If by chance you are seeing this error, it is simply an issue of the required version of Microsoft Visual C++ framework not being installed correctly. To fix this, download the latest x64 executable here. Run the downloaded executable and follow the prompts through the installation process.

1) Is Steam running in the background?

2) Did you select SKSE64 from the drop-down menu and launch it through MO2?

3) Did you forget to unpack the BSA of a Classic Skyrim mod?
To quickly check for that, expand the Filter in MO2, filter by and check if there are any mods with SKYRIM instead of SKYRIM SPECIAL EDITION in the Source Game column (here’s a picture). If you find any, double-check the guide instructions for the mod in questions. Chances are you forgot to unpack and/or delete the archive.

4) Is one of your SKSE plugins outdated?
This one is a bit annoying to troubleshoot and typically its a problem that appears in the weeks after a Skyrim SE / SKSE64 update. One possible cause would be installing Simply Knock and accidentally skipping the updated SKSE64 DLL for it (Step 32). Double-check you have the latest versions of all mods with SKSE plugins installed and configured as per the guide’s instructions.


This is a good question. Generally, meshes created for LE need to be optimised before they can be used in SE. However not all meshes actually need optimisation! When running a mod through Cathedral Assets Optimiser, check the Log tab to see if there are any changes being made to specific files. If not, there is no need to use CAO on it. This is how I determined which mods need CAO instructions in the guide.

There is also the possibility that I simply forgot to add those instructions to a particular mod in the guide. When in doubt, you may run the mod through CAO with the Optimise SLE Assets profile and check the Logs tab. If changes are indeed made, the lack of instructions are an oversight in which case I would ask you to report the mod on our Discord!

No, this is no longer necessary. You should be running the latest version of the Creation Kit. Go into your root folder, right-click CreationKit.exe, switch to the Details tab and you should have Product version

For a time it was necessary to use the executable and DLLs of the previous version (1.5.53) because CK Fixes was only working with that version of the Creation Kit. CK Fixes has since been updated.



Make sure the mod (or a comparable alternative) is not already part of the guide and that it fits our general Vanilla+ standards. Then check my dedicated Trello board for mods that are already considered as potential additions. If your mod is not included there either, you are free to share it in our #mod-suggestions channel on Discord, preferably with an explanation as to why you would like to see it in the guide!

With 3.0 – unlike previous versions – combat is not much harder than in vanilla. Wildcat – Combat in Skyrim helps diversify the behaviours of enemies as well as make combat a lot more interesting with timed blocks, attacks of opportunity and higher Stamina consumption. By adjusting the damage multipliers, users are free to tweak their own combat pacing and lethality. Playing on regular Adept with no custom changes will yield similarly “easy” but overall more enjoyable combat as vanilla.

Some additional, smaller mods that the guide includes help with making combat feel fresh – such as Realistic Melee Range which finally allows you to reliably side-step enemy attacks but also requires you to come in close and personal.

Enemy levels will be slightly higher than in vanilla, depending on their type. With Encounter Zones Reborn you will still be able to comfortably quest in Whiterun in the early game but some enemy types – such as Vampires, Falmer, Draugr lords – will have much higher levels than regular bandits and require more preparation and caution on your part.

Looking for significantly more challenging combat? Try Lexy’s Legacy of the Dragonborn Guide instead.

Needs mods for Skyrim implement Survival features such as hunger, thirst, and fatigue. There are also mods that add exposure as an additional factor, forcing you to keep dry and warm. Examples are Realistic Needs and Diseases, iNeed, Frostfall and, by extension, Wet and Cold, or the Creation Club’s Survival Mode.

None of these mods are included in the main guide, and they never will be.

That being said, it is possible that I will at some point down the line, add these mods to the Customisation section. No promises.