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Newbie being lost in skyrim modding, need advice.

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Hello Guys,


I'm completely green in the meaning of how modding works in Skyrim. Which mods have compatibility problems with other etc. is a black magic for me. I was playing mostly on vanilla Skyrim, then used some minor mods. Now I would like to start experimenting with those more demanding mods (better-looking graphics mostly). And here comes the problem, I don't know which mods are highly recommended for "Sunday players" and which are which are highly customizable but difficult to grasp. I've seen a lot of lightning mods, ENBs, texture packs etc. but I  can't decide which to use. I would like to get the look similar to those screenshots I've attached. I presume those shots are further processed graphically but at least something similar. I know I might be asking for too much but I would like to get more precise answers than "check those mods you would like to test and just use the one which you like the most". It might look like I'm asking for a ready load order but I'm only asking for advice.


Thank you for the reading of my scribble and have a nice day :happy: <3



I'm not sure if it's even the right subforum so If it's the wrong place just point it out.



    Old hand

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Those screens look amazing.


To attain the look of those screens you want its gonna take sometime. You need to install a ton of s***.


For Skyrims engine to even handle the graphics you need programs that augment its dated engine.


HERE IT IS MAN, the text wall you asked for. This is 1000 plus hours of modding knowledge condensed



T H E  b a s i c s:::::::::

Google these:


LOOT- program that sorts your mod load order, essential for having mods and for the game to load and not crash on startup. it tricks the game engine into being able to load a little at a time. again memory


Skyrim stability patch- absolutely necessary to allow the game to utilize memory or else crash


Enboost- no enb required (but you should get ENB utility from Boris's site), ENBoost will load texture overhauls quickly, which your screenshots have. it stablizes fps


Bethini- run this program when you are absolutely finished with modding. it smooths out performance and sorts ini files

which effect how enbs work. otherwise you got to set the inis yourself and that is boredom simulator.


~ bring up console in game,type

setstage dlc1vqsaint 200

should stop any crash related to microsoft visual c errors. need to do every new character.



Enb by boris voronsov - make sure you download the latest version for Skyrim. Click the version link on page not the green download button that gives you maleware like me :smile:


then get an ENB from the nexus, manual download. Just extract the files into your skyrim folder. (NOT the skyrim/data folder) but just the skyrim folder.


The ENB depends on weather mods, so if your lazy like me make sure the description of the one you like says its for vanilla weathers,

otherwise, the really cool enbs use Climates of Tamriel, or Vivid Weathers, or Natural Lighting Vivid Atmosherics. The last one being the most majestic in my opinion. Although it is hard to find an ENB that works with NLVA. I suggest Kwanon by Hhaley if you decide to go with NLVA, both are on the nexus.


shift enter allows you to tweak enb settings, change lighting, if you computer is strong enough you can make the graphics look insane by maxing out quality settings and enabling all the effects.



Google best setting for enblocal file. this notepad file needs to be set up correctly in order for enb to not crash.

usually this file is already included with the enb you download from the nexus- my advice is stick with newer enbs

the older ones run like s*** and are badly optimized

enblocal file is important to allowing skyrim to utilize your computers memory. again google the ini settings to copy and paste those settings into the notepad document which tells the enb how to run.



enhanced lighting and fx- the best imo

ONLY install the interior and any enb settings when prompted by the nmm (nexus mod manager)

weather mods and the enb take care of outside lighting



realistic water two- huge improvement - overwrite everything from enhanced lighting and fx when prompted.

water color enb and realistic water two- very important for those screenshots 

Vivid landscapes all in one file- a complete one click texture overhaul for skyrim a game changer bro

aMidianborn book of silence- all his texture replacers for armor. Allows any armor (including modded armor) to appear shiny and crispy. Very important

real snow- beautiful realistic snow


those are the basics. you will eventually replace everything though


Skyrim flora overhaul- adds trees, shrubs, makes them larger, effects any new land mod, looks great, add realism

downside is there are too many options. Choose only ONE file option


veydosebrom- the best looking grass, absolutely necessary for screens


Dynadolod - is the biggest game changer


provides long distant accurate LODS for those long shots of the mountains.

A total *censored* to use and install unfortunately. You NEED to watch a long shitty youtube video



honestly, that video just shows you what to do using nmm

gamerpoets video is boredom simulator





LOOT- program that sorts your mod load order or else game will crash with tons of mods that load up out of order by default


Stick with texture suggestions


Skyrim stablity patch




the pain in the ass but necessarry- Dyndolod

absolutely learn Dyndolod


Good luck,


modding really sucks. but overtime you WILL make the ultimate game that exceeds all other games.


You have to read and google up and down the internet, thoroughly read installation instruction on nexus mod pages

mod incompatibilty is a nightmare and takes time to figure out

LOOT - this program is necessary for skyrim to run mods and sorts out incompatibility

wryebash is another program that helps sort out incompatibilty, but is more advanced. You can merge incompatible mods together with it to work together.


it sucks, but the pay off is literally the best game ever.

Edited by Leadpipejustice, 05 January 2018 - 12:20 AM.




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As much detail as Leadpipejustice had already described, May I ask what is your PC spec?  


Some of those shots look similar to RealVision ENB http://www.nexusmods...rim/mods/30936/


And if you scroll down through the mod description, you can see the system requirement for stable gameplay and the mod author also put a list of his recommended graphical enhanced mods there.


If you manage to get everything done, don't forget to post a screenshot of your game here.


Good luck! :)




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Will do all you wrote Leadpipejustice, and huge thanks for your work in making this huge guide.


0Theara i7 ~4.5 GHz OC, 1080 8gb vram, 8gb ram, upgraded pc a few months ago so I think it will handle those improvements.



What do you mean by Skyrim stability patch- absolutely necessary to allow the game to utilize memory or else crash? I've found Skyrim Project Stability but can't find stability patch. I downloaded all unofficial patches.

Edited by Mejster, 05 January 2018 - 07:07 PM.



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Good man, like I said get ready to buckle down and download a bunch of requirement files for the mods you want.





Skyrim Stability Guide by firefreak111

Forgot what it was called in original post. Trust, that is the one you want,in my experience other patches did not work as well for some reason  



(some game changers that are built to augment skyrims dated engineVVVVVV) 


SKSE- Skyrim Script Extender - hacks the engine to make it a next gen game. Very useful and a requirement for the "advanced" mods

Skyui- another requirement for a lot of mods


Dyndolod- for distant LODs (Level of Detail) AKA distant object fade. for the screens


FNIS- Fores New Idles In Skyrim- the base program for cool animation mods, the good combat mods too use this as a requirement 

FNIS PCEA2- Player Exclusive Animations 2 -- Allows custom animations for ONLY your character as well as custom ones for male and female npcs in the game. You can look straight out of Devil May Cry or a cool action game instead of an angry gorilla


Caliente's Bodyslide-  custom female char body types, UnifiedUNP type or CBBE body

HDT - for bouncing boobs and bootybuttcheeks, adds realism to female armor, for creating waifu's   

Racemenu- to make a character's face not look like a block, AKA smooth next gen customization of chars

----->RM is better than that enhanced char edit, reddit says this and imo ECE just crashes my game and is incompatible with other mods



these are the cards on the table for advance modding, goodluuck and happy to help.



Some more 2 cents......... i wish I knew when I started modding

all I can say is crashing and freezing is normal when running out of VRAM. Repeated crashing and freezing in the SAME spot on the map means mod incompatibility. So uninstall the last mod you added and return to an earlier save. otherwise you have to use a save game cleaner program to get the save file to work properly. This is due to skyrim's engine baking information into saves permanently as you go along. So do a hard save a couple times BEFORE you install a mod so you can always revert back incase the mod you wanted is a bummer. TURN OFF autosaves and just manually save. Autosave messes stuff up with advanced mods.  



so pay attention to mod descriptions and compatibility.


ENB is a great way to actually boost performance with advanced modding. ENBs come with an enblocal file (enblocal.ini). make sure you set EnableUnsafeMemoryHacks=true in the enblocal.ini notepad file. It helps smooth out gameplay with systems that use beefy VRAM (like yours), if EnableUnsafeMemoryHacks=FALSE, you will most likely NEVER crash but have a very stuttery game. I say better to just run out of VRAM and have a smooth game than to have an infinite stuttery one.


Stay clear of adding cities to the game, or turning skyrim's cities into "open cities" (they don't have load doors), just go with new land mods instead. HOWEVER beware of the New Land mod Summerset Isle by yournotsupposedtobeinhere. Ironically, that one messes your game up bad due to complicated compatibility issues and overscripting.

Don't overscript your game. Things like footprints in the snow, or wet and cold effects on char slow the base engine down. no way around it... Reblooded mod is cool, adds blood to char from combat, that is the only cloaking spell scripting mod that works....

creature mods like Rogue-like Encounters by ArwingXL is the most detailed and up to date working creature replacer. Adds variety, the others excpet for Mihail's will mess your game up.


OK I'm done :smile:

All this text wall is seriously a nut shell of what you would be looking at in google. this is 1000 plus hours of knowledge so read up!

Edited by Leadpipejustice, 05 January 2018 - 10:59 PM.




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Again, Thank you for your effort in writing this. I've got those basic addons, downloaded some mods and used LOOT to sort the load order but I've got a problem with grass, it looks like depending on the angle it shows different textures, from the one I want to different and later to the small rocks.



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No sweat. Hopefully others will be able to google a problem and this page will come up...



not sure how far you got. Any of these suggestions should work either way. As I have done them ALL lol.


For ALL grass mods (grass replacers) including veydosebrom there are compatibility issues with Skyrim Flora Overhaul. To make compatible make sure you selected Skyrim Flora Overhaul 2.5b- no grass file. that's "if" you went ahead and tried installing SFO (Skyrim Flora Overhaul)


These are the files I used: "no grass", just means any grass mod will be compatible since SFO's grass is not clipping on top of another grass mod.


Skyrim Flora Overhaul - SFO Billboards for v2.5b

Skyrim Flora Overhaul - SFO on Steroids 

Skyrim Flora Overhaul - Skyrim Flora Overhaul 2.5b - No grass

Skyrim Flora Overhaul - Skyrim Flora Overhaul v2.5b

Solstheim Genesis - Solstheim Genesis for Skyrim Flora Overhaul - colored pines by mobius belmont

(Check out mobiusbelmont's Solstheim genesis if you want to replace the islands landscape too. )

The reason i am suggesting this... basically ANY landscape change you make (SFO is only one of many nexus mods that change land) you do first before going through the process of Dyndolod.

SO whatever mod that changes landscape you want do that first.

THEN you go through the process of Dyndolod. or else the game will crash or stutter a lot. Just how dydolods programming works...

You will have to start a new char again in order for the changes made by Dyndolod to reset (if there is crazy stutter and crashing.) (if ya fuc_ked up)


to avoid this from happening ALWAYS disable Dyndolod ingame with the MCM (Mod Configuration Menu). BEFORE you go through the Dyndolod process of deleting and creating a new dyndolod esp with the program. (shown in the vid)

The MCM is found in the games quest menu says "mod something" can't miss it...





A key note- only ONE grass replacer can be installed or else problems will happen

Grass on Steriods however just makes more of the grass replacer you are using. I believe it is a requirement too for grass replacer mods like Veydosebrom. 

Grass On Steroids





 copy and paste the settings HERE >>>> http://forum.step-pr...s-optimization/

in your Skyrim.ini and Skyrimprefs.ini file. 


What are ini's? Where are they??


ini's are just notepad files. Skyrim.ini and Skyrimprefs.ini are found in documents/mygames/Skyrim folder



The settings are all listed on the page. They are good settings to help with pop in. Otherwise, I believe in my original post Bethini on the nexus does this all with one click








So the easiest thing to do would be to try Bethini. All above things here should work. Basically outlined a tutorial on Dyndolod. If you master dyndolod you are an advanced modder and can install anything lol


Grass is a pain in the ass. But once done right it will work for all things. All grass settings carry over to new land mods so you don't have to worry about incompatibility. Basically, then grass mods will enhance all landscapes added by mods.


That is the magic 

Edited by Leadpipejustice, 06 January 2018 - 02:17 AM.




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Ok, so I watched those videos about DynDOLOD. Correct me if I'm wrong but do I need to repeat whole process and uninstall previous LOD, generate new textures, install them, generate new LOD and install it each time I install new texture mod?


Edit: Should I use NMM or MO ? And is there option to transfer load order, mod locations etc. from one to the other or I need to move mods and then reinstall them ?

Edited by Mejster, 06 January 2018 - 05:25 PM.



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For exterior textures only. Interiors/ caves/mines/ you can replace without worrying about Dyndolod. Dyndolod only affects OUTSIDE stuff. (Exteriors)


 So make sure that you retexture absolutely everything that you want for outside FIRST. Make sure you are absolutely sure you are satisfied with how it will look (going off of the modpage pics!) Because the process of Dyndolod is a b_itch.


The process of Dyndolod is:


Make sure your char is saved in an interior cell.

Load up that interior cell save with Dyndolod's OLD esp active in NMM, go to the mod menu in-game (MCM) and deactivate Dyndolod

Then, generate the NEW esp using Dyndolod's program.

 ----------------->Textures first (texgen.exe) 

------------------>Then meshes,scripts, and the esp (all done when you click Dyndolod.exe) 

Delete the OLD  dyndolod esp inside of your Skyrim Data folder

Load the save (the one in the interior cell) with the NEW esp checked in NMM.

Go to exterior cell outside, then back inside and save in a new slot. 


Done. that esp is set in stone. All other saves before it are corrupted and should be deleted. Once again all due to scripts.

So like i said, MAKE SURE you get all the landscape mods you want, because Dyndolod finalizes everything and you can only do this ONCE per New Character save slot. Or scripting will f*** things up if done multiple times per playthrough. 




I HIGHLY suggest you get Static Mesh Improvement Mod aka SMIM



This one makes a huge difference to visuals. HUGE. Also other landscape textures will then overwrite these files smoothly with nexus mod manager. This will save you a big headache later as You DO NOT want to decide to install SMIM AFTER doing landscape changes. Things will get fuc_ked up. :smile:



Exteriors usually contain textures ANNND meshes. Landscape mod meshes are usually a different shape from the vanilla game's meshes (i.e rock formations) being replaced. So Dyndolod will be buggy as Hell trying to load the previous landscape then popping in the new landscape you downloaded. Not good, as i have done this. To keep awesome performance and quality just run Dyndolod when you are COMPLETELY SATISFIED with how you retextured Skyrim.


After SMIM

TRY THESE to get most of skyrim retextured quickly. 

I personally run

Noble Skyrim in 2K resolution



Then, overwrite the files with a Noble Skyrim parallax patch, search for "Noble Skyrim parallax"

Parallax effect adds depth to textures giving it a 3D pop effect. Man! So worth it if you want to go the extra mile. Otherwise, you may find some retexture mods look better than the ones made with parallax.

To each their own. but worth checking out anyways as an option.



Vivid Landscapes- all in one-



I personally run these file choices, as there are a lot of them that could potentially steer you wrong in the mod page's list:


Vivid Landscapes- BSA Archive 2048 - Get 2K, avoid 4K

All in one- SMIM farmhouse stuff- once again, make sure Static Mesh Improvement Mod (SMIM) is installed first

Enhanced lights and FX compatibility patch- Make sure you have Enhanced Lights and FX installed before adding this one in.

Tundra Ground from Skyrim HD 2K- makes the LOD ground green. Blends in A LOT better than brown, which is the mod's default LOD color


(2048 means 2K resolution) That's high quality and without a performance hit like with 4K, especially when using it for landscapes. That's too much for the game engine to load. REMEMBER, even with all these programs to enhance the old engine.  As far as memory goes...Oldrim and neither Skyrim special edition can utilize a fraction of what a beefy PC can do. So 4k textures will bog things down fast.




I talk too much. Good luck man. This is like months of me f***ing up in Dydolod and landscape. SO READ.



AGAIN make sure that you retexture absolutely everything that you see outside that you want before finalizing with Dyndolod. You get one ESP generated per NEW Character game playthrough.

Edited by Leadpipejustice, 06 January 2018 - 06:30 PM.




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As always wall of text :thumbsup:


You wrote that I should download ELFX but I've read that ENBs should have same lightning like the author.


Correct me if I'm wrong, I would like to sum up the steps. Install mods from the Biggest changes to the most detailed.


1. Skyrim



4.Retextures - packs, The bigger one ( 2K [ 4K not worth the effort ] )

5.Landscape mods

6.Retextures - smaller one

7.DynDOLOD after exteriors are done

8.Interiors retextures.



11. Last BethINI



My question is where in this list should I put weather, gameplay overhaul, effects ( spells etc.),  water (waterfalls etc.), new lands ( Falskaar ), body-face-textures, mechanics, followers-armor-weapons, audio, animations?




I would like to use Natural Lighting Vivid Atmospherics based ENB,  like Aeon ENB. I've found recommended visual mods list but in the "or" part there are placed mostly texture mods while in the top are mostly weather mods. Should I download all or are they going to have compatibility problems? Link to the ENB: https://www.nexusmod...&preview=&pUp=1

Edited by Mejster, 06 January 2018 - 07:18 PM.

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