. Some ENB presets may have "lightweight" gameplay DOF - so only very distant views are blurred. Some may have a very strong "screenarchery" DOF - when everything further then a few feets from your character is blurred. And so on. So often it may happen you find an ENB preset greatly fitting your taste, but with terrible (for your taste) DOF. You can, ofc just disable it in ENB GUI, but there's a better thing - you actually can use [any] DOF with [any] ENB preset! Even more, you can actually even use DOF files between different TES/FO games - for example, I'm using Rudy ENB LE DOF in New Vegas and Oblivion, and so on. So just find ENB preset which DOF you like the most and just take it's DOF files (enbdepthoffield.fx and enbdepthoffield.fx.ini) and drop them into your \enbseries folder. Profit!
ENB presets list:
When you'll be browsing the ENB presets for Skyrim SE, you may get the feeling that not all, yet many of them are very similar to each other. Unfortunately, that's how it is - due to different level of ENB support in Skyrim SE, it's not possible to have same visual quality and diversity of ENB presets as in Skyrim LE. Yet, today SE ENB presets look pretty great and so here are some of the most well-made of them, and with different styles as much as it's possible in SE. Let's see some (•̀௰•́ )
Also some shortening for weather/lighting mods you will see below: Vanilla - original game, no weather/lighting mod, Obsidian - Obsidian Weathers and Seasons, COT - Climates of Tamriel, NAT - Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel, Vivid - Vivid Weathers, Aequinoctium - Aequinoctium - Weathers and Seasons, Mythical Ages - Mythical Ages - weathers and lighting overhaul, Rustic - Rustic Weathers and Lighting, Dolomite - Dolomite Weathers - Natural Lighting Vivid Atmospherics II, Surreal - Surreal Lighting, Autumn Skies - A Weather and Lighting Mod, NLA - Natural Lighting and Atmospherics (was ported to SE in early 2021), ELFX - Enhanced Lights and FX, ELE - Enhanced Lighting for ENB, RLO - Realistic Lighting Overhaul, LUX.
While ENB preset choices is a matter of taste more then anything else - still, there are always some presets that are top-notch in terms of overall quality and balance. And Rudy ENB is one of them - it's my personal favorite for both Skyrim LE and Skyrim SE. It has amazing quality of shaders, a gret balance between fantasy, cinematic and realistic look, great performance. Great lighting, great water look and just absolutely polished approach to ENB tweaking in general - that's all about Rudy's preset. In addition, you can always be sure it's always uptodate with all newest ENB effects and it's also an absolute champion in terms of compatibility - it has version for almost each weather mod and compatible with all 3 popular lighting mods at the same time. If you are not quite sure about ENB choice now, but wanna start from something really great - seek no more! There's also an optional addon (tweaked LUT) for it available here .
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian, CoT, NAT, Aequinoctium, Vivid, Rustic, Dolomite.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
Silent Horizons ENB
Greatly customizable fantasy-cinematic ENB preset with great compatibility spectrum. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian, NAT, Dolomite, Aequinoctium, Mythical Ages, Vivid, Cathedral.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
Vibrant fantasy ENB preset of a great quality. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: Mythical Ages, Rustic.Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
A new ENB preset from a popular and talented ENB maker. Inspired by Grim and Somber ENB in Skyrim LE, this preset is cinematic, dark and grim.
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel ENB
A successor to very popular PRT ENB, NAT ENB is an incredibly cinematic ENB preset with unique filmic touch. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: None. Use ENB preset's own weather plugin.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
A bright ENB preset with a bit of photorealism touch, with cinematic and vibrant look as well.
Weather mods compatibility: Aequinoctium.Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
Semirealis ENB,Intrigued ENB,NVT ENB
Three modern SE ENB presets from the same author - with pretty similar look, but a bit different in details. Cold, dark and cinematic vibes with great shaders quality. First two presets are for Cathedral and Obsidian weathers respectively, and NVT has a lot of version for different weather mods. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: Vanilla, Obsidian, NAT, Dolomite, Aequinoctium, Mythical Ages, Vivid, Surreal, Mythical, Cathedral.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
eisVogel v2 ENB
A very vibrant preset with cinematic touch. Can be called a stripped down version of Tetrachromatic ENB for Skyrim LE (as unfortunately proper vibrant, saturated presets are not possible on the same level as it was possible in LE). If you're fan of vibrancy - this one is what you should definitely try. Also has a few color presets inside. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: Dolomite.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Somewhat cinematic preset with "vanilla-wise" look in general.
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian, Cathedral. Not officially supported, but looking pretty fine with - NAT, Vivid, Rustic, Aequinoctium.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO. Though, there may be some weird exterior lighting cases as only interior lighting changes are officially supported.
Good-looking mix of "light" fantasy and realism. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list.
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian, NAT.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Soft preset also pretty close to vanilla look, with tiny fantasy touch.
Weather mods compatibility: Aequinoctium, Dolomite, Mythical, Obsidian, Rustic, Vivid.Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
A stripped down brother of the same named preset in Skyrim LE, it comes with good touch of realism, a bit of vibrancy and generally soft look.
Weather mods compatibility: Vanilla, Vivid, Obsidian, Dolomite, COT.Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
Dark Shadows ENB
Pretty unique-looking, dark and grim preset.
Weather mods compatibility: Vanilla.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Very vibrant preset with indeed somewhat "prismatic" look which may be a good choice for people who love saturated presets.
Weather mods compatibility: NAT.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Sin Xtreme Realism ENB
A very realism-centered preset that also went not too far from vanilla look, but made it more contrast.
Weather mods compatibility: Obdisian, Dolomite, Rustic, vivid, NAT, COT, Mythical, Aequinoctium and all weather mods of this preset author.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
Nuff said from the name. An ENB preset for Vivid Weathers author for Vivid Weathers mod.
Weather mods compatibility: Vivid.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
One more preset for Vivid Weathers. Looks pretty good balanced and gives cinematic touch to vibrant Vivid Weathers itself.
Weather mods compatibility: Vivid.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Most likely the best preset if you're aimed on "Vanilla +" graphics experience.
Weather mods compatibility: Vivid. But goes fine with vanilla weathers too.Lighting mods compatibility: RLO. But goes fine with ELFX and vanilla lighting too.
VERY saturated preset. That's it. Try it if you wanna some COLOURS.
Weather mods compatibility: Vanilla, Vivid, COT, NAT, Dolomite.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE.
Cold, cinematic & grim. It's REALLY old and not updated, but somehow one of those presets who manage to keep authentic look even without being up-do-date - that's why it's in the list :)
Weather mods compatibility: Lighting mods compatibility:
Obsidian Weathers ENB Preset
Pretty much underrated ENB preset for Obsidian weathers - with really well-rounded visual balance and pretty dark.
Weather mods compatibility: Obsidian.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE.
A bright and (but not too much) colorful (in interiors, cinematic at night and interiors) ENB preset, with strong DOF and LUTs to choose from - mostly made for screenarchery, but can be good for gameplay as well if you'll change DOF to one of lighter ones.
Weather mods compatibility: Dolomite, but works pretty much good with any weather mod or vanilla.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Desmond's Lusty ENB REDUX
Somewhat photorealistic (as much as SE limited ENB is capable on that) preset.
Weather mods compatibility: Vivid Weathers.Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX, ELE, RLO.
Element Enethium ENB ==NEW==
A bright fantasy preset. Interiors are looking somewhat inspired by Rudy ENB.
Weather mods compatibility: VW, Obsidiab, NAT.Lighting mods compatibility: Vanilla. Looks good with ELFX too.
Once again, here's a simple "rule" - as the guide's task is to save your time as much as possible, installing and overwriting is very simple - just follow the lists of mods, pick what you like, install and overwrite everything ("yes to all" for NMM and giving bigger priority in MO). Mods are listed in the order which, after endless tests and mixing approaches, will lead to the most balanced and beautiful look. In some separate cases where a selective overwriting will be needed, I'll notify you :)
Also, as Skyrim SE itself requires at least somewhat decent rig to run it without issues, the overall performance impact scatter of graphics mods is different from Skyrim LE, and if you can run Skyrim SE on max settings without issues, you will be able to run most of texture/mesh mods without issues as well, so there is no need for "green-yellow-red" marking system as for Skyrim LE. Still, some mods have pretty "different" level of quality or some other details that may impact performance greatly on weaker PCs, and such mods will be marked with a special ==FPS== mark. This does NOT mean such mods will destroy your performance if you don't have "NASA PC" - but it means you should install such mods carefully (basically, testing ingame performance after such mod installation) even on strong rigs, and avoid certain options or mods entirely on weak rigs.
First of all, let's install some "core" texture/model mods that will serve us as a base:
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
A core mod that greatly improves hundreds of flat vanilla models. Also grab this improvement patch for it - but make sure to disable plugin if you'll be using lighting mods like ELFX. Also install this visual upgrade==NEW== and a small improvement patches here, here and here==NEW==. During the mods installations further, we'll be adding to it and improving what SMIM already improved, even more. As you may know, it's [not] recommended to start a game via vanilla (Helgen) start in a heavy-modded game, but if you're a daring one, don't forget to install this fix to not fly across Skyrim in prisoner cart. If you have a low-end rig but still wanna try using this mod, this optimization patch==NEW== will be useful.
Ruins Clutter Improved
Speaks for its name clearly. Another one huge core mod with myriads of models and texture improvements for various ruins and related clutter. Don't forget to install the Update files and also install this fix.
Ultimate HD Fire Effects
The fire your game deserves. Yes, the link goes to Skyrim LE version (SE version of the mod is a placebo). Here, you need to manually download the mod archive (pick the Ultra version), unpack it, and delete the \meshes folder inside. Then pack the \textures folder, add the archive to your mod manager and install as any other mod. Bingo! Use this mod [OR] the mod below for fire effects.
Inferno - Fire Effects Redux
An alternative to the fire effects mod above. Use one or another.
Underground - a dungeon texture overhaul
Huge mod that greatly improves a lot of texture for all types of dungeons. Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer Pack + Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack
A base retextures for dragons and plenty of animals/critters.
High Quality Food and Ingredients
Basic omnomnom retextures.
Now choose between the next few mods. Basically, they all are very big packs covering +/- same amount of textures, installing one after another will severely or almost completely overwrite the first one you've installed. As an option, you can compare texture images manually and keep the ones you like, mixing these mods. But in most cases, you won't need this, especially if you're a newcomer to Skyrim modding. Same is applied to each further "choose" notifications.
SSE Texture Pack - Osmodius
This texture pack can be basically considered a "vanilla plus" retexturing project.
Skyland - A Landscape Texture Overhaul
Pretty qualitative textures pack with a great coverage as well.
Skyrim Realistic Overhaul
Another one "vanilla-wise" texture overhaul with a really huge coverage. Its disadvantage is it has plenty of unnecessary 4k texture where it's absolutely not needed - not the best optimization, in other words. But it may be a great choice if you 1) Just wanna bump vanilla textures, sticking to original look 2) Don't actually want install many other mods.
Noble Skyrim Mod
This beautiful and qualitative mod stands for its name - it's an amazing texture project which gives Skyrim an indeed a noble touch. One of my two personal favourites in Skyrim SE. Install FULL pack (until you're not on a completely potato rig which struggles with Skyrim SE itself). Also don't forget to install the SMIM patch.
Skyrim 2020 Textures by Pfuscher
The most popular texture pack on SE Nexus - and that's absolutely deserved. Almost all Pfuscher's textures are pure piece of art - great quality, great optimization, fresh look, yet - still sticking to original Skyrim look at the same time in most of cases. Take into account - there are a lot of separate mod files at Files tab - you need to download them all, if you want maximum coverage.
Vivid Landscapes - All in One
This pack doesn't give same big coverage as previous packs (mostly the landscapes and farmhouses), but it's also incredibly qualitative work and has own original look.
All Skyland textures in one pack.
aMidianBorn Buildings and Landscapes
Note: This one is optional - Amidianborn textures are old but great and you may find them better to your likings then same textures covered by bigger packs above. Try and see.
Just a few recommendations if you can't decide what to pick: 1) Get the Skyland and then overwrite it with Noble. 2) Get only Noble 3) Get the Skyland and overwrite with Pfusher's packs. 4) Get the Noble and overwrite with Pfuscher's packs (that's what I'm using as base). Though, it's just my personal recommendations - always do as your heart and eyes are telling you :)
Now, caves/mines mods and few options for them. Note - for interior cells, like caves & mines, you can easily grab the 4k version of the mod if it's present - interiors eat vastly less VRAM.
Amazing mod doing exactly how it's called. One roads mod to rule them all. Also install the fix==NEW==.
Now, choose between the next few mods:
Skyrim Flora Overhaul ==FPS==
The most popular tree mod for Skyrim which provides better textures and mods for vanilla trees, as well as new tree models.
Note #1: Until you absolutely love SFO's grass (in my opinion, other grass mods have grass handled better), install "Trees Only" (no grass) version of the mod, as grass will be handled by other mods in the section below. Owner of medium-to-low-end rigs may also find this patch==NEW== useful.
Note #2: if you love this mod, but have non-pleasant FPS drops with it, try this optimized textures addon for it (overwrite the mod files).
Realistic Aspen Trees
Retexture of aspen trees for a more realistic and diverse look. Yellow, orange and red colors. Note: Use this mod only with Skyrim Flora Overhaul or vanilla trees. EVT (listed below) has it included and "3D" trees mod (listed below) has own aspen trees modification.
Simply Bigger Trees SE ==FPS==
A mod that makes trees bigger. Note: Similar as with previous mod, use it only with SFO and/or Realistic Aspen Trees (make sure to grab proper version in Files tab). Mods listed below are not compatible with it and don't need it. EVT, for example, has own option for bigger trees with much better performance impact.
Tree Bark in High Definition
A bark texture addon. Note: Usage - same as previous mods - with SFO, and/or RAT, and/or SBT only. Not needeed for EVT or "3D" trees mod.
Skyrim 3D Trees and Plants ==FPS==
This mod is kind of double-edged sword. Some of tree models are actually looking absolutely spectacular and really have much more volumetric look, while majority of other trees are looking plastic-like due to weird inflated models and unrealistic textures.
Enhanced Vanilla Trees ==FPS==
My personal favourite tree mod for Skyrim. It greatly improves both models and textures of the trees, giving more lush and detailed look, while sticking to original appearance of the trees at the same time, and adding some trees here and there. It also has Realistic Aspen Trees included (choose it in installer options) as well as big trees option, which is the best between all similar "bigger" tree mods in terms of effect/performance hit ratio. Optional pine retexture==NEW== available.
Myrkvior - The Flora Of Skyrim ==FPS==
New, original trees overhaul with a unique look and great quality. Only moment here is that it's placing plenty of new trees across the game world as well - so if using it, test the game deeply if you'll be using landscape overhauls. Yet, it's giving a really fresh touch to Skyrim trees look and definitely worth a try.
David's pine and Tamu75's aspen trees redux ==NEW==
A beautiful alternative to pine and aspen trees - can be used in combination with the bigger tree mods above.
Lush Vanilla Trees
If you have performance issues with the mods listed above, you can try this one. Much simplier but also much more fps-friendly tree mod.
Green and Lush Aspen Trees
An overhaul of the aspen trees for a green and lush look - can use on top of the mods above - overwrite other mods when asked if using it.
One more aspens alternative. Looking really vibrant and come with 3D LODs support.
Great, now a few more mods for core graphics setup:
Immersive Fallen Trees
Stands for its name. A must-have mod, compatible with everyting. Make sure to install fix patch for it.
SD's Farmhouse Fences
For many years, "Fences of Skyrim" mod was the to-go fences mesh/texture mod, but not so long ago, a next-level 3D fences mod appeared. Grab it!.
aMidianBorn Book of Silence
The quality of Cabal (Amidianborn) mods simply doesn't get worse with years. It's still unrivaled for many armors/creatures/objects models/textures - we will overwrite it with some other mods here and there, but it's a solid base for armors, weapons, creatures and some unique items models and textures improvement.
How to install:
- Install the mod files in this order: Armors, Creatures, Dragonborn DLC, Unique Items, Weapons. Always overwrite. Also install this patch==NEW== for matching glass items look.
- Optionally, install retextures for elven and glass armors (make sure to get SE versions). Also this==NEW== addon may be interesting to you as well.
Book Covers Skyrim
The one and only mod to retexture close to every book in the game. Desaturated version recommended. Also get the fixes/improvements here and here==NEW==.
Enhanced Blood Textures
The ultimate blood and blood decals texture mod. I'd recommend to install High Res Darker Color version (choosing in installer). Mod also offers patches for Skyrim Immersive Creatures and SkyBirds mods - you most likely will be using them both, so just tick on the patches options - if you won't be using SkyBirds or SIC, just delete patches .esp files later. Optionally, install this retexture==NEW== on top.
Deadly Spell Impacts
Essential mod for HD spell impacts. Also install the fix==NEW== for ENB.
Realistic Water Two
In my opinion, the best water mod ever made for Skyrim. Install the main file and then ENB textures file. Also, install this fix and download Blended Shorelines - No more jagged water edges - but we will install it a bit later. There's also some optional patches here and here==NEW==, and a retexture addon for it here and here==NEW==. Water for ENB
Alternative to the mod above. Note: It's somewhat buggy atm and often looks weird in some places. Mod has a good potential though, thus added here - try it from time to time to see if it satisfies you. Pure Waters
Also an [alternative] to Realistic Water Two - don't use both at the same time. Download the file manually somewhere, add to your mod manager and install as usually. File is hosted by the original author of the mod. If you'll have a free moment, rate the mod here. HD Photorealistic Ivy + Ivy Replacer by Pfuscher
Make ivy great again!
Much better, more realistic dust particles look.
Gemling Queen Jewelry
An almost essential HD texture and mesh replacer for rings and necklaces.
Arctic - Frost Effects Redux
Improved and realistic textures applied to frost spells and effects along with new 3D meshes.
CleverCharff's Soul Cairn 4K 2K
Vanilla Skyrim's grass is absolutely hideous. Let's change that! Remember - you can have only ONE grass mod. Try'em'all and choose your only one :)
Note #1: Always read the grass mod pages carefully, as each mod usually requires of settings in Skyrim.ini [GRASS] section. Implement them. Note #2: If you absolutely love some grass mod, and can use it, but FPS hit is bigger than you expected, you can always play with grass density settings, namely the iMinGrassSize= value. The LOWER is the value, the DENSER is the grass - so if you wanna have more FPS, make the value HIGHER (try 80, 100 or even 120).
Note: You can also make grass to be more "windy" (sway more noticeable under the wind) by adding the next line under the [Display] in Skyrim.ini - fWindGrassMultiplier=X, where X is the value like 3,5,7, 11 etc. Experiment to your leisure :)
With the mods you have now, your game is already has an immense visual improvement in general. If you are not aimed on max results in terms of graphics, you can just skip the rest of graphics mods and continue to gameplay part of the guide. But trust me - we're only beginning! The improvement in models, textures, lighting, weathers and various little, yet important details, can be significantly better. I invite you to continue :)
Mountains mods. Some are also covering rocks. Choose one:
About these mods and which one to choose. Majestic is my personal #2 favourite mod, Northfire's are really photorealistic which fits the mod name, Excellent Mountains is a little gem from Pfuscher with immersive look and incredible texture details, Real and Rustic are pretty much close to vanilla look, and 8k (exactly the 8k version is an overkill, so use 4k version) and CC's UHQ mods are both looking pretty unique. But what mod you're using, Sinitar? My fav is "Vivid Landscapes - Rocking Stones and Mountains" one.
Take into account that clouds improvements are often included in weather mods, so if you're planning to use weather mods, read the respective mod pages carefully - separate cloud mods may be not compatible with them.
Qualitative clouds retextures which sticks to original look.
Northern Realistic Clouds
Beautiful cloud mod inspired by scandinavian weathers and clouds.
Obsidian Mountain Fogs
Beautiful, immersive, volumetric mountains fog mod. Take into account that it's [included] on Obsidian weather mod.
Adds rolling morning fogs over scenic lakes and rivers throughout Skyrim, including an MCM for further customization.
Supreme and Volumetric Fog
This mod tweaks the foggy weathers by making them more...guess what...yeah, you guessed correctly. Pick the correct version when installing, depending which weather mod you will be using (or vanilla weathers).
Optional mod. An attempt to add volumetric mists to the game. SE ENB doesn't have mist at all, so this mod is a partial dog-nail solution to this limitation. As it's hand-placed, it can cause conflicts with other weather mods and fog mods, resulting in weird look.
The Fog Machine
Analogue to Fogrim mod in Skyrim LE, it makes weathers almost cosntantly foggy and adds more distant fogs.
Dimmer Fog and More
Mod reduces fog effect transparency and brightness when exploring dungeons with torches and other light sources.
Darker Interior Ambient Fog
Tweaks interior fog. Use only if you aren't running any lighting mods (like ELFX or ELE).
No Fog on World Map
Simple as that.
For all night sky related mods, if such a version is available, always install 2k resolution one. 4k or sometimes 8k resolution have absolutely no practical sense for these type of textures.
Weather and lighting - realistic storms and snowfalls, new weathers, both grim and vibrant up to your taste, greatly improved & more realistic world lighting, and completely new immersive little things - from rainbows to rain splashes. Everything is here. Make sure that ENB presets are often tweaked for certain weather and/or lighting mod, so it won't look properly with some random weather/lighting mod installed. Incompatibility between ENB preset and weather/lighting mods does [NOT] mean your game will crash or something, but ENB may look weird. Remember this if you'll decide to switch your weather/lighting mod.
Weather mods. Choose only one:
Obsidian Weathers and Seasons
My personal favourite between all weather mods for Skyrim SE, from the authors of the most amazing weather mod for Skyrim LE - NLVA. Obsidian adds plenty of new weathers while keeping the ambience in the borders of canonic Skyrim look. Sharp and beautiful clouds, diverse weathers, volumetric mountain fogs and much more, making a beautiful, truly Skyrim'ish picture. It's also the most ENB-supported weather mod, meaning the amount of ENB presets available to choose from, tweaked for it.
You may also be interested in some addons/patches for it: MCM Patch ==NEW==Beyond Skyrim Bruma PatchVIGILANT PatchSeasonal Calendar (also works for Aequinoctium)Note: Read the mod page carefully and install only ONE esp from many that are in the archive. Download the archive, choose plugin you want, archive it, add to mod manager and install.
The most popular weather mod for Skyrim SE which stands for its name - vivid, vibrant, tasty weathers with a very big variety. The subjective downside of the is that it makes game really more vibrant in many cases, so if you like cinematic/realistic look, that most likely not your best candidate. The objective drawback is that it has somewhat more minor visual glitches than the LE version of the mod, but it's nothing critical and on practice, most likely you won't even notice. Also has enough of ENB presets tweaked for it, but not close as much as Obsidian has, for example.
While Dolomite is technically a predecessor to Obsidian, I personally still prefer some elements from it over Obsidian's composition. It's really diverse, with plenty of beautiful weathers (but not that vibrant as Vivid Weathers), and with absolutely unrivaled clouds look. Also, if you possibly love its rain/snow effects, but wanna use other weather mod, you can use this little addon with other weather mods.
Climates Of Tamriel
"Old but good" weather mod that's making Skyrim weathers more interesting than it was in vanilla game, but still sticking much to original atmosphere as much as possible. One can call it "vanilla weathers plus". Alternative sounds patch available.
Aequinoctium - Weathers and Seasons
A sharp, fantasy-realism weather mod with a noticeable photorealism touch. You can also make a nice mix - using Obsidian, but with some Aequinoctium weathers merged in it, with the help of this patch. Also has a good support in terms of ENB presets available.
NAT - Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel
An amazing candidate if you wanna weathers and general ambience be more cinematic. Also has a good support in terms of ENB presets available. But take into account while most of weather mods are giving 0 performance impact, NAT is much "heavier" compared to other weather mods for some reasons.
Accompanying weather mods. You [can] use each and all of them [together] with other weather & lighting mods:
True Storms Special Edition - Thunder Rain and Weather Redone
The mod make all types of storms much more realistic - severe, loud, deep, by overhauling both visual and audio apperance of them. For me personally, it's doing this job better than any other weather mod above. But what about compatibility? Worry not! Check out this amazing author's page to get a compatibility for many other popular weather mods.
Storm Lightning for SSE and VR
Vanilla game, even in "remastered" version, didn't have actual lightnings during the storms. That fixes it. By default, its lightnings amount/strength is pretty unrealistic and can be even disturbing for some players - but this can be configured in MCM. Yet, if you like extreme thunderstorms - it may be a good pick for you for actual walkthrough as well. Sound overhaul==NEW== available.
Wonders of Weather
Rainbows. Shooting stars. Rain splashes. Simple as that. Compatible with each and every weather/lighting mod as no else mod does the same. Don't forger to grab the CTD fix==NEW== and, optional, these addons here and here==NEW==.
Clear Skies Fix SE
This mod is optional - use it ONLY if you have Clear Skies shout not working properly if you have one of "main" weather mods above.
Lighting mods. Choose only one:
Enhanced Lights and FX
The well-deserved most endorsed lighting mod of all times. A complete overhaul to vanilla lighting while keeping it simple and not going away from original look. Better lighting. New light sources where needed. More realistic lighting in dungeons and other interiors. Huge coverage. Best support from the side of ENB presets. Everything is here. Personal recommendation - if you're aimed on a heavy mod list, choose only the core mod itself and enhancer option (and ofc SMIM-related option) - don't choose exteriors option. And don't use ELFX weathers module - it's not compatible with other weather mods and almost not supported by ENB presets. Lastly, choose "no [vanilla player home name]" or "no player homes" if you are planning to use mods that overhaul vanilla player home/s. It also has plenty of addons to improve it/make more compatible. This patch plus this patch and this one are [absolutely essential]. This one and this one are very much recommended as well. This mod has some patches for mods you may possibly have. If you're using ELFX hardcore module and ASLAL, this will be useful.
Realistic Lighting Overhaul
Another simply great lighting mod of a huge coverage and great popularity. Aims on similar things like ELFX does, but has different look here and there. May give you a few more FPS compared to ELFX usage if you're on a somewhat weak rig, but comes with much, much worse support of ENB presets (meaning there are almost no ENB presets that are officially and fully tweaked for it). You may also find this mod useful - it offers patches for two popular mods, and this one as well (ofc, use them only if you'll be using the named mods).
Relighting Skyrim + Enhanced Lighting for ENB
These are two mods, but can be considered as a single one, as they perfectly compatible and basically should be used together. Alternative and more lightweight approach to changing the game lighting - if you aren't sure, just try both mods above, and this combo, and then choose one you like the most :) ELE mod Files tab also has a few patches for some popular mods.
Freshly released and actively updated, LUX is another complete lighting overhaul aimed on realism.
Basically a port of "SHADOWS" mod from Skyrim LE. Amazing mod that's adding and improving shadows in interiors. The quality of these shadows sometimes gives really a great difference in interiors look. This said, it requires a lot of work to be made compatible with lighting mods above. You can make compatibility patches yourself via SSEEdit and CK, but this will take a lot of time if you want to make it literally 100% compatible with other big lighting mods above. Let me put it more clear and simple: until you're pretty experienced with xEdit and CK, and don't have several dozens of hours of free time - don't use this mod on top of other lighting mods above. Use one or another.
Ambiance - A Vanilla(plus) Ambient Lighting Overhaul ==NEW==
A vanilla+ lighting mod which recalibrates ambient lighting adhering to vanilla colors and creating a balance between stealth gameplay and looks. Can be used alone instead of major lighting mods, but also can be used together with the next mods: ELFX (without Enhancer option), Relighting Skyrim and Windows Shadows.
Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun Shadows ==NEW==
Dynamically adjusts the game setting value to ensure better synchronization between sun shadows and the sun so shadows casted from objects would be better properly positioned. At the same time, this doesn't come without cons and you may notice weird shadows behaviour in some cases. Try it yourself and see if you want it or not :)
All the mods in this section are optional. They transform the landscapes of Skyrim in this or that way - adds or remove trees, making wilderness more dense or barren, change the look of terrain, roads, bridges, or just completely transforming Skyrim into something new - with spring, summer or purely winter region. Choose and use what you personally like :)
Skyrim Better Roads
One of the most simple yet one of the most favorite mods of such type for me personally. It makes huge amount of Skyrim roads to look more authentic and logical. It's also perfectly compatible with almost all the mods in this section. My personal advice is to install version without bridges coverage to be able to use bridges-dedicated mods below. Installing [all] main files is also recommended.
Enhanced Landscapes ==FPS==
Absolutely huge, whole-game-covering mod. It adds literally thousands of new objects here and there - from trees and cliffs, to urns and statues. Forets, shores, mountains - everything in your game will have a fresh, yet pretty lore-friendly touch. Mod also fully supports 3D LODs from DynDOLOD. It has some flaws as well though - sometimes the placements of new objects are feeling generic and not much logical and it still has visual glitches (mostly clipping or floating objects) here and there. Due to huge coverage it also may have compatibility issues (like clipping) if you will also have plenty of other landscape overhauls and settlement mods, so here you will need to be careful or just don't have much other similar mods alongside it. Those issues are mostly cosmetic and won't break your game in technical meaning - the mod itself is simply huge and really great - so test it and decide yourself :) To help you solve some possible compatibility issues easily, take a look at this neat patches page covering compatibility with some popular mods.
The Great Forest of Whiterun Hold ==FPS==
Want the tundra region more forested? Think no more! This mod creates a giant forest Falkreath-style in the desolated tundra of Whiterun hold. Also take a look on patches page - but take into account that mod doesn't have FOMOD installer - download the archive manually, delete all patches you don't need, keep those you do, archive it back, add to your mod manager and install.
A really well-made tree mod that follows "quality over quantity" approach and carefully places trees here and there to make scenery look better. It also adds beautiful "king trees" from Enderal to Skyrim.
Bent Pines II
Another mod that adds huge trees here and there, but with different look. Technically, you can use it together with Trees Addon, but on practice, I'd recommend to choose one.
Dark Forests of Skyrim
My personal favorite between all landscape/tree overhauls. It places several thousands of trees/plants over the Skyrim, yet doing this very carefully & logically. It features both dead and new alive trees types, making some places more grim and other - more alive, fitting the overall ambience of the regions. It's also more performance-friendly and better compatibility-wise (but still it's recommended to avoid using other massive tree addons together with it, as this will result in frequent clipping), than, for example, Enhanced Landscapes and has full 3D LODs support. EVT as main tree mod and balanced, cinematic ENB preset like Rudy ENB are recommended to be used with it.
Project Rainforest - A Tropical Climate and Environment Overhaul
Skyrim SE lacks summer/spring landscape overhauls, but gladly this amazing (and pretty underrated) mod is here. It's a tropical rainforest overhaul for the Skyrim, covering most worldspaces of the base game and DLCs minus the visual overkill. Trees, plants, grasses, weather ambience, sounds - everything to transform Skyrim into tropical-looking beauty. It's not recommended to use is with other massive flora overhauls, building visual setup around this mod in first turn.
Skyrim 3D Landscapes
This mod is really a massive work, but pretty much as "3D" trees mod, it often suffers from look of plants that absolutely doesn't fit into Skyrim. Some plants are also too saturated/bright, which you can ofc fix in Photoshop or similar program if you like the mod in general. This mod may fit much better with some spring/summer overhaul for Skyrim (which SE sadly doesn't have that many).
Beautiful mod that adds various ruined structures and statues across Skyrim. The flaw of this one is sometimes it may feel "too much" in certain places, and mod also has some events and references that are not lore-friendly and made for fun (for example, Shrek references). Still, this is all up to player's taste :)
Don't want lore-unfriendly moments and occasional too much clutter that previous mod has, but love its approach still? Think no more and try this one.
Interesting Roads ==NEW==
Immersive and non-intrusive addon for Skyrim roads from the author of mod above (and compatible with it). You can see a video showcase of it here.
Winter Overhaul 2019
An all-in-one overhaul that turns Skyrim into a real winter region - whole of it, from the author of Dark Forests of Skyrim. New snow-covered trees, dead trees, more snowy weathers, snow-covered cities and so on. If you always thought that Skyrim should be more cold and snowy - that's a perfect mod for you. Compatible with Obsidian and Vivid Weathers. Compatible with survival/immersion mods like Frostwall/R.A.S.S. IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT use it with other massive landscape overhauls, as this will definitely lead to massive clipping and other conflicts, and just weird look.
Nordic Ruins of Skyrim
Absolutely brilliant that overhauls some of the most memorable Nordic ruins of Skyrim, making the look much more badass, but immersive, feeling like the original part of the game at the same time. A must-have mod in my humble opinion.
Pretty much self-explanatory name. Adds vibrant, beautiful flower fields here and there. May be not much immersive in some cases, but a great option for anyone who wanna give Skyrim a bit more fresh, spring touch.
Master The Summit
Like climbing the highest mountains? Want to maybe abuse Skyrim's glitchy physics less often for that? Try this mod that adds a lot of wooden bridges, stairs and other useful things to explore the mountains and cliffs.
My favourite bridge mod. Gives an overhaul to close to every bridge in Skyrim, making them look really unique and immersive. Do NOT use together with the mod below, choose one or another. Also install this improvement patch==NEW==
Covered Bridges of Skyrim
An alternative if you don't like previous mod. More "simple" bridge overhaul. Do NOT use together with the mod above, choose one or another.
Northern Marsh Bridges
Adds several wooden bridges across the northern marshlands of Hjaalmarch (the region where some bridges would actually not hurt, imo). You CAN use this mod together with one of previous mods as it only adds new bridges.
Towns, cities, villages, forts & camps. Everything to make them look better, expand, and sometimes even rebuild completely. Take into account that in most of cases, you shouldn't use more than one mod that affects the same settlement, as this will lead to major clipping issues or a completely borked look - so if you're relatively new to modding, always just choose one mod affecting certain area. But ofc there are some exclusions and some mod covering same settlements can be used together - on-fly or with certain tweaks - I'll notify about that. Mods that add NEW settlements/buldings will be added in the next update together with a compelte miniguide into "ultimate settlements overhaul". Also take into account that some of these mods can heavily impact your FPS if you're not on high-end rig.
First of all, let's take a look at some "big" settlement overhauls - the mods that cover many settlelements at once with certain own style:
JK's Skyrim ==FPS==
The most popular towns'n'cities overhaul, and it's pretty deserved - nothing from similar mods can compete with JK's Skyrim in terms of amount of various details and clutter added to cities and towns. Coverage: Whiterun, Windhelm, Solitude, Markarth, Riften, Riverwood, Dragon Bridge, Ivarstead, Rorikstead, Falkreath, Morthal, Dawnstar, Winterhold, Skaal Village and Skyhaven Temple. Don't use it with Dawn of Skyrim, ETAC all-in-on and The Great Cities collection listed below. If you want to mix, you can choose modular version of ETAC and/or separate "great cities" mods. You can also use separate JK's mods for certain city/town, but sadly there are only few available, unlike for Skyrim LE. Mod's Files section also provides plenty of patches for other popular mods, and here's a patch for Great City of Dawnstar mod and high poly patch==NEW== for NPCs.
Dawn of Skyrim (Director's Cut)
My personal city overhaul favourite at the moment. Great visual improvement while having light fps impact [plus] new interiors integrated into radiant quests system. Coverage: Whiterun, Windhelm, Solitude, Markarth, Riften - you can use it with any other settlement mod that doesn't affect cities.
Expanded Towns and Cities
An atmospheric overhaul with own unique touch, references and much more things here and there. The flaw of this mod is it has plenty of bugs here and there - they are not critical and don't bloat your save or something, but if you like seamless glitch-free experience, you may want to wait until it's more clean. Currently, despite the name, it covers only plenty of towns and doesn't touch cities - so you can use it with city-only mods like Dawn of Skyrim. For towns and villages - read mod page compatibility notes.
The Great Cities - Minor Cities and Towns
The mod name is somewhat confusing - it doesn't cover cities (at least, for now) - only towns, namely the Dawnstar, Dragon Bridge, Falkreath, Morthal, Rorikstead and Winterhold. This mod is my personaly favourite for towns as it has absolutely fresh, original approach, while staying lore-friendly. I'm personally using it with Dawn of Skyrim for cities coverage. You can also try separate mods from the same author if you wanna mix things up. If you wanna use it with JK's Skyrim, there's a nice mashup plugin here (you still need both mods themselves). The drawback of using them together is that compatibility patches for other popular mods made either for JK's Skyrim or Great Cities may not work properly. There's also a few patches for various other mods available here.
My personal favourite villages mod which overhauls vanilla villages and adds a few new one. Coverage: Sarethi Farm, Heartwood Mill, Kolskeggr Mine, Loreius Farm, Soljunds Sinkhole, Whistling Mine + Coldstone Mine (new village). This mod IS compatible with Arthmoor's village mods (and it's recommended to use them together). Mod Files section also provides plenty of patches for other popular mods. This patch is available.
Arthmoor's Village Mods
Arthmoor provides light-weight yet neat overhauls for many vanilla villages. Sadly, all-in-one overhaul (as for Skyrim LE) is not available, so you'll have to install the one by one and then possibly merge if you'll need plugin space. Compatible with Settlements Expanded. About other mods covering same villages - read the mod pages. Coverage: Ivarstead, Kynesgrove, Shor's Stone, Darkwater Crossing, Whistling Mine, Karthwasten, Soljund's Sinkhole, Helarchen Creek.
Skyrim Reborn - Whiterun Hold
A massive overhaul for almost 20 "tiny" places in Whiterun hold - standing stones, bandit camps, towers etc. Compatible or close to 99% compatible with any settlement overhaul and compatible with mods of landscape overhaul - only may cause some minor clipping here and there. The only flaw of this mod is that changes for most of places of similar type are looking almost the same. ATTENTION: read the list of included mods carefully - don't use them or mods that are possibly covering same places.
Goodfellow's Whiterun Hold
One more simple, but highly immersive whiterun hold overhaul.
Now, I want to point your attention on some not "whole-covering" (mostly single-settlement), but highly prominent mods that cover this or that settlement. Consider this my personal "essential mods besides the big overhauls" section:
Paradise City for Vanilla Skyrim -- Great Trees for Cities ==FPS==
In my opinion, this one is the best cities tree mod ever - beautiful, yet logically places trees for these settlements: Whiterun, Riften, Windhelm, Rorikstead. Compatible or almost compatible (with just a minor clipping that you can just disable in console) with all mods that afffects same settlements. Works especially great with Dawn of Skyrim. Also fully compatible with DynDOLOD generator.
Immersive College of Winterhold
This mod a must-have. Yes, even if you're playing not as pure mage. You still will go through College questline sooner or later, and you still will be visiting it from time to time. This mod is just enormous in its College overhaul aspect. Aesthetical visual overhaul of structures and building, new buildings, new cells, new dungeon, greatly improved College NPCs AI, new NPCs, immersive magic learning experience, new dungeon, quest and dozens of other tiny details - feel this faction as never before. Also take a look at map texture improvement, chains improvement, "3D" Trees patch and few other patches.
Glorious Fort Dawnguard
Ever wonder why Fort Dawnguard is so damned depressing? You arrive and the place is empty and uninspiring. Dark, old, worn down, tattered banners, and only a wet-behind-the-ears farmboy with "pa's axe" to greet you when you arrive - well, this mod changes that. Choose between this mod or the one below.
Immersive Fort Dawnguard
Another Dawnguard HQ overhaul from author of well-known Immersive College of Winterhold mod - and also for both exteriors and interiors. Bigger and better fort iteself with new fortifications and buildings. Chapel, library, bathhouse and prison inside. As you progress through the quest-line, Fort Dawnguard will gradually be cleaned up and restored until its back to its original glory. Choose this mod or the one above. Also take into account that it's pretty freshly released, so you may have to wait for various compatibility patches to appear (though with the nature of the mod, there won't be many hard compatibility issues in first turn). Choose between this mod or the one above (I'm currently using this one). If you're using "Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods", get this patch==NEW==. You can see a showcase of it in my video here. Better Tel Mithryn
An expansion of the settlement of Tel Mithryn. Includes docks, a main gate, new merchants, guards, and more.
Quaint Raven Rock
ESP-only overhaul. Extremely lore-friendly yet detailed at the same time, with interesting new features and details. A few patches available.
Absolutely breathtaking, masterpiece work of talented Kojak - the author literally combined various best of the best improvements affecting Solitude in this or that way from couple dozens of mods and made an ultimate Solitude addon, which is, moreover, ultra-compatible with other city mods. Also grab this.
The Great City of Solitude
Amazing Solitude exterior overhaul - compatible with mods like JK/Dawn that change Solitude inside. A patch for CFTO is available. Note: Don't use ELFX Exteriors option with it to avoid clipping. Well, don't use ELFX Exterior option in general if you're aimed on heavy settlements overhaul (once again).
Windhelm Exterior Altered
Made some changes on the existing dock also added a new dock/harbour outside Windhelm. Compatible with most of city mods.
Old Hroldan Ruins
Fixes a discrepancy in which there should be even the ruins of an ancient settlement of what used to be Hroldan as described in lore.
Stendarr's Beacon Enhanced and Ruhmastered
Absolutely essential little gem. Expands & improves Stendarr's Beacon, making it more functional for those playing as, with, or against the Vigilants of Stendarr. Adds new, lore-appropriate interior zones, outbuildings, and decor to complement the Vigil's aesthetic. Compatible with VIGILANT quest mod.
Stonehills RebornMixwater Mill RebornAnga's Mill RebornGreater Skaal Village
Compatible with JK's Skaal Village changes.
T'Skyrim - Riverwood (Addon for JK's Skyrim) ==FPS==Note: To be used ONLY with JK's Riverwood (or JK's Skyrim).
Snowy AF Windhelm
Makes how it's called. For good compatibility, usage with JK's Skyrim is recommended with this patch. Other City mods are not officially supported.
Tiny, totally optional but a cool mod that adds more crops to many villages/towns farms. Greatly compatible with mods of settlement overhauls.
Interior overhauls. Take into account that they may (and will in almost all cases) conflict if you'll be trying to use them together to get the biggest possible coverage, but it's easily fixed - just open mods affecting same cells in xEdit and delete the named cell from one of the mods and save. If you want to see more detailed tutorial with examples - watch the video below :)
So, interior mods:
Small, simple changes to make interiors more distinct and recognizable. Don't forget to get the fix addon, fps fix patch and improved barrerls look patch==NEW==. A patch for Snazzy Furniture and Clutter Overhaul is available.
Palaces and Castles Enhanced
The most beautiful and glorious overhaul for the most memorable Skyrim interiors, namely the Dragonsreach, Blue Palace, Castle Dour, Mistveil Keep, Understone Keep, Palace of the Kings and Fort Dawnguard. An essential mod, imo. Also make sure to check the Files tab for patches.
The great overhaul for dozens of interiors with amazing fantasy touch. Mod is hosted on LE page - get the "Enhanced Interiors SSE Beta" file. SE version is not officially supported tho.
jkrojmal profile ==NEW==
For over 20 (and going) standalone overhauls for various interiors cells - from Dragonsreach and Mistveil Keep, to Pawned Prawn and Warmaidens. Some patches are available here==NEW==.
A lightweight inn and immersive mod alternative.
EEKs Whiterun Interiors
My personal favourite for the named interiors.
Opulent Thieves Guild
Beautiful Ragged Flagon overhaul the immersively improves the look of it while you're progressing in TG questline. Also grab the fix==NEW==.
Note: If you wanna use it with Distinct Interiors, use its modular version.
Temple of the Divines Frescoes ==NEW==
Adds painted frescoes to the Temple of the Divines in Solitude and other temples and halls of the dead, now with a FOMOD installer.
Drengin's Blue Palace Terrace
Overhaul of the Blue Palace in Solitude. Unique appearance and enhanced interior. A great alternative to PCE's Blue Palace. A few patches are available, as well as SFCO patch .
Blue Palace Overhaul 5.0
And one more Blue Palace overhaul, somewhat simplier than previous ones, but with own spirit. Like it pretty much myself.
PD Inn's Bath
Overhauls various inns interiors and adds baths to them.
This Is Jorrvaskr
Jorrvaskr visual overhaul. A bath, additional beds, fountains, additional idles, a kitchen, a loft, a lounge, a guest quarter, planters, a walk-in closet, plenty of safe storage, mannequins, and weapon and shield displays.
Enhanced Skaal Greathall ==NEW==
A complete overhaul of Skaal Greathall.
Castle Volkihar Rebuilt
A simple mod to allow the player to clean up the debris and rebuild Castle Volkihar to its former glory. The North Tower is also converted into a player home with safe storage. Use this one or the mod below. A small addon for it available here.
The Royal Castle ==NEW==
Castle Volkihar with style, dungeon, training-room and much more. Use this mod or the one above.
Auriel's Chapel Restored ==NEW==
Restores the Chapel of Auriel and the Inner Sanctum in the Forgotten Vale
Blue Palace Frescos 2.0 ==NEW==
Wall paintings to match Elisifs beauty!
For many simple yet well done overhauls for interiors in various cities and villages. Much more available for LE, but as plugins a pretty simple, you can try use LE ones in SE, they should work fine.
A project aimed at improving the interiors of Skyrim into something more unique.
Anna's Vanilla Inns
Modest and immersive makeovers of some vanilla Inns: Frostfruit (Rorikstead), Four Shields (Dragonbridge), Sleeping Giant (Riverwood), and Moorside (Morthal).
Nine new glorious gamerooms found in various cities and inns across Skyrim.
Gooood. Now a plenty of various smaller mods that changes single city/town/adds different things here and there. Take into account that some of them maybe be 100% compatible with big mods above, some may be not. Just read the mod pages attentively and you'll be fine.
SKY CITY - Markarth Rising ==FPS==
This beautiful mod is COMPATIBLE with most of Markarth overhauls. Some minor clipping may occur though, which is not critical and you can remove clipping objects by typing "disable" in console when clicking on them.
Second Era Markarth ==NEW==
This mod is not directly changing the existing city districts yet adds some objects and structures that were noticeably missing in the 4th era when compared to ESO's Markarth. Can be used on top of most of other mods which overhaul Markarth.
City Entrances Overhaul - Markarth
A complete overhaul of the Markarth entrance area. Also make sure to install the fix.
Epic Cities - Solitude ==NEW==
That's probably the most unique and most underrated Solitude overhaul, and one on most originally-made city overhaul at all. Besides being highly detailed and not just adding symbolical clutter or buildings, new buildings are functional, NPC wear near armors etc. But most important is that mod expands city not just broadwise/horizontally, but vertically as well, giving Solitude a gorgeous, truly epic look it deserves. You can see a showcase of it in my video here.
An elevated set of stairs and walkways that has been added to the underside of the large rock arch that the city of Solitude rests upon.
Solitude Exterior Addon
If you don't like the Great City of Solitude for some reasons, you can try this.
Realistic Solitude Arch
For MUH REALISM.
Enhanced Solitude Docks
One more alternative for Solitude docks.
Solitude Docks Updated
You really thought that was the last one?
Enhanced Solitude Docks ==NEW==
Solitude Docks, worthy of a capital.
Riften Docks Pathways
Adds additional pathways and bridges connecting the Riften docks with both sides of the mainland. Compatible with mods of city mods that affect Riften.
Riften Docks Overhaul
Docks overhaul for Riften created by combining and tweaking several high-quality mods.
Riften Fish Market
A port of Riften Fish Market mod from Skyrim LE.
WiZkiD Pinewatch ==NEW==
A omplete aesthetic revamp of Pinewatch. It includes a new model for the buildings and high quality textures.
Rodryk's Dragon Bridge ==NEW==
A new set of custom, unique buildings for Dragon Bridge. Some patches for other popular mods available here.
Dragon Bridge South Side ==NEW==
Simple as that - expands Dragon Bridge south part. Use this mod or the mod below.
Expanded Dragon Bridge ==NEW==
Vanilla style expansion of the village of Dragon Bridge that adds buildings and NPCs to the South side of the bridge, including a Blacksmith and a Chapel of Akatosh. Use this mod or the mod above.
Imperial Stone - The Forts of Skyrim Redone
Absolutely great mod that overhauls many prominent Skyrim forts, making them look as they initially should: Fort Greymoor, Fort Sungard, Fort Greenwall, Fort Snowhawk, Fort Hraggstad, Fort Amol, Fort Kastav, Fort Neugrad, Fort Dunstad, Northwatch Keep. Tactical Valtheim
An epic redesign of Valtheim Towers into Valtheim Keep, an attempt to turn it into an actual fortress while maintaining something like the original atmosphere and style. DSR patch is available.
Serenity - A Silent Moons Camp Overhaul
A mod to make Silent Moons Camp into a larger bandit camp, as well as making the lunar enchantment and forge better, and make Silent Moons Camp claimable.
Halted Stream Mine
Halted Stream Camp is sitting on top of a decent iron mine. This mod will let you claim the mine for a faction of your choice, preventing bandits from spawning there again.
Skamp's Claw Keep
A complete rework of the Abandoned Prison. Compatible with ASLAL.
Snowhawk Expanded - City Ruins
Expansion of the area east of Fort Snowhawk to include the ruins of the former city of Snowhawk which was present in TES I: Arena and mentioned in TES IV: Oblivion.
All mods here are NOT obligatory for installation - but it's recommended to go through them still, as it will greatly improve hundreds of more objects not touched before, or improve better then previous "big" mods with often absolutely exceptional quality. The section below is the biggest one in meaning of mods quantity - so don't be afraid when you'll open it. This is a process of plesantly smashing each ugly texture left, as much as possible. Creatures, dragons, armors and weapons, food, ingots, plants and hundreds of other objects till the tiniest details, like ruined books or gold pouches. Many mods will ask you to overwrite - as your game has huge amount of objects retextured already. Just approve overwriting and keep going. It often also may come up to personal taste - so look on each mod page, choose what you like and what not. Enjoy.
First, a large chunk of standalone retexture mods for a single/few objects which don't quite fit into some spefific category, or affect lots of objects. There are plenty of mods here, so they were grouped into a expandable subsection - click "show" to unwrap it:
Texture packs changing the look of cities, guild halls and some other noticeable locations or location types (like bandit forts). Those textures, in like 95% cases are already covered by mods you have at this point, so these retextures are for you to choose from if you like their look more than current one or simply provide more high-quality retextures compared to "base" packs here and there. While all of them are just texture/model replacers which don't add anything to the places themselves, don't underestimate how much refreshed look they can give! Some places have more than one mod for you to pick from, so once again choose one that you prefer the most between several variants - or you can try to manually mix'n'match them yourself :)
Various "specialised" armor, weapons, clothing jewels and other artifacts retextures - meaning that those items are most likely already retexture by the mods you have now, yet, these mods provide either better quality or distinct appearance by introducing new models together with improved textures. There can be several options for a same object - for example, several mods retexturing daedric armor, so there you will have several options to pick from. Note: There are some additional options for some armors and weapons (like Frankfamily faction armors or Vpulse08 weapon replacers), yet as they are highly numerous but made by same authors, those are linked later in this section.
The last few links are gathered exactly here for 2 reasons. Some of these works are absolutely exceptional quality and so, should be installed the very last to ensure nothing overwrites them. Secondly, most of the links are links to mod author profiles - some of them have dozens of retexture/remodel mods, and so, this will simply save a lot of space for the guide and time for you. Some of the mods you may already have though -as some of them I've made sure to link separately because of the great quality.
Already almost 30 creature types received much more realistic meshes. Get'em'all!
Huge amount of various "forgotten" things retextures.
Same, for many other objects.
Even more small retextures.
For many absolutely sick vanilla unique/quest jewel replacers.
For beautiful retextures of almost all arrows/bolts in the game.
You thought that's it? Ha!
And even more. Elsopa mostly focuses on absolutely forgotten things in great quality. Meredia's Beacon? Dust piles? Perk menu consttellations? All that and much more.
Definitely the best-looking textures for many creature types.
Probably too saturated for some players, but definitely beautiful, fantasy-looking retextures for some of ugly skyrim plants.
Ultra high poly models and realistic, medieval textures for some Skyrim clutter.
Literally magnificent door meshes and textures for cities. Amount of mods is growing gradually, so check his profile from time to time.
For some absolutely sick vanilla weapon replacers. Not all his mods are ported by himself to SE, but there are ports made by this user from author's permission.
Skyrim "3D" mods
You may know this author already, most likely. Unlike the tree/flora mods which have arguable look, almost all his clutter mods are real masterpiece with beautiful volumetric models and somewhat "ascetic" look.
Frankly HD mods
When it comes to vanilla armors (and sometimes weapons) retextures and better models, FrankFamily is simply out of competition. His mods are breathtakingly HD and detailed, while preserving original look. Unrivaled Nightingale, Dawnguard, Thieves Guild, Shrouded, Imperial, Dragonbone armors and some other great retexture mods are here.
Rudy HQ - Miscellaneous
For all clutter it covers, this Rudy mod is also unrivaled - in both terms of models and textures. Install it last, grab all optional addons you want and don't forget a patch for Smoking Torches and Candles (if you have it).
Rudy's "More Lights" mods
Also check out his profile for revolutionary mesh mods that allows "Complex Particle Lights" feature from ENB to work on these objects.
One ember mod to rule them all. Follow the installer and pick options you need. Enjoy!
KD - Realistic Fireplaces
A complete remake of fireplaces with new, 3D meshes and HD textures - compatible with the mod above. Optional retexture for logs available.
For ports of Rammcoid standalone textures for various little things - they have great quality and you may prefer them over same texture covered previously by mods in the guide.
Check it to get decent amount of qualitative retexture mods for various little things - animal ingredients, food and even insects!
Amazing Pfuscher's mods
Author of the most popular texture pack for Skyrim SE, Pfuscher, has couple tens of smaller texture mods of amazing quality. Barrels, plants, animals, tents, clutter. Check them out.
LossRec profile ==NEW==
For lots of beautiful ENB light addons for different objects.
Gamwich profile ==NEW==
Gamwich is a highly talented texture artist and also incredibly productive - over 20 texture packs (LE has twice as more of them, but you can use most of them as is without need of a conversion), from small standalone retexture (vampire hounds, spiders or horkers) to a wide-covering mods (like rustic clothing which covers several dozens of clothes in the game). Some of his most noticeable texture mods are already linked above, but he has so much more - and you may prefer his textures look over other mods. Take a peek for sure!
IconicDeath profile ==NEW==
For many beautiful textures for certain "forgotten" objects - from Gray Fox bust to creature retextures.
CALEB2 profile ==NEW==
For various "glowing" textures for some objects and critters.
PraedythXVI profile ==NEW==
For incredibly HQ textures and models for some vanilla weapons, armors and misc items.
neardaniel profile ==NEW==
For some quality retextures of "forgotten" objects, as well as couple addons for other popular texture mods.
dpillari profile ==NEW==
Similar kind of mods and incredibly quality.
Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes
This mod corrects numerous graphic glitches around Tamriel worldspace. It's also in active development, so make sure to track it to always have latest version.
Unofficial Material Fix
Another great collection of visual/sound bugfixes for the game.
Better body models, head models. Better textures for skin, eyes, hair, brows, beards etc. Usually, you can install as many eyes and hair mods as you want - just be sure these mods are standalone. Situation with body and skin mods is different - you can have only one in each category (on top of UNP or CBBE, usually), so choose which you like the most. Absolutely all choices here are nothing else but matter of taste - so read the mod pages, look at screenshots and choose whatever you like. Note: Mods in this section often have textures from 1k to 4k and even 8k resolution for skin, 2k or 4k resolution for beards etc - use such high-res version only in case you're aiming on screenarchery. For regular gameplay, taking something like 8k skin or 2k brows makes no practical sense and will just waste your VRAM. FPS hit will depend completely and only on your resolution choice.
Xenius Character Enhancement Complete
The huge pack of textures for many things - body and face textures, scars and more, from talented Xenius. Usually, you many want to use only some of the files - for this, download the mod manually, unpack, delete everything you don't need, zip the files you need back, add to mod manager and install as usually.
Expressive Facegen Morphs
This mod replaces the morphs for the vanilla human and elf character creations and adds a morph for Racemenu.
Realistic facial complexions to add freckles, wrinkles, or other imperfections to your skin. Compatible with almost all skin texture mods, and it applies to males and females.
Smile in HD
HD teeth texture.
Wounds Overlays For RaceMenu
Here we go with the list of mods that improve visual appearance of NPCs - female, male and children. Here you can find something for any taste (besides the absolutely unrealistic overhauls which are not included). Current list contains standalone mods - these mods don't require other mods to work properly, plug'n'play! Note: Such mods may be or not be compatible, as most of them change many NPCs, you can have a situation when you want to install two mods, but they change some same NPCs. In this case, place the mod you like the most after. For example, you want to use MOD1 and MOD2. Both of them change Lydia. You like Lydia from MOD2. Place MOD2 after MOD1 to give it bigger priority and you'll be fine in most of cases.
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations, you can take a look at some of these mods:
Bijin WarmaidensBijin NPCs
Also grab a fix.
Legendary mods that beautify many memorable female characters. My personal favorite between all similar mods for named characters, an essential mod series for me personally. You may also be interested in alternative look addon for Lydia, Aela and Ria, as well as in "customizers" for warmaidens, NPCs and wives respectively.
Now just a minute of your attention to our best bae, Serana (and her family):
RS Children Overhaul
A well-deserved most popular children overhaul. To say objectively, the SE version of the mod has more bugs than LE version. The issues are cosmetic and won't break your game, but still it's need to be mentioned. Also, you most likely will have to apply this fix until the mod is updated. For great compatibility with other mods, there are 2 patches pages here and here. You may also like this optional addon for it. Note: A bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here.
Realistic RS Children Overhaul ==NEW==
Currently my favourite children overhaul due to a great balance between improved appearance and realism. Make sure to install the RS Children Overhaul mod itself first, and then install this one and overwrite. You can also optionall install this addon which adds 8 new adoptable children to the game, with the similar appearance style.
TK ChildrenNote: A bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here.
Great quality while sticking to lore-friendly look and just huge amount of patches for popular mods compatibility. Note: A bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here.
The Kids Are Alright Renewal ==NEW==
Updated version of the original "Kids Are Alright" mod.
Now let's get to UI (shortening from User Interface) mods. Icons, widgets, notifications, proper menus look on all resolutions - that's all UI. So a good UI mod always comes in handy. The main task of UI mods is to make your gameplay more comfortable, navigating in menus more intuitive, adding more useful widgets and spending less time in menus in general, enjoying the gameplay. Some of the absolutely essential UI mods like SkyUI or Better Dialogue/Messagebox Controls you already have - but there're quite a few more amazing mods to serve you.
Have you ever thought that your game is boring? That it should be more challenging, realistic, more variative and interesting? Think no more - and let's drastically imrpove Skyrim gameplay to the heights you never even imagined before! This consists of three parts - Expansion, Gameplay Features and Immersion. Expansion contains list of mods that add new lands/dungeons/quests/armors and weapons and so on. Gameplay Features part is for magic/spells/perks/combat and many other mods that affect your gameplay variety and difficulty. Immersion part contains mods that makes your playthrough more atmospheric and realistic in overall. Patches, fixes, compatibility notes and plenty of personal remarks included. Better combat, magic, perks, AI, new monsters, quests, lands, dungeons and settlements, immersion and survival realism, population, followers, armors and weapons - absolutely everything you may want and even much more, about what you haven't even thought yet :)
From casual to absolute hardcore - you can pick up best mods yourself or proceed to unique "modules" below to see carefully pre-made mod lists for different tastes and purposes, which you just need to mimic, without worrying about incompatibilities and not spending your own time picking the mods.
Quests and new lands, dungeons, new armors, weapons and artifacts, followers and player homes. Many of quest/new land mods listed here are really big and complex and can give you dozens of interesting gameplay hours not worse then official Skyrim DLCs.
Take into account that you shouldn't just install all the mods in this section. Moreover, statistics shows that one almost never finish all those dozens of quest mods installed in a single walkthrough. It's recommended to get up to 4-6 big quest/new land mods and a few smaller ones. Now, first of all, a few mods which are not directly adding new quests but rather affect quest-related aspects of gameplay in general, QOL for questing to say so:
Quest NPCs Run
Makes slow walking escort NPCs run instead of walk.
The Choice is Yours
Stop quests from starting automatically. Pursue the quests you want, ignore the ones you don't. Make your choices matter. In addition, there are times when you are given a choice to refuse a quest, but the quest will automatically start regardless of your decision or you are forced to agree to do a job before hearing the details. Now quests won't start until you agree to them.
Timing is Everything
Allows you to customize the starting conditions for various quests. You can choose to delay the start of Dragonborn, Dawnguard, or Hearthfire quests, as well as other quest events. Or you can also reduce the level requirements allowing a quest to start earlier than it normally would.
Quests Are In Skyrim
Makes radiant quest no longer send you to locations outside of the province of Skyrim, limiting them with only nine vanilla holds.
Now, to the quest and new land mods themselves. Massive to medium sized mods - where each one can give you from a few up to dosens hours of walkthrough/exploration.
A pretty new and must-play quest mod. Don't you even dare to skip it. Let me explain (you can also watch my video review of it): If I would make my "Top 10 Quest Mods" video today, Project AHO definitelly would be in the list of 5 best quest mods ever made. Everything in this mod is just amazing - breathtaking detective storyline with multiple endings, brilliant voice acting, stunningly beautiful worldspace design and a lot of puns and references at the same time. I never felt such a deep and detailed recreation of Morrowind vibes as in this mod. Try it for sure! Install the fix patch==NEW==. Also, you may be interested in this small fix , improved meshes patch, new Telvanni-inspired weapons==NEW== and some spell mods patches. You can a see a showcase of it here.
The Forgotten City
Amazing, dynamic, incredibly detailed! Beautiful, intricately detailed new city to explore. Non-linear story with several endings. Amazing orchestral soundtrack, big community of fully-voiced NPCs with backstories. Discover secrets, mysteries, and relics that are thousands of years old. Enjoy! Also grab the better entrance patch.
The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal
Amazing DLC-sized mod for all who like thief gameplay. Beautiful landscapes, amazing questline, dozens of traps and puzzles and finally an ultimate prize - Gray Cowl of Nocturnal (Mask of Gray Fox).
Additional patches/addons for it:HD Textures PackSome popular mods patches installerAlikr Flora OverhaulMore lore-friendly mask obtainingBy Azura!Helgen Reborn
Awesome lore-friendly mod for rebuilding Helgen. Fully voiced questline, great story wrapping around civil war and Thalmor. New dungeons, 3 new armor sets, private tower player home. Interactive display room that transforms as you play the game. You may also wanna grab RS Children patch, CFTO patch, lootable Sigil Stones patch or ICFH patch and Great City of Falkreath patch==NEW==.
Become a vigilant of Stendarr and go through an amazing dark story. This mod is just fantastic, inspired by Dark Souls series in meaning of locations design, but staying in terms of the Elder Scrolls lore at the same time! Amazing dark and creepy locations, hordes of new creatures, giant unique bosses. New unique weapons, rings, lanterns and so on. The only thing is original mod is japanese, but there are links to English and other translations. One of the best ever made for Skyrim, this quest mod is absolutely worth to try - especially now it has the english-voiced addon made by professional and semi-professional voice actors. Also there's an armor retextures pack==NEW==, Obsidian Weathers addon (standalone, OW is not required), better book covers addon, Custom Skills addon (with a proper English translation) ==NEW== and Witch Hunter Armor retexture.
A WIP (already playable) quest/new land mod from VIGILANT author. Also grab the English translation patch and, optionally, custom skills addon (with a proper English translation). NPC appearance overhaul==NEW== is also available.
Amazing new land mod inspired by Dark/Demon Souls series. Atmospheric, dark location, very detailed and interesting to explore. New creepy enemies, tough bosses and powerful weapons are waiting. Optional balance patch available.
One of the most endorsed, old but still really great quest mod. Huge new land with believeable level design. Dozens of gameplay hours. Interesting and voiced questline. Amazing soundtracks, new spells/shouts and more. There are also: tweaks and enhancements patch, installer with a lot of patches, RS Children patch and Lanters of Skyrim II patch==NEW==.
Another amazing and well-known DLC-sized mod with dozens hours of great gameplay and storyline related with dragon hunt...but it's only a beginning! An absolutely qualitative mod of medium size is awaiting for you.
Patches/addons:Climates Of Tamriel Compability for WyrmstoothDark Forest of Skyrim - WyrmstoothWiseman303's Flora Fixes for WyrmstoothWyrmstooth - Player House GardenWyrmstooth Sign FixWyrmstooth Thunderchild PatchWyrmstooth Upscaled TexturesLanters of Skyrim II addon ==NEW==Legacy of the Dragonborn
This mod is something unique. It will make you look at your playthrough from the absolute different view. This mod will inspire you to play Skyrim again and again. Mod features: Museum with 2k+ displays, over 100 exploration quests. You can save your museum progress across multiple playthroughs. Displays of visited doomstones, custom paintings, basement store, MCM and (yes!) items from different mods support. 15 new dungeons, new guild - explorers society, transmutation forge. This is only a part of full features list. Visit mod page to read more and of course try it :)
Additional patches/addons for it:
The Wheels of Lull
Awesome questline with a lot of secrets an puzzles, related with TES lore. Five dungeons within the main quest, complete with fleshed out boss battles, and massive, unique locations. A new town, complete with extensive characters. 7 side quests, 10 new weapons, new armors and even a new custom race. Don't forget to install unofficial patch for it that fixes some issues.
The Brotherhood of Old
Amazing, fully-voiced, thrilling Dark Brotherhood mod with multiple endings. Mod continues DB questline after you finished the vanilla storyline, giving you a lot of new opportunities to either destroy DB completely or bring it to absolutely new level of glory! Optional Vala Amatius replacer==NEW== available.
The Notice Board
Great immersion mod. Radiant quest overhaul and framework. This mod adds new and alternative radiant (and side) quests. It was inspired from other good games like The Witcher which make use of notice boards in their gameplay. There are two kinds of notice boards:
• Quest notes Notice board – always on a pole with and candles
• Messages Notice board – it’s the one without the pole These notice boards can be found ouside inns in every town of Skyrim. Missives
A good addition to previous mod if you liked it, or a simplier alternative. Adds a large number of localized radiant quests found at Missive Boards of varying difficulty and with varying rewards. Note: Still has some minor bugs, but mod author is actively updating the mod. There're also some retextures==NEW==, patches, Dawn of Skyrim patch, CFTO patch==NEW== and JK's Skyrim patch.
Huge area with the span of ~3 Skyrim Holds, rich detailed. New factions - Arnima, Evermore, The Witchmen, Orsinium's Sons, Dragonstar Mercenaries, The Exiles and The Afflicted. Voiced main quest with backstories as wel as 28 side quests, news spells, armors & weapons, 25 new dungeons. Don't forget to install the fix patch, and there are some optional patches here==NEW==.
The Tools of Kagrenac
Go on a quest to recover the legendary Tools of Kagrenac. Encounter new allies and enemies, explore sprawling dungeons and add powerful new artifacts and spells to your arsenal in this new and fully voiced quest mod.
Moonpath to Elsweyr
Amazing DLC-sized tropical/desert mod that give player a chance to travel into the lands of Elsweyr to explore, survive and enjoy amazing playthrough. It contains dozens of unique locations, new enemies, items, custom follower and a player home. Awesome and absolutely must-play mod. There are also: Unofficial patch for it and a better lighting patch.
The Second Great War
In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Aldmeri Dominion is stirring. There are rumors of Dominion soldiers close to the border of Cyrodiil and increased numbers of Thalmor agents in the Imperial City. Are you prepared to defend Skyrim once more or are you drawn to the power and promise of the Dominion?
Skygerfall -- Daggerfall's Main Quest in TESV
Absolutely titanic work here. A new land mod where you can literally play through the entire Main Quest of TESII: Daggerfall in the TESV engine, at the end of which you can choose to continue your character's adventures in Skyrim, taking all your loot, experience and new spells with you. You can watch a brief showcase here.
Invasion of Skyrim - The Force Awakens - Grand Admiral Thrawn
Awesome quest mod related with new race arrived in Skyrim, inspired by Star Wars. 15+ armor sets, a unique "quest shell-system" that enables dozens of radiant quests pertaining to the mod to be active at a time, 26+ enchantments, 220+ NPCs, both enemy and ally. Enemies who can cripple you in a number of ways if your combat skills are poor. Enemies are tough, veterans, and skilled combatants. 2+ Worldspaces, 15+ radiant enabled locations, 2 player bases, unique classes and combat AI for every character, many scenes and interactions. Travelling merchants, nasty assassins and much more. A player ranking system among the Resistance. Over a thousand handpicked lines of dialogue that plays both in combat from enemies and followers, and much more.
Travel to beautiful Midwood Isle, a small island home to the Sonmer, filled with quests and adventures. A middle-DLC-like in size. You can watch a review here.
Land of Vominheim
A new land called Vominheim roughly the size of Solstheim. Features dozens of new locations to discover and explore. You can also install a new mod from the same author which continues this one, from here==NEW==.
The Shadow of Meresis
This mod adds an extensive quest, leading you to various places all over Skyrim. In addition to new locations and dungeons you'll meet new NPCs with more than 200 fully voiced lines of dialogue spoken by three actors, 2-3 hours of gameplay.
Mythic Dawn Expansion
This mod adds the Mythic Dawn into Skyrim. It includes three path playthroughs known as the Path of Warrior, Shadow, and Necromage. It adds in a main quest. All quests have real-world impacts.
Inferno- Advents of Flame Inferno- Envoys of End Inferno- The Blood Marked
3 amazing mods inspired by Dark Souls. Interesting storylines ‘hellish’ cells, gigantic and hard bosses. You’ll remember this journey for sure!
Chanterelle - a savage world to explore
A world made to be used with survival mods. Huge, no civilization. Can be used to expand the Falkreath forest, four portals between Chanterelle and Falkreath hold. Some merchants specialized in hunt products to help you stay longer here.
Valley of Outcasts
A freeform adventure centered around a large citadel in the Jerall Mountains. Over 1000 lines of voiced Dialogue and 12 quests oriented for all playstyles and made to integrate well with the base game.
The Last Refuge
A sequel to previous mod.
Nyhus and the border of CyrodiilFolkstead and the Border of HammerfellHaafstad and the Border of High Rock
Three great mods from the same author that add new regions on borders with the named regions, filled with the level design representing them, new towns, some quests etc. There are also Alternate Start addons for these mods here, here and here respectively.
Obviously and definitely not lore-friendly, but beautiful and simply huge new land/quest mod with original worldspace design influenced by LOTR/Hobbit titles. Also install the unofficial patch for it and optionally ASLAL addon.
Akavir. The curse of the immortals ==NEW==
The players are to go to the southern part of Akavir, and explore a massive, living world. Note: It's pretty bugged atm, but it's expectable with its immense size and still a WIP state - asides of this, that's some really promising new land mod worth to try fo sho.
The Lost Wonders of Mzark ==NEW==
SE port of a well-known dwemer/puzzle oriented quest mod.
Prince of Lies ==NEW==
Ever thought the Whispering Door quest of Mephala in vanilla Skyrim was a little underwhelming? This is a far more suitable quest for such a grand Daedra, set on a completely new island off the coast of Skyrim. It includes 30 new quests to complete, over 50 new voiced NPCs to meet and many new areas to explore.
A new worldspalce consisting of 4 regions with own weather system, new town, 13 new dungeons, new type of monsters and items, as well as new ingredients, books, notes, and misc items.
KAGRENFAHLZ - The Dwemer University ==NEW==
Skyrim breathes philosophy, but rarely expresses it. Kagrenfahlz fixes that by giving Tamriel a philosophical tradition. Dovahkin can now finally challenge his or her assumptions and become a critical thinker. This mod adds books, philosophers, quests, dungeons and a new land for you to explore.
Medium to small quest and new lands mods - where a mod will give you up from one to couple hours of walkthrough/exploration.
A true gem of level design - it will take your breath out. Much shorter, but incredibly original, beautiful quest mods with unique worldspace from the same authors. Get the small fix for it. There's also ICFH patch available and my review of it.
A brilliant quest mod - somewhat short, but absolutely breathtakingly-written! It was developed about 4 years, and the time spent is totally worth. Amazingly detailed cells design, detective and sometimes disturbing quests with unique creatures involved, while still being pretty lore-friendly. Thrilling journey that will you will definitely like! There's also a plantable addon==NEW== as well.
Moon and Star
Short but great detective story. Interesting questline, 4 side quests, 9 voiced NPCs. New town, weapons and dungeons with new boss fights. Ingame aftermath events that take place after the main quest has been completed. Your actions have consequences! There's also small patch that fixes various minor cosmetic overlooks, better lighting patch==NEW== and cleaned plugin replacer.
Ravengate - Riften Underground
Amazing and atmospheric arena/quest mod with challenging bossfights and thrilling characters backstories! Try it for sure, no matter which class you're playing.
Make encounters with the named Dragon Priests a more challenging and rewarding experience - meet them in unique dungeon, summon them for challenge and craft unique sets of equipment. A few patches and upscaled textures are available.
Konahrik The Priest - A Quest Mod
This mod adds a quest to the game that fleshes out the lore behind the Konahrik mask and its eponymous dragon priest, as well as allowing you to upgrade the mask with a better enchantment. That's right, you get to take on the mighty Konahrik himself. Use this mod or the mod above.
Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest
Amazing small quest mod, absolutely lore-friendly, feels like initial part of the game and drastically expanding one of the most popular vanilla male followers. Also get this little fix and a high-poly appearance patch==NEW==.
Spectraverse - Magic of the Magna-Ge
Mod adds interesting questline during which you can obtain 42 new destruction spells. Questline is based on TES lore, it has 5 voiced NPCs, 6 locations and 6 quests. There's also a standalone addon which contains only its best (and sometimes rebalanced) spells, plus couple of new ones.
Quest mod of Half-Dragon. Not much "lore-friendly", but as usual from Vicn - with unique level design and abmbience. Also install voice addon for it.
The Sinister Seven
Ambient backstory quest involving assassins and investigation.
Path of The Revenant
It seems that a powerful necromancer is hiding near Dawnstar, will you cleanse his lair for the good of Skyrim? Or perhaps you seek to take his power for your own?
Boethiah for Good Guys
Complete Boethiah's quest without betraying a friend.
Namira for Good Guys
Play a trick on Namira! Complete Namira's quest "The Taste of Death" without sacrificing a priest to cannibals.
Investigate the madness afflicting the Northern Asylum of Julianos, and earn the boon of the Madgod himself.
So, what did Mercer do with all the stuff he took from the vault? He stored it in his various hideouts all over Skyrim, of course. Now you get to track it all down!
Cheesemod for EVERYONE
Adds over a hundred new types of cheese, hand-placed in an immersive way throughout Skyrim, and a fully voice-acted quest with Sheogorath.
Curse of the Hound Amulet
A newcomer requests your help in aiding her to clear out some mysterious new inhabitants of a cave. In this quest discover new enemies, armors, hair, weapons, and more.
Better Vampire Weapons
Mod adds several unique, vampire-themed weapons, scattered across Skyrim, with a quest to obtain them. You shouldn't be a vampire in order to use the weapons.
Blood of the Nord
Its a mid-sized quest mod that serves as the opening chapter in a series of plugins that explore the aftermath of Stormcloak victory, including the inevitable war with the Aldmeri Dominion. - Over 500 lines of dialogue - One new weapon - Includes several new dungeons and small worldspaces - The main quest provides roughly 2 hours of gameplay.
The Isles Esroniet
Isle of Esroniet, without new quests, but just a cool place to explore, some shops, 8 dungeons and new creatures.
Warbird's Dwemer Train Stations
A vast Dwemer train station network, providing an immersive and fast way to travel around Skyrim and Solstheim. It's practically an underground city, with merchants, inns, guards and travellers.
Revenants of the Forbidden Order
A brief non-scripted quest that leads to a fun boss battle with a nice glimpse in the history of the armor and characters.
Lagoon - Skyrim Tropical Island MOD
Beatiful tropical place - made mostly for screenshots though.
The Grand Paladin (Remake) ==NEW==
Journey beyond Skyrim and uncover the legacy of the ancient Dragonborn order in this small 70 to 100 minutes DLC. A remake/improvement of the same-named mod from its author.
The Final Cataclysm - 2020
From the author of previous mod. An end-game quest that will take you beyond Tamriel, and the 4th era.
Voyage to the Dreamborne Isles
Amazingly detailed new land mod. Beautiful for exploration and screenshots. Now has a questline as well.
A late game multi-cell dungeon with a questline.
Shadows of the past
An underrated little gem, paying a tribute to TES IV: Oblivion.
The Secrets of Arc Cyrae
The story of a young bosmer and adds new dungeons, characters, followers, quests and a player home to the game.
Blood on the Ice Redux
Ever wanted to catch the Butcher before he kills again? Then this is your mod.
The DoubtSuspended Quest Pack
A pack of quests mods - each one is small, yet absolutely incredibly immersive and feels like a native part of game.
One more neat little quest mod from the same author.
The Enemy Of My Enemy
A quest/battle mods wrapping aroud the war events, with massive battles.
Betrayal at Hrothgar
Resolve the civil war once and for all during the Hrothgar peace talks.
The Haven From The Cold And Dark
Beautiful new land mod that adds a set of Green Bosmer islands that are located between the Summerset Isles and Hammerfell. Player home, many shops and vendors, bath house and inn, many NPCs and guards. Working map and LOD and many beautiful places to explore/take screenshots.
Shipwrecked off the coast of an unknown island, you must survive while searching for a way off the island and on to Skyrim. While searching for a way off you may discover an ancient Dwemer city and other ruins lost to time.
Finding Velehk Sain
This mod creates additional content surrounding the strange gauntlet in the Midden Dark, as well as the four missing Apprentices from the College of Winterhold.
It Beats For Her
A mystery tale set in Falkreath. You receive a note from a stranger who recruits you in his quest to find and stop a dangerous predator. But is it really a simple monster hunt or is there more to the story?
Merte's The McMiller Chronicles
Running a few errands for the merchant Angus McMiller results in a quest of deceit, revenge and treasure. Fully-voiced.
Markarth - Help the Warrens and A Cure for Cairine ==NEW==
Skyrim is a harsh place, but few places are as depressing as the Warrens of Markarth. Have you ever wished you could help? Now you can!
Somebody Else's Problem - Ignore the Forsworn Conspiracy ==NEW==
Tell Eltrys you want nothing to do with the violent conspiracy the guard is clearly trying to suppress. You have to take care of yourself first, of course.
Plenty of Pendants - Completable Pain in the Necklace ==NEW==
Makes Pain in the Necklace a non-Misc quest, prevents respawn of pendants, adds map markers, and provides a small bonus for completing the questline.
Paarthurnax - Quest Expansion ==NEW==
A freshly released alternative to mods like "Paarthurnax Dilemma" and "Paarthurnax Ultimatum" to solve a one of the most plainly designed choice in the game. A new "gray" choice between "spare" or "kill" ones, around 60 new dialogue lines, and most importantly - fully voiced. Not bad, isn't it?
Leaps of Faith - A Misc Quest ==NEW==
Simple mod that adds yet another fun activity for your character to do in the world: 12 epic "Leaps of Faith" across Skyrim for you to discover and complete as you play. Jumping from one of these places will play a custom jumping and falling animation and give you a small (well-earned) bonus.
Nilheim - Misc Quest Expansion ==NEW==
Fixes some issues with the misc quest at Nilheim and gives a bit more flexibility to your encounter with good old Telrav, adding a couple of additional dialogue choices and options for roleplaying.
Here There Be Monsters - Sign of Cipactli ==NEW==
Travel to the southern shores of Black Marsh on the hunt for a giant monster, revered by the Argonians as a god.
Here There Be Monsters - The Call Of Cthulhu ==NEW==
Continue the hunt as you face terrible creatures from beyond the stars, and unravel a terrifying plot to consume Mundus and return it all to the Void.
Here There Be Monsters - Trollhunter ==NEW==
Go on the hunt for a man named Hans, the Trollhunter, and take up his quest to rid the world of five gigantic trolls before they awaken and destroy Skyrim!
Isobel and The Adventurers Guild ==NEW==
Join the Adventurer’s Guild and help the bright eye’d Isobel Sirulius as you two set out in search of ancient artifacts, piles of treasure, and explore forgotten ruins.
There Is No Umbra - Chapter II ==NEW==
A quest mod where storyline is focused entirely on Daumbra: the newest incarnation of the cursed sword Umbra. Note: There's no "Chapter I" separately as it's included in this mod.
Glamoril - The Maze of Labyrinthian ==NEW==
Shalidor the Archmage was famous for his exploits in the First Era. Various tales tell of him battling Dwemer legions single-handedly, building the city of Winterhold with a whispered spell, stealing the secret of life from Akatosh, or constructing Labyrinthian himself. Find the source of his power and unveil the secrets of the Glamoril.
Primeval Real Estate ==NEW==
In the foothills of The Throat of the World, the young Gundar has run into a bit of trouble. A wall has fallen apart in his basement revealing a vast dungeon. What lies within? Gold? Glory? Or something deep, dark, and powerful? He needs you to plunge in and unveil the truth.
Love exploring the world underground? Have new challenges, findings and ambient atmosphere? This section is for you :)
First a few simple mods that expands/improves some vanilla dungeons:
The Midden - Expanded
A quality dungeon and house mod that greatly expands the College Midden, with minimal changes to existing areas. A new lore-friendly player home serves as a hub for new dungeons. 100% compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold.
Connects all of Skyrim's dwarven ruins to Blackreach, plus a few bonus features. The doors are placed in such way that they don't break any quests or give early access to dungeons.
Streamlined Bleak Falls Barrow and Golden Claw
For those who are making the Nth run of the game, this mod adds a trapdoor leading to the area with the word wall, but also adds the golden claw to the same area, saving you the trouble of going back to save Arvel.
This mod adds many draugrs and enemy wizards, and it also improves the ghost blade.
The Chill - Expanded
A small expansion to The Chill.
The True Face of Anise
This mod makes the "Secret" Anise is guarding a little bit bigger.
Shroud Hearth Barrow Reloaded
A bit more interesting in terms of enemies now.
Dungeons - Revisited ==NEW==
Overhauls and enhances Skyrim's dungeons. Doubles the size of most dungeons and makes them much more interesting to visit. Currently covered dungeons are: Bleak Falls Barrow, Ustengrav, Embershard Mine, Steepfall Burrow, Halted Stream Camp, White River Watch, Hillgrund's Tomb.
Now, plenty of great mods that adds new dungeons of different type. First let's see some dungeon "packs" that add several or more dungeons:
One of the most amazing dungeon mods I ever played! An underground dungeon system with currently 42 large and 26 small cells. Tunnels are connecting different Skyrim cities. Also constantly updated. Amazing design, dark atmosphere, tonns of new, creepy creatures to fight and just HUGE size in total. In my opinion, this mod is absolutely must-have.
Skyrim Sewers 4
Mod adds an accessible sewers system to the town of Solitude, Whiterun, Windhelm and Markarth and also small sewage tunnels to Fort Sungard and Greenwall + new custom weapons and unique books. There's an Outlaws Refugees patch available.
Hammet's Dungeon Packs
A great dungeon pack currently having 31 new dungeons in Skyrim and Soltheim. Dungeons in this pack are mostly oriented on high-level characters with level 40 and higher. Radiant-quest enabled. Some of dungeons contain new items and spellbooks. I'm using this one now personally - loving its level design more than in previous mod.
EasierRider's Dungeon Pack
Adds 7 new, lore-friendly dungeons around Skyrim, with absolutely amazing dungeon design - plus, as it's pretty small amount of dungeons in it, you can use it freely with one of the few mods above (using all is too much, imo - you don't want to stumble across a new dungeons each 5 minutes of gameplay, I believe).
Mod adds 7 new dungeons with great design to explore and fight with atmospheric story-based exploration.
The Unfinished Business - Dungeon Pack
Add several short dungeons with a short stories related to small towns of Skyrim.
The Rabbit Hole
This mod doesn't add many new dungeons in wilderness - there's only one entrance, but the dungeon itself is multi-leveled vertically. In my opinion it’s criminally underrated and absolutely must-play. Mod adds dungeon system, a ‘rabbit hole’ with 50!! levels with progressing difficulty. Also many secrets and hidden rooms to discover. Have fun!
Now, single-dungeon mods, but with a great quality - challenging bossfights, breathtaking design or sometimes even everything together:
A vampire-themed dungeon featuring original music, Deirge Cathedral lies off of the coast of Skyrim's northern shore. A mass of stone and stained glass, the mod features two new foods for vampires, a Molag Bal blessing, a unique Gargoyle summon spell, and three weapons.
Apotheosis - Lifeless Vaults
Absolutely awesome mod inspired by Dark Souls. Winner of ‘boss battles’ competition. Amazingly detailed cells with 5 giant and very hard, unique-looking and fighting bosses that you’ll remember for sure for a long time. If you’re looking for new challenges - try this mod for sure! Also this mod mod is only a ‘preview’ of huge incoming ‘Apotheosis’ mod that would be released in future. Note: Mod itself is currently hidden as the "full" version of Apotheosis quest mod (which will be many times bigger than this dungeon alone, with voiced questline and more) is close to its release time - so link is being kept here so you can remember of the upcoming mod :)
The Temple of Black Rock
An unforgettable adventure through huge nordic ruins. Another deadly dungeon for heavy leveled characters.
The Secret of Dragonhead
Amazing, dark, greatly designed and challenging. Dungeon mod from previous mod author, MannyGT.
VERY dark. VERY creepy. Full of enemies. Dungeon mod with 12 stages. This mod may even scare someone, it’s not for everyone. But if you like such kind of creepy playthrough - try it for sure!
Explore a new dungeon and unlock the powers of ancient Nord sorcerers and conjure fearsome undead to fight by your side.
Travel to the Sea of Ghosts in search of a long-lost Greybeard proving ground. Use your wits and your thu’um to unlock the secrets beneath the ice, while evading a Thalmor raiding party.
Solemn Keep Chronicles - Shimmerfall Springs
Bandits from all around Skyrim have been gathering and digging out the once abandoned caves of Shimmerfall Springs, causing local concern. Venture deep into the caves to find what they are seeking and stop the mysterious bandit leader who wields a dangerous power.
A level 40+ challenging, lore-friendly quest and dungeon with low ambient light. Puzzles, traps and mazes that stretch the original intentions of the designers, and a couple of deadly encounters.
Detailed dungeon/quest mod centered around an expedition into the Skyrim mountains.
New Nordic dungeon just north-east of Whiterun.
Path of Champion
Multi-level dungeon crawl with dozens of custom objects to interact, puzzles to solve, traps to die to, loot to find, enemies to fight and quest to guide you through.
For a few nice overhauls for vanilla dungeons.
Explore a new dungeon and gain the ability to control undead hordes.
A Nord ruin unearthed by the Thalmor, Hahdrim's Tomb lies in between Dragon's Bridge and Rorikstead. The resting place of a cursed king and his family, the mod features an original weapon with a unique enchantment, armor, and shield.
Thieves Tumble - Cavern
An odd little cavern, beautiful but dangerous.
An archaeological expedition sought the treasures of Sondenheim, the subterranean citadel. This being Skyrim, their adventure naturally ended in tragedy, and the survivors warn against setting foot inside the ruin. However, they weren't Dragonborn, so go ahead and pillage the tomb for fun and profit.
Great dungeon mod. It’s less fighting, more about exploring and finding best way to go through and this is its best feature. Included in Legacy of Dragonborn, so don't install it if you have that.
Old-but-great, custom small-to-medium sized dungeon with a great design and moderate difficulty. Included in Legacy of Dragonborn, so don't install it if you have that.
A high level difficult to solve dungeon with a lore story and a small quest.
Pit of 100 Battles
Enter the deadliest dungeon in Skyrim, the fabled Pit of 100 Battles. Many have tried to reach the bottom, but all have failed.
Note: Don't use this mod if you have Legacy of the Dragonborn, it's included in it.
Caves of Morrowind
Journey to the Velothi Mountains to uncover a Dunmer smuggling operation.
Dungeon mod that adds a small lair for a Necromancer named Strelekai.
Dauorrin the Draugr City
Welcome to the undead city of Dauorrin, fight its agressive inhabitants that are not only undead, but daedra as well.
The Legend of Taram Dane
Recently uncovered scrolls provide new clues into the Legend of Taram Dane. Explore a new Nordic ruin full of magic, puzzles and undead to find an ancient enchanted weapon.
Moonshimmer Mine ==NEW==
A port of popular LE dungeon mod.
Fort Windpoint ==NEW==
Making your way through the abandoned ruins you will meet the last survivor of the Ascended Sleeper and find an ancient ceremonial weapon - Sixth House Bell Hammer.
Temple of Agmer ==NEW==
Buried beneath the abandoned mine lies an ancient nord temple lost in time. Agmer was once a powerful necromancer who aspire to become a Lich and made a deal with a powerful Dremora Valzur to achieve his goal.
The Ruins of Mharzurk ==NEW==
During the 2nd Era a savant scholar left Clockwork City in search for the Ruins of Mharzurk. It was said that this scholar carried with him a powerful relic, a gift from Sotha Sil who later vanished in the depths of the ruin.
Heart of Aknznd ==NEW==
A group of bandit ventured to an old abandoned mine called Lost Peril Mine, somewhere on Solstheim in search for the Heart of Aknznd. Little did they know that the mine was inhabited by Falmers until it was too late.
Greybane Hollow ==NEW==
Journey to Lodor's Tower just north of Rorikstead and find Greybane Hollow just beneath the tower and claim a powerful pendant from an ancient mighty nord warrior buried beneath the ruins.
Karaz Gnel Remastered - Narrated Skaven Dungeon (Warhammer Vermintide) ==NEW==
Don your finest armor, gather your party, and plunge into the depths of an ancient Dwarf Hold. But beware, something sinister lurks in the deeps...
Arcwind Point Dungeon ==NEW==
Adds a nordic dungeon at the existing exterior location of Arcwind Point.
Ruined Temple of Phynaster - Encore
A ruined cathedral rests beneath the earth, swallowed by the shifting dirt after thousands of years of time. Histories speak of glimpses of elven spirits, eternally bound to their ancient home.
Huge dungeon filled with challenging puzzles, traps and encounters, and pretty unique approach to design in general. It has a custom boss and a follower. Level 40+ is suggested.
Cave of the Forgotten
A starter dungeon with a bed and safe storage. Does not respawn.
Deep within the bowels of The Throat of the World, lies the ancient ruins of Jornheim.
More Skeevers in the ratway
Adds more skeevers into the ratway. This mod aims to add immersion by adding skeevers into a place that seems almost perfect for them.
For these mods, you can install as many as you want, technically, but if mod that you're installing is affecting leveled lists, be sure to rebuild your Bashed Patch. Also take into account that leveled lists have own limitations in size, so it's not a good idea to install 5 biggest weapon packs at the same time, because most likely you'll never see many of items ingame even with Bashed Patch. Choose one or two big weapon/armor packs and polish this by several smaller mods you like. It's literally impossible to list absolutely all great mod of this category here as there are hundreds or even thousands of such mods, so that's just mostly my personal list of mods that are either beautiful and lore-friendly, or I admire them for really unique look and/or great textures quality. Still, there are many mods here that improves or rebalances vanilla items or add new, but absolutely immersive ones.
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations, you can take a look at some of the best mods released in 2018 and in general:
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations, you can take a look at some of the best mods released in 2018 and in general:
First of all, let's look on weapon packs - mods that contain many or at least several weapons inside them:
Lore Weapon Expansion
My personal favourite between all big weapon packs. Variative but not too big and with qualitative textures for each weapons without exceptions. And what is good, it's really lore-friendly.
InsanitySorrow Weapons Pack
A compilation of standalone mods (that are not included in previous pack) from the same author, ported from LE. I humbly recommend installing this pack as well - it includes many unique weapons for warriors, thieves and archers, which are still really, really immersive.
Royal Armory - New Artifacts
A must-have mod. Adds special weapons to the most important characters in Skyrim with unique effects and appearance. This may sound very simple, but it really changes the way you will look on many quests and NPCs - because now they will be a more than worthy targets. Make sure to install amazing mesh/texture improvement addon for it. Optional tweaks patch and typo fix are also available.
The biggest weapon pack ever. Enourmous variety of weapons. This may act as a subjective disadvantage - some people don't want so much (as some weapons are looking not very immersive actually), but it's all a matter of taste. Take a look at patches page and Morrowloot patch (works for MUS too) if needed.
Heavy Armory - New Weapons
One of my favourite wepon packs as well. This mod adds nearly 100 new weapons to Skyrim. You will find all new Halberds, Spears, Glaives, Shortswords, Quarter staves, Mauls, Hatchets and Clubs. Optional addon for enchanted weapons distribution is available.
Legendary Skyrim Crossbows and Bows
Amazing mod that adds dozens of new crossbows, some bows and unique arrows/bolts to the game. Crossbows have very qualitative models.
Liam's Staves of Skyrim
45 new staves!
Simple but brilliant mod that adds scopes to all vanilla bows making them look much more epic. Some compatibility patches are available, as well as VR patch.
BillyRo Ultimate Swords Anthology
The massive pack containing dozens of amazing standalone weapons by talented Billyro, ported from Skyrim LE.
Billyro Compendium ==NEW==
Another huge pack of most noticeable weapons made by Billyro.
Old but good weapon pack that adds 53 new craftable weapons to the game.
Skyrim Weapons Expansion
Over 100 balanced weapons into the vanilla game through crafting and leveled lists.
Weapons collection 1 Weapons Collection 2 Weapons Collection 3
30 (in total for all 3 mods) new, HQ weapons from same author.
Zikoru Swords Collection
Small pack of weapons from another talented weapon mods author, pretty similar to Billyro's style in general.
This Mod allows crafting Katana, Dai-Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto from materials; Steel, Dwarven, Orcish, Elven, Nordic, Ebony, Glass, Stalhrim, Dragonbone and Daedric. DSR patch and MLU patch are available.
Isilmeriel LOTR Weapons Collection
Old but good weapon pack for LOTR fans. Also install the fix patch needed to correct some errors made during mod porting from Skyrim LE.
The Witcher 3 Weaponry
Simple as that. Great mod for Witcher series fans and fitting Skyrim world.
Tera Weapons with Leveled List
Definitely not lore-friendly, MMO-like weapons, but may be interesting for some players.
Kthonia's Unique Weapon Pack - Dragonborn Weapons
Adds three unique-looking dragonbone weapons with unique effects into the game world, found in Solstheim. Also install the fix.
Reforging - To the Masses (Weapons Expansion) ==NEW==
A huge weapon pack which adds around 300 vanilla-friendly weapons to the game. Some patches are available here==NEW==.
A collection of 14 beautiful, realistic bows. Optionally, you can use a different version of the plugin to have these bows replace vanilla bows. You can a see a showcase of it here.
Rafael's Weapon Pack ==NEW==
A collection of mostly definitely not lore-friendly, but absolutely badass, epic weapons inspired by some other games.
Daedric Light Weapons ==NEW==
Many daedra prefer to use light daedric armor instead of the traditional heavy variants, likewise many of them also prefer to use lighter and faster weapons, instead of the traditional elaborate heavy armament. This weapon set may not be as robust or powerful as other Oblivion sets, but its slimmer and lighter design allows for faster strikes.
Horker Weapon Pack
For muh immers...horkkersion?
Qualitative mod for Skyforge weapons.
Nice! Now standalone weapon mods that add a single weapon, or a couple of them:
Both weapons and armors, new artifacts or vanilla artifacts improvements:
Between Zim's overhaul, Reliquary of Myth and True Artifacts of Skyrim - make sure to choose only one of them. Other mods in this subsection you can add on top if you wanna, but this may require some manual work in xEdit to make them fully compatible.
Zim's Immersive Artifacts
A great collection of improved/new effects for huge amount of unique armors/weapons/items. It improves and rebalances really a lot of unique named items in the game, finally making them worth to hunt for and keep even at high levels and not throwing them to trash bin insantly after you found your first dragonbone weapon or daedric armor. SIC patch, WACCF patch and Wintersun patch are available, as well as tiny visual addon.
Reliquary of Myth - Artifact Overhaul
A fresh and constantly updated artifacts overhaul released in 2020 - and hugely underrated one. Atm, it already covers more artifacts than Zim's mod, which was a go-to artifacts overhaul for most of players for years. Reliquary puts the soul in each artifact, making most of them actually unique, and great not for roleplay only, but to greatly spice up character builds. Lastly, it comes with a nifty FOMOD installer which has a lot of patches for popular mods (you can merge all of them safely, just don't merge the mod itself). Since it was released, it's my personal pick and I strongly recommend to at least try it. It's also recommended to install this==NEW== neat little mod which improves artifacts not coverered by Reliquary, thus playing a good synergy on top of it. You can also see my review of it here.
True Artifacts of Skyrim
A similar to Zim's work and imo, pretty underrated mod (obviously not compatible with previous one, choose one or another) with own approach, which covers a hundred!! of artifacts.
Nice, let's continue to smaller mods which are mostly adding brand new artifacts and item sets!
Skyrim modding stage is literally swarmed by follower mods, the vastl majority of which are really dull and simply briefly imported racemenu presets with nothing more. That's why I decided I can't skip this part and show you some really worthy follower mods - interesting, funny, badass, with own temper and/or unique look, background stories and personal questlines and so on. Using mods from this section you will be sure your companions are not only "I'm sworn to carry your burdens".
First of all, a few great mods to give you immensely better control over your followers in all aspects and make your life with followers much more comfortable"
EFF - Extensible Follower Framework
Grab this mod if you will ever play with followers. It's amazing and complex mod that adds many features to scan, control, equip your followers, give them much more commands, teleport to you if they are stuck or lost and much, much more. With a cool UI in addition! Note: Take into account that some complex follower mods, like INIGO, for example, are not compatible with EFF. That doesn't mean your game will crash or something. They just mostly have own customized controls system, so just use it and don't try to manage them with EFF, otherwise they may act weird. Also install this tiny fix and optionally, enhanced wheelmenu addon .
Nether's Follower Framework
A great alternative to previous mod, without some features of it, but with some of own unique features. Improved Traps patch available.
My Home is Your Home (MHiYH 2plus)
This mod will be useful as well if you like to play with many followers or just to have many of them in overall and choose different companions from time to time.
Follower Death and Injury Chance - Followers Can Die
This mod allows for followers to die and get injuries resulting from battles. The chances are quite low, but it will keep the game fresh and allow for more interesting experiences and narratives when it happens. Quite an essential mod for those who prefer balanced game with realism touch.
Stealth Kills for Followers - Standalone
Very light-weight mod that allows your followers also be able to kill enemies silently.
Sleep for me now ==NEW==
A simple standalone mod that makes followers sleep.
Dynamic Mercenary Fees ==NEW==
Simple mod that makes mercenaries ask for more or less money for their services depending on their level, your and their race and how good you are at bartering (your speech skill).
No More Ugly Combat Idles for Followers ==NEW==
Do you find annoying how your followers start acting like apes after unsheathing their weapons? They check their weapons, look around and stretches all the time, even if you replace their idle animation with a custom one. Now they won't play those animations at all.
Call Follower ==NEW==
Mod that adds War Horns to general stores and loot containers around the world. Blowing the horn calls your current follower to you, even if they have been told to wait somewhere else. Includes an MCM that allows you to select whether your human or animal follower responds to the call, or both. Note: This mod should be used only [only] if you're [not] using follower control mods like EFF/NFF (for some reasons).
I'm Glad You're Here - a follower and spouse appreciation mod ==NEW==
Allows the player to show their appreciation to their followers , spouse and adopted kids by dialogue and a hug animation. Voiced with vanilla assets.
Now let's get to the followers themselves - the most interesting, funny, beautiful, charismatic and badass companions you can have:
The one brave khajiit to rule them all. The one companion to pun them all. In my opinion, Inigo, while having not the numerically biggest amount of endorsements, is the best follower mod ever made. If you never liked to play with followers and even if you hate followes/follower mods in principle, Inigo will change that once and forever after just a couple of hours played together with him. Or maybe even after a few minutes.
Inigo is a fully voiced khajiit adventuring companion with over seven thousand lines of unique dialogue - much of it about you. He doesn't just have some "on-call phrase" - he reacts on everything and everyone around you. He will comment, he will sing, he will scream, he will joke and he will troll. Both you and your followers as well. Inigo is one of those mods that make you give a complete new look on the game. You may be also interested in optional visual change for him, as well as Mr. Dragonfly ENB particle light patch==NEW==.
Sofia - The Funny Fully Voiced Follower
"The infamous Sofia needs little introduction as she causes trouble across Skyrim". And that's all about her. The very original, funny and sarcastic follower voiced by professional voice actress.
Sofia is quite an unusual follower. She is tough, witty and just a little bit boastful. She has a strong fondness for the player character but her deliberate attempts to disguise the fact just leads to very awkward conversations especially as she usually says exactly what she thinks. Sofia is a tease and loves to wind people up which doesn’t make her very popular with people. Her rebellious spirit and careless attitude often gets her in trouble. Not to mention her constant inappropriate comments which easily offend or embarrass people. Also take a look at customizer addon for her and a visual overhaul (or also this one or this one==NEW==).
Lucien - Fully Voiced Follower
Lucien is a fully voiced Imperial follower with over 2500 lines of immersive, lore-friendly dialogue. Though he arrives in Skyrim as a cowardly scholar, he'll gradually gain strength and confidence by your side until he grows into a hero in his own right. It's made on a level of dedication and self-awareness close to INIGO, and plays greatly together with INIGO installed. You may also be interested in this handsome replacer for it and this lil fix patch==NEW==.
Vilja in Skyrim
One of the most endorsed (well deserved) follower mods as well. Greatly done from all aspects, Vilja doesn't only have her own agenda - she also has her hopes and visions, her thoughts and opinions, and a background story that she will share with you over time. There's also a customizer for her
Improved Follower Dialogue - Lydia
This mod doesn't just give Lydia a new voice - it adds over 350 lines of dialogue to make her an actually interesting character and major part of the main quest. Absolutely must have if you're using her as a follower.
M'rissi's Tails of Troubles
Half-khajiit, half-human. Meet M'rissi and decide your own role in her life. Will you be a slaver, a saviour or a lover? That's for you to decide. Fully-voiced thrilling personal questline will also give you decent amount of enjoyable hours. There's a visual replacer available, as well as this one, and INIGO patch .
Brutal warrior companion with unique voice and amazing visual customization.
Aurlyn Dawnstone - The Reclusive Philosopher
Altmer sorceress with over 1000 voiced lines, own reactions on events and own temper. Visual replacer addon is available.
Recorder - Standalone Fully Voiced Follower
Definitely not very lore-friendly looking, but a great and original fully-voiced follower with own questline and various reactions of surroundings and your actions. Install the bugfix patch and take a look at customizer and one more visual overhaul.
L u n a
Not custom-voiced, but absolutely unique-looking beautiful female follower with own combat style.
Alex's Nereron - A Dunmer Companion
A custom voiced Dunmer Companion with over 400 voicelines, custom features and completely standalone.
Khash The Argonian
A completely lore-friendly fully voiced follower mod with 770+ lines of custom dialogue. Take the young Argonian, Khash, on your adventures.
An amazing and underrated follower mod from the authors of "Citizens of Tamriel". Venture forth with two fully-voiced companions, each with their own branching quests and reactive personalities - dive into the Skyrim dangers with a party of characters worthy of any great RPG.
Shirley - A Skyrim Follower Mod ==NEW==
Shirley Curry, the beloved Skyrim Grandma, finally comes to the game as a follower you can recruit! She'll join you on your adventures, but don't expect her to simply carry your burdens! She's got more personality than all the vanilla followers combined, and we're sure she'll be a great companion, and a friend. And a grandma! You can also optionally get this visual overhaul to make her look closer to her original irl age.
Nebarra - Fully Custom Voiced Altmer Follower ==NEW==
Nebarra is a rude, blunt, and general prick of an Altmer mercenary that can accompany you in your travels. He is a fully voiced follower with 1,500+ lines.
Triss Merigold - Custom Voiced Follower ==NEW==
Triss Merigold from The Witcher series as standalone voiced follower for Skyrim with a short romance quest.
LoonaShadow - Custom Voiced Follower Mod ==NEW==
A beautiful and poetic follower with custom voiced lines.
Skeever - Custom Follower ==NEW==
An incredibly qualitative, fun and fully voiced follower of many talents - and to me, a really underrated mod. Skeever is a lore-friendly 13,000 (atm) dialogue lines that cover every single interior in the game, Breton follower who also happens to be a true-scout, everything-reading, enemy-detecting, song-singing, praying-loving, riddle-playing companion. Whenever you do not know what to do, ask Skeever and see what he'll have for you next.
Followers as Companions II ==NEW==
An SE port of "Followers as Companions" mod from Skyrim LE.
Custom-voiced female follower.
Badass and (imo) WOW-inspired companion.
Kirsten - Voiced Follower
Kirsten can be found at Haelga's Bunkhouse, ready for adventure and crime.
Diana Vampyre adds hours of additional gameplay as well as the lovely Diana Pureblood Vampire follower. The dungeon master has stolen Diana's spell books and it's up to you to find them and learn the secrets of Pure Blood Vampire Magic.
Toccata FollowerVivace FollowerChaconne FollowerSuccubus-san
Beautiful followers from the author of Bijin series. She will heal you and other followers in combat. Includes a MCM that allows you to fully customize her combat behavior, class/skills, and spells.
Companions and Followers
Mod adds 12 generic followers travelling around the Skyrim (instead of just sitting and waiting for you).
Creature follower mods - new creature followers or improved vanilla beast followers:
Drastically improved and beautified vanilla player homes, new player homes, castles, estates and hideouts. Player home is absolutely a matter of taste - size, style of design, features - that's all up to you, so here I've just listed a wide "base" of various beautiful and qualitative mods of this type to choose from.
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations, you can take a look at some of the best mods released in 2018:
First of all, grab this essential mod - it does exactly how it's named and will be very useful for you, as it's compatible with modded homes as well. You can also grab this little patcher for better compatibility with some modded items.
Better Bookcase ==NEW==
Retexture for books and glass replacer for closed bookcase.
Vanilla player homes and estates overhauls.
Lakeview. Manor - As It Should Be
Remodels and decorates Lakeview Manor in absolutely beautiful, creative yet lore-friendly way. Allows you to customize you the home in many variants. The best ever existing mod for this vanilla home and one of the most qualitative in general. A member of my "best of 2018" player homes video.
Beautiful Breezehome overhaul from Elianora.
Breezehome by Lupus
A beautiful Breezehome overhaul. Simple yet very functional.
A successful attempt to make this house more elegant and functional completeness.
A mod from the same author, but for Honeyside this time.
Proudspire Manor TNF
And for Proudspire Manor.
Another really great, elegant Proudspire overhaul.
For a lot of vanilla player homes overhauls.
Restoring the Aretino Residence
Fix and upgrade the Aretino residence into a proper (player) home! Invite Aventus to return home! Give Sofie a warm place to sleep - or just use it for yourself. Fully voiced quest with 12 possible upgrade options. You can a see a showcase of it here.
For simple yet stylish facelists for vanilla player homes
Proudspire Manor Remodel - Bourgeois Apartment ==NEW==
Fancy remodel of Proudspire Manor - now with decorations, bookshelves, and wine.
Snowberry Cottage - Rebuild Hroggar's House ==NEW==
Rebuild from the ashes! After destroying the vampires seeking to enslave Morthal, you can now rebuild Hroggar's ruined house into Snowberry Cottage - a quaint, lore-friendly player home that includes all crafting stations, ample storage, a child's bedroom, and an optional library and trophy room (compatible with spouses and Hearthfire adoptions).
New ones - large size - castles, mansions, estates.
Legend of the Eagles Nest
A fortress with amazing level of details and with everything you may need in player home, located in snowy mountains between Riverwood and Whiterun. It also contains a questline to rebuild it to proper glory.
Caranthir Tower Reborn
While designed for a mage character initially, this amazing magic tower can actually serve as an epic base for anyone (but ofc without magic skills at all it will be very hard to complete its questline). Yes-yes, questline. It's not just a tower - it's like a complete new world inside it. It offers features never seen before, customisation, and is more than just a player home. The tower must be restored through a Hearthfire style crafting system or you can simply purchase everything you need. This mod is also based heavily around player choice.
One of my personal favourites between various player home mods. A big keep located high in mountains, with a lot of unique features, but what is the most important - unlike many other (even pretty popular) player home mods, each, even the tiniest details and clutter piece in this mod is placed exactly where it should be - and while being pretty huge, this keep is looking absolutely great with each detail on its own place.
LC_Build Your Noble House
Ever wanted to build your own castle step by step? Seek no more! This mod will give you the chance to build your own noble castle with your own hands. You will only start with a small shed and a tent, but in time you build a whole village and your own fortified noble house. Each building will yield revenue and produce materials that will be deposited daily in your shed. A member of my "best of 2018" player homes video.
Halls Of Dovahndor
The ultimate home for the ultimate Dragonborn. A fully detailed, original, lore-friendly home in Sovngarde.
The Scarlett - A Buildable Ship
The Scarlett is a large buildable ship mod with over 200 build options to choose from, featuring two small quests and a new unique location. The ship also features a fast travel system along with plenty of storages and other functional things.
Black thorn Keep
Fully functional custom asset player castle with original look. Located North of Dragon Bridge
Huge (really huge), dark, ambient castle in gothic style located in its own worldspace. Will fit great any vampire/necromancer/warlock characters.
Check it for dozens of beautiful (and mostly pretty big) castles and palaces.
Buildable player home southwest of Windhelm with complete construction system, tons of storages and all needed tools.
This mod is a large player home with one purpose in mind; to provide a unique home in Skyrim that you the player must build. You will have a bare old house up in Dawnstar which you purchase and renovate. The home includes support for your family and has more than enough storage for you hoarders out there.
Deithwen - Witcher Inspired Home
A large player home greatly inspired by the architecture and characters of The Witcher series.
A very large player home made to house all of your followers and family.
Player house near Ivarstead with a few functions and linked to the Legacy of Dragonborn safehouse.
Springwood Estate - Player Home
Purchase a new player home located in Solitude with all the features the dragonborn needs. Hearthfire adoption compatible.
Fleetford is a player home within an inn and a full surrounding settlement complete with traders, followers etc. The location is between Whiterun and Windhelm (by Darkshade and Cradlecrush Rock).
The Shrouded Lair - A Vampire Home
A castle of pocket realms in your own plane of oblivion for your vampire or any evil character and followers. Mod has simply an amazing interior design fitting the vampire character greatly. Also install this expansion/fix addon for it.
Crystal Creek Mansion
Beautifully designed middle-sized mansion near Pinewatch, with unique look and some custom features in addition. You'll like the guardian for sure :)
A luxurious mansion situated beautifully on the Treva River, halfway between Riften and Ivarstead.
Heartwood Castle ==NEW==
Lore-friendly and highly defensible player home in the Rift. Medium sized. Family and follower friendly; crafting stations; generous number of planters; named storage; guards and other staff; mannequins and weapon displays, etc.
Oars Rest ==NEW==
Oars Rest is a new small village found on the edge of Lake Ilinalta. It's a nice small town with secrets for the player to uncover through the use of notes and hidden secrets. Apart from its mystery, it's a perfect stop for travelling adventures such as yourself to stop by, take a breather and sell some of your loot. Note: Also install the fix patch which can be downloaded via the link in comments section.
Frostspire Tower ==NEW==
A massive magical player home with vast amount of features - ability to craft dozens of new spells, teleport to all major cities and more.
Shipwreck Cove ==NEW==
Explore a new player home island, known as Shipwreck Cove, located near Solstheim. Once home to a famous pirate king, this abandoned hideout has everything the Dragonborn needs.
Haafingar Hall ==NEW==
Haafingar Hall is a player home located in Solitude with stunning views of the capital. The home costs 23000 gold, is family friendly and also highly Customisable.
Windstead Cottage ==NEW==
A large mansion located in the mountainous hills near Morthal. Featuring a forge, alchemist greenroom, library and a grand yet simple kitchen.. The home is situated on a hill, and doesn't require any additional questing or purchasing from the player. Note: Has some navmesh issues so followers may get stuck, but asides from this, it's a great mod!
Hjertesten Hall - Player Home and Settlement ==NEW==
Have you ever wanted to own land in Skyrim, with resources to manage and room for friends and family? To live like a true Lord, and not a mere wandering adventurer? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then welcome to Hjertesten Hall.
Manor Of The Revenant Lord ==NEW==
A massive, dark vampire style player home, located in a new custom worldspace called the Lost woods.
Riverwood Falls Manor and Bleak Mines ==NEW==
A medium-to-large mansion accommodating player and family, followers, blacksmiths, mage, apothecary, cooks, and property workers. Explore the assets and dangers of Bleak Mines and caves. Lore-friendly and feature rich including Hearthfire gardening, cooking, farm animal, immersive features, and linked and cloud storage.
Fellheim - The estate with the best view in the Rift ==NEW==
Welcome to the Fellheim fortified estate. A large player home situated near Ivarstead overlooking the Rift with some amazing views.
Toxin Doctor Laboratory ==NEW==
Located in the catacombs of a small abandoned fort in the mountains of Eastmarch, this laboratory is the ideal player home for toxin doctors, dark alchemists and all kinds of mad scientists, where ethics and morals give room for curiosity and experimentation without limits.
New ones - medium to small size - homes, small cottages and hideouts.
That's with no doubts a first profile you may want to look at when it comes to player homes. Elianora is a goddess of player homes, simple as that. She is specializing mostly on small and cozy player homes of absolutely various styles - so in her profile you most likely will find a mod for no matter what character type you are playing as. You may also be interested in this little addon for it. Note: Unfortunately, Elianora has just a few of her mods for Skyrim SE, while having almost 60 for Skyrim LE. You have either to try convert the mods you like from LE yourself using CAO.
Haem Projects profile
Flying dwemer ship? A home on a tip of a magic staff? Tree home? Check out EXTREMELY creative, fantasy, Morrowind-inspired player homes by the authors of amazing Project AHO quest mod. Note: the dwemer ship is a part of Project AHO mod already.
Terra Umbra - Mobile Floating Island
One of the most creatively-made player home mods I ever used. An incredible player home for master Alteration mages. New spells found on a corpse near Alftand allow you to raise a portion of the dwemer ruins, including one of the ruined towers. This tower can then be moved to any part of Skyrim, if you have the will to move it. You can a see a showcase of it here.
An interactive & customizable home located in the town of Riverwood. It contains a full forge & crafting area, along with some unique features including: An interactive gardening system, a wood burning fireplace, quick access bookshelves, business ledger trading system, & more. The entrance faces towards the west, overlooking the river. A patch for JK/ETAC and buyable patch are available.
A mid-sized, atmospheric hideout with a history just off the beaten path between Riverwood and Whiterun. If you don't mind the sound of waterfalls and prefer a secluded place to kick up your feet - this may be the home for you. A buyable patch is available.
Ebongrove - Recall and Teleport
Player home in the volcanic Eastmarch, its flora thriving under a dwemer sun. Teleport to all the main cities, and recall anytime thanks to the previous owners' magic experiments. All usual features of a home, and a bit of Dunmer lore. A buyable patch is available.
Beautiful, overgrown cavern temple home.
Lake HavenCliffside CottagePinecrest Estate
Multiple adoption friendly, simple but immersive player homes from the same author (with no loading doors and see-through windows for the third one). Rooms for kids and followers, all vanilla crafting stations, named storages, planting soils, bookshelves and custom displays for all unique items. Note: If you liked this and 2 previous mods, don't forget to check out this author's profile in general, as he has much more player home mods.
Pale Marsh Manor - A Unique Player Home
Medium sized cozy home with unique custom landscaping that you can view through your house's windows. No load doors within home.
Harborside - Solitude Bridge Home
A uniquely modeled, no load doors home overlooking the Solitude harbor, just under the arc. A buyable patch is available.
A mid sized player home in the mountains of lake Illinalta, with beautiful and very unique interior.
The Northern Star Retreat - Revisited
A mid-sized home on the calm and cold shores of the Pale.
Hunters Cabin of Riverwood
This mod original part is its size. Small cabin with minimalistic interior design - to have a rest and eat, located near riverwood with a great view on the town.
Teleport to your personal quarter from any place and return to where you were.
For a few nice little thematic LE player home ports.
A safe haven for rogues and sneaky thieves nestled along the Riften canal. Family and companions welcome.
Astronomer's Loft -- Small Loft Library Player Home in Whiterun
A small, warm, and cozy loft home located in the attic of Arcadia's Cauldron in the center of Whiterun. You can a see a showcase of it here.
The Lucky Skeever of Solitude
A house, hidden away behind and the upper floors of the Winking Skeever, waiting for a new tenant.
Treehouse and a small estate.
For a few small, cozy player homes.
Sami Hut - Cosy Player Home
This cosy little home, located in Hjaalmarch halfway between the Imperial and Stormcloak camps, is based on the traditional dwellings of the Sami people, with Elder Scrolls-ish flair.
Originally-looking player home with little extras and two quests.
JK's Riverfall Cottage
A cozy medium size player home near Riverwood.
A few unique-themed player homes/hideouts, with background quests and unusual look wrapping around certain deities or roleplay archetypes.
Sindora's Cottage In The Woods
This mod adds a small fantasy style cottage with an Apothecary Vendor out side of Riverwood.
White River Farm
White River Farm is a buildable farm mod that is simple, lightweight, and cozy.
Corners of Skyrim
Ever felt that a few areas of Skyrim are a little empty? Ever feel that a little something was supposed to be there in a particularly bland area? Ever want a little something to spice up those empty areas? Then this mod is for you, giving small immersively blended hideouts.
Millwater Retreat is a player home situated on the edge of lake Ilinalta. It’s been left in a broken state after plans to restore it went sideways. Uncover the mystery of this old mill and build it back up into a profitable business with the help of a few labourers.
A small player island in the middle of lake Ilinalta.
Player home in Frozen marsh.
Windyridge - Player home in Winterhold
Windyridge cottage is located near entrance of Winterhold. Two cozy cottages with a small prequest, thematic containers, everything needed for base needs and some additional functions.
A family-friendly cozy manor with a beachfront sauna by the lake Ilinalta in Falkreath.
Portable house in a bag, simple as that. Also install a fix for it.
Falkreath Treehouse Alchemist Edition - An Interactive Player Home ==NEW==
A cozy, intricately decorated, and fully exterior (no load door) treehouse dwelling designed for an alchemist, druid, hunter, ranger, or woodland mage.
Trollpacka - A house for witches and alchemists ==NEW==
A small but detailed house in the swamps. Fitting for witches, alchemists, druids or anyone who just likes the style.
Pinewood Cottage ==NEW==
A beautiful cottage stitting on the waterfalls of riverwood overlooking Whiterun.
Half-Moon Cottage ==NEW==
Cosy cottage close to Half-Moon Mill.
Shaman's Hut ==NEW==
Adds a tiny player home, a Shaman's hut, to the plains of the Whiterun hold.
Red Rose Mill ==NEW==
A beautiful quaint mill, resting in the blazing forests of the rift. A great option for a starter home.
White River Priory ==NEW==
Oblivion-style Priory near Riverwood with 6 resident monks.
Stalker's Refuge - Vampire Player Home ==NEW==
A vampire player home south west of Falkreath.
The Meadows Cottage ==NEW==
Cozy cottage within the Whiterun Hold between the city of Whiterun and Rorikstead.
Sindora's Hidden Hearth ==NEW==
Small fantasy-themed home with 2 versions available . One for 4 Followers and one For Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions of up to 4 kids.
Ilovespiders profile ==NEW==
For a few unusually planted player homes.
Adventurer's Sanctum ==NEW==
Adds a small to mid sized player home near whiterun with space for you & 5 followers with dynamic lighting (changes based on time of day).
THE TINIEST SHACK ==NEW==
Rolegur - An Atmoran Home ==NEW==
Comfy, quiet Atmoran home located in the north of Skyrim.
The Winking Skeever Loft ==NEW==
A beautifully decorated starter home, suitable for those who want to live in the big city. It has a balcony with a nice view over Solitude and is highly configurable with lots of options. Solve the mystery of the previous owner who has gone missing and left behind a mysterious artifact, and find new paths to walk in and out of Tamriel.
Oldhollow Chalet ==NEW==
Adds a tiny player home in the skyrim tundras with great views and some great features.
The Rippling Isle - Player Home ==NEW==
Adds a small home on a isolated island in the middle of the sea.
Frostholme - An Underground Snow Retreat ==NEW==
A cozy and small underground retreat in the middle of the Pale.
Combat & stealth, perks & spells, AI & animations, creatures & factions. Different overhauls and improvements - everything that affects your game variety and difficulty. There is one general Skyrim issue that (thank you Bethesda) wasn't changed at all from LE to SE. Skyrim script engine, Papyrus. It's static in terms of how many scripts it can handle, and this can not be expanded by any means (unlike the video memory limitations for Skyrim LE, for example), it can not be fixed or changed and it doesn't depend on 32bit or 64bit, our your PC specs - at all. Consider Papyrus a bottle which can handle only X amount of water. When it's X+1 or more - scripts are started being cluttered in your save file instead. This generally causes so called "script lag", save bloats, and, eventually, a broken game, and as mentioned before, the fact Skyrim SE is 64bit game doesn't give any benefits. So when it comes to gameplay mods (most of which have scripts in this or that amount), you need to be same careful in SE. Now, a quick manual of "how to see if my game can handle more script-heavy mods":
To test if your game overloaded with scripts or not, is very easy.When you are like starting to feel you have plenty of gameplay mods already, and not sure if your game can handle one more script-heavy survival mod, or two more combat mods etc - don't worry. Install them.
Then, launch your game and make NEW SAVE. While you'll be testing the game, save ONLY on that slot.
Now, go and force game to script-heavy situations. Go and fight bandits in some polulated fort, visit few big cities, run here and there. Visit locations with stormy weathers, and ofc, make actions that are depending on the mod you have just installed (like, build the camp if it's Campfire, or change your clothings several times etc).
Game running fine? No stutters in combat or actions, no crashes? (Exactly stutters - short-time game freezes, not the regular fps drops). Great! You're good to go. Stutters/crashes appear in combat, populated cities, during certain scripted actions? Nope. This mod is overloading your game - skip it.
And don't forget to delete the "test" save after.
Improved and smartened vanilla creatures, hundreds of new creatures, lore-friendly and not (up to your taste), new bosses and various improvements to vanilla guilds and factions - you will find them here.
Skyrim Immersive Creatures
Huge. Amazing. Immersive. Mod adds dozens of creatures to Skyrim. New monsters, factions battles, bosses and hundreds of encounters. All these things can be easily configured in the MCM. A must-have mod. Use this official patch to polish it completely, and better textures/models here and here . Also there's optional addon available which adds durzogs, clanfears and guars.
SkyTEST - Realistic Animals and Predators
Best animal overhaul mod even existed. Immersive and lore-friendly. It gives animals amazingly improved AI - so giving you amazing new experience. Haven’t asked yourself why wolf packs never hunted the mammoth? Or why mammoth attack don’t at least knockback you or why animals are never scared by dragons? Think no more. Install and have fun :) Also make sure to grab all needed patches from SkyTEST Integration Project page and install this HD textures addon.
Animallica - Skyrim Wildlife Overhaul
I have no idea how I missed adding this mod in the initial 2.0 release. Silly me. That's a great mod to add plenty of new animals, both predators and non-aggressive ones, to your game. Don't forget to grab a SkyTEST patch for it at integration project files page ;)
Adds 14 new dragons and unique skills to them. Adds amazing dragon ‘assault’ system. Via MCM you can configure dragons stats - health, damage and much more. Must-have one. Also look here for Splendor patch.
Diverse Dragons Collection
Amazing mod that adds 28 new beautiful dragons to game, with 7 ranks for each dragon type, 16 new breath attacks and 19 new abilities. Greatly configurable MCM. Compatible with all dragon mods. My personal recommendation - it’s a great addition for other dragons mods.
Mod adds 45 new unique dragons to game. It’s similar to Deadly Dragons/DDC, but much less lore-friendly. It’s compatible with dragon AI mods, BUT not compatible with Deadly Dragons so you’ll need to choose.
Splendor - Dragon Variants
Simply a must-have mod, no matter which your "dragon" mod setup is. Drastically increases the visual diversity of enemy dragons, while using only vanilla resources, ending with 784 possible combinations. Fully compatible with other dragon mods
Beasts of Tamriel
Awesome mod that adds dozens of new creatures, both monsters and critters - some are not much lore-friendly, but every creature in the mod can be disabled through MCM. If you’re looking for even more expansion of your creatures variety, try it! Also install this patch to prevent several possible crashes from appearing, plus there's also INEED patch available.
Diverse Werewolves Collection
Adds variety to enemy werewolf encounters. There are now 25 werewolves and 13 werebears, each leveled at 11 possible ranks for a total of 418 new enemies.
If you want to meet more furry enemies.
Amazing and very immersive mod that offers a big improvement to vanilla horses system. Many new horses types, improved and balanced horses abilities, dozens of management options and (finally!) mounted spell casting. It's also more lightweight and stable than its predecessor, "Convenient Horses". Also install script fixes==NEW== for it.
While being much more stable then Convenient Horses, Immersive Horses is still pretty script-heavy - so if that matters for your mod list and you still want better horses functionality, but even more lightweight one - pick this neat little mod from author of Ultimate Combat and TK Dodge.
Call Your Horse ==NEW==
A simple and lightweight way to call your horse to your location.
One With Nature - Dynamic Animals and Creatures
This awesome little mod gives you ability to configure how different types of animals will act related to character - allied, cowardly, friendly of defensive.
Mihail is currently one of the most active mod authors at Skyrim modding stage. His productivity simply amazes. He's focused on making standalone creature mods - both lore-friendly and creatures ported from other games (Souls series, Witcher etc). He currently has almost 150!! creature mods (while only around 70 are ported to SE, but still a lot), and ofc while not all creatures will fit your personal taste - the huge variety will always have something personally for you. Also grab this audio fix for his "Old Gods of the Hunt" mod if using it, and optionally this.
GRAHL - The Ice Troll (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project)Daedric Beasts - Wendigos and HowlersBogmort - Mud Monsters of Morthal SwampThe Falkreath HauntingsCannibal Draugr on Solstheim (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project)The Blood Horker (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project)
Several great standalone creature mods - either restoring cut creatures, or adding new creatures from TES lore. From the author of DDC and Splendor.
Adds otters and wolf-otters into Skyrim. You can also get a sound addon for them to be more quiet.
Skaven of Skyrim SE (Warhammer Fantasy) ==NEW==
Adds voiced Skaven to the world of Skyrim via leveled lists.
4thUnknown profile ==NEW==
For dozens of standalone mods adding creatures from TES lore to Skyrim gameworld, and on top of that - with a stunning quality models and textures.
Diverse Dogs ==NEW==
Adds diversity to the dogs of Skyrim, and optionally adds more dogs to farms, cities, and jarl's courts.
Wild Herds of Skyrim
Adds four wild horse herds to Skyrim. Each herd contains six horses: A lead mare, a stallion, and two mares with foals.
Butterflies Unchained makes butterflies and moths behave more like actual animals, rather than basic resource points. They now roam freely to explore the world alongside you. You can a see a showcase of it here.
Light Horses of Skyrim
Light riding horses in Skyrim now! Correct light horse anatomy and 13 unique fur colors.
Chick fillet. But diverse.
This mod makes Arvak look a bit more like a normal horse, gives him better stats and a few new abilities to make him more interesting.
A similar mod, but for Frost, from the same author.
A similar mod, but for Shadowmere, from the same author.
Zooming Horses - A Movement and Stamina Overhaul
Tired of useless horses that are worse than the apocalypse longstride spell? Want to play a non magic character, but don't want to fast travel? Tired of asthmatic horses that have no stamina? Mod is for you then.
Zim's Dremora Improvements
This mod has been designed as a balanced, lore-friendly improvement of the Dremora in Skyrim designed to make Dremora difficult opponents that can rival other deadly foes without making them overpowered. Also grab the USSEP patch==NEW==.
Better Fire Wyrms
Fire Wyrms are stronger and only attack enemies.
Places some penguins around the northern coast.
Adds many new fish to the waters of Skyrim. Both smaller pond fish and bigger fish in the category with salmon.
Adds several breeds/colors of chicken (barred, black, white...) to some places around Skyrim.
OBIS - Organized Bandits In Skyrim
Definitely best bandits mod. It adds amazing variety of bandits (about 2500!! in total), dozens of bandit factions. Bandits are groupped, positioned, have unique skills and improved AI. There are also optional plugins, for example, plugin that will add bandit raids around the towns and villages. My personal recommendation. Cloaks of Skyrim patch is available separately. Note: Don't use OBIS and Immersive Patrols together - while being fully stable and great mods themselves, when used together, sooner or later they case a game-breaking bug when random factions start attacking you on sight with no reason. I'm personally using OBIS.
Visually overhauls many of the OBIS bandits and their loot. Also adds a boatload of other content.
Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks
Choose your school and more improvements for the College of Winterhold. Fully compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold!
College of Winterhold Entry Requirements
Adds customizable skill level and Magicka requirements to join the College of Winterhold. Compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold.
Better College Application
What you answer when applying to the College of Winterhold now actually matters. Compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold.
College Days - Winterhold
Go to school! Pay exorbitant fees to be mocked. Actually be a master at something magic-related before becoming Arch-Mage. Compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold. Also install this patch.
Immersive College NPCs
Adds more students and guards to the College of Winterhold. Almost fully compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold - you can use them together, just small cosmetic conflicts will appear rarely.
All Thieves Guild Jobs Concurrently
Lets you take on all seven types of Thieves Guild jobs at once, instead of only one from Delvin and one from Vex at a time.
Less Tedious Thieves Guild
Remember that 125 job requirement for the full experience? Well, forget about that now.
Thieves Guild Bounty Clearer
This mod adds an NPC to the Ragged Flagon who can remove bounties on the player character for a fee. Also grab an improved audio addon for it.
Thieves Guild Requirements
The Thieves Guild will now only recruit other thieves. Brynjolf will no longer approach you if you are not a thief, and the Thieves Guild questline will not be activated until the player meets the necessary requirements. You can also choose to set requirements that must be met before progressing along the Thieves Guild questline.
A Change in Managment - Seamless Transition of Guild Master to Brynjolf
Makes Brynjolf Guild Master of the Thieves Guild seamlessly. Mod includes remastered audio files, edited quest messages and objectives, and ensures all subittles are updated with the new dialog.
Thieves' Night On the Town -- Tnott ==NEW==
Overhaul for radiant quests from Vex & Delvin: hold selection, targets in ALL holds, job & hold independent crime tracking, concurrent jobs, fixed targets in stock locations.
Thieves Guild Vault ==NEW==
Adds items to The Thieves Guild Headquarters and the Ragged Flagon each guild level up. Note: Not compatible with Opulent Thieves Guild.
Destroy the Thieves Guild ==NEW==
Kill the Thieves Guild plaguing Riften and engage in alternative ways to gain the quest exclusive loot.
Dark Brotherhood for Good Guys
Another amazing mod from the same author. Don't worry, it doesn't transform DB to group of pacifists - but gives you various alternative choices.
Dark Brotherhood Reborn - Dawnstar Sanctuary
Not every super cool assassin organization wants to live in a filthy dark damp hole in the ground that has no real storage and not enough beds for everybody. It's time for the Sanctuary to become a proper base of operations. A few patches available here .
Save The Dark Brotherhood
Simple as that! No more scripted deaths of your comrades - their survival now depends on you. Protect your Brothers and Sisters during "Death Incarnate" to reap their use as followers and spouses later.
Your Choices Matter - A Dark Brotherhood Expansion ==NEW==
This mod extends the Dark Brotherhood questline in many ways and adds an optional alternate ending. The ending you get will depend on the choices you, player, make throughout the story. Completely voiced dialogues. Use this mod or the one above - I'm personally using this one.
Destroy the Dark Brotherhood - Enhanced ==NEW==
This mod allows the player to take a more politically neutral role in destroying the Dark Brotherhood, while also allowing players the chance to obtain all the unique loot they normally miss out on.
Hidden DB Sanctuary Entrances ==NEW==
Hides the Dark Brotherhood sanctuary entrances.
A quest where you can join the Penitus Oculatus after the vanilla "destroy the dark brotherhood" quest and get all the rewards.
The Companions - Earn your stripes
Simple mod delaying progress in The Companions questline in order to make the Dragonborn a regular, well-established member before actually becoming part of The Circle or even Harbinger.
Improved Companions - Questline Tweaks
Actually back out of becoming a werewolf without leaving Skjor and Aela stuck in the Underforge forever, and various other tweaks for the Companions. Note: Mod is still in development so may have some minor bugs.
Dawnguard - Hall of Vigilant Requirement
A small yet logical tweak that adds an additional requirement for the Dawnguard quest to start: having been inside the Hall of the Vigilant.
Keeper Carcette Survives
This mod helps provide an explanation as to what happened to Keeper Carcette after the attack on the Hall of the Vigilant. This also helps to make Stendarr's Beacon more aesthetic, functional, and immersive. Lastly, this also adds vigilants to all major cities.
Stormcloaks For Good Guys-LESS RACIST
A mod from "Good Guys" series author - does exactly how it's named.
Open Civil War
Expands the civil war by many new battles and sieges.
Hunting in Skyrim - A Hunting Guild
Mod adds a fully functional hunting guide to the game, and completely overhauls the entire hunting experience. It features realistic animal skinning (like Red Dead Redemption), animal trapping, kill & stat tracking, new skills and abilities, new NPCs and locations, new dungeons, new weapons and more.
Become a Bard ==NEW==
Mod lets you play all of the instrumental and voiced songs included with the game or choose from dozens of new songs. Adds new radiant quests to expand the options for a bard in Skyrim. An updated version of once already ported LE version of the mod, with restored MCM functionality. Use this mod or the one below.
Skyrim's Got Talent - Improve As a Bard ==NEW==
Play instruments, get better, NPCs react to your skill dynamically, many new songs, lots of easter eggs, simple implementation. A compact, yet powerful Bard Gameplay Overhaul. Use it or the mod above. Note: make sure to follow the required files instructions on the mod page.
Why you never saw even a single orc in imperial legion forces? Or a women? Why hunters were only elves and humans? If you want to change this aspect of the game - not just randomly, but absolutely logical and lore-friendly - get this mod for sure. Adds hundreds of new NPCs with unique appearences to the levled lists for added variety and diversity while staying lore friendly. Also install this fix==NEW==.
Dealing with Daedra ==NEW==
New factions with quests, new spells and artifacts. Magic systems offer power for a price to non-mage characters. Witchhunters Guild, School of Julianos, Gatekeepers of Oblivion, Cult of Flesh, Ghost-Sea Smugglers and much more! You can a see a showcase of it here.
Silver Hand Armored ==NEW==
Mod gives Steel Plate Armor to all the hunters of the Silver Hand so as to turn this faction into a warrior faction rather than a gang of bandits.
Reasonable Silver Hand ==NEW==
The members of the Silver Hand no longer attack you on sight like common bandits. Instead, you can find out a bit of their story and might even become a honorary member.
Inspired by Elder Scrolls Online, adds Outlaws Refuges to major towns and cities.
Ported from Skyrim LE, mod adds a joinable Vigilant of Stendarr faction to the game, with ranks and radiant quest system.
Bandit Facemask Disguise
This mod adds new, standalone Facemasks to the game that will be seen on Bandits throughout the land. The player can now join the Bandits and walk among them as an ally by simply equipping a facemask.
Sokco's Guild Starter
Start your own guild and choose its members, motives, and location.
New spells, shouts and improved vanilla ones, immersive magic additions, rebalances and changes, enchantments.
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations and more in-depth review, you can take a look at some of these spell mods in action:
First, let's see some magic-related mods that are improving spellcasting/learning experience in this or that way:
Visual Animated Enchants - VAE
A replacer for the visual and animation of the enchantments on weapons to make them more magical and immersive. Also install the fix for it, also choosing needed patches in FOMOD installer, or use the version==NEW== better tweaked for ENB straight away instead.
Between the next few mods below, choose one:
Spell Learning and Discovery
My personal favourite between such mods - lightweight and configurable, it prevents player form learning spells instantly, making player to study them by spending some ingame time. Mod also has other cool features like increased chances to learn spells the more spells you casted, chances of learning about new spell when talking to mages and so on. Compatible with all spell mods out of the box.
Spellforge - Engaging and Convenient Spell Acquisition ==NEW==
Tired of crowded spell vendors? Want to filter your spell selection by level, school and sub-type (e.g. Fire)? Want to feel like a powerful mage making their own spells in a torrent of arcane flames and unleashed power? Stop eating tomes and instead try out a more immersive, configurable and fun way to expand your spell book.
Spell Tutor ==NEW==
A relatively freshly released mod for alternative spell learning with own vision - really well feature-packed and greatly configurable. My personal second favourite together with Spell Learning and Discovery.
Challenging Spell Learning
Pretty original, but simple alternative to previous mods. In addition, compatible with absolutely all spell mods on Nexus.
Grimoire - Spell Mastery
Another simple and interesting implementation of spell learning. Spell mastery takes time. With Grimoire one must always have a spell tome on hand to cast its spell until mastery is achieved.
Scrollwriting in Skyrim
Scrolls are no longer a non-renewable resource. You can now craft your own scrolls, like any self-respecting mage who dabbles in enchanting should be able to.
Spell Tome Sorting
Changes spell tomes names to "Spell Tome - [School] [Rank] [Spell Name]". Only changes spell tomes so you can buy them more easily, no spell names are changed.
Atronach Friendly Fire ==NEW==
Friendly conjured atronachs will now heal if you hit them with a spell of the same element.
Spiritual successor to Predator Vision, this mod is a new take on the way perception powers work in Skyrim.
Mods introducing dedicated spellsword mechanics. Remember that Ordinator has own, balanced and fun spellsword mechanics implemented in two skill trees - these mods may and most likely will make you OP on some extent - but at the same time, they have own unique features which you may like. Choose only one mod between these.
Sword or magic, why to choose? Install this mod and be able to launch prepared spells with weapon swings. Note: Ordinator has several spellsword perks and one of the perks is making almost literally the same, so if you're running Ordinator - you don't need this one for playing as spellsword character.
The Flamebringer AIO - Immersive Spellsword
Use as much as many different Spells and functions without changing spells. Combine close-combat and the wonders of magic into one very fluid combat style with unique combinations of visuals.
Spellfury - Hit Stuff to Cast Spells
One more approach to spellsword gameplay with pretty nonregular design. Turns magicka into a rage/fury like mechanic (no regeneration instead you gain magicka on weapon hits). Also, tries to improve the character progression of spell-sword style characters. Complete with a MCM to tweak and/or disable many features.
Slice, smash, bang!
Simple but effective magic overhaul. Note: You don't need need if you're planning to use big perk overhauls like Ordinator or Path of Sorcery.
No Force for Illusion Magic
Stop Illusion spells from throwing things everywhere.
Conjuration Hand FX ==NEW==
Changes the in-hand spell effects from the default purple swirl to custom colors for each of the summonable creatures. This was made in order to remove confusion from not knowing what conjuration spell is in your hand at the moment. At a glance you can now see if you have a Flame Atronach or a Frost Atronach in your hand!
Dragonhide Fixed ==NEW==
Fixes several major bugs with this master tier vanilla spell.
Now, the spell mods themselves:
Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim
The biggest and greatest spells mod in history. While adding 155 new spells it’s still really well balanced and immersive. Absolutely any player will find something useful here - just for damage or for the immersive roleplay. It’s also very compatible with other magic/perk mods. You may use or not use another mods with it but you just must use this one :) One of my two most favourite spellpacks for Skyrim. Don't foget to grab Ordinator/Vokrii patch depending on which one you're using. Note: Enai released a sort of reworked version of it lately here==NEW==. It will be a good use to you if you like Apocalypse but think it's tad too much in general. You can also grab a texture improvement patch, conjuration sounds improvement patch==NEW== for it and some other patches==NEW==.
Patches/Addons (for Apocalypse, not Odin):Categorized Favorite Menu for Mages - ApocalypseApocalypse - Ocato's Recital - Auto DispelBalance Adjustments for ApocalypseElemental Staffs for Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Cha-poo!Arcanum - A New Age of Magic
This pretty new spell pack is simply and literally breathtaking. It combines both new amazing visuals with new amazing mechanics of the spells, resulting in absolutely next-level spell mod. Currently mod has Destruction, Restoration, Illusion and Conjuration (read note about it further) spells available. You can also watch a showcase of it here. Note: Latest version of the mod is improperly packed and carries lots of bugs, so until mod author fixes that and while a partial bufixing patch exists (it doesn't fix all the issues), it's strongly advised to use latest mod version [before] Conjuration spells were added.
Elemental Destruction Magic
Awesome mod that adds 30 new spells related with different element. Another mod feature is that different types of enemies are weaker/stronger to different elements. This can bring additional immersion to your mage playthrough. Optional simplified addon is available, as well as Fulcimentum patch .
Forgotten Magic Redone
Mod adds 39 new spells. Key feature is it also adds 10 improvements for each of them, so 390 improvements in total. Also install a fix for it.
Shadow Spell Package
This mod adds "shadow" themed destruction/illusion spells and perks to Skyrim, looking and acting awesome. These spells are based around drains, damage-over-time and debuff effects. Great mod for ‘dark’ mage playthrough.
Amazing mod for everyone who like Dawnguard and paladin/vampire hunter playthrough style. Mod adds new armors and weapons, new sun spells and also improves existing dawnguard sun spells.
Spectraverse - Magic of the Magna-Ge
Mod adds interesting questline during which you can obtain 42 new destruction spells. Questline is based on TES lore, it has 5 voiced NPCs, 6 locations and 6 quests.
Dwemertech - Magic of the Dwarves
Similar to previous mod, but this one is related with dwemer lore. - 42 new Alteration, Destruction and Restoration spells. - 14 bionic upgrades - Interesting short quesline with voiced NPCs.
Triumvirate - Mage Archetypes
A latest work of the greatest Skyrim mod author, Enai Siaion. Triumvirate adds support for five mage archetypes (druid, shadow mage, warlock, cleric, shaman) in the form of 15 balanced spells each, which are available immersively through vendors. Some spells may be not quite balanced, but all are useful for roleplaying purposes.
Tonal Architect ==NEW==
A high quality Dwemer themed collection of spells from Enai Siaion, themed around devices, tinkering and automatons. It is similar in style to the Triumvirate classes.
Awesome mod that adds unique spell mechanics and improvements. Spell charging, magic impacts, blinks, spell sharing, improved spell explosions and a few more features.
Wild Magic Surge
This mod aims to make magic more volatile and dangerous by re-creating the Wild Magic system from D&D in Skyrim.
Aetherial Tomes ==NEW==
Spell mod that adds plenty (around of 100) of new spells that fill missing roles and alters a few vanilla spells for balance.
Warp Magic - Lore Of Ruin Spells (Warhammer Fantasy) ==NEW==
Adds 14 Standalone Warp-Magic spells to the game.
Ancient spells tapping into the flow of Aetherius, drawing starlight to strike opponents.
Adds 32 non-violent spells to the Restoration school.
A mod with simple yet interesting mechanic. Adds toggleable aura spells, which provide constant effects for yourself and/or nearby allies/enemies. All auras reduce your maximum magicka by a specific amount while active (upkeep cost).
Secret of the Blood Armory
Discover the Secret of the Blood Armory and obtain unimaginable power. A blood magic spell mod.
For various small spell packs - mostly they are pretty disbalanced or plainly overpowered, so usually their usage is just for fun/screenies.
The Miracle of Flight
Adds three modes of flying transportation for skilled mages: a flying carpet, Hethoth's Floating Disk and a dwemer conveyance. Actual flying was not something game intended so it can kinda ruin the balance/exploration immersion, but mod itself is really well made and can be great for screenshots and roleplay.
Shalidor's Migrant Portals
Adds a new dungeon to the Labyrinth which becomes available to explore once you've completed Shalidor's Maze. Inside is a small chamber with a new boss battle and a reward of a collection of portal stones allowing for instantaneous travel across large distances.
The Elder Scrolls - Tomebound
Expand your magical arsenal with spells, staves, scrolls and more straight from the Elder Scrolls lore.
Adept - Magic of Ash
Reworks ash magic in Skyrim, adding 7 new spells, new weapons, a new armor set, and a small player home.
Dragon Age Spells Redux
Pretty unique mod that adds 21 new spells from Dragons Age games with powerful effects and beautiful visuals. But the main feature is that spells now have cooldown, similar to Dragon Age series. So keep that in mind when installing the mod :)
Ace Blood Magic
Unique mod that adds a real blood magic spells to your game - this spells cost your HEALTH to cast. Basically, an anti-vampire spell mod.
Poison fan? Mod adds around 15 new poison spells and poison shout. Ordinator compatibility patch is available separately, look in comments thread.
This mod adds craftable dwemer light sources.Their origin is unknown, though some say that wisps were invented by legendary dwemer magecrafter Kagrenac.They will light your path in dark dungeons and caves. Wisps are equippable, so you can assign them to hotkey.
Wards Functionalities Extended
A magic ward overhaul. Customize magnitude, cost, charge rate and absorption rate. Block melee weapons with your ward. Break your enemy's ward with your weapons. Protect yourself from arrows. Make shouts pass through wards. Play with new expert and master level wards.
Have you ever wanted to control the weather, or turn the sky something beautiful like an aurora? Then this is the mod for you. Meteorokinesis adds 11 new weather altering spells that allow to you to change the weather to whatever you desire the most. Note: Similar spell is available in Apocalypse mod, but this one is slightly more "wide".
Voidgate - A Simple Town Portal ==NEW==
Create a portal and simply walk into it to find yourself in town for your merchant/crafting/whatever business. Then use the same portal spell to return to the wilds or dungeon you came from.
A Guiding Light - Clairvoyance Reimagined
Replaces Clairvoyance with a more convenient and immersive spell to help you find your way.
Mage Armor Rebalanced
Pretty underrated and very useful mod for people who're playing with hardcore or semi-hardcore gameplay mod setups.
Add a Mana Shield spell which can be toggled (ON/OFF) with visual effect.
Obviously not lore-friendly, but well...an orbital ion cannon blast for Skyrim, because...why not? It looks badass, that's no doubts.
Enchantments, shouts & minor related mods:
Summermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim
Amazing mod from the author of Apocalypse spell package. It adds 120 new enchantments to the game, accessible through thousands of new enchanted items that are integrated seamlessly into loot lists and inventories. It also fixes many bugs related to vanilla enchantments. An essential mod to increase your enchanting and overall game experience.
Patches/Addons:Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes (WACCF) patch> ==NEW==Night Eye enchantment fix ==NEW==Loot and Degradation patchVAE Effects for Summermyst Cooki-goo!Assassin Enchantments
This mod replaces the enchantment on the dark brotherhood headgear with an entirely new enchantment: Snipe, which is now actually fully useful for any assassin type. Also, the dark brotherhood gear is now also disenchantable.
Robes Enchantments Remade ==NEW==
Changes the enchantments on the college robes to a more potent, interesting, but also balanced enchantment.
Awesome and criminally underrated mod. Its main feature is to boost to shouts cooldown per dragon killed (3% per 5 dragons, capped at 30%) Mod also balances and improves many shouts values and scales battle shouts damage each 10 levels. Don't use together with previous mod, choose one or another.
Thunderchild - Epic Shouts and Immersion
This mod adds 29 new shouts and new abilities to improve your shouts. It also adds 24 new variants of graybeards robes, some new weapons and items and good configurable MCM. If you were bored with vanilla shouts variety - this mod is definitely for you.
Kyne's Peace Reinvigorated
A tiny mod that's changing only one shout, but greatly.
SkyVoice - Become the Dragonborn
Bored of pressing Z to activate shouts? Well, this mod changes that! Shout into your mic and watch as you send your foes flying with Unrelenting Force! Ofc, due how unique it is, it's not always working properly, but it's definitely a cool one.
Shout Pronunciations and Translations - With Thunderchild and Skyvoice support
A mod that will will come in handy for usage with previous mod, and with Thunderchild as well.
Elemental Arrows By Fuma
A lot of them. This said, many of these arrows can make you pretty OP, especially when playing with perk overhauls, so use with caution. Moreover, fully-functional elemental arrows are implemented in Ordinator. Yet ofc, you may like exactly this mod as it adds vastly bigger variety of them :)
Makes spellcasting (charging) faster. Can make you pretty overpowered, so use with caution.
Various amazing mods that can be classified as "overhauls" - a complex rework of various game aspects/systems/ general mechanics, often with a lot of new cool features added.
Modern Brawl Bug Fix
This is not an overhaul by any means, but a bugfixing mod. The reason why it's listed in the beginning of this section is because it's included in major Enai Siaion mods like Ordinator or Vokrii, so you don't need it if using them. But if you will be not using them - install it.
Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim
The one perk overhaul to rule'em'all! Mod that offers more than 400 perks to improve your game experience and class bulding. To tell this is a great perk overhaul - means to tell nothing. It’s rich, brilliant and absolutely perfect for both dedicated character skills building and roleplay. To make sure just visit mod page and read a few perks description. In addition to this it’s extremely light-weight compared to other perk overhaul mods and also greatly compatible with everything. If it’s your first try of perk overhauls - try it and you’ll enjoy it. If you’re using another similar mod - switch to Ordinator and you won’t go back. Perk overhauls are absolutely matter of taste, but this one’s quality is just amazing. ‘How much did Enai Siaion pay you?’ - you may ask. I would also ask this, yes. Until I try this amazing mod. Even if you open comments section and see what people often write, you’ll see that many players switched from other perk overhauls and don’t want to go back. Of course, it’s only my personal opinion, but statistics don’t lie and one thing you definitely need to do is to try it :)
Additionally, when using Ordinator, my series of unique modded character builds is fully available to you here (14 builds available atm with more to come).
Patches/Addons:Elemental Destruction Magic - Ordinator PatchForgotten Magic Redone - Ordinator Compatibility Patch Ordinator Enchantment Tweaks Immersive Performance for Ordinator Ordinator - Throne of Nirn ImprovedDwemer Certified - Ordinator Patch Ordinator Perk Spellscribe Sound Addon Ordinator VR Patch Vokrii Ordinator Ash Pile Retexture - 2K
Yes, it works for Vokrii too as you can guess :)
Boom boom.Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim
You can call this "Ordinator-lite", a mod from the same author. Smaller and "simplier", while still adding depth and replayability. I personally find the complexity and variety of Ordinator perks its biggest advantage, which allows that insane amount of creative character builds - but if you want something simplier, Vokrii can be a good hit. Also take a look at patches insaller which adds support for some popular mods, and there's also a CACO patch ==NEW==.
Cosmonach - Perk Overhaul ==NEW==
Cosmonach is a freshly relased (and updated) perk overhaul which improves all skills. It could use some balancing tweaks here and there, but in general it's really nice perk overhaul - take a look on it for sure!
Path of Sorcery - Magic Perk Overhaul
Awesome magic perk overhaul. It affects Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Illusion, and Restoration trees. The one disadvantage is it’s incompatible with some big and well-known perk overhauls, like SkyRE/Requiem/SPERG. But as it is developed only for mage perk trees and you play as mage you can simply choose to use this mod only. Also it’s compatible with Ordinator, so you can use both of them - just load this mod after Ordinator. To choose perk overhaul it’s absolutely matter of taste - so you are free to try them all anyway :) Make sure to install this fix==NEW==. There're patches for Apocalypse and Immersive Sounds available, as well as patch for Elemental Destruction Magic, and also optional and interesting addon mixing magic perks from both Ordinator and POS (will work only if you're using them both ofc).
Smithing Perks Overhaul
A well-made, smithing-only affecting perk overhaul which you can use together with Ordinator, using the respective patch.
Simple Smithing Overhaul ==NEW==
A simple smithing overhaul changing recipes, adding the ability to breakdown most armour and weapons, replicate certain artefacts without their enchantments, and upgrade unique levled weapons and armour. Compatible with Ordinator, Vokrii and Smiting Perks Overhaul - can be used on top of them.
Vampire overhauls. Choose only one.
One of two greatest vampire mods ever made. Mod gives a wide overhaul for vampires. Perks and skills improvements, new skills, expanded system of vampire needs, blood storage system and much more. Also you can grab this cosmetic addon for it.
Sacrosanct - Vampires of Skyrim
The second of the two greatest vampire mods and my personal favourite. Sacrosanct overhauls vampires and vampire lords. Reverse progression (stronger when fed), new abilities, powers, perks, hemomancy, various new progression systems, personal vampire questline and many gameplay tweaks for the discerning undead monster. Its main advantage over is while being absolutely revolutionary and all-embracing, it's very lightweight at the same time, and very easy to get used to all new features. Note: Do not use both Sacrosanct and Better Vampires. Choose one. Technically, they can be used together (patch available on BV page), but in this case many of Sacrosanct major features will be cut off. You can also take a look on 2 small tweaks for it here and here . Lastly, if you like the mod in general but want something more simplified, you can try the "lite" alternative==NEW== from the same author (sun damage adjustable addon is available).
One more vampirism overhaul, with own design and vampire gameplay approach. An alternative to try if you don't want to use Sacrosanct or Better Vampires.
Bloodlines of Tamriel - A Vampire Overhaul ==NEW==
A more complex vampirism overhaul from the same author with lots of interesting features and own approach to vampire roleplay.
Haemophilia - A Custom Vampire Skill Tree ==NEW==
Adds a balanced but interesting custom perk tree for regular vampires. Script-light and perfectly compatible with major vampire overhauls like Sacrosanct or Better Vampires.
Werewolf overhauls. Choose only one.
Lupine - Werewolf Perk Expansion
Absolutely badass werefolf perk overhaul which introduces absolutely new unique features, like two possible werewolf paths, completely new howls, looting as werewolf, werewolf armor etc. You can a see a showcase of it hereBloodmoon Rising
Another, old but great werewolf mod that overhauls werewolf perks and stats. If you like to play as werewolf you should know that werewolf becomes very weak versus high level enemies. Mod helps with this. Use this OR Lupine, not both.
Growl - Werebeasts of Skyrim
Growl is a lightweight werewolf (and werebear) overhaul from author of Ordinator and Apocalypse. It offers a much smoother werebeast combat experience, scaling, reworked perks, synergies between beast and mortal form, lunar transformations and many quality of life improvements, making werebeasts a viable choice for your character, and all this without "taking over" or imbalancing the game heavily. Mortal Enemies patch available. You can a see a showcase of it here.
Sanguinaire (Revised Edition - Skyrim Vampire and Lycanthropy Experience)
Another alternative for Vampirism and Lycanthropy gameplay. A complex overhaul with own vision. Once again, take into account it covers both vampire/werewolf features - that's its biggest flaw as it's not compatible with any other big overhaul from both vampire and werewolf sections.
Now, let's look on some great enemy overhauls that are affecting enemies in general - their AI, skills, leveling and so on - everyting to make your enemies really worth a fight, a challenging opponents. Choose one.
High Level Enemies
Simple but effective, old but good enemy mod - it places almost 900 new high-level enemies across Skyrim for much more challenging gameplay at any levels which are logically placed and will gradually appear starting from lvl 10. For those who are aimed on hardcore, long walkthrough, its "HLE - Increased Max Resists" plugin is also recommended. Note: If you're using Skyrim Immersive Creatures mod, use its own modified version of this mod, namely the "High Level Enemies SIC SE Edition" file.
Skyrim Revamped - Complete Enemy Overhaul
A really well-rounded overhaul - neither too boring nor too hardcore. It's focuced on harder bossfights and more variative enemies in general - some new higher leveled enemies here and there, enemies getting new spells from popular mods like Apocalypse and Shadow Spell Package and so on. Also get this small fix. Leveled bosses patch is available for better challenge.
Revenge Of the Enemies
My personal favourite between similar enemy mods, with the biggest coverage, creativity and most challenging effect. It improves enemies AI, scales enemies level with yours, gives unique skills to each enemy type, gives them strong cooperation and so on. Also the great advantage is that it’s very-light-weight and almost scriptless. Once again, it's pretty hardcore - so if you're aimed on semi-casual gameplay, it may be not for you (but you also can try the easier version), but if you want your game to be real challenging - you'll find no better candidate. After you'll see master vampires actually teleporting using the swarm of bats form, and fight some bosses (both improved vanilla bosses and new added ones), it will be hard to trade this for other mod. But once again, it's about your personal taste. There are also some patches for popular mods available as well as well as mentioned easier version of it.
Advanced Adversary Encounters - Ultimate
Similar mod with a different approach. It focuses mostly not on unique enemies' abilities and skills, but on adding more realistic resistances. Skeletons are very resistant to arrows, automatons are very resistant to sharp weapons, shock and fire spells, but weak to ice spells, and so on. The flaw of this mod is that enemies, in terms of own actions and skill, are mostly very similar to vanilla and even with realistic resistances, fights may often be not much challenging. But if you wanna "vanilla plus realism" experience, this mod may be a great variant. Also has dedicated patches page - don't forget to grab the patches you need.
This mod is not an overhaul of whole game, unlike the mods above - it changes only one certain bossfght, but how - that's a brand new level as for Skyrim! G.R.I.M. reworks the vanilla Dawnguard DLC Reaper boss fight into an epic battle with an elaborate mini-quest, taking place in a separate realm of the Soul Cairn which has a remarkable level design. This fight is fully repeatable, with scaling difficulty, randomized enemies, and dozens of pieces of custom loot. From a boring fight with a HP-boosted skeleton to a real lord of death. It can be used together with the ROTE/OLSP overhauls above without issues - just make sure to load both plugins in xEdit and keep only one mod plugin perks/abilities records affecting the Reaper, as otherwise the fight could be ridiculously hardcore. You can also see a showcase of the mod here.
ASIS is very underrated mod and its functionality is pretty often misunderstood by players.
Also install the improved ini files==NEW== after you'll install the mod itself. ASIS is a must-have mod for interesting and challenging playthrough. I personally advise to use ASIS only for 3 features: perks and spells distribution to NPC and NPC potion usage. That's the main amazing feature of ASIS - mods like perk overhauls, spell packs and so on, are either not adding possibility for NPCs to acces new perks and spells, or giving that on a very basic level, eventually making you more and more OP. Here where ASIS changes the game - it gives this access to NPCs. With this you can have an amazing game where all new spells/perks from mod could be used by NPCs as well as potions. Its AI option is pretty old and i don’t recommend to use it because modern combat mods have better AI improvements. Also it’s not needed to use its increased spawn features as this feature is buggy as hell and cuases random crashes, plus it's completely illogical. But if you will not check the spawns options in patcher - you'll be totally safe. So once again, I recommend to use ASIS with 2 features: perks and spells. For NPC potions usage, it's better to use much more feature-packed alternative here . Also, don’t forget to run ASIS patcher each time you installed mod that adds spells/perks. Patcher is located in \Data\Skyproc Patchers\ASIS\ASIS.jar
Race overhauls. Choose one:
Imperious - Races of Skyrim
Awesome mod that overhauls Skyrim races abilities, from the author of Ordinator. Now each race has 3 passive abilities and ultimate active ability that can be unlocked through race quest. That also brings more immersion to playthrough. New races' abilities are interesting and fit perfectly with each race. RS Children patch available, as well as Elemental Destruction Magic patch .
Morningstar - Minimalistic Races of Skyrim
A stripped-down version of Imperious from the same author.
Aetherius - A Race Overhaul
A more simple alternative to Imperious. Some of the bonuses are somewhat OP, but you can adjust that through xEdit easily.
Somewhat underrated mod. Pretty minimalistic, simple, but interesting overhaul to races.
True Races of Nirn ==NEW==
Lore-friendly changes to racial bonuses and powers so they are more useful and balanced across the board. A great vanilla+ racial overhaul.
Your Race Matters - Racial Passives ==NEW==
Making passive racial differences truly matter gameplay-wise.
Standing stones overhauls. Choose one:
Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim
Mod replaces the default standing stone effects with tactical and interesting new powers and abilities. Each standing stone comes with one passive ability and one active power. While greatly increasing standing stones effects variety, mod is still balanced and great for immersive playthrough. Also a tiny tweak for it is available. Note: If you like this mod in general but want something simplier/vanilla+ - take a look on a "lite" analogue ==NEW== from Enai as well. Use one or another, not both.
Curse of the Firmament
A standing stone overhaul that makes blessings more interesting, gives them all drawbacks, and optionally distributes them to NPCs as well.
Nice, let's continue with plenty of other overhauls of most different type (click "show" to open the subsection):
Dragon Combat Overhaul
Essential mod that offers amazing overhaul for dragons. Dragons are DRAGONS now - powerful, frightening monsters. AI improvements, unique skills and shouts and realistic physics. You’re fighting dragon, not a butterfly! If dragon lands close to you or makes a powerful tail/wing strike and you did not block this - you’ll be ragdolled. Dragons also can grab other NPCs and just throw them in air and many more other immersive features. If you want to have a real challenge fighting dragons - this mod is for you! I'd say even more simply - this mod is absolutely essential, because no matter how beefy your dragons will be empowered by other mods, this still makes not much sense if they still have stupid vanilla AI and no realistic physics.
Dragon War - A Dragon Overhaul ==NEW==
A lightweight overhaul for dragons. Not compatible with other similar mods like DCO or DD.
Don't just let those broken Dwemer Constructs and spare Dwemer Ingots go to waste- use them to build an army of steam-powered robots, upgrade and enchant their equipment, then lead them into battle from the driver's seat of a Dwemer Centurion.
Wintersun - Faiths of Skyrim
The latest mod and a new gem from Enai Siaion. Hands down the best religion mod you can ever have. More than 45 deities to worship, roleplay-wise worshipping mechanics and balanced unique bonuses! Grab it, don't even think. There are some patches for popular mods available, patches for Zim's Immersive Artifacts and Book Covers Skyrim, custom races patch and Great Town of Shor's Stone patch==NEW==.
Character Creation Overhaul
Character Creation Overhaul brings back birthsigns, classes, specializations, favored attributes, and major/minor skills to Skyrim. No more boring cookie-cutter characters - choice matters again!
A complete overhaul to experience system in Skyrim transforming it to classic RPG style. Compatible with mods as well. Gain experience by completing quests, exploring wilderness, clearing dungeons and forts, killing enemies and so on.
Archery Gameplay Overhaul
Popular and great archery mod. It adds great amount of features: - dozens of animations. - enchanted arrows - new bow camera mod - arm fatigue - really, really many overall archery improvements that make archer/hunter gameplay more interesting and realistic. Optional scoped bows patch==NEW== available.
In-depth and, in my opinion, simply essential mod. It makes complete rebalances of various game aspects, making it to play more similar to Morrowind leveled lists and leveling system - rare items like daedric or dwarven are REALLY rare now so you will not see each 2nd bandit in daedric gear when you'll reach lvl 80, enemies level scaling is much more balanced and challenging, and so on - many other mechanics such as leveling and alchemy were changed as well. Note: This is also the only "flaw" of this mod - it's too complex and will have compatibility issues with similar mods. That's why I'm personally using the "simplified" version of it, look below. A patch for Guards Armor Replacer is avaialable, as well as CCOR patch .
MUS - Morrowloot Ultimate Simplified
This version only rebalances rare items, loot and quest rewards - which is making it a perfect solution in terms of compatibility and still keeping the main feature of the mod. ISC patch available.
Poverty - You Hunger Reborn
Successor to You Hunger mod that affects the spawn rates of almost every item in the world along with an MCM that enables user customization of item distribution. An essential mod for hardcore realism/survival fans.
CIVIL WAR OVERHAUL - Redux
An improved version of well-known Civil War Overhaul mod - still script-heavy, but now much less buggy. Still, it's recommended to play a walkthrough directly through civil war to experience it and then start a new walkthrough without it.
Crafting Skills Revamped
A neat crafting overhaul that can be used on top of CCOR and other big mods. Read the mod page carefully though to see if you need it or not.
Simple and Dynamic Skills - Improved Standing Stones
Skill learning modifiers are determined by a combination of the level of the skill and investment in the primary Perks of the corresponding tree. Each skill is accordingly classified as Major (35% XP bonus), Minor (normal XP), or Auxiliary (20% XP penalty*). At low levels, only the first Perk is required for a Major Skill, but at higher levels, further investment is needed. Mod also introduces own changes to standing stones, focused on balanced changes and both pros and cons of certain stones.
Arena - An Encounter Zone Overhaul
An encounter zones overhaul.
KS Dragon Overhaul 2
An overhaul of dragons AI and combat behaviour. Highly compatible with mods that add dragons on fly, and for some other pathes are available in mod Files tab.
Another great dragon combat overhaul, with better AI, new skills, animations etc. Choose this one or previous mod.
A well-made movement overhaul for player and creatures. Player, NPC, animal, and creature movements have all been redesigned to feel more believable, realistic, and unforgiving.
Crime Overhaul makes changes to the way criminal activities are handled by Skyrim guards. They are less inept, getting arrested is less cumbersome, accidental attacks are more forgiving, and thaneship is more rewarding.
Skyrim Revamped - Loot and Encounter Zones
Deleveled gameplay fans, this mod is for you. It's designed to decentralize the player from the world. This is a fairly in-depth deleveling but basically loot and enemy difficulty will increase based on location and type. Yet, the introduced difficulty is somewhat artificial, as it changes mostly just the enemies stats and level. But once again, taste is taste :)
Depths of Skyrim - An Underwater Overhaul
Brilliant mod. Overhauls the underwater environment and adds content to the sea of Ghosts. Adds new grass types, coral and giant kelps, hundreds of new fish, treasures, encounters, fixes landscape seams etc.
Opening Scene Overhaul
Mod is adding the ability to escape with Ulfric, Elenwen & Tullius arguing, brand new carriage dialogue, a brand new voice for Hadvar (that has received much praise), fixing the infamous 'it's in the clouds' error Bethesda made and much more.
Love building things? Mod adds new content for the Hearthfire DLC, integrated seamlessly with Hearthfire's construction system. Build any furniture in any room. Build additional wings off your cellar. Also includes bugfixes and enhancements to vanilla apiaries, butter churns and mead barrels.
Overhauls the lock system, adding new features: Lock requirement, smash locks, unlock spell and auto pick locks, with a fully customizable MCM. Compatible with Ordinator (install the alternative version).
Improved quality of vanilla sounds and music, replacers and new standalone music packs to bring maximum pleasure to your ears.
High Quality Music
No more muddy compression for the game music. Only loose files (no esp plugin), and just a better sounds of Skyrim's music.
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim
Amazing sound overhaul mod aiming to make Skyrim's soundscape more immersive, clear, responsive, impactful, while also aiming for maximum compatibility, performance and cotherency with the original game. Ambience, weapons, magic, movement, reverb system, sound propagation, creatures and the overall mix are key areas of change. Once you try it you most likely won’t go back to vanilla sounds anymore.
Immersive Sounds - Compendium
Another complete overhaul for Skyrim sounds similar to AOS, with a bit more fantasy approach to sounds. Can be also used alongside with minor overlaps, and there's a AOS patch available, and few more patches for popular mods.
Lucidity Sound FX
Amazing medium-sized sound mod that, by the way, can be used together with AOS/ISC. Just install it after.
Improved Vanilla UI Sounds ==NEW==
Simple and noticeably pleasant!
Better enemies AI and skills, improvements in hunting, sneaking, questing, cut content restoration, various options to control what's happening around you in game and much, much more.
Economy and loot related mods:
Trade and Barter
Light-weight but great (and I'd say essential) trade mod that offers prices dependency from your faction status, NPC relationship with you, race, region and speech etiquette as well as some other cool features. Playing with it, you will really feel trading mechanics in game having sense. Not conflicting with almost everything. Also install the USSEP patch==NEW==. Few other patches are available.
Economy Overhaul and Speechcraft Improvements
A pretty good balanced and wide economy mod for Skyrim that changes plenty of economy aspects of the game as well as Speechcraft perks tree. Compatible with Ordinator and Trade and Barter.
True Medieval Economy
Another interesting economy mod, aimed on somewhat medieval realism.
This mod adds content from Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn to the world through leveled lists, merchants, and manual placement of objects.
Trade Routes - Regional Economy ==NEW==
Ever wanted to play as a traveling merchant, buying goods cheap where they're plentiful and selling them where they're rare for a modest profit? Than this mod is definitely for you :) Mod adds different trade aspect like regional prices, speech scaling, trade supplies, quests affeting on prices here and there and few more.
Mod adds 1629 new, lore-friendly items to loot lists, with an emphasis on deepening storytelling through loot.
Old but great and really underrated mod. It changes the loot that can be found in certain chests. Chests owned by the Dwemer, the Falmer, mages, draugrs, vampires and giants are affected. The purpose behind the changes is to make each chest more representative of the individuals who filled it with items.
Dynamic Dungeon Loot (DDL) - Random Loot System ==NEW==
A pretty old but great and really underrated mod which adds a loot drop system to boss chests found in dungeons. This system uses five tiers of loot to add variety and fun to the vanilla loot system, without breaking the balance of the game. This mod also includes 16 unique, ultra-rare artifacts to find. You can also install this hd retexture addon for it as well.
Bounty Hunter - Bounty Quest Tweaks ==NEW==
A collection of edits to make bounties configurable, easy to take more of, and more rewarding.
Miners and Farmers sell supplies ==NEW==
Now farmers and miners across Skyrim are more than happy to sell you their stocks as you travel.
Hunter Vendors ==NEW==
Adds 6 hunters at the entrances of towns and cities to buy your goods. Sells leather strips, leather, arrows, bows and daggers.
Bounty Gold ==NEW==
Lets you configure how much gold you get for bounty quests.
DON'T GIVE ME ALL THIS STUFF - Less Charitable NPCs ==NEW==
A simple mod that restricts the amount of stuff friendly NPCs let the player take from their homes and stores for free.
Sensible Bribes - Based on Speechcraft Not Level ==NEW==
Bribes make no sense in vanilla, as the value mostly depends on your level, not your speechcraft. This mod fixes that.
C.O.I.N. - Coins of Interesting Natures ==NEW==
Adds new types of coinage of all different values to make Skyrim's economy more interesting.
AI and enemy related mods (note - complex/whole-game-covering enemy overhauls are resting in the "Overhauls" section below):
Realistic AI Detection SE (better sneaking)
Simple but absolutely essential mod that recalibrates sneaking, making it much more realistic. Compatible with almost everything, including lighting mods - just read the mod description page carefully to install a proper version for your mod setup. Note: Place this mod to the very bottom of your load order, making sure it's loaded after any other sneak rebalancing mods and mods that affect lighting (weather mods, lighting mods like ELFX and all its modules, etc).
Know Your Enemy - Trait-based resistances and weaknesses
This original mod changes the both resistances and weaknesses of creatures and armor to magic and physical damage enhancing combat challenge and variety (similar to what AAE does, but with a more complex approach) - not just giving one bigger resistance and one weakness, but assigning a wide system of creature types, each with several different resistances/weaknesses, and a single creature may be a multiple type one. There is new features addon and Elemental Destruction Magic patch available.
Better Vampire NPCs
They will be leveled according to the PC and get stronger with advanced perks, spells, and all new abilities. Vampires can now be many different classes: one or two handed, light armor, heavy armor, mage, light bowman, heavy crossbowman. More variety, more challenge, more fun. Note: All "big" 4 enemy overhauls are also covering vampires, so load this mod after if you want its changes to have the upper hand.
Draugr Upgrades and Improvements
Real armor effect for draugrs and not just visuals, new perks, new types of draugrs etc. Note: All "big" 4 enemy overhauls are also covering draugrs, so load this mod after if you want its changes to have the upper hand. A patch for Skyrim Revamped is available.
No BS AI Projectile Dodge (Magic and Arrows)
No more bandits acting like medium ninjas.
Durnehviir God of Death
A challenging competitor in Soul Cairn and a powerful ally, the Durnehviir that this mod delivers is a better, stronger God of Death. He is re-textured and can breathe blue or purple undead flames.
Believable Crime Report Radius
If vanilla game one is too big for you. I'd personally still recommend to increase it to 2000 instead of 1000 in xEdit.
Suspicious City Guards
Guards will become suspicious when they see you sneaking around.
Nighteye For NPCs
Khajiit, Vampires and Werewolves...any NPC who are assumed to use nighteye ability get improved eyesight in dark.
Smart NPC Potions - Enemies Use Potions and Poisons
Why is the Dragonborn the only sensible person carrying at least a couple of health/stamina potions in Skyrim? This mod makes it so enemies sometimes carry and use a couple of potions and poisons just like you do. This will make combat more fair, more unpredictable and harder. Compatible with everything and customizable via MCM. Note: ASIS has the same function in it, allowing NPCs to use potions, but this mod functionality is just better in everything - more features and more control over them. If you want this feature - don't use ASIS "NPC Potions" feature and use this mod instead.
New Forsworn enemies that transform into werewolves and werebears in combat.
Truly Undead - Reborn
A port of same-named LE mod, and pretty much underrated gem. Skeletons, vampires, draugr and dragon priests will resurrect unless killed by certain specific damage sources. Congifurable in MCM.
NARC Remade - No Animals Report Crimes for Skyrim
Tired of that chicken going up to the guards and being a nark? Annoyed because that one bear ratted you out? Upset because horses are snitches? Then this is the mod for you!
Vampire Attacks Restored Outside of Walled Cities
Bethesda likes to screw up more things in newer versions of the games than in older ones. This helps a bit in this certain case.
Enemy Friendly Fire ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that enables friendly fire amongst NPCs.
Sun Affects NPC Vampires ==NEW==
Vampires that are out in the sun will suffer (a little bit) of constant damage. This affects NPC vampires and the player. Vampires will catch on fire when this damage accumulates.
Deadlier Werewolf NPCs ==NEW==
Non-player werewolves and werebears can now also perform killing blows randomly (from mauling, to decapitation bites), and also use sprint attacks when they pursue you. If using werewolf overhauls, make sure to get a patch for whatever one you're using from mod Files tab.
Armor and weapon mechanics rebalance or new features:
ABT - Arrows and Bolts Tweaks
Faster arrows, ability to turn on progressive/increased damage for arrows, increase/decrease amount of arrows found in enemies and sold by merchants and some other useful, customizable settings. An essential mod if you ever planning to use a bow/crossbow.
Weapon Speed Fix
Simple mod to add a control system to weapon speed, preventing speed bugs that sometimes can happen with certain buff or perk effects.
Armor Rating Redux
Improves the unbalanced armor rating system as well as magic resistances in Skyrim by implementing a formula closer to what Morrowind had (ohther presets are also available). Fully configurable, a must-have mod!
Pretty original mod that may be very useful for some players, especially in roleplay purposes. The more you use the same equipment, the more potent and valuable that equipment becomes. It's a lot like tempering, but you do it by cleaving through your enemies gradually. This allows for a favorite early game weapon to become a signature weapon that scales with your character. Maybe your character might intentionally build up the reputation of a weapon to sell it for a profit. Or maybe you like the way a weapon looks, but its damage just can't keep up. That's no longer an issue now. It's also compatible will all possible weapon mods on fly.
True Armor ==NEW==
Are you sick of swords cutting through Steel Plate like through butter? Every hit being predictable? Every type of armor feeling the same, regardless of material? No more! Greatly increased combat depth and immersion; a sparkle of realism and balance for your fantasy game.
Customize Weapon Speed ==NEW==
Wanna implement your own vision of balance for weapons attack speed? This mod allows you to customize weapon speed by type.
TDF Equipment Restriction ==NEW==
Realistic items usage skill requirements mod
Ultimate Spinning Arrows ==NEW==
The see me spinnin'. They hatin'.
Dynamic Equipment Manager
Automatically equips/unequips various gear when applicable.
A Better Gauldur Amulet
Tweaks the well-known Gauldur Amulet to be more rewarding.
Plenty of other mods changing most different things:
This mod can be take as a successor of well-known SkyTweak and is a port of same LE mod. Basically, it allows you to customize pretty much close to every gameplay value - weapons, magic, potions & poisons, skills, enemy stats and experience gains. To say more precisely, if you have your load order setup precisely and know every mod is working in a good synergy - you won't need this mod. But if you're not sure about some balance moments, or just wanna to be able to customize your gameplay difficulty through wide system of parameters - grab it for sure.
VioLens - A Killmove Mod
Amazing mod that gives you full control of killmoves. Chance, immunity, camera view, new advanced killmoves and so on. This works for melee, ranged and stealth killmoves. Great work and a must-have mod.
Cutting Room Floor
This mod restores a lot of content that was created but never implemented in the original game - quests, NPCs, building and other different little things. RS Children patch, lighting overhaul, complete NPC overhaul , higher quality tintmasks addon, Pandorable NPCs patch and a tiny fix are available.
Multiple Floors Sandboxing
Have you ever wonder why the NPCs mostly just stay at the same floor, even though the cell has multiple floors? This little mod will encourage NPCs to climb stairs around them and explore their surroundings more.
Skyrim Skill Uncapper
Mod allows you to get rid of silly vanilla "legendary" skills system by simply uncapping your skills - so now you can raise skills above 100, and all related multipliers and modifiers (even enchanting and alchemy) will grow as well. Besides that, Uncapper does tons of other useful things - you can determine leveling speed (strongly recommened to make it slower to not get lost on huge amount of new things in game if you have heavy-modded game), how many attributes you receive per at levelup (and at which level as well), how many perk points you receive at levelup (and at which level as well) and many other things.
Honed Metal Updated ==NEW==
Updated version of a well-known mod ported to SE. It partially covers what Loot and Degradation does, but it's focusing on this directly and adds much more features. Blacksmiths and mages all over Skyrim will be able to craft, temper and enchant your equipment, including any armor and weapons added by mods. The quality and price of their work will depend on their skill as blacksmiths and enchanters as well as your barter prowess. Fully customizable through an MCM.
Civil War Aftermath
Take the fight to enemy encampments all around Skyrim.
3PCO - 3rd Person Camera Overhaul - Smooth Camera Follow
An absolutely must-have mod for players who spend the most amount of time in 3rd person. This mod is just revolutionary! It imitates modern AAA games camera movement, which is based on player world coordinates, giving immersive smooth camera follow effect, especially noticable in combat.
AIM FIX - combat camera with aiming control
Makes aiming accurate out of the box. Provides total control over the crosshair position for archery and magic to match the hit point shift caused by the custom animations and mods. User determines how much easy or realistic the aiming will be. Equalizes the accuracy for 1st and 3rd person view. Tons of flexible MCM options and camera features. Note: If using lite version of the mod in pair with 3PCO, while this may look irrational logic-wise, make sure 3PCO overwrites Aim Fix, not vice versa.
Cinematic Dragon Soul Absorption
To please the cinematic god.
GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap
Mod that shows petty souls who's boss. No more petty souls in your grand soulgems, wasting them. Similar to well-known Smart Souls mod, but newer and more customizable mod from author of Diverse Dragons Collection.
Ever was bored with vanilla adoption system? Try this. It contains over a dozen dialogue scenes between the kids and others between your spouse and housecarl. Your kids will hang out with other kids when they're in town, and join them in running around town. They'll actually visit the places they say they do. If you've been missing for 3 or more days they'll send the Courier packing with a message for you. You can ask your kids and spouse to accompany you to your new home and have them follow you there!
Candy Shops of Skyrim
Adds sweet shops just outside all of the major cities. Compatible with JK's Skyrim, compatibility with other city mods is not confirmed.
Horses On Patrol
A port of same LE mod, all 3 mods available in files section. Adds more mounted patrols to Skyrim.
Choose one of four new effects for Konahrik; Force, Fire, Fade or Time.
MisterB's Crafting Matters
An alternative to Complete Crafting Overhaul if it's too much for you for some reasons - mod that adds much more to your Skyrim crafting experience. Breakdown Recipes, Tailoring Recipes, the ability to get firewood from miscellaneous items. New crafting materials.
There's a chance you'll make noise and alert enemies when taking an item based on the items weight and optional detection when breaking a lockpick or extinguishing a wall torch.
Your Soul Is Mine - Soul Gem Relinquishment
Your Soul Is Mine is like Dragon Soul Relinquishment for regular souls. It adds two spells: One that allows the player to absorb soul gems to purchase various passive bonuses and one that allows the player to absorb part of the victim's soul directly. The absorbed souls may be spent on various passive buffs.
Advanced Mining is a full remake of the entire mining process. It has many options, allowing you to control the ore deposits in the game in many ways, each one can be toggled individually and adjusted.
MCM Ores And Firewood
Mine and chop faster, all configuration directly in game at any time.
Smithing And Smelting Improved
Rebalanced smelting and some new crafting recipes.
Souls Do Things 2
Mod which adds various new functionality to dragon souls, making them useful in the game in different ways.
Simple but immersive mod. If you steal something and nobody sees you do it then the item will not be "stolen".
A few changes to pickpocketing chance and how it's calculated - pickpocket chance is no longer affected by value, only weight, and maximum pickpocket chance increased from 90% to 100%.
Rebalanced Encounter Zones and Leveled Actors
Simple mod that's increasing base level and level scaling of encounter zones in game. For hardcore lovers.
Encounter Zones Unlocked
Useful mod for challenging gameplay with a little difference approach - dungeons don't stop leveling after the first visit.
Tired of piles of low-level potions/poisons/soul gems cluttering up your high-level inventory? Use the Mystic Condenser to combine them into their higher level counterparts.
Torch Brightness Radius
Makes it bigger.
True Hybrid - Tainted Blood of the Dragonborn - Werewolf and Vampire Hybrid
Be both werewolf and vampire whilst using your favourite associated mods. Compatible with most vampire & werewolf mods.
Vampire Sun Damage Clothes Covering
Somewhat cheating mod as for me, but some people may find it useful.
Civil War Neutrality
You can stay neutral without having to miss important content.
Improves dogs functionality to be more realistic similar to how trained dogs irl can behave.
Heavy Armored Soldiers
Imperials and Stormcloaks now have a chance of spawning wearing their own heavy sets.
Optional Starting Spells
This mod removes all starting spells and adds all the novice spell tomes to your starting area. Compatible with Alternate Starts - Live another Life.
Sleep to Gain Experience
Similar to what it was in Oblivion.
Sleep to Level Up
An alternative to the mod above - with a few more options, choose one or another.
Makes thieves in the world wear regular clothing rather than guild clothing.
Vampires Regen in Shade
Allows all vampires to recover health, magicka, and stamina when standing in the shade, even during the daytime.
Better Skill and Quest Books Names
Not that much "immersive", but definitely may look useful for some players.
A small mod designed for stealth characters using extremely dark interiors from ENB or weather presets. The candle illuminates a small area in front of the player, thus allowing the player to see items in front of them to steal, and avoiding the use of a torch (lighting up the entire room and increasing the risk of being detected).
Altar of the Revenant
Allows to "corrupt" grand soul gems into black soul gems.
Selective and-or More Expensive Transmute
Mod to choose which ore you want to transmute by allowing you to dual cast the transmute spell.
Disarming Traps Is Dangerous
Pretty much as that.
Sadly, Dragon Soul Relinquishment mod is pretty bugged in SE. This is a simple alternative to it. Mod allows you to convert Dragon Souls to Perks or Attributes.
Cardio SE - More Realistic Fatigue
Mod introduces fatigue mechanics to Stamina, Health and Magicka and factors in encumbrance effects. Allows full customisation attributed to this through the MCM.
Left Hand Rings Modified
Simple as it is. Makes it possible to wear rings on left hand :)
GuruSR's Werewolf Transformation Meter
Very useful for werewolf players. The bar shows how much time left until transformation will fade off.
Intoxication (Drunk and Drugged visual effects)
Simple as that. Some big mods like CACO already adding such effect, but if you're not using them and just wanna the visual effect - grab this mod.
Reading Is Good ==NEW==
This mod reworks skill books so that instead of granting levels instantly, they give you a permanent boost to your leveling speed in the respective skill. This means that you benefit more by reading them as soon as you find them. SKSE plugin.
Radiant Requirements MCM ==NEW==
Modifies select radiant quests so that they don't send you to locations with dangerous enemies until your level is high enough. Configurable in MCM.
Realistic Humanoid Movement Speed ==NEW==
Faster walking, slower running and sprinting.
Regen Adjuster SKSE ==NEW==
SKSE Plugin to let you choose regen values outright or based on conditions.
Vampire Feeding Tweaks ==NEW==
Small mod that opens up the possibilities for feeding as a vampire, without needing a big overhaul.
Curse of the Werewolf ==NEW==
With this mod installed if you are a werewolf you will be cursed/blessed. Once a day in a situation that would normally result in your death right before the final blow you will automatically transform into a werewolf and regain full health during the transformation rendering you effectively invincible during the 10 second transformation. Compatible with werewolf overhauls like Growl or Lupine.
Everything about combat - better enemies AI and new skills, injuries, locational damage, unique player moves and overall combat improvements here and there to make dull Skyrim combat shine.
Light-weight, script-free, old-but-good combat mod. Due to its great compatibility it can be used alongside with other combat mods for even better combat experience. Enemies are more agressive and smarter. Stagger, knockdown, enemy skills, and enemy damage are enhanced. But at the same time enemies are not ‘terminators’ - mod is good balanced. I strongly recommend to use it. I also advise to use modular version for more detailed installation process.
Amazing combat mod that brings you totally new combat experience. Enemies AI is now better, they can cooperate, parry, dodge, counter your attacks as well as having unique special spells and abilities. Mod modifies many combat stats for more realistic combat. Mod also adds timed block feature, stamina cost for regular attacks, headshots for archers (can be configured in MCM) and some even more things. Try it for sure!
Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim
New combat mod from the author of Apocalypse/Ordinator. This amazing mod makes combat more realistic, dynamic and brings more lethality into your game. Mod ipmroves combat AI that makes enemies more smart, initiative and dangerous. Its biggest and greatest (in my opinion) feature is wide injures system. It’s really realistic and simple at the same time. It also modifies global difficulty levels in Skyrim and gives you possibility to configure these values in MCM. It also offers timed block feature as well as many other combat modifiers. It’s also pretty good compatible with all combat/magic/ perk overhaul mods and mod author also inlcuded detailed load order description list for this/that mod. Immersive Movement patch is available.
zxlice hitStop ==NEW==
Ever asked yourself why weapon weights nothing? Why your character doesn’t feel any physics after swinging two-handed battleaxe? Then this mod is for you. When the player hits an actor or an object, a “hit-stop” (a tiny pause) is added along with camera shake and blur effects. This makes weapon strikes feel more solid and heightens the sense that a hit has actually been made.
This mod is similar to previous one, just for the bows/crossbows. When the player shot a bow or crossbow or staff, a "recoil" (a tiny pause) is added along with camera shake and blur effects. This makes weapon recoil feel more solid and heightens the sense that a hit has actually been made. Mod also comes with an MCM.
Very popular and must-have mod if you’re running several combat mods that increase game difficulty. Mod adds dodge rolls (forward-back-left-right) using hotkeys. Mod also has an MCM where you can re-configure the hotkeys and dodge roll stamina cost. Xbox One gamepad addon available.
TUDM - The Ultimate Dodge Mod
One more great dodge mod, with own pros and cons. Pro is that it doesn't rely on FPS in terms of dodge responsibility (with TK dodge, if you have FPS below 40, dodge responsiveness can become worse, i.e. small delay appear) - so it never has a dodge delay after hotkey pressed no matter if you fps is 60 or 25. Most of people also like its animations more. Cons - less options for configuration. Choose this mod or TK Dodge - one or another. Some patches are available here, as well as RS Children patch==NEW==.
Remember how NPCs can turn to your direction just in the middle of weapon swing? Forget about this! Elemental Destruction Magic patch available.
Simple mod focused exactly on injuries. More realistic/hard to heal comparing to Wildcat's injuries system (you should not use them both or disable WC injuries if you want this one, otherwise it will become messy). Optional UI addon available.
Stamina Matters - No more useless stamina ==NEW==
Small yet pretty revolutionary mod and my personal recommendation for deep realism lovers. No attacking / blocking / jumping at zero stamina, rendering a complete new meaning for stamina in this game other than just a limiter for sprint / power attacks. Stamina is actually something that matters and you should put into consideration during combat now. Latest version adds Stamina consumption and CGO patch.
Realistic Melee Range
Simple as that. Decreases hit range for all melee weapons to be more realistic.
Manual crossbow reloading mod, fully customizable in MCM.
Non-Exploitable Crossbow Reloading
A similar, simplified mod in case you're on the edge of scripted performance. Use one or another.
NPCs Can Swim in Combat Visceral Combat and Movement
Simple mod inspired by movement adjustment of Wildcat and other movement mods in addition to mortal enemies/attack commitment features.
Adds fast-pace combat features, making fighting with melee weapons look somewhat similar to how it's being depicted in anime. Requires Ultimate Combat.
No Saving in Combat
Simple as that, for hardcore fighters.
Dynamic Stamina - combat actions and movement use stamina
A simple, script-free mod that makes combat actions and movement consume stamina. Can be an alternative to similar systems in mods like Wildcat or Ultimate Combat, if you don't want to use them for some reason.
This mod adds to Skyrim weapon-arts (or weapon-skills), which are based on equipped weapon type and its enchantment. If player character has enough magicka, then using a lesser power added by the mod (Z button), the combat skill with special effects and animations will be performed.
Locational Damage(SKSE Plugin) ==NEW==
ctually working, light-weight and finally really STABLE locational damage mod for Skyrim. Full configurable in .INI file. When using with combat mods like Ultimate Combat or Wildcat, either disable locational damage in UC and/or injuries in WC, or set this mod effect chances to very low - otherwise you'll be very OP. Note: My .INI file for this mod is available for download, suitable for mod manager installation.
Melee Power Knockback ==NEW==
Simply adds knockback + ragdoll to power attacks.
Knockout and Surrender - Non-Lethal Pacifist yielding options ==NEW==
You can configure how easily your enemies should surrender, and you can choose to knock them out rather than killing them.
Dynamic Sweep Attack ==NEW==
Adds ability to perform a sweep attack and bind it to a preferred hotkey in MCM.
LoZLock - Simple Lock-On Updated ==NEW==
Mod adds a simple target lock feature in combat. Updated version of a conversion of an LE mod.
(SJG) Dual Wield Parrying Reimplementation
Simple parry mod for dual wielding/spellcasting.
ArrowBlock(REAL Deflect Arrow)
This mod allows you to block arrows and magic projectiles with your weapon or shield which will cost you some stamina/magicka. For making mod better balanced, I'd recommend to raise this cost value using xEdit, otherwise you can be near to invincible often for too low cost.
I personally always enjoyed this enemy ability, but if this bothers you - mod removes Disarm shout from either draugrs only, or the entire game including mods.
Alchemy-dedicated mods. They technically are general gameplay improvements type, but alchemy is a very popular skill with some true gems for it, so I thought it would be nice to give them a separate section :)
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations and more in-depth review, you can take a look at some of best alchemy mods in action:
Let's start from a most (deservedly) known, complex and simply epic alchemy overhaul, which is close to be an essential mod for almost any walkthrough.
Alchemy Potions and Food Adjustments
Mod can be taken as "lite" version of CACO (use one or another, not both). Improves the consistency and balance of alchemy and potions in general as well as correcting some cheat-like features present in vanilla.
Skyrim Alchemy and Food Overhaul
Another simple but good alternative, oriented on somewhat hardcore gameplay.
A simple but revolutionary mod that allows you to poison your weapons multiple times to not make this annoying "menu-poison-back to game" action after each swing or shot and to actually see which exactly poison is applied and how many stacks left via cozy UI.
Toxic - A Venom Mod ==NEW==
Toxic adds new alchemy ingredients to creatures who use venomous attacks, allowing you to use their venoms for your own poisons and antivenoms.
Skytoxin - Realistic Dangerous Poison
Potions and poisons get more realistic and dangerous. Great for roleplaying and survival.
Now, a few mods which are wrapped about making potions usage more thoughtful, double-edged, similar to how it was done in Witcher games. These are absolutely optional as they, ofc, will make game harder. Choose one:
Toxicity - A Witcher-like Toxicity System
Mod puts a soft limit on the number of potions that could be consumed at once. Drinking too many potions will cause your toxicity level to rise and will eventually cause you to lose your balance and produce hallucinations in the form of visual effects. It's also compatible with everything out of the box.
Chasing the Dragon - Toxicity and Addiction
A more advanced, feature-packed Toxicity mode, built as a successor to the mod above (and so ofc, use one or another). You can see my review of it here.
A more simple and "forgiving" yet immersive alternative to previous mod to make potions usage less "spamming" and more realistic, introducing sort of alchemical diminishing. While under the effect of potions, your tolerance will gradually increase, decreasing the effectiveness of subsequent potions. Tolerance will gradually return to normal after all alchemical effects wear off.
Technicolor Alchemy Overhaul - Unique Alchemy Plants for Skyrim
Not an overhaul, but a huge addon more likely - this mod adds over 3000 (80 types) of hand-placed plants over Skyrim, with own alchemical ingredients. Compatible with CACO. Note: Test properly if you're using landscape overhauls and static flora addons.
Another simple yet immersive mod. Mod adds a reference book, listing all Skyrim ingredients and their 4 effects. No more blind experimenting and wasting expensive ingredients on failed potions. Now you can look up the ingredient in your reference book in your inventory like a real student. On the other hand, this may also be somewhat cheating/"spoiler'ish" to some players, so use to your own preference.
Alchemical Treatise (with mod support)
This mod adds a series of alchemy books that teach the effects of each ingredient in them, placed at lore-friendly locations around Skyrim, that have in-built support for several popular mods that add ingredients including CACO, Beasts of Tamriel, Immersive Creatures and Skybirds.
Adds the ability to craft ingredients at a new crafting station. New ingredients and effects as well.
x Pine Resin
Souls-like item mod. Adds consumable items which can enchant weapons temporarily such like pine resin of Soul series.
Upgrade Old Potions
Combine lesser vanilla potions and poisons into upgraded versions.
Creep Cluster Lazy Fix
Just a weird workaround for a weird bug - Creep Cluster harvesting fix.
Craftable Hearthfire Planters - Campfire addon
Adds craftable Hearthfire Planters players can use to decorate and expand their gardens or homes. Requires Campfire.
Better Crafted Potions
This mod changes crafted potions models and names to match the closest leveled loot potion.
Less valuable player made potions
Player made potions are absurdly valuable. This mod reduces how much they sell for without impacting the price of potions merchants sell.
Craftable Perfumes and Colognes
Allows you to craft scents for a boost in speechcraft and other miscellaneous skills based on the scent.
Varietea - Yet Another Tea Drinking Mod
Adds nearly 20 new teas. Variety is spicy and all that.
Did you know the Nords canonically make chocolate? This mod introduces some 30+ types of chocolate that you can actually bite in half.
Cook More Vanilla Food
Does it ever frustrate you that you can't make your own baked potatoes or grilled leeks? Well, now you can. Salt optional.
Hanyah's Plantable Jarrin Root
Makes Jarrin Root from Dark Brotherhood quest plantable as any other plant on HearthFire's dirt emplacements.
Make Moon Sugar
Buy necessary ingredients and use a special brewer to make famous moon sugar.
Respectable Inventory -- Well-Stocked Alchemists
Alchemists now have a complete stock of ingredients and potions for sale. For me personally, this can and most likely will make game too easy, but many people may like it for sure.
Apothecary Inventory Rebuild
A more complex and somewhat less "making game easy" alternative to mod above.
The Alchemist's Cookbook ==NEW==
Find recipes for any useful combination of ingredients, giving you a new way to learn effects and master Skyrim's Alchemy system. Note: Read the "Bugs" section post about how to fix the FOMOD installer.
Blacksmith and Enchanter's Potions Enhancements
Increases duration of named potions, simple as that. I'd personally recommend to use exactly the "E and S Potions Duration Only" version.
White Phial Better Alignments
Changes the effects of the White Phial to be more useful and impactful.
Discover secrets of sophisticated poison making. New dialogue lines are also voiced.
This small mod allow you to plant Nirnroot and Crimson Nirnroot if you have completed "A Return To Your Roots".
Ring Of Pure Mixtures Improved
Pretty much logical buff for the ring, as for me.
This mod makes Skooma (and Redwater Skooma) more potent and more dangerous to use.
Craftable Skooma and Moonsugar
Simple mod that adds a simple way to craft skooma and moonsugar.
Because why not? Serves as an additional alchemical ingredient.
More enemies, more sudden encounters, more civil war battles, more neutral NPCs as well. Please remember: big amount of population mods together with heavy-modded gameplay setup may overload your game and cause instability and script lags. To avoid this - install population mods one by one and check your performance ingame, testing affected areas like cities, forts or faction battles.
The biggest NPC mod ever made, an absolute titan between all of them. While Inconsequential NPCs is focusing on "no noticable" immersive NPC addition to "fill" the gaps in game, Interesting NPCs adds characters with own stories, often with questlines and all are fully-voiced. Over 250+ fully voiced NPCs, 25+ followers, 15+ marriage NPCs, and 50+ quests. 3DNPC is like a game inside a game in meaning of size. The dialogue choices allow you to role-play, providing humor and depth to each conversation. You can be a jerk or a jester, a white knight or an assassin, as the most important character is you. Note: While the mod itself is stable, you should take into account that it adds really a lot of new NPCs and if you're planning to use many population mods at the same time, test the game deeply before starting an actual walkthrough to be sure game performance is not affected badly with too many NPCs added. Also install the aggression fix==NEW==. Patches/addons:Interesting NPCs and WACCF Outfits Patch Cuyima Interesting NPCs Interesting NPCs Visual Overhaul Interesting NPCs Zora Customizer Apachii Hair for Interesting NPCs Interesting NPC's Imperious Patch WARP - 3DNPC patch The Great Town of Ivarstead - 3DNPC Patch The Great Village of Mixwater Mill Interesting NPCs Patch Immersive Patrols
Mod adds plethora of patrols of almost every major faction across all DLCs, including Stormcloaks, Thalmor, Imperials, Dawnguard, Travelers, Merchants, Bandits, Skaal, Redoran, Reavers and Rieklings. You will see small and bigger faction battles and even for sieges in absolutely each region of Skyrim! Its also doesn't use scripts - so you can install and uninstall it anytime without any worries and it’s pretty good compatible with almost everything. There's also "stripped down" version of the plugin (overwrite the original mod plugin with it) that has 2 versions - without merchants and leveled lists changes or with this and without war zones on top, and another "simplified" addon for it in a few version - use either one or another in addition to mod itself. Note: Don't use OBIS and Immersive Patrols together - while being fully stable and great mods themselves, when used together, sooner or later they case a game-breaking bug when random factions start attacking you on sight with no reason. I'm personally using OBIS.
Citizens of Tamriel
A tribute to old-school RPGs that adds some much-needed life to Skyrim's NPCs. Features all new, fully-voiced characters, branching dialogue and more. My personal recommendation. Also grab a visual upgrade for its NPCs. RS Children patch available.
Denizens of Morthal - Dialogue and Character Expander
Uses carefully spliced and re-purposed dialogue to allow the citizens of Morthal to interact with each another. Along with giving more immersive schedules to the inhabitants, it also expands the skills and backstories of Benor, Eisa Blackthorn, Valdimar and Erandur.
Awesome encounter mod that also adds lore-based storylines alongside with the new encounters.
Extended Encounters ==NEW==
A fresh encounter mod from author of well-known Wyrmstooth mod. Travel encounters and ambushes, sleep encounters and more - but most noticeably and what makes this mod to stand out, not being just "yet another encounter mod" is a wide system of immersive non-combat encounters (or at least not related to combat with player directly). City guard chasing a local thief, executioners doing their job at town squares (and resting in temple after that at evening), street performers and so much more! Lastly, it also makes bandits to actually raid cities from time to time, as well as mercenaries and adventurers to actually travel accross Skyrim so can see them hunting or dealing with local thugs. On top of that all, mod is fully configurable in MCM. To me personally, it became a lifetime denizen of my load order and an essential mod. You can a see a showcase of it here.
Full Random NPC Pack ==NEW==
Adds 600 ++ new NPCs to the random lists of bandits, guards, soldiers, vampires and others. The mod also adds a small number of travelers who are, in vanilla game, rarely found throughout Skyrim.
Civil War Deserters ==NEW==
Adds a new deserter enemy type that you can encounter in specific locations across Skyrim.
Bandit Hermits ==NEW==
20 new locations with Bandit Hermits, in far locations, radiant enabled, make some areas less empty.
Dark Brotherhood Assassins - Improvements ==NEW==
Reintroduces a new ranged type of assassin that was cut from the game, adds new NPCs for added racial diversity and increases their overall power based on player level for better scaling into higher levels
MINPCs (More Immersive NPCs)
A mod that adds many new NPC's that wander organically throughout Skyrim using custom AI packages, in an attempt to make traveling more dangerous, and the roads less empty. Note: It's recommended to delete Bandit Raiders from it in xEdit.
More NPCs for settlements at Solstheim.
For a few tiny but immersive mods adding NPCs here and there, logically placed.
Skyrim Belongs to the Nords - A Population Mod
Really great and pretty underrated, all-in-one make-Skyrim-more-populated mod. It adds new citizens and peasants, labourers, dockworkers, beggars, miners, villagers and thugs to settlements and near them. Note: It's recommended to not use Populated Cities mod (below) together with this mod, as this may result in too much overcrowded settlements.
DFB - Random Encounters - MCM
Great and stable encounters mod from Skyrim Immersive Creatures author with cozy MCM, through which you can control hundreds of spawn across dozens of spawn types.
Now goes the Populated mods series - more citizens, more bandits in forts, monsters in dungeons, travelling mercenaries & merchants, more soldiers fightning in more civil war battles etc.Populated Lands Roads PathsPopulated Forts Towers PlacesPopulated Dungeons Caves RuinsPopulated Skyrim Civil WarPopulated Skyrim Prisons CellsPopulated Cities Towns Villages
RS Children patch available.
Stands for its name.
Vampire Lord Enemies
Not that much lore-friendly, but well, if you wanna, why not?
Various completely new gameplay features and additions - many things that this game lacked, features inspired by other RPGs, vanilla mechanics expanded by new stuff. Combat and absolutely "civil" related as well.
ESO Skyshards places several shards throughout the province of Skyrim, including Dawnguard areas and Solstheim. Collect them to gain extra perk points.
Magic Duel - Reborn
This mod allows you to engage magic duels with your enemies. If you want some more epicness for your mage playthrough - try it for sure. You can duel both NPCs and dragons. For dragon magic duel becomes shout duel and that’s pretty immersive. Mod also contains ingame book through which you can configure it.
A port of super-cool and underrated Skyrim LE mod that simply allows you to gift any outfit to any NPC, which they will immediately equip.
RE - Real Estate Continued
Outside of most buildings, you'll find a Property Sign. Interact with it to buy, sell and rent properties, from which you'll earn income. Use a Master Ledger to review your current status. You need also to keep it up to date, to do so you just need to select the "Ledger's quill" from your inventory. Collect your income from Safes located in each jarl's palace. The safes are locked, so that no thieves will steal your rent. The key is automatically given to the player during the tutorial. Mod also has MCM to adjust settings.
200 hidden lootable chests with a unique design for you to discover all around Skyrim.
The Egg Of Time - Dwemer artifacts from Morrowind
10 dwemer artifacts from Morrowind. Will you be able to find them all?
Tavern Games - Mini Games in Skyrim
Immersive mod inspired by Witcher series that adds several mini-games.
Medium Armors - True Equipment Overhaul
Technically an armor mod, but it adds compeltely new armor type, medium armor, as per older TES games. Around 20 new medium armor sets, integrated in leveled lists.
Draw - A Dueling Mod
Settle your conflicts like a real Nord! Single combat with any npc, no damaged faction relations, no strings attached. Killing your opponent is optional.
Taxes of the Nine Holds
This mod adds a tax system to Skyrim, fully customisable with an MCM. The tax system operates on a Hold basis, so effectively you may pay up to 9 separate taxes.
Simple TaxesSuper Simple Lock Bash
Simple mod that allows you to bash lock with a success chances based on your level, weapon skill, weapon quality, lock difficulty and some luck.
Respawn - Death Overhaul
This little yet original mod aims to get rid of the quicksave cheese that most Skyrim players have gotten accustomed to. Being defeated in combat should have consequences! This mod aims to provide a new respawn mechanic that makes the player feel the pain of defeat, while making surviving the threats of Skyrim feel more rewarding.
Wash That Blood Off
Wash that blood off and clean your armor by taking a swim.
Bring order to a chaotic world, making a real difference in Skyrim as you go about saving it. Claim bandit strongholds for the faction of your choice to keep the bandits from coming back, making Skyrim a safer place. Optional addon==NEW== available.
Skyrim Realistic Conquering - All In One
A smilar mod to create even bigger coverage of this functionality across the game world. Using Fort Takeovers Framework, SRC makes immersive changes to multiple locations after you clear them. To make it compatible with Lawbringer, use its modular installer to remove unwanted locations.
Zebsirious - Tamrielic Races of Skyrim
Zebsirious introduces 7 new, Imperious-inspired playable races to Skyrim, bringing the total to 17. You can watch my review of the mod here.
Throwing Weapons - Skill and Perks Tree
A fresh mod from the same author, but now giving you working throwing weapon perks! some of "high tier" perks may be a bit OP, as for me. Requirements are the same as for the mod above.
L.V.X Magick's - Boats
Fully workable, buildable boats to use on all major bodies of water in Skyrim, & Solstheim. Frostfall compatible.
Too many adoptable children? Don't want to adopt? Send the adoptable children to the Stonehall Orphanage in Markarth. Larger staff, more beds, this orphanage can host up to 24 kids.
Skyshade - Create Your Own Paintings
Create paintings of anything you can see that can then be placed anywhere you like.
Fossil Mining - with Legacy support
Adds fossils that you can find while mining to make mining more profitable and interesting, brought to you with the help of the creator of Legacy of the Dragonborn with built-in Legacy support. You can also grab map markers addon for it.
Skald's Mail - A Courier Alternative
Replaces the courier system with mailboxes you can rent or purchase, and includes extra features such as mail-order deliveries from shops, shipping items long distances, and sending off gear to be improved. LOTD patch available.
Special Perks from Questing
Innovative, immersive mod that gives the player new unique perks and powers upon completion of major and guild quest lines - similar to how it was inmplemented in Fallout New Vegas. You can watch a review here.
Headhunter - Bounties Redone ==NEW==
Bounty quests expanded for Bandits, Forsworn, Giants and Dragons. Like in the Witcher 3, bring "trophies" from your enemy to the Jarl as proof of the bounty or deliver the captured bandits to a guard for justice. Supports the Notice Board and Missives mods.
Vampire Lords Can Fly (With Collision) ==NEW==Is it flying or falling with style? Well, it's technically jumping, but Vampire Lords can now FLY. Now without needing to use the "no collision" trick or any scripts. It just flies!
Triple Triad Card Game in Skyrim ==NEW==
Ever wanted Skyrim to have its own Gwent analogue? Here you go :)
Training Dummies and Targets ==NEW==
This mod allows you to practice and improve your combat skills on the practice dummies in Skyrim.
Dawi (Dwarf) - Playable Race (Warhammer Fantasy) ==NEW==
Adds a new playable race: Dawi (Dwarf). Includes optional Dwarf voice.
Races of Nirn - Kapo'tun ==NEW==
Now you'll be able to play as the Tiger-folk from akavir, with own racial abilities.
RaceCompatibility - Dialog Changes ==NEW==
Changes (some) race checks in dialog to include (some) custom races.
Awesome mod inspired by Assassins Creed. You can hide in different containers and then perform stealthy actions to nearby objects or NPCs.
Custom Skills - Hand To Hand ==NEW==
Add new perk tree of Hand-to-Hand. Also grab the English translation here.
What is it to do with all those bones like human skull, troll skull, mammoth tusk, horker tusk, goat horn, dragon bone, dragon scale and dragon hearth scale?
Dig up Dragon Bones and Scales
Dig up dragon bones and scales from burial mounds. Gain access to bones and scales without starting the main quest or fighting dragons.
Collect Bodies and Bear Traps
Requested by faffman. Allows the player to collect dead bodies. Other file allows bear trap collection. Note: Ordinator has fully functional perks related to traps, works much better and immersive.
Teach Followers Spells Through Spell Tomes
Allows you to teach spells to followers by giving them spell tomes.
Mist Flight Mod
Wanna fly like dark wizards in HP? Well now you can.
Adds ability to climb. Doesn't have animations though.
Tame beasts. Simply indeed.
A Closer Look
Adds a key to zoom your camera in. Includes MCM for configuration.
Immersion is very "wide" term in gaming. Long story short, it's everything that makes your game realistic (i.e. similar to real life) in some way - needs system, camping, weather affecting character warmth and health, realistic physical abilities, AI packages and so on. Everything to make you feel not just playing a character in game, but to "feel" this game better and have better interaction with the world around you.
Want your character to have realistic needs in sleep, eating and drinking? Wanna have Skyrim cold weathers to actually impact your character and game world? Wanna have realistic hunting? If everything or some from this is what you're thinking about, think no more and dive into this section.
Before you start, if you prefer the visual presentations and more in-depth review, you can take a look at some of best immersion mods in action:
First of all, the camping/resting section - mods allowing you to rest and relax in an immersive way, setup your camps and do stuff there. Can vary in complexity.
As much as I personally love Frostfall, how huge and complex it is, it's very buggy in SE due to it being a port (likely, hastily made one) in addition to being very script-heavy. That's why it's not listed in SE guide and I humbly recommend you to look at this fresh, lightweight, highly compatible and constanly updated mod that can be considered a simplier and vastly more safe alternative to Frostfall, which is sadly incredibly bugged in SE.
Various other survival immersion mods - from hardcore effects to purely cosmetic ones:
R.A.S.S. Rain Ash And Snow Shaders - Wet Frost Cold Dust
A must-have mod for any survival immersion fan! Complex, yet pretty lightweight mod which adds visual effects to the Player and NPCs during certain conditions. Ash, wetness, cold and frost effects, bubbles of exhaling underwater etc. This mod is doing close to the same what Wet and Cold does, but much more light in terms of implementation, being very lightweight. Grab the better textures for it. You can a see a showcase of it here.
A simple fishing mod.
This is a simple mod that plays audible breaths from your character when your health/stamina/magicka drops below a certain percentage.
Unused skills get rusty and lose progress over time. MCM-configurable.
Nordic Cooking Mealtime - a Food and Recipe Mod
Two great mods that add plenty of new food recipes, compatible with INEED/CACO.
Skyrim Food Expanded ==NEW==
New soups and pies (and recipes for them).
Loki's Wade In Water ==NEW==
SKSE Plugin to make water slow actors (NPCs and yourself) down depending on how much of them is submerged.
Simple Encumbrance Effect ==NEW==
Simple yet immersive encumbrance effect to increase realism when the player character is over-encumbered. Lightweight and compatible with other mods.
Immersive Swimming ==NEW==
Makes swimming feel more immersive and somewhat realistic. Geared towards simplicity and maximum compatibility, while preserving the much-needed features for a more immersive and somewhat realistic swimming experience.
Adds some new cooking recipes using gourds.
General Stores sells Salt and Flour
Simple as that. May be very useful when playing with needs mods.
Wood Frame Backpacks
Several original and super-immersive backpacks.
Various other immersion mods that are not related with survival and needs directly, but greatly improving various other aspects of the game - dialogues, birds, better questing and objectives, lore-related things, city lights and more.
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul
Mod adds more than 5000 voiced lines of dialogues. All lines are voiced using the original voices from the game and consists of existing lines that have been added in new and suitable situations, as well as completely new dialogues created by editing multiple lines together to form brand new ones. Friends talk to you more like friends. Followers have more much to say when speaking to them. If your spouse is a follower, he/she will talk to like a spouse instead of a generic follower. NPCs who dislike you (not bandits and forsworn, but citizens of towns and cities) will have more insults to say and may even completely stop talking to you if you continue to pester them.
Note: Install the update with MCM and make sure to peek at Files tab and install respective patches needed.
Guard Dialogue Overhaul Redux
Fixed and improved version of popular mod. Guard Dialogue Overhaul alters the guards dialogues, changing it from something that breaks your immersion in the world of Skyrim to something that actually increases it.
Every social logic in Skyrim for NPC is changed, they talk more often to each others. And will less likely greet to you from a distance, they will also greet less often too, making them to not act as much as robots. NPCs are also more clever and will know for example if they talked to a NPC and will therefore talk to another or not talk at all. Compatible with both mods above.
Misc Dialogue Edits
This mod improves dialogue that other mods don't, contributing to make conversations in Skyrim as plausible and immersive as possible, while taking compatibility into account. Everything here is intended to feel like it could have been part of the vanilla game all along, but it also supports alternate start mods.
More Dialogue Options
A mod from the same author which adds dialogue options in a simple and immersive way to improve various conversations in the vanilla game. The responses are all voiced by using the original voice files of the game. The new options are meant to feel like they should have been in the game all along.
More to Say
You have more to say. NPCs have more to say. This mod adds miscellaneous inconsequential dialogue to existing NPCs. Can be used with two mods above, RDO and most of dialogue mods in general. As it's completely standalone.
Serana Dialogue Edit
If you like to play through Dawnguard DLC, this mod is just essential. Serana is a character with one of the most interesting backgrounds, but dialogues with her were always a bit dull and limited. This mod goal is to fix this problem, drastically expanding her dialogues amount and giving a lot of reactions on the events around you when travelling together (especially noticable if played through Dragonborn DLC).
Serana Dialogue Add-On
An expansion to Serana's dialogue in order to make her feel more organic as an interactive character with the player and the world. This includes more conversations with the player, quest awareness, radiant dialogue, and much more. With this mod, Serana should be a more engaging character not only in Dawnguard, but for the whole game. Compatible with Serana Dialogue Edit.
To Your Face Redux ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that stops NPC comments unless they're directly facing the player.
Immersive Speech Dialogues ==NEW==
Vanilla speech dialogue options are overhauled to have more personality, suited for more immersive roleplaying.
Random Guard Dialogues ==NEW==
New funny and random voiced dialogues for guards.
Thalmor Dialogue and Quests ==NEW==
For those enjoying a Thalmor-themed playthrough, this mod adds many conversations for a Thalmor player character to have with the people of Skyrim, as well as some Thalmor-related short adventures.
YOT - Your Own Thoughts
This mod basically changes most(if not all) of the second person messages and texts in game and makes them 1st person.
Reflection - Level Up Messages
Reflection brings back the level up messages found in previous Elder Scrolls titles.
Even Better Quest Objectives - EBQO
This mod enhances the quest descriptions in the vanilla game so that you have a clear sense of where you are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do besides looking at the quest markers. Let's face it - the quest descriptions were quite bad, not specifying where you are supposed to go by themselves, and forcing you to play with the quest markers on all the time. This affects nearly 250 quest objectives/descriptions, spanning over 160 quests, editing descriptions that were either really vague or didn't exist at all. Quests Are In Skyrim patch available, as well as few other patches==NEW==.
Replaces Skyrim's whimpy intimidation dialogues with something more fearsome. Showcase here.
Travel related mods:
Carriage and Ferry Travel Overhaul
A lightweight but immersive overhaul of both the vanilla Skyrim carriage system and Dawnguard's ferry system, making the whole travelling system of Skyrim much more comfortable and realistic. No dirty records or script, no navmesh edits - clean and bug-free. Helgen Reborn patch and this tiny addon are available.
Wayshrines of Tamriel
A more simple and lightweight wayshrine fast travel system.
Liminal Bridges - A portal mod
Inspired by the eluvians in the Dragon Age universe, Liminal Bridges is a different take on the traditional teleportation and portal mods.
Point The Way
Simple, but greatly immersive one. Road signs have been placed at several major intersections that were either lacking signs, or didn't have enough signs to indicate the full extent of where you could travel on a road.
Ask The Way
Another little yet immersive one - allows you to ask the way to certain places in city.
Fast Travel Cost
Fast traveling from the map now costs gold based on the distance traveled.
Fast Travel by Horse
Fast travel by horse.
Delphine's Map Reveals Dragon Mounds
This mod adds map markers to all dragon burial mounds around Skyrim. When you have Delphine's map in your inventory, you'll have to click it (like you were equipping it.) Then the markers will be enabled and automatically revealed to you as undiscovered map markers. Atlas Map Markers patch available.
Dragonborn - Solstheim Boat Travel
Adds row boats to the island of Solstheim that can be used as a travel system to four different locations. Also includes a knapsack to store items on your boat.
Dynamic Cart Horses ==NEW==
Dynamic texture replacer for carriage horses. HD Reworked Horses patch available.
Helps To Have A Map
This mod restricts using the map menu. You'll need to have a physical map in your inventory, in order to open the map menu. A few patches available.
No Crime Teleport
Disables the teleportation when paying off bounty.
Tired of your horses returning to the place you bought them from? Stable your horses anywhere, and they will return there when dismissed.
Adds a journal in Labyrinthian giving direction on where to locate all eight Dragon Priest masks.
WordWalls of Skyrim
Adds a collection of journals that tells locations of all of the word walls.
Road Signs Fast Travel
Allows to fast travel to town and cities from road signs.
Everything else you wished to have and everything you didn't even know about:
Lanterns of Skyrim
Simple and immersive mod that add lanterns to main roads, villages, towns and settlements. The light sources of the lanterns are lit from 7pm to 7am. Once installed I just can’t play without it anymore. It’s especially good for people who play with weather/lighting mods/ENBs that have dark nights. Mod also has MCM through which you can control lanterns' working time and enable/disable lanterns in settlements for better compatibility. You also may like this addon for it. Please also make sure to endorse the original mod. Lastly, there's also a standalone different version of it available here (also grab a collision fix and Weathered Road Signs (only if using it ofc) fix==NEW== for it).
Not So Fast - Main QuestNot So Fast - Mage Guild
Two simple yet so much needed mods to make pauses between stages of main quest and mages guild questline, to let yourself do some other things meanwhile and not being rushed to save the world.
Another great immersion mod from Chesko. May the light be always with you! Also grab the MCM fix.
Enemy NPCs will now pay attention when trap is triggered near them. Also, as you can remember, vanilla traps damage was barely noticable. this mod fixes this and makes traps much more dangerous.
Destructible Skyrim - Breakable Objects (Beta)
The definitive realism mod that Skyrim should had have loooong ago. Works as it's named - makes you able to crush and destroy many game objects. Note: The mod is still in beta, meaning it's being developed atm, so test if properly with your mod setup before keeping it for a real walkthrough.
Skyrim Reputation - Fixed and Patched ==NEW==
Updated version of original mod. It adds an actual reputation system to Skyrim - how townfolk, factions and other people react on you and talk to you, depending on how known (good or evil) your character is. Take into account that's still in development, so may have some bugs here and there.
Adds decorative clothes lines and other washing-related items throughout Skyrim, for a touch of realism. Also make sure to install this improvement addon for it by Pfuscher.
A simplier analogue to popular "Simple Knock" mod which is sadly just broken in SE.
EVEN more simple. Yeah, for real.
Blowing in the Wind
Skyrim is a windy region, yet hanging lanterns and signs outside stores and inns are unaffected by the strong winds. This subtle immersion mod enables signs and lanterns to react to wind like they logically should.
Bells of Skyrim
Mod adds bells to major skyrim towns and cities that will alarm citizens in case of danger, like dragon/vampire/bandit attacks.
Bring Out Your Dead
Adds proper burial sites for various unique NPCs found throughout Skyrim. Note: May cause clipping issues with settlement mods, so test before actually playing.
Skyrim Souls RE - Updated
Realism lover? Don't want to "magically" pause the game when you're opening inventory or other game menus? Grab this!
The People Of Skyrim 2
Explore Skyrim all over again - immersive world overhaul mod adding many new features throughout the world of Skyrim. Mod features: Hundreds of new NPCs. More ruins, camps, mills, markets, graveyards and so on. Enemy encounters, hanged people from Thalmor persecution, new factions, cities visual improvements and much more. Version 2 is long-needed highly-compatible version of the mod as it doesn't or almost doesn't modify settlements, and so, doesn't conflict with mods like JK Skyrim and so on, which was original mod biggest issue.
Mod from the same author that brings holidays to Skyrim settlements and will change their appearance based on TES lore. SFO patch available.
Skyrim Battle Aftermath
The civil war has begun, and it's not a pretty sight! Adds civil war battlefields throughout Skyrim.
Pumping Iron - Dynamic Muscle Growth
This mod was not updated for a very long time, but it’s still working great. It adds dynamic muscle growth system. Every time your character gets a skill increase in a combat skill (or smithing) his muscles will be considered to have been trained a little. The more skill increases, the more training. When a 'trained' character sleeps, his muscles will grow ever so slightly. Also grab this improvement addon==NEW== for it.
Ask Innkeepers To Show Room
Instead of always showing you to your rented room, you can ask innkeepers to show you or tell them you know where it is.
Alternate Conversation Camera
Makes conversation with NPCs more immersive by zooming in to their faces. Fully supports both 1st and 3rd person camera, also supports on sitting and lock-on states. Includes "Witcher 3" camera style.
Go to bed
This mod allows your character to actually sleep in bed. A DAR patch==NEW== is available.
Hold Border Banners
Adds banners along roads showing which hold you are about to enter.
Man Those Borders
Adds Immersive manned/unmanned border fortifications and guard posts around Skyrim's inner hold borders.
Unique Border Gates
Unique Border Gates redesigns the border crossings of Cyrodill, Hammerfell and Morrowind by adding new, unique and immersive gates. Also grab the fixes .
Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul
Awesome mod that offers great improvement to friendly NPCs of Skyrim giving them much smarter behavior and survival instincts. Its biggest flaw is a terrible compatibility when it comes to mods that affects cities/towns/villages.
Similar mod, which is somewhat more simple, but much better in terms of compatibility. Many various patches are available here, here, here==NEW==, and here, and also JK's Skyrim and ICOW==NEW== patches are available .
Destructible Display Cases
Hate lockpicking? Ever wonder why you can't just smash that display case and take all the loot easily? Well now you can.
Immersive War and ViolenceRotmulaag - Immersive Meditations on the Words of Power
Allows the player to meditate with Paarthurnax on every shout, providing new unique powers and adding immersive feeling.
Loot and Degradation
Great immersion mod that basically offers 2 main features: - Enemies now can use enchanted weapons. - Weapons and armors will now eventually degrade because of combat. You can repair and temper your weapon/armor Mod also provides useful widgets to display your current armor/weapon status.
Equipment Durability System
This may be a more lightweight alternative to previous mod. It's also an SKSE-only plugin so it doesn't occupy an .esp slot.
Immersive War and Violence
Adds past Civil War battlefields to make the world of Skyrim feel like it exists without your intervention and is actually at war.
Immersive Speechcraft Adds several dialogue options to most of Skyrim's NPCs (even ones initially without any dialogue options) allowing for increased immersive interactions and role-play. Compatible with all mods that affects dialogues.
Adds chimneys to farmhouses that have fireplaces. JK's Skyrim patch available.
Actions like crafting, bartering, eating, reading, and training will cause the game time to pass.
Gallows of Skyrim
Mod adds gallows to every major settlement in Skyrim.
Makes your characters pay their taxes from owning everything from property to a horse. Compatible with previous mod.
Improves the placement and appearance of the Thieves Guild shadowmarks and adds dynamic shadowmarks to player homes and other quest-related locations.
Sepolcri - A complete Burial Sites overhaul
Does exactly how it's named.
Applies random death faces to actors/NPCs that's killed in game. People won't look like they're sleeping after getting stabbed in the stomach or shot in the face. Sesiously, I can't believe we didn't have such mod all the years before. You can see a showcase of it here.
Imperial Knowledge Lorebook Collection Vol. 1
A mod which adds several new lore books to the world of Skyrim on a variety of interesting and obscure lore topics.
Simple Cow and Goat Milking
Adds an animated interaction that lets you milk cows and domestic goats once a day.
Turns those useless lanterns you can pick up all over Skyrim into an alternative for a torch. Lanterns are usable now.
Immersion and Lore Continuity - Additions and Tweaks
A collection of tweaks to add in flavorful elements from lore and the game world and its stories for more immersion.
Adds the Vampire Nightmares messages from Oblivion. Yay!
BA Khajiit Speak Redux
Greetings, traveler! Khajiit wishes for you to browse this clever modification. You will download and utilize it in your playthrough, yes? Trust in Khajiit, he would not lie! This is known...
Guards will now take illegal things from you when they arrest you.
Civil War Refugees
This mod seeks to increase the immersion of the civil war by adding refugees.
Notes with something to read
Added something to read to the notes used in the animation performed by your character or a NPC.
Water Douses Fire
Jump into the water to douse yourself when set on fire by spells or dragons.
Simply Rest (or Sleep) Anywhere
One hotkey allows sitting (cross legged/on a ledge) or laying down on the ground (or anywhere else) with a possibility of waiting/sleeping.
Random nighttime thieves upsetting the city. Configurable by MCM.
Hit That Corpse ==NEW==
Weapon impact physics effects to Corpses for either immersion or maybe for when a corpse is blocking you from hitting an enemy.
Slip off Slopes ==NEW==
When you take fall damage, you twist your ankles and ragdoll. This makes parkouring off mountains dangerous.
Orc Strongholds Use Orchish ==NEW==
This mod gives all the warrior orcs of the strongholds orchish armor and weapons from the beginning of the game, making them not just a push over to any enemy even a dragon or a band of bandits while also adding to immersion.
Locks Are Just Locked ==NEW==
A lightweight and immersive way to hide the level of locked objects.
Seagulls of Skyrim ==NEW==
Adds seagulls along the coasts of Skyrim and Solstheim, with animated models and sounds.
Adds dynamic herders with their animals and camps to Skyrim, purchasable and milkable cows & goats, and more.
Picta Series - A Critters Life - Additional Insect Spawns ==NEW==
Adds more spawn points (such as Mountain Flowers or through spawn markers near ponds and lakes) for critters to spawn.
Mummified Animals- Elements of Skyrim ==NEW==
Add a touch of creepiness to the marshes around Morthal, adding to it the mummified corpses of animals that perished victims of traps, accidents, or even curses, and that now exist as macabre statues adorning the gloomy scenery of the misty swamp.
Merchants of Skyrim ==NEW==
Aadds new merchants into the game, filling the gaps where merchants would be useful and making use of areas that otherwise are left wasted once certain questlines have been completed.
Immersive Khajiit Caravan Mules ==NEW==
Small and lightweight immersion mod. Adds two pack mules to every Khajiit Caravan so they now actually have a believable means of transporting all their tents and wares.
Elderly and Adults ==NEW==
Offers differentiation of adult bodies (whatever you have installed) and elderly bodies.
Sleeping On Solstheim ==NEW==
Adds an MCM for controlling the chance of being teleported to an All-Maker Stone when sleeping on Solstheim (0-100%). Conflict-free, no vanilla records edited.
Slayable Offspring SKSE ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that makes children killable. No patches required.
Dog Backpacks and More ==NEW==
Courier Delivers to NPCs ==NEW==
The courier will now occasionally deliver letters to NPCs in Skyrim.
Whiterun Watchtower Doesn't Start Broken ==NEW==
Do you delay the coming of the dragons? Annoyed that the tower is broken right from the beginning before dragons even appear? This mod is for you then!
True Thane ==NEW==
When you first became thane, did you FEEL like a thane? Well, this mod makes sure that you do. Once you become the thane of a hold you gain the ability to collect taxes, have the hold's guards follow you, have the hold's guards arrest people, exchange your thane weapon for a better version and more. You can a see a brief showcase of it here.
Mourning Restored ==NEW==
A simple plugin that restores the mourning interaction that is present in the Vanilla game files but was left unused. Unique NPCs can now express anger/grief after a relative or friend dies, run away to be left alone for a moment, or greet you differently as they mourn.
Hearthfire Fixed ==NEW==
This mod fixes some basic features of Hearthfire like mead brewing and butter churning .
Splashes Of Skyrim ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that adds projectile based water splashes and ripples, and underwater explosions.
Flying Crows ==NEW==
Adds flying crows to various locations around Tamriel to create a more nordic atmosphere in your Skyrim.
Vampires Cast No Shadow 2 ==NEW==
Simple as that. SKSE plugin.
Open Your Mouth When Grunting ==NEW==
If you're playing a female character and wanna have that much realism - yes, there's a mod even for this :) Also grab the tweaks/fixes patch==NEW==.
CG4 Horse Muck
Individual Shout Cooldown Remake
You can change cooldown of any shout now for your ingame purposes. Can be pretty OP though, if used too wide.
Adds a chance for Draugr to ambush when looting ruins, Daedra to ambush when handling soul gems, and Skeevers to ambush when looting dungeon food.
Enemies Follow Me
Make enemies chase you through loading doors.
Classic Werewolf Transformation
The player should be naked after transforming back from a werewolf. Here it is.
Hidden Hideouts of Skyrim
Adds 21 new areas spread across Skyrim.
Sleep-related enhancements to NPCs. Also grab the fix.
Lanterns for Guards etc
A simple mod to add carriable lanterns to guards, vigilants, wardens and all NPC's that normally carry torches. Basically it's a torch replacer but without removing torches from the world.
Dirt and Blood - Dynamic Visual Effects
Your character will accumulate dirt and blood dynamically, which you can clean by swimming, standing in the rain or taking a bath. The effects are mostly visual only and do not affect gameplay. NPCs will also get bloody as a result of battles. Mod is designed to be simple and lightweight. Grab the HD textures patch==NEW==. You can also install a lite alternative==NEW== instead.
Khajiit Merchants Buy Stolen Items
Because stereotypes work.
Ever found it weird that dragons, fully sapient beings, have never spoken a word while you’re doing your best trying to defeat them? This mod changes that. SIC patch available.
Crafting Requires Tools Redone
Crafting now requires appropriate tools. Best used in conjunction with survival mods.
Tired of the Dragonborn prophecy's success being a given? This mod gives your savegame a timer that you have to defeat Alduin by, otherwise he'll swallow the world! Fully customizable with an MCM.
No Level Up Healing
Prevents you from fully healing health/magicka/stamina when you level up.
Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn
After the Civil War - Siege Damage Repairs
An immersive way of repairing the damage left by the Civil War without using the console. Twenty days after the final battle the cities will be back to normal, but a generous donation will speed-up the reconstruction. Repair crews will be at work fixing the damage.
Reading Improves Speech
Gain Speech XP upon reading a book for the first time. Note: I'd recommend to decrease the XP reward value in xEdit.
HighHrothgar Shelters and Hotspring
Expanded version of the original adding a total of 3 places to sleep in shelters on High Hrothgar and added a hot spring on the mountain near the first cabin.
Introduces an Imperial-based news system which updates throughout the quest lines.
Drinking fountains of Skyrim
This mod adds several drinking fountains around Skyrim. When you "activate" a fountain, it will give you three bottles of water and if you play in 3rd person you can see an animation.
Skyrim Artwork Imports
Adds dozens of paintings and tapestries to homes across Skyrim.
Inspired by Oblivion.
Your inventory space is no longer capable of holding several suits of armor at a time. You can carry the clothes on your back and the weapons on your belt without issue, and your armor will likely have some pouches to store some meager supplies, but unless you get a backpack, you likely won't be able to carry much more than that.
Adds public executions to Solitude and the option to capture bandits for executions.
Bottles Of Skyrim
Adds unique bottles to each beverage.
Rude Imperial Soldiers Escort Prisoner fix
Sick of rude Imperial soldiers that are escorting prisoners on the road telling you to bug off in a threatening tone, even when your rank is Legate? They will no longer be rude to Imperial legionnaires. Bonus - you can fool them if you wear Imperial chest armour, even if you're not an Imperial legionnaire.
I'm a Customer Dammit
Allows eating of food and bartering with merchants directly from world.
Just Do It - An inventory-free way to use items ==NEW==
A more feature-packed alternative to the mod above.
Creature Size Variants
Adds some diversity to Skyrim creatures, and generic NPC's, by dynamically resizing them. Customizable with the MCM.
Ultimate Spinning Arrows
Harvest Those Mammoth Skulls
Makes the tusks on all mammoth skulls harvestable.
Immersive City Gates
Now the guards won't let you enter the city when you want. Cities are closed during the night and you need to pay the tax to enter during the day. Note: Mod may conflict with city mods.
Frozen in Time
Add frozen bodies to Skyrim.
Mod adds various different elements of Tamriel cultures to Skyrim here and there. Note: Coverage is pretty massive, so it may conflict with landscape overhauls/dungeon/quest mods. CACO patch and RnD patch are available.
Goldenglow Is Yours
On reading the Goldenglow deed that you get from Gulum-Ei, you actually become the estate's owner. Then you can keep it and get a monthly income, or sell it to Maven for a hefty sum.
Banners of victory
Simple fix of Bethesda overlook - after winning the war the imperials and solitude banners are replaced for Stormcloak banners at Dragon's Bridge, Solitude, and Castle Dour.
Septimus Signus Outpost Overhaul
Always wondered how he survives in this cold ice cave? Now it's fixed.
Better animations for movement, actions and fighting, and new animations.
Here, you first will need to choose between 2 mods (rather, frameworks) - FNIS or Nemesis. Both are mods for custom animations and absolutely must-have, as they are required for most of animation mods to work. What to pick?
FNIS is the older one, which was basically the only for many years. It's now abandoned, but that doesn't mean it became bad due to this - it's working perfectly fine, but it has less capabilities (and namely, supports less animation mods, especially new ones).
Nemesis is a successor to FNIS which is more capable and supports much more mods FNIS didn't. It's also being supported and updated actively. Why not just to remove FNIS then if Nemesis is better in everything? Indeed it is, but technically Nemesis is still in beta atm - it works flawlessly though and it's absolutely safe to use it, but for now both will still be linked. Choice is up to you, but once again, for best results it's strongly recommended to get Nemesis. Usage is very plain and simple for both of them.
Fores New Idles in Skyrim - FNIS Basic installation: - Install FNIS Behavior V7_6 - Install Creature Pack V7_6 (optional, necessary for creature animation mods) - Install FNIS Spells SE 7.0 for the spells (optional, necessary for the spells) - Good, you’ll need to do only 1 move to finish it, but it will be later.
Nemesis - Unlimited Behavior Engine Nemesis, a better and recommended alternative to FNIS. Link leads to file releases page on Github - just grab the latest version archive (usually the .rar file) somewhere, add this archive to your mod manager and install as any other mod. Bingo! DO NOT USE BOTH FNIS AND NEMESIS TOGETHER, CHOOSE ONE.
Good! let's continue to animation mods themselves, shall we?
Now, let's grab some essential animations mods which will either serve as a solid improvement base that or as an element of controlling the new animations:
Realistic Ragdolls and Force
Simple as that.
This mod can be considered an essential "vanilla animation +" mod - all animatons are still immersive and realistic, but much better than dull original animations. Install this mod as base - whatever other animation mods you will install later, they will just overwrite it, and those animations not covered will be still better than vanilla ones.
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended - XPMSSE
The one and only. King of skeleton mods. Install with mod manager. Everything is simple, I also strongly recommend to NOT install anything you are not aware of. Just do the basic installation and you’ll be fine. Do NOT overwrite XPMSE after this. Never. The ONLY currently "safe" case is Rougeshot meshes mods for creatures (if you already have them intsalled, simply do [not] overwrite them with XPMSE). AGO patch available. Simple Dual Sheath ==NEW==[OR]Dual Sheath Redux
Why can’t you see your left-hand weapon on you? Why can’t you have shield on back? Why can’t you see your staves on you? Think no more - install one of those!
Which one and what/why? First one is a freshly released SKSE plugin which should work with most of the weapons out of the box. While being still a work in progress, it has minor cons bugs here and there, but in general, works just fine (and doesn't require patches for mod-added weapons which is great advantage) so it's the recommended mod. As for DSR (LE mod), you can convert it to SE using this article.If using DSR (the non-SKSE one), you can also convert this huge collection of patches for dozens of weapon mods and also take a look on patches here and here.
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons
Awesome mod for weapon meshes, compatible with every retexture mods, that makes weapons looks much more glorious and elegant. Note: Choose between this mod or the one below.
A freshly-released mod of a great quality, with a same goal as mod above but own approach to weapon models. Choose one or another.
D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly
Great balance mod - get up after being ragdolled by dragon, mammoth or other such enemy faster than in vanilla, but still not too fast. This mod is pretty much needed when playing with gameplay mods, as AI mods often make enemies more savage and/or give realistic attack impact physics to them, and playing with super long vanilla animation speed would simply lead to silly character demises too often. If you want even faster animations, look here==NEW==.
EVG Conditional Idles
Absolutely essential mod, as for me. Adds various animated idles that are roughly 9-13 seconds long, that only play in specific conditions, like rain, snowstorm, out of stamina etc. Such a simple functionality yet such a tremendous addition to the immersion through animations. Configurable in ini file. Doesn't take a plugin slot. You can see my showcase of it here.
EVG Animation Variance
Another mod from the same author, greatly improving another part of animations for NPCs. Adds variety to existing animations, through NPC personality types, conditions, or just randomly, making NPCs look much more alive and how it's being handled in modern AAA games. Doesn't take a plugin slot.
Conditional Expressions - Subtle Face Animations ==NEW==
Tired of seeing your character eat bread without opening their mouth? Conditional expressions adds subtle face animations that will bring more life into your character.
Immersive Interactions - Animated Actions ==NEW==
See your character perform context-aware animations when interacting with the world. Animated greeting of NPCs, pickpocketing, lockpicking, resources harvesting, petting your dog and more! Note: If you're using (or planning to use) "A Cat's Life" and/or "House Cats" mods, install this patch so the mods pet feature will be working for cats in addition to dogs :3
Good! Now let's see some other qualitative animation mods. These type of mods in general are always and absolutely a matter of taste, so I won't be recommending much personally here - just list some qualitative/original looking mods, from which you can choose yourself :)
Just a sidenote: If some animation mod you like is available for LE, but not for SE, you can port animations from LE to SE yourself using this tutorial.
These various patches/fixes/small mods are absolutely not obligatory, but may be very useful. It's totally up to you - install them or not.
Various mods, patches and fixes - these can tehcnically belong to any of categories above, but are usually really tiny or matter of taste ones, so grouped here.
QUASIPC - Qwinn's Unified Automated Self Installing Patch Compendium
A very simple yet very useful mod - a super-patcher. Just run the installer and let it automatically detect whether you need or not one, few or many patches from 103 patches it has. Using this patcher is not something you will have crashes without, but it will polish various minor compatibility issues here and there.
WiZkiD Patches Compendium
One more similar patcher mod.
And a few more patches for some mods.
Allows you to set the PACE of the game, via MCM, to your personal preferences. Alter movement speed for every circumstance **NPC's included**, decide exactly how quick, or slow, every weapon should swing, and control time itself at the push of a button. All features toggleable via the menu.
Ported from Skyrim LE, a small mod that lets you know when you are near the borders of a hold. Optionally notifies you of your bounty in that hold.
Classic Sprinting Redone
Makes sprinting behave the same way as it did in old Skyrim. Hold instead of toggle.
Fixes a few issues with disease effects so that they can enjoy a minimal consistency. Diseases can only be transmitted to the player, and can be identified by keyword.
Fixes some issues with the quest to find Derkeethus, such as moving his cell key to a more logical location (i.e. not inside his cell with him), exposing the quest information in your journal, optionally adding a quest marker, and expanding the dialogue options for all those involved.
Reading Is Good
This mod reworks skill books so that instead of granting levels instantly, they give you a permanent boost to your leveling speed in the respective skill. This means that you benefit more by reading them as soon as you find them.
Raven Rock - Fix Exit on Horseback
When using horse mods in Solstheim, you might have issues exiting Raven Rock through the small shaft. This small tweak aims to fix that.
Taarie's Dialogue Fix
Just a small fix for Taarie's dialogue, so that she stops criticizing your attire after having completed the 'Fit for a Jarl' quest.
Get On With It - No more waiting for doors
No more door animations if you wanna save some time. Note: This is a pure mesh mod, meaning it will overwrite any mod that is changing doors in game, like high-poly door mods by Hype1, etc. It's one or another.
Not much realistic ofc, but may look useful for some players - it adds on-screen information and more precise names to various objects, containers, clutter and misc items and activators.
Fast Travel by Horse
Simple as that.
No More Standing Too Close
Simple mod that make NPCs never say "Huh?" and step back from you again.
Realistic Regeneration - RealRegen
Control regeneration rates for Health, Magicka and Stamina at any time in the game.
Immersive Stolen Goods
Adds over 30 new unique treasures to the game, that you can steal from various places in Skyrim.
Pirates Wield Cutlasses
No way huh.
Adds a note that adds a backstory to how Mercer Frey came to possess Chillrend.
The Real Lusty Argonian Maid
A Skyrim's version of the "The Lusty Argonian Maid - The Untold Story" mod for Oblivion by BlackPuma.
The fort soldiers are sometimes displaying erratic behavior about trespassing, attacking followers even though player is an ally - this mod helps.
Windhelm Disappearing Objects Glitch Fix
When you walk around the corners of Windhelm, there are several spots that some objects suddenly disappear from your view and thus break your immersion. This mod fixes them.
Modern Clap Bug Fix
Prevents NPCs from going into the cheer idle animation when casting certain spells nearby them.
Homecooked Meal Bug Fix
Addresses the vanilla bug where your spouse would stop providing daily meal.
Lights Out. Solitude Lighthouse Fix
Automatically relights the solitude lighthouse during the quest Lights Out.
Mount Anthor Dragon Fix
This fixes the 'misplaced dragon' bug at Mount Anthor.
Source of Stalhrim Quest Fix
Allows to seamlessly start the quest "A New Source of Stalhrim" if it gets stuck. For those who don't like using the console and find it unimmersive.
Halldir's Cairn Crash Fix
Skyrim "Special" Edition is so amazing that devs not only didn't fix most of notorious bugs and engine crash culprits, but vice versa, added new ones. This mod fixes one of them - namely the ghost spawn locations inside of Halldir's Cairn in Falkreath that would cause instant crashing to desktop.
The Skyrim Bestiary (WIP)
Do you wish Skyrim had a bestiary, but don't want to write your own? Here's my solution: Craft bestiary books using creature components gathered from your kills.
Shrub's Little Riddle Hunt
A little scavenger hunt with riddles as clues to take you across Skyrim, for a bit of treasure.
How many saw logs you have left to build your next house? With this little plugin no more you will be able to view the amount left in your inventory.
Gems in All Mines
Find gems in all mines and throughout the depths of Blackreach. This mod also adds the missing Diamond and Garnet Geodes to your game.
Unquantum Forgemaster's Fingers
The existence of the Forgemaster's Fingers is no longer based on whether or not you're observing them.
Welcome Back to the Bee and Barb
A small dialogue tweak. If you give them the three amethysts, Keerava and Talen-Jei will forgive you for extorting the 'owed money'.
Respect for the Legate
You've been promoted to Legate, the Imperials should know who you are by now. The imperial patrols will no longer harass you.
For various tiny mods/fixes of different purpose.
Thieves Guild Dialogue Fix
Causes Thieves Guild members to wait until the beginning of Trinity Restored to spill their life stories to you. No more weirdly intimate conversations with people you just met.
Aela Doesn't Approach If You Don't Help
You just happened to pass by, and she comes up to you and reproaches you for not helping her or just waits and doesn't go until you talk to her? No more.
Adds more Blades to Skyhaven, along with a forge, alchemy bench, 3 merchants, and a barracks.
Adds more salt to food vendors. Useful for survival-oriented mod setups.
Amulet Evangelism - Priests Sell Amulets
Priests sell amulets for their Divine.
Adds the cartographer Nataly Dravarol to the game. She sells maps of the territories. If you have the DLCs, there will be mapsellers for those new areas too. These maps show you every map marker in that territory (except the military camps), but they're not for fast travel.
After Blood on the Ice, Hjerim is purchasable, regardless of Civil War involvement or lack thereof.
Battle Cry Fix
Fixes Battle Cry so that it only affects *enemy* NPCs. Also, it should now work against undead and daedra as well (but NOT dwarven machines).
Simple Leather Backpack ==NEW==
A craftable backpack to the game, with three variants in two different colours.
Simple Offence Suppression ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that prevents neutral NPCs from turning hostile when you accidentally hit them.
Angi's Camp Tweaks ==NEW==
Reworks XP gain from Angi's archery challenges to be independent of your current skill level, and allows you to gain extra XP from practicing on your own. Your character won't be a beginner anymore if you can complete all the challenges.
Only Dead Lovers Cause Inheritance Letters ==NEW==
This mod increases the required relationship rank, for inheritance letters to occur, from 1 (friend) to 4 (lover).
Labyrinthian Shalidor's Maze Fixes ==NEW==
Tiny fix for some of Shalidor's Maze's issues.
Scare my Enemy Bug Fix ==NEW==
Addresses a longstanding issue with the Scare my Enemy radiant quest.
Czasior profile ==NEW==
For some useful patches (mostly for settlement overhauls).
Skyrim Armor Perk Fix ==NEW==No Undetected Thieves Guild Dark Brotherhood Dialogue ==NEW==
"Psst. Hey, I know who you are. Hail Sithis." Tired of guards saying this to you when they should have no idea you're an assassin? Then this mod is for you.
Mannequin movement fix ==NEW==
Mannequins will finally stay put.
Alduin's Wall - Sven Fix ==NEW==
Fixes the issue where sven(bard of Riverwood) will not sing during the entire quest process of "Alduin's Wall".
Andrealphus' Exploit Fixes ==NEW==
A compilation of various fixes to common minor exploits.
Lizzy's Patch Library ==NEW==
Some patches that may get in handy.
elwaps' Patches and Fixes
For various patches/fixes/addon between/for various mods - ofc not all, but possibly couple of them may come in handy for your setup.
kj's Patch Collection
And a few more.
And few-few more.
Vanilla And Morning Fogs SSE - Easy Seam Fixer
Easy .nif fix/adjustment to eliminate water-fogs seams in vanilla Skyrim & in the wonderful Morning Fogs mod.
Required Key Tweaks
When you try to open a door, that requires a key, you can get a message with the name of the key. Pretty simple.
Potema Spawn Crash Fix
In most of cases you won't have this issue at all because this bug is fixed by XPMSE, which I strongly recommend to use. But if for some reasons you don't have XPMSE - this will help.
Elemental Fury Fix
Elemental Fury will work on enchanted weapons, bows, unarmed, and will now properly apply to your offhand when dual wielding.
Don't Talk With Your Mouth Full
A simple mod that prevents NPC eating and drinking animations while talking to the player.
Guards shouldn't let walking weapons of mass destruction run around freely. All prisoners are now fitted with anti-magic cuffs that prevent them from casting spells or Shouts.
Ragged Flagon secret entrance
Makes a secret entrance from next to Riften maingate to Ragged Flagon in Thieves guild. Not that much secret actually, but definitely saves some time.
Utility & QOL (quality of life) mods - often not directly affecting gameplay, can have their functionality similar to cheating etc, but making your life simplier and useful for various purposes:
AddItemMenu - Ultimate Mod Explorer
Super-useful mod that can add any item from vanilla game or from the mod. Useful for testing or when you screwed up some quest or its item bugged out, etc.
SkyTrek - Skyrim on Autopilot
This mod allows automated horse/dragon riding and walking to set and radiant destinations with varying speeds. Also includes idle mode, automated NPC following, ability to set a custom destination for travel and an automated combat system. For roleplay, videos or screenarchery etc.
BlockSteal lite - Prevents accidentally pick up
This mod will prevent you from stealing items. When you try to steal, nothing happens. To steal an item, you have to go in sneak mode, and then you can steal all you like.
Turn on/off a light when long press the activation key. An improvement patch is available.
Smart Training - Tweaked
Mod makes your training sessions carry over to the next level if you don't train the max times allowed on your current level.
Caches notification messages, so you can look at them later.
Disable Character Lighting
Skyrim "Special" Edition also got a few absolutely useless additions transferred from FO4 (on which engine version it's made). Use this to disable one.
Player walks Indoors
The mod switches to walk mode when you enter an interior area and to run mode when you leave the interior.
Disable Follower Collision
This mod disables collisions between the player and allied NPCs. Allied NPCs include followers, actors commanded by the player, and actors commanded by followers.
Sleep In Lingerie ==NEW==
Followers, going to bed or invited to go to bed, will remove their outfits and pick a sleep outfit from one of the lists of sleep outfits with matching conditions (name, location, worn equipment, season). They will reequip their original outfit after waking up or linger in lingerie for some time.
Hide Your Quests ==NEW==
Allows you to hide any quest in your journal. MCM-configurable.
Regional Save Names ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that fixes saves not being named after the region they were saved in.
No Attack Messages ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that removes critical and sneak hit notifications.
Menu and Load Smoke Removed for ENB ==NEW==
Menu/loading smoke remover with latest ENB "no menu and loading screen" feature support.
Essential Favorites ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that prevents favorited items from being sold, crafted, disarmed, disenchanted, or dropped.
Completionist - Quest Tracker ==NEW==
Complete automatic MCM quest tracking of the base game, DLC and a whole load of popular quest mods.
NPC Lookup ==NEW==
An in-game menu to find any NPC. You can teleport them, spawn them, mark them on the map, select them in the console, and more. Comes with powerfully fast filters to find any NPC among the thousands that exist in the game.
Marked Treasure ==NEW==
Adds quest markers to the treasure map targets for the vanilla maps, maps added by Legacy of the Dragonborn, New Treasure Hunt, and Treasure Hunter.
Skyrim auras ==NEW==
Adds roughly 80 equippable cosmetic effects from the game for your roleplay or screenarchery purposes.
Start On Save ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that automatically loads saves on game launch.
Enhanced Death Cam ==NEW==
SKSE plugin that improves death/ragdoll camera, with free rotation/fly camera and other features.
Powers Keyring ==NEW==
Adds an MCM that allows you to add unwanted powers to a sub-menu accessed with a power.
Hide Quest Items in Container Menu ==NEW==
Hides quest items from the player's inventory when in container menu since you can't put quest items in a container anyways.
This mod allows you to save your current outfit in its entirety, while switching to a previously saved one.
No Silly Physics Damage - Carts Pots Bones etc
You will no longer lose HP when walking on dynamic objects such as bones or when walking towards a cart.
You Can Sleep
Disables the regular restrictions on sleeping (like owned beds, being asked to leave, etc). Configurable.
Jaxonz Lights Please
Simple but great mod that allows you to cast light spell instantly using a hotkey.
Toggleable animations to stop character from moving or test clipping in Racemenu.
Take All Loose Gold and Arrows
After picking up a coin or arrow from the world, automatically picks up coins and arrows near you.
Consume Loose Items
Allows you to consume potions, food and ingredients from the world, rather than storing them in your inventory.
May be useful for I have no idea what cheating/testing purposes. But still, it may be.
Numerical Smithing Upgrades
Changes the naming system of upgraded equipment to a number-based system. So instead of items being amended with (fine), (superior), (exquisite), etc., you have (+1), (+2), (+3) and so on.
This mod adds lighting spell "Facelight" for brighter face when it's needed, useful for screenarchery.
AreYouThere - Actor NPC Follower
Find all NPCs in the mod using the simple tool.
No Bethesda intro
THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SECTION, DO NOT SKIP IT
Here comes some "final" mods and/or actions that you'll need. Due to how they are made or how they are working, you should deal with them after your mod list is more or less complete. DynDOLOD, ASIS, DSR and some other actions needed to finalize your setup. Let's set them up - the final push is now!
#1 - BUILD A BASHED PATCH
Run Wrye Bash (if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Bashed Patch, return to stability section, step #10). At the bottom, you'll see plugin called Bashed Patch, 0. Right-click on it and click on "Build Patch" option, click ok and build the patch. It will take some time. If the process will be interrupted with some errors popped in window - just disable the mod listed and build the patch again. This happens really rare, so most likely you won't even encounter that at all. If you're above active plugins limit, proceed to step 2.
#2 - MERGE YOUR MODS (optional, if you're still above 254 plugins)
Over 255 active plugins limit? Worry not! If you don't have Merge Plugins or forgot why you need a to merge mods, return to stability section, step #9. It's not hard at all - just do it slowly. Watch this video for "fast yet enough" instructions or this video for more in-depth turorial. Our main task now is to get amount of plugins to 254 or lower. Merging process itself is very easy and the main issue is to know which mods you can actually merge. Until you are building a super-heavy mod list (with like 700+ mods), you can use the next simple instructions which can consider "a simple steps for easy merging": 1) You can ofc merge everything possible into a single .esp, but that's not recommended. Try to merge the mods of same "common" category. For example, merge weapons & armors mods in one merged .esp. patches into second and various other small gameplay mods in third one. 2) Follow the "Rule Of Three". Just grab some mods you want to merge and see if: - All mods you wanna merge are not directly conflicting (between themselves, conflicts with base game .esm and dlcs is fine), using the xEdit option showed on this screenshot. - All mods you wanna merge do NOT have MCM. - All mods you wanna merge do NOT have navmesh records (the records showed on this screenshot). If answer to all 3 questions is "NO" - you can easily merge these mods in a few clicks using Merge Plugins basic functionality - just make sure to place them one after another in load order (to avoid "non-contiguous" error in MP). If some mods don't fit the "rule", just leave exclude them from to-merge list. Oh, and NEVER merge .ESM plugins. And now, the exciting detail! Remember the indicators? This indicator means that #2 and #3 in "Rule Of Three" you don't need to check for this mod already - only check the mods for conflicts in SSEEdit and add them to the merge :) 3) Repeat this until you have as many mods to merge as possible and make the merge. Remember that in rare cases MP will show you errors in some mods, that doesn't mean crashes - you can ignore them to add this mod to merge as well, as showed on this screenshot. 4) Remember that you can merge merged .esp plugins as well - as many times as you wannna - so better do everything slowly, step by step, merging mods by tens or so - don't try to merge 100 mods in on fell swoop if you're doing this first time :) 5) Merge mods until your amount of plugins will be less than 250. Profit! Note: "rule of three" is just the most "simple-to-go" one, which you can use as a "base" for merging without any additional actions required. Merging mods with navmesh records is also not hard at all - in this case you just need to rebuild navmeshes in CK Such details are coming with experience and you should not be afraid of them - and you can always be sure that the guide provides you with all needed "first steps" for modding experience. For more in-depth but easy-to-swallow tips and tricks for making more "hard" merges, check out this tasty tutorial from ETAC authoress (explains navmeshed mods merging as well).
#3 - REBUILD & TWEAK YOUR BASHED PATCH (ONLY IF YOU DID STEP #2)
Run Wrye Bash and rebuild your Bashed patch, same as you did in step one.
#4 - MAKE A MERGED PATCH
Run SSEEdit (if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Merged Patch, return to stability section, step #8). Now, watch the part of this video. Link is with timing, but just in case, you need to start watching from 4:45.
After it's generated, open it and delete leveled records (also shown in the video). If you're using NMM, watch till 6:41, if you're using MO, watch till 7:01. Deleting the leveled records is needed as Bashed Patch that we made in previous step, handles this a bit better. Don't forget to clean unneeded masters, same as we just made for Bashed Patch.
Q: why not to use Smashed Patch instead? It's said this tool is doing everything both Bashed and Merged patch are doing in terms of conflicts, but just better. So? A: Mator Smash is indeed an amazing work! And indeed, if often covers more conflicting records merging then Bashed nor Merged patch do, so if you're using Smashed Patch, you don't need neither Bashed or Merged. But the thing is, whatever its algorithm is, it's doing those records merging pretty "wild" - often inaccurate, which can lead to various issues, from just weird ones, like double merchant stock, to more serious ones, like visible ingame bugs and crashes. No automated tool is perfect (Bashed and Merged too), but atm, Smashed Patch is just working too much inaccurate which can sometimes bring you more headache than good results. If you wanna use it instead of Bashed/Merged combination, you're free too, but keep in mind to always check the Smashed Patch yourself manually after building it, and make a deep ingame test. Once again, this is a great tool with a lot of efforts put into it, but I simply can't directly recommend or disrecommend it. Use at your own preference.
#5 - RUN FNIS, ASIS & DSR PATCHES (if using them)
- ASIS patcher is file named "ASIS.jar" in \Data\SkyProc Patchers\ASIS. Remember to [not] use anything besides perks, spells and potions. Click on "Patch" and wait until it's finished, it can take couple of minutes. Remember to run patcher each time you've installed mods that add/change NPCs, perks or spells. You can also just make a shortcut of "ASIS.jar" to your desktop to same time in future.
- DSR patcher is file named "Dual Sheath Redux Patch.jar" in \Data\SkyProc Patchers\Dual Sheath Redux Patch. Just run the file, click on "Patch" and wait unti it's finished, it can take few of minutes (usually longer than ASIS). Remember to run patcher each time you've installed mods that add/change weapons/armors. You can also just make a shortcut of "Dual Sheath Redux Patch.jar" to your desktop to same time in future.
- FNIS patcher is file named "GenerateFNISforUsers.exe" in \Data\tools\GenerateFNIS_for_Users. Run the file, choose essential patches in the list of options in lower part of window ("Gender Specific Animations" and "Skeleton Arm Fix"), optional patches if needed and click on "Update FNIS Behavior". Wait until it's finished (usually it takes just a few seconds), close the window and click on "Yes" when asked (this will simply add a shortcut of patcher at your desktop). Make sure to run patcher each time you installed mods that are affecting animations.
#6 - CHECK EVERYTHING YOURSELF
No automated tool is perfect - so when your Bashed, Merged and ASIS patch plugins are ready, load them in xEdit and go through all sections in them yourself, seeking for irrational records. For example, you may see duplicated items on traders, wrong perks on enemies, or improper NPC visual records (which often leads to infamous "dark face" bug). In other words, just go through without a rush and see if you'll see anything suspicious - and if you'll see such records, correct them by dragging proper values from the mods into the bashed patch records.
#7 - MAKE YOUR DISTANT OBJECTS BEAUTIFUL AS NEVER BEFORE
What is DynDOLOD? It's a constantly updated, awesome and great, revolutionary, in some sense - but needs some time to install and use. Its a successor of Tes5LodGen, which is basically generating the LODs (optimized textures of distant objects far from you - trees, buildings, light sournces, glowing windows etc). Vanilla Skyrim LODs just sucks. For example, somewhere far infront of you (you know that let's say) there are 200 trees. But game engine will load 10 LODs as maximum - and so, distant view will look bald, and when you'll come closer - all the rest 190 trees will just instantly pop-up out of nowhere. Annoying, isn't it?
Secondly, neither Skyrim engine and Tes5LodGen were able to generate LODs for mods. DynDOLOD can! Yes, yes, yes - that's what you're thinking about. If let's say you installed a mod that adds new houses near village - you will see these houses LODs in distance. If mod places new trees - you will see them all. If you're playing some kind of new land mod - even here, LODs will be generated.
DynDOLOD even has 3D-LODs option for trees! This literally means LODs can be generated in 3D-like look with greater quality and with meshes (LOD don't have models by default, only flat textures, that's why even while being dense, they still noticably differ from actual rendered trees) so you won't actually notice the transition between regular objects textures and LODs, making exploraton almost seamless. Note: If you have a high-end rig and not problems with FPS with your current setup, you can try the new, WIP DynDOLOD resources instead of linked above, for even better quality of distant terrain LODs.
That's what DynDOLOD about - it's absolutely essential mod that will drastically improve how your worldscape look. Absolutely simplified installation of Dyndolod looks like this:
1) Installing DynDOLOD required mods.
2) Installing DynDOLOD core files, namely the "DynDOLOD Resource SE" via mod manager. Right after you've installed the resources, also install the "DynDOLOD Bright LOD Waterfall Fix" from here and this lil LOD improvement==NEW==.
3) Downloading the DynDOLOD files (archive with generators .exe) themselves, namely the "DynDOLOD" file, manually and unpacking it anywhere you want.
4) Installing billboards in the same order you installed trees/landscape mod (i.e. if you have tree mods A, B, C, you should install billboards for mod A, then for mod B, then for mod C, and overwrite). Note - vanilla Skyrim billboards you can get from TES5LodGen Files tab (Skyrim LE mod) - they are same for LE/SE.
5) Generating textures via texgen.exe, archiving them, dropping to your mod manager mods folder, installing via mod manager. Make sure you're running DynDOLOD .exe files for SE, as described here.
6) Making sure no antivirus is running, or adding DynDOLOLD executable to its whitelist. Disabling ASIS, DSR/Ecotone, Cutting Room Floor, Bashed/Merged Patch, Skybirds .esp plugins (if you have them) before running the generator executable.
7) Generating dyndolod via dyndolod.exe (running it as admin), archiving the files, dropping to your mod manager mods folder, installing via mod manager.
8) Activating dyndoldod .esp plugin and plugins you disabled (if) in step 6.
9) Profit :3
Watch this awesome guide if installation still looks complicated for you.
To make some lods even more detailed, you can use this and this great mods alongside DynDOLOD (install before generating).
I also highly recommending this great distant "noise" (distant terrain) texture replacer for best possible blending. If you're getting "lighting bulb glitch" no matter what, try this fix.
For 3D LODs instructions (they are actually more then simple), read the "3d lods help.txt" tutorial inside the main EVT file archive. I'll make a video tutorial for 3D LODs a bit later on my YT channel. Note: 3D LODs can eat some FPS depending on your PC specs.
#8 - THAT'S IT! YOU CAN START PLAYING!
Congratulations, you've made it to the very end! If you was attentive during all the way, you will now have beautiful, interesting and challenging Skyrim journey you've always dreamed about. Just make a test run for a few hours first, to make 100% sure everything is fine and you didn't forget anything. Skyrim is a legendary game and everyone who plays it deserves the best graphics and visuals. I want to say so much thanks to each mod author who put their time and knowledge into Skyrim mods to make it look so awesome. And thank you guys for reading this! Wish you a stable and exciting gameplay in your modded Skyrim. Run LOOT the last time to sort your load order, and start your journey!
Want to support the development of this project? Take a look on Patreon page.
Your rig is pretty old, but you still want somehow to run ENB and some graphics mods? Don't worry, that's more then possible! Please take into account that "low-end" is pretty wide term, so here I will just put all possible advice and tricks that may help you. You can also refer to this section even if your PC is strong - to get more FPS for different purposes.
Have too weak rig but still wanna have some of those tasty graphics mods? Have a strong rig, but need to gain a few FPS? Look here!
1) Open SkyrimPrefs.ini and find iShadowMapResolution= value
It's usually set to 4096. Change this value to 2048 or even to 1024. Save the changes, close the .ini file. Changing it to 2048 will make almost zero visual quality loss for shadows, but give you 5-8 FPS boost depending on your PC specs and mod list. Changing it to 1024 will ofc make shadows looks worse, but can sometimes give up to 10-15 FPS. One-click boost!
Simple as that. Still bad FPS? Just use this amazing tool to optimize textures minmaps and compress ALL your textures to 1024 or even 512. Make sure to use this .ini file. You can also read this tutorial for it.
4) My PC can't afford DynDOLOD and ENB DOF, but I don't want to see these ugly LODs! What can I do?
Use DYNAVISION which gives simple DOF with literally 0 FPS hit.
New and absolutely amazing mod for low-end rig. It Optimizes texture resolution for dozens common object types in the game and removes various minor, not much needed effects and tiny objects - you most likely won't ever notice that, but have a good performance boost. It also comes with handy FOMOD installer, so you can choose all options you want and don't want yourself.
6) Still need more FPS in wilderness? ==NEW==
Install Less Vanilla Trees (keep only one plugin depending on how much less trees you want to have - 33%, 50%, or 66% less).
For example, if you have FullHD monitor (1920x1080), set ingame resolution to 1280x720. While ofc playing on lower resolution is not what you may want, but it's not very noticable after you play a bit, but even downscale from 1080p to 720p can give you 10-20 FPS - which you can use to run ENB and/or run DynDOLOD on low settings, and this benefit definitely overlaps the resolution disadvantage.
What? How? You may ask. The thing, is, Skyrim SE by itself require much better PC to run the game itself than original Skyrim, so if you have really weak rig which struggles with performance even with the game itself on ultra settings, or with minimal graphics mods setup, modding LE is a direct way for you - LE itself requires much less resources than SE initially, and can be optimized much better than SE. Even more - for example, there was a person in our community who was able to run Skyrim with ENB (low-end ENB preset, ofc, but still a real ENB) and some graphics mods on GTX 285! This GPU, as you can guess, won't even handle Skyrim SE itself without mods normally, but in LE, player was able to run simple ENB and so achieve much better graphics than he would get in SE. You got the point. My Skyrim LE guide also has low-end section with even more tips.
If you don't want to go trough the whole list yourself and think about which mods and how to combine, or just don't have time - this section is what you need! Below you can find several "plug and play" mod lists that I personally compiled - so you don't have to worry about testing mods, finding which play well together and which not - don't have to worry about compatibility at all. Just choose the mod list that you like the most, by reading its description - and then simply mimic it in no time. Playing modded Skyrim (or Skyrim at all) first time? Wanna have casual combat and be OP? Hardcore combat and survival? Lightweight mod list with "vanilla plus" experience or super-heavy mod list where each tiniest details are improved? Modules section has a mod list for any preference. Modules can also list certain ENB presets that I see "fitting" the mod list purpose in general and have certain advice about graphics mods in general - but these recommendations is just a cosmetical advice.
Important note #1: Each of modules assumes you already implemented Stability and Graphics parts of the guide. While graphics part is ofc totally up to you (and depends on your PC capabilities), make 200% sure you've implemented whole Stability section as it's an essential one, no matter how big mod list you are planning to have. I won't be able to provide any troubleshooting if you didn't make the Stability part. Implement it.
Important note #2: Some of the mod lists names may be hinting their setup, some no - mostly I just picked the names I wanted and that's it. Name of the mod list can be purely cosmetic at all. So make sure to read each module description, besides the name.
Important note #3: After you mimic the mod list (any of it), proceed to the "Mods to be installed or actions to be made in the end of modding process" section.
To choose your mod list, look below ↓↓↓
This module is a perfect mod list if you're playing Skyrim for the first time at all. Any TES game is an immensely huge, many times bigger than any other game of similar type - and it's an unspoken canon to first time play game without changing it by mods. First of all, if you'll install a lot of mods to your first walkthrough - you will be simply lost in amount of features, spells, items, quests and so on - because you won't have experience of original game. Secondly, playing with original functionality will help you to see how insane is the difference between vanilla and modded game.
This mod list is small and will not change any game mechanics drastically, but fix bugs or just plainly boring/silly vanilla mechanics, and add some content here and there - but in absolutely non-intrusive way. It will be still the vanilla Skyrim experience, just better.
Additional recommendations for graphics mods: From big texture packs, Osmodius or Skyrim Realistic Overhaul are recommended. As for the main tree mod, I'd recommend to go with Lush Vanilla Trees or EVT [without] bigger trees option in installer. As for the grass mod, go for Northern Grass or Verdant. Don't use weather mods. As for landscape overhauls, I'd recommend to not use any, maybe only Skyrim Better Roads, same goes for settlement mods - keep the vanilla settlements for now.
Good! Now sort your load order using LOOT and you're good to go. Also, if you're owner of a windescreen monitor, install this fix and take a look ad low-end section of the guide if you have weak rig or just need to gain a few FPS.
Note: The "Mods to be installed or actions to be made in the end of modding process" section isn't required for this mod list. You can make step #1 in it, but that's up to you.
The Winking Skeever module is perfect for those who already played Skyrim and/or other TES games, and maybe even played with mods here and there, but still, never had a heavy-modded experience and not quite sure about own goals in terms of gameplay, or just played the game few years ago. Module will provide you with not only needed bugfixes and improvements, but also make add enough content & new mechanics, and make gameplay much more challenging and fun, without making it hardcore or adding too much new content - you will feel the game refreshed as much as not to become lost in new content. Just as much enough of everything to have a good "tease" of modded Skyrim yet with very fast modding process.
Good! Now proceed to the "Mods to be installed or actions to be made in the end of modding process" section. Required steps are #1, #3 and #4. Step #6 (DynDOLOD) is optional - it will make your game distant objects absolutely beautiful, but it requires some time to read about the installation, so decide yourself. Also, if you're owner of a windescreen monitor, install this fix and take a look ad low-end section of the guide if you have weak rig or just need to gain a few FPS. After you've finished these steps, just sort your load order with LOOT and you're ready to go.
This "difficulty rebalance and abilities" module consists of various gameplay-altering mods - combat, AI, various overhauls, magic related mods, realism and some other, but with a specific goal - to give you a good setup of different gameplay changes so the overall difficulty, be it combat or economy, would be nor casual neither hardcore, but somewhere in the middle to appeal to most of tastes in general. If you want more things, and things to be more challenging, but you're easily overwhelmed when there's too much new stuff, this module is a great setup for you. It will partially cross with others, but what differs it from them is the exact pick of some mods in situations where you have the choice, to maintain the difficulty balance mentioned. You can combine it with other modules as you wish.
This module is a highly immersive one, for player who wanna have overall game improvements and some new feature and content here and there for sure, but want Skyrim harsh environment to be the main challenge in first turn, without hardcore combat itself. Plus all possible visual and others immersive moments here and there. The winds chilling to the bones, dangerous waters and diseases, hunger and thirst, and of course, cozy warming at your camp fire. With this mod setup, game will be cruel and dangerous to you, in first turn, because of fearsome, strongly realistic survival aspects.
Now, choose between the next 2 mods. Both are great, and both have own advantages and disadvantages over each other. Read the mod pages and choose one your prefer yourself. I'd personally advise to go with iNEED, but once again, that's totally up to you.
Good! Now proceed to the "Mods to be installed or actions to be made in the end of modding process" section. Required steps are #1, #3 and #4. Step #6 (DynDOLOD) is optional - it will make your game distant objects absolutely beautiful, but it requires some time to read about the installation, so decide yourself. Also, if you're owner of a windescreen monitor, install this fix and take a look ad low-end section of the guide if you have weak rig or just need to gain a few FPS. After you've finished these steps, just sort your load order with LOOT and you're ready to go.
Drunken Huntsman is a "golden middle" in terms of heavy-modded game. It's already a pretty heavy mod list that's making gameplay not only expanded, but greatly challenging. It also adds much more new content as well as new gameplay features in each modding category. It's a mod list for those who already played with mods for some time and want "advance to the next level" and build their first really heavy-modded game - but, it's also not "that" huge to become ovewhelming in terms of both gameplay or modlist building process itself. Take into account that this module will make your game much harder - but also much more rewarding.
Good! Now proceed to the "Mods to be installed or actions to be made in the end of modding process" section and follow the steps in it. Also, if you're owner of a windescreen monitor, install this fix and take a look ad low-end section of the guide if you have weak rig or just need to gain a few FPS. After you've finished these steps, just sort your load order with LOOT and you're ready to go.
This module is for those who don't want neither hardcore combat or survival challenges, but have and endless adventuring spirint and wish to visit as many new lands and dungeons, make as many quests, solve as many puzzles and mysteries as possible. This is an adventuring/relic hunting/questing mod list that will be a great choice if you just want to have a vivid, interesting walkthrough with huge amount of content but without gameplay itself being hard.
To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)
A module dedicated to thieves/rogues/assassins/archers. If you're sure you'll be playing exactly with this archetype now - look here for sure. This modlist includes various mods - from combat & spells, to quests & animations - but not only mods themselves, yet also certain advice on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel. Note: This module focuses on [dedicated] mods - meaning for a complete mod list, you will still need to go through sections of the guide, but you will have a solid core mods base exactly for this playstyle (or can visit this section just to make sure you didn't miss anything).
Meanwhile, you can also watch a few unique modded character builds available at my YT channel:
A module dedicated to mages/necromancers/warlocks/priests etc. If you're sure you'll be playing exactly with this archetype now - look here for sure. This modlist includes various mods - from combat & spells, to quests & animations - but not only mods themselves, yet also certain advice on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel. Note: This module focuses on [dedicated] mods - meaning for a complete mod list, you will still need to go through sections of the guide, but you will have a solid core mods base exactly for this playstyle (or can visit this section just to make sure you didn't miss anything).
Also grab DSR patch (SE version in Files tab) and fix.
Also grab DSR patch (SE version in Files tab) and fix.
The Wheels of Lull
Awesome questline with a lot of secrets an puzzles, related with TES lore. Five dungeons within the main quest, complete with fleshed out boss battles, and massive, unique locations. A new town, complete with extensive characters. 7 side quests, 10 new weapons, new armors and even a new custom race.
Clockwork (Clockwork Castle)
Quest mods ofc are a matter of taste in first turn, but I recommend these mods purely from the perspective that roleplay-wise, mage characters should more craving for lore and travelling into different dimensions.
Royal Armory - New Artifacts
A must-have unique weapons mod for everyone no matter of class. Also grab this addon.
A must-have armor mod for everyone, no matter of class.
A great groundbase for unique look of many artifacts.
Now some armors which I personally see greatly fitting mage types of characters. Their installation is absolutely up to you ofc:
Meanwhile, you can also watch a few unique modded character builds available at my YT channel:
A module dedicated to warriors. If you're sure you'll be playing exactly with this archetype now - look here for sure. This modlist includes various mods - from combat & spells, to quests & animations - but not only mods themselves, yet also certain advice on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel. Note: This module focuses on [dedicated] mods - meaning for a complete mod list, you will still need to go through sections of the guide, but you will have a solid core mods base exactly for this playstyle (or can visit this section just to make sure you didn't miss anything).
Ofc, any quest mod can be played through by any class - but VIGILANT has those huge, epic bossfights similar to Dark Souls ones, and fighting them exactly as a warrior is the most plesant. Also grab english voice addon.
Royal Armory - New Artifacts
A must-have unique weapons mod for everyone no matter of class. Also grab this addon.
A must-have armor mod for everyone, no matter of class.
A great groundbase for unique look of many artifacts.
Now some armors which I personally see greatly fitting warrior types of characters. Their installation is absolutely up to you ofc:
Meanwhile, you can also watch a few unique modded character builds available at my YT channel:
A true hero of Skyrim. A protector of the realm. This module is the ultimate setup of mods - basically, very close to what I'm using myself. If you're a veteran Skyrim player and have decent modded walkthrough experience (or just crazy enough ^,,^), if you remember all its details and want dozens of new stories & adventures, if you want your gameplay to be incredibly challenging yet incredibly rewarding, if you want the each smallest, tiniest, microscopic detail of Skyrim gameplay to be improved, and bug/overlook - fixed, together with a lot of cool new features and mechanics, if you want nextgen, "devil in details" mod list that will surprise you on each step no matter how many hours (or thousands) or hours you have in this series - Fatherland Saviour is waiting. This mod list also contains not only general instructions, but also all needed tweaks, till the smallest ones, in mods MCMs, together with my own edits in many cases.
To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)
Huge thanks to each and every patron of mine, existing and past ones, who helped me to keep going and deliver Skyrim Ultimate Modding Guide - without your support, I would never be able to have enough time to compile it <3
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