Super Useful Skyrim Script Extender Now On Steam

This was the most safe for work image in the first two pages of a google image search for Skyrim Mods.

Skyrim Script Extender [official site], or SKSE to its sexy friends, is one of the most useful tools for making Skyrim do all the things you want it to with all those mods you use. Yes, even those ones you keep in the folder marked My Faxes, on the other drive. It’s now available on Steam as a free addon that will install to your Skyrim folder and, according to the description, automatically run whenever you load up the game.

You have to have the Steam overlay running to make use of the additional functionality, unless you can be bothered navigating to the folder and launching it separately. You can also still get the mod from its web download page, but what’s cool about this is there’s now no need to leave Steam’s interface to get all your mods running. As the vast majority of complex mods use SKSE and many of them are present in the Workshop, this was proving a hassle.

One of the developers took to Reddit to explain why SKSE can’t be on Workshop itself. Because of what SKSE does – adding code to Skyrim to let it handle more complicated commands – it has to be a separate app that installs to the Skyrim directory.

Obviously, any discussion of Skyrim mods on Steam now comes with a rather large amount of paid mod baggage. SKSE had to make a statement during the paid mods apocalypse about both never charging and never taking a cut of mods that used it. Some have taken its introduction to Steam to mean paid mods are coming back, but that was quickly dispelled.


  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    That screenshot is screaming for me to link this;

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Oh, well now, that change to the comments seems a little intrusive.

      I had no idea, sorry!

      • Ejia says:

        Wait, so in the past people had to post an embed code? Links to YouTube didn’t automagically turn into embedded videos?

  2. LegionSB says:

    If I install it this way, am I going to be able to launch Skyrim from Steam (and have my playtime, screenshots, etc. associated with Skyrim), or will I be launching SKSE?

    I haven’t used Skyrim’s, but when installing Fallout Script Extender manually, I would replace my Fallout EXE so that I could still launch the game as Fallout 3/NV in Steam, and have my playtime and screenshots recorded as that game.

    • Xzi says:

      That’s the same thing I do with Skyrim, you just rename the SKSE launcher as the TESV.exe and Steam still shows you as in-game, tracks your time played, etc.

    • alms says:

      I have an old SKSE version installed and added as a shortcut in Steam, playtime, achievements etc would already work as I were playing the unmodded game.

      In fact, from this post, I’m not quite sure whether there are actual benefits except auto-updating and a streamlined experience for less experienced user.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yeah, I just installed SKSE alongside, made a shortcut to it, and launch it as a “non-Steam game”. It pops up, does the dirty monkey-patching it needs, and then Skyrim proper fires up and Steam realizes that’s what I’m playing; overlay, status-to-friends, achievements, screenshots etc. all work normally.

        The only cost is I have to click “Elder Scrolls V: SKSE” instead of “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” to start it, despite the latter being the most-recently-played one in Steam’s jumplist (because technically that’s correct). It doesn’t sound like this actually changes that.

  3. Anthile says:

    Not my cabbages!

  4. Havalynii says:

    About time!

  5. Ejia says:

    Personally, I find a folder named “My Faxes” to be quite suspicious. Perhaps it’d be better to create a subfolder inside a system folder and name it like it was also one?

    • Blad the impaler says:

      I say you can’t go wrong with a subfolder called BIN.

      On topic, SKSE on Steam might not seem that newsworthy, but it is very useful information for the remaining folks in Skyrim who prefer Steam modding exclusively.

      • steves says:

        I keep my porn in C:\Windows\Fonts. Letters turn me on…

        On a more relevant note, that is some seriously nice cabbage textures!

  6. teppic says:

    Steam is a really bad way to mod Skyrim. Bethesda’s games have a pretty poor (almost non-existent) way of handling multiple mods, meaning the install and load order is extremely important, and many mods will break the game if installed together at all. Steam doesn’t take any of this into account. Basically, unless you’re using just texture mods, you need something else.

    • James says:

      Nexus Mod Manager is pretty much the only way to mod Skyrim without messing it up, and even then you still want a couple of extra things to pre-test the load order and check for conflicts. Steam just buggers it up every time, it even undid my proper load order on one occasion. Then I did everything through NMM.

      • Pich says:

        Mod Organizer is much better than the NMM: you can have different profiles with differents mods and saves, Integrated INI Editor, plays well with Workshop’s mods and keeps all the mods’ files in their own folders so you don’t have to screw around in Skyrim’s files.

        • Pich says:

          oh, and it even supports downloading through the Nexus! (damn you inexistent edit button

        • teppic says:

          Yeah I was going to add that Nexus Mod Manager is generally good enough, while Mod Organiser is really necessary for anything complicated. It’s not really any harder to use, it just looks it.

          Bethesda’s system is so poor that there’s no feasible way to make most mods work correctly together as they all overwrite each other’s records. Mod managers can help a lot to make things ‘mostly’ work, but with Steam you’re just going to get a broken game.

      • Stevostin says:

        Woops, I am pretty sure I played whole skyrim with a dozen of mods, some companion related, some frost related, some horse or dog related, some adding content, the vast majority of them installed through steam without second thought (reading the install note on steam pages though for when order could cause troubles). I hope you can forgive me.

        • malkav11 says:

          Yeah…there are reasons you might want to use a different modding site (Workshop’s limitations mean some mods just can’t be hosted there, and some simply aren’t) but Workshop is soooo much simpler and less fiddly, and in my experience that plus a semi-regular run of BOSS has been a pretty smooth-sailing experience. Except, you know, needing to run SKSE instead of the actual Skyrim EXE and not having the ability to do so through Steam. That sucked. And now it’s remedied!

          Mod Organizer seems great if you want to get into hardcore mod tweaking and having multiple ongoing games with different mod sets and so on but my needs are much simpler.

        • teppic says:

          Texture mods can normally work fine together (it rarely matters if some overwrite others) but larger mods simply can’t work properly without extra work. I don’t mean it’ll necessarily crash the game, but things won’t be as intended, there may be missing items, people, etc. and features might not always work.

  7. Geewhizbatman says:

    You lied about that Google search. Which is one thing when it serves the great god Comedy, but that you would choose such a sub-par image to the sexiness that is:

    That is just shameful!

  8. caff says:

    If you observe the picture closely, you’ll note that the man is lunging into a cabbage with his groin. His hands are hovering above more cabbages in the foreground – leading me to believe this is an action shot, taken with a high ISO setting.

    • caff says:

      So basically, I’m not surprised he’s wearing his helmet (fnar).

  9. phelix says:

    Ah, Skyrim mods. You caused me to hate the words “overhaul”, “vivid”, “ultra-realistic”, “rustic”, and, most damning, “immersive” (which is what people call their overdone sharpening texture filters nowadays).
    Seriously. I gnash my teeth every time I boost colours in a Lightroom image.

    • Uhuru N'Uru says:

      Well if you judge a mod by it’s name and not it’s content, you will be let down, you control the mods you use. Plenty exist for every style of filtering and with ENB’s you can easily adjust them for your exacting standards. Whether in your case that’s overdone or underdone “Sharpening Texture Filters”.
      Your game, your choice. That’s what modding is all about.

      “Yes, even those ones you keep in the folder marked My Faxes, on the other drive”

      Must be some repressed American thing, where Sex is Taboo, but Violence and Mass Murder is OK. My LoversLab, MOds are in the sanme Skyrim Folder as all my other mods, separated under Nexus/LoversLab for logical organisation, clearly labelled by the name it is given on the site, with a link to the Mod page. Nothing to hide away
      Your game, your choice. That’s what modding is all about.

      Steam Workshop is Rubbish
      As to mods on Steam, it’s an awful System and no sensible modder ever uses that rubbish. Modding a game is not that simple and every game on the Workshop has issues with it.
      The new KotOR 2 Workshop for instance is incompatible with non Workshop mods and most Workhop mods are incompatible with each other.
      I’ve not looked at the New System for Skyrim, there is one as the old system was incompatible with mods like SkSE that don’t go in the Data folder. If it’s the same as KotOR’s, it will cause more problems.

      Auto-updates can break modded games
      The one thing all modders should know for all games, is you never auto-update anything, game or mods. Steam auto-update everything, often breaking any or all modded games.

      Steam admitted they don’t understand modding, when they removed paid mods. Yet they still try to simplify a complex system of interwoven mods, into a one click system.

      SkSE on Steam is not a good idea, more inexperienced modders will assume they can one click mods and it will all work seamlessly, it won’t.

      Mod Organizer is the best mod manger for Skyrim, but even Nexus Mod Manager is much better than the Workhop.

      But you want a Workshop Exclusive Skyrim Mod?
      Old System
      Subcribe, using an unmodded backup of Skyrim by simply changing the Folder Names.
      Skyrim (Modded)
      Skyrim (Vanilla)
      Skyrim (Vanilla Backup)

      Simply rename the one you want like so:
      Skyrim (Modded)
      Skyrim (Vanilla Backup)

      When the mod has downloaded, with the old system you would have two new files in the Data Folder.
      Mod Name.ESP
      Mod Name.BSA

      Simply make a Archive (*.7z, *.zip, *.rar), using 7-Zip (Which is free). Give the archive the same name as the Workshop Page, making finding it again easy. The page name may or may not be the the same as the file name.
      Install from file, with the Mod Manager, you prefer, like any normal mod.
      Then unsubscribe, to stop it Auto Updating and potentially breaking your game.

      New System
      SkSE doesn’t use the Workshop at all, it’s actually released as a game on the main page, free of course. They wouldn’t charge if they could, so it appears Skyrims system remains a Data 2 file system, as restrictive as ever, but not made even worse by applying the new Workshop system.

  10. TomxJ says:

    meh. I think the entrance barrier to installing these mods should be at least figuring out how LOOT and NMM work together.

  11. Jane Doe says:

    Workshop, what?

    I tried it for Cities Skylines and it worked alright there, as long as you keep it at 2-3 gamechanging mods (Traffic++, etc). However, game updates and sloppy modding quickly destroyed my game, since Steam loves its auto-update.

    I can’t even imagine using the Workshop for my 232 Skyrim Mods. Hand-ordered, hand-cleaned, bashed and skyprocced. I wouldn’t let Steam touch that even if the Nexus went down.

  12. varangian says:

    Well I’m not sure super useful is the term I’d use. I did have this working a few years back but never finished Skyrim as something shinier came along. This jogged my memory – as the game was a bit rubbish without mods to fix the UI – so I thought I’d give it a go with some realism mods as well as the usual fixes. Total waste of time, you can indeed install SKSE via Steam but subscribing to a few mods and testing it showed zero effect, still stuck with the vanilla UI instead of SkyUI and so on. Guess I’ll be scrubbing Skyrim off the HD again…

    • thebigJ_A says:


      You could mod skyrim the right way, the way everyone who even vaguely knows what they’re doing does it.

      NOBODY uses Workshop for modding if they know any better. I feel Valve is even doing a disservice to the PC gaming community with it.

      Use Mod Organizer (or Nexus Mod Manager). Problem solved. You’re welcome.

      You might want to read a guide. S.T.E.P. is useful (or Fear & Loathing in New Vegas if youre modding New Vegas. It’s the same thing).

      There are lots of helpfulk videos by a guy named Gopher on Youtube it wouldn’t hurt to watch, too. Covers UI mods, the tools like Wrye Bash and LOOT, and everything else really.