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Meta file format for a downloaded mod

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The information provided here is by from my poking around in MO. After that I created this article and sent it to Tannin (author MO) for a factual check. A few things were not 100% correct and I've missed a few properties. I've edited the original article accordingly. Under the assumption I didn't made a mistake it should now be correct. The article will end up in the MO wiki at some time as part of a bigger article describing the 'directories and files used by MO'


The contents of this meta file can be used to search for files with certain properties using the windows explorer (or an alternative search program like 'File Locator Lite' without using the MO UI. This can be useful to find files if the current version of MO does not allow to set a filter for them. For example display all files which are not installed.


When a file is downloaded through MO and the download is completed a meta file is created. Example: Mod 'Better Freckles' is downloaded, this results in file 'Better_Freckles_v1_0_1-4502-1-0-1.7z being downloaded and afterwards a Better_Freckles_v1_0_1-4502-1-0-1.7z.meta is created. MO queries the Nexus for that mod and fills the meta file with. The meta file also contains some piece of information unrelated to Nexus (i.e. whether it's been installed already or the mod was removed from MO).


A meta file is also created when 'query info is executed in the downloads tab of the right pane. This can be very useful when files are download with NMM and users later want to migrate to MO. The most important property is category. Other properties like modid and version can most of the time be guessed/determined by MO by looking at the Nexus filename (for more details see end of posting).


A meta file can contain the following properties:

  • modID. Integer value indicating the Nexus mod id.
  • fileID. Integer value indicating a certain internal Nexus filenumber for the filename.
  • url. String. Its a separated list of download urls. If the download needs to be resumed, MO tries one of those to resume.
  • name. String. Name is the file name as reported by Nexus. 
  • modName. String. Its the mod name as reported by nexus.
  • version. String. Nexus Version of the downloaded mod.
  • newestVersion. Latest version of the mod on the Nexus
  • category. Nexus categorie for this mod.
  • installed. Boolean value: true or false
  • paused. Boolean value: true or false.
  • uninstalled. Boolean value: true or false
  • fileCategory: Integer. indicates the file category (main, update, optional, old) as reported by nexus.
  • removed: Boolean value: true or false. If true the file doesn't appear in the download list.

  • fileCategory. Tannin said "Not currently used but I consider using it to make better suggestions during installations (i.e. the default action wouldn't be to replace the installed mod if the file is an option or update)"
  • Name. Tannin said "I believe it's not currently used by MO".
All properties should always be present when the file is downloaded through the latest version of MO.  However, some of these flags have only been added in later versions and since the old downloads aren't usually touched, the new flags don't get added.

You can force MO to create the meta file again by first removing the meta file and afterwards performing a 'Query Info'  by selecting a file in the downloads tab in the right pane, right click and select 'Query Info'. You will of course lose information for properties like installed, and uninstalled.


Example: ICS no splatter-5289-2-0.zip


name=ICS no splatter
modName=Improved Combat Sounds


The filename of a Nexus modname is --.zip. Note: In the filename a '.' character is replaced by a '-' character. In the example version=2.0. This is converted in the filename to 2-0.


From Tannin: "The filenames are specified by Nexus and I'm not 100% sure how they are generated but that seems to be it. Please note that the name part may contain '-' characters and the version part can be any string (including empty) which makes it impossible to correctly parse those filenames.".

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