Custom Mod Builder and Manager by FMod
XCOM - Enemy Unknown » Tools and Utilities
Added: 15/11/2012 - 01:07PM
Updated: 11/07/2016 - 07:28PM

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1.0 Latest version

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Uploaded by FMod


Last updated at 19:28, 11 Jul 2016 Uploaded at 13:07, 15 Nov 2012

Note: With the release of Long War and Long War mod manager - http://www.nexusmods.com/xcom/mods/620/? - this utility is pretty much obsolete. It started out as a simple configurable installer for an overhaul mod I was making and outgrew its initial purpose, but just wasn't meant to expand to handle the far more intensive modding that has emerged.
(That said, it still works as initially intended.)

XCOM Custom Mod Builder
Utility for modders and players

Allows players to install mods that only change a few settings, without resetting the rest to vanilla, modders to include .int changes right in the text of a .ini mod, create mods with customizable installation options. It's easy to use and, as of the latest version, works reasonably well.

If you're moving from an old version, be sure to check out Mod Load Order and Mod Creation functions. If you have 0.97-0.98, an upgrade to 1.0 is recommended if you intend to create mods.

Mod patches are really easy to make: just remove all lines you don't need from a complete mod. There is a step-by-step mode that will take even a new user through the process.


Unpack the zip into any folder, use the lnk shortcut to start or run the file directly.
It's best to unpack it into the main XCOM folder (it will unpack into Mod Builder).
At first run ever (not every new version) it's recommended to use the built-in option to create backups.
To uninstall just delete the new folder and the shortcut.

If upgrading from 0.97 or above, you don't need to remove any files.

If your Windows version is older than Windows 7, and if you intend to create or use mods that edit game text (ints), you need to install PowerShell. It's a free download from Microsoft: 2.0 for XP or 1.0 for Vista. Windows 7 and 8 already include it.

Current Version - 1.0

This is the release. It addresses final issues raised on the discussion page.
Only versions prior to 0.97 should be removed if upgrading.

Included Mods

There are a few mods shipped with this version. Since built-in descriptions are not yet done, here is what they do. New additions first.

Ranks - Enlisted and NCO - Soldiers progress through NCO ranks with Lieutenant as maximum rank. Ranks and their abbreviations are correct US Army ones.
Also available Marine Corps, Navy Special Warfare and Trekkie versions. You can always make and install your own set too.
Born Almost Equal - Rookie stats differ in a narrow, more reasonable range, when Second Wave and Not Born Equal are on.
Was: Aim 50-80, Will 20-80; now: Aim 60-70, Will 30-50.
Second Wave - Was kind of missing. Just enables Second Wave (and fixes marathon mode).
Alternative Weapons - Much less extreme than most mods:
* Ballistic weapons still have the lowest damage, but the highest critical chance.
* Laser weapons have a +10 bonus to aim, but a low critical chance.
* Plasma weapons have a -10 aim penalty, for humans only, and the highest damage.
That's it. It's not an extreme mod like Warspace, more like Vanilla+. Plasma still beats laser still beats ballistic, but now it's not such an instant pushover.
Harder Research - Balances research around a longer game with aggressive lab building.
This is not just a blanket modifier. More useful research is slower and takes more resources. So is plot research and research that should be difficult. But easier research is still quick.

Two Item Slots - All armor has two item slots instead of one, three with Deep Pockets
Zero Difficulty Modifiers - Eliminates bonuses/penalties based on difficulty
Tougher Civilians - Gives civilians 3hp (this will very rarely save them) and more defense
Balanced Grenades - Gives Frag grenades a slightly longer range and larger radius. Alien grenades get less range and less radius. This way aliens don't keep throwing them from so far away and you still have a use for frags after you get alien grenades.
Better Scanner - Considerably longer battle scanner range, for those snap shot snipers.
Slower XP Gain - Really it increases the amount of XP required to gain ranks.
Classic HWP - Renames your tanks back to HWP like in X-Com. With all relevant text changes.


Q. How to make these patches?
A. Use "Create Patch" from the main menu.
A. Just copy and paste only the lines you want changed into a separate file. Save it, for instance as MyPatch.txt, in the Mods folder. You're done.
Open WorkMod Template.txt for more instructions and a ready template for a patch.

Q. Can everything be patched?
A. Yes. And now it can even patch game language files - just insert the name of the file before the changed line, like this:
XComGame.int: Setting=MyText

Q. Is this better than modpatcher and how?
A. It's not "better" - Mod Builder includes modpatcher as one of its tools. And it also includes some other tools. It's not a replacement, but an extension.

Q. Who is this utility intended for?
A. This tool is aimed at intermediate or better players and modders tuning game balance. It is not for the absolute novice, better served by ready mods, although a newbie-friendly interface is included now.
Modders can use this to quickly switch between different settings. As an installer, though, it should be easier than running modpatcher manually.

Q. Why does it work on an active file and not the game directly?
A. XCOM EU doesn't have a mod management system like TES. You can only edit the values in exe and upk files. It's more practical and safer to work on a temporary text file and apply it at once than to have routines for every patching operation.

Q. Why not just use diff/patch?
A. Diff files are more difficult to edit manually than a plain list of lines. The latter is how most people want mods to look. Of course, using diffs would be much easier for me - the program would take just 3 lines, not 1130 (as of 0.80).

Q. Can I include this with my mod?
A. Yes. But test run it just in case.

Q. Will there be future versions?
A. This utility isn't quite where I'd like it to be, but I've done what I set out to do.
Unfortunately the game itself just isn't all that engaging for me. I kept developing CMB for a month after I stopped playing the game, and now real-life duties have caught up to me. Should I return to the game, there will be new major versions, otherwise this is it.

Included Components

All tools and sources used are freeware. Their sites and license types are listed in the included FAQ.
Also, this includes:
Modpatcher - included with permission from dreadylein - http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/804882-modpatcher/