The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
Ilja Jun 22, 2015 @ 6:31am
Player spreadsheet - Player and Modding Resources
  1. Introduction
  2. Game type
  3. Player manuals
  4. Must have mods?
  5. Modding tools
  6. Skyrim Script Extender - SKSE
  7. Got in to trouble and looking for help
  8. Workshop and Nexus
  9. Jargon and more about tools
  10. Esbern voice file fix
  11. ENB, ENBoost and ENB presets
  12. More information
  13. Changes

1. Introduction
We have a bunch of new players here. I see that same questions keep popping up, our support posts are a bit spread out and (as usual) peoples do not seem to pay much attention to pinned topics. I decided to write a short post to cover most questions.

First things first.
- Stay calm. Basic modding is not hard. Bugs are annoying, but most of them are fixable. You should be able to finish the game in it's vanilla form, but game may toss you some game breaking bugs. Patches below are meant to deal with them.

2. Game type
  • There are no legal non-Steam versions of the game. Each game out there requires Steam account to be fully patched and functional. There is no way around it.

  • Skyrim Legendary Edition (Skyrim LE) is not a different edition of the game. It is vanilla game + all 3 gameplay DLCs. There is not LE specific Legendary Patch. Patch and game are the same for all, despite if you bought Skyrim LE or individual products.

    Skyrim LE has been removed from Steam. It was later known as Skyrim Bundle and was available from Skyrim Steam store page. Bundle has now been removed from Steam store page.

  • Skyrim Special Edition (Skyrim SE) is a 64bit remastered version of the game. It will be released 28th October 2016 and will be free for all PC players owning Legendary Edition (all DLCs). We are following the progress here:

    [Community] Skyrim Remastered - Facts and rumours

    This post has sister post in Skyrim SE discussions.

    Skyrim SE: Guides and Resources

  • Game does not require active online connection after you have installed it. You can play the game in offline mode.

  • Using mods or console commands in game does not disable achievement progress. However, items gained through console do not usually count for achievements relying on them.

Word of warning: reckless use of console commands may harm your progress, or glitch the game. Rely on Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch (or USKP+ available DLC patches, if your game does not have all DLCs) and UESPWiki articles to see if bugs are fixed in patches, or if you can safely use console commands to bypass some bugged quests.

Unofficial Elder Scroll Pages

3.Player manuals
  • Go to Steam client Library view and right click the game.
  • Click "View player manual." It will open the official player's manual in PDF form. This will cover all the basics.

More information:

4. Must have mods?
There are no "must have mods" for Skyrim. If you wish to find most popular mods, then visit Skyrim Nexus and search files to your liking. Note that not all the categories are visible, until you sign in to page.

What we consider as "must have" mods are Unofficial Skyrim Legendary Edition Patch OR Unofficial Skyrim Patch + DLC patches (if any). They are not mandatory, but they fix plenty of pointless bugs, save bloat and resource heavy loops from the game. We can't really help you to troubleshoot most problems, if you haven't installed these patches, so you might as well go ahead and do so.

Bug fixes and problematic mods.

5. Modding tools
Skyrim is easy to mod, but it does require some tools for proper work. These tools are relatively easy to use and we have collected instructions for them.
  • 5.1. Mod manager (NMM or MO): for installing and managing mods outside Skyrim Workshop.
  • 5.2 LOOT: to manage your load order.
  • 5.3 Wrye Bash: to merge your levelled lists.
  • 5.4 TES5Edit (xEdit): to clean official master files and create dynamic patches.
  • 5.5. BodySlide
  • 5.6. Guides.

5.1 Mod Manager
It is strongly recommended that you use a mod manager for all mods you are installing outside of the Skyrim Workshop. Popular options are Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) or Mod Organizer. Managers will prevent you from permanently overwriting loose files from your Data folder, which would cause problems in game.

5.2. LOOT
LOOT stands for Load Order Optimization Tool. This tool sorts your load order, according to mod data and exception master list. It is highly recommended that players use this tool, even when restricting to Workshop mods.

5.3. Wrye Bash
Wrye Bash (WB) is a mod managing tool, but it is most often used to create a Bashed Patch for Skyrim. Patch is important, because Skyrim does not merge levelled lists from mods on it's own. This means that mod content in your game is missing or poorly managed, if you did not create a Bashed Patch for your game.

Wrye Bash comes with an installer. This executable should find your Skyrim folder automatically, when ran. If this does not happen, then use it's own browser to locate your ...SteamApps/common/Skyrim folder and run the installer.

Creating the patch:
  1. Sort your load order with LOOT.
  2. Recommended: Create TES5Merged.esp with xEdit (TES5Edit) before creating Bashed Patch. See instruction video from 5.4.
  3. Open Wrye Bash.
  4. WB has created a file Bashed Patch, 0.esp to end of your load order. This load order is visible in your left hand panel of Wrye Bash.
  5. Right click Bashed Patch, 0.esp with your mouse. Select Rebuild Patch...
  6. You may have files that are marked not to be merged. The prompt will warn about these files. Disable them in prompt view and you are good to go. You do not need to take another step with them, because Wrye Bash does not disable such files from load order. It only leaves them unmerged, as intended.
  7. If Wrye Bash asks about disabling merged files, then say Yes. The content of those files will be added to Wrye Bash.
  8. Let patcher to run. Close the application once it is finished.
    - NMM: You are now finished. Make sure that ESP file created is active in your load order.
    - MO: Create a new mod out from Overwrite content. Make sure that ESP file created is active in your load order. Consult Load order and resource priority basics (5.2 in this post) for extra instructions.

5.4 TES5Edit (xEdit)
TES5Edit is a tool required to clean official master files (except Skyrim.esm that should not be cleaned). It is also required to create dynamic patches for mods like Real Shelter and DynDOLOD. The tool itself is complex, but running scripts and cleaning files is relatively easy. TES5Edit can also be used to edit and merge mods.

When ever yo are using TES5Edit, I recommend that you follow all instructions to the letter. It is a power tool that can also be use to mod the game and check problems from your load order. When you stop working with it, make sure that only file you meant to edit is shown in the saving screen when you quit.

5.5. BodySlide
This application allows you to generate female bodies and conform supported clothes according to presets that you have installed or made. It supports Calientes Beutiful Bodies Edition (CBB) and Unified UNP (UUNP). BodySlide is a good projects for body and clothing conversions, but you also need armors and clothes with slider support for both BodySlide and the body you are using.

5.6. Guides

6. Skyrim Script Extender - SKSE
SKSE stands for Skyrim Script Extender. As the name suggests, it extends the script resources available for mod authors and players. SKSE resources only work when called. It doesn't to a thing on it's own, so most questions about "SKSE problems" are usually just misunderstandings.

It is important to note that SKSE does not interfere with Steam. It does not prevent your hours from getting recorded, or disable your achievements. SKSE launcher only replaces the default launcher. The game itself is run and tracked normally through Steam.

SKSE is used by several mods. Most notable is SkyUI that has Mod Configuration Menu (MCM) included with it. MCM allows players to configure mods in game. Not all mods have MCM and those mods do not need to be configured in game.

To use SKSE:
  1. Make sure that you have ran the default launcher at least once to configure the game.
  2. Install SKSE to your Skyrim folder.
  3. Make sure that Steam is already active, or it will use the default launcher instead.
  4. Use SKSE_launcher to start your game. Installer will create an icon to your desktop. You can also find it from your Skyrim folder.

You can use the launcher through your mod manager, like Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) or Mod Organizer (MO).

Following gives more detailed explanation about how to install SKSE to your game.

SKSE installation

Using SKSE is recommended, even if you do not use any SKSE related mods in your game. It allows you to use the main memory fix for Skyrim, helping you to deal with lengthy or stuck loading screens and ingame loading event crashes. Instructions how to set memory fix + other tweaks can be found from the link below.

SKSE, memory and skse.ini

7.Got in to trouble and looking for help

What we often need is your load order from LOOT. This is the good method of getting it, with both NMM and MO.

Mod Ogranizer has this and your Mod List (see Load order and resource priorities above) in your ...Mod Organizer\profiles\<ProfileName>. If you are posting MO load order spesific questions, then provide the Mod List as well.

Posting load order from LOOT
Occasionally peoples will ask you to post your load order from LOOT. This can be done in following way:
  1. Open LOOT and menu - three dots in right top corner of LOOT view.
  2. Click Copy Load Order. This will add the load order to your Windows clipboard.
  3. Open your text editor and use Paste option to add the load order there, or paste content directly to forum discussion field.

If you are experiencing problems that do not directly seem to point to mod conflicts, or if you are not certain, then validate your game files with cleared appcache folder. Instructions can be found from here:

[Quick link] Validating master files

For CTD after Bethesda logo:

About Papyrus logs
What we do not usually need is your Papyrus log, unless especially asked for by us, or mod author. Players often mistaken it as a crash log. It is not. The log rarely even records the script that was ran before game crashing to desktop. It does record all the events and not just errors, so it can easily lead player to wrong conclusions.

Papyrus logs are mostly useful only to mod authors, when troubleshooting behaviour of their own mods. It rarely tells them what exactly happened, but it does display if the important scripts were ran, failed, or stuck and spamming the Papyrus.

You need to provide to log for mod author, if he/she especially asks for it either in pinned post/mod description or replying to your question. You can activate the log by following these instructions.

Activate it only for the time you are creating the log and disable it after that.

To your skyrim.ini in either Documents > My Games > Skyrim (NMM, Workshop) or in your ...Mod Organizer\profiles\<ProfileName>. Set following as 1. Replace them to 0, after log has been made.
bEnableLogging=1 bEnableTrace=1 bLoadDebugInformation=1

These logs can be found from Documents > My Games > Skyrim > Logs. The one marked with "0" is the most recent one.

How to make Skyrim vanilla again?
Sometimes you just can't find the solution and reinstalling the game does not seem to work. Then it is time to start from the scratch and make Skyrim vanilla again. Instructions from grimus can be found from here:

Resetting Skyrim to Vanilla or A Clean Reinstall

8. Nexus and Workshop
Is Nexus free?

This is a common question. We have a small joke that first time signing in to Nexus is a test for peoples starting to mod their games. Site states that it is free and even how to proceed to create a free account, but some peoples avoid reading it - even after we tell them about it. :)

Nexus is free. Just scroll down through purely optional membership choices and sign in, without selecting any of them.

If you end up using Nexus a lot - for Skyrim or other games -, then consider moving to premium account. Servers do not run with free will alone.

Nexus does not send advertisements through e-mail, or otherwise spam you in any way.

Skyrim Nexus

You may notice that many of us currently recommend using Nexus instead of Workshop. This does not mean that peoples are Nexus advocates, or have bias toward Skyrim Workshop. It is simply that Workshop got messed up during the spring 2015. It looses data and has problems with subscriptions. So far neither Valve or Bethesda has taken steps to fix it.

I recommend avoiding scripted mods from Workshop, for now. Other mods are "safe", in a way that loosing the data may be annoying, but it does not bug out your game. More information about the problem can be found from links below.

9. About tools and terms
Nazenn wrote good guides about tools we use. He also gave advanced tips for peoples, who are already more familiar with the game.

You can find information about terms and acronyms from our SkyBC Dictionary guide.

10. Esbern voice file fix
Main quest character called Esbern may suffer from a bug that prevents you proceeding through the quest A Cornered Rat. Initial game configuration does not always detect his voice file properly.
  1. Go to Documents > My Games > Skyrim. Remove file Skyrim.ini *
  2. Open the default launcher and let the game reconfigure. This will create a new Skyrim.ini file. Game will recheck your installation and register Esbern's voice file correctly, allowing you to proceed with the main quest.

I advice against unpacking any BSA-files. This will break their file hierarchy. "Fix" may work, but it is potentially dangerous and may break other quests from the game.

* = Your Windows Folder Options may hide file extensions. In this case, INI-files are displayed as configuration files, if file type is shown. You can set file extensions visible from the list that opens under Control Panel > Folder Options.

Windows 10 in File Explorer > View Tab to the right are check boxes for File Extensions and Hidden Files.

I recommend doing this any way, because most games that can be modded require that user can see file extensions, to pick the proper file.

11. ENB, ENBoost and ENB presets

12. Community Guides

13. More information

14. Changes
  • 20.11.2017
    - Added: Guide "Reliable Workshop Use by Arvyn
  • 13.10.2017
    - Updated: TES5Merged notification to 5.3. GamerPoets video about TES5Merged to 5.4.
  • 26.06.2017
    - Updated: Skyrim LE and Skyrim Bundle information. Bundle has been removed from Steam store page.
  • 29.04.2017
    - Updated: Wrye Bash information. It was slightly misleading.
  • 12.01.2017
    - Added: avrie05's SKSE installation guide to section six.
    - Changed: Section 6 name "What is SKSE?" to "Skyrim Script Extender - SKSE"
    - Changed: Replaced avrie05's ENBoost guide with more detailed ENB guide from same author.
  • 13.12.2016
    - Changed: Almost full source update, to match better with the source in pinned SSE post.
    - Added: Modding guides from cfs111 and Clever Monkey.
    - Added: Section Community Guides.
    - Merged: "Is Nexus Free" and "Workshop vs. Nexus" as Nexus and Workshop.
  • 10.12.2016
    - Added: New guide Enboost Installation by avrie05
    - Added: New section ENB, ENBoost and ENB presets
  • 22.10.2016
    - Added: Link to Skyrim SE: Guides and Resources
  • 3.10.2016
    - Added: BodySlide and link to MO instructions to section Tools.
  • 28.9.2016
    - Edited: Section numbering.
  • 21.9.2016
    - Edited: Updated and reordered the section Game Type for clarity.
    - Added: Skyrim SE under Game Type.
  • 10.6.2016
    - Added: A Guide for Cleaning Skyrim Master Files by smr1957
  • 9.6.2016
    - Updated: Wrye Bash information.
  • 10.5.2016
    - Added: Missing description from Nazenn's Guide : Modding Tools, Tips and Resources
  • 9.5.2016
    - Added: Resetting Skyrim to Vanilla or A Clean Reinstall by grimus.
  • 4.5.2016
    - Added: Descriptions and links to tools.
    - Changed: Re-organized the post.
    - Changed: Replaced load order chapter with Modding Tools.
  • 10.4.2016
    - Changed: Papyrus description.
    - Added: PSA: Current state of the Skyrim Workshop + Modding Resources to chapter 9.
  • 19.03.2016
    - Added: Notes about Papyrus logs.
    - Added: [Quick link] Validating master files
    - Changed: Moved relevant posts under the new topic.
    - Changed: CTD After Bethesda Screen to Got in to trouble and looking for help.
  • 20.01.2016
    - Changed: Chapter Jargon and more about tools -> About tools and terms.
    - Changes the layout. Should be easier to read now.
  • 17.01.2016
    - Added: Posting load order from LOOT
  • 13.01.2016
    - Added: Extra information about Nazenn's threads. It is obvious that peoples do not read them as much as they should.
  • 19.11.2015
    - Changed: USLEEP to recommended download. I thought I had already done that.
  • 03.11.2015
    - Added: Gopher's Modding Tutorials. I decided to post them directly here, instead of just under linked posts.
  • 11.10.2015
    - Added: Note about visible file extensions + Win 10 information from cfs111.
    - Renamed as "Player spreadsheet"
    - Pinned
  • 30.7.2015
    - Added: Esbern voice file fix
    - Added: Index.
  • 21.7.2015
    - Added. Masterlist : Dangerous, Outdated and Superseded Mods
    - Changed: New link to USLEEP conversation
  • 20.7.2015
    - Added: Temporary link to USLEEP conversation.
    - Updated: SKSE description.
  • 15.7.2015
    - Added: Direct link to LOOT.
    - Added: Link to "Load order and resource priority basics"
    - Added: "Load order and priorities"
  • 27.6.2015
    - Changed: "Player Manual" to "Player Manuals"
    - Added: Link to Skyrim:First Time Players - UESP
  • 26.06.2015
    - Added: Link to Unofficial Elder Scroll Pages.
    - Added: Note about console commands and achievements. Thanks: Nazenn.
  • 24.06.2015
    - Added: Information about playing the game offline.
  • 22.06.2015
    - Added: Player manual
    - Posted.
Last edited by Ilja; Nov 20 @ 12:35pm
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Showing 1-15 of 278 comments
GunsForBucks Jun 22, 2015 @ 6:50am 
+ nice collection of info
Aryel_Emrys Jun 22, 2015 @ 7:13am 
Awesome very well organized guide!
Hey. Not sure if I'm being flipping dense here but when I try to download the unofficial patch with the manager nothing happens. However I am 99% sure this is me being stupid
Ilja Jun 22, 2015 @ 7:38am 
Are you signed in to both NMM and Nexus, and did you setup your logging information to NMM?

Make sure that your browser associates NXM-links to NMM. With Firefox the path is: Tools > Options > Applications. Select "nxm" from the list and Nexus Mod Manager from dropdown list next to it.

If everything is already set up, then they may just be suffering from server lag. It happens. You may try to download file manually and pick it up from your HD with NMM. That usually works, if connection is otherwise bad. Change the server from the list, if selected does not launch.
Fleder Jun 22, 2015 @ 7:46am 
Nazenn Jun 22, 2015 @ 9:03am 
Thanks for the post Ilja. A very nice and neat collection of our most recent and also up to date help topics and information.
Ilja Jun 22, 2015 @ 9:10am 
I also managed to update SKSE post. There are still few things to test and study, but I finally have a whole week in my hands to work with threads.

Gym isn't going to get in the way either. My hands are killing me, after we decided to cut down trees and fill a hole in the ground with rubble at my friends cabin.

Smart move, after two weeks of rest and not warming up hands at all, except drinking beer during previous evening.

Yeah. I will sit here with these wrist supports, working with threads and annoying you all. ;)

Expect a lot of typos.
Last edited by Ilja; Jun 22, 2015 @ 9:10am
Nazenn Jun 22, 2015 @ 9:12am 
I noticed that steam finally let you edit that, thankfully. Took them a while and I do wonder what exactly was going on there.
Get your wrists some heatpacks :)
cfs111 Jun 22, 2015 @ 9:50am 
I think this one should be at the top as well, bump.
GunsForBucks Jun 22, 2015 @ 10:41am 
Last edited by GunsForBucks; Jun 22, 2015 @ 10:43am
cfs111 Jun 22, 2015 @ 11:20am 
Up, up, up to the top where you belong, aka bump
Ilja Jun 22, 2015 @ 11:25am 
Added: Player manual.

It was actually one of first things in my mind, when I started to write this post.
It was also the first thing to slip out of my mind, when I started to write this post.
GunsForBucks Jun 22, 2015 @ 3:24pm 
Roscaria Jun 23, 2015 @ 12:44am 
I agree.
Nyaka~Hime Jun 23, 2015 @ 3:58am 
A very useful article indeed.
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