The Best Markarth Mods for Skyrim (All Free)

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Markarth is one of the weirdest cities in Skyrim.

Despite the civil war, dragon attacks, and other major events in the province, the people of Markarth seem to have bigger problems of their own.

This jungle of stone and orange metal couldn’t feel farther from the rest of Skyrim.

I’ve never been a fan of spending time in Markarth, but I was able to make my time there more enjoyable with some great mods that improve the city and make your trip there worthwhile. Let me show you some of the best I’ve come across.


10. City Entrances Overhaul – Markarth

City Entrances Overhaul – Markarth Skyrim mod

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One of Markarth’s most remarkable features is the entrance – something you miss if you get there by accident after going out to drink with Sam Guevene during A Night to Remember.

Markarth is a fortress city. It’s supposed to be impregnable!

The entrance sort of reflects that, but I don’t know if it’s enough with the menace of Forsworn or dragon attacks looming over the city.

City Entrances Overhaul – Markarth by JPSteel2 explores what a truly fortified Markarth could look like. The new walled fortress is colossal, armed to the teeth, and manned by the bravest Markarth soldiers.

But if you want to run CEO Markarth with any of the following mods, an increased compatibility version is available here.


9. Markarth Side Refine

Markarth Side Refine mod for Skyrim

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A critical aspect of improving cities that you could easily overlook is the populace itself.

Vanilla Skyrim NPCs aren’t exactly ugly – this isn’t Oblivion – but most of them could definitely use a shower and some conditioner.

Markarth Side Refine beautifies almost every single character in The Reach, so they match your equally attractive modded Dragonborn.

The mod remains faithful to each NPCs original concept, but refines their facial features, fixes up their hair, and makes them easier on the eye.


8. JK’s Skyrim

JK's Skyrim Skyrim mod

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JKrojmal’s fantastic city overhauls have been a staple of Skyrim modding for ages.

JK’s Skyrim brings together all of his projects into a single mod for a quick and easy overhaul of every settlement – including Markarth.

This mod leans into Markarth’s Dwemer aesthetic while completely transforming the smithy area, adding new buildings, and changing the décor to give the city a more prosperous look.

It also introduces some well-placed landmarks that make it easier to navigate the city from memory.


7. MRF’s Markarth

MRF's Markarth mod for Skyrim

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A great and simple way to improve the look of a city without messing with its basic structure is by replacing the textures with better, more detailed alternatives.

MRF’s Markarth gives the city a beautiful and realistic look with parallax textures that add depth to irregular surfaces and better reflections to Dwemer metal.

The retexture extends beyond Markarth and into the Dwemer ruins underneath, a nice touch.

Other than the higher-quality textures, I love the addition of moss here and there. Skyrim must be pretty humid, and if people can thrive in Markarth, so can moss!


6. Clevercharff’s Markarth & Dwemer Ruins

Clevercharff’s Markarth & Dwemer Ruins Skyrim mod

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Another fantastic visual mod you can’t miss is Clevercharff’s new 4K & 2K textures for Markarth and the Dwemer Ruins within.

This add-on adds depth and detail to the stone.

It looks meticulously carved rather than mass-produced.

You even get to choose what color the carved accents are in the city!

Another highlight is the new Dwemer metal, which looks a lot more metallic.


5. Sky City – Markarth Rising

Sky City – Markarth Rising mod for Skyrim

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Usually, you’d think of Markarth as a primarily underground city. There are catacombs, Dwemer ruins, and presumably tons of other facilities we just don’t get access to in the game.

Sky City Markarth Rising by Reindeer51 flips the concept around by developing the city vertically. Instead of assuming there are more buildings underground, we see them rising far above us, embedded in the mountains like everything else in the city.

You’ll see towers and fortifications, Dwemer machinery, and architectural features that sell you the idea of a large and bustling city.

This mod shines for being extremely easy to pair with other overhauls since it keeps to the higher areas of the city.


4. Greater Markarth Expansion

Greater Markarth Expansion Skyrim mod

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One of the most recent additions to the pantheon of awesome Markarth mods is Greater Markarth Expansion by Domenicus.

This new overhaul aims to improve Markarth without overshadowing the vanilla city or making it more cramped than it already is.

There’s a lot to discover, like a new tavern and a bakery, but my favorite addition is the new watchtower. What a view from up there!

These natural-looking structures fit the vanilla aesthetic and don’t draw your attention away from Markarth’s classic buildings.


3. Frankly HD Markarth – The White City Redux

Frankly HD Markarth – The White City Redux mod for Skyrim

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One thing that really disappointed me about vanilla Markarth was how mundane everything felt despite it being one of the most hardcore cities in Skyrim lore-wise.

I think part of the reason was the uninspired textures. They weren’t great in Dwemer ruins, and they didn’t work any better for an entire city.

FrankFamily’s Frankly HD Markarth (and Dwemer ruins) is the perfect add-on to make The Reach more epic.

These textures are detailed, crisp, and more three-dimensional than their vanilla counterparts.

Make sure to check out the Parallax version if your rig can handle it.


2. Frankly HD Markarth & Dwemer Ruin Expansion

Frankly HD Markarth & Dwemer Ruin Expansion Skyrim mod

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Frankly HD Markarth has been the gold standard for a long time.

You can’t go wrong with it!

Still, it’s easy to find a couple of textures that could have used some improvement and were sadly overlooked.

Creator Kulharin took matters into their own hands and put together a complete Markarth & Dwemer ruin retexture by filling in the gaps in Frankly HD Markarth with textures from other mods.

Note: it still requires the original Frankly HD Markarth to work, so it’s considered an expansion.


1. Skyland Markarth

Skyland Markarth mod for Skyrim

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We’ve taken a look at some fantastic mods already.

But none have really challenged Bethesda’s vision for the city.

Skyland Markarth by JohnRose81 provides all-new textures that aren’t afraid to stray from the same earthy tones in every other mod and vanilla Skyrim.

The result is a wholly renewed city that elicits a very different feeling from the visitor.

Rather than old and oppressive, Skyland Markarth looks like a sun-bathed historic Greek town you’d want to vacation in.

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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.