There are an almost uncountable number of Skyrim mods out there, and one of the most popular categories is visual improvements to take advantage of modern graphical hardware in the RPG game. Now one eager modder wants to sell you on the benefits of 16K dragons – no, not 16,000 of them flying around at once (as fun as that sounds), but rather dragon textures at a whopping 16K resolution.
According to modder XilaMonstrr, “everyone who is running 4K textures should be using 16K dragon textures.” Why, I hear you ask? The simple answer, they explain, is that dragons in Skyrim are very large. While this seem like an obvious statement, it means that when you are fighting the dragon up-close you need its textures to be at a higher resolution to compensate for how close you are to it.
The mods in question are upscales of the ‘HD dragon replacer pack’ and the ‘new dragon species’ mods originally created for Skyrim by Bellyache, which sharpen up dragon textures and add a selection of new variant dragon spawns to the open-world game.
XilaMonstrr breaks down the numbers, for the more technically curious among you, explaining that dragon texture files are twice as long as they are wide. “The 16K version has files that are 8192×16384,” they explain, “and I would recommend that you think of this as two 8K files next to each other rather than full 8K.”
They also note that if you increase dragon spawns such that you’re fighting with multiple dragons at once that your FPS might start to take a hit, but have included lower-resolution texture options for players this applies to. XilaMonsterr is very adamant that this is the minimum they recommend, but there are downscaled versions included if you really feel like you must go lower. Just don’t go telling anyone – what would the neighbours say?
The mods have been made available for both original Skyrim and the Special Edition – you can find links to all of them on the Reddit thread. XilaMonstrr says they are aiming to also do the same for the game’s original dragon models, and “will happily clean and upscale any other dragon retextures to 16K” if granted permission by the original creator.
If dragons aren’t your thing – well, maybe Skyrim isn’t the game for you, but if you still want to play the fantasy game – then one Skyrim mod adds giant, striped rat companions. Another lets you virtually handle the pain of rejection, presumably from a particularly discerning potential partner who found out that you’ve been looking at dragons at low resolutions.