Skyrim Special Edition
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About this mod

Completely changes the experience system in Skyrim SE. Gain XP by gaining gold. On level-up you are awarded with Skill XP to level up your skills how you choose. You do not level-up your skills through use anymore.

Permissions and credits

Ever wanted to play as a hermit pyromancer but as you played you became another generic mage adventurer because just by selling your loot your Speechcraft leveled faster than your Destruction? Ever found it weird that through each playthrough your character eventually converges to the same Mary Sue character you played last playthrough despite your best intentions starting out? Do you think it's silly that the skill usage mechanics will reward you for endlessly sneaking into a wall near enemies? While the vanilla leveling system is fantastic for players who play through the game once and move on it leaves a lot to be desired for repeated playthroughs. Gold Is XP reworks the leveling system in Skyrim SE to alleviate these problems.


Any version released for SE will do. Gold Is XP will not function without SKSE.
+ SkyUI
This is required for the MCM for Gold Is XP to work. I have only tested with SkyUI version 5.2

2.05 Update

Version 2.05 is out! This update is an incredibly small fix. Certain quests removed the entire player inventory and later added it back (Wabbajack), this was not being detected properly and was granting extra gold xp. This update just fixes this one bug. If you want to update a save from an older version for whatever reason, here's the process.

1. Load that save with the old version of Gold Is XP.
2. Go to the "Debug" submenu in the Gold Is XP MCM.
3. Record the "Current Gold XP" and "Available Skill XP" values.
4. Exit the game.
5. Remove the old version of Gold Is XP from your load order.
6. Load your save.
7. Save and exit the game.
8. Clean the new save with Resaver. Instructions on how to use resaver are on its Nexus page.
9. Install and enable the new version of Gold Is XP
10. Load the cleaned save.
11. Open the console. (~)
12. Type "set aaaGoldXPBuffered to <Current Gold XP>" where <Current Gold XP> is one of the values you recorded earlier. Hit enter.
13. Type "Set aaaGoldXPSkillXPBuffered to <Available Skill XP>" where <Available Skill XP> is the other value you recorded earlier. Hit enter.
14. Save the game. You should now be good to go. Don't forget to load your profile if you are using custom settings.


+ Gold Is XP

Instead of leveling up normally you now level-up after you collect a certain amount of gold per level (including gold from selling items). Don't worry, Gold Is XP keeps track of all the gold you have gained, you don't need to hoard it to level. You can spend it freely. Gold Is XP's leveling system is not concerned with how you did something, just the reward you gained for doing so. This is fantastic because no matter how you accomplish a task, the reward is the same. For instance, pick pocketing someone and stealing their possessions gives you the same XP as killing them and looting their body.

+ You get to level your own skills

When you level-up you get to spend the Skill XP you earned to level your skills as you wish via a menu. What you choose to level and what you don't choose really impacts how your character plays. While you play the game you no longer have to think about how you need to play to level-up the skills that you want to. You don't need to take more hits to level your armor skill, or cast spells in combat just to level-up certain skills. Play how you want to with the character build you made as opposed to playing how the game forces you to play the character build you want.

+ Sleep to level

You gain Gold XP immediately when gaining gold. When you sleep, Gold Is XP will check if you have gained enough Gold XP to level. This is primarily to prevent the player from being ambushed by the Skill Level-up menus in combat but it's Le Immersive so I'm calling it a feature. Additionally, when you sleep the experience bar will be updated to show you visually how close you are to leveling.

+ Skill books and quests that level skills no longer benefit from hoarding

In Skyrim SE it was advantageous to put off reading skill books and completing quests with skill level-ups as rewards. In Gold Is XP these level-ups are detected and do not add to the cost to level skills. Leveling a skill to 99 than reading a skill book costs the same total Skill XP as reading a Skill Book then leveling a skill to 100.

+ The Gold XP required to level increases exponentially

This essentially makes a soft level cap. You will not be able to max out every skill to 100, not even close. By default getting to level 20 should feel roughly the same as in Skyrim but you'll notice that the cost to level increases fairly dramatically beyond that. At higher levels, the cost to gain 5 more levels is roughly equal to the entire cost of leveling-up to the current level. Not only does this make leveling your character more interesting it means that the world of Skyrim won't peter out of content because you leveled to the moon.

+ Skill boosts from character creation do not increase leveling costs

This functions exactly like the skill book system. For instance if you choose to play as a Khajiit in Skyrim SE you start with a skill boost of 10 to Sneak. This normally doesn't affect your playthrough that much. Now it makes it cost 20% less Skill XP to master sneak as a Khajiit versus as a Nord. This feature stacks with skill books, quests with skill rewards, etc. It should also detect changes from character creation mods.

+ Large Gold Value XP reduction to prevent other mods messing up your progression

Mods that add quests can be a bit cavalier with the denominations of gold they hand out. The reduction formula should help with situations where you stumble across a teleporting chest and find 25k gold or when you stride into Riverwood and some Khajiit gives you a horse and 5k gold upfront to go babysit somebody else. The reduction formula diminishes amounts that are out of place and might mess up the early progression. All of this is configurable in the MCM.

+ Rebalanced player skill gain.

You will gain less Skill XP at later levels compared to vanilla. This makes it so you cannot master nearly as many skills as you could in vanilla. Combined with the soft level cap and being able to choose which skills you level and by how much, leveling skills should now be as interesting of a choice as assigning your perk points on level. This feature can be tuned in the MCM and you can restore the vanilla skill xp gains via a handy dandy profile system if you wish.

+ MCM with many configuration options

There were a lot of calculations that went in to the default settings (they aren't arbitrary) but feel free to mess around with them.

+ ESL Module option for power

Have 255 mods? No fear, this mod doesn't take up a slot.

+ FISS support

Hate having to enter your own settings in each MCM for all your mods EVERY SINGLE TIME you start a new play through? Well install FISS and you won't have to do that ever again for this mod!


+ Known Incompatibilities

Not compatible with personal Requiem ports, Experience, YASH, Trainers Galore, and Sleep to Gain XP.

+ Compatibility Guidelines

Gold Is XP should be compatible with pretty much everything else. It makes zero edits to vanilla records. This mod will not work properly with mods that use SKSE to set "Skill Use Mult," "Skill Offset Mult", or "fXPPerSkillRank" to values other than 0. I don't know of any that exist right now. Mods that grant you skill xp for doing things, like Randomized Lockpicking, should work perfectly (in that they don't give you Skill XP anymore). Mods that award you Level XP directly are incompatible, this includes Experience. Also I would avoid Sleep to Gain Experience, it's redundant at best and incompatible at worst.

Gold Is XP modifies interface/statsmenu.sfw. If you are using a mod that makes changes to this file overwrite Gold Is XP's statsmenu.sfw. After you use Books or complete quests that grant skill level-ups as rewards, it'll look like you gained Skill XP. This is due to a design decision by Bethesda to preserve the value of xp to level rather than the percentage when IncrementSkill is called. I can't override this without major skse hackery. You can't gain skill levels from this (it doesn't matter how many calls to increment skill at any level) and I erase this "gained xp" when you sleep but you will see it.

Gold Is XP now has support for mods that feature external gold storage. The mod will track gold that you've put in other containers or at the very least prevent you from gaining XP from containers whose contents it can't track. Dropping gold into the world via mods is not tracked.  So doing so will allow you to gain Gold XP repeatably. 


Gold Is XP is very light weight. Outside of initialization the only times it runs scripts are when you gain gold (selling, pick-up, whatever), and after you finish sleeping (only when uninterrupted).


Gold Is XP should uninstall nicely. Just remove, load and save, then clean that save with resaver.


Do I need to start a new game?
Technically no, but it's a good idea to. The mod will work on an existing save, but any quests that have increased your skills or skill books you have read or skill boosts from character creation won't be detected. I would recommend starting a new game.

Is this compatible with ____?
Gold Is XP should be compatible with just about any mod. If you are unsure, load up both and beat something with a stick. If you don't gain a skill level, things should be working.

Will you port this to oldrim?
I have no plans on doing that. I have other Skyrim mods I'd like to make and I don't want to commit to porting them all to Oldrim. Feel free to do so yourself.

Why can't I use trainers?
I disabled them for now as you already gain xp for gold. I have some cool ideas to fix them, but that's a little ways off right now.