The Comprehensive List Of Must Have Skyrim Mods - 2014
Posted on Saturday, January 4, 2014 | 60 Comments
Its been over two years since The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim was released, and yet it is still one of the most popular games played on Steam. In fact, The Elder Scrolls Skyrim is ranked the 4th most popular game according to Steam statistics (as of Jan 4-2014)
This game is probably one of the best games released in recent memory IMO. However, it is the massive modding community on the PC version that adds to the replay value and longevity of this game. Today, I will list the "must have" mods to make your Skyrim experience truly exceptional!
The Comprehensive List Of Must Have Skyrim Mods - 2014Please Read the instructions on the linked pages for how to install these mods.
1. Getting Started - You will need a few tools before you get started. Please install the following tools below. These will help you add, manage, and sort your mods, and SKSE will ensure you meet all the requirements for some mods.
Nexus Mod Manager - This tool will allow you to easily install and uninstall mods from your game. In other words, it will keep things neat. So you won't have to copy and paste files yourself and it keeps track of changes. (requires creating an account on the Nexus which you will want to anyways to get the best mods)
SKSE - Skyrim Script Extender is a scripting framework that expands the scripting capabilities of Skyrim. Many Skyrim mods use it, so its best to install it.
BOSS - This tool is a mod sorting software. It downloads updated lists and will sort your mods correctly to avoid any load order issues that may cause problems. Simply run it and it will sort your mods. (Updated Link 7/7/2014 to point to BOSS new location on github)
Wyre Bash - Wyre Bash is used to create "Bash Patches". What this means simply is mods that have possible conflicts (changes the same thing, such as a leveled list) it merges these changes together into a patch that loads instead thus fixes the conflict.
2 The Unofficial Patches - The Unofficial patchs are community made patches that fix bugs in the game that were not fixed by Bethesda. the Bug fixes include broken quests, missing items, meshses, textures, etc. You definitely want to grab these!
The Unofficial Skyrim Patch,-For the Base Skyrim Game
The Unofficial Dawnguard Patch, - For the Dawnguard DLC
The Unofficial Heathfire Patch, - For the Hearthfire DLC
The Unofficial Dragonborn Patch - For the Dragonborn DLC
The Unofficial High Resolution Patch - For the High Resolution Texture Packs released by Bethesda.
3. User Interface (UI) - There are quite a few user interface mods for Skyrim, but the two most popular ones are SkyUI, iHUD, and Quality World Map - With Roads.
SkyUI - Requires SKSE
iHUD - Requires SKSE
A Quality World Map - With Roads - Requires High Quality 3D Map
4. Textures - Textures increase the graphic quality of the game. These are the hardest mods to get a feel for because what your system can handle depends on your CPU, RAM, and the VRAM of your graphics card. I will try to give suggestions here the best I can on the ones that could really tax your system.
Skyrim HD - This is the "mac daddy" of all Skyrim Texture mods. As it pretty much increases most of the textures in the game from the default 512 to 2048 which is a huge difference. There is the a standard version (2048) and a light version (1024). If you have LESS then 2 GB of Video Ram on your card, then use the "Light Version". If you have 2 GB OR MORE of Video Ram on your graphics card, use the "standard version".
WATER - Water And Terrain Enhancement Redux - This mod makes the Waters in Skyrim look very real and lifelike. As it updates all the resolutions of the waters, and improves their realism.
Skyrim Flora Overhaul - This mod makes Skyrim much more lush. There are 3 versions of this mod, Basic, Regular, and Summer. The one you choose is mostly personal preference.
RIS - Real Ice and Snow - This mod makes the ice and snow of Skyrim look realistic. The areas around and North of Winterhold just look amazing with this mod. If you want realistic Ice and Snow, this is the mod for you.
Lush Trees and Grass - It does what it says, it vastly improves the Trees and Foliage in Skyrim. If you use Lush Trees together with Skyrim Flora Overhaul you must use the Basic Version of Skyrim Flora Overhaul, and Lush Trees must be installed after Flora Overhaul.
SMIM(Static Mesh Improvement Mod) - Static Mesh Improvement Mod improves the meshes of pretty much every object in the game. It makes barrels, tables, posts, houses, chairs, pretty much anything you can think of look more realistic. However, I have noticed this mod can cause CTD(Crash to Desktop) on some systems. I am not sure why this is, if its hardware specific or what? I suggesst trying it if you can run it, use it, if you start getting random CTD uninstall it.
HD Enhanced Terrain - This mod increases the graphic detail and clarity of distance objects and distance landscapes. Its a really nice mod that adds that little bit of "wow" to your game play.
Better Snow and Rocks - This mod increases the resolution of Snow and Rocks in the game. Don't use the snow files if using RIS, but you can install the Rock files such as caves and rocks.
aMidianborn Book of Silence - Massive creature, and vanilla weapon and armor re-texture. The textures are of the highest quality.
5. Lighting and Weather - These Mods modify the lighting, and weather patterns in Skyrim for enhanced realism. The changes in color, brightness, and overall feel can sometimes make the difference between enjoyment and blah.
RCRN - Realistic Colors and Realistic Nights - In my opinion, this is the best of the bunch. It completely revamps the lighting and weather system of skyrim for more realism. It includes HDR lighting, volumetic fog, better water reflections, and even custom FXAA anti-aliasing. DO NOT USE RCRN WITH ANY OTHER WEATHER CHANGING, ENB, OR LIGHTING MOD.
Climates of Tamriel - Another mod that revamps the lighting, weather, and other parts of the game. This one is very popular, and some say its the best mod of its kind. I prefer RCRN, however this mod is every bit as good. It just comes down to preference.
ENBSeries v0.243 for TES Skyrim - This is the gold standard for ENB and will change the color and lighting of Skyrim. Some people like the ENB, and some hate it. Try it for yourself and see which you prefer.
6. Clothes, Armor and Weapons - These are mods that add new armors and generic apparel to the game.
Immersive Weapons - Adds a ton of new weapons found in the world and on NPC's
Immersive Armors - Adds a ton of new Armors found in the world and on NPC's
Winter is Coming - Another cloak mod that adds cloaks and hoods to be found in the world and on NPC's - Best not to use together with Cloaks of Skyrim.
Cloaks of Skyrim - This adds craftable cloaks and cloaks to be found in the world and on NPC's. Its a great mod!
Wet and Cold - Adds immersion by making NPC equip hoods during rain and snow. Adds clod breath, and water sounds when wet. A great mod!
7. NPC's/Immersion - These mods modify NPC's, and add more immersion to the base game.
Guard Dialogue Overhaul - This mod revamps the dialogue of guards in the game. No longer are your achievements ignored. As your exploits grow, the guards will notice your actions.
Wearable Lanterns - This mod allows your charcater to wear a lantern. Very handy for lighting up dark places, and allows both hands free to fight.
NPC's of Dibella - modifies 944 female NPC's in the game making them look much better and real.
Apache Skyhair - A hair mod that adds more hair presets to the game, used by NPC's of Dibella and other mods.
Cazy hairs by zzjay - Another hair mod that adds more hair styles to the game...used by NPC's of Dibella and other mods.
Ren hair reworked by jay - required for NPC's of Dibella
Interesting NPC's - Adds a ton of fully voiced and interesting NPC's to the game as well as new followers.
Sounds of Skyrim - Adds new sounds to Skyrim, there are 3 files to download. Dungeons, Wilds, and Civilization
8. Magic Mods- These mods aim to improve or tweak certain magic schools in Skyrim.
Truly Balanced Destruction Magic - makes Destruction magic more balanced so it doesn't get pitifully weak at higher levels.
Better Wards - Tweaks the Restoration School of Magic Ward spells to make them viable and useable throughout the game.
Skyrim Midas Magic - Adds 60+ new types of spells to Skyrim.
Apocalypse Spell Package - Adss 180 new spells to Skyrim. these are unique and different from Midas Magic.
Lost Magic - Another mod that adds a lot of fun items and magic spells to Skyrim.
9. Quest Mods
Falskaar - Explore a whole new world long forgotten in this excellent community quest mod by Alexander J. Velicky.
Helgen Reborn - Rebuild Helgen through a series of quests.
Wyrmstooth - perform a quest for the East Empire company concerning a dragon.
Moonpath to Elsweyr - Explore a part of the Khajiit homeland.
10 Misc Mods - Mods that don't fit under a particular category, but are still very good I will list here.
Open Cities - Removes the loading door of entering cities so your transition smoothly from outside the gates to the city.
UFO - Ultimate Follower Overhaul - Allows you to have more then 1 follower, and gives you more options and control over those followers.
Bandolier - Increases your carrying capacity by crafting bags and pouches your character can wear.
Improved Dragon Shouts - Improves the usability of Dragon Shouts. Makes them more powerful and more useful with better balanced cool down times.
Frostfall - This mod adds hypothermia to the game and is for the hardcore player. When in cold regions, the player will have to keep an eye on their health and act accordingly such as building a fire to warm up, and wearing warm clothes.
Magic Duel Reborn - This mod adds magic duels to game. They can be reminiscent to the Force duels from star wars, it can be really cool to best an enemy mage by your magic being more powerful then his and driving him back.
The Dance of Death - Adds new killcam finishing moves to Skyrim, and allows you to adjust the frequency of these kill moves.
Unique Uniques - This mod modifies the looks of quite a few of the unique weapons found in the game to make them look truely unique!
Alternate Start - Live Another Life - This mod allows you to start the game as a different person. For exmaple, instead of being The Dragonborn at Helgen, you could be a refugee from Morrowind on Solsteim, a soldier in the Legion, a Stormcloak rebel, etc. Its really a great mod for roleplaying.
ConclusionWell, I feel this list is definitely a good start. After using some of these mods, it will make Skyrim feel like a whole new game. you may even wonder who you ever played the game without them! I didn't include some mods because I thought these were the most important and stable ones I haverun accross.
Skyrim is a game meant to be modded, so feel free to add other mods to the ones I listed here. It is all about experimentation, and finding the right mod set for you. I hope you found this post useful, and I gave you a god start on your modding adventure.
Now go kill some dragons Dovahkiin! :)