|15 Aug 2013||#210|
Well, you pretty much have two options, one is to use the Nexus Mod Manager and the Skyrim Nexus, and the other is to mod with Steamworks. I don't recommend combining the two, it's possible, but makes troubleshooting difficult if mods conflict.
Both have exclusive mods, but I believe the Nexus has more content as it's been around the longest. I've been using the Nexus to mod since Morrowind, and it has tons of mods for every Bethesda game since then. There are actually a lot of people still making mods for Morrowind if you can believe it.
The Steamworks modding is the easiest. It's in your Steam client. Just go to your games list, go to Skyrim, and look for the Steamworks tab on the page. It can update mods for you and installs them as well.
I like using the Nexus Mod Manager myself. It's a bit more work to keep up, but I find it allows for more customization and is generally more flexible. I've also been modding Bethesda games for a long time, and you may be better off using Steamworks to start with as it's simpler and easier to use.
Skyrim Nexus - Skyrim mods and community <To download NMM.
Skyrim Nexus - Skyrim mods and community <To browse through the mods.
You should also pick up the Skyrim Script Extender regardless of which you choose as a lot of mods require it to run properly. Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)
You also need BOSS to help you sort out your load order. It's very important as where a mod is in the load order can be the difference between the mod working and a CTD because of conflicts. It was developed for Oblivion which is why it's in the name, but it works with any Bethesda game released since Oblivion and it's an essential tool for modding.
I've played through every Bethesda open world RPG several times, and I've modded each game differently every single time. The modding sites make them well worth owning as they can be played multiple times and never be the same experience twice.
Tips for modding:
Back up your game. Take the entire Skyrim folder, make a backup copy of it, and set it aside. You can leave it in the common folder with the copy you're using, it won't matter. Just make sure you have a clean copy of the game folder just in case you screw up modding and need to start over. Just name it 'Skyrim backup' or something. Nothing is more frustrating than having to redownload the game because a failed mod ruined the entire folder. If you do need it delete the messed up Skyrim file, rename the backup 'Skyrim' and make another backup before you start modding again.
My advice is to be careful not to overload your game with mods. You can do a lot, but the more you add the more likely there is to be a conflict. Do anything you want with textures, they'll overwrite each other if there's an issue, but be careful about gameplay mods and mods that add new stuff. If you mod something that does things to the dragons, don't add any other mods that do things to the dragons unless it says in the readme that it's compatible. They'll often say if they work with other mods, but as a general rule of thumb it's a good idea to only put one mod that affects a specific thing at a time.
Also, once you mod the game, stick with it until you finish the game. Many mods cause problems if they are loaded partway through a save, they can corrupt saves, cause crashing, and all sorts of other things can go wrong. Mod it how you want it, then play through the game, don't go adding mods as you play through. If you do add mods, start a new game. Many times mods don't take effect or only partially work if you try to use them with a previous save.
There are lots of resources to help you out with modding online. Most mods come with installation instructions, and there are a lot of videos and online resources to help you out.
This site can help you make a custom ini file based on your computer's specs: http://online-source.net/tools/cfg-m...rim-cfg-maker/
You'll also want to have winzip or winrar. You should already have that, but if not just Google.
This is a worthwhile video series to watch if you're new to modding Skyrim that can teach you now to use the NMM method of modding. This is part one of several and you should check out his channel for more. I highly recommend watching these, this guy knows what he's talking about and can guide you through modding your game to stupid awesome levels. Fair warning, expect to sit and watch for a while. If you're planning on modding you should be prepared to spend a day or two doing it anyway so a few hours of watching youtube videos to prepare shouldn't be a big deal.
Make sure Steam is not in Program Files or Program Files x86. If you're modding any Steam games at all you should make sure it's not in the default location. If you need to move it:
Open where your 'Steam' folder. Open the folder and delete everything but the 'steamapps' folder and the Steam.exe.
Back out and move that folder to the new location. Another drive or even just outside of the Program Files folder. You can just drop it in C:\ if you want so the address is "C:\Steam". Doesn't matter as long as it is outside of Program Files or Program Filesx86.
Once it's there, open the folder and run Steam.exe. Steam will update for a few minutes, and once it is finished it will be set in the new location and any new Steam content will automatically download to that location.
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