Before you begin you must have turned on Skyrim: SE and gotten to the Play/Load/Mods, ect screen first! Just installing Skyrim: SE is not enough and the Creation Kit will be unable to install properly if you have never actually played the game on the machine you are installing it to!
The new Creation Kit for Skyrim: Special Edition is available directly from https://bethesda.net/ rather than through Steam but is a little trickier. To get it go to their website and download the Bethesda.net Launcher.
Once you've downloaded the launcher, start it up by running it as Administrator. The publisher should be verified and should be Zenimax.
You'll then be prompted to sign in or create an account. This will be your credentials for their website and for the direct upload functionality to Bethesda.net from the new Creation Kit.
Note* If you cannot download/install and are not in the contiguous United States of America, you may need to use a VPN!
If you are having difficulties logging in (stuck on the spinning square)
- On windows 10 while you have a spinning square, open network and sharing center.
- Click change adapter settings.
- Right click on your active internet connection, select disable.
- Re-enable the connection in a few seconds and hope it works.
Once you're logged in you'll see a sidebar to your right and you'll want to click on the icon for the Creation Kit. Then click on Install. A EULA will pop up. Read it. No excuses. When you finish reading it, check the box and click accept.
A box, misleadingly labeled Install Options, will pop up. It shows the space the Creation Kit will use on your hard drive, how much space is available on that drive, and have a greyed out box leading to your Special Edition Skyrim install. The only two choices you can actually decide here are if you want a shortcut placed on your desktop and/or your start menu. Don't bother with either of them, you'll see why soon.
After a matter of seconds, depending on your internet, you should now be up and running and ready to go! Right? ALMOST! Close down the Bethesda.net Launcher, make sure it's not running from the system tray like a ninja still. You won't be needing it again except to check for updates to the Creation Kit and Launcher.
Navigate your way to your Special Edition Skyrim folder. Should be something along the lines of C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition Is the CreationKit.exe file there? If not, go back to the Bethesda Launcher and this time instead of clicking Play/Install go up to the Options gear and VALIDATE FILES. Don't forget to shut it back down!
Now the missing CreationKit.exe will be present, if it wasn't before. If you want a Desktop or Start Menu shortcut, make them pointing from this file. The Launcher options that set them up force you to go through the Launcher rather than directly, making an already difficult to use program that much more cumbersome.
Already properly installed? Start here!
There will also be a CreationKit.ini and go ahead and open that one. I highly recommend a text editor such as Notepad++ both for this and for later use for editing and creating scripts. If you remember the old Creation Kit for Skyrim setting up this .ini is about the same. There's a [General] section, [Archive] section, and [Papyrus] section (among others).
This setting already exists and 5 is the default value. You can increase it (recommend not going higher than 7) if you want to load more of an area in the Render Window immediately (performance hit) or decrease it to 1 or anywhere in between to improve cell load times and performance.
There isn't an [Audio] section, so add that line right above the [MAIN] line and underneath the last option in [General].
Your [Audio] Section should look like this.
This stops 99.9% of all crashes in the Creation Kit. Don't ask me why, I don't even care, it works and it's beautiful and you'll love it.
At the bottom of the [General] Section add the following lines.
Without this you will be unable to edit or create any mods that involve more than vanilla Skyrim. But wait, there's more!
At the bottom of the [Archive] section you still have to add the various master files that come with the Special Edition Skyrim.
sResourceArchiveList=Skyrim - Misc.bsa, Skyrim - Shaders.bsa, Skyrim - Interface.bsa, Skyrim - Animations.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes0.bsa, Skyrim - Meshes1.bsa, Skyrim - Sounds.bsa, Update.bsaSResourceArchiveList2=Skyrim - Voices_en0.bsa, Skyrim - Textures0.bsa, Skyrim - Textures1.bsa, Skyrim - Textures2.bsa, Skyrim - Textures3.bsa, Skyrim - Textures4.bsa, Skyrim - Textures5.bsa, Skyrim - Textures6.bsa, Skyrim - Textures7.bsa, Skyrim - Textures8.bsa, Skyrim - Patch.bsa, Update.bsa
These lines already exist and have things in them! We just want to add to the end of each
Some people don't need to add them to the SResourcheArchiveList, but it won't hurt anything if you do and didn't need to.
Now can we turn on the Creation Kit? Yes! Well, almost. You can, but do one last thing first! BACKUP YOUR CREATIONKIT.INI OR YOU MAY HAVE TO DO THIS WHOLE RIGAMAROLE OVER AGAIN. I mean it. Make a backup. I just compress the file in 7z in the same folder the original is in for ease of restoration in the event something bad happens to my CreationKit.ini.
Once you're done run the CreationKit.exe as an Administrator (you can set it to always do this through the right-click options on the .exe) It will pop up a prompt. This step isn't necessary if you are going to be working on a mod for PS4 or a mod that contains no scripting whatsoever, but odds are you will one day delve into the world of scripting so you may as well get it over with now. It should be ~61MB of data to be extracted. If you do not do this and attempt to open any scripts already attached to item in the Creation Kit the properties will be blank and it may pop up an error.
Alternate Route - You can click no, and manually extract them later if you dislike the time it takes or the way the Creation Kit extracts them.
Once it's done the familiar Creation Kit splash screen will pop up and a blank gray box. After just a few seconds it will disappear and the default layout of the Creation Kit will pop up. No master files or mods are currently loaded. Everything is identical in appearance to the original Creation Kit except for a little 64-bit after the title and some menu changes.
If you go back to the Skyrim Special Edition folder there's a new file there now! It is CreatoinKitPrefs.ini Here's some customization additions you can add. Feel free to back this file up as well with your CreationKit.ini once you have it just the way you want it.
This tells the Creation Kit what to do when you double click on a script in the Creation Kit. 0 value opens the script in the external editor you have associated with .psc files. 1 value opens the script in the Creation Kit (I do not recommend). 2 value opens the properties of the script in the Creation Kit.
Stores your Bethesda.net username in the Creation Kit for easier mod packaging/uploads to their website.
This sets script fragment prefixes. Any script fragments you generate will have this in front of them to identify them as yours. It may only be 4 characters long and consist of only letters, numbers, and underscores.
Turns off the annoying (but informative) popups when loading files in the Creation Kit. No more need to click through them all! The worst error messages will be preserved in the Warnings text box which is a new addition to the Special Edition Creation Kit.
Sets how frequently the Creation Kit will autosave your plugin. The units are measured in minutes. I have personally never used this setting but it could be helpful if you are having an especially difficult time with lost work.
Don't forget to backup the CreationKitPrefs.ini if you modify it! It will make for easier restoration if anything happens to the .ini or your settings!
Blank .ESP Files and You
If you are packaging a mod that would normally use only loose files and not need an .ESP - in order to make it use a blank .ESP it requires a few additional steps.
- Your .ESP should require Skyrim.esm as a masterfile.
- Once you have loaded your blank .ESP, save it
- Once you have saved your blank .ESP, reload the mod in the Creation Kit
- You may now package your loose files with a blank .ESP and should not encounter any problems for console or other users