Skyrim is not always about fighting and adventuring, it’s also about taking time to interact with the in-game characters and learn more about their backstories.
Although the game has aged well even after a decade, the same can’t be said about the graphics, especially the looks of the characters. We’re already spoiled by the realistic character design and graphics from other triple-A titles, and compared to them, the characters in Skyrim look plain ugly.
That’s where mods come in. We’ve already covered how you can improve the graphics of the game and make it look current or even next-gen.
So for this article, we’re only going to talk about the best beauty mods that can significantly improve the appeal of the playable as well as non-playable characters in the game.
You should know that there are multiple factors that can be improved to make the characters look beautiful such as body types, skin texture, eyes, hair, etc.
Furthermore, you can even use standalone mods that can completely overhaul the look of all NPCs in the game. We’ll go over the detail below,
Table of Contents
Body Type Mods
We’ll start our list with body type replacement mods as they form the foundation for other character improvement mods.
You’ll notice the difference right away after installing body mods, as it drastically improves the looks of all the humanoid characters in the game.
Body type mods generally overhaul the geometry and body proportion of the characters in the game, making them look realistic.
Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Edition
With over eight million downloads, Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies replacer mod is by far the most popular female body replacer mod in NexusMod.
The mod provides both the nude and clothed texture for all the female races in the game. You can choose between these options during the installation.
Or, you can even skip the original mod entirely and download the SFW version from the same author instead.
UNP Female Body Renewal
The second female body type replacer is the UNP Female Body Renewal. While the Caliente mod is aimed for a curvy and fantasy-like body type, this mod improves the vanilla body by improving the body proportions and texture resolution.
You can also choose between the nude or clothed version of the body type during installation.
Highly Improved Male Body Overhaul
Likewise, the Highly Improved Male Body Overhaul mod is a complete overhaul of the male body type.
The mod is highly customizable and offers different styled body types for all male races in Skyrim. Like the female body type replacer, this mod also comes with a nude and clothed option.
Skin Replacer Mods
As the name suggests, the skin replacer mod overwrites the texture of either the vanilla body or the texture from the body type mods installed in your game.
In my option, this is the most crucial factor in making the characters more beautiful. There’s a variety of skin textures mod with resolutions from 1K up to 8K. We’ve listed a couple of skin replacement mods for both females and males below.
Note: If you’re using a body type aside from the aforementioned body type mod, then you must check and read the skin replacer mod’s compatibility in its description.
Fair Skin Complexion
This mod offers a variety of skin replacement textures for the overall body, including skin color, freckles, eyes, eyebrows, makeup, etc. Fair Skin Complexion mod is also compatible with a wide range of body types, including CBBE, UNP, and others.
Although the textures are at 4K, you’ll need to install SKSE and tweak the ini file to apply the textures to your game correctly.
The Pure CBBE and UNP
This skin replacer mod offers one of the most detailed, high-quality textures and meshes. The mod’s textures are a combination of 4k and 8k textures. So, you can expect some ridiculous detailing after installing this mod.
Furthermore, The Pure CBBE and UNP mod supports both the CBBE and the UNP body types.
The SkySight Skins mod is a very high-quality texture pack for the male characters in Skyrim. The mod’s texture ranges from 1K up to 4k, and you can choose to download them at any resolution from the mod page.
The best thing about this mod is that it’s highly optimized and barely has any impact on performance. Furthermore, the author managed to meticulously draw the textures digitally by hand while keeping it lore-friendly.
Tempered Skins for Males
In addition to better skins, this mod also overhauls hair, muscle definition, dirt, scars, skin complexions, etc., for all the human races in Skyrim.
Like the SkySight mod, the textures in the Tempered Skin mod are also done from scratch using quality assets and editing tools.
The author has also provided different versions of the mod, including the clothed and nude versions.
Next, we have the hair mods. Although the vanilla game has quite a list of hairstyle options, they don’t look quite appealing. The default hair does not even have good textures or meshes. Instead, they look like waves of low polygonal straws.
KS Hairdos Renewal
One of the most popular hair mods on NexusMods is the KS Hairdos Renewal. The mods added over 900 hundred original hairstyles for both males and females.
The textures are clean, crisp, and at high resolution. The hairstyle gives the game a fantasy-like vibe. The mod is available for both older and newer versions of the game.
VHR- Vanilla Hair Replacer
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you feel like KS Hairdos doesn’t really suit the gritty land of Skyrim, then you should check out the VHR mod.
Instead of completely overhauling the hairstyle, the mod preserves the vanilla feel of the character by using high-resolution textures of vanilla-styled hair.
Besides hairstyle, eyebrows are important cosmetic items that you’ll want to improve the appeal of your character.
The Brows is a simple and lightweight mod that overhauls the vanilla brows with its high-resolution textures and keeps them lore friendly.
From the same author who made the Brows mod, there is the Beards mod for all male races in Skyrim.
The mods add numerous new beard styles along with realistic textures. You should try this mod if you’re playing as a male character.
Moving on to overhauling the eyes in Skyrim. The default eyes in Skyrim are blocky and have no depth in them. The modding community has given us many high-quality eye textures that can make them look photorealistic in the game.
The Eyes of Beauty
This mod is perhaps Skyrim’s biggest and most popular eye texture mod. The Eyes of Beauty adds over a hundred new eye textures for all races, including humans, khajjit, elves, argonian, orcs, etc., without altering the default vanilla textures.
The Eyes Of Beauty – Vampire Eyes SSE
If you enjoy playing as the vampire race, you should try the Vampire Eyes mod. It is from the same creator who made The Eyes of Beauty mod.
The mods add over ten different styles of eyes, including a combination of glowing red eyes with black sclera, blue eyes with black sclera, simple red or blue colored eyes, etc.,
Improved Eyes Skyrim
The Improved Eyes Skyrim mod improves upon the vanilla eyes by replacing them with high-quality yet lore-friendly textures.
The mod author has based the textures on real-life counterparts such as human eye pupils for human races, cat pupils for khajit, and reptilian pupils for argonians. You can also choose to download the replacement mod for individual races as well.
Playable Character Editor
The mods mentioned above are applicable for playable characters as well as nonplayable characters (NPC) in the game.
However, Skyrim’s default player character editor is so limited that it doesn’t provide customization options to utilize the aforementioned mods to their fullest.
NPC Overhaul Mods
For this section, we’re listing the mods that overhaul most of the NPCs in the game, including major essential and minor non-essential ones. These mods will only change other NPC and will not affect your player character.
You have many options when it comes to changing the look of NPCs. There’s no shortage of NPC replacer mods in NexusMods, but here, we’ve handpicked some of the best-looking and high-compatibility mods from the bunch and listed them below.
In my opinion, this standalone mod is the best female NPC overhauling mod for Skyrim. The mod completely replaces the default NPC model with a detailed fantasy-like version of them.
Like the Bijin series, the Pandorable’s replacement also overhauls the majority of NPCs in the game, including the ones from Dawngaurd and Solstheim expansion. The style of these mods is similar, allowing you to use both in conjunction.
The Kalilies NPCs mod manages to continue to create similarly styled textures for the NPCs that were left out from the aforementioned replacement mods.
You can even use this mod in addition to the Bijin and Pandorable overhaul mods to cover a large number of NPCs in the game.
WICO – Windsong Immersive Character Overhaul
If you instead prefer having a character replacement mod that’s just better than the vanilla but does not look like fantasy characters, then you should definitely give the WICO a try.
The mod uses high-quality, detailed textures to overhaul the NPC while maintaining the natural feel of the game.
The Men of Winter
Men of Winter gives the male character a more hardened and badass look. It doesn’t stray too far from the original character design and instead preserves the vanilla feel of the game.
Male Npc Overhaul
The title of the mod is self-explanatory. This mod improves over 70 different male characters in the game.
RS Children Overhaul
The mod overhauls all the children and gives them a fantasy look using custom textures and assets. RS Children Overhaul also includes clothing and accessories texture for the children in Skyrim.
Realistic RS Children Overhaul
This mod is an alternate version of the RS Children Overhaul mod, and it aims more toward realism rather than a fantasy-like theme.
To install the Realistic RS Children Overhaul mod, you will still need to install the RS Children mod.