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.
Skyrim: Elite Edition Modding Guide
Skyrim Landscape Art By tnounsy.
- Packing Textures/Meshes/Etc Into .BSA
- Unpacking .BSA Archives
- Installing Custom Mods
- Converting .ESP to .ESM
- Sorting Load Order
- Skyrim Elite Edition on OFW
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 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".
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.
Select the first three, "Compress Archive", "Retain Directory Names", and "Retain File Names".
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.
IF YOU ALREADY KNOW HOW TO USE FTP ON PS3 SKIP STEPS 2 AND 3!
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.
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)
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
THERE WILL BE MORE COMING SOON!
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.
NOTE: THIS IS A WORK-IN-PROGRESS. MORE THINGS ARE STILL BEING ADDED/EDITED! SO PLEASE BE PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDING!
By clayson on Sep 24, 2017 at 4:38 PM
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