For over a year now we've been working on a mod manager to replace the ailing Nexus Mod Manager. The premise was simple, attempt to combine the simplicity of the Nexus Mod Manager with the advanced functionality of Mod Organizer and create something that is accessible to all types of modders. Back in May of 2017 we named this replacement "Vortex" and we aimed for a January 2018 release date.
With that in mind, the full release of Vortex is almost upon us. To give us a bit more time to polish things up (more on the web side than the application side) we're aiming for a full unlimited alpha release of Vortex on the week starting the 12th of February.
In the meantime, we would really like to do some limited testing of our software and do a small stress test of our brand new online API service. So today, Wednesday the 31st, we will be doing a very limited release of Vortex of around 1,000 users. I plan to spread out the release through the day to try and give a chance to people from different time zones, likely opening up downloads to 200 unique users every 3 hours or so from midday GMT until I go to bed.
After discussing this at length with Tannin and the web programmers we felt a limited release over the next couple of weeks would be the most beneficial for us, allowing us to test our all new API functionality in a controlled environment in an attempt to avert the issues of the past where we inadvertently managed to DDoS our own servers with NMM releases, while also providing additional feedback for Tannin on the software side.
Vortex will be offered up for download in our mod database as its own file page. It will be left visible until 200 unique downloads have been reached, then we'll hide it again for 3 hours before making it available to a further 200 unique downloads. And so on, and so forth.
For this limited release, you will only be able to use Vortex if you first login to the software and we will be limiting the number of users who can login to Vortex via our API so even if the Vortex installer gets shared elsewhere on the internet, we'll still only allow a limited number of users to access the online services Vortex provides. This limitation will not be in the full unlimited release in two weeks time and you will be able to use Vortex without first having to login in at that point.
You should never trust any download links provided for our software anywhere other than on Nexus Mods, so if you see Vortex on other sites I highly recommend you don't install it. Not just because you're potentially inconveniencing us (and the community) by overloading our services, but also because you cannot trust the file is safe to use.
We'll also know who is using the service without downloading it from Nexus Mods, as we can correlate our download information with API logins on the site. If you're logging in but the download stats show you haven't downloaded Vortex from Nexus Mods then you've been naughty!
With the full unlimited alpha release of Vortex less than two weeks away I please ask that you think of the community, and us, and only download Vortex if you're legitimately going to use it and test it extensively over the next two weeks. If you're not going to get around to doing that within two weeks, and you're not willing to troubleshoot potential issues both with the software and with your mod setups, then please just wait! If we can get 1,000 users who thoroughly use Vortex it will provide us with an invaluable source of feedback that will mean we can improve and iterate on the software, to the benefit of everyone, that much quicker. Thank you for your understanding.
Before you enter into this process please have a think about the type of user you are and whether being a first adopter of the software is right for you, and us.
Most importantly, this is alpha software. As such, our advice would be to try out Vortex, attempt to get it setup and working with your games, but do not switch over from your usual day-to-day modding setup straight away. If you're not comfortable with this or you're chomping at the bit to switch over completely, the software likely isn't ready for your use type and we do not recommend downloading Vortex until we do the full unlimited alpha release and you see the feedback coming from other users.
Vortex installs as a separate application on your computer. Any existing installations and setups you have of NMM and/or MO will not be affected by you installing and using Vortex. The only thing that will be affected is how NXM (download) links are handled on the site, e.g. what application starts and downloads files when you click the "Download with manager" button on the site.
Vortex includes an "Import from NMM" functionality that will attempt to copy your mod setup from NMM. This is non-destructive and will not impact your NMM setup. Because of the (now) archaic way that NMM handles files in the data folder, we recommend disabling any mods you have installed in NMM (or switching to an empty profile, that will in turn clear up any files NMM has placed in your game data folder) if your import to Vortex is successful. This is because Vortex and NMM both try to keep track of which files they've installed, and using multiple modding tools for the same game at the same time makes that difficult. If you need to revert back to NMM, you can simply disable Vortex and reapply your NMM profile to return your setup to how it was before.
As always, please backup your current modding setups in case the worst happens. Ensure you create a safe copy of your mod installations somewhere else so that you can restore from this backup in case of a problem.
Even though the file page has been added to Skyrim Special Edition Nexus, the software currently supports 28 different games and we are looking for as much feedback on how Vortex works with all of these games. The games are:
- Breaking Wheel
- Dark Souls
- Dark Souls 2
- Dragon Age
- Dragone Age 2
- Dragon's Dogma
- Fallout 3
- Fallout 4 VR
- Fallout 4
- Fallout: New Vegas
- Legend of Grimrock
- No Man's Sky
- The Sims 3
- The Sims 4
- Skyrim Special Edition
- State of Decay
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- War Thunder
- The Witcher 2
- The Witcher 3
- World of Tanks
- X-COM 2
- X: Rebirth
We appreciate the patience most of you have shown over the past 18 months and hope we can hit the ground running with our official alpha release of Vortex in a couple of week's time. We're extremely happy with how the software has shaped up and its potential for the future, and we hope once you get to use it properly, you will be too.
When Vortex is available for download during this limited test run, it will be found on this page. We have also opened a new Vortex forum for users to discuss the software.