Melee Combat Tweaks

From Skyrim Nexus Latest Files

[font=Verdana]Melee Combat Tweaks[/font]A little over a year ago, I set out to create a mod list that can offer the best combat experience possible. I added to the list, remove from the list, tinker with each one to make them balance and play nicely with each other. It wasn’t long before that urge kicked in, the urge to make just that one little modification to make it all perfect, but of-course no one little mod is ever going to be enough, and before I realize it, I was learning papyrus scripting, learning how to create animation, learning to read and modify the havok behavior file, and the list goes on and the changes piled on.

Now, a little over a year later, I finally arrive at a package that I think is complete enough to present to the rest of the community. The final result no longer resembles much of the modlist I started with, but I still wish to thank the original authors of these mods for the inspiration and showing me the ropes. The modlist that I started with are Mortal Enemies, Attack Commitment, Weapon range fixes, Action Combat, Ultimate Combat.


“Enough with the history, so what does this mod do exactly?”

Alright, alright, rather then list down each changes and tweaks, I’ll list down the problems I see with Skyrim’s melee combat and details how I think this mod could help fixing them.

[font=Times New Roman]”[/font][font=Times New Roman]Skyrim’s combat is a slapping contest”[/font]

Not my quote, but struck a cord with me the first time I heard it. The combat tempo of death by a thousand cuts has got to go. Thankfully, this is rather easy to fix. Just raise the damage, pretty much every overhaul mod or combat mod out there does this already. However, achieving a good overall balance between magic, archery, poison, and melee is lot harder task. Thus this mod will offer you the ability to fine tune the damage level by using a zEdit patcher. You can balance other source of damage through other mods and then ramp up or down the creature and weapon damage as you see fit. The changes are made at base record level by applying a multiplier to weapon/unarmed damage, so they will be compatible with any other mod.

[font=Times New Roman]“I just took off 1/2 of that bandit’s health with a war hammer and he didn’t even bat an eyelash”[/font]

With the damage ramped up, some form of impact must occur or the combat just wouldn’t make sense. Thus, a stagger on hit effect is added. This is not just visual and works on player, NPCs, and creatures. While this effect isn’t new (Ultimate combat has poise system, Wild Cat causes stagger when breaking through health thresholds), this mod is the only one that I know of that just uses a simple formula of comparing the weight of the weapon vs the weight of the target. I feel this simple approach fits Skyrim’s simplified combat mechanics better, and is a lot closer to vanilla than other mods. To summarize, any hits (instead of just power attacks) can now cause stagger, a heavy enough weapon will always stagger, no chance or any other mechanics involved. For details, see the article section.

[font=Times New Roman]“Stamina? what stamina?”[/font]

We all seen it, some guy playing Skyrim on Youtube, spent all of his stamina in the first 5 second of the fight on power attacks that hit nothing but air, but still kills all the bandits with ease anyway. Stamina in vanila Skyrim is just not very useful.

Not anymore! Now you can’t attack nor block when out of stamina, swinging any weapon will also now drains alot of stamina, but will recover quickly too. This is very much like how Souls-Game handle stamina. However, unlike how other mods that implement soul-like stamina mechanic, this mod doesn’t touch stamina regen rate. This allows all the stamina regeneration related enchants, potions, and buffs to still keep their relevancy by allowing you to sprint/dodge more (those stamina will not be recovered by this mod).

[font=Times New Roman]“More than just running”[/font]

During my very first Skyrim playthrough, I remapped the Walk/Run key away because there was simply no reason to walk, ever. The amount of time spent in the 3 different movement mode is: 99% running, 1% sprinting, 0% walking. Wasted potential if you ask me.

The movement mode are tweaked as follows:

    [*]Sprinting – no change in speed, but lot more stamina drain per second based on the worn armor weight.

    [*]Running – slower than vanila, no stamina drain, but no stamina regen either.

    [*]Walking – faster than vanila, and also regens stamina.

Maybe it’s time to remapped that Walk/Run key back…

[font=Times New Roman]“Skyrim’s full of them aimbot cheats!”[/font]

Mortal enemies has been a great fix to this. However, after using it for a few playthroughs, I aim to improve it a bit.

Instead of decreasing turning speed, I change it to decreasing turning acceleration. This gives it a illusion that NPC is taking a brief split second of time to react to the player, much like how a human would. The second big change is that instead of universally decreasing the angle of effective hit cone, I actually look at every attack animation of each race, and modify the angle accordingly. For example, a troll’s right hand swinging attack will now actually hit a wide angle to his right side. A dwarven sphere’s charge will hit within a narrow range just slightly to his right side. This makes it so that you’ll need to judge whether or not to side step or back step instead of just blinding strafing your opponent. The last change is to move everything into zEdit patcher, thus eliminating incompatibility issues.

[font=Times New Roman]“No! no… I didn’t want to do that power attack…”[/font]

Ever accidentally hold the button too long and do a unwarranted power attack? Let go of attack button too early? Ever want to do a forward power attack but end up doing a standing one? or the reverse?

This annoy me enough that I implemented a new dedicated key/button to trigger power attacks, there is now a single key, default to middle mouse button, that performs power attacks, the type of power attack you perform is also entirely depended on the direction key you are holding down at the moment the power attack key is pressed instead of a split second later. In additon, to make power attacks warrant the stamina they cost, they now have more additonal effects (more about this in the style section). To prevent abuse, they also have a configurable cool down time.

[font=Times New Roman]“It’s all about control”[/font]

Almost all modern action games with melee combat uses third person camera, and with good reasons. Skyrim, on the other hand, allows the player to play in either third or first person. This freemdom, however, is not without cost, and forced some perculiar design choices. This mod attempts to make Skyrim’s melee combat play more like other modern third person action game.

Free movement during normal attack is removed, a small amount is still retained to simulate momentum, but you should expect movement to be tied to the attack you are performing instead of being able to freely skate around while swinging your sword. Normal sprint attack is now repurposed to be used instead of forward normal attack, NPCs will also perform this attack often now instead of that easily punished forward power attack. Dual wield blocking is implemented, and is performed by the same key as other styles. Attacking while dual wielding will alternate between right and left hand weapons, and will progressively speed up to make dual wielding actually faster than just swinging your right hand weapon twice.

[font=Times New Roman]“Lets fight… in style”[/font]

The two handers, sword and boards, and the dual wields style in vanila plays largely the same, wait for your opponent’s predictable forward power attack, let it miss and punish. While perks can add some differentiation, I felt that the different style should be different even at fundamental level.

    [*]Two hander now mimicks a Samurai sort of fighting style, normal movement are slow, yet able to do explosive power attacks. All of their directional power attacks will trigger a brief slow time effect. They will also turn the player to face the direction of attack, such as turning 180 degree with backward power attacks to attack any enemy that creeps up behind you. As added bonus, any attack made with two hander while not running or sprinting will sweep through multiple enemies.

    [*]Sword and board is a more defensive style, designed to effectively fight a single boss type opponent. The shield can block attacks without incurring stamina lost, power bash can now only be performed with a shield and will gurantee an interrupt. Swordwise, side and back power attacks will have roughly 0.3~0.5 seconds of invinciblility time. Side power attack that actually hit an enemy’s left or right side will apply additional debuffs onto the enemy. See the racial article for details.

    [*]Dual wield style is flashy and rely on capitalizing moments of opportunity. Since left and right hand do not share the same power attack cool down, they are able to perform two power attacks in rapid succession. Dual normal attack now have brand new animation and serve as gap closer. Dual power attacks have been extensively tweak and will break opponent’s block, see video for detail.

[font=Times New Roman]“A sword is not an axe and not a mace”[/font]

Last but not least, further differentiated the different type of weapons, they are just too similar in Vanilla, and while overhauls like Requiem did a good job to make them different, it could do with a bit more.

    [*]Dagger: +75% chance to crit on standing power attack, double crit damage.

    [*]Sword: +50% chance to crit on standing power attack, +15% longer reach, -15% stagger.

    [*]Axe: +10% speed, +10% damage, -20% reach.

    [*]Mace: +50% stagger with power attacks.

    [*]Two hand sword: +25% chance to crit on standing power attack, +15% reach, -15% stagger.

    [*]Two hand axe: +10% damage, +50% stagger on power attacks, -20% reach.

    [*]Two hand hammer: +10% stagger, +50% stagger on power attacks, -10% speed.

    [*]Bow: no change.

    [*]Crossbow: +50% stagger.


“Alright, I’m convinced, how do I install?”

Unfortunately, to ensure compatibility, this mod is more complicated to install than normal mods, so please at least read the following instructions.

    [*]Install prerequisite mods:


    Game Events

    [*]Install the main file with mod manager or extract all to Skyrim/data folder

    Load order wise, if you are installing into an existing save game, then MeleeCombatTweaks.esp should be at the bottom. The bottom of load order is the best place to add/remove mods in an existing save game.

    [*]Install zEdit

    [*]Download the “zEdit patcher module” file, extract into zEdit’s modules folder, so afterwards, you should have

    eg: zEdit_Alpha_v0.5.3_-_Portable_x64modulesmct

    [*]Start zEdit, start the patcher


    “Sorry, can’t uninstall, you must reformat your entire hard drive”

    “Alright alright, if you must”

      [*]In game, find the MCM menu->Toggleable->Deactivate

      [*]Save game, exit Skyrim

      [*]Remove all main file preferably with a mod manager

      [*]Remove MCTPatch.esp

      [*]Re-run FNIS or Nemesis


      [*]Why is there a small delay between being hit and target staggering?

      Extreme delay is a sign of script lag, and you should really cut down on your script mods, however, even in the best scenario, there is still around 0.3 second of delay. That is due to how Skyrim’s script event works, not much I can do until I figure out how to write SKSE plugin.

      [*]What’s roadmap for this mod?


      – Bug fix and balance tweaks

      – Finish writing configuration articles

      – Enderal conversion

      – SSE + Omega + EnaiRim conversion

      – SKSE plugin conversion

    Original URL:

Leave a Reply