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The best Skyrim mods

Roleplaying, survival, and immersion

So you've done your part as the Dragonborn, but now you're looking for a new twist on the game? These mods will help you start over as someone else entirely and add survival needs like thirst and hunger for more realism and challenge.

Imperial Mail ⭐ 

the best skyrim mods: imperial mail

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Post offices may not sound like an exciting addition to Skyrim, but Imperial Mail adds a heck of a lot of convenience. Once you open an account at either the central office in Solitude or any of the marked taverns, you can forward equipment between them for a fee—meaning you can send a bunch of heavy gear back home after a quest, then carry on. There are also quests on offer if you want to help the Imperial Mail out by delivering messages, and it's compatible with Legacy of the Dragbonborn so you can send items direct to the gallery.

Ranger Cabins and Corners of Skyrim

the best skyrim mods: ranger cabins and corners of skyrim

Download links: Ranger Cabins, Corners of Skyrim

Both of these mods work together well to enhance a survival playthrough. The first puts a hunter cabin in each Hold, which can be used as a basic starting player home. Also includes some lore-friendly weapons and arrows for ranger characters, including a "secret stash" of better weapons out in the woods of Falkreath. Corners of Skyrim puts even smaller shelters in the game, great as emergency shelters that offer a few basic necessities. They both feature creative architecture and are lore-friendly. Player can decide if they want to see NPCs living in the shelters or not.  

Fishing in Skyrim

the best skyrim mods: fishing in skyrim

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A great addition to survival playthroughs. No more fishing with your bare hands! Adds fishing poles, fishing nets, a bait mechanic, spellbooks, and the explosive “Dwarven boomfishing” ability. You can also fish up new and exciting junk, some of which you can sell off for extra gold.

Simply Knock

the best skyrim mods: simply knock

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One of those small mods that just makes sense. Created by Chesko, author of Frostfall, this mod gives players the ability to knock on locked doors instead of having to break and enter. Someone might answer the door, or you can convince them to open up with your Speech skills. Customize options through MCM. 

Frostfall

the best skyrim mods: frostfall

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It's cold in Skyrim, and Frostfall lets you really feel it. An immersive survival system tracks weather, climate, time of day, and even the type of clothing you're wearing to determine how cold you are. It also allows you to gain experience in terms of camping and endurance skill, and a new ability helps you find the creatures and items you'll need to survive.

Religion - Prayer Meditation Workshop

the best skyrim mods: religion - prayer meditation workshop

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For immersive roleplayers, religion in Skyrim may feel a bit lackluster. This mod makes several significant changes, including the ability to build an actual relationship with one of the Divines (or with a Daedra). You can expect blessings or curses depending on your character’s actions, and praying at a shrine may gain you divine favor. You can also meditate for inner strength if you’d rather not deal with a deity. 

Alternate Start

the best skyrim mods: alternate start

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If you want to begin a new game of Skyrim as someone other than the Dragonborn, this is one of several mods that give you a fresh start. Skip the opening sequence and begin life as someone arriving by boat, locked in a jail cell, a visitor at an inn, an outlaw in the wilderness, and many more.

New Beginnings

the best skyrim mods: new beginnings

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Looking for more ways to start a new playthrough? This mod expands on the original Live Another Life by Arthmoor with over a dozen new beginnings, including the option to start as a vampire, a werewolf, or even a skooma addict.  And just like the original mod, there’s a good mix of safe options along with those that are downright deadly. 

Enhanced Camera

the best skyrim mods: enhanced camera

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Remaining in first-person mode helps a game feel immersive, and this mod does that in spades. Not only can you look down and see your entire body while playing, but other activities such as crafting, cooking, riding horses and even riding dragons won't break you out of first-person mode.

Skyrim Unbound

the best skyrim mods: skyrim unbound

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Another great mod that lets you begin a new game as a random, no-name adventurer. You can quickly choose your starting gear and pick your arrival spot from dozens of different camps, inns. You can toggle dragons off completely and participate in the civil war despite not being the Dragonborn. You can even choose to begin as a vampire or werewolf. Our coverage is here.

Realistic Needs and Diseases

the best skyrim mods: realistic needs and diseases

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In Skyrim you may contract a disease or two from time to time, but they're typically unchanging and you can deal with them at your leisure. This mod makes diseases progressive, meaning they get worse and worse until they're cured, though there's also a chance your might fight off the infection with bed rest. Hunger and thirst also have stages of severity, food can spoil, and getting enough sleep is important. It's entirely customizable as well.

Sounds of Skyrim

the best skyrim mods: sounds of skyrim

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Get immersed in new audio: tons of it. Hundreds of new sounds effects are included to make dungeons and sewers spookier, enhance the wilderness and wildlife, and make cities and villages more lively and real. This mod is a treat for your ears, and has customizable modules for each type of area.

Wet and Cold

the best skyrim mods: wet and cold

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You're not the only one dealing with the harsh elements in Skyrim. Using this mod, NPCs will bundle up in the cold, move inside if its raining, and do their best to avoid blizzards. The mod also adds effects like wet-sounding footsteps, visible vapor from your breath when it's chilly, and reduced movement speed in heavy snow and strong wind.

Moonlight Tales

the best skyrim mods: moonlight tales

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Being a lycanthrope is so much better with this mod, which features new music, over 200 new beast skins, new enemies, and lots of customization through MCM. Also, who doesn't want to try being a werebear?

Hunterborn

the best skyrim mods: hunterborn

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This mod provides a more immersive experience for hunters. No longer do you simply yank loot or food out an animal's inventory, you can now dress the carcass, skin it, and butcher it. You can even carry the entire animal back to your camp or to a vendor. The mod comes with hunting knives, dozens of new ingredients that can be harvested, and new recipes.

Perseid's Inns and Taverns

the best skyrim mods: perseid's inns and taverns

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Wandering into a tavern or inn on a cold and blustery night isn't the experience it really should be, and this mod makes inns a bit more realistic. Room rates widely vary, you can arrange for an extended say, and you can even arrange lodging for your followers so they're not just standing next to your bed all night while you sleep.

Campfire

the best skyrim mods: campfire

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Intending to make outdoor living a robust experience, this mod lets you build several different kinds of fires, from a weak and flickering fire to a roaring blaze suitable for cooking. You can also buy or craft camping gear like tents and tanning racks, and backpacks that display your various cooking pots and waterskins. If you're married, your spouse can camp with you. Here's our piece about it.

High King of Skyrim

the best skyrim mods: high king of skyrim

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With great power comes great responsibility. But what about great rewards? With all of your accomplishments and deadly abilities, it would make sense for you to become King of Skyrim, don't you think? Move into a huge castle, have your own army follow you everywhere, and throw citizens in prison or have them beheaded. It's good to be the king.

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