Skyrim Mods: the 20 best so far

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Skyrim mods incoming! It's now been two weeks since the game was released, and there's been and explosion of modding activity. Skyrim was already an amazing looking game, but with just a handful of these mods it can look even better. Not to mention a whole host of bug fixes, stability improvements, interface tweaks and gameplay enhancements.

Once again we've rounded up the best, prettiest, most useful and funniest mods to enhance your Skyrim experience. Check inside for the full list.

Remember, this list will be perpetually updated as more mods are released, so if you have any particular favourites you'd like to be included, mention them in the comments below and I'll test them out before the next update.

1. FXAA Post Process Injector

[embed width="610" height="443"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDNo8aNoF34[/embed]

There's a lot of post processing mods for Skyrim, but FXAA has emerged as the best. It layers on several handy effects like sharpening, technicolour, sepia and saturation, but the best part is that it's all totally customisable. Modifying the settings file will let you turn settings on and off or adjust them to your preferences, giving you full control over the look and feel of your Skyrim game.

2. Val's Crafting Meltdown

Turn your junk into the best weapons in Skyrim with Val's Crafting Meltdown.

Playing Skyrim inevitably results in picking up a lot of items you don't necessarily need. Weapons or armour you aren't properly trained with, or just useless pots and pans, every Dovahkiin ends up with a lot of clutter in their inventory. Val's Crafting Meltdown, has an ingenious solution to that problem, giving players the ability to melt down weapons, armour and junk into raw materials like iron and steel. It also provides an invaluable service for archers, letting them use smithing to create arrows, an ability inexplicably missing from the original game. Val's Crafting Meltdown is built to be compatible with other crafting mods, so if want to expand your crafting options, be sure to check out The Lost Art of the Blacksmith and More Craftables, which let you craft faction specific items like Thieves Guild armour or Skyforge Steel weapons. Alternatively Craftable Staffs lets mages get in on the smithing action too.

3. QD Inventory

QD Inventory is a massive improvement on Skyrim's default UI.

Frustrated with Skyrim's inventory interface? Annoyed at excessive scrolling? Wish you could see the stats of your items without selecting them? QD Inventory is the answer to your problems. The mod replaces the default interface with a very different one, categories are arranged at the top of the screen while the armour, damage, weight and value of your items is displayed along the side. Creator Roltak describes this as a 'quick and dirty' solution to the interface problems, better interfaces will likely come in future, but for now this is streets ahead of the original Bethesda UI.

4. Xenius Mods

Xenius' mods make Skyrim's characters look much nicer.

Xenius has rapidly carved himself a niche as Skyrim's premier character enhancement modder, producing a whole series of texture improving mods at a tremendous rate. He started with No More Blocky Faces and Detailed Faces, but he's since expanded into (deep breath) Detailed Bodies, High Quality Eyes, Detailed Lips and Better Beast Races (breath out) all of which offer significant improvements on the default character models. The only gripe is that you have to download them all individually, hopefully Xenius plans to package all his components into a single install when he's finished.

5. Skyrim HD

Skyrim HD is the start of a massive texture overhaul.

Like Quarl's Texture mod for Oblivion or NeilMC's for Fallout 3, Skyrim HD is an ambitious project to replace the majority of in game textures with new, high resolution versions. It's still very much a work in progress, only Windhelm and Whiterun have both been updated, as well as several forest and cave texture, but Skyrim HD looks set to match it's illustrious predecessors.