Skyrim: 10 Best Overhaul Mods, Ranked

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Like anyone still playing Skyrim after more than a decade, I’m passionate about the land of the Nords and the different cultures that make their home there.

I’m always looking for mods that’ll give me a new perspective or change something about the experience to make me feel the wonder of discovery that I felt the first few times I played through The Elder Scrolls V.

There are many exciting up-and-coming projects, such as Skywind and Skyblivion, but only a few of these large projects have borne any tangible fruit.

If you’re on the lookout for overhauls and total conversions that you can actually play through instead of just wondering when they’ll finally be released, you’ve come to the right place.


10. Skyrim Flora Overhaul

Skyrim Flora Overhaul / Skyrim Mod

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Most of your time in Skyrim is spent traversing the vast expanses of the northernmost province of the Empire.

The Skyrim Flora Overhaul creates a more sophisticated and immersive reproduction of the natural world with 18 new tree types, over 65 new kinds of grasses and smaller plants, and much taller trees.

You’ll also notice more tree density, allowing you to live out your own “Into the Woods” fantasy in Skyrim.

With over 180 new textures for trees, plants, and grasses, you’ll feel like you’re heading into uncharted territory even if you’ve cleared the game several times already.


9. The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal

The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal / Skyrim Mod

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According to Todd Howard, the next entry in The Elder Scrolls will take place at least partially in the desert region of Hammerfell.

As a die-hard TES fan, I can barely hold my excitement – even if the (doubtful) release date is rumored to be 2025.

One way to process some of this Hammerfell fever is by playing through The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal, a beefy quest mod that takes you out of Skyrim and into this sandy landscape.

This DLC-sized mod includes new quests, NPCs, and an entirely new desert area with cities and dungeons ready for you to explore over 8+ hours.


8. Skyrim Redone

Skyrim Redone / Skyrim Mod

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Gameplay is the infrastructure around which developers weave stories and build worlds – and changing it can do a lot for a game’s replay value.

Skyrim Redone is an invitation to tackle the entirety of Skyrim again with essential changes to races, perks, standing stones, combat, and survival in general.

Some of my favorite changes are the increase in enemy variety and enhanced combat AI. Stamina is now much harder to manage, making combat more exciting and less exploitable.

And the best part?

It’s all modular, so you can choose what you want and what you don’t.

This mod also includes many compatibility patches to high-profile mods, some of which we’ll cover later in this ranking, which is a total win for those of us with extensive load orders.


7. MediEvil: Hero of Gallowmere (LE)

MediEvil: Hero of Gallowmere (LE) / Skyrim Mod

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MediEvil is a classic hack-and-slash title from 1998 starring Sir Daniel Fontesque – a heroic skeletal knight who comes to the rescue when the evil sorcerer Zerok takes over the kingdom of Gallowmere.

Fans of this PlayStation classic will love MediEvil: Hero of Gallowmere, a DLC-sized expansion to Skyrim Legendary Edition that recreates the first four levels of the game.

It features gorgeous hand-crafted landscapes that truly take me back to the PSX classic.

The ambiance, puzzles, Halloweeny soundtrack, and unique equipment – including your own detached arm – set this apart from the base Skyrim experience. It’s something entirely new!


6. Skyland – A Landscape Texture Overhaul

Skyland – A Landscape Texture Overhaul / Skyrim Mod

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If you’re really looking for an all-new perspective on the whole Skyrim experience, you have to take a look at Skyland – A Landscape Texture Overhaul.

This mod brings custom AAA quality textures for Skyrim’s landscape, all generated from photogrammetry data for a realistic, almost life-like look.

These high-resolution textures cover almost the entirety of the game. They are a must-have if you’re playing the game on a relatively powerful rig capable of handling Skyrim Special Edition’s native 4K.

Any screenshots taken with this texture pack give National Geographic a run for its money.


5. Chanterelle – A Savage World

Chanterelle – A Savage World / Skyrim Mod

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If you play Skyrim for the survival element or just to immerse yourself in a captivating natural world from the comfort of your living room sofa, you’ll love Chanterelle.

This mod sets itself apart from other “new land” mods by focusing 100% on nature. There are no traces of any living civilization in the entirety of Chanterelle – only ruins inhabited by hundreds of different animal species and beautiful custom flora.

Chanterelle is a spacious area perfectly suited to camp, hunt, explore and simply live the life of a nature survivor without worrying about dragons, civil wars, or anything of the sort.


4. Beyond Reach

Beyond Reach / Skyrim Mod

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Suppose you’re bored of playing through the same Dragonborn adventure in Skyrim repeatedly.

In that case, you might be interested in taking a vacation in High Rock.

Well, calling Beyond Reach a “vacation” might be a little misleading.

This mod introduces an extensive, 20h+ adventure set in the High Rock side of The Reach. It features complex and deeply emotional quests with new NPCs with unique dialogue, factions, over 25 dungeons, and more.

Curses, plagues, and human struggle are the protagonists of this somber story, which strays dramatically from Skyrim’s glorious heroic adventure.


3. Combat Gameplay Overhaul

Combat Gameplay Overhaul / Skyrim Mod

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Combat was probably the most criticized aspect of Skyrim back in the day.

You just equip the best weapon you can, swing at your enemy until your run out of stamina, then open your menu to chug potions or eat copious amounts of food so you can keep battering your foe.

If you’re looking for something more nuanced, the Combat Gameplay Overhaul will change your life.

This mod introduces dodge rolls, leaning, grip changing, mid-air combat, and even allows for dual-wielding of two-handed weapons, which I’m sure many of you will go wild for.


2. Legacy of the Dragonborn

Legacy of the Dragonborn / Skyrim Mod

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Legacy of the Dragonborn revolves around one of the Skyrim community’s favorite in-game activities: hoarding and collecting.

It introduces a massive museum in the capital of Solitude dedicated to the life and work of the Dragonborn, which you’ll have to fill up slowly throughout your playthrough. You’ll also get a new skill, Archaeology, making it progressively easier to uncover more artifacts.

There’s also a new faction – The Explorers Guild – and a complex main quest revolving around ancient relics.

The museum even features display space for some of Skyrim’s most popular mods, which integrates them and helps you write your own story relic by relic.


1. Enderal

Enderal / Skyrim Mod

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So far, I’ve covered extensive overhauls and expansions.

But there’s really only one genuine total conversion for Skyrim, and it’s impressive.

Enderal can barely be called a mod.

Playing through it, it’s indistinguishable from an entirely new game.

It runs on Skyrim’s engine, but everything else is almost 100% original.

You’ll explore an expansive, fleshed-out open world with its own history and lore. The landscapes are hand-crafted with incredible attention to detail and include dry deserts, dense forests, humid jungles, and much more.

The classes and skills have been overhauled, as have the housing system and survival mechanics.

One of the best aspects has to be the intriguing story and its multi-faceted, very human characters, waiting to be discovered over 120 hours of top-notch gameplay.

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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.