Skyrim is a very special game. Gamers (like myself) have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours playing it. We've felt truly connected to those characters. I know personally, I've sat at the edge of a mountain, looked out, and wondered what it would be like to be fully immersed in that world.
Then Skyrim VR came out. And I lost my mind.
I'm going to be perfectly honest here, the main reason I bought a PSVR was for Skyrim. I simply could not wait that whole year for it to come out for PC, and I sunk a slightly embarrassing amount of hours into it. It was (almost) everything I wanted. However, one of the few things lacking, in my opinion, was modding support.
Now that Skyrim VR is on PC, there are a ton of mods that I think improve the experience even more. That being said, here are some of the must-have mods for Skyrim VR!
Updated by Michael Connor Smith on August 15th, 2020: It's become a bit of a running meme at this point that Skyrim is a game that will be ported to everything from the latest home gaming consoles to smart refrigerators and the GameBoy Color. But, as much as we can hope it will happen, Skyrim can never be ported to real life. This is where Skyrim VR comes in, acting as the closest thing to having shouting ancient dragon languages at bystanders not to be socially frowned upon.
Skyrim VR is an interesting game, as almost all players will tell you that modding the game is an absolute necessity as it greatly enhances the overall experience. We've decided to add a few more mods to this list to help players determine which of Skyrim VR's many, many mods will suit their Elder Scrolls tastes.
Updated by Adam Carr on August 11th, 2022: It comes as a shock to quite literally nobody that Skyrim continues to be the place to be when it comes to modding. This, of course, applies to Skryim VR, and in the years since its release, it has gone from a complete joke to one of the most immersive experiences the medium has to offer. Skyrim VR is outstanding once tart it up a bit, and it has only gotten more so in 2022. New mods are releasing all the time, and with over 52,000 mods in the back catalogue, there is always something else to add.
Because of all of these changes, we just had to revisit this list and throw on even more mods. Even with this many entries and updates, we are only scratching the surface of what Skyrim VR has to offer with the full force of the Skyrim modding community at its back.
One of the biggest missteps unmodded Skyrim VR made was having it so there were quite literally no VR mechanics – at all. If you run Skyrim VR with no mods, it is a thoroughly underwhelming experience that is held together by hopes and dreams. Adding in VR interactions is the first thing you should do, and HIGGS does this perfectly. This mod does so much to enhance Skyrim that you could, theoretically, just run this and be a happy chap.
Firstly – and most importantly – HIGGS allows collision with just about everything. You can touch signs with your hands, poke objects with your sword, and this alone makes Skyrim VR feel more immersive – like you are part of the world. Alongside this, HIGGS lets you two-hand weapons with just about any weapon, pick up any object with either hand and more. It even fixes some bugs in the base game for good measure. Outstanding mod.
PLANCK is very much on the same level of essential as HIGGS. This is due to their dedication to making things feel like they are being influenced by your actions. Where HIGGS largely focused on world-building, PLANCK is more useful for combat. Base Skyrim VR is a waggle fest. Your weapons don't collide with enemies, and the faster you swing, the faster they die. It's the worst way to handle VR combat, and it damages the experience substantially.
Enter PLANCK. This mod makes it so enemies realistically collide with your weapons, giving combat actual weight. How it does what it does is far beyond our level of understanding, but what we do know is that we will never play Skyrim VR without this mod again. An absolutely essential mod.
Immersion is the single-most-important factor for any VR experience, and VRIK is an essential mod in that regard. This mod allows for the player's arms to be fully movable along with whatever armor is being worn, making gameplay feel infinitely more realistic.
You're also able to sheath multiple weapons on different parts of your body while having them be fully visible as well, allowing for switching weapons quickly and dynamically without the need for frequent menu navigation.
Navigating an extensive menu, especially in an RPG, is far more cumbersome in virtual reality than with a standard controller. This becomes apparent pretty quickly when trying to use Skyrim's vanilla menus in VR, where clunky doesn't even begin to describe it.
SkyUI streamlines these deep menus perfectly for both regular and VR Skyrim, and it's difficult to go back after using it. With it, you'll be able to sort, equip, and determine the value of your wares much quicker.
16 *Locational Damage
Virtual reality is all about making gaming as immersive as technologically possible, and Skyrim VR has plenty of mods to assist in making it feel real. One of the best combat-related mods for this is Locational Damage, which makes you deal damage based on where you hit enemies.
This makes it to where getting headshots with arrows or slashing at the neck with a sword do more damage than other areas, which increases the game's difficulty in a realistic way.
This is one of our favourite gameplay additions to Skyrim VR as it allows Spellblades to finally exist in Skryim (and, well, Elder Scrolls in general). What this mod does is incredibly simple, but endlessly satisfying. You take any spell in the game, then you take any one-handed weapon in the game, and then you grab the blade. This then infuses that weapon with the spell of your choice, allowing you to run around with a flaming battleaxe or a lightning-powered longsword.
Does it drastically change how the game is played? Not really, but it looks fantastic, it feels fantastic, and now more players can dip into magic and have fun without having to mess around with spell-slinging
14 Skyrim 2017 Textures
There's not much worse than seeing something in VR that looks like it's made out of crayons. While there might not be many textures that look quite so rough on a monitor or TV, when you're in VR, they jump out at you like they're going to attack you. Skyrim 2017 textures improve an incredible amount of textures to upgrade their resolution and look. It makes a huge difference and, in my opinion, is a must-have.
13 *Insects Begone
Playing Skyrim as an arachnophobe is already a tall order, so translating that into virtual reality is an absolute nightmare. Thankfully, the modding community has a simple solution of replacing any and all arachnid enemies with bears.
As long as you don't have a crippling fear of bears as well, you'll never have to have a panic attack when spelunking through a dark cave again.
12 Dragonborn Speaks Naturally
Quite possibly the coolest mod on this list, Dragonborn Speaks Naturally allows you to say the dialogue options in the game to select them. This might not seem like a huge deal, and for some, they might honestly prefer selecting them the old-school way. But for me, being able to actually physically talk to the characters in-game is an incredible experience, adding a ridiculous amount of immersion. Just, y'know, make sure everybody else in the house knows about the mod, or they might think you've finally gone off the deep end.
11 Flora Overhaul
Much like the Skyrim 2017 Textures mod, the Flora Overhaul mod improves all of the flora in Skyrim, making each of them look better and react more realistically to the environment. It also improves the LOD distance for some of the plants, allowing you to see them from a bit farther away to avoid the scary pop-in. Be warned, though, this mod can have a real impact on your PC's performance.
10 Audiobooks Of Skyrim
Elder Scrolls games are known for being extremely dialogue-heavy adventures with tons of side content to expand upon lore, and most of this comes in the form of various books. In Skyrim, there are over 300 books to read, with some of them being quite lengthy.
Most players don't turn on a game just to read a book, and this is where Audiobooks of Skyrim comes in to allow you to listen to every single book while you play. The books can be paused and played at will, and provide a much more convenient way to soak as much of Skyrim's content as possible.
9 Realistic Water Two
The water in Skyrim has always looked pretty good in my opinion, especially considering how long ago the game released. But this mod takes it to another level. Realistic Water Two adds better water flow, animations, LOD distance, particles, color options, rain ripples, and a whole slew of new sounds. Water has always been a thing that's amazed me in VR, and it doesn't get much better than this.
8 Realistic Lighting Overhaul
While the lighting did get a major improvement in the Skyrim Special Edition, there are still some places in the game that make you scratch your head. Realistic Lighting Overhaul greatly improves the lighting engine without having any impact on performance whatsoever. Dark places will finally actually be dark, and there are no “fake” light sources to be found anywhere. I'd definitely recommend keeping a torch with you at all times; it helps.
7 Vivid Weathers
Weather effects are always something I look forward to in a game. I'm one of those weird people who absolutely loves rainy weather, so I'm always bummed when a game has sub-par weather effects. That's not to say Skyrim's weather effects weren't good, but Vivid Weathers adds so, so much. There are over 500 new custom weather effects and sounds, ranging from tons of different kinds of thunder, rain effects, snow, fog, and so much more. This mod does so much to increase the immersion in Skyrim, and that's what VR is all about.
6 Enhanced Blood Textures
I am by no means a gore-fiend, but let's be honest here; sometimes the blood textures in Skyrim can be pretty… meh. After a particularly brutal fight, it's kind of a weird feeling to look around, see half a dozen bodies lying on the ground and only a couple of tiny blood splatters. It kind of takes the weight of what just happened away, in my opinion.
With Enhanced Blood Textures equipped, I look around after a fight and feel a little bit bad about it. Maybe it could have gone differently? Maybe the sword through the face was a little bit much…
In all seriousness, this mod adds tons of new blood textures, bleeding animations, and sound effects. Blood even looks different on various surfaces, like snow compared to stone.
5 Lanterns Of Skyrim
Ever wonder how the citizens of Skyrim stumble around in the dark? (Especially with the Realistic Lighting Overhaul mod equipped?) Lanterns of Skyrim adds a ton of new lanterns all around the world, and I do mean all around. The lanterns just give the world a more lived-in feel, in my opinion, making the world look a little bit nicer and, here's that word again, immersive.
4 Sounds of Skyrim Complete
Ever walk around Skyrim and have it just feel kind of… empty? Like, you see all of these cool things around, but there can be these weird moments in the game that are really pretty silent; especially when you're out walking around in the woods. Sounds Of Skyrim does a lot to fix that, adding a quite-frankly ludicrous amount of in-game sounds everywhere in the game, from cities to dungeons to the wilderness.
3 Immersive Patrols
This mod is totally a preference thing, but personally, there's a lot of times that I'm walking around Skyrim and don't see anyone for a while. Like, a long while. And I start to wonder if maybe I've gone insane. Immersive Patrols does a lot to ease my mind, adding a healthy amount of new patrols around the world, from Stormcloaks to Thalmor to new trading caravans that move from city to city. Like Sound Of Skyrim, it makes the world feel a little less empty.
2 2. Amazing Follower Tweaks
Let's face it, we've all had that moment where we're convinced our follower is an idiot. Sometimes you would just love for them to do something, or not do something, and it sort of breaks that all-important immersion. Amazing Follower Tweaks adds a ton of new options for your follower, like the ability to make a camp, recharge their own weapons, teach them spells, level them up, turn them into a vampire or werewolf, controlling them combat style, and a lot more. It also increases the maximum follower count to five.
1 Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
There are a lot of bugs in Skyrim, ranging from small unimportant bugs to progress-impeding bugs. The Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch aims to fix every single bug not officially fixed by Bethesda, and I've got to say, it does a pretty spectacular job of it.
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