Modding

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Modding, or creating mods, is the act of modifying the behavior of the base game (often referred as vanilla), either for personal use, or to release publicly to other players, for instance via the Steam Workshop.

As for all Paradox games, Stellaris is moddable to a great extent.

Motivations of modders may vary widely: better translation to native language, more events or decisions, better map, major overhaul, etc.

This guide is intended to lower the entry barriers to the world of Stellaris modding. However, there is still a learning curve to it, and it cannot replace the need to read some working vanilla code, and do lots of trial and error experimentation!

Guidelines

  • Create a mod for your modifications: use a personal mod even for small changes, and never modify directly game files in Steam Stellaris folder, as they may be overwritten without warning.
  • Use a good text editor (like Notepad++ or Sublime Text) to edit files and search into multiple files.
  • Validate your mod with The Validator, it will save you a lot of pain and time troubleshooting crashes and bugs.
  • Minimize overwrites of vanilla files by adding separate files and loading from folders whenever possible, to improve mod compatibility and maintenance.
  • Use a proper merge tool (like WinMerge), to merge between folders, and update modified vanilla files to a new vanilla patch.
  • Backup your work to avoid losing everything. Consider using a source control system like Git and a collaborative forge like Github to manage team collaboration.
  • Use UTF-8 encoding for text files.
  • Indent properly to easily spot unclosed curly braced. Vanilla uses 1 tab for indentation rather than spaces.
  • Use comments starting with # character, to remember reasons for writing tricky stuff.

Mod structure

Mods are located in folder ~\Paradox Interactive\Stellaris\mod, which must contain:

  • the .mod file, to tell the launcher what to do with the mod-folder.
  • the mod folder or zip containing the mod data. The mod data must have the same file and folder structure as if it was along with stallaris.exe in the game directory. Note that folder and file names are case sensitive on Mac and Linux.

Game data

Game structure

Below is a list of game files and folders, with associated modding guide.

File/Folder What it contains How to mod
Stellaris\common\
  • Edicts
  • ethics
  • game rules
  • army attachments
  • name lists
  • country types
  • planet classes
  • modifiers
  • buildings
General information Modifiers
Stellaris\common\defines\ Basic game behaviors and settings Defines

Modding Guides

Maya Exporter Guide
Portrait modding

Tools & utilities

  • Notepad++ - Powerful editor to change files.
  • Maya exporter - Clausewitz Maya Exporter to create your own 3D models.

External links

Stellaris Dev Diary #31 - Modding (Scripting Anomalies)
Stellaris Dev Diary #32 - Modding art

See also

References


Empire EmpireEthicsGovernments • Civics • OriginsMandatesAgendasTraditions • Ascension PerksEdictsPoliciesRelicsTechnologiesCustom Empires
Pops JobsFactions
Leaders LeadersLeader Traits
Species SpeciesSpecies Traits
Planets PlanetsPlanetary Feature • Orbital DepositBuildings • DistrictsPlanetary Decisions
Systems SystemsStarbasesMegastructuresBypassesMap
Fleets FleetsShips • Components
Land Warfare ArmiesBombardment Stance
Diplomacy Diplomacy • Federations • Galactic CommunityOpinion ModifiersCasus Belli • War Goals
Events EventsAnomaliesSpecial projectsArchaeological Sites
Gameplay GameplayDefinesResources • Economy
Dynamic modding Dynamic moddingEffectsConditionsScopesModifiersVariablesAI
Media/localisation Maya exporterGraphicsPortraitsFlagsEvent picturesInterfaceIconsMusicLocalisation
Other Console commandsSave-game editingSteam Workshop