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PS3 Skyrim: Elite Edition Modding Guide

Discussion in 'Skyrim' started by clayson, Sep 24, 2017.

By clayson on Sep 24, 2017 at 4:38 PM
  1. 117

    clayson Member

    Aug 16, 2017
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    Welcome Skyrim modders! This thread is a Skyrim Elite Edition modding guide where I share my research, tutorials, and other useful things. Since Elite Electronics is now done it's up to us (the users) to continue a beautiful project. If you are someone who messes around with Fallout/TES games a lot on PS3 then contact me as I am starting a research group of my own (called 5yk3). Right now there are no video guides, but I will get to making those soon. These are my methods and they work for me, so if you know a better way please inform me so I can check it out. Thanks and have a fun time modding. :-p

    Skyrim: Elite Edition Modding Guide
    Skyrim Landscape Art By tnounsy.

      Before we start there are some things we need, some things you should already have, and some terms/definitions you should know.

      Required For Everything

      • Jailbroken PS3
      • Skyrim Legendary Edition (BLUS31202)
      • Skyrim Elite Edition CORE v2.1 Installed
      • All DLC Installed (Dragonborn, Hearthfire, and Dawnguard

      .ESP (Elder Scrolls Plugin) - A plugin file used by modders for mods. Can be edited using Creation Kit. .ESP files are invisible in Skyrim, but still loaded in-game.

      .ESM (Elder Scrolls Master File) - A master file used by Bethesda required to run the game, these are loaded before any .ESP in-game. In Elite Edition mods require SKYRIM.ESM and ELITE_ELECTRONICS.ESM to run properly. .ESM files are visible in Skyrim as long as it is given a name.

      .BSA (Bethesda Softworks Archive) - A file that contains archived and packed textures, meshes, sounds, etc. This file requires a ESP/ESM to be associated with it in order for it to work. For example to load "MOD.BSA" you would need the corresponding "MOD.ESP/ESM". .BSA files are invisible in Skyrim, but still loaded in-game as long as corresponding .ESP/.ESM exists.

      .DDS (DirectDraw Surface) - File format that contains textures uncompressed/compressed that loads in game. By default Skyrim doesn't use this (it uses DDX), but it CAN be loaded. This is not a recommended format for Skyrim as it can cause memory leaks over time. Unfortunately there is no fully functional DDS to DDX converter (see "Tools" tab) so all mods are in DDS. DDS files are packed inside BSA files.

      .DDX - File format that contains what seems to be two compressed DDS files (one being low quality, the other higher quality). DDX format vary from game to game, so any extractor/compressor made properly for Skyrim most likely wouldn't work on other games. There is a functional tool for converting DDX to DDS format (see "Tools" tab). DDX files are packed inside BSA files.

      Some mods come with a .ESP/.ESM, but no .BSA. Instead they come with loose files, loose files do not work easily with Skyrim on the PS3. Instead packing it makes it easier for you and anyone else who downloads the mod. Following this you can pack loose files into a .BSA that will run on your PS3. For this example I will use the mod UNP Elusive Amethyst Armor and Weapons.


      Step 1: Create a folder named DATA (all caps) on your desktop (or anywhere you please, I recommend desktop for ease of access.

      Step 2: Drag and drop the files textures, meshes, sounds, whatever loose files you might have into the DATA folder we created.

      Step 3: Open Archive.exe (C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim).

      Step 4: When the Archive.exe window opens at the very top click "Edit" then click "Add Directory".

      Step 5:
      When a window pops up asking you to "Select Directory to Add" go to your desktop and click the "DATA" folder we made which has our textures/meshes/etc. Then click "OK".

      Now that you selected the directory you will see items listed in a box. Depending on the mod there could be more items. It should look similar to this...

      Step 6: At the top there will be a group box titled "Archive Stats".

      If the DATA folder we created has textures in it check the "Textures" checkbox, if it has meshes check the "Meshes" checkbox, etc. In my case I have just textures and meshes so I will select those two. If you have more but you don't know which ones to check then check them all it's your best bet.

      Step 7: On the right side of that you should see more options. DO NOT CLICK ANY OF THEM!

      Step 8: At the very top click "File" then "Save As".

      Step 9: When the "Save As" window pops up go to wherever you want to save your BSA (desktop, in my case) and name the file and extension in all caps the same as your ESP/ESM file, then save. For example my .ESP file is named "ELUSIVE.ESP" so I save the .BSA as "ELUSIVE.BSA".

      Now after completing these steps you have turned your loose texture/mesh/etc files into a packed .BSA which should work alongside your .ESP/.ESM file. Make sure the .BSA is the EXACT same name as the .ESP/.ESM it's associated with and that the extension is also all caps.

      Following this you can unpack almost any .BSA for your reasons. For this example I will use the .BSA in UNP Elusive Amethyst Armor and Weapons.


      Step 1: Install BSA Browser (or use the portable version), then open BSA Browser.

      Step 2: When the BSA Browser window opens near the bottom left click the "Open" button.

      Step 3: When the "Select archive to open" window pops up locate the .BSA you want to unpack, select it, and press "Open".

      You should now see the content of the .BSA inside the window.

      Step 4: Now that you opened your .BSA archive, click "Extract all".

      Step 5: When the "Select Folder" window pops up choose an empty folder with no other files in it and press "Select Folder".

      Now after completing these steps the folder you selected will have the files from the .BSA you unpacked inside of it. Now you can modify it and then pack it again using the method in the "Packing Textures/Meshes/Etc Into .BSA".

      One of the best features in Elite Edition is installing your own mods (not provided in the mod pack) from nexus or some other site. While it's true without Elite Edition you can install your own mods, with Elite Edition it makes the process %100 easier and it won't interfere with DLC. For this example I will use UNP Elusive Amethyst Armor and Weapons. This is a FTP method, if you use a USB and Multiman the process would be the same except instead of transferring files you copy them to that location.

      Step 1: Get your .BSA and .ESP/.ESM prepared. I have mine all ready. Make sure the .BSA and .ESP/.ESM has the same name all caps including the extension.

      Step 2: Open the FTP application of your choice, for me that is FileZilla. I personally recommend this.

      Step 3: At the top write your PS3's IP in the "Host:" textbox, then click "Quickconnect". If you don't know how to use FTP on PS3 install Rebug Toolbox Full. Scroll down and you will see the download. Install it to your PS3, launch it, then in the "System" category scroll up to "System Information", click it, and then connect to that IP. You need Rebug Toolbox open while you FTP if you close it the FTP ends.

      It should now list files on your PS3. Don't worry if the "Username:" textbox says "anonymous" it's fine just ignore it.

      Step 4: Go to "/dev_hdd0/game/BLUS31202/USRDIR/NPDRM", check if there is a folder that says "MODS", if there is then open it, if there isn't then create the folder. Inside "MODS" should be "DATA", if that doesn't exist also then create it. Now go inside the "DATA" folder.

      Step 5: Drag and drop the mod files into that folder. So in my case ELUSIVE.BSA and ELUSIVE.ESP goes into that folder. (Sorry, the image got a bit messed up.)

      Now you're done! The mod should load and play properly in-game. Keep in mind not all mods work and you may experience texture problems it's common.

      Converting a .ESP to .ESM has many advantages especially on console. This can help you sort load order, always see what mods are installed, and it can make other mods run off of it.


      Step 1: Download TES4Gecko and then extract it somewhere, once extracted open "TES4Gecko.jar". This won't open if you don't have Java installed.

      Step 2: Click the button "Convert to Master".

      Step 3: When "Select Plugin File" pops up go to wherever the .ESP you have is located, select it, and click "Open".

      Congrats! The .ESM should be in the same location as the .ESP you converted.

      Sorting load order is very important in Skyrim. It can help the game run faster, fix issues with mods, and more. Load order is complicated on the PS3, the load order is the way mods are listed on the "Mods" section in the main menu of Skyrim. So all the three DLC are first in the load order, then the Elite Electronics CORE comes next, and then your mods. If you installed a custom mod not in the mod pack it normally won't appear in "Mods". To make it appear you need to convert the .ESP to a .ESM. After doing so the mod will appear (not beautifully) on the "Mods" list.That way you can see the load order of custom mods as well.

      At the moment doing more testing with load order.


      I will need testers for this, people who can successfully use PS3XPORT on their OFW PS3. If you are willing to test please P.M me.


    • TOOLS-LOGO.png
      A list of useful tools for Skyrim PS3 modding. Some tools are mentioned in other tabs, but this is a compilation of all tools and also some outdated tools you should steer clear from (because it's common for beginners to use outdated tools without knowing it.)

      Skyrim Creation Kit
      DDX-DDS/DDS-DDX Conversion Tool
      BSA Browser (FOMM fork)
      FileZilla (FTP Client)

    • CREDITS-LOGO.png
      Bethesda - Creating this amazing game and the awesome Skyrim Creation Kit tool.

      @joshchawks - Head founder of the original Skyrim Elite Edition CORE. Without him none of this would be possible. Provided lots of info that helped me.

      @Death_Dealer - Co-founder of the original Skyrim Elite Edition CORE. Created the DDX conversion tools and other amazing stuff. Provided lots of info that helped me.

      Q and Timeslip - Created the BSA Browser tool to unpack .BSA archives.

      The Mighty NINE - Created the Elusive Amethyst Armor and Weapons mods I frequently use as an example in these tutorials.

      Team Gecko - The awesome creator of TES4Gecko allowing .ESP/.ESM conversions and other options.

      • Fixed up and polished some things.
      • Added Changelog tab.
      • Initially Posted

    If you want to contribute please P.M me about it, if you have questions feel free to ask. I am in NO WAY affiliated with Elite Electronics and neither is 5yk3.


    Join the PlayStation Game Modding Discord!
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018


Discussion in 'Skyrim' started by clayson, Sep 24, 2017.

    1. Death_Dealer
      I have released my dds-ddx tool, it's about 95% complete. Where the ddx-dds tool is 100%. The only thing left in dds-ddx is a little bit of header handling. And finding the compression algo used. Now i know if your paying attention here your asking yourself "how do you have it one way but not the other?" 0_o. Well the answer is pretty simple, the module used in my script can decompress a wide variety of things. So if i can find the exact compression type that the module is using and either find or make a wrapper in python for it, then finally that bit of header handling and we will all have dds-ddx:) just thought I'd drop a bit of info on that here since ddx was mentioned.
      bitsbubba, clayson and STLcardsWS like this.
    2. clayson
      Thanks for replying! :afro:
      Yes I did mention your tool a couple of times in the guide, in "Essentials", "Tools", and "Credits". I am also aware about your tools and it's limits. I will write a guide on using your tool for DDX-DDS conversion and vice versa. I will be clear to state coming from the author of the tool itself DDS-DDX conversion is not yet completed and will most likely not load in-game. I will also provide your quote so that users can understand why and maybe mess with the tool themselves. Only when I get the time to do that though, I have a lot of things to do so I thought in the beginning I would at least release guides for the basics of what you need for Skyrim EE PS3 modding. Soon more complicated stuff will come.

      Going off topic I want to give you (since you were one of the creators of EE) and others updates on my research. One things I am doing at the moment is reducing lag in-game. I checked the DLC for dirty edits and found none, made sure load order was correct for me (btw I have some PC tools in the making for this sort of this), and other such things. I didn't know this, but some mods actually detect if you are on a console and refuse to work "Realistic Lighting Overhaul" as an example. I know the whole system behind detecting if you are on console/pc, but I decided not to share it or crack it. The authors obviously don't want their mod on PS3 so I will respect that and not try or release anything.

      If you and Josh don't mind I actually have questions about certain things in Skyrim EE, if there was ever a time we could talk. PM me if you guys can ever talk. Very small questions so nothing that will take up your time. Thanks and please get back to me! :D
      bitsbubba and Death_Dealer like this.
    3. sandungas
    4. clayson
      Thanks for replying! :gorilla:
      That is interesting... I have never seen that before looking at it, it looks recent. Just checked my Skyrim Special Edition news tab on Steam and saw it. Unfortunately I cannot directly add that to the PS3. I forgot to mention this I am making my own modded continuation of Skyrim Elite Edition. One reason I cannot add that is because you apparently will have to pay a fee a week after it comes out to keep using it. So adding it to a download would be the same as downloading pirated DLC. No matter the platform, unless of course this site has no problem with me doing that (porting it from PC to PS3). Another reason is Skyrim Elite Edition already has it's fair share of bugs a glitches. Lots of problems with DLC. So I need to fix stuff before adding stuff. The only thing I can do is compile mods that do the same thing as this new survival mode and make it a mod package. I will not forget about this though I'll keep it in mind. :D
      sandungas and bitsbubba like this.
    5. sandungas
      Auch, i thought the new survival mode was going to be a free content
      But well, i was thinking mostly in a tutorial about how to integrate the files in the PS3 version (no need to share any file)... if posible because at this point before release i guess is not posible to know if this can be done, but i wanted to advise about it because you guys are very used to this file formats
      Death_Dealer likes this.
    6. pony-modz
      every time ill try to add meshes it wont load on my console any suggestion on what i can do?
      thats the file i want to add maybe thats the problem
    7. clayson
      I packed the meshes and textures correctly. This mod just crashes my Skyrim, even converted the .ESP to a .ESM and it didn't work. Also looking around there are a lot of other My Little Pony horse mods so they could be used instead. Anyways just send the original mod page and I'll have a look at it.

      Yeah of course! The only problem (lots of problems unfortunately :() is that I doubt this will be released as a separate DLC. I suspect it will be a part of "Update.esm" located in the "Data" folder for Skyrim Special Edition. I made a backup of Skyrim's current update files so I can compare them afterwards (if I am right). That way I can pin-point which files I need for this.

      One question you might be asking me is, "Wait? If you said it's paid content then why could it be part of the update files?". Well I feel like buying this new mode will have something to do with bethesda.net and when it is purchased it is unlocked. Just a theory though... I can't really be sure they list it as part of the new update when it comes out.

      Let's say the files for this new mode are separate DLC-like files for Skyrim Special Edition. I can then easily do tests and try this out hopefully with luck then release a guide for doing it. However, that doesn't mean there still can't be problems because there can be. That is all I can really think of at the moment. So I guess the end game is to wait for this one, let's cross our fingers it is separate DLC-like files and not part of the update files. :victorious: (couldn't find a crossing fingers smiley, but that looks close enough. :D)
      Death_Dealer, sandungas and bitsbubba like this.
    8. pony-modz
      Here u go https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mo...mods.com/skyrim/ajax/modfiles/?id=26677&pUp=1
      bitsbubba likes this.
    9. clayson
      UPDATE: Sorry I was out for a while I was getting really lazy and had other important stuff to do. @pony-modz please excuse me for my incredibly late response I am terribly sorry for that, I could not get your mod to work I am unsure why looking back at it, it could've been a texture problem and probably is. I think it is a RAM issue, not enough RAM I mean. The entire system froze so if I am correct that usually means a RAM problem in this situation. If I am wrong someone else please correct me.

      About the new DLC for Skyrim Special Edition, the new "Hardcore Survival Mode" I believe. It is not possible, it introduces a file format (.ESL) that probably is unrecognizable by the PS3/X360 version of Skyrim. This is most likely the case with other TES/Fallout games which on PC are updated for this format, but not PS3. Of course I could be wrong, I think it's more likely some sort of .ESL to .ESP converter will be available sometime in the future. I really underestimated Zenimax when it came to this DLC. I thought it was gonna be like the other DLC, easy to unpack and copy. However even the .BSA file is having issues. I get errors when trying to unpack it...

      "An error occurred trying to open the archive. Index was outside the bounds of the array."

      Unfortunately I don't think it's possible, possibly mods could be used to simulate this or someone can create a copy-cat version of this. :(

      http :// www.creationkit.com/fallout4/index.php?title=Data_File#Light_Master
      Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2017
      pony-modz, sandungas and bitsbubba like this.
    10. clayson
      Can a admin/mod help me please? I can't edit this thread anymore and it would really help me if I could, I could've had at least 5 to 6 more tutorials added ranging from intermediate to advanced if I had the edit permissions. I am on almost everyday checking here and usually the game modding section. Idk what can be done about this, but if a admin/mod could help me that would be nice. Thanks and take your time as I know admins/mods are usually busy. :)
    11. UniqueUserName
      Hello @clayson ,

      Mods do not have the ability to alter your permissions, however, if you dont mind taking this conversation to inbox/PM, I will take whatever time is necessary to make any needed additions to improve your thread. :)

      Check your inbox. ;)

      EDIT: Apparently @clayson didnt want that post edited after all lol... :( I received a thanks PM, but never any info-to-add/alter/change was received... Sorry everyone. :-p
      Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
      RnD_Customz, clayson and sandungas like this.
    12. RnD_Customz
      Hey, worth a mention, I've been doing alot of testing on my PS3, I've got about 4.5gb mods tested and working with each other, and no lag other than the usual engine lag.
      Simply rename .ESP files to .ESM. Works for the ps3. Also some mods only run in .ESP
      One thing I have noticed, any mods that need compatibility packs prevent the home screen from loading so you can't start a game. For instance, ordinator and hybrid werewolf/vampire w/custom races, or ordinator and apocalypse.
      I got ordinator to run with hybrid mod, but not sure if ordinator race mods will work with custom races from hybrid w/o the patch (will let you know soon) Also, I think I can get them to work VIA my other theory
      I still have to test USLEEP and Naruto overhaul and Uchiha clan mods.
      So give me a week and I'll have it all tested. I have to go back to a vanilla version to incorporate USLEEP.
      I'll upload the mod pack when finished if you like.
      Also if someone wants to make the mods into .PKG for ppl it would really help, write me [(I don't know how) yet]
      pony-modz likes this.
    13. LuanTeles

      Please can you post all working ESP ESM files working for u?
      RnD_Customz likes this.
    14. RnD_Customz
      It'll be uploaded sometime tomorrow, but will not be in .PKG format yet, so manual install is required. I've got a guy, shout out to @pony-modz, who will take it put it in .PKG format for the mod community. Also tomorrow will be a *beta release*, all mods work and I haven't had much of an fps change or any other lag issues yet...but haven't completed a playthrough yet so some bugs could still be hiding somewhere. [Will not include Naruto Overhaul or Uchia Clan,yet, and hope to incorporate USLEEP(it's a unofficial Skyrim legendary edition patch) but haven't finished with it atm, I will in morning tho) Also I didn't code any of the mods(will provide proper credits) themselves only did the porting and testing for Skyrim Elite Edition(Credits to @joshchawks and @Death_Dealer, and Elite Electronics) I am in no way affiliated with them, just an individual who dabbles
      LuanTeles likes this.
    15. RnD_Customz
      Update: mod pack will be uploaded tomorrow to Google drive and I'll be doing a full tutorial on how to install it. It's tedious but for best load order you have to install mods one by one, in less @Death_Dealer can help me understand how EliteElectronics has it setup, pls, cuz from testing I see it's by install order, I just can't find the .ini or I could release one .PKG with a custom .ini with load order rdy 2 go.
      At least thats how you setup load order in other bethseda games on PS3 is the .ini
      Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
      LuanTeles likes this.
    16. clayson
      @RnD_Customz Hey looks cool bro, if josh or deathdealer hasn't explained how they did everything I can help you with that, I saw your PM, but it's not really a group anymore, I work more solo now. Although it'll still be cool to talk to you and such.

      I understand how the load order thing works, but it was hard for me to keep up with it because I had other things to do. Anyways if you want to contact me you can join my game modding Discord and PM me there.

      RnD_Customz likes this.
    17. RnD_Customz
      I'll join you soon sorry I got alot of projects going at one time. I still have mod pack, had one or two issues before the release, so I haven't released it yet. Its really heavy in the scripting side, lol so after an hour or two, you have to save game and restart system to avoid crashes. I'm working out the kinks so for anyone who wants the pack I'll release it soon.
      clayson likes this.
    18. clayson
      So apparently now I can edit this thread. :)

      That's good because there was some info I wanted to add/alter. So expect to see some new tutorials here! Also feel free to send me your tutorials and if they are good enough I will add them! :D

      @UniqueUserName Thanks for trying to help me, I wanted to update this thread, but the way you and STL wanted me to do it was a bit weird and confusing for me (the whole BB code thing and sending you the tutorials to update it here, I thought it was just easier to edit it myself not to mention if I made a smaller error I didn't want to burden you with changing it). Haha sorry for me being lazy, although I still appreciate what you were willing to do for me. :)
      UniqueUserName likes this.
    19. UniqueUserName
      I see someone received a permissions-upgrade :D... Nice!
      :) Youre welcome.

      The BBcode, was just a copy/paste to keep all higher-elements as they are (EG bold/underline/color/url/img/etc), however I was unsure if you knew the coding-style which I why I also sent you the simplified-alternatives.

      No need to apologize, and never a burden... We are here to help. ;)
      clayson likes this.

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