[Top 15] Skyrim Best Animation Mods That Are Amazing

Skyrim Best Animation Mods
These animations will make your game feel truly brand new!

Animations are one of the best ways to visually improve the world of Skyrim.

One of the ways that Skyrim shows its age is through its animation. The way your character and other people and creatures move just looks clunky and strange these days. Mods that change up the animations all across Skyrim can make you feel like you’re playing a whole new game! Some of these mods are just for looks, but you will definitely notice a big difference when you’re playing. 

15. FNIS

This tool is one to thank for the dancing Skyrim character videos.

Fores New Idles in Skyrim is a requirement for a lot of these mods, so it’s fitting to make it the first on the list. This one is more a tool than anything, but it’s a necessary tool. The mod page offers tons of tutorials to help you get everything set up, and once you’re done you can get started with new animations! 


  • Tools to get you started with custom animation mods
  • Allows for animations for things like characters, creatures, furniture, and much more
  • Detailed instructions and video tutorials to help you get it installed with no issues

Get the mod here./se version

14. XP32 Maximum Skeleton Extended

This essential tool is what makes different weapon placements like this one possible. 

XP32 Maximum Skeleton Extended is another essential for animation modding and is required for quite a few mods on this list. It is essentially a skeleton for your characters that acts as the framework for a lot of these mods to work from. This mod along with FNIS is going to be essential if you want to change up the animations in your game!


  • An essential tool to get all of your animation mods functioning properly
  • In addition, this adds the ability to get mods that change or add visible weapon placement
  • Easy installation with the mod manager of your choice

Get the mod here./se version

13. Stronger Swimming Animation

Traveling through the water has never seemed so natural. 

Swimming in Skyrim is odd in many ways. The water is mostly empty (save for a few slaughterfish), but your character’s movement through the water is the strangest part of swimming. The way your character flails about in the water just doesn’t look realistic. This is where Stronger Swimming Animation saves the day!


  • Extremely simple mod, only replaces the vanilla swimming animation
  • Two versions: kick or no kick to suit how you prefer your character to swim
  • Doesn’t require refreshing FNIS, so installation is super quick and easy

Get the mod here./se version

12. Dual Wield Improved Animations

Gone are the days of flailing your weapons wildly above your head everytime you stand still. 

As someone who has played more dual-wielding characters than I’d like to admit, I’ve always found some of the animations to be quite strange. The way your character idles with their knees bent and a sword raised above their head just looked odd to me. This mod changes up a few different animations for dual-wielding. 


  • Changes the animations for idle, turning, running, normal attack, and power attack
  • Animations work for female, male, and beast characters
  • Easy instructions to pick and choose which animations you want in your game

Get the mod here./se version

11. TK Dodge

It is hard to capture how much this mod feels like part of the game in photos, just try it for yourself!

Skyrim doesn’t give your character the ability to dodge. Until I found this mod, I never thought about how strange it is that Skyrim lacks this feature that is present in so many games. If you couldn’t guess from the name, this mod brings a brand new dodge mechanic to Skyrim. It comes with its own set of animations that will be a very immersive addition to your game. 


  • Dodge using the ‘left alt’ key in combination with ‘wasd’ or double-tap directional keys
  • Brand new dodge animations for when your character has drawn weapons, spell, staff, or is unarmed
  • MCM settings through skyUI to tweak to your liking

Get the mod here./se version.  

10. Expressive Facial Animations

Say goodbye to emotionless faces and feel the emotion from characters. 

Emotion is one thing that the people of Skyrim seem to lack. Their dialogue can be heartbreaking or angry, but their face looks the same. This mod aims to give characters a sense of emotion depending on their dialogue or what is going on in the game. This mod is sure to add immersion to your playthrough! 


  • Different facial expressions ranging from happy, angry, fearful, sad, and more
  • Your character reacts to situations, for example, they will look angry while in combat
  • This mod is originally for female humans and elves, but a male version is available here

Get the mod here./se version

9. Relaxed Sneak Animations

Sneaking will look much more natural in your game with this mod, as shown here.

The sneaking animation in vanilla Skyrim is definitely one of the most unnatural looking animations. Your characters' wrists are oddly bent towards the ground, and your back is scrunched up in a way that looks like you’re in pain. It definitely doesn’t look like a position that would be comfortable while sneaking through a dungeon. Relaxed Sneak Animations does exactly what it sounds like it would, it makes the sneak animation look much more relaxed and natural. 


  • New sneaking animations with a raised center of gravity, straighter posture, and no bent wrists
  • Perfectly compatible with other animation mods to completely change the look of your game
  • The animations cover both idle sneaking and sneaking while moving

Get the mod here./se version

8. Pretty Sit Idles

Your character no longer has to hunch over in still sadness when they sit down. 

Pretty Sit Idles sounds like a mod that would make your character sit in a ‘girly’ way, but this mod is for characters of every gender! This mod is a part of a few ‘Pretty’ animation packs that are also on this list, and they are some of the most popular choices for animation mods. These animations replace the vanilla sitting animations with much nicer choices. 


  • Many different animations to choose from, so you can pick based on what you prefer
  • All animations can be used by all genders, except for 2 female-specific options
  • Easy mod manager installation, just don’t forget to refresh FNIS after install/uninstall

Get the mod here./se version

7. Pretty Female Idles

This character stands with a little more personality with this mod. 

Unlike the last mod, this mod is specifically for female characters. This mod gives you a good amount of options to replace the vanilla idle animation. This animation doesn’t have to only apply to your character, either! I didn’t think this mod would make much of a difference but having it installed on my game really just made my character look more natural and realistic. 


  • 20 animation styles to choose from, you can use one at a time 
  • Your chosen animation will apply to female NPCs when idle
  • Video on the mod page showing each style to help you choose your favorite 

Get the mod here./se version

6. Animated Eating Redux

On the occasion that you sit down to munch on a sweet roll or some Honningbrew Mead, it will be more immersive than before. 

Eating food in Skyrim had so much wasted potential in the vanilla game. Seeing your character eat their food and drink would’ve added so much immersion and roleplaying potential to the game. You can cook meals in your home, but eating them is just as simple as clicking a button and watching it disappear. Animated Eating Redux adds these long-awaited features to your game!


  • While sitting or standing, simply choose a food item from your inventory and your character plays an eating animation of that food (make sure you’re in 3rd person)
  • Animations for drinking potions, and drinking wine or other beverages
  • NPCs will eat or drink things throughout the day besides the usual bread or empty tankard

Get the mod here for SE. 

5. Blocking Animation Pack

Blocking with two one-handed weapons looks just as cool as you'd imagine. 

Blocking Animation Pack replaces quite a few animations for blocking with many different weapons. The mod aims to make blocking feel more realistic in the sense that you actually stop the weapon from coming into contact with your character’s body. These animations make it really look like your character is deflecting those attacks left and right!


  • Replaces animations for greatsword, battleaxe, war-hammer, and one-handed weapons
  • Works great in both first and third-person view
  • Makes it like your character really deflects the attack to the left, right, downwards, or upwards in a realistic way

Get the mod here./se version

4. EVG Conditional Idles

This mod really makes all the difference when you travel somewhere snowy (like Winterhold) and everyone is visibly trying to stay warm.

EVG Conditional Idles is an animation pack unlike many of the ones on this list. These animations only play in certain conditions, dependent on things like weather and fatigue. Some of these work during movement, but some are only for idle characters. The level of immersion this adds to your game is insane and I definitely recommend you install this mod for your game.  (This mod requires Dynamic Animation Replacer).


  • Movement animations for cold weather, injured, shield cover (for rain), and modesty
  • Idle animations for two stages of fatigue, headaches, and stretching 
  • Unisex and applies to humanoid NPCs as well 

Get the mod here./se version

3. 360 Movement Behavior

Look at her go! This character looks so excited to have more fluid movement in every direction.

This mod will make your character's movement feel much more fluid in all directions. Your character will move in the direction they’re actually facing, which will make things look more realistic. If you can’t picture how this looks, the mod page has plenty of videos to show what this mod looks like in action. 


  • 360 movement for walking, running, jumping, and swimming
  • Forward-facing animations are used in all directions 
  • It only affects movement when your weapons are sheathed as to not mess with facing forward for combat

Get the mod here./se version

2. EVG Animation Variance

Those smug Imperial Commanders will be easy to spot from miles away. 

One of the things that makes Skyrim feel less realistic is that almost everybody moves the same. Elders move the same as everyone else, and the small varieties between NPCs just aren’t as different as they should be. This mod is a huge overhaul of animations that gives variety to the animations between characters based on a number of unique factors. (This mod also requires Dynamic Animation Replacer). 


  • Variety to existing animations based on things like personality types, conditions, and random chances just to make the world feel more diverse
  • Snobby characters like Taarie and members of the Thalmor have a straighter posture and their neck lifted up slightly 
  • Even small things like characters holding torches have a chance to hold them one of four different ways

Get the mod here./se version

1. Pretty Combat Animations 

Combat animations will be much more natural with this mod. 

Pretty Combat Animations is even more customizable than the other mods in the ‘pretty’ animations series. It includes a huge amount of animation options for all of the different weapon types. This mod lets you choose what you want, so you don’t have to skip out on the mod if you don’t like some of the certain animations. 


  • Tons of new weapon idle animations including walking, running, and turning
  • Ability to leave certain animations out if you prefer vanilla for some weapon types (or are using a specific animation mod for some weapons)
  • Very easy to install and pick and choose, the mod manager installer allows you to check each box for your choices and has pictures of each option provided

Get the mod here./se version

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As she continues to level up in life, Lyric has made it her goal is to discover every realm of gaming and write her way through her journey.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Genshin Impact
Top 3 Favorite Games:Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, Tomb Raider, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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