The Best Economy Mods for Overhauling Skyrim

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One thing fantasy novels, films, and video games tend to overlook is the economy. Skyrim is no different.

Nobody stops to ask themselves what Ulfric’s tax policy would be if he became High King or how much it costs to ship Black-Briar Mead from Riften to Solitude.

As such, the economic system in Skyrim is basic and stable.

Merchants will always have around the same amount of gold and sell the same items, and there is zero price fluctuation among merchants.

Well we’ve curated this list to help lift the Empire’s fixed price policies and breathe new life into Skyrim’s economy.


10. Master Trader

Master Trader / Skyrim mod

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You’ve just cleared a particularly profitable dungeon and become over-encumbered from all the treasure.

Thinking with your coin pouch, you slowly walk back to the closest merchant, losing 20 minutes of your time.

When you arrive, they lack the funds to buy even a fifth of your carry. You’re still over-encumbered, and the nearest merchant is the next town over.

This was my everyday life before getting Master Trader, which gives merchants a lot more cash to buy trinkets. If they run out, exit the menu and ask them again to find their gold replenished.


9. Gold to Septims (with Weight)

Gold to Septims (with Weight) / Skyrim mod

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Some people love to make the game more difficult in the name of immersion and realism.

The Gold to Septims mod does just that by adding a very modest weight to each gold piece.

This forces the player to mind how much money they’re carrying. You can no longer keep 20k gold pieces on you at all times because that would weigh a ton.

It’ll provide an incentive to invest in real estate (so you can store all your cash and valuables). Alternatively, you can try the following mod.


8. Google’s Imperial Bank

Google’s Imperial Bank / Skyrim mod

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Banks have been a staple of the European economy for over 600 years, and banking-like services existed way before that.

So, why wouldn’t there be a bank in Tamriel?

Google’s Imperial Bank brings a modern banking experience to Skyrim with savings accounts, interest rates, and loans! Just talk to a court steward, and they’ll hook you up.

If you want, there’s an optional paper currency module. With it, you can carry way more cash without employing slaves to carry your bags of gold.


7. Evolving Value Economy

Evolving Value Economy / Skyrim mod

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One thing that makes the economy difficult to predict is that every action you take will have ripple effects on everything else.

Skyrim keeps things simple by focusing on giving each individual merchant the gold and items that make sense for their storyline and location – but what if we go a step further?

Evolving Value Economy simulates a real, living economy by considering factors like location, season, and even the stage of the Civil War to figure out what to give each merchant.

Not only does it feel more immersive, but it opens the possibility of effectively roleplaying a traveling merchant now that item prices vary from hold to hold.


6. Real Economy of Skyrim (Trade Caravans)

Real Economy of Skyrim (Trade Caravans) / Skyrim mod

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Here’s another option for a complex economic simulation in Skyrim.

This mod attempts to breathe life into Skyrim’s economy by having merchants in every hold travel around the country, affecting supply and demand and altering prices.

Something I love about this mod is that the merchants physically move between holds in real-time. They even have an entourage of guards to protect them and their wares.

Whether you’re looking for realism or want to roleplay a bandit, this mod is a must-try.


5. Precious Metals Refined

Precious Metals Refined / Skyrim mod

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As global markets spiral into chaos and currencies waver, investors worldwide are increasingly turning to the classics: silver and gold.

This mod lets you do the same in Skyrim by making gold and silver ingots much more valuable.

It also allows players to smelt smaller, lighter ingots called “halfweights.” You’ll need several of those halfweights to smelt normal-sized bars, now worth a lot more cash.

You’ll also be able to mint your own septims by combining gold halfweights and corundum at a smithy.


4. COIN – Coins of Interesting Natures

COIN – Coins of Interesting Natures / Skyrim mod

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Speaking of minting coins…

I always found it bizarre that you can find the exact same gold pieces down in Dwemer mines as you can in Draugr-infested catacombs – and they’re the same design that circulates in modern Skyrim.

Realistically, each of these cultures would have its own coinage. That’s where COIN comes in.

This mod introduces six new currencies into the game, including the Ancient Falmer Malari, the Dwarven Nchuark, and the Thalmor Sancar.

Each has its own exchange rate with gold pieces, but don’t worry about the details. Just pick them up, and they’ll translate to gold in your inventory!


3. Bandit Economy

Bandit Economy / Skyrim mod

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Have you ever wondered who will buy all those cursed artifacts and magical weapons you’re selling to a shady merchant in Riften?

Bandits, that’s who.

Bandit Economy faces the Dragonborn with the consequences of their actions by distributing some of the weapons and armor you sell to merchants among the local bandit population.

For the most part, it’s just fun and immersive – but sometimes, you’ll run into a bandit with an epic health-draining katana.

Get this to learn about the ethical implications of arms dealing in unstable countries.


2. True Medieval Economy

True Medieval Economy / Skyrim mod

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True Medieval Economy is one of the most creative economy mods in the whole wide internet.

This mod does everything in its power to make life in Skyrim feel like everyday life in medieval Europe by matching the prices of food, weapons, armor, and other items to the historical record.

You’ll also notice a change in wages and – most importantly – the price of bounties, which is way lower in vanilla Skyrim.

If the Middle Ages aren’t your favorite time in Europe’s economic history, check out True Renaissance Economy.


1. Trade Routes: Regional Economy

Trade Routes: Regional Economy / Skyrim mod

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Trade Routes: Regional Economy is my favorite supply-and-demand simulator for Skyrim.

Like some other mods we’ve covered so far, it creates immersive changes and fluctuations in the price of items based on location and availability of each item in the region.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Item supply is also dependent on the region. Not only will some herbs and materials be more or less expensive in certain holds, but you won’t find many outside of particular areas.

The author implemented these changes to allow the player to engage in a traveling merchant mini-game.

It’s a great way to make money and learn more about every hold in Skyrim.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.