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The best Skyrim mods in 2021

Skyrim turns ten years old this year, but a list of the best Skyrim mods remains as useful as ever. More useful, even, given that hundreds of new mods are still being released for the fantasy RPG every week. If you're planning on starting the game fresh, or just looking for something new to add to your existing mod mountain, you should find something worth your time below.

Almost every mod we've chosen will work with either the regular or Skyrim Special Edition, and we've provided links to both versions - or similar alternatives - where necessary. There's also undoubtedly many, many great mods that we've not included. If you think your favourite Skyrim mod is an essential install, then take to the comments and make your case. We love discovering new mods, too, and may include your suggestion in a future revision.

How to install Skyrim mods

Before you start turning dragons into 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, there are a few things you’ll want to install first. It’s also recommended to do a clean install of Skyrim and start a new game, especially if you’re going to be throwing a lot of mods into the mix. What I like to do is create a new, unmodified game, get somewhere like Riverwood and then create a save that I can use for testing. You don’t need to fire up the save after every mod, but it’s worth checking a few times during the process to make sure everything’s working. The fewer mods you’ve installed, the easier it will be to pinpoint any problems or conflicts.


Best Skyrim mods

We've only picked the very best Skyrim mods, but there are so many available that we've had to break them down by category. You can hop directly to the kind of mod you want via the links below.


Essential Skyrim mods

Nexus Mod Manager

Nexus Mod Manager

Even if you’re just planning on using a few mods, grabbing a mod manager will skip so much hassle. There are several good ones, but Nexus Mod Manager is your best bet. It looks a bit intimidating at first, but once you’ve got it set up, you won’t need to worry about it at all. If you’ve modded Fallout 4, you’ll already be au fait with the manager, and you can use it for several other games, including The Witcher 3. Here’s a tutorial from mod guru Gopher to get you started.

Download Nexus Mod Manager

LOOT

LOOT

A lot of the mods in this list can be used in tandem, but even compatible mods can have a falling out when they’re not put in the correct load order. LOOT solves this and myriad other problems, checking your load order, hunting for errors and directing you to naughty mods that aren’t playing nicely. Before you test anything in-game, run LOOT. It takes seconds.

Download LOOT

Skyrim Script Extender

Skyrim Script Extender

Several important mods won’t work at all without the Skyrim Script Extender. When Skyrim Special Edition launched, the script extender’s absence meant that a lot of mods couldn’t be used or ported over, so the original Skyrim remained the best version for anyone looking to spice up their game. It’s been updated since then, thankfully, and now works with both editions. Note that, from now on, you’ll need to launch Skyrim with the script extender, not through Steam. You can launch it directly from the .EXE or by connecting it to the Nexus Mod Manager.

Download the Skyrim Script Extender

Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Even if you’re not planning on adding a single mod, you should get the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. It’s one giant bugfix that’s constantly being updated, and as with every massive Bethesda game, Skyrim sure has a lot of bugs.

Download the Unofficial Skyrim Patch or the Special Edition version

Cutting Room Floor

Like the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, Cutting Room Floor is worth getting even if you just want the vanilla Skyrim experience. It’s a large compilation of cut content, adding villages, NPCs, quests and countless other bits and pieces that Bethesda created but never implemented. None of this has just been flung back in, of course, and has instead been tweaked to make sure it all fits with Bethesda’s final version of Skyrim.

Download Cutting Room Floor or the Special Edition version

Achievements Mods Enabler

In Skyrim Special Edition, achievements can’t be earned if you’re using mods. That’s obviously dumb, so here’s a mod that gets around that. If you’ve got regular Skyrim, you don’t need to do anything.

Download Achievements Mods Enabler


Best graphic mods for Skyrim

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

It’s a terrible name for a mod that you absolutely need to get. Basically, it spruces up a huge pile of 3D models, making all of Skyrim look nicer in hundreds of tiny ways. You’ll probably not even notice it most of the time, but it works its magic everywhere. It’s also a key ingredient in several other mods, so it should be one of your first downloads.

Download Static Mesh Improvement or the Special Edition version

Skyrim HD

Skyrim HD

Skyrim HD is a long-running texture mod that replaces over 600 textures. Everything from the sky and mountains to the interiors of ramshackle hovels has been done up. There are two complete versions, one of which is a 1K resolution ‘lite version’ for less powerful PCs. Optionally, you can download just the cities, landscapes, dungeons or miscelleanous packs. This is specifically for old Skyrim, but there are plenty of great alternatives for the Special Edition.

Download Skyrim HD

Skyrim 2018 Textures

Another huge, broad texture mod, this time specifically for the Special Edition. The latest version of the mod only comes with one complete file, but the 2017 version is more modular. You can pick what you want retextured, whether it's just the roads, only mountains or all of Riften. The mod’s creator advises people with the old version to keep it, as it has some files that haven’t been added to the 2018 version yet.

Download Skyrim 2018 Textures

RealVision ENB

RealVision ENB

More than most other mods, the lighting, post-processing and colour tweaks made by ENBs and Reshade mods are down to personal preference. In OG Skyrim, I was rather partial to RealVision ENB, and it still makes the seven-year-old game look absolutely gorgeous, though it does come at the cost of performance. You definitely won’t be able to use a PC that ran Skyrim in 2011.

Download RealVision ENB

SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB

SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB

When the Special Edition first launched, flashy post-processing options were limited while we waited for ENB to be updated. SkyrimSE Re-Engaged started out as a Reshade mod (it has since made the jump to ENB) and proved to be the best alternative, and while there’s now no dearth of competition, it continues to be my favourite. There are seven presets, not including vanilla, each dramatically different and designed with a specific weather mod in mind, and if there’s something you don’t like, you can adjust it.

Download SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB

Realistic Lighting Overhaul

Realistic Lighting Overhaul

If you don’t want to fiddle around with ENBs or take the inevitable performance hit that comes with the most impressive ones, Realistic Lighting Overhaul might be just your horn of mead. It's a comprehensive lighting mod that doesn’t use any post-processing or screen injector tricks, so there's no performance cost. It’s not as dramatic, either, but that’s the point. It aims to light up Skyrim realistically, based on actual light sources, whether it’s the sun or a candle.

Download Realistic Lighting Overhaul or the Special Edition version

Enhanced Lights and FX

Enhanced Lights and FX

Enhanced Lights and FX is similar to RLO, but it’s more dramatic and stylised. ELFX wants to make Skyrim pretty, not just realistically lit. Both mods are great, so it really depends on what kind of atmosphere you want to generate. You could always mix and match, and even throw in an ENB for good measure.

Download Enhanced Lights and FX or the Special Edition version

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

Since Skyrim is full of forests, Skyrim Flora Overhaul has a pretty dramatic effect. It includes lots of new, high-quality tree models, even more grasses and plants, and loads of visual tweaks that generally make forests look deeper and more imposing. There’s a grass-only and trees-only version, too, which obviously have less of a performance impact. This is one of those changes that’s worth sacrificing some frames over, mind.

Download Skyrim Flora Overhaul or the Special Edition version

Simply Bigger Trees

Simply Bigger Trees

Simply Bigger Trees does exactly what it says on the tin, giving Skyrim’s forests a growth spurt. It’s a surprisingly significant improvement, and though it’s only partially compatible, I like to pair it with SFO. Some of the trees get overwritten, but there’s still plenty of variety and the forests look considerably more striking.

Download Simply Bigger Trees or the Special Edition version

Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water makes the pools, coasts, rivers and lakes of Skyrim distinct, so it doesn’t look like they’re all full of the same murky bath water. If you see some H2O in the game, it’s probably been improved. There are so many tiny touches that make this mod brilliant, like curated sound effects and animated icebergs. The Special Edition introduced a new water flow system, which is nice and all, but it was applied to all bodies of water indiscriminately, which made less sense. Realistic Water also fixes that.

Download Realistic Water Two or the Special Edition version

Better Roads

Better Roads

Better Roads makes Skyrim’s trails and highways more interesting, giving them a bit more character and adding some lore-specific touches. More walls and fences have been added - touches of civilisation - while bridges have been made a bit more diverse and in keeping with the architecture of the areas they’re built in. Generally, they’re just less drab. It’s a subtle improvement, but Skyrim’s a much better place to walk around with this in your mod library.

Download Better Roads or the Special Edition version

Climates of Tamriel

Climates of Tamriel

Climates of Tamriel is a massive weather and lighting mod that replaces all of Skyrim’s boring weather with hundreds of different weather variations, from sunny days to cataclysmic storms and everything in between. It’s predominantly a visual mod, but there are plenty of audio improvements to go along with it. Climates of Tamriel is at its best when paired with an ENB like SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB and Realistic Lighting Overhaul’s interior lighting.

Download Climates of Tamriel or the Special Edition version


Best NPCs and creature mods for Skyrim

Interesting NPCs

Interesting NPCs

Interesting NPCs is packed with new characters scattered all over Skyrim, each with their own background, schedule and branching dialogue. There’s over 250 of them, including marriage prospects, followers and quest givers. Followers also have unique commentary, insights and questlines, so there’s plenty of reasons to ditch the largely forgettable vanilla cast and travel with some new pals.

Download Interesting NPCs or the Special Edition version

Immersive Citizens

Immersive Citizens

Skyrim’s NPCs aren’t always the sharpest knives in the drawer, but Immersive Citizens alleviates some of that by delving into their empty heads and leaving something there. With these tweaks, NPCs respond in more realistic and diverse ways to things like weather, attacks and their day-to-day schedules, depending on who they are. Most important is the survival instinct feature, letting NPCs evaluate threats and act accordingly.

Download Immersive Citizens or the Special Edition version

Immersive Creatures

Immersive Creatures

We’ve all killed our fair share of draugr and dragons (too many, probably), so thank goodness for Immersive Creatures and its long list of mostly lore-friendly monsters and creatures waiting to be battered. This throws in everything from warring goblin tribes to considerably more exotic and indescribable nightmares. The world a bit more deadly. It’s possible to tweak this mod to your liking, removing creatures and changing the difficulty via the menu.

Download Immersive Creatures or the Special Edition version

Immersive Patrols

Immersive Patrols

Skyrim’s supposedly warring factions don’t really get up to very much, but Immersive Patrols thrusts them into conflict a bit more often. It creates patrols for not just the factions of the civil war, the Stormcloaks and Imperials, but also the Dawnguard and Thalmor. There are even some raider patrols, too. These warbands clash in specific areas, with forts and territory changing hands depending on the outcome of the battle. It makes Skyrim feel like a more mutable place, and importantly one that doesn’t need you to get involved for changes to happen.

Download Immersive Patrols or the Special Edition version

Amazing Follower Tweaks

Amazing Follower Tweaks

Ever wanted to traipse around Skyrim with your very own supernatural band? Amazing Follower Tweaks is an extremely helpful follower management tool that lets you have multiple followers, organise their equipment and give them orders, but the best bit is being able to turn them into vampires and werewolves. The limit is five followers, but that’s much more impressive when it’s five deadly, magical monsters with a thirst for blood and flesh.

Download Amazing Follower Tweaks or the Special Edition version

Run For Your Lives

Run For Your Lives

Speaking of deadly, magical monsters with a thirst for blood and flesh, this mod makes NPCs run away when one of them attacks. Dragons and vampires will scare off NPCs, making them run to their home or the nearest inn until the area is safe again. No more risking your life to save some idiot with a torch who’s decided they can fight a dragon. Guards and Warrior Guild members will, of course, still impotently flail at monsters, since it’s their job.

Download Run For Your Lives or the Special Edition version

Convenient Horses

Convenient Horses

It’s pretty clear why most people in Skyrim travel by foot - their horses are terrible. Not with Convenient Horses, however. The name doesn’t paint the full picture. Sure, it makes horses a lot more convenient, letting you loot, harvest and interact with the world while you’re riding, along with other time-saving features, but it also makes horses deeper generally. You can train them, put all of your followers on them, get new equipment via faction quests and crafting, and there’s an encumbrance system.

Download Convenient Horses or the Special Edition version

Relationship Dialogue Overhaul

Relationship Dialogue Overhaul

Relationship Dialogue Overhaul makes Skyrim a chattier place. NPCs get a whopping 5,000 lines of new, reactive dialogue, all voiced. The mod’s creators used existing lines, adding them to new situations and, in some instances, creating new bits of dialogue by splicing lines together. NPCs react more realistically, letting you know what they think of you, while followers will take into account their relationship with you. If you’re travelling with your spouse, for instance, they’ll talk to you like a husband or wife rather than just another hired hand.

Download Relationship Dialogue Overhaul or the Special Edition version

Simply Better Movement Speed

Simply Better Movement Speed

Simply Better Movement Speed tweaks how fast you move while walking, running and sneaking. Walking speed has been significantly boosted, while running is slower. The pace feels more natural, making it necessary to get a horse for long journeys, but making wandering around towns and villages much quicker. It also makes players the same speed as NPCs, so following people around is no longer a chore where you have to make constant adjustments.

Download Simply Better Movement Speed or the Special Edition version

Moonlight Tales

Moonlight Tales

Getting lycanthropy is a great way to shake things up, but as much fun as it is to stomp around Skyrim as a massive wolf, the system is pretty underdeveloped. Moonlight Tales, then, is essential if you plan on tearing people apart during a full moon. It completely overhauls werewolves, replacing the perk tree, introducing new abilities, forcing lunar transformations and, best of all, letting you become a werebear. Whichever beastie you pick, you’ll also get lots of different skin choices.

Download Moonlight Tales or the Special Edition version


Best weapon and armour mods for Skyrim

Immersive Weapons

Immersive Weapons

There is a seemingly endless supply of user-created weapons on the Skyrim Nexus, but Immersive Weapons should always be at the top of your list. It’s an increasingly massive mod that adds over 250 weapons and 21 archetypes to the game that you can buy, loot or craft yourself. The benefit of using this instead of adding all your weapons piecemeal is that these weapons have been designed to co-exist, keeping balance and lore in mind. Unlike lightsabers.

Download Immersive Weapons or the Special Edition version

Immersive Armors

Immersive Armors

If you’re grabbing Hothtrooper’s Immersive Weapons, you should pick up their Immersive Armors as well. Like the weapon mod, it introduces hundreds of new pieces of lore-appropriate armour and shields, allowing you to finally live out your dream of wearing a saber-toothed cat on your head. There are some nifty accessories, too, including eye patches and scarves. You’ll be prepared for anything.

Download Immersive Armors or the Special Edition version

Bandoliers

Bandoliers

If you’ve ever fancied dressing your Dragonborn up as a Rob Liefeld superhero, Bandoliers is the mod for you. It adds new item slots to your body and then provides a vast number of pouches, bags and bandoliers that you can strap onto yourself. If you’d prefer to look less like Cable and more like a wizard, there are also book and vial holders. They’re practical, too, letting you stuff your inventory full of junk.

Download Bandoliers or the Special Edition version

Cloaks of Skyrim

Cloaks of Skyrim

If you don’t wear a cloak, how will anyone know that you’re an adventuring hero? Cloaks are an RPG necessity, so Cloaks of Skyrim provides an important public service. It summons a bounty of cloaks into the world, nearly 100 styles in all, ranging from faction-specific clobber to tattered, monstrous garments that only a Daedra would wear. NPCs will wear them, too, and they actually make guards look more authoritative. A nice cloak commands respect.

Download Cloaks of Skyrim or the Special Edition version

Wearable Lanterns

Wearable Lanterns

Only mugs hold their own lanterns. Wearable Lanterns is a mod for the adventurer who doesn’t have time for holding extra junk while they’re slaughtering their way through undead-infested dungeons. You can attach the lantern to your belt, or you can just give it to one of your followers; they can hold or wear it for you. Even handier! Honestly, is there any need for the sun now that we've got this sorted?

Download Wearable Lanterns or the Special Edition version

Deadly Cabbages

Deadly Cabbages

Throw a magical cabbage at your enemies. Go on.

Download Deadly Cabbages or the Special Edition version


Best combat and magic mods for Skyrim

Phenderix Magic Evolved

Phenderix Magic Evolved

Phenderix’s Magic Evolved flings 400 new spells into your magical repertoire. You can expand your arcane arsenal with blood magic, druidic spells and all sorts of new stuff that can then be combined to create even more powerful results. Cast some lightning magic on someone you just soaked with water magic, for instance, and you're going to do a bit more harm. You can even clone enemies, turn them into chickens or break the laws of time and space. They’re customisable, too! You can change how they look, and while that has no practical benefit, being a wizard is at least 50% showmanship.

Download Phenderix Magic Evolved or the Special Edition version

Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim

Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim

Apocalypse has fewer spells, but boy are they fun. And flashy! You can summon tornadoes and volcanoes, rip ghosts out of corpses and send them towards enemies or trap people in mystical prisons. The handiest, however, are often the more mundane spells, like being able to find gold veins or conjuring up spectral bridges that transport you across large gaps. OK, that's not mundane at all. The mod neatly slots into the game and feels like a natural extension of the existing magic system, but a lot more creative.

Download Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim or the Special Edition version

Wildcat/Smilodon - Combat of Skyrim

Wildcat/Smilodon - Combat of Skyrim

Wildcat and Smilodon are combat overhaul mods for Original Flavour Skyrim and Skyrim Special Edition respectively, both created by EnaiSiaion (they also made Apocalypse). There are some differences between the versions, but both improve combat AI and introduce attacks of opportunity and timed blocking. Generally, combat is faster and more deadly, with weapons dealing more damage. It’s designed to be tinkered with, however, so don’t just stick with the default settings if you’re finding them a bit too tricky.

Download Wildcat/Smilodon - Combat of Skyrim or the Special Edition version

VioLens - A Killmove Mod

VioLens - A Killmove Mod

VioLens lets you customise your killmoves, both melee and ranged, letting you decide how often they appear and what move each weapon triggers. You can create different profiles and tweak things like decapitations, slow motion, and what you see when you’re in first-person or third-person mode. If you want to give your fights some extra cinematic flair, this is a good way to go about it.

Download VioLens - A Killmove Mod or the Special Edition version

Pretty Combat Animations

Pretty Combat Animations

Swap out the boring vanilla idle weapon animations for something a bit fancier. Pretty Combat Animations lets you pick from full animation sets that change what your character looks like when they run, walk and sneak while armed (or unarmed, if you're just using your fists). You'll look dangerous even when you're just standing around.

Download Pretty Combat Animations or the Special Edition version


Best town and city mods for Skyrim

Towns and Villages Enhanced

Towns and Villages Enhanced

Towns and Villages Enhanced is a series of mods from Aplestormy that gives several of Skyrim’s settlements stunning makeovers. There are maybe a few too many trees, though I am a fan of the overgrown look. They’re more cluttered and lively as a result of the tweaks and additions, and they make vanilla Skyrim look positively dead in comparison. Unfortunately, the mods haven’t been updated in years, and they’ve not been ported over to the new edition. The should still work with Special Edition anyway, but there might be some unforeseen issues.

Download Towns and Villages Enhanced

HQ Towns and Villages / Expanded Towns and Cities

/>HQ Towns and Villages / Expanded Towns and Cities

They're not quite the dramatic visual overhaul that Towns and Villages Enhanced is, but together these two mods replace the vanilla textures with high-quality versions and add new bits and pieces. And unlike Towns and Villages Enhanced, they're designed for the Special Edition. If you’re looking for something that hews closer to Bethesda’s vision of Skyrim, these are perfect. The textures are much improved, but they otherwise maintain the original aesthetic, while the towns that have been expanded so far (Darkwater Crossing, Dawnstar and Riverwood) are familiar but busier.

Download HQ Towns and Villages and Expanded Towns and Cities

Open Cities Skyrim

Open Cities Skyrim

Skyrim hides all of its cities behind gates and loading screens; Open Cities Skyrim smashes them down. This beefy mod moves the cities into the main Skyrim map, rather than the pocket dimension in which they existed, so you can seamlessly move between city and wilderness. All you’re really bypassing is a brief loading screen, but what a difference it makes. The world feels more cohesive, guards react to what’s going on beyond the walls and you can ride your horse into town.

Download Open Cities Skyrim or the Special Edition version

Helgen Reborn

Helgen Reborn

Poor Helgen. It only got a few minutes of screentime before it got roasted, along with most of its inhabitants. Helgen Reborn, then, is a lovely mod that gives the town a second life. Not only does it let you bring Helgen back, there are six custom dungeons, loads of new NPCs, quests, feuds, a town guard to train, new sets of armour to discover - there’s a lot going on. It’s much better than leaving it a charred ruin, even if you still harbour a grudge for everyone standing by when you were about to get your head chopped off.

Download Helgen Reborn or the Special Edition version

Winterhold Rebuilt

Winterhold Rebuilt

Similar to Helgen Reborn, this mod revitalises the gloomy town of Winterhold as you work through a quest. In the end, you’ll get yourself a new home, while Winterhold will get a bunch of new buildings and merchants. Those merchants, I should add, are very wealthy, so it's a great place to offload your inventory. Everyone wins!

Download Winterhold Rebuilt or the Special Edition version


Best quests and overhaul mods for Skyrim

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

Alternate Start is the best way to start a new game of Skyrim. Instead of starting out on the prisoner wagon heading to Helgen, you’ll be able to pick from a multitude of very different origins. Maybe you’re just a hunter camping in the woods, a patron of the Riverwood Inn or a vampire hiding with your undead kin in a dark cave. What you pick doesn’t just determine your starting location, it also changes your inventory. If you want, you can easily pick up the main quest again, or you can just revel in your new life as a recently escaped necromancer’s thrall.

Download Alternate Start - Live Another Life or the Special Edition version

Falskaar

Falskaar

Falskaar is a total conversion mod created by Alexander Velicky to prove to Bethesda he could make something that rivalled their DLC, but with a fraction of their resources. He’s since landed a job at Bungie as a result. Adding approximately 20 hours to the base game, Falskaar is an impressive mod that adds a whole new land independent of Tamriel, accessible by portal and later by boat. It boasts new items and shouts, and adds 26 new quests - which includes nine main story ventures and 17 side quests. If you’re looking to push more mileage from Skyrim, they don’t come much better than Falskaar.

Download Falskaar or the Special Edition version

The Forgotten City

The Forgotten City

Another ambitious conversion, The Forgotten City won a national Writer’s Guild award, a first in the medium, for its clever murder mystery script. It’s an eight-hour investigative romp set in an ancient underground city that is, not surprisingly, thick with mysteries. It’s a proper detective story, full of interrogations and sniffing around for clues. Think Poirot, but with magic and ethical conundrums. It feels like a professional production that just happens to also be a mod for Skyrim. A standalone game based on the mod is also in the works.

Download The Forgotten City or the Special Edition version

Moonpath to Elsweyr

Moonpath to Elsweyr

Sick of chilly Skyrim? Hop on a wagon and take a trip to distant Elsweyr, the home of the fluffy Khajiit. The rainforest and desert makes a nice change of scene, and the Khajiit are far more interesting than the moody Nords. As well as a change in setting, there are plenty of entertaining quests, NPCs and, above all else, an airship of your very own. Moonpath to Elsweyr is almost as old as Skyrim and was a bit creaky as a result, but it started getting updated again last year. It’s the best time to take it for a spin.

Download The Forgotten City or the Special Edition version

Enderal

With a main storyline alone that amounts to 30 hours of questing, Enderal is a titanic mod set in an entirely new land made up of tropical costs, frosty mountains and dense forests. There are countless new assets, running the gamut from photo-scanned rocks to new monsters. Perks, combat and animations have similarly been overhauled - it’s essentially a new game. And a great one, to boot.

Downoad Enderal

Unfortunately, it's not compatible with the Special Edition; you’ll need to do a bit of faffing to get it to work, though it’s entirely worth the effort.


Best character customisation mods for Skyrim

Total Character Makeover

Total Character Makeover

Total Character Makeover takes the best appearances from Skyrim Nexus, spruces them up even more and collects them in one convenient package. It doesn’t include new hairstyles, beards or body shapes, but it improves just about everything else for every race. It generally sticks close to the original style of Skyrim’s NPCs - you won’t see big anime eyes or uncanny dolls - but it’s still a meaty enhancement.

Download Total Character Makeover or the Special Edition version

Apachii's Skyhair

Apachii's Skyhair

Worried your greasy hair is holding you back? Keep finding twigs in your mane right after a job interview? Get yourself Apachii’s Skyhair and replace your manky bird’s nest with silky smooth locks that a model would envy - adventurers can use conditioner too, you know. The mod offers up a ridiculous number of new styles. Remember to get the optional helmet wigs file to make sure your gorgeous hair can be shown off even when you’re wearing a hat.

Download Apachii's Skyhair or the Special Edition version

Ish’s Souls to Perks

Ish's Souls to Perks

Souls to Perks adds a ‘Dragon Stone’ to Guardian Stones which allows dragon souls to be swapped for perk points without the restrictions other mods have come with. No more souls gathering dust because you’ve had your fill of Dragon Shouts.

Download Ish’s Souls to Perks or the Special Edition version

Ordinator

Ordinator

Ordinator completely overhauls Skyrim’s perk trees, introducing a ridiculous 400 new perks. They’re brilliant. It turns each perk tree into a cohesive class, though of course the perks are still all designed to be mixed and matched. Take Alchemy, for instance. The vanilla tree just gives you some resistances and lets you make more powerful potions. It’s rubbish. The Ordinator version, however, transforms you into a mad scientist, dripping horrible pools of magical (and explosive) oil and figuring out new ways to hurt people with poisons. Building your own unique class is infinitely more rewarding with all these exotic perks.

Special Edition

Download Ish’s Souls to Perks or the Special Edition version


Best UI mods for Skyrim

SkyUI

SkyUI

SkyUI works magic with Skyrim’s interface, vastly improving everything from inventory management to crafting. There are search fields, you can make lists of favourites and everything is displayed clearly. It cuts out so much mucking around. It also includes the Mod Configuration Menu, an extremely handy tool that makes it easy to customise mods. It’s used by several on this list, making SkyUI even more essential. After a long wait, a Special Edition port appeared last year, but it’s still in alpha.

Download SkyUI or the Special Edition version

Immersive HUD

Immersive HUD

The best HUDs are the ones you don’t notice until you need them. Immersive HUD makes HUD elements like the crosshair and compass invisible until they're called for. The crosshair will only show up if you’re holding a ranged weapon or hovering over an item, you can toggle the compass with the press of a button and meters vanish when they’re at 100%. It’s customisable, too, so you can tweak the transparency of the compass and fiddle with other elements. Skyrim doesn’t have too much screen clutter, but there’s no need for any at all when you’re just exploring peacefully.

Download Immersive HUD or the Special Edition version

A Quality World Map - With Roads

A Quality World Map - With Roads

Skyrim’s map is pretty but largely indecipherable. It’s not the sort of map that you’d use if you were orienteering. You’ll get lost, stuck behind mountains, lose track of the road and curse the cartographer who made this unhelpful mess. A Quality World Map - With Roads is considerably more detailed, clear and, importantly, shows you where all the roads are. It’s essential for explorers.

Download A Quality World Map - With Roads or the Special Edition version

Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers

Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers

A simple but effective mod that adds quest markers to all 24 Stones of Barenziah which feature in the ‘No Stone Unturned’ quest. It’s a massive pain in the arse to find them all without it.

Download Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers or the Special Edition version


Best survival mods for Skyrim

Frostfall

Frostfall

Frostfall turns Skyrim into a survival game. It implements a system that tracks your location, the weather, the time of day, and your worn clothing among other things and, combined with the Campfire mod, adds a range of craftable camping equipment which you’ll need to combat hypothermia. Trekking through Winterhold wearing the wrong gear or taking a dip in an ice water lake can prove fatal – be sure to wrap up.

Download Frostfall or the Special Edition version

Campfire - Complete Camping System

Campfire - Complete Camping System

Campfire takes the camping system from Frostfall and spins it into an even more developed standalone mod. You can craft camping gear, make roaring hearths that give you bonuses and even become a tracker. There’s a perk tree attached to it, as well. It’s handy if you want to play around with other survival mods without giving up the comforts of your campsite. It’s also required if you want to use the latest version of Frostfall.

Download Campfire - Complete Camping System or the Special Edition version

Realistic Needs and Diseases

Realistic Needs and Diseases

Nobody really needs to eat in Skyrim, which explains the abundance of food. It’s just sitting there, completely ignored. Imagine how miserable all the chefs must be, preparing food that nobody is remotely interested in. The best they can hope for is that an adventurer will scoff some as a last resort. Realistic Needs and Diseases returns food to its lofty status. If you don’t eat, you’ll starve. Drinking is similarly necessary. There are other negative effects before death, but also lots of positive ones for eating well. You need your rest, too, but watch out where you decide to take a nap - if it’s somewhere horrible you might contract a nasty disease.

Download Realistic Needs and Diseases or the Special Edition version

Wet and Cold

Wet and Cold

Wet and Cold is a perfect accompaniment to Skyrim’s survival and weather mods. It mostly adds visual effects that complement the foul weather, but it also changes NPC behaviours. If it’s raining you’ll drip and, if you look up, you might get a raindrop in your eye. When it’s cold, you’ll see your breath (unless you’re a vampire, which is a fantastic touch) and, if it’s also snowing, your hair will get covered in it. During bad weather, NPCs will have different reactions depending on their race, age and job. Argonians, for instance, will stay outside when it’s raining because they can’t get enough of it, while children will flee because they have a deep, abiding fear of water.

Download Wet and Cold or the Special Edition version

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The best Skyrim mods

If you can imagine it, chances are there's a Skyrim mod for it. Skyrim is one of the most modded games of all time, with over 65,000 submissions on Nexus Mods and 28,000 in the Steam Workshop. Modders have created everything from tiny tweaks to silly memes to entirely new campaigns for Skyrim since its release in 2011. 

Skyrim Console Commands

There's no need to play Skyrim as a humble warrior. Become a giant, fly, walk through walls, spawn any item you want, and even become Santa Claus with Skyrim console commands.

Even with the Special Edition released, modding Skyrim's original release is still getting plenty of new mods all the time. It's an overwhelming number to sort through, which is why we're here to help find and install the Skyrim mods you should use in 2021.

This is our guide to the best Skyrim mods, sorted into categories that will make it easy for you to find what you're looking for. And if you're looking for Skyrim Special Edition mods, follow that link to our separate collection. Mods added in the latest update of this list have been marked with a ⭐.

First up we'll cover how to get started modding your game along with some essential improvements. Check our other pages for all the best quest mods, new skills, and everything else you can imagine.

Table of contents

Page 1: Getting started - How to install mods, patches, interface, and textures
Page 2: Content mods - quests, characters, creatures, and places
Page 3: Gameplay mods - weapons, skills, systems, and tweaks

How to install Skyrim mods

How to install Skyrim mods

Now that you've found some mods you'd like to try, here are the tools you can use to get them working. Again, make sure you read the pages for each of your mods: many of them require specific steps and instructions.

Vortex

Replacing the Nexus Mod Manager is Vortex, a newer program for organizing your mod loadout. Available from the Nexus Mods website, just like most of the mods on our list, it will handle everything for you. It's easy to use and makes downloading, activating, and deactivating mods a breeze. It's also useful in that it supports tons of other games, like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and many more. 

Skyrim Script Extender

Skyrim Script Exstender (SKSE) is a utility that's required for some of the more complex mods to work. Not every mod on this list requires it, but many do, including the essential SkyUI, so you're best off just installing it up front. SKSE is now available directly through Steam, but you can still find it here if you prefer manual installation. 

Load Order Optimization Tool

Load order is often very important when using multiple mods, and sometimes if mods aren't loaded in the correct order they won't work properly. LOOT is a great tool for automating and customizing your load order, and will detect problems and attempt to repair them.

Steam Workshop

You can also browse and use Skyrim mods via the Steam Workshop. It's easy to navigate and adding them to your roster is accomplish by simply clicking the subscribe button. Keep in mind, more complex mods usually require a few more steps to install, and even if they appear in the Workshop they may require more steps to get running.

Patches & Optimization mods

It's no secret Bethesda's RPGs can be more than a bit buggy. There are glitches, optimization problems, and in Skyrim's case, a UI designed for consoles. Thankfully, long after the official patches stopped rolling out modders remain devoted to making the game more stable and usable. Here are some mods that will improve your overall experience.

Unofficial Skyrim Patch, Unofficial High Resolution Patch

Created by the same modders as the Unofficial Oblivion patches, the Unofficial Skyrim patches catch a huge amount of bugs the official patches don't. A lot of them are things you might never notice, like objects that were placed slightly wrong so they clip through each other or quests that break if you do something unusual, but it's still better to have them than not. There's one for the Legendary Edition and one for the official High Resolution textures patch.

Not So Fast

Dragons returning is a pretty big deal, but the main questline feels like you’re on a runaway train at times. This mod helps you modify the order of events to a more reasonable pace. Not only can you get Breezehome when you hand in the Dragonstone, but you can also ignore the Civil War part altogether! Fully customizable through MCM.   

Project Optimization

Project Optimization improves Skyrim performance by occlusion culling, which means not rendering effects you can't see. If you use a lot of serious lighting mods, like ENB and Realistic Lighting, then this mod can save you several frames per second.

Realistic Humanoid Movement Speed

Sick of walking like a turtle and sprinting like a cheetah? This mod fixes the problem. Your movement speed is adjusted to more reasonable levels, from a brisk walk that lets you keep up with NPCs, to slower run speeds that make it challenging to escape from that cranky troll. Also eliminates “skating” from sneak running. 

Vendor Sale Delay - GONE

This is a small mod, but it makes the game much less frustrating. Now instead of having to listen to the vendor dialogue before they’ll trade with you, the trade window opens up immediately while they give their speech about their junk—I mean “treasures.”

Performance Textures

This mod rezises and enhances the textures for armor, clothes, and weapons, making them both better looking while simultaneously making the file sizes smaller for improved performance. This is useful for users with low-end machines who still want to improve their graphics. The modder has done the same for animals and creatures.

Performance Plus

Falling leaves and snow are pretty, but can sometimes cause FPS drops on older GPUs due to the size of the textures. Performance Plus decreases the fidelity of particles, which provides an FPS boost. In most cases, such as snow, it's barely noticeable, and the slight degrading of particle textures is more than made up for by an increase in performance.

The Choice is Yours

Lets the player be way more in charge of what quests they want. Stops random auto-quest greetings from NPCs, stops books from giving auto-quests, and lets the player customize when they want to see certain quests become available. Full MCM support. Optimal experience paired with Timing Is Everything.

User Interface mods

A Quality World Map

Skyrim's map is functional but boring. A Quality World Map offers multiple ways to fix it. You can replace the map with a much more detailed world texture, with colors that help delineate the separate areas much more obviously, but there's also an option to have a paper map with a more Oblivion look if that's your thing. 

Sky UI

Skyrim's original UI is, well, terrible. SkyUI makes it easier to use, more pleasant to read, and much more useful for sorting through your loot and menus. Most importantly, SkyUI adds a mod configuration menu to the pause screen, letting you tweak and adjust compatible mods (including many on this list). A lot of mods don't require SkyUI and will run just fine without it, but you'll get much more out of your mods if you have it.

In other words, it's highly recommended.

Better Dialogue Controls

Using a keyboard and mouse for Skyrim means sometimes the game gets confused when you're selecting a dialogue option. You've noticed, surely, that sometimes when you choose a response the game thinks you've chosen a different one. Skyrim's dialogue controls are weird and clunky, and this mod completely and thankfully fixes that. The same modder also created one for message boxes.

Immersive HUD

You don't need your HUD onscreen all the time. This mod hides the crosshairs and status bars when you're not actively using them, such as outside combat. You can also toggle the compass and quest markers on and off with a keypress, and adjust their opacity.

HUD Clock

On the other hand, sometimes you want a little more info on-screen. This widget adds a clock to your screen—with several different elegant and unobtrusive faces you can choose through SkyUI's mod configuration menu—so you can keep track of the time and date. The Dovahkiin's got a smartwatch.

Textures & Lighting mods

Skyrim, frankly, wasn't really that fantastic looking to begin with, so there have naturally been a lot—a lot—of visual improvement mods over the years. Here's how to squeeze improved visuals out of the aging RPG.

Total Character Makeover 

A compilation of existing changes to NPC appearances, the Total Character Makeover makes everyone in Skyrim look better without making them better-looking, if you catch our drift. No nudity, no anime hair, no glamazon makeup, just a suite of new textures and tweaks to everything from beards to vampire fangs. 

Enhanced Lights and FX

You may have noticed some things in Skyrim that should be sources of light don't actually cast any, while in other places things are brightly lit for no real reason. Enhanced Lights and FX fixes that, making light shine where it should. There are options for just how dark you want interiors to be, and enabling those will mean torches and spells like candlelight are vital. It also makes some nice tweaks to the appearance of smoke.

2K Textures

Does what it says: replaces Skyrim's textures: sky, water, architecture, clothing, clutter, reflections, and so on, of the cities, towns, dungeons, and landscapes. There's a full version if your PC can handle it, but there's also a lite version that should make things look nicer without killing your performance.

Climates of Tamriel

This comprehensive mod adds hundreds of new weather systems, a huge library of new cloud systems, a new sun, improved lighting for both fans of a fantasy look and realistic visuals, and even audio improvements. With all of these systems combining, each day in Skyrim will feel different from the last.

Book of Silence

A pretty hefty collection of high-quality replacements for Skyrim textures, covering everything from equipment, landscapes, dungeons, and architecture. While they look much nicer, the textures are the same resolution as Bethesda's high-res DLC pack so it shouldn't slow you down.

Make sure you read the notes on the mod's page. There are hotfixes required to get everything working.

Static Mesh Improvement

This mod edits a number of 3D models in the game, and with over 700 meshes placed in over 15,000 locations in the world, it's a welcome difference. You'll notice better looking architectural elements, furniture, objects in the landscape, and all sorts of other models that didn't get much attention from Bethesda.

Sounds of Skyrim

Get immersed in new audio: tons of it. Hundreds of new sounds effects are included to make dungeons and sewers spookier, enhance the wilderness and wildlife, and make cities and villages more lively and real. This mod is a treat for your ears, and has customizable modules for each type of area.

FXAA Injector

Enhances your graphics with FXAA and other post effects, such as sharpen and bloom, creating crisper visuals and more vibrant colors. Conveniently, you can adjust these settings while you play by alt-tabbing out and moving the sliders on the mod's desktop utility.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

This mod comes in three different versions, depending on how drastically you want to change your game. All versions promise more luxurious trees and bark, taller grass, and prettier plant life. The heavier versions completely replace the trees altogether and give you lusher greens for a summery feel.

Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water Two, drawing and expanding on the work of some earlier water mods, adds better ripples, larger splashes, re-textured foam and faster water flow in streams, bobbing chunks of ice, and even murky, stagnant-looking water in dungeons. It's the next best thing to getting wet.

True Vision ENB

If you're looking to get closer to reality with crisp visuals, this ENB configuration is one to try. With hyper-realistic color corrections, realistic specular highlights and reflections, improved spell effects, and tons of other adjustments, it makes Skyrim look like a real-world place.

Enhanced Camera

Remaining in first-person mode helps a game feel immersive, and this mod does that in spades. Not only can you look down and see your entire body while playing, but other activities such as crafting, cooking, riding horses and even riding dragons won't break you out of first-person mode.

Book Covers

It may not seem like that big of a deal, but these little high-res book covers do make for an extremely pleasant upgrade over the standard, muddily-textured ones. When you're relaxing at home or perusing (or robbing) a bookstore or library, make sure you've installed this lovely cover mod.

Hearthfire Dolls Are Ugly

Because they are! What self-respecting parent wants to give their kid a dirty, beat-up naked doll? Instead, give them an actual cute dolly, or an adorable teddy bear in a variety of different colours.

Jump to page 2: Content mods

Table of contents

Page 1: Getting started - How to install mods, patches, interface, and textures
Page 2: Content mods - quests, characters, creatures, and places
Page 3: Gameplay mods - weapons, skills, systems, and tweaks

Head to page 2 for the best content mods for Skyrim.

Current page: The best Skyrim mods: Getting started

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The 15 Best Skyrim Mods, Ranked

Bethesda might not have the most stellar reputation right now — given their track record in modern times — but there's no denying the fact that they still have a bunch of brilliant and imaginative titles under their belt to this day. One need only look at the sheer enduring popularity of Skyrim to understand why this is the case.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Best Husbands In The Game (& How To Marry Them)

The fifth entry in the popular Elder Scrolls series is still going strong to this day as one of the most-played games around, mainly due to its incredible modding support. The game might've released in 2011, but the sheer amount of mods that tweak — if not completely improve — the overall experience are so immense that most people will never notice the age of this game.

For players who want to try out Skyrim on PC, here are ten of the best mods that are a must-have for this title.

Updated on July 25th, 2021 by Ritwik Mitra: Skyrim is a legendary game that needs no introduction. The fact that Bethesda's decade-old game is still making waves in the industry to this day is a testament to just how amazing and revolutionary this game really is. Of course, it would be impossible to talk about Skyrim without mentioning its amazing modding community that is still releasing stellar mods for the title to this day. Keeping this in mind, here are some of the best mods for Skyrim.

15 ApachiiSkyHair

The customization options present in Skyrim are plentiful enough for most players. That being said, there are still some players who would want these options to be more varied and numerous, especially when it comes to hairstyles.

To mitigate this issue, players can download the ApachiiSkyHair mod. It adds numerous hairstyles for both men and women in Skyrim by ingeniously importing assets from The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.

Character creation is an integral part of Skyrim. So, it's only a given that players would want this system to be as robust and impressive as possible.

Players who aren't satisfied with the vanilla character creation system of Skyrim can opt for the RaceMenu mod instead. It completely overhauls the vanilla character creation menu of Skyrim while allowing players to add war paint to the various body parts of their character as well.

13 Immersive Armors

Skyrim's collection of armors is truly impressive to behold, allowing players to look like a warrior of legend indeed. That being said, some people would've appreciated new and more diverse armor sets in the world of Skyrim.

This can be achieved with the Immersive Armors mod. It's a great mod that adds more varied armor sets in the world of Skyrim without any of their designs clashing with pre-existing armor sets!

12 Immersive Weapons

The feeling of getting a powerful weapon in an RPG is infinitely satisfying. Skyrim definitely elicits the same response when players end up laying their hands on incredibly rare and powerful weapons.

However, these weapons feel rather rare and hard to obtain at times, with players getting bored of the vanilla selection of weapons after a point as well. Thankfully, the Immersive Weapons mod sees to it that players get more weapon variety in their copy of Skyrim that feel right at home too!

11 Alternate Start — Live Another Life

For people who keep on starting a new game with Skyrim and end up having to bear through the intro time and time again, the Alternate Start mod is perhaps the perfect fit for them.

With this mod, players can choose the background of their choice without having to be a prisoner over and over again. The manner in which these alternate lifestyles are integrated into the main game is pretty deft, making for a rather unique and enjoyable experience for fans who wish to start yet another life in Skyrim.

10 Skyrim Flora Overhaul

Players will spend a ton of time surrounded by the vegetation of Skyrim as they roam around this vast and packed world. So, it's only fair to assume that the vanilla flora textures will seem rather boring and dated after a point.

To avoid this issue from becoming too prominent, players can opt for the Skyrim Flora Overhaul mod. It's one of the best mods of Skyrim which sees to it that the greenery of the game feels incredible to behold no matter what.

9 Climates Of Tamriel

While there's no denying the fact that the land of Skyrim is a beautiful one, there are times when the vast expanse can become somewhat boring to explore at times due to the lack of any unique weather.

With the Climates of Tamriel mod, players can enjoy new weather effects that can spice up one's exploration while simultaneously making for a ton of picturesque moments as well.

8 Apocalypse — Magic of Skyrim

Skyrim's magic might be the most robust magic system in the series, but there are players who would inevitably be unsatisfied with the limitations of these skill trees.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Best Light Armor Sets, Ranked

Thankfully, with the Apocalypse mod, around 155 new spells and incantations are introduced into the main game, allowing players to role-play exactly like the kind of character they wish to be.

7 A Quality World Map And Solstheim Map — With Roads

The map of Skyrim in the base game is fairly serviceable, but one can't help but imagine what it would be like if the map of this game was more detailed, accessible, and just conveyed more useful information at a single glance.

This mod realizes the various minor issues that people might face with Skyrim's overworld map, and ends up redesigning it so that the routes are clearer and the landmarks are more defined.

6 SkyUI

Bethesda games have consistently been problematic when it comes to the UI in their games, which ends up being a burden to cycle through due to their rather unintuitive design. Thankfully, this can be mitigated by installing one of the best mods for Skyrim.

With the SkyUI mod, the interface is way more optimized for PC gamers, allowing them to navigate the menus using their mouse and keyboard with the greatest of ease.

5 Skyrim HD — 2K Textures

Skyrim might be one of the most beautiful open-world games to have ever been designed, but there's no denying the fact that the game hasn't really aged all that well. People who end up playing the 2011 release will notice that most of the textures are notably muddy and don't really hold up all that well in modern times.

Thankfully, this problem can easily be mitigated with the Skyrim HD mod, which ends up adding 2K textures that significantly improve the visual quality of the title and allow players to experience the beauty of Skyrim with the freshest coat of paint that's available. It's easily one of the best mods for Skyrim that has remained reliable to this day.

4 Sofia — The Funny Fully Voiced Follower

There are various fan-made mods of Skyrim that add new and unique followers to spice up one's experience with the game. However, out of all these followers, one has to admit that Sofia is easily the most popular and well-developed one of the lot.

Featuring excellent voice acting and some truly well-written dialogue — almost overshadowing Bethesda's character writing in many aspects — Sofia is a great companion mod to add in the game if the base game's companions end up being rather boring and one-note.

3 Falskaar

Skyrim's modding community has definitely gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to integrating a ton of total conversion mods that allow for a fresh and unique experience, with Falskaar being one such mod that easily stands in a class of its own as an excellent fully-voice conversion mod for fans of Skyrim.

RELATED: Skyrim: The Best One-Handed Weapons In The Game (& How To Obtain Them)

Any player who's tired of making the same old trek through the land of Skyrim over and over again would definitely enjoy playing through a new world with more than 20 hours of gameplay, supplemented by voiced dialogue and great level design.

2 Enderal

However, it would be impossible to talk about total conversion mods and not mention what is easily one of the most notable mods for the game by a country mile.

Enderal is the product of a ton of hard work and love for Skyrim, culminating in what is easily one of the most expansive conversion mods made for a video game. The fact that players can enjoy another 100 hours of gameplay with this mod alone — to say nothing of the DLC that was released for this mod as well in the form of Enderal: Forgotten Stories — is a testament to how many people absolutely adore Skyrim in all its forms.

1 Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch

If there's one thing that's synonymous with most Bethesda games, it's that the majority of these games are full to the brim with a ton of bugs that have become less and less endearing over time, with people being less forgiving of the broken states in which most of these games are released.

So, for people who want the smoothest possible experience with Skyrim without having to deal with a slew of bugs that can range from annoying glitches to game-breaking events, the Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition patch is the first and best Skyrim mod that should be installed for this otherwise brilliant game.

NEXT: Skyrim: Why The Stormcloaks Shouldn't Rule Skyrim (& Other Reasons Why The Imperials Shouldn't)

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35 Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021 You Can’t Play Without

It’s 2021, and somehow we’re still interested in Skyrim, a game that came out in 2011. That’s in part to the vast, open-world that Bethesda created, and also because of the amazing mods that have supported, updated, and expanded the game immeasurably. Heading back to Tamriel is a magical experience, but these mods take it to another level. With that said, let’s dive into the best Skyrim PC mods for 2021 you can’t play without.

Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

One of the most crucial Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mods, you can install, even still in 2021, is the Unofficial Skyrim Patch. What this does is patch out a bunch of bugs, mistakes, and otherwise undesirable features from the vanilla game with the ultimate goal of fixing every bug possible.

If we had to pick one mod to add, this would be the one, as it’s the least intrusive and most helpful.

Ultimate Followers Overhaul

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

No list of Skyrim mods would be complete without including the Ultimate Followers Overhaul. If you’ve ever been frustrated about the lack of interactivity there is between you and your followers, this is quite literally the mod you’ve been searching for.

To start things off, this raises the follower limit to 15, and also enables them to do things such as dual-wield weapons and prevents them from attacking while sneaking (which was always a pain).

Not only that, but the mod also adds an absolute ton of different dialogue options, meaning you can tell your followers to train up to reach your current level, learn magic from spell tomes and change their current clothes… or just put some on if they’re naked.

NobleSkyrimMod HD-2K

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Noble Skyrim is definitely one of the best, if not the best, texture mods out there right now. Adding this to your game overhauls the architecture, structures, dungeons, and a whole lot of other things in the game.

If you’re looking to enhance your Skyrim experience, you definitely can’t go wrong with this mod.

Sky UI

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Sky UI changes the UI of Skyrim into something that’s quicker, easier, and more intuitive to use, making it more like a normal RPG. And, as an added bonus, if mods support it they can take advantage of a mod configuration option in the new menu as well.

Enhanced Lights and FX

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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A staple of the Skyrim modding community, and one of the most impressive graphical updates you can add to Skyrim. Enhanced Lights and FX adds drama and realism to the lighting in Skyrim by adding lights and light sources.

It also removes light without a source, which makes for more dramatic scenes and a more immersion experience.

Immersive Patrols

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Immersive Patrols ups both the difficulty of Skyrim (which at a certain level gets laughably easy) by adding random patrols to every faction and also the immersion.

Aside from the random events that happen across Tamriel, sometimes it can feel a bit… empty. Immersive Patrols fixes that by adding loads of soldiers across the map. It makes sense that they’d be there, too, there’s a civil war going on!

Recent updates have added battles that allow soldiers of a faction to capture the forts of an opposing faction, which is insanely cool.

Winter is Coming

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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Need a little Game of Thrones in your Skyrim? Game of Thrones – Immersion has you covered. It adds over 120 pieces of Game of Thrones items to the world of Skyrim. Moreover, plenty of the factions reflect their GoT equivalent. If you’re a big fan of HBO’s hit series, you’ll definitely want this mod in your game.

Frostfall

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Speaking of harsh cold, Frostfall is one of those mods that, even if you decide you don’t want it installed forever, you must try it out. There are three main gameplay components it adds hypothermia, cold water survival, and camping equipment.

The basic premise is that if you jump into an icy lake in the real world, you’re going to freeze to death if you don’t warm up. Why not add that to Skyrim?

WARZONES

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Ever feel like the civil war in Skyrim wasn’t really happening, rather it was just being talked about? WARZONES fixes that in a big way. It adds battles, skirmishes, ambushes, and a new armory to amplify the feeling that there’s actually a war going on.

WARZONES does this intelligently and creates randomized battles so that each one is different. Sometimes the Stormcloaks take out the Imperials in quick fashion, and other times there are 20-minute battles that span huge areas of land.

This mod isn’t for the faint of heart, though, and requires a significant degree of tweaking and optimizing to get everything working. If you have the patience, it will reward you with an experience unlike any other.

Falskaar

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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Falskaar is a legitimate expansion for Skyrim. It’s enough content to be a game in itself, adds 20-30 hours of quests, new spells, items, soundtrack, and even has voiceovers.

It was apparently impressive to Bungie, the makers of Halo, because they offered the creator Alexander Velicky a job after seeing his work. Good thing, too. He spent over 2,000 hours working on Falskaar.

It shows, too. Falskaar is clearly a labor of love and melds seamlessly into the Skyrim universe. If you own Skyrim, Falskaar is simply too good to pass up.

More Dangerous Enemies

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Skyrim can be an easy game once you’ve mastered it. Get your skills down right and you’ll be slicing, firing, and shouting your way through anything and anyone.

However, this mod allows for the game to get a bit more difficult. Every single one of Skyrim’s enemy types are now far stronger and don’t have the lower level caps that they had in the vanilla version of the game.

Players will have to stick to their survival skills if they want to survive the wilderness. Go out there and have a challenge!

Immersive Armors

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Do you feel like your wardrobe is lacking in the game? Have no fear; Immersive Armors is here. With this mod, you’ll be able to choose from 55 new sets of armor, 396 new shields, and “a large number of other items such as eye patches, capes, earrings, scarves and more!”

There will be no shortage of what you should wear the next time you’re out adventuring. Don’t worry about looking out of place, by the way. Everything has been balanced to not only appear as though it should be a part of Skyrim’s world, but also have the stats that make sense, too.

Magic Duel – Reborn

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim PC mods 2020

Magic Duel – Reborn is an overhaul of the mod Magic Duel. What does it do? Makes awesome magic duels a possibility. That’s right. Have you ever wanted to be like Harry Potter versus Voldemort, or Goku versus Vegeta?

Well, with this mod, you totally can. You don’t even need a mage character for it (though it does make you more capable of winning the duel). Every NPC is able to duel back with you, you just have to cast some magic on them to start it up. Once you do, you need to show that you have more agility and dexterity than them to win.

Thunderchild – Epic Shouts and Immersion

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Tired of the vanilla shouts? Thunderchild – Epic Shouts and Immersion has you covered with 29 new shouts that each have differing effects. It’s a pretty robust mod and can really change your game up if you’ve had enough of the same old, same old. Here’s the full list of features:

  • 29 brand new shouts with multiple effects.
  • 3 abilities that make shouting more effective and fun.
  • Learn new shouts by revering Kyne and completing her tests of faith.
  • The High Hrothgar Library.
  • 24 variants of the Greybeard Robes based on a high quality custom model.
  • 23 Pillars of the Voice to power up your shouts.
  • Several new weapons and items.
  • Buffs and bugfixes to existing shouts.
  • Configuration options available in the Thunderchild MCM if SkyUI is installed (SkyUI not required to use Thunderchild).

Animations

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

A surefire way to change Skyrim up is by completely overhauling the animations. Animations allows you to do this with new, optional gestures as well as tweaking some of the older ones. Definitely grab this if you want a simple, yet revolutionary, change to your Skyrim adventure.

Simple Multiple Followers

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Simple Multiple Followers is absolutely essential for adventurers that hate being alone. It allows you to have up to 10 followers and pets at a time.

If you’ve always wanted to have your own mini-army in Skyrim, you can’t go wrong with this mod. After all, the journey is definitely more fun with companions by your side.

Forgotten Dungeons

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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If you’re a fan of Skyrim’s many different dungeons, you can use this mod to add a ton of new areas to explore. The Forgotten Dungeons mod patches in 11 extra dungeons along with over 40 different quests.

This mod is perfect for players who’ve just about seen everything there is to see. While Skyrim’s dungeons will always have a few surprises up their sleeve, having more will expand your ongoing adventure.

Alternate Start – Live Another Life

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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If you’re a fan of The Elder Scrolls, you’ve probably escaped incarceration in the serious numerous times. The Alternate Start mod for Skyrim allows you to try something a bit different.

Choose your class and decide how you want your adventure to start. No more having to deal with that whole Helgen fiasco. 

VioLens – A Killmove Mod

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

skyrim violens a killmove mod

Love to watch killmove animations but hate that they’re almost always the same? It turns out that a lot of people feel that way. VioLens – A Killmove Mod allows you to customize both your ranged and melee killmoves. Time to get fancy. 

HDT Physics Extensions

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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The HDT Physics Extensions mod takes the existing Havok physics and applies them to even more items throughout the world. Clothes, hair, body parts, they all move using the same physics now adding a bit more realism to the world of Skyrim.

LeanWolf’s Better-Shaped Weapons SE

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Skyrim certainly does have a lot to offer, but after a while, you may get the feeling that you’ve seen it all already. This is especially true when it comes to weapons.

Thankfully, there’s the Better-Shaped Weapons SE mod which gives life to some of the blander weapons. That way, you can slay in style while keeping your favorite sword in check.

Apocalypse – Magic of Skyrim

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

skyrim apocalypse

Mastered all the schools of magic in Skyrim? Think you have what it takes to rival the best Mages in the world? Think again. This mod adds 155 new spells.

Some will make life easier, others will bring nothing but death and destruction to all who oppose you. 

Run For Your Lives

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

skyrim run for your lives

It’s always weird watching all of the NPCs in Skyrim try to go toe-to-toe with a dragon. We all know they have no chance, yet they still pull out their rakes, brooms, and other weapons in an attempt to be a hero.

The Run For Your Lives mod changes that by given them the sense to run inside their homes instead. Let you deal with the mighty beasts, they’ll just get in the way. 

Ultimate Fire Effects

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

If you’re a battle mage who loves using fire spells, you’ll love this enhanced mod. What this basically does is tinker with the resolutions to provide realistic fire.

Take note that this mod doesn’t only apply to your spells, but to every single flame throughout Skyrim. Fire has never looked this good!

Scoped Bows

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

skyrim scoped bows

Not everyone can be a natural with a bow. And even if you happen to be, perhaps you want your bow to look a bit cooler. Enter Scoped Bows, amazing bows with slick designs that fit right in with the world of Skyrim.

A Quality World Map

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

What better way to see all of Skyrim than with a better map? That’s what this mod pretty much adds to the game. This highly-detailed 3D map provides routes and roads that you can follow so you’ll never get lost.

Real Clouds

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Foliage and water get a lot of love within the Skyrim mods world, but you know what don’t? Clouds. Fortunately, Real Clouds is one of a handful you can get your hands on, and thanks to its randomization and varied cloud types, Skyrim’s skies will look all the better.

Depending on whether it’s raining, sunny, or just a bit overcast in Skyrim, the clouds will change in look and altitude to offer more realistic 3D cloud coverage.

Project ENB

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

If you’re looking for a mod that messes with Skyrim’s ENB, Project ENB is one of our top-picks. As you might have guessed, this mod gives the game a massive visual overhaul. Just take a look at some of the provided screenshots over on the mod’s download page and you’ll understand why we’ve included it.

That being said, Project ENB does require you to do a little bit of extra messing, but there are handy steps on what you need to do down in the mod’s description over on NexusMods, so you shouldn’t have too many issues.

KS Hairdos – Renewal

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Character creation is a big deal if you’re looking for the most immersive experience possible. You want your character to look just like you (or how you envision them to look in your mind), but the hairstyles on offer just aren’t quite right.

KS Hairdos – Renewal is the perfect Skyrim mod to cater to your hairstyle needs. It contains 724 hairstyles (645 female, 79 male), meaning you’ll have a far greater chance of finding exactly the style you’re looking for (or something at least very close to it). Sometimes, it’s the mods with the simplest additional content that can make all the difference.

LC_ Build Your Own Noble House

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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If you want to carve out your own slice of Skyrim, then this mod is one you’re going to want to check out. The LC_Build Your Own Noble House mod enables players to build their own little fiefdom from humble beginnings as a small shed and a tent, right through to an entire village with a fortified noble house for you to reside in.

Even better, the fortified noble house has enough room for you, your spouse, and six children to live, so you won’t have to live a lonely life in the wilderness just for using this mod.

Diverse Dragons Collection 3 (DDC3)

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

The dragon types in the original Skyrim are all well and good, but they’re not quite as diverse and varied as some players would perhaps hope. After all, dragons can come in all different shapes, colors, and sizes.

Diverse Dragons Collection 3 consists of 28 different dragon type which all have seven ranks of strength to scale with your level. There are 16 new breath attacks and 19 abilities that dragons can use in battle, and you can enable and disable dragons in your game as you see fit.

Essentially, this is the perfect way to give the dragons a bit of a sprucing up and having full control over the extent to which they take over (as well as which ones show up).

Destructible Display Cases

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

There are many things that don’t really make sense within the world of Skyrim. Why, and how, for example, would you want to carry such an abundance of cheese wheels around with you for days on end? The more immersion-breaking issue is why can’t you just smash through display cases and grab what’s inside!

That’s exactly what this Destructible Display Cases mod is all about. You can just walk on over to it, smash through the glass and take that damn fine weapon.

Project AHO

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

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For those players looking for a lengthy quest mod to sink their teeth into in Skyrim, Project AHO is one of the best you can download right now. This mod let’s you embark on a quest to uncover the history and inhabitants of Sadrith Kegran – a hidden settlement of Great House Telvanni.

The mod has few performance problems and actually offers up a pretty engaging storyline to follow to boot. Top it off with the fact that you’ll uncover the Aetherium Hyperspace Observatory on the way and there’s little reason not to give this a try.

Guards Armor Replacer

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

The Guards Armor Replacer mods gives all of those guards a bit more variety about them. Every Hold in the game now has its own armor and equipment, that depends on the hold’s prosperity, geographic location, weather, cultural influence and more. It’s all divided into heavy and light, each of which have different appearances.

What’s more, all outfits can be used for both sexes and all races in the game. If you’ve been looking for a way to make those guards look a little less generic, this is the Skyrim mod you’re looking for.

Familiar Faces

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

best skyrim mods

Sometimes you need to move on, as painful as it may feel. Sometimes, you just have to start a new playthrough and begin the adventure all over again, leaving your old character to sit and question where you’ve gone and have yet to return.

Familiar Faces is a Skyrim mod that aims to take some of that pain away. You’ll be able to head to the Shrine of Heroes, where you can meet your characters from previous playthroughs and even create monuments of them to celebrate their achievements. Oh, and if that’s not enough you can bring them into your world and have them fight alongside or against you.

Immersive Interactions

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Skyrim is all about experiencing an immersive role-playing experience, but if you’re still rocking the base NPC interactions then the game can feel pretty stale and lifeless by modern standards. This excellent new mod by jayserpa adds a huge array of realistic animations that completely changes the feel of the game. It’s also highly customizable, so you can tweak the extent of the changes to your preference. Download here.

Imperial Guard Centurion Armor

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

If you’ve pledged your allegiance to the Imperial Guard then this new armor set will be of special interest. Not only does it look absolutely awesome and fits within the lore of The Elder Scrolls Online but it’s also more powerful than the standard Imperial Armor in Skyrim. Here’s an overview of the set:

Imperial Centurion Armor Set
• Chestplate
• Gauntlets
• Greaves
• Helmet
• Cloak
• Sword
• Shield

Each piece is +3 higher than the standard Imperial Heavy set. Can be worn by both Male & Female.

Download here.

Dog Replacer

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

If you’re a dog-lover then the range of doggos in vanilla Skyrim is pretty underwhelming, so you might like to take a look at this new Dog Replacer mod by gg77, which adds the following models:

  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Bulldog
  • Beagle
  • German Shepherd
  • Corgi
  • Pug
  • Chihuahua
  • Dachshund
  • Doge
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • White Beagle
  • Golden Retriever
  • Husky
  • Great Dane
  • Mastiff

Download here.

Pandorable’s NPCs – Males 2

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

Pandorable has done a number of excellent NPC makeover mods, and this latest one adds 60 new male models to the game. Given that vanilla Skyrim’s selection of models is somewhat limited and bland as standard, this introduces some much-needed diversity and much more detailed models in general.

Download here.

Summon Ice Horse

Best Skyrim PC Mods 2021

If you want a new way to traverse across the snowy plains of Skyrim in style then this Ice Horse is the business. As you can see in the image above, it’s a summon that you’ll need Conjuration for. In addition to looking totally badass, it’s also faster than a normal horse.

Download here.

That does it for our list of best Skyrim PC mods in 2021 for now. We’ll be keeping this article updated, though, so be sure to check back in with us soon.

Sours: https://twinfinite.net/2021/06/best-skyrim-mods-pc/

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8 SKYRIM Graphics Mods That Will Compete With Elder Scrolls 6 [4K]

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