MODDING GUIDES

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Lexy's LOTD

by DarkLadyLexy & her team

Guide: Website | Nexus
Other links: Discord | Trello board | Patreon

  • based on Legacy of the Dragonborn and OMEGA
  • load order handled with LOOT and custom rules
  • final patches provided
  • full setup covering everything
  • some mods are optional
  • actively supported and regularly updated

DarkLadyLexy’s LOTD Guide is one of the oldest and most prestigious SSE modding guides, with regular updates and a team of experienced modders and mod authors, led by Lexy and her husband. As the name suggests, it is based on the popular Legacy of the Dragonborn, a DLC-sized mod that adds a museum and massive amounts of content like quests and artifacts to fill it.

Gameplay-wise the guide is based on OMEGA, an overhaul that in turn is based on Morrowloot and the concept of a deleveled world with hardcore combat. The guide also contains many survival-related mods. It is no doubt the largest and most thorough guide currently available.

The Northern Experience - Skyrim Modding Guide

by mnikjom

Guide: Nexus
Other links: Discord | Trello board

  • based on Yet Another Skyrim Hardcore Mod (YASH 2)
  • load order provided and applied manually
  • final patches provided
  • full setup covering everything
  • some mods are optional
  • actively supported and regularly updated

The Northern Experience (formerly YASHed Guide) was written by the former author (but not original creator) of the (also very popular) Nordic Skyrim. It is based on the role-playing focused gameplay overhaul YASH 2 and covers all parts of modding Skyrim, making extensive use of the ESP-FE plugin format and providing a final patch for all included mods. It’s worth noting that Legacy of the Dragonborn and some survival mods are included.

The Phoenix Flavour - A Modding Guide for Skyrim SE

by Phoenix & team

Guide: Nexus
Other links: Discord | Trello board | Patreon

  • comprehensive guide with a Vanilla+ approach
  • includes customisation options and many optional mods
  • load order is provided and applied using a custom loadorder.txt file for MO2
  • final patches are provided

Nordic Skyrim

by nordic0cold & mnikjom

Guide: Nexus

  • massive compilation of mods with instructions and notes
  • more a knowledge base than a modding guide
  • load order sorting and patching is up to the user
  • very few mandatory mods, most are optional and user’s choice

Nordic Skyrim was maintained and expanded by mnikjom in recent months, however he no longer has access and moved on to work on his YASHed Guide (see above). There is no Discord server for support at the moment and it is unclear if nordic0cold is returning to maintain their guide themselves once again. The future of Nordic Skyrim is quite uncertain.

As of August 2019, Nordic Skyrim still has not seen an update and is now considered outdated.

TUCOGUIDE

by outdatedTV & the TUCO Modding Team

Guide: Nexus
Other links: Discord

  • beginner’s guide with introduction to Mod Organizer 2
  • covers setup procedures and tools required for modding Skyrim
  • establishes a base line with better graphics and essential mods
  • recommended load order provided
  • patching is up to the user
  • contains optional mods and choices

OTHER GUIDES

NOT RECOMMENDED

BOSS BY LUPUS HEGEMONIA

Even disregarding the shadiness surrounding LH, a proven asset-thief and drama queen, it’s hard to describe BOSS as anything but a mess written by someone who is obviously not very good in English. Steer clear of this guide, and generally everything by LH.

‚ÄčUltimate Immersion Micro Mod List

The YouTuber Ultimate Immersion (usually does very pretty mod showcases like hodilton) teamed up with YT colleague ESO (who covers general Elder Scrolls stuff as far as I know) and on their shared website posted a “Micro Mod List” focused on visual improvements. It includes 40 mods and a custom ENB preset, and since it keeps popping up on places like reddit, I’m covering it here.

The list is quite frankly all over the place, featuring some essentials such as SKSE, SkyUI and the USSEP, but also including Immersive Citizens which is a broken mess of a mod as well as a faulty mod order. There’s no sign of absolute essentials like SSE Engine Fixes or a custom patch. He recommends Vortex as mod manager and uses xEdit solely to clean the official master files with an outdated method in a video with a very misleading title. While his contributions to the community in the form of breathtakingly beautiful showcase videos are to be respected for sure, this list gives the impression that he lacks indepth knowledge.

TL;DR: I’m sure UI’s Micro List is great for running around Skyrim taking screenshots for half an hour. It is by no stretch of the imagination a “guide” however, and there are fundamental errors as well as inconsistencies that lead me to strongly recommend against using it.

On Sinitar

Most people will have heard about Sinitar’s “ULTIMATE” mod guides at some point and unfortunately they have a good reputation among modding beginners when they are in fact as messy and broken as LH’s BOSS guide. A group of modders from the Fallout New Vegas community went so far as to ask Sinitar to remove their mods from his guide because it caused issues that users then reported to said mod authors instead of Sinitar. This caused Sinitar to move to a custom website.

Sinitar’s approach of using all the bloody mods is every beginner’s fever dream and typically the first lesson to learn – it doesn’t work, especially not with NMM which he recommends. His claims of “perfect” stability are breathtakingly bold lies. He relies purely on LOOT for load order management on huge lists, uses xEdit for cleaning only and handles conflicts with Mator Smash and Wrye Bash. There are no custom patches. No FOMOD instructions either.

Do not touch his guides under any circumstances.

For some very specific criticism, check my reddit comment on Sinitar’s SE guide.