How to mod Skyrim Natively on a Mac

30 May
Bethesda developed the Creation Engine for Sky...

Bethesda developed the Creation Engine for Skyrim. It allows for dynamic snowfall, and the integration of dragons in gameplay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Skyrim was initially made for the XBOX, it was then ported by the game makers into a PC version. This resulted in some issues according to forums on the topic. Imo it kind of explains the UI (user interface), the controls also feel more like a console game than a PC game.

It was ported into a PC. And some fans, who use macs as well ported the PC version for Macs. This process is called wrapping, im not sure about its SOPA and PIPA status, but im not telling you how to do it. As with most digitized information, it can be found somewhere out there in the web.

You CAN mod your skyrim for Mac. The process is simple, if you know how. Funny how alot of things are like that huh?

This post is not going to help if you are running boot camp. That way simplifies things since aside from not having your function keys, and needing to use a mouse you can pretty much treat your box like a windows. This is for the wrapped version running natively on the Mac OS.

Well anyways here is a step by step procedure:

1. Unpack your file.

Some files are 7zip, i use Keka for this but you can use any other file decompressor that you have on hand as long as it will do a 7z format. Many of the mods are also .rar which rarX or Keka can also decode. Some files are patches in a .exe format. This is where wrapping come in. Im not an expert on it so i wont go there but you can look into cider wrap, or wine wrap if you have an intel processor in your apple. If you have boot camp .exe performance patches should not be a problem to you, just run it and follow the readme or instruction of the modder.

2. Copy the files into your data folder.

right click your, select show package contents select: resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/Data. This is where your .esm and .esp files will go to.

Most of the games information is already in the Skyrim.esm so if a mod you download has extra folders (ie: meshes/actors/characters/, or textures folders) just paste it in. Esm files hold the textures and meshes that the game uses, some mods will have a loose file version which is more of a hassle to do manually, but will make the experience more customizeable.

The game will read the plugins/.esp files first, then the master/.esm files and within that prioritize it by date. The only problem you will have is if you have two files trying to control or texture the same thing. In that case they will have the same names, and you will have to choose which you prefer ehem *compatibility issues*.

An exemption to this is the d3d9.dll files. These files usually work on your FPS (frames per ssecond, that is how pretty it looks without stuttering or lagging) You *theoretically* can modify them to work with eachother. Rename the secondary one with an additional code or name for you to remember after the d3d9[something here with out the bracket].dll and by setting up your main d3d9.dll or EBN.ini to proxy to it. I have tried this, but somehow my textedit does not show me textual language decipherable to me. If you succeed in doing this, great! teach me how! If you can manage it the code is as follows:

ProxyLibrary=”C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\skyrim\D3D9FL.dll”

3. Add it to your plugins control list.

The first time you install a mod you will have to make this list. Create a *plain text* file in text edit, make sure it is a .txt. Rich text format/.rtf will not work! and make sure that after you edit it, before you play it is set to read only -even to yourself. You can always edit it later by unlocking the setting.

Name it Plugins.txt  and place it in resources/transgaming/c_drive/Program Files/The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim/%USERPROFILE%/Local Settings/Application Data/Skyrim. The file should read as follows:

# This file is used by Skyrim to keep track of your downloaded content.
# Please do not modify this file.

the mods you installed.esp


Forums have mentioned to keep the skyrim.esm last. Im not sure why but its what i have done and it works for me. And a note, you will always have to activate your mods manually this way. I have tried to run the nexus mod manager to no avail. I dont know about any mod managers that will work for mac, but there may be one out there.

You can keep the .esp file in your data folder  and remove it from the .txt file to deactivate it. It is tedious to keep track of all the mods you have installed and the files attached to them. Particularly with the retextures and body mods. So esm files help with that but not all of them are in that format.

Now i’ve gone and explained things garnered from forum posts and weeks of figuring out how this thing works, but it’s hard if you cant quite see it.  So here is a youtube video that might help. If video helps you, please let the author know on their page.

To learn more about the .esp and .esm files check out:

I would link to the other forums i read but there are a lot of them and i dont remember every single one. A good bet would be to check out skyrimnexus’s forum, but their search engine is a little reluctant to look for the keyword mac. I’m not a programmer or anything, so I’m sure there are many other helpful discussions there and they can explain better than i can. I just wanted to play skyrim, and I hope you get to as well.


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