User:DrPharmDawg/SkyRem Guide How To

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Skyrim Roleplay Enhancement Mod Guide for Special Edition
How To
Current Version: 1.3.0
Created and maintained by DrPharmDawg
Last Update: 12:55:06 4 August 2020 (GMT)


Guide Pages
SkyRem Home: Information about the SkyRem Guide.
First Steps: Start here to ensure proper installation, settings, and Tools are setup.
How Tos: Reference guides for utilizing tools.
Core Guide: This section focuses on Stability, Performance, Mechanics, and Content mods.
Extended Guide: This section contains optional mods that build on the core of SkyRem.
Visual Guide: This section focuses on Aesthetic mods.
Final Steps: The final steps to complete, including in-game MCM Setup prior to starting your journey.
Changelog: Check here for updates.
Guide Support
Discord: Discord Channel for all things SkyRem (Guide and Mods).
Patreon: Support SkyRem development via Patreon.
PayPal: Support with a one-time donation via PayPal.
Trello: See guide development progress on Trello.


Mods tagged with
need to be ran through SSEEdit's Auto Quick Clean function.
  - Open MO2.
  - Select SSEEdit QuickAutoClean in the executables drop-down box and click [Run].
  - In the mod list that opens, check the mod that you want to clean and click [OK].
  - SSEEdit will run for a few moments. Once you see the the completed message, Close SSEEdit.
  - In the final pop-up, make sure the mod you cleaned is selected so it will save.


It is recommended to sort your load order and test your setup following each step. LOOT will do the majority of your sorting automatically, and any manual adjustments needed will be noted in the final steps prior to the final sorting. Note that LOOT will identify plugins that need to be cleaned and keep a tally by the Dirty Plugins header near the top. If this number is anything other than 0, scroll through your mods in the right pane and find which mod requires cleaning and take the necessary steps. Also research any Errors noted. The Warnings can be ignored as they pertain to compatibility which is largely addressed with Merges throughout the guide, and because they are merged, LOOT will not find them.

To sort your Load Order:

  - Open MO2.
  - Select LOOT in the executables drop-down box and click [Run].
  - In the window that opens, click the Sort Plugins button in the upper right (three lines).
  - If LOOT determines any mods need to be rearranged, [Apply] will appear in the tool bar where the Sort Plugins button was.
  - Click [Apply].
  - Exit LOOT.


Mods tagged with
contain at least one BSA (Bethesda Archive files). A BSA contains various assets that need to be extracted from the archive.

There are several options to extract a BSA file.

Allow MO2 to extract BSAs during install:
  - Open the Configure settings and workarounds (wrench and driver icon) and go to the [Plugins] tab.
  - In the upper-left window, click [BSA Extractor].
  - In the window directly to the right, update [enabled] to [true].
With this set to true, any mod you install that contains a BSA will prompt you whether to extract it or not. If a mod is tagged
, select [Yes]. If not, select [No]. The downside to this method is you have to remember to turn this on and off, or you have to answer the prompt every time a mod is installed containing a BSA, the majority of which you do not need to extract. I prefer to keep it enabled and sacrifice the time of one additional click.
Extract BSA within MO2:
  - Click the [Archives] tab in the right pane.
  - Locate the BSA you want to extract. Right-click it and select [Extract].
  - Navigate to the location you want to extract the BSA (extract to the mods folder).
  - Delete the BSA.
This option is good as you do not have to remember to turn a setting on/off or constantly be asked, but the navigating to the mods folder can be even slower, and you must delete/hide the BSA afterwards.
Utilize external BSA extractor. I will not be covering these, but there are a couple out there. Their respective pages provide all the information you need to install and utilize the tool.


One of the most common causes of CTDs - Meshes. This step needs to be done with any mod flagged
. The problem is that NIF files (mesh files) need to be optimized to be used with SSE (if you are using LE mods containing NIFs).
Optimize NIF Files:
  - Navigate to your Tools/Asset Optimizer folder.
  - Run [Cathedral_Assets_Optimizer.EXE].
  - Click [Open Directory], navigate to the mods folder, and click [Select Folder].
  - You only need the [Textures] and [Meshes] options checked, with [Full optimization] selected.
  - Click [Run].
  - When complete, simply close the window.


Mods that are flagged
need to be completely converted to SSE. This is a two step process.
Fix the Form Number (from 43 to 44):
  - In MO2, use the executables drop-down to run the [Creation Kit].
  - Once open, select [File] and [Data] in the tool bar.
  - In the window that comes up, double click the mod you are converting, and click [Set as Active] and [OK].
  - This may take a few moments to load. Ignore any errors that show in the additional window.
  - After the mod is loaded, re-save the file by going to ([File] and [Save].
  - Make sure you see Saving... Done! in the bottom bar. If you do not, the plugin did not save in Form 44.
  - Exit CK.
Optimize Assets:
  - Use the procedure above for optimizing NIFs.
  - If the mod has a BSA, check the [BSA] option with [Extract old BSA] and [Create BSA] checked.
  - Exit optimizer when complete.


Mods tagged
will contain at least one plugin that will ultimately be merged with zMerge to condense your plugin count. Several steps will contain a merge card instructing you to merge all of the tagged files in that Step / Part.
In MO2:
  - Run [zEdit] from the executables drop-down.
  - On the opening screen, select [zMerge] in the first drop-down and click [Start Session].
  - Click the [Create Merge] button.
  - In pop-up's [Details] tab, name the merge (the filename will update automatically. Leave the Merge Method as the default.
  - Go to the [Plugins] tab, select all the plugins to be merged, and click [OK].
  - There is no need to change anything under the [Load Order] or [Data] tabs if following the guide.
  - Find the box containing the merge you just created. In the upper-right area of that box, click [Build].
  - When zEdit finishes running, exit.
  - In MO2, the new merged mod will be located at the bottom (you may have to [Refresh] your view.


Mods flagged with
can be flagged as an ESL, thereby keeping it from counting towards your plugin limit of 255.

It is safe (and faster) to wait until the end and flag all plugins at one time. This does not have to be done as you install them (just do not forget to do so).

- In MO2, open SSEEdit.
- Select the plugin in the left pane.
- Right click the field next to [Record Flags] in the right pane (do not click on Record Flags, but the field to the right of it).
- Select [Edit], check the [ESL] box in the pop-up, then click [OK].
- Exit SSEEdit.


While not technically something that is required for the guide, this is a good tool to use if you are nearing the plugin limit and want to find plugins that can be flagged as ESL to reduce the count. Handy if you are adding to the guide (or doing an extensive amount of the Core + Extended).

- Ensure all your plugins are activated in the Right Pane of MO2.
- Launch SSEEdit from MO2.
- In the pop-up, hold [Shift] and click {{{2}}}.
- Once loaded, right click anywhere in the left pane and select [Apply Script].
- In the pop-up, find [Find ESP plugins which could be turned into ESL] in the Script drop-down box and click [OK].
- Review the output messages for any plugins that include Can be turned into ESL by adding ESL flag in TES4 header.
- Use the How To >> Flag Plugin as ESL to flag all plugins with this message.
- Exit SSEEdit.