The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition: How to Play With Controller While Using MO2 + SKSE

Do you identify with my struggle to mod this game AND use a Dualshock 4 or other modern controller to play on PC? Then you’re in freakin’ luck!

this solution is simultaneously so jank and yet works flawlessly for me, so i’m hoping it’ll work for anyone else in my camp.

How to Play With Controller While Using MO2 + SKSE

Step 1
  • Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition – delete skyrim.ini and skyrimprefs.ini
  • steamapps\common\Skyrim Special Edition – delete controlmap_custom.txt
Step 2
launch the game regularly with Steam; skyrim.ini + skyrimprefs.ini will regenerate automatically, controlmap_custom.txt will regenerate as soon as you rebind any keys/buttons

Step 3

  • open Mod Organizer 2
  • select SKSE in the dropdown, make a desktop shortcut for it
  • go into the shortcut’s properties, target, copy whatever’s in the second set of quotation marks. something like:
    moshortcut://skyrim script extender
Step 4

  • go to your Steam library
  • bottom left, add game, add non-steam game
  • select the desktop shortcut you created and finalize
Step 5

  • go into the properties of this new Steam shortcut
  • paste in the “moshortcut” you copied at the end of the target

congratulations. you can now launch Skyrim SE through SKSE through MO2 through Steam. why has god failed us

Step 6
  • get your controller. as far as i know, XBox 360 controllers should work, and Dualshock 4 (PS4) will work if you follow instructions
  • (Dualshock 4) if you don’t have it already, get DS4Windows. this will allow you to “emulate” a 360 controller
  • plug your controller in
Step 7

  • go to Steam, top right, launch in Big Picture mode
  • find Mod Organizer in your library
  • UNPLUG your controller. this is important
  • launch the game. you should see the command terminal pop up as the SKSE launcher launches the game

as the game loads in, you should see the Steam Big Picture overlay in the bottom right telling you how to access the Steam Community with your controller. conga rats. Big Picture is working

Step 8
  • continue off from your last save, it should work
  • go to your journal.
  • HERE is why you needed to unplug your controller. probably because of the fact that you regenerated the .inis in your documents folder, the tutorial dialogue for the journal will show up and you may or may not be able to exit it with your controller because for some reason the exit button decided not to work. AND OF COURSE if you had your controller plugged in AND you UNPLUG IT NOW, the whole game freezes. YAY
  • anyway assuming you actually unplugged your controller, exit the tutorial dialogue
  • go to gameplay settings and make sure the Controller option is ticked off
  • exit your journal into the actual game
Step 9
  • plug in your controller
  • remap any buttons you might need to remap
  • congrats. it should be working

Bonus (Still Important)

everything should work just fine as long as from now on you launch your MO2 from Steam in Big Picture mode, whether your controller is plugged in at first or not.
if you start a new game, it would be wise to keep your controller unplugged until you go through the journal tutorial.


Thanks to orniidiien for his excellent guide, all credit to his effort. if this guide helps you, please support and rate it via Steam Community. enjoy the game.

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Post Author: Robins Chew

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