Skyrim SE Modding Guide: Graphics Overhauls and Photorealism


    If you are an RPG fan or just a sucker for photorealism in videogames, then I bet you’ve seen all those gorgeous screenshots of modded Skyrim that look life-like. Have a look at these:

    Look familiar. Yes, in this post, we’ll teach you how to mod Skyrim (Special Edition) to photorealism in just 10-15 minutes. It’s that easy thanks to the various mod-managers and our pre-made ENB presets. Let’s dive in!

    Mod Requirements

    Prerequisites: These include patches and framework extenders like SKSE that make the Skyrim UI more elegant and allow the installation of hundreds of mods available across multiple platforms. Since installing them is a breeze, we highly recommend that you go through with it.

    These not only improve the AI and interface but also fix a multitude of bugs that managed to creep through Bethesda’s lousy by flexible Creation Engine. You get a much more detailed world map, removal of the pesky fast travel screen every time you open a door or enter a town and a few questionable quest design fixes. The last two improve the mesh design and object physics so the characters don’t look autistic or drunk. Be sure to downloads the requirements of each mod and use Vortex to install them and sort them.

    Skyrim Photorealistic Graphics Mods

    This is the core section of this modding guide. These mods will drastically increase the visual fidelity of Skyrim to make it look sweeter than any presentday AAA title. Be sure to install them in the same order as I’ve listed them below:

    These mods overhaul the whole look and feel of the game right from NPCs, landscape, vegetation, the weather and even the finer details like blood textures, embers, snow, tree barks and last but not the least, the water, making it a dynamic and realistic. I recommend using Vortex or Loot to sort the mod-order after you’re done to make sure there are no conflicts, but make sure for Veydosevrom you use the packed version and load it before the 3D Trees and Plants mod to avoid LOD problems. Again, install all the mod dependencies wherever applicable and use Vortex to save time and several hours of misery.

    Skyrim SE ENB: Good Balance of Quality and Performance

    The ENB I’m going to recommend is a custom modified version that you won’t find anywhere else on the web. I’ve tweaked the settings to make it as pretty as possibl while retaining maximum performance. Keep in mind despite that you’ll see a notable drop in FPS but it’s well worth it. If the drop is too extreme, reinstall the Veydosevrom grass mod (Performance version). Fret not, it doesn’t have any significant impact on visual fidelity.

    Here’s the download link to the ENB for Skyrim SE.


    If you run into any problems, check the following:

    • The load order: Make sure you sort the mod load order using LOOT or Vortex and keep it such that Veydosevrom (use the packed version) loads before the 3D Trees and Plants mod.
    • If you run any other mods, the general thumb rule is to load larger mods ahead of the smaller ones so as to override them.
    • If your game doesn’t load doublecheck if all of the core files (Skyrim.esm) are there and set to load first and foremost.
    • If the performance hit is too much for your system, press Enter+Shift in-game and disable “detailed shadows” under effects.
    • I’d recommend keeping Ambient Occlusion and Godrays on under the Skyrim graphics menu as I’ve disabled them in ENB.
    • If you run into any problems, feel free to contact me via any of the options in my bio.

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