updated November 23rd, 2020
WARNING: THIS GUIDE WILL NOT WORK WITH SE.
Oh, hello! I didn't see you there. Welcome to The Official Elder Scrolls General Modding Guide: The Overhauled Editon!
In this extensive guide, we will teach you how to make Skyrim both fun AND good looking! First things first, I'm gonna have to teach you how to install mods and how each file works. The perfect way for a scrub like you to efficiently organize and sort your mods, is a mod organizing program! There are several of these programs we can use. You can even sort them manually if you're experienced or bold enough!
Remember to ALWAYS read the mod description on how to install, activate, and use the mod if you don't know. The same rule apply to README's in the mod packages.
In this section, we will discuss:
-Tools and Utilities
-Skyrim Memory Patch
-Extra UI Mods
Q: I don't like this guide, are their any other guides that are similar to this one?
A: We have a list of various other modding sites with their own guides and mod lists. Click on the Skyrim Guide section to check them out!
Q: I don't like guides like these, are there any overhauls that are quick and easy?
A: Try PerMa.
Q: I don't like PerMa, is there anything else?
A: Try SkyRe.
Q: I don't like Skyre, is there anything else?
A: Try Requiem.
Q: I don't like Requiem, is there anything else?
A: Those are pretty much the only big overhauls out right now. Play the game vanilla with a few patches and essential mods.
Q: I don't like that either.
A: Then try Enderal! And if you don't like that then you're out of luck friend!
Enderal - The Shards of Order
From the guys who made Nehrim for Oblivion, Enderal is a Total Conversion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - a new game based on Skyrim's core architecture, game-play, engine, and assets. It has been in the making for 4 1/2 years, with over 30 000 hours of work, on a completely non-commercial basis. It runs independently from Skyrim and provides a completely new game-experience with a new land with it's own lore and different biomes, deeply overhauled game-play and a professionally voiced story-line with a dark and mature narrative.
-Nexus friendly mod downloads
-Baby's first mod manager
-Only works when the Nexus works which is never
-Little to no customization
-Does not work well with SteamWorkshop mods
-Does not like loose file mods
-Saves mods in a different folders
-When it tries to self update, you can't do ANYTHING
-Tells you to update incorrect versions
Vortex is the new manager developed by the Nexus people, who hired the original MO dev to do it. It has an Alpha release open to the public.
Now, I'll be very sincere here, I was disappointed when I first saw and used Vortex.
It being developed by the same person as the original Mod Organizer gave me hope that we would be getting something equal if not better than Mod Organizer, but when I first used it, I realized that Vortex is just a re-skin of the Nexus Mod Manager.
Gopher has a video series where he explores all the features in Vortex.
-Tons of options
-Mod profiles to switch between
-Save game manager
-Alerts you of conflicts
-Can move NMM mods to Mod Organizer
-Great for anyone!
-When I mean anyone, I mean scrubs
-Mod conflicts can show up incorrectly
-Mods must be packed accordingly with game profiles
Mod Organizer is a great tool for someone who uses a lot of mods for Skyrim! The amount of things you can do in this program is huge! You can edit mods and INI files on the fly and not have to worry about overwrites and extra files. The best part about this is that you can basically organize your mods into separate games. For instance, you can have one profile for lots of combat mods and immersion while also having another profile with tons of graphics mods with lore breaking joke mods. It's like having the best of both worlds! The downside is that it takes a lot of time to figure out how everything works and how organization plays a deep role in all of this. But I'm assured that you will be confident and smart enough to do it! It's well worth learning and it does everything that the Nexus Mod Manager does and more! For more Mod Organizer help, click on the Link button!
-Comes with the game
-Easy mod installation
-SteamWorkshop only mods
-SteamWorkshop mods only come in BSA's
-Some mods take a LONG time to download and configure
-Doesn't do a lot
The Steam integration into Skyrim is Steam's solution to modding websites. You can easily download mods and have the installed to your game as quick as possible! The downsides of only using this is awful. Usually a mod gives you options and ompatibility fixes, but if you use the SteamWorkshop, you can't really get those since it's all packed into one BSA and one ESP. On top of that, editing load order is a pain in the ass. You can't click and drag groups of mods. Instead, you have press the up and down arrows on ONE selected mod to move it. Not to mention that some mods might have conflicts and the launcher won't tell you of any conflicts. The one plus side to using this is SteamWorkshop exclusive mods. Some mods are exclusive to SteamWorkshop mods for one reason or another and are usually really good. So to put it bluntly, ONLY USE THIS TO DOWNLOAD STEAMWORKSHOP EXCLUSIVE MODS.
-MUST USE tools for modding
-Savegame organizer and editor
-Conflict alerts AND missing Master file alerts
- Old layout may not appeal to casuals
-It doesn't matter you're gonna have to use this anyways
Wrye Bash is one of the oldest running mod managers. Formerly known as Wrye Mash, Wrye Bash is a very complex mod manager that is sorta like Mod Organizers big brother without the profile management. You can sort your mods and load order, get conflict notifications, edit INIs, and organize your saves. There are a few key features that seperate this from the rest of the mod managers. First off, you can merge mods and make bashed patches. A bashed patch is when you combine features with several different mods and make them not conflict or interfere with each other. It's a really great tool for someone who likes variety in there game. If you wanna play Skyrim the right way, you MUST use this. You don't have to use the mod organizing itself, but you have to use the extra tools it provides! What's a Bashed patch you ask? Well a bash patch is a ESP file that combines leveled lists. Leveled lists are basically the item and loot lists given to NPCs. Usually an item mod overwrites this. So if you have several mods that add items to NPCs, they're just gonna keep overwriting each other and you'll only get an item list from one mod! With a Bashed patch, you can combine these leveled lists together so that they're all compatible and you can have NPCs with different item mods on them.
-Only limitation is yourself
-You can do "almost" anything!
-It's what ALL the cool kids use!
-Requires one of the other mod managers to actually be viable.
IE: WryeBash or SteamWorkshop
-Can't edit load order without the SteamLauncher or a mod manager
-Complex for beginners
Manually installing mods is the way to go for most people. It's rewarding to learn and experience how to mod a game as big as Skyrim. It's probably the best way to start out modding, and then working your way to organizing mods with other programs and utilities. The reason is because once you learn the basics, they lead you to complex fixes and organization which require programs such as Mod Organizer or Wrye Bash. You can't change the load order without using a program to do it. Some might find manually installing mods to be the hardest way to manage your mods, but this is how most people learned when Skyrim first came out and there weren't any mod managers out yet. It was all about trial and error with mods and finding the right combination that wouldn't crash your game every 30 seconds. If you want to learn what loose files are and how to install mods, click on the Skyrim button!
This is a list of mods that are a MUST HAVE for anyone. These mods don't go too in-depth and work with any kind of rig. You'll see some major and significant changes in your game because these mods fix a lot of things that Bethesda left out or were too lazy to properly fix.
Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch