Best Mods For Realistic Gameplay: Skyrim

Tanim Hasan
By Tanim Hasan
11 Min Read
Credit: Bethesda Game Studios

Skyrim has one of the best modding communities in any game. They have come with quite a few mods that make the gameplay of Skyrim even more realistic.

Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim was one of the biggest games that came out of Bethesda Game Studio. The game came out back in 2013, but it still has an active community. Part of the reason the game is still so popular is its modding community. Bethesda has always supported its games with community mods. Thus, there is a big modding scene that can drastically change your gameplay in Skyrim.

Over the many years that Skyrim has been in the hands of the players, the modding community has achieved some crazy mods. But the game, being almost 10 years old at this point, is starting to show its age a little. But the moderators also have a fix for that. So, here we will discuss some of the best mods that will make your Skyrim gameplay more realistic.

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Best Mods for Realistic Gameplay in Skyrim

1. Total Character Makeover

Skyrim, being an older game, is starting to show its age. One aspect of the graphics you can improve with this mod is the character details. This mod changes the NPC appearance and details to something realistic while not changing too much so that they look like they are out of place for the game. So it is a good mod to have if you want more realistic gameplay.

2. Enhanced Lights and FX

The lighting used in Skyrim is pretty okay for its time. But now that we have a better technique for lighting, it does look a bit outdated. Enhanced Lights and FX don’t change the lighting source as a whole, but they do change some texture and model to make the light look more realistic while keeping the base intact.

3. Real Clouds

Real Clouds is a weather mod for Skyrim that focuses on clouds and rain. With this mod, the clouds will look and behave more realistically. You will be able to see the clouds in the distance, and if you are lucky, you can even catch rain in the distance with this mod. As a result, it will enhance immersion while playing the game.

4. 2K Textures

2K Texture updates the texture of the game. This mod changes Skyrim’s sky, water, architecture, reflection, and many more. As a result, the game looks significantly better. And the best part is that it can do all of it without compromising the performance of the game.

5. Static Mesh Improvement

The 3D models of Skyrim look pretty old at this point. One way to improve that is by changing the mesh model in the game. Static mesh improvement does exactly that. As a result, any static objects you can find in the game will look better than the original game.

6. Sounds of Skyrim

Sounds of Skyrim doesn’t change any sound or improve it. Instead, it adds hundreds of new sounds to the game for different biomes. Whether you are in a dungeon or in the middle of a jungle, you will hear new sounds that will enhance your gameplay. So this is a good mod to use.

7. Glorious Doors of Skyrim

As you will have to interact with a lot of doors in Skyrim, the doors will have to look good for the game to be more realistic. Glorious Doors in Skyrim improves all the doors in the game. So next time you open a big door, you can look at it in all its glory, thanks to this mod.

8. Realistic Water Two

Realistic Water Two significantly improves the water in Skyrim by adding various effects to it. The water in this mod has some ripples and waves in it. The mod also re-textures the water to look more realistic. As a result, the game looks more realistic and feels better to play.

9. JS Lockpicking UI

Lockpicking is one thing you will do a lot in Skyrim. And the default texture for these locks is pretty bad. Thus, this mod tries to fix that by adding new texture and improving the locks’ look. That way, you don’t have too look at the bad graphics lock while you do the lockpicking.

10. Skyrim Flora Overhaul

Skyrim Flora Overhaul is one of the best mods if you want to change up how the work looks. This mod makes the tree break longer, the grass taller, and sometimes changes the placement of different trees to make room for new flora. As a result of this mod, your game will look a lot more beautiful while you run around the world with your horse.

11. Enhanced Camera

In Skyrim, you cannot actually see your own body while in first-person camera mode. While it may not be too bad for some people, it can break the immersion for someone who notices. The enhanced camera makes sure you can look down to see your own body while you are playing in the first-person view.

12. AmidianBorn Book of Silence

This mod has a collection of high-quality textures for your different unique items. The mod has a better texture for different armor and weapons, including all the ones that are part of the Dragonborn DLC. So, if you want your DLC items to look good, this is the mod you will need to install.

13. Unofficial Skyrim Patch

Even though the game is pretty old, it still has some bugs that can hinder your gameplay. Fortunately, the modders have made a patch that fixes pretty much all the known bugs you can face in Skyrim. It is one of the best patches in Skyrim, and for immersive and realistic gameplay, it is a must-have so that you don’t run into unintentional bugs in the game.

14. Immersive Citizens

The artificial intelligence for NPCs in Skyrim was good when it came out. However, it has not aged that well today. As a result, if you look closely, it can actually break immersion in the game. Immersive Citizens fixes that problem by tweaking the citizens to act more naturally in any situation.

15. Realistic Ragdolls And Force

Ragdolls can be one of the funniest things in a game. But at the same time, ragdolls can break immersion. Since we are trying to make Skyrim more realistic, the ragdolls’ physics in the game also need some improvement. This mod changes how force and ragdoll work in the game to make it more realistic.

16. Fishing In Skyrim

For a game on the scale of Skyrim, surprisingly, it doesn’t have any fishing. This mod aims to change that. Fishing in Skyrim adds fishing mechanics to the game, which players can engage with between their missions.

17. Simplicity Of Snow

A good part of the map in Skyrim is covered with snow. The snow in Skyrim doesn’t look that good by today’s standards. Simplicity of Snow tries to change the snow texture to look better than before. It also changes the behavior of snow so that it appears more realistically around the world of Skyrim.

18. A Quality World Map

This mod helps Skyrim’s map become more lively. That being said, the map in Skyrim, for its purpose, works great. However, since we are talking about improving the overall feel and gameplay of the game, this mod is a good addition. All the points of interest and roads are significantly better looking in this version of the map. Also, there is a paper view option built into the mod if you want your map to look like the one from Oblivion.

19. Majestic Mountains

Skyrim has a large number of mountains in the game. From a distance, these mountains may look like paintings instead of actual mountains. Majestic Mountains change the texture of the mountains so that it actually looks like they are made of rocks that are in the distance instead of looking like someone painted them.

20. Underground – A Dungeon Texture Overhaul

Dungeons are something you will need to visit constantly in Skyrim. The game, being so old, does have pretty immersion-breaking textures in these dungeons. This mod gives all the textures you can find in a dungeon a high-definition treatment. As a result, the dungeons in the game will look better than ever.

Bonus Mods to Make Skyrim Look Better

Some other mods that you may want to check out if you are trying to make your game look the best are:

Tanim Hasan is a Guide Writer at GameRiv working on various games which consists of mostly new releases. His favourite genre is Hack and Slash, and Souls Like. But he is open to play any game regardless of the genre. So he has experience with most genres of games.