Recommended ENB Profiles

From STEP Modding Wiki

Contents

What is ENBoost?

ENBoost is a memory reduction feature added to the ENB Series to address the crashes and freezes of Skyrim due to hitting system memory, or RAM, limit of a 32-bit application. ENBoost is included in the ENB Series graphics modification and is now a part of all up to date ENB profiles or can be used without the graphic modifications of the ENB Series.

ENBSeries

Before installing any of the ENBs, get Boris Vorontsov's ENBSeries. Since the introduction of the ENB Series for Skyrim there have been hundreds of ENB Profiles created and most are not kept up to date; however, refer to the chosen ENB's documentation to be sure and download the correct version of the ENB.

Recommended ENB Configurations

There are ENB and other lighting mods that come in just about every style and color. This section can be extremely subjective and as such STEP suggests to browse around to find the perfect solution of preference. The is no official STEP recommendation for ENB, but her are a few excellent profiles and information about installing them with STEP. To make a recommendation for the listed ENB profiles do so on the [ENB Guide] thread.

SkyRealism - ENB Evolved by MTichenor

Baseline: SkyRealism v2.73 is fully compatible with ENB Series v0.200 to v0.212. More recent versions of ENB Series should also work.
  1. Picking preset depends on the lighting and weather mods.
    • The "Vanilla" is a modder's resource and a good preset to use for creating a custom preset.
    • The "Cinematic" and "Vibrant" presets are designed for an enhanced vanilla Skyrim or use with Realistic Lighting Overhaul and Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel.
    • The "Realistic" preset is also good for vanilla Skyrim or with lighting and weather mods.
  2. ENB Evoled now has three Depth of Field (DOF) algorithms available and six different DOF focusing algorithms available. To choose a DOF setting and DOF focus setting, open enbeffectprepass.fx with Notepad++.
    • Lines 15 through 30 are for the three DOF algorithms, only use one at a time (Sprite DOF is not recommended for anything but screenshots). Line 33 is to turn on/off the DOF focusing system and lines 34 through 39 and for the focusing algorithms, only use one at a time.
  3. Turn off Bloom and/or DOF if preferred via the enbseries.ini file under [EFFECT].
    • For less powerful rigs it is recommended you turn off both DOF and SSAO as they have the most performance impact.
  4. Copy the preset folder contents (effect.txt, enbbloom.fx, etc.) to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).

True Vision ENB by Bronze316

Baseline: True Vision ENB v0.213n currently supports ENB Series v0.217.
  1. The "Natural" preset the only preset currently supporting the latest ENB Series binaries and is the STEP recommended choice.
    • It is recommended by the author to turn the ingame brightness all the down.
  2. Open the "Main files (natural preset)" folder and copy the folder contents (effect.txt, enbbloom.fx, etc.) to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
  3. Ignore the "Data" and "Optional effects" folders.
  4. Open the "Performance options" folder and choose the SSAO and DOF options. Open preferred folder and copy over the enbseries.ini to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
    • Less powerful rigs use "Option D (No DOF + No SSAO)".

Project ENB by Bronze316

Baseline: Project ENB v0.215r currently supports ENB Series v0.217.
  1. The current version of Project ENB is specifically made for Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel. Other presets are still under development. STEP recommends the Realistic preset.
    • It is recommended by the author to turn the ingame brightness all the down.
  2. Open the "Main files (realistic)" folder and copy the folder contents (effect.txt, enbbloom.fx, etc.) to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
  3. Ignore the "Data" and "Optional effects" folders.
  4. Open the "Performance options" folder and choose the SSAO and DOF options. Open preferred folder and copy over the enbseries.ini to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
    • Less powerful rigs use "Option D (No DOF + No SSAO)".

Unreal Cinema ENB by Unreal Warfare

Baseline: Unreal Cinema ENB v0.217 currently supports ENB v0.217. There is also a version for ENB v0.214.
  1. The current version of Unreal Cinema is made to work with Enhanced Lighting and FX.
    • Unreal Cinema also has a Data File that needs to be downloaded.
  2. Copy all the contents of the Unreal Cinema ENB to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
  3. Install the Unreal Cinema Data File like any other mod into the DATA directory, or use a mod manager to install this file (recommended).
    • Any effects must be enabled/disabled either the in game GUI, or in the ENB files. Use the Unreal Cinema website for more information and instruction on editing effects properly.

Phinix Natural ENB by Phinix

Baseline: Phinix Natural ENB v1.66 currently supports ENB v0.217.
  1. The current version of Phinix Natural is made to work with Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel. It also works with both Realistic Lighting Overhaul and Enhanced Lighting and FX.
    • It is recommended to also use the custom interiors plugin (separate download), but if using ELFX do not use the ELFX Enhancer. Also, load the interiors plugin after weather and lighting mods regardless of where BOSS puts it in load order.
  2. Open the "1-ToSkyrimFolder" folder and copy the folder contents (effect.txt, enbbloom.fx, etc.) to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
    • For higher performance, different palettes, and DoF open the "2- Options" folder. Open preferred folder and copy over the enbseries.ini to the "Skyrim" root folder (not the "Data" folder).
    • Less powerful rigs use "2-HighestPerformance" to have SSAO turned off.
  3. Open the enbeffectprepass.fx with Notepad++ and scroll down to line 323. From there input the resolution Skyrim will be played at, the default is 1920x1080.
  4. Copy the interiors plugin to the "Data" folder or use a mod manager to install.

RealVision ENB by SkyrimTuner

Baseline: RealVision ENB v2.3h currently supports ENB v0.217.
  1. This ENB Profile requires that the enbhost.exe and d3d9.dll be taken from the ENB Series folder.
  2. Each version of RealVision is designed to work with the combination of Project Reality - Climates of Tamriel and either Realistic Lighting Overhaul or Enhanced Lighting and FX.
    • There is also a performance version for each profile, so choose the correct version.
  3. Copy everything to the root "Skyrim" folder (not the "Data" folder).
  4. The author also recommended that "skyrimprefs.ini" have the following line changed under [Display]: fGamma=1.2400

ENB Complimenting Mods

Presets
  • TheCompiler's RCRN Plus - ENB, featuring a new injector method with SMAA, enhanced exterior fog and sunglare.
  • z929669's SkyRealism custom preset is good for those looking for realism of both day and night and good performance. Presets exist for CoT, RCRN, and RLwC using the most recent version of ENBSeries. Featuring SMAA, brighter sunny days, brighter colors, realistic day/night sky-lighting and darker nights/interiors. (a bit out of date at the moment until Z finds the time to update)
Darkness
  • Dark Dungeons for ENB This tells ENB to render dungeons as though its night (otherwise it lights them as though its daylight)
  • Many ENBs include optional files for darker caves, dungeons, and nights. Check with the ENB Profile for these options before using a third party mod for this. Some lighting mods may not be compatible.
Fixes
  • Skyrim Particle Patch for ENB This fixes shaders or blending properties on some object meshes which have their parameters set incorrectly. Some ENB Profiles come with this patch or include it in as an optional file in the download section.
Fog
  • Remove Interior Fog V2 This removes the ambient interior fog that is found indoors in many locations. It has support of all DLCs.
  • Revamped Exterior Fog This reduces the density of exterior fog and increases the distance that it starts becoming opaque. If using RCRN, there is a compatibility version which should be used instead.
  • Interior and Dungeon Fog Remover Completely removes fog meshes from most dungeon and indoor locations. Not compatible with Removed Interior Fog V2; use one or the other, not both.
Some mods that are often combined with ENBs are not compatible with the above mods (i.e. Climates of Tamriel, Realistic Colors and Real Nights, etc) As good modding practice, please review the Readme of any mod being used.
Utilities
  • ENB and FXAA Remover Removes ENB and FXAA installations and provides slots to load different ENB configurations for quick and painless switching.
  • ENB Customizer Provides a GUI interface to change many of the enbseries.ini settings.
  • ENB Manager and Changer Utility which allows the switching between ENB configurations and presets. Useful when testing various ENBs.
  • Imaginator In-game tool that allows adjustment of color and lighting setting such as brightness, tint, contrast, saturation, etc. This has been helpful to many in adjusting ENB colors and lighting without having to mess with the ENB preset itself.

Prior to Installation

This guide assumes the completion of STEP Guide through at least section 1.F. If this has not done, please do before continuing!

  • Monitor(s) Calibration: Lagom is great for LCD displays. For laptop users with limited controls use the Windows tool:
    Contol Panel >> Color Management >> Advance tab >> Calibrate display
  • Make sure graphic drivers are up to date. If not, please download and install new drivers via a clean installation.
  • Download the recommended ENB d3d9.dll for the chosen ENB Profile here.
  • Save the folder that has just been downloaded to the desktop.
  • Please, if this is the first time using ENB, read the TES documentation here.
  • Back up the Skyrim INIs. These are the "Skyrim.ini" and "SkyimPrefs.ini", located in "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim" folder.
  • Back up game saves located in "My Documents\My Games\Skyrim" folder.
  • If currently using an ENB, FXAA or SMAA, do the following as well:
  • Back up the current ENB, FXAA or SMAA post-process injector to another folder.
  • Delete ALL ENB and post-processing injector files in the root Skyrim folder.

ENB Installation

Make sure to backed up Skyrim's INIs!

  1. Extract the version of the d3d9.dll file which the chosen ENB profile requires into the root Skyrim folder. There is no need for any other files except the d3d9.dll. Most ENBs use the Wrapper version, but check with your chosen ENB's documentation.
    • Do not extract the file to the Data folder! It must be placed in the root Skyrim folder to work.
  2. Extract the ENB files from the chosen ENB's folder into the root Skyrim folder. The same place the d3d9.dll file has been extracted to.
  3. Back up your ENB's enbseries.ini and enbeffect.fx files if editing for customization. (optional but recommended)
  4. Edit Skyrim's INI file as shown below.

SMAA (Highly Recommended)

Note: This section is entirely optional! SMAA is NOT required to run ENB.

SubPixel Morphological Anti-Aliasing is a fantastic post-processing anti-aliasing method. Unlike MSAA, SMAA is processed after ENB, which provides nearly equal quality at a faction of the performance hit. For ENB users, any version of the ENBSeries after v0.119, hardware AA is no longer supported. So ENB users only have two options available to them; Edge AA, SMAA or SweetFX using an injector. For users on low-end systems, the ENB's Edge AA is probably the best choice because it comes with almost no performance loss. Users can also use SMAA injector and keep all of the AA option of ENB enabled. SMAA is a great replacement for driver AA or the game engine's AA, so for users on mid to high-end machines, SMAA will be the best option. Transparency AA also can be forced in the drivers for those with systems that can handle the extra bang.

To use SMAA, set the following in the [Display] section of "SkyrimPrefs.ini":

iMultiSample=0 
bTransparencyMultisampling=0

Then, copy the following files provided in the ENB mod download files to the root Skyrim folder :

  • d3d9_smaa.dll
  • injector.ini
  • SMAA.h
  • SMAA.fx

Note

Even though some ENB mods may not include SMAA in their download files it is still possible to use SMAA for anti-aliasing as long as there is not an additional d3d9.dll already enabled in "enbseries.ini".

Download SMAA here.

It is also worth noting that SMAA injector can be used without ENB as a standalone replacement for AA. To do so just use extract the SMAA injector from the download above to the root Skyrim directory.

Extract the folder to a desired location and in the d3d9 folder (do not use the files from the d9d10 folder!!!) rename "d3d9.dll" to "d3d9_smaa.dll".

Now copy the following files into the root Skyrim directory:

  • d3d9_smaa.dll
  • injector.ini
  • SMAA.h
  • SMAA.fx

To enable SMAA set the following in the [PROXY] section of "enbseries.ini":

EnableProxyLibrary=true
InitProxyFunctions=true
ProxyLibrary=d3d9_smaa.dll

To change the amount of AA, open the injector.ini file in a text editor (such as Notepad++) and change the "preset" parameter:

[smaa]
;smaa preset one of {SMAA_PRESET_LOW, SMAA_PRESET_MEDIUM, SMAA_PRESET_HIGH, SMAA_PRESET_ULTRA}
preset = SMAA_PRESET_HIGH

The presets are listed above the parameter. Low is 60% quality, Medium is 80%, High is 95%, and Ultra is 99% quality. This is similar to 2xAA, 4xAA, etc and each step higher comes with more of a performance loss. Additionally, you can create a preset in the SMAA.h file; however, this is a very advanced process so it is not recommend for most users.

Using a Proxy

The [PROXY] section of the INI file allows for use of another d3d9.dll file. This enables the ENB to be compatible with other processors such as FXAA, SMAA, and SweetFX. The following is an explanation of the [PROXY] settings:

This will either enable or disable the use of the proxy. Unless using a separate processor in combination with ENB, this setting should remain as "false".

EnableProxyLibrary=(false, true)

This attaches drawing functions to the proxy library. Set this to "false" only if the second .dll is not hooking rendering functions and just needs to be injected in to game process. (i.e. bug fixes or process memory patchers). If using the proxy option, most d3d9.dll files will need this option set to "true".

InitProxyFunctions=(false, true)

This is the name or full path to the proxy library to be loaded (second d3d9.dll file). The name or path can not contain unicode symbols. For the majority of situations simply include the name because the two d3d9.dll files will be located in the root Skyrim folder.

ProxyLibrary=other_d3d9.dll

Full Example:

[PROXY]
EnableProxyLibrary=true
InitProxyFunctions=true
ProxyLibrary=smaa_d3d9.dll


Global

These [GLOBAL] settings rarely need to be changed unless using an external file to store parameters or to turn on/off the graphic modification provided by ENB.

Use this setting to turn the graphic modifications of ENB on or off. If just using the ENBoost memory reducing features set this to "true" and if using an ENB preset set to "false".

UsePatchSpeedhackWithoutGraphics=(false, true)

Forces software rendering to take place. It is generally not supported and is recommended to remain set to "false". It was implemented as a fix for AMD users with Patch 1.5, but should now be obsolete.

ForceFakeVideocard=(false, true)

Performance

This setting was originally implemented to increase performance in some areas and that is all that Boris gave us on this parameter. It is DirectX Optimization code and is recommended to be left true.

SpeedHack=(false, true)

Multihead

These [MULTIHEAD] section settings should normally not be changed. The default settings normally work for all systems.

If set to "true", the ENB ignores the default video adapter output and uses the card selected by the VideoAdapterIndex parameter below. This allows use of multiple monitors and other uses with multiple video card systems.

ForceVideoAdapterIndex=(false, true)

This sets which video adapter that will be used for rendering via index numbers. Useful for multiple card systems. The default adapter is '0'.

VideoAdapterIndex=(0..6)

Memory

ENb now has memory reducing features added that can significantly reduce CTDs caused by hitting Skyrim's memory limit.

The [MEMORY] section settings may need to be changed depending on the hardware available. It is a good idea to use the site on the Installation section for the correct settings. ENBoost which is the new memory reduction feature depends heavily on these settings to work ingame.

Fix for game engine buffer limitations; allows 64-bit systems to access 3-4GB RAM with optimized performance. Can generally be left true even for 32-bit systems. If using a 32-bit system and having problems test as false.

ExpandSystemMemoryX64=(false, true)

This setting is to enable the ENBoost features of ENB to dramatically reduce CTDs. It is highly recommended to use with ENB Series.

ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=(false, true)

Reduce chance of CTD or low performance due to bad video drivers, however with good drivers leaving as "false" can be optimal. When "true", bad drivers can cause lower performance or pauses where they would normally just CTD if "false". Reported to help AMD users. If experiencing CTD even while above setting is set "true", try setting this to "true". If having lag or long pauses, try "false".

DisableDriverMemoryManager=(false, true)

When set "true" can give faster cell load times as geometry/textures are not loaded into video memory until visible. May cause stutter as more data must be dynamically loaded into memory "on-demand" as player looks and moves around. If having long cell load times it is recommended instead to first try using the "free VRAM" key (needs to be set in "enblocal.ini") to clear VRAM before entering a new location, or fast traveling, instead to clear video memory prior to load. Can have a similar benefit without the stutter.

DisablePreloadToVRAM=(false, true)

Workaround mode for users experiencing large amount of stutter, typically systems with large amount of VRAM (4GB+) or for 32-bit systems with 4GB+ RAM. For testing only, unless ENBoost [utility] recommends setting it "true" for hardware being used. Does not use memory reallocation, compression, or enbhost.exe. Only works when ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=true. Alt+tab will not work in fullscreen when this is true.

EnableUnsafeMemoryHacks=(false, true)

Buffer for memory/VRAM swap. Generally, smaller equals less RAM use or CTD, larger equals less stutter in heavy areas with many mods or high ugrids value.

For video cards with 2GB or more VRAM, 512 is a good baseline. For less VRAM, 256 can work better, but needs testing.

ReservedMemorySizeMb=(256,512,1024)

This setting should be set according to the available VRAM. Refer to the values on the Installation tab for settings and additional information.

VideoMemorySizeMb=(512,1024,...6144)

Window

This section is used to enable borderless window with Skyrim. This can also enable the use of Alt-Tab to run Skyrim in the background, only if EnableUnsafeMemoryHacks=false in the [MEMORY] section in fullscreen.

ForceBorderless=(false, true)
ForceBorderlessFullscreen=(false, true)

Setting the FPS Limiter

The limiter included in the ENBSeries is a frames per second (FPS) limiter. This will limit or cap the upper FPS limit to a specified number. This is useful to control some performance issues such as lagging, crashes, freezes, and physics issues which are present at high frame rates. This feature can be turned on and off by pressing and holding the Shift key and then pressing the Home key. It should be noted, enabling the limiter could increase load times.

Info-Logo.png Notice:

If enabled (true), each frame will wait until the GPU is finished drawing. This is not recommended for performance reasons; however, may fix some of the issues mentioned above. It is the same effect as setting maximal pre-rendered frames to 0 in the video card settings.

WaitBusyRenderer=(false, true)

When set to true it will enable the FPS Limiter feature.

EnableFPSLimit=(false, true)

This is the value in frames per seconds (FPS) at which the upper FPS will be limited to.

FPSLimit=40.0

Game Fixes

The following are fixes for several issues introduced by the ENB or other aspects of the game/hardware. These settings should not normally be changed.

Allows the ENB to fix game related issues and errors. It is generally not needed.

FixGameBugs=(false, true)

This fixes parallax texture rendering issues by changing the shader used on those textures so the effects are rendered correctly. Was implemented as a fix for NVIDIA users, but is generally not needed anymore. Use it if you are having issues with parallax texture; else, leave it set to "false".

FixParallaxBugs=(false, true)

This setting helps reduce aliasing of snow on mountains and other similar objects. It is recommended to be "true".

FixAliasedTextures=(false, true)

Tells the ENB to ignore rendering on loading screens. This speeds up loading and prevents issues related to loading screens. Recommended setting is "true".

IgnoreLoadingScreen=(false, true)

Same as above, but tells the ENB to ignore rendering on the inventory screen. Recommended setting is "true".

IgnoreInventory=(false, true)
FixSsaoWaterTransparency=true
FixSsaoHairTransparency=true
FixTintGamma=true
RemoveBlur=false
FixSubSurfaceScattering=true