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Crash Time 5: Ultimate Mod 3 --

This guide is a brother of my Skyrim LE graphics and gameplay guides, in a single one - and a result of many months of modding Skyrim. My goal is a complete guide to save other people time that they can have a complete base list of mods for ultrarealistic graphics and challenging, nextgen gameplay, knowing how much these mods will affect on performance and in what order they should install the mods, which are compatible and which are not, etc. Skyrim has over 100 thousand of mods available and that's quite a task to check them all, but I spent some time and did this, and chosen almost everything you need to transform your game and also to have some variants of similar type of mods to choose from. List of 4500+ mods (but at the same time "quality about quantity", including different variants to choose from) to install to make your Skyrim graphics look nextgen and gameplay feel on absolutely next level - everything structurized properly so you can build both 50 and 1500 mod setups, depending on your goal. Installation order, performance notes, patches list and personal recommendations included.

Crash Time 5: Ultimate Mod 3 --

This guide has both graphics and gameplay parts, two in one. For graphics mods installation, the [installation] order matters the most - so, for the best results, it's humbly recommended to follow the same order as mods are listed. For gameplay guide, installation order doesn't matter, but load order does, so read the mod pages/my own notes if preset carefully. Also you can check the videos at my YT channel to see how game can look when fully-modded. To make guide navigation easier, I placed guide sections into so called "spoilers" - when you see "Show" button - just click on it to expand corresponding group of mods. Click "Hide" again to close it :) Please also note that this guide is still designed for modern rigs - yet, guide also has section for low-end rigs, and many other advises here and there, as well as performance-hungry mods marked - so, you can build an ultimate setup for your own PC, no matter what it strength is.

But here comes another exciting part! Guide also has so called "modules" - a premade mod lists (don't confuse with mod packs please) for different tastes and goals - which you only need to mimic, without worrying about incompatibilities and other issues. Modules will fit perfectly to the people who don't have enough of free time to go through whole guide themselves.

Feel free to suggest any mod you want to see in this list or ask me any compatibility/stability questions I'm running Skyrim without any crashes and issues with about 1500 mods installed - and you can have even more and still have your game fully stable. That's not some kind of exaggeration - everything you need is to follow the guide attentively :)

This project is completely free. Still, it takes insane amount of my time to build and expand it - the modding guides and other related modding content already took me over 6200 working hours in total. The more independent I will fee myself as an author - the less stress and more free time I'll have - and so, the faster new updates and modules will arrive, and new projects will appear as well. But support only if you really want it and able to:

2) Download and install SKSE. If you allready have it - great. If no - install it. It's obligatory. SKSE is [essential]. Stability mods are also working through it, as well as vast majority of amazing gameplay mods. Consider it a basic invisible evolution element of Skyrim. Make sure to download the correct version! 1.7.3 is for Skyrim LE - you don't need that at all now. If you have [exactly] the Skyrim SE version of the game (1.5.97, you can right-click on the game .exe file and see the version there) - get SKSE for 1.5.97. If you're on AE (it's still named Skyrim Special Edition in your game library, it's the .exe that differs) - get the current AE version, and VR version for VR. Download the archive somewhere, unpack it. From the folder, get the .dll, .exe files and \Data folder, and place them to your Skyrim SE/AE folder, as showed here. MO users should archive the \Data folder and install it as any other mod trough MO (you can do the same in NMM as well if you wanna). From now on, launch your game only via SKSE (skse64_loader.exe), not the game regular launcher. A general note about SKSE-based mods and what to do with them. Situation with the SE ==> AE update is different from those SE updates in past. Why so? Thing is, the problem with past SE updates was basically pretty simple and related only to the game version update itself, which was fixed by Address Library mod (further in this section). For AE, huge amount of SKSE functions themselves were changed or deleted, so for most of SKSE based mods to fully and properly work in AE, most of SKSE mods code will need to be rewritten by its author, on some scale - from just a few lines to possibly a complete rewriting from scratch, depends on the mod. That's why AE modding stage will need more time to recover then it was usually taking for SE updates in past (if ever). Remember that alternatively, you can simply mod LE for your current run, as it doesn't have this issue to begin with - and for the another run, some time will pass, and AE modding stage will be most likely recovered by then. What does this mean for those modding AE now and wanting to use SKSE-based mods? Simply look on every such mod page Files tab - if the mod is already updated for AE, there most likely will be a separate version of it, with an indication it's for AE - so, you'll need to install the AE version of the mod. Similarly, if you're on SE (not updated to AE yet) - when downloading an SKSE-based mod, make sure you're downloading the SE and not AE version of it. That's it!

4) Download and install LOOT. LOOT is a must-have tool if you're planning to have many mods. It's very easy to install and use. Its most basic and important function is mod sorting. Many mods should be loaded in strict load order to work properly together. "This mod should be loaded before that mod, but after that", and so on. LOOT makes miracles! You can automatically sort most of your mods properly by just clicking a button twice. Sometimes (it happens rarely, so you probably won't have to think about it) some mods have direct instructions about how they should be loaded, in this case it's also easy to sort them manually using it. Also, LOOT shows you all you need to know about your installed mods - errors, missing records etc. In many cases, if something is not right - it will let you know and it will advise you. In most of cases, you' won't need to read and learn more than this to use it, but if something is unclear or you want to learn advanved usage of LOOT (which can come in handy from time to time), check this awesome video. Use LOOT sorting each time after you've installed a few mods.

8) Install SSEEdit. It's an awesome tool for cleaning your mods, making changes to mod records (like balancing various values up to your taste, deleting conflicting and/or unneeded objects and so on) and more.Mods may contain "dirty" records and some other issues, and when you have hundreds of mods, that could be a problem and cause crashes. Clean all mods that have dirty records (until it's directly written by mod author to not do that for some reason) and all Skyrim's DLCs (which have [hundreds] of dirty records. Yeah - Betheshda didn't even bother to do this for the game "remaster"). Don't be afraid of it, it's not as hard to use as it may look. Check these awesome video tutorials about it. Also there is a lot of info and videos on its Nexus page. Note #1: Make double sure to clean all base game master files (Update.esm and all 3 DLC .esm plugins) - otherwise you'll experience random crashes. Note #2: MO2 users can (and it's pretty much recommended to) download and use zEdit as an alternative. zEdit is like a successor to xEdit - but please take into account though that it's still a WIP (work in progress) project. If you're a newbie modder - better just stick to xEdit (SSEEdit) now as it's absolutely fine. zEdit may provide better functionality than xEdit, but it's still not fully stable and there are not as many video tutorials for its usage as for xEdit. It doesn't mean it's bad - quite the opposite, but until it's officially and fully released, I won't be able to provide troubleshooting support for it - so use it at your own wish. There's a basic documentary and description of it here, and short but great video tutorial here.

11) Install [ONE] of these mods: - Alternate Start - Live Another Life Install the voiceover addon ==NEW== on top of the main mod (+ optional addons here , here, here ==NEW== or here ==NEW==). - Skyrim Unbound Reborn - RASR - Random Alternate Start Reborn - Realm of Lorkhan - Freeform Alternate Start - Optional Quick Start ==NEW== Why you need this? These mods provide wide amount of alternative starts to the game for those who do not wish to go through the lengthy intro sequence at Helgen. The thing is that vanilla start (scene in Helgen) is VERY heavy-scripted. And when you will install let's say, 200+ mods and start a new game, your Skyrim will be very heavy overloaded. And there's very high chance that your game will crash (because the Papyrus, Skyrim's script engine, was [not] updated in SE and it's same clunky and limited), even if the game itself is absolutely stable. And now these mods save the day! You can just skip this heavy-scripted scene and start anywhere you like. Besides, they have a really wide amount of alternative start, great for roleplay. Which one to use, what is the difference? Long story short, ASLAL provides more "roleplay-wise" starts - you will appear in a certain cell, depending on your start option choice, and also has plenty of additional start options addons. Unbound will spawn you randomly, so less "immersive" start, but it allows you highly adjustable character customization (gear, spells etc) which ASLAL doesn't, and the most important - it allows you to play as NON-Dragonborn (but you can "become" it in MCM anytime), which is really a great option. RASR is somewhat like a mix of these two, a pretty underrated gem and Realm of Lorkhan is a really fresh and unique alternate start mod, which may look note quite "lore-friendly" to some players, but it's really well-designed and give you very interesting starting choices for your character class and even curses - negative attributes to balance class bonuses (if you want so, all these features are entirely optional - my only 2 cents about it is that some class bonuses are still somewhat too strong even with curses, so you may want to adjust them in SSEEdit, which is very simple). Lastly, Realm of Lorkhan has on pretty immersion-breaking (for some players) thing - crystals you appear from after starting the game are not going anywhere and are just scattared across Skyrim. To remove them, use this patch. Also, make sure to install this fix. Optional Quick Start is a super-simple alternative, which is not quite "alternate start" mod, but rather "skip Helgen into" one.


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