Before installing the mods, a few other things have to be setup
1 - If you haven't already, sign up at the Nexus. (LINK)
It's free, and it's the main source of mods in this guide.
Download and install NexusModManager, "NMM". (LINK)
Install the "NMM Community Edition". This guide has instructions for NMM, but if you are more familiar with other mod managers, use which ever you like. Just make sure that you can properly set priority between mods, and that you can choose which files to overwrite, and which not to.
3 - Make sure that you have Skyrim: Special Edition, NOT the Anniversary
If you already upgraded to Anniversary Edition, here is a patch to revert to Special Edition (LINK)
4 - Download and install the Skyrim Script Extender, "SKSE64".
Download the latest SE version. Unpack the file and move the content of the SKSE folder into the Skyrim SE game-folder.
Inside the Skyrim SE game-folder, rename "SkyrimSELauncher.exe" to "SkyrimSELauncher.exe.backup".
Then rename "skse64_loader.exe" to "SkyrimSELauncher.exe".
5 - Download and install
Unpack and copy the files to any folder, then make a shortcut to "SSEEdit.exe".
6 - Download "Fallrim Tools". (LINK)
Download both files (manually). Make a folder where you want the program, then unpack into the same folder.
*Some files are duplicates. Just overwrite or skip.
7 - Download "xSHADOWMANx's
Download the latest version and unpack into the Skyrim SE game-folder.
8 - Download "SSE Engine Fixes".
Download both files manually, and unpack them into the Skyrim SE game-folder.
Launch the game to see if everything works.
Most importantly, check if SKSE64 is loading correctly. A lot of mods rely on SKSE64, so this is very important.
To check this, bring up the console* in-game, and type "getskseversion" without quotes, and hit Enter. If the console shows a number, then everything works. If it shows an error message, then you need to look at the SKSE files again and find out what went wrong.
*To bring up the console, press the upper left-most key below the "esc" key. "~" on a US keyboard, "½" on EU keyboards.
Steam users: If you replaced the files as recommended in point 3, you should be able to launch the game via Steam as usual.
10 - Make some coffee and get ready for several hours of downloading and installing. It will take some time, but in the end you will get a result that otherwise would take several months to obtain.
When done installing the basic tools,
proceed to the cleaning section before going to the mod-list
Proceed to Cleaning