The 50 best Skyrim mods
Lighting and Weather
The ENBSeries mods are famous for adding improved post processing and lighting effects to make games like GTA4 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution look amazing. The Skyrim version is one of the best. Not only has ENB creator Boris Vorontsov done his usual fantastic work, but various other modders have tweaked and adjusted the program to come up with their own presets. There are many different kinds of ENB available, from Boris’ own colourful version to more muted and realistic tones. Personally I heartily recommend Seasons of Skyrim and Project ENB.
Climates of Tamriel
Climates of Tamriel is a massive overhaul of Skyrim’s weather systems. Rain and snow, thunder and lighting, sunshine and clouds, all are improved immeasurably with CoT installed. Highlights include some lovely skyboxes, seriously punishing thunderstorms and an optional ‘Winter Edition’ that blankets the whole world in snow. For added drama I recommend installing Minty’s Lightning Add On, which gives CoT’s storms real lightning strikes that hit with the force of a thunderbolt spell. Because the only thing more awesome than watching a dragon fighting a giant is seeing them both struck by lightning.
Realistic Lighting Overhaul
Realistic Lighting Overhaul is one of the simplest and least processor-intensive ways to maximise your Skyrim's looks. Instead of using any fancy post processing effects the mod adjusts and repositions all the light sources in Skyrim. All of them. It must've taken ages. The result of this ambitious bit of digital cinematography is the entire game boasts prettier, more natural lighting. Shadows flicker and sway against the wall and windows grow steadily darker as nighttime approaches. It's beautiful and authentic.
Some people just aren't happy unless a game tries to murder them at every possible opportunity, and for those people the chance to freeze to death in Skyrim must be mana from heaven. Frostfall is a sophisticated hypothermia simulator, forcing you to wrap up warm if you venture into Skyrim’s frozen north. The amount of detail is amazing, every piece of clothing, including some from other mods, has a different level of warmth. Even the rising steam from a dwemer pipe can keep you alive. Just don’t go swimming in Winterhold, it’s a death sentence.
Wet and Cold
The Dovakin might have to wrap up warm when the snow starts falling, but the citizens of Skyrim seem happy to amble about wearing next to nothing even in a raging blizzard. With Wet and Cold installed NPCs will put on hoods and cloaks whenever the weather turns bad, shielding themselves from the snow that now settles realistically on their clothes. Appropriate equipment from other mods is incorporated, including gear from Frostfall and Immersive Armours. There’s also a Dragonborn version, which makes Morrowind’s residents equip face scarves and goggles during ash storms.