The top Skyrim mods for 2023

The top Skyrim mods for 2023. There are over 69,000 Skyrim mods on Nexus Mods and 27,000 on the Steam Workshop, so finding the finest Skyrim mods might be difficult. If you can imagine anything, chances are there’s a mod for it and plenty of things you’d rather not imagine. Everything from interface changes to complete new campaigns, fully spoken companions, and absurd memes are available. Some of it is rather bizarre.

Sorting through all those mods may be intimidating, and installing a pre-canned list generally means adding a number of things you don’t want and then being unable to remove them without messing up different dependencies. As a result, our guide assumes a manual pick-and-choose approach to modding and is organized into sections so you may choose a selection of individual mods that are compatible and fit your playstyle.

First, you should know if you’re playing Skyrim on a contemporary PC in 2023 that it will struggle to operate at a framerate greater than 60fps. Because the physics engine wasn’t meant for it, you’ll watch horses float into the air and bodies bounce about and hear loud, repetitive sound effects as things like water splashes cycle endlessly. To fix this, go into the control panel of your GPU program and make sure Skyrim is set to 60fps.

We’ll review how to start with Skyrim mods and propose some key upgrades. The finest Skyrim quest mods, new spells, equipment, followers, combat tweaks, and more can be found on the following pages.


How to install Skyrim mods

Skyrim mods

Once you’ve discovered any mods you’d like to attempt, here are the tools you’ll need to make them work. Make care to read the description page for your mods: many need particular procedures and instructions.


Vortex, a modern application for managing your mod loadout, has replaced the previous Nexus Mod Manager. It will handle everything for you and is available via the Nexus Mods website, like most mods on our list. It’s easy to use and makes downloading, activating, and deleting mods pleasurable. It’s also important since it supports games like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and many more additional.

Skyrim Script Extender

The Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) tool is essential for many more sophisticated mods to work. Not every mod on this list needs it, but plenty do, including the Vital SkyUI, so installing it immediately is recommended. SKSE is now accessible directly via Steam; however, you can still find it on the SKSE site if you prefer manual installation.

Steam Workshop

The Steam Workshop also allows you to explore and use Skyrim mods. It’s simple to use, and adding them to your roster is as easy as hitting the subscribe button. Remember that more sophisticated mods may have a few more steps to install. Always read through the description.


Unofficial Skyrim Patch

The Unofficial Skyrim patches, created by the same modders as the Unofficial Oblivion patches, catch many bugs that the official patches do not. You would never notice many of them, like objects that were positioned slightly incorrectly so that they clip through each other or missions that break if you do anything unique, but it’s better to have them than not. There’s one for the Legendary Edition, but if you’re using the High-Resolution DLC, you may need the one for the official High-Resolution textures patch.

Fix Lip Sync

If you’ve ever noticed a lag between an NPC’s spoken line and when their lips start moving, it’s a long-running glitch introduced by an optimization patch in Skyrim version 1.9. This mod solves the problem.

User Interface mods


Skyrim’s initial user interface could be better. SkyUI makes it easier to use by letting you sort your treasure by worth or weight and your weapons by damage rating. Most crucially, SkyUI adds a mod setup menu, letting you alter and adjust compatible mods (many of which are listed here). Many mods do not need SkyUI and will work well without it, but you will get much more out of your mods if you have it.

To put it another way, it comes highly recommended.


Skyrim mods

A new character creation menu with numeric displays for all sliders and the ability to choose any color for your hair, skin, or other shades rather than being restricted by race. If you want to go straight into messing with the geometry of your head, there’s a sculpt mode, and you can turn the light lighting your face on and off to see how your features will look in various conditions, which is a plus.

Better Dialogue Controls

Because Skyrim is played with a keyboard and mouse, the game occasionally needs clarification when you pick a conversation option. You’ve probably noticed that occasionally, when you choose an answer, the game believes you’ve selected a different one. The conversation controls in Skyrim are strange and cumbersome, which this mod entirely and gladly improves. The same modder also improved the message box controls.

A Quality World Map

The map in Skyrim is useful yet dull. A good world map will show you how to fix it. You can change the map with a lot more detailed world texture, with colors that help designate the different locations much more clearly, but there’s also the option to have a paper map with an Oblivion look if that’s your thing.

Better Free Camera

Normally, you must utilize Skyrim console commands to capture the ideal screenshot. Instead, Better Free Camera allows you to set hotkeys for free camera mode, toggling the HUD, clipping, halting time, modifying its pace, and anything else a devoted screenshot hunter needs. Almost everything, to be precise. Use it with Project Proteus to posture NPCs, alter their AI, and choose animations.

Immersive HUD

Skyrim mods

You don’t need your HUD to be visible all of the time. When you’re not actively utilizing the crosshairs or status bars, such as when you’re not in combat, this mod conceals them. With a keypress, you may also toggle the compass and quest markers on and off and adjust their opacity.

Courier Shows Delivery

On the street, a courier approaches you. “I’ve been looking for you,” they tell them. “Got something I’m supposed to deliver. Your hands only.” And then they slide it inside your bag, where you have to look for it to read this crucial letter. Courier Shows Delivery is a small fix that lets the courier’s inventory show when they deliver you a message so you can read it immediately. (There is a problem with the brochure about Dawnstar’s museum that initiates a quest, and that one will still be placed right into your pocket.)

Quality of life mods

Alternate Start – Live Another Life

This is one of numerous mods that give you a fresh start if you wish to begin a new game of Skyrim as somebody other than the Dragonborn. Skip the introductory scene and begin your life as someone coming by boat, trapped in a jail cell, a guest at an inn, an outlaw in the wilderness, or any of a variety of other characters. New Beginnings adds nearly a dozen new options, including the ability to start as a vampire, a werewolf, or even a skooma addict. Like in the original mod, there’s a fair balance of safe and lethal options.

Skyrim Unbound Reborn [Alternate Start]

This is a freer way to determine how your trip starts than Alternate Start – Live Another Life. Instead of selecting from predefined options like bandit or necromancer, when you create a unique character, you unlock the Mod Configuration menu and toggle many specific options. Choose your equipment and spells, how much money you have, where you begin, and whether or not you are the Dragonborn. You may also choose when the main questline begins, whether or not dragons arrive, whether or not you start with a bounty on your head, and what time of day it is. You may also set certain options to random to surprise yourself. Return to the initial page and select Begin Your Adventure to set off when you’re done. We enjoyed Skyrim Unbound Reborn so much that we named it one of the mods of the week.

Skip Bleak Falls Barrow

Skyrim mods

Alternate start mods let you skip the Helgen tutorial, but if you want to be the Dragonborn you’ll still have to go through baby’s first dungeon, Bleak Falls Barrow, to get the Dragonstone and unlock the Fus shout. This mod lets you skip that too, putting the Dragonstone, the Golden Claw, and a fragment of the Word Wall on a table upstairs at Dragonreach in Whiterun. For extra convenience, walk a little further and you’ll find a standing stone that teleports you to High Hrothgar to meet the Greybeards rather than having to climb the mountain again. (Though you might have to walk out of their monastery and back in again if you hit a bug where they won’t talk to you and progress the quest.)

Remember Lockpick Angle

The lockpick moves. You gently adjust the angle—another notch. The lockpick cracks as Nocturnal, the Unfathomable Mistress of Shadows, laughs at you. You insert the next lockpick vertically rather than anywhere near the prior location. Dragonborn, what are you thinking? This mod places each new lockpick at the position of the previous one, making it easier to adjust from there.


There are 14 pages of choices in SkyTweak, letting you change factors related to experience point acquisition, stealth, how merchants work, options, magic—a little bit of everything. It’s almost certain to have options you won’t be able to live without once you start messing with them. Do you want to change the distance between NPCs before they welcome you or shorten the wait between lines? What about messing with the AI’s search time or the amount of light that impacts your ability to hide? Do you want to change the time scale, adjust fall damage, or change the possibility of an arrow recovering after a fall? Some of these options are available in other mods or Skyrim console commands. Still, SkyTweak places them all in menus you can access whenever you’re frustrated by something as little as how often foes dodge bullets or how many times you can hit a follower before they turn on you.

Textures & Lighting mods

The Eyes of Beauty

Skyrim mods

Eyes are difficult to get correctly. If you’ve ever played an elf, you’ll understand the excruciating torment of Skyrim’s alien eyeball options, which ensure you’ll end up appearing like you’ve come to kidnap and investigate Tamriel’s inhabitants rather than live among them. The Eyes of Beauty adds more appealing options and comes in two versions: one for you and another that automatically gives NPCs gorgeous, shimmering orbs of sight.

Rustic Clothing

Rustic Clothing does not mean “rustic” in the sense of unrefined or unfinished, but rather “rural” and untouched. This high-resolution replacer offers NPCs Clothing that doesn’t look smeary when seen up close, so you won’t wince whenever you have a first-person discussion. You’ll be able to detect various materials and make out patterns instead. It improves the look of bandages, fur armor, the Masque of Clavicus Vile, and other wearable but arguably non-clothing items.

Total Character Makeover

The Total Character Makeover, a collection of adjustments to existing NPC looks, helps everyone in Skyrim look better without making them look too much better if you get our meaning. There’s no nudity, anime hair, or glamazon cosmetics here, just a slew of new textures and adjustments to anything from beards to vampire fangs.

Enhanced Lights and FX

Skyrim mods

You may have noticed that certain things in Skyrim that should throw light don’t, while others are brilliantly lighted for no apparent reason. This is fixed with Enhanced Lights and FX, making the light shine where it should. There are options for how dark you want your rooms to be, and allowing them will need torches and spells like candlelight. It also makes some excellent changes to the look of the smoke.

2K Textures

It does exactly what it says: it changes the textures of Skyrim’s cities, towns, dungeons, and landscapes, such as the sky, water, architecture, clothes, clutter, reflections, etc. If your PC can handle it, there’s a complete version, but a light version should make things look prettier without sacrificing speed.

Climates of Tamriel

This extensive mod adds hundreds of new weather systems, a massive library of new cloud systems, a new sun, enhanced lighting for lovers of both a fantasy look and realistic sights, and even audio upgrades. With these mechanisms working together, each day in Skyrim will seem unique.

Real Clouds

Skyrim mods

Real Clouds adds “pseudo-volumetric” clouds that examine three-dimensional and are intended to be compatible with weather mods like Climates of Tamriel. Sheets of distant rain will fall, as will clouds of varied heights reacting to the present weather. Even if you aren’t using a mod that changes how the weather functions, this gives some interesting and varied cloud cover. You can even soar over these fluffy sky companions.

aMidianBorn Book of Silence

A large collection of high-quality replacement textures for Skyrim textures, including animals, weapons, armor, unique objects, and the Dragonborn DLC, all in separate files. Think combining with Rustic Armor and Weapons, which fills several Dark Brotherhood, Forsworn, and Daedric gear shortages.

Static Mesh Improvement

With over 700 meshes deployed in over 15,000 places across the planet, this mod alters several 3D models in the game. You’ll notice improved modeling of building features, furniture, objects in the terrain, and a variety of other mods that got little attention from Bethesda.

Glorious Doors of Skyrim

Skyrim mods

Whether barreling through city streets on your way to the next NPC you need to find for a quest or sneaking through dungeons at a careful crawl, you’ll spend much time looking at doors. Glorious Doors of Skyrim counts new meshes for some of the entranceways you’ll find repeated throughout ruins and forts, as well as some special ones that should look particularly spectacular, like the gate of Whiterun and the doors of Dragonsreach and Mistveil Keep. It also invigorates Dwemer doors, allowing you to see the gears turn when these mechanical wonders open.

Sounds of Skyrim

Immerse yourself with new audio: there’s a lot of it. Hundreds of new sound effects have been added to make dungeons and sewers creepier, the wilderness and fauna more alive, and towns and villages more vivid and authentic. This mod is a pleasure for your ears and includes modules that may be customized for each sort of place.

FXAA Injector

Enhances your graphics using FXAA and other post-processing effects like sharpening and blooming, resulting in clearer images and more brilliant colors. You may change these settings while playing by alt-tabbing and adjusting the sliders on the mod’s desktop tool.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

This mod is available in three distinct versions, depending on how much you want to change your game. All versions offer lusher trees and bark, higher grass, and more beautiful plant life. The heavier versions fully replace the trees and give you lusher greens for a more summertime look.

Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water Two adds smoother ripples, bigger splashes, re-textured foam, and quicker water flow in streams, bobbing shards of ice, and even murky, stagnant-looking water in dungeons, building on the work of previous water mods. It’s the next best thing to actually being wet.

Enhanced Camera

Skyrim mods

Staying in first-person mode makes a game seem more immersive, and this mod achieves just that. Not only can you look down and view your complete body while playing, but additional activities like crafting, cooking, horseback riding, and even dragon riding will not break you out of first-person mode.

JS Lockpicking UI

When you’re tired of gazing at that low-resolution circular lock every time you want to open anything that the man doesn’t want you to open, try the JS Lockpicking UI, which makes those locks look shiny and new. It also includes a recreated version of Nocturnal’s Skeleton Key, in case you still have the Daedric relic.

Book Covers

These tiny high-resolution book covers make a welcome change over the ordinary, muddily-textured ones, even though it may not seem like a deal. Ensure you have this gorgeous cover mod loaded before resting at home or browsing (or stealing) a bookstore or library. Unless you already have Legacy of the Dragonborn installed. Legacy of the Dragonborn contains Book Covers, which can cause bugs if installed separately.

Hearthfire Dolls Are Ugly

Skyrim mods

They are, after all! What self-respecting parent would give their child a filthy, battered nude doll? Instead, please give them a charming dolly or a beautiful teddy bear in various colors.

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