Best Skyrim Special Edition Mods (2023)

From UI improvements to core gameplay changes, Skyrim Special Edition (SE) mods have it all.

Skyrim in its heyday boasted a huge amount of mods and now Skyrim Special Edition, after all this time, has somewhat caught up to it with old mods also being ported onto it. Even the Skyrim Script Extender is updated for the Anniversary Edition making so that the mods that were previously broken are now fully functional but updating your game may break Skyrim Script Extender so be warned.

Best Mods for Skyrim Special Edition

Here listed are some of the best Skyrim Special Edition mods that the community has to offer:

  • SkyUI
  • JK’s Skyrim
  • Combat Gameplay Overhaul (CGO)
  • Shadow of Skyrim
  • Arcanum: A New Age of Magic


sky ui

When Skyrim originally came out, the UI was favored to be navigated on a console with a controller, so SkyUI was created in order to make the experience of navigating the UI more streamlined for the mouse & keyboard. With the added ability to filter and sort your inventory based on things like weight, value and damage, it’s a no-brainer. It also adds an in-game menu for configuring mods that a lot of popular mods rely on, making it an essential mod to begin with.

JK’s Skyrim

jk's skyrim

Jk’s Skyrim is a mod that aims to completely redesign all of Skyrim’s major cities while also doing the same for some settlements. The goal is to fit each of the cities into a more distinctive theme giving them their own flair. It also has features like the local banners and guards changing allegiance based on world events.

Combat Gameplay Overhaul (CGO)

cgo skyrim Special Edition mod

If you ever felt Skyrim’s combat is a bit too unathletic or clunky then this mod is for you. CGO makes the perfect amount of changes to Skyrim’s base combat mechanics to where it doesn’t feel too far off from the base combat but also improves on all aspects of it. It features added combat mechanics such as dodge roll, being able to switch between one and two-handed grip, the ability to attack while in midair, and much more.

Shadow of Skyrim

shadow of skyrim mod Special Edition

This mod borrows a gameplay system straight from the Shadow of Mordor game series which was the highlight of it; The Nemesis System. It works similarly in Skyrim with this mod, for example when you get defeated by a mob you don’t load a save but instead wake up at a nearby location with the mob that defeated you have leveled up in stats and gain a unique title that makes them recognizable as your new nemesis. They can even be seen with some of your gear that they picked up after defeating you, requiring you to put more effort to get your items back.

Arcanum: A New Age of Magic

arcanum skyrim mod

Arcanum is a big overhaul mod for the magic system in Skyrim. It also works amazingly well with the game’s progression and doesn’t just throw stuff, instead, it guides you through lore-friendly custom-made quests and even has crafting elements, making it a good mod even for new playthroughs. It features things like the ability to summon tornados to wreak some serious havoc, the ability to rain down a meteor shower upon your foes, and much more.

While these are only a few of the good ones, Skyrim Special Editon now has tons of mods and it will only increase with time. if you want to check out and learn how to properly download and install Skyrim mods manually, check out this guide on Gamer Tweak.