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.
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 been 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 some of the best mods that are a must-have for this title.
Updated September 12, 2022 by Ritwik Mitra: At this point, there’s no need to introduce Skyrim to the masses. This groundbreaking open-world RPG was a massively celebrated release in the early 2010s that went on to define an entire generation of gaming. The fact that players still check out this game more than a decade after its release shows just how infinitely replayable and enjoyable the game really is. Its modding community is legendary in its own right, and here are some of the best Skyrim mods that players can download for this game on PC.
20 Serana Dialogue Add-On
There are several companions in Skyrim that are all pretty memorable in their own right. With the advent of the Dawnguard expansion, players were introduced to one of the best and most fleshed-out companions in the entire game, Serana.
This vampire is a force to be reckoned with, and her narrative plays a key role in the events of Dawnguard as well. With this mod, her dialogue and NPC behavior are both expanded upon and improved considerably, leading to a player’s experience with her as a companion being enhanced in a satisfying manner.
There are many expansion mods present in Skyrim, with Wyrmstooth being pretty notable in its own right. It tasks the Dragonborn with hunting down a particularly aggressive dragon all the way to a whole new domain made painstakingly by modders!
Wyrmstooth is a massive technical achievement in its own right, which is enough for players to download and check out the mod for itself. Players who remember the areas of Skyrim and its expansions by heart will be quite well-serviced with this mod that will reinvigorate the magic of exploration in them once again.
18 Maximum Carnage
The fantasy violence in Skyrim is pretty tame for the most part, with gore being almost nonexistent. This might not sit right with players who want the combat of this game to be as brutal as possible,
This is where the Maximum Carnage mod comes into the picture. True to its name, it adds everything from brutal melee dismemberment to unique deaths that correspond to the element that a player assailed their enemy with.
17 Forgotten Creatures
Not all mods need to add wild and unique inclusions of their own to make the game more engaging. After all, some players still treasure the vanilla experience and only want to improve this feel with mods instead of completely overhauling it.
This is where the Forgotten Creatures mod comes into the picture. It provides a re-texture of many enemies in the game without compromising too much on the vanilla design, which is exactly what many players want with their mods.
16 Bandit Lines Expansion
There are many enemies that players will encounter in Skyrim. While most of these are towering and intimidating fantasy creatures that can flatten the player at a moment’s notice, there are several human enemies that players can encounter in the game as well.
Bandits are the most common human enemies in the game, and players might get irritated listening to the same voice lines playing over and over again. With the Bandit Lines Expansion mod, these issues will quickly become a thing of the past with the whole host of additional lines that are added to the pool for these annoying enemies in the game.
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 feels 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.
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.
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 to the game if the base game’s companions end up being rather boring and one-note.
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.
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.
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.
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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