Hello! Whether you’re new to modding, or you’re interested in exploring some of the lesser known mods, or maybe having unsolved performance issues, you’re welcome to reading this guide. I’m a long-time fan of TES series and modding became a second nature for those games, not only to improve visuals, but also make the play-through more interesting.
Currently I focus on modding Skyrim, but beware – I’m not the biggest fan of SSE. Not only because low-end computer causing it to be extremely laggy unless on minimum graphics, but also majority of the mods I love won’t ever be available on SSE. Including my own, because, yeah, it’s too complicated.
I’m using Skyrim Legendary Edition, and if you want to follow my guides – you should be too. If you don’t have it, I recommend checking websites such as eBay or Amazon for a cheaper Steam keys or buying during Steam’s sale periods.
Below I present you the full guide on how to mod Skyrim properly. Mind that there are many other methods to solve majority of problems, but I present you only the ones that work for me and my moddies. If you’re interested about mods I am using, I’ll be updating the website with lists of my favorite mod compilations – you can see them in tab Mod Masterlist.
Some of the links will be leading to LoversLab, an Adult Community for Skyrim Modding, but I do not provide additional downloads or links to other sources as it is infringing on copyrights of those authors. If you are not able to navigate to non-adult mods on their website and avoid the content you’re not interested in, you’re probably not old enough to play video games which are based on murdering, stealing and other morally improper behaviors, therefore my support in obtaining mods from such website would be against the law.
To be sure your modding spree goes smooth, you’ll have to download some tools and understand how to use them. They’re necessary for building a better experience, and the websites I will be linking to are always safe, virus-free and checked prior to linking, but through your journey you will have to understand which websites are trustworthy and which are not.
- Download Skyrim Legendary Edition (Steam) and install it where you want. Make sure Dragonborn, Hearthfires and Dawnguard install as well. HighRes packs are not necessity but if you’re not sure what you want to do with your graphics, it is always a good start. In the time your game is downloading you can start other steps.
- Boot the game once, let it create skyrimprefs.ini and other important stuff it has to create. At this point the game won’t look too visually pleasing, but you can stroll around Tamriel to take some screenshots for comparison. Also, this is a good moment to see the opening scene in original as you probably will never see it again.
- Create a NexusMods account. You do not have to pay to create one, just do not pick any paid option when creating it.
- Download and install Mod Organizer by Tannin.
- Download and install LOOT. Its predecessor, BOSS, was known to work with Skyrim and older games, but at one point Skyrim mod database became harder to manage with old tool, and LOOT became the necessity.
- Download and install Wrye Bash. It is a good tool for resolving major mod conflicts. It creates a patch which virtually merges those mods into one, by overwriting data depending on your load order, and disabling references in overwritten one. Wrye Bash allows you also to create Leveled Lists for your mods; this is what will make NPCs in Tamriel run with your modded items such as weapons or armors. Honestly – in my playthroughs I do not use Wrye Bash as my mod conflicts are minor, and I like keeping my characters unique.
- Download Merge Plugins if you plan on having big amounts of mods. It is definitely one of my favorite tools. You know all those eyes, hair and armor mods that clutter your load order? Well, you can reduce them to exactly one plugin, if you want to. That leaves you more space for other things and prevents hitting the cap too quickly. But beware, not all mods should be merged.
- Download and install SaveTool. It’s a necessity if you like to uninstall mods mid-playthrough. It still doesn’t solve major problems but can help resolving script issues after removing small mods.
Top of Load Order – Don’t merge
- SKSE (Skyrim Script Extender) by Ian Patterson, Stephen Abel and Paul Connelly (ianpatt, behippo and scruggsywuggsy the ferret)
- Bug Fix USLEEP – Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch by Unofficial Patch Project Team
- UI SkyUI by SkyUI Team | PC-friendly UI overhaul.
- UI Optional OSA – Skyrim Ascendancy Engine by Ceo
- Bodyslide and Outfit Studio by Caliente and Ousnius| For CBBE Bodyslide and UUNP families, allows modification of female body and generation of armors matching the shape. You can use regular UNP/CBBE/7B through generating it here.
- FNIS – Fores New Idles by Fore | Animation Extender.
- Optional SAM – Shape Atlas for Men by VectorPlexus
- Physics Optional All-in-One Animated Pussy by Herodeleyenda | If you want fully working vagina collisions for CBBE-B or UUNP.
Safety Load by kapaer – There are mixed opinions whether you should use it or not. Supposedly SKSE Memory Fix makes SL irrelevant, although I had some problems with SKSE only. Install only if needed.
- Physics HDT Physics Extensions by HydrogensaysHDT | Extends Havok physics, allowing realistic animation of bodies (breast bounce), armors&weapons (clacking on movement, flowing capes), hair (gravity-enabled) etc.
- Physics HDT High Heels by HydrogensaysHDT | Raises character realistically when wearing high heels. It’s slowly pushed aside by pluginless NifOverride Heels, but still required for many good armor mods.
- Optional Heels Sound by ApoKrytia
- Physics XP32 Maximum Skeleton Extended by Groovtama| Required skeleton for realistic physics and compatibility with other mods.
- UI RaceMenu by Expired| An unique character creation suite with multitude of editing tools including additional sliders, dual sliders, sculpting tool, user-defined presets and more. It’s 2017 and some people still choose ECE over RM, but my heart is right here. Majority of my mods rely on RM, so you’ll have to install it if you plan downloading my Makeup, Warpaint or Tattoo packs.
Patches, Fixes, Small Plugins, UI
This category can be merged, and shouldn’t cause any problems. Install the ones you want as some of them affect immersion, though all fixes are recommended unless stated otherwise.
- Utility 10x Carry Weight by GIGN | You have also other options like 100x or 25x but I can see major performance loss with higher numbers. If you have plenty of different items, it’ll load your inventory quite slow.
- Utility Optional Lightweight Potions and Poisons by JustinOther | This mod will decrease Potions and Poisons to 0.1 per bottle, making it easier to carry multiple stacks. If you’re a fan of running with 1300 potions in your inventory, this mod is for you!
- Utility Optional STATUS by MannyGT | Adds a MCM menu providing additional information such as weather, coordinates, factions, installed mods and more.
- UI Optional iHUD – Immersive HUD by Gopher| Allows you to hide UI in certain conditions and keybind it, taking away the clutter from your screen; comes with configurable fade delay. Compatible with most UI mods.
- UI Optional Hotkeys++ by himika | User-defined additional hotkeys.
- Optional EasyWheelMenu by Axletree
- UI Optional Extended UI by MrJack
- Optional Optional Fast Travel Timescale Fix by Hexaee | Small mod matching time of fast travel to the time you would spend riding to the same place on horse.
- JContainers by Silvericed| Important for other mods to function properly.
- UI Optional Simple Crosshair by Shadow771 | Simple dot instead of the original crosshair.
- ShowraceMenu Precache Killer by kapaer| Absolute Must-Have if you use additional hair/eye/eyebrows. Prevents crashing from overload of character textures.
- Optional No bethesda Intro by Agonbar | Removes the logo that plays when you start up the game.
- Bug Fix DCF Plugin by virusek | Double Cursor Fix
- Bug Fix Better MessageBox Controls by ecirbaf
- Bug Fix Better Dialogue Controls by ecirbaf
Female Facial Animation | Issues were found where certain animation pack causes eyes and other parts of face to be non proportional.
- UI Optional Customizable Camera by Arindel| Allows you to adjust the camera to position it behind the character, on the side, change FoV and more.
- UI moreHUD by Ahzaab | Additional info can be displayed on the screen.
- Optional SkyComplete – Automatically Track Quests – Locations – Books by kefka95 | Useful for 100% completion.
- Bug Fix Optional Weapons and Armor Fixes Remade by kryptopyr
- Bug Fix Optional Clothing and Clutter Fixes by kryptopyr| Fixes prices of clutter items; removes inconsistencies of clothing, allows wearing circlets with hoods, changes weights and values to more realistic.
- Utility Optional Better Stealing by meh321| Removes the “stolen” mark from items if they were successfully stolen (without witnesses).
- Green Water Fix by AltheaR
- Utility Optional Auto Unequip Ammo by Alek
- Fuz Ro Doh by shadeMe |Enhances support for unvoiced dialogue.
- Player Size Adjuster and First Person Camera Height Fix by Imp of the Perverse
- Utility Optional PC Headtracking and Voice Type by HHaley
- Optional Lets get naked by voidtarget
- Optional Humans Drop Human Parts by Rokenian
- Optional Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers by toaDime
Optional Dragon Priest Mask Quest Markers
- Optional Dragon Priest Mask Journal by whickus
- Loose Base Scripts for RaceMenu by Expired
- Utility Optional Grimy Utilities by Grimy Bunyip | Spell forgetting, hot(key)cast, stack splitting, potion queue.
- Utility Optional Jaxonz Utilities by Jaxonz | Archery focus, crafting helper, droppable statics, lights, mcm kicker, map markers, protect favorites (Keepsakes below are alternative), renamer, positioner, SKSE tester.
- Utility Optional Loot Later by gezegond
- UI Optional Keepsakes by Mattiewagg |Protect certain items within inventory. Preferably do not use together with Jaxonz Utilities.
- Optional Scroll Wheel Equip by Chesko
- Optional Weightless Gold by Monobrows78
- Optional Lore-Based Loading Screens by Chesko
- Optional Optional Sometimes Pick Up Books by Mardoxx and CDCooley
Optional Outfit Switcher
- Optional Strong Odahviing and Durnehviir by kapxis
- UI Optional Quick Loot by himika
- Optional The Paarthurnax Dilemma by Arthmoor
- Flora Fixes by Wiseman303
Foxy’s Categorized Favorites Menu
- Bug Fix SIZE DOES MATTER by Mahlzeit88
- Utility Optional SkyBox by Verteiron
- Utility Optional Immersive Cheat Menu by ClarkWasHere
- Bug Fix Optional Complete Whiterun bug FIX
- Ordinator – Perks of Skyrim by Enai Siaion |Illogical and buggy perk system no more! Ordinator brings a fresh view on the skill system and makes it more consistent.
- Optional Lock Overhaul by Quad2Core| Lock bashing, unlocking spells, destroying chests etc.
- Arrows and Bolts Tweaks – Kevkas All in One by Kevkas
- Optional Wintermyst – Enchantments of Skyrim by Enai Siaion and T2nd0
- Optional CACO – Complete Alchemy and Cooking Overhaul by kryptopyr
- Optional CCOR – Complete Crafting Overhaul Remade by kryptopyr
- Optional Wildcat – Combat of Skyrim by Enai Siaion
- Optional Immersive Sounds – Compendium by lazygecko