There are several ways to mod Skyrim, but this blog will feature heavy use of three tools. This post will show show you these tools and discuss how they work.
Nexus Mod Manager (NMM)
The Nexus Mod Manager is probably the most useful tool we will be using. NMM provides a very easy-to-use interface that works in conjunction with Skyrim Nexus to help you download, install, and organize your mods (“Nexus mod manager,”). The most important feature of this tool is its ability to ensure your game directory does not get cluttered with files as mods are updated and re-installed. “Mods are installed cleanly, and if a mod can’t finish installing for any reason the mod manager will clean up properly after itself” (“Nexus mod manager,”).
The Creation Kit will be the primary tool that you use to modify the game. You can download the Creation Kit if you already own Skryim by going to the tools section of your Steam Library.
This tool is extremely complex and can be used to modify many aspects of the game, such as items, NPCs, lighting, weather, abilities, and much more (“Category: tutorials”). This complex tool can be very daunting to a beginner, but hopefully this blog will help you to become more comfortable with this tool.
Better Oblivion Sorting Software (BOSS)
Despite this tool’s name, this BOSS works with all of Bethesda’s games released after Oblivion. This tool is essential for those who use multiple mods that may conflict with each other as it helps to organize the load order of your mods. BOSS will “re-order your mods to their correct positions, putting any mods it doesn’t recognise after them, in the same order as they were before BOSS was run” (The BOSS Development Team).
According to The Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wiki, the last mod loaded in the load order will override any conflicting mods (dev_akm, 2009). BOSS will automatically sort your mods according to this based on a database of mods.
Steam Workshop and Skyrim Nexus
There are two main places where you can browse and upload mods. The Skyrim Nexus is the newest portal of TES Nexus that focuses solely on mods for Skyrim. This website has a very popular community and works nicely with the NMM that we will be using.
The other, newer, community is the Steam Workshop. In the Steam Workshop “you can submit, find, rate, and download new content and modifications for your favorite Steam games” (“Steam Workshop”). This portal for mods is more official and is shared with many of the games available on Steam. The Steam Workshop is an interesting new concept that could bring modding to an even wider audience, so you may want to host your highly polished mods here.
Nexus mod manager – open beta. (n.d.). In Skyrim Nexus. Retrieved March 9, 2012 from http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/content/modmanager/
The BOSS Development Team. BOSS. (n.d.). In Skyrim Nexus. Retrieved March 9, 2012 from http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/downloads/file.php?id=6
dev_akm. (2009, April 24). Oblivion mods faq. The Elder Scrolls Construction Set Wiki. Retrieved from http://cs.elderscrolls.com/index.php/Oblivion_Mods_FAQ#Mod_Load_Order_and_Conflicts.2FOverlaps
Category: tutorials. (n.d.). In Creation Kit. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://www.creationkit.com/Category:Tutorials
Steam workshop. (n.d.). In Steamcommunity.com. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/