Skyrim mods are here to spice up your gameplay. There are a ton of Skyrim mods out there that help you to customize game textures, models, and add awesome UI utilities.
You can use third-party applications to install mods or opt to install them manually. In this post, we will tell you how to install Skyrim mods manually.
You will also find out the best practices while installing mods and know about other packages required for installing mods on Skyrim Special Edition.
Let’s get started
How to Download Nexus Mods for Skyrim
There are different ways to download mods for Skyrim. You can either choose other apps to download mods or try to do it manually.
In both cases, you have to visit NexusMods to select the mod that you want to install.
NexusMods is sort of a central repository where you can find all types of mods under one shed. You will find User Interface mods, additional models and textures, and other utilities and UI upgrades for Skyrim.
But in order to download and install Skyrim mod, you have to log in first.
For more details click on any of these mods and find out what they do, go through sample videos and images to find out about the mod’s UI rendering. On the mod page, you can also see how popular each mod is, and whether they are safe to download.
How to Add Mods to Skyrim Manually
Once you have singled out the mod that you want to install, scroll down and click on the Files tab to open the contents of the mod. Here you will find options to manually download the mod or use Vortex mod manager to download it for you.
Skeptical about the contents of the mod?
Click on Preview File Content from the mod page to find out the file contents of the mod. Just to be sure that there aren’t any rogue executables in the content.
Click on Manual Download and a zip of the mod package will be downloaded to your system.
How to Install Mods on Skyrim
Before installing any mod, it’s better to take a backup of your game so that you don’t lose any checkpoints in case of a corrupt installation.
Once you have backed up your game progress open the folder location where you have installed Skyrim. You will find a Data folder there. This is where we will be placing our mod files to be picked up by Skyrim.
First, open the mod that you downloaded from NexusMods. You will need WinRar or any other alternative to unzip the files.
Now copy the contents within the zip and place them inside the Data folder. Make sure you drag and drop the file contents in the root of Data.
It shouldn’t end up inside any other folder. This way your mod won’t work and existing features and game packages might not render properly.
When you copy your mod into Data, the system might prompt you to replace or skip files with the same name. Replace the existing files and this will install the Skyrim mod.
For archival reasons and to keep a track of your mods you can also create additional folders inside the Data folder namely, Installed Mods and Downloaded mods.
Whenever you download a new mod, copy and place the same (preferably the zipped version) inside the Downloaded Mods folder.
And when you feel like installing it, place one copy inside the Installed Mods folder and another copy in the root of the Data folder. This way you can keep track of all the mods installed, and in case you encounter any glitch after installing a mod you can easily undo it.
Note: While you are trying to install Skyrim mod, after extracting the mod package never rename any mod file or folder structure.
How to Install Skyrim Special Edition Mods Manually?
In order to install mods in Skyrim Special Edition, you will need to install the Skyrim Script Extender first and then proceed with the manual installation of the mods.
First, navigate to the NexusMods page and click on SkyUI. When you try to manually download the SkyUI mod, it will prompt you to install SKSE64. This is the link to the 64 bit Skyrim Script Extender downloader.
If you click Download, the SkyUI mod will start downloading. But, you would need SKSE64 before you install the Skyrim Special Edition mod. So, let’s install SKSE first.
When you click on the link you will find different versions of Skyrim Script Extender. Go for the Latest AE build and click on the adjacent link to download a zipped version of the SKSE.
Extract the contents of the SKSE zip and copy all its contents in the Skyrim Special Edition folder as shown above.
You will also find the skse64_loader.exe which you will be using for launching Skyrim Special Edition. Now that the Script Extender is in place, you can start downloading your mods.
Extract the contents of the mods and place them in the Data folder. Now launch Skyrim.
When you start your game, Skyrim will prompt you of all the mods that have been picked up by the game. Click Yes, and all the mods will be available to you on the game.
In a nutshell, you can install Skyrim mod using Vortex Mod Manager or opt to install the mods manually. The manual mod installation process is easy and doesn’t require you to install any third-party application.
To install mods you have to download and extract them into the Data folder of Skyrim. Now you can launch Skyrim and you will be prompted about the newly installed mods.
Skyrim Special Edition on the other hand requires Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) to be installed before you install any mods. You can download the SKSE packages, extract them into your Skyrim Special Edition folder and start installing mods.
Is it Safe to Download Mods From NexusMods?
It is safe to download mods from NexusMods. When you click on any mod you will see a virus scan result against each. If the virus scan says that the mod is safe to use you can install it on your machine.
Does Installing Mods Affect Gaming Performance?
Mods are additional game packages that enhance or morph gameplay. Depending on the type of mod and the number of different mods you have installed gaming performance will be impacted to some extent.
For example, the Skyrim Special Edition Upscaled Textures (SSEUT) mod is over 6GB and if you don’t have a powerful core or GPU to lean on such mods can significantly affect your gaming performance.
Mods can also result in glitches or crashes. So it’s better to be selective while installing mods.
How Can I Uninstall a Particular Skyrim Mod?
While installing mods manually, it’s better to keep a track of all the packages within. So in case you want to remove a mod, you can easily cherry-pick the mod-specific files and remove them. Being said that such a process is a risky affair and can even corrupt your game.
The best bet is to uninstall Skyrim and reinstall it. It will roll back your changes and remove all mods.
Alternatively, you can use Vortex Mod Manager to track all the installed mods and remove them as you feel. This is by far the easiest way to safely remove mods.