Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

If the mod doesn't work for you make sure you come back and follow the instructions, I've had a lot higher success rate with the instructions than with the mod.

Permissions and credits
Link to normal Skyrim version:

This mod aims to fix the bug that causes NPCs faces to become dark, grey or black. Or be mismatched with their body. Doesn't matter what skin textures you have installed, CBBE, UNPB, etc. If you have this bug the mod might fix it, I've had varying degrees of success with the mod. If it doesn't work come back and follow the instructions.

My goal with this "mod" is not to act as a one solution fix, but rather a hub for everyone experiencing the bug to come and share their solutions if mine didn't work. I'll be pinning every solution that has worked for someone in the hopes that it will work for others too. So, if you found your own solution, please by all means go and lay out your own instructions in the comments. You'll be given kudos and your post will be pinned for all to see!

So the mod quite frankly, doesn't work. I've had numerous people point that out to me and so to fix this problem I've outlined below the steps I took to fix this bug, hope it works. In my defence, all I did was the instructions below (that I discovered myself thank you very much) and saved the file and uploaded it here in the hopes it would work for others. Evidently not. Instructions are below, they're pretty straightforward and will hopefully save you from hours of surfing the web trying to find a fix like I did. 

You will need to launch Special Edition Creation Kit, this is done from the Bethesda Launcher acquired from, if you don't have the Bethesda Launcher, go and get it now. In the top right of you'll see a "Launcher" sign with the download icon next to it, click this and install the launcher.

Open the Bethesda Launcher, make an account if you haven't already. The very top icon on the left is the Special Edition Creation Kit, install this if you haven't already and launch it once it's done.

Go to File, then Data, double click on Skyrim.esm then press Ok. It's probably gonna take a while to load all this up. See at the bottom it will tell you the loading progress. If any warnings come up just click yes to all.
FOR DLC CHARACTERS: Here as well as selecting Skyrim.esm select the relevant DLC that the affected characters come from.
FOR CUSTOM NPCS: Here as well as clicking Skyrim.esm select the relevant mod that the affected NPC comes from.

Go to actors, and click on the top actor. For me this is AADeleteWhenDoneTestJeremyBig.
If you know exactly which NPCs are affected by the bug, then select only those NPCs, it will save you a lot of time. Skip to step 6 if this applies to you.

Scroll to the bottom of the list, hold Shift and click on the bottom actor. For me this is Zaynabi.

Press Ctrl+F4 and press yes. Be prepared, this is going to refresh every NPC in Skyrim's face data. It's gonna take a while. Leave it for 30 mins or so, it might come up with warnings, just click yes to all.

If you tried all of this and it didn't work, try looking at your load order. You should look at the description of mods that affect NPC facial textures and see where they recommend you put the mod in your load order. Typically, I've found that mods that affect NPC textures should go as early as possible, and definitely above custom NPC mods.

Bang, that's how I fixed it and I figured if I saved this file and uploaded it, it would fix it for others as well. Apologies to anyone who this didn't work for, if you still are having problems PM me or leave a comment.

PS: I also think that this method makes the NPC faces look extra pretty! 

Still not working?

Method 1

It's quite possible that something went wrong in the CK or my method and mod didn't fix the bug for you. If this is the case, it is highly likely that one mod is causing your NPCs to experience this bug. There are many ways to try and isolate this mod, you need only look on forums and indeed in my comment section, but I will list my personal favourite way of finding the offending mod:

1. Open up the game and find NPC(s) affected by the bug.
2. Open the console with the tilde key (under ESC).
3. Click on the NPC effected by the bug.
4. Note down the first two characters that appear in the "Editor ID" when the NPC is selected.
5. Fire up your mod manager and locate the mod that matches letters you jotted down from the "Editor ID" in the load order. (Each .ESP is assigned a  hexadecimal number in the load order, this should be to the of each mod's name in the plugin section of NMS, for example "4F" is a character you'd look for. If you're a savvy programmer, you can convert the hexadecimal number into a normal, denary number and that will be how far down in the load order the mod is).
6. There you will find your perpetrating mod.

That for me is the easiest way of isolating a mod that's causing the bug if all else fails. As with most things, it's not fool proof and if you still have problems let me know in the comments.

Method 2

For some people, another method that works after all other methods fail is the ole reliable: "setnpcweight" command.

1. Open up the console with the tilde key.
2. Click on the NPC suffering from the bug.
3. Type: "setnpcweight 35" (without the quotation marks) and then press enter.

This is another well known method that has been utilised from the very birth of this glorious game to fix numerous NPC related bugs, give it a go.

Still STILL not working?
If the four solutions described here STILL aren't working for you, the only thing I can say is that you have a very special, extraordinary bug case on your hands. I recommend digging deep into forums and Bethesda help guides for a solution, or even taking a look at your game files/hardware to see if the problem lies externally from the game.  I'll link the forums I know of below, but from here on out I'm afraid you're on your own. Good luck, brave souls, I salute you.


3/5/18 (3rd May, British calendar o.0) - I saw a new mod came out that attempts to fix mod conflicts and such. Might be worth looking into for people who still have problems with their load order.

Thanks to Psagideath for providing screenshots.