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Skyrim Stability Guide (quick version)

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Skyrim Stability Guide (quick version)

Hi again everyone!

I figured that in order to give everyone the best possible experience with SRM once it’s launched I will write a small tweak guide and explain a few caveats that might be good to know.

I know, I know there are thousands of these guides out there but I will mainly focus on memory, CTD (Crash to Desktop) and ILS (Infinite Loading Screen) in a simplistic way and not delve into all the other tweaks one can do to the game (for good and for bad).

If you have a very stable game now with lots of scripted heavy mods then chances are you already have done most of the tweaks, or know of them, and might not have much need for this.

So, lets get into it – and if you don’t care at all for the technicalities of this then at least read the Papyrus section and then jump on to the SKSE and ENBoost guide at the bottom.

MEMORY

Skyrim is a 32-bit game. That means a lot of things but what is most important is that it means that the amount of memory the process can allocate is limited to ~3.1GB. It does however not stop the application from trying to access more but if it does then it will instantly crash to desktop. And there is nothing you can do tweaking the game itself or it’s configuration files to stop this behaviour – it’s a coding limitation.

The next problem is that when the game is started it allocates a memory block that is 512MB in size. Half of this is then allocated to scrap and half for the game to store whatever resources it needs while running.
When that block is full, or nearing full, the Skyrim engine should then allocate further memory blocks and this is when things start to go wrong: instead of properly accessing more memory to assign it’ll simply crash to desktop or freeze.
Again, no matter how much you tweak your ini’s or the game itself you can’t stop this behaviour – once you fill up the first block you will crash or freeze.

Okay, so all of this sounds pretty grim, is there nothing we can do? Well, not to the game engine itself we can’t but we can work around the problems.

The first tweak we can do is that we can force DirectX (which the game engine is dependant on) to load a specific set of instructions which essentially move the handling of textures to a different process. This means that all textures that are loaded no longer will work toward the 3.1GB limit that we have but instead use a different process to store the textures. This is done with the program part of ENB which is called ENBooster.

The second tweak we can do is that we can force Skyrim to allocate a bigger memory block directly at start up, bypassing the need (and very crash-prone) system to allocate more memory when we start to run out. This is done with SKSE and it allows you to tweak how much memory we should allocate from the start.

With these two tweaks we can work around most of the problems that Skyrim has.

PAPYRUS

In a lot of the guides out there you are told to tweak your papyrus settings in the Skyrim.ini file – I’ve seen one more ridiculous than the other and they’re almost always wrong with how things should be set.

The lines I’m talking about are these (these are the standard values):

fUpdateBudgetMS=1.2
fExtraTaskletBudgetMS=1.2
fPostLoadUpdateTimeMS=500.0
iMinMemoryPageSize=128
iMaxMemoryPageSize=512
iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=76800
bEnableLogging=0
bEnableTrace=0
bLoadDebugInformation=0
bEnableProfiling=0

Without going into technical explanations too much I’m going to say – don’t change them.

There is one exception and that is if you’re consistently having issues during times of heavy script load. This could be during combat, for instance. In that case you can change the following two lines:

fUpdateBudgetMS=1.2
fExtraTaskletBudgetMS=1.2

Only change them by 0.4 at a time, so if you’re having freezes or crashes during combat try to change them to:

fUpdateBudgetMS=1.6
fExtraTaskletBudgetMS=1.6

If you have to go over 2.4 to get a stable game; stop right there and look over your mods. Can you really run all those mods? Is something else wrong; is my CPU overheating or graphics card or is there something in the background using system resources that you can turn off?

In essence, going much higher will have impact on your game that will be hard to foresee. You may play another 100 hours with no issues and then suddenly be unable to proceed due to constant crashing and/or freezing.

It should also be noted that as soon as you leave 1.2 and go upwards you WILL start getting out-of-sync lips with dialogue. It can’t be helped, so don’t bother trying to solve it. If it’s a big issue for you then you MUST stay at 1.2 and instead clean out mods or get a faster computer – there is NO way around that!

Lastly – the logging is NOT a crash guide! A lot of people treat it like that, but it’s not and shouldn’t be used like one. It can be used to pinpoint errors or get hints of the issue but it requires experience with modding to tell what may be the actual problem. Logging should always be turned off unless you have problems that someone experienced (yourself or someone else) can look over because it will put further strain on the system to actually write to the log-file.

ENB & SKSE GUIDE

If you want to use the ENBooster to help with memory do the following steps.

1. Download ENB from http://enbdev.com/enbseries_skyrim_v0279.zip .
2. Unpack the contents in the Wrapper directory straight into your Skyrim directory (typically c:\Programs\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim).
3. Go to your Skyrim installation directory.
4. Open enblocal.ini.
5. Make sure you go the following settings:

[PERFORMANCE] SpeedHack=true
EnableOcclusionCulling=true

[MEMORY] ExpandSystemMemoryX64=false
ReduceSystemMemoryUsage=true
DisableDriverMemoryManager=false
DisablePreloadToVRAM=false
EnableUnsafeMemoryHacks=false
ReservedMemorySizeMb=YYY
VideoMemorySizeMb=XXXX
EnableCompression=false
AutodetectVideoMemorySize=false

Check how much VRAM you have, in megabytes (take GB times 1024 to get megabytes) then subtract 170 from that figure if your run Win7 or Vista, if you run Win8 or Win10 subtract 350.
Take the total and replace XXXX above with that number.
Example:
Graphics card:GeForce GTX 960 2GB - 2048MB.
OS: Win7
Replacement number: 2048 - 170 = 1878

Replace YYY in accordance to this table:
Video Card Memory | Replace YYY with
512 | 64
1024 | 128
1536 | 128
2048 | 256
3072 | 384
4096+| 512

6. Save and close the file.
7. Open enbseries.ini.
8. Look for the following line and ensure it looks this way:[GLOBAL] UseEffect=false
9. Save the file if you needed to change it from True to False and then close it.
10. ENB setup is done.

To use SKSE to help you with memory management do the following steps.
1. Download SKSE from http://skse.silverlock.org/beta/skse_1_07_03.7z
2. Unpack the contents straight into your Skyrim directory (typically C:\Programs\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim).
3. Go to your Skyrim\Data\SKSE directory.
4. If not present, create a new text-file and name it SKSE.ini (make sure that it does NOT end in .txt).
5. Open the SKSE.ini file in Notepad.
6. Paste the following into the file:[General] ClearInvalidRegistrations=1

[Memory] DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB=768
ScrapHeapSizeMB=256
7. Save and close the file.
8. From now on start the game by launching skse_loader.exe from the Skyrim installation. Do NOT launch Skyrim via steam.
9. All the big mod-managers out there (NMM, Wrye, MO) should automatically see that SKSE is now installed and use it but if you had the manager open while making the SKSE installation you may have to restart it.

As you may understand there is a lot of more things and tweaks that can be done with these two programs but this simple guide should get you started and on your way to a, hopefully, less problem-prone Skyrim game session.

And this concludes the lesson of today – keep it simple if possible!

Regards,
DigitalVixen

By | 2017-01-15T03:04:47+00:00 November 19th, 2015|Uncategorized|37 Comments

About the Author:

Profile photo of Mara
Creator of Skyrim Romance Mods and Forbidden Love.

37 Comments

  1. Ammie November 28, 2015 at 7:51 am - Reply

    if it’s out by the 4th of December I will consider it the best birthday present ever šŸ˜€

    • Fangirlinmyheart November 29, 2015 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Really?! Now Im all excited again šŸ˜€

      • Vianne November 29, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

        IF it’s out, IF. Don’t get to excited lol

        • Fangirlinmyheart November 30, 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

          Haha probably wont work for me šŸ˜€ I’m excited since I knew of they said ‘in a few weeks’ ^^

          • Fangirlinmyheart November 30, 2015 at 8:20 am - Reply

            Erase the ‘I knew of’ ^^ (sorry for my english)

          • Profile photo of
            AlassinSane December 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

            šŸ™‚

  2. Vianne November 26, 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Just felt I might as well say this, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope ya’ll are enjoying your families and eating good stuff!

    • Fiona November 26, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

      And to you!!

      Ate too much (as usual lol) but had a great day, hope you did too šŸ™‚

  3. tiffeny benge November 24, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

    i got question is everyone having problem getting the mod for loverslab it seem the site or im going crazy?

    • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
      DigitalVixen November 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Loverslab appear to be down for the time being.

  4. Mommam Pote November 23, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I feel like a stalker… Having to check this website every single hours XD

    • Ju' November 24, 2015 at 2:36 am - Reply

      Me too !! x)

      Thank’s from France for this amazing job ! šŸ˜€

    • Jolanta November 24, 2015 at 8:19 am - Reply

      to make the waitingtime shorter…. there is a interesting guide written by DigitalVixen on LB “Vixens Guide to modding Skyrim” šŸ™‚

      • Jolanta November 24, 2015 at 8:23 am - Reply

        sorry LB should be LL means loverslab

      • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
        DigitalVixen November 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm - Reply

        I have to say that guide is very outdated by now! While a lot is still true one shouldn’t install and tweak according to it. Although I guess the text might be an interesting read.

    • Talia November 25, 2015 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      SAME omg xD

  5. FieryDove November 23, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    This is an incredible tweak guide, thank you so much for taking the time to compile it!
    Cheers,
    FD

  6. Anonymous November 21, 2015 at 9:29 am - Reply

    .. Will it be released soon? Kinda like unfair your always saying soon( been saying soon since Sep) and then nothing ….

    • Whitewolfariteal November 21, 2015 at 10:53 am - Reply

      I know, I feel like we’ve been waiting forever!! Can’t wait for it to be released cuz I’m not playing Skyrim until Bishop can come with me again.

    • Deltoid November 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm - Reply

      Exactly! Guys throw us a date or something.. A week? Two weeks?

      • Profile photo of
        AlassinSane November 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

        That’s exactly what we’ve been doing but it only ends up futile because we cannot control events that throw a spanner in the works or the availability of the people who are helping us in their own free time. We’re not giving any definite dates until we are sure it is definite. The mod is so close to release and every one of us is aiming for the soonest date possible. It’s not like we’re delaying it intentionally!

        • Deltoid November 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm - Reply

          Oh we know… Sorry for stressing you. But wouldn’t it be cool, if you told us, the mod will be released in two months, and then uploaded it sooner? It would be a bit less frustrating!

          • Profile photo of
            AlassinSane November 21, 2015 at 3:41 pm - Reply

            That would insinuate we knew it would be done within that timeframe. When we said it was going to be released in one/two weeks it’s because at that moment in time, it was going to be released in one/two weeks. Then something happened that we didn’t expect and one/two weeks was no longer the case like we thought it would be. Rinse and repeat.
            Why would we say it’ll be out in a long amount of time when we are certain at that moment in time we’ll finish in a week and not prepare our audience like we have been doing with the mod guides and technical support? The longer we take means the more bugs can be fixed and less of a strain can be put on the team through the influx of help-with-a-bug request emails that’ll come from release when they need to take a break from working day and night.

          • Jolanta November 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm - Reply

            “all good things are worth waiting for” a German saying šŸ˜‰

    • brkndoll November 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      I think the trashy romance novel franchise has been funded totally by me for the last month while I wait. Excellent for spurring more romance novels.. Terrible for my budget!

  7. Fangirlinmyheart November 20, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Well I read it and don’t know what to do with the information ^^

    • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
      DigitalVixen November 20, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

      It’s for informations sake only – if you don’t know what to do with the information then you probably do not need it. If you however would get issues further down the line with any mod (not exclusively SRM) then it may be worth it to revisit the guide to see if it can help you with whatever issue you’re having.

      • Fangirlinmyheart November 21, 2015 at 10:55 am - Reply

        So far I didn’t have any problems šŸ˜€ but I’ll keep it in mind :3

  8. Fiona November 20, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Another pretty good mod to use is OneTweak

    You will get full screen windowed mode plus it has precache killer in it .. this can help when you have a lot of hair mods or something similar and it crashes or freezes when trying to load all the textures up …

    • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
      DigitalVixen November 20, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply

      There are several caveats with OneTweak though – for instance you can no longer set the brightness in the game which will change the intended atmosphere with other mods such as some ENBs. Precachekiller is no longer needed when using SKSE memory tweak and newer versions of RaceMenu also have the same functions built in. I wouldn’t recommend using OneTweak unless full screen windowed mode is an absolute requirement by the user.

  9. Anonymous November 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    For people who edit mods as much as I do it might be a good idea to use a save game cleaner to remove loose scripts. It helped my game tremoundosly. Just make sure to always backup your game just in case and using it if you recently upgraded to USLEEP. They also say turning off the autosave function that can help with loading and scripts.
    And don’t be afraid to use TES5Edit because it’ll do wonders.

    • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
      DigitalVixen November 19, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      I’ll cover the script cleaner at launch to further help people in preparation.

  10. Alsatia November 19, 2015 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    A long time ago there was a comment about open coties skyrim being incompatible… and i had forgotten to mention that the Bosmeric Drunken Huntsman is also mildly incompatible with the original mod.. It will not break the game or mod but the men placed there will be hidden in the added columns… haha made it a little funny…

    • Anonymous November 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

      Mods that edit city cells are usually imcompatible with Open Cities. They need a patch like Dawn of Skyrim or JKs Skyrim has for them to work properly. OC is pretty buggy though so I wouldn’t recommend using it in general tbh.

  11. Jolanta November 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    a BIG thanks for your tips, even my game is running with a lot of mods I will definitely come to this page for some advices,,thank you again!

  12. xShinku November 19, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I think I won’t play this mod until I get myself a new computer which I am going to have within the next month or two. I rather play this awesome mod on my new faster computer that I’m building than play it on the shit computer I have. I had an issue with ENB Booster because it actually made my game run slower (dropping fps). The old version worked well for me, but the new one not so much. I don’t know if it’s my computer itself, but I think once I upgrade my computer everything will work better for me.

    • Profile photo of DigitalVixen
      DigitalVixen November 19, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      You were probably using more parts of ENB than only the ENBoost. ENBoost haven’t changed since early 2014.
      Using only ENBoost it shouldn’t affect your performance negatively at all.

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