What’s up, everyone! PurpleDerple here with a new video for you. So, I’ve finally decided to start playing Skyrim again now that SKSE finally has a version, albeit an alpha, released for Skyrim Special Edition. This means a bunch of mods that were never going to be able to see the light of day without it can finally be ported over. So, let’s roll that bumper and get going. I know it may seem silly to some people, but there are just some mods I can’t play Skyrim without them, and one of them in particular, relies on SKSE being available. Now that it is, I began going through the process of setting up Skyrim Special Edition the same way I did with old Skyrim, or Oldrim; and that’s when I realized that it might be a good time to make a list of mods that I absolutely have to have in any Skyrim playthrough.
Now I’m not going to go through the whole list of mods I currently have installed, rather this one focuses more on the absolute bare bones minimum that I think most people, even those who’ve never played Skyrim before, would want before starting a new adventure in Skyrim Special Edition. I also decided on mods that even those who don’t really like a heavily-modded game may want to consider using anyway just because of how useful they are. First up, we’ve got the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch or USSEP, for short, from the modder Arthmoor. This is a comprehensive bug-fixing mod that addresses a whole host of problems that exist in the base game, including bugs with quests, NPCs, items, objects in the environment, and more. What I love about it is how unobtrusive it is since there aren’t any changes made with by mod that may potentially break your game, like removing objects originally in the vanilla game. In fact, it’s been designed to be compatible with as many other mods as possible. For a list of all the bug-fixes, check out the mod description page for a link to the entire list. Next, we’ve got the Cutting Room Floor mod also from Arthmoor.
Ever felt like there was something a bit off or missing when playing Skyrim, whether it be an NPC talking about something that didn’t really seem to fit in with anything else or a quest line feeling a little bit skimp on the content? Well that’s because the developers, for whatever reason, chose to leave out a ton of content when the game was released. This mod adds them back in, from restoring a bunch of NPC’s and even giving them homes where appropriate to quests and other items that were hidden in the game data but never actually used. This is practically a DLC with all the content it restores to the game.
For a full list, be sure to check out the mod’s description page. Now that you’ve sorted out bugs and broken quests, you can finally get into the game; but before you do, make sure you install Alternate Start – Live Another Life, another mod by Arthmoor. This mod lets you skip the somewhat lengthy intro sequence and tutorial section of the game and jumps straight into creating a new character as well as picking a new backstory, you know for your immersive roleplay needs. You can start off as a simple homeowner in one of the cities and towns across Skyrim, or maybe you are a merchant who’s been shipwrecked off the coast. Perhaps you want to be a necromancer or maybe a vampire? There are a number of options that drop you in different starting locations with different loadouts more or less respective of the life you end up choosing. In case you’ve never played Skyrim before, I would suggest going through the vanilla intro which is included as an option as well.
So you’re questing and exploring and all around having fun, but you can’t seem to get past the clunky user interface, especially if you’re primarily a keyboard and mouse player like I am. That’s where SkyUI comes in. This is the mod I was referring to in my intro, and yes, you will need to install SKSE to get this to work. You can find a link for that in the description below. The vanilla UI isn’t very user-friendly when you don’t play with a controller, and at times, it can be quite a pain. SkyUI fixes that with one that is more intuitive for keyboard and mouse users, but it also makes things a bit easier for controller users, too.
Navigating through different categories in your inventory makes more sense, there’s a built-in search function, and even sorting items is all available. The world map is easier to use, and you even get on-screen indicators so you don’t have to go digging through your active effects just to see if your buffs are still up or not. The other important thing about SkyUI is its inclusion of the Mod Configuration Menu, or MCM, which ends up being available for other mods to use as well.
If you’ve ever used a mod that required you to use a book or magic spell to configure it, you know how inconvenient that can be compared to just using a menu system. If you use an ultrawide monitor like I do, be sure to grab the Complete Widescreen Fix for SkyUI, too. The link for that is in the description below. Also, if you want to keep the functionality of SkyUI and features like MCM in particular but prefer the vanilla UI, you can download the Hide SkyUI mod that does just that.
You can find a link for that below as well. Ever make the wrong dialogue selection or wish you didn’t have to use your mouse to click “yes” when you should be able to just press a button? That’s where ecirbaf’s Better Dialogue and MessageBox Controls mods fill in the holes. They extend the intuitiveness introduced by SkyUI over to the dialogue menu and message boxes so that they’re much easier for you to use when making on-onscreen selections. Now you won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing during a quest, and can get through things like crafting a lot more easily. Last but not least, we have not so much a mod but rather a tool. BethINI is a tool you can download to optimize your game’s INI files to increase graphics quality and performance while fixing common issues, including those that can cause the game to suddenly crash.
It automatically sorts the contents of your INI files to make them easier to manually edit if you ever have to do so. It even automatically detects any mods you have installed and makes changes recommended by the mod when possible. If you’ve only ever used the Skyrim SE Launcher to set your graphics for the game, you’ll often find that BethINI’s presets can produce better looking graphics and have better performance optimization. For those of you brave enough, it even offers modification of more settings than are normally-accessible in-game. Even if you are running at the highest settings on a decent system, you may find that you can still squeeze out some better-looking graphics or more FPS with this tool. Check it out. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Before I go, I would like to mention something called Achievements Mods Enabler, which is also not really a mod, so it’s okay that I don’t really think it’s essential, per se.
One thing that really stood out to me when I fired up the game after installing a few mods was that my game was no longer eligible for Achievements. Now this really isn’t a big deal for me since I don’t chase achievements, but I don’t want to not be getting them either just because I chose to install some mods to fix some of the problems in the game, let alone make it look better. If, however, you do want to be able to complete those achievements for the game but want to use mods during your playthrough, you’re going to need this. Now that SKSE is out, you don’t even have to use the DLL Loader, which I know can sometimes intimidate and worry people.
At the very least, it gets rid of the warning message that pops up every single time you load a save game while using mods. That in itself makes this worth installing. Well, that’s my list of the most Essential Gameplay Mods for Skyrim Special Edition for 2017. I know most experienced players will be familiar with all or most of these mods, but I hope you enjoyed it and maybe some of you picked up a new mod or two you might not have known about. I’ve only begun to rebuild my mod collection, and currently have nearly 100 installed already, though I expect that to climb even higher.
I’m even going to give modding a try now that I’ve made a few patches for things here and there myself. So be sure to subscribe and come back for new videos that I should be putting out here pretty soon. ...and I’ll see you later.