The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 50 best Skyrim mods

Tom Hatfield at

Animations

Immersive Animations

Nexus

Immersive Animations adds dozens of little touch ups to Skyrim's existing animations, plus a few nifty new ones. It's also compatible with Dual Sheath Redux, allowing for all sorts of nice animations for having your shield on your back, or sheathing two weapons at once. Of course to do that you'll also need Maximum Skeleton, Fores New Idles and whole bunch of compatibility patches. Sufficed to say you can fall down a rabbit hole here, so I only recommend going down the Dual Sheath route if you're really confident in your modding skills.

The Dance of Death

Nexus
Steam

Like Skyrim’s face stabby kill move system? Then you want The Dance of Death. Bethesda left several unassigned kill moves lurking in Skyrim’s code when the game was released, including some very cool shield bash kills. The Dance of Death re-enables them and re-organises all kill moves so that they’re gradually unlocked as you earn perks. It also includes a full menu that lets you control the rate of kill moves. You can even set everything to 100% if you fancy blowing off some steam by instantly decapitating everyone you meet.

YY Mystic Knight OR New Animation for Magic Casting

Nexus

The Elder Scrolls games have a perennial problem with magic animations looking a bit rubbish. Things aren’t as bad as the Morrowind days, when Wizards looked like they’d escaped from pantomime, but it isn’t great. These two mods replace the mods for casting, removing the hunched over posture in favour of a straight backed, imperious stance. I prefer Mystic Knight, which is geared towards fighter/mages, though New Animation has some spectacular looking high level spells.

YY Zweihander

Nexus

Zweihander is a set of new animations for two handed weapons in Skyrim. The big selling point is the idle animation, which sees you resting your sword/axe/hammer on your shoulder Cloud style. There’s lots more than that though, with animations for running, turning and even a leaping overhead strike included. It’s all customisable too, so you can mix and match new and old animations, even having different ones for male and female characters.

Belt Fastened Quivers

Nexus
Steam

Belt Fastened Quivers moves all arrow quivers from the back, where they often clip through things like backpacks or cloaks, down to the waist, adding new animations for the new position. It was originally made as part of Frostfall, so if you’re using that, you don’t need the standalone mod. If you aren’t, however, it’s still well worth getting just to stop your arrows from clipping through the items from Immersive Amours and Wet and Cold.