SkyrimLE:2.2.9

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WARNING

This guide is out of date! It may contain information that is incorrect or not in line with the current state of the game!

         View the latest release.


- Visit the forums and provide feedback related to STEP.


- Also visit the STEP Facebook page maintained by TheCompiler (Daniel).

- To support hosting and maintenance of the STEP Community Project, contributions are welcome.

Interim Release #3[edit]

STEP 2.2.9 marks the third release in bridging our move to a new paradigm that will officially be unveiled as STEP 2.3.0. Thus, this marks our third interim release with a more strict STEP:Core. It has also undergone a thorough reanalysis of the Extended mod list in preparation for its separation into the official STEP Pack. This has led to several mods being dropped from Extended in accordance with the STEP:Extended Mandate.

Finally, STEP:Packs to be installed after a STEP:Core install (all mods flagged by the green indicator) will be linked at the end of this guide for users wishing to add user-contributed functionality to the STEP:Core build. So far there are a few Packs created for STEP, but we expect this number to grow in the near future. Full Pack integration will be rolled out with STEP v2.3.0.

About STEP[edit]

A Foreword

Created by TheCompiler, STEP is a collaborative project with input from the modding community, technical volunteers, and project administrators. The goal is to provide tested and validated methods for establishing and maintaining an enhanced modded Skyrim. Thus, the Guide provides detailed, well-tested build instructions for a solid modding template. New modders can follow STEP explicitly, or more experienced modders may use it as general guide.

The STEP team collects information from the modding community through extensive mod testing, detailed reviews, feedback, and suggestions exchanged on the STEP Community Forums. Posting rules apply, so be sure to read and follow them and enjoy a warm welcome and plenty of high-quality support from a large community of experienced STEPers. Check out the comparison screenshots on the Nexus.

Minimum System for STEP:Core[edit]

It is tentatively planned that STEP:Core (and Extended, by proxy) will continue to provide a performance-friendly version in tandem with a standard version. Given what we know about the memory limits for 32-bit applications (aka the "3.1 GB limit for Skyrim"). This will most likely entail installation options associated with many of the Core mods and possibly even two performance patches (TBD).

For this release, we recommend the following as a minimum hardware configuration for running STEP:Core (installing "Baseline" versions of "Core" mods only). For those wishing to use higher-quality options and/or to install the non-Core mods (tentatively, STEP:Extended Beta), be advised that a more powerful system is likely necessary. The Baseline install that we recommend will provide the best quality-performance trade-off.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows XP Windows 7 or 8
CPU Intel Core i3 (dual core) Intel Core i5/i7 (quad core)
System RAM 4 GB >=8 GB
GPU 1GB VRAM >=2GB VRAM
Monitor Resolution 1366x768 1920x1080


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Baseline (referenced throughout this guide) is the STEP:Core 'Baseline' mods install (see mod tables) and adherence to all of the instructions in this guide, nothing more, nothing less.

Mod Tables Legend[edit]

Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Mod NameWikilink.png Baseline LowQuality.png HighQuality.png
DG
Notes
Core Mod Core mods are indicated by the presence of a green-ish vertical bar in the row at the immediate left-hand column of the table.
Mod Name Shortened version (where applicable) of Nexus mod name presented as a link to Nexus for download.
Wikilink.png Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Baseline This notes the STEP Baseline version or option of the corresponding mod, and usually refers to options affecting performance/quality. General suggestions are located in the "Notes" column.
Quality Options Indicates if there are performance-friendly or performance-unfriendly versions of the mod relative to the Baseline recommendation:
 LowQuality.png       Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
      HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
 LowQuality.png HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, both lower and higher quality versions of the mod are available.
DLC Required Any DLCs listed here are required for the mod to function. If all DLCs listed are not present do not use this mod.
Notes Brief notes that apply to the mod or installation. In some cases, mods with many alternative options will include a suggested option. These suggestions will take the form of: "STEP recommends 'Option A'." In other cases, there may only be one appropriate alternative option that fits the STEP Mandate. These instructions will take the form of: "Use 'Option A'."


[edit]


NOTE: It is particularly important that novice modders begin with clean installations of Steam & Skyrim in order to be successful with the 'quick' setup first time around, so PLEASE READ EACH SECTION CAREFULLY, as no information included in this guide is irrelevant!

STEP 1[edit]

Pre-Installation Setup

1.A. Install Steam & Skyrim[edit]

Detailed Information --> Skyrim Installation Guide

This guide assumes that the user is beginning with a clean Skyrim installation. If necessary, please take some time to properly set up and configure Steam and install Skyrim as recommended by the Skyrim Installation Guide before continuing.

1.B. Skyrim Launcher Options[edit]

Detailed Information --> Skyrim Launcher Guide

As a quick-start to installing STEP, simply launch Skyrim from Steam to initialize the auto-detection process, accept the preset, and continue to 1.C. Make certain that the preset Antialiasing is no greater than 4x (4 samples); otherwise, keep the preset. This is a conservative preset that will facilitate a smooth game once STEP is configured initially according to this guide (i.e., what does not tax performance now may be burdensome later). More extensive INI tweaking can be done after STEP is set up and verified as running smoothly.

1.C. Install Utilities[edit]

Prerequisite helper applications and utilities

While mods can be installed manually, it is not recommended. A mod-management utility is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in order to keep track of a complex setup like STEP. These utilities also make it exponentially simpler to deconstruct a STEP install in order to update to a new STEP version, and to update versions of the mods. This is impossible to do simply or efficiently (or even correctly) otherwise.

There are several utilities that may be used to manage the STEP setup; however, STEP now officially supports only Mod Organizer for reasons stated in the guide introduction. Although Wrye Bash is a mod manager, STEP recommends that it only be used as a helper application to Mod Organizer exclusively for the functionality of the Bashed Patch. The reason for the limited support of Wrye Bash is due to simplicity of this guide. Users who wish to use Wrye Bash can easily use that mod manager to install and maintain STEP. Wrye Bash users can use the Wrye Bash Guide for detailed instructions on setting up that exceedingly excellent modding utility package.


Mod Name Baseline Instructions
DDSoptLink to the mod's Wiki page. DDSopt - pre-release - update 4 Detailed Instructions available
For users who do not want to do a custom run with DDSopt, STEP now provides the SkyrimLE:STEP Optimized Vanilla Textures which is installed during in the Fixes section of the STEP Guide. There is no need to run DDSopt if choosing to install this new mod from STEP.

Do NOT run through Mod Organizer!

See DDSopt Guide for usage details. The Quick-Start Guide is a good place to start.

Mod OrganizerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download Main File from Nexus Mods and run the EXE.
    Windows may issue a warning. If so, click more information and then click [Run Anyway].
  2. Install MO2 into the Tools using the name: Mod Organizer.

Do not run MO2 yet! It will be run for the first time later in the guide.

LOOTLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download the latest version of LOOT from their GitHub page (LOOT.Install.exe).
  2. Install LOOT by running the installer and changing the path to the Tools folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/)

Users should now have a LOOT folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/LOOT).

Skyrim Performance MonitorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Installing Skyrim Performance Monitor
  1. Download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework.
  2. Download the mod from the mod page using the download manually link and extract the zip archive.
  3. Install the SlimDX Runtime .NET 2.0 (January 2012).msi included in the archive. (If you're upgrading to a new version of SPM and already have SlimDX installed, there's no need to uninstall/reinstall SlimDX. You can simply skip this step)
  4. Install Skyrim Performance Monitor by running the setup.exe included in the archive.
    • The default install location is in Documents. You may change this according to your preference.

Please remember to completely uninstall any previous versions of SPM prior to upgrading.

Initial Setup of Skyrim Performance Monitor

  1. Launch Skyrim Performance Monitor and click the Setup... button at bottom right.
  2. Select your Primary Gaming Video Card from the drop-down in the Primary Video Card tab.
  3. Go to the Miscellaneous Settings tab.
  4. ENBoost and ENB users should check the Attempt Support for Custom D3D9.dll and Combine TESV and ENBHost System RAM settings.
  5. Click Save

Configuring Skyrim Performance Monitor for Use with Mod Organizer

  1. Launch Skyrim Performance Monitor and click the "Setup..." button at bottom right.
  2. Go to the File Paths tab and point the Skyrim Launcher File Path to your ModOrganizer.exe. Here is an example for Mod Organizer and other launchers.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click the Launch Skyrim button at bottom right, which will start Mod Organizer (make certain that Mod Organizer is not already running first!). From there you can select your desired profile and run SKSE (or other launcher) to play Skyrim and monitor its performance.
TES5EditLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download TES5Edit from Nexus Mods.
  2. Extract the archive to the xEdit folder: ..Modding/Tools/xEdit

To clean any mods that require it, run "Quick Auto Clean". It will allow users to select the mod to clean and automatically clean it.

Reference videos

Wrye BashLink to the mod's Wiki page. Installer version Detailed Instructions available
If updating to 306, you need to uninstall your previous version.

MO users - Install and be certain to tick the stand-alone executable version when prompted for the path to the Steam/Skyrim directory. Wrye Bash users - see the Wrye Bash Guide.

Since you must launch Wrye Bash through Mod Organizer in order for it to recognize your mods, add Wrye Bash to the list of executables by doing the following:

  1. Click the gears icon Gear MO.png. This opens the Modify Executables window.
  2. In the Title field, type Wrye Bash.
  3. For the Binary field, browse to your Wrye Bash installation and select the Wrye Bash.exe application.
  4. Uncheck Close MO when started if necessary.
  5. Click the Add button. This will add Wrye Bash to your executables list.
  6. Click Close.

Now each time you want to run Wrye Bash, simply select it from the drop-down menu at top right and click Run.

1.D. INI Tweaks[edit]

Detailed Information --> Skyrim INI Guide

The following instructions expect the unedited default INIs created in section 1.B of the STEP Guide! If the INI files have been altered from their defaults in any way, please delete them from %USERPROFILE%/Documents/My Games/Skyrim and ./Mod Organizer/profiles/. After deleting them, the default versions can be regenerated by running the Skyrim Launcher again as described in section 1.B of the STEP Guide. Users with MO already installed and set up will have to run the Launcher via MO to reset the defaults for the profile.

Warning-Logo.png
WARNING:
Changing settings in the Skyrim Launcher can undo user-configured INI tweaks. Steam has also been known to update the INIs under certain conditions. This does not apply to MO users except if running the Skyrim Launcher or Steam from within MO. To avoid "unapproved" alterations to the default configuration files, it is possible to set the INI files as "read only" after all the tweaks are in place. Do not set the MO profile INIs to read-only since this will cause problems.

Copy the following tweaks into the correct INI file inside their respective [sections]. If the setting already exists, change the value to the one below. If the setting does not exist, enter it on a new line at the end of its [section]. If the [section] does not exist, create it on a new line below one of the [sections]. Carefully check to ensure that there are no:

  1. duplicate [sections]
  2. duplicate settings
  3. misspellings (avoid this by copying and pasting from the guide or using MO's Configurator)
  4. invalid characters (each setting can only have characters accepted by its type, indicated by its prefix)
Moicon.png

MO2

Using the Tools > [Configurator] tool prevents any editing mistakes. Open the tool, click [Basic] to get the Advanced options, and choose the applicable section from the combobox. Then find the applicable setting and alter as indicated below. Click the [Save] button after each change and close the dialog when finished.

1.D.1. Skyrim INI[edit]

Each of the following entries can be pasted directly into the INI (if editing manually). The entry descriptions are commented, so they will not be interpreted by the game at startup. Alternatively, these descriptions can be omitted.
[Archive]

Set INI-loaded BSAs to their correct values
If the user somehow bypasses using the Skyrim Launcher when creating their INI files, the game will be missing Esbern's voice and will cause SkyrimLE:TES5Edit and other programs to not read all the Skyrim vanilla BSAs. To fix this, the following MUST be present in the Skyrim.ini file in the [Archive] section.

sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Textures.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa
sResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim - Voices.bsa, Skyrim - VoicesExtra.bsa


[Camera]

Increase third-person zoom speed
fMouseWheelZoomSpeed sets the transition speed when zooming in and out in third person mode. This also affects how fast the transition from first to third person occurs.

fMouseWheelZoomSpeed=10


[Combat]

More accurate aiming with bows and crossbows
f1PArrowTiltUpAngle sets the upward tilt angle of arrows in first-person view. It is recommended to change this so that arrows more accurately hit where the crosshair is pointing, although some arching is "natural."

f1PArrowTiltUpAngle=0.7

f3PArrowTiltUpAngle sets the upward tilt angle of arrows in third-person view. It is recommended to change this so that arrows more accurately hit where the crosshair is pointing, although some arching is "natural."

f3PArrowTiltUpAngle=0.7

f1PBoltTiltUpAngle sets the upward tilt angle of crossbow bolts in first-person view. Unfortunately, there is no similar setting for third-person view. It is recommended to change this so that bolts more accurately hit where the crosshair is pointing.

f1PBoltTiltUpAngle=0.7


[Display]

Disable Skyrim's buggy screenshots
bAllowScreenShot toggles the ability to create screenshots in BMP format by pressing the PrintScreen key. Once over three megabytes in size, the files seem to become corrupt. ENBoost's screenshot functionality effectively replaces it.

bAllowScreenShot=0

Smooth sun-shadow transitions
fSunShadowUpdateTime sets the speed of sun-shadow transitions in seconds. It is recommended to be adjusted to minimize the transitions. The value here increases the speed of the transition from one second to a quarter second. fSunUpdateThreshold sets the time between sun-shadow transitions. A value of 0.05 is equal to 1 second, so a value of 1 equals 20 seconds. Increasing this also increases the distance the shadows will move during the transition. It is recommended to be adjusted to minimize the transitions. The tweak here increases the time between transitions from 10 to 30 seconds, causing the transition to move the shadows three times as far.

fSunShadowUpdateTime=0.25
fSunUpdateThreshold=1.5

Enable or disable vertical sync
iPresentInterval toggles vertical sync between frame render and screen refresh rate, removing screen tearing. Despite being erroneously placed in the SkyrimPrefs.ini by the Skyrim Launcher and basically every other tweak guide around, this setting will have no effect unless placed in Skyrim.ini. It is recommended to be left at 1 (enabled), which is its default value. Setting it to 0 will disable it, which may be useful if another form of vertical sync or a frame rate limiter is used.

iPresentInterval=1


[General]

Disable the intro video
sIntroSequence sets the intro video before the main menu. It is recommended to set it to blank for faster startup.

sIntroSequence=

Prevent lighting pop-in
Raising fFlickeringLightDistance is believed to prevent lighting pop-in.

fFlickeringLightDistance=8192


[Grass]

Adjust grass fade range
fGrassFadeRange sets how far away grass will fade from the start fade distance (fGrassStartFadeDistance, which is Grass Fade in the in-game Settings > Display menu). It is recommended to adjust fGrassFadeRange rather than increase fGrassStartFadeDistance to remove the grass pop-in effect and performance benefits over the latter.

fGrassFadeRange=10000

Increase grass diversity
iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure (sic) sets the maximum types of grass per texture. Increasing this will create more diverse kinds of grass, especially with grass mods such as SkyrimLE:Skyrim Flora Overhaul at a small performance cost. Without grass mods, changing this setting produces little effect. Negative values disable grass. It is recommended to increase this from its default value, 2, to 3. For STEP, which uses SkyrimLE:Skyrim Flora Overhaul, set this to 7.

iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=7

Adjust grass density
iMinGrassSize sets the grass density. Lower values produces greater density, but values between 1 and 40 look almost identical. A value of 0 removes all grass. Negative values (e.g., -1, -10, etc.) look almost identical to the values of 1 to 40, but can induce CTDs so don't use them. High values starting around 50 and higher noticeably decrease grass density at a small performance gain. Grass mods such as Grass on Steroids and Verdant take advantage of this and can create high density grass at high iMinGrassSize values. Setting iMinGrassSize too high (e.g., 1000) will remove all grass. STEP recommends to increase this to 40.

iMinGrassSize=40


[Interface]

Disable the in-game tutorial pop-ups
bShowTutorials toggles the in-game tutorial pop-ups. It is recommended to disable them (set to 0) once accustomed to the game.

bShowTutorials=0


[MapMenu]

Increase map menu rotation range
fMapWorldYawRange sets the yaw range that the map menu's camera can turn when the right mouse button is pressed. Setting this to 400 allows the user to rotate full circle once. Increasing this beyond 400 allows the user to rotate more than full circle. Obsessively high values (e.g., 3600) induce crashes.

fMapWorldYawRange=400

Increase map menu angle range
fMapWorldMinPitch and fMapWorldMaxPitch sets the pitch that the user can change the angle of the map upwards and downwards when the right mouse button is held. Increasing it to the below values will enable the user the range of looking straight down on the map up to looking perpendicular across the map.

fMapWorldMinPitch=0
fMapWorldMaxPitch=90


[Water]

Enable LOD water reflections
These settings will enable LOD reflections of objects, trees, and land in the water.

bReflectLODLand=1
bReflectLODObjects=1
bReflectLODTrees=1

1.D.2. SkyrimPrefs INI[edit]


[Display]

Disable or enable precise lighting
bFloatPointRenderTarget toggles the ability of lighting to be rendered using floating point (decimal) values rather than only integer values. This increases the precision of lighting. It comes with a medium performance impact. For a STEP installation, set it to 0. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be enabled. ENBSeries Presets should be installed after a stabled installation of STEP is confirmed.

bFloatPointRenderTarget=0

Enable deferred shadows
bDeferredShadows toggles deferred rendering of shadows. It is required for bDrawLandShadows and bShadowsOnGrass to work. Enabled this for STEP. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be enabled.

bDeferredShadows=1

Enable or disable shadows on land
bDrawLandShadows toggles the ability of land objects such as rocks and mountains to cast shadows. It can be disabled (set value to 0) for a slight performance gain. Enable this for STEP. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be enabled.

bDrawLandShadows=1

Enable or disable shadows on grass
bShadowsOnGrass toggles the ability of objects to cast shadows upon grass. The grass itself does not cast shadows. This may be disabled for a minor performance increase. Enable this for STEP. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be enabled.

bShadowsOnGrass=1

Enable or disable shadows on trees
bTreesReceiveShadows toggles the ability of trees to cast shadows on themselves. It may be disabled for a slight performance gain. Enable this for STEP. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be enabled.

bTreesReceiveShadows=1

Enable the shadow filter
iShadowFilter toggles the shadow filter on and off. If set to a value between 0 and 4, the shadow filter is on. If set to any other value, be it below 0 or above 4, the shadow filter is turned off, which causes buggy shadows that induce CTDs. It is recommended to leave at its default value of 3, since all values between 0 and 4 appear to produce the same result.

iShadowFilter=3

Disable ZPrepass on shadows
bShadowMaskZPrepass is believed to toggle ZPrepass on the shadow mask. Enabling ZPrepass tells the game not to render certain objects to try to increase performance. In testing, no difference was noticed, but that could mean nothing, given the nature of the setting. It is recommended to leave it at its default value since there very well might be a good reason Bethesda disabled it.

bShadowMaskZPrepass=0

Remove tree popping
This almost entirely removes tree popping, due to the fact that trees are rendered at a sufficient distance to make the skinning process almost invisible. It is required to raise uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender as shown lower in this guide for this to work. See the Skyrim Tree Settings Guide for more information.

fMeshLODLevel1FadeTreeDistance=6144
fMeshLODLevel2FadeTreeDistance=4096
fTreesMidLODSwitchDist=8192

Disable anisotropic filtering
iMaxAnisotropy sets the level of anisotropic filtering (AF). This improves the texture quality of distant objects. It is recommended to be set to 0 and force it in the graphics driver which is explained in section 1.E of the STEP Guide.

iMaxAnisotropy=0

Increase the number of allowed decals
These settings ensure that decals are displayed.

iMaxDecalsPerFrame=250
iMaxSkinDecalsPerFrame=100

Adjust antialiasing
iMultiSample sets the level of antialiasing applied to edges to make them smoother and less jagged. This may be disabled (set to 0) to add a different form of antialiasing such as SMAA, FXAA, or other implementations in SweetFX or ENBSeries. If using an ENBSeries Preset, this must be disabled. 4 is the recommended value for all users not using a different form or antialiasing. The difference between 4 and 8 is barely noticeable compared to the performance trade off.

iMultiSample=4


[Launcher]

Enable file selection in the Skyrim Launcher
bEnableFileSelection toggles the ability of the Skyrim Launcher to have Data greyed out and unclickable or active and accessible. Setting it to 1 will allow Data to be accessed in the Launcher. It is not toggleable in the Launcher, so one must add the line manually. It has been verified that it is not used by the game itself, just the launcher. If this is not enabled, running the Skyrim Launcher may remove any existing load order.

bEnableFileSelection=1


[Trees]

Increase the maximum amount of skinned trees
uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender sets the maximum amount of skinned trees that can be rendered. Increasing this will help remove tree popping. See the Skyrim Tree Settings Guide for more information.

uiMaxSkinnedTreesToRender=200


[Water]

Increase resolution of water reflections
iWaterReflectHeight and iWaterReflectWidth set the resolution of water reflections. Increase these to 1024 for a STEP installation.

Please note that water noise has been disabled in the below comparison images to more easily see the difference.

iWaterReflectHeight=1024
iWaterReflectWidth=1024

1.E. Display & Video Card Settings[edit]

Often under-appreciated, display and driver settings have a huge potential impact on graphic quality of Skyrim and anything else that is displayed on the monitor in 2D or 3D. So it is important to get this done correctly. Below are the essentials, and no further tweaking is necessary; although, people will do what they must. Again, it is highly recommended that the bare minimal tweaking be done until after STEP is installed and configured according to the Baseline dictated by this guide.

Update Video Drivers[edit]

If there is any reason to believe that the latest drivers installed on your system are not the latest available or that they are not installed correctly and are causing issues then do the following. Else, just install the latest drivers as normal ...

  1. Download the latest stable AMD drivers / Nvidia drivers.
  2. If installing/re-installing new drivers, download DDU and install it (DDU forum Page).
  3. Boot into safe mode by repeatedly pressing F8 once the boot check initializes and before the OS begins loading (no need to uninstall the current drivers, but it will not hurt at all).
  4. Launch DDU, and select the appropriate driver from the drop-down combobox.
  5. Note the recommendations in DDU and initialize the cleanup.
  6. Reboot normally and install the latest drivers.

1.E.1. Configure Driver Settings[edit]

STEP has more detailed information in both the AMD-CCC guide as well as the Nvidia Inspector guide, and other AMD-CCC and Nvidia Inspector / Control Center guides exist for the inquisitive user. The following information is minimalistic, sound advice, and users are encouraged to add their own 2 cents for consideration via the AMD-CCC Talk and Nvidia Inspector Talk pages.

In Short - The graphics software should only be forcing max Anisotropic Filtering (AF) (and Supersampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA) for higher-end cards). All other settings should be left to the Skyrim configuration and ENBoost configurations (see above).

1.E.1.1. AMD Users[edit]

Detailed Information --> Catalyst Control Center Guide

1.E.1.2. Nvidia Users[edit]

Detailed Information --> Nvidia Inspector Guide: Editing Skyrim Settings

Make the following changes via Nvidia Inspector, otherwise leave the defaults (they can be tweaked later if absolutely necessary).

  1. Download Nvidia Inspector. This is a portable program and requires no installation. Simply place in a convenient location and create a shortcut to the executable.
  2. Within Inspector, select the "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" profile and keep all of the default settings except for the following changes:
  1. Set Antialiasing - Mode to "Application-controlled". Apparently, SkyrimPrefs.ini dictates the level of AA, but the video card drivers can dictate the method of AA. If set to "Override", AA will be turned off in Skyrim, regardless of the Skyrim INI setting!
  2. Set Antialiasing - Setting to "Application-controlled / Off" (for better performance), or set to use 2x2 (or 4x4) Supersampling if the video card can handle it (for better quality).
  3. Force Anisotropic filtering mode by setting Anisotropic filtering to "User-defined / Off".
  4. Set Anisotropic filtering setting to 16x. High values may cause texture shimmering in mid to long range texture LODs. If this happens, adjusting the LOD bias can help to remedy the issue. (See the Detailed Information link above for more information)
    • ENBoost users should skip the driver anisotropic filtering and set ForceAnisotropicFiltering=true in the enblocal.ini.
  5. Set Vertical Sync Tear Control to Standard if not already.
  6. Set Vertical Sync to Use 3D application setting. (Recall that vsync should be running via ENBoost's enblocal.ini!)
  7. Click Apply changes twice and then close, accepting any overwrite when prompted.

1.E.2. Display Calibration[edit]

Color calibration is critical to photographers and graphic artists that work across media types, but it is also more or less important for everyone that uses a computer. For gamers like those interested in STEP, it is a bit more important, because there is a lot of screenshot sharing and qualitative discussion about in-game visuals. It is ideal if all users are somewhat 'standardized' for comparative purposes alone.

The gist: Calibrate the monitor's display settings based on the video driver configuration utility with all other configuration baselines set to something akin to "mid level".

There are three places to configure color saturation, temp, brightness, contrast, gamma, etc:

  1. The monitor's built-in config
  2. Windows color management
  3. The driver configuration utility (see h"Configure Driver Settings above)

The settings of one affect the settings of the other, and depending on the quality of the monitor, #1 could be very good or just 'OK'. The #2 and #3 settings should be standard though, since they are made to work across various monitors.

  • Ensure that #1 is set to "the middle ground" with respect to all settings. Having extreme settings in the monitor configuration could potentially constrain the other configurations. For some, setting all #1 to mid levels will be best, but for others the 'auto-config' will be best (this may not set all #1 to mid settings). Depending on the monitor, there may be other auto-config options based on various presets. Whatever seems most "middle of the road" is probably best for #1.
  • Optionally, also run #2 (Control Panel > Display > Calibrate Color) and set to 'vanilla' mid-levels with respect to all attributes. If this was never run previously, then it should already be at mid-level.
  • Calibrate using #3 (see below) using a this reference image and in a room with no direct lighting that could affect what the monitor shows (not-too-bright, diffuse-lighted room). The main calibration should be left to #3 once a mid baseline 'canvas' has been established for #1 and #2.
    • AMD-CCC: |Desktop Management| > |Desktop Color| (click "Reactivate AMD color controls").
    • Nvidia Control Panel: Access from the Windows Control Panel. |Display| > |Adjust desktop color settings|

1.F. Performance Benchmarking[edit]

Detailed Information --> Benchmarking STEP

YOU CAN HELP!

Baseline performance benchmarks help us to assess performance variation across a range of computer configurations, which is useful for all users. User contributions in this regard are highly valued and much appreciated! Database-comparison benchmarks will be available as sufficient numbers of user-submitted data accumulate (and once we construct the system that will contain this information).

Points during setup that benchmarking is suggested will be indicated by:

Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


Final Pre-Installation Notes[edit]

A Final Consideration
  • Remember that STEP:Core should be used as a base for ANY modded setup. It is a universal build and will not spoil any downstream setup or Packs, although there may well be a few minor redundancies whereby a STEP:Core mod is later installed again with some added or subtracted options.
  • Install mods in the order that they are presented in the following tables in order to achieve the desired result.
  • Read the ReadMe and other mod-related documentation that comes packaged with most mods. This includes the mod description on the Nexus. If the mod author has seen fit and taken time to create these reference materials, then they are relevant and important in the eyes of the mod author. This means that they are relevant and important to you!


STEP 2[edit]

Mod Installation


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Consider the following while installing mods:

  • Mods should be installed in the order that they are listed to ensure that mods further down the list overwrite those occurring before them. This is necessary to ensure the desired in-game effect. Mods are otherwise listed in alphabetical order within each section, and any deviations from this are purposeful to achieve the desired outcome.
  • To achieve the best results, “Loose files” (non-BSA) versions of mods should be used when available. If a "loose files" version is not available, simply use the BSA version. DO NOT extract BSAs unless specifically instructed to do so in the installation instructions!
  • Always install plugins (ESPs/ESMs) unless otherwise noted. If there are not any notes associated with a particular mod, then all options fit the STEP mandate. The notes only provide instructions where necessary; otherwise, STEP encourages user customization.
  • Unless otherwise stated, follow LOOT's advice with regards to mod cleaning.

2.A. LOOT Sorting[edit]

At any time during the mod installation process LOOT should be used to sort plugin load order before stopping to benchmark and test Skyrim. This is necessary to ensure proper plugin priority order (load order), which can have a dramatic impact on the game (or at worst cause a CTD).

  1. Launch LOOT via Mod Organizer by clicking on the "Sort" button or directly from the executables drop-down menu.
  2. Examine the LOOT output carefully and look for any alerts or warnings and address each. The Plugins tab in MO (on the right side of the MO window) is where plugins can be activated/deactivated and sorted (either drag and drop or use Ctrl + Up/Down arrow keys to sort).
Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
LOOT must be run prior to launching the game every time a mod is installed which adds one or more plugins.

2.B. Clean the Update ESM[edit]

To remove errors in the Bethesda master files, STEP recommends that they be cleaned with TES5Edit. This ensures maximum stability and compatibility within the Skyrim modding experience. At this time, Update.esm will be cleaned in the following manner:

  1. Make a backup of Update.esm from <skyrim>/data directory by copying it to the desktop (or somewhere else handy).
  2. Run TES5Edit through Mod Organizer.
  3. Right-click the list of plugins and choose [Select None].
  4. Tick Update.esm, and click [OK].
  5. Wait for the Background Loader: finished message in the right panel, and then right-click [Update.esm] and select [Apply Filter For Cleaning].
  6. Wait for the [Filtering done] Processed Records: message in the right panel, and then right-click [Update.esm] and select [Remove "Identical to Master" records]. If the Warning! prompt pops up, click [Yes, I'm absolutely sure].
  7. Wait for the [Removing "Identical to Master" records done] Processed Records: message, and then right-click [Update.esm] and select [Undelete and Disable References].
  8. Wait for the [Undeleting and Disabling References done] Processed Records: message, and then click the [X] at upper right of the program window to exit the program.
  9. At the prompt, make sure Update.esm is checked and click [OK].

The result will be a cleaned version of Update.esm inside of <skyrim>/Data, which is why step #1 above instructs to back up the original (just in case).

2.C. 02-Extenders[edit]

Extend the game engine and required for use by downstream mods or utilities
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Stable uGridsToLoadLink to the mod's Wiki page.

2.D. 09-Fixes[edit]

Mods that fix various bugs not addressed by the Foundation mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Distant Decal FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Mod now only includes the meshes that do not conflict with USKP.
DawnguardLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unofficial Dawnguard PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HearthfireLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unofficial Hearthfire PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Brawl Bugs PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Only use the "Compatibility Edition" main file. Not necessary for Extended users that are installing Enhanced Blood Textures.
Double Cursor FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. This mod can be skipped if ENBoost is installed. Users not installing ENBoost, should install this mod.
Ragdoll ParalysisLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install the Paralyze Miscellaneous file.
Smart SoulsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The Smart Souls.ini file needs to be edited manually. To do this:
  1. While in Mod Organizer, right-click the Smart Souls mod on the left-hand side
  2. Select the menu option Open in explorer
  3. Within the new window, navigate into the SKSE/Plugins folder
  4. Right-click within the folder and select the menu option New > Text Document
  5. Name the file Smart Souls.ini (make sure you are showing File Extensions - click here to see how)
  6. Open the new file and copy the below contents, pasting them into the file
    '"`UNIQ--pre-0000013E-QINU`"'
  7. Save and close the file
Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
If you forget to follow the instructions above, the Smart Souls.ini file should be created upon running the game for the first time after this mod's installation. It will be located in the Mod Organizer Overwrite folder. This file needs to be dragged and dropped into the SKSE/Plugins folder within the Smart Souls mod.

Realistic Ragdolls and ForceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Realistic STEP Extended Patch users can remove the plugin from this mod. All other files are required.
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.E. 16-Interface[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of the user interface
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Dialogue ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better MessageBox ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
KenMOD Time On Loading ScreenLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Main Font ReplacementLink to the mod's Wiki page. Fertigo Pro DO NOT USE this mod if Skyrim language is not set to English!
Smaller CursorLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends the main file.
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.F. 06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
High Quality 3D MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-res meshes, 1k normals STEP recommends installing both the HQ3DMap - Meshes Hi-Res and HQ3DMap - Normals Original main files. Do not install any of the files with "Textures" in the file name. Choose the 03 - High 1024x1024 option in the installer.
Bethesda Hi-Res DLC OptimizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hybrid + Vanilla normals Detailed Instructions available
Note that the following options are written in terms of the Wrye Bash Wizard and FOMOD options. If installing manually (not recommended), make sure to adjust accordingly.

Select the option that best suits your VRAM limitations...

  • Less than 1GB
    Full 1024: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Vanilla Secondary stuff", and all four "Vanilla" optionals. Also install the "Compatible Version" optional. Disable the three "HighResTexturePack" ESPs in launcher or mod manager.
  • Between 1GB and 1.25GB - Baseline
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048) + Vanilla NormalMaps: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Hi-Res Secondary stuff", and "Hybrid + Vanilla NM files". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Between 1.25GB and 1.5GB
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048): Select "Core files" (selected by default) and "Hi-Res Secondary stuff". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Greater than 1.5GB
    Do not download this mod, just use the full HRDLC.
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-8 NMM Installation Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Candles
      • ☑ High Resolution Candles
    • Catacomb Candles
      • ☑ HD Catacomb Candles
    • Enchantingstation
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Spider Eggs
      • ☑ HD Spider Eggs
    • Ruins Pots
      • ☑ HD Pots
    • Ruins Door
      • ☑ Improved Ruins Door
    • Dragonclaws
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Subliminal Traps
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Lantern
      • ☑ Lantern
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • texture/clutter/candles
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01.dds
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01_n.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen01.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen02.dds
Realistic Smoke and EmbersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium
The Skyrim Distance OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to install the following options:
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Waterfall Effects Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Giant Campfires Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Whiterun Creaks Beta

With these options, there should be little to no performance drops.

Morthal Swamp Trees Options

The Morthal Swamp tree options are very performance heavy! These options add NeverFade flags to many of the trees in the swamps. This means the trees are loaded whenever the player is looking towards them even if the player is on the other side of the map in Riften! Due to this performance drop, STEP only recommends these options for users with systems which can take a 10-20 FPS drop without affecting gameplay and causing lag issues.

S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Complete
  • This option will load all trees in the swamp and comes with an ~20FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Lite
  • This option will load approximately half the trees in the swamp and comes with an ~10FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
None
  • This option will not make any extra trees load in the swamp and comes with no additional FPS drop. This is the STEP recommendation for most users.

Patch

Do not install the SkyFalls and SkyMills Patch optional file, since it is now contained within the SkyFalls and SkyMills installer.

xEdit Cleaning Required
SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp 12 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effect.esp 36 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp 39 ITMs
You will only have one or none of the following depending on the options you chose during installation.
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Complete.esp 129 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Lite.esp 117 ITMs

SkyFalls and SkyMillsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer" main file.
FOMOD Instructions
SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer
  • Installed DLC?
    • Dawnguard (DG)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Dragonborn (DB)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Flaskaar (FS)
      • ◉ No
    • Wyrmstooth (WT)
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • Check your choices
    • Check your selection
      • ◉ Both DG + DB
        • Next
  • LOD mod compatibility
    • LOD mod compatibility
      • ◉ I don't use these mods
        • Next
  • Optionals
    • Optional Small Waterfalls
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Patches
      • ☐ None
    • Windmill sail Size
      • ◉ 1.5x vanilla (Default)
    • Select your water mod
      • ◉ Realistic Water Two (Default)
        • Install
Serious HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Serious HD Retexture LANDSCAPE 1024px" file found in the Old Versions section and the "Serious HD Retexture RIFTEN 1024px" file found in the Optional Files section.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02.dds
  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud_n.dds
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tobes Hi-Res TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Install the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2 1024 main file and the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2b SMIM Patch optional file.

This mod is not packaged correctly. Double-click on TobesHighResTextures1_2_1024. Right-click on Data and select [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install. Repeat this for the SMIM Patch file and select [Merge] when asked.

The following files from the main file should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package. Do not hide or remove anything from the SMIM patch. Hide the following files:

  • Textures/clutter/barrel01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barset/
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01_n.dds
  • Textures/furniture/
High Quality Food and IngredientsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance repack Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files:
  • textures/Clutter/ingredients/venison_meat_n.dds
Enhanced Distant Terrain 2Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends both main files.
A Quality World MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the A Quality World Map 9.0.1 - Vivid with Stone Roads main file.
AMidianBorn Caves and MinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
AMidianBorn FarmhouseLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
The following files should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03_n.dds
AMidianBorn Solstheim LandscapeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
AMidianBorn WhiterunLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends removing the following files/folders:

Hide the following files:

  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01_n.dds
Skyrim Flora OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Basic Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Flora Overhaul Basic Edition v1.87 main file. Also install the Dragonborn addon v02 main file. Select [Merge] when asked while installing the addon.


Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini to reduce the quantity of grass (as seen in this comparison): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009A-QINU`"' Note that this value can be set to any number (default is 20), where a lower value corresponds to a higher grass density and thus lower performance. Try different values to see what provides the best balance of performance and visual quality.



Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini for more grass variety (with a slight performance impact): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009B-QINU`"' (The typo in "texture" was made by Bethesda and should be written that way.)



STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files: Hide the following file:

  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_01.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/dirtcliffs (the entire folder)
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02.dds
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnow.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnowl.dds
  • textures/terrain/tamriel/trees/tamrieltreelod.dds
Dragon Glyphs-FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends the Dragon Chiseled Main File.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a.dds
  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a_n.dds
Enhanced Distant TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Download the main file. STEP recommends the Earth 1024 option.
Enhanced Night SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Enhanced Night Skyrim v04 Low Stars optional file.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
High Quality LODsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-Res Meshes Install the HQLODs - Meshes Hi-Res main file. Do not install the normals. For slightly better performance at slightly less quality, the medium-resolution meshes can be used.
HiRes Legible Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HiRes Road Signs Version 3 Worn Text Optional File.
Moss RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. SMIM version
Moss Rocks-DragonbornLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ruffled Feather Moss Rocks - Dragonborn Addon - v2.0 - SMIM Meshes main file.
Real IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download the All-in-One Pack. Choose the 'With Parallax' option (even without using ENB; this is a parallax effect without an ENB requirement) and then the "Half Icecube-Half Dull" option (00 Dull and Ice). The BCF includes a wizard and Fomod to simplify installation -->
Re-Defined DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Re-Defined Dungeons 1024x1024 optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. When installing this mod, right-click on the Data folder and choose [Set data directory]. Okay [OK] to install.

If using the main file (2048x textures), hide or remove the candle textures as they conflict with SMIM. The recommended version (1024x textures) does not contain these textures and does not have this issue.

Skyrim Distant DetailLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hearthfire users: Use the "Hearthfire Edition" file instead. Mod requires TES5Edit cleaning.
Stalhrim of Skyrim-FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install 1k and custom opacity.
Terrain BumpLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files from Terrain Bump:

Hide the following files: textures/landscape/fieldgrass01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab02_n.dds

The Beauty of Skyrim-DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
Trees HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Detailed Instructions available
If installing with MO:

Hide the following files: meshes/landscape/trees (entire folder) textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine01.dds textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine02.dds

Visible WindowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium version STEP recommends the "Gritty" option for all windows and the "Default" for all color options but "Yellow Tint" for both Solitude and Whiterun. BCF Available. BCF needs 2 files (Reduced Night Glow optional file also needed)
AMidianBorn Blade of WoeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Only the main file.
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence -- CREATURES
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Users have two installation options with this mod and other mods like it. When multiple files are used from the same mod, users may either:

  • create a single mod listing and merge all files into it or,
  • create a separate mod listing for each file.

STEP Recommends: Merging all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence

FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence ARMORS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Iron and Banded
      • ◉ Iron - Vanilla Cut
    • Steel
      • ◉ Steel
    • Steel Plate
      • ☑ Steel Plate
    • Leather
      • ☑ Leather
    • Hide and Studded
      • ◉ Hide
    • Fur
      • ☑ Fur
    • Elven
      • ◉ Elven - Gold
    • Dwarven
      • ☑ Dwarven
    • Ancient Nord
      • ☑ Ancient Nord
    • Orcish
      • ◉ Orcish
    • Scaled
      • ◉ Scaled
    • Wolf
      • ◉ Wolf - Grey Fur
    • Glass
      • ◉ Glass - Golden
    • Ebony
      • ◉ Ebony - Black
    • Blades
      • ☑ Blades
    • Falmer
      • ☑ Falmer
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence CREATURES
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Skeleton
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dragon Priest
      • ◉ None
    • Draugr
      • ◉ None
    • Falmer
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Chaurus
      • ☑ Chaurus
    • Spriggan
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence DRAGONBORN DLC
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Next
        • Install
  • Custom
    • Nordic Carved Armor
      • ◉ Black Fur (default)
    • Bonemold Armor
      • ☑ Bonemold Armor
    • Acolyte Masks
      • ☑ Acolyte Masks
    • Dragon Priest Acolytes
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Hulking Draugr
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Ash Spawn
      • ☑ Ash Spawn
    • Ash Guardians
      • ☑ Ash Guardians
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence UNIQUE ITEMS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Targe of the Blooded
      • ☑ Targe of the Blooded
    • Wuuthrad
      • ☑ Wuuthrad
    • Savior's Hide
      • ☑ Savior's Hide
    • Helm of Yngol
      • ☑ Helm of Yngol
    • Mace of Molag Bal
      • ☑ Mace of Molag Bal
    • Mehrune's Razor
      • ☑ Mehrune's Razor
    • Volendrung
      • ☑ Volendrung
    • Tsun's Armor
      • ☑ Tsun's Armor
    • Ebony Mail
      • ☑ Ebony Mail - Black
    • Staff of Magnus
      • ☑ Staff of Magnus
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install all weapons (default)
        • Install

Optional ESPs

Depending on how the mods are installed:

  1. Right-click the aMidianBorn Book of Silence or aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS mod
  2. Click [Information...].
  3. Click the Optional ESPs tab and move aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp from the right pane to the left.

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to moved plugins to the Optional ESPs.

Hiding files and folders

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/clothes

To do this,

  1. Double-click on the mod listing in the left pane.
  2. Click the Filetree tab.
  3. Expand the textures folder.
  4. Right-click on the clothes folder and select [Hide].

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to hide files or folders from a mod.

AMidianBorn Imperial Light and StuddedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
AMidianBorn Stormcloak Officer ArmourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
Better CircletsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024x512
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Gemling Queen JewelryLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Gemling Queen Jewelry - All In One Installer main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addon
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 512
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ SMIM Textures
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ None
        • Install

The plugin has been made redundant by the Unofficial Patches. In MO:

  1. Double click on the mod
  2. Select Optional ESPs tab
  3. Select GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp
  4. Click left-pointing arrow to move it to "Optional ESPs" in left pane

This will remove the redundant plugin.

Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards Redux
  • Installation Options
    • Select DLC
      • ☑ Skyrim
      • ☑ Dawnguard
      • ☑ Dragonborn
    • Meshes Type
      • ◉ Meshes - Thin
    • Sheath/Scabbard Type
      • ◉ Fullsize
    • Skyforge Steel
      • ☐ None
        • Install
Better ShadowmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Main File Download and install the Detailed Rugs v1-5 Main File.
Enhanced HD Dragon BonesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k STEP recommends the "No flesh" option.
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
HD BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 x 1024
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD SacksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HDSacks14TypeBBig and HDSacks14TypeBSmall Main Files.
HQ PaperLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not Really HD-Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Smudged Glass".
Not Really HD-KeysLink to the mod's Wiki page. With normals
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Legacy" version.
Realistic InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Silly Level of Detail-Potions and PoisonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use Ceramic style. Install for both potions and poisons.
Soul Gems DifferLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Soul Gems Differ - All-In-One main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Soul Gems Differ
  • Welcome!
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Continue to installation
        • Next
  • Normal or Requiem
    • Are you using Requiem?
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • ESP Files
    • Mod Version Options
      • ◉ Sort-friendly and Weighted
        • Next
  • Installation Options
    • Choose your install option
      • ◉ STEP Installation Option
        • Next
  • Install Soul Gems Differ
    • Mod Installation
      • ☑ Install Soul Gems Differ
        • Install


For STEP users using Wrye Bash, download the " Soul Gems Differ All-In-One" main file and run using the WB wizard. This will allow you to install the STEP-recommended Configuration.


All other users, the Requiem option will install a Requiem patched version of the mod so only choose "Yes" if you are using Requiem or your game will likely crash at start. The next screen allows you to install the version of the mod you want. This will also install all needed language files to make the mod multilingual. The next screen allows you to install the gem options. Either choose a pre-made option or choose custom to customize the options you want.

Super Realistic OreLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download the Just the textures optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install.
Bellyache's Creature PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Use the Default Animal Replacement Med Res file located in the Miscellaneous Files.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/actors/chaurus
  • textures/effects/fxbird01.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_b.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_n.dds
Bellyaches HD Dragon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Effect ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "2XRes".
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.G. 06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
High Quality 3D MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-res meshes, 1k normals STEP recommends installing both the HQ3DMap - Meshes Hi-Res and HQ3DMap - Normals Original main files. Do not install any of the files with "Textures" in the file name. Choose the 03 - High 1024x1024 option in the installer.
Bethesda Hi-Res DLC OptimizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hybrid + Vanilla normals Detailed Instructions available
Note that the following options are written in terms of the Wrye Bash Wizard and FOMOD options. If installing manually (not recommended), make sure to adjust accordingly.

Select the option that best suits your VRAM limitations...

  • Less than 1GB
    Full 1024: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Vanilla Secondary stuff", and all four "Vanilla" optionals. Also install the "Compatible Version" optional. Disable the three "HighResTexturePack" ESPs in launcher or mod manager.
  • Between 1GB and 1.25GB - Baseline
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048) + Vanilla NormalMaps: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Hi-Res Secondary stuff", and "Hybrid + Vanilla NM files". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Between 1.25GB and 1.5GB
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048): Select "Core files" (selected by default) and "Hi-Res Secondary stuff". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Greater than 1.5GB
    Do not download this mod, just use the full HRDLC.
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-8 NMM Installation Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Candles
      • ☑ High Resolution Candles
    • Catacomb Candles
      • ☑ HD Catacomb Candles
    • Enchantingstation
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Spider Eggs
      • ☑ HD Spider Eggs
    • Ruins Pots
      • ☑ HD Pots
    • Ruins Door
      • ☑ Improved Ruins Door
    • Dragonclaws
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Subliminal Traps
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Lantern
      • ☑ Lantern
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • texture/clutter/candles
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01.dds
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01_n.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen01.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen02.dds
Realistic Smoke and EmbersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium
The Skyrim Distance OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to install the following options:
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Waterfall Effects Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Giant Campfires Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Whiterun Creaks Beta

With these options, there should be little to no performance drops.

Morthal Swamp Trees Options

The Morthal Swamp tree options are very performance heavy! These options add NeverFade flags to many of the trees in the swamps. This means the trees are loaded whenever the player is looking towards them even if the player is on the other side of the map in Riften! Due to this performance drop, STEP only recommends these options for users with systems which can take a 10-20 FPS drop without affecting gameplay and causing lag issues.

S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Complete
  • This option will load all trees in the swamp and comes with an ~20FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Lite
  • This option will load approximately half the trees in the swamp and comes with an ~10FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
None
  • This option will not make any extra trees load in the swamp and comes with no additional FPS drop. This is the STEP recommendation for most users.

Patch

Do not install the SkyFalls and SkyMills Patch optional file, since it is now contained within the SkyFalls and SkyMills installer.

xEdit Cleaning Required
SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp 12 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effect.esp 36 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp 39 ITMs
You will only have one or none of the following depending on the options you chose during installation.
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Complete.esp 129 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Lite.esp 117 ITMs

SkyFalls and SkyMillsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer" main file.
FOMOD Instructions
SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer
  • Installed DLC?
    • Dawnguard (DG)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Dragonborn (DB)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Flaskaar (FS)
      • ◉ No
    • Wyrmstooth (WT)
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • Check your choices
    • Check your selection
      • ◉ Both DG + DB
        • Next
  • LOD mod compatibility
    • LOD mod compatibility
      • ◉ I don't use these mods
        • Next
  • Optionals
    • Optional Small Waterfalls
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Patches
      • ☐ None
    • Windmill sail Size
      • ◉ 1.5x vanilla (Default)
    • Select your water mod
      • ◉ Realistic Water Two (Default)
        • Install
Serious HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Serious HD Retexture LANDSCAPE 1024px" file found in the Old Versions section and the "Serious HD Retexture RIFTEN 1024px" file found in the Optional Files section.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02.dds
  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud_n.dds
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tobes Hi-Res TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Install the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2 1024 main file and the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2b SMIM Patch optional file.

This mod is not packaged correctly. Double-click on TobesHighResTextures1_2_1024. Right-click on Data and select [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install. Repeat this for the SMIM Patch file and select [Merge] when asked.

The following files from the main file should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package. Do not hide or remove anything from the SMIM patch. Hide the following files:

  • Textures/clutter/barrel01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barset/
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01_n.dds
  • Textures/furniture/
High Quality Food and IngredientsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance repack Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files:
  • textures/Clutter/ingredients/venison_meat_n.dds
Enhanced Distant Terrain 2Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends both main files.
A Quality World MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the A Quality World Map 9.0.1 - Vivid with Stone Roads main file.
AMidianBorn Caves and MinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
AMidianBorn FarmhouseLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
The following files should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03_n.dds
AMidianBorn Solstheim LandscapeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
AMidianBorn WhiterunLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends removing the following files/folders:

Hide the following files:

  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01_n.dds
Skyrim Flora OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Basic Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Flora Overhaul Basic Edition v1.87 main file. Also install the Dragonborn addon v02 main file. Select [Merge] when asked while installing the addon.


Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini to reduce the quantity of grass (as seen in this comparison): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009A-QINU`"' Note that this value can be set to any number (default is 20), where a lower value corresponds to a higher grass density and thus lower performance. Try different values to see what provides the best balance of performance and visual quality.



Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini for more grass variety (with a slight performance impact): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009B-QINU`"' (The typo in "texture" was made by Bethesda and should be written that way.)



STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files: Hide the following file:

  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_01.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/dirtcliffs (the entire folder)
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02.dds
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnow.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnowl.dds
  • textures/terrain/tamriel/trees/tamrieltreelod.dds
Dragon Glyphs-FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends the Dragon Chiseled Main File.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a.dds
  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a_n.dds
Enhanced Distant TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Download the main file. STEP recommends the Earth 1024 option.
Enhanced Night SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Enhanced Night Skyrim v04 Low Stars optional file.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
High Quality LODsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-Res Meshes Install the HQLODs - Meshes Hi-Res main file. Do not install the normals. For slightly better performance at slightly less quality, the medium-resolution meshes can be used.
HiRes Legible Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HiRes Road Signs Version 3 Worn Text Optional File.
Moss RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. SMIM version
Moss Rocks-DragonbornLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ruffled Feather Moss Rocks - Dragonborn Addon - v2.0 - SMIM Meshes main file.
Real IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download the All-in-One Pack. Choose the 'With Parallax' option (even without using ENB; this is a parallax effect without an ENB requirement) and then the "Half Icecube-Half Dull" option (00 Dull and Ice). The BCF includes a wizard and Fomod to simplify installation -->
Re-Defined DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Re-Defined Dungeons 1024x1024 optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. When installing this mod, right-click on the Data folder and choose [Set data directory]. Okay [OK] to install.

If using the main file (2048x textures), hide or remove the candle textures as they conflict with SMIM. The recommended version (1024x textures) does not contain these textures and does not have this issue.

Skyrim Distant DetailLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hearthfire users: Use the "Hearthfire Edition" file instead. Mod requires TES5Edit cleaning.
Stalhrim of Skyrim-FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install 1k and custom opacity.
Terrain BumpLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files from Terrain Bump:

Hide the following files: textures/landscape/fieldgrass01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab02_n.dds

The Beauty of Skyrim-DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
Trees HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Detailed Instructions available
If installing with MO:

Hide the following files: meshes/landscape/trees (entire folder) textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine01.dds textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine02.dds

Visible WindowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium version STEP recommends the "Gritty" option for all windows and the "Default" for all color options but "Yellow Tint" for both Solitude and Whiterun. BCF Available. BCF needs 2 files (Reduced Night Glow optional file also needed)
AMidianBorn Blade of WoeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Only the main file.
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence -- CREATURES
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Users have two installation options with this mod and other mods like it. When multiple files are used from the same mod, users may either:

  • create a single mod listing and merge all files into it or,
  • create a separate mod listing for each file.

STEP Recommends: Merging all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence

FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence ARMORS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Iron and Banded
      • ◉ Iron - Vanilla Cut
    • Steel
      • ◉ Steel
    • Steel Plate
      • ☑ Steel Plate
    • Leather
      • ☑ Leather
    • Hide and Studded
      • ◉ Hide
    • Fur
      • ☑ Fur
    • Elven
      • ◉ Elven - Gold
    • Dwarven
      • ☑ Dwarven
    • Ancient Nord
      • ☑ Ancient Nord
    • Orcish
      • ◉ Orcish
    • Scaled
      • ◉ Scaled
    • Wolf
      • ◉ Wolf - Grey Fur
    • Glass
      • ◉ Glass - Golden
    • Ebony
      • ◉ Ebony - Black
    • Blades
      • ☑ Blades
    • Falmer
      • ☑ Falmer
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence CREATURES
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Skeleton
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dragon Priest
      • ◉ None
    • Draugr
      • ◉ None
    • Falmer
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Chaurus
      • ☑ Chaurus
    • Spriggan
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence DRAGONBORN DLC
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Next
        • Install
  • Custom
    • Nordic Carved Armor
      • ◉ Black Fur (default)
    • Bonemold Armor
      • ☑ Bonemold Armor
    • Acolyte Masks
      • ☑ Acolyte Masks
    • Dragon Priest Acolytes
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Hulking Draugr
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Ash Spawn
      • ☑ Ash Spawn
    • Ash Guardians
      • ☑ Ash Guardians
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence UNIQUE ITEMS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Targe of the Blooded
      • ☑ Targe of the Blooded
    • Wuuthrad
      • ☑ Wuuthrad
    • Savior's Hide
      • ☑ Savior's Hide
    • Helm of Yngol
      • ☑ Helm of Yngol
    • Mace of Molag Bal
      • ☑ Mace of Molag Bal
    • Mehrune's Razor
      • ☑ Mehrune's Razor
    • Volendrung
      • ☑ Volendrung
    • Tsun's Armor
      • ☑ Tsun's Armor
    • Ebony Mail
      • ☑ Ebony Mail - Black
    • Staff of Magnus
      • ☑ Staff of Magnus
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install all weapons (default)
        • Install

Optional ESPs

Depending on how the mods are installed:

  1. Right-click the aMidianBorn Book of Silence or aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS mod
  2. Click [Information...].
  3. Click the Optional ESPs tab and move aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp from the right pane to the left.

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to moved plugins to the Optional ESPs.

Hiding files and folders

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/clothes

To do this,

  1. Double-click on the mod listing in the left pane.
  2. Click the Filetree tab.
  3. Expand the textures folder.
  4. Right-click on the clothes folder and select [Hide].

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to hide files or folders from a mod.

AMidianBorn Imperial Light and StuddedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
AMidianBorn Stormcloak Officer ArmourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
Better CircletsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024x512
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Gemling Queen JewelryLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Gemling Queen Jewelry - All In One Installer main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addon
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 512
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ SMIM Textures
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ None
        • Install

The plugin has been made redundant by the Unofficial Patches. In MO:

  1. Double click on the mod
  2. Select Optional ESPs tab
  3. Select GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp
  4. Click left-pointing arrow to move it to "Optional ESPs" in left pane

This will remove the redundant plugin.

Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards Redux
  • Installation Options
    • Select DLC
      • ☑ Skyrim
      • ☑ Dawnguard
      • ☑ Dragonborn
    • Meshes Type
      • ◉ Meshes - Thin
    • Sheath/Scabbard Type
      • ◉ Fullsize
    • Skyforge Steel
      • ☐ None
        • Install
Better ShadowmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Main File Download and install the Detailed Rugs v1-5 Main File.
Enhanced HD Dragon BonesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k STEP recommends the "No flesh" option.
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
HD BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 x 1024
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD SacksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HDSacks14TypeBBig and HDSacks14TypeBSmall Main Files.
HQ PaperLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not Really HD-Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Smudged Glass".
Not Really HD-KeysLink to the mod's Wiki page. With normals
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Legacy" version.
Realistic InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Silly Level of Detail-Potions and PoisonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use Ceramic style. Install for both potions and poisons.
Soul Gems DifferLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Soul Gems Differ - All-In-One main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Soul Gems Differ
  • Welcome!
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Continue to installation
        • Next
  • Normal or Requiem
    • Are you using Requiem?
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • ESP Files
    • Mod Version Options
      • ◉ Sort-friendly and Weighted
        • Next
  • Installation Options
    • Choose your install option
      • ◉ STEP Installation Option
        • Next
  • Install Soul Gems Differ
    • Mod Installation
      • ☑ Install Soul Gems Differ
        • Install


For STEP users using Wrye Bash, download the " Soul Gems Differ All-In-One" main file and run using the WB wizard. This will allow you to install the STEP-recommended Configuration.


All other users, the Requiem option will install a Requiem patched version of the mod so only choose "Yes" if you are using Requiem or your game will likely crash at start. The next screen allows you to install the version of the mod you want. This will also install all needed language files to make the mod multilingual. The next screen allows you to install the gem options. Either choose a pre-made option or choose custom to customize the options you want.

Super Realistic OreLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download the Just the textures optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install.
Bellyache's Creature PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Use the Default Animal Replacement Med Res file located in the Miscellaneous Files.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/actors/chaurus
  • textures/effects/fxbird01.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_b.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_n.dds
Bellyaches HD Dragon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Effect ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "2XRes".
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.H. 08-Character Appearance[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of PC or NPC appearance

No mods defined.

Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.I. 06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
High Quality 3D MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-res meshes, 1k normals STEP recommends installing both the HQ3DMap - Meshes Hi-Res and HQ3DMap - Normals Original main files. Do not install any of the files with "Textures" in the file name. Choose the 03 - High 1024x1024 option in the installer.
Bethesda Hi-Res DLC OptimizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hybrid + Vanilla normals Detailed Instructions available
Note that the following options are written in terms of the Wrye Bash Wizard and FOMOD options. If installing manually (not recommended), make sure to adjust accordingly.

Select the option that best suits your VRAM limitations...

  • Less than 1GB
    Full 1024: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Vanilla Secondary stuff", and all four "Vanilla" optionals. Also install the "Compatible Version" optional. Disable the three "HighResTexturePack" ESPs in launcher or mod manager.
  • Between 1GB and 1.25GB - Baseline
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048) + Vanilla NormalMaps: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Hi-Res Secondary stuff", and "Hybrid + Vanilla NM files". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Between 1.25GB and 1.5GB
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048): Select "Core files" (selected by default) and "Hi-Res Secondary stuff". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Greater than 1.5GB
    Do not download this mod, just use the full HRDLC.
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-8 NMM Installation Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Candles
      • ☑ High Resolution Candles
    • Catacomb Candles
      • ☑ HD Catacomb Candles
    • Enchantingstation
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Spider Eggs
      • ☑ HD Spider Eggs
    • Ruins Pots
      • ☑ HD Pots
    • Ruins Door
      • ☑ Improved Ruins Door
    • Dragonclaws
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Subliminal Traps
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Lantern
      • ☑ Lantern
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • texture/clutter/candles
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01.dds
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01_n.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen01.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen02.dds
Realistic Smoke and EmbersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium
The Skyrim Distance OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to install the following options:
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Waterfall Effects Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Giant Campfires Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Whiterun Creaks Beta

With these options, there should be little to no performance drops.

Morthal Swamp Trees Options

The Morthal Swamp tree options are very performance heavy! These options add NeverFade flags to many of the trees in the swamps. This means the trees are loaded whenever the player is looking towards them even if the player is on the other side of the map in Riften! Due to this performance drop, STEP only recommends these options for users with systems which can take a 10-20 FPS drop without affecting gameplay and causing lag issues.

S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Complete
  • This option will load all trees in the swamp and comes with an ~20FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Lite
  • This option will load approximately half the trees in the swamp and comes with an ~10FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
None
  • This option will not make any extra trees load in the swamp and comes with no additional FPS drop. This is the STEP recommendation for most users.

Patch

Do not install the SkyFalls and SkyMills Patch optional file, since it is now contained within the SkyFalls and SkyMills installer.

xEdit Cleaning Required
SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp 12 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effect.esp 36 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp 39 ITMs
You will only have one or none of the following depending on the options you chose during installation.
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Complete.esp 129 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Lite.esp 117 ITMs

SkyFalls and SkyMillsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer" main file.
FOMOD Instructions
SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer
  • Installed DLC?
    • Dawnguard (DG)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Dragonborn (DB)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Flaskaar (FS)
      • ◉ No
    • Wyrmstooth (WT)
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • Check your choices
    • Check your selection
      • ◉ Both DG + DB
        • Next
  • LOD mod compatibility
    • LOD mod compatibility
      • ◉ I don't use these mods
        • Next
  • Optionals
    • Optional Small Waterfalls
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Patches
      • ☐ None
    • Windmill sail Size
      • ◉ 1.5x vanilla (Default)
    • Select your water mod
      • ◉ Realistic Water Two (Default)
        • Install
Serious HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Serious HD Retexture LANDSCAPE 1024px" file found in the Old Versions section and the "Serious HD Retexture RIFTEN 1024px" file found in the Optional Files section.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02.dds
  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud_n.dds
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tobes Hi-Res TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Install the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2 1024 main file and the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2b SMIM Patch optional file.

This mod is not packaged correctly. Double-click on TobesHighResTextures1_2_1024. Right-click on Data and select [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install. Repeat this for the SMIM Patch file and select [Merge] when asked.

The following files from the main file should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package. Do not hide or remove anything from the SMIM patch. Hide the following files:

  • Textures/clutter/barrel01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barset/
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01_n.dds
  • Textures/furniture/
High Quality Food and IngredientsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance repack Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files:
  • textures/Clutter/ingredients/venison_meat_n.dds
Enhanced Distant Terrain 2Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends both main files.
A Quality World MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the A Quality World Map 9.0.1 - Vivid with Stone Roads main file.
AMidianBorn Caves and MinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
AMidianBorn FarmhouseLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
The following files should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03_n.dds
AMidianBorn Solstheim LandscapeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
AMidianBorn WhiterunLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends removing the following files/folders:

Hide the following files:

  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01_n.dds
Skyrim Flora OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Basic Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Flora Overhaul Basic Edition v1.87 main file. Also install the Dragonborn addon v02 main file. Select [Merge] when asked while installing the addon.


Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini to reduce the quantity of grass (as seen in this comparison): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009A-QINU`"' Note that this value can be set to any number (default is 20), where a lower value corresponds to a higher grass density and thus lower performance. Try different values to see what provides the best balance of performance and visual quality.



Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini for more grass variety (with a slight performance impact): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009B-QINU`"' (The typo in "texture" was made by Bethesda and should be written that way.)



STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files: Hide the following file:

  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_01.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/dirtcliffs (the entire folder)
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02.dds
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnow.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnowl.dds
  • textures/terrain/tamriel/trees/tamrieltreelod.dds
Dragon Glyphs-FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends the Dragon Chiseled Main File.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a.dds
  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a_n.dds
Enhanced Distant TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Download the main file. STEP recommends the Earth 1024 option.
Enhanced Night SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Enhanced Night Skyrim v04 Low Stars optional file.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
High Quality LODsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-Res Meshes Install the HQLODs - Meshes Hi-Res main file. Do not install the normals. For slightly better performance at slightly less quality, the medium-resolution meshes can be used.
HiRes Legible Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HiRes Road Signs Version 3 Worn Text Optional File.
Moss RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. SMIM version
Moss Rocks-DragonbornLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ruffled Feather Moss Rocks - Dragonborn Addon - v2.0 - SMIM Meshes main file.
Real IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download the All-in-One Pack. Choose the 'With Parallax' option (even without using ENB; this is a parallax effect without an ENB requirement) and then the "Half Icecube-Half Dull" option (00 Dull and Ice). The BCF includes a wizard and Fomod to simplify installation -->
Re-Defined DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Re-Defined Dungeons 1024x1024 optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. When installing this mod, right-click on the Data folder and choose [Set data directory]. Okay [OK] to install.

If using the main file (2048x textures), hide or remove the candle textures as they conflict with SMIM. The recommended version (1024x textures) does not contain these textures and does not have this issue.

Skyrim Distant DetailLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hearthfire users: Use the "Hearthfire Edition" file instead. Mod requires TES5Edit cleaning.
Stalhrim of Skyrim-FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install 1k and custom opacity.
Terrain BumpLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files from Terrain Bump:

Hide the following files: textures/landscape/fieldgrass01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab02_n.dds

The Beauty of Skyrim-DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
Trees HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Detailed Instructions available
If installing with MO:

Hide the following files: meshes/landscape/trees (entire folder) textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine01.dds textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine02.dds

Visible WindowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium version STEP recommends the "Gritty" option for all windows and the "Default" for all color options but "Yellow Tint" for both Solitude and Whiterun. BCF Available. BCF needs 2 files (Reduced Night Glow optional file also needed)
AMidianBorn Blade of WoeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Only the main file.
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence -- CREATURES
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Users have two installation options with this mod and other mods like it. When multiple files are used from the same mod, users may either:

  • create a single mod listing and merge all files into it or,
  • create a separate mod listing for each file.

STEP Recommends: Merging all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence

FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence ARMORS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Iron and Banded
      • ◉ Iron - Vanilla Cut
    • Steel
      • ◉ Steel
    • Steel Plate
      • ☑ Steel Plate
    • Leather
      • ☑ Leather
    • Hide and Studded
      • ◉ Hide
    • Fur
      • ☑ Fur
    • Elven
      • ◉ Elven - Gold
    • Dwarven
      • ☑ Dwarven
    • Ancient Nord
      • ☑ Ancient Nord
    • Orcish
      • ◉ Orcish
    • Scaled
      • ◉ Scaled
    • Wolf
      • ◉ Wolf - Grey Fur
    • Glass
      • ◉ Glass - Golden
    • Ebony
      • ◉ Ebony - Black
    • Blades
      • ☑ Blades
    • Falmer
      • ☑ Falmer
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence CREATURES
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Skeleton
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dragon Priest
      • ◉ None
    • Draugr
      • ◉ None
    • Falmer
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Chaurus
      • ☑ Chaurus
    • Spriggan
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence DRAGONBORN DLC
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Next
        • Install
  • Custom
    • Nordic Carved Armor
      • ◉ Black Fur (default)
    • Bonemold Armor
      • ☑ Bonemold Armor
    • Acolyte Masks
      • ☑ Acolyte Masks
    • Dragon Priest Acolytes
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Hulking Draugr
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Ash Spawn
      • ☑ Ash Spawn
    • Ash Guardians
      • ☑ Ash Guardians
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence UNIQUE ITEMS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Targe of the Blooded
      • ☑ Targe of the Blooded
    • Wuuthrad
      • ☑ Wuuthrad
    • Savior's Hide
      • ☑ Savior's Hide
    • Helm of Yngol
      • ☑ Helm of Yngol
    • Mace of Molag Bal
      • ☑ Mace of Molag Bal
    • Mehrune's Razor
      • ☑ Mehrune's Razor
    • Volendrung
      • ☑ Volendrung
    • Tsun's Armor
      • ☑ Tsun's Armor
    • Ebony Mail
      • ☑ Ebony Mail - Black
    • Staff of Magnus
      • ☑ Staff of Magnus
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install all weapons (default)
        • Install

Optional ESPs

Depending on how the mods are installed:

  1. Right-click the aMidianBorn Book of Silence or aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS mod
  2. Click [Information...].
  3. Click the Optional ESPs tab and move aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp from the right pane to the left.

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to moved plugins to the Optional ESPs.

Hiding files and folders

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/clothes

To do this,

  1. Double-click on the mod listing in the left pane.
  2. Click the Filetree tab.
  3. Expand the textures folder.
  4. Right-click on the clothes folder and select [Hide].

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to hide files or folders from a mod.

AMidianBorn Imperial Light and StuddedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
AMidianBorn Stormcloak Officer ArmourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
Better CircletsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024x512
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Gemling Queen JewelryLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Gemling Queen Jewelry - All In One Installer main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addon
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 512
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ SMIM Textures
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ None
        • Install

The plugin has been made redundant by the Unofficial Patches. In MO:

  1. Double click on the mod
  2. Select Optional ESPs tab
  3. Select GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp
  4. Click left-pointing arrow to move it to "Optional ESPs" in left pane

This will remove the redundant plugin.

Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards Redux
  • Installation Options
    • Select DLC
      • ☑ Skyrim
      • ☑ Dawnguard
      • ☑ Dragonborn
    • Meshes Type
      • ◉ Meshes - Thin
    • Sheath/Scabbard Type
      • ◉ Fullsize
    • Skyforge Steel
      • ☐ None
        • Install
Better ShadowmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Main File Download and install the Detailed Rugs v1-5 Main File.
Enhanced HD Dragon BonesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k STEP recommends the "No flesh" option.
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
HD BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 x 1024
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD SacksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HDSacks14TypeBBig and HDSacks14TypeBSmall Main Files.
HQ PaperLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not Really HD-Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Smudged Glass".
Not Really HD-KeysLink to the mod's Wiki page. With normals
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Legacy" version.
Realistic InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Silly Level of Detail-Potions and PoisonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use Ceramic style. Install for both potions and poisons.
Soul Gems DifferLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Soul Gems Differ - All-In-One main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Soul Gems Differ
  • Welcome!
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Continue to installation
        • Next
  • Normal or Requiem
    • Are you using Requiem?
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • ESP Files
    • Mod Version Options
      • ◉ Sort-friendly and Weighted
        • Next
  • Installation Options
    • Choose your install option
      • ◉ STEP Installation Option
        • Next
  • Install Soul Gems Differ
    • Mod Installation
      • ☑ Install Soul Gems Differ
        • Install


For STEP users using Wrye Bash, download the " Soul Gems Differ All-In-One" main file and run using the WB wizard. This will allow you to install the STEP-recommended Configuration.


All other users, the Requiem option will install a Requiem patched version of the mod so only choose "Yes" if you are using Requiem or your game will likely crash at start. The next screen allows you to install the version of the mod you want. This will also install all needed language files to make the mod multilingual. The next screen allows you to install the gem options. Either choose a pre-made option or choose custom to customize the options you want.

Super Realistic OreLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download the Just the textures optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install.
Bellyache's Creature PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Use the Default Animal Replacement Med Res file located in the Miscellaneous Files.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/actors/chaurus
  • textures/effects/fxbird01.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_b.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_n.dds
Bellyaches HD Dragon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Effect ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "2XRes".
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.J. 05-Animations & Effects[edit]

Mods that alter the animations and effects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Animated ClutterLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install all options except for Ship Idles.
Animated Weapon EnchantsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends the Animated Weapon Enchants - Vanilla Sounds optional file.
Finer DustLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RainbowsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Performance PlusLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Recommended for all users and particularly those with lower-end systems and those with performance issues.

Use the following three Main files:

  • "Pine Needles FX"
  • "Rainfall FX"
  • "Snowfall FX".

... and one of the following:
Higher systems: "The Rift - Aspen Leaves FX - Good Performance"
Mid systems: "The Rift - Aspen Leaves FX - Super Performance"
Low systems: "The Rift - Aspen Leaves FX - Extreme Performance"

Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.K. 06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
High Quality 3D MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-res meshes, 1k normals STEP recommends installing both the HQ3DMap - Meshes Hi-Res and HQ3DMap - Normals Original main files. Do not install any of the files with "Textures" in the file name. Choose the 03 - High 1024x1024 option in the installer.
Bethesda Hi-Res DLC OptimizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hybrid + Vanilla normals Detailed Instructions available
Note that the following options are written in terms of the Wrye Bash Wizard and FOMOD options. If installing manually (not recommended), make sure to adjust accordingly.

Select the option that best suits your VRAM limitations...

  • Less than 1GB
    Full 1024: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Vanilla Secondary stuff", and all four "Vanilla" optionals. Also install the "Compatible Version" optional. Disable the three "HighResTexturePack" ESPs in launcher or mod manager.
  • Between 1GB and 1.25GB - Baseline
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048) + Vanilla NormalMaps: Select "Core files" (selected by default), "Hi-Res Secondary stuff", and "Hybrid + Vanilla NM files". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Between 1.25GB and 1.5GB
    Hybrid (1024 + 2048): Select "Core files" (selected by default) and "Hi-Res Secondary stuff". Also install the "Compatible Version" optional.
  • Greater than 1.5GB
    Do not download this mod, just use the full HRDLC.
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-8 NMM Installation Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Candles
      • ☑ High Resolution Candles
    • Catacomb Candles
      • ☑ HD Catacomb Candles
    • Enchantingstation
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Spider Eggs
      • ☑ HD Spider Eggs
    • Ruins Pots
      • ☑ HD Pots
    • Ruins Door
      • ☑ Improved Ruins Door
    • Dragonclaws
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Subliminal Traps
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Lantern
      • ☑ Lantern
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • texture/clutter/candles
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01.dds
  • texture/clutter/containers/miscbag01_n.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen01.dds
  • texture/clutter/ruins/ruinslinen02.dds
Realistic Smoke and EmbersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium
The Skyrim Distance OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to install the following options:
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Waterfall Effects Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Giant Campfires Beta
  • S.D.O. Full-Lod - Whiterun Creaks Beta

With these options, there should be little to no performance drops.

Morthal Swamp Trees Options

The Morthal Swamp tree options are very performance heavy! These options add NeverFade flags to many of the trees in the swamps. This means the trees are loaded whenever the player is looking towards them even if the player is on the other side of the map in Riften! Due to this performance drop, STEP only recommends these options for users with systems which can take a 10-20 FPS drop without affecting gameplay and causing lag issues.

S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Complete
  • This option will load all trees in the swamp and comes with an ~20FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
S.D.O. Full-Lod - Morthal Swamp Trees Lite
  • This option will load approximately half the trees in the swamp and comes with an ~10FPS drop (more or less depending on your graphics card).
None
  • This option will not make any extra trees load in the swamp and comes with no additional FPS drop. This is the STEP recommendation for most users.

Patch

Do not install the SkyFalls and SkyMills Patch optional file, since it is now contained within the SkyFalls and SkyMills installer.

xEdit Cleaning Required
SDO Full-LOD - Giant Campfires.esp 12 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Waterfall Effect.esp 36 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - Whiterun Trundra Creeks.esp 39 ITMs
You will only have one or none of the following depending on the options you chose during installation.
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Complete.esp 129 ITMs
SDO Full-LOD - The Morthal Swamp Lite.esp 117 ITMs

SkyFalls and SkyMillsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer" main file.
FOMOD Instructions
SkyFalls and SkyMills FOMOD-BAIN Installer
  • Installed DLC?
    • Dawnguard (DG)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Dragonborn (DB)
      • ◉ Yes
    • Flaskaar (FS)
      • ◉ No
    • Wyrmstooth (WT)
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • Check your choices
    • Check your selection
      • ◉ Both DG + DB
        • Next
  • LOD mod compatibility
    • LOD mod compatibility
      • ◉ I don't use these mods
        • Next
  • Optionals
    • Optional Small Waterfalls
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Patches
      • ☐ None
    • Windmill sail Size
      • ◉ 1.5x vanilla (Default)
    • Select your water mod
      • ◉ Realistic Water Two (Default)
        • Install
Serious HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Serious HD Retexture LANDSCAPE 1024px" file found in the Old Versions section and the "Serious HD Retexture RIFTEN 1024px" file found in the Optional Files section.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02.dds
  • textures/landscape/coastbeach02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes.dds
  • textures/landscape/icefloes_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbededge_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom.dds
  • textures/landscape/riverbottom_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud.dds
  • textures/landscape/rivermud_n.dds
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tobes Hi-Res TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Install the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2 1024 main file and the Tobes Highres Textures 1_2b SMIM Patch optional file.

This mod is not packaged correctly. Double-click on TobesHighResTextures1_2_1024. Right-click on Data and select [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install. Repeat this for the SMIM Patch file and select [Merge] when asked.

The following files from the main file should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package. Do not hide or remove anything from the SMIM patch. Hide the following files:

  • Textures/clutter/barrel01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barrel02_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/furniturewood01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/barset/
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadhare01_n.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01.dds
  • Textures/clutter/deadanimals/deadpheasant01_n.dds
  • Textures/furniture/
High Quality Food and IngredientsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance repack Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files:
  • textures/Clutter/ingredients/venison_meat_n.dds
Enhanced Distant Terrain 2Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends both main files.
A Quality World MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the A Quality World Map 9.0.1 - Vivid with Stone Roads main file.
AMidianBorn Caves and MinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
AMidianBorn FarmhouseLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
The following files should not be used, so either hide them with Mod Organizer in the Filetree or Data tab after install or remove them from the mod package.

Hide the following files:

  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/rope01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/ropealpha01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch02_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/thatch03_n.dds
AMidianBorn Solstheim LandscapeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
AMidianBorn WhiterunLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends removing the following files/folders:

Hide the following files:

  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywall01plaster_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltopcap01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrcitywalltrims01_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslate02_n.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01.dds
  • Textures/architecture/whiterun/wrslatefloor01_n.dds
Skyrim Flora OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Basic Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Flora Overhaul Basic Edition v1.87 main file. Also install the Dragonborn addon v02 main file. Select [Merge] when asked while installing the addon.


Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini to reduce the quantity of grass (as seen in this comparison): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009A-QINU`"' Note that this value can be set to any number (default is 20), where a lower value corresponds to a higher grass density and thus lower performance. Try different values to see what provides the best balance of performance and visual quality.



Add/modify the following under [Grass] in Skyrim.ini for more grass variety (with a slight performance impact): '"`UNIQ--pre-0000009B-QINU`"' (The typo in "texture" was made by Bethesda and should be written that way.)



STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files: Hide the following file:

  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_01.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04.dds
  • textures/dlc02/landscape/volcanic_ash_04_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/dirtcliffs (the entire folder)
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02.dds
  • textures/landscape/fieldgrass02_n.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnow.dds
  • textures/landscape/trees/treepineforestbranchcompsnowl.dds
  • textures/terrain/tamriel/trees/tamrieltreelod.dds
Dragon Glyphs-FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends the Dragon Chiseled Main File.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a.dds
  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone07a_n.dds
Enhanced Distant TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Download the main file. STEP recommends the Earth 1024 option.
Enhanced Night SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Enhanced Night Skyrim v04 Low Stars optional file.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
High Quality LODsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hi-Res Meshes Install the HQLODs - Meshes Hi-Res main file. Do not install the normals. For slightly better performance at slightly less quality, the medium-resolution meshes can be used.
HiRes Legible Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HiRes Road Signs Version 3 Worn Text Optional File.
Moss RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. SMIM version
Moss Rocks-DragonbornLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ruffled Feather Moss Rocks - Dragonborn Addon - v2.0 - SMIM Meshes main file.
Real IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download the All-in-One Pack. Choose the 'With Parallax' option (even without using ENB; this is a parallax effect without an ENB requirement) and then the "Half Icecube-Half Dull" option (00 Dull and Ice). The BCF includes a wizard and Fomod to simplify installation -->
Re-Defined DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Re-Defined Dungeons 1024x1024 optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. When installing this mod, right-click on the Data folder and choose [Set data directory]. Okay [OK] to install.

If using the main file (2048x textures), hide or remove the candle textures as they conflict with SMIM. The recommended version (1024x textures) does not contain these textures and does not have this issue.

Skyrim Distant DetailLink to the mod's Wiki page. Hearthfire users: Use the "Hearthfire Edition" file instead. Mod requires TES5Edit cleaning.
Stalhrim of Skyrim-FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install 1k and custom opacity.
Terrain BumpLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends hiding or removing the following files from Terrain Bump:

Hide the following files: textures/landscape/fieldgrass01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab01_n.dds textures/landscape/mountains/mountainslab02_n.dds

The Beauty of Skyrim-DungeonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k
Trees HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Detailed Instructions available
If installing with MO:

Hide the following files: meshes/landscape/trees (entire folder) textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine01.dds textures/landscape/trees/Vurt_Pine02.dds

Visible WindowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium version STEP recommends the "Gritty" option for all windows and the "Default" for all color options but "Yellow Tint" for both Solitude and Whiterun. BCF Available. BCF needs 2 files (Reduced Night Glow optional file also needed)
AMidianBorn Blade of WoeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Only the main file.
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence -- CREATURES
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Users have two installation options with this mod and other mods like it. When multiple files are used from the same mod, users may either:

  • create a single mod listing and merge all files into it or,
  • create a separate mod listing for each file.

STEP Recommends: Merging all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence

FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence ARMORS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Iron and Banded
      • ◉ Iron - Vanilla Cut
    • Steel
      • ◉ Steel
    • Steel Plate
      • ☑ Steel Plate
    • Leather
      • ☑ Leather
    • Hide and Studded
      • ◉ Hide
    • Fur
      • ☑ Fur
    • Elven
      • ◉ Elven - Gold
    • Dwarven
      • ☑ Dwarven
    • Ancient Nord
      • ☑ Ancient Nord
    • Orcish
      • ◉ Orcish
    • Scaled
      • ◉ Scaled
    • Wolf
      • ◉ Wolf - Grey Fur
    • Glass
      • ◉ Glass - Golden
    • Ebony
      • ◉ Ebony - Black
    • Blades
      • ☑ Blades
    • Falmer
      • ☑ Falmer
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence CREATURES
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Skeleton
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dragon Priest
      • ◉ None
    • Draugr
      • ◉ None
    • Falmer
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Chaurus
      • ☑ Chaurus
    • Spriggan
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence DRAGONBORN DLC
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Next
        • Install
  • Custom
    • Nordic Carved Armor
      • ◉ Black Fur (default)
    • Bonemold Armor
      • ☑ Bonemold Armor
    • Acolyte Masks
      • ☑ Acolyte Masks
    • Dragon Priest Acolytes
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Hulking Draugr
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Ash Spawn
      • ☑ Ash Spawn
    • Ash Guardians
      • ☑ Ash Guardians
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence UNIQUE ITEMS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Targe of the Blooded
      • ☑ Targe of the Blooded
    • Wuuthrad
      • ☑ Wuuthrad
    • Savior's Hide
      • ☑ Savior's Hide
    • Helm of Yngol
      • ☑ Helm of Yngol
    • Mace of Molag Bal
      • ☑ Mace of Molag Bal
    • Mehrune's Razor
      • ☑ Mehrune's Razor
    • Volendrung
      • ☑ Volendrung
    • Tsun's Armor
      • ☑ Tsun's Armor
    • Ebony Mail
      • ☑ Ebony Mail - Black
    • Staff of Magnus
      • ☑ Staff of Magnus
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install all weapons (default)
        • Install

Optional ESPs

Depending on how the mods are installed:

  1. Right-click the aMidianBorn Book of Silence or aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS mod
  2. Click [Information...].
  3. Click the Optional ESPs tab and move aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp from the right pane to the left.

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to moved plugins to the Optional ESPs.

Hiding files and folders

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/clothes

To do this,

  1. Double-click on the mod listing in the left pane.
  2. Click the Filetree tab.
  3. Expand the textures folder.
  4. Right-click on the clothes folder and select [Hide].

Users should repeat these steps whenever asked to hide files or folders from a mod.

AMidianBorn Imperial Light and StuddedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
AMidianBorn Stormcloak Officer ArmourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
Better CircletsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024x512
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Gemling Queen JewelryLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Gemling Queen Jewelry - All In One Installer main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addon
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 512
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ SMIM Textures
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ None
        • Install

The plugin has been made redundant by the Unofficial Patches. In MO:

  1. Double click on the mod
  2. Select Optional ESPs tab
  3. Select GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp
  4. Click left-pointing arrow to move it to "Optional ESPs" in left pane

This will remove the redundant plugin.

Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards Redux
  • Installation Options
    • Select DLC
      • ☑ Skyrim
      • ☑ Dawnguard
      • ☑ Dragonborn
    • Meshes Type
      • ◉ Meshes - Thin
    • Sheath/Scabbard Type
      • ◉ Fullsize
    • Skyforge Steel
      • ☐ None
        • Install
Better ShadowmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Main File Download and install the Detailed Rugs v1-5 Main File.
Enhanced HD Dragon BonesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k STEP recommends the "No flesh" option.
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
HD BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 x 1024
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD SacksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HDSacks14TypeBBig and HDSacks14TypeBSmall Main Files.
HQ PaperLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not Really HD-Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Smudged Glass".
Not Really HD-KeysLink to the mod's Wiki page. With normals
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Legacy" version.
Realistic InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Silly Level of Detail-Potions and PoisonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use Ceramic style. Install for both potions and poisons.
Soul Gems DifferLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Soul Gems Differ - All-In-One main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Soul Gems Differ
  • Welcome!
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Continue to installation
        • Next
  • Normal or Requiem
    • Are you using Requiem?
      • ◉ No
        • Next
  • ESP Files
    • Mod Version Options
      • ◉ Sort-friendly and Weighted
        • Next
  • Installation Options
    • Choose your install option
      • ◉ STEP Installation Option
        • Next
  • Install Soul Gems Differ
    • Mod Installation
      • ☑ Install Soul Gems Differ
        • Install


For STEP users using Wrye Bash, download the " Soul Gems Differ All-In-One" main file and run using the WB wizard. This will allow you to install the STEP-recommended Configuration.


All other users, the Requiem option will install a Requiem patched version of the mod so only choose "Yes" if you are using Requiem or your game will likely crash at start. The next screen allows you to install the version of the mod you want. This will also install all needed language files to make the mod multilingual. The next screen allows you to install the gem options. Either choose a pre-made option or choose custom to customize the options you want.

Super Realistic OreLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download the Just the textures optional file. This mod is not packaged correctly. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install.
Bellyache's Creature PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Use the Default Animal Replacement Med Res file located in the Miscellaneous Files.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/actors/chaurus
  • textures/effects/fxbird01.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_b.dds
  • textures/effects/fxbird01_n.dds
Bellyaches HD Dragon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Effect ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "2XRes".
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.L. 07-Sounds & Music[edit]

Mods that alter game audio
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Animal FootstepsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Better Animal Footsteps
  • Custom
    • Select one option
      • ◉ Install all of the footstep sounds
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Optional Pets of Skyrim patch
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Dragons Shout With VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose Also install optional file, Dragons Shout with Voice from location.
Heart of the BeastLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Agression
Immersive ThunderLink to the mod's Wiki page. This mod is not packaged correctly. Double-click on ImmersiveSkyrimThunderV6. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory]. Click [OK] to install.
Improved Combat SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lower Sounding Thieves Guild DoorLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Wolf HowlsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Realistic Wolf Howls more barks than howls Main File.
Ultra Realistic Bow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Ultra Realistic Crossbow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.M. 10-Gameplay-General[edit]

Mods that alter gameplay mechanics and don't naturally fit into any other gameplay mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Auto Unequip AmmoLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
In the MCM settings for Auto Ammo Unequip, STEP recommends changing following settings:
  • Follower Addon
    • Default: unticked
    • STEP: ticked
      • This will add the mod's functionality to your followers as well.
No NPC GreetingsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Sligtly Reduced Included in every version of the STEP Patches, STEP Core Patch, STEP Extended Patch, and both versions of the STEP Combined Plugin.
When Vampires AttackLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Benchmark32.png
Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.N. 20-Patches[edit]

Guide-specific mods required to resolve any incompatibilities among mods
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
STEP PatchesLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP:Core Patch Detailed Instructions available
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Benchmark
Benchmark32.png


2.O. Launching STEP:Skyrim[edit]

Once all mods have been installed, run LOOT one final time to ensure the correct plugin order. When ready to play for the first time after a STEP install, be certain to either:

  • Start a brand new character, or
  • load the save game generated just after character creation if it exists, or
  • load an existing character after clean saving the relevant save game.
Moicon.png

MO2

It takes significantly longer to launch Skyrim from within MO than it does by using other means. Allow up to 3 minutes for Skyrim to launch before panicking ... launch time will be faster after the first launch in a given MO session (unless lots of mod-list changes are made).

STEP 3[edit]

Tips & Troubleshooting Common Issues

3.A. Troubleshooting Common Problems[edit]

A heavily modded Skyrim can bring even a very powerful system to its knees. Maximum visual quality is highly dependent upon total on-card graphics-dedicated video memory (VRAM), the number of GPUs, and monitor resolution. The goal should be to maintain 30 or more FPS on average without any noticeable stuttering.

3.A.1. Failure to Launch[edit]

Skyrim still sometimes fails to launch, and the following are some of the most common causes and solutions:

  • Improper load order - Run LOOT and examine the output. Plugins out of order or plugins with missing masters will cause this. LOOT will sort everything properly, but certain patches installed with certain mods included with STEP:Extended will not apply under a STEP:Core install, so these plugins need to be un-ticked in MO or WB plugin lists.
  • Improper Bashed Patch - This can result from ticking options that are not explicitly mentioned in this guide, or it can result if the Bashed Patch was not rebuilt after a mod-list/order change.
  • Bad INI settings - If Skyrim.ini or SkyrimPrefs.ini were edited in a way that was not described in STEP 1.D. (or if a fresh, default INI was not used as a baseline), certain settings can cause this issue. The quickest solution is to revisit that section and regenerate a fresh INI with the recommended settings.

3.A.2. Crashes to Desktop (CTD)[edit]

There are unfortunately many reasons for CTDs just after launch or shortly thereafter, but if this guide was followed precisely, STEP mods should not be the cause. Following are some common causes and solutions.

  • Improper Load Order - Run LOOT and examine the output as in the previous section.
  • Missing Masters - If an active plugin is missing its dependent master, a CTD will occur immediately. To fix, either locate the missing master and add it in or deactivate the plugin missing its master.
    • MO will show a red exclamation icon next to the plugin, while Wrye Bash will show a red checkbox next to the plugin.
  • Improper Bashed Patch - See the previous section.
  • Bad INI settings - Yep, see the previous section.
  • Bad video settings or incompatible driver version - Revisit STEP 1.E. and verify settings, back them down to 'performance' options, or update to the proper video driver.
  • Windows environment issue - This is highly possible and unfortunately too difficult to prescribe any remotely ubiquitous solution other than restarting the computer and checking for conflicting processes (e.g., anti-virus/maleware). Google is a friend to all in need.

3.A.3. Semi-Invisible People, Objects or Misbehaving Walls[edit]

Following are some solutions:

  • Transparency Antialiasing - Turn of any transparency (adaptive) sampling if enabled under antialiasing settings of the graphics-driver software (see references under STEP 1.E.). Also, remember to download the latest graphic drivers.
  • Bad INI settings - If using ENB, set bFloatPointRenderTarget=1 in the SkyrimPrefs.ini.

3.A.4. Stuttering[edit]

  • Microstutter - This is an annoying 'glitchiness' when moving or panning for those using higher-end graphics cards (usually) or multiple GPUs in SLI or CrossfireX configs (purportedly). Follow the recommendations for ENBoost, noting in particular EnableVSync=true . If this does not resolve the issue:
    • Ensure that microstutter is not being confused with 'macro'-stutter, which is more severe and memory related. Remember: microstutter is very annoying, but not hindering in any way.
    • Try forcing vsync via Nvidia Inspector (Nvidia users) or RadeonPro (AMD users) ... sorry Intel users. Also (and this is very important), enable D3D-compatible triple buffering via RadeonPro. Nvidia Inspector users: D3D-compatible triple buffering is not available. Use D3Doverrider instead. This may also have a vsync function.
  • Macrostutter - This is most likely the result of using textures and meshes that exceed the limits of GPU VRAM. ENBoost should prevent this in most cases, but certain user configurations and/or hardware may not behave as expected:
    • Verify ENBoost settings and graphics settings described under STEP 1.E.!
    • Re-install the most performance-friendly versions of mods as indicated by the "Quality Options" column of the mod tables above.
    • Consult the DDSopt Guide to learn how to optimize textures accordingly.
    • Finally, Un-install Skyrim Flora Overhaul and Skyrim Realistic Overhaul, which are easily the most VRAM-intensive mods in STEP (although there are others under STEP 2.F. and STEP 2.G. in particular).
    • Enable windowed mode via ENBoost (instructions at bottom of mod page).

3.A.5. Texture Flickering, Etc.[edit]

Refer to the Z-Fighting Guide.

3.B. In-Game Tips[edit]

  • The console can be activated by pressing the tilde ([~]) key, often located just below [Escape], while in-game.
  • ENBoost has a couple built in hotkeys that are helpful (can be adjusted in enblocal.ini section [INPUT]):
    1. Show FPS: [*] (on the numpad not shift+8)
    2. Free VRAM: [f4]
    3. Screenshot: print screen (Skyrim's screenshots do not work with ENB/ENBoost)
  • Steam screenshots are [f12], but if using a keyboard with multimedia keys it could be [shift+f12].
    1. Be aware [shift+f12] is also the ENB Series Graphics hotkey to toggle the effects on/off. ENBoost ONLY users are not affected.

3.B.1. Optimize Field of View (FOV)[edit]

Prior to 2008, the most common monitor resolutions were 16:10 aspect ratio (source). Since then, 16:9 has become the standard. The Skyrim FOV defaults to 75 (%) and is optimized for monitor aspect ratio of 16:10. Therefore, users with 16:9 monitors (e.g. 1920x1080) will want to increase their FOV to 81. Setting this in the INI does not persist, so it must be done via the console. Within Skyrim, open the console (tap the tilde [~] key) and type: fov 81 . Those rare and unfortunate users stuck with 4:3 aspect ratio will need to 'reduce' their FOV down to 62.

A helpful conversion calculator can assist in calculation of other monitor types (just type in a 16:10 on the right side and the new resolution on the left to get the new hFOV).

3.B.2. BIG Frame Drops During Cell Loading[edit]

This is a likely indicator that VRAM is too often operating at or beyond capacity (see 3.A.4).

STEP Packs[edit]

Community Add-ons

STEP Packs are generally intended to go over the STEP:Core build. Be certain to read the Pack instructions to determine what build the Pack is dependent upon.

Moicon.png

MO2

You will now experience one of the reasons why Mod Organizer is the chosen mod-management utility for STEP. Pack installation is a breeze, as it is possible to have profiles for each build dependency that a given Pack relies upon.

Consider reviewing some of the Packs that our users have been developing to augment STEP.

STEP Packs

User Contributions[edit]

How YOU Can Help

STEP can only get bigger and better with help from the user community. Even simply maintaining the current STEP is too much work for the core STEP team to ensure that the highest quality is maintained. We need people to help us identify mods that improve Skyrim while adhering to the STEP Mandate. We also need ongoing reviews and updates on mods that may be causing problems or that stray from the STEP philosophy. Finally, we need help from the community in terms of testing, benchmarking and analysis. More detail is presented in the Mod Testing Guide.

In order to suggest a mod, visit the Mod Suggestions section of the STEP Forums.

Info-Logo.png

NOTE

The STEP team will be beta testing a new mod-testing procedure and interface currently in final stages of development here on the STEP Wiki. Anyone interested in testing mods of any kind --whether included in STEP or not-- should contact the STEP administrators by email or on the forums (click on the link in upper left of header).

Call for Wiki Content Editors[edit]

The STEP Community Wiki is open to editing by all registered community members; however, we need assistance maintaining and creating new supporting content. We are particularly interested in obtaining a few people with a passion for writing and editing. Familiarity with wiki markup is preferable but not necessary. Interested parties please contact z929669 via PM on the forums (Please register on the forums and see the very bottom of the Forum Team page).

Call for STEP Mod Testers[edit]

STEP users interested in becoming testers, please contact z929669 via PM on the forums (Please register on the forums and see the very bottom of the Forum Team page). Once registered, record your system specs by clicking on the button and filling out the form. These specs will be associated with performance data by tester. Before deciding, read through the Mod Testing Guide to get a sense what mod testing involves.

Call for STEP Benchmarks[edit]

Users interested in helping out with the STEP Benchmarking Project, see our benchmarking guidelines and submit results on the forums (see link at upper left of site header bar).

Call for Forum Moderators[edit]

Regular STEP forum users interested in becoming moderators, please contact z929669 via PM on the forums (Please register on the forums and see the very bottom of the Forum Team page).


Thank you for reading and enjoy the game!


Special Credits[edit]

The STEP administrators would sincerely like to thank (from the bottoms of our fuzzy little hearts):

  • The authors of mods recommended in STEP
  • The core STEP Community for feedback, suggestions and input
  • The STEP beta testers ... for their good humor and rigorous analyses
  • The Nexus community
  • Bethesda Softworks for Skyrim (and TES in general)
  • Tannin for continued development and support of Mod Organizer
  • A very special thanks to STEP aficionados, EssArrBee, DoubleYou and TechAngel85 for their assistance with this release. EssArrBee is also our STEP Patch maintainer, so a big thanks to him for that. DoubleYou is also the lead maintainer of the MO Guide. TechAngel is a Release Coordinator and FOMOD extraordinaire.
The core STEP team is:[edit]
  • stoppingby4now - Main site developer, Semantic Mediawiki developer & extraordinaire, site founder
  • TheCompiler - STEP creator, mod-list extraordinaire
  • z929669 - Wiki & forums content editor, main site administrator, hosting maintenance, site founder
  • Active STEP volunteer staff: Aiyen, EssArrBee, deathneko11, DoubleYou, GSDfan, Kelmych, kryptopyr, phazer11, phryxolydian, rootsrat, TechAngel85, torminater, WilliamImm
  • Farlo - Mediawiki developer & extraordinaire, Mod-list co-compiler, forums admin, site founder (out of commission since November, 2013)
  • MontyMM - Solutions developer (Semi-Automatic STEP), site founder (out of commission since December, 2013)