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About this mod

Skills of The Wild adds four new campfire survival skills: Art of The Hunt, Knower of the Land, Beast Handler and Culinary Arts. They're meant to be compatible with most mods out there, stay balanced throughout an entire playthrough and enhance your experience by letting you roleplay different aspects of Skyrim that were very static in vanilla.

Permissions and credits


Thank you for showing interest in Skills Of The Wild (SOTW). If you are a fan of Campfire, Frostfall and Hunterborn, this mod might be worthy of a ESP slot in your load order. SOTW adds 4 new campfire skills related to survivality. The mod comes with a lot of new abilities, new gameplay mechanics and lots of new perks, all without interferring with the core aspects of Skyrim and without running constant script loops in the background. That means it should play nicely with gameplay overhauls, no matter if you're a Requiem veteran or a purist vanilla player. However, take into account that the mod takes a hardcore/survival approach in some aspects, like making you rely on your actual orientation skills at the beginning to find your way around as you'll have no compass during the first levels, but it also gives you other tools so you can overcome these obstacles in a very immersive manner. I might make the mod modular in the future, for now please take it as it is and rely your feedback to me so I can continue tweaking it and enhancing it. 

Here's a quick video showcasing some of the aspects this mod introduces. I still recommend reading at least the intro in full, and the whole description if you want to know all the details. This is the very first release of the mod, so please back-up your save and test the mod a bit before commiting it to one of your main save files.

Quick overview of the new perk trees:

  • KNOWER OF THE LAND: The more places you visit, the longer you stay outdoors and the more you read about Skyrim and the people inhabiting this harsh cold land, the quicker you will level up this tree. You will unlock abilities to sense your surroundings, abilities to fortify your stamina while you're out of combat, the ability to resist a percentage of damage while underwater, or the damage you take from falls, unlocking the default compass and lots more.
  • .
  • ART OF THE HUNT: You will level up this perk tree as you develop your hunting skills: either by using Hunterborn talents or simply by killing animals and creatures, reading about animals, hunting tales, etc. This perk tree will allow you to pick up, craft and place traps, it will allow you to create certain items on the spot without the need of crafting equipment, it will allow you to track down your prey, be a better hunter while outdoors, obtain different bonuses against certain types of enemies as you learn about them and also let you bury and pay respects to your fallen enemies. (Including support for certain... bosmer ritual).
  • .
  • CULINARY ARTS: Without any cooking knowledge, you will only be able to cook the simplest of dishes. All meats can be cooked even without any perk, but more advanced dishes will require unlocking the respective perk. Besides unlocking dishes, you can learn to cook more meals without using extra ingredients, and get a small experience bonus simply by being well fed and spending time in the kitchen. Cooking meals and reading about the culinary arts also improves your cooking skills.
  • .
  • BEAST HANDLER: This perk tree diverges into two different branches, handling your horse and handling wild beasts. Riding your horse, spending time with animals, taming wild beasts and feeding them will level up this tree. You can learn to be the best rider, able to push the boundaries of your horse to make it faster or more acrobatic. Learn how to dogde attacks while on a horse, or inflict more damage. The right side of the tree will allow you to tame wild beasts. This is however no easy task, as it will require a LONG time to pull off, so that only the most persistant of characters will have a chance at this skill. Once tamed, beasts can be named and fed and provide different bonuses depending on the type of beast, more on the dedicated section.


In the future I might consider making some of these optional, but as of right now these mods are required to run Skills of the Wild.

  • SKSE
  • SkyUI
  • Campfire
  • Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch
  • Hunterborn
  • iHud

To read more on compatibility, patches and possible issues, please look at the end of each perk tree description below.

I recommend switching over to the Special Edition version of this mod, as I'll probably only be able to actively support one of these.


You must use Campfire's skill system to use the perk trees. If you are not familiar with it, when you launch the game you will have a talent called "Create Campfire". With some wood and once you start your first fire, you will see an option to access the skill system. It should be very intuitive from that point onwards. Let's look at the four perk trees in detail:

The art of cooking exquisite and nutritious meals. Prepare your own dishes and read books on cooking to improve your technique and expand your recipe repertoire.

Leveling up
There's a total of 10 levels in this tree. After each level is reached, the next one will be harder to achieve, this applies to all the perk trees in this mod. This means you will very quickly get your first level-up, but will require a lot more time to achieve the last one. 
Besides reading books on cooking, the natural way to level up this tree will be cooking meals. 
Wearing a certain hat while cooking will give you a small exp bonus too.

10 levels, so a total of 10 perks. Description of each one below. Number between brackets indicate how many levels the perk has.

  1.  Basic Meals (1/2):  You learn new basic recipes to cook.*
  2.  Elaborate Meals (1/2) Your experience in the kitchen allows you to prepare more complex meals.
  3.  Exotic Meals (1/2) You can now use exotic ingredients to create the most extravagant meals.
  4. Inspired Cook (1/2) After cooking a meal, your inspiration kicks in and you feel more inclined to learn. You also get more cooking experience in the kitchen. (NOTE: 3% increased exp for 6 hours / 5% for 8 hours for the second level. Similar to the "Well Rested" vanilla effect in terms of balancing)
  5. Frugal Gourmet (1/2): You sometimes manage to create additional meals without using extra ingredients. (NOTE: Second level of this perk increases the chance of creating an additional meal without using extra ingredients.)

*By default, you will only be able to cook very basic meals until you take the first perk. 

Compatibility and changes to other mods
The cooking module merges Campfire's cooking menu with "Hunterborn's "Primitive Cooking", as they were practically doing the same thing. This should help remove innecesary menus, enhance the compatibility between Campfire and Hunterborn and and simplify your choice when it comes to cooking: If you don't have a cooking pot, furnace, etc, you can cook by using sticks on a fire and similar. However, as you can imagine, you can only heat meat and little more by using Primitive Cooking. All of Hunterborn and vanilla foods have been added into the perk cooking system. There are close to 200 dishes in total you can cook, but if you want more variety Cooking in Skyrim is compatible right off the bat, with a small caveat: to learn the recipes of that mod, you will need to find or buy the books that CiS introduces.
SOTW is not currently compatible with mods that modify vanilla food records. It's a matter of creating a simple patch that adds a keyword to their food records, not hard at all, so patches should come soon. Please drop a comment mentioning which needs mod you use and I might take a look after I rest a little. There's an esp of iNeed that does not edit food records, so I recommend going for that one in the meantime. If you use a different mod that alters food records, you can place it after SOTW, that will ensure that mod will works fine. For now, I'm also relasing a version of SOTW that doesn't make changes to food and removes the cooking perk tree completely. I hear CACO has its own cooking perk tree, so perfect for users of that mod.

The art of stalking, slaying and harvesting your prey. Read books about hunting, take down animals and harvest their pelts and organs to increase this skill.

Leveling up 
Both hunting creatures and beasts count towards raising the skill, cleaning your prey via hunterborn's features provide the most exp. 
Books about hunting and dealing with creatures provide exp as well.

Art of the Hunt has a total of 8 levels and perks. Description of each below.

  1. Art of the Hunt: By remaining still and focusing on your surroundings, you can use your instincts to track down nearby animals and resources. (NOTE: Unlocks Frostfall's Sense Surrounding ability)
  2. Handcrafting: There's a wide array of objects you can create by using natural resources, rudimentary tools and your hands. (NOTE: Unlocks Hunterborn's "Primitive crafting" ability. This has been merged with Frostfall’s Create Item ability, as both were doing the same thing. Less clutter in your menus)
  3. Wind Impulse: While being outdoors, you know how to best place your shots so your arrows are impulsed by the wind and inflict more damage. (NOTE: While being outdoors, bows do 10% more damage.)
  4. Cycle of Life: You can now bury your fallen friends or foes. Alternatively, you can also harvest ingredients from the corpses of humanoid races. (NOTE: You can only do so at a huge and long speech debuff. Wood elves are unaffected by this debuff due to their customs. If seen doing this, you will get a huge bounty as well. As for burying, you can bury using different methods and then pay respects to your fallen comrades or foes. This will give you a small +10 health bonus during some in-game hours, but will cost you up to 5 hours to dig the grave. Having tools reduce this.)
  5. Trapper: You learn to safely deactivate and handle bear traps. They can now be picked up by activating them while crouching, and placed by dropping them from your inventory.
  6. Bestiary of The North (1/2/3): You start to take note of the fauna of Skyrim. By observing their behaviours, you learn to fight these animals and creatures more efficiently. (NOTE: Gives you a 5% damage bonus against small / medium / large animals and monsters. Each rank of this perk unlocks one of these:
  7. - 6.1 Bonus against mudcrabs, Skeevers, Slaughterfish, Dogs, Wolves
    - 6.2 Bears, Sabre Cats, Horkers, Trolls, Chaurus, Frostbite Spiders
    - 6.3 Giant Frostbite spiders, Werewolves, Werebears, Mammoths, Dragon)

Compatibility and changes to other mods

No issues whatsoever. I recommend not touching any of Hunterborn's or Campfire's MCM options, especially when it comes to unlocking new abilities that might now be attached to a perk. If you build a grave and is glitching through the terrain, I recommend using Jaxonz Positioner to fix it. Good general advice is to bring the corpse to an even surface before activating the ability, this will ensure that the grave appears correctly.


The art of riding, taming and commanding beasts. 
Ride your horse, tame wild beasts, feed them and spend time with them to improve this skill.

Taming animals
To start taming animals, you will need to unlock an ability via a perk. To tame an animal, the animal cannot be in combat, so you will either need to sneak up on them or calm them with a spell. After using the ability, you will be presented the option of giving them food. All animals take all types of food (didn't want to overcomplicate it), if this bothers you, don't feed meat to bunnies :)

Once you exit the food menu, the animal will decide if they run away (and you cannot try to tame them again), if they let you give them more food (the odds are ran again) or if they actually start following you around. If they do start following you around, please bear in mind that you will have to feed them from time to time. Animals will leave you after 2 in-game days without you feeding them. 

Animal behaviour hasn't been altered, besides following you around. If they're an aggressive animal, like say a bear, they will follow and defend you. If you have a goat as a sidekick and get in combat, the goat will run away and come find you afterwards. Animals are not protected or essential, so they WILL die unless you protect them.

Odds of taming an animal
The odds are not on your side, I'm afraid. I've made it very hard to tame animals. It will become easier as you grow in level and unlock new perks, but keep in mind failed attempts at taming actually give you xp in the tree, so don't give up and you will eventually get there.

The formula takes into account the following: 
Random chance / Level Difference between you and the animal / Number and level of taming perks you have / Difficulty to tame the animal (Not the same to tame a goat than to tame a frostbite spider)

It will eventually become trivial to tame small animals like bunnies, but it will always be a challenge to tame the toughest of beasts.

By default, only one "wild pet" can follow you, 2 with the last taming perk. The system that controls these beats is independent both from the normal vanilla follower system and pet system, so you could easily have Lydia, Meeko, a bunny and a sabrecat once you reach the end of the tree. Vanilla pets are not handled by this mod, but having them around will grant you exp in the taming tree.

A total of 15 different perks, this will definitely be a challenge to max :)

  1. Animal bond (1 / 2) : You receive different buffs around friendly animals. (NOTE: Bonuses get activated after feeding your pet, and last for a couple of hours. Riding a horse also grants you a temporary buff while you're on top of your horse. See table below for the different bonuses this perk brings.) 
  2. Experienced Rider (1/2/3/4/5): You learn to push your horse to run faster with each perk.. (NOTE: Your horse will be slower by default without any perks. After the first perk here is taken, you will get the default vanilla speed, and then grow from there.)
  3. Steady Race: Your horses are well trained, allowing them to sprint for longer.
  4. Acrobatic Jump: Your horse takes less damage when falling and can jump higher.
  5. Mounted combat: You learn to fight on top of your steed, allowing you to inflict more damage while riding. (NOTE: You inflict +10 more damage while mounted.)
  6. Beast Whisperer: You can now tame animals. (NOTE: Unlocks the "Tame animal" ability)
  7. Belly Rubs (1/2/3): Taming animals is now easier. (NOTE: Easier with each perk, affects all animals and creatures.)
  8. Pack leader: You can tame an additional wild animal. (NOTE: You can only have a total of 2)

Detailed look at the bonuses
Animals and creatures are divided into 4 categories (+ your horse). Keep in mind that it will be very hard for your character to actually tame an animal, and that you can ONLY ever have 2 wild pets with you (and only once you max the tree) before judging the bonuses of your furry pals. Second level of the perk bonuses includes the effect of the first one.

You must be riding the horse for "High Ground" to apply, the rest will be applied to you as long as the animal is around and you keep them well fed.

Compatibility and changes to other mods
Horse mods are compatible, at least Immersive Horses is, the one I checked. Even if they change the speed of the horses, everything still works well. Companion mods won't interfer with this mod either. If you use follower live package, you can ACTUALLY ride your wild pets. YES, YOU CAN RIDE A MAMMOTH! I'm not sure I recommend it though, I didn't test it too much.

The art of scouting, wayfaring and surviving outdoors.

Leveling up
Read books about Skyrim and her people, discover new locations and spend time outdoors to increase this skill.

Map and UI changes
This mod introduces a series of small yet powerful changes to the UI. By using iHUD's settings, both the compass and the sneaking eye when crouching will be disable from the beginning of the game. As for why, I want players to use the abilities included in this game, at least initially and make you feel like you're becoming an experienced scout. Tracking beasts, listening to your surrounding, using landmarks to figure out where you are... Those are all great things for roleplaying that we simply miss on if we have a compass conveniently indicating how many enemies are looking for you, if you are somehow being seen or not, or where UNDISCOVERED locations are nearby. By locking the compass behind a late game perk, I hope you embrace and use the new tools made available for you to find your way around Skyrim.

Besides the compass, the map now hides the exact location of the player. Sorry, there is no GPS service in Tamriel. Use skills and common sense to find your way around! If you hate these changes, you can simply enable everything back in iHUD's settings though.
15 perks, making it one of the most difficult trees to max.

  1. Wayfarer: (1/2) While being outside and out of combat, your stamina regenerates faster. (NOTE: 10% added regen / 20% with the second perk. Only as long as you stay OUT of combat, so useful for running and walking outside)
  2. North-Finder: While being outside, you can tell which direction you're facing by observing the position of the sun and moons. (NOTE: Unlocks Sense Direction from Hunterborn, now with animation!)
  3. Mindful Breathing: allows you to meditate or rest on the spot, granting you extra stamina and magicka regeneration. (NOTE: Sitting down using this ability provides stamina regen (30%) + 15 Stamina. If you rest long enough, this bonus will last 5 minutes, but only as long as you stay out of combat. You can also meditate. This provides magicka regen (30%) + 15 magicka and slightly better shout recovery. If you meditate long enough, this bonus will last 5 minutes, but again, only as long as you stay out of combat.
  4. Sixth Sense: While sneaking, you can tell when enemies are aware of your presence by carefully listening to your surroundings. (NOTE: Sneaking eye UI indicator unlocked)
  5. Spatial Awareness: You can keep track of the position of your enemies during battle and infer, by looking at clues in your surroundings, where undiscovered locations might be nearby. (NOTE: press X to brings up your compass)
  6. One with the Wild: You're an expert ambusher capable of blending in with nature. Enemies have a harder time discovering you while outside and unmoving
  7. (NOTE: +20 Sneak when outdoors and unmoving.)
  8. Expert Packer (1/2): You've learnt to make the most of your bags, allowing you to carry more items. (NOTE: permanent +10/+20 CW)
  9. A Day’s March (1/2): You're used to walking for long periods of time. While outside and out of combat, you have a bigger stamina pool available. (NOTE: +20/+40 Stamina while outside and out of combat. Useful for running around)
  10. Longfin Maneuvers (1/2): You’re an avid swimmer and know how to best take blows underwater. (NOTE: You take 15/30% less damage while swimming. Argonians get 25%/40%).
  11. Goat Stance(1/2): You've learnt the hard way how to best position yourself during a fall. Falling hurts you less. (NOTE: Falling hurts you 15/30% less. Khajiit get 25%/40% by unlocking this perk)

Compatibility and changes to other mods
Nothing besides the UI changes mentioned above. This should still work with custom UI mods, no worries there.

(All imaginary questions since so far I have no questions from you)

  • Why don't you make these skill trees modular?

    It might be the route that I take in the end, but right now I've just spent almost a month creating this month and I need a break. Sorry... I've disabled the food module though for compatibility with CACO.—
  • Is this compatible with Frostfall? Is Frostfall mandatory?
  • Yes, it's fully compatible and no, Frostfall is not required. If you install Frostfall, its perk tree will appear as usual in your campfire. No issues.—
  • What patches are needed / coming? 
  • Patches I'd like to make soon / eventually after I take a small break from modding:-  Book Covers (SOTW mod adds some keywords to some books, I imagine the affected books will revert to the previous book cover. No big deal as it's an easy patch to make).- Food moods: iNeed + RnD. A patch is needed for full compatibility. Very easy to make. I'll take a look at it eventually, you're welcome to create and upload your own patch in the meantime though.- Requiem: Small conflict because of the food  edits + adding the keywords to the new books from Requiem. I'll wait until the official Requiem port to SE. If someone wants to fix it now, be my guest. —
  • My compass is not showing up, even after unlocking the perk for it!
  • You probably were playing without compass before. If you disabled the compass via skyrimprefs.ini, you must enable it there first.—
  • Tamed an animal but I can't talk to them?
  • This sometimes happens when you first run the mod. Save and load the game, and you should be able to talk to them.—
  • For some reason, my tamed elks and deers FREAK out after I talk to them!
  • It does happen, but it's got an easy fix. Rest of creatures and animals seem to be fine, but elks and deers just don't like being talked to. They act all twitchy when you talk to them: "This human is talking to me? What's going oooooon" - Easy fix though, just unseath your weapon once if they start feeling shaky and they will return to normal.—
  • Where's the sneaking eye indicator? Where's the COMPASS? PLEASE BRING THEM BACK, HAALP.
  • They're both off by default and need to be unlocked via the "Knower of the Land" perk tree. If it bothers you a lot and you want them unlocked from the get go, just go to iHud's MCM menu and enable them there. —
  • What happens with Hunterborn's special book, drink and its weird hircine quests? 
  • The Lyart book, quests and drinks are all still there. Hunterborn's progress system for faster skinning/harvesting/etc are all still there too. Lyart book usually unlocks the ability to create jerky recipes, but now instead those are unlocked via a perk and the book just provides extra cooking exp—
  • Why does my character get a debuff when using the "unusual taste" ability even if no one sees them?
  • Two explanations... for balancing reasons you get a debuff to make up for having relative easy access to 2 rare vanilla ingredients. I say relative because unless you're an expert hunterborn harvester already, you probably won't get any ingredients from using the ability. The other reason is that I believe doing that kind of action will take a toll on anyone. Even if unseen, your character will be "off" around others, thus the speech debuff. —
  • What kind of scripts come with this mod? Is this going to break my game?
  • I purposely avoided having loop scripts in the mod, as I'm not an expert modder and I wanted to keep this mod as light as possible. There's currently only one script that happens every in-game 12 hours. The rest of scripts are tied to actions (Sitting down, starting to cook a meal, hopping on your horse, etc.)—
  • Can I uninstall it mid game?
  • Uninstalling mods mid-game is generally a no go, do so at your own risk. I recommend first installing the mod on a secondary save and playing for a couple of hours to decide if this is your cup of tea and THEN bring it over to your main save.—
  • Can I install this mid game?
  • Yes, but some caveats. Installing it mid game won't break anything, but you might miss on some exp.—
  • Can you add X name to the list of animal names?
  • Sure, why not :) Let's make a cool list of new names and I can add them in.—
  • Why is this description page so huge?
  • I got carried away, I'm sorry :(—
  • Anything else the author of this mod wants to say?
  • Thank you very much for asking, dear reader. I want to thank all the amazing modders out there that have made me STILL want to play Skyrim after almost 10 years. Also, here's a request to you, dear person reading this. If you play with this mod and manage to tame an animal, you can change their name by talking to them. I have added over 150 names, some of them are funny. If you get a cool combination of animal + funny name, please take a screenshot and upload it to this mod page. That'd make me happy :)

Long live our modding community. Have fun everyone!