Top 5 Skyrim Mods of the Week - How to Mod Skyrim

Seb and Cam take a break from adventuring to explain how they go about modding Skyrim. Here's everything you need to know about Steam Workshop, using Nexus Mod Manager, installing SKSE, and fixing pesky bugs!

Discussion

35 comments
Relnac
Relnac

You guys missed a great tool that makes your life so much easier in your mod sorting, and it works for Oblivion, New Vegas, and Skyrim. That would be BOSS (The Better Oblivion Sorting System)

http://boss-developers.github.io/

There is also TS5Edit http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25859/?

This can help you make a merged patch which can help solve a lot of conflicts when you add tons of mods. It can also get really complicated to use, but it's a really powerful tool. (I only know how to use the simplest features myself!) Looking forward to more actual mods, but I'll show your modding video to my dad, since he's been playing skyrim a lot!

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

Back to basics series was a great idea! Looking forward to the ENB episode. Its something I never could get to work right. 

gun4a_gd
gun4a_gd

Send me the burning chicken wallpaper please..

bayernfan
bayernfan

Gerat episode, guys.  


Which mods have you tried and enjoyed the most between those about Vampires and Werewolves?

ratchet5474
ratchet5474

does your skyrim have to be on steam to mod with nexus?


meedokicky
meedokicky

my comment got deleted? :o pretty sure i didn't say anything offensive, must be some sort of error.

raiden3788
raiden3788

I'm at half of the vid, but my God, tell people to use BOSS. It's like Jesus.

raiden3788
raiden3788

The best mod manager, by far is Mod Organizer. It does so many things right it's funny. It's impossible to break your game with it, no matter what you do. It is literally impossible, as you don't install anything on TESV directory (except ENBs).

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

I've noticed that sometimes my frame rate will dump into picture-book territory. Is this from modding too much (I have roughly a dozen mods) or do you think that there is a culprit in my bunch? 

I don't run a top-end PC (knowing that Skyrim does not require top-end). I do have a hi-res texture pack mod installed. Used to be that I barely noticed a hitch when I first installed it but now it will happen at random when exiting an indoor environment where it previously ran smoothly.

TheRez
TheRez

I can't believe you would promote NMM.  Mod Organizer is so much better. Same downloader and management functionality as NMM, but with better stability, it doesn't turn your install data into a heap, and it can detect missing masters (the most common cause of load failures).

jessie82
jessie82

im sure everyone knows this already from modding fallout 3/nv

bradentribble
bradentribble

there is one program that is used to optimize your load order: 

BOSS. it checks your mod load order against its masterlist, and then changes your load order to match. 

JRHT
JRHT

Am looking forward to the ENB presentation. I've dabbled with them myself, but I always end up killing my frame rate, despite having a semi-decent rig.


Having 170+ mods installed probably doesn't help though :)

johnd13
johnd13

Do you guys play Skyrim on your own, outside of the show?

JRHT
JRHT

Wait a sec - I got distracted by the (admittedly quite good) singing... @readysebbygo lives with Martin? Didn't @dannyodwyerlive with Martin?

Peetee666
Peetee666

Turning game modding gold once a week. Did not see this one coming...

jmsk248
jmsk248

Cam and Seb, since you two are the Skyrim modding experts, maybe you can help with a problem I've had for a couple of months.

I was fooling around with different follower appearance mods (Better Females, AngelLydia, Beautiful Followers) and suddenly Lydia lost her head. Literally. I've tried disabling the different mods, uninstalling, reinstalling, but Lydia sadly remains a body with a floating set of teeth. It's creepy. 

Any idea how to fix this?

daz10x
daz10x

@ratchet5474 Have you got Skyrim?

quaker04
quaker04

@ratchet5474  No, these are different mod-subscribe system. Some mods you won't find on nexus and only on Steam and vice-versa. You can use NMM without Steam.

TheRez
TheRez

@Jah_Glow Frame rate drops can result from many different issues.

One common one, is using weapon or armor mods with uncompressed textures.  Having high-res textures is fine, but sometimes the author forgets to set the .dds export tool to the right compression and that causes bloating and clogs up Vram.  There is a tool on the nexus that scans your installed textures and compresses them for skyrim's needs.

Other common issues that cause frame rate drops have to do with your .ini settings.  Some mods will need certain .ini values tweaked to run well; but on the opposite side of that coin, if you over-tweak the .ini settings your game will suffer.  There are a number of guides floating around to help find the right balance.  STEP Project is my go-to source for fiddling with .ini settings.

Third up, would be scripted mods. Small scripts like Immersive First Person View only have scripts there to handle minor customizations; those won't cause noticeable FPS drops. But bigger mods like Frostfall run script checks every few seconds, and even bigger mods like Open Cities uses scripts to completely rewrite locations and AI data.  My suggestion for these would be to back up your save, then disable and test one-by-one to see which effects your FPS most dramatically, than make the tough call of using or disacarding that mod.

Finally (not really, there are way more reasons than I can mention), there are NPC mods.  Mods that add NPCs like the Populated [location] series and Immersive NPCs can really do a number on your framerate if the game suddenly decides to load a bunch of NPCs at the same time.  This is partly related to the .ini setting ugridstoload: more ugrids means more NPCs load.

As Seb and Cam mentioned, there are other video reviewers, and they named Gopher.  His most recent Mod Sanctuary video on Skyrim Memory Fix might be of use to you in fixing your FPS

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

@TheRez "I can't believe..." seems a bit of an overreaction. "In my experience, Mod Organizer works better and retains NMM's functionality and ease of use. [insert reasons why here]" would have worked. Remember that not everyone is aware of other mod managers. :)

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

@JRHT  I don't know if you have used the ugrids fix, but it requires tinkering with the skyrim.ini and skse files, but it improves the games stability with heavy scripts+ enb. I almost never crash running a lot of heavy scripted mods. 

Sorrow_42
Sorrow_42

@jmsk248  You won't find an answer here.There could be a plethora of reasons why this happens to you.The best thing you can do is post your load order of the mods you use and any mods you use (like some that don't have "esps" like textures and meshes) in the nexus forums.The community might be able to help you.

Stevo_the_gamer
Stevo_the_gamer moderator moderator

@gamerno66666  That little ol' thang back from 2012? I don't think Gamespot has any mind for that gem. :)

Jah_Glow
Jah_Glow

@TheRez I will have to try fiddling with those -- thanks! I recently tried out the ESO beta and all it made me want to do is play Skyrim so... LOL

TheRez
TheRez

@Jah_Glow @TheRez Yes, I may have made a bit of an asshat of myself with that hasty reply. But I think the overreaction is warranted considering how powerful MO is compared to NMM:  MO supports profiles so you can swap mods instantly for a different play-through, MO uses a virtualized directory--leaving your game installation pristine, MO manages the load order for BSA archives and loose meshes/textures so those high-res packs don't accidentally get overwritten. It does take some getting used-to (but so does NMM), but after one plays with MO for a while, the power and quality really should speak for itself.

JRHT
JRHT

@johnd13 Yes, I knew about @dannyodwyer going to America, but I was initially surprised that @readysebbygo took his place in his former residence.


Upon reflection though, given that most of the Gamespot UK crew appear to be good friends in real life, I shouldn't have been surprised.

jmsk248
jmsk248

@Sorrow_42
Hey, tried that. No responses. This was basically my last shot in the dark.


Looks like Lydia will just have to spend the rest of her days without a head. Lucky she still has a mouth which with to eat and drink.

Sorrow_42
Sorrow_42

The community may* be able to help you.

Relnac
Relnac

@jmsk248You may have missing textures from one of the mods being uninstalled. You can try to validate files in steam (RT click, properties, verify integrity of game cache) to let it replace your textures, but just a heads up, you may have to reinstall any other texture replacing mod you used afterwards. Also, this will redownload anything that is incorrect, so be wary if you have a bandwidth cap. (it's always a good idea to keep an unmodified backup of the game before modding if you have a bandwidth cap. Otherwise go hog wild!)

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@jmsk248  You may need to do a clean install. And maybe ditch the mods and start fresh. I did that after my skyrim got too bogged down and now it runs like a champ.