Make Skyrim Pretty - Texture Packs For You! <3

#1 Edited by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

Skyrim isn't the most graphically technical game released recently but it still manages to look amazing (so long that you don't go running around actively looking for bad texture work). But like any good PC game it hasn't stopped modders from releasing high resolution texture packs and other bits and pieces that make a Bethesda game better. Just like the game itself these the differences are subtle but as they come together as a whole it's properly amazing to look at. So, I've decided to compile a list of some of the texture packs that I use. Screenshots are in the links.

Races and Characters

Xenius Character Enchancements - A collection of enhancements from one modder. Highly recommended.

Telthalions Finer Hair - Improves hair texture. Three varying degrees of saturation to choose from.

AOF Believable Hair - Another hair texture mod.

No Dirty Bodies - Caucasian Female Races - Gets rids of spots and dimples on female body texture. Supports Nords, Bretons and Imperials (for now). SFW.

I Wash - Removes spots, zits and other nastiness from the body texture. Males races only.

Environmental

Skyrim HD - High resolution pack. Mainly deals with world textures. Currently WIP though nearly complete. Fairly large size so a good PC is recommended.

Alternative Road Textures - Put these textures in last so it overwrites whatever texture you previously installed.

Daroozs Stonefloor Whiterun - Better stonefloor texture in Whiterun. Install this last so it's not overwritten by previous texture packs.

Visible Windows - Better, detailed windows.

Enhanced Night Skyrim - High resolution texture for the night sky. Separate from the constellations textures so you can still enjoy both without sacrifice.

Vurts Skyrim Flora Overhaul - Higher resolution textures for all trees. Includes a variety of colours to choose from. Currently WIP.

Lush Trees - Makes trees more fuller and wholesome with low hit to FPS. Designed to work with Vurts Skyrim Overhaul as well.

Lush Grass - Same as the above albeit grass instead. Compliments Vurts Skyrim Flora Overhaul well. Minimal hit to FPS.

Skyrim Sun Glare - Adds sun glare when looking at the sun. Two versions to choose from.

Realistic Sun Glare - Adds sunglare. Does not add any lens flare as the one above does.

Realistic Water Textures - High resolution textures for water. There are a few other water textures but I think this is the best one.

Nicer Snowflakes - Gives a variety of snowflake textures to use from a choice of four. Recommended.

Better Snow Textures - Replaces the somewhat dirty looking snow textures of the original.

Real Ice_Dull Edition - A brighter, ice texture using parallax shaders. I dunno if it's more realistic but nicer nonetheless.

Moon Texture Replacer Pack - Replaces the current moon. Lots of options to choose from so check the screenshots. Read the instructions too to avoid any errors.

Immersive Skyrim Thunder - Better thunder. There's two videos worth checking out if you're curious.

Intricate Spider Webs - More intricate spider webs. Essentially a high res texture.

Armour, Weapons and Items

Armour Improvement - More detailed textures for all armours.

Improved NPC Clothing - Less shitty clothes for everyone!

Weapon Retexture Project - Considering the amount of time you're walking around with a weapon in your face this seems like an obvious choice.

A Higher Quality of Shields - Higher resolution shields. Currently WIP. Could do with a better name.

Better Gold - More detailed septims to make you feel more rich.

High Quality Food and Ingredients - More detailed textures for food and ingredient items.

Super Realistic Ore Textures - A bit of of a hyperbole but an otherwise nice touch to the ore textures.

Improved Torches Textures - A less bocky texture for torches.

Weapon Ebony Gold Complete Set- Better textures for the ebony set. Adds some gold to the finish. All races and genders.

Nightingale Prime - A slightly different and prettier texture for the Nightingale armour.

Magic

Deadly Spell Impacts - Improves decals left by spell effects. Highly recommended.

Realistic Magical Impacts - Alternate textures for spell decals. More faithful to the original textures in terms of style.

Miscellaneous Textures

FXAA Post Process Injector - Not a texture pack but a mod that adds post processing effects and more. Makes a huge difference.

Skyrim Enhanced Shaders - A tweak pack that adds HDR lighting and prettier shaders along with some other tweaks. Cheers to TheSeductiveMoose for pointing this out.

Enhanced Blood Textures - High resolution blood textures. Quadrupedal in resolution in comparison to the originals so you can tell the difference.

Main Font Replacement - Gives a variety of fonts to use over the original. Seven to choose from.

Alternate Skyrim Cursors - Gives a handful of cursors to use over the default cursor.

Realistic Paper - A good texture replacement assuming that you're arsed to read books anymore.

HD Furniture & Barrels - High resolution texture for furniture and barrels. Two slightly different variations of furniture textures to choose from.

HD Clutter & Furniture - More detailed textures for furniture, clutter, and other items. May overwrite some files from HD Furniture and Barrels.

Glowing Ore Veins 300 - Makes ore veins slightly more visible by adding a subtle glow to them. Useful and makes is slightly more vivid.

Realistic Rain Ripples - Makes ripples from rainfall look better. Two resolutions to choose from.

HiRes Road Signs- High resolution texture for road signs so they're readable at the very least.

Realistic Smoke & Embers - More smoke. Less haze.

Skyrim Logo - High resolution texture for the Skyrim logo in the main menu. No that you'll be looking at it a lot but it's still nice.

A Quality World Map - Replaces the world map with alternative textures. Worth a look.

NPCs & Mobs

Monster Retex Pack - Retextures all monsters. Offers recoloured textures for certain mobs.

Improved Dragon Textures - Exactly what it says it is.

Enhanced Horse Skins - Prettier horsies. Bella Sera would be proud.

Retextured Wolves and Pelts - Better looking wolves and pelts.

Animations

3rd Person Dual Wield Animation Fix - Corrects the animation whilst dual wielding.

Gameplay Changes, Fixes & Improvements

SkyBoost - Improves framerate. Seems like a hit or miss for some people.

SkyUI - A GUI replacement that makes inventory management a lot more bearable.

Categorized Favorites Menu - Revamps the favorites menu for easier use. Good for magic users by the looks of it. (Thanks to AhmadMetallic)

Rich Merchants - Gives merchants extra gold to barter with. (Edit: Apparently there's a bug if you install this and/or turn it off when you join the Thieves Guild. I'll edit the post again when it's fixed. Cheers to mak_wikus for pointing it out. Sorry for any problems caused.)

Dovahkiin Hideout - A hideout that every house is connected to. Lots of storage and tools. Handy for loot driven folk, like Vinny. (Thanks to AhmadMetallic)

Faster Horses - Makes horses faster. Varying speeds to choose from.

Improves Destruction Magic - Makes destruction magic more effective but relatively balanced as well.

Any texture packs/graphic mods you use that you would recommend to others?

#2 Posted by WEB_War4 (111 posts) -

@eroticfishcake: Thanks, I've been grabbing all of these mods.

#3 Posted by BoG (5178 posts) -

Are these mods any more demanding on the system?

Moderator
#4 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@BoG said:
Are these mods any more demanding on the system?
Any mod that "Increases" The texture ress will be more demanding on your system. 
#5 Posted by HistoryInRust (6215 posts) -

I'd love to see some high-def videos showing these in action. I'm sure they probably exist, but I'm too lazy to look.

#6 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

Followed

#7 Posted by Afroman269 (7388 posts) -
@AhmadMetallic
Followed
#8 Posted by MB (11302 posts) -

It seems like it's a bit early to be installing all of these mods...I don't really want to be downloading "works in progress" and what not. The game looks fine, I'll just wait until the one big mod that does everything and runs awesome is released and install that.

Moderator
#9 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

Updated some of the textures. I think by now most of them would be finished or updated. Assuming that you're still playing it and the latest patch doesn't crash your PC.

#10 Posted by mak_wikus (475 posts) -

Don't install the Rich Merchants mod or at least turn it off once you join the Thieves Guild. The mod screws something up at one point(fences have too much money) and the game starts crashing regularly.

#11 Posted by DaemonBlack (342 posts) -

@MB said:

It seems like it's a bit early to be installing all of these mods...I don't really want to be downloading "works in progress" and what not. The game looks fine, I'll just wait until the one big mod that does everything and runs awesome is released and install that.

This is pretty much how I feel. I'll let the modding community sift through what is good and what isn't and then compile them all together. I did the same thing for Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

#12 Posted by SSully (4060 posts) -

Great list, I use a few of these, including denser trees(just edited the ini file, didn't use the mod) the Post Processing injector(best mod yet), and a few others like the enhanced night sky.

I am going to install the nightingale prime one now, because it makes the armor look even better.

#13 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@eroticfishcake:  List is growing great, keep up the good work.  
 
@MB: Maybe you can sticky this thread? It's getting buried under the daily threads.
#14 Edited by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Thanks. For easier access you should just simply bookmark the page. It's what I do considering how often I come back here.

Also, the views/comments ratio is oddly disconcerting for me. I probably picked up most of the mods, still, some more input would be appreciated. Note that the mods I'm adding are mostly aesthetics with the occasional tweak here and there. The amount of new content when the Creation kit goes up in January is gonna be insane so you're better of just heading to SKyrimNexus yourself when it does.

#15 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5117 posts) -

I have been using the water mod for a while. it's really great.

#16 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@eroticfishcake said:

@AhmadMetallic: Thanks. For easier access you should just simply bookmark the page. It's what I do considering how often I come back here.

Also, the views/comments ratio is oddly disconcerting for me. I probably picked up most of the mods, still, some more input would be appreciated. Note that the mods I'm adding are mostly aesthetics with the occasional tweak here and there. The amount of new content when the Creation kit goes up in January is gonna be insane so you're better of just heading to SKyrimNexus yourself when it does.

It's been pinned! 
And yeah, I'm keeping track of the mods, downloading them gradually while making sure I don't bust up the game. Can't wait for the January releases! 
 
I downloaded 6 more mods from this thread, including the Faster Horses, Realistic Smoke and Enhanced Skybox, and oh man, the game is just shaping up to be perfect. 
The best 2 mods so far are the FXAA Post Process injector (beautiful colors) and the SkyUI inventory interface
#17 Posted by JCTango (1354 posts) -

@mak_wikus said:

Don't install the Rich Merchants mod or at least turn it off once you join the Thieves Guild. The mod screws something up at one point(fences have too much money) and the game starts crashing regularly.

Doh... that's the one mod I did install... (I was tired of playing UI instead of the actual game) I already have it working right now... and I'm in the process of being in the Thieves' Guild already... can I turn it off now and be safe from these crashings?

#18 Posted by Bollard (5026 posts) -

The UI mod just made my day.

#19 Posted by mak_wikus (475 posts) -

@JCTango said:

@mak_wikus said:

Don't install the Rich Merchants mod or at least turn it off once you join the Thieves Guild. The mod screws something up at one point(fences have too much money) and the game starts crashing regularly.

Doh... that's the one mod I did install... (I was tired of playing UI instead of the actual game) I already have it working right now... and I'm in the process of being in the Thieves' Guild already... can I turn it off now and be safe from these crashings?

Yeah, you can turn it off(or keep it on until the game starts crashing. Rich shopkeepers means more money). What the mod does is it multiplies the amount of money that shopkeepers have. Since the fences get more and more gold when you progress through the TG plotline they reach some kind of limit which breaks the game :( People have reporting this bug on Skyrim Nexus, so maybe it'll be fixed.

#20 Posted by Mikemcn (6875 posts) -

But where are the nude mods? I mean the uhhh.... better armor, improved tree... I should be going.

#21 Posted by JCTango (1354 posts) -

@mak_wikus said:

@JCTango said:

@mak_wikus said:

Don't install the Rich Merchants mod or at least turn it off once you join the Thieves Guild. The mod screws something up at one point(fences have too much money) and the game starts crashing regularly.

Doh... that's the one mod I did install... (I was tired of playing UI instead of the actual game) I already have it working right now... and I'm in the process of being in the Thieves' Guild already... can I turn it off now and be safe from these crashings?

Yeah, you can turn it off(or keep it on until the game starts crashing. Rich shopkeepers means more money). What the mod does is it multiplies the amount of money that shopkeepers have. Since the fences get more and more gold when you progress through the TG plotline they reach some kind of limit which breaks the game :( People have reporting this bug on Skyrim Nexus, so maybe it'll be fixed.

Crap... does this mean that if I ever do finish the Thieves' Guild story arc... I won't be able to turn on the mod unless it gets fixed? :( Damn.. this is like one of the most useful mods for me... I would hate to not be able to use it.

#22 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

@Mikemcn said:

But where are the nude mods? I mean the uhhh.... better armor, improved tree... I should be going.

There's so many sexy mods out there! Though in all fairness when you release a fantasy game with mod tools what else are you going to expect, eh?

In all seriousness I use a few of them myself though nothing to explicit (other people play on my account). Some of the mods offer clothed versions (Read: underwear) so if anyone still wants to use a better body mod without nudity then it's still possible of course.

#23 Posted by mak_wikus (475 posts) -

@JCTango said:

@mak_wikus said:

@JCTango said:

@mak_wikus said:

Don't install the Rich Merchants mod or at least turn it off once you join the Thieves Guild. The mod screws something up at one point(fences have too much money) and the game starts crashing regularly.

Doh... that's the one mod I did install... (I was tired of playing UI instead of the actual game) I already have it working right now... and I'm in the process of being in the Thieves' Guild already... can I turn it off now and be safe from these crashings?

Yeah, you can turn it off(or keep it on until the game starts crashing. Rich shopkeepers means more money). What the mod does is it multiplies the amount of money that shopkeepers have. Since the fences get more and more gold when you progress through the TG plotline they reach some kind of limit which breaks the game :( People have reporting this bug on Skyrim Nexus, so maybe it'll be fixed.

Crap... does this mean that if I ever do finish the Thieves' Guild story arc... I won't be able to turn on the mod unless it gets fixed? :( Damn.. this is like one of the most useful mods for me... I would hate to not be able to use it.

Yup, once the game starts crashing you'll have to turn it off and keep it that way until the issue is fixed. Annoying, I know. Why would I pick up and axe worth 2000G when shopkeepers have 750??

#24 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

It sucks when you install 5-10 mods and then the game starts crashing, so you're forced to roll them back one by one and keep testing..

#25 Posted by thornie_delete (436 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Yep. Which is why I won't install any mods until I "finish" the game... Or when the official mod tools are released. Too much hassle.

#26 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@thornie said:

@AhmadMetallic: Yep. Which is why I won't install any mods until I "finish" the game... Or when the official mod tools are released. Too much hassle.

You're making a big, big mistake! 
Dude, the Skyrim mods are not that chaotic or game changing, most of them (the ones that are out and popular now) are game-enhancing. 
 
 
Seriously, if you don't get the enhanced shaders one, the Post Processing one, the one for water textures and SkyUI, you're choosing to play an inferior version! Not to mention simple things like better smoke, a tad faster horse sprint, better looking faces, that will make your first playthrough just perfect. 
 
Do not play Skyrim vanilla, IMO that's a huge mistake. Installing those 5-6 essential mods is not a hassle, it's really easy and quick with the Nexus Mod Manager, and none of them crashes the game.
#27 Posted by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man said:

@BoG said:
Are these mods any more demanding on the system?
Any mod that "Increases" The texture ress will be more demanding on your system.

They probably won't affect your frame rate all that much though. Provided that you have enough memory on your video card and RAM, you'll likely avoid crashes too.

This only apply for texture mods, though.

I'd also like to mention the SKYRIM ENHANCED SHADERSmod. So far it's been the prettiest graphics mod I've come across for Skyrim.

#28 Edited by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

@TheSeductiveMoose said:

I'd also like to mention the SKYRIM ENHANCED SHADERSmod. So far it's been the prettiest graphics mod I've come across for Skyrim.

How is that working out for you? I remember trying the alpha release and all I got was some excessive blurring and bloom lighting which made it feel a bit too much. The frame rate seemed more or less the same though. Anyway, it's version 1.0 at least so I'll pop it on the list. Thanks.

While I'm here I might as well mention that I added another texture pack to the list. This time, it's for ores.

#29 Edited by TheSeductiveMoose (3617 posts) -

@eroticfishcake: It's still pretty blurry, mostly just on far away distances, though. Which I consider a good thing, since that's the absolutely ugliest part of Skyrim.

They (thankfully) seem to have used a lot of restraint on the blooming this time around.

No effect on the frame rate. Been having a stable 60 fps indoors and like 50-something to 60 outdoors.

#30 Edited by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

Picked this up at TweakGuides but I should also mention it here. Anyway, it's meant to "improve performance in CPU-limited areas such as near major cities." You can grab it here. Note that it requires the Skyrim Script Editorto work. I haven't tried it myself but I'm not going to argue against Mr. Ghazi if he's recommending it. If you want to know how it works, the mod author wrote a good explanation here.

Credit goes to TweakGuides.

#31 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1291 posts) -

@eroticfishcake: One thing I notice is more stability in performance, where as 'pure' frame rate gains are minimal the 'feel' is drastically improved especially in so called cpu intensive areas, like when entering Riften etc.

http://www.tweakguides.com/

"Update: The original mod may cause quest issues and glitches in the game, so check this thread for updated versions of the mod which appear to resolve most of these issues. The safest approach is to wait for Bethesda to include these optimizations in an official patch, which is highly likely given the attention the mod has received."

Not sure about the implementation from Beth... I mean they did their own optimizations to Gamebryo for Skyrim also, enough to warrent the renaming to the 'creation engine' etc. The author talks about the tweaks as a proof of concept and calls developers out on releasing very un-optimized code. Then again the whole point of this guy's efforts is in fact to get the attention of Beth and to get them to implement better practices for compiling their games.

Maybe they will even make a 'new' game engine for their next game? Well after the next fallout game, since they've takled about the 'improvements' with the creation engine (gamebryo) that will help future games... making new engines is hard, but it's kinda worth it in the long haul I'd imagine and heck... devs do it all the time.

#32 Edited by gike987 (1720 posts) -

@DJJoeJoe: The pure frame rate gain is not minimal. I ran through a couple of areas with Fraps and I got an increase of almost 15FPS in some spots. But how much it improves your frame rate depends on your computer.

Although I would not recommend using it yet, it still has the potential to break a lot of things. There could be a reason why Bethesda didn't implement some of the optimization in that mod.

#33 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1291 posts) -

@gike987: Considering the way it has to be implemented, through an addon and scripting system which is third party to the game, I'd say it does an incredible job already even though it's simply a re-compile of code done in a more optimized way. The author of the tweak has laid it out pretty simply, evidence points to Beth just doing things a specific way that works for them and has seemed to work 'well enough' for them in the past. For as much as people complain about their game engines being buggy, their games consistently are the highest in popularity for such a niche genre that they occupy so why would they spend one second catering to what is essentially only a few PC players that even care about that sort of thing.

I would easily recommend it because there is no downside, if you're playing on the PC and willing to use 'any' mods then you should be comfortable with Beth games enough to advance past any bugs in quests or general scripting anyways... I think there were at least 5 quests in new vegas that broke for me, and I would have to advance through them via console command to get things moving again. Or doors that just wouldn't open etc etc and having to noclip through them to continue on a quest. or getting stuck inbetween some geometry and not being able to fast travel cause I was still 'falling' etc. Skyrim has the least of any of that random stuff, in my experience it has none of it (not a single Beth style bug in my 100+ hours now) so if something that gives the preformance this tweak gives also gives me a quest scripting issue at some random point, so be it as long as the game isn't crashing or bugging out every 10mins.

#34 Posted by anypti (88 posts) -
#35 Posted by Christoffer (1654 posts) -

@anypti said:

I've downloaded this mod: http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2971#top but where am i supposed to extract the files?

This is from the readme file:

INSTALLING:

Extract files from archive in to the game directory or where game execution file exist (.exe). Run game launcher to reconfigure it again.

#36 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -
#37 Posted by probablytuna (3445 posts) -

Nice work compiling the list, I think I'm gonna keep an eye on this forum page.

#38 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -
@eroticfishcake: Two really great mods: 
 
Dovahkiin Hideout - adds a BASEMENT to every house you have in the game, with sword racks, tons of mannequins to place armor sets on, smelter and workbench and all the other tables and workshops, as well as like 10 empty boxes and barrels. 
Categorized favorites menu - now it's a big screen with categories so you dont have to scroll through the small one to find a certain weapon or potion 
 
 
This game is shaping up to be so fucking perfect, I'm loving it.
#39 Edited by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic: Thanks a lot, I'll add them to the list.

#40 Posted by MikeyA (8 posts) -

I remember that there were some genuinely amazing visual mods for Oblivion. All of this is seriously B-level. Stuff that was made because it was fun to make, not because it actually does anything people would want. I guess if you summed it all up, it might look slightly nicer, but even the most significant of these would be accurately described as minor.

The Gameplay changes section is excepted from the above, obviously.

#41 Posted by Plankface (2 posts) -
#42 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

@Plankface: Thanks. I'll add them to the list. I was slightly debating about Daroozs Stonefloor Whiterun textures since it's so specific but I guess there's no harm? I'm trying to keep things tidy. Otherwise I might as well redirect this thread to TESNexus.

I'm sure you people already know but the Skyrim High Resolution Texture is released and free to download on Steam. Better yet, the Creation Kit and Steam Workshop is also available to download here. I should hope to see some great mods soon. Speaking of mods, cheers to whichever one of you who decided to make this thread a sticky.

#43 Posted by evilrazer (479 posts) -

Skyrim Official HD Pack turned out to be a pile of crap. Skyrim HD + Serious HD still a better combo, plus they are twice as small.

#44 Posted by eroticfishcake (7780 posts) -

On a side note, PC users can enjoy the benefits of a mini patch. Nothing major, just some fixes but fixes nonetheless. Change log can be found here.

#45 Edited by PaulKemp (108 posts) -

So am I supposed to get all of these? Or can I pick and choose the ones I want without them overwriting each other and working together? Thx!

#46 Posted by SexyToad (2739 posts) -

I have a Xbox... Dahm

#47 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

This is some pretty awesome work, man. Thanks!

#48 Posted by SockemJetpack (405 posts) -
#49 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6375 posts) -

I've had this game for months and I just got into mods because I am an idiot. Thanks!

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