Skyrim: NPCs hiding behind a rock while another is stood on a wagon in the distance.
Image via JaySerpa/Nexus Mods.

Skyrim enemies can now outsmart your cheesy long-range attacks with this clever mod

And you thought NPCs were stupid.

If there’s one thing many of us know about Skyrim, it’s that the NPCs are not the brightest around. Enemy AI is usually pretty easy to manipulate, but this one modder decided that better NPC reactions make for a better experience.

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Back once again with another of their trademark TES5 improvements, Nexus Mods user JaySerpa has made it so Skyrim enemies are a little bit smarter during fights. If you’re the kind of Dragonborn that likes to cheese bandits and the like, you may have to rethink your approaches from now on.

Essentially, what “NPCs Take Cover” does is make it so enemies react quicker to being attacked. When you pull your bow out and aim, they will no longer just stand there while you ready your shot. They also run and hide. And properly hide, this time.

Some may call it “cowering”

The video above shows it in action. When you stand on top of somewhere enemies can’t reach, the vanilla AI will have them just stand there while you unload arrows into them. With JaySerpa’s mod, you’re going to have to think of a better tactic. Or just face them head-on.

The mod is specific to long-range attacks, so bows and projectile magic will be affected. There are also 200 lines of extra dialogue, in which enemies will taunt you if you try to pick them off from a hard-to-reach place.

By seeking cover, shaming you for your cheese tactics, and having quicker reactions to you taking aim at them, you can immerse yourself in a world in which, quite frankly, you may no longer be the smartest one around.


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Andrew Heaton
Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.