What are the best Skyrim character mods?
Many aspects of Skyrim have aged very well. However, the appearance of the Skyrim characters has not.
I mean, if you enjoy your character looking like a melted crayon, more power to you, but for players who want the men and women of Skyrim to look their best, mods are the way to go.
The Best Skyrim Character Mods of All Time
When it comes to character creation, there are a lot of mods geared towards making characters look better, and we’ve found the most outstanding ones available right now on the Nexus.
Here’s our list of the 20 best Skyrim character mods of all time:
20. KJ Tattoos
Kicking off our list, we have an excellent mod for players who want to give their Dragonborns some seriously cool ink.
KJ Tattoos adds over 40 different tattoo options that can be colored to fit your preferences. These tattoos are available for male and female characters of every race using the RaceMenu, and up to six at a time can be used.
This mod is also fully compatible with UNP and CBBE bodies as well as custom races.
In order to be able to run this mod correctly, you will need to have the RaceMenu installed and the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE).
Most of this can be handled by the Nexus Mod Manager, which is by far the easiest way to install Skyrim mods.
Once everything is installed, you can jump into the game and deck out your character!
19. KS Hairdos Renewal
The hairstyles in the base game leave a lot to be desired, and most appear relatively static and plastic-looking.
Fortunately, the KS Hairdos Renewal mod more than makes up for the lackluster vanilla options by adding 922 new hairstyles to the game.
KS Hairdos gives you 830 new hairstyles for female characters and 92 new male styles.
All of these new styles look much softer and much more realistic than the base game styles, and the only downside of this mod is that you’re going to have a hard time choosing which style you like best!
18. Superior Lore-Friendly Hair(HD Textures)
If you’re a fan of the vanilla Skyrim hair options but just wish they had more realistic textures, then this mod is something to consider.
Superior Lore-Friendly Hair is a Skyrim mod that improves the appearance of both NPCs and your character with hand-made, high-quality hair textures.
This mod recolors the gradients of the vanilla hairstyles and enhances the hair map to give it a better 3D appearance and shine. Because it only affects the hair, there is no impact on performance and no compatibility issues with any other mods.
If you aren’t looking to add brand new hairstyles to your game, this is one of the best Skyrim mods to install to enhance the appearance of all characters.
17. Female Hairstyles with Physics
Sticking with hairstyles, we have a mod that finally gives movement to the hair in Skyrim! No longer will you look like you’re wearing a static helmet that doubles as a wig.
This mod adds five new female hairstyles with physics that allow them to move naturally as you walk or run.
While it doesn’t look as realistic as the hair physics you’ll find in a game like The Last of Us Part II; it does go a long way towards making Skyrim a little bit more immersive.
16. Northborn Scars
When creating a warrior in the character creator, you probably want to make them as intimidating as possible, which means adding battle scars.
However, the vanilla Skyrim options for scars are far from impressive, and if you want to mark your character as a battle-born badass, you’re going to need this mod.
Northern Scars replaces the vanilla scars with more detailed and realistic options, along with adding some brand new custom scars, gashes, and burns to help your character stand out further.
While these scars are only available for humans and elves so far, there are plans to make them accessible to beast races in the future, though no concrete date has been set yet.
15. Eyes of Aber
When picking your character’s eyes in Skyrim, you don’t have a lot of options that look realistic, and many seem overly dull.
Thankfully, this mod rectifies this issue and introduces 150 new eye textures for human and elven races.
While it isn’t the most lore-friendly mod to play Skyrim with, it does make characters look a lot cooler, especially if you want eyes that make your character look a little more than mortal.
Although the change may not be huge, it does get you one step closer to emulating the insane customization options seen in Cyberpunk 2077 in a game that is over a decade old.
If you felt let down by the selection of eyebrows in Skyrim, you’re not alone. While they may not have been as bad as the brows found in some Bioware games, they still leave a whole lot to be desired.
Brows is an excellent mod for the Elder Scrolls, and it is the most popular eyebrow mod on the Nexus. This mod’s improvements are immediately recognizable and can transform characters’ appearance to make them look more defined and natural.
Even if you’re not using a body mod or skin texture mods to compliment it, these brows are a must-have.
Do you know what else is a must-have? Beards.
This mod is great to install alongside Brows, and it is the most popular beard retexture mod that you can find.
As part of Hvergelmir’s Aesthetic series, this mod is part of a collection — that includes Brows — which aims to overhaul all of the vanilla Skyrim character face textures.
If you want your next Dragonborn to look like they came straight from one of the best PS4 games to play right now, then you won’t want to leave this mod out of your load order.
12. BVFE – Better Vampire Fangs & Eyes
Being a vampire in Skyrim is awesome, but unfortunately, the faces are not. Why Bethesda decided to make all vampires have glowstick eyes and weird facial markings, we may never know.
However, you can finally rid yourself of these bad aesthetic choices with BVFE. This mod changes the fangs and eyes for all vampires, and you can choose to have glowing eyes or not.
Finally, the vampires of Skyrim can look more like their classical counterparts, and although it won’t help you open chests while in Vampire Lord form, it can make playing as a bloodsucker a lot more pleasing to look at.
Zebsirious (try saying that three times fast) is a mod that introduces seven new races into Skyrim, including Dwemer, Maormer, and Falmer.
Each new race comes with its own stats and racial bonuses, which you can see in the character creation menu. All new races have been integrated with the base game to feel natural and as lore-friendly as possible.
The Elder Scrolls community has wanted to play as other races for a long time.
Since the opportunity has yet to be given — even in ESO — this mod is your best bet if you want to experience one of the biggest open-world maps in gaming history as one of these unique races.
Imperious is another race mod that aims to make the races of Tamriel feel more diverse and unique.
To do this, it overhauls the racial special abilities, powers, and stats. While it assigns three new abilities, this mod requires players to complete a brand new quest to unlock their specialized racial power.
Even more impressive is that this mod also affects NPCs, giving them access to the same abilities that your character has.
This mod definitely makes Skyrim feel much more diverse, and it is definitely worth downloading if you’re unimpressed by the base game race abilities.
9. The Atlantean Race
We know the Maormer are the seafaring elves from beyond the Summerset Isles, but this mod introduces a whole new aquatic race from the mythical city of Atlantis.
Complete with unique passives, stats, and abilities, this mod is compatible with all DLC and mods that add other custom races.
While you will have to download the RaceCompatabiltiy mod for this one to work, it is well worth it if you want to live out your dreams of roleplaying a Dragonborn Aquaman.
8. Tempered Skins For Males & Females
Tempered Skins is a mod that changes the skin textures from the vanilla game and replaces them with high-quality options.
There are many different complexions to choose from with this mod, and it even affects Snow Elves, the Afflicted, and vampires.
Although it doesn’t work for beast races, if you play as a human or elf, you can access more customization options provided by this mod, including age variations, skin smoothness, and skin color.
Everything looks a lot more natural with this mod and less like it was sculpted from melted plastic. It definitely helps Skyrim live up to its place as one of the most popular video games right now.
7. Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Edition
CBBE is one of the best Skyrim mods on the Nexus, and it is also one of the mildly NSFW ones.
This is one of the best body mods if you want a customizable female body, and it works with the BodySlide tool and RaceMenu plugin.
While it does provide three nude options to choose from, there are also three underwear styles for the custom body shapes.
You can select either slim, curvy, or vanilla for the base, and, if you’re looking for a realistic body replacer, this is the best you can download today.
This enhanced character edit mod is necessary for a couple of the other mods on our list, and it is nice to have because of all the features it provides.
RaceMenu is an enhanced character edit overhaul. It adds new customization features and gives users the ability to search for settings, save, load presets, and choose custom colors.
Like KJ Tattoos, RaceMenu requires the Skyrim Script Extender to work, but once you have everything installed, using this enhanced character edit tool is a breeze, and it definitely makes cosmetic character creation a lot easier.
5. Total Character Makeover
This mod does exactly what it says it does by overhauling the texture sets for all races from head to toe. Unlike CBBE, it doesn’t include nude bodies, so you may want to stick with that mod if that is important to you.
However, we have to give this mod its dues, as it definitely makes all characters look a lot smoother and lifelike. Seriously, this mod makes everyone look like they could have come out of a more recent game like The Outer Worlds; it is that good.
This mod is the perfect blend between realism and the classic Elder Scrolls style. It doesn’t fall into the uncanny valley category that many overhauls unfortunately do, and it is definitely a welcome addition to any load order.
4. Skyrim Glowing Eyes
If you’re a fan of glowing eyes in Skyrim, you’re in luck! There is a mod just for you.
Skyrim Glowing eyes may not be getting updates anymore, but it adds a selection of 15 glowing eyes that are absolutely out of this world.
Whether you want to look intimidating or eerily beautiful, this is one of the best Skyrim mods to help you stand out in dark places.
3. Improved Eyes Skyrim
Speaking of eyes, Improved Eyes of Skyrim acts as a great lore-friendly middle ground between Eyes of Aber and Glowing Eyes, and it definitely helps make Skyrim look more like one of the most popular video games of all time.
It replaces all vanilla eye textures with new, high-definition alternatives that give them a much more natural appearance.
Improved Eyes also supports all races, Kahjiit and Argonians included, and it is available for both Special Edition and Classic Skyrim.
If you’re tired of staring into the cold, lifeless eyes of your Dragonborn, we highly recommend giving this mod a try.
2. Dunmer Scarification
The elven races in Skyrim are so diverse, it’s just a shame that the game doesn’t emphasize their uniqueness more. Fortunately for fans of the Dunmer, this mod aims to help set them apart more from the other faces.
Scarified Dunmer adds a number of complexion options to the character creation screen, giving them the appearance of having undergone ritual scarification.
There are 36 total combinations to choose from for females and 27 for males, giving you plenty of ways to make your character stand out.
1. Character Creation Overhaul
We saved the best Skyrim character creation overhaul mod for last, and it definitely is a massive overhaul.
The Character Creation Overhaul is one of the best Skyrim mods for players who want to customize their characters as much as possible.
Unlike many other Skyrim mods, this mod brings back birth signs, classes, specialization, and favored attributes left out of the vanilla game.
This means that you could play through the game as the same race multiple times but create them to have vastly different strengths and skills.
Possibly the best addition this mod provides is the revamped class system that brings back all 21 classes from Morrowind and Oblivion.
Choosing a class makes a huge difference when creating your character, and it can enable you to try out different playstyles that you may have avoided or not known about before.
There is no more one-size-fits-all option with this mod, and with it, you can create a whopping 229,320 unique characters!
If you don’t download any other mods on this list, we highly encourage you to give this one a try. Once you see the difference it can make, you’ll never want to play without it.
While there are a lot of Skyrim mods on the Nexus, these 20 are the best when it comes to character creation and making the people of Skyrim look less like plastic.
If you want to improve your Skyrim experience and make your character look their best, take a moment to download a couple of these great mods and let us know which ones you love the most!
Here’s a quick recap of the 20 best Skyrim character mods of all time:
- Character Creation Overhaul
- Dunmer Scarification
- Improved Eyes Skyrim
- Skyrim Glowing Eyes
- Total Character Makeover
- Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Edition
- Tempered Skins For Males & Females
- The Atlantean Race
- BVFE – Better Vampire Fangs & Eyes
- Eyes of Aber
- Northborn Scars
- Female Hairstyles with Physics
- Superior Lore-Friendly Hair(HD Textures)
- KS Hairdos Renewal
- KJ Tattoos
What’s the best Skyrim character mod, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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