Skyrim Modding ~ My Suggestions after 300+ hours of playing.
Edit: This may be changing soon. I’ve started playing again and I think I’ve got a better mod build this time around.
It’s that time of the year again where I completely delete all my Skyrim Mods and rebuild from the ground up. The first thing we want to do is rebuild the cosmetics that I was using. Naturally I’m one of those people that uses ENBs. About 98% of the quotes below mods here are from the pages. In some cases I forgot and just made a quick blurb.
I love this because it helps bring the visuals of Skyrim to life.
After that we move onto usability, SkyUI is my favorite UI mod (and basically everyone’s favorite). It’s hard to go back once you play with it. I’ll include other HUD display tweaks and Fixes in this section too.
As mentioned this UI Mod is almost necessary.
The aim of iHUD is to provide the immersive feel you get from having no HUD, whilst keeping the usefulness of having one. It takes the permanantly visible HUD elements such as compass and crosshair, and hides them when not needed. Hence the motto:
HUD when you need. HIDE when you don’t.
Have you ever find yourself walking through a dungeon or sitting at the bar and asking yourself: How late is it? Will the sun shine outside or will I see the moons if I go outside? If so, this mod is for you!
Have you ever pressed the E (activate) key in a dialogue and it selected something else than you expected? Then you may find this mod useful. Think of it as a patch for the controls of the dialogue interface.
I found the default compass sizing to be rather large, so I decided to scale it down, but maintain the same length as Vanilla.
I manually resized all the HUD elements of the compass to 120% of their original length, and then scaled the whole shebang down 20% on both the X and Y axis. Now we have a smaller compass, but with the same viewing area.
Autosave Manager – as the name suggests – manages your saves and autosaves in various ways. It supports several types of Save-Triggers, as well as Save-Targets as described below.
Are you all about immersion mods? Do you like everything to draw you deeper into the world of Skyrim? Would you just rather have less of that third-person narrator feeling in the game? If any of these apply to you, Think To Yourself Messages will dramatically improve your experience! You can find some translations for other languages below, courtesy of various other authors for those who would prefer a language other than English.
This mod enhances the quest descriptions in the vanilla game so that you have a clear sense of where your are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do besides looking at the quest markers. Let’s face it – the quest descriptions were quite bad, not specifying where you are supposed to go by themselves, and forcing you to play with the quest markers on all the time. This affects nearly 250 quest objectives/descriptions, spanning over 160 quests, editing descriptions that were either really vague or didn’t exist at all.
Fixes double cursor when alt+tab game.
This is not poor AutoHotkey script or separate launcher/application.
Works automatically at Skyrim start!
Display current computer time on loading screens!
The next mod is, to me, almost as important as SkyUI. After you’ve played through Skyrim organically once you’ll want to use this likely for all subsequent playthroughs.
Live Another Life provides an alternative means to start the game for those who do not wish to go through the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. You will be given the opportunity to choose your race and then choose a new life for your character to lead. A wide variety of choices will be available. What you choose will have a lasting impact, so choose carefully or the gods may forsake you again!
Since we’ve got that great ENB installed we’ll want to have lots of graphical overhauls to make the most out of it.
Help bring weather and flowing climates to the world of Skyrim.
This mod enhances Skyrim’s water with all new textures, meshes, effects, general fixes, cosmetic fixes, and also new content.
No more pixelated water, higher resolution textures for things like foam and rain, enhancements to waterfall flow and visual
effects, blacksmith trough animation fix (compatible with SMIM) and much more! A continuation of previous work by isoku this
mod will achieve regular updates and expansion.
…this mod edits many 3D models to improve their appearance and to fix many of the ugly seams and other oddities
In essence I literally replaced all Waterfalls for ones that can be rendered as full LOD, using the same meshes and textures throughout, making it fully compatible with the main water mods.
(Add the relevant Compatibility patches for your DLC)
Bloodier combat experience with higher resolution and detailed textures with included features such as decapitated spasms, low health blood drops blood pools, green blood for spiders and oil for machines.
Realistic Lighting Overhaul (RLO) is the fourth iteration of the popular lighting mod, Realistic Lighting without Post-Processing.
It is a complete overhaul of the games lighting system and is the most comprehensive lighting mod available for Skyrim. The changes number in the thousands and cover many bases.
A mod that changes the ugly, pure-white dynamic snow effect to actually use the default snow texture (landscapesnow01.dds). This minor change greatly improves the visual appearance of dynamic snow. See for yourself:
This small but mighty texture mod enhances the distant low-detail terrain by re-creating from
scratch, a new more detailed and more defined texture map. This makes the distant terrain look
far better because it reduces blotchy patches, makes the terrain blend better, and generally
makes it all look much crisper.
This mod basically takes 6000+ LOD textures (yep really, but not over 9000 just yet) and applies
the most amount of noise I could to them without making the landscape look too dark. If
you look at the screenshots I would recommend using it in conjunction with Enhanced Distant
Terrain (my first ever mod I think) as it will look much better. The noise (like EDT) makes the
terrain look more detailed than it actually is in the distance (so focus on the distance if you
can’t see it). The difference between this and the original EDT is that it covers thousands of distant LOD
textures and applies noise directly to the landscape. EDT only covers one particular texture.
Lush Grass enhances the worlds foliage by making it look fuller and more lush.
Skyrim now looks more dense and wild looking with this small, but effective mod.
As always with my mods you will experience hardly any/no performance loss and it
is compatible with all texture mods that replace the worlds foliage. This mod is
also compatible with any other .esp grass mod.
Fire, lightning, and frost spell impacts with their own unique textures. I didn’t want to stray too far from the vanilla textures but at the same time wanted to add my own touch.
This mod add lanterns to main roads, villages, towns and settlements. To avoid immersion breaking I haven’t placed tons of lanterns like “Christmas holidays lighting” in villages or like “Highways lighting” for main roads; way far from it.
For instance, lanterns in main roads are placed far from each other in wild areas and some main roads are intentionally not covered.
Please take note that some settlements have already lanterns from Vanilla setup. To prevent CTD and glitches, these vanilla lanterns are left completely untouched from me!
The light sources of the lanterns are lit from 7pm to 7am.
Imagine real actor birds that don’t just stand around mutely doing nothing much, but ones that can hop about, chirp, sing and actually fly away as you approach them. Birds that can land or perch dynamically wherever they choose: on logs, rocks, shrubs, signposts, fences, walls, farmhouses. Birds that will eat insects when they’re hungry, or build nests in trees, where they will retire to safety at night and in bad weather. And of course, they can be hunted for their useful alchemy ingredients. This is skyBirds!
This mod will add in dozens and dozens more instances of birds that fly away when startled by either the player or another creature. The effect is one that already exists in the game but was used very rarely, so I expanded its use.
This is a part of an ongoing project aiming to populate skyrim with much more diverse wildlife. I hope to be able to improve all aspects of animal life in the future.
Visuals aren’t everything, we also need the game to sound beautiful.
Civilization focuses on adding 223 new sound effects to cities, villages, farms and remote locations where civilization is present. In cities, you can hear the sound of a hammer being used by a villager repairing something, children playing, dogs barking or cats fighting. As you get closer to a tavern doorstep, the sounds of patron chatting from behind the door are played. When you get in, some patron may laugh out loud, yell or break something.
The Wilds focuses on adding sound effects in Skyrim’s wilderness. With the 115 new sound effects, the purpose of The Wilds is to audibly enlarge Skyrim’s fauna with the addition of various animals, birds and insects that play according to weather, time of day and region. In the forests, for example, you’ll hear the sounds of foxes, deers and ravens. At night, you’ll hear wolves howling from far away or common loons calling others. In The Reach, you might hear the occasional mountain goat or hawk.
The Dungeons includes 115+ sound effects to add life to the dungeons. The enemy type that inhabits a dungeon will make itself heard. At dungeons’ entrances, you also hear the exterior weather. If there’s a thunderstorm raging outside, you’ll hear the thunder rumbling in the fort or cave
Here are a few highly recommended housing solutions.
This adds a very large basement connecting all houses in the game. You can enter the Hideout from any house in the game by opening the hatch found on in your house.
These mods fix certain quirks like population issues or other things that make the game feel lopsided.
Does what it says it does. Adds folks to various places that were previously barren.
Now each city, town and village in Skyrim has new respawnable (with different faces and clothes) generic NPCs, with own AI packages and daily actions. They walk, sit, go into shops, temples/Hall of Deads, explore, interact, work and so on. For lunch but more often during night a lot of them populate taverns and inns (all this without using scripts).
PDCR adds new and respawnable Falmers, Dwemer Spheres, Dwemer Spiders, Chaurus, Wolves, Skeletons, Frostbite Spiders, Necromancers, Warlocks, Vampire Thralls and Vampires to Skyrim dungeons, caves and ruins (total n. 42 vanilla locations).
PDCR aims to give you suspense, surprise, challenge and immersion during your dungeon (and wilderness) exploration.
PDCR doesn’t use scripts. So you may install/uninstall it without problem.
PFTP adds new Bandits, Forsworns, Warlocks, Necromancers, Skeletons and Thalmors to Skyrim Forts, Towers and some places originally too empties. This for having more immersion, logic and challenge, in a lore friendly way. Now is very difficult that a single character (even the Dragonborn) may conquer easily a fort alone, specially if you use (as suggested) combat mods (i.e. “Deadly Combat” by Borgut1337, “Duel” by LogRaam) in combo with mods that enhance enemy AI/combat styles (i.e. “Enhanced Enemy AI” by Erkeil, “Better Combat AI” by Joop).
PFTP aims to give you also more challenge, so you have to use “strategy” and all your skills to break into an enemy fortress.
Please, consider that if you have started the Civil War quest most of forts will be occupied by soldiers!
Skyrim Immersive Creatures adds dozens of new creatures to enhance your gaming experience. This mod adds brand new creatures which fit in to the world of Skyrim, alongside variations of existing creatures, adding diversity and improving gameplay.
Invincible children were odd. This mod now makes it possible for children to die as well as allowing them to be pickpocketed. Now compatible with Hearthfire.
Trade in Skyrim is oversimplified and uninteresting. A particular type of merchant always has the same amount of gold and offers you the exact same prices as the same type of merchant in another part of the country. Merchants in small towns differ very little from those in the larger cities, and the only factors that affect price are your speech skill and any barter enchantments you might have.
This mod aims to change that. How much it changes is up to you.
And while those help improve the overall look of the world, we also want to improve the look and feel of the clothing, weapons, and characters.
Makes armor look more varied and interesting. Probably does other things, I haven’t gotten to play with it much yet.
If you go to The Elder Scrolls wiki and look at any previous game’s swords, you’ll see they were realistically shaped.
For some reason Bethesda decided to go with WoW-style foam paddles for Skyrim.
By this mod’s immediate popularity, that decision didn’t sit well with many of us.
Adds almost 100 new styles of cloak to the world of Skyrim, via crafting, levelled-lists, and static loot. They are lore-friendly and enchantable, and more are being added with every update. The aim of this mod is to provide some variety and flavour to the world, as well as the chance to wear a stylish cloak and quite literally keep the cold out. (the cloaks provide defence against the cold in both the Frostfall and Hypothermia mods). You will see NPCs around Skyrim wearing various cloaks, and there are unique and rare variations to stumble across in your travels.
One of the biggest complaints and requests I see on the TES forums is the lack of a unique appearance for the many unique weapons in the game. This isn’t much of a problem for the smaller less important weapons, but it is for the more important ones we receive as quest rewards or those that are tied to lore.
The Nightingale Prime HD retexture made by ZeroFrost is now back on skyrim nexus. For a long time this mod was no longer available on skyrim nexus. ZeroFrost has given me the permission to reupload his mod for that i am very greatful and honored. Now that its back everyone can enjoy this retexture once again. Even today the Nightingale Prime stands as my favorite nightingale retexture.
Sometimes you want to just make the game play better as opposed to look or feel better. These mods handle that.
Super duper overhaul of horses. Really nice and too much changed to fit in this section.
Interesting NPCs is a project to add color and life to Skyrim through three-dimensional characters. Each NPC is integrated into the world, with a backstory and an extensive dialogue tree to explore. Many of these characters are fully voiced by a talented team of over 80 voice actors. The dialogue choices allow you to role-play, providing humor and depth to each conversation. You can be a jerk or a jester, a white knight or an assassin, as the most important character is you.
UFO is a set of tools and enhancements to the followers system that will allow for better control and usability of followers.
Dynamic wet and cold related effects. All features related to the visual effects apply to all actors unless otherwise stated. Some features require SKSE to function. Easy to follow installation instructions for SKSE can be found here or here.
Auto Unequip Ammo will respond when weapon is equipped or unequipped and deal with the ammo respectively. Goal is not to have ammo equipped unless you’re using ranged weapons. Arrows and Bolts are tracked separately so that valid ammo can be equipped with the corresponding ranged weapon type.
Reduces the extra force applied on ragdolls to a more reasonable level and replaces ragdolls so that they bend and twist realistically and fall at a faster velocity. Increase friction to fix ice-like ragdoll sliding.
Adds a craftable, wearable, Travel Lantern that can be hooked onto your belt, or carried in your hand! Or, catch a torchbug in a Torchbug Lantern! Let it light the way in dark dungeons while you keep your hands free during combat and adventuring.
More Dialogue, More Realism, More Respect. This Mod alters the Guards’ Dialogue, changing it from something that breaks your immersion in the world of Skyrim to something that actually increases it. All in the original voices and Fully compliant with Skyrim Lore.
I suggest “Reduced Distance NPC Greetings” from the options.
This small addon adds couple of dialogue conditions so that water emerging breath sound no longer plays if under the effect of waterbreathing. Supports all kind of default and custom waterbreathing effects like Argonian ability, waterbreathing potions, waterbreathing enchants or anything else you can imagine, even waterbreathing effects added by other mods.
Belt-Fastened Quivers repositions quivers and crossbow bolts in order to be more “backpack friendly” for the player and all NPCs. It also makes minor modifications to the placement of bows and crossbows in order to avoid as much clipping as possible using this new position, while still trying to draw bows and quivers closer to the body than the default placement. This file modifies the placement of quivers, crossbow bolts, bows, and crossbows for all vanilla races and sexes.
How would you like to actually be able to fill a shelf with books, or even other items? With the original script, you can only put up to 18 books on the largest shelves, which will only fill the shelf if the books are all the largest size. It’s really annoying when you ‘fill’ a shelf with small books, and there are giant gaps between them.
So, I made my own bookshelf script, which places books based on their width rather than fixed positions. You can place as many books as will fit on the shelf. The result is identical if you use the largest books, 18 to a shelf, but you can put around 90 notes or bounty letters on a single shelf (if you ever get that many). You can now also place any other item on the shelf, not just books!
-The time it takes to update the items on the shelf is similar to the vanilla version, just a little slower. However, the more books you place, the longer it will take.
-You can always put up to 128 items in at a time, and when it goes to place them it will simply give back anything that didn’t fit.
Maybe you are tired of simply overhauling mechanics and clothing and want entire new zones to delve into? Here is the stuff for you. Hours of new content can be found in these mods.
Falskaar is a new lands mod that adds an entirely new worldspace to the world. It’s accessed by a dungeon the first time, then by boat from then on out. Falskaar’s goal was to sharpen my skills in almost all areas around the board, with a focus in level and dungeon design. The result is that there is at least a little bit of everything. There is a new land, places, people, quests, dungeons and more for the player to experience. It adds roughly 20+ hours of content, and favors all types of characters.
Lots of shit. Real neat.
Stability is a concern as well, so I’ve got a variety of Unofficial Patches to keep things nice and safe.
A comprehensive bugfixing mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the goal of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch (aka USKP) is to eventually fix every bug with Skyrim not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
A comprehensive bugfixing mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dawnguard, the goal of the Unofficial Dawnguard Patch (aka UDGP) is to eventually fix every bug with Dawnguard not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
A comprehensive bugfixing mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Dragonborn, the goal of the Unofficial Dragonborn Patch (aka UDBP) is to eventually fix every bug in Dragonborn not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
A comprehensive bugfixing mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Hearthfire, the goal of the Unofficial Hearthfire Patch (aka UHFP) is to eventually fix every bug with Hearthfire not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
A comprehensive bugfixing mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – High Resolution DLC, the goal of the Unofficial High Resolution Patch (aka UHRP) is to eventually fix every bug with the High Resolution DLC not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
If you use highly demanding mods as Realistic Lighting Overhaul (RLO), Enhanced Lights and FX (ELFX) or ENBs then this mod is for you as it will give you some fps boost depending on your hardware.
Even if you are not using any demanding mod or just playing the vanilla game, this mod will improve your performance.
In other words… this mod is a MUST if you want better performance in interiors for FREE!
Miscellaneous mechanics changes are listed here.
Without spoiling anything…just download this. The original story part that this changes was beyond stupid.
Acquisitive Soul Gems changes the way soul-trapping works in Skyrim so that you’ll never ‘waste’ a soul gem again, such as by trapping a petty soul into a grand gem, or a common soul into a greater gem, etc. With this mod, petty souls only go into petty gems, lesser souls only go into lesser gems, and so on. If you try to trap a soul, but you don’t have any gems of the right size, you’ll just fail to trap the soul. So for example, if you try to trap a common soul, but you only have an empty greater gem, then when that creature dies its soul will escape rather than partially fill the greater gem like it normally would in Skyrim.
Tired of getting 100 gold at level 50 for killing a dragon? Then change it!!
This mod adds new types of skeletons Argonian Khajiit Orc and Elf …
The Inspiration comes from Lizard Skull and Cat skull , since it looks strange to have many Races around in Tamriel but just human skeleton types I tought it was needed to add also some races , I tought also to add orc and Elven variations but that may come later …..
This mod reduces the crime report radius from 4000 (feet possibly?) down to 1000. People can no longer yell assault across all of Skyrim.
Touring replacement for Scenic Carriages and Real Carriages, with many additional features.
If you ever hated followers and summoned creatures for triggering traps, getting both of you into a tight situation or you were trying to guide them around the pressure plates, then this mod is for you.
This mod changes few base scripts and as a result your followers and summoned creatures should no longer trigger bear traps, pressure plates and trip wires.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the other 2 Deathbells after you harvest them, or 5 Nightshades, or a dozen of Mountain Flowers? Where do they go if you only harvest one, does the Dragonborn throw them on the floor and walks away? Do you want to get an appropriate amount after you harvest flora, but at the same time keep the game balanced? If yes, then this is the mod for you.
There are also some optional tweaks that I think make the game more fun!
adds 109 unique achievements to your game, most of them bestowing a permanent beneficial effect (can be turned off in the MCM) on the player-character once they have been unlocked. Similar achievements don’t stack, but the effects of higher-ranking achievements replace the effects of the lower-ranking ones.
Enchanting Restrictions. I mean, really? Why? This has been bugging me since launch, and needed to be fixed. In what was I’m sure an effort to balance gameplay, Bethesda decided that different pieces of armor should only be allowed to use specific types of enchantments. But let’s be honest, once you hit Lvl 50+ with maxed out Enchanting and Smithing on Master difficulty, you still end up overpowered and these restrictions just feel unnecessary and is just a pain to deal with. Well, not anymore! With this mod, you are now free to enchant your various pieces of Apparel using all of the “Armor” enchantment types. Want a shield that fortifies Sneak? Go ahead! How about a helmet that fortifies Block? Now you can! How about everything enchanted to make One-Handed damage increase? Sure! How about boots that make you constantly on fire, with none of the damage? With “Enchanting Freedom” the sky is the limit! And remember, the goal here is complete Enchanting Freedom!
This is a realism oriented hunger/thirst/sleep mod for Skyrim. It assigns real world nutrition information to all the foods, giving each item its own strengths and weaknesses, and effecting a large array of new stats in addition to the usual hunger/thirst/sleep. There are two modes available, Basic and More Complex.
Mining is much shorter now! You will strike veins only 3 times instead of 9 but get all ores/gems out of it!
The Thieves Guild is now for thieves only. Brynjolf will no longer approach you if you are not a thief, and the Thieves Guild questline will not be activated until the player meets the necessary requirements. PLUS… Now you can buy genuine Falmer Blood Elixir! Experience all the wonders of this powerful potion for yourself!
Finally we shouldn’t forget a few essential extras that you’ll need to make all of the above work.
Setting the right load order for your mods is a crucial step to enjoying a stable modded game. BOSS can help with that, by providing automated load order sorting for over 30,000 mod plugins.
You need this, download it, thank me later.
The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is a free and open source piece of software that allows you to download, install, update and manage your files through an easy to use interface. It integrates with the Nexus sites to provide you with a fast, efficient and much less hassled modding experience.
So there you go. That’s what I’m working with, if you are interested to see how stable this list is, follow me on Twitch. Additionally I’ll create a page for this that will be updated any time I change my mod load out. I’m getting tired and noticed that this list, as it stands, is incomplete. It’s good enough for now though. The webpage will include mod order as well for people who are troubleshooting. I’ll mention it in a future post once it is ready.