Skyrim Special Edition is already out and that means there are some mods available for taking your experience to the next level. While some of the more popular scripts and add-ons aren't yet ready for Bethesda's latest release, namely SkyUI and SKSE, we'll take a look at some of the best mods available right now if you're looking to hop into a play through soon.
For all the mods listed in this round-up, we'll be using the Nexus platform and the Nexus Mod Manager to install them.
Unofficial Skyrim: SE Patch
This is a must-have download for anyone, even if you do not wish to get into modding your Skyrim install. As the name suggests, it's a compiled package of fixes, improvements and additions to the title. Here's a quick look at what's actually included:
- Hundreds of gameplay, quest, NPC, object, item, text and placement bugs fixed.
- Created by the authors of the Unofficial Oblivion Patch series.
- No unsafe changes (such as deletions of stock objects).
- Designed to be compatible with as many other mods as possible.
Seriously, there's no reason as to why you shouldn't install this patch.
When modding Skyrim, some bad things can happen, especially during the opening scene. This is a heavily scripted part of the game and one that can cause problems if you have mods that interfere with Bethesda's code. Alternate Start provides the option to skip the start of the game altogether, protecting against crashes, and can even allow for some interesting role played adventures.
The weather effects in Skyrim are pretty good, but since everything was compiled way back in 2011 there's definitely room for improvement. Cue True Storms. This is a must-have mod for anyone looking to create a more immersive Skyrim experience with weather really adding to each and every outing. It brings fog, variable weather, high-quality sound effects, new textures, dust storms, and more.
Realistic Ragdolls and Force
The ragdoll effect in Skyrim can lead to some hilarious situations, including those moments when a giant will send you to outer space with a whack of it's club. That's no good for role-playing and immersion, which is where Realistic Ragdolls and Force can lend a hand. Bodies now react to gravity and force more realistically. It's a small, but effective, mod.
As the name suggests, this mod makes the nights in Skyrim darker, depending on personal preference. For many, the evenings in Skyrim were far too bright, and Darker Nights provides the option of 6 different levels that can be set to create a more atmospheric experience during the late and early hours of each day.
Run for your lives / When Vampires Attack
These two handy mods were developed and uploaded by the same author and achieve similar results so we bundled them together into a single listing. The two mods affect the way NPCs react to dragon and vampire attacks, namely those who are unable to fight back. Instead of witnessing absolute carnage due to citizens of Skyrim not fleeing to the safe indoors, installing these mods lets you fight off deadly beasts with guards by your side.
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
SMIM is a huge mod. And by huge we mean massive in both scale and size of the download. Totalling nearly 1GB, this package contains a bunch of improved 3D models for various things like robs, chains, lanterns, and other objects. It's particularly effective if you're one to notice when things look slightly out of place or aren't high quality assets.
This is an important mod for anyone looking to do a mage build. We'll let the list of features do all the talking:
- 155 all new spells (31 per school) with high quality custom effects and animations.
- Immersively adds the spells, scrolls and staves to existing spell vendors and loot lists.
- Balanced to match the power level of vanilla magic while providing more options.
- Compatible with popular magic scaling mods.
- Enables viable spellcaster characters without Destruction or Conjuration.
- Includes a fix for the Restoration Ritual Spell quest bug in vanilla Skyrim.
- Low script load, no save bloat.
- Configuration options available in the Apocalypse MCM if SkyUI is installed (SkyUI not required to use Apocalypse).
Well worth downloading for magica users. It's worth noting that you'll need to wait for something like ASIS (Automatic Spells, Increased Spawns) to be ported to Skyrim Special Edition for NPCs to be given new items and spells.
Realistic Water Two
With the updated water flow system and more included in Skyrim Special Edition, mods that affect the natural liquid are now more important when the aim is to create a more realistic-looking environment. Realistic Water Two takes Bethesda's improved system and takes everything to the next level with higher quality effects and textures, not to mention more accurate water body movement depending on the location (sea, river, pond, etc.).
What we're waiting for
While there's already a collection of fantastic mods available for Skyrim Special Edition, we are holding out for the likes of SKSE and SkyUI to make the journey across to glorious 64-bit Skyrim. There's unfortunately no time frame for the release of these mods, but that is the beauty of modding where we have to rely on the available time and dedication of authors and teams.
But what are your favorite mods for Skyrim Special Edition? Are there any you have for Skyrim that haven't been ported yet? Sound off in the comments!