40 Amazing Must-Have Skyrim VR PC Mods To Make Tamriel Even Better

by David Jagneaux • April 17th, 2018

[Editor’s Note:] Since publishing this article our preferences for visual style and content have altered slightly and this article will not be kept updated to our current list of mods. All of the mods here are still recommended very highly, but if you want a full, current list of all 100+ mods we are running in Skyrim VR on PC, then you can find that list here.


Skyrim VR is an amazing game. It was already fantastic when it originally released on PSVR last year and now that it takes full advantage of the Rift and Vive’s more powerful hardware and improved controllers, this may very well be the definitive version of Bethesda’s timeless RPG epic fans have been waiting for. We certainly can’t get enough of it.

And even though Bethesda isn’t officially supporting mods for Skyrim VR, most of the Skyrim Special Edition PC mods do still work as long as they don’t rely on the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) and you’re okay with doing a bit more tinkering than usual. We’ve got a guide on using mods with Skyrim VR right here.

So now that we have Skyrim VR on PC and we’ve got mods, the question is which mods are the best? That answer might be a bit different for the VR version of the game so we’ve done our best to put together a comprehensive list of recommended mods, split into a few different categories. Our goal with these mods is to toss in as much as we can that still retains a lore-friendly approach to the game and will still feel like Skyrim, but just make it better and offer more.

The Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch

Download Link

Before you install any other mods you should grab this one. This fixes a bunch of bugs that Bethesda never got around to fixing and it applies to the VR edition as well.

Best Skyrim VR Graphics Mods

Skyrim 2017 Textures

This one is actually a collection of several different mod files, each of which address different areas of the games textures from the landscapes and bridges to cities and mountains. Definitely get them all. The better GPU that you have, the better your performance will be but the visual improvement is just absolutely worth it.

Flora Overhaul

Makes the plants and grass and trees look way better.

HD Road Signs

Road signs in vanilla Skyrim are almost unreadable and they just look downright blurry in VR. This fixes that.

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

Textures and meshes are two different things. You don’t really need to know the difference, but just understand that you’ll want this mod on top of the Skyrim 2017 Textures mod to address the areas that one misses.

WICO

Skyrim does not have the best looking character faces. It’s a fact that Bethesda still struggles to make a decent looking NPC. Luckily, modders are helping out with this nifty mod.

Realistic Water Two

This mod enhances all of the water throughout the entire game to make it look even better. Standing beside a peaceful lake or watching a cascading waterfall in VR is extremely calming. Make sure and grab the LOD fix as well.

Vivid Weathers

Once you’ve got the base visuals and textures enhanced, this mod is really the cherry on top. It will improve all of the weather effects and really make Skyrim feel like the dangerous wilderness that it is.

Realistic Light Overhaul (RLO)

This is the best and most comprehensive lighting mod, but it’s not 100% confirmed that it really works with Skyrim VR. I have it installed and don’t notice much of a difference, so maybe a better one is out there. This one is great for non-VR Skyrim though.

Enhanced Blood Textures

This mod is very customizable for the blood detail, color, and splatter size. I love cranking it up so that I feel like even more of a badass warrior while playing.

Best Skyrim VR Sound Mods

Sounds of Skyrim Complete

If you’re like me then you probably wish Skyrim had a bit more ambient noise. Chirping birds outside, creepy moans in dungeons, or the chatter of townsfolk all help make the game feel more immersive. This mod adds a ton of great, immersive audio to the game that felt missing before.

3D Audio

The default audio is flat and inaccurate in Skyrim VR. This fixes that.

Reverb and Ambiance Overhaul

Sounds are supposed echo and bounce off of surfaces. This mod helps everything sound and feel much more realistic.

Best Skyrim VR Immersion Mods

JK’s Skyrim All-in-One

This is another mod collection that adds a bunch of lore-appropriate detail to every city.

Lanterns of Skyrim

I always thought it was weird there weren’t many light sources around at night time, so this fixes that.

Obsidian Mountain Fogs

Sometimes the draw distance is a bit crummy with trees and mountains and other objects, so this actually adds some atmospheric fog in the distance around mountains. It’s a great effect and helps mask some of the draw distance issues.

Book Covers Skyrim

A lot of the book covers look like trash and are repeated throughout the game. This one makes every book and readable object unique!

Realistic Ragdolls and Force

Some people hate how dramatic the ragdoll can be in the base game, so this can tone it down for you. Or, if you’re like me, maybe you crank it up a little bit higher.

 

Magical College of Winterhold

This one just adds a bunch of minor magical-themed enhancements to the college to make it feel more like a proper Mage’s College.

Birds of Skyrim

This one adds a bunch of varied birds. That’s about it.

Immersive Citizens

This mod does a lot, but the short version is that it makes NPCs behave more realistically. Definite must-have for immersion.

Immersive Patrols

Adds lore-appropriate guards and soldiers to the overworld on patrol paths. They can help you in battle if nearby and even fight each other when they cross paths.

More Bandit Camps

Exactly what it says. Adds more bandits sprinkled around the wilderness.

Schools of the Holds

It always bothered me how isolated the College of Winterhold was, so this adds school outposts to the major cities.

Wards Act Like Shields

It never made sense to me why wards couldn’t block melee attacks — this made mages feel under-powered at times. This mod fixes that.

Best Skyrim VR Follower Mods

Amazing Follower Tweaks

This mod lets you take multiple followers, manage their outfits, spells, and combat style, and even assign them to a certain home and level up their skills. They’ll also ride horses, make camp, and even dance with you.

Inigo

Easily one of the best modded followers ever made for Skyrim. He’s fully voiced with tons of personality. Grab this mod if you want an excellent companion on your journey.

Sofia

If you’d rather take a female companion that’s less annoying than Lydia, Sofia is a good choice. She’s also fully-voiced and really well-done with a great sense of humor.

Best Skyrim VR Weapon and Armor Mods

Immersive Armors

Adds a ton of lore-friendly armor to the game, spread out throughout all of Skyrim, so you find it all naturally.

Bandolier Bags

Carry weight always feels too small? This is nifty lore-friendly way to increase how much you can carry by equipping bags.

Cloaks of Skyrim

Lets you and NPCs wear cloaks.  That’s it. I love this one.

Rustic Clothing

Adds more clothing variety.

Heavy Armory New Weapons

Lots of new weapons added to the game and spread out.

Lore Weapon Expansion

Same as before, but more.

Expanded Skyrim Weaponry

Same as the other two, but more still.

Zim’s Immersive Artifacts

Makes the artifacts in Skyrim more powerful and unique than before.

Best Skyrim VR Gameplay and Content Mods

Mihail Monsters and Animals

Mihail actually has a whole collection of mods that add all kinds of creatures, animals, and monsters. Look through the list and pick the ones you want.

Diverse Dragons Collection

More dragon diversity with unique models, textures, and even new abilities. Definitely makes things a bit more exciting.

Summermyst Enchantments

Enchanting is one of the most underrated but most powerful parts of Skyrim, this mod makes it even better.

Apocalypse Magic Spells

After spending almost seven years with the spells in Skyrim it’s time for a change. This mod adds 155 new spells that all feel lore-friendly without breaking the game. A lot of these abilities frankly should have been included to begin with and makes playing a mage way more fun.

The Notice Board

I’m a sucker for things that streamline my access to content, so this one just adds a simple notice board near each tavern that can assign the randomly generated Radiant Quests at will. Super nifty.

Now finally, before you play, make sure you follow these instructions to get the mods set up correctly and then download LOOT to sort and organize them into the correct load order. Then you should be good to go!

That’s it for this list. There are thousands of mods for Skyrim out there, many of which work with Skyrim VR, so we can’t possibly include them all here. For more suggestions check out this stickied thread on the game’s subreddit.

We left out large quest mods, location expansions, or major overhauls because those typically alter the game and throw in non-lore-friendly content, so we intend on doing follow-ups to this article to focus on some of those larger standalone expansion-style mods instead.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know down in the comments below!

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  • Hone McBone

    How are the shouts activated in Skyrim VR? I’m not that far in the game yet but I’m tempted to install ‘ThuuMic – Use your mic for dragon shouts’.

    • Just a button press and that’s a great idea! I’ll have to try it.

    • drd7of14

      I can’t believe Bethesda (or whomever handled both the PSVR/PC ports) didn’t think to include mic support for dragon shouts. It’s like they never played the game before.

      The fact that it wasn’t there in the PSVR version at launch, or since, is inexcusable. The fact that they can’t simply read user’s complaints that it’s not there, and too not include it in the PC port is just mind boggling, especially when you see how simple users modded it in (with pre-existing mods).

      I just don’t get how they consistently fail with the Elder Scrolls/Fallout series time and time again…

      • Bundy

        I’m with you there. All the headsets have mics. Just seems like such an obvious choice. Hopefully the community mods will work without too much trouble.

  • impurekind

    So, let’s say I get Skyrim: How do I go about applying these mods?

    • Bundy

      There’s an earlier article with a link to the reddit page that has instructions.

    • ummm…

      i just did it and ive never used nexus mod manager, or loot. it is easy as pie. just follow the directions. all the mods suggested work fantastically and wont corrupt the save file. i may just stick with these for a while.

  • Bundy

    Thanks for this list. Try using Enhanced Lights and FX. It might fix what Realistic Lighting didn’t.

    • Does that one work well for you? I mostly want something that makes the darkness feel more realistic.

      • Bundy

        I haven’t tried it yet, I just saw it on someone else’s list. Thought it might be worth a shot.

        I have a bad feeling they’re overriding stock Skyrim lighting for this and that’s why we’re having issues.

      • Bundy

        Some on reddit are saying Darker Nights and RLO both work for them. Others say there’s no change. Maybe a Vive/Oculus thing?

      • Bundy

        Ok, looks like RLO won’t work if you’re loading from a save that’s in a town/interior/dungeon. You might need to start fresh. That might work for you.

        • Yeah it seems to be working for me now as far as I can tell, but I think I want to try Darker Nights as well.

  • DWreck0_o

    what!?!?! no nude mods in this list?

    • Jistuce

      I was just about to post exactly this. Well-played, good sir.

    • L3ros

      WICO has a nude option.

      • Bundy

        I don’t think it’s an option. Not sure you can turn it off.

  • G-man

    is this a joke? all the nexus mods need you to create paid account before you can download anything over 2mb

    • Doesn’t do that with me. Are you using Nexus Mod Manager?

    • Buck

      You can skip it, no need to pay.

      • G-man

        “Nexus Mods is dedicated to providing our community with free access to mod files, but we apply a 2MB limit on files for non-members.”

        then when i scroll all the way down to the bottom to find the “free account” option, clicking it take me to a page with no free option.

    • Braycen Jackwitz

      You need a paid account to be able to download at over 1Mb/s. Nothing about the size of the mods. Still kinda rubbish, I paid for a month though because downloading 20GB of mods at 1Mb/s is really painful.

      • G-man

        “Nexus Mods is dedicated to providing our community with free access to mod files, but we apply a 2MB limit on files for non-members.”

  • Buck

    As it’s not mentioned in article, I would also recommend the total character makeover mod, and if you want very AAA feeling female models after that look up the special edition packs of bijin warmaidens, npc’s, and wives. It all is very lore friendly and greatly improved the graphics are npc’s

    The all in one bijin doesn’t work with vr verion so have to load them individually. Both mods compliment each other well.

    • Great suggestions!

      • Although I will say that, personally, I prefer WICO’s style to TCM generally speaking.

        • Chilkoot

          Bijin *is* a little over the top. Every NPC looks like they’re ready for a cover shoot. WICO does a good job of raising the bar universally without going too far, and it also has a UNP version which opens the door to great unique armors. And of course, there’s the bare-arse version for people without kids mulling around lol.

  • ummm…

    ive never played passed 5 or so hours in skyrim because i was apathetic and wanted to hold out hope for vr making it in. and now that it has im being inundated with ALL THESE MODS?!!? i can’t take this. im getting overload.

    • The great thing about most of these is that they will slot into already active games very easily. So start with just the visual mods to make it prettier then over time add in others to alleviate frustrations and add immersion. Then once you’re knee-deep you can start adding in more content, new followers, etc.

      • ummm…

        ah, just responded to a previous post. ive done them all. followers etc. except for the added creatures etc. its fantastic. thank you.

    • Jistuce

      Welcome to the Bethesda experience. No one plays their games stock.

      • ummm…

        I’ve “played” Bethesda for years. But never finished. It wasn’t even the bugs. It’s the fact I’m a compulsive buyer and never finish. Haven’t finished a proper game in decades. I even shelved fallout 4 VR to get back into sims, which theoretically have no ending so no guilt lol. I’m loving Skyrim VR with mods tho. Let’s hope my tired feet can do 100-200 hours per game. Fingers crossed.

    • Chilkoot

      This latest SkyrimVR release comes with all the DLC, and is a great experience without any mods. Play it through, get your achievements (which are disabled if you have mods installed), then go crazy modding. My last playthrough was 200+ hours with zero mods and it was a fantastic ride.

      Also, the VR experience changes *everything*. Wait till you fight your first dragon 😉

      • ummm…

        I killed my first dragon. Just met the greybeards. It’s fantastic. Bit on my journey to the greybrsrfs I added mods. Not sure how much was added, but I’ve already done it. Just ai overhaul, bandit camps, weather mod, and faction patrols, also ambient sounds, and birds. Not too much. Just environmental stuff

  • ummm…

    ive got an evga 1080ti sc2 and an i7 5800, or something, series with 3.3ghz and 32gigsRAM. should i install all of these. i like to run at 3.0 SS in steam vr. id rather not destroy my gpu or my experience. first time skyrim player 10 hours in.

    • KUKWES

      sounds like your system would have zero problems with any Special Edition Mod. The mods that would cause issues are not even compatible.

      • ummm…

        ah thank you sir. i may have to spend a good few hours downloading mods instead of playing. i just hope i can actually stay glued enough to finish a game since the mid aughts. if im to break my streak of buying every game but never finishing them then it will be with skyrim and fallout vr for sure.

  • KUKWES

    Blended Roads, 3D Trees and Plants both add a great VR experience. Flora Overhaul is too flat and Blended Roads gives nice depth to the roads as well.

    • Hmmm I am tempted to try 3D trees and plants, as well as Blended Roads now. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • H3g3m0n

      The 3D version of blended roads caused me to judder up and down when walking along them. Maybe they need a simplified physics mesh.

    • Chilkoot

      OP: 3D Trees (with 3D Plants) looks much better in VR than the Flora Overhaul. I’m usually a big fan of FO, but in VR, there’s no comparison.

  • ummm…

    so lets say we want to do a vanilla play thru for a bit. how would we do that easily? none of this stuff changed the install folder right? except for the plugins txt and loot exe pasting…?

    • Unless you enabled a mod inside Nexus Mod Manager, then pasted the plugin text files, it won’t be active. So you can go through and download all these ahead of time now using Nexus Mod Manager, but just don’t activate them until you want to.

      • ummm…

        how do i activate them then? i thought it did it automatically? also ive just dled another one….do i need to repaste the plugins txt file?

        • Every time you activate or deactivate a mod, you need to repaste. It’s kind of a pain in the ass. To activate you just click on it in NMM and click the check mark on the left side. To deactivate, just click the red circle with a line through it. Deactivating leaves it downloaded, it just won’t run when you launch the game. This is useful for troubleshooting mods that conflict or cause issues.

          • ummm…

            yes, apparently i was astounded by vanilla………..lol. what a tool. activating now, then repasting plugisn. lets hope i did loot correctly.

          • ummm…

            yeah there are some major conflicts it appears. i need to just do them one by one. got ahead of myself.

          • Usually it’s the textures that conflict, they’re not all needed really.

          • ummm…

            I left the textures out. I’ve done only immersive and weather and companion mods mostly. Pulled a late night to delete everything down to the game and a full refresh. Got a few minutes of play in. It’s all there. Now I’ll just add when I want to. But I don’t I will do texture and heavy lighting stuff. Thanks for all the help.

          • I’d recommend trying to at least do the Skyrim 2017 textures and WICO, those can make a big difference.

          • ummm…

            Ok thx. I will. I suppose I can try and use the backup mods state feature before I do to avoid another long night. At least I think that’s what the backup does.

      • ummm…

        oh duh forget it im doing it now……….derp

  • Ordinator seems to crash and won’t be fixed until the perk count is reduced.
    If you want a fun compatible perk overhaul you can try Better Vanilla Perks 🙂

    • Oh perfect, I too was bummed that Ordinator wasn’t working.

  • Juan Hito

    Talking about the New nmm VORTEX would be Cooooooooooooool !!

    • Not familiar with that! Is that a different mod manager?

      • Juan Hito

        a few seconds ago
        It’s the New version ! Skyrim vr compatible !

  • john

    Your link for Flora Overhaul points to the wrong place.

    • Fixed!

    • Chilkoot

      I’ve been doing some comparisons, and I’ve found 3D Trees with the 3D Flowers optional donwload looks much better in VR (oppsosite is true in pancake IMO). Relatively the same performance hit from what I can tell so far.

  • Gato Satanista

    “The Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch”
    This mod really works with the VR edition? On the mod page it says that needs Skyrim Special Edition 1.5.3 or greater…

    • No issues for me so far.

      • Juan Hito

        It’s the New version ! Skyrim vr compatible !

      • Torin McClellan

        Eventually, you will. USLEEP overwrites VR-specific files with non-VR files. The first one being crossbow meshes, and several dialogue-specific scripts.

  • daveinpublic

    Would be great to see a before and after video with the raw download and then after all changes.

  • Henry Yopp

    Realistic Water Two LOD fix link is pointing to the wrong URL.

  • Robin Meade

    TT

  • Bundy

    For anyone wanting dark nights, Vivid Weather has options for this. Just install the mod and read the Vivid Weather book in game, it’ll give you a variety lighting options to choose from.

  • Jean-Sebastien Perron

    Downloaded the 40 mods, my real life is over. The real me is forever dead. I won’t be returning to this website for a while.

  • Mucker2002

    Can I ask how many times are you going to re-post this?

  • mirak

    This is absolutely ridiculous.
    There is no way I buy a game that needs to install hundred mods.

  • FishBaguette

    I wonder how long does it take to get all these mods to work. I’m guessing as much as playing through the whole game in Vanilla. Forever :/

  • Philip Viana

    Not to be that guy, but.. the world in Skyrim isn’t Tamriel – it’s Skyrim.

  • Ray Milyard

    Can someone tell me what is the SoS_ELE_Patch.esp file?