The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 50 best Skyrim mods

Tom Hatfield at


Automatic Variants

Skyrim Mods Automatic Variants


There are a lot of excellent retexture mods available for Skyrim, but the sad thing is that you can only ever use one at a time. Automatic Variants exists to correct that problem. It allows Skyrim to randomly choose different skins from a pool of variants, so each animal looks unique. Because of the nature of this mod, it’s a little complicated to install. First download Automatic Variants, then download any texture packs you want to use (I recommend Bellyache’s animals). Drop the texture pack into the folder, then run the AutomaticVariants.jar file to build the mod, which goes last in your load order. Every time you add new mods or skins, be sure to build the mod again.

Bellyache's New Dragon Species


Bellyache is well known for creating some of the loveliest animal textures in Skyrim, but this mod represents something a little more comprehensive. Not only has Bellyache designed several new species of dragon, each with distinctive markings and colouring, but care has also been taken to place them throughout the world. Unlike Bethesda's random dragons, these new fire breathers each have a specific piece of territory to control, which should hopefully stop them from ever overwhelming you.

Armoured Skeletons and the Walking Dead

Skyrim Mods Armored Skeletons


You spend an awful lot of time in Skyrim fighting draugr, so any mod that adds more undead can have a big impact. This one adds several new draugr and skeleton types of wearing bits and pieces of tattered armour. Each enemy type has a different fighting style and level of toughness based on what they were in life, whether they’re skeletal knights or undead Thalmor in tattered elven armour. There's even some powerful Lich enemies to give high level Dovakins a run for their money.

Dragon Combat Overhaul


Dragon Combat Overhaul is the brainchild of the eccentric Apollodown, and its purpose is to make Skyrim's dragons smarter and more challenging foes, or as he puts it: "TLDR: Mod good. Make dragons big bad. Og like." With this installed, dragons will take off and land more unpredictably, work together to keep you cornered, and knock you flying with potent physics based tail and wing attacks. It's not all bad news however, because the Dovakin also has a higher chance of pulling off a lucky shot and sending even a perfectly healthy dragon tumbling into the ground. This is a must have mod for those bored with endlessly circling dragons.

Beast Skeletons

Skyrim Mods Beast Skeletons


Isn't it strange how Skyrim contains bones for Orcs, Argonians and Khajit, but only human skeletons? Modder Prometheus thought so, and responded by putting together these excellent beast skeletons, hidden throughout the world in lore friendly locations. They're hard to find, but if you go adventuring around Yngol Barrow you'll be sure to run into at least a couple.