When it comes to new location mods for the ultra-popular Skyrim, all eyes are fixated on the upcoming Skywind and Skyblivion mods which seek to painstakingly recreate The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion within the Skyrim engine. Both ports are incredibly ambitious and have been in development for years at this point.
Meanwhile, Skyrim players can sate their desire for expanded content by diving into the current crop of mods that add new locations to explore, and that goes far beyond just simple player home mods. For the sake of immersion, this list contains mods that are considered largely lore-friendly, and serve to complement the base game's storyline and DLC packs.
Updated on September 2nd, 2021 by Anastasia Maillot: It's crazy but true: Skyrim's 10th-year anniversary is just around the corner, which means Bethesda is going to release another version of Skyrim soon enough for its most dedicated fans to experience. Still, in terms of gameplay, the anniversary edition doesn't bring in anything drastically new or interesting.
Thankfully, the modding community of Skyrim hasn't given up on putting more content into the game. Some of the best mods in Skyrim are locational mods that add in whole new areas for players to explore. From unique, original locations to locations inspired by the Elder Scrolls universe, there's something for every type of player among these best Skyrim location mods.
Players who always dreamed of mixing the Dark Souls atmosphere into Skyrim should definitely give the Darkend mod a chance. The mod adds a brand new area called the island of Phalos, which draws a lot of inspiration from the Souls games and universe. Unlike most other new locational mods, Darkend doesn't actually have any active quests and focuses more on open-ended exploration.
New features include a brand-new location, filled with new enemies and challenges, as well as dungeons. With new monsters to fight also comes new, powerful and unique weapons players can discover during their adventures. Due to how tough the mod can be, the creator of the mod has mentioned that players should level up to level 15 before attempting to enter Darkend.
Orcs are a pretty unique race in the Elder Scrolls series. They have their own culture and belief, which is what no doubt inspired the Orsinium mod. A brand-new area, Orsinium, is added into Skyrim with this mod and can be accessed through Dushnik Yal.
Loads of new features await the player in Orsinium, from new unique weapons and armor, a brand-new player home, new dungeons, quests and adventures, and of course a fully lore-friendly homeland for the Orcs of the Elder Scrolls universe.
13 Shadow Of Morrowind
Morrowind is one of the most iconic additions to the Elder Scrolls series and lives fondly in the hearts of countless fans. Due to this, many have wanted to see it return to some extent with updated graphics. This Shadow of Morrowind mod does that pretty well, despite still being a work in progress.
With the lore in mind, the mod adds in Morrowind as a part of Solstheim. To play this mod, players will need to have the Dragonborn DLC installed. While the project seems to have had no movement forward as of recent years, it shows great promise and includes cool Morrowind-inspired landscape, dungeons, and new quests.
12 Beyond Reach
Another cool location Elder Scrolls fans have been hoping to explore is High Rock. It was one of the locations theorized to be the subject of The Elder Scrolls 6, which is why it's no wonder modders decided to turn it into a full-blown fan-made DLC called Beyond Reach. With its unique quests and story, it expands the story of Bretons and the history of The Reach.
There are brand-new locations to explore, which according to the creator of the mod, total to the size of three Skyrim holds. There are new characters and factions, which are still in the process of being fully voiced. And finally, players can expect to find new gear, including unique weapons and armor, and even brand-new spells for dedicated mages.
11 Summerset Isle
The Summerset Isle has been mentioned in Elder Scrolls lore before as the home of High Elves or Altmer, making it a perfectly plausible location for a DLC. The Summertset Isle mod itself is massive in scope, promising huge amounts of content that could rival the Dragonborn DLC. There are new quests, locations, NPCs, merchants, and a whopping seven new homes the Dragonborn can live.
Not only is the content and its quality staggeringly good, but it also has dedicated voice actors. Moreover, the mod adds a bit of challenge with players forced to explore rather than following after their quest markers religiously. Storywise, it expands on the lackluster College of Winterhold questline, with the new Arch-Mage invited to the isle.
10 Midwood Isle
Midwood Isle is a smaller locational mod, but by no means poorly made. In fact, this new location is incredibly beautiful, featuring another island that's estimated to be the size of two Skyrim holds according to the mod's creator. Included is also an alternative spirit world that's roughly the same size.
What makes this mod so special is the attention to detail. There are dedicated voice actors for each new NPC and a bunch of new stories and quests that will unfold as soon as the Dragonborn arrives at Midwood Isle. And with adventure also comes loot, as players can expect new gear, weapons, and even two additional unique Dragon Shouts.
9 Land Of Vominheim
This mod picked up some steam when it debuted in January of 2020 to massive acclaim and a Hot Mods of 2020 nomination. Land of Vominheim is exactly that - a new area to explore that is almost the same as Solstheim. It comes complete with a backstory detailing each of the five islands that can be explored by the player.
No questlines have been added to the mod (yet), but that's no reason to skip it. There are lots of new areas to explore, plus new loot, journals, and dungeons to sate curious adventurers. Where it goes from here is anyone's guess, but future updates could expand on the mod in a big way.
8 Moonpath To Elsweyr SSE
The original version of this particular mod has a long and storied history. It was one of the first and most ambitious mods ever developed for Skyrim, predating the existence of developer Bethesda's Creation Kit platform. Throughout the years, it has become a must-have for modders looking to inject exciting new content into Skyrim.
This latest version of Moonpath to Elsweyr boasts the same cinematic and story-based experience featuring frightening new enemies strewn across a multitude of different environments, including jungles and desert locales. Beware of possible bugs due to how long in the tooth this mod is, however.
7 Undeath Remastered
This story-based add-on for Skyrim is quite a complex mod that centers around an evil necromancer and his dangerous plans for achieving immortality. The player will explore the Dragontail Mountains as they work to prevent the necromancer from gathering the materials necessary to enact his plan.
Depending on how the player tackles the story, they may become a necromancer in their own right, or simply maintain their existing status. Undeath Remastered is renowned for providing players with a DLC-quality experience, as well as excellent replay value.
6 Pit Of 100 Battles
Skyrim brawlers with love what Pit of 100 Battles brings to their gaming experience, especially since exploration is also a major component of the mod. The premise is simple - the player is tasked with descending a full one hundred levels tied to various different architectural styles while tackling foes on each floor.
Further, every tenth floor is home to an extremely powerful boss character that will require cunning skill, and raw power to overcome. Those who enjoy bragging rights will love what this mod has to offer. Players can challenge themselves to see if they can make it through the entire hundred floors.
5 Skyrim Underground
The advantage of crafting underground mods is that they don't require much in the way of scripted integration with Skyrim in the same way that an exterior location mod would. This allows modders to unleash their creative potential with mods like Skyrim Underground, which is far more ambitious than it first appears.
This mod creates an entire network of underground dungeons littered with new monsters to slay while gamers complete various quests with full voice-acted NPCs. It's a creepy and atmospheric mod that injects an incredible new area into Skyrim.
4 Hope's Abandon
This mod introduces a brand new dungeon to the west of Whiterun near Gjukar's Monument for players to explore, and was designed to test skills with a challenging play experience, and one very tough boss to top it all off.
Hope's Abandon even includes an entirely new custom follower in case one needs a little backup. Traps, puzzles and secret loot abound as the player inches ever-closer to victory against a force trying to wipe out all of Skyrim's would-be heroes by luring them inside for the final kill.
3 Forgotten Dungeons
If dungeon exploring is something players enjoy a lot, then there's always room to expand. Forgotten Dungeons adds 50 brand new dungeons peppered all across the county for gamers to find. Some of these dungeons are simple exploratory affairs, while others are radiant-quest enabled.
A healthy dose of creativity went into the creation of each dungeon, which means there's plenty of adventure to be had. This mod is sure to expand Skyrim's gameplay time by a significant margin, and when mixed with other expanded content mods, can keep the adventure going for years.
Few location mods are as large and bold in undertaking as Falskaar. This is a DLC sized mod boasting over 20 hours worth of exploration, quests and content. NPCs are fully voiced by a team of actors to help sell the immersion of the game.
Falskaar is essentially a new map to explore, and although it isn't quite as large as Skyrim, it's still going to take gamers into a lot of uncharted territories. The mod integrates well with the base game by providing a story-based transition to the new map. Gamers can take a boat between Falskaar and Skyrim any time they choose, as well.
1 Beyond Skyrim - Bruma
Quite possibly the largest and most popular new location mod to date is Beyond Skyrim - Bruma. It offers a brand new experience for Skyrim players used to sticking within the boundaries of the country by opening up its borders and allowing them to explore the Bruma territory.
The mod is designed to showcase a post-Oblivion Bruma while still offering the same feel. High-resolution textures, huge quests, new armor, and weapon sets, and a top-notch voice acting cast are just some of the highlights of this mod.
The Skyrim setting is so vast and detailed that there are bound to be a lot of secrets players miss.