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Addon

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Addons, mods or plugins are modifications to the official version of the game. They either add new parts, systems and mechanics to the game or replace existing ones. Addons are generally made by the community rather than the developers and can greatly enhance the playing experience. Due to their widespread popularity, Squad offers an official website for exchanging them, the Kerbal SpacePort.

Contents

Installing addons

In general addons are installed into the GameData directory. If the installation technique differs there is usually a more detailed description in the readme, on the SpacePort page or in the forum's opening post. Some mods directly distribute the content which should go into the GameData directory, while others distribute the GameData directory in which all new directories are. There are also some cases in which the root directory of the zip is itself containing a GameData directory. So unless the root directory is not named GameData it is always good to look if there is a GameData directory in the root directory.

Sometimes mods require other mods to work which should be mentioned in the readme, SpacePort or forum page. These are distributed too in most cases with the original mod, which should be checked before copying the contents. Sometimes a mod distribute an older version which might break other plugins which require the newer version. Even worse are mods with a different name, because then the same mod is installed twice which usually break the game. The best way to handle is only installing the mod itself and manually checking if any requirements are already installed and if they might need to be updated.

To install the content of a ZIP archive a program to unzip is required. Usually there is a program already installed, but there are various available on the internet. Of course it should be checked if the sources are trustworthy.

The directory structure was changed in 0.20, which introduced the GameData directory. There are still some plugins which use the old directory system which is more complicated and might introduce file conflicts, where two or more files need to be merged.

Directory system

The contents of a ZIP archive are usually:

  • A directory with the mod name (might be omitted)
    • A directory with the name GameData (might be omitted too)
      • Again a directory with the mod name, which might be confused with the first level mod directory
        • Usually there is some documentation like a readme text file, or changelog.
        • The "Parts" folder contains the actual shipbuilding parts you would see in the ship builder interface.
        • The "Plugins" folder contains the plugin .dll files that would support the plugin system implemented by the addon.
        • The "Source" folder is just the source code, and is only needed by modders wanting to see how the addon was made and maybe attempt to modify it (with permission/attribution, of course).

Removing addons

In most cases, addons can be easily removed by deleting the addon directory in the GameData directory. Sometimes it other mods require the removed addon which then need to be removed too. If the addon introduced additional parts, craft which use those parts can't be loaded or approached. To disable the functionality without losing the craft, it is possible to change the file extension of all DLL files or remove them completely in the mod directory. Upon loading the game, the mod's code won't be loaded but the parts are still available.

As for installing, removing addons which use the directory system prior to 0.20 is more complex. Each file which was added in that mod needs to be removed manually usually and if files were merged, those needs to be undone.

Addons on this wiki