Crafting in Skyrim is a big part of the game. Fortunately, there are some really great mods to completely overhaul this system from the ground up. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones. I’ll also try and keep this relatively short and only pick the ones I personally liked the most.
Hands down the most comprehensive and a must have mod is Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered.
This is an oldrim mod that finally got updated for Skyrim SE and once it did, I’m sure there were thousands of players such as myself who were extremely happy.
Many of us were trying to port this ourselves, but the author noticed the huge demand and did a proper port herself.
Speaking of that same author, she has also released other mods such as Complete Alchemy & Cooking Overhaul, which is another must have in my opinion.
So what do these two mods do?
Well, if you’ve got the time to read their lengthy pages (yes, they’re very comprehensive) go ahead, but basically the short version for complete crafting overhaul would be:
- SkyUI now has material categories and type of item filters added to it.
- All crafting recipes re-worked for better consistency and also missing recipes are added to the game.
- Five new gemstones and jewelry items added, as well as missing recipes for jewelry combos.
- Craft armored circlets and they will match your armor and fulfil set requirements in place of a helmet.
- Craft unenchanted versions of faction gear and artifact replicas.
- Upgrade unique leveled items and there are no more penalties for completing various quests early.
- Break down weapons and armor into ingots and leather pieces.
- Speed of mining and wood chopping is adjustable, as well as the amount of resources given back to you.
- Raw materials and ingots will be sorted into material categories within tanning rack menus and smelters.
- Experience gain rate can be adjusted for smithing, tanning racks, smelters and mining in general.
- You can use an alternate formula for calculating experience gains and this rewards experimentation and crafting high-end gear.
- Adjustable tempering and enchantments that give stronger benefits on certain items (ex: chest piece will be stronger in effect than feet).
- Stalhrim and silver have adjusted bonuses for better balance.
A lot of these options are customizable through the MCM menu so you have complete freedom.
Alternatively, a smaller mod that might be a bit less intimidating would be Ars Metallica Smithing Enhancement. I used to use that one, but I prefer complete overhaul.
Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul on the other hand does the following:
- Better balance and consistency for alchemy.
- Various bug fixes including the flora respawn bug.
- Set custom duration for potions and poisons (1, 5 or 10 seconds).
- Potions renamed and easily sorted by potency.
- Player-made potions will be differently named and better demonstrate their strength and effects.
- Player-made potions will also be more consistent in cost, strength and name compared to other in-game potions.
- No more get-rick-quick from impure potions. These won’t be as valuable.
- 16 new alchemical effects added to the game. You can find new ingredients and in-game potions with these.
- There are now craftable grenades and weapon coatings.
- You can obtain and use portable alchemy stations.
- Craft poultices and salves to apply to bandages to heal yourself when you don’t have potions or healing spells.
- Merge multiple weaker potions into stronger ones.
- 100+ new lore-friendly ingredients added to the game world.
- 51 new critters, 21 moths & butterflies, 11 dragonflies and 19 pond fish.
- More realistic amounts of harvested ingredients from plants and animals.
- Hearthfire’s gardening updated to including missing vanilla plants and many other new ingredients.
- Uses high quality meshes and textures from other modders and artists.
- Harvest ingredients from dead enemies (blood and alchemical reagents). Vampires can use this blood to create blood potions.
- Harvest meat from almost all animals and creatures to use in new cooking recipes.
- More than 100 new food items are added to the game world.
- Food effects have been rebalanced and will now have an extended fortify duration effect.
- Large servings of foods & drinks will be divided automatically into smaller servings.
- Better realism and balance for cooking recipes.
- As you cook and create food, your cooking skill increases.
- With higher cooking skill come higher level recipes to craft which last longer and are stronger.
- Optional light-weight fatigue & hunger system if you don’t want to use other mods for that.
- Increasingly severe penalties and drunken effects from alcohol.
- Followers of Namira will also have cannibalistic recipe options to use.
Once you install and configure these two mods, your crafting aspect of the game will be light years ahead compared to vanilla Skyrim. Let’s move on.
Next on the list is Skyrim Recycling. If you’re not using the previous one, then use this one because deconstructing weapons & armor is very useful (plus other junk), however, I believe that most of that stuff is already covered in complete crafting overhaul so this is optional.
The same can be said about Immersive Upgrade Leveled Items, you do not need it if you’re using complete crafting overhaul. I’m mentioning both of these for those of you who find the first mod a bit too complex for their taste. This simply allows you to upgrade leveled items so you don’t have to worry about when you complete certain quests.
Next one is Build Your Own Unique (Enchanting & Disenchanting). This allows you to disenchant and learn unique enchantments.
I’m kind of 50-50 about it. It makes sense if you’re a powerful mage that you should be able to learn these. But on the other hand, artifacts are supposed to be completely unique, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want it or not.
I probably won’t use it in my next playthrough because adding uniques to my collection is always fun.
Mystic Condenser also merges potions. You can actually use it with both magical college of Winterhold and complete alchemy overhaul. There’s no issues, you will simply have another tool at your disposal for this purpose.
I also recommend Craftable Clothing which is very interesting. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this in the first place.
And finally, for our last mod on the list, we have Smithing Perks Overhaul. Load this one last. It simply improves the smithing perks and there are two versions.
I personally use the one that’s more of a complete overhaul where you have the ability to craft different armor types on one side of the skill tree, and the ability to improve all armor types to certain levels on the other side of the skill tree. It’s from the same author of complete crafting overhaul.
And that’s it, I hope you enjoyed this short guide. Have fun! 🙂