The Phoenix Flavour is already optimised to run well, meaning most modern machines should be able to consistently hold a high framerate. In the 4.6 update, the focus has shifted slightly so that the base setup is no longer quite as light as it used to be. For that reason, I have written this guide on how to improve your framerate.
It must be said upfront that a “high, stable framerate” in modded Skyrim means steady 60FPS. Those among you who prefer 100FPS+ will likely be disappointed as this is not easy to achieve without very strong hardware. It is not recommended as going about 72-75FPS will, despite SSE Display Tweaks, lead to some physics wonkiness (even if it won’t break your game).
This guide exists for those struggling to achieve consistent 60 FPS.
You do not have to follow all steps: For example, if you really love 3D tree LOD and highly detailed distant terrain, you can hold on to your High + 3D Tree LOD DynDOLOD output. Instead, you can compromise with your ENB or grass overhaul choice, or regenerate your INI files with the recommended performance settings.
Generally speaking, the INI files and grass mods are responsible for most of TPF’s performance impact.
Wabbajack Users: You do not have to follow this guide. Your installation of TPF includes a Performance profile.
There may be various reasons which include:
If your hardware is very outdated (Skyrim SE minimum requirements or even below), you should definitely follow all steps. INIs on medium, DynDOLOD on low with 2D trees, and ReShade instead of ENB should help you attain a playable framerate, at least on 1080p. Scaling down the resolution may help further in making the game playable.
One reason why TPF always used to be very performance-friendly was because we ran BethINI (the INI configuration tool) with the Medium preset. This has since changed (High is the default now) so the first thing we can do is revert to those more conservative settings.
It should be noted that the visual degradation is not hugely noticeable, the difference in settings will mostly apply to distant objects. However, it should help you regain some frames (10FPS+).
Alternatively, there is also a single INI tweak that can already give your framerate a boost by itself.
The performance gain from regenerating INI files comes largely from a single setting. If you only need a few extra FPS and don’t want to lower visual quality by too much, you can start by tweaking this setting. As you can see in this comparison slider, you can regain about 6 FPS depending on your location.
First, restore the vanilla INI files to use as a base:
C:\Users\Your User Name\Skyrim Special Edition.
\Mod Organizer 2\profiles\The Phoenix Flavour\.
It is possible to tweak the BethINI configured INIs you already had. I just always preferred to re-do it from scratch.
Next, re-run BethINI to adjust the vanilla INIs:
\Your Modding Folder\Tools\BethINI\and double-click BethINI.exe.
Edit the following settings in the Basic tab:
Edit the following settings in the Interface tab:
Edit the following settings in the Detail tab:
Edit the following settings in the View Distance tab:
Edit the following settings in the Visuals tab:
Edit the following settings in the Custom tab:
Return to the Basic tab and click Save and Exit.
Re-open Mod Organizer 2.
A major reason for the performance loss from TPF 4.5 onwards was the removal of Cathedral Landscapes. Its grass module, while not looking ideal in some places, is incredibly performant, completely unrivaled in that aspect. Thus, I recommend replacing Veydosebrom with Cathedral Landscapes grass if you struggle with a low framerate.
The good news is that you can keep Cathedral 3D Pine Grass which was made by the same author as Cathedral Landscapes, JonnyWang, and is also impressively performance-friendly.
First you need to disable the following mods in your mod order:
All necessary grass-related INI tweaks are already covered in the BethINI instructions.
This way, Cathedral 3D Pine Grass will overwrite Cathedral Landscapes and replace its pine grass.
By default, grass density is set to 20 if you kept the base TPF INIs or 40 if you regenerated on BethINI Medium. The way grass density works in Skyrim is that a higher INI value will result in less dense grass ingame and better performance. A lower grass density setting will give you more grass and worse performance.
For Cathedral Landscapes grass, I would recommend at least 40. If you continue to struggle with performance in grassy areas, you can increase the value further to regain more FPS.
iMinGrassSize=to anywhere between 40 and 60.
Increasing the grass density beyond 60 will further improve performance, however, grass will become very sparse.
Another reason for performance loss is running DynDOLOD with the High profile and 3D tree LOD. The latter is especially heavy on VRAM so regenerating DynDOLOD with the Medium profile and 2D tree LOD is highly recommended if you have 4GB of VRAM or less.
Regenerating TexGen should not be necessary. You could, in theory, to lower the resolution of the LOD textures, but I do believe only regenerating DynDOLOD will yield a sizeable enough performance increase.
\Your Modding Folder\Tools\DynDOLOD\Edit Scripts\DynDOLOD\Cache\.
By regenerating DynDOLOD, we will improve performance in two ways: We will be using mesh rules that are more performance-oriented (less detail), and we will generated regular tree LOD instead of 3D tree LOD. Especially the latter may improve your framerate by double-digit numbers.
Now you need to select either mesh rules profile. For most people with mid-range PCs, I recommend Medium, however, if you have a very low-end PCs (SSE minimum requirements), selecting Low should eliminate DynDOLOD’s performance impact altogether while still improving distant terrain visually.
3and Plugin should still be checked.
500should still be checked.
As usual, step away from your PC while DynDOLOD is being regenerated.
\Your Modding Folder\Tools\DynDOLOD\.
\Mod Organizer 2\mods\.
A major factor in performance loss is ENBSeries. While ENB presets are gamechangers visually, they typically come with a hefty performance impact, which can be adjusted in the ENB GUI. You can open it ingame by pressing F11 (opening the console ~ as well makes editing easier) and adjust various settings.
Two especially FPS-hungry settings, Depth of Field and Detailed Shadows, are already disabled by default in Serio’s ENB. Ambient occlusion also comes with a performance impact, however, I do not recommend disabling it in favour of Skyrim’s native ambient occlusion as that can produce a few visual bugs.
If Serio’s ENB is too performance-intense for you, I recommend swapping to Cathedral Minimalist ENB, a lightweight preset based on A Cathedralists ENB which in turn is based on The Truth ENB. The preset was made specifically for many of TPF’s baseline visual mods (Cathedral series) and is much closer to vanilla visually than Serio’s.
The alternative would be disabling ENB altogether.
You can install the Minimal ENB for Obsidian Weathers preset just like you did Serio’s ENB in the ENBSeries step. Although it was made for a different weather overhaul, it will work perfectly fine with Cathedral Weathers as it does not change the colours.
\Your Modding Folder\temp\.
Now add the preset to ENB Man:
I recommend disabling Depth of Field (either directly in the enbseries.ini or through the ingame GUI which you can open with F11). I also tweaked the water settings and disabled the wetness reflection feature. Since the file has closed permissions, I cannot share my edits and you’ll have to apply them yourself.
I do not recommend removing ENB altogether unless you either:
If the latter applies to you, you are likely happy about every single frame you can regain. To remove ENBSeries (binaries and preset):
Deleting ENB altogether will mean that none of the ENB particle light meshes from the guide will work. Nor will you have ambient occlusion. However, you can re-enable Skyrim’s native ambient occlusion which is less performance-intense than ENBSeries ambient occlusion (nevermind a full preset).
To enable Skyrim’s native ambient occlusion:
[Display]section and set
SSE Display Tweaks contains the option to downscale from your current resolution: For instance, you can play at 1440p but downscale by 0.9 to gain better performance while still having more detail than setting the game to 1080p.
Very high resolutions (4K) will always have a substantial performance impact and scaling down is recommended, especially if you don’t have the latest hardware.
Otherwise, using the resolution scale feature is only recommended if you truly struggle to achieve a playable framerate.
Resolution=1920x1080line (remove the # sign) and set the resolution to the one you play at.
ResolutionScale=0.75line (remove the # sign) and increase the value to
Setting the resolution scale to a value below 0.85 will look very blurry ingame and is not recommended. You can also try 0.9 or 0.95 for slightly less performance gain and better visuals.