The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

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SKSE64 Installation Guide
By Avrie
This is a simplified installation guide for SKSE64
What is required.
The only tool required for SKSE64 installation is the downloaded archive. SKSE can not be installed with a manager, the files must be extracted and copied manually. * I will provide basic installation instructions, along with a slightly more advanced method that will make installing future updates or removing the files all together much simpler.

* Note - Since this guide was released Vortex has replaced NMM as the new standardized modding tool offered by Nexus mods. It happens to be a very well designed and stable manager with a lot of features not found on other mangers. One of which is the input type designation. If you install the SKSE64 download with Vortex, simply change the input type to Dinput. The mod will then install correctly with no additional steps required. I believe the newest version autodetects SKSE64 and installs it correctly for you. The remainder of this guide is geared towards ModOrganizer 2 users and is still perfectly valid.

The files for SKSE64 are located at
Look for the line labled Current SE build 2.0.19, and click on the underlined link 7z archive to begin the download.
Installation of SKSE64 is very simple, you basically need to copy and paste a few files. First navigate to your download folder and extract the archive to a folder using your Preferred archive software. Open the skse64_2_00_04 folder, and then open the second skse64_2_00_04 folder contained inside to get to the files.
Highlight the Exe, and both .DLL files as indicated, and copy them to your SSE game folder typically located at...

X:/Steam/SteamApps/Common/Skyrim Special Edition (Where X: is your game drive)

Now I mentioned two methods of completing this installation. Quick, or Smart.

Allow me to explain the difference. SKSE uses custom scripts to inject itself into the game, and perform it's functions. These are numerous loose .PEX files. Very simple to install, but if you ever wanted to remove SKSE64 for testing, or for a clean re-installation you would basically need to delete the scripts folder and then validate your game files ... Not the end of the world, but not very smart.

The alternative is to archive the SKSE64 scripts, and install them as a mod using your preferred manager. (Just like any other manually installed mod) ... Smarter because a single mouse click disables SKSE64, and two clicks can completely remove the scripts permanently.

First here's is the "Quick and Dirty" method ... Not recommended
Navigate to the Scripts folder inside the SKSE64_2_00_04 folder ... NOT the data folder within Skyrim Special edition. Inside the scripts folder highlight all of the .PEX files and copy them. Then paste them within the Games scripts folder.

Typically located at ... X:/SteamApps/Common/Skyrim Special Edition/Data/scripts.

That's it for the quick, and dirty installation... You're done. Right click on skse64loader.exe in the game folder and select "Send to", and "desktop" to create a shortcut.

IMPORTANT! ... You MUST use the skse64loader shortcut to start your game from now on
Smarter scripts installation
Here is the other method, in many ways even simpler than the quick and dirty approach.

Within the skse64_2_00_04 folder, open the data folder and you will see the scripts folder.
Right click on the scripts folder and create an archive using your preferred software. WinRar, WinZip, and .7Z are all perfectly acceptable. Name or rename the created archive SKSE64-Scripts for ease of recognition.
Now simply install the archive using which ever manager you are using. This method works with Vortex, MO2, or WB. and when it comes time to update, simply uncheck the present skse64-scripts archive in favor of the new version. No worries about left over files

Again, just like the quick and dirty method, you will need to make a shortcut to the SKSE64loader.EXE file, and use it to start your game from now on. MO2 users will find the loader already recognized by MO2 and a binary shortcut to the loader already created for you. WB users can copy the shortcut to the Apps folder in the MOPY folder to have the SKSE binary available in WB as well.

Alternately you can add the SKSE64Loader.exe file to your Steam library using the Add a Game button on the lower left. Choose "Add a non steam game", navigate to your Skyrim SE game folder and select the SKSE64loader. This will allow you to launch the game from your library and for the Steam overlay to function normally.

It's that simple ... Good Gaming
Final thoughts
Just a reminder that at this time SKSE64 is listed as a Beta release, it works, and many mods are already using the MCM feature of SkyUI. But SKSE is definitely still in development, expect the odd bug or twenty, and be prepared to be forced to update quite a bit ... Good Luck, and Good Gaming

It's been a while since I wrote this guide. SKSE64 is no longer beta, and of course the version numbers in the pics are dated. Since writing this, the mod Address Library for SKSE Plugins by Meh321 has made game updates much less painful, and Bethesda has suspended CC updates for now anyway.

Time marches on. I'm glad the rest of the information is still valid.
Change Log
10/November/2017 Initial release
28/Aprill/2018 Added launch from Library option
Thank you H@X for a good tip

Updated warning, and relabeled the extender as a beta release

5/27/2020 Removed Beta warning section from the opening and updated version number to 2.0.17

1/30/2021 Added note for Vortex users. I should update the guide to include Vortex instructions.
1/30/2021 Updated final thoughts
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Avrie  [author] Jul 19 @ 3:02pm 
Don't make the all to common mistake of misinterpreting the game versions... 1.5.97 is the pre-updated game. 1.6.353 is the current version of SSE and unfortunately some people just can't wrap their head around that. The only thing that "should" be called "AE" is the downloaded DLC that includes all of the CC content. If you're running 1.6.353 and have not paid to download the complete CC package as a DLC then "YOU ARE NOT" running AE, you're running the upgraded version of SSE.

Vortex should be smart enough to recognize the 1.6 update correctly and really doesn't care whether you download the extra content or not when installing SKSE64. The only question I have for you is: What program says you've upgraded?
Shade Jul 19 @ 2:32pm 
it says I've upgraded to the anniversary edition but i havent
Avrie  [author] Dec 1, 2021 @ 2:30am 
You got upgraded to the current version of the game. Version 1.6.323 and have the version of SKSE64 downloaded for game version 1.5.97

Simple fix, Go back to the SKSE download page and choose the correct version for your game. Be advised that at this time SKSE64 for version 1.6.323 is preliminary and there are bugs with using SkyUI (See River of Sticks post below which I didn't recognize at the time)
Evan Nov 30, 2021 @ 9:59pm 
Hey so I've been trying to update my SKSE and I'm not sure what's happening, I've followed the instructions on the .txt but upon running the loader I'm getting "You are using a newer version of Skyrim than this version of SKSE64 supports." I've heard about how there was a second update released by Bethesda that broke the Script Extender but all the other discussions I found on steam say the download on Silverlockis up to date
Avrie  [author] Nov 13, 2021 @ 8:45pm 
? So does the security gate at the local airport
RiverتOfتSticks[☭ℛℱ☭] Nov 13, 2021 @ 4:23pm 
Any change in the control keys in SKUI leads to departure. Any change in hot keys of any modes or their assignment through the MSM menu leads to departure.
Adam Jensen 007 Aug 25, 2021 @ 12:38pm 
WhisperGhost Aug 23, 2021 @ 2:01pm 
Thank you, I finally got it working :steamhappy:
Avrie  [author] Jul 7, 2021 @ 7:13pm 
That smell like your anti virus is blocking something. Make sure to "unblock" any downloads, and hopefully your games folder and Steam installation is not on the C drive.. You'll need to open a thread and post your system specs if you would. Saves a lot of time.
Elect711King420 Jul 7, 2021 @ 6:58pm 
I Tried every method you said, I use Vortex and still nothing. and the skse64_loader tells me it can't find the exe file... I'm going crazy here, I just want to play the game, it's been three weeks now and I haven't been able to play because of this. I'm about ready to throw in the towel, refund and forget about skyrim, as much as it pains me.