Tagged: by Tiberius Aurelianus
06/03/2019 at 20:55 #1863
by Tiberius Aurelianus
Here a “simple” guide on how to merge mods in SSE. English is not my native language, so I hope it is understandable.
This guide is made with NMM in mind as your mod manager. If you use MO2 it is almost the same, but you have to always run it through MO2 and the merge should appear in “overwrites”.
You need the program/tool ‘Merge Plugins’ and you can find it here:
Download manually version 2.3.1 and unpack it.
The first time you launch ‘Merge Plugins’ it will search for supported games (SkyrimLE/SE and Fallout4). It’s possible you may have to help it find the right installation path of the games exe.
Select your game by left clicking on the games icon and then click OK. A new window will open where you will see your current load order. Right click anywhere in the window and select [‘check all’]. Then click OK.
‘Merge Plugins’ will load your installed mods. When it has finished, select [‘Find errors’] by clicking on the “magnifying glass” icon in the tool bar (upper left).
‘Merge Plugins’ will open a new window [‘Checking for errors’] and begin checking your loaded mods for errors. Depending on the amount of mods you have installed, this may take some time. When it has finished, close the window by clicking on [‘close’].
‘Merge Plugins’ must check the mods for errors. It will not be able to merge mods without this error check.
The error check only needs to be run once. It will now only need to check errors of new mods or updated current mods. It will treat any updated mods as new.
You can now merge plugins/mods with a left click on the ‘green cross’, upper left in the tool bar. A new window titled ‘Edit Merge’ will open up.
In the ‘Edit Merge’ window is where you will [Name] your new merged plugin and the [Filename] of the new esp you want to create. [Merge method] must be set to ‘Overrides’ and [Renumbering] must be set to ‘Conflicting’. Normally ‘Overrides’ and ‘Conflicting’ are selected by default, but the first time it is better check/verify them.
With your cursor you can select the mods you want to merge. Right click on the 1st mod, click on ‘add merge’ and left click on the ‘title of your merge’. Repeat the same selection process for the other mods you wish to merge into a single plugin.
When finished with your individual mod selections open the tab [Merges]. Until now you have worked in the main window tab [Plugins]. On the [Merges] tab window you will find your merges in a single item line; text must be colored in green. If it is in another color there is a problem (we will deal with this later). When this is green, right click to open a new window. Activate by left click the ‘Build Merge’ line. ‘Build Merge’ will not be accessible without the merges line being colored green.
‘Merge Plugins’ will open the ‘Building merges’ window and create the merge. When finished, click [close]. Now you can close ‘Merge Plugins’.
Go into the directory where you have the unpacked merged plugins. You should find the folder ‘merges’ and inside, the folder with the name of your merge. Select all the files and make a compressed file (7-zip)(Archive). Use NMM for installation of the archive.
Disable the original esp’s that you have merged and install the new merged esp with NMM.
After you have installed some “esm” mods, ‘Merge Plugins’ will have a bug that blocks it from loading the DLCs and the mod that requires the DLCs as a master.
To avoid this problem you have to go in this directory:
C:\Users\”your user name”\AppData\Local\Skyrim Special Edition
You can’t find this directory in your drive, you have to type it in.
Open the file ‘Plugins.txt’. It contains your load order without Skyrim and the dlcs. Paste this:
-and then save. ‘Merge Plugins’ will now load all your mods, but you will have to do this each and every time before launching ‘Merge Plugins’. It is not a one time only fix/solution.
‘Merge Plugins’ is standalone mod tool, but it’s made like a plugin/extension of Xedit. If you know and use Xedit, you will better understand how ‘Merge Plugins’ works.
Technically and theoretically ‘Merge Plugins’ can merge every and all mods, but you can’t simply trust in a “super fast stupid machine” to make it work. It still requires some thought and planning. Think carefully on what you are doing.
Rules to follow for merging mods:
– Don’t try to merge esm’s (its stupid and even impossible).
– Don’t merge mods that have errors (you’d be lucky if only the merge would have the same errors…).
– Don’t merge mods in form 43 (merging a mix of mods in form 43 and form 44 are reported to cause very fast save corruption. If in doubt, you can check the mod form with Xedit prior to trying a merge).
– The mods you merge must be sequential in your load order (if not your merge can have errors).
If you don’t follow these rules, ‘Merge Plugins’ will give to your merge a different color other than green. As mentioned above, sometimes it will block you by not offering the ‘Build Merge’ option. It may ask you if you choose to ignore the warning, but your merge will have problems if you do.
There isn’t a limit to the number of mods that can be merged.
‘Merge Plugins’ can manage bsa, INI, MCM, FaceGen, voices, SEQ files and it will extract them in your merges folder. (the first time you run it, check in the options/merging to see if they are all flagged).
‘Merge Plugins’ can’t solve mods conflicts. It follows the “rule of one”. If you want to merge 2 mods that modify the same leveled list, you have to patch them in Xedit and then merge all. Otherwise one mod will overwrite the other and your merge will be almost useless.
Always check your mod conflicts in Xedit.
– The easy way to start is merging patches of the same type of mod (ex: Claralux has a lot of patches that you can safely merge).
– Don’t merge mods that have an esp required by some other mods to work (ex: Cutting Room Floor).
– Mods that modify landscapes and/or navmeshes are risky to merge. Example: technically you can merge all “Arthmoor’s” villages into one esp, but if the landscape/navmeshes don’t agree with one another you will have weird stuff.
– You don’t really need to install the mods that you want to merge. You can simply extract them, copy the esp’s in your skyrimse/data, merge them and afterwards you can delete them. Example: if they have meshes/textures/scripts/etc., merge them manually in the same folder with your merged esp. If they have a bsa, they must be extracted from the bsa to merge.
– If you want to merge a mod in form 43 port/convert it yourself to form 44 with CK64 (there is a guide here in the forum section made by “Mathy” on how to do this)(remember meshes must be optimized).
– Your merge will not be recognized properly by LOOT. You have to learn for yourself where it should be placed in your load order (don’t simply trust in “super fast stupid machines”-use your brain).
– Always check your mod conflicts/errors/weird edits with Xedit. Xedit is the most important program that you need to learn to use, if you want to be successful in modding Skyrim.
– Sometimes, it’s simpler and faster to use Xedit to merge mods that modify vanilla edits. This does require you first learn how to make compatibility patches in Xedit so you will understand what must be done.
– Use your brain. Try to understand and to think about what you are doing or wish to achieve (no programs can do that for you).
*If you want to see an example of a “professional” merge, download the mod ‘Nexus Skyrim Overhaul’. It’s almost entirely a carefully planned merge of hundreds mods.
Thanks to Jacoboriley for the help with my bad English
From DOVAKYNSKYRIM, how to add a new mod in an already existed merged plugin:
– uninstall the older merge
– unpack the older merge somewhere
– rename the older merge esp (as you want)
– put manually the renamed esp in data folder
– unpack somewhere the mod you want to merge
– put manually the esp of the mod you want to merge in data folder
– check both esp for errors/incompatibility in xedit
– now use Merge Plugins to merge the 2 esp, doing that gives to the new merge the “older merge name”
– now “merge” the unpacked loose files and the new merged esp
– re-pack and install it
– bsa must be unpacked as loose files
– merge plugins sometimes create others files like seq, facegen and facetint files, put them also with the loose files
– older mods facegen and facetint are in “name of the original mod.esp” folder (both in meshes and textures), create a new folder with “name of the merge.esp” and copy them inside
– exterior navmeshes must be rebuilded in CK, load the esp and save it
– interior navmeshes cant be rebuilded in the same ways, so no incompatibility are allowed for them, and you cant merge interiors with esteriors (unless exteriors dont have navmeshes problems)
– check always the new merge in xedit for errors (also after re-saving it with CK….)11/12/2019 at 07:16 #2527nomisParticipant
Great, thanks you. Question: Do I have to manually install everything into the Data folder before I can merge them? I can’t seem to be able to merge the ones in MO because they do not show up in Merge Plugins.11/12/2019 at 14:20 #2528
You just need to have them plugins close together (exactly above and bellow) to be merged.21/05/2020 at 00:48 #2820MarkParticipant
Hi, i have a big problem and hope you can help me: when i go to the folder where plugins.txt is supposed to be i can’t find it. Instead there is only a file named Plugins.sseviewsettings. I don’t know what to do and i wasn’t able to find any other help on the internet so far 🙁22/05/2020 at 20:14 #2831
Mark, you clearly did something wrong. Follow that video instead, if you finding difficult the text guide:
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