[Top 10] Skyrim Mods That Make NPCs Look Better

Experience the beauty of Skyrim, now with beautiful people

When Skyrim came out in 2011, it was a beautiful game with a lot going on. Character appearances, on the other hand, were already out of date. Bethesda was never particularly good at it. We all remember the potato-faces from the Oblivion-era. While Skyrim’s NPCs never looked as horrendous as that, we were still left wanting.

I’m not saying characters have to look like supermodels. They can, if that’s what the developers want. But a combination of generic face models and low textures made the NPC appearances unimpressive and forgettable.

We are in luck though. Thanks to the power of mods, nothing is ever set in stone. In this article, I have a list of 10 mods that alter character appearances for the better. I cover a range of mods, from very vanilla friendly to all the way glamorous.


10. Windsong Character Overhaul

I'll start with the most vanilla-friendly. If you want better textures and generally better appearance without straying away, Windsong is the perfect mod for that task. First, it replaces all the low resolution character textures with better quality ones. On top of that, it also manually tweaks NPCs to make them look more distinct.

And it does all of that while keeping the look same as Skyrim. For those looking for better looking NPCs while keeping it same-ish, this mod is perfect. Even if you’re looking to make NPCs look prettier, this can be a good base to build on top of. For players of Special Edition, there’s a bigger and better version available.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


9. Handsome Housecarls

This is another mod that tweaks NPC appearances while keeping them vanilla. This one overhauls the appearances of all the housecarls, giving them each their own unique niche in appearance. 

Even though it tweaks character appearances to make them stand out from each other, it never makes them feel out of place in the game’s world. If you like this vanilla themed character changes, be sure to check out the rest of the mod author's mods as well.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


8. RS Children Overhaul

While the character models for most NPCs are bearable, nothing is atrocious as the faces of the children. Bethesda somehow managed to outdo Oblivion's potato-faces! On top of that, every child has the same face. If I’m being honest, it's kinda nightmare-inducing. Luckily there’s a good variety of mods that deal with this.

RS Children Overhaul takes all these kids and redesigns then. Not only are their faces unique, they get different hairs and clothes too. You’ll still have annoying kids asking you to play tag. But at least they won’t give you nightmares.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


7. Pandorable’s Dawnguard

Dawnguard is one of my favorite DLCs. So it's unsurprising that I would want to give these guys a special shout out. The NPCs added by the DLC are vampires and their hunters, the Dawnguards. Both these professions are quite intense, and the mod author gives them looks that fit them. The Volkihar faction gets some extra love in the attractiveness department, because vampires. 

You might have noticed that from this mod I’m shifting from vanilla to glamorous. If you like the aesthetics of the mod author, be sure to check out their other mods as well. 

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


6. Men of Winter

The Men of Winter is exactly what it sounds like. No, not snow men. It’s a mod that specifically alters the appearances of male NPCs. When this mod came out, it almost felt revolutionary. Technically it’s not, but for a while modders only overhauled the appearances of female NPCs.

It’s obvious that the modder put a lot of time and effort into this. Every NPC has a unique appearance that fits with their personalities. And I know we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but we get a little leeway when it comes to video games. While certain liberties are taken here and there, it mostly feels true to vanilla. 

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


5. Project ja-Kha'jay- Khajiit NPC Diversity Overhaul

Did you know that the Khajiits are the most diverse race in The Elder Scrolls? The variants go from house-cat magicians to huge two-legged tigers. Yet every game only throws in a single variant of the entire vast race. Sure, it’s easier to just make one model, but it’s a shame anyway.

Thankfully, we have this mod. It diversified every single Khajiits in the game. You'll see many different varieties. Cute to scary. Cat to tigers. Sadly none of the housecats, but it’s better than what we got at first. There's so many of them, in different shapes and sizes, that it's impossible to explain.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


4. Bijin - Warmaidens

Now we're getting into the really glamorous side of NPC modding. You just have to take one look at the screenshot and you know that the modder plans to make them stand out. The next couple mods are made by the same person and they're all stunning.

The first one is Bijin Warmaiden. This mod focuses on the female followers in the game. And the makeover they get is stunning! On top of turning them into lookers, the characters retain their fierce aesthetics. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to call them ‘Warmaidens’.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


3. Tocata - Elisif

Even if you don't like the glamorous look for your NPCs, there's one character who can pull it off. And that is Elisif, the Jarl of Solitude. Considering she was the former High Queen before the beginning of the game, she clearly runs in higher circles. If there’s an exception, it’s her.

The mod has two options. The first is a 'replacer' for Elisif. But in case you don't want that, it also has a follower version. But choosing the latter kinda beats the purpose of everything I said.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


2. Seranaholic - Valerica

Okay, so there's more than one character who deserves the glamorous look. This mod focuses on none other than Valerica, the mysterious mother from Dawnguard. The reason I'd justify this is because of the way her character is built up. Mysterious and otherworldly, she is literally hiding in a different world. When we finally meet her, her appearance should fit the image too. 

This mod is technically a Serana replacer, which you might have figured from the somewhat-creepy name. Thankfully the mod author decided to make a replacer for Valerica, available in the ‘downloads’ section.

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


1. Anima Nera - Serana Overhaul

After a long dungeon crawl, a coffin popped open and she stepped out. She looked just as confused as I was. And I'll never forget that moment. You might have figured out that I have a soft spot for the Dawnguard DLC, so it’s only natural that I absolutely adore the Volkihar Princess. And you’re probably unsurprised that I left the last one for her.

There are too many popular 'replacers' to choose from that it's actually difficult. But for me, they lose her rugged edge in favor of only beauty. That’s why I like this one the best. Anima Nera gives her a beautiful appearance with an eerie aura that makes this mod stand out. It seems to be perfect for her nonchalant voice and the pain she carries. 

Download Mod: Legendary | Special


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A prolific and published author with a fervor for gaming, I have decided to dedicate myself to these two bring in a way that inspire passion and desires to learn and explore in others.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Dishonored
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Assassin's Creed 2 , Dishonored

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