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 Modding Guide

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Posts : 1948
Join date : 2015-08-06
Age : 32
Location : Where bad dreams begin

PostSubject: Modding Guide   Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:02 pm

Hello guys.This is a guide to modding Skyrim provided and sent byashameduser so big thanks for that.
Adopted and fitted the links for this forum with permission.

There are some simple rules to Skyrim modding that I hope can help you in your Skyrim builds:

Never remove a mod once your playthrough has started.  If you remove a mod, other than some texture mods and some other mods apply, it is best practice, to restart your game when ever you remove a mod.

Learn load order, use LOOT

Learn to open TES5Edit to look for conflicts and for master and mod cleaning

Learn to use Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer

Learn which mods instinctively will not work with each other

Learn to use Wrye Bash for bash patches

Learn to read description pages and readmes

Learn to google your problem, the answer is out there!!!

Learn proper mods such as unofficial patches, ENBoost, etc.

Even if you have a simple mod set up, you at least need to learn LOOT for proper load order.

Only ask the mod author as a last resort, and be patient, they have a life, if they don't get back to
you......well free support isn't the best....try calling Hp when your computer bluescreens, paid support sucks too.

The MOST important part of all................helpful comments, endorsements, and donations when possible.  These things are soooo important from a user perspective.  It's how we say thank you for the countless hours of enjoyment we get from modding Skyrim, playing Skyrim, and creating mods for Skyrim.  

I took a look at SkyUI for a little perspective.  That mod has over 4,500,000 downloads!  Unfortunately, it only has 247,000 endorsements.  (Update: Now up to 279,800+ and climbing!!)   So....only 1 in 17 people who have downloaded this mod have even taken the one second that it takes to click a mouse button to endorse a mod.   1 in 17 for the most popular and most used mod for Skyrim.  Imagine what the ratio is for other lesser known mods.  We all appreciate the Nexus as well, even if not everyone loves every decision they make, we wouldn't be here without the Nexus, so thanks to the Nexus Staff for all you do!  Anyone who doesn't have a premium membership, should think about it, its great for support for the site, and the download speeds are much better, great for those 200 plus mod builds or for big texture packs.

We can't all donate to every mod, its just reality.  We can however let these modders know that we appreciate their work.  Think about that, a simple click of the mouse to let them know that their hours of work, hours of answering question after question that is answered in the mod description, is appreciated.  Your positive comment may be the one that set that modder on a quest to make the next big mod.....all from a positive comment.  How many games give you dozens of completely varied, completely original, mods daily......think about that......daily, dozens of mods!!!!  How many games can you change to suit your needs, what ever they be?  I wanted to add that if you are an ENB fan or if you are thankful for ENBoost for its amazing Skyrim Stability, head on over to hiswebsite, you can donate there.  He created ENB, and the awesome modders here modify it for different looks and performance.  Thanks Boris and thanks modders for the presets!  ENB = No More Greyrim!!!

Here are some links to YouTube videos, and other resources to give you one place to link to all of the best information out there.Google will show you tons of sites with good information.

Installing Skyrim:
Gamer Poets

Installing and using Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer:
Dirty Weasel
Gamer Poets

Cleaning Master Files with TES5Edit
Gamer Poets
Dirty Weasel

Downloading and Installing Mods
Gamer Poets Mod Organizer
Gopher Nexus Mod Manager
New Wave Gaming Nexus Mod Manager

Must have or fix it Mods.

Dirty Weasel
Gamer Poets

Unofficial patches:  

Cleaning mods with TES5Edit when applicable
You clean mods the same way you clean master files, but in this case some "bad" edits that show up in loot may be intended.....meaning, don't clean them if you want the mod and your game to run right.   Check the mod author page and forum for notes on cleaning the mod and if its needed.

Sorting mods with LOOT
Gamer Poets
Dirty Weasel

Special mod sorting post loot per modders information
No links needed here.....just read the description page and the comment section.  sometimes loot may have a mod not where the mod author intended it to be to get the full use of the mod.

Merged Patches and Bashed Patches Merged Patch with TES5Edit.

Wrye Bash Mod Organizer
Gamer Poets
Gamer Poets

Wrye Bash Nexus Mod Manager
Just install Wrye Bash like any other program and point it to your Skyrim folder, creating patch is the same as in the above videos.

SkyProc and other advanced Patches
Gamer Poets and Dirty weasel have great videos for Skyre, PerMa, Dual Sheath Redux, and many others.

ENB install and optimization
See mod description or search Youtube by ENB although most ENB presets install the same way.

Best practices when playing for a more stable game:

Disable in game autosave, use manual saves or a save mod.

Turn down in game graphics settings when stutters arise and other issues have been addressed, a main cause of stuttering is too many high end textures pushing your video cards vram and clock speeds.  

Save often, no one likes reselling all that garbage that our 5 followers were carrying only to have a CTD or a freeze (hopefully not if you follow these steps), or Talos forbid some bandit kills you!

Turn off all other programs on your computer that aren't needed when playing Skyrim.  That means close Skype, shut off Spotify, turn off your antivirus, make that computer work on Skyrim and only Skyrim.  Take care not to turn off any needed processes, you can google each one to see if it needs to be running while you are gaming.  Things like messengers, backup software, office apps, anything not needed while gaming.  If you disable any security software, take care to re enable it as soon as you are done playing.

Save indoors, not outdoors when possible. It is easier to save in a small closed off space, less to load up.

When a quest is bugged and you've tried reloading a it, there are many game bugs that the Skyrim wiki pages will have a console code that can fix that bugged quest.

That said, don't abuse the console, the console giveth.......and the console taketh away.

Watch for mods that conflict.  Mods like SkyRe cant run along side with requiem, but don't believe the noob hype that you cant have mods with overhauls, you just have to be more cautious.  I usually play with SkyRe, and now PerMa on all of my builds with over 200 mods.

Don't have 3 rain mods......or 2 weather mods on the same part of weather. Don't stress the Skyrim!!! Too many scripted mods or too many sexy textures will load your system down depending on your specs.

Try not to use old mods, things change, stay current.  That said, there are good old safe mods, but read the forums for the mod, see what the community is saying about it.

Never take mods out unless you intend to start a new character.  There are exceptions, but if you aren't sure, start over.  There are always exceptions to the rule, but its a good idea to leave your load order and mods alone for a stable playthrough.

Be wary to update mods as well in a playthrough, that mod make fix something with the update, but it could break something too.   If it ain't broke......don't fix it.  Even though the temptation always gets me, its best not to add or remove any mods on a given character playthrough.

Leave you ini files alone. There are valid reasons to be in there such as grass mods like Verdant or Flora mods like Skyrim Flora Overhaul that need edits to show all the added goodies.  Verdant is great on low end and high end setups depending on the ini adjustment, Skryim Flora Overhaul will tax you computer, but its worth it, when I got my 780gtx, it was one of the first mods I quickly installed!  

Limit your fps to 60fps, above that Skyrim goes nutty!  That being said, try to keep as close to 60fps as you can for smooth play.....otherwise.....take it easy on the textures and watch out for ENB high end presets unless you have a better computer.

For textures, try to stay at 1K, most computers will have issues with 2K or larger.  

ENB is amazing and if you can run the higher end presets, by all means, try them out!  Just note that many ENB presets can kill your fps.  With most newer ENB presets, you can hit shift+enter and modify the settings of the ENB preset.  This way you can take enhancements out, thus giving performance, or go the other way, hurting performance, but adding graphical goodness.  If you cant run ENB, try the sweetfx presets available like I can't believe its not ENB.

Keep shadows on medium if your system is having lag issues, not that all lag is due to shadows, but that Skyrim is terrible at rendering shadows, they can be quite taxing on the FPS.  ENB will fix shadow striping and many other shadow issues, so maybe a performance ENB is a good option to clean up those shadows.  Lower view distances if having stuttering issues or fps issues.

Ambient Occlusion looks great, but it kills your FPS.  You can even watch the heat build up on your video card in many cases when turning it on.  Its a great effect, but it comes at a price.  Anti-Aliasing will clean up those jagged edges, but at a price as well.  Many ENB's will have you disable both the AO and AA in the Skyrim launcher, I would suggest doing this for all lower to medium systems to gain FPS even if you are not using ENB.  You can always enable them later, but expect a drop in performance.  Here is a great link to NVIDIA where the explain all of the Skyrim launcher settings.

I wanted to add some awesome YouTube peeps doing Let's Plays, Mod reviews and more

Gophers Vids  Amazing mod tutorials, Immersive Let's Play, and Mod Reviews

Gamer Poets  Crazy real immersive Let's Play, like a movie Let's Play and tutorials and reviews

Dirty Weasel Media  Immersive Let's Play, tutorials and reviews

MMOxReview  The #1 subscribed Skyrim Mod review channel on YouTube, very funny guy!

Brodual  Amazing mod review videos, short and to the point, great vids!

Hodilton  Great mod reviews, lots of ENB reviews, amazing quality, high textures!

insaneOhflex  Great reviews, nice variety of mods covered

ShoddyCast  Amazing lore videos, learn all the lore from the Elder Scrolls series, even Fallout lore, amazing stuff!  Watch these, seriously, you won't believe the lore these guys uncover!!!

Shinji72  Funny mod reviews, great videos, especially if you like the sexy

Slothability  Great tutorials and Let's Plays


Continuation of the guide by twistty

TES5Edit - I believe that you can always fix UDR records, but be careful with IDM records. As some mods need them to work. Always do your research. ( And do not always belive what Loot tells you)
Even if you do not wish to clean any other mods, it is always a good thing to do for the Skyrim Masters and DLC's.Also as a side benefit, if you run TESEdit before starting a new game, it will stop and tell you if any masters are missing. Also advanced users can also "modify" mods with TESEdit. As a simple example Rotten has included a 10x carry weight mod, that can be easily up'ed or lowered to whatever you wish.

LOOT - Is the first thing you should do after installing any mod. It is correct most of the time. It sometimes needs "adjustment". Especially for mods not hosted on Stream of the Nexus sites. The new version is a major update and has a completely different look. Check it of on Github for the newest version.

WryeBash - At the very least, you should make a WryeBash " Bashed" patch. It can automatically merge certain mods for you, saving space,etc., but more importantly, it "levels" all you Mods to the Masters, fixing many issues with conflicting mods. Greatly reducing CTD, etc.

ENBoost is a MUST!!! Even if you do not have/use any Enb's. v.269 is the most current.
( For an example - I have a gtx980, that still shuttered and crashed due to Skyrim's 3.1 Gb limit, installed ENBoost, modified a few things in the .ini file so I could add/use "system" ram , removed the gtx980 , and installed a spare gtx560ti. No problems what so ever. ) It is that effective.Unfortunately Borris's website is not all that user friendly. Anyone need any help please ask.

FNIS - Adds so much extra to Skyrim. It allows a wide range of movement, flying, jumping etc., that is not available otherwise. Many Mods rely on FNIS to work. And should be updated after installing or removing new mods that rely on FNIS.

Another thing to watch for is the size of you save files. If they begin to "bloat" or start to seem very large all of a sudden. It is time for a spring cleaning.

Last edited by RottenDub on Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:05 am; edited 4 times in total
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Lord Gilgamesh
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PostSubject: Re: Modding Guide   Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:23 am

solid guide lol. I learned all of this by googling the shit out of everything, good to see it and other guides like STEP spell it out..
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PostSubject: Re: Modding Guide   Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:11 pm

Just to add to this. If you find your save game becoming large, bloated or you have a mod which uses scripts and is giving you issues and you want to uninstall it, then this is the tool for you.

Savegame script scalpel

Cleaning options:
- Remove Unattached script Instances
- Remove Undefined (orphan) script instances
- Terminate active threads WITHOUT removing script instances
- Advanced filtering system (you can remove single instance, not the whole class)
- Create NEW script instances inside your savegame

The tool looks scary but really isn't. If you need a hand using it, then drop me a message. :D

I actually used this recently to resolved a CTD. I started with the save file of level 1 and started my alternative life in the woods. When I went to Bleak Falls Barrow for the first time it would CTD upon entering. I know when you enter there for the first time a script is run to make the first 2 enemies npcs have a conversation. I ran this tool and found some orphaned scripts and removed them. Now it no longer CTD upon entering.
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Lord Gilgamesh
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PostSubject: Re: Modding Guide   Mon Aug 17, 2015 6:02 am

Good tip DTX3
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I'm getting the hang of this
I'm getting the hang of this

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PostSubject: Re: Modding Guide   Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:16 am

What're some tips that only become relevant when you start to add hundreds of mods? (such as merging, or how you made it so skyrim uses all of your memory)  Basically anyone that wants to work on a massive overhaul like yours
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