General instructions for the mod installation steps.

The Next Step

After completing the Setup, you are now equipped with a correctly installed and configured instance of Mod Organizer 2 that is properly set up with the Skyrim Script Extender as well as all required tools. It is now time to dive into the longest section by far in the guide: The mod installation.

The mods themselves are split up into thirty categories. Go through the pages one by one, following the instructions. It may be faster to download all mods of a page first, then install them, and finally go through the post-installation instructions. Install and sort the mods in the left pane of Mod Organizer 2 in the order that they are listed in on the instruction pages.

Do not attempt to launch Skyrim SE before you are instructed to. During the installation you will have missing dependencies as well as unresolved conflicts and errors fixed later by additional mods and our Conflict Resolution Patch (CRP).


Keep this page open in a separate tab so you can refer back to it.

Additional Separators

We already went over how to create separators back on the Mod Organizer 2 page. As you can see in the sidebar on the left here on the website, there are plenty of pages in the mod installation section. Each of them should correspond to a separator in Mod Organizer 2.

  • Create a new separator for every page in the Mod Installation section as you go through them.
  • Enter the page’s title as the name for the separator (e.g. FIXES or INTERFACE).
  • The first one, ESSENTIAL MODS, is already present of course.

Separators are collapsible. That means after installing all mods from one section, you can collapse the section’s separator before moving on to the next.

In case you’re not sure how to create a new separator anymore:

MO2 Create Separator


Each mod has its own section with the following instructions:

  • Download Instructions: Lists files to download from the Files section of the mod’s Nexus page.
  • Installation Instructions: When a mod cannot be automatically downloaded through Mod Organizer 2.
  • FOMOD Instructions: In case the mod contains a FOMOD installer (more information on that later).
  • Porting Instructions: Brief instructions for proper porting of a LE mod to SSE with the Creation Kit or CAO.
  • Additional Instructions: May contain INI edits, file deletions or edits, rarely SSEEdit tweaks.

Not all mods strictly adhere to this template. Some have sections unique to them with extra explanations or instructions. Please follow all of them one by one and to the letter.

Download Instructions

Almost all mods are hosted on the Nexus. The link to the mod’s file section is in the Download Instructions header (CTRL+Click or click with MMB to open in new tab.)

The files listed under Download Instructions are marked with the respective section you can find them in on the Nexus:

  • Main Files
  • Update Files
  • Optional Files
  • Miscellaneous Files
  • Old Files

Download the file(s) by clicking Mod Manager Download. It will automatically be downloaded through Mod Organizer 2. If a mod has special requirements, they are listed in a pop-up window where you will have to click the Download button again. Do not worry about these requirements, they are included in the guide or otherwise taken care of.

Mod Installation

After downloading a mod, switch to the Downloads tab in the right pane of Mod Organizer 2 and double-click the file(s) to install. This may open a FOMOD installer if the mod includes one. Otherwise it will simply be installed directly and appear at the bottom of your mod order.

FOMOD Instructions are provided in the guide. A crossed-out option like so means you should NOT select it in the installer.

Renaming mods

During or after the installation of a mod you can rename it to reflect the version you downloaded or options you selected in the FOMOD.

  • For retextures, it is useful to add the texture resolution: Embers HD 2K.
  • If there are different versions, note down which one you downloaded: Less Ugly Tundragrass - Redder Variant.

This is not a requirement, but something I have found particularly useful in the past.

Several files from one mod page

Occasionally you will be instructed to download multiple files from the same page (usually the main mod with updates or patches). When installing them, always install the main file first. The second file will by default have the same name and MO2 will ask how you want to proceed:

Unless otherwise specified in the guide’s instructions, always select Rename and give the file a unique name so that it doesn’t overwrite the main file. For instance, if the main file was Simple Children and you install the patch pack from the same mod page, click Rename and enter Simple Children - Patches. Now the files are installed into a new mod folder that does not interfere with the one of the main file.

Rarely, you will be told to “merge with the main file” in which case you select the Merge option. This will move all installed files into the mod folder of the main file, overwriting existing files.

Only when updating mods to a new version should you select Replace which, of course, replaces all original files.

Basic Instructions

Certain procedures - such as resaving a plugin or running a mod through the Cathedral Assets Optimizer - are repeated many times throughout the guide. After going through them for a few times, you will know them by heart but until then, please refer to the Basic Instructions page which you should keep open in a separate tab.

The linked page includes detailed explanations for the following instructions:

  • “Resave Example.esp in the Creation Kit.”
  • “ESL-ify Example.esp with SSEEdit.”
  • “Unpack Example.bsa through Mod Organizer 2.”
  • “Optimise the mod with Cathedral Assets Optimizer.”
  • “Downsize the mod with Cathedral Assets Optimizer.”
  • “Run the mod through SSE NIF Optimizer.”

You will also be instructed to delete, rename, or move files through the MO2 interface frequently. This is very simple:

  • Double-click the mod in your mod order (left pane of Mod Organizer 2).
  • Switch to the Filetree tab and find the files you need to delete/rename/move.
  • Right-click to remove/rename or move them with drag-and-drop.
Last modified June 28, 2022