*Aqua*

[How To] Installing mods

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Hello fellow pilots!

I often see threads in this forum where people are asking how and where to install mods. This small How-To describes the procedure and what pitfalls await you. But don't fear! It's usually very easy!

1. Manual installation

1.1 Where to find mods

1.2 Installing a mod

1.3 Uninstalling a mod

1.4 Troubleshooting

2. Automatic installation

2.1 Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network Package Manager

1. Manual installation

1.1 Where to find mods

There are 3 major site where you can find nearly all mods that are made for KSP.

a) The Add-ons forum

When you are reading this you already found the forum. It consists of several sub-forums:

  • General Add-on Affairs - This forum is usually used to help users searching for mods and to ask for new ones you would like to have but still don't exists.
  • Add-on Releases - Here's the place most modders publish their mods. Have a look at the pinned thread named Community Mods and Plugins Library. It lists the most used mods there are along with the compatible KSP version. It's a good idea to start reading there.
  • Add-on Development - In this forum you can find unfinished mods. Beware that they can have a lot of quirks and break KSP in certain cases. If you are new to KSP mods you should avoid downloading mods from there.

The mods aren't uploaded to the forum itself. Instead the mod-creators paste links to Curse, KerbalStuff and/or other websites.

&) Curse

The Curse website is the official KSP mods website determined by Squad (developer of KSP). A lot of mod-creators upload their mods to this site. But you should know that not all mod-creators like that website.

c) [Link to defunct mod website snipped by moderator because that site has since been hijacked by malware]

[snip] is a KSP mod website made by the community. Mod-creators who don't want to host their mods at Curse usually do it here.

[Moderator note: you may wish to check out SpaceDock instead. That's the site that replaced the snipped-out one referred to here.]

d) The Space Craft Exchange

It's a part of this forum. You want to see what other build or just need a proven lifter rocket? Go there!

e) KerbalX

It's great site to find crafts. It even let's you filter which mods are needed!

1.2 Installing a mod

Note: Some mods alter a lot of the game mechanics. This could lead to a lot of problems on existing saved games. You should always create a new career/sandbox/... when installing mods to avoid problems.

You now downloaded a .zip file containing a mod. The structure of the content can vary a lot but it's easy to identify what you need to extract.

But first open up a file browser and move to you KSP install. If you downloaded the game from Steam you'll usually find it in this place: ...\Steam\SteamApps\common\Kerbal Space Program\.

In this place there's are several folders which are of interest for you:

  • GameData
    This is the folder where to put the mods into.
  • saves
    If you want to play a saved game another one created, put it here.
  • Ships
    If you downloaded crafts other people created you'll need to put them here.
    Crafts in the VAB folder show up ingame in the Vehicle Assembly Building load menu. The VAB is the tall building where you primarily build rockets.
    Crafts in the SPH folder show up in the Space Plane Hangar load menu. The SPH is the build near the runway where you build usually planes and cars/trucks/etc.

Next have a look at the contents of the mod.zip.

  • If there's a GameData folder in there put the content of it in the GameData folder of your KSP install. You can do that by dragging and dropping the GameData folder into the KSP install folder.

    Do not drop the mod's GameData folder on to KSP's GameData folder! This will create a GameData folder inside KSP's GameData folder and most likely causing the mod fail to work or even crash KSP on startup.
k9gp317.png

If there's no GameData folder in the mod.zip it is very likely that there's only the mod folder there. Drag and drop this folder into KSP's GameData folder.
If there are more folders put them all into the GameData folder too.
 

1X8Rpxb.png

There's one exception you should be aware of: ModuleManager.
This mod helps other mods to manipulate stuff during the game's startup. It needs to load before the other mods do. This is archieved by putting the ModuleManager.x.x.x.dll (x.x.x = version number) directly into KSP's GameData folder without an additional sub-folder. (...\Kerbal Space Program\GameData\ModuleManager.x.x.x.dll)
Because this mod is so essential for other mods most are bundled with it. When installing several mods it could happen that there are several ModuleManager dlls. Just delete them except for the one with the highest version number.

Usually that's it. The mod is installed now and should load the next time when you start KSP.

1.3 Uninstalling a mod

Uninstalling is usually a trivial task. Just delete the mod folder inside KSP's GameData folder and that's it. It the mod was bundled with other mods and if those other mods aren't needed by mods you want to keep, delete them too.

  • Be aware that some mods add parts to the game. Crafts which use these parts won't load anymore and are removed from the save file by KSP after displaying an error message. After that the game should work without issues.
  • Some mods alter the save file and/or modify part behaviors. When removing the mods it can lead to unexpected behavior on crafts in flight.

1.4 Troubleshooting

The game won't load!

There could be several reasons for that. The most commons are:

- You put the mod into Kerbal Space Program\GameData\GameData\mod. See chapter 1.2 .

- Your game runs out of memory. This can happen when adding a lot of new parts to the game. KSP (Windows version) is a 32 bit executable and has a memory limit of 3.5 GB. If it atempts to get over the limit it _will_ crash.

Remove some parts or uninstall some mods to reduce memory usage or try the Active Texture Management mod which compresses textures.

You can also try to force KSP to run in OpenGL mode which uses less memory.

I installed a parts mod but can't find the parts.

Again there could be several reasons for that:

- You installed the mod into the wrong path. See chapter 1.2.

- The mod depends on other mods to work. See the mod's description if you have all the file you need.

- The mod is incompatible with KSP. Locate and read the mod's thread in the Add-on forum if there's a way to make it work again.

It still doesn't work!

Locate the mod's thread in the Add-on forum. Write a post to let the mod-creator know about your problem. Be as precise and exact as you can be when explaining what you did and what the game does. Look here if you don't know what to write.

The game runs slow after installing this mod!

- If could be that the mod has issues and spams the log file causing the game to slow down. Go look at the mod's thread in the forum if there's something you can do about it.

- Some mods noticeably impact the game's performance. There's nothing you can do about it.

2. Automatic installation

2.1 Comprehensive Kerbal Archive Network Package Manager

Or in short CKAN. It is an easy to use mod management program which automatically handles mod installation and uninstallation. It can also keep your mods up to date.

Just download the package manager and put it somewhere (don't put it in the KSP GameData folder). It can run from any directory without installation.

Yeah I know this chapter is pretty short but what else can I write about it? Just read the thread about it. ;-)

---

I know this small How To isn't complete. If there's anything wrong please post it. :-)

Edited by Snark
Snipped link to defunct mod-hosting site that's now hosting malware
  • Like 2

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Well this will score you some rep from me. Hopefully lots of newcomers will find it useful.

One suggestion is the universal "what did that mod just do" source. The output.txt log doesn't appear to be mentioned in your troubleshooting section. Every mod developer will ask for this file if you have problems.

EDIT: Also since you mentioned installing ships below, you might included sources such as the Spacecraft Exchange forum and KerbalX.com

Edited by Alshain

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Thanks for you answer!

I added the Spacecraft Exchange and KerbalX. Very good suggestion! :kiss:

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Hello,I tried to install the mod in my gamedate folder but I didnt find the parts,what am I doing wrong? 

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Is this the place to ask a specific question about Mechjeb installation problems for a noob? I have been to the addon thread about mechjeb but it is a closed thread now.

 

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13 hours ago, Makojo said:

Hello,I tried to install the mod in my gamedate folder but I didnt find the parts,what am I doing wrong? 

Which mod? Which parts? Could you take a screenshot of the contents of your Gamedata folder and upload it?

 

58 minutes ago, Henno said:

Is this the place to ask a specific question about Mechjeb installation problems for a noob? I have been to the addon thread about mechjeb but it is a closed thread now.

 

Not really, no. This is one user's 1.5 year old thread, who received one single reply in all this time before today.

I also doubt the MechJeb thread is closed without a replacement. The mod is so popular, the more likely explanation is that you found an old thread, which was archived because it got too long to handle. There's sure to be a newer one.

In the meantime, the advice for you is the same as for Makojo: when encountering installation issues, supply a precise description of the what, the where and the how, ideally accompanied by a screenshot of what you have right now.

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Keep it on-topic, please. 

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3 hours ago, The Moose In Your House said:

I put my mods in my gamedata folder but only one of them works for some reason, I don't know why.

Hi there's a good chance that you have installed one or more of them incorrectly or one or more of them is incompatible with the KSP version you have installed.  Given the detail in your report I cannot advise any more without a copy of the KSP.log, 

Mod troubleshooting has a sub forum of it's very own and I suggest you zip a copy of your KSP.log , upload to a filesharing site (dropbox for example) and make a post there, providing a link for the log

Running the game with mods installed that are not working correctly runs a risk of game instability and possibly save corruption

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1 hour ago, SpannerMonkey(smce) said:

Hi there's a good chance that you have installed one or more of them incorrectly or one or more of them is incompatible with the KSP version you have installed.  Given the detail in your report I cannot advise any more without a copy of the KSP.log, 

Mod troubleshooting has a sub forum of it's very own and I suggest you zip a copy of your KSP.log , upload to a filesharing site (dropbox for example) and make a post there, providing a link for the log

Running the game with mods installed that are not working correctly runs a risk of game instability and possibly save corruption

But I checked the updates and downloaded it on a secure site.

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36 minutes ago, The Moose In Your House said:

But I checked the updates and downloaded it on a secure site.

Neither of which prevent you from installing the mod incorrectly, sadly my crystal ball is being serviced so I can't possibly have a clue whats wrong, No KSP.log = NO help

  • Like 4

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i just installed mods and its telling me it cant adjust to mi resolution of 1920 x 1080 trys twice to go to a lower res but crashes help?

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Hi, do not be tired. You can train video tutorials on how to install game mods. Thank you
Edited by mahdi
  • Like 1

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Hi! I am quite new to KSP and I am playing on mac, so that makes things complicated. I wanted to install the collision fx mod, I installed the Module Manager and put it into the GameData Folder, but now i am confused on where to put the collision fx mod. Can someone help me pls!? Would be appreciated!

Edited by FredTheBread
accidentally deleted everything and pressed enter, had to rewrite everything

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4 hours ago, FredTheBread said:

Hi! I am quite new to KSP and I am playing on mac, so that makes things complicated. I wanted to install the collision fx mod, I installed the Module Manager and put it into the GameData Folder, but now i am confused on where to put the collision fx mod. Can someone help me pls!? Would be appreciated!

One nice thing about KSP - installing mods is exactly the same on Mac as it is on Windows or Linux.  Put the collision fx's mod folder in GameData as described above.

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