In Skyrim, the Bard class is the one that got away.
I don’t know why there have never been bard classes in The Elder Scrolls, but one thing is for sure: thousands of players, myself included, would love it.
We won’t have to wait and hope that Bethesda adds them to the next TES game, though.
You can play as a bard right now in Skyrim. All you have to do is install a few mods, and your bard experience will feel more real than you could have imagined.
And don’t worry, friend. I’ve put together a list of the best bard mods so you can have fun.
Install them all (except for one or two that won’t work together), and Skyrim will become any proud bard’s dreamland.
Your journey is about to start!
- 12. Bards Reborn Student of Song Become a Bard and Bards College Expansion
- 11. Playing Instruments Change Weather
- 10. Become a Bard Song Expansion
- 9. Bard’s College Redux
- 8. The Rookery – Bard and Thief Loft
- 7. FSS Better Bards
- 6. Interesting NPCs
- 5. Lively Inns and Taverns
- 4. Bard’s Lute
- 3. Playable Instruments – Play and Bash
- 2. Sokco’s Guild Starter
- 1. Become a Bard
12. Bards Reborn Student of Song Become a Bard and Bards College Expansion
This mod gives the Bards College in Skyrim a major overhaul, adding a new study quest, bardic powers, and a new character to enhance the Bard playthrough experience.
It also includes all the features of the “Become a Bard” mod, with the ability to craft instruments and learn from scattered songbooks.
The mod has a Mod Configuration menu and is compatible with Special Edition custom songbooks. SKSE and SkyUI are recommended but not required.
11. Playing Instruments Change Weather
This mod adds playable instruments to Skyrim that allow players to change the weather in an immersive way.
The drum makes it rain, the lute causes snow, and the flute clears the weather. The instruments are activated from the inventory and work once the menu is closed.
The mod is lightweight and flagged as ESL, but may glitch if the player has multiple copies of the same instrument or if they have used other mods that edit the instruments.
The mod also includes a new script, and if the player has SKSE installed, they can stop the animation by pressing the space bar.
10. Become a Bard Song Expansion
This is a must-have mod if you want to become a bard in Skyrim.
Although it’s not a standalone mod per se.
You’ll want to also install the Become a Bard mod, which is ranked as the #1 pick on my list (a bit further down). Still, this one adds plenty of new songs that you can play in your trusty old lute.
9. Bard’s College Redux
Let’s face it: Bard’s College in Skyrim sucks.
There’s no place for you to stay, and basically nothing that you can do apart from joining it.
This mod aims to fix the weakness of the college and give you a custom place where you can stay.
It also totally revamps the interior of the building so it looks a lot sleeker.
It’ll feel really cozy with this freebie installed, and a place at which you can stay until you find a better home of your own.
8. The Rookery – Bard and Thief Loft
Every bard needs a place to crash at night after a long journey.
Some bards do like the life of adventure that is filled with sleeping in taverns every other night. But some like to have a place where they can live. A lovely little home for their bardy lifestyle.
The Rookery is a cool little home that suits bards and thieves better than any other home in Skyrim.
You’ll want to check this mod out if you intend to be a bard in the long run – even more so if marriage is one of your options!
7. FSS Better Bards
Tired of listening to bards that seem to press pause from time to time?
Are you annoyed by your fellow bards that seem to play songs like idiots?
If the answer to both is yes, then you’ll want to check out this mod as soon as possible.
The creator actually has an additional mod that you can also install if you want bards in Skyrim to sing with soothing vocals all the way.
It’s found on this page in the Nexus, also free!
6. Interesting NPCs
Although this isn’t really a bard mod per-se, it does add a ton of new and different NPCs to the game.
A bard is only as good as their audience, aren’t they?
Add new members to your audience with this fantastic mod and keep your spirits alive.
5. Lively Inns and Taverns
Bards are known to be the life of most inns and taverns around ancient lands.
However many of the inns in Skyrim aren’t really as alive as they should be – and even less so if there’s a band playing in them.
This mod changes all taverns and inns to make them feel like real locations filled with life!
More people to interact with, as well as more stuff unfolding around the locations, really does make these places feel far more realistic. A big step up than base game.
4. Bard’s Lute
I’ve been looking for interesting bard mods for a while, and even though this one only adds a single item, it’s one of the most recommended bard mods for Skyrim.
And once I installed it, well it was easy to see why.
It makes playing an instrument feel really simple and totally natural.
If you want a character that can perform in front of others, this one is one of the best that you’ll find. A must-have mod for bard players.
3. Playable Instruments – Play and Bash
Now this mod will allow you to perform in front of audiences in Skyrim too, albeit with a bit more features.
Get flutes and other instruments and get ready for the show!
Hear those laud applauses and get praised for being the most talented musician on the land – even if you can’t sing or play anything in real-life. That’s what games are for, right?
If you intend to go full roleplaying mode then you’ll want to have this as one of the first add-ons you install.
2. Sokco’s Guild Starter
This is another mod that doesn’t really affect bards individually, but it does wonders to make bard gameplay feel far better.
I mean, you can create any guild that you like with this mod, given that you can set its theme.
Why not create a bard guild and guide your own set of music lovers to glory? I know that’s what I’m doing.
1. Become a Bard
Become a Bard is the one and true must-have mod on my list.
This is the mod that’ll give you everything you need to become a bard in the game, as every other mod on this list can be seen as supplemental compared to this one.
Pick up an instrument and play a song. Level up your bard skills while performing any songs, redefine the Bard’s College questline, and even pick up any instrument in the game.
Plus a few other nifty features that you’ll have to experience to find!
This is by far the most complete and comprehensive bard mod for Skyrim, which is sure to enhance the gameplay experience on its own.
So what about the rest of the list? I say start here, then add the others as you see fit.