If you’ve played Skyrim, it’s almost impossible for you not to know about mods. The community has put work into the game that rivals what the developers have made, to the point where Skyrim modding even has its own Wikipedia page. And throughout the many years and re-releases, a particular version of Skyrim has warranted its own unique mods.
Released around two years after the original game’s Special Edition, Skyrim VR gave players a new perspective on the familiar world of Tamriel. It was a very simple port without many changes - players can’t even see the armor they wear. With how widespread the modding community is, though, it was little more than a matter of time before this changed.
Skyrim VR doesn’t have any official modding support. If you want to get it working yourself, or you just want to make sure you do every step you can before relying on mod organizers, there are three major steps you’ll need to take.
UploadVR has more detailed descriptions of these methods, but here’s the short version:
1. Run Skyrim VR and play around in it for a little while, just to make sure it works okay and to make the game create any necessary files.
2. Navigate to your Skyrim VR folder located in Documents>My Games, and edit the SkyrimPrefs.ini file so that the following text is on the bottom of the list:
3. Navigate to your Skyrim VR folder in AppData>Local (you may need to view hidden items in the file explorer settings) and create a plugins.txt file.
From here, you should be all set...in theory. Any time you want to add or replace a mod, you’ll have to make edits to the plugins.txt file directly. Third-party programs can help make this process much easier, which is why I highly recommend them. Vortex and Mod Organizer 2 are both great choices that fully support Skyrim VR. Mod Organizer 2 also comes with some extras, such as the Load Order Optimization Tool (LOOT). You can mod Skyrim VR without using these programs, but it’s tough to find many good reasons as to why.
With these mod organizers in mind, focus will be placed on NexusMods for the purposes of this guide. There are other websites containing Skyrim VR mods and resources, but NexusMods is where you’ll find the largest collection of mods by far. Also, consider checking out Wabbajack for community-made mod lists.
Skyrim VR is built off of Skyrim Special Edition, also known as SSE. As a result, plenty of SSE mods will work with Skyrim VR out of the box. Not every mod is created equal; however - many of them have a few requirements you might have heard of before. From simple tweaks to major gameplay overhauls, these are the two mods you’ll need if you want to make your Skyrim VR experience a full one.
The Skyrim Script Extender is simple to install but can be difficult to use. Thankfully, it has a VR-compatible version ready to go - just drag and drop the files into your main Skyrim folder. You’ll have to launch the game through the sksevr_loader.exe from here on out - if you’re using Vortex or Mod Organizer, you can modify both of them to launch Skyrim VR from that executable.
Not every change brought by SKSE works in Skyrim VR - even popular mods like SkyUI have to compensate with special VR-only versions. But having SKSE will make thousands of mods available to you where none could be found before, to the point where some might argue it’s a hard requirement for those wanting to install more than just prettier graphics.
The Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch (also on AFK mods) is something nearly every player uses, even if they just want to enjoy the game without other mods. It contains various bug fixes, dialogue restorations, and quest changes to make the game feel incredibly more stable. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t have an official VR version.
As of right now, there are no plans by the author to make a VR-compatible USSEP. But other mod-makers took it upon themselves to create patches within patches, allowing VR players to experience those changes without issue. The most comprehensive compatibility patch can be found here, boasting features such as future-proofing and a compatibility list for similar patches.
Not many VR-only mods require the USSEP, but there are plenty of regular mods that do. That fact, along with the added bonus of a more stable experience, makes the USSEP essential for newcomers to Skyrim VR modding.
Finally, we’ve reached the point most people were probably waiting for. Some of these mods have their own requirements and might require some extra tinkering to make perfect, but I believe no Skyrim VR player should mod their game without using these. Here are the best Skyrim VR mods you can find:
As the full name implies, Hand Interaction and Gravity Gloves for Skyrim VR adds...exactly what it says. You can pick up objects from the game world, hold one weapon with both of your hands, and even drag bodies around. It’s a relatively recent mod, as well, so players can expect updates in the future that add even more incredible features.
While it might not be as much of a game-changer, the VRIK Player Avatar allows you to see your character’s full body while playing Skyrim VR. It’s a simple change, but it does a lot for immersion and is required by many other VR-only mods out there, such as Be Seated. Simple changes are sometimes the best, and VRIK proves that perfectly.
It’s not a VR-only mod, but Realm of Lorkhan - Freeform Alternate Start is an “alternate start” mod that’s fully compatible with Skyrim VR. It allows players to jump-start a new character with items, perks, and even debuffs that can help shape how they play the game. It’s practically a requirement if you don’t want to sit through the unbearably long cart ride and intro sequence for the 10th time.
Those are the three best mods for Skyrim VR I could find. However, there are some mods I didn’t mention that enhance the experience even further, including:
Weapon Throw VR, a mod that lets you throw melee weapons at enemies and even decapitate them from afar.
Magic Improvements, which alters how magic is used in VR.
MageVR, a mod that further alters and modifies various mechanics for a more immersive Skyrim VR experience.
Spell Wheel VR, a mod that lets you select spells and items to use without needing to pause the game.
This guide only scratches the surface of fantastic mods to use in Skyrim VR. A great deal of SSE mods will still work with Skyrim VR if they don’t have any incompatibilities explicitly stated. Even today, new mods appear for Skyrim daily, and the modding scene for Skyrim VR grows larger. It’s hard to say if the upcoming anniversary edition of Skyrim will affect the VR side of things, but there’s certainly a lot for fans to look forward to.