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How much is too much? and how do you know?

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So I have heard about Skyrim having a plugin limit. Might be 230something ... maybe 255, I've heard 255 a few times. Even googled it just now and there it is, the first thing that comes up is 255.


So don't go near 255. Don't go past it, No problem.


How about scripts?

How do you know you have too many scripted mods without reaching a CTD? and how do you know that CTD is catastrophic or minor? I've experienced CTD's at startup. Immediately started the game right back up and everything was fine. I've played for hours before and experienced one CTD. Log off / reload the game and everything is fine.


I've lost saved games. I've lost well over 100 hours of my life building a modded skyrim for a playthrough that was doomed from the start. I've nuked my setup more than I'd like to admit.


Papyrus logs ... I don't even know what half of that **** is. I'm certain the answer is right there staring me in the face, buried in those logs. How would I know? I feel like this part of the modding guide is by far the most important.


You can get stuck at startup, download a patch or sort your load order properly and AWAY YOU GO!


But you could get your 250-350 mods setup. reach that 220 plugins point and say "okay that's enough" and start playing. Everything is fine. for 5-20 hours, then BAM! save game is dead. no missing plugins, TES5EDIT doesn't show me anything that screams "HEY FIX ME IDIOT" Even if you load a previous save and you bite that bullet. You say to yourself "Okay, I just lost 2 hours of my time, lets hope that doesn't happen again" We've all been there.


soo ... Scripts, How much is too much?

Edited by Bradl3y
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The limit is 255 plugins (*.esm and *.esp files).


There is not really a specific limit on the number of scripts, although this depends on how the scripts work. The biggest concern is that you don't want a lot of scripts activating at the same time and these scripts need to be as efficient as possible. The overly-generalized rule is that you don't want to have a lot of script-heavy mods active in your load order due to the limited time the game engine has to render the screen and run scripts.


Papyrus logs are useful only for mod developers that are creating or editing scripts. Papyrus logs are not generally useful for troubleshooting crashes or infinite loading screens. More importantly, enabling Papyrus logging may cause issues with stuttering and lag because the logging is slow.


I think the most important aspect of a heavily modded game is to ensure that SKSE and ENBoost are installed and configured properly, and that you use Memory Blocks Log to verify you aren't running into memory allocation issues with the first two blocks in the game. This is the most common reason for crashes and infinite loading screens. If you're experiencing a crash, enable Memory Blocks Log and play until you reproduce the crash. Odds are you just need to increase DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB in skse.ini.

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When it comes to the number of plugins, the following applies:

- ID numbers consist out of 8 hex values, like e.g. 3F992B23

- the first two digits represent the position of the individual plugin in your load order (so in e.g. aabbbbbb_hex "aa" would be for the plugin (and aa_hex = 170_decimal)

- the range, in which plugins are therefore allowed is 00_hex to FF_hex (0_decimal to 255_decimal), so there are a total of 256 'slots' (255 + the "0" one)

- 256_decimal is 100_hex --> not allowed, because 100_hex is now three digits long


In Skyrim, the last spot FF_hex is reserved for the savegame. Also, the first one 00_hex is always occupied with Skyrim.esm, and the second one 01_hex is always occupied with Update.esm.


That means, if you have the vanilla game and no DLC's, you can add a total of ..


= 256-1-1-1

= 256-3

= 253


.. 253 mod plugins to your load order. In case you own the ultimate version of Skyrim and have thus the three DLCs Dawnguard, HearthFire and Dragonborn, another 3 slots will be not available for you. In this case you would have 250 slots free for mod plugins.

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That's the matter of the number of plugins handled so the next point is the matter of "too many" scripts.


The exact answer isn't as easy to quantify because the nature of the scripts needs to be taken into consideration, not just the number of them. e.g. you could have 100 well written scripts that just run once to config the settings for their mods and never see any issues or you might have 2 or 3 poorly written ones that are constantly polling the game at certain times, or at certain locations, and these might bring your game to its knees.


As for the Papyrus logs. Don't bother looking at those if you're not a modder with scripting knowledge, they serve no purpose whatsoever as a measure of game stability in 99% of games.


You need to what each mod is trying to do and work from that, even if you have limited modding knowledge. Using guides such as those hosted here in STEP can provide a basis for examination of your list.

Any extra mods added might add a load to that script load and the forum posts may be useful to see if others are having issues.


Unfortunately that means there is no single answer to your question and you will always have these matters to deal with.

Lastly constant CTDs in themselves are not a sure sign of "script overload". It might just be that at that specific location, or with a specific inventory item, or the number of enemies you are about face, or [insert another factor] you will experience a CTD, which most likely will have no long term damage to your game. Even the vanilla game will experience unexpected CTDs!

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