SkyrimSE:2.0.0

From Step Mods | Change The Game


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WARNING

This guide is in the development phase and is not ready for general use! The contents of this page can change at any time; do not follow it unless you know what you're doing!
         View the latest release


This Release[edit]

This is our next major release of the Step SkyrimSE Guide. As described in the Step Versioning Documentation, this is a 'major' release due to adoption of the latest version of DynDOLOD (at the time of this writing, v3.00 Alpha 33), which brings several very useful enhancements, including grass LOD generation and several handy features with respect to LOD creation for mod authors. Additionally, we are introducing some significant, vanilla-friendly modifications to Skyrim's magic system and magic-related perks.

There have been many changes, so check out the Changelog for all of the fine details.

  • Visit the forums, and provide feedback related to this guide.
  • Also follow Step Modifications on Facebook.
  • To support hosting and maintenance of the Step Community Project, consider donating to the project.



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 modded Skyrim that achieves an enhanced, vanilla experience. It's meant to be installed in its entirety and not piecemeal.

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 our users.

Nomenclature[edit]

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

  • 'tick' means 'check': Frequently, the word 'check' or 'checked' can mean 'ensure' in addition to "check mark", so 'check' is not used where it is synonymous with 'tick' to avoid any mistakes that can (and have) happened from this conflation.
  • 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 SkyrimSE installation at a resolution of 1920x1080. The minimum requirements will allow most users to install and run the Baseline options, which match SkyrimSE's recommended requirements. Our recommended requirements below will allow most users to install and run the Guide using higher quality options with all of the Guide's optional components (Lighting & Weather, ENB, etc.).

Users wishing to install high quality options at resolutions higher than 1920x1080, be advised a more powerful system will likely be required than what is listed below.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows 10 64-bit Windows 10 64-bit
CPU Intel Core i5-3470 or equivalent Intel Core i5-4670 or equivalent or better
System RAM 8 GB 8 GB or higher
GPU Nvidia GTX 780 3GB / AMD R9 290 4GB Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent or better / 4GB VRAM or higher
Drive Space ~65 GBs (includes game+guide) ~75 GBs (includes game+guide)
Monitor Resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080 or higher

Time Requirement[edit]

Users should be aware that it will usually take anywhere from several hours to a several days to complete this Guide from start to finish. Since this is a start to finish process, a recommend schedule for completing it is:

Day 1 : Steps 1 - 3
Day 2 : Step 4
  • Step 4 is installing all the mods. Depending on download speeds and previous modding knowledge, this step could span 1-3 days.
Final Day : Finish the remainder of the Guide.

The overall message here is that Step encourages users to always follow proper computer ergonomics when modding! Remember to take breaks and happy modding!


STEP 1[edit]

Game & Tool Installation

Follow the System Setup Guide![edit]

Those who have not completed the System Setup Guide should STOP and do so now BEFORE continuing this guide! This is a perquisite for completing any of the Step Bethesda mod-build guides.
NEW GUIDE FOLLOWERS: Deviate from these instructions at your own risk! Instructions in this guide presume that previous instructions have been followed.


STEP 2[edit]

Tool Configuration

Mod Organizer - Skyrim SE Initialization[edit]

FIRST, follow the System Setup Guide. The below instructions describe how to initialize a Skyrim SE instance in Mod Organizer (MO). If MO wass installed as a Portable application, the instructions below will need to be reinterpreted accordingly. Those who already have a MO instance for Skyrim SE can skip this initialization:

Initialization Instructions

  1. Launch MO by running its executable (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer/ModOrganizer.exe)
  2. Upon load, click the Instance Manager button on the tool (first button).
  3. Click [Create new instance] button.
  4. Select Skyrim Special Edition and click [Next].
    If it didn't find the game, users can manually browse to the game's location.
  5. Name the instance something like Step Skyrim SE or keep the default. Click [Next].
  6. (optional) change the location of data stored. Step recommends the default location, unless space restraints prevent this. Click [Next].
  7. A confirmation window will display with the installation information. Click [Finish].
  8. MO is now ready to use with this guide.

Profile Setup[edit]

Mod Organizer's profile feature allows the creation of multiple mod-builds. Begin by creating/editing two profiles for use with 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 MO Profiles button on the menu bar.
  4. Select the Default profile.
  5. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is ticked and click [Copy].
  6. Name the new profile Step SkyrimSE, or anything similar.
  7. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is ticked.
  8. Close the window by clicking [Close].
  9. Select the Step SkyrimSE profile from the profile selection down-drop.
    • If users receive a notice saying some INI files were missing and will be copied. This is normal.
    • If an error is displayed about missing "modlist.txt" files, restart MO (or do a system reboot if one hasn't been done yet).
  10. Now click the MO List Options button and select [Create empty mod].
  11. Name it xEdit Output.

Tool Setup[edit]

All tools installed in the System Setup Guide should be added to MO. Some tools will have been auto-detected and added; however, ensure the settings below are set correctly for all tools. xEdit is used in this example:

Tool Setup Instructions

  1. Click the MO Executables button at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  2. Over the left pane of the executables config, click the [+] to add a new executable, and then [Add from file...].
  3. Navigate to the TES5Edit.exe file (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/xEdit/TES5Edit.exe).
    • This should auto-fill most of the fields.
  4. Change the title to xEdit.
  5. Input the following in the Arguments field separated by a single space:
    • e.g. -IKnowWhatImDoing -SSE -AllowMasterFilesEdit
    • "-IKnowWhatImDoing": This turns off a warning presented when users make edits.
    • "-AllowMasterFilesEdit": By default xEdit will not allow master file editing. This allows users to edit these files.
  6. Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box. Select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
  7. Tick the Use applications icon for desktop shortcuts box.
  8. Click [Apply].
  9. Repeat these steps to add the remaining executables as indicated in the table below:

Tool Setup Reference for Skyrim SE[edit]

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NOTE:
For tools previously installed, simply adjust the arguments below for use with Skyrim SE.

Executable Title Argument(s)
TES5Edit.exe xEdit -IKnowWhatImDoing -SSE
Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box and select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
TES5EditQuickAutoClean.exe xEditQuickAutoClean -SSE
Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box and select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
DynDOLOD64.exe DynDOLOD -SSE
LOOT.exe LOOT --game="Skyrim Special Edition"
TexGen64.exe TexGen -SSE
xLODGen64.exe xLODGen -lodgen -sse -o:"Drive:\Modding\Tools\xLODGen\xLODGen_Output"
Replace Drive: with the path before the 'Modding' folder.

Users can arrange the tools in any order using the up and down buttons above the list. This will dictate the order that tools are listed in the MO "Run" dropdown menu. Close the window by clicking the [OK] button.

BethINI Setup[edit]

BethINI needs to be run for the current MO profile to establish the configuration files before beginning mod installation. This ensures that all users share a common configuration during the modding process. As such, please do not deviate from the instructions below. Once the guide is complete and things are confirmed to be working, there's an optional BethINI setup located at the end of this guide that can be used to fine tune the configuration.

BethINI Initialization[edit]

Initialize BethINI

  1. Close MO2 and run BethINI (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/BethINI/BethINI.exe).
    If prompted by Windows protection, click More Info and then [Run anyway].
  2. When BethINI launches, select "Skyrim Special Edition" from the game selection box.
    Allow BethINI to handle custom INIs, if prompted.
  3. Go to the Setup tab and ensure the
    • Ensure the Game path is correct (e.g. ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition).
    • Ensure the Mod Organizer path is correct (e.g. ..\Modding\Tools\Mod Organizer).
    • The INI Path name depends on the MO Profile Setup
      • If BethINI does not automatically display the profile created previously, browse to the applicable MO profile under the instance created previously in step 5 of the MO initialization instructions (e.g., %LOCALAPPDATA%\ModOrganizer\{instanceName}\profiles\STEP SkyrimSE).
      • Select the Step SkyrimSE profile folder, and click [Open].
      • Click [OK] at the prompts to restart BethINI with the desired profile configured. Allow BethINI to handle custom INIs, if prompted.
  4. Return to the Setup tab.
    • The “Automatically Check for Updates”, “Auto-detect Invalid Settings”, “Always Select Game”, and “Modify Custom INIs” boxes should be ticked.
  5. Keep BethINI open.

BethINI Basline Configuration[edit]

Users should now continue through each of the tabs within BethINI, matching the screens below. Again, please do no deviate from these instructions at this time. Click the header to see important notes:

Basic
 
  1. Click the [Default] button.
  2. Window Resolution should match the system resolution.
  3. Tick the boxes
    Note that these settings may be overridden by the setting SSE Display Tweaks configuration file or enblocal.ini.
    Lock Frame Rate should NOT be ticked.
  4. Click the [High] preset
    Please avoid the temptation to click 'Ultra' for now, even if the PC is high-end.
General
 
The Screenshots directory, Filename, and Index can be set to whatever the user desires. Screenshots are taken by pressing the Print Screen button on the keyboard (PrtSc).
Gameplay
 
Set Over-Encumbered Reminder to 300 (5 mins) or 3600 (1 hour)
NPC Use Ammo is optional, but recommended.
Interface
 
Users that require subtitles may enable them here.
Detail
 
Depth of Field, Lens Flare, and Anamorphic Lens Flare (the flare seen on candles) may be toggled as preferred.
View Distance
 
The Object, Actor, and Item fade values are user preference.
uGridsToLoad should never been changed from vanilla's default of 5.
Always keep Level 16 at 300000.
Visuals
 
The Grass settings are set later, in the NGIO configuration file.
Custom
 
  1. Section drop-down again, select Display.
    1. Setting drop-down, select fWaterSSRIntensity.
    2. Set value: 0.5 and click [Save].
  2. Section drop-down again, select Interface.
    1. Setting drop-down, select fBookOpenTime.
    2. Set value: 500 and click [Save].
  3. Return to Basic tab, and click [Save and Exit].



STEP 3[edit]

Cleanup and Considerations

LOOT[edit]

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. Users not running the game during the mod installation step of the Guide can wait to sort after this step is complete. To sort with LOOT:

  1. Launch LOOT via Mod Organizer 2 from the executables drop-down menu at the top of the right pane.
    • If LOOT fails to start, try adding the following argument as described in Tools Setup: --single-process. If LOOT cannot find the game directory, add the path to ../Skyrim Special Edition folder to Installed Path under LOOT settings.
  2. Click the [Sort Plugins] icon at the top of the LOOT window.
  3. Several plugins will show warnings. The next section describes how to clean them up.
  4. Click [Apply] button, which has replaced the Sort button at the top.
  5. Close LOOT.


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

When running LOOT before completing the Step Guide, additional warnings may be indicated. These will all be addressed by the end of this Guide.

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]

Step no longer recommends cleaning the vanilla masters, since this has always been unnecessary. See the relevant posts for details and further reading. We continue to provide general plugin cleaning instructions for those mods that may require it.


Info-Logo.png

NOTE

For those that have previously-cleaned vanilla masters, please feel free to continue using them. It is also fine to revert to the uncleaned vanilla masters. Effectively, there is no difference.

Standard Cleaning Procedures[edit]

Toggle cleaning procedures...

  1. Run xEditQuickAutoClean from the drop-down executable list in MO2.
  2. On the plugin selection window, double-click on the mod being cleaned (e.g. Update.esm).
  3. Once xEdit is finished, click [X] at upper right to close. A backup of the original plugin will automatically be saved into (e.g., ../xEdit Output/SSEEdit Backups) inside of Overwrite at the bottom of the MO mod list (left) pane.
  4. To verify the vanilla mods have been cleaned, LOOT can be run again, and no warnings should be apparent.

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. Thus, the Step Patches are one part patch and one part mod.

The Step Patches are built specifically for the Step mod list. They are required to run the this Guide and are dependent on specific mods within the mod list (those tagged at left with a green vertical bar). They will not resolve conflicts with any applicable mods that are not within the Guide's mod list, though.

Step Patches[edit]

  1. Step SkyrimSE - Conflict Resolution Patch (Step CR Patch)
    • For those that would opt for their own custom lighting and weather mods
    • Patches all applicable mods except for Lighting & Weather mods
    • Required for all users!
  2. Step SkyrimSE - Lighting & Weather Patch (Step LW Patch)
    • For those that are using Guide's lighting and weather mod from the Lighting & Weather mod group.
    • Patches only the applicable Lighting & Weather mods; the CR Patch is still required!




STEP 4[edit]

Step SkyrimSE Mod List

At this point, the PC modding environment should be fully set up and ready for mod installation. Those unfamiliar with using MO2 should return to that guide for a refresher. When installing mods, keep the following in mind:

  • To maintain compatibility with downstream Patch instructions, it is important to install Patch-related mods as described in their respective Notes.
  • After installing a mod, enable the mod in MO.
  • If no Notes or Step recommendations are provided for a particular mod, all options are good. Step encourages user customization.
  • Mods should be arranged in MO in the order that they are listed to ensure other mods further down the list overwrite/override those occurring before them. This is necessary to ensure the desired outcome.
  • Mods are listed in alphabetical order within each Mod Group and any deviations from this are purposeful to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Always install plugins (ESLs/ESMs/ESPs), unless otherwise noted. When there is a choice between ESL and ESP, always choose ESL unless otherwise noted.
  • Always follow LOOT's advice in regards to mod cleaning and sorting unless otherwise noted.
  • Step does not recommend extracting BSAs as a general principle, since it adds to the potential for user error and unnecessary support issues. Experienced and self-supporting users may derive benefit from doing so, however.


Moicon.png

MO2

MO Separators: Mod Organizer features the ability to create separators within the mod list to group mods for easier visual reference. Step recommends using these separators for each Mod Group following below. To create a separator:

  1. Click the MO List Options button on the top of the mod list pane.
  2. Select [Create Separator] and give the separator a name. Step recommends using the Mod Group names (i.e., Extensions, Resources, Lighting & Weather, etc.).
    • Create a new separator for each new Mod Group while working through the Guide.
    • Separator colors can be customized by right-clicking on any separator and selecting Select Color.

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 Instructions
Mod (patch/enb-independent)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes
Mod (patch/enb-dependent)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes

Mod Table Legend[edit]

Table Flags A red vertical bar indicates that the mod is required by the Step CR Patch.

A yellow bar indicates that the mod is required by the Step L&W Patch.
A blue bar indicates the mod supports or otherwise relates to ENB.

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 Main File."
In other cases, there may only be one appropriate option, which fits the Step Mandate. These instructions will take the form of: "Install Option A Main File."
Users will also see links displayed as: [Expand]. Users should click these links to expand the mod row to reveal detailed instructions for installing the mod.

02-Extenders[edit]

Extend the game engine and required for use by downstream mods or utilities
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
SKSE64Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
ROOT FILES INSTALLATION
  1. Download the "Current SE build" archive file.
  2. Open the archive and extract the following files to the Skyrim Special Edition root folder ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition:
    • skse64_X_X_X.dll
    • skse64_loader.exe
    • skse64_steam_loader.dll
  3. Keep this archive open for the next steps.
DATA FILES INSTALLATION
  1. Create a empty mod in the mod list of MO and name it SKSE64, or anything similar.
  2. Open the SKSE64 mod folder (Ctrl+double-click).
  3. Create a new folder named SKSE and open it.
INI FILE
  1. Within the SKSE folder, create a new file named SKSE.ini i.e. ..SKSE64\SKSE\SKSE.ini
  2. Open the new file and copy and paste the code in the box below, and save and close the file when finished.

[Display] iTintTextureResolution=2048 [General] ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

SCRIPTS
  1. From the archive downloaded above, open the Data folder e.g. SKSE64_x_x_x.7z/SKSE64_x_x_x/Data/
  2. Extract the scripts folder from the archive to the SKSE64 folder i.e. ..\SKSE64\scripts\.
  3. Close archive and Windows Explorer sessions.

Once complete, the SKSE64 mod's folder structure should be:

  • ..\SKSE64
    • \scripts
      • \Source
        • <file list>
      • <file list>
    • \SKSE
      • \skse.ini
    • \meta.ini
LAUNCHER CONFIGURATION

Normally, MO should auto-detect that SKSE is installed upon a restart of the program, and it will auto-generate the SKSE game launcher. This should be used for launching Skyrim going forward. Below are some recommendations for further configuration of the SKSE launcher ... or, if for some reason MO fails to configure this. Please ensure the following is correct for SKSE:

  1. In MO, click the MO Executables button at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  2. Over the left pane, click the [+] (add executable button) and select [Add from file...].
  3. Navigate to the skse64_loader.exe file (e.g., ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\skse64_loader.exe).
  4. "SKSE" can be renamed for clarity, however, if this is done, MO will automatically create the "SKSE" launcher again and place it at bottom of the list.
  5. Tick [Create files in mod instead of overwrite] and select SKSE64 from the list.
  6. Use this executable to launch Skyrim SE going forward.

Reference Image:
SKSE64MOSetup.png

NET Script FrameworkLink to the mod's Wiki page. Ignore the required Loader. A loader will be installed with SkyrimSE:SSE Engine Fixes.
No Grass In ObjectsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download the "Grass Control" file from Main Files and install as normal.

GRASS CONFIGURATION
The following configuration applies to all users, regardless of whether or not grass LOD will be generated using DynDLOD. Precaching grass is necessary for this mod to resolve some specific stuttering issues when loading cells outdoors in grassy areas. Precaching also generally improves performance in these areas. Precaching grass is also required by DynDOLOD to generate grass LOD, but this mod has nothing to do with grass LOD otherwise:

MODIFY CONFIG
  1. Double click on the mod in the MO left pane
  2. Click on the "Text Files" tab to modify GrassControl.config.txt
  3. Find the following settings and edit as follows:
    UseGrassCache = True
    OnlyLoadFromCache = True
    ExtendGrassDistance = True - Default is 'False'. Value of 'True' is necessary for OverwriteGrassDistance > 7000
    EnsureMaxGrassTypesPerTextureSetting = 15 - This will match Cathedral Landscapes default
    OverwriteGrassDistance = 24000 - This value corresponds to the approximate distance in game units from player to outer edge of uLargeRefLODGridSize value in SkyrimPrefs.ini (default = 11). This setting overrides all other INI sources and can be lowered to increase performance.
    OverwriteGrassFadeRange = 12000 - This value corresponds to the approximate distance in game units from player to outer edge of uGridsToLoad value in SkyrimPrefs.ini (default = 5). This setting overrides all other INI sources and can be lowered to increase performance.
    OverwriteMinGrassSize = 60 - This overrides all other INI sources. INCREASE this value to increase performance. Cathedral Landscapes default is also '60'


GRASS GENERATION SCRIPT
  1. Download the "Grass Generation MO2 Plugin v1" file and open it in 7-Zip.
  2. From Windows Explorer, navigate to C:/Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer/plugins
  3. Drag GrassPrecacher.py into the MO Plugins directory.
  4. Close and restart MO.

Pre-caching grass for LOD generation is covered in the Step SkyrimSE guide.

PapyrusUtil SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Skill UncapperLink to the mod's Wiki page. Ignore the required Loader. A loader will be installed with SkyrimSE:SSE Engine Fixes.
SSE Engine FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the (Part 1) Engine Fixes Main File in MO.
  2. Download the (Part 2) Engine Fixes - skse64 Preloader and TBB Lib Main File.
  3. Extract the contents of the second archive to the root Skyrim SE directory (e.g. ../Steam/SteamApps/Common/Skyrim Special Edition)

Once installed open and ensure the following settings in EngineFixes.toml are configured:

[Patches] EnableAchievementsWithMods = true FormCaching = true MaxStdio = true TreeLODReferenceCaching = true WaterflowAnimation = true WaterflowSpeed = 16.0 ; 20.0 = default. Smaller = slower, larger = faster [Fixes] ArcheryDownwardAiming = true AnimationLoadSignedCrash = true DoublePerkApply = true LipSync = true MemoryAccessErrors = true MO5STypo = true SlowTimeCameraMovement = true TreeReflections = true VerticalLookSensitivity = true

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
Leave the remainder of the settings at their defaults, unless the changes are known and desired.


03-Resources[edit]

Applications or mods that provide additional functions or resources
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Address Library for SKSE PluginsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the All-in-One Main File.
FileAccess Interface for Skyrim SE ScriptsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only the Main File is required.
Scaleform Translation++Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Spell Perk Item DistributorLink 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 High Definition Audio ProjectLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install all Main Files. Merge when asked.
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim SE particle patch for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is the first time users will have encountered a mod that isn't downloaded via MO.
  1. Download the Special Edition PARTICLE PATCH ALL-IN-ONE INSTALLATION file.
  2. Install the file by clicking the MO Install Archive button on MO's menu bar.
  3. Navigate to the location where the archive was downloaded and open it for MO to start the installation.

Once the mod is installed users should move the plugin to Optional Plugins in MO.

  1. Double-click on the mod and click on the Optional ESPs tab.
  2. Under Available ESPs, select the mod's plugin and click the left arrow button to move it to the Optional ESPs pane.
DynDOLOD Resources SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download DynDOLOD Resources SE 3.00 under Miscellaneous Files, and install as follows:
FOMOD Instructions
  • Options
    • Visual Options
      • ☑ Whiterun Exterior
      • ☑ Whiterun Exterior Grass
      • ☑ Solitude Exterior
      • ☑ High Hrothgar Window Glow
      • ☑ DLC2 Vvardenfell 3D Plume
    • Performance Options
      • ☐ Low-Res LOD Textures
    • Misc Options
      • ☑ Desync Birds of Prey
      • ☐ Holy Cow
        • Install


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
      • ◉ Skyrim 2016 Special Edition: 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
Cathedral - PlantsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Realistic OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install Part 1-3, choosing to merge the files when asked.
  2. Install the update file, choosing to merge as well.
Majestic MountainsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Step Recommends: Lightside

Lightside is the most vanilla-like replacement, however, it can appear too bright in-game when combined with certain post processors. Users are free to choose the style that suits their preference.

  1. Download the Main File of preference.
  2. Download the Lod Pack for DynDoLod (all versions) Optional File.
    • The "Lod Pack for SSELodGen xLodGen (all versions)" optional file is NOT needed, since we are not using landscapes (terrain) from this mod.


Main File

FOMOD Instructions
Majestic Mountains Lightside
    • Required
      • ☑ Main files
    • Snow Mountain Type
      • ◉ Snow Mountain New version ESL
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Moss Rocks ESL Version
    • Sun Direction (choose one or none)
      • ◉ None
        • Next
    • Final Notes
      • ☑ Load order and notes
        • Install


Optional File (merge into the main file)

FOMOD Instructions
Lod Pack for DynDoLod (all versions)
  • Step 1
    • Lod Meshes
      • ☑ Lod Meshes
    • LOD Textures
      • ◉ Lightside
        • Install
Cathedral LandscapesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Please be aware this mod deviates to a degree from the vanilla style with respect to some landscape textures. However, we feel the benefits the mod brings out-weigh this drawback. Those who wish to use another mod must install Blended Roads.

The following FOMOD instructions are for the most vanilla-like options, but deviation from this is user preference.

  1. Download and install the Main File (instructions below).
FOMOD Instructions
Landscapes - Cathedral Concept
    • Select Install
      • ◉ Full Install, Brown Tundra
        • Next
    • Select Roads
      • ◉ Blended Roads
        • Install
  1. Download and install the LODGEN Textures for v3 Optional File.
    • Don't merge this file! Install it separately! This file will be installed as a separate mod so that it can be activated for LOD generation later in the guide and deactivated after. Name the file something like: "(TEMP) - Cathedral Landscapes - LODGen".


INI Edits

Cathedral Landscapes includes it's own INI file, therefore users are not required to make any changes in BethINI to support the mod. However, some users may wish to have more or less grass. To do this:

  1. Double-click on the mod listing in MO's left pane.
  2. Select the INI Files tab and select the listed INI.
  3. Change the value of the iMinGrassSize setting (also refer to iMinGrassSize INI definition).
    • Higher values = less grass and increased performance
    • Lower values = more grass and decreased performance
    • Default for Cathedral is 60. Step suggests changing this value by intervals of 10 until the desired result is reached.
  4. Click [Close] and then [OK] to save the changes.
RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Unofficial Material FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.


05-Animations & Effects[edit]

Mods that alter the animations and effects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP AnimationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose
Dual Wield Improved Animation SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Boat Bobbing SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the Main File.
  2. Download and merge the RBB - SMIM Meshes Miscellaneous File.

Until the Guide is updated and the new mod page is added, visit the new RBB Patch Hub:

  1. Download and merge the RBB - Oakwood Patch and RBB - USSEP Patch files.
Smooth Running AnimationsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Stronger Swimming Animation SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mod page!

Download the file directly: XP32 Maximum Skeleton SE

Download the main file and install using the following:

FOMOD Instructions
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended
  • Skeleton
    • Meshes
      • ☑ Skeleton Meshes
      • ☑ Creature Meshes
    • Animation Rig Map
      • ☑ Physics Extensions
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Character Creation
      • ◉ Racemenu
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Weapon Style Randomizer for NPCs
      • ◉ 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...!
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Mounted Combat Animation
    • Axe - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Bow
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ◉ 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 SE. For new users installing this Guide for the first time, FNIS will be ran at the end of the Guide.

XP32 Maximum Skeleton SE - Fixed ScriptsLink to the mod's Wiki page.


06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
3D Junipers - Trees and BerriesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
3D SnowberriesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
3D Snowberries HD Texture OptionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
8K Night Skies - Stars and GalaxiesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
ONLY needed for those NOT installing Cathedral Weathers and Seasons and Step L&W Patch!

Step recommends: Night Skies - Vanilla Blue (8K) - CP

A Quality World MapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install the A Quality World Map - Clear Map Skies Optional 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 -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Step recommends: Merging all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence
The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like replacements, however, users are free to choose the style that suits their preference.

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 DRAGONBORN
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • 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 (aMidianBorn Book of Silence - Armors)

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
Arctic - Frost Effects ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Lite Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Arctic - Frost Effects Redux
  • Arctic Installation
    • Main Installation
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Arctic Texture Resolution
    • Resolution Options
      • ◉ Lite
        • Next
  • Arctic Gradients Color
    • Color Options
      • ◉ Realistic Hue
        • Next
  • Arctic Icicles Size
    • Size Options
      • ◉ x.5
        • Next
  • Arctic Icicles Style
    • Style Options
      • ◉ Standard
        • Next
  • Arctic Optional Plugin
    • Plugin Option
      • ◉ Frost Mesh Patch (ESL-Tagged)
        • Install
Armor and Clothing ExtensionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Armor Mesh Fixes SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the Main File.
  2. Download and merge the Update File and the Blades Helmet - aMidianBorn Patch Optional File.
Barenziahs Glory SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Barenziah's Glory SE
  • Optional Textures
    • Crown Texture Options
      • ◉ Desaturated Crown Texture - 1k
    • Jewelrybox Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Jewelrybox Texture - 1k
    • Gem Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Gem Texture - dark
        • Install
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom Install
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Bear (brown and black)
      • ◉ Bear Replacers
    • Chaurus
      • ◉ None
    • Chicken
      • ◉ Brown
    • Dog
      • ◉ Default HD
    • Dragonfly
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Deer
      • ☑ Deer replacers
    • Fox (Red)
      • ◉ Red
    • Fox (Arctic)
      • ◉ Arctic
    • Frostbite Spider (Brown)
      • ◉ None
    • Frostbite Spider (Arctic)
      • ◉ None
    • Goat
      • ◉ None
    • Hawk
      • ◉ None
    • Highland Cow
      • ◉ Orange
    • Horker
      • ◉ Grey
        • Next
  • Horse Options
    • Horse Tails
      • ◉ None
    • Horse Textures
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • More Custom Options
    • Mammoth
      • ◉ None
    • Mudcrab
      • ◉ None
    • Rabbit
      • ☑ Rabbit Replacer
    • Sabre Cat (Brown)
      • ◉ None
    • Sabre Cat (Arctic)
      • ◉ None
    • Skeever (Grey)
      • ◉ Mangy - Dark Grey
    • Skeever (Arctic)
      • ◉ Mangy - Grey Hooded
    • Wolf (Black)
      • ◉ Darker Black
    • Wolf (Ice)
      • ◉ White (Brown Eyes)
    • Wolf (Red)
      • ◉ Brown
    • Werewolf
      • ◉ Dark Grey
    • Werewolf Eyes
      • ◉ Normal Brown
        • Install
Better Dynamic Ash SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Dynamic Snow SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Better Dynamic Snow SE
  • Better Dynamic Snow SE - Plugins
    • Plugin Installation
      • ◉ Brighter Snow Materials
  • Better Dynamic Snow SE - Options
    • Projected Diffuse Textures
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Addons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Better Falmer Cave Ceiling GlowLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: BetterFalmerCaveCeilingGlow_Cyan
Book Covers SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Book Covers Skyrim SE - Desaturated
Book Covers Skyrim - Lost LibraryLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Book Covers Skyrim SE - Lost Library - Desaturated
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Deadly Spell ImpactsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Deadly Spell Impacts
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Fire Spell Dependant Feature
      • ◉ One Fire Impact (Default)
        • Next
  • One
    • Fire
      • ◉ Default
    • Frost
      • ◉ Alternate 1
    • Lightning
      • ◉ Default
        • Install
Deathbell HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Detailing the EldrichLink to the mod's Wiki page. Higher Res Detailed Instructions available
This mod is not packaged correctly. Users should do the following to install the mod:
  1. Download and install the Main File.
  2. MO will prompt with a window
  3. Expand the Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res Riekling Architecture folder.
  4. Right-click on the Data folder under Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res Riekling Architecture and select Set data directory.
  5. Click OK to install the mod.
Dragon Masks Retextured SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
DRAGON PRIESTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Full Install with the Full (Highly suggested) option.
Frankly HD Dragonbone and DragonscaleLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install both a Main File and the Update File.
Dragonbone MasteryLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k/1k Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: Dragonbone Mastery - WITHOUT Engravings

This recommendation is for the vanilla experience. Users can install whichever version they desire and adjust the instructions below to suit their preferences.

FOMOD Instructions
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons Retexture
  • Page 1
    • Main Weapon Texures
      • ◉ Darker Bone
        • Next
  • Page 2
    • Arrow Options
      • ◉ New Style Arrows
        • Next
  • Page 3
    • Scabbard Style
      • ◉ Full Length Scabbard
        • Next
  • Page 4
    • Full Sized Scabbard Texture Options
      • ◉ Traditional Design
    • Full Sized Scabbard Mesh Optional
      • ◉ Transparent Meshes
        • Install
DRAUGRLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
DROPSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Step recommends: Version 3
Dust EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
EASIER LOCKPICKINGLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Elemental Staffs SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: Elemental Staffs SE Main File and the Elemental Staffs SE Basic Optional File.
ElSopa HD - Ants SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
ElSopa HD - Briar HeartLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Step recommends: ElSopa HD - Briarheart Red 1k
ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: 2K ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast
ElSopa - HD Keys SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Embers HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Embers HD
  • Main Component
    • Select One
      • ◉ Embers HD 2K
        • Next
  • Embers HD Fireplaces Add-On Component
    • Select One
      • ◉ Fireplaces Add-On
        • Next
  • Embers HD Add-On Components
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☑ Forges Add-On
      • ☑ Lave Crater Add-On
        • Next
  • Embers HD Compatibility Patches
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Enhanced Blood Textures SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the _Enhanced Blood Textures SE (LITE VERSION) Main File.

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

Enhanced Vanilla Trees SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: Enhanced Vanilla Trees SE Main File.

This option is for the most vanilla-like experience, and instructions below will reflect this option. Users are free to customize the installation to suit their preferences. For example, the images on the STEP SE Nexus page uses the Lush version.

FOMOD Instructions
Enhanced Vanilla Trees SE
  • Mesh Options
    • Select a version
      • ◉ Enhanced Vanilla Meshes
        • Next
  • Optional Addons
    • Clutter
      • ☑ Enhanced Tree Clutter (recommended)
        • Next
  • Tree LODs
    • Select One
      • ◉ Billboards
        • Install
ETHEREAL CLOUDS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
FALMERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Fire Halo RemoverLink to the mod's Wiki page.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Frankly HD Thieves Guild ArmorsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Gemling Queen Jewelry SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry SE
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addons
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Textures Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 1024
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Ring Textures -Combined - 1k
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ☑ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install

The plugin has been made redundant by the USSEP. 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.

GIANTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Gold Septim - Coins RetexLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
HAGRAVENLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Hardy HaresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Dark brotherhood doorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: No glowing eyes version
HD Executioners Block SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Darker Dried Blood version
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD PondfishLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Reworked HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
HD Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install Main and both Optional files.
HD Stone Quarry and Clay DepositLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the 2K Main File and Majestic Mountain Patch from Optional Files.
  2. Merge the patch, choosing the version that matches the version of Majestic Mountains that was installed previously.
High-Res Dartwing TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
High Quality Food and Ingredients SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
High Quality Food and Ingredients SE
  • High Quality Food and Ingredients SE
    • Select One
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Pick and Choose
    • Select all you want
      • ☑ Baked Potatoes
      • ☑ Boiled Creme Treat
      • ☑ Bone Meal
      • ☑ Bread
      • ☑ Carrots
      • ☑ Charred Skeever Hide and Meat
      • ☑ Chicken Breast
      • ☑ Dead Hare
      • ☑ Dead Pheasant
      • ☑ Garlic
      • ☑ Green Apple
      • ☑ Grilled Chicken Breast
      • ☑ Grilled Leeks
      • ☑ Honey Nut Treat
      • ☑ Long Taffy Treat
      • ☑ Mead
      • ☑ Moon Sugar
      • ☑ Mora Tapinella
      • ☑ Pie
      • ☑ Potatoes
      • ☑ Powered Mannoth Tusk [It's misspelled]
      • ☑ Raw Beef
      • ☑ Red Apple
      • ☑ Salmon Meat
      • ☑ Salmon Steak
      • ☑ Salt Pile
      • ☑ Scaly Photiota
      • ☑ Seared Slaughterfish
      • ☑ Slaughterfish Scales
      • ☑ Sweet Roll
      • ☑ Venison
      • ☑ Void Salts
        • Next
  • Please Read
    • Finish
      • ☑ Confirm
        • Install
HORNCANDLESLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
Hybrids HD Plants and Herbs RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files/folders:
  • Textures/Plants/FloraNirnroot01.dds
  • Textures/Plants/MountainFloweringPurple.dds
  • Textures/Plants/MountainFloweringPurple_n.dds
  • Textures/Plants/Snowberry01.dds
  • Textures/Plants/SnowberrySnow01.dds
  • Textures/Plants/TundraCotton01.dds
Iconics Real HayLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Alt
Immersive DragonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive SmilodonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved closefaced helmetsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved SparksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Grindstones - Vanilla Sparks and Impact Effects - Vanilla Sparks
Improved Weapon Impact EFFECTS Correct Metal SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Inferno - Fire Effects ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Lite Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Inferno - Fire Effects Redux
  • Inferno Installation
    • Main Installation
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Inferno Texture Resolution
    • Resolution Options
      • ☑ Lite
        • Next
  • Inferno Flame Glow
    • Glow Options
      • ☑ Normal
        • Next
  • Inferno Flame Color
    • Color Options
      • ☑ Yellow
        • Next
  • Inferno Flame Tile
    • Tile Options
      • ☑ New
        • Next
  • Inferno Flame Size
    • Size Options
      • ☑ Regular
        • Next
  • Inferno Optional Patches
    • Patch Options
      • ☑ Ember HD
        • Next
  • Inferno Optional Patches
    • Patch Options
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Inferno Optional Plugin
    • Plugin Option
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Just IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
LeanWolfs Better-Shaped Weapons SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the LeanWolfs Better-Shaped Weapons INSTALLER - SE Main File.

The instructions below are suggestions. Customize the options according to preferences.

If selecting Greatsword Sheaths, merge LWs BSW Orcish Greatsword inventory fix - sheath Update File after installing the Main File.

ENB options will be provided by SkyrimSE:ENB Light for those using ENB.

FOMOD Instructions
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons SE
  • 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
    • Patches
      • ◉ Refractive Glass Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 5 Stalhrim
    • Patches
      • ◉ Stalhrim with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 6A Dawnbreakerer Sheath
    • Patches
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker Sheath Dwarf
        • Next
  • Step 6b Dawnbreaker ENB
    • Patches
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker No ENB
        • Next
  • Step 7 Dragonbone
    • Patches
      • ◉ DragonBoring Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 8 Dual Sheath
    • Patches
      • ◉ No Dual Sheath
        • Install
LeanWolfs Improved Enchanter Candle Meshes SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
MAMMOTHLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Masque of Argonian Vile SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Metallurgy - Ingots and Ore HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Step recommends: Metallurgy - Ingots Ore and Veins HD 1K (LOOSE) Main File.
New Thinner TorchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Disregard the Main File, and download/install the Ultimate HD Torch by rheadude compatible file.
Nightingale Prime HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Leather Version
Northfires Skidmarks SE 2K-4KLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download the Main and Optional Files. Merge when asked.
N-R HD Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Quality CubeMaps - HD Cube MapsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download the main file. Hide the following files/folders:
  • textures/armor/ebonymail/f/chitin_e_ebony.dds
  • textures/armor/ebonymail/m/chitin_e_ebony.dds
  • textures/cubemaps/chitin_e_ebony.dds
  • textures/cubemaps/ore_obsidian_e.dds
Rallys Hanging MossLink to the mod's Wiki page. Desaturated
Rallys Hooks and SawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Only download and install the Rallys Hooks and Saws Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Rally's Hooks and Saws
  • Step 1
    • Rally's Hooks and Saws
      • ◉ Rusty
        • Install
Rallys InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Rally's Instruments
  • Step 1
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Rally's Instruments
        • Next
  • Step 2
    • Rally's Instruments
      • ☑ Version 2 New Vanilla
    • Optional
      • Select Nothing
        • Install
Real Wood Textures - FarmhousesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and Install the Real Wood Textures - Farmhouses No Green Moss Version Optional File.

Please ignore the "STEP" version of the mod available for download. It's for retired Guides. For SE, the 2K textures are desired.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/StoneWall01.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/StoneWall01_n.dds
  • textures/architecture/farmhouse/WovenFence01_n.dds
Realistic HD Baskets RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic HD Pickaxe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic HD Woodcutters Axe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Water TwoLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Realistic Water Two SE
  • Core Files
    • Core
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Mod Options
    • Optional Textures
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Addons
      • ☑ Extended Ambiance
        • Install
Remove Small RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Remove Small Rocks v1.1 - High Compatibility Main File.
Rens HD ShrinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
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.
Retexture for SoupLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install: SMIM Mesh - Poor Version
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_SE_NMM_v3-1 Main File and all Update Files.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved SE
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install Everything
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • meshes/furniture/workbenches
  • meshes/furniture/enchantingworkbench.nif
  • meshes/furniture/enchantingworkstation.nif
  • meshes/loadscreenart/loadscreenenchantingworkbench.nif
  • textures/clutter/candles
RUSTIC AMULETS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RUSTIC ANIMATED POTIONS and POISONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Install the Main File, and Step recommends: SSE Meshes Optional File.
RUSTIC ARMOR and WEAPONS SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC AZURAS STAR - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC COOKING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
RUSTIC DAEDRA - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DAEDRA SSE - VANILLA - 2K Optional File.
RUSTIC DEATH HOUND and GARGOYLE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DEATH HOUND AND GARGOYLE SSE - DARK - 2K Main File.
RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC DRAGONS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Reduced Download and install the RUSTIC DRAGONS SE - Reduced Main File.
RUSTIC ELDERSCROLL - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC FROSTBITE SPIDER - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC RELIEFSLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files/folders:
  • textures/architecture/windhelm/500wall.dds
  • textures/architecture/windhelm/500wall_n.dds
  • textures/clutter/birthsign*.dds (disable all of these, 39 files)
  • textures/dungeons/nordic (entire folder)
  • textures/dungeons/mossdirtpile01.dds
  • textures/dungeons/mossdirtpile01_n.dds
  • textures/dungeons/ridgedstone*.dds (disable all of these, 6 files)
  • textures/dungeons/scrollworktrim01.dds
  • textures/dungeons/scrollworktrim01_n.dds
RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special Edition - FOMOD - English Only Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
RUSTIC SOUL GEMS
  • Step 1 - Texture Resolution
    • Choose your texture resolution
      • ◉ 1k Textures
        • Next
  • Step 2 - Plugin
    • Select your plugin
      • ◉ Sorted + ESL + GIST Patch
        • Install
RUSTIC SPRIGGAN - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install one Main File and the Optional File.
RUSTIC WINDOWS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
SABRECATLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install both options in the installer.
SKELETONLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install selecting the Skin, clutter without sounds option.
Skygazer Moons SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. No Glow
Skyrim Redesigned WIPLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the 'FOMOD Version and install using the STEP option.
Skyrim SE Improved PuddlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim SE Improved Puddles FOMOD for Non-ENB users Miscellaneous File.
FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim SE Improved Puddles
  • Options
    • Windhelm Ice Puddle Textures
      • ◉ 2048x2048 Resolution
    • Choose an ESP
      • ☑ Skyrim Special Edition (all DLCs)
        • Install
Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like experience. Users may customize their installations to their preference.
FOMOD Instructions
SSIRT v4.1
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ◉ Please Read
        • Next
  • Background
    • Background
      • ◉ Background - Default Stars - HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Perk Lines
    • Perk Lines
      • ◉ Perk Lines - Option 1
        • Next
  • Perk Line Colours
    • Perk Line Colours
      • ◉ Perk Line Colour - Default
        • Next
  • Constellations
    • Constellations
      • ◉ Constellations - HD Default
        • Next
  • Perk Stars
    • Perk Stars
      • ◉ Perk Stars - Enhanced Default
        • Next
  • Dawnguard Moons and Stars
    • Dawnguard Moons and Stars
      • ◉ HD Masser and Secunda Vanilla Stars
        • Next
  • Vampire Background
    • Vampire Nebula Background
      • ◉ HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Thanks
    • Thanks
      • ☑ Thank You
        • Install
Smooth Sky Mesh - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. ONLY needed for those NOT installing Cathedral Weathers and Seasons and Step L&W Patch!
Stalhrim SourceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Superior Chaurus - 4k RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Superior Chaurus 4K
  • Introduction
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Next
        • Next
  • Diffuse 4K - 2K
    • Diffuse Maps
      • ☑ 4K - 2K Diffuse Maps
        • Next
  • Normal Maps
    • NormalMaps
      • ☑ 2K Normal Maps
        • Install
Superior Mudcrab - 4k RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install the Mudcrab 2K2K - Creatures Optional File and merge the Mudcrab 4K Update 1.05 Update File.
Sweet MotherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Sweet Mother HD Main File.
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak SE
  • Installation Options
    • Plugins
      • ☑ Main File
    • Texture Sizes
      • ◉ High Definition
    • Model Options
      • ◉ Soul Cairn
        • Install
TROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Ultimate HD TorchLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss RevisedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Yellow Detailed Instructions available
STEP Recommends:
  • Main File: Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised - yellow 1024
  • Optional File: SMIM compatibility patch

To install the Optional File:

  1. During installation right-click on the first Data folder listed under the root "data" folder.
  2. Select [Set data directory].
  3. Click [OK] to finish installation and choose to merge it.
WEBS S.E.Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
White Phial Replacer SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: White Phial Replacer SE Main File and White Phial Replacer 0.5x size Optional File.
Whiterun Trellis Redesigned SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
WISPMOTHERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wispmother.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select One
      • ◉ Full version - skin with a linen fabric cloth
        • Install


07-Sounds & Music[edit]

Mods that alter game audio
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Audio Overhaul Skyrim (x.x.x) Main File. The patches are not needed. Any conflicts are resolved with the Step Patches.
Better Animal FootstepsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Better Animal Footsteps
  • Custom
    • Select on 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.
Dragons Shout with VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Dragons Shout with Voice - LOOSE Main File.

The Optional File, Dragons Shout with Voice from location, enables the sounds to play from the dragon's location. Without this option, the sounds will play at the player. Users can install this Optional File, however, it requires porting using the Skyrim SE Creation Kit. Porting mods is not covered in this Guides, however, it is as simple as loading the plugin in the CK, saving, and closing the CK.

Heart of the BeastLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Feral Werewolf sounds - HIGH AGGRESSION Main File.
IHSS - Improved Horse Step SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lower Sounding Thieves Guild DoorLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic wolf howlsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Realistic Wolf Howls more barks than howls Main File.
Sound Hammering SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Thundering ShoutsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step Recommends: Thundering Shouts Main 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
Beards
  • Choose options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 1024
        • Install
BrowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Brows
  • Choose options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 512
        • Install
Consistent Older PeopleLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Consistent Older People XX Loose Optional File.
CoverkhajiitsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install both Main Files.
FAR - Forgotten Argonian RootsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: FAR 2k. all-in-one with readme

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.
    1. 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 Spectral AssassinLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Lucien Lachance Restored - Immersive Spectral Assassin
  • Pick a version
    • Version
      • ◉ Alternative
        • Install

The Step Patch also changes the following:

  • Magic has been increased
    • Upon looking up the lore and Oblivion NPC, it was found that Lucien's magic was much higher than Skyrim has it. Therefore, it has been increased.
More Realistic HairLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Natural Eyes SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Northborn ScarsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple ChildrenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Simple Children
    • Vanilla or USSEP?
      • ◉ USSEP
    • Required
      • ☑ Base Data
        • Next
    • Texture Choices
      • ◉ Paler Eye Area
        • Install

After installing this mod, users will have to clean it, as it contains an old USSEP forward that will result in freezes if left in.

  1. Load the FacegenForKids.esp in xEdit.
  2. Locate record: 00014132 and select it.
  3. Scroll down to Packages(aligned).
  4. On the FacegenForKids column, there will be one package listed that reads: [xxxxxxxx]< Error: Could not be resolved >.
  5. Right-click on this listing and select Remove.
  6. Close xEdit, saving the edited plugin when prompted.
Superior Lore-Friendly HairLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Step recommends: SLF Hair - Rough Hair - Lite 1K Main File.
Tempered Skins for Females - UNPLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mod page and installer!

Download the file directly: Tempered Skins for Females UNP and Vanilla

The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like options. Users are free to customize the options to according to their preferences.

FOMOD Instructions
Tempered Skins for Females
  • A - Body type
    • Body type
      • ◉ A7 - Bikini type IV
        • Next
  • B - Body diffuse options
    • Body diffuse options
      • ◉ B09 - Dirty, hairy, no scars
        • Next
  • C - Body normal options
    • Body normal options
      • ◉ C2 - Fit
        • Next
  • D - Face diffuse options
    • Face diffuse options
      • ◉ D2 - Elder
        • Next
  • E - Face normal options
    • Face normal options
      • ◉ E2 - Rougher
        • Next
  • F - Facemarks, scars (not necessary)
    • Scars
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Female tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
    • Male tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
    • Beast tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Warning
    • Attention
      • ☑ I got it
        • Install
Tempered Skins for MalesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mod page and installer!

Step recommends: Tempered Skins for Males - Dressed Version Main File.
Download the file directly: Tempered Skins for Males - Dressed Version

The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like options. Users are free to customize the options to according to their preferences.

FOMOD Instructions
Tempered Skins for Males
  • A - Main Files
      • ◉ A1 - Vanilla underwear
        • Next
  • B - Body diffuse options
      • ◉ B6 - Dirty light haired
        • Next
  • C - Body normal options
      • ◉ C1 - Ripped
        • Next
  • D - Face diffuse options
      • ◉ D2 - Elder
        • Next
  • E - Face normal options
      • ◉ E2 - Harsh
        • Next
  • F - Facemarks, scars (not necessary)
      • ☐ Select None or Nothing for all
        • Next
  • Warning)
    • Attention
      • ☑ I got it
        • Install

Hide the following files:

  • textures/actors/character/argonianmale (entire folder)
  • textures/actors/character/khajiitmale/khajiitmalehead_s.dds
  • textures/actors/character/male/maleunderwear.dds
  • textures/actors/character/male/maleunderwear_n.dds
  • textures/armor/briarheart/briarheart.dds
  • textures/armor/briarheart/briarheart_n.dds
TK Children SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
TK Children SE
  • Select Language
    • Language
      • ◉ English
        • Next
  • Patch
    • Features
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Options
    • 01 SSS Glitch
      • ◉ No SSS
    • 02 Babette Eyes
      • ◉ Vampire Eyes
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • TKChildren.esm
  • TKChildren.esp
  • Textures/Actors
  • Meshes/Actors/character/facegendata
  • Meshes/Actors/character/TKChildren
Vanilla Makeup HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: VMHD - All Races - 2K Main File. Also install the 2K update file, choosing to merge when asked.
Vanilla Warpaints AbsolutionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Vanilla Warpaints Absolution
  • Main Files
    • Vanilla Replacers
      • ◉ 2K Vanilla Replacers
    • RaceMenu Plugins
      • ◉ 2K RaceMenu All-In-One
        • Next
  • Variant Textures
    • Vanilla Variants General Watercolor
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Wood Elves Muddy
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Dark Elf Ashy
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Khajiit Stripes Furry
      • ◉ 2K Furry
    • Vanilla Variants Nord Splattered
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Argonian Scaley
      • ◉ 2K Scaley
    • RaceMenu Variants General Watercolor
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Wood Elves Muddy
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Dark Elf Ashy
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Khajiit Stripes Furry
      • ◉ 2K Furry
    • RaceMenu Variants Nord Splattered
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Argonian Scaley
      • ◉ 2K Scaley
        • Next
  • Other Files
    • SKSE Tintmask Configs
      • ◉ None
        • Install


09-Fixes[edit]

Mods that fix various bugs not addressed by the Foundation mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Archery Quick Shot Perk Bug FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Battle-Ready Candlelight FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Bug Fixes SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
In the BugFixesSSE.config.txt file ensure the following is set: FixAbilityConditionBug.Enabled = False
Butterflies Land TrueLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Butterflies Land True - ESPFE Alternate Version Optional File.
Butterflies UnchainedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and the Optional File. Choose ESL versions if NOT running from a saved game.
Critters Aint SnitchesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Reload Fix SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Eye Normal Map Fix SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Eye Normal Map Fix SSE BC7 Optional File.
Fixed Dragon Stalking FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install both the Main and Optional Files.
Hearthfires Houses Building FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Hunters Not BanditsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Hunters Not Bandits for RDO Main File.
Invisibility and Eyes Mesh FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Invisibility and Eyes Mesh Fix Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Invisibility and Eyes Mesh Fix by HHaleyy
  • Custom
    • Installation Options
      • ☑ Eyes Mesh Fix
      • ☑ Bug Fix Spell
        • Install
NPC AI Process Position Fix - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Reasonable Movement SpeedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Scrambled BugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install both Main Files.

In the ScrambledBugs.json file ensure the following is set: "activeEffectConditions": true,

Skyrim Landscape and Water FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes
  • Main
    • Main Files
      • ☑ Main plugin, meshes and scripts
    • Patches
      • ☑ CACO
      • ☑ Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods
    • Walkway Wall FIX
      • ☑ Walkway Wall FIX SMIM
    • Optional
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Skyrim Project Optimization SELink to the mod's Wiki page. ESM Version
SkyUI SE - Flashing Savegames FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
SSE Display TweaksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Stay At The System PageLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unlimited BookshelvesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Waterbreathing Breathless Emerge SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.


10-Gameplay-General[edit]

Mods that alter gameplay mechanics and don't naturally fit into any other gameplay mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Complete Alchemy and Cooking OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and two Update Files.
Complete Crafting Overhaul RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File and Update File.
GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Main File.
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
  1. Once installed, double-click on the mod listing in MO.
  2. Click on the Optional ESPs tab.
  3. Move WACCF_BashedPatchLvlListFix.esp to the left pane.


11-Gameplay-AI & Combat[edit]

Mods that alter AI and combat mechanics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
AI Overhaul SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Stealth AI for FollowersLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Faction Fixes SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File and Optional patch for Armor and Clothing Extension Optional File.
Follower Trap SafetyLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic AI Detection SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Realistic AI Detection 2 SE - Medium Interior Medium Exterior Main File.
Run For Your LivesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple Offence SuppressionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tavern AI fixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unequip Quiver SELink 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.


13-Gameplay-Immersion[edit]

Mods that help to improve game immersion and role-playing scenarios
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Convenient HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Disease Descriptions for the Immersive Adventurer SELink to the mod's Wiki page. DO NOT tick the Realistic Needs & Diseases option in the installer.
Get SnowyLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and instal the Main File

Move getSnowy_ObsidianWeathers_Patch.esp and getSnowy_WnC-Ashes Patch.esp to the Optional ESPs in MO.

Go On AheadLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Guard Dialogue Overhaul SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved TrapsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Improved Traps Main File and Improved Traps - Follower Safety Patch Misc File.

Do not install Mining Makes Noise file!

No Lockpick Activate (SKSE) - UpdatedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Point The WayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - RDO SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple Drop Lit Torches SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Torches Ignite OilLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Torches Ignite Oil - Shock Edition Main File.


14-Gameplay-Quests[edit]

Mods that alter aspects of quests and/or related lore
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Alternate Start - Live Another Life - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Even Better Quest Objectives SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Even Better Quest Objectives
  • Options for this mod
    • Main
      • ☑ Main Plugin
    • Optional Files
      • ☑ Dark Brotherhood Forever to Miscellaneous Quests
        • Next
  • Mod Patches
    • Available Patches
      • ☑ Alternative Start - Live Another Life by Arthmoor
      • ☑ Book Covers Skyrim
      • ☑ Cutting Room Floor by Arthmoor
      • ☑ The Paarthurnax Dilemma by Arthmoor
        • Install
Gildergreen RegrownLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Here We Go Again - World InteractionsLink 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.
Thieves Guild Requirements SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Thieves Guild Requirements SE - FISS Version Main File.
Timing is Everything SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install: Timing is Everything SE - FISS version Main File.


15-Gameplay-Skills & Perks[edit]

Mods that alter PC skills and perks or related leveling
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Enemy REvolution of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Enemy (R)Evolution of Skyrim - EEOS Installer
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☑ Introduction
  • Mod functions provided to NPCs
    • Vanilla Plugins:
      • ☑ Potions for NPCs
      • ☑ Shouts for NPCs
    • Plugins for Mods:
      • ☑ Odin - Skyrim Magic Overhaul
    • Vampires Only:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Werewolves Only:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
  • Optional
    • Hardcore Plugins:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
  • Last Words
    • Last Words
      • ☑ Last Words
        • Install
FIZZLELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lock OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Lock Overhaul Main File.
Odin - Skyrim Magic OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Smithing Perks Overhaul SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Smithing Perks Overhaul -- Modified Vanilla Tree Main File.
Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file and the "Odin - Vokrii Compatibility Patch" optional file.


16-Interface[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of the user interface
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Container Controls for SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Dialogue ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better MessageBox ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Font Overhaul - Natural Typefaces for SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Font Overhaul Main File.
Immersive HUD - iHUD Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lore-Based Loading ScreensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
More Informative ConsoleLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MoreHUD Inventory EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: moreHUD Inventory Edition Loose Version Main File.
MoreHUD SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the moreHUD SE Light Master main file.

Users updating their installs with pre-existing saves (not starting a new game) who had the non-lite master version installed are required to continue using that version of the mod.

Users ignoring this advice risk their saves!

RaceMenuLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Smaller Vanilla Cursors SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Smaller Vanilla Cursors
  • Step 1
    • 1
      • ◉ Right
        • Install
Viewable Faction RanksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Whose Quest Is It AnywayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Yes Im SureLink to the mod's Wiki page.


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 Floor - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Farmhouse Chimneys SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Farmhouse Chimneys
  • Base Options
    • Alternative Toppers
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Lands
    • New Lands
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Vanilla Villages
    • Vanilla Villages
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Hearthfire ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File and the Hearthfire Extended - Cutting Room Floor Patch Optional File.
Helarchen CreekLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Landscape Fixes For Grass ModsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File and the following Optional Files:
  • Patches for Arthmoor's Town add-ons
FOMOD Instructions
Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods - Patches
  • Select an Option
    • Select options
      • ☑ Patch for Alternate Start - Live Another Life
      • ☑ Patch for Cutting Room Floor
      • ☑ Patch for Oakwood
        • Next
  • Patches Installed.
    • Select an Option
      • ☑ Reminder
        • Install
OakwoodLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Oblivion Gates RemadeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Oblivion Gates Remade
  • Step1
    • Optional Files
      • ☑ Map Markers
    • Textures
      • ◉ Mountain-Like Textures for MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS.
        • Install
Smooth ShoresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Snowy Roads for Snowy RegionsLink to the mod's Wiki page.


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. 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
Cathedral Weathers MCMLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Cathedral Weathers and SeasonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File.
Lanterns of Skyrim SE - MCM versionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Lanterns of Skyrim SE - MCM Version - 1 Original MannyGT Main File.
Luminosity Lighting OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Luminosity - Lightweight Lighting Main File.
Relighting Skyrim - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Users do not need any of the patches. These are incorporated into the Step L&W Patch.
Storm Lightning for SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Select the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Storm Lightning for SSE and VR
  • Select Game
    • Select Game
      • ◉ Skyrim Special Edition
        • Next
  • Select Game Version
    • Select SSE Version
      • ◉ 1.5.97
        • Next
  • Select Plugin Type
    • Select Plugin
      • ◉ ESL Flagged
        • Next
  • Select Night Time Sheet Halo
    • Select Sheet Halo
      • ◉ Halo with Dimmer Lightning (Level 0)
        • Next
  • Select Day Time Sheet Halo
    • Select Sheet Halo
      • ◉ Halo Very Dim (Level 3)
        • Next
  • Select Night Time Fork Halo
    • Select Fork Halo
      • ◉ Halo Dimmer (Level 1)
        • Next
  • Select Day Time Fork Halo
    • Select Fork Halo
      • ◉ Halo Very Dim (Level 3)
        • Install
Wonders of WeatherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Some may want to reinstall without rain splashes option if CTD is encountered.
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 Skyrim SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This mod is packaged incorrectly. To install,
  1. Download and install the Main File.
  2. MO will prompt the user.
  3. Expand the FNIS Behavior SE x.x.x folder.
  4. Right-click on Data and select Set data directory.
  5. Click OK to install the mod.
  6. Enable the mod.

Add to MO

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 SE for the Title.
  5. Click [OK].


Generating Animation Files[edit]

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

  1. Sort the load order with LOOT, ignoring any plugin errors or warnings at this time.
  2. Run FNIS SE via Mod Organizer 2.
  3. In the Available Patches at the bottom of the window, tick 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 Step SkryimSE - FNIS Output and click OK.
    • This will create a new mod listing in the left pane for the FNIS SE generated files.
  3. Tick the new mod entry to enable it.

20-Patches[edit]

Guide-specific mods required to resolve any incompatibilities among mods
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Kryptopyrs Patch HubLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Since the FOMOD is not updated as regularly as the individual patches, DO NOT install it. Instead, please download and install the following individual patches under "Miscellaneous Files". In MO, these can be merged into custom name like kryptopyr's Patch Hub, or simply install them separately under unique mod names:
  • Cutting Room Floor __ TCIY
  • Improved Closefaced Helmets __ WACCF
  • Metallurgy - Ingots and Ore HD __ CCOR
  • Unofficial Material Fix __ Improved Traps
  • Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch __ CACO
Useless Patches CollectionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File using the following instructions:
FOMOD Instructions
Useless Patches Collection
  • Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Song of the Green (Auri Follower) Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Audio Overhaul for Skryim Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☑ The Choice is Yours
      • ☑ Cutting Room Floor
        • Next
  • Cutting Room Floor Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☑ Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - RDO SE
        • Next
  • Armor and Clothing Extension Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • The Forgotten City Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Recorder - Standalone Fully Voiced Follower Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Immersive Sounds - Compendium Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Extra Patches
    • Plugin Type
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Step CR PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the Step SkyrimSE Guide - Conflict Resolution Patch Main File.
  2. Name it: Step SkyrimSE - CR Patch
Step LW PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install this patch if the optional, "Audiovisual - Lighting and Weather" mod group was installed, else skip it.


Mod List Cleanup & Performance Check[edit]

Final Sorting and Cleaning[edit]

Before moving on, run LOOT from MO, then sort, and accept the default load order provided. Review the mod list in LOOT looking for any plugins reported as needing to be cleaned. Keep in mind that LOOT tends to lag behind on the report information, so it will not always be accurate. Ignore any reported missing compatibility patches or other warnings. These are either handled by the Step Patches or not of any concern. Perform the standard cleaning procedures on the mods requiring cleaning.

Be aware the Step Patches are designed to work with a default, LOOT-sorted plugin order. This eliminates the need to set rules on the load order. From this point on:

  • Ensure all applicable mods are ticked in the left pane of MO.
  • Ensure all plugins are ticked in the right pane of MO.
  • Sort the load order using LOOT whenever plugins are added/removed.
  • Update LOOT (the program and masterlist) whenever updates are available.

Performance Tuning[edit]

The goal at this point is to have at least 80 FPS in exteriors on average. It's necessary to determine how much performance headroom is available before generating LOD, because the full LODGen setup can cost upwards of 30 FPS on average in exteriors. Before beginning, uncap FPS if it was configured in SSE Display Tweaks or via the driver software so that actual frame rates can be measured. Some users may by required to turn of vsync to measure above 60FPS. These changes should be reversed when FPS performance is no longer a concern.

It's recommended to turn on the On-Screen Display (OSD) settings in SSE Display Tweaks to measure FPS. Other third-party applications like FRAPS, Skyrim Performance Monitor (SPM), and even driver software can be used but are unnecessary with SSE Display Tweaks. Optional instructions are provided to assist.

Benchmarking Instructions

Take a moment to configure the chosen FPS overlay as described above. If SPM or FRAPS are used for some reason, install into e.g., C:/Modding/Tools/SPM.
  1. Uncap FPS if it was configured in BethINI, SSE Display Tweaks, or via the driver software so that actual frame rates can be seen. This can be set again when the build is fully completed. Ignore any stuttering, screen tearing, etc. for the time being, as these are probably not related to performance if FPS ≥ 60.
  2. Launch SkyrimSE, and start a NEW game to verify that Skyrim loads without issue.
    • Ensure that the FPS overlay is working.
    • NOTE: If the game crashes at any point, there is a problem with load order, enabled mods, or any number of things missed in the above instructions. Please troubleshoot by validating that all instructions have been followed. If custom mods have been installed and enabled, disable them.
  3. Create a character to test initial frame rates. Skyrim should successfully load into the Alternate Start character generation interface.
  4. At the Statue of Mara, select "I own property in one of the holds".
  5. Select "Breezehome".
  6. Rest, and then save the game when the Breezehome interior loads. This will be the clean save to use for testing performance before and after LODGen.
  7. Exit Breezhome, then Whiterun, and stand at the end of the wood deck looking out over the tundra.
  8. Note FPS while panning over the horizon

Performance/Quality Optimization[edit]

There are many things that can be modified to improve performance and quality, depending on the performance headroom available. Following are some suggestions listed in descending priority:

  1. Consider revisiting the BethINI Setup to set the 'Low', 'Medium', 'High', or 'Ultra' preset until FPS is close to or greater than 80 FPS while looking West across the tundra outside of the Whiterun main gate.
    Info-Logo.png
    NOTE:
    Changing the preset revises View Distance, so be certain to change "Level 16" to 300000.

  2. Consider modifying the following grass settings in GrassControl.config.txt of the No Grass In Objects mod:
    • Set ExtendGrassDistance = False and OverwriteGrassDistance = 6000 or less to improve performance. Increase only the latter value to improve quality at the cost of performance.
    • Don't forget to also lower OverwriteGrassFadeRange to some value less than 6000 (like 3000).
    • Set OverwriteMinGrassSize to a value of 50-20 to improve quality (default of '60' is already the performance optimum, but it can be increased further to optimize the quality-performance trade-off).
  3. If FPS still cannot achieve at least 80 in the test area, then consider NOT using grass LOD at all (addressed below, including screenshots)



STEP 5[edit]

ENB Configuration


If FPS is generally 75 or greater on average (HINT: check in the Rift and the Frozen Marshes), then installing even a very minimal ENB is desirable if only to help 'fix' many of Skyrim's water and snow issues. This minimal ENB will cost about 5-10 FPS. A more comprehensive ENB configuration is also provided that will cost more on the order of 20 FPS outdoors and 80 FPS indoors.

Warning-Logo.png

WARNING

Keep in mind that LOD generation is more important to visual enhancement than ENB, so if FPS at this stage is < 75 outdoors, then the minimal ENB configuration is highly recommended. DynDOLOD alone will cost at least 10 FPS (outdoors only), even with the most performance-friendly options.

21-ENB[edit]

Mods that contribute to post-processing visual enhancement of the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
ENB Helper SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
ENB LightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
TBD




STEP 6[edit]

Level of Detail (LOD)


Now that all the mods and patches have been installed/sorted and performance margins are acceptable, the next step is to generate custom LOD data for the mod list. Recommended settings correspond to rendered game resolutions that can benefit. Using 'higher' settings will otherwise be a waste of PC resources that may be necessary to keep frame rates above 50 FPS. Use 'lower' settings as a compromise if necessary.

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
Any time a mod providing LOD assets is added, removed, or changed, LOD should be regenerated. Examples include --but are not limited to-- most of the '03-Foundation' mods, No Grass In Objects, Enhanced Vanilla Trees, Just Ice, etc.

Before moving on, create three empty mods for the LOD output:

  1. Click on the MO List Options button and select, [Create empty mod].
  2. Name it (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen (this will only be used as a resource for xLODGen).
    • This places a new, empty mod at the bottom of the mod list. However if it's not, place it last in the mod list.
  3. Repeat these steps to create three other new mods named:Step SkyrimSE - xLODGen Output, Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output, and Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output; or anything unique and descriptive to their source/function.
  4. Place these new mods directly after (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen.
  5. Find the (TEMP) - Cathedral Landscapes - LODGen mod from the 04-Foundation mod group and enable it if it is not enabled. This mod ONLY needs to be enabled for terrain LOD generation. If it is not disabled before actually playing the game, it will cause visual glitches.

The last few mods in the mod list should now reflect the following (numbering is approximate and reflects the number of mods installed without extra mods or mod-list separators):

  1. DLC: Hearthfires
  1. ...
  2. (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen
  3. (TEMP) - Cathedral Landscapes - LODGen NOTE: This mod can be here or under 04-Foundation with Cathedral Landscapes main mod, but it must be DISABLED later as instructed!
  4. Step SkyrimSE - xLODGen Output
  5. Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output
  6. Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output
Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Complete the following in order, and ensure that all mods are enabled and plugins enabled and sorted!

xLODGen[edit]

xLODGen is run first to generate updated LOD terrain textures and meshes so that landscape LOD is updated with mod changes:

Preparation[edit]

Terrain LOD preparation

  1. Visit the Step Forum and download SSE-Terrain-Tamriel.esm.
  2. Extract the file to the (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen mod folder in MO.
  3. Ensure the both (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen and (TEMP) - Cathedral Landscapes - LODGen are active in the plugin list (ticked), as they will be used by xLODGen to regenerate corrected landscape LOD and disabled afterwards.
  4. Sort with LOOT.

Generation[edit]

Terrain LOD generation

  1. Run xLODGen from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Select all worldspaces.
  3. Ensure that ONLY the Terrain LOD box is ticked in the right pane.
  4. Use the following settings, which have been verified in extensive testing:
    Info-Logo.png
    NOTE:
    Those running 4k resolution or higher should consider bumping up all texture sizes by doubling values shown (256 --> 512, 512 --> 1024).

  5. Click [Generate] to run the process, which will require upwards of 30 minutes, depending on the PC.
  6. Once the "LOD generation complete" message has appeared, close xLODGen.

Wrap Up[edit]

Terrain LOD wrap up

  1. Navigate to the xLODGen output folder (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/xLODGen/xLODGen_Output).
  2. Back on MO, open the Step SkrimSE - xLODGen Output mod in an Explorer window (Ctrl+double click).
  3. Cut and paste the files from the LOD generation to the Step Skyrim SE - xLODGen Output folder. Close both folders.
  4. Enable Step SkrimSE - xLODGen Output mod.
  5. Disable (TEMP) - SSE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen and (TEMP) - Cathedral Landscapes - xLODGen mods (only needed as xLODGen resources).

DynDOLOD[edit]

Object LOD will be created using Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD).

Modify INI[edit]

Modifications to most of these settings require DynDOLOD regeneration in order to manifest in game.

Instructions for modifying DynDOLOD's INI

Navigate to C:/Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_SSE.ini, and modify as follows:

Expert=1
DoubleSidedMeshMask=mountain,mtn - Uncomment or add for mods like Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun Shadows so that mountains block sunlight.
TerrainUnderside=1 - Generate a terrain NIF that is placed under the actual terrain in order to block light for mods like Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun Shadows

Grass LOD Configuration[edit]

DynDOLOD v3+ supports generation of grass billboard LOD, which must be enabled as described below. This comes at a performance cost, but the results may be worth it if performance allows. If not, instructions for turning 'off' grass LOD are provided below. Doing so will restore some frame rate without much impact to overall LOD quality.

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
If the Step recommendations were followed, the grass density should already be optimized. To further increase performance, grass distance settings can be reduced in No Grass In Objects (NGIO) mod configuration as described above in Performance/Quality Optimization. Keep in mind that NGIO has nothing to do with grass LOD generation; however, precaching grass is a requirement for generating grass LOD.

Instructions for Grass LOD Configuration

Navigate to C:/Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_SSE.ini, and modify as follows:

Grass=1
GrassDensity=70 - (optional) set to a value between 10 and 100. Lower values increase performance.
GrassLargeReference=1 - To trade-off better performance for more noticeable grass LOD transition, consider setting this to '0'
Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
This setting is coupled to DynDOLODGrassMode INI setting in No Grass In Objects, so be certain to change that setting as noted below.

Also consider modifying GrassBrightness* values, which affect grass LOD brightness/hue. For good results with Cathedral Landscapes grasses, Step recommends:

GrassBrightnessTopR=0.410
GrassBrightnessTopG=0.415
GrassBrightnessTopB=0.400
GrassBrightnessBottomR=0.200
GrassBrightnessBottomG=0.203
GrassBrightnessBottomB=0.195
  1. Double click on the No Grass In Objects mod in the MO left pane
  2. Click on the "Text Files" tab to modify GrassControl.config.txt
  3. Find the following settings and edit as follows:
    UseGrassCache = True - This setting is required even when NOT generating grass LOD
    OnlyLoadFromCache = True - This setting is required even when NOT generating grass LOD
    DynDOLODGrassMode = 2 - To trade-off slightly better performance (in certain areas) for more noticeable grass LOD transition, consider setting this to '1'
    Info-Logo.png
    NOTE:
    This setting is coupled to GrassLargeReference INI setting in DynDOLOD 3.00, so be certain to change that setting as noted above.

  4. Click the MO Tools button in MO, and select "Precache Grass"
    This process will take between 20-120 minutes to complete, depending on hardware. There is no need to monitor or click 'OK' when restarts occur.
  5. If previous instructions were followed, a new /grass/ directory containing precached *.cgid files will appear within the SKSE64 mod. Otherwise, it will appear in the MO Overwrite folder (if so, drag the /grass/ folder into the SKSE64 mod).

Turn Off Grass LOD for Better Performance[edit]

DynDOLOD and NGIO both ship with settings for grass LOD disabled, but instructions are provided below to revert these settings if they were changed previously.

Instructions for Turning Off Grass LOD

To increase performance further, disable grass LOD generation completely by making the following configuration changes prior to generating (or regenerating) object LOD:

  1. In MO, make the following changes to No Grass In Objects GrassControl.config.txt:
    • DynDOLODGrassMode = 0
    • OverwriteGrassDistance - Set to something between 4000 and 24000. Higher values decrease performance while increasing quality. Grass will be full-rendered to this value as per default behavior of fGrassStartFadeDistance in Skyrim.ini
    • OverwriteGrassFadeRange - Set to something between 1000 and 18000 (depending on OverwriteGrassDistance) to transition linearly from full grass to no grass. Higher values increase performance while decreasing quality. Grass will begin fading from this value as per default behavior of fGrassFadeRange in Skyrim.ini
    • ExtendGrassCount - Set to 'False' only if OverwriteGrassDistance ≤ 7000
  2. Set Grass=0 in ../DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_SSE.ini

Run TexGen[edit]

TexGen 3, shipped with DynDOLOD 3, will generate custom object LOD textures based on enabled mods. TexGen 3 will also generate grass billboards for LOD.

Instructions for TexGen

  1. Run TexGen from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Keep the default Output location, and use the setting corresponding to rendered game resolution: 1080p = HD, 1440p = QHD, 2160p = 4k
    Info-Logo.png
    NOTE:
    If NOT generating grass LOD, be sure to untick Grass when replecating the following examples.

  3. Click [Start].
  4. Once the completed message has appeared (15-30 minutes, depending on the PC), click [Exit].
  5. Navigate to the DynDOLOD TexGen_Output folder location (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/TexGen_Output).
  6. Move the files from the TexGen_Output folder into the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod:
    In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod. Alternatively, right click the mod to open it in an Explorer window.
  7. Enable the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod in MO.

Run DynDOLOD[edit]

DynDOLOD will generate the object LOD.

Configure and Generate[edit]

  1. Run DynDOLOD from the MO2 executable drop-down list to open the GUI configuration in 'expert' mode (if the DynDOLOD INI modification was set as described previously).
  2. Select all worldspaces.
  3. Configure as follows, or make performance modifications as instructed further below:
    The following gallery shows visual compares and performance snapshots (reference testing PC specs) for the cost of LOD and DynDOLOD using a number of custom presets, each with caption from which the corresponding preset can be downloaded. Presets should be placed under ../DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/Presets/ and can be loaded by clicking [Load Preset] in the DynDOLOD GUI configuration. Keep in mind that 4k and greater resolutions can increase the "Max tile size" values as indicated in the above images as performance allows:
  1. Once the configuration is finalized, click [OK], and get a cup of coffee.
  2. When the completed message has appeared, click [Save & Exit].

Wrap Up[edit]

Instructions for DynDOLOD Wrap Up

  1. Navigate to the ../DynDOLOD folder location (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD).
  2. Copy or cut the files from the ../DynDOLOD_Output folder.
  3. In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output mod created above.
  4. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  5. In MO2, enable the mod.
  6. Ensure the DynDOLOD.esm and DynDOLOD.esp files are ticked in the right pane.
  7. Sort with LOOT.

Occlusion[edit]

xLODGen will be used to update the occlusion data for the new mod list. This fixes holes in the distant landscape that are notoriously bad over water cells:

Instructions for occlusion generation

  1. Run xLODGen from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Select only the Tamriel and DLC2SolstheimWorld worldspaces.
  3. Ensure only the Occlusion box is ticked.
  4. Use the following settings:
    • Quality: 3
    • Height: 0
    • Radius: 100
    • Mode: -Flat +Borders
  5. Click [Generate] to run the process.
  6. Once the completed message has appeared, click the red X to close xLODGen.
    • Occlusion.esp is saved automatically and will be placed in the Overwrite folder in MO.
  7. Right-click on the Overwrite mod listing and select, [Create new mod].
  8. Name it Step SkyrimSE - Occlusion or anything unique.
  9. Ensure the new mod is active (ticked).
  10. Ensure the Occlusion.esp is the last plugin in the load order just after DyDOLOD.esp and that it is enabled, else run LOOT and sort plugins.

When to Regenerate LOD[edit]

xLODGen
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect the underlying landscape: height, shape, textures, etc. This does not include grass, mountains or other objects on the landscape.
Re-caching Grass
Whenever there is a change in the mod list that affects grass rendering: grass diversity, grass density, DynDOLODGrassMode setting, grass mods, any mods affecting grass placement, etc. Change to grass distance and fade settings do not require re-caching.
TexGen
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect objects with LOD: new objects, moved structures or objects, removed structures or objects, changes to grass (only when using grass LOD), changes to trees and/or landscape height, when its master plugins order is changed (out of order masters), etc. When grass is re-cached, TexGen should also be run again to update grass billboards.
DynDOLOD
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect objects with LOD: new objects, moved structures or objects, removed structures or objects, changes to grass (only when using grass LOD), changes to trees and/or landscape height, when its master plugins order is changed (out of order masters), etc. When LOD textures are updated with TexGen, DynDOLOD should also be run again to update all affected object LOD.
Occlusion
Only with noticeable changes to geography of Tamriel and/or Solstheim. For Step, this should only need to be run once.



STEP 6[edit]

Final INI Configuration


Step Skyrim SE is fully installed and working at this point, but if FPS are < 60 or > 80, some adjustments may be beneficial to performance or quality. A final consideration is customizing BethINI. Refer to the Skyrim Configuration Guides for more information.


STEP 7[edit]

Mod Configuration (MCM)


The game is now ready to be loaded to configure mods in the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM). The MCM is a feature of SkyUI that allows mod authors to provide custom, game-accessible settings for their mods. Recommendations are provided below for select mods. The remainder are user preference.

First Launch[edit]

Info-Logo.png
NOTE:
The MCM menu item may juxtapose the 'Exit' menu item, so be sure to scroll down to exit if it is 'missing'. Alternatively, use the 'qqq' console command.

To run the game, select the SKSE Skyrim Launcher executable from the drop-down list and click the Run button. Keep the following in mind when first launching from a fresh Guide installation:

  • A new game is required!
    In other words, don't load from a save when first launching after a fresh guide install to avoid issues. Review the changelog before upgrading from a previous version of this Guide to determine whether or not a new game is advisable.
  • When launching the game for the first time after a Guide install, the load could take significantly longer than normal. This will only be a one-time wait as all the installed mods are being initialized. Subsequent load times should be shorter.
  • Finally, INI files may appear in the Overwrite folder after closing the game (e.g. ../SKSE/Plugins/SkyrimUncapper.ini). These files should be moved to their respective mod folders, respecting their folder structure during the move.

Alternate Start[edit]

Upon starting a new game, the Alternate Start - Live Another Life is the first mod in play. Lets face it, Skyrim is old and the vanilla start quest is the last thing many want to play through. Alternate Start provides a variety of ways to start the game. Once a new game is started, a locked cell is loaded. Simply talk to the statue in the room, choose a preference for starting the game (the vanilla start is provided as an option), and then sleep in the bed to start your new life. When using an alternate start location, the main quest line can be initialized by simply visiting Helgen.

Mod Configuration Menu Settings[edit]

Cathedral Weathers[edit]

Users who have installed the optional Lighting & Weathers mod group should set Interior Vision to "Darker" in order for Luminosity to have the correct interior brightness.

Complete Crafting[edit]

The following screenshots display the recommended settings for the mod's MCM:

Farmhouse Chimneys SE[edit]

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

Lock Overhaul[edit]

This mod must be activated to work. Once enabled, the settings are user preference.

Storm Lightning[edit]

The Minimal preset in the MCM is recommended.

Timing is Everything[edit]

Timing is Everything is set up in a way that integrates DLC content and balances the game's quests. Vampires and werewolves will show up early in the game because they are a part of the world. Dragonborn will not start until the news of your deeds has time to reach the island, and the player becomes something that must be dealt with. Attack chances are lowered from 100% so there will be less of a chance to predict an attack. Other things are active that make sense, such as not being able to do the Break of Dawn quest if the player is a vampire, Thalmor won't attack until after engaging their quest line, etc. The following screenshots display the recommended settings for the mod's MCM:

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 preference.


COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS[edit]

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.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the game!


Credits[edit]

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 MO2

Step Staff[edit]

Administrators[edit]

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

Step Admin[edit]

  • DoubleYou
  • Greg

Honorary Staff[edit]

Retired Founders, Administrators, and Staff:

  • Aiyen
  • Bealdwine
  • deathneko11
  • EisDrache
  • EssArrBee
  • Farlo
  • frihyland
  • GSDfan (still active: MO Support)
  • GrantSP
  • hishutup
  • Kelmych
  • MontyMM
  • Nebulous112
  • oqhansoloqo
  • phazer11
  • rootsrat
  • stoppingby4now
  • TheCompiler
  • torminater
  • Uhuru
  • WilliamImm
  • wolverine2710