The Elder Scrolls

Modding Guide for Noobs by a Noob in 2021. How to make Skyrim SE Actually Run with Mods and SKSE64

****I'm hoping the mods can make this a sticky or something because based on google search results Skyrim SE in 2021 is a pain in the butt to load skes64 and mods into.****

I tried looking through all the guides of how to successfully mod Skyrim SE and they basically all confused me or were written very terse and dense or were overly long or outdated from say 2017. I wanted something in plain English that didn't warn me that I shouldn't try modding unless I wanted to read a lot or tell me to be prepared to be confused blah blah. Basically give me what I need and don't insult me.

I wanted to play Skyrim again and I originally played on PS4 way back when. I bought it on Steam in March 2021 and I had no idea modding it was so involved/or, I should say, there was no central, basic how-to guide. I just pulled up Google, hit how to mod Skyrim SE for Steam as I imagine most people do. There are like 1000 guides and they all confused me. I tried nexus mod manager through vortex. Failed me badly. I tried googling several mods – ended up downloading non SE mods, followed guides aimed at legendary edition, etc. Just a shit show. I tried googling how to have skse64 run with SE to not crash and must have looked through 30 forum google search results with no answers or either outdated, old advice. Why is this the case? I can't be the only one? Surely, there are people everyday in 2021 who want to load up Skyrim SE and mod it because they saw some Youtube video about how awesome it is. It should be way easier. So this is for someone else in the position I wish I was in 5 days ago before I wasted so much of my time.

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Here's exactly what I did to actually allow Skyrim to run on my laptop with SKSE64 downloaded in plain english, in 2021. Probably not perfect as I have some warnings but it runs. I spent 5 days and 7 re-installs of Skyrim SE to actually get it stable and working with 100+mods.

1) Change your Steam folder from C://program files to C:(Make up name) I used C://SteamLbrary/Steam. You can't create two C drive folders for Steam. Goggle results will say you can by modifying the library file but it doesn't work. Spent 5 hours on figuring this out.

2) Download Skyrim SE

3) Download Mod Organizer 2. Do NOT use Vortex. It may seem easier for a complete noob but it did not work for me at all. I spent 10+ hours downloading all my mods just to delete them all and erase Vortex off my system. Ignore guides that say Mod Organizer 2 has a learning curve and suggest Vortex. They are wrong. Mod Organizer 2 is so easy.

4) Download SKSE64 from their website and copy everything from the 7zip file into the skyrim game folder EXCEPT the data folder. Open Mod Organizer 2 and add the data folder to the skyrim data folder from Mod Organizer 2. I spent so much time trying to get SKSE64 working on SE and even after setting up my skyrim folder outside of the program files folder. This is the only process that worked for me in it's full.

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5) Go to Nexus Skyrim SE mod page Click on file tab and download files from mod manager tab (don't use vortex tab) You have to go to the tab next to the Description bar. Make sure to download any compatibility plugins below the main file for any other mods you have.

6) Download BethIni and use as tweaks and presets for the skyrim prefs and main.ini files in documents folder mydocument/mygames/skyrim. You know it works when the .ini file starts alphabetical rather than starting with "General.

7) Download Loot through mod organized 2 and run it through mod organizer 2.

8) Download Wrye Bash and create and run a bash patch through Mod Organizer 2. Uncheck everything that Wyre Bash has in red. For some reason the beginner guide on this sub-reddit leaves out wrye bash patcher and bethini which is confusing because it misses a lot of good stuff.

9) Always run SKSE through Mod Organizer 2 to run the game.

This will at least get your game running. I still have alot of tweaks to get a perfect mod list with 0 warnings, but hey at least I can play the darn game with my mods at probably 99 percent perfection.

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