The Best Alternate Start Mods For Skyrim (All Free)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
I can’t understand role-playing games sometimes.
On paper, they offer you the freedom to be whoever you want.
But in reality, you’re stuck within certain limitations to always play as the hero who saves the world. And I hate this: I want to be the villain sometimes!
While no amount of modding can make us play as the villain in Skyrim, there are many mods that provide us the means to play as characters other than the Dragonborn. This lets us experience the unforgiving Nordic world through the eyes of other characters.
Is it something good to do?
Let’s find out together, shall we:
10. Role-Playing Alternate Starts – Vjorn
The world of Skyrim can be unforgiving for the common man.
But it’s also a world of endless possibilities for those who dare.
This custom Vjorn alternate start mod puts you in the shoes of Vjorn, a simple citizen that joined the ranks of the Silver Hand to avenge his father.
Armed only with the most basic of gear, you’ll have to wander out into the world with no guidance to find your father’s killers.
And possibly, your destiny.
9. Alternate Starting Equipment
Alternate start mods aren’t all about new origin stories and backgrounds.
Some of them are all about new equipment choices!
This custom equipment mod introduces new choices to the starting equipment that will make your early game way more exciting – especially if you’re planning to be a mage right from the start.
Instead of having to rush to Riverwood to get some advanced spells, all you need to start kicking ass and taking names is to open the Confiscated Items chest and pick your poison.
Or rather, the poison that will obliterate those early game, low-level mobs that are so annoying to deal with!
8. Skyrim Through The Eyes of a Child
Experiencing Skyrim through the eyes of characters who are not the chosen savior of the world definitely sounds interesting.
Until you realize that these new eyes aren’t able to enter the pub for a drink.
But this is a pretty cool alternate start mod, and I know it sounds like true hell made video game.
Skyrim is definitely not a good place for children.
But fate is unrelenting, and so these poor children are forced out of their home, hoping to solve the mystery behind their beloved father’s death. And they can’t even pray to the Dragonborn for help: the Helgen incident, sadly, never happened.
Talk about having bad luck!
7. Alternate Starting Factions
Ever wondered how different Skyrim would feel if the starting questlines were influenced by the earliest decision you can take in the game?
Wonder no more, and experience this yourself with this Alternate Starting Factions mod
The name gives it away, but yeah it lets you play through a faction-related quest in a faction-related location with faction-related starting equipment.
That said, once you’re past the starting quests, the game plays like it always did these past 11 years.
Would love to see this mod expanded in the future, because it’s an awesome one.
6. New Life
In life, you constantly have to beat the odds to achieve your goals and become the person you want to be.
But not just in life, mind you. In Skyrim too.
This mod approaches the alternate start concept in a very interesting way, and it’s almost entirely lore-friendly.
It features nine different save files that provide players with nine different new lives for the reborn Dragonborn to live and enjoy – specifically after he saved the world.
Time to prove to the world you have what it takes to succeed at a normal boring life!
5. Hall of Beginnings
Welcome to the Hall of Beginnings, where everything is possible and the gods like toying with our souls.
The Hall of Beginnings is a very interesting alternate start mod that gives you the option of living different lives with different starting locations and stats – but also gives you the chance to turn Skyrim into a roguelike game, with permanent death and total loss of progression.
And if you’re tired of starting all over from the beginning upon death, you’ll be able to make one of humanity’s dreams come true and become an invisible ghost that can’t be stopped by anything or anyone.
But that’s only because no one can see you. Still and interesting concept!
4. Skyrim Unbound
New starting locations are cool and all, but why do they limit our starting choices?
Thankfully, not all of them do!
This Skyrim Unbound mod is among the best alternate start mods currently available for Skyrim.
It grants the highest amount of freedom too, as it lets you choose your starting weapons, gear, spells, starting location, starting time of day, and even if you want to begin playing right from the start as a vampire or a werewolf.
Better yet, you can still decide to become the Dragonborn and play through the game normally at any time!
What else could you ask for?
Well, how about an additional mod called Skyrim Unbound Reborn?
3. Random Alternate Start
Think you’re the luckiest person on the planet?
Try your hand at the Random Alternate Start mod, and then discover how lucky you actually are!
This mod lets you boot up a new game pick from 21 different loadouts, before throwing you into a random location in Skyrim.
This is definitely not something to be happy about, as you may be thrown into a dangerous area with nothing more than starting equipment and spells!
But if you still manage to survive and complete the hurdle, then I’m sure your legend will grow beyond than that of the Dragonborn.
2. Dialogue Fix for Alternate Start
The original and self-named “Alternate Start” mod is definitely an amazing one for Skyrim.
But the game is so massive that the modder didn’t manage to take care of every single detail.
Here’s one such add-on that offers a quick fix to dialogues.
And I’d consider it an essential mod to download if you’re planning to complete a proper Alternate Start playthrough.
It fixes dialogues and scenes to remove all references about dragons and Dragonborn, which make absolutely no sense if you’ve decided to experience Skyrim as a lowly grunt out to make his or her own fortune in a harsh world.
1. Alternate Start – Live Another Life
And finally, the pinnacle of them all.
Alternate Start – Live Another Life is (clearly by the name) an alternate start mod for Skyrim. It provides you with multiple choices in the beginning that’ll let you live a life different than that of the Dragonborn.
So, what exactly sets this mod apart from all the others included in this list?
All the choices you make at the beginning of the game matter in the starting quests, and for the entirety of the adventure!
The changes introduced here are so well put together that I could have told you this was an official overhaul, and you might actually believe it.