Tool Setup: Script Extenders
Vortex, unlike other mod managers, is capable of allowing you to manage your installation of the "script extenders" for Bethesda titles.
What is a "script extender"?
A script extender is an unofficial addon created for Bethesda's Gamebryo based games. It is designed to add to or enhance the available functions and features of the game and its engine. This may include fixing important bugs, removing limitations or allowing modders to interact with the game data in new ways when designing their mods.
You are not required to use a script extender for your modding setup unless you wish to use a mod that relies on it. For games still receiving updates, script extenders (and by proxy mods using them) may cease to function in any new updates. This would mean a delay while you wait for the script extender and any dependant mods to receive an update.
It's important to note that the script extenders are neither created or endorsed by the game developers. They are created by a group of highly skilled modding enthusiasts who are under no obligation to update or add features to the script extender. Any problems with your game that occur when using this software are entirely up to the user to resolve.
Where to get script extenders
- Skyrim VR - SKSEVR
- Skyrim Special Edition - SKSE64
- Skyrim - SKSE
- Oblivion - OBSE
- Morrowind - MSE
- Fallout 4 - FO4SE
- Fallout New Vegas - NVSE
- Fallout 3 - FOSE
Option 1: Install manually (Easy)
Install the script extender as defined on the download page. This usually involves placing some files in the same folder as the game EXE.
With the script extender installed, go to the Vortex dashboard and in the starter dashlet press the refresh button. If you have installed it correctly, the icon for the script extender will now light up. You can click the menu button next to the icon and make the script extender primary, this means whenever you launch the game through the top left play button in Vortex, the script extender will be launched.
Option 2: Install with Vortex (Intermediate)
Experienced users may wish to install the script extender through Vortex itself. The advantage of this is easily managing the installation and swapping out updated files cleanly. This method does not work with USVFS deployment.
For this example, we'll be using SKSE64 v2.0.10, but similar logic will apply to other the script extenders.
Download and install
First, you will need to download the archive. Even the files hosted at Nexus Mods will need to be downloaded manually.
Next, in your mods tab on Vortex, click the "Install from File" button and select the archive you've just downloaded.
This will add a new disabled mod entry for your script extender. Leave it disabled for now as we need to make a few changes before deploying it.
Move the files into the correct directories
Generally, script extenders aren't packed in a way that would allow installing them this way, so we'll need to move the files around to make it play nice.
To do this, right-click the script extender mod and select "Open with file manager".
In the example of SKSE64, you need to create a new folder called "Data" on the top level and move the scripts folder inside it.
Then move skse64_1_5_53.dll, skse_loader.exe, skse64_steam_loader.dll to the top level. You can delete the skse64_2_00_10 folder after this.
You should now have a Data folder (containing the scripts), 2 DLL files and an EXE file on the top level.
Update mod info in Vortex
Now we need to tell Vortex this isn't a normal mod and should be added to the game folder, not the mods folder.
Double-clicking the mod will open the mod details pane on the right. Make the following changes:
- Mod Name - This is optional, but you can make the name of the mod more friendly, such as "SKSE64" or "Script Extender".
- Version - This is recommended, add the current version of the script extender, so you know if you need to update.
- Mod Type - This is required change this to "dinput".
Now you can enable this mod. If you have automatic deployment turned off, you will need to click "Deploy Mods" to all the installation into the game folder.
Check it's working
To verify the script extending is working, check your dashboard where handly shortcuts to the script extender are already set up. Click the play button and if the game launches via the script extender it has been installed correctly.
You can set the script extender as default by clicking the menu icon next to the tool. This will mean when you click the launch button at the top of Vortex, the script extender will be started.