Skyrim Special Edition


I stil with Vanilla Skyrim because not every mod I rely on is on the Special Edition yet, plus I really like Mod Organizer, which also likely won’t be available for the SE.


So there’s a SkyUI version that works with SE now? The vanilla interface is offensive in its badness for m/k control.


You need to manually install SkyUI version 2.2, but it works:

I also use these for UI improvements:

Better Message Box Controls:

Better Dialogue Controls:



Oh fantastic, thanks!


I use Mod Organizer with SSE. Works fine.


Whoa, really? I’ll have to try that. Thanks!


This is my list of mods. I have played about 12 hours with these loaded and I am happy with the results. I recommend them for anyone looking for a realistic, immersive, survival-focused play-through. As a hint of what they do, here is a summary of my Top Ten mods in alphabetical order:

Alternate Start: skip the main quest, pick from 10 different starts such as being a bandit
Campfire: make fires, add wood, cook over them, set up tents, sleep in them
Darker Nights, Realistic Lighting Overhaul, Vivid Weathers: turns off the default blue glow of Skyrim, makes darkness dark and storms really intense
Frostfall, Wet and Cold: track your temperature and wetness, being too cold gives penalties, don’t try to swim across an icy lake!
iNeed - Food Water and Sleep: track hunger, thirst and weariness, eat food three times per day and drink water a bit more, find a bed when you are tired
MorrowLoot Ultimate: turns off leveled loot and encounters, sets NPCs in dungeons etc to their highest levels, manually places sensible loot (no more glass from bandits)
Open Cities: allows you to travel from the open world right into the major cities without a loading screen
Ordinator: re-haul of the perk system to allow for a more varied and sensible progression
Populated Cities Towns Villages and Lands Roads Paths: more people everywhere, where it makes sense
SkyTEST - Realistic Animals and Predators: solo wolves run, packs of wolves hunt, all animals are smarter
Wildcat - Combat: staggers you or opponents when you take a lot of damage, small chance for temporary wounds in combat, increased multiplier (I use Adept 1.5x/1.5x)

Interested? Here is what to do:

These are for Skyrim Special Edition, released Oct 2016. These are not for the original version of Skyrim. Skyrim SE runs mods much better, I had one crash in 12 hours.

  1. You need to use the Nexus Mod Manager available here:

You will also need a free login to the Nexus site, make one if you don’t have one already and use it for NMM.

  1. To install the mods click the links below (***) to open each page in a browser. Click the green “Download NMM” button for each mod, which will download it via from the site to NMM. Switch to NMM and click the green “Install / Enable” for each mod. Most of these will install quietly. A few will ask configuration questions. Go slow, think about it, and remember you can always change the options later via NMM.

  2. There are four things you have to do manually:

a) SkyUI needs a manual download and install of version 2.2, link below. Install it via NMM Plus icon for “add mod from file”. It will want SKSE which does not exist for SE, don’t worry it will still run. You will see an error in the inventory screen, ignore it.

b) Achievements Mods Enabler needs a separate DLL downloaded and dropped in the Skyrim game folder (where SkyrimSE.exe lives). Follow the instructions on the mod page.

c) MorrowLoot Ultimate needs a few patches installed, which will automatically load into NMM. They are here:

Grab “MLU - Ars Metallica Patch” and “MLU - Immersive Armors”. I also prefer “Morrowloot Ultimate - No Artifacts Version” at the bottom of that page, which means you do not need the normal Morrowloot Ultimate mod below.

d) I only use the interior files for Realistic Lighting Overhaul, because I prefer Vivid Weathers for the exterior lighting. You cannot use both exterior files. Go into the NMM Plugins tab and uncheck these to turn them off:

RLO Minor Cities and Towns
RLO Major City Exteriors
RLO Weathers
RLO Dawnguard

  1. Once the mods are installed and configured close NMM and open up LOOT, which does a better of sorting the load order. Its easy to use, just sort and apply. Get it here:

After you run LOOT you can click Options (three stacked dots) and “Copy Load Order”. That will generate a list of 84 lines that you can use to compare to my list below (===). If you install everything via NMM and then run LOOT, your list should match mine.

  1. Start the game! A number of the mods have in-game options available via the "P"owers menu, notably Frostfall which needs to be manually started. I picked the most hardcore options from Frostfall, Camping and Wet and Cold. (I may come back and update this section with more info.)

  2. I suggest mentally preparing yourself for some tinkering for the first hour or so. Make sure you understand and enjoy all of the systems at work. Then re-start a new life and play for real!

  3. There are no good economic mods ported for Skyrim SE yet. My character has too much gold and there is too much loot. Contact me if you know how to convert these mods from Vanilla:

Reduced Gold for Quests:

*** Here are the links for the Skyrim SE mods for NMM:

Summary A Quality World Map Achievements Mods Enabler Acquisitive Soul Gems Multithreaded Alternate Start - Live Another Life Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim Ars Metallica - Smithing Enhancement Auto Unequip Shield to Back Better Dialogue Controls Better Horses Better MessageBox Controls Book Covers Skyrim Bring Out Your Dead Campfire - Complete Camping System Cutting Room Floor Darker Nights Darkwater Crossing Enhanced Blood Textures SE Even Better Quest Objectives - EBQO Expanded Carriage Service Extended Stay - Longer Inn Rental - Customize Prices - Special Edition Food Overhaul Footprints Fores New Idles in Skyrim - FNIS Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival Helarchen Creek I’m a Customer Dammit Immersive Armors Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul SE Immersive Sounds - Compendium iNeed - Food Water and Sleep InnCredible Ivarstead Karthwasten Kynesgrove Lanterns of Skyrim SE Lore-Based Loading Screens Main Menu Spinning Skyrim Emblem More Tavern Idles MorrowLoot Ultimate No Bethesda intro Nordic Snow (aka HQ Snow Texture) Open Cities Skyrim Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim Point The Way Populated Cities Towns Villages Legendary Edition Populated Lands Roads Paths Legendary Real Mountains Realistic Lighting Overhaul SSE Realistic Ragdolls and Force Realistic Water Two Relationship Dialogue Overhaul - RDO SE Run For Your Lives Shor’s Stone skyBirds SSE Edition SkyHUD - Beta Skyrim Alchemy Fixed Skyrim Better Roads (SkyBeRoads) Skyrim Flora Overhaul SE Skyrim Is Windy SkyTEST - Realistic Animals and Predators SkyUI v2.2 Soljund’s Sinkhole Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM Torches Cast Shadows Total Character Makeover TRUE EYES SE Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch Unread Books Glow SSE Visible Favorited Gear Vivid Weathers Special Edition - a complete Weather and Visual overhaul for Skyrim SE Wearable Lanterns Wet and Cold Whistling Mine Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim Winter Is Coming SSE - Cloaks

=== LOOT load order:


0 0 Skyrim.esm
1 1 Update.esm
2 2 Dawnguard.esm
3 3 HearthFires.esm
4 4 Dragonborn.esm
5 5 Lanterns Of Skyrim - All In One - Main.esm
6 6 Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch.esp
7 7 Campfire.esm
8 8 Cutting Room Floor.esp
9 9 SMIM-SE-Merged-All.esp
10 a Bring Out Your Dead.esp
11 b iNeed.esp
12 c iNeed - Extended.esp
13 d InnCredible.esp
14 e Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Major City Interiors.esp
Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Minor Cities and Town Interiors.esp
Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Major City Exteriors.esp
15 f Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Dawnguard Interiors.esp
16 10 Book Covers Skyrim.esp
17 11 Skyrim Alchemy Fixed.esp
18 12 Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim.esp
19 13 skyBirds_SSE.esp
20 14 Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Dungeons.esp
21 15 SkyTEST-RealisticAnimals&Predators.esp
22 16 Better Horses 3.0.esp
23 17 Wildcat - Combat of Skyrim.esp
24 18 Immersive Sounds - Compendium.esp
25 19 dD - Enhanced Blood Main.esp
26 1a BetterQuestObjectives.esp
27 1b FNIS.esp
28 1c Hothtrooper44_Armor_Ecksstra.esp
29 1d Hothtrooper44_ArmorCompilation.esp
30 1e Populated Lands Roads Paths Legendary.esp
31 1f Point The Way.esp
32 20 Skyrim Better Roads and Bridges - All In One - Merged.esp
33 21 Run For Your Lives.esp
34 22 Chesko_LoreBasedLoadingScreens.esp
35 23 Populated Cities Towns Villages Legendary.esp
36 24 UnreadBooksGlow.esp
37 25 SkyHUD.esp
38 26 SkyrimIsWindy.esp
39 27 FoodOverhaulless.esp
40 28 Shor’s Stone.esp
41 29 Frostfall.esp
42 2a Ivarstead.esp
43 2b Helarchen Creek.esp
44 2c Kynesgrove.esp
45 2d Skyrim Flora Overhaul.esp
46 2e Soljund’s Sinkhole.esp
47 2f Karthwasten.esp
48 30 ExpandedCarriageService.esp
49 31 1nivWICCloaks.esp
50 32 ExtendedStay.esp
51 33 Vivid WeathersSE.esp
52 34 IcePenguinWorldMap.esp
53 35 AcquisitiveSoulGemMultithreaded.esp
54 36 Backshields.esp
55 37 dD - Realistic Ragdoll Force - Realistic.esp
56 38 Footprints.esp
57 39 Player_Shadows.esp
58 3a Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim.esp
59 3b Ars Metallica.esp
60 3c True Eyes SE.esp
61 3d WetandCold.esp
62 3e LFGCustom.esp
63 3f Visible Favorited Gear.esp
64 40 DarkerNights.esp
Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Weathers.esp
Realistic Lighting Overhaul - Dawnguard Weathers.esp
65 41 Vivid Weathers - Extended Rain.esp
66 42 Chesko_WearableLantern.esp
67 43 MLU.esp
68 44 MLU - Ars Metallica Patch.esp
69 45 MLU - Immersive Armors.esp
70 46 Open Cities Skyrim.esp
71 47 Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul.esp
72 48 Immersive Citizens - OCS patch.esp
73 49 Alternate Start - Live Another Life.esp
74 4a Relationship Dialogue Overhaul.esp
75 4b more idle markers.esp
76 4c Darkwater Crossing.esp
77 4d Whistling Mine.esp
78 4e RealisticWaterTwo.esp
79 4f RealisticWaterTwo - iNeed.esp


Depends on how complicated the mod is, ie if it requires SKSE or something not currently supported in SSE (old nif formats?), but GENERALLY I think you can just download the standard Skyrim archive and open it with Mod Organizer or (I assume) NMM in SSE mode.


You know something that bothers me about all “realistic/ better night mods” is that the extra darkness only affects the player. Everyone else in the world can see just fine. That means those bandits you can’t see for than 5 feet away will start attacking you 100 feet away. Id be for these kinds of mods if they were balanced.


Darker Nights author says “Darker Nights affects ambient light and environment colors and this affects both your vision and that of the enemies”.


Thank you very much for sharing this! Particularly the step by step for loading things into SE.

Bookmarked for next time I get the Skyrim itch.


Does the mod also model the moon?

Actually scratch that. I have no idea if the planet Tamriel is on even has a moon. But here on Earth, I’ve always been amazed when I’m out in the country late at night what a huge difference the moon makes at night. It can add a lot of visibility.


I finally got to the SE edition in my game queue. I’m all in, and my mod list is at about 44 I think, similar to others posted. I really like Campfire/Frostfall/Wet and Cold, thanks to those of you who mentioned it.

@milspec how are you liking iNeed? Is it annoying at all or fairly easy to work with?

And @DeepT, I feel you on the darkness mods. I have a tough time seeing contrast even normally, and those just tend to frustrate me.


@Rock8man No, I don’t think Skyrim itself models the moon phases. The only times the nights get darker is when it is overcast. The only time the nights get brighter is when there is an aurora. Minecraft had a great mod that modeled night brightness on the phases of the moon called “Hardcore Darkness” which was cool.

@Skipper I like iNeed. I used to use Realistic Needs and Diseases, also available for SE, which is more complicated. iNeed uses the in-game clock, so you will get hungry a set amount of times per day no matter what time scale you use. The normal setting is hunger three times per day and thirst more, and tired obviously once per day. Its very customizable via the in-game setting Power. I have it set for hardcore, which means lack of food and water will eventually kill my character (after 3 days?), and I also used the “food removal” option which turns most of the random food loot in barrels into salt piles.

I also like it in combo with InnCredible (enhances the interiors of many Inns, for example to include cooking stoves in all) and the well named I’m a Customer Dammit (which allows you to “buy meal” when clicking on the food on an Inn table). This makes it convenient and somewhat immersive to satisfy those hunger pangs. :-)

I usually like food / water / sleep mechanics, people who dislike them in general will hate iNeed.


Those don’t bother me that much, notably because as you mentioned, food is EVERYWHERE in Bethesda games. I played last with a mod like that for Fallout: New Vegas. It didn’t seem over the top either, and I enjoyed the extra immersion. Along with Campfire especially, it seems like it will be a good fit. I’ll try it.

My favorite mod so far though is one you mentioned, Ordinator. I love the new spec trees! Talk about changing the game, it takes away that rut of a planned progression the Nth time you replay Skyrim. So many new viable builds with it too.


Soooooo I spent some time with @milspec’s mod list this weekend. Goddamn do I love me some Skyrim.

I ultimately decided to ditch the survival stuff - iNeed, Frostfall, Wet & Cold - because I’m already prone to falling down the inventory hole in Skyrim and those give the pathogen another vector into my brain. That and they feel more tedious than immersive to me. I would probably be more into it if it were better supported in the UI, though.

Ordinator is super cool, though, agreed. And the new spells, and MorrowLoot, and the crafting adjustments. I may ditch the Populated Cities business, just because that many Citizens and Labourers and whatnot get in the damn way.


Does iNeed count food that you eat from the inventory or only food that you eat instead of pick up? I like having some need to eat, drink, and sleep but it seems that every time I turn around I’m hungry and thirsty.


INeed definitely counts the food you eat from the inventory. Keep eating and it will say “you are sated” and if you use the iNeed power it will show you hunger, thirst and sleep levels. If you eat to sated you should not be hungry for many game hours.

I also change the timescale to 10, which means 10 game minutes pass for each real minute. That makes the length of the Skyrim day 2.5 hours, which is twice as long as the default timescale of 20. I think I change it via Frostfall?

Timescale 10 means it is 30+ minutes until I see the hunger message again.

If you see it very frequently either something is wrong or you just need to eat more.

One of the mods allows you to eat food from the tavern tables. I don’t recall if that works property with iNeed. It wouldn’t be too hard to test - eat a lot of it when hungry and see if you change to sated.


I’ve played around some more and it does seem to be working. I think some of the food values are just less then I expect so I figure eating a meal of soup should be enough to hold me over for a while.


I did load up iNeed. @Madmarcus there is an auto-eat, auto-drink option you can set in iNeed which makes those two somewhat trivial beyond just keeping food and drink as an inventory item. I might just adjust the timescale similar to @milspec though.

Also, @Adam_B, you should look into one of the follower mods, Sofia or Inigo. I belive they both have a much better system of storage for a follower. Sofia has two inventories, one as normal per follower where she uses the best items you give her. The other is similar to having a barrel with you to store things in. I have yet to find the limit to it. So, paired with iNeed, it may seem cheaty, but she handles the food/drink and wood storage with me. Hey, I carry the tent/axe/pick, so we each have our burdens.