Mod Skyrim Without Cheating

Also available for : PC, PS3, Xbox360

With over 4,000 mods on the Skyrim Workshop there's no shortage of ways to modify Skyrim. You can summon spectral horses, add throwing knives, a mass lightning spell, vampire spell tomes, and give merchants a whole bunch of gold so you can more conveniently offload your gear. While these are certainly convenient, they also break the original design of the game. Merchants aren't supposed to have more gold unless you choose to increase your Speech skill and unlock its perk tree.<br/><br/>Maybe you'd rather resist the temptation to bypass the game's deliberate limitations. What constitutes a deliberate limitation is of course relative, but below is a selection of mods that enhance the sound, visuals and interface functionality of Skyrim without fiddling with gameplay systems or outright cheating Bethesda's game.<br/><br/>And in case you're unfamiliar with the Skyrim Workshop, it recently launched through Steam, providing a framework for users to share, rate and apply mods to customize the PC version of Skyrim. With the exception of Skyrim HD, all these mods are available on the Workshop, and you can find them through the Workshop's search function.<br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header"> Ask Follower Skills</div>Useful for when you simply want to know what a follower will do. This does not give your followers horses to ride or some kind of crazy, world obliterating superpower. Instead, it just lets you ask them a question and see their stats. It's simple and quite useful.<br/><br/><img src="http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/121/1212033/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-20111110083439585.jpg" /><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Enhanced Blood Textures</div>Why not? If you frequently use a sword to slice at things, this makes the grisly effects look a little bit more realistic.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1215443/batman_skyrim_1324616628.jpg" /><br/>Good luck finding some gadgets, though.<br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">House Map Markers</div>This simple mod doesn't do anything dramatic &#x2013; it simply adds in a fast travel icon for your owned property. Then when you bring up your world map, you can go directly to your property instead of traveling to the city and then finding your house. It makes sense and, more importantly, saves time.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1215443/assassins_skyrim_1324616600.jpg" /><br/>No whores makes Ezio extra stabby.<br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Killmove +</div>Maybe you've killed a small city in Skyrim and have grown tired of seeing the same few kill animations over and over again. This mod gives you a few extra cinematic finishes to combat encounters, adding extra variety to the fighting system without fundamentally altering it.<br/><br/><iframe width="467" height="346" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wR_u9jFxt6A" frameborder="0" ></iframe><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Realistic Lighting / Improved Interior Lighting</div>These mods work together to alter the style of lighting across Skyrim, making for a slightly more realistic look, both indoors and outside.<br/><br/><iframe width="467" height="267" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/z33oTTnILac" frameborder="0" ></iframe><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Reduced Distance NPC Greetings</div>In many real-life cities, most people walking the streets try their best to avoid actually interacting with anyone else. In Skyrim, you'd think everyone was trying to be your best friend. With this mod NPC's tendency to shout greetings is reduced unless you decide to enter into uncomfortably close range.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1215443/infamous_skyrim_1324616701.jpg" /><br/>Or hilarity-based (Gary Cole).<br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Skyrim HD &#x2013; 2K Textures</div>This mod isn't actually on the Skyrim Workshop, but you can get it at Skyrim Nexus. It's a huge overhaul of Skyrim's textures, addressing everything from water to sky to NPC clothing to the alchemy table. <br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1215443/zelda_skyrim_1324616728.jpg" /><br/>Or for an<i>even creepier</i> feel, don't wear pants and never say a word.<br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">SkyUI</div>Perhaps the most easily recommended Skyrim mod of all. SkyUI reworks your inventory pane on PC so it's compact and easily manageable with a mouse. You can even search for specific items in the inventory's filter field, which makes sifting through ingredients and potions much more convenient.<br/><br/><img src="http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1215443/saints_skyrim_1324616759.jpg" /><br/>Now that is one crazy Khajiit.<br/><br/><br/><br/><LINK REL="stylesheet" HREF="http://guidesmedia.ign.com/guides/uni/IGNE_style.css" TYPE="text/css"><DIV CLASS="IGNE_header">Sounds of Skyrim, The Dungeons / The Wilds</div>You may be perfectly happy with the sound work Bethesda did in The Elder Scrolls V, but you do no harm to the game by installing these mods. They add a huge number of sound effects to the game, right down to different "rain-impact sounds on tents and wooden structures."<br/><br/><iframe width="467" height="267" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/5fFZVF5iL18" frameborder="0" ></iframe><pb<br><br/><br/>Considering how many mods are available on the Worshop, sure you have some favorites that weren't listed here. Which ones would you recommend? Do you care at all about breaking game systems when modding Skyrim? <br><br/><br/>&#169;2012-03-02, IGN Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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