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**Hidden Gems** - mods you use that nobody really knows about!

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If you're anything like me, you love Skyrim and you love all aspects modding it. Sure, we all have different styles, but the passion is still the same. Inevitably, from time to time, we all run into that wall where we think we have seen every cool mod on the Nexus and have maybe even searched TESA and other similar sites known to host Skyrim mod packages, but just can't find anything new and exciting to install, tweak, tinker, etc.


I know for the longest time I have had a few mods in my load order that I know are not the most popular mods, but good enough to where I very rarely (if ever) remove it from my load order. This got me thinking, 'surely im not the only one with the hidden gems tucked away', and decided to write this thread. It should make for interesting conversation and, who knows, maybe we'll all find something "new" worth checking out.


So, what hidden gem(s) are you always sure to have in your load order? 

Ill go first.


One mod that I always make sure is in my load order (unless im doing official STEP testing ;) ) is More plants and recipes for Hearthfire including Dawnguard and Dragonborn plants 

For whatever reason I love having the ability to plant and grow these additional food and alchemy ingredients. I use the smaller version that only includes vanilla items. The other version adds brand-new ingredients to the world of skyrim, but im not a fan of this. 


Anyway, this is my first hidden gem :D

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Weapons and Armor Degradation and Repair with MCM Menu Options


Amazing mod, adds quite elegantly a much missed function to Skyrim, totally underrated and changes gameplay quite a bit.  Works quite well with S.T.E.P.  only issue is it doesn't like the reproccer for SkyRe, but works fine with all the other overhauls. 

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I have a few mods like this and are never talked about but I find very useful:


Lockpick Pro V3 - frankly, I get sick of standing about for two to three minutes trying to picks locks everywhere I turn. This mod is a cheat mod that tells you the exact location where to move the lockpick to open the lock. ...don't judge me!


SkyRealism - Perk Trees - Well, because it balances the perk trees to more believable levels, imo.


Archmage Necklace - because being a pure mage is so unbalanced in Skyrim that it's damn near impossible. This necklace adds all the perks of the Archmage robes into one item so that you don't have to run about without armor...which is nearly a death sentence which mean you did all the work to be Archmage just to have items that if you use you'll surely die far easier that you should. With this, at least all that work isn't for not. Can also be viewed as a cheat.


Harvest Overhaul - brings harvesting in Skyrim to far more believable levels, imo.


TwoRings - allows you to wear two rings at once. Why? Because you have ten damn fingers that's why! ...yet vanilla Skyrim only allows one to be equipped? WTH Bethesda?

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I used to use Harvest Overhaul, the only problem I had with it was harvesting just got too easy and made alchemy too easy, so I don't use it anymore, but its a good mod if you don't mind that.


As for mages, I use forgotten magic and mighty magic and apocalyse and with the spells and powers introduced, being a mage works again with a TON more build options!

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I use More Plants and Recipes as well.


Mostly I use it for decoration purposes. <___<



Anyway, some lesser-known mods I always make sure to install:


Replace Your Criminal Face

Use the Face Sculptor (added by Dawnguard) to escape the repercussions of your crimes. Price scales with bounty. Pretty nice for thief and assassin role-plays.


Better Docks

Makes sensible additions to Skyrim's docks (Solitude, Dawnstar, Windhelm, and Riften. Also Solstheim if you have Dragonborn.). For the most part they're actually quite tiny, and if the addition isn't tiny it still makes sense (Captain Aldis refers to several military ships which don't exist in vanilla and, what do you know, there's a military ship (well.. a coffin-transporting ship at least) in the Solitude Better Docks). In Riften, there's maybe 3 or 4 extra little fishing boats. In Dawnstar you have slightly extended piers and 2 or 3 fishing boats.


Things to keep in mind if you're gonna install:

-If you did a full STEP install (or even partial) and are struggling to maintain 60 FPS, don't install the Solitude module. You'll crash or have excessive amounts of stutter and 3-10 FPS and it just won't be pretty.

-If you did a full STEP install with highest quality textures, feel free to install the Solitude module. However, it's best if you know what you're doing with ENBoost otherwise you'll have the same problems.

-If using Immersive Settlements or Expanded Towns and Cities don't use the Dawnstar Module. Or choose which ever one of the three you want to keep. Dawnstar always felt just right to me aside from its docks so I kinda feel Immersive Settlements' and ETaC's changes to Dawnstar are way overboard.


Anyway, Better Docks is modular. If you're using a mod that makes changes to an area, it's best to just not install that module of Better Docks.


Flora Respawn Fix

Fixes a bug that no one knows (or realizes) exists. I always got annoyed when it had been a long time since the last time I visited an area only to find out that nothing had respawned. I'm actually not sure why this isn't in STEP come to think of it... Don't let the "Incompatible" bits scare you. I have always had a full STEP install going with this mod installed and NEVER had any issues.


Training Dummies and Targets

or, if you have Falskaar:

Training Dummies and Targets - Falskaar Edition

Convenient little mod if you use mods which make combat more difficult. And absolutely necessary if you use Duke Patrick's combat mod.

Oh yeah I forgot one:


No Killmoves - No Killcams - No Killbites

I've tried almost every killmove/cam mod on the Nexus (unless it was released after June 2013). This one actually works without tweaking INI settings that don't actually work (unless you want more killmoves/cams... in that case it works just fine)).

If there's one thing I hate about Skyrim, it's getting my immersion ripped all to pieces by having my perspective get changed without my actual input. My second-most-hated thing is killmoves and killcams. They feel cheap whether you're doing it or an enemy is doing it. Interestingly enough, this mod actually has a tendency to make fights harder which leads me to assume that killmoves/cams don't actually happen "if you were gonna kill them anyway".


If you're like me and want to get rid of that crap, this mod truly works.

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PMT - Phenderix Magic Transcended - This is my go to magic mod and basically makes a new magic system. There are boss battles and bunch of other stuff since Skyrim magic is so boring.


LSB BattleHammers - This is such an under appreciated weapon mod. It adds battle hammers to regular weapons like steel and iron. Then it also adds a bunch of unique weapons are dungeons and caves, most can be found by picking up a book outside the Inns. Plus, one of the weapons is called Silent Scream, one of my favorite Slayer songs, so yeah. There is a big chest with all the weapons hidden in Whiterun, but just don't use it if you don't like cheating.


Enchanting Redux - This mod lets you enchant the mages robes with the same level as the ones you find or purchase. The vanilla is like 10% reduced spell casting with 50% regen and the regen never gets above 50%, so this lets you basically do a master level robe.


Matys Mithril - Adds a really nice port of Oblivion's Mithril Armor into the game. Same guy did the Bosmer Armor Pack, but he has a few mods that aren't as popular as that one.


https://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/31725/? Dragon Shouts Overhaul - (link button stop working) This makes shouts more powerful since most of them suck. If you play on high difficulty, the two highest, then this will make draugr overloads very powerful with shouts and they will kill you with one shout at < level 20. Recharge is also reduced, makes the game more fun to a Dovah.


I'm glad someone mentioned TwoRings, that is such a little tweak that was needed. Armor Weapons Degrade should be recommended for the old school RPG pack, so much fun. Also, not quite unknown, but I can't stop pushing Less Intrusive HUD II.

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I use an unlimited rings mod and amulets mod though I wish there was a way to add handicaps to it like say a 75% of effect max or something if wearing more than a ring or two and only a max of 8 or even more realistically 6 since pinky and thumbs aren't realistic for rings) to help keep things from getting well more broken I suppose. 


I'd also like to manually edit some of the amounts received when picking ingredients for Harvest Overhaul but don't have the time to study to make my own mod let alone edit someone else's.


Anyways Unlimited Rings and Amulets, Harvest Overhaul, Wyldtats Warpaint, Telescope, and a lvlpredator script bugfix that doesn't seem to be implemented properly in the USKP (if at all) and both helps reduce the log spam and seems to help with stability for mods like Automatic Variants (and the area near Riverwood's wolf ambush; I haven't done extensive testing however) I couldn't find it on the nexus files site.

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Two lore-friendly mods I mentioned a long time ago that had a lot of interest that didn't seem to quite fit into STEP, but would be relevant to packs:


Ingredients of Tamriel adds Morrowind and Oblivion ingredients to vendors and chests since they would have been available in small quantities in Skyrim. The effects for these are very similar to the original effects in these two games (the small differences are due to changes in alchemical effects available in Skyrim vs those in the previous TES games).


True Medieval Tavern Music replaces vanilla tavern background music with actual tavern music popular in medieval times (pure replacer, no esp). I find the music more lively than vanilla.




Like Garfink, my character is primarily a magic user. Since vanilla TES games have always nerfed magic users with few spells, especially area spells, and limited spell effectiveness I use similar Skyrim mods to have some useful magic. In my case these include Mighty Magic, Apocalypse, Midas Magic, and the Revenge of Colette.

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Kelmych have you given Forgotten Magic or Forgotten Magic Redone a shot? I personally run with Forgotten Magic Redone, Mighty Magic, and I think (it's been a while I'm going through the archer phase now) Apocalypse all rolled together and edited with some of Iroha's cheat sheet and some common sense edits. Mida's magic might be added in there if I feel peckish (always enjoyed it by itself when it came out), never heard of Revenge of Colette so that's obviously a "Hidden Gem" I'll look it up thanks.

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