The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a role-playing video game being developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth installment in The Elder Scrolls action role-playing video game series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It was released on November 11, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Skyrim's main story revolves around the player character's efforts to defeat a dragon god who is prophesied to destroy the world. Set two hundred years after Oblivion, the game takes place in the land of Skyrim in the midst of a civil war after the assassination of the king. The open world gameplay of the Elder Scrolls series is continued in Skyrim, as the player character can explore the land at will and ignore or postpone the main quest indefinitely.
In the game's launcher, disable traditional anti-aliasing and enable FXAA instead. And under its View Distance tab, check the Object Detail Fade box.
Open "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim\SkyrimPrefs.ini" and change the "fGrassStartFadeDistance=" value from 7000 (its max in the launcher/in-game display options) to 14000. You won't see any difference between 14000 and higher values, but 7000 to 14000 is a fantastic improvement.
Open "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim\SkyrimPrefs.ini" and add "iMinGrassSize=20" under the [GRASS] heading.
Disable "HighResTexturePack01.esp" and "HighResTexturePack02.esp" in Skyrim's launcher. Next, open "steamapps\common\Skyrim\Skyrim_default.ini" and "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim\Skyrim.ini" and change the following entry to look like this:
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa, HighResTexturePack01.bsa, HighResTexturePack02.bsa
If there's a mod not in this list that you feel should be, send me a PM and I'll check it out.
Every Skyrim in-game book, available in Kindle and e-pub format.
Nexus Mod Manager
- Highly recommended. The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) is a free and open source piece of software that allows you to download, install, update and manage your mods through an easy to use interface. It integrates with the Nexus sites to provide you with a fast, efficient and much less hassle free modding experience.
Skyrim Script Extender
- Required for many advanced mods
- BOSS is designed to assist mod users in avoiding serious conflicts, by setting the correct load order for the plugins they have installed.
- This is an advanced tool that allows you to merge mods and leveled lists together.
- Skyrim GEMS is a 1-page, quick-reference catalog of lore-friendly gameplay enhancement mods for Skyrim with a focus on mods that create a more realistic, immersive and challenging experience.
- SkyUI is mod that aims to improve Skyrim's User Interface by making it easier to use with mouse and keyboard (it can also be used with a gamepad), less wasteful of available screen space and nicer to look at.
- The aim of iHUD is to provide the immersive feel you get from having no HUD, whilst keeping the usefulness of having one. It takes the permanently visible HUD elements such as compass and crosshair, and hides them when not needed. It's also configurable, allowing you to disable or enable various features, set HUD elements to toggle or reactive, and more.
A Quality World Map - With Roads
- This mod replaces the map with high resolution textures that also includes optional roads.
- SkyRe is a full Skyrim overhaul, centered around its gameplay, from the perk system to enemy AI. Note:
You will want to download a skill level cap remover for use with SkyRe. Check its mod page for more information.
- ACE is a collection of mods which can be run independently of each other. ACE aspires to brings more depth and balance Skyrim while maintaining its original feel. (Dashui: ACE may be more balanced than SkyRe, and is more compatible with other mods. It doesn't alter the magic trees, however, so you may wish to download the recommended Empowered Magic mod.)
Skyrim Perk Enhancements and Rebalanced Gameplay
- (Dashui: SPERG is similar to ACE - more modular and lightweight than SkyRe - with a few additional features.)
Use only SkyRe, ACE or SPERG.
Alternative Start - Live Another Life
- Live Another Life provides an alternative means to start the game for those who do not wish to go through the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. You will be given the opportunity to choose your race and then choose a new life for your character to lead.
- This mod increases the difficulty of combat by giving the AI access to more potions, perks and spells, improving their general intelligence, and includes options to increase and randomize their spawns. Note:
This is not compatible with Skyrim Redone. It is, however, recommended for use with ACE.
The Dance of Death
- The Dance of Death is a new kill moves mod built from the ground up... it adds around 25 new/reassigned killmoves against NPC's not already included in the 1.5 patch to virtually all of the combat styles and situations. It also allows you to customize various kill move settings, such as perspective, decapitation chance and more.
Dual Wield Parrying
- This allows the player to block while dual wielding. It's a fantastic mod for spellswords.
- This mod aims to improve stealth gameplay by adding new tools and options for the player, such as different types of arrows inspired by the Thief series.
Ultimate Follower Overhaul
- UFO gives you greater control over your followers. Dawnguard Compatibility Note:
A compatibility patch was released under the optional files section, but there are still reports of issues.
- This mod overhauls dragons making them a much tougher challenge, as well as introducing more than a dozen new types of dragons to fight.
- It lets you get into Dragonball Z energy beam fights with other mages. 'Nuff said.
Dragon Soul Relinquishment
- This mod allows you to spend dragon souls to improve some of your character abilities.
Use only one of the following magic overhaul mods. These are not compatible with Skyrim Redone.
- The Better Magic series is a group of magic changes that was built simplistically in order to make it compatible with as many mods as possible.
- This mod changes some mechanics related to general spell casting, as well as perks and spells in all schools of magic, making them scale with level and also more balanced. The goal is to give the player more options and variation to choose from, encouraging the use of all available spells instead of just sticking to the obvious best choices.
Use only one of the following combat overhaul mods.
Duel - Combat Realism
- Duel Combat Realism is a mod that improves the combat system of Skyrim, making them more realistic.
- The mod makes the combat in Skyrim faster-paced, more responsive and realistic and more rewarding to skilled players.
WEAPONS, ARMORS & ITEMS
Bandolier - Bags and Pouches
- This mod adds many new items that will increase carry weight and appear visually on your character.
- This mod adds a large variety of new, high quality swords for you to craft.
Weapons of the Third Era
- This mod contains a pack of 50+ new weapons (not replacements) with Morrowind-themed designs. They are added to the loot tables and so you can find them on enemies you encounter, and several can be crafted, as well.
- This adds many new custom armors that have been seamlessly integrated into the world.
- This adds many new custom weapons that have been seamlessly integrated into the world.
Omegared99 Armor Compilation
- Omegared99's compilation adds 14 high quality, lore friendly armors to the game.
Cloaks of Skyrim
- This mod adds almost 100 new styles of cloak to the world of Skyrim, via crafting, levelled-lists, and static loot. They are lore-friendly and enchantable, and more are being added with every update.
Winter is Coming - Cloaks
- Winter is Coming adds new cloaks, hoods, capes, scarves and wraps to the game's leveled and crafting lists, and is fully compatible with Cloaks of Skyrim.
- Adds a craftable, wearable, Travel Lantern that can be hooked onto your belt or carried in your hand!
- Tamriel Compendium adds 177 books that were present in past Elder Scrolls games but not included in Skyrim.
QUESTS, LOCATIONS & NPCs
Moonpath to Elswyer
- Moonpath adds an entirely new landmass to explore in Skyrim, the deserts and lush jungles of Elsweyr, and features entirely new assets, items, voice work, quests and creatures.
- A new voice acted questline that takes you across Skyrim to the large island of Wyrmstooth.
- This mod adds more than 90 voiced NPCs with nearly 20,000 lines and over 300,000 words of player and NPC dialogue, and new quests and companions.
Fantasy Music Overhaul
- This adds over 150 new, region specific tracks to the game.
Sounds of Skyrim - The Dungeons
- The Dungeons includes 115+ sound effects to add life to the dungeons.
Sounds of Skyrim - The Wilds
- The Wilds focuses on adding sound effects in Skyrim's wilderness. With the 115 new sound effects, the purpose of The Wilds is to audibly enlarge Skyrim's fauna with the addition of various animals, birds and insects that play according to weather, time of day and region.
Sounds of Skyrim - Civilization
- Civilization focuses on adding 223 new sound effects to cities, villages, farms and remote locations where civilization is present.
- This mod adds pines in Whiterun and its immediate surroundings and replaces its old textures with forest textures.
Texture Pack Combiner
- The Texture Pack Combiner (TPC) merges the three popular texture packs - Skyrim HD 2K, Serious HD Retexture and Skyrim Realistic Overhaul - together. It also supports the merging of 33 optional mods, putting them all together into a single, fully compatible and load-order free package.
Enhanced Night Skyrim
- This mod replaces the night sky with a beautiful, high resolution one.
Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel
- Climates of Tamriel is a weather and lighting overhaul mod for Skyrim. Note:
This can be used with ENB mods.
WATER - Water and Terrain Enhancement Redux
- High resolution water textures and meshes
Lanterns of Skyrim
- This mod adds lanterns and other light sources around the world of Skyrim - along its traveled paths, towns and bridges.
Enhanced Distant Terrain
- This small texture mod enhances the distant low-detail terrain by upping the amount of noise and quality of the the texture maps.
Better Dynamic Snow
- A mod that changes the ugly, pure-white dynamic snow effect to actually use the default snow texture (landscape\snow01.dds). This minor change greatly improves the visual appearance of dynamic snow.
- Adds footprints to the snow from the player, NPCs, and creatures.
Vurt's Skyrim Flora Overhaul
- Skyrim Flora Overhaul is a WIP mod project dedicated to overhauling the Skyrim flora.
Lush Trees and Grass
- This enhances the world's foliage by making it look fuller and more lush. It is compatible with with Vurt's Skyrim Flora Overhaul's Basic edition.
- This mod retextures the ice/glaciers in the game, as well as adding parallax mapping to their surfaces. (Dashui: My personal preference is the Dark Classic + Parallax version. However, WATER now includes an ice retexture.)
Chopping Block / Wood Fires FIX
- This mod fixes the missing textures on skyrim HD pack Chopping Blocks and replaces the ugly textures of Wood Fires.
Revamped Exterior Fog
- This mod makes distance fog 50% thinner, making for a better view and more subtle blending with the skyline, and pushes the fog start distance further away.
Static Mesh Improvement
- This mod edits many 3D models to improve their appearance and to fix many of the ugly seams and other oddities present in many of the 3D models. Note:
If using Better Dynamic Snow, install this after and select yes when it prompts you to replace.
- Visible Windows replaces the window glass (customizable), most frames, railings, and detailing with new, high resolution textures.
VISUALS: CHARACTERS & EQUIPMENT
aMidianBorn Book of Silence
- This mod retextures nearly every weapon, armor, and unique piece of equipment with higher resolution textures.
XCE - Xenius Character Enhancement
- XCE is a compilation of Xenius' character enhancement mods.
Xenius Character Enhancement - Dawnguard
- This improves the textures for the new Dawnguard races and characters. It requires XCE.
Apachii Sky Hair
- This mod adds new hairstyles for females and males.
Wet and Cold
- This mod adds dynamic wet and cold related effects to characters and certain creatures.
Wet and Cold - Ashes
- An addon for Wet and Cold, which extends cold effects support to Solstheim and adds various ash related effects.
- Adds a snowy visual effect to the player and NPCs when snow is falling. Works well with Wet and Cold.
IMAGINATOR - Visual Control Device
- IMAGINATOR allows you to separately control visual elements like Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Sky Brightness, Sunlight Output, Bloom and Tint all from within an easy-to-navigate helper spell.
Enhanced Lights and FX
- Enhanced Lights and FX has the goal to create a more dramatic and realistic mood to the Skyrim lights by adding lights to all light sources and removing any light without a source, as well as the addition many more effects like smoke, volumic lights, driples, etc.
Use only one of the following lighting mods, unless specified otherwise.
Realistic Colors and Real Nights
- This mod use the power behind FXAA Post Process Injector to generate a new and realistic color palette and an enhanced night-time gameplay experience. It is much less system intensive than ENB-based mods.
- An ENB intended for use with Climates of Tamriel.
The Wilds ENB
- The latest version is not for use with Climates of Tamriel, but its previous versions are. (Dashui: This has great interiors, especially with ELFX, though its exteriors are a tad bright.)
ENBseries mods include a feature called SSAO, or Ambient Occlusion, which is a system intensive shadow rendering technique. For the best performance, you should disable it. You may have to do this manually, depending on the ENB mod you download, which you can do by opening your enbseries.ini file and changing the "EnableAmbientOcclusion=" variable to "false".
Book Covers Skyrim
- Book Covers Skyrim is a retexture of all the readable books, journals, and notes in Skyrim. It gives each book and journal its own unique cover and adds many additional paper styles to the notes.
- AV provides an easy place to drag-and-drop alternate monster textures and have them automatically integrated into the game.
Enhanced Blood Textures
- This mod adds a bloodier combat experience, with higher resolution and detailed textures.
Auto Unequip Ammo
- This mod will automatically unequip ammo when ranged weapon is unequipped.
Deadly Spell Impacts
- This mod gives fire, lightning, and frost spell impacts with their own unique textures, as well as improvements and variety to decal sizes.
Silly Level of Detail - Potions & Poisons
- This mod replaces the textures for potions and poisons in the game.
Silly Level of Detail - Wine Cellar
- This mod replaces the wine bottles and mead bottles in the game with higher quality ones.
- MGSO installs all the latest audio and graphical mods to the game through an easy to use application. You choose from a variety of different mods, and can make changes later with the press of a button through the same application and without having to start a fresh game. Included is a very detailed readme that will guide you through the install and setup process.