2854 ratings
Graphical Essentials
Graphics improvement collection for Skyrim, including many texture and mesh retoolings by OpticShooter and other modders. The mods in this collection have been tested by the creator to ensure a quality gameplay session; no conflicting mods will be added here. Read individual mod files to learn more about them and to get troubleshooting information, if you ever need any.

This collection is built around the idea that small but powerful mods can come together to change the way you play Skyrim. Enjoy a verisimilar experience with this selection; just don't get pulled into the game forever.


Here are some commonly asked questions from the comments. Please be sure to read the comments section to see if there are answers for your question as well.

- What official DLC additions are compatible with this collection?

All of these mods are compatible with Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn DLCs. I don't expect any incompatibilities with future DLC.

- What isn't compatible with this collection?

Any mods that modify vanilla textures and meshes of anything in this collection (i.e. mods that modify water, auroras, sunglares, ice, snow, etc.). You should check the mod-in-question's individual page in order to find out more information.

- Is it safe to pick and choose?

Absolutely. In fact, I don't recommend you use the entire collection if you have a lower end machine, as this could cause a performance hit on your system; however, for most users this won't be the case. Also, if you don't have Dragonborn DLC, you cannot use the Waves modification

- My game is running a little slow with all these mods enabled, and I am thinking of disabling the most resource-instensive. Which mods might cause a performance hit on my system?

Try disabling the folloiwng to see if your problem persist:

Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM part 1
Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM part 2
Lush Trees

- Do you recommend using any other mods not listed in this collection?

These mods were not included because they are modular and difficult to impossible to uninstall since they all include scripts that infect save game files. However, they should be used nonetheless in my opinion since they fix several meshing and texture problems that make Skyrim look better.

Unofficial Skyrim Patch - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=87144366
Unofficial Dawnguard Patch - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=93466360
Unofficial Hearthfire Patch - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=101261708
Unofficial Dragonborn Patch - http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=125322852
Items (19)
Better Dynamic Snow
Created by Vortikai
A mod that changes the ugly, pure-white dynamic snow effect to actually use the default snow texture (landscape\snow01.dds). This minor change greatly improves the visual appearance of dynamic snow.

There are about 1070 total objects that Skyrim applie...
Better Embers
Created by Vampaerr
This is a mod to make embers look better, it's something I made along with the textures fix for the chopping blocks/wood fires but never released....
Bigger and Boulder
Created by Vortikai
Bigger and Boulder increases the resolution for some rock-texture files. While some other mods do the same, they fall flat in either the main texture or the bump map. The aim of BAB is for both areas to look the best they can be. The details of the textur...
Birds and Flocks
Created by Badozer
Adds dozens and dozens more instances of birds that fly away when startled by the player or another creature.

Also adds many more circling birds of prey along cliffs, tundras, forests and mountains.

Now includes more bats in dungeons.

Deeper Snow (More Snow)
Created by Zappoo
This Mods adds more Snow to Skyrim especially Snow Storms are very Snowy :) Update - Now this Mod comes with WindFX when it Snow´s heavy!

For even more Snow and Wind in this mod you can also check http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=8328...
Enhanced Distant Terrain
Created by Vortikai
This small but mighty texture mod enhances the distant low-detail terrain by re-creating from
scratch, a new more detailed and more defined texture map. This makes the distant terrain look
far better because it reduces blotchy patches, makes the terrain...
HD Plants + Herbs
Created by Dartanis

I made this for you. Please "Like" it. :)

Some of those color splotches on the ground of skyrim are supposed to be flowers, so I made them look like flowers.

In an ever ongoing effort to make skyrim more beautiful, here are a few hi-resolution (1...
HQ snow texture
Created by Erik1988
I was hoping to get a more crystallized look on the snow and make it feel more cold.
You sould try it out, it looks much better ingame :).

This is the 2048x2048 resulution textures, if you would like 1024x1024 and/or seperart files you can find them o...
Lush Grass
Created by Vortikai
Lush Grass enhances the world's foliage by making the grass look fuller and more lush. This will make the game look even more dense and wild like it should have been; it also is great for just sight-seeing.

Key Features:
• More lush and de...
Lush Trees
Created by Vortikai
Lush Trees now adds fully custom pine trees to the world by adding new branches, fronds, styles,
shapes, bark, leaves, caps and much more.This will make the game look vastly different and unique
like it should have been, but also is great if you are t...
Milky Way Galaxy Texture v1.2
Created by THyRoID
This mod simply replaces the original Skyrim galaxy texture with an actual image of our own Milky Way galaxy. The rest of the sky elements (stars, auroras, moons) remain vanilla and function as they normally do.

This mod should also work with any othe...
Moss Rocks
Created by Vortikai
From the developer of WATER, Better Dynamic Snow and a bunch of other mods comes a new mossy mod for rocks! Let's rock with Moss Rocks, a mod that basically places moss on certain rocks.

Key Features:
• Moss enabled for certain rocks
• M...
Created by isoku
Nexus Version[skyrim.nexusmods.com]

Version: 1.05
  • Removed unneeded cold region checks.
  • Fixed issue with rainbows appearing after using Wait.


Compatible with all mods. W...
Shooting Stars
Created by isoku
Nexus Version[skyrim.nexusmods.com]

Workshop: Russian

Version: 1.041
  • Stars will now fall in one general direction. This direction
Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM Part 1
Created by Brumbek
SMIM is a massive project to greatly improve the appearance of countless static (mostly) 3D models in Skyrim.

IMPORTANT: Since Steam Workshop limits mods to 100mb, SMIM is now broken into SIX parts. Each part is INDEPENDENT meaning you don't need to us...
Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM Part 2
Created by Brumbek
SMIM is a massive project to greatly improve the appearance of countless static (mostly) 3D models in Skyrim.

IMPORTANT: Since Steam Workshop limits mods to 100mb, SMIM is now broken into SIX parts. Each part is INDEPENDENT meaning you don't need to us...
Vibrant Auroras
Created by Vortikai
Simply gives Skyrim's Auroras a more clear and vibrant look to enhance their visual beauty. This mod is meshes only so you should have no problem using any texture mods with this. There is no performance to be lost so you can use this if you can already p...
Water And Terrain Enhancement Redux
Created by Vortikai
Water And Terrain Enhancement Redux (also called WATER or W.A.T.E.R.) enhances the water throughout Skyrim. Each type of water (ocean, lakes, rivers, marshes, and creeks) have been hand-crafted to improve the flow direction, with a more transparent shorel...
Wet and Cold
Created by isoku

Version: 1.422

See Nexus[skyrim.nexusmods.com] link for list of changes.

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Zwergwerfer Sep 14 @ 7:50am 
It's a damn shame that Lush Trees hits my performance so hard. I like how they look even if they could do with some snow on them. Other than that I have most installed apart from Wet and Cold which I like but am having a couple issues with so I turned it off.
λ³ Sep 6 @ 1:27pm 
Add the other SMIM parts, it makes the collection look old and outdated.
Classified Sep 3 @ 4:21pm 
Classified Sep 3 @ 4:21pm 
And yes, i've also downloaded lush grass, Milky way Galazy texture, HQ snow texture, enhanced distant terrain, biggger and boulder, and better dynamic snow.
Classified Sep 3 @ 4:19pm 
Wait. Do all of these mods work when you download them and enable them? Because I downloaded the "Water and Terrain Enhancement Redux" and it still looks the same as the vanilla.
DerpyJustice Aug 21 @ 9:03pm 
which of the mods made my skyim so dark
Jamesk123 Aug 14 @ 7:45am 
Do you need SKSE?
Evil^Space^King Aug 12 @ 1:32pm 
Thnx man
you are just... wow.... thanks you!
Blue Cactus Jul 26 @ 1:49pm 
I hope my game looks btter to a point where I can actually notice it XD