Skyrim Special Edition

About this mod

Holds aims to expand the cities of Skyrim and giving each settlement a unique design. It adds books, named characters, items, outfits and more.

Permissions and credits
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Holds is a city overhaul project which focuses on what I think are the weaknesses of Skyrim compared to the older Elder Scrolls titles. The mod expands upon the cities of Skyrim and adds more settlements, architecture, outfits, books and named characters with their own backgrounds, homes and daily routines while ensuring they feel natural and realistic.
Falkreath, Winterhold, Morthal and Dawnstar have been rebuilt from scratch with their own unique designs. The mod also adds a bundle of new settlements like Amber Guard and Black Moor. Most of these new settlements have been placed far out of the way and hidden from view to not ruin the expansive wilderness theme of the game. The aim of all of this is to create a more memorable and diverse experience, making the cities actually feel like cities hopefully without ruining the natural and realistic design of the vanilla game.
This is not a botanical garden mod, nor is it a beautification mod. Holds aims to stay as lore-friendly as possible and at the same time expand on the backgrounds and stories for its locations.
I started working on this project late November 2012 and have devoted averagely two hours a day to the creation kit. One of the reasons I felt this project was necessary was the announcement of various modding projects adding new content to the game. The problem, for me was how expansive their cities looked compared to the cities in Skyrim. Coming into Skyrim from Oblivion I was expecting there to be a 'Better Cities' mod available early on, but there wasn't and I missed the features the Oblivion City Overhaul brought to the game.
The mod adds a variety of new books written by myself and Alfredasl which attempts to flesh out the land and history of Skyrim. They are spread to three locations: the Book Store in Falkreath, the Haafingar Library in Solitude and The Palace of Kings Library in Windhelm.
Any criticism, questions, and help will be greatly appreciated, even the criticism. However I will have to ask that you make constructive criticism; your opinion does matter and could very well inspire me to make changes, however I have designed this project with myself in mind.

Installation and Requirements

Make sure that you have a stable and performance friendly game.

I advice installing the mod manually. I have no experience with the mod installer tools and therefor I cannot be much help, and there have been reported many problems from mod users when installing with these tools. What is important is that Holds is loaded last, the only thing that should be loaded after Holds.esp should be its compatibility patches and alternative performance patches. So an example:


Do let me know if your having any problems :)

Install the meshes and textures from 'Winter Is Coming - Cloaks' by Nivea. You do not need the esp, but you do need the meshes and textures. Give her an endorsement while you are at it.

Now install Holds into your data folder. Make sure you have compatibility for the mods you suspect would conflict with Holds, see the map on the description page if your unsure, the red marked area's are altered by the mod. Make sure that Holds is at the very bottom of your load order, and that your compatibility patches are beneath the Holds.esp. Now activate Holds and whatever compatibility patches you choose to use in your load order and launch the game. Any problems you encounter can be discussed here on the mod discussion panel, or reported in the bug report panel.

It is advisable to start a new game after installing Holds to avoid annoyances such as the game remembering a bed at a certain location which leaves it stuck in a wall or- something because Holds changes the location. 

Hope you enjoy! :)

How to use with Dyndolod

You will need to use the complete or modular version without the compatibility patches activated when creating the LOD. Once that's done you can safely activate the compatibility patches, and play. :)

Current locations affected by Holds

What to expect

Memorable cities and new settlements, named individual characters with daily routines and background stories. New shops and inn's, new designs, new books, new outfits, and new locations and secrets to explore and more content in the future, as well as focusing on the other weaknesses that Skyrim has compared to the other games.

Future Plans

Adding more compatibility patches.

Implementing Dialogues for the characters.

Adding Quests which will be added step-by-step as I complete them.

Implementing new Guilds, as well as working on continuations/conclusions to the vanilla guilds which I felt was left hanging on a poor note.

Adding more Outfits.

Implementing new systems such as Banking, alternative transportation with radiant events, and more.


I would welcome any help with open arms. I will also support anyone who wishes to create patches/fixes/new content for Holds, provided they use my mod as a dependency.

Helping me get noticed, and perhaps volunteering yourself as a developer, writer or voice actor would be very appreciated!


Q: I see purple textures on some of the outfits!
A: Your likely missing the meshes and textures of the 'Winter Is Coming - Cloaks' mod by Nivea.

Q: I have found a bug/problem! What do I do?
A: Report the bug in the bug panel. And I will see what I can do.

Q: This mod makes my frame-rate drop at 'X' location(s).
A: This can be fixed by:

1: Unchecking ObjectPostProcessing in your ENB, and lowering your ENB quality. Seriously don't have your game looking like you've lost your contact lenses, its not good for your eyes and not good for your performance.

2: Evaluating your choice of texture and meshes. This is purely subjective as I use as much 4k resolution textures as I can and have an average 57-60fps even in the heaviest area's (Falkreath, Solitude harbor). This depends completely on the quality of your computer and is something your going to have to figure out how to deal with on your own. Alternatively I could be persuaded to create a performance version of Holds.

Q: I crash instantly at 'X' location. What do I do?
A: Report it in the bug panel and make sure you include a list of your Skyrim Load-list, and I will see what I can do.

Q: Is 'X' compatible with Holds?
A: Check the compatibility list:

Q: Can you make 'X' compatible with Holds?
A: Sure, provided the mod author is okay with it. Ask away.

Q: Can I make a compatibility for Holds?
A: Yes you may. Do ask if you have any questions.

Q: I want to create a patch/fix/extra content for Holds, do I have your permission to do so?
A: Not only will I support you, but you do not need to ask me for permission. Provided you make your mod dependent on Holds and do not include any of the meshes, textures and scripts, or claim ownership of Holds.

Q: May I use your meshes and/or textures in my own mod?
A: Ask permission. I do not own everything in the mod, but even so I am comfortable making sure I know who makes use of my own content.

Q: May I re-upload your mod at another mod sharing website?
A: No. This mod is -Mine- and on the Nexus only. If I find out you've stolen this mod or uploaded it as part of some mod-pack then I will be very angry with you.

Q: I was wondering if I might share some idea's and perhaps things I want changed about Holds, where can I do so?
A: Either at a discussion forum, or in the comment section. I welcome new idea's :)

Q: Would Holds be interested in benefiting from my talents? As a voice actor/level designer/writer/quest and dialogue designer?
A: Yes, but I will need to see examples of your previous work first.

Q: I've uninstalled your mod but I still have your LOD, how can I fix this?
A: Use LOD generator to overwrite the Holds LOD. It is very easy to use, follow the instructions.

Q: I don't like this mod. It is not for me.
A: I am sorry to hear that. Holds is a Project that I have created with myself in mind. I hope you find a City Overhaul that suits your preferences.