I wanted to know how many Nexus Mods I can install and run on Skyrim before the game can't handle anymore. I'm looking to install a lot of mods that fix bugs, graphics, NPCs and other general fixes for the game that make the game a much better experience.

At the moment I have around 30 mods installed and the game is running fine, but I don't know how far I can go with the number of mods until I break something.

  • Yes, but that asks about Steam Workshop mods. I don't want to sound stupid but I thought that the Steam Workshop mods might have a cap on how many you can download or what you can download, as I don't use Steam Workshop for modding any of my games, so I'm not sure if it would differ in comparison to Nexus Mods or not. – HazedCube Jun 8 '14 at 17:57
  • Other than having the Steam tag, which Skyrim on the PC is always on anyway, that question doesn't have anything about the Workshop to it at all. – Billy Mailman Jun 8 '14 at 19:50
  • @HazedCube except for the way the mods are added to the game, there's no difference between where you get them. – jwenting Jun 17 '14 at 6:50

The absolute upper-limit is 253 total mods. This only counts certain types of mods, though; specifically, ones that add a .esm or .esp file so they can change actual data in-game (i.e. not mods that simply change models or textures). This also does include the expansions, and any such mods downloaded through Steamworks rather than Nexus.

The reason for the limit is that Skyrim (and other Bethsoft games) uses an internal code (the Form IDs) for everything added by a mod. The first two hex digits indicate where this thing came from, with 00 being the base game, 01 being official patches to the base game, and FF being reserved for items created by player interaction (custom potions, items dropped in-world, summoned NPC refIDs, etc). This leaves only 253 prefixes for other mods, before the game simply cannot load up items from the mod.

Note, of course, that any given collection of 253 mods is likely to be impossible to run together anyway for reasons of mod conflicts or of your computer simply being unable to handle them all. 253 is just the absolute theoretical upper limit.

  • If one were to have more mods than that, would it only load items from the first 253 in the load order or the last 253? Or would it simply exit on startup? – IllusiveBrian Jun 8 '14 at 17:20

Well, it depends on your PC specs and the mods you're installing, some break because of conflict, some break because your PC simply can't handle it anymore. You'll be fine as long as the mods are not conflicting.

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