SkyrimLE:3.0.0

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Info-Logo.png Notice:
This is the Current version of the STEP SkyrimLE Guide.

Don't forget to visit STEP on the Nexus to endorse if you are a returning user.
Please report any bugs or confusing instructions on the latest Bug Reports thread. Thanks and enjoy the guide!


STEP Skyrim LE Guide[edit]

This is the official v3.0 release of the Step Skyrim LE Guide. It'll now be considered a "retired" gaming guide, meaning we will not be releasing updates to it, beyond continued routine maintenance.

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



About STEP[edit]

A Foreword

Created by TheCompiler, STEP is a collaborative project with input from the modding community, technical volunteers, and project administrators. The goal is to provide tested and validated methods for establishing and maintaining an enhanced modded Skyrim. Thus, the Guide provides detailed, well-tested build instructions for a solid 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 Skyrim LE installation at a resolution of 1920x1080. The minimum requirements will allow most users to install and run the Baseline options, which are Skyrim LE's recommended requirements. The recommended requirements for this Guide will allow most users to install and run a modded setup beyond that of the Baseline options (higher quality options). For those wishing to use high quality options at resolutions higher than 1920x1080, be advised that a more powerful system will likely be required.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows 10 64-bit Windows 10 64-bit
CPU Intel Core i3/equivalent (dual core) Intel Core i5-4430 or equivalent
System RAM 8 GB 8 GB or higher
GPU Nvidia GTX 780 3GB / AMD R9 290 4GB Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent or better / 4GB VRAM or higher
Drive Space ~50 GBs ~70 GBs
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

Game Installation and Modding Setup[edit]

Those who have not completed the System Setup Guide should stop and do so now. This Guide expects that all users have previously completed the instructions in related guides or are at least familiar with those steps and ramifications of not having completed them.
Users deviating from our instructions and recommendations will need to reinterpret other instructions and recommendations in this guide accordingly. Make sure to note any such deviations for later reference.

Start Out Clean![edit]

It is particularly important for new users begin with clean installations of both Steam and Skyrim in order to be successful with the setup of this Guide the first time through.
PLEASE READ EACH SECTION BELOW CAREFULLY, as no information included in this Guide is irrelevant!

Mod Organizer 2[edit]

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

  1. A return to normal plugin/BSA relationship - Users will no longer be able to load BSAs without loading the corresponding plugin, as they did with MO. The plugins must be active for the BSAs to load, which is the intended behavior that the game expects.
  2. New MO2 installation options - Users will have the choice between installing MO2 in "standalone" or "portable" mode. Unless Merge Plugins is going to be utilized, it’s purely an individual preference. Merged Plugins will currently only work when MO2 is installed and used in “portable” mode. “Standalone” mode is recommended for use with this Guide. This allows us to design all of our game guides around using MO2's "instances". This means one MO2 installation is used for all supported games. Users should decide how they wish to install and use MO2 before continuing; keeping in mind the space requirements mentioned in our System Setup Guide.
Moicon.png MO Users:
This guide assumes that the reader is familiar with MO, so if that is not the case, please see the Mod Organizer Guide.


Tools Installation and Setup[edit]

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

Tool Installation[edit]

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

Info-Logo.png Notice: If any of these tools are already installed, there's no reason to install them again. All the tools can be used for all games from a single install.


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

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

DynDOLODLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download and install the DynDOLOD Main File.
  2. Extract the archive to the Tools folder (e.g. C:\Modding\Tools\).
  3. If Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019 are missing, download and install them; both x86 and x64 files.

Users should now have a DynDOLOD folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD). Users will download and install the Resources file later in the Guide, so ignore it for now.

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

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

Mod OrganizerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download Archive version of Mod Organizer 2 from Nexus.
  2. Create a new folder in the Tools folder named: Mod Organizer 2
  3. Extract the archive to the new Mod Organizer 2 folder (e.g. ..\Modding\Tools\Mod Organizer 2\)

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

TES5EditLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Download xEdit and extract the archive to any desired location.
  2. Within the extracted folder make a copy of TES5Edit.exe.
  3. Rename the copy, TES5EditQC.exe.

xEdit must launch through Mod Organizer in order for it to recognize installed mods, so add TES5Edit to the list of executables by doing the following:

  1. Click the gears icon Gear MO.png. This opens the Modify Executables window.
  2. In the Title field, type TES5Edit.
  3. For the Binary field, browse to the folder where xEdit was extracted and select TES5Edit.exe.
  4. Click the Add button. This will add xEdit to the executable list.
  5. Now in the Title field type, "TES5Edit - Quick Clean".
  6. For the Binary field, browse to the folder where xEdit was extracted and select TES5EditQC.exe.
  7. Click OK.

Now to run xEdit, simply select it from the drop-down menu at top right and click Run. Also, with xEdit showing next to the "Run" button, click the Shortcut drop-down and choose "Toolbar".

To clean any mods that require it, run "TES5Edit - Quick Clean". It will allow users to select the mod to clean and automatically clean it.

Example video

TES5LODGenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Ensure the latest version of the required redistributable packages are installed. Both the x86 and x64 version should be installed.
  2. Download the latest xLODGen Beta
  3. Extract the file to the Tools folder. (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/)
  4. Open the extracted folder and create a new folder within for the tool's output files.
    • Recommended folder name is: xLODGen_Output

Users should now have a xLODGen folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/xLODGen/). Users will run it at the end of the Guide.


The "Modding" folder structure should now reflect:

  • ../Modding/Steam (optional; may be installed elsewhere)
  • ../Modding/Tools
    • ../Tools/BethINI Standalone
    • ../Tools/DynDOLOD
    • ../Tools/LOOT
    • ../Tools/Mod Organizer 2
    • ../Tools/xEdit
    • ../Tools/xLODGen


STEP 2[edit]

Tool Configuration

Mod Organizer 2 - Configuration[edit]

Initialization[edit]

STEP recommends using all applications as standalone programs, including Mod Organizer 2. The below instructions for MO2's first run reflect this. If MO2 is run in Portable mode, users will need to adjust the instructions as appropriate. To initialize Mod Organizer 2:

➕ Initialization Instructions

  1. Launch MO2 by running its executable (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer 2/ModOrganizer.exe)
  2. Upon launch, users will have a choose between setting it up as portable or create a new instance. Choose [New - Create a new instance.]
  3. Select SkyrimLE from the drop-down and choose [OK].
    • A prompt will appear informing you about the option of changing the location of data stored. Read it and click [OK].
  4. The installer should automatically detect the Skyrim LE installation (e.g. ..Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim). Select it.
    • If it didn't find the location, browse to to the Skyrim LE installation path.
  5. Another prompt will appear for first time installers asking to run the tutorial or not. First time MO users should run it for a quick lesson on MO. Experienced MO users can skip it.
  6. MO2 is now ready to use.

Settings[edit]

The only settings covered here are to enable MO to download mods from Nexus.

➕ Nexus Mods Connection

  1. Open the MO settings by clicking on the Configure settings and workarounds icon.
  2. Click on the Nexus tab.
  3. Click the [Connect to Nexus] button under the Nexus Connection section.
  4. This opens a browser window to Nexus Mods. If necessary, login. Then click the [Authorize] button and close the window.
  5. Upon returning to MO window, users should find their Nexus account information populated.
  6. Click [OK] to close the settings window. If MO prompts a restart, let it.

Profile Setup[edit]

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

➕ Profile Setup Instructions

  1. Launch MO2, choosing the Skyrim LE Instance.
  2. On the default profile, arrange the mods in the left pane in the following order:
    1. DLC: Dawnguard
    2. DLC: HearthFires
    3. DLC: Dragonborn
  3. Click the Configure Profiles button on the menu bar.
  4. Select the Default profile and click [Rename].
  5. Rename this profile to Vanilla Skyrim or something similar
  6. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is ticked and select [OK].
    • Users can also tick Use profile-specific Save Games, if desired.
  7. Ensure the renamed profile is still selected and click [Copy].
  8. Name the new profile STEP Skyrim LE, or anything similar.
  9. Tick the same boxes from step 6, above.
  10. Close the window by clicking [Close].
    • Users will likely see a window 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).
  11. Ensure that the STEP Skyrim LE profile is the currently selected profile in the Profile drop-down menu.

Tool Setup[edit]

All tools installed in Step 1 should be added to MO2. Some tools will have been auto-detected and added already; however, ensure the settings below are set for all tools, regardless. xEdit is used for this example:

Info-Logo.png Notice: For tools that were already installed, simply adjust the instructions below ensuring any Argument(s) are entered correctly.
➕ Tool Setup Instructions

  1. Click the [Configure the 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. The following arguments can be helpful. Input them in the Arguments field separated by a single space:
    • e.g. -IKnowWhatImDoing -TES5 -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. Click [Apply].
  7. Repeat these steps to add the remaining executables as indicated in the table below:


Tool Setup Table

Executable Title Argument(s)
TES5Edit.exe xEdit -IKnowWhatImDoing -TES5 -AllowMasterFilesEdit
TES5EditQuickAutoClean.exe xEditQuickAutoClean -TES5
DynDOLOD.exe DynDOLOD -TES5
LOOT.exe LOOT --game="Skyrim"
TexGen.exe (installed with DynDOLOD) TexGen -TES5
xLODGen.exe xLODGen -lodgen -tes5 -o:"C:\Modding\Tools\xLODGen\xLODGen_Output\"

Users can arrange their tools in any order they wish using the up and down buttons above the list. This will dictate the order they are listed in the MO "Run" dropdown menu. When complete, close the window by clicking the [OK] button.

BethINI Setup[edit]

BethINI needs to be run for the current MO2 profile to establish the INIs before beginning the mod installations. To do this:

➕ BethINI Initialization and Setup

  1. Close MO2 and run BethINI (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/BethINI/BethINI.exe).
  2. Select "Skyrim" from the game selection box.
  3. Allow BethINI to handle custom INIs, if prompted.
  4. Go to the Setup tab
    • Ensure the Game path is correct (e.g. ../Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim).
    • Ensure the Mod Organizer path is correct (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/Mod Organizer 2).
    • For the INI Path, select Mod Organizer - STEP Skyrim LE from the drop-down menu. NOTE: This depends on the MO2 Profile Setup
      • If BethINI does not automatically find the profiles, browse to MO2's /Profile folder.
      • For 'instance' users, the profile will be stored in the user's /AppData folder (e.g. %LOCALAPPDATA%/ModOrganizer/STEP Skyrim LE/profiles/)
    • BethINI should restart whenever the INI path changes in order to associate the MO2 profile information.
  5. Return to the Setup tab.
    • The “Automatically Check for Updates”, “Auto-detect Invalid Settings”, and “Modify Custom INIs” boxes should be ticked.
    • If BethINI will be used for multiple games from a single installation, the “Always Select Game” box should be ticked.
  6. Select the Basic tab.
    • Ensure the Window Resolution matches the system resolution.
    • The recommended Antialiasing is "4x" for the initial setup.
    • The recommended Anisotropic Filtering is "16x".
    • The other recommended options to tick are:
      • Windowed Mode
      • Vsync
    • The [Medium] Preset is recommended as a baseline to avoid problems before initial testing when guide setup is complete (this can be changed at any time later).
    • Tick the box for Recommended Tweaks.
  7. Select the Detail tab.
    • Untick Reflect Sky and Reflect Objects (water reflections are not accurate with respect to the LOD of most custom builds)
  8. Return the the Basic tab, and click [Save and Exit].


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

Users should now relaunch Mod Organizer and ensure the STEP Skyrim LE profile is selected to continue with the Guide.

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.
Info-Logo.png Notice: 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 folder to Installed Path under LOOT settings.
  1. Click the [Sort Plugins] icon at the top of the LOOT window.
  2. Several plugins will show warnings. The next section describes how to clean them up.
  3. Click [Apply] button, which has replaced the Sort button at the top.
  4. Close LOOT.
Info-Logo.png Notice:
When running LOOT before completing the STEP Guide, additional warnings may be indicated. These will all be fixed 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
  6. HighResTexturePack01.esp
  7. HighResTexturePack02.esp
  8. HighResTexturePack03.esp

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

Cleaning Vanilla Master Files[edit]

To resolve potential issues later, the vanilla plugin masters should be cleaned with xEdit.

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/TES5Edit Backups) inside of Overwrite at the bottom of the MO mod list (left) pane.

Clean the Masters[edit]

Vanilla masters should be cleaned in the following order:

  1. Update.esm
  2. Dawnguard.esm
  3. Hearthfires.esm
  4. Dragonborn.esm
  1. Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean Update.esm.
  2. Once Update.esm is cleaned, next clean Dawnguard.esm using the standard cleaning procedures.
  3. Next, complete the manual cleaning below for Dawnguard.esm...
➕ Toggle Dawnguard manual cleaning procedures...

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


Once Dawnguard's manual cleaning is complete, follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean Hearthfires.esm, and then finally, Dragonborn.esm.

Moving the Cleaned Files[edit]

After the vanilla master files are cleaned, they should be moved into the "Cleaned Vanilla Masters" mod in MO, and the original files should be restored into the 'real' "Data" directory in the game folder. This makes Steam happy when "validating" files so that it remains unaware of changes. To move the new files and restore the original files, complete the following:

➕ Toggle instructions

Cleaned Masters

  1. On the MO window, click the [Open list options...] button at the top of the left pane, next to the profile selection drop-down.
  2. Choose Create empty mod, name it Cleaned Vanilla Masters, and click [OK].
  3. Move this mod up the MO mod list to just after "DLC: Dragonborn".
  4. Enable the new mod listing.
  5. In MO, hold Ctrl and double-click on the now-empty Cleaned Vanilla Masters mod to open it in Windows Explorer.
  6. Click the [Show Open Folders menu...] button above the MO mod list (left) pane, and select Open Game Folder to open the game folder in Windows Explorer (e.g. ../Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim/, and open ../Data.
  7. Move the four cleaned master files from ../Data into ../Cleaned Vanilla Masters.

Original Masters

  1. In MO, scroll to the end of the mod list (left) pane, and hold Ctrl + double click on Overwrite to open in Explorer.
  2. Inside the "TES5Edit Backups" folder, rename the files to "MasterName.esm" (i.e. "Update.esm").
    • If there are multiple copies of any of the files, use the one with the earliest timestamp (the original).
  3. Click the [Show Open Folders menu...] button above the MO mod list (left) pane, and select Open Game Folder to open the game folder in Windows Explorer (e.g. ../Modding/Steam/steamapps/common/Skyrim/
  4. Move or copy the renamed files into the 'real' game "Data" directory (../Data), choosing to overwrite/replace, if asked.
  5. All Explorer windows can be closed now.
  6. Right click on Overwrite, select [Clear Overwrite], and click [OK].
Moicon.png MO Users:
Any time Bethesda updates these master files, they will likely need to be cleaned again and replaced in MO2. Any previously cleaned versions of these same files that exist in the MO mod list must be either disabled or deleted first, because xEdit will see only the cleaned versions otherwise.


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

  1. DLC: Dawnguard
  2. DLC: HearthFires
  3. DLC: Dragonborn
  4. Cleaned Vanilla Masters
Info-Logo.png Notice: 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 Skyrim LE - 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 Skyrim LE - 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 SkyrimLE Mod List


At this point users should have their systems fully set up and ready to install mods . Users who are unaware of how to complete mod installations using MO2 should return to that Guide and refresh their knowledge. 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 Instructions.
  • After installing a mod, enable the mod in MO.
  • If no Instructions or Step recommendations: are provided for a particular mod, all options are applicable.
  • 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 (ESMs/ESPs), 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 MO Users:
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. To create a separator:

  1. Click the Open 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 Notes
Mod (patches not required)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes
Mod (requires patches)Wikilink.png Baseline Notes


Mod Table Legend[edit]

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

02-Extenders[edit]

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

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


Install

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

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


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

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

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

[THREADS]
DataSyncMode=0
PriorityMode=0


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

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

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

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

SKSE Plugin PreloaderLink to the mod's Wiki page. Extract the archive into the root Skyrim directory.


03-Resources[edit]

Applications or mods that provide additional functions or resources
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
FISSLink to the mod's Wiki page.
PapyrusUtil-Modders Scripting Utility FunctionsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim-Community-UncapperLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This mod is not packaged correctly. When installing this mod, right-click on the Data folder and choose [Set data directory]. Okay [OK] to install.

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

SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page.


04-Foundation[edit]

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

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

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

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

Download and install:

  1. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 1
  2. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 2
  3. Skyrim Realistic Overhaul Part 3
  4. SRO 1.8. original Skyrim version update
  5. Overwrite any files, if extracting and combining before installation.
  6. If installing the individual files directly to MO either:
    • Install the files separately and in the order listed above or,
    • Install to a single "mod" using the Merge option.
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.

Download the Main File of preference and install:

FOMOD Instructions
Majestic Mountains
    • Required
      • ☑ Main files
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Moss Rocks
        • Next
    • Compatibility Patches
      • ☑ SMIM
        • Next
    • Final Notes
      • ☑ Load order and notes
        • Install

Download the Optional File that matches the chosen Mail File.
Do not merge this mod into the main file. Install this file as a separate mod, and name it something like (TEMP) Majestic Mountains - LODGen. This 'mod' will be enabled for LOD generation only.

FOMOD Instructions
Majestic Mountains LOD Pack
  • Step 1
    • LOD Resolution
      • ◉ 512 (<2GB Vram)
        (NOTE: Users with extra VRAM to spare can install 1024 option.)
        • Install
RUSTIC CLOTHINGLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Download and install the RUSTIC CLOTHING - COMPLETE - 2K-1K file.


05-Animations & Effects[edit]

Mods that alter the animations and effects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Turn AnimationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install both the main file and the Fix Crossed Swords and Turn with Leg move update file.

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

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

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


06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
AMidianBorn Blade of WoeLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Only the main file.
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn Book of Silence -- CREATURES
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

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

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

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

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

Optional ESPs

Depending on how the mods are installed:

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

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

Hiding files and folders

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures\clothes

To do this,

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

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

AMidianBorn Imperial Light and StuddedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
AMidianBorn Stormcloak Officer ArmourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k
Armor Mesh FixesLink 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 GloryLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Barenziah's Glory
  • Optional Textures
    • Crown Texture Options
      • ◉ Desaturated Crown Texture - 1k
    • Jewelrybox Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Jewelrybox Texture - 1k
    • Gem Texture Options
      • ◉ Original
        • Install
Bellyache's Creature PackLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
Use the Default Animal Replacement Med Res file located in the Miscellaneous Files.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures\actors\chaurus
  • textures\effects\fxbird01.dds
  • textures\effects\fxbird01_b.dds
  • textures\effects\fxbird01_n.dds
Better Dynamic AshLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Blended RoadsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Blended Roads
    • Main Files
      • ◉ Blended Roads
    • SMIM Compatibility Patch
      • ◉ Blended Roads
        • Install
Book Covers SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Desaturated
Book Covers Skyrim - Lost LibraryLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Book Covers Skyrim - Lost Library - DESATURATED main file.
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard (medium)
Dawnguard Crossbow Bolts VisualizedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Also install the optional "Explosive Bolts Visualized HD Textures" file.
Dawnguard Rune Weapons FXSLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Deadly Spell ImpactsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Deadly Spell Impacts
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Fire Spell Dependent Feature
      • ◉ One Fire Impact (Default)
        • Next
  • One
    • Fire
      • ◉ Default
    • Frost
      • ◉ Alternative 1
    • Lightning
      • ◉ Default
        • Install

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

Deathbell HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Main File Download and install the Detailed Rugs v1-5 Main File.
Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res RieklingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Higher-Res Detailed Instructions available
This mod is not packaged correctly.
  1. Double-click on Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res Riekling Architecture.
  2. Right-click on Data and choose [Set data directory].
  3. Click [OK] to install.
Dragon Glyphs-FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends the Dragon Chiseled Main File.

Hide the following files/folders:

  • textures\dungeons\ridgedstone07a.dds
  • textures\dungeons\ridgedstone07a_n.dds
Dragon Masks RetexturedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
DRAGON PRIESTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Dragon.Priest.2k optional file. Select the Full option in the installer.
Dual Sheath ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File. Ensure the latest 32-bit version of Java Runtime Environment is installed, it's required for the patcher.
FOMOD Instructions
Dual Sheath Redux
  • Base Mod and/or Compatibility Packs
    • Base Packs or Both
      • ☑ Patcher and Vanilla Meshes
      • ☑ Mod Packs
        • Next
  • Back or Hip
    • Do you use a swords on back skeleton?
      • ◉ NO
        • Next
  • Replacer Mods
    • Skyrim Weapon De-LARP-ification Project
      • Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Standalone Mods (select only the options below)
    • aMidianBorn Book of Silence
      • ☑ aMidianBorn Book of Silence
    • Elemental Staffs
      • ☑ Elemental Staffs
        • Install

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

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

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

Example video

Frankly HD Dragonbone and DragonscaleLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Main File and merge the Update File.
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the main file version of your choice.
FOMOD Instructions
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons Retexture
  • Page 1
    • Main Weapon Textures
      • ◉ Darker Bone
        • Next
  • Page 2
    • Arrow Options
      • ◉ Vanilla Style Arrows
        • Next
  • Page 3
    • Scabbard Style
      • ◉ Shorter Scabbard
        • Next
  • Page 4
    • Short Scabbard Texture Options
      • ◉ Plain Scabbard
        • Install
DRAUGRLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Draugr.2k optional file.
DROPSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends downloading only the Drops v1 Optional File (the fomod version) with the following options:
FOMOD Instructions
Drops v1
  • x
    • Main File
      • ◉ DROPS - x512
        • Next
  • x
    • DROPS - Alternative Textures
      • ◉ DROPS - Alternative Texture for x512
        • Install
Dust EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
EASIER LOCKPICKINGLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Elemental StaffsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Install the Main File and merge the Elemental Staffs LE Basic Optional File.
Embers HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Embers HD
  • Embers HD
    • Select One
      • ◉ Embers HD 1K
        • Next
  • Embers HD Add-Ons
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☑ Fireplaces Add-On
      • ☑ Forges Add-On
      • ☑ Lava Crater Add-On
        • Next
  • Embers HD Patches
    • Select Add-Ons
      • ☑ Ultimate HD Fire Effects Patch
        • Install
ElSopa HD - AntsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
ElSopa HD - Briar HeartLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Red
ElSopa HD - Dirt BlastLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
ElSopa - HD KeysLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Effect ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "2XRes".
Enhanced Blood TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Enhanced Blood Textures LITE Main File.

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

Enhanced Night SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install only the Enhanced Night Skyrim v04 Low Stars optional file.
Enhanced Vanilla TreesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download both Main Files. Install the Enhanced Vanilla Trees file using the following instructions:
FOMOD Instructions
Enhanced Vanilla Trees
  • Select One
    • Select your Post Processing
      • ◉ Vanilla
        • Next
  • Select One
    • MAIN Files
      • ◉ Basic Trees (Lush Trees (small) can be select at the cost of performance)
    • Optional Files
      • ☑ Enhanced tree clutter (Recommended)
        • Next
  • OPTIONAL FILES
    • Realistic Aspen Trees
      • ☐ Select nothing
        • Next
  • Vurts Pine foliage textures
    • Options
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Files
      • ☐ Select nothing
        • Next
  • Generated LODs
    • Options
      • ☑ Install my LODs
        • Install

Since we are generating our own LODs, hide the pre-generated ones by hiding the following folder:

  • meshes\Terrain

Now install the BillBoards Generator for Enhanced Vanilla Trees file. Users can either install it below the file above or merge it. If options where changed from the instructions above, users will need to ensure they select the appropriate options while installing this file. Else, the instructions below are for the options installed aboved:


FOMOD Instructions
Enhanced Vanilla Trees
  • Select One
    • Main Files
      • ◉ Vanilla Textured Trees
    • Options
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Lush Trees
    • Main
      • ☐ Select nothing
        • Next
  • Vurts Pine foliage textures on Vanilla Trees
    • Options
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Files
      • ☐ Select nothing
        • Next
  • Large Trees
    • Main
      • ☐ Select nothing
        • Install
FALMERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Fire Halo RemoverLink to the mod's Wiki page.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Footprints v1_00 - Legendary main file. Clean save required if updating from 0.99
Frankly HD Thieves Guild ArmorsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Gemling Queen Dragon ClawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Solid with Refraction version
Gemling Queen JewelryLink to the mod's Wiki page.   Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Gemling Queen Jewelry - All In One Installer main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addon
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 512
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ SMIM Textures
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ None
        • Install
GIANTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Giant.2k optional file.
HAGRAVENLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Download and install the Hagraven.2k optional file.
Hardy HaresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Dark Brotherhood DoorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: No glowing eyes version Optional File.
HD Enhanced TerrainLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Step recommends: Hd Enhanced Terrain and Map snow 1024x1024 Version Old File.
HD Executioners BlockLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HiRes Legible Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HiRes Road Signs Version 3 Worn Text Optional File.
HD LinensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Reworked HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
HD SacksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: HDSacks14TypeBBig and HDSacks14TypeBSmall Main Files.
HD Stone Quarry and Clay DepositLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k Also install the Stone Quarry for Vanilla Rock Texture optional file.
High Quality Food and IngredientsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Performance repack Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files:
  • textures/Clutter/ingredients/venison_meat_n.dds
High-Res Dartwing TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HORNCANDLESLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
Hybrids HD Plants and Herbs RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Hyperborean Snow LELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
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. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the "Improved Closefaced Helmets (Legendary Edition)" and the "Update - Male corundum Dragon Priest mask texture fix" update file. [Merge] when asked for installing the update file.
Improved SparksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install one Grindstone and one Impact Effects file. User preference.
Better Shaped WeaponsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons
  • Step 1
    • All or Custom
      • ◉ Install everything (default)
        • Next
  • Step 2A All
    • Sheath Options
      • ☑ Onehanded Sheaths
      • ☑ Greatsword Sheaths
        • Next
  • Step 3 Variants and Patches
    • Patches
      • ☑ Keening with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 4 Glass
    • Glass Refraction Options
      • ◉ Refractive Glass Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 5 Stalhrim
    • Stalhrim Refraction Options
      • ◉ Stalhrim with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 6A Dawnbreaker Sheath
    • Dawnbreaker
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker Sheath Dwarf
        • Next
  • Step 6B Dawnbreaker ENB
    • Dawnbreaker ENB Option
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker No ENB
        • Next
  • Step 7 Dragonbone
    • Dragonbone Options
      • ◉ DragonBoring Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 8 Dual Sheath
    • Left-hand Meshes
      • ◉ Dual Sheath Meshes
        • Install
Enchanting Candle Meshes ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MAMMOTHLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Masque of Argonian VileLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Metallurgy - Ingots Ore and Veins HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Loose
Nightingale PrimeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Leather
Northfires SkidmarksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and 2K Optional File.
Not Really HD-Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP recommends "Smudged Glass".
Pilgrim's DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Pilgrims Delight - Legacy Optional File.
PondFish and Salmon ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rallys Hanging MossLink to the mod's Wiki page. Desaturated
Rallys Hooks and SawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Rusty
Rallys InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Rallys Instruments HQ - Version 2 Vanilla Lute Optional File.
Real Wood Textures-FarmhousesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Install the Real Wood Textures - Farmhouses No Green Moss Version 1K (S.T.E.P. Version) Optional File.
Realistic HD BasketsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Quality / 1024 Step recommends: Realistic HD Baskets QUALITY Main File.
Realistic HD Woodcutters AxeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Realistic HD Woodcutter's Axe QUALITY Main File.
Realistic PaperLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Realistic Paper DARK Optional File.
Realistic Water TwoLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.

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

FOMOD Instructions
Realistic Water Two
  • Options
    • 0. Core
      • ☑ Core Files
    • 1. Resolution
      • ◉ High
    • 2. Compatibility
      • ◉ Default
        • Next
  • Options
    • 3. Combination
      • ☑ Legendary
    • 4. New Lands
      • ☐ DO NOT SELECT ANYTHING
    • 5. Waves
      • ☐ DO NOT SELECT ANYTHING
    • 6. Other
      • ☑ Bobbing Longboats
        • Install
Rens HD ShrinesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The following are the Step recommended options; however, users can install the options of their preference.
FOMOD Instructions
Ren's HD Shrines by Rengel
  • Choices
    • Akatosh
      • ◉ Sands of Time
    • Arkay
      • ◉ Golden Shells
    • Dibella
      • ◉ Springs of Love
    • Julianos
      • ◉ Magic Circles
    • Kynareth
      • ◉ Heavenly Air
    • Mara
      • ◉ Gilded Saint
    • Stendarr
      • ◉ Tusk of Mercy
    • Talos
      • ◉ Rusted Steel
    • Zenithar
      • ◉ Golden Circuit
        • Install
Retexture for Bread - HearthfireLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file.
Retexture for SoupLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install For SMIM Mesh - Poor Version.
Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved_v2-8 NMM Installation Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Ruins Clutter Improved
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Candles
      • ☑ High Resolution Candles
    • Catacomb Candles
      • ☑ HD Catacomb Candles
    • Enchantingstation
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Spider Eggs
      • ☑ HD Spider Eggs
    • Ruins Pots
      • ☑ HD Pots
    • Ruins Door
      • ☑ Improved Ruins Door
    • Dragonclaws
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Subliminal Traps
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Lantern
      • ☑ Lantern
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders:

  • texture\clutter\candles
  • texture\clutter\containers\miscbag01.dds
  • texture\clutter\containers\miscbag01_n.dds
  • texture\clutter\ruins\ruinslinen01.dds
  • texture\clutter\ruins\ruinslinen02.dds
RUSTIC AMULETSLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RUSTIC ARMOR and WEAPONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC AZURAS STARLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC COOKING STATIONLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
RUSTIC DAEDRALink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: RUSTIC DAEDRA - VANILLA - 2K Optional File.
RUSTIC DEATH HOUNDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Download and install the RUSTIC DEATH HOUND - 2K-1K - DARK VERSION main file.
RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE - 2K Main File.
RUSTIC DRAGONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. Reduced
RUSTIC ELDERSCROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC FROSTBITE SPIDERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC GARGOYLELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
RUSTIC MONUMENTS and TOMBSTONESLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
RUSTIC MONUMENTS AND TOMBSTONES
  • Select Files
    • Monument Textures
      • ◉ 1K
    • Tomb Textures
      • ◉ 2K
    • Meshes
      • ◉ SMIM
        • Install
RUSTIC NORDIC MURALSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
RUSTIC POTIONS and POISONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
RUSTIC SOULGEMSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Download and install the RUSTIC SOULGEMS 1K - SORTED main file.
RUSTIC SPRIGGANLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install both Main File and Optional File.
RUSTIC WINDOWSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
SABRECATLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install both options in the installer.
Septim HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Septim HD
  • Texture and Mesh Options
    • Texture Options
      • ◉ Authentic
        • Next
  • Septim HD Plugin
    • Plugin Install?
      • ◉ Yes!
Shadowmarks ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. x256 Download and install only the Shadowmark Textures - 256 optional file.
Silly Level of Detail-Wine CellarLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install both the Main and Optional Files.
SKELETONLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends to download and install only the Skeleton.and.Human.Bones.2k optional file.
FOMOD Instructions
Skeleton.and.Human.Bones.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select One
      • ◉ Skin, clutter without the sounds
        • Install
Skygazer MoonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Skyrim Improved PuddlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Skyrim Improved Puddles 1024 BAIN Main File.

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

Skyrim RedesignedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the FOMOD version and install according to the instructions below:

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

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

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

Smaller Ice Spikes and SpearLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Smaller Ice Spike 50 Optional File.
Smooth Sky MeshLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Smooth Sky Mesh 0_262 101 Main File.
Sweet MotherLink to the mod's Wiki page.
The 418th StepLink to the mod's Wiki page. Snow Version
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten-ArvakLink to the mod's Wiki page. HD Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Dawnguard Rewritten - Arvak
  • Installation Options
    • Texture Sizes
      • ◉ High Definition
    • Model Options
      • ◉ Soul Cairn
        • Install
The Ruffled FeatherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the main file from the Miscellaneous Files section.
FOMOD Instructions
The Ruffled Feather
  • Select Option(s)
    • Install Options
      • ◉ Install for STEP
        • Install

Also download and install the Enhanced Distant Terrain file.

FOMOD Instructions
The Ruffled Feather - Enhanced Distant Terrain
  • Main File Options
    • Enhanced Distant Terrain
      • ◉ EDT - A Quality World Map Compatibility
        • Next
  • DLC Options
    • Dragonborn DLC
      • ◉ EDT Dragonborn - A Quality World Map Compatibility
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders for the EDT installation:

  • textures\terrain\dlc2solstheimworld
  • textures\terrain\tamriel
TROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Ultimate HD Fire EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Medium Step recommends: Ultimate HD Fire Effects -Medium Resolution- Main File.
Ultimate HD TorchLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Install the Main File and Ultimate HD Torch -less glowing cloth- Optional File.
VerdantLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. Merge the Verdant 2.0 - 1k Textures Optional File.
Vivid Clouds and FogsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Vivid Clouds and Fogs
  • Options
    • Vivid Clouds and Fogs
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Vivid Clouds and Fogs - Half Resolution
      • ☑ Vivid Clouds
      • ☑ Vivid Groundfogs
      • ☑ Vivid Mountainfogs
      • ☑ Vivid Steams
      • ☑ Vivid fire smoke
        • Next
  • Weather Patches
    • Do you use Climates of Tamriel?
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Extended Weathers
    • Vanilla Skyrim
      • ◉ None
    • Climates of Tamriel
      • ◉ None
    • Pure Weather
      • ◉ None
    • RCRN Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
    • NLA Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
    • Purity Weathers Only
      • ◉ None
        • Install
Vivid Landscapes-Tundra Moss RevisedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024, Yellow Detailed Instructions available
Install the Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised - yellow 1024 Main File. Merge the SMIM compatibility patch Optional File.

The optional file is not packaged correctly.

  1. Double-click high poly mesh...
  2. Right-click on Data found below high poly mesh...
  3. Select [Set data directory].
  4. Click [OK] and then [Merge], when asked.
WEBS extendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. x2048
White Phial ReplacerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
White Phial Replacer
  • Version Selection
    • Version Selection
      • ◉ Non-Dawnguard Edition
        • Next
  • Options - Non-Dawnguard Edition
    • Texture Resolution
      • ◉ 1024
    • Bottle Size
      • ◉ 80%
        • Install
Whiterun Trellis RedesignedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024
WISPMOTHERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2x1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wispmother.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select one
      • ◉ Full Version - skin with linen fabric cloth
        • Install


07-Sounds & Music[edit]

Mods that alter game audio
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Audio Overhaul for SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim 2
  • Welcome to the AOS Installer
    • Choose the type of installation:
      • ◉ Install for STEP or SR:LE
        • Install

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

Better Animal FootstepsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Better Animal Footsteps
  • Custom
    • Select one option
      • ◉ Install all of the footstep sounds
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Optional Pets of Skyrim patch
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Better Horse Pain SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Weapon Swing SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dragons Shout with VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose Install the Main File and Optional File.
Heart of the BeastLink to the mod's Wiki page. High Agression
IHSS-Improved Horse StepsLink 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.
Smooth Blade Draw and SheatheLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Smooth draw and Sheathe sfx - Full options Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Smooth blades draw and sheath
  • Introduction
    • Please Read
      • ☑ All should be selected
        • Next
  • Choose one ADS version
    • A.D.S.
      • ◉ Audio Dynamic Sneak
        • Next
  • Choose your options
    • SBDS options
      • ☑ Daggers
      • ☑ 1Handed blades
      • ☑ 2Handed blades
      • ☑ Enchanted weapons
      • ☑ Mute activation fail
      • ☑ Mute critical hit
      • ☑ Mute left hand
        • Next
  • Outro
    • Enjoy !
      • ☑ It's done !
        • Install
Sound Hammering SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Thundering ShoutsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install only the Thundering Shouts - loose files Optional File.
Ultra Realistic Bow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Ultra Realistic Crossbow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.


08-Character Appearance[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of PC or NPC appearance
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
BeardsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Hvergelmir's Aesthetics - Beards
  • Choose Options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 1024
        • Install
BrowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Standard Resolution Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Hvergelmir's Aesthetics - Brows
  • Choose Options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 512
        • Install
Consistent Older PeopleLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Consistent Older People All NPCs USLEEP Main File.
Cover KhajiitsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1024 Install both Main Files. Merge when asked.
FAR-Forgotten Argonian RootsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k Detailed Instructions available
The instructions are broken up into segments for easier tracking:
  1. During installation, expand FAR-Forgotten Argonian Roots
  2. Expand Females→Default Body→MAIN texture
  3. Drag and drop the Textures folder onto < data > above
  4. Now fully expand the Textures folder that was just moved and leave it expanded.
  1. Expand Males→Better Males body→textures→actors→character
  2. Drag and drop the argonianmale folder onto character folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  3. Now expand the two argonianfemale and argonianmale folders from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
    • Untick the boxes next to the *body_s.dds, *hands_s.dds, and *head_s.dds within both the expanded folders.
  1. Expand no glow skin→Female→Textures→actors→character→argonianfemale
  2. Drag and drop the three files into the argonianfemale folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  1. Expand no glow skin→Male→Textures→actors→character→argonianmale
  2. Drag and drop the three files into the argonianmale folder from the expanded Textures folder in step 4 above.
  3. Untick FAR-Forgotten Argonian Roots and click [OK]
Female Vampires Have FangsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
More Realistic HairLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Natural EyesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 128k
Northborn ScarsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple Children LELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
Simple Children
  • Vanilla or USLEEP
      • ◉ USLEEP
    • Required
      • ☑ Base Data
        • Next
  • Texture Choices
      • ◉ Clean Face and Hand Textures
        • Install

Merge the Simple Children LE - Updated Textures Optional File:

FOMOD Instructions
Simple Children
    • Base Textures
      • ☑ Base Textures
    • Texture Options
      • ◉ Clean Face and Body Textures
        • Install
Superior Lore-Friendly HairLink to the mod's Wiki page. Rough Hair 1K Use the "SLF Hair - Rough Hair - Lite 1K" main file.
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
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 - Dressed Version
  • 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 ChildrenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download and install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
TK Children
  • 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 Install 2K Main File and 2K Update File.
Vanilla Warpaints AbsolutionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File:
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
WSCO - Windsong Skyrim Character OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the WSCO Occidental Vanilla Body v1 Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
WSCO - Windsong Skyrim Character Overhaul
  • Choose the sex
    • Choose the sex
      • ◉ Female only
        • Next
  • Improved NPC's Appearance
    • Improved NPC's Appearance
      • ◉ No - Don't install the add-on
        • Next
  • Final Step
    • Final Step
      • ☑ Inform
        • Install

xEdit Cleaning Required
1 ITMs

After cleaning this mod, open it in xEdit:

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


09-Fixes[edit]

Mods that fix various bugs not addressed by the Foundation mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
1st Person Candlelight FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Bug FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Butterflies UnchainedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Crash fixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Once installed, open the mod's INI and change UseOSAllocators=0 to UseOSAllocators=1. Save.
Enchantment Reload FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Eye Normal Map FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Fuz Ro D-ohLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The Fuz Ro D'oh.ini file needs to be edited manually. To do this:
  1. While in Mod Organizer, right-click the Fuz Ro Doh mod on the left-hand side
  2. Select the menu option Open in explorer
  3. Within the new window, navigate into the SKSE\Plugins folder
  4. Right-click within the folder and select the menu option New > Text Document
  5. Name the file Fuz Ro D'oh.ini (make sure you are showing File Extensions - click here to see how)
  6. Open the new file and copy the below contents, pasting them into the file:
    [General]
    WordsPerSecondSilence=2
  7. Save and close the file
Hunters Not BanditsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Hunters Not Bandits for RDO Main File.
Modern Brawl Bug FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Project OptimizationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Full Version Install the "Skyrim Project Optimization - Full Version" Main File. Tick Data and click [OK] to install.
Unlimited BookshelvesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Waterbreathing Breathless EmergeLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Wiseman303s Critter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wiseman303's Critter Fixes
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Install
    • Options
      • ☑ Monarch Wing Fix
      • ☑ PondFish and Salmon Replacer (STEP Extended users only)
        • Install
Wiseman303s Flora FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the main file and the WM Flora Fixes SMIM Patch optional file.
Wiseman303s Trap FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install checking only the Traps Make Noise compatibility option.


10-Gameplay-General[edit]

Mods that alter gameplay mechanics and don't naturally fit into any other gameplay mod group
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Clothing and Clutter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the "Clothing and Clutter Fixes" main file.
Complete Alchemy and Cooking OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Complete Crafting Overhaul RemadeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and the CCO Compatibility Patch for WAFR Optional File.
GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul TrapLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and GIST - Rustic Soul Gems patch Optional File.
Weapons and Armor FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade
  • Main File and DLC Selection
    • Main File and DLC Selection
      • ◉ Skyrim Legendary
    • Options
      • ◉ Customize Options
        • Next
  • Select Custom Options
    • True Weapons
      • ◉ True Orcish and Daedric Weapons
    • Dragon Priest Masks
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Faster Arrows
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Dark Brotherhood Mask Fix
      • ☑ Dark Brotherhood Mask Fix
    • Better Fitting Glass Helmet
      • ☑ Better Fitting Glass Helmet Meshes
        • Next
  • Texture Size
    • Choose Texture Size
      • ◉ 2K-1K
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • aMidianborn Skyforge Weapons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Immersive Weapons
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Improved Closedfaced Helmets
      • ☑ Legendary
        • Next
  • Final Final
    • Final Step
      • ☑ Read Me File
        • Install


11-Gameplay-AI & Combat[edit]

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

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

Follower Trap SafetyLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Run For Your LivesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Tavern AI fixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unequip QuiverLink to the mod's Wiki page.


12-Gameplay-Economy[edit]

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


13-Gameplay-Immersion[edit]

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

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

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

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


14-Gameplay-Quests[edit]

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


15-Gameplay-Skills & Perks[edit]

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


16-Interface[edit]

Mods that alter any aspect of the user interface
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Better Dialogue ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better MessageBox ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Font OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive HUDLink to the mod's Wiki page.
KenMOD Time On Loading ScreenLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lore-Based Loading ScreensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MoreHUDLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MoreHUD Inventory EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RaceMenuLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Smaller Vanilla CursorsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Installation is user preference.
Viewable Faction RanksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Viewable Faction Ranks Dawnguard and Dragonborn Main File.


17-Locations[edit]

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

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


18-Lighting & Weather[edit]

Info-Logo.png Notice: This section is optional!
We wish to be clear that the mods included within this section are completely optional. They are still within the Mandate, however, we've made this section optional for users who wish to customize their own lighting and weather for their games. As such, we've included an additional patch solely for this mod group.
Optional mod group that alter lighting and weather systems in the game
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Lanterns Of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Default preset Detailed Instructions available
Install the Lanterns Of Skyrim - All In One - MCM Special Edition Main File.

In the MCM settings for Lanterns of Skyrim, STEP recommends changing following settings:

  • Check every
    • Default: 5 secs
    • STEP: 60 secs
      • This will change how often the script checks the lanterns. Increasing this will prevent the script from running so often.
  • Enable lanterns along roads
    • Default: ticked
    • STEP: unticked
      • This will disable lanterns along the roads in Skyrim which returns those area to a more vanilla and lore-friendly state.
Lightning During Thunder StormsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
In the MCM settings for Lightning During Thunder Storms (Minty Lightning), STEP recommends changing following settings:

Lightning Config - Fork Lightning Options

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

Leave all other settings unchanged.

Luminosity Lighting OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Luminosity - Colorful Lights - No shadows Main File.
Relighting SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. No JIT Detailed Instructions available
STEP recommends the "Relighting Skyrim - No JIT" main file.
Vivid WeathersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Vivid Weathers
  • Options
    • Vivid Weathers
      • ☑ Vivid Weathers
    • Vivid Weather Texture Resolution
      • ◉ MedRes 1k
    • Alternative Addons
      • ☑ Extended Snow effects - Real Skyrim Snow
    • Compatibility Patches
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Wonders of WeatherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wonders of Weather
  • Options
    • Core
      • ☑ Wonders of Weather
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Less Opaque Splashes
        • Install


19-Utilities[edit]

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

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

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

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

Example video


Generating DSR Files[edit]

Users will need to run the Dual Sheath Redux Patch for it to take effect ingame. To do so:

  1. First, run LOOT and sort the load order. Take care of any cleaning that needs to be done and return here when finished...
  2. ...welcome back! Ready to run DSR?
  3. Launch Dual Sheath Redux (DSR) Patch via Mod Organizer.
  4. Click [Patch] in the top right corner to generate the patch. After this is done, Dual Sheath Redux Patch will close automatically.

After closing the Dual Sheath Redux Patch, there will be files in Overwrite created by DSR.

  1. Right-click Overwrite
  2. Select Create Mod and name it Step Skyrim LE - DSR Output. Click OK.
    This will create a new mod listing in the left pane for the DSR patch generated files. Place it just above FNIS.
  3. Tick the listing to enable it.

Each subsequent time users rebuild their patch, they must open Overwrite and drag the new files back to this mod. Each time the load order changes, users should rerun the DSR Patch to remake the patch. Failure to do so may lead to a CTD upon startup.

Generating Animation Files[edit]

Once FNIS 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 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, 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 Skyrim LE - FNIS Output and click OK.
    • This will create a new mod listing in the left pane for the FNIS 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
Step Skyrim LE Conflict Resolution PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Required! This patch is required to be installed by all users.
Step Skyrim LE Lighting and Weather PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install this patch if the Lighting & Weather section was installed.


Sorting and cleaning the new load order[edit]

Before moving on, users should run LOOT, sort, and accept the default load order provided. Users should also take note of any plugins that LOOT reports as needing to be cleaned and perform the standard cleaning procedures on these mods. Keep in mind that LOOT tends to lag behind on the report information, therefore, it will not always be accurate. Users should ignore any reported missing compatibility patches. The STEP Patches take care of all the patching, thus eliminating the need for those additional plugins.

Users should be aware the new STEP Patches are designed to work with a default, LOOT-sorted order. This eliminates the need to set rules on the load order, thus, reducing user tasks and streamlines the Guide's installation. From this point on, users should:

  • Sort their load order using LOOT when adding, removing, updating mods that adds, removes, or replaces a plugin (ESM, ESP) from their load order.
  • Update LOOT (the program) any time it notifies their is an update available.
  • For good measure, ALWAYS sort your load order by running LOOT before running the game.
Info-Logo.png Notice:
At this point, it's a good idea to launch a NEW GAME to verify that Skyrim loads without CTD (after sorting with LOOT). The game should successfully load into the Alternate Start character generation interface. If so, just Alt + Tab to close Skyrim. If the game crashes, there is a problem with load order, enabled mods, or any number of things missed in the above instructions. Please review mods installed and enabled as compared to this guide and ensure LOOT is run and plugins sorted.


STEP 5[edit]

Level of Detail (LOD)


Users should now have all the mods and patches installed and sorted. The next step is to generate custom LOD data for the modded setup. Thankfully, xLODGen and DynDOLOD makes generating the data fairly simple. Before moving on, create three empty mods to use for the output files in this section:

  1. Right-click on Overwrite in the mod list in MO and hover over All Mods (this can also be done from the menu at the top of the left pane in MO as described earlier).
  2. Select, Create empty mod.
  3. Name it (TEMP) - LE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen (recall that 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.
  4. Repeat these steps to create three other new mods named:Step SkyrimLE - xLODGen Output, Step SkyrimLE - TexGen Output, and Step SkyrimLE - DynDOLOD Output; or anything unique and descriptive to their source/function.
  5. Place these other new mods directly after (TEMP) - LE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen.


The last few mods in the mod list should now reflect the following (numbering is approximate):

  1. DLC: Hearthfires
  1. ...
  2. (TEMP) - LE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen
  3. Step SkyrimLE - xLODGen Output
  4. Step SkyrimLE - TexGen Output
  5. Step SkyrimLE - DynDOLOD Output
Info-Logo.png Notice:
Because order is so important for properly generating all of the data, follow this section in the order it's presented!


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 TES5-Terrain-Tamriel.esm.
  2. Place the file in the (TEMP) - LE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen folder in MO and enable (tick) the mod.
    • If the Overwrite folder isn't empty, it should be. Remove or delete all files/folders.
  3. Ensure the new plugin is active in the plugin list (ticked).
  4. Ensure the (TEMP) Majestic Mountains - LODGen mod from the Foundation mod group is enabled, it will be used by xLODGen to regenerate corrected landscape and mountain LOD.
  5. 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:
  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 Skyrim LE - xLODGen Output mod in an Explorer window (Ctrl+double click).
  3. Cut and paste the files from the LOD generation to the Step Skyrim LE - xLODGen Output folder. Close both folders.
  4. Enable Step Skyrim LE - xLODGen Output mod.
  5. Disable (TEMP) - LE Terrain - Tamriel - xLODGen mod (only needed as a xLODGen resources).
    NOTE: (TEMP) Majestic Mountains -LODGen will still be needed for object LOD.

DynDOLOD[edit]

Users will now create object LODs using Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD). DynDOLOD is one part mod and one part tool. Users should already have both parts installed from earlier in the Guide.

Run TexGen[edit]

TexGen, shipped with DynDOLOD, is a program that will generate custom object LOD textures based on enabled mods. This means distance object textures will better match their fully rendered counterparts. To run TexGen:

➕ Instructions for TexGen

  1. Run TexGen from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Keep the default Output location. Step recommends:
    • LOD Texture Size = 512
    • Diffuse Alpha = BC3
    • Normal Specular = BC3
    • Diffuse = BC1
    • Normal = BC3
  3. Once the option has been chosen, click [Start].
  4. Once the completed message has appeared (5-30 minutes, depending on the PC), click [Exit].
  5. Navigate to the DynDOLOD TexGen_Output folder location (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/TexGen_Output).
  6. Copy or cut the files from the TexGen_Output folder.
  7. In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the STEP SkyrimLE - TexGen Output mod created previously. This opens the mod's folder in an Explorer window.
  8. Paste the files into the mod's folder, and close the window.
  9. Enable the STEP SkyrimLE - TexGen Output mod in MO.


Run DynDOLOD[edit]

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

Standard (2D) Tree LOD[edit]
➕ Instructions for Standard Trees

  1. Run DynDOLOD from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Click [Advanced] once the main tool window is displayed.
  3. Select all worldspaces.
  4. Ensure the following are ticked:
    Candles
    FXGlow
    Generate static LOD
    Generate tree LOD
    Create texture atlas
    Generate DynDOLOD
    Windows
    High
  5. Set Max tile size equal to the texture size used for TexGen previously.
  6. Keep the default Output Path and click [Medium]. NOTE: Users with systems able to handle High settings, may do so.
  7. Click [OK], and get a cup of coffee. This takes ~20-40 minutes on SSDs.
  8. Once the completed message has appeared, click [Save & Exit].
3D Tree LOD[edit]

This Guide will result in Hybrid 3D Trees. Full 3D trees are possible, but are not recommend for gameplay; thus, not covered here. Hybrid 3D Trees are a performance friendly option for high quality tree LODs. It generates 3D branches with 2D trunks.

➕ Instructions for 3D Trees

  1. Open the ./DynDOLOD folder (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/).
  2. Open the DynDOLOD_TES5.ini file (e.g. ../DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_TES5.ini)
  3. Set TreeLOD=0
  4. Run DynDOLOD from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  5. Select all worldspaces.
  6. Ensure the following are ticked:
    Candles
    FXGlow
    Generate static LOD
    NOTE: "Generate tree LOD" will be greyed out as 'N/A' if TreeLOD=0 was set in DynDOLOD.ini as described above.
    Create texture atlas
    Generate DynDOLOD
    Windows
    High
  7. Set Max tile size equal to the texture size used for TexGen previously.
  8. Keep the default Output Path and click [High].
    NOTE: The High preset is the only preset that will generate 3D Trees! If High is too performance heavy, users can select another preset and manually edit the tree line in the mesh rules to match how it reads from the High preset.
  9. Click [OK], and get a cup of coffee.
  10. Once 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 SkyrimLE - 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. Disable (TEMP) Majestic Mountains - LODGen.
  7. Ensure the DynDOLOD esm and esp files are ticked in the right pane.
  8. Sort with LOOT.
  9. Ensure DynDOLOD.esp is the last plugin in the load order and enabled. If not, sort with LOOT.


Occlusion[edit]

Users will now use xLODGen to update the occlusion data for the new mod list. Doing so will prevent holes in the distance landscape that is notoriously bad over water cells. To do this:

➕ 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: 100
    • 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 SkyrimLE - 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 do users need to rebuild LODs?[edit]

Users should rebuild their LODs any time mods are installed or removed that include added, removed, or relocated exterior objects such as buildings, roads, trees, etc.


STEP 6[edit]

Mod Configuration (MCM)


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

First Launch[edit]

Info-Logo.png Notice: The MCM menu item may juxtapose the 'Exit' menu item, so be sure to scroll down to exit if it is 'missing'.

To run the game, select the SKSE Skyrim Launcher executable from the drop-down list and click the Run button. Users should 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 installation unless you know what can happen (which is beyond scope to support). NOTE: Users upgrading from a previous installation of the Guide should review the changelog of the update to determine whether or not a new game is recommended.
  • 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, users may find INI files in their Overwrite folder after closing the game (e.g. ../SKSE/Plugins/SkyrimUncapper.ini). NOTE: These files should be moved to their respective mod folders, respecting their folder structure in the move.

Alternate Start[edit]

Users starting a new game will see Alternate Start - Live Another Life in action. 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 for these users. Once a new game is started, players are loaded into a locked cell. 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. Users choosing an alternate start location can start the main quest line by simply visiting Helgen.

Mod Configuration Menu Settings[edit]

Convenient Horses[edit]

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

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 the are a part of the world. Dragonborn will not start until the news of your deeds have time to reach the island and you become something that must be dealt with. Attack chances are lowered from 100% so users will have 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 you're a vampire, Thalmor won't attack until after they enter the questline, etc. The following screenshots display the recommended settings for the mod's MCM:

Lock Overhaul[edit]

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

Trade & Barter[edit]

This mod must be started to work. Start the mod to activate it. Once enabled, the settings are user preference; however, Step recommends keeping the defaults and ticking Merchant Gold Fluctuates on the Merchants tab.

Wet & cold[edit]

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

Vivid Weathers[edit]

Settings are user preference; however, Step recommends enabling customizations and changing Bloom to Medium. Users who prefer a darker interior experience may also wish to change Interior Brightness to Low.

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.

STEP 7[edit]

Optional Customizations

(optional) BethINI Customization[edit]

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

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

(optional) ENBSeries with the Step SkyrimLE Guide[edit]

Because the effects of ENB are so variable, depending on 1) use of lighting/weather mods, 2) a great many other options for various mods, and 3) PC hardware and software environments, the Guide doesn't include an ENB preset. Instructions and recommendations would result in a massive flurry of support 'issues'. To provide a bit of direction, keep in mind the ENB preset chosen must be compatible with Vivid Weathers.

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