The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Nazenn Jul 6, 2015 @ 5:05am
Masterlist: Dangerous, Outdated and Superseded Mods - v5 VITAL UPDATE PLEASE READ
Contents
  • Introduction
  • Using this resource accurately
  • Categories and ratings
  • Common risks and other terminology
  • Outdated tools and other resources
  • Dangerous - Game breaking and highly unstable mods
  • Unstable - Other risky and unreliable mods
  • Outdated - Superseded mods and their updates
  • Warnings - Potentially problematic mods
  • Stable - Previously unstable mods that are now safe
  • Version History and Credits

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Introduction
The Skyrim modding scene is a very dynamic and constantly changing environment where mods are constantly being created, updated, superseded or even abandoned. At the same time, our knowledge of Skyrim and its engine is constantly growing and expanding, everything from bugs to more efficient methods are constantly being discovered or developed. As more and mods are being made, it's become harder to keep track of exactly what the issues in each mod are, which is why this list has been created.
All mods on this list have had their issues confirmed via hard data or reproducible tests done on a vanilla game. Hard data counts as either visible errors and flaws in the plugin, mesh or script files. Reproducible testing must be done on a save file that is unaffected by other mods leaving the game in a vanilla state, bar the unofficial patches where they fix bugs in the vanilla game that may negatively affect the results of the test (such as if testing for save bloat, the unofficial patches are used so that vanilla sources of save bloat don't affect percentage results).
The goal of this list is to document all mods that have been proven to have technical issues that can undermine your games stability. No too mods have the same problems so please read the information about each listing carefully to understand why it's there. Also included is a small section at the end of the list also detailing out mods that previously had issues, or have strong misconceptions about them, explaining the facts of the mod and what actually makes those mods technically stable.
This list is designed to be a resource and a place for information about affected files, not a blacklist. While there are mods on here not recommended for use, no mod is here permanently, and all mods can have their listing or rating updated if the issue is addressed and rectified so please make sure you also read future updates of this resource instead of relying on your memory.

Using this resource accurately
This is a community based list that attempts to identify issues and instabilities on mods available for Skyrim from any modding platform, including but not exclusive to the Nexus and the Workshop. This is also a continuous work in progress, as there are over 45 thousand mods on the Nexus alone, and as such it's not possible that every one of these has been tested and evaluated, not to mention the other platforms as well. This list is constantly being updated with mods being added as issues are found, mods removed as issues are fixed or proven incorrect, or entries updated as new information comes up about each mods listing.

Sharing information
This list is designed to be a resource used for both mod users and mod creators and a part of that is sharing the information with other users who may be having stability issues or setting up mods for their own games. While this sort of help is encouraged, it's important to note that referencing this information inaccurately is unfair to both the users who may be getting the inaccurate information and also mod authors as well. Try to keep in mind that people being introduced to this information for the first time can be quite frustrated if they suddenly realize a mod listed here is a cause of one of their major bugs or that their mod list they thought was stable really isn't.
Similarly, while all active mod authors have been contacted already about mod listings, mod authors who return from inactivity to their mods page or are informed about it indirectly and return to see comments on their files about a 'dangerous mods list' may understandably find it very confronting and frustrating. Keep in mind this is peoples work that they invest hundreds of hours into and they are very attached to. Please try and avoid such sweeping generalizations like only providing the name of the resource, or rough statements just about it 'needing to be removed' as such statements do more harm than good.
When you are quoting this list to others about specific entries please make sure you are quoting:
  • The category - The category is the most important label that goes onto a listing as it describes the severity level of a listing, not every mod on here is totally gamebreaking.
  • The version number - While you should not be posting information about the old versions of mods, posts from people will still show up with google searches etc so its important for people who may be reading about it down the line
  • The reason - the description for each listing is there for a reason, it's important to note why mods are not stable, not just that they aren't which can be misleading for people.
While the rating system is also important, without context of definitions it can be misleading for others so when quoting from the list please also link them to a primary copy, either on reddit or steam so people can understand the context of them.

Making contributions or requests
Community based submissions are the core of this list and it has been built with the communities help and also its knowledge. If ever anyone discovers significant issues in a mods files that they feel would make it eligible for inclusion, such knowledge is gladly accepted into this as it then goes towards the benefit of everyone's games. While it's of course beneficial that you are able to provide exact technical details about exactly what the issues are, potential problems that need further investigation are also welcomed although it will be slower for them to be addressed due to the time that testing takes. This also goes for listings that you think need to be rewritten to be more accurate.
But just as importantly, if you have information showing an inaccuracy on this list or you feel as if any individual listing could use a review, please come forward. As modding knowledge and understanding grows and as our resources adapt to this, the information here will adapt to that. On a simpler nature, similarly all requests for more information or a better explanation of certain listings or information are welcomed as well. Apart of this is informing the editor whenever a mod listed here is updated so that its issues can be checked again to ensure the listing here is still valid.
Please feel free to contact the editor of the list, Nazenn, on Reddit, Steam or the Nexus[forums.nexusmods.com], whichever is preferred. If you would prefer a public discussion, the most recent public threads can be found here on Steam and Reddit.
While all submissions are welcome, it's also important to remember that just because you do not see bugs obviously in your game it doesn't mean they aren't there, or that they won't be there in future. Similarly, just because you see a bug immediately after installing a particular mod, it doesn't mean the bug is caused exclusively by that mod or that it is the sole cause of it. Many of these mods are here for underlying technical problems which cause bugs you may not immediately associate with the function of the mod itself or may take a while to appear in a game.

Ratings and Categories
There is a two part grouping system in this list, designed to aid in ease of understanding the exact risks each of these mods actually represents individually. Not of all of these mods are equal, many of them are significantly more or less stable compared to other listings, but so the combination of categories and ratings are there to provide a more readable list for the user.

Categories
There are five category levels that mods can be placed into that are listed from the category containing mods that are the most risky to mods that are the least. The category is the most important label on this list. While there is a rating system as well, the category is the primary listing method and a mod in a high risk category (eg, One) with a low risk rating (eg, Six) should still be considered more unstable then a mod in a lower risk category (eg, Four) with a high risk rating (eg, Three).
  • Category One – Dangerous Mods - Highest risk category, detailing out files that present a high risk to your save file and the overall capability of the game to run in a normal state
  • Category Two – Unstable Mods - Moderate risk category, for mods which cause damage to your game but may not necessarily bake their changes in or cause game breaking issues
  • Category Three – Outdated Mods - Low risk category, where mods may only have minor bugs or issues but there are other more reliable alternatives that are more stable or reliable
  • Category Four – Warnings - Minimal risk category, mods here do not need to be removed, but information is provided here that you should be aware of before installation
  • Category Five – Stable Mods - No risk category, detailing out mods that have had previous instabilities removed via file updates, or mods that have a lot of rumours and misconceptions around their stability that will be debunked.

Ratings
The rating is a secondary method of risk evaluation that is listed alongside the name of each mod. This is meant to help in distinguishing the risk levels of each mod within the categories themselves. Below is a short description of exactly what the ratings are and what they stand for:
  • One (1) - Completely unstable resulting in severe game instability on multiple levels
  • Two (2) -Very unstable mostly due to lack of knowledge of good modding practices
  • Three (3) - Mostly unstable because of its technical design and implementation
  • Four (4) - Unstable and can present with persistently bugged behaviour
  • Five (5) - General instability resulting in regular disruptive short term bugs
  • Six (6) - Stable but still rarely presents with disruptive issues and bugs
  • Seven (7) - Mostly Stable however minor bugs might still rarely appear
  • Eight (8) - Very Stable although more reliable alternatives may be available
Mods that have been grouped together due to a common technical failing, such as deleted navmeshes, are given a rating based on the severity of the issue at hand, rather than individual ratings for each individual mod. An N/A rating is only given when there are a number of mods that are unrelated in features that have been replaced or listed together by an external party which are being linked here as a resource.

Specifically for mods with a level Two rating, it's important to note that mod author are not being judged here. Each mod is evaluated on a case by case basis. The fact that a mod may be listed here due to instabilities resulting from poor practices does not mean that every mod by that author is a risk. Mod authors who start out knowing nothing can learn very quickly and produce some very good quality files intermingled with their lesser quality ones, and amazing mod authors can make mistakes and accidentally release a file with major bugs without knowing it at the time. A level Two rating only applies to that singularly mod, not to the mod author themselves.

Common risks and other terminology
There are a number of very common problems in mod development that can appear in a range of mods from all stability levels. There's also a number of issues that pop up less frequently and are rarely known about but can be major concerns. Here to can find listed the most common risks to mod files and also some lesser known terminology that can be helpful for understanding information in this resource on a while.

Mods that suffer from a high amount of Identical to Master Records (ITMs) or Undeleted and Disabled References (UDRs) and those issues alone are not considered suitable for inclusion. Despite the large amount of problems that UDRs especially can cause, these issues are very easily fixed on the user side and also very easily checked for in Tes5Edit. The large amounts of mods that suffer from a small number of these is also just too time consuming to keep track of and maintain an accurate listing. If you find a mod that suffers from a lot of these issues, please instead politely approach the mod author with a guide on how to clean them and post about them in the comments of the mod so that other users are aware of the issue as well. For more information about what these issues are please visit this community resource[wiki.step-project.com]. For extreme cases where a mod may suffer from over a hundred of these, it may also suffer from a number of other issues such as wild edits so it's often worth mentioning so a more in depth analysis of the plugin can be done to identify other risky edits.

Deleted Navmeshes is another common mistake mod authors can make, however mods with this issue cannot be fixed outside of the author or an advanced user creating a fix for it. These errors can similarly be detected in Tes5Edit via checking for deleted references, and due to time constraints and the difficulty of maintaining an accurate listing for the many mods included here, they are not listed individually but rather given a general listing that accounts for all mods with this issue, which you can find in the Unstable category.

Save Bloat is a rare issue within modding that has minor short term effects but is game breaking long term. Save Bloat is classified as a mod that causes persistent and uncontrolled growth in a save due to poor scripting or object adding which results in references being perpetually added to the save data but never removed. Over time this causes the size of the save file to grow, eventually making it hard to load for the engine to load and process properly, resulting in a slowdown of the scripting engine, poor performance and eventually crashing both in game and while trying to load or save files. It is a rare issue and not common, and while most of the mods that cause it are scripted files, it is also possible to cause bloat through poor object management as well.

Stack Dumps are probably the most serious issue that a single mod can cause, however it is an exceedingly rare issue. A stack dump occurs when the scripting engine of Skyrim, known as Papyrus, is being hit with so much information that it reaches an internal limit where it is too overloaded to process anything else. To try and keep itself stable, it dumps any information currently being processed through it. This does not have to be information related to the mod or issue that caused the problem, it can be ANY information currently being processed, including information relating to the core (aka, vanilla) game, quest data, or even vital information related to other mods mechanics or functions. Mods causing stack dumps are rare due to the sheer amount of data that has to be pushed through Papyrus to cause this issue however they are considered to be an extreme risk.

Release dates for mods and what they mean
There are also a number of dates that you should be aware of when checking your mods for stability or issues before playing with them. While not all mods that come before these dates will have issues mods in these areas are more at risk for being unstable:
  • Last updated before the 19th of March, 2013 - Any mod made before this date may not account for the latest patches and changes and could undo Bethesda's official updates resulting in an unstable game or missing mechanics from your game. Any mod that conflicts with Update.esm should not be used unless you are confident in manually patching it. This can be easily checked in Tes5Edit if you are concerned about it due to the age of a plugin file.
  • Mod made before 2nd of August, 2012 - These mods will not be compatible with the DLCs or changes they make. This is only an issue for mods that impact functions the DLC has changed, such as Dragons, Vampires, the Hearthfire House locations, records the DLCs also edit etc. Mods that affect things the DLCs have changed will cause conflicts and sometimes cause serious bugs in the DLCs themselves. For other mods that may affect things present in the DLCs, such as bookshelves or items, it's more likely the mod just won't apply to whatever copy of the object the DLC adds. Each mod matching this area of concern should be checked carefully for reports of issues.
  • Mods that were created before February 7th, 2012 - These mods were made before the Creation Kit using a tool called TesVsnip which was known to often cause plugin corruption and mod instability. Unless the mod has been vetted by the community please exercise extreme caution in using it as these files can cause major instability in your game.

Outdated tools and other resources
Just as much as mods change and get updated, so do the tools and resources that we use to make mods and to recommend them to others. Using outdated tools to make files or to maintain your own modded game can result in instability or things other bugs related to your files or setup. Because of the different nature of tools and mod files, all tools that have been determined unstable or replaced by better alternatives are listed here instead for neatness.

BOSS - Outdated and Superseded
Replaced by: LOOT http://loot.github.io/
Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS) use to be the primary tool for sorting the load order of a modded game. Load order is vitally important for making sure that mod conflicts go in the right order which makes sure that mods function properly and don't cause instability in your game. BOSS's only method of determining the load order of your game was via a manually updated masterlist that was hand created by the team who made the tool. This masterlist has not been updated for two years for Skyrim meaning that it will not properly detect any mod added in the last two years, or any mod that has been updated in that time, meaning these mods will either be positioned wrongly or just dumped at the bottom of your load order which could result in instabilities.
LOOT has a method of automatically handling many conflicts by detecting what records have been edited and assigning them a priority to get the least amount of data conflicts in your load order. This is a far more reliable method and means that every mod is automatically supported by LOOT from the moment that it comes out. LOOT does use a masterlist for some mods which require more intricate conflict resolution, but it does not depend solely on it.

Nifskope 1.2.0 - Superseded
Replaced by: Nifskope 2.0 alpha - https://github.com/jonwd7/nifskope/releases
The primary Nifskope website and Google tend to direct you towards downloading the older version of Nifskope. It has since been taken over and moved to github which has a more up to date release. Nifskope 2.0 has more advanced features, including proper rendering of meshes as they display in game, more options to display meshes, it performs better and also has more options for file management, such as an undo.
While some users with AMD or Intel graphics cards, or integrated graphics, may find that the advanced shaders don't work for them, this can be disabled via a disabling advanced shaders under the Render menu which makes it render like the previous version. This is because the developers only have nVidia cards and as such not all AMD drivers like the code. But the rest of the features should still prove helpful to people who have these cards.

TesVsnip / xSnip - Dangerous
Better option: Tes5Edit / xEdit - http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25859/?
TesVsnip, also known as FalloutSnip and xSnip, was what was used to create mods prior to the Creation Kit being released. This tool is known to be unstable and often resulted in corrupted plugins and unsafe files. Mods created with this tool are at a high risk to cause problems in your game, and some mods created with this tool are still available on the Nexus unfortunately, although LOOT often marks these as corrupted when you run it.
As a mod maker, if you don't want to use the Creation Kit to make files for any Bethesda game, or it is not available yet, xEdit should be used instead as it is much more stable and has never had any corruption issues and also results in much more reliable plugin edits. If xEdit is not available for the Bethesda game you want to mod yet, xSnip should still not be considered an option due to the persistent instability issues that it causes users.

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Last edited by Nazenn; Jul 29, 2016 @ 9:19pm
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Showing 616-630 of 721 comments
Diana May 24, 2016 @ 6:42pm 
Originally posted by Foresh:
Originally posted by Uncle64Swe:
Excuse me!!!!!!

I can settle that we talk about different things now.
And I know how file format works.
And the issue whit Skyrim saves to.
It would be hard but possible to convert skyrim from 32-bit to 64-bit. That would make it open-source, though, and open source means free, and Bethesda would not like that. However there is a project where some people are reverse engineering a game's code to modernize it and add new features: OpenRCT2[openrct2.org]!

Thats.. Thats now how any of that works

One, sure they could make skyrim 64 bit. Whats the have to do with anything? That has nothing to do with any issues. And thats completely unrelated to the save file format or the strings issue. Or anything anyone was talking about, really.

"That would make it open source" ??? No, thats not how that works. Thats not how any of that works.

"Open Source means Free" No, thats not how it works either. Open source does not mean free.

RollarCoaster tycoon 2 is a completely different and unrelated game on a completely different engine by a completely different company.

And you couldent even link the one relevant to the Elder Scrolls Series? Open Morrowwind?
Last edited by Diana; May 24, 2016 @ 6:48pm
Diana May 24, 2016 @ 6:43pm 
Originally posted by Arthmoor:
Originally posted by Diana:
But if, according to nazeen, it's tested and proven then the point is moot, no? It's not very tested or proven if it leads back to the same corruption issue.

Which is why i'm saying that it's not anymore tested or proven than anything else in the mod, other than it doesnt immediately cause crashes and you can load the save.(Which is true for everything else there)

We're saying the same thing, basically.
Tested and proven how though? That the specific fix works for the highly specific circumstances needed to cause the bug to start with?

The point is, the fix changes the format of the save games. I suspect even if 10,000 people could all prove it was totally safe, the SKSE guys would still just tell people to use the dll from the fix plugin. That's simply not a responsibility they should take on.

Tested and proven how??

thats the point i'm making. I'M not the one saying it's tested and proven, that was nazeen
Bomb Bloke May 24, 2016 @ 6:49pm 
Originally posted by Diana:
Thats.. Thats now how any of that works

Just nod and smile, Diana. Just nod and smile.
NerdRising May 24, 2016 @ 6:59pm 
Originally posted by Foresh:
Originally posted by Uncle64Swe:
Excuse me!!!!!!

I can settle that we talk about different things now.
And I know how file format works.
And the issue whit Skyrim saves to.
It would be hard but possible to convert skyrim from 32-bit to 64-bit. That would make it open-source, though, and open source means free, and Bethesda would not like that. However there is a project where some people are reverse engineering a game's code to modernize it and add new features: OpenRCT2[openrct2.org]!
The only response to this I have is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB9MLUAWkAw
Nazenn May 24, 2016 @ 7:34pm 
Over on LL they made mods that purposefully go above the string limit and were creating saves and testing how the plugin fix worked with them. No one had encountered any issues, thats not to say its 100% perfect, hell no, just that it works for allowing these saves to be loaded, sorry if I was misleading there.

As Arthmoor said, these sort of fixes are never a guarantee and there's always a risk of unknown factors contributing to the issue, or factors people just flat out forgot were a thing, which yes that happens, knowledge gets lost over time or forgotten about, look at Stable uGrids for a perfect example of that. But for people who need that fix, which there's no reason to have the string fix installed unless you're actually running into the issue, its there.
Uncle64[Swe] May 24, 2016 @ 7:59pm 
I have that plugin right now.
Have open the save you got from me Nazenn and play on. Added some mods to it and some LL related.
About uGrids, I have noticed that I cant open any save from 2014 when I was messing whit uGrids. No one of them, all ctd out.
Last edited by Uncle64[Swe]; May 24, 2016 @ 8:04pm
Foresh May 24, 2016 @ 9:09pm 
Pardon my lack of knoledge. I'll retire from this thread.
Uncle64[Swe] May 24, 2016 @ 9:16pm 
Originally posted by Foresh:
Pardon my lack of knoledge. I'll retire from this thread.
Dont do that, follow it you can actually pick up some good information.
Foresh May 24, 2016 @ 9:17pm 
Originally posted by Uncle64Swe:
Originally posted by Foresh:
Pardon my lack of knoledge. I'll retire from this thread.
Dont do that, follow it you can actually pick up some good information.
Good call. I'll keep an eye on this thread.
Uncle64[Swe] May 24, 2016 @ 9:28pm 
We actually guide people to this tread some times, since the information is often here.
Nazenn May 24, 2016 @ 9:48pm 
No one here, and indeed no respectable modding community, expects you to have every possible bit of information about mods in your game and know all the intricacies, thats just silly. The best thing you can do when you dont know something is admit it and then hang around to learn more, and then you can actually gain the knowledge you were lacking before. Please don't feel like you have to withdraw from a conversation because you said something wrong, hell, I'm sick at the moment and I just went and re-read over some of my reddit replies from last night and for most of them I was thinking 'what the hell am I even trying to say there' XD. We all have those moments, don't worry about it.
Ilja May 25, 2016 @ 1:06am 
I meant to start this ruckus in my own thread and not in Nazenn's thread. Sorry. I should have known. :p

I have read through all replies. As said before, I did a long test run with it, but did not have enough time to concentrate what it really does during the busy spring. This is why I asked from others.

I think that main parts of the question has been asked here. I have decided to keep it out of tutorial posts. I may still need to write out something, because peoples are sharing it in the forum and occasionally posting questions about it.
cjbage May 26, 2016 @ 11:25pm 
Just wanted to toss a thank you to Nazenn for checking into the post I made with the link to the SkyBirds thing. Hopefully a viable solution will come of it... I so love that Skybirds mod.
Nazenn May 27, 2016 @ 12:57am 
We are working on it. Finally getting some actionable info from the SkyBirds author, and I myself realized that I made a lot of mistakes with how I handled the early entries and contacting the authors etc so I have a lot of catch up work to do, am redoing some far more extensive tests on the mod compared to what I originally did after consulting an experianced scripter, and also redoing all the initial data comparisons as well.
The next update on this list should hopefully settle the matter once and for all, I also plan on redoing a lot of the overall data and format of the list so yeah, big update (and then having to transfer it to reddit formatting, crap, I hate reddit formatting XD)
Nazenn Jun 3, 2016 @ 6:59am 
Some info in regards to save bloat and SkyBirds in particular that people should be aware of when refering to this list:
https://www.reddit.com/r/skyrimmods/comments/4mcvxz/skybirds_new_testing_being_done/
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Date Posted: Jul 6, 2015 @ 5:05am
Posts: 721