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Old 09-01-2012, 03:22 AM   #1
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An Incomplete Guide To Mods (Civ V)

Update: I have created a video companion to this guide. It guides you through all the basic steps to installing, updating, activating, using, and deleting mods using Steam Workshop. It does not contain the troubleshooting steps, however.

This topic comes up repeatedly on Civ V forums...people are frustrated that they cannot get mods to work. The reason is that the current version of the Civ V Mods Menu is somewhat oddly designed...while it is logical and organized, it seems to confuse people. To help with this, awhile back I took a series of screen shots of the mod activation process, which I've used in posts. There is a reasonable tutorial on this topic on the workshop discussions, but it's only seen on the workshop, and lacks the visuals. This thread explains the current process of using Steam Workshop to download, install, activate, and play mods in Civilization V.

In the interest of clarity and thoroughness, I will be going into as much detail as possible on mods. It is not my intention to insult the intelligence of the reader with this, but rather to have a serious, detailed guide on all aspects of mod downloading using the Steam Workshop. Those looking for help with running mods should skip to the "Activating Mods" section. Those having trouble understanding the workshop will benefit from the entire document.

The title is an Incomplete Guide to Mods because this is not a modding tutorial, nor does it cover installing mods outside of Steam Workshop. There are other ways to get mods than this. These will not be covered here. If you are looking for help creating a mod, check with CivFanatics or the Steam Workshop Discussions.

I will be using various screenshots in this tutorial, however I do not have all of them ready at this moment. This tutorial will be updated and expanded as I get more content, and hopefully updated with future changes to the game.


An Incomplete Guide To Mods:

Mod Compatibility and Limitations
Browsing Steam Workshop
Workshop Buttons
Downloading Mods with Steam Workshop
Downloading Mods From The Game Hub
Activating Mods
Updating Workshop Mods
Deleting Mods
Final Words


[Mod Compatibility and Limitations]

Before I begin, I want to explain situations where a mod cannot be used, and situations where a mod should not be used.

Steam Workshop mods are not available on Mac. Mac users may subscribe to mods, but they will not download, and the mod menu will not be available for them. If they play on a PC, however, the mods will activate on that computer. There is a guide to installing mods on Mac here, however it requires you to obtain your mods outside of Steam Workshop.

Mods are only for single player at this time.

Achievements are disabled with mods.

Some mods require the DLC packs and/or Gods and Kings. Most Steam Workshop mods are clearly labeled with this requirement, sometimes they are not. Do not attempt to use a Gods and Kings mod with "Vanilla" Civ V (Vanilla is the community's term for Civ V without Gods and Kings, whether or not DLC is installed).

[Browsing Steam Workshop]

Screenshots for this section are pending.

To get mods on Steam Workshop, you must first visit the workshop and browse the catalog. Steam Workshop contains a vast number of mods of all kinds, which can be searched and filtered by category.

To get to Steam Workshop, there are several methods, but once on the Workshop, it works the same way, regardless of how you get there. If you access the workshop outside of the Steam Client, you may need to sign in.
  • From the Steam Library (in detail view only), if you click on Civilization V's entry, there will be a prominent section for Steam Workshop. It will list the most popular mods at the moment, and underneath is a button labelled "Browse The Workshop".
  • From a web browser, go to the Steam Workshop Website.
  • From the Steam Overlay (Press Shift-Tab while in the game), there is a way to access the workshop (I need to run the game to remember the exact method, I will update this part shortly.)
  • From the Mod Menu, click the "Get Mods" button. This is the easiest method.
  • From the Game Hub, using the Workshop tab.

Once on the workshop, you will be a list of tiles showing the different mods available. Clicking on these tiles will take you to the mod's page, which contains a description of the mod, the rating/etc. buttons, a subscribe option, comments section, and lots of other information. This may also contain videos or screenshots of the mod. You are free to browse anything on the workshop.

[Workshop Buttons]

As mentioned above, each mod has its own page which can be found from the main part of the workshop by clicking a mod's tile or name. Each page contains a series of buttons underneath the screenshot section. The different buttons are fairly obvious.

The "rate" buttons allow you to share your opinion of the mod, a thumbs up if you like it, a thumbs down if you don't. This not only tells the community how well received a mod is, it factors into how prominent it is displayed on the Workshop and Game Hub. Mods with lots of thumbs up votes will be easier to find.

Report is used if you feel a mod is inappropriate or offensive. Use this carefully, and only when necessary...but if necessary, certainly use it.

Favorite allows you to mark a mod as a favorite, making it easier for you to return to the mod page in the future.

Share displays a URL for copying and pasting onto other sites, a Steam status update link (for Community beta users), a Facebook link, and other social networking links to promote the mod you are looking at.

Subscribe attached the mod to your Steam account, and any Windows computer attached to your Steam account running Civ V will download the mod.

[Downloading Mods with Steam Workshop]

This is a fairly simple process, actually. Using the above instructions on browsing the Steam Workshop, find a mod (or mods) you are interested in trying, then hit the subscribe button for each mod you are interested it. The download will begin the next time you access the Civilization V mod menu.

If this does not work, see the troubleshooting section.

[Downloading Mods From The Game Hub]

The Game Hub in the Community Beta displays the newest, most popular, and highest rated mods from Steam Workshop on the "All" page. If you find an interesting mod, simply click on it, and a workshop page will appear. This functions exactly like the workshop, without actually entering the workshop. Simply click subscribe on the mod you want to download.

[Activating Mods]

This is the section that causes the most confusion. I will begin by saying what not to do.

Do not open the mod menu, check off the mods you want, then return to the main menu. The mods will not work if you do this.

Begin by opening Civilization V. This takes you to the main menu. (Screenshot)

Click the "Mods" button on the main menu. A legal screen will appear asking you to agree with the mod usage terms. Using mods requires you to agree to this, every time you open the mod menu. If you click agree, the mod menu will appear. (Screenshot)

On the mod menu, there is a listing of every mod installed. To the far right of each mod, is a checkmark. Clicking the checkmark will select the mod for activation. You must click the checkbox for every mod you intend to use. You may use as many mods as you wish, however some mods may conflict with each other. (Screenshot pending)

On the mod menu, there is a large "next" button. Once you are done checking off the mods you wish to use, press this next button to move on to the next menu. (Screenshot)

After clicking next, a menu with a single entry will appear. It will simply say Single Player. If you have mods active, it may list what mods you are running. Click Single Player to move on. (Screenshot) (Screenshot needs to be corrected with different game settings)

A simplified version of the single player menu will appear. Some options such as tutorial will be missing, but it otherwise functions exactly like the normal menu, only with the mod features available. The mod is activated, and you are able to use all of the features. (Screenshot pending)

[Updating Workshop Mods]

If a mod from Steam Workshop has a new version posted, when you open the mod menu, an Update button will appear next to the checkbox. Click this button to download a new version of the mod. It will update and install the new version automatically after this.

[Deleting Mods]

On the mods menu, where the different mods are listed, if you click on a mod name, you will go to a page that describes that mod. At the bottom of this page is a button for deleting the mod. (Screenshot pending)

You will also need to unsubscribe from the mod in Steam Workshop to avoid redownloading the mod


Mods may not always work right. In normal situations, once subscribe is hit, the mod will download once the mod menu is accessed, or in a matter of seconds if the menu is already open. If several seconds go by and your mod does not appear, despite describing, you may have a problem with your mods database. The database file is called Civ5ModsDatabase.db and is found in My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\cache. You can delete this file, then restart the game, and your mods should begin to download.

Usage of Gods and Kings mods on Vanilla is not advised.

Some mods conflict with each other. Be aware of this when selecting multiple mods.

The mod system Civilization V uses prevents mods from damaging or affecting the core game in most cases, so it's considered safe. I experienced a corruption of the game after working on a mod, however, which I fixed by reinstalling. I do not know why this happened, but normally mods cannot affect the game when played without mods.

If you are having a problem with a specific mod, you should contact the mod designer. Every mod has a comments section and a link to the designer's Steam profile.

[Final Words]

I hope you found this tutorial on mods helpful, and it cleared up some of the confusion. For more information on mods, I suggest you visit the Steam Workshop discussions. For mods outside of Steam Workshop, I would suggest beginning your journey at CivFanatics, who have a large Civ V modding community.

This guide was written from the perspective of the new Steam Community Beta. Some features listed may not be publicly available just yet, but will be soon. The beta is now available for public sign up, if you wish to use these features (it is non-reversable, however. Once signed up, your account will be changed to the new system.).

If there are any errors in here, blame the fact that I am exhausted from a long stressful day, it's 4 AM and I still haven't fallen asleep. I am dozing off while writing this last part. If you want to see corrections or additional information, or have something to add, replies are welcome. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by ragan651: 09-05-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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