Skyrim mod "Tropical Skyrim - A Climate Overhaul" by Soolie is easily on of the most popular mods on Skyrim Nexus. "Tropical Skyrim" is a total conversion mod that changes all terrain, textures, cities and animals in Skyrim converting the snow and frozen wastes and tundra into a lush tropical paradise and desert. The mod is one of the most popular on Skyrim Nexus with 2,900 endorsements, 136,887 unique downloads and 800,643 total views. It was rated the number one file for the month of March 2013.
The "Tropical Skyrim" mod isn't lore friendly of course, but it does have its appeal. If you're tired of fighting grey wolves in the grey tundra while wearing grey armor then this mod is probably for you. The description of Tropical Skyrim covers some of the features of the total conversion mod:
Are you one of the many people who are tired of snow and rain every day? Are you tired of the same
This mod is a complete overhaul of skyrims climate, from a snowy wasteland to a tropical paradise. Skyrim now features lush jungles, scortching deserts, sandy beaches, bamboo forests, fiery
volcanic areas and much more. Each of these areas also come with new animals, new lighting, and new weather. Almost all the animals and monsters have been replaced as well.
Soolie broke down some of the changes made by the "Tropical Skyrim" mod, it is easy to see the incredible scope of the changes. You can download the mod HERE. The mod is a beautiful overhaul of Skyrim's textures and looks very similar to what I would imagine Elsywer or Hammerfall to look like. It makes Skyrim feel like a fresh new exotic locale, something I'm unfamiliar with. Unfortuantely Soolie has expressed that he doesn't have interest in doing a Elsywer or Hammerfall mod with his texture pack:
Also, for those who have been asking, yes this will replace skyrims landscape rather than create any new lands. The reason i have chosen to take this approach is to save time. At the present, I don't have the time to create an entire new land filled with quests, npc's, monsters, items, dungeons, cities, etc.
So by replacing assets already in the game, I can focus purely on the environment and the "aesthetics" of the mod, rather than work on entirely new worlds with quests/npc's/towns, as they are already there. :)
When I first started up the "Tropical Skyrim" mod I was blown away by how different everything looked. Riverwood looked entirely different and I got lost several times finding my way to down. The re-textures of the city were particularly nice. Whiterun really looks like a sandstone town you would expect to find in the middle of the desert. I wasn't too much a fan of the re-texture of wolves as raptors but it wasn't too big a deal. Overall all the re-texture choices were well done, if it wasn't for the fact that everyone was still talking about Skyrim then I would never have thought it was Skyrim at all. Hopefully at some point someone will use the textures to create an Elsywer or Hammerfall mod.
There was a performance hit because of the dense foliage, but not as heavy as a I expected. One of the problems I did notice was how distracting the cricket sound was out in the jungle. I never particularly got used to that and it was fairly annoying, albeit realistic. Another issue I had was that the dense foliage made playing a sneak character rather difficult. Enemies can see you before you can see them, so all your fantasies about stalking your prey with a bow and your wits in probably won't come to pass.
The big issues with "Tropical Skyrim" mod for most users will likely be with regard to mod incompatibility. It will basically be incompatible with any mod that changes any textures of terrain, cities, monsters or grass. That also includes climate mods, lighting mods, and anything that impacts LOD textures, trees and potentially player homes. Another big issue is that Soolie doesn't own the DLC's so Heartfire houses and Dawnguard areas will have some major bugs, as will Dragonborn. Finally there is also the FPS performance loss, up to 30 percent to 40 percent has been reported because of the dense foliage added. Lowering the grass draw distance and installing FPS boosters might help. In my case, I actually didn't detect any performance loss.
Soolie has been working on an 1.2 update to "Tropical Skyrim" for several months now, though we still don't have an idea of the release date. The addition will make many improvements to retexture Windhelm and other areas, optimize textures, improve performance, bring the tropical changes into caves, fix various bugs, higher resolution textures and retextures of clothes and armors. Soolie last confirmed he was working on the update August 1 2013, so we won't say that the mod is dead yet. He said, "Keep an eye out for the update It should be coming soon and it will fix most of the issues you are having "
Final word: If you are tired of Skyrim's climate, it's grey weather and grey colors then "Tropical Skyrim" will give everything a new lease on life and make everything feel like a new game. Just be aware that those interested in lore-friendliness may not be pleased by the changes. Also keep in mind mod compatibility issues and the fact that Soolie doesn't have the DLC's which may result in lots of unsightly things in Dawnguard and Dragonborn while making it impossible to build the Hearthfire houses. "Tropical Skyrim" is worth it if you've beaten everything several times and just want something different. Just remember to keep a backup copy of Vanilla Skyrim or use Mod Organizer.
Check out other "Skyrim" mods: