Installing your first mod with vortex (2023)

Modding is a great way to breathe new life into games that allow it. Using all sorts of different creations shared by generous authors from around the world, you can create a very different and highly personalized experience than what the original game offers.

Want to add mods to Skyrim Special Edition / Fallout 4?

Contrary to what some might say, while modding can become a complex hobby over time, installing your first mod is fairly easy. This guide aims to get you started by walking you through the process of installing and configuring Vortex, and then installing your first mod.

This document is intended for modding newbies. For more detailed information on using Vortex, see our General Vortex FAQ and Import FAQ.


  • 1 Before you begin:
  • 2 Install your first mod:
  • 3 general tips:
  • 4 Next steps:
  • 5 questions:

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

Make sure the game you want to mod has been successfully downloaded and installed and run at least once as this can be important for the game files to install properly.

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

Download/Install Vortex

Visit the Vortex download page:

If necessary, log into the site using the tools in the top right corner of the site.

(Video) VORTEX - Beginner's Guide #2 : Installing Mods

Go to the Files tab of the Vortex download page and click Manual Download. This will start the download.
Installing your first mod with vortex (1)

Depending on your browser settings, you may be asked where to save the file, or it may be saved to a specific location.

Once the download is complete, run the downloaded file which will start the installation process. After a few moments, the installation process will complete and Vortex will start automatically.

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

Configure Vortex

First you need to authorize Vortex to access your Nexus Mods account. Click the Sign In or Register button at the top of Vortex:
Installing your first mod with vortex (2)

Your browser will open and display the Nexus Mods website, which will ask you to confirm authorization:
Installing your first mod with vortex (3)

After you've granted Vortex access to your account, you'll need to specify which games you want to manage. On the dashboard, under Set Up Now, click Choose a game to manage:
Installing your first mod with vortex (4)

Go to the Discovered tab. Vortex will automatically try to find valid installs of compatible games that appear there. Once the game you want to manage is displayed, click on its image to enable mod management (choose Skyrim Special Edition or Fallout 4 for this guide). Once you have made your selection, you will see the game image in the top left corner of the vortex, indicating that it is the currently managed game.


If you installed your games on a different partition or storage device than Windows, you will need to reconfigure Vortex to ensure the changes can be implemented correctly. To do this, navigate to Settings and click on the Mods tab. From there, set your base path to a folder that is on the same partition as your game and make sure the Deployment Method option is set to Hardlink Deployment.

Add a mod to your game

Traditionally, this would be the messy part. Luckily, Vortex makes downloading and managing the installation of mods incredibly easy. The first mod you install is a simple mod that replaces the background of your game's main menu and adds a Nexus Mods logo.

(Video) Beginners Guide to Vortex/Nexus Modding 2021

If you are modding Skyrim Special Edition, please visit the following Nexus Mods website:

If you are modding Fallout 4, visit the following Nexus Mods website:

Go to the "Files" tab and click on the "Download with Vortex" button:
Installing your first mod with vortex (5)

Your browser may ask Vortex to take over, which is normal.
Installing your first mod with vortex (6)

After the download initializes, Vortex starts up, moves to the front of Windows, and begins the download process. You can view the progress of the download by navigating to the Downloads list, which is accessible from Vortex's left column.

Once the download is complete, you will receive a notification in Vortex with a notification message. Clicking the Install button in this notification will start the mod's initial installation process. Alternatively, you can do this by navigating to the Downloads list in Vortex. There you can click on the "Install" button next to the mod title.
Installing your first mod with vortex (7)

After the installation, which extracts the mod files to the Vortex staging area, these files should stage successfully in your game folder. This step can be done simply by clicking on the notification that appears after the installation is complete.

Installing your first mod with vortex (8)

You're done! Run the modded game!

To start the game from Vortex, simply click on the game image in the upper left corner of the application window to start the game. If activation of the downloaded mod was successful, you should see the Nexus Mods logo at the bottom of the game's main menu screen. After confirming that the mod works, you can now exit the game (something you'll get used to).

(Video) Vortex Beginner Guide - The Basics (A 2022 Guide)

Congratulations, your first mod installation was successful!
Installing your first mod with vortex (9)

You are ready to start your modding journey. Well done! But that's just the beginning...

Always read the description of a file completely before installing it.
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 might be best to come back to it after you've leveled up and gained more modding experience.

Take things one step at a time.
Try to test each mod during installation to make sure everything works as intended, and disable or uninstall it if you run into problems. Keeping this in mind will certainly avoid potential headaches in the future.

Note the file requirements.
Sometimes mods require other mods to be previously installed in order to work properly. Where appropriate, this information can always be found in the "Requirements" box at the top of each file's description, or as otherwise described below by the author, underscoring the importance of reading each description carefully.

You understand that modifications may produce incompatible backup files.
Before installing a mod, it is best to save the game right before installing the mod. If you encounter a problem after adding a mod, you can revert to your previous save after disabling the mod.

When problems inevitably arise, trial and error sometimes works best.
If you are having problems, please try disabling the latest mod and try again. If that doesn't help, try the next one and so on, revert to a previous save or start a new game if necessary for testing.

Ask other community members for help.
Please leave a polite and detailed comment (or bug report) on the archive page or go to the forums where you can find help from experienced mod authors and users.

If a file's description refers to Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) or another mod manager, Vortex may be able to manage the file correctly.

General file requirements


Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) and Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE) give modders more freedom to modify Skyrim/Fallout. Many mods require their use, so installing them is recommended.

Installation is optional, of course, but highly recommended.

(Video) How to Install Mods on Fallout 4 in 2021 the EASY way using VORTEX

Looking for more mods.

For Skyrim Special Edition mods please visit:
Home page:
Browse the best mods:
Search by category:

For Fallout 4 mods
Home page:
Browse the best mods:
Search by category:

Support the mods you love!
Mod authors put a lot of work and love into their creations, so make sure you support their efforts. The easiest way to do this is to remember to support the mods that you like. Within Vortex, you can do this when viewing your mod list by clicking the thumbs-up icon that appears on each mod. Also, when viewing the website, you may be reminded to back up previously downloaded files. This reminder can be set in your account settings, which you can access via the website.

Disable and uninstall mods.

Disabling a mod can be accomplished by simply navigating to its mod list and clicking the status button next to the relevant entry. This will not completely remove the mod from your system, but will ensure that it will no longer load when the game starts, preserving any installation options the mod may have offered if it was re-enabled.

To uninstall a mod, simply browse your mods list and click the "Remove" button associated with that entry. This will remove the files associated with a mod from your game, which will require a reinstall if you plan to use it again in the future.

There you also have the option to delete the original archive file of the mod. This will completely remove the mod from your game, your file system, and from Vortex.

Where can I get more information about Vortex?

Vortex was designed to be a comprehensive and powerful modding tool, and the tutorial above only scratches the surface. For more detailed information about Vortex and how to use it, see our Vortex FAQ ([1]) Support-Wiki ([2]).

For community discussions and feedback, please visit our Vortex Forums here:

(Video) Downloading a Mod with our mod manager Vortex 1.6

If you are interested in contributing to the development of Vortex, please visit our Github page here:órtice

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

The community continues to maintain NMM on GitHub:


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