I use Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) and the Nexus mod site. The manager, as well as being able to enable/disable individual mods, allows you to control the load order of your enabled mods. Most mods on Nexus also allow you to download with NMM which makes the whole process quick and easy. There are guides on the Nexus website for using the manager but once you’ve set your folders it’s pretty much an automated process. Once the mods are downloaded via NMM, in the mod tab highlight the mod you want to install and use the green arrow to actually install it. Some mods will have a pop up with further choices you can make. To disable, highlight the mod and use the no-entry symbol.
Check if your mod suggests a load order or if it needs another mod in order to work. Also check if the mod requires a DLC or if there are files for non-DLC/ DLC as appropriate.
Mods can obviously cause problems with the game or clash with other and cause crashes. Most mods will state any known clashes but it is generally best to avoid two mods which have any areas of overlap (e.g. follower modding or modding a particular house). I tend to install mods one (or a few) at a time so that it is easier to pinpoint the mod that isn’t working for you. Once you have found which mod is causing the crash, you can start investigating why (using the discussion tabs on the mod page as a start) or finding a different mod to replace it.
Do remember to endorse and/or comment on any mods that you enjoy – modders do this in their own time and do not generally receive any payment (some do accept donations).
Mods I’m currently using:
NB. I’m generally quite happy with the scenery in the Skyrim and my PC does struggle with some of the general graphical upgrade mods, so I tend to leave those be. For a benchmark my setup is as follows: Intel (R) Core i5 CPU firstname.lastname@example.org GHz; NVidia GEForce GTX 750 Ti; 8 gigs of RAM. Settings are all on max and super-sampling is on (via NVidia GEForce Experience program). I am going to test to see if I can get some more environmental mods working… quite possibly an ENB preset. We’ll see.
- Unofficial Dawnguard, Dragonborn, Hearthfire, High Resolution, Skyrim patches.
- SkyUI; A Quality World Map; Better Dialogue Controls; Better Message Box controls; Immersive HUD (for screenshots)
- NPCs Protected Redux (I would scream if a quest giver NPC got killed in a vampire attack…)
- SKSE required for SkyUI and some other mods.
- Extensible Follower Framework (gives you more control and allows you to have up to 100 followers if you want)
- Nord Brothers Standalone Followers (I’ve linked to the creator’s website as it is a fabulous mod resource – these male followers are gorgeous! Tannick is the follower in the images)
Character appearance overhauls:
- Beards HD; Enhanced Character Edit; KS Hairdos (requires ShowRaceMenu precache killer); The Eyes of Beauty; SG Female Textures renewal (CBBE)
- Better males – YoungerfacesmergedwithmenbyGeonox & – Sundraconmeshes. Choose these two files from the file page (NSFW)
- Druid’s Den – absolute gorgeous and I just love the storage and display options – requires SKSE and JContainers.
- Book Covers Skyrim
- Ultimate HD Fire effects
- Enhanced Light and Effects
- arrowsmith (make your own arrows!)
- automatic perks (i know it’s cheating – but honestly on your 5th or more playthrough just…. why not?! :D)