From Nexus Wiki
The Hot Files system appears on the index page of each Nexus site. This page will quickly explain how hot files are chosen by our system.
How it works
Hot files are decided by number of total endorsements received for an individual file uploaded within a specific time frame. The top 6 files with the most endorsements will show in the hot files system.
Files can only be eligible for the hot files system if they have been uploaded within a specific time frame. Different Nexus sites have different time frames depending on how active the communities are. The specific time frames at time of writing are as follows:
- Skyrim Nexus - 7 days
- Oblivion Nexus - 14 days
- Fallout 3 Nexus - 14 days
- New Vegas Nexus - 14 days
- Dragon Age Nexus - 14 days
- All other Nexus sites - 28 days
Ergo if you add a new file to Skyrim Nexus your mod is eligible for the hot files system for the first 7 days (counted from when you publish the file page on the site). After 7 days your file is no longer eligible to be shown in the hot files system.