Henriko's Amazing Mod List for Skyrim Special Edition [2020]

Check out and endorse the post on Nexus Mods!

 

Update 2020-06-21: I’m currently working on a completely revamped version of this mod list. It’s not quite ready yet but I’ll share more information on my Discord and on Nexus once it is. Cheers!

 

I got into Skyrim modding a while back and after a long time of testing different mods, seeing which ones work the best with other mods and how they affect performance and looks, I came up with this list that is "nearly perfect" - at least in terms of graphics and compatibility.

 

I run at a mostly stable 45-50 FPS outdoors, with the SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB on 'good' quality preset and built in settings set to 'Ultra' and the highest possible on 2560x1440 resolution, and stable 60 FPS indoors.

 

I have a GTX 970 4Gb and an Intel Core i7-4790K, so not really the most powerful gaming PC anymore. My friend tried this same list with his rig and got 60 FPS nearly everywhere outdoors as well, but he has a GTX 1060 6Gb and an AMD Ryzen 2500X. Either way, it's definitely playable for most people.

 

These mods are added to work with each other and not create incompatibilities with others, and I have yet to find any major incompatibilities in any of my playthroughs with these mods installed. Feel free to install / not install any of these mods as you like. Still, I recommend starting the game and playing for a bit after every 10-20 mods installed or so just to make sure everything is working as intended.

 

And one last thing, I also recommend that you use either Nexus Mod Manager or Mod Organizer 2. My experience with Vortex has been… troubled, to say the least (Load orders messing everything up hurts my soul). Anyways, enjoy!

 

Want to support me? Feel free to donate to me either through PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon. Thanks! <3

Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/henrikomagnifico

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/henrikomagnifico

 

Also, join my Discord server! Over 1500 members and more joining every day. I’m usually online so you can easily reach me there if you have any questions. For skyrim related discussions please use the #skyrim-mods channel. 💖

https://discord.gg/zk9Ypke 

 

Video Preview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0P5KOhKsWw

 

The install order is from top to bottom, with the one at the top being installed and loaded first and so on:

 

SKSE64 (This is installed manually into the Skyrim folder. It’s very easy to install, just make sure you get the latest version.)

Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch

Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM - Select “Everything”.

High Poly Project - I like the stone walls but they will be overwritten, sadly. If you want them, install this later (after you’ve selected lighting mod).

Open Cities Skyrim (Optional! This can cause serious problems with A.I mods or Skyrim Together. Don’t install this if you plan on using Skyrim Together or mods that are incompatible with Open Cities. Install Open Cities Patches later in the list if you decide to install this.)

True Storms Special Edition

SkyUI (Requires SKSE64 to be installed in the game’s main directory. Please make sure SKSE64 is installed before following this list further.)

Reverb and Ambiance Overhaul

Cutting Room Floor

Alternate Start - Live Another Life

SSE High Quality Music (This is a large download. Optional!)

Solitude Expansion

Solitude Expansion Open Cities Patch

Immersive Creatures

skyBirds SSE Edition

Kato's Falkreath

JK’s Skyrim

JK's Open Cities Patch SSE

Waterplants

Small Environment Fixes

Flora Respawn Fix SE

Map Markers Complete

Skyrim 3D Landscapes

Skyrim 3D Rocks

NobleSkyrimMod HD-2K (“Full Pack “version)

NobleSkyrimMod HD-2K - SMIM Patch

LeanWolf’s Better-Shaped Weapons - Dragonborn + Dawnguard. Customize to your liking.

Skyrim 2020 Parallax (This is a very large download and includes hundreds of improved 4K textures)

Underground

CC’s HQ Mines

CC’s HQ Caves

Enhanced Textures Detail (UV-Tweaks)

HD LODs Textures SE

Nordic Snow

Rudy HQ - Nordic Ruins SE

Ruins Clutter Improved

Skyrim Flora Overhaul SE

Vivid Weathers - Definitive Edition OR Obsidian Weathers OR Natural Atmospheric Tamriel

Total Character Makeover

SkySight Skins

Diverse Dragons Collection SE

SkyTEST - Realistic Animals and Predators

Lanterns of Skyrim SE - MCM Version

 

Veydosebrom - Grasses and Groundcover

OR

Verdant - A Skyrim Grass Plugin + Snow Grass & OC Update Patch (I prefer this one over Veydosebrom because it has a much higher compatibility)

OR

Kyne’s Grass - This is a new grass mod that has high compatibility and decent performance and also looks really nice. It’s a compilation of various other grass mods. The grass is taller than on other mods, so it might drown out some meshes unless you use landscape fixes for grass mods (later in the list).

 

Skyrim Better Roads SE

RS Children Overhaul (Select USSEP Patch)

Immersive World Encounters SE + RS Children Patch and Open Cities Patch

Footprints

RUSTIC WINDOWS - Special Edition

ETHEREAL CLOUDS - Special Edition

Smooth Sky Mesh SSE

More Tavern Idles - SSE Port

Stunning Statues of Skyrim

Ultimate Noble Beds.

Immersive Weapons SSE

No NPC Greetings (Special Edition) (Select the ‘recommended’ option in the installer)

Realistic Death Physics - No Animations

Rich Skyrim Merchants

Torches Cast Shadows

Weightless

RUSTIC SOULGEMS - Special Edition

Skyrim 3D Walls

Skyrim 3D Furniture

Skyrim 3D Furniture SMIM Patch

Organic Riften Leaves

SkyHUD - SkyHud Default

Simply Bigger Trees SE

Helgen Reborn SSE

A Quality World Map - Vivid with Stone Roads

RUSTIC CLUTTER COLLECTION - Special Edition

PELTAPALOOZA - Special Edition

ELECTRIFY S.E.

DRAUGR

FALMER

TROLL

HAGRAVEN

GIANT

MAMMOTH
SABRECAT

Savage Bear

Skeleton 4K Retexture

RUGNAROK - Special Edition

Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim

Apocalypse - Magic of Skyrim

Enhanced Blood Textures SE skyBirds Long + Immersive Creatures Patch

Wet and Cold

True Storms Wet and Cold Patch

Lush Falkreath SE

RUSTIC CLOTHING - Special Edition

Immersive Armors SSE

True HD Nightingale

Thieves Guild Armor HD Revival

FNIS Behavior SE

Distinct Interiors

Run For Your Lives

Cloaks of Skyrim SSE + USSEP Patch (Select in the installer)

Real Mountains or Northfire's Photoreal Mountains 2 for SE or Majestic Mountains (I usually use BOTH Real Mountains and Northfire’s Photoreal Mountains 2, in that order, to get the best of both worlds. Majestic Mountains have caused issues with overly shiny rocks in the past.)

Visual Animated Enchants

Beautiful Boats Of Skyrim

Realistic Aspen Trees SE - Flora Overhaul LOD unless you’re using a LOD generator

 

There are five good ways to go regarding lighting, in my opinion. Only install either A, B, C, D or E. I prefer to use B.

 

A. Better in some places, especially shadows. More customization.

Relighting Skyrim SSE (For accurate light sources)

Enhanced Lighting for ENB (ELE) SSE (Interiors)

CLARALUX SSE (Exteriors)

CLARALUX SSE Support Patches (In the installer > Select patches for all mods installed so far.)

 

B. Good lighting practically everywhere, however shadows are not always visible around light sources, flickering may occur and there is a bigger hit on performance than alternative A. Make sure to remove “fake lights” around braziers and lanterns or it may look strange.

Enhanced Lights and FX (All-around. Can be configured in installer. Install the options “Enhanced Lights and FX” and “ELFX - Exteriors”. Enhancer will make things very, very dark so beware!)

 

C. No longer updated but looks good. Close to no performance loss. Some light flickering.

Realistic Lighting Overhaul

 

D. Lightweight with high compatibility. Very playable brightness levels compared to the other alternatives.

Relighting Skyrim SSE (For accurate light sources)

Luminosity Lighting Overhaul SSE

 

E. No lighting mod at all! This ensures the highest compatibility of all options available, however it will result in normal Skyrim SE lighting which doesn’t look as realistic.


 

Smoking Torches and Candles (Do not install if you use lighting solution B.)

ELFX SMIM FPS Patch (Only install if you went for lighting solution B.)

Immersive Citizens - AI Overhaul SE + Patches for Open Cities and Enhanced Lighting for ENB if you are using lighting solution A.

Snazzy Furniture and Clutter Overhaul SE Mix-n-Match Plugin USSEP Version + Patches for the other installed mods (Alternate Start, Cutting Room Floor and Immersive Citizens)

RS Children Overhaul Compendium Fomod Installer (In the installer make sure to select Cutting Room Floor, Helgen Reborn and Solitude Expansion patches)

Blended Roads - “Really Blended” + “Really Blended SMIM”

Landscape Fixes For Grass Mods + Alternate Start LAL Patch + Cutting Room Floor Patch + Immersive Citizens Patch + Helgen Reborn Patch + Jk’s Towns Patch

Terrain LOD Redone

Realistic HD Mushrooms Remastered

High Quality Food and Ingredients

Main Menu Spinning Skyrim Emblem

SOVNGARDE

Book Covers Skyrim SE - Desaturated

Illuminated Atronachs

Cinematic Fire Effects 2 HD SSE

Embers HD (Fireplaces Add-On)

SSE Fixes

Skyrim 3D Trees and Plants

Every Tree 3D Different

HD Photorealistic Ivy

Animated Clutter SSE

Dust Effects

Remove Invisible Barriers

W.E.B.S SE

W.E.B.S SE Lighting Mod Patch

Realistic Water Two

Beautiful Water Replacement Overhaul

JK’s Skyrim Realistic Water Two Patch

JK’s Skyrim 3D Trees Patch

Immersive Weapons Patches

Fluffy Snow - 2K + Blended Roads Patch + Majestic Mountains Patch + 3D Trees Patch (REQUIRES MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS!)

Blowing in the Wind Make sure to select Skyrim Special Edition in the installer + Lanterns of Skyrim Patch, The JK’s Patch, Helgen Reborn Patch, SMIM Merged All Patch (Should automatically be selected in the installer)

Volcanic Tundra - Heat Wave Effects

HQ Tree Bark

Vivid Weathers True Storms Compatibility Patch If you installed Vivid Weathers

Obsidian Weathers True Storms Compatibility Patch If you installed Obsidian Weathers

ELFX Fixes (If you installed ELFX earlier)

 

Running LOOT:

  • I highly recommend running the program LOOT, which automatically sets the load order of all your mods. It’s super easy to use with just the click of a button and it’s completely free.

 

Skyrim Launcher:

  • Set everything to your liking. If you are encountering issues with snow, try disabling “Snow Shaders”.

 

Optional:

Hide SkyUI - In case you want to play without SkyUI, as SkyUI is still a requirement for some mods in this list.

JK’s Skyrim No Lights Patch - If you are having issues with lighting being emitted from strange places in towns and cities.

Skyrim Is Windy - If you want the vegetation and other objects to sway in the wind.

 

Animation mods are very subjective and situational so I’ll leave that up to you!

 

Lastly, I usually install an ENB that I think looks good. Most likely the SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB, Intrigued ENB (only for obsidian weathers) or Rudy ENB.


 

Enjoy! If you have any questions or issues, feel free to contact me on Discord or here on the website forums :)

 

-Henriko

©2020 Henriko Magnifico.