To mod or not to mod, that is the question.
Skyrim was first released in 2011 on the previous console generation and PC, and to say it was a great game would be an understatement. It won countless awards and is almost always high ranking in Top 100 Best Games Lists. Spawning countless memes, and the various strange glitches we could manipulate, Skyrim was great AND fun. The game's fans helped push Skyrim to new heights, with a strong modding community on PC. Due to the game's on-going popularity, we were blessed with a gorgeously overhauled newer, shinier Skyrim, bringing mod support to consoles for the first time.
So here we have compiled some of the coolest mods available right now for Skyrim: Special Edition. Since the game also includes all of the DLC, there is no need to worry about incompatibility.
Note: Achievements are disabled while mods are active.
- Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
- Sheogorath's Cheat Menu
- Cheat Room
- The Forgotten City
- Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival
- Campfire - Complete Camping System
- Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim
- Vampires Suck: No Attacks in Towns
- Invincible Skyrim Dogs
- iNeed - Food, Water and Sleep
- Natural Eyes
- Deadpool Xbox One
- Legend of the Beast Slayer
- Classic Oblivion Jail System
- Phenderix: The One Ring
- Phenderix: Magic Sounds Improved
- Just Walk - No Fast Travel
- Alternate Start - Live Another Life
- Rich Merchants of Skyrim
- Clothing to Light Armor
- People are Strangers
- Hardcore Difficulty - No Milkdrinkers!
- Dwarven Luggage
- No More Dead Followers
- STAR:Thieves and Assassins
- Bob Ross Stand Alone Moon
- JAWS: Deadly Slaughterfish
- The Grand Bath House SSE)
The most comprehensive mod for straightening out all the bugs, kinks and glitches left in the game post-release. Made to be compatible with as many mods as possible, you'll want to install this for a cleaner and less messy game.
There are other cheat mods available, and this certainly isn't the tidiest but I selected this one in particular due to one of the additional things it does. This mod spawns a book on a stool that you can find at the Standing Stones just after you escape from Helgen on your way to Riverwood. Selecting the book adds a spell to the Restoration section of your magic, which is the cheat menu. You can fast level, or add items and money, etc... but you can also turn off collision detection, enabling you to bypass entire sections of the map just by aiming into the sky while you walk! See my personal screenshot above of this in action! The good thing about this cheat mod is that it only requires a free spell to launch.
This is a better cheat menu than Sheogorath's above, but I explained why that was unique. Less than 1MB in size, this cheat room has it all. It adds a spell to your roster and teleports you to a room where you can do anything. Resurrect NPCs (because seriously, eff those vampire attacks), spawn any item, make anyone a follower, as well as all the skills leveling up, and changing the weather. It's THE cheat mod to get.
This award winning, critically acclaimed mod is, basically, a fan made expansion bordering on official DLC quality realms of brilliance. With this installed, from level 5 your character will be approached by a courier who directs you to the Forgotten City. What follows is a six to eight hour original and non-linear experience, in an incredibly intricate and beautiful new city. Even boasting complex moral decisions with consequences, and several different endings, it would be a shame to miss out on such beautifully crafted modding!
If you wanted to turn Skyrim into a potentially fatal survival game, Frostfall would be the mod to do it. The three main components of this mod are hypothermia, cold water survival, and camping. This mod tracks everything from time of day, and weather to what you are wearing to create an immediately immersive experience. Your character can visibly become wet and snowy. It is also deeply customizable, making the experience as pleasant or unpleasant as you feel comfortable with. It adds new attributes to your character, Wetness and Exposure, and defenses for Warmth and Coverage. As you get colder, it raises your Exposure, and your skills suffer as a result; and when you are Wet, it increases your Exposure quicker. Warmth will always reduce Exposure, and Coverage decreases Wetness. You'll need the following mod to implement the effects of this fully.
In addition to the new attributes you get in Frostfall, Campfire also grants you Resourcefulness and Instinct. Instinct allows you to stalk your prey and had it's own skill system which can be accessed from any lit campfire.
This is a great mod for those who want to level up but are tired of selecting the same old perk. Want to create an entirely new character from scratch with upgraded perk trees? Ordinator is the one for you! It has completely overhauled the perks system, adding new ones, so you have more fun building a character exactly how you want them.
It's a beautiful evening in Whiterun. You've just walked into the town at dusk, and suddenly you're being attacked by vampires and their death hounds, and now beautiful Adrienne Avenici the blacksmith and about five others are lying dead on the floor. This mod is the garlic to your chronic vamp problem. Now you can slip in and out of towns at any time of the night and know your townspeople are safe from sudden attacks.
All dogs are precious, which is why we need to protect our loving and faithful companions at all costs. This mod makes all doggies essential characters, so they can't die.
Couple this with Frostfall, and you've pretty much got yourself a Skyrim/The Sims cross-over. If keeping your Dragonborn alive wasn't hard enough, you'll now also have to make sure they're well rested, and well fed and watered. Messages appear to keep you informed of your status, as well as sound effects so you hear your stomach rumbling. The heavier the food, the more filling it is, and you'll begin the game with a waterskin but they can be crafted and purchased if you need more.
If there's one thing I largely dislike about Skyrim, it's the default textures for eyes. Simply put, they're awful, with little to no detail, and why does there always have to be a "blind in one eye" option? This mod replaces all of the eyes with newer high resolution versions. It beats staring at elves who look like they've had their eyes pulled out with corkscrews.
Dragonpool, anybody? Now everyone's favorite antihero is your new favorite Dragonborn! Under Deadric armor in the smithing menu, it requires no material and no perks to make his complete costume including swords. What's more, it has Deadric armor values, and the helmet has Waterbreathing and Health Regeneration. Unfortunately, this mod doesn't contain recipes for chimichangas. More's the pity.
In keeping with the current cosplay theme, I was drawn to this for the similarity to the Lord of Bones from the Game of Throne series. This is just a heavy armor set, but it's pretty badass looking.
The jail system in Skyrim is pretty tame compared to Oblivion's. When you're locked up in jail in Skyrim, depending on the length of your sentence, you may lose progress towards your next level in a few skills. It's not really a hardship. This mod implements Oblivion's system, whereby the longer your sentence, the more levels you lose. Not just the progress towards them, actual levels. If you want being imprisoned to be any kind of threat, you should get this mod.
Inside Farengar's enchantment workshop in Dragonsreach Castle in Whiterun, there will be a box containing this ring which renders the wearer completely invisible. Attacking or stealing an item breaks the enchantment, but unequipping and reequipping the ring will restore invisibility.
This mod doesn't replace the magic sound effects with new sound files, rather the sounds have been tweaked by the modder to change up the volume and frequency of the sound effects.
This mod disables fast travel options from the map screen. If you want to get somewhere, you'd better be prepared to use your legs. And why not, the overhauled graphics and lighting systems are wonderful to behold, it'd be a shame to waste so much exploring to fast traveling! Fast traveling by coach, boat or being arrested is unaffected.
This mod gives you an alternate opening, where you're left to fester in a jail, forgotten, instead of the Helgen opening we know so well by now. You still get to pick your race, and your choices here still have as much of an impact on the rest of the game. This mod expands character creation so that you'll find yourself faced with a choice of 13 new beginnings.
You've just looted everything out of a dungeon, and you have so much expensive stuff to sell - but you have to offload it to multiple merchants to actually make any money. Vanilla Skyrim merchants don't often carry an excess of a thousand gold, making hoarding money a slow process, especially if you want to get on with homesteading. This Rich Skyrim Merchants mod gives every merchant five times more gold.
It was always a little irksome that some of the clothes in Skyrim looked cool, but they weren't practical in terms of defense. Ok, so they're clothes, they're not going to necessarily protect you from an arrow to the knee (sorry, it had to happen!). But, if I wanted to punch a dragon while I'm wearing a dress, could I at least have a little bit of armor protection and look pretty?
If you ever thought it was a bit weird that for some reason you automatically knew every character's name without ever speaking to them before, install this mod. Now, instead of showing the NPC's name, it'll show a ? until you speak to them. Jarls will just be called The Jarl until you are introduced.
Ouch. If you thought the Legendary difficulty was hard, go cry off into your sweet roll, dumpling. This mod isn't for you. It scales the leveling of enemies, making higher level enemies tougher, and keeping weaker ones weak. It also tweaks the block rate and damage output, and forces enemy AI to close in proximity during combat. Install this mod while you have Legendary difficulty active to switch it on.
If you're a fan of Terry Prachett's Discworld series, you may be familiar with the character, Wizard Rincewind and his travelling chest with many legs. You may also be familiar with Top Cat's magic and its limitless depths. This rolls the two into one, and can be found in Blackreach while collecting Nirnroots. There is almost no way you will run out of space, and it doesn't count as a follower, making this a better portable container ever! Make sure you have subtitles on, as you can 'talk' to the chest, but it isn't voiced.
There you are in the thick of battle, and a poorly aimed swing of your own two-handed axe kills Lydia. Now you've lost your help in battle and your Housecarl. This No More Dead Followers mod makes all of your followers, including hounds, immortal - they can't be hurt by your or anyone/thing. Additionally, your followers will level with you making them more effective in combat as your character progresses.
STAR - Superior Treasure and Rewards for Thieves and Assassins is a brilliant mod for those favoring the lighter footed Dovahkiin, but what's up with getting all the heavy armor and two handed weapons as rewards? This mod looks at how your stats are levelled and determines what 'build' you're going with and rewards you accordingly. If you're levelled highly in one-handed skills, you will recieve more swords and maces; while if you're levelled highly in light armor, you will find less heavy armor as a reward.
As Bob Ross once said, "You need the dark in order to show the light," and, by Ysmir was he right?! Bob Ross will be your nightly guardian, replacing the in-game moon texture to one of Bob and his big happy face. Don't you just wan't to be friends with it?
Because Skyrim isn't deadly enough what with all of the fire-breathing dragons, life-sucking vampires and trolls that'll rip your arms off, we've got a mod here to make even the water more deadly. JAWS adds a new deadly species of fish to the game - Jawfish! This mod comes with unique animations, stats and even combat music ensuring that you'll never be safe to enter the water (on the Northern shores of Tamriel) again...
The Grand Bath House is a mod that gives the player a new home that comes with its own upgrades for a pretty penny. It also doubles as an arena you can fight in, as a base of operations for you and your followers and children. It has an internal console that you can access the Bath House settings from.
Over to you!
The list of mods available on Xbox One is still growing, and there are more being added daily. Have we missed any already that you think should be on this list? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
Skyrim: Special Edition is available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.