Skyrim mod overhauls Ustengrav with enemy camps and interesting environmental changes

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The overhauled version of Ustengrav in Skyrim.
Credit: Ryn2g on Nexus Mods.
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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 finding interesting ways to improve its combat or adding everything from fully voice-acted quests to unique player homes and fresh alchemy recipes to it, with a few even going as far as bringing terrifying zombies or meme-worthy armaments to Tamriel.

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If you’re someone who’s considering starting a fresh playthrough of Bethesda’s beloved RPG this weekend, a new mod, which gives one of the main quest’s dungeons a lore-friendly makeover, might be worth adding to your load order.

Dreading having to head for the same old boring dungeon next time you visit Skyrim’s Greybeards?

The mod in question is called ‘Ryn's Ustengrav’, and is the work of prolific modder Ryn2g. Some of their previous projects have delivered equally impressive overhauls to locations like Karthspire and the Ebony Warrior’s Last Vigil.

This time, they’ve turned their attention to the ancient Nordic ruin which plays host to the hunt for the horn of Jurgen Windcaller, a key location in the game’s main quest that seasoned players will have visited hundreds of times and which Ryn2g believes: “deserved better”.

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By changing the environment surrounding Ustengrav so that it’s now nestled underneath an icy cliff and is surrounded by a litany of carved pillars and standing stones, Ryn2g’s mod will help to alleviate any fatigue you might have built up towards approaching the ruin.

Also included on its list of changes is a much more impressive campsite for the gang of necromancers you can usually find hanging around the tomb’s entrance, whose digs now reflect their slightly bolstered numbers and entrenched state.

While this particular mod’s changes end once you infiltrate Ustengrav’s doors, teaming it with another work like Cooleoj’s ‘Dungeons - Revisited’ will allow you to give the ruin's interior a similarly impressive overhaul.

If you’re planning on eventually dealing with all of the province’s winged beasts during your playthrough, you might also want to grab another of Ryn2g’s recent mods, ‘Ryn's Dragon Mounds Collection’, which switches up the appearances of their resting places across Skyrim, making dragon slaying a little more interesting.

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Regardless of whether your Dragonborn is now trying to battle their way through Ustengrav so quickly that the horn they seek might not be gone by the time they reach it, 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 February 2023 or our new series where we delve into the rich history of The Elder Scrolls 5’s setting: