Getting Started: Managing Mods
Before you get started into a huge list of mods, it's important to have a way to be organized. There's a few ways to go about this depending on your personal preference and possibly your OS.
Table Of Contents
As of OpenMW 0.48, the OpenMW-Launcher program can now handle almost all of the tasks required for heavy modding. This will work on any OS that's officially supported by OpenMW, the process is as follows:
- Download the archive for a mod (Tamriel Rebuilt, for example)
- Create a folder for it somewhere (e.g.
- Extract the mod archive into this folder
- Run OpenMW-Launcher
- Click the "Data Files" icon at the top
- Click the "Data Directories" tab
- Click the "Append" button on the right side
- Locate the folder you created above and click "Choose"
- Note that you can pick a folder with multiple data paths in it and OpenMW-Launcher will find them all and prompt you to select which ones to add
I selected the
TamrielRebuiltfolder, which contained many data paths.
- Reorder data paths as needed
- Click the "Archive Files" tab to register BSA files
- Click the "Navigation Mesh Cache" tab to pre-cache navmeshes
- Click the "Content Files" tab to enable and re-order plugin files. Refer to the CFG Generator for a correct load order reference
- You can name your current setup by clicking the box beneath where it says "Content List" and entering a new name of your choosing
Still not handled by the OpenMW-Launcher program are groundcover files. The correct installation method for those are presented on the detail page for each individual mod.
There's at least one mod manager dedicated to OpenMW, and another popular one that's can partially support it with a plugin:
- Portmod was built from the ground up for OpenMW, and has the capability to support easy installations for groups of mods such as the lists on this website. Although it's command-line only, it has features to automate virtually every step of the modding process. It and its repositories are in active development. Portmod scripts specifically for the mod lists on this website have not yet been made, and they are always looking for contributors to help keep things up to date.
- Mod Organizer 2 is a popular mod manager made for games that don't have the content management features found in OpenMW. A plugin can add partial support, but it doesn't support
omwscriptsor groundcover files (and will instead incorrectly activate groundcover as content files).
No single mod manager is officially supported or endorsed by this website, but you may find tips specific to a particular mod manager where it's deemed appropriate to do so (usually when there's a potential issue to be avoided).
NOTE: this method is not recommended. Only do it if you know that you really want to.
To ensure things stay organized and that you can easily add and remove anything, you'll want to adhere to a specific directory structure. For the purposes of this guide, we are going to use the below base directories for all mods:
This means that each mod would be represented in your
openmw.cfg file as follows:
data="C:\games\OpenMWMods\Category Name Here\Mod Name Here"
Note that this path may vary depending on your OS; the above example is for Windows users.