How to Install and Use Mods With Skyrim VR

“Hey, you. You’re finally awake. You were trying to cross the border, right?” The mystical border of VR gaming? Mod gaming? Why not both?

While Skyrim hit VR for PC gamers back in 2018, more gamers are just now gaining access to the gloriousness that is VR Elder Scrolls. And developers are always coming onto the scene with new mods and updates.

Most gamers will agree: Skyrim is awesome. Then it hit PC, and Skyrim started getting great mods. Then VR launched, and the mods just kept coming. While the graphics may be outdated, Skyrim still has tons of content to offer. So, let’s get to it!

How to Enable Mod Support

skyrim vr 1

Photo from Skyrim VR Press Kit

First, make sure your game works. Then close it. Now, to enable Mod-ability…

  1. Open up File Explorer and go to Documents à My Games à Skyrim VR
  2. Open “SkyrimPrefs.ini” with Notepad
  3. Scroll to the bottom and add [Launcher]. Go down a line and add bEnableFileSelection=1, then save the file.
  4. Rejoice! You can now mod Skyrim VR.

Sorry, PlayStation lovers. Mods only work on PC, since you can’t access the PSVR’s OS files.

Intro to Vortex Installer

Vortex Installer can make modding a breeze, but the UI isn’t for everyone. Vortex is a popular mod manager that works with several games, including Skyrim. If you’re heavily into modding, you likely have it already. It’s closely integrated with Nexus Mods, a website that links to the best Skyrim mods. Nexus used to have its own mod manager, but it was overtaken by Vortex.

Note: Vortex Installer only works with Windows. Mac users can skip down to “How to Install Manually”. If your mods aren’t from the Nexus site, you will also need to use manual mode.

Now, let’s get you set up with Vortex. First, go to Nexus Mods and download the latest version via Manual Download. Run the installer and follow any prompts. Most folks find the Slow Download just peachy, and free is always great.

Launch Vortex and click “Log In”. Use your Nexus credentials. Done.

Skyrim Script Extender VR

We’ve got a bit more prep before you start modding with Vortex. Next, you need the Skyrim Script Extender or SKSE. This lets you install mods with altered or additional scripts, which affect Skyrim’s base code. Without the SKSE installed, you will likely run into a lot of errors and game issues.

  1. Download the SKSE VR zip file here.
  2. Extract to Desktop
  3. Open up the main file.
  4. Zip up Data and rename it as SKSE_DATA.
  5. Install this new zip file in Vortex. You can drag and drop or copy it to the download folder.
  6. Back in the main folder, copy the five individual files that start with sksevr_.
  7. Paste them into your SkyrimVR directory. (You’re in the right place if you see exe.)
  8. Back in Vortex, alt-click exe and create a desktop shortcut.

How to Install with Vortex

skyrim vr 2

Photo from Skyrim VR Press Kit

Go into the Games Tab and find Skyrim. Hover the icon and hit Manage. Now, head back to the Nexus site and find a mod to install. You’ll see a shiny button labeled Vortex. Select your download preference. Your browser should prompt you to open Vortex; do so. On Vortex, go to the Mods tab, find the mod, and hit Enable. Easy, right? You’re all set for Nexus mods on Windows.

How to Install Manually

As mentioned above, any mod not on Nexus or any gamers on a Mac requires a Manual install. This requires you to be careful and precise—you’re editing files each time you install a mod. A single mistype can break your game. Make a screenshot of current names, take notes, anything to have a backup. Ready? Mod Support is enabled?

Here we go:

  1. Go to C:\Users and select your username.
  2. Continue to \AppDate\Local\Skyrim VR
  3. Create a txt file with a new line, formatted *Pluginname.esp for every mod you install. Each mod gets a new line.

When you are ready to install a mod:

  1. Grab the mod you want.
  2. Go to Program Files.
  3. Find the Skyrim VR
  4. Go to the Data
  5. Copy the mod in.

How to Install SkyUI

skyrim vr 3

Photo from Skyrim VR Press Kit

This one’s just a recommendation, but trust us— you want it. SkyUI is a mod configuration menu. You can view the status of every mod from in-game. As a bonus, you get a great UI for loot and inventory in VR. Some mods rely on SkyUI’s presence to even work, so maximum compatibility is another perk. Installation is simple: head to its page on Nexus Mods and then follow our install instructions above.

Get to Gaming!

With that, you’re all set! Unlike some other games (coughBladeandSorverycough) where you have to enable mods, Skyrim mods load in with the game after install. Weapon and texture mods will be immediately seen, and SkyUI gives you the updated menu. A new adventure awaits, Dovah-Kiin. You’re finally awake …

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