Skyrim’s massively popular stealth re-balance mod finally has a Special Edition version

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Skyrim's Dragonborn dressed in stealthy Nightingale armour.

Modders have put an awful lot of effort into making sure Skyrim has continually evolved and expanded in the years since it was first released into the world.

Many have focused on changing the game by turning it into a maze of mysterious doors, revamping its menus, and adding interesting player homes to it, with a few even aiming to go as far as allowing you to play the entirety of Oblivion in Skyrim’s engine.

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For those who’re looking for something to keep their next playthrough interesting even when it begins the inevitable slide into stealth archer territory, a new mod, which is perfect for would-be assassins or thieves, might be worth adding to your load order.

Desperate to make things tougher for your sneaky character?

The mod in question is called ‘Stealth Skills Rebalanced SE’, and is the work of prolific modder kryptopyr. Some of their previous work has given you the chance to control exactly when specific quests can begin and to recruit the Thieves Guild’s Karliah as a follower.

This time, with some help from other modders, they’ve decided to release a new Skyrim Special Edition version of their hugely popular OG Skyrim mod ‘Stealth Skills Rebalanced - Sneak - Lockpicking - Pickpocket’, which reworks stealth-affiliated skills with the aim of bringing “greater challenge and immersion to the game”.

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Trying to sneak into a bandit camp without being detected? Reworked perks like muffled movement and shadow's embrace will be important, but you’ll still have to pay close attention to how much noise your character is making and plan out a route that avoids well-lit areas.

Similarly, if you’re trying to break into a house full of loot by picking its lock, having perks like nimble fingers or the renamed master of locks will help eliminate the need for you to spend far too long trying to find a minuscule sweet spot before you destroy all of your picks, even if these will no longer shatter quite as frequently as they do in the vanilla game.

For those who prefer picking pockets to struggling with locks, the mod ensures that swiping goods from unsuspecting citizens will no longer be game-breakingly easy or suffer from odds-based bugs when you’re using fortify pickpocket enchantments.

Your effectiveness when it comes to all three of the skills will also be affected by your choices of apparel, with heavily armoured characters no longer being able to completely mask their clanking via a muffle spell or enchantment and those wearing gloves or gauntlets will have slightly less deft hands than those with bare fingers.

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If those changes sound interesting, you’ll need to grab the Skyrim Script Extender to get the mod working as it should.

Regardless of whether your sneaky Dragonborn is now getting in some practice with these revamped mechanics before heading out on their next heist, make sure to follow us for more updates on The Elder Scrolls 6 and the interesting world of Skyrim modding. You can also check out our mods of the month for December 2022.