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What Grass Mods Create The Most Seamless Look?


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I've experimented a lot with Skyrim graphics mods and ini settings, one thing that always bothers me is the grass. A lot of grass retextures look really cool in the screenshots. But that's because the screenshots are taken at low angles in dense grass fields, I've noticed that in places where the grass is sparse there's no natural transition between the grass and the ground texture making it look jarring. It's especially ugly when the color of the grass doesn't perfectly match the ground because it makes grass pop-in extremely noticeable and distracting. And sometimes grass mods don't care about color at all and just put green grass everywhere even in brown landscapes. Another annoyance with the way grass looks is ENB ambient occlusion, I find myself turning off ENB AO entirely just because it makes the shading on grass too dark. I just can't find a grass mod or combination of mods and settings that makes grass look seamless with the rest of the game. Ideally something faithful to the color palette of the vanilla region instead of turning everything bright green.


I'm also looking for some dynamic grass features that can be found in modern games. Stuff like: grass wind at different speeds depending on weather, grass reacting to player/enemy collision, grass being cut or burnt, etc. I doubt such dynamic features exist, but if they do I'd be grateful if someone can point me in the direction. Another thing I'm looking for is an ENB that does ambient occlusions and shadows on everything but grass.

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If a rather seemless experience is your main goal, maybe "Cathedral Landscapes" is for you:


You can combine this mod with "Cathedral 3D pine grass":



If you don't like the Cathedral look, you'll have to "mix and match" landscape textures and grass. That's what I did. Was a fun experience, but it took some time...


From my experience, also ini settings are very important. Especially with grass, they can make a huge difference.


Probably the easiest way is to use BethIni. If your rig can handle it, use "high" or "ultra" preset. In fact, "high" looks almost as good as "ultra", but saves you some FPS.

I'd recommend deleting any .ini files that come with grass mods. They take priority over the game's standard .ini files, making it hard to keep track of your settings. Only make changes to your Skyrim.ini and Skyrimprefs.ini.


When using "Bethini", go to the "view distance" tab and crank up "grass fade" and "light fade" to the maximum. This way, practically everything in the near distance will be covered with grass. You'll also get rather smooth transitions.


Also very important are the grass settings in the "visuals" tab: Check "fade in" and set "grass diversity" to 15. If you want more dense grass, LOWER the "grass density". You read correctly: LOWER density setting means more dense grass - but also higher performance costs. A standard "balanced" value is 60. 30 means lots of grass (and less FPS). For a performance setting, try 80 or 90.


Regarding wind: You can try "Windy grass":



Skyrim is essentially an 11 years old game, so some of the features modern games have simply don't exist in Skyrim. If you want the illusion of burnt or frozen ground, I'd recommend "Deadly spell impacts":



But yeah, Skyrim has its limits..

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