I posted this on stackoverflow but was advised to post here (here is a link to the stackoverflow question). I'm hoping for constructive feedback on its plausibility.

Update on progress: It looks like there are ways to stuff files back onto the console (horizon, modio, xplorer360, etc) and they do require some form of signing.

As of now, though, I've had no luck. I was hoping I could get away with just placing the ".esp" into the directory containing marketplace downloads for Skyrim, along with the signed ".bsa" file (basically a zipped up file containing any extra content the .esp will need to refer that doesn't exist in the basic game).

This doesn't work, at least not in the ways I've tried, so next I'm going to try install the entire game to my flash drive (if possible) and attempt to traverse through the game's directory (this is probably unlikely).

If anyone else has suggestions or luck or wants more detail on my failures comment/answer away.

Here is the question:

I'm thinking about buying the PC version of Skyrim to get the Creation Kit (I already own a copy for the Xbox). I have read the faq and scoured plenty of forums to see if there was some way to mod Skyrim for a console (Xbox 360, in particular), but they are generally coming up negative.

I realize the CreationKit is on the PC, but I was wondering if there was a way to set up the '.esp' (hopefully I'm interpreting this correctly) files to be placed on the Xbox 360 file system in a similar manner to how game add-ons are downloaded from the Xbox Live Marketplace.

I believe it is possible to transfer saves between the console and the PC (e.g. google: 'skyrim mod xbox360'), but these are referencing items that already exist in the game (e.g. a console command for maximum carry weight does not require reference to new animations or models).

It would probably be easier if one could navigate through the xbox's file system to see where the games' files are placed, but with the current setup, the file system is abstracted away.

Any help or insight on the matter would be much appreciated. I would love to work on a project that would make it possible to let console gamers experience and enjoy all the great mods available to the PC community.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Outside of modding the xbox, it's not likely to ever be possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – thedaian
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also modding the xbox will get you quickly banned form xbl. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 22:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedaian, you're probably right: free60.org/Reset_Glitch_Hack <- talks about how running unsigned code is probably not easily done. I had figured since it is relatively easy to transfer save information over from the PC (at least with Skyrim), it might not be a stretch to load in the references necessary to run a Skyrim mod. This was posted a while ago, but it provides a glimmer of hope: escapistmagazine.com/news/view/…. \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ClassicThunder yep, I'm aware of that. Was not planning on modding the xbox itself - at least nothing with hardware. I may actually even consider getting an XNA license, if I could have the 'game' really just serve as a hub for apps. I.e. if the game were to have access to the file system, it might be possible to toss in the file references in the mod (but this is really a stretch, since the game would probably need some sort of privileged access to write or read from anything not owned by it). \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 22:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ XNA is unlikely to help you here as any XNA apps are run within a sandboxed environment and thus don't have access to any files beyond their own. A full blown XBox SDK will let you do want you want but I doubt you're likely to enjoy pricetag nor is Microsoft ever likely to grant you distrobution access for such an app. \$\endgroup\$
    – lzcd
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 1:04

3 Answers 3


The answer is that it is probably possible with a great amount of reverse-engineering effort (but what isn't?). There was an interview with Todd Howard on this topic and he said that identical content could run on PC/Xbox 360/PS3.

The problem is that there isn't a means by which you can get the modded content back onto the console. This has nothing to do with running signed vs unsigned code, this has to do with modifying the data files and stuffing them back into the game. There simply isn't a way to do this on the console.

You could try installing the full game on the 360 hard disk and then grab some linux FUSE drivers for the 360 filesystem (http://code.google.com/p/x360/). This would at least give you filesystem access, from there caveats are sure to abound.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Awesome. I'll take a look at this. It seems this is the most productive response I've received. Thank you \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 1:26

On a possibly related note, there is an Archive.exe tool located in your Skyrim folder that comes along with the Creation Kit when you download it. It has an option to create an Xbox 360 archive - not sure what the difference is but might provide a way to package up a BSA with new resources correctly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, I'll look into this. Still trying to navigate my way through this file system business. Thanks for the post! \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 1:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if the archive.exe actually does the archiving correctly. When reading the .bsa file (which is what the archive tool spits out) on the xbox, it appears as "File corrupted." \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 3:52

If you dont have a modded box you have a long road ahead of you. Many of us even with modded boxes are having trouble modding the game with anything more than simple .esp files. This is what I would do. Remove your hard drive if you have one installed. Format a usb pendrive on the xbox. This will allow you to install the game to the pen drive as well as install DLC and a new profile. One this is done bring your pen drive to your computer and use a program called horizon to modify and change your settings. Downlaod and install the latest TU7 on the pen drive. Basicly select inject new file from horizon menu. IT will inject and sign any file you want. Now to install custom mods start with only .esps! Its simpler. Download a .esp file and use a program called Le Fluffie to create a dlc file. This is one area you went wrong the xbox cant handle a .esp file alone it has to be inside a container like. Then follow the same steps as for the title update to inject it into your profile. Now this is a quick and dirty answer. My suggestion is to look up info on Horizon and Le Fluffie as how to use them. My self I have over 40 mods running on mine as well as some custom textures but thats another whole story.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd vote this up if I could. Tried most of this except for the TU7 and Le Fluffie parts (as you already pointed out). Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll try it out this weekend and see if it works out. When you say you have 40 mods running on yours, do you mean Skyrim mods on a non-modded Xbox? Also, the mod I was trying get on was one with a custom sword texture (just wanted to see if I could get the references to the new texture objects working). Any help as to how I may go about doing that? Thanks again for the reply \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 0:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mine is modded however I have had some sucess on doing mods to my buddies which is not modded. however it is more time consuming. As far as textures go that is a little bit more complicated. The xbox supports lower textures than the pc version so you will have to lower the resolution and hope it is just a retexture and not a texture/mesh those are real horrible. Send me a mail at [email protected] if you want more help. There is alot of stuff that needs to be done ass backwards to keep skyrim running smoothly and not crashing. \$\endgroup\$
    – joe
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 1:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm.. that's too bad. It'd be really great to get the mods with the different character models and armor pieces (and to be able to mod those myself). Thanks for that, though! You'll probably be getting an email from me soon (the subject will be Skyrim Mod - funseiki) :) \$\endgroup\$
    – funseiki
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 2:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ got your email sent you one \$\endgroup\$
    – joe
    Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 5:33

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