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Skyrim’s come a long way in the last decade. Thanks to its extensive modding community, there are thousands of new things to add to the game such as Skyrim weapons, magic and even body mods. Just about every part of the game can be modified and expanded on to varying degrees letting every playthrough be as different as you want it to be. Skyrim’s combat mods are no different and have a massive impact on the game. So, if you’re wondering what to pick for your next playthrough, just keep reading.
Wildcat is one of several Skyrim Combat mods that offer a comprehensive combat overhaul for Skyrim in a single mod. The general aim of the mod is to improve Skyrim’s combat experience by making it more difficult and more complex. The stamina system has been adjusted to add costs for the various actions one might take in combat such as swinging a sword or drawing an arrow. This adds weight to the combat by discouraging mindless spamming at enemies and adds tension to combat.
This is taken a step further by the improved enemy AI that has been made more aggressive and the injury system which makes prolonged fights more dangerous as the risk of taking a massive injury is never far away.
Special mention should be given to the configurability this mod brings. The Mod Configuration Menu is expansive enough to let you tweak its many features to provide you with just the right experience and helps it work with any other mods you would want.
The mod author, EnaiSiaion has released multiple overhauls which work together. We covered Odin, his Skyrim magic mod.
Skyrim’s melee combat often feels like the Dragonborn is using an uncooked hot dog as their weapon of choice as they slap their enemies repeatedly with very little feedback. TK HitStop addresses this by adding a short and subtle pause and shake to the camera whenever a blow is landed. This effect adds the illusion of weight to each swing and adds a degree of tension that makes combat feel more satisfying.
This mod is lightweight, meaning that it is unlikely to cause problems for your game once installed and is a must-have.
Dodging has become a mainstay in modern melee combat and is something that is lacking in Skyrim’s dated system. Out of all the Skyrim Combat mod options out there TK Dodge is one of the oldest ones and just works well. It can be effectively customised through a MCM menu, though there really isn’t much to say about it. If you want to dodge, you can’t go wrong with this.
This Skyrim Combat Mod isn’t meant to change damage values or altering perks. Instead, CGO is all about changing the options you get in combat. It’s an all-in-one mod that combines commonly modded features such as dodge rolling, switching between one- and two- handed grips and dual wield blocking. It even comes with some altered animations
In practice, it changes the way your combat plays out completely by giving you more defensive options through the dodge roll and dual wield blocking (which also works with channeling magic in your off-hand) letting you avoid or reduce damage in previously impossible ways.
It’s hard to describe the way it has changed the way combat works by simply listing out the features. Suffice it to say, it will shake up the way you will approach combat with its many features, especially in third person.
This mod, as the name suggests, overhauls Skyrim’s archery system from the stiff nocking and drawing to something much more modern.
New animations create a faster, more fluid feeling by almost halving the time needed to draw an arrow and by having archers move with an arrow nocked in the bow when the weapon is drawn, as opposed to walking around with the arm flopping about weakly as vanilla skyrim does.
The mod also adds new mechanics like enchanted arrows that give yet more things for you to spend your resources on while letting you get a little closer to being Hawkeye. One particularly interesting mechanic is the change to arrows that have them remain stuck in targets, forcing them to bleed so long as an arrow remains lodged in them. It adds enough consequence to discourage players from turning into pincushions.
Changing mechanics, giving weight to attacks and adding options for the player to use are all well and good but they don’t actually change the way the player can attack. Attack Behavior Revamp does. Unlike other Skyrim combat mods that change gameplay, this one adds new animations in conjunction with a new combo system for the player to take advantage of to change how Skyrim’s combat feels.
Instead of the simple left-right swipe and power attack moves available to the player, this mod goes further, adding 10 new combos and inputs to use including a basic five-hit combo, directional power attacks and even complicated combos that weave animations together.
This mod takes itself a step further by adding custom animations for some of Skyrim’s more unique weapon mods such as a rendition of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. You can even add your own animations to the game through ABR which can be helpful, if time consuming.
Unfortunately, Skyrim was never meant to be played this way. The mod works, but it can feel clunky in the middle of combat.
ABR is compatible and is partially designed around CGO. Personally, I think they should be used together.
Download: Skyrim SE
A key part of the combat experience is what happens once someone loses the fight. In vanilla Skyrim, we can see people fall over in some funny ways or enter Nirn’s orbit. With Maximum Carnage installed, we can see them get absolutely demolished. Maces split skulls, swords spill guts and spells leave charred remains behind. This mod really isn’t for the faint of heart but it can make things more satisfying.
It doesn't always work well though. Some finishers added by the mod Violens add some strange interactions such as a curb stomp causing the stomach to somehow rupture and let the guts out.
The video above has some animation mods loaded that aren’t included with the mod.
Inpa Sekiro Combat overhauls Skyrim’s combat to an imitation of FromSoftware’s legendary Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. As someone who’s never shut up about Glock Saint Isshin, I can say that it comes as close as it can.
The sounds and visual effects are basically the same as Sekiro’s which means that it looks and feels as satisfying as the game itself. The animations don’t carry over but that’s easily fixed. Attack Behavior Revamp is helpful in that respect.
Gameplay wise, stamina has been reworked into Sekiro’s posture system. Blocking attacks will gradually fill the bar. Once filled, the victim is an NPC, they would be left open to a killmove. If it happens to you, enemies will have a window to batter you. It works in practice, only that I felt that combat was just a frame too slow to react in time. It might have because I had one too many scripts going and had some script lag. A latency tester did show me I was about the same as a stripped-down mod list that was just the mods needed for this mod to work well. I have no clue if it’s just me.
Despite my slight issues with the mod, I still had plenty of fun duelling a bandit chief on a tower in the rain. Felt like I was back in Ashina Castle. Give it a shot if you like punishing gameplay, though you’ll want to find some animation mods to get the combat a little more fluid. And a dodge mod, but we have you covered for that one.
Download: Skyrim SE
This mod is truly absurd. It adds new combat abilities that are practically taken out of anime. At a press of a button and at the cost of some magicka, you can spin and unleash magical slashes around you. It looks glorious, lets you damage enemies in a circle around you and might kill your companion if you aren’t careful. Sorry Lydia.
Download: Skyrim SE
Winning is cool and all but what happens when you die? Don’t ask Loverslab. Take this combat mod instead. When you run out of health, you are put into a state where NPCs might take your equipment, drag you off to jail or leave you out in the woods. No more throwing yourself into impossible odds until you win. You’ll need to take combat much more seriously now.
These five mods will certainly make your next playthrough different and hopefully in a good way. Skyrim’s original combat style is functional but not complicated. These mods should change that for you and give you a brand new experience, if you haven’t used these before.
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