0 of 0

File information

Last updated

Original upload

Created by


Uploaded by


Virus scan

Safe to use

Tags for this mod

About this mod

A trait system affecting enemy creatures' resistances and weaknesses to magic (fire/frost/shock), physical damage (blade/blunt/axes/arrows), poison and disease.

Permissions and credits
  • Spanish
  • Russian

SSE version available here.

Changes the resistances and weaknesses of creatures and armor to magic and physical damage enhancing combat challenge and variety.
21 books to be found throughout Skyrim that unlock extra effects.
Covers all vanilla armors, mage armor spells and enemies, except dragons and playable races.
Modular: choose only the creatures module, only the armors module, or both.
Compatible: Installs via a zEdit patcher for maximum compatibility.
Lightweight: only a handful of scripts, none runs more than once.


Know Your Enemy fixes Skyrim's repetitive combat by changing the resistance and susceptibility of different creatures and armor pieces to different types of damage. No longer will you be able to slaughter your way through Skyrim armed with only a single weapon or spell, instead you will need to flexibly adapt your strategy to the current foe.

Here's how it works: Know Your Enemy adds 33 different traits that affect how much an enemy is damaged by different kinds of attacks. Physical attacks are broken down into blades, axes, blunt weapons and bows. Magic attacks are broken down into fire, frost, shock, poison and disease. Each creature or armor piece is given a number of traits that stack to determine its overall resistances and weaknesses. Open the spoiler below for an armor example:


Here's a creature example too:


But that's not all! Know Your Enemy includes a series of 21 bestiaries that give information about creatures' weaknesses and unlock additional effects. The books can be found across Skyrim and will be a challenge to find, so happy hunting! To see an example of the unlockable effects, open the spoiler below:


There's one last book that acts as an in-game introduction to the armor system. It can be bought from any blacksmith.


Part of the fun is not knowing what the traits are and instead experimenting with different approaches to figure out good strategies. All the traits have corresponding loading screens that will give you tips too. But, if you really want to know exactly how each trait works and which enemies they apply to, open the spoiler below:

Creature traits:


Armor traits:



Again, I suggest you play the mod and try to figure out enemies for yourself, but for a bit more info I've added a pdf as an optional download that discusses the distribution of resistances and weakness across creatures in considerable detail. If you really want to know exactly how different enemies are affected open the spoiler below.



Know Your Enemy takes both worn armor and mage armor spells into account. For worn armor it uses the main armor piece to determine resistances and weakness, so you can wear whatever gloves, boots and helmet you want. The patcher will add the effects of the armor to its description (see installation section if you want to turn this off) and an in-game introduction to the armor system is provided by a book that can be bought from all blacksmiths. For a sneak peak open the spoiler below:

Worn armor:

Mage armor:


Know Your Enemy installs via two zEdit patchers (one for creatures, one for armor) that create esp files custom to your load order. This avoids compatibility problems with other mods and lets you install one module or both. The patchers are bundled in the download, and you will need to run them for the mod to work, here's how:

  1. Download and install the mod. Make sure know_your_enemy.esp is active.
  2. Install zEdit. You can get it here. If using MO2 make sure to add zEdit as an executable within MO2 and always run it from there.
  3. Install the patchers manually (automatic installation is bugged in zEdit 0.6.6). First locate and extract the zipped patchers that installed with the mod, they are within Skyrim/Data/zEdit patchers. Then copy the folders "KnowYourEnemyPatcher" and "KnowYourArmorPatcher" into zEdit/Modules. Then restart zEdit.
  4. Run the patchers. Start zEdit and load your full load order. Click the "jigsaw" button in the top right to see your installed patchers. Build them both individually (do not use the build all button). Then exit zEdit, saving the newly created esps. Note that if your load order includes more than 254 plugins, you will need to use this tool to load the relevant subset.
  5. Play. Activate the patch esps and load your game.

Delete the esps created by the patchers, install the new version of the mod, and re-run the patchers. Bear in mind updating mid playthrough is risky.

Uninstalling mods mid playthrough is a bad idea unless you are very careful. KYE adds perks to the player, as well as to enemies and the there is a possibility for null references to remain after uninstall. If you want to do it though, it's straightforward: deactivate the esps and remove them from your load order. Here are some extra tips: uninstall in a cell with no enemies loaded, make sure you have no copies of the KYE books on you, use a save cleaner.


Performance impact:


Know Your Enemy is designed for maximum compatibility. As of v7, with the addition of zEdit patchers, it does not edit vanilla records until the patcher is run and so it is (technically) compatible with everything. Issues can arise with mods that add new kinds of NPCs/armors/resistances as the patcher might skip them, however, I have made the patcher robust to many common mods.

100% Compatible:
Advanced Adversary Encounters - the patcher removes AAEs resistance system and replaces it with KYE's
Animal tweaks
Armor rating redux

Arrows and bolts tweaks
Artifact - The Breton Paladin

Audio overhaul Skyrim 2
Beasts of Tamriel
Better Vampires
Beyond Reach
Beyond Skyrim: Bruma

Birds and flocks
Birds of Skyrim
Carved Brink
Cats of Skyrim
Cloaks of Skyrim
Colorful Magic

Combat evolved
Complete Alchemy and Cooking overhaul
Complete crafting overhaul remade
Cutting Room Floor

Diverse dragons - KYE doesn't touch dragons
Druagr Upgrades and Improvements
Elemental Destruction Magic
- you will need the mod 'Know Your Elements' if you want the new elements added by EDM to be affected by KYE, otherwise don't load EDM when the patcher runs.
Forgotten Dungeons

Genesis - Dynamically increased spawns
Hammet's Dungeon Pack

Heavy Armory - the added weapons use vanilla keywords and so will fall into the following categories.
                             Blade: shortswords, glaives, spears, shortspears, daggers, tantos etc, tridents
                             Axe: halberds, battleaxes, hatchets
                             Blunt: clubs, maces, warhammers, quarterstaves, mauls, long maces
Height adjusted races
Helgen Reborn
High Level Enemies
Hunt of Hircine
Immersive Armors
Immersiver Horses

Increased Enemy Spawns
Konahrik's Accountrements
Magic Tweaks
Mihail's various mods
Moonlight Tales
Morrowloot Ultimate
Mortal Enemies

Project AHO
Racial body morphs
Shadow Spells Package
- you will need "KYE Light and Shadow" if you want the new spells added by SSP to be affected by KYE.
SidePannel's Leveled Skyrim
Simply Balanced
Skyrim Immersive Creatures
Skyrim Revamped - Complete Enemy Overhaul
Skyrim Sewers
Skyrim Underground
Skyrim Unleveled
- the patcher will tweak some spells so they are affected by the appropriate resistances/weaknesses
True Armor - See FAQ below
Ultimate Combat
Vanilla Creatures and Bosses Tweaked

Weapons, Armor, Clothing and Clutter Fixes

Wild World

Mods to be careful with
Bring Your Silver - the effects of BYS will stack with those from KYE making creatures like undead extremely powerful. If you are using KYE I wouldn't use BYS aswell.
Daedric Entity Restoration Project - NPCs in new races will not be affected by KYE.
Monster Mod SE -  no KYE traits will be applied to the new NPCs added by MM.
Plague of the Dead - I haven't bought it, so can't guarantee the patcher will patch the zombies.
Revenge of the enemies - effects will stack with KYE making even tougher enemies.
Ultimate Deadly Encounters/Sands of Time - the patcher will probably skip some of the new enemies

Future plans

Adjust the patcher to add compatibility with more mods.


1) Why use traits instead of just giving each species its own specific resistance and weaknesses?
Two reasons. First, traits that affect multiple species allow you to use past experience with enemies to guess at likely strategies for similar enemies. Second, traits combine in interesting and fun ways. Sometimes a creature ends up with an immunity, not from a single trait, but from how all its traits work together. Similarly, some enemies end up with crippling weaknesses.

2) Does this make the game harder?

Yes and no. If you try to play like vanilla Skyrim and use a single strategy for all enemies you will probably find some enemies extremely difficult. If you use the spoilers above to see each species weaknesses you will probably find the game a little easier (though only a few enemies have crippling weaknesses and some have none at all). If you play the way I intend and experiment with different approaches you will find new enemies tough at first, but as you learn strategies to deal with them they will become more manageable. As you discover the books new approaches will open up too.

This said, NPC AI does not take this sort of stuff into account so sometimes NPCs will have a very hard time. For instance, in one of the companion quests you are accompanied by Aela and Farkas etc and must fight ghosts. However, the weapons carried by these NPCs don't damage ghosts with KYE installed and so it will basically be up to you to kill the ghosts while the companions simply distract them. In another quest, you and Neloth (an NPC who mostly knows shock spells) fight dwarven automata, however, with KYE these are immune to shock so Neloth won't be much help. Nonetheless, these moments are few and far between, and when NPCs are your followers you can change their equipment strategically yourself (though you can't make the read the books due to an engine limitation). As such this shouldn't be a major problem.

3) Will this mod force me to play as a jack-of-all-trades?
No, however single weapon builds are less viable with this mod. Instead you should invest in two or three different attack types. So you could combine blunt weapons with offensive restoration spells (from Apocalypse for instance). Or you could combine shock magic with poison and bows. You can certainly go for a pure magic or pure physical build though; combining swords and hammers should work well too. That said, depending on which skills you favor you might still encounter a few really tricky enemies. If you really want to remain a specialist, then another option is to use a complementary follower, someone with strengths against enemies you struggle with.

4) Do I need a bashed patch?
No. The books are added to leveled lists at runtime via a script and so will be added to lists without the need of a bashed patch.

5) Where can I find the books?
The armor book is sold by all blacksmiths, but the creature books are much rarer. They can be found in boss chests associated with human(ish) enemies (bandits, imperial legion, stormcloaks, forsworn, hagravens, vampires and mages). Different books are more likely to be owned by different types of enemy (e.g. mages are more likely to own magic-relevant volumes), but any book can be found with any of the above enemies. Each boss chest has about a 10% chance of containing a book but some are much rareer than others. In general I wouldn't expect you to find all 21 volumes until you get to a very high level.

6) What's the difference between KYE's armors module and True Armor? Can I use both?
True Armor is a great mod, but you probably don't want to use it and KYE's armors add-on at the same time. For this reason, I made KYE's armors a separate esp so you can use True Armor with the KYE creatures module no problem. That said, I do think KYE's armors module is good! In general I think KYE's armors module is simple and stripped-down compared to True Armor. Here are some specific differences between the two:
- KYE's armors module is script free, True Armor uses scripts.
- KYE's armors module is has no MCM, True Armor has an MCM.
- KYE's armors effects are flat resists/weaknesses, True Armor's effects are more complex and stochastic.
- KYE's armors module is only based on the cuirass, True Armor takes all armor pieces into account.
Try both and let me know what you think!

7) Why use a zEdit patcher instead of patching via esps?
There are many reasons why a zEdit patcher is preferable to the traditional method of making patch esps:
- Because KYE edits NPCs, without the patcher it would require lots of patches, this clutters up your load order. The zEdit patcher produces a single patch esp.
- While esp patches resolve conflicts between a pair of mods, they exacerbate conflicts between more than 2 mods. Imagine you have already installed and patched AAE and SRCEO. If you tried to add KYE via patch esps this would reintroduce the incompatibility between AAE and SRCEO. With the patcher, once you have resolved the conflicts between AAE and SRCEO, KYE can be added on top without messing anything up.
- Maintaining patches for constantly updating mods is a huge amount of work, the patcher will only rarely need to be updated.
- The patcher will automatically accommodate most mods, while traditional esp patches only accommodate the mods they were built for.
- zEdit allows patchers to have optional settings (e.g. adding optional descriptions to the armor), esp patches cannot be configured this way.
Overall zEdit patchers are the future for mods that edit commonly affected records (like NPCs, races etc) and I am exceptionally grateful to Mator for providing the community with the ability to create them.

Synergistic mods

Know Your Enemy overhauls enemy defenses, but you'll probably want an enemy offense mod too. I use Skyrim Revamped - Complete Enemy Overhaul, but Advanced Adversary Encounters is another option (both are compatible with KYE). You should also pick up Mortal Enemies too and you might consider fixing up enemy combat AI, with smilodonwildcat or combat evolved (all fully compatible with KYE).

KYE gives you more reason to carry around multiple weapons, so why not show them off with a mod like visible favorited gear? You can also get a greater variety of weapons with a mod like heavy armory.

My other mods

Know Your Enemy - A resistance and weakness overhaul for enemies and armors
Trainers Galore - An expansion of the training system designed for "training only" leveling
Challenging Spell Learning - Spell Tomes trigger a costly ritual you must pass to learn spells
Pick Your Poison - An alchemical handbook to support strategic foraging
NPC Stat Rescaler - A patcher that adjusts NPC stats for faster, fairer, and less spongy combat.
XP Editor - A patcher that adjust xp gain and leveling


Thanks to Mator for creating zEdit. It is an incredible tool that offers a solution to the "rule-of-one" that plagues modding.

Special thanks to mooglerampage who helped with the design of the mage armor effects and who created Know Your Elements.

Special thanks to Sthaag, /u/TendiesForBreakfast, Takahirn, sirjesto, sasnikol, SidePannel, thelegg77, SpaceOden, purplepharaoh, theCeige, novastark, OriginalDint and FeelTheBerne who have contributed to the development of this mod by providing patches. Extra special thanks to thelegg77 whose support has been tireless.

Thanks also to tx12001 and sirjesto for their work on Advanced Adversary Encounters which was a major inspiration for this mod; the folks over at r/skyrimmods who offered feedback and encouragement, particularly Arindel who helped with adding books to leveled lists via a script and the 340 users who completed a questionnaire that helped me balance KYE; and, finally, thanks to Bethesda for making such an easily modded game that I can't put down.