This is a comprehensive list of over 400 mods and utilities that make Skyrim great again!

Every mod on this list must meet the following standards:

  1. Lore friendly, at least in some crazy way.
  2. Enhances the game in some original way.
  3. Stable, no crashing your favorite save.

Not all of these mods are at the top of the endorsements list, I hope you’ll find many hidden “gems” that you would have otherwise overlooked. Skyrim 2020, in hindsight you shoulda just came here.

On a side note: A good portion of these mods are simply SE ports and therefore the Oldrim link to the original author’s work is not included. The people who made the original mod and whomever ported it to SE are not always the same author. Please stop by the original author’s page and endorse thier work, without them we wouldn’t have some of these mods at all.

0 “MUST HAVE’S”

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  1. Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch – A comprehensive package with thousands of fixes and patches for various bugs.
  2. Cutting Room Floor – Restores much of the cut content that was unreleased by Bethesda.
  3. Alternate Start (Live Another Life) – Many cool new ways to start the game off instead of the boring old carriage ride.
  4. Dawngaurd – Official DLC that greatly expands the original games vampire and werewolf system.
  5. Hearthfire – Official DLC allows you to purchase land and build a sweet home.
  6. Dragonborn – Official DLC enter the world of Solstheim as you battle to determine whom the true “Dragonborn” really is… (on a side note, #’s 4,5,6 on the list should be a no brainer if youre gonna buy Skyrim buy the DLC too…)
  7. SkyUI – Changes the menu system to a much more coherent and effecient interface, also many mods rely on it’s function to work properly.
  8. A Quality World Map – Highly detailed, down to the roads, map of Skyrim. There’s a reason it has 60k endorsements…
  9. Run for your lives – Citizens will book it inside when either dragons or vampires come a knockin.
  10. The Paarthurnax Dilema – No spoilers here, expands the conclusion to the blades quests.
  11. SKSE– Placement on this list does not signify importance as seen here… SKSE enhaces the games ability to run scripts, MANY mods rely on this.
  12. Mod Organizer 2 -Of all the mod managment tools out there MO2 offers the most stable format by far.
  13. BethINI – A utility that optimizes your INI files, enhances stability and allows for manual INI configuration.
  14. LOOT – Places your active mods in the correct order for you, There’s a reason you’re reading off of the “MUST HAVE” list right now.
  15. SSEEdit – Allows you to effectively edit mods without the CK (Creation Kit). Also used to clean mods of errors.
  16. WryeBash – Have multiple mods installed that effect your leveled lists? It’s ok we all do, that’s why god erm…. the WryeBash Team, created um WryeBash. Bash em all together and have all of them work at once.
  17. Merge Plugins – Have multiple plugins that you think should be combined into one? Well guess what this utility does.

1 ARMOUR

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  1. Immersive Armors – Ummm yeah… There’s too much to say… Just F$%king grab it and like it.
  2. Guards Armor Replacer SSE – Every hold’s garrison looks unique. This, this is what skyrim guards should have looked like from the start.
  3. Pauldron – Remember Morrowind? This makes shoulder armor a thing again, fully enchantable, craftable and found seemlessly on npc’s everywhere.
  4. Tail Armors – Beast races rejoice! No longer will you freak out like Goku when your tail gets hacked at, we got you covered now.
  5. Bandolier – Bags and Pouches Classic – Craft bandoliers, side pouches, wearable tomes (enchantable too)…. This will become a staple in your load order.
  6. Witcher Armour and Shields SSE port – Cd Projekt RED the creators of “The Witcher” graciously allowed thier assets to be used in mods… Some smart modders accepted and thus was born this beautiful integration into Skyrim.
  7. Warmonger Armory – Unofficial Fixed SSE Port – Takes the vanilla armors and mashes them together into new sets. Like Splendor does for dragons, but with armor.
  8. Templar Set – Creates some true crusader styled armors, shields and weapons give it a peek.
  9. Arma Thalmoris SE – Thalmor = Dope. Your Aldmeri foes look like bad@sses now.
  10. Daedric Armor and Weapon Improvement – High end improvements for high end armor. Graphically speaking of course. Oh daedric weapons are covered too, just like it says in the na……
  11. Ebony Armor Reshape – This mod makes the ebony set gloriously beefier. Que a battle against the ebony warrior now and you’ll Fuz Ro Dah in your pants.

2 COMBAT

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  1. Display Enemy Level – Just like the name says, the helpfulness in combat this simple tool affords is next to none for it’s simplicity.
  2. 3PCO – 3rd Person Camera Overhaul – If you enjoy playing the game and fighting while in 3rd person then this mod is something you didn’t know you needed till now.
  3. himika’s lock on – A lock on system goes well with some of the other combat overhauls on this list.
  4. Mordhau – A Halfswording Mod – Completely original idea here, only those truly skilled in swordsmanship need apply.
  5. Weapon Shields SSE – Another really fun mod, makes shields usable as weapons. Can be found on enemies as well.
  6. Scoped Bows SE – Adds some stylish new sights to ALL vanilla bows. Makes them feel really unique, professional and BADASS!

3 CREATURES

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  1. Skyrim Immersive Creatures Special Edition – If there was one mod and one mod only that you could have, this would be it. To say this mod adds dozens of new creatures, events, armour, weapons, challenges, unique battles, new spells……. would be a disservice. All of your load orders will be based around using this mod once you try it.
  2. All Dogs Go To Sovengarde (ADGTS) – The only mod of my own making that is featured in S22. Adds many different types of dogs as pets… Nameable as well. Oh and theres cats too, npc’s also have pets.
  3. Beasts of Tamriel – Over a hundred new creatures and critters logically placed throughout Skyrim. This is what passion looks like in modding.
  4. MIHAILMODS – The only mod author on S22’s list. Mihail’s multitude of monsters are not packaged in a single unit they come individually for now… If you don’t know about Mihail’s works you will very soon.
  5. Diverse Werewolves Collection SE – Between werewolves wnd werebears there are now over 400 new types of enemies to encounter.
  6. Animallica SE – Skyrim Wildlife Overhaul – Wildlife without animallica in Skyrim is just wrong. Like anything that came out after the black album is just wrong.
  7. SkyTEST – Realistic Animals and Predators SE – The beasts of Skyrim behave more like they would in real life, makes improvements across the board to all wildlife.
  8. Monster Facial Animation (MFA) – Werebeasts and Vampire Lords can now move thier mouths when making sounds. Immersion? Check!
  9. Real Wildlife – Skyrim SE – Adds over 490 new types of wildlife to encounter on your travels.
  10. Improved Fish SE – Pondfish and bigger fish now have much more diversity, many new types of fish to find.
  11. Wild Herds of Skyrim – Adds 4 herds of horses that wander throughout their territory.
  12. Creepy Zombies – Some really freaking good models of zombies that are hand placed and also added to leveled lists.
  13. Open World Bosses – 7 new world bosses for your pleasure.
  14. Pets Kingdom SE – Adds cats, dogs, beavers, rats, rabbits and raccoons as possible pets. Highly recommended for all you animal lovers.
  15. The Walking Draugr – When anyone dies they now will come back as a zombie…. I dig it!

4 DRAGONS

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  1. Cinematic Dragon Soul Absorption – Makes killing dragons feel oh so much more epic and satisfying.
  2. Splendor – Dragon Variants SE – Uses bits and pieces of the vanilla dragon models to completly overhaul the visual appearance of every dragon, you’ll hardly ever see the same dragon twice.
  3. Jurassic Dragon Roars – Dragons sound like something that would make Jeff Goldblum shit his pants now.
  4. Bellyaches New Dragon Species SSE – Adds more types of dragons to the game, uses vanilla skills and hand places many of them so it’s highly compatible with other dragon mods.
  5. Diverse Dragons Collection SE (DDCse) – There can be no mention of “New dragon types” without this lunker! This mod adds twenty eight brand new, cool as hell looking types of dragons with unique abilities that integrate seemlessly through leveled lists.
  6. Dragon Stalking Fix – Stops dead dragons from following you around and randomly falling from the sky and landing halfway through the ground.
  7. KS Dragon Overhaul 2 – “Pimp my dragons!” That’s the best I got to describe this mod… The best.
  8. Immersive Dragons – Increases the wingspan of the scaley one. If you didn’t need a bigger boat before, you will now because these wings put mothra to shame.
  9. Deadly Dragons – This is a complete overhaul for dragons very similar to KSDO2. There are too many features to list here, go try this one out for yourself to truly appreciate it.
  10. Ultimate Dragons SE – The way that combat with dragons takes place will dramatically change, adds new animations and mechanics plus it’s highly compatible.
  11. Immersive Dragon Sounds -iDS- SSE Port – Professional quality, adds intensely real sounds to Skyrim’s winged ones.
  12. Talkative Dragons – YOU ARE DOVAKIIN. Other Dov know this and speak to you while whoopin up on you.
  13. Dragon Animation Replace in Special Edition – After 1,000’s of playthroughs, this adds much needed freshness to dragon movements.
  14. Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer Pack (SE) – Bellyaches second dragon entry makes dragons truly beautiful to behold.
  15. Dragonborns in Skyrim – Highlander meets Skyrim. It was fortold that you were to be “The Last Dragonborn”, now prove it.
  16. Serio’s Enhanced Dragons – Become the ultimate dragon slayer. Whole new gameplay and challenge to hunting dragons.
  17. True Dragon Born OR Truly Absorb Dragon Souls – We got a twofere… Both do the same thing, make you stronger when you absorb a dragon’s soul. One is for SE and the other is reported to work fine for SE and it’s not an esp which rocks however it is an Oldrim mod.
  18. Enhanced Mighty Dragons V4 – When the Sands of Time team tackles dragons this is what you get. If you see a dragon with this mod installed, run, just run.
  19. Elemental Dragons Special Edition – Replaces vanilla dragons with new elemental spewing mostrosities.
  20. Chaos Dragons SSE – Vanilla dragons are something to fear now, not to mention the 45 new dragons this mod adds… yeah that’s not a typo…. 45… mind = blown….

5 FIXES PATCHES & UTILITIES

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  1. Skyrim Skill Uncapper – Unlocks skill levels and allows for customization of skill progression… In barney’s terms that means you can make skills like enchanting a little less painful to level up. It’s also a DLL Plugin btw.
  2. Fuz Ro D-oh (I just got that by typing it out.) – SKSE64 plugin that allows mods to have dialogue for their content, even without a voice actor. Many mods rely on this.
  3. SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin) – Fixes many different bugs, also can enable achievements using this amongst many other things.
  4. xSHADOWMANx’s Dll Loader – DLL’s are a type of plugin similar to an SKSE plugin in the fact that it will affect your game without consuming a precious mod slot.
  5. Keyboard Shortcuts Fix – Want to turn the volume up or need to adjust your brightness on the fly? This nifty plugin allows all of your keyboard shortcuts to work while the game is running.
  6. Achievements Mods Enabler – Alternative method of enabling achievments.
  7. SSELODGen – Generates distant objects (LOD) such as trees, rocks, boats, buildings and the like. Can’t express enough how spicy this can make your game look.
  8. Remove Map Camera Limits – Just what the name implies, now you can zoom in as far as you want spin the map in any direction.
  9. Better Sleep Wait Menu – Now you can wait anywhere from 72hrs up to 31 days. Very useful for respawning dungeons.
  10. Peacekeeper – Do your followers try and establish who’s alpha? Annoyed by accidentle friendly fire battle royals? This is the easy way to stop unwanted bickering between your followers.
  11. Lockpick Pro (KenMOD) – Tired of picking locks after your ten thousandth playthough? Yeah so are alot of people, Download this and never struggle with a lock again.
  12. LoadTime UI tweaks – Want faster load times, no annoying intro video no menu fog? Grab this. Greatly improved my load times.
  13. Critical Correction – Did you know that you actually do NOT deal critical hits? Neither did I. (yes I know about the couple exceptions) Now you do.
  14. More Accurate Collision SSE – A zealous overhaul of many in game objects’ collision meshes, meaning if it looks like you can fire an arrow through it you now can without hitting an invisible barrier.
  15. Universal Fog Remover – So Morrowind was fun but Skyrim needs to be seen. Can remove that nasty Morrowind sight blocker called fog.
  16. Quest Conflict Fixes – Prevents many quests that would otherwise break another quest upon completion from doing so.
  17. Bethesda Archive Extractor – Utility that allows you to open up “BSA’S” useful for mod creators and modders who want to tweak specific aspects of a BSA.
  18. SSE NIF Optimizer – Executable file that allows the porting of NIF’s (textures) from Oldrim to SSE.

6 FOLLOWERS

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7 GAME CHANGER

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8 GAME MECHANICS

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  1. Universal Race Scale Remover SSE – Removes a sometimes jarring body-size modification that occurs when npc’s use certain animations.

9 GRAPHICS

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10 HOUSES, HOVELS & HOTSPOTS

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  1. LC_Build Your Noble House – Locaster has many mods similar to this where you can build your own fiefdom and rule over it.

11 IMMERSION

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12 MAGIC

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  1. Andromeda – Unique Standing Stones of Skyrim – New cool & unique standing stone abilities allow for different ways to play your character.

13 NEW ENCOUNTERS

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14 NPC MAKEOVER

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15 QUESTS AND ADVENTURES

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16 SENSORY EXPLOSION

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17 SPICE OF LIFE

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  1. More Painful NPC Death Sounds SE – New death sounds that are much welcome after killing 100k plus bandits.
  2. Reflection – Level Up Messages – In the spirit of Oblivion and Morrowind this mod adds none other than reflective messages every couple of levels. Spicy, no?
  3. Face to face conversation – Adds a simple camera zoom when talking to other characters that makes you just more uhmersed.

18 TOOLS

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19 TRAVEL

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20 WEAPONRY

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  1. Oblivion Artifact Pack SE – Brings back memories… It also brings back LOTS of weapons/armor/clothing/shields from both Oblivion and Morrowind in a logical manner. Will not bring back your wife after she leaves you for playing with another modlist for Skyrim after coming to Skyrim2020.
  2. Artifacts of Skyrim – Adds 15 new & unique artifacts across the game, adds a much needed level of freshness.
  3. Zim’s Immersive Artifacts – Vanilla Skyrim’s artifacts and unique gear got overhauled. This will become a staple in your load order once you try it.
  4. Unique Uniques SE – Not as expansive as Zim’s and where Zim’s focus is on attributes with a few texture changes, UU’s approach is focused on visual changes.
  5. Penobscot War Bow – The world’s first compound bow now in Skyrim. No detail was spared in this little gem.
  6. Royal Armory – New Artifacts – Adds dozens of shiny new weapons…. to the games most important npc’s. It actually makes tons of sense, but part of me wants them all to myself.
  7. Immersive Weapon Integration – This is a unicorn, something heard of only in fairytales… When dozens of modders allow thier work to cohabitate together into one single cohesive mod. 621 new weapons are to be had fellow adventurer.
  8. Thane Weapons Reborn – If you, like me, didn’t care less about the thane weapons… you will now.
  9. Heavy Armory – New Weapons – Takes pieces of the vanilla weapons models and mix & matches them into over a hundred new types of whistling bungholes, spleen spliters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker dont’s, cherry bombs, and nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick.
  10. Weapons of the Third Era SSE – A bunch of new swords are added to leveled lists. Did I say they were exquisite examples of what a good modeler can create?
  11. Immersive Weapons – Not to be confused with #7, this is another quality mod done by Hothtrooper same bloke that brought you Immersive armors. This mod dominates the weapons genre on nexus, get it you won’t regret it.
  12. Skyrim SE Expanded Skyrim Weaponry – All sorts of new types of weapons… Halberds, quarterstalves, mauls, shortswords, hatchets and more.
  13. InsanitySorrow Weapons Pack – Dozens of new hand crafted weapons distributed via leveled lists.
  14. Animated Armoury – Integrates new weapon types such as halberds and rapiers AND new animations for said weapons.
  15. Legendary Skyrim Crossbows SSE – The go to crossbow expansion we’ve all been waiting for. Adds in new crossbows for factions and most weapon types.
  16. Northpoint Realistic Armory – Coming outta nowhere, this author made a bunch of really sweet looking weapons and shields.
  17. Fancy Bows – Adds some of the coolest looking bows I’ve ever seen in any game.
  18. Staff of Sheogorath (Fully Voiced) – Adds a really unique staff that when used the daedric lord Sheogorath will shout at your enemy temporarily freezing them in fear.
  19. Fulcimentum – More Staves and Wands of Skyrim – After all these years magic users finally get some love. You have got to see the high quality work put into the 9 new wands and 9 new staves.
  20. Hammerfell Armory SE – Speaking of areas long neglected, Hammerfell can finally represent! Adds weapons, shields and bows to various redguards and to crafting lists as well.

21 HONORABLE MENTIONS

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  1. Monster Mod SE – A killer mod that adds tons of new creatures items and content plus is still actively updated… where it is found wanting is in the immense bugs missing textures ctd’s it’s plagued with, plus some creatures arent exactly “Lore Friendly”.
  2. Charizard – Pokemon Dragon – Charizard, being the coolest Pokemon, definitely deserves some recognition.
  3. RAB Blue Footed Boobies – Adds some boobies (SFW) to lake illinalta, and it reminds me of a cherished endangered specie while I’m losing myself in Skyrim. SAVE THE BOOBIES!!!