Immersion

updated July 31st, 2019

Immersion is one of those little things that makes the world feel like it's not just an empty husk.  I mean, it's still pretty empty but this guide will alleviate the boredom... or pain. These mods can range from big content packs, to smaller tweaks. Please note that most mods with the word "Immersive" in the title are most likely created by a dumbass who's just trying to advertise his mod to other dumbasses.
NOTE: IF YOU RUN WRYE BASH AND IT COMPLAINS ABOUT "OLD/OUTDATED" FILES, AND SHOWS YOU A MOD ".ESP", THAT MEANS THAT MOD HASN'T BEEN PORTED PROPERLY, OR IS A LEGENDARY EDITION MOD, IF SO, YOU NEED TO UPDATE THAT SHIT YOURSELF, AND GIVE THE MOD AUTHOR A STERN TALKING-TO.
Just follow the tutorial mentioned on the "Essential(link)" page to update the mod yourself, skip everything, and just re-save the ".esp" on the Creation Kit.
 
In this section, we will discuss:
-Alternate Starts
-Audio and Music, these might link to Legendary Edition pages, but since they're just sound files, they work fine.
-Immersive Overhauls
-Backpacks and Gear
-Roleplaying Elements
-Nature and Weather
-Animations
-Miscellaneous Immersion mods

Alternate Starts

Dont you hate it when you want to make a new character but you have to go all the way through Helgen? Well with these two mods, you can totally forget about Helgen and even forget about becoming the Dragonborn too! USE ONLY ONE AT A TIME.

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

This starts you off in a room where you can make your character and then talk to the statue of mara. When you talk to the statue, she'll give you a few options on where you will start in the game. You can start off as new member of the Companions, owning a house in Riften, ship wrecked off the northern coast, and much more. You even come with pre-chosen items like if you're a member of the Thieves Guild, then you start off with knives, poisons, and light armor.

Skyrim Unbound

Skyrim Unbound is an alternate start mod with a wide range of options. It allows the player to skip the opening sequence, choose whether or not to play as the Dragonborn, and have total control over dragon spawns. The first few chapters of the main questline have been bypassed (and effectively removed), meaning you no longer have to obtain the Dragonstone for Farengar or defeat Mirmulnir for the Jarl of Whiterun. If you do wish to play as the Dragonborn and complete the main quest, all you have to do is absorb a dragon soul and you'll be summoned to High Hrothgar by the Greybeards.
 

Random Alternate Start: Reborn

This starts you off in a black empty void where you can make your character. A menu will appear and ask you what class would you like to be. This will determine your starting items. So if you say you want to be an archer type of character, then you will recieve a bow, some arrows, and light armor. The random part about this mod is that it can spawn you anywhere. You can end up in the fields outside of whiterun or even in a high level draugr infested dungeon! It's all up to chance with this one.

Opening Scene Overhaul

Don't want to use any of the alternative starts and wanna stick with the original start? Well, today's your lucky day, because this mod rejuvenates and overhauls the opening scene by restoring LOTS of cut, unused dialogue, including a more invigorating carriage scene, escaping the Keep with Ulfric and Elenwen confronting General Tullius. This actually works with a modded Skyrim.

Atmosphere and Magic

You might not think that audio plays a big role in immersion, but it actually does. Walking through a forest with the sounds of nature and light hearted fantasy music in the wind makes you feel right at home in a game like this. Also because listening to the song, Under an Ancient Sun, can get tiresome and repetitive for some people. A good change of music can make a big difference in how you want your game to feel like!

Overhauls

To make a mod good, sometimes you have to rework a certain aspect of the game. Adding new features while still keeping the game stable and fit with the rest of the original work. Here are a few overhaul mods that add brand new features to the game that will change your experience of Skyrim as you know it now.
However, only use these mods on light loads as they are script heavy and impact your game.

Mistel's Economy and Thievery Guide

Skyrim's economy is a joke. After clearing your first dungeon, most players have enough money to never really have to worry about it again. Buying a property make take a little saving, but it's still not a particularly difficult goal to meet. How ridiculous is it that most players have to hop from vendor to vendor selling off their loot because stores simply don't have enough gold to buy it all? Tired of swimming in overpowered gear from the moment you start the game? Me too.

Backpacks and Gear

Any immersion nut knows that to make an immersive character, you have to wear a bunch of random shit on yourself! Backpacks, capes, potions, books, hoods, torches, etc. are all viable options to make your character look like a person who actually lives in the frigid lands of Skyrim. However, this list is mostly just backpacks because I fucking love backpacks.

Roleplaying Elements

Do you want to RP in a single player game? Well my friend that sounds kind of dumb, but we can at least help you out with some very unique mods.

Nature and Weather

It's the small things that you admire in a vast game like this. Usually when you want to get immersed into something, you take it slowly and observe all the hidden elements it has to offer. Mods are no different.

Animations

These are mods that make you and the inhabitants of Skyrim not move like robots all the time. Note: All of these mods require FNIS to work which you should have already installed into your game already. Many of these mods conflict with eachother since they are animation packs so please don't try to mix match animations of the same weapon with another. IE: Trying to mix 
YY Anim Replacer - Zweihander with Enhanced Animation's two hander animations.

Miscellaneous

Mods that don't fit into any of these previous sections. I honestly don't know where to put them, but here they are!

FAQ

Q: Why isn't this or that mod in the guide?
 
A: Some mods haven't been officially ported to Special Edition yet, if a mod you like isn't listed, try converting it yourself.
 
Q: Why isn't Cliamtes of Tamriel in this guide?
 
A: Beccause there are mods way better than Climates.
 
Q: Will you be adding more to these guides?
 
A: Of course!  We'll try to keep all the guides up to date and will notify everyone if something has changed or has been added on. We also accept submissions if the mod is good enough!