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There are a lot of mods I want to port, but I don't know how to go about it and do it properly to avoid crashes, etc. Could you put all of the steps and relevant information here so I can use it as a future reference? I am trying to port a major mod with scripts, 3d models, new items, new spells and whatnot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There might not be a universal recipe that works for all ports. Can you edit your question to give a concrete example of one problem you've encountered on a specific port, and we'll try to suggest ways to solve that issue? If that solution doesn't work for the next port, you can always ask a new question about that next specific issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 23:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ To extend the excellent comment by @DMGregory, you're asking for a guide on something that you haven't even started yet. If you want a guide go to the forums of the Nexus Mods and the like. You'll probably need to piece a few articles and forum posts together to get yourself started, then return here with specific questions if you run into trouble. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 9:58

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There is quite some elaborate process description available. The gist of it is, ESMify the masters, open in the SE CK, resave. Use SE NifOptimizer on the skinned meshes. Use the SE version of the archiving tool. By skinned meshes I refer to creatures and armors -- anything that's rigged to Skyrim's vanilla animations via bones and joints. I would run NifOptimizer on everything except particle effects for good practice.

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/17990

Changes from LE to SE:

  • vertex definitions for meshed and bounding meshes for particles (all quads)
  • textures formats were a bit changed due to the change of direct x sdk (tga formate no longer supported, dds compression slightly changed)

So the involved nodes are:

  • Nitristrips, who are deprecated
  • Nitrishapes that become bstrishapes
  • Niskin instances that have the new vertex data
  • Niparticles due to the change from the old bounding box to the bsbound

For porting to Xbox

For conversion of the ESP for SE Xbox, you open up the CK in Version Control, and check out every single form from the esm you are trying to convert. Then you save that to a plugin. Then you run it through the auto clean in xedit to remove any identical to master (itm) records. Then you merge the resulting plugin back into the master (ESM) file as in a normal merge. The new esm will have the correct version number, and all of the forms that are different in SE will be updated.

Best of success

Post Scriptum: You cannot "port back" to LE. The updates on esm/esp entries and meshes are irreversible.

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While the comments sum up how this question isn't particularly valuable for this site I will add an answer that I think can be valuable for those searching the same thing.

Many (I would go as far to say a majority) of the mods available on the Nexus for Skyrim SE are ports of existing LE mods. In fact, if you head over and look at both Nexus sites you'll find many of the "New Files" and "Hot Files" are on both, because modders tend to create them for both games simultaneously. As such, you have a plethora of existing sample cases to learn from.

Download mods from both sites that have parts of what you intend to do and examine the differences. If you want to port a mod that adds new models, find an already ported mod that adds new models. If it's scripts then do the same with that. Many mods will only need opening with the SE Creation Kit, then saving anew, to complete the port.

A key outlier here is mods that use SKSE. SKSE had to be entirely rewritten for SE and was renamed SKSE64 (because SE is 64 bit, compared to 32 bit LE). As such, while the developers of SKSE intended to create the plugin with an identical API to LE it's vital that all usage of SKSE within the mod are completely checked in-game running SKSE64 to ensure they work. Otherwise the scripts will need to be modified to match the new API.

Another point is to look out for dependencies. It's great if you port a mod to LE but if it has a dependency that hasn't been ported you'll have trouble running it (or parts of it) at all. Make sure any dependencies have been ported (by yourself or someone else) and that all references within the mod point to the ported dependency.

I would say to just dive in. Start with an LE mod loaded into the SE CK and save it - see what happens when you run the game. Troubleshoot any errors and if you can't find an answer, by all means come back and ask another question here (with a more specific problem in mind!).

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