SkyrimSE:2.1.0

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Info-Logo.png

NOTE

This is the current version of the Step SkyrimSE Guide. Don't forget to endorse Step on the Nexus if you like the guide. Please report any problems or confusing instructions on the latest Feedback & Bug Reports pinned forum topic.
Warning-Logo.png

WARNING

This is Step's Skyrim Special Edition guide for Skyrim Anniversary Edition and requires Skyrim Special Edition (≥ 1.6.xxx). Additionally ...

  • Requires SE Anniversary Upgrade DLC (Anniversary Upgrade - AU). Creation Club (CC) mods required by the Step Patches must be enabled (we suggest to purchase the AU and activate all CC mods).
  • In-game activation of Survival Mode is optional.

This Release[edit]

This is our second iteration of the Step Skyrim Special Edition guide for Skyrim Anniversary Edition. See the Step Versioning Documentation for more information on Step's versioning methodology:

  • A new game is required if updating from any previous Step SSE guide, due to certain mod changes included in this release.
  • Updated the ModList with new mods and engine-level mods that finally support Skyrim v1.6.xxx.
  • Swapped Luminosity for a Step-customized version of Ambiance as a more vanilla-friendly lighting overhaul supporting more realistic stealth gameplay.
  • Step-customized version of Cathedral Weathers to enhance foggy and rainy weathers for the Step build with and without ENB.
  • Significant improvements to the Step ENB and the ENB weather configuration.
  • Updated BethINI and DynDOLOD configuration recommendations for better results with and without ENB.
  • Solstheim and Tamriel worldspaces have been seamlessly merged using Worldspace Transition Tweaks
  • A huge number of mesh enhancements and fixes are now included to resolve many long standing lighting and texture-stretching issues.
  • Many grammar and text clarifications throughout the Guide.

See the Changelog for details.

  • Visit the forums, and provide feedback related to this guide.
  • Follow Step Modifications on Facebook.
  • Donate to support hosting and maintenance of the Step website.



About Step[edit]

A Foreword

Created by TheCompiler (Daniele Ferraro), 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 SkyrimSE mod build. Our guides provide detailed, well-tested build instructions for a very stable game with an enhanced, vanilla experience.

The Step team collects information from the modding community through extensive mod testing, detailed reviews, feedback, and suggestions exchanged on the Forums. Posting rules apply, so be sure to read and follow them.

New to Modding?[edit]

We recommend that you ...

  • review this entire guide before attempting installation, especially if this is your first exposure to a Step mod-build guide.

We and the community, have consolidated a lot of information into our guides for use as a free 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 Q&A.

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: The recommended install option is shown within the Baseline column of the mod tables below.
  • Step Patches: A "patch" is a plugin that sanely resolves conflicts among mods.

System Requirements[edit]

SkyrimSE should be run on a relatively modern Windows 10/11 64-bit desktop or laptop that is gaming capable. While CPU specs and performance are important factors, they matter only to a point beyond which is diminishing return on investment. Smooth gameplay, LODGen-related tools, and ENBSeries post processing are most limited by the GPU performance coupled to the resolution at which the game is run.

  • The minimum specs assume that the recommended 'baseline' mod options will be installed, which are biased towards 'performance' options when available.
  • The recommended specs assume a bias toward 'quality' and assume higher quality mod options will be installed when available.
  • CPU/GPU hardware listed below are "performance-class examples", and many alternatives lie within or outside of these classes.
Hardware Minimum Recommended
CPU Intel Core i5-3470 or
AMD FX-8350
Intel Core i5-8400 or
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
CPU Mark Range 4,000 - 7,000 > 7,000
System RAM 8Gb 16Gb
GPU / VRAM Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 / 6Gb or
AMD Radeon RX 470 / 4Gb
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 / 8Gb or
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT / 8Gb
G3D Mark Range 8,000 - 10,000 > 10,000
Game Drive HDD SSD
Resolution 1080p (HD) 1440p (QHD)

Time Commitment[edit]

Be aware it will take anywhere from several hours to a several days to complete this build from start to finish. This time will vary greatly depending on internet download speed and user experience. Following are cumulative time estimates on average:

6 hours : Steps 1 - 3 (modding-environment setup)
12 hours : Step 4 (mod download, installation)
8 hours : Steps 5 - 7 (LODGen, post-build configuration, and fine-tuning the build)




STEP 1[edit]

Game & Tool Installation

Follow the System Setup Guide![edit]

Those who have not completed the System Setup Guide should STOP and do so now BEFORE beginning Step 2! This is a perquisite for completing this guide.


STEP 2[edit]

Tool Configuration

Mod Organizer - SkyrimSE Initialization[edit]

FIRST, follow the System Setup Guide. The below instructions describe how to initialize a SkyrimSE instance in Mod Organizer (MO). If MO was installed as a Portable application, the instructions below will need to be interpreted accordingly. If a SkyrimSE instance was created in Step 1 or otherwise, simply select the instance. Otherwise:

Initialize SkyrimSE in MO

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

Profile Setup[edit]

MO's profile feature allows the creation of multiple mod builds that rely on the same mod list and mod-level configurations. In other words, if a mod was installed with option 'A', then that mod is only available in this configuration for all profiles under an instance. Profiles can have different mods enabled, separate save games, and game INIs, but the mod configuration is identical among each profile. Different MO-game instances must be used for different mod configurations. For the purpose of this guide, a single mod configuration is all that's needed, so profiles are sufficient. Begin by creating/editing two profiles:

Profile Creation Steps

  1. Launch MO, choosing the applicable Skyrim Special Edition 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
    4. Creation Club Plugins (order will be addressed later in the Guide)
  3. Click the Profiles MO.png button on the menu bar.
  4. Select the Default profile.
  5. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is ticked and click [Copy].
  6. Name the new profile Step SkyrimSE, or similar.
  7. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is ticked.
  8. Close the window by clicking [Close].
  9. Select the Step SkyrimSE profile from the profile selection down-drop.
    • It is normal to get a notice saying some INI files were missing and will be copied.
    • If an error is displayed about missing "modlist.txt" files, restart MO (or do a system reboot if that doesn't resolve).
  10. Click the MOlistoptions.png button and select [Create empty mod].
  11. Name it xEdit Output.
  12. Click the MOlistoptions.png button and select [Create empty mod], again.
  13. Name it Cleaned Vanilla Masters.

Tool Setup[edit]

All tools needed should already be installed according to the System Setup Guide. Some tools will have been auto-detected and added; nevertheless, ensure the settings are correct for all tools. xEdit is used in this example:

Tool Setup Steps

  1. For xEdit, it is useful to create a mod into which all xEdit ouput can be directed in order to keep it all together:
    1. Click MOlistoptions.png at the top of the left pane in MO, and select "Create empty mod".
    2. Type xEdit Output, and select [OK].
    3. Place this mod at the top of the mod list just below the vanilla game files, and enable it.
  2. Click Gear MO.png at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  3. In the left pane of the executables config, click the [+] to add a new executable, and then [Add from file...].
  4. Browse to the SSEEdit.exe file (e.g. ..Modding/Tools/xEdit/SSEEdit.exe).
    • This should auto-fill most of the fields.
  5. Change the title to xEdit.
  6. Input the following in the Arguments field separated by a single space:
    • e.g. -IKnowWhatImDoing -SSE -AllowMasterFilesEdit
    • "-IKnowWhatImDoing": This turns off a warning presented when users make edits.
    • "-AllowMasterFilesEdit": By default xEdit will not allow master file editing. This enables that.
  7. Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box. Select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
  8. Tick the Use applications icon for desktop shortcuts box.
  9. Click [Apply].
  10. Repeat these steps to add the remaining executables as indicated in the table following.
    Arrange the tools in any order using the up and down buttons above the list. This will dictate the order that tools are listed in the MO "Run" dropdown menu. Close the window by clicking the [OK] button.


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NOTE

For tools previously installed, adjust the arguments below for use with SkyrimSE.
Application Title Executable Argument(s)
xEdit xEdit.exe -SSE -IKnowWhatImDoing -AllowMasterFilesEdit
Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box and select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
xEditQuickAutoClean xEditQuickAutoClean.exe -SSE
Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite box and select the xEdit Output mod from the drop-down.
LOOT LOOT.exe --game="Skyrim Special Edition"
xLODGen xLODGenx64.exe -lodgen -SSE -o:"DriveLetter:\Modding\Tools\xLODGen\xLODGen_Output"
Replace DriveLetter: with the drive letter of the 'Modding' folder.

Tools can be arranged in any order 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 MO profile to establish the configuration files before beginning mod installation. This ensures that all users share a common configuration during the modding process. As such, please do not deviate from the instructions below. Once the guide is complete and things are confirmed to be working, BethINI will be revisited towards the end of this guide to finalize the optimal configuration.

BethINI Initialization[edit]

BethINI Initialization Steps

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

BethINI Baseline Configuration[edit]

Configure BethINI as described in the steps below, which are reflected in the images where applicable. Please do no deviate from these instructions at this time:

Basic
 
  1. Click the [Default] button and wait until the "Your INI files have been successfully reset to default values." message is displayed.
  2. Click the [High] preset and wait until the "Video settings have been set for BethINI high quality." message is displayed.
    Please avoid the temptation to click 'Ultra' for now, even if the PC is high-end.
  3. Tick Recommended Tweaks and wait until the "Recommended tweaks have been automatically applied." message is displayed.
  4. Window Resolution should match the system resolution.
  5. Tick Borderless and 64-Bit Render Targets.
  6. Untick VSync and Lock Frame Rate
General
 
Screenshots directory, Filename, and Index can be set as desired. Screenshots are taken by pressing [Print Screen] on the keyboard.
Gameplay
 
  1. Set Over-Encumbered Reminder to 300 (5 mins) or 3600 (1 hour)
  2. NPC Use Ammo is optional, but recommended.
Interface
 
  1. Subtitles may be enabled here if desired.
  2. Untick Mod Manager Menu
Detail
 
  1. Untick Reflect Sky and Anamorphic Lens Flare.
  2. Set Particles to at least 2000. ENB users should set this to 6000 to compensate for added particles to prevent waterfall flicker and incomplete rendering of other particle effects.
  3. The following can be ticked, but if ENB is used, remember to untick the following:
    • Lens Flare
    • Ambient Occlusion
View Distance
 
View distance settings can be left unchanged.
Visuals
 
  1. Untick Fade-In
  2. Set Far-off Tree Distance to 0. The far-off trees will be rendered in object LOD via DynDOLOD instead.
  3. Set Grass Density to 60 and Grass Diversity to 15.
Custom
 
(optional) Consider the following to reduce the sun size if using ENB:
  1. In the Section drop-down, select Weather.
    • In the Setting drop-down, select fSunBaseSize.
      Change the value to 200 and click [Save].
    • In the Setting drop-down, select fSunGlareSize.
      Change the value to 282 and click [Save].
  2. Return to Basic tab, and click [Save and Exit]




STEP 3[edit]

Plugins & Considerations

Sorting Plugins With LOOT[edit]

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

Steps to Sort Plugins

  1. Relaunch Mod Organizer, if it isn't already running.
  2. Launch LOOT via MO from the executables drop-down menu at the top of the right pane.
    • If LOOT fails to start, try adding the following argument as described in Tools Setup: --single-process. If LOOT cannot find the game directory, add the path to ../Skyrim Special Edition folder to Install Path under LOOT settings.
  3. Click the [Sort Plugins] waffle icon at the top of the LOOT window next to the game name.
  4. Several plugins will show warnings in yellow. The next section describes how to clean them up.
  5. Click the [Apply Sorted Load Order] checkmark button at the top of the LOOT window next to the game name.
  6. Close LOOT.

Up to this point, only the following plugins should be listed in the MO right pane in the order listed. (If not, run LOOT again):

  1. Skyrim.esm
  2. Update.esm
  3. Dawnguard.esm
  4. HearthFires.esm
  5. Dragonborn.esm
  6. Creation Club Plugins

Cleaning Vanilla Master Plugins[edit]

To resolve potential issues later, the vanilla plugin masters should be cleaned with xEdit. Step is aware of the debate regarding whether or not it's necessary to clean vanilla masters. While it may or may not matter for general references, that is not the case regarding large references. Any large reference that is deleted, "initially disabled", or overwritten triggers large reference bugs. See the relevant posts for details and further reading.

Prior to getting started, create an empty mod entitled Cleaned Vanilla Masters in the MO left pane by clicking on MOlistoptions.png in the header above the mod list. Enable this mod.

Clean the Vanilla Masters[edit]

Use the following procedure to clean the vanilla plugins (including Creation Club masters). There are approx. 46 'dirty' vanilla masters that should be cleaned. If all of the following cleaning and housekeeping instructions are followed, this only needs to be done once unless or until a master is updated by Bethesda.

Standard Cleaning Procedure

  1. Run LOOT from the drop-down executable list in MO, sort the plugins, and apply the changes. Do not close LOOT.
    NOTE: that any dirty plugins plugins will have yellow "warning" blocks. These are the plugins that should be cleaned.
  2. Leaving the LOOT window open, click on the MO window and note the "Mod Organizer is locked ...." message in the center of the MO window. Click [Unlock].
    This allows the LOOT window to remain open as a reference for the plugins that should be cleaned. The vanilla plugins with 'dirty' warnings should be cleaned in order listed.
  3. Run xEditQuickAutoClean from the drop-down executable list in MO.
  4. On the plugin selection window, double-click on the first dirty plugin (e.g., Update.esm).
  5. Once xEdit is finished, click [X] at upper right to close. A backup of the original plugin will automatically be saved into (e.g., ..\xEdit Output\SSEEdit Backups\PluginName.es*.DateTime) inside of xEdit Output mod (or in Overwrite at the bottom of the MO mod list (left) pane if previous instructions were NOT followed!).
  6. Repeat this procedure on the remaining dirty plugins indicated by LOOT.
  7. When all of the vanilla plugins have been cleaned, close the LOOT window and rerun LOOT from MO to verify that no warnings appear.

Manually Edit Dawnguard.esm[edit]

After cleaning Dawnguard.esm, a few references will remain that need to be manually removed, since they are not technically dirty records targeted by xEditQuickAutoClean. Refer to the following images for the corresponding steps below.

  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-click 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-click on the "Dawnguard.esm" header and select [Remove] as in step 3.7.
  10. Now close xEdit.
  11. In the window popup, ensure Dawnguard.esm is ticked and that Backup plugins is ticked at the bottom of the window (DO NOT untick Backup plugins!) and click [OK].

Move the Cleaned Vanilla Masters[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:

Move the Cleaned Vanilla Masters
 
  1. In MO, open the Cleaned Vanilla Masters mod in Windows Explorer (right-click Cleaned Vanilla Masters, then click Open in Explorer).
  2. Click the MOOpenFoldersMenu.png button above the MO mod list (left) pane, and select Open Game Folder to open the game folder in Windows Explorer (e.g. ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition
  3. Open ..\Data folder, and move all the cleaned master files from ..\Data into ..\Cleaned Vanilla Masters folder.
    Tip: Set the folder to Details view and sort by the Date modified column. This will sort all the recently modified files to the top of the file list. (reference image)
  4. Close the Cleaned Vanilla Masters folder, and tick the box to enable it in the MO left pane if it isn't enabled.
  5. Close MO for the next steps and continue below

Restore the Original Vanilla Masters[edit]

To quickly and easily restore the original masters, follow the instructions for Verify integrity of game cache. Once that is complete, use Steam to launch the game to allow it to download any missing Creation Club content. This must also be done to reinitialize the game with Steam and allow MO to run configured executables without complaint (Any time Steam 'updates' the game files and actually downloads new files, the Steam manifest (or other Steam config) for the game resets and requires a Steam launch).

For those that don't want to do this for whatever reason, the manual process is described:

Restore the Original Vanilla Masters
 
  1. In MO, open the xEdit Output mod in Windows Explorer (right-click xEdit Output, then click Open in Explorer).
  2. Inside the "SSEEdit 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).
    • NOTE: If the backed-up vanilla plugins are not present, then backups were disabled by unticking Backup plugins in a previous xEdit session, contrary to previous instructions. In that case, the vanilla files MUST either be restored using the instructions for Verify integrity of game cache, OR the DontBackup=1 setting must be changed back to DontBackup=0 in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Skyrim Special Edition\Plugins.sseviewsettings.
  3. Move or copy the renamed files into the 'real' game Data directory (..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\Data), choosing to overwrite/replace, if asked.
  4. Close all Explorer windows.
Moicon.png

MO2

Any time Bethesda updates these master files, they will likely need to be cleaned again and replaced in MO. 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 in the left pane should reflect (Note that the plugin order may be different):

  1. DLC: Dawnguard
  2. DLC: HearthFires
  3. DLC: Dragonborn
  4. ...Creation Club Mods...
  1. Cleaned Vanilla Masters
  2. xEdit Output
Info-Logo.png

NOTE

To verify the vanilla mods have been cleaned, LOOT can be run again, and no warnings should be apparent.

NOTE: After all mods are installed later in the guide, clean any plugins with the applicable LOOT warnings using the standard cleaning procedure.




STEP 4[edit]

Step SkyrimSE Mod List


At this point, the PC modding environment should be fully set up and ready for mod installation.
IMPORTANT: Please read ALL of the following carefully BEFORE requesting support on the forums!

  • This guide can be installed in one of three (3) ways:
    1. All mods from all ModGroups (mod tables) installed. This is recommended, due to the coordination of this build in terms of lighting, weather, and ENB. These are usually the most difficult aspects of a build to get right, given vanilla Skyrim's rather wonky lighting 'incoherence'.
    2. All mods from all ModGroups EXCEPT for the optional ModGroup, 21-Post-Processing. Like the default recommended option, this is most useful for those that cannot afford the performance cost of running with post-processing mods like ENBSeries. For those that want to use a custom ENB setup, we obviously cannot support that, but feel free to try any ENBs that are compatible with the 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup.
    3. All mods from all ModGroups EXCEPT for the optional ModGroups, 18-Lighting & Weather and 21-Post-Processing. Use this approach if a custom lighting/weather/post-processing solution will be applied, which will obviously not be supported.

Understanding the Step Patches[edit]

A “conflict resolution” patch, or CR Patch, is a plugin that resolves conflicts between various active plugins. They allow using various mods together without any major issues while still achieving the desired outcome from the mods. The Step Patches are built exclusively for the Step mod build. They are required and are dependent on specific mods as noted by indicators in the mod tables in Step 4. They will not resolve conflicts with any applicable mods that are not in this guide.

Step Patches[edit]

  1. Step SkyrimSE - Conflict Resolution Patch (Step Patch - Conflict Resolution)
    • Patches all conflicting plugins except for mods in the optional 18-Lighting & Weather and 21-Post-Processing ModGroups
    • Required
  2. Step SkyrimSE - Lighting & Weather Patch (Step Patch - Lighting & Weather)
    • Required for those that are installing the optional 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup.
  3. Step SkyrimSE - Post-Processing Patch (Step Patch - Post-Processing)
    • Required for those that are installing BOTH 18-Lighting & Weather AND 21-Post-Processing ModGroups.

Mod Table Reference[edit]

Below is the legend and reference for the mod tables used in this guide.

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

Mod Table Legend[edit]

Table Flags A red vertical bar indicates that the mod is required by the Step Patch - Conflict Resolution.
A yellow bar indicates that the mod is required by the Step Patch - Lighting & Weather.
A blue bar indicates the mod supports or otherwise relates to mods in the 21-Post-Processing ModGroup.
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 note specifying a recommended install option.
In some cases, mods will have several options. In such cases, click [Expand] to expand the mod row to reveal detailed instructions.

General Mod List Notes[edit]

  • Do not extract BSAs unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • If no Notes or Step recommendations are provided for a particular mod, all options are valid.
  • After installing a mod, ALWAYS enable the mod and any related plugins in MO unless otherwise instructed.
  • Mods are listed in alphabetical order within each ModGroup and any deviations from this are purposeful to achieve the desired outcome.
  • 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.
  • Always install plugins (ESLs/ESMs/ESPs), unless otherwise noted. When there is a choice to use an ESL, always choose that UNLESS continuing a playthrough using a previously-existing savegame (ESL-flagged plugins can 'break' a save that relies on a ESP or ESM version of the same plugin!).
  • Always follow LOOT's advice in regards to mod cleaning and sorting unless otherwise noted.

ModGroup Separators[edit]

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 ModGroup below:

Steps to Create MO Separators

  1. Click MOlistoptions.png at 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.

02-Extenders[edit]

Mods that expand on the inherent functionality of a game or another mod without themselves affecting content
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Address Library for SKSE PluginsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the All in one (Anniversary Edition) main file.
Crash LoggerLink to the mod's Wiki page. Crash logs are located in ..\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\SKSE
PapyrusUtil SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install PapyrusUtil AE - Scripting Utility Functions main file.
Scaleform Translation++Link to the mod's Wiki page.
SKSE64Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Root Files Installation
  1. Download the "Current Anniversary Edition build" archive file.
  2. Open the archive and extract the following files to the Skyrim Special Edition root folder ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition:
    • skse64_X_X_X.dll
    • skse64_loader.exe
    • skse64_steam_loader.dll NOTE: This file is no longer implemented with the latest versions of SKSE.
    • (reference image)
  3. Keep this archive open for the next steps.
Data Files Installation
  1. Click on the MOlistoptions.png button and select, [Create empty mod].
  2. Name it SKSE64.
    • This places the new, empty mod at the bottom of the mod list.
  3. Enable SKSE64 in the MO left pane.
  4. Open the SKSE64 in Windows Explorer (Ctrl + double-click).
  5. Create a new folder named SKSE and open it.
INI File
  1. Within the SKSE folder, create a new file named SKSE.ini i.e. ..SKSE64\SKSE\SKSE.ini
  2. Open the new file and copy and paste the code in the box below, and save and close the file when finished.

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

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

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

  • ..\SKSE64
    • \scripts
      • \Source
        • <file list>
      • <file list>
    • \SKSE
      • \skse.ini
    • \meta.ini
Launcher Configuration

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

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

Reference Image:
SKSE64MOSetup.png

SSE Display TweaksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
As stated in the mod's Description, this mod will stabilize the display of rendered content for smooth gameplay without limiting frame rates, and this should be the case for almost all modern PCs running SSE.
  1. Download the Main File and and High performance configuration Optional File.
  2. Install the Main File first. Then install the Optional File, choosing Merge to merge it into the Main File.
  3. (ONLY if hardware supports) Enable NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD Freesync via the display software
    • Also enable NVIDIA Low Latency (reference image) or AMD anti-lag via the display software
  4. Double-click on the mod in the MO left pane and ensure the following in SSEDisplayTweaks.ini
    • PC has NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD Freesync video card AND monitor support, set each frame limit (FPS cap) to:
      [monitor refresh rate] - 3 (e.g., 144 Hz monitor should have 141 limit: 144 - 3 = 141)
    • PC does NOT have NVIDIA G-SYNC or AMD Freesync video card OR monitor support, set each frame limit (FPS cap) to:
      [monitor refresh rate] - 1 (e.g., 60 Hz monitor should have 59 limit: 60 - 1 = 59)

[Render] FramerateLimit=?? UIFramerateLimit=?? [OSD] Enable=true InitiallyOn=false

To enabled the framerate counter, hold Left Shift and press Insert. Repeat to disable again.


NOTE: No further configuration is required, but read on for additional information.



For more general information, see the SSE Display Settings guide.

Advanced Configuration

Per best practice for any mod governed by a mod INI file, create a custom INI with only those settings that are useful to change for testing purposes (i.e., this mod in Performance Tuning). Doing so will preserve these settings without disrupting the defaults in the mods configuration file when the mod is updated. All settings being tested can be configured here and simply commented to revert to defaults. This will also allow modification without losing any changes introduced by the developer. Activate/deactivate this mod as necessary:

  1. Click on the MOlistoptions.png button and select, [Create empty mod].
  2. Name it (Custom INI) SSE Display Tweaks.
    • This places the new, empty mod at the bottom of the mod list.
  3. Enable and prioritize (Custom INI) SSE Display Tweaks in the MO left pane just after this mod.
  4. Open the (Custom INI) SSE Display Tweaks in Windows Explorer (Ctrl + double-click).
  5. Create a new folder named SKSE and open it.
  6. Create a new folder named Plugins and open it.
  7. Create a new file, SSEDisplayTweaks_Custom.ini, add the following, then save the file.
Example Custom Configuration Override

[Render] ; EnableVSync=false    ; Uncomment to disable Vsync from this mod. Useful for those with G-SYNC/Freesync-compatible hardware ; EnableTearing=true    ; Uncomment to disable Vsync/frame limits in bordered windowed mode FramerateLimit=141    ; Uncomment to set a specific in-game frame limit UIFramerateLimit=141    ; Uncomment to set a specific UI frame limit (i.e., in-game menus) ; LoadingScreenFramerateLimit=60    ; Uncomment to set a specific loading-screen frame limit [HAVOK] MinimumFramerate=50    ; Uncomment to set a specific loading-screen frame limit MaximumFramerate=141    ; Uncomment to set a havok frame limit (should be equal to FramerateLimit) OSDStatsEnabled=true    ; uncomment to enable havok stats in the in-game screen display [Papyrus] DynamicUpdateBudget=true BudgetMaxFPS=141    ; Uncomment to set a papyrus budget frame limit (should be equal to FramerateLimit) OSDStatsEnabled=true    ; Uncomment to enable papyrus budget stats in the in-game screen display [OSD] Enable=true    ; Uncomment to enable the in-game screen display using the default toggle (Left Shift + Insert by default) InitiallyOn=false    ; uncomment to enable the in-game screen display on by default

SSE Engine FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install (Part 1) Engine Fixes for 1.6.xxx Main File in MO as normal.
  2. Download (Part 2) Engine Fixes - skse64 Preloader and TBB Lib Main File.
  3. Extract the contents of the Part 2 archive to the root Skyrim SE directory (e.g. ..\Steam\SteamApps\Common\Skyrim Special Edition) (reference image)

Once installed, double-click on the mod to open up the information window, and ensure the following settings in EngineFixes.toml ("Text Files" tab):

[Patches] WaterflowAnimation = true WaterflowSpeed = 16.0

Leave the remainder of the settings at their defaults. (reference image)

Unique Map Weather FrameworkLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Unique Map Weather Framework
  • Options
    • Core Files
      • ◉ UMWF for 1.6.x (Post-AE)
    • Addons
      • ☐ Vanilla Additions
        • Install


Game Launch Test[edit]

At this stage, the preliminary build should be tested to confirm that there are no issues with the modding environment or engine-level mod configurations:

  1. Start the game by running the SKSE launcher from Mod Organizer. The game should load to the main menu without issue.
  2. Open the console (~), type in coc riverwood, and press Enter/Return. The game should load at Riverwood without issue.
  3. Exit the game using the qqq console command or the standard menu options.

If the game launched and loaded as expected, continue forward. Otherwise, all instructions were not followed, and something was missed. Revisit the installation steps above starting with the System Setup Guide in Step 1. If a careful review of the previous instructions does not resolve the issue, post on the guide support forums for help.

Warning-Logo.png

WARNING

Beyond this point, DO NOT launch the game again until instructed to do so.
Many of the following mods are interdependent, and launching the game prematurely will most likely result in issues or failures. Please DO NOT post on the forums for support of non-issues relating to a failure to RTFM.


03-Resources[edit]

Mods solely providing assets intended specifically for use by other mods without themselves affecting content
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Grass Cache FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
MCM HelperLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install MCM Helper SE (1.6) main file.
Spell Perk Item DistributorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install Spell Perk Item Distributor - AE main file.


04-Foundation[edit]

Baseline mods having many conflicting assets that should be overridden by other mods OR mods having programmatic changes that are widely accepted and adopted/expected by other mods
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Unofficial High Definition Audio ProjectLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install all Main Files. Merge when asked.
Skyrim Landscape and Water FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim Landscape and Water Fixes
  • Main
    • Options
      • ☑ No Ownership Edits
      • ☐ Missing Lights Fix
    • Patches
      • ☐ ELFX
      • ☐ ELFX Exteriors
      • ☐ Relighting Skyrim
      • ☑ CACO
      • ☑ Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods
    • Walkway Wall FIX
      • ◉ Vanilla
        • Install
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Cathedral - PlantsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim SE particle patch for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Particle Patch for ENB
  • Installation
    • Installation Type
      • ◉ Loose Files
    • ENB Helper
      • ◉ No
    • Custom Textures
      • ◉ Yes
        • Install


Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

Particle patch for ENB.esp

DynDOLOD Resources SE 3Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
DynDOLOD Resources SE
  • Main
    • DynDOLOD Resources
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Options
    • Visual Options
      • ☑ Whiterun Exterior
      • ☑ Whiterun Exterior Grass
      • ☑ Solitude Exterior
      • ☑ High Hrothgar Window Glow
      • ☐ DLC2 Vvardenfell 3D Plume
    • Performance Options
      • ☐ Low-Res LOD Textures
    • Misc Options
      • ☑ Desync Birds of Prey
      • ☐ Holy Cow
        • Install


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

Static Mesh Improvement ModLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Static Mesh Improvement Mod
  • Options
    • Main Installer Choice
      • ◉ Skyrim 2016 Special Edition: Custom
        • Next
  • Original Skyrim Custom Install
    • Barrels
      • ◉ Modified Vanilla Barrels
    • Bowl Ingredients
      • ☑ Improved Bowl Ingredients
    • Bridges
      • ◉ Bridges
    • Candelabras
      • ☑ Improved Candelabras
    • Carriage Seats and Fixes
      • ☑ Improved Carriages
    • Chains 3D - Misc
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Misc
    • Chains 3D - Pull Levers
      • ◉ Chains 3D - Pull Levers Small Rings (Recommended)
    • Chains 3D - Signs
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Signs
    • Chains 3D - Whiterun
      • ☑ Chains 3D - Whiterun
    • Chandeliers
      • ◉ Improved Chandeliers (Recommended)
    • Clothing Fixes
      • ☑ Clothing Fixes
    • Dawnguard Soulcairn Bone Piles
      • ◉ Bone Piles Yellow Bones (Recommended)
    • Draugr Corpses
      • ☑ Draugr Corpses
    • Dungeons Cliffs Snow Skirts
      • ◉ Snow Blending ESP (Recommended)
    • Dwemer Animated Lifts
      • ☑ Dwemer Animated Lifts
    • Dwemer Clutter
      • ☑ Dwemer Clutter
    • Farmhouse Woven Fence
      • ◉ Woven Fence Less Flicker (Recommended)
    • Food
      • ☑ Improved Food
    • Food - Tomato Style
      • ◉ Default Heirloom
    • Furniture Chests
      • ☑ Improved Furniture Chests
    • Furniture Common
      • ◉ Improved Furniture SMIM Textures (Recommended)
    • Furniture Noble
      • ☑ Improved Furniture Noble
    • Hanging Rings
      • ☑ Hanging Rings
    • Hawk
      • ☑ Hawk Improvements
    • Hearthfires Stuff
      • ☑ Hearthfires Stuff
    • Human Skull Fixes
      • ☑ Human Skull Fixes
    • Imperial Jail
      • ◉ Improved Imperial Jail (Recommended)
    • Jewelry Rings
      • ◉ Jewelry Rings CCO Remade or Jewelcraft
    • Lanterns
      • ☐ Lanterns    leave unticked!
    • 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
    • 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
      • ☐ Ultra-Sized 4096x4096 Textures    leave unticked!
        • Next
  • Merged Plugin Special Edition Forced Install
    • Merged Plugin Special Edition Forced Install
      • ☑ Special Edition Merged Plugin Will Be Installed
        • Install
Skyrim Realistic OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install Part 1-3, choosing to merge the files when asked.
  2. Install the update file, choosing to merge as well.

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

Textures\architecture\whiterun\wrfieldgrass01_n.dds

Major Cities Mesh OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and merge the Optional File.
Enhanced Lights and FXLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Only the meshes from this mod will be used.
FOMOD Instructions
Enhanced Lights and FX
  • Main
    • Main
      • ☑ Enhanced Lights and FX
    • Main - Ambience
      • ◉ None
    • Main - Exterior
      • ☑ ELFX - Exteriors
        • Next
  • Patches
    • SMIM
      • ☑ SMIM Meshes
      • ☐ SMIM Lantern
    • Patches
      • ☐ Select Nothing
  • Misc. Optionals
    • Optionals
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install


Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

EnhancedLightsandFX.esp ELFX - Exteriors.esp

ELFX FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
ELFX Fixes
  • Main
    • ELFX Fixes main plugin
      • ☑ Main Plugin
    • Ragged Flagon Fix
      • ◉ Vanilla
    • Water Reflection ELFX Meshes Fixed for ENB users
      • ☐ ENB ELFX Meshes
      • the above shouldn't be ticked, not even for ENB users
        • Install


Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

ELFX Fixes.esp ELFX Fixes Ragged Flagon Fix.esp

ELFX - Exteriors FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Choose only 'one' Main File.


Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

ELFX - Exteriors.esp

21-Post-Processing

Those installing this ModGroup should choose the ENB version.

Static Mesh improvement Mod - SMIM - Quality AddonLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Static Mesh Improvement Mod Improvement ModLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Static Mesh Improvement Mod Improvement Mod
  • Optional
    • Meshes
      • ☑ Hawk
    • Textures
      • ☐ Apples
        • Next
  • Patches
    • Mods
      • ☐ Dynamic Things Alternative
      • ☐ Real Rabbits HD
      • ☐ Wiseman's Flora Fixes
      • ☑ SMIM Quality Add-On
        • Install
Assorted mesh fixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unofficial Material FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Majestic MountainsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File of preference
    • Step Recommends Lightside for best matching textures with the Guide.
  2. Install the Update File and merge into the main file.
  3. Install the DynDoLod V 3.0 Lod pack (all versions) from Optional Files
Main File
FOMOD Instructions
Majestic Mountains Lightside
    • Required
      • ☑ Main files
    • Landscape ESM
      • ◉ AE version
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Moss Rocks ESL Version
    • Sun Direction (choose one or none)
      • ◉ None
        • Next
    • Final Notes
      • ☑ Load order and notes
        • Install
Optional File

Install the Optional File by choosing to [Merge] when prompted

FOMOD Instructions
Majestic Mountains DynDoLod 3 Pack
  • Step 1
    • Lod Meshes
      • ☑ Lod Meshes
    • LOD Textures
      • ◉ Lightside
      • choose the option matching the Main File used
        • Install
Majestic Mountains - Patch for Dynamic Volumetric Lighting and Sun ShadowsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Flickering Meshes FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Flickering Meshes Fix
  • Main Cities
    • Riften
      • ◉ No parallax version
    • Solitude
      • ◉ No parallax version
    • Whitrun
      • ◉ No parallax version
    • Markarth
      • ◉ No parallax version
    • Windhelm
      • ◉ No parallax version
        • Next
  • Towns and Villages
    • Whiterun and Windhelm Hold's farmhouses
      • ◉ None
    • Solitude Hold's farmhouses
      • ◉ None
    • Markarth Hold's farmhouses
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Choices
    • Select what you are using
      • ☐ Bright Waterfall Fix for ENB
      • ☐ Icy Windhelm
      • ☑ ELFX Exteriors
      • ☑ Majestic Mountains
      • ☐ Riften Architectural Details
      • ☐ SMIM (not needed, untick)
      • ☑ Skyrim - A Mountainous Experience
      • ☐ Water for ENB
        • Install
Cathedral LandscapesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Please be aware this mod deviates to a degree from the vanilla style with respect to some landscape textures. However, we feel the benefits the mod brings far outweigh this drawback.
  1. Install the Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
Landscapes - Cathedral Concept
    • Select Install
      • ◉ Full Install, Brown Tundra
        • Next
    • Select Roads
      • ◉ Blended Roads
        • Install
  1. Install the LODGEN Textures for v3 optional file.
    • Don't merge this file! Install it separately! This file will be installed as a separate mod so that it can be activated for LOD generation later in the guide and deactivated after.
      Name the mod: (TEMP) Cathedral Landscapes - xLODGen.
Mesh Patch for Various ModsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the following, in the order listed, and Merge when asked:
  1. Skyrim Particle Patch for ENB - Assorted Mesh Fixes - Solitude Mesh Fixes Patch
  2. Unofficial Material Fix - Assorted Mesh Fixes Patch
  3. Skyrim Particle Patch for ENB - ELFX - Unofficial Material Fix Patch
  4. SMIM - Quality Addon - Unofficial Material Fix Patch
  5. Assorted Mesh Fixes - SMIM - Blended Roads Patch
RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K


05-Animation & Physics[edit]

Mods that affect animations or physics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
D13 Faster GET UP STAND UP AnimationLink to the mod's Wiki page. Loose
Dual Wield Improved Animation SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Ice skating fixed for real - No more attack sliding movementLink to the mod's Wiki page. Applies to 3rd-person play. Requires Nemesis.
Realistic Boat Bobbing SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File.
  2. Merge the RBB - SMIM Meshes miscellaneous file.
Run Sprint and Jump SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Stronger Swimming Animation SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
NOTE: Since the weapon styles features aren't used in the guide, only the meshes are needed and not the plugin. This avoids constant and relatively inefficient triggering of the associated scripts to improve game performance in some situations and reduce associated save-game bloat. If you wish to use these, leave the plugin enabled.

Install the Main File:

FOMOD Instructions
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special Extended
  • Skeleton
    • Meshes
      • ☑ Skeleton Meshes
      • ☑ Creature Meshes
    • Animation Rig Map
      • ◉ Physics Extensions
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Character Creation
      • ◉ Racemenu
        • Next
  • Character Creation
    • Weapon Style Randomizer for NPCs
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Animation Variants
    • Belt-Fastened Quivers
      • ◉ None
    • Dagger on Back
      • ◉ None
    • Dagger on Hip
      • ◉ None
    • Magic
      • ◉ None
    • Sword on Back
      • ◉ None
    • Sword on Hip
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • First Person Animation
    • Axe - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ☐ Axes on Back
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Mounted Combat Animation
    • Axe - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ☐ Axes on Back
    • Bow
      • ☐ Belt-fastened Quivers
    • Sword - Warning! Missing Sounds! Not compatible...!
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • The Joy of Perspective
      • ◉ None
    • Schlongs of Skyrim
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • Deadly Mutilation
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • Enderal
      • ◉ None
        • Install


The Step guide does not use the plugin, so hide it to disable (instructions for disabling plugins):

XPMSE.esp


06-Models & Textures[edit]

Mods that replace existing models or textures
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
3D Junipers - Trees and BerriesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
3D SnowberriesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
3D Snowberries HD Texture OptionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
8K Night Skies - Stars and GalaxiesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Night Skies - Vanilla Blue (8K) - CP
AMidianBorn Book of SilenceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download the following files:
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- ARMORS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- DRAGONBORN
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- UNIQUE ITEMS
  • aMidianBorn book of silence -- WEAPONS

Step recommends: Merge all files into single mod listing named aMidianBorn Book of Silence SE The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like replacements.

FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence ARMORS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Options
    • Iron and Banded
      • ◉ Iron - Vanilla Cut
    • Steel
      • ◉ Steel
    • Steel Plate
      • ☑ Steel Plate
    • Leather
      • ☑ Leather
    • Hide and Studded
      • ◉ Hide
    • Fur
      • ☑ Fur
    • Elven
      • ◉ Elven - Gold
    • Dwarven
      • ☑ Dwarven
    • Ancient Nord
      • ☑ Ancient Nord
    • Orcish
      • ◉ Orcish
    • Scaled
      • ◉ Scaled
    • Wolf
      • ◉ Wolf - Grey Fur
    • Glass
      • ◉ Glass - Golden
    • Ebony
      • ◉ Ebony - Black
    • Blades
      • ☑ Blades
    • Falmer
      • ☑ Falmer
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence DRAGONBORN
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Nordic Carved Armor
      • ◉ Black Fur (default)
    • Bonemold Armor
      • ☑ Bonemold Armor
    • Acolyte Masks
      • ☑ Acolyte Masks
    • Dragon Priest Acolytes
      • ☐ Dragon Priest Acolytes
    • Hulking Draugr
      • ☐ Hulking Draugr
    • 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
      • ☐ Dragon Priest Masks
        • Install
FOMOD Instructions
aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Install all weapons (default)
        • Install


Disable the following plugin installed with aMidianBorn Book of Silence WEAPONS (instructions for disabling plugins):

aMidianborn_Skyforge_Weapons.esp


Hide the following file installed with aMidianBorn Book of Silence - Armors (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures/clothes

AMidianBorn imperial light and studdedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
AMidianBorn stormcloak officer armourLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Arctic - Frost Effects ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Lite Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Arctic - Frost Effects Redux
  • Arctic Installation
    • Main Installation
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Arctic Add-ons
    • ENB Light Compatibility
      • ☑ ENB Light
        • Next
  • Arctic Texture Resolution
    • Resolution Options
      • ◉ 1x
        • Next
  • Arctic Frost Color
    • Color Options
      • ◉ Realistic Hue
        • Next
  • Arctic Icicles Size
    • Size Options
      • ◉ x.5
        • Next
  • Arctic Optional Plugin
    • Plugin Option
      • ◉ Frost Mesh Patch (ESL-Tagged)
        • Install
Armor and Clothing ExtensionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File. Merge the Armor and Clothing Extension - Spell Perk Item Distributor (SPID) Patch Optional File.
Armor Mesh Fixes SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File.
  2. Merge the Update File.
  3. Merge the Blades Helmet - aMidianBorn Patch optional file.
Barenziahs Glory SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1k Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Barenziah's Glory SE
  • Optional Textures
    • Crown Texture Options
      • ◉ Desaturated Crown Texture - 1k
    • Jewelrybox Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Jewelrybox Texture - 1k
    • Gem Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Gem Texture - dark
        • Install
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack RevampLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack Revamp
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom Install
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Bear (brown and black)
      • ◉ Bear Replacers
    • Chaurus
      • ◉ None
    • Chicken
      • ◉ Brown
    • Dog
      • ◉ Default HD
    • Deer
      • ☑ Deer replacers
    • Dragonfly
      • ☐ Dartwing replacers
    • Fox (Red)
      • ◉ Red
    • Fox (Arctic)
      • ◉ Arctic
    • Frostbite Spider (Brown)
      • ◉ None
    • Frostbite Spider (Arctic)
      • ◉ None
    • Goat
      • ◉ None
    • Hawk
      • ◉ None
    • Highland Cow
      • ◉ Orange
    • Horker
      • ◉ Grey
    • Install Horse Textures?
      • ◉ No
    • Install Mammoth Textures?
      • ◉ No
    • Install Skeever Textures?
      • ◉ Yes, mangy skeevers
        • Next
  • Skeevers
    • Skeever (Grey)
      • ◉ Dark Grey
    • Skeever (Arctic)
      • ◉ Grey Hooded
        • Next
  • More Custom Options
    • Mudcrab
      • ◉ None
    • Rabbit
      • ☑ Rabbit Replacer
    • Sabre Cat (Brown)
      • ◉ None
    • Sabre Cat (Arctic)
      • ◉ None
    • Wolf (Black)
      • ◉ Darker Black
    • Wolf (Ice)
      • ◉ White (Brown Eyes)
    • Wolf (Red)
      • ◉ Brown
    • Werewolf
      • ◉ Dark Grey
    • Werewolf Eyes
      • ◉ Normal Brown
        • Install
Better Dynamic Ash SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Dynamic Snow SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Better Dynamic Snow SE
  • Better Dynamic Snow SE - Plugins
    • Plugin Installation
      • ◉ Brighter Snow Materials
  • Better Dynamic Snow SE - Options
    • Projected Diffuse Textures
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Addons
      • ☐ No Glacier Snow
        • Install
Better Dyndolod Red Mountain PlumeLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Falmer Cave Ceiling GlowLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: BetterFalmerCaveCeilingGlow_Cyan
Blackreach Tentacle Mesh FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Blended RoadsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Blended Roads
    • Main Files
      • ◉ Blended Roads
    • SMIM Compatibility Patch
      • ◉ Blended Roads
        • Install


Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes\architecture\solitude\sbridge01.nif

Blue Palace Dome WindowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and merge the Optional File.
Book Covers SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Book Covers Skyrim SE - Desaturated
Book Covers Skyrim - Lost LibraryLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Book Covers Skyrim SE - Lost Library - Desaturated
Dark Brotherhood Tenets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Deadly Spell ImpactsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Deadly Spell Impacts
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Fire Spell Dependant Feature
      • ◉ One Fire Impact (Default)
        • Next
  • One
    • Fire
      • ◉ Default
    • Frost
      • ◉ Alternate 1
    • Lightning
      • ◉ Default
        • Install
Deathbell HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Detailed RugsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Detailing the Eldrich - Higher-Res Riekling ArchitectureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dragon Masks Retextured SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
DRAGON PRIESTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Dragon Priest by Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select One
      • ◉ Full (High suggested)
        • Install
Frankly HD Dragonbone and DragonscaleLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install the Main File. Merge the Update File.
Dragonbone MasteryLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2k/1k Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: Dragonbone Mastery - WITHOUT Engravings

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

FOMOD Instructions
Dragonbone Mastery - Weapons Retexture
  • Page 1
    • Main Weapon Texures
      • ◉ Darker Bone
        • Next
  • Page 2
    • Arrow Options
      • ◉ New Style Arrows
        • Next
  • Page 3
    • Scabbard Style
      • ◉ Full Length Scabbard
        • Next
  • Page 4
    • Full Sized Scabbard Texture Options
      • ◉ Traditional Design
    • Full Sized Scabbard Mesh Optional
      • ◉ Transparent Meshes
        • Install

The archive is missing is an empty "99 None" folder so click Install Anyway when prompted.

DRAUGRLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
DROPSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: Version 3

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes\effects\fxdrips01.nif meshes\effects\fxdrips01_more.nif meshes\effects\fxdrips01_more_wider.nif meshes\effects\fxdrips01tall.nif

EASIER LOCKPICKINGLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Elemental Staffs SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install the Main File. Step recommends: merging the Elemental Staffs SE Basic optional file.
ElSopa HD - Ants SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
ElSopa HD - Briar HeartLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Step recommends: ElSopa HD - Briarheart Red 1k
ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: 2K ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast
ElSopa - HD Keys SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
Embers XDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install Embers XD - Lite main file.
FOMOD Instructions
Embers XD - Lite
  • Flames and Lights Customization
    • Flames Style
      • ◉ Embers XD Flames (Orange/Red)
    • Particle Light Quality
      • ◉ High Quality
    • Particle Light Intensity
      • ◉ Normal
        • Next
  • Plugin Selection
    • Select One
      • ◉ Standard
        • Next
  • Add-On Selection
    • Select One
      • ☑ Install Fire Magick Add-On
    • Select One
      • ☑ Install Forges Add-On
    • Select One
      • ☑ Install Torches Add-On
    • Select One
      • ☑ Install Lava Craters Add-On
        • Next
  • Further Customization
    • Select Required
      • ☑ Disable Helgen Glow
      • ☑ Disabled Red Glow
      • ☑ Fuller Inn Firepit Fires
      • ☑ Less Flying Embers
      • ☑ No Torch Particle Light
      • ☐ Non-Sticky Torch Flame
      • ☐ Particle Light for Vanilla Torch
      • ☐ Reduced Embers Glow
      • ☑ Reduced Yellow Glow
      • ☐ Remove Snow
        • Next
  • Compatibility Patches
    • Select Required
      • ☐ Select Nothing (the Step CR patch covers Goldenhills)
        • Install
Enhanced Blood Textures SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install _Enhanced Blood Textures SE (LITE VERSION) main file.
  2. (Optional) Merge the No Screen Blood optional file.
    This will remove blood spatters from the screen.
Enhanced Vanilla Textures ShrinesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enhanced Vanilla Trees SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install one Main File of choice.

Then install and merge the corresponding Uprooted Stump * Fix update file.

Enhanced Vanilla Trees SE-Basic is the most vanilla-like experience, but all are vanilla 'friendly'. The images on the Step SE Nexus page show the Lush Trees version.

FOMOD Instructions
Enhanced Vanilla Trees SE
  • Preview
      • ☐ Introducing EVT
        • Next
  • Enhanced Vanilla Trees
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Mesh Tint Options
    • Choose Mesh Option
      • ◉ Default*
        • Next
  • Tree Options (doesn't apply to Basic)
    • Size applies to ALL trees
      • ◉ ...(small)*
        • Next
  • Additional Options
    • Vanilla Pine Branch Textures
      • ◉ SFO V1 (vanilla)*
    • Vanilla Snow Pine Branch Textures
      • ◉ Alternative Vanilla Snowy Branches*
    • Miscellaneous
      • ☑ Enhanced Tree Clutter*
      • ☑ Firewood*
      • ☐ Hi-Res Aspen Bark
      • ☑ SFO Aspen Branches*
        • Next
  • Alternative Trees
      • ☐ Realistic Aspen Trees
      • ☐ SFO Snowy Trees
        • Install
Aspens AblazeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File. The selections below are the most vanilla-like options, however, users can select options according to preferences:
FOMOD Instructions
Aspens Ablaze
  • Plugin Selection
    • Select One
      • ◉ Without Thickets
  • Size
    • Select One
      • ◉ Normal
  • Leaf Color
    • Select One
      • ◉ Autumnal
        • Next
  • LOD Assets
    • Select One
      • ☐ Install leave unticked
        • Install
Aspens Ablaze Add-On - DynDOLOD 3Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
If the instructions from Aspen Ablaze were followed as recommended, then install using the instructions below. Otherwise, install the version that matches the version and options selected when installing Aspen Ablaze.
FOMOD Instructions
Aspens Ablaze Add-On - DynDOLOD 3
  • Quality/Performance Options
    • Select One
      • ◉ Performance
        • Next
  • Size
    • Select One
      • ◉ Normal
        • Next
  • Leaf Color
    • Select One
      • ◉ Autumnal
        • Install
ETHEREAL CLOUDS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
FALMERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Fixed Mesh LightingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File using the instructions below.
  2. Merge the Fixed Mesh Lighting - Creation Club Backpack update file.
FOMOD Instructions
Fixed Mesh Lighting
  • Main
    • Main
      • ☐ All in one
      • ◉ Modular
        • Next
  • Modular
    • Main
      • ☑ Flora
      • ☐ Trees
      • ☑ Ice
      • ☑ Creatures
        • Next
  • Flora
    • Main
      • ◉ Vanilla Flora
    • Patches
      • ☑ Assorted Mesh Fixes
      • ☐ Immersive Fort Dawnguard
      • ☐ More Growable Plants
      • ☐ Renthal Flora Collection
      • ☐ Shrubs of Snow
      • ☐ Simply Bigger Plants
      • ☐ Skyrim 2020 by Pfuscher
      • ☐ Wiseman's Flora Fixes
      • ☐ Woodland
    • Beyond Skyrim
      • ☐ Beyond Skyrim : Bruma
    • JK's Skyrim
      • ☐ JK's Skyrim
    • Depths of Skyrim
      • ☐ Depths of Skyrim
    • New Plants
      • ☐ Unique Flower and Plants
    • Mountain Flowers
      • ☐ 3D Mountain Flowers
    • Snowberries
      • ◉ 3D Snowberries
    • Juniper
      • ◉ 3D Juniper
    • Tundra Cotton
      • ☐ Tundra Cotton by Mari
    • Jazbay
      • ◉ None
    • Creep Cluster
      • ☐ Creep Cluster by Mari
    • Soul Husk
      • ☐ High Ploy Soul Husks
    • Canticle Tree
      • ☐ High Ploy Canticle Tree
        • Next
  • Ice
    • Main
      • ☑ Ice
    • Patches
      • ☑ Arctic
      • ☐ Beyond Skyrim : Bruma
      • ☐ Capital Windhelm Expansion
      • ☐ Dlizzio's Mesh Fixes
      • ☑ Landscape And Water Fixes
      • ☑ Unofficial Material Fix
    • Ice Replacer
      • ☐ Glacierslab
      • ☐ Glacierslab Bumpy Chiseled
      • ☐ Northern Ice
      • ☐ Northern Ice without Ice Floes
      • ☐ Real Ice and Snow
      • ☐ Remastered Glaciers and Ice
        • Next
  • Creatures
    • Main
      • ☑ Creatures
    • Patches
      • ☐ Bears of the North
      • ☐ Bears of the North - COTN Winterhold
      • ☐ Beyond Skyrim : Bruma
      • ☐ Cities of the North - Winterhold
      • ☐ Dawn of Skyrim
      • ☐ Dynamic Things Alternative
      • ☐ Expanded Towns and Cities
      • ☐ Grahl
      • ☐ HD Goat
      • ☐ HD Highlandcow
      • ☐ HD Skeever
      • ☐ Savage Skyrim
      • ☐ Skeleton Replacer HD
      • ☐ SkyTEST
      • ☐ TESO Imports
      • ☐ Uderfrykte
      • ☐ Unique Barbas
        • Next
  • Other
    • Bee Hives
      • ◉ Vanilla
    • Hagraven
      • ☑ Vanilla
      • ☐ Dynamic Things Alternative
      • ☑ Static Mesh Improvement Mod Improvement Mod
      • ☑ Unofficial Material Fix
    • Potions
      • ☑ Vanilla
      • ☐ High Poly Project
      • ☐ Pretty Animated Potions
      • ☑ Rustic Animated Potions
    • Rag
      • ☑ Vanilla
    • Effects
      • ☑ Vanilla
        • Install

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes/plants/floralavender01.nif

Cathedral - 3D LavenderLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Cathedral - 3D Lavender - Vanilla Size main file.
FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
21-Post-processing

Those installing this ModGroup should also install the Footprints - ENB optional file. Merge when prompted.

Frankly HD Thieves Guild ArmorsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Frankly HD Thieves Guild Armors
  • Texture Resolution
    • Options
      • ◉ 2K Resolution
        • Install
Gemling Queen Jewelry SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Gemling Queen Jewelry SE
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ☑ Amulets
      • ☑ Circlets
      • ☑ Rings
    • DLC Addons
      • ☑ Dawnguard Addon
      • ☐ Dawnguard Addon - Unobtainable Items
        • Next
  • Amulet Textures
    • Amulet Textures Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Amulet Textures - 1024
        • Next
  • Ring Textures
    • Ring Texture Options
      • ◉ Gamwich Ring Textures -Combined - 1k
    • Optional Mesh Packs
      • ◉ None
    • Optional Mesh Packs Dawnguard
      • ☐ Vampire Beast Blood Ring Left Hand
        • Install


Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

GQJ_DG_vampireamuletfix.esp

GIANTLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Glacier LOD MeshesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install ONLY the Glacier LOD Meshes Main File.
HAGRAVENLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Hardy HaresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Dark brotherhood doorLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: No glowing eyes version. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
HD Executioners Block SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Darker Dried Blood version
HD MiscLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
HD PondfishLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Reworked HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K
HD Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install a Main File. Merge both Optional Files.
HD Stone Quarry and Clay DepositLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install one of the Main Files. Step recommends: ...2K
  2. Merge the Majestic Mountain Patch from Optional Files
    Select the option corresponding to the version chosen for Majestic Mountains. If the Step recommendations were followed, choose Lightside.
High-Res Dartwing TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page.
High Hrothgar FixedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the High Hrothgar Fixed main file. Merge the High Hrothgar Fixed - ELFX Patch optional file.
High Quality Food and Ingredients SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
High Quality Food and Ingredients SE
  • High Quality Food and Ingredients SE
    • Select One
      • ◉ Custom
        • Next
  • Pick and Choose
    • Select all you want
      • ☑ Baked Potatoes
      • ☑ Boiled Creme Treat
      • ☑ Bone Meal
      • ☑ Bread
      • ☐ Cabbage
      • ☑ Carrots
      • ☑ Charred Skeever Hide and Meat
      • ☑ Chicken Breast
      • ☐ Chicken
      • ☐ Cooked Beef
      • ☑ Dead Hare
      • ☑ Dead Pheasant
      • ☐ Elder Cheese
      • ☑ Garlic
      • ☐ Goat Cheese
      • ☑ Green Apple
      • ☑ Grilled Chicken Breast
      • ☑ Grilled Leeks
      • ☑ Honey Nut Treat
      • ☑ Long Taffy Treat
      • ☑ Mead
      • ☑ Moon Sugar
      • ☑ Mora Tapinella
      • ☑ Pie
      • ☑ Potatoes
      • ☑ Powdered Mannoth Tusk
      • ☑ Raw Beef
      • ☑ Red Apple
      • ☑ Salmon Meat
      • ☐ Salmon
      • ☑ Salmon Steak
      • ☑ Salt Pile
      • ☑ Scaly Photiota
      • ☑ Seared Slaughterfish
      • ☑ Slaughterfish Scales
      • ☑ Sweet Roll
      • ☐ Venison Chop
      • ☑ Venison
      • ☑ Void Salts
        • Next
  • Please Read
    • Finish
      • ☑ Confirm
        • Install
Highland Cows More Wooly - Cut Content RestorationLink 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. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files (instructions for hiding files/folders):

Textures/Plants/FloraNirnroot01.dds Textures/Plants/MountainFloweringPurple.dds Textures/Plants/MountainFloweringPurple_n.dds Textures/Plants/Snowberry01.dds Textures/Plants/SnowberrySnow01.dds Textures/Plants/TundraCotton01.dds

Iconics Real HayLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Alt
Iconic's Remastered Paragon GemsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Iconic's Remastered Paragon Gems
  • Size
    • Texture Sizes
      • ◉ 2K
        • Next
  • Metal Options
    • Choose Metal Color
      • ◉ Gold
        • Install


Hide the following file (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes\dlc01\clutter\animated\portalgem01\portalgemstand01.nif

Immersive DragonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive SmilodonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved closefaced helmetsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved SparksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Grindstones - Vanilla Sparks and Impact Effects - Vanilla Sparks. Merge when asked.
Improved Weapon Impact EFFECTS Correct Metal SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Just IceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
LeanWolfs Better-Shaped Weapons SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the LeanWolfs Better-Shaped Weapons Installer v2.1.03 SE main file.
  • The instructions below are suggestions. Customize the options according to preferences.
  • If selecting Greatsword Sheaths on page 2A or Orcish Greatsword Sheath on page 2B, merge LWs BSW Orcish Greatsword inventory fix - sheath update file after installing the main file.
21-Post-Processing

Ignore the ENB options. They will be provided by ENB Light for those installing the 21-Post-Processing ModGroup.

FOMOD Instructions
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons SE
  • Step 1
    • All or Custom
      • ◉ Install everything (default)
        • Next
  • Step 2A All
    • Sheath Options
      • ☑ Onehanded Sheaths
      • ☑ Greatsword Sheaths
        • Next
  • Step 3 Variants and Patches
    • Patches
      • ☐ FrankFamily HD Imperial Armor and Weapons
      • ☐ FrankFamily Ultra HD Silver Sword
      • ☐ Scimitar Bling
      • ☑ Keening with Refraction
      • ☐ Runed Nord Hero Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 4 Glass
    • Patches
      • ◉ Refractive Glass Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 5 Stalhrim
    • Patches
      • ◉ Stalhrim with Refraction
        • Next
  • Step 6A Dawnbreaker Sheath
    • Patches
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker Sheath Dwarf
        • Next
  • Step 6b Dawnbreaker ENB
    • Patches
      • ◉ Dawnbreaker No ENB
        • Next
  • Step 7 Dragonbone
    • Patches
      • ◉ DragonBoring Weapons
        • Next
  • Step 8 Dual Sheath
    • Patches
      • ◉ No Dual Sheath
        • Install
LeanWolfs Improved Enchanter Candle Meshes SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
MAMMOTHLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Markarth - A Reflective ExperienceLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Masque of Argonian Vile SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Metallurgy - Ingots and Ore HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Step recommends: Metallurgy - Ingots Ore and Veins HD 1K (LOOSE) main file.
Nightingale Prime HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. Leather This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Northfires Skidmarks SE 2K-4KLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install the Main File of choice. Merge the Optional File.
N-R HD Display CaseLink to the mod's Wiki page. Clear Glass
Obsidian Mountain Fogs TweakedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install either the the Reduced 10% or Reduced 20% Main File.
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Quality CubeMaps - HD Cube MapsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Download the main file. Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures/armor/ebonymail/f/chitin_e_ebony.dds textures/armor/ebonymail/m/chitin_e_ebony.dds textures/cubemaps/chitin_e_ebony.dds textures/cubemaps/ore_obsidian_e.dds

Rallys Hanging MossLink to the mod's Wiki page. Desaturated
Rallys Hooks and SawsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Only Install the Rallys Hooks and Saws file.
FOMOD Instructions
Rally's Hooks and Saws
  • Step 1
    • Rally's Hooks and Saws
      • ◉ Rusty
        • Install
Rallys InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Rally's Instruments
  • Step 1
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Rally's Instruments
        • Next
  • Step 2
    • Rally's Instruments
      • ◉ Version 2 New Vanilla
    • Optional
      • ☐ Blank Lute
      • ☐ Blank Lute 1K
        • Install
Real Wood Textures - FarmhousesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.


Install the Real Wood Textures - Farmhouses No Green Moss Version optional file.

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

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures/architecture/farmhouse/StoneWall01.dds textures/architecture/farmhouse/StoneWall01_n.dds

Realistic HD Baskets RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic HD Pickaxe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic HD Woodcutters Axe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Water Two SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Realistic Water Two SE
  • Core Files
    • Core
      • ☑ Core Files
        • Next
  • Mod Options
    • Optional Textures
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Watercolors
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Mod Patches
    • Optional Patches
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Install
Remove Small RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Remove Small Rocks v1.1 - High Compatibility main file.
Retexture for Bread - HearthfireLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Retexture for SoupLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.

Install SMIM Mesh - Poor Version.

Ruins Clutter ImprovedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Ruins_Clutter_Improved SE main file.
  2. Merge Ruins Clutter Improved Subliminal Traps optional file.

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes/furniture/workbenches meshes/furniture/enchantingworkbench.nif meshes/furniture/enchantingworkstation.nif meshes/loadscreenart/loadscreenenchantingworkbench.nif textures/clutter/candles

RUSTIC AMULETS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RUSTIC ANIMATED POTIONS and POISONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
Install a Main File, and Step recommends: SSE Meshes Update File. Merge when asked.

Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

  1. Once installed, double-click the mod in MO to bring up Mod Information window
  2. Select the Conflicts tab
  3. At the top on the Winning file conflicts:' filter at top right, type Fixed Mesh Lighting
  4. Select all lines in the filtered Winning file conflicts: pane
  5. Right-click on any selected file and select Hide
RUSTIC ARMOR and WEAPONS SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC AZURAS STAR - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC COOKING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following file (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes/_byoh/furniture/ovenmarker.nif

RUSTIC DAEDRA - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DAEDRA SSE - VANILLA - 2K optional file.
RUSTIC DEATH HOUND and GARGOYLE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: RUSTIC DEATH HOUND AND GARGOYLE SSE - DARK - 2K main file.
RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC DRAGONS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Reduced Step recommends: RUSTIC DRAGONS SE - Reduced main file.
RUSTIC ELDERSCROLL - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC FROSTBITE SPIDER - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
RUSTIC RELIEFSLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures/architecture/windhelm/500wall.dds textures/architecture/windhelm/500wall_n.dds textures/clutter/birthsign*.dds (disable all of these, 39 files) textures/dungeons/nordic (entire folder) textures/dungeons/mossdirtpile01.dds textures/dungeons/mossdirtpile01_n.dds textures/dungeons/ridgedstone*.dds (disable all of these, 6 files) textures/dungeons/scrollworktrim01.dds textures/dungeons/scrollworktrim01_n.dds

RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
Install the RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special Edition - FOMOD - English Only main file.
FOMOD Instructions
RUSTIC SOUL GEMS
  • Step 1 - Texture Resolution
    • Choose your texture resolution
      • ◉ 1k Textures
        • Next
  • Step 2 - Plugin
    • Select your plugin
      • ◉ Sorted + ESL + GIST Patch
        • Install
RUSTIC SPRIGGAN - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Install one Main File of choice. Merge the Optional File.
RUSTIC WINDOWS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
SABRECATLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
SABRECAT by Kajuan
  • PLEASE SELECT AT LEAST ONE
      • ☑ Install the Sabrecat and Sabrecat Snow
      • ☑ Install the Valecat
        • Install
Security Overhaul SKSE - Lock VariationsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Security Overhaul SKSE - Lock Variations
  • Main
    • Textures
      • ◉ 2K
    • DLL
      • ◉ SSSE v1.6+ ("AE")
        • Install
Security Overhaul SKSE - Add-onsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Security Overhaul SKSE - Add-ons
  • Main
    • Textures
      • ◉ 2K Textures
        • Install
Security Overhaul SKSE - Gems Patch - The Cause Chests SecuredLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File using the instructions below
  2. Merge the Miscellaneous File
FOMOD Instructions
Security Overhaul SKSE - Gems Patch - The Cause Chests Secured
  • Step 1
    • Options
      • ☑ Rielle Secured
      • ☑ Gem Patch
        • Next
  • Step 2
    • Textures
      • ◉ 2K Textures
        • Install
Security Overhaul SKSE - Regional LocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Security Overhaul SKSE - Regional Locks
  • Main
    • Textures
      • ◉ 2K Textures
        • Install
Security Overhaul SKSE - Some More LocksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Security Overhaul SKSE - Some More Locks
  • Main
    • Main
      • ☑ Some More Locks
        • Next
  • Select Patches
    • Strongbox
      • ☐ East Empire Strongbox Logo
      • ☐ Strongbox Replacer
        • Next
  • Optionals
    • Optionals
      • ☑ Jail Door With Hinges
      • ☐ Smaller Locks
        • Install
Soul-Cairn Objects SecuredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
SKELETONLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Skeleton and Human Bones by Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select one
      • ◉ Skin, clutter without sounds
        • Install
Skygazer Moons SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. No Glow
Skyrim - A Mountainous ExperienceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following files/folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

meshes\architecture\solitude\smuseleum.nif meshes\Landscape\unique\markarthcliff02.nif meshes\Landscape\unique\markarthcliff03.nif meshes\Landscape\unique\markarthcliff04.nif

Majestic Mountains - More Accurate CollisionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File and the AME patch from Optional Files.
Skyrim Redesigned WIPLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.


Install the FOMOD version.

FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim Redesigned
  • Main Modules
    • Main Modules
      • ◉ S.T.E.P. Recommended Textures
        • Install
Skyrim SE Improved PuddlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Skyrim SE Improved Puddles FOMOD for Non-ENB users miscellaneous file.
FOMOD Instructions
Skyrim SE Improved Puddles
  • Options
    • Windhelm Ice Puddle Textures
      • ◉ 1024x1024 Resolution
    • Choose an ESP
      • ☑ Skyrim Special Edition (all DLCs)
        • Install
21-Post-Processing

Install the Skyrim SE Improved Puddles FOMOD vXX for ENB users main file using the same FOMOD instructions above.

Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
The instructions below are for the most vanilla-like experience. Users may customize their installations to their preference.
FOMOD Instructions
SSIRT v4.1
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ◉ Please Read
        • Next
  • Background
    • Background
      • ◉ Background - Default Stars - HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Perk Lines
    • Perk Lines
      • ◉ Perk Lines - Option 1
        • Next
  • Perk Line Colours
    • Perk Line Colours
      • ◉ Perk Line Colour - Default
        • Next
  • Constellations
    • Constellations
      • ◉ Constellations - HD Default
        • Next
  • Perk Stars
    • Perk Stars
      • ◉ Perk Stars - Enhanced Default
        • Next
  • Dawnguard Moons and Stars
    • Dawnguard Moons and Stars
      • ◉ HD Masser and Secunda Vanilla Stars
        • Next
  • Vampire Background
    • Vampire Nebula Background
      • ◉ HDR Nebula
        • Next
  • Thanks
    • Thanks
      • ☑ Thank You
        • Install
Smooth Sky Mesh - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Only install this mod if 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup will not be installed!
SSE - Skyrim Sun EnhancedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the SSE - No lens flare main file.
Stalhrim SourceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
Superior Chaurus - 4k RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Superior Chaurus 4K
  • Introduction
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Next
        • Next
  • Diffuse 4K - 2K
    • Diffuse Maps
      • ☑ 4K - 2K Diffuse Maps
        • Next
  • Normal Maps
    • NormalMaps
      • ◉ 2K Normal Maps
        • Install
Superior Mudcrab - 4k RetextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K/1K Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File:
FOMOD Instructions
Mudcrab 4K FOMOD Installer
  • Introduction
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Next
        • Next
  • Diffuse Maps
    • Diffuse Maps
      • ☑ 4K Diffuse Maps
        • Next
    • Normal Maps
      • ◉ 2K Normal Maps
        • Install


Merge the performance/quality option, if applicable. Step recommends: Mudcrab 2K2K - Creatures optional file.

Sweet MotherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Step recommends: Sweet Mother HD. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak SE
  • Installation Options
    • Plugins
      • ☑ Main File
    • Texture Sizes
      • ◉ High Definition
    • Model Options
      • ◉ Soul Cairn
        • Install
TROLLLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Troll by Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select one
      • ☑ Default
        • Install
Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss RevisedLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Yellow Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.

STEP Recommends:

  • Main File: Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised - yellow 1024
  • Optional File: SMIM compatibility patch

To install the Optional File:

  1. During installation right-click on the first Data folder listed under the root "data" folder.
  2. Select [Set data directory]
  3. Click [OK] to finish installation and choose to merge it.
WEBS S.E.Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
White Phial Replacer SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install White Phial Replacer SE main file. Step recommends: White Phial Replacer 0.5x size optional file.
Whiterun Mesh FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Whiterun Skyforge - ReforgedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Whiterun Skyforge - Reforged - No ENB Lights or Glow main file.
21-Post-Processing

Consider installing the 'Whiterun Skyforge - Reforged main file, which adds glowing eyes and ENBSeries Complex Particle Lights.

Whiterun Trellis Redesigned SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K
WISPMOTHERLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Wispmother.by.Kajuan
  • Custom
    • Select One
      • ◉ Full version - skin with a linen fabric cloth
        • Install


07-Sounds & Music[edit]

Mods that affect sounds or music
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install Audio Overhaul Skyrim (x.x.x) main file. Do not use any of the "Patches" options, sice the Step patches account for all that's needed.
Better Animal FootstepsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
FOMOD Instructions
Better Animal Footsteps
  • Custom
    • Select on option
      • ◉ Install all of the footstep sounds
        • Next
  • Custom
    • Optional Pets of Skyrim patch
      • ☐ Pets of Skyrim - cats
        • Install
Better Horse Pain SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Dragons Shout with VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.


Install the Dragons Shout with Voice - LOOSE main file.

The Optional File, Dragons Shout with Voice from location, enables the voices to sound as if they're playing from the dragon's location. Without this option, the voices will sound as if they're playing right next to the player. Users can install this Optional File, however, it requires converting the plugin using the SkyrimSE Creation Kit. Porting mods is not covered within the scope of any Step Game Guides. Users with the knowledge to do so may follow Step's general guide for converting SkyrimLE mods to SkyrimSE.

Guard Dialogue Overhaul - UHDAP PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Heart of the BeastLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.

Step recommends: Feral Werewolf sounds - HIGH AGGRESSION

IHSS - Improved Horse Step SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lower Sounding Thieves Guild DoorLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Realistic wolf howlsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.

Step recommends: Realistic Wolf Howls more barks than howls

Sound Hammering SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Thundering ShoutsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step Recommends: Thundering Shouts main file.
Ultra Realistic Bow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Ultra Realistic Crossbow Shoot SoundsLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.


08-Character Appearance[edit]

Mods that affect the appearance of the player character or NPCs
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
BeardsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Beards
  • Choose options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 1024
        • Install
BrowsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Brows
  • Choose options
    • Choose full or vanilla replacer
      • ◉ Full install
    • Choose resolution
      • ◉ Low: 512
        • Install
Consistent Older PeopleLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Consistent Older People XX Loose optional file
CoverkhajiitsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step Recommends: CoverKhajiits 2K main file
FAR - Forgotten Argonian RootsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
Install the 2K Main File if possible, but if it's still corrupt, use the 4K version.
FOMOD Instructions
FAR - Forgotten Argonian Roots
  • FAR - Main
      • ☑ Males
      • ☑ Females
        • Next
  • FAR - Males
    • Choose your body type
      • ◉ Better Males Body
        • Next
  • FAR - Females 1
    • Choose your body type
      • ◉ Vanilla Body
        • Next
  • FAR - Females 2 - Vanilla Body
    • Optional Patterns
      • ☑ None
        • Install
{{{1}}}
Female Vampires Have FangsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lore Corrected RacesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lucien Lachance AELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Lucien Lachance Restored - Immersive Spectral Assassin
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☑ Introduction
        • Next
  • Pick a version
    • Version
      • ◉ Alternative
        • Install
More Realistic HairLink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.
Natural Eyes SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Low Res Detailed Instructions available
The SSE version of this mod was hidden, so the LE version is linked instead. There is no difference, since these are only textures.
Northborn ScarsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple ChildrenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File using the instructions below. Merge the Update File, selecting the textures of choice.

NOTE: This mod relies on meshes from TK Children, which will be installed later.

FOMOD Instructions
Simple Children
    • Vanilla or USSEP?
      • ◉ USSEP
    • Required
      • ☑ Base Data
        • Next
    • Texture Choices
      • ◉ Paler Eye Area
        • Install

This mod's plugin should be cleaned, as it contains an old USSEP forward that will result in the game freezing otherwise.

  1. Load the FacegenForKids.esp in xEdit.
  2. Locate record: 00014132 and select it.
  3. Scroll down to Packages(aligned).
  4. On the FacegenForKids column, there will be one package listed that reads: [xxxxxxxx]< Error: Could not be resolved >.
  5. Right-click on this listing and select Remove.
  6. Close xEdit, saving the edited plugin when prompted.

Reference:
SimpleChildrenRef01.png

Superior Lore-Friendly HairLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Detailed Instructions available
This is a SkyrimLE mod, and the MO warning indicator in the left pane can be ignored.

Step recommends: SLF Hair - Rough Hair - Lite 1K

Tempered Skins for Females - UNPLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mod page and installer!

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

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

FOMOD Instructions
Tempered Skins for Females
  • A - Body type
    • Body type
      • ◉ A7 - Bikini type IV
        • Next
  • B - Body diffuse options
    • Body diffuse options
      • ◉ B09 - Dirty, hairy, no scars
        • Next
  • C - Body normal options
    • Body normal options
      • ◉ C2 - Fit
        • Next
  • D - Face diffuse options
    • Face diffuse options
      • ◉ D2 - Elder
        • Next
  • E - Face normal options
    • Face normal options
      • ◉ E2 - Rougher
        • Next
  • F - Facemarks, scars (not necessary)
    • Scars
      • ☐ F1 - Female Scars by Xenius
    • Female tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
    • Male tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
    • Beast tintmasks by Xenius
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Warning
    • Attention
      • ☑ I got it
        • Install
Tempered Skins for MalesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This is a Not Safe For Work (NSFW) mod page and installer!

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

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

FOMOD Instructions
Tempered Skins for Males
  • A - Main Files
      • ◉ A1 - Vanilla underwear
        • Next
  • B - Body diffuse options
      • ◉ B6 - Dirty light haired
        • Next
  • C - Body normal options
      • ◉ C1 - Ripped
        • Next
  • D - Face diffuse options
      • ◉ D2 - Elder
        • Next
  • E - Face normal options
      • ◉ E2 - Harsh
        • Next
  • F - Facemarks, scars (not necessary)
    • Scars
      • ☐ F1 - Male Scars by Xenius
    • Male tintmasks
      • ◉ None
    • Beast tintmasks
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Warning)
    • Attention
      • ☑ I got it
        • Install


Hide the following files (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures/actors/character/argonianmale (entire folder) textures/actors/character/khajiitmale/khajiitmalehead_s.dds textures/actors/character/male/maleunderwear.dds textures/actors/character/male/maleunderwear_n.dds textures/armor/briarheart/briarheart.dds textures/armor/briarheart/briarheart_n.dds

TK Children SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File. When installing the FOMOD, use the default options, since all but the TRI meshes will be disabled as indicated below.

Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

TKChildren.esm TKChildren.esp

Hide the following folders (instructions for hiding files/folders):

Textures Meshes/Actors/character/facegendata Meshes/Actors/character/TKChildren

Vanilla Body with UNP TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Vanilla Makeup HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Step recommends: VMHD - All Races - 2K main file. Merge Update File matching the quality chosen for the Main File.
Vanilla Warpaints AbsolutionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Vanilla Warpaints Absolution
  • Main Files
    • Vanilla Replacers
      • ◉ 2K Vanilla Replacers
    • RaceMenu Plugins
      • ◉ 2K RaceMenu All-In-One
        • Next
  • Variant Textures
    • Vanilla Variants General Watercolor
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Wood Elves Muddy
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Dark Elf Ashy
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Khajiit Stripes Furry
      • ◉ 2K Furry
    • Vanilla Variants Nord Splattered
      • ◉ None
    • Vanilla Variants Argonian Scaley
      • ◉ 2K Scaley
    • RaceMenu Variants General Watercolor
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Wood Elves Muddy
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Dark Elf Ashy
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Khajiit Stripes Furry
      • ◉ 2K Furry
    • RaceMenu Variants Nord Splattered
      • ◉ None
    • RaceMenu Variants Argonian Scaley
      • ◉ 2K Scaley
        • Next
  • Other Files
    • SKSE Tintmask Configs
      • ◉ None
        • Install


09-Fixes[edit]

Mods have a programmatic component that fixes various bugs and/or inconsistencies
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Battle-Ready Candlelight FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Bug Fixes SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Butterflies Land TrueLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Butterflies Land True - ESPFE Alternate Version optional file
Critters Aint SnitchesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Eye Normal Map Fix SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Step recommends: Eye Normal Map Fix SSE BC7 optional file
Fix Note Icon for SkyUI (SKSE64 plugin)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Install the FixNotesForSkyUI Skyrim AE main file.
Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. Merge the Optional File.
Hearthfires Houses Building FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Hunters Not BanditsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
I'm Walkin' HereLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Invisibility and Eyes Mesh FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Invisibility and Eyes Mesh Fix Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Invisibility and Eyes Mesh Fix by HHaleyy
  • Custom
    • Installation Options
      • ☑ Eyes Mesh Fix
      • ☑ Bug Fix Spell
        • Install
Labyrinthian Shalidor's Maze FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
NPC AI Process Position Fix - NGLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
NPC AI Process Position Fix - NG
  • Files
    • Plugin
      • ☑ DLL and INI file
    • Patches
      • ◉ AI Overhaul
        • Install
Powerofthrees TweaksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the powerofthree's Tweaks AE main file. If installing for the first time or reinstalling, merge the Optional File.
Scrambled BugsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
In ScrambledBugs.json, ensure the following are set:

"equipBestAmmo": true

NOTE: "Reequipping the Quiver/Bolt" set to 1 in Unequip Quiver SE MCM negates equipBestAmmo=true. A value of 2 for this MCM setting is redundant with equipBestAmmo=true, and a value of 0 for this MCM setting does not conflict with equipBestAmmo=true.

Shadows Of Sunlight - In Small Exterior World SpacesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Project Optimization SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Skyrim SE - Project Optimization - ESL VERSION.
SPID for FootprintsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unlimited BookshelvesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unnecessarily Fixed Fixed Dragon Stalking FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Waterbreathing Breathless Emerge SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install Waterbreathing Breathless Emerge USSEP optional file.


10-Gameplay-General[edit]

Mods that affect general or multiple gameplay mechanics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Complete Alchemy and Cooking OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This mod makes large changes the alchemy and cooking systems!

Since the changes of this mod are so widespread and may not always be vanilla-friendly, its installation has been made optional. Step recommends its installation and for those that do a separate patch is provided within the Step Patches mod.

Installation
  1. Install the Main File
  2. Merge CACO SKSE 2.2.3 DLL Update (Steam AE 1.6.640) update file
  3. Merge Temporary Patch for Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered update file
  4. Merge CACO Cleaned Textures optional file
  5. Merge True Fortify Effects for Magic Skills optional file

The file has a misnamed texture. Rename textures\ccor\plants\imp45\ironwood_n.dds to textures\ccor\plants\imp45\ironwood01_n.dds

Complete Crafting Overhaul RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This mod makes large, non-vanilla changes to armor, item, and weapon stats!

A minor subset of these changes are forwarded into the Step patches for consistency. To keep it simple for the user, this mod is optional and is not required by the Step patches; nevertheless, Step recommends that these changes be removed from the Step patches by experienced users if this mod isn't installed, because a minor subset of this mod's changes are forced by the Step patches.

Installation

Install the main file.

GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File only.
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Detailed Instructions available
This mod makes large, non-vanilla changes to armor, item, and weapon stats!

A minor subset of these changes are forwarded into the Step patches for consistency. To keep it simple for the user, this mod is optional and is not required by the Step patches; nevertheless, Step recommends that these changes be removed from the Step patches by experienced users if this mod isn't installed, because a minor subset of this mod's changes are forced by the Step patches.

Installation

Install the Main File.

FOMOD Instructions
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes
  • Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes
    • Main File
      • ☑ WACCF
        • Next
  • Textures
    • Texture Resolution
      • ◉ 2K (default)
        • Next
  • Orcish Weapons
    • Patches
      • ◉ None
    • Bashed Patch
      • ☐ WACCF_BashedPatchLvlListFix.esp
        • Next
  • Options
    • Optional Files
      • ☐ Select Nothing
        • Next
  • Documentation
    • Documentation
      • ☑ Documentation
    • Credits
      • ☑ Credits
        • Install


11-Gameplay-AI & Combat[edit]

Mods that affect AI, stats, or combat mechanics of NPCs
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
AI Overhaul SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
AI Overhaul SSE
  • Mod Options
    • Main .ESP Options
      • ◉ AI Overhaul 1.8 Scripted
        • Install
Better Stealth AI for FollowersLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Faction Fixes SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File only.
Follower Trap SafetyLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Ghosts Mechanics and Shaders RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic AI Detection SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the main file, Realistic AI Detection 3 - Medium Interior Medium Exterior.


Step's recommendation is based on the author's recommendation of using "Medium" for more realistic gameplay. Our testing supports the author's claim. Furthermore, "Medium Interior" is also ideal for use with Ambiance, which is a part of 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup.

Be aware that Step's recommendation will change gameplay around sneaking to some extent. Some may find the gameplay harder. Others state it's not necessarily harder, but more realistic. For an easier, more vanilla-like experience, install the Realistic AI Detection 3 - Lite main file.

Run For Your LivesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple Offence SuppressionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Simple Offence Suppression AE main file.
Spellbreaker Spell Reflection and Ward Visuals RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page. Step Recommends: EVE - Spellbreaker Spell Reflection and Ward Visuals Restored main file
Tavern AI fixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unequip Quiver SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Unequip Quiver SE
  • Step 1
    • Install Main Files
      • ☑ Main Files
        • Next
  • Step 2
    • Install MCM Support
      • ◉ Install MCM Support
        • Next
  • Step 3
    • Install other files
      • ☐ Changelog
        • Next
  • Step 4
      • ☑ Thanks for installing my mod :)
        • Install

NOTE: "Reequipping the Quiver/Bolt" set to 1 in this mod's MCM negates equipBestAmmo=true in Scrambled Bugs. A value of 2 for this MCM setting is redundant with equipBestAmmo=true, and a value of 0 for this MCM setting does not conflict with equipBestAmmo=true.


12-Gameplay-Economy[edit]

Mods that affect currency, rewards, values, rates, or any other economy-related mechanics
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Trade and BarterLink to the mod's Wiki page.


13-Gameplay-Immersion[edit]

Mods that help to improve game immersion and role-playing scenarios
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Butterflies UnchainedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Butterflies Unchained (ESL Version) main file.

Merge the Butterflies Unchained (ESL Version) - Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul Patch optional file.

Disease Descriptions for the Immersive Adventurer SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Disease Descriptions for the Immersive Adventurer
  • Options
    • Mod Patches
      • ☑ Skyrim AE or CC Survival Mode
      • ☐ Realistic Needs & Diseases
        • Install
Get SnowyLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.

Disable the following plugins (instructions for disabling plugins):

getSnowy_ObsidianWeathers_Patch.esp getSnowy_WnC-Ashes Patch.esp

21-Post-Processing

Ignore the Main File, and install the Optional File instead. Disable the plugins as instructed above.

Go On AheadLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Guard Dialogue Overhaul SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved TrapsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Improved Traps main file.

Merge the Improved Traps - Follower Safety Patch miscellaneous file.

Do not install Mining Makes Noise file!

No Lockpick Activate (SKSE) - UpdatedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Point The WayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Reasonable Movement SpeedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul LiteLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simple Drop Lit Torches SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Simplest HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Torches Ignite OilLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Torches Ignite Oil - Shock Edition main file.


14-Gameplay-Quests[edit]

Mods that alter aspects of quests and/or related lore
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Alternate Start - Live Another Life - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. The latest version is on AFK Mods. Nexus page does not receive updates.
At Your Own PaceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install and merge the following Main Files:
  • At Your Own Pace - College of Winterhold
  • At Your Own Pace - Companions
  • At Your Own Pace - Dark Brotherhood
  • At Your Own Pace - Main Quest
  • At Your Own Pace - Misc
Even Better Quest Objectives SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Even Better Quest Objectives SE
  • Mod Options
    • Mod Version
      • ◉ EBQO with USSEP
    • Optional Files
      • ☑ Dark Brotherhood Forever to Miscellaneous Quests
        • Next
  • Grouped Mod Patches
    • Book Patches
      • ◉ Book Covers Skyrim (by DanielCoffey)
    • Paarthurnax Patches
      • ◉ The Paarthurnax Dilemma (by Arthmoor)
        • Next
  • Individual Mod Patches
    • Available Patches
      • Only tick the following options
      • ☑ Alternative Start - Live Another Life by Arthmoor
      • ☑ Cutting Room Floor by Arthmoor
        • Install
Gildergreen RegrownLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Here We Go Again - World InteractionsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Here We Go Again - World Interactions
  • Here We Go Again
    • Here We Go Again
      • ◉ Vanilla quests
        • Install
Savos Aren's Regrets RestoredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
The Choice is YoursLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
This mod causes some vanilla quests to not start pending player interaction or until specific conditions are met.

Since these changes can confuse some users and may not always be vanilla-friendly, its installation has been made optional. Step recommends its installation and for those that do a separate patch is provided within the Step Patches mod.

Installation

Install the main file.

The Paarthurnax DilemmaLink to the mod's Wiki page. The latest version is on AFK Mods. Nexus page does not receive updates.
Thieves Guild Requirements SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. A new game is required, if upgrading from v4 to v5
Timing is Everything SELink to the mod's Wiki page.


15-Gameplay-Skills & Perks[edit]

Mods that affect the player character's or NPC skills and perks or related leveling
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Enemy REvolution of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
EEOS - Enemy Revolution of Skyrim
  • Introduction
    • Introduction
      • ☑ Introduction
  • Mod functions provided to NPCs
    • Vanilla Plugins:
      • ☐ Potions for NPCs
      • ☑ Shouts for NPCs
    • Plugins for Mods:
      • ☐ Select Nothing (do not select Odin)
    • Vampires Only:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
    • Werewolves Only:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
  • Optional
    • Hardcore Plugins:
      • ☐ Select Nothing
  • Last Words
    • Last Words
      • ☑ Last Words
        • Install
{{{1}}}
FIZZLELink to the mod's Wiki page. This is a 'realism' mod that departs slightly from vanilla. Spells will FAIL if PC/NPC is not skilled enough.
Lock OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Lock Overhaul main file.
Odin - Skyrim Magic OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page.
ODIN spells for NPCSLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the ODIN Spells For Spell Casters main file.
Smart NPC Potions - Enemies Use Potions and PoisonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Vokrii - Minimalistic Perks of SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. Merge the Odin - Vokrii Compatibility Patch optional file.
Vokrii Perks For NPCSLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Vokrii Perks For NPCS 50 main file.


16-Interface[edit]

Mods that affect any aspect of the user interface
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
A Clear Map of Skyrim and Other WorldsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
A Clear Map of Skyrim and Other Worlds FOMOD - PART 1
  • Options
    • Core Files
      • ☑ Core Files
    • DynDOLOD Rules
      • ◉ DynDOLOD 3
    • LOD Setup
      • ◉ With DynDOLOD LOD32
    • Other Worlds
      • ☐ Select nothing
    • Optional Components
      • ☑ Remove Clouds
  • Patches
    • Patches
      • ☑ Worldspace Transition Tweaks
        • Install

Also download the ACMOS Road Generator Tool - PART 2 and extract it to the Tools folder (e.g. ..\Modding\Tools\ACMOS Road Generator). It will be used later in the guide.

Atlas Map Markers SE - Updated with MCMLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better Container Controls for SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the BCC-SkyUI-ESL-v31 optional file.
Better Dialogue ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Better MessageBox ControlsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
CoMAP - Common Marker Addon ProjectLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File and the relevant Update Files if they exist.

This mod has several options and all are valid. For more immersive/mysterious gameplay,
Step recommends: Obscured Undiscovered HUD Markers (Diamond or Question Mark) and either of the Author's Cut Options

The most vanilla-friendly options are as follows:

FOMOD Instructions
CoMAP
  • Core files
    • CoMAP Core Pack
      • ◉ CoMAP 1.6.x (Post-AE)
    • Configs
      • ☑ CoMAP Config Pack
        • Next
  • Undiscovered Marker Options
    • Obscured Undiscovered Options
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Addons
    • Author's Cut Options
      • ◉ None
    • Khajiit Caravan Markers
      • ◉ None
    • Other Addons
      • ☑ Jorrvaskr Map Marker
        • Install
Configuration
  1. Double-click the mod in the left pane to open Mod Information
  2. Select the INI file from the [INI Files] tab.
  3. Make the following changes according to preference:

[Map] bObscuredUndiscovered=0 ; Set to '1' if a Obscured Undiscovered Option other than "None" was chosen fMarkerScale=0.75 [HUD] bObscuredUndiscovered=0 ; Set to '1' if a Obscured Undiscovered Option other than "None" was chosen

Convenient Reading UI - SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.

Merge the Font Overhaul Compatibility Patch optional file.

Configure INI

Step recommends using the default for the INI with a change to the 'Steal' font color if the book is not owned or free for the taking, but all INI settings should be adjusted according to user preference.

  1. Double click on the mod
  2. Select the INI Files tab and select Convenient Reading.ini
  3. Change the following, saving when complete

sBookStealTextColor=0xFF0000

Font Overhaul - Natural Typefaces for SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Font Overhaul - Natural Typefaces for Skyrim
  • Info
    • Info
      • ☑ Okay
        • Next
  • Patches
    • Patches
      • ◉ None
        • Next
  • Configure Fonts
    • Interface
      • ◉ Fertigo Pro
    • Book
      • ◉ Morris Roman
    • Handwritten
      • ◉ Anke Calligraphy FG
    • Realistic Print
      • ◉ Don't Install
        • Install
Horse Stamina HUD - Script-FreeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install Horse Stamina HUD SE main file for 1.6.x.
Immersive HUD - iHUD Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lore-Based Loading ScreensLink to the mod's Wiki page.
More Informative ConsoleLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the More Informative Console 1.x.x AE (1.6.640 plus) main file.
MoreHUD Inventory EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install moreHUD Inventory Edition Loose Version - AE main file.
MoreHUD SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the moreHUD SE Light Master - AE master file.
QUILink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the AE main file.
RaceMenuLink to the mod's Wiki page.
SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page.
SkyUI SE - Flashing Savegames FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
SkyUI - Ghost Item Bug FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Smaller Vanilla Cursors SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Smaller Vanilla Cursors
  • Step 1
    • 1
      • ◉ Right
        • Install
Viewable Faction RanksLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Viewable Faction Ranks ESL main file.
Whose Quest Is It AnywayLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Wider MCM Menu for SkyUILink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install one Main File of choice. Step Recommends: Opt. 3 or Opt. 4.

Compares: LINK

NOTE: Some display configurations may require a different option if top/bottom of menus are cut off.

Yes Im SureLink to the mod's Wiki page.


17-Locations[edit]

Mods that programmatically add new or alter vanilla locations
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Bring Out Your DeadLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Cutting Room Floor - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Farmhouse Chimneys SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Farmhouse Chimneys
  • Base Options
    • Alternative Toppers
      • ☐ Clay Chimney Stacks
        • Next
  • Modded Towns
    • Towns
      • ☐ Helgen Reborn
  • New Locations
    • New Lands
      • ☐ Falskarr
      • ☐ Wyrmstooth
    • New Villages
      • ☐ Fall of Granite Hill
        • Install

Nothing is selected in this installer. Ignore the optional USSEP patch.

Hearthfire ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.

Merge the Hearthfire Extended - Cutting Room Floor Patch optional file.
Merge the following patch: Hearthfires Extended and CC Fishing Patch (credit to MrD518 & Nechigawara)

Helarchen CreekLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Landscape Fixes For Grass ModsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.

Merge the Patches for Arthmoor's Town add-ons FOMOD under Optional Files:

FOMOD Instructions
Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods - Patches
  • Select an Option
    • Select options
      • Only tick the following options:
      • ☑ Patch for Alternate Start - Live Another Life
      • ☑ Patch for Cutting Room Floor
      • ☑ Patch for Oakwood
        • Next
  • Patches Installed.
    • Select an Option
      • ☑ Reminder
        • Install
OakwoodLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Oblivion Gates RemadeLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Oblivion Gates Remade
  • Step1
    • Optional Files
      • ☑ Map Markers
      • ☐ First Person Messages
    • Textures
      • ◉ Mountain-Like Textures for MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS.
        • Install
Smooth ShoresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Snowy Landscapes in Snowy RegionsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Snowy Landscapes for Snowy Regions
  • Mod Version
    • Select a version
      • ◉ Landscape Fixes for Grass Mods
        • Next
  • Mod Patches
    • Select installed mods
      • ☑ Cutting Room Floor
      • ☐ Stave Church of Skyrim
      • ☐ Thanedom of Anga's Mill
        • Install
Worldspace Transition TweaksLink to the mod's Wiki page.


18-Lighting & Weather[edit]

Mods that affect lighting and/or weather systems **installation is optional**
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Ambiance - A Vanilla(plus) Ambient Lighting OverhaulLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Ambiance
  • Introduction
    • Welcome
      • ☑ Next
        • Next
  • Choose which Plugins you want to install
    • Main Plugin
      • ◉ Ambiance
    • Optional - Recommended
      • ☑ Tweaked Light Colors
        • Install
Cathedral Weathers MCMLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Cathedral Weathers and SeasonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
21-Post-Processing

Merge the Update File if installing the post-processing ModGroup.

Enhanced Volumetric Lighting and ShadowsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Lanterns of Skyrim SE - MCM versionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Lanterns of Skyrim SE - MCM Version - 1 Original MannyGT main file.
Relighting Skyrim - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File only.
FOMOD Instructions
Relighting Skyrim SE
  • Installation Options
    • Choose with or without USSEP requirement
      • ◉ With USSEP (Recommended)
    • Choose a version to install
      • ◉ Full Version
        • Install
Storm Lightning for SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
Storm Lightning for SSE and VR
  • Select Game
    • Select Game
      • ◉ Skyrim Special Edition
        • Next
  • Select Game Version
    • Select SSE Version
      • ◉ 1.6.640
        • Next
  • Select Plugin Type
    • Select Plugin
      • ◉ ESL Flagged
        • Next
  • Select Night Time Sheet Halo
    • Select Sheet Halo
      • ◉ Halo with Dimmer Lightning (Level 0)
        • Next
  • Select Day Time Sheet Halo
    • Select Sheet Halo
      • ◉ Halo Very Dim (Level 3)
        • Next
  • Select Night Time Fork Halo
    • Select Fork Halo
      • ◉ Halo Dimmer (Level 1)
        • Next
  • Select Day Time Fork Halo
    • Select Fork Halo
      • ◉ Halo Very Dim (Level 3)
        • Next
  • Select Thunder Delay
    • Select Fork Halo
      • ◉ With Delay (Realistic)
        • 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
      • ☐ More Opaque Splashes
        • Install
WoW Dragon Mounds CTD FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
WoW Dragon Mounds CTD Fix
  • Main
    • Select Version
      • ◉ BSA + ESL Flagged
        • Next
  • Optional
    • Enable or disable
      • ☐ Alternative Rain Splash Effect
        • Install


19-Utilities[edit]

Mods that generate derived mod output from load-order-specific assets
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
DynDOLOD 3 AlphaLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Ensure that both x86 and x64 versions of Visual Studio 2015, 2017 and 2019 are installed.
  2. Download the Main File.
  3. Extract the archive to the Tools folder (e.g. ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD).
  4. Create a folder for the application output called, DynDOLOD_Output: ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD\DynDOLOD_Output
Configure MO Executable

Configure as follows (If necessary, revisit the Tool Setup in the guide.):

Application Title Executable Argument(s)
DynDOLOD DynDOLODx64.exe -SSE
TexGen TexGen64.exe -SSE
Modify INIs

The guide disables grass LOD by default. Instructions for enabling grass LODGen are also provided and may be enabled at a later time as instructed by the guide if adequate performance headroom is available.

Navigate to C:/Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/Edit Scripts/DynDOLOD/DynDOLOD_SSE.ini, and modify as follows by removing the semicolons at the start of each line where necessary:

Expert=1

Level32=1 GrassGID=gid DoubleSidedTextureMask=mountain,mtn

DoubleSidedMeshMask=mountain,mtn

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

TreeMSAlphaThreshold=144
ENB post-processing
If ENB will NOT be used, then complex grass will not be used, so also set the following in TexGen_SSE.ini
ForceComplexGrass=0
Nemesis Unlimited Behavior EngineLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
Add to Mod Organizer Executables

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

  1. In the right pane, go to the Data tab.
  2. Locate the Nemesis_Engine folder and expand it.
  3. Right-click the Nemesis Unlimited Behavior Engine.exe file and select [Add as Executable].
  4. In the window that opens, type Nemesis for the title.
  5. Click [OK].
Create Mod for Output

It is recommended to create a mod to store output files from Nemesis by doing the following:

  1. Click on the MOlistoptions.png button and select, [Create empty mod].
  2. Name it Step SkryimSE - Nemesis Output.
  3. Open the Executables menu and choose [Nemesis].
  4. Tick the Create files in mod instead of overwrite (*) checkmark and select Step SkryimSE - Nemesis Output from the dropdown.
  5. Click [Apply] and then [OK].
Run Nemesis

Nemesis must be run whenever animation/skeleton mods are added/updated. To do so:

  1. Ensure all plugins are ticked, and sorted with LOOT.
  2. Choose Nemesis from the executables dropdown and click [Run] to run it through Mod Organizer.
  3. Tick the Ice skating fixed for real box.
  4. It may be necessary to click [Update Engine] and wait until the progress bar has finished.
  5. Click [Launch Nemesis Behavior Engine] and wait until it says "Behavior generation complete" and close.
  6. Enable the new plugin in the right pane of MO by ticking it.
  7. Sort plugins with LOOT.


20-Patches[edit]

Mods that programmatically resolve load-order conflicts
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
AI Overhaul SSE Official Patch HubLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install AI Overhaul - Cutting Room Floor Patch 1.0.2.

Merge AI Overhaul - Relationship Dialogue Overhaul Patch.

Circlet USSEP FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Gemling Queen Jewelry SE USSEP Circlet Fix main file.
Kryptopyrs Patch HubLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Since the FOMOD is not updated as regularly as the individual patches, do not install it.

Instead, install the following individual patches under Miscellaneous Files.

In MO, these can be merged into a custom named mod like kryptopyr's Patch Hub, or simply install them separately under unique mod names:
  • Bittercup (CC) __ CACO
  • Bloodchill Manor (CC) __ CACO
  • Bow of Shadows (CC) __ CACO
  • Fearsome Fists (CC) __ WACCF_CCOR
  • Fishing (CC) __ CACO
  • Fishing (CC) __ WACCF_CCOR
  • Gemling Queen Jewelry __ CCOR
  • Goblins (CC) __ CACO
  • Headman's Cleaver (CC) __ TCIY
  • Metallurgy - Ingots and Ore HD __ CCOR
  • Nix-Hound (CC) __ CACO
  • Nordic Jewelry (CC) __ CCOR
  • Saints and Seducers (CC) __ CACO
  • Saints and Seducers (CC) __ TCIY
  • Survival Mode (CC) __ CACO
  • The Cause (CC) __ CACO
  • Unofficial Material Fix __ Improved Traps
  • Vokrii __ CCOR
Majestic Mountains Creation Club Landscape PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Boat Bobbing Patch HubLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the following (merge if asked):
  • Realistic Boat Bobbing - Oakwood
  • Realistic Boat Bobbing - USSEP Patch
Smooth Shores PatchesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install all files EXCEPT Smooth Shores Patches - Depths of Skyrim Patch. Merge if prompted.
Umgak's Vokrii Compatibility Patch CompendiumLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the Main File.
FOMOD Instructions
UVCPC - Umgak's Vokrii Compatibility Patch Compendium
  • Umgak's Vokrii Compatibility Patch Compendium
    • Umgak's Vokrii Compatibility Patch Compendium
      • Only tick the following options:
      • ☑ Trade and Barter Patch
        • Install
Unofficial Skyrim Creation Club Content PatchesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
Unofficial Skyrim Creation Club Content Patch
  • Options
    • Options
      • ◉ Merged
        • Install
Vokrii - Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Step Patch - Conflict ResolutionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Main File using the FOMOD instructions below.
    If any of the optional mods were skipped, also skip them in the installer.
FOMOD Instructions
Step Patch - Conflict Resolution
  • Conflict Resolution Patches
    • Optional Patches
      • ☑ Complete Alchemy and Crafting Overhaul
      • ☑ Complete Crafting Overhaul Remastered
      • ☑ Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes
      • ☑ The Choice Is Yours
        • Install
Step Patch - Lighting & WeatherLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the 18-Lighting & Weather main file ONLY if the 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup is installed.


Performance Tuning[edit]

It's necessary to determine how much performance headroom is available before generating LOD or setting up post processing like ENB, because the full LODGen setup can cost upwards of 20 FPS on average in exteriors, and ENB can cost upwards of an additional 40 FPS. The goal at this point is to have at least 120 FPS (≥ 140 recommended) on average in the tundra with clear weather (and ideally the Rift as well). Keep in mind that decreasing game resolution can drastically improve performance.

Info-Logo.png

NOTE

For guidance on additional display settings (e.g., ultra widescreen, FreeSync, G-SYNC, etc.), refer to the SSE Display Settings Guide before continuing.
Benchmarking Steps

  1. Temporarily disable A Clear Map of Skyrim and Other Worlds. Keep this mod disabled while performance benchmarks and tuning are performed.
  2. Uncap frame rates if they are capped (ignore any stuttering, screen tearing, etc. for the time being):
    1. Double click SSE Display Tweaks in the MO left pane, select the INI Files tab, and adjust the following settings under the [Render] section:
      • EnableVSync=false
      • EnableTearing=true
      • FramerateLimit=300
    2. If applicable, ensure that G-SYNC or Freesync are properly disabled via NVIDIA Inspector or AMD Adrenalin.
    3. If applicable, ensure that NVIDIA ultra low latency mode (ULLM) or AMD anti-lag are properly disabled via NVIDIA Inspector or AMD Adrenalin.
  3. Launch SkyrimSE, and start a NEW game to verify that Skyrim loads without issue. Skyrim should successfully load into the Alternate Start character generation interface.
  4. At the Statue of Mara, select "I own property in one of the holds".
  5. Select "Breezehome".
  6. Proceed to the front door of Breezehome, wait until approx. 11:00, and save the game. This will be the clean save to use for testing performance before and after LODGen.
  7. Exit Breezehome and exit the Whiterun gate.
  8. Once outside of Whiterun, approach the tundra, and look West (this is a large expanse showing all LOD levels).
    • use the Shift + INS keyboard combo to bring up the SSE Display Tweaks OSD.
    • Other third-party applications like FRAPS, Skyrim Performance Monitor (SPM) can also provide OSD.
    • Consider testing in the Rift as well, as this is one of the most performance-taxing areas of the game, due to Aspens Ablaze: Open the console and type cow tamriel 40 -24, and assess frame rates by moving around the Rift.

Once testing is complete, revert the changes and reapply frame caps:

  1. Re-enable A Clear Map of Skyrim and Other Worlds.
  2. Double click SSE Display Tweaks in the MO left pane, select the INI Files tab, and adjust the following settings under the [Render] section:
    • EnableVSync=true
    • EnableTearing=false
    • FramerateLimit=<previousValue>
  3. If applicable, ensure that G-SYNC or Freesync are properly enabled via NVIDIA Inspector or AMD Adrenalin.
  4. If applicable, ensure that NVIDIA ultra low latency mode (ULLM) or AMD anti-lag are properly enabled via NVIDIA Inspector or AMD Adrenalin.

Performance/Quality Optimization[edit]

This process will optimize the performance-quality trade off prior to configuration of ENB and LOD.

  • If the average FPS is 120 - 130 FPS, stop here and continue to 21-Post-Processing or Step 5 - LOD.
  • If the average FPS is lower or higher than 120 - 130 FPS continue below to optimize performance/quality to get closer to this range.
  1. Right click and select "open in new window" on this link to revisit the BethINI setup instructions that should be in effect if the BethINI instructions were followed.
  2. Close MO, and run BethINI (e.g. ..Modding\Tools\BethINI\BethINI.exe).
    • If the average FPS is lower than 120 FPS:
      1. Set the [Medium] preset
      2. Selecting a preset in BethINI makes changes to many settings, so ensure all BethINI settings match those in the instructions, particularly for Basic, Detail, and Visuals tabs.
      3. Rerun the benchmark.
      4. If average FPS is still not ≥ 120, repeat these steps selecting the [Low] preset.
    • If the average FPS is now higher than 125 FPS:
      1. Set the [Ultra] preset
      2. Selecting a preset in BethINI makes changes to many settings, so ensure all BethINI settings match those in the instructions, particularly for Basic, Detail, and Visuals tabs.
      3. Rerun the benchmark.
      4. If average FPS is not ≥ 120, revert to the default [High] preset.
NOTE: Once finished, don't forget to re-enable graphics settings as described at the bottom of the Benchmarking Steps to reap the benefits of those disabled settings if supported.

Performance Examples[edit]

Following are performance results using the approach described previously. This serves as a preview to help in making decisions about ENB/DynDOLOD configurations. Note that with Step's recommended configurations, ENB is more costly than DynDOLOD in terms of performance.

Reference System
All ModGroups installed, including Post Processing (installed later by ENB users only)
Resolution: 2560x1440 (2k/QHD/1440p) - HD/1080p resolution should perform much better ... even on a lesser/cheaper/older GPU.
Weather: SkyrimClearTU (10A240) - One of the more performance-demanding weathers. With ENB, clear weathers costs more FPS than cloudy.
Location: Tundra at Whiterun looking west
Configuration
BethINI ENB DynDOLOD FPS Note
High n/a n/a 121 Baseline (G/Free-Sync disabled)
Ultra n/a n/a 108 Baseline (G/Free-Sync disabled)
Ultra n/a n/a 110 Baseline (Re-enable G/Free-Sync)
Ultra Heavy n/a 53
Ultra Light n/a 63
Ultra Milk Drinker n/a 72
Ultra Heavy Ultra 34 Max quality
Ultra Heavy Optimal 38 Ideal performance/quality trade-off
Ultra Light Optimal 43
High Light Optimal 45
Ultra Milk Drinker Performance 50
High Milk Drinker Performance 53
*Based on these data, a few FPS could be gained by running the BethINI 'Medium' preset. Among other things, this will reduce the distance of LOD4 objects.
Best Performance
Best Performance/Quality Trade-Off
Best Quality
DynDOLOD Tree Rule LOD4 LOD8 LOD16
Performance Billboard4 Billboard4 Billboard1
Optimal Level0 Billboard4 Billboard1
Ultra Level0 Level1 Level2
The following gallery shows visual compares and performance snapshots for the cost of DynDOLOD and ENB using a number of Step's supported configurations. Different PCs and game resolutions will yield varying FPS results, but the proportional and relative differences between these presets should be similar:

21-Post-Processing[edit]

Decide whether or not to install the Post-Processing ModGroup (and use ENB). Keep in mind that LOD generation is more fundamentally important to visual enhancement than ENB, so if average frame rate from the previous benchmark is consistently below approx. 90 FPS at this point, consider skipping Post-Processing, and continuing on to Step 5.

Info-Logo.png

NOTE

If ENB will be used, revisit the BethINI Setup to disable: Display > Lens Flare, Anamorphic Lens Flare, and Ambient Occlusion before installing the following ModGroup. Also consider modifying the sun size as instructed under Custom. Otherwise, skip to Step 5.

Post-Processing Mod Table[edit]

Mods that affect post-processing graphics **installation is optional**
Mod Name Baseline Instructions
Cathedral Landscapes Complex Grass for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
21-Post-Processing

Skip this mod if ENB will not be used. This mod requires the ENBSeries runtime. If ENB isn't installed, loaded grass will have purple boxes.

FOMOD Instructions
Cathedral Landscapes Complex Grass
  • Grass Options
    • Grass Color
      • ☑ Core (Brown Tundra)
      • ☐ Green Tundra
        • Install
Deadly Spell Impacts Transparency Fix for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Elytra and Bliss Bug ENB LightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Elytra and Bliss Bug ENB Light - Scrambled Bugs Version main file.
ENBSeriesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
For those unfamiliar with ENB, see the ENBSeries guide for information about ENBSeries post processing. Otherwise, download and install ENB as follows:
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page
  2. Click on the link for the newest version available
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page again, and click on Down1.gif to download the archive
  4. Open the archive and open the WrapperVersion folder
  5. Extract d3d11.dll, d3dcompiler_46e.dll, and enblocal.ini into the root Skyrim Special Edition directory (e.g., ..Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\)
  6. Close the archive and game directory

Using a text editor, open enblocal.ini and modify as follows, leaving all other settings as they are:

[ENGINE]

ForceVSync=false   [LIMITER] EnableFPSLimit=false   [ANTIALIASING] EnableEdgeAA=false   [GUI] HighResolutionScaling=true ShowShadersWindow=true

ShowWeatherWindow=true
  • To toggle ENB setting in game, type Shift + Enter.
  • To toggle ENB on/off in game, type Shift + F12.
ENB Helper SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the ENB Helper SE 2.1 for SSE 1.6.xxx main file.
ENB LightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Install the ENB Light 0.98 Alpha 2 update file using the instructions below.

Merge the ENB Light SMIM Textures optional file.

FOMOD Instructions
ENB Light
NOTE: Ignore the warning about a missing vanilla torch by clicking
Install anyway.
  • ENB Light Main
    • Base Install Option
      • ◉ Base - Candlelight, Magelight, vanilla torch
    • Wall-mounted torches
      • ◉ NO
    • Addition options...
      • Only tick the following options
      • ☑ Blackreach and Cave plants
      • ☑ Smelter
      • ☑ Magic hand effects
      • ☑ Magic effects - Low-Moderate cost
      • ☑ Magic weapon effects - fairly low cost
      • ☑ Fire magic projectiles - Low to High cost
      • ☑ Magic hazards and burning fires - Low to High cost
      • ☑ Magic effects - High cost
      • ☑ Dragon fire
      • ☑ Creatures - Flame Atronachs
      • ☑ Creatures - Storm Atronachs
      • ☑ Creatures - Ice Wraiths
      • ☑ Creatures - Spriggans
      • ☑ Creatures - Wispmother
    • Dawnbreaker
      • ◉ Lean Wolf's Better Shaped Weapons Dawnbreaker - default sheath
    • Dawnbreaker - DSR (Left hand)
      • ◉ NO Dawnbreaker DSR option
    • Patches
      • ☐ Quicklight
      • ☐ Visual Animated Enchants
      • ☐ NO Arctic - Frost Effects Redux
        • Install


Hide the following files/folders:

  1. Once installed, double-click the mod in MO to bring up Mod's window
  2. Select the Conflicts tab
  3. At the top on the Winning file conflicts:' pane, type Embers XD in the filter box (top right)
  4. Select all lines in the filtered Winning file conflicts: pane
  5. Right-click on any selected file and select Hide
ENB Lights For Effect ShadersLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install ENB Lights for Effect Shaders AE from Main Files.
ENB Lights for Aetherium ShardsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
ENB Particle Lights Dwemer LanternsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Particle Lights for ENB - Nordic Ruins CandlesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Particle Lights for ENB Wisps WitchlightLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Particle Lights For ENB SE - Paragon GemsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Particle Lights For ENB SE - Paragon Gems - Iconic's Gems Patch main file.
Radiant - CandlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
  • Color Options
    • Select a version
      • ◉ Luminosity or WS
  • Optional Patches
    • Meshes
      • ☑ ELFX
      • ☑ Saints and Seducers
      • ☐ STaC
        • Install
Rudy HQ More Lights for ENB SE BthardamzLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rudy HQ More Lights for ENB SE Deathbells and NirnrootsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rudy HQ More Lights for ENB SE Glowing MushroomsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
Hide the following file (instructions for hiding files/folders):

textures\plants\glowingmushrooms01.dds

Rudy HQ More Lights for ENB SE Torchbugs and MothsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
More Lights for ENB - Blood Splatter FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
FOMOD Instructions
More Lights for ENB - Blood Splatter Fix
  • Installation Options
    • Installation Options
      • ☑ Bthardamz
      • ☐ Chaurus Eggs and Sacs
      • ☑ Deathbells and Nirnroots
      • ☑ Glowing Mushrooms
      • ☐ Soul Gems
      • ☐ Patch for Rustic Soul Gems
        • Install
Saints and Seducers Flora ENB LightLink to the mod's Wiki page. Install the Main File. Merge the Update File.
Word Wall Transparency Fix for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Step Patch - Post-ProcessingLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed Instructions available
  1. Install the Step Patch - Post Processing main file ONLY if the 21-Post-Processing ModGroup is installed.
  2. Download the Step ENB * file of choice, and extract the contents directly into the game directory beside ENBSeries files at ..\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\


Post-Processing Mod Options[edit]

Beginning at 04-Foundation, confirm that all mod rows prefixed with a blue vertical bar are installed with the Post-Processing options.

Step SkyrimSE ENB Preset[edit]

Three versions of the Step ENB preset are available, depending on performance requirements:

  1. Heavy includes all of the significant effects and is recommended for systems that can withstand the performance cost of approx. 30-40 FPS in exteriors.
  2. light includes some of the significant effects and all essentials but at slightly lower quality than Heavy. This is will cost approx. 20-30 FPS in exteriors.
  3. Milk Drinker includes only the essential effects and at the lowest quality, costing 15-25 FPS in exteriors.

ENB Preset Installation[edit]

  1. Download the Step SkyrimSE ENB Preset from the Step SkyrimSE Nexus page
  2. Open the archive and extract the contents (folder and INI) to the SkyrimSE root directory (e.g., ..Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition)
  3. Close the archive and root directory
  4. Consider rerunning the performance benchmark before continuing on.
    The shaders will be cached the first launch of the game after ENBSeries installation, so game load may take a minute or two.
  5. If average frame rate from the new benchmark was below 65, consider using a more performance-friendly preset or disabling ENB entirely.

Final Sorting and Cleaning[edit]

If plugins have not been sorted this session, run LOOT again. Examine the plugins in LOOT for errors or warnings (ignoring the game's default masters at the top of the list). Ignore any reported missing compatibility patches or other warnings. These are either handled by the Step Patches or not of any concern. Perform the standard cleaning procedure on any mods requiring cleaning (except for the game's default masters).

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

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




STEP 5[edit]

Level of Detail (LOD)


Now that all mods and patches have been installed/sorted and performance margins are acceptable, the next step is to generate custom LOD data for the mod list. Recommended settings correspond to rendered game resolutions that will benefit from those settings.

LOD Setup[edit]

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

  1. Click on the MOlistoptions.png button and select, [Create empty mod].
  2. Name it Step SkyrimSE - xLODGen Output.
    This places a new, empty mod at the bottom of the mod list. However if it's not, place it last in the mod list.
  3. Repeat these steps to create two more mods named: Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output, and Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output.
  4. Place these new mods directly after Step SkyrimSE - xLODGen Output.
  5. Find the (TEMP) Cathedral Landscapes - xLODGen mod from the 04-Foundation mod group and enable it, if necessary.
    This mod only needs to be enabled for terrain LOD generation. If it is not disabled before actually playing the game, it will cause visual glitches.
  6. Sort with LOOT.


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

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

NOTE

Complete the following in order, and ensure that all mods and plugins are enabled and sorted before doing so.
Warning-Logo.png

WARNING

Using higher resolutions than recommended for any of the following LOD applications will result in a waste of PC resources with NO BENEFIT. It makes ZERO sense to impulsively increase the resolutions beyond the specifications indicated.

xLODGen[edit]

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

Generate terrain LOD[edit]

  1. Ensure LOD Setup was completed.
  2. Run xLODGen from the MO executable drop-down list.
  3. Select all worldspaces.
  4. Ensure that ONLY the Terrain LOD box is ticked in the right pane.
  5. Use the following settings, which have been verified in extensive testing:
    NOTE: Unless you are running SSE at ≥ 4k resolution, resist the urge to wastefully increase the texture resolutions shown, which will only reduce FPS with NO BENEFIT. Those running ≥ 4k resolution WILL benefit by doubling the resolution for LOD4, LOD8, and LOD16 from 256 to 512.
  6. Click [Generate] to run the process, which will require upwards of 20 minutes, depending on the PC.
  7. Once the "LOD generation complete" message has appeared, close xLODGen.
    NOTE: If the xLODGen window closes itself, post in the xLODGen topic and include ../Modding/GameName/Tools/xLODGen/bugreport.txt and any logs created.

Paint roads on terrain LOD[edit]

  1. Run ACMOS Road Generator which was installed as part of A Clear Map of Skyrim and Other Worlds.
  2. For "Path to LOD," browse to the xLODGen output folder (e.g. ..Modding/GameName/Tools/xLODGen/xLODGen_Output).
  3. Click Generate.
  4. At the prompt to "Overwrite LOD Textures," choose Yes.
  5. When prompted to "Zip?", choose No.
  6. Wait until it says "All Done!" and then click OK and close.

Terrain LOD Wrap-Up[edit]

  1. Browse to the xLODGen output folder (e.g. ..Modding/GameName/Tools/xLODGen/xLODGen_Output).
  2. In MO, open the xLODGen Output mod in Windows Explorer (Ctrl + double-click).
  3. Cut and paste the files from ../xLODGen_Output into the SkyrimSE - xLODGen Output folder, then close both folders.
  4. Enable xLODGen Output mod.
  5. Disable (TEMP) Cathedral Landscapes - xLODGen mods (only needed as xLODGen resources for terrain generation only).

DynDOLOD[edit]

Object LOD will be created using Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD). At a significant performance cost (upwards of 10 FPS) for a subtle improvement to LOD, DynDOLOD v3+ supports generation of grass billboard LOD. Generate grass LOD ONLY if performance headroom is available per Performance Tuning instructions.

Run TexGen[edit]

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

  1. Run TexGen from the MO executable drop-down list.
  2. Use the setting corresponding to rendered game resolution: 1080p = HD, 1440p = QHD, 2160p = 4k
    NOTE: If generating grass LOD, be sure to tick "Grass" when replicating the following examples. Whether ENB is used or not, these grass settings apply to presumably any grass mod, since grass tint settings will be normalized later in DynDOLOD_SSE.ini
    Tick Grass only if generating grass without ENB Complex Grass.
    Tick HD grass only if generating grass with ENB Complex Grass.
  3. Click [Start].
  4. Once the completed message has appeared (1-5 minutes, depending on the PC), click [Exit].
  5. Navigate to the DynDOLOD TexGen_Output folder location (e.g. ../Modding/Tools/DynDOLOD/TexGen_Output).
  6. Move the files from the TexGen_Output folder into the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod:
    In MO, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod. Alternatively, right click the mod to open it in an Explorer window.
  7. Enable the Step SkyrimSE - TexGen Output mod in MO.

Run DynDOLOD[edit]

DynDOLOD will generate the object LOD. IF grass LOD is being generated, also modify grass tint and brightness as follows. This effectively eliminates any RGB color bias so that the grass LOD matches the loaded grass as closely as possible. YES, this is suitable whether or not ENB is used.

NOTE: DynDOLOD defaults correspond to the vanilla game and the vanilla game using "Vanilla Complex Grass for ENB" mod with default ENB 0.475. For generating grass without ENB Complex Grass:

Modify Grass Tint/Brightness

Browse to ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD\Edit Scripts\DynDOLOD\DynDOLOD_SSE.ini, and modify the following, which normalizes grass LOD brightness/hue for Cathedral Landscapes and presumably ANY grass mod:

For generating grass without ENB Complex Grass:

; grass LOD brightness multipliers
GrassBrightnessTopR=0.500
GrassBrightnessTopG=0.500
GrassBrightnessTopB=0.500
; make bottom darker to fake shadowing
GrassBrightnessBottomR=0.500
GrassBrightnessBottomG=0.500
GrassBrightnessBottomB=0.500

For generating grass with ENB Complex Grass:

; grass LOD brightness multipliers
ComplexGrassBrightnessTopR=0.500
ComplexGrassBrightnessTopG=0.500
ComplexGrassBrightnessTopB=0.500
; make bottom darker to fake shadowing
ComplexGrassBrightnessBottomR=0.500
ComplexGrassBrightnessBottomG=0.500
ComplexGrassBrightnessBottomB=0.500

Configure and Generate[edit]

  1. Run DynDOLOD from the MO executable drop-down list to open the GUI configuration in 'expert' mode (if the DynDOLOD INI modification was set as described previously).
  2. Select all worldspaces.
  3. Tick Candles and FXGlow.
  4. IMPORTANT - Click the 'High' button to bring in mesh rules for A Clear Map of Skyrim mod and the Step Patch - Conflict Resolution. For slightly better performance with some quality loss, consider clicking on 'Medium' or 'Low' instead.
  5. Configure as follows, or make performance modifications as instructed further below before continuing to the next step:
    • ONLY generate Occlusion data on the first run. If DynDOLOD is run again for some reason, leave Occlusion UNticked to speed up generation.
    • Tick Grass LOD to generate grass LOD. Otherwise, leave this UNticked.
    • Recommended rules for trees and A Clear Map of Skyrim mod (LOD32).
      • To increase performance with minimal quality loss, consider changing the tree rule's LOD4 to Billboard4.
  6. Click [OK].
  7. Once the completed message has appeared (15-30 minutes [25-50 minutes with Occlusion ticked], depending on the PC), click [Save & Exit].
  8. Navigate to the DynDOLOD DynDOLOD_Output folder location (e.g. ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD\DynDOLOD_Output).
  9. Move the files the DynDOLOD_Output folder into the Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output mod:
    In MO, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click the Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output mod. Alternatively, right click the mod to open it in an Explorer window.
  10. Enable the Step SkyrimSE - DynDOLOD Output mod in MO.
  11. Ensure the DynDOLOD.esm and DynDOLOD.esp plugins are ticked in the right pane.
  12. Sort with LOOT.
Info-Logo.png

NOTE

Multiple DynDOLOD outputs at varying quality settings can be created and stored in different mods. If this is done, generate occlusion only on the first run and copy this into a separate mod (e.g., 'DynDOLOD Occlusion') to reduce the generation time of subsequent outputs. Likewise, consider generating only for the Tamriel worldspace before settling on the chosen output and generating for all worldspaces.

When to Regenerate LOD[edit]

xLODGen
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect the underlying landscape: height, shape, textures, etc. This does not include grass, mountains or other objects on the landscape.
TexGen
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect objects with LOD: new objects, moved structures or objects, removed structures or objects, changes to grass (only when using grass LOD), changes to trees and/or landscape height, when its master plugins order is changed (out of order masters), etc. When grass is re-cached, TexGen should also be run again to update grass billboards.
DynDOLOD
Whenever there are changes to the mod list that affect objects with LOD: new objects, moved structures or objects, removed structures or objects, changes to grass (only when using grass LOD), changes to trees and/or landscape height, when its master plugins order is changed (out of order masters), etc. When LOD textures are updated with TexGen, DynDOLOD should also be run again to update all affected object LOD.
Occlusion
Only with noticeable changes to geography of Tamriel and/or Solstheim. For Step, this should only need to be run once.

STEP 6[edit]

Mod Configuration (MCM)


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

First Launch[edit]

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

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

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

Alternate Start[edit]

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

Mod Configuration Menu Settings[edit]

Atlas Map Markers[edit]

Configure as desired, but a good starting point is to load both the Map Marker and Compass Presets under Extra Options.

Cathedral Weathers[edit]

If the 18-Lighting & Weather ModGroup was installed, it is user preference on whether or not to set Interior Vision to Darker. The Step ENB was designed for Normal.

Complete Crafting[edit]

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

Farmhouse Chimneys SE[edit]

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

Lock Overhaul[edit]

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

Smart NPC Potions[edit]

It's suggested to reduce the maximum an NPC can use, but it's user preference.

Storm Lightning[edit]

The Minimum preset in the MCM is recommended.

Timing is Everything[edit]

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

Remaining Mod Configurations[edit]

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


COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS[edit]

Help build STEP

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

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

Call for Mod Testers[edit]

Community members interested in becoming Mod Testers, please contact z929669 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]

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
  • sheson for DynDOLOD and all things LODGen
  • The Nexus community
  • Bethesda Softworks for their games
  • Tannin for the gift that is Mod Organizer
  • All the developers that kept MO going

Personnel[edit]

Testers[edit]

  • D1Z4STR
  • Mercury71
  • Mousetick

LODGen Support[edit]

  • sheson

MO Support[edit]

  • GSDfan

Step Administrators[edit]

  • DoubleYou
  • Greg
  • TechAngel85
  • z929669

Retired Staff[edit]

  • Aiyen
  • Bealdwine
  • deathneko11
  • EisDrache
  • EssArrBee
  • Farlo
  • frihyland
  • GrantSP
  • hishutup
  • Kelmych
  • MontyMM
  • Nebulous112
  • oqhansoloqo
  • phazer11
  • rootsrat
  • stoppingby4now
  • TheCompiler
  • torminater
  • Uhuru
  • WilliamImm
  • wolverine2710