Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) : Installing and running on Skyrim 1.6 or later

By: Gopher
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*Epic Skyrim Opening music* Hi, guys. This video is a revised edition of an earlier video I made showing what SKSE was, and how to install it. Now, the reason I am releasing this video is: The Skyrim 1.6 patch has been released, and the latest version of SKSE that is needed for that, is a little different to the previous version of SKSE In fact, it's actually a little different to all previous script- extenders, and there is just a few more steps in installing the mod. And the reason for this is that they have now added support for the Papyrus Script Engine -- that's the scipt engine that the game uses. And this is really going to increase the number of mods, and more importantly the type of mods we're going to get It's really opened several doors, including things like the ability to to detect which key is being pressed. But I'm not going to go into great detail about that, because this is not a video aimed at mod-authors This video is aimed at people who are fairly new to modding.

So if you've installed a few mods, and you've come across a mod that you would like to try, but it requires SKSE, and you're not sure what that is or you're a little nervous about installing it, then this video is for you. So, what is SKSE? Well, it's basically a modder's resource that expands the scripting capabilities of the game. And essentially lets mod-authors create mods that can do things that would otherwise be impossible. You have to understand that the creation kit does not give you absolute power to create whatever mod you like. There are a lot of limitations, and SKSE attempts to get past those limitations.

And we're talking about fairly basic things. Like detecting key-presses the player makes, or sending information to the user-interface. If you look at some of the mods made for Oblivion, like the mini-map, or for New Vegas, and Fallout -anything that detected a key-press-- anything that added new elements to the user-interface and then manipulated them in-game, updated them from in-game-- they all required a script extender, and Skyrim is not going to be any different.

Now, it's perfectly reasonable to be somewhat nervous or reluctant to run your game via a third-party piece of software that was not shipped by the developer. I completely understand that, and in fact I actually encourage that type of attitude. You should always find out what it is you are running. So feel free to ask around, Google, etc. And if you just check out the sheer volume of mods that use them, you'll see that, really, these things are pretty well-accepted. They're seen as normal in the general modding community now. So, how does it affect performance? Well, it really doesn't affect performance at all, by itself. Obviously, SKSE mods themselves affect performance, just like any mod does.

Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) : Installing and running on Skyrim 1.6 or later

But they won't affect the performance any more than normal mods. In fact, several things in SKSE may well actually make it possible to make mods perform better. There are also cases where we've had several mods released that actually improve game-performance. That's the entire point of the mod. Okay. So let's install SKSE.

Now obviously, the first thing we need to do is download it. You will find it at 'skse.silverlock.org' Now, the build I am downloading is the 1.5.9v build. And it is compatible with the 1.6v of Skyrim. So, I'm going to simply right-click and 'save link as'. And I'm going to save mine to the Desktop. You can place yours wherever you like, but I like to work on my Desktop. Once it has downloaded, you will have a single archive, and it is a '7-zed' file. '7-zed' is a type of archive.

It's like 'zip' or 'rar'. You can extract these types of files with a program such as 'winrar', or '7-zip'. And I will link to those programs down below. And the first thing I am going to do is extract this archive... right here. Now I'm going to use 'winrar', and I'm just going to 'Extract Here' So basically, I right-click on the file, 'Extract Here', and it will immediately start extracting, and I will have a folder. I can now delete the archive.

Don't need the archive anymore. Okay, so we'll open this folder up, and inside it you will find some files, all beginning with 'skse', and you will find a 'Data' folder, and an 'src' folder. The 'src' folder is the source-code for SKSE, so you can check it out if you wish. But we will be ignoring it. You do not need that folder. You're going to need your Skyrim folder. That is the folder where your Skyrim game is installed. Now, for me, it's in games>steam>steamapps>common>skyrim But I have an 'F' drive called 'Games', and it's just for my games.

The default location for this is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim You'll know if you've got the right place; basically you're looking for 'TESV.exe' --the 'Elder Scrolls V dot executable'. If you can't find that-- if you just find a file called 'TESV', with no extension, it probably means that you have known extensions 'hidden'. You can actually turn that off-- and I would, actually-- go to Tools, then Folder Options, View- -and you'll probably find you've got something like 'Hide extensions for known file types.' And if I apply that, and then go and look at this folder... oh, it won't let me, excuse me... I go and look at this folder, you will notice that my 'Elder Scrolls executable', or 'TESV', has lost its '.exe'. So if you've got that file, it's probably the correct one. However, go to Folder Options, View, and deselect 'Hide extensions for known file types'.

It's actually very useful to be able to see the file extensions. I'm sorry if you knew that already, but I thought I would make sure I cover that, because sometimes I get questions, where people actually say, "I cannot find the 'TESV.exe', but I can find 'TESV'." That's probably the correct folder. So, to Install SKSE, you start by selecting, from the folder you downloaded -from the folder you extracted from the archive-- select all of the files beginning with 'skse'.

Right-click and copy, or ctrl+c if you prefer that. Then right-click and paste into your Skyrim folder. And then you're going to 'copy and replace'. So just do this for the next six conflicts-- 'copy and replace'. That's only if you've already got a version of SKSE installed. If you don't have a version of SKSE installed, you won't get this message. And as you can see, it's copied those files. Now, previously, that's all there was to installing SKSE.

But that is not the case anymore. As I mentioned, SKSE now has support for the Papyrus Script Engine. But the Skyrim game stores its scripts as resources. Very similar to Meshes and Textures, and so now you will notice the 'Data' folder.

Now when you look at the SKSE 'readme.txt', it gives you the installation instructions, and it does in fact tell you to copy the contents of the 'Data' folder into your SKSE directory. And you can do this, you can actually just right-click, copy, and then paste it here. It will say to you 'Do you wish to overwrite your Data folder?', and it may even ask 'Do you wish to overwrite your script folder?', and you just click 'yes' every time. However, I prefer to do any files that go into the 'Data' folder using a mod manager. Now, the reason for this is just in case you want to uninstall it, then it's a lot easier and safer to use a mod manager.

So that is what I am going to do. It's up to you if you want to do the same-- you could just copy the 'Data' folder in here and overwrite everything and that will work. But what I'm going to do, is 'add to archive'; I'm going to use 'winrar' again. So I right-click to the 'Data' folder. I 'add to archive', using 'winrar', and then I'm going to rename the bit that says 'Data', and I'm going to call it 'SKSE scripts'. You can leave everything else the same. And click 'ok'.

I now have the 'SKSE scripts' rar. I'm going to drag that out and place it on my Desktop so it's a little easier to find. So I have 'SKSE scripts'.

I'm going to open the Nexus Mod Manager, go onto the Mods tab, click the 'Add Mod from file', and then I'm going to select the 'SKSE script.rar'. It's now added that as a mod-- as if I downloaded it from Nexus. And then I select it, and then click 'Activate'. It's telling me it's already found a script that's been installed. Either it's something I have compiled, which is more than possible.

I do quite a lot of work on these scripts. It could be a file installed by a previous mod. Although, usually, Nexus Mod Manager usually tells you. As you can see, this is one of the advantages to doing it via the Mod Manager. You get these checks, and if I uninstall it, it's going to put 'race.psc', back where it belongs. So I'm just going to click 'yes', to all, and that's it.

The scirpt for SKSE are now installed. If I go along to my Data folder scripts, sort it by 'Date Modified', these are all of the script files that have just been installed by Nexus Mod Manager for SKSE. So I now have SKSE competely installed. So now that we have it installed, you also have to start running the game from the 'skseloader.exe'.

You're probably used to clicking on an icon that says 'Elder Scrolls', and you get this nice little launcher where you can change your options, and/or play the game. You cannot run the game this way AND have SKSE running. So I only use this when I want to change the 'Options'. I'm going to exit this. From now on, to run the game, I have to run it from 'skseloader.exe'.

Don't worry, it's perfectly safe, and in fact you will start your game a little bit faster, because instead of waiting for the launcher to appear, and then hitting 'Play', you just click on this, and off you go. I recommend that you send the 'skseloader.exe', to 'Desktop' as a shortcut. It has now placed this on my Desktop-- there it is. And I'm going to put that there. A lot of people don't like the way I lay my Desktop out.

There are reasons for it. And I may explain one day. Anyway, I'm going to rename it, first of all, to 'skse', so I know that I'm running 'SKSE' from here. I also don't like this Icon, so I'm going to right-click and go to 'Properties', 'Change Icon', then click 'ok'. I then need to find a place where there is a decent icon. The default ones tend not to be very good, so I'm going to click 'Browse', and for me, it defaults to my steam>steam>games folder, where there are lots of icons to choose from.

If you go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steam\games, you will probably find a lot of icons. I'm going to pick, obviously, the Skyrim logo. I then click 'apply' and 'ok'.

Now, you have your icon, and to run the game, you are simply going to double-click. You are going to get a small black window that appears in the top left, briefly, as the SKSE launcher starts up and then it will start the game for you. Once in-game, I reccomend that the first thing you do is check that SKSE is running. Just, the first time you start the game with SKSE, check that it is running. And to do that, the simplest way is to use the console.

The console is opened by using the tilda key on an American keyboard. It's the key to the left of the 1 key. International keyboards are different, but the key you are going to press is still the key that is to the left of the 1.

I believe that is the console key for every keyboard. If you press the key to the left of the 1 key, you should see in the bottom-left, a little line appear and you get a sort of faded shadow. This is your console area.

You can now type in 'getSKSEVersion'. I don't think the capitalization is important, but you should not have any spaces. Then press the 'enter' key, and you will get a report as to what SKSE version you have. If it doesn't say that -- if it tells you something like 'unknown command', you are not running the game in SKSE mode.

Now you don't have to do this to run the game. You do not have to. This is just a good way to check that SKSE is running. I never do this when I start the game. I'm just doing this now to show you how you can tell SKSE is running. Then press the same key to the left of the 1, and it will close the console.

And that's it! I now have the game running with SKSE running as well. Any mods that require SKSE will now function as intended. From now on, to run your game, you just double-click that icon, the SKSE icon, and you will get straight into the game. If for some reason you decide to uninstall this mod-- to uninstall SKSE, you simply go along to the mod manager and deactivate the SKSE mod, which will uninstall the script.

If you haven't used a mod manager, you are going to have to go into the script folder and find all the scripts that you installed, and all of the source files that you installed. If you look in here, there's quite a few of them. So you will need to find out all the names of all of these and delete them yourself/manually. That is why I reccomend using the Nexus Mod Manger. You will also need to go along to your Skyrim game folder, and basically uninstall any files beginning with 'SKSE'. Any files beginning with 'SKSE'-- delete those, and you will have uninstalled 'SKSE' completely. And then just run your game normally. It's very very easy, and it will have absolutely no effect on your game once you've uninstalled it.

Okay, well, that's it for this video. I hope it was helpful, and I hope you guys will join me in giving a big thanks to the SKSE team. They've put thousands of hours in total into various script extenders for our games. I for one really appreciate it. The games would just not be the same without their hard work.

So thanks a lot, guys. And to the rest of you, I'll see you next time, and until then, have a fun. *Epic Skyrim Closing Music*.

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