How to Install Starfield Mods - Starfield Guide - IGN (2024)

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There are already several Starfield mods available to download on NexusMods, allowing you to change the appearance and function of menus, make graphical changes, restore achievements to modded saves, and plenty more. These mods are currently only available to players on PC.

How to Enable Starfield Mods

Before you get started modifying Starfield, you'll need to set up Archive Invalidation to allow the game to read information from your mods.

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  • The easiest way is to do this using BethINI Performance INI Editor - download, extract, and run the application. Select Starfield, then check 'Load Loose Files' under the Basic tab. Then go to File -> Save to save the new .ini configuration.
  • You can also do this manually by navigating to your Starfield folder in My Games. There, you'll need to find or create a text file called StarfieldCustom.ini (ensure you have File Name Extensions checked under the View tab in your Windows browser). This text file should contain the following information at the very start:
[Archive]
bInvalidateOlderFiles=1
sResourceDataDirsFinal=

Copying and pasting this text may not work correctly. Instead, it's recommended to type this information directly into the document.

How to Install Starfield Mods

Now it's time to identify and download the mods you'd like to install! You have two options regarding mod installation.

Using a Mod Manager

The simplest way to install and configure Starfield mods is via a mod manager such as Vortex, which is NexusMods' official mod manager, or Mod Organizer 2.

Note that script mods require the use of Starfield Script Extender, which is currently only compatible with the Steam version of Starfield. If you're playing on the GamePass/Xbox Store version of Starfield on PC, you will not be able to use these mods.

  • Mod Organizer 2 is currently only compatible with the Steam version of Starfield.
  • Vortex is compatible with both GamePass and Steam versions. If you're using Vortex/GamePass, you will need to manually point Vortex to your Starfield installation location, which can be found at XboxGames\Starfield\Content (select the Content folder).

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Manual Install

If you don't want to use a mod manager, or have tried installing a mod using a mod manager but have been unsuccessful, mods can also be installed manually. The precise instructions will be specific to each mod, but will involve unzipping the downloaded file and placing its contents in your Starfield game folders.

There are a few different directories from which you can successfully load mods.

  • Documents\My Games\Starfield
    • Note: This is where texture mods are usually placed. If all you want to do is install texture mods/mods that are able to live in the Documents path, you can drop them here and they should work. However, if you want to install a mod that requires the use of the Steam directory, you may need to stop using the Documents directory completely and read the instructions below for using the Steam directory instead.
  • (Xbox Windows) Xbox Games\Starfield\Content\Data
  • (Steam) Steam\steamapps\common\Starfield\Data
    • Note: Installing and using mods in this directory requires a few additional steps, explained below.

As explained in a NexusMods article by user Hex0x0, there are issues that can arise when you are using the Steam path to modify your game data. This may be because the Documents directory has priority over the Steam directory and any images in the Documents directory will prevent images (texture mods, etc) from being loaded from the Steam directory. Here's how to fix this:

Manual Fix

Starfield uses the Documents\My Games\Starfield directory to store a Message of the Day image whenever you launch the game. This prevents you from being able to use the Steam path to load mods. To fix this, delete the image from the Documents folder, and add the following to your StarfieldCustom.ini to prevent it from being generated when you launch Starfield again.

[General]
bEnableMessageOfTheDay=0

Starfield also uses the Documents path to store photos from Photo Mode. To use the Steam directory, you must remove your photos (you can move them elsewhere to save them, but they won't appear on your loading screens). Taking a photo in photo mode will break your mods, so avoid this.

Mod Fix

The Baka Disable My Games Folder mod on NexusMods disables the Documents path and moves the MOTD and Photo Mode folders to the Steam directory, allowing you to continue to use Photo Mode even while using Script mods.

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Troubleshooting

If your mods are not working correctly, consider the following:

  • There may be a problem with your StarfieldCustom.ini file. We recommend you use BethINI Performance INI Editor to ensure the file is formatted and located correctly.
    • If you've recently downloaded an update to the base game, this may have reset your .ini files. Check your StarfieldCustom.ini file still allows you to load loose files.
    • Check your StarfieldCustom.ini file is a genuine .ini file and not saved as .ini.text
    • Re-type your StarfieldCustom.ini information manually. If you've copy-and-pasted the text, some additional data may have been included.
    • As an experimental fix, you can try adding the required lines to the Starfield.ini file in your game directory as well.
  • Check where your mods have been installed. A mod manager may have installed something to your Documents directory, causing problems with your Steam directory. Ensure you are not trying to load mods from multiple locations at once.
  • If you are trying to run multiple mods at the same time, there may be compatibility issues. You can visit a mod's NexusMods page to view any known incompatibilities. Otherwise, you may have to figure out the issue using a process of elimination.
  • If you're working with the Documents directory, you may be encountering issues related to OneDrive. Ensure the files have not been added to your OneDrive folder instead - this can occur very easily even if you're manually pointing at the right place.
    • If you have the Steam version of the game, you can try disabling the Documents path and using the Steam directory only, using the instructions above.

Up Next: Best Starfield Mods

PreviousFirst Outpost Tips and Where to BuildNextBest Starfield Mods

Top Guide Sections

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In This Guide

How to Install Starfield Mods - Starfield Guide - IGN (1)

Starfield

Bethesda Game Studios

ESRB: Mature
Xbox Series X|SPC

Related Guides

OverviewWalkthroughSide Missions Walkthroughs in StarfieldStarfield Console Commands and Cheats List

How to Install Starfield Mods - Starfield Guide - IGN (2024)

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