The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition
Beautification Project

by Tore Andersen

Complete step-by-step modification guide
Make Skyrim look like a 2021 release with improved visuals and new lore-friendly content



This guide is for the last version of Skyrim: Special Edition
The new Anniversary Edition will not work with mods (yet)
If you upgraded to Anniversary Edition, here is a patch to revert to Special Edition

If you are only interested in the ENB, download it here: (LINK)
If you want to use the full step-by-step guide, here is what you need to get started:

1: The latest version of Skyrim: Special Edition. (Before Anniversary Edition)
Note: If you accidentally upgraded to Anniversary Edition, here is how to revert back to the latest Special Edition: (LINK)
2: About 140GB of free space. *If you plan to install all recommended mods.
3: A Nexus account and the Nexus Mod Manager. (LINK) *Nexus is the main source of mods used in this guide.
4: Please follow ALL 4 sections of the guide.
The mods alone will not work without proper settings and a correct load-order.


Proceed to Mods

..or read a bit about the project


Project info

The Skyrim SE Beautification Project is a complete visual overhaul of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition. It comes with step-by-step instructions, no modding experience required. All you need is patience and a good internet connection.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is still one of the best open-world RPG's ever made. The Special Edition updated the engine to 64bit and came with a few minor effect improvements, but it was hardly the "remake" that people were hoping for. Sure, the game looked slightly better than the original Legendary Edition, but not enough to justify buying the game twice. No bug-fixes, no HD textures, no new content and no character improvements. Just slightly better environmental effects, which couldn't even compare to what the modding community had already made for the regular game. This guide aims to fix all that, and bring the changes that the game deserves.

Visual improvements: Better lighting and effects, HD textures (4k-2k), high-poly 3D models, better weather system.
Performance: Better memory handling, texture optimizations (Details: LINK), recommendations for different system specs.
Added content: New lands, dungeons, buildings, races, characters and quests. Lore-friendly and true to the style and vision of the game.
Stability: Error fixes and mod compatibility patches. Every mod has been tested for stability, fps-impact, script errors and conflicts with other mods.

The modding community for Skyrim is huge, and it's a very time consuming process to figure out which mods to use together, and how to make a compatible setup which is both lore-friendly and stable. This guide took several months of researching and testing. The new graphical settings (the SSEBP-ENB) have been fine-tuned to work without other lighting mods. This gives it a performance edge compared to most other ENB's, while no quality was sacrifised.

The Skyrim SE Beautification Project will give Skyrim the proper make-over that the Special Edition should have done. The game will get look like a 2021 release, and it will run more stable at the same time.

Note: Info on texture optimization and conversion mods:
Texture optimization quality/method: (LINK)
SSE Conversions/patches for LE mods: (LINK)



 Skyrim: Special Edition                                                                            Skyrim Beautification Project



Skyrim: Special Edition - Characters


Skyrim Beautification Project - Characters



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By becoming a Patron you will participate in a monthly drawing for a Premium Steam Game-Key, and you will help me provide more frequent content



For more game modification projects and guides, please visit the main page. New and old games are added regularly


Screenshots - SSEBP 4.63








About The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and the world of Tamriel
This is just for SEO, nothing important here

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a first-person RPG from Bethesda Game Studios, released in 2011. (Special Edition, 2016) The main storyline follows the Drogonborn's hunt for Alduin, a black dragon, who according to myth will destroy Tamriel and the rest of the world. On the journey, the player has a huge variety of side-quests and choices, some of which will impacts the world, some of which that won't. The story starts at a time where Skyrim is at the brink of civil war between the invading Empire and the native Nords. The player will have to choose a side sooner or later, which will have great impact on the game-world. Besides these two dominating factions, the player also has the opportunity to join "less popular" factions on the side, like "The Brotherhood" or the "Thieves Guild", which can also impact the main world, or at least how the world reacts to the player.
As in any other RPG, development of the character has an essential role in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. However, the character is not pre-destined to any "class", as in many other RPG's. The character is developed via skills, which result in very differentiated styles and game-play. The system works extremely well, providing individuality and specialization possibilities to every type of player.
The story takes place 200 years after the ending of Oblivion, the previous Elder Scrolls game, but in the province of Skyrim instead of Cyrodiil. As all the earlier Elder Scrolls games, the player is free to roam as he/she pleases. The world is a huge sandbox with an incredible amount of possibilities.

Tamriel, also known as "Dawn's Beauty" or "Starry Heart", is one of several continents on the planet Nirn (Also known as Mundus). Tamriel is where all The Elder Scrolls games take place, at least so far. The Elder Scrolls Online will combines all provinces of Tamriel in time, including Skyrim. Nirn is a mortal realm, which is connected to the immortal realms of Oblivion. During The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, "Mankar Camoran" speaks of Tamriel as an extension of the Oblivion realm, but as he is the only Daedric prince who claims this, it could just be "stories" from the Mythic Dawn.

Tamriel is about 12 million square kilometers, and is divided into 9 provinces.
Skyrim, High Rock, Hammerfell, Summerset Isle, Valenwood, Elsweyr, Black Marsh, Morrowind, and Cyrodiil.

(Also known as the Heartlands) is the center of the Human race, and home to the empire. It is the largest of the provinces, and is mostly jungle. The Imperial City is in the heartland, by the Nibenay Valley. The central valley is surrounded by rain forests, which face the swamps of Argonia and the Topal Bay. The land rises to the west and the north, where it borders Skyrim. Between the western coast and the central valley, lay huge forests and swamps. This is where The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, takes place.

Morrowind is the homeland of the Dunmer. (Dark Elves) The province is located to the far north of Tamriel. Most of it's population is living around the high uplands, and the river valleys of central Morrowind. In the Inner Sea, the island Vvardenfell is dominated by the Red Mountain volcano and ash wastelands. This is where The Elder Scrolls III takes place.

Black Marsh is located by the great inland waterways and swamps to the south. Most travel is by boat, as there a only very few roads. The coasts and northwestern forests are mostly uninhabited. For ages, the Dark Elves have raided the Black Marsh for slaves. Even though the Empire has made it illegal, they continue to do so, which is the main reason for hatred between the Argonians and the Dunmer.

Elsweyr is mainly jungles and river basins, inhabited by the Khajiit. They are city dwellers with tradition for trade. To the north of Elsweyr, nomadic tribal Khajiit live in the wastes and grasslands. They are more aggressive and territorial, and united under tribal warlords. The settled Khajiit to the south, quickly adopted to the ways of the Empire, but the northern tribes still keep to their barbaric ways.

Valenwood is a large forest wilderness, mostly uninhabited. The coasts of Valenwood have swamps and tropical rain forests. This is where the Bosmer (Wood Elves) live in small timber houses. They have small settlements scattered along the coast, only connected by trails. There are a few Imperial roads, but they only have tiny settlements, and very low trade and traffic activity.

The Summerset Isle is a green place with fertile farmlands, woods, and old towers and manors. Most settlements are small and isolated, mostly seats by wizard or warlord. The Isle has a few natural ports, but foreigners are usually not welcome. The Aldmer who lives here, are little affected by the Empire.

High Rock is the land of the Bretons. The land has 3 main locations: The Dellese Isles, the Bjoulsae River, and the Western Reach. The highland strongholds and the valley settlements have encouraged independence of the many Breton clans. Their language, traditions, and legends are holding the people together in tradition and spirit.

Hammerfell is an urban and maritime province. The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, takes place here. Most of the population is gathering in the cities of Sentinel and Stros M'Kai. The rest of the country has a thin population, living in small poor farm houses. Hammerfell is home to the Redguards, who love of travel, and go on adventures. Many Redquards are sailors, mercenaries, and adventurers all around Tamriel.

Skyrim, also known as the "Old Kingdom" or "Fatherland", was the first region of Tamriel to be settled by humans from Altmora. The Nords are hardy, brave, and fearless people with strong traditions and beliefs. They are excellent warriors and traders. They are far more civilized than their barbarian ancestors, but war and exploration still remains essential to the Nords. This is where The Elder Scrolls V takes place.

Legend say that the first humans came to Tamriel from the continent of Altmora in the late Second Era. It was not a single invasion, but a series over hundreds of years, developing the Nords, Imperials and the Bretons.

As in the previous Elder Scrolls games, Skyrim begins with the player as an unknown prisoner. This time the player was caught in an Imperial ambush on the Stormcloak rebels, while attempting to cross the border into Skyrim. The Stormcloak leader, Ulfric Stormcloak, was among the captured. Everyone, except for the player, is scheduled for execution, but an Imperial commander decides that the player is to be executed as well. As the player is about to be beheaded, a black dragon shows up and attacks everyone. The player can choose to escape the chaos along with either a Stormcloak rebel or an Imperial soldier who will guide the player to a nearby town. Everything from here is completely up to the player. The world of Skyrim is completely open for exploration and adventure.


Skyrim was planned shortly after the release of Oblivion in 2006, but serious development didn't start until 2008. The developer team was made up of about 100 people, both new and "veterans" from previous games. The production was supervised by Todd Howard, who has directed many of Bethesda's titles.
Skyrim is made on Bethesda's Creation Engine, which was created shortly before Skyrim. The Creation Engine has several graphical improvements compared to Bethesda's previous engines. For example, improved drawing distance. Dynamic lighting, enhanced flora (No more SpeedTree), enhanced weather effects, like dynamic snow, and better animation (Provided by Havok). The engine still uses the Radiant AI system (created for Oblivion), but slightly upgraded. The Special Edition engine introduces more improvements, and a new 64bit structure which takes better advantage of newer hardware.

The world of Skyrim is similar in size to Oblivion's world (Cyrodiil), but the mountains make it more difficult to get around. The design of the Skyrim world has a more "surrealistic" style, contrary to Oblivion's classic medieval-European fantasy style. This makes the world more interesting to explore, just like Morrowind was. Skyrim is divided into nine locations (Holds), which have each their own environmental setting, and people. Especially the diversity of the people makes the players choice of race interesting. Different factions in the game will react differently depending on the players choice of race, and upon which side of the civil war the player chooses, and which smaller factions the player chooses to join, if any. To make the people of Skyrim even more unique, over 70 voice actors has been used, including Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Joan Allen, Lynda Carter, Michael Hogan, and Vladimir Kulich.