How To Mod Skyrim VR

Bethesda says that they aren’t supporting mods in Skyrim VR, but that didn’t stop the modding community from coming together to create mods specifically designed to enhance the VR experience.

Whether you want to add new NPCs, fix common bugs in the game, or experience a whole new landscape with world mods, you can add it to your Skyrim VR installation. While it was difficult to mod Skyrim VR at first, it’s gotten easier since Nexus added it to their list of supported games.

Using Mods in Skyrim VR

Skyrim VR

Most mods that work in Skyrim Special Edition have a chance to work in Skyrim VR. However, it’s a good idea to start with mods designed for VR. That way, you can avoid mods that might not work with VR — even if they don’t specify that VR installations can create issues. There is an entire category of mods made for VR.

You won’t be able to add mods if you’re using PSVR. You can only mod Skyrim VR on PCs.

Enable Your Mods

Before you do anything else, it’s essential to run Skyrim VR with no mods and make sure it works. Go through the beginning scene, create your character, and play through Helgen until you’re released from the cave into the overworld. If there were any problems in the basic installation, it’s better to know before you start adding mods into the mix.

Once you’re sure it’s working with your VR setup, change your settings to enable modding.

  1. Open your Documents folder and select “My Games.”
  2. Open the “Skyrim VR” folder.
  3. Double-click “SkyrimPreferences.ini.” It should appear as a text document.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and type: [Launcher] in the brackets and then hit Enter.
  5. Type “bEnableFileSelection=1” without quotes.Modification of Skyrim ini file
  6. Save the document and close it.

Now you should be able to mod your Skyrim VR installation.

Skyrim Script Extender

Before you start adding a plethora of mods, download SKSE. This is a must-have for almost all modded installations and is downloaded outside of your mod manager. Make sure you know where your Skyrim directory and Scripts folders are before you start. It’s located in the Steam\SteamApps\common\SkyrimVR folder by default.

Before you download SKSE or start modding, you should have 7zip installed to unzip the mods and programs required. 

  1. Download the current VR build.
  2. Right-click the downloaded file and choose to extract it to a folder of your choosing. 
  3. Open the extracted folder.
  4. Copy the .dll and .exe files to your Skyrim VR directory. They should be in the folder with files named SkyrimVR and SkyrimVRLauncher.
  5. Copy the .pex files in the Data\Scripts folder of the downloaded files to the Data\Scripts folder of the Skyrim installation.
  6. Make a shortcut for skse64_loader.exe from your Skyrim folder to your desktop. You’ll use it to launch the game instead of the standard loader.

If you want to install SKSE into your mod manager, zip the Data folder in the SKSE download and rename it Select it with your mod manager to add it to the list of mods it manages. With Vortex, you can drag and drop it in, choose “Install,” and then deploy it.

Once SKSE is installed, you’re ready to add other mods.

Adding Mods

There are two ways to add mods: with a mod manager and manually. Most players I know who mod Skyrim extensively prefer to use Vortex, which replaces the old Nexus Mod Manager from Nexus Mods, where you can find the largest amount of Skyrim mods. However, you can also manually add mods. It’s good to know how to do both to be in complete control of your modded game.

Before adding mods, make sure you’ve changed the main Skyrim VR executable file to run as an administrator from the Properties menu

Manually Adding Skyrim VR Mods

Manually adding mods isn’t a complicated process. The main benefit of doing so is not having to download a mod manager. However, it is more difficult to adjust things like the load order if you do it manually. 

You’ll have to repeat the mod loading process for each mod that you add. Don’t attempt to install multiple mods at once manually. 

If you have your Skyrim VR folder in your Program Files folder, you should either move it or complete the steps below to edit the access options.

  1. Right-click your Skyrim folder. It should be in a location like Steam\SteamApps\common.
  2. Choose “Properties” and then click the Security tab.
  3. Click “Edit” and then click “Users.”
  4. Check the “Allow” box next to Full Control. 
  5. Click “OK” to confirm and then “OK” again to close the Properties box.

That setting should persist. Now you can start installing the mods.

  1. Download a mod you want to install from any location.
  2. Right-click on the downloaded zip file and hover over the 7-Zip option.
  3. Extract the files to a folder with the mod name. 
  4. Drag the extracted files into the Data folder inside the Skyrim VR folder.

Now the mods are installed. You will still have to activate them using any Skyrim launcher you prefer by clicking the box next to the mod name. 

Using Vortex

Vortex is the main launcher and mod manager for many Skyrim players. You can download it for free at Skyrim Nexus Mods. Once you have it installed on your computer, you can use it to download mods.

Setting up Vortex

  1. Click “Games” from the main page and then click “Discovered.”
  2. Click “Manage” on Skyrim VR.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Disable “Deploy mods when Enabled” on the Interface tab.
  5. Click the “Mods” tab.
  6. Type where you want your mods to be saved in the Base Path box. Include “skyrimvr” without quotes at the end.
  7. Click “Apply.”
  8. Click the “Download” tab.
  9. Turn on “Handle” next to Mod Manager Download.

From Nexus Mods

Since Vortex is integrated into Nexus Mods, you can simply use it to download mods straight from the source.

  1. Click the “Files” tab on a mod you want to download.
  2. Choose “Mod Manager Download.”
  3. Click “Install” on the Mod in the Downloads tab to install it.
  4. Click “Enable” in the mods tab to activate it.

From Other Sources

You can also download mods outside of Nexus mods and add them to Vortex.

  1. Open the “Download” tab in Vortex.
  2. Open the folder containing the zipped mods you want to install.
  3. Dragged the zipped files into the box that says “Drop URL or file.”Drag and Drop
  4. Install and enable as usual. 

Tips for Installing Skyrim VR Mods

If this is your first time installing mods, consider adding one or two at a time and then playing the game for a while. Mods interact with each other, and the interaction isn’t always positive. Also, sometimes certain mods just don’t work on specific installations. Trying a couple at a time will help you avoid having to wade through 35 mods without knowing what is causing your game to crash to the desktop.

Make sure you’re only managing mods through the Skyrim VR entry specifically. Vortex, for example, can manage mods from Skyrim, Skyrim Special Edition, and Skyrim VR — among the many other games it contains. You want to make sure you’re downloading and adjusting your mods through the right one.

The load order of your mods is essential. You can adjust the order in your launcher. Always read the information from the mod creator before installing it because they might tell you where it should be in the load order. Here is a structure you can use to start sorting out your mod order :

  • Bug fixes and patches
  • Game overhauls or complete landscape changes
  • Quest mods
  • Weather changes
  • New area additions
  • New building additions
  • Plant or landscape additions
  • Gameplay changes like combat, spells, or skills
  • NPC changes
  • Visual changes
  • Audio changes
  • Sorting and menu changes
  • New items
  • Model replacements
  • Item additions
  • Crafting mods
  • Miscellaneous mods

Always follow a mod creator’s advice about where their mod should be placed in the load order, even if it disagrees with the above list. Many people use LOOT to adjust their load order. 

You should also check out dependencies before you download a mod. Some require multiple other mods to work. The dependencies will often affect the load order, so pay close attention to each file. 

If you’re interested in loading some mods that other Skyrim VR players have curated, consider using Wabbajack. The main Skyrim VR subreddit suggests five different lists they’ve used and appreciated.

  • Narsil is a mod list designed to make Skyrim more immersive, more balanced, and also beautiful. 
  • Auriel’s Dream is a set of mods that aims to make Skyrim look warmer and lovelier. 
  • Librum for Skyrim VR creates a hardcore, gritty, low-magic survival experience. 
  • Ultimate VR Essentials is specifically for a better VR experience and changes things like gameplay and controls.
  • FUS has a variety of different profile options, depending on what kind of changes you want.

Modding Skyrim VR makes a great game even better. While it might feel complicated at first, you’ll get the hang of it quickly and soon be able to add almost anything you want to the landscape in Skyrim. 

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