Skyrim Special Edition

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About this mod

Visually crisp and distinct water combined with the most robust improvements to effects across the board. Fully compatible with ENBSeries.

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One of the many upgrades to Skyrim Special Edition is the new water flow system that allows water to bend around turns and change speed depending on the environment. While the water is much improved over the original edition of Skyrim, flowing water was applied to nearly all bodies of water, indiscriminately, resulting in odd looking water in certain situations, such as small marsh pools that flow like rivers. Realistic Water Two's (RWT) goal is to correct these issues; thus, providing realistic bodies of water. Lake, marsh, pond, river, and many more waters are provided to create visually distinct bodies of water.

  • Lakes and ocean water share the same water, visually. This fixes most distant LOD issues
  • Lakes, ponds, marsh, and small bodies of water no longer flow in any particular direction
  • Ponds, marsh, volcanic, and other waters have unique colors
  • Lakes, rivers, and oceans have new, ambient sound effects. Ponds are silent
  • Real water for blacksmith troughs with flake from the smithing (small animation)
  • Icebergs and ice chunks will sometimes crack and gurgle
  • Coastal waves from Solstheim have been added to Skyrim
  • MCM to support RWT features and to expand those features to other mods
  • Extended lake and ocean ambient looping sound effects from 30 seconds to 50 seconds
  • Water activators don't receive ripples during rainfall in vanilla. This is why small pools of water often don't have ripples during rain. RWT has a lightweight feature for adding ripples where these activators are used. It includes a lightweight script that enables/disable the ripples during/after rainfall. Thus far this feature has only been expanded to: Clearspring Tarn, Whiterun city pools, creek ends in Tundra around Whiterun, and Markarth Warrens area.

  • Large waterfalls now have improved textures, smoothed 3D geometry, faster animation, added particle splashes, expanded steam cloud particles, color edits, and increased effect distances
  • Coastal waves have been massively overhauled with brand new animation, particle effects, and textures
  • Quality (up to 4k) water surface textures that were taken from a high resolution 3D water simulation
  • Foam effects have been retextured and were generated from a high resolution 3D water simulation
  • Splash effects have been retextured and captured directly from high quality 3D particles
  • Fog and steam cloud textures have been retextured
  • Rapids have been changed to remove ugly lines and seams. Particle splashes have also been added to rapids near rocks.
  • Churning water and fountains have been edited to reduce visible seams. They have also been retextured.
  • Character splashes have been retextured and reworked. Their 3D model has also been tweaked to provide further realism.
  • Rain ripples will no longer slide across the surface of the water. They've also been retextured and transparency has been increased.
  • The green reflections emitted by some meshes when viewed at a certain angle is a bug that was introduced with Skyrim Special Edition. This bug is now fixed.
  • New meshes for volcanic water vents that have a heat wave effect
  • New sound files for water, waterfalls, waves, and ice

Optional Options (available in the main archive)
  • Waves: New hand-placed waves added along the coast of Skyrim at locations that make sense. Additional waves have also been added to Solstheim. MCM only.
  • Half Res/Quarter Res Textures: These optional textures are provided for users desiring vanilla resolution textures or for those playing on low settings.
  • Smaller Water Drops: These optional textures will produce a smaller water droplet for water drip effects. This is provided for users you feel the droplets are too large in vanilla; however, this could make them difficult to see.
  • Alternative Volcanic Water: Changes the watercolor of the volcanic tundra water from vanilla's sulphur hues to a blue-teal.

Optional Files
  • Darker Gradients: This file provides sets of darker gradient textures. These are provided for users with ENBs or lighting mods that make the lighting of the effect, such as waterfall mists and foams, too bright. Currently there are two sets provided that reduce the luminosity of the textures by -10% and -20%, respectively. This file should overwrite the Main File's assets. See our article on how users can customize the gradients to their desired preferences

Version Scheme
The scheme will be as follows:

  • Major = major changes to assets which alter the look and feel of the mod, new scripts (if applicable), new meshes or textures, etc.
  • Minor = compatibility updates, new patches, larger bug fix roll-outs, existing mesh or texture edits, etc.
  • Hotfix = hot-fixes, single bug fixes, update to installer code, etc.

Installation / Updating / Uninstall

To install RWT, simply download the file using your respective manager and use the provided FOMOD installer.
  • File structure supports BAIN.
  • Manual installation is not supported. Use a mod manager! 
  • Supported mod managers include: MO2, Vortex, and WB

Optional but recommended:
Turn off Sky reflection in your INI. Sky reflections will cause the LOD seam to be more visible on the water's surface. BethINI is highly recommended! You can also check our FAQ for manual instruction.

Installing an Update File
When an "Update File" is provided (not the Main File with FOMOD), users should not replace the mod, but rather allow the Update File to overwrite the files already installed. MO users would choose "Merge" in this case.

Updating to new version:
  1. Create a save indoors without any water (any Inn will do)
  2. Install RWT again using the FOMOD
  3. MO users should choose to "Replace" when presented with the option of installation
  4. Wrye Bash users may need to Anneal some mods

If automatically generated patches (Bashed, DynDOLOD, xLODGe, etc.) reference cell data (Cell or Worldspace) from previous RWT plugin versions, then they will need to be updated/regenerated. Users with the knowledge can do this by using xEdit, however, it's recommended to simply regenerate these patches.

If 3rd party patches reference any old record data from previous RWT plugin versions, then they will need to be updated/patched. This includes patches that are patching cell data, as well as, mods providing different watercolors.

ENB water settings will rarely need to altered between RWT updates, however, they may need to be initial adjusted when first installing RWT. This will depend upon whether or not the author designed their settings for RWT vs another water mod. See suggested, initial settings in the ENBSeries section below.
See Step Modifications reference for the section, as well.

Check the changelog for any mention of the things above needing to be addressed.

Use your mod manager to remove the mod. It is not recommended to uninstall mods mid-game.

Plugin Load Order
  • RealisticWaterTwo - Resources.esm
  • mods! mods! mods!
  • RealisticWaterTwo.esp
  • RealisticWaterTwo - ModPatches.esp (any patches installed)


Compatibility Patches
All official patches are available on the Realistic Water Two Patch Hub. Please read the description to understand our stance regarding patching.

Unofficial patches (3rd party patches) are often provided by other authors. RWT Team provides no official support for these patches. If there is an issues with a patch that is not provided on the Patch Hub, please take those issues to the author of that patch.

Not Compatible
The following mods are not compatible with Realistic Water Two:
  • SSEEdit Script - Fix Oldrim Mods Waterflow - (link)
  • This mod checks for the existence of "RiverWaterFlow" on cell records. RWT intentionally changes some of these records to provide the various custom waters. This script cannot be run on any plugins provided by Realistic Water Two; doing so will break intended edits.

ENBSeries & RWT

The core textures are designed to work out-of-the-box with ENBSeries water effects (this includes wave displacement; aka '3D waves'). The following settings within enbseries.ini are suggestions to keep most of the intended look of RWT. They are based from editing a preset using OriginalPostProcessing during clear weather. Other weathers may vary, especially if the ENB uses multiple weathers. Therefore, use these as a baseline and adjust as needed.



Specific Mods
Majestic Mountains - (link)
Install Majestic Mountains before RWT.
Majestic Mountains includes three meshes that conflict with RWT. Users should overwrite Majestic Mountains with RWT, for the time being. They are two creek meshes and one river rapids mesh.

SMIM - (link)
Install SMIM before RWT.
SMIM has one mesh that conflicts with RWT. Users should allow RWT to overwrite this mesh when using both mods or delete/hide the file from the SMIM installation. RWT fixes a green glow on this mesh caused by certain lighting conditions. The SMIM mesh was used as the base for the included, fixed file so users are still getting the SMIM fixes/updates.

ENB Particle Patch - (link)
Install ENB Particle Patch before RWT.
RWT needs to overwrite a lot of effect files in ENB PP. If you don't overwrite ENB PP, you will be missing a lot of visual upgrades and features in RWT.

Note: It has been said that the texture can cause black spray on rapids in the ENB PP. Please hide or remove this texture, as RWT will not overwrite it. Let us know if this changes or is incorrect.

Recommended Mods

Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch - (link)
An essential mod for everyone.

SSE Engine Fixes (skse64 plugin) - (link)
This mod will fix several issues within the game engine, including some FPS issues with tree LOD, but it's recommended here because it also includes a fix for the new water flow system being tied to the game's timescale. Without this mod, lowering the timescale will slow down the movement of river water. This mod fixes this so that the water flow speed will remain consistent across all timescale settings.

Bug Reports

A quick statistic: 90% of reports are user error!

Before reporting any bugs please ensure the issue has been narrowed down to Realistic Water Two and is not a conflict between mods. To do this:
  1. Remove all the mods except the game's content, the unofficial patches, and Realistic Water Two.
  2. Ensure Realistic Water Two plugins are loaded and the ESP is the last mod. If you have other plugins from RWT, follow the load order above.
  3. Run the game.
  4. At the menu screen, open the console (~)
  5. type in: coc riverwood
  6. Once in game, open the console again and type in: tmm 1
  7. Open your map and travel to the location where the issue was presenting itself. If combat is an issue, you can turn it off with the console command: tcai

If the issue is no longer present, it is either your mod list or your save file that is the issue. If the issue is still there, you've likely found an issue with the mod. Please report the issue using the "BUGS" tab above. If you're able to narrow the issue down between RWT and another mod, please report it so that I can look into making a patch.

Else, if you're not sure whether or not it's a RWT issue, you should simply post in the POSTS section. If it's a bug, we can move it to the bug reports later.

Due to the statistic above, users who don't follow these procedures to narrow down the issue before posting a bug report, will simply have their bug reported deleted. These users didn't take the time to follow these procedures and wasted our time by having to do it for them. We don't have time to sort through bug reports that end up being user error. We will help any users who have diligently attempted to narrow down the issue to RWT.

Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together a FAQ for users. This should be the first thing users check when investigating issues. Read it before posting a bug report or posting about issues!