If you had a great time with “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” a re-mastered version of this 2011 recreates the adventure but with screen-space reflections, improved art and effects and “God Rays.” 2016’s “Skyrim Special Edition” is a better version of Bethesda’s RPG masterpiece that recaptured the original game but at faster loading times — along with other improvements.
So if you own one or are thinking of trying Skyrim Special Edition, you may have questions about Nexus mods, saved games, modded saved games and other features of the special edition. Well, you’re in luck. This article answers the basic Skyrim Special Edition questions (“How to install Skyrim mods?”) to probably the most complex (“Why won’t my Skyrim Nexus mods work?”).
But before we dive into the bloody details, here’s a primer on all thing Skyrim, especially the Skyrim Special Edition.
What’s Different About the Skyrim Special Edition?
The 2016 edition did not make any drastic changes to the models and animation, but it did enhance the world’s significant details. The volumetric lighting made the Falkreath forests more enchanting, especially once the moonlight shone upon them. Skyrim Special Edition also comes with new dynamic depth-of-field options — most of which players encountered during the intense opening of the dragon attack). In terms of texture, all the details are sharper and better.
In terms of convenience, the Special Edition offers more than faster loading times. A new feature, quicksave, moves the action and the story at a faster pace. Players need not sift through each save file to determine which file belongs to which character. Special Edition took a leaf out of Fallout 4’s book and sorted the files by character.
Plus, did we mention you can finally speed through the tundra with just one tap?
The Mods are Great, Too!
Vortex mods and Nexus mods — these are the non-negotiables for any good Skyrim game. Fortunately, the Skyrim Special Edition has Nexus mods for consoles now. Thanks to the mods, the PC version of the game became one of Steam’s most-played games. Players enjoyed watching dragons transform into Randy Savage.
You can get a fair amount of mods with the Xbox One version but the PS4 is more limited. Despite initially limiting Bethesda’s mod implementation, Sony eventually allowed the developers to implement the mods on the condition that use only in-game assets, as well as the mods will take up minimal space. So, replacing dragons with Thomas the Tank Engine is not possible. As a result, the PS4 has 103 mods unlike the Xbox One, which had 254 available mods.
What are the Best Skyrim Special Edition Mods?
Since its release in 2016, Skyrim Special Edition’s modding community has grown. Most of your favorite mods are now ported so you may recognize the mods listed below. But there are plenty of new mods to discover. Skyrim Special Edition’s fertile ground is good for Nexus (now Vortex) mod managers. It’s 2021 and the Special Edition isn’t slowing down.
The biggest win for Skyrim modding is the Skyrim Script Extender, which is now compatible with the Special Edition. Using the Script Extender, you can make drastic changes to Bethesda’s RPG.
Some of the following Skyrim Special Edition mods can be found on Bethesda’s website and you can download them while playing the game.
- For easy mod downloading, installation and management of Skyrim Special Edition, go with Vortex (previously Nexus). It’s a useful tool that works with other games, like “XCOM2,” the “Dark Souls” games, “The Witcher” series and Fallout 3 and 4.
- Unofficial Skyrim Patch. This mod is a collection of hundreds of fixes for objects, bugs, quests, objects and other gameplay elements. This mod is designed to be compatible with other mods. Learn more by reading the Patch Notes.
- Mod Organizer 2. If you’re looking for an alternative to Vortex, go with Mod Organizer 2. This mod organizer is ideal for modders that enjoy installing and uninstalling different mods. It can handle different Bethesda games so you can use this mod to manage other games apart from Skyrim SE.
- Skylu. This mod makes Skyrim feel as if it was made for mouse controls. You can also use SkyUI to filter and sort your inventory based on damage, value and weight.
- Achievements Mod Enabler. Modding doesn’t always mean cheating. So, when the Special Edition disables your achievements because your mods are running, use this plugin to still score achievements while modding!
- Enderal SE. This conversion mod creates a whole new world that is the size (if not bigger) than Skyrim. Endereal SE has new quests, monsters and dungeons. Play hours and hours of new custom stories and adventures.
For an extensive list of Skyrim Special Edition Nexus mods, check out their list here. You can also check our favorite Skyrim mods here.
Notes on Skyrim Special Edition Modding
Before you go crazy with the mods, know that Skyrim and the Special Edition are separate games. If you own Skyrim and the expansions, you’ll get the SE for free. You don’t have to worry about the game replacing or overwriting your original copy. If you have installed mods and saved games for Skyrim, you can still play them.
Also, existing unmodified games can be used with the Special Edition. It’s just a matter of copying and pasting files. But modded saved games will not work with Skyrim SE. Refrain from using your original saved game if an error appears after you load it in the Special Edition.
Skyrim Special Edition has not lost its shine since 2016. 2021 is here and it’s still one of the best games out there. So, make the most out of the SE with the information above in mind.