Here's Skyrim with over 500 mods and ray tracing

Audio player loading…

Digital Dreams is a YouTube channel that specializes in showcasing games at their shiniest, like the time they had Breath of the Wild running in 8K with a ray tracing reshade. This recent video takes Skyrim Special Edition, the 2016 remaster of the 2011 game, and gives it a 4K makeover complete with ray tracing and a kind of ridiculous magic sword.

Image (opens in new tab)

Skyrim mods (opens in new tab): Questing forever
Skyrim Special Edition mods (opens in new tab): Special effects
Skyrim console commands (opens in new tab): Endless possibilities

The foliage looks colorful, the enhanced sounds of wind and insects make those natural environments seem a little more alive, and weather effects like rain and lightning are impressive (courtesy of Obsidian Weathers and Seasons (opens in new tab), a mod I use myself). The video is careful to stay in third-person, avoid combat beyond a goofy-looking fight with a wolf, and stay clear of interacting with the china doll NPCs modders love to make—there's an eerie dead lady propped up against a fallen tree two-and-a-half minutes in—but it's still fun to see what Skyrim looks like pushed to its limits a decade after the original's release.

It was achieved with the FNENB (opens in new tab) graphical enhancement, Digital Dreams' own ray tracing reshade, and a Wabbajack modlist called Total Visual Overhaul (opens in new tab) that packages together things like High Poly NPC Overhaul (opens in new tab), JK's Skyrim (opens in new tab), the various Cities of the North mods, Ethereal Elven Overhaul (opens in new tab), and quite a lot more. Skyrim Special Edition can handle hundreds of mods at once, but you'd still want a decent rig to get it looking like this.

Meanwhile, one of Skyrim's most popular modders is pulling his work from Nexus Mods in protest of their stance on deleting mods.

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 (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.