Monster Hunter: World
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About this mod

A guide to using Mod Organizer 2 to manage your MHW mods. This used to say "short guide", but uhhhh

Requirements
Permissions and credits
Mirrors
Note: In order to comply with Nexus's rules, I've added a slimmed down ReShade template for you to use later on in the guide. This fixes some potential path issues and will provide a mostly clean slate for you to work with to create your own ReShade preset. Instructions for the fix are towards the bottom of the guide.


Introduction
What is this guide?
This is a tutorial on how to setup Mod Organizer 2 (MO2) and use it to manage mods in Monster Hunter: World. I will not be going into great depth on many of the awesome features of MO2 as that is outside the scope of this guide (Oops), but I will briefly explain the ones that are most useful to managing mods in MHW. For more detailed information on Mod Organizer 2, please check the official post on the Skyrim SE page. DISCLAIMER: I am not a part of the MO2 development team, nor am I affiliated with them. This is a tutorial written by a regular user like you.

Why should I use MO2 when I already know how to manually manage mods?
Better mod visibility
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Better conflict management
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The base game directory is untouched
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Why should I use MO2 when I already use Vortex?
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The Guide
Requirements
  • The latest official version of Monster Hunter: World. Pirated or older versions probably won't work. I will not provide support for pirates.
  • A fresh, unmodified installation of MHW. You should not have mods installed before performing these steps or you may run into issues. If your game is already modded, I recommend removing your nativePC folder and re-installing your mods with MO2. Otherwise, you will almost certainly run into problems.
  • The latest Visual C++ packages. Download and install the x86 and x86 versions:


Installing Mod Organizer 2
Please do not start these steps until all requirements above are true. We will be installing MO2 in portable mode for this guide because it's the way I'm most comfortable with and will allow us to be sure no other games or mod lists are touched.

  1. Create a new folder called "MHW" at the root of the same drive Monster Hunter: World is installed on. For example, if Monster Hunter: World is installed in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Seaam\steamapps\common\...", you should create a folder at "C:\MHW\". The exact path isn't super important, we just want to make sure this new folder is on the same drive as the game and that it's not in a folder like Desktop, Downloads. or Program Files.
  2. Head to the MO2 page on the Skyrim SE Nexus site and click "Manual Download" under the main Mod Organizer 2 download to get the latest installer. Don't worry, the version here works with all games.
  3. Run the downloaded Mod Organizer 2 installer and accept the license agreement.
  4. At the next screen, click "Browse" and navigate to the folder you created in step 1, then click "Next" to go to the next screen.
  5. Leave the rest of the settings as default and click "Next" a few times, then "Install" to install.
  6. Click "Finish". Mod Organizer 2 should start automatically. A window will appear explaining what an "instance" is.
  7. Click "Next" once, then choose "Create a portable instance".
  8. Monster Hunter: World should appear in the list of games to manage, click it. If it does not appear, launch the game once through Steam, then exit at the main menu. This allows for necessary registry keys to be created.
  9. The next screen asks where the data should be stored. Leave the pre-filled location selected (should be the folder you created in step 1) and click "Next".
  10. You should be presented with a screen that looks similar the screenshot below. Note that your "Instance location" and "Game location" will be slightly different as the paths depend on your specific locations.
  11. 
  12. Click "Finish" to create the instance. The main MO2 interface will automatically launch its main interface.


Launching Monster Hunter: World
If you close MO2 and need to get back into it, navigate to the folder you created in step 1 above, then launch "ModOrganizer.exe". Note that from now on, you should always run MHW through MO2. Before proceeding, give the game a test run to make sure everything is working. Make sure Steam is running, then click the "Run" button in the top right corner of MO2.


You can create a shortcut for this by clicking the "Shortcut" button directly below the "Run" button and choosing where you want the shortcut to go. If something isn't working during your test run, stop here to troubleshoot before proceeding further into the guide.


Some Configuration Changes
These are some initial tweaks and fixes to finalize our MO2 installation.

  1. Click "Tools" then "Settings" in the top menu bar. Or press CTRL+S.
  2. Click the tab labeled "Nexus".
  3. If you do not see your Nexus Mods profile information under "Nexus Account", click "Connect to Nexus" and sign in.
  4. Click "Associate with "Download with manager" links".
  5. Click the tab labeled "General".
  6. Check the boxes next to "Show meta information" and "Compact list".
  7. Click "OK" to close the settings menu.

Enable Dark Mode (optional)
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Create a New Profile (strongly recommended)
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Creating Separators (very helpful if you plan on adding many mods)
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Managing Mods
The hard part is now done, all that's left is to mod the game! Thankfully, installing and managing mods in MO2 is pretty simple and intuitive. But first, a VERY quick rundown on the "Load Order" as it's important to understanding how mods are loaded into the game.

Load Order (very important, I'll keep it short, I promise)
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Installing Mods
The high-level flow for downloading a mod is: download mod from the Nexus -> double click the mod in the "Downloads" tab of MO2 to install -> enable it -> move it to a good place in your load order. You will still need Stacker's Loader for the vast majority of mods, so let's walk through that together as a an example of how to install mods:

(Quick Note: because of how MO2 virtualizes its files, mods installed through MO2 won't be visible to external programs or tools. This includes Stacker's Loader and the CRCBypass, 2 mods required for many other mods and tools. If you plan to use a tool such as HunterPie to hook into the game, you may want to install Stacker's Loader and the CRCBypass manually. Steps for that can be found in the FAQ, More Info, and Troubleshooting section below. If you choose to install those mods manually, do not install them through MO2 as well. Your other mods installed through MO2 will work as intended. Note that in the specific instance of HunterPie, all core functionality of the program will still work if Stacker's Loader and the CRCBypass are installed through MO2, just some specific optional components may not.)

  1. First, make sure the game is closed, then head over to the mod page for Stacker's Loader and click the "Files" tab.
  2. Under "Main Files", you should see Stacker's latest release of their loader. Click the orange "Mod Manager Download" button. If you install a different mod that does not have a "Mod Manager Download" button, check out the Troubleshooting and FAQ section down below for special instructions.
  3. A popup will appear making sure you have all the requirements for the mod. Click the orange "Download" button. Even though it says the "Performance Booster" is required to use the loader, we still need to install the loader first.
  4. Back in Mod Organizer 2, click the "Downloads" tab on the right side. This tab is where your downloaded (but not installed) files will appear. You should see "Stacker's Loader" listed there.
  5. Once the download is finished, double-click the mod to begin to install it. A window will appear showing you the contents of the mod.
  6. The first time you install a mod, you'll see a prompt with some information on what this window means. Read through the prompts in the gray box, then click the green arrow and repeat. Keep in mind the wording in the prompts is specific to Bethesda games, but the idea is the same for MHW, we just use "nativePC" instead of "Data" for mods. Stacker's Loader is configured correctly so it should work with MO2 without any modifications. But some mods are not packaged correctly and we will need to rename folders within the mod to make sure everything works. Detailed instructions for that will be provided below in the Troubleshooting and FAQ section.
  7. For now, click "OK" to install Stacker's Loader. You should see "Stacker's Loader" appear in the mod list directly under the "ESSENTIAL MODS" separator we created earlier in the guide. And this is most likely where we want to keep it because almost all other mods depend on it.
  8. Even though it's installed, it is not actually enabled yet. Only enabled mods will be loaded when we launch the game. To enable the mod, click the checkbox next to it's name.
  9. Stacker's Loader will now be loaded the next time you run MHW through MO2.


FAQ, More Info, and Troubleshooting
In this section of the guide, I'll walk you through a few specific scenarios you will probably encounter and show you to to deal with them. If you aren't having any issues and are already sick of reading my walls of text, you can skip this section and close the page here, you've suffered enough!

Conflict Management
The first thing to note about conflicts is that they aren't necessarily bad to have. Sometimes you will create your own conflicts intentionally. Conflicts are only bad when they are ignored and you do not make a decision on them. Before explaining conflict management more, familiarize yourself with the information in the "Load Order" section above. I've also attached some test files to this page that will conflict. You can use these 3 files to play around and see which files win in certain scenarios.
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Mods Uploaded Incorrectly to the Nexus
Sometimes, mod authors upload their mods to the Nexus with improper folder structure. This can be annoying, but it's easier to just fix it yourself rather than contact the author to do so. We'll go through 2 common examples in the spoiler tag here.
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Mods with no "Mod Manager Download" Button (Manually Installing Mods)
When a mod author uploads a mod, they can choose to disable the "Mod Manager Download" button, leaving "Manual Download" as the only option. They do this to be difficult because their mod probably has special installation instructions or is an external tool (not a mod). But oftentimes the mod will still work fine when installed manually through MO2. Here's how to manually install a mod in MO2.
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Installing ReShade / ReShade not working
At the time of writing this guide, there is currently a bug with the DirectX 12 version of MHW and ReShade, namely that it does not work. You can fix this by manually loading the ReShade libraries in MO2. I've provided a pre-configured preset in the "Main files" section of this guide.
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Conclusion
Sorry again about how long this got. As I wrote, it slowly transformed from "a brief guide to using Mod Organizer 2 with MHW" into "a general MO2 guide". In any case, thank you for reading, it means a lot! I've disabled the mod rewards program for the test files because I feel it would be ridiculous to profit from sharing this information. I also won't post any other donation links for the same reason. That said, if you found any of this helpful, it would honestly make my day to hear about it in the posts. I love helping people and would LOVE to hear that the 4300 words I just typed weren't wasted LOL.

If there's anything you'd like me to explain more, please let me know and I will add it to the guide if I can.

If you get stuck on any part, let me know and I can rewrite it to make it clearer.