Skyrim Special Edition

Modding Bethesda Games on Game Pass - What we know so far

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As you might have heard, Microsoft has recently added some of our most popular games to their Game Pass subscription service including Skyrim Special Edition, Fallout 4, Oblivion and Morrowind. So we've put together this handy article with some details about what's new or different when it comes to modding these Bethesda titles on Game Pass for PC. 


Do all mods work with Game Pass?

No. Unfortunately, mods that rely on the popular script extenders (SKSE, F4SE, etc) will not currently work with Game Pass. In a conversation with Ian Patterson of the Silverlock team, he said they are experimenting with a few possible solutions at the moment. Sadly, despite their efforts, there are still some hurdles to overcome due to the complications introduced in these new versions, but they haven't given up yet so there's always hope. This may prevent visual presets such as ENBs and ReShades from working correctly, too. 

Mods that offer replacements to files from the vanilla game such as video replacers may also be unsupported. This is related to the Xbox app preventing edits to these files. However, in testing, this seems to be a somewhat intermittent problem so your mileage may vary. 

Don't worry though, there are still plenty of mods that will work just fine!


How do I install mods on the Game Pass version?

Out of the box, the ability to install mods to the game is disabled. In this state, none of the game files can be modified by your user account. You will need to enable modding in the Xbox app by clicking the "Enable Mods" button shown below.




Once enabled, you will be able to make changes to the files in the game-specific folder found at C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\. 

You'll be pleased to know our Vortex devs are already hard at work on updating the extensions for Skyrim SE, Fallout 4, Oblivion and Morrowind to include support for the Game Pass versions. Keep an eye out for an update!


What about modding tools like xEdit?

Any tools you are used to using to mod your game will likely not support Game Pass without being updated first. Please make sure you check the mod page for the tool you are trying to use to see if the author has added any information about Game Pass before asking them. 


As a mod author, do I need to update my mods?

There shouldn't be any need for mods to be updated for this version of the game. However, if your mod does rely on script extender functions and you want to support the Game Pass release, you could consider making these functions an optional requirement. I've personally already done this in Icecreamassassin's Legacy of the Dragonborn back when SKSE was not yet available for Skyrim Special Edition. I'd be happy to offer advice to anyone who is interested.


What else is different? 

Based on a combination of our own research and some information from the team behind Wryebash, we've compiled a list of notable differences in important file paths for each of the Game Pass versions. All of these games must be started through the game launcher via the Xbox app and it may not be possible for mod managers to detect the game from a "cold start" of the system due to the game files needing to be "mounted" for it to be detectable. The fix for this is just to open and close the game once before managing mods. 

Skyrim Special Edition
Game Pass Publisher ID: 3275kfvn8vcwc
Game Pass ID: BethesdaSoftworks.SkyrimSE-PC
Mod Install Location: C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\Skyrim Special Edition (PC)
INI/Saves Location: C:\Users\{USER}\Documents\My Games\Skyrim Special Edition MS
Plugins.txt Location: %localappdata%\Packages\BethesdaSoftworks.SkyrimSE-PC_3275kfvn8vcwc\LocalCache\Local\Skyrim Special Edition MS\Plugins.txt


Fallout 4
Game Pass Publisher ID: 3275kfvn8vcwc
Game Pass ID: BethesdaSoftworks.Fallout4-PC
Mod Install Location: C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\Fallout 4 (PC)
INI/Saves Location:  C:\Users\{USER}\Documents\My Games\Fallout4 MS
Plugins.txt Location: %localappdata%\Packages\BethesdaSoftworks.Fallout4-PC_3275kfvn8vcwc\LocalCache\Local\Fallout4 MS\Plugins.txt

Note: The Fallout 4 version on Game Pass does not include any of the DLCs, they can be purchased separately. 


Oblivion
Game Pass Publisher ID: 3275kfvn8vcwc
Game Pass ID: BethesdaSoftworks.TESOblivion-PC
Mod Install Location: C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\Oblivion GOTY (PC)
INI/Saves Location:  C:\Users\{USER}\Documents\My Games\Oblivion
Plugins.txt Location: %localappdata%\Packages\BethesdaSoftworks.TESOblivion-PC_3275kfvn8vcwc\LocalCache\Local\Oblivion

Note: Oblivion installs several different language versions of the game in separate folders. The mod installation location will vary depending on which version you are trying to play. 


Morrowind
Game Pass Publisher ID: 3275kfvn8vcwc
Game Pass ID: BethesdaSoftworks.TESMorrowind-PC
Mod Install Location: C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\Morrowind GOTY (PC)
INI/Saves Location:  C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\Morrowind GOTY (PC)

Note: Morrowind installs several different language versions of the game in separate folders. The INI and mod installation locations will vary depending on which version you are trying to play.


Repairing your installation

In the event that you delete or damage some of the core vanilla game files, you can actually reverify the game files similar to how it works with Steam. This option isn't part of the Xbox app itself but can be found in your Windows settings. Open your Windows settings, go to Apps, then find the game in the list of installed apps. Click on the game entry and it will allow you to select "Advanced options" where you can repair or reset your game installation. 



Did we miss anything? What do you think about the Bethesda games being available on Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below. 

127 comments

  1. ff7legend
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    No pun/disrespect intended towards console users but with Game Pass, one does not actually own the game in question.  If one fails to renew their yearly subscription to Game Pass, one will lose access to all those so-called "free games" they downloaded to their console's HDD/SSD.  The same applies to PS Plus users.  One is far better off buying the actual game vs obtaining it via Game Pass/PS Plus. 

    I actually prefer physical media vs digital downloads/recordings anyway.  With a physical copy, I actually OWN the game/music/movie in question & can watch/play/listen to it as many times as I wish without having to pay those nagging subscription fees.  Not only that but the overall sound/video quality of physical media is vastly superior vs digital downloads/recordings anyway.  I still have my CDs/Blu-rays for this very reason & will not pay a subscription fee just to watch/play a game/movie or listen to my favorite music.  Total RIPOFF.

    Another thing to be concerned with are all those DATA OVERAGE CHARGES one is likely to incur depending upon the ISP.  Streaming games/movies/videogames eats up A TON OF DATA.  This is especially true for 4K/8K video streaming.  Many ISPs here Stateside have monthly data caps & charge a King's ransom for going over one's monthly data allotment.  Others will simply throttle one's internet speeds to the point where streaming is impossible depending on the device used.  Either way, physical media is vastly superior & will save one a TON OF $$$$$$ in the long run...
    1. GamingZacharyC
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      Someone's a misinformed ranter on this forum. First, find an ISP that doesn't have a ridiculous data cap. 1.2 terabytes a month, my data cap, is plenty for me.

      Second, renting your game or movie from a service like Netflix, Disney Plus, and Game Pass are really great options for people who only want to watch a movie once or twice. Chances are I'm never going to watch Frozen 2 again. Renting an entire library of games is a great way to go for people who play a game for a short while (think Human Fall Flat) before needing a new one. Game Pass is a great option for games that aren't replayable. Beyond that, streaming quality is getting better and better. If quality is your concern, well, I'm sorry to say that you're not getting a disk of Flora & Ulysses any time soon. There are times when you have to decide: Wallet or impractical peace of mind.

      Something that I haven't even mentioned today is that Game Pass DOES NOT MAKE PROFIT as of yet. Microsoft is taking a gamble with it and hoping that people stick around long enough.

      Owning a physical disk because of ISP charges is a very uninformed answer that just screams to me "too stubborn to change." Think about it this way: Owning an Xbox disk is really just a container for a license key and some metadata. You still have to download the game over the internet. Also, if game streaming services like GeForce Now didn't exist, there'd be plenty of games I couldn't play with my potato. Instead of paying upfront for a bunch of expensive hardware, I choose to rent it. My household doesn't incur data cap charges, like, ever.

      Of course, I don't know why I'm bothering in an attempt to change the mind of someone who argues so naively anyway. I guess this is here for someone else to read and agree with.
    2. Lominsa
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      .. there are still ISPs that have data caps? I thought that was a thing of the past. At least in my country.
    3. Kalell
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      Sadly nearly every ISP here in the US has one, and even the few that don't will start throttling your connection if they feel you're using too much.
    4. showler
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      Game Pass isn't a streaming service to my knowledge.  You download the full game, but with a somewhat restrictive DRM (so you can't just copy it to another folder and keep it).  Unless you are constantly downloading and erasing the games, you won't use much more data than just buying and downloading the game.
    5. SciRika
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      My ISP added a data cap and tried to advertise it as a bonus "you now have 1TB of data!" when it was "you're now limited to only 1TB of data".
    6. Chaosgod3456
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      thats not true ps plus games are free and not like game pass if you dont renew you still own the game
    7. Kel1978
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      It's quite rude calling people names. If ff7legend is a ranter then so are you, GamingZacharyC, for ranting about his rant. His situation is different than yours. Maybe he doesn't have a great ISP. There are still places in the US without great connections so perhaps his options are limited. Don't be so judgy.

      I prefer physical as well. If I really like a game on Gamepass, I'll buy the physical. I mostly go for collector's edition anyways.

      I tried the console versions but modding was way too limiting. A mear 5gb? Ridiculous. I'll stick to PC for Bethesda games.
    8. ThomGonring
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      Or maybe to read and disagree . . .

      #1 try not calling names: "ranter", it does not foster conversation, only reactions.

      More specific to your post:

      "Game Pass does not make a profit" "Microsoft is taking a gamble"

      If you think game pass is going to remain a low monthly fee, think again.  The low initial price is a lure, and the "gamble" is a long term INVESTMENT. designed to generate profits, imagine that!  The price WILL GO UP.

      As far as Game Pass's value, it's really as simple as this:

      If you want to play a lot of games, and/or try them out without commitment:  Game Pass is Great! - Period

      If you prefer a small amount of your favorite games, and/or like to mod:  Game Pass SUCKS! - Period

      ALL OF YOU:  recognize that different people have different goals (Which is GOOD!), and stop trying to convert the opposite camp!

      MOD CRITICIZERS:  Don't knock mods until you get them working right, because when you do: it transforms your game in ways you cannot imagine.  Skyrim (2011!) is still more playable than many modern games BECAUSE OF MODS.  Yes, they require some patience, but that patience is greatly rewarded.

      LAST AND NOT LEAST:  ANY internet outage means no gaming with Game Pass.  If you're going to try and tell me your internet NEVER goes down, I will call you "nobody", because nobody's perfect (including the internet).

      Thank you.
    9. DaveClaw
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      Game Pass is DRM-locked downloaded games.  It is not streaming.

      Game Pass is a great way to play 100+ games.  Yes, if you enjoy one of those 100 enough to want a permanent copy then it makes sense to buy the GOTY edition a couple of years later for $20.  Meanwhile you've saved paying $60 each on many games. 

      I played Outer Worlds day of release with Game Pass.  It was fun but I'm not feeling any urge to replay it unlike my 1,000+ hours in Fallout 4 and eleventy playthroughs of FO 1-2-tactics-3-NV.  The $60 I didn't pay paid for months of Game Pass by itself.
    10. showler
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      Not sure why anyone would address "MOD CRITICIZERS" on the Nexusmods message boards.  Not likely to find too many of those around here.
    11. naitzmic
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      You're aware that discs just have a digital image on them too, right?
      There's literally no difference between a downloaded file and the one on a disc. It's all digital.
      Whatever difference you think you're seeing/hearing is either placebo or you're comparing two differently encoded files.

      As for the datacap argument; eh, okay. Sucks for you, I guess?
      I have fiberoptic gigabit ethernet with no restrictions, and IF it should ever go down at an inoppurtune time, I'll hook up my phone and use the 5G connection on that instead. Two different networks, so the likelyhood of both being down at the same time is quite low.

      Sounds like "stone-age woes" to me thb.
    12. juggernex9
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      Right, Data-Caps, data caps, what is that? I'd understand if you are referring to telephony. But internet? Not in my country either!
    13. werksmith
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      I think of Game Pass like this: paying a small amount to try out a bunch of different games. If I like the game and it has some replay-ability and I want to play it long term I will buy the game. There is nothing stopping anyone from purchasing the game outright nor is game pass a replacement for that. I really think that game pass marketing is failing at that message and people have that misconception. One other way to look at it is if you do not have much money but want to game you can get in. It really seems like a neat deal especially for those who are less savvy than us on Nexus. 
    14. ff7legend
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      @juggernex9: A data cap is a cap on the amount of data uploaded/downloaded/streamed within a particular time frame.  Here in the U.S, many ISPs have instituted monthly data caps on home internet service.  This means that if one goes over one's monthly data allotment within a 30 day period, one will incur expensive data overage charges added to their monthly bill.  Some ISPs will also throttle the speed of one's connection in addition to the added data overage charges.  This is especially true for smartphone users.  In many countries across Europe/Asia, it is ILLEGAL for ISPs to cap one's data usage/throttle one's connection speeds.  That is not the case here in the U.S where corporations rule the day via lobbying/political campaign contributions.  ISPs here Stateside also enjoy monopolies across large geographical areas no thanks to the contracts they have in various large cities that expressly PROHIBIT any competing company to have access to the necessary infrastructure to set up a competing network...
    15. vapor78
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      AS someone who works for an ISP, MOST ISP's in america do NOT in fact throttle your bandwidth nor do they implement caps, that is almost entirely a cellular or satellite trait.
      our "typical" user goes thru about 850 gigs a month, our "heavy" users can do 1.5 tb if they use thier internet as a cable replacement.

      if you are being throttled, you may consider switching ISP's

      I work for a WISP and we dont even throttle our CU's at all, "unless" thier account has been flagged as abusive use, I.E. they run lots of torrents or are running a server from thier home. in which case they upgrade to a buisiness account and then its no issue

      also to note, no internet company in america is allowed a monopoly, there MUST be an alternative even in a franchising situation.
      you sir are horribly informed OR you are just making stuff up. idk which.
    16. jeffcollins2020
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      Not in the las 5 years I haven had a cap I live in Texas. Check your facts
    17. Kalell
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      https://www.allconnect.com/blog/internet-service-providers-with-data-caps
      https://www.highspeedinternet.com/resources/which-internet-service-providers-have-data-caps
      https://www.cabletv.com/blog/which-brands-have-data-caps
      https://broadbandnow.com/internet-providers-with-data-caps
    18. griffinClark44
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      The free game of the month with gold which comes with the game pass allows you to keep the game without the subscription but go off
    19. rohsaurus
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      Are you  in the middle of the country because on the east coast, I don't have any data caps or any catches like that.
  2. TXChannel34
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    This is the predictable end of gaming. The general rule for a successful business is to find something that makes money and scale it. This is just Microsoft scaling it. They know that something that is this popular and the bygone conclusion is that there will be enough subscribers that will stay with it, they don't care about the odd ones out. When I bought games from a brick and mortar store for my new alienware laptop was like seeing my kids born, only to find out when I installed them on my computer and then launched it, it said I had to get this "steam" thing to run the game I bought on the computer I paid for. this is nothing more than money grabbing as many have noted. I don't buy a bunch of games, I don't play a bunch of them, there are a few that I have and like, and if there is a game that comes out that looks cool I will buy it, and if I don't like it, I stop playing it. I paid the developers for the privilege of trying it out. If I like it, I buy more of their games, more of their DLCs, etc. I am not going to go on down this road, you all know what I mean. Games like Fortnite and the like, sure, make em subscription stuff. Games like Fallout, Skyrim, etc, they are for refined gamers, they aren't plug and play shoot em ups. If you've ever had a problem with windows, and tried their customer support for a fix, you already know what sort of an invironment we find ourselves in now. Only in the corporate mind would anyone be ok with being turned from a player into a payer and expect the customer to be happy about it.

    If they were serious about their plan and keeping us happy, they'd offer us the ability to pay a small one time charge for a game, and subscriptions would be optional with an "in app purchase". I'm still fuming about having had bought a game and have to run it through the steam client. I believe that it causes a lot of the crashes that I experience in the game. I can be playing, the game crashes, won't start back up again unless I go to task manager and force quit the 13 steam apps running in the background. But that's a different thread. I spent the last week downloading a bunch of mods and dlc and working the bugs out, and am still not done to my satisfaction, but it;'s getting there. Heck, on the microsoft platform, all you get is the vanilla game and No DLCs, no popular mods, nada. Just the opportunity to pay Microsoft $50 per month for the privilege of playing the vanilla game using their game client which is required to play at all.
    1. Saggaris
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      Have a Kudos for your 'rant' TX

      I and a good few 'older' others feel the similar about being corporately stuffed.
    2. GamingZacharyC
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      Hold on a minute there: As far as we know, most Bethesda titles will be on the MS Store, yes, but we don't even know if they'll be on Steam, like Skyrim.  Personally, I'd prefer Bethesda releases their titles on Steam instead of the Bethesda.net Launcher because, honestly, that's too much bloat for my system. Bethesda titles, in my experience, are buggy and unoptimized. I don't need a buggy and unoptimized launcher running in the background, taking nibbles at my potato rig. Steam is very well optimized and well cared for.

      As for the taskkilling the Steam processes: That is the game's fault. Steam provides a bunch of APIs for a game developer to make use of. If a game crashes and the game process isn't entirely dead, Steam provides an option to force quit a game if it is being stubborn. Personally, I've never had problems with Steam, only the games published on the platform. If the game crashes a lot, that's a very nieve answer to just blame the retailer service. The launcher is almost never the problem with a retailer; The problem is almost always with the game itself.

      To top it all off, Game Pass is an *optional* thing, and it is $15 a month (for Ultimate), not $50. You can outright buy a copy of the game if you wish, or you can rent it and a bunch of other games for $15 a month. Personally, I would go Game Pass, but buy my Bethesda titles on Steam.


      If there's one good thing I can see coming out of the MS-Zenimax deal, I do believe that Bethesda games will get better in terms of performance and bugs.
    3. Kel1978
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      most Bethesda games are already on steam.  Also you can mod just mine with games from the Microsoft store. You just need to take ownership of the folder.
    4. EnaiSiaion
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      If the consumer rewards Microsoft for this move, it means game ownership, mods and so on don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

      I used to care about owning games, too. Then I grew up. Adults don't have time to mess around with installing and managing games, they just want to hit a button and play.

      This rant feels like a brick and mortar store owner trying to defend their business from online marketplaces. People will go where they want, and if they go somewhere else, you didn't have enough to offer in the first place.

      I suspect most people could not care less about moddability, and by the next generation, the only games that can be modded are games that are designed as platforms for custom content, like Mario Maker and Trackmania, and only within the confines of their sandbox. People will like it because it eliminates much of the hassle (Skyrim mods are too clunky and unprofessional for the majority of users). And if their favourite game doesn't support mods, who cares? It will have DLC instead, and once the DLC runs out, play something else!
    5. Saggaris
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      You seem to be a bit mixed up there, have you noticed that here on Nexus there have been over four and a half billion mod downloads... so where are you getting the idea that most people don't care about moddability?
      I personally feel that you are of the camp that doesn't care and are trying to convert the mod anointed.

      I understand that priorities change as you age, but don't think for one moment it's about growing up, it's not, it's about choice and what you do with that choice, if you give that up willingly then you will never get it back as long as there is a buck to be made and a head to be patted... "Yes, clever boy, you've helped to make me a greater percentage on my investment, and it only costs the user... have a pat on the head"
    6. HaltyRem
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      @EnaiSiaion:
      I do agree about existence of dendency toward declining of using mods in new games.
      From my personal point of view the reasons are:
      1) modern games are staying for much longer visually and gameplay-wise non-outdated, and less lacking of quality-of-life features, so the modern games need less fixes;
      2) nowadays, there are very many games with different visual styles, roleplaying setting and options, gameplay modes, so there is less need for expanding with mods all of this in any particular ONE game;
      3) it is much faster and easier to just use an additional game, which already has what is needed and is optimised for it;
      4) those games, that provide extensive options to fine-tune almost everything in game, do not induce desire to mod it (OH WHY DEVELOPERS DO IT SO RARELY?!!!);
      5) majority of the most profitable games are either multiplayer, or cooperative, and these types of games are much less moddable then singleplayer games.
    7. Dravond
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      Hey there is there a guide i can look at to use mods on ms store games?
    8. Stiffon
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      I think Saggaris got it right and you're both in the don't mod camp and think we should all join you. Wrong. I've spent days and weeks modding games like Skyrim and FO and still do. And I spend days playing them too - still. And I'm sure I will keep on modding in the future. I'm not new to gaming nor modding, but I definitely want the choice. Being an adult means having choice.
    9. vapor78
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      I like how a few comments on here make back handed swipes at the mod community as a whole... comments like " *adults* dont have time.. blah blah" these remarks are specifically stated to be dimunitive towards folks who do mod.. cuz by that logic if you mod, you arent an adult..

      the bethesda games have been kept alive BY modding, ppl wouldnt still be playing marrowind or oblivion if not for mods, as another user pointed out, there have been billions of mod downloads which trumps the amount of games even sold.
      ppl mod... freedom of choice and customization is what brings mods to the forefront.
      Modding wasnt always a mainstream thing either, it gained popularity and now some "users" whom werent modders to begin with want to tell us we dont need mods... if that was the case, then the mods never would have existed to begin with.
      Adding options to customize a game is no where even close to modding a game, some people clearly dont know anything about the subject they have an opinion about..
      Lastly.. if you dont want something, cool, dont use it, but wtf is it with people that feel if they dont need it then by default it means it shouldnt even exist?
    10. showler
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      I would be amused if you are including EnaiSiaion, author of more than a dozen popular Skyrim mods, as someone who is against modding.
    11. akarageface
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      You're jumping the gun pretty hardcore here, bud. There's no possible way Microsoft would switch to a subscription ONLY model for their games. There will always be the ability to just buy a copy. There is no incentive to Microsoft or Bethesda to prevent this. Hell, ensuring the Game Pass version is crappy for mods just incentives Game Pass owners to end up buying the game outright, which double dips profit for Microsoft, since they would get the Game Pass subscription on top of the full retail purchase. 

      Also...not sure where the hell you're paying $50/month for Game Pass, but you should probably get your money back, since that's over 3x the actual price. Kinda undercuts your argument when you don't understand Game Pass in the first place.

      Just my two cents. 
    12. SweXtal
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      This may be a bit of topic. But if we take the Cyberpunk 2077 game, it's available through Steam (With Steam protection) or GOG (No protection whatsoever). My 25y old daughter darn herself for signing up for the steam release instead of like myself, waited for the GOG release.

      We've paid exactly the same amount for the game but she can't play it without an internet connection unless she goes through setting steam into offline mode while having an internet connection. I can.

      I've been playing and enjoying Skyrim for almost 10 years now, and I love the mod ability of it and how creative people are creating and intervening new content. Same goes for Fallout series, but fallout 4 was quite abruptly aborted when expanding the gamiverse. So I tried Fallout 3. Which was almost more hysterically fun. I love the guy in the party hat in a train wagon in a radioactive pool of goo... (far far northwest and you have to be in god mode to get there).

      Tinker with games (and things) is fun. And not allowing creative people to change things to the better/worse is just...stupid.
  3. WaltC
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    I can't advise anyone who wants to mod to buy through the Microsoft store.  I tried it--once, with The Outer Worlds.  First I rented the game through the Microsoft store and discovered I could not mod the game, and that even an edit would render the associated save unplayable--you'd have to start over.  So, I thought maybe that sort of copy protection was understandable for a rental--figured I'd do much better with a purchased copy--so I bought the game outright for $44.95, IIRC.  I was dumbfounded when I discovered that as far as copy-protection there was *no difference* at all between the $1 rented version and the full-price version--my God, it was festooned with copy-protection the likes of which I had never seen--and that's going back to old floppy-disk copy protection schemes.  This game was trussed up tighter than a nun in a strip joint...;)  No kidding, but when I explained to Microsoft I wanted a copy I could mod or else I wanted a full refund, Microsoft was nice enough to refund my money, no questions asked!  Got it all back, bought the Epic store version which had no copy protection and was fully moddable from the start--and I paid only $34.95 at the EGS, so I got the game for $10 less than Microsoft wanted to charge me for a copy I couldn't mod!  No contest.  Only wish I'd bought from the EGS first and saved myself so much trouble.

    Rental games?--I understand Microsoft's restrictions--but for full retail pop?  No--I understand nothing of Microsoft's restrictions.  They aren't rational.  Who wants to pay full price for a copy of a game so wrapped up in copy protection that it cannot be modded?  Not I. I don't know if things have changed as of now, but this is the way they stood as of December 2019, immediately after the release of The Outer Worlds--sure hope it's different now!
    1. showler
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      I'd also want to know if there is a difference between games with official mod support, like Bethesda games, and games that do not have official mod support, like the Outer Worlds.

      Bethesda games have the little "enable mods" button.
    2. gbdrbob
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      In response to post #92481478. #92481773 is also a reply to the same post.
      Spoiler:  
      Show

      Yes, there is a big difference. Games with mod support give you read-write access to all the game files in the %ProgramFiles%\ModifiableWindowsApps directory (under the hood, it's actually a VFS projection from files in an immutable encrypted container that's located in %ProgramFiles%\WindowsApps\MSIXVC - so windows always retains a copy of the original if in the future you want to disable mods and revert back to the stock game, even if you've deleted or changed files in: %ProgramFiles%\ModifiableWindowsApps)

      Games without mod support are set up to give you no access to the game files whatsoever. MS makes it as hard as they can for a user to even view the game files, let alone modify them. Windows is an open platform, so it's technically possible, but not easy, to work around this. There have been efforts to break the files out of the container for games that don't officially support mods (look up the UWPdumper open source project) but it's a game of cat and mouse with MS regularly updating the DRM to block circumvention efforts.

      EDIT: Note that SKSE won’t have to circumvent any DRM in order to work with the MS store version since mods are enabled. The only technical hurdle is updating SKSE to recognise the MS store version and getting it to run within the MS store wrapper - as stated in the article Ian Patt, the main developer of SKSE is working on an update.
    3. showler
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      Well, as far as I recall circumventing the DRM may be illegal.  At the very least, the Script Extender teams have refused to try to work around DRM in the past unless the company works with them.
  4. jeffcollins2020
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    its just a waist of money.
  5. luxor8071
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    forget that Game Pass crap. get a steam version and mod the hell out of it.
  6. akarageface
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    Not sure why so many people are losing their minds here, tbh. 

    Nothing about it being on game pass forces you to use it on game pass. 

    Buy the game on Steam and mod to your heart's content. No big deal. They mentioned possible CONSOLE exclusivity, but nothing about restricting games on PC to the Microsoft Store was even hinted towards. 

    If that ends up happening down the road, freak out and make your voices heard. But right now this is "old man ranting at clouds" level nonsense for the most part.
  7. gbdrbob
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    Did we miss anything? 
    Yes! 

    Older Bethesda games from GamePass (Oblivion, Morrowind) are fully moddable, including the script extenders

    The Bethesda GamePass titles are standard Win32 programs, just like the versions distributed by Steam or GOG, whilst MS places them in a MS Store UWP wrapper, all the API functions of a win32 app are still present. 

    For Oblivion and Morrowind the version of the exe distributed by MS is exactly the same as the one distributed via other stores.

    MS gives full read/write access to all the game files via %ProgramFiles%\ModifiableWindowsApps however they set some permissions that by default stop you from running the game exe directly from that folder. The simplest solution to this is to copy all the game files out of the %ProgramFiles%\ModifiableWindowsApps to another location on your hard drive. Once you've done this you can treat the game like an install from GOG or Steam, install OBSE or MWSE, use Mod Organiser - there are no restrictions! 

    The above solution doesn't work for Fallout4 and SkyrimSE as the exe version for those games has changed and they seem to have been modified in some way to rely on the windows store wrapper (for example if I copy Skyrim to a different location, it launches then forces me to exit at the title screen - this might be a very simple check that could be disabled with an skse plugin). 

    Alternatively (for oblivion at least) you can replace oblivion_launcher.exe with a renamed obse_loader exe and the game can be launched with OBSE enabled within the MS store wrapper from the Xbox app. Launching it this way would however prevent Mod Organiser from working as it has to launch the game in order to hook the game exe before OBSE. Nexus Mod manager which works via symlinks should be fine (though you may have to alter some folder permissions, I've not tried it myself).

    The second approach should work fine for the newer games, it simply requires that skse and f4se be updated to recognise the exe versions distributed by gamepass.

    EDIT: Note that SKSE won't have to circumvent any DRM in order to work with the MS store version since mods are enabled. The only technical hurdle is updating SKSE to recognise the MS store version and getting it to run within the MS store wrapper - as stated in the article Ian Patt, the main developer of SKSE is working on an update. 
  8. RolfSteiner
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    Hey there! I followed this discussion from the beginning!

    Fact is ... some of us still feared! Another Fact is ... there are questions ... in the back of our secret mind storage ... that should be asked!
    As i always say´n ... answers needs questions ...
    I'm scared, too! Sure ... i know Microsoft is a kraken in specific things!
    The main thing of them, is to gain control of the money flow ... in their wallet!!! Keep this in mind!
    So let´s figure out ... what´s their (master) plan on that!

    And keep in mind never ever do purchases their platforms ... if you want to stay in freedom!!!

    Greetings AND A BIG THANK YOU to all the GREATEST MODDERS here on NEXUS!!! YOU ARE FABULOUS!!!
    THX for YOUR GREAT WORK to make the games ALIVE!!!
    1. showler
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      Y'know what?  Five minutes before this purchase was announced people were declaring that Bethesda was so greedy that they were going to block all modding in order to make people buy Creation Club content.  Or that they were going to shut down the Nexus so everyone had to use Bethesda.net.  Or that everything was going to have to be bought through microtransactions and the game would have very little actual content.

      So, really nothing has changed.  If all corporations are evil and out to destroy modding then it will get destroyed.  If not, then Microsoft is just as likely to work with the community to keep modding going as Bethesda was.

      Just buy as you want, play as you want and mod as you want.  Stop complaining about things that haven't actually happened.
    2. JP193
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      Just buy as you want, play as you want and mod as you want.
      Amen. There's zero word that Steam copies/one time purchase games are off the table, so I remain entirely unphased by the whole situation. If anything it's nice that Game Pass users can mod a little bit, considering you are sort of just renting the game in a sense. If someone is truly passionate about modding Bethesda games you probably own a permnanent copy and probably went to PC to use NexusMods if you could afford it.

      (Oh, and I second the thanks to Nexus for intending to keep us informed and all that)
  9. StopGap11
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    I'm not entirely sure what this announcement means as I'm not particularly familiar with Microsoft's game stop system. Does this mean that we will now be unable to use mods with the games we paid for unless we now pay extra for for a new service? I hope some one who is more familiar with their services can tell me that interpretation is wrong here.  Of course, if that is the incorrect  interpretation ( and I really hope it's incorrect) I'm not blaming anyone at Nexus for this, they didn't have anything to do with this, they're just the messengers here.
    1. irinotecan
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      This only applies to people who purchase the games in the Xbox/Windows store ("Game Pass").  If you bought the game(s) through Steam, GOG, or physical disc, this does not apply to you, nothing has changed.

      Also, you can continue to purchase these games through Steam et al., and avoid the modding headaches associated with an Xbox/Windows store purchase.
    2. Pickysaurus
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      I'm not really sure what you're upset about here? The games are already out on Game Pass and it does not have any kind of impact on Steam/GOG installs. It's just another option for people who want to play these games. If you're worried about game updates causing problems in your setup there are plenty of guides/tools around to prevent that or back up your current version. 
    3. gyrofalcon
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      I am confused as well. This "change" from Microsoft, does it force all current owner of Skyrim SE, to also have the game on GamePass?
      Or can current version of Skyrim SE, be modded and played the old fashion way, that we do now?
      If all futured copies sold, only are available with MS GamePass, (no new sales on Steam, etc) it will be a shot in front of the baug to the community, but I do belive old-fashioned Skyrim (and Oldrim) will survive.
      Edit: Answered by others in thread. "My" Skyrim will not change. :) So moral is; Stay away from MS GamePass.
    4. Fyrcynn
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      Might be a naive question, but does this even impact that many people? I'd think Steam is by far the larger platform with Microsoft's barely being used. Anyone who'd experience the joys Windows Live would stay away from them as a rule.
    5. Saggaris
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      Well StopGap, I felt a bit like a doom monger myself when I jumped miles ahead with some 'what Ifffff's'

      What if Microsoft only allow the future of Bethesda games on Game Pass?
      Then..
      What if Microsoft close the holes and disallow modding/manipulation of their content?
      Then...
      What if Microsoft then provide a range of customisable features... for a price?

      Oh hell, I'm glad I'm old and senile so's not to have to suffer 'naked' games for too long.
    6. Blackread
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      Judging by the number of gamepass related questions on r/skyrimmods recently, I'd say this does affect a fair number of people. Obviously the majority of modders will be on Steam still.
    7. StopGap11
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      Cool! I'm glad my first interpretation was wrong. Honestly, I'm totally unfamiliar how Microsofts game stop service works, though we'll have to see where this goes in the future. 
    8. showler
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      Xbox was the console that actually gave people the ability to install half-decent mods.  It seems unlikely they will just up and kill modding on PC after working to implement it on the console.  Crying "Doomsday" is incredibly premature.
    9. ralexpdx
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      For the existing games yes, but what about Fallout 5 or Elder Scrolls 6. Microsoft is already talking some exclusivity here in the future, so there may NOT BE Steam versions/GoG versions, etc...
    10. ff7legend
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      The day Micro$oft locks Bethesda games behind the Micro$oft Store is the day I cease playing Bethesda games period.  Folks are going to simply have to start speaking with their wallets.  Look at the utter DISASTER that was Windows Live...  Windows Live was so bad it ended up being discontinued & relegated to the dustbins of history.  If it weren't for mods, Bethesda games wouldn't be remotely relevant a year or two after release.  Micro$oft had best tread carefully in this regard...
    11. PancakeGoon
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      Well, Game Pass is on PC as well, and is probably the vast majority of those GamePass Reddit threads.

      Unfortunately, gaming has come to the point where you almost need a dedicated Launcher Drive in order to play all the games you want on your PC. Because of this, and M$ offering that 3-Months of 'GamePass for PC' for only $0.99, I grabbed it as a way to play & try games that I never could have otherwise afforded, especially all together, essentially for "free" (or a measly entry fee, in the grand scheme) and for that I'm thankful.

      Unfortunately, this is still Microsoft and it has been recently riddled with different issues and annoyances, like the topic of this post. Also, super inconsistent compatibility problems, like these new Bethesda games not being able to run in Fullscreen without being surrounded by a huge grey box. Or, for some reason, no native controller support (how friggin' hard is it to patch in support for YOUR OWN controllers, on a game that's been successfully ported ON YOUR OS for years, after you just BOUGHT THE ENTIRE DEVELOPER & THEIR PARENTR COMPANY!? Get it together for Talos' sake...). Or this god awful launcher we're forced to use with NO graphics settings (other than Resolution, generic Low-Ultra "Quality" presets, and 2 types of AA, and On/Off parameters for pretty important settings, etc.). On a PC game...through their PC App.

      Actually, I want my dollar back, Bill.
    12. SteveB88
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      Thank goodness I bought my games on GOG and Steam. 
    13. pndragon65
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      If it weren't for mods, Bethesda games would be unplayable
    14. ff7legend
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      Steam/GoG may not be an option for ES6/future Bethesda releases now that Micro$oft has gotten their GREEDY TENTACLES on Bethesda/Zenimax.  It will not surprise me to see ES6/future Bethesda games locked behind either the Micro$oft Store or Bethesda's crappy launcher...  This is why I absolutely DESPISE all these corporate mergers/buyouts.  In the end, it is the consumer who gets the shaft in the form of a lackluster watered-down product.  Look at what happened to WoW after Activision bought out Blizzard...  It TANKED HARD while WoW has lost millions of subscribers in the aftermath of said merger/buyout.
    15. EnaiSiaion
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      What if Microsoft only allow the future of Bethesda games on Game Pass?
      Then..
      What if Microsoft close the holes and disallow modding/manipulation of their content?
      Then...
      What if Microsoft then provide a range of customisable features... for a price?

      Then Microsoft will make a lot of money because most people just want extra content for their game, not "mods" per se. Mods are a primitive form of DLC that is much harder to use but saves the price of a coffee (you get what you pay for).

      Niche <<< majority.
    16. Saggaris
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      What if Microsoft only allow the future of Bethesda games on Game Pass?
      Then..
      What if Microsoft close the holes and disallow modding/manipulation of their content?
      Then...
      What if Microsoft then provide a range of customisable features... for a price?

      "Then Microsoft will make a lot of money because most people just want extra content for their game, not "mods" per se. Mods are a primitive form of DLC that is much harder to use but saves the price of a coffee (you get what you pay for).

      Niche <<< majority."


      A further what if...

      What if Microsoft fire a truck load of Gold at a certain (Dark0ne) for control of a site that has (to date) 25 million users that have 4 billion Bethesda game mod downloads? 

      Lock
      Stock
      and Barrel.

      Yeah, I guess that's a bit tongue in cheek, but stranger things have happened, and Microsoft has made some pretty unpredictable buyouts in the past.

      The future of gaming is not at all how we'd like it... unless you're not a gamer.
    17. showler
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      That would be foolish considering they just bought Bethesda.net which is already a mod distribution service for Bethesda games.  Buying the Nexus would simply duplicate that system while adding in mods for a bunch of games Microsoft does not own.
    18. Saggaris
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      I didn't indicate that I figured it would be left as is... after all, the Microsoft arrangement with Bethesda will probably exclude Sony in the future and a trimmed down Nexus would see all mods here tightly controlled.

      Control is everything in the market.
    19. praxis22
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      GamePass is amazing, value wise for what you get, but anyone who's a regular here will already own Skyrim, etc. There are more details in the sticky on r/skrimmods on reddit.
    20. praxis22
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      I didn't indicate that I figured it would be left as is... after all, the Microsoft arrangement with Bethesda will probably exclude Sony in
      the future and a trimmed down Nexus would see all mods here tightly
      controlled.

      Control is everything in the market.
      MSFT are playing a different game to the monopoly of old. They want bums on seats, they're not equipped to do what Sony does, any more, so they're going all out to make the xbox ecosystem the better value. As such anything that drives people away from GamePass is to be avoided at all costs. MSFT want to be Valve. They want to be the place people come to play. Valve has essentially cornered MSFT's PC market, they want it back. You don't do that by alienating your customers. Give them the best of the old world with a smattering of the new every so often, and people will stay. This is a long rentier game, not a winner takes all monopoly play IMO.
    21. Calistin
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      Eh I will not ever buy a game from the MS store unless I have to because it only available there, even then I might just skip it, and that is the issue many see coming or fear will come eventually. It wouldn't be the first time MS force exclusivity to peddle their own platform.

      We as gamers have been told far, far too many times that XYZ wont ever happen by gaming companies and then down the line after a few years it happens.......

      I am an old whippersnapper so I wont get excited about it I will just talk with my wallet whether it changes anything or not
  10. Moksha8088
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    What does this mean for PC users who purchased their games on Steam and use mods from the Nexus?
    1. showler
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      Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.