Best Skyrim Special Edition Mods

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition doesn’t hold up well graphically and gameplay-wise. So here are the best Skyrim Special Edition mods to make it feel like a modern game.

Best Skyrim Special Edition Mods

Disclaimer: This is not a modding guide. I simply introduce some must-have mods for your game and they will all be lore-friendly. These mods will improve your game’s look and feel and also improve certain aspects of gameplay. Also, we won’t be covering mods that will alter the gameplay and look of the game to a major degree. The mods on this list will suit the first-time playthrough or otherwise. As the title says, these mods are for the Special Edition of the game, but most of them are also available for the Legendary Edition, which is the classic Skyrim. Or Oldrim, as some gamers like to put it. The links for the mods will be provided.

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There will be multiple sections of this article so it will be easier for you to read. If there’s a certain aspect of the game which you don’t want to mod, you can skip that section.

  • Graphical mods
  • Sound mods
  • Weapon and Armour mods
  • Gameplay mods
  • Miscellaneous mods

Also, I won’t be overly describing any of these mods because their respective pages have described them better and to the point.

Graphical Mods

Skyrim Realistic Overhaul

This is the best Texture Mod you can get for Skyrim Special Edition. It covers almost every texture of the game, from the walls and trees to minor objects. It’s a good idea to have Skyrim Realistic Overhaul as a base. It’s a really hefty download, though. The mod is broken into multiple parts and you can download it here:

Noble Skyrim

Noble Skyrim

Noble Skyrim is another texture mod that affects the architecture of the game. This works well with SRO with it as a base. Walls and ground textures will be replaced with higher-quality counterparts.

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

SMIM is a must-have mod for Skyrim. As the name suggests, it completely overhauls the static meshes of the game and makes it so much less hideous.

Skyland – A Landscape Texture Overhaul

Skyland - A Landscape Texture Overhaul

Skyland upgrades the textures of roads, bridges and much more to a great degree. This mod makes the game look truly next-gen. The mod author says that this mod is compatible with any mod.

Enhanced Blood Textures

Enhanced Blood Textures

You’re going to be slaughtering many foes on your journey so might as well upgrade the blood textures, right? This is the best blood texture overhaul out there.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

This is a beautiful grass and tree mod. It covers all things foliage and will also add a lot of new plants. This is one of the best-looking mods for Skyrim, in my opinion.

Enhanced Lights and FX

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

This is the best lighting mod there is for Skyrim. It makes the lighting very realistic and immersive. It’s a must-have mod in any mod list.

AmidianBorn Book of Silence

This mod retextures weapons, armour, creatures and items.

Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water Two

This is probably the best water mod for Skyrim and it’s definitely the most popular. There are a lot of presets of water for you to choose from and it makes you want to jump into every water source you see.

Vivid Weathers

Vivid Weathers is one of my favourite weather mods for Skyrim. It makes the look of the game more vibrant and vivid, as the name itself implies. There are a ton of new weathers and it really is the ultimate weather mod for Skyrim.

Vividian ENB SE

Vividian ENB SE

This beautiful ENB was made to work well with Vivid Weathers and more weather mods. But really, ENB presets are up to personal preference and you can choose whichever you want as there are a ton of them.

Sound/Audio Mods

Improving and overhauling the soundscape of a game is often overlooked by gamers. These mods will make the game more immersive and atmospheric.

Immersive Sounds – Compendium

This mod adds a lot more sound effects and greatly overhauls the existing ones as well. This is the best audio overhaul mod for Skyrim, so look no further.

SSE High-Quality Voices

SSE High-Quality Voices mod vastly improves the voices of characters, making for clearer and better-sounding conversations. Use a pair of good headphones and this mod’s effect will be truly felt.

Immersive Music

If you’re tired of hearing the same music tracks from Skyrim, this mod will improve your experience significantly. The music from this mod is lore-friendly and is as beautiful and atmospheric as the vanilla game’s music.

Weapon and Armour mods

Immersive Weapons

Immersive Weapons

This fantastic mod adds a lot of new lore-friendly weapons to the game, vastly improving variety. It’s one of the most popular and most downloaded weapon mods.

Immersive Armors

This mod is made by the author of the previous mod. Immersive Armors is the most popular and most downloaded armour mod for Skyrim.

Gameplay Mods


RaceMenu mod

This might not be considered a gameplay mod, but creating the perfect character is part of the gameplay in my opinion. After all, we all take at least three days to create a character, right? RaceMenu adds a ton of new options for you to create a good-looking character.

Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers

The Stones of Barenziah quest is one of the most tedious and tiresome quests in the entire game. This mod adds markers for the locations of these gems.

Skyrim Reputation

The mod name says it all. It adds a reputation system to the game and characters will react to your behaviour.

Immersive Citizens – AI Overhaul

This mod greatly improves the AI of NPCs and they act more human and less like robots. It also makes the characters more interesting.

First-Person Combat Animation Overhaul 2.0

Adds a lot of new animations to the first-person combat to make it more dynamic and fun.

Immersive First-Person View

Enables you to see your character’s body in the first-person mode. Also works while on horseback.

True Directional Movement

Unlike the above two mods, this is for the third-person perspective. It allows the character to move more like a human and less like a robot.

VioLens – A Killmove Mod

The title says it all. It adds more cool killmoves.

Ultimate Combat

This mod makes the combat much, much better. Enemies have better AI and it makes you think tactically in combat situations. Be mindful that it makes the combat harder as well.

Epic True Fus Ro Dah

The name of this mod is so awesome. It replaces the boring shout of the vanilla game with the epic and thunderous shout from the trailer.

Ultimate Shouts

The lore-accurate Dragonborn can shout with more power than a maths professor when you haven’t done your homework. This mod adds more power to your shouts, making the Dragonborn actually lore-accurate.

Thundering Shouts

This mod makes the Dragonborn’s shouts sound thundering.

JK’s Skyrim

JK's Skyrim

This is one of my favourite mods. It adds new details and architecture to every major city. Completely lore-friendly.

Cutting Room Floor

This mod restores a lot of cut content from the game.

Miscellaneous mods

Here are some miscellaneous improvements for the game. Not essential, but will surely make your experience much more fun and engaging.

Sovngarde – A Nordic Font

Replaces the vanilla font of the game with the beautiful font displayed in the above picture.

A Quality World Map

The A Quality World Map mod makes the map a pleasing sight to the eyes.

Wearable Lanterns

Wearable Lanterns mod Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Your own light source that will be a lifesaver inside dark dungeons.

What do you think are the best Skyrim Special Edition mods? Let us know on the forums!