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Current best 'idiot-proof' method to introduce non-tech-savvy and/or lazy/frustratable friends to a properly modded Skyrim using Vortex?

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OK, so. In what is now a bygone era, I would more or less get pals to install Vortex, attach it to Skyrim, get SKSE working, and then start opening and installing various mods in a row from Nexus. Finishing that, they'd hypothetically deploy, then be able to play - assuming I didn't get anything too fancy to confuse them like a FNIS dependency or something.

When the Collections feature was announced, I was ecstatic, because it presented the possibility of 'install Vortex, point it at Skyrim, install SKSE, and then open this file I just sent you to download everything else.' This was my answer to getting some straggler buddies to finally try Skyrim; because they had bought into negative memes and didn't want to waste hours of time learning how to mod a game to make it stable and playable at a level they would tolerate.

Then the deletion policy change struck, the removals started, and that dream went directly down the toilet.

So, in the new era, if I wanted to slap on most of, say, Arthmoor's work in addition to a pile of mods still on Nexus, while still primarily using Vortex as a base platform, is there a clean and simple answer that doesn't involve one by one clicking on each mod per (profile/playthrough)? I am aware Wabbajack exists, but I have never used it and I am under the impression it acts as a self-contained mod manager.

The first thing that pops to mind is, use the in-game mod menu to just nab all the relevant mods from Bethesda.net automatically. This is probably a terrible idea as the load order for those mods would be completely at odds with whatever other mod manager I'd be using outside of the game proper.

Is there anything resembling a 'press button, get pile of mod zip files' for AFK-mods or similar sites? It might not be as simple as 'open this file, load collection,' but if I can simplify mass loading mods into two operations (load the nexus collection file, then mass download, drag, and drop this pile of non-nexus mods into Vortex) that would be ideal.

I am sticking with Vortex because it provides a user interface that is relatively simple to walk people through and (in my experience in the last couple years) does everything I want it to, quickly and easily, with minimal manual muss or fuss. I acknowledge MO2 is more powerful, but the sheer time investment for a proper, orthodox mod profile in MO2 was hilariously high the last time I used it. In contrast, I got a friend going from 'retail' to 'fully modded with all the classic meat and potatoes mods (most of those being Arthmoor's) plus a graphics boost or two' in Vortex to the same standard I'd use for myself in 30 minutes, flat. That was without ANY sort of collections feature or automatic mass downloading. Each mod found, and clicked to download in sequence (albeit all from one website). I was SO hopeful for 'pres butan, git gud skirym' with Collections, but c'est la vie.

My general goal here is to introduce my less tech savvy (or more lazy, or more easily frustrated) friends to one of the most successful games in the history of gaming - and to do so while giving them as smooth and Bethesda-less an experience as possible (A Bethesda experience in this context being the memetic platonic non-ideal of endless crashes, glitches, and general madness non stop). I need to get them from installing the game to playing a simply modded version of the game as quickly as possible, before their attention span or patience runs out.

I'll state for the record that I used NMM, then MO1, then MO2, then jumped to Vortex and never looked back once I got the hang of it.

So, am I barking up the wrong tree, or does there exist a simple solution compatible with Vortex in the post-Nexus-supremacy era?

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Hi Evader, and welcome,

Not too many of us use or have enough experience with Vortex to answer the question- why not post at Vortex Support?

If Vortex isn't absolutely mandatory, then by the sound of it, Wabbajack is the go-to choice for your pals, assuming their short experience in Skyrim will necessarily be enhanced by mods. Alternatively, what's wrong with playing the game with just the unofficial patch? If that were the case, installation of that, with or without any mod manager should be a cinch. Guaranteed not to compromise said attention spans or patience. :)

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If you're asking if AFKMods has an API for Vortex, no, and most likely never will. I think I can speak on behalf of all staff here that AFKMods is a "collection-free" zone.


(Also, welcome :wave: )

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