Skyrim mod makes dragons 16K so you can see the tiny cracks in their scales

Skyrim 16K dragon mod
(Image credit: NexusMods)

A new Skyrim mod gives dragons 16K textures, just in case you felt their scales weren't detailed enough as you were being torched alive.

To be clear right off the bat, the mod doesn't require you to be playing on a 16K screen to notice the changes. The 'Bellyaches 16K-8K Dragon Replacer Pack' presents Skyrim's dragons "cleaned of compression artifacts and upscaled to a maximum of 8K resolution." As creators wrig675, XilaMonstrr, and I2edShift explain, the mod essentially lets you view dragon textures at true 4K resolution up close, since the original assets needed to be downscaled for performance on consoles.

"All resolutions specified are the maximum resolution, and most of the texture files are twice as long as they are wide," the modders explain. "So the 16K version has files that are 8192x16384. Dragons are VERY large, and I would recommend that you think of this as two 8K files next to each other rather than full 8K.

"With 16K, a dragon wing is 7380x4020px, a head is 3320x2480px, and the entire rear body and legs is only 6080x4580px. If you are fighting a dragon up close and want to see it in 4K resolution, then you need the dragon to be in 16K." 

You can see what they're talking about in this zoomed-in image:

Skyrim 16k dragons

Just look at those cracks in the scales! That's next-gen. (Image credit: NexusMods)

Before you go calling this Skyrim mod ridiculous, make sure you're aware that there's another mod that turns Bethesda's classic RPG into an episode of America's Got Talent.

Thanks, IGN.

With Skyrim modding clearly alive and well in 2022, have a look through our guide to the best Skyrim mods currently available.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.