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Game Folder VS Data Folder


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Ive noticed sometimes the instructions say "add to data folder" but its doesnt work unless i put it in the Fallout 4 folder(game) and vice versa?? it doesnt happen all the time but it happens enough to confuse me when installing. next thing you know i have files in both and the game runs fine but long term i know that has to muck stuff up. So is there a way to know when manually installing to know for sure what folder the mod should be in? Ive also noticed sometimes Ill put in Game folder and it moves certain files to Data. Should i just put everything in game folder and let the system figure it out? for instance....when there are NO instructions where to manually install, is that to assume that it go to game folder or data folder?? It seems Modders think people have a basic assumption how files work so the infant steps are never addressed for us gamers who are new to PC. Even step by steps arent always step by step. theres never an "in case this happens" sections only "if it doesnt work user error go back" lol. its never that simple for a console coverter. never. sorry for the mini rant but im sure my hour long processes can be cut to minutes will help. thx!!

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For FO4, game folder means along with the actual .exe for the game. Data folder is where all your plugins(mods)/bsa and stuff go. It's probably not going to hurt anything if you have duplicate files installed in two different places as long as one of those copies is where it's supposed to be, but it would probably be a good idea to just delete those that are in the wrong place since It might cause problems (for you anyway if not the game). And no, just dropping things into your game folder does not automatically sort anything- those file paths have to be correct. Like you don't want another data folder inside your data folder, lol.

 

 

Edited by KoolHndLuke
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Doing it manually can be confusing sometimes.I use MO2 mostly and it does a good job figuring it out.Most of the time you can open up the zip file in whatever zip tool you use and see the folder structure.It will usually contain a ESM\ESP and\or either one,none or all of "mesh,texture,sound,etc" then you know it goes in the data folder.Now be aware it will sometimes will have a "Data" folder containing the previous files I mentioned in which case you will take the file out of it and put it in the data folder or extract it to the game folder which will do the same thing.As you stated it's a good practice to read any install instructions if provided.Hope that helps!

 

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48 minutes ago, KoolHndLuke said:

For FO4, game folder means along with the actual .exe for the game. Data folder is where all your plugins(mods)/bsa and stuff go. It's probably not going to hurt anything if you have duplicate files installed in two different places as long as one of those copies is where it's supposed to be, but it would probably be a good idea to just delete those that are in the wrong place since It might cause problems (for you anyway if not the game). And no, just dropping things into your game folder does not automatically sort anything- those file paths have to be correct. Like you don't want another data folder inside your data folder, lol.

 

 

ive had that happen before. data in data. took awhile to figure it out lol. so every bsa file should ALWAYS go into DATA?? no exeptions?? and plugin is just another word for mod?? some mods have plugin folders so hows that work? thanks for helping. Ill start another topic on INI files and altering them because that stuff freaks me out. i feel like everything i do is going to end in a game file being deleted and reinstalling.. lol. 

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1 hour ago, Deman40 said:

Doing it manually can be confusing sometimes.I use MO2 mostly and it does a good job figuring it out.Most of the time you can open up the zip file in whatever zip tool you use and see the folder structure.It will usually contain a ESM\ESP and\or either one,none or all of "mesh,texture,sound,etc" then you know it goes in the data folder.Now be aware it will sometimes will have a "Data" folder containing the previous files I mentioned in which case you will take the file out of it and put it in the data folder or extract it to the game folder which will do the same thing.As you stated it's a good practice to read any install instructions if provided.Hope that helps!

 

 

1 hour ago, Deman40 said:

Doing it manually can be confusing sometimes.I use MO2 mostly and it does a good job figuring it out.Most of the time you can open up the zip file in whatever zip tool you use and see the folder structure.It will usually contain a ESM\ESP and\or either one,none or all of "mesh,texture,sound,etc" then you know it goes in the data folder.Now be aware it will sometimes will have a "Data" folder containing the previous files I mentioned in which case you will take the file out of it and put it in the data folder or extract it to the game folder which will do the same thing.As you stated it's a good practice to read any install instructions if provided.Hope that helps!

 

so "mesh,texture,sound,etc like video scripts all that needs to ALWAYS go into the DATA folder no exceptions?? and what about xml. txt. psc. ? where do those go? Should i always just open the folder "scripts' in this case and drag the stuff to 'scripts' in the data folder or wll dragging it to the data folder suffice? this question for all folders.

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59 minutes ago, Uncle64 said:

Skip that manual installation and use one modmanager.

Those modders that suggest "Datafolder" do need to catch up little.

i do believe me. the only reason manual comes into play is because vortex will install or what not but it doesnt show. says there no conflicts and give the suggest load order but still doesnt work sometimes. Bodyslide perfect example. i cant get that bs to work for the life of me. or if i want sweat and pubes from two different mods vortex doesnt help me at all with this. believe me. id love to not have this complexity in my life lol

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29 minutes ago, Two Bucks said:

F4SE ALWAYS Data Folder?? Looks Menu has Interface, F4SE, Main.ba2 and ESP and it wasnt inside an extra folder, just like that when unzipped. So in cases like this with no instruction am i to assume all this ALWAYS goes to the data folder??

Yes.

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1 hour ago, Two Bucks said:

every bsa file should ALWAYS go into DATA?? no exeptions?? and plugin is just another word for mod??

Yes. Every bsa should go into your data folder. These are compressed files that the game and mods use for assets like meshes (models) and textures. Mods, on the other hand, may not always have a plug-in and might be installed somewhere as loose files to overwrite vanilla bsa assets because they are always loaded last.

 

 Most important thing I can tell you is that you need to read each mod's description/installation instructions/known conflicts very carefully since most MA's (mod authors) provide that info for you. Hell, a good many mods come with installers so you don't have to do shit. Also chances are good that any particular problem you're having has already been discussed and a solution found in the mod thread. But be sure to check your installation of the mod just to be sure you're doing it right.

 

Best suggestion I can give is to look for vids on getting started modding. Plenty of them out there for these games and it does help to see what's being done. Been doing this for many years now and I'm still learning things all the time.

 

Edited by KoolHndLuke
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20 hours ago, KoolHndLuke said:

Yes. Every bsa should go into your data folder. These are compressed files that the game and mods use for assets like meshes (models) and textures. Mods, on the other hand, may not always have a plug-in and might be installed somewhere as loose files to overwrite vanilla bsa assets because they are always loaded last.

 

 Most important thing I can tell you is that you need to read each mod's description/installation instructions/known conflicts very carefully since most MA's (mod authors) provide that info for you. Hell, a good many mods come with installers so you don't have to do shit. Also chances are good that any particular problem you're having has already been discussed and a solution found in the mod thread. But be sure to check your installation of the mod just to be sure you're doing it right.

 

Best suggestion I can give is to look for vids on getting started modding. Plenty of them out there for these games and it does help to see what's being done. Been doing this for many years now and I'm still learning things all the time.

 

Thanks for the detail! I do look at the install requirements even before I look at the description but sometimes…lol, things don’t work. And this is where I’m lacking the experience to understand why. If there’s no conflict then why isn’t this working? If I follow the rules then where did I go wrong? It’s KILLS me! All my friends make fun of me because I read instruction manuals on stuff lol. Also. Help me with loose files. How do I recognize them? Please.

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4 hours ago, Two Bucks said:

Also. Help me with loose files. How do I recognize them? Please.

Loose files are ones that are not packed in a ba2. The .ba2 files are just like .zip, .rar or .7z files that are designed for the game engine, and are more performance friendly.

Loose files always over ride the ones in a .ba2. For example, "Script1.pex" packed in a ba2 has an error, a mod author can give you a fixed "Script1.pex" as a loose file and it will over ride the packed version.

Files in a .ba2 cannot be edited without unpacking, editing, then repacking. This is why mods like outfits (for the most part) are not packed in a ba2. That way you can build/edit them in Body Slide/Outfit Studio.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/7/2021 at 4:04 AM, izzyknows said:

Loose files are ones that are not packed in a ba2. The .ba2 files are just like .zip, .rar or .7z files that are designed for the game engine, and are more performance friendly.

Loose files always over ride the ones in a .ba2. For example, "Script1.pex" packed in a ba2 has an error, a mod author can give you a fixed "Script1.pex" as a loose file and it will over ride the packed version.

Files in a .ba2 cannot be edited without unpacking, editing, then repacking. This is why mods like outfits (for the most part) are not packed in a ba2. That way you can build/edit them in Body Slide/Outfit Studio.

Damn tht was beautiful. Thanks for that huge info! This will really help 

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On 9/7/2021 at 4:04 AM, izzyknows said:

Loose files are ones that are not packed in a ba2. The .ba2 files are just like .zip, .rar or .7z files that are designed for the game engine, and are more performance friendly.

Loose files always over ride the ones in a .ba2. For example, "Script1.pex" packed in a ba2 has an error, a mod author can give you a fixed "Script1.pex" as a loose file and it will over ride the packed version.

Files in a .ba2 cannot be edited without unpacking, editing, then repacking. This is why mods like outfits (for the most part) are not packed in a ba2. That way you can build/edit them in Body Slide/Outfit Studio.

Damn tht was beautiful. Thanks for that huge info! This will really help 

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