I knew exactly when it was time to stop playing Skyrim.
That, and Skyrim Special Edition came out.
It took me a while to make the switch, because of only one reason: mods.
Once my favourite mods were ported to Special Edition, there was no stopping me. Skyrim is one of those games that I can get invested in thoroughly for a while, then stop playing for a year before I get pulled back in. Which is the case right now: last played 10 months ago, then my husband sends me a link to Project Proteus and here I am: just deleted my old save files, and I’m going through Nexus Mods to replenish my stash.
I have a few rules when it comes to mods:
- Lore-friendly. By that, I mean that the mod has to remain loyal to the spirit of the game. While entertaining, you won’t find the Thomas The Tank Engine Dragon Replacer Mod in my game.
- Balanced. I don’t usually get mods that make the game easier, I get mods that add a challenge or balance some things out. For instance, I might get a mod that yields a little bit more firewood if I have another mod that requires a lot of it, but I won’t install a mod that lets me start out with 1 million gold and Ebony armour.
- Hoarding. Most of the mods you’ll see in this list, I have added solely because they add things. Like, a lot of things. The 300 new dagger types mod? Got it. Especially in combination (and compatible) with Legacy of the Dragonborn. Mods that encourage collecting and displaying that collection? I’m here for it.
In this review, I’ll go over the list of mods I have installed, and a short impression on the bigger, more prominent ones. Keep in mind, these are for Skyrim Special Edition, and some of them require all DLC to be installed.
Make sure you read the mod’s documentation before installing.
And in case you're interested in making mods yourself, come join us at Mod Bucket on Discord.
We'd be happy to help you get started, test your mods out for you or just in general hear about your progress!
First things first
Before you can start adding mods, you have to get a few things in order.
Then there’s NexusMods‘ mod loader, Vortex. Not only will this make your Skyrim modding experience a lot more relaxing, it also does the same thing for many, many other games.
And then, LOOT. No, this isn’t in-game booty, but it sure is a treasure.
The Load Order Optimisation Tool will do as advertised, and optimise your load order, resulting in a more smoothly running modded game.
Downloading LOOT is optional, but I’d advise it anyway.
No Bethesda intro
First of all, you are going to be starting and restarting your game quite a bit, and the Bethesda intro can get quite tedious, so get No Bethesda Intro.
Patches & fixes
- The Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch is a dependency for virtually every mod. Start by installing this one, and giving your game a test run.
- The Weapons Armor Clothing & Clutter Fixes mod is a requirement for a few Weapons & Armor mods.
Project Proteus is the mod I have been looking for ever since Legacy of the Dragonborn came out. I used to have several saves for different characters, and use a mod to share an inventory so I could send artefacts to my main Relic Hunter save file. Not anymore.
This mod allows you to switch between characters and even recruit your inactive ones as followers, which means I can have a team of Relic Hunters, with each a different speciality or backstory to focus on.
Please note that Project Proteus has a few dependencies you also have to download in order for it to work:
- SKSE, which we’ve already covered above.
- Address Library for SKSE Plugins
- JContainers SE
- RaceMenu, which completely overhauls the character creation screen with tons of sliders, new body painting options, and an option to load and save character presets.
Legacy of the Dragonborn
Honestly, this mod is the best mod made in the history of mods.
Legacy of the Dragonborn adds a museum to Solitude, in which you collect artefacts, weapons, armour and other collectibles. In combination with Live Another Life, it adds an option to start as a Relic Hunter called in to help out with the museum. Needless to say, most of the mods in this list will be chosen for their compatibility with LotDB.
I advise you to not install this mod until you’ve downloaded and installed all compatible mods that you want, of which you can find a list here.
Here are the ones I’ve installed that add artefact displays to the museum:
- Aetherium Armor and Weapons
- Amulets of Skyrim
- Artifacts of Skyrim
- Artifacts – The Ice Blade of the Monarch
- Artifacts – The Tournament of the ten Bloods
- Cloaks of Skyrim
- Dawnguard Arsenal
- Dwemer Spectres
- The Forgotten City
- Fossil Mining
- The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal
- Guards Armor Replacer
- Heavy Armory – New Weapons
- Helgen Reborn
- Immersive Armors
- Immersive College of Winterhold
- Immersive Weapons
- JaySuS Swords
- Konahrik’s Accoutrements
- Kthonia’s Unique Weapon Pack
- Moon and Star
- Moonpath to Elsweyr
- New Treasure Hunt
- Oblivion Artifact Pack
- Path of The Revenant
- Project AHO
- Royal Armory
- Ruin’s Edge
- Skyrim Sewers
- Skyrim Underground
- Skyrims Unique Treasures
- The Staff Of Sheogorath
- Teldryn Serious
- The Tools of Kagrenac
- Treasure Hunter
- Undeath Remastered
- The Wheels of Lull
Make sure to install all of the patches as well.
Some of my favourite mods
- I particularly enjoy mods that add survival elements, like:
- Bandolier adds some very needed inventory expansions that are also visually represented and stylish.
The Missing Bandolier mod adds even more sets to the mod.
There’s an expanded mod that adds Bandolier for NPCs.
And if you’re more into Magicka than Stamina, there’s a recolour.
Some mods optimising the follower experience:
- Amazing Follower Tweaks allows you to have multiple followers and manage their weapons, outfits, inventories, etc.
- Follower Trap Safety prevents followers from triggering traps.
- My Home is Your Home allows you to set a new “home” for your followers, meaning they’ll return to a location of your choice after being dismissed.
- Follower Map Markers for when you lose your followers.
Don’t pretend it doesn’t happen to you.
- Convenient Horses, which makes horses, well, more convenient.
Some brand new followers:
- Dwarven Luggage
- Companions and Followers
- Friends of Skyrim
- Khajiit Will Follow
- Lots More Followers
And some much needed vanilla follower overhauls:
Here are a few mods that improve the general look-and-feel of the game.
- SkyUI greatly improves the way menus look in-game.
It is also a required dependency for some other mods.
Some other small mods
I talked about bigger mods above, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have about a hundred more small ones. I’ll drop a list with links below.
- Unlimited Bookshelves, for the book collector who wants to fill up the shelves by book size rather than based on a number of books.
- Lanterns of Skyrim adds well-needed lighting to Skyrim.