The best Skyrim Special Edition mods

One of the best Skyrim Special Edition mods - Vilja
(Image credit: Emma)

Several years into its life, the best Skyrim Special Edition mods caught up to the best in Oldrim modding. Many of our favorites from the original have been ported across, so you may recognize some of those on this list. 

Oldrim Modding

Looking for mods for the original version of Skyrim? We've selected over 100 of the best mods for improved visuals and optimization, new quests and locations, roleplaying and immersion, creatures and NPCs, and much more. These are the best Skyrim mods (opens in new tab).

But there are plenty of newer mods as well—a decade into its life, both original Skyrim and the Special Edition you can safely alt-tab out of are still fertile ground for new creations. Skyrim modding still hasn't slowed down with new additions every week.

Skyrim Script Extender (opens in new tab) has been updated for the Anniversary Edition, and many of the mods that were broken during the changeover are working again now. Still, once SKSE is installed, you should go into Skyrim Special Edition's properties in Steam and set it to "Only update this game when I launch it" and launch Skyrim with skse64_loader.exe, as otherwise any new updates will break the Script Extender and you'll have to download a new version of it.

Some of the following Skyrim Special Edition mods can be found on Bethesda's site, but the links we'll post usually point to our go-to sites, NexusMods or AFK Mods. And if you're looking to have even more fun in Skyrim, check out our list of Skyrim console commands (opens in new tab).

Skyrim mod managers

It's easy to get carried away modding Skyrim Special Edition. To help you keep track of all your various additions, be sure to use a mod manager of some sort. Here are the ones we suggest you try out.

Vortex 

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

For downloading, installing, and managing Skyrim Special Edition mods, we recommend Vortex. It's simple to use, and it works with a number of other games like the Fallout series, the Witcher series, Darks Souls, XCOM 2, and lots more. Make sure to download the version that lets you pick a custom install installation if you don't have Skyrim on your C drive.

Mod Organizer 2

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

As an alternative to Vortex, Mod Organizer 2 is meant for modders who plan to do a lot of experimenting, keeping separate profiles and installing then uninstalling various mods. If you really care about how neat your folders look, Mod Organizer 2 is probably for you. One downside to Mod Organizer 2 is that if you plan to mod multiple different games with it, switching between them can be a hassle. The easiest way to do that is to install it separately for every single game you want to mod.

Quality of life mods

We all know the reputation Bethesda's games have. Plenty of fans have taken it upon themselves to fix bugs, optimize and overhaul systems, and make the user interface more to their liking. Or maybe they've modded full, networked multiplayer into the game. They've done that, too.

Skyrim Together Reborn

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

A passion project that's endured a long history of setbacks and pitfalls, Skyrim Together Reborn is the realization of a simple dream: wouldn't it be cool if someone made it so you could run around Skyrim with friends? Of course, modding multiplayer into a singleplayer game is basically the polar opposite of simple. But after years of effort, the Together team has done just that—not a closed beta, but a full release of co-op in Skyrim. There will be bugs. It will crash. Additional mods aren't recommended. But it's Skyrim with multiplayer. What more have we ever needed?

Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This mod is a compendium of hundreds of fixes for bugs, text, objects, items, quests, and gameplay elements assembled by prolific modder Arthmoor. The patch is designed to be as compatible as possible with other mods. If you've got a few hours, you can read through the patch notes (opens in new tab).

SkyUI

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

The heavens parted, golden saints sang, and SkyUI was supported by Skyrim Special Edition. This interface replacer makes Skyrim feel like it was designed for mouse controls, and lets you filter and sort inventory based on weight, value, damage and the like. Also adds an in-game mod configuration menu several other mods rely on. It's essential.

A Quality World Map 

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Skyrim's map is functional but boring. A Quality World Map offers multiple ways to fix it. It can replace the map with a much more detailed world texture, with colors that help delineate the separate areas much more obviously, but there's also an option to have a paper map, with a more Oblivion look, if that's your thing. 

Proteus

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

While you could switch to another savegame to play your Khajiit archer for a while, Proteus lets you import your characters into an existing world state—meaning you can switch to a character with their own items, skills, and spells, but keep your current quest progression. NPCs who have died remain dead, items left in storage can be retrieved, and so on. It also lets you edit NPCs and items, even the weather. Some of what Proteus makes possible is already doable with Skyrim's console commands (opens in new tab) and existing mods, but this brings it all together in a single pop-up menu.

Proteus replaces an older version called Project Proteus. The new version runs faster, and when swapping between characters you now switch to their location rather than them being summoned to you, making for a more GTA 5 kind of experience. There are a bunch of other tweaks as well. If you've got Project Proteus installed, uninstall and replace it with Proteus instead.

RaceMenu

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

An improved character creation menu with numeric displays for all sliders and the ability to choose any color for your hair, skin, or other tints rather than being limited based on race. There's a sculpt mode if you want to get right into messing with the geometry of your head, and you can turn the light illuminating your face on and off to see how your features will look in different situations, which is a blessing.

Downgrade Patcher

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

If the Anniversary Edition update is causing your favorite mods grief (we're talking about Simply Knock here), this will roll you back to Special Edition version 1.5.97. There are two versions to download, and the Best of Both Worlds version lets you keep all the Creation Club content added by the Anniversary Edition.

Achievements Mod Enabler

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Just because you're modding doesn't mean you're cheating (necessarily). So why does the SSE disable achievements if you've got mods running? Stick it to 'em by using this plugin from xSHADOWMANx that lets you earn achievements even while using mods.

Better MessageBox Controls

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Increases the clickable areas of menu items so they're the actual width of the item rather than just an absurd little square in the middle of it. You have no idea how much better this tiny quality-of-life tweak makes things. It also improves the keyboard controls in a few ways. For instance, tab will always take you back a stage and enter will let you select an option even when you're crafting and would normally have to mouse back over it.

Binaural 3D Surround Sound for Headphones - HRTF

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

"HRTF (Head Related Transfer Functions) refers to the way that the curvature of one's ears are used to localize sound in 3D space." I don't know exactly what that first sentence means, but I understand the second one. Make SSE more realistic for your ears with this mod, though note it only works if you play exclusively in first-person. You may also want to check out Immersive Sounds (opens in new tab) for a huge overhaul of Skyrim's sound effects.

Quest and location mods

Skyrim may be a huge place, but modders are always finding ways to make it bigger. We've collected some really impressive location overhauls to expand your Skyrim experience along with some huge quest mods to take you on new adventures.

The Forgotten City

(opens in new tab)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Skyrim's got lots of adventure, but here's about 10 hours more courtesy of writer and developer Nick Pearce. Play detective and solve a murder mystery while exploring a massive, ancient city. It's got excellent, award-winning writing, a non-linear story, fantastic voice acting by a large cast, an enjoyable original soundtrack, and even a touch of time travel. Here's our write-up of the Forgotten City Skyrim mod (opens in new tab). It's also been adapted into a standalone game set in ancient Rome.

Legacy of the Dragonborn 

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - a foyer to the museum added by the Legacy of the Dragonborn mod, which commemorates the player's achievements and adventures.

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by icecreamassassin)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Adds a gallery you can fill with unique items, a museum to your achievements that is also a library, a storage facility, a questline of its own, and a place to learn archaeology complete with its own perks. While there is a version of Legacy of the Dragonborn for Oldrim, the v5 update specifically for Special Edition remaps the building to make it larger and more like a real museum.

Enderal: Forgotten Stories

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by SureAI)

Download from: Steam (opens in new tab)

This total conversion creates an entirely new world, very nearly the size of Skyrim itself, and populates it with new dungeons, quests, monsters, and fully voiced NPCs. Some of Skyrim's systems have also been tweaked, there's a new custom story to enjoy, and a good 50+ hours of new adventures to be hard. You can read about the opening hours of Enderal here (opens in new tab)

Vigilant SE

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - In the Dark Souls-esque mod Vigilant, a player character battles a towering knight.

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Vicn)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Vigilant is a four-part quest mod that adds some Dark Souls flair to Tamriel. After getting stuck in Oblivion, you'll face off against otherworldly monsters and big, Souls-style bosses while exploring areas filled with special items and keys. Beyond that, the 'Anvil of Zenithar' allows players to craft their own wares after finishing objectives, besting bosses and reaching new areas. Vigilant Voiced (opens in new tab) adds voice-acting.

You can also snag the same modder's Bloodborne-themed adventure called Glenmoril (opens in new tab).

Moonpath to Elsweyr

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - Combat breaks out upon skyship decks in the mod Moonpath to Elsweyr.

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Illiani)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Moonpath to Elsweyr was one of the first quest mods for Oldrim back in the day. It's made its way to SSE now with its two new regions and custom quests. In Jody's Moonpath spotlight (opens in new tab) he talks to its original creator.

Helgen Reborn

(Image credit: Mike Hancho)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Who's going to rebuild Helgen after it got toasted by a dragon at the beginning of the game? You are, of course. It's a huge, fully voiced quest mod where you'll restore the town, choose a faction, and fight in the new arena. Chris wrote about Helgen Reborn years ago for Oldrim, so we're psyched to replay it in SSE.

Cutting Room Floor

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Another big mod from Arthmoor restores loads of content that exists in SSE's data files but wasn't implemented in the game. Numerous locations, NPCs, dialogue, quests, and items have been brought back into the light, and Skyrim is richer for it.

JK's Skyrim

Skyrim Special Edition mod - JK's Windhelm

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Jkrojmal and Teabag86)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This big construction overhaul mod redesigns all of Skyrim's major cities and some settlements as well. Every city has been reimagined to more distinctly fit its own theme with new buildings and vendors. It doubles as an immersion mod as well, with local banners and guards changing allegiance as Skyrim's civil war develops.

The Asteria Dwemer Airship

Download From: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

There are player home mods to suit all tastes, but the Asteria is a particularly nice one—a flying ship with all mod cons, by which I mean storage space and crafting tables. It's permanently docked, however, and can't be moved around, though it does have a teleporter for a more immersive alternative to fast-travel. If you want a flyable skyship, try the Dev Aveza (opens in new tab).

Aesthetic mods

Even with Skyrim Special Edition, there's still plenty of room to make Tamriel prettier. Modders have updated how characters look and added higher resolution textures, among other things, to put a new shine on the game.

Climates of Tamriel

(Image credit: JJC71)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Climates of Tamriel is a huge overhaul adding new weather types, new lighting, and clouds. It can make night-time darker as well for a more immersive adventuring experience. There's even a winter version that covers even more of Skyrim in snow.

Realistic Water Two

(Image credit: Isoku)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Realistic Water Two, a lauded sequel to water, adds better ripples, larger splashes, re-textured foam and faster water flow in streams, bobbing chunks of ice, and even murky, stagnant-looking water in dungeons. For all your extremely realistic screenshot-taking needs.

Total Character Makeover

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Skyrim's NPCs already looked dated when the game was first released, and they certainly haven't aged well. The SSE might improve the looks of the world, but it doesn't touch its citizens, so this mod from Scaria should be on your list. It gives everyone in the game (including your avatar) a facelift with more detailed textures that won't kneecap your framerate, without making characters look out of place.

Vanilla Hair Replacer

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by preeum)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

We can all agree Bethesda's RPGs aren't often stunners in the hair department. So many hair mods get carried away turning characters into models, though. Vanilla Hair Replacer aims for more lore-friendly changes for Skyrim's default hair choices so NPCs look a less scraggly but still like they hail from Skyrim. Be sure to check the "recommended mods" section of the page to get your characters looking exactly like the ones in the screenshots.

Static Mesh Improvements

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

While Skyrim Special Edition adds plenty of enhanced visuals, it doesn't do a thing to improve the original game's low-poly meshes. This mod edits hundreds of 3D models placed in thousands of different locations for items like furniture, clutter, architectural elements, and landscape objects to make them look nicer and more realistic.

Security Overhaul SKSE - Lock Variations

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - Screenshots of a collection of the various lock appearances added by the Security Overhaul mod.

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by powerofthree)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

The Security Overhaul Lock Variants (opens in new tab) and supplemental Security Overhaul Add-Ons (opens in new tab) mods add a whole bunch of new lock designs for you to peer at while you're heroically robbing Skyrim of its every last septim. The locks range from startlingly beautiful to mystically eerie to fairly disgusting, but they're all lore-friendly and wonderfully animated. There are even new sound effects to accompany some of the weirder designs.

Glorious Doors of Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Hype1)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Hear me out. Aside from NPC's faces, what are you going to have your nose up against in Skyrim most often? Well yeah, enemies, but also doors! Modder "Hype1" has created lots of new door meshes with glorious 4k textures so you'll never be stuck picking the lock on a low-res door again. While you're at it, Book Covers (opens in new tab) is a mod that will make books as beautiful as they deserve to be.

Companion and creature mods

Skyrim is an even more beautiful place thanks to the visual mods and new locations on this list, but you'll also want to populate it with suitably interesting life. These mods add some of our favorite companion characters, and some cool creatures for them to fight too.

Shirley

(Image credit: Modder The Circantolius)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This companion mod is a particularly sweet one, based on popular octogenarian YouTuber Shirley Curry, otherwise known as the "Skyrim Grandma". Created by fans and voiced by Curry herself, the Shirley companion shares Curry's likeness. Tamriel's Shirley has her own lore-appropriate backstory too. After you've completed her recruitment quest, Shirley will join you, fighting alongside you as a barbarian warrior—Curry's preferred combat style. Curry has already started playing with the mod herself, which you can catch the beginning of in her video series (opens in new tab)

Inigo

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Smartbluecat)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Maybe you don't think a blue Khajiit who follows you around commenting on everything and being sarcastic about Lydia is what Skyrim needs, but trust us on this. Inigo has tons of dialogue, some tied to his own questline and more that crops up at appropriate times depending on the location you're at. He can be told where to go and what to do by whistling, and will follow you even if you've got an existing companion, chatting away with them thanks to skilfully repurposed voice lines.

Vilja in Skyrim

(Image credit: Emma Amgepo Lycanthrops)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

A sequel to a much-loved Oblivion mod (which Terry Pratchett contributed to (opens in new tab)), Vilja in Skyrim adds the great-granddaughter of the original Vilja as a follower. She's an alchemist with her own questline to follow and a unique system to give her orders—essentially spells bound to hotkeys that can be used to co-ordinate attacks. Like Inigo she doesn't count toward your follower limit, and if introduced to each other Inigo and Vilja will even chat among themselves. 

Yennefer of Vengerberg

(Image credit: Modded by Levionte | Image by IINoshikuII )

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Will we ever tire of crossovers between our favorite big RPGs? No, we definitely will not. This follower mod adds a custom-made Yennefer that re-purposes her lines of dialogue from The Witcher 3. She dual wields magic, of course. Sadly, she isn't eligible for marriage. The same modder has also made a Ciri follower mod (opens in new tab) and contributed to mods for Geralt (opens in new tab)and Triss (opens in new tab) followers all based on their Wild Hunt selves.

Amazing Follower Tweaks

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This extremely popular mod for Oldrim is one you'll want to grab the Special Edition version of too. It lets you micromanage a lot of details about your companions like their gear, how to fight, and which of your many houses to live in.

Convenient Horses

(Image credit: Modded by Alek | Image by DokQZ)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This mod makes having a horse much less of a headache. You can have conversations from horseback. You can loot and gather herbs while mounted. Your followers can even buy and ride their own horses instead of sprinting helplessly behind you. 

Diverse Dragons Collection

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Despite the Special Edition's visual overhaul, its dragons are still a bit ho-hum. This mod, contributed to by a large collection of modders, adds 28 new and unique dragons with different models and textures, and capable of over a dozen new breath attacks and abilities. The dragons come in different ranks as well, to ensure you have a challenge no matter what your level.

Strigoi - Enhanced Vampire Encounters

(Image credit: Tx12001)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

With Strigoi installed, whenever vampires spawn there's a chance to meet some of its new varieties of bloodsucker. These powered-up undead might turn into bats, throw you around, or just generally be a lot tougher than regular vampires.

Insects Begone

(Image credit: Chesko)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Why is it always spiders in RPGs? Well, it doesn't have to be. Insects Begone replaces all the spiders and chaurus insects with bears and skeevers instead. It also removes decorative spiderwebs and other spider-related decor. If you can't deal with all the giant spiders plaguing Skyrim, this mod will squash them.

Magic, combat, and skill mods

If being the Dragonborn isn't enough, these mods give you new abilities to tinker with. Some are mundane skills like additional crafting abilities, others are new shouts and spells to play with.

Arcanum: A New Age of Magic

Skyrim: Special Edition mod - Arcanum

(Image credit: Kosorsomesaykosm)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Arcanum is a huge addition to Skyrim's magic system. It lets you summon tornados and meteors among many other feats. It doesn't just throw all these new skills at you as soon as it's installed, though. Arcanum is great for starting a new playthrough of Skyrim with because unlocking spells is a more lore-friendly journey of custom quests, crafting, and adventuring. 

Combat Gameplay Overhaul

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

CGO strikes a great balance for those wanting a bit more out of Skyrim's combat without turning it into too much of a fast-paced action game. It adds the ability to dodge roll, which surprisingly looks pretty decent in first-person. There's also the ability to switch between one- and two-handed grips to change how attacks land. Oh, and you can attack in midair, along with lots of other smaller tweaks.

Modder "DServant" also created the Archery Gameplay Overhaul (opens in new tab) which takes a similarly even-handed approach to improving bow use.

Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Wildcat is a much heavier combat overhaul, and an extremely popular one. It makes combat more deadly with increased damage and stamina use, but that's not all. It also adds an injury system where taking enough damage has a chance to give you a serious injury that could knock you down, unequip your weapon, or give you other dangerous effects. It rewards you for properly timed blocks and for attacks of opportunity while enemies are performing other actions too. 

Sneak Tools SE

(Image credit: Haytur)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

For the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood members among us, Sneak Tools adds extra functionality to being good at hiding. Instead of just a damage bonus, you can kill NPCs from behind with daggers, knock them out with fists, and assassinate them while they're sleeping. You can douse torches and arrows to better sneak through the shadows and use a bunch of new arrow types with sneaky benefits.

Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

When you're not playing a metal-plated tank, there's less use for smithing. Archers, thieves, and other stealthy characters have no issues finding light armor on their adventures, so there's never been much reason to make it themselves. This mod by Arthmoor gives slippery sorts reasons to learn smithing by letting them forge arrows, lockpicks, and guild-specific armor, as well as melt down bulkier armor they'd never actually wear into ingots.

Immersion mods

Roleplaying and immersion mods are all aimed at making Skyrim Special Edition feel just a bit more real. 

Shadow of Skyrim - Nemesis and Alternative Death System

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - a screen from the Shadow of Skyrim mod that allows you to track your current nemesis enemies in-game.

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by syclonix)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Emulating the best feature of the Shadow of Mordor series that somehow isn't yet an industry standard, the Shadow of Skyrim adds a full nemesis system. When defeated in combat, you aren't forced to load a save. Instead, you awaken in a nearby location, with the creature that felled you having earned a level-up of their own in the process—your own, freshly-minted Nemesis.

Nearly any in-game enemy (even from other mods) can be a potential nemesis. Once they've KO'd you, that now-terrifying bandit or mudcrab gets a unique title and boosted stats, and might even be wielding some of your cherished equipment after they picked it off your body.

No NPC Greetings - Reduced Range Greetings

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Sick of NPCs repeating the same catchphrase from across the street every time they see you? Sick of guards commenting on your best skills, which they somehow know all about just by looking at you—even Sneak? This mod has a few options for fixing the issue, whether you want to reduce the distance these barks trigger at, or get rid of them altogether.

Simply Knock SE

(Image credit: Chesko)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

Sometimes you don't want to break into someone's home and have the local guard after you. Instead of lockpicking, this mod gives you the option to just, you know, knock on the door. If someone is home they might answer, giving you the option to earn entry with your speech abilities. If they don't answer, then get your lockpicks out. (If this mod causes crashes after the Anniversary Edition update, check the sticky post at the top of this page for a solution (opens in new tab).) 

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

If you're playing Special Edition, you're starting from scratch whether you're a newcomer to Skyrim or a veteran. Why not start your new game as someone other than the Dragonborn? Alternate Start—again, by Arthmoor—is a roleplaying mod that gives you choices on how you'd like to begin your next playthrough. Are you a patron at in inn, a visitor arriving by boat, a prisoner in a jail cell, or a member of a guild? You can start as a soldier, an outlaw, a hunter, even a vampire. It's a great way to re-experience Skyrim from a different perspective, and skip the tutorial while you're at it.

Open Cities

Download from: AFK mods (opens in new tab)

It's a little immersion-breaking to enter a city through a gate and encounter a loading screen. Open Cities aims for more of a Morrowind feel: the cities aren't instances, they're part of the larger world. Stroll right in—or ride in on horseback—without a break in your experience, and these cities will feel more like real places than loaded-in maps.

Opening Scene Overhaul

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This mod, by elderscrolliangamer, changes and enhances Skyrim's opening sequence by restoring dialogue that Bethesda chose to cut, but which is still present in the game files. With that content restored, you'll learn more about the world you're preparing to inhabit by listening in on additional conversations and seeing full sequences that were snipped before release. Best of all, if you choose to side with the Stormcloaks, you'll actually be able to escape Helgen with Ulfric himself at your side.

Relationship Dialogue Overhaul

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

This mod by cloudedtruth adds thousands of lines of voiced dialogue for NPCs to make you feel like you have a closer and more personal relationship with followers and friends. Your spouse will no longer sound like a random follower, but address you in a more personal manner, and those you've angered will have a host of new insults to hurl your way.

Frostfall and Campfire

Skyrim Console Commands

Skyrim Mod: Santa

(Image credit: Bethesda)

There's no need to play Skyrim as a humble warrior. Become a giant, fly, walk through walls, spawn any item you want, and even become Santa Claus with Skyrim console commands (opens in new tab), and give yourself every item in the game with Skyrim item codes (opens in new tab).

Download from Nexus Mods: Frostfall (opens in new tab) and Campfire (opens in new tab)

Looking to turn SSE into a survival experience without having to rely on the Creation Club's survival mode? Then bundle up and look no further. These mods from Chesko make the frosty world of Skyrim more dangerous more immersive and enjoyable with a system that makes you manage your temperature in the cold climate. Hypothermia is an issue, especially if you swim through icy water, so you'll have to dress warmly, and camping elements include craftable tents, torches, and other gear. There's even a crafting skill system.

Also, check out Wet and Cold (opens in new tab), which adds weather-dependent visual effects and sounds.

Survival Control Panel

(Image credit: Parapets)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

If you do want to stick with the Creation Club survival mode, perhaps because you got it as part of the Anniversary Edition, this control panel will let you change how it works. You can turn on and off options like whether you need to sleep to level up, as well as modifying the warmth rating of clothes, including cloaks if you've got a mod that adds those.

Positive Undressed Reactions

Skyrim: Special Edition mods - A screenshot of the Riverrun blacksmith's captivated reaction to a player character's scanty cladding, from the mod Positive Undressed Reactions

(Image credit: Bethesda, modded by Everglaid)

Download from: Nexus Mods (opens in new tab)

What could possibly be more immersive than walking around in your underclothes and being lavished with compliments by strangers? OK, maybe it's not that immersive but it is a fun one. On top of that, this mod also uses a very cool new AI-based voice synthesis tool called SKVA Synth (opens in new tab) to create some of its voice lines.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.