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A few questions about MO


Good evening,
1. I would like to know first if there is an update feature and if does how exactly it works. I run a "Check for Upgrade" but all I could notice it does is a plain and simple check over mod versions. Is that correct? Any mod red-marked must be downloaded, manually or not, and the old compressed files manually deleted?
2. I'm receiving a potential problems warning in the upper right icon. First of it is about the Overwrite which I didn't understand correctly. Currently I have only a few items on it:

  • [*]tools
    • [*]Some files of FNIS, which I think is part of Generate FNIS for Users executable

  • [*]skse
    • [*]Some file of HDT plugin (high heels) which I don't why I still have installed  ::P: [*]Character Making Extender logs and saved characters


  • [*]Several files and folders which I believe is part of CBBE

  • [*]CalienteTools
    • [*]My presets

I don't think I should care about them as everything is working well, but since I always used NMM it's good to confirm.

The second warning is about Loading Order. After install any mod I run B.O.S.S and only very specific mods, like Unnoficial patches or one which affects Serana's face I lock in the proper positions. The fact is with my little knowledge about this feature there are entries that doesn't make too much sense, like, for example, SkyUI being moved after Dragon Soul Absorb More Glorious (in any case it's a mod with better appeal when absorbing a dragon soul, with animation and music).

Should I care?

3. How exactly overwriting of files with different name, situation in which I don't see a dialog box with Replace action, works? I'm asking because I'm using Inhabitants of Skyrim - NPC Overhaul mod which uses Apachii SkyHair to improve visuals of NPCs (well, most f them at least). But I don't like Apachii SkyHair. They're better than Vanilla's, of course, but fake for fake I prefer Oblivion Hair Pack.

But I recently found a mod which aims to give natural texture to Apachii's hairs. And this would be great, if I could understand how overwriting works. Should I really use the same name, even being a totally different mod, just to have access to Replace feature?

Thank you in advance

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6 answers to this question

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1. Check for updates is tricky. Many mods do not have the correct version format, so sometimes when MO flags a mod as out of date its a false positive. Best practice is to download a mod from nexus, install it, and if you see that MO thinks its already out of date (which it is no, because you just downloaded it), manually change the mod version number in the mods MO options. This way, as soon as the mod updates, at least MO will flag it properly.

If thats all correct, then yes, it is recommended to update the mod. However, BE SURE to read the README on the site. Some mods have special update/ install/ uninstall information. If you dont follow these there will be trouble. However, in 80% of the cases you can just download the update. Once you install it with MO, it will ask if you want to replace the old mod with the new version. Simply accept the replacement and it will overwrite the old mod with the newer version. No need to uninstall the mod first.


2. The overwrite folder contains files that are generated during MO operations. Any files in this folder should overwrite all mods that are higher in the list. A good example is FNIS. When you use the FNIS program, two folders are generated; tools and meshes. They will be placed in the overwrite folder. You should clear the overwrite folder. To do this, create a empty mod called FNIS Overwrite and place it in your mod install order somewhere (where is up to you). Now once you run the FNIS program, take the two folders in the overwrite folder and drag them into the empty FNIS Overwrite folder. Now FNIS is properly installed.

Basically, any mod that 'generates' something, will appear in the overwrite folder. Common examples are the bashed patch from wrye bash, FNIS, SKSE logs, etc. As long as you have a mod installed somewhere where you can drag these overwrite files to, you will be fine. I have a FNIS mod folder as well as a Bashed Patch mod folder. Every time i add and install a new mod, i run FNIS and bashed patch again, then move generated files out of the Overwrite folder to their respective mod folders. Essentially you want an empty overwrite folder at the end. 

You can get rid of the HDT files if the mod is gone, and you can also delete any log files. The CBBE meshes shouldnt be in the overwrite folder. You can either drag them into the CBBE mod, or delete them. I would reinstall CBBE in this case as well. Caliente Tools, again, create a mod and add it (install). It will be empty, then drag the files from overwrite into the empty mod. Load/ install order is up to you.


3. You should leave BOSS order as it is. SkyUI after Dragon Soul Absorb is fine. To be able to manually order mod esp and esm files around requires a lot of modding experience. If you are asking these questions you dont have enough experience, sorry. Manually moving around these files to custom order can create a lot of problems.


4. Generally, if you want a mod to overwrite another mod you should not replace the original mod. Just install it after the 1st mod. In this example, install inhabitants of skyrim, then install oblivion hair pack after as a new mod with a name that is not identical to inhabitants of skyrim. In this case, oblivion hair pack should be lower in the install order. By lower i mean closer to the bottom of the MO mod install list. This is generally how overwrite works. Any mod that is installed lower/ beneath another mod will overwrite the higher mod. Of course a overwrite only happens if both mods use the same file. Be careful though, some mods require other mods to work. You may not like Apachii hair, but double check the Inhabitants of Skyrim mod README that Apachii hair is not essential for the mod.

Edited by MadWizard25
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Pretty good advice above only additions are forget how NMM did things and start from scratch.

Mod Organizer works in a unique and totally different way and comparing it to NMM just causes confusion .


Example Install Order is very important in NMM as it determines what files are overwritten by what mod and it cannot be reversed without a reinstall. The files are gone.


Mod Organizer does not have an Install Order at all.

You install a Mod to a separate named folder only once and it's files are always there in the folder named, also the exact same files can be installed again by just changing one letter of name.

Not much use but it shows what a separate mod is.

So now change one file and you get a variant of same mod.

Now useful yes but now remove all the identical files from both variants and make a core files mod with two separate Variant modlets. Choose Core and one variant.

Options can be installed as separate mix and match mods also.

To make clear these names mean different things.

Variants are must choose only one of these mods.

Options are choose all, some or none mods.

These are my names but standard ones would be better.


Now that you have these SSD space saving mods we come to profiles.

Each profile is a new character and which Mods are active from your mod list is independant but crucially because mods are separate folders still the same mod list.


Now we come to priority of mod list which decides which files win conflicts (what NMM install order does) with the crucial difference being this is set independantly for each profile and no files are lost. The virtual Data Folder is created by just selecting the actual required files for that profile.


That's a lot of choices there that are all involved in just how is Install Order different.

You just get overwhelmed if you try to compare NMM's limited options with MO's versatility.


So look at Wiki Guide for the basics and just learn the MO way from scratch.

It only makes sense for MO because of how it works.

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Alright, thank you both for the tips. Although I'm not a modder (strictly because as a programmer I don't have skills with any design program - unbelievable) I understand the whole concept of MO. It's much better than NMM, it's a fact. But its effectiveness comes at price of longer learning curve.

I just have a few points to considerate after the answers.

What you, MadWizard25, mean with create a new mod? Should I REALLY create a mod with CK or just drag & drop the files in Overwrite dialog box out to the left pane (as the description says)? In case of first choice, I don't have a clue on how to do it.

In any case, they're not conflicting. One of the most obvious problems with wrong installed FNIS are constant CTD's and I have none. CBBE folder has only my profiles, which are used only when opening BodySlide through MO. The contents of meshes folder, as far as I understand from filenames, are the retextures and custom armors.

About the Potential Mod Conflicts, right now it's not pointing SkyUI after DSAMG anymore. Now it's saying SkyUI before Non-Automatic Skill Books. The problem is SkyUI is already before this other one. SkyUI has Priority 38 with a Mod Index of 26 while the other has Priority of 60 with a Mod Index of 3C.

I haven't checked the other conflicts yet mainly because so far it's fine, as I try my best to not pick too much mods of same "area of operation".

And finally, the manual Overwriting, I tried the Install Order procedure, putting the Apachii first and then the retexture but it didn't work. At least I think it didn't because I've seen no difference. Someone else in Nexus Forums told me retextures usually don't have an ESP, which is true in this case, but how would I manage to drag a "mod without a mod" if I can't drag anything at all in the left pane?

Accidentally I double clicked the value of Priority column and it became editable and by changing the values I noticed the mods going up and down. Is that what he meant? And there is not REALLY an easier way? It's a common feature GUIs to have buttons or context menus to allow manual sorting (suggestion).

Phew! I have something else to ask, but I'll wait until finish these questions  :^_^:

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Good questions. What i meant with creating a new mod has nothing to do with the CK, fortunately :P I was talking in context of MO. What i normally do is create a new folder in the mods folder within the MO directory. Once you start MO, at the very bottom of the mod list (left hand pane) will be the new folder, whatever you named it. It will be in italics and grayed out, but thats just because its empty. I then drag files from overwrite into this folder.


This folder tricks MO into thinking its an installed mod, which is why i referred to it as creating a new mod. I usually create a few of these folders for the bashed patch, conflict resolution patches, FNIS, etc. I would not drag and drop the files into anywhere in the left hand pane, as you might overwrite something permanently. Its best to create empty mod containers as i described and drag the overwrite files into there.


FNIS shouldn't normally CTD your game, even if its done wrongly, i think. You will get some strange NPC behavior though. As long as you drag the generated FNIS folders after running FNIS out of the overwrite folder into somewhere in the left hand panel you should be fine. I usually put the FNIS container/ mod at the bottom of my mod list, just so it overwrites anything else.


Ok, im not sure about the SkyUI thing. In my previous post I meant priority in regards to BOSS. A separate tool. The left hand panel is useful for moving mods around so you can override files such as textures. Which is exactly what you did by placing the retexture after Apachii. BOSS only orders plugins, such as .esp and .esm files. Hence BOSS will sort the SkyUI.esp plugin, but none of the other files within the SkyUI mod folder. I would ignore MOs warning about potential mod conflicts, BOSS is much better than this for plugins, and for the other types of files its up to you to manually order them by shifting the installed mods in the left hand panel up and down.


As to the drag a "mod without a mod" situation. Yes, a lot of texture mods have no esp or esm files. However, when you install them in MO, a folder is still created. This is the installed mod. Its still a mod, and you can still drag this mod folder around within the list. If you double click on a mod in the left hand folder it will come up with information on what files it conflicts with elsewhere in the list of mods. If it shows conflicts with Apachii files then it should be working, as long as the retexture is below Apachii in the list. As to why you see no difference, i have no idea. Some retextures are subtle, or the mod might not work at all.


Regarding the priority column, this should be the default selected column, always. Otherwise overrides will not do as you wish. I have always always kept the list ordered via priority column, and I would hesitate to move away from that since the whole point of the install mod list is for override sorting. And yes, the sorting has to be done manually :P As i said before, BOSS takes care of some of the files, but the rest is up to you. This is also why STEP is so useful, because it already been ordered and you dont need to do a lot of testing yourself.


Hope this helps!

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Very interesting, I was wondering why there is a mods folder along MO structure if I can save the compressed files in a different folder. Now I know. :)


The other question I mentioned is about BSA extraction. I read somewhere it can offer a subtle performance gain. Currently I'm not with the top dog VGA so any improvement would be awesome. But I'm not sure if this is boost is real, if the procedure is safe (in terms of ruin everything) and, if unsafe, if it can be reverted.

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BSA extraction is perfectly safe. I think performance gains are negligible though. The real advantage for BSA extraction is that you get all the loose files from the mod, which allows MO to check if there are conflicts with other loose files from other mods. If its just BSAs MO has no idea whether the contents conflict. Its best practice to extract every mod BSA, there is no downside to doing so.


Actually BSA extraction when done normally without MO's virtual directory would technically cause performance issues. The more files within the Skyrim directory, the more work has to be done while the game is running, kinda like real time indexing. Its called the 'thrashing' issue. Thankfully, MO totally solves this with the virtual directory system, so go nuts and extract every BSA. I even extracted the skyrim - textures.bsa and well as all the HRDLC bsas.

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