SKYRIM SE CTD FIX GUIDE (2024)

SKYRIM SE CTD FIX GUIDE
by KingdomVelvet

It is well known that one of the most infamous features of Skyrim is how fragile the game is and if you're not careful enough, the game will CTD (Crash to Desktop) rather often...
Since I play Skyrim on and off and I tend to install new mods as I go, I decided to compile all the little fixes I came upon on my journey for you and me <3

TOC

1. Good modding ethics
2. CTD when launching game
3. CTD after a short while
4. Random CTD and Infinite Loading screens
5. Buffering and sudden fps drops
6. Problem/obsolete mods

1. Good Modding ethics

1.1 Base Game Installation
Install Skyrim on your main/fast HDD (SSD is better) but not in the "program files" directory. Create a new folder if necessary. If your game is already installed in your "program files" directory, you will have to uninstall the game and reinstall it somewhere new. Don't just move your files, something might not work.

1.2 Mod Organizers
USE A MOD ORGANIZER!! Never install mods manually unless they don't go in the "Data" folder (like enb files, dlls and .bat commands). For TES and Fallout games, I personally recommend Mod Organizer 2. Like all new programs, there is a little learning curve, but I think MO2 is the best at what it does. Nexus is obsolete, Vortex, tho supports more games, seems a bit tedious to use and even a bit confusing. It may even break your game! I never used Wrye Bash to install mods. Another thing is that some suggestions I'll give later only work if you use MO2. Here's a tutorial on how to use MO2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruq6hQIAvB8

1.3 USSEP: clears your skin and fixes your problems. Just get it.
Get your hands on SSE Engine Fixes, SSE Fixes and Bug Fixes SSE as well.

1.4 LOOT and Plugin Load Order
Sorting your plugins is very important. Doing it manually is super tedious and will probably cause issues. Use LOOT to manage your load order (LOOT: The Load Order Optimisation Tool). BOSS is obsolete. When launching make sure you are managing the right game. Using the integrated MO2 sorting system is just as good and is actually what I personally use.Skyrim.esm, Update.esm, Dawnguard.esm, Hearthfire.esm and Dragonborn.esm should always come first in this exact order. Bashed_patch.esp, Dyndolod.esp or Paper_World_Map.esp (if you use any of those) should always come last (in this order if you have all 3).

1.5 Cleaning with XEdit
When running loot, it might give you a warning that some plugins are dirty. Use XEdit to clean them (SSEEdit). You do not have to clean your plugins, but it is recommended for a stable skyrim experience. Be aware that some mods do not require cleaning. MO2's integrated sort module usually warns you about those. Here's a tutorial how to clean your plugins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpRinGULJGw

1.6 SKSE64
Run the game through SKSE64 (Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE)). You don't have to use it if you don't use a mod that needs it, but it's generally more stable.

1.7 FNIS and T-posing
FNIS is oftentimes a requirement if you use mods that contain new animations. You need to launch the application each time you add or remove an animation mod. If not, All the characters will T-pose and it will ultimately result in a crash.

1.8 QUASIPC
If you run the game with a lot of mods, get yourself QUASIPC which contains a lot of patches for incompatible mods.

1.9 Don't be stupid
Read the goddam mod descriptions and install instruction. There's already so much information there.
Thank you :)

1.10 LE Mods
Inherently, Legendary Eddition (LE) mods are incompatible with SE unless the authors claims it is. That being said, your game may crash and removing those mods might be your fix. MO2 will warn you when you use an LE plugin.

2. CTD when Launching the game
These usually happen when the game is missing a core file (rarely happens) or more commonly because a certain mod is missing a master.
Fix: LOOT will let you know with a red error when a plugin is missing a master. MO2 will also give you a warning.

3. CTD after a short while and Random Crashes
Those are usually related to memory issues, bad load order or incompatible mods.
A way to know if you have memory issues and it's not caused by a mod, when launching the game, enter "coc riverwood" (before loading your save). Once the game is loaded, turn around and run towards the Standing Stones. If the game crashes before you get to them, you have memory issues.

3.1.1 ENB Memory Fix
///This might be an LE only fix and might not do the intended effects. That said, I'll leave it here cause it might actually be doing some sort of magic anyways, and I don't think it hurts to try.///
Use an ENB. Download the latest version of enb (ENBdev) and unpack the wrapper folder in your game directory. If you are not interested in getting enb fx (or you don't have a computer to run it well enough) go in your enbseries.ini (located in your main installation folder) and put "UseEffect" at false.

3.1.2 SSE Engine Fixes
Use SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin). If you already have it, make sure that it's at the latest update. Read the instructions carefully and see the second sticky in the posts section for further instructions

3.2 Services
The “Touch keyboard and Handwriting Panel service” found on Windows 10 computers may cause issues in Skyrim. In the Windows search bar, search for “services”. Once in there, find “Touch keyboard and Handwriting Panel service” and disable it by right-clicking on it and choosing properties. Note, that each time Windows updates, you might need to come and disable this service again.

3.3 Too many mods
It is possible that you may have too many mods for your PC to handle. That said, Skyrim can handle a total of 250 esp plugins. This excludes esl files that are unique to SSE and FO4. In MO2, you can see the number of Plugins currently active in your game. Note that this number includes esm, esp and esl, so it is possible that this number exceeds 250. To see the total number of esp active, simply hover over the number.

You can reduce the number of esp by doing a bashed patch with Wrye Bash. Here’s a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1Es06MtAZM

In this subject, textures mods are pretty popular and most of them don’t require any plugins. That said, they are big files that may cause issues.

4. Random CTD and Infinite Loading screens
These are usually caused by missing masters, patches or once again, memory issues.

4.1 Find missing patches by sorting your mods with MO2
Instead of using Loot, use the “sort” button above your plugin list. It is an integrated version of Loot actually. Once it’s done read the messages it generates carefully: it may reveal dirty plugins or more importantly, tell you if there are patches that exist for the mods you use.

4.2 Enginefixes.toml (Previously Enginefixes.ini)
There is an toml (ini) file that came with the mod “SSE Engine fixes”. If you have infinite loading screens, go activate the “MemoryManager” line found in the Experimental section

4.3 Sexlab Mods
There is no problem in having sex mods in your game, I have some too. That being said, sex mods are usually very script heavy and can often cause stress on the papyrus. If you feel like some mods need to go, cutting the sex mods will usually help you most.

4.4 CTD at a very specific place
Often caused by a corrupted mesh that's failing to load. Try to find the mod(s) that edit the cell you are in

5. Buffering and sudden fps drops
Often caused by too many mods and memory issues

5.1 See section 4.2 of the guide

5.2.1 Too big textures
Although texture mods usually don’t have esp files, they can still cause you problems if you don’t know what you’re doing. Each time you enter a cell, the game has to load all the textures for it, and if it’s all huge texture files, it can stress the game uselessly.

5.2.2 DynDoLod
When using Texgen, avoid going above 1024 texture size. Lod mesh and textures are usually for faraway objects, so using huge textures for things you barely see is one again useless. The basic 512 size is good enough for me.

5.3.1 Too many Actors
If you use XPSE and/or HDT-SMP, it is possible that having too many actors (NPC) in one cell can cause a lot of issues. Usually, in "regular" playthrough, you shouldn't encounter problems, but if you have a mod that adds many actors at one, like WAR ZONES, it can cause problems.

5.3.2 Bad installation
It is possible that mods mentioned in 5.3.1 were poorly installed. Ways to know this is if a NPC stretch to infinity and/or giving armors for followers to wear crashes your game.

6. Problem and Obsolete mods
Note that I haven't tried all mods on the internet, but those are the ones I have encountered issues with. Expect this section to grow as I play more. You can also go comment mods that you don’t see here that you know can have problems.

  • Face Light Plus SE : Crashes the game when you exit a conversation. Fix: disable “conversation light” in the MCM
  • EFF : This was my go to follower mod but unfortunately I started encountering issues with it. If you use a mod that allows you to open up the NPC racemenu, like EFF itself actually, dismissing a follower where you edited their skeleton in-game will result in them becoming seemingly invisible while in actuality being turned extra small. Now I use Nether's Follower Framework. It is still being updated today and I think it is the superior follower mod now since it adds a lot while also not destroying the vanilla follower script which makes it more compatible with follower mods.
  • CBPC : Might make your game CTD on Startup. Fix: Verify integrity of game files on Steam
  • Insects Begone : This mod does not work and causes CTD on load. Use mine instead (Bug Repellent)

7. Still got Problems?
Unfortunately I have reached the limit of what I can do to help. And I can't be constantly updating this mod. All of this is essentially stuff I encountered myself and what I did to get a smooth-ass Skyrim experience.

There are a lot of smart people in the post section who gave their opinions there, meaning that they are probably willing to help. So check it out.

Check out the STEP Guide for even more fixes.

SKYRIM SE CTD FIX GUIDE (2024)
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