Installing your first mod with vortex (2024)

Modding is a great way to breathe new life into games that allow it. Through the use of all manner of different creations that generous authors all over the world have shared, you can create a vastly different and highly personalized experience than what the original game offers.

So you want to add mods to Skyrim Special Edition / Fallout 4?

Contrary to what some may say, though modding can become a complex hobby over time, installing your first mod is rather simple. This guide is intended to help you get started by guiding you through the process of installing and configuring Vortex and then installing your first mod.

This document is intended for those who are new to modding. For more detailed information about Vortex usage, see our general Vortex FAQ and Importing FAQ.


  • 1 Before we start:
  • 2 Installing your first mod:
  • 3 General Tips:
  • 4 Next Steps:
  • 5 Questions:

This tutorial is intended for those looking to install mods for Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.

Ensure that the game your want to mod has been downloaded and installed and has successfully been run at least once as this may be important for proper installation of game files.

Create a Nexus Mods account, if you haven't already. Registration is free, granting access to all of the files available on Nexus Mods. More information about account creation can be found here:

Download / Install Vortex

Visit the Vortex download page:

If needed, log in to the website using the tools found at the top-right corner of the website.

Navigate to the 'files' tab of the Vortex download page and click "Manual Download". This will start the download.
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According to your browser's settings, you may be asked where to save the file or it may be saved to a specified location.

After the download has completed, run the downloaded file which will begin the installation process. After a few moments, the installation process will be complete and Vortex will launch automatically.

To run Vortex in the future, simply double-click the appropriate new icon that was created on your windows desktop and/or start-menu.

Configure Vortex

First, you'll need to authorize Vortex to access your Nexus Mods account. Click the "Login or Register" button found at the top of Vortex:
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Your browser open and display the Nexus Mods website which will ask you to confirm authorisation:
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After granting Vortex access to your account, you will need to specify which games you would like to manage. Click "Select a game to manage" found under "Let's get you set up" in the dashboard:
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Navigate to the 'Discovered' tab. Vortex will try to automatically find valid installations of games it supports, which will be displayed there. Once the game you wish to manage is shown, click it's image to enable mod management (for this guide, please choose Skyrim Special Edition or Fallout 4). After your selection has been made, you will notice the game's image at the top left of Vortex, denoting that it is the game currently being managed.


If you have installed your games to a different partition or storage device than Windows, you will need to reconfigure Vortex to ensure that mods can be properly deployed. To do so, navigate to settings and click the 'mods' tab. There, set your base path to a folder that is located on the same partition as your game and ensure that the Deployment Method option is set to "Hardlink deployment".

Add a mod to your game

Traditionally, this would be the messy part. Thankfully though, Vortex makes it incredibly easy to download and manage mod installation. The first mod you will be installing will be a simple one that replaces the background of your game's main menu, adding a Nexus Mods logo.

If you're modding Skyrim Special Edition, visit the following Nexus Mods site:

If you're modding Fallout 4, visit the following Nexus Mods site:

Navigate to the "Files" tab and click the "Download with Vortex" button:
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Your browser may request permission for Vortex to handle the task, which is normal.
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After initializing the download, Vortex will then be launched, brought to the forefront of Windows, and commence the download process. You can view the progress of the download by navigating to the "Downloads" list accessed from the left column of Vortex.

After the download is complete, you will you will be alerted in Vortex with a notification message. Clicking the "install" button found in this notification will start the initial mod installation process. Alternatively, this can be done by navigating to the "Downloads" list within Vortex. There, you can click on the "install" button next to the mod's title.
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After installation, which extracts the mod's files to Vortex's staging area, those files will need to be properly deployed to your game's folder. This step can be done simply by clicking the notification shown after installation is complete.

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You're finished! Run the modded game!

To launch the game from within Vortex, simply click the game's image at the top left corner of the application window to launch the game. If enabling the downloaded mod has been successful, you should be greeted with a Nexus Mods logo displayed in the background of the game's main menu screen. After confirming the mod is working, you can now quit the game (something you'll grow accustomed to).

Congratulations, your first mod installation was successful!
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You're ready to begin your modding journey. Well done! But this is just the beginning…

Always read a file's description in its entirety before installing.
Authors and uploaders almost always include important instructions and information about the installation and intended use of their work. If the description seems beyond your needs or understanding, it may be best to come back to it after you level-up gain more modding experience.

Take things one step at a time.
Try to test each mod as you install it just to ensure that things are working as intended, disabling or uninstalling them if issues arise. Keeping this in mind will no doubt prevent potential headaches in the future.

Be aware of file requirements.
Sometimes, mods require other mods to have been previously installed in order to function properly. When applicable, this information can always be found in the "Requirements" box at the top of each file's description, or otherwise described below by the author, reinforcing the importance of reading each description carefully.

Understand that modding can create incompatible save files.
Before installing a mod, it's best to save your game directly before installing the mod. Then, if an issue should arise after adding a mod, you can return to your previous save after disabling the mod.

When issues inevitably arise, trial and error sometimes works best.
If you're having some issues, try to disable the most recent mod and try again If that doesn't help, try the next, and so-on, returning to a previous save or starting a new game as needed for testing.

Ask your fellow community members for help.
Leave a polite and detailed comment (or bug report) on the file page or take to the forums where you can find help from authors and experience mod users.

If a file description references Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) or another mod manager, it's likely safe to assume Vortex will be able to properly manage the file.

Common file requirements


Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) and Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE) allow for mod authors more freedom when modifying Skyrim / Fallout. Many mods require their use so installation is recommended.

Installation is of course optional, but highly recommended.

Searching for More mods.

For Skyrim Special Edition mods, visit:
Browse top mods:
Browse by category:

For Fallout 4 mods
Browse top mods:
Browse by category:

Endorse mods you love!
Mod authors pour a lot of work and love into their creations so be sure to show your support for their efforts. The simplest way to do this is to remember to endorse mods that you enjoy. Within Vortex, you can do this when viewing your mods list by clicking the thumbs-up icon listed with each mod. Additionally, when viewing the website, you may also be reminded to endorse previously downloaded files. This reminder can be configured in your account settings accessed from the website.

Disabling and Uninstalling mods.

Disabling a mod can be achieved simply by navigating to your mods list and clicking the status button next to the appropriate entry. This will not remove the mod from your system entirely, but will ensure that it no longer is loaded when the game is launched, keeping any installation options the mod may have offered if reenabled.

To uninstall a mod, simply browse your mod list and click the 'remove' button associated with the appropriate entry. This will remove files associated with a mod from your game, requiring reinstallation if it is to be used again in the future.

There, you are also provided the option to remove the mod's original archive file as well. Doing so will remove the mod entirely from your game, your file system, and from Vortex.

Where can I learn more about Vortex?

Vortex has been created to be a deep and powerful modding tool and the tutorial above only scratches the surface. For detailed more information about Vortex and it's usage, see our see our Vortex FAQ ([1]) Support Wiki ([2]).

For community discussion and feedback, visit our Vortex forums, here:

If you're interested in contributing to the development of Vortex, see our Github page, here:

What happened to Nexus Mod Manager?
Official support was ended for Nexus Mod Manager in favor of Vortex.

The community still maintains NMM at GitHub:

Installing your first mod with vortex (2024)
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