Skyrim really took the cake this year. With its awe-inspiring gameplay, much improved combat and leveling system, and a fresh new look, it's no wonder the game has already received a Game of the Year award. But for hardcore gamers, the fun may be over. You've played the game for thousands of hours, and have exhausted the entire game's main and auxiliary quests. You need more.
PC games have a distinct advantage over console games in that they can be freely modified when the developers allow it (and sometimes, even when they don't). This is called modding. A mod consists of a file or files that are meant to replace, modify or expand parts of the game. You can modify anything, from graphics, to story line, to interface. This is a great, free way to add hundreds of hours, if not more to your game—and your experience. Let's check out some of the cooler mods for Skyrim.
- Windows OS
- Skyrim installed
The Nexus mod manager is a must have tool that allows you to manage all of the mods in the Bethesda games. It grants queued downloads of many mods simultaneously and tells you when they have updates—it even allows you to pause and resume them.
By far, the most absolutely killer mod for Skyrim. This mod enhances the graphics in the game with completely redesigned textures. These new textures are four times the resolution of the originals! Take a look, you won't be able to pass it up. It didn't even lower my framerate.
This mod couples nicely with the 2K textures. This changes ground flora graphics and enhances them to 1028 or 2024 resolutions.
Skyrim4GB is a tool to load Skyrim with the Large Address Aware executable flag set so the entire 4GB Virtual Memory Address Space can be used by the game. This means that the game caches more data and runs everything far smoother. A definite must if you need a performance increase.
Note: This is now included in the latest patch!
This mod changes the default NPC graphics for faces to a much sharper and more defined alternative. This adds a lot to the immersive element of the game. The NPCs almost look real.
This mod adds an unbelievable amount of extras to the game. New armor, weapons, spells, companions, quests, houses and more! It's almost like the first illegitimate expansion for the game. My only beef with it—most of the graphics are recycled. By this, I mean they use the same helmet and rename it as something else.
This immersive HUD does just that—immerses you further into the game. Its a smart heads up display system that disappears when it isn't needed, intelligently—when you have a nice, full, uncluttered screen. It really helps with focus on the game, and with spotting enemies before they spot you. It may even help you find treasure!
If you find that the default look of the colors in Skyrim could afford to be a bit more intense, then this is definitely the mod for you. It makes the game look better with no performance loss.
Breathtaking is the only word that I can use to describe this mod. It replaces the default night sky textures with your choice of a few other cluster colors and start field densities. The results are more spectacular than the skies we have here on Earth.
The default objects and flora are a little cheesy. They look blocky and unappealing. This mod replaces them with high quality redesigns that make the overall game a lot more attractive. You can even pick the tree set types upon installing.
This replaces literally all original 29 outfits in Skyrim with 4x larger textures. The original garments looked pretty shoddy. Check out the improvement.
Keep your eye out for more great mods on the Skyrim Nexus. The official mod tool for Skyrim will be out soon, that means that we will see a huge increase in mod volume.
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