SSE Modding My Way – Part 1
Welcome to the first part of my Skyrim Special Edition modding guide, where I detail the mods I use in my install of SSE and how to make them play nice together. This guide will be released in several parts; this is part one of course, and links will be added that lead to each part of the guide. This is to stop each page from becoming ridiculously long. Without further ado, here we go.
Note: This page is obsolete and is here for archival purposes. I will be compiling a guide elsewhere at some point; not sure when.
Part I – Setup
The first thing you’ll need is Skyrim SE, of course. This guide assumes you’ve downloaded it from Steam. There are a few things you should do first. Namely,
- As with any game of this nature, make sure to install it somewhere fast, such as an SSD. Also make sure you have lots of excess room, because Skyrim takes up around 13 GB on its own, and this guide is going to add another 20-40 GB.
- If installing Skyrim to your C: drive, don’t install it to the default
C:\Program Filesdirectory if you can avoid it. MO2 may run into issues with permissions when it goes to do its thing. Since Steam always places the default game library in its install location and you can’t have more than one library per drive, I recommend you back up your
<STEAM>\steamappsdirectory and reinstall your entire Steam program somewhere more permissive, like
The next thing you’ll need is Mod Organizer 2. You can find the latest version HERE. Much like Skyrim itself, MO2 requires Windows. If you own a Mac, you can most likely use Boot Camp, and Linux users can try using Wine. That said, both these topics are beyond the scope of this guide.
Anyway, there are two choices: you can download the archive version or the installer. Exactly which one you use is up to you, but I recommend the archive version. Download it and extract/install it to a directory on the same drive outside your game install. Don’t touch Skyrim’s install directory! You won’t need to except in one instance.
Once you run MO2 for the first time, you’ll be greeted by the below window.
I recommend selecting Portable, which as the name suggests will use the folder you installed MO2 in as the location that mod files are stored. This makes it easier to back up, access and move your mod installations, as it is in an easy-to-reach place and not buried in your appdata folder. Once you choose an option one way or the other, you’ll see this window. The games that show up will vary depending on your setup, but Skyrim should appear in its proper place. If it doesn’t, you can browse for it manually.
Once that’s all done, you should be now be in the Mod Organizer 2 program proper. Ta-da! There is more stuff to do to get everything ready. Click the Settings button (the crossed wrench and screwdriver up top) and explore the settings. The the General Tab I recommend ticking Compact Download Interface and Download Meta Information. You can also change the appearance using the Style dropdown; a nice dark UI is always in order, I think.
You’ll also want to navigate to the Nexus tab and click the Connect to Nexus button. Follow the instructions on the webpage that opens next. If you don’t have one, make one, because we’ll be using the Nexus extensively for this.
That’s it for this guide. At this point you’ll have a working install of Mod Organizer 2. Stay tuned for part 2, where we start doing something with it, starting with the SSE Script Extender and associated plugins.