Modding Guides

Details on various modding guides for SSE and whether I recommend them.

Lexy’s LOTD

by DarkLadyLexy & her team

DarkLadyLexy’s Legacy of the Dragonborn Guide is one of the oldest and most complex SSE modding guides, regularly updated and expanded by a team of experienced modders. As the name suggests, it is based on the popular Legacy of the Dragonborn, a DLC-sized mod adding a museum and massive amounts of content. The game is significantly more challenging than vanilla and features optional survival mechanics. Lexy’s LOTD can be considered a large-scale overhaul of the entire game.

Owing to its complexity and the use of many advanced modding tools, Lexy’s LOTD is not recommended for inexperienced modders.

No longer available as a Wabbajack installer.

LOTD Plus

by Evertiro

LOTD Plus is a fork / expansion of Lexy’s LOTD by Evertiro. It is even more difficult gameplay-wise than Lexy’s as well as more performance-intense and intended for high-end PCs. The current guide will be replaced in the future by the WIP Legacy guide, a full rework.

The Phoenix Flavour

by Phoenix & Umgak

Yes, this is my own guide, so I’m obviously biased.

First published in 2017, TPF has gone through many iterations over the years. What started as a modular beast with too many ideas eventually grew into a streamlined vanilla-plus experience, improving all aspects of the game. Content was added sparingly. Our primary focus lies on fixing the base game and improving the general user experience, enhancing the visuals without destroying performance, and rebalancing gameplay mechanics.

Also available as a Wabbajack installer.

The Northern Experience

by mnikjom

Originally known as YASHed, mnikjom’s guide is based on Yet Another Skyrim Hardcore Mod (YASH) and features many popular mods such as Experience, Summermyst and Legacy of the Dragonborn as well as a ton of new weapons and armors. There is also an Extended version with support for additional mods.

TUCOGUIDE

by the TUCO Modding Team

The TUCOGUIDE is smaller in scale than the previously mentioned ones, primarily focused on teaching good modding practices and introducing new users to Mod Organizer 2. It is recommended to be completed before diving into Lexy’s LOTD.

Miscellaneous Guides

These are smaller and/or more recent guides that I do not have a strong opinion on.

  • STEP:Core for Skyrim SE is based on the Classic Skyrim STEP guides. Since the STEP team is currently working on a major rework of the entire website, development has been very slow and only the Core guide (with basic mods) is available for Skyrim SE.
  • SkyRem is a STEP-based guide focused on improving roleplay elements in all aspects of gameplay.

Outdated Guides

  • S.E.P.T.I.M. - A Load Order and Installation Guide was one of the very first SSE modding guides but hasn’t been updated since 2016 and is severely outdated. It was more of a mod compilation than an actual guide.
  • NORDIC SKYRIM was the successor to S.E.P.T.I.M. but has also been discontinued. There have been no updates since March 2019 and it can be considered outdated. Mnikjom, who maintained and expanded it for a time, moved on to work on his own guide (YASHed / The Northern Experience).
  • Tech’s Skyrim Special Edition Guide v2 is a STEP based guide by TechAngel that has been discontinued pending a major update to v3 which is supposed to be published with the reworked STEP website.

BOSS - A Total Overhaul Project

It is hard to describe BOSS as anything but a mess, written by someone who is obviously not very good in English. It is published on LupusHegemonia’s website alongside with all of LH’s mods after he was banned from the Nexus over multiple cases of proven asset theft and extraordinarily bad manners. Do not touch this with a ten foot pole.

Skyrim SE Ultimate Modding Guide

Sinitar’s “ULTIMATE” modding guides, including the SSE Edition, are unfortunately popular with beginners who are not aware of their flaws of which there are many. They were moved away from the Nexus after Fallout: New Vegas mod authors protested their mods being featured with inadequate instructions.

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 Nexus Mod Manager 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 exclusively for cleaning and handles conflicts with Mator Smash and Wrye Bash. There are no custom patches - not even FOMOD instructions. Anyone who voices doubt or criticism on Sinitar’s Discord server gets told off or even banned instantly.

Do not touch his guides under any circumstances.

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

UltimateImmersion’s Micro Mod List

The YouTuber Ultimate Immersion (known for 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 mod showcase videos are to be respected, this list gives the impression that he lacks indepth knowledge.

UI’s Micro List is probably great for half an hour of running around Skyrim taking screenshots, but it cannot possibly be considered a proper guide and there are fundamental errors as well as inconsistencies that lead me to strongly recommend against using it.

Last modified June 28, 2022