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A new fix by meh321 for Skyrim Special Edition has been released, if his previous fixes are anything to go by this may well bloom into a few other fixes as time goes on.

SSE Fixes - Its currently in beta, but apparently fixes an SSE bug which "causes low FPS with many ESP or ESM plugins installed. Also adds option to enable OSAllocators like in vanilla Skyrim, but it's disabled by default because for me it lowered FPS slightly".

To test the issue :


What is this low FPS bug:

There is a bug in game code where if you have more than a few dozen ESP or ESM plugins installed the game FPS will become much lower in some areas. The ESP or ESM file content does not matter at all they can be empty dummy plugins with no masters. This happens because there are at least 4 nested iteration loops the game does in every frame and the lowest loop iterates for each plugin installed, normally this wouldn't be an issue but this code runs on multiple threads and for each plugin it locks a mutex every time, this is very slow. It's not even really a bug, just bad implementation.

But you can test the bug yourself, here's how

1. Make sure your FPS is uncapped completely, this means bLockFrameRate=0 in Skyrim.ini under [Display] and iVSyncPresentInterval=0 in SkyrimPrefs.ini under [Display] as well. Obviously I'm not saying to play like this, it is just used to show for the test just how much FPS you lose for nothing.

2. Get some way to display your FPS in game, could be Fraps, your graphics card software, ENB or something else.

3. Disable all mods except the base game DLC.

4. In main menu put "coc RiftenOrigin", run to the middle of marketplace and look into some specific location you can remember. Check your FPS now. For me it was 145.

5. Download empty ESP plugin, copy and rename it so you have 240 of these, or use some script to do it. Enable these plugins in-game or mod manager or however you do it.

6. Type again from main menu "coc RiftenOrigin" and go to the same place, look at the same point. Check your FPS again. This is with completely empty ESP setup with no extra anything to load.

For me it was 145 FPS without mods and 50 FPS with those empty plugins, that's huge loss for absolutely no reason. Although Riften is the most significant loss of FPS for this test.

Other places I tested:

"coc Riverwood", FPS 115 -> 80
"coc FalkreathExterior01", FPS 102 -> 53


I haven't tested it personally yet, but have no doubt meh321's results will prove true, thats an astonishing difference.

( I also do not have enough mods to make this problem manifest on my setup, so have never been aware of such a problem before now ).


So anyway, do we have a list of mods recommended in addition to the USSEP somewhere that this may be added to ?


Edit : It would not surprise me if this is also a Fallout 4 problem (it has already been mentioned that it is not a problem for Oldrim) Edit : Just saw a comment by Gamer Poets, he has seen someone test Fallout 4 with the 240 empty plugins test, and did not experience any reduction in FPS .. So this problem seems confined to Skyrim Special Edition.

Edit 2 : Ousnious has passed the info along to Bethesda, so possibility of it getting fixed in future .. maybe / maybe not / in the hands of The Nine

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Probably not as remarkable, I only have 9 plugins beyond the official content in my SSE setup, so have never noticed any degradation (and being on a much better machine now than I have ever had before it would have to be quite a difference to make me notice I think). Anyone with really light load orders will probably not notice, depending upon how fast their machine is at executing the extra loops per plugin


Edit : Just saw a comment by Gamer Poets, he has seen someone test Fallout 4 with the 240 empty plugins test, and did not experience any reduction in FPS .. So this problem seems confined to Skyrim Special Edition.

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Test your game first. I've seen reports of this issue before and tested it using the suggested 240 blank esps twice and both times was unable to reproduce any sort of frame drop or performance drain in Riften or anywhere else.

The Nexus page for this "fix" has plenty of people who have reported that it either causes them CTDs or wildly erratic frame rates after installing it, which is clearly not going to solve anything. So I'd be extremely leery of suggesting this to Bethesda because that's all we need is to trade a corner case issue that doesn't affect everyone for something that could end up making the game entirely unstable for everyone.

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Well it is still beta, so as with anything there will be system differences throwing curve balls for some but not others which in time will be ironed out I would imagine - The CTDs were due to the other beta having some kind of error to do with caching .. meh321 has now taken that beta down and working on what may be a better way of achieving his aims.

Still havent tried it myself, just dont see the need at the moment on my machine, SSE runs better than any Bethesda game I have ever tried.

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My point was more that not everyone is going to have this supposedly universal problem. It would be strongly advised to test for the fps drop first before applying the fix he's uploaded. If you don't need it, then there's no reason to install it.

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This might seem like a conspiracy theory but I'm really just curious.....

This 'fix' uses a DLL umm .. Hack right. Basically he rewrote the Bink dll that Skyrim.exe normally loads and made it load his fix dll ... That's my understanding of it.

What concerns me is that while the virus scans on Nexus shows each separate file is ok.... couldn't the chain loading of the dlls combine to something that the virus scans would alarm on?

The files on the fix page he has main file, misc file that says source code for main then there is a newer Alternate file - and no source for that file.

Everyone is seeking better performance and I worry that someone might take advantage of that.

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I would agree that it could be possible, if the author was not so well known. His Bug Fixes mod for original Skyrim is genius, and widely used. It is getting to the point where I almost have forgotten about the lip sync bug. :-)


Not to mention Crash Fixes...while controversial, it is widely used, and to great effect. And the collaboration with Sheson for the SKSE plugin preloader, which has basically made the SKSE memory patch obsolete when used with Crash Fixes.

The guy is a hell of a software engineer. I seriously doubt he has any malicious intent.

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For anything approaching sensible results on testing a program like Skyrim a clean boot is required. Keep all TSRs and services to a minimum, and refrain from (dare I say even) running it with a mod manager or sorting program in the background.

And to get the FPS- does SSE have its own counters? Still recommend the SPM but note his Limitations and Troubleshooting section.

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  • 10 months later...

I found my way here after 3 hours of searching, not so much for a fix... but just for the CAUSE of the extreme FPS drop I was experiencing in Riften. I don't know if this fix will cause problems in other areas of the game but after some testing I find myself simply stunned.

In riften with all plugins disabled:

With 200 empty plugins:

With SSE Fixes and my complete load order:

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Just a note: it was actually aers that updated SSE Fixes with meh321's permission for the last patches when meh321 was busy, so he is involved in both mods.

The " Tree LOD Alpha Update Caching/Global Form Lookup Caching " that exists on both mods may vary in performance depending on your machine so you might wanna try out both, SSE Engine Fixes does fix other stuff aswell so it recommended to run SSE Engine Fixes anyways if you wanna get rid of those other bugs.

The memory patch in both mods is highly optional, personally I like it but YMMV.

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Apologies for the double post. Disabled SSE Fixes and installed SSE Engine Fixes instead. It is beautiful. Thank you both. I was so confused! CPU's, GPU's, temp.... alll normal and a looooong way from maxed out. I believe for several hours all my neighbors heard from me is:

"But WHYYYYY? Why is DOING that?! I don't underSTAAND!"

So-ah, yeah. You guys rock; authors and testers and kindly folk all. Cheers. :D

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