Double click on your downloaded mod file. The program should open it, displaying the files inside. Depending on which mod you are unzipping, it should have an .esp file (looks like a swiss army knife), a "Meshes" folder, an Icons folder (if the mod adds items that can be picked up), a "Textures" folder, and lastly a README file. Sometimes mods will have all their files placed into mock directory folders, like so:
Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Morrowind\Data Files
this is for automatically unzipping the files in to Data Files, which I NEVER do. You're bound to come across a mod that will not unzip correctly and you'll have loose files cluttering up your folders. This is a MANUAL installation guide after all, so back to it:
Select ALL the files by highlighting them. Then select the program's "extract" feature and a new window should come up asking WHERE to unzip it to. You will now need to pick a folder to be a temporary folder, I choose "My Documents"...
Unzip the files to the temporary folder. Then open that folder and open any folders the mod was inside. You should see these folders:
"mod file README".txt (or any text filetype)
POSSIBLY you will have these folders:
Icons being the most frequent addition.
All you do for the mod's .esp file is copy it to the "Data Files" folder in your game. Now the other stuff....
Now, look inside the mod's Meshes folder...
Are there more folders inside? Alot of mods will have other "subfolders" that contain the mods meshes, and are for the purpose of being easy to locate for troubleshooting or for uninstalling with ease.
Most mods have something like a letter, "A" or "W"" or the modder's name...I use "LOCH" for my meshes. Some mods do not do this and place their meshes loose in the 'Meshes" folder, which is all you have to do in that case.
Now take these "subfolders" and move them to the meshes folder.
*DO NOT take the game files out of the "subfolders" as they are indexed by the game engine as being in THAT FOLDER*
So if you have an "A" folder, place THAT folder into your "Meshes" folder. If you already have an "A" folder, THEN you must open the mod's "A" Folder and copy the files into the existing "A" folder already in your game's files. In short:
Meshes/A ----> Meshes
UNLESS you already have an "A" folder, then:
files inside Meshes/A ----> Meshes/A
Repeat this for all mesh "subfolders" from the mod.
Do EXACTLY the same procedure as in the previous step (meshes) for icons.
There are two ways this could go:
1 - the textures are loose in the mod's texture folder...easy. All you do is copy them all to the Textures folder in your game. You're done.
2 - "Subfolder" textures is the other way some modders set up their mods. THIS way has a "subfolder" inside the textures folder. You should copy that "subfolder" and paste it into the textures folder, much like you did for meshes and icons.
5. OTHER TYPES OF FILES
Most sound and music files need to be placed into the same name folder in your game where they are in the downloaded mod files. All other files are basically the same as the meshes, except splash screens, which are placed loosely in the "Splash Screens" folder.
6. PLAYING IT
All you do now is open Morrowind and check the new mod so that it is "x'ed" and start the game. If you did everything correctly, you should have no problems with your newly-installed mod. You're done...
Hopefully this will be bookmarked for future reference, so that no one will have to explain it time and time again. It may not be the one Miltiades made, but it's something. Cheers!
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