The goal of this modding guide is to not only introduce you how to install and configure mods to Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but to also provide mods that enhance the experience, dealing with annoying aspects of the game while strengthening the powerful ones.
Skyrim has been a weird game. Ever since it’s release, I’ve been astonished by how different it was to Oblivion. At first glance, I thought it was simple yet good, but few quirks had made me be turned off by the game.
Thanks to modding though, some of these issues can be fixed, and despite not playing Skyrim anymore these days, I wanted to do this guide just to set up way to install mods and offer list of mods to have good user experience.
Notice: This is not a guide to make your game as beautiful as possible or make the game as hard as possible. This is to give out vanilla focus upon the game and not resort into flashiness the other modding guides are prone to do.
First, let’s make sure Skyrim has been installed, along with all of its DLCs. You should always start out by clean install, which means no custom files in Skyrim directory. Making sure to run it at least once (up to the point skyrim title comes up in cart) to generate inis is next step.
These are the tools used for the guide:
Mod Organizer 2
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/6194 – [nexusmods.com]
The best Mod Manager to come out. It lets you configure and add mods for your hearts content and uses “virtual data” folder instead the actual data folder of Skyrim, meaning that your game files are not screwed if something happens, in Layman’s terms, no need to reinstall whole game over some screw ups. Create a folder anywhere and extract contents there.
Skyrim Script Extender
https://skse.silverlock.org/ – [silverlock.org]
a modder’s resource that expands the scripting capabilities of Skyrim. Required by some mods.
To Install, copy all the contents into root folder, where Skyrim.exe is located at. Skse_loader executable is used for launching the game from now on.
https://loot.github.io/ – [github.io]
Load sorter tool. Since this is quite minimal, manual load order tweak isn’t necessary.
Now, there are few mods that are SKSE plugins only. They are designated to go into game directory>Data>SKSE>Plugins folder.
SSE Display Tweaks
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/34705 – [nexusmods.com]
Collection of performance boosting tweaks.
SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin)
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/17230 – [nexusmods.com]
Various engine fixes.
PapyrusUtil SE – Modders Scripting Utility Functions
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/13048 – [nexusmods.com]
Adds functions to store and load data.
Address Library for SKSE Plugins
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/32444 – [nexusmods.com]
Contains header file and a database to make SKSE DLL plugins version independent easily.
Better Combat Escape – SSE
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/43936 – [nexusmods.com]
Prevents bug regarding combat with very far away enemies.
Now that SKSE plugins are installed, you should check out their settings to your interest, and once done, launch and see if Skyrim booted again to the point you get to title on the cart. We can move on next section, which is properly getting to mods.
2. Patch/UI Mods
You can install mods either manually, or download mods through manager, which one you prefer.
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/266 – [nexusmods.com]
The patch compilation to run with.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/12604 – [nexusmods.com]
Making menus much more easier to stare at.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/19080 – [nexusmods.com]
Adds more customization options for tweaking faces and lets you save presets of your own.
Better Message and Dialogue Boxes
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/1428 – [nexusmods.com]
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/1429 – [nexusmods.com]
Because for some reason they are acting weird.
Smaller Vanilla Cursors SE
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/20617 – [nexusmods.com]
Smaller cursor, can swing both ways too.
Sovngarde – A Nordic Font
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/386 – [nexusmods.com]
Vanilla font lacks nordic feeling to it. This adds it and comes with light and bold versions.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/12688 – [nexusmods.com]
Shows more info.
moreHUD Inventory Edition
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/18619 – [nexusmods.com]
moreHUD stuff to inventory menu.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/463 – [nexusmods.com]
Customizable HUD, comes with few presets with installer and Nexus has others too if you prefer something else (or you can go with vanilla too, lol).
Wider MCM Menu for SkyUI
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/22825 – [nexusmods.com]
Because when you tweak stuff, you want all the screen for info.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/12201 – [nexusmods.com]
Self explanatory, customizable camera.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/26680 – [nexusmods.com]
Screw Creation Club.
For the love of Talos, please playtest if your game launches after these.
3. Gameplay Mods
Mods by Kryptopyr
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/users/4291352?tab=user+files – [nexusmods.com]
Good mod creator who has made good mods, what I use here is:
- The Choice is Yours (Doesn’t force all quests to you to take)
- Weapon Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes (Self Explanatory)
- Armor and Clothing Expansion (Expands clothing of NPCs and their looks)
- Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul (Overhauls Alchemy and cooking to something more interesting)
- kryptopyr’s Patch Hub (Patches)
- Trade and Barter (Adds various settings for selling and buying factors)
- Atlas Map Markers (More Map Markers)
- Timing is Everything (Lets you set when quests start on what level)
- Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered (Overhauled crafting, but also CROSSBOWS EVERYWHERE W00T)
Skyrim Unbound Reborn
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/27962 – [nexusmods.com]
Live another life is meh, since the options are pre-determined and limited. Unbound lets you really configure where you start, when you start and option to be not dragonborn, cause it’s that awesome.
Cutting Room Floor
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/276 – [nexusmods.com]
Cut Content mod of Skyrim.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/26374 – [nexusmods.com]
Overhaul of dragons, configurable settings.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/15921 – [nexusmods.com]
Actually makes armor something more than just grindfest to get it to cap for 85% protection.
Mods by EnaiSiaion
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/users/3959191?tab=user+files – [nexusmods.com]
Enai has done small wacky mods, that doesn’t change things over extensively. These are what I use from him:
- Valravn (Enhanced Vanilla Combat)
- Odin (Expansion and tweaks to spell skills)
- Sacrilege (Vampire tweaks)
- Evenstar (Signstone tweaks)
- Trua (Religion tweaks)
- Growl – Werebeasts of Skyrim (The werewolf overhaul)
- Vokrii (Perk tweaks)
- Morningstar (Race tweaks)
Headhunter – Bounties Redone
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/51847 – [nexusmods.com]
Bounty overhaul that makes it more interesting.
Immersive World Encounters
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/18330 – [nexusmods.com]
Tweaks and adds more encounters to game.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/17576 – [nexusmods.com]
Adds a board for small tasks to do, with varying degrees of challenge.
Please please please, test out if the game is still working.
4. Graphical stuff
Static Mesh Improvement Mod – SMIM
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/659 – [nexusmods.com]
Smoother stuff, comes with different variations.
A Quality World Map
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/5804 – [nexusmods.com]
World Map never looked better.
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/4703 – [nexusmods.com]
Fits with kryptopur’s clothing extension mod.
Total Character Makeover
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/1037 – [nexusmods.com]
Tweaks NPC faces, but not to playdoll extreme way.
No Edge Glow
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/3205 – [nexusmods.com]
WHAT IS WITH THE MAGICAL EDGE GLOWING STUFF? IT LOOKS SO UGLY!!
Better Dynamic Snow & Ash
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/9121 – [nexusmods.com]
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/54754 – [nexusmods.com]
Mods by JonnyWang13
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/users/50222836?tab=user+files – [nexusmods.com]
Cathedral series has very nordic aesthetics I approve of. I use these:
- Cathedral Snow (SNOW!!!)
- Luminosity Lighting Overhaul (A recoloring of vanilla lighting)
- Cathedral Landscapes (Gra*s mod)
- Cathedral – Water Overhaul and Bug Fixes (Water tweaks)
- Cathedral Weather and Seasons (a very creamy weather mod)
- Cathedral Mushrooms (Shrooms)
- Cathedral Plants (Veggies)
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/29273 – [nexusmods.com]
Enhanced textures detail (UV-tweaks)
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/992 – [nexusmods.com]
Enhances existing textures by doing some UV tweaks. Very good even without any texture mods.
Unofficial High Definition Audio Project
https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/18115 – [nexusmods.com]
Audiophile’s wet dream.
There, now that you installed mods, patches and what not, you should be ready to get on with Skyrim, enjoying it smoothly as possible it can be done. If this Guide was at all useful or needs improvements, or you have a question, please do ask. I am trying my best to help out and expand this, if possible.
If you want to support my content, you can always give me a Ko-Fi.
https://ko-fi.com/valde007 – [ko-fi.com]
I hope you enjoy the Modding Guide – Vanilla Plus Edition – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition guide. This is all for now! If you have something to add to this guide or forget to add some information, please let us know via comment! We check each comment manually!
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