• Essential Skyrim Mods



    GND-Tech Presents: Essential Skyrim Mods!

    Okay. With this guide we'll be showing you what mods to get in order to make Skyrim a much more beautiful and enjoyable experience! We'll go over mods that will make Skyrim look better than real life....mods that will enhance the gameplay...and mods that aren't really needed, but just fun or cool to have.

    Installing mods is easy! Most of them are just dragged and dropped into your Skyrim\Data folder, but always read the README file included with the mod. It has that name for a reason.

    Manual installation is always the safest route. Ignore other guides that list hundreds of incompatible mods and tell you to use Nexus Mod Manager, as this is what leads to problems. Manual installation is just drag and drop, anyone can do it. BOSS autosort is worth a try, but usually doesn't get it right. For load order help, read the readme file with included mods. But essentially, ESM files should be at the top of the load order (when clicking on Data Files in the Skyrim launcher, or in Skyrim Mod manager), and all ESP files below it. At the bottom of the load order you should have WATER and related compatibility patches, with RCRN right above it. The load order for the rest shouldn't matter.

    For some gameplay videos using these mods, look here.

    BE SURE TO READ THE DESCRIPTIONS FOR EVERY MOD, AND READ EVERY PAGE OF THIS ARTICLE IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE ERRORS AND MAXIMIZE AWESOMENESS!


    Comments 78 Comments
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Really cool story bro! I was working on this guide, and then I took an arrow in the knee. Good mods here and even I picked up a new one.
    1. Joe's Avatar
      Joe -
      Awesome work guys! I gotta get me a load of those graphics mods, they look awesome!
    1. Boombear's Avatar
      Boombear -
      Great write up, these are all superb mods! There are also sooo many good ones on the Steam Workshop, and they're definitely worth a look!
    1. strudinox's Avatar
      strudinox -
      Epic guide you two. Should be a helpful place for someone new to modding to start.
    1. Kew's Avatar
      Kew -
      Gotta get the realistic colours mod
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Updated with new mods! New RCRN version, new Dragonbone weapon pack, enhanced view distance textures, replacement for Dark Brotherhood shrouded armor, Dragon Falls Manor, both Sounds of Skyrim parts, and maybe some others I don't remember.
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      Check it out, we've updated it with a bunch of new awesome mods!!
    1. Lhotse's Avatar
      Lhotse -
      i noticed your follower mods and remembered seeing this horse mod recently that's been getting 5 stars. i don't like followers and the last thing i want to do is babysit their horses too but maybe someone else might like it.

      http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...53&searchtext=

      also, i found this Diamond Weapon Smithing mod that looks realy nice, although i'm gonna get the Chrysamere mod tonight.

      http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...44&searchtext=

      * although i've had the Dragonbone Weapon mod for a while and made a few things, i never really cared for the aesthetics of the weapons or the armor. it's just ugly to me and Daedric is just so must better in every way.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lhotse View Post

      * although i've had the Dragonbone Weapon mod for a while and made a few things, i never really cared for the aesthetics of the weapons or the armor. it's just ugly to me and Daedric is just so must better in every way.
      Yeah Daedric armor and weapons are slightly better than Dragonbone weapons, except for the few dragonbone weapons added by Jaysus swords. Those are better than Daedric weapons. Chrysamere is the best two handed weapon in the game by far, it has the best perks and most power when upgraded, while weighing less than most two handed weapons (16 weight, mine has 670 damage).
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      - Added note about system requirements, for use with all of the listed graphics mods at 1920 x 1080 or larger. You need a video card with at least 2GB VRAM. Any less will cause the frame rate to drop to a single digit after a while. This FPS drop won't be immediate, but it will happen. It can be delayed by using the command pcb every few minutes, but it can only be delayed for so long.

      Jester needs a new video card.
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      Yes, it seems to be a problem only with the 2k Texture mod, but in my opinion it's worth the little bit of hassle. Use the console command pcb as often as you can and it can be delayed quite a bit. But if you have 2GB of VRAM or more, you're fine.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Yeah when using pcb, you can delay the lag for hours! The 2k texture mod recommends a card with at least 1.2GB, so I'm thinking it's a combination of all of these graphics mods causing the really high VRAM usage.
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      Updated it with a few more mods, swapped out Hypothermia for Frostfall.

      Added new info about Ambient Occlusion and tips on Anistropic Filtering.
    1. Lhotse's Avatar
      Lhotse -
      it's not a mod but i saw no sense in starting another thread just for this...

      http://www.bethblog.com/2012/07/30/s...l-steam-users/
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Yeah, hopefully this means Dawnguard is soon to follow.
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lhotse View Post
      it's not a mod but i saw no sense in starting another thread just for this...

      http://www.bethblog.com/2012/07/30/s...l-steam-users/
      Lol could of just posted it in the Dawnguard thread..?

      But yeah, 1.7 is out, so Dawnguard is probably soon to follow.
    1. Lhotse's Avatar
      Lhotse -
      i'm thinking of getting rid of my High Res Texture Packs 1 & 2 DLC and Enhanced Distant Terrain mods from the Steam Workshop for this...

      http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/11/

      and this...

      http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/9163

      after seeing this..



      and a the few other screenshots from this person. the realism of the characters, as well as the water and landscape/lighting seem so much nicer than what i have now, which isn't much but could be better.
      i would keep the High Res 1& 2 DLC but i'm afraid they might conflict w/ the new mods.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      The ENB mod would conflict with RCRN if you use it. Judging by the pics on that ENB config, it looks terrible compared to RCRN so definitely don't bother. Look at those, and look at some of Enad's newer pics in the screenshot thread and you'll see how obvious it is. As for STEP, it's hard to find any info on what it changes. You can try installing it manually and see if it conflicts (if Windows asks if you want to overwrite anything).
    1. Enad's Avatar
      Enad -
      Yeah ENB is gross, use RCRN. Just check out my most recent screenshots in the Screenshot Thread if you want some examples.

      Step does too much stuff for me. It's not very good.

      High Res Texture pack really does nothing, and ENB doesnt effect any textures. If you want enhanced textures get Skyrim 2k, your 3GB VRAM will have no problem with it. Also for better water look for WATER. It's all in this exact modding guide, just look for it.

      We also recently added a stability mod that automatically does PCB-Purge Cell Buffer, this clears the memory cache, and no matter what your VRAM is, if you use mods this will fill up and cause stutter and crashes.
    1. Jester's Avatar
      Jester -
      Yeah, seriously just use everything in this guide.
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