The 50 best Skyrim mods
Interesting NPCs adds over 140 new NPCs to Skyrim, 130 of them with full voice acting. Some of them are regular citizens with a few simple dialogue trees while others are fully fledged followers with deep characters and personal questlines. Amazingly, most of the voice acting is actually good, unlike the majority of Skyrim mods, although there are some exceptions. If you’re interested, I recommend checking out the official mod website, which has character backgrounds for several of the new NPCs. It really shows how much effort has gone into writing every single one.
Xenius Character Enhancement
Xenius has carved out a niche as Skyrim’s premier character enhancement modder, producing a whole series of texture improving mods at a tremendous rate before packaging them together as Xenius Character Enhancement. While so many other modders have spent their time making characters that look more like fashion models than medieval peasants, Xenius stays true to the original art style of Skyrim.
Guard Dialogue Overhaul
Guards in Skyrim are total arseholes. They constantly belittle you, even when you’ve saved the world several times over. This mod helps fix that. It seems Bethesda recorded a lot more dialogue for the guards than most players will ever hear. High level compliments are only rarely used. Guard Dialogue Overhaul rejigs this whole system. Rarer comments become more common, while those you’re sick to death of gradually phase out as you level up. Soon the 'arrow to the knee' joke will be but a distant memory.
I usually shy away from custom Skyrim followers because their voice acting is often jarringly awful. Hoth defies this expectation with some excellent (if rather American sounding) voice work that really sells the idea of a grizzled bounty hunter. He also sports an incredibly cool set of custom bone armour and can even offer you radiant ‘bounty’ quests as he follows you around.
Immersive Patrols aims to inject a little life into Skyrim’s great outdoors. There are a several plugins available, each of which adds a different faction to patrol the wilderness, several of whom really don’t get along. Wandering Stormcloaks will clash with randomly generated imperials, while groups of Dawnguard hunt down vampire protagonists. The result is a hell of a lot more random fights to stumble into, and that is always a good thing.