Home / Modding / Skyrimcam’s 41+ Essential Skyrim Mods for a Realistic, Next-Gen Experience 2015

Skyrimcam’s 41+ Essential Skyrim Mods for a Realistic, Next-Gen Experience 2015


I know, you want your Skyrim to look exactly like mine, ‘cuz DAMN LOOK AT THOSE SCREENSHOTS. Here is my list of “essentials” – the mods I define as “essential” are required to get the SAME LOOK as my screenshots. You don’t have to use all these mods if you don’t want your game to look the same as in my photos.

Oh, and for those of you who don’t already know, Skyrimcam is my Instagram account for Skyrim screenshots. You should follow me if you haven’t already!

Here you go, the best Skyrim mods of 2015 and beyond, complete with screenshots!

Must Haves: Essential Environment Mods [install in this order and overwrite existing!]

TESV 2015-10-22 09-40-46-57

Static Mesh Improvement Mod

This mod is a MUST if you’re taking screencaps.  It makes every object in the game look more realistic and less blocky.

TESV 2015-10-22 09-38-25-41

Skyrim HD or Tamriel Reloaded HD

Dem textures, tho … Skyrim HD is more of a vanilla feel, whereas Tamriel Reloaded really spices up the textures in Skyrim. Right now I’m on total Tamriel Reloaded kick, but I used Skyrim HD for like 2+ years before it, so I have a lot of residual love for it. Pick the one that you like more! I’m only using the 2k textures, so imagine what 4k would look like! 

TESV 2015-10-22 19-56-13-81

Skyrim Flora Overhaul

More flowers, more grass, more trees, more everything.  You need this to make Skyrim look lush and full of life – it adds density and variety to every bit of flora in Tamriel.  I currently rock the Spring version because I love the green forests and grasses.

TESV 2015-10-22 21-11-12-90

Poupourri ENB

This is the ENB I’m currently using. First Seed version is more cinematic, Morning Star version is more saturated – I prefer a modified Morning Star version (install the Morning Star version then copy my files into the folder), but really, your game could look killer with any ENB you decide to use.  So, just pick one that looks good to you – just make sure it modifies depth of field so that closer objects are sharp and far away objects are blurry, so your screencaps have depth.  If you use Poupouri ENB, you’ll also need Enhanced Lights and FX and Dark Dungeons for ENB or else everything will look too bright.

TESV 2015-10-01 20-57-04-53

Revamped Exterior Fog

This mod revamps the exterior fog in Skyrim hehehe. Ok, I’ll stop being a dick. Basically it makes the fog a little bit weaker so that it doesn’t wash everything in Tamriel out. You need this, trust me.

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Watercolor for ENB

This is how I get my water looking super gorgeous with aqua and blue tones and gorgeous golden sun scattering.  You’ll also need Realistic Water Two for this to work properly – install it before Watercolor for ENB.


JK’s Skyrim

Makes all the villages and cities in Skyrim more full of life.  Vastly improves the design and clutter of every town, village, and city in Skyrim!

TESV 2015-10-22 21-01-45-04

Vivid Clouds and Fogs

I really like this mod to make the clouds and fogs look much more realistic and dramatic. It also has the option to move the clouds along faster with its “windy” setting – looks super cool!

TESV 2015-10-22 20-47-29-04

Inside the Nebula

Turn your night sky nebula into something beautiful.  I like the original version with the ENB I’m using (Poupouri) but I think the waterfall version looks best in vanilla.

TESV 2015-10-23 22-08-41-73

Enhanced Blood Textures

This is a must have for combat – haven’t you always wanted your enemies to bleed in HD?

Continue reading on the next page for Essential Character Mods!

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  1. Great lineup of mods. I’ve been setting up a new Skyrim setup to play after Fallout 4.

    For cities I use most of the JK series except for Markarth, Whiterun, and smaller cities. For Markarth I use three mods: Dawn of Markarth, Markarth the White City, and Sky City – Markarth rising. In fact, the “Dawn of” series is a good compromise if JK is too much for your computer.

    I also use the “Sexy” series of city textures as they make the cities look much more well kept instead of run down. I use it together with the above mods but it looks great by itself.

    There’s also the entire “Rustic” series of mods that spices things up. Some of those are 2k though most also have smaller file options.

    Realistic Aspen and Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer are two mods I’ve come to love.

    In a previous post about armors you recommended Blood Witch Armors which is amazing.

  2. One more point … I followed this guide (https://youtu.be/eaorfAchdHI) to modify my .ini files and it made a big difference in the look of my game. The video is 30 minutes long but it takes you step by step through the process. Perhaps your next article could be any .ini settings you use.

  3. Hey i just recently discovered this blog and really love it. I may have a mod recommendation you could like: The Legacy of the Dragonborn. It is difficult to decribe this mod as it is a DLC-sized relic hunter expansion but it integrates some other mods you already have in your articles so i thought you might like it. I’d never play Skyrim again without it. Keep up the nice blog, it’s cool that someone still writes about skyrim modding :)

    • oOOoo thanks for the suggestion, I’ll check it out! Yeah, my time lately has been crunched on Fallout 4 but I’ll always blog about Skyrim :D

  4. thanks for the mods. I really like your Blogs.
    If you could give us some tutorial about modding or give us some names of other modding tutorials it would be amazing.
    thanks anyway.

  5. After installing all the mods(well most of them anyway), my loading screen when i travel takes for ever(i mean literally) and it doesnt load.

  6. SO wait: You said install in this order and overwrite, so it’s okay to let the other texture mods overwrite SMIM if they need to?

  7. It’s funny.. you mention the HD Beards mod saying you’ll get lush full beards but your picture is of a 15 year old who’s just starting to grow peach fuzz LOL It would be fitting IMO if you replaced that picture with a character who has a real beard. Good lineup. I enjoyed and used your info happily. I however do Not like having to go through different pages just so the site can show more ads when all the info will fit on one long scrolling html page. I hate that people don’t do that anymore, all for the sake of Ads! UGG!

    • Lol good suggestion, I’ll find a screencap with a heavier beard ;) I actually try really hard not to break up my pages too much because I also get annoyed at sites that do that. If I really wanted to make ad revenue, I would just do what other sites do and put one mod on each page :) The reason I broke this post up into three pages is because I was afraid all the photos would make it too long to load on a single page. But I’ll try to keep it in mind in the future ;)

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