About this guide:

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 :)

Permissions:

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 :)

Guide features:

  • Complete list of graphics and gameplay mods for ultimate nextgen game, 1400+ mods in total. Landscapes, clutter, flora, weather & lighting, armors, clothing & weapons, towns & villages, body, face & skin mods, combat, magic & perks, creatures & factions, quests, new lands & dungeons, survival & utility - and much, much more. Not a single texture will remain ugly after you finish this, and all possible gameplay mechanics will be improved, as well as tons of new ones can be added, hell yeah!
  • Everything you need yet nothing excess. Not a huge mod list, filled with subjective choices, yet a roadmap showing you how to build your own dream setup. While, if you lack time - there are some mod lists prepared for you, in [addition] to guide itself.
  • Detailed installation order.
  • Comfortable and easy-to-navigate design.
  • Patches list for compatibility and my personal remarks for the best result.
  • Performance notes.
  • List of all basic things/tools/tweaks you need to start modding and have stable game.
  • ENB installation guide + tweaks/fixes advices.
  • The biggest problem of heavy-modded games, script overload, didn't go anywhere in SE, unfortunately - game script engine, Papyrus, was not changed and having too many script-heavy mods may break even the most stable game. Worry not! Many script-heavy mods are marked with special mark in the guide, so you'll know in advance which mods you'll need to be careful with.
  • Merging the mods easier then ever before! Mods that can be easily merged in a few click - marked with a special sign - so you don't need to spend own time checking for many factors. Currently, more than 200 mods are marked already, meaning that's literally more than 200 mods you can merge straight away, and I will expand this gradually.
  • Separate section for low-end PC owners (which you can still use even if your PC is strong, to have FPS boost).
  • Pre-made mod lists for different tastes and goals, which you only need to mimic and don't worry about incompatibilities and other issues - in addition to the whole guide itself.
  • Constant updates and support :)

How to Support:

This project is completely free. Still, it takes insane amount of my time to build and expand it - the modding guides 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:

Current guide version, changelog & future updates:


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.

An example of how your game can look like in simple before/after comparison:
Some of most beautiful graphics mods for Skyrim SE:

Q: What are the PC specs needed to run the same modded setup as you do, to have [best] possible graphics and gameplay?
A: Not such NASA PC as you may think! Intel i5 6600k or AMD analogue, GTX 980Ti/1070 or AMD analogue, 16GB RAM - with similar specs you'll be be able to run absolutely monstrous setup with everything retextures, all needed lighting/weather/immersion mods, at ultra settings, with any ENB you want, 3D LODs and so on. Yes, this guide is made for ALL rigs - no matter if your PC srong, not that much or a complete potato - you can find recommendations, and build best possible modded game.

Q: So I should install ALL mods from this list?
A: You technically can ofc, but that's not mandatory. This is a guide - it gives you an ability to compare and choose. Open mod pages, browse the images, read the description. Install what you like and don't install what you don't like :) Lastly, there are pre-made mod lists for you to mimic.

Q: I have the game in language other than English, is it a problem?
A: The guide is made for original, i.e. English version of the game. Graphics mods will ofc work fine in most of cases, but as for the gameplay mods, there is no guarantee that they will work with non-English version of the game, or work at all. Moreover, many translations are often outdated which leads to various bugs and conflicts. If you want to be able to use Skyrim modding stage and this guide on its fullest, use English version of the game. I won't be able to give any troubleshooting support for non-English versions.

Q: I also want to install ENB, where's a tips for it?
A: Sure! Whatever you want - it is here ;) Just read a bit further.

Q: I got infinite loading screen/my game crashes/I have FPS drops while having a modern rig.
A: Please read "How to start" section carefully. Read it and install all the things needed before starting to install mods themselves.

Q: That doesn't help!
A: Trust me, if you have read everything carefully and installed mods carefully, it will solve all your problems in 99% of cases. If not, feel free to join our Discord server and community members or I will try our best to help you :)

Q: Where are you from? A few words about you?
A: Ukraine. Gamer, retarded slavic youtuber, One Piece & JJBA fan, gym addict. Web-developer in past, fitness trainer and nutritionist now (as hobby).

Q: Will you expand this guide and add this/that?
A: Sure - I will update and improve it. Unstoppably :)

Q: Ok, guide just received massive update, but how can I see the little new additions?
A: I add mods and fix text errors few times per week. All the mods freshly added to the guide will be marked with red-colored "==NEW==" sign.

Q: Wait, why the popular [mod_name] is not here?
A: One of the main goals of the guide always was to keep your game stable. There are some absolutely great and popular mods, but the thing is popularity now always equal same great quality and stability. Some mods are not included simply because they have major or too many minor issues and not fitting concept of stable heavy-modded game. Nothing more besides that.

Q: Can you just upload your Skyrim folder with all your mods somewhere so I can just download it and not to choose and install mods one by one?
A: Unfortunately, no. The reasons:
Firstly - I can't do this as many mods from the list are Nexus-exslusive and mod authors didn't give a permission to re-upload their works somewhere. I respect their work.
Secondly - everyone has absolutely different PC specs and different taste, and my setup can be absolutely unplayable for many people from both these aspects.
Trust me - when you're making your mod setup by yourself the result will be way better because most of mods are absolutely matter of taste.

Q: But there are a lot of modpacks in internet! I saw them! Even Nexus itself should have modpacks soon!
A: Of course. Modpacks are easy to find and get, but it's also one of the main reason of myth about "heavy-modded 100% stable Skyrim isn't possible" exists. For very same reasons, modpacks simply can't run the same good for everyone. In best case, modpacks is very, very subjectively made pick of mods, which will never fit your taste on 100% and almost always filled with arguable and outdated mods. In worst case, it will just break your game eventually. And if you're installing some list of mods via automated tool, even if all the mods are installed in correct order, you still will have to solve a lot of conflicts, merge mods, make bashed/merged patches, setup the MCMs and so on - and that's the point when you'll have no idea what to do, as this mod list was not made by you. From that point, you can either play the game as is, which will lead to glitchy gameplay and eventually a lot of wasted time, or you'll have to go to point zero and learn about all the mod in the modpack yourself, basically, doing what you had to to from the very beginning, but once again, wasting some time. Modpacks are like those ads in internet that are promising you 6-pack in 7 days without diet and training. There's no "magic button" in case of TES or FO games, and it's no matter who made it - random internet person or they are distributed by some popular authors or websites - it doesn't change anything in terms or aspects listed few lines above. Modpacks [can] work for other games with much smaller and simplier modding stages, yet for TES/FO games the only [real] ultimate game, in both graphics and gameplay terms, is the one you've built yourself <3

Q: I urgently need a personal assistance! When you'll finally reply?
A: Unfortunately, I'm just physically unable to reply on pms and give a personal support to each and everyone - I'm just a man in flesh, and spending a lot of time into making my YT content, as well as expanding the guides. Read the guide carefully, drop a question in comments section (I'm always trying to answer as soon I have free minute) or join our community Discord and ask for advice there - there are plenty of experienced modder there which most likely can also advise :)

Q: That's all cool and everything, but I wanna stay tuned on updates and have modding chatting, something you can offer?
A: Sure! Just join our Discord server - the biggest and most experienced Discord modding community.

Q: I'm a mod author - I've made a cool mod and it's still not in your guide!
A: Just ping me in our Discord server and tell me a few words about your mod - thank you :)
Now, the first and most important rule. No exceptions:


Before you start reading, watch this short video:

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.

12) The last in this section, but important and mandatory step. Install all these amazing mods/patches/fixes which are oriented on fixing huge amount of various little bugs or irrational things in game or just to make you your game much more comfortable.

Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch This mod should be already considered as part of vanilla game. It fixes litereally thousands glitches and bugs in Skyrim. RaceMenu Character creation menu how it should have been originally and great amount of customization options. Hook Share SSE + Scaleform Translation Plus Plus These mods are needed for a few mods below to work properly. Stay At The System Page This mod brings back the behavior of original Skyrim's Journal Menu. Whenever you press the Escape key, mod will open the System page instead of Quest page. Muh convenient! Whose Quest Is It Anyway Swaps the "Quest items cannot be removed..." message for a more descriptive message informing you which quest the item belongs to. Yes Im Sure Disables annoying message prompts asking you if you're sure you'd like to craft/improve/exit menus. Better Dialogue Controls + Better MessageBox Controls Ever pick the wrong item in a dialogue with a NPC or struggled with not cozy controls in messagebox popups? No more! 1st Person Candlelight Fix Have you ever been annoyed that the candlelight spell is much brighter in 3rd person view than 1st person view? This mod aims to reduce that difference and make them more equal. Note: don't let any other mod overwrite it, in case of what. Better Jumping SE Allows to jump while sprinting. Glow Be Gone SSE Dynamically removes annoying edge glow from shader effects via an SKSE plugin. Similar to "No More Ugly Effects" for Skyrim LE. Player Eyes Blink Fix Enables blinking eyes for the player. Blacksmith Forge Water Fix Skyrim SE forge water still looks terrible. Fortunately, this solves the problem. Get the USSEP version. Enchantment Reload Fix SE Fixes the bug that causes weapon enchantments to drain more charges, and increase drastically in price, after the game is reloaded. Atlas Map Markers - Updated with MCM Essential mod that drastically increases amount of map markers. Remember how you was able to fast travel only to Whiterun itself or Dragonsreach? Now you can fast travel to Arcadia's Cauldron, Jorrvaskr etc. More then 700 new map markers! Please also make sure to endorse the original mod Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes + Armor and Clothing Extension These two mod fix hundreds of bugs and inconsistencies for Skyrim's weapons, armors, clothing, jewelry, and clutter items and add more diversity and lore-friendly clothing options and gives NPCs more appropriate attire. Flora Respawn Fix + Better Harvesting These two mods are fixing plenty of respawning flora/fauna and gives more realistic harvesting for flora and ingredients and death items on animals/creatures.
Note: for Better Harvesting, make sure to install "Better Harvesting - Flora Respawn Fix version" version of the mod. Heartfires Houses Building Fix Restores proper models of some building parts and furniture in crafting menu. Auto Hide Ammo Automatically hides your current ammo when there isn't a bow/crossbow equipped. More Informative Console This mod edits the UI to show a great deal of additional information on npcs, items, and other objects when the console is opened, similar to the way MFG console worked for Skyrim LE. It may help you in various cases of game testing and possible issues solving. Make sure to get the proper version of main file, currently the "More Informative Console for SKSE 2.16" one. Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent Voice An SKSE plugin that adds support for unvoiced in-game dialogs. Isn't doing anything by itself, by it's needed for many mods for mod-added dialogues to work properly.

Congrats, you're ready now!

Before you start, download this little software:DDS VIEWER
It's a free, small and awesome tool that allows you to open .dds (texture) files just like any other images. Doing this, you can compare same textures from different mods and decide which one to install. It's a must-have tool.
P.S. Installer .exe file doesn't contain eny viruses. Just ignore your antivirus.
P.P.S. If you have problems with it on Windows 10 and you're NVIDIA user, try this.
P.P.P.S. If you're happy Photoshop owner, simply install this plugin instead and enjoy.


Important tip #1: During the installation process, overwrite all the files when you will be notified about this. There will be a few cases when you not need to overwrite some files or you need to install texture partially/manually, but I will notify about it. 

Important tip #2: To install 200 mods and then launch your game is not a best idea. I personally recommend to do in this way: install a few mods (let's say 5-7 if these mods are big, 20-25 if small), sort them with LOOT, launch your game, check it's stable. Install 5 more and so on.

Important tip #3: Don't use the "Vortex" button on top of mod pages to download the mods. This button automatically downloads the main version of the mod and that's it - it may be not the version you need, it may be not the only file you need etc. So make a good habit now - never use this button. Instead, always just go to "Files" tab and see what files are there.

Important tip #4: Don't use 4k textures untill you have 4k monitor with huge monitor size itself and you have Titan videocard and you're not aiming for screenarchery (like shotting a bugs or leaves). You won't see any difference between 4k and 2k textures until you come absolutely closely to them. 2k is perfect option for 1920 and even higher (2k) monitors. Using 4k textures you'll just waste tonns of VRAM but won't notice this actually. Using 2k will save tonns of VRAM and you're still having beautiful textures. The only where you can install 4k textures are interior cells (caves/mines etc) as interior use much less VRAM and some underground creature retextures (Dwemer/Falmer) due to the same reasons, as well as personal standalone armors/weapons mods. If your PC is not the strongest, or you just want to save some VRAM for something else - for example, latest ENB effects or 3D LODs from DyndoLOD - simply don't waste your memory on that. Graphics quality will be just fine.

Q: But why "waste" of VRAM?
A: It's pretty simple. Texture is basically a square img file. Most of people are used to think that 2k uses x2 more VRAM then 1k, and 4k uses x4 more VRAM then 1k, for example. But as texture img is a square, we will receive a bit different values. 1x1=1. 2x2=4. 4x4=16. So as you can see, 2k textures actually use x4 more VRAM compared to 1k, and 4k use x16 more VRAM, which is absolutely insane.

Let's go!

Q: What is ENB? Why I ever need it?
A: Ok, listen, young padavan. ENB is a graphical enhancement engine that adds visual affects that are not supported by the game initially, at all. Proper antialiasing, real HDR, qualitative bloom, ambient fog effects, various new shaders, ambient occlusion, complex particle lighting, depth of field and much-much more. ENB is also a PC-only engine - that's why modded Skyrim graphics are looking so superior compared with Skyrim graphics on consoles.

Q: I have the feeling ENB in SE doesn't look same good as in LE...am I hallucinating?
A: You aren't. The thing is, indeed, ENB in Skyrim SE is not able to look the same good as in LE. But wait, SE is 64bit and LE is 32bit, and SE is newer, how come, you may ask. Yeah, but all those facts are not related with ENB possilities, in which SE engine is somewhat limited because of running on DX11, while LE us running on DX9. Long story short, ENB works different on DX11 and has less powers. It doesn't support some features (like objects parallax) and has overally weaker shaders quality in general. Lastly, it often has less customization options. All together, this leads to worse look and much smaller diversity of ENB presets compared to LE. If you are aimed on 101% of modded graphics results, you may want to mod Skyrim LE (which is also literally 100% stable today even heavy-modded) instead, following my existing guide which will soon receive a massive 3.0 update.

Q: How much FPS will ENB eat? How do I know that?
A: First of all, you need to understand that ENB is ofc FPS-hungry and as it interracts with objects in game and adds a lot of visual effects, ENB performance will depend on many factors - how much texture mods are installed, what our PC specs are etc. But ENB effects are totally and more than worth their price :) Also, in SE, almost all ENB presets make more or less same FPS hit, so if you can normally run one ENB preset, you most likely will be able to run any preset without issues.

Q: Why installing ENB before the graphics mods? Texture mods are most important, no?
A: No. The thing is, as already mentioned, ENB adds completely new shaders and visual effects to the game - that's why it's the most important part of graphics transformation. A game with good ENB preset and no texture mods at all will always look better than game with even 200 texture mods but no ENB. ENB preset is very much determining the visual style your game will have - so first, it's better to decided which ENB preset you like the most and get it, and then tune your game with retexturing and other mods.

Q: But what about weather/lighting mods? ENB preset I want to use requires that weather mod!
A: Don't worry. You can install weather/lighting mods required anytime. Weather/lighting "incompatibility" with ENB will not cause crashes, it's just about how the ENB colors and other effects are looking the best possible exactly with required weather/ligting mods.

Q: My PC/laptop is pretty weak and ENB gives me really low FPS!
A: Rrefer to the end of the guide where I prepared a section especially for low-end PCs - most likely it will allow you to use ENB even if your PC is pretty weak (up to some extent, ofc).

Q: I saw your videos and I like that ENB, what's the name?
A: I'm using the amazing Rudy ENB for Obsidian Weathers.

Some of the best Skyrim SE ENB presets comparison:

Before installing the ENB, make a few tweaks/installations for ENB to work and look 100% properly:

  • Disable ingame DOF (depth of field) like it's shown here.
  • In Skyrim SE launcher settings, disable Ambient Occlusion.
  • In Skyrim SE launcher settings disable the improved snow options, or in SkyrimPrefs.ini, set bEnableImprovedSnow= value to 0.
  • In SkyrimPrefs.ini, make sure bDrawLandShadows= and bTreesReceiveShadows= values are set to 1.
  • In SkyrimPrefs.ini, make sure fGamma= value is set to 1.0000.
  • Install particle patch for ENB. Download the archive, add it to your mod manager and install as any other mod.
  • Install Smooth Sky Mesh.
  • Now, install the ENB binaries (core files) themselves: go here and download the latest version. Unpack the archive and from \WrapperVersion folder, grab d3d11.dll, d3dcompiler_46e.dll and enblocal.ini, and place them to your Skyrim SE root folder (where game .exe is located). That's it!
  • Choose and download the ENB preset you like and drop it's content to the same folder (where Skyrim .exe is). Usually, it's simply the \enbseries folder and enbseries.ini file. Basically, the process of siwtching between ENB presets is as simple as deleting your current \enbseries folder and enbseries.ini and placing a new ones into Skyrim root directory. That's it.
  • Make sure to cap your fps at 59 in enblocal.ini (set EnableFPSLimit= to true and FPSLimit= to 59).
  • Antialiasing: there are a few options. First one - use the edge AA from ENB (set EnableEdgeAA=true in enblocal.ini). Second one - don't use ENB AA and use TAA (set in game launcher settings). Third one - use ENB SMAA. Not every ENB preset provides it - usually you can choose it in ENB GUI (like in Rudy ENB, for example). Fourth one - DSR (dynamic super resolution). With DSR enabled, game is rendered in higher resolution than your monitor resolution is and then squeezed to your monitor resolution. The difference between those methods: Edge AA is the most simple and fps-friendly, but the also not perfectly smooth (yet still superior to awful ingame AA). TAA is looking very good, but often causes weird "ghosting" artifacts when moving. SMAA is the best in terms of fps price and quality. DSR is superior to any of them, but the most fps-hungry due to how it works. Try all of them and choose the one most suitable for you. If you have somewhat midrange rig, it's either Edge AA, SMAA or TAA. If you have pretty strong rig and video memory is not a problem for you at all, try DSR for sure.
  • Not a tweak itself, bur rather a useful info that not everyone are aware about: DOF (depth of field, "blurred effect/focus") is usually different for each ENB preset - as certain author sees it better in own perspective. Some ENB presets may have "lightweight" gameplay DOF - so only very distant views are blurred. Some may have a very strong "screenarchery" DOF - when everything further then a few feets from your character is blurred. And so on. So often it may happen you find an ENB preset greatly fitting your taste, but with terrible (for your taste) DOF. You can, ofc just disable it in ENB GUI, but there's a better thing - you actually can use [any] DOF with [any] ENB preset! Even more, you can actually even use DOF files between different TES/FO games - for example, I'm using Rudy ENB LE DOF in New Vegas and Oblivion, and so on. So just find ENB preset which DOF you like the most and just take it's DOF files (enbdepthoffield.fx and enbdepthoffield.fx.ini) and drop them into your \enbseries folder. Profit!
ENB presets list:

When you'll be browsing the ENB presets for Skyrim SE, you may get the feeling that not all, yet many of them are very similar to each other. Unfortunately, that's how it is - due to different level of ENB support in Skyrim SE, it's not possible to have same visual quality and diversity of ENB presets as in Skyrim LE. Yet, today SE ENB presets look pretty great and so here are some of the most well-made of them, and with different styles as much as it's possible in SE. Let's see some (•̀௰•́ )

Also some shortening for weather/lighting mods you will see below: Vanilla - original game, no weather/lighting mod, Obsidian - Obsidian Weathers and Seasons, COT - Climates of Tamriel, NAT - Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel, Vivid - Vivid Weathers, Aequinoctium - Aequinoctium - Weathers and Seasons, Mythical Ages - Mythical Ages - weathers and lighting overhaul, Rustic - Rustic Weathers and Lighting, Dolomite - Dolomite Weathers - Natural Lighting Vivid Atmospherics II, Surreal - Surreal Lighting -- 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.

Now, let's go! To the graphics mods!

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.
Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer Pack + Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack
A base retextures for dragons and plenty of animals/critters. High Quality Food and Ingredients Basic omnomnom retextures.

Now choose between the next few mods. Basically, they all are very big packs covering +/- same amount of textures, installing one after another will severely or almost completely overwrite the first one you've installed. As an option, you can compare texture images manually and keep the ones you like, mixing these mods. But in most cases, you won't need this, especially if you're a newcomer to Skyrim modding. Same is applied to each further "choose" notifications.

SSE Texture Pack - Osmodius This texture pack can be basically considered a "vanilla plus" retexturing project. Skyland - A Landscape Texture Overhaul Pretty qualitative textures pack with a great coverage as well. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Another one "vanilla-wise" texture overhaul with a really huge coverage. 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 move

Blended 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.
Note: use this mod only with Skyrim Flora Overhaul or vanilla trees. EVT (listed below) has it included and "3D" trees mod (listed below) has own aspen trees modification. Simply Bigger Trees SE ==FPS== A mod that makes trees bigger.
Note: similar as with previous mod, use it only with SFO and/or Realistic Aspect Trees (make sure to grab proper version in Files tab). Mods listed below are not compatible with it and don't need it. EVT, for example, has own option for bigger trees with much better performance impact. Tree Bark in High Definition A bark texture addon.
Note: usage - same as previous mods - with SFO, and/or RAT, and/or SBT only. Not needeed for EVT or "3D" trees mod. Skyrim 3D Trees and Plants ==FPS== This mod is kind of double-edged sword. Some of tree models are actually looking absolutely spectacular and really have much more volumetric look, while majority of other trees are looking plastic-like due to weird inflated models and unrealistic textures. If you'll be using this mod, don't forget to intall this fix for it. Enhanced Vanilla Trees ==FPS== My personal favourite tree mod for Skyrim. It greatly improves both models and textures of the trees, giving more lush and detailed look, while sticking to original appearance of the trees at the same time, and adding some trees here and there. It also has Realistic Aspen Trees included (choose it in installer options) as well as big trees option, which is the best between all similar "bigger" tree mods in terms of effect/performance hit ratio. Also if you're planning to use 3D LODs, make sure to use this fix (read the instructions carefully).
Note: SE version of the mod still has some non-critical visual glitches - so if you want the mod working on 100%, just use the Skyrim LE version of it - download it manually, add to your mod manager for SE and isntall as usual. Lush Vanilla Trees If you have performance issues with the mods listed above, you can try this one. Much simplier but also much more fps-friendly tree mod.

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: There are different ways to install the mod. If you wanna follow my choice, install "Fences of Skyrim" main file, then overwrite with "Fences of Skyrim - Weathered Edition 2K" and then with "Barbed wire Add-on for Weathered Edition". Also install Vivid Landscapes patch if you're using Vivid Landscapes. aMidianBorn Book of Silence The quality of Cabal (Amibianborn) mods simply doesn't get worse with years. It's still unrivaled for many armors/creatures/objects models/textures - we will overwrite it with some other mods here and there, but it's a solid base for armors, weapons, creatures and some unique items models and textures improvement.
How to install:
- Install the mod files in this order: Armors, Creatures, Dragonborn DLC, Unique Items, Weapons. Always overwrite. Don [not] install Content Addon.
- From Miscellaneous files section, install Bonemold Hotfix, Skyforge Hotfix and Staff of Magnus Hotfix. You need to download these files manually, add to mod manager and install.
- Install this and this fixes.
- Optionally, install this retexture addon for elven weapons.
- Optionally, install retextures for elven and glass armors. Book Covers Skyrim The one and only mod to retexture close to every book in the game. Desaturated version recommended. Enhanced Blood Textures The ultimate blood and blood decals texture mod. I'd recommend to install High Res Darker Color version (choosing in installer). Mod also offers patches for Skyrim Immersive Creatures and SkyBirds mods - you most likely will be using them both, so just tick on the patches options - if you won't be using SkyBirds or SIC, just delete patches .esp files later. Deadly Spell Impacts Essential mod for HD spell impacts. Realistic Water Two Best water mod ever made for Skyrim. Install the main file and then ENB textures file. Also, download Water's Edge Fix - but we will install it a bit later.
HD Photorealistic Ivy + Ivy Replacer by Pfuscher
Make ivys great again! Dust Effects Much better, more realistic dust particles look. Jewels of the Nord - HD rings and necklaces An almost essential HD texture and mesh replacer for rings and necklaces. It's LE mod, but it works just fine in SE.
Vanilla Skyrim's grass is absolutely hideos. Let's change that! Remember - you can have only ONE grass mod. Try'em'all and choose your only one :)

Note #1: Always read the grass mod pages carefully, as each mod usually requires of settings in Skyrim.ini [GRASS] section. Implement them.
Note #2: If you absolutely love some grass mod, and can use it, but FPS hit is bigger than you expected, you can always play with grass density settings, namely the iMinGrassSize= value. The LOWER is the value, the DENSER is the grass - so if you wanna more FPS, make the value HIGHER (try 80, 100 or even 120).

Northern Grass ==FPS== My personal favourite between the grass mods available on SE Nexus. A great combination picked from other popular grass mods with a beautiful, dense and immersive result. Don't forget to install the fix file as well. Voluptuous Grasses-The T H I C C K E N I N G ==FPS== My second personal favourite between the grass mods available on SE Nexus. Beautiful and original look with great coverage that makes groundcovers look much more volumetric. Verdant - A Skyrim Grass Plugin ==FPS== The most popular Skyrim grass mod with a great quality. Veydosebrom - Grass and Groundcover ==FPS== Another qualitative grass mod that combines several grass resources. Also has a "spring" version of the mod available in the FOMOD installer. Viscous Foliage- a T H I C C grass mod ==FPS== A beautiful grass mod with a "wild" touch. Short Grass==FPS== Short green grass mod, looking pretty fresh and original, but also has great FPS hit. Grass Field - More colors ==FPS== Vibrant "green" grass mod. Velanimus Grass Overhaul ==FPS== ==FPS== Pretty fresh, with almost all the same-looking grass in each region, but really dense grass mod. Note: it [WILL] hit your FPS like a truck.

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.
Note: as a drawback, this mod will perform EXTERMINATUS your FPS in Whiterun, even on strong gaming rig. Even on GPU like RTX 2070 it may give you from 15 to 20 fps hit alone. Use with caution :) Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods If random grass clipping through some land objects is bothering you - this mod is you magic pill. No grass in caves If you wanna...

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.


ETHEREAL CLOUDS Qualitative clods retextures which sticks to original look. Northern Realistic Clouds Beautiful cloud mos inspired by scandinavian weathers and clouds. Obsidian Mountain Fogs Beautiful, immersive, volumetric mountains fog mod. Take into account that it's [included] on Obsidian weather mod. Morning Fogs Adds rolling morning fogs over scenic lakes and rivers throughout Skyrim, including an MCM for further customization. Supreme and Volumetric Fog This mod tweaks the foggy weathers by making them more...guess what...yeah, you guessed correctly. Pick the correct version when installing, depending which weather mod you will be using (or vanilla weathers). Dimmer Fog and More Mod reduces fog effect transparency and brightness when exploring dungeons with torches and other light sources. Darker Interior Ambient Fog Tweaks interior fog. Use only if you aren't running any lighting mods (like ELFX or ELE). No Fog on World Map Simple as that.

For all night sky related mods, if such a version is available, always install 2k resolution one. 4k or sometimes 8k resolution have absolutely no practical sense for these type of textures.


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.
ATTENTION: read the list of included mods carefully - don't use them or mods that are possibly covering same places. Goodfellow's Whiterun Hold One more simple, but highly immersive whiterun hold overhaul. Imperial Stone - The Forts of Skyrim Redone Absolutely great mod that overhauls many prominent Skyrim forts, making them look as they initially should: Fort Greymoor, Fort Sungard, Fort Greenwall, Fort Snowhawk, Fort Hraggstad, Fort Amol, Fort Kastav, Fort Neugrad, Fort Dunstad, Northwatch Keep.
Note: mod is currently hidden by its author due to update process - track it and check out from time to time, as it's really a worth-to-install one.

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.
Note: don't use ELFX Exteriors option with it to avoid clipping. Well, don't use ELFX Exterior option in general if you're aimed on heavy settlements overhaul (once again). Windhelm Exterior Altered Made some changed on the existing dock also added a new dock/harbour outside Windhelm. Compatible with most of city mods. Old Hroldan Ruins Fixes a discrepancy in which there should be even the ruins of an ancient settlement of what used to be Hroldan as described in lore. Stendarr's Beacon Enhanced and Ruhmastered Absolutely essential little gem. Expands & improves Stendarr's Beacon, making it more functional for those playing as, with, or against the Vigilants of Stendarr. Adds new, lore-appropriate interior zones, outbuildings, and decor to complement the Vigil's aesthetic. Compatible with VIGILANT quest mod. Stonehills Reborn Mixwater Mill Reborn Anga's Mill Reborn Greater Skaal Village Compatible with JK's Skaal Village changes. T'Skyrim - Riverwood (Addon for JK's Skyrim) ==FPS== Note: to be used ONLY with JK's Riverwood (or JK's Skyrim). Snowy AF Windhelm Makes how it's called. For good compatibility, usage with JK's Skyrim is recommended with this patch. Other City mods are not officially supported. Immersive Farms Tiny, totally optional but a cool mod that adds more crops to many villages/towns farms. Greatly compatible with mods of settlement overhauls.

Interior overhauls. 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.


A Quality World Map Beautiful look for the world map it deserves. I'm using the "Vivid with Stone Roads" version. Smoking Torches and Candles Simple as that. Tiny, but immersive and a must-have addition.
Note: this mod will overwrite some other mod meshes. For example, both big "Rudy HQ" mods. You can do this, just install the respective patches for this mod from Rudy HQ mod Files sections. FleshFX Absolutely freaking amazing. 8 years after, we finally have flesh visuals that don't make us cringe. Improved Sparks Simple as that. Holy Wards - a retexture MUCH better ward look. Strange Runes - Spellcasting Enhanced Cast spells in style with magic runes! Glowing glyphs will appear when casting spells or scrolls. Apocalypse, Lost Grimoire and Forgotten Magic Redone compatible. Amazing Pfuscher's mods Author of the most popular texture pack for Skyrim SE, Pfuscher, has couple tens of smaller texture mods of amazing quality. Barrels, plants, animals, tents, clutter. Check them out. RayMaster901 profile Beautiful texture for rags and various elegant floor textures. RUGNAROK RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special Edition RUSTIC CLUTTER COLLECTION RUSTIC CLOTHING RUSTIC SPRIGGAN RUSTIC DAEDRA - Special Edition RUSTIC WINDOWS PELTAPALOOZA I've linked only the most "major" Gamwich texture mods here, but make sure to check out his profile in general - he has much more mods of great quality to cover much more items. Skyrim LE has more then twice more mods from his though, but you can use the LE texture mods in SE without issues in vastly majority of cases, so just take what is lacking from his LE mods sections. LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons Awesome mod for weapon meshes, compatible with every retexture mods, that makes weapons looks much more glorious and elegant. JS Dragon Claws Absolutely astonishing, best dragon claws model/texture mod ever made. Also take a look on this patch for some of mods you may have. JS Barenziah Pretty much the same but for Barenziah Crown. CC's Enhanced Ore Veins I'd recommend "less glowing ore" version. Stunning Statues of Skyrim All Skyrim statues with a high-poly models and much better textures. All-in-one. Gemling Queen Jewelry Essential mod for jewel textures/models quality. Designs of the Nords This mod aims to retexture every banner in the game, replacing them with higher quality, more elaborate designs. Forgotten Retex Project Stands for its name. Covers many objects "forgotten" by popular mods and just never being retextured before. Less Ugly Tundragrass Simple as that. Somehow missed by most of landscape/flora texture pack, ugly coverage texture is now much better.

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
ElSopa HD - Unique Hand Made Signs Overhaul My personal favourite. I'd recommend to also install desaturated pack of textures on top, from mod's Files tab. Skyrim 3D Signs Amazing, volumetric, somewhat ascetic models. Mystical Illumination - Glowing Signs A [very] original look of the signs, high-fantasy, I'd say. Make sure you've installed the proper version of main file.

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.
Note: a bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here. TK Children Note: a bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here. Simple Children Fresh (released 11 February 2019) and simpyl amazing mod - I'm personally using it now and humbly recommend you to try it. Great quality while sticking to lore-freidnly look and just huge amount of patches for popular mods compatibility.
Note: a bug leading to endless loading screen is happening when using this mod and USSEP, to fix it read the sticky post here. The Kids Are Alright This ons is not-very lore-friendly sometimes, but still huge and very qualitative.

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.


Sovngarde - Mist's Font Replacer Most beautiful and immersive Skyrim font mod ever. Lore-Based Loading Screens Adds 160+ new loading screens steeped in Tamrielic lore. Become deeper immersed in the Elder Scrolls mythos with tons of quotes from in-game books (from Skyrim and past Elder Scrolls titles), history, mythology, and little-known facts about the world of Tamriel. Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-Texture This mod is a collection of many options for new textures that you can pick and choose to replace the vanilla skill interface textures. iActivate Immersive Activate removes the small icon and adjacent text that indicates what action is available when activating an object, whether it is talking to a person, opening a door, searching a chest or what have you. This mod helps improves immersion by suppressing the notion that you are playing a game.
Constellations Retextured + Constellations Retextured The DLC
Absolutely stunning rework of skills constellations appearance.
Smaller Vanilla Cursors If default size bothers you. Also make sure to checkout ElSopa profile once again - he has some other neat little UI mods. Unread Books Glow Simple as that. FileAccess Interface for Skyrim SE Scripts - FISSES This mod itself doesn't do anything, but you'll need it for many other UI mods to be able to make interfance presets, which is very useful. JContainers Another "core" mod required for some other mods below. UIExtensions Adds various custom menus to Skyrim for modder use. Needed for some other complex mods - if mods you wanna use don't requrie it, you can skip it. A Matter of Time - A HUD clock widget This mod adds a clock to the HUD showing the current time of day and more. Less Intrusive HUD II Less Intrusive HUD II allows you to tweak / change pretty much every element in the vanilla HUD straight in game. Customizable UI Replacer Absolutely amazing mod. ARe you bored of default Skyrim UI look? Wanna have better control over your widgets? Various presets available - you can make your UI to look like UI in Dark Souls, ESO and so on. iEquip One of the most revolutionary mods of 2019 and absolute UI modding gem. iEquip is a fully featured hotkey gear switching and equipment management mod, complete with advanced SkyUI HUD widget. Its purpose is to reduce the amount of time spent in menus managing weapons, potions, poisons...and much, much more. AH Hotkeys - Skyrim Hotkey Manager Superior hotkey manager mod. The objective of itis to allow anything that can be equipped to be hotkeyed, including sets of equipment, and to enable autocasting of spells and shouts. Equip Sets can contain weapons, armour, clothing, spells, shouts, powers, scrolls, potions, food, ingredients and other equip sets. Serio's Cycle Hotkeys Pretty useful and simple hotkeys mod. Favorite Things - Extended Favorites Menu for SkyUI This mod improves your expirience with Favorites quick menu. Faster scrolling, more entries, longer entry texts etc. Assigned Storage Assign any container to a pre-defined global "Cloud Storage" category. Full auto-storage & sorting capabilities. "Learn" mod-added items and create ignore lists per-category. Optionally link crafting stations to global storage. moreHUD Adds more information to the HUD about the currently targeted object, such as ingredients, weapon effects, potions, read books, v/w, enemy level etc. moreHUD Inventory Edition Similar mod for inventory items. Dear Diary - Paper SkyUI Menus Replacer Journal, Inventory, MCM, Favorites etc. paper interface replacer. Floating Damage Displays damage as a text on actors. Display Enemy Level Aha. Viewable Faction Ranks Yup. Mist's Anthology Menus Badass and lore-friendly main menu replacers from author of Sovngarde font. Nexus Loading Screens Reborn Mod adds 62 new loading screens for your game made from beautiful community screenshots. iLuvLoading Loadscreen & main menu replacer mod (200 new HD Loading screens, mostly adult). No More Creation Club News Duck CC? Get this mod. Complete Widescreen Fix for Vanilla and SkyUI Widescreen monitor owners, grab this mod.

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.


Legacy of the Dragonborn This mod is something unique. Something incredible. It will make you to look at your playthrough from the absolute different view. This mod will inspire you to play Skyrim again and again, injecting a true relic hunter spirit into your cahracter.. Mod features: Museum with over 2000 displays and over 100 exploration quests. You can save your museum progress across multiple playthroughs. Displays of visited doomstones, custom paintings, basement store, MCM menu and (yes!) items from different mods support. 15 new dungeons, new guild - explorers guild, transmutation forge. This is only a part of full features list. Visit mod page to read more and of course to try it - for me, it's an absolutely essential Skyrim mod no matter which gameplay taste you have. Don't forget to install the update as well as grabbin patcher installer which supports dozens of popular mods.
Additional patches/addons for it: Immersive College of Winterhold patch Fate Cards Re-texture Zim's Immersive Artifacts patch Track this mod until it's updated for latest Zim's mod version and Legacy version. Paintings Replacer People Of Skyrim patch Relic Hunter Addon Start Legacy questline already as a Guild Master (pretty cheating to me, and skipping a joyful gameplay). Fossil Mining Addon Nice, now tons of other amazing mods. Project AHO A pretty new and must-play quest mod. Don't you even dare to skip it. Let me explain (you can also watch my video review of it): if I would make my "Top 10 Quest Mods" video today, Project AHO definitelly would be in the list of 5 best quest mods ever made. Everything in this mod is just amazing - breathtaking detective storyline with multiple endings, brilliant voice acting, stunningly beautiful worldspace design and a lot of puns and references at the same time. I never felt such a deep and detailed recreation of Morrowind vibes as in this mod. Try it for sure! Also, you may be interested in improved meshes patch and some spell mods patches Carved Brink A true gem of level design - it will take your breathe out. Much shorter, but incredibly original, beautiful quest mods is unique worldspace from the same authors. There's also ICFH patch available and my review of it. The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal Amazing DLC-sized mod for all who like thief gameplay. Beautiful landscapes, amazing questline, dozens of traps and puzzles and finally an uiltimate prize - Gray Cowl of Nocturnal (Mask of Gray Fox). Additional patches/addons for it: HD Textures Pack Some popular mods patches installer Alikr Flora Overhaul More lore-friendly mask obtaining By Azura! The Choice is Yours Stop quests from starting automatically. Pursue the quests you want, ignore the ones you don't. Make your choices matter. In addition, there are times when you are given a choice to refuse a quest, but the quest will automatically start regardless of your decision or you are forced to agree to do a job before hearing the details. Now quests won't start until you agree to them. Helgen Reborn Awesome lore-friendly mod for rebuilding Helgen. Fully voiced questline, great story wrapping around civil war and Thalmor. New dungeons, 3 new armor sets, private tower player home. Interactive display room that transforms as you play the game. You may also wanna grab RS Children patch, CFTO patch, lootable Sigil Stones patch or ICFH patch VIGILANT Became a vigilant of Stendarr and go through an amazing dark story. This mod is just fantastic, inspired by Dark Souls series in meaning of locations design, but staying in terms of the Elder Scrolls lore at the same time! Amazing dark and creepy locations, hordes of new reatures, giant unique bosses. New unique weapons, rings, lanterns and so on. The only thing is original mod is japanese, but there are links to English and other tralnslations. One of the best ever made for Skyrim, this quest mod is absolutely worth to try - especially now it has the english-voiced addon made by professional and semi-professional voice actors. Also there's an Obsidian Weathers addon(standalone, OW is not required). The Forgotten City Amazing, dynamic, incredibly detailed! Beautiful, intricately detailed new city to explore. Non-linear story with several endings. Amazing orchestral soundtrack, big community of fully-voicedNPC with backstories. Discover secrets, mysteries, and relics that are thousands of years old. Enjoy! Also grab the better entrance patch. Clockwork A brilliant quest mod - somewhat short, but absolutely breathtakingly-written! It was developed about 4 years, and the time spent is totally worth. Amazingly detailed cells design, decectve and sometimes disturbing quests with unique creatures involved, while still being pretyt lore-friendly. Thrilling journey that will you will definitely like! There's also a display masks fix if this bothers you. Darkend Amazing new land mod inspired by Dark/Demon Souls series. Atmospheric, dark location, very detailed and interesting to explore. New creepy enemies, tough bosses and powerful weapons are waiting. For those who already have it - check out mod page for the new version. Falskaar One of the most endorsed, old but still really great quest mod. Huge new land with believeable level design. Dozens of gameplay hours. Interesting and voiced questline. Amazing soundtracks, new spells/shouts and more. There are also: tweaks and enhancements patch, installer with a lot of patches, RS Children patch and People of Skyrim patch. Moon and Star Amazing detective story. Interesting questline, 4 side quests, 9 voiced NPCs. New town, weapons and dungeons with new boss fights. Ingame aftermath events that take place after the main quest has been completed. Your actions have consequences! There's also small patch that fixes various minor cosmetic overlooks. The Paarthurnax Dilemma Disappointed with how ruthless and unforgiving the Blades were at the end of the main quest? Felt like you should have been able to put your foot down and make them see reason? Well now you can! Ravengate - Riften Underground Amazing and atmospheric arena/quest mod with challenging bossfights and thrilling characters backstories! Try it for sure, no matter which class you're playing. The Wheels of Lull Awesome questline with a lot of secrets an puzzles, related with TES lore. Five dungeons within the main quest, complete with fleshed out boss battles, and massive, unique locations. A new town, complete with extensive characters. 7 side quests, 10 new weapons, new armors and even a new custom race. Don't forget to install unofficial patch for it that fixes some issues. The Brotherhood of Old Amazing, fully-voiced, thrilling Dark Brotherhood mod with multiple endings. Mod continues DB questline after you finished the vanilla storyline, giving you a lot of new opportunities to either destroy DB completely or bring it to absolutely new level of glory! The Notice Board Great immersion mod. Radiant quest overhaul and framework. This mod adds new and alternative radiant (and side) quests. It was inspired from other good games like The Witcher which make use of notice boards in their gameplay. There are two kinds of notice boards:
• Quest notes Notice board – always on a pole with and candles
• Messages Notice board – it’s the one without the pole These notice boards can be found ouside inns in every town of Skyrim.
Also install the better Solstheim quests addon and MCM patch Missives A good addition to previous mod if you liked it, or a simplier alternative. Adds a large number of localized radiant quests found at Missive Boards of varying difficulty and with varying rewards. Note: still has some minor bugs, but mod author is actively updating the mod. There're also some patches and JK's Skyrim patch. Beyond Reach Huge area with the span of ~3 Skyrim Holds, rich detailed. New factions - Arnima, Evermore, The Witchmen, Orsinium's Sons, Dragonstar Mercenaries, The Exiles and The Afflicted. Voiced main quest with backstories as wel as 28 side quests, news spells, armors & weapons, 25 new dungeons. Don't forget to install the fix patch. Konahrik's Accoutrements Make encounters with the named Dragon Priests a more challenging and rewarding experience - meet them in unique dungeon, summon them for challenge and craft unique sets of equipment. The Tools of Kagrenac Go on a quest to recover the legendary Tools of Kagrenac. Encounter new allies and enemies, explore sprawling dungeons and add powerful new artifacts and spells to your arsenal in this new and fully voiced quest mod. Moonpath to Elsweyr Amazing DLC-sized tropical/desert mod that give player a chance to travel into the lands of Elsweyr to explore, survive and enjoy amazing playthrough. It contains dozens of unique locations, new enemies, items, custom follower and a player home. Awesome and absolutely must-play mod. There are also: unofficial patch for it, better lighting patch and navmeshes fixes patch. Teldryn Serious - A Teldryn Sero Backstory Quest Amazing small quest mod, absolutely lore-friendly, feels like initial part of the game and drastically expanding one of the most popular vanilla male followers. Dawnguard and Clan Volkihar Epilogues A must-have in my humble opinion. Adds an extra quest to each side of the Dawnguard questline to track down the artifacts exclusive to the other side. The Second Great War In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Aldmeri Dominion is stirring. There are rumors of Dominion soldiers close to the border of Cyrodiil and increased numbers of Thalmor agents in the Imperial City. Are you prepared to defend Skyrim once more or are you drawn to the power and promise of the Dominion? 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. Unslaad Quest mod of Half-Dragon. Not much "lore-friendly", but as usual from Vicn - with unique level design and abmbience. Also install voice addon for it. The Sinister Seven Ambient backstory quest involving assassins and investigation. Nyhus and the border of Cyrodiil Folkstead and the Border of Hammerfell Haafstad and the Border of High Rock Three great mods from the same author that add new regions on borders with the named regions, filled with the level design representing them, new towns, some quests etc. There are also Alternate Start addons for these mods here, here and here respectively. Qaxe's Questorium A really big quest pack that can give you hundreds of hours of gameplay. Over 100 quests, 9 world-spaces, 150+ interiors, 80+ custom voiced characters, 70+ custom spells, 70+ text items, new enemies and so on. Path of The Revenant It seems that a powerful necromancer is hiding near Dawnstar, will you cleanse his lair for the good of Skyrim? Or perhaps you seek to take his power for your own? Boethiah for Good Guys Complete Boethiah's quest without betraying a friend. Namira for Good Guys Play a trick on Namira! Complete Namira's quest "The Taste of Death" without sacrificing a priest to cannibals. Invasion of Skyrim - The Force Awakens - Grand Admiral Thrawn Awesome quest mod related with new race arrived in Skyrim, inspired by Star Wars. 15+ armor sets, a unique "quest shell-system" that enables dozens of radiant quests pertaining to the mod to be active at a time, 26+ enchantments, 220+ NPCs, both enemy and ally. Enemies who can cripple you in a number of ways if your combat skills are poor. Enemies are tough, veterans, and skileld combatants. 2+ Wordlspaces, 15+ radian enabled locations, 2player bases, unique classes and combat AI for every character, many scenes and interactions. Travelling merchants, nasty assassins and much more. A player ranking system among the Resistance. Over a thousand handpicked lines of dialogue that plays both in combatm from enemies and followers, and much more. The Grand Paladin Journey beyond Skyrim and uncover the legacy of the ancient Dragonborn order in this small 30-60 minutes DLC. The Final Cataclysm - Ultimate Edition From the author of previous mod. An end-game quest that will take you beyond Tamriel, and the 4th era. Voyage to the Dreamborne Isles Amazingly detailed new land mod. Beautiful for exploration and screenshots. Now has a questline as well. Valley of Outcasts A freeform adventure centered around a large citadel in the Jerall Mountains. Over 1000 lines of voiced Dialogue and 12 quests oriented for all playstyles and made to integrate well with the base game. The Last Refuge A sequal to previous mod. Jurgholm A content mod for Skyrim Special Edition, adding a late game multi-cell dungeon with a questline. Shadows of the past An underrated little gem, paying a tribute to TES IV: Oblivion. The Secrets of Arc Cyrae The story of a young bosmer and adds new dungeons, characters, followers, quests and a playerhome to the game. Blood on the Ice Redux Ever wanted to catch the Butcher before he kills again? Then this is your mod. The DoubtSuspended Quest Pack A pack of quests mods - each one is small, yet absolutely incredibly immersive and feels like a native part of game. Fortune's Tradehouse One more neat little quest mod from the same author. The Enemy Of My Enemy A quest/battle mods wrapping aroud the war events, with massive battles. Betrayal at Hrothgar Resolve the civil war once and for all during the Hrothgar peace talks. The Haven From The Cold And Dark Beautiful new land mod that adds a set of Green Bosmer islands that are located between the Summerset Isles and Hammerfell. Player home, many shops and vendors, bath house and inn, many NPCs and guards. Working map and LOD and many beautiful places to explore/take screenshots. The Azure Tree Great exploration mod. Beautiful design. 5+ Dungeons. New Locations. New Content. Lots of loot. 5-7 Hours of Exploration. You’ll need to explore everything by yourself without quests - so if you like such a challenge, this mod is for you. The Shire Obviously and definitely not lore-friendly, but beautiful and simply huge new land/quest mod with original worldspace design influenced by LOTR/Hobbit titles. Also install the unofficial patch for it and optionally ASLAL addon. The Island Shipwrecked off the coast of an unknown island, you must survive while searching for a way off the island and on to Skyrim. While searching for a way off you may discover an ancient Dwemer city and other ruins lost to time. Black Marsh Welcome to Black Marsh! The land of mystery and danger, little is known about this province until now. As for me, even while there are no quests in this mod, it's very much underrated - the size of the mod is just huge and the level design sometimes is just insanely great - have to visit it only for the feeling of that. Valenwood A similar mod from the same author, but now for exploring Valenwood. Finding Velehk Sain This mod creates additional content surrounding the strange gauntlet in the Midden Dark, as well as the four missing Apprentices from the College of Winterhold. It Beats For Her A mystery tale set in Falkreath. You receive a note from a stranger who recruits you in his quest to find and stop a dangerous predator. But is it really a simple monster hunt or is there more to the story? The Husk New worldspace - pretty original, challenging and creepy. Also check out the author's profile - if you liked this mod, he has ported several other similar mod from the original author. Merte's The McMiller Chronicles Running a few errands for the merchant Angus McMiller results in a quest of deceit, revenge and treasure. Fully-voiced. Hel Rising This mod features a three-part quest line and multiple dungeons & locations awaiting exploration, telling the story of Hel, a forgotten goddess of the dead. Hidden Hideouts of Skyrim Very immersive mod. It adds 21 new areas pread across Skyrim.

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.

Armor/clothing mods:


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.

Weapon mods:


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.

Both weapons and armors, new artifacts or vanilla artifacts improvements:


Zim's Immersive Artifacts I'd say an essential mod - a massive overhaul to more than 50 artifacts. It improves and rebalances huge amount of unique named items in the game, finally making them worth to hunt for and keep even at high levels and not thworing them to trash bin insantly after you found your first dragonbone weapon or daedric armor. SIC patch, WACCF patch and Wintersun patch are available, as well as tiny visual addon. Thane Weapons Reborn Similar mod from the Legacy of the Dragonborn author which is focusing on thane rewards only, making the really unique. You can also install the patch (look in files section) from this patches collection to use it together with Zim's Immersive Artifacts. True Artifacts of Skyrim A similar to Zim's work and imo, pretty underrated mod (obviously not compatible with previous one, choose one or another) with own approach, which covers a hundred!! of artifacts. The Gifts of Akatosh One of my most favourite weapon and armor packs. Epic, detailed and lore-friendly. Noldor Content Pack Another great LOTR-inspired armor/weapon pack. That's a version with a small fix, so please make sure to endorse the original mod (you don't need it though). DCR - King Crusader Mega Pack Badass, grim, beautiful pack of armor (somewhat inspired by nazguls from LOTR to me), swords and a unique spell. Dragon Carved Armor Set Heavy armor set + weapons, looking epic and pretty much immersive. Some recolors are available. Also install this patch if you're experiencing floating armor, but before installing, rename the "Mesh" folder to "Meshes". Artifacts - The Breton Paladin Beautiful paladin armor set, including an extra helmet, sword, mace, warhammer and ring. Resplendent Armor and Greatsword One of my favourite armor/weapon mods ever made. Heavily-inspired by Arthorias from DS series. You may also be interested in this retexture for it. Imperial Dragonknight Armory Stormcloak Hero Armory A must-have mods for any fan of named factions. Incredibly quality! Rogue Blade Armor Very cool looking and original mashup of Iron and Blades armor sets. Oblivion Artifact Pack Adds various unique weapons and armor pieces from The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion into Skyrim. Such as the Escutcheon of Chorrol, The Redwave, Blackwater Blade, Draconian Madstone And many more. Aetherium Armor and Weapons Compilation Badass and simply a must-have mod for any dwemer fan. Also don't forget to install this absolutely incredible model/textures improvement for it. Artifacts - The Tournament of the ten Bloods Goldbrand/Eltonbrand, Boethiah's Walking Staff, Fearstruck, Lyrisius Dagger and Shashev's Ring. High-res textures and lore-friendly quest to obtain them. Daedric Armor and Weapon Improvement Epic-looking, glowing daedric armors and weapons variations. Vanilla replacer version is also available. Vikings Weaponry Highly-immersive set of nordic weapons and shields in just insane quality. I also highly recommend to browse the profile of this author - he has a lot of other mods (mostly new weapons) - unlike this mod, most of other his weapons are not lore-friendly and mostly inspired by Warcraft, but their quality is absolutely amazing. Somewhat Historically Accurate Weapons and Viking Gear A port of same LE mods - the name pretty much stands for it :) Adds new weapons (mostly) and some armors. Fulcimentum - More Staves and Wands of Skyrim Add 9 wands and 9 staves, each with a shield of the same shape. Check out mod Files tab for some popular mods patches. Hammerfell Armory A set of Redguard-inspired weapons and shields. Staff of Sheogorath (Fully Voiced) Yep. It all mad god shining glory. Everlight - Torches of Skyrim 10 Craftable Magic Torches with unique enchantments, light colors and sounds. Get also a custom spell to summon a Cold flame Atronach, or summon it with one of these torches. RonnieMagnum profile For both various qualitative weapons and armors, or sets. Artifacts of Skyrim Adds 15 new artifacts hidden across Skyrim. Can you find them all? Nordic Wanderer Equipment Immersive armor and weapon pack from Billyro.

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.
Inigo is a fully voiced khajiit adventuring companion with over seven thousands lines of unique dialogue - much of it about you. He doesn't just have some "on-call phrase" - he reacts on everything and everyone around you. He will comment, he will sing, he will scream, he will joke and he will troll. Both you and your followers as well. Inigo is one of those mods that make you give a complete new look on the game. Sofia - The Funny Fully Voiced Follower "The infamous Sofia needs little introduction as she causes trouble across Skyrim". And that's all about her. The very original, funny and sarcastic follower voiced by professional voice actress.
Sofia is quite an unusual follower. She is tough, witty and just a little bit boastful. She has a strong fondness for the player character but her deliberate attempts to disguise the fact just leads to very awkward conversations especially as she usually says exactly what she thinks. Sofia is a tease and loves to wind people up which doesn’t make her very popular with people. Her rebellious spirit and careless attitude often gets her in trouble. Not to mention her constant inappropriate comments which easily offend or embarrass people. Also take a look at customizer addon for her. Lucien - Fully Voiced Follower Lucien is a fully voiced Imperial follower with over 2500 lines of immersive, lore-friendly dialogue. Though he arrives in Skyrim as a cowardly scholar, he'll gradually gain strength and confidence by your side until he grows into a hero in his own right. It's made on a level of dedication and self-awareness close to INIGO, and plays greatly together with INIGO installed. You may also be interested in this handsome replacer for it. Vilja in Skyrim One of the most endorsed (well deserved) follower mods as well. Greatly done from all aspects, Vilja doesn't only have her own agenda - she also has her hopes and visions, her thoughts and opinions, and a background story that she will share with you over time. There's also a customizer for her M'rissi's Tails of Troubles Half-khajiit, half-juman. Meet M'rissi and decide your own role in her life. Will you be a slaver, a saviour or a lover? That's for you to decide. Fully-voiced thrilling personal questline will also give you decent amount of enjoyable hours. Hoth Brutal warrior companion with unique voice and amazing visual customization. Maxine - Zombie Follower and Adoptable Fresh and absolutely unique zombie child follower with unique combat system and thrilling, sorrowful, tragic story. Aurlyn Dawnstone - The Reclusive Philosopher Aldmer sorceress with over 1000 voiced lines, own reactions on events and own temper. Visual replacer addon is available. Recorder - Standalone Fully Voiced Follower Definitely not very lore-friendly looking, but a great and original fully-voiced follower with own questline and various reactions of surroundings and your actions. Install the bugfix patch and take a look at customizer and one more visual overhaul. L u n a Not custom-voiced, but absolutely unique-looking beautiful female follower with own combat style. Shindara - The Fire Within A fiery mage follower with own story. Toccata Follower Vivace Follower Chaconne Follower Succubus-san Beautiful followers from the author of Bijin series. She will heal you and other followers in combat. Includes a MCM that allows you to fully customize her combat behavior, class/skills, and spells. Companions and Followers Mod adds 12 generic followers travelling around the Skyrim (instead of just sitting and waiting for you).

Creature follower mods - new creature followers or improved vanilla beast followers:

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.
Note: unfortunately, Elianora has just a few of her mods for Skyrim SE, while having almost 60 for Skyrim LE. You have either to try convert the mods from LE you like yourself, or just consider playing LE which is once again having vastly more mods available. Legend of the Eagles Nest A fortress with amazing level of details and with everything you may need in player home, located in snowy mountains between Riverwood and Whiterun. It also contains a questline to rebuild it to proper glory. Tel Nalta - Telvanni Home One of the most original player home mods ever made, but simple and lore-friendly at the same time. Similar to Hearthfire gameplay, you need to construct this glorious telvanii catle, but to tell more precise - to grow it. Besides being unique, big and having everything you need for your game, it also has various bonuses like pool, greenhouse, fish hatchery, catacombs, new NPCs and so on. Caranthir Tower Reborn While designed for a mage character initially, this amazing magic tower can actually serve as an epic base for anyone (but ofc without magic skills at all it will be very hard to complete its questline). Yes-yes, questline. It's not just a tower - it's like a complete new world inside it. It offers features never seen before, customisation, and is more than just a player home. The tower must be restored through a Hearthfire style crafting system or you can simply purchase everything you need. This mod is also based heavily around player choice. Aemer's Refuge One of my personal favourites between various player home mods. A big keep located high in mountains, with a lot of unique features, but what is the most important - unlike many other (even pretty popular) player home mods, each, even the tiniest details and clutter piece in this mod is placed exactly where it should be - and while being pretty huge, this keep is looking absolutely great with each detail on its own place. Haem Projects profile Flying dwemer ship? A home on a tip of a magic staff? Tree home? Check out EXTREMELY creative, fantasy, Morrowind-inspired player homes by the authors of amazing Project AHO quest mod. Note: AHO the dwemer ship is a part of Project AHO mod already. Lakeview. Manor - As It Should Be Remodels and decorates Lakeview Manor in absolutely beautiful, creative yet lore-friendly way. Allows to customize you the home in may variants. The best ever existing mod for this vanilla home and one of the most qualitative in general. A member of my "best of 2018" player homes video. LC_Build Your Noble House EVer wanted to build your own castle step by step? SEek no more! This mod will give you the chance to build your own noble fiefdom with your own hands. You will only start with a small shed and a tent, but in time you build a whole village and your own fortified noble house. Each building will yield revenue and produce materials that will be deposited daily in your shed. A member of my "best of 2018" player homes video. Terra Umbra - Mobile Floating Island New and absolutely original player home mod. Bring the magic tower from the ruins back to the sky - but only if your Alteration skills are strong enough! Floating player home on which you can move across the land, manipulating it's flight by your magic skills? Yes! Breezehome Beautiful Breezehome overhaul from Elianora. Ars Metallica patch available. Breezehome by Lupus A beautiful Breezehome overhaul. Simple yet very functional. Leaf Rest An interactive & customizable home located in the town of Riverwood. It contains a full forge & crafting area, along with some unique features including: an interactive gardening system, a wood burning fireplace, quick access bookshelves, business ledger trading system, & more. The entrance faces towards the west, overlooking the river. A patch for JK/ETAC and buyable patch are available. Rayek's End A mid-sized, atmospheric hideout with a history just off the beaten path between Riverwood and Whiterun. If you don't mind the sound of waterfalls and prefer a secluded place to kick up your feet - this may be the home for you. A buyable patch is available. Halls Of Dovahndor The ultimate home for the ultimate Dragonborn. A fully detailed, original, lore-friendly home in Sovngarde. Ebongrove - Recall and Teleport Player home in the volcanic Eastmarch, its flora thriving under a dwemer sun. Teleport to all the main cities, and recall anytime thanks to the previous owners' magic experiments. All usual features of a home, and a bit of Dunmer lore. A buyable patch is available. The Scarlett - A Buildable Ship The Scarlett is a large buildable ship mod with over 200 build options to choose from, featuring two small quests and a new unique location. The ship also features a fast travel system along with plenty of storages and other functional things. Antennaria Beautiful, overgrown cavern temple home. Black thorn Keep Fully functional custom asset player castle with original look. Located North of Dragon Bridge Raven Castle Huge (really huge), dark, ambient castle in gothic style located in its own worldspace. Will fit great any vampire/necromancer/warlock characters. Lake Haven Cliffside Cottage Pinecrest Estate Multiple adoption friendly, simple but immersive player homes from the same author (with no loading doors and see-through windows for the third one). Rooms for kids and followers, all vanilla crafting stations, named storages, planting soils, bookshelves and custom displays for all unique items. Note: if you liked this and 2 previous mods, don't forget to check out this author profile in general, as he has much more player home mods. Skyrimlazz profile Check it for dozens of beautiful (and mostly pretty big) player castles and palaces. Pale Marsh Manor - A Unique Player Home Medium sized cozy home with unique custom landscaping that you can view through your house's windows. No load doors within home. Harborside - Solitude Bridge Home A uniquely modeled, no load doors home overlooking the Solitude harbor, just under the arc. A buyable patch is available. Mona Alta A mid sized player home in the mountains of lake Illinalta, with beautiful and very unique interior. The Northern Star Retreat - Revisited A mid-sized home on the calm and cold shores of the Pale. Hjerim TNF A successful attempt to make this house more elegant and functional completeness. Honeyside TNF A mod from the same author, but for Honeyside this time. Proudspire Manor TNF And for Proudspire Manor. White River Cottage Medium-sized, beautiful house near Riverwood for family and followers. Tubbs' Riverside Home Really nice small player home mod without loading screens. Proudspire Another really great, elegant Proudspire overhaul. Mornfallow Manor Buildable player home southwest of Windhelm with complete construction system, tons of storages and all needed tools. Hunters Cabin of Riverwood This mod original part is its size. Small cabin with minimalistic interior design - to have a rest and eat, located near riverwood with a great view on the town. Castle Volkihar Rebuilt Mostly never take as player home/base by players, not it can actually be. This mod allows the player to clean up the debris and rebuild Castle Volkihar to its former glory. The North Tower is also converted into a player home with safe storage. A small addon for it available here. The Shrouded Lair - A Vampire Home A castle of pocket realms in your own plane of oblivion for your vampire or any evil character and followers. Mod has simply and amazing interior design fitting the vampire character greatly. Also install this expansion/fix addon for it. Windyridge - Player home in Winterhold Windyridge cottage is located near entrance of Winterhold. TWo cozy cottages with a small prequest, thematic containers, everything needed for base needs and some additional functions. Mammoth Manor A family-friendly cozy manor with a beachfront sauna by the lake Ilinalta in Falkreath. Crystal Creek Mansion Beautifully designed middle-sized mansion near Pinewatch, with unique look and some custom features in addition. You'll like the guardian for sure :) Azura's Dawn A luxurious mansion situated beautifully on the Treva River, halfway between Riften and Ivarstead. Haven Bag Portable house in a bag, simple as that. Also install a fix 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.
Note: don't use OBIS and Immersive Patrols togehter - while being 100% stable and great mods themselves, when used together, sooner or later they case a game-breaking bug when random factions start attacking you on sight with no reason. I'm personally using OBIS. OBIS Loot Visually overhauls many of the OBIS bandits and their loot. Also adds a boatload of other content. Immersive College of Winterhold This mod a must-have. Yes, even if you're playing not as pure mage. You still will go through College questline sooner or later, and you still will be visiting it from time to time. This mod is just enormous in it's College overhaul aspect. Aesthetical visual overhaul of structures and building, new buildings, new cells, new dungeon, greatly improved College NPCs AI, new NPCs, immersive magic learning expirience, new dungeon, quest and dozens of other tiny details - feel this faction as never before. Also take a look at map texture improvement, chains improvement, "3D" Trees patch and No So Fast Mage Guild patch Improved College Entry - Questline Tweaks Choose your school and more improvements for the College of Winterhold. Fully compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold! Immersive College NPCs Adds more students and guards to the College of Winterhold. Almost fully compatible with Immersive College of Winterhold - you can use them together, just small cosmetic conflicts will appear rarely. All Thieves Guild Jobs Concurrently Lets you take on all seven types of Thieves Guild jobs at once, instead of only one from Delvin and one from Vex at a time. Less Tedious Thieves Guild Remember that 125 job requirement for the full experience? Well, forget about that now. Thieves Guild Bounty Clearer This mod adds an NPC to the Ragged Flagon who can remove bounties on the player character for a fee. Also grab an improved audio addon for it. Dark Brotherhood for Good Guys Another amazing mod from the same author. Don't worry, it doesn't transform DB to group of pacifists - but gives you various alternative choices. Dark Brotherhood Reborn - Dawnstar Sanctuary Not every super cool assassin organization wants to live in a filthy dark damp hole in the ground that has no real storage and not enough beds for everybody. Its time for the Sanctuary to become a proper base of operations. The Companions - Earn your stripes Simple mod delaying progress in The Companions questline in order to make the Dragonborn a regular, well-established member before actually becoming part of The Circle or even Harbinger. Improved Companions - Questline Tweaks Actually back out of becoming a werewolf without leaving Skjor and Aela stuck in the Underforge forever, and various other tweaks for the Companions. Note: mod is still in development so may have some minor bugs. Glorious Fort Dawnguard Ever wonder why Fort Dawnguard is so damned depressing? You arrive and the place is empty and uninspiring. Dark, old, worn down, tattered banners, and only a wet-behind-the-ears farmboy with "pa's axe" to greet you when you arrive - well, this mod changes that. Dawnguard - Hall of Vigilant Requirement A small yet logical tweak that adds an additional requirement for the Dawnguard quest to start: having been inside the Hall of the Vigilant. Keeper Carcette Survives This mod helps provide an explanation as to what happened to Keeper Carcette after the attack on the Hall of the Vigilant. This also helps to make Stendarr's Beacon more aesthetic, functional, and immersive. Lastly, this also adds vigilants to all major cities. Stormcloaks For Good Guys-LESS RACIST A mod from "Good Guys" series author - does exactly how it's named. Open Civil War Expands the civil war by many new battles and sieges. Hunting in Skyrim - A Hunting Guild Mod adds a fully functional hunting guide to the game, and completely overhauls the entire hunting experience. It features realistic animal skinning (like Red Dead Redemption), animal trapping, kill & stat tracking, new skills and abilities, new NPCs and locations, new dungeons, new weapons and more. Become a Bard Mod lets you play all of the instrumental and voiced songs included with the game or choose from dozens of new songs. Adds new radiant quests to expand the options for a bard in Skyrim. Diverse Skyrim Why you never saw even a single orc in imperial legion forces? Or a women? Why hunters were only elves and humans? If you want to change this aspect of the game - not just randomly, but absolutely logical and lore-friendly - get this mod for sure. Adds hundreds of new NPC:s with unique appearences to the levelled lists for added variety and diversity while staying lore friendly. Outlaws Refuges Inspired by Elder Scrolls Online, adds Outlaws Refuges to major towns and cities. Penitus Oculatus A quest where you can join the Penitus Oculatus after the vanilla "destroy the dark brotherhood" quest. Bandit Facemask Disguise This mod adds new, standalone Facemasks to the game that will be seen on Bandits throughout the land. The player can now join the Bandits and walk among them as an ally by simply equipping a facemask. Sokco's Guild Starter Start your own guild and choose its members, motives, and location.

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.
Note: Spell Research mod page recommends to use Better Spell Learning mod, which indeed is a great one in Skyrim LE, but is very bugged and often causes crashes in Skyrim SE. Use it at your own risk. No Spell Tomes as Loot or From Vendors Removes most spell tomes from leveled lists, in case you have an alternate method of obtaining them. A great realism addition for Spell Research. Spell Learning and Discovery Lightweight and configurable mod that prevens player form learning spells instantly, making player to study them by spending some ingame time. Mod also has other cool features like increased chances to learn spells the mor spells you casted, chances of learning about new spell when talking to mages and so on. compatible with spell mods. Use it as a more simpel alternative to Spell Research+Better Spell Learning combo. Challenging Spell Learning Pretty original, but simple alternative to previous mods. In addition, compatible with absoltely all spell mods on Nexus. Dragonborn Ascendant Awesome and criminally underrated mod. It’s main feature is boost to shouts cooldown per dragon killed (3% per 5 dragons, capped at 30%) Mod also balances and improves many shouts values and scales battle shouts damage each 10 levels. Don't use together with previous mod, choose one or another. Spellsword Sword or magic, why to choose? Install this mod and be able to launch prepared spells with weapon swings. Note: Ordinator has several spellsword perks and one of the perks is making almost literally the same, so if you're running Ordinator - you don't need this one for playing as spellsword character. Awakened Magicka Simple but effective magic overhaul. Note: you don't need need if you're planning to use big perk overhauls like Ordinator or Path of Sorcery. No Force for Illusion Magic Stop Illusion spells from throwing things everywhere!

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.


Modern Brawl Bug Fix This is not an overhaul by any means, but a bugfixing mod. The reason why it's listed in the beginning of this section is because it's included in major Enai Siaion mods like Ordinator or Vokrii, so you don't need it if using them. But if you will be not using them - isntall it. Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim The one perk overhaul to rule'em'all! Mod that offers more then 400 perks to improve your game expirience and class bulding. To tell this is a great perk overhaul - means to tell nothing. It’s rich, brilliant and absolutely perfect for both dedicated character skills building and roleplay. To make sure just visit mod page and read a few perks description. In addition to this it’s extremely light-weight compared to other perk overhaul mods and also greatly compatible with everything. If it’s your first try of perk overhauls - try it and you’ll enjoy it. If you’re using another similar mod - switch to Ordinator and you won’t go back. Perk overhauls are absolutely matter of taste, but this one’s quality is just amazing. ‘How much did Enai Siaion pay you?’ - you may ask. I would also ask this, yes. Until I try this amazing mod. Even if you open comments section and see what people often write, you’ll see that many players switched from other perk overhauls and don’t want to go back. Of course, it’s only my personal opinion, but statistics don’t lie and one thing you definitely need to do is to try it :)
Additionally, when using Ordinator, my series of unique modded character builds is fully available to you here (13 builds available atm).
Patches/Addons: Elemental Destruction Magic - Ordinator Patch Forgotten Magic Redone - Ordinator Compatibility Patch Ordinator Enchantment Tweaks Immersive Performance for Ordinator Ordinator - Throne of Nirn Improved Dwemer Certified - Ordinator Patch Ordinator Perk Spellscribe Sound Addon Ordinator VR Patch Boom boom. Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of Skyrim You can call this "Ordinator-lite", a mod from the same author. Smaller and "simplier", while still adding depth and replayability. I personally find the complexity and variety of Ordinator perks its biggest advantage, which allows that insane amount of creative character builds - but if you want something simplier, Vokrii can be a good hit. Also take a look at patches insaller which adds support for some popular mods, and there's also a CACO patch Path of Sorcery - Magic Perk Overhaul Awesome magic per overhaul. It affects Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Illusion, and Restoration trees. The one disadvantage is it’s incompatible with some big and well-known perk overhauls, like SkyRE/Requiem/SPERG. But as it is developed only for mage perk trees and you play as mage you can simply choose to use this mod only. Also it’s compatible with Ordinator, so you can use both of them - just load this mod after Ordinator. To choose perk overhaul it’s absolutely matter of taste - so you are free to try them all anyway :) There patches for Apocalypse and Immersive Sounds available, as well as patch for Elemental Destruction Magic. Smithing Perks Overhaul A well-made, smihting-only affecting perk overhaul which you can use together with Ordinator, using the respective patch. Better Vampires One of two greatest vampire mods evern made. Mod gives a wide overhaul for vampires. Perks and skills improvements, new skills, expanded system of vampire needs, blood storage system and much more. Also you can grab this cosmetic addon for it. Sacrosanct - Vampires of Skyrim The second of the two greatest vampire mods and my personal favourite. Sacrosanct overhauls vampires and vampire lords. Reverse progression (stronger when fed), new abilities, powers, perks, hemomancy, various new progression systems, personal vampire questline and many gameplay tweaks for the discerning undead monster. It's main advantage over is while being absolutely revolutionary and all-embracing, it's very lightweight at the same time, and very easy to get used to all new features. Note: do not use both Sacrosacnt and Better Vampires. Choose one. Tehnically, they can be used together (patch available on BV page), but in this case many of Sacrosanct major features will be cut off. You can also take a look on 2 small tweaks for it here and here . Lupine - Werewolf Perk Expansion A new and absolutely badass werefolf perk overhaul which introduces absolutely new unique features, like two possible werevolf paths, completely new howls, looting as werevolf, werevolf armor etc. Bloodmoon Rising Another, old but great werewolf mod that overhauls werewolf perks and stats. If you like to play as werewolf you should know that werewolf became wery weak versus high lelel enemies. Mod helps with this. Use this OR Lupine, not both. ASIS ASIS is very underrated mod and its functionality is pretty often miunderstood by players. Asis is a must-have mod for interesting and challenging playthrough. I personally advise to use ASIS only for 3 features: perks and spells distribution to NPC and NPC potion usage. That's the main amazing feature of ASIS - mods like perk overhauls, spell packs and so on, are either not adding possibility for NPCs to acces new perks and spells, or giving that on a very basic level, eventually making you more and more OP. Here where ASIS changes the game - it gives this access to NPCs. With this you can have an amazing game where all new spells/perks from mod could be used by NPCs as well as potions. It’s AI option is pretty old and i don’t recommend to use it because modern combat mods have better AI improvements. Also it’s not needed to use its increased spawn features as this feature is buggy as hell and cuases random crashes, plus it's completely illogical. But if you will not check the spawns options in patcher - you'll be totally safe. So once again, I recommend to use ASIS with 3 features: perks, spells & potions. Also, don’t forget to run ASIS patcher each time you installed mod that adds spells/perks. Patcher is located in \Data\Skyproc Patchers\ASIS\ASIS.jar Dwemer Certified Don't just let those broken Dwemer Constructs and spare Dwemer Ingots go to waste- use them to build an army of steam-powered robots, upgrade and enchant their equipment, then lead them into battle from the driver's seat of a Dwemer Centurion. Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement Pretty old, but good mod until Complete Crafting Overhaul is officially released for SE. Adds the ability to forge arrows, gain skill for smelting and mining, melt down unwanted armor and weapons etc. Imperious - Races of Skyrim Awesome mod that overhauls Skyrim races abilities, from the author of Ordinator. Now each race has 3 passive abilities and ultimate active ability that can be unlocked through race quest. That also bring more immersion to playthrough. New races abilities are interesting and fit perfectly with each race. RS Children patch available, as well as Elemental Destruction Magic patch . Morningstar - Minimalistic Races of Skyrim A stripped-down version of Imperious, like a more simple version, from the same author. Use one or another. Frostfall patch available. Andromeda - Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim Mod replaces the default standing stone effects with tactical and interesting new powers and abilities. Each standing stone comes with one passive ability and one active power. While greatly increasing standing stones effects variety, mod is still balanced and great for immersive playthrough. Also a tiny tweak for it is available. Wintersun - Faiths of Skyrim The latest mod and a new gem from Enai Siaion. Hands down the best religion mod you can ever have. More than 45 deities to worship, roleplay-wise worshipping mechanics and balanced unique bonuses! Grab it, don't even think. There are some patches for popular mods available, patches for Zim's Immersive Artifacts and Book Covers Skyrim, and a custrom races patch . Character Creation Overhaul Character Creation Overhaul brings back birthsigns, classes, specializations, favored attributes, and major/minor skills to Skyrim. No more boring cookie-cutter characters - choice matters again! Aetherius - A Race and Standing Stone Overhaul A more simple alternative to Imperious/Andromeda together. Some of the bonuses are somewhat OP, but you can adjust that through xEdit easily. Experience A complete overhaul to expirience system in Skyrim transforming it to classic RPG style. Compatible with mods as well. Gain expirience by completing quests, exploring wilderness, clearning dungeons and forts, killing enemies and so on. Archery Gameplay Overhaul Popular and great archery mod. It adds great amount of features: - dozens of animations. - enchanted arrows - new bow camera mod - arm fatigue - really, really many overall archery improvements that make archer/hunter gameplay more interesting and realistic. MorrowLoot Ultimate In-depth and, in my opinion, simply essential mod. It makes a complete rebalances of various game aspects, making it to play more similar to Morrowind leveled lists and leveling system - rare items like daedric or dwarven are REALLY rare now so you will not see each 2nd bandit in daedric gear when you'll reach lvl 80, enemies level scaling is much more balanced and challenging, and so on - many other mechanics such as leveling and alchemy were changed as well. Note: this is also the only "flaw" of this mod - it's too complex and will have compatibility issues with similar mods. That's why I'm personally using the "simplified" version of it, look below. MUS - Morrowloot Ultimate Simplified This version only rebalances rare items, loot and quest rewards - which is making it a perfect solution in terms of compatibility and still keeping the main feature of the mod. ISC patch available. Poverty - You Hunger Reborn Successor to You Hunger mod that affects the spawn rates of almost every item in the world along with an MCM that enables user customization of item distribution. An essential mod for hardcore realism/survival fans. KS Dragon Overhaul 2 An overhaul of dragons AI and combat behaviour. Highly compatible with mods that add dragons on fly, and for some other pathes are available in mod Files tab. Ultimate Dragons Another great dragon combat overhaul, with better AI, new skills, animations etc. Choose this one or previous mod. Immersive Movement A well-made movement overhaul for player and creatures. Player, NPC, animal, and creature movements have all been redesigned to feel more believable, realistic, and unforgiving. Crime Overhaul Crime Overhaul makes changes to the way criminal activities are handled by Skyrim guards. They are less inept, getting arrested is less cumbersome, accidental attacks are more forgiving, and thaneship is more rewarding. Skyrim Revamped - Loot and Encounter Zones Deleveled gameplay fans, this mod is for you. It's designed to decentralize the player from the world. This is a fairly in-depth deleveling but basically loot and enemy difficulty will increase based on location and type. Yet, the introduced difficulty is somewhat artificial, as it changes mostly juts the enemies stats and level. But once again, taste is taste :) Depths of Skyrim - An Underwater Overhaul Brilliant mod. Overhauls the underwater environment and adds content to the sea of Ghosts. Adds new grass types, coral and giant kelps, hundreds of new fish, treasures, encounters, fixes landscape seams etc. Opening Scene Overhaul Mod is adding the ability to escape with Ulfric, Elenwen & Tullius arguing, brand new carriage dialogue, a brand new voice for Hadvar (that has received much praise), fixing the infamous 'it's in the clouds' error Bethesda made and much more. Hearthfire Extended Love building things? Mod adds new content for the Hearthfire DLC, integrated seamlessly with Hearthfire's construction system. Build any furniture in any room. Build additional wings off your cellar. Also includes bugfixes and enhancements to vanilla apiaries, butter churns and mead barrels. Lock Overhaul Overhauls the lock system, adding new features: Lock requirement, smash locks, unlock spell and auto pick locks, with a fully customizable MCM menu. Compatible with Ordinator (install the alternative version). Race Balance Somewhat underrated mod. Pretty minimalistic, simple, but interesting overhaul to races and alternative to Imperious if for some reasons you don't like it.

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.

Choo-choooo.

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.
Note: if you're using Skyrim Immersive Creatures mod, use its own modified version of this mod, namely the "High Level Enemies SIC SE Edition" file. Skyrim Revamped - Complete Enemy Overhaul A really well-rounded overhaul - neither too boring or too hardcore. It's focuced on harder bossfights and more variative enemies in general - some new higher leveled enemies here and there, enemies getting new spells from popular mods like Apocalypse and Shadow Spell Package and so on. Leveled bosses patch is available for better challenge. Revenge Of the Enemies My personal favourite between similar enemy mods, with the biggest coverage, creativity and most challenging effect. It improves enemis AI, scales ebemies level with yours, give unique skills to each enemy type, gives them strong cooperation and so on. Also the great advantage is that it’s very-light-weight and almost scriptless. Once again, it's pretty hardcore - so if you're aimed on semi-casual gameplay, it may be not for you (but you also can try the easier version), but if you want your game to be reall challenging - you'll find no better candidate. After you'll see master vampires actually teleporting using the swarm of bats form, and fight some bosses (both improved vanilla bosses and new added ones), it will be hard to trade this for other mod. But once again, it's about your personal taste. There are also some patches for popular mods available as well as well as mentioned easier version of it. Advanced Adversary Encounters - Ultimate Similar mod with a different approach. It focuses mostly not on unique enemies abilities and skills, but on adding more realistic resistances. Skeletons are very resistant to arrows, automatons are very resistant to sharp weapons, shock and fire spells, but weak to ice spells, and so on. The flaw of this mod is that enemies, in terms of own actions and skill, are mostly very similar to vanilla and even with realistic resistances, fights may often be not much challenging. But if you wanna "vanilla plus realism" experience, this mod may be a great variant. Also has dedicated patches page - don't forget to grab the patches you need.

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.


Combat Evolved Light-weight, script-free, old-but-good combat mod. Due to its great compatibility it can be used alongside with other combat mods for even better combat expirience. Enemies are more agressive and smarter. Stagger, knockdown, enemy skills, and enemy damage are enhanced. But at the same time enemies are not ‘terminators’ - mod is good balanced. I strongly recommend to use it. I also advise to use modular version for more detailed installation process. Ultimate Combat Amazing combat mod that brings you totally new combat expirience. Enemies AI isnow better, they can cooperate, parry, dodge, counter your attacks as well as having unique special spells and abilities. Mod modifies many combat stats for more realistic combat. Mod also adds timed block feature, stamina cost for regular attacks, headshots for archers (can be configured in MCM menu) and some even more things. Try it for sure! Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim New combat mod from the author of Apocalypse/Ordinator. This amazing mod makes combat more realistic, dynamic and brings more lethality into your game. Mod ipmroves combat AI that makes enemies more smart, initiative and dangerous. It’s biggest and greatest (in my opinion) feature is wide injures system. It’s really realistic and simple at the same time. It also modifies global difficulty levels in Skyrim and gives you possibility to configure these values in MCM menu. It also offers timed block feature as well as many other combat modifiers. It’s also pretty good compatible with all combat/magic/ perk overhaul mods and mod author also inlcuded detailed load order description list for this/that mod. Immersive Movement patch is available. TK HitStop This is a great mod for combat immersion. Ever asked yourself why weapon weights nothing? Why your character doesn’t feel any physics after swinging two-handed battleaxe? Then this mod is for you. When the player hits an actor or an object, a “hit-stop” (a tiny pause) is added along with camera shake and blur effects. This makes weapon strikes feel more solid and heightens the sense that a hit has actually been made. TK Recoil This mod is similar to previous one, just for the bows/crossbows. When the player shot a bow or crossbow or staff, a "recoil" (a tiny pause) is added along with camera shake and blur effects. This makes weapon recoil feel more solid and heightens the sense that a hit has actually been made. Mod also comes with an MCM menu. TK Dodge Very popular and must-have mod if you’re running several combat mods that increase game difficulty. Mod adds dodge rolls (forward-back-left-right) using hotkeys. Mod also has an MCM menu where you can re-configure the hotkeys and dodge roll stamina cost. Xbox One gamepad addon available. Mortal Enemies Remember how NPCs can turn to your direction just in the middle of weapon swing? Forget about this! Elemental Destruction Magic patch available. Realistic Melee Range Simple as that. Decreases hit range for all melee weapons to be more realistic. Reasonable Reloading Manual crowssbow reloading mod, fully customizable in MCM. Weapon Arts This mod adds to Skyrim weapon-arts (or weapon-skills), which are based on equipped weapon type and its enchantment. If player character has enough magicka, then using a lesser power added by the mod (Z button), the combat skill with special effects and animations will be performed. Simple Lock-On Mod adds a simple target lock feature in combat. Some reticle replacers are available. (SJG) Dual Wield Parrying Reimplementation Simple parry mod for dual wielding/spellcasting. ArrowBlock(REAL Deflect Arrow) This mod allows you to block arrows and magic projectiles with your weapon or shield which will cost you some stamina/magicka. For making mod better balanced, I'd recommend to raise this cost value using xEdit, itherwise you can be near to invincible often for too low cost. Wounds Simple mod focused exactly on injuries. More realistic/hard to heal comparing to Wildcat's injuries system (you should not use them both or disable WC injuries if you want this one, otherwise it will become messy). Critical Hit - Backstab and Parry in Skyrim Little, but just a badass mod that adds DS-like backstab and parry to the game. All damage multipliers can be adjusted in MCM. Disarmless I personally always enjoyed this enemy ability, but if this bothers you - mod removes Disarm shout from either draugrs only, or the entire game including mods.

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.


Immersive Patrols One of the most popular mods at Nexus. And it absolutely deserved this. Mod adds really immersive patrols of almost every major faction across all DLCs, including Stormcloaks, Thalmor, Imperials, Dawnguard, Travelers, Merchants, Bandits, Skaal, Redoran, Reavers and Rieklings. You will see small and bigger faction battles and even for sieges in absolutely each region of Skyrim! It’s also don’t use scripts - so you can install and uninstall it anytime without any worries and it’s pretty good compatible with almost everything. There's also "stripped down" version of the plugin (overwrite the original mod plugin with it) that has 2 versions - without merchants and leveled lists changes or with this and without war zones on top.
Note: don't use OBIS and Immersive Patrols togehter - while being 100% stable and great mods themselves, when used together, sooner or later they case a game-breaking bug when random factions start attacking you on sight with no reason. I'm personally using OBIS. Skyrim Belongs to the Nords - A Population Mod Really great and pretty underrated, all-in-one make-Skyrim-more-populated mod. It adds new citizens and peasants, labourers, dockworkers, beggars, miners, villagers and thugs to settlements and near them.
Note: it's recommended to not use Populated Cities mod (below) together with this mod, as this may result in too much overcrowded settlements. DFB - Random Encounters - MCM Great and stable encounters mod from Skyrim Immersive Creatures author with cozy MCM menu, through which you can controls hundreds of spawn across dozens of spawn types. Now goes the Populated mods series - more citizens, more bandits in forts, monsters in dungeons, travelling mercenaries & merchants, more soldiers fightning in more civil war battles etc. Populated Lands Roads Paths Populated Forts Towers Places Populated Dungeons Caves Ruins Populated Skyrim Civil War Populated Skyrim Prisons Cells Populated Cities Towns Villages RS Children patch available. Nice. Extra Guards Stands for its name. WARZONES - Civil Unrest Great mod which does exactly what how it named. Mod adds ifferent, small and big - battles, ambushes, encounters and skirmishes throughout whole Skyrim. There are hundreds of dynamic spots now where you can see massive battles between different factions and, of course, take some action. Some spawn may look not very rational, but being epic and fun - that's for sure. You may also be interested in this addon to it, as well as in easy settings tool and Moon and Star patch Random Encounter Tweaks Pretty simple yet great mod that's tweaking some vanilla encounters conditions and terms. Vampire Lord Enemies Not that much lore-friendly, but well, if you wanna, why not?

Various completely new gameplay features and additions - many things that this game lacked, features inspired by other RPGs, vanilla mechanics expanded by new stuff. Combat and absolutely "civil" related as well.


ESO Skyshards ESO Skyshards places several shards throught the province of Skyrim, including Dawnguard areas and Solstheim. Collect them to gain extra perk points. Changed sound patch available. Magic Duel - Reborn This mod allows you to engage magic duels with your enemies. If you want some more epicness for your mage playthrough - try it for sure. You can duel both NPCs and dragons. For dragon magic duel becomes shout duel and that’s pretty immersive. Mod also contains ingame book through which you can configure it. Outfit NPCs A port of super-cool and underrated Skyrim LE mod that simply allows you to gift any outfit to any NPC, which they will immediately equip. RE - Real Estate Continued Outside of most buildings, you'll find a Property Sign. Interact with it to buy, sell and rent properties, from which you'll earn income. Use a Master Ledger to review your current status. You need also to keep it up to date, to do so you just need to select the "Ledger's quill" from your inventory. Collect your income from Safes located in each jarl's palace. The safes are locked, so that no thieves will steal your rent. The key is automatically given to the player during the tutorial. Mod also has MCM to adjust settings. Hidden Treasures 200 hidden lootable chests with a unique design for you to discover all around Skyrim. The Egg Of Time - Dwemer artifacts from Morrowind 10 dwemer artifacts from Morrowind. Will you be able to find them all? Tavern Games - Mini Games in Skyrim Immersive mod inspired by Witcher series that adds several mini-games. Medium Armors - True Equipment Overhaul Technically an armor mod, but it adds compeltely new armor type, medium armor, as per older TES games. Around 20 new medium armor sets, integrated in leveled lists. Draw - A Dueling Mod Settle your conflicts like a real Nord! Single combat with any npc, no damaged faction relations, no strings attached. Killing your opponent is optional. Taxes of the Nine Holds This mod adds a tax system to Skyrim, fully customisable with an MCM menu. The tax system operates on a Hold basis, so effectively you may pay up to 9 separate taxes. Simple Taxes Super Simple Lock Bash Simple mod that allows you to bash lock with a success chances based on your level, weapon skill, weapon quality, lock difficulty and some luck. Respawn - Death Overhaul This little yet original mod aims to get rid of the quicksave cheese that most Skyrim players have gotten accustomed to. Being defeated in combat should have consequences! This mod aims to provide a new respawn mechanic that makes the player feel the pain of defeat, while making surviving the threats of Skyrim feel more rewarding. Wash That Blood Off Wash that blood off and clean your armor by taking a swim. Dig up Dragon Bones and Scales Dig up dragon bones and scales from burial mounds. Gain access to bones and scales without starting the main quest or fighting dragons. Collect Bodies and Bear Traps Requested by faffman. Allows the player to collect dead bodies. Other file allows bear trap collection. Note: Ordinator has fulyl functional perks related to traps, works much better and immersive. Teach Followers Spells Through Spell Tomes Allows you to teach spells to followers by giving them spell tomes. Mist Flight Mod Wanna fly like dark wizards in HP? Well now you can. Simply Climb Adds ability to climb. Doesn't have animations though. Simply Tame Tame beasts. Simply indeed. A Closer Look Adds a key to zoom your camera in. Includes MCM for configuration.

Immersion is very "wide" term in gaming. Long story short, it's everything that makes your game realistic (i.e. similar to real life) in some way - needs system, camping, weather affecting character warmth and health, realistic physical abilities, AI packages and so on. Everything to make you feel not just playing a character in game, but to "feel" this game better and have better interaction with the world around you.

Want your character to have 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.
Note: if you never played any kind of survival games or just hardcore RPGs like Dark Souls - this mod can be really hard for you as it’s really realistic and most likely stared a new playthrough with its default settings you’ll die from cold more often then from enemies. But it’s not a reason not to use it if you like its idea in overall. Its MCM menu is really greatly customizable so you can decrease all negative effects power and increase your items/clothes values to play more simple. Addons/Patches: Food effect for Frostfall The next links are heavily recommended to install/implement if you want to minimize the amount of bugs that these 2 great mods have in SE: Campfire - Frostfall - PapyrusUtil fixed Frostfall Campfire SSE Fix Campfire and Frostfall - Unofficial SSE Update

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.
Note #1: please make sure to endorse the original mod. Note #2: do [NOT] install/use Dangerous Deseases plugin - it was many times reported for causing crashes. Addons/Patches: CACO patch Another CACO/Frostfall/Be A Milk Drinker patches Falskaar patch Beasts of Tamriel patch Fruits addon Kee-poo! Realistic Needs and Diseases All-In-One for USSEP Another great basic needs mod. Choose this one or INEED. Also take a look at Hunterbon parch , Dawn of Skyrim patch and few fruits addon Frostbite As much as I personally love Frostfall, huge huge and complex it is, it's often becoming a big issue in heavy-modded setups because of being very, very script-heavy, plus it has more issues in SE than in LE version. That's why I humbly recommend you to look at this fresh, lightweight, highly compatible and constanly updated mod that can be considered a simplier and vastly more safe alternative to Frostfall. Vitality Mode - Basic Needs - Eat Drink and Sleep Similar to Frostbite, this one is a lightweight sleep-hunger-thirst alternative to iNEED/RnD. Super Simple Needs Even more lightweight, very, very simple needs mod. Burdens Of Skyrim Adds a strength metric for weapons and armor. Equipment weighing more than your current strength cannot be equipped. Strength is increased by using weapons and armor. Wet and Cold One of another imemrsion kings and great cosmetic addon to survival mods themselves. Drips, soggy feet, breaths, rain blind, snow accumulation on clothes, speed reduction during blizzard and so on. But it’s also pretty script-heavy so if you already runnin heavy-modded game think carefully before using it. Also take a look at hood fix patch, improved water drips addon and backpack tweaks patch Get Snowy Adds a snowy visual effect to the player and NPCs when snow is falling. Same feature is also impelemented in Wet and Cold, but you may want to use this mod as a very-very-very lightweight alternative if whole Wet and Cold is too much for your load order. Skyrim Fishing A simple fishing mod. Exhaustion This is a simple mod that plays audible breaths from your character when your health/stamina/magicka drops below a certain percentage. Hunterborn Awesome and immersive mod that changes the simple routine of kill-and-loot on animals. Field dressing, skinning, butchering. Many new ingredients to loot from animals.Amazing mod for survival and hunting roleplay. You may be interested in new recipes for it and small tweaks patch. Bathing in Skyrim Special Edition - Unofficial Conversion Allows you to bathe in the waters of Skyrim. Compatible with DLCs, new land mods and mods like Frostfall/iNEED. Super Simple Bathing An indeed super lite alternative. Also install this fix if missing soap bothers you, but make sure to run the meshes through SSE Nif Optimizer. Nordic Cooking Mealtime - a Food and Recipe Mod Two great mods that add plenty of new food recipes, compatible with INEED/CACO. Gourmet Gourds Adds some new cooking recipes using gourds. General Stores sells Salt and Flour Simple as that. May be very useful when playing with needs mods. Campsite A very simple and lightweight alternative to Campfire. Skyrim Sleeping Bags - Sleep Under Blankets Mod adds different types of bedrolls for you and your followers. You can sleep, lie down, sit and even meditate on them. Wood Frame Backpacks Several original and super-immersive backpacks.

Various other immersion mods that are not related with survival and needs directly, but greatly improving various other aspects of the game - dialogues, birds, better questing and objectives, lore-related things, city lights and more.


Relationship Dialogue Overhaul Mod adds more then 5000 voiced lines of dialogues. All lines are voiced using the original voices from the game and consist of existing lines that have been added in new and suitable situations, as well as completely new dialogue created by editing multiple lines together to form brand new ones. Friends talk to you more like friends. Followers have more much to say when speaking to them. If your spouse is a follower, he/she will talk to like a spouse instead of a generic follower. NPCs who dislike you (not bandits and forsworn, but citizens of towns and cities) will have more insults to say and may even completely stop talking to you if you continue to pester them.
Note: make sure to peek at Files tab and install respective patches needed. Guard Dialogue Overhaul Redux Fixed and improved version of popular mod. Guard Dialogue Overhaul alters the guards dialogues, changing it from something that breaks your immersion in the world of Skyrim to something that actually increases it. Realistic Conversations Every social logic in Skyrim for npcs is changed, they talk more often to each others. And will less likely greet to you from a distance, they will also greet less often too, making them to not act as much as robots. NPCs are also more clever and will know for example if they talked to a npc and will therefore talk to another or not talk at all. Compatible with both mods above. Carriage and Ferry Travel Overhaul A lightweight but immersive overhaul of both the vanilla Skyrim carriage system and Dawnguard's ferry system, making the whole travelling system of Skyrim much more comfortable and realistic. No dirty records or script, no navmesh edits - clean and bug-free. Helgen Reborn patch and this tiny addon are available. Lanterns of Skyrim Simple and immersive mod that add lanterns to main roads, villages, towns and settlements. The light sources of the lanterns are lit from 7pm to 7am. Once instlaled I just can’t play without it anymore. It’s especially good for people who play with weather/lighting mods/ENBs that have dark nights. Mod also has MCM through which you can control lanterns working time and enable/disable lanterns in settlements for better compatibility. You also may like this addon for it. Please also make sure to endorse the original mod. Point The Way Simple, but greatly immersive one. Road signs have been placed at several major intersections that were either lacking signs, or didn't have enough signs to indicate the full extent of where you could travel on a road. Ask The Way Another little yet immersive one - allows you to ask the way to certain places in city. Even Better Quest Objectives This mod enhances the quest descriptions in the vanilla game so that you have a clear sense of where your are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do besides looking at the quest markers. Let's face it - the quest descriptions were quite bad, not specifying where you are supposed to go by themselves, and forcing you to play with the quest markers on all the time. This affects nearly 250 quest objectives/descriptions, spanning over 160 quests, editing descriptions that were either really vague or didn't exist at all. Not So Fast - Main Quest Not So Fast - Mage Guild Two simple yet so much needed mods to make pauses between stages of main quest and mages guild questline, to let yourself do some other things meanwhile and not being rushed to save the world. Birds of Skyrim skyBirds Birds and Flocks Three similar yet different mods - they are adding various birds here in there - pigeons and crows in cities, seagulls in ports and at seashores, flying and singing birds and forests, bird nests and so on. Technically, you can use all 3 mods together - they complement each other very well. But I personally see that adding all 3 is just adding a bit too much in total, so I'm using Birds of Skyrim and SkyBirds, without Birds and Flocks - but that's just me. Wearable Lanterns Another great immersion mod from Frostfall author. May the light be always with you! Also grab the MCM fix Improved Traps Enemy NPCs will now pay attention when trap is triggered near them. Also, as you can remember, vanilla traps damage was barely noticable. this mod fixes this and makes traps much more dangerous. Destructible Skyrim - Breakable Objects (Beta) The definitive realism mod that Skyrim should have loooong ago. Works as it's named - makes you able to crush and destroy many game objects. Note: the mod is still in beta, meaning it's being developed atm, so test if properly with your mod setup before keeping it for a real walkthrough. Skyrim Reputation New and simply amazing, unique mod that adds ACTUAL reputation system to Skyrim - how townfolk, factions and other people react on you and talk to you, depending on how known (good or evil) your character is. Take into account that's still in development, so may have some bugs here and there. Immersive Laundry Adds decorative clotheslines and other washing-related items throughout Skyrim, for a touch of realism. Also make sure to install this improvement addon for it by Pfuscher. Simply Knock Mod allows you to knock on locked doors of houses in Skyrim. Blowing in the Wind Skyrim is a windy region, yet hanging lanterns and signs outside stores and inns are unaffected by the strong winds. This subtle immersion mod enables signs and lanterns to react to wind like they logically should. Bells of Skyrim Mod adds bells to major skyrim towns and cities that will alarm citizens in case of danger, like dragon/vampire/bandit attacks. Bring Out Your Dead Adds proper burial sites for various unique NPCs found throughout Skyrim. Note: may cause clipping issues with settlement mods, so test before actaully playing. Skyrim Souls RE - Updated Realism lover? Don't want to "magically" pause the game when you're opening inventory or other game menues? Grab this! The People Of Skyrim 2 Explore Skyrim all over again - immersive world overhaul mod adding many new features throughout the world of Skyrim. Mod features: hundreds of new NPCs. More ruins, camps, mills, markets, graveyards and so on. Enemy encounters, hanged people from Thalmor persecution, new factions, cities visual improvements and much more. Version 2 is long-needed highly-compatible version of the mod as it doesn't or almost doesn't modify settlements, and so, doesn't conflict with mods like JK Skyrim and so on, which was original mod biggest issue. Holidays Mod from the same author that brings holidays to Skyrim settlements and will change their appearance based on TES lore. SFO patch available. Skyrim Battle Aftermath The civil war has begun, and it's not a pretty sight ! Adds civil war battlefields throughout Skyrim. Pumping Iron - Dynamic Muscle Growth This mod was not updated for a very long time, but it’s still working great. It adds dynamic muscle growth system. Every time your character gets a skill increase in a combat skill (or smithing) his muscles will be considered to have been trained a little. The more skill increases, the more training. When a 'trained' character sleeps, his muscles will grow ever so slightly. Reflection - Level Up Messages Reflection brings back the level up messages found in previous Elder Scrolls titles. Sit Anywhere For real. Ask Innkeepers To Show Room Instead of always showing you to your rented room, you can ask innkeepers to show you or tell them you know where it is. Alternate Conversation Camera Makes conversation with NPCs more immersive by zooming in to their faces. Fully supports both 1st and 3rd person camera, also supports on sitting and lock-on states. Includes "Witcher 3" camera style. Go to bed This mod allows your character to actually sleep in bed. An addon for more functions is available. Hold Border Banners Adds banners along roads showing which hold you are about to enter. Man Those Borders Adds Immersive manned/unmanned border fortifications and guard posts around Skyrim's inner hold borders. Unique Border Gates Unique Border Gates redesigns the border crossings of Cyrodill, Hammerfell and Morrowind by adding new, unique and immersive gates. YOT - Your Own Thoughts This mod basically changes most(if not all) of the second person messages and texts in game and makes them 1st person. Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul Awesome mod that offers great improvement to friendly NPCs of Skyrim giving them much smarter behavior and survival instincts. It's maybe the one and big flaw is bad compatibility part when it comes to mods that affects cities/towns/villages. AI Overhaul Similar mod, which is somewhat more simple, but much better in terms of compatibility. Destructible Display Cases Hate lockpicking? Ever wonder why you can't just smash that display case and take all the loot easily? Well now you can. Immersive War and Violence Rotmulaag - Immersive Meditations on the Words of Power Allows the player to meditate with Paarthurnax on every shout, providing new unique powers and adding immersive feeling. Loot and Degradation Great immersion mod that basically offers 2 main features: - enemies now can use enchanted weapons. - weapons and armors will now eventually degrade because of combat. You can repair and temper your weapon/armor Mod also provides useful widgets to display your current armor/weapon status. Equipment Durability System This may be a more lightweight alternative to previous mod. It's also SKSE-only plugin so it doesn't occupy .esp slot. Immersive War and Violence Adds past Civil War battlefields to make the world of Skyrim feel like it exists without your intervention and is actually at war. Skyrim Wayshrines - Immersive Fast Travel Mod adds a network of wayshrines across the world of Skyrim, Dawnguard, and Dragonborn that allows players to instantly travel from one wayshrine to another in a more lore-friendly way. The mod is balanced by forcing players to have to locate a wayshrine before they can gain access to its location for teleportation. The locations of the wayshrines are also not too close to major locations but close enough to maintain convenience, especially for no fast travel playthroughs, as well as compatibility. This also encourages the player to be more adventurous in their explorations. Wayshrines of Tamriel A more simple and lightweight alternative to previous mod. Immersive Speechcraft Adds several dialogue options to most of Skyrim's NPCs (even ones initially without any dialogue options) allowing for increased immersive interactions and role-play. Compatible with all mods that affects dialogues. Farmhouse Chimneys Adds chimneys to farmhouses that have fireplaces. Time Passes Actions like crafting, bartering, eating, reading, and training will cause the game time to pass. Gallows of Skyrim Mod adds gallows to every major settlement in Skyrim. Makes your characters pay their taxes from owning everything from property to a horse. Compatible with previous mod. DLC Integration This mod adds content from Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn to the world through leveled lists, merchants, and manual placement of objects Improved Shadowmarks Improves the placement and appearance of the Thieves Guild shadowmarks and adds dynamic shadowmarks to player homes and other quest-related locations. Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn Dear diary... Afterlife for NPCs Valiant Nords will go to Sovngarde, while soul trapped characters will be sent to the Soul Cairn, upon death. After the Civil War - Siege Damage Repairs An immersive way of repairing the damage left by the Civil War without using the console. Twenty days after the final battle the cities will be back to normal, but a generous donation will speed-up the reconstruction. Repair crews will be at work fixing the damage. Reading Improves Speech Gain Speech XP upon reading a book for the first time. Note: I'd recommend to decrease the XP reward value in xEdit. HighHrothgar Shelters and Hotspring Expanded version of the original adding a total of 3 places to sleep in shelters on High Hrothgar and added a hot spring on the mountain near the first cabin. Imperial Post Introduces an Imperial-based news system which updates throughout the quest lines. Marrriage Dialogue Redone A small mod that changed the Text of the options in marriage to make the player seem like he actually loves their partner. Fires Hurt Seriously. Drinking fountains of Skyrim This mod adds several drinking fountains around Skyrim.When you "activate" a fountain, it will give you three bottles of water and if you play in 3rd person you can see an animation Skyrim Artwork Imports Adds dozens of paintings and tapestries to homes across Skyrim. Hold Riders Inspired by Oblivion. Realistic Capacity Your inventory space is no longer capable of holding several suits of armor at a time. You can carry the clothes on your back and the weapons on your belt without issue, and your armor will likely have some pouches to store some meager supplies, but unless you get a backpack, you likely won't be able to carry much more than that. Public Executions Adds public executions to Solitude and the option to capture bandits for executions. Bottles Of Skyrim Adds unique bottles to each beverage. Rude Imperial Soldiers Escort Prisoner fix Sick of rude Imperial soldiers that are escorting prisoners on the road telling you to bug off in a threatening tone, even when your rank is Legate? They will no longer be rude to Imperial legionnaires. Bonus - you can fool them if you wear Imperial chest armour, even if you're not an Imperial legionnaire. I'm a Customer Dammit Allows eating of food and bartering with merchants directly from world. Creature Size Variants Adds some diversity to Skyrim creatures, and generic NPC's, by dynamically resizing them. Customizable with the MCM. Ultimate Spinning Arrows Because FWOOOSH. Harvestable Mammoth Skulls Allows you to harvest mammoth tusks from any mammoth skull. Immersive City Gates Now the guards won't let you enter the city when you want. Cities are closed during the night and you need to pay the tax to enter during the day. Note: mod may conflict with city mods. Frozen in Time Add frozen bodies to Skyrim. Tamrielic Culture Mod adds various different elements of Tamriel cultures to Skyrim here and there. Note: coverage is pretty massive, so it may conflict with landscape overhauls/dungeon/quest mods. CACO patch and RnD patch are available. Goldenglow Is Yours On reading the Goldenglow deed that you get from Gulum-Ei, you actually become the estate's owner. Then you can keep it and get a monthly income, or sell it to Maven for a hefty sum. Banners of victory Simple fix of Bethesda overlook - after winning the war the imperials and solitude banners are replaced for Stormcloak banners at Dragon's Bridge, Solitude, and Castle Dour. Septimus Signus Outpost Overhaul Always wondered how he survives in this cold ice cave? Now it's fixed.

Better animations for movement, actions and fighting, and new animations.


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).
Ecotone Dual Sheath [OR] Dual Sheath Redux
Why can’t you see your left-hand weapon on you? Why can’t you have shield on back? Why can’t you see your staves on you? Think no more - install one of those!
Which one and what/why? Second one is well-known Skyrim LE mod that's not officially ported to SE and first one is a similar SE mod. The choice here is completely up to you, but I personally recommend to convert DSR (LE mod) to SE using this article. The thing is, DSR, even while it's a converted LE mod, in the end works better and has less bugs than Ecotone, simple as that. But onece again, that's up to you. If using DSR, you can also convert this huge collection of patches for dozens of weapon mods and also take a look on patches here. D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animation vanilla friendly Great balance mod - get up after being ragdolled by dragon, mammoth or other such enemy faster than in vanilla, but still not too fast. This mod is pretty much needed when playing with gameplay mods, as AI mods often make enemies more savage and/or give realistic attack impact physics to them, and playing with super long vanilla animation speed would simply lead to silly character demises too often.

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.


QUASIPC - Qwinn's Unified Automated Self Installing Patch Compendium A very simple yet very useful mod - a super-patcher. Just run the installer and let it automatically detect wheter you need or not one, few or many patches from 103 patches it has. Using this patcher is not something you will have crashes without, but it will polish vaiour minor compatibility issues here and there. WiZkiD Patches Compendium One more similar patcher mod. Miscellaneous Patches And a few more patches for some mods. PACE Allows you to set the PACE of the game, via MCM, to your personal preferences. Alter movement speed for every circumstance **NPC's included**, decide exactly how quick, or slow, every weapon should swing, and control time itself at the push of a button. All features toggleable via the menu. BorderSense Ported from Skyrim LE, a small mod that lets you know when you are near the borders of a hold. Optionally notifies you of your bounty in that hold. Quest Conflict Fixes Most likely you will never have or notice these issues, but if so, this mod may help you with some vanilla quests. Slick Sneaking Slit and choke throats by using the mouse buttons/attack buttons. Ensure no-one goes to sleep because they are afraid you'll stab them. Play peekaboo as you showcase how knives work after coming out of invisibility. Incognito A simple mod to remove all crime bounties when you change your face using the NPC in the Ragged Flagon. Classic Sprinting Redone Makes sprinting behave the same way as it did in old Skyrim. Hold instead of toggle. Notification Log Caches notification messages, so you can look at them later. Disease Fixes Fixes a few issues with disease effects so that they can enjoy a minimal consistency. Diseases can only be transmitted to the player, and can be identified by keyword. Finding Derkeethus Fixes some issues with the quest to find Derkeethus, such as moving his cell key to a more logical location (i.e. not inside his cell with him), exposing the quest information in your journal, optionally adding a quest marker, and expanding the dialog options for all those involved. Reading Is Good This mod reworks skill books so that instead of granting levels instantly, they give you a permanent boost to your leveling speed in the respective skill. This means that you benefit more by reading them as soon as you find them. Quick Light Turn on/off a light when long press the activation key. An improvement patch is available. Smart Training - Tweaked Mod makes your training sessions carry over to the next level if you don't train the max times allowed on your current level. Raven Rock - Fix Exit on Horseback When using horse mods in Solstheim, you might have issues exiting Raven Rock through the small shaft. This small tweak aims to fix that. Taarie's Dialogue Fix Just a small fix for Taarie's dialogue, so that she stops criticizing your attire after having completed the 'Fit for a Jarl' quest. Get On With It - No more waiting for doors No more door animations if you wanna save some time.
Note: this is a pure mesh mod, meaning it will overwrite any mod that is changing doors in game, like high-poly door mods by Hype1, etc. It's one or another. Better descriptions Not much realistic ofc, but may look useful for some players - it adds on-screen information and more precise names to various objects, containers, clutter and misc items and activators. Road Signs Fast Travel Allow to fast travel to town and cities from road signs. Fast Travel by Horse Simple as that. No More Standing Too Close Simple mod that make NPCs never say "Huh?" and step back from you again. BlockSteal lite - Prevents accidentally pick up This mod will prevent you from stealing items. When you try to steal, nothing happens. To steal an item, you have to go in sneak mode, and then you can steal all you like. Bounty Gold Lets you configure how much gold you get for bounty quests. SkyTrek - Skyrim on Autopilot This mod allows automated horse/dragon riding and walking to set and radiant destinations with varying speeds. Also includes idle mode, automated NPC following, ability to set a custom destination for travel and an automated combat system. For roleplay, videos or screenarchery etc. Realistic Regeneration - RealRegen Control regeneration rates for Health, Magicka and Stamina at any time in the game. Quest NPCs Run Makes slow walking escort NPCs run instead of walk. Required Key Tweaks When you try to open a door, that requires a key, you can get a message with the name of the key. Pretty simple. Take All Loose Gold and Arrows After picking up a coin or arrow from the world, automatically picks up coins and arrows near you. Consume Loose Items Allows you to consume potions, food and ingredients from the world, rather than storing them in your inventory. Move it Dammit This is a simple mod that changes a few things real quick to make followers and almost any NPC move back farther than in the vanilla game. The circumstances when this does not happen is if an NPC is "too important" to be moved back. Potema Spawn Crash Fix In most of cases you won't have this issue at all because this bug is fixed by XPMSE, which I strongly recommend to use. But if for some reasons you don't have XPMSE - this will help. Elemental Fury Fix Elemental Fury will work on enchanted weapons, bows, unarmed, and will now properly apply to your offhand when dual wielding. Don't Talk With Your Mouth Full A simple mod that prevents NPC eating and drinking animations while talking to the player. Open Inventory May be useful for I have no idea what cheating/testing purposes. But still, it may be. Numerical Smithing Upgrades Changes the naming system of upgraded equipment to a number-based system. So instead of items being amended with (fine), (superior), (exquisite), etc., you have (+1), (+2), (+3) and so on. No Crime Teleport Disables the teleportation when paying off bounty. Face Light This mod adds lighting spell "Facelight" for brighter face when it's needed, useful for screenarchery. Silenced Prisoners Guards shouldn't let walking weapons of mass destruction run around freely. All prisoners are now fitted with anti-magic cuffs that prevent them from casting spells or Shouts. Ragged Flagon secret entrance Makes a secret entrance from next to Riften maingate to Ragged Flagon in Thieves guild. Not that much secret actually, but definitely saves some time. AreYouThere - Actor NPC Follower Find all NPCs in the mod using the simple tool. No Bethesda intro Begone.

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SECTION, DO NOT SKIP IT

Here comes some "final" mods and/or actions that you'll need. Due to how they are made or how they are working, you should deal with them after your mod list is more or less complete. DynDOLOD, ASIS, DSR and some other actions needed to finalize your setup. Let's set them up - the final push is now!


#1 - BUILD A BASHED PATCH

Run Wrye Bash ((if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Bashed Patch, return to stability section, step #8).
At the bottom, you'll see plugin called Bashed Patch, 0. Right-click on it and click on "Build Patch" option, click ok and build the patch. It will take some time. If the process will be interrupted with some errors popped in window - just disable the mod listed and build the patch again. This happens really rare, so most likely you won't even encounter that at. We'll run it again - for now it was needed to make sort of "ultra-easy-one-click-basic-merging" of some patches and tiny mods.
Can't build the bashed patch cuz you have more than 254 active plugins? Simply disable as many last mods in load order as needed for the list to have less then 255 active plugins, and build the bashed patch. You can repeat this action several times to easily reduce amount of active plugins as much as possible before mergin them yourself.
If you will still have inactive plugins after this step (Wrye Bash merges only [some] mods, not all mods that can be merged), proceed to step two.

#2 - MERGE YOUR MODS (optional, if you're still above 254 plugins)

Over 255 active plugins limit? Worry not! If you don't have Merge Plugins or forgot why you need a to merge mods, return to stability section, step #9.
It's not hard at all - just do it slowly. Watch this video for "fast yet enough" instructions or this video for more in-depth turorial.
Our main task now is to get amount of plugins to 254 or lower. Merging process itself is very easy and the main issue is to know which mods you can actually merge. Until you are building a super-heavy mod list (with like 700+ mods), you can you the next simple instructions which can consider "a simple steps for easy merging":
1) You can ofc merge everything possible into a single .esp, but that's not recommended. Try to merge the mods of same "common" category. For example, merge weapons & armors mods in one merged .esp. patches into second and various other small gameplay mods in third one.
2) Follow the "Rule Of Four". Just grab some mods you want to merge and see if:
- All mods you wanna merge are not directly conflicting (between themselves, conflicts with base game .esm and dlcs is fine), using the xEdit option showed on this screenshot.
- All mods you wanna merge do NOT have .bsa archives.
- All mods you wanna merge do NOT have MCM.
- All mods you wanna merge do NOT have navmesh records (the records showed on this screenshot).
If answer to all 4 questions is "NO" - you can easily merge these mods in a few clicks using Merge Plugins basic functionality. If some mods don't fit the "rule", just leave exclude them from to-merge list. Oh, and NEVER merge .ESM plugins.
And now, the exciting detail! Remember the indicators? This indicator means that #2, #3 and #4 in "rule of four" you don't need to check for this mod already - only check the mods for conflicts in SSEEdit and add them to the merge :)
3) Repeat this until you have as many mods to merge as possible and make the merge. Remember that in rare cases MP will show you errors in some mods, that doesn't mean crashes - you can ignore them to add this mod to merge as well, as showed on this screenshot.
4) Remember that you can merge merged .esp plugins as well - as many times as you wannna - so better do everything slowly, step by step, merging mods by tens or so - don't try to merge 100 mods in on fell swoop if you're doing this first time :)
5) Merge mods until your amount of plugins will be less than 250. Profit!
Note: in fact, both mods with .bsa archives and navmesh records [can] be merged - "rule of four" is just the most "simple-to-go" one, which you can use as a "base" for merging without any additional actions required. This said, merging both mods with navmesh records or .bsa archives is not technically hard at all - in first case you just need to rebuild navmeshes in CK and in second case you can just unpack the .bsa for respective mods using this option in Merge Plugins. Such details are coming with experience and you should not be afraid of them - and you can always be sure that the guide provides you with all needed "first steps" for modding experience. For more in-depth but easy-to-swallow tips and tricks for making more "hard" merges, check out this tasty tutorial from ETAC authoress.

#3 - REBUILD & TWEAK YOUR BASHED PATCH

Run Wrye Bash and rebuild your Bashed patch, same as you did in step one.

#4 - MAKE A MERGED PATCH

Run SSEEdit (if you don't have it or forgot why you need a Merged Patch, return to stability section, step #7).
Now, watch the part of this video. Link is with timing, but just in case, you need to start watching from 4:45.
After it's generated, open it and delete leveled records (also shown in the video). If you're using NMM, watch till 6:41, if you're using MO, watch till 7:01. Deleting the leveled records is needed as Bashed Patch that we made in previous step, handles this a bit better. Don't forget to clean unneeded masters, same as we just made for Bashed Patch.

Q: why not to use Smashed Patch instead? It's said this tool is doing everything both Bashed and Merged patch are doing in terms of conflicts, but just better. So?
A: Mator Smash is indeed an amazing work! And indeed, if often covers more conflicting records merging then Bashed 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.
- DSR patcher is file named "Dual Sheath Redux Patch.jar" in \Data\SkyProc Patchers\Dual Sheath Redux Patch. Just run the file, click on "Patch" and wait unti it's finished, it can take few of minutes (usually longer than ASIS). Remember to run patcher each time you've installed mods that add/change weapons/armors. You can also just make a shortcut of "Dual Sheath Redux Patch.jar" to your desktop to same time in future.
- FNIS patcher is file named "GenerateFNISforUsers.exe" in \Data\tools\GenerateFNIS_for_Users. Run the file, choose essential patches in the list of options in lower part of window ("Gender Specifif Animations" and "Skeleton Arm Fix"), optional patches if needed and click on "Update FNIS Behavior". Wait until it's finished (usually it takes just a few seconds), close the window and click on "Yes" when asked (this will simply add a shortcut of patcher at your desktop). Make sure to run patcher each time you installed mods that are affecting animations.

#6 - MAKE YOUR DISTANT OBJECTS BEAUTIFUL AS NEVER BEFORE

What is DynDOLOD? It's a constantly updated, awesome and great, revolutionary, in some sense - but needs some time to install and use. Its a successor of Tes5LodGen, which is basically generating the LODs (optimized textures of distant objects far from you - trees, buildings, light sournces, glowing windows etc). Vanilla Skyrim LODs just sucks. For example, somewhere far infront of you (you know that let's say) there are 200 trees. But game engine will load 10 LODs as maximum - and so, distant view will look bald, and when you'll come closer - all the rest 190 trees will just instantly pop-up out of nowhere. Annoying, isn't it?
Secondly, neither Skyrim engine and Tes5LodGen were able to generate LODs for mods. DynDOLOD can! Yes, yes, yes - that's what you're thinking about. If let's say you installed a mod that adds new houses near village - you will see these houses LODs in distance. If mod places new trees - you will see them all. If you're playing some kind of new land mod - even here, LODs will be generated.
DynDOLOD even has 3D-LODs option for trees! This literally means LODs can be generated in 3D-like look with greater quality and with meshes (LOD don't have models by default, only flat textures, that's why even while being dense, they still noticably differ from actual rendered trees) so you won't actaully notice the transition between regular objects textures and LODs, making exploraton almost seamless.
That's what DynDOLOD about - it's absolutely essential mod that will drastically improve how your worldscape look.
But the link leads to Skyrim LE mod! Will it work fine? Yes, DynDOLOD officially supports Skyrim SE, just the SE file version is hosted on LE page still, simple as that.

Absolutely simplified installation of Dyndolod looks like this:

1) Installing DynDOLOD required mods.
2) Installing DynDOLOD core files, namely the "DynDOLOD Resource SE" via mod manager.
3) Downloading the DynDOLOD files (archive with generators .exe) themselves, namely the "DynDOLOD" file, manually and unpacking it anywhere you want.
4) Installing billboards in the same order you installed trees/landscape mod (i.e. if you have tree mods A, B, C, you should install billboards for mod A, then for mod B, then for mod C, and overwrite). Note - vanilla Skyrim billboards you can get from TES5LodGen Files tab (Skyrim LE mod) - they are same for LE/SE.
5) Installing patches via mod manager.
6) Generating textures via texgen.exe, archiving them, dropping to your mod manager mods folder, installing via mod manager. Make sure you're running DynDOLOD .exe files for SE, as described here.
7) Making sure no antivirus is running, or adding DynDOLOLD executable to its whitelist. Disabling ASIS, DSR/Ecotone, Cutting Room Floor, Bashed/Merged Patch, Skybirds .esp plugins (if you have them) before running the generator executable.
8) Generating dyndolod via dyndolod.exe (running it as admin), archiving the files, dropping to your mod manager mods folder, installing via mod manager.
9) Activating dyndoldod .esp plugin and plugins you disabled (if) in step 6.
10) Profit :3

Watch this awesome guide if installation still looks complicated for you.
To make some lods even more detailed, you can use this and this great mods alongside DynDOLOD (install before generating).
I also highly recommending this great distant "noise" (distant terrain) texture replacer for best possible blending. If you're getting "lighting bulb glitch" no matter what, try this fix.
For 3D LODs instructions (they are actually more then simple), read the "3d lods help.txt" tutorial inside the main EVT file archive. I'll make a video tutorial for 3D LODs a bit later on my YT channel.
Note: 3D LODs can eat some FPS depending on your PC specs.

#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!

Want to support the development of this project? Take a look on Patreon page.

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= value

It's usually set to 4096. Change this value to 2048 or even to 1024. Save the changes, close the .ini file. Changing it to 2048 will make almost zero visual quality loss for shadows, but give you 5-8 FPS boost depending on your PC specs and mod list. Changing it to 1024 will ofc make shadows looks worse, but can sometimes give up to 10-15 FPS. One-click boost!

2) Use performance optimized textures for SSE

Skyrim SE texture are mostly in 2k resolution. This mod has 2 versions with 1k and ever 512 textures resolution.

3) Use Ordenator

Simple as that. Still bad FPS? Just use this amazing tool to optimize textures minmaps and compress ALL your textures to 1024 or even 512. Make sure to use this .ini file. You can also read this tutorial for it.

4) My PC can't afford DynDOLOD and ENB DOF, but I don't want to see these ugly LODs! What can I do?

Use DYNAVISION which gives simple DOF with literally 0 FPS hit.

5) Use Paramount - FPS and Fixes Galore

New and absolutely amazing mod for low-end rig. It Optimizes texture resolution for dozens common object types in the game and removes various minor, not much needed effects and tiny objects - you most likely won't ever notice that, but have a good performance boost. It also comes with handy FOMOD isntaller, so you can choose all options you want and don't want yourself.

6) Still bad FPS in cities?

Use No grass in Cities.

7) Lower you ingame resolution

For 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.


ENB preset recommendations: Rudy ENB, X ENB, Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB, NVT ENB, The True Beauty of Skyrim ENB

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.


ENB preset recommendations: Rudy ENB, X ENB, Ruvaak Dahmaan ENB, NVT ENB, The True Beauty of Skyrim ENB, Silent Horizons ENB, Intrigued ENB, Visceral 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. 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 continue

Hunterborn 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
Which one and what/why? Second one is well-known Skyrim LE mod that's not officially ported to SE and first one is a similar SE mod. The choice here is completely up to you, but I personally recommend to convert DSR (LE mod) to SE using this article. The thing is, DSR, even while it's a converted LE mod, in the end works better and has less bugs than Ecotone, simple as that. But onece again, that's up to you. If using DSR, you can also convert this huge collection of patches for dozens of weapon mods. Legacy of the Dragonborn Insatll the main file and the update file. Then download and run the "Legacy of the Dragonborn Patches SE" patches installer. It should automatically detect all needed mods you have, but still, read the options carefully yourself. Finally, install this and this. 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 and follow the steps in it. Also, if you're owner of a windescreen monitor, install this fix and take a look ad low-end section of the guide if you have weak rig or just need to gain a few FPS. After you've finished these steps, just sort your load order with LOOT and you're ready to go.

This module is for those who don't want neither hardcore combat or survival challenges, but have and endless adventuring spirint and wish to visit as many new lands and dungeons, make as many quests, solve as many puzzles and mysteries as possible. This is an adventuring/relic hunting/questing mod list that will be a great choice if you just want to have a vivid, interesting walkthrough with huge amount of content but without gameplay itself being hard.


To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)

A module dedicated to thieves/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.


To be added... The more free time I'll have, the sooner I'll be able to add these. Cheers! :)




Huge thanks to each and every patron of mine, existing and past ones, who helped me to keep going and deliver Skyrim Ultimate Modding Guide - without your support, I would never be able to have enough time to compile it <3

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