INTRODUCTION

 

Is been a while since I hide this Guide to find some time and update it. Unfortunately, took a long time because I was very busy the entire 2021. Now, I found time to write down the new updated Guide and upload it in my site…

 

As you probably know I’m Lupus Hegemonia – a textures designer which I created over 50 mods for Skyrim and I published them on Nexus site community. In Nexus community I made a lot friends but also a lot enemies – since I refuse to be “political correct” as the modern days demands.
So, some “haters” (with purpose to find something to report me and get me banned) found similarities to few textures of mine (in my last mod on Nexus) with other older mods. I tried to put some sense to the Nexus Team (which they started investigating) by simply telling them that I’m making vanilla-based graphics and its very logical to look similar to other textures from other authors did the same (following the vanilla pattern).

 

But the Nexus Team simply didn’t care about my explanations and they demanded to remove the entire mod! I was insulted by their behavior and I refused to obey; and they banned me forever from Nexus with unsubstantial childish accusations. Therefore, I had to find another place to host my work and I decided TO MAKE MY OWN SITE for that purpose.

The Nexus team insulted very much in any ways, so I was/am very angry and generally very negative towards the Nexus community. But, since most of the mods are published on Nexus, I can’t but keeping links sending the users to their site. Nexus is a superb place to find great mods for your games, but also a HORRIBLE & FASCISTIC place to communicate with human beings. I don’t like them (the Nexus team) as I don’t like most of their “followers” users (because they are “fanatic sheep” without free will and mind), I don’t want to “advertising them” but since most of the mods you’ll need they are over there, I can’t but having links to their site.

 

I DON’T KNOW HOW I NEVER MENTIONED BUT THE GAME HAS A 255 PLUGINS LIMITATION NUMBER!

MEANS… YOU CAN’T HAVE MORE THAN 255 SKYRIM MODS!

AND THE JOURNEY BEGAN LIKE THIS...

I probably “discovered” Skyrim quite late, around the October 2017 (the game was already released since 2011). I’ve started slowly to play it… and I truly lost my sleep! I can’t understand in which cave I was living all these years and I DIDN’T play it already! Just before the Xmas of 2017 I already finished the main quest, the Dawnguard & Hearthfire DLCs and I was at 68% of Dragonborn with a powerful Nord 82 level character! Again, after of friends’ suggestions, I started modding the game.

 

I decided to go “in deep waters” by choosing a difficult and not user friendly for “newbies” mod manager/editor, the Mod Organizer. Then, I followed like a “Holly Bible” the S.T.E.P. 2.2.9.2 Guide for the Legendary Edition (“Oldrim” as we users naming it). After I successfully finished it (painfully… after 2 weeks), I decided to install (from scratch) a full total-overhaul setup (with wizard installer, all installed automatically!), a setup with over 600 mods (!), the notorious STMP (you can YouTube it here to check it) of Panoc user (a Greek). That setup was WAY TOO TOTAL overhaul of Skyrim, way too much than S.T.E.P. Guide!

 

But after a while – and since STMP was built after the author’s flavors, I decided to re-start modding Skyrim and this time, the Skyrim Special Edition! Searching & testing many mods (I believe I tested about the… 70% of the available mods and I’m keep testing new ones!!!), making A LOT mistakes and Skyrim re-installations from scratch (over 50 times by now!!!), I found on Nexus site this amazing Guide SKYRIM S.E.P.T.I.M. of Zackalope user. I easily finished the guide I was shocked from the superb result!

GUIDE DESCRIPTION

This is the B.O.S.S. NEW UPDATED Guide (“Best Overhaul Shift Skyrim” stands for the “BOSS”) mods setup and it’s trying to cover ANYTHING for Skyrim SE!

 

The new B.O.S.S. Guide is actually “two” Guides! The “1st Guide“ is for make the game INCREDIBLY TERRIFIC (visually speaking)! These first steps are for those they really want to play mostly vanilla (original) game without much more extras, but with AMAZING VISUAL results – that making the game looks like it’s a different one! So, if you want to give to the game AMAZING graphics, models and generally to LOOK SUPERB, you need to follow the first steps of this updated new Guide.

Now… if you want to go beyond that, if the superb graphics are not the ONLY thing you want and you want to overhaul the game much further, then you should continue to the rest steps – that is the “2nd Guide”, the more advanced one. Almost anything that exists for SE you’ll find it there – or at least almost everything (for example I hate the “survivor” mods and other things and I don’t using them). This Guide is using 85-90% of SE mods and VERY FEW are “oldrim” mods, which they’re running fine in SSE (after conversion). I found after so long time dealing with this game, that even if you (think/believe) converted successfully an “oldrim” mod, most of the time the mod is not working properly and causing issues to your build. That’s why SERIOUS MODDERS (not amateurs) are creating FROM SCRATCH in SE Creation Kit their mods! They don’t “simply converting” them.

 

I’m trying to keep the Guide AS SIMPLIER AS POSSIBLE. Most of the modern guides began as mine (simple), but eventually transformed to something very complicated, with the need of serious modding knowledge by you, much experience of several difficult and not user friendly tools (like xEdit tool), etc.

So, I want to keep this guide as S.E.P.T.I.M Guide was, simpler and easier to most of the users. Most of you (as I am) you are gamers, users; you want to modify your game and actually play the damn thing, not spending your life of learning how to expand the game’s limits!

Most of the Guides are using the Mod Organizer 2. I used to do it too, but I turned to the new Nexus’ Vortex Mod Manager. Why? Because is much more user friendly and you modding fine without much to worry or learn. Vortex has a lot good features from MO2, but at the same time is not so complicated and non-user friendly as MO2 still is.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

PERFECT SCENARIO

At least ATI R9- 480 – 7990 or nVIDIA 1060 – 1070 – 1080 – Titan w/ 6gb + VRAM, same or higher than 2nd generation i5 (i7 even better!), 1440p or 1080p

GOOD SCENARIO

Same or better than nVIDIA 960 or ATI w/ 3.5+gb VRAM or more, the best i3 or any of the i5 CPUs. (You’ll choosing 1-2K resolution from the mods, in some 4K textures), 1080p

SO & SO” SCENARIO

nVidia 700 series or better or ATI, at least with 2GB VRAM. (You’ll choose 1K resolution or even less if it’s available!), 1080p or lesst is now – a very strong upgrade!).

 

(Obviously, now there are MUCH MORE NEWEST GPU cards or CPUs, so as much as newest you have the best!)

 

Again, try to understand this:

The game is been created with a VERY “ancient” engine. That means, even if you have a very new nVidia card you won’t have too many benefits. The main hardware you need to have as best as you can is the CPU, the RAM memory and a VERY GOOD SSD disk to store Steam & Skyrim.

 

(My system is available on the bottom of this guide. The one which I started modding SSE and the one that eventually became as it is now – a very strong upgrade!).

STEP 1 – GETTING STARTED

So, let’s get start the (long) process. In case you my want this Guide’s “1st Part“ in a doc format, you can download it from HERE!

Now, what we need to do…

 

  • Like every other Guide, the very first thing you need to do is to UNINSTALL Skyrim SE (if you already have installed) and re-install it from your Steam library. Obviously, except the game you’ll delete ANYTHING about Skyrim SE (in the My Documents) BUT ALSO into your AppData\Local folder (hidden files!). If you have installed a mod manager, you’ll delete everything of it as well. (This is a Skyrim Special Edition Guide. So, if you running mods for SEVERAL OTHER games, you DON’T NEED to delete your mod manager!).

The IDEAL for the new installation should be a different disk of your installed Windows (OS system) and EVEN BETTER if that other disk will be a SSD one! If you have Steam installed into your Program Files (you shouldn’t!) CHECK HERE how to move Steam.

 

  • After you finish Skyrim SE installation, open your Steam Library and locate the game and left-click on it. On the popup will appear, select the “PROPERTIES”. When another pop-up will open, select the “LOCAL FILES” option and then select the “VERIFY INTEGRITY OF LOCAL FILES” option.

Then, you select the “UPDATES” option – if you closed the popup, again left-click on the game to select the “PROPERTIES” option and then select it. Now, in the “AUTOMATIC UPDATES” select the dropdown and pick the “ONLY UPDATE THIS GAME WHEN I LAUNCH IT” option. Bellow in the “BACKGROUND DOWNLOADS”, go and select the “NEVER ALLOW BACKGROUND DOWNLOADS” option.

 

  • When you’ll finish with this too, now go and open the game installation folder (…\steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition) and COPY EVERYTHING YOU SEE here and BACKUP IT in another safe place.

So, now, you have a fresh installed Skyrim SE game and you copied the entire game’s files somewhere else and kept them safe. If you ever do something really bad and “destroy” your build and the game can’t recover, then you don’t need to re-uninstall and re-install all over & over again. You’ll simply delete all the files in the game’s folder and you’ll re-copy the backup files back again in the main folder – and that’s it, you’ll have again a good running vanilla version.

 

  • Next step is, to block the game with FireWall. Open the Windows Defender FireWall and click on the Advanced Settings and press the Outbound Rules (second option on the far left column). Now, press the New Rule option (first option on the far right column that opened) and create a new rule for each .exe file of Skyrim by selecting the “Program” option (on the left) and “This program path” second option (with the browse box). Now, navigate to the game’s main directory folder and select the first game .exe file (for example SkyrimSE.exe). Press “Next” and select the 3rd “Block the Connection” option. Press “Next” and leave all as they are, press again “next” and type the rule’s name (Skyrim SE) and click “Finish”.
    Next, do again the same process to reach the “This program path” & the browse box option again and now select the second game .exe file (SkyrimSELauncher.exe). Do again all you did for the first .exe file and when you’ll reach to type the rule’s name, simply type it (Skyrim SE Launcher).

 

  • Now you’re about to download and install Vortex Mod Manager. You should go to Nexus site, create an account (if you haven’t already) and download & install the Vortex Manager from the orange large button (“DOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION NOW”). It will open the Vortex utility page and you need to click on one of the two main files options. I’m usually downloading the 2nd option, because I want to install my apps wherever I like; the first option, is installing Vortex in the default location they decided to be.

 

  • Continue, by launch the Vortex app and watch THIS INSTRUCTION VIDEO to setup perfectly your Vortex to install Skyrim SE mods. I’m sending you to watch the video, because first it’s easier to watch a video tutorial and second to avoid a lot text here in this Guide. So, follow the instruction from this video (until the 06:41 minute).

 

  • Next, you have to “clean” the official four Skyrim .esm files, from bad entries & records. Unfortunately, these official .esm files have issues and they need from you to be “cleaned”. There are FIVE .esm files, but you need to “clean” the four of them. So, you need to download the xEdit tool from HERE.

 

When you manually download it, extract the zip file somewhere you prefer and name that new folder “SSEdit”. DO NOT install/extract it to the game’s folder! Now, when you’re done with it, open this new folder and create shortcuts to your desktop from both .exe files in there (SSEEditQuickAutoClean.exe & SSEEdit.exe).

Next, run the SSEEditQuickAutoClean.exe. When will open, you’ll see a popup with the four .esm files:

Dawnguard.esm
Dragonborn.esm

Hearthfires.esm
Update.esm

 

Select the first .esm and you running the tool. When you’ll see the message “Auto Clean Mode Finished”, you clicking on the “X” button and you saving the .esm file. The same routine is for all the rest 3 files. The Dawnguard.esm file needs extra care, is not finished yet. So, you need now to run the other .exe from SSEdit, SSEEdit.exe the file. When you run it, select the Dawnguard.esm and run the tool.

When the tool finish (its process), expand the Dawnguard.esm (on the left column), expand the Cell, expand the Block 5, expand the Sub-Block 3. Select the highlight (in red) record – the 00016BCF one – and scroll on the right column all down to find the record XEZN Encounter Zone and the far right RiftenRatwayZone, right-click on it and select Remove. Agree to all warning popups and close the tool (and save the file).

 

  • Now install the SKSE scripter. Even if you want to follow only the “1st Guide” (the Visual Part), you’ll need this scripter; quite some visual mods they need the scripter too. I’m personally using the game’s 1.5.97 runtime build & the 2.00.19 SKSE build (which isn’t the newest). Why? Because, the mods I’m using are still running with the 2.0.19 build of SKSE. After the new update of the game, the 85% of the SKSE mods haven’t updated too – they’re not running anymore! So, I’m not using newest mods (to need the 2.0.20 build) and I’m not updating mods, unless is UBSOLUTELY necessary to do so! To me, for now, stay with the 1.5.97 runtime build & the SKSE v2.0.19; let’s go and get the scripter from HERE.

 

If you want to use the newest SKSE version, get it from HERE.

 

When you download the scripter, open the zip file, navigate into the folder and select ONLY the following files:

 

skse64_loader.exe

skse64_1_5_97.dll

skse64_steam_loader.dll

 

Drag-drop these 3 files into your main game rout folder (where the SkyrimSE.exe is located). Now, create to your desktop a shortcut of the skse64_loader.exe file and rename it to “Skyrim SE SKSE”. From now on, you’ll will always run the game from this file, never from the original icon!

Next thing is to install the scripts for this scripter. So, you’re opening the scripter zip file, opening the folder and you finding the “Data” folder. You must extract this “Data” folder, zip itself in a new zip file (call it “SKSE 2.0.19 scripts” or if you got the latest version type that version number) and then drag-drop the zip in the Vortex Mods tab at the bottom, where says “Drop Files” – I assume you have opened the Vortex Mod Manager; if you don’t, run the tool, open it, navigate to the Mods tab and drop the zip file there.

The file isn’t installed yet, it has a blue button saying “Never Installed”. You need to press on it, to be installed. By default in Vortex, every time you installing a mod, the “Auto Deploy Mod” run – and ONLY THEN, the mod is installed! Doesn’t matter if you install a mod, is not functional yet in the game; there is in Vortex Mod List, is been installed, but the game can’t “see it”, unless the “Deploy Mod” runs! You don’t need to worry, that’s by default to running automatically – but it’s very annoying (for me) and I have disabled it (from auto-run), I’m running it manually myself.
So… if you installed the scripts for the SKSE scripter, now you need to run one time the game. It will by-pass the game’s Launcher, it will run the game itself (you’ll see the Bethesda logo, bla-bla, you’ll see the main menu and hear the main game’s theme music). Now, you already fine; by running the game to main menu, you created the (default) game’s .ini files (in your “My Documents” folder). They are very “default”, you’ll need to edit them a lot and we’ll see this in next steps.

 

  • Personally, I would recommend you to properly START THE GAME NOW, watch the “wagon opening scene” (where the imperial troops are leading you and other prisoners in the Helgen town), step down from the wagon, build properly your character as the game follows and start the story. Soon, the evil dragon Alduin will arrive and start destroying the town, soon you’ll have to choose side (Imperial or Rebel Stormcloaks), you’ll enter the Helgen’s keep, fight your way through the dungeons and much bellow (into a cave) and finally you’ll find the exit from the cave to the opened world – in a forest. That’s the intro/tutorial of the game.

I suggest you to do all this now, do all this process, finish the intro/tutorial and when you step out to the woods… make a HARD SAVE! THIS save is your ULTIMATE “CLEAN” save! Keep it somewhere as backup! From now on when you installing a new mod, you ALWAYS RUNNING this “clean save” and you testing the mods over A CLEAN BUILD (without mods yet).

That’s the BEST way to testing mods, to have a “clean save” and always running this. If you install some mods and SAVE AGAIN, you can’t remove a mod with a plugin (only simple models or textures mods, without plugin files). So, the best way is to have this “clean save” and testing from THIS point and on…

 

Let’s say, you want to test a city expansion mod – a mod that alters a city, edits it, expands it, adding building, changing the walls, etc. Let’s say you want to test a Solitude City expansion mod. But, Solitude is hidden on the map, you haven’t discovered it yet. No worries. Press the ~ button, on the left of number 1 key to open the “Console Command”. Then, type the “tmm 1” command. The “tmm” toggles the map markers; the “1” enables all of them, the “0” disables all of them. So, by typing the above command, you making all the map markers visible. Now, you can fast-travel to Solitude, check the city mod you installed, walk around into the city and test it… and then, leave the game and keep or uninstall the mod – your “clean save” remained untouched and you were able to check the mod to see if you like to keep it!

 

Now, let’s install the LOOT tool. This tool is sorting your mods properly. I wasn’t much fan of this tool, because in some years ago wasn’t so perfected and was messing the mods’ loading order (in a heavy build with lots of mods), instead of organizing it. But now, after these years, LOOT became really good and useful. So, I suggesting you to use it. Go ahead and download the tool from HERE.

Now, install the tool somewhere in your hard disk – obviously NOT into the Skyrim SE directory! Run it and from the middle up drop-down menu, select the Skyrim SE option. Now, click on the “three bars” icon on the top-right, to sort your (very few, now) mods. LOOT is giving you a lot messages, after each time you sorting your mods. Don’t worry, few messages are very important.
From now on, each time you installing a mod WITH A PLUGIN (esp, esl, esl-flagged) you must run the LOOT and sort your mods properly.

 

The idea is, to sorting your mods AS THEY ARE LISTED HERE in this Guide! LOOT is not always sorting the mods AS THEY SHOULD be; therefore, you need to MANUALLY CHANGE the sorting “Metadata” settings. That means, you need to go to each mod and click on the “three dots” icon, on the right side of a mod’s row. Then, you can change lot things, mostly where this mod should be loaded AFTER ANOTHER (always after, never before).

STEP 2 – STARTING MODS

Now, we’ll start installing the starting mods you firstly need. We’ll start with all the SKSE script mods you should install. You need to be VERY CAREFUL to pick the EXACT version of the SKSE you using, otherwise these mods won’t working! Personally, I NEVER installing mods automatically from the Nexus pages; I’m always downloading EVERY mod into my hard disk, I’m checking them (and perhaps maybe editing them) and then I’m manually drag-dropping them into the Vortex Mods tab and I’m installing them myself. Do as you please; if you like to avoid this longer process, install them automatically & directly from Nexus pages – although some mods are requiring manual installation.

 

Another thing you should consider is, to choosing and installing ONLY mods packed as BSA! Meaning, not LOOSE files. “Loose files” means, when the mods authors are giving their mods with all the files loose, directly to your game’s Data folder. The official (vanilla) game, as you may check, comes with packed in BSA files! That means, VERY SHORT loading time, LESS issues & bugs, etc. The “loose files” are causing a lot issues (when you installing a lot mods one over the other, with similar conflicted files), are making VERY LONG the loading time of each level or save game, etc. So, the general policy is to using AS MUCH AS “packed in BSA” mods you can! Now… if some mods are with “loose” files, you STILL CAN YOURSELF to pack them in BSA (and esl-flagged plugins)! How? By download and install the Cathedral Assets Optimizer mod.

 

Follow the mod’s page instructions, they are very simple and easily to follow. With this mod, you FIXING ISSUES on meshes (3D models), you CORRECTING the “loose” textures and you PACKING THEM ALL TOGETHER in a BSA file – and you creating a “dummy esl-flagged” plugin! Then, you can install and load the mod, sort it with LOOT and just place it in the correct loading order place!

 

About the “oldrim” mods, those they’ve been made for the older Skyrim Legendary Edition. I’m using SOME of them, not as many as I was using few years ago. Why? Because, as I already mentioned, even if you convert them correctly & properly, most of them are not working super-perfect in the Special Edition. That’s why people like me, we keep pressing the mods authors to RE-BUILD these mods (from scratch) in the Special Edition Creation Kit tool.

Anyways, if you need to use some (not many) “oldrim” mods, you need to convert them correctly & properly to use it in Special Edition. First, you need to MANUALLY download them from their pages. Then, you need to unpack them in a new folder somewhere. Then, you need first to optimize their meshes (3D models) for Skyrim Special Edition. You need the SSE NIF Optimizer.

 

Watch THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL to understand how to do the process, its super easy and very fast. Next process is, to download the Bethesda Launcher and install it.

 

When you install it, run it and find the Creation Kit tool and download & install it. That goes ALWAYS into the game’s main directory, you can’t install it elsewhere. When you done with this installation, then go and download the ini files from here (this Guide’s page) and drag-drop them into the main game’s directory – and replace the files, if asked.

Now, since you have optimized the meshes of the “oldrim” mod you want to use, you need to convert the esp file for use in Skyrim SE, in the Creation Kit. Follow THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL and do exactly as the tutorial says.

After that, you have the meshes optimized the .esp saved for the Special Edition’s format. The only thing remains is, to re-pack all of these files in a zip and install it as usual in Vortex. Remember, best is to pack these (loose) files in a BSA (with the Cathedral Assets Optimizer) and rename the BSA with the name of the original plugin (that you just saved in the Creation Kit). That’s it! You have converted an “oldrim” mod, re-packed it in a BSA, you saved the plugin in Special Edition format and you’re good to go and use it in your game!

 

…For your help, I placed “tags” after any mod, to help you understand what every mod is all about. So, we have:

[SKSE] They are mods for the SKSE scripter
[CORE]

[NEW] 

These are the “core” mods, those you absolutely need first

These are the NEW mods I’m adding in the Guide

[OLDRIM] They are mods from Skyrim LE and they need conversion first
[ESL] They are “lite” mods; they don’t count in the 255 mods limitation
[ESL-OK] They can be saved as “lite” mods (via xEdit tool)
[OPTIONAL] Not necessary mods, but you can test & use them

 

So now, let’s go and start installing all the SKSE mods you need first (UPDATES!):

 

  1. PapyrusUtil SE [SKSE] Download the correct version of your SKSE. Since I’m using the previous (2.0.19) SKSE version, I picked the v3.9 one from the Old Files section.
  2. Address Library SE [SKSE] Pick the 2nd main file for all SE version. Be careful, don’t pick the 1st main file, it’s for the new “Anniversary Edition”. The file contains all the game’s versions (from 1.5.97 and back) and you don’t need to pick something and remove the others. The scripter will understand and use the correct bin.
  3. Powerofthree’s Tweaks [SKSE] Again, pick the 2nd main file for all SE version; the first main file is for the “Anniversary Edition”. You should install the .ini file in the Optional Files as well.
  4. Powerofthree’s Papyrus Extender [SKSE] Once more, pick the 2nd main file for all SE version; the first main file is for the “Anniversary Edition”.
  5. SSE Engine Fixes [SKSE] This mod comes in two parts. The first is to pick the correct version from the Main Files (the 1st one for 1.5.97 or back) and then to MANUALLY download the second part, the “Preloader” – the last file of the Main Files. This mod requires first to have installed the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2019.

The “Preloader” you manually downloaded, you need to open the zip file and pick all the files you’ll find inside and drag-drop them into your main game’s directory folder (where the SkyrimSE.exe exists).

  1. Animation Limit Crash Fix SSE [SKSE] This mod fixes the crash on game loading when you install too many animations with FNIS. May also give you increased FPS and loading speed. It’s INCOMPATIBLE with the previous mod you installed, so the option AnimationLoadSignedCrash must be disabled in the EngineFixes.ini file to make it work together with this mod. The config file is toml, so open it with any text editor, find the record and from the default “True” change it to “False”.
  2. Bug Fixes SSE [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Fixes some bugs with game code. Not so entirely necessary mod, but a lot people are also using this fix with the previous fixes. If you decide to try this fix, you also need FIRST to install the NET Script Framework.
  3. Private Profile Redirector [SKSE] Speeds up game start by storing INI files in memory instead of opening, parsing and closing the file each time some value from it is needed. Get the first Main file, the 0.5.2 one.
  4. Stay At System Page – Updated [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Ensures the journal menu always opens at the system page tab. It’s not “vital” to use this mod, but to me is very important when I’m pressing the ESC button to always opening the System Options. It’s up to you, use it or not.
  5. More Informative Console [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This mod edits the UI to show a great deal of additional information on npcs, items, and other objects when the console is opened, similar to the way MFG console worked for “oldrim”. Also not entirely necessary, you may install it or not, it’s up to you.
  6. Fuz Ro D-oh – Silent Voice [SKSE] A SKSE64 plugin that adds support for unvoiced in-game dialog. Get the v1.7 version from the Old Files if you using the 2.0.19 SKSE version like I do. If you’re using the latest SKSE (and latest game’s runtime build), then pick the Main File one.
  7. Better Jumping SE [SKSE] Allows jumping while sprinting. Also you can configure jump height multiplier, how many times you can jump (double jump like in action games). If you using (as I do) the 2.0.19 SKSE version, get the file from the Old Files. Otherwise, if you upgraded your game to the latest version, get the file from Main Files.
  8. Glow Be Gone SKSE Updated [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Updated SKSE plugin for Glow Be Gone mod that removes ugly glowing effects from your character and weapons. You may or not use this mod, it’s up to you.
  9. Glow be Gone SKSE GhostFX Workaround [SKSE] [OPTIONAL]] If you installed the previous mod, you should install this mod too.
  10. Scaleform Translation Plus Plus [SKSE] This plugin enables native translation nesting present within SkyUI, as well as English fallbacks.
  11. Quick Loot RE [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This mod adds a looting menu akin to the one present in FO4. Personally I never liked the auto pop-up of FO4 feature; I want to click on a chest and loot it. So, I’m not using this mod. If you like, go ahead and install it. Again, be sure to pick the correct SKSE version.
  12. Enchantment Reload Fix [SKSE] Fixes the bug that causes weapon enchantments to drain more charges, and increase drastically in price, after the game is reloaded.
  13. SSE Display Tweaks [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] All-in-one solution for smooth FPS-unlocked gameplay. Includes a physics fix, borderless full screen performance boost, refresh rate control, highly configurable frame rate limiting, various bug fixes and more. This mod is useful for those they want to unlock completely the FPS limitation of the game (up to 60). I personally not recommending it, because your PC & monitor may handle much more FPS but the game itself can’t!
  14. Dynamic Equipment Manager Updated [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This mod serves the idea to dynamically equip / un-equip helmets, shields and ammo from characters when applicable. Personally, I don’t find it necessary and I’m not using it.
  15. Floating Damage [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This is a mod that displays damage text on actors, animals, enemies etc. Although it makes sense and it’s very useful, I’m not using it because it’s running WHEREVER there is a fight, not ONLY when your character is been involved! That means… you may travelling in the wilds, all fine around you… and suddenly you see far away into the woods floating damage numbers (some NPCs or animals are fighting each other). It breaks a lot the immersion.
  16. Whose Quest Is It Anyway [SKSE] Swaps the “Quest items cannot be removed…” message for a more descriptive message informing you which quest the item belongs to.
  17. Yes Im Sure [SKSE] This mod disables annoying message prompts asking you if you’re sure you’d like to craft/improve/exit menus.
  18. Alternate Conversation Camera [SKSE] Makes conversation with NPCs more immersive by zooming in to their faces. Fully supports both 1st and 3rd person camera; also supports on sitting and lock-on states. Includes “Witcher 3” camera style. Configurable with ini file. To be honest, I would love that “Witcher 3” camera style, but the camera swaps super-fast from the one actor to the other. So, personally, I suggest you to open the ini file and disable the “Witcher 3” camera style.
  19. Alternate Conversation Camera Plus [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] It’s almost the same mod with the previous one, with some differences. Use the previous or this, not both.
  20. Display Enemy Level SE [SKSE] Useful mod, to check which level is your enemy you facing. Chose the v1.1.3 version, if you chose to use the SKSE 2.0.19.
  21. JContainers SE [SKSE] Extends Skyrim SE Papyrus scripts (or SKSE/C++ plugins) with JSON based serialized data structures like arrays and maps. Chose the v4.1.13 from Old Files, if you using the SKSE 2.0.19.
  22. Improved Camera [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Improved Camera is an SKSE plugin that allows you to play as a werewolf or vampire lord, craft, sit, die and ride horses and dragons in first person. It also allows you to see your body and shadow in first person. This is a custom INI file that allows you to plug and play this incredible mod without having to sift through configuration files. I’m not using it, because it’s getting very annoying due the crafting process. Go ahead and use it, if you like.
  23. No Lockpick Activate SKSE = Updated [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Stops the inventory menu automatically showing after unlocking a container (for use with Loot Menu), also stops doors opening when picked. I used to installing this mod, but not anymore. It’s one more click to open the lockpicked chest, why to click one more time?
  24. Name Those Ash Piles [SKSE] Configurable SKSE plugin that changes ash piles names to reflect who they belong to (originally, doesn’t says anything, just “ash pile”).
  25. Wash That Blood Off [SKSE] Wash that blood off and clean your armor by taking a swim. Very reasonable, I don’t understand why originally they didn’t have this in the game – it’s stupid to watching blood spots on you, after a swim into a lake or river.
  26. ConsoleUtil SSE [SKSE] This mod enables papyrus scripts to execute console commands. Pick the one from Old Files, if you using the SKSE 2.0.19.
  27. I’m Walkin’ Here [SKSE] Prevents NPCs from pushing you while YOU’RE WALKIN’ ‘ERE and having a chat with your friends! Extremely important, trust me! You need also to install the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2019, if you haven’t installed it yet.
  28. Console Commands Extender [SKSE] Extends and adds console commands, very useful mod.
  29. Equipment Durability System [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] Weapons and armor that actors are equipped will be degraded when attacking or getting hit. Weapons and armor (in NPC’s inventory, in containers, dropped) are randomly tempered. Adds widgets that display weapons, armor and shouts that the player is currently equipped. I’m not using it anymore.
  30. Face Discoloration Fix [SKSE] Eliminates the “classic” bug of Skyrim after you install several mods with new NPCs or you install mods they changing the default NPCs. This “classic” bug turns the NPCs’ faces to dark skin (like “latino”) – and they have white skin on the rest of their bodies – without eye laces or other details.
  31. Disable Follower Collision [SKSE] Another “classic” bug of Skyrim. This mod disables collisions between the player and allied NPCs. Allied NPCs include followers, actors commanded by the player and actors commanded by followers.
  32. MFG Fix [SKSE] [ESL] Fixes <mfg> console command and adds some other fixes. Several other mods need this. Get the Optional File too, the MFGFix MCM SE file!
  33. zxlice hitStop SSE [SKSE] A simple script-free SKSE plugin makes you feel really hit something when target get hit.
  34. Unequip Quiver SE [SKSE] Removes the quiver/bolts when equipping weapons and spells or when the character un-equips the bow or crossbow. Pick the v1.6, if you using the SKSE 2.0.19.
  35. Simple Weapon Swing Parry [SKSE] Adds a weapon swinging parry effect similar to “Action Combat”.
  36. Vampires Cast No Shadow 2 [SKSE] This mod stops the vampires from casting shadows when out in the sun; very logical.
  37. Spell Perk Item Distributor (SPID) [SKSE] It’s something similar with the PapyrusUtil SE, but quite better. I suggesting you to check in this mods’ page and see which mods they’re using the SPID and prefer to use those!
  38. Locational Damage [SKSE] This mod makes it possible to do extra damage and stagger etc. effect depending on the body part when the attack hits the actor. You can do locational damage to actors of various races.
  39. MiniMap [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This mod adds a mini map in your screen, always, as you playing the game. It’s like other games (Witcher 3 or so). I tried it but I decided I don’t need it.
  40. Better Combat Escape [SKSE] Improve the vanilla game combat escape-stopping mechanism, to prevent you remaining at combat state with super far away enemy. It’s another “classic” bug fix; in the original/vanilla game, no matter how far you’ll run, the enemies are keep running behind you (and leaving their posts).
  41. Everyone’s Stamina Matters [SKSE] Make sense the stamina factor. Now, tired NPCs (or yourself) won’t be able to attack until regenerate a bit their stamina! Now, you can finish/kill your enemies when they are tired and can’t continue the fight!
  42. Actor Limit Fix [SKSE] Fixes a bug where if you have more than 128 actors in the same place they start floating around weirdly. Also fixes bug where NPC lips stop moving when a lot of them are nearby.
  43. Simple Block Sparks [SKSE] Spawns sparks effect on weapon/shield while block attack; it’s a visual effect only.
  44. Skyrim Priority SE [SKSE] Make Skyrim always takes most of CPU usage. Increase FPS and Prevent suddenly lag caused by other processes. You may also to use (and run) THIS REGISTRY ENTRY for Win10.
  45. SSE FPS Stabilizer [SKSE] No more fps drops when looking at certain directions. This mod changes the .ini settings automatically to keep your FPS at target levels. Also runs console commands at game startup or save load.
  46. Scrambled Bugs [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] A collection of engine bug fixes and patches. I’m not using it all the time, sometimes I am, others I’m not. You may want THIS too, if you use the (suggesting later in the next Guide’s Part) Ordinator.
  47. Universal Fog Remover [SKSE] [OPTIONAL] This can automatically set the fog settings for new or loaded game, the exact same way you can manually do with the SetFog console command, reducing the distance you see the fog (for both interiors & exteriors).
  48. Base Object Swapper [SKSE] A SKSE plugin and framework for swapping base objects and references, using config files.
  49. Fixed Dragon Stalking Fix [SKSE] [NEW] Dragon corpses will no longer follow you or fall out of the sky.
  50. Serana’s Hood Fix [SKSE] [NEW] Fixes Serana’s infamous hood.
  51. NPC AI Process Position Fix [SKSE] [NEW] A DLL plugin that fixes the vanilla game engine bug that NPCs AI process positions could not be updated after you waiting/ sleeping/ fast travel.
  52. Mu Joint Fix [SKSE] [NEW] This is a DLL NPC’s knee fix. Also corrects bones that move to some wrong positions by weird animation.

 

We finished the (a lot!) SKSE mods/fixes/tweaks. Some mods may need to convert them to “lite” (not counting in the 255 mods limitation). The process is quite simple; check THIS VIDEO.

So, you installing a mod properly, it’s originally “flagged” as normal .esp file, then you running the xEdit tool, you doing the process (as you watch in the previous video) and you saving it as “esl-flagged”. Now, is not counting as esp, it’s “hidden”, it’s “lite”. But remember, after ANY CHANGE you’re doing in a mod, you need to RUN in the Vortex the “Deploy Mods” command (on the orange bar)! If you forget this, the Vortex can’t recognize you changed the mod’s esp and will continue to be normal .esp in your game!

Let’s continue to the rest mods you need to install first:

 

  1. SkyUI [CORE] [ESL-OK] Elegant, PC-friendly interface mod with many advanced features. You can’t “live” without this interface, trust me. This can be converted to “esl” with the xEdit tool. One of the MAJOR feature of this mod, is the MCM menu. A lot mods having a lot settings to adjust them as you like. That can be done ONLY with the MCM feature of the SkyUI mod.
  2. SkyUI SE – Flashing Savegames Fix [CORE] Fixes the flashing savegame entries when trying to save or load a game, in the in-game main menu (quest journal).
  3. SSE UI Enhancements [CORE] [ESL] Get this mod from here, this Guide’s page – and install it. It’s “esl-flagged” and packed into BSA file.
  4. FileAccess Interface for Skyrim SE Scripts [OPTIONAL] [ESL-OK] Easy to use interface for modders to save & reload in-game variables (e.g. MCM settings) to/from file. Get the v1.3.7 file. If you want to avoid spend time to turn this plugin to “esl-flagged”, get it from HERE. It’s a very useful mod but also it’s very “delicate” and if it’s handling more than 2 mods at the same time, can causing CTDs (“Crash to Desktop”). Use it with your own risk.
  5. SkyHUD [CORE] [NEW] Toggle HUD elements on or off, scale sizes, change positions and swap elements with alternative version. Features dot crosshair, slim compass, alternate ammo display, detached compass markers and built-in support for font mods. Also, search the Nexus and find a NEWEST preset for this mod.
  6. Immersive HUD – iHUD [CORE] [NEW] Have enabled your HUD when you need it and HIDE it when you don’t.
  7. Wider MCM Menu for SkyUI [CORE] This mod improves your MCM configuring experience, makes the menu much more wider. I suggesting you to choose the “Even Wider” option.
  8. A Matter of Time [CORE] It’s really a VERY good mod to use. It’s giving you the game’s time, date, month or even the moon phases – but also you can activate and you can have THE ACTUAL REAL time, so you can always know what time REALLY is when you’re playing the game (and you need to close it and get some sleep)! Can be turned to “esl-flagged” with the xEdit tool. You need this mod HERE too, to keep saved your settings in the MCM menu.
  9. Better Message Box Controls [CORE] Navigate all message boxes with the Left/Right and Activate (E) keys. Also fixes the clickable area of buttons so they are easier to select with the mouse.
  10. Better Dialogue Controls [CORE] Ever pick the wrong item in a dialogue with a NPC? This mod aims to fix some annoyances with the way keyboard and mouse selection works in the dialogue interface.
  11. Atlas Map Markers SE – Updated with MCM [CORE] This is an update to Kronixx’s classic mod, Atlas Map Markers. It adds MCM options with full control over the new markers, as well as all of the vanilla map markers.
  12. Clean Menu BSA [CORE] [ESL] Get it from here, from this Guide’s page. I made it as “esl-flagged” and packed in BSA. When you’ll install it, you’ll get a warning message from Vortex that there are conflicts in one file. You’ll see a “red thunderbolt” in this mod & the SSE UI Enhancements you installed previously. You should press on the “red thunderbolt” of the Clean menu BSA mod and select AFTER on the drop-down menu, to OVERWRITE the previous SSE UI Enhancements mod! Of course, you’ll need to press and “Deploy Mods” after any changes you’re doing!
  13. Menu Fire Particles BSA [CORE] [ESL] Get it from here, from this Guide’s page. I made it as “esl-flagged” and packed in BSA.
  14. UI Addons BSA [CORE] [ESL] Get it from here, from this Guide’s page. I made it as “esl-flagged” and packed in BSA. Again, you’ll get a conflict message from Vortex. Again, you need to press on the “red thunderbolt” icon of this mod and select AFTER on the drop-down menu, to OVERWRITE the previous SSE UI Enhancements mod! Don’t forget to press and “Deploy Mods” after that!
  15. 12th Century Book font [CORE] It’s an “oldrim” font mod, but doesn’t need any conversion. Install it as usual in Vortex. Again, you need to press on the “red thunderbolt” icon of this mod and select AFTER on the drop-down menu, to OVERWRITE the previous Sovngarde font mod! Don’t forget to press and “Deploy Mods” after that!
  16. Sovngarde – A Nordic Font [CORE] Sovngarde is a lore-friendly font replacer I designed by hand based on Skyrim’s title. It’s probably the best font for your game’s menu etc. Choose the “Light” version.
  17. 12th Century Sovngard Patch [CORE] From the same Sovngarde font page, get this patch fix from the Optional Files, for the combination of Sovngard – Mist Font AND the 12th Century Bookfont to use them together without any problem! You’ll have again warning message from Vortex and you need again to press the “red thunderbolt” icon of this mod and select AFTER on the drop-down menu, to OVERWRITE ALL THE PREVIOUS mods with this mod!
  18. Dot Crosshair – With Sneak Eye [OPTIONAL] Changes the crosshair to a dot. This mod keeps the sneak eye, so you can tell whether you’re hidden or not. The SECOND Main File.
  19. Undiscovered Means Unknown [CORE] Undiscovered map markers (excluding those of cities) are indistinct or invisible. It’s also has large variation of art style icons. Due the “FOMOD” (with a lot options) installation, choose “Both the Compass and the Map” & “Yes” in the 1st screen, choose “Yes” & “No, I do not have any of those installed” in the 2nd screen, pick an art style from the 3rd screen (personally I’m using the Not Another Colored Map Icons or the Pastel Map Markers option), choose in the 4th screen if you want your enemies to be visible in the compass (I’m choosing “Yes”) and in the final screen choose if you want to have invisible or other choice for the undiscovered places (I’m using the third “Nothing” – invisible option). Set this mod as AFTER in the warning conflict message will appear.
  20. Undiscover Skurim SE  [CORE] [ESL] This mod simply changes the message of a place & that is been discovered, to only the name of the place. For example, instead of “Riverwood Discovered” it will say “Riverwood”. There is a second option of this mod, removing also the sound when you discovering a new place.
  21. Better SkyUI Config [CORE] Makes SkyUI sorting smarter, so you don’t need to change the sorting of different views when you play. Equipped items always on top, all items/spells by type, effects by time etc.
  22. Fix Note Icon for SkyUI [CORE] A SKSE64 plugin that fixes the Letter/Note icon and type for SkyUI.
  23. Super Fast Input Wait Menu [CORE] Adds an alternate super-fast wait menu, where you can type the weeks, days and hours to wait. Very useful mod and configurable with SkyUI’s MCM.
  24. A Quality World Map [CORE] [ESL-OK] Provides a new set of highly-detailed 3D or paper world map textures, complete with roads! Also adds a detailed Solsteim map. I’m suggesting you to pick the “Classic with All Roads” option. Also, you better “flag” it as “esl” with the xEdit tool and pack it as BSA with the Cathedral Assets Optimizer!
  25. Arthmoor’s Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch [CORE] A bug fixing mod for Skyrim Special Edition. The goal of the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch (aka USSEP) is to eventually fix every bug with Skyrim Special Edition not officially resolved by the developers to the limits of the Creation Kit and community-developed tools, in one easy-to-install package.
  26. Vanilla Script (micro)Optimizations [CORE] [ESL] Rewriting many of the vanilla game scripts with the goal of increasing efficiency. Replacing slower “convenience functions” with their faster native counterparts. Re-ordering condition checks to implement “fail fast fail early” approach. Cacheing of often-used values. Install and place it (in your loading order, with the help of LOOT) exactly after USSEP patch!
  27. Arthmoor’s Cutting Room Floor [CORE] A mod to restore several pieces of cut content in Skyrim Special Edition. I placed the official Arthmoor’s website link, so you need to create and account and join his site and get his mods from there. This Guide contains a lot Arthmoor’s mods, all available to his site.
  28. Jaxonz Positioner Converted [OPTIONAL] That’s a very interesting and useful mod. Not totally necessary to have it (that’s I placed the “Optional” tag). What this mod does? It’s letting you to MOVE, ROTATE and RESIZE almost everything in the game! That’s right! For example, you see that some trees are a bit “floating” from the ground, right? You use this mod and you placing them deeper into the ground and done! Or perhaps, a mod is changing some clutters and you see clipping between objects. You select the object and you fixing the placement! It’s VERY interesting mod, worth to check and test it. Download both Main & Update Files.
  29. Hearthfires Houses Building Fix [CORE] [ESL] Restores proper models of some building parts and furniture in crafting menu.
  30. Gloomreach Navmesh Fix [CORE] [ESL] It’s a navmesh fix for that falmer cave in Reach. The mod’s no longer exists, so get it from here (this Guide’s page).
  31. Mount Anthor Dragon Fix [CORE] [ESL] This fixes the “missing dragon” bug at Mount Anthor.
  32. College of Winterhold Bridge Fix [CORE] [ESL-OK] A stand alone, plausible and immersive fix for Winterhold’s damaged college bridge. It can be “flagged” as “esl” via xEdit.
  33. Modern Brawl Bug Fix [CORE] [ESL-OK] The Modern Brawl Bug Fix is the ultimate solution to brawls that break instantly or turn into real fights. Compatible with any mod.
  34. Morthal Water Wheel Fix [CORE] [ESL] Fixes The Flow Of The FXRapids!
  35. Don’t Push Me Around [CORE] [ESL] Sandboxing NPCs avoid the player while the dialogue menu is open.
  36. The Elder Scrolls Legends – Loading Screens [OPTIONAL] Adds 56 high quality and lore friendly artworks from “The Elder Scrolls: Legends” as loading screens. Works as a vanilla replacer and alongside vanilla loading screens. Download it, unpack it, choose what you want and create a BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  37. MCM Helper [OPTIONAL] Simplifies the creation of Mod Configuration Menus and extends them with powerful new features, such as persistent INI settings and hotkey registration. Mod authors will be able to write simpler, cleaner Papyrus scripts for their configs.

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

STEP 3 – MODELS & TEXTURES

Those mods in the previous step were the very first mods you should install. Now, let’s continue with all the “Core” mods, those mods you absolutely need to make your game amazing. First will install a band of LODs (Large Objects Distance) mods.

 

Although like I already wrote I prefer to using packed in BSA mods, these LODs files must be installed as “loose”, because when you’ll start creating your billboards for those distant objects, you’ll have conflicts.  Obviously, all these LOD mods containing a lot SIMILAR meshes & textures; therefore, after every mod you’ll install, you’ll getting Vortex warning messages for conflicts and you’ll need to click on the “red thunderbolt” icon and selecting “AFTER” for EACH NEW mod (to overwrite all the previous ones).

 

Okay, so let’s get start:

 

  1. Terrain LOD redone SSE [CORE] [ESL] Terrain LOD Redone is aiming for a complete terrain LOD overhaul. It features high res LOD textures, high res LOD normal maps and high poly LOD meshes which are almost eliminating the stripe effect. Extract the files (meshes & textures) from the packed BSA (using THIS tool), DELETE the “dummy” plugin, re-zip them in a new zip file and install them.
  2. Perfect Terrain LOD [CORE] [ESL] New overhauls for Terrain LOD landscape textures that correspond with the texture mods you have installed. Generated with xLODGen. Also contains Tree LOD.

From all these files, select the “Terrain LODs for Vanilla” file. Again, do the same process as the previous mod (extract the files from BSA, delete the “dummy” plugin, re-zip the files in a new zip, install, overwrite).

  1. HD LODs Textures SE [CORE] [ESL] New HD LODs for the buildings and the landscape of Skyrim, Dawnguard & Dragonborn. Pick the standard version; again, do the same process as the previous mod (extract the files from BSA, delete the “dummy” plugin, re-zip the files in a new zip, install, overwrite).
  2. Winterhold College LOD Shimmer Fix [CORE] [ESL] The College of Winterhold will load its full detail models far before it hides the LOD mesh if the area has been modded. This results in a highly visible shimmer which can be seen clearly as you approach. This fix allows the LOD swap to happen much more quickly, as you enter the Winterhold Bridge, when it’s much harder to notice. It’s a simple “esl-flagged” plugin.

 

Now, let’s install much more models & textures mods. Let’s get start:

 

  1. LH’s Skyrim Vanilla Overhaul Textures Project [CORE] [ESL] This is the latest (huge!) mod I created, after many years of testing & checking a lot textures mods. A lot textures are mine, but I also used many other great textures mods’ authors. This mod simply replacing THE ENTIRE GAME’s textures! Actually, if you want to play a vanilla game, you don’t need anything else to install; this mod contains EVERY texture of the game, in much-much better quality, resolution, etc.

All the plugins are “esl-esm-flagged” and all the textures are packed in BSA files, just like the official ones. All you need is run the LOOT and place one-by-one after the other, after the official plugins – and that’s it!

  1. Enhanced Textures Detail UV Tweaks [CORE] Enhances your existing textures without performance loss. My suggestion is, to extract the files and pack them in BSA & create a “dummy” esl-flagged plugin and install it; load it after (as always) from the previous mods, in your loading order list. Otherwise, install it as it is (loose files).
  2. Static Mesh Improvement Mod [CORE] This is the “classic” 3D model improvement mod, almost everybody are installing very first. It contains A LOT much better 3D models of many game’s objects. Obviously, the mod’s files are loose. I suggesting you to unpack the mod and re-pack the files all in BSA & create a “dummy” esl-flagged plugin and install it. You may also download and install THIS , THIS , THIS and THIS mod too; they are great “add-ons” for this mod.
  3. Ruins Clutter Improved [CORE] This mod does improve textures and meshes and also corrects UV errors of many clutter objects, which can mostly be found in the dungeons of Skyrim. Get the Main File & the Updated Files. Obviously, the mod’s files are loose. I suggesting you to unpack the mod and re-pack the files all in BSA & create a “dummy” esl-flagged plugin and install it. You may also download and install THIS mod too; they are great “add-ons” for this mod.
  4. High Poly Project [OPTIONAL] An ongoing process to improve the models of the game with more polygons, UV edits or just replace them all together. SMIM was the inspiration. It’s an optional mod; if you want to use it you need to open it, choose what you need to use (not all of them), pack them into BSA & create a “dummy” plugin (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool) and load it after the previous mods.
  5. Assorted Mesh Fixes [OPTIONAL] Fixes various issues with vanilla Skyrim meshes that causes them to render incorrectly. Another optional mod; you may use it if you like; and again you need to pack them into BSA & create a “dummy” plugin (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool) and load it after the previous mods.
  6. Dlizzio’s Mesh Fixes [OPTIONAL] Corrects mesh and material errors not covered by any other mods. It’s another optional mod; it has a lot nice mesh fixes, but the author also made his flavor/taste changes – which I don’t really like them (for example, he removed the ivy & mosses from a lot houses’ walls, which I like them). If you want to use it, again you need to pack them into BSA & create a “dummy” plugin (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool) and load it after the previous mods.
  7. Flickering Meshes Fix [OPTIONAL] This mod fix some visual flickering problem in certain zones of Skyrim. Create BSA & “dummy” plugin.
  8. Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes [CORE] This mod corrects numerous graphic glitches around Tamriel world space, it also helps to relieve your obsessive-compulsive disorder. Create BSA & “dummy” plugin.
  9. Lightened Skyrim [OPTIONAL] Gain FPS across Skyrim with no visual difference. Create BSA & “dummy” plugin.
  10. Stones of Solitude [CORE] Replace Solitude rock piles with better blended versions using the Base Object Swapper. Create BSA & “dummy” plugin (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool).

 

If you want to “boost” EVEN MORE the 3D models of your game, you can do what I did; download ALL the following mods, unpack them all, create TWO different folders “DATA” and placed into them all the meshes & textures folders of ALL these (a lot) mods you download! I wrote “TWO”, because if you create ONE, you’ll have a HUGE (in size) file.

Then use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer and CREATE A BSA & A “DUMMY” PLUGIN for each one of those “Data” folders! Name them as you like (for example “Extra Models and Textures.BSA – and the “dummy” plugin with the same name) and you’ll have two large packed new mods, containing all these amazing new meshes & textures models!

Then, simply install them and with LOOT’s help, edit the “MetaData” to order these new two mods to be AFTER OF ALL the previous mods!

Download them with the order I have them here; if there is any conflict, simply let the newest mod to overwrite the previous. If some mods do not exist anymore, bypass them and continue to the rest. The mods I’m suggesting you to download and use are the following:

 

  1. Refracting Ice Form Debris
  2. Skyrim 3D High Hrothgar Steps
  3. Skyrim 3D Icefloes
  4. Sea of Ghosts 3D Icefloes
  5. Rapid Rocks
  6. Ash Pile Retexture
  7. Less ugly Solitude Catacombs Stone
  8. Skyrim Posts Replace
  9. WiZkiD – Hall of the Dead Stained Glass Windows
  10. MM – Mountains and Stones
  11. Soulgem Stand Redone
  12. Snazzy Model Ship
  13. HD Ruined Book Retexture
  14. JS Barenziah
  15. LH’s HD Oil Puddle
  16. Rugnarok
  17. Peltapalooza
  18. Renthal’s Workbench
  19. Renthal’s Watermill Remastered
  20. Rustic Animated Potions and Poisons
  21. White Phial Replacer SE
  22. JS Purses and Septims SE
  23. Realistic HD Mushrooms Remastered
  24. Nordic Carving – Wallbaskets SE
  25. Snazzy Quill of Gemination
  26. Chicken Butthurt Minimizer
  27. Pretty Gemstones SSE
  28. Vanilla Table Replacers
  29. Realistic HD Pickaxe Remastered
  30. Realistic HD Woodcutter’s Axe Remastered
  31. Ancient Pottery
  32. Rally’s Witcher Lute Redone
  33. Rally’s Hooks and Saws
  34. Rally’s Butterflies Moths and Torchbugs
  35. Rally’s Smithy
  36. Rally’s Solstheim Shrines
  37. Meridia’s Luxon Beacon Replacer
  38. Whiterun 3D Trellis
  39. 3D Solitude Market Trellis
  40. Stockades of Skyrim 3D
  41. Jazbay by Mari
  42. Troll Skull Retexture
  43. Organic Riften Leaves
  44. Windhelm Improvements (Snowy Windhelm)
  45. Improved Dwemer Glass & USSEP Patch
  46. Potema Ruins Door
  47. 4K Torture Rack
  48. Kanjs – Shovel of Skyrim
  49. Iconic’s Remastered Paragon Gems
  50. Northfire’s Skidmarks SE
  51. JS Lockpicking UI SE
  52. JS Shrines of the Divines & HD Glaze for JS Shrines of the Divines
  53. JS Instruments of Skyrim
  54. Improved Sparks
  55. Dwemer Pipework Reworked
  56. Dragon Claws SE
  57. Retextured Pulsing Daedra Heart
  58. The Business Ledger
  59. Glowing Ore Veins 300 SSE – Optimized
  60. Red Diamond Imperial Shield
  61. TB’s HD Cubemaps
  62. ElSopa – Medieval Anvil
  63. ElSopa – The Lovely Kettle SE
  64. Aevrigheim – Miraak’s Sword and Staff Replacer
  65. Human Heart Retexture
  66. Dwemer Tech Glowmapped
  67. Thanatos as Durnehviir
  68. WiZkiD Carriages
  69. WiZkiD Alchemy Table
  70. Retexture for The Scrol
  71. Holy Cows
  72. New Dibella Statues
  73. Ebony Edge
  74. Elven Blades

So, now you have the one “Data” folder with full of meshes & textures. Therefore, use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool and pack the files into a BSA and create a “dummy” plugin and name it as you like (for example “More Models and Textures”). Install it and use the LOOT to edit the “MetaData” and place it AFTER all the previous mods!

Let’s continue to download more models & textures mods, to create the “second” mod I wrote you above. Download these mods:

  1. aMidianBorn Book of Silence – Extra Pages
  2. Animated Forge Water
  3. ElSopa – Tankard HD
  4. High Poly Canticle Tree
  5. High Poly Blackreach Mushrooms
  6. Skyrim Remastered – Azura and Blackreach Crystals
  7. High Poly Blackreach Mushrooms – Skyrim Remastered Patch
  8. New Shrine of Azura
  9. New Mara Statue
  10. New Nocturnal Statue SE
  11. Shrine of Boethiah
  12. New Statue of Meridia
  13. Solstheim Objects SMIMed
  14. Dwemer Elevator Lights
  15. Animated Tentacles for the Glowing Mushrooms
  16. Ghosts Spirits Souls
  17. 3D Riften Trellis and Roofs
  18. Malformed Stumps
  19. Reach Trees Enhanced
  20. ElSopa – HD Grindstone Redone
  21. CC Camping – Camp with Bedroll Mesh Edit
  22. Highland Cows More Wooly
  23. Scallions of Skyrim – High Polygon Leeks
  24. Rustic Maps
  25. Wall Mounted Dead Animals Fixes
  26. Water in Wash Basins
  27. Water in Wells
  28. Logical Riften Well
  29. Smoother Skies
  30. Blue Palace Dome Windows
  31. Fancy Planter Replacer
  32. Spiders of Solstheim
  33. Smaller and Better Blood Potion
  34. Qwafee Bloody Rags
  35. Creep Cluster Planter Solution
  36. XNFRain’s Civil War Map Flag Replacer SE

 

Now, pack the files into a BSA and create a “dummy” plugin and name it as you like (for example “Extra New Models”). Install it and use the LOOT to edit the “MetaData” and place it AFTER all the previous mods!

So, every time you’ll find new models & textures and you’re like to install them, come back here to the “second” mod you made, add the new files and RE-CREATE the BSA & the “dummy” plugin – and then simply replace the files in your game.

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

Let’s continue with the rest couple mods you need to install:

  1. Blended Roads [CORE] [ESL-OK] This mod makes the road stones blended to the ground mesh instead of assigning a texture to an extra mesh. This eliminates a lot of road uvw issues. Download both files and install them.

Use the Really Blended Roads option, due the FOMOD installation.

Again, I suggesting you to unpack the mods and use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer and pack the loose files into a BSA – and install this new mod.

  1. Snowy Roads for Snowy Regions [CORE] [ESL-OK] Changes dirt roads and landscape in otherwise snowy regions to snow roads.

 

Now, you’re about to install a good grass mod. There are a lot, many good grass mods; I’ve tested them myself, almost all of them. I’ll write you what I’m suggesting to pick and some alternative mods:

 

  1. Verdant – A Skyrim Grass Plugin [CORE] [ESL-OK] This grass mod alters on the entire skyrim’s landscape and almost all areas of skyrim have lots of dense grass; it uses the Grass on Steroids tweak, so people with medium to low end machines should be able to run this with less of an FPS hit than some other grass mods. It has ESL option too.
  2. Verdant – Altered Forest Grass [CORE] Tweaks the grass for Verdant in forested and snowy regions. It has a lot options to pick, except the Main File.
  3. Veydosebrom Regions [OPTIONAL] I used to love the older “The Elder Scrolls: Veydosebrom” mod. That mod was fantastic, equal great to the Verdant (which I’m suggesting above). This here is the new, the modern Veydosebrom grass mod. It’s also great, but I’m not like it because this time it’s adding A LOT grass all over the Skyrim and the grass is superbly very tall, almost 2m or more! If you using a Nord character (which they are all very tall, over 1.90m tall), you see him/her almost invisible into a “sea” of grass, like it’s… Cambodia jungle!
  4. Northern Grass SE [OPTIONAL] Northern Grass adds unique, lush and beautiful grasses that maintain a cold aesthetic and fit greatly with the climate of Skyrim. Built from the original Unbelievable Grass Two grass mod, it adds various other immersive and cold looking grasses for a unique and beautiful result. This is the 1st part of a combo you can do. Continue to the next mod.
  5. Cathedral Landscapes [OPTIONAL] A dense grass mod that outperforms vanilla Skyrim with complementary landscape and terrain LOD to eliminate grass pop-in. This is the 2nd part of the grass combo.
  6. Cathedral – 3D Pine Grass [OPTIONAL] Photographed plants from alpine forests turned into 3D plants and spread through Skyrim’s pine forests as grass. This is the 3rd part of the grass combo, continue to the next final mod.
  7. Northern Cathedral 3D Pine Grass [OPTIONAL] This is an ESL flagged patch that merges grasses from Cathedral Landscapes, Cathedral 3D Pine Grass and Northern Grass. So, with this mod here, you can combine the 3 above grass mods and use them all together! Obviously, it will be a quite heavy impact to your FPS, but it’s a great result and you may like to use this grass combo mod.
  8. Viscous Foliage- a T H I C C grass mod [OPTIONAL] This will bring a wild and more natural feeling of grasses and undergrowth to Skyrim. Another great choice for grass mod.
  9. Kyne’s Grass [OPTIONAL] A mash-up of various grass mods and resources. The installer includes pre-made INI’s and different versions of grass (more to come!). All plugins are ESL flagged. Another good choice.
  10. Folkvangr – Grass and Landscape Overhaul [OPTIONAL] This is an extensive grass overhaul with a selection of high quality landscape textures to match.
  11. Origins Of Forest – 3D Forest Grass [CORE] A 3D grass mod to reflect the dynamic growth of a great forest. This grass mod covers only pine forests. Check the various options and choose. You can install this PATCH
  12. No Grass in Objects [CORE] Stops grass from growing out of rocks, floorboards, bedrolls, crates, roads and other objects. Also allows drawing grass outside of loaded cells. Get also THIS SCRIPT for the xEdit tool and follow the mod’s page instructions to use it.
  13. No Grassias [CORE] This is a grass fix for overgrown grass and grass clipping issues caused by grass mods adding grass to land textures that aren’t supposed to have grass. It can be used to fix issues in areas that other mods do not fix. All options are light plugins (esl flagged) and can be added or removed at any time.
  14. Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods [OPTIONAL] Reduce grass clipping with grass mods. It’s not necessary for the grass mod I’m suggesting, but you may use it regardless that. Pick the right options, for the grass mod you chose.
  15. Windy Grass [CORE] Bring a bit of life to the wilderness, making the grass move more. Compatible with almost all grass and tree mods.
  16. Grass FPS Booster [CORE] Grass FPS Booster is the only SSE grass density mod that gives you an FPS boost, instead of slowing you down! It supports vanilla and many popular grass mods!

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

 

Okay, you added the grass mod of your choice. Now it’s time to take care the mountains & rocks. Let’s continue installing some mods:

 

  1. Rapid Rocks [OPTIONAL] Replaces the rapid rocks, seen in some waters with high poly photogrammetry meshes and textures.
  2. MM – Mountains and Stones [CORE] Every rock seems the same, in the vanilla game. This mod fixes this; there is a lot dense in the rocks. Again, use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer and place the files in BSA and create a “dummy” plugin.
  3. Real Mountains [OPTIONAL] Retexture that enhance the detail of mountains and rocks. A more realistic look. 4k, 2k, and 1k resolutions available. An alternative great mountain mod.
  4. Quarantined Mountains [OPTIONAL] New textures and high poly meshes for geologic diversity in Skyrim. Blended textures, ambient occlusion layered into diffuse, BC7 compression 8k/8k, meshes parallax flagged, new texture files for increased variety, glow enabled mesh and glow maps.
  5. Vivid Landscapes – Rocking Stones and Mountains [OPTIONAL] Another very good alternative mountain mod.
  6. Dave’s UFHD Mountains SE [OPTIONAL] Mountain Retexture mod. Majestic Mountain meshes version or just new textures version, you choose. Comes in 16, 8, 4 and 2K resolution. Made with 3D scans.
  7. Tamriel Reloaded – Mountains & Rocks [OPTIONAL] [OLDRIM] A lot variety with 8 rock textures, one for each region and also for Whiterun tundra or Eastmarch. New rock moss for tundra and The Rift is also included. Obviously, since it’s an “oldrim” mod, you need to convert the meshes with the Nif Optimizer & save the plugin into the Creation Kit.
  8. Moss Rocks [CORE] Adds moss to rocks around areas with water for your immersive/viewing pleasure.
  9. Remove Ash [CORE] Pebbles Remove low-poly pebbles from ash dunes.
  10. Pebbles and Underwater Grass Remover [CORE] [OPTIONAL] Removes all pebbles on land and water, also removes kelp and coral underwater. Pick and use the Pebbles Only option – keep the underwater grass. It’s optional, because the Verdant grass mod already removes these small rock pebbles.
  11. Remove the little Rocks [OPTIONAL] Similar mod like the previous one, it’s removing the little rock pebbles. You don’t need it, since you using the Verdant grass mod.

 

Let’s take care the rest flora, trees, etc. Personally I’m using a “combo” of some mods, but generally you don’t need too much to have a superb flora in your build. Remember: always place the next mods to be loaded after the previous once (with LOOT’s help). So, continue with the mods’ installation:

 

  1. Bent Pines ΙΙ [CORE] Several large and fully animated huge pines placed around and on the tundra (in a tasteful, natural way).
  1. Skyrim Flora Overhaul [CORE] Adds 18 new tree models, 65+ new grasses and plants, while the green forest appear more deep and old, the trees are much taller and the snowy trees are much more detailed with heavy snow (some are bent by the snow). Pick the ONLY TREES option, not the main one (since SFO contains grass too and you’ll have conflicts with Verdant grass mod).
  1. LH’s Forests of Dibella [OPTIONAL] You may use this mod of mine, to overhaul the default/vanilla trees of the game.
  1. Trees Addon SE [CORE] Places Enderal Trees and other tree models from resource packs around Skyrim for more tree diversity.
  2. 3D Junipers – Trees and Berries [CORE] The mod adds 3D Juniper trees and berries plant.
  3. Immersive Fallen Trees [CORE] It‘s a mod that adds more fallen trees all over Skyrim for a beautiful immersive experience. You’ll find them most commonly on rivers, or in canyons. Also, install THIS and THIS mod too.
  4. Reach Trees Placement Fix [CORE] [ESL] All those Reach trees grow on top of a personal boulder? Quite ridiculous! This mod moves the boulders into the ground to have more sensible-looking trees. The plugin is esl.
  5. Evil Dead Trees [CORE] [ESL] Replace trees around evil places with their dead counterparts.
  6. Quercus Nordica [CORE] [ESL] A quick SE/AE port of Arthadion’s Quercus Nordica – an Oak Tree Mod. Skyrim has a lot of things missing, but one thing in particular; Oaks.
  7. Enhanced Landscapes – Oaks Standalone SSE [OPTIONAL] A standalone conversion of the Haafingar Oaks and Marsh Pines from Enhanced Landscapes, converted and updated for SSE.
  8. Ivarstead Tree Overhaul [OPTIONAL] [ESL] Adds around 80 trees to Ivarstead. The mod is esl flagged.
  9. Another Riverwood Tree Overhaul [OPTIONAL] [ESL] Adds a few trees to Riverwood, to make it a bit more alive.
  10. Rorikstead Tree Overhaul [OPTIONAL] [ESL] Adds a few trees to Rorikstead. The mod is esl flagged.
  11.  Treerific  [OPTIONAL] A new trees mod, just been released. I’ve checked it, it looks really nice; a good alternative tree mod.
  12. Snowy Reach Trees [OPTIONAL] [ESL] Adds snow to a few reach trees which are supposed to have it. It’s esl flagged.

 

You finished the flora/forests/trees mods. Now, more environmental mods, coming next:

 

  1. Morgenstern’s Mushroom Circles [CORE] [ESL] This mod adds 8 new Mushroom Circles to Skyrim.
  2. More Flowers Near The Stones [CORE] [ESL] The mod adds more plants near some standing stones.
  3. Depths of Skyrim – An Underwater Overhaul SSE [CORE] Overhauls the underwater environment and adds content to the sea of Ghosts.
  4. Falling Leaves in Riften [CORE] A small mod adding falling leaf particles around the city of Riften, adding for a slightly more immersive and convincing atmosphere.
  5. Banish those Yellow Green Leaves [CORE] [ESL] A small mod that removes and/or replaces the yellow green leaves in certain parts of Nordic Ruins, walls or floors.
  6. Markarth Exterior 01 – River Water Fix [CORE] This mod aim to fix the missing river water where the river exits Markarth, near the Markarth Stables.
  7. Less Is More [OPTIONAL] [ESL] This mod blanks out textures and meshes where Bethesda was lazy or messed up. It’s optional, if you need it, you may install it.
  8. Skygazer Moons [CORE] [ESL] The #1 moon texture mod for Legendary Edition comes to Special Edition — now with GLOW! Pick the option with glowing moon.
  9. Dwemer Automatons Glowmapped [CORE] [ESL] Adds glowmaps to dwemer automatons – all active dwemer automatons now have glow maps, including the Forgemaster (DLC1 – Aetherium forge).
  10. Book Covers Skyrim [CORE] It gives each book and journal its own unique cover and adds many additional paper styles to the notes. Also, download THIS and replace any file, then download THIS and again replace any file. My suggestion, as always, to pack the loose files in BSA (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer).
  11. Arthmoor’s Point The Way [CORE] A mod to provide more road signs at various road intersections so you don’t need to refer to your map so often. Again, if the mod is in loose files, try to pack them in BSA (with Cathedral Assets Optimizer).

 

After you finish all of those mods above, let’s check some armor/weapons models & graphics (meshes & textures) you may need to install. Download MANUALLY the following mods, save them to a temporary folder and you’ll merge them all (and pack them in BSA with Cathedral Assets Optimizer) in the end as one new mod. Remember: always place the next mods to be loaded after the previous once (with LOOT’s help):

 

  1. Saviors Pants
  2. Pants for Hide Armor
  3. Pants for Fur Armor
  4. Pants for Savior’s Hide
  5. Leather armor with pants for male character
  6. Frankly HD Imperial Sleeves and Pants (Textures from the Main File)
  7. LH’s Nocturnal Robe
  8. 4K Dragon Priest Masks of Immersion
  9. CL’s Lord Harkon’s Vampire Blade
  10. Iron Things SE (Choose & keep what you want)
  11. ElSopa – Iron Weapons Redone (Choose & keep what you want)
  12. Bloodskal Blade and Scabbard
  13. JS Circlet Replacer
  14. Scimitar Replacer
  15. Glass Blades Swords Curved Replacers (Choose & keep what you want)
  16. Elven Blades Replacer (Choose & keep what you want)
  17. IPM – Insane Armory (Choose & keep what you want)
  18. Enhanced Silver Swords
  19. Iron and Steel Shield
  20. High Poly LeanWolf’s Better Shaped Weapons Dawnbreaker
  21. Closer Quivers and Longer Arrows (“Oldrim”, needs to be coverted)

 

Any new armor/weapons Models & Textures mod you may want, download it and add it to this new folder you just made and use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer and pack them all in a BSA and create a “dummy” plugin.

 

Now, download all the creatures’ models of ROUGESHOT – a great creature mod author. He created great skeletons for many creatures and animals. Download them all and use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer tool as I’ve said.

 

Let’s finish this long-long process of this huge first Step of this Guide! Continuing to the final mods:

 

  1. LH’s Uniques Signs Final [CORE] [ESL] Unique shop signs covering the entire Skyrim areas.
  2. WiZkiD Signs [OPTIONAL] A new and complete retexture of all the Skyrim signs. Every single texture I created was designed to look as realistic and lore friendly as possible. It’s a similar mod with my previous mod. You may choose this here, instead the above one.
  3. Lanterns of Skyrim SE [CORE] The Lantern mod from MannyGT now with MCM options ported to Skyrim Special Edition. With MCM tweaked menu and with three versions to choose from!
  4. Lanterns Of Skyrim II [OPTIONAL] Lanterns of Skyrim II is a completely redesigned version of the old MannyGT LoS. This new edition includes many improvements and additions, more compatibility, improved light sources and much more. It’s a similar mod with the previous mod.
  5. UHD Firewood [CORE] An “oldrim” port of the great Renthal Again, use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer to pack the files into BSA and create a “dummy” plugin.

 

Why I chose older versions for stores’ signs & lanterns? Why I didn’t pick the WiZkiD’s great mods? Because he added “wind animation” to the his signs & his lanterns, which is great but many other mods you may want to install they won’t have similar animated meshes. Also, his mods needs a lot patches for many mods and that’s not something any user/gamer want to do (to fill his build with tones of patches).

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

STEP 4 – VISUAL & LIGHT EFFECTS

After the previous long, long, VERY long Step you did to improve visually your game with better textures and models, not it’s time to take care the effects, shadows, smoke, snow and the rest. So let’s get start installing FIRE/ELECTRICITY/DUST/FOG mods (UPDATES!):

 

  1. Ultimate HD Fire Effects [OPTIONAL] Amazing mod, to overhaul your fire effects. I used to installing it all the time, but now I have better “combo” to play with it (following below). Obviously, you may choose this to use.
  1. KD – Realistic Fireplaces [CORE] A complete remake of fireplaces; probably the best mod out there, for the fireplaces. Again, don’t forget to pack it to BSA with plugin, via Cathedral Assets Optimizer Also, download THIS FIX and use it too, if you like.
  2. Smoking Torches and Candles [CORE] A mod that adds a smoke particle effect to torches used by the player and the NPCs as well as those mounted to the wall. Optional component will add a smoke particle effect to most candles in the game world.
  3. Medieval Torch [CORE] [NEW] A medieval style custom made torch replacer with 4 variants to choose from. (Honestly, the vanilla torch looks so aweful!)
  4. Adventurer’s Torch [OPTIONAL] [ESL] This mod changes the radius of the light, casted by a flaming torch. Pick the Dimfinite or Vanilla option.
  5. Realistic Torches [OPTIONAL] Realistic Torches is a mod which aims to make using torches in Skyrim become as immersive as possible. The mod includes features like having your torch go out in different weather types, unique sounds effects and full mod control using the MCM.
  6. Embers XD [CORE] [NEW] So, I switched to the latest mod of the following mod’s author. I think this new one is better. Install everything BUT NOTHING about torches!!!
  7. Embers HD [OPTIONAL] A great mod that seeks to improve embers found in various fire sources. Again, pack them up in BSA via Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  8. TB’s Improved Smoke [OPTIONAL] Replaces the unrealistic low-quality smoke textures with simulation generated 4K ones. I suggesting you, to use anything but the 4Ks (are silly high resolution, for just smoke textures). If you pick this mod, drop the textures into the Embers HD folder, before you pack it to BSA with plugin, via Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  9. Inferno – Fire Effects Redux [OPTIONAL] You may check this incredible very good mod about the fire’s overhaul. I used to installing it, but now I’m prefer not to. Again, you need to download the mod, unpack it, choose what you like and pack them to BSA with plugin, via Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  10. Cinematic Fire Effects [OPTIONAL] This is another great fire’s overhaul mod! You may like to use it. Again, you need to download the mod, unpack it, choose what you like and pack them to BSA with plugin, via Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  11. Electrify S.E. [CORE] This replaces the electric effects in the game, which are mostly spells. Again, you need to download the mod, unpack it, choose what you like and pack them to BSA with plugin, via Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  12. Voltage [OPTIONAL] This mod is adding new lightning textures and color. It’s very good indeed, but I believe the “good-old” previous mod is much better. You may like to check this.
  13. DUST By Ramccoid [OPTIONAL] This mod retextures the ambient dust particles which float in the air and also the falling dust effect in dungeons and such places. Most of the other dust mods are creating some bad seams textures on the air. This here is the best.
  14. Foggy Morthal and Swamp [OPTIONAL] [ESL] I used to installing this very good mod. Now, I’m not that sure, because it’s really creating a VERY heavy fog in this area; looks like a Hitchcock’s thriller movie or like Silent Hill!
  15. Reduced Fog [OPTIONAL] It’s reducing the fog for both, interior & exterior areas. I used to installing this very good mod too. Now, I’m not that sure if it does really good job. You may try it.
  16. Dimmer Fog [CORE] Reduces Fog Effect Transparency and Brightness with torches and other light sources.
  17. Ambiance [CORE] This mod recalibrates ambient lighting adhering to vanilla colors and creating a balance between stealth gameplay and looks. Due the installation, just pick the Darker Interior Ambient Fog option only.
  18. Better Dynamic Snow SE [CORE] Download it, unpack it, select what you want to use (except the Snow Glacier option!) and re-pack them in BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer Get also THIS script for the xEdit and follow the instructions and use it.
  19. Simplicity of Snow [OPTIONAL] A light-weight snow mod designed to minimize conflicts. It uses your own snow texture and removes snow from under roofs.
  20. Better Dynamic Ash SE [OPTIONAL] Converts the original Better Dynamic Snow shader to use installed ash texture and applies the shader to objects in Solstheim (ash covered objects). Unpack it and re-pack them in BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  21. Shaders of Solstheim [OPTIONAL] This mod adds light-weight ash and moss material shaders.
  22. More Dirt-Snow-Ash on the Roads [CORE] This mod makes Dirt,Snow & Ash Roads use your installed Landscape Groundcover textures and making everything look more natural. Pick only the Snow
  23. Arctic – Frost Effects Redux [CORE] Improved and realistic textures applied to frost spells and effects along with new 3D meshes! Unpack it and re-pack them in BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  24. Skyrim Remastered – Glaciers and Ice [CORE] This mod improves the meshes and textures for most of the glaciers and ice used throughout Skyrim, including the DLCs. Unpack it and re-packs them in BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer Remember, install separately the LODs as loose files.
  25. Nordic Snow [CORE] This is probably the best snow mod out there! Unpack it and re-pack them in BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer And install THIS patch too.
  26. Transparent Refracting Icicle and Frost Atronach [CORE] [ESL-OK] Realistic looking Icicle and Frost Atronach.
  27. Wet and Cold [CORE] This mod adds weather-dependent visual effects and AI enhancements to the player and NPCs. Download THIS mod, THIS and THIS too and add it to the main mod. Install also THIS and create a BSA file as I wrote you how.
  28. Rain Ash And Snow Shaders [OPTIONAL] [ESL] This mod adds visual effects to the Player and NPCs during certain conditions.
  29. Snowy Landscape in Snowy Regions [CORE] [NEW] Repaints non-snowy landscape textures and replaces non-snowy landscape references (like roads) used in snowy regions to snowy versions.
  30. CG4 Snow Effects [CORE] [NEW] Snow sprinkles/drops from Trees. A visual effect for your immersion.

 

Okay, let’s check some other effects now. Continuing to install further new mods to cover other various effects:

 

  1. Enhanced Blood Textures [CORE] Bloodier combat with higher resolution, detailed decals. Additional features such low health blood trails, damage based blood spatters, blood pools, and green blood for spiders and oil for machines.
  2. Frozen Electrocuted Combustion [OPTIONAL] Applies visual effects to NPCs and the player, when killed by air, ash, dragons, drain, fire, frost, fear, lightning, poison, steam and sun damage status effects.
  3. Skyrim SE Improved Puddles [CORE] New ice puddle textures have been created specifically for Windhelm. Also includes other fixes related to other puddles, drips, and splashes throughout Skyrim. Create BSA via the Cathedral Assets Optimizer
  4. Footprints [CORE] Adds footprints to the player, NPCs, and creatures. Custom footprints hook for third-party mods w/ custom races. Install THIS and THIS If you have textures’ issues, install THIS too.
  5. Illuminated Atronachs [CORE] [ESL-OK] This mod add light effects to all the atronachs.
  6. Unread Books Glow [CORE] Books which you have not read yet will have a visible glow. When you read a book for the first time, its glow will disappear.

 

Now, let’s install mods that altering the lights, shadows, etc. and changing completely the visual environment. Let’s begin:

 

  1. Cutting Room Floor – Lighting Overhaul SE [OPTIONAL] This mod overhauls the lighting of the new buildings added by Cutting Room Floor.
  2. Enhanced Lights and FX [CORE] This mod has the goal to create a more dramatic and realistic mood to the Skyrim lighting. I used to using it too, before I turned to Relighting Skyrim+ELE; and then, I turned to Lux when was published and now I returned back, because the FOLLOWING mod!
  3. ELFX Shadows [CORE] [NEW] This is a new Enhanced Lights and FX addon which aims to add spectacular lighting effects and to break the limits of the Skyrim lighting engine (where possible) by increasing the number of shadowcasting lights per cell, all this without causing the slightest light flickering issue. It’s an AMAZING mod!
  4. ELFX Shadows – Official Patches Hub [CORE] [NEW] All the patches you need, for the newest ELFX Addon mod you installed above.
  5. ELFX Shadows – Hearthfire Light Addon [OPTIONAL] An optional Addon for the ELFX Shadows.
  6. Fires Hurt SE [CORE] Standing over normal fires burn player, magic pillars restore player magic and damage health. Very logical and immersive mod; fire should hurting the NPCs & player in the first place (vanilla).
  7. Reduced Glow FX [CORE] The vanilla glow of the fire places, candles and such is very bright and unnatural. This mod fixes this. Again, you need to use the Cathedral Assets Optimizer to pack them in BSA & create a “dummy” plugin; install as usual.
  8. Giant Campfires Cast Shadows [CORE] [ESL] This mod adds shadows casting lights to all giant campfires in the game as vanilla was missing them for almost 10 years now. The logs of the fire do not cast shadows, because it looks stupid. Pack the meshes in BSA (via Cathedral Assets Optimizer) and install as usual.
  9. Dynamic Immersive Seriously Dark Dungeons [OPTIONAL] Completely transform your dungeon exploration experience! Explore Skyrim’s dungeons in realistic, immersive, complete darkness. This is a very “heavy-metal” mod, making the dungeons seriously dark – it’s not for everybody, that’s why I placed it as optional.

 

If you continue later to the “2nd Guide” (the most advanced one) and start installing a lot more mods (adding settlements, cities, player homes, etc), you’ll need to turn back here and RE-INSTALL the Lux mods, because you’ll need tones of patches for Lux – that you didn’t install now, since we haven’t add more staff but kept the vanilla ones.

Also, if you want to experiment and test other Light/Shadow mods, you may like to check the following mods:

 

  1. Lux [OPTIONAL] Consistent and complete rework of Skyrim interiors lighting. This mod takes advantage of the latest developments in ENB, including ENB light and has for main objective to offer a gaming experience as realistic as it is dramatic. Come back here to re-run & re-install it, after (and if) you’ll install interior mods in the future. This mod has quite some loose files and obviously you can’t easily pack them in BSA (as I’m usually suggesting to do).
  2. Lux Orbis [OPTIONAL] This is a complete rework of exterior artificial lighting, many patches and improvements. Using Lux is highly advised since both mods are complementary.
  3. Lux – Variants [OPTIONAL] Official repository for all Lux interior lighting variants and optional patches such as lightweight patches. Obviously, this mod you may install it after you install other mods – it’s a patch collection mod.
  4. Relighting Skyrim SE [OPTIONAL] Fixes the placement and characteristics of lights throughout Skyrim. Aspires to keep the intended vanilla feel, while actually making light come from light sources and not be absurdly bright or dark. You may install THIS
  5. Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) [OPTIONAL] Lighting changes for all interiors in Skyrim Special Edition. This mod is partner of the previous one, you using them together both.
  6. Window Shadows [OPTIONAL] Windows cast shadows from interiors in Skyrim. Now uses simulated ray tracing. The mod has a lot patches, if you use it track them down and install them all.
  7. TESLight-SkyrimLE [OPTIONAL] [OLDRIM] Making soft the lighting and changes the monotonous landscape of the dungeon by changing the type of light source, adding or removing light sources.
  8. Luminosity Lighting Overhaul [OPTIONAL] An ultra-lightweight mod that simply recolors and enhances vanilla lighting.
  9. Tamriel Master Lights [OPTIONAL] It replaces a huge amount of lighting sources with shadow casting ones without causing any light flickering issues. Very interesting light mod for EXTERIOR areas.

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

STEP 5 – WEATHER

Now you’re about to install mods to improve the game’s weather. There are quite some options to choose, but personally I’m suggesting one specific mod. Let’s see the mods:

 

  1. Obsidian Weathers and Seasons [CORE] Sharp, ominous, and atmospheric weathers that accentuate proximal detail while obscuring distant landscapes with mysterious fogs. Also install THIS or THIS mod too.
  1. Manguz Simply Obsidian Weathers [OPTIONAL] [ESL] A simpler, stripped version of the great Obsidian Weathers. I haven’t test it yet, but give it a try; it’s a bit different version of the previous mod (and in ESL!).
  2. Wander – A Weather Mod [OPTIONAL] Wander is a simple weather solution, enhancing and adding variation while preserving the colors and spirit of Vanilla. No scripts. Multiple versions available. This mod you can install among Obsidian Weathers, if you want to make a combo by installing the next mod too. Choose the Tier 1 – Main Editions You need only the normal Wander, not the Bright or Lite version.
  3. Kyne’s Weathers and Seasons [OPTIONAL] Expansion of the original Obsidian Weathers and Seasons. When Obsidian meets eight other weather mods. Follow EXACTLY the instructions, to make the Obsidian+Warden+True Stroms+Kyne “combo”. There is also a PATCH after this “combo”, you need to install that too.
  4. True Storms [CORE] This mod is a complete overhaul of the storm systems in Skyrim SE, including new heavy and unique weathers, loads of new intense sound effects, interior sounds, and much more. Installing the first Main file.
  5. Storm Lightning for SSE and VR [CORE] This is a remake of Minty’s Lightning mod as an SKSE plugin. The purpose of this mod is stability and scalability. It can summon up to 50 sheet lightnings and 50 fork lightnings per second and up to 31 cells distance. This results in a more natural and enjoyable storm experience.
  6. NAT Less Lens Flare [CORE] If you’re using Obsidian or Cathedral Weathers, it brings back the god rays that these mods remove.
  7. Morning Fogs SSE [CORE] Adds rolling morning fogs over scenic lakes and rivers throughout Skyrim, including an MCM for further customization. If you have any seam issues, install THIS mod too.
  8. Volumetric Mists [CORE] This mod brings large scale distant volumetric mist/fog effects to Skyrim Special Edition. It adds misty valleys without obscuring peaks or wiping out the sky like standard fog does.
  9. Immersive Skyrim Thunder SSE [CORE] Extra thunder files have now been given a trigger event and will randomly play during rain storms.
  10. Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun Shadows [CORE] Dynamically adjusts the “fSunDirXExtreme” game setting to ensure better synchronization between sun shadows and the sun.
  11. No Sunlight Through Mountains [CORE] Make mountain statics double-sided so sun doesn’t shine through them at extreme angles.
  12. Obsidian Weathers – Volume Sliders Patch [CORE] Adds volume sliders to rain and thunder for Obsidian Weathers and Seasons.
  13. Darker Nights [OPTIONAL] This mod will make the nights in Skyrim darker. Interiors will be darker during the night as well unless they are well lit. There are seven levels of darkness to choose from.
  14. 3D Clouds heavy Storms and real Nights [OPTIONAL] This mod remove the flat cloud textures and generate 3D clouds, making the storms heavier, adds more rainfall, more snowfall, more thunder and makes the nights more realistic. If you use it, use THIS mod too.

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

STEP 6 – WATER

In this Step, we’re about to overhaul the water element of the game. There are some options, but basically one that everybody is using; the RW2. Stand-Alone, the RW2 is a great water mod, but lacks in textures, has very bright coloring (especially due night), etc. So, there is a way (a “combo” set-up) to fix this with the following mods – you don’t need to make this “combo” set-up, you may use the RW2 as it is, without adding other things:

 

  1. Realistic Water Two [CORE] Visually crisp and distinct water combined with the most robust improvements to effects across the board. Install THIS and THIS mod too. Check also for patches HERE & HERE. You may like to install also THIS, THIS and THIS mod too. Personally I’m using an older version (3.1.0.) to make a “combo” water set-up. (The new RW2 has a lot, much more things, to use it for “combo”).
  1. TB’s Improved Water [OPTIONAL] [ESL] A complete overhaul of all the water in Skyrim – using real-world values for reflections and refraction. Nice alternative water mod.
  2. Water for ENB [OPTIONAL] A water modification that takes full advantage of advanced features offered by ENBSeries; nice alternative water mod, you my check it. YOU CAN USE IT along with RW2 (as “combo”), by install it after RW2 and then right-click on the mod (in Vortex), select “Open in File Manager” (to open the mod in Explorer) and then DELETE EVERYTHING EXCEPT the “Textures” folder!
  3. Bright Waterfall Fix [CORE] Fixes the overblown waterfalls when using ENB. Now includes Bright Snow Fix and other bright fixes – and not only about ENBs, generally the waterfalls looking very bright due night.
  4. Underwater Vision [CORE] Blurs vision when underwater to simulate light refraction. Vision will restore over time when back on dry land.
  5. Underwater Visibility Fix [CORE] Lessens the ugly underwater blur and pushes back the underwater fog to a decent distance, without disabling depth of field.
  6. Rain Ripples on water [OPTIONAL] This mod adds ripples on water systems in Whiterun and Markarth and also to other places around Skyrim, while raining. It is made on base script from Realistic Water Two.
  7. GKB Waves [CORE] Adds new wave models and textures to the coast of Skyrim from the edge of the playable area up to Solitude.
  8. Correct Fresnel For Water [OPTIONAL] This mod edit’s the fresnel of the water surface (so will work with other water mods) so that it is rendered more lifelike with no performance loss. I tested it, I think it needs some patches to work nice with RW2.
  9.  Better Volcanic Tundra Water [CORE] [ESL] Changes the color of the volcanic tundra (Eastmarch) water in Realistic Water Two. ESL Flagged.
  10. Better Watercolor and Transparency [CORE] Adjusts the color and transparency of RW2 to make it less like blue ink and more like real water.
  11. Blended Shorelines [CORE] [ESL] Essentially removes those awful jagged edges for no performance cost.

 

Don’t forget! Every time you finish installing a large group of mods, you need to RUN LOOT tool and re-short your loading order list. Make sure, even by editing MANUALLY the MetaData of LOOT, that your mods are getting exactly the one after the other, as this Guides representing them…

 

Stop modding now, RUN LOOT to short your loading list and start your game. Open your “Clean Save” you made before (outside Helgen’s cave) and play the game for 10-15 minutes (at least!). Go around, play around, check the game if runs fines and without any issue. After you play 10-15 minutes (maybe a bit more), then stop and leave the game to continue modding…

STEP 7 – SOUND FX & MUSIC

So now, let’s check another very important element, the sound & music of the game. A lot sound FX mods containing WAV files, which is not wised to use them! Skyrim has own format for sound FX & voice files (XWM and FUZ). So, I’m suggesting you to CONVERT first any WAV file (to XWM or to FUZ, depending if they are sound FX or voice files) before to install them, by download and use THIS tool! Like in movies, sound FX & music are VERY important for the gameplay & immersion.

Check what you need to install:

 

  1. Unofficial High Definition Audio Project [CORE] [ESL] A high-definition restoration of Skyrim’s orignal voices and music, drawing from the much higher quality PS4 audio as a source. Superb re-mastered sound for the vanilla game. Follow the mod’s instructions how to use it properly.
  2. Celtic Music in Skyrim [OPTIONAL] This Modification adds 79 new celtic, fantasy and viking music tracks to Skyrim. A Brand new atmosphere in the world of Skyrim now available for SE.
  3. 115 more minutes of Music for Skyrim [OPTIONAL] Some extra music.
  4. Immersive Sounds Compendium [CORE] A dramatic and extensively customizable overhaul of Skyrim’s sound. Find patches HERE.
  5. Footstep Sounds Restored [CORE] This mod restores several of unused vanilla sounds for footsteps, rustling for heavy, light and skaal armor as well as sounds for different surfaces (gravel, dirt, snow etc.)
  6. Dread the World-Eater [CORE] This mod slightly lowers the pitch of Alduin’s voice and adds a reverb effect to make him sound more like the firstborn son of a god.
  7. Reverb and Ambiance Overhaul Updated [CORE] [ESL] Makes all sounds more realistic for player and NPCs. Improves and balances ambiance and reverb to be more realistic and lively. Increases the diversity and dynamics of in-game sound and fixes numerous issues.
  8. Immersive Dragon Sounds [OPTIONAL] Replace every dragon sounds from attacks to wings flap to death sounds with much fearsome and realistic sounds!
  9. Improved Combat Sounds [OPTIONAL] Combat sounds are now enhanced to improve the overall quality of fights.

 

After finishing this Step, you almost done with this Guide. The only thing you have left, is installing an ENB (and the couple mods for it) and to create your game’s LODs. Do you know how many plugins you have installed by now? Around 140+ or so. Do you know HOW MANY ACTIVE (the game can “see”) plugins you have? JUST only 35+ or less!!! All the rest are “esl-flagged” (“light”, don’t count!).

Check my print-screen from my Vortex:

STEP 8 – ENB PRESETS

You almost finish with everything, to enjoy a superb vanilla game. The only thing remains is to add an ENB preset! Why to add one? Yes, I guess you don’t need to; you may start your game now without an ENB. But trust me, by adding an ENB your visual experience will boost up to the stratosphere! I’m serious, check various screens (pics) or videos and compare them.

There is no way to choose to play the game without an ENB. Therefore, you need to choose a good one to use. (Obviously, you can “back ‘n forth” anytime, you can remove the ENB you chose and place another, remove it and check another one, till you’ll find the best for your flavor).

 

The “problem” of using the incredible effects of an ENB, is that all these shaders are VERY heavy for any PC machine. As much as many shaders an ENB is using, the heavier the game will become! That’s why most of the YouTube videos you watching with amazing ENB visual effects are NOT GAMEPLAY videos, but demo presentations!

That’s why you need NOT ONLY a good ENB preset, but also A “LIGHT” one, a preset that won’t turn your PC to… “Potato”! Trust me, after you install ANY ENB preset, your FPS (frame per second) will dramatically dropped. Therefore, you need to find the “best combo” (a great visually ENB but ALSO a “light” one)!

 

First, check some video tutorials like THIS, THIS, THIS & THIS.

So, check what you need to install first and what I’m suggesting to use or which I think the best alternatives:

 

  1. ENB Helper SE [CORE] Adds necessary functions to support extra features in ENB for Skyrim Special Edition.
  1. Skyrim Particle Patch for ENB SSE [CORE] The aim of this patch is to fix at least the more obvious ones of these inconsistencies so that the affected objects react to a correct category, whenever possible. In addition to that, few additional game objects has been adjusted to work better with ENB.
  2. ENB Light [CORE] Light on grass at night! Unlimited shadowed light sources! Transform your Skyrim experience completely with ENB particle lights.
  3. ENB Binaries [CORE] Obviously, to “simply” drag-drop some files from those ENBs won’t work. You need first to install the ENB Binaries to make these ENB preset to function. So, follow the link and get the latest ENB Binaries. Unzip the file and drag-drop in the game’s main root folder ALL THE.dll FILES from the Binaries you just downloaded.

Every ENB’s preset files should be ALSO placed here, in the main game’s root folder. And that’s it! The you chose ENB has been installed. When you’ll launch the game, don’t get scared from the LONG TIME waiting on a black-blank screen! It’s the ENB shaders that need to be set-up and installed properly before the game starts…

 

Now, let’s see which ENB presets I’m suggesting you to use:

 

  1. iiENB – ENB Preset [CORE] After testing and using a lot other ENBs and after I tried all the most notorious ENBs out there, I found this AMAZING “gem” and from that moment I never looked back for other ENB! Lightweight, fast, vivid and natural looking ENB preset for Azurite, Obsidian or Cathedral Weathers. Improved night-eye shader, weather support, rain reflection effects, adjustable brightness, and distance dependent sharpening. Seriously, you won’t find better one! It has also a “lite” plugin that “boosting” this ENB shader to heaven!
  1. The Truth ENB [OPTIONAL] Another incredible ENB preset, especially for the Obsidian Weather mod! It’s a remarkable ENB, I used to having this in my build, before I found the previous I suggesting.
  2. Visceral ENB SSE [OPTIONAL] A soft and pleasant ENB preset that fits Skyrim with a touch of fantasy and realism. I was also using it, before I turned to the iiENB
  3. Silent Horizons ENB [OPTIONAL] Extremely customizable and feature packed ENB for SSE with presets for most popular weather mods. Includes a completely new, optimized and unique shader setup that is usable for both gameplay and screen archery.
  4. SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB [OPTIONAL] That’s another great ENB preset you may use. I was using it for long time, you may check it out.
  5. Natural View Tamriel (NVT) ENB [OPTIONAL] An ENB preset that currently has preset for Cathedral, Vanilla, Vivid Weathers, Dolomite, Obsidian, Aequinoctium, COT, NAT, Surreal Lighting, Mythical Ages and Rustic Weathers to bring out a realistic/natural look to Tamriel and tries to make it feel colder.
  6. Rudy ENB SE [OPTIONAL] Semi realistic preset, for all popular weather and lighting mods. All the effects are customizable through the GUI, plus a series of videos aimed at illustrating the major modifications that can be made by the users.
  7. PRENB – Pinnacle Reality ENB for Obsidian [OPTIONAL] Another very good ENB preset you may like to use.
  8. Rembrandt ENB – for Obsidian Weathers [OPTIONAL] Tired of crushed blacks and oversaturated colors? I got you fam. For Obsidian Weathers and ELFX. Obviously, is based on ELFX; therefore, by using the Lux I’m suggesting perhaps you’ll have different results than ENB’s page.
  9. Intrigued ENB [OPTIONAL] A new fantasy style ENB with hints of somber tones. Breathtaking sunsets and colorful dawns and dusks with vivid days but, grey and somber overcasts and stormy weathers.

 

If you planning to continue to the “2nd Part” of my Guide (I’ll publish it soon), then DO NOT CONTINUE to the next Step (LODs) – because you’ll need to recreating the LODs again and again, each time you’ll installing new city mods, new location mods, etc…

STEP 9 – LODs CREATION

And now, is time to create LODs for your game. The word LOD comes from three words: Level Of Detail. In computer graphics the level of detail (LOD) refers to the complexity of a 3D model representation. LOD can be decreased as the model moves away from the viewer or according to other metrics such as object importance, viewpoint-relative speed or position. LOD techniques increase the efficiency of rendering by decreasing the workload on graphics pipeline stages, usually vertex transformations. The reduced visual quality of the model is often unnoticed because of the small effect on object appearance when distant or moving fast.

 

Skyrim has a dedicated tree LOD system, which uses a tree LOD texture atlas (build from tree LOD billboards) and specific data files (not true NIF meshes like terrain LOD or object LOD) to show tree LOD in the game.

While this is commonly referred to as tree LOD, it might also be referred to as standard tree LOD or traditional tree LOD when trying to distinguish between similar tree LOD with tree LOD billboards done in object LOD, e.g. ultra tree LOD. The tree LOD billboard textures are shown on 2 double sided planes intersecting each other at a 90 degree angle. The tree LOD system does not use normal map textures and thus has limited lighting. The tree LOD system can only show straight up-right trees.

 

So, now that you’ve got an idea “what is LOD and what the billboards are”, let’s start creating your game’s LODs. There are TWO tools you can use to create them; the xLODGen and the DynDOLOD tools. The first tool is an “easier” tool, much “llghter”, less complicated, but also less detailed; actually it’s creating the LODs exactly as the Bethesda’s Skyrim Creation Kit does. The second, obviously is a much more complicated tool, needs extra knowledge (via tutorials, videos, etc), takes a lot VRAM, but the result is perfect.
Personally I’m using both; I’m creating first the LODs via the xLODGen and if I see something I don’t like it or I want more details, then I’m turning to DynDOLOD. Before you start, check THIS TUTORIAL very carefully and learn about these two tool.

So, let’s see how to create your LODs:

 

Using xLODGen

 

  1. Start by DOWNLOAD the tool first.
  2. You also need to download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ that you’ll get it from HERE (if you haven’t already install it yet).
  3. Unzip into a dedicated folder outside of any Steam, game or mod manager folders or special Windows folders like Program Files.
  4. Rename xLODGen.exe to [game mode]LODGen.exe (TES5LODGen.exe for example) or start with command line parameter -fnv, -fo3, -fo4, -fo4vr, -tes5, tes5vr, -sse, -enderal, -enderalse
  5. Create a folder called SSELODGen_Output at the ROOT of a drive of yours. Then, use the -sse -o:”Drive Letter:\SSELODGen_Output” (Drive Letter is the drive you chose, for example F) command line parameter to change where files are generated to, by right-clicking on the tool icon, then select Presences and then put this command in the Target text box.
  6. Do not generate into any game or any mod manager folders.
  7. Run the tool.

 

When the tool starts, you need to do some settings/set-up. Start without going crazy and that should be quick enough to generate:

 

  1. Set quality of meshes for LOD4 to 5 and then +5 for each next level. Or just set levels 8/16/32 to 10.
  2. Check Protect Cell Borders.
  3. Use the Max Vertices setting only if you want to hard limit max file size.
  4. In Skyrim Special Edition or Skyrim VR, if you notice terrain briefly flickering when new areas are loading in, set [Display] bEnableLandFade=0 in Skyrim.INI
  5. Set Optimize Unseen to off for LOD4 for first generation. Start experimenting with a value of 550 with a quality setting of 10 or lower for LOD32 (used for map) and compare coastlines and file size to other settings.
  6. To quickly generate terrain LOD meshes just for the map, check only terrain LOD Meshes, check the Specific Chunk checkbox and set drop down to 32. Leave SW fields empty for complete map or set SW cell coordinates to same values as a *.btr filename to test a specific area with lots of water, river etc.
  7. Set texture sizes to 512 for a start. Larger sizes and large world spaces will take a considerable time (like 15 to 30 minutes or more easily). Each higher resolution means quadruple the work.
  8. Use DXT1 for diffuse and 565 (DXT1 if on Windows 7) for normal maps. If generating for Skyrim Special Edition use BC7. Uncheck mipmaps, raise steepness and Bake normal maps.

 

For now, leave the Brightness, Contrast and Gamma at 0 and 1.0 respectively. It seems that only Skyrim CK and Skyrim SE CK are manipulating the intensity of the textures to adjust for the noise.dds and the god awful “improved” snow shader of Skyrim SE (just turn that thing off, really).

If textures seem too dark in the game, brighten the noise.dds instead or vice versa. That way you can get perfectly matching LOD textures that look just like the textures in the loaded cells. For Skyrim a good average color of the noise texture seems to be around #C0.

If you want to test larger texture sizes, use the chunk option to limit the number of textures that need to be generated. For example, check [x] Specific chunk, leave the drop down empty and set WS to the lower left cell coordinate of an 32×32 area, like 0, 0. It will then generate all textures up to 31,31. Not all worldspaces have their origin at 0,0 so you will have to check already generated meshes/texture filenames for their lower left coordinates.

 

Using DynDOLOD

 

There is a NEW Alpha version of the tool. I’m never suggesting to using anything VERY new, especially in Alpha state. The v3.0 is just been published and even the creator of DynDOLOD is writing with huge red text, that this new version may causing issues, having bugs, something not working properly, etc. Therefore, there is no point to use a tool’s version which isn’t completed yet.

 

  1. Start by DOWNLOAD the tool’s resources. Install them as usual with Vortext but DON’T let to overwrite any (loose files) LODs you already installed for the trees mods you chose to install in the early Steps of this Guide. During the FOMOD installation, DO NOT install the “Holly Cow” option; it’s a “troll” humor of the creator (it’s creating a huge static golden cow statue in Whiterun’s outskirts!)
  2. You also need to download and install the Microsoft Visual C++ that you’ll get it from HERE (if you haven’t already installed it yet).
  3. Now, go and DOWLOAD the tool itself and unzip into a new folder outside of any Steam, game or mod manager folders or special Windows folders like Program Files.
  4. Depending on the load order, install patches from DynDOLOD Patches. Some Assembly Required if a patch is required. From the DynDOLOD Standalone archive copy the content of the ‘DynDOLOD’ folder which contains the files exe, TexGen.exe, DynDOLOD_QuickStart.html and the sub folders Docs and Edit Scripts, with all their content into the new “DynDOLOD” folder you created.
  5. If a texture replacer is used, consider updating LOD textures with TexGen.exe for the load order before running DynDOLOD.exe. It is a simple tool that generates some LOD textures based on the full textures of the current load order.
  6. By default the tools start in Skyrim mode, which is the same as adding the -tes5 command line parameter. Add -sse as a command line parameter to DynDOLOD.exe AND TexGen.exe to start the tools in Skyrim Special Edition mode.
  7. Navigate to …\DynDOLOD Special Edition\Edit Scripts\DynDOLOD\ and open DynDOLOD_SSE.ini in Notepad. In Line 8, set Expert=1. Save and exit.
  8. Since you’re starting from scratch at this moment, remove all former generated output from the load order including DynDOLOD.esp (a new one will be created). If updating, keep the existing DynDOLOD.esp last in the load order.
  9. Start DynDOLOD.exe. It will load the current load order, so add or remove mods as needed with the mod manager.
  10. Wait for the the patcher to boot up and show the RTFM window. Wait until the OK button becomes available. Click OK.
  11. Once the wizard options window is displayed, select worlds. In this case, you haven’t installed new locations (like “Beyond Skyrim Bruma”) etc.
  12. Select an output path. The output path should be outside of the game folders and Mod Organizers virtual file structure.
  13. Start generating tree and object LOD by clicking on either “Low”, “Medium” or “High” button.
  14. After generation completed with the message ‘DynDOLOD Worlds completed successfully’, close DynDOLOD.exe and save the newly created DynDOLOD.esp.
  15. Copy/move generated files from output path including “DynDOLOD.esp” and the folders “meshes”, “skse” and “textures” to Skyrim “Data” directory.
  16. If updating an existing DynDOLOD.esp overwrite all older files. If using a mod manager compress the files into an archive and install the archive as a mod as shown in the videos.
  17. Activate DynDOLOD.esp. Ignore any contradicting third party instructions from people that obviously did not RTFM.
  18. Start a new game or load a save game and enter the world-space. Wait for onscreen message top left and/or check MCM menu.

 

Check the OFFICIAL DOCUMENT for further instructions. Check THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS tutorial videos to understand and watch the tool’s process, so to avoid any errors. You may think that it’s very complicated process, but I assure you it’s not “rocket science”, it’s very simple process; all you need is to be careful while you doing all these steps and set-ups.

STEP 10 – LOCKING 60 FPS / TWEAKING GPU

Well, most of the lads complaining about the fps lost (dropping a lot), so I just saw I forgot to write in the guide this VERY critical final step – locking the 60 fps! If you fell bellow 10-20 fps, Skyrim will automatically “locked” to the 30 fps limitation! Follow the instructions bellow to make much better your gaming experience.

 

1. BethINI – This is a utility (not a mod). You manually downloading it and you’re running it. It’s locating your Skyrim .ini files and making tweaks. So, run it and make the following tweaks:

  • In Basic tab select the Recommended Tweaks on bottom right!
  • Still in Basic tab if you’re using ReShade onlyTURN-OFF the Antialiasing. If you’re using ENB select TAA. Deselect FXAA if it’s selected.
  • In General tab leave selected ONLY Intro Music & Disable Tutorials
  • In Gameplay tab select also the NPCs Use Ammo
  • In Interface tab select ALL in the left Map Menuwhile in Mouse Settings put Lock Sensitivity=0500.
  • In Details tab set Godrays=High, Field of View=00, Particles=6000, select the Decals… Lens Flare… Depth of Field, select the Reflect Land… Reflect Objects… Reflect Trees… Reflect Sky, select the Land Shadows & Tree Shadows, set Shadow Resolution=4096, Detailed Draw Distance=3500, Exterior Draw Distance=2500, Sun-Shadow Update Time=0.25, Sun-Shadow Update Threshold=0.25 and in Snow check Rim Lighting & Sparkles.
  • In View Distance tab most important is to change the Light Fade=50000 (especially if you’re using Claralux) and Flickering Light Distance=8192.

Be sure to SAVE before you leave the tool (close popup).

2. Go to …\My Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\ and open the Skyrim.ini file and under the [Display] section add (or change, if the entry exists) the line:

iPresentInterval=1 …and make it… iPresentInterval=0

Now save and close the .ini file.

3. Open the Skyrimprefs.ini file and under the [Display] section change the line:

iVsyncPresentInterval=1 … and make it… iVsyncPresentInterval=0

Check if under the [Particles] section, you have the iMaxDesired=750 …changed to…iMaxDesired=6000 (you need it ESPECIALLY if you’re using the Vivid Weathers mod!)

Your fps is now UNLOCKED!
For nVidia users (like me) you need to do extra tweaks. So, go ahead and continue bellow:

4. Navigate and locate your nVidia Control Panel and open it. Go to Manage 3D Settings (the second selection on the left side panel). Click on the Program Settings tab. Press on the Addbutton and FIND the Skyrim Special Editon exe (program), click on it and the click on the Add program button.

5. Navigate to the Multi-Display / Mixed-GPU Acceleration entry and select the Single display performance mode option. Navigate now (bellow) to the Power management mod entry and select the Prefer maximum performance option!

Check THIS IMAGE here.

6. Go now and download the nVidia Inspector tool.

  • Unzip and run the tool.
  • Click now on the small icon-buttonin the middle of the popup (to the right), it has two crossed tools as icon.
  • Wait a couple seconds and then click on the drop-down menu of Home (a button with a house icon).
  • Now, locate and select the Skyrim Special Edition.

Check THIS IMAGE here.

7. Now, CHANGE the FPS limit to 60! And then, CHANGE the Vsync to FORCE ON!

Check THIS IMAGE here. You may also test (and change) the Maximum pre-rendered frames to 2 … and… the Triple buffering to on.

For users with AMD cards, I’m simply copy/pasting the info from Feleguaron concerning another way to limit the FPS with AMD cards. He wrote to zackalope about it:

  • Open the Crimson Drivers from the System Tray or Start Menu
  • Open the Games tab & select Skyrim Special Edition
  • Once that’s opened, under Wait for Vertical Refresh… have it turned on unless application specifies
  • In Frame Target Control turn it on and set it to 60 FPS

Additional tweaks follows from the Re-Engaged Reshade ENB author:

Run the launcher and click on the Settings. In there, go to Advance and DESELECT the Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) & Snow Shader. Go to the ENB page and check in the middle of the page, useful tips.

8. Lazer Cortex – This utility (suggested by the member Chillblast), can apply various optimizations and boost your PC’s gaming performance, which should come in very handy. You may check it, if you don’t have so powerful machine as I do (now).

Last January/February 2017, a lot things have been changed (for worst!) to SSE. After the last Bethesda’s update, the SSE became very unstable! It’s not coincident AT ALL, that a couple months after this last update Bethesda launched their own MOD STORE! So, basically, they’ve changed things in SSE and made problematic all mods which they can been found here or elsewhere.

The main issue, after this last update, is that after some time of SSE gaming (half hour, 1 hour) your saves seems “corrupted” and damaged (which they’re not). If you exit the game and return back, all are normal. And the bug is not because the many mods you’ve installed, a lot users has the bug with only… 20 modsinstalled!

Before that damn January 2017, I was playing a super heavy build with 230 mods + 350 more (graphics), a total of… 580 mods – without a single issue! Now, like I wrote, even with 20 mods, you’ll may have issue (this bug or others). So, I’ll start here posting tools you may need them:

9. FallrimTools – Script cleaner and more – A very useful tool, very easily to understand and use it, just follow the description/instructions of the mod’s page.

10. WICO cleanup script – This great mod (WICO), is well known is very heavy scripted since it touches A LOT things. So, this tool here trying to cleanup the scripts from this mod.

11. Skyrim SE Savegame Manager (TESV) – Another save clean manager.

STEP 11 – MORE TWEAKS

You may set these tweaks to your .ini files located to your …My Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition folder for extra immersion and possible quite FPS dropping and performance – so try them and keep what you need. And if you notice FPS drops, simply set lower values. BACKUP THESE FILES FIRST before you edit theme!

 

Here are MY PERSONAL ini files with the tweaks I’m using:

Skirim.ini Tweaks

[Actor]
bUseNavMeshForMovement=0

[Animation]
fMaxFrameCounterDifferenceToConsiderVisible=0.06666667

[Archive]
bInvalidateOlderFiles=1
bLoadArchiveInMemory=1
sArchiveToLoadInMemoryList=Skyrim – Animations.bsa
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim – Misc.bsa, Skyrim – Shaders.bsa, Skyrim – Interface.bsa, Skyrim – Animations.bsa, Skyrim – Meshes0.bsa, Skyrim – Meshes1.bsa, Skyrim – Sounds.bsa
sResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim – Voices_en0.bsa, Skyrim – Textures0.bsa, Skyrim – Textures1.bsa, Skyrim – Textures2.bsa, Skyrim – Textures3.bsa, Skyrim – Textures4.bsa, Skyrim – Textures5.bsa, Skyrim – Textures6.bsa, Skyrim – Textures7.bsa, Skyrim – Textures8.bsa, Skyrim – Patch.bsa

[Audio]
fMenuModeFadeInTime=1.0
fMenuModeFadeOutTime=3.0
fMusicDuckingSeconds=6.0
fMusicUnDuckingSeconds=8.0

[Camera]
fOverShoulderPosZ=18.0
fOverShoulderPosX=0.0
fOverShoulderCombatAddY=0.0
fOverShoulderCombatPosZ=24.0
fOverShoulderCombatPosX=0.0
fOverShoulderHorseAddY=-72.0
fOverShoulderHorsePosZ=50.0
fOverShoulderHorsePosX=35.0
fMouseWheelZoomSpeed=10.00

[Combat]
bForceNPCsUseAmmo=1
f1PArrowTiltUpAngle=0.5
f1PBoltTiltUpAngle=0.5
f3PArrowTiltUpAngle=0.5
fMagnetismLookingMult=0.0
fMagnetismStrafeHeadingMult=0.0

[Controls]
fMouseHeadingSensitivityMax=0.1100
fMouseHeadingXScale=0.0200
fMouseHeadingYScale=0.8500

[Decals]
uMaxSkinDecalPerActor=60

[Display]
ShadowBiasScale=0.6
bDeactivateAOOnSnow=0
bDisableShadowJumps=0
bEnableSnowMask=0
bEnableSnowRimLighting=0
bVolumetricLightingDisableInterior=1
fDDOFFocusCenterweightExt=2
fDecalLifetime=300
fDefaultWorldFOV=96.42
fDOFMaxDepthParticipation=10000
fDynamicDOFFarBlur=0.4
fFirstSliceDistance=3500
fGlobalBrightnessBoost=0.0000
fGlobalContrastBoost=0.0000
fGlobalSaturationBoost=0.0000
fLightLODRange=50000
fLightLODStartFade=3500.0
fShadowDirectionalBiasScale=0.15
fSnowGeometrySpecPower=3.00
fSnowNormalSpecPower=2.00
fSnowRimLightIntensity=0.30
fSparklesDensity=0.85
fSparklesIntensity=0.50
fSparklesSize=6.00
fSunShadowUpdateTime=0.0025
fSunUpdateThreshold=0.0025
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=9999999.0000
sScreenShotBaseName=F:\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\ScreenShot

[General]
iNumHWThreads=4
bAlwaysActive=1
bBackgroundLoadVMData=1
bBorderRegionsEnabled=0
fEncumberedReminderTimer=3600
fFlickeringLightDistance=8192
sIntroSequence=
sLanguage=ENGLISH
SLocalSavePath=Saves\
sTestFile1=Dawnguard.esm
sTestFile2=HearthFires.esm
sTestFile3=Dragonborn.esm
uExterior Cell Buffer=36
uGridsToLoad=5

[GeneralWarnings]
SGeneralMasterMismatchWarning=One or more plugins could not find the correct versions of the master files they depend on. Errors may occur during load or game play. Check the “Warnings.txt” file for more information.

[Grass]
bAllowCreateGrass=1
bAllowLoadGrass=0
bDrawShaderGrass=1
fGrassFadeRange=16500
fGrassMaxStartFadeDistance=7000.0000
fGrassMinStartFadeDistance=0.0000
fGrassWindMagnitudeMax=125
fGrassWindMagnitudeMin=5
iGrassCellRadius=2
iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=15
iMinGrassSize=60

[HAVOK]
fMaxTime=0.01666667
fMaxTimeComplex=0.03333333

[Imagespace]
iRadialBlurLevel=2

[Interface]
fSafeZoneX=10
fSafeZoneY=10
fSafeZoneXWide=10
fSafeZoneYWide=10
fBookOpenTime=200.0
bShowTutorials=0

[LightingShader]
fDecalLODFadeEnd=1.1
fDecalLODFadeStart=1
fEnvmapLODFadeEnd=1.1
fEnvmapLODFadeStart=1

[LOD]
fDistanceMultiplier=1.00

[MapMenu]
bWorldMapNoSkyDepthBlur=1
fMapWorldMaxPitch=90
fMapWorldMinPitch=0
fMapWorldYawRange=400
fWorldMapDepthBlurScale=0
fWorldMapMaximumDepthBlur=0
fWorldMapNearDepthBlurScale=0

[Menu]
iConsoleSizeScreenPercent=40
iConsoleTextSize=20

[Papyrus]
bEnableLogging=0
bEnableProfiling=0
bEnableTrace=0
bLoadDebugInformation=0
fPostLoadUpdateTimeMS=2000

[SaveGame]
iAutoSaveCount=5

[Trees]
bEnableTreeAnimations=1
bEnableTrees=1
fUpdateBudget=1.5

[VATS]
bVATSMultipleCombatants=1
bVATSForceRanged=1
fVATSRangedPercentMin=100
fVATSRangedPercentSneakKill=100
fVATSRangedPercentTargetNoThreat=100

[Water]
bReflectLODLand=1
bReflectLODObjects=1
bReflectLODTrees=1
bReflectSky=1

[Weather]
fSunBaseSize=500
fSunGlareSize=0

SkyrimPrefs.ini Tweaks

[AudioMenu]
fAudioMasterVolume=1.0000
fVal0=1.0000
fVal1=0.6000
fVal2=1.0000
fVal3=0.3000
fVal4=1.0000
fVal5=0.5000
fVal6=1.0000
fVal7=1.0000
uID0=94881
uID1=1007612
uID2=554685
uID3=466532
uID4=522251
uID5=410705
uID6=106685
uID7=170740429

[Bethesda.net]
uPersistentUuidData0=4074038293
uPersistentUuidData1=29704565
uPersistentUuidData2=3209236312
uPersistentUuidData3=1295690321

[Clouds]
fCloudLevel0Distance=16384.0000
fCloudLevel1Distance=32768.0000
fCloudLevel2Distance=262144.0000
fCloudNearFadeDistance=9000.0000

[Controls]
bAlwaysRunByDefault=1
bGamePadRumble=0
bInvertYValues=0
bUseKinect=0
fGamepadHeadingSensitivity=0.6667
fMouseHeadingSensitivity=0.0600

[Decals]
bDecals=1
bSkinnedDecals=1
uMaxDecals=350
uMaxSkinDecals=100

[Display]
bFXAAEnabled=0
bUseTAA=0
bSAOEnable=0
bDeferredShadows=1
bShadowsOnGrass=1
bFloatPointRenderTarget=1
bBorderless=1
bDrawLandShadows=1
bEnableImprovedSnow=0
bEnableProjecteUVDiffuseNormals=1
bForceCreateTarget=0
bFull Screen=0
bIBLFEnable=1
bIndEnable=0
bSAO_CS_Enable=0
bScreenSpaceReflectionEnabled=1
bToggleSparkles=0
bTreesReceiveShadows=1
bUse64bitsHDRRenderTarget=1
bUsePrecipitationOcclusion=1
bUseTAA=1
bVolumetricLightingEnable=1
fDynamicDOFBlurMultiplier=0.0000
ffocusShadowMapDoubleEveryXUnit=450.0000
fGamma=0.9600
fInteriorShadowDistance=3000.0000
fLeafAnimDampenDistEnd=4600.0000
fLeafAnimDampenDistStart=3600.0000
fLightLODStartFade=5000.0000
fMeshLODFadeBoundDefault=256.0000
fMeshLODFadePercentDefault=1.2000
fMeshLODLevel1FadeDist=16896.0000
fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=16896.0000
fMeshLODLevel2FadeDist=16896.0000
fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=16896.0000
fProjectedUVDiffuseNormalTilingScale=0.2000
fProjectedUVNormalDetailTilingScale=0.8000
fShadowDistance=10000.0000
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=16896.0000
iMaxDecalsPerFrame=250
iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame=100
iNumFocusShadow=4
iNumSplits=2
iReflectionResolutionDivider=2
iSaveGameScreenShotHeight=192
iSaveGameScreenShotHeighWSt=192
iSaveGameScreenShotWidth=256
iSaveGameScreenShotWidthWS=320
iScreenShotIndex=0
iShadowMapResolution=4096
iShadowMaskQuarter=4
iSize H=1440
iSize W=2560
iVolumetricLightingQuality=2
iVSyncPresentInterval=1
uBookRatio=2

[GamePlay]
bShowFloatingQuestMarkers=1
bShowQuestMarkers=1
iDifficulty=3

[General]
bEnableStoryManagerLogging=0
fLightingOutputColourClampPostEnv=1.0000
fLightingOutputColourClampPostLit=1.0000
fLightingOutputColourClampPostSpec=1.0000
iStoryManagerLoggingEvent=-1
uLargeRefLODGridSize=11

[Grass]
fGrassMaxStartFadeDistance=7500.0000
fGrassMinStartFadeDistance=0.0000
fGrassStartFadeDistance=3500.0000

[Imagespace]
bDoDepthOfField=1
bLensFlare=1

[Interface]
bDialogueSubtitles=1
bGeneralSubtitles=1
bShowCompass=1
fMouseCursorSpeed=1.2000

[Launcher]
bEnableFileSelection=1
sD3DDevice=”NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070″

[LOD]
fLODFadeOutMultActors=15.0000
fLODFadeOutMultItems=10.0000
fLODFadeOutMultObjects=30.0000
fLODFadeOutMultSkyCell=1.0000

[MAIN]
bCrosshairEnabled=1
bGamepadEnable=0
bSaveOnPause=0
bSaveOnRest=0
bSaveOnTravel=0
bSaveOnWait=0
fHUDOpacity=1.0000
fSkyCellRefFadeDistance=600000.0000

[NavMesh]
fCoverSideHighAlpha=0.8000
fCoverSideLowAlpha=0.6500
fEdgeDistFromVert=10.0000
fEdgeFullAlpha=1.0000
fEdgeHighAlpha=0.7500
fEdgeLowAlpha=0.5000
fEdgeThickness=10.0000
fLedgeBoxHalfHeight=25.0000
fObstacleAlpha=0.5000
fPointSize=2.5000
fTriangleFullAlpha=0.7000
fTriangleHighAlpha=0.3500
fTriangleLowAlpha=0.2000

[Particles]
iMaxDesired=3000

[TerrainManager]
bShowLODInEditor=1
fBlockLevel0Distance=50000.0000
fBlockLevel1Distance=72500.0000
fBlockMaximumDistance=94000.0000
fSplitDistanceMult=4.0000
fTreeLoadDistance=72500.0000

[Trees]
bRenderSkinnedTrees=1
uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender=200

[Water]
iWaterReflectHeight=1024
iWaterReflectWidth=1024
bUseWaterDepth=1
bUseWaterDisplacements=1
bUseWaterReflections=1
bUseWaterRefractions=1

[SaveGame]
fAutosaveEveryXMins=60.0000

STEP 12 – CONSOLE COMMANDS / TWEAKS & TRICKS

I would like to share you some tweaks & tricks, by using the “console commands”. First, you probably know by now, that you can open/close the console by pressing the ~ key (on the top left, next to 1 key). Now, let me share you some commands you may find useful. Every time you open the console, the game is “freeze”, paused. When you’ll close the command, your game continues.

To undone a command, simple press the ▲ or ▼ arrows cursors and you can navigate through commands you typed, find the command you want to disable, press ENTER and undone what you did.

1. TAKING NICE PICTURES DISABLING THE HUD – So, you can see in my pictures here in the guide, that I didn’t bother myself to disable my HUD. That’s not bad for the guide, but it’s bad if you find a superb scene during your adventure, you want to take a pic to use it as wallpaper… but you’ll have the HUD visible. You can disable the HUD, by doing this:

Open the console and then type tm! The HUD is gone! You can take your marvelous pics now, without any HUD enable. Undone the command as I wrote above, to re-enable the HUD back.

2. GOD MOD / INVINCIBLE – You can be “God”, by typing the “God command”. Simply, open the console and type tgm. To undone it, re-type the command to become mortal again.

3. NO COLLISIONS – You can walk through walls or you can… fly on the air, by disabling the collisions. You can do it, by typing tcl. Undone it, by re-type the command.

For making cool videos:

4a. FREE CAMERA – You can “fly-by” the land, with the free camera command. Type tfc and you’re done.
Note: when in 1st Person, you’re invisible. In 3rd person, you’re still visible.

4b. FREE CAMERA WITH PAUSE – The tfc 1 command is like the previous, but also pausing everything in the game.

4c. DISABLE NPC COMBAT AI – By typing tcai you disabling the combat AI of all NPCs.

4d. COMPLETELY DISABLE NPC AI
– Type tai and you disabling completely the NPCs.

4e. DISABLE NPC DETECT – Type tdetect and NPCs no longer are able to detect you.

5. TELEPORT – You can instantly go to a location, with the teleport command. Type coc [cell ID] and you’re fast travel there. For example, by typing coc WhiterunDragonsreach you will teleported to the Dragonsreach in Whiterun.

6. TIMESCALE – You may understood, that the default time runs out very quickly. One moment you are outside the “Sleeping Giant Inn” in the morning, you’re stepping in, you’re getting out after a while and is already… afternoon. You can change that, by changing the timescale. Type set timescale to [number] and you’ll reduce or speedup the timescale. The vanilla timescale is 15 (as far as I remember), meaning each 1 minute of real life is 15 minutes of Skyrim time. I’m personally setting the timescale to 5.

7. REMOVE SOMETHING – If you find a clipping issue, something on top of something else or a tree through a house (!) or so, you can REMOVE it completely from your save – not from the game itself (if you’ll start a new game). By typing disable you deleting something from the scene.

8. ENABLING MAP MARKERS – You already know from the first steps’ mods, that you can type tmm 1 and enable all map markers. Undone it, by typing tmm 0. (It doesn’t effecting a new game; the map markers will be off as normal).

9. EASY OPENING CHESTS – So, you found yourselves in front of a door or chest, the lock is extreme difficult and you ran out from lockpicks. Type unlock and you’re done! To LOCK something (your house door for example), you can type lock!

10. EASY CHANGE YOUR APPEARANCE – If you tired your look, you can type showracemanu and the character menu will show up. DO NOT change the gender or your race, you’ll screw your character!

11. EASY CHANGE YOUR RACE – But you CAN change your race, by typing player.setrace [race you want]. For example, type player.setrace Nord and you changed to Nord!

12. BOOST YOUR SKILLS – You can boost your skills, by typing player.setav [skill] [number]. For example, type setav strength 100 and your strength became 100!

13. INCREASE YOUR SPEED – You can type player.setav speedmult [insert number here] and change/boost your speed. For example, if you type player.setav speedmult 135 your speed changed from 100% (default) to 135%.

14. INCREASE YOUR JUMP
– Personally I prefer this one here to increase, than the previous one (the speed). It’s so ridiculous watching a muscular Nord jumping like a… 5 years old girl! So, increase your jump by typing in the console player.setgs fjumpHeightMin [number] and you changed your jump!

The default as you probably figured out is 100, so increase it as much as you like… but BEWARE! If you overdo it too much, you’ll jump very high… and you’ll die in the landing! I’m usually changing the jump to 135 (max).

15. LEVEL UP INSTANTLY – You can level up immediately, by typing player.advlevel [insert number]. So, if you’re 31 level and type player.advlevel 32 you just level up to 32 instantly!

16. UNLOCK ALL SPELLS – By typing psb.

17. HEAL A NPC – During in the console, if you click on an NPC, you’ll see his/her ID. Now, by typing resethealth you can heal him/her.

18. GET ANY ITEM & AMOUNT OF IT – Did you ran out of money? Fine, just type player.additem [item ID] [number] the command and the ID of money & the amount you want. So, for example, type player.additem 0000000f 100000 (0000000f = Gold ID) and now you have 100,000 gold! You can do it, obviously, with ANY item. Just simply google-it, to find each item’s ID and type the item’s ID & amount you want… Very useful in quests that asking you like the Bring me 24 Vampire Dust quest. How the hell you’ll find two dozen vampires in a single spot/area?…

19. WIPE OUT ALL ENEMIES – You’ve been surrounded by two dozen bandits that appeared from no where, while you’re on a very important mission and you don’t want to delay… So, type killall and all enemy in your vicinity are instantly dead!

20. KILL A SPECIFIC ENEMY – If you don’t have so many enemies around you OR there are harmless NPCs in the area, you can kill a specific target by clicking on the target (the target’s ID appears) and type kill.

21. RESURRECT A DEAD – So, something happen and a NPC dropped dead; and even worst, is an important one. You can bring him/her back to life, by clicking on him and type resurrect.

22. RESIZE SOMETHING – You thing a tree or a Giant or something is too smaller than you thought? Make it bigger! Type setscale [number from 1 to 10] which 1 is the normal and 10 is… huge!

23. UNEQUIPPED COMPLETELY A NPC – By clicking on a target and typing unequipall you removing everything from the targeted NPC!

24. SPAWN SOMEONE – You can spawn a copy from NPC, by typing player.placeatme [insert ID] [number]. So, by knowing the ID of the NPC, you can spawn him/her… but you can add 2-3 or more of them, by typing a number too! So, you can spawn a …platoon of Stormcloak troops just around you!

25. TELEPORT YOURSELF NEXT TO A NPC – If you want to find immediately a NPC, you can type player.moveto [insert ref-ID] and move instantly next to that person! For example, type player.moveto 0001B131 and teleport yourself next to Ulfric Stormcloak!

26. CHANGING THE WEATHER – You found yourselves to a fine scene, you wonna get a great pic…and suddenly it’s raining (bye-bye sunny day). Type in the console the command sw 10e1f2 and you CHANGING the weather to sunny day (actually, turning again the cycle of the weather types).

27. CHANGING NPC BODY WEIGHT – If you crossed a nice lady but you found her too skinny, simply click on her (with console command opened of course) and type setnpcweight [value from 0-100] and you’ll change the weight. The NPC model will probably “brake” so continue and type disable (and you’ll disappear your NPC) but DO NOT CLOSE the command, but just type now enable (and re-appear the NPC back) and the model is fine now WITH NEW weight!

Moving, re-positioning, rotating objects (perfect for decorating homes):

28. GET THE POSITION OF AN OBJECT First, you want to get the position values of an object. So, by typing Getpos x,y,z [number] you’re getting the position of an object to use it with the following command. (Obviously, as always, you need to CLICK on the object to type then the command).

29. SET THE POSITION OF AN OBJECT – You’ve got the position, now change the position of that object. Type Setpos x,y,z [number] and set the position of an object.

30. GET THE ANGLE OF AN OBJECT – You can get the angle value of an object by typing Getangle x,y,z [number].

31. SET THE ANGLE OF AN OBJECT— Now you’ve got the angle’s value of an object, you can replace the angle by typing Setangle x,y,z [number].

32. ROTATE MANUALLY AN OBJECT – You can rotate an object by typing Rotate x,y,z [number].

MY SYSTEM

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro 64bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K 4.20GHz
  • RAM: 32,0GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance 3000MHz
  • MB: ATX MSI Z270 Gaming Pro
  • Watercooler System: Hydro Series H60
  • Sound Card: Xonar DX/XD
  • MONITOR: Dell U2721DE 2560×1440 60Hz
  • GPU: Gigabyte nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 G1 8GB 1594 MHz
  • STORAGE: Crucial MX300 525GΒ SSD – Kingston SSD V300 120GB SSD – Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA HDD – NAS Synology DS415+ – Hitachi DeskStar 8TB
  • OPTICAL: Samsung SH-224FB
  • POWER: Corsair Builder Series CX850M 80Plus Gold
  • CASE: AZZA Titan 240x Tower-Gehause

 

If you want now to further overhaul your game and you want MUCH MORE to add in your Skyrim build, then you need to proceed to my “2nd Part” of my Guide, which adds A LOT, MUCH MORE stuff in the game. As soon as I’ll finish the “2nd Part” I will publish it to continue modding further more…

SPECIAL THANKS

I would like to thank the following persons, which they pressed me to start dealing with Skyrim, others they helped me and others they are my mentors:

 

 

I also like to give my gratitude to all those I borrowed their screenshots to decorate my Guide. As you may see, Skyrim can be AMAZING if you start modding it.

ENJOY !    

CONQUER THE SKYRIM, DOVAHKIIN-ers !   

STOP MODDING, START PLAYING !

Comments
  • lupus_hegemonia1

    14/01/2022

    This is the NEW UPDATED of my Guide – “1st Part”.
    It’s focusing to a full-total VISUAL OVERHAUL of your game. Anybody who wants simply to play the vanilla game with AMAZING NEW visuals, this “1st Part” is what he/she needs. The “2nd Part” will follow soon…

  • aet4

    02/03/2022

    God Damn. This is by far the best guide I’ve seen. some of the most popular guides just focus on resolution and don’t even care about consistency. 8k desert sand right alongside snow! dried ground under fog! this one seems like vanilla but better. massive respect. Would’ve made a donation if I didn’t live in a shitty country.

  • Robert6

    29/03/2022

    I like part 1 of your modding guide and how it makes Tamriel look. I’m looking forward to Part 2. When will it be published?

  • Robert8

    30/03/2022

    I understand how much work goes into creating a list, and I’ve made a donation to you, lupus_hegemonia.

  • Halil10

    26/04/2022

    grvulture blocked me because i said his performance enb not performance friendly iienb has much better performance, so i cant download his mods. Could you add a ddl for his mods like grass fps booster?

    • Halil11

      26/04/2022

      edit i register a new account so i can download. I cant stand guys like grvulture. They cant accept critisim they only want praise.

      • lupus_hegemonia12

        13/05/2022

        And yes, you can do that too. But if they found you (Nexus team), obviously they’ll ban you (the new account AND the older one) for life.

    • lupus_hegemonia13

      13/05/2022

      I’ll see what I can do.
      Generally… f*ck them, don’t bother to replying in any of these mods’ pages.
      The 99% of these “authors” are 20 years old brats.