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I am playing Skyrim modded, and would like to have the Steam overlay in the game, so that I can chat with users and such.

I have purchased the game and activated it in Steam, but since I am launching through SKSE.exe, I cannot launch it through Steam. Or, is there a way to do this?

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On the bottom left of steam there is a button that says 'Add a game' simply click that, select 'none Steam game' and find the 'SKSE.exe' which should be in your root Skyrim directory. Name it whatever you'd like, doesn't matter. When you launch it via Steam it will start Skyrim using SKSE. However all the steam stats will be added to the official Skyrim game in Steam. So everything works as it should!

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If you rename the skse_loader.exe to SkyrimLauncher.exe, Steam will pick it up and think it is the actual executable of the game.

This is beneficial over simply using the "Add a non-steam game" method, as achievements and other community features (such as screenshots being tied to the correct game) will work as well.

I made a write up of how to set this up for Fallout 3/New Vegas, but the same steps work for Skyrim as well. To summarise:

  • Change the SkyrimLauncher.exe file to be a different name, such as SkyrimLauncher-orig.exe (in case you want/need to revert).
  • Create a copy of the skse_loader.exe file, and rename it to SkyrimLauncher.exe
  • Click Play in Steam. It should launch the game with SKSE.
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Even if you go through the SKSE, or any other external loader (Wrye Bash, for example), Skyrim should load through Steam and activate the overlay.

This is the case for any Steam game: Steam is linked to the game executable, and you can't launch the executable, even if you don't go through the Steam interface, without Steam checking the game and starting the overlay if activated.

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    I'm sorry but this answer is incorrect. If you start Skyrim from the EXE file, it does not open Steam.
    – gameaddict
    Feb 6, 2012 at 1:30
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    This was the case on the first released version (1.1) but they corrected it in the first patch. If your Skyrim still launch without Steam, either it is not updated, or you don't have it trough Steam anyway... I just tested, and Skyrim work with SKSE and the overlay without any extra manipulations.
    – Jupotter
    Feb 6, 2012 at 8:28
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    -1 this is incorrect. Even with the latest version, if you start Skyrim by directly launching SKSE, you don't get achievements or the steam overlay. Feb 29, 2012 at 17:00
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    @BlueRaja I do have Steam overlay with SKSE. Always did.
    – 3ventic
    Sep 1, 2013 at 11:19
  • Yep, skse launches the game exe which includes Steam integration. Sep 2, 2013 at 6:45

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