[Top 10] Best Skyrim Graphics Mods We Love!

Best Skyrim Graphics Mods
Make your game feel brand new with these graphics mods.

Give your game a makeover with a next-gen feel. 

One of the most impressive parts of the Skyrim modding community is that it never stops evolving. As each generation of graphics gets better and better, modders do the same. A video showcasing the best graphics mods for Skyrim in 2017 can be laughable compared to a few years later. These mods will make Skyrim look like a brand new, next-gen game. 

10. Total Character Makeover

A look at some improved characters in the Companions. 

If your surroundings in Skyrim are modded beyond recognition, you don’t want your  NPCs wandering around with their 2011 appearances, do you? They would look out of place and take you out of the immersion. That’s where Total Character Makeover comes in! 


  • Brand new texture sets for every race in the game
  • Teeth, eyes, and facial hair textures are all greatly improved 
  • Everything is improved on, even warpaint and makeup textures

Get the mod here./se version

9. Nordic Snow

A side-by-side close look at the different snow textures. 

If there’s one thing Skyrim has a lot of, it’s snow. However, snow can often be overlooked when you’re searching for mods. Having a mod like Nordic Snow in your game will make a beautiful difference when you’re exploring the coldest corners of Skyrim.


  • All-new beautiful 2k snow textures
  • Colors and brightness are tweaked to blend in seamlessly with the environment 
  • Compatible with any other mods (besides snow textures)

Get the mod here./se version

8. Skyrim 3D Landscapes

With this mod, you'll immediately notice the world feeling more alive with plants like these.

Sometimes, the world of Skyrim can look a little dreary. There are a lot of empty stretches of land containing little more than dead grass and dirt. A lot of mods aim to fix this, and 3D Landscapes is one of the best I’ve seen! The best part is it’s compatible with all of the other tree and flora mods. (Though it is specifically crafted to go along with Skyrim 3D Trees and Plants). 


  • 90+ brand new vegetation models that have been placed by hand throughout the world
  • 53 new landscape textures, even covering most of the DLC areas
  • Landscape textures are available in 1k, 2k, or 4k to fit your performance needs

Get the mod here for SE. 

7. Realistic Water Two

 Going for a swim is a lot more appealing when the water looks like this. 

Water is all over Skyrim, and if we’re being honest…it doesn’t look very good. The water in the vanilla game is grey and sad. If you’re trying to improve the graphics on your game, the water is going to look out of place without a mod like this. This mod has been around a long time, so it has tons of features to choose from and is very polished.


  • Replaces all of the water in the game, and installation options let you choose from brighter, fantasy colors or more realistic ones
  • Changes how different bodies of water behave, so lakes don’t have flowing water like a river would 
  • Foam, splashes, and waves are retextured, and new ambient sound effects for each type of  body of water

Get the mod here./se version.

6. SMIM (Static Mesh Improvement Mod)

A detailed look that shows just how much this mod improves even the smallest textures. 

Static Mesh Improvement Mod is considered a necessity by the modding community. It’s a huge texture replacement mod that aims to make the worst textures in Skyrim look a million times better. If you put this mod into your game, you’ll see right away why SMIM is considered a staple of every mod list. 


  • Introduces and improves hundreds of textures covering buildings, furniture, and even the smallest clutter in corners of dungeons
  • Uses some pre-existing textures with brand new 3D models that make vast improvements on the original
  • Blends in well with other mods that add or change textures, you will just have to choose which mod to give priority to if there is overlap (making installing through Nexus recommended) 

Get the mod here./se version

5. Verdant Grass Plugin

Verdant will completely change the look of your game with this fluffy, dense grass. 

This grass replacement mod is a long-time personal favorite of mine. I haven’t started a playthrough without it in years, and if you install it, you’ll instantly see why. Gone are the barren, dirt-filled fields in Skyrim. This mod is incompatible with other grass replacement mods, so you’ll have to pick your favorite. For me, Verdant is a mod I can’t play without. 


  • Brand new grass in varying colors depending on the area
  • Huge increase in the density all over Skyrim, with ini settings to tweak for performance
  • 1k and 512 versions included for more performance help

Get the mod here./se version

4. Flora Overhaul

A small sample of the variety of plants and textures added with this mod.

Flora Overhaul has been around for a long time, and it is a must for those who want their game to look more lively and colorful. A huge amount of trees and flora are added, and this mod will complement Verdant or another grass replacement very nicely. Truthfully, this mod can get a little performance heavy. So if you’re already struggling with low FPS, you might want to hold off on this one. 


  • 16 new tree models, 65+ models for plants and grass
  • 180+ textures for trees, grass, and plants, and improved LOD with small trees and plants being visible in the distance
  • Each type of environment spawns 7 different types of grass instead of the default (2)

Get the mod here./se version

3. Vivid Weathers

Vivid Weathers will have you stopping in the middle of a quest to look up at beautiful skies like this one.

Weather in vanilla Skyrim seemed to only have a few varieties: sun, rain, and snow. They looked the same each time, which can make the game feel less immersive. You never really consider how much weather changes, from the color of the trees or the lighting depending on the time of day. It may not sound like much, but this mod will transform your game and have you stopping mid-journey to appreciate the view. 


  • An incredible 500+ different weather types, with 16 new thunder sound effects for bad weather
  • Adjustable brightness for interiors and nighttime through in-game menus
  • 150 new cloud textures, a new star and sky textures, and all kinds of new effects and changes you’ll notice right away

Get the mod here./se version


With the immersive lighting changes, walking into your favorite inn feels cozier than ever.

Enhanced Lighting and FX will completely change the look of your game, from interiors, dungeons, to even just walking through the streets of Whiterun at night. This mod completely changes the way lighting works in the game while having very little to no impact on your performance. (If you’re using a weather mod like Vivid Weathers above, make sure you don’t choose the ‘weathers’ option during installation). 


  • Every single light source emits light, including windows inside buildings
  • Each inn and city has lights and colors tweaked to match the local weather 
  • Many options during installation, including options so dark that you can’t navigate a dungeon without torches or light spells

Get the mod here./se version.  

1. Skyrim 2020 Parallax

Why wouldn't you want to walk on pathways as pretty as these?

This mod considers itself a sort of extension of SMIM, going even further to try to cover every inch of Skyrim with beautiful high-res textures. Starting from the ground up, (literally, every little cobblestone pathway) this mod covers everything from cities, dungeons, clutter, armor, and tons more. This mod is still being updated to include new textures.


  • Nearly 1400 files, with a plan to have over 2000 by the end of 2020
  • Information is included to resize textures larger or smaller, depending on if you want more performance or even better textures
  • For the full potential, the mod author suggests using SSE Parallax Shader Fix (for Skyrim SE) 

Get the mod here./se version

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As she continues to level up in life, Lyric has made it her goal is to discover every realm of gaming and write her way through her journey.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Genshin Impact
Top 3 Favorite Games:Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Tomb Raider, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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