11 Best Animation 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).
Animation mods are extremely popular in Skyrim. Not only because people use them to create better cinematics, but also because many casual players like to improve the animations of the game to make it feel smoother.
There’s a surprisingly large number of mods that aim to do similar things, though.
And I don’t want you to go around like a headless chicken installing random mods hoping for the best. That should be my job!
So I’ve compiled a list of the absolute best animation mods to really improve Skyrim.
Bear in mind that most of these mods should work perfectly fine with Skyrim SE, though some are not tested to work with the traditional version of the game. Back up your files before installing.
11. Fores New Idles
Fores New Idles is basically the mod of all mods, as it enables many of the animation mods on Skyrim to work as intended.
As a mod itself, this one is very difficult to install and you really have to know what you’re doing.
Thankfully the guy who created it has included a tutorial video in the description. Actually, just check the mod page because there’s about 5+ video tutorials and they’re all really helpful.
See this one as a tool, though. Not as much of a mod, but a tool for modding.
FNI is what will let you install other idles animations in Skyrim so this is a must-have, but also not exactly the best animation mod you can find. But definitely start here!
10. FNIS Sexy Move
So this mod is the solution to that problem every Skyrim player has: all women seem to walk the same.
Why does your wife walk like your warrior friends, man? It makes no sense.
This mod, which has a bit of a cringey name, does improve the way all females move in Skyrim. And makes it so you can actually see the difference between the walk styles of women and men in the game.
No longer will you have to see women walk in the most uninspired way possible. Now every woman in the game will have a much realistic walk style to give far more immersive values into the gameplay.
9. Immersive Animation
If you want to have your game filled with new animations and reinvigorate the way Skyrim looks without altering the “vanilla essence”, this is the mod for you.
The main purpose of Immersive Animations is to make character movement feel much more realistic than it does in the base game.
However, it also aims to keep things faithful to how Bethesda intended TES to look.
You can consider IA to be an overhaul of the game’s base animations, without feeling out of touch with the game itself.
Some mods change the essence of Skyrim. This one reinforces it.
8. The Dance of Death
Oh my effin’ God, yes!
This is by far the most hyped I’ve ever been for an animation mod in my life.
I mean, just check out the video the guy linked in his upload.
The kill moves that this mod adds to the game are absolutely insane. If you have a warrior and you want to see some epic kills, get this mod installed ASAP.
7. Female Facial Animation
All human-looking female characters will get better face animations with this add-on.
The eyes and lips will move in a much more realistic manner, as will all types of brows and the cheeks.
It’s a massive improvement that is sure to make your game even better than vanilla Skyrim.
I recommend installing this mod if you have custom female characters in your game, or if you use a lot of beauty mods. It seems to be tailor-made to work perfectly with custom females.
6. Skyrim Hair Physics Project
This might not have much of a difference overall, but if you’re truly looking to see those beautiful hairs waving as you move… well you might want to give this one a go.
This mod simply enables hair movements by allowing custom physics into the animations.
It does look quite cool, I have to admit!
And funny enough, this also works with hair mods for Skyrim too!
5. Feminine Running Animation
Gone are the days of your characters moving around looking like a plank – especially if you’re playing as a woman.
This mod adds a custom animation that replaces the traditional Skyrim running movement with a much more girly animation.
Quite adequate for most of you who play females – and it does wonders for immersion.
4. 360 Walk and Run Plus
Yes, this mod adds a feature that virtually every single Skyrim player has always wanted to see: moving your character towards the edges of the screen without losing sight of what you’re looking at.
This move tweaks the way movement works and allows you to have a better perspective of your character when playing in third person.
It may not seem like much at first.
But once you get used to this being installed you’ll never turn back.
3. YY Anim Replacer
This is a very specific mod, as the creator states that it better suits battle mages or people who use a weapon in one hand and magic in the other.
But it’s still definitely worth a try if you’re up for it!
It does improve animations drastically, as the traditional Skyrim animations for hand + magic combos are a bit weak.
They often feel separated when they shouldn’t. This mod fixes the issue vanilla has, along with improving very minor but noticeable differences.
2. Animated Dragon Wings
ADW adds a set of beautiful dragon wings to your character.
The wings react to most animations in the game and respond to them accordingly in the most natural way possible. Neat!
Feel like a sexy dragon traversing through the skies with the Flying Mod, also available for free.
They combine quite well.
1. New Animation for Magic Casting
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a battle mage, a wizard, a necromancer, or merely someone that casts spells very sporadically.
This mod is a must-have.
It changes the way animations look when you cast a spell, making them much more natural and smoother than they are in the base game.
It’s such a huge difference that I really do believe it deserves this spot on my list. Just try it out and you’ll see what I mean.