Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Adds almost 500 new generic NPCs to the cities and villages of Skyrim.

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Skyrim Belongs to the Nords (SBtN) adds a proper population to Skyrim, and stands out from other population mods in the sense that it actually adds what would be sensible – more Nords. All the special characters and races are already present in the vanilla game. It is clear from interactions and dialogue that lore-wise, the sight of a non-Nord in Skyrim is still reasonably rare.

In total, the mod adds almost 500 new NPCs to various locations in the game.

This isn't a story about heroes, magic or ancient prophecies. This is about farmers and lumberjacks who work all day and like to get drunk in the evening. This is a mod which adds all the average people.

How can the large farms outside of Whiterun be successful if hardly anyone works there? How can Dawnstar be an important mining town if almost no one is there to work the mines? Why are the prisons almost empty even though the lands are swarming with bandits? And what sense does it make that there are more mages than normal people, despite frequent statements about how rare and frowned upon magic is? All those things, and much more, have been filled in by SBtN, making the population density in towns and villages much more reasonable. It makes the world of Skyrim feel much more alive.

Aside from a few unique new characters, all the generic, unnamed NPCs will be respawnable, to further simulate that they aren't supposed to feature specific individuals, but rather just "the masses". If they had unique names, it would make less sense having them respawn. Because of this, you can, if you want to, kill citizens, villagers and peasants exactly the same way you can kill bandits without ever worrying about depopulating Skyrim (which is great for roleplaying as an evil character). In the prisons, you will hear and see lots of prisoners, and your cell will probably be crowded with their stink.

In addition of adding new NPCs, SBtN also adds new furniture and things to do, especially in the inns. Those changes and additions were made in order to give all the new people the space they need without making any place too crowded or look weird. This was also done using only vanilla assets.

Every new NPC is hand-made and supposed to have a unique appearance. You shouldn't ever find exact copies of the same character in the same place (with the exception of prisoners). Additionally, no single NPC should be unvoiced, feature incorrect dialogue or improper subtitles – something which has been observed in previous population mods.

Character types

  • Citizens will roam around in the large cities, or visit shops and market stalls. This is the by far most common group of people.
  • Peasants will be found working on most farms, alongside or for the farm owners.
  • Dockworkers will work on and around the ships in all of Skyrim's larger ports.
  • Miners will be found in some of the more important mining settlements where they work.
  • Labourers will perform different types of work that isn't specifically related to ships, farming or mining.
  • Villagers will reside in villages, and are like a combination of citizens and peasants. Some will wander around, others will work on the local farm, or do various tasks.
  • Beggars will be found in the cities, and you can interact with them like with any beggar from the vanilla game. As a rule of thumb, the more corrupt a city is, the more common they will be.
  • Thugs will be found in some of the cities, and as a rule of thumb, the more corrupt a city is, the more common they will be. They won't attack unless you attack first though, and essentially they are a form of non-hostile bandits that add a lot to the social atmosphere.

Why choose SBtN?

  • Do you feel a need to reload a previous save or use console commands to resurrect any NPC that's killed?
  • Would you like to play the Dark Brotherhood questline more often, but hate the idea of depopulating the game?
  • Do you find it annoying how Skyrim overall is so empty?

Unlike most other mods that add a greater population, SBtN aims to actually populate the land with human Nords, instead of a wide variety of all races. Even though such diversity can be fun, it's a lot more intriguing when elves and other magical things actually stand out and feel really special.

Compared to a mod like Interesting NPCs, SBtN is most of the times not even close when it comes to character depth. However, it technically adds a larger amount of people than the former. In fact, SBtN was created upon the knowledge that no other serious population mod adds this many new people to Skyrim.

Do you want even more SBtN? Then check out some additional bandit content with the Bandit Edition.


Using either the Nexus Mod Manager or Vortex are the recommended methods. If you know how to download and extract files manually, you probably don't need any tutorial.


As long as you have a decent computer, you shouldn't notice any performance loss even when visiting the most crowded of cities. SBtN is exclusive for SSE mainly because of its greater RAM usage being a 64-bit game, in comparison to the original 32-bit Skyrim. Additionally, there are fewer population mods for SSE, so SBtN might be a necessary addition for that reason as well.


SBtN is absolutely not compatible with Open Cities, since the mods have opposite approaches to city worldspaces. Where Open Cities removes that aspect, SBtN instead takes advantage of it, using it to reduce the risk of crashes or dropping FPS.

SBtN will add so many people that it reaches the ceiling of what the game can handle. If you're using any other population mods, be aware that you might experience some overly crowded areas, badly synchronized lip movement and performance loss if you are playing on an older machine. Overall, you really aren't recommended to use any other population mods along with SBtN.

If you're using Immersive Citizens, you might experience issues.

If you're using Wet and Cold, turn OFF the feature "Go Home", which by default makes everyone go home during a rainy weather. If this feature is left on, it might confuse the AI of the new characters, making them behave weird.

SBtN might possibly be incompatible with mods that change cities and inns. If uncertain, the best thing you can do is to try and see if there seem to be any compatibility issues.

Aside from that, you can count on that SBtN is compatible with most other mods. Of course, the less mods you're using, the lower the risk of conflicts, but SBtN edits very few other vanilla assets in terms of compatibility. In the unlikely event of something working differently in your game than what's stated in the description, it is probably the result of another mod which specifically removes or drastically replaces vanilla markers (something which no serious mod would do). Again, the first thing you should do if something appears to be wrong is to place SBtN further down your load order.

A few words about quality

SBtN is intended to be as clean as possible. The mod has been checked continuously during about 200 hours of development to ensure that everything in the game works as it should and hopefully comes as close as possible to the vanilla game in terms of quality.

Everything anyone does will inevitably come with imperfections, and if you notice anything looking odd about SBtN (i.e. people getting stuck, standing in weird spots for a long time or anything similar) please do not hesitate to submit a bug report! All known instances of such occurrences have already been or are being adjusted, but it's never possible to be completely certain. The aim with the mod is of course to have it completely free of any imperfections whatsoever. You should however be aware that some of these things might be issues from the vanilla game.

Special thanks to user triptherift for fixing two major bugs that users initially experienced upon release.