How to install Skyrim mods
Now that you've found some mods you'd like to try, here are the tools you can use to get them working. Again, make sure you read the pages for each of your mods: many of them require specific steps and instructions.
Replacing the Nexus Mod Manager is Vortex, a newer program for organizing your mod loadout. Available from the Nexus Mods website, just like most of the mods on our list, it will handle everything for you. It's easy to use and makes downloading, activating, and deactivating mods a breeze. It's also useful in that it supports tons of other games, like The Witcher 3, Fallout 4, and many more.
Skyrim Script Extender
Skyrim Script Exstender (SKSE) is a utility that's required for some of the more complex mods to work. Not every mod on this list requires it, but many do, including the essential SkyUI, so you're best off just installing it up front. SKSE is now available directly through Steam, but you can still find it here if you prefer manual installation.
Load Order Optimization Tool
Load order is often very important when using multiple mods, and sometimes if mods aren't loaded in the correct order they won't work properly. LOOT is a great tool for automating and customizing your load order, and will detect problems and attempt to repair them.
You can also browse and use Skyrim mods via the Steam Workshop. It's easy to navigate and adding them to your roster is accomplish by simply clicking the subscribe button. Keep in mind, more complex mods usually require a few more steps to install, and even if they appear in the Workshop they may require more steps to get running.
Table of contents
- Patches, optimization, and UI: A grab bag of useful improvements.
- Visual overhauls and weather: Make the game look beautiful.
- Quests and new locations: New adventures and new lands.
- Roleplaying, survival, and immersion: Find different ways to play.
- Creatures and animals: Some improved, some entirely new.
- Equipment and animation: Armor, weapons, and custom accessories.
- NPCs: Changes to the other characters, plus some new ones.
- Magic, combat, and skills: Soup up your sorcery, pep up your perks.
- How to install Skyrim mods: The best ways to install, organize, and use these mods.