• |

The Comprehensive List Of Must Have Skyrim Mods - 2014

Posted on Saturday, January 4, 2014 | 60 Comments


Skyrim Mods

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 - 2014

Please 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.

Conclusion

Well, 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! :)

Comments:60

  1. Is it likely that ALL these mods could successfully be run on a decent system?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm currently running about 98% of these mods on a 3-4 year old system. CPU is ~ 2GHZ, 6GB RAM and a 550Ti Video Card. Use MO (*fantastic* Mod Organizer!), BOSS, and Wrye Bash, to keep everything under control and cooperating. Youtube MO, MO and BOSS, MO and Wrye. Some excellent video guides will have you improving your game leaps and bounds.

      Delete
    2. 95% of these mods work perfectly for me, I'm running on a 4 year old system, CPU is ~2.5GHZ, 4GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT520 Video Card. :)

      Delete
    3. I'm running a 6 year old system and all of the mods work fantastic, runs perfectly fine.

      Delete
  2. Can I run all of these at once with gtx 780 and 3770K turbo'd?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes you can without no problem. I run these on my 765m and 4700mq withouth a flinch.

      Delete
    2. im running around 200 mods on a 3770k and a Radeon 7970M just to give you a general idea.

      But some stuff is more heavy than others like a full blown ENB will half your frames.

      for low end systems go for RCRN is pretty amazing for a loss of 5 frames.

      And get Immersive Saturation Boost for it makes it pretty much look like Realvision ENB without the FPS drop.



      i tried running full skyrim texture cobiner with it and no problem.

      having a lot of issues with skyrim mod cobiner thoug :(


      As long as you dont go pass 3,1 gig of ram being loaded on to your memory at any time.

      you can mod skyrim to 254 mods :)

      Delete
    3. You can only have 254 plugins, you can combine mods into one esp or esm.

      Delete
  3. Excellent list. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your welcome! :)

    Yes you should have no problem running these mods on a gtx 780 with a 3770k. Skyrim favors Intel CPU's anyways, so you should be golden. Thanks for the comments!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perfect list to start!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very complete list. Nice job! One of the few mods that are "missing" from the list and that are essential for me is the "Alternate Start - Live another life" which let's you change the way you arrive in skyrim, or even make you a property owner, tavern patron, huntsmen or outlaw in one of the holds. Recommend checking it out!
    Great job,
    c0mmanderKeen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh your right c0mmanderKeen, I had meant to add that one! Thanks for reminding me, i'll add it to the list. Thanks for the comments!

      Delete
  7. Should I be able to run all these on a 2GB GTX 770?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mortal888: You most definitely can run all these mods with that GTX 770. In fact, you may be able to even use the Skyrim Ultra Preset graphics setting while doing so. Thats a great card you got there, and I don't think you will have any issues.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
    2. I'm running the gtx 770 with all these mods then 100 more. Every so often game crashes but it's worth it.

      Delete
  8. Can I run all of these at once with gtx 650 ti(2 GB) 8 GB ram and phenom 965 BE?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should be able to. With the 650Ti, its going to depend on what resolution your running at. 2 GB of VRAM will be fine for these mods, and that Phenom 965 Be will do well in this game.

      I would wager you could run all these mods with the games "High" graphic preset option, which will look absolutely stunning as their isn't really a whole lot of difference between High and Ultra.

      Delete
  9. Can I run all these at once with AMD 270 2GB and I7 4820k 3.90ghz with 8gb of ram ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I don't think you would have any issues with that setup. Skyrim is very CPU bound, and you got a great CPU there. I doubt you would have any trouble at all.

      Delete
  10. I suggest the Wet and Cold - Ashes be unencouraged for download, as on the main page of the original (not addon) it's not easily understood that mod should be downloaded solely.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Also, a few compatibility patches needed for SoS? (Sounds of Skyrim?) to be mentioned as well. If i were you id also say which have load order specifities too..

    ReplyDelete
  12. (Separate comment) Should I use all of these mods altogether installing from beginning to end? Or can I use 'some' and some' after I beat the game say once.?

    ReplyDelete
  13. How would these run at 1080p on an fx 6300 and r9 270x?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Suggestion: Install instructions on UFO for this mod guide setup? (Procedure extends beyond what is understood by player since the mod asks to RUN skyrim, according to STEP it isn't good to run any save game until fully modded and prepared.)

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/44197/?
    ^
    Fixed Midas Magic Compatibility Patch + Edits

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having issues. I installed most of the mods, and I start the game looking at a carriage thats sideways flopped and a horse walking into the next one... (Helgen Reborn crash?...) What can I do about that..?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fix: Disable Helgen Reborn until post-Helgen escape

      Delete
    2. Helgen Reborn is not supposed to be loaded until after the opening sequence/or if you have the alternate life mod. But even with it unloaded I've had this happen... I could imagine it being a conflict between a few mods, maybe convenient horses? Easiest way around that is to either find a clean save after the ride into Helgen or a save bypassing the Helgen area all together... There are a few good saves on Nexus that you could grab..

      Delete
  17. Fix: Turn off HiAlgoboost for some it doesnt work... for me it slows it to below 10 fps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be able to run RCRN AE for me.. that is.

      Delete
  18. dude thank you for the list, i actually helped make the overhaul for Morrowind HD, we should work together and I'll get the guys I worked with and we can make a Skyrim Overhaul to blow this game out of the water

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a great idea Joey! I am game to work on it! We should do it!

      Delete
  19. Will I be able to run all these mods with a dual Nvidia GT 755 (2gb) Sli graphics cards on ultra or atleast high graphics? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. A couple more must-haves: Better Dialogue Controls and Better Messagebox Controls. I also can't play without iHUD, moreHUD, Smithing Perks Overhaul Remade, Weapon And Armor Fixes Remade, and Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade.

    ReplyDelete
  21. can I run all these mods on a AMD Radeon HD 8210 4GB Of RAM And A AMD E1-2100 CPU

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just wanted to add you should get SKSE 1.7 since its in beta but it has some buildt in stability fixes.
    SSME and safety load.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Kinda surprised you don't have any of the dragon mods on the list. Other than that it is an excellent list, and I run virtually everything on the list! I have a few other ones that are just about personal preference (weapon placement and sheathe/draw animations). Really great list though!

    ReplyDelete
  24. i have 16 gb of ram and the stock video card that came with my pc, hp pavillion running amd a6, when i play the vanilla skyrim i usually use medium graphics because the highest settings glitch out a bit, should i expect crashing and glitches?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your stock video card is probably on board and built into your mobo or processor... either way... im surprised it plays skyrim on medium at all xD

      Delete
  25. Now that sounds awesome! And thank you for the list!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey, i have a GTX 770 2GB with quite a bit of ram - will i be able to run most of these mods together?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Definitely one of the best mod lists I've seen, all of these are exceptional, well done.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Best Mod list out there, yet 1 thing is bugging me. Right when I get to character creation, the game closes. I turned off Helgen Reborn because of the carriage problem, but what's causing this one? Is it a hair mod? I'm using all the ones required by NPCs of Dibella. Any help would be great, thanks guys.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've always played elder scrolls on cosoles but have recently been given a computer and am dying to play with mods. Will I be able to run any decent graphics mods on a core 2 duo e8400 wolfdale 3 ghz and gtx 295?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Will this work on a core 2 duo e8400 wolfdale 3 ghz and a gtx 295

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have AMD FX6300, ATI R7 250X 1GB DDR5, and 8GB RAM

    Which texture mod is the best for above spec? without making them "work" too hard (overheating)

    I have bad experience with overheating VGA and i don't want that to happen again -_-

    ReplyDelete
  32. the BOSS link redirects to file not found page :(

    ReplyDelete
  33. Boss not @ Skyrim Nexus

    ReplyDelete
  34. Boss Link Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out guys!

    As for other questions, Any Modern Intel or AMD Dual Core/Quad CPU and a Graphics Card with atleast 2 GB of VRAM can run most of the texture mods. If you have 1 GB of VRAM on your GPU, Skyrim HD texturer mod has a "light version" on their pages which was designed to run on cards with less memory. You won't lose much as its barely noticeable between the full and light versions.

    Thanks for all the comments everyone! I am so glad this page has become so popular.

    There is a few more mods I want to add to this list soon,I just want to finish testing them. As the goal of this page was to give you the best Skyrim mods without taking away or veering too far away from the games core experience, and also ensure they don't introduce too many bugs . Stay Tuned!

    Thanks again for your support! :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Ren hair seems to go to a garbage misdirect page now. It doesn't seem to allow a download unless you sign up for their junk.
    Will NPC's of Dibella still run without it?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi guys, I just built a my first gaming rig and am wondering if there mods will run alright for me. I've got an i5 4460 processor, a radeon r-9 280 graphics card, and 8 gb's of ram. Whatdya think?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey guys, the "The Unofficial High Resolution Patch" requires masters HighResTexturePack01.esp, HighResTexturePack02.esp, and HighResTexturePack03.esp. Can anybody link where to download these first? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, can I run most of these mods on 4GB of RAM and a 1GB 6670 Ati Radeon card? I have an i5 processor, 2400 3.0Ghz. I know it's an old gig, can't help it. Will I get a lot of lag?

    ReplyDelete
  39. I'm pretty new to this modding experience with Skyrim and I really want a new immersive experience with it, too. Past the Steam workshop. I have like a bare minimum of mods on there and I'd really love to delve into more of these. It's just that a lot of it seems confusing at first glance and I'm not really sure if I'm doing all of this right.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Has anyone else had this problem... after installing the majority of these mods, running boss and launching skse via nexus mod manager my game loads to the skyrim logo then crashes out to desktop. any help on this would be great because I have been slowly downloading these mods for weeks and I am quite pissed that I cant play now!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Guys - I'm worried about running a ton of mods on my current setup. Its an acer i7 8GB and intel HD4000... Is the graphics card going to really slow me down when installing numerous mods?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for the list! I've played Vanilla Skyrim for about 350 hours now (sans the HD texture pack and Hearthfire) and I feel it's time to step into the modding world. I've been apprehensive with all of the issues which may arise, but I feel if I take each mod at a time using MO, I should be okay. I will scour your list and pick and choose!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you much for the list. I played Skyrim on console for a long time. This has allowed me to get back into it with a much better and different experience. Much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete

Copyright ronwoods.us. Powered by Blogger.

Get Updates By Email

Popular Posts

About Me

My photo

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.