User:Shadriss/Lexys LOTD SE Startpage
This guide is designed for experienced modders. If you are new to the Skyrim Modding Experience, it is highly suggested you watch videos, read forums posts, and other such activities to ensure you are familiarized with all of the tools used in this mod build. It is also advised that you attempt a less technical mod guide, such as TUCOS, to become comfortable with the use of these tools.
First time installers of this guide are advised to install everything listed in the guide in their initial installation, and deviating from it ONLY after verifying a working build.
SUPPORT FORUM: Lexy's Legacy of the Dragonborn Special Edition This will connect you with support for the guide via the STEP Forums. SUPPORT DISCORD: 1. Testing Trello: Suggested mods, current testing status, and other information on guide development can be found Here. CHANGELOG: You can review the version changes to the guide by clicking Here Troubleshooting: Some Troubleshoot tip can be found Here
Mod List Page: The guide's list of mods can be found Here. Merge Page:The guide's Merge Page is Here Finishing Line: The guide's Finishing Line page is Here Mod Configuration Menu Setup: The guide's suggested Mod Configuration Menu settings are all Here
- 1 Introduction and Summary
- 2 The Journey Begins...
- 3 Prerequisites
- 4 Tools
- 5 zEdit Modules
- 6 Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017
- 7 Mod Manager
- 7.1 [Mod Organizer 2]
- 7.2 Installing Mod Organizer 2
- 7.3 Configuring Mod Organizer 2
- 7.4 Mod Organizer 2: Base Profile Creation
- 7.5 Setting up Base Tools for Mod Organizer 2
- 7.6 Creating Legacy Of The Dragonborn: Special Edition Profile
- 7.7 Mod Organizer 2 Plugins
- 7.8 Clean the Bethesda ESM's
- 7.9 BethINI
- 7.10 Post BethINI Tweaks
- 7.11 xLODGEN
- 7.12 DynDOLOD
- 7.13 zMerge Setup
- 7.14 Reshade Installation
- 7.15 GPU Driver Settings
Introduction and Summary
Welcome to Lexy's Legacy of the Dragonborn: Special Edition, the Skyrim SE version of my previous and popular SRLE Extended: Legacy of the Dragonborn guide. This is designed to be a full installation guide, taking you from a fresh Skyrim SE installation to a fully modified game.
The guide is actively maintained, and is a constant state of flux. As of this writing, it is updated once a week (when circumstances allow). The STEP Hosted guide is updated on Monday, and the NEXUS hosted guide follows on Wednesday. With this in mind, ensure that as you are installing you are using the same version of the guide that you were previously using, as installation can take anywhere from a day or two to a full week or more, depending on how much time you dedicate to it.
As noted in the warning above, this guide is designed for experienced modders, and the instructions, though they are written for clarity, do assume a certain level of comfort and familiarity with the tools. If you are looking for an easier guide, one better suited to learning the basics of Mod Organizer 2 and the other tools, I recommend looking at TUCOGUIDE by ponurymazepa.
There is a video series (special thanks to PheonixSunstar001) that shows the entireity of this guide's installation. It can be found here.
A Little Chat
This guide will take a substantial amount of time and a large amount of hard drive space (approximately 100 Gb of data, not including your base Skryim install). It also involves the use of more advanced modding concepts. Prior to beginning the installation, I suggest giving the entire guide a read-through to be fully aware of everything you will need to do to complete the instllation. Remember that the end goal of the guide is to actually PLAY the game and enjoy it. This will take several sessions to install from scratch.
This is not your father's Skyrim, kids. Be warned: it is a much more difficult game, especially from start to level 30. The quests you used to do at level 1 aren't going to be doable until much later on unless you are a very experienced solo player or have a number of followers trailing behind you. Even dedicated solo players have adopted follower usage trying to play this guide. You'll likely want a follower or two anyhow to carry all the glorious LOTD Museum loot around anyhow.
To have a fully working install of this guide, you MUST pay attention and follow the posted instructions TO THE LETTER. Experiences on both the Support Forums and the Discord have shown that 98% of reported problems are the results of user error, with the remaining portion mistakes on Lexy's part (and are quickly corrected). It is imperative that you have at least some knowledge and familiarity with Mod Organizer 2, LOOT, FNIS, the Creation Kit, xEdit, zMerge, Wrye Bash, Mator Smash, zEdit, xLODGen, and DynDOLOD prior to starting the guide. The mod list can be used as a base to build or remove from, but it is strongly advised that you install and play-test the entire guide (with nothing omitted or added) to ensure it is stable before doing so. The guide itself is very stable, and rivals Requiem in scope since the inclusion of the OMEGA and Experience mods. Again, if you complete the installation and the game isn't working, it is far more likely that you made an error in installation than that Lexy made a mistake in her instructions.
There is a Discord Community that has an unwritten rule of tolerance towards those new to modding (within reason), but self-help is preferred and appreciated. The Discord is friendly, helpful, and has a knowledgeable staff. Link: Discord
As the guide is frequently updated, you will, at some point, have to stop modding it and just play or you will be caught up in a never-ending loop of restarting new characters. Most users create two separate installations of MO2, one for playing and one for updating. Those who are OCD about maintaining things up to date will find this helps sooth the itch.
The guide is very demanding on hardware. You can use it, though, if you know your computer system, are smart about what texture resolutions you use, how many of them you use, and scale back some of the settings of (or simply just don't use) xLodGen, DynDOLOD, and/or ENB/ReShade. The guide has been bench-marked, and currently uses an approximate max 4.7 Gb of VRAM on Darth's and Lexy's system during the Cart Ride to Helgen. The system specs of these computers is found below.
With that said: It's time to get into the wonderful world of Skyrim Modding. We hope you'll find it pleasant, and good luck.
Lexy's System Specs
The specs listed below are those of Lexy's computer. They are NOT a minimum specs listing, just a point of reference for what is being used by Lexy to test this guide.
- Processor: i5 4670K @ 4.2 GHz
- Motherboard: ASUS z97-K
- Ram: Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB (4x8GB) @2133MHz
- GPU: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080Ti 11GB
- OS: (WIN 7) WD Green 2TB
- Game Drive: Samsung 850 EVO 256GB (Steam)
- Game Drive: WD Blue M.2 SATA 1TB (GOG and Origins)
- Game Backup: WD Blue 2TB
The Journey Begins...
Before you can get to the fun stuff, you have to go through the not-so-fun stuff. We have a small laundry list of things to finish first - from installing the game, to cleaning the mess that is the original Bethesda files, to installing all of the tools. So the first step of our journey is to lay the foundations of the guide.
Most mods in the guide will usually have at least one (if not more) of the following tags. These are placed for easier management of the guide. Explanations of these tags follow:
- : A Core mod is considered essential to the full guide build, and should always be included.
- : Tools are, as their name implies, tools used in the modding process. Instructions for their use can be found either on the Prerequisites Page or elsewhere on the internet. Special Use instructions will be presented as they are needed.
- : These mods are considered optional to the overall build. However, because of the nature of this guide, it will likely affect the rest of the guide's install process in some way. Removal of these mods can be done, but may require more work to either remove dependencies (IE, cleaning masters from Conflict Resolution patches later on) or to simply not install related files (iNeed patches wouldn't be needed if not installing iNeed, for example). No alternate instructions are provided for cases where you choose not to install these mods. If this is your first install of the guide, again, it is strongly advised to install these first and only remove them later after you have verified a working and stable install.
- : These mods are a 'high-quality' visual modification aimed at users with a higher-end system. It can be used by those with lower-end systems, but the visual improvement may not be worth the performance hit.
- : Mods with this flag need to have their BSA assets extracted via the Mod Organizer 2 BSA extracter. This is often because these mods are involved in a merge later on, which requires the assets to be loose files instead. Instructions for this process can be found in the "BSA Extraction" section later on this page.
- : These mods were designed and intended for use with Skyrim: Legacy Edition (AKA, LE or sometimes Oldrim). They still work with the Special Edition, but may require some file manipulation to make it work as intended with the guide.
- : As a follow on to the tag, some ESP files need to be converted in the Creation Kit to the newer record forms of the Special Edition. This tag denotes those mods. The instructions for doing so are located later on this page.
- : These mods have textures and meshes that need optimization, and will be run through the Cathedral Assets Optimizer. Instructions for this process will be found in the "Cathedral Assets Optimizer" section later on this page.
- : These mods are part of a merged mod that will be created late in the guide. It is informational only, and does not require any additional actions until instructed to do so on the Merge Page.
- : Some mod's ESP files can be flagged as ESL files instead, effectively saving one of the 254 available ESP slots in the load order. This tag notes a mod who's ESP can be so flagged. Instructions for this process can be found on the Prerequisites Page.
Before starting to install any of the mods in the list, it is first important to put the game into a stable state and make a few quick changes to the main Bethesda files to ensure no conflicts in the vanilla game exist - yes, Bethesda's own DLC creates some conflicts.
But before we get started...
A Quick Word from Lexy
Before we get started a quick word from your friendly neighborhood mad lady.
- Your game MAY APPEAR BROKEN and Loot will not sort correctly until you complete the entire guide.
- Do not add or remove other mods before completing the guide.
- Do carefully read and follow every word of the guide.
- Do not deviate.
- Trust the guide!
- You have to be willing to teach yourself how to use all of the modding tools used in this guide.
- This guide will completely change your game, and it may appear broken at times.
- Read each mod’s Nexus description so you know what you are installing!
- This guide is unlike any other guide because it has many custom patches to make hundreds of mods work together.
Trust in the madness that is Darkladylexy...
Bethesda Main Files
Needless to say, you need to actually have the game downloaded and installed. Additionally, you will need the Creation Kit, which will require an account on Bethesda.net if you don't have one already.
Experience in the modding community has shown that there are a few best practices when installing this game:
1. DO NOT install this in any UAC controlled folder structure. This includes x:/Program Files, x:/Program Files(x86), and the main Windows directory. It is, instead, advised to install the game (and, really, Steam itself) ANYWHERE other than there. Idealy, it would be on a separate SSD drive from your Operating System, but if that's not feasible, at least ensure that UAC is either turned off completely (not recommended for basic users) or installed outside of it's control.
2. This also applies to ANY tools or programs other than the base game, with the important note that they SHOULD NOT (despite what some old tutorials may say) be installed into the Skyrim: SE base folder unless specifically directed to do so.
Some users have reported issues between the Steam Overlay and Skyrim:SE. For this reason, the guide recommends disabling the Overlay. Note that this will also disable Achievements in Steam, as the Overlay is the portion of Steam that monitors for these events in-game. If you want Achievements, skip this step, but be aware that there may be unexpected issues.
- Special Instructions:
Disable the Steam Overlay by: 1. Load Steam. 2. In the Tool bar at the top of the left hand side Click Steam. 3. In the Dropdown menu Click Settings. 4. Then in the popup box find where it says In-Game. 5. Uncheck Enabled the Steam overlay while in-game then click OK. Alternately, if you wish to disable the Overlay for Skyrim:SE only: 1. Load Steam. 1. Click LIBRARY. 1. On your Games list look for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Editon and Right Click. 1. In the Dropdown menu Click Properties. 1. Then in the popup box Uncheck Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.
Before we can actually start doing any modding, we need to setup Skyrim Special Edition first so we have a starting base to work from.
Start by opening Steam: then perform the following steps in order:
Start The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition through the Steam context menu to open the default Skyrim Special Edition launcher.
- Click "Options".
- Click the [Ultra] push-button.
- Set "Aspect Ratio" and "Resolution" through the drop down box. Set these to the monitors optimal resolution.
- Set "Antialiasing" to Off through the drop down box. This is in preparation for the ENB Install.
- Set "Full Screen Mode" by making sure Windowed Mode is Unticked.
- Click the [OK] button to close and save.
We have just set Skyrim Special Edition up to a base to work on. We'll tweak this when we run the BethINI tool later in the guide.
Configure The Creation Kit
If you use Windows Defender Firewall and find yourself crashing while trying to launch the Creation Kit for the very first time. Try adding an outbound rule in Windows Defender Firewall for Creation Kit
The Creation Kit is a valuable tool for Skyrim Special Edition as it allows users to create and/or edit mods. It can be used to fix and change things not possible with the other 3rd party tools. Similar to Skyrim Special Edition, the Creation Kit does not have default ini files until it is started for the first time and requires some basic setup to work properly for the purpose of this guide.
For the puroses of this guide the Creation kit will be required for proper mod conversion.
- Download and install Bethesda.net Launcher.
- Run the Launcher and sign in (create an account if you don't have one).
- Users should see the grey "Creation" icon on the left. Click on it and install.
- Users should now launch the CK, choosing YES when asked to extract the scripts, and close the program.
There are a few edits that need to be made before you can use the CK to port mods.
- Download the premade CreationKitCustom.ini here
- Extract it to Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition
These settings will remain set for each subsequent run. These settings have accomplished the following:
- Setup the ini files for multiple master loads and to properly load DLC content.
The Scripts archive in the DATA folder can remain after the extraction.
[SSE CreationKit Fixes]
Special Installation: Manually extract the mod and place in the main Skyrim Special Edition Directory Folder
Mod notes: Various patches and bug fixes for the Creation Kit to make life easier.
Idiot Check: Make sure you have v1.5.3 of the Creation Kit.
Please note Nexus Won't allow me to link directly to the 1.5.3 of the Creation Kit you can get it from either the STEP version of the guide or the Discord Channel
[Skyrim Script Extender]
Install only these files to the main Skyrim Special Edition folder at this time:
Do NOT install the script files yet. These will be installed later as part of the Creating Legacy Of The Dragonborn: Special Edition Profile section. Do not delete the downloaded archive.
SKSE is absolutely essential. It extends the scripting capacity of the game to allow mods to do things that would not normally be doable in the base Skyrim Engine. Many Mods depend upon it.
Is is advised to run LOOT Once Outside of Mod Organizer 2 and sort your Load Order this will make sure the Masterlist updates properly
Mod notes: The programs allow you to sort and optimize your Load Order.
Special Installation: Once LOOT is installed we need to set up some Mod Groups that will be used throughout this guide these groups are created by:
LOOT Creating Mod Groups
- Run LOOT
- Navigate to the 3 dots in the far right of the interface.
- Select Open Group Editor.
- In the Add a new group box Add “Merge Patches”
- Left-click the node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “Late Loaders” to “Merge Patches” (Merge Patches should turn green)
- In the Add a new group box Add “NPC Retextures”
- Left-click the node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “Merge Patches” to “NPC Retextures” (NPC Retextures should turn green)
- In the Add a new group box Add “Conflict Resolution”
- Left-click the node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “NPC Retextures” to "Conflict Resolution" (Conflict Resolution should turn green)
- Now Left click the node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “Conflict Resolution” to Leveled List Modifiers (Conflict Resolution should turn grey)
- In the Add a new group box Add “Arthmoor's Villages”.
- Left click on the "Low Priority Overrides" node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “Low Priority Overrides” to "Arthmoor's Villages" (Arthmoor's Villages should turn green)
- Now Left click the "Arthmoor's Villages" node and Drag the line with the arrow and link “ Arthmoor's Villages" to "High Priority Overrides" (Arthmoor's Villages should turn grey)
By the end, all the newly Added Groups should be Grey.
Watch THIS handy Video to see how to create the Mod Groups.
Click HERE to see it all finished.
Mod notes: Mator Smash is a tool that generates conflict resolution patches, similar to Wrye Bash's Bashed Patch.
SSEEdit will create a Cache Folder which will be found in Mod Organizer 2 overwrite I recommend creating a mod out of this and having it active in the left pane this will help speed up SSEEdit load times.
Special Installation Instructions: Once installed run xEdit perform the following
Load xEdit Right Click on any plugin From the popup menu navigate to Other than Left click on Options a new popup box should appear Uncheck Simple Records LAND, NAVI, NAVM, CELL, WRLD (requires restart) Click OK Exit xEdit.
Mod notes: This program is an essential Tool that will help with cleaning mods of dirty edit and enable to creation of patches required by this guide.
[Cathedral Assets Optimizer]
Mod notes: Cathedral Assets Optimizer is a tool aiming to automate asset conversion and optimization for Skyrim Special Edition.
Special Installation Instructions:
- Download the archive Manually.
- Extract bsarch.exe to Cathedral Assets Optimizer\resources Folder
Mod notes: A command line tool for packing and unpacking Bethesda archives.
Special Installation: Manually extract the Mopy folder from Wrye Bash and install it to the main Skyrim Special Edition directory. Windows 7 users also need to create a Docs Folder in Skyrim Special Edition\Data. .
Mod notes: The function of this tool is to manage mods and create Bashed Patches. Bashed Patches merge the levelled lists from the installed mods and has some limited functionality to merge mods and tweak game values. For the purposes of this guide, only the Bashed Patch functionality will be used.
Mod Notes: This tool is similar to SSEEdit.
Experience Mod zEdit Patcher
Special Installation: Extract experiencePatcher into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod adds compatibility to Experience so the kills function will work on all NPCs.
[UPF No Dragon LODs Patcher]
Special Installation: Extract hishy-no-dragon-lods into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod applies the No Dragon LODs effect.
Special Installation: Extract hishyNpcEnchantFix into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod is a simple port of ASIS' NPC Enchant Fix that will work with zEdit.
[UPF Opposite Animation Disabler]
Special Installation: Extract oppositeAnimationDisabler into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: A Unified Patching Framework (UPF) patcher that disables the 'Opposite Gender Anim' flag on all affected NPCs.
[UPF Cell Encounter Level in Name Patcher]
Special Installation: Extract hishyCellEncounters into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod adds the Encounter Zone's level to the text you see before you enter the zone.
[UPF Khajiit Ears Show Patcher]
Special Installation: Extract hishy-khajiit-ears-show into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod will allow all Khajiit to show their ears when wearing helmets.
zEdit patchers warehouse.
Special Installation: Extract zedit-spell-absorb-fix, zedit-visual-transfer, zedit-water-damage into the 'modules' subdirectory of zEdit.
Mod Notes: This mod is a small collection of zEdit Patchers.
Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017
[Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2017]
Mod Notes: this Tool is required for Mod Organizer 2 to function properly
The paid for version of ccleaner is known to break Mod Organizer 2's Virtual Filing System (VFS). Unchecking the 'windows event logs' option under ccleaner's advanced tab will help ensure this doesn't happen. Also make sure the Profile Folder Remains in the same location of Mod Organizer 2 as all the base files otherwise Relinker could break
[Mod Organizer 2]
Mod notes: This is the tool we'll actually be using to download, install and manage the mods. Don't worry if it looks daunting, we'll set you right shortly.
Installing Mod Organizer 2
Once Mod Organizer 2 is downloaded some manual setup is required suggest watching this to familiarize yourself installation procedure (Skip to 10:27):
- Create a new folder called Mod Organizer 2 - Lexys LOTD SE (or something you would Recognize easily) in the Root of a Drive (so you have some like E:\Mod Organizer 2 - Lexys LOTD SE).
- Extract the contents of the downloaded Zip file to the folder created in Step 1
- Run ModOrganizer.exe
- A popup box should appear, asking you to "choose an Instance" pick Portable
- A 2nd popup should appear; from the drop-down menu pick Skyrim Special Edition
- A 3rd popup should appear asking if you want to see the tutorial. Those who are new to Mod Organizer 2 should select Yes. Those who are very familiar with it should Select No.
- A 4th popup should appear stating that 'Mod Organizer is not set up to handle nxm links. Associate it with nxm links?' The recommended response is Yes, as this will allow Mod Organizer 2 to handle Nexus file links.
Congratulations Mod Organizer 2 is installed. Now we need to configure it properly.
Idiot check make sure you don't move your mods folder out of Mod Organizer 2 base folder
Configuring Mod Organizer 2
Now that Mod Organizer 2 is installed to setup up correctly
- From the toolbar click the Spanner and screwdriver icon.
- Under the Nexus tab make sure the Automatically login to Nexus is Ticked
- Input your Nexus User Name and Password.
- Click OK
If you're installing onto a smaller SSD for example and are short for space consider changing your Downloads location to a larger hard drive. To do this, make a folder on the hard drive named 'Skyrim Mod Downloads' or similar. Then on the [Path] tab of MO2 click the box labelled "Downloads" and point the Downloads directory option to the folder you just made. I suggest not changing any of the other "Paths".
Mod Organizer 2: Base Profile Creation
Now the Mod Organizer 2 is installed and configured correctly, we need to create a Base Profile to work from.
- Click the [Configure Profiles] button at the top of the window. The icon looks like an id card.
- Click [Create] and type "Vanilla Skyrim SE" in the text box.
- Verify that"Default Game Settings" is unchecked then click [OK]. The "Vanilla Skyrim SE" profile will appear in the list.
- Exit from the Configure Profiles window and change to the newly create Profile.
- reopen Configure Profiles window and the Select the"Default"</span>profile and click[Remove]. Select[Yes]</span>when prompted.
- Close the dialogue by clicking [Close].
- Verify that"Vanilla Skyrim SE"</span> is the currently selected profile in the "Profile" drop-down above the left-pane of the Mod Organizer window.
Setting up Base Tools for Mod Organizer 2
Now to setup the tool's UI and other such settings. Follow the steps below
Some extenders and tools such as SKSE, Skyrim, Skyrim Launcher, LOOT and the Creation Kit should appear already configured in the list that will pop up. To configure the remaining tools, perform the following:
- Click the [Executables] button at the top of the main Mod Organizer window. The icon looks like a pair of cogs.
- In the "Title" text box type "SSEEdit".
- In the "Binary" text box type <SSEEdit Path>\SSEEdit.exe or select it using windows explorer by pressing the [...] button.
- Do not select any of the optional check boxes.
- Click the [Add] button. SSEEdit should appear in the list.
- It is advised to add a second Instance of SSEEdit to MO2 Executables by repeating the process above call this second instance SSEEDIT - Quick Auto Clean
- In the Arguments field add -quickautoclean
- Repeat this process for Mator Smash, Wrye Bash and zEdit, replacing the appropriate fields then close the dialogue by clicking [Close].
What this step has done is added the tools you'll use as part of the modding process as executables that can be run through Mod Organizer. Most of the tools we'll use will need to be run through Mod Organizer to work correctly. This is so the tools can 'see' the virtual file system Mod Organizer sets up.
Next we'll fix the default left pane order, which is scrambled from how it should look. Drag and drop the files in the left pane until they look like this:
* Dawnguard * HearthFires * Dragonborn
We now need to run LOOT to organize the right pane so it depicts the correct order also. Perform the following steps:
- Select LOOT from the drop-down list of executables.
- Click the [Run] button
- Towards the top right-hand corner is an icon that looks like 3 horizontal lines. Mousing over it shows it's for 'Sort Plugins'. Click it.
- LOOT will now download any updates to its master list file and compare the files it sees to this master list file. LOOT will display warning messages about the ITMs and deleted references the 3 Bethesda ESMs contain. Do not worry about them at this time. They will be dealt with later, in the Clean the Bethesda ESM's step.
- The calculated load order is then displayed. Click 'Apply' to accept this order. If no changes are necessary there may not be an 'Apply' option as no changes are needed.
- Close Loot using the Red X.
This process has loaded LOOT via Mod Organizer. This enables LOOT to act upon any and all of the .ESM and .ESP files in Mod Organizer's virtual file system. It compares what files it sees to the Master-List of all .ESM and .ESP files and suggests tweaks as required. Some files need to load before others or after others for their effects to be fully noticeable. LOOT helps this to happen. If you look at the Right pane of Mod Organizer now, you should notice that the files are in the same order that you just sorted them into on the Left pane, with Skyrim.esm and Update.esm above them. This is the correct formation.
This process has enabled the Dawnguard, Hearthfires, and Dragonborn DLCs for use in the game.
Congratulations Mod Organizer 2 Base Profile should now be properly set up. Next, we need to set up a Modding Profile.
Creating Legacy Of The Dragonborn: Special Edition Profile
We've made a Vanilla Skyrim profile. This means you can play vanilla unmodded Skyrim via Mod Organizer at a single mouse click. Now we'll make the profile with which we'll mod Skyrim. This is how we proceed:
* Click the [Configure Profiles] icon at the top of the main Mod Organizer window. The icon looks like an id card. * Select "Vanilla Skyrim SE" then click [Copy]. * Type "Legacy Of The Dragonborn - Special Edition" in the text box and hit [OK].
A couple of points to be made here: Firstly, when you make a new profile, Mod Organizer makes new copies of Skyrim.ini and SkyrimPrefs.ini. If and when you make ini files changes, you will be making them to THESE files. Secondly, we installed the base three files of Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) earlier, but didn't install the script files. We will do this now to show how to install a mod via Mod Organizer. Ensure you have your newly made profile active and then perform the following steps:
* Click the small screwdriver and wrench icon adjacent to the "Profile" drop-down and select "Install Mod...". * Navigate to the downloaded SKSE archive and click [Open]. * Replace the default text, if any, in the "Name" text box with "SKSE Scripts". This is the name that will be displayed in the left pane post-installation. * In the file tree, navigate to the "Data" folder inside the archive, right-click and select "Set Data Directory". Only the Scripts folder should be visible and checked. * Click [OK].
The mod will now be displayed with an empty check box in the mod window. This mod is now installed but not yet enabled for use by the game. Also, note that Mod Organizer does not have a version number or category set for this mod. To resolve this, perform the following:
* Right-click the mod and select "Information...". (Alternatively, double click the mod name.) * In the "Categories" tab, check the box next to "Utilities" to add that category to this mod. * In the "Nexus Info" tab, set the version number to the installed SKSE version number but set the Mod ID to -1.
This has set the proper version number and category for this mod. The colour of the text also indicates that SKSE is not available on the Nexus. Look at the [File Tree] tab to see the contents of the folder that will be virtually placed inside the Skyrim/Data folder. Note the meta.ini file is shown which Mod Organizer uses to store all the related data for the mod and it will not be visible to the game when executed.
Any mods downloaded directly into Mod Organizer from the Nexus will have one or more of the data fields automatically filled based on Nexus server-provided information.
* Click [Close] to save and exit the window.
Mods version numbers that can be verified by the Nexus will be either Green(Current+) or Red(Out Of Date). To make the mod visible to the game:
* Check the box adjacent to the mod name.
The files located inside this mod folder will now be visible to any programs executed through Mod Organizer as if they were placed inside of the Skyrim/Data folder. Any conflicts are handled by Mod Organizer in priority order (higher priority overwrites lower priority). Give this a try now:
* Select "SKSE" in the drop down above the right pane then click [Run].
This will execute the game through Mod Organizer using the SKSE_Loader.exe. The Mod Organizer window will close as SKSE is automatically configured to do so. At this point, SKSE is now properly installed with all included script functionality. There is also a way to check you have SKSE loaded and working:
* When the game loads to the menu, open the console. This is usually one by pressing the key directly above the [Tab] key. It's often the ` or ~ key. This will open a small command prompt in the lower left corner. It may be hard to see but it should be there. Type the command "getskseversion" without the quotes. It should give output as to the version you have installed. If it's anything other than 2.0.12 then recheck the original SKSE install and the scripts install just performed.
Exit the game, and if needed ensure SKSE is correct again after checking install. Do not continue until you're sure SKSE is correctly installed.
We've now set up the profile we wish to install mods too. We've also set up a Vanilla Profile. Either a modded game or the vanilla game can be played just by changing the profile. Additionally, should you wish to make any other profile, you can simply copy that Vanilla Skyrim profile, rename it and start with that new profile.
Mod Organizer 2 Plugins
[Merge Plugins Hide]
Setup: Extract everything except LICENSE and README.md to your Mod Organizer 2 plugins directory. Load Mod Organizer 2 and press the Screw Driver and Spanner Icon. Navigate to the Plugins Tab Scroll down until you find Merge Plugins Hide In the Right hand box change "hide type" to "optional". Click OK.
Merge Plugins Hide is now set up and will move merged plugins to the optional directory within Mod Organizer 2. It can be accessed via the Puzzle icon within Mod Organizer 2.
Mod Notes: This is a Plugin for Mod Organizer 2 that allows you to hide Plugins easier after they have been merged.
Clean the Bethesda ESM's
Make sure you have setup a second instance of SSEEdit in Mod Organizer 2 Executables before you start the clean process
With profiles now set up properly, it is time to begin modding some vanilla game files. To increase stability, SSEEdit will be used to clean ITMs and UDRs from Bethesda 's ESMs. This improves compatibility between the various DLCs and lessens the chance of instability in Skyrim. Perform the following:
Before we start cleaning the ESMs we need to back up the originals, navigate to Skyrim Special Edition\Data folder and backup the following:
* Update.esm * Dawnguard.esm * HearthFires.esm * Dragonborn.esm
Once the original ESMs are backed up we can start the cleaning process:
* Start Mod Organizer. * Select "SSEEdit" from the drop-down above the right pane and click [Run] making sure it's the one with -quickautoclean set. * Right-click inside the file listing and select "None". * Check the box adjacent to Update.esm and click [OK]. * SSEEdit will now automatically run through the cleaning process. Wait until you see the message "Quick Clean mode finished". * Once you see the message "Quick Clean mode finished" click the [X] on the title bar to close SSEEdit.
Update.esm has now been cleaned, meaning that any improperly removed records or edited records that were identical to the base Skyrim.esm file have been fixed.
Repeat the process above for all of the DLC ESMs in order selecting only one at a time. Do NOT attempt to clean Skyrim.esm itself.
Manual SSEEdit Cleaning For Dawnguard.esm Also Required:
Open SSEEdit and load only Dawnguard.esm Once loaded Left click and open CELL > Block 5 > Sub-Block 3 > select 00016BCF. Scroll down the view window on the right to find XEZN subrecord referring to RiftenRatwayZone [ECZN:0009FBB9]. Right click and select Remove. Next Left click and open CELL > Block 2 > Sub-Block 1 > select 0001FA4C. Right click and select Remove. Last Left click and open CELL > Block 8 > Sub-Block 1. Right click and select Remove. Click the [X] in the upper right hand corner, uncheck "Backup plugins", and click [OK].
Once you have finished the cleaning process Navigate to Mod Oraganizer 2/mods folder and create new folder called Cleaned Vanilla ESMs
Navitgate back to your Skyrim Special Edition DATA folder and Cut and Paste these files:
Into the newly created Cleaned Vanilla ESMs Inside MO2/Mods folder.
Once you have cleaned and created a mod from the Cleaned ESM' you can restore the original UNCLEANED ones backed earlier to the DATA folder.
This preserves an absolutely clean Skyrim/Data directory and also allows our modded profile to run with the modified, cleaned vanilla ESM files. To finish up the cleaning, perform the following:
* Start Mod Organizer. * Verify the "Legacy Of The Dragonborn - Special Edition" profile is the currently selected. * Drag the newly created mod "Cleaned Vanilla ESMs" Above the "SKSE Scripts" mods in the left pane and activate it by checking the box.
To recap the current set up:
* Running Skyrim through Steam results in a completely vanilla experience. * Running the "Vanilla Skyrim" profile through Mod Organizer with "Skyrim" selected in the drop-down results in a completely vanilla experience. * Running the "Legacy Of The Dragonborn - Special Edition" profile through Mod Organizer with "SKSE" selected in the drop-down results in a SKSE enabled experience using the cleaned base ESM files.
So, now to start your modified game, always start Mod Organizer, select SKSE and press [RUN].
Mod notes: This program was created by DoubleYou (The S.T.E.P. resident INI Master). BethINI (pronounced "Bethany") is an attempt to restore decency to the INI configuration files for games created by Bethesda.
- Run BethINI.exe Outside of MO and make sure it is closed otherwise changes wont take effect
- Mod Organizer users should go to the Setup tab within BethINI and select the profile they wish to use via the INI Path setting. Your profiles should be autodetected.
- Under the Basic tab Click the DEFAULT BUTTON. This will refresh your INI files to the default settings for your system, with minimal tweaks.
- Under the Basic tab Click the HIGH PRESET.
- Under the Basic tab Make sure the BethINI PRESET is checked.
- Under the Basic tab Make sure the Recommended Tweaks is checked.
- Under the Basic Tab make sure Windowed Mode is CHECKED
- Under the Basic Tab make sure Borderless is CHECKED
- Under the Basic Tab make sure FXAA is CHECKED
- Under the Basic tab make sure Antialiasing is set to NONE.
- Under the Basic tab make sure VSync is UNCHECKED.
- Under the Basic tab make sure Lock Frame Rate is UNCHECKED.
- Under the General tab make sure Intro Logos is UNCHECKED.
- Under the General Tab Make sure Post-Load Update Time is 2000.
- Under the Gameplay Tab Make Sure Over-Encumbered Reminder is set to 60.
- Under the Gameplay Tab Make Sure NPC Use Ammo is CHECKED.
- Under the Gameplay Tab Make sure 1st Person Arrow Tilt-up Angle is 0.7.
- Under the Gameplay Tab Make sure 3rd Person Arrow Tilt-up Angle is 0.7.
- Under the Gameplay Tab Make sure 1st Person Bolt Tilt-up Angle is 0.7.
- Under the Interface Tab Make sure Bethesda Modding Platform is UNCHECKED
- Under the Interface Tab Make sure Mouse Settings -> Lock Sensitivity is 0.0125.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Field of View is set to 85.00.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Particles is set to 2000.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Depth of Field is CHECKED.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Lens Flare is UNCHECKED.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Reflect Sky is CHECKED.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Ambient Occlusion is set toNONE.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Shadow Resolution is set to 2048.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Sun-Shadow Update Time is set to 0.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Sun-Shadow Update Threshold is set to 2.0.
- Under the Detail Tab make sure Improved Shader is UNCHECKED.
- Under the View Distance Tab make sure Grass Fade is set to 18000.
- Under the Visuals Tab make sure Grass Density is set to 60.
- Under the Visuals Tab make sure Grass Diversity is set to 15.
- Under the Basic Tab Click the Save and Exit button.
Post BethINI Tweaks
The first step to editing the SKSE.ini is to create it. Perform the following:
* Right-click Skyrim Script Extender in the Mod Organizer mod list. * Select "Open In Explorer". * Create and enter a folder named SKSE. * Create and open a text file named SKSE.ini. (Make sure you are showing hidden file extensions)
Once this file is open to be edited, paste in the following:
[General] ClearInvalidRegistrations=1 [Display] iTintTextureResolution=2048
This enables self-healing of rogue updating scripts in saves.
Save and close SKSE.ini then exit explorer.
bGrassPointLighting=1 iMaxGrassTypesPerTexure=15 (make sure you have this.) iMinGrassSize=60 (make sure you have this.)
bSAOEnable=0 fInteriorShadowDistance=3000 (Make sure is this the value)
b30GrassVS=0 fGrassMaxStartFadeDistance=18000 (Make sure is this the value)
bSaveOnPause=0 (Change existing value) bSaveOnRest=0 (Change existing value) bSaveOnTravel=0 (Change existing value) bSaveOnWait=0 (Change existing value)
Due to the heavily modded nature of this guide, it is advised to have autosaves turned off and to create fresh new saves every time and not overwrite old preexisting saves.
SkyrimCustom.ini is created by Bethini it basically can be used to overwrite settings placed in Skyrim.ini For the purpose of this guide we will use a blank copy of this file placed in the Legacy Of The Dragonborn - Special Edition Profile that you will use to actually play the game.
Make sure to Install xLODGEN Outside the main Skyrim SE Directory and the Mod Organizer 2 mods folder
- Download and install the Optional SSE-Terrain-Tamriel.esm file as a mod in Mod Organizer 2.
- Download the Main xLODGen-42 archive.
- Extract the contents to a new folder called xLODGEN but DO NOT PUT THE FOLDER INSIDE the main Skyrim SE OR Mod Organizer 2 folder.
- create folder called SSELODGen_Output At the ROOT of a Drive
- Once the above is done, open Mod Organizer 2 and add xLODGenx64.exe as an executable.
- In the Arguments field enter -sse -o:"<Drive Letter>\SSELODGen_Output" .
for example my path is "E:\SSELODGEN_Output\" and so in arguments: -sse -o:"E:\SSELODGen_Output"
Mod Notes: This is a utility used to generate LOD meshes and textures "exactly" like CK.
- Download the archive file.
- Extract the contents to a new folder called DynDOLOD Special Edition
- Once the above is done, open Mod Organizer 2 and add TexGenx64 and DynDOLODx64 as executables.
- In the Arguments field enter -sse for each executable.
Mod Notes: This is a utility used to create a mod based on the load order, which adds custom, distant LOD for objects to Skyrim.
In this section we will setup zMerge so that we can create merged mods later on:
- Open zEdit and select zMerge from the drop-down menu along with the profile you wish to use.
- Press Start Session.
- Click on the cog in the Upper Right corner and a new popup box should appear.
- Navigate to Integration Settings.
- Under Mod Manager select Mod Organizer 2
- Under MO2 Instance select Portable.
- Under Mod manager path, fill in the file path to where your main Mod Organizer 2 folder is
- Under Mod manager mods path, fill in the file path to where your Mod Organizer 2 mods folder is (this should be located inside the Mod Organizer 2 main folder)
- Navigate to Merge Settings.
- Under Merge Output path fill in the file path to where your Mod Organizer 2 mods folder is (this should be located inside the Mod Organizer 2 main folder)
- Uncheck "Disable plugins"
- Navigate to Archive Creation Settings.
- Under Advanced change Minimum file per archive to 999999
- Under Advanced make sure Create texture archive is UNCHECKED
- Click OK.
- You can now close zMerge.
Check these pictures on how to set up zMerge if you're having trouble: Here
If you prefer using a ENB you can skip this part and install the ENB Binaries instead Dealers Choice
- Download the latest version of ReShade
- Run the executable and point it to your SkyrimSE.exe
- On the next page select Direct3D 10+
- During installation, when asked if you want to download a set of shaders, choose 'yes' and select only: Finesharp.fx, LevelsPlus, LumaSharpen.fx and Vibrance.fx
- Download the Suggested Reshade preset found on the main guide and extract it to your game folder
- Run Skyrim Special Edition and, when the main menu loads, click the 'Home' key to call the ReShade GUI menu
- From the 'Home' tab, choose 'BTS ReShade.ini' in the drop-down menu at the top
- Click the 'Home' key again to close the GUI - you're all set and good to go.
GPU Driver Settings
These settings will be system dependent. What works for me may not work for you.
[NVIDIA Profile Inspector]
- Download and install NVIDIA Inspector, which includes NVIDIA Profile Inspector as a separate executable.
- Download a pre-made Profile .
- Load NVIDIA Inspector and start NVIDIA Profile Inspector. On the Profile Inspector's tool bar there should be an icon of a box with green arrow pointing down. Hovering over the icon should display Import user defined profiles .
- Once the profile have been installed, use the search bar and navigate to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition.
- Then double check the following has been set in the installed Profile:
2 - Sync and Refresh * Frame Rate Limiter 58 (From the drop down menu select 58) * Maximum pre-rendered frames 1 * Vertical Sync Force On (My game seems more smooth with these setting this may not be the same for you, but remember one rule, you must have Vsync enable somewhere either through the game, your ENB or the driver.) 3 - Antialiasing * Antialiasing - Mode Enhance the application setting * Antialiasing - Setting 4x [4x Multisampling] 4 - Texture Filtering * Anisotropic filtering mode User - defined/Off * Anisotropic filtering setting 16x * Texture Filtering - Anisoptropic Sample Optimization On * Texture Filtering - Negative LOD bias Clamp (Leave at clamp) * Texture Filtering - Quality High Quality (You can lower if needed) * Texture Filtering - Trilinear optimization On (will be ignored if using high quality)
Now we can go back to the main page and start the modding adventure of Skyrim Special Edition. Start at the "Mod Installation" heading. -> Lexy's: Legacy of The Dragonborn Special Edition