It’s no surprise that when we talk about mods, we have to mention Skyrim. With over 10,000 mods just a bit under a year of the game’s release, the number of mods has only grown to the point where the Special edition re-release specifically was created to make adding mods to the game easier regardless of system.
Greetings, my name is TomAlchemist. Ever since I first realized the fun and customization available via adding mods to a game I have been a firm believer in modding. Not surprisingly, one of the first games I modded was Skyrim. Furthermore, Skyrim was also the first game I started using transformation styled mods. Talking about all the transformation mods available to the game would be several articles worth of content, so instead I’ll be focusing on transformations that can change the avatar’s body type or the body types of the NPCs in the world.
Now there are plenty of other mods that give different body types to your character or NPCs. These mods though don’t really have a transformation aspect to them. For example, Fat Bastards replaces the appearance of several male NPCs with a fatter version of themselves, but it doesn’t allow you to change them within the game. Since we are interested in the transformation aspect of these body types, we will only be talking about mods that allow characters to change their appearance within the game.
CBBE and Bodyslide
Most body type transformation mods require some sort of body mesh replacer. The two main ones available are UNP and CBBE. Between the two of these, I recommend using CBBE primarily due to many of the additional mods I will be talking about use this body mesh replacer. Now some of these mods will still work with UNP, but oftentimes you’ll need a different supporting mod. With CBBE installed, you’ll also want to install Bodyslide and Outfit studio. This will be your primary source for creating the body types you want your character and the various NPCs to transform to.
With Bodyslide, unless you want to change armors yourself, you’ll need an outfit replacer. One thing that is nice about nexusmods is that it mentions in the Required section mods that require a specific mod in order to work. You can use this to see various outfit replacers. A simple one to get you started is a simple vanilla armor replacement mod (note the additional required mod). With this installed, you are now ready to launch Bodyslide.
Bodyslide has two sections, one for a low weight and one for a high weight. These correspond to your character’s weight attribute in game. A weight of 1 will put a character’s appearance at the high weight values. A weight of 0 will put a character’s appearance at the low weight values. Values in between will likewise put the character somewhere between the values. It is important to note the low weight doesn’t necessarily need to be untransformed. For example if you’re focusing on weight gain, the low weight doesn’t need to be skinny and the high weight doesn’t need to be fat. However it is important that the two weights vary in some way; otherwise,while you might create a character state that you like, you won’t be able to transform characters to or from that state.
Another tip is that while the sliders only go from 0 to 100 percent, you can actually manually enter other numbers in each category. This can be used to make certain aspects larger, however it also increases the chance of armors clipping in game.
There is an additional sliders mod that modifies Bodyslide. At a glance, it’s a nice mod as it allows for many more body type transformation types (for example, there’s a slider for a muscular body). While, I was able to get it to work within Bodyslide, loading the start of the game’s story sequence caused tons of animation glitches. I am not sure at this time whether it was due to an issue caused by combining mods or due to the mod no longer being maintained (at least according to the nexusmods posts). I bring this to your attention though as it has a large amount of potential and is at least worth the attempt at getting it to run.
The Actual ‘Transform’ Part of Body Type Transformation Mods
You’ve now done a bunch of setup, now it’s time to discuss the mods that you can then use to transform your character and the NPCs.
The first mod in question which is also my top favorite is WeightMorphs. While initially set up for weight gain, it can also be used with other body types. Essentially, eating food, potions, or alchemy ingredients causes your weight number to go up and moves your character’s appearance closer to the mod’s specific High Weight category. Sprinting (and potentially other stamina draining actions) causes your weight number to go down and moves your character’s appearance closer to the mod’s specific Low Weight category. It’s important to note that the High Weight and Low Weight categories can be different from those you selected in Bodyslide, but I recommend using the same to avoid armor clipping (some clipping may still be present however).
The expected way to use this mod is to eat a bunch of food to make your character fatter and then sprint if you wish to lose it. However, you can play with the numbers and change the behavior. For example, I reversed the behavior such that eating actually causes the character to lose weight, making potion use a sort of penalty while also avoiding the need to use a bunch of consumables to remain at a high weight.
You can also configure the mod to apply consequences such as slowing your character at high weights or increasing your stamina at low weights (stamina changes do seem to be a bit buggy so be careful messing with that setting). Out of all the mods I’ve taken a look at, this is the only one that allows for transformation outside of spells or level ups. This allows you to enjoy the mod from the very beginning of the game.
Weight Alteration Spells
With WeightMorphs you can change your character, now what about other NPCs? For that, I recommend the weight alteration spells mod. This provides a spell to increase or decrease a character’s weight statistic. Embiggen moves the target towards Bodyslide’s high weight appearance and Ensmallen moves the target towards Bodyslide’s low weight appearance. There’s also versions of this spell that apply to your own character. Be careful using this with WeightMorphs also enabled as it can quickly cause graphics glitches. Similarly, changing the target’s weight too quickly from high to low and vice versa can also cause graphics glitches (including the character’s body from no longer rendering, potentially crashing the game). I recommend avoid using Embiggest/Emsmallest while the character still has the glowing green aura that is applied when they are affected by these spells.
Breast and Butt Slide Scaling for NPCs
The final mod I will be speaking of is Breast and Butt slide scaling for NPCs. This mod provides spells to affect NPCs, increasing or decreasing their breasts and/or butt. It’s a bit more limited than the weight alteration spells mod as it can only apply to a limited number of characters at a time. The advantage of this mod is that in the past when I’ve used it, I’ve never had any graphical problems when using this mod. At the very least, it seems more stable than weight alteration spells even if it is a much more limited mod.
Interested in games that offer body type transformation in the base game? Check out our article about the Top 5 Weight Gain Games.