The Best Modlist for Skyrim

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Welcome! Let’s Start Something Awesome.

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by! I’m Ai Elias, the creator of this modlist or, what some would call, guide. When I started this project last year, my goal was simple: to create the BEST compilation of mods that anyone, regardless of their skill level, could benefit from. I wanted to create one curated list of all the best mods that have ever and will ever exist in Skyrim’s long life span along with my step-by-step installation directions and recommendations for a stable load order. To that extent, I am confident I’m succeeding. Regardless of which other modlist or guide you were considering, rest assured that you have stumbled on the right one! Because this list in constant development, let me first direct you to our Discord server on the right. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to stop by!

Modlist Version: 0.10b
Last Compiled: 08/02/2020
Last Updated: 08/18/2020

Skyrim SE 1.5.97
SKSE64 2.0.19

Skyrim SE 1.5.97
SKSE64 2.0.19

What is this Modlist?

The Best Modlist for Skyrim, or BMS, is the culmination of hundreds of hours modding Skyrim and seeks to consider every mod that has ever existed and will ever exist on Nexus and beyond. It compiles every single noteworthy mod that ever existed and will ever exist into a list and then filters that list repeatedly to achieve synergy, cohesion and most importantly stability. That’s right, because the list of Skyrim mods is ever changing, this is an ongoing effort–not a one and done list. What this means is that our modlist is ever updating, growing and improving.

What about the types of mods you should expect? First and foremost, my Modlist strives for immersion and lore friendliness. This is, however, also my personally curated list of mods–ones that I enjoy using, and playing with… meaning your definition of lore-friendliness may be different to mine. Because of that, shortly after I started this endeavor, I realized that not everybody’s tastes to gameplay, visuals, and audio are similar to mine. So I decided to do more than create a one-size-fits-all, “my way or the highway” modlist…

Who is BMS for?

I decided to make a Modlist that could help anybody and everybody–all in a way that doesn’t bulldoze you, the user, into a specific step-by-step list that you can’t deviate from. If a step-by-step list IS something that you are looking for however, don’t worry, that option is still on the table! In fact, it’s the very foundation this BMS is built upon. So regardless of your experience or inexperience with modding, regardless of how long you’ve been with the Bethesda modding community and, most importantly, regardless of the amount of time you do or do not have–this guide has information specifically tailored for you.

Using BMS

One of the very first things that you should decide before proceeding forward with BMS is how you intend to use the wealth of information that lay ahead of you. My goal with BMS is not to tell you with absolute certainty what mods you should and should not install (that is ultimately your decision), it’s to aid and assist you in creating a stable, well designed, load order that fits your needs and the specifications of your machine. So to start, let’s see what you, yes YOU, need!

Choose a title that best fits you:

  1. Journeyman – A Journeyman doesn’t know many, if any, of the mods that are available for Skyrim or just wants to follow step-by-step instructions to create a modlist that is guaranteed to work. As such, a Journeyman only installs “Included” mods and only makes decisions when told to do so.
  2. Evoker – Evokers uses their knowledge of mods they’ve used in the past to deviate from “Included” mods but only when they feel confident in doing so. As such, Evokers understand that such deviations could lead to ramifications and they are prepared to troubleshoot and adjust those on their own. Evokers also pay attention to the “Not Included” sections as those could include mods they prefer.
  3. Wizard – You’re a wizard Harry! At least when it comes to mods. Wizards are those that could honestly make due without BMS because of their extensive knowledge of Skyrim mods but prefer the convenience of having a quality, curated list. As a Wizard, you’re interested in all the “Included”, “Not Included” and “Not Recommended” mods because you want to know exactly why I made the choices I did in BMS and how you can apply those to your own list.

BMS Structure

The very basis of BMS relies on, what I am referring to as, modules. Modules are groups of mods that modify the same aspect of the game and are designed to be standalone mini-modlists. Of course, it is impossible to completely remove conflicts between mods in separate modules so when using multiple, we will have to do some patching. For the most part though, every module, should be able to stand independently when no other modules are present. The only exception is the very first module coined “Essentials” which serves as a stable and bug-free foundation for every other Module. In all, there are currently five planned modules:

  1. Essentials – Completed
  2. Audio – Completed
  3. Graphics & Visuals – In Progress
  4. Gameplay Changes – Road map
  5. Gameplay Additions – Road map

Each of these modules is then further grouped into branching categories and subcategories for further organization and uniformity. At the base of each subcategory, the mods are organized in the following manner:

  1. Included – Mods that are officially supported by BMS. These are the ones in my load order and the ones that have the official Ai Cave seal of approval. They are the starting point for everyone using BMS and Journeymen will want to stay exclusively in this section.
  2. Not Included – These are mods are also very good and for one reason or another (most likely because of compatibility or redundancy) they didn’t make it into BMS. If you’re an Evoker or Wizard, especially pay attention to these as you may prefer them in your own modlist.
  3. Not Recommended – These are mods that you seriously want to think over before adding to your modlist. Even though these mods are popular, they have conflicts, bugs or other issues that CANNOT allow me to recommend them for the vast majority of users. Be very careful with these. If you’re a Wizard, this section may be of interest to you. If not, you’d do well to read through it anyway and familiarize yourself with them anyway. It will help you get to know the modding landscape and what is and isn’t ‘safe’.

Ready to Begin?

Now that you’ve selected a title for yourself and know how you’ll be utilizing BMS, you’re ready to get started! Please start with Clean Install section and move on to General Info if you’re just getting started. For your convenience, every module currently completed is listed just after those two sections.

i) Getting Started

ii) General Info

1) Essentials

Change Log

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