Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch is a hit. There, I said it. The game is amazing, because it allows you to live your island getaway existence wherever you want. But the game has one major flaw: it isn’t available on PC. “What are those of us without a Switch meant to do,” you might ask. Well I’ve got the obvious answer for you right here: mod Skyrim.
This is a collection of mods that you can use to bring Animal Crossing to you, without ever having to leave the comfort of Skyrim.
The first big hurdle to creating Animal Crossing in Skyrim is the selection of playable races. This mod adds in The Villager, the player character from every Animal Crossing game. Obviously we think that you need this mod if you’re going to be playing Animal Crossing in Skyrim, but you might have just as much fun as a Nord or Khajiit, the choice is yours.
Since you’ll be spending hours and hours carefully creating your brand new life in Skyrim, you’ll want it to look close to Nintendo’s animal adventure. This ENB is one of the most famous mods for Skyrim. It makes the game look phenomenal, but there are other options if you want to make it look a little different.
We think that once it’s finished, Breath of the Wildrim will give you the best Animal Crossing visuals that Skyrim has to offer. Until it gets finished though, we’d recommend sticking with RealVision ENB for now.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Tom Nook isn’t good enough to give you a house right away. Instead you need to start out life on your new island getaway by living in a tent. This mod packs in everything that you need for camping, including a fully functional tent. You can enter it, store items in it, cook, decorate, and even create a small set up outside to make it a bit cozier.
The Hearthfire DLC for Skyrim gives you the ability to build your own house. If that’s what you’re happy working with, then it’s available in Skyrim SE, and it will work right out of the box. If however, you want an experience that’s closer to the progression you find in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need this mod.
When it comes to house mods in Skyrim, there’s a plethora to choose from. You could spend as much time as it takes you to binge Tiger King on Netflix and still not get through all the options. For the purposes of recreating Animal Crossing though, we’ve chosen Leaf Rest. This beautiful little player home is located right at the beginning of the game’s story in Riverwood.
Leaf Rest has everything you could ever need in Skyrim, including a forge and crafting area. But it adds in a lot more that brings the experience closer to Animal Crossing. You can access bookshelves and finally read all of the books in the game, manage a business and see an overview of your trade ledges. You can even do a spot of gardening!
You can spend hours choosing the plants and flowers that you want to see around your home. This is at the heart of your experience in Animal Crossing, so we believe it’s the perfect home for you to live in.
Build your own town
It wouldn’t be Animal Crossing if you couldn’t build your own little community. While you can’t head out to mysterious islands and invite random animals to come and live in yours, you can build your own town and have people live in it. This mod only allows for wooden buildings to be placed, but it does give you that same level of control over where to place buildings, and generally create the best town you can. If you create it near Riverwood, you can still remain in Leaf Rest.
A huge part of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is growing plants, whether those are trees, flowers, or one of the more random flora like a Bell tree. Skyrim doesn’t have anything like this in its default form, which is why we reckon you’ll need Heljarchen Farm.
This mod adds a dilapidated farm to Skyrim that needs to be purchased and then renovated. It’s a similar kind of experience to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, except you have to build up the money to buy the farm first, rather than being crippled by your debt to a raccoon.
Once you have the farm, you can spend hours repairing every aspect of it. There’s a home, the outdoor space for farming obviously, a greenhouse, and even a meadery. Over time you can build this into a business that you either manage yourself, or hire others to run it for you.
It provides a modest income every five days, and it’s a great excuse to get away from your in-game wife and adopted children for a while. If you’re looking for the full Animal Crossing experience, then do yourself a favor and build it from scratch.
Finally, this farm is actually near a player home that’s part of the Hearthfire expansion. If you still want the manor home, you can totally just live there and pop over to your farm whenever you want.
What about animal friends?
In the Animal Crossing series, the Villager is the only human, except those friends who you invite into your game. Unfortunately there’s no competent mod for Skyrim that will transform all people into anthropomorphic animals who you can continue to chat with. You could go on the quest to get the Wabbajack, a staff that transforms people into animals, but this isn’t what you’re after for a true Animal Crossing playthrough.
What we’ve found instead are two options for you to choose from to complete your “Skyrim Crossing” experience:
One with nature
This mod is extremely simple. It allows you to set your relationship status with every animal in Skyrim. For those of you with filthy minds, that doesn’t mean that you can woo unsuspecting Horkers into bed. What it does mean is that you can set every animal to friendly, and have all the animal friends you could ever want around Skyrim.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you. This mod opens up some extremely complex social interactions in two specific locations in Skyrim, one of which is very close to Leaf Rest. In these locations you can really talk to the people of Skyrim, messing up their relationships and tricking them into new ones, or manipulating them into fighting someone who has wronged you. It’s not exactly the chirpy interactions you get with Animal Crossing, but it’s something deep enough that it’ll have you coming back for more every day.
There you have it, Animal Crossing in Skyrim without even touching a Nintendo Switch. There are plenty more mods out there that can perhaps give you the island adventure you crave. Check out Nexus Mods — the search feature is your friend.