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Skyrim Roleplay Enhancement Mod Guide for Special Edition
(SkyRem Guide)
Changelog   |   Release Date: September 20, 2019
Current Version: 3.0.2
Created and maintained by DrPharmDawg
Last Update: 21:20:38 5 June 2020 (GMT)


SkyRem Guide Pages

Home Page
Priority I: Stability <-----
Priority II: Mechanics
Priority III: Content
Priority IV: Aesthetics
Final Steps

SkyRem 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.

Priority I: Stability


Skyrim Special Edition

The SkyRem Guide assumes a freshly installed, never modified Skyrim Special Edition Version 1.5.80.

Always start with a Clean Setup when starting or restarting any guide. Sometimes this is the only way to ensure there are no remnants from a previous modding experience gone awry, or left overs that will result in issues later. Unintended changes can happen to your base game files, no matter what you do to keep them untouched. If ever in doubt, start from scratch by removing, re-downloading, and re-installing. While this is a hassle to say the least, the last step in the First Steps section will be in anticipation of returning here at some point to start over.

Make sure Steam is not in your Program Files directory. If it is, install it elsewhere. The ideal scenario is on a separate drive from your OS, preferably on a SSD drive. Having Steam installed in your Program Files can lead to issues during the modding process.

With a clean setup, create your INI files, turn off the Steam Overlay, and disable Automatic Updates in Steam as follows:

1. [Launch] Skyrim through Steam to complete setup of INI files, then [Exit] the Skyrim Launcher (but keep Steam open).
2. Click [Steam] and [Settings] in the tool bar.
3. Select the [In-Game] tab and uncheck the [Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game], and click [OK].
4. Navigate to your [Library], right-click [Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition] and select [Properties].
5. Navigate to the [Updates] tab, and under [Automatic Updates], change the drop-down to [Only update this game when I launch it].
6. [Exit] Steam.

Creation Kit

For the purpose of this guide, the CK will only be needed to properly port mods from LE to SE. The CK can also be used to modify plugins and create new mods. We will not be using it for these functions (therefore not covered in the SkyRem Guide). If you do not have the CK, or if you are starting with a fresh install:

1. Download and install Bethesda.net Launcher.
2. [Launch] Bethesda.net and click the [CK Icon] on the side bar.
3. [Launch] the CK - when asked to Extract scripts, click [YES]. This may take a few minutes.
4. Navigate to the Skyrim Folder - you should see the CreationKit.exe now. Create a new text file and name it CreationKitCustom.ini.
5. Copy and paste the lines in the following box into this file, save, and exit.


Until the Creation Kit Fixes mod is updated to the newest CK release, download and replace the CreationKit.exe with this one: Creation Kit EXE

SSE CreationKit Fixes

  • Author: Nukem
  • Version: 2.4
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: CK64Fixes Release 2.4

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Skyrim folder.

Folder Structure

Currently, you have a Steam folder that contains Steam and Skyrim SE. In preparation for the next few steps, complete the following to finish your folder structure.

1. Navigate to the folder in which your Steam folder is located.
2. Create three new folders and name them Tools, Mod Organizer 2, and Backup.

You should have a folder (root) that looks something like this:

This PC > Game (E:)
  Mod Organizer 2



  • Author: WrinklyRobot
  • Version: v0.14.5
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: LOOT.Installer.exe

Install: Manually download and run the installer. Install to the Tools folder.


  • Author: ElminsterAU and the xEdit team
  • Version: 4.0.2
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: SSEEdit 4_0_2

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Tools folder under SSEEdit.

SSEEdit Script - Fix Oldrim Mods Waterflow

  • Author: unblest
  • Version: 1.2
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: fix_waterflow_script

Install: Manually download and extract the _fix waterflow for Oldrim mods.pas and _make a patch file for waterflow for Oldrim mods.pas files into the Edit Scripts folder for SSEEdit.

MXPF - Mator's xEdit Patching Framework

  • Author: Mator
  • Version: 1.1.0
  • TOOL


Install: Manually download and extract the file into the SSEEdit folder in your Tools folder.

Wrye Bash

  • Author: Wrye Bash Team
  • Version: 307.beta4
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Wrye Bash 307 Beta3 - Standalone Executable

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Tools folder under Wrye Bash.

Mator Smash

  • Author: Mator
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Mator Smash Hotfix 2

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Tools folder under Mator Smash.

Cathedral Assets Optimizer

  • Author: G_k
  • Version: 5.0.6
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Cathedral Assets Optimizer

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Tools folder under Asset Optimizer.

DLL Plugin Loader

  • Author: meh321
  • Version: 1
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: DLL Plugin Loader v1

Note: Follow the instructions on the Description page (How to install and How to check everything is working correctly) sections.


Mod Organizer 2

  • Author: Tannin-MO2 Team
  • Version: 2.2.1
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Mod Organizer 2 (Archive)

Install: Manually download and extract to the Mod Organizer 2 folder. Run MO2, selecting [Portable] when prompted. Choose [Skyrim Special Edition] and [Yes] to allowing MO2 to handle Nexus links.
Setup: Once in MO2, complete the following:
  1. Click the [Configure settings and workarounds] icon (last icon in tool bar; wrench + driver). 
  2. Under [Paths], change the Downloads if you want downloads going to a different drive/folder.
  3. Enter your login information under the [Nexus] and [Steam] tabs and click [OK].
  4. Click the [Configure Profiles] icon (ID Card).
  5. Click [Create] and name the new profile Vanilla.
  6. Create a second profile, naming it SkyRem, and exit the [Configure Profiles] function.
  7. Change the current [Profile] by selecting Vanilla in the adjacent drop-down box. You can now delete the Default profile.
Executables: Setup the tools installed earlier so they can run through MO2 (and utilize MO2s VFS).
  1. Click the [Configure the executables that can be started through Mod Organizer] icon (two gears).
  2. Click the [+] to add a new executable.
  2. In the title field, enter LOOT.
  3. Point the binary field to the Loot executable file (use the [...]).
  4. Click [OK] (or click [Apply] to add an executable and keep the window open to do more with executables).
  5. Repeat Steps 2-4 for: Creation Kit, Wrye Bash, Mator Smash, zEdit, and SSEEdit (use the SSEEdit.exe file). Note: Only use SSEEdit64.exe if experiencing issues with SSEEdit.ese).
  7. Repeat Steps 2-4 for: SSEEdit Quick AutoClean using the executable SSEEditQuickAutoClean.exe.

Merge Plugins Hide

  • Author: deorder
  • Version:
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Merge Plugins Hide

Install: Copy all files except LICENSE and README.md inside your Mod Organizer 2 plugins directory. The plugin will be added to the Tools (icon with puzzle pieces) menu.



  • Author: matortheeternal
  • Version: v0.6.5
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: zEdit_v0.6.4_-_Portable_x64.7z

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the Tools folder under zEdit.
Setup: Run zEdit through MO2, select zMerge in the drop-down box, and click [Start Session].
  - Click on the [Edit Settings] (gear) in the upper-right of the tool bar.
  - Click [Integration Settings] and set Mod manager to Mod Organizer 2, MO2 instance to Portable, and set the paths fields.
  - Click [Merge Settings] and set the output path to the MO2 [mods] folder. Leave the Integrations options unchecked.
  - Click [Archive Creation Settings] and enter 999999 in the Minimum files per archive field and make sure both advanced options are unchecked.
  - Click [OK] and exit zEdit.

Experience Mod zEdit Patcher

  • Author: mtreis86
  • Version: 1.1
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: ExperiencePatcher

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

UPF NPC Enchant Fix Patcher

  • Author: Hishy
  • Version: 1.3
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: hishyNpcEnchantFix

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

UPF Cell Encounter Level in Name Patcher

  • Author: Hishy
  • Version: 2.0
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: hishyCellEncounters

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

UPF Khajiit Ears Show Patcher

  • Author: Hishy
  • Version: 1.0
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: hishy-khajiit-ears-show

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

UPF No Dragon LODs Patcher

  • Author: Hishy
  • Version: 1.0
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: hishy-no-dragon-lods

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

UPF Opposite Animation Disabler

  • Author: Hishy
  • Version: 1.1.1
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: oppositeAnimationDisabler

Install: Manually download and extract the file into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

zEdit patchers warehouse

  • Author: Bystander
  • Version: 1.0.2
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: zedit-potions-weights
MAIN FILE: zedit-spell-absorb-fix
MAIN FILE: zedit-visual-transfer
MAIN FILE: zedit-water-damage

Install: Manually download and extract the files into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.

Speed and Reach Fix

  • Author: GodlySandwich
  • Version: 0.1.3
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Speed and Reach Fix

Install: Manually download and extract the files into the zEdit/Modules folder in your Tools folder.



  • Author: Sheson
  • Version: vBeta 57
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: xLODGen beta 57
OPTIONAL FILE: SSE-Terrain-Tamriel.esm (Located further down the page under Recommended Optionals)

Install: Manually download and extract to the Tools folder under xLODGen.
Setup: In MO2, create an executable for the xLODGenx64.EXE. In the argument field, add [-sse -o:"X:\Mod Organizer\Mods\SSELODGen Output"] where X is your root directory for Mod Organizer.
Setup: Install the optional file (SSE-Terrain-Tamriel.ESM) as a mod in MO2. You can do this by creating a folder in your MO's Mods folder named SSE-Terrain-Tamriel and moving the downloaded ESM file to this folder. Do not activate it at this time. It should only be active when using xLODGen to generate LODs.

Dynamic Distant Objects LOD - DynDOLOD

  • Author: Sheson
  • Version: 2.74
  • TOOL


Install: Manually download and extract to the Tools folder under DynDOLOD.
Setup: In MO2, create executables for TexGenx64.EXE and DynDOLODx64.EXE. In the argument field, add [-sse] for both executables.


Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)

  • Author: Ian Patterson, Stephen Abel, Paul Connelly, and Brendan Borthwick (ianpatt, behippo, scruggsywuggsy the ferret, and purple lunchbox)
  • Version: 2.0.16
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: Current SE build 2.0.16 (runtime 1.5.80)

Install: Extract the files and move the following to your Skyrim folder:
Install: Return to the extracted files and Archive the Data folder. Install this as a new mod through MO2 (second icon in the menu bar). Name the mod SKSE Scripts.


The following procedure will clean your master files (or other files that require cleaning). This process will be used several times through the modding process. Typically, you will not need to back up anything, but for the purpose of keeping your Skyrim folder as clean (and vanilla) as possible, we will be doing this here.

1. Copy and paste to the desktop the Update.ESM, Dawnguard.ESM, Hearthfire.ESM, and Dragonborn.ESM files in the Skyrim/Data folder (this is temporary).
2. In MO, use the Executables drop-box to select [SSEEdit QuickAutoClean] and and click [Run].
3. Select ONLY the Update.ESM and click [Run].
4. Once you see the message Quick Clean mode finished, you can exit.
5. Restart [SSEEdit QuickAutoClean] and repeat for each of the remaining 3 ESMs above. Complete one at a time.

Complete cleaning of Dawnguard

1. Dawnguard.ESM needs to be cleaned twice (simply repeat steps 2-4 above a second time with Dawnguard.ESM).
2. Launch [SSEEdit] (not the QuickAutoClean) and load only Dawnguard.ESM.
3. Navigate in the left pane to: [Cell] >> [Block 5] >> [Sub-Block 3] >> [00016BCF].
4. Remove the [XEZN] record by clicking on it in the right pane and selecting [Remove].
5. Navigate in the left pane to: [Cell] >> [Block 2] >> [Sub-Block 1].
6. Right click [0001FA4C] in the left pane and [Remove]the entire record.
7. Navigate in the left pane to: [Cell] >> [Block 8] >> [Sub-Block 1].
8. Right click [0006C3B6] in the left pane and [Remove]the entire record.
9. Exit SSEEdit, saving Dawnguard.ESM.

Create a Cleaned Masters mod and move the Vanilla files back to the Data folder.

1. Navigate to the Data folder with the files you just cleaned. Select these 4 files and create an archive.
2. In MO2, click [Install a new mod from an archive] icon (second icon), and open the archive you just created. Name the mod Cleaned Masters.
3. Move the backup files back to your Data folder (overwrite), and delete the archive in the Data folder.

If you open MO2 now, you should see the SKSE Scripts and Cleaned Masters mods in the left pane.



  • Author: DoubleYou
  • Version: 3.2
  • TOOL

MAIN FILE: BethINI Standalone Version

Install: Install in the Tools folder.
Setup: Do NOT run BethINI inside MO (do not setup an executable). MO should be completely closed before running BethINI. Under the first tab (Setup), make sure the correct profile is selected under INI Path. If not, select the one you want to work on and allow BethINI to reload before moving on to the steps below.

  1. Basic: Click [Default]. After the Default settings load, click [High]. After the High settings load, select BethINI Presets and check the Recommended Tweaks.
  2. Set the remaining tabs up as pictured below.
  3. Once done, return to the Basic tab and click Save and Exit.

Optional Settings
Select the [Custom] tab to make the following changes:

Interface >> fBookOpenTime >> 200.0000

With the base Skyrim.INI and SkyrimPrefs.INI set, find the SKSE Scripts in MO2's left pane, right-click, and select [Open in Explorer]. Create a new folder named [SKSE] and open it. Create a file and name it SKSE.INI. Copy and past the following into the new file, save and close.




To prevent having to restart from scratch [again], this is a good time to create a complete backup of everything up to this point. If something goes wrong, this will be your restore point. Backup the entire /Steam/SteamApps/Common/Skyrim Special Edition/ folder, and place the archive in your Backup folder, naming it Skyrim Vanilla Backup. I also recommend doing the same for your Mod Organizer 2 folder and your Tools folder, resulting in 3 backup files in the Backup folder.

Once this is done, it is time to move on to the Core Guide.

If (when) you need to start with a clean setup, you can now simply delete your /Steam/SteamApps/Common/Skyrim Special Edition/ folder and extract the backup.


SKSE Scripts

Note: Place the SKSE Scripts mod completed earlier here and [Activate] it.

SSE Fixes

  • By: meh321
  • Version:

MAIN FILE: (Skyrim Special Edition) SSE Fixes v3 for SSE 1.5.73

Note: It has been reported that using both SSE Fixes and SSE Engine Fixes together improves performance. (Unconfirmed by me, but trying it.)

SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin)

  • By: aers - Nukem - Ryan
  • Version: 4.10

MAIN FILE: (Part 1) Engine Fixes 4.10 for SSE 1.5.73 and 1.5.80 - skse64 plugin
MAIN FILE: (Part 2) Engine Fixes - skse64 Preloader and TBB Lib
OPT FILE: Engine Fixes - Memory Patch for SSE 1.5.73 and 1.5.80

Note: Install Part 1 as any other mod. Extract Part 2 to your Skyrim folder. Select [Merge] when installing the Optional File.

Cleaned Masters

Note: Place the Cleaned Masters mod completed earlier here and [Activate] it.

Performance Optimized Textures For SSE

  • By: mlbrad aka rogue
  • Version: v6

MAIN FILE: performance textures 1024x1024 v6

Unofficial High Definition Audio Project

  • By: sharrken
  • Version: 1.0

MAIN FILE: Voices EN - Part 1
MAIN FILE: Voices EN - Part 2

Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch

  • By: Unofficial Patch Project Team
  • Version: 4.2.0
  • CORE

MAIN FILE: Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

  • By: Arthmoor
  • Version: 4.1.2
  • CORE

MAIN FILE: Alternate Start - Live Another Life

Cutting Room Floor

  • By: Arthmoor
  • Version: 3.1.6
  • CORE

MAIN FILE: Cutting Room Floor

Note: Delete Modgroups file.


  • TOOL
LOOT: Run LOOT to sort your plugins.
TEST: Launch Skyrim via SKSE and make sure the game loads and starts just fine. There is not much to test yet, only that the game (and SKSE) is working properly.

End of Priority I