From Step Mods | Change The Game



This guide is out of date and is NOT supported! It may contain information that is incorrect or not in line with the current state of the game.
Go to the latest supported SkyrimSE Guide.

STEP SE Core Guide[edit]

Per our previous release, the "STEP Guide" versioning scheme facilitates our move towards a major change in the way we not only create guides but also with respect to our entire website and methodology. In totality, we've been calling this "STEP 3.0". This Guide version is "0.1.0" (since this a new guide specific to Special Edition, it's versioning starts fresh). It's a prequel or "Beta" to the Guide we will release with STEP 3.0. While we don't consider this release quite to the standards of a full-blown 'major' release, it still represents the entirety of the Guide as it will be released.

There has been so many changes that we highly recommend users reviewing the Changelog, for all the fine details.

- Visit the forums and provide feedback related to STEP.

- Also follow STEP on Facebook.

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

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 from which to build a foundation.

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 members.

New to Modding?[edit]

We recommend that you ...

  • read through this Guide at least once before attempting installation.
  • follow all linked guides and read through them, as well.

There is a lot of information to absorb and learn in order to successfully build a modded game. We and the community, have brought together a lot of this information into guides as a free and hopefully convenient resource for all. New and experienced modders alike will find many answers within these guides and linked resources. This guide is written in such a way that it expects users to know the basics of modding and related tools (e.g., mod managers, LOD optimizers, configuration utilities, etc.). However our support forums are always available for visitors.


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

  • Baseline: An installation of a mod using the recommend file option listed within the Baseline column of the mod tables below.
  • STEP Patches: A "patch" is a plugin that allows two or more mods to work together without conflicting. The "STEP Patches" are such plugins, but allow all of the mods in the STEP Guide to work harmoniously together. Some users refer to this as a "conflict resolution patch" or "CR Patch".

Minimum System Requirements[edit]

We recommend the following hardware configuration for running a STEP SE Core installation at a resolution of 1920x1080. The minimum requirements will allow most users to install and run the Baseline options, which are Skyrim SE's recommended requirements. The recommended requirements for this Guide will allow most users to install and run a modded setup beyond that of the Baseline options (higher quality options). For those wishing to use high quality options at resolutions higher than 1920x1080, be advised that a more powerful system will likely be required.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows 7 64-bit or later Windows 7 64-bit or later
CPU Intel Core i5-2400 or equivalent Intel Core i5-4430 or equivalent
System RAM 8 GB 8 GB or higher
GPU Nvidia GTX 780 3GB / AMD R9 290 4GB Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent or better
Monitor Resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080 or higher

Time Requirement[edit]

Users should be aware that it will usually take several hours to complete a STEP Guide from start to finish. STEP encourages users to always follow proper computer ergonomics when modding. Remember to take breaks and happy modding!

STEP 1[edit]

Game & Tool Installation

Game Installation and Modding Setup[edit]



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!

Before continuing with this Guide, users who have not completed the System Setup Guide should stop and do so now. Before continuing, users should already have the game installed and folder structure set up for modding. Our mod-build guides are written with the expectation of the linked setup process already being completed. Users deviating from our recommendations will need to adjust the instructions in our guides accordingly.

Mod Organizer 2[edit]

Mod Organizer 2 is the successor to Mod Organizer, and is now the official mod manager for all STEP mod-build guides. It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Bethesda games. The major changes it brings are ...

  1. A return to normal plugin/BSA relationship - Users will no longer be able to load BSAs without loading the corresponding plugin as they did with MO. The plugins must be active for the BSAs to load, which is the intended behavior that the game expects.
  2. New MO installation options - Users will have the choice between installing MO in "standalone" or "portable" mode. Unless Merge Plugins is going to be utilized, it’s purely an individual preference. Merged Plugins will currently only work when MO is installed and used in “portable” mode. STEP recommends “standalone” mode for use with this guide. This allows us to design all of our mod-build guides around using MO's "Instances". This means one MO installation is used for all supported games. Users should decide how they wish to install and use MO before continuing; keeping in mind the space requirements mentioned in our System Setup Guide.



For more information about MO installation options, please see the Mod Organizer Guide.

Tools Installation and Setup[edit]

STEP recommends the tools for modding be installed and setup as “standalone” applications, when possible. This means a tool is installed once and used for all games. Most of the modding tools used already have this feature built in and some are meant to be used as such. Following this recommendation will also reduce redundant tool installations; thus, saving hard drive space, and it's more organized. The instructions throughout this Guide will assume the tools are installed as “standalone” applications. However, users are free to set up their tools as they see fit.

Tool Installation[edit]

Users should install the tools to the location created while following the System Setup Guide (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/). Install the following tools to that location:

Mod Name Baseline Instructions
MBINCompilerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download the latest version of the tool's .DLL and .EXE files from GitHub.
    Users may get a warning from their browser or system when downloading these files. Allow the browser or system to keep or retain the files.
  2. Move the downloaded files to the MBINCompiler folder (e.g., ../Modding/NoMansSky/Tools/MBINCompiler/)
NMS Modding StationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Windows 10 users should ensure that .NET v4.5.2 or later is installed as NMS Modding Station requires it.
  1. Download the file from Nexus Mods.
  2. Extract the archive to new NMS Modding Station folder (e.g., ../Modding/NoMansSky/Tools/NMS Modding Station/).
PSArcToolLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Manually download the file from Nexus Mods.
  2. Place the EXE in the new PSArcTool folder (e.g., ..\Modding\Tools\PSArcTool).

The Modding folder structure should now reflect:

  • ../Modding/Steam (optional; may be installed elsewhere)
  • ../Modding/Tools
    • ../Tools/BethINI
    • ../Tools/DynDOLOD
    • ../Tools/LOOT
    • ../Tools/Mod Organizer
    • ../Tools/Wrye Bash
    • ../Tools/xEdit
    • ../Tools/xLODGen

STEP 2[edit]

Tool Configuration

Mod Organizer 2 - Configuration[edit]


STEP recommends using all applications, including Mod Organizer 2, as standalone programs. The below instructions for MO's first run reflect this. If MO is ran in Portable mode, users will need to adjust the instructions as appropriate. To initialize Mod Organizer 2:

Initialization Instructions

  1. Launch MO by running its executable (i.e. ..Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer/ModOrganizer.exe)
  2. Upon launch, users will have a choose between setting it up as portable or create a new Instance. Choose to create a new Instance.
  3. Select SkyrimSE and choose OK.
    • A prompt will appear informing you about the option of changing the location of data stored. Read it and click past it.
  4. The installer should automatically detect the Skyrim SE installation (ie. ..Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition). Select it.
    • If it didn't find the location, browse to to the Skyrim SE installation path.
  5. Another prompt will appear for first time installers asking to run the tutorial or not. First time MO users should run it for a quick lesson on MO. Experienced MO users can skip it.
  6. The last prompt will ask if MO can handle .NXM links from the browser. Allow it to do so.
  7. MO is now set up and ready to use.

Profile Setup[edit]

Now users will take advantage of Mod Organizer's profile feature by creating/editing two profiles for use during this Guide:

Profile Setup Instructions

  1. Launch MO, choosing the Skyrim SE Instance.
  2. On the default profile, arrange the mods in the left pane in the following order:
    1. DLC: Dawnguard
    2. DLC: HearthFires
    3. DLC: Dragonborn
  3. Click the Configure Profiles button on the menu bar.
  4. Select the “Default” profile and click “Rename”.
  5. Rename this profile to Vanilla Skyrim or something similar
  6. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is checked and select OK.
    • Users can also check the Use profile-specific Save Games, if they wish.
  7. Ensure the renamed profile is still selected and click Copy.
  8. Name the new profile "STEP SE Core v0.1.0", or anything similar.
  9. Check the same boxes from step 6, above.
  10. Close the window by clicking Close.
  11. Ensure that the STEP SE Core profile is the currently selected profile in the Profile drop-down menu.

Tool Setup[edit]

The final step of setting up Mod Organizer 2 is to add all the tools to it, which were install in the previous step. Some tools will have been auto-detected and added for the user, however, ensure the settings below are set for all tools, even the auto-detected ones. Use the instructions below to add the tools to MO. xEdit is used for the example:

Tool Setup Instructions

  1. Click the Executables button at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  2. In the Title field type SSEEdit or xEdit.
  3. In the Binary field either type the path to the SSEEdit.exe file or browse for it by selecting the ... button (i.e. ..Modding/Tools/xEdit/SSEEdit.exe)
  4. (optional) The following arguments can be helpful. Input them in the Argument field separated by a single space:
    • -IKnowWhatImDoing : This turns off a warning present using users make edits.
    • -AllowMasterFilesEdit : By default xEdit will not allow master file editing. This allows users to these files.
    • -o:"Path/to output/folder" : This is the output path xEdit will use when it saves certain files. (i.e. ..Modding/Tools/xEdit/xEdit_Output)
  5. Check the Use Application’s Icon for shortcuts box.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for adding the executables from the table below; filling in the appropriate data. The titles we use are suggestions:

Tool Setup Table

Executable Title Argument(s)
LOOT.exe LOOT --game="Skyrim Special Edition"
SSEEditQuickAutoClean.exe xEdit Quick Auto Clean  
TexGen64.exe (installed with DynDOLOD) TexGen SE -SSE
WryeBash.exe Wrye Bash -o “path to Skyrim Special Edition folder”
(i.e, -o "D:/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition" )
xLODGen64.exe xLODGen -lodgen -SSE

Users can arrange their tools in any order they wish using the up and down buttons above the list. When complete, close the window by clicking the Cancel button.

BethINI Setup[edit]

BethINI needs to be set up to run for the current profile in MO and ran to establish solid INIs before beginning the mod installations. To do this:

BethINI Initialization

  1. Close MO and run BethINI.
  2. Select Skyrim Special Edition from the game selection box.
  3. Allow BethINI to handle custom INIs, if prompted.
  4. Go to the Setup tab
    • Ensure the Game Path is correct (i.e., ../Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition).
    • Ensure the Mod Organizer path is correct (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer).
    • If the MO path is correct, the INI Path menu will find the user’s profiles in MO. Select the profile created earlier in the Guide (STEP SE Core v0.1.0).
      • If BethINI does not automatically find the profiles, browse to MO's Profile folder.
      • For Instance users the profile will be stored in the user's AppData folder (i.e. C:/Users/UserName/AppData/Local/ModOrganizer/SkyrimSE/profiles)

At this time BethINI should restart to grab the correct INIs. Once it is restarted:

BethINI Initial Setup

  1. Return to the Setup tab.
    • BethINI will be used for multiple games from a single installation, thus users should check the “Always Select Game” box.
    • To prevent changes to the INIs, check the “Make INIs Read-Only” box.
  2. Select the Basic tab.
    • Ensure the Window Resolution matches the system resolution.
    • Click the Medium profile button (this can be changed at the end of the Guide).
    • Check the box for “Recommended Tweaks”.
  3. Now Save and Exit.

Users now have a minimal setup for the game INIs for testing and running the game during the mod installations. Once all mods have been installed, BethINI will be ran again to complete the INI setup.

STEP 3[edit]

Cleanup and Considerations


At any time during the mod installation process LOOT should be used to sort plugin load order before running the game. This is necessary to ensure proper plugin priority (load order), which can have a dramatic impact on the game. To sort with LOOT:

  1. Launch LOOT via Mod Organizer 2 from the executables drop-down menu.
    If LOOT fails to start, try adding the following argument to it: --single-process
  2. Click the “Sort” button at the top of the LOOT window.
  3. Examine the resulting order carefully and look for any alerts or warnings and address each (clean any mods it says has ITMs or UDRs)
  4. Click the “Apply” button, which has replaced the Sort button at the top.
  5. Close LOOT.

LOOT must be run any time a mod is installed that adds one or more plugins to the load order.

Up to this point, users should only have the following plugins, in the order listed:

  1. Skyrim.esm
  2. Update.esm
  3. Dawnguard.esm
  4. HearthFires.esm
  5. Dragonborn.esm

If the plugins are not in the order listed, run LOOT now.

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]

Toggle cleaning procedures

  1. Run xEdit64 Quick Auto Clean from the drop-down executable list in MO.
  2. On the plugin selection window, double-click on the mod being cleaned (i.e., Update.esm, Dawnguard.esm, etc).
  3. xEdit will now automatically clean the "Identical to master" and "deleted" records from the selected mod.
  4. Once xEdit is done cleaning, click the X in upper right of the program window to close the program.

After the vanilla master files are cleaned, users should create separate mods for them in MO and restore the original files. 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 in the modlist. Hover over All Mods and select Create empty 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. In a new window, open the Skyrim Special Edition Data directory (i.e., ../Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition/Data)
  4. Drag and drop the cleaned master file from Data to the "MasterName.esm - Cleaned" folder from step 2.
  5. Open the TES5Edit Backups folder found in Overwrite in MO (bottom of modlist) 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, if asked.
  7. Close the explorer windows.
  8. Drag and drop the new MasterName.esm - Cleaned mod listing in MO 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 its vanilla master listing. Update.esm will not be listed in MO and Update.esm - Cleaned is placed at the top of the modlist.


Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean Dawnguard.esm.

Once the automatic cleaning is complete, Dawnguard also has some manual cleaning required. To do this,

Toggle Dawnguard manual cleaning procedures

  1. Run xEdit from MO.
  2. At the prompt, double-click on Dawnguard.esm.
  3. Once loaded, type in 00016BCF in the FormID field (above the mod list) and hit Enter/Return.
  4. In the right pane, find the XEZN - Encounter Zone record.
  5. In the Dawnguard.esm column, right-click on the RiftenRatwayZone [ECZN:0009FBB9] entry and select Remove.
    • If a prompt appears select Yes for each of these removals.
  6. In the FormID field again, type in 0001FA4C and hit Enter/Return.
  7. On the Dawnguard.esm column, right-lick on the Dawnguard.esm header and select Remove.
  8. In the FormID field again, type in 0006C3B6 and hit Enter/Return.
  9. On the Dawnguard.esm column, right-lick on the Dawnguard.esm header and select Remove.
  10. Now close xEdit, ensuring Dawnguard.esm is checked on the prompt.

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.



Any time Bethesda updates these master files, users should complete this cleaning process again. This ensures users have any fixes Bethesda may have included within their updates.

At this point, the Bethesda masters should be cleaned and the mod list order should reflect:

  1. Updated - Cleaned .esm
  2. DLC: Dawnguard.esm
  3. Dawnguard - Cleaned.esm
  4. DLC: HearthFires.esm
  5. HearthFires - Cleaned.esm
  6. DLC: Dragonborn.esm
  7. Dragonborn - Cleaned.esm

Understanding the STEP Patches[edit]

A “conflict resolution” patch, or CR Patch, is a plugin that resolves conflicts between various active plugins. They allow users to use various mods together without any major issues, while still achieving the desired outcome from the mods. The STEP Patches are CR patches and more.

The STEP Patches are CR Patches built specifically for the mod list within this Guide. They are required to run the Guide without issues; providing conflict resolution between various mods. Additionally, the patches provide both mod integration and custom edits surrounding the use of specific mods. This means the patches are one part CR patch and one part mod.

Users should decide now, before installing any mods, whether or not they will be using the STEP Patches or creating their own. This decision will be referenced during mod installations below. Users who decide to install the STEP Patches will do so after the mod installations.



Users installing only the Core mod list or only installing mods on top of this Core mod list, are recommended to use the STEP Patches! These patches will solve all conflicts for users installing only the Core mod list. For users adding a few additional mods on top of STEP Core, the Patches can be used as a foundation to build upon. This ensures a stable game.

We do not offer support for unpatched mod installations!

STEP Patches Requirements - We recommend keeping the forum topic from the link open for referencing the list of required mods. This is helpful for users deciding whether or not to install a mod that may be required by the Patches.

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

  • STEP SE Core - Conflict Resolution Patch
    • patches the entire STEP SE Core mod list besides the Lighting & Weather mod group.
  • STEP SE Core - Lighting & Weather Patch
    • patches the mods listed within the Lighting & Weather mod group with the rest of the STEP SE Core mod list.
    • this is provided as a separate patch for users wanting to customize their own lighting and weather setup.

STEP 4[edit]

STEP SE Core Modlist

At this point users should have their systems fully set up and ready to install mods from the modlist below. Users who are unaware of how to complete mod installations using Mod Organizer 2 should return to that Guide and refresh their knowledge. When installing mods from the list below, keep the following in mind:

  • Mods should be installed in the order that they are listed to ensure other 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 (ESLs/ESMs/ESPs) unless otherwise noted.
  • If there are no notes associated with a particular mod, then all options fit the our mandate and it's the user's decision which option to install. Mod notes only provide instructions where necessary; otherwise, STEP encourages user customization.
  • Unless otherwise stated, follow LOOT's advice in regards to mod cleaning and sorting.



STEP does not recommend extracting BSAs for this Guide. Each BSA has been manually checked by the staff to ensure the proper overwrites are maintained, without the need for extraction.

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 Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Mod NameWikilink.png Baseline LowQuality.png HighQuality.png


STEP Patch Mods included in the STEP Patches are indicated by the presence of a green vertical bar in the row at the immediate left-hand column of the table before the mod name.
Mod Name Shortened version (where applicable) of Nexus mod name presented as a link to Nexus for download.
Wikilink.png Link to the mod's wiki page, 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.
Quality Options Indicates if there are lower or higher quality options for the mod relative to the Baseline recommendation:
 LowQuality.png       Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
      HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
 LowQuality.png HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, both lower and higher quality versions of the mod are available.
DLC Required Any DLCs listed here are required for the mod to function. Do not install the mod, unless all DLCs listed are present.
During mod installation instructions, STEP assumes a Legendary version of the game is being used (all DLC are installed).
Notes 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: "Use '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.

Mods that expand on the inherent functionality of a game or another mod without themselves affecting content[edit]

Mods that expand on the inherent functionality of a game or another mod without themselves affecting content

No mods defined.

Mods solely providing assets intended specifically for use by other mods without themselves affecting content[edit]

Mods solely providing assets intended specifically for use by other mods without themselves affecting content

No mods defined.

Baseline mods having many conflicting assets that should be overridden by other mods OR mods having programmatic changes that are widely accepted and adopted/expected by other mods[edit]

Baseline mods having many conflicting assets that should be overridden by other mods OR mods having programmatic changes that are widely accepted and adopted/expected by other mods

No mods defined.

Mods that affect animations or physics[edit]

Mods that affect animations or physics

No mods defined.

Mods that replace existing models or textures[edit]

Mods that replace existing models or textures
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Black CarbonLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Clean Analysis VisorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Clean_Analysys_Visor_With_Helmet_by_RogerHN
Clean Ship Space MapLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Exosolars AbyssLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Manually download the mod from Nexus Mods (do not use MO)
  2. Extract the mod's PAK file from the downloaded archive
  3. Now extract the mod's PAK file, itself, using PSArcTool
    ...just drag and drop the PAK on top of PSArcTool's EXE
  4. Copy only the METADATA folder. Users can delete the other files.
  5. Paste the copied METADATA folder into the guide's project folder: ..\Modding\NoMansSky\StepNoMansSky
HD CloudsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K

Mods that replace existing models or textures[edit]

Mods that replace existing models or textures

No mods defined.

Mods that affect the appearance of the player character or NPCs[edit]

Mods that affect the appearance of the player character or NPCs

No mods defined.

Mods that replace existing models or textures[edit]

Mods that replace existing models or textures

No mods defined.

Mods that affect general or multiple gameplay mechanics[edit]

Mods that affect general or multiple gameplay mechanics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Ship Transfer RangesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install: Better Ship Teleport Module Range main file
Sensible Planetary ChartsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install the Main File.

Mods that replace existing models or textures[edit]

Mods that replace existing models or textures

No mods defined.

Mods that affect sounds or music[edit]

Mods that affect sounds or music

No mods defined.

Mods that help to improve game immersion and role-playing scenarios[edit]

Mods that help to improve game immersion and role-playing scenarios

No mods defined.

Mods that alter aspects of quests and/or related lore[edit]

Mods that alter aspects of quests and/or related lore

No mods defined.

Mods that affect any aspect of the user interface[edit]

Mods that affect any aspect of the user interface

No mods defined.

Mods that programmatically add new or alter vanilla locations[edit]

Mods that programmatically add new or alter vanilla locations

No mods defined.

Mods that affect lighting and/or weather systems **installation is optional**[edit]

Mods that affect lighting and/or weather systems **installation is optional**
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.

Mod Name Baseline Instructions
LightFixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Soft Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: _LightFixSoft main file
  1. Whichever option is chosen, rename the PAK by removing any underscores from the name
    Example: _LightFixSoft.pak renamed to: LightFixSoft.pak
ReLightLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rotating AtmosphereLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Integrated PlanetsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Natural NightsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Manually download the mod from Nexus Mods (not using MO)
  2. Extract the mod's PAK file from the downloaded archive
  3. Now extract the mod's PAK file using PSArcTool.
  4. Copy only the METADATA folder. Users can delete the other files.
  5. Paste the copied METADATA folder into the guide's project folder: ..\Modding\NoMansSky\StepNoMansSky
No Atmosphere No DustLink to the mod's Wiki page.

Mods that generate derived mod output from load-order-specific assets[edit]

Mods that generate derived mod output from load-order-specific assets

No mods defined.

Once FNIS SE is installed, the animation files need to be generated for the skeleton changes.

  1. Sort the load order with LOOT.
  2. Run FNIS SE via Mod Organizer 2.
  3. In the Available Patches at the bottom of the window, check the box adjacent to "SKELETON Arm Fix".
  4. Click the [Update FNIS Behavior] button and wait for a message to appear in the window stating "X animations for Y mods successfully included".
  5. Click [Exit].

After closing FNIS SE, there will be files in Overwrite (essentially a fake mod located at the bottom of the left pane if sorted by priority ascending):

  1. Right-click Overwrite and select Create Mod
  2. Name it FNIS SE Output and click OK.
    • This will create a new mod listing in the left pane for the FNIS SE generated files.
  3. Check the new mod entry to enable it.

Mods that programmatically resolve load-order conflicts[edit]

Mods that programmatically resolve load-order conflicts
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Step NoMansSky Resource FilesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download the guide's resource files.
  2. Extract the archive to the project folder: ..\Modding\NoMansSky\StepNoMansSky
  3. Overwrite any conflicts.

STEP 5[edit]

Patches and LODs

Sorting with LOOT[edit]

Users should now run LOOT and accept the default mod order it provides.

The new Patches are designed to work with a default LOOT sorting of the mods. This means there are no more meta rules to set with the STEP Guides. This reduces user tasks (preventing one less area for user error) and streamlines the Guide's installation. Users should:

  • sort their load order using LOOT any time they install, uninstall or update a mod.
  • update LOOT any time it says their is an update available.

Creating a Bashed Patch[edit]

A Bashed Patch is a patch created by running Wrye Bash (WB). This process imports several record types from a load order, to ensure those records are carried forward.



This Guide no longer uses a Bashed Patch!

All necessary edits, which the Bashed Patch covered in previous versions of the STEP Guide are now contained with the STEP Patches.

Though this Guide doesn't require a Bashed Patch, users may eventually install mods that require one. Users should only require a Bashed Patch if they include additional mods that add or alter leveled lists. Even then, one may not always be required. STEP provides the instructions below to create a Bashed Patch. If users need to create one, they are highly encouraged to review the results in xEdit! Investing has shown many of the leveled lists forwards to be completely unnecessary as they were just copies of the winning mod's records.

Building a Bashed Patch[edit]

Keep in mind these procedures are only for using a Bashed Patch to manage leveled lists.

Steps to build Bashed Patch for STEP

  1. Users who did not run LOOT, do it now!
  2. Ensure the Overwrite mod is empty in MO.
  3. Run Wrye Bash from the MO executable list.
    • If it doesn't detect the game, select Skyrim SE.
  4. Once loaded, scroll to the mod of the mod list and right-click on Bashed Patch, 0.esp
  5. Select Rebuild Patch.
  6. Untick all boxes besides Leveled Lists.
  7. Click the Build Patch button.
  8. Activate the patch when asked and close Wrye Bash.
  9. Right-click on the Overwrite mod in MO and select Create new mod.
  10. Name the new patch something unique for the current MO profile (i.e. STEP SE Core - Bashed Patch)


Users will now create LODs using Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD). DynDOLOD is one part mod and one part tool. Users should already have the tool installed from the beginning of the Guide. Now it's time to install the mod portion:

Install DynDOLOD Resources SE

  1. Visit the Skyrim SE DynDOLOD forum topic.
  2. Download the DynDOLOD Resources SE vX.XX file.
  3. Install the file using MO by selecting the following options:
    • Solidtude Exterior
    • Whiterun Exterior
    • 3D Plume
    • High Hrogthar Window Glow
    • Desync Birds of Prey

Before moving on, users need to create two empty mods to use for the files DynDOLOD outputs:

Create empty mods

  1. Right-click on the mod list in MO and hover over All Mods.
  2. Select, Create empty mod.
  3. Name it STEP SE Core - TexGen Output or anything similar.
  4. Place this new mod directly after DynDOLOD Resources SE.
  5. Repeat these steps to create another new mod call STEP SE Core - DynDOLOD Output, or anything similar.
  6. Place this other new mod directly after the new mod from step 3 (i.e., STEP SE Core - TexGen Output)..

The last few mods in the mod list should now reflect:

  1. ..
  2. STEP SE Core - CR Patch
  3. STEP SE Core - LW Patch (optional)
  4. DynDOLOD SE Resources
  5. STEP SE Core - TexGen Output
  6. STEP SE Core - DynDOLOD Output

Run TexGen[edit]

TexGen, shipped with DynDOLOD, is a program that will create custom LOD textures for objects based on the full-size texture installed. This means distance object textures will better match their fully rendered counterparts. To create custom LODs:

Instructions for TexGen

  1. Run TexGen from the MO executable drop-down list.
  2. Keep the default Output location and and choose one of the follow two options:
    1. Option 1: Keep the default settings. This is for the average system.
    2. Option 2: Users who have the a bit more performance room, change the LOD Texture Size to 512. This will result in higher resolution LOD textures.
  3. Once the option has been chosen click Start.
  4. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  5. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD).
  6. Copy or cut the files from the TexGen_Output folder.
  7. In MO, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the TexGen Output mod created above. This opens the mod's folder in an Explorer window.
  8. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  9. In MO, ensure the TexGen Output mod is active (checked).

Run DynDOLOD[edit]

DynDOLOD will now be run to generate the remainder of the LODs for the game. Users have the options of generating higher quality 3D Trees or generating the standard tree LOD. Following one of the two sets of instructions below, depending on the option desired.

Standard Tree LOD[edit]

Instructions for Standard Trees

  1. Run DynDOLOD from the MO executable drop-down list.
  2. Click the Advanced button once the main tool window is displayed.
  3. Select all worldspaces.
  4. Ensure the Candles, FXGlow, and Windows boxes are checked.
  5. Keep the default Output location and settings and click Medium.
  6. Users with systems able to handle High settings, may do so.
  7. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  8. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD).
  9. Copy or cut the files from the DynDOLOD_Output folder.
  10. In MO, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the DynDOLOD Output mod created above.
  11. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  12. In MO, ensure the DynDOLOD Output mod is active (checked).
  13. Sort with LOOT.
  14. Ensure DynDOLOD.esp is the last plugin in the load order.

3D Tree LOD[edit]

There are two options for 3D Trees. Full or Hybrid.

  1. Full 3D Trees will generate the entire tree (branches and trunks) in 3D.
  2. Hybrid 3D Trees is more performance friendly. It will generate 3D branches with 2D trunks.
Instructions for 3D Trees

  1. Open the root DynDOLOD folder (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/).
  2. Open the DynDOLOD_SSE.ini file (i.e., ../DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_SSE.ini)
  3. Set TreeLOD=0
    • If generating Hybrid 3D Trees, skip to the next step now.
    • If generating Full 3D Trees, also set TreeFullFallBack=0.
  4. Run DynDOLOD from the MO executable drop-down list.
  5. Select all worldspaces.
  6. Ensure the Candles, FXGlow, Generate static LOD, Windows, and High boxes are checked.
  7. Keep the default Output location and settings, click High preset button, and run it.
    • The High preset is require for 3D Trees!
  8. Get a cup of coffee. This takes ~40 minutes on SSDs.
  9. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  10. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD).
  11. Copy or cut the files from the DynDOLOD_Output folder.
  12. In MO, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the DynDOLOD Output mod created above.
  13. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  14. In MO, ensure the DynDOLOD Output mod is active (checked).
  15. Sort with LOOT.
  16. Ensure DynDOLOD.esp is the last plugin in the load order.
One issue that can arise when generating LOD with DynDOLOD is having a "bad run", though it doesn't happen often. However, when it does happen CTDs are usually the result. If this happens, for example while fast traveling, try disabling the generated output and recreate the conditions in-game. If the CTDs are resolved, trash all of the files from the bad run and complete the process again.

When do users need to rebuild LODs?[edit]

Users should rebuild their LODs any time they update their mod lists with mods that adds, removes, or relocates exterior objects such as buildings, roads, trees, etc. Users should also rebuild any time an update to DynDOLOD SE Beta is released.

STEP 6[edit]

Mod Configuration & Wrap-up

Users should now be ready to load the game for the final steps, configuring mods in the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM). The MCM is a feature of SkyUI that allows mod authors to provide custom settings for their mods, which users can set within the game. Well provide recommendations for users below for all the mods installed within this Guide.

When launching the game for the first time after a STEP Guide 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.

When ready to play the game after a new STEP Guide install, it is recommended to start a new character.

Mod Configuration Menu Settings[edit]

Farmhouse Chimneys SE[edit]

Vanilla villages should all be checked on the first page. The following screenshot displays the recommended settings for the Mod Support page:

Remaining Mod Configurations[edit]

The remaining mod configurations are recommended to be left at their defaults for the most enhanced, vanilla experience. However, users may adjust the settings for these mods to their liking.

(optional) BethINI Customization[edit]

Users are now ready to play their enhanced Skyrim SE, however, please consider reading the remainder of the Guide before taking an arrow to the knee.

The final consideration is customizing BethINI once the game is confirmed to be stable. Users who have no issues with performance and aren't knowledgeable with the settings can simply follow along. Other users can feel to customize the settings to their personal preferences. Caution is advised against using the custom INI input feature. This feature will allow users to make custom INI edits, however, doing so without the knowledge of exactly what the customizations are doing can cause instability.

The following are provided as examples of the settings used for taking the screenshot's on Nexus (1920x1080 using a GTX 1060). The recommended settings are called out and/or shown in the screenshots below. Simply click on a section heading to expand it.

 STEP Recommends:
  • Antialiasing: TAA
  • Windowed Mode
  • Borderless
  • Vsync
  • FPS: 60
  • Recommended Tweaks
  • BethINI Presets
    • Users should select a preset. High was chosen for the screenshots.
 STEP Recommends:
  • Users should match the image.
  • Screenshot settings are optional and can be customized.
 STEP Recommends:
  • Over-Encumbered Reminder: 300 (5 mins) or 3600 (1 hour)
Optionally, users can tick NPC Use Ammo or a more realistic experience. This will cause NPCs to only use the ammo available in their inventories.
 STEP Recommends:
  • Untick Mod Manager Menu
  • Tick Fix Map Menu Navigation and Remove Map Menu Blur
 STEP Recommends:
  • Water: Select all but Sky
    • Reflecting the sky can cause LOD seams on the water to be more visible.
  • Particles: 4500 (this just over doubles vanilla)
  • Tick Depth of Field
  • Untick Lens Flare (optional)
  • Untick Anamorphic Lens Flare (optional, this is the flare seen on candles)
View Distance
 STEP Recommends:
  • Grass Fade: 18000 (max)
  • Light Fade: 50000 (max)
  • Flickering Light: 8192
The remainder of the Fade values are user preference. They are set fairly high for Tech's system, which allows for longer distance viewing of NPCs for archery and strategy planning. uGridsToLoad should never been changed from vanilla's default of 5. The preset here should match the preset selected on the Basic tab.
If using SkyrimSE:Cathedral Landscapes, these setting should not need to be adjusted. If not, set the values for grass according to the installation instructions of the grass mod in use.
  • Untick Improved Shader. SkyrimSE:Majestic Mountains includes a custom INI that makes edits to the Sparkles and Improved Snow Shader, if used.
 Make the custom adjustment in the image to speed up the book opening animation by twice the speed of vanilla.
Make the below additional adjustment to fix the line in the water from SSR:

ENBSeries with STEP SE Guide[edit]

The Guide doesn't include an ENB preset for reasons that should be obvious, however, we know it can be difficult to find a preset that works with Cathedral Weathers. To make this a bit easier, we've included a small list of ENB presets below which were made to work with Cathedral Weathers, without breaking the horizon. We've included a variety of "looks", but users should search on Nexus to find the preset that works best for their preferences.


Help build STEP

STEP can only get bigger and better with help from the community. It is very time consuming for the STEP team to ensure that the Guide is consistently maintained at the highest quality possible. We need people to help us identify mods that improve the vanilla game while adhering to our Mandate. We also need ongoing bug reports, reviews, and updates on mods that may cause problems or that stray from the Mandate.

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

Call for Mod Testers[edit]

Community members interested in becoming Mod Testers, please contact TechAngel85 via PM on the forums. Once registered, Mod Testers will be given access to Staff forums that houses useful information. For more information about our mod testing process, read through the Mod Testing Guide to get a sense of what's involved.

Call for Forum Moderators[edit]

Regular community members interested in becoming moderators, please contact TechAngel85 via PM on the forums. Forum Moderators will be determined based upon level and quality of activity within our community.

STEP Builds[edit]

STEP Builds are user-created guides that use one of the STEP Core mod lists as a foundation to their own mod list within their guide. If a STEP Build adheres to our guidelines, it can be considered as a candidate for being hosted on the STEP 3.0 website. An example of a STEP Build will be provided with the release of STEP 3.0 in the form of Tech's Skyrim Special Edition Guide. Be certain to read the STEP Builds documentation when it becomes available.



This one of the reasons why Mod Organizer is the chosen mod-management utility for STEP. MO makes building mod lists for STEP Builds a breeze.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the game!


Thank you all!

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

  • The authors of mods recommended within our Guides
  • The authors of mods who granted permission for their mods to be incorporated into the STEP Patches
  • The core Community for feedback, suggestions and input
  • The Beta and Mod Testers for their good humor and rigorous analyses
  • The Nexus community
  • Bethesda Softworks for their games
  • Tannin for the gift that is Mod Organizer
  • All the developers that kept MO alive to create MO

STEP Staff[edit]


  • TechAngel85
    • Lead Release Coordinator, Patch Coordinator, Lead Forum Administrator, Mod Author
  • z929669
    • Project Founder, Lead Site Developer, Lead Site Administrator

SM Forum Moderators[edit]

Currently active STEP Forum Moderators:

  • DoubleYou
  • GrantSP
  • Greg
  • Kelmych

Honorary Staff[edit]

Founder, Administrators, and Staff no longer active with the project:

  • Aiyen
  • EssArrBee
  • Farlo
  • hishutup
  • MontyMM
  • Nebulous112
  • oqhansoloqo
  • phazer11
  • rootsrat
  • stoppingby4now
  • TheCompiler
  • torminater
  • WilliamImm