Bethesda has re-released Skyrim for every electronic device in living history, including the trust microwave. As for the Special Edition on PC, many wondered why the company even bothered since graphics are only marginally better, but what makes this latest version so good is the addition of 64-bit support. This unlocks the full potential of Skyrim and the modding scene, which should enable for a more stable experience (especially when you hit the 200 mod marker).
Here’s a quick guide to get started installing mods on PC. We’ll be using the Nexus Mod Manager, which is universally recommended to keep things organized and to make installing larger packages an absolute breeze.
Nexus is a dedicated platform for modders to release and update their mods for various titles, including Skyrim Special Edition. As well as publishing their content, Nexus also enables for discussion, feedback, support and more. The website is fairly easy to navigate with most mods correctly categorized for convenient filtering.
Install Nexus Mod Manager
- Register an account on the Nexus website.
- Download the Nexus Mod Manager (NMM).
- Install and then run NMM.
Confirm the location of Skyrim Special Edition.
- Select Skyrim Special Edition.
- Choose where you wish to store downloaded mods (default drive is the one with Skyrim SE installed).
- Hit OK if an alert window shows.
We need to run Skyrim SE to the main menu before activating mods, so give the game a boot to initial menu and then quit. This will create the much-needed .ini file for editing and will ensure we don’t run into issues with mods not working correctly at a later date.
- Search for mods on the Nexus website.
- Carefully read through the description of each mod.
Choose the Files tab.
- Select “Download with Manager” on the correct file(s) you need for the mod.
- Wait for the mods to download in NMM.
- Select a mod you wish to install and choose “Install”.
Once you have a few mods downloaded you may notice the load order start to populate. This list is important because some mods and files need to be loaded by the game in a specific order. Mod authors generally offer information in mod descriptions on the Nexus should their files require to be configured in a set order, and there are even tools available that can check to see if there are any problems with your setup.
Download and install LOOT, which we strongly recommend you run each and every time you edit your load order or install/remove a mod. At the time of writing, LOOT doesn’t support SSE just yet, though the developer is actively working to get a stable release published shortly. It’s possible to get LOOT working with the new Skyrim if you’re willing to get involved with a snapshot build.
Modders create and release extra content for fun and for the love of scripting, but leaving an endorsement or even a donation can provide much-needed feedback, especially if you’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment because of said mod(s). Leaving a few dollars can really make their day, but do consider at least leaving a comment and endorsing their work.
Updated June 29, 2018: We updated this guide to make sure it contains up-to-date information on how to install all your favorite Skyrim SE mods on PC.