Skyui Skse64 installation guide

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Revision as of 15:05, 21 January 2023 by Wolfpack49 (talk | contribs) (Troubleshooting)
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A guided set of steps for installing SKSE64 and SkyUI, as well as instructions for launching Skyrim with SKSE64. This guide was last updated on January 17, 2023.

Before You Start

There are a few things you need to know before you do anything, especially if you are new to modding:

  1. There is no direct dependency between SkyUI and the game version itself, only on a correctly installed working version of SKSE64. This means that SkyUI 5.2 is compatible with ALL versions of the game, as long as the appropriate version of SKSE64 is installed correctly. 99% of problems with SkyUI are due to an incorrect SKSE64 installation, not SkyUI itself. If you are new to modding, please visit Gopher's introduction to SKSE64 and introduction to SkyUI on YouTube.
  2. Understand now that once you have completed the following installation steps, you will change how you launch the game forever. Steam users will no longer use the Skyrim SE page to launch the game, and instead use the SKSE64 launcher. You will get errors, and SkyUI will not work if you insist on using the Steam launcher. More information on how to launch the game with SKSE64 and SkyUI in STEP FOUR below.
  3. There is much confusion and misinformation over “SE” vs “AE” with the release of the “Anniversary Edition” of Skyrim SE (v1.6.x of the game). The "SE" vs. "AE" marketing-speak is not important, but the game version number is. You will now need to be careful which version number of the game you have installed, so that you download the correct version of SKSE64. Since Steam can update the game in the background, don’t assume you know which version of Skyrim you have installed. More in STEP ONE below.
  4. It is highly recommended you STOP using the in-game (Bethesda) mod menu as it will DISABLE SkyUI anytime it is opened in game. If you insist on continuing to use it, you MUST install the SkyUI 5.2 SE Plugin with Master Added if you want SkyUI to continue working reliably. This is detailed in STEP THREE below.
  5. It is highly recommended you STOP installing mods manually to the /Data directory as it is more error prone in general. Installing manually is not supported in these instructions.
  6. It is highly recommended you START using a modern mod manager like Vortex or Mod Organizer 2 (MO2) instead of the in-game menu. Once you start using a mod manager, there is no need to ever open the in-game mod menu. Vortex also makes installing SKSE64 much easier and less likely you will install it incorrectly.
  7. If you don't have software that can extract .7z archives, you should download and install a package now. WinRAR and 7-Zip are both good (free) options.

Step One / Downloading SKSE64

  1. The first step is understanding which version number of Skyrim you have installed so that you can discover the correct version of SKSE64 to download:
    • For the Steam Edition: Open the Steam game page for Skyrim SE, select the Gear icon > Manage > Browse Local Files. It will open the game folder to /steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition/
    • For the GOG Edition: Open the folder where Skyrim was installed, by default set to /GOG Games/Skyrim Anniversary Edition/
    • Open the properties of SkyrimSE.exe, then navigate to the Details tab where it displays the game version. Write the game version number down, you will need to remember it.
  2. Navigate your browser to
  3. Download the SKSE64 .7z archive that matches the game version you discovered in Step 1 and save it to your desktop:
    • Game version 1.5.97 = SKSE64 2.0.20 (see notes below)
    • Game version 1.6.353 = SKSE64 2.1.5 (found on the silverlock “archived builds” page)
    • Game version 1.6.640 = SKSE64 2.2.3 for Steam
    • Game version 1.6.659 = SKSE64 2.2.3 for GOG (see notes for MO2 below)

NOTES: If 2.0.20 presents any issues, use 2.0.17 from the silverlock "archived builds" page. 2.0.20 is considered stable but in some rare instances (most likely a conflict or interaction with a particular mod) a CTD could result. 2.0.17 is the stable fallback version of SKSE64 for 1.5.97 if you experience any issues with 2.0.20.

If you are using Mod Organizer 2 with the GOG version of Skyrim, be sure to install the GOG plugin for MO2.

From now on, any SKSE64 plugins you install must also match the game version number you identified in Step 1, or you will get crashes and other undesirable behavior. For example, the mod MCM Helper requires that you install the version that matches your game version; if the incorrect version of MCM Helper is installed, you will get strange behavior in SkyUI.

Step Two / Installing SKSE64

You have two options for installing SKSE64 depending on whether you are using the Vortex mod manager or not:

Installing with Vortex

  1. Drag and drop the SKSE64 .7z archive you downloaded in STEP ONE to the Mods tab in Vortex, then Install, Enable and Deploy
  2. SKSE64 is installed!

Installing without Vortex

  1. Extract the SKSE64 .7z archive you downloaded in STEP ONE to a folder on your desktop and open the folder.
  2. Open your Skyrim root game folder:
    • For the Steam Edition: Go to the Steam game page for Skyrim SE, select the Gear icon > Manage > Browse Local Files. It will open the game folder to /steamapps/common/Skyrim Special Edition/
    • For the GOG Edition: Open the folder where Skyrim was installed, by default set to /GOG Games/Skyrim Anniversary Edition/
  3. Copy and paste the following items from the extracted SKSE64 archive folder directly into the opened Skyrim root game folder (the folder containing SkyrimSE.exe). Select “Yes” when Windows asks if you want to overwrite. DO NOT copy the below items to the /Data directory in your root game folder.
    • The /Data folder (IMPORTANT: 99% of install problems are due to not properly copying this folder to the Skyrim root game directory)
    • All files with .dll extensions (NOTE: older versions of SKSE64 included skse64_steam_loader.dll, but newer versions no longer require it)
    • skse64_loader.exe
  4. SKSE64 is installed!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Many guides recommend typing getskseversion in the console to verify SKSE64 is installed. This is NOT a reliable way to verify SKSE64 is installed, as the SKSE version number will display even if you have failed to copy the SKSE64 /Data folder to the root game directory. Only carefully and correctly performing the steps above will guarantee a correct installation of SKSE64.

Step Three / Installing SkyUI

  1. Download SkyUI 5.2 from the Nexus page and install using Vortex or MO2.
  2. It is recommended you install the SkyUI 5.2 SE Plugin with Master Added as well to address any issues with the Bethesda mod menu (for those who insist on continuing to use it). Again, it is highly recommended you use a modern mod manager like Vortex or MO2 instead of the in-game mod menu. Be sure to overwrite the SkyUI esp with the corrected version.
  3. Optional but recommended fixes (install with your mod manager):
  4. SkyUI is installed!

Step Four / Launching Skyrim with SKSE64 and SkyUI

  1. First and foremost, in order to use SkyUI and SKSE64, you must from now on launch the game with skse64_loader.exe. Steam users will never again use the Skyrim SE page to launch the game.
  2. Steam users must have Steam open in the background before launching via skse64_loader.exe, or the old Steam launcher will open, which will in turn launch the game without SKSE64 and SkyUI. You may want to consider adding Steam to your startup programs so that it is always open in the background.
  3. The options for starting the game via skse64_loader.exe:
    • Double click the skse64_loader.exe icon in your game folder
    • Create a shortcut on your desktop to skse64_loader.exe
    • Add skse64_loader.exe as a non-Steam game (if you want to launch from Steam)
    • Add a shortcut to skse64_loader.exe in Vortex or MO2 (recommended)
  4. Enjoy Skyrim!

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you launch Skyrim with SKSE64 and SkyUI for the first time, be sure to allow all the menus in the MCM to register. This should take only a minute or two, but if for whatever reason registration is slow, you can type into the console: setstage SKI_ConfigManagerInstance 1


I am getting Error Code 1...
Either SKSE64 was not installed correctly or the game was not started with skse64_loader.exe. Please follow the above steps carefully.

I have slow opening menus...
This is likely due to one of two reasons:

  1. The SKSE64 /Data folder was not correctly installed to the root game directory (the directory containing SkyrimSE.exe), which has resulted in the SKSE64 scripts not being found by SkyUI. Please see STEP TWO above.
  2. Some other mod is overwriting one or more of the scripts in the SkyUI_SE.bsa. If this is the case, you can either uninstall the conflicting mod, or extract the bsa's to resolve the loose file conflicts.

I am missing previews when I hover over inventory items...
Check to see if you have the mod MCM Helper installed, and if so, install the correct version of the mod for the game version number you discovered in STEP ONE.

I am getting errors about the wrong version of SKSE64 plugins...
You have installed a version of SKSE64 and/or one or more SKSE64 plugins that do not match your game version number. See STEP ONE above to discover your game version number, and then install the correct versions of the mods. To discover which plugins need fixing, open your skse64.log which can be found in \Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition\SKSE\. If the error is reporting SKSE64 is the incorrect version, please follow the above installation steps carefully.

For more info on SkyUI Error Codes, please see the SkyUI Troubleshooting Page