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Just For Fun: Skyrim Recommended Mods
As with any game made by Bethesda Softworks, modding is an integral part of the complete experience of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and thus we present to you the troper-approved list of the best mods for the game to enhance your experience in Skyrim.

If you wish to add to the list, kindly sign your name. Comments on mods are also welcome.

    open/close all folders 

    Essential Mods 
These mods are practically required for every installation of Skyrim, to the point that we believe that Bethesda should simply package these mods along with new copies of the game.

  • SkyUI by SkyUI Team
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • Skyrim's UI was obviously designed with consoles in mind; this changes the inventory and magic menu to a format that is easier to access using a keyboard and mouse.
      • Even if you use a Gamepad/Controller, this is still highly recommended. It adds some very useful stuff to the UI, such as 'Read/Unread' markers for books, organizing the quick-select menu and even a mod controller that lets you change the settings on compatible mods without leaving the game.
      • And of course the most useful thing for efficient looters, the weight/value ratio, so you don't have to calculate it in your head
    • Requires SKSE.
    • Link: Here

  • The Unofficial Patches by Unofficial Patch Project Team
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • Skyrim in general is a buggy game on the best of days, and some of these can be quite game breaking, or extremely jarring and irritating to 100+ hour players. These patches try to ensure as much as possible that your game will run smoothly.
    • Links:

  • RaceMenu
    • Signed by Accela
    • This allows much greater customization of your character's appearance, including non-default hair and eye coloring, tattoos or warpaint, and height adjustments.
    • Requires SKSE.
    • Link

  • Run For Your Lives and When Vampires Attack by Arthmoor
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • This mod makes non-fighting citizens go inside a building in case of a dragon attack (the former) or a vampire attack (the latter, required only if Dawnguard has been installed. This ensures that civilian NPCs do not try to take them on, thereby ensuring that you do not lose shopkeepers or quest-givers by accident.
    • Links:

  • A Quality World Map
    • Signed by Elle
    • Adds proper road outlines to the world map. Comes in a few different versions, some of which include other handy features like hold borders.
    • Link: A Quality World Map
    • As an alternative you can use the great paper map mod, with roads and place names. Link: Paper Map at nexusmods
      • But a warning, it seems kind of screwy if it isn't last or near to last in the load order

    Armor Mods 
For when you're tired of the old default armors and want your characters to have some sweet new duds.

  • Immersive Armors by Hothtrooper44
    • Signed by Accela
    • A massive compilation of well-crafted, lore-friendly armors that look fantastic and go a long way to making your characters and the NPCs more unique. A small sample of some of the armours available:
      • Paladin Armour - You the "Knight In Shining Armour" type? Try this set of shiny, rounded armour for a mighty, fight-ey, smit-ey hero that Skyrim can be proud of. Ebony equivalent stats and available with the Ebony smithing perk.
      • Viking Chainmail - Want something that's stylish and practical but also somewhat more realistic? You can try this authentic Norse chainmail byrnie. Comes with a Viking themed shield and a number of Viking helmet options, and in both Light and Heavy varieties. Heavy set is Ebony equivalent and Light is Glass equivalent, and require respective smithing perks.
      • Akaviri Samurai - Miss the old Blades armour, or just fancy something more Eastern themed? Look no further than this traditional set of Akaviri armour. Equivalent to the Blades armour and requires the Steel smithing perk to craft.
      • Dragonhide Robes - Prefer slinging spells to swinging steel? Jealous of all your warrior and rogue friends with their fancy Dragonbone armours? Don't fret. Has Light and Heavy armour sets which both require Dragon smithing, or a "cloth" set for those who prefer the mage armour skills.
      • Warchief Armour - This rugged barbarian-themed armour fits beautifully into Skyrim's aesthetic and would look especially great on your Nord or Orc warrior. Dragon equivalent stats and requires the Orcish smithing perk.
      • Baratheon Armour - Enjoy this stunning armour worn by Robert Baratheon when he slew Rhaegar Targaryen. Not entirely lore friendly for obvious reasons but still a nice set and a must for any Game of Thrones fan. Appropriately looks great with Nivea's "Winter is Coming" cloaks. Steel stats and crafting requirements.
    • Link

  • Cloaks of Skyrim by Noodles
    • Signed by Accela
    • Like the title says, this mod adds nearly 100 cloaks of hide, linen, and burlap to use for your character and that can also be worn by NPCs. They can both be crafted and found in the world.
    • Link

  • Winter is Coming - Cloaks by Nivea
    • Similar to Cloaks of Skyrim, but with a different style. These cloaks and hoods are big furry things crafted from pelts that look warm enough to stand even the blizzards of Winterhold. Great for immersion and style.
    • Link

  • Dwemer Goggles and Scouter by volvaga0
    • Signed by Anthurak
    • Adds these craftable items to the game (unlocked after a brief quest in Markarth). These things have several extremely useful (but not Game Breaking) abilities such as Detect Life (which even which ones are hostile), Night Eye others. If that seems too broken, there's an option for an 'Oil System' that makes them require a steady supply of Dwarven Oil in order to function. Lore friendly, and extremely useful.
    • Link

  • Clothing and Smithing Pack by ThirteenOranges
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • Now you can craft or purchase some outfits otherwise unavailable to non-master pickpockets, such as jarls' clothes, the Psijic Order's robes, or Penitus Occulatus armor, as well as unenchanted variants of things like Thieves' Guild armor. Perfect for roleplayers or enchanters out for a new look.
    • Steam Workshop link

  • Bandolier: Bags and Pouches by Cyrax
    • Signed by disgruntledviewer
    • Adds a variety of craftable bandoliers, vial holders, spellbook casings, and belt pouches large and small. Come available in brown, dark and pale colours, as well as Dark Brotherhood variants made available for crafting once you join up. Crafted at any leather tanning rack.
    • Steam Workshop link: here

    Weapon Mods 
For when you just don't have enough pointy objects with which to kill things.
  • Immersive Weapons by Hothtrooper44, Ironman5000, and Eckss
    • Signed by Accela
    • A huge collection of well-designed and lore-friendly weapons ranging from swords to hammers to axes. Like the Immersive Armors mod from the same team, they seek to fit in with Skyrim's visual design while adding a much greater variety.
    • Link

  • Stronger Daedric Artifacts by Bebop0398
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • This mod gives some beefy buffs to the game's legendary artifacts, as well as infinite charges for their enchantments. Perfect if you've ever felt underwhelmed by a daedric quest reward.
    • Steam Workshop link

  • Two-Handed Dawnbreaker by Mars
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • This mod adds a Dawnbreaker greatsword next to Meridia's statue, because some warriors shouldn't miss out on undead-blasting goodness just because their blades are bigger than others. Technically this would allow players to grab the sword without completing that infamously difficult boss fight at the end of the daedric quest, but that would be cheating...
    • Steam Workshop link

    Graphics Mods 
  • Better Dynamic Snow by SparrowPrince and Brumbek
    • Signed by Accela
    • An overhaul to the snow textures from the game that makes the snow on objects actually look like snow instead of a flat white blob.
    • Link

  • Realistic Lighting Overhaul by the Realistic Lighting Team
    • Signed by Accela
    • An ENB that is both easy on performance and creates a more...um...realistic atmosphere for the game. The lighting in Dragonsreach and the Blue Palace are particularly nice.
    • Link

  • Static Mesh Improvement Mod by Brumbek
    • Signed by Accela
    • This is more about the little things. Other mods may focus on lighting or grass or water, but this seeks to improve the often-pixellated and blocky everyday objects that litter the game. Now all those potatoes you hoard will look delicious!
    • Link

  • W.A.T.E.R. by SparrowPrince
    • Signed by Accela
    • This mod completely overhauls the water effects and appearance, including adding waves to the coastline and flow physics in rivers. Much more realistic and very beautiful.
    • Link

  • I Can't Believe Its Not ENB by ElSopa
    • Signed by Zmanwarrior
    • An alternative to ENBs that is far less taxing on low-end PCs, at the expense of a couple features such as depth-of-field.
    • Link

  • Imaginator by My Good Eye and Gopher
    • Edit settings like Brightness, Saturation, Contrast, Bloom and so on without (more or less) taxing your machine. Make Skyrim look great without an ENB to eat performance.
    • Imaginator at nexusmods

    Magic Mods 
These are changes to the magic system of Skyrim, whether in the form of new spells, scaling overhauls, or new perks.

  • Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim by Enai Siaion
    • Signed by Accela
    • The most endorsed magic mod, this adds 140 new spells to the game that are designed to be both well-balanced and greatly expand a mage's repertoire.
    • Link

  • Better Magic by Kevin Kiddler
    • Signed by Slouch
    • Rather than adding new spells, this mod focuses on adding much-needed balance to existing magic. It also fixes several bugs and generally makes magic more convenient and fun to use.
    • Link

    Character Appearance Mods 
This includes tattoos, warpaints, hairstyles, face morphs, and other alterations and additions to the people living in Skyrim.

  • Battle Hardened Warpaints by Diethardt and netherwalk
    • Signed by Accela
    • This is a collection of amazing warpaints that go a long way towards making your character look that much more unique and badass.
    • Requires SKSE.
    • Recommended for easier use: RaceMenu
    • Link

  • ApachiiSkyHair by Apachii
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • Adds a lot of great hairstyles for humans and elves (including orcs).
    • Recommended for easier use: RaceMenu
    • Link: here

    Companion Mods 
These add more people to join you on your journey and changes to the companion/follower system.
  • Ultimate Follower Overhaul by Original, fLokii, and Vamyan
    • Signed by Accela
    • A huge overhaul to the follower system, this mod allows to have more than one companion at a time, customize their fighting style, train them in new skills, and much more. Recommended for anyone who doesn't like to wander Skyrim alone.
    • Link

  • Convenient Horses by Mitchalek
    • Signed by MadCat221
    • This mod centers around making the horses more convenient. Quick dismounting, harvesting alchemy ingredients, sifting through containers or dead NPCs, or talking to live NPCs from horseback, saddle bag storage, alternative saddles and barding, companion horses, horse horn/whistling, and on and on. Comes with a SkyUI Mod Config Menu as well.
    • Link

  • Familiar Faces by Verteiron
    • Signed by Omega77
    • Bring your characters together at last! Visit the Shrine of Heroes, where you can meet your Dragonborn from past play-throughs, create a monument to their achievements, and even bring them to your world as faithful allies... or worthy opponents! Familiar Faces allows you to create persistent copies of your character that exist independently of saved games. You can then visit those characters from any of your saved games; send them into the world to interact with, recruit as followers, marry or kill.
    • Link

  • Follower Trap Safety by Alek
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • If you get a single followers mod, pick this one - it keeps your companions or summoned critters from setting off tripwires or pressure plates. No more Lydia getting caught in an endless face-smashing loop! Those scythed pendulum traps, however...
    • Steam Workshop link

    Lore Mods 
Mods related to TES lore.
  • Uncle Sheogorath's Really Helpful Hints and Tips by Tumbleworld

  • Lore-Based Loading Screens by Chesko
    • Signed by MissMokushiroku
    • Adds a ton of new loading screen blurbs based on Elder Scrolls lore, including quotes from in-game books and the past games in the series.
    • Link

    Combat Mods 
These alter Skyrim's combat system, often aiming to make fights more realistic, challenging, intuitive or rewarding.

    Gameplay Enhancement Mods 
These alter other elements of Skyrim's game mechanics not covered above in ways that dramaticaly change the experience.

  • Live Another Life
    • Signed by Elle
    • Lets you play out alternate starting scenarios besides the cart ride to Helgen, such as starting as an army recruit, thief or shipwrecked traveler. Most useful to those who have already played through the game at least once.
    • Links:

  • Character Creation Overhaul - Races - Classes - Skills by Syclonix
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • Gives you a wealth of skill customization options immediately after you create your character, allowing you to recreate Oblivion's class system or build your own. Perfect for RPers or anyone who doesn't want their experienced thief or soldier to suck for the first three hours of gameplay.
    • Steam Workshop link

  • Non-Linear Perks by Hooray I'm Helping!
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • Never waste a level-up on a perk you don't want. Now, so long as you meet the skill prerequisite, you can take any perk regardless of how you've filled out the rest of the constellation... with some logical exceptions, like being unable to skip to Agile Defender rank 5.
    • On the Steam Workshop

  • Timing Is Everything - Quest Delay and Timing Control by kryptopyr
    • Signed by MissMokushiroku
    • Allows you to alter the level requirements for many quests, including Daedric quests and DLC, as well as some other related variables. Now nothing (except your own skill) can stop you from going after Daedric artifacts at level 1!
    • Link

  • Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival by Chesko
    • Signed by disgruntledviewer
    • This critically acclaimed mod adds a cold weather survival element to Skyrim - the weather itself will take it's toll on the Dragonborn, slowly weakening your body and eventually snuffing out your life. If you stay outside for too long, you will die. If you are caught in a severe storm or a blizzard and cannot quickly set up camp or find shelter, you will die. If you plummet into icy water and cannot find respite to dry off and get warm, you will die. Craftable campfires, cloaks and tents will be useful aids for your survival, but your greatest armour against the bitter elements will be cunning and resourcefulness. Stay dry. Stay warm. Stay alive.
    • Link

    Miscellaneous 
These mods cannot be put into any other category per se, but they're still recommended.

  • Interesting NPCs by Kris Takahashi
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • Has its own work page here.
    • Skyrim is rather notorious for having hundreds of characters share the same five voice actors, making interaction with many of them very same-y. This mod adds many new NPCs, complete with good voice acting, all over Skyrim. Some quests have also been added, many quite well-written.
    • Link: here. Also, go to their website to get patches required for Hearhfire and Dawnguard.

  • Falskaar by AlexanderJVelicky
    • Signed by arcanephoenix
    • Falskaar adds a whole new world to Skyrim, a la Solstheim in Dragonborn. Created by Velicky as a proof of his skill in game design, it adds 20-30 hours of new content to the game, fully voiced.
    • Link:here

  • Moonpath to Elsweyr by muppetpuppet

  • Posh Mudcrabs by Maniczombie
    • Signd by Rytex
    • Mudcrabs are an irritating enemy. Almost as irritating as the Skyrim guards' Arrow to the Knee line. However, we are not recognizing their true nature. This skin replaces the default, unappreciated Mudcrab skin with the skin of a mudcrab gentleman, wearing a top hat and a monocle.
      • This would be listed under essential, because why shouldn't you have this mod?, but for TV Tropes sorting rules, it goes here.
    • Link.

  • The Paarthurnax Dilemma by Arthmoor
    • Signed by MadCat221
    • Do you dislike how the Paarthurnax quest given to you by the Blades is resolved? You either kill him or the quest sits forever in your journal and the Blades never accept you again. With this mod, you have the option to verbally browbeat the Blades into submission and remind them just who you are. Alternately, if you opt to kill Paarthurnax, he will now have a few dragon disciples who are kinda new to this pacifism thing and aren't as willing yet to roll over and die. Lastly, there may be a third method to deal with the Blades for the more bloodlusting...
    • Link

  • Smelting Plus by Red Jay
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • Recycle stuff in a smelter to get a few ingots back! Perfect if you've ever wished you could do something useful with all those bandits' crappy iron weapons, or just felt like blacksmithing was too much of a grind.
    • Steam Workshop link

  • Divine Punishment for Mentions of Arrows in the Knee by Turn_on_a_Dime

  • Lanterns of Skyrim - All in One by manny_gt
    • Signed by Tacitus
    • A compilation of previous mods that added lanterns around Skyrim's villages, bridges and roads. Not a huge deal unless you're using one of those "enhanced darkness" mods, but a nice touch all the same.
    • Steam Workshop link

  • Undeath by Antioch08
    • Signed by Zmanwarrior
    • A quest in which the Dragonborn must stop an ambitious necromancer from transforming in to an immortal, undead Lich. Will you halt the ritual and bury the secret of Undeath forever... or uncover it for yourself instead?
    • Link

  • The Way of the Dovahkiin: Ultimate Deadly Encounters by Tonycubed2 and DiscipleDarkfriend
    • Signed by Zaptech
    • A mod that dramatically amps up the game's difficulty as well as greatly increasing replayability by putting you in constant danger through random encounters. Whether you're in the wilderness or a dungeon, in a city or even sleeping in an inn, there's danger waiting around every corner. This mod adds random boss-like encounters, expands the number of enemies you fight, sends assassins to hunt you down in cities and towns, and can even throw certain high-powered bosses at you under specific conditions. It also offers extensive customization options, so if you don't like the idea of worrying about assassins coming after you when you sleep or a badass boss showing up out of the blue, you can disable that. Or if you like the idea of getting swarmed by hordes of draugr, bandits, werewolf hunters, vampires, vampire hunters, and worse, you can crank the difficulty up even further.
    • Link

  • High King of Skyrim by Solarcow
    • Signed by Zaptech
    • Tired of not getting the respect a legendary hero of Skyrim deserves? With this mod, you can settle the issue of who rules Skyrim by taking the throne yourself! Comes complete with a huge range of perks, including a fully functional castle, the power to conscript and train anyone to be a follower, order the imprisonment, death, or enslavement of anyone (including essential NPCs), build your own royal army, and even wage war on the Thalmor.
    • Link

  • Sounds of Skyrim by Cliffworms
    • Signed by MissMokushiroku
    • A set of three mods which add immersive sounds to Skyrim: the Civilization pack adds sounds to towns and cities, the Wilds pack adds sounds to the wild, and the Dungeons pack adds sounds to caves, mines, ruins, etc. A lot of detail has been put into the sounds and where you'll hear them; for example, certain animals can only be heard in certain regions (e.g., hawks in the Reach), caves with undead and Falmer have their own sound set, and you can hear wind or animals indoors if you're standing near a window. If for whatever reason you don't like some of the sounds, the mods also allow you to choose which sound sets to activate.
    • Links: Civilization, The Dungeons, The Wilds

  • Cutting Room Floor by Arthmoor
    • Signed by MissMokushiroku
    • A mod that restores a lot of cut and Dummied Out content, including several unused quests.
    • Link

  • Organized Bandits In Skyrim by Indigoblade
    • Signed by Zaptech
    • A mod that turns your regular packs of typical fur-clad, generically-killable bandits into distinct and memorable types of criminals, murderers, marauders, and other assorted baddies. While some bandits remain the familiar vanilla enemies, now there are a wide range of distinct types of bandits, ranging from drug-addled fiends to psychotic mages to stealthy assassins to renegade Stormcloak and Imperial soldiers. Also adds unique "bounty" bandits who are very powerful and dangerous foes. Perfect for making your general bandit encounters far more interesting.
    • Link.

  • Guard Dialogue Overhaul by Eckss
    • Signed by Zaptech
    • The guards' schizophrenic shift between respect and dismissal is quite memetic, not to mention annoying. This mod fixes that. Guards are still dismissive of you at lower levels, but as you improve your skills their dialogue permanently changes to respect you. As you progress through the guilds, they'll treat you properly, so no more wondering if you fetch the Companions' mead when you become Harbinger. Also unlocks some previously unavailable dialogue and increases the likelihood of using rarer dialogue options.
    • Link.

  • Return to Helgen by Giskaard
    • Signed by asaqe3
    • For those who wants a civil war story that has the authentic feel of serving the Empire in the beginning as it unravels to be part of another one of the many games played between the Divines and Daedra, return to Helgen offers a nice alternative to Helgen reborn for those who prefers a more roleplay inspired experienced.
    • Link

  • Inigo by Smart Blue Cat
    • Sighed by taikowolf
    • Want a companion with snark, skill, and a lot of genuine personality? Check out Inigo, a Khajiit locked up in Riften for doing a crime he cannot forgive himself for: killing you. Or, at least, he thinks it's you. Inigo is one of the better mod-made companions around, being a match for Serana in terms of character, having a whole host of well written and voiced lines, and even lampshading on any repeated lines he makes (he was addicted to Skooma back in the day). He's so well made he even comes with freaking multiple choice adventure book you can read with him.
    • Link
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