The ENB presets available for Skyrim SE have always been known to be breathtaking. They can take the scenery of any mediocre setting and make the same location look like a stunning piece of art. Unfortunately, not many players opt for this improvement due to how overwhelming the whole process can seem.
This guide will teach you how to install and configure ENB for Skyrim SE with a few easy steps. You will also find a list of some of the best ENB presets along with the most commonly used mods to go with them.
Skyrim SE has one of the most expansive worlds among the games played today. It is packed with various terrains, weathers, and locations. However, this 2016 release can hardly keep up with the robust graphics of the games released today.
Fortunately, this problem hindering Skyrim’s longevity was easily solved by ENB and the stunning presets built for it.
What is ENB?
ENB or Enhanced Natural Beauty is a post-processing effect designed to greatly improve visual aspects of the game as it gives players more control over how they want the game to look.
Since Skyrim’s ENB has a wide and complex feature set that cannot easily be dealt with by everybody, it is used with different presets that have been designed by capable creators. These presets make adjustments and focus on unique aspects of the game so you can choose what you want to prioritize.
These post-processing effects are not specific to Skyrim SE. Modding communities of many other games like Grand Theft Auto and the Witcher use ENB with its custom presets to enhance their gameplay experience.
How is ENB different from other Skyrim mods?
Unlike most Skyrim SE mods, ENB is not a plugin.
It does not come with a data folder with mod files that you can run through a mod manager. It is much more customized to the presets and mods it works with.
Compared to a lot of other mods, ENB is a very demanding tool. It alters a huge aspect of the game and will generally require better system specs to run smoothly.
What you should know before installing Skyrim ENB
While ENB mods aren’t difficult to install and run, there can be a few complications along the way.
A lot of Skyrim players often overlook these aspects while trying to enhance the game with ENB presets. These mods aren’t like the regular ones. They can be a lot more demanding and sometimes have specific procedures.
Being prepared for these unexpected problems can help you navigate your way with fewer hindrances. The following are some of the most common issues players might overlook.
Can your system run ENB for Skyrim SE?
The beautiful textures and clean visuals that ENB presets bring to Skyrim do not come without a price.
While the system requirements for Skyrim SE can be handled by most GPUs today, the same cannot be said about its graphical enhancements. These features will put lower-end systems to the test and may even cause mid-range users to make a few sacrifices.
If you’re not running a top-of-the-line gaming system, you might have to deal with a few tradeoffs. The better your specs, the more control you have over what these tradeoffs will be.
The following are some of the most common aspects you might lose on.
Frames per second
If your system cannot deal with all the ENB preset that you are running, it will start dropping its frame rate. While a smaller drop in this frame rate is nothing to complain about, huge differences can leave the game unplayable.
Most lower-end systems might not have the frame rates to spare.
Number of Mods
ENBs are a lot more demanding than regular mods. This will cause you to have a slower game if you don’t manage the number of mods you run. Deleting other mods that aren’t as necessary might be one of the tradeoffs that you will have to make.
Quality of Mods
Not all mods and presets are equally demanding. Depending on your specs, you might have to use lighter Presets. You can even get rid of the more-demanding regular mods that you used to run.
It is difficult to pinpoint the System requirements you would need to run ENBs since your experience will include a fairly unique combination of mods. The best way to figure out if your system can run these mods is by taking the time to research individual mods and run them. You can use these tradeoffs to cut a few corners and have the experience you want.
You can find a few more tips and tricks on our Skyrim Optimization Guide that will help you manage the other aspects of the game so the ENBs have more room to run.
Reading the ENB preset description
A good way to go about using ENBs for Skyrim is by first figuring out which preset you want to use and the mods that would go along with them. Doing this can save you a lot of trouble later on.
Specific files that you need from the ENB folder might be mentioned in the mod description. You will generally just need the same 2 files, but confirming this will always be a good idea.
A lot of presets require you to have certain pre-installed graphic mods. These could include mods that alter the weather, lighting, or more depending on the aspects of the game that it affects. A list of these mods can usually be found in the preset page description.
Each preset has its unique strong points. You can go through these descriptions to figure out which ones work for you.
Backing up your files
It is always a good idea to back up your files before you attempt you modify a game. If you do not want to back up all your files, at least backup the SkyrimPrefs.in and Skyrim.ini files along with your savegame data.
Installing ENB for Skyrim SE
Once you have the necessary information, all that’s left to do is install and run the ENB.
You may find this whole process to be very similar to installing ENB presets for other games, if you have done it before.
The following steps should guide you through the way.
Step 1: Download the right ENB series
The first thing you need to do is to download the ENB series from the ENBdev site.
Make sure that you download the file that works for YOUR version of the game (Special Edition). A minor mistake at this stage could derail everything else.
You will want the download the latest version of the ENB series, especially if all your mods are up to date so that you don’t face any trouble with compatibility later.
Step 2: Download an ENB preset
While an ENB series is the base used for heavy graphical enhancement, it does not make much of a difference on its own. You will need to download a custom ENB preset that has been configured with the ENB settings you are looking for to make actual changes to the game.
You can find a bunch of preset options on the Nexus Mods website. Read the descriptions of these presets to find the ones that are most suitable for you.
If you have a choice of files to download on the mod page, pick the one that is most compatible with your ENB version and the mods you currently run.
Step 3: Extract the files
The ENB series and Preset files that you download will generally be packed or zip files. You will need to unpack these files before you can use them.
You can use 7Zip, Winrar, or any other unpacking application that does the job for this.
Keep track of the folders that you extract from these files.
Step 4: Copy the files to the game folder
You will now need to copy the files from the ENB directory and preset, both of which you just extracted.
This is where things can get a little bit complicated. ENB presets sometimes have unusual requirements when it comes to the files needed. To avoid problems with the rest of the process, you should make sure that you have read the Preset page descriptions and read-me files.
Copying the files from the ENB series
Once you extract the ENB series, you will find a Wrapper version and an Injector version.
The wrapper version should work on most systems, especially if you are using Windows. It should be your go-to option. The Injector version is generally used on systems that are not compatible with the Wrapper version.
Once you open the Wrapper version folder, you will need to copy the necessary files to the root Skyrim folder. (You can find this folder through your steam apps if you’re having trouble.) Generally, You will only have to copy two files: d3d11.dll & d3dcompiler_46e.dll.
However, make sure to check the mod description in case of any additional instructions. If you find none, then only copy the two files.
Copying the files from the ENB preset
Next, you’ll need to copy the files from the ENB preset folder that you extracted to the root Skyrim folder.
Once you open the preset folder, you might find 2 more folders of the core and additional files. Open the core folder. You can deal with the additional files later.
The core folder should contain everything that you need. Copy all the files and folders that you find here to the main game folder.
Note: In some cases, You might just find another single folder that you will have to go through after the core folder. In such a case, open it and copy the files inside it. The folder you are looking for will have files visible. Sometimes, you might even find these files without a core and additional folders in the first place.
Step 5: Run the game
Before you run the game, make sure you have completed any additional steps that your preset requires you to. These could include changing your ini values or just adjusting a few settings in your Skyrim SE launcher.
If you have downloaded your ENB correctly, the game should display your ENB version on the top left side of the screen when launched.
If you have a bunch of text show up on your main screen, just press the end key to open a menu that will let you disable it.
Once you start the game, you can use the hotkeys mentioned in your preset description to adjust various aspects of the visual experience like the depth of field.
Skyrim ENB will not always work out for everybody. You may find this addition dropping your frame rates lower than you’d like, causing various bugs, or just making you deal with tradeoffs you’re not happy with.
Luckily, deleting ENB can be even easier than installing it. You may need to do a few or all of the following things until your game goes back to the way it was.
- Delete all the files that you added which say include ‘ENB’.
- Delete the d3d11.dll & d3dcompiler_46e.dll files that you copied to the Skyrim folder.
- Delete all the patches and mods that used the ENB.
- Restore any backed-up files in case you need to.
ENB presets for Skyrim SE
After you install the ENB, you will need a preset that works with it so you can get exactly what you are looking for.
This list has some of the best ENB presets found on Nexus Mods to help you make a decision.
You can find the features of each preset on the description page so you can figure out which ENB works best for you.
SkyrimSE Re-Engaged ENB
This ENB preset is one of the most popular items on the Nexus mods website. It has Presets for a huge number of weather mods including but not limited to Rustic, Vivid, and Obsidian. It is more inclusive than many other mods out there.
SkyrimSE Re-Engaged lets you alter various visual aspects of the game. It provides a high-quality depth of field, image enhancement, and an easy-to-use night brightness adjuster.
Firemanaf: the creator of the mod has also put out a guide to install their ENB related mods which makes it incredibly beginner-friendly.
Rudy ENB SE for Obsidian Weathers – Vivid Weathers – NAT 2.0
Ruby ENB SE comes with a range of preset files depending on the weather mods you use.
As the name suggests, you can pick from Obsidian Weathers, Vivid Weathers, and Nat 2.0. The mod description page provides a visual comparison between the vanilla game and popular weather mods in various lighting circumstances with this preset.
Mythical ENB – ENB preset for Mythical Ages
If you are a fan of the Mythical ages lighting and weather mod, this might be one of the best presets for you.
While this preset is not unplayable with other mods, it is specifically designed for the Mythical ENB mod. It uses soft adaptation and other features to greatly enhance the image quality, making it one of the best mod-specific presets.
Natural View Tamriel (NVT) ENB
While most presets try to enhance visuals in fantastical ways, NVT takes a grounded approach and makes Tamriel look incredibly realistic.
This preset comes with amazing SSAO effects, depth of field effects, and customization options. You easily adjust the day, night, and interior settings for your preferred balance of light and color. You can also choose the kind of preset that works best for your PC’s performance ability.
This clean-looking preset can be paired with most of the popular Skyrim SE mods out there including but not limited to Obsidian, NAT, and Cathedral.
Visceral ENB SSE
If you’re afraid of a performance hit due to heavy presets, this might be the one for you.
Visceral ENB for Skyrim SE focuses on enhancing the visual prowess of the base game without sacrificing too much performance. It aims to strike a balance between fantasy and realism with light depth-of-field effects, skin shaders, and most of your regular ENB effects.
This preset is compatible with popular mods like Rustic weather, Domomite weathers, and more.
The Intrigued ENB preset combines vivid colorful lighting of the day with dull, dark settings of the night to bring together a breathtaking view throughout the 24-hour cycle.
The wide dynamic range brought by this preset provides you with spectacular sunsets while also letting you experience gloomy overcasts and storms when you need to.
This preset comes in various versions so you can pick the one that works best for your system’s specs. The performance version is the lightest among the three and mainly works image sharpening and HDR. The quality and full-quality versions provide you with a much larger list of features.
You can find the performance hit data of all the versions in the description of the preset.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list. The Nexus mods website has a bunch of more presets that might pique your interest so make sure to check them out.
Mods used with ENB presets
Most presets work along with weather and lighting mods that enhance the base game. These mods alter the climate system of Skyrim, add weather audio, change the lighting effects and add a bunch of more features that improve your gameplay experience.
Here are some of the mods that are most commonly used with ENB presets.
Vivid Weathers Definitive Edition – a complete Weather and Visual overhaul for Skyrim
This is one of the most popular weather mods you will find. It offers over 500 variations of Skyrim’s weather patterns including rainstorms, blizzards, and thunderstorms.
Vivid Weathers includes new thunder sounds, immersive sunset and sunrise textures, Enhanced Godrays, Visible fog particles, and a lot more. While this mod is feature-rich even without a preset, it can still be enhanced by it.
Rustic Weathers and Lighting
Rustic brings a new variety of weather, color, and lighting to Skyrim to give the weather system a fascinating overhaul.
In addition to the new variation of weather systems, this mod provides you with louder thunder, winds, and rains. These weather sounds can even be heard indoors
NAT – Natural and Atmospheric Tamriel
The popular NAT mod gives you a lot more control over the weather than you are used to by making the in-game climate customizable.
It gives you access to over 70 realistic weather patterns with enhanced particle effects and cloud shadowing. NAT also adds wet shaders that improve the look of wet surfaces.
Climates Of Tamriel Special Edition – Weather – Lighting – Effects – Audio
The Climate of Tamriel mod adds hundreds of well-crafted weather patterns to Skyrim, making it look incredibly realistic.
Beautiful weather variations, Stunning sunsets, new thunder sounds, and overhauled night lighting are a few items on the long list of this mod’s features. It also adds more atmospheric interiors and darker dungeons to the game.
Obsidian Weathers and Seasons
Obsidian weathers is compatible with most presets. It is a fairly light mod that makes minor changes to the game. However, these changes are easily noticeable and can definitely be appreciated.
This mod accentuates depth in the game when looking at distant landscapes with beautiful food patterns. It gives regions of Skyrim unique weather patterns and improves the look of the environment by realistically altering saturation.
Aequinoctium – Weathers and Seasons
This is a soft weather overhaul mod that focuses on striking a balance between fantasy and realism.
Aequinoctium alters the weather system to incorporate seasonal weathers; making the days short during winter. It also adds darker nights and additional rain/thunder sounds that can be heard when indoors.
Dolomite Weathers – Natural Lighting Vivid Atmospherics II
Dolomite Weathers is a great option for players looking for a lightweight weather mod.
This mod leans strongly towards a fantasy setting with beautiful sunsets, ominous fogs, storms, and extra snow on mountain peaks. It reduces the ambient light at night to accentuate the light coming from light sources. It also performs the regular functions of a weather mod by increasing the variety of weather in the game.
Note: Just like the presets, this list is not exhaustive. Various other weather and lighting mods can be found on the website with new ones added frequently. Check out the Nexus mods website to find the weather and lighting mods that work the best for you.
If you’re new to modding Skyrim LE or SE, make sure to check out our guide about how to mod Skyrim LE & SE.
Installing ENB for Skyrim can feel overwhelming if you are new to it. The steps in this guide should help you navigate your path and make the process considerably easier.
Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have any additional tips or ENB preset recommendations? Let us know in the comment section below.