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I'm five days into rebuilding my mod list and i noticed something troubling.

Two of the mods in my load order are missing Update.esm as their master, one of those two doesn't even have Skyrim as a master.

From everything i've read over the years i gathered that every mod should at least have Update.esm as a master file, let alone skyrim.esm, for the sake of stability.

So, should i add them myself using SSEEdit or should i leave well enough alone?

(I did not mention the mods by name because i do not wish to point fingers but i will if it is required for troubleshooting)

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Every mod - with a plugin -  has Skyrim.esm as a master, otherwise there would be no records to change. I can't think of any case where it wouldn't.

Having Update.esm as a master is optional (I don't add it to my mods) so you can leave those alone unless you know for sure the mod is changing something that update.esm also changes.

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For SSE there's no upside in leaving out all 5 of the official masters. You run the risk of having your mod clash with the DLCs themselves that everyone playing SSE will have loaded regardless.

I'm also not convinced there's any benefit in leaving Update.esm out of an LE mod for the same reason. The chance is smaller of having a mod that cancels out a change there, but it can happen.

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Correct me, if I am wrong.  But hasn't CS (MW, OB) and CK always set the official master, the game master (Morrowind.esm, Oblivion.esm, Skyrim.esm), automatically regardless what master(s) a mod has when the game is launched in Windows?

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No, none of the CKs have ever enforced that. You can load the CK and simply start doing stuff without any files at all loaded. You'll be severely limited in what you can do that way, but it's entirely possible.

Games from MW up to FNV won't run without at least the primary master file loaded, even if that's a gutted version like some TCs use. SSE will load all 5 of the primary masters.

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