This guide is a brother of my Skyrim LE graphics and gameplay guides, in a single one - and a result of 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 1400+ 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. 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 built and ultimate setup for your own PC, no matter what it strength is.
But here come 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 incompatibiities and other issues. Modules will fit perfectly 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 100% stable. That's not some kind of exaggeration - everything you need is to follow the guide attentively :)
Do not re-upload this guide to any 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'b 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 :)
This project is completely free. Still, it takes insane amount of my time to build and expand it - the modding guides already took me ~3000 working hours in total while they are not monetized in any way. The more independent I will fee myself as an author, the faster new updates and modules will arrive. But support only if you really want it and able to:
Version 1.0 - initial release for Skyrim Special Edition
Future updates - more new mod sections (for example, new settlement mods), fix of typos and much more new mods and modules in general.
To report the issues with the guide (typos, broken links etc) - please drop a message in #suggestions_to_sinitar room in our Discord server.
Before 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 withou 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, 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) and Mod Organizer 2. Both are awesome. I personally use NMM. What's the difference? NMM is "simple yet effective". MO is "mod manager on steroids" packed with tons of cool features. 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.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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. If it will be fine one day, I'll let you guys 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 vastly 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.
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 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 all your mods properly by just clicking button 2 times. Sometimes (it happens rare, so mostly you won't 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 mods instlalled - 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 lean 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 SSE Fixes.
Install the main file with mod manager (make sure you have chosen the correct version - there are two, for regular SE and VR).
Note #1: don't forget to install the DLL Plugin Loader - it's [required]. It should be installed [manually]. Download it, unpack anywhere you want. Then, go to your Skyrim SE root directory (where the game .exe file is) and rename "binkw64.dll" to "binkw64_.dll", for example - in this way, you're backing up the original file. Now, put the "binkw64.dll" file from downloaded archive into the Skyrim SE root folder. Good job!
Note #2: if you're on Skyrim SE version 1.5.80, dont use this mod and only use the next one (until this one is updated for 1.5.80). If you're on Skyrim SE version 1.5.73, use both.
6) Install SSE Engine Fixes.
Note #1: 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 (same as in previous step for DDL Plugin Loader).
Note #2: you can also download my personal .ini file for this mod with a few small changes for more comfortable gameplay.
7) 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 will have hundreds of mods, that could be a problem and potentially cause crashes. Clean all mods that have dirty records (until it's directly written by mod author to not do that for some reasons) 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 so hard to use as it may look. Check this one awesome general video tutorial and this cleaning tutorial. Also there are a lot of info and videos at it's 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 instead. 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 much 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. Here's a basic documentary and description of it here.
8) Install Wrye Bash.
Scroll down and download the .exe version and intall 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.
9) 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 allow you to have almost endless amounts of mods intalled, 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 a new 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 spesific bugs - you can avoid them, but this will mean spending additional time 3) Some other mods, especially mods with dynamic patchers (like ASIS) often simply don't recognize .esl plugins
Note #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.
10) Install Alternate Start - Live Another Life (additional start options addon available here), Skyrim Unbound Reborn or RASR - Random Alternate Start Reborn
Why you need this? These mods provide wide amount of alternative starts 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 came 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, it has 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 really underrated gem.
11) Get the SSE NIF Optimizer This step is optional. Easy-to-use tool to convert meshes from LE to SE. Skyrim SE has MUCH less coverage in terms of remodels/retextures, and while you can mostly use textures from LE ins SE withou issues, the meshes you need to convert. This tool will help you.
Congrats, you're ready now!
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 -- vibrant and cheerful weathers and lighting, Autumn Skies - Autumn Skies - A Weather and Lighting Mod, Cathedral - Cathedral Weathers and Seasons, ELFX - Enhanced Lights and FX, ELE - Enhanced Lighting for ENB, RLO - Realistic Lighting Overhaul.
Rudy ENB 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 up-to-date 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! 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.
Mythical ENB 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.
Ominous ENB 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.
Aequinoctium ENB 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.
CFL II ENB Amazingly cinematic/filmic ENB preset with simply a huge amount of presets inside it (around 60 of them to fit your taste). Weather mods compatibility: NAT. Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported.
eisVogel v2 ENB A very vibrant preset with cinematic touch. Can be called a stripped down version of Tetrachromatic ENB for Skyhim 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.
The True Beauty of Skyrim ENB A cold cinematic preset. Weather mods compatibility: None officially supported, but Obsidian and Vivid look fine. Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
X ENB 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.
Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB SE A cold, also vanilla-friendly, well-balanced and a bit cinematic ENB preset. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list. Weather mods compatibility: Vivid. Lighting mods compatibility: ELFX.
Imaginarium ENB 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.
Lusty ENB Great preset with a bigger fantasy touch. A member of my personal TOP-10 ENB presets list. Weather mods compatibility: Autumn Skies. Not officially supported, but looking pretty fine with - Rustic, Mythical, Obsidian, Dolomite. Lighting mods compatibility: None officially supported, but looking fine with ELFX.
Visceral ENB 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.
Organic ENB 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.
Prismatic ENB 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.
Vividian ENB 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.
VIVE ENB 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.
OaxENB 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.
Cyrn ENB 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.
Ragnarok Enb 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.
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. 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. 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! Underground - a dungeon texture overhaul Huge mod that greatly improves a lot of texture for all types of dungeons.
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. It's 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 actaully 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 2017 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 ffiles 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.
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.CC's HQ Mines CC's HQ Caves Gecko's Dwarven Ruins Textures
Now choose one from the next 3 mods which are retexturing Nordic dungeons somehow "forgotten" by big mods before, or just doing it better:Skyland Nordic Ruins Gecko's Nordic Ruins Textures Rudy HQ - Nordic Ruins SE My absolute favorite between Nordic retexturing mods - the level of details is just astonishing. You can install Skyland Nordic Ruins and then this mod on top, as Skyland covers few objects not touched by this mod. Also don't forget to get all optional addons and higher resolution textures.
Fine, let's moveBlended Roads Amazing mod doing exactly how it's called. One roads mod to rule them all.
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" version of the mod, as grass will be handled by other mods in the section below. Don't forget to install the update file too. Note #1: if you love this mod, but have non-pleasant FPS drops with it, try this amazing 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.
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. Fences of Skyrim - No more flickering fences Same here. Twice as essential mod.
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 more FPS, make the value HIGHER (try 80, 100 or even 120).
The next 4 mods are optional, get a peek:Grass Addon for Veydosebrom Verdant and others Texture improvements/changes for popular grass mods above. Whiterun Grass Overhaul ==FPS== ==FPS== ==FPS== Adds beautiful green grass to Whiterun streets.
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:Majestic Mountains Two retexture addons for it are also available here and here. Northfire's Photoreal Mountains Excellent Mountains ==FPS== Real Mountains RUSTIC MOUNTAINS 8K Mountains CC's UHQ Mountains
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 inredible texture details, Real and Rustic are pretty much close to vanilla look, and 8k (exactly the 8k version is an absolutely overkill, so use 2k or 4k if you want that much) and CC's UHQ mods are both looking pretty unique. But what mod you're using, Sinitar? I'm using manually ported Skyrim LE version of Rocking Stones and Mountains Two, which is my personal mountains/rocks favourite mod of all times.
Rocks/stones mods:Skyrim 3D Rocks Rapid Rocks Northern Realistic Rocks
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.
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.
Galaxy/stars/nebulae retexture mods:Inside the Nebula My favourite mod for fantasy-looking night sky. Yes, it's LE mod - just download manually, then add to and install with your mod manager into SE. Note: delete the moonshadow.dds texture file in your \Data\textures\sky. Lorkhans Vision - Night Sky V2 My previously favourite mod for galaxy and stars. LE version only available, install similar to previous mod. "LV Night Sky V2 - Low Saturation for enb" version is recommended. Skyrim Textures Redone - Enhanced Night Sky Another great variant, all-in-on night sky retexturing mod with a FOMOD installer. Visually - good balance between original look and fantasy. Skygazer - Constellations HD Another HD constellations mod from Skyrim LE section. 8K Night Skies - Stars and Galaxies Retexture for galaxy and-starts that sticks close to vanilla look. While actually being in 8k which makes no practical sense at all, mod still has 4k variants which you can use (or safely to compress to 2k using Ordenator or Photoshop). More Alien Skyrim - Galaxy Nebula Sun Sunglare and Star Definitely not much lore-friedly, but also definitely unique-looking, this mod may be interesting for those who like to transform Skyrim into something...different. 4K Stars and Galaxies Bright, beautiful, fantasy-looking retexture. STARS A "vanilla plus" type of retexture mod for stars.
Masser and Secunda retexture mods:Skygazer Moons - Masser and Secunda Ultra HD Skyrim LE mod. My personal absolute favourite between all mods that retexture Skyrim moons. Super crisp and sticking with original look at the same time. Simply the Moons Not much realistic, but cool-looking fantasy retextures. Masser and Secunda from Morrowind Simple as that. Not the greatest texture resolution, but muh nostalgia!
Weather and lighting - realistic storms and snowfalls, new weathers, both grim and vibrant up to your taste, grealy 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. Obsidan adds plenty of new weathers while keeping the ambience in the borders of canonic Skyrim look. Sharp and beautiful coulds, 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 Beyond Skyrim Bruma Patch VIGILANT Patch Seasonal 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.
Vivid Weathers 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 bibrant 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.
Dolomite Weathers While Dolomite is technically a predcessor to Obsidian, I personally still prefer some elements from it over Obsidian's composition. It's really diverse, with plenty of beautiful weathers (but now that vibrant as Vivid Weathers), and with absolutely unrivaled clouds look. Also, if you possibly love it's 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.
Rustic Weathers and Lighting A really well-made mod which has somewhat desaturated, "rustic" look, sticking close to original ambience.
Surreal Lighting -- vibrant and cheerful weathers and lighting Deep fantasy weather/lighting mod with gentle purple touch. Take into account though that it's [both] weather and lighting mod at the same time, so it may have minor conflicts with lighting mods here and there, so use with caution/testing.
Mythical Ages - weathers and lighting overhaul Another fantasy and bright weather mod, being somewhere between Obsidian and Vivid Weathers, I'd say.
Cathedral Weathers and Seasons This weather mod is using some assets from Obsidian and Aequinoctium mods listed above, resulting in somewhat mixed look of these two. It also has a customization spell through which you can adjust saturation, contrast and so on. At the same time, as all ENB presets are tweaked for certain weather mods and certain conditions, usage of this options together with ENB becoming obsolete, as ENB control over the same values is superior - much more precize and easy to use. This mod also sadly doesn't have much ENB presets adjusted for it compared to mods like Obsidian or Dolomite for example, but it's an option for those who are not able to run ENB at all due to weak PC - in this case mod's customization may come in handy.
Northern Saga Weathers and Seasons One more vibrant weather mod, but with some cold touches from time to time.
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 "Wet and Cold" immersion mod, as well as for most of other popular weather mods.
Lightning During Storms Yeah. No kidding. Vanilla game, even in "remastered" version, didn't have actual lightnings during the storms. That fixes it. True Storms compatibility patch is provided in the link above.
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.
Foggy Morthal and Swamp SE Makes Morthal region always foggy. Load after other weather mods if using any.
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 Exteriors module, this and this fellas may come in handy as well.
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 fulyl tweaked for it). You may also find useful this mod which 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 :) You may also find "no players homes" patch useful (meaning you need it IF you're be using mods that affects vanilla player homes), as well as this one tiny fix (choose the "Relighting Skyrim - Old Hroldan Fix" main file).
All the mods in this section are optional. They tranfsorm 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 roards 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 litearlly 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 fulyl supports 3D LODs from DynDOLOD. It has some flaws as well though - sometimes the placements of new objects are feeling generic and non 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.
Enhanced Landscapes - Oaks Standalone SSE - Marsh Pines - Dilon Vul A good and greatly compatible alternative if you like previous mod approach, but don't want it whole. Also fully supports 3D LODs.
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.
Whiterun Forest Borealis - Fixes ==FPS== A mod with similar goal and coverage, but somewhat different approach. Don't use together with previous mod, choose only one.
Trees Addon 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, then, 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.
Dark Forests of Skyrim SE - Solstheim Apocalypse You don't need this mod if you're using the previous one. If no - you can try this one as an amazing Solstheim tree addon.
Project Rainforest - A Tropical Climate and Environment Overhaul SKyrim SE really lack 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 also highly compatible with popular tree/landscape mods, but ofc, it's better to build 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).
The Ruins 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 :)
Ancient Land 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.
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/Wet and Cold.
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.
Poisonblooms, Mushroom circles & Stonehenges One or more of these words sounds good for you to be placed in Skyrim wilderness? Then check out this author profile.
Flower Fields 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 bti more fresh, spring touch.
Master The Summit Like climbing the highest mountains? Want to mayeb 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.
Skyrim Bridges 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.
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.
Oblivion Gates Remade Adds several Oblivion gates to the game. Gates are not functioning ofc, and serving more like and Oblivion nostalgia element.
Rorikstead Basalt Cliffs Adds basalt cliffs around Rorikstead, giving the town a unique atmosphere. Compatible with every Rorikstead overhaul.
Windhelm Lighthouse Adds a lighthouse north of Windhelm.
Elizabeths Tower - Azura Shrine Increases the size of the Azura Shrine so that its visible from all around Skyrim.
Towns, cities, villages, forts & camps. Everything to make them look better, expand, and sometimes even redbuild 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" settlements 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. 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. Settlements Expanded My personal favourite villages mod which overhauls vanilla villages and adds a few new one. Cverage: 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. Arthmoor's Village Mods I've added a link to author's profile to not cluster the section with too many links. 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.
Now, I want to point yount 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 especialyl great with Dawn of Skyrim. Also fully compatible with DynDOLOD generator. 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. Enhanced Solitude 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. The Great City of Solitude Amazing Solitude exterior overhaul - compatible with mods like JK/Dawn that change Solitude inside.
Interior overhauls. Skyrim SE lacks some promiment interior overhauls, but still have a few gems as well. 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.Distinct Interiors Small, simple changes to make interiors more distinct and recognizable. Don't forget to get the fix addon. 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. Enhanced Interiors 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. InnCredible 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. Note: if you wanna use it with Distinct Interiors, use its modular version.
Gooood. Now a plenty of various smaller mods that changes single city/town/adds different things here and there. Amount of the mods is, similar to many cases, is not that big to choose from as for Skyrim LE, but there's still quite a few available. 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.Winterhold Restored Winterhold Restored removes the ruined buildings in Winterhold and adds new buildings, player homes, a new housecarl, merchants, followers, marriable NPCs, new horses, fishing docks, a greenhouse, a fishery and more. Winterhold - Expanded Ruins Does how it's called. Mostly compatible with most of the mods Dawnstar A lite Dawnstar overhaul. Morthal Overhaul II A well-made Morthal overhaul alternative. Windhelm Docks Pathways Compatible with most of cities mods that change Windhelm. 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. Solitude Skyway 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. 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. Better Docks This mod brings immersive details and life to the docks of Skyrim and Raven Rock in Solstheim. Compatibility issues, such as clipping, light or heavy, may occure - if used with many other settlement mods. Simple Raven Rock Expansion A gret Raven Rock mod alternative. You can also used this addon for it. Expanded Tel Mithryn An alternative if you don't like Better Tel Mithryn. Whiterun's Trees Overhaul If for some reason you don't like Paradise Trees for Skyrim. Work with city mods is not guaranteed though. This is Riverwood Makes Riverwood to a more lively town. Some subtle change that keep the original feeling of this village intact. Kato's Riverwood One more Riverwood alternative. Rorikstead Revised A lightweight expansion of Rorikstead. Hroldan Nightgate and Sawmill Villages Creates villages around Old Hroldan, Half Moon Mill, Angas Mill, Heartwood Mill, Mixwater Mill and Nightgate Inn. Karthwasten - Let The Silver Flow A town mod which makes Karthwasten look like it actually exports silver, is wealthy, and alive within the world. Windhelm Bridge Overhaul Makes the Windhelm bridge less dull and boring. Kato's Falkreath An alternative Falkreath exterior overhaul. Falkreath Very lightweight overhaul to Falkreath. Warmaiden Reforged A neat little mod, but compatible only with vanilla game or JK's Skyrim. Nordic Carving - Wallbaskets Nordic Carving - Great Portal of Dragonsreach Two mods from the same author changing/adding some decoration elements.
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.
Some variants for lockpicking retexture/remodel. Choose one:Lockpicking Interface Redone JS Lockpicking UI I'm using this one. Lock o Motion
Some variants for road signs. Choose one:Weathered Road Signs My personal favourite. Also grab the little fix for it. Skyland HD Road Signs Five Cities Roadsigns HQ CC's HQ Roadsigns HD Road Signs ElSopa HD - Unique Hand Painted Road Signs Definitely original work, yet also very vibrant and may look not lore-friendly for many players. A matter of personal taste.
Better looking potions. Choose one:RUSTIC ANIMATED POTIONS and POISONS One potion/poison visual mod to rule them all. XxAwesome_PotionsxX Another beautiful potion replacer, with animations and much fantasy look. Ultimate and extreme potions One more potion models/textures replacer, but this time only for "ultimate" potions type.
City signs mods. Choose one:SkyFix SE - HD Blacksmith Signs + Beautiful Honey Signs
Arvak look. Choose one:The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak Arvak Replace
Better shrines look. Choose one:Rens HD Shrines Remiros' Shrines HD I'm using this one.
Dragon corpse textures. Choose one:RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE I'm using this one. Frankly HD Dragon Bones
Castle Volkihar textures. Choose one:CC's Castle Volkihar Reborn Northfire's Castle Volkihar
Guard shields textures. Choose one:CC's HQ Guard Shields Ennead - Shields
Dragon priests masks. Choose one:4K Dragon Priest Masks of Immersion Masks of the Dovah Sonaak I'm using this one. Inredible details. Vanilla-wise look. A lot of options and great compatibility with armor mods. Apophysis Dragon Priest Masks A great alternative - beautiful texture and very original look.
Ships/boats look. Choose one:Joy of Ships LE mod. As objects parallax doesn't work in SE ENB, you won't need parallax file, just install the main file. DK's Nord Ship Texture Replacers Skyland - Ships and Shacks
Odahviing retextures. Choose one:Odahviing Enhanced Odahviing Replacers
Fine, let's move.WEBS S.E. ELECTRIFY S.E. Choose this mod or the one below. Voltage Choose this mod or the one above. Skyrim SE Improved Puddles Better Shaped Female Creatures A matter of taste mod. But definitely much better shaped :) CC's HQ Alduins Wall White Phial Replacer Arri's Snow Elf Ruins Retexture CC's Fort Dawnguard Reborn HD Lava for Dawnguard Septim - a coin retexture Take into account you need to choose file version manually first in the downloaded archive, and then pack it and isntall with mod manager. Ennead - Shadowmarks Soul Cairn HD Don't forget to install the update file as well. Ancient Dwemer Metal Absolutely superior quality for all dwarven-related objects. It's an LE mod, so if you want it, you'll have to convert its meshes through SSE Nif Optimizer. Skyrim Textures Redone - SkyHaven Sovngarde HD Ancestor Glade Boulders HD Falmer Hut HD Texture Overhaul ( Clutter ) Some beautiful clutter retextures. May look too clean for some players though. Deathbell HD - All-New Textures Misc Retexture Project Astral Aspect - 4K Standing Stones Aetherial Crown SE HD Reworked Baskets HD Reworked Ores This mod will ask to overwrite CC HQ Ore Veins - decide which one you like the most. Realistic HD Mushrooms Remastered Realistic HD Food Remastered Realistic HD Blacksmith Remastered High Poly Project Makes dozens of models great again. Comes with HD textures as well. Rudy HQ - Hay R's Farmhouse and Handcarts These texture are already improved in your game, but who knows - maybe you'll like this mod more :) Note: Also install the Hotfix file. R's Windmill Same here, but for a windmill. CL's Weapon-replacer's Installing this mod is optional, up to you. An great replacer mod for some vanilla weapons, giving them new models with unique look. Weapons affected - all ebony, orcish & daedric weapons, Dawnbreaker, Blade of Woe, Ebony Blade & Chillrend. Runed Nordic Weapons Also an optional mod - gives nordic weapons a glowing runes on the weapons edges. Real Bows Optional mod. More realistic, medieval-like vanilla bows replacers. Elemental Staffs Optional mod. Makes the staffs in Skyrim appear unique to their power level and elemental alignment. HQ Cozy Farmhouses One more alternative for farmhouse textures. Outlandish Stalhrim Soulgem Stand Redone Honey pot Special Edition Corpse burned UHD Pretty Gemstones SSE Realistic Horse Breeds by KrittaKitty More Saddles SSE - Horse HD Better Instruments Better than Nando's Snazzy Model Ship Snazzy Quill of Gemination Snazzy Furniture and Clutter Overhaul Take into account that this mod also makes some clutter placements which may conflict to minor clipping conflicts with some interior overhaul mods. Dark Brotherhood Tenets 16K 8K 4K 2K 1K 512 Redone Leather details and other things LeanWolf's Improved Enchanter Candle Meshes HD Sabre Cat Tooth Mesh and Texture This author has dozens of other similar mods for Skyrim LE. You can port the meshes yourself using SSE Nif Optimizer. HD Ruined Book Retexture 4k - 2k MAPS Works fine in SE. Realistic Boat Bobbing The Revamped Quiver A massive mesh/texture overhaul for close to all vanilla projectiles like arrows/bolts. New look may appear not very lore-friendly to some players though. Better ropes for skyrim Realistic Skin And Hair Shaders - Giants Realistic Skin Shaders - Falmer and Hagravens EEKs Mountain Flowers HD Serpentine Dragon and Mesh Fix Simple Sacks SE Creepy Chaurus Eggs Silky Spider Eggs The next 3 mods will most likely overwrite already retextures named plants, but they are much worth of mentioning as they have pretty unique fantasy look: Mountain Flower By Mari Deathbell By Mari Neurotic Nightshade Let's continue. Improved FireyFireSalts - FrostyFrostSalts - GlowingGlowdust Refracting Ice Form Debris Coin Pouch Revamped Texture Spice of Life - Orc Strongholds Photoreal Foxes 2K HD Retexture Daedra-tastic Rune Spells Cozy Campfires Unique Dragon Aspect Salmon Retex - Realistic Salmon Better Wall Basket Feathers Dopesan's Farmhouse Stonewall Crusty Loaves SSE - 2k Bread Retextures Alternate Blade of Woe Scrumptious Stew HD Ultimate HD Torch LE mod. Works fine in SE. Shuffler90's 4K Doll Why not? :D Archet's Dark Brotherhood - Improved Shadowmere Woodcutter Axe Redone Glacierslab Tihzz's Tankard HD Replacer Less ugly Solitude Catacombs Stone Business Ledger HD Retexture Skyrim LE mod. Download manualyl, add to mod manager, install.
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.Rougeshot meshes Already almost 30 creature types received much more realistic meshes. Get'em'all! Cunny1975 profile Huge amount of various "forgotten" things retextures. Rallyeator profile Same, for many other objects. Haladoon profile Even more small retextures. Flash3113 profile You thought that's it? Ha! ElSopa profile And EVER more. Elsopa mostly focuses on absolutely forgotten things in great quality. Meredia's Beacon? Dust piles? Perk menu consttellations? All that and much more. Kajuan profile Definitely the best-looking textures for many creature types. Hype1 profile Literally magnificent door meshes and textures for cities. Amount of mods is growing gradually, so check his profile from time to time. 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 Torcher 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. Embers HD One ember mod to rule them all. Follow the intaller and pick options you need. Enjoy! Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes This mod corrects numerous graphic glitches around Tamriel worldspace. It's also in active development, so maek 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 bears 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.
Body/skin mods (female):UNP Female Body Renewal - A female face and body replacer Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer -CBBE- Note: most of other skin mods are based on either UNP or CBBE, so always read the mod page and get the proper file in case mod has different versions for UNP and CBBE. SeveNBase a custom FemaleBodyReplacer UNP Blessed Body Fair Skin Complexion Bijin Skin UNP and CBBE This mod, in my personal opinion, maintains the "golden middle" balance - it makes females look much more attractive and fresh, but not turning them into "anime-like" characters with washed out skin. But once again, everyone to their own :) Pride of Valhalla - Super HD Skin Set for UNP-UNPB-7B-CBBE The Pure CBBE and UNP - 4K or 8K Female Skin Textures Touched by Dibella SG Female Textures Renewal - CBBE Tempered Skins for Females - UNP Seductive Lips HD
Body/skin mods (male):SkySight Skins - Ultra HD 4K 2K Male Textures and Real Feet Meshes That's what I'm personally using. Tempered Skins for Males Better Males Remesh for Skyrim SE Vitruvia - Skin texture overhaul for males
Eyes mods:The Eyes Of Beauty Improved Eyes Skyrim Natural Eyes The Witcher 3 Eyes Summer's Custom Eyes Monster Eyes Elemental Eyes Eyes of The Beholder The Eyes Of Beauty - Vampire Eyes Underworld Awakening - Hybrid Vampire Eyes Fangs and Eyes - A Vampire Appearance Mod Ruby Red Vampire Eyes
Hair mods:ApachiiSkyHair Optional retexture addon available. KS Hairdos Optional retexture addon and multicolor addon are available. KS Hairdos Lite Combined Hairstyles Collection VHR - Vanilla Hair Replacer Shiva's Vanilla Hair Replacer
Beards/brows mods:Beards The Art of Beard - New Facial Hairs Hirsute Beards SV Beards Dwemer Beards Brows Better Females Eyebrows - Standalone Kyoe's Bang'n Brows
Scars/warpaints/tattos etc:Northborn Scars DomainWolf profile For vaste variety of spectacular character customization mods - warpaints, freckles, tatoos, fullbody paints, scars and more. Facial Piercings Elewin Jewelry - Navel Piercings for UNP Rutah Tattoo Pack for RaceMenu Tattoo for UNP and CBBE and Better male Dragon Age Dalish Vallaslin Face Tattoo's for Racemenu Jane'sBody Tattoos for UNP Body
Best race (khajiits & argonians) mods:Feminine Khajiit Textures (Grey Cat and Leopard) Masculine Khajiit Textures (Grey Cat and Leopard) Muscular Khajiit Textures and Skeleton Better Khajiit female body Texture for UNP and CBBE bodyhttps://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/18051 Pretty Khajiit Feminine Argonian Textures (Chameleon and Lizard) Masculine Argonian Textures (Chameleon and Lizard) Female Dragonic Argonian Textures Male Dragonic Argonian Textures FAR - Forgotten Argonian Roots BAT - Bigger Argonian Tails Beast Hair Horn and Beard - Vanilla based - Hair Replacer for Khajiit and Argonian Khajiit Eyes Extended - Khajiit Heterochromia and More Argonian - Khajiit FabULook Eyes SSE Drachis Argonian Eyes Argonian Vampire Eyes - Dawnguard Khajiit Vampire Eyes - Dawnguard
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 irrealistic 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 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:
Female overhauls.Bijin Warmaidens Bijin NPCs Bijin Wives 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. Lastly, you may be also interested in all-in-one plugin replacer.
Now just a minute of your attention to our best bae, Serana. Choose one between these mods:Seranaholic Amazing overhaul of Serana with several different versions and options, also offering Valerica overhaul (Files tab). From the author of Bijin series. I'm using this one for Serana and Valerica. Superb Serana Pandorable's Serana My personal #2 favorite. Serana and Claire Also offers a standalone follower version with different character name (if you like this look, but also want original Serana affected by another mod). Serana no ESP
Ok, let's continue.Pandorable's NPCs A really great female overhaul which has a good balance between attarctiveness and "not too much". Its another huge advantage is it's fully compatible with whole Bijin series, covering only NPCs not touched by Bijin mods. Skyrim Beautiful Followers This mod is definitely not much lore-friendly, but it covers just huge amount of NPCs and the quality is actually good. Take into account you need to install Skyrim LE version of the mod first, and then overwrite its .esp file with this one. The Ordinary Women A great alternative if you don't like Bijin mod series. It also covers some NPCs not covered by Bijin, so you can use both together, with load order depending on your preference. Fresh Faces A small NPC overhaul mod with own approach to some female NPCs look. Metalsabers Beautiful Orcs of Skyrim Dedicated and pretty good overhaul for female orc characters. Take into account that it uses [your] skin & eyes mods, so end result may vary. Metalsabers Elegant Elves of Skyrim Similar overhaul for female elves, from the same author. Aesthetic Elisif Give your future High Queen the facelift she needs. Skyrim Ladies - Astrid A really well-made Astrid overhaul.
Male overhauls. Yeah, not that much here.The Men of Winter My personal favourite for males. You may also like this addon for it. Dx's Better Men of Skyrim Alternative mod for some of promiment skyrim guys. Distinct Husbands A visual overhaul of the male spouses. TDN Improved Lucien - Spectral Assassin Replacer Lucien in the best shape! Erik the Slayer - Now Older and Wiser for Older and wiser indeed.
Mods covering both guys and gals.Pandorable's NPCs - Dawnguard From the authoress of Pandorable NPCs mod, here goes her beautiful overhaul for many female and male Dawnguard DLC characters. Inhabitants of Skyrim - NPC Overhaul Really great coverage and close-to-vanilla look in most of cases. Followers Hirelings and Housecarls Pretty much stands for its name - changes several dozens of NPCs, with a big care about original look. Distinct People Another big-covering overhaul. Take into account though that it requires KS Hairdos and also uses whatever skin/eyes mods you have, so the end result may vary. Realistic faces Around 80 NPCs altered, with new hairs and better skin look, while also tryign to stick close to original appearance. Improved Bards Standalone mod that replaces the appearance of the bards across Skyrim. Cuyima Interesting NPCs The biggest and best existing overhaul for over a HUNDRED of characters in "Interesting NPCs" mod. Obviously, use this mod only if you have 3D NPCs isntalled.
Children overhauls.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.
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 menues in general, enjoing 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.
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. Dwemer Network Connects all of Skyrim's dwarven ruins to Blackreach, plus a few bonus features. The doors are placed such 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. Embershard Mine Reloaded The mine now has more bandits and loot and a new area with a bandit boss. Shroud Hearth Barrow Reloaded More enemies and a new cell. Hardcore Ansilvund This mod adds many draugrs and enemy wizards, and it also imroves the ghost blade.
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:Skyrim Underground One of the most amazing dungeon mod 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. If you'll be exploring it really carefully, you can even stumble upon several NPCs voiced by your humble :) 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. Forgotten Dungeons Mod adds 49 new radiant-quest enabled dungeons in Skyrim. Good design, tonns of enemies. All sizes - from little to huge. This mod will give you dozens of hours to explore. Hammet's Dungeon Packs Another 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 it 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 two mods above (using both are too much, imo - you don't want to stubmle across a new dungeons each 5 minutes of gameplay, I believe). Immersive Dungeons 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 absolutey 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 qualty - challenging bossfights, breathtaking design or sometimes even everything together:Apotheosis - Lifeless Vaults Absolutely awesome mod inspired by Dark Souls. Winner of ‘boss battles’ competition at Reddit. 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. Red Flame 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. 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. Demonika 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! Frostfaarn Explore a new dungeon and unlock the powers of ancient Nord sorcerors and conjure fearsome undead to fight by your side. Iomaungandr Rising 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. The Dark 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. Skjolga's Basin Detailed dungeon/quest mod centered around an expedition into the Skyrim mountains. Dead-Stone Barrow 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. 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. Hope's Abandon 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. Jornheim Deep within the bowels of The Throat of the World, lies the ancient ruins of Jornheim.
For these mods, you can install as many as you want, technially 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:Immersive Armors The most famous, big and endorsed armor pack ever made.It adds hundreds of various armors, from simple to absolutely epic, while still keeping lore-friendly look. If you're looking for the great base of your armors variety - don't even think, install IA. Girl's Heavy Armors Fresh and original armor mod that changes models of female vanilla heavy armors, making them much more beautiful, but still protective/lore-friendly, keeping the great balance. JS Armored Circlets A set of 9 brand new standalone Circlets with the same attributes as their helmet counterparts. Zerofrost Mythical Armors and Dragon The latest armor mod pack from Zerofrost and that has definitely the absoutely amazingly armors - for male, female and both genders. Nightingale Prime armor also has replacer version for vanilla nightingale set. Note: Zerofrost, in my personal opinion, makes the most incredibly detailed and original standalone armors. He has a vast list or badass armor mods for both male and female characters, but all of them besides this single mod are not available for SE. You can try to port them yourself. ESO armor collection ESO-inspired armors. Breton Knight and Nord Armor. Tribunal Robes and Masks Amazing robes pack that in addition comes in all 3 armor types - clothing, light and heavy. Also have masks collection for even more epic look. Note: this mod is included in Immersive Armors, so if you're using IA, don't install it separetely. Guards Armor Replacer Super-immersive, medieval-looking new armors for all holds guards. Heavy Legion Similar mod for the Legion, from the same talented author. Common Clothes and Armors Mod combines many vanilla and modded assets in order to create a lot of variations to regular clothing or armor sets for generic NPCs. Adds over 130 new clothes and armors to the common people of Skyrim. A few patches are also available. Cloaks of Skyrim The most famous cloak mod for Skyrim, and almost an essential one in my opinion. It adds almos 100 new cloaks/capes. Also make sure to grab this amazing retexture pack for it. Winter Is Coming - Cloaks One more big and popular cloak mod. Divine and Daedric Cloaks Set of cloaks with ebmlebs of Divines and Daedric Princes. Bandolier - Bags and Pouches Another I'd say essential and highly immersive mod. Adds lots of pouches, bags and bandoliers to help easing your burden. An addon for NPCs is available. Face Masks of Skyrim Simple as that. Compatible with beast races. Apachii Divine Elegance Store Collection of clothing, armor and various little things, both looking civil and really epic, fitting warriors as well. Opulent Outfits - Mage Robes of Winterhold Glorious clothing overhaul for glorious magic college. Colovian Noble Clothes Imperial Fine Clothes Arcane Conjurer Robes Three qualitative clothing mods from the same author. Functional Bags Add various functional bags, pouches, and other special containers. Stormcloak Battle Armor Replacer Much better armors for Storlcloaks and their officers/commanders. Bosmer Armor Pack A lore friendly Armor pack containing 5 main sets with 29 armor pieces and 6 weapon pieces. All races and sexes supported. Note: this mod is included in Immersive Armors, so if you're using IA, don't install it separetely. You may be also intersted in this a bit tweaked version of one of armors from this pack. Talos Housecarl Armor Pack Badass and 200% lore-friendly armor mod from the same author. Improved closefaced helmets Wanna see the eyes of your character and other NPCs eyes under helmets? Get this. Kynreeve Armor Dremora-inspired, craftable set of daedric style armor, available in light and heavy variants. Grandmaster Ursine Armour Beauitful Witcher-inspired armor set. Zzjay's Wardrobe Collection of various armor and clothes mashups, also has decent amount of civil-looking ones. Black Mage Armor Black Mage Armor is a standalone armor mod that includes Cloth, Light, and Heavy armor sets that are all craftable, enchantable, and upgradable; all sets can be used by every race, male or female. Volkihar Knight - Vampire Armor A lore-friendly and badass-looking set of heavy vampire armor. Three variations can be crafted, each with a unique effect that is applied once wearing all four pieces. Hedge Mage Armor A rugged set of magically upgradable light armor for females. Wayfarer's Coat Great clothing/light armor set for mages. Armor of Intrigue Light armor set. DreamBurrows Regal Huntsman Armor An Assassin's Creed Inspired Mashup. Demon Hunter Armor by Jojjo Beautiful, epic-looking and not skimpy light armor set for females. Sovereign's Slayer Armor Amazingly beautiful and deatailed, medieval-fantasy female fullplate armor. CBBE/Bodyslide conversion available. Perfect Legionnaire - Imperial Armor Reforged A deadly serious and stylish rework of the Imperial armory. Barbarian Steel Armor A set of craftable light armor for hardy Nord warriors and berserkers. Male and female versions, weight-slider compatible, works with any race or body type. Armor of Yngol This mod gives you a new uniqe set of Ancient Nord Armor as an addition to the unique Helmet of Yngol. Nordic Ranger Outfit Simple and imemrsive armor mashup. Dragonbone Barbarian Armors Original mashups of dragonbone armors. Female version are pretty skimpy. DeserterX profile Look into it if you wanna over 9000% [not] lore-friendly & unrealistic, but absolutely badass and attractive female armors. Northgirl Armor Original female armor on the edge between beauty and lore-friendliness. Thalmor Armory Adds new Thalmor equipment set in 3 variations. Craftable Horse Barding Yep. Armor for your horses.
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. Varietive 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. Unique Uniques A mod from previous mod author that makes unique weapons look really unique. 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 simply, 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 is also available. Immersive Weapons 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 Amazing mod that adds dozens of new crossbows, some bows and unique arrows/bolts to the game. Crossbows have very qualitative models. Scoped Bows 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. Zikoru Swords Collection Small pack of weapons from another talented weapon mods author, pretty similar to Billyro's style in general. Katana Crafting 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-lookin dragonbone weapons with unique effects into the game world, found in Solstheim. Horker Weapon Pack For muh immers...horkkersion? Skyforge Weapons Qualitative mod for Skyforge weapons.
Nice! Now standalone weapon mods that add a single weapon, or a couple of them:Artifacts - The Ice Blade of the Monarch Pack of 3 absolutely beautiful weapons (sword, dagger and staff) with a lore-friednly quest to obtain them. Eimar's Edge Beautiful steel sword with silver carvings and glowing. The Huntsman Unique-looking UPGRADABLE bow. Lorkhan Moonlight Greatsword Reborn A legendary sword from Souls series in several unique variants, with custom meshes and visual effects. I also strongly recommend you to check out this author's other weapon mods, mostly inspired by DS as well. Billyro profile For increadibly qualitative weapons mods if you want them standalone out of the pack linked above, or if you just wanna endorse his original works ;) Note that he has vastly less mods officially for SE than for LE - most you need to port yourself if you want to have them standalone. Valkyrja - Viking sword Lore-friendly, authentic-lookin, highly-detailed original sword. Sword of Ancient Tongues Beautifil runed sword in 12 variants. Johnskyrim profile For absolutey breathtaking, insane in a good meaning, stunning weapons inspired by other games like WOW or Kingdom Come. ImsumDave profile For several beautiful, half realistic, half fantasy weapons. Crazylion profile For orignal-looking standalone weapons and unique variations for some vanilla weapons. FunkyGandalfCat profile For badass DS-inspired weapons. Scythe42 profile For some ported weapon mods of FavouriteSoul from Skyrim LE. Tartaross profile For a small but qualitative weapon pack and several original weapon mods. Hilli1 profile For many other Skyrim LE weapon mods ported to SE. tamu75 Witcher's Steel Sword Beautiful silver sword from Witcher, still fitting Skyrim greatly too. Valiant Nord Bow Custom nordic bow. Sword of the First Ember Beautiful semi-fantasy sword. CROSS_Crucible Absolutely not lore-friendly, but just a badass weapon from DOOM. Mjollnir If you are a fan. Dwarven Aetherial Bow Unique-looking aetherial bow. Also make sure to install a fix for it.
Skyrim modding stage is litereally swarmed by follower mods, the vastly 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 skan, 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, line 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. Nether's Follower Framework A great alternative to previous mod, without some features of it, but with some of own unique features. 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.
Now let's get to the followers themselves - the most interesting, funny, beautiful, charismatic and badass companions you can have:INIGO 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 endorsments, 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.
Creature follower mods - new creature followers or improved vanilla beast followers:Garm the Husky Companion Great standalone companion if you like dogs, Garm also comes with pack with additional unique features for more comfortable gameplay, scales with your level and has several options for visual appearance. Harold the pack goat Ahem....bb-beeee-eeee? Ihlenda Reconstructed A helpful dwemer doll that just needed a few bolts tightened and a good polishing. True Meeko Vigilance Reborn Frost Reborn Sabretooth - the loyal Sabrecat Companion Grunt - The Bear Companion
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:Unlimited Bookshelves 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. Elianora profile That's with no doubts a first profile you may want to look at when it comes to player homes. Elianora is a godess 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.
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 something like Frostfall, 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 Frostfall, 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.
Creature mods:Skyrim Immersive Creatures Huge. Amazing. Immersive. Mod addz sozens of creatures to Skyrim. New monsters, factions battles, bosses and hundreds of encounters. All these things can be easily configured in the MCM menu. A must-have mod. Use this official patch to polish it completely. 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 expirience. 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. 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 ;) Deadly Dragons Adds 14 new dragons and unique skills to them. Adds amazing dragon ‘assault’ system. Via MCM menu 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 menu. Compatible with all dragon mods. My personal recommendation - it’s a great addition for other dragons mods. Chaos Dragons 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. More Werewolves If you want to meet more furry enemies. Immersive Horses 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, "Convinient Horses". Simple Horse While being much more stable then Convinient 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 lightweght one - pick this neat little mod from author of Ultimate Combat and TK Dodge. One With Nature - Dynamic Animals and Creatures This awesome little mod gives you ability to configure how different types of animalswill act related to character - allied, cowardly, friendly of defensive. MihailMods Creatures 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-freindly 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. GRAHL - The Ice Troll (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project) Daedric Beasts - Wendigos and Howlers Bogmort - Mud Monsters of Morthal Swamp The Falkreath Hauntings Cannibal 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. 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. 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. Better Fire Wyrms Fire Wyrms are stronger and only attack enemies. Wild Penguins Places some penguins around the northern coast. Improved Fish Adds many new fish to the waters of Skyrim. Both smaller pond fish and bigger fish in the category with salmon. Varied Chickens Adds several breeds/colors of chicken (barred, black, white...) to some places around Skyrim. Cats in Skyrim Find feline friends around Skyrim that can also follow you.
Faction mods: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.
You can also look on the creature/faction mods I'm personally using in my ultimate mod list, but take into account it's for LE and unfortunately you won't be able to have your game looking the same visually and having 100% of the same mods.
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 patched in FOMOD installer. Spell Research Maybe the most interesting and unique mod of that type, and absolutely original. Adds a completely new system to research and discover spells from any supported spell mod. As well as adding an in-built spell tome and scroll crafting system, a Victorian-Era style alchemy system, where you can decompose items, and mix or analyze the resultant solutions, and expands the lore of magic with dozens of texts and artifacts to find. In this mod, spells are not simple mixtures of cantrips or effects, but each spell is a completely unique piece of art, and each mage casts each spell slightly differently. Instead of studying what spells are 'made' of, you study how to manipulate and invoke magic. This system is told in terms of Archetypes, the elements and techniques you need to understand in order to cast spells. You can discover and study these elements and techniques through several ways. You can spend several in-game days studying your own spells in a comfortable tower. You can decompose and analyze the tons of ingredients you have stored. Or you can go out to find and study ancient text, tomes, and artifacts.
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. Patches/Addons: More Apocalypse - An expansion for Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Categorized Favorite Menu for Mages - Apocalypse Apocalypse - Ocato's Recital - Auto Dispel Balance Adjustments for Apocalypse 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. Take into account that it's still WIP and only Destruction spells are available, but mod author will soon update it with other magic schools. Also isntall this tiny fix for it. 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. Forgotten Magic Redone Mod add 39 new spells. Key feature is it allos 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. Dawnguard Arsenal 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 queslite with voiced NPCs. The Elder Scrolls - Tomebound Expand your magical arsenal with spells, staves, scrolls and more straight from the Elder Scrolls lore. Better Spell Learning patch available. Phenderix Magic Evolved Maybe the biggest spell pack ever existed. Adds just enormous amount of new spells. The flaw is some spells are really overpowered and/or repetitive. But, you can just not use them. 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 Spells Poison fan? Mod adds around 15 new poison spells and poison shout. Ordinator compatibility patch is avaialable separately, look in comments thread. Kagrenac's Wisps 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 equitable, 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. Meteorokinesis 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". Mage Armor Rebalanced Pretty underrated and very useful mod for people who're playing with hardcore or semi-hardcore gameplay mod setups. Energy Shield Add a Mana Shield spell which can be toggled (ON/OFF) with visual effect. Ion Cannon 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: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 expirience. Patches/Addons: Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes (WACCF) patch Loot and Degradation patch 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. 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 menu. 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, may 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 :)
You can also look on the spell mods I'm personally using in my ultimate mod list, but take into account it's for LE and unfortunately you won't be able to have your game looking the same visually and having 100% of the same mods.
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.
Improved quality of vanilla sounds and music, replacers and new standalone music packs to bring maximum pleasure to your ears.
Pressing this button gives 16 times the details of Skyrim audio experience:
Sound overhauls: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 coherency 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 AOS2, with a bit more fantasy approach to sounds. Can be also used alongside with minor overlaps, and there's a 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 AOS2/ISC. Just install it after.
Music packs:Celtic Music in Skyrim This mod adds 79 new celtic, fantasy and viking music tracks to Skyrim. Glory Days - Music Of Skyrim Replaces all Skyrim music tracks with amazing tracks of talented Vindsvept (yeah, the songs you're often hearing in my and other Skyrim youtubers videos). Musical Lore (Soundtrack Mod By Nir Shor) This mod adds plenty of new original soundtracks, composed by talanted (and underrated) Nir Shor to your game. The Elder Songs - Fanmade Music Expansion Freashly released pack of amazing fantasy tracks, made personally by the author of the mod, who's a composer at the same time. Highly recommended to try it. Yggdrasil Music and SoundFX Overhaul Amazing dark folk/ambient music pack for Skyrim. Fits the most of game situations really great and gives completely new ambience touch at the same time. Immersive Music Vanilla game has around 3.5 hours of music. This mod adds 16 hours more, carefully picked up from fitting tracks. Cactus Witcher Music Overhaul Mod name speaks for it's features itself. As from me - it's a great sound overhaul, hand-picked, fitting the game greatly. The Witcher 3 Music Overhaul Witcher 3 music in Skyrim? Why not! It fits greatly. Dreams and Nightmares Music Mod Somewhat dark and melancholic music pack, made by an independent composer. Fantasy Soundtrack Project patch available. Improved Combat Music Asbolutely breathking combat music overhaul, which is unique as tracks themselves are sounding like a more agressive, orchestral variations of vanilla ones, giving new, but so familiar experience at the same time. Hun Lovaas - Skyrim Fan-Made combat music Another great alternative in form of combat-only music overhaul. Still - Skyrim Inspired Music Chill, calm exploration music replacer. Morrowind Music Integration Seek audio nostalgia no more! The Northerner Diaries in Skyrim Brings "Northern Diaries", the latest album of legendary TES composer, Jeremy Soule, to your game. Extra Music Pack For Skyrim A fantasy-celtic music pack. Magic College Music - Songs for Academy New tracks specifically for College. Fantasy Soundtrack Project Around 230 fantasy-sounding orchestral and instrumental fantasy/epic music tracks for exploring, towns, taverns and castles.
Smaller standalone sound mods:Bow Before The Dead - Draugr Sounds Legacy Edition Immersive Dragon Sounds Falmer Sounds - the Betrayal Edition Three awesome sound mods from the same author to make sounds of named creatures much more terrifying. illy's High Quality Fire Audio Mod overhauls the sound effects in Skyrim to give the fires an distinct roar. Thundering Shouts Gives shouts echo and thunder in the background, kinda like draugr shouts. Bard Instrumentals Mostly - Sing Rarely Tired of constantly listening to the same bard songs again and again? Want some more chill instrumental-only version of them (with still songs happening from time to time)? Seek no more! (SJG) Better Sounding Female Dragon Shouts Does your female Dragonborn sound a bit too butch when using a Dragon Shout? Would you prefer she sound a bit more feminine? This mod increases the pitch of all female shouts and is based upon the Skyrim elf voice. Silent Hero No more "urrrggghhhhh". Silent Sneak Attack No more "tshhhhud". Softer Conjuration Sound Replaces the regular Conjuration spell sound with a softer, deeper version.
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.
First of all, let's look on some great mods 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:
Note: as for the first 4 mods, you should choose one of the to use - don't use tem together.High Level Enemies Simple but effective, old but good enemy mod - it places almost 900 new high-level enemies across Skyrim for much mroe 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.
Good.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. The best part is it's highly compatible with all 4 "big" mods above, combat mods, and most of gameplay mods in general. 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. Simply Balanced 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 precise, if you have your load order setup precizely 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.
Naisu! Now let's go to other interesting gameplay 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. Few needed patches are available. 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. 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 plannign to use a bow/crowssbow. Realistic AI Detection SE (better sneaking) Simple but absolutely essential mod that recalibrates sneaking, making it much mroe 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) More Interesting Loot Reborn Adds more interesting loot. For real. Note: this mod is basically a vise verca to mods like Morrowloot or Poverty - don't use it with them. Stealth Kills for Followers - Standalone Very light-weight mod that allows your followers also be able to kill enemies silently. 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, higher quality tintmarks addon 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. No BS AI Projectile Dodge (Magic and Arrows) No more bandits acting like medium ninjas. 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 oher 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 Great mod that 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 menu. Civil War Aftermath Take the fight to enemy encampments all around Skyrim. AIM FIX - combat camera with aiming control An absolutely must-have mod who players who spend 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. Cinematic Dragon Soul Absorption To please the cinematic god. 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 hear dialogues amount and giving a lot of reactions on the events around you when travelling together (especially noticable if played through Dragonborn DLC). 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. 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. 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. Improved Adoptions 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! Economy Overhaul and Speechcraft Improvements A pretty good balanced and wide economy mod for Skyrim that changes plenty of aconomic 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. Another Sorting Mod A pretty good sorting mod improving default SkyUI functionality, with tons of patches for many popular mods. 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. Konahrik's Privilege Choose one of four new effects for Konahrik; Force, Fire, Fade or Time. Narrative Loot Mod adds 1629 new, lore-friendly items to loot lists, with an emphasis on deepening storytelling through loot. Pickpocket Changes 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%. 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. Armor Rating Redux Changes the armor rating formula. More immersive and fully configurable through MCM. Signature Equipment 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. Truly Undead - Reborn A port of same LE mod, and pretty much underrated gem. Skeletons, vampires, draugr and dragon priests will resurrect unless killed by certain spesific damage sources. Congifurable in MCM. Rebalanced Encounter Zones and Leveled Actors Simple mod that's increasing base lvl and lvl 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. Dynamic Equipment Manager Automatically equips/unequips various gear when applicable. A Better Gauldur Amulet Tweaks the well-known Gauldur Amulet to be more rewarding. 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! Mystic Condenser 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. Useful Dogs 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. Ordinary Thieves 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. Holdable Candles 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. 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. 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. Soul Exchange 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. Makes it possible to wear rings on left hand :) Crime Bounty Decay Not much realistic mod, but may be useful to casual players. GuruSR's Werewolf Transformation Meter Very useful for werevolf 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.
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.
You can also look on the combat mods I'm personally using in my ultimate mod list, but take into account it's for LE and unfortunately you won't be able to have your game looking the same visually and having 100% of the same 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.Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul Amazing mod that completely overhauls Alchemy and Cooking. Alchemy has a great potential in Skyrim, but at the same time it was the most boring profession. And now CACO saves the day! Besides awesome overhauls mod even offers you to craft alchemical bombs as well as waxes, salves and bandages. You can also use field alchemy stuff to make potions & poisons anywhere you want. CACO also offfers basic needs and even inebriation effects. It has MCM menu and most of new features can be configured and turned off if you don’t need them. Patches: Kryptopyr's Patch Hub (SJG) Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul Patches This patch pack does NOT have a FOMOD installer - download it manually, unpack, choose patches you need, pack them back, add to your mod manager and isntall.
Bo-yo-yo-yo-yo.Alchemy Potions and Food Adjustments Mod can be take 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. Cooking In Skyrim Simple, but still great cooking mod. Use one or another, it's not compatible with CACO. Poisoning Extended 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. Skytoxin - Realistic Dangerous Poison Potions and poisons get more realistic and dangerous. Great for roleplaying and survival. 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. Potion Tolerance 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. Alchemist Compendium 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 you inventory like a real student. On the other hand, this may also be somewhat cheating/"spoiler'ish" to some players, so use ot your own preference. 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. 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. Lotus Poison Discover secrets of sophisticated poison making. New dialogue lines are also voiced. Technicolor Alchemy Overhaul - Unique Alchemy Plants for Skyrim Not an overhaul, but a huge addon more likely - this mod adds over 3000 thousands (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. Plantable Nirnroot 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. Realistic Skooma 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. Collect Ivy 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.
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.
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 a realistic needs in sleep, eating and drinking? Wanna 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 Campfire and Frostfall section. Those 2 mods are like a pillars for survival experience in Skyrim, and also have plenty of addons/patches for them (partially because sadly, both have plenty of bugs in SE version while LE versions are much more clean, so some additional adjustments are needed to make them working fine).
Note: Frostfall [requires] Campfire, but you are not obligated to use both - you can just use Campfire for camping things.Campfire - Complete Camping System Amazing mod that adds camping system to Skyrim. Search or buy resources, improve your camping skills ( with a help of new custom perk trees), and make a camp with a warm fire to rest in any place of Skyrim. Addons/Patches: Tentapalooza for Campfire ElSopa - Campfire HD Warm Drinks - Simple Tea And Coffee Recipes - for Campfire Portable Craftable Safe Storage Gather Wilderness Resources - A plugin for Campfire Eremite Camping and Combat for Campfire Campfire Spooning Campfire Backpacks Tweak Cheery Crafting - Campfire Edition Good. Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival Realistic survival expirience? Best immersion mod even created? Think no more. Look at Frostfall. Absolutely amazing survival expirience. Cold water, frosty winds, snow, low temperatures - everyting these now affect your health condition. Frostfall uses a sophisticated system to track your location, weather, time of day, worn clothing, and more, to determine your current condition, in a seamless and immersive way. Combined with Campfire, it also features a large variety of craftable camping equipment, including craftable torches. It is highly customizable, and very compatible with most other mods, including Real Shelter, Climates of Tamriel, Wet and Cold, worn cloaks, food, timescale, lighting, werewolf, and vampire mods.
Great! Let's continue to other survival/needs mods.iNeed - Food Water and Sleep - Continued Awesome and light-weightbasic needs mod. It adds hunger/thirst/sleep system so finally food and drinks become valuable in your playthrough. It also offers intuitive system of widgets to inform you about current needs status. It’s very high-compatible with most popular mods and greatly customizable in MCM menu. It’s more immersive, has more features and have better design (Ninth bless widgets!) than Realistic Needs and Diseases in my opinion and also has much better compatibility with other mods, but if you like RnD more - install it instead.
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.
Better animations for movement, actions and fighting, and new animations.
First of all, 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. Immersive Animations 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. Fores New Idles in Skyrim - FNIS Mod for custom animations. Absolutely must-have. Required for most of animation mods. Basic installation: - FNIS Behavior SE - Install FNIS Creature Pack SE (optional, necessary for creature animation mods) - install FNIS Spells SE (optional, necessary for the spells) - install FNIS Behavior SE add-on 3 (optional, needed only for AGO and TK Dodge compatibility). Good, you’ll need to do only 1 move to finish it, but it will be later. FNIS PCEA2 - Player Exclusive Animations (dynamic) With this amazing mod you can simply switch between different animations for your character via MCM menu directly in game. Also it already has several great animation mods included. Just install and have fun! 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).
Good! Now let's see some other qualitative animation mods. This type of mods in general is always and absolutely a matter of taste, so I won't be recommending anything personally here - just list some qualitative/original looking mods, from which you can choose yourself :)360 Walk and Run Plus AND YY Animations Animated Eating Redux (Super Fast) Immersive Animated Looting Animated Clutter Faster Transform - To Werewolf and VampireLord Animated Armoury - New Weapons with third person animations Pretty Combat Animations Magic Casting Animations Overhaul Pretty Female Idles Pretty Jump Animations No Spinning Death Animation FNIS Sexy Move Expressive Facial Animation -Female Edition- Expressive Facial Animation -Male Edition- 5poiler for various badass animations Girly Animation Feminine Jarl Sitting Animation Pretty Sit Idles Feminine Pickup Animation mcgFemaleWalk for Skyrim 2H katana attack animations Mofu 1h Sword Power Attack forward Phalanx Stance - A Shield Block Idle Animation Replacer EAD - Every Attack Different Potion Animated fix
Skyrim SE has much lower animation mods variety compared to Skyrim LE sadly. Almost all animation mods are ports of their respective LE version - that's why, even the most qualitative mods often have at least couple of minor bugs - yet nothing actually dangerous though. You can also 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.
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 PATCHRun Wrye Bash ((if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Bashed Patch, return to stability section, step #8).
#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.
#3 - REBUILD & TWEAK YOUR BASHED PATCHRun Wrye Bash and rebuild your Bashed patch, same as you did in step one.
#4 - MAKE A MERGED PATCHRun SSEEdit (if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Merged Patch, return to stability section, step #7).
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 or 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 then 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 simpyl 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 unti 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.
#6 - MAKE YOUR DISTANT OBJECTS BEAUTIFUL AS NEVER BEFOREWhat 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?
#7 - 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!
You 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 advices 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= valueIt'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!
3) Use OrdenatorSimple 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.
6) Still bad FPS in cities?Use No grass in Cities.
7) Lower you ingame resolutionFor example, if you have FullHD monitor (1920x1080), set ingame resolution to 1280x720. While ofc playing on lwoer 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.
8) Mod Skyrim LE.What? How? You may ask. The thing, is, Skyrim SE by itself require much better PC to run the game itself then original Skyrim, so if your have really weak rig which struggles with performance even with the game itself on ultra settings, or with nimimal 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 is 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 advices 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.
Mod list:High Quality Music Lore-Based Loading Screens Cloaks of Skyrim Lore Weapon Expansion EFF - Extensible Follower Framework Unlimited Bookshelves Splendor - Dragon Variants Install only the main file. Diverse Werewolves Collection Install only the main file. GRAHL - The Ice Troll (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project) The Falkreath Hauntings Cannibal Draugr on Solstheim (Bloodmoon Creature Restoration Project) Install the "Cannibal Draugr on Solstheim" version of main file, not the "Replacer" version. Zim's Dremora Improvements Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest No Force for Illusion Magic High Level Enemies Take the "High Level Enemies" version of main file, [not] the "Scaled" one. ABT SE - Arrows and Bolts Tweaks Choose [only] faster arrows/bolts (+50%) in installer, and deeper bolts impact, nothing else. Realistic AI Detection (better sneaking) Install the "Realistic AI Detection 2 SE - Lite" main file version. VioLens - A Killmove Mod Don't forget to enable "Player Killmove Immunity" in MCM. Multiple Floors Sandboxing Serana Dialogue Edit Vampire Attacks Restored Outside of Walled Cities Mortal Enemies Install the "Mortal Enemies SE - No Run Walk Changes" version. Immersive Patrols Random Encounter Tweaks Even Better Quest Objectives Blowing in the Wind Hold Border Banners Realistic Ragdolls and Force Install the "Realistic Force" main file version. D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly Potema Spawn Crash Fix
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.
Additional recommendations for graphics mods: from big texture packs, Skyland or Noble are recommended. As for the main tree mod, I'd recommend to go with SFO or EVT. As for the grass mod, go for Northern Grass, Verdant or Veydosebrom. For a "lite" base of landscapes "overhauling" I'd recommend to get Skyrim Better Roads, Nordic Ruins of Skyrim and Skyrim Bridges. From the weather mods, I'd recommend to pick either Obsidian (also grab the MCM patch) or COT, or just stick to vanilla weathers.
Mod list:High Quality Music Sovngarde - Mist's Font Replacer Lore-Based Loading Screens Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-Texture Constellations Retextured Constellations Retextured The DLC Cloaks of Skyrim Lore Weapon Expansion Unique Uniques Royal Armory - New Artifacts Also install the model improvement addon and PCE patch if using PCE. Immersive Armors Talos Housecarl Armor Pack The Gifts of Akatosh Barbarian Steel Armor EFF - Extensible Follower Framework INIGO Unlimited Bookshelves Breezehome Helgen Reborn The Forgotten City Clockwork If you're using Quaint Raven Rock settlement overhaul, make sure to install Clockwork patch from its mod page. Moon and Star Also install the tiny fix for it. The Paarthurnax Dilemma Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest Hammet's Dungeon Packs Skyrim Immersive Creatures Also install "High Level Enemies SIC SE Edition" file and the official fixing patch for it, namely the "SIC_UP_SSE" file. Deadly Dragons Splendor - Dragon Variants Install only the main file. Diverse Werewolves Collection Install only the main file. The Falkreath Hauntings Zim's Dremora Improvements Zim's Immersive Artifacts Also install WACCF patch and SIC patch. Immersive College of Winterhold Also install this and this tiny improvements. Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks All Thieves Guild Jobs Concurrently Dark Brotherhood Reborn - Dawnstar Sanctuary Glorious Fort Dawnguard No Force for Illusion Magic Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Also install Vokrii patch. Summermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim Also install WACCF patch. ABT SE - Arrows and Bolts Tweaks Choose [only] faster arrows/bolts (+50%) in installer, and deeper bolts impact, nothing else. Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim Also use the patcher to get a few patches needed. Morningstar - Minimalistic Races of Skyrim Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim Lucidity Sound FX Install only the main file. Trade and Barter For fBarterMax, fBarterMin, and the Buying Prices it's recommended to set them to 6.5, 4.0 and -50% respectively in the MCM. GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap NARC Remade - No Animals Report Crimes Left Hand Rings Modified Realistic AI Detection (better sneaking) Install the "Realistic AI Detection 2 SE - Lite" main file version. Alchemy Potions and Food Adjustments Poisoning Extended VioLens - A Killmove Mod Don't forget to enable "Player Killmove Immunity" in MCM. Multiple Floors Sandboxing Serana Dialogue Edit Vampire Attacks Restored Outside of Walled Cities Combat Evolved Mortal Enemies Install the "Mortal Enemies SE - No Run Walk Changes" version. Immersive Patrols Random Encounter Tweaks Even Better Quest Objectives Guard Dialogue Overhaul Redux Realistic Conversations Relationship Dialogue Overhaul Also install USSEP patch (only the "RDO - USSEP Patch.esp" plugin from "RDO - CRF and USSEP Patches Final" archive) and "RDO - EFF v4.0.3 Patch Final". Lanterns of Skyrim Install the first main file. Blowing in the Wind Hold Border Banners Birds of Skyrim Man Those Borders Farmhouse Chimneys DLC Integration Install only one main file. Realistic Ragdolls and Force Install the "Realistic Force" main file version. D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly Immersive Animations Choose everything you would like to have in installer. Potema Spawn Crash Fix Move it Dammit QUASIPC Just download and install. Installer will auotmatically detect your mods and isntall some needed patches. WiZkiD Patches Compendium Same here. Classic Sprinting Redone This mod installation is optional.
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 module is 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 imemrsive moments here and there. The winds chilling to the bones, dangerous waters and deseases, 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.
ENB preset recommendations: Rudy ENB, X ENB, Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB, NVT ENB, The True Beauty of Skyrim ENB, Silent Horizons ENB, Intrigued ENB, Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel ENB, Visceral ENB, Ominous ENB.
Additional recommendations for graphics mods: from big texture packs, Skyland or Noble are recommended. As for the main tree mod, I'd recommend to go with SFO or EVT. As for the grass mod, go for Northern Grass, Verdant or Veydosebrom. From the weather mods, I'd recommend to pick either Obsidian (also grab the MCM patch) or COT, or just stick to vanilla weathers. Lastly, you may be interested in beautiful Winter Overhaul to add to harsh winter Skyrim abmience in terms of scenery appearance. The Nordic Ruins of Skyrim and Skyrim Bridges can be a great addition too.
Mod list:High Quality Music Sovngarde - Mist's Font Replacer Lore-Based Loading Screens Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-Texture Constellations Retextured Constellations Retextured The DLC Cloaks of Skyrim Bandolier - Bags and Pouches Also install this patch so NPCs also could appear with items from the mod. Lore Weapon Expansion Unique Uniques Royal Armory - New Artifacts Also install the model improvement addon and PCE patch if using PCE. Immersive Armors Talos Housecarl Armor Pack The Gifts of Akatosh Barbarian Steel Armor EFF - Extensible Follower Framework INIGO Unlimited Bookshelves Breezehome Campfire - Complete Camping System Tentapalooza for Campfire ElSopa - Campfire HD Warm Drinks - Simple Tea And Coffee Recipes Gather Wilderness Resources - A plugin for Campfire Cheery Crafting - Campfire Edition Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival Food effect for Frostfall Campfire - Frostfall - PapyrusUtil fixed Frostfall Campfire SSE Fix Campfire and Frostfall - Unofficial SSE Update
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.iNeed - Food Water and Sleep - Continued Also install Frostfall patch and fruits addon (optionally). Realistic Needs and Diseases All-In-One for USSEP Also grab the Hunterborn patch, Dawn of Skyrim patch (if using it) and fruits addon (optionally).
Nice, let's continueHunterborn You may also be interested in some optional addons/patches for it here and here. Burdens Of Skyrim Skyrim Fishing Exhaustion Holidays Test the mod in game first before keeping it - it may conflict with settlement mods. JK's Skyrim Files tab has compatibility patch for it. SFO patch is also available. Nordic Cooking General Stores sells Salt and Flour Wood Frame Backpacks Carriage and Ferry Travel Overhaul Wearable Lanterns Also grab the MCM fix. Frozen in Time Fires Hurt Skyrim Battle Aftermath Helgen Reborn The Forgotten City Clockwork If you're using Quaint Raven Rock settlement overhaul, make sure to install Clockwork patch from its mod page. Moon and Star Also install the tiny fix for it. The Paarthurnax Dilemma Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest Hammet's Dungeon Packs Hidden Hideouts of Skyrim Skyrim Immersive Creatures Also install "High Level Enemies SIC SE Edition" file and the official fixing patch for it, namely the "SIC_UP_SSE" file. Deadly Dragons Splendor - Dragon Variants Install only the main file. Diverse Werewolves Collection Install only the main file. The Falkreath Hauntings Zim's Dremora Improvements Zim's Immersive Artifacts Also install WACCF patch and SIC patch. Immersive College of Winterhold Also install this and this tiny improvements. Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks All Thieves Guild Jobs Concurrently Dark Brotherhood Reborn - Dawnstar Sanctuary Glorious Fort Dawnguard No Force for Illusion Magic Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Also install Vokrii patch. Summermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim Also install WACCF patch. ABT SE - Arrows and Bolts Tweaks Choose [only] faster arrows/bolts (+50%) in installer, and deeper bolts impact, nothing else. Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim Also use the patcher to get a few patches needed. Morningstar - Minimalistic Races of Skyrim Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim Lucidity Sound FX Install only the main file. Trade and Barter For fBarterMax, fBarterMin, and the Buying Prices it's recommended to set them to 6.5, 4.0 and -50% respectively in the MCM. GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap NARC Remade - No Animals Report Crimes Left Hand Rings Modified Realistic AI Detection (better sneaking) Install the "Realistic AI Detection 2 SE - Lite" main file version. Alchemy Potions and Food Adjustments Poisoning Extended VioLens - A Killmove Mod Don't forget to enable "Player Killmove Immunity" in MCM. Multiple Floors Sandboxing Serana Dialogue Edit Vampire Attacks Restored Outside of Walled Cities Combat Evolved Mortal Enemies Install the "Mortal Enemies SE - No Run Walk Changes" version. Immersive Patrols Random Encounter Tweaks Even Better Quest Objectives Guard Dialogue Overhaul Redux Realistic Conversations Relationship Dialogue Overhaul Also install USSEP patch (only the "RDO - USSEP Patch.esp" plugin from "RDO - CRF and USSEP Patches Final" archive) and "RDO - EFF v4.0.3 Patch Final". Lanterns of Skyrim Install the first main file. Blowing in the Wind Hold Border Banners Birds of Skyrim skyBirds Man Those Borders Unique Border Gates Farmhouse Chimneys DLC Integration Install only one main file. Realistic Ragdolls and Force Install the "Realistic Force" main file version. D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly Immersive Animations Choose everything you would like to have in installer. Potema Spawn Crash Fix Move it Dammit
These mods are absolutely optional. You can install all of them or none, depending on your own vision of immersion depth you need:Skyrim Sleeping Bags SE - Sleep Under Blankets Pumping Iron - Dynamic Muscle Growth Reflection - Level Up Messages Sit Anywhere Go to bed Bells of Skyrim Bring Out Your Dead Note: may cause clipping issues with settlement mods, so test before actaully playing. Point The Way Ask The Way YOT - Your Own Thoughts Rotmulaag - Immersive Meditations on the Words of Power Equipment Durability System This mod is optional - depending on whether you want your armor and weapons degrade with time, or it's already too much. Time Passes Reading Improves Speech Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn Public Executions I'm a Customer Dammit Harvestable Mammoth Skulls
Pheeewww!QUASIPC Just download and install. Installer will auotmatically detect your mods and isntall some needed patches. WiZkiD Patches Compendium Same here. Classic Sprinting Redone This mod installation is optional.
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 challening. 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.
ENB preset recommendations: Rudy ENB, Silent Horizons ENB, X ENB, NVT ENB, Mythical ENB, Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB, Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel ENB, Aequinoctium ENB, CFL II ENB, eisVogel 2 ENB, Ominous ENB.
Additional recommendations for graphics mods: from big texture packs, Noble or Pfuscher pack are recommended (you can also install Pfuscher pack on top of Noble). As for the grass mod, go for Northern Grass, Viscous or Verdant, or look at Short Grass if you wanna more "green" summer look of groundcovers. For base of landscapes "overhauling" I'd recommend to get Skyrim Better Roads, Dark Forests of Skyrim, Nordic Ruins of Skyrim and Skyrim Bridges. From the weather mods, I'd recommend to pick Obsidian (also grab the MCM patch), Dolomite, Aequinoctium or Rustic, or just stick to vanilla weathers.
Mod list:High Quality Music Sovngarde - Mist's Font Replacer Lore-Based Loading Screens Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-Texture Constellations Retextured Constellations Retextured The DLC Serio's Cycle Hotkeys Favorite Things - Extended Favorites Menu for SkyUI I'd recommend the "Adept" version. Viewable Faction Ranks Cloaks of Skyrim Divine and Daedric Cloaks Bandolier - Bags and Pouches Also install this patch so NPCs also could appear with items from the mod. Lore Weapon Expansion Unique Uniques Royal Armory - New Artifacts Also install the model improvement addon and PCE patch if using PCE. InsanitySorrow Weapons Pack Legendary Skyrim Crossbows Also install Ars Metallica patch from mod Files tab. Artifacts - The Ice Blade of the Monarch Valkyrja - Viking sword Immersive Armors Black Mage Armor Stormcloak Battle Armor Replacer Guards Armor Replacer This mod is optional. Install if you prefer more medieval look of guard armors. Imo, it's still very lore-friendly, just looking more practical. Heavy Legion This mod is optional, similar to previous one. Volkihar Knight - Vampire Armor Talos Housecarl Armor Pack The Gifts of Akatosh Barbarian Steel Armor EFF - Extensible Follower Framework INIGO Lucien - Fully Voiced Follower Unlimited Bookshelves Breezehome Also install Ars Metallica patch. The Forgotten City Clockwork If you're using Quaint Raven Rock settlement overhaul, make sure to install Clockwork patch from its mod page. Project AHO Also install this and Apocalypse patch from here. The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal Also install this HD textures pack, patcher, flora overhaul and a little immersive patch. Carved Brink VIGILANT Make sure to install English voice acting addon. Darkend The Paarthurnax Dilemma Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest Hammet's Dungeon Packs EasierRider's Dungeon Pack Apotheosis - Lifeless Vaults Red Flame The Midden - Expanded Embershard Mine Reloaded Skyrim Immersive Creatures Also install official fixing patch for it, namely the "SIC_UP_SSE" file. Deadly Dragons Ultimate Dragons Splendor - Dragon Variants Install only the main file. Diverse Werewolves Collection Install only the main file. The Falkreath Hauntings Immersive College of Winterhold Also install this and this tiny improvements. Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks All Thieves Guild Jobs Concurrently The Brotherhood of Old Dark Brotherhood Reborn - Dawnstar Sanctuary Dark Brotherhood for Good Guys Glorious Fort Dawnguard No Force for Illusion Magic Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Also install Ordinator patch. Arcanum - A New Age of Magic Also install this fix for it. Dawnguard Arsenal Also install Ars Metallica patch from mod Files tab. Dragonborn Ascendant Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim Install 9.26 version. Also install this , this and this . Imperious - Races of Skyrim Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim Wintersun - Faiths of Skyrim Sacrosanct - Vampires of Skyrim Lupine - Werewolf Perk Expansion This mod is optional - install only if you're planning to play as werewolf. GuruSR's Werewolf Transformation Meter This mod is optional - install only if you're planning to play as werewolf. Summermyst - Enchantments of Skyrim Also install WACCF patch. Lock Overhaul Install the "Lock Overhaul - Ordinator Version" main file. ABT SE - Arrows and Bolts Tweaks Choose [only] faster arrows/bolts (+50%) in installer, and deeper bolts impact, nothing else. OBIS - Organized Bandits In Skyrim Also install patrols addon from mod Files tab and Cloaks of Skyrim patch
Now, choose one of the next 2 mods. Both are great - the main difference is that ROTE is more hardcore compared to SRCEO:Skyrim Revamped - Complete Enemy Overhaul If you'll be using it, also install this little patch Revenge Of the Enemies Now, optionally, install this mod. Take into account that it will make fights much more tactical and realistic, but also even more hard in most of cases: Know Your Enemy - Trait-based resistances and weaknesses
Good!AIM FIX - combat camera with aiming control Also install "AIM FIX compatibility patch for iHUD" and "AIM FIX compatibility patch for non-vanilla start" files. Horses On Patrol
The next 3 mods are absolutely optional - install them if you wanna to have "lite" survival experience in your game. All 3 mods are very lightweight and won't give any script issues to your setup.Campsite Frostbite Vitality Mode - Basic Needs - Eat Drink and Sleep
Booinnn-nnnnk.Audio Overhaul for Skyrim From the mod Files tab, also instal patches for: Enhanced Blood Textures, Legacy of the Dragonborn, Lore Weapon Expansion and whatever weather mod you're using (if you do). Lucidity Sound FX Install only the main file. illy's High Quality Fire Audio Thundering Shouts Falskaar Also install a little fix for it and use this patcher which will detect some of other mods you're using to make few other minor patchings. Also grab RS Children patch from this page Files tab if using RS Children. Zim's Immersive Artifacts Also install WACCF patch and SIC patch. Trade and Barter For fBarterMax, fBarterMin, and the Buying Prices it's recommended to set them to 10.0, 6.5 and -60% respectively in the MCM. GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap NARC Remade - No Animals Report Crimes Left Hand Rings Modified Realistic AI Detection (better sneaking) Install the "Realistic AI Detection 2 SE - Medium Interior Medium Exterior" main file version. Alchemy Potions and Food Adjustments Poisoning Extended VioLens - A Killmove Mod Don't forget to enable "Player Killmove Immunity" in MCM. Multiple Floors Sandboxing Serana Dialogue Edit Vampire Attacks Restored Outside of Walled Cities Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim Install only the main file. TK Dodge Skyrim Skill Uncapper This mod is optional. It allows you to uncap your skill (i.e. progress above 100 instead of silly vanilla "legendary skills" system). You can also adjust leveling speed, how many perks/atrribute points you will receive per lvlup and and more. ASIS Realistic Melee Range Mortal Enemies Install the "Mortal Enemies SE - No Run Walk Changes" version. Populated Lands Roads Paths Install only the main file. Populated Forts Towers Places Random Encounter Tweaks Even Better Quest Objectives Guard Dialogue Overhaul Redux Realistic Conversations Relationship Dialogue Overhaul Also install USSEP patch (only the "RDO - USSEP Patch.esp" plugin from "RDO - CRF and USSEP Patches Final" archive) and "RDO - EFF v4.0.3 Patch Final". Lanterns of Skyrim Install the first main file. Blowing in the Wind Birds of Skyrim skyBirds Timing is Everything Not So Fast - Main Quest Not So Fast - Mage Guild Hold Border Banners Man Those Borders Unique Border Gates Farmhouse Chimneys Disease Fixes Install only the main file. Move it Dammit DLC Integration Install only one main file. Realistic Ragdolls and Force Install the "Realistic Force" main file version. D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly Immersive Animations Choose everything you would like to have in installer. Fores New Idles in Skyrim - FNIS Install only the main file and "FNIS Behavior 7.4.5 SE add-on 3 (AGO.TK)" file. FNIS PCEA2 - Player Exclusive Animations XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended Read the installer options carefully. After you'll install the mod, go here and install "Bolt quiver meshes for XP32 Users beta1" file. Ecotone Dual Sheath [OR] Dual Sheath Redux
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.
A module dedicated to thieves/assassins/archers in tiniest details. 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 advices on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel.
To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)
Meanwhile, you can watch a few unique modded character builds already available at my YT channel:
A module dedicated to mages/necromancers/priests in tiniest details. 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 advices on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel.
To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)
Meanwhile, you can watch a few unique modded character builds already available at my YT channel:
A module dedicated to warriors in tiniest details. 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 advices on them (i.e. which spells to use and how, for example), and even A to Z character build videos on my YT channel.
To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)
Meanwhile, you can watch a few unique modded character builds already 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.