Skyrim offers a lot when it comes to vanilla weapons and armor, but with such a strong modding community, there's reason to go a step further. Talented mod creators have cranked out some truly spectacular weapon and armor mods that can personalize one's play experience for the better.
The following list breaks down each mod based on the overall value they add to the game. As such, it focuses less on mods that affect single items in the game, and more on sets of weapons and armor that have more to offer.
Updated on November 19, 2021, by Richard Horton: With the release of Skyrim Anniversary Edition marking ten years since the fifth installment of The Elder Scrolls series was released, it also marks ten years of a thriving modding community that has supported Skyrim through its many releases and re-releases. So despite getting no DLC outside of Creation Club content since Dragonborn was released at the start of 2013, players haven't had to face a shortage of content.
In fact, the release of Skyrim Anniversary Edition has proven that the modding community is still active with a flurry of activity occurring as modders ensure their work remains compatible with the game. So we've updated this list to match, adding in more of the best armor and weapons available from the modding community.
19 Unique Uniques
Unique weapons, armor, and equipment are often found at the end of difficult side quests, and while their effects make them well worth using, Skyrim doesn't always give them much flair. Fortunately, the Unique Uniques mod is here to ensure that unique items stand out as much as they should.
So whether it's the legendary Red Eagle's Bane or the Shield of Solitude, this is the perfect mod for people who want a little more flair without risking their immersion or breaking with the lore of the game.
18 Aetherium Armor and Weapons
Ever found yourself wishing that Skyrim had power armor that didn't break your immersion? If you have then the Aetherium Armor and Weapons mod is the mod for you, and if not then maybe give it a go anyway and see just what this equipment is capable of.
The mod adds a questline that will lead you to the Aetherium Forge where you will be able to craft this mighty equipment. And whether you craft the Aetherium equipment or its enchanted equivalent: Aetherial equipment, you'll be ready to take on anything Skyrim has to throw at you, all with an amazing Dwemer aesthetic.
17 Oblivion Artifact Pack
Skyrim is great but for fans of high fantasy, Oblivion was the Elder Scrolls game that really met their needs. Now though, you can bring back a little bit of Oblivion's magic in Skyrim through the Oblivion Artifact Pack.
This mod brings back classic unique items like the Blackwater Blade and the Ring of Transmutation to let you enjoy all the power you had when you were playing Oblivion all those years ago. Many of the artifacts even feature upscaled textures meaning they don't look out of place in the world of Skyrim.
16 Tribunal Robes and Masks
Playing a mage in Skyrim can be a difficult time. Whether you're running out of Magicka or just struggling to find good spells it's a lot of work. On top of that, the mages' robes are all very similar and don't do a Dragonborn justice when it comes to standing out in the crowd. Fortunately, the Tribunal Robes and Masks mod is here to add some color and excitement to your mage builds.
With a combination of colorful robes and intimidating masks, you can go from looking like any other apprentice to the most feared mage in Skyrim with a simple outfit change. Plus there are armored options available meaning you don't have to sacrifice protection in the name of style.
15 Weapons of The Third Era
The Elder Scrolls have a rich history and lore that has been established throughout the series, yet when it comes to weapons it's only the unique artifacts that ever show any sign of that history. Fortunately, modders once again have an answer, this time in the form of Weapons of The Third Era.
This mod adds in weaponry inspired by the historic period of the Third Age, which Morrowind took place in. So if you want to add a little variety into the weapons that you wield and appreciate the lore of the Elder Scrolls as you do it, this is a mod you should definitely try out.
14 Artifacts - The Tournament Of The Ten Bloods
For players who don't mind something a bit more outrageous, Artifacts - The Tournament of the Ten Bloods is a great choice. It brings a lot of weapons, rings, and shields into the game, many of which sport crazy designs that still look pretty cool.
Each of the artifacts in question has a story behind it, and some even require quests to be completed in order to obtain them. It's perfect for those who don't mind going outside the realm of lore-friendliness, especially when it comes to their armor sets.
13 Skyrim SE Expanded Skyrim Weaponry
This mod pack contains a whopping 105 standalone weapons to build on the game's existing options. Most are done in the existing styles of the game's craftsmen and feature everything from swords and pikes to axes and war hammers.
Some of the designs are a bit over-the-top, but they're perfect for anyone who wants a bit of pizzazz in their arsenal. They can be considered lore-friendly from an aesthetic standpoint, and players are free to craft those that tickle their fancy.
12 Jaysus Swords SE
To inject a mountain of weapons into the game, Jaysus Swords SE is a good place to start. This is a spectacular mod that adds in weapons with multiple different styles for players to craft and locate.
This pack contains over 40 different weapons, from swords to daggers and axes. It's the perfect place to build upon your in-game weapons mods, rather than taking up valuable ESP slots that contribute to the maximum of 255.
11 The Gifts Of Akatosh
A lot of the in-game vanilla armor in Skyrim isn't exactly befitting of a Dragonborn, and it takes a special kind of armor mod to set oneself apart. The Gifts of Akatosh is a mod that seeks to make the Dragonborn stand out from everyone else in the game with a striking design.
The mod consists of 10 individual items that can only be crafted once the player locates a set of exclusive items, including "the Blessed Metal of Akatosh." From there, one must travel to the Skyforge in Whiterun in order to craft this fine piece of armor. Don't forget the weapons either, including one truly badass-looking sword.
10 DCR - King Crusader Mega Pack
For those who want to inject a little Witch-King of Angmar into their armor options, DCR - King Crusader Mega Pack is just the thing. It's a positively wicked-looking assortment of weapons and armor that blends a number of different aesthetics into one unique pack.
The long robes are reminiscent of the Greybeard fashion style but pumped up with sharp steel plating cut to resemble dragon bone. The steel gauntlets are a nice touch, as are the ancient-looking sword and dagger, the latter of which resembles a Morgul Blade from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Epic armor for an epic game.
9 Immersive Armors
Immersive Armors is widely considered the base mod when it comes to protective gear. It expands greatly on Skyrim's existing armor sets with lore-friendly additions that integrate into the existing world in a realistic way.
The mod sports almost 2700 individual items ranging from shields and armor sets to scarves, earrings, and capes. The MCM menu allows you to toggle everything from crafting ability to world distribution of said items, right down to which enemy types can use them. It's a top-notch mod that no Skyrim gamer should do without.
8 Immersive Weapons
Immersive Weapons takes the exact same approach as Immersive Armors by tossing in a total of 230 unique weapons into the base game.
The same MCM-style customization approach carries over as well, letting one set which weapons can be crafted, and how they're to be distributed in the world. Enjoy the use of katanas, scimitars, battle staffs, claymores, and spears, to name just a few. When paired with Immersive Armors, it's a combination that can't be beaten.
7 Thane Weapons Reborn
Just as it bit to get a sweater from one's Aunt at Christmas, so too is it a massive disappointment when the various Jarls reward the player with boring weapons after they've toiled on their behalf. If these weapons are going on the rack, they had better be something special.
Thane Weapons Reborn overhauls the Jarls' best weapons and makes them stand out in a number of ways. Not only do they look great, but they level up along with the player while offering their own individual battle perks.
6 Zim's Immersive Artifacts
There are many fabled objects of lore strewn throughout Skyrim, including weapons and armor that one can collect on special quests. Zim's Immersive Artifacts is an overhaul of these specialized items.
The mod alters such popular items as the Blade of Woe, the Staff of Magnus, Dawnbreaker, and Wuuthrad, but it also tackles Miraak's Dragonborn equipment, Nightingale weapons and armor, and Thane items. Stats and enhancements have also been altered to better suit their legendary status.
5 Lore Weapon Expansion
Skyrim's base weaponry is fine, but there's room to broaden out. Lore Weapon Expansion does exactly that by focusing on lore-friendly weapons that one can find throughout the game world or crafting table.
Each weapon looks and feels like a genuine Skyrim creation, which is important for those who don't like to stray too far from established canon. A lot of talented modeling work went into this one, and it shows.
4 Dragonbone Barbarian Armors
This is a great mod, mostly because it takes the dragon element of Skyrim and does something quite useful with it. Dragonbone Barbarian Armors adds a sense of rustic brutality to one's armor collection that is suitable for both male and female characters.
The mod features over 15 individual armor pieces strewn throughout Skyrim. No, they're not craftable, which is a bit of a drawback, but at least it gives one something to hunt for within the Reach, the Rift, and Pale locations.
3 Skyforge Weapons
The Skyforge is supposed to crank out the most powerful weapons in Skyrim. Skyforge Weapons helps that along by overhauling the weapons with appropriate, unique versions.
The mod also features a quest that must be completed to unlock smithing perks for certain weapons, which adds a layer of depth to the experience. Definitely a step up from the vanilla weapon set.
2 Isilmeriel's LOTR Weapon Collection
If one doesn't mind sacrificing lore-friendliness for the sake of cool, then Isilmeriel's LOTR Weapon Collection is the mod to beat. It adds beautifully modeled Lord of the Rings weapons into Skyrim so players can finally live out their nerdiest fantasies.
They're all here, from Sting and Narsil to Glamdring and Sauron's Mace. Wraith swords are here too, as are Elven blades and the Morgul blade. Let's face it, LOTR weapons easily fit into the Skyrim world. After all, who doesn't want to stare Alduin right in the face and yell, "You shall not pass!"
1 Talos Housecarl Armor Pack
On the other hand, if lore is your bag, you're going to love the Talos Housecarl Armor Pack. This mod adds 12 new items to the game that were used by the Housecarl of the legendary Talos during his prime, including a war hammer.
Each piece must be crafted and requires the Advanced Armors perk, which gives players something to strive for. It's a beautifully detailed set that adds a lot of immersion to the game.
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