Now that the console crowd has been spoiled with mods on Bethesda games for some time, the number of options to change up the vanilla experience for Skyrim has absolutely exploded.
Even years later, you can consistently get entirely new ways to play the game and completely new ways to see it with graphics overhauls. With more than 7,000 mods now floating around for Xbox One, sifting through the dreck to find the most useful mods becomes quite a chore.
That's where we come in, finding all the best mods you should be using for Skyrim in 2018. We're going to assume you already know that you should download the unofficial Skyrim patch, grab the cheat room, and install the enhanced blood textures. If you didn't already know that, well, now you do!
Past those basic mods, here are 11 must-have mods available right now, including the best bow mods, archery mods, and hair mods for Skyrim Special Edition on the Xbox One.
Forget AI overhauls, enhanced weather, rich merchants, or perk tree changes. If there's one single, critical, must-install mod for Skyrim, it's this bad boy right here. I lost count of the number of times the guards in a town started attacking me because I defended myself against a sudden vampire attack.
Those annoying blood suckers make it a major chore just to head into town and sell your loot, let alone try to wrap up any quests. Barring a major guard AI update from Bethesda (unlikely at this point), this mod is basically a requirement to even enjoy the game at all.
For a radically different ranged combat experience, the Complete Archery Overhaul does exactly what it sounds like. All bows will require a bowstring to function, which must be crafted separately.
The aim auto assist is disabled, and a large number of tweaks are made to how arrows function and deal damage, including major changes to the archery tree and modifications to how many arrows can stick out of an enemy at one time.
The end result is something markedly different from the base gameplay, and well worth trying out if you like to play as a marksman.
Its a simple change offered here, but one that can drastically alter the way you play as a ranged combat character during a Skyrim playthrough.
This mod adds a scoped variant of every single vanilla game bow (it won't put them on extra bows you've added through mods) that includes two different sights -- one for a quick shot, and one for careful aiming at a distance.
For those who prefer a magic-slinging character over a ranged archer, this is easily the biggest and most useful mod to change up how the magic system works.
155 new spells are added across all the schools of magic, complete with custom effects and animations that blend in with the existing spells. From burying a victim in the earth to conjuring another wizard to fight for you and even to lobbing volcanic lava bombs, you won't ever run out of killer new spells to try out here.
There are more than a few hair and body replacement mods out there, but this one stands apart for a couple of reasons. First up, it's significantly smaller in overall file size than the others, leaving you more room to install other Xbox One mods.
The changes are also specifically meant to evoke a proper Elder Scrolls fantasy feel, so you won't get any weird, outlandish hairstyles that don't match the surroundings. All the various high-definition changes to the hair also modify a specific texture within the game -- rather than adding a new one -- so you won't run into any compatibility issues.
If you prefer a much wider range of options over the previous smaller mod, Apachii Sky Hair is the way to go. Rather than changing the hair effects for other characters you interact with in the world, this one offers 42 new hair styles to choose for your own character. Whether male or female -- and even including some Khajiit options -- you are bound to find something you like here.
Try saying "unique uniques" five times fast! When you're done with that, go download the mod, because it results in some killer visuals for unique weapons across the game.
Weapons like the Pale Blade, Dragonbane, Angi's Bow, and Red Eagle's blade all get major retextures to look more interesting and set them apart from their standard weapon counterparts.
Much like how the archery overhaul changes ranged combat, Moonlight Tales completely and totally revamps the game's werewolf mechanics. Lunar cycle mechanics are introduced, along with an entirely new perk tree based around lycanthropic transformations, custom animations and sounds, and a lot more. If you've always wanted a more in-depth shapeshifter-type character in Skyrim, be sure to add this one to your load order straight away.
More than a mod, this is actually a super mod collection that adds 28 unique dragons to the game that all look remarkably different for more variation in the game.
Multiple levels of dragon strength are also added that scale with player level, ensuring a challenge no matter where you are in the game. Get ready for some serious fights, because they've all got new breath weapons as well!
If you've played through Skyrim repeatedly, the existing perk structure can get repetitive and boring, even after trying out different character types. Ordinator gives you a brand-new leveling experience by replacing every single perk in the game with 400 new options that all have unique names and different bonuses.
Placing tripwires as a thief, planting a rallying banner for buffs as a warrior, converting healing spells into damaging holy fire as a mage, and more are all possible with these perk changes.
The Forgotten City is one of those creations that showcases why the PC and Xbox One mods are pretty much always going to beat out the PS4 versions (which don't allow new assets and thus can't include large new areas like this one).
The "mod," which is really more of a free DLC, includes a full, extra six-hour experience beyond the base game, revolving around a murder mystery in an underground city.
There's a dynamic story here with multiple possible endings, and it's frankly better written and executed than a lot of the vanilla Skyrim quests. Add in voiced characters and music on top, and this is a mod to immediately try out when you've already explored all the other nooks and crannies of the map.
Obviously there are hundreds of other mods well worth your time, but right now, these 11 are some of the best available.
What did you think of our picks, and what other Xbox One Skyrim mods would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below, and explore even more more options here: