Skyrim VR: Before And After Differences Of 100+ Mods

by David Jagneaux • April 11th, 2018

Skyrim VR, for those unaware, is finally out on PC. This not only means that Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows VR users can finally play the game, but also that the vast majority of the very best Skyrim Special Edition mods are fully compatible. Yes — Skyrim VR (unofficially) has mod support.

We’ve written guides on how to install mods, recommended some of the best for Skyrim VR, listed out tips for increasing immersion, and even streamed tons of mods (including a voice control one) but one thing we haven’t done yet is visually show the difference that modding makes. Until now. Behold: our breakdown of exactly how much of an impact over 100 mods can have on Skyrim VR.

It’s staggering to say the least. It is worth noting that, as impressive as it does look, it looks even better from inside the HMD itself. Furthermore, most of the mods we have installed do things under the hood that aren’t visibly obvious in that video. So even though we have 100 installed (full list here) you can replicate the graphics you see there by focusing on some of the mods in our top 40 list of recommended Skyrim VR mods.

There you are. That’s the difference, with direct comparisons. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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What's your reaction?
  • Ted Joseph

    I am hesitant as it looks like it is running slow when the mods are on… I am having a blast the way it is without mods currently. Improving my mage skills, and having a blast in the dungeons and caves…

    • ShiftyInc

      I would not use any mods. The game runs fine with them, but i noticed right away, that i was getting eye strain when i had about 30 mods active.
      And i had no issues with the game before that, and after removing the mods, it was all good again.

  • koenshaku

    I don’t know if I am so impressed by these mods from that video. Those peasants didn’t look like they were a town that would have cobble stone walkways and red foliage all over the place wasn’t exactly the intended design I dunno.

  • WhywasIbanned

    It felt like the non mod was a February day and the modded one was a warn fuzzy summers day. It never looked like a 100 + mods. Maybe better in actual VR than the video.

    • Definitely. Weather and climates in general are much more varied in VR for sure too.

  • jarjarplinks

    I’ve added over 50 mods to mine. Graphical, audio and some gameplay ones. There’s virtually no performance hit on my 1080 Ti, basically running less than 1% reprojection. Even if you don’t have strong GPU, just check out the the audio enhancement mods, they add additional atmospheric city and wilderness background sounds that help a lot to the VR experience.

  • Paul Alfieri

    Does the load order matter significantly? Do you choose ‘yes, overwrite’ when asked and what does this mean? I loaded about 12 mods from your top 40 list but I chose ‘no to all’ and now I’m wondering if I screwed up.

    • Depends on the mod. For example, I usually install SMIM first so it replaces all of the vanilla meshes, but then as I install specific mods (like Whiterun HD, for example) I’ll have it override SMIM for more tailored updates. Basically you want to install the most general mods first, then more specific mods to overwrite areas.

      And yes, load order is very important. You really need to run LOOT after you change your mod configuration.

      • Paul Alfieri

        Thanks. I appreciate your help and your articles and videos. I’m trying to balance out my modding time and actually play the game (my first time). Now I need to figure out LOOT and potentially start over with my mods. And then there followers, body physics, cbbe, bodyslide, and on and on. not to even mention how complex the actual story and world are …. I can see how people can put 1000 hours in this thing. My Onward skills are going to get rusty.

  • Gonzalo Novoa

    I am only using the audio mod, I tried others but ended up uninstalling them. I might be the only one here but I prefer the original look. Some mods make the game look like you are in a different season which I don’t like much. To be honest, the game is pretty amazing as it is.

    • iUserProfile

      I really can’t enjoy mods a lot – most of the visual “optimizations” rub me the wrong way or they stick out so much from the rest of the game that it destroys the coherence of my experience.

    • You should look into Simply Optimized Textures and SMIM (just improves the vanilla stuff) — and if you want higher-res but OG look, try Noble Textures maybe.

      • Gonzalo Novoa

        Sounds good, I’ll check those out, thanks a lot. I am really loving the game, one of the best VR experiences so far.

  • Mythos88

    That’s awesome. I’m halfway there but have more work to do. The one thing I notice with both your and mine is that while I really like the improved visuals and colours for the most part, it does make the towns a little darker (rustier) that I would like. But I’ll take it over vanilla Skyrim.

  • PJ

    Playing it completely vanilla at the moment, and having an absolute blast with it, I might mod when/if I fancy a second play through