The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 50 best Skyrim mods

Tom Hatfield at

Skyrim mods are amazing. For a year and a half the community has been beavering away at every aspect of Bethesda's grand RPG, tinkering with the combat, improving the UI, adding new monsters, quests, followers NPCs and new places to explore. Skyrim was hardly an ugly or short game to begin with, but a few carefully chosen high resolution texture packs, post-processing wrappers and content mods make Skyrim a beautiful and endless adventure.

There are thousands of mods out there, which can make choosing them can be a little daunting. We're here to help. Below you'll find 50 of the very finest mods for you to enjoy, divided into categories so you can skip straight to the updates you want. Happy modding!

To help keep track of all the mods you're installing, I'd heartily recommend the Nexus Mod Manager. It's worth casting an eye over the Steam/Nexus descriptions, as some mods will require the Skyrim Script Extender to work.

For more tweaking, you’ll also want to check our personalised picks of the Steam Workshop. Or maybe you’d like to create your own mod. Thanks to the Skyrim Creation Kit it’s a lot easier than you think. Our Skyrim Creation Kit Video Tutorial is all you need to get started. Want to know what Skyrim looks like when you install 200 mods at random? Find out in our eye-opening, eye-bleaching diary: Skyrim: Week of Madness. For more Skyrim adventures Chris Livingston’s Elder Strolls diary will see you right.

Here's your table of contents:

Lighting and Weather - Get your sunbeams, thunderstorms and post processing here.
Fixes, Optimisation and UI - Anything that makes Skyrim run better and crash less.
Improved Combat and Useful Tweaks - Better fighting, better followers, better horse riding.
Textures and Meshes - Prettier landscapes, objects and equipment.
NPCs - Anything that adds to or alters the residents of Skyrim.
Monsters - Anything that adds to or alters the nasty beasties that want Dovakin dead.
New Equipment - New armour, new weapons and some fancy accessories.
Player Homes - Castles, mansions, airships and caravans. Wherever you hang your helm, that's home.
Quests and New Lands - Visit Elsweyr, Falskaar, the plane of dreams and er... Helgen again.
Lore Unfriendly - Mods of dubious canonicity and/or sanity.

Head to the next page to explore the best lighting and weather mods!