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Guide for installing mods

install set up mods morrowind how to tutorial guide mod wyre mash mgexe

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#1
Kurpulio

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GUIDE FOR SETTING UP MODS FOR MORROWIND

 

Purpose of this thread is to collect every information needed to set up a modded Morrowind step by step.

For this, here you will find links to the most up-to date guides, tutorials, and videos about all necessary topics.

Aim is that new users don't waste time on trying to find and understand wrong guides that are hard to follow, out of date, or lack important information.

Note, that this guide is not for OpenMW users, see chapter 5 for info why. If a link is broken or something is not clear, leave feedback, so i can fix that part.

Check the last section for modlists!

 

0. Introduction, game install
Setting up everything will require some time, but it will be worth it.
You'll have to learn how to use a few programs for handling the downloaded mods, or enhancing game engine/graphics.
Setting up the basic must have patches/programs/mods is fairly quick.
What is more time consuming is to browse modlists and mod sites for mods you want, than make sure, that all those mods are compatible with each other, so your Morrowind is running stable without errors. It is recommended to use many mods as there are incredible additions to the game, but than you'll need to get familiar with using some mod managing tools.
 
It' best if you have an official CD install, or Steam version, or the GOG version of the game.
It is strongly recommended to not install Morrowind in Program Files folder, as there can be access permission problems with mods
 
After successful install, you'll need to find these folders, they will be used later on:
The game folder is best identified as the folder that contains Morrowind.exe and the Data Files folder  
The Data Files folder is where all of the data that the game uses is stored (textures, meshes, sounds, plugins, etc.). Normally this is where all mods are installed, and where their data is stored.

 

For Steam users there may be additional necessary steps:
Spoiler
CD install, Expansions:
Spoiler
 
1. Morrowind Code Patch - download : v2.4 https://www.nexusmod...wind/mods/19510
MCP is recommended to install before everything, as it modifies the actual codebase in Morrowind's .exe to fix many of the hardcoded bugs that are unfixable with typical mods.
It also offers many optional additions and tweaks, and it's recommended for improved stability and reduced chance of crashes.  
 
In older guides, "4GB Patch" or "Exe Optimizer" are mentioned, but they are outdated and not needed, do not install them.
 
First extract the downloaded archive somewhere. Then, apart from the Data Files folder, copy everything into your game folder. The extracted Data Files folder can be ignored as it only contains a showcase mod. Then download v.2.5beta update from here, and exctract it in game folder to overwrite v2.4 files.

To install MCP, with all of its files in your game folder, run Morrowind Code Patch.exe as admin. When MCP running, you can see lists of all of the patches it can apply.
Clicking on an entry will provide a short description of what it does. The patches are categorized on the left side: for example in -Bug Fixes- section, you'll see all of its patches are already checked.

Recommended to visit every category and read each patch's descriptions before you click on Apply. If later you want to disable/enable something later, just rerun the .exe, uncheck/check the patches, and hit Apply again.
You'll find recommendations for which patches should be avoided here in Sigourn's list and Abot's list.
 
2. Mod files
Ideally when you download a mod's .rar archive file, and exctract it, its content should look like this: 
Spoiler
This arrangement is the replication of the file order in Morrowind's Data files folder. So without any mod managing programs, you could paste the mod files in Data Files folder to make the mod work.
However, next to the raw mesh/texture/sound files, mods can contain .esp (or rarely .bsa) plugin files, and you'll need a mod manager to enable and handle them.
The .esp files contain game settings/scripts/etc, and also, in most cases they are needed to force the game to use the mod's files instead of the vanilla ones, for example to replace a texture or a model. 
The .bsa files contain resources(textures,meshes) in a single archive. To enable them you'll need to register them in the morrowind.ini file, but you'll do this with the mod managers.
 
3. Programs for managing mods
    mod installing and sorting
Before downloading any mods, you'll need a program to properly handle them.
There are many programs for this. Mod Organizer 2, Wyre Mash, Nexus Mod Manager, Oblivion Mod Manager, Vortex, Kortex, and others.
The best 2 options are Mod Organizer 2 and Wrye Mash, they have different perks. For new users, Wrye Mash may be better, as with it it's harder to do things the wrong way.
 
   mod install order
While using mod managers, you'll need a proper mod install order to avoid file overwrite conflict which means you don't get content from multiple mods in the way you want (see below).
Generally core mods with big content should be installed first, and the small ones later. So for example if you use Intelligent Textures which replaces all vanilla textures, but you also want to use a specific armor texture replacer mod, then you should install that one later.
For this, in MO2 you can rearrange mods' "priority" so that mods' files are loaded upon every game launch in an order according to that. In Wrye Mash you'll install mods manually, so you should categorize and prioritize your mod installers in advance by giving the installer archives new names that indicates their content.
 
    mod load order
Either mod manager you choose, you will also need to maintain a proper mod load order to avoid plugin conflict which result in bugs and errors (see below).
As neither MO2 or WMash has this function integrated, you will either have to do it with a program, or manually (if you know what you're doing).
For this an easy solution is Mlox where you'll need to press 1 button. It simply recommends the 'best' load order for your .esp plugins. In most cases it will be ok, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be no conflicts. In that case, you'll have to check for conflicts and change load order manually.
 
    merging leveled lists
Leveled lists account for generating random loot and enemies based on character level. The .esp files contain them.
If multiple mods modify the same leveled list, without merging them they would overwrite each other and you'd only get the content from the .esp which is loaded the latest.
For creating an .esp that contains the merged leveled lists you'll need Tes3CMD. If you use Wrye Mash, it has Tes3CMD's commands integrated
Merging will only extract and combine the leveled list parts from the .esps' of different mods into a new .esp. So you will still have to enable the mods' original .esps, and in the mod load order you'll have to set the merged .esp the latest. 
 
    fixing mod conflicts
Installing many mods can lead to some of them conflicting. We can distinguish these 2 types of mod conflict:
file overwrite conflict: If multiple mods contain mesh/texture/etc files with the same name, they will overwrite each other upon installing. 
The game will simply only use the latest, so it won't crash your game or cause errors. Just keep mod install order in mind to get the all the content you want.
When using MO2 or WryeMash as mod manager, they'll be able show you this kind of conflict. They'll flag conflicting mods, and if you select one, the program will show what other mods modify the same files.
 
plugin conflict: If the .esp files in different mods modify same things and conflict, that can lead to errors/crashes. 
This kind of conflict may still appear no matter how you change your .esp load order.
Mod mager programs can't show you the cause of these conflicts, you'll need other tools to actually find what .esps are responsible for the errors.
 
For this, your options are TESPCDTesView.
In these programs you'll select your active .esps, and the program checks for conflicts and tells which mods are causing the problem.
You can even search for a keyword in your .esps to check which one contains the 'Model', 'Texture', 'Object', etc which gave you errors upon loading.
Alternatively you can use search programs like AstroGrep or SearchMyFiles to search for text keyword in .esp file content to find the conflicting mod.
 
After you find the problematic mod, the easier solution is just to not use it. To fix certain conflicts either by cleaning or merging, you can try using TesTool, TesAme, or Tes3Merge, or if you have skills in TES Construction Set or Morrowind Enchanted Editor you can edit the .esp in it.
 
    cleaning / merging plugins
In case your downloaded mod is 'old' or 'dirty', it might need fixing. Cleaning can fix dirty references, duplicated entries, wrong game settings, junk cells , which would cause errors, bugs, mod conflicts, corrupt savegames,etc. 
For auto cleaning, available tools are Tes3CMD or TesTool, also you can remove individual unwanted records with TesAME.
 
You can merge plugings with Construction Set or TesAME if you wan't to use lesser .esps or force fix conflicts.
Note that if the .esps modify same things, merging them means the common entries will only be overwritten by the secondary mod, and not combined.
For combining, you may use Tes3Merge which creates a new patch .esp that contains only the combined entries.
After merging, remember to clean the resulting .esp.
 
    repair a save game file
Your save game can become dependent on mods. When you make any changes to your mods, your save game file can become corrupted and crash the game, as it can't find files/settings from a mod it depends on. In this case you can use Wrye Mash to remove dependencies and fix your save game file.
 
Its best if you create an 'mlox' folder in morrowind game folder, and after downloading, extract contents there (and keep the game folder clean)
There is a 'For users of Wrye Mash Standalone' folder in the archive, but ignore it, leave everything as is.
When opening the program, you'll see a wall of text in the 'Messages' tab, but those infos are outdated, ignore that too.
 
Later on you will run and use Mlox through the mod manager you choose. 
When Mlox is opened, you only need to press the 'Update Load Order' button and close it.
It is best if you do this every time you install a new mod.
Check this video for further info : www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKuMT5RT2IE&t=1144s
 
3.2 Tes3CMD download : https://code.google..../mlox/downloads (get tes3cmd-0.37v)
New players may only need this TesXXX program, only check the others if you run into problems.
A command line tool, but don't be frightened, fairly easy to use. (In Wrye Mash the commands below are integrated in the UI if you installed Tes3CMD)
For installing, put tes3cmd.exe into your Data Files folder.
Mostly you'll only need to use 2 commands, you'll find out how to use them in the following videos:
 
<clean> : Removes various junk entries from individual .esp files - https://www.youtube....h?v=Dlea3Ozrtaw
 If you run the command on a .esp, it will create a new, 'clean' version of it.
 
<multipatch>: Checks for issues in your current mod load order, fixes some conflicts, creates a merged leveled list - https://youtu.be/Dlea3Ozrtaw?t=514
Running the command will create a new "multipatch.esp" which will contain the merged leveled lists from the .esps, and it will be activated as latest.
 
More info - here , here, here
 
3.3 TesPCD / TesView / TesTool / TesAME / Tes3Merge / CS
TesPCD - for detecting conflicts
download : here
short video : here
how to use : here
TesView - for detecting conflicts
TesView is an altered version of "xEdit" program, which is a tool used in modding other games (for example its incarnations are FNVEdit for Fallout or TES5Edit for Skyrim).
For Morrowind, you can rename certain builds (versions) of xEdit into TES3View.
Spoiler
TesTool - for auto cleaning 
download here
how to use : here
TesAME - for removing unwanted records, or merging plugins
download here
how to use : here, and here
Tes3Merge - for automatically patching conflicts between mods
download here
more info : here
The tool is under development, it's best to get v.0.5 and not use faction or npc merging.
Construction Set - for merging plugins (among many other things)
You can learn how to merge plugins with CS : here
 
3.4 Mod Organizer 2 - download : https://www.nexusmod...ition/mods/6194
pros: 
-All mod files will be put in a separate folder, and loaded from there each time you launch the game.
It is possible with MO2's Virtual File System(VFS), which tricks the game and other programs into thinking that the mods are installed in the data folder while they are actually installed in their own separated folders. So your original game folder will stay intact/clean. This is useful if you want to remove a mod that replaces vanilla files.
-Ability to link MO2 program with your nexus account and download mods directly with MO2. The downloaded mods' original rar/zip files will be in a separate 'downloads' folder.
-Ability to easily rearrange downloaded mod files. Using the content in 'downloads' folder, in MO2's UI you can extract only the needed files into a separate 'mod files' folder which the game will use.
-Lots of handful features (though some aren't useful for MW), and built in tutorials on how to use them.
cons:
-Game loading time is worse than with Wrye Mash
-Certain mods don't work, or complicated to make them work  with MO2
-No built in tool to create merged leveled list
 
Install & use:
MO2's earlier (pre2.0) versions required a compatibility patch for Morrowind. But you won't need it with MO2 as it already supports Morrowind.
MO2 Installation & Setup : https://youtu.be/ruq6hQIAvB8?t=28
Recommended to follow video above. If you receive "VCRUNTIME140_1.dll was not found" system error message at first start, you have to install Visual C++ 2019 x64.
 
At first start click (Change Game)Create a new InstanceSelect Morrowind from dropdownSelect game folder.
In settings, change the path for downloaded mod files to a folder which is easier to access. It is not recommended to do this after you start downloading mods.
After downloading a mod through MO2, make sure you rearrange its content inside the MO2 program like the file order that is described in the 2. chapter.
 
External programs & MO2
To use other tools (mlox, MGE XE, CS, WryeMash, Tes3CMD) along with MO2 , you have to run these through MO2.
To do this, you have to add the programs .exe locations to MO2, and after that select them from the list, and click Run.
Spoiler
The used programs do not need to be installed in a different way or to another location than usual. MO2's VFS will guide the program to MO2's mod files.
 
MO2 & Tes3CMDYou'll need Tes3CMD's <multipatch> and <cleancommand, as MO2 can't do merged leveled list or mod cleaning.
Spoiler
MO2 & WryeMash: To repair broken saved games by removing mod dependencies, you can run WryeMash through MO2.
 
MO2 & MGE XE: For distant land creation MGE XE will need to access your MO2 mods, so you'll need to run MGE XE through MO2. Generated files will be saved to MO2files/overwrite folder, you can leave them there.
 
MO2 & CS:If you run Construction Set through MO2 to alter a mod, CS will still save the .esp inside MW main folder. So you'll have to copy the .esp afterwards to your MO2 mods folder.
 
To give you a hint, this is how a properly modded MW modlist should look like in MO2: 
It is important to categorize your mods like this so you can set load priorities easier. 
Spoiler
 
Additional information in Sigourn's and Thastus guide
You can also ask for help in Mod Organizer 2 discord, or  Skyrimmods discord.
 
3.5 Wrye Mash - download : https://www.nexusmod...wind/mods/45439  
pros: 
-  As its made directly for managing mods for Morrowind, it only has features that you need, and feels simpler to use.
-  Easier to use external tools/programs along with it (like CS, MGE XE, mlox, TesXXX, etc. )
-  Tes3CMD commands are integrated into UI
cons:
- Mod files will be put into original game folder. If mod files replace vanilla files, there is no going back after you installed the mod unless you made backup.
 
Install & use:
Extract archive in morrowind game folder and launch Mopy/mash64.exe. Upon first start in config wizard you'll have to set the following:
-game folder
-modinstallers folder
-mlox.exe location
 
I recommend installing mods with Wrye Mash the following way:
0. Create a 'ModDownloads' and a 'ModInstallers' folder outside your morrowind installation.
1. Download the mod archives in ModDownloads folder
2. Many of the downloaded mods' content will be in wrong order, so before installing them you have to rearrange their files.
    Original mod archive may contain optional files, or have unnecessary containing folders.
    Goal is to select the needed files, and remake a .rar/.zip archive out of them which matches the file order in Morrowind's Data Files folder.
3. Add a new matching name to the new archive, then put it in ModInstallers folder.
I recommend this video for additional info. (after 12:00, content is outdated, don't watch that part.)
 
Installers tab:  
Wrye Mash will use the archives in ModInstallers folder, and show them to you on the Installers tab
This is where you can actually install the mods. Right click→install will extract the archive to your morrowind Data Files.
 
To install mods, you should follow some pattern, and not do it randomly.
For this, you should categorize your modinstallers by naming the archives according to what role they fill in:
Spoiler
On the left of a modinstaller, if the box is checked means the mod is installed, and the color of the box indicates the status of its content.
If you click on a modinstaller, on the right side you can see what the color means: the program checks if any files are missing, cause conflict, or properly installed.
 
Mods tab:
After installing the mods, move over to the mods tab. Here you will see the installed .esp plugins, and this is where you'll create a merged leveled list.
To do this, you'll use Tes3CMD's <multipatchcommand which is built in WryeMash and you can access it from its user interface.
Note, that older tutorials recommend using "Mashed Lists.esp" from Mopy/Extras folder to create a leveled list, like this video, but don't use that.  
To create a leveled list, switch to Mods Tab,  right click on the header → Tes3CMD → Multipatch
You can check this video for it, and for more information on leveled lists.
 
You can use Tes3CMD's <cleancommand by rightclicking on a mod, and select "Clean with Tes3CMD"
 
External programs & Wrye Mash
On the bottom of left side, you'll see icons for other tools, which you can run through Wrye Mash.
CZXkDfv.png
To update your load order, just fire up mlox from here.
 
Danae's Wrye Mash guidehttps://danaeplays.t...t.sk/wrye-mash/
Recommended to visit this guide for additional and more detailed information
This guide covers information on how to repair save files, but for this, you can check last section of this video also.
 
4. Patch for Purist & Morrowind Optimization Patch
After you digested all the info above, got acquainted with your mod manager, and set up everything, it's time to start downloading actual mods.
The first ones you should get are PFP and MOP as they contain important fixes and improvements, there's no reason not to install them.
 
Patch for Purists - downloadhttps://www.nexusmod...wind/mods/45096
PFP is an unofficial patch to make the game completely bug-free while avoiding unnecessary balance and gameplay changes.
Older guides may mention MPP (Morrowind Patch Project), or UMP (Unofficial Morrowind Patch), but no need to install these, as PFP covers all the fixes from these which are needed.
 
Morrowind Optimization Patch - downloadhttps://www.nexusmod...ind/mods/45384?
This project aims to fix vanilla meshes by optimizing them, improving performance significantly and eliminating most bugs and errors with vanilla meshes.
 
5. OPENMW or MWSE & MGE XE
In past years two awesome projects emerged to improve gameplay mechanics and enhance graphics. For mysterious reasons, the two projects development went on different roads, and currently are not compatible, so the user has to choose between them.
OpenMW : An open source game engine recreation, replaces the original program.
MWSE & MGE XE : Engine mods that directly modify Morrowind.exe.
 
As OpenMW is written from scratch, its development is a few years behind, as first it has to make up for the original engine before becoming actually better than it.
So currently, while it already has really nice improvements, these aren't enough to compensate for the things it lacks (and not speaking about mod incompatibilies).
In the long run OpenMW will supposedly prevail to be the best choice, but currently you can achieve better graphics and gameplay mechanics by using MWSE & MGE XE.
 
5.1. Install MWSE & MGEXE
Downloading MGE XE from here will also contain MWSE(don't forget to run MWSE-Update.exe), which will allow you to use lua-scripted gameplay mechanics mods.
These guides cover most needed info about these: Thastus ; Sigourn
You'll find useful infos in this video also: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKuMT5RT2IE&t=1004s
 
6. Downlading mods
Where to download mods:
 
Nexusmods is the currently used site by most people, before this, Modhistory and fliggerty site was used to collect mods, so they store mods which haven't been reuploaded to Nexus. 
 
It's recommended to only start playing after installing the most important mods to avoid corrupted save games from mod dependencies.
You should always read the mod page and glance through the readme of any mod you're downloading, so you'll at least be aware of what you're getting and what your options are.
   
7. Modlists

 

Morrowind 'Immersion' Mod List by Lucevar: https://github.com/L...---2019-edition

A 'themed' collection of mods, where mods are sorted by their role/purpose. 

 

Danae's character guides: here, or a better list here

Mod selections fitting for different vanilla class playthroughs

 

Morrowind Graphics Guide(MGG) by DassyD: https://wiki.nexusmo..._graphics_guide

Recommendation of mods for achieving better graphics

 

Mythic Mods guides and modlists : https://www.mwmythicmods.com/index.htm

Various collections of old mod recommendations and guides, like Telesphoros' List o'Mods , Empirical MW, Gluby's Guide, etc.

Keep in mind these are old stuff, but you may find treasures here.

 

Modlist by Kongha : https://steamcommuni.../?id=1291912363

 

8. Guides

Guides by Sigourn :

Mended Morrowind - a guide aiming only for best vanilla experience with few mods

Morrowind Improved - a guide for a stable modded game, recommending bug-free and compatible mods

 

Thastus guide: https://github.com/T...rrowind_2020.md

                     A guide on how to set up mods. Slightly out of date, still worth checking


Edited by Kurpulio, 21 July 2020 - 11:47 AM.


#2
IFchaos

IFchaos

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This is exactly what ive been looking for. After a long hiatus away from Morrowind, i came back this morning to find my game completely broken. I had MGSO, MGE xe, Tamriel Rebuilt and SHOTN all working well. Now the FPS is down to 5ish fps and the landscape moulds away like its melting.

 

Returning to NMM i found that theyd updated to a new system (not that versed with computers so not sure what theyve done) and all my previous mods non updateable and the like.

 

As morrowind is my favourite game of all time, getting it to run again, with the new lands mods, while looking good is pretty important to me.

 

cheers for the list, ill follow it keenly :)



#3
frodobaggins91

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I really wish there was this guide exactly in video form. I don't really understand it all just reading as im quite new to p.c. Any videos on this kind of stuff?

#4
TerryWithSpices

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Thank You for this.

I know someone wants this "Quick" guide VS your guide for super modded morrowind. Mine is Only with mods that require MGE XE https://www.nexusmod...wind/mods/41102 and this guide took me 2 minutes to write so no cheering please.

Here's the list of my mods of choice:

                                                    Encumberance Increaser

                                                    Oblivion Crosshair

                                                    Real Sinposts

                                                    Unskilled Books

                                                    English-International fonts

                                                    No Accidental Stealing

                                                    Happy Harvesting

                                                    Morrowind Code Patcher.

 

Follow step 0 & 1 of the guide and then drag in all the mods you want! (Be sure they only need MGE to work.)

 

And generate distant land for all your mods in MGE XE. 

Done (modded Morrowind in under an hour)

Now you just need to activate them in Morrowind Launcher.exe

 

Edit: Grrrrrrr it's Always the mods that change the effect in some way or another that crashes the game. Here's how to avoid it. In Code Patcher Don't patch any of the effect and dont download a mod with lightning unless your testing it. And you should have instant loading screens. Yes instant loading screens. I crashed because of lightning patch or lightning mod and now I have instant loading screens and 9000 fps.


Edited by TerryWithSpices, 19 May 2020 - 06:15 PM.


#5
TerryWithSpices

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Check if Morrowind is in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Bethesda Softworks or no mods will be "patched."


Edited by TerryWithSpices, 19 May 2020 - 06:17 PM.






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