This guide will enable you to play, upkeep and enjoy mods for Bannerlord before it’s full release. So when you have someone discourage you by saying:
“DoN’t EVEEN tHiNk AboOT moDIN B4 RelEESE u dUmB”
You can think to yourself, pish to that.
(don’t feed the trolls and don’t insight animosity to what might be bad advice from a fed up player)
Introduction and Requirements
So you want to enjoy Bannerlord properly?
There are some poor souls out there (possibly yourself included at present) who don’t dare try modding their game due to the enumerable problems one could face when configuring their load order in a way which will ensure stability throughout their play-through. It’s true, there can be issues (all of which you can address logically as this guide will show you), there are also some annoyances which come with an early access title modding experience (such as updates changing things which lead to some work on your behalf to correct); but all of this is manageable, not only that, more than worth the time it takes because as you probably already know – modded Bannerlord is proper Bannerlord.
I will hold your hand, and after a short time doing this it will be as easy as steam auto-updates.
So, you are new to all this. That’s fine, we all were at some point or another. This guide is designed for the player with little to no experience with modding their game, so it will incorporate the simplest and most fool-proof way of doing things. Once you have this knowledge, you can build upon it.
The easiest way to do this will be using a mod manager. Specifically for this guide – Vortex.
– Vortex: https://www.nexusmods.com/about/vortex/ – [nexusmods.com]
Download and install. Follow vortex through its set up guide to set the game(s) up as a recipient to mods from nexus (the website you just downloaded vortex from and where you will browse for mods), allocate a mod staging folder – which will have you ready to begin.
I’d like to point out that you can theoretically use the principles outlined in this guide for any game you have which makes use of vortex and nexus mods.
Now some mods require other mods to run. The biggest dependency mods with which most (or atleast the majority) might need you to have are Harmony, ButterLib, UIExtenderEX and Mod Configuration Menu. Now Harmony in particular will be already packaged with Vortex when you get it all set up to work with Bannerlord so that can just be switched on by pressing ‘Disabled’ to enable it:
For the others, they are soft requirements so you don’t need to get them but if you’re following this guide to get the most out of Bannerlord then you may as well get them. Their links are below but if you want to just carry on reading the guide for more specific instructions on going about installing and enabling mods, go ahead.
https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandblade2bannerlord/mods/2018 – [nexusmods.com]
https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandblade2bannerlord/mods/2102 – [nexusmods.com]
Mod Configuration Menu:
https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandblade2bannerlord/mods/612 – [nexusmods.com]
So you’re ready?
You should have vortex humming and of course an internet connection – this is a fun bit.
Navigate to nexus:
https://www.nexusmods.com/ – [nexusmods.com]
In the search bar, hit the drop down and select ‘games’
Search for Bannerlord and click it. You’ll go to the Bannerlord landing page with everything Bannerlord found there.
At the very top you’ll see the game name with a little drop down. When clicked you’ll see you can add Bannerlord to your associated games for quick access.
If you scroll down the page a little you can see many filters – of which you can browse the games mods, including its most popular or newest uploads. Only this doesn’t quite cover the best mods which are updated – which is very important.
You want mods which are updated to the version of the game you are playing. If like me you always play beta branches of the game, your selection is somewhat slimmer than that of stable branch; this is especially true when a new update to a new beta branch is released. Sometimes a mod is left unaffected, for that you need to test, but sometimes you will need to wait for the mod author to update the mod to the newest version of the game.
Hit explore all mods to the right hand-side of the screen
In the sort by drop down select last updated
This will be best practice for choosing mods. Look through and find ones you like that also correlate to the game version you’re playing (which you can verify as you’ll see below).
Lets use Realistic Battle Mod as an example for the next step of the section (the getting part).
RBM: https://www.nexusmods.com/mountandblade2bannerlord/mods/791 – [nexusmods.com]
A must have mod
From here you want to read all the info on the page. This is an important step because ignoring this info will not only leave you clueless as to what the mod exactly does but important information pertaining to the load order positioning and even more important than that (when using vortex anyway) is any mod conflicts, i.e any mods which will not run along side this one. In a situation such as this you will have to weigh up which one you would prefer to use over the other.
When it’s decided that you want this mod and you have clued yourself up on any info the page offers always press ‘files’
Here you can choose the exact module(s) you want from the mod, specific to the version of the game you have – Of course, hit ‘Mod Manager Download’ this will feed the download directly to your vortex desktop app.
Sometimes (often) a mod will have dependency modules which you might need in order for the mod to work. One very common dependency is Harmony (which comes prepackaged with vortex when you set up Bannerlord as one of your games). But often a mod author will document and have a pop up notification appear when you press the download button, notifying you of what is required. In the case of RBM you get hit with this:
This can be achieved without the mod by following this:
https://steamcommunity.com/app/261550/discussions/0/4233889512148131735/ – [steamcommunity.com]
Read the initial comments for clarification.
Unblocking .dll files is a common issue that most of us have ran into. So if you prefer not to do what is listed in the steam discussion go ahead and just use the mod itself which does it for you.
Provided you have the necessary dependencies hit ‘Download’.
You’re half way
So now you have modz – which are suited to your game version and don’t conflict with your other modz. Great, how do I use them?:)
Once the download finishes you’ll have a notification notifying you it’s finished and asking you if you’d like to install the mod – of course!
After it installs, which is in this section:
It will ask if you want to enable the mod (just like it did when it asked if you wanted to install the mod) into your game (deployment) which will happen in this section, your load order:
It’s likely your load order is all effd up due to the recent install(s) and deployment(s) of the new mod(s):
Hit the handy feature ‘auto sort’:
Now this auto sort is pretty good at its job – but sometimes things happen and a mod or two is out of place. If this happens investigate on the mod pages for any info that might help i.e load order info:
You might notice that there are warning signs beside some mods. This is nothing to worry about. Mod authors typically set their version to the lowest compatible version of the dependency it works with:
This means that MCM requires a minimum version of ButterLib(1.0.23) Harmony(2.0.2) and UIextender(2.1.5). So ensure you have atleast this version or above installed for it to work correctly.
Your load order should always start like this (if a mod defaults above any of these after auto sort is clicked, investigate the mods page, it might need to be there):
Need to knows (mod updates & game updates)
If a mod is updated to a newer version
If a mod has received an update go to vortex, find the mod in the mod list – not load order.
Hit remove mod which is on the right hand side – orange button:
Then check both check-boxes in the dialogue box:
Then go and download the newer version just as you did the first time around, install and enable then auto sort your load order.
Game updates/New beta branches
If the game updates to a new version, for example like today, my load order is set predominantly to game version 1.6.3. But I have updated to the new beta branch 1.6.4 so now there is a chance some of my mods are no longer compatible; some work is required to ensure all is well.
Firstly, you can combat this issue by turning off auto updates or even moving your games installation folder elsewhere on your system, create a shortcut to Bannerlord.exe and your game will not receive updates this will preserve your working load order and game version.
However, with new beta branches comes new features so I prefer the extra work.
All you need to do is deactivate all your mods and enable one at a time, check the game works when you start it – then check your save loads and check if a new game works. You still have the opportunity to crash using an existing save of course, that’s why a new save is preferred and I personally don’t mind starting a new save so this suits me just fine. But, at least by doing this you can find what mods have carried over to the new version and if any don’t you have isolated the problem mod(s) and can either remove it permanently or wait for an update from a mod author.
The same testing applies to a new stable branch update too – you should check each mods compatibility.
If a mod only has manual download as an option
If this occurs simply manually download the mod, once the zip has finished downloading, open it and extract its root directory to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Mount & Blade II Bannerlord\Modules
Alternatively hit ‘install from file’ in vortex:
You must always start the game from vortex not the games default launcher in order to use the mods!
That’s all for now
By this point you should know all you need to have a working, stable (as stable as can be) modded Bannerlord. Non of this should be daunting, it just takes practice and getting used to. If you have any comments or questions don’t hesitate to reach out. I might create a section at a later date with my favourite mods and/or a section which tracks which mods work with Beta branches coupled with which mods are updated to Beta branches etc.
Here’s hoping you found this useful and have a great time playing Bannerlord in a better way 🙂
I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord – Modding Tips for Pre Full Release in Bannerlord; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!
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