What are the best Skyrim mods?
Skyrim is one of the biggest and most popular games in the world. The fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise, this game has sold over 30 million copies across all platforms, making it one of the best-selling games of all time.
Despite being released for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, it is still going strong today and shows no sign of stopping.
Although vanilla Skyrim has an insane amount of replayability, especially with the new features introduced in the Anniversary Edition, thousands of mods expand the base game and completely transform it into a new experience.
The Best Skyrim Mods of All Time
If you want to change the way you experience Skyrim but don’t want to sift through all the mods yourself, you’re in luck.
We’ve done the work, so you don’t have to, and found only the most popular and well-developed mods that you can download right now.
Here’s our list of the 25 best Skyrim mods of all time:
25. Interesting NPCs
Interesting NPCs is one of the best mods for Skyrim if you want to add more life to the world around you.
While there are a lot of NPCs in the base game, they often only have a limited amount to say, and many don’t offer additional quests or benefits.
This mod seeks to improve Skyrim’s NPCs and make the people around your character much more intractable and interesting.
It adds a mindblowing 250+ fully voiced NPCs, 25+ voiced followers with location-specific dialogue, 15+ new marriage options, and 50+ brand new quests.
Simply put, this mod turns one of the biggest open-world maps in video game history into an even more dynamic and interesting place to explore.
If you want to add more content and more engaging characters to your next playthrough, interesting NPCs is a mod that you’ll not want to overlook.
24. Simply Better Movement Speeds
When it comes to Skyrim mods, sometimes even the smallest changes can improve the way you play the game, which is undoubtedly true of Simply Better Movement Speeds.
Although this mod doesn’t add NPCs or quests, it does make movement more realistic and believable.
With this mod, walking and sneaking speeds have been slightly increased, while running has been slightly decreased, and sprinting remains the same.
The result is a much more natural and lifelike movement that may not change a lot about the game, but it can definitely improve immersion.
23. Convenient Horses
Horses can make getting around Skyrim’s huge maps a lot easier, especially since they often don’t obey the laws of physics and can climb even the steepest mountains.
However, the horses in the base game leave a lot to be desired in other respects, and that is where this mod comes in.
With Convenient Horses, a lot of changes have been made, including a horse whistle that allows you to summon your mount, mounted conversations, auto looting from horseback, faster dismounts, horse inventory, and brand new horse equipment like armor and saddles.
If you enjoy using horses to get around, this is a mod you’re going to want to download so that you can get the most out of your equine friends.
22. Moonlight Tales – Werewolf and Werebear Overhaul
Skyrim remains one of the most popular video games right now, despite being released in 2011.
This is partly due to the fantastic DLCs, such as Dawnguard, which thrust the vampires of Skyrim into the spotlight and gave players the ability to become a fierce vampire lord.
However, Moonlight Tales is a mod that finally gives werewolves and werebears the attention they deserve by adding more content, more customization, and much more immersion.
This mod gives players access to over 200 unique werebeast forms with skins and textures created by some of Skyrim’s most prolific modders.
Keep in mind that this mod also provides a lunar transformation system and the ability to spread your ‘gift’ by attacking NPCs.
Even curing lycanthropy has been overhauled, making it more interesting and engaging since your beast-side won’t take kindly to you trying to be rid of it.
All of this only scratches the surface of all the things this mod overhauls and adds. It is hands down the best Skyrim mod for players who want to get more in touch with their Dovahkiin’s wild side.
21. Pretty Combat Animations
The original Skyrim featured a lot of animations, but they could definitely benefit from some additional refinement.
Pretty Combat Animations overhauls many weapons animations, including idle animations, to make them more fluid and natural.
This results in better character movement that pairs well with Simply Better Movement Speeds.
Despite being a simple improvement, this mod makes playing Skyrim a tiny bit more immersive.
20. Campfire – Complete Camping System
Campfire is one of the most popular Skyrim mods, and it is a must-have for fans looking to improve the quality of their next playthrough.
As the largest and most well-developed stand-alone camping mod, Campfire gives players the ultimate immersion experience by allowing them to search for resources, build campfires, and create or buy unique camping equipment.
There is even a special skill system just for camping that allows you to gradually build better fires, find more resources, and hone your survival instincts.
Despite all of these features, this mod is incredibly light and doesn’t bog down games with many scripts.
It works perfectly whether you are starting a new game or installing it in the middle of your current playthrough.
This mod has also served as the foundation for other successful mods for Skyrim, including the extremely popular survival mods Frostfall 3 and Last Seed.
If you want to make surviving in Skyrim a real challenge, this is the mod for you.
19. The Forgotten City
Out of all the best Skyrim mods, this was the first in history to win a National Writers’ Guild award for its incredible scriptwriting, and it even has its own website.
If you started playing it without knowing it was a mod, you could seriously mistake it for being an official DLC.
The Forgotten City takes players on an epic six to eight-hour murder mystery adventure set in an ancient underground city.
Violence isn’t the only option you can employ, and in many cases, it won’t even get you very far.
Instead, this mod challenges players to explore, ask questions, and deduce the best courses of action to solve this enrapturing puzzle.
The story reacts to your choices and all of the complex moral decisions it forces you to make.
There are multiple different endings, and the path to unlocking them is incredibly non-linear.
The Forgotten City really is a game within a game, and if you’ve played through the entirety of Skyrim numerous times, it can be a fun and welcome break from the gameplay you are used to.
18. Phenderix Magic Evolved
Although Skyrim is one of the best RPG PS4 games, there are still some mechanics and features that fans wish had been a little more fleshed out, the magic system being a prime example.
This mod introduces 400 new spells in an organic and lore-friendly way. These spells can be bought from vendors, found in chests, or looted from enemy locations.
The spells also work together in a cohesive way that allows players to deal extra damage.
For instance, a water spell combined with an electric spell will deal more damage overall than one or the other by itself.
If you are underwhelmed by the magic system in the vanilla game and want to finally become the most powerful mage in Skyrim, Phenderix is a mod that you’re not going to want to pass up.
Let’s face it, the hairstyles in Skyrim leave a lot to be desired, and they certainly lack a great deal of realism.
ApachiiSkyHair fixes this and gives you much more variety when creating a human, elven, or orcish character.
This mod adds 216 new hair options for male and female characters, with some hairstyles being converted from Witcher, Oblivion, and Sims mods.
Each of these new hairstyles looks much more natural and dynamic when compared to the vanilla options, and the only real downside is that you’re probably going to spend even more time in the character creator deciding which one looks best.
16. Wearable Lanterns
Wearable Lanterns is all about immersion, and it gives players the ability to light their way in dark caves and crypts without needing to hold a touch manually.
This mod adds a craftable lantern that your character can attach to their belt or carry if you feel so inclined.
If you have the Dragonborn DLC installed, the option to craft paper lanterns also becomes available.
If you’re tired of having to give up a hand in combat to carry a touch around, Wearable Lanterns should definitely be added to your load order.
15. Cloaks of Skyrim
As one of the northernmost provinces in Tamriel, Skyrim gets cold and having your character wander around Winderhold in short sleeves without batting an eye can be a bit immersion-breaking.
Fortunately, the creators of Cloaks of Skyrim have prioritized providing players with nearly 100 different lore-friendly cloaks so that their characters can stay warm and look great while doing it.
Cloaks of Skyrim is a straightforward Skyrim mod, but it can definitely significantly impact your gameplay, especially when it comes to survival.
While Skyrim may be one of the most popular video games of all time, its character creation menu isn’t as thorough or as detailed as some players may like.
This has led to many Skyrim mods that aim to change it. However, none have been quite as successful or become as popular as RaceMenu.
RaceMenu gives players a lot more choices when they play Skyrim, and it works with all races, even custom ones.
There are numeric values for all sliders, body adjustments, custom color options for hair, and support for controllers.
The only requirement for this mod is the Skyrim Script Extender, which can only be downloaded from its host site and isn’t available on the Nexus.
However, it is a simple enough addition that is well worth installing for the benefits that RaceMenu can provide.
13. Immersive Armors
The armor sets in vanilla Skyrim is impressive, and there are a good number of them to choose from.
However, after playing through the game so many times, it just ends up feeling a little bit repetitive.
Immersive Armors of Skyrim is one of the best Skyrim mods for lore-friendly armor sets, and it is constantly being updated to bring gamers a greater selection of gear.
Currently, there are 55 new armor sets, including 60 variants, in this mod and tons of other things like eyepatches, earrings, scarves, capes, and 396 new shields!
If you’ve run out of interesting armor to wear and want a change from the usual Daedric or Dragonbone armor, this is one of the best mods you can download.
12. Immersive Weapons
While downloading Immersive Armors, you may want to consider downloading Immersive Weapons to add even more diversity and choice to your next playthrough.
This weapons mod drastically changes the variety of weapons you can find scattered across the world.
Each addition is integrated in a lore-friendly way, and all 230 weapons have been created to be as balanced as possible.
This mod is also frequently updated with new items and features, so you’re sure to never get bored of all the cool weapons it offers!
11. Skyrim Flora Overhaul
Skyrim is huge, and the landscape is gorgeous. It really is no surprise that this game remains one of the best open-world PS4 games, even without modifications.
That said, there is no shortage of great mods for Skyrim that enhance its already beautiful landscapes. The Skyrim Flora Overhaul is just one fantastic example.
This overhaul brings the various flora found throughout the game into the next generation by improving their appearances and variations.
The result is stunning, with fuller, more lifelike trees, lusher grasses, and an abundance of new color.
10. Apocalypse – Magic of Skyrim
Another significant overhaul for players who want to truly live up to the title of Arch-Mage, Apocalypse – Magic of Skyrim, is the most popular spell pack within the modding community, and it has been downloaded over six million times on the Nexus.
While it ‘only’ adds 155 new unique spells (31 to each school of magic), compared to Phenderix’s 400, this mod also comes with brand new scrolls and staves.
It can also be a little less overwhelming than Phenderix, making it a good choice for those who want more variety without sifting through hundreds of new spells.
If you want a balanced spell mod that won’t bog you down with too many choices, Apocalypse is the perfect mod for you.
9. Climates Of Tamriel – Weather – Lighting – Audio
If you’re looking for weather mods, look no further than Climates of Tamriel.
The most endorsed and downloaded weather and lighting mod for Skyrim, boasting an impressive 11 million downloads on the Nexus, this mod really can’t be praised enough.
Climates of Tamriel completely overhauls all of the weather in Skyrim, providing players with new variations, and it also adds brand new sounds for thunder and interiors.
Seriously, the sounds are so incredible in this mod, you’ll definitely want to invest in a pair of quality headphones to experience it, and you can even get some of the best gaming headsets under $50. Trust us; the ambiance is worth it.
Although the weather is impressive in the vanilla game, this mod makes it 10x better, and you definitely shouldn’t miss out on it when starting your next playthrough.
8. A Quality World Map And Solstheim Map – With Roads
The vanilla game map is impressive, but it can be hard to read, especially when it comes to finding the most efficient route to a location.
This means that many players end up just using a horse to force their way over mountains to get to where they are trying to go.
Thankfully, this mod allows us to give our horses a break by actually showing where all of the roads in the world are.
It even overhauls the map’s textures, making it even more detailed than it was in the vanilla game.
Although a map overhaul may not sound game-changing, it really does make getting around more manageable, and this mod makes the map incredibly beautiful to look at.
kyUI is a must-have mod for everyone who plays Skyrim on the PC. This mod vastly improves the user interface and makes it so much easier to find everything you are looking for.
This mod makes going through your inventory a breeze, and everything you could ever need to find is easily organized in plain text.
Once you make the switch to this interface, you’ll start to wonder how you ever completed a playthrough without it.
6. Skyrim HD – 2K Textures
Skyrim HD is the most downloaded HD texture mod for Skyrim, with an astounding 24 million downloads on the Nexus.
It replaces over 600 base textures with 2k high-resolution ones that completely transform the world.
This mod covers the entire landscape, including architecture in and around all cities. Literally, if you can think of it, this mod has more likely made it look better.
If you want your next playthrough to look as good as some of the best PS4 games to play right now, this is the mod for you.
5. Sofia — The Funny Fully Voiced Follower
This hilarious follower is one of the most unique and entertaining that you’ll come across, and it’s highly recommended that you travel with her at least once.
Sofia is fully voiced and will comment on various locations and points in the main quest.
Thanks to her custom dialogue system, she has some of the longest and most detailed dialogue in the entire game.
Although she is a fan-created character, Sofia has become a beloved companion for many, and her sense of humor and witty remarks make it hard not to fall in love with her.
4. Nexus Mod Manager/Mod Manager
The Nexus mod manager has been the go-to for mod users for years, and it is a must-have if you are planning on downloading any of the mods on this list.
This mod manager makes it incredibly easy to install Skyrim mods, and all you have to do is download a mod using the “mod manager download” option and then activate the mod!
Unfortunately, the NMM has been all but replaced by the Vortex Mod Manager on Nexus, but the latest release of the NMM is still available to download on the Nexus Vortex page.
If you’re going to be downloading any mods for Skyrim, we highly recommend first downloading one of these mod managers to make the installation process a lot quicker and easier.
Falskaar is a massive DLC-sized mod and one of the largest Skyrim quest mods you can download.
It adds a whopping 20+ hours of additional gameplay, including new quests, dungeons, and fully voiced characters.
The land of Falskaar is entirely separate from Skyrim and is roughly the size of two to three Skyrim holds, which makes it fairly big.
Here you will find 26 unique quests, nine of which pertain to the mod’s main story.
If you have seen everything there is to see in Skyrim and want a new Elder Scrolls adventure, Falskaar should definitely be added to your load order.
2. Enderal: Forgotten Stories
This titan of a mod boasts over 30 to 100 hours of gameplay, which is enough to give some of the best-selling PS4 games of all time a run for their money.
In fact, this mod isn’t so much an addon to Skyrim as it is a whole other game in and of itself!
Enderal is a story mod that introduces a new land with its own biomes, gameplay, lore, and voiced characters.
While you will have to download this mod directly from Steam, since the Nexus version is no longer being supported, the upside is that you can now receive special Steam achievements from playing it!
If you want to experience a whole new game crafted inside Skyrim’s engine, we couldn’t recommend Enderal more highly.
1. Unofficial Skyrim Legendary – Enderal Forgotten Stories
The Unofficial Skyrim Patch is a must-have, not just because it fixes many of the bugs found in the original game, but because many Skyrim mods require it to be installed for them to run correctly.
The goal of this mod is to eventually fix every single bug in the game that was missed by Bethesda so that Skyrim can run as smoothly as possible.
Seeing as Bethesda games are renowned for their bugs — er, features — this is a monumental feat.
However, this mod has managed to rectify any issues that were never officially patched.
If you want to install Skyrim mods, you’re going to want to start with this one, and even if you’re not planning on downloading a lot of mods, the Unofficial Patch can still save you from a lot of game-breaking bugs that may set you back hours.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 25 best Skyrim mods of all time.
These mods are the absolute best and most highly recommended mods you should install if you want to reimagine the way you play Skyrim.
From environmental changes to full-blown DLC-sized story additions, there is something for everyone to love on this list.
Here’s a quick recap of the 25 best Skyrim mods of all time:
- Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch
- Enderal: Forgotten Stories
- Nexus Mod Manager/Vortex Mod Manager
- Sofia — The Funny Fully Voiced Follower
- Skyrim HD – 2K Textures
- A Quality World Map And Solstheim Map – With Roads
- Climates Of Tamriel – Weather – Lighting – Audio
- Apocalypse – Magic of Skyrim
- Skyrim Flora Overhaul
- Immersive Weapons
- Immersive Armors
- Cloaks of Skyrim
- Wearable Lanterns
- Phenderix Magic Evolved
- The Forgotten City
- Campfire – Complete Camping System
- Pretty Combat Animations
- Moonlight Tales – Werewolf and Werebear Overhaul
- Convenient Horses
- Simply Better Movement Speeds
- Interesting NPCs
What’s the best Skyrim mod, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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