SkyrimLE:2.10.0

From Step Mods | Change The Game


Warning-Logo.png

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This guide is out of date!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) and TechAngel85 (Jeremy).

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

STEP 2.10.0 Highlights[edit]

With this version of STEP comes a change in our versioning scheme. We realized from the last few releases the Guide needed a different solution for the versioning scheme. Up until now, we have included the underbelly of STEP as the first digit in our scheme. This meant major changes to software (like forum software and wiki upgrades) would count as STEP 1.x.x, STEP 2.x.x, and so on. This was not the best standard for us to use. Therefore, from this release and beyond, the versioning of STEP will go as: Major.Minor.Hotfix.

  • Major - Introduce fundamental new functionality, tools, or methods. (e.g., Official Pack implementation [i.e., STEP Extended, STEP Lighting, STEP-sponsored Packs], BOSS to LOOT, Wrye Bash to MO).
  • Minor - changes to mod lineup.
  • Hotfix - Change/fix Guide instructions that require amendment to the changelog (however large or small) and any other 'hotfixes' (e.g., changes to mod install order).

For more information about the versioning scheme, see the link posted above.

Until now, we had been working up to STEP 2.3.0 as our next major release. With the change in the versioning scheme, we'll now be working towards STEP 3.0.0! From this release and beyond, each release will be a step towards bridging our move to the new paradigm. What does this mean for this release? This means that while there are no drastic changes to the Guide's structure, we have again fine-tuned the STEP setup to bring you a fluid mod list to enhance the beauty and feel of Skyrim.

A few of the larger changes in this release are:

  • We have replaced SkyrimLE:Skyrim HD with SkyrimLE:Skyrim Realistic Overhaul has our baseline for all textures.
  • Gone are several of the old character mods including: XCE, XCE - Dawnguard, Better Beast Races, and Better Freckles. These mods have been replaced by alternative selections.
  • The entire Characters & Creatures section of the Guide has seen significant refinement.
  • Many of the older mods in the Guide have been removed and replaced with more recent solutions.
  • The entire INI section has been replaced with BethINI.
  • There has been so many changes that we highly recommend users reviewing the changelog, for all the fine details.



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 to achieve an enhanced, vanilla experience, or more experienced modders may use it as general guide to build a foundation from.

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. Engage and enjoy a warm welcome and plenty of high-quality support from a large community of experienced STEP-ers.


Nomenclature[edit]

The following nomenclature is used throughout this guide and should be understood before proceeding.

  • Core mods: Mods that are Core to the STEP Guide collectively known as STEP:Core. STEP:Core is an installation of ONLY Core mods listed in the mod tables within STEP 2 of this Guide.
  • Extended mods: Mods that are not Core mods in the STEP Guide collectively known as STEP:Extended. STEP:Extended is an installation of ALL mods listed in the mod tables within STEP 2 of this Guide.
  • Baseline: An installation of a mod using the recommend baseline option listed within the Baseline column of the mod tables.
  • STEP Patches: A "patch" is a plugin which allows two or more mods to work together without conflict. The "STEP Patches" are the same thing but allow for all of the mods in the STEP Guide to work harmoniously together. All users should use the STEP Patches unless a custom patch will be made; even then the STEP Patches can be used as a base to make a custom patch for STEP + other mods. The STEP Patches are installed with the SkyrimLE:STEP Compilation in Section N of this Guide. Users should determine whether or not they will be using a STEP Patch before starting STEP 2 due to select mods having alternative installation steps for users not installing a one of the Patches.

Minimum System Requirements for STEP:Core[edit]

We recommend the following hardware configuration for running a Baseline installation. The minimum requirements will allow most users to install and run the STEP Baseline recommendations, which provide a good performance/quality trade-off. The recommended requirements will allow most users to install and run a modded setup beyond that of Baseline with higher quality options. For those wishing to use the highest quality options available with higher resolutions than 1920x1080, be advised that a more powerful system will likely be required.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows 7 32-bit Windows 7 64-bit or later
CPU Intel Core i3/equivalent (dual core) Intel Core i5/equivalent or higher
System RAM 8 GB 8 GB or higher
GPU Nvidia GTX 660 2GB VRAM / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB Nvidia GTX 660 2GB VRAM / AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB / or better
Monitor Resolution 1366x768 1920x1080


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Start Out Clean!

It is particularly important for new users begin with clean installations of both Steam and Skyrim in order to be successful with the setup of this Guide the first time through.

PLEASE READ EACH SECTION BELOW CAREFULLY, as no information included in this Guide is irrelevant!

Mod Table Reference[edit]

Below is the legend and reference for the mod tables used in this Guide. Users should refer back to it when confused about a mod listing.

Mod Name Baseline Notes
Mod (patches not required)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes
Mod (requires patches)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes


Mod Table Legend[edit]

The following is an example of the mod tables, found in Step 2 below, followed by the legend for reading the table. Users should familiarize themselves with this information.

Mod Table Legend[edit]

Patch Requirement A green vertical bar indicates that the mod is required by the STEP CR Patch, and a red bar indicates that the LW patch is required.
Mod Name Nexus mod name presented as a link to Nexus for download.
Wikilink.png Link to the mod's wiki page, which includes various information about the mod.
Baseline This notes the STEP Baseline version or option of the corresponding mod that should be installed, and usually refers to options affecting performance/quality. General suggestions are located in the "Notes" column; see below.
Instructions Brief notes that apply to the mod or installation. In some cases, mods with several 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 option, which fits the STEP Mandate. These instructions will take the form of: "Download and install 'Option A'." Users will also see links displayed as: Detailed instructions available. Users should follow these links to find detailed instructions for installing the mod.


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Chapter Heading Layout

A link to more detailed information related to each section, for users wishing to have more in-depth information, is provided directly below the section heading and looks as follows:

Detailed Information --> Link

Brief, quick setup instructions follow the heading for users wishing to get through the guide AFAP (as fast as possible).


STEP 1[edit]

Pre-Installation Setup

1.A. Install Steam & Skyrim[edit]

Detailed Information --> Skyrim Installation Guide


Video play triangle.png Related Video(s):

STEP recommends installing Skyrim to an SSD, if available, and preferably on a separate drive/partition than the Operating System is installed on (i.e. instead of installing to the C: drive, install it to D:, E:, etc). If a separate drive/partition is unavailable, avoid installing Steam and Skyrim in "C:/Program Files" or "C:/Program Files (x86)" folders since Windows User Account Control [UAC] will cause issues with a modded Skyrim.

Skyrim is installed through Steam, and this can be done on one of two ways:

  1. Purchase the physical Skyrim DVD from a retailer - Run "Setup.exe," and follow the on-screen instructions to install Steam and Skyrim (see second video link above).
  2. Install Steam and purchase the digital media from the Steam store - Navigate to the Steam website, download the installer, and launch "SteamSetup.exe" (see first video link above). Once Steam is installed, use the Steam search bar to search for "Skyrim" to purchase and install the game (see second video link above).
Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
If Steam/Skyrim are installed according to these instructions and Mod Organizer (MO) is used according to recommendations in the STEP Guide, then backup procedures and security changes are optional and not necessary. Nevertheless, these procedures are mentioned in the video guides above.

1.B. Initialize the Game[edit]

Detailed Information --> Skyrim Launcher Guide

As a prerequisite to installing the remainder of this Guide:

  1. Launch Skyrim from Steam to initialize the auto-detection process and accept the preset provided. Users will customize these settings below.
  2. Launch the game to the main menu and then exit to desktop. This completes the required game initialization steps.

1.C. Install Utilities[edit]

Prerequisite helper applications and utilities

A mod-management utility is REQUIRED in order to easily keep track of a complex mod setup like STEP. These utilities also make it far simpler to deconstruct a STEP install in order to update to a new STEP version and to update to newer versions of the mods. This is impossible to do simply or efficiently without a mod manager.

There are a two mod managers that can be used to manage the STEP setup; however, to simplify Guide maintenance/support for staff and mod management for users, the STEP Guide only officially supports SkyrimLE:Mod Organizer. Although SkyrimLE:Wrye Bash is also mod manager, STEP recommends that it only be used for the functionality of creating the Bashed Patch. The reason for the limited support of Wrye Bash is, again, due to simplifying this Guide. Users who wish to use Wrye Bash may do so to install and maintain STEP, however, unless these users are experienced in modding, these users may find it difficult to install this Guide. Wrye Bash users can use the Wrye Bash Guide for detailed instructions on setting it up as a modding utility package. Wrye Bash users should also be aware that support may be limited when seeking help on the forums due to Wrye Bash not being the officially supported mod manager.


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.

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).

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.

BethINILink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download BethINI from Nexus Mods.
  2. Extract the archive to the *Tools* folders (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/)

User's should now have a new BethINI folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/BethINI).

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 Configuration Settings Guide

The INI tweaks from previous versions of the Guide have been replaced with the SkyrimLE:BethINI utility listed in section "1.C Install Utilities". If you did not set up BethINI per the mod page instructions, please return there and so so now. For more advanced information about INI settings, please see the "Detailed Information" link below the header above.

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

Often under-appreciated, display and driver settings have a huge potential impact on the graphic quality of games and anything else displayed on the monitor in 2D or 3D, so it is important to get these settings done correctly. Below are listed only the essential settings. No further tweaking is necessary beyond them. It is highly recommended that only the bare minimal tweaking be done here until after the Guide is installed and configured according to the Baselines provided.

Update Video Drivers[edit]

If there is any reason to believe that the latest drivers installed are not installed correctly and are causing issues, then complete the following instructions. Else, simply install the latest drivers as normal.

  1. Download the latest stable AMD drivers / Nvidia drivers.
  2. Download DDU and install it (DDU forum Page).
  3. Restart the system and 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).
    • If using UEFI while using Windows 8 or later, go to to your power options and while holding down the Shift key, press restart. This will open the advanced menu where you can select to boot into safe mode.
  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). All other settings should be left to the Skyrim configuration (see above) and ENBoost configurations (see below).

1.E.1.1. AMD Users[edit]

Detailed Information --> Catalyst Control Center Guide (for old driver versions)
Detailed Information --> Radeon Settings

AMD users should read one of the above guides to correctly configure their driver graphics settings.

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. Launch nvidiaProfileInspector.exe.
  3. In the "Profiles" bar, select the "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" profile and keep all of the default settings except for the following changes:
  1. Ensure Antialiasing - Mode is set to [Application-controlled]. If set to [Override], AA will be turned off in Skyrim, regardless of the Skyrim INI setting!
  2. Force Anisotropic filtering:
    1. Set Anisotropic filtering mode to [User-defined / Off]
    2. Set Anisotropic filtering setting to [16x]
  3. Click [Apply changes] at the top of the windows twice and then close.

1.E.2. Display Calibration[edit]

Color calibration is critical to photographers and graphic artists who work across media types, but it is also equally important for gamers. This is because there is a lot of screenshot sharing and qualitative discussion about in-game visuals. It is ideal if all users' systems are somewhat 'standardized' for comparative purposes alone. However, with that said, all monitors will be slightly different in their accuracy of displaying colors.

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, temperature, brightness, contrast, gamma, etc:

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

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

  • Ensure that #1 above 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 values to mid levels will be best, but for the other options the 'auto-config' will be best (auto-config may not set all #1 values 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 option #1 above.
  • Optionally, also run option #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-levels.
  • Calibrate using option #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 done using option #3 once a mid baseline 'canvas' has been established for options #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|


Final Pre-Installation Notes[edit]

A Final Consideration
  • A STEP:Core installation is an installation of all, and only, the STEP:Core mods indicated in the tables below by a green bar to the left of the mod's name.
  • Remember that STEP:Core can 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 be a few minor redundancies whereby a STEP:Core mod is later installed again with some added or subtracted options.
  • A STEP:Extended installation is an installation of all the mods listed below.
  • Whether installing STEP:Core or STEP:Extended, install mods in the order that they are presented in the mod tables to achieve the correct result.
  • Read the ReadMe files and other mod-related documentation that comes packaged with most mods. This also includes the mod description on 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 Patches[edit]

The STEP Patches are patches provided by STEP for the STEP:Core and STEP:Extended mod lists below. These patches resolve any conflicts between these mods which could cause issues if left unpatched. Users should decide now, before installing any mods, whether they will be installing STEP:Core or STEP:Extended and whether or not they will be using the STEP Patches. These two decisions now will be referenced later during mod installations. Deciding now will allow users to know which instruction sets to follow and will alleviate any confusion when these decisions arise. Users who decide to install the STEP Patches will do so at the end of the Guide during the SkyrimLE:STEP Compilation install.

All users should use one of the STEP Patches unless a custom patch will be made!
We recommend the use of the STEP Patches, even if users will be installing mods on top of a STEP build which require further patching. Using the STEP Patches will give these users a head start as most of the mods will already be patched for them. New users who are unfamiliar with the mod patching process are highly recommended to use the Patches.

  • STEP Patches Requirements - It is recommended to keep the STEP Compilation topic open for reference to this list of required mods.
    • Users who decide they will not use the STEP Patches will need to install all relevant patches for mods listed on that topic. Take note of those plugins since they are not listed throughout the Guide.

Finally, we offer the following options in regards to the STEP Patches:

  • Full STEP:Core Patch
  • Full STEP:Extended Patch
  • STEP:Core Patch without Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) and/or Immersive Citizens AI Overhaul
  • STEP:Extended Patch without Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) and/or Immersive Citizens AI Overhaul

That is a total of eight (8) Patch options to choose from.

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 listed in alphabetical order within each section, and any deviations from this are purposeful to achieve the desired outcome.
  • 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 and it is the user's decision. The notes only provide instructions where necessary; otherwise, STEP encourages user customization.
  • Unless otherwise stated, follow LOOT's advice with regards to mod cleaning and sorting.

2.A. LOOT Sorting[edit]

At any time during the mod installation process SkyrimLE:LOOT should be used to sort plugin load order before running the game. 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). To sort with LOOT:

  1. Launch SkyrimLE:LOOT via Mod Organizer from the executables drop-down menu.
  2. Click the [Sort] button at the top.
  3. Examine the resulting order carefully and look for any alerts or warnings and address each.
  4. Click the [Apply] button which has replaced the Sort button at the top.
  5. Close LOOT.
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. Cleaning Vanilla Master Files[edit]

To remove errors in the Bethesda master files, it is recommended they be cleaned with xEdit before modding begins. This ensures maximum stability and compatibility within the modding experience.

Standard Cleaning Procedures[edit]

  1. Run xEditQC from the drop-down executable list in MO2.
  2. On the plugin selection window, double-click on the mod being cleaned (i.ee, Update.esm, Dawnguard.esm, etc).
    • xEdit will now automatically clean up the "Identical to master" and "deleted" records from the selected mod.
  3. Once xEdit is done cleaning, click the X at upper right of the program window.
  4. At the prompt, check the box next to the mod that was cleaned and the Backup Plugins box. Click OK to close the tool.

After the vanilla master files are cleaned, users should create separate mods for them in MO2 and restore the original. This prevents users from having to re-clean the file after verifying their files in Steam. To do this, complete the following:

  1. Right-click the Overwrite folder in MO2 and select Create Mod..., name it “MasterName.esm - Cleaned” (i.e., Update.esm - Cleaned), and click OK.
  2. On the new mod listing that appears, right-click and select Open in explorer. Leave this folder opened.
  3. Open the Skyrim Special Edition Data directory (i.e., C:/Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition/Data)
  4. Drag and drop the just cleaned master file from Data to the "MasterName.esm - Cleaned" folder from step 2.
  5. Open the TES5Edit Backups folder found in Overwrite in MO2 and rename the file to “MasterName.esm”.
  6. Drag and drop the renamed file from the TES5Edit Backups folder to the Data directory and choose to overwrite it.
  7. Close the explorer windows.
  8. Drag and drop the new MasterName.esm - Cleaned mod listing in MO2 directly below its vanilla master mod listing.

Update.esm, Hearthfires.esm, Dragonborn.esm[edit]

Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean these master files, one at a time. Place the “MasterName.esm - Cleaned” mod listing for each below it's vanilla master mod listing. Update.esm will not be listed in MO2 and Update.esm - Cleaned is placed at the top of the modlist.

Dawnguard.esm[edit]

Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean Dawnguard.esm; however, it is a special case and must be cleaned twice. Therefore, once the first cleaning is complete, repeat the process a second time before continuing to the manual cleaning below.

Dawnguard also has some manual cleaning required. To do this, visit this topic on AFKMods and complete the section under “Dawnguard.esm needs manual cleaning as well as automatic cleaning”. Return here when those three (3) steps are completed: https://afkmods.iguanadons.net/index.php?/topic/4110-manual-cleaning-skyrim-and-skyrim-se-master-files/

After the manual cleaning is complete, create the mod listing as directed above and place the “Dawnguard.esm - Cleaned” mod listing directly below Dawnguard.esm.


02-Extenders[edit]

Extend the game engine and required for use by downstream mods or utilities
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
ENBoostLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
ENBoost is required! Due to Skyrim LE's 32-bit memory limit, ENBoost must be used by everyone.

The following instructions pertain only to ENBoost; the memory manager of ENBSeries. Do not install a full ENB Preset during the Step Guide setup! This can be done later, after the installation of the Guide is confirmed to be working.


Install

  1. Download and install the DirectX 9 Runtimes.
    This is for good measure to prevent some commonly reported issues on the forums. Be sure to install it and not just extract it!
  2. Visit ENBSeries website to download the latest archive.
    Do not use the Skyrim Nexus version of ENBoost due to incorrect settings for Step Guides.
    • Click the link for the latest archive (usually the one on the top of the list)
  3. On the next page click the Down1.gif button to download the archive.
  4. Open the archive and go to the "WrapperVersion" folder, then extract only the following files into the root Skyrim directory (do NOT copy into the 'Data' directory!):
    • d3d9.dll
    • enbhost.exe
    • enblocal.ini

Alternatively, if the "WrapperVersion" does not function as advertised, try the "InjectorVersion". Remove any existing remnants of the Wrapper version, and extract only the enbhost.exe, ENBInjector.exe, enbinjector.ini, enblocal.ini, and enbseries.dll files from the "InjectorVersion" folder into ./skyrim/. Users must run ENBInjector.exe before running the game for the injector version to work properly.


Configure enblocal.ini
The following are important changes that are either required or highly recommended. Advanced users see the detailed INI configuration settings for more information:

[PROXY]
EnableProxyLibrary=true
InitProxyFunctions=false
ProxyLibrary=d3dx9_42.dll
[GLOBAL]
UsePatchSpeedhackWithoutGraphics=true
UseDefferedRendering=false
[MEMORY]
ExpandSystemMemoryX64=false
ReservedMemorySizeMb=128
  • This value should be set to lowest possible value without experiencing stutter. Increase this value until stuttering is either gone or minimal. See advanced guide above for more information.
VideoMemorySizeMb=<integer in MB>
  • Users should download and run Boris's VRamSizeTest tool. Run the VRamSizeDX9.exe. Windows users subtract 350 from the value provided and use that value.
AutodetectVideoMemorySize=false
[ENGINE]
EnableVSync=true
VSyncSkipNumFrames=0

Be sure the parameters in the [THREADS] section match what is below! These are for special case use only. You are 99% not likely one of those special cases! The section should remain as follows:

[THREADS]
DataSyncMode=0
PriorityMode=0


(Optional) Enable Windowed Mode
This may be a necessary performance enhancement for some users. If experiencing stuttering and the [MEMORY] section is verified to be set up properly, enabling or disabling these parameters could help resolve some stuttering.

[WINDOW]
ForceBorderless=true
ForceBorderlessFullscreen=true
Skyrim Script ExtenderLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the latest archive:
  1. Place all *.exe and *.dll files into <skyrim>/ (not the data directory!). Should be three files (i.e., skse_1_9_32.dll, skse_loader.exe, and skse_steam_loader.dll).
  2. Install skse scripts into Mod Organizer.
    • Click the Archive Archive MO.png button.
    • Browse to and select the downloaded skse archive.
    • In the manual installation prompt, right-click data and select [Set data directory]. It should say it Looks good, and not say No game data at top level.
    • Click OK
  3. Create the SKSE ini file OR download and install it from here.
    • Right-click the SKSE mod in Mod Organizer and select [Open in explorer].
    • Open the SKSE folder or create one if one does not exist.
    • In the SKSE folder, create skse.ini and paste inside it the following:
[Display]
iTintTextureResolution=2048
[General]
ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

The SKSE folder structure, including the skse.ini should look like the following:

Restart MO; if SKSE is installed correctly, MO will detect it and show in the executables drop down. Use the SKSE executable when launching Skyrim from MO from now on.


03-Resources[edit]

Applications or mods that provide additional functions or resources
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
FISSLink to the mod's Wiki page.
PapyrusUtil-Modders Scripting Utility FunctionsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim-Community-UncapperLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
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.

STEP recommends the defaul INI values. To customize Uncapper see this Guide: Skyrim Uncapper guide.

SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page.


04-Foundation[edit]

Baseline mods that may be overwritten or overridden by other mods
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unofficial High Resolution PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dynamic Distant Objects LODLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the DynDOLOD Resources Main File, selecting the following options:
  • Whiterun Exterior
  • Solitude Exterior
  • High Hrothgar Window Glow
  • DLC2 Vvardenfell 3D Plume
  • Desync Birds of Prey

As with all mods in this guide, this mod should be enabled in MO once it is installed. This mod in particular MUST be enabled for proper LOD generation later in this guide.

Static Mesh Improvement ModLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
  • Options
    • Main Installer Choice
      • ◉ Original Skyrim 2011: Custom
        • Next
  • Original Skyrim Custom Install
    • Barrels
      • ◉ Modified Vanilla Barrels
    • Bowl Ingredients
      • ☑ Improved Bowl Ingredients
    • Bridges
      • ◉ Bridges
    • Candelabras
      • ☑ Improved Candelabras
    • Carriage Seats and Fixes
      • ☑ Improved Carriages
    • Chains 3D - Misc
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Misc
    • Chains 3D - Pull Levers
      • ◉ Chains 3D - Pull Levers Small Rings (Recommended)
    • Chains 3D - Signs
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Signs
    • Chains 3D - Whiterun
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Whiterun
    • Chandeliers
      • ◉ Improved Chandeliers (Recommended)
    • Clothing Fixes
      • ☑ Clothing Fixes
    • Dawnguard Soulcairn Bone Piles
      • ◉ Bone Piles Yellow Bones (Recommended)
    • Draugr Corpses
      • ☑ Draugr Corpses
    • Dungeons Cliffs Snow Skirts
      • ◉ Snow Blending ESP (Recommended)
    • Dwemer Animated Lifts
      • ☑ Dwemer Animated Lifts
    • Dwemer Clutter
      • ☑ Dwemer Clutter
    • Farmhouse Woven Fence
      • ◉ Woven Fence Less Flicker (Recommended)
    • Food
      • ☑ Improved Food
    • Food - Tomato Style
      • ◉ Default Heirloom
    • Furniture Chests
      • ☑ Improved Furniture Chests
    • Furniture Common
      • ◉ Improved Furniture SMIM Textures (Recommended)
    • Furniture Noble
      • ☑ Improved Furniture Noble
    • Hanging Rings
      • ☑ Hanging Rings
    • Hawk
      • ☑ Hawk Improvements
    • Hearthfires Stuff
      • ☑ Hearthfires Stuff
    • Human Skull Fixes
      • ☑ Human Skull Fixes
    • Imperial Jail
      • ◉ Improved Imperial Jail (Recommended)
    • Jewelry Rings
      • ◉ Jewelry Rings CCO Remade or Jewelcraft
    • Lanterns
      • ☑ Lanterns
    • Nordic Tables and Benches
      • ☑ Nordic Tables and Benches
    • Orc Longhouse
      • ☑ Orc Longhouse
    • Poor Coffin
      • ☑ Poor Coffin
    • Rabbit
      • ☑ Improved Rabbit
    • Rocks - Blackreach
      • ☑ Rocks - Blackreach
    • Rocks - Generic
      • ☑ Rocks - Generic
    • Rocks - Mountains
      • ☑ Rocks - Mountains
    • Ropes 3D - Dungeons
      • ◉ Dungeons 3D Ropes and Glorious Scaffolding
    • Ropes 3D - Farmhouse
      • ◉ Farmhouse 3D Ropes No Fade (Recommended)
    • Ropes 3D - Raven Rock Docks
      • ☑ Raven Rock Docks 3D Ropes
    • Ropes 3D - Riften
      • ◉ Riften 3D Ropes Default Ropes Style (Recommended)
    • Ropes 3D - Solitude Docks
      • ☑ Solitude Docks 3D Ropes
    • Ropes 3D - Stockade
      • ☑ Stockade 3D Ropes
    • Ruins Sarcophagus
      • ☑ Ruins Sarcophagus
    • Shack Roofs
      • ☑ Improved Shack Roofs with Dragonborn
    • Skeletal Remains 3D
      • ☑ Skeletal Remains 3D
    • Smelters
      • ☑ Smelters
    • Solitude Gate Doors
      • ☑ Solitude Gate Doors
    • Tankards
      • ◉ Dark Brushed Metal Tankards
    • Tree - Juniper Tree
      • ☑ Improved Juniper Tree
    • Tree - Tundra Tree
      • ☑ Improved Tundra Tree
    • Whiterun Castle Wood Carvings
      • ◉ Wood Carvings Improved Vanilla
    • Whiterun Doors
      • ☑ Whiterun Doors
    • Windmills
      • ◉ DynDOLOD/SkyMills Compatibility
    • Xtra Options - Half-Size Textures Addon
      • ◉ None (NOTE: Low VRAM graphic card users can use the half-size textures.)
    • Xtra Options - Ultra-Sized Textures Addon
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Skyrim Realistic OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
SRO contains files larger than the normal baseline for STEP

Please be aware that SRO contains files that are typically 2-4K in resolution. The typical baseline for STEP is 1-2K (or the vanilla/HRDLC sizes), therefore, SRO is often double the baseline in most cases. Users who experience slowdowns after installing SRO, may wish to consider reducing the texture sizes, but process is not covered in this Guide.

Download and install:

  1. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 1
  2. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 2
  3. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 3
  4. SRO 1.8. original Skyrim version update
  5. Overwrite any files, if extracting and combining before installation.
  6. If installing the individual files directly to MO either:
    • Install the files separately and in the order listed above or,
    • Install to a single "mod" using the Merge option.
RUSTIC CLOTHINGLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Download and install the RUSTIC CLOTHING - COMPLETE - 2K-1K file.


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.
Better Turn AnimationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install both the main file and the Fix Crossed Swords and Turn with Leg move update file.

Hide the following files: meshes/actors/character/animations/1hm_shout_exhale.hkx meshes/actors/character/animations/mt_shout_exhale.hkx meshes/actors/character/animations/mt_shout_inhale.hkx

D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP animationLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dual Wield Blocking AnimationsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
NoMaaM Breathing IdlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. non-BBB Download and install the Female without BBB and Male Breathing Idles V0_1 optional file.
Realistic Boat BobbingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Realistic Boat Bobbing
  • Realistic Boat Bobbing
    • Select an option
      • ◉ Merged Versions
        • Next
  • Patches
    • Patches
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Merged Patches
    • Select Any Patches
      • ☑ Realistic Water Two
        • Next
  • Extras
    • Select Any Extras
      • ☑ SMIM
        • Next
  • SMIM
    • Select Barrels
      • ◉ Modified Vanilla Barrels - Animated
    • Select Crates
      • ☑ Crates
        • Install
Running With BowsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Enhanced CameraLink to the mod's Wiki page.
XPMS ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the XP32 Maximum Skeleton Extended main file.
FOMOD Instructions
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Extended
  • Skeleton
    • Meshes
      • ☑ Skeleton Meshes
    • Animation Rig Map
      • ☑ Physics Extensions
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Character Creation
      • ◉ Racemenu
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Weapon Style Randomizer
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Animation Variants
    • Belt-Fastened Quivers
      • ◉ None
    • Dagger on Back
      • ◉ None
    • Dagger on Hip
      • ◉ None
    • Magic
      • ◉ None
    • Sword on Back
      • ◉ None
    • Sword on Hip
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • First Person Animation
    • Axe - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible with Styles!
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible with Styles!
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Mounted Combat Animation
    • Axe - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible with Styles!
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Bow
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible with Styles!
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • The Joy of Perspective
      • ◉ None
    • Schlongs of Skyrim
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • Deadly Mutilation
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • Enderal
      • ◉ None
        • Install

When updating this mod, remember to run FNIS. For new users, FNIS will be ran at the end of the Guide.


06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
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
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
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
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 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
Better Shaped WeaponsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons
  • Step 1
    • All or Custom
      • ◉ Install everything (default)
        • Next
  • Step 2A All
    • Sheath Options
      • ☑ Onehanded Sheaths
      • ☑ Greatsword Sheaths
        • Next
  • Step 3 Variants and Patches
    • Patches
      • ☑ Keening with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 4 Glass
    • Glass Refraction Options
      • ◉ Refractive Glass Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 5 Stalhrim
    • Stalhrim Refraction Options
      • ◉ Stalhrim with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 6A Dawnbreaker Sheath
    • Dawnbreaker
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker Sheath Dwarf
        • Next
  • Step 6B Dawnbreaker ENB
    • Dawnbreaker ENB Option
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker No ENB
        • Next
  • Step 7 Dragonbone
    • Dragonbone Options
      • ◉ DragonBoring Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 8 Dual Sheath
    • Left-hand Meshes
      • ◉ Dual Sheath Meshes
        • Install
Burn Freeze Shock EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose Detailed Instructions available
This mod has been known to cause issues on some systems, therefore, it is highly recommended to use the memory patch included in SKSE.

Download and install the BFS Effects 3_6 - Loose main file. Also install the optional BFS Effects 3_6 - Dragonborn Dawnguard file. Select [Merge] when prompted.

Dawnguard Rune Weapons FXSLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Deathbell HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Deadly Spell ImpactsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Deadly Spell Impacts
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Fire Spell Dependent Feature
      • ◉ One Fire Impact (Default)
        • Next
  • One
    • Fire
      • ◉ Default
    • Frost
      • ◉ Alternative 1
    • Lightning
      • ◉ Default
        • Install

If issues arise from this mod, try installing the low resolution version.

DRAGON PRIESTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Dragon.Priest.2k optional file. Select the Full option in the installer.
DRAUGRLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Draugr.2k optional file.
DROPSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends downloading only the Drops v1 Optional File (the fomod version) with the following options:
FOMOD Instructions
Drops v1
  • x
    • Main File
      • ◉ DROPS - x512
        • Next
  • x
    • DROPS - Alternative Textures
      • ◉ DROPS - Alternative Texture for x512
        • Install
EASIER LOCKPICKINGLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Embers HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Embers HD
  • Embers HD
    • Select One
      • ◉ Embers HD 1K
        • Next
  • Embers HD Add-Ons
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☑ Fireplaces Add-On
      • ☑ Forges Add-On
      • ☑ Lava Crater Add-On
        • Next
  • Embers HD Patches
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☑ Ultimate HD Fire Effects Patch
        • Install
Enhanced Blood TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Enhanced Blood Textures LITE Main File.

Optionally, download and merge the No Screen Blood Optional File. This will remove blood spatters from the screen.

Burn Freeze Shock EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose Detailed Instructions available
This mod has been known to cause issues on some systems, therefore, it is highly recommended to use the memory patch included in SKSE.

Download and install the BFS Effects 3_6 - Loose main file. Also install the optional BFS Effects 3_6 - Dragonborn Dawnguard file. Select [Merge] when prompted.

FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
GIANTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Giant.2k optional file.
HAGRAVENLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Hagraven.2k optional file.
HD Dark Brotherhood DoorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: No glowing eyes version Optional File.
HD Enhanced TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Step recommends: Hd Enhanced Terrain and Map snow 1024x1024 Version Old File.
HD Stone Quarry and Clay DepositLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k Also install the Stone Quarry for Vanilla Rock Texture optional file.
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.
High-Res Dartwing TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HQ SnowLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file.
Hybrids HD Plants and Herbs RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved Closefaced HelmetsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Improved Closefaced Helmets (Legendary Edition)" and the "Update - Male corundum Dragon Priest mask texture fix" update file. [Merge] when asked for installing the update file.
Improved Vanilla MountainsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved Weapon Impact EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MAMMOTHLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Northfires SkidmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and 2K Optional File.
PondFish and Salmon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Real Wood Textures-FarmhousesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Install the Real Wood Textures - Farmhouses No Green Moss Version 1K (S.T.E.P. Version) Optional File.
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.

Realistic Water TwoLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.

ENB Preset users may want to also install the Realistic Water Two - ENB Textures optional file. This optional file is not used for the Step Guide, however, users also installing an ENB Preset after Guide setup will benefit from it.

FOMOD Instructions
Realistic Water Two
  • Options
    • 0. Core
      • ☑ Core Files
    • 1. Resolution
      • ◉ High
    • 2. Compatibility
      • ◉ Default
        • Next
  • Options
    • 3. Combination
      • ☑ Legendary
    • 4. New Lands
      • ☐ DO NOT SELECT ANYTHING
    • 5. Waves
      • ☐ DO NOT SELECT ANYTHING
    • 6. Other
      • ☑ Bobbing Longboats
        • Install
RUSTIC DEATH HOUNDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Download and install the RUSTIC DEATH HOUND - 2K-1K - DARK VERSION main file.
RUSTIC GARGOYLELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
SABRECATLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install both options in the installer.
RUSTIC MONUMENTS and TOMBSTONESLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
RUSTIC MONUMENTS AND TOMBSTONES
  • Select Files
    • Monument Textures
      • ◉ 1K
    • Tomb Textures
      • ◉ 2K
    • Meshes
      • ◉ SMIM
        • Install
Shadowmarks ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. x256 Download and install only the Shadowmark Textures - 256 optional file.
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-00000002-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-00000003-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
Skyrim Improved PuddlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Improved Puddles 1024 BAIN Main File.

Choose both 00 - Core Files and 17 Dawnguard-HearthFires-Dragonborn DLC Users options from the installer.

The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten-ArvakLink to the mod's Wiki page. HD Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Dawnguard Rewritten - Arvak
  • Installation Options
    • Texture Sizes
      • ◉ High Definition
    • Model Options
      • ◉ Soul Cairn
        • Install
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

TROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Vivid Clouds and FogsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Vivid Clouds and Fogs
  • Options
    • Vivid Clouds and Fogs
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Vivid Clouds and Fogs - Half Resolution
      • ☑ Vivid Clouds
      • ☑ Vivid Groundfogs
      • ☑ Vivid Mountainfogs
      • ☑ Vivid Steams
      • ☑ Vivid fire smoke
        • Next
  • Weather Patches
    • Do you use Climates of Tamriel?
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Extended Weathers
    • Vanilla Skyrim
      • ◉ None
    • Climates of Tamriel
      • ◉ None
    • Pure Weather
      • ◉ None
    • RCRN Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
    • NLA Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
    • Purity Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
        • Install
Vivid Landscapes-Tundra Moss RevisedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024, Yellow Detailed Instructions available
Install the Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised - yellow 1024 Main File. Merge the SMIM compatibility patch Optional File.

The optional file is not packaged correctly.

  1. Double-click high poly mesh...
  2. Right-click on Data found below high poly mesh...
  3. Select [Set data directory].
  4. Click [OK] and then [Merge], when asked.
Whiterun Trellis RedesignedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024
WISPMOTHERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2x1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wispmother.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select one
      • ◉ Full Version - skin with linen fabric cloth
        • Install
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
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the main file version of your choice.
FOMOD Instructions
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons Retexture
  • Page 1
    • Main Weapon Textures
      • ◉ Darker Bone
        • Next
  • Page 2
    • Arrow Options
      • ◉ Vanilla Style Arrows
        • Next
  • Page 3
    • Scabbard Style
      • ◉ Shorter Scabbard
        • Next
  • Page 4
    • Short Scabbard Texture Options
      • ◉ Plain Scabbard
        • Install
Dragonborn Mages Robes Retexture PackLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Elemental StaffsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Install the Main File and merge the Elemental Staffs LE Basic Optional 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.

Skyrim Weapon De-LARP-ification ProjectLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional Dawnguard and Dragonborn files.
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
Mage Outfit Texture OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Mage Outfit Texture Overhaul - MOTO - SOM - USLEEP USKP CCF main file.
New Thinner TorchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ultimate HD Torch by rheadude compatible Optional File.
Nightingale PrimeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Leather
Not Really HD-Mask of Clavicus VileLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Wrecked".
RUSTIC FORSWORNLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
TDN Vampire Armor RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File only.
The 418th StepLink to the mod's Wiki page. Snow Version
Barenziahs GloryLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Barenziah's Glory
  • Optional Textures
    • Crown Texture Options
      • ◉ Desaturated Crown Texture - 1k
    • Jewelrybox Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Jewelrybox Texture - 1k
    • Gem Texture Options
      • ◉ Original
        • Install
Book Covers SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Desaturated
Book Covers Skyrim - Lost LibraryLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Book Covers Skyrim - Lost Library - DESATURATED main file.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res RieklingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Higher-Res Detailed Instructions available
This mod is not packaged correctly.
  1. Double-click on Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res Riekling Architecture.
  2. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory].
  3. Click [OK] to install.
Enchanting Candle Meshes ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Ore and IngotsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends the "With manager" file. The main file is mostly extraneous screenshots and duplicate files.
HD Reworked BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HORNCANDLESLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
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
Not Really HD Leather StripsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Pilgrim's DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Pilgrims Delight - Legacy Optional File.
Radiant and Unique Potions and Poisons HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use "Booze v2 Non-Glow".
Realistic InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rens HD ShrinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The following are the Step recommended options; however, users can install the options of their preference.
FOMOD Instructions
Ren's HD Shrines by Rengel
  • Choices
    • Akatosh
      • ◉ Sands of Time
    • Arkay
      • ◉ Golden Shells
    • Dibella
      • ◉ Springs of Love
    • Julianos
      • ◉ Magic Circles
    • Kynareth
      • ◉ Heavenly Air
    • Mara
      • ◉ Gilded Saint
    • Stendarr
      • ◉ Tusk of Mercy
    • Talos
      • ◉ Rusted Steel
    • Zenithar
      • ◉ Golden Circuit
        • Install
Retexture for Bread - HearthfireLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file.
Retexture for SoupLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install For SMIM Mesh - Poor Version.
RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE - 2K Main File.
RUSTIC ELDERSCROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC NORDIC MURALSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
RUSTIC POTIONS and POISONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
RUSTIC SOULGEMSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Download and install the RUSTIC SOULGEMS 1K - SORTED main file.
Septim HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Septim HD
  • Texture and Mesh Options
    • Texture Options
      • ◉ Authentic
        • Next
  • Septim HD Plugin
    • Plugin Install?
      • ◉ Yes!
Silly Level of Detail-Wine CellarLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install both the Main and Optional Files.
SKELETONLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to download and install only the Skeleton.and.Human.Bones.2k optional file.
FOMOD Instructions
Skeleton.and.Human.Bones.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select One
      • ◉ Skin, clutter without the sounds
        • Install
Skyrim RedesignedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the FOMOD version and install according to the instructions below:

DO NOT use the STEP option in the installer. It pertains to old versions of the Guide.

FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim Redesigned
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom Installation
        • Next
  • Custom Installation
    • Skyrim Redesigned
      • ☑ Alchemy Table
      • ☑ Anvil
      • ☑ Bloody Rags
      • ☑ Brown (less saturated) Money Bags
      • ☑ Buckets
      • ☑ Enchanting Table-Css01 Retexture
      • ☑ Hagraven Claws
      • ☑ Skeever Tail
      • ☑ Skeleton Key
        • Install

Users who experience black and purple or rainbow colors on their money bag and alchemy lab tables need to set iTexMipMapSkip to the value of 0. This is found in the SkyrimPrefs.ini file under the [Display] header.

Smaller Ice Spikes and SpearLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Smaller Ice Spike 50 Optional File.
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.
Sweet MotherLink to the mod's Wiki page.
WEBS extendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. x2048
White Phial ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
White Phial Replacer
  • Version Selection
    • Version Selection
      • ◉ Non-Dawnguard Edition
        • Next
  • Options - Non-Dawnguard Edition
    • Texture Resolution
      • ◉ 1024
    • Bottle Size
      • ◉ 80%
        • Install
Lepidoptera Of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Lepidoptera Of Skyrim for Dawnguard DLC main file.
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.
Dual Sheath ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File. Ensure the latest 32-bit version of Java Runtime Environment is installed, it's required for the patcher.
FOMOD Instructions
Dual Sheath Redux
  • Base Mod and/or Compatibility Packs
    • Base Packs or Both
      • ☑ Patcher and Vanilla Meshes
      • ☑ Mod Packs
        • Next
  • Back or Hip
    • Do you use a swords on back skeleton?
      • ◉ NO
        • Next
  • Replacer Mods
    • Skyrim Weapon De-LARP-ification Project
      • Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Standalone Mods (select only the options below)
    • aMidianBorn Book of Silence
      • ☑ aMidianBorn Book of Silence
    • Elemental Staffs
      • ☑ Elemental Staffs
        • Install

Dual Sheath Redux Patcher must be launched through Mod Organizer for it to recognize installed mods. Add the DSR Patch to the list of executables by doing the following:

  1. In the right pane, go to the Data tab.
  2. Locate the SkyProc Patchers directory and expand the Dual Sheath Redux Patch directory.
  3. Right-click the Dual Sheath Redux Patch.jar file and select Add as executable.
  4. If asked to locate the Java binary, browse to where you installed Java (usually Program Files (x86)/Java/jreX.X.X_XX/bin) and select javaw.exe.
  5. Enter a name and finish.

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

Example video


07-Sounds & Music[edit]

Mods that alter game audio
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Lucidity Sound FXLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the main file.
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
Better Horse Pain SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Weapon Swing SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Audio Overhaul for SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim 2
  • Welcome to the AOS Installer
    • Choose the type of installation:
      • ◉ Install for STEP or SR:LE
        • Install

Users that play with headphones may also consider the AOS_Reduced_Reverb Optional File.

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
IHSS-Improved Horse StepsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
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.
Smooth Blade Draw and SheatheLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Smooth draw and Sheathe sfx - Full options Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Smooth blades draw and sheath
  • Introduction
    • Please Read
      • ☑ All should be selected
        • Next
  • Choose one ADS version
    • A.D.S.
      • ◉ Audio Dynamic Sneak
        • Next
  • Choose your options
    • SBDS options
      • ☑ Daggers
      • ☑ 1Handed blades
      • ☑ 2Handed blades
      • ☑ Enchanted weapons
      • ☑ Mute activation fail
      • ☑ Mute critical hit
      • ☑ Mute left hand
        • Next
  • Outro
    • Enjoy !
      • ☑ It's done !
        • Install
Thundering ShoutsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install only the Thundering Shouts - loose files Optional File.
Ultra Realistic Bow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Ultra Realistic Crossbow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.


08-Character Appearance[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of PC or NPC appearance
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
BeardsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Hvergelmir's Aesthetics - Beards
  • Choose Options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 1024
        • Install
Better MalesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Geonox Faces + Underwear - Default NSFW Mod Page.

Direct downloads to remain SFW:

BrowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard Resolution Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Hvergelmir's Aesthetics - Brows
  • Choose Options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 512
        • Install
Consistent Older PeopleLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Consistent Older People All NPCs USLEEP Main File.
Cover KhajiitsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Install both Main Files. Merge when asked.
FAR-Forgotten Argonian RootsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Detailed Instructions available
The instructions are broken up into segments for easier tracking:
  1. During installation, expand FAR-Forgotten Argonian Roots
  2. Expand Females→Default Body→MAIN texture
  3. Drag and drop the Textures folder onto < data > above
  4. Now fully expand the Textures folder that was just moved and leave it expanded.
  1. Expand Males→Better Males body→textures→actors→character
  2. Drag and drop the argonianmale folder onto character folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  3. Now expand the two argonianfemale and argonianmale folders from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
    • Untick the boxes next to the *body_s.dds, *hands_s.dds, and *head_s.dds within both the expanded folders.
  1. Expand no glow skin→Female→Textures→actors→character→argonianfemale
  2. Drag and drop the three files into the argonianfemale folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  1. Expand no glow skin→Male→Textures→actors→character→argonianmale
  2. Drag and drop the three files into the argonianmale folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  3. Untick FAR-Forgotten Argonian Roots and click [OK]
Female Vampires Have FangsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive Citizens-AI OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Users not installing the STEP Patches will want to install the options the FOMOD installer automatically selects.

Additionally, this mod is optional and the STEP Compilation detects if it is not installed, thus providing a version of the Patches without this mod incorporated.

Download and install the main file.

FOMOD Instructions
Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul
  • First Screen
    • Install Options
      • ◉ Full
        • Next
  • First Screen
    • Main Part
      • ◉ Legendary Version
    • Enhanced Lighting for ENB
      • ◉ None
    • Enhanced Lights and FX
      • ◉ None
    • Open Cities Skyrim
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Moonpath to Elsweyr
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Realistic Room Rental (Enhanced Version Only)
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
More Realistic HairLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Northborn ScarsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
PAINTERLYLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RUSTIC CHILDRENLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Download and install the RUSTIC CHILDREN - BODY - 2K-1K main file.
Superior Lore-Friendly HairLink to the mod's Wiki page. Rough Hair 1K Use the "SLF Hair - Rough Hair - Lite 1K" main file.
WSCO - Windsong Skyrim Character OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the WSCO Occidental Vanilla Body v1 Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
WSCO - Windsong Skyrim Character Overhaul
  • Choose the sex
    • Choose the sex
      • ◉ Female only
        • Next
  • Improved NPC's Appearance
    • Improved NPC's Appearance
      • ◉ No - Don't install the add-on
        • Next
  • Final Step
    • Final Step
      • ☑ Inform
        • Install

xEdit Cleaning Required
1 ITMs

After cleaning this mod, open it in xEdit:

  1. Expand the mod and expand Non-Player Character (Actor)
  2. Right-click on FormID 0009F83A dunBluePalaceMareMaiden
  3. Choose [Remove]
  4. Choose yes to any warnings to remove the record
  5. Close xEdit saving the plugin


09-Fixes[edit]

Mods that fix various bugs not addressed by the Foundation mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
DawnguardLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HearthfireLink to the mod's Wiki page.
DragonbornLink to the mod's Wiki page.
High Resolution Texture PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is the Official DLC from Bethesda. It consists of three plugins, which should be listed right after SkyrimLE:Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch in the left pane of Mod Organizer and prioritized sequentially (HighResTexturePack01, HighResTexturePack02, HighResTexturePack03). If optimized versions of the textures from the High Resolution Texture Pack are used they should be placed directly after HighResTexturePack03.
STEP Optimized Vanilla TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard Simply download and install one of the Optional Files and then check the archive in the Archives tab.
Appropriately Attired JarlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Bug FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Reload FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Fuz Ro D-ohLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The Fuz Ro D'oh.ini file needs to be edited manually. To do this:
  1. While in Mod Organizer, right-click the Fuz Ro Doh 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 Fuz Ro D'oh.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:
    [General]
    WordsPerSecondSilence=2
  7. Save and close the file
Invisibility Glitch Eyes FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Modern Brawl Bug FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
NARCLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends the NARC main file. All needed patches are included in the STEP Patches.
Ragdoll ParalysisLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install the Paralyze Miscellaneous file.
Skyrim Project OptimizationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Full Version Install the "Skyrim Project Optimization - Full Version" Main File. Tick Data and click [OK] to install.
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-00000002-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.

Wiseman303s Critter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wiseman303's Critter Fixes
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Install
    • Options
      • ☑ Monarch Wing Fix
      • ☑ PondFish and Salmon Replacer (STEP Extended users only)
        • Install
Wiseman303s Flora FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file and the WM Flora Fixes SMIM Patch optional file.
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.
Wiseman303s Trap FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install checking only the Traps Make Noise compatibility option.


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.
Clothing and Clutter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the "Clothing and Clutter Fixes" main file.
Complete Crafting Overhaul RemadeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and the CCO Compatibility Patch for WAFR Optional File.
Weapons and Armor FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade
  • Main File and DLC Selection
    • Main File and DLC Selection
      • ◉ Skyrim Legendary
    • Options
      • ◉ Customize Options
        • Next
  • Select Custom Options
    • True Weapons
      • ◉ True Orcish and Daedric Weapons
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Faster Arrows
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dark Brotherhood Mask Fix
      • ☑ Dark Brotherhood Mask Fix
    • Better Fitting Glass Helmet
      • ☑ Better Fitting Glass Helmet Meshes
        • Next
  • Texture Size
    • Choose Texture Size
      • ◉ 2K-1K
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • aMidianborn Skyforge Weapons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Immersive Weapons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Improved Closedfaced Helmets
      • ☑ Legendary
        • Next
  • Final Final
    • Final Step
      • ☑ Read Me File
        • Install


11-Gameplay-AI & Combat[edit]

Mods that alter AI and combat mechanics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Stealth AI for FollowersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Better Stealth AI for Followers Main File.
Come together N Out of the wayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dual Wield ParryingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the 00 Dual Wield Parrying SKSE 3_1 beta Main File.

In the MCM settings for Dual Wield Parry, please note the default key (V) for blocking when dual wielding weapons. You may change this if you like. Make sure the Mod Active setting is ticked or the mod will not work.

Follower Trap SafetyLink to the mod's Wiki page.


12-Gameplay-Economy[edit]

Mods that alter currency, item stats, or other economy-related aspects of the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Trade and BarterLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Trade And Barter - Hearthfire Main File.


13-Gameplay-Immersion[edit]

Mods that help to improve game immersion and role-playing scenarios
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Clams Drop PearlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Convenient HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dead Body CollisionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Disease DescriptionsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Select Vanilla, Dawnguard, and Dragonborn in the installer.
Guard Dialogue OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Do NOT clean with TES5Edit. ITMs/UDRs are intended by the author for the mod to work correctly.
Non-Essential ChildrenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Use the Hearthfire version.
Point the WayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Relationship Dialogue OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. Skip all patches in installer.
SM Drop Lit TorchesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Coin Replacer ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the SCRR - Legendary Edition Main File and Septim HD Coinpiles Optional File.
Traps Make NoiseLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Traps Make Noise Main File.

Merger the Mining Makes Noise (for CCOR) Optional File.
Merge the Traps Make Noise - Follower Safety Patch and Wiseman303's Trap Fixes Update Misc Files.

Wet and ColdLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Install the Wet & Cold - Ashes optional.

Optional Installation: Higher quality fur coats can be installed by ticking the High Res Fur Coats optional. This will install 2K textures. This is completely optional. Otherwise, just leave it unticked for the 1K textures.


14-Gameplay-Quests[edit]

Mods that alter aspects of quests and/or related lore
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
ESF - The Companions GuildLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the ESFCompanions REQUIREMENTS-ONLY VERSION main file.
Even Better Quest ObjectivesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Do not install any patches (untick them), they are included in the Step CR Patches.
FOMOD Instructions
Even Better Quest Objectives
  • Options for this mod
    • Main
      • ☑ automatically selected
    • Optional Files
      • Select Nothing (untick everything)
    • Compatible Mods
      • Select Nothing (untick everything)
        • Install
Gildergreen RegrownLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not So Fast - Mage GuildLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Not So Fast-Main QuestLink to the mod's Wiki page.
The Choice is YoursLink to the mod's Wiki page.
The Paarthurnax DilemmaLink to the mod's Wiki page. Note: The Nexus page for this mod has a spoiler for those that have not played the main quest yet.
Thieves Guild RequirementsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Timing is EverythingLink to the mod's Wiki page.


15-Gameplay-Skills & Perks[edit]

Mods that alter PC skills and perks or related leveling
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Lock OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
You must activate the options in the MCM for Lock Overhaul or the mod will basically do nothing. If the mod is not active, activate it. In activating it, you'll have to exit the menus back to the game before you're able to see the available options. STEP recommends changing following settings:
Smash Locks
  • Activate Smash Locks
    • Default: unticked
    • STEP: ticked
      • This will turn on the ability to smash locks with a weapon.
  • Allowed Weapons
    • Default: Only Two Handed
    • STEP: Two+ One Handed
      • This will allow locks to be smashed with one and two handed weapons but not with bows and crossbows, as long as you have the skill requirement.
Unlock with Magic
  • Enable Unlock Spell
    • Default: unticked
    • STEP: ticked
      • This will turn on the ability to unlock locks with destruction magic as long as you have the skill requirement.
Smithing Perks OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Choose the Both Dawnguard and Dragonborn and Modified Vanilla Perk Tree options in the installer.
Stealth Skills RebalancedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Stealth Skills Rebalanced - Full Version main file.


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.
Immersive HUDLink to the mod's Wiki page.
KenMOD Time On Loading ScreenLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lore-Based Loading ScreensLink 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!
Main Menu Spinning EmblemLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends the Main Menu Spinning Skyrim Emblem Average Speed main file.
MoreHUDLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RaceMenuLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Skill Interface Re-TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the SSIRT v3.0 main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim Skill Interface Re-Texture
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☑ Please Read
        • Next
  • Background
    • Mesh Fixes
      • ☑ Mesh Fixes
    • Background
      • ◉ Background - Default Stars - HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Perk Lines
    • Perk Lines
      • ◉ Perk Lines - Default
        • Next
  • Perk Line Colours
    • Perk Line Colours
      • ◉ Perk Line Colour - Default
        • Next
  • Constellations
    • Constellations
      • ◉ Constellations - HD Default + Dawnguard
        • Next
  • Perk Stars
    • Perk Stars
      • ◉ Perk Stars - Enhanced Default
        • Next
  • Dawnguard
    • Dawnguard Moons and Stars
      • ☑ HD Vanilla Moon and Vanilla Stars
        • Next
  • Vampire Background
    • Vampire Nebula Background
      • ☑ HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Thanks
    • Thanks
      • ☑ Thank You
        • Install
Viewable Faction RanksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Viewable Faction Ranks Dawnguard and Dragonborn Main File.


17-Locations[edit]

Mods that add new locations and/or alter vanilla locations
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Bring Out Your DeadLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Cutting Room FloorLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Farmhouse ChimneysLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Farmhouse Chimneys
  • Core Options
    • Meshes
      • ◉ Thinner Meshes
    • Base Selection
      • ◉ Vanilla
        • Next
  • Extra Options
    • New Lands
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Villages
      • ☑ Helarchen Creek
    • Misc Mods
      • ☑ Live Another Life
      • ☑ Cutting Room Floor
        • Next
  • Arthmoor Villages
    • Arthmoor Village Expansions
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Hearthfire ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Hearthfire Extended - All DLCs (Legendary Edition) Main File.
Oblivion GatesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Oblivion Gates v3 Skyrim and Dawnguard DLC Main File.

Move the Oblivion Gates v3 without Markers - Skyrim + Dawnguard DLC.esp to Optional ESPs in MO.


18-Lighting & Weather[edit]

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
This section is optional!
We wish to be clear that the mods included within this section are completely optional. They are still within the Mandate, however, we've made this section optional for users who wish to customize their own lighting and weather for their games. As such, we've included an additional patch solely for this mod group.

Optional mod group that alters lighting and weather systems in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Enhanced Lighting for ENB-LITELink to the mod's Wiki page. Interior Lighting Detailed Instructions available
ENB Preset users: This alters the look of the interior lighting when used with any Preset!

If an ENB Preset is planned to be installed, either verify the chosen Preset works with the Interior Lighting version of ELE or skip this mod installation entirely.

Step recommends the ELE_Lite_v0_95c_Only IL STEP Specific main file.

Lightning During Thunder StormsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
In the MCM settings for Lightning During Thunder Storms (Minty Lightning), STEP recommends changing following settings:

Lightning Config - Fork Lightning Options

  • Hostile
    • Default: unticked
    • STEP: ticked
      • This will make the lightning strikes that hit the ground hostile. This means they can hurt you, NPCs and creatures. This is more realistic. If you don't like this, leave it unticked.
  • Frequency Delay
    • Default: 5 secs
    • STEP: 25 secs
      • This will reduce the frequency at which these ground strikes occur. STEP has increased this setting to provide a more realistic feel. The new setting will produce approximately one strike every 25 secs instead of one strike every 5 secs.

Leave all other settings unchanged.

Relighting SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. No JIT Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends the "Relighting Skyrim - No JIT" main file.
Wonders of WeatherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wonders of Weather
  • Options
    • Core
      • ☑ Wonders of Weather
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Less Opaque Splashes
        • Install

19-Utilities[edit]

Tools used to generate mod resources from data provided by previous mod groups
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Fores New Idles in SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the FNIS Behavior Main File.

FNIS is run through Mod Organizer like most other tools. Add FNIS to the list of executables by doing the following:

  1. In the right pane, go to the Data tab.
  2. Locate the tools folder and expand it. Then expand the GenerateFNIS_for_Users folder.
  3. Right-click the GenerateFNISforUsers.exe file and select [Add as Executable].
  4. In the window that opens, type FNIS for the Title.
  5. Click [OK].

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

Example video

2.O. Launching STEP:Skyrim[edit]

When ready to play for the first time after a STEP install, it is recommended to start a brand new character. In the past, we advised that users they could continue an existing save, but with recent mod updates, we feel it is imperative users start a new character.

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
When loading Skyrim for the first time after STEP is installed, the load could take significantly longer than normal. This will only be a one-time load wait as all the installed mods are being initialized. Subsequent load times should be shorter.

Archive Management[edit]

Moicon.png

MO2

Mod Organizer allows loading archives without their dummy plugins.

  1. In the Plugins tab, deactivate HighResTexturePack01.esp, HighResTexturePack02.esp, HighResTexturePack03.esp, Unofficial High Resolution Patch.esp, STEP DLC Optimized Textures, STEP Vanilla Optimized Textures, Modern Brawl Bug Fix.esp, and BWS.esp as they are all dummy plugins.
  2. Go to the Archives tab.
  3. Tick Have MO manage archives.
  4. In the archive list, ensure all the mods are checked.

LOOT Meta Rules[edit]

Once all mods have been installed, run LOOT one final time to ensure the correct plugin order is set. Ensure the rules below were not missed before creating the Bashed Patch! If any were missed, please apply them and re-run the Bashed Patch:

Loot.png
LOOT:
ELE_Legendary_Lite.esp

Main:

  • Global Priority: 45

RelightingSkyrim_Legendary.esp
Main:

  • Global Priority: 30

RealisticWaterTwo.esp
Load after:

  • RelightingSkyrim_Legendary.esp

Clothing & Clutter Fixes.esp
Load After:

  • Lepidoptera Of Skyrim DLC1.esp

AOS.esp
Load after:

  • ADS.esp

Book Covers Skyrim.esp
Load After:

  • TheChoiceIsYours.esp

TheChoiceIsYours.esp
Load After:

  • Relationship Dialogue Overhaul

Mod Configuration Menu Settings[edit]

Coming soon...

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 off 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, which is easily the most VRAM-intensive mod 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 65 and is optimized for a monitor aspect ratio of 16:10. Therefore, users with 16:9 monitors (e.g. 1920x1080) will want to increase their FOV to 70.59. 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 70.59. Those rare and unfortunate users stuck with 4:3 aspect ratio will need to reduce their FOV down to 55.93.

A helpful conversion calculator can assist in calculation of other monitor types and aspect ratios. To use:

  1. Change Resolution of single monitor to your total resolution (if using multiple monitors, use the combined resolution)
  2. Change Number of monitors? to the number of monitors being used Across and Tall (e.g., if you only have 1, set both Across and Tall to 1. If you have 3 beside each other, set Across to 3 and Tall to 1. If you have 4 monitors arranged so that it is 2 by 2, set Across to 2 and Tall to 2.
  3. Change Old Res or Ratio to 16:10.
  4. Change Old hFOV to 65.
  5. Your new optimized FOV value will be labeled New hFOV immediately below and to the right.

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 mod testing. More detail is presented in the Mod Testing Guide.

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

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 TechAngel85 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 community members interested in becoming testers, please contact TechAngel85 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 given by testers. 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 community members interested in becoming moderators, please contact TechAngel85 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!


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 authors of mods who granted permission for their mods to be placed inside the SkyrimLE:STEP Compilation
  • The core STEP Community for feedback, suggestions and input
  • The STEP testers for their good humor and rigorous analyses
  • The Nexus community
  • Bethesda Softworks for Skyrim (and TES in general)
  • Tannin for the gift that is Mod Organizer


The core STEP team is:[edit]
  • EssArrBee - Release Coordinator, Fallout survivor, STEP Patches maintainer
  • stoppingby4now - Lead Site Developer, administrator, Semantic Mediawiki developer & extraordinaire, site founder
  • TechAngel85 - Lead Release Coordinator, Forum administrator, FOMOD extraordinaire
  • z929669 - Wiki & forums content editor, administrator, hosting maintenance, site founder
  • Other active volunteer staff: Aiyen, DoubleYou, Greg, GrantSP, GSDfan, hishutup, Kelmych, Nebulous112, phazer11, WilliamImm
  • Honorary members: TheCompiler, Farlo, MontyMM, oqhansoloqo, rootsrat, torminater