Skyrim Mod Troubleshooting: Best Practices

Skyrim Mods Best Practices and Troubleshooting

Are you a mod newbie? Have you visited mods.elderscrolls.com and subscribed to some highly rated, popular mods? Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Back up your saves. Your saves are located in your My Documents/My Games/Skyrim/Saves. Just make a copy of that directory as a backup.
  • Do not overwrite existing saves. Only make new saves while playing mods so that your original saves still exist if you decide you want to go back to playing without mods.
  • When you play Skyrim with a mod, in most cases, the new data for the mod will be written into any new saved games you create. For example, if you play Skyrim with Mod X and create a save, the next time you load that save, the game will expect Mod X to also be loaded. If you no longer want to play Skyrim with Mod X, it is best to unload Mod X (by unchecking the plugin under Data Files in your Skyrim launcher) and loading a save that does not require Mod X, usually an older save or a backed up save.
  • When trying mods with updated graphics settings, make sure your computer meets or exceeds Skyrim’s recommended specs <link>. We strongly recommended running with Windows Vista/7 with at least 4 GB of RAM and a video card with at least 1 GB of Video RAM.
  • Visit our mod forums. There are sticky threads and a decades old community of modding veterans – a treasure trove of information about creating and playing mods.

Click through for more frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn on/off the High Resolution Texture Pack?

To turn the Skyrim High Resolution Texture Pack on and off, simply go into your Skyrim Launcher and check/uncheck these plugins: HighResTexturePack01.esp and HighResTexturePack02.esp

I downloaded a mod but don’t see it when I run Skyrim.

Check in the Skyrim Launcher under DATA FILES. Make sure the box next to the mod you want to play is checked.

How do I unsubscribe from a mod?

You can unsubscribe in two ways.

  1. Go into the Steam client and log into Community. Select WORKSHOP FILES under ACTIONS. You should see a link called SUBSCRIBED ITEMS. Selecting SUBSCRIBED ITEMS will display a list of mods you are subscribed to, and allow you to unsubscribe from them.\
  2. Go into your Skyrim Launcher and uncheck the plugin of the mod you want to unsubscribe from. The Launcher will first ask if you want to delete the mod’s files. Select Yes. The Launcher will next ask if you want to unsubscribe.

I unsubscribed to a mod on Steam, but it still appears in my data files in my Skyrim launcher.

Unsubscribing a mod means you will no longer receive updates. If you do not want to play with a mod loaded, uncheck the box next to the plugin in Data Files. When you uncheck the plugin, the Launcher will ask if you want the files removed. If you confirm yes, the mod’s files will be deleted locally.

How many mods can I subscribe to at one time?

There is practically no limit. However, we advise caution in running several mods simultaneously since mods can often change the same part of the original Skyrim game and cause conflicts.

What if a mod isn’t working?

Mods are typically in active development so you should post feedback on the mod’s workshop page or on our forums to let the mod’s author know that you are having issues. Provide as much information as you can to help them diagnose your issue.

What are the system requirements for playing with mods?

We suggest your system requirements meet or exceed Skyrim’s recommended system requirements when playing mods.

Is Steam required to play mods?

Steam is only required to subscribe and play mods from Skryim Workshop <link>. Steam is not required to play mods hosted on other sites.

Can I play mods on my Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3?\

The Creation Kit is for PC only.

Reader Comments

  1. I am constantly adding new features to my mod. However, I have to create a new game and go through the entire intro sequence to see the changes because if I load a previous savegame (which i created with the same mod for testing) new changes will not appear.

    Any tool to update previous savegames with new mod data?

    • The best way to do this is when you get to the main menu hit the ~ key and type “COC ”

      if you do this from the main menu it spawns you with a lvl 1 prisoner character in the dungeon, this being a fresh character every time it cannot possible have ever been there.

      Also you don’t have to load a save game.

  2. Hello, Where I do owe installed(settled) the creation kit? Because I have a problem with Windows 7 on my PC because he(it) does not work it is necessary to have a special patch to put on him(it)? If yes can you say it to me?

  3. this is all very help ful but i down loaded a mod under the name of notch’s pickaxe and it pops up with a fil error steam error 16 and i i try to un tick the box in the data files it dose not apper to be in the data files please help thankyou

  4. hi there!
    I installed Creation Kit etc., but i cannot play any mods that I create, they’re not in the data folder, where I saved them. When i save new mods I make, I see them, but the icon has a lock on it.

    Is it a problem with Steam? I do not have it and do not intend to install it, because of Skyrim. Is it needed for modding with CK?

    • got the same problem :(
      it worked all just fine but then I reinstalled skyrim and now my files have locks on the icons..