Modding Skyrim to Make It More Like Dark Souls

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Skyrim is a pretty popular game -- so popular, in fact, that Bethesda can't seem to stop themselves from re-releasing it on as many platforms as it'll fit on!

However, even a game as well regarded as Skyrim has its flaws, as evidenced by the numerous overhauls and tweaks available through mods for the game. Now, you could try to enhance your Skyrim playthrough by downloading a couple of random mods that happen to catch your eye, but you might be better off tailoring your game to build a more cohesive experience.

For example, why not try modding Skyrim to emulate the gameplay of another third-person, medieval fantasy action-RPG that's actually renowned for its combat?

Here are six mods that'll bring your Skyrim run a little closer to Dark Souls.

TK Dodge

What would Dark Souls be without dodge rolling? Well, the game would still be beatable for some people, but for the majority of players, it just wouldn’t be the same. Nexus Mods user tktk1 has produced quite a number of highly rated mods for the website (and I recommend checking them out), and amongst the most popular is TK Dodge, which adds a configurable dodge roll to the game.

You’ll be able to change the dodge’s input method (e.g., double-tapping a movement key to dodge vs. using a dedicated dodge hotkey), adjust the stamina cost and the invincibility frame duration of the dodge, and even choose between two different dodge animations!

Wildcat -- Combat of Skyrim

One of the Souls series’ hallmark features is the lethality of combat, and it’s not just the player who’s fragile; most of the enemies your size will fall after three or four hits as well.

There are quite a few highly configurable combat overhauls available for Skyrim that make combat deadlier for all parties involved, but Wildcat in particular is fairly lightweight and adds a few extra mechanics that many Souls veterans will find familiar.

  • Stamina costs for all attacks, not just power attacks
  • Faster stamina (and magicka) regeneration
  • Staggering is more common (though I’d probably disable the injury system)
  • Increased damage dealt to characters in the middle of an attack

However, if you've already got a combat overhaul that you like, that should do the job just fine.

VIGILANT

With VIGILANT, your character becomes a Vigilant of Stendarr tasked with keeping the holds of Skyrim safe from the encroaching darkness. However, things get a little more complicated when a Daedric Prince takes an interest in the Dragonborn.

VIGILANT is divided into four parts (all included in the mod), taking you on a journey that will bring you to some truly Souls-esque set pieces to fight some equally Souls-esque enemies. VIGILANT also doubles as a weapon & armor mod, and you’ll be able to pick up some setting-appropriate equipment (there’s actually even some Bloodborne stuff in there) as you progress through the story.

Also note that while the base mod is not voice acted, the Skyrim Voice Alliance produced an English voice acting add-on for the mod -- you can get it here!

SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu

With “SkyrimSouls” in its title, there can be no mistake about which audience this mod was intended for -- though of course, players looking for a more immersive Skyrim experience will appreciate the mod’s function all the same.

SkyrimSouls -- Unpaused Game Menu does exactly what it says: it stops in-game menus from pausing the game. This means that you won’t be able to open your inventory to pause combat, chug five healing potions, swap out your armor, eat a wheel of cheese, and then resume combat. The mod is also highly configurable, and you’ll be able to pick and choose which menus you want exempt from the modified menu behavior (for example, you may not want the game to continue running while the system menu is open).

(If you really want to crack down on the potion chugging, you may want to check out Potions Animated, which forces the player character through a drinking animation whenever they consume a potion.)

Lock-On

Skyrim version can be downloaded here.

Skyrim doesn’t have the same omnidirectional camera movement that the Souls games have -- if you have your weapon drawn and you turn your camera, your character turns in that direction too. This makes a lock-on system less of a necessity, but like tumbling, the lock-on system is a pretty big part of Souls combat.

As far as customization goes, this mod is pretty straightforward, but if you find that the default lock-on texture isn’t to your liking, there’s a Dark Souls-themed texture replacer you can check out.

Unfortunately, there is no version of this mod currently available for Skyrim Special Edition. However, the Simple Face to Face Conversion mod has a Simple Lock-On Alpha listed under miscellaneous files that you might want to give a try.

The Grim and Somber ENBs

Skyrim version can be downloaded here.

Dark Souls and Skyrim are all about atmosphere, and they both nail it -- in their own respective ways. But if you want to bring Skyrim's atmosphere closer to Dark Souls', you can do to Skyrim what every fantasy and sci-fi film director has done to their own works: add post-processing effects!

... or, have someone else do it for you!

The Grim and Somber ENBs are a collection of ENB post-processing presets meant to give Skyrim a darker mood. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it looks to install -- just follow the instructions and you’ll be good to go!

If none of the Grim and Somber ENB presets are to your taste (or you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition), just be aware that there are tons of ENB presets available at Nexus Mods -- you can find them all here (or here if you’re playing Skyrim Special Edition.)

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Given the depth of Skyrim's modding scene, I'm sure there are plenty of mods that could fit on this list. Let me know of any that I may have missed!

If you're looking for more Skyrim-related content, you can find it all here!

Published Mar. 8th 2018

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