Logical Load Order

Mod using doesn't have to be difficult! I've been at this for 4+ years and I've helped thousands of users create beautiful, immersive Skyrim games with one simple trick: The Logical Load Order (LLO). This document was created by me to help mod users take out the guesswork. Far too often guides out there try to convolute and confuse the situation. Mod using isn't hard and you can do it, we can help!


9 times out 10 your crash is being caused by a “dirty” mod. These are mods that have been improperly imported from 32bit to 64bit and weren’t cleaned in xEdit. Even mods made in 64bit need to be cleaned! Changes from the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch (USSEP) should always carry over even if USSEP isn’t a requirement. There are no ifs and ands or buts about it- we Mod Author's (MA's) and Original Mod Authors (OMA’s) must clean our mods!

The first step is to understand that Conflict is not the same as Crashing. You can have a "conflict" by which it is resolved depending on where a mod is placed and it will cause no crashing. The lowest mod wins the conflict in the load order.

Example: Mod A moves a bush in Dawnstar and mod B also moves that bush. Whichever mod is lower will have the edit to the bush loaded into your game. That is a conflict resolution.

Your placement of mods matters. I have simplified the understanding of different areas of the game we're allowed to edit inside the Creation Kit. By codifying what's being done behind the scenes, you are armed with more knowledge at your fingertips.


Understanding Sections in the LLO

Once you've downloaded your LLO you will find several tabs at the bottom (scroll down it). The first tab is all the technical information about how to download mods, how to remove them, how to update them, etc. The second tab explains the section definitions so you can better place your mods. Read the Section Definitions. This is the most critical part of placing mods. You need to understand how the game loads mod data and how to place those mods in the right order.

Once you're comfortable with the section definition, read your mod description page. If there is not enough info on the page for mod placement, ask yourself why you're downloading the mod. Does it just have a nice title? Does it claim to be immersive and so you think you need it? Are you going by the star rating alone? Don't. You should be downloading mods that you want to use in your game. Plan your playthrough and find the mods to cater to your idea of the world.

Watch out for dirty mods!! Some mods have wild or dirty edits which can cause crashing into other parts of the game.

1. Wild Edits- This happens when the Creation Kit (CK) thinks it needs to save data and it shouldn't. This can include "ITMs" (identical to master) edits which have been documented for years as a source of crashes. It's very simple and very easy to clean out. Another way we can have a wild edit is that if we were in a cell looking at placement of items and the CK felt it should cause an update on information. We , again, as mod authors have to clean it out.

2. Dirty Edits: Dirty edits occur when a mod author edits something they know they shouldn't. A dirty edit can be a badly managed navmesh. We have guides from Arthmoor himself about how to properly navmesh and there should be no excuse not to know how to navmesh and clean it up. Another dirty edit is when someone has a texture mod but decides to place a bunch of statics in the world. Those are two types of edits that should not be used in the same mod, especially if you don't document the changes. Deleted items will also cause crashing and it is a 100% dirty edit that must be fixed. There is no excuse for deleted items in the CK, either. It's quite simple to change or move something instead of deleting it.

How can you tell if a mod is dirty? On console you can't. That's why the MA's at the Tarsh Gaming discord will open up mods and check them directly to see what's going on. We have a personal database on those mods and try our best to update it if we see a mod author has fixed a wild or dirty edit. In some cases there are wild edits after CC content was released and a mod author hasn't had time to adjust their mod. In that case, we try to find the best placement for the mod if it is otherwise a stable mod and then explain placement accordingly.


Q: I'm on the X---
A: STOP. Go read information about the X, here and then come back here.

Q: How can I use more than 1 leveled list at a time?
A: Technically you could use ten (but shouldn't), but if all 10 are editing the same lists then the lowest edit will take over the rest. So use just one. Some leveled list mods only affect a particular value so you need to consult the mod author's guide about patches that might be needed for other mods.

Q: Why am I crashing when entering buildings that no mod touches?
A: It depends. There could be a wild or dirty edit, or your console itself is overloaded and crashes because it has ran out of memory. Your video card only has so much memory it can perform and even with vanilla textures can overload the system

Q: What is navmesh and why do I care?
A: Navmesh is a literal mesh with pre-computed data that tells NPCs where to walk. If the computed data is broken then the NPCs can't read the navmesh and you crash. It's like if you were to sit down on your chair but someone pulled it away- you crash on the ground

Q: I'm a PC user
A: Congrats? Now use WyreBash and xEdit to properly organise and clean your mods. The LLO Document is still valid for mod placement, although PC users have loose vanilla mesh/texture overwrites

Q: Can I remove mods mid game?
A: 99% of the time NO. DO NOT REMOVE OR ADD MODS MIDGAME. The console is extremely finicky about this. You can change only PURE mesh/texture mods that have NO area edits. Adding and removing mods tends to cause the console to have a fit. You've been warned!

LO Testing 101
As written by OMB

TEST 001

(1) Fix your LLO sheet to be 100% right
(2) Fix the LO on your XBox to correspond 100% to the sheet
(3) Delete all of your saves
(4) Hard Reset
(5) Start a new character in somewhere like Riverwood (for example, as a patron of the Sleeping Giant)
(6) Turn off Autosaves
(7) Walk (don't run) to Whiterun
(8) Save
(9) Enter Whiterun
(10) Save again
(11) Quit to Dashboard, restart the game and load that last save
(12) Do the Whiterun Loop
(13) Save again
UNTIL Successful
Continue with your testing using that last save as your starting point

Whiterun Loop: By DeusZERO

(1) Be sure it's daytime when first entering Whiterun, watch the conversation between the Battle-Born and Blacksmith.
(2)Then go left up the stairs and walk around to Braith bullying Lars and listen to that.
(3)Then on toward the big tree for Amren getting chewed out by his wife, listen to that.
(4)Now go down the steps into the market and enter the Bannered Mare.
(5)Leave and watch the Battle-Borns pester the old Gray-Mane Lady.
(6)Head back up the stairs and go into Jorrvaskr.
(7)Watch the fight, you'll need to get close to them for it to finish, and then leave.
(9) Head up to the Skyforge, then go into Dragonsreach. It is best to save before entering each location.
This will "initialize" Whiterun to run smoother and be less crashy

LLO Info & Link

Please copy The Logical Load Order into your own google drive and edit appropriately. Make sure you download the Discord app so we can help you polish your Load Order when you are finished.

1. Download the Google Sheets or Google Drive App
2. Click the Logical Load Order Spreadsheet
3. Share & Export - Make a Copy
4. Rename to your handle (do not share personal info!!!!)
5. Share & Export - Link Sharing (on) - Copy Link to Share

And that's all you need to do to make a copy. If you are on mobile then for editing simply click the row data, press it and enter your information. Your mod space limit and mod counter increment are calcuated as you go.