Skyrim modding is a total mind bender for anyone new to the scene. It got so complicated that the modding community even made a mod to make mod installation and management easier – but it actually only made the prospect of installing mods even more complicated for newbies.

So with that in mind I set about installing only the most essential mods – ones that improved or added new functionality, and ones that improved the graphics. And I installed them one by one so that performance impacts, and bugs could be easily attributed to a particular mod and troubleshooting would be so much easier.

Here goes! No mod managers, no bloat, just the mods you want and how to install them

launch skyrimvr normally first to create the ini file found in documents/games/skyrimprefs.ini

Requires : Currrent VR Build
Installation : 1. Copy the .dll and .exe files to your Skyrim VR directory. This is usually in your Program Files folder under Steam\SteamApps\common\SkyrimVR\. If you see a file named SkyrimVR, this is the correct folder. Do not copy these files to the Data folder as with a normal mod. The “src” folder is only useful for programmers, most users can ignore it.

2. Copy the .pex files in Data\Scripts\ into the Data\Scripts\ folder of your installation. The .pex files are needed by all users of SKSE.
First you need to install this file from steam, just install it and you are done.
Manually copy the files into your Data folder It’s 3 folders and one file, non overwriting.
go to SkyrimVR in app local date and create a plugins.txt file and put this in it
# This file is used by the game to keep track of your downloaded content.
# Please do not modify this file.
Now to launch Skyrim with this (or any mod) you must use the SKSE file skse_loader rather than the steam launcher.

HIGGS adds some much-needed VR mechanics to Skyrim VR
The player’s hands and weapons collide with other objects
Weapons can be two-handed, (held with both hands). This is not limited to two-handed weapons, basically any weapon can. You can even two-hand a weapon while having a spell in the offhand.
Objects can be picked up using either hand, and the hand/fingers are positioned to realistically hold the object. This is separate from the base game’s grab that levitates objects in front of you.
Objects can be put into your inventory by placing them over your shoulder, and food/potions/books can be consumed by dropping them at the mouth
A “gravity gloves”-style mechanic can be used to pull objects towards you from a distance, which can then be grabbed out of the air
Bodies can be grabbed and moved around, which is a feature missing from the base game
Armor can be looted off of bodies by physically pulling it off, either using the gravity gloves mechanic or grabbing a part of the body with one hand and pulling the armor off of the same part of the body with the other hand

HIGGS also implements a few fixes to the base game
The length of the physics step is synchronized dynamically to your frame rate. This is similar to what the “Havok Fix” mod does for the non-vr version of Skyrim, and means that you do not need to modify your fMaxTime or fMaxTimeComplex ini settings to match your headset’s refresh rate or worry about vr reprojection which halves your framerate – higgs will adjust the physics step accordingly.
The base game has an issue where physics objects have flickering lighting while outdoors when their physics settles due to an optimization that was made when porting Skyrim to VR. Higgs addresses this in a performance-friendly way.
The base game does not handle certain types of melee weapon collision objects properly for the player’s hit detection, causing them to be improperly rotated or offset. Higgs patches the game to handle them properly.

This mod is very configurable! If there’s a feature you don’t like or would like to tweak part of the mod, there are a huge amount of ini options that can be changed in the included higgs_vr.ini file. See the Configuration section for more information.

Use a mod manager, or manually copy the files into your Data folder and make sure the esp is in your plugins.txt.
Included is the main dll, an esp with a couple of effect shaders for selected objects, and a papyrus api for interacting with higgs from other mods.

The basics are hopefully pretty self-explanatory to those familiar with other VR games like half life alyx, but here are the specifics.
In order to select, grab, or pull objects, you must either have your weapons sheathed, or an empty hand. This is so that higgs does not interfere during combat (as higgs uses the triggers/grips, which are also used during combat) and because higgs animates the fingers to hold the object when grabbing something.

When you point your palm at an object (note: this is different from the direction you point your hand to “activate” something, and is different from how you point your hand in Half Life: Alyx), it will become highlighted, in a red color if it would count as stealing or a blue color otherwise.
Once an object is selected from a distance, hold the trigger/grip on it and you will see a blue or red beam extending from your palm to the selected object. Pull your hand quickly away from the object in your direction to launch it towards you gravity gloves-style, after which you can let go of the trigger/grip and press it again to grab the object.

To pick up an object, move your hand close enough to the object with your palm facing towards it, until you see your hand open up and the item description text appears on the back of your hand. Then use the trigger/grip to pick it up in your hand, and let go to drop or throw it.
With an object in your hand, raise your hand to your shoulder until a constant haptic vibration plays. Let go and it’ll be picked up.
You can also consume potions, food, and ingredients that you hold by dropping them at the mouth.
Books can be dropped at the mouth to read them, and spellbooks will be instantly learned.

Similarly to grabbing regular objects, you can two-hand a weapon by grabbing the weapon held in your main hand with your offhand. You can two-hand two-handed weapons, crossbows, and one-handed weapons (including daggers) while the other hand is empty or has a spell out, and there is no restriction on where on the weapon you can grab.

When pointing your palm at a body, individual armor pieces will become highlighted. If you do the gravity gloves pulling motion when an armor piece is selected, the armor piece will unequip, drop, and fling towards you as usual, essentially looting the item.
You can also loot armor from a body by grabbing a part of the body that’s wearing that armor, and then “grabbing” the exact same part with the other hand (which will play a constant haptic vibration in that hand, and not actually grab the body) and pulling away. This will loot the armor and place it directly into that hand.

Some objects, such as books, bodies, carts with attached wheels, hanging signs, etc. that have physics constraints, use a different style of grabbing and collide with static objects such as walls and tables. This grabbing style is a little more janky than the one used for most objects, but you can enable it for all objects by setting ForcePhysicsGrab to 1 in the higgs ini file.

For other mod authors: HIGGS includes a papyrus interface for triggering / listening to certain higgs events, which can be used by other mods.
There is also a similar and more extensive c++ api that can be used by other skse plugins, which can be found on github.

Here are some common issues people have run into. If your issue is not on this list, please check your Documents\My Games\Skyrim VR\SKSE\higgs_vr.log for any errors, as well as make sure the mod and esp plugin are being loaded by the game.

Spoiler: Show
The higgs_vr.ini file is next to the dll. If you are using MO2, mods are inside the mods folder under MO2, each within their own folders. You can also right-click the mod in MO2 and select “Open in Explorer” on the left side of MO2.

Descriptions of each ini option are in the file, but some potentially useful standouts are:
The palm direction (used for grabbing) and pointing direction (used for gravity gloves pulling) can be configured independently. These are the same by default.
The gravity gloves feature can be disabled by setting FarCastRadius and FarCastDistance to 0. It can be enhanced by setting one or both of these higher.
The text on the back of your hand describing the object you’re holding can be disabled, by setting RolloverScale to 0
The highlighting blue/red effect shaders can be enabled/disabled
The havok fix and shadow update fix can be disabled if they end up causing issues for some reason
Weapon collisions can be disabled
The influence of the offhand’s rotation on the rotation of a two-handed weapon can be disabled so that only the position of the offhand matters, to make the two-handing more similar to some other VR games (but different than others). This is controlled by OffhandAffectsTwoHandedRotation.
Spellsword two-handing (two-handing your weapon while you have a spell in the offhand) can be disabled
Grabbing with an empty arrow hand or empty two-handed offhand can be disabled
Looting/highlighting of armor off of bodies can be disabled
The trigger/grip can be enabled or disabled independently, as well as whether to delay the grip inputs depending on what you have them bound to.
Haptics and sounds can be adjusted
Shoulder/mouth locations and sizes can be adjusted
Various parameters around how strict or lenient the object selection should be can be adjusted
Thresholds for various actions, such as pulling or throwing, can be adjusted