User:Skwareballz/Personal Mods

From Step Mods | Change The Game

My Choices[edit]

These mods differ a bit from a strictly STEP install approach because they are mod about fun. I do not spend hours tinkering with my game and then have become a boring experience (I could of married a cheerleader if I was into that). Some of these mods are already recommended for STEP and I have played with them for many hours with my STEP install, so conflicts should be worked out unless they are mods with conflicting leveled lists which require merging into a bashed patch. If you are not using Wrye Bash for that then you are on your own.

Texture/Graphics mods[edit]

Everyone who is in any way involved in STEP, whether it is recommending new mods, comparing textures until your eyes glaze over, or tweaking every little setting to get a desired look, is dedicated to textures and graphics. This is really what STEP is all about and that is something that is not going to change anytime soon. There are usually multiple high quality texture mods that cover the same content, and often time there is not one that is best. I try to take an approach to texture mods that is about how much I would relate to that look in real life. The look that relates best to real life is going to immerse me in a game, and is how I go about testing a texture mod.

Automatic Variants[edit]

  • A true game changer from Leviathan1753, the creator of SkyProc and this mod, this is definitely on the short list for mod of the year.
  • The Automatic Variants patcher allows for any variant to be enabled and disabled, so an example would be the AlienSlof pack with 35 horse variants, the user may only wan 20, so 15 of the variants can be disabled.
  • Advanced users can go a step further and even disable certain parts of the variants that are desired, for example only normal maps are disabled in the variants if the user is also using something like Fhaarkas Softer Animal Fur, that is recommended by step, which changes the normal maps. If you want to keep the Fhaarkas normal maps just disable the ones in the variants so they will not be over written. Just one more powerful feature that makes this a mod of the year contender.
  • Here are some of the variants available and the ones I use and recommend to make Skyrim have a real animal kingdom. There are also some other conversions and batch files to use for testing or to just have some fun, by Wolverine2710.
  • AV Packs can be installed by Wrye Bash if the author sets them up correctly, like StarX or Wolverine2710 have done.

AV Packs[edit]

  1. Bellyaches Animals AV Package
    • This is already in STEP, but normally only one variant of each animal can be chosen. The quality of this mod is to high, to have the ability to use all the variants and not use them.
    • Get the Bellyaches Animals AV Package from the optional files on the AV page, not the original version of the mod.
  2. Insanity Sorrow AV Package
    • Chicken, Draugr, Skeever, and Skeleton variants, made by Insanity Sorrow.
    • Get the Insanity Sorrow AV Package form the optional files on the AV page, not the original version of the mod.
  3. StarX AV Packages
    • StarX has provided his AV Packs, one creature per pack.
    • I use Draugr, Giants, Mammoths, Falmer, Trolls, Snow Sabrecats, Wolves, and Hagravens.
    • All of them are on TES Alliance or a few are on the Nexus at the posted link.
  4. Sickly Skeletons
    • Five different variants for skeletons, from Porscha.
  5. sounaipr's AV Packages
    • Giant, Mammoth, Sabrecat, and Snow Sabrecat variants, made by sounaipr.
  6. Mudcrabs
    • Six mudcrab variants, from M17.
  7. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is chocolambot
    • Variants for DragonPriest (1) ,Hagraven (1), Rabbit (6), Falmer (1), Slaughterfish(1), Frostbitespider (2).
    • This includes HD Rabbits Plus, so that can be removed from a STEP install.
  8. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is LatterOfTheThree
    • Variants for Frostbitespider(2), Hagraven(1), Mudcrab(2).
  9. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is AlienSlof
    • Variants for Horse(35), Zebra like Horse(5), Dog(1), Sabrecat(2), Skeever(2), Wolf(2).
    • I disable the the Zebra variants, from the Automatic Variants patcher GUI, HorseRetex 03, click disable.
  10. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is Zira
    • Variants for Horse(22).
  11. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Multiple Authors
    • Skeever(4), Dog(1), Horker(1), Skeleton(4),Draugr(6),Draugr Female(5),Falmer(3),Fox(2),cow(3), Frost troll (3), Frobite spider(3),Fox(2), Goat(1).
  12. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is Ironman5000
    • Variants for Bear(3), cave troll(1), chaurus(2+2),Dragonpriest(1),Draugr(1),Draugr female(1), Falmer(1), Frostbitespider(1),Giant(1),Hagraven(1),Horker(1), Mammoth(1), Sabrecat(2), Skeever(1), Skeleton(1), Wismother(1), Wolf(1).
  13. Wolverines Automatic Variants Port -- Author is Ichibu
    • Variants for Bear(3), Dog(1), Fox(2), Frostbitespider(1), Skeever(1).

Bellyaches New Dragon Species and Ohdaviing Replacer[edit]

Argument for:

This adds a bunch of new dragon species and a total of 50 new dragons around Skyrim. The dragons look spectacular, but why expect anything else from Bellyache. Only dragon mod I use.

Argument against:

The nightmares are already bad enough.

Covereyes and Coverkhajiits[edit]

Argument for:

Mr. Lenski has made some really good looking eyes especially for the beast races, and his retexture of the Khajiit race is excellent, it really looks like they are covered in fur.

Argument against:

Dog person.

Parallax Rocks and Mountains (Parallax With Custom Rock texture)[edit]

  • Pannonian originally started by making Diverse_Enhanced Rocks WIP which was just a nice set of rock textures, since Bethesda thought it was okay to only make two for 40 square kilometers of mountains.
  • The author moved on to this, a parallax mod for rocks and mountains, but has not supported it in months, still, using the parallax mods is essential with ENB. I use both the regular version 1.04 and the custom textures update 1.04b.
  • The custom textures are not quite as high resolution as you may find elsewhere, though they still look great.

Argument for:

How many mountains are there in Skyrim? Yeah, you need this.

Argument against:

Still not sold on ENB.

Real Rain[edit]

Argument for:

Personal favorite for rain mods, gives that bit of blurriness during heavy rain. Made by PlayerTwo who is part of the RLwC team now and this will soon be integrated when v4.0 is released.

Argument against:

You like something else.

Lightning during Thunder Storms[edit]

Argument for:

Add lightning to the thuderstorms around Skyrim, with a chance that they can hit you.

Argument against:

Someone you loved died from lightning.

Birds of Skyrim[edit]

Argument for:

Adds a lot of birds to the wild and cities, makes the world come alive.

Argument Against:

You are just like me and have never made it all the way through Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.


I usually pick my armors for the type of character that I am trying to create in game or I see a brilliant looking set and then make a character who would wear that. In the case of something like hothtropper44's Warchief armor I saw that and immediately decided I needed a vicious Orc, so Tza of the Wu-Vang Clan was born. Since there seems to be quite a bit of armors in my current setup, I seem to have build up a bunch of characters that are all around level 20, and it seems hard to get myself to go back and finish them. It is a double edge sword of having to many choices of clothing options, if you do not believe me then ask your girlfriend. My advice is to only install the armors you want for the character you are currently playing and then switch them out for another character.

Immersive Armors[edit]

  • Is there a better modder for creating armors that fit perfectly into Skyrim than hothtrooper44? No.
  • This is his armor compilation complete with leveled lists. Other modders have also given permission to hothtrooper to add their armors to his compilation. It includes all of hothtrooper's armors, Lore Friendly Armor Pack, Einherjar Armor, Fur Hoods HD, Heroic Stormcloak Armor, Nordic Hunter Light Armor, and Apotheus Light Armor.

Argument for:

With over 1500 new pieces you can take your hoarding to all new heights.

Argument against:

Something inside you is dead.

Omegared99 - Armor Compilation[edit]

  • The other best armor compilation for Skyrim. Adds a bunch of cool looking armors to Skyrim including some recreations from the Game of Thrones tv series.
  • The non-Game of Thrones armors are part of the leveled lists, so expect to see some of the sets on NPCs.
  • The light armors included in this pack are some of my personal favorites, and almost every set is supported for male and female.

Argument for:

Top notch work and great addition to the game with the option to not use the non-lore friendly armors by refusing to craft them.

Argument against:

The GoT bleeding into Skyrim hurts your puritan nerdness.

Matys Mithril[edit]

  • Bethesda decided to leave mithril armor out of TESV, and this is the best looking mithril armor based on Oblivion's Mithril Armor to supplement that hole.
  • Maty743 has some serious skills and all his mods deserve some love.

Argument for:

This is the only Mithril(or is it Mythril?) armor made for Skyrim that I like. There are some decent chainmail looking armors, but none specifically mithril that I would recommend.

Argument against:

I'm a werewolf and can not take a chance this is made of silver.

Mystic Elven Armor - HD(Sader's Horses)[edit]

  • Great standalone or replacer version of Elven armor.
  • There is a really high res version of weapons and armor that is available.
  • There is also the option to armor a custom horse, Sader's Horses in optional files.

Argument for:

Three races of elves, only one type of armor? Not anymore.

Argument against:

You do not like Elven Armor.

aMidianBorn Steel Plate Iron Steel and Leather Armor[edit]

  • Really great attention to detail with these armors.
  • The male and female versions have different etchings so they are more diverse.
  • I install the Steel Plate version before Razorscales armor so I can still use that one for the male version.
  • The Iron Armor includes the Iron Banded Armor as well.

Argument for:

Great retextures of three vanilla armors.

Argument against:

You are scared to use textures this good, because they are clearly the work of black magic.

Robed Steel Plate Armor[edit]

  • Pretty much just some robes on top of steel plate armor.
  • Added to Vigilants of Stendarr, so they look tough.
  • I also use the optional aMidianBorn texture.

Argument for:

Vigilants fight daedra in robes? I think not.

Argument against:

A robe over armor? Really?

Scout Armor[edit]

  • Great light armor and weapon set.

Argument for:

It just looks good.

Argument against:

You do not want to look good.


Weapon mods usually do not make it into my install unless they can bring one whole set of weapons. With the amount of mods that I already have, I cannot see having 8 esps for 8 weapons. Most of the weapon mods I go for take the original Skyrim style and create something that looks like it fits in with the world, Extended Vanilla Weapons does a decent job of that as well as LSB BattleHammers. I also really enjoy mods that add unique items for me to find throughout the world and place their weapons in the leveled lists, this is probably the most important thing for a large weapon mod.

LSB BattleHammers[edit]

  • Lord Banewrath Sunblade has created one of best weapon mods and it deserves way more love than it has gotten so far.
  • Most of the weapons are craftable and fit right into the weapon sets of vanilla Skyrim, but the rest are unique and placed throughout the world, there are books with hints placed in front of some of the inns.

Argument for:

Great weapons, you will actually want to use.

Argument against:

Your only mistress is magic.

Weapons of the Third Era MoS edition[edit]

  • Adds a good variety of weapons to Skyrim and are part of the leveled lists.
  • Great to look at and the crafting recipes use some ingredients that make the weapons harder to obtain and temper.

Argument for:

Lots of new weapons that are really awesome.

Argument against:

Less is more?

Jaysus Swords[edit]

  • Very nice weapons for Skyrim, with a good style that fits right into the world and lore.
  • Added to leveled lists, also has some unique weapons.

Argument for:

Great Nordic tools of death.

Argument against:

No more blood.

Heavy Armory[edit]

  • Great looking weapons that add to the vanilla weapon sets and leveled lists.
  • This adds clubs, halberds, spears, glaives, shortswords, and quarterstaves to the vanilla weapon sets, i.e. ebony spear, elven glaive.
  • Draugr, Falmer, and Forsworn also have new weapons, so watch out.

Argument for:

War support.

Argument against:

There are already enough ways to die.

Zamfir's Archery Emporium[edit]

  • There are enchanted arrows in other TES games, and they are severely missed in Skyrim.
  • This wonderful mod adds a shop where Zamfir sells enchanted arrows, except that the enchantments show effects in flight. Fire arrows will show a big ball of flame, shock arrows as big lightning ball, and the list goes on.
  • Still in beta so there is some room for this little gem to improve into something really sweet.

Argument for:

Super fun and just another feature that did not make it into Skyrim that should have.

Argument against:

Not ready for prime time quiet yet.

Gameplay mods[edit]

I do not use gameplay mods that completely alter the way Skyrim is played, ACE is a great project and looks like it offers the community a high quality experience, but I do not want to relearn how to play Skyrim. Some of the survival mods are fun if they can balance the survival aspect without having to babysit your stats every two minutes. I would rather have gameplay mods that change Skyrim in the background like Economics of Skyrim does.

Arrows and Bolts Tweaks[edit]

  • As of v2.9 this mod has been updated for crossbow bolts added by Dawnguard DLC, but is still fully compatible without it.
  • For this mod to work correctly it is recommended that you and these lines to your Skyrim.ini (last two lines are Dawnguard ONLY):
  • These ini tweaks are recommended for everyone even if Arrows and Bolts Tweaks is not used.
  • My personal settings for this mod are:
Faster Arrows Improved - +50%
Faster Bolts Improved - +50%
Increased Progressive Damage (with Nord Hero Arrow) - +50%
Merchant Arrows - +100%
Loot Arrows - +25%
Recover Arrows and Bolts - +10%

Argument for:

Who knew there were so many things to do with arrows? Increase damage, speed, loot, merchant inventory all with this nifty archers dream. A few compatibility patches are available and a guide to get this working for <Insert Favorite Arrow> in about 10 minutes with the CK.

Argument against:

You hate Robin Hood.

Economics of Skyrim[edit]

  • Things in Skyrim cost different amounts as you travel from hold to hold. A Dwarven Ingot costs less in Markarth, since it is a Dwarven City, than it does in Riften.
  • The general goods store will not have a better selection of weapons and armor than the blacksmiths anymore.
  • Blacksmiths offer smithing services, they take equipment orders and will temper equipment. This is for vanilla weapons and armor only.
  • Merchant's total gold can be adjusted.

Argument for:

Add a bit of a real economics to Skyrim.

Argument against:

Mods that add lots of scripts are a pain to test.

Ultimate Follower Overhaul[edit]

  • Make followers awesome.

Argument for:

Vanilla followers suck no more.

Argument against:

Only fly solo.

Convenient Horses[edit]

  • As of v4.0 this mod has been upgraded to work with Dawnguard, if not using Dawnguard then do not upgrade to v4+.
  • Everything that horse should be able to do is now possible.
  • Horses now have an inventory and auto transfers the inventory to a new horse if you get one.
  • Allows changes to horse's health and stamina, so your pony can sprint for more than 5 seconds.
  • Even adds a sweet horn to call your horse from anywhere. There are special options for dismounting a horse with weapon drawn and to pick up ingredients or search dead stuff and talk to NPCs all while mounted.
  • Support for followers as well, there is nothing this mod will not do for horses.

Argument for:

Makes owning a horse less annoying.

Argument against:

Refuse to ride a horse until there is jousting.


  • Hopefully this mod develops into something with much more content, so Skyrim can feel much more dynamic.

Argument for:

Adds a number of encounters with NPCs to Skyrim to make the world seem more alive.

Argument against:

Does not seem to be supported very well. Making Skyrim have more life seems to make your real life seem so empty.

Alternate Start - Live Another Life[edit]

Argument for:

Made by Arthmoor, and that alone should be enough. Lets you start a game much more quickly and start as different factions or no faction at all.

Argument against:

The original start of Skyrim is good enough for you.

Immersive Patrols[edit]

  • Make Skyrim's roads have more soldiers roaming around, I mean it is a war right?
  • Bandit patrols that will raid towns every ten days or so, do not worry they are weak so no one will die.
  • Fun to have with Skyrim Monster Mod, Bellyaches New Dragon Species, and SkyTest so absolute mayhem can ensue.
  • Doesn't add any new scripts so it works really well without any conflicts.

Argument for:

Makes more NPCs use the roads in Skyrim, which is what roads are for.

Argument against:

You are a loner and this type of thing makes you nervous.

Auto Unequip Helmet[edit]

  • This mod is a small gameplay tweak that compliments the Auto Unequip Arrows by removing a helmet or whatever is being worn on the head when the weapon is sheathed.
  • Lets you see your characters head during non-combat situations, and if you are obsessed with hair mods this is a must.

Argument for:

Your mother never told you to take off your hat when you go inside?

Argument against:

I am afraid I will have helmet hair.

The Dance of Death - A Killmove Mod[edit]

  • Great for anyone that wants to add in more killmoves and have the ability to customize killmoves and killcams.
  • Compatible with Dawnguard.

Argument for:

More killmoves, more killcams.

Argument against:

Do not like killmoves.

Inteface mods[edit]

Using the vanilla interface can be taxing, so most interface mods should first address the difficulty of navigating the menu and also make it easier to manage loot. STEP addresses this quite well with SkyUI for navigation of the menu, especially for players that use a gamepad.

Better Sorting[edit]

  • This is a carry over from older STEP versions and was removed since SkyUI will address the sorting issue in a future release. It was just to long to wait for this update, so Better Sorting is the best alternative until then.

Argument for:

Fight back against the tyranny of potions.

Argument against:

Adds a lot of esp files to load order.

Content/Quest mods[edit]

Content mods are now relevant for me that 1.6 fixed the navmesh bug. Content mods usually need three things, new places that are not entirely recycled, a quest that makes sense, and rewards for playing through the quest. Most of them are work in progress, so it is fun to play them now and not return for two months until a a good amount of content has been added.

Amethyst Hollows Dreamworld[edit]

  • Great modder deserving support. Adds an amazing player home with some really unique features that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • It has an archery room with a target practice mini game, mannequins that can show as clones of your player (and thanks to a little bug your clone mannequin will attend your wedding), a hoarding addiction treatment, and a special teleportation orb.

Argument for:

Hoarding addiction treatment comes with this player home.

Argument against:

A bit over the top for a player home.

Arise - Chapter 1 - The Black Sacrament[edit]

  • Formerly Black Tower and Black Sacrament Armor pack, for right now it's just an armor and weapon mod, but is adding more content soon.
  • Same modder as Amethyst Hollows Dreamworld. Adds one the best armor sets, ever created, for any game, ever.
  • This adds spell forges to craft the armor variants and weapons.
  • The custom bow makes people explode.
  • There are four chapters of this mod with each adding new armors and chapter four: Black Phoenix Rises with add a new guild.

Argument for:

Kill in style.

Argument against:

All the human hearts makes you queasy.

Character/Item mods[edit]

Most of the character mods I use have to do with adding more clothes and jewelry, not less. And then there is the fact that I am completely obsessed with hair mods. I cannot figure out why, but all I can say that there are not enough of them unless it crashes my game when I type showracemenu into the console.

Expanded Jewelry Crafting[edit]

Argument for:

Adds great looking jewelry to Skyrim, since my little cousin could make better looking jewelry out of macaroni than the vanilla stuff. Use metals like ebony and moonstone to make necklaces and rings, which all look pretty awesome and adds a lot more uniqueness to the game.

Argument against:

You hate everything beautiful in the world.


Argument for:

If you think most of the vanilla hair styles are less than good then this will make you smile. Some are lore friendly some are not. With Extended Slider Colors you can have awesome hair styles of any color. There is also an added plugin that will add hair wigs under helmets so your character does not look bald under your helm.

Argument against:

You are the one in five that Rogaine does not work for.

Show Race Menu Options[edit]

Argument for:

Able to change character look but not race or sex, pretty much for people who want to change from blue to pink hair, and need a fresh coat of warpaint. Just go to the guy in the Solitude inn with the pink robe.

Argument against

You play only in first person or you create perfect characters from the start.

Sabre Gear Backpack[edit]

Argument for:

Great looking backpacks that look just like they would be used by a murdering, grave robbing, drifter, plus they add carrying capacity.

Argument against:

You do not have a hoarding problem.

Script Extender Plugins[edit]

SKSE will probably be the only script extender needed in the future, but there still some really amazing plugins for Script Dragon that should get the attention of the community.


Skyrim Community Uncapper[edit]

  • I know that this is in STEP already, but it is so customizable that I felt it necessary to mention how I use it.
  • I took the time to make a separate ini copy for each race/class depending on the character that is currently being played. For this I just thought about what the character was and limited the skills and leveling speed of that skill based on their race and class (even though there are no classes I made them up in my head).
  • An example of this is: Bretons will never level up heavy armor to 100 because I stop them at 75, but they are gifted in magic, so they get extra skills in Destruction, Conjuration,... They all level to 110 or 115.
  • To balance the game, so that the characters reach level 81, it is best to keep track of the total skills so they average 100.
  • The plugin also changes the total health, magic, and stamina per level, which is nice since I feel vanilla Skyrim is not balanced for strict warriors or mages. The way to change this is to just increase one of those stats.
  • Give mages 15 or 20 magic points when leveling magic instead of just 10, and warriors 15 or 20 for stamina and health.
  • If you are a hoarder with no hope in sight, then adjust the carrying capacity increases, maybe 5 for every attribute instead of just stamina.
  • My favorite feature is the perks per level which can be set to any number so a bunch of perks are available. Personally I set mine to 1.25, so I get one extra perk every four levels and a total of 100 by level 81.

Script Dragon[edit]

Auto Potion[edit]

  • Because potions in Skyrim are weak compared to, say Oblivion, where the potions could heal a lot over time, so there is a lot menus, or favorites menus, or hotkeys. This is boring and takes away from the action which is immersion breaking, so I recommend Auto Potion.
  • This can be set to take standard potions, i.e. Potion of Minor Healing, Potion of Extreme Stamina, when health, magic, stamina reach a certain percentage. All those extra minor health potions you have been hoarding will now get used when your health reaches 20% or whatever level you set it at.

Argument for:

Using your brain is dumb. Free yourself from having to pay attention to your health, magic, and stamina with automated potion drinking.

Argument against:

You love menus.

No Fast Travel[edit]

  • If you think those survival mods make Skyrim hardcore then try playing without fast travel.
  • This plugin does one thing and that is disable fast travel so you really have to walk, run, ride a horse, or pay for a carriage.
  • I recommend using this with something that expands the carriage system in Skyrim to all the holds and maybe some of the smaller villages.

Argument for:

It is really easy to take in all the sights and sounds of Skyrim and if you want to increase your playthrough time this will do the trick.

Argument against:

You do not have the luxury of time.

Shout Combat and Skill System[edit]

  • Do you think that it was wrong that Bethesda gave you this new shouting mechanic for Skyrim, but it had nothing to do with leveling up your character? Then this is for you.
  • Levels up Speech skill with shouts and Speech skill can reduce shout recovery time. Some of the useless Speech tree perks are also redone.

Argument for:

Shouting is much more apart of your character.

Argument against:

You really do not use shouting anyways.


These are just a few fixes I have seen that are not in STEP or USKP.

Morokei Mask Enchantment Fix[edit]

  • Bethesda created a unique enchantment for dragon priest masks, but the Morokei mask just had a generic enchantment while there was a unique enchantment listed in the Skyrim.esm. This little fix just removes the generic enchantment and replaces it with the unique one listed in the the esm.
  • The unique enchantment is 20% decrease in shout recovery time and 100% increase in magic recovery.

Argument for:

Makes the mask work like it is supposed to work.

Argument against:

The file comes with some different options for hoodless, maskless, and maskless with no hoods which is not really how the masks were designed.

Khajiit Dragonscale Helmet Fix[edit]

  • Adds Khajiit's ears to the dragonscale helmet, so they stick out of the top.

Argument for:

No little holes in the top of the helmet for Khajiit.

Argument against:

Earrings will not show.