You all know the pictures that are shown in articles named "How Skyrim looks with 100 Mod's installed" or any similar title. But then you read this article and there are just some awesome pic's (and believe me the framerate must be 5-10 fps at most, if you ask me) and none or only little information on the running modifications. My goal is to change that and give you the bestlooking skyrim, that still runs (most of the time) smootly on an up to date system. I have also added a few tweaks that should all have already been in the vanilla game. I've testet all of the following mod's myself and am running all of these simulaniously at the time and for the last 100 hours of questing and slaying dragons.
I am aware that there are already other Mod Guides online covering some of my listed mod's and all. But my goal was to make a guide for a complete Skyrim Overhaul with all compatibility issues resolved and all mod's working perfectly together.
This guide includes the most important facts of my collected knowledge wich I like to share, because modding isn't always as save as it seems. Make sure to ALWAYS make backups of your Skyrim/Data folder (or at least of each subfolder you are adding/overwriting files) before installing mod's. Make backups of your savegames in your C:\Users\"yourusername\Documents\My Games\Skyrim folder as well.
There are two different kind of modifications the mod's hostet on the steamworkshop and the mod's on nexusmods.
The steamworkshop mod's are the easiest to install, just suscribe the mod and let steam handle the rest (There are two exceptions Kern and EzE's 3D Worldmap but just read my description for each mod).
For the nexusmod's you first have to register on their site, download the nexus mod manager (NMM) and you are ready to go, it is still a beta version but it runs fine. Make sure to restart your modmanager before proceeding with the installation of a fresh downloaded mod and always start the NMM as admin. If you install a just downloaded mod and NMM asks you "if you want to upgrade" always say no!
If you like you can install all mod's from nexus manually, by copying the subfolders into your Skyrim/Datafolder (read the readme), but be aware if you want to uninstall these files you have to do it manually as well.
The reason for choosing Mods from Steamworkshop AND Nexusmods is, that not all mod's are available on the workshop and some mod's on nexus are just better. But if the mod is available on both sites I chose the workshop one's for easier installation and automated updates.
If needed I added a [Install note] to each of the nexus files, the workshop files you just need to suscribe.
If you have a lot of mod's installed your mod load order is very important, because some mod's rely on each other and some need files from an other mod that should be loaded before. If you aren't paying any attention to your loadorder it may crash your game or decrease performence. There is a tool called BOSS which handles these issues (in case BOSS knows all these mods), but i have added my personal loadorder below if you just want to install the mod's provided in this guide.
You can download BOSS from google codehttp://code.google.com/p/better-oblivion-sorting-software/downloads/list
and endorse the file here http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/6
if you like.
About endorsing files, if you liked a particular mod it would be much appreciated if you endorsed that file on nexusmods, or give it a thumbsup if it's a workshop file.
Most mod's are subjectet to constant changes and updates, so it is your responsibility to read the readme carefully before installing. Everything worked fine on the day I wrote this guide. Modding is always a bit dangerous, I'm happy to have made a lot of backups.
I have labled each mod like below because some people don't like loreunfriendly mod's. Most of the mod's I chose are lorefriendly, but some optional mod's that I liked to share are not.
In case you don't know what lorefriendly means, here's a little quote:
"When a mod is lore friendly, it basically means it fits in with the rest of the commercially released ("vanilla") game, and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. For example, a mod that adds a medieval style dungeon under a castle would be lore-friendly because it fits in the setting of Oblivion (or Morrowind), as both borrow heavily from real medieval things for their setting. A mod that adds a disco strobe light/ball however, would not be a logical extension of the setting, it would be out of place to a very extreme degree. This would be lore unfriendly. The term, like most terms of this sort, can be a bit subjective."
At the end there is a little hints section, where I listet all important console commands, as well as some things you can do if something bad happened or did go wrong. Even if you already have some issues and dont't know how to solve them.