4x4cheesecake Posted March 18, 2019 Share Posted March 18, 2019 (edited) I know there are already quite a few tutorials about this topic but I want to write my own anyway Let's not waste any time and start directly In general, there are two methods to install mods: manually and via CKAN. Both methods got their advantages and disadvantages. Manual installation CKAN installation Advantages: Every mod can be installed manually Full control over the installation process Disadvantages: Updating mods one by one can be quite annoying You have to take care of dependencies as well Advantages: Quick and easy installation process Dependencies are handeld by CKAN automatically Version control and easy update method Disadvantages: Not every mod supports CKAN Less control over the installation process A few more things in general and about this tutorial If you got KSP on Steam, it is recommend to move the game directory out of the Steam directory to prevent auto-updates! It is not possible to deactivate updates on Steam but a new game version may break a mod and/or your (modded) savegame, so you definitly don't want to update the game before you know if all your mods will still work fine or got updated. Keep in mind that many mods which are compatible with KSP 1.4.x, are still compatible with 1.5.x and 1.6.x. If you play on 1.5.x or 1.6.x and the mod you want to install isn't available for your specific game version, you can still try an older mod version with good chances of success For most parts of this tutorial, I'm going to use "SCANsat" as an example, for various reasons How to install a mod manually Before you install a mod, you should know your game version so you can get the corresponding mod version. If you are not sure which game version you got, launch the game and take a look at the lower right corner in the main menu: In this example, the game version is 1.6.1. Where to download mods There are three "main sources" for mods: Spacedock (provides a short preview/description and you can search for mods, many mods available) CurseForge (also a short preview/description and a search function) This forum /github (searching the forum can be difficult but the mod threads contain the most informations about the mod. Most release threads contain a download link to Spacedock, CurseForge and/or GitHub) Download the correct mod version On Spacedock, you can download the latest mod version via the "Download" button and the compatible game version is listed in the information panel. If you need a different mod version, open the "Changelog" and Spacedock will present every previous released mod version to you, together with the game version it was build for: Spoiler The design on CurseForge is similar: One button to "Download Latest File" and a "File" section which contains a list of previous versions: Spoiler Many GitHub links already direct you to the "Release" section of a repository but if you find yourself in the "Code" section, you have to browser there on your own Spoiler The "Release" section looks a bit differently but the latest version will always be the first entry. Old mod versions are available as well but there is not always the corresponding KSP version number listed. Sometimes it can be found in the mod name or the changelog of a release. To download the mod, just click on the link for the .zip archive: Spoiler In fact, @Gargamel already posted a detailed explanation about this topic, so if you are still in doubt how it works, you may want to read it as well Dependencies Quite a few mods require one or more other mod(s) to run properly or at all, these "other mods" are called dependencies. A distinction is made between hard- and soft dependencies:Hard dependency: Required with no exception. If you don't install a hard dependency, you'll experience crashes, errors and misbehaviour of the mod.Soft dependency: Required for additional features but not necessary to run the mod. Dependencies are usually listed in the very first post (OP) of the mod release thread, in the "Information" tab of SpaceDock or the "Overview" tab on CurseForge. Sometimes, the dependencies are highlighted like this: Sometimes, they are just mentioned somewhere in the text, in this case in the install instructions: Take your time to read the informations provided by the mod author, so you don't miss anything crucial Installation Let's start with the step, all of you are waiting for First of all, you need to find and open your KSP install directory. The install location depends on your system and where you bought the game so if you don't know where to look at, search your system for the "KSP_x64.exe". Keep a window with your KSP directory open. Mods are usually distributed within .zip archives. You can un-zip the archive in a separate folder or unpack the files directly where they are supposed to be, that's up to you. I prefer the latter method Open the folder/zip file of the mod in a separate window and place it somwhere next to the window which shows your game directory. Now, there are two cases which can happen: Case 1: The mod folder comes with a "GameData" folderAs pointed out by @MaltYebisu, this method doesn't work on MacOS. Mac users, please scroll down a bit and read about case 2 If the mod folder contains it's own "GameData" folder, you can drag and drop it directly into your game directory, which also contains a "GameData" folder. This will merge both folders together (should work on each operating system): Be sure, to drop the folder into an empty space and not into any other folder! Case 2: You get the plain mod folder If the mod is not distributed with it's own "GameData" folder, you drop the mod folder directly into the "GameData" folder of your game: Again, be sure, to drop the folder into an empty space and not into any other folder! On a sidenote: Some mod authors who wrote/maintain multiple mods, uses an additional sub folder for all of their mods (for example: Kerbal Alarm Clock and Transfer Window Planner). Don't worry about this, just treat them like the mod in the case 1 scenario and merge the folders together (Case 3: ModuleManager) "ModuleManager" (MM) is powerful mod on it's own and a common dependency for many other mods but so far, the install instructions don't fit for MM. It is a little bit special in two ways: First of all, you will not find a release version within the github repository, on SpaceDock or CurseForge. In order to download ModuleManager manually, you have to visit the MM thread here in the forum: The very first post of this thread contains multiple download links for MM to fit for different versions of KSP. You have to scroll down a bit to find them: Spoiler If you cannot find your KSP version in this list, follow the instructions in the MM thread. Also, MM is distributed as a plain .dll file and to install it, you have to place the "ModuleManager.dll" directly within the "GameData" folder of your game....no sub folder or anything else, just like this: Spoiler (Picture was added quite some time after I wrote this tutorial, please don't get confused by the different mods which are installed here, compared to previous screenshots)That's already everything you have to do, MM is now installed properly How to install a mod via CKAN CKAN is a powerful and very well supported tool to manage your mods. You can install, update and remove mods with just a few clicks and even dependencies are handled automatically. It is available for Windows, Linux and MacOS and can be downloaded here: Launch CKAN After starting CKAN, you are asked to choose a KSP installation (you can manage multiple installations and versions): CKAN automatically searches in some default installation paths for KSP, but if you followed my recommendation from the beginning and moved it somewhere else, you need to add it manually. Click on "Add new", navigate to your KSP install and select the "buildID64.txt". On the first run for a new KSP install, CKAN will also ask you if you want to update the modlist and repository on each launch. I would suggest to allow both options so you are always up-to-date but it's up to you: Basics about the UI The UI of CKAN is pretty intuitive: By default, all mods which are compatible with your KSP version will be listed. Since the list will be pretty long, there are some search options available like "mod name", "author" and "description". You can also decide which mods are listed in general by setting up the filter: Manage your mods As soon as you found the mod you want to install, click into the little box on the left to select the mod: Now, the "Apply changes" button becomes available. Click on it, to display the changeset (you can also click on the "Changeset" tab). In this example, you will notice that ModuleManager will be installed as well even though we didn't select it manually. ModuleManager is set as an dependency for SCANsat so CKAN will install it automatically: Hit "Apply" in the lower right corner to proceed. The next two steps are optional, it depends on the mod you want to install: Some other mods may be recommend or suggested to use along with the mod(s) you want to install. The main difference between those options is the pre-selection: Recommend mods are "opt-out" and suggested mods are "opt-in". In both cases, you will find a button in the lower left corner to select or de-select all mods from these lists. If any of these lists appears, pick your choices and click on "Continue" to proceed. CKAN will now download and install all selected mods and their dependencies If you want to uninstall a mod, just unselect the mod in your list and repeat the installation steps.Dependencies are not removed automatically but if you remove a dependency, every mod which depends on it will be removed as well! Advanced stuff CKAN provides some very useful tools and informations and I want to show you a few of them. Compatible KSP Versions by default, CKAN will only lists mods which are compatible with your game version. Since many mods which are compatible with 1.4.x still work fine in 1.5.x and 1.6.x, you can allow CKAN to show and install these mods as well: Just select the versions you want to allow and apply the changes. Metadata/Relationships/Contents/Versions On the right side of the CKAN UI, you will find four tabs to display Metadata, Relationships, Contents and Versions: Metadata shows some general informations about the mod like version, author and links to the homepage (usually forum post) and the source code. Relationships shows informations about dependencies, recommendations, suggestions and mod conflicts: Dependencies are marked with a "star", recommendations got a "thumb up", suggestions are marked with a "i" and conflicts are marked with a "!". If a mod name is highlighted red, it is not compatible with your game version (if it's a dependency, you cannot install the mod!). You can double click on these mods to find the corresponding CKAN entry. Contents will show you a simple list of the mod contents but it requires to download the mod. There is also a button there to download it (without installation). Versions provides a list of all available mod versions. Compatible versions are highlighted and if you want to install an older mod version, just double click on the list entry. If a newer version is already install, you need to remove it first. I guess that's all for now, fedback and corrections are welcome Happy modding Edited January 8, 2021 by 4x4cheesecake Updated screenshot leading to github release section Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.