In Skyrim: Special Edition, Bethesda implemented built-in mod support for mods that are listed on their website and you never have to leave the game to mess with them. Which is all great, but many mods list importance in load order (either being at the top or bottom of the load order list).

My question is what order does Skyrim actually load the mods? Does it load the mods from top to bottom or from bottom to top?

I'm playing on PC through Steam.

  • IIRC it should be easy enough to tell by looking at the expansion .esm files like Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. these should be requiring the main Skyrim.esm file and should be appearing after it in the load order (infact Skyrim.esm should be the first to load)
    – Memor-X
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 3:35
  • On what platform are you playing?
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:23
  • @DCShannon PC-Steam Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:25
  • Well then @Memor-X's suggestion might be worthy trying out. Should probably be an answer.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 18:27
  • 1
    @santyclause I haven't bought the Skyrim Special Edition (yet), but I play Fallout 4 on Xbox One, and there's a load order for the mods you get from the website. I'm pretty sure the stuff on top gets loaded first.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


Mods are loaded top-to-bottom. If you have two mods (A and B) that both modify the same thing, and A is loaded before B, B's modifications will overwrite A. This is why mods such as the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch recommend being at the top of the load order (it fixes fundamental issues with the game, and can and will override other mods if placed below them), and others such as Live Another Life recommend being at the bottom (it will completely fail to function if another mod that modifies the new game sequence is loaded after it).


I apologize for the lateness of this reply, but only discovered it after what seems like an exhaustive time spent on researching this particular topic.

In response to your question i will provide a link to two specific areas which helped me formulate my load order. The first is a link to the bethesda site. where someone answers this question in much detail. And then there is a link within his response which leads to a dropbox listing.. This is meant to be an adaptive listing that they will add to as time progresses but if you are like me. This will provide you will the tools to learn what you need to, and from here on be able to decide your own order listing, using these two links for future reference.

I hope it helps.

I believe the listing is mainly for xbox but i have Skyrim SE on PC as well, and have found regardless of device this was very helpful... I hope it helps you too.

  • Thanks Timmy, as it was my first post i am fairly noob at this. :)
    – Wilotto
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 12:30
  • One thing i forgot to mention about the listing of mods, these guys actually test the mods and will offer small amendments following the mod if it clashes with other mods and how. And between when i first saw the list a few days ago and now there has been an update. when i got the first list it was updated 24/12 and i just saw it was updated again on 7/1.
    – Wilotto
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 12:32

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