The 100 best Skyrim mods: Page 2

Skyrim graphics mods

Skyrim is a gorgeous game, but it’s by no means at the top of its game. Take a quick look at Dead End Thrills and you’ll see that, with a bit of tweaking, the land of the Nords can look nothing short of ‘next-gen’. It’s not difficult to achieve either; even the most novice PC gamer can enhance their Skyrim experience by clicking the ‘Subscribe’ button in the Steam Workshop on these mods, and hey-presto, we’re playing a Skyrim HD remake three years early. 

A Quality World Map

A Quality World Map Skyrim mod

One of the most popular mods, Quality World Map boosts the visuals on Skyrim’s world map, adding plenty of details like clearly defined roads and much more texture in the mountains and plains of grass. It also includes the Solstheim map for anyone with the Dragonborn DLC. 

Pure Waters 

Water effects are notoriously challenging to pull off, and whilst Skyrim’s rivers look tantalising at a distance, up close they’re murky, stiff, jelly-like gunge pools. Turn them into refreshing, cool, clean dreams with Pure Waters. This mod thins down the appearance of water to acceptably fluid levels, adds some wonderful wave and flow effects, and gets those reflections just right. 

Pure Weather

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Combining wonderfully with Pure Waters is Pure Weather, which impacts rivers with better shores, but also brings some phenomenal rain, snow, and fog effects into Skyrim’s skies. Mountains look especially beautiful when shrouded in Pure Weather’s astonishing fog clouds. 

Better Embers 

Better Embers

If water is considered difficult to replicate, fire must be written off as impossible. Whilst Skyrim’s fire effects continue to be that awkward GIF-style flicker, Better Embers introduces some lovely warm-looking fire residue to the world’s hearths. These pinpricks of glowing heat replace the default chunky slabs of light to create some truly mesmerising fire pits. 

Deeper Snow

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In certain areas of Skyrim snow is dynamic and builds up over time. But whilst technically impressive, these gradually growing snow piles are rendered in an ugly pure-white texture that makes it look like a bucket of paint was tipped over the landscape. Turn these regions into blankets of crisp-looking fluffy snow with this great texture replacement

Logical Grass 

Logical Grass Skyrim mod

When trekking through Skyrim’s wilderness, its natural carpet can feel a little like weeds pushing through concrete rather than dense undergrowth. Logical Grass improves grassy regions, populating them with multiple times more blades and wild foliage elements for a believably natural look. 

Enhanced Blood 

Enhanced Blood

Has someone been bleeding around here, or did they just drop a jar of jam? That’s frequently the question posed by Skyrim’s forensic investigators when visiting crime scenes because the default blood textures appear more like globs of strawberry puree than human juice. Enhanced blood does away with splats and replaces them with high-resolution spatter patterns with just the right viscosity.

Wet and Cold 

Wet and Cold

Skyrim is a bloody chilly place. There’s so many opportunities to get wet-through or frosted by snow, yet the effect is never seen. Enter Wet and Cold, a mod that adds numerous weather effects to characters. Snow gets caught in hair and sticks to clothes, water drips from armour, breath steams on cold air, and NPCs run home during storms.

Eyes of Beauty 

Eyes of Beauty

There’s no bigger culprit than the dreaded ‘dead eyes’ when it comes to breaking immersion. Eyes of Beauty adds a stunning collection of realistic eyes to Skyrim’s characters, making NPCs’ soul windows something you’ll want to gaze into like a besotted schoolgirl.  

Real Glaciers 

Real Glaciers

The northern regions of Skyrim are filled with vast ice formations. Real Glaciers makes them an unmissable attraction, recolouring them from a frosted window effect to a much more realistic ice finish, complete with crack lines and a glassy reflective surface. 

Lanterns of Skyrim 

Lanterns of Skyrim

Lanterns of Skyrim adds a variety of new lamps to the world in a selection of logical places. The new light sources certainly help navigation in the dark, but it’s the feeling of life that they add that’s the true value. Skyrim feels lived in, populated, and functioning, all thanks to a few extra candles. 

Towns and Villages Enhanced

A pack of enhancements for every town and outlying village in Skyrim, the Enhanced collection adds numerous extra details to the world’s populated areas. The most notable is trees; there are trees in every garden, roadside, and grass patch. For some people this will be a little too much, but it does radically transform the feel of each town, and that extra bit of leafyness banishes the harshness of bare stone. 

Enhanced also throws in a boatload of chickens into towns, just in case things weren’t Fable-like enough for you. 

Immersive Saturation Boost 

Immersive Saturation Boost

As strong as Skyrim’s art is, there’s no denying that its colours are a bit washed out. In the chilly mountainous areas this is fine, but take a walk in a forest on a sunny day and things just don’t feel as lush as you’d wish they would. Immersive Saturation Boost injects the world with a pack of melted Crayola crayons, strengthening those autumn oranges and boosting the fresh greens. The effect may be a little bold for those who prefer the Winterfell look, but for those tired of the drab this mod is the miracle cure. 

Detailed Cities 

Detailed Cities

If the astonishing influx of trees in the Towns and Villages Enhanced mod drives you crackers, but vanila Skyrim feels too bare, then a subscription to Detailed Cities should keep you happy. A healthy middle-ground, Detailed Cities plants some trees and adds some decor without completely reinventing the look of Skyrim’s settlements.  

Relighting Skyrim 

Relighting Skyrim

Have you ever looked at where the light shines from in Skyrim? All too frequently it’s from an illogical source (Doors that shine – really, Bethesda?). Relighting Skyrim entirely reprograms the game’s light sources, ensuring light beams out from only fires and stars, and not from planks of wood.  

Vurt Flora 

Vurt Flora

Bring the varieties of flora up to uncountable levels with Vurt Flora. This mod makes forested areas absolutely stunning, peppering the undergrowth with a plethora of colourful blooms and grasses.

HD Plants & Herbs

HD Plants and Herbs

Skyrim’s fauna suffers significantly at the hands of the resolution gods, their low pixel-count turning them into splodges rather than petaled beauties. HD Plants & Herbs sharpens them up and makes them bloom with sharp, defined leaves. 

Static Mesh Improvement 

A massive mod comprised of numerous Workshop files, Static Mesh Improvement works absolute wonders in removing all those horrible niggles from the objects of the world. Edges have their angles worked away so stones are finally smooth and bowls made round. Textures now run smoothly and those unsightly seams when two textures meet are eradicated. The extra polygons will impact performance slightly, but this really should be at the top of your priorities when it comes to making Skyrim beautiful.

Advanced Skyrim graphics mods

For the more savvy PC user, these visual enhancements require a little more tinkering. But for the price of some file adjustments and faffing around, you can transform Skyrim into an absolute awe-inspiring work of art. 

FXAA Injector 

The tool of choice for Dead End Thrills, FXAA Injector pumps a variety of anti-aliasing techniques into your Skyrim system to help create a much more sharp and vibrant image. Post-processing effects like bloom, technicolor, sharpen, and tonemap can be cranked up or down on a slider system to alter the visual quality to your own personal preference. 

Real Vision ENB 

Among the most famous graphical mods for Skyrim are the ENBseries. Real Vision produces some absolutely tremendous photorealistic effects, especially when combined with a number of other mods available from either the Steam Workshop or Skyrim Nexus. Take a look at the video above to see the mod in action. Just remember to draw breath every once in a while. 

Real Vision ENB is designed to work in conjunction with Climates of Tamriel, so make sure you have that installed, too. 

Climates of Tamriel 

A weather and atmosphere modification, Climates of Tamriel entirely recalibrates the weather and lighting of Skyrim for a much more realistic and picturesque world. Clouds, sunsets, storms, rain, and mists are just some of the thousands of effects that it adds, with everything created from scratch. The entire lighting system is handcrafted for more realistic sun and starlight. The impact to the game’s atmosphere in indisputable. It will hammer your system, but if your PC has the muscle this is a must-have. 

2K Textures 

2K Textures

2K Textures actually provides textures up to 4K in resolution, a whopping eight times the resolution of vanilla Skyrim, and four times that of the official HD patch. The mod applies new textures to almost everything in Skyrim, from the floors to the skies, and everything inbetween. The effect is understandably astonishing, as is the requirement (4GB RAM and 1GB video memory). A ‘lite’ version can be used on less-powerful systems, or even a mix of full and lite elements for a good balance. 

HD Fire Effects 

We’ve already fixed the embers in fireplaces with Better Embers, but there’s nothing in the Workshop to fix those tissue-paper-like flames. HD Fire Effects does a fantastic job of animating some truly hypnotic, realistic flames. The effect is applied to not only smouldering hearths but fiery magic attacks, too.

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MrJinxed avatarMatt Purslow avatarShriven avatarAcid Hoover avatarnu1mlock avatartransparent cat avatar+7
Shriven Avatar
3453
Shriven(8 days 18 hours played)
3 Years ago

Shlongs of Skyrim...right....right guys......r....right?

5
InspekUrGadget Avatar
1
InspekUrGadget(15 days 6 hours played)
4 Months ago

So right lol!

1
Acid Hoover Avatar
100
Acid Hoover(7 days 1 hour played)
3 Years ago

Out of all the mods that I've currently got installed, the killmove mods are the ones that give that extra wow factor, and heighten the cinematic feel of combat.

As well as Dance of Death, Advanced Kill Moves is also really good. Possibly a bit better than DoD IMO, but a bit more over the top.

http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/10291/?

3
MrJinxed Avatar
908
3 Years ago

I was contemplating replaying skyrim for a moment, but there's just no way I would want to install 100 different mods or whatever. I wish there was some sort of mod manager or mod collection pack of the top mods like with morrowind.

1
Matt Purslow Avatar
87
Matt Purslow(3 days 9 hours played)
3 Years ago

It's not quite an instant fix, but if you take a look at our Steam Workshop collection (linked just after the intro paragraph of the article) you'll find almost every mod in this list there. Just click the button on the mods you like and they'll instantly install.

1
MrJinxed Avatar
908
3 Years ago

I noticed that, but that would mean I'd have to go through every single mod of the newspost here and check out the video and judge if it's worth including.

I mean, I might do it sometime, but I just wish there was some sort of definitely skyrim 2.0 mod collection pack or whatever. Maybe some day, eh :)

1
Acid Hoover Avatar
100
Acid Hoover(7 days 1 hour played)
3 Years ago

Personally, I prefer using the Nexus Mod Manager, as it is easier to install/uninstall mods whenever you wish. I then use that alongside BOSS for correcting your load order.

You could have a look at this MrJinxed, there's nothing packaged for you, but it does at least give you a really good head start on getting the modding up and running:

http://www.skyrim-beautification-project.com/

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MrJinxed Avatar
908
MrJinxed replied to Acid Hoover
3 Years ago

Thanks, I just might. That is if I ever find the time to play this game again. Or I might just wait until Skywind is out. Hmmm decisions, decisions.

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.zerO Avatar
2
.zerO(15 days 16 hours played)
2 Years ago

you could also get enderal the shards of order it is going to be the largest skyrim mod out and it should be here soon

2
stanscut Avatar
60
stanscut replied to .zerO
1 Year ago

Im currently playing through the german version and I have to say its the best mod/totalconversion I have ever seen, incredible work...

1
spiritwalker Avatar
4
spiritwalker(4 days 11 hours played)
11 Months ago

Where is your Steam Workshop collection? I don't see the link your talking about?

Thanks

1
Shriven Avatar
3453
Shriven(8 days 18 hours played)
3 Years ago

So, all of these work together and all of them are in the steam collection?

1
Matt Purslow Avatar
87
Matt Purslow(3 days 9 hours played)
3 Years ago

Other than the few which are only on the Skyrim Nexus, these are all in the Steam Workshop Collection. As for conflicts, the only one you should have a problem with is the Enhanced Blood vs Crimson Tide blood mods. They conflict, so you'll have to choose between them.

Otherwise, just download the lot!

1
nu1mlock Avatar
734
nu1mlock(7 days played)
3 Years ago

"heighten the cinematic feel of combat" You know what would increase the cinematic feel even more? Playing Skyrim at 24fps. /s

1
transparent cat Avatar
25
transparent cat(2 days 14 hours played)
3 Years ago

there's a distinct lack of "cute little elf girl" mods on this list

1
ghstwolf Avatar
1
1 Year ago

The follower mod Inigo (http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/40960/?) is, imho, the best follower mod created; incredibly immersive, strong character with a great background story, and also Gamespot award for best mod of the year.

I've tried one heckalot of follower mods, and ditched them all for various reasons; conversely, I won't play Skyrim without Inigo.

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waltzingandy Avatar
1
waltzingandy(27 days 6 hours played)
2 Years ago

I would agree with a lot of these, but sticking to mostly Steam Workshop has left a few good ones of the list:

Helgen Reborn : http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/35841/?

Blacklands: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/38635/?

Both are superb, and add a lot of new quests and lands.

Another essential one is "Move it Dammit for NPC Companions and followers", (http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/4020/?) they final get out of your way!!!!

And one final one, I've tried a lot of the big, new player homes, and love quite a few of them, but this one just "expands" Breezehome and really is everything you need:

http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/11158/?

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athaddy Avatar
1 Year ago

I don't know which mod is responsible, but I can't play the dlc dawnguard now. Anyone else have this issue?

0