Behold the Skyrim mod you didn't know you needed: 4K cages

Skyrim cages mods
(Image credit: JohnSkyrim)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is 10 and a half years old, but it's still so popular that it regularly dominates the most-downloaded mods on NexusMods, with the occasional interloper from Fallout 4 or Blade & Sorcery. Exactly how popular does that make Skyrim? Popular enough that 9,000 people were psyched this week to upgrade the cages scattered around its world with new 4K models.

"JS Common Cages SE" was the most downloaded mod on Nexus last week, made by longtime Skyrim modder JohnSkyrim. Common Cages does not have a complex pitch. The cages you'll find animals, prisoners, and (probably most commonly) skeletons hanging out in? Well, they'll look better now.

JohnSkyrim did make one critical improvement here, though, as listed in Common Cages' bullet points: 

  • Updated with collisions that allow items & projectiles to pass through bar gaps

Finally—if you want to shoot some poor helpless prisoner in the face without bothering to let them out first, you can thread an arrow right through those bars.

How many mods would you need to install to replace every single item in Skyrim with a sharper, hand-polished 4K version? Probably too many, though JohnSkyrim does offer more than 100 himself, including 4K Dwemer ichor barrels, 4K dragon claws, and 4K drums, lutes, and flutes. I don't know how to play the lute, but if I was going to learn, I'd definitely want to do it on a 4K lute.

You might be tempted to think something like "well, I don't really look at the cages in Skyrim all that closely, so I don't need to mod them." That's what I thought at first. Then I looked at what an absolute blast these prisoners are having in JohnSkyrim's screenshots and changed my mind. For 92.5MB, you, too, can change a skeleton's life.

(Image credit: JohnSkyrim)

(Image credit: JohnSkyrim)

(Image credit: JohnSkyrim)

If you're looking for a boatload more Skyrim mod recommendations, check them out here: 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.


When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).