Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
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

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.

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:


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 community fisters, 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 * to your whitelists.

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!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



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 -