Skyrim: Best Elf Beauty & Cosmetic Mods (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).
The first thing I noticed about elves in Skyrim was how alien they look.
I was expecting the beautiful and ethereal pointy-eared people of the Lord of the Rings, and what I got was very different and even a little grotesque.
In time, I came to appreciate them for the storied people they are – but you can’t tell me they’re “beautiful” by human standards.
I know many of you won’t rest until everything in your game is perfect. So I put together a list with the best mods to make Skyrim elves easier on the eyes.
1. Hi-Poly Female Elven Trio Preset Pack
My main issue with ugly elves in Skyrim isn’t having to interact with ugly NPCs but instead having to become hideous to play as any of these races.
What I mean is that you don’t have to fix every elf to make the game playable.
For example, the Hi-Poly Female Elven Trio by D7Rock88 gives you one humanized, beautiful girl of every elven race to play as.
Alternatively, you can use these presets to create custom followers.
I love these presets because they look different and unique compared to humans while remaining decidedly attractive by human standards.
It’s a thin line that this mod walks well.
2. Pale Elves
One thing that contributes heavily to the elves’ unsettling appearance is their skin’s unusual tones.
Unlike Dunmer, whose skin takes on decidedly alien tones like gray and blue, Bosmer and Aldmer have brownish and yellowish skin tones that don’t exactly fit an elf.
Being a Wood Elf doesn’t mean you’re made of wood – and I don’t even know why the Aldmeri are yellow.
Pale Elves by Caralampio makes their skin tones less saturated, giving elves in Skyrim a more traditional look.
Finally, I can play a High Elf without feeling like an oversized frog.
3. Aesthetic Elves
If you want to further embellish your elven population, you have to do something about that bone structure.
Why would an elf look so much like the Green Goblin? Wrong fantasy race!
Aesthetic Elves by Ruddy88 fixes this mix-up by modifying the base elf head all others are based on.
The changes include shortening the chin, making cheekbones less sharp, and giving everyone an actual jawline.
You’re left with less gargoyle-looking elves that’ll make your Skyrim a lot more appealing.
4. Elegant Elves of Skyrim
A different approach to making most elves in Skyrim attractive is surgically intervening individual NPCs rather than changing the race’s building blocks.
Metalsaber’s Elegant Elves of Skyrim beautifies many female elven NPCs with new face sculpting, complexions, and hair!
It also modifies some outfits to remove hoods and better showcase the character’s newfound facial beauty.
Some prominent characters that received this beauty gift include Riften Stormcloak steward Anuriel, Bosmer farmer Nimriel, and Dark Brotherhood mage Gabriella – but they’re hardly alone.
This mod affects a whopping 20 characters, missing only those already improved by the Bijin mod series.
5. Elven Preset Pack
Let’s face it:
Most of us struggle a lot when sculpting our Dragonborn’s face in character creation.
What are all these sliders? Why do some things apparently change nothing? How do I manage to make my character even more uncanny with every setting I mess with?
Free your mind of such worries and get on that cart to Helgen faster with this Elven Preset Pack by Araviss, introducing stunning elven beauty presets for Dunmer, Bosmer, and Aldmer women.
The Dunmer preset even has some scarification!
It shows how well-designed each of these presets is and how well they represent their race’s culture.
6. Ethereal Elven Overhaul
Almost ten years after it was first released, most people will still recommend Ethereal Elven Overhaul to anyone looking to beautify their elves.
This OG mod by Nuska changes almost every aspect of elf appearance across the three races.
It tweaks their features, bone structure, and complexions while also introducing a ton of new war paints and skin tints for character creation.
What makes Ethereal Elven Overhaul stand (out other than its scale) is how well it balances making elves more attractive, while preserving their distinct non-human appearance.
Just keep in mind that this is a Legendary Edition mod.
To use it in Skyrim Special Edition, you’ll need to apply the SSE Patch first. It’s worth the extra effort!