Picture this. You’ve done all the missions you want to on what was once your favourite game of all time, and now you’re just… bored. You’re soullessly grinding for the final few Steam achievements, you’re half-heartedly fighting that same old final level that you know like the back of your hand, and you’re wondering why exactly you’re doing this with your life when you should be revising. It was when I got to this point, bored and with seemingly no joy left in some of my games, that I decided to start modding them. In this article, I’m going to be talking about modding PC games and the advantages that this can bring. Before you ask, I believe you can mod console games as well, but from what I know it’s a lot more problematic.
For me, modding my games breathes new life into them. It brings them back from the brink of being put into the ‘meh, I’m bored of this game now’ pile and adds a wholly new experience that I would otherwise have missed. You can add in custom quests to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. You can do a complete overhaul of the textures and sounds of Fallout: New Vegas. Hell, if you really wanted to, you could even mod the title music to Dark Souls to be the theme from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Practically everything that you could possibly want can be added, altered or removed from the game files on your computer simply by browsing one of the flourishing modding networks out there on the internet. And if you run into any issues, then there will no doubt be a tutorial online somewhere, or a piece of software you can install, that will make modding your game into a worry-free and pleasant experience.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a learning curve to modding games. I myself have been modding my games for less than two months now, and there have been a number of errors that I have encountered throughout my endeavours. Firstly, I’ve had to reinstall Skyrim about four times now. Yup. Four times. Four times counting down the hours until I could resume installing mods to the game files, only for it to do the very same thing and for the cycle to begin again. Thankfully, there are a number of mod managers, load order solving programs and other helpful tools to make easier. Secondly, you’re going to have to work some things out for yourself. Which order the mods load in, the additional programs you need to use, and even the mods you choose to install, all require a huge amount of trial and error to make the best of, but I’m not the most computer-literate person in the world, so if I can do it, I’m sure you can too. But, believe me, when you’re finished and you’ve got thirty new perks to train for, fifty new missions to complete and a totally new, improved interface to use, it’s all so worth it.
Modding brings with it a sense of creative freedom that you don’t always seem to get with a lot of the bigger games. It allows you to diverge from the path most trodden in game design and customise your games to your every whim and fancy. Everything from perk overhauls to character customisation changes can be found in the community at large, and there are new items being added each and every day. The Steam Workshop has played a huge part in the last year or so in making modding accessible, trouble free and, above all, enjoyable for the average gamer like you or me.
Love to mod, or prefer to keep games natural? @boargames