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The best Skyrim mods

Equipment and animation

Looking for some new gear and armor? Not happy with how your character moves? Want some new weapons to carry and new ways to swing them? Here's the place to start.

Cloaks of Skyrim ⭐ 

the best skyrim mods: cloaks of skyrim

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It's not real fantasy if people aren't wearing big flappy cloaks. Cloaks of Skyrim populates the world with a variety of new capes and cloaks, automatically adding them to the inventories of random guards and bandits and so on, which makes them look much more impressive. And then you can loot those impressive cloaks off their corpses. It's worth adding 360 Walk and Run Plus as well, which prevents some of the clipping issues that otherwise ruin the effect. There's nothing to be done about Argonian and Khajiit tails, however, so this mod simply removes them when cloaks are worn.

Fall of the Space Core ⭐ 

the best skyrim mods: fall of the space core

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A collaboration between Valve and Bethesda to celebrate the opening of the Skyrim Steam Workshop, this mod adds the space core from Portal 2. Yeah, the little guy who is obsessed with space. He falls to earth when you're near Whiterun and can be picked up, then crafted into armor. Make sure to keep an eye on your skills screen for another effect added by this mod.

Unread Books Glow ⭐ 

the best skyrim mods: unread books glow

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Want to know which skill books you haven't read? Now they glow bright red. Spell tomes are green until you've learned their spells, and other books are different shades of blue depending on whether they trigger quests or not. The other advantage of this mod is that you can tell which books you need for that completionist library you're putting together at a glance.

The Dance of Death and Violens ⭐

Download links: The Dance of Death, Violens

Bethesda left several unassigned kill moves lurking in Skyrim's code when the game was released, including some very cool shield bash kills. The Dance of Death re-enables them and re-organises all kill moves so that they're gradually unlocked as you earn perks. It also includes a full menu that lets you control the rate of kill moves. Alternatively there's Violens — A Killmove Mod, which features much of the same functionality but also works for ranged attacks. 

Immersive Animations

the best skyrim mods: immersive animations

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Immersive Animations adds dozens of little touch-ups to Skyrim's existing animations, plus a few nifty new ones. It's also compatible with Dual Sheath Redux, allowing for all sorts of nice animations for having your shield on your back, or sheathing two weapons at once.

Zim's Immersive Artifacts

the best skyrim mods: zim's immersive artifacts

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Makes lore-friendly and balanced changes to many unique items in the game, including Auriel's Bow, the Gauldur Amulet, Harkon's Sword, the Jagged Crown, and plenty more, including artifacts from the Dawnguard and Dragonborn expansions. There are lots of customization options for the player in case they don't want all the items affected.

Immersive Weapons

the best skyrim mods: immersive weapons

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This mod provides a hefty selection of new weapons that fit in nicely with the existing look and feel of Skyrim. You'll find axes, daggers, maces, and any number of new swords, all beautifully designed and textured and suitable for veteran characters and those just starting out.

Honed Metal

the best skyrim mods: honed metal

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Does your character have better things to do than learn smithing, or are they opposed to getting their hands dirty like a common peasant? With this mod, you can simply hire blacksmiths to craft, temper, and hone your gear for you. It's a fantastic gold dump, as they'll automatically craft everything to the very best of their ability and charge you for it. Also different blacksmiths have different skills—the smith in Solitude can craft up to Legendary, but not so much the smith in Riverwood. Eorlund Gray-Mane is basically a smithing god. MCM supported with lots of customization options.  

YY Anim Replacer — Zweihander

the best skyrim mods: yy anim replacer - zweihander

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Zweihander is a set of new animations for two handed weapons in Skyrim. The big selling point is the idle animation, which sees you resting your sword/axe/hammer on your shoulder. There's lots more than that though, with animations for running, turning and even a leaping overhead strike included. It's all customizable too, so you can mix and match new and old animations.

Belt Fastened Quivers

the best skyrim mods: belt fastened quivers

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Belt Fastened Quivers moves all arrow quivers from the back, where they often clip through things like backpacks or cloaks, down to the waist, adding new animations for the new position. It was originally made as part of Frostfall, so if you're using that, you don't need the standalone mod. If you aren't, however, it's still well worth getting just to stop your arrows from clipping through the items from Immersive Amours and Wet and Cold.

Immersive Armour

the best skyrim mods: immersive armour

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This mod brings you a huge collection of great-looking lore-friendly armor. And it's not just for you, either: the armors are assigned to various NPCs and randomized loot lists throughout the game. You can even turn individual armors on and off through SkyUI's configuration menu, giving you full control over what items actually appear in your game.

Bandoliers

the best skyrim mods: bandoliers

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Fancy installing some extra storage on your plate mail? This mod adds a whole range of pouches, belts, potion holders and water bottles that can be stuck on top of whatever clothes you're wearing in several configurations, giving you the look of a serious adventurer equipped for a long journey.

Warmonger Armory

the best skyrim mods: warmonger armory

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Warmonger Armory is another compilation mod. It adds a ton of great looking new armor, clothing and weapons to the game, including some using DLC equipment. Once again these items are carefully distributed around the world, given to specific NPCs, and added to randomized equipment lists.

Wearable Lanterns

the best skyrim mods: wearable lanterns

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If you're using some of the lighting mods you'll notice that nighttime in Skyrim has gotten much darker. Spells and torches can help, but warriors who want to use their off-hand are out of luck. Chesko's Wearable Lantern mod sorts out this problem, letting you clip a light source to your belt, front or rear. Companions can also carry the lanterns, and will automatically douse them when you enter sneak mode.

Unique Uniques

the best skyrim mods: unique uniques

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Skyrim is full of unique items with fascinating lore behind them, but unfortunately very few of them have the looks to go with their backstory. InsanitySorrow's Unique Uniques adds new textures and meshes for several of the game's unique weapons, giving you a great excuse to bust out Dragonbane again.

Project Flintlock

the best skyrim mods: project flintlock

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A lot of games have been called "Skyrim with guns" but now Skyrim fits that description too, thanks to this mod that lets you carry a blunderbuss, a flintlock rifle, and a grenade launcher. With custom sounds and bayonets, it's time to introduce those primitive Skyrim screwheads to your boomstick. We tried it out here.

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