Skyrim Review: The Best Mods This Side Of 2020

Abbey Freehill
5 min readAug 5, 2020

Since its launch in 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been a game that is constantly receiving a new lease on life because of a dedicated modding community. There are people who think that the ‘vanilla’ experience of Skyrim — what modders and players the untouched copy of the game — is too ‘vanilla.’

It is true, of course. For those who have already finished the game, mods add new dimensions for another playthrough. For those who have yet to finish this game, adding mods give a different look and feel once you journey in. Of course, it is still advisable to complete the game without the use of mods, but once you experience it, it’s a whole new Skyrim. Almost as if mods are turning this age-old Bethesda game into what it’s meant to be, cuts and all. Did you know that there is a mod that also does just that?

Bethesda has encouraged players to modify the game for a more immersive experience, but that’s not a reflection of their shortcomings as a developer. It’s just how invaluable the game is to the community. And of course, there are still mods that are as indispensable as the vanilla game itself. So without further ado, here are mods that are still great even in 2020.

The Must-Have Skyrim Mods

  1. Unofficial Skyrim Patch — Mods or no, you should always download this for your copy of the game. There are a lot of things that Bethesda may have overlooked as they rushed the production and development of Skyrim to meet deadlines. The Unofficial Skyrim Patch fixes almost all bugs and errors that the game is prone to. Even more, the patch is also a must-have for modded games, so players should definitely get it.
  2. Sky UI — This is a must for many mod users because it organizes the clunky UI of the vanilla game. Are you a packrat, or do you have a habit of collecting many items before committing them to your home and chest? Get SkyUI. It’ll make the organization of all your items much easier!
  3. FXAA Injector — This mod is best for low-end PCs. Skyrim was meant to have a more colorful world than the monotone grays and the overall drab look of the place. FXAA Injector helps you get improved color tones without putting too much strain on game performance.
  4. Cutting Room Floor — This is the mod to have if you plan on having additional content from Bethesda. This mod adds content that was deleted from the final version of Skyrim. It’s a mystery as to how the mod creator got them, but it returns them in a way that they still fit right into the vanilla version of Skyrim.
  5. Bethesda Performance Textures — Most Skyrim players won’t have high-end rigs from the get-go. This mod lets players have a better experience within the game. It shows minimal yet still noticeable changes to armor, clothes, and weapons. It lets you bring the best details out of the game without adding more weight to rendering graphics.

Variable Mods

  1. Immersive Patrols — This mod combines more item drops and additional difficulty. The game populates Skyrim with roving patrols of different factions, making it seem more alive and immersive. Dawnguard patrols, prowling bandits, and even Imperial and Stormcloak patrols may clash with your character at a random event.
  2. Warzones — In regular Skyrim, the land is in the middle of a war and yet it doesn’t feel like it. Warzones flavors that feeling by adding regular battles that can happen randomly. This ranges from small-scale skirmishes to larger full-blown battles
  3. Ultimate Followers Overhaul — Also known as UFO, this mod is a must for people who value fighting with more than just one companion. It’s still an awesome mod even if players don’t have the need for a small band of comrades of their own.
  4. A Quality World Map — If you find yourself always getting lost within the game, this map will help you get around the province easier. It creates a detailed copy of the game’s vanilla map and adds roads.
  5. The Choice is Yours — This mod lets you choose which quests you want to do, and which quests you want to drop by selecting a different dialogue option. If you want to play as a Daedric slave or a truly free Dragonborn, then you should get this mod.
  6. Immersive Weapons and Armors — These are separate mods that have been made with a caring and painstaking degree of detail. Immersive Weapons adds over 250 weapons and 21 archetypes, while Immersive Armors adds the chance to finally see where that troll hides.
  7. Towns and Villages Enhanced — Out of the many different mods that give towns and settlements in Skyrim, this one is a good try. Towns are given more flora that give more color to the game.

Honorable Mention

LC_Build Your Own Noble House

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own settlement in Skyrim, this mod gives you the chance to do so. Players start out with a tent and a small shed in the wilderness. You’ll get the chance to build it up with resources you get from quests until it grows into a village. This includes a house for you and your family.

As time passes by, it’s not surprising if Skyrim receives more content. Would players grow tired of it? Only time could tell. But a game with as many mods as it has will always remain fresh for its loyal fanbase.

Originally published at on August 5, 2020.