STEP:0.1.0b

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STEP v0.1.0b


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Changelog   |   Release Date: December 25, 2019

Warning-Logo.png Warning: This guide is out of date! It may contain information that is incorrect or not in line with the current state of the game!

         View the latest release.


Contents

STEP SE Core Guide

Per our previous release, the "STEP Guide" versioning scheme facilitates our move towards a major change in the way we not only create guides but also with respect to our entire website and methodology. In totality, we've been calling this "STEP 3.0". This Guide version is "0.1.0" (since this a new guide specific to Special Edition, it's versioning starts fresh). It's a prequel or "Beta" to the Guide we will release with STEP 3.0. While we don't consider this release quite to the standards of a full-blown 'major' release, it still represents the entirety of the Guide as it will be released.

There has been so many changes that we highly recommend users reviewing the Changelog, for all the fine details.

- Visit the forums and provide feedback related to STEP.
- Also follow STEP on Facebook.
- To support hosting and maintenance of the STEP Community Project, contributions are welcome.



About STEP

A Foreword

Created by TheCompiler, STEP is a collaborative project with input from the modding community, technical volunteers, and project administrators. The goal is to provide tested and validated methods for establishing and maintaining an enhanced modded Skyrim. Thus, the Guide provides detailed, well-tested build instructions for a solid modding template. New modders can follow STEP explicitly to achieve an enhanced, vanilla experience, or more experienced modders may use it as general guide from which to build a foundation.

The STEP team collects information from the modding community through extensive mod testing, detailed reviews, feedback, and suggestions exchanged on the STEP Community Forums. Posting rules apply, so be sure to read and follow them. Engage and enjoy a warm welcome and plenty of high-quality support from a large community of experienced members.

New to Modding?

We recommend that you ...

  • read through this Guide at least once before attempting installation.
  • follow all linked guides and read through them, as well.

There is a lot of information to absorb and learn in order to successfully build a modded game. We and the community, have brought together a lot of this information into guides as a free and hopefully convenient resource for all. New and experienced modders alike will find many answers within these guides and linked resources. This guide is written in such a way that it expects users to know the basics of modding and related tools (e.g., mod managers, LOD optimizers, configuration utilities, etc.). However our support forums are always available for visitors.

Nomenclature

The following nomenclature is used throughout this guide and should be understood before proceeding.

  • Baseline: An installation of a mod using the recommend file option listed within the Baseline column of the mod tables below.
  • STEP Patches: A "patch" is a plugin that allows two or more mods to work together without conflicting. The "STEP Patches" are such plugins, but allow all of the mods in the STEP Guide to work harmoniously together. Some users refer to this as a "conflict resolution patch" or "CR Patch".

Minimum System Requirements

We recommend the following hardware configuration for running a STEP SE Core installation at a resolution of 1920x1080. The minimum requirements will allow most users to install and run the Baseline options, which are Skyrim SE's recommended requirements. The recommended requirements for this Guide will allow most users to install and run a modded setup beyond that of the Baseline options (higher quality options). For those wishing to use high quality options at resolutions higher than 1920x1080, be advised that a more powerful system will likely be required.

Hardware Minimum Recommended
Windows OS Windows 7 64-bit or later Windows 7 64-bit or later
CPU Intel Core i5-2400 or equivalent Intel Core i5-4430 or equivalent
System RAM 8 GB 8 GB or higher
GPU Nvidia GTX 780 3GB / AMD R9 290 4GB Nvidia GTX 970 or equivalent or better
Monitor Resolution 1920x1080 1920x1080 or higher

Time Requirement

Users should be aware that it will usually take several hours to complete a STEP Guide from start to finish. STEP encourages users to always follow proper computer ergonomics when modding. Remember to take breaks and happy modding!

STEP 1

Game & Tool Installation

Game Installation and Modding Setup

Info-Logo.png Notice: Start Out Clean!

It is particularly important for new users begin with clean installations of both Steam and Skyrim in order to be successful with the setup of this Guide the first time through.
PLEASE READ EACH SECTION BELOW CAREFULLY, as no information included in this Guide is irrelevant!


Before continuing with this Guide, users who have not completed the System Setup Guide should stop and do so now. Before continuing, users should already have the game installed and folder structure set up for modding. Our game guides are written with the expectation of the linked setup process already being completed. Users deviating from our recommendations will need to adjust the instructions in our guides accordingly.

Mod Organizer 2

Mod Organizer 2 is the successor to Mod Organizer, and is now the official mod manager for all STEP game guides. It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Bethesda games. The major changes it brings are ...

  1. A return to normal plugin/BSA relationship - Users will no longer be able to load BSAs without loading the corresponding plugin as they did with MO. The plugins must be active for the BSAs to load, which is the intended behavior that the game expects.
  2. New MO2 installation options - Users will have the choice between installing MO2 in "standalone" or "portable" mode. Unless Merge Plugins is going to be utilized, it’s purely an individual preference. Merged Plugins will currently only work when MO2 is installed and used in “portable” mode. STEP recommends “standalone” mode for use with this guide. This allows us to design all of our game guides around using MO2's "Instances". This means one MO2 installation is used for all supported games. Users should decide how they wish to install and use MO2 before continuing; keeping in mind the space requirements mentioned in our System Setup Guide.


Info-Logo.png Notice: For more information about MO2 installation options, please see the Mod Organizer Guide.

Tools Installation and Setup

STEP recommends the tools for modding be installed and setup as “standalone” applications, when possible. This means a tool is installed once and used for all games. Most of the modding tools used already have this feature built in and some are meant to be used as such. Following this recommendation will also reduce redundant tool installations; thus, saving hard drive space, and it's more organized. The instructions throughout this Guide will assume the tools are installed as “standalone” applications. However, users are free to set up their tools as they see fit.

Tool Installation

Users should install the tools to the location created while following the System Setup Guide (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\). Install the following tools to that location:


Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
BethINI SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
DynDOLOD SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
LOOT (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Mod Organizer 2Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
SSEEditLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
SSELODGenLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Wrye Bash SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available

The Modding folder structure should now reflect:

  • ..\Modding\Steam (optional; may be installed elsewhere)
  • ..\Modding\Tools
    • ..\Tools\BethINI Standalone
    • ..\Tools\DynDOLOD SE
    • ..\Tools\LOOT
    • ..\Tools\Mod Organizer 2
    • ..\Tools\Wrye Bash
    • ..\Tools\xEdit
    • ..\Tools\xLODGen


STEP 2

Tool Configuration

Mod Organizer 2 - Configuration

Initialization

STEP recommends using all applications, including Mod Organizer 2, as standalone programs. The below instructions for MO2's first run reflect this. If MO2 is ran in Portable mode, users will need to adjust the instructions as appropriate. To initialize Mod Organizer 2:

➕ Initialization Instructions

  1. Launch MO2 by running its executable (i.e. ..Modding\Tools\Mod Organizer 2\ModOrganizer.exe)
  2. Upon launch, users will have a choose between setting it up as portable or create a new Instance. Choose to create a new Instance.
  3. Select SkyrimSE and choose OK.
    • A prompt will appear informing you about the option of changing the location of data stored. Read it and click past it.
  4. The installer should automatically detect the Skyrim SE installation (ie. ..Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition). Select it.
    • If it didn't find the location, browse to to the Skyrim SE installation path.
  5. Another prompt will appear for first time installers asking to run the tutorial or not. First time MO users should run it for a quick lesson on MO. Experienced MO users can skip it.
  6. The last prompt will ask if MO can handle .NXM links from the browser. Allow it to do so.
  7. MO2 is now set up and ready to use.

Profile Setup

Now users will take advantage of Mod Organizer's profile feature by creating/editing two profiles for use during this Guide:

➕ Profile Setup Instructions

  1. Launch MO2, choosing the Skyrim SE Instance.
  2. On the default profile, arrange the mods in the left pane in the following order:
    1. DLC: Dawnguard
    2. DLC: HearthFires
    3. DLC: Dragonborn
  3. Click the Configure Profiles button on the menu bar.
  4. Select the “Default” profile and click “Rename”.
  5. Rename this profile to Vanilla Skyrim or something similar
  6. Ensure the Use profile-specific Game INI Files box is checked and select OK.
    • Users can also check the Use profile-specific Save Games, if they wish.
  7. Ensure the renamed profile is still selected and click Copy.
  8. Name the new profile "STEP SE Core v0.1.0", or anything similar.
  9. Check the same boxes from step 6, above.
  10. Close the window by clicking Close.
  11. Ensure that the STEP SE Core profile is the currently selected profile in the Profile drop-down menu.

Tool Setup

The final step of setting up Mod Organizer 2 is to add all the tools to it, which were install in the previous step. Some tools will have been auto-detected and added for the user, however, ensure the settings below are set for all tools, even the auto-detected ones. Use the instructions below to add the tools to MO2. xEdit is used for the example:

➕ Tool Setup Instructions

  1. Click the Executables button at the top of the main Mod Organizer window.
  2. In the Title field type SSEEdit or xEdit.
  3. In the Binary field either type the path to the SSEEdit.exe file or browse for it by selecting the ... button (i.e. ..Modding\Tools\xEdit\SSEEdit.exe)
  4. (optional) The following arguments can be helpful. Input them in the Argument field separated by a single space:
    • -IKnowWhatImDoing : This turns off a warning present using users make edits.
    • -AllowMasterFilesEdit : By default xEdit will not allow master file editing. This allows users to these files.
    • -o:"Path\to output\folder" : This is the output path xEdit will use when it saves certain files. (i.e. ..Modding\Tools\xEdit\xEdit_Output)
  5. Check the Use Application’s Icon for shortcuts box.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for adding the executables from the table below; filling in the appropriate data. The titles we use are suggestions:


Tool Setup Table

Executable Title Argument(s)
DynDOLOD64.exe DynDOLOD SE -SSE
LOOT.exe LOOT --game="Skyrim Special Edition"
SSEEditQuickAutoClean.exe xEdit Quick Auto Clean  
TexGen64.exe (installed with DynDOLOD) TexGen SE -SSE
WryeBash.exe Wrye Bash -o “path to Skyrim Special Edition folder”
(i.e, -o "D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition" )
xLODGen64.exe xLODGen -lodgen -sse

Users can arrange their tools in any order they wish using the up and down buttons above the list. When complete, close the window by clicking the Cancel button.

BethINI Setup

BethINI needs to be set up to run for the current profile in MO2 and ran to establish solid INIs before beginning the mod installations. To do this:

➕ BethINI Initialization

  1. Close MO2 and run BethINI.
  2. Select Skyrim Special Edition from the game selection box.
  3. Allow BethINI to handle custom INIs, if prompted.
  4. Go to the Setup tab
    • Ensure the Game Path is correct (i.e., ..\Modding\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition).
    • Ensure the Mod Organizer path is correct (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\Mod Organizer 2).
    • If the MO path is correct, the INI Path menu will find the user’s profiles in MO2. Select the profile created earlier in the Guide (STEP SE Core v0.1.0).
      • If BethINI does not automatically find the profiles, browse to MO2's Profile folder.
      • For Instance users the profile will be stored in the user's AppData folder (i.e. C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\ModOrganizer\SkyrimSE\profiles)


At this time BethINI should restart to grab the correct INIs. Once it is restarted:

➕ BethINI Initial Setup

  1. Return to the Setup tab.
    • BethINI will be used for multiple games from a single installation, thus users should check the “Always Select Game” box.
    • To prevent changes to the INIs, check the “Make INIs Read-Only” box.
  2. Select the Basic tab.
    • Ensure the Window Resolution matches the system resolution.
    • Click the Medium profile button (this can be changed at the end of the Guide).
    • Check the box for “Recommended Tweaks”.
  3. Now Save and Exit.


Users now have a minimal setup for the game INIs for testing and running the game during the mod installations. Once all mods have been installed, BethINI will be ran again to complete the INI setup.

STEP 3

Cleanup and Considerations

LOOT

At any time during the mod installation process LOOT should be used to sort plugin load order before running the game. This is necessary to ensure proper plugin priority (load order), which can have a dramatic impact on the game. To sort with LOOT:

  1. Launch LOOT via Mod Organizer 2 from the executables drop-down menu.
    Info-Logo.png      Notice:If LOOT fails to start, try adding the following argument to it: --single-process
  2. Click the “Sort” button at the top of the LOOT window.
  3. Examine the resulting order carefully and look for any alerts or warnings and address each (clean any mods it says has ITMs or UDRs)
  4. Click the “Apply” button, which has replaced the Sort button at the top.
  5. Close LOOT.

LOOT must be run any time a mod is installed that adds one or more plugins to the load order.


Up to this point, users should only have the following plugins, in the order listed:

  1. Skyrim.esm
  2. Update.esm
  3. Dawnguard.esm
  4. HearthFires.esm
  5. Dragonborn.esm

If the plugins are not in the order listed, run LOOT now.

Cleaning Vanilla Master Files

To remove errors in the Bethesda master files, it is recommended they be cleaned with xEdit before modding begins. This ensures maximum stability and compatibility within the modding experience.

Standard Cleaning Procedures

➕ Toggle cleaning procedures

  1. Run xEdit64 Quick Auto Clean from the drop-down executable list in MO2.
  2. On the plugin selection window, double-click on the mod being cleaned (i.e., Update.esm, Dawnguard.esm, etc).
  3. xEdit will now automatically clean the "Identical to master" and "deleted" records from the selected mod.
  4. Once xEdit is done cleaning, click the X in upper right of the program window to close the program.

After the vanilla master files are cleaned, users should create separate mods for them in MO2 and restore the original files. This prevents users from having to re-clean the file after verifying their files in Steam. To do this, complete the following:

  1. Right-click in the modlist. Hover over All Mods and select Create empty mod, name it “MasterName.esm - Cleaned” (i.e., Update.esm - Cleaned), and click OK.
  2. On the new mod listing that appears, right-click and select Open in explorer. Leave this folder opened.
  3. In a new window, open the Skyrim Special Edition Data directory (i.e., ..\Modding\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition\Data)
  4. Drag and drop the cleaned master file from Data to the "MasterName.esm - Cleaned" folder from step 2.
  5. Open the TES5Edit Backups folder found in Overwrite in MO2 (bottom of modlist) and rename the file to “MasterName.esm”.
  6. Drag and drop the renamed file from the TES5Edit Backups folder to the Data directory and choose to overwrite it, if asked.
  7. Close the explorer windows.
  8. Drag and drop the new MasterName.esm - Cleaned mod listing in MO2 directly below its vanilla master mod listing.

Update.esm, Hearthfires.esm, Dragonborn.esm

Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean these master files, one at a time. Place the “MasterName.esm - Cleaned” mod listing for each below its vanilla master listing. Update.esm will not be listed in MO2 and Update.esm - Cleaned is placed at the top of the modlist.

Dawnguard.esm

Follow the standard cleaning procedures to clean Dawnguard.esm.

Once the automatic cleaning is complete, Dawnguard also has some manual cleaning required. To do this,

➕ Toggle Dawnguard manual cleaning procedures

  1. Run xEdit from MO.
  2. At the prompt, double-click on Dawnguard.esm.
  3. Once loaded, type in 00016BCF in the FormID field (above the mod list) and hit Enter/Return.
  4. In the right pane, find the XEZN - Encounter Zone record.
  5. In the Dawnguard.esm column, right-click on the RiftenRatwayZone [ECZN:0009FBB9] entry and select Remove.
    • If a prompt appears select Yes for each of these removals.
  6. In the FormID field again, type in 0001FA4C and hit Enter/Return.
  7. On the Dawnguard.esm column, right-lick on the Dawnguard.esm header and select Remove.
  8. In the FormID field again, type in 0006C3B6 and hit Enter/Return.
  9. On the Dawnguard.esm column, right-lick on the Dawnguard.esm header and select Remove.
  10. Now close xEdit, ensuring Dawnguard.esm is checked on the prompt.

After the manual cleaning is complete, create the mod listing as directed above and place the “Dawnguard.esm - Cleaned” mod listing directly below Dawnguard.esm.


Info-Logo.png Notice: Any time Bethesda updates these master files, users should complete this cleaning process again. This ensures users have any fixes Bethesda may have included within their updates.


At this point, the Bethesda masters should be cleaned and the mod list order should reflect:

  1. Updated - Cleaned .esm
  2. DLC: Dawnguard.esm
  3. Dawnguard - Cleaned.esm
  4. DLC: HearthFires.esm
  5. HearthFires - Cleaned.esm
  6. DLC: Dragonborn.esm
  7. Dragonborn - Cleaned.esm

Understanding the STEP Patches

A “conflict resolution” patch, or CR Patch, is a plugin that resolves conflicts between various active plugins. They allow users to use various mods together without any major issues, while still achieving the desired outcome from the mods. The STEP Patches are CR patches and more.

The STEP Patches are CR Patches built specifically for the mod list within this Guide. They are required to run the Guide without issues; providing conflict resolution between various mods. Additionally, the patches provide both mod integration and custom edits surrounding the use of specific mods. This means the patches are one part CR patch and one part mod.

Users should decide now, before installing any mods, whether or not they will be using the STEP Patches or creating their own. This decision will be referenced during mod installations below. Users who decide to install the STEP Patches will do so after the mod installations.


Info-Logo.png Notice: Users installing only the Core mod list or only installing mods on top of this Core mod list, are recommended to use the STEP Patches! These patches will solve all conflicts for users installing only the Core mod list. For users adding a few additional mods on top of STEP Core, the Patches can be used as a foundation to build upon. This ensures a stable game.


We do not offer support for unpatched mod installations!

STEP Patches Requirements - We recommend keeping the forum topic from the link open for referencing the list of required mods. This is helpful for users deciding whether or not to install a mod that may be required by the Patches.

Finally, we offer the following options in regards to Patches:

  • STEP SE Core - Conflict Resolution Patch
    • patches the entire STEP SE Core mod list besides the Lighting & Weather mod group.
  • STEP SE Core - Lighting & Weather Patch
    • patches the mods listed within the Lighting & Weather mod group with the rest of the STEP SE Core mod list.
    • this is provided as a separate patch for users wanting to customize their own lighting and weather setup.


STEP 4

STEP SE Core Modlist

At this point users should have their systems fully set up and ready to install mods from the modlist below. Users who are unaware of how to complete mod installations using Mod Organizer 2 should return to that Guide and refresh their knowledge. When installing mods from the list below, keep the following in mind:

  • Mods should be installed in the order that they are listed to ensure other mods further down the list overwrite those occurring before them. This is necessary to ensure the desired in-game effect.
  • Mods are listed in alphabetical order within each section and any deviations from this are purposeful to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Always install plugins (ESLs/ESMs/ESPs) unless otherwise noted.
  • If there are no notes associated with a particular mod, then all options fit the our mandate and it's the user's decision which option to install. Mod notes only provide instructions where necessary; otherwise, STEP encourages user customization.
  • Unless otherwise stated, follow LOOT's advice in regards to mod cleaning and sorting.


Info-Logo.png Notice: STEP does not recommend extracting BSAs for this Guide. Each BSA has been manually checked by the staff to ensure the proper overwrites are maintained, without the need for extraction.


Mod Table Reference

Below is the legend and reference for the mod tables used in this Guide. Users should refer back to it when confused about a mod listing.

Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Mod NameWikilink.png Baseline LowQuality.png HighQuality.png
DG
Notes


Legend

STEP Patch Mods included in the STEP Patches are indicated by the presence of a green vertical bar in the row at the immediate left-hand column of the table before the mod name.
Mod Name Shortened version (where applicable) of Nexus mod name presented as a link to Nexus for download.
Wikilink.png Link to the mod's wiki page, which includes various information about the mod.
Baseline This notes the STEP Baseline version or option of the corresponding mod that should be installed, and usually refers to options affecting performance/quality.
General suggestions are located in the "Notes" column; see below.
Quality Options Indicates if there are lower or higher quality options for the mod relative to the Baseline recommendation:
 LowQuality.png       Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
      HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
 LowQuality.png HighQuality.png  Relative to Baseline, both lower and higher quality versions of the mod are available.
DLC Required Any DLCs listed here are required for the mod to function. Do not install the mod, unless all DLCs listed are present.
During mod installation instructions, STEP assumes a Legendary version of the game is being used (all DLC are installed).
Notes Brief notes that apply to the mod or installation.
In some cases, mods with several options will include a suggested option. These suggestions will take the form of: "STEP recommends 'Option A'."
In other cases, there may only be one appropriate option, which fits the STEP Mandate. These instructions will take the form of: "Use 'Option A'."
Users will also see links displayed as: Detailed instructions available. Users should follow these links to find detailed instructions for installing the mod.

Extenders

Third-party programs (or extensions thereof) that enhance a games functionality or display.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
SKSE64Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available


Resources

Programs or mods that provide additional resources or functions for modding.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
FileAccess Interface for Skyrim SE ScriptsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Only the Main File is required.
PapyrusUtil SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Skill Uncapper (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
SkyUI (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.


Foundation

Mods that should be listed early in a modded setup and overwritten by other mods.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Unofficial High Definition Audio ProjectLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install all Main Files. Merge when asked.
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim SE particle patch for ENBLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Special Edition PARTICLE PATCH ALL-IN-ONE INSTALLATION file.
Static Mesh Improvement Mod (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Cathedral - PlantsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Detailed Rugs (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Realistic Overhaul (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Landscapes - Cathedral ConceptLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.


Audiovisual - Animations & Effects

Mods that alter the animations and effects in the game.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Bowlegged jump animation fix (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
No Spinning Death Animation (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: No Spinning Death Animation MERGED
XP32 Maximum Skeleton Special ExtendedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available


Audiovisual - Models & Textures

Mods that alter the appearance of objects in the game.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
AMidianBorn Book of Silence (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
AMidianBorn Blades Armor SSE PatchLink to the mod's Wiki page.
AMidianBorn imperial light and studded (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
AMidianBorn stormcloak officer armour (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Animated Weapon Enchants (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Arctic - Frost Effects ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Lite Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Barenziah's Glory SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Bellyaches Animal and Creature Pack SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer Pack (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Chicken Butthurt Minimizer (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Full Version - Nests and World Models file
Deathbell HD (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Detailing the Eldrich (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Higher Res Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Divine Amulets and Daedric RingsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install both the Main and Optional files.
Dragon Glyphs HD - Fixed (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Dragon Chiseled
Dragon Masks Retextured SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
DRAGON PRIEST (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Full Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Install with the Full (Highly suggested) option.
Frankly HD Dragonbone and DragonscaleLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Download and install both a Main File and the Update File.
Dragonbone MasteryLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
DRAUGR (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
DROPS (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Dust EffectsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Elemental Staffs SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: Elemental Staffs SE 2K-1K Main File.
ElSopa HD - Ants SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
ElSopa HD - Briar HeartLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: ElSopa HD - Briarheart Red 1k
ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: 2K ElSopa HD - Dirt Blast
Embers HD (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Enhanced Vanilla Trees SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
ETHEREAL CLOUDS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
FALMER (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Fire Halo RemoverLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Frankly HD Thieves Guild ArmorsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Gemling Queen Jewelry SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
GIANT (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Gold Septim - Coins RetexLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
Greatsword Sheaths and Scabbards Redux SELink to the mod's Wiki page. v2.7.6 Detailed instructions available
HAGRAVEN (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
HD Dark brotherhood door (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: No glowing eyes version
HD Executioners Block SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Misc (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
HD PondfishLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Reworked Baskets (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Reworked HorsesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
HD Reworked OresLink to the mod's Wiki page.
HD Road SignsLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Install Main and both Optional files.
HD Stone Quarry and Clay Deposit (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
High-Res Dartwing Texture (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
High Quality Food and Ingredients SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
HORNCANDLES (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Hybrids HD Plants and Herbs Retexture (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Iconic's Real HayLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Alt
Immersive DragonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive SmilodonsLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved closefaced helmets (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Improved SparksLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Grindstones - 10X Sparks and Impact Effects - Vanilla Sparks
Inferno - Fire Effects ReduxLink to the mod's Wiki page. Lite Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Just Ice (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
LeanWolf's Better-Shaped Weapons SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
LeanWolf's Improved Enchanter Candle Meshes SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
MAMMOTH (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
MM - REAL ELKSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
New Thinner Torch (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Ultimate HD Torch by rheadude compatible file.
Nightingale Prime HD (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Leather Version
N-R HD Display Case (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Not Really HD Keys (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Pilgrims DelightLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Rally's InstrumentsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Rallys Instruments HQ - Version 2 Vanilla Lute
Real Wood Textures - Farmhouses (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Realistic HD Pickaxe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic HD Woodcutter's Axe RemasteredLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic Water Two (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Remove Small RocksLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Retexture for Bread - Hearthfire (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Retexture for Soup (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install: SMIM Mesh - Poor Version
Ruins Clutter Improved (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
RUSTIC ANIMATED POTIONS and POISONSLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K
RUSTIC ARMOR and WEAPONS SELink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC AZURA'S STAR - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC COOKING - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC DAEDRA - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC DEATH HOUND and GARGOYLE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC DRAGON CORPSE - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC ELDERSCROLL - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC FROSTBITE SPIDER - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC NORDIC MURALS (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
RUSTIC SPRIGGAN - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
SABRECAT (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Install both options in the installer.
SKELETON (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Install selecting the Skin, clutter without sounds option.
Skyrim Redesigned WIP (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the 'FOMOD Version and install using the STEP option.
Skyrim SE Improved PuddlesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Skyrim SE Skill Interface Re-TextureLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Smooth Sky mesh - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Stalhrim SourceLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Sweet Mother (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Sweet Mother HD
Terrain LOD redoneLink to the mod's Wiki page.
The Elder Scrolls V Rewritten - Arvak SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
TROLL (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available.
Ultimate HD Torch (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
Vistant's HD Night Sky SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Yellow STEP Recommends: Vivid Landscapes - Tundra Moss Revised - yellow 1024 Main File and SMIM compatibility patch Optional File.
WEBS S.E.Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available.
White Phial Replacer SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: White Phial Replacer SE Main File and White Phial Replacer 0.5x size Optional File.
WISPMOTHER (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K-1K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available


Audiovisual - Sounds & Music

Mods that alter game audio including music, sound effects, environment, voice, etc.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Better Animal Footsteps (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Better Horse Pain Sounds (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Dragons Shout with Voice (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Heart of the Beast (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Feral Werewolf sounds - HIGH AGGRESSION
IHSS - Improved Horse Step Sounds (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Lower Sounding Thieves Guild Door (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Realistic wolf howls (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Realistic Wolf Howls more barks than howls
Sound Hammering Sounds (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Ultra Realistic Bow Shoot Sounds (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Ultra Realistic Crossbow Shoot Sounds (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.


Character Appearance

Mods that alter any aspect of character appearance.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Beards (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Brows (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 512 Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Consistent Older People (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Consistent Older People XX Loose
Coverkhajiits (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Download and install both Main Files.
FAR - Forgotten Argonian Roots (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available
Female Vampires Have Fangs (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Immersive Spectral AssassinLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
More Realistic Hair (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Natural Eyes SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Northborn Scars (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
RUSTIC CHILDREN (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: RUSTIC CHILDREN - BODY - 2K
Superior Lore-Friendly Hair (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. 1K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: SLF Hair - Rough Hair - Lite 1K
Tempered Skins for Females - UNPLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Tempered Skins for MalesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Vanilla Body with UNP TexturesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Vanilla Makeup HDLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. STEP Recommends: VMHD - All Races - 2K Also install the 2K update file, choosing to merge when asked.
Vanilla Warpaints AbsolutionLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available


Fixes

Mods that fix various bugs within the game.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
(SKSE64) Havok FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
1st Person Candlelight FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Butterflies Land TrueLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Critters Ain't SnitchesLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Dragon Stalking FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Enchantment Reload Fix SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Eye Normal Map Fix SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Eye Normal Map Fix SSE BC7
Fuz Ro D-oh - Silent VoiceLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install both the Main and Optional Files.
Invisibility and Eyes Mesh FixLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Modern Brawl Bug Fix (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
SSE Engine FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
SkyUI SE - Flashing Savegames FixLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Skyrim Project Optimization SELink to the mod's Wiki page. ESM Version
Stay At The System PageLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Unlimited Bookshelves (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Wiseman303's Critter Fixes (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Wiseman303's Flora Fixes - RevampedLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File and the WM's Flora Fixes - SMIM Patch Optional File.


Gameplay - General

Mods that alter gameplay mechanics, which don't fit into any other gameplay mod group.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
GIST - Genuinely Intelligent Soul Trap SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File and the GIST - Rustic Soul Gems patch Optional File.
Improved TrapsLink to the mod's Wiki page. STEP Recommends: Improved Traps and Mining Makes Noise


Gameplay - AI & Combat

Mods that alter AI and combat mechanics.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Better Stealth AI for Followers (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Run For Your Lives (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Tavern AI fixLink to the mod's Wiki page.


Gameplay - Economy & Item Balance

Mods that alter the money systems in various ways and/or alter item stats.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Trade and Barter (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter FixesLink to the mod's Wiki page. 2K Relative to Baseline, a lower quality, less demanding version of the mod is also available. Relative to Baseline, a higher quality, more demanding version of the mod is also available. Detailed instructions available


Gameplay - Immersion & Role-playing

Mods that help to improve game immersion and add in character role-playing scenarios.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Guard Dialogue Overhaul SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Mors Arrows Be GoneLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
Point The Way (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Ragdoll Paralysis Redux SELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Reasonable Movement SpeedLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Waterbreathing Breathless Emerge SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.


Gameplay - Quest & Stories

Mods that alter aspects of in-game quests.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Gildergreen Regrown (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
The Paarthurnax Dilemma (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.


Interface

Mods that alter various aspects of the in-game user interface.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Better Dialogue Controls (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Better MessageBox Controls (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Cathedral Weathers MCMLink to the mod's Wiki page.
Font Overhaul - Natural Typefaces for SkyrimLink to the mod's Wiki page.
RaceMenu (SE)Link to the mod's Wiki page.
Smaller Vanilla Cursors SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available


Locations

Mods that add new locations and/or alter vanilla locations by either changing them in small ways or overhauling them entirely.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Cutting Room Floor - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page.
Farmhouse Chimneys SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available


Audiovisual - Lighting & Weather

Optional mods that alter the lighting and weather systems in the game. An additional patch is provided for users who choose to install these mods.
Info-Logo.png      Notice:This section is optional!

We wish to be clear that the mods included within this section are completely optional. They are still within the Mandate, however, we've made this section optional for users who wish to customize their own lighting and weather for their games. As such, we've included an additional patch solely for this mod group.


Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Cathedral Weathers and SeasonsLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File.
Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) - Special EditionLink to the mod's Wiki page. Users do not need any of the patches. These are incorporated into the STEP SE Core - L&W Patch.
Relighting Skyrim - SSELink to the mod's Wiki page. Users do not need any of the patches. These are incorporated into the STEP SE Core - L&W Patch.


Utilities

Tools that are installed within the Data drive, therefore making them a "mod" of sorts.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Fores New Idles in Skyrim SELink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available

Once FNIS SE is installed, the animation files need to be generated for the skeleton changes.

  1. Sort the load order with LOOT.
  2. Run FNIS SE via Mod Organizer 2.
  3. In the Available Patches at the bottom of the window, check the box adjacent to "SKELETON Arm Fix".
  4. Click the [Update FNIS Behavior] button and wait for a message to appear in the window stating "X animations for Y mods successfully included".
  5. Click [Exit].

After closing FNIS SE, there will be files in Overwrite (essentially a fake mod located at the bottom of the left pane if sorted by priority ascending):

  1. Right-click Overwrite and select Create Mod
  2. Name it FNIS SE Output and click OK.
    • This will create a new mod listing in the left pane for the FNIS SE generated files.
  3. Check the new mod entry to enable it.

Patches

Game patches.
Mod Name Baseline Quality Options DLC Required Notes
Kryptopyr's Patch HubLink to the mod's Wiki page. Detailed instructions available
STEP SE Core PatchesLink to the mod's Wiki page. Download and install the Main File. If the Lighting & Weather mod group was installed, also install the Optional File.



STEP 5

Patches and LODs

Sorting with LOOT

Users should now run LOOT and accept the default mod order it provides.

The new Patches are designed to work with a default LOOT sorting of the mods. This means there are no more meta rules to set with the STEP Guides. This reduces user tasks (preventing one less area for user error) and streamlines the Guide's installation. Users should:

  • sort their load order using LOOT any time they install, uninstall or update a mod.
  • update LOOT any time it says their is an update available.

Creating a Bashed Patch

A Bashed Patch is a patch created by running Wrye Bash (WB). This process imports several record types from a load order, to ensure those records are carried forward.

Info-Logo.png Notice: This Guide no longer uses a Bashed Patch!

All necessary edits, which the Bashed Patch covered in previous versions of the STEP Guide are now contained with the STEP Patches.


Though this Guide doesn't require a Bashed Patch, users may eventually install mods that require one. Users should only require a Bashed Patch if they include additional mods that add or alter leveled lists. Even then, one may not always be required. STEP provides the instructions below to create a Bashed Patch. If users need to create one, they are highly encouraged to review the results in xEdit! Investing has shown many of the leveled lists forwards to be completely unnecessary as they were just copies of the winning mod's records.

Building a Bashed Patch

Keep in mind these procedures are only for using a Bashed Patch to manage leveled lists.

➕ Steps to build Bashed Patch for STEP

  1. Users who did not run LOOT, do it now!
  2. Ensure the Overwrite mod is empty in MO2.
  3. Run Wrye Bash from the MO2 executable list.
    • If it doesn't detect the game, select Skyrim SE.
  4. Once loaded, scroll to the mod of the mod list and right-click on Bashed Patch, 0.esp
  5. Select Rebuild Patch.
  6. Untick all boxes besides Leveled Lists.
  7. Click the Build Patch button.
  8. Activate the patch when asked and close Wrye Bash.
  9. Right-click on the Overwrite mod in MO2 and select Create new mod.
  10. Name the new patch something unique for the current MO2 profile (i.e. STEP SE Core - Bashed Patch)

DynDOLOD

Users will now create LODs using Dynamic Distant Objects LOD (DynDOLOD). DynDOLOD is one part mod and one part tool. Users should already have the tool installed from the beginning of the Guide. Now it's time to install the mod portion:

➕ Install DynDOLOD Resources SE

  1. Visit the Skyrim SE DynDOLOD forum topic.
  2. Download the DynDOLOD Resources SE vX.XX file.
  3. Install the file using MO2 by selecting the following options:
    • Solidtude Exterior
    • Whiterun Exterior
    • 3D Plume
    • High Hrogthar Window Glow
    • Desync Birds of Prey


Before moving on, users need to create two empty mods to use for the files DynDOLOD outputs:

➕ Create empty mods

  1. Right-click on the mod list in MO2 and hover over All Mods.
  2. Select, Create empty mod.
  3. Name it STEP SE Core - TexGen Output or anything similar.
  4. Place this new mod directly after DynDOLOD Resources SE.
  5. Repeat these steps to create another new mod call STEP SE Core - DynDOLOD Output, or anything similar.
  6. Place this other new mod directly after the new mod from step 3 (i.e., STEP SE Core - TexGen Output)..


The last few mods in the mod list should now reflect:

  1. ..
  2. STEP SE Core - CR Patch
  3. STEP SE Core - LW Patch (optional)
  4. DynDOLOD SE Resources
  5. STEP SE Core - TexGen Output
  6. STEP SE Core - DynDOLOD Output

Run TexGen

TexGen, shipped with DynDOLOD, is a program that will create custom LOD textures for objects based on the full-size texture installed. This means distance object textures will better match their fully rendered counterparts. To create custom LODs:

➕ Instructions for TexGen

  1. Run TexGen from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Keep the default Output location and and choose one of the follow two options:
    1. Option 1: Keep the default settings. This is for the average system.
    2. Option 2: Users who have the a bit more performance room, change the LOD Texture Size to 512. This will result in higher resolution LOD textures.
  3. Once the option has been chosen click Start.
  4. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  5. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD).
  6. Copy or cut the files from the TexGen_Output folder.
  7. In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the TexGen Output mod created above. This opens the mod's folder in an Explorer window.
  8. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  9. In MO2, ensure the TexGen Output mod is active (checked).

Run DynDOLOD

DynDOLOD will now be run to generate the remainder of the LODs for the game. Users have the options of generating higher quality 3D Trees or generating the standard tree LOD. Following one of the two sets of instructions below, depending on the option desired.

Standard Tree LOD

➕ Instructions for Standard Trees

  1. Run DynDOLOD from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  2. Click the Advanced button once the main tool window is displayed.
  3. Select all worldspaces.
  4. Ensure the Candles, FXGlow, and Windows boxes are checked.
  5. Keep the default Output location and settings and click Medium.
  6. Users with systems able to handle High settings, may do so.
  7. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  8. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD).
  9. Copy or cut the files from the DynDOLOD_Output folder.
  10. In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the DynDOLOD Output mod created above.
  11. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  12. In MO2, ensure the DynDOLOD Output mod is active (checked).
  13. Sort with LOOT.
  14. Ensure DynDOLOD.esp is the last plugin in the load order.

3D Tree LOD

There are two options for 3D Trees. Full or Hybrid.

  1. Full 3D Trees will generate the entire tree (branches and trunks) in 3D.
  2. Hybrid 3D Trees is more performance friendly. It will generate 3D branches with 2D trunks.
➕ Instructions for 3D Trees

  1. Open the root DynDOLOD folder (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD\).
  2. Open the DynDOLOD_SSE.ini file (i.e., ..\DynDOLOD\Edit Scripts\DynDOLOD\DynDOLOD_SSE.ini)
  3. Set TreeLOD=0
    • If generating Hybrid 3D Trees, skip to the next step now.
    • If generating Full 3D Trees, also set TreeFullFallBack=0.
  4. Run DynDOLOD from the MO2 executable drop-down list.
  5. Select all worldspaces.
  6. Ensure the Candles, FXGlow, Generate static LOD, Windows, and High boxes are checked.
  7. Keep the default Output location and settings, click High preset button, and run it.
    • The High preset is require for 3D Trees!
  8. Get a cup of coffee. This takes ~40 minutes on SSDs.
  9. Once the completed message has appeared, click Save & Exit.
  10. Navigate to the DynDOLOD folder location (i.e., ..\Modding\Tools\DynDOLOD).
  11. Copy or cut the files from the DynDOLOD_Output folder.
  12. In MO2, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click on the DynDOLOD Output mod created above.
  13. Paste the files into the mod's folder and close the window.
  14. In MO2, ensure the DynDOLOD Output mod is active (checked).
  15. Sort with LOOT.
  16. Ensure DynDOLOD.esp is the last plugin in the load order.
Info-Logo.png      Notice:One issue that can arise when generating LOD with DynDOLOD is having a "bad run", though it doesn't happen often. However, when it does happen CTDs are usually the result. If this happens, for example while fast traveling, try disabling the generated output and recreate the conditions in-game. If the CTDs are resolved, trash all of the files from the bad run and complete the process again.

When do users need to rebuild LODs?

Users should rebuild their LODs any time they update their mod lists with mods that adds, removes, or relocates exterior objects such as buildings, roads, trees, etc. Users should also rebuild any time an update to DynDOLOD SE Beta is released.


STEP 6

Mod Configuration & Wrap-up

Users should now be ready to load the game for the final steps, configuring mods in the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM). The MCM is a feature of SkyUI that allows mod authors to provide custom settings for their mods, which users can set within the game. Well provide recommendations for users below for all the mods installed within this Guide.

Info-Logo.png      Notice:When launching the game for the first time after a STEP Guide is installed, the load could take significantly longer than normal. This will only be a one-time load wait as all the installed mods are being initialized. Subsequent load times should be shorter.

When ready to play the game after a new STEP Guide install, it is recommended to start a new character.

Mod Configuration Menu Settings

Farmhouse Chimneys SE

Vanilla villages should all be checked on the first page. The following screenshot displays the recommended settings for the Mod Support page:

Mod Support

Mod Support

Remaining Mod Configurations

The remaining mod configurations are recommended to be left at their defaults for the most enhanced, vanilla experience. However, users may adjust the settings for these mods to their liking.

Optional BethINI Customization

Users are now ready to play their enhanced Skyrim SE, however, please consider reading the remainder of the Guide before taking an arrow to the knee.

The final consideration is customizing BethINI once the game is confirmed to be stable. Users who have no issues with performance, however, aren't knowledgeable with the settings can simply choose a higher preset. Other users can feel to customize the settings to their personal preferences. Caution is advised against using the custom INI input feature. This feature will allow users to make custom INI edits, however, doing so without the knowledge of exactly what the customizations are doing can cause instability.

The following are provided as examples of the settings used for taking the screenshot's on Nexus (1920x1080 using a GTX 1060 6GB card). The recommended settings are called out and/or shown in the screenshots below. All settings can be customized per user preference. Simply click on a section heading to expand it.

Basic

 STEP Recommends:
  • Antialiasing: TAA
  • Windowed Mode
  • Borderless
  • Vsync
  • Lock Frame Rate
  • FPS: 60
  • Recommended Tweaks
  • BethINI Presets
    • Users should select a preset. High was chosen for the screenshots.
Basic Tab

Basic Tab

General

 STEP Recommends: Users should match the screenshot.
General Tab

General Tab

Gameplay

 STEP Recommends:
  • Over-Encumbered Reminder: 300 (5 mins) or 3600 (1 hour)
Optionally, users can check NPC Use Ammo or a more realistic experience. This will cause NPCs to only use the ammo available in their inventories.
Gameplay Tab

Gameplay Tab

Interface

 STEP Recommends:
  • Fix Map Menu Navigation
  • Remove Map Menu Blur
Interface Tab

Interface Tab

Detail

 STEP Recommends:
  • Water: Select all but Sky
    • Reflecting the sky can cause LOD seams on the water to be more visible.
  • Particles: 4500 (this just over doubles vanilla)
  • Depth of Field
  • Uncheck Lens Flare (optional)
  • Uncheck Anamorphic Lens Flare (optional, this is the flare seen on candles)
This use of Sparkles is optional as they are a preference feature. However, if using Landscapes - Cathedral Concept, then this mod includes custom edits to the Sparkles and Improved Snow Shader.
Detail Tab

Detail Tab

View Distance

 STEP Recommends:
  • Grass Fade: 18000 (max)
  • Light Fade: 50000 (max)
  • Flickering Light: 8192
The remainder of the Fade values are user preference. They are set fairly high for Tech's system, which allows for longer distance viewing of NPCs for archery and strategy planning. uGridsToLoad should never been changed from vanilla's default of 5. The preset here should match the preset selected on the Basic tab.
View Distance Tab

View Distance Tab

Visuals

 If using Landscapes - Cathedral Concept, these setting should not need to be adjusted. If not, set the values here according to the installation instructions of the grass mod in use.
Visuals Tab

Visuals Tab

Custom

 Making the following custom adjustment to speed up the book opening animation by twice the speed of vanilla:
Custom Tab

Custom Tab

ENBSeries with STEP SE Core

The Core Guide doesn't include an ENB preset for reason that should be obvious, however, we know it can be difficult to find a preset that works with Cathedral Weathers. To make this a bit easier, we've included a small list of ENB presets below which were made to work with Cathedral Weathers, without breaking the horizon. We've included a variety of "looks", but users should search on Nexus to find the preset that works best for their preferences.



COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS

Help build STEP

STEP can only get bigger and better with help from the community. It is very time consuming for the STEP team to ensure that the Guide is consistently maintained at the highest quality possible. We need people to help us identify mods that improve the vanilla game while adhering to our Mandate. We also need ongoing bug reports, reviews, and updates on mods that may cause problems or that stray from the Mandate.

In order to suggest a mod for inclusion, visit the Mods section of the Forums.

Call for Mod Testers

Community members interested in becoming Mod Testers, please contact TechAngel85 via PM on the forums. Once registered, Mod Testers will be given access to Staff forums that houses useful information. For more information about our mod testing process, read through the Mod Testing Guide to get a sense of what's involved.

Call for Forum Moderators

Regular community members interested in becoming moderators, please contact TechAngel85 via PM on the forums. Forum Moderators will be determined based upon level and quality of activity within our community.

STEP Builds

STEP Builds are user-created guides that use one of the STEP Core mod lists as a foundation to their own mod list within their guide. If a STEP Build adheres to our guidelines, it can be considered as a candidate for being hosted on the STEP 3.0 website. An example of a STEP Build will be provided with the release of STEP 3.0 in the form of Tech's Skyrim Special Edition Guide. Be certain to read the STEP Builds documentation when it becomes available.


Mod Organizer Guide
USERS
This one of the reasons why Mod Organizer is the chosen mod-management utility for STEP. MO2 makes building mod lists for STEP Builds a breeze.


Thank you for reading and enjoy the game!


Credits

Thank you all!

The STEP administrators would sincerely like to thank (from the bottoms of our fuzzy little hearts):

  • The authors of mods recommended within our Guides
  • The authors of mods who granted permission for their mods to be incorporated into the STEP Patches
  • The core Community for feedback, suggestions and input
  • The Beta and Mod Testers for their good humor and rigorous analyses
  • The Nexus community
  • Bethesda Softworks for their games
  • Tannin for the gift that is Mod Organizer
  • All the developers that kept MO alive to create MO2

STEP Staff

Administrators

  • TechAngel85
    • Lead Release Coordinator, Patch Coordinator, Lead Forum Administrator, Mod Author
  • z929669
    • Project Founder, Lead Site Developer, Lead Site Administrator

SM Forum Moderators

Currently active STEP Forum Moderators:

  • DoubleYou
  • GrantSP
  • Greg
  • Kelmych

Honorary Staff

Founder, Administrators, and Staff no longer active with the project:

  • Aiyen
  • EssArrBee
  • Farlo
  • hishutup
  • MontyMM
  • Nebulous112
  • oqhansoloqo
  • phazer11
  • rootsrat
  • stoppingby4now
  • TheCompiler
  • torminater
  • WilliamImm