hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Weekend Modder's Guide: Skyrim (2012)

4:00 PM on 02.04.2012 // Joshua Derocher
  @Josh_Derocher

This week, I'm not going to be talking about an older game. Rather, I'll be talking about something fairly new: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Now, the game looks great as it is, but we all know the PC can look far better than anything on consoles. With a little bit of tweaking, we can make Skyrim into an insanely hot-looking game.

I'm going to skip over all of the reasons of why you should play the game this week, since you'll find tons of people talking about why you should already own Skyrim. I'm just gonna jump right into teaching you how to turn Skyrim into the beautiful game that it truly is.

Time: 2-3 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate
What you need: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

1. We're going to start by downloading and installing the Nexus Mod Manager. This mod manager will let you easily install and remove mods. It will create a folder in your Skyrim install directory called "mods." You'll be able to drop mod archives (.zip, .rar, or .7z files) right into this folder and install them from the mod manager. All of the mods that I am going to show you today can be installed this way.

2. Download and install the Skyrim Script Extender . Copy all of the .exe and .dll files from this download into your Skyrim directory. To make this work properly, you have to launch Skyrim from the "skse_loader.exe" from now on. Make sure you get the newest version, and that your copy of Skyrim is up to date. If a new Skyrim patch comes out it might take a few days for this to be updated to match. It can be a little annoying, but it lets you install more powerful mods.

3. Download and install Skyboost. This helps to increase the game's framerate. Skyrim is a CPU hog, and these files relieve some of the stress on your CPU. Extract the downloaded zip folder, and copy both files from the "bin" folder to your Skyrim install directory.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Skyboost MUST match the version of Skyrim that you have installed. If Skyrim gets updated, you might need to delete "skyboost.asi" in order to get your game running again. Just keep checking for a new version of Skyboost if you want to keep using this mod. It's a bit of a pain, but the performance boost is worth it. (edit: Skyboost is no longer needed with the latest patch)

4. Download the ENB Series Skyrim Injector. This the mod that makes the game really pretty, and they are also the guys behind the insane Grand Theft Auto IV graphics mods. This is still a beta right now, so once you install this you should keep checking back for updates. Make sure you get the latest version of the injector. If you are running Vista or Windows 7 then you'll need to install DirectX 9 in order to make this run correctly.

If you are ambitious, you can edit the "enbseries.ini" yourself. You can find it in your Skyrim install folder. If you are like me and you want other people to do all of the hard work, you can find a ton of nice preset "enbseries.ini" files online. I am currently using Cinematic Lighting ENB. Just replace the existing .ini file with the new one that you download. It's worth trying out different ones because each one can drastically change the way the game looks.

5. Get some mods! This is the fun and easy part. All of the mods I list below can be used together, so you don't have to pick and choose which ones you want. If you want to add more, just be careful that they don't conflict with anything else you have installed. In other words, you can't have two water texture mods running at the same time. I suggest that you stick with this list if this is your first time modding an Elder Scrolls game. Once you have these successfully running, then you can browse around for other mods. Remember, just copy these to your Skyrim/mods/ folder, and then use the Nexus Mod Manager to install them. 

The mods:

A Quality World Map - With Roads
This adds high-quality map textures with roads. It makes navigating way easier and the map screen prettier.

Better Sorting
This renames items so they sort better in your inventory. Instead of Potion of Extreme Healing and Potion of Minor healing, you'll have Restore Health I and Restore Health V. It makes it so much easier to find things. 

Categorized Favorites Menu
I hate the way the favorites menu works. It's hard to scroll trough all of the unsorted crap to find the one thing you want. This fancy mod will give you a full-screen favorites menu that is sorted by category.

Detailed Bodies
This replaces the default skin textures with higher-resolution ones. No, it doesn't add penises or boobies.

Enhanced Blood Textures
Just some improved blood -- it looks less like strawberry jelly.

Enhanced Blood Textures

Enhanced Horse Skins
It makes your horses appear as if they actually have fur instead of low-quality plastic!

horse textures

Enhanced Night Skyrim
Adds new HD sky textures, and you can pick from a few different styles.

Glowing Ore Veins
This makes it easier to find ore. I didn't even realize how much ore there was in the game until I installed this mod. 

Improved NPC Clothing
NPCs will now have nicer-looking clothing with high-resolution textures.

Intro Music Replacement by Malukah
This replaces the default main menu music with something a little more acoustic.

Nicer Snowflakes
This just gives the game better-looking snow flakes.

Real Ice
Tweaks the game's ice.

Realistic Water Textures
This one replaces all of the ugly water with some much nicer stuff. I recommend that you use the clear and reflective settings, personally.

Skyrim Flora Overhaul
This replaces all of the textures for trees and leaves. It makes forests look awesome.

Skyrim HD - 2k Textures
Still a work in progress, but what it does so far is amazing. It replaces tons of the normal low-resolution textures with much higher-quality ones.

SkyUI
This is my favorite Skyrim mod so far. It changes the game's user interface so it's easier to navigate using a mouse. It also makes the text smaller, so you can see more on the screen at once.

KenMOD - Time on Loading
This adds a clock to the loading screen. It's nothing fancy, but it is really nice to see what time is when you're playing. I think we all know how easy it is to spend way too many hours playing Skyrim.

5.  Open up "My Documents/My Games/Skyrim". There are two files in here that we are going to edit. The first one is "Skyrim.ini". Open it up with Notepad add "uGridstoLoad=7" at the end of the [display] section.

Now open up "Skyrimprefs.ini" and edit these values:

bMouseAcceleration=0
bDrawLandShadows=1
bTreesReceiveShadows=1
iShadowMapResolution=8192
iBlurDeferredShadowMask=32
fGrassStartFadeDistance=14000.0000

Make sure you save all of the changes that you make to these files.

Making all of these changes may take a little bit of time, and you'll probably have to do some tweaking to get it all running right for your setup, but the investment is worth it in the end. You'll have a version of Skyrim to show off to all of your friends and the console kiddies will be mad with jealousy.



Joshua Derocher, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Josh_Derocher Tips
Josh is a PC gamer. He can usually be found flying around in EVE Online. He's been known to enjoy playing role-playing games like Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, and Planescape Torment. He starte... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Mediamister avatarMediamister
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
DTOID PAX MEET UP DAY 1 WAS FIRE.EMOJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/JOXdORyTqVY[/youtube] I told you guys ... The Witcher 3 has more pirouettes than a ballet show. It's ridiculous!
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Are we really calling followers "fappers" on these quick posts? I knew I loved Dtoid.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/z04MAOubUgM[/youtube] This might've been a fun show.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Someone is trying to log into my Dtoid account. I keep getting emails notifying me of bad password attempts. What?
gajknight avatargajknight
If you spend 10 minutes trying to write a Quickpost...can it really be called Quickpost?
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
So I have enough coins to get a new character in Heroes of the Storm. I like big portly characters like the Butcher or Stitches, but I did enjoy my free week of Tychus. Crowd thoughts?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Today I learned that Bad Rats 2 is a thing that is happening. I don't know how to feel about this.
techsupport avatartechsupport
The temp agency that employs me had me work as a sign spinner today. As in, I held a six foot cardboard arrow-shaped sign and spun it and danced for six hours. It got interesting when a homeless couple confronted me about hogging their spot.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
V days until !
Snaveage avatarSnaveage
5ish hours into Phantom Pain and it is absolutely glorious. This is truly A Hideo Kojima game.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
It looks like my job at PAX didn't work out (For a variety of reasons). Have fun at the convention, everyone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A
thelivinglegend avatarthelivinglegend
Witches of Crookback Bog from Witcher 3 is the best quest in the whole game and of any game I've played in recent memory.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I was just accosted by the most gorgeous cosmetics saleswoman with an adorable Hatian-Creole accent. It's not often my attention gets that immersed in a total bullshit sales pitch. Well, that and I didn't want her to let go of my arm.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
My son just washed my Majora's Mask NEW 3DS because the screen was dirty. Bahahaha *cries uncontrollably*
Flegma avatarFlegma
Ever thought of skipping a console generation (and not upgrading PC for years, either) because of how big your pile of shame is? I'm doing that just now.
Tenzan  avatarTenzan
Apparently there are cancellations on the CE versions of MGSV:TTP from Europe and North America. People getting emails saying they are cancelled and such. On top of that is that there's been unboxings that don't have the extras for the Day One edition.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I've been mad at myself all morning for missing the apostrophe in "I'll" on my Quickpost last night, but it turns out that apostrophes just don't show up on the feed! Isn't that the bee's knees?
Perro avatarPerro
Playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends right now. Bringing this to Steam or current gen in HD seems like a no-brainer. Make it so, Sega!
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


  Aug 23

The Dragonborn fights vampires and Necromancers

Another great live-action take on Skyrim


  Jul 16

New mod brings the powers of Dishonored to Skyrim

You can now wield Corvo's arsenal, including the handy Blink power


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -