STEP 1 - PREPARATIONS

1.1 RECOMMENDED HARDWARE

  • processor with high single core performance (3.2GHz or more)
  • 8-16 GB of DDR3 or DDR4 memory, running at 2400MHz or faster
  • a modern GPU with at least 4GB of VRAM
  • at least 50GB of free space on a fast HDD or SSD

Please note that you can follow this guide even with weaker specs than recommended above.

There are plenty of opportunities to install lower resolution versions of a texture or opt for a less performance-intense setup.


For reference – my setup

  • i5 7600k @4.2GHz, hybrid-cooled
  • EVGA GTX 1070 Founder’s Edition (8192MB VRAM)
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR4-3200 Memory
  • Samsung 850 Evo Series 256GB SSD
  • 1080p Acer Monitor (60Hz)

With the full VISUALS module, BethINI’s HIGH preset and DynDOLOD on Medium + 3D tree LOD I never drop below 60FPS. My favourite ENB presets, Aequinoctium and Visceral, are both quite performance-friendly and cost me around 5-10 FPS in some locations.

1.2 MONITOR CALIBRATION

1.2.1 General

Before we touch anything related to visuals, we should ensure your monitor’s brightness and gamma settings are correct.

Now assuming you have your monitor set to your preferred settings (in my case that is 60Hz and 1920×1080, the native resolution), you might want to adjust brightness / gamma either through your graphics card (Control Panel > NVIDIA Control Panel > Adjust Desktop Color Settings) or Windows’ in-built calibration tool (Control Panel > Colour Management > Advanced > Calibrate display)

To help you find the sweet spot for your monitor, check out these resources:

Keep in mind that your display should have been running for at least 30 minutes when you calibrate it.


1.2.2 DisplayPort / HDMI

It is recommend that you ensure your monitor’s dynamic range is set to Full. Here are instructions for NVIDIA and AMD.

(I actually had mine set to Limited for years and found that I was so used to it that setting it to Full only irritated me. Eventually I went back to Limited with no regrets. YMMV.)

1.3 NEW PROFILE

To preserve your current CORE installation as it is, we are going to copy it profile into a new instance for the VISUALS module of this guide.

  • In Mod Organizer 2, bring up the Profiles window by clicking this icon.
  • Select your The Phoenix Flavour – Core profile and select Copy.
  • Name your new profile The Phoenix Flavour – Visuals. Then hit OK.
  • Select your new profile in the list and make sure both options at the bottom are ticked.
  • Close the Profiles window.
  • Switch to your new profile using the drop-down menu at the top.
  • It should look identical to your The Phoenix Flavour – Core profile.

1.4 SEPARATORS

1.4.1 Instructions

  • Download the VISUALS – MO2 Separators from the guide’s mod page.
  • Open the archive.
  • Move all folders ending on _separator to Mod Organizer 2\mods.
  • Refresh (F5) Mod Organizer 2.

1.4.2 Order

  • 01 ESSENTIAL MODS
  • 02 EARLY LOADER
  • 03 FIXES
  • 04 WEATHER OVERHAUL
  • 05 LIGHTING OVERHAUL
  • 06 RETEXTURES – MAJOR TEXTURE PACKS
  • 07 RETEXTURES – LANDSCAPE
  • 08 RETEXTURES – ARCHITECTURE
  • 09 RETEXTURES – CAVES & DUNGEONS
  • 10 RETEXTURES – INTERIORS
  • 11 RETEXTURES – CLUTTER
  • 12 RETEXTURES – FOOD & INGREDIENTS
  • 13 RETEXTURES – WEAPONS & ARMOR
  • 14 RETEXTURES – CREATURES
  • 15 RETEXTURES – MISCELLANEOUS
  • 16 APPEARANCE
  • 17 TREE OVERHAUL
  • 18 GRASS OVERHAUL
  • 19 LANDSCAPE ADDITIONS
  • 20 LOCATIONS
  • 32 LATE LOADER
  • 33 WATER OVERHAUL
  • 34 PATCHES
  • 35 CONFLICT RESOLUTION
  • 36 PATCHER OUTPUT
  • 37 DISTANT TERRAIN