I am a huge fan of "The Elder Scrolls" series as well as all of the other great Bethesda titles.
Welcome to my latest article on Skyrim, the fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series by Bethesda. In this article, I am going to look at the best armour mods available.
- First, I will look at improving the look of the existing vanilla armour sets by installing mods with higher definition textures and making them fit newer player character body shapes.
- Second, I will examine some of the best mods available that add new lore-friendly and high-quality armour sets to Skyrim.
But before we get started, I will briefly review what mod management tools you should use, and how to set up your mods.
Mod Management Tools
I would recommend using one of the following two Mod Management tools for Skyrim, Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer.
Nexus Mod Manager
Nexus Mod Manager is an excellent tool which offers:
- Single click downloads.
- A very user-friendly and easy to use user interface.
- A way to easily and quickly install and uninstall all your mods.
- The tool will automatically check all your mods for available updates and also update your mod load order automatically.
I have an article that introduces Nexus Mod Manager here.
Mod Organizer is a more advanced tool that offers the following:
- It also allows you to clean saved games and organize your mod order.
- It installs mods more cleanly than Nexus Mod Manager (each mod is installed into its own folder) and is suitable for people who are more familiar with installing mods or are having problems getting mods to install correctly with Nexus Mod Manager.
- You can also create Profiles that have different mods installed and INI files with different settings to allow you to test risk-free.
My article on Mod Organizer can be found here.
Installing Your Mods
I thoroughly recommended that when looking to improve an aspect of Skyrim using mods that you:
- Start with a mod that improves the look of all vanilla content.
- Install mods that improve specific aspects of it further.
- Check for patches that allow your installed mods to work together better.
- Then use your mods to add new things to the game.
I always download all the mods that I like the look of and think will improve a specific aspect of the game. Then I think of the best order using the rules I outlined above.
Next, test each mod in turn by playing the game. Sometimes you will love the look of the mod from screenshots, but it simply doesn’t look right to you in your game. Uninstall it immediately before adding any more mods. This way, you won’t be in the middle of a game thinking “I don’t like the look of that, I wish I could get rid of it, but I don’t remember which mod it is from”. Believe me, I have been there and it is really frustrating!
Once you have Skyrim looking exactly how you want it, be very careful when adding new mods and only use mods that introduce new content or that will definitely work with your installed mods to ensure that you don’t have to re-install mods to fix any issues the new mod may introduce.
1. aMidianBorn Book of Silence
The first mod we will look at is the "aMidianBorn Book of Silence" mod, written by CaBal. This excellent mod improves the graphics of all vanilla armour sets by using higher quality textures. All are lore-friendly and built from scratch. You can see the increased detail in the guard's armour in the picture below.
All sixteen armour sets are replaced. There is also a patch ("aMidianBorn Textures For Immersive Armors and Lore-Friendly Armor Pack – Full Set Armour") that allows some of the textures from CaBals mod to be used in "Immersive Armours", which is the next mod we will look at.
2. Immersive Armors
This is a truly wonderful mod from a very talented modder. It adds 22 new armour sets, 3 new shields and a whole array of other additions including eye patches, scarves and even a kilt. Everything is lore-friendly and fitting for the game. All objects can be crafted, upgraded and have enchantments added to them. In-game, they can be found as quest rewards, in loot and being worn by NPCs.
3. Caliente's Vanilla Outfits for CBBE
For those of us using Caliente’s stunning "Caliente Female Body Mod Big Bottom Edition – CBBE" to give our player character a curvier body shape, this mod is a must. It changes the meshes for all vanilla armour sets so that they fit your player character better. It will remove any seams or clipping that you may otherwise experience.
- Note: This mod will only change meshes to allow the armour to look right with the changed body shape. No textures are changed, so it will not overwrite any of the mods you install to upgrade or enhance the appearance of your armour in-game.
If you don’t have "CBBE" and would like to learn more about it, I have an article that covers customising the appearance of your player character in great detail which can be found here.
4. XAC – Xenius Armour Compilation
The last compilation mod I would like to introduce is "Xenius’s XAC – Xenius Armour Compilation" mod. This mod includes four armour sets for female player characters. The sets are:
- Blade Dancer
- Royal Scout
- Lady Bulwark
- Maiden Vagabond
As you can see from the screenshot below, they are beautiful armour sets that allow your female character to still look feminine wearing armour without it being too revealing and looking out of place in the snow-laden Skyrim.
1. Crimson Ranger Armor
First is "Crimson Ranger Armor" by Patobek. This mod adds a new armour set designed specifically for Rangers. It is designed for both male and female characters, and as you can see from the screenshot below, the level of detail is impressive and the armour looks lovely. It is also craftable. Be sure to install both the mod and the fix when installing it.
2. Skyforge Shields
The second mod I recommend is actually a shield mod—"Skyforge Shields" by Dreogan. This mod allows you to craft shields at the Skyforge or purchase some from Eorlund Graymane. As you can see from the screenshot, these are truly gorgeous shields. The mod author recommends that you install the mod "Dual Sheath Redux" if you want to be able to wear your shield on your back.
3. Warchief Armor
Next is "Warchief Armor" by the author of Immersive Amors, hothtrooper44. This standalone armour set is for a Barbarian character and exactly what you would expect a Barbarian to wear in the colder climate of Skyrim.
I would recommend also checking out the author's other standalone armour sets, particularly the "Spellbinder" and "Vagabond" sets if they fit the character that you are playing as. As you would expect from a modder of hothtrooper44’s ability, all their mods are of a superb standard are totally lore-friendly.
4. Bosmer Armor Pack
Bosmer Armor Pack by Maty743 is the last mod I will look at in this article. The Bosmer or Wood Elves in Skyrim are excellent hunters and archers, and the armour sets (five in all) introduced in this mod are wonderful. They can be crafted only using Elven forges and are made entirely of leather and bone. The details, as you would expect from the Elves, are wonderful. And if you play a Bosmer character, I cannot recommend this mod enough.
I Hope You Love Your Mods!
In this article, I set out to improve the look of vanilla objects in Skyrim and also expand the game world by using mods. I only included mods that look beautiful and fit with the overall look and feel of Skyrim without breaking your immersion.
I do hope that you found my article useful and that you have installed, are using, and love some of the mods I introduced. I would like to thank all the modders for their wonderful content, and of course Bethesda for making the games I love.
© 2015 Robbie C Wilson