Skyrim Special Edition
0 of 0

File information

Last updated

Original upload

Created by

CrushBoss -GhostAgent

Uploaded by


Virus scan

Safe to use

About this mod

This is a light script-free combat mod and difficulty increaser. This mod makes combat more dangerous and unforgiving. Combat Evolved changes nearly every aspect of combat, including improved enemy AI.

Permissions and credits
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Mandarin
  • Italian
  • German
  • French

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." -- Friedrich Nietzsche

"Fantastic work on the Combat Evolved mod! We loved it, so we decided to feature it in a Skyrim Mods video." Brodual

Thank you to Brodual from the awesome video and review of Combat Evolved!  Made the Top Mods of 2014 list!

Thanks to Jebbalon for the awesome video(!) and to Cal from Dirty Weasel Media for the great review and video comparison!

This is a light script-free combat mod and difficulty increaser.  Combat is more deadly and unforgiving.  Improved enemy AI.

This mod was designed to be compatible with nearly everything. No NPC records, perks, or leveled lists were modified. All of the magic of this mod is accomplished through combat styles, game settings, and NPC Spells (player spells are unaffected).

Combat Evolved changes nearly every aspect of combat. Combat is more difficult, realistic, and challenging! Enemies are more aggressive and are smarter. Enemies will generally pose a higher level of challenge for the player at all levels.

This mod makes combat more dangerous and unforgiving. One of my biggest complaints in vanilla Skyrim and even with the popular combat mods out there is that once you hit level 30 and above combat is a joke and the player is nearly invincible. With my mod enemies are a threat at any level. No longer can you have four enemies all beating on you while you don't move an inch or have a care in the world.

Stagger, knockdown, enemy skills, and enemy damage (and much more) are all enhanced to be more immersive and realistic. If you don't move around, dodge, and actively use your brain you will die a painful death. Combat sneaking has also been improved to be more difficult. No longer can you snipe enemies at range and wipe them all out.

Enemies will actively try to surround the player and attack. They will also bash and block more often and attempt to dodge attacks. Magic attacks are no longer a joke above level 30. You will feel it when attacked with magic now. Maximum magic resistance and armor rating have been reduced. Creature poison is also a lot more dangerous. Being poisoned by a giant spider no longer does less damage than spilling a hot drink in your lap!

In order to maintain balance with the popular combat overhauls I had to overwrite a few of their settings. At first I tried to avoid this and not touch any of their settings but balancing the mod became impossible. Yes, this mod could be improved if I edited NPC records and leveled lists, however, the entire goal of this mod was to have it fit in with virtually any load order and not be a compatibility nightmare.

There are some encounters that have fixed levels and will be substantially lower in level than the player. This is a known issue and won't be corrected by this mod since it falls outside its scope. Enemies that are leveled with the player should pose a greater challenge.

No mod will make enemy behavior 100% realistic.  There are numerous limitations with the AI engine Skyrim has given us!  All I can hope to do is to improve the experience.

NPC spells are more powerful yet player spells are left unchanged.  In order to balance player magic with NPC magic I recommend that players install one of the popular magic mods.  

Many users will find that they need to lower the game difficulty by one setting which will, in most cases, still provide an increase in overall difficulty with this mod enabled. There is no longer a need to crank up the difficulty level to have challenging combat. I recommend that most users play on Adept or lower difficulty when starting a new game and then bump up the difficulty setting one notch once they reach level 20-30. I used to play on Master or Legendary difficulty setting before I developed this mod and now play on Expert. Please lower the game difficulty by one notch after installing Combat Evolved. If combat is still too difficult then lower it one more notch. Most users will find that if they lower the game difficulty setting by one notch the mod still provides a 25% - 50% increase in overall game difficulty from what they were using on the higher difficulty setting.

Players having difficulty with magic doing too much damage should read and follow this guide: Magic Resistance Primer

Enjoy the Combat Evolved experience! Prepare to have your ass handed to you!

This mod is compatible with nearly everything including many combat mods/overhauls. I didn't touch any dragon combat styles or settings so it should be 100% compatible with all dragon mods.

Questions about Compatibility

Combat Evolved was designed from the beginning to be compatible with just about everything. This design was not an afterthought. Combat Evolved only touches Combat Styles, Game Settings, Enemy Spells, and Enemy Poison. If your mod doesn't touch these areas then it should be fully compatible. You can easily compare both mods in TES5Edit to check for potential conflicts. I've done this repeatedly when players ask me if a certain mod is compatible that I'm not familiar with. Players can easily do this themselves as there is no magic in it and is a simple process.

Sneak & Stealth Overhauls

Even though Combat Evolved now includes a minor sneak/stealth overhaul, players can still use their favorite sneak or stealth overhaul with Combat Evolved.  Just place it after Combat Evolved in the load order so it will overwrite most of Combat Evolved sneak settings.


If using Requiem you need to place Combat Evolved before it in the load order so that Requiem can overwrite any conflicts. Requiem has a vastly different approach to combat and you will only get roughly 33% of the benefits of this mod.  It handles damage in a unique way and is different than any other combat overhaul that I've seen. Because of this Requiem is incompatible with many mods. I've examined it closely in TES5Edit and it almost seems as if the author wanted it to be this way. You will get most of the Combat Style improvements and a few of the combat tweaks but Requiem will overwrite most of everything else. For this reason Requiem has to be placed after Combat Evolved in the load order. Combat Evolved was designed from the beginning to be as compatible as possible and fit into virtually any load order. Requiem is one of the few mods it has compatibility issues with.

Perkus Maximus (Perma)

Perkus Maximus (Perma) is fully compatible with Combat Evolved! I did a detailed examination of both mods and compared them in TES5Edit. There are three minor differences in the Thief module (sneak settings) and one minor difference in the Warrior module (bash reach). Combat Evolved can be placed before or after Perkus Maximus (Perma) in the load order. The four minor differences don't come close to needing a compatibility patch.

If you want slightly harder stealth place Combat Evolved after Perma. If you want slightly easier stealth place Combat Evolved before Perma.

Wildcat & Smilodon

Wildcat is very similar to Combat Evolved. Both mods edit the same combat styles and most of the same gameplay settings. They can be placed in the same load order, however the last combat mod will overwrite most of the settings of the other. For this reason it is recommended to only run one or the other. If you do run them both then place the combat mod that you want to take precedence after the other one in your load order (last mod always wins if there are conflicts). There are several features in both mods that do not overlap such as poison and spells in Combat Evolved and timed blocking in Wildcat.

ERSO 30 - Better Enemy AI (we modify the same combat styles) - And yes, they are different. I have no intention of getting banned from the Nexus like others. I fully understand that two other authors have tried to copy this mod (identical or nearly identical) and place it on the Nexus which they got banned for. It took me many painful hours to rebuild all the vanilla combat styles to my satisfaction.

Differences between Combat Evolved and ERSO 30 - Better Enemy AI

They are both large improvements over vanilla. Overall, I feel that my Combat Styles are better and will provide the player with great AI and maximum challenge. ERSO Enhanced Enemy AI has excellent combat styles also and is a great mod, no question. Combat Evolved replaces it though and you won't get any benefit from running both. My combat styles allow more actor types to dual wield. Mine are also fully compatible with Extensible Follower Framework (EFF). Mine are also tuned to work in harmony with my combat settings and tweaks. For example, if you were to place ERSO below Combat Evolved in the load order some enemies would be overpowered while some would be too weak. Mine are completely tuned and balanced for Combat Evolved.

ERSO Enhanced Enemy AI only changes Combat Styles and nothing else. I modify the combat styles plus a lot more (see the Description section above).

Currently no known bugs exist.  Please report any issues in the Posts section.

Place this mod towards the end of your load order or after all combat, creature, and encounter mods and their patches. Requiem users should place Combat Evolved before Requiem in the load order.

BOSS and LOOT will not sort Combat Evolved properly. You must create a custom rule and place it towards the end of your load order.

Here is an example load order. I am NOT telling players to install all of these mods, this is just an example:

Rebirth Monster (Revenge of the Enemies)
Creature mods
Other combat mods
Combat Evolved
All Sneak & Stealth Overhauls
All Magic mods such as Simple Spell Scaling, or Empowered Magic, or Better Magic

Skyrim Special Edition

1. Extract the contents of the 7z file
2. Copy the contents into your Skyrim's Data folder
3. Activate Combat Evolved.esp
4. (Highly Recommended) - Lower the in game difficulty setting by one level. View the full Description for more details.

1. Remove 'Combat Evolved.esp' - Since this mod touches no NPC records or leveled lists it is generally safe to uninstall if you don't like the changes.

Version 2.4b
Ported Combat Evolved to the Skyrim Special Edition

Bethesda - For the awesome Elder Scrolls series and their Construction Kit
The Nexus Staff - For putting together a forum for sharing mods and bringing this community together
GhostAgent - For creating the logo (at top) and for the description page design and graphics
Tonycubed2 (author of Sands of Time) - For sharing this mod with his fan-base when initially released
Jebbalon for creating the great video for this mod
Cal from Dirty Weasel Media for the great review and video comparison
Brodual for the excellent review and video of Combat Evolved

Become the monster.................stare into that black abyss.