There are Skyrim mods that expand the game, and then there’s Holds: The City Overhaul, one mammoth effort nearly four years in the making that’s available starting today.
Holds vastly increases the size of many of Skyrim’s cities, most notably Falkreath, Winterhold and Dawnstar, and even adds a few smaller settlements of its own. Interiors of buildings have also been redone. It was a ton of work and creator Galandil has been at it since 2012. “Most of these new settlements have been placed far out of the way and hidden from view to not ruin the expansive wilderness theme of the game,” he says. “The aim of all of this is to create a more memorable and diverse experience, making the cities actually feel like cities hopefully without ruining the natural and realistic design of the vanilla game.”
Galandil started the mod a year after Skyrim was released and has been trying to put two hours of work a day on it since. He says he enjoyed a similar “big cities” mod created for Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, but when a similar mod for Skyrim did not surface, he resolved to make it himself.
Download the fruits of Galandil’s labor here (requires a new save or the game will combust). The mod is 4GB in size.