The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, developed by Bethesda Game Studios, was released in 2011 and continues to see a thriving community of gamers and modders a decade later. The world of Skyrim modding is a core element of the game’s longevity and replayability value. Hundreds of mods are created daily that fix gameplay glitches, enhance graphics, and add plenty of additional content to the massive game. As a longtime Skyrim player, I’ve used hundreds of mods over the years, and I thought it would be a great time to highlight some of my favorite underrated mods that don’t get talked about very often.
Ready your longswords and toss a coin for your Witcher (oh wait—wrong franchise). Here are five underrated Skyrim mods you need in your next playthrough.
Audiobooks of Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls universe offers rich lore to players, and Skyrim is no different. The game features a staggering 337 readable books players can collect. The books don’t take too much time to read, but wouldn’t it be great if you could take the books on the road with you to fight dragons and explore dark and sinister Nordic tombs crawling with the undead? Audiobooks of Skyrim, created by mod author Bassna, lets PC players do just that.
With this mod, there’s no need for third-party applications or fiddling with voice commands. Simply install the mod, open a book, letter, or journal, and sit back and relax as the world of Skyrim’s lore comes alive like never before. Audiobooks of Skyrim is still being updated as more files are created for the game’s massive library of books, but this mod is one that now has a permanent place in my load order.
More to Say
The NPCs of Skyrim are a varied bunch with plenty to say, but after hundreds of playthroughs, they start to feel a little stale as you hear the same conversations over and over again. Yes, I know Ysolda…you want to be a merchant like the Khajiit. Here’s your mammoth tusk. Again. Yes, Nazeem, I do go to the Cloud District. More than you ever do!
Mods like Immersive Citizens fix this by adding new behaviors to the NPCs’ routines, while other mods add lines of dialogue. More to Say is a simple, fully-voiced mod that adds greetings and miscellaneous lines using the game’s original audio files. More to Say, created by mod author abramcf, has so many neat little aspects to that make it feel unique. Players can now ask priests and priestesses for their blessing, talk to city guards about their postings and settlements, brawl with NPCs, complete quests, and many other additional features.
Castles in Skyrim are non-existent, replaced by towering forts, ancient crumbling ruins, and surprisingly underwhelming homes for the noble folk. It’s disappointing, especially considering how important castles are for the tone of fantasy. There are plenty of castle mods to download, but a lot of them are overly huge with too many loading screens and weird little glitches that break immersion.
Castle Valdmire, created by mod author Ld50365, is a perfectly sized, vampire-inspired home that contains plenty of storage, weapon racks, mannequins to display your vast collection of armors, room for your followers and families, a garden, a treasury, and many more features that make it one of my favorite mods ever. Players can claim the castle as their own once they kill the vampire Lord Valdmire, who lurks deep within the caves hidden beneath the castle. Castle Valdmire is located outside the plains of Whiterun, near the Western Watch Tower, making it an ideal location to call home.
Courier Delivers to NPCs
All this mod does is make it so the infamous courier, who will follow you to the Gates of Oblivion and back just to get that damned letter into “your hands only” delivers letters to NPCs. Godspeed Skyrim NPCs…you have no idea what I just unleashed on you. Only kidding. You may be wondering, why even bother with this mod? Look—I like my games to feel alive. I love to be IMMERSED!
Courier Delivers to NPCs, created by Pickysaurus, makes the game feel even more immersive as events happen around you that you have nothing to do with. I love seeing the NPCs thank the courier and then tip him for his services. We make fun of him a lot, but the Skyrim courier is one dedicated fellow.
NordwarUA Total Armor and Weapon Compilation
NordwarUA Total Armor and Weapon Compilation, created by mod author NordwarUA, is an admittedly massive graphics overhaul directed at Skyrim’s weapons and armors. The redesigned armors and weapons are beautiful to behold and lore-friendly.
I’ve used NordwarUA’s retexture mods before because I love the attention to detail and the new designs. The mod is a compilation of all of NordwarUA’s retexture mods, making it easy to give your game a facelift all in one go. Because of its size, the mod takes time to download, but trust me—the wait is worth it.
Do you have a favorite underrated Skyrim mod that should be on this list? Let me know in the comments. For all things Elder Scrolls and pop culture, check out my website! Stay nerdy.