Draugrs are arguably the most iconic enemy faction in Skyrim. Led by proxy via Dragon Priests, draugrs are part of dragon cults and are intricately tied to the main plot of the game. Likewise, they are the chief enemy type to be found entombed in the nordic ruins and burial crypts scattered across Skyrim.
Skyrim's interpretation of draugrs departs from the original Norse mythology. They can neither increase their size at will, nor shapeshift and turn into mist to escape the burial mounds.
Instead, they are the defenders of these temples of dragon worship. After many playthroughs, they also start to seem less intimidating, thanks to just a cosmetic implementation of armor and simplistic battle strategies of the rank-and-file draugr.
Here are five mods to re-introduce this sense of dread to what the lore claims to be the most harrowing dungeon monsters.
5 Skyrim mods that make draugrs more interesting
1) Truly Undead - Reborn SE
Although there are resurrection strategies that rogue necromages try to abuse, the game does not utilize this mechanic otherwise. Most enemy overhauls like Revenge of The Enemies use many gimmicks and spectacular effects to spice up the encounters but stray away from resurrection.
Truly Undead is the only mod to tackle this issue in a bug-free manner. With it, certain enemies will return to life until they are killed with fire spells (destruction), sun spells (restoration), silver, dawnguard, daedric, or dragonbone weapons. The enemies include vampires, draugrs, skeletons, and dragon priests.
2) Haugbui - A Draugr Overhaul
Vanilla Skyrim's draugr leveled list distribution sometimes comes with logical inconsistencies, such as archer draugrs having a higher health pool than melee variants. Haugbui aims to not only bring these disparities in line with balance adjustments but also add its own twist to every draugr dungeon via boss changes.
For lower levels, it adds non-Ebony tier deathlords with the 'Draugr Bane.' For higher-level content, it gives each named draugr boss like Olaf One-Eye or Yngol's Shade their own distinct visual flair as well as additional boss mechanics. It even fills in lore gaps, such as adding King Borgas to Korvajund.
3) Bow Before The Dead - Enigma Remaster
The draugrs, as with other creatures in the game, come with their own spectrum of audio cues for everything from idle states to battle cries. The purpose of Bow Before The Dead is not necessarily to get a superior replacement qualitatively but to make the draugrs sound more intimidating.
This covers coffins, detection cues, demonic laughter in place of taunts, attacking, blocking, and bashing.
4) Cannibal Draugr in Solstheim
Draugrs in The Elder Scrolls did not make their first appearance in Skyrim. For example, in Morrowind's Blood Moon DLC, the nerevarine faces vast ranks of draugrs in Solstheim.
In the Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon DLC, the Skaal alleged that the Draugr were cannibals who had been cursed by the All-Maker to eternally hunt for human meat, often called by the name Eaters of Flesh.
Skyrim's revisit to Solstheim, however, retracts the cannibalism in a sense with their Dragon Cult draugr lore. This particular mod reverses this lore to add new Solstheim draugr variants visually inspired by Morrowind's red-eyed cannibal draugrs. Not only do they inject back some of Michael Kirkbride's lore, but also make the Draugrs creepier, with their blackened skin and bloodied mouths.
5) Draugr Cavalry
Draugrs are mostly restricted to dungeons and being indoors-only, they have little presence in the overworld. An element of Mihail's Monster mod series, Draugr Cavalry adds in undead horsemen that patrol the exteriors of Skyrim dungeons to fend off intruders.