Just because the game designers made a good game doesn't mean you can't make it even better. Or at least different.
Game modifications, or "mods" for short, are any alterations to a game that were not made by the game's license holder. They can be unofficial Expansion Packs (new maps or new equipment in the same game), completely unrelated games that merely use the source game's software as a backbone ("total conversions"), or just quality-of-life adjustments to the original, such as Fan Translations, bug fixes, or character cameo appearances (which can often lead to Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot scenarios). (Or, if the game includes any attractive women or men, nude patches.) When it comes to unofficial cameo appearances, a humorous tradition—usually when a particular game is either first released or is made open to modification—involves that of porting characters such as those of CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Shrek, and Thomas & Friends, though the latter prompted at least one cease-and-desist order from Mattel who owns the rights to the Thomas franchise.
Some games are deliberately designed to be easy to modify, including a "construction set" of sorts to build levels, weapons, etc., and whole modding communities spring up as a result. However, some types of mods are discouraged, or even cracked down on, for good reason: If it's a multiplayer game, a mod in the hands of a player but not their opponent usually means an unfair advantage. (Some God Modders will use these anyway and hope they aren't caught.) That's why multiplayer games are usually exempt from mods or, if running on a modular engine, deliberately designed to be hard to mod (example is that most online multiplayer of any Source engine games has a "Pure" server settings which disables any mods including texture replacements).
A few mods take advantage of content that was programmed into the game in the early stages, then scrapped from the final design. Unless space is a big issue, the programmers usually leave all this content Dummied Out in the game's code. This leaves an opening for a modder to re-introduce an access point and enjoy the missing content... albeit at their own risk, since it's usually unfinished and untested. A safer and more generally successful approach is to overhaul the graphics. PC hardware becomes more advanced over time, making it capable of handling more detailed graphics; this helps keep an older game looking new and fresh and thus helping to keep it alive among the community, as well as helping to prevent the game from being overwhelmed by current-gen games.
It's much easier to mod a computer game than a hard-coded console game, but creative adjustments to a save file (and, with the most recent generation of games, console hard drive content) and/or use of a GameShark allow determined amateur programmers to mod with the best of them. Most often, however, mods of console games are edits of the ROM files used in Emulation. These tend to be referred to as "ROM hacks" and are usually considered a separate scene from mods, as running a mod is intended behavior of the original software especially in the case of games that offer an official avenue for modding, or alternatively, as mods are designed for games on open platforms such as the IBM Personal Computer and Apple Macintosh, while playing a ROM hack requires patching the game's binaries (or performing some other kind of hack) and copying said binaries to a flash cart or burned to a discnote .
Early ROM hacks were largely present in Famiclone consoles and cartridges, especially where the said system wasn't officially released. Cartridges contained graphics hacks very often. The most common ones were those where the main character was replaced by Mario, passing them off as an "installment" in the Mario series such as in the case of the now-infamous 7 Grand Dad.
Unfortunately, game mods are probably the biggest example of Sturgeon's Law. In the mid-oughts, a great many ROM hacks consisted of little else but tons of offensive and poorly drawn graphic hacks like profanity-laden graffiti, buckets of Gorn, nudity, and outright pornography, and (just to offend anybody who wasn't offended yet) swastikas, racial slurs, and pro-KKK propaganda. Other ROM hacks are made with the intention of increasing the game's difficulty, and depending on the creator's ideas of how to accomplish that, it can result in the mod being Nintendo Hard and/or laden with Fake Difficulty, which may make them appealing to expert players but probably not to a mass audience. Most modding communities have very little moderation or quality control, save for a few that went on Quality by Popular Vote. In addition, redundancy is a bit of a problem as well — a lot of mods might accomplish similar things.
As mentioned earlier, computer games are much easier to modify than console games. As such, PC gamers will often list mods as a reason why PC games are clearly superior to their console counterparts, despite the aforementioned Sturgeon's Law.
See also Rule Zero, Popular Game Variant, Self-Imposed Challenge, and Video Game Randomizer. Sub-trope to Fan Game. When mods start to eclipse the vanilla game in popularity, it's Come for the Game, Stay for the Mods.
Some of these even have their own work pages on this Wiki; see Game Mod Index.
Here are examples of the popular modded games among the modding community. Feel free to add in a game and some description if its community endorses it enough:
- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Zelda games have a Video Game Randomizer, a mod that shuffles up all item locations and sometimes a whole lot more. Kotaku called the first game "one of the best roguelikes in recent memory". Full randomizers exist for both NES games, A Link to the Past (page), Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time (page), Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Minish Cap, and Twilight Princess.
- There are several mods for the original The Legend of Zelda; the best-known is probably Zelda Challenge: Outlands.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past's mods Parallel Worlds (which began as the demo "Tower of the Triforce", and has an updated, slightly easier version known as Parallel Remodel) and Goddess of Wisdom, among others. Made possible with Hyrule Magic and Black Magic editing programs.
- ZethN64's Ura Zelda restoration project is a particularly infamous mod that never was completed. It was a mod Ocarina of Time that, despite its name, originally was supposed to just add a bunch of developmental elements back into the game, such as the fairy fountain and the Sky Temple. This later warped once more new elements were added, such as a custom story, the Dark World, and a new protagonist. It got to the point where it was essentially a new game, similarly to Majora's Mask. The project was too ambitious and it ended up cancelled.
- The smaller but no less ambitious hack The Missing Link luckily did make it to completion, and serves a short Interquel between Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. What's impressive about this mod is how it doesn't just modify existing assets from the original game, but rather adds new graphics, animations, music, NPCs and areas to explore; even the only preexisting area, Kokiri Forest, was redone from the ground up. It also gives Link back the ability to shoot sword beams from the 2D games, which is integral to solving many puzzles and beating many enemies.
- One of the most famous hacks in the Spanish romhacking scene is "La Lellenda de la Cerda", a parody translation of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX, where the texts are translated re-framing the game as Link adventuring in a island full of drug addicts, prostitutes and assorted lowlife population, and the graphics were redrawn accordingly. Have a video.
- The Super Metroid community gets its share of hacks, and you can enjoy such thing as the masterful (and difficult) Super Metroid Redesign, the brilliantly atmospheric Super Metroid Eris, or the complete level overhaul of Metroid X.
- While the definitive history of ROM hacking has yet to be written, one of the oldest total-conversion hacks, Super Metroid Redesign, dates at least from 2004, which establishes the game's hacking scene as perhaps one of the longest-standing outside the fan translation world. There's a wide variety of Super Metroid hacks, ranging from relatively minor gameplay and physics tweaks (Project Base) to radically deuterocanonical and hugely ambitious reimaginings of the entire game and its backstory (Hyper Metroid); while the total number of released hacks is relatively small compared to, say, the Super Mario World scene, the gameplay variety and general quality level of Super Metroid hacks is surprisingly high. They make a delightful diversion, especially for the veteran SM player who knows the classic game back to front. Would you like to know more?
- There are also a fairly substantial number of randomizers, as mentioned in the game description; they can completely reshuffle items and, in some cases, rooms, allowing a new experience each time one plays the game, and often requiring use of some clever, obscure techniques to reach critical items. There are several different randomizers, including this one, this one, this one, this one (which also shuffles up the rooms), and perhaps most interestingly, the Super Metroid/A Link to the Past randomizer, which mashes the game up with A Link to the Past: Randomizer (any item can be almost anywhere in either game, as long as its location doesn't render either game unwinnable).
- If you wanted a hair-ripping hack, try your hands at Super Metroid: Impossible. This is made by the person who developed the under-two hour tool-assisted speedrun for Redesign, a mod that typically takes as long as Metroid Prime.
- When it comes to reasonable hacks, we have Super Metroid Dependence which, for the most part, is pretty fair in its gameplay and really only has two points that come to mind (at least at the moment) where the player can become completely lost, one involving bombing a particular wall in Brinstar and the other that involves the creator being a dick by making a certain fake wall in Tourian not be revealed by the X-Ray Scope.
- Can't find your way through the orignal Metroid? Hate having to write long passwords? Hate having to choose between Ice and Wave Beams? What about grinding for health after continuing the game? Well, my friend, someone was thoughtful enough and made us a hack that improves the original Metroid! That's right! It not only gives you 3 save slots, but also a map screen while paused and allows you to use Ice and Wave Beams together! And it will also save your health!
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no stranger to mods like its Dark Souls predecessors. Early on there has been mods aiming to either tweak the gameplay like the Bloodborne Combat mod, or character mods ranging from the more or less serious such as Kenshin Himura and Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin, to the more outlandish like Woody, Bo Peep and even Benson the dummy from Toy Story, CJ and Big Smoke from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, along with the main cast of Frozen for good measure. This video pitting Elsa against Hans is something to behold.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rescue Palooza is a love letter to the 80's series, made with OpenBOR engine.
- Shortly after its release, the indie kung fu roguelike Sifu received its fair share of character mods thanks to its Unreal Engine 4 underpinnings. Among those standouts include John Wick, Chun Li, Scorpion, Neo, and Shaggy Rogers, though there has also been some rather silly ones like CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Elsa and even Snow White of all people.
- Street Fighter II had various hacked bootleg versions in the arcade such as Rainbow Edition and Koryu that modified many of the games properties, allowing for mid air fireballs, dragon punches that spammed fireball and instant character swapping in game. Hyper Fighting was developed by Capcom as a response to these hacks, being intended as a legal, saner version of them. (IE: Chun-Li gains a projectile and Ryu and Ken gain the ability to use their Tatsu in the air, but there's no character swapping or aerial fireballs.)
- A mod for the PC version of Street Fighter IV called Street Fighter IV Koryu basically pays homage to the above.
- And for the PC version of Ultra Street Fighter IV, we have USFIVAE Remix (Formerly SSF4AE Remix), which aims to make the game faster paced...whilst also making most of the moves and characters balls-out insane. Ryu's Metsu Hadouken Ultra, for one thing has been swapped out for a ranbu-esque move. Furthermore, it further differentiates the original Ryu and Ken even more by making Ken a charge motion character.
- With the launch of FightCade 2, an emulation service that allows people to play online against each other, came a slew of new modified hacks for fighting games, and Street Fighter was no exception.
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo: New Legacy is an in-development mod of Super Turbo created with the intent of adding new quality-of-life features to the game and updating the balance in a way that honors the spirit of the original game, in contrast to existing updated versions like HD Remix and Ultra Street Fighter II. There are several color palette updates, such as the versus screen gaining a sleek metallic black hue and even the stages getting brand new palettes to reflect different times of day. Characters now boast not only their original colors as their default colors, but also all of their existing Super Turbo colors and 12 brand-new ones for a total of 24 selectable colors per character. Stages can now be manually selected via a code, and old versions of characters are easily selectable by pressing Start. Akuma is now selectable by default and has been rebalanced to better fit in with the rest of the cast instead of outright dominating them. Most importantly, the entire cast has been rebalanced from the ground-up in a way that pays homage to their competitive history while both reining in and expanding upon some of their intricacies. Even the old versions of characters have been completely reworked to pay homage to their CPS1-era versions from World Warrior, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting.
- Street Fighter II Mix is another in-development mod for II, this time of Champion Edition, that completely reworks the game with new system mechanics, moves, and a slew of aesthetic changes. The character select screen has been completely redone and now utilizes character portraits from Super Turbo Revival for the GBA. Stages now have 3 different times of day, similar to Fatal Fury, and have been reworked to scroll in 3D. Characters now have voice clips from IV and X Tekken as well as brand-new and reworked color palettes. The announcer has been replaced with the one from V. Gameplay-wise, it is now possible to do things from other fighting games, including dodge rolls and running from The King of Fighters, Just Defense from Fatal Fury, throw teching, and a unique "Vigor Meter" that functions both as a super/EX, guard, and stun gauge all in one.
- Ultimate Mortal Kombat Trilogy, a popular hack of the Sega Genesis/Megadrive version of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Contains every version of every character that appeared before and during Mortal Kombat Trilogy and with their own finishers no less, sans the MK 3 version of Noob Saibot which was a black palette swap of Kano. Basically contains much more content than a real cartridge or the Genesis console can handle. And it can actually run on an (albeit) modded console. Now has its own page.
- As with Street Fighter, FightCade 2 has also allowed for modded versions of Mortal Kombat entries to be played on the service. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Plus is a mod of UMK3 that fixes bugs, re-adds the Bank stage that was cut from the original version of 3 to save memory, and backports several characters from Trilogy into the game, allowing them to finally be playable on arcade-accurate hardware. Human Smoke gets his own slot on the character select screen while still being available as a transformation code for Cyber Smoke, Noob Saibot becomes playable, complete with his broken moveset from Trilogy, Rain is accesible via a special code, also with his broken moveset from Trilogy, and several secret characters can also be accessed via codes including Motaro and Shao Kahn , as well as 3 mimic characters: Chameleon, Khameleon, and Triborg.
- Super Smash Bros.:
- Smash Remix is a ROM hack of Super Smash Bros. 64. This mod expands upon the original game by adding several new characters, stages, and gameplay modes without changing or removing any of the original ones.
- The Akaneia Build does something similar to Smash Remix in that it expands upon the original game it's built off of, albeit for Melee instead. This mod adds Wolf, Diddy Kong, and Charizard to the roster and new game modes like Volleyball and Tag.
- A large portion of the community modifies pretty much everything within Brawl's engine, including custom stages, character skins, movesets, physics, menu appearance, and music. The mods listed below are the major full-on mod projects made from Brawl:
- Brawl+ was the first attempt to make Brawl more competitive-oriented. While it reached version 7, the team eventually lost interest and moved on to create Project M, which by contrast is specifically meant to replicate Melee's gameplay.
- Balanced Brawl tries to mod Brawl by keeping most of the engine intact (i.e. defensive play favored, very little hitstun) while trying to make the game balanced.
- Brawl− enhances the game by making everyone God Tier, yet balanced so that it's practically acceptable. It has hitstun comparable to Smash 64, and it's about as fast as Brawl+. It's Brawl on steroids.
- The aforementioned Project M basically turns Brawl into the next Melee, having the return of Melee's advanced techniques and physics engine. It's intended to even surpass Melee by making every character good, making almost every stage tourney-legal, and of course utilizing the benefits of being made from Brawl, like better graphics, more characters, and modding capability (see above). Unfortunately, the mod was taken down in 2015. After Project M ceased development, several successors built off of it, including Legacy TE, Legacy XP, and Project+ (based on Legacy TE), the latter of which is aimed to further balance, bugfix, and polish Project M. It even adds Knuckles the Echidna to the roster, who was in mid-development for PM at the time of its demise, and it has been given the blessings of PM's developers, making it a true successor.
- PMEX Remix is a massive mod for Project M. This mod features over a hundred characters, which surpasses Ultimate's character roster of 89. Its roster covers a large range of franchises and fighters, including fighters from the post-Brawl installments (some with redesigned movesets such as Ridley and Banjo & Kazooie, others being more faithful backports like Terry), popularly requested characters that were not playable in the official games like Waluigi, Bandanna Waddle Dee, and the aforementioned Knuckles, and more unexpected choices like Deathborn and Nu-13.
- In December of 2021, an unofficial patch for the PlayStation version of Bloody Roar 2 was made available which redubs the game with a number of professional voice actors including Casey Mongillo, Xander Mobus, Edward Bosco, Kaiji Tang, and Kira Buckland, among others.
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 started developing a modding scene when the PC version was released, many years after the game first came out. Modding started with texture swaps, then custom movesets, but in late 2021 UMvC3 modding hit its "golden age" when modders figured out how to import assets into the game, allowing the game to have true custom characters. One of the biggest mods for the game is "Palette Swap Characters", adding a whopping 20 new characters (and counting), including characters cut from the roster like Cyclops, characters from Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite such as Ultron and Captain Marvel as well as newcomers like Bishop, Carnage and Leon Kennedy.
- Mods are Valve's bread-and-butter. Team Fortress began life as a free mod for Quake, but Valve hired the staff, recreated the mod for Half-Life (calling it Team Fortress Classic) and then created their own sequel, Team Fortress 2. Ditto Day of Defeat and Ricochet, mods purchased by Valve and integrated into their releases.
- Likely the most famed of all mods is Counter-Strike, the full conversion of Half-Life into a multiplayer counterterrorism game. It was eventually purchased by Valve and included in later editions of the original.
- Half-Life 2 has a third-party mod called Garry's Mod, which provides the page image above. It allows you to walk around the map, spawn items & put them together, move them, animate props, and even script events; in short, a Wide-Open Sandbox. Machinima and even comic strips have been done using Garry's Mod (see Concerned and Half-Life: Full Life Consequences).
- Which itself has its own devoted mod community, making gamemodes (such as Trouble in Terrorist Town and Prop Hunt), as well as porting models, building custom maps, and making weapons, entities, vehicles, NPCs, and tools. You can also save games, as well as make "dupes" (short for duplications), which are creations which can be easily duplicated.
- It's gotten to the point where there's been mods for mods for Garry's Mod.
- Most player-made dupes for Gmod require Wiremod, which allows for more advanced contraptions. Then, there are mods which serve as bases for other mods, such as TFA Base for weapons, as well as VJ Base and DrG Base for NPCs.
- Valve's Alien Swarm is based off an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod and the inspiration for Left 4 Dead was the popular zombie mods for Counter-Strike.
- Speaking of Left 4 Dead, on top of the typical skins and script modifications, both games have a level editor that allows people to create their own survival and campaign/versus maps. They can even include custom sounds and music, scripted crescendo events, and other things. Naturally, there have been maps of other games like Mario, Zelda, and even Half-Life 2. Then there are the Mutations, "official" modifications that come in packed with the game. Recently the developers have encouraged players to develop their own Mutations for submission to be featured for a week. They've also been featuring user-created campaigns on the official blog, and hosting them on the official servers.
- In Team Fortress 2, there are fans out there who love to make texture hacks to change the appearance of weapons, hats, character models, etc. to further add hilarity to their game experience. Game Banana has a ton of skins for your perusal. Texture hacks unfortunately don't work on Valve's own servers, to stop cheaters from..well...seeing through walls.
- Sound Modding is also relatively popular, mostly due to the fact that, while some sounds are blocked on Valves own servers (generally speaking it's the gun-noises and footsteps), modders have free reign to edit pretty much any sound in the game, and it'll work in most cases, whereas custom Models and Textures won't for the above reason.
- There are also quite a few fun game mods out there: Pyro Dodgeball, Prop Hunt, Vs. Saxton Hale, TF2 Ware, and Zombie Fortress, to name a few. Vs. Saxton Hale in particular has clearly inspired the first Halloween Boss, the Headless Horseless Horseman.
- There's also mods that alters the gameplay of existing modes. Like Randomizer, respawn time disable/reversal, class limitation and its related Highlander mode, and Hardcore- game servers with crits disabled.
- Team Fortress 2 Classic is a complete modification of the game, taking the oldest version of TF2 and adding new weapons, game modes and even compatibility for four teams instead of two.
- Open Fortress is an open-source mod that, alongside adding alternate game modes such as Infection, revisits the game's roots by adding Quake-style deathmatches and in the future will remake Team Fortress Classic using Team Fortress 2's aesthetics and lore.
- Anyone play Adam Foster's MINERVA: Metastasis mod and noticed the excellent and atypical style of level design he used? Valve did, first helping him out with the last couple of chapters, and then hiring him to work on HL2: Episode 3!
- The mod-story "G-String" made by Eyaura, while not widely known like other HL2 mods out there, has a truly unique story and setting set on an utterly-devastated Earth that is completely irreversible recovery-wise in which the North American Union, which is run completely by corrupt officials that have their self-serving slogan of "Money is blood. Keep it flowing.", this coupled with the fact that, as a certain someone mentions right near the beginning, "Even the air ain't free no more.", quite literally as there's a giant Mega Corporation based on Purified Air Collection that is owned by yet another Corrupt Exec. All-in-all, it's a story that'd make even the developer(s) of Half-Life be amazed with, if they ever cared to notice it earlier and, oh, would it be surprising to know that it was initially made by the one developer herself? No, this is not a lie. And it's become quite the popular mod-story among those that fondly remember its Humble Beginnings.
- The Iron Grip: The Oppression mod for Half-Life 2, which slammed two genres against each other: RTS and FPS.
- Empires combines RTS and FPS like Iron Grip, but in a different manner; players play on one of two different armies fighting each other, each with their own commander to whom the game functions like a standard RTS.
- Mario Kart: Source was intended to be a mod that turns Half-Life 2 into a Mario Kart game, although the project was eventually abandoned.
- Portal's honorable mention is Portal: Prelude, an unofficial prequel that introduces fairly harder-than-original levels, new puzzle elements and several additional hours of gameplay for hardcore Portal fans, which got one million (!!!) downloads and a following of its own.note
- Black Mesa is a highly ambitious and long awaited Half-Life 2 mod that seeked to modernize the original Half-Life using the Source Engine. An extended, retail Steam version was greenlit and it now includes an entirely reworked Xen chapter to close off the game.
- Sven Co-op is one of the first Half-Life mods out there, and is not only still lively with activity to this day, but is still in development.
- Fortress Forever is a Team Fortress Classic-esque mod on the Source Engine made in response to Team Fortress 2 being stuck in Development Hell. Unfortunately, it released in time for TF2 to finally be saved from it.
- Golden Eye X is a total conversion mod for Perfect Dark that turns it into GoldenEye.
- One of the earliest game series to still have an active modding community today is the Doom series, which intentionally allowed modding of all kinds (Wolfenstein 3-D wasn't designed this way, but fans were able to mod it anyway), with the first editors coming out just months after its release. One particular Mod, The New Technology: Evilution (later known simply as TNT: Evilution,) was intended to be freeware, until it was announced at the Usenet Doom boards, on its intended release date, that not only would its release be postponed, but it would become a commercial product—published by none other than id Software themselves! The reaction to this announcement was... heated, to say the least. The product would later come out as part of Final Doom—within the same month as Quake. And the only place where the team was credited—the DOS text-mode post-exit screen—didn't appear in the bundled Windows 95 version, which is how most people installed the game anyway.
- There are two megawads made by Team TNT that rank among the top lists: the medieval-themed Eternal Doom and the sci-fi Icarus: Alien Vanguard.
- Of note would be Brutal Doom, which turns Doom into a faster, harder, gorier slaughterfest. Brutal Doom would ultimately get its own mod called Project Brutality, which adds new weapons, enemy types, and player abilities.
- Due to using the Doom engine, the games Heretic, Hexen, and Strife also have a decent number of mods for them, though not as many as Doom. In addition, there are also source ports designed to be compatible with multiple Doom engine games, allowing the creation of mods making use of the various features introduced in those later games. The creator of Brutal Doom began working on Brutal Hexen. One important feature will be collecting XP and levelling up like in Hexen 2.
- Hideous Destructor, which throws out Doom's explosive, fast-paced sci-fi slaughter, in exchange for tense, realistic, ARMA/classic Ghost Recon/SWAT 4-style fights.
- On a lesser scale, Doomł has a large amount of mods available, which range from solving common complaints (adding flashlights to the weapons [Finally, there's Duct Tape on Mars!] and correcting the dismal mechanics of the shotgun, for example) to full stand-alone single-player campaigns. One particularly notable mod for Doom 3 is darkmod, which is a package to convert Doom 3 into something suitable for building Thief-like game content in. This is partly due to the Thief mod community not generally liking the Unreal engine based Thief: Deadly Shadows for modding (there are some strange differences due to changing engines, and it turns out to be very hard to get things that should be a doodle, like a passageway you can just walk down, to work properly).
- Into Cerberon is a total conversion into a Descent fangame. The name's based on Descent Into Cerberon, a music track from Quake II.
- Ashes 2063 is a total conversion so far removed from Doom that it's essentially its own IP. The only thing it uses from Doom is its source code, which is free to usenote , so part of it can be used in Doom as a weapons pack, just in case you're intent on having Scav slaughter some hellspawn. Conversely, there's also a monsters pack, for when you feel like making a cannibal eat plasma.
- Duke Nukem 3D is another game that has had a fairly large number of game mods and TCs created for it. A list of the more recent mods is as follows.
- Duke Plus, created by Dan "Deeperthought" Gaskill, started as a means to enhance the use of level effects in user maps by adding elements such as realistic water that could have both above-water and under-water effects in the same sector, in addition to have the ability to mirror and expand the size of existing maps for changing the experience of existing levels. It also possesses weather effects like rain and snow, a realistic acceleration system for running/moving, the ability to grapple along the sides of walls [i.e. mantling], improved enemy behavior, the ability to pick up, drag, or throw various items like crates or other background objects, etc. Some new weapon types were also later added, including a laser pistol taken from the Assault Captains (with a chargeable fire function), a gravity gun substitute to the Expander, two different types of shotguns instead of the original, among other things.
- Naferia's Reign: Invasion of the Dark Mistress, a mod created by Jack "Lord Misfit" Walker, is still in the works, but many betas are released, often once every two or three months. This mod might be considered to be one of the biggest FPS/RPG hybrid mods for a game yet, as it not only incorporates normal RPG elements like leveling up during gameplay, but allows use of a group of 15 different characters, including Duke Nukem himself. The kicker: this isn't like Hexen, where a character is chosen for the whole of the game, but where characters are found over the course of the game and can be swapped back and forth via an extra menu system. Each character has their own skills, strengths and weaknesses and their own main functions in the team. And that's just a few of the numerous features of the mod. Listing them all would take up too much space.
- Duke Nukem 3D: Alien Armageddon adds additional enemies, location based damages, and the biggest addition, an AI companion and also playable character Bombshell, which is based on her appearance on an early Duke Nukem Forever trailer, with her own set of weaponry.
- Desert Combat for Battlefield 1942. It has the same objectives as the original but transplants the setting from World War II to Operation Desert Storm, updating the maps and weapons accordingly.
- Interestingly, much like Valve has a habit of hiring good modders, EA bought Trauma Studios (makers of Desert Combat) to work on its modern-day sequel, Battlefield 2.
- The original Battlefield 1942 had several total conversion mods (Desert Combat being the most popular). There was Forgotten Hope, a realism mod adding a large amount of new content and balance changes to give a more gritty, realistic WWII; Eve of Destruction, a total conversion mod set in Vietnam; and Silent Heroes, a total conversion mod based on a speculative conflict between Sweden and Norway, just to name a few.
- A mod team was also working on a mod in this engine, but limitations forced them to move it to Source (see "Empires" above).
- Battlefield Vietnam had an official World War II mod, which basically turned it into an updated version of Battlefield 1942.
- It's hard to mention Battlefield 1942 mods and not think of the Turbo Mod. The speed of all weapons and vehicles was absurdly increased and alternate fire on all vehicles activated a rocket boost. Multiplayer games with this tended to devolve into goofy stunts like a never-ending loop-the-loop with jeeps or jumping over Midway island using a battleship.
- There was also a Star Wars-themed mod called Galactic Conquest, initially with only one map based on the Battle of Hoth, but massively expanded over time to include a huge variety of locations. Apparently, this mod was the inspiration behind the Star Wars: Battlefront series.
- There is also Project Reality, a mod for Battlefield 2 that aims to make the game more realistic. It is so popular that some people buy the game just for it.
- And now Project Reality is getting its own mini-mods. This includes PR: Falkland, PR: Vietnam and PR: Zombies.
- The sequels are getting their own sets of mods, too, an example being First Strike, a highly Battlefront-reminiscent Star Wars mod with both planetary and space combat for Battlefield 2142.
- Unreal Tournament in general has lots of mods:
- One of the most well-known ones is ChaosUT, an offshoot to the original mod released for Quake II. It adds a complete arsenal of guns, some of them with multiple kinds of ammunition (normal, armor-piercing, poisonous and/or explosive); Ur-Example is the Lethal Joke Item known as the Proxy, a sentient claymore which chases you down with a smiley face and a cute voice. Or the new superweapon, the Gravity Vortex, which creates a micro-black hole that sucks in and gibs everyone in a substantial radius for several seconds; it even ignores the godmode cheatnote . Aside from the guns, other accessories were added too like Gravity Belts as toggleable jumpboots and grappling hooks to move over impassable terrain. And who could forget the ability to amass your remaining rocket ammo and go kamikaze... Oh, and the bots are freakishly good with all weapons, especially the crossbow.
- Then came ChaosUT2 for the sequel, bringing with it a graphical upgrade and a few new additions like the Chaos Pulse Pistol as dual-wieldable spawning weapons, the C.U.T.T.E.R. which is a badass-looking version of the Ripper, the Chaos Grenade Launcher with four types of munitions (explosive, poison, napalm, flashbang/EMP) and the Vortex Launcher which now enables the user to actually run away from the black hole before it activates. The MUG (Multi Utility Gun) now operates like a normal flamethrower and the Claw can be loaded with needle packs whose projectiles stick onto whoever touches them and continually deals damage. It even added two vehicles: the easily forgettable hoverboard and the Chaos Bike.
- Then came the sad day when the dev team announced that due to the lack of interest in UT3, ChaosUT3 was cancelled.
- Oldskool is another notable modification pack. It allows true single player campaign gaming, supporting the original Unreal as well as several custom map packs (Operation: Na Pali and Nali Chronicles being two of the most famous). It also works as a customizable mutator for practice sessions and multiplayer.
- One of the most well-known ones is ChaosUT, an offshoot to the original mod released for Quake II. It adds a complete arsenal of guns, some of them with multiple kinds of ammunition (normal, armor-piercing, poisonous and/or explosive); Ur-Example is the Lethal Joke Item known as the Proxy, a sentient claymore which chases you down with a smiley face and a cute voice. Or the new superweapon, the Gravity Vortex, which creates a micro-black hole that sucks in and gibs everyone in a substantial radius for several seconds; it even ignores the godmode cheatnote . Aside from the guns, other accessories were added too like Gravity Belts as toggleable jumpboots and grappling hooks to move over impassable terrain. And who could forget the ability to amass your remaining rocket ammo and go kamikaze... Oh, and the bots are freakishly good with all weapons, especially the crossbow.
- The "accessible realism", WWII-themed Red Orchestra was created for Unreal Tournament 2004 (an odd choice for a realism mod), and after much effort, went on to win $1,000,000 and free Unreal Engine 2 licenses in a Mod Competition (nVidia's "Make Something Unreal" contest). The team, Tripwire Interactive, has since released a retail, stand-alone edition of their mod, entitled Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, eventually followed by a sequel on Unreal Engine 3.
- Tripwire has since also published Killing Floor, another Unreal Tournament 2004 mod gone retail, as well as having created Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad on Unreal Engine 3. Killing Floor received its own built in mod: Defence Alliance 2.
- Speaking of UT2004, there's the Ballistic Weapons mod that converts the game into a realistic tactical shooter complete with a huge arsenal of guns and features like dynamic accuracy and recoil; toggleable scopes and silencers on many of the weapons; toggleable firing modes between single-shot, burst-of-threenote and full auto (the minigun instead has single-shot, 1800RPM, 2400RPM and 3600RPM); the loadout system which lets players customize their spawn inventory... All but two guns are kineticnote and are provided with a backstory. Recoil is very realistic: It's impossible to fire the minigun at full speed and hit someone unless the built-in bipod is deployed first (machine guns have bipods too). All pistols and submachine guns can be dual-wielded, even different ones.
- Daikatana 1.3 is an unofficial patch for John Romero's infamous failure. The patch turns what used to be a nigh-unplayable jankfest of a game into something that's not half-bad. It turned Daikatana from one of the worst games of all time into a great game that's one of the most criminally underrated FPS games of all time.
- The sheer number of mods released for Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 (both of which are now freeware by Sierra releasing and abandoning it) is fairly astounding, not to mention what's been done with the vehicle systems.
- Fans have produced countless third-party maps and mods for all three Marathon games, including a number of "total conversions" (eg: Devil in a Blue Dress, EVIL, Erodrome, Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge, Portal of Sigma, RED, Rubicon, Tempus Irae, Trojan.) The third game, Infinity, was thus named because its headline feature was a set of polished [first-party modding tools.
- There's also Marathon: Resurrection, a mod of the Unreal engine.
- Thief: The Dark Project, Thief II: The Metal Age and System Shock 2 have loads upon loads of new items, UI improvements, AI, missions, and even entire campaigns! Though the first game is over ten years old, the mod community is still plenty healthy.
- Thief: Deadly Shadows used a variant of the Unreal engine, and was generally panned for mod purposes (besides weirdness like Garret now having Super Drowning Skills, it turns out to be very hard to get Garret to not walk drunkenly, and other issues). This helped inspire DarkMod, a fan-created conversion kit for Doom 3 (a game often panned for just not being very good) which makes it suitable for Thief-style games.
- The long period after Looking Glass Studios folded and it looked like there would never be another Thief game led to the fan-made Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age conversion/expansion of Thief 2.
- Halo: Combat Evolved has an extensive map modding community, which often range from crappy to excellent. All of which is played on a separate version of the game called Halo: Custom Edition (which requires the retail version to work). One particularly notable mod is SPV3, which completely overhauls the campaign with improved graphics, new weapons, expanded levels, etc.
- Deus Ex still has a very strong modding community despite being an older game. This includes graphical and gameplay tweaks such as Shifter, and many total conversions.
- The most impressive of these is The Nameless Mod which took seven years to complete and is a complete game including Deus Ex gameplay, branching storylines, and thousands of lines of voiced dialogue.
- Zodiac is another one, a fan made Interquel that allows you to play as Paul Denton.
- 2027 is a fan-made prequel featuring a nonlinear plot, real-world weapons, and DX9 graphics.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. also has a number of mods, including the Complete 2009 mod, which provides a massive graphical upgrade and a wide range of gameplay tweaks.
- AMK: Narodnaya Soljanka for Shadow of Chernobyl may not be as much of an eye candy, but more than makes up for it by bringing in lots of levels from Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, as well as a mind-boggling variety of new gear, new artifacts, consumables and a ton of new quests. Needless to say, the game world gets huge enough to make a complete playthrough qualify as a virtual vacation of sorts.
- The release of the long awaited Lost Alpha flooded Mod DB with so many visitors they had to invest on additional bandwidth to keep up with the demand. For Gun Nuts, there's the Arsenal Overhaul mod, available in varying degrees for all 3 S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games. To elaborate, this mod introduces about more than 60 guns in the games to add more variety in the mix and minimizing the ennui that was the original vanilla weapons. Each gun has varying degrees of effectiveness and, although there are some grammar problems, detailed descriptions about them. With this mod, you feel like you are in Gun Heaven.
- Several of these have been made for the Descent engine, such as Pumo Mines(a total conversion) and Descent Vignettes.
- The modding community for the games of the Dark Forces Saga was also very thriving in the past, especially for Dark Forces (link directs to the major DF fansite DF-21.net) and Jedi Knight (link directs to the major JK fansite The Massassi Temple). And even so, new levels are still being worked on even today, with recent major releases including Magrucko Daines and TODOA. Some mod developers, such as Patrick Haslow (creator of The Dark Tide) have even worked on major titles such as Wolfenstein and BioShock Infinite.
- The unfinished Game Boy Color prototype of Resident Evil has a mod to make it playable, although it still has No Ending.
- The Wolfenstein 3-D community may not be as prolific as Doom's, but there are still many, many mapsets and conversions available for the game.
- Blood has a prolific modding scene:
- "Death Wish for Blood" reshaped the game into a 30-levels long Fan Sequel comparable to Final Doom: it even has its own cutscenes and horrific effects that put the vanilla game back to shame.
- "Blood Extra Crispy" can be resumed as Blood meets Brutal Doom: it revamps the vanilla game into a more extreme one with new enemies, new secret passages, new weapons and Glory Kills.
- The Carnivores fandom has produced many mods and addons over the years, starting with simple reskins of existing animals, and eventually going up to completely new animals, weapons, maps and even several total-conversion packs. One of the most complete and critically acclaimed total-conversions would be Carnivores Triassic, essentially a fan-made sequel which expands upon the lore of the original trilogy while introducing a completely new setting with its own storyline, assets and challenges.
- Postal 2 had a game mod created in response to complaints about the Apocalypse Weekend add-on entitled "A Week in Paradise", which fixed various issues, added new weapons/gore, and increased the difficulty. This mod was so successful the developer officially released it in the "Fudge Pack".
- Among the Devil May Cry games, Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Devil May Cry 4, DmC: Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 5 have an active modding scene which is mainly cosmetic, though more gameplay-focused modders emerged over the years, which also covered the older games, especially Devil May Cry 2. There are also notable mods whose features were later implemented by Capcom in updated versions of the involved games:
- Style Switching Mod for DMC3 which gives you the ability to switch styles on the fly DMC4-style and makes the questionable PC port of DMC3 run better. The Nintendo Switch port incorporates an official Style Switching feature into gameplay (known as Freestyle Mode), as well as the ability to swap through all weapons on the fly with the right control stick. The option to play with the original fixed loadout for your style and weapons is also available.
- Using a tool for the PC version of DMC5 makes it possible to play as Vergil in the vanilla game, using a few techniques that he doesn't use in his boss fight. A later mod attempted to make this a more complete experience with better hit boxes and fewer oddities. With the Special Edition elevating Vergil to fully playable, what was left behind were actually remnants of a system used to test Vergil's moveset in his boss version.
- Pac-Man Arcade for the Atari 2600. It was basically hacked from the Atari 2600 version of Ms. Pac-Man (which in itself was a hack of Namco's arcade Pac-Man) to make a version of Pac-Man that was much closer to the arcade version than the Porting Disaster that Atari cursed the system with. With the exception of the blue ghost sound and the absence of Namco's Galaxian flagship (or the Atari "fuji" logo on the Atari 8-bit computer and 5200 versions) as one of the bonus prizes, it comes pretty close to being an arcade-quality port.
- Pac-Man Collection for the Atari 7800 was basically a hacked version of Ms. Pac-Man for that system that turned the game into Pac-Man and a few other maze hacks.
- Modifying pinball games is popular among game collectors. Simple modifications include adding additional toys to the playfield or replacing the backbox translite artwork, while more elaborate changes include repainting the cabinet or metalwork, replacing or updating the playfield lights, or retheming an entire game. Truly ambitious modders have even burned their own ROMs with custom software, though the availability of third-party controller boards has made software changes easier for more hobbyists. One of the most common mods is changing the otherwise orange-and-black dot-matrix display to a simulated colored DMD.
- Star Wars (Data East) got a rom update created by fans and hobbyists that made major revisions to the rules, fixed bugs, and improved game balance.
- Paragon was originally designed for four flippers, but tables for Europe were modified to only use three flippers, to better appeal to the preferences of Italian players.
- Hobbyists and companies have taken Stern Pinball's NFL — which can already be customized with team-specific backbox translites — and further tailored them for specific teams and players, with new cabinet and translite art, additional lighting mods, and more playfield toys.
- In 2012, pinball player Eric Priepke finished "Cactus Canyon Continued", a project that updated Williams Electronics' Cactus Canyon with an expanded and complete ruleset, new game modes, and additional animations. The code is available for free online, and requires only a Cactus Canyon table and P-ROC controller board.
- Many owners of The Flintstones have opted to replace the backbox translite (which shows the actors from the 1994 live-action movie) with one depicting the animated characters instead. There's even an infamous R-rated translite that suggests the two families are into... alternative lifestyles.
- America's Most Haunted makes this a feature of the game — the software is fully open sourced, the sound files can be replaced by any PC, and the PinHeck controller board allows owners to make updates by swapping SD cards.
- A common and easy mod for Last Action Hero is to replace the stock translite with one based on the movie poster, which conveniently gets rid of Schwarzenegger's Death Glare. There are also rom upgrades that tweak the rules and add additional quotes and features.
- Stern Pinball got into the habit of selling official accessories for their games in The New '10s. Their lineup ranges from adding to a game's aesthetic (themed knobs for the plunger handle, artwork for the sides of the game's interior - ordinarily exclusive to Limited Edition models - and toppersnote ) to adding functionality (shaker motors and headphone jacks).
- Stranger Things is unique in that it has a special ultraviolet lighting kit that activates during certain game modes, revealing hidden parts of the playfield's artwork. The implication that the mod was being developed alongside the game itself garnered controversy, with many comparing it to on-disc Downloadable Content in video games.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- The Super Mario World hacking scene is extremely active, thanks largely to the user-friendly Lunar Magic editing program for the game. There are dozens of full hacks available at SMW Central, and most of them have been LP'ed on YouTube if you're curious to see how they work. Examples include:
- The Second Reality Project Reloaded and its sequel. It's a remake of two ROM hacks, with the content from the second tucked away in a secret world. The author of the Let's Play in question also features his earlier Let's Plays of the two separate original hacks as a comparison. One of those hacks being Chaos CompleXX, a So Intentionally Bad It's Good parody of a typical bad hack.
- Super Mario Odyssey (no relation to Super Mario Odyssey)
- SMW2+ 3: The Essence Star
- 'the and Call of Cthulhu are horror-themed hacks.
- Super Mario Bros. 3X is a hack influenced by the NES / Famicom Super Mario Bros. games, but the graphics make it look like a hack of Super Mario All-Stars. This is misleading, because it is actually a hack of Super Mario World.
- There is also the famous Kaizo Mario World, which kicked off the whole ROM hacks designed by Hitler trend (and caused quite a bit of annoyance over at SMWCentral).
- Brutal Mario is a well-made hack. It is known for having a large variety of bosses, most of which come from unreleated SNES games, such as: Trials of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Kirby Super Star, Final Fantasy IV and V, Mega Man 7, and other Mario games including Paper Mario, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario Bros. 3.
- For a while, there was also "Automatic Mario," which were levels that required no player input and simply propelled Mario through the level through various insane means. This is the original Joystiq article on it, as preserved on Engadget. Then the movement proceeded to set them to various anime theme songs. It arguably reached its peak with an eleven-minute-long medley of various theme songs and Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now". In many cases, especially the latter two, they are a sight to behold.
- Major Super Mario Bros. 3 mods include Strange Mario Bros. 3, Mario Adventure, and Super Mario Bros. 3Mix. The developer of Mario Adventure (DahrkDaiz) is currently (as of January 2016) in the process of making a new hack using the disassembly work of the creator of 3Mix (Captain Southbird), called Koopa Kingdom Escape.
- A recent game that has been modded is New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Thanks to the level editor Reggie!note , mods for the game are starting to become widespread. One of the more well known examples is Newer Super Mario Bros. Wii, whose official site includes a few smaller mods in addition to the main one.
- Super Mario 64 hacks became more prominent with the advent of the level model importer. Noteworthy ones include SM64: The Missing Stars, the first full SM64 hack, Super Mario 74, and Super Mario: Star Roadnote . Along with those, a randomizer for Super Mario 64 and an online version of the game are popular mods as well. Furthermore, with modding advancements allowing for full gameplay modifications, even more elaborate character replacement hacks have sprung up that allow for adding unique abilities not seen in the original game, including Super Bowsette 64 (starring the memetic character herself with actual fireball throwing abilities), Pizza Tower 64 (which replaces Mario with Peppino Spaghetti, right down to including a number of Peppino's moves like his Super Jump and replacing the Goombas with Cheeseslimes), and TOTSUGEKI 64 (another meme-based hack, starring May, who can actually ride her dolphin friend complete with TOTSUGEKI voice clip).
- Super Mario 64 Plus is this for Super Mario 64 requiring an original rom to run. It features wide screen support a plethora of options to make the game more challenging such as a one hit kill mode. There's even alot of gameplay tweaks that improve the controls and a modern camera control. Render 96 is a mod of this mod updating the game into an HD style while redesigning the character models to be based off the official render artwork. It even includes Luigi and Wario as unlockable characters with their own unique moves.
- Super Mario 64 Chaos Edition deliberately corrupts Super Mario 64 with all manner of glitches (using built-in Gameshark codes that randomly turn on and off) and features intended to amuse and/or annoy the player while still keeping it (for the most part) playable, inviting many a Self-Imposed Challenge (like getting all Stars while the game is in this glitched-out state).
- A hacking scene for both Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 is starting to pick up. A Level Editor called Anarchy in the Galaxy has risen to prominence, and while it's not all the way completed, impressive things have been done, like harder missions and imported levels from Super Mario Sunshine. A full game made from Super Mario Galaxy 2 is taking shape; its name is Super Mario Galaxy 2.5.
- ATA's Extra Mario Bros. is a technically impressive conversion of Super Mario Bros. into a nonlinear Metroidvania. The same hacker's Luigi no Nazo is a sillier hack of the same game, borrowing a lot of annoying features from Transformers: Convoy no Nazo and featuring Multiple Endings. ATA has also produced hacks based on Mega Man courses (e.g. VS Airman which is clearly a reference to the Airman stage in Mega Man II).
- The hacking community of Super Mario Bros. outside Japan has produced few notable works. Some notable hacks include Frantik's Super Mario Unlimited which improved graphics and added new items and collectives; and w7n's in-progress Rohrleitung Gate which enhances the music using FM channels and enabled free horizontal scrolling within 2 pages and parallex scrolling effects.
- Nintendo themselves joined the scene in the Wii U game NES Remix, which alters Super Mario Bros. levels (and other NES games). Generally the mods affect physics, visuals, and player/enemy behavior rather than changing the level itself.
- When New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe inspired the creation of the fan-made Bowsette transformation for Bowser, quite a few hacks were designed that replaced Bowser with Bowsette. These include a hack for Super Mario Bros.note , a hack for Super Mario Worldnote , and a hack for New Super Mario Bros. Wiinote .
- Another mod, Mario's Mystery Meat, themes itself after various in-jokes among the Vinesauce community (particularly ones surrounding the group's frontman, Vinny).
- The Beatles Adventures in Pepperland is a 2021 game mod of Super Mario Bros. 2, based loosely on the 1968 Beatles film Yellow Submarine.
- The Super Mario World hacking scene is extremely active, thanks largely to the user-friendly Lunar Magic editing program for the game. There are dozens of full hacks available at SMW Central, and most of them have been LP'ed on YouTube if you're curious to see how they work. Examples include:
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- For humor, someone named VAdaPEGA made a mod of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, retitled Sonic Boomed, with Roger Craig Smith's stupid, canned catchphrases as Sonic. Effectively shutting down any argument that Sonic fans are blinded by nostalgia or that these new games are underrated gems. He quips about everything: grabbing rings, using Springs, beating a level, rolling into a ball, pressing switches, everything. It is extra hilarious when playing Labyrinth Zone, since Sonic continually runs his mouth even while underwater or drowning. The game throws a lampshade on the whole thing with a weary-looking Sonic on the title screen.
- A special case is the Knuckles in Sonic 1 hack, which (as the name implies) makes Knuckles into the playable character in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, in a similar fashion to the Knuckles in Sonic 2 that is obtained by connecting Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to Sonic & Knuckles. What makes this interesting is that Sonic Team had tried and failed to put Knuckles in the first game during the making of S&K, citing color palette limitations. To make matters even more interesting, there is another version which inserts Tails into the game, complete with spin dash and flight.
- Hacking has enabled anyone who's interested to play through all three original-series games as Amy Rose, using her Sonic Advance moveset.
- There is a robust community of modders creating ROM hacks of the original series of Sonic games, ranging from the simple, such as recolored levels and simple character replacement (by modifying other characters' sprites), to the intricate, such as creating new level layouts and/or art, adding new characters with unique special abilities, adding new abilities to existing characters, adding new music (either by porting it from other games or creating it from scratch), and even porting or creating new boss characters; some more ambitious projects have arguably converted a given Sonic game into what qualifies as a new entry in the series. Most notable is the heavily recoded Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix, a romhack of the original Sonic, which features saves, 4 new characters besides just Sonic, a new soundtrack, new level art as well as secret 4th acts for each level, new moves and abilities, super forms, new bosses, and a load of other features such as a heavily expanded Sound Test, more options, and Time Attack modes (including a Boss Rush Mode). It's so good that people have likened it to a 5th 2D Sonic game. Megamix has now become so expansive that it has been ported to Sega CD format, and will apparently (when the game is properly burned to a CD-R, of course) even play on an actual working Sega CD. Madness.
- Sonic 2 Long Version, which includes previously Dummied Out levels such as the Hidden Palace. There is also a Knuckles version available.
- Sonic 3 Complete, the optimized version of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, which was promised by Sega before time and space limitations forced them to split the game in two. It would eventually evolve into the Genesis equivalent of the Sonic & Knuckles Collection for the PC with much more content, including such features as:
- Single-player controlling of Tails' flight, including carry of Sonic, by using the Up direction. (Borrowed from the 2013 iOS/Android ports of Sonic 1 and 2.)
- An opening cutscene for Tails (he originally just started the game straight on Angel Island)
- Specialised activation of Super/Hyper mode, i.e. the player can't inadvertently activate it just by double tapping jump (as is necessary for all three characters), but instead by pressing a button to jump then a different button to transform (e.g. C first, then B).
- Consistent behaviour of monitors when attacked from below (original versions behaved differently).
- Consistent music throughout games.
- Swapping out the music for the Sonic & Knuckles Collection versions and the Main Theme/1-Up/Game Over/Continue themes to Masato Nakamura's original composition for the first two games.
- The option to use Sonic 3's Big Arms final boss phase, cut from Sonic and/or Tails' Launch Base Zone act in original combined edition.
- Improved Super Sonic sprite animation.
- The choice of using Sonic's old sprites from the first game or Sonic 2 (as was originally intended in the development of Sonic 3).
- Knuckles' intro cutscene with Eggrobo logically occurs on Angel Island Zone rather than Mushroom Hill.
- Optional opening of different paths for Knuckles for "research purposes".
- The ability to change gameplay styles to match that of the original game, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or Sonic CD (both the original and iOS versions).
- The option to have Flying Battery Zone be the fifth zone in progression as originally planned.
- The Easy and Normal difficulty modes from Sonic Jam.
- A "Casual Mode" where the player cannot lose rings.
- A large degree of mix-and-match customisation for the player's ideal Sonic 3 experience.
- Sonic Classic Heroes combines the levels from Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 back to back. More importantly, it allows for all three members of Team Sonic or Team Chaotix to be played in the three-at-once style of Sonic Heroes. Also present are sprites and power-ups from Sonic 3 (such as the elemental shields), the Super Peelout from Sonic the Hedgehog CD, special stages from both games, super and hyper forms for every character, and a plethora of other features. This is the combination of two separate hacks: Sonic 2: Heroes (which gives you the above features but only with the levels from Sonic 2) and Sonic 1+2 (Sonic 1 and 2 back-to-back) and is being developed by the creators of both hacks.
- Sally Acorn in Sonic the Hedgehog puts Sally from the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) cartoon in the first Sonic game. And actually, the sprite work was extremely well done. Instead of spinning, she uses Nicole as a taser. That same hacker has now done several secondary characters in Sonic 1, including Amy, Vector, and Charmy Bee. Charmy's game is a complete Game Breaker since (just like in Knuckles Chaotix) he can fly forever with no cool down period. Other hackers have managed to implement characters such as Shadow, Metal Sonic, Mario and Motobug!
- Sonic Generations is starting to develop a modding community of its own. In particular, one team successfully ported the Day levels of Sonic Unleashed to the game. Custom level editors like CPKREDIR and Sonic GMI are also starting to catch on.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 XL is an interesting hack involving onion rings. While Sonic still needs these rings for protection, collecting too many makes Sonic gain weight, and the fatter he gets, the slower he moves and the lower he can jump. This means players can't just blaze through the levels unless they want to collect all the rings along the way and make Sonic an immobile blob of fat. Speaking of immobile Sonic, he will die in a few seconds if he becomes too fat to move, possibly from a heart attack. Ring monitors also have to be avoided like the plague and Tails will make things worse for you if he keeps grabbing rings. Luckily, the hack has special monitors that reset Sonic's weight to normal. To prevent the game from being unwinnable in the water sections, fat Sonic has buoyancy and can jump even higher underwater.
- Robotnik's Revenge is a Boss Game featuring every single boss from the first two games.
- It is worth mentioning that Sega is aware of the booming modding scene for the Genesis / Mega Drive games. So much so that they released a centralized location for people to share their mods. (You do need to own the original games in order to play the mods, though.)
- To add to that, one of the original Travellers Tales games' developers, Jon Burton made his own official game mod of Sonic 3D Blast; a "Director's Cut" which not only fine tunes some of the physics and more frustrating elements of the original game, but adds the ability to turn Super Sonic, tweaks a few levels and layouts (including editing and adding some of the games' badniks), adds a level menu to backtrack across the game, a Password function, and a Time Challenge mode, along with a Level Editor mode much akin to the four mainstream Genesis titles.
- Sonic Mania & Hatsune Miku is a fan made modification of Sonic Mania which alters the sprites of Sonic to that of Miku wearing the 20th Anniversary Sonic outfit. It also comes with an altered storyline and visually revamps the levels, enemies and bosses to reflect the new plot, while also mashing Mania's soundtrack with popular Vocaloid songs. The custom opening video detailing the new plot has to be seen to be believed...
- The Steam version of Sonic Adventure has the BetterSADX mod, which not only fixes everything wrong with the Steam port but also includes such things as improved Dreamcast models, toggleable Dreamcast DLC, Super Sonic playable in normal levels, and support for additional mods thanks to the included SADX Mod Loader. It has since been succeeded by SADX Mod Installer, which offers bleeding edge updates for mods, more customization for mods the end user wants download and install, presets ranging from converting the game into the Dreamcast version or enhanced the GameCube version's features, and supports PC releases of Sonic Adventure DX instead of just the Steam version.
- The Steam version of Sonic Adventure 2 has seen a slew of mods being created for it thanks to the SA2 Mod Loader, which gave way to mods that has been fixing issues with the port while restoring features from the Dreamcast version, while other mods has replacing characters with custom ones, creating new stages or porting/recreating ones from other Sonic the Hedgehog games, and overhauling the game's Chao Garden.
- Totino's Mania is another Sonic Mania mod, this time by the SiIvaGunner team. It is inspired in part by Totino's sponsorship of the Sonic 25th Anniversary Livestream, where Sonic Mania itself was first unveiled. The mod mainly features a Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack based on the song from Tim & Eric's bizarre Totino's music video, and also replaces the rings with pizza rolls.
- Sonic 3: Angel Island Revisited (A.I.R.) is one part Game Mod (as it runs on top of the original Sonic 3 & Knuckles ROM) and one part fan remaster of Sonic 3 & Knuckles in the vein of Christian Whitehead's Sonic CD, Sonic 1, and Sonic 2 mobile releases. Featuring a plethora of upgrades such as widescreen support, smooth sprite rotation, remastered audio, and various Sonic 3 bugfixes and gameplay upgrades/quality-of-life enhancements in the style of Sonic 3 Complete. The game also supports game mods so fans can inject their own content as well.
- The Extra Slot Mighty & Extra Slot Ray mods adapt Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel from Sonic Mania as playable characters in Sonic 3 A.I.R. The most significant selling point of the mod is that Mighty and Ray don't overwrite any of the already playable characters in the game, using a special framework designed for that purpose. Mighty plays like he did in Sonic Mania, with the ability to ignore damage from spiky objects while rolling. His hammer drop move that originated from Sonic Mania, and his wall climb move from Knuckles Chaotix. In addition, an alternate wall slide move inspired by the Sonic Mania mod, Sonic Megamix Mania. On top of this, Mighty has new character-exclusive levels in Angel Island Zone and Lava Reef Zone. Ray plays similarly to how he handled in Sonic Mania, with the ability to gain extra height if the player presses up on the Gamepad. If the player desires, they can have Ray replace Tails as the partner character for everyone except Tails. Note: while both play fine right now, the creator claims there'll be updates in the near future, with plans to add Amy and Metal Sonic Kai as playable characters. A special version of the mods were showcased at the 2022 Sonic Hacking Contest, where Mighty and Ray are combined into one mod. It won trophies for 2nd best and best character implementation in the 2D PC category.
- Agent Stone in Sonic 3 A.I.R. adapts Agent Stone from the movies as another antagonist to deal with alongside Eggman and Knuckles. This mod not only reworks the minibosses into machines controlled by Stone, but it also has him control the Egg Cannon in place of Eggman, and he replaces Eggrobo in Knuckles's version of the game. There's even a custom boss battle exclusive to Knuckles, which is adapted from the fangame Sonic Hoshi. Note that the mod is currently only available as a demo, which doesn't affect the Sonic & Knuckles half of the game. The mod originally debuted in the 2022 Sonic Hacking Contest, where it won trophies for best graphical work and best new or modified boss design, as well getting an honorable mention among the contest's media panelists as one of the best mods overall for the 2D PC category.
- The decompilation ports of the Sonic 1 & 2 and CD mobile remasters later not only allows players to enjoy these games natively on PC and other platforms, but later updates for them implemented a mod loader, allowing modders to create various mods for these games and fan remasters of these games.
- Sonic 1 Forever and Sonic 2 Absolute are a pair of enhanced versions of the Sonic 1 and 2 remasters respectively that restores elements from their original Genesis versions, adds various unlockables and new modes, toggles for many gameplay options, extra playable characters, and an achievement system.
- Sonic CD Restored is a fangame based on the decompilation port that aims to recreate an authentic speedrunning experience of the original 1993 version while retaining the improvements from the remaster, features Hybrid and Unified OST arrangements with an unlockable custom OST option, and promotes Amy Rose to playable. Sonic CD & Knuckles, on the other hand, is a mod for the decompilation port that provides a Sonic 3: A.I.R.-like experience with a wealth gameplay, audio, and visual options while adding Knuckles the Echidna as a playable character instead.
- Mega Man X3 got its own in the form of Mega Man X3 - Zero Project by Justin3009, which allows Zero to be fully playable just like in X5 onwards and gives him his Black Armor along with X's MAX Hyper Armor. As of this writing, he's been working on a 4.0 (and for now final) update, which adds a save function in the place of the passwords (And yes, it saves your Sub-Tank storage and the final stages you completed), and a very functional New Game Plus feature that allows you to keep all of the powerups (Including Zero's saber for X) you've obtained.
- Mega Man Zero 3 has been the target of various well done sprite hacks that replaces Zero with a completely different character such as Vent, or Copy X. First started off as a hack that allowed the ability to play as Omega Zero which was basically a palette swap of Zero and giving the player access to his exclusive attacks.
- Rockman No Constancy replaces the environments, attacks, and even the music: rather than Mega Man 2's futuristic looking stages, the ones in Constancy look more mystic or dreamlike (think Sonic CD). Think the game is easier? Think again. The bosses have faster attacks, the stages have brand new gimmicks, the stages themselves are new, and the scenery is just beautiful, as is the music (Yes, it's taken from various sources, but the soundtrack is beautiful anyway). For a peek, look right here.
- Rockman CX far outclasses the above, with a revamped gameplay style reminiscent of Mega Man X, even more new gimmicks, a completely new set of Robot Masters, a great soundtrack, and a new plot revolving around Mega Man's Evil Counterpart, Rockman CX. It really must be seen to be believed.
- Rockman 4 Minus Infinity did the same thing for 4, but adds more new features than you or your grandmother can handle.
- Mega Man X6 has garnered an extensive ROM hacking project in the form of the Mega Man X6 Tweaks lead by acediez that aims to fix many of the game's criticized gameplay elements, rebalancing the game's brutal difficulty curve, toggle or even outright remove Nightmare effects, restore some of the Dummied Out features leftover in the game's code, provide an option to update the game's original character dialogue portraits with faithfully redrawn ones, and even re-translating the game's infamous English script. If that wasn't enough, there's also a custom patcher utility that allows players to tweak a wealth of features in the game, ranging from how the characters control, adjusting the rank system and Nightmare Soul requirements to trigger certain events, swapping the game's logo and title screen graphics, changing the appearance of X's Ultimate Armor, and much, much more.
- Kirby: Revenge of Dream Land originally started out as a hard mode hack, then grew into a mod that greatly increases the difficulty of the main game, replaces some tracks with remixes and adds new attacks for bosses.
- Kirby's Halloween Adventure is a Holiday Mode romhack of Kirby's Adventure taking place during the fall season and greatly expanding on the original game's enemies and level tropes, pitting Kirby to traverse Horror themed locations and monsters, serving as a Halloween Episode for the series, exploding pumpkins and all.
- Eversion, having its source code in a text file for all to see, is very easy to modify. Common mods are designed to access its ten or so Minus Worlds or allow for flight or invinciblity.
- The PC version of Prince of Persia had an even harder level hack called 4D Prince of Persia back in 1994. In more recent years, however, hackers became capable of deeper modifications, and now you can get many new level sets, tiles and character sprites — you may play with levels and graphics from the excellent SNES version. Someone even made a launcher to use all of the stuff combined.
- Thanks to the way lots of data is found in separate files, Cave Story has a lot of mods, as its fan-forum can attest. Jenka's Nightmare is one of the most popular ones.
- Somari was a pirated Famicom port of Sonic the Hedgehog with Mario replacing Sonic. In turn, the company made a Doraemon total conversion of it.
- A hack of Somari was released by the jabu titled Sonic The Hedgehog (NES) Improvement that improves the graphics and gameplay, and replaces Mario with Sonic. Another version of that hack was then released by Ti, which had improved music. Since then, other hackers have released a "Volume 2" hack which further improved the game as well as added more features.
- The Banjo's Backpack tool allows for custom Banjo-Kazooie levels. If you're familiar with the infamous cut worlds like Mount Fire-Eyes, it won't surprise you to know that people have been jumping to create said cut worlds, along with recreations of levels from other games like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, these are only works in progress as the tool is still relatively new. Only a few original worlds not based on anything have been released so far.
- Custom levels for Super Monkey Ball 1 & 2 are possible, although difficult since you need to use Blender, a free 3D modeling program, with a bunch of plugins to get it to work. However the possibilities are quite stunning, with the ''Monkeyed Ball'' hack completely replacing every level in 2's story mode with brand new stages and worlds.
- The Commander Keen series was abandoned after the sixth game as Id Software went on to better things, despite a teaser of a new trilogy after the sixth game where Keen fights to save the universe. The show must go on, so the fans took it upon themselves to create the unofficial "The Universe Is Toast!" trilogy from mods of Keen 4-6.
- In Donkey Kong Country:
- An official one, the Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge, was made as part of a Blockbuster video game competition. 2,500 copies were made, and after the contest ended, Nintendo Power mailed copies to subscribers. To date, it's one of the rarest video games ever made.
- "Asshole Donkey Kong", a super hard ROM hack in the vein of Kaizo Mario World.
- Spyro the Dragon:
- Several texture hacks for the first three games exist, such as night versions of various levels from the second game.
- Spyro Reignited Trilogy has a fairly strong modding base, and it grew near-instantly at that — not even two days after the Steam release. This is because the game doesn't encrypt its contents outside of using Unreal Engine 4 filetypes, which are well documented by both Unreal and modders alike, meaning modding the game is fairly straight forward. This is helped by the fact Unreal Engine 4 is a free download. A group had already modded Cynder into the game by that pointnote , so the sky's the limit really. Wanna have the OG PSX graphics Spyro? You can! Wanna play as a Reignited-styled Ember? That's possible too!
- Celeste has an active modding scene, with modders making various new chapters, custom mechanics for those maps, and even allowing players to play together online. Some notable mods include:
- Cavern of the Ancients and Enchanted Canyon both feature new mechanics and follow the main game's structure.
- Similarly, Shrouded Thoughts features a ton of new mechanics, as well as a factory theme and a small story that happens after Farewell.
- The mod Partnership is a mod that requires the help of another player to make it through, which is notable for a game whose multiplayer only exists through mods.
- Glyph was known as one of the most beautiful mods ever created in Celeste. It features detailed rooms, four B-side maps, and its own soundtrack.
- The Celeste Spring Community Collab can feel like its own fangame, as it features new music, tons of new mini-chapters to play separated to five lobbies for each difficulty, uses lots of new mechanics and items, trains newer players in advanced tech, and has some of the hardest levels in the community. The Strawberry Jam Collab follows it up a few years later, ending up much larger and map-packed than it.
- And then there is Guneline, whose sole purpose is giving Madeline a gun.
- The 2017 remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap gained a mod based on Monica's Gang, referencing a Brazilian Dolled-Up Installment version of the original Master System game.
- The Formula One F1 Challenge '99-'02 (known as F1 Career Challenge on consoles) has had numerous mods for it since its 2003 release, including mods for various other F1 seasons and even other motorsport disciplines such as NASCAR and prototypes. One mod, known as F1 Challenge VB, includes every Formula one season starting from 1950 up until 2021, with numerous extra track mods, including numerous year to year permutations of circuits F1 has run on as well as tracks that F1 hasn't even run on such as the Isle of Man TT course and Laguna Seca.
- The similar driving simulator Assetto Corsa is also mod-friendly as well, despite being a paid game unlike the former two. In fact, the game was designed to support a wide array of game mods from cars to tracks.
- Grand Prix Legends by Papyrus Design Group continues to survive thanks to gradual improvements and hundreds of modded tracks and new car sets.
- NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, also created by Papyrus Design Group, has its own dedicated fanbase that continues to make mods 13 years after the original was released. Even though its a NASCAR simulation, it also has mods for other racing series, due to the physics engine the game had is realistic enough that it still managed to rival the physics engine from other racing simulation games released much later than NR2003.
- Early Need for Speed games quickly had their vehicle data reverse-engineered which made it able to modify them to an extent. Starting with Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, the modding scene really kicked off for a number of reasons. One was that NFS3 allowed for adding more cars than what it came with. This was intended for downloadable official bonus vehicles, but not limited to these, also because Electronic Arts never made enough vehicles to fill all 50 slots in the game. The fans made way more than that, so even "car managers" were developed that allowed for quickly switching between sets of cars outside the game. Also, upon learning about the car maker scene around NFS3, Electronic Arts released their own car-building tools to the public. At least one NFS3 car maker was hired by EA to work on future NFS games. But it wasn't only the cars that the scene dealt with: They quickly also cracked the track files and not only modded existing tracks, but successfully converted and imported NFS2:SE tracks into NFS3.
Need for Speed IV: High Stakes largely uses the same file formats as its predecessor, so many vehicles and tracks were carried over from NFS3. But it was soon discovered (and made a lot use of) that NFS4 has got a much more powerful engine, so especially the car-building style itself changed. For one, NFS4 supports visual damage to vehicles which many car makers include in their vehicles. But they quickly went beyond the vehicles that came with the game, replaced the opaque black windows with clear ones, modeled the cars' interiors and switched from 2D-shaded low-poly to detailed hi-poly carbodies and from textured to modeled wheels. Since few racing games offer this degree of modding, mods for NFS4 are still being made. And it's still a pity that the game supports no more than 49 vehicles at a time.
- The second-generation games of the franchise, particularly Underground 2, Most Wanted and Carbon, have equally received attention from the modding community with numerous mods that range from graphic reworks to add-on vehicles. Carbon, however, received by far the biggest mod out of the available in the form of Battle Royale, a complete revamp of the Career mode with new events, more interaction with rival Crews and new vehicles. Similarly, Most Wanted got a massive mod in the form of the meme-themed Pepega Edition, which completely revamps the Challenge Series (now called the Cancer Series), has 15 new Blacklist racers in the Career mode, new vehicles, new pursuit heat levels and (starting with V2) new race layouts.
- Even the more recent titles, from 2015 to Heat, have gotten notable mods, which are now condensed into the gigantic Project Unite. Which is the biggest mod pack for the Ghost Game's Need For Speed games created by a Norwegian student under the name SRK online. These mod packs usually include expanded customization options, revised car sounds, improved graphics and textures, improved handling models, and revised pursuit systems. Unite 2015 can be found here, while Unite Heat can be downloaded from here.
- RFactor was built with the intention that as many add-on cars and tracks could be added to it as the community could provide. It's worked. There's (deep breath); Formula One cars, NASCAR cars, Indycars, the old CART-Indy/Champcars, Australian V8 cars, German DTM cars, rally cars... and most major race tracks in the world (and plenty of fictional ones too).
- The Re-Volt community is still creating custom vehicles and levels to this day. A repository of these add-ons can be found at Re-Volt Zone.They also created the fan-made Re-Volt 1.2 Patch, which allows the game to run on modern computers and adds widescreen support, among other optimizations.
- On the topic of racing sims, Richard Burns Rally lives on through countless custom rally cars from various leagues such as the World Rally Championship as well as new rally stages and tweaks aiming to either make the game's Nintendo Hard handling more bearable or bring the game up-to-date for modern audiences. The game's developers even praised the modders for their reverse-engineering of the model formats when they released a 3DS Max script for exporting custom cars into the game. RBR is now Abandonware at this point due to a rather hairy licensing row between the now-defunct Warthog, Gizmondo (which in itself is also quite a long and complicated story to say the least) and Square Enix (who now owns Eidos, not to mention the uncertainty with Richard Burns' estate over re-releasing the game after his death, so it's become a necessary evil for fans to just pirate the game and call it a day, short of buying a used copy on the secondary market.
- Test Drive Unlimited has long had their online servers shut down, but the community has put out many impressive mods that gave the game new life: the first big game mod for the original TDU was the Ultra Community Pack, which added new vehicles, new music and readjustments to the vanilla cars. This was joined by Project Paradise, a mod that reintroduces the game's online mechanics alongside other fixes such as improved mod support and other tweaks to make the game run more smoothly on more recent hardware. The Ultra Community Pack was later on dumped in favor of an even bigger project: TDU Platinum completely overhauls the game by adding even more new vehicles, a new physics engine, new weather effects and support for HDR on top of the UCP and Project Paradise's contents. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is also getting some love by modders with the Unofficial Patch - which fixes many of the bugs that were still left in the game, and the Autopack - which adds a whole slew of new vehicles, up to and including a full-fledged Formula One car. TDUWorld, a Project Paradise-esque mod that brings back TDU2's extensive online functions, is also currently in development.
- TORCS and its fork Speed Dreams, being driving simulators, allow the vast modifications of vehicles, tracks, and even driving physics to the users' liking, due to their open-source nature.
- Mario Kart has boatloads depending on the installment. The most notable rom hacks are listed below.
- Name a Mario Kart installment, and they probably have a variant of CTGP, a collection of community-made courses bundled into hundreds of cups. The Mario Kart Wii version is the most noteworthy installment of the bunch.
- Mario Kart 64 has Amped Up, which provides a full set of 16 custom tracks, new mechanics that weren't in the original such as purple coins, and more.
- Mario Kart DS has a few full-on hacks. One of the first complete ones is Ermii Kart DS, featuring 32 brand new tracks, 6 brand new battle tracks, 12 custom characters note and more.
- Baldur's Gate II has what is arguably the longest standing modding community of all games, still very active after over twenty years past its initial release. The Enhanced Edition release in 2012 injected new life into the franchise with a corresponding invigoration in modding interest. Most common additions allow the player to complete new quests, recruit new NPCs, and add new dialogue and romance options. More technically, there are mods for new items, shops, character class kits, and adjusted combat and alignment mechanics. Some of the most popular and long-lasting mods include:
- Ascension: Created by Bioware design director David Gaider in his spare time after the game's release, Ascension completely revamps Throne of Bhaal. The mod includes bugfixes, upgraded difficulty and AI for almost all of the bosses in the expansion, additional dialogue for Imoen and Sarevok (including a new conversation if you carried over his Sword of Chaos from II's opening dungeon), an upgradable Slayer experience tree, the ability to convince Balthazar or Bodhi to assist you during the final battle, and extended epilogues. Additional submods tied into Ascension include Turnabout, which allows the player the option of summoning additional NPC's (up to and including plot-mandated dead squadmates, Gorion or the Player Character's mother), and Redemption, which allows you to recruit (and redeem) Jon Irenicus as a party member.
- Unfinished Business: Comprised of side missions, extra dialogue and gameplay encounters that were cut and not properly implemented into the game. The fanbase used script remnants, interviews with Gaider detailing the cut material and voice files to reconstruct the missing elements, which include a Minsc side mission, dialogue between Valygar and Suna Seni, restored character creation kits, missing items and NPC portraits, and more. A similar mod of restored content also exists for the first game.
- Kelsey NPC: Far and away one of the best and most popular NPC additions, Kelsey is a sorcerer from a family background of successful merchants. He is fully voiced, with banter options with all the standard NPCs, a romance option for female PCs, a fair number of sidequests, and is fully playable through the end of Throne of Bhaal.
- Baldur's Gate Trilogy: One of the few so-called megamods, BGT is designed to take all of BG1's content and convert it into the BG2 engine. This, along with some added dialogue options, allow both games, along with their expansions, to be played as a single massive game. This has also opened up many modders to add content to BG1, whereas it was originally neglected as being difficult to modify. But with BGT installed, both games run on the same engine and thus modifications based on the sequel's engine can be introduced into the original game. In the same way, NPCs can be introduced in the first game and be made to run seamlessly through the entire series.
- Big World Project: An insanely ambitious mod still in production, the BWP is less a mod and more of a toolset with a number of utilities designed to do no less than let the player download and install any combination of hundreds of available mods, resolve all conflicts between them, patch some mods with others, and debug the entire package. The BWP installs them for you, debugs and deconflicts them for you according to preestablished rulesets for priority, and despite still being in development, can install several gigs worth of WeiDU-based mods with minimum difficulty. Though if you're installing any appreciable number, the entire process can take several hours to complete. It is, quite simply, the ultimate in ease-of-use, hands free mod installation for the Baldur's Gate series.
- Infinity Animations: Less a single mod and more a Baldur's Gate modding sub-community in of itself. Infinity Animations is group of graphics modders dedicated to improving the appearance and quality of the many paper dolls and creature animations throughout the game. They are also responsible for importing creatures from the graphically superior Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment games to take the place of their outdated Baldur's Gate counterparts. Thanks to their work, there are now paper dolls reflecting the many race, gender, and equipment combinations available, allowing for a truly customizable character appearance. IA also serves as a central clearinghouse for mod-created creatures, ensuring that there are no duplicate creature creations in the database and designating unique file assignments so there are no overlapping file names, allowing a player to download any number of IA-approved mods without having to worry about deconfliction issues.
- Throne of Bhaal Extender (TobEx): A popular pre-loading program designed to be loaded with the game itself. It is difficult to explain precisely what it does, per se, but it is designed to soft code fixes directly into the game's executable in order fix problems and make changes to the engine itself as the game is played. At present, it fixes the infamous "stutter bug" caused by an overabundance of global event counters collected in long-running games. It also modifies the character creation process and other screens to insert a scroll bar where none existed before, allowing for a theoretically infinite number of kits and spells to be selected where before the only ones available were those that could fit onto the static screen. Dozens of other "behind the scenes" mechanical fixes are also present for game stability. TobEx's work is so popular that its creator, Ascension64, is one of the lead fan contributors to the game's 2012 official relaunch and most of TobEx's features will be included in the revamped engine.
- BG2 superfan Wesley Weimer famously created the WeiDU interface, which was a hybrid script/text file extender that could be used to add modular pieces of new content to the existing game. It would be easier to count the number of mods that don't use the WeiDU format in some way, as without a way to automatically modify the game's text files, making any changes to dialogue, item stats, or character actions would be impossible, or would turn the game into a garbled mess after only one or two mods installed in any other way. In addition, Weimer created several well-known mods for the game, including Solaufein (which adds the Drow from Ust Natha to the party), Item Upgrade (which allows for new items, weapons and armor to be crafted) and Tactics (which greatly increases the difficulty and variation of enemy encounters).
- Both the original Neverwinter Nights and its sequel came with all the tools needed to build new adventures. This is because they were conceived as "Dungeons & Dragons on your PC": A DM would make a campaign, use the modding tools to build a session, referee it as a hosted netgame on his computer, and the rest of his group of players would all log in and run it from their computers, sort of like a virtual tabletop. The original Neverwinter Nights is probably the king of this trope. It's been out for years, and the toolset is considered, at least was considered, to be one of the best, most complete ever created. Essentially, you can make (and some people have made) content at least as good as the original and expansion content, in terms of complexity, depth, and detail—case in point: A Dance with Rogues. Culminating in Baldur's Gate Reloaded which recreates the entirety of Baldur's Gate with the Tales of Sword Coast North expansion as a Neverwinter Nights 2 module (though with the standard 3.5 DND game mechanics, classes, and races available in NWN 2). GOG.com, which sells Baldur's Gate, even featured the mod on their site.
- Dragon Age similarly spawned an active modding community, which is somewhat fitting for the Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate. Dragon Age: Origins was released with an official toolset (perhaps due to the success of the BG and especially Neverwinter Nights modding community), and as such countless mods are available for Origins and its Expansion Pack Awakening. These include: major bug fixes, gameplay tweaks, hi-res texture packs, complete overhauls of NPC models, new appearance options for the character creator a la The Sims, new arms and armor, additional spells and classes, new quests and playable content such as party members and expanded Romance Sidequests. Many appearance-based mods are meant to increase visual continuity between the games, such as the various mods that change qunari and elf models to resemble their redesigns in the sequel, and Grey Wardens of Ferelden, which adds the sequel's Grey Warden armors to the first game. Dragon Age II did not come with a toolset, so fewer mods are available for it, but there still quite a few around, mostly new armors and character creation options for Hawke. And similar to the World of Warcraft example below, fan mods such as The Winter Forge, and Universal Dye Kit, both wildly popular armor customization mods, are probably why the developers were quick to tout the ability to customize armor as one of the first gameplay features revealed for Dragon Age: Inquisition.
- The Elder Scrolls series has had tens of thousands of mods created for its various installments, starting from Morrowind onward. It has amassed so many mods that dedicated sections for each game are available on the NexusMods network, comprising new quests, weapons, armor, companions, enemies, complete visual overhauls / texture replacers and much, much more. The development of the TESCS (The Elder Scrolls Construction Set) jumpstarted the franchise's mod revolution, and the series gained a reputation for being extremely mod-friendly as a result. The PC version of Skyrim was used as the pilot title for the Steam Workshop, an addition to Steam's social network that makes uploading and installing mods a one-click process. Bethesda themselves have also released a handful of official mods for the series, most recently with the Valve Software-partnered Fall of the Space Core, Vol. 1. Some of the most notable mods include:
- One of the most ambitious Morrowind mods of all time, the Tamriel Rebuilt mod aims to add the entirety of the titular province as a playable area. An ongoing project since 2003, the mod is still being actively updated, having seen its last major release in 2022. To date, it's roughly tripled the size of the game world, and it still has much of the province left to complete. About the only two mods that can beat it in the ambition department are the two other semi-related (partly overlapping developers, a willingness to talk and share resources) province mods: Skyrim: Home of the Nords (aims to add the province of Skyrim as a playable area) and Province: Cyrodiil (aims to add the entirety of Cyrodiil as a playable area). Having begun much later, those two have thus far only released much smaller areas (part of the hold of the Reach and an island off Cyrodiil's western coast, respectively).
- Both Oblivion and Skyrim have several mods comprised of comprehensive patches to both the base game itself and every major expansion or piece of Downloadable Content, thereby eliminating any discovered bugs not fixed by the developers.
- Morroblivion, an ambitious project that fully recreates Morrowind on Oblivion's game engine. The creators also intend to accomplish the same feat by recreating Morrowind on Skyrim's engine. In both cases, you have to own both Morrowind and the game the mod is running on (by design — they're not trying to be pirates).
- Oscuro's Oblivion Overhaul. In addition to making the game a lot harder, it improves just about every aspect of it, including the reworking of many game mechanics. This mod was even endorsed by critics, and will likely influence the development of any further Elder Scrolls games (particularly since the modder himself ended up working on Obsidian Entertainment's Fallout: New Vegas).
- Nehrim: At Fate's Edge is a total conversion for Oblivion that turns the entire game into a mix between the original story and Gothic, complete with an entirely new world map and storyline that runs upwards of forty hours. It won the ModDB Best Singleplayer Mod award in 2010.
- Skyrim has dozens of additional followers crafted by modders, and though some of them are fairly simple with dialogue already in the game, there are a few in particular that come with their own recorded dialogue, custom skins and even quest lines that add more to the game. Vijia in Skyrim (the sequel to an Oblivion mod) introduces a female fighter / prospective bard to the game, with contributions by Sir Terry Pratchett himself, a full storyline, morality system, tons of unique gameplay options and much more. Hoth is a fully voiced bounty hunter who sports unique and custom-made armor, weapons and skin textures, and has his own storyline and side missions. Inigo is a fully voiced Khajiit mercenary who reacts to the dragonborn no matter their race or gender (along with an in-universe reason for why some of his lines repeat), several in-built options to modify his behavior, locate him on a map and to summon him to your spot, and even comes with a choose your own adventure story you can have him read to you at an inn.
- The currently most ambitious project for Skyrim, is the massive multi-team project Beyond Skyrim, which aims for no less than the very lofty goal of recreating most of Tamriel in the Skyrim engine, including of the less explored corners of the continent. The project spans no less than 7 different installments, all with is own associated development team (though with some membership overlap).
- Some dedicated fans managed to reverse-engineer Daggerfall into the Unity engine, so while the original Daggerfall couldn't support mods due to Bethesda losing the game's source code, various graphics/sound overhauls, terrain mods, and user-made quests have popped up once the newer Unity version made an alpha release.
- One of the most famous cases is Bethesda and their SDK — both the aforementioned The Elder Scrolls Construction Set and the aptly named GECK for Fallout 3. In each case, the SDKs released are the same tools used by Bethesda to develop the game. This is a big, big part of the reason why Bethesda games are known as modder-friendly.
- Many Fallout mods are also dedicated to fixing some of the inaccuracies and retcons compared to the old games, such as Advanced Enclave Power armor from Fallout 2, and many weapons from the earlier games.
- A particularly impressive mod that's been made for Fallout 3 and New Vegas is RTS - Real Time Settler, where you can take virtually any NPC or object and move them to a town that you build yourself. Essentially making it into an incredibly violent post-apocalyptic The Sims-style game.
- Along with other Fallout 3 and New Vegas mods, this mod is now an Ascended Fan Fic after being added as a gameplay mechanic in Fallout 4.
- Like its predecessor, Fallout: New Vegas has a thriving modding community that has been running strong for many years since its 2010 release. Ranging from full-scale gameplay modifications and visual overhauls to bring it in line with more modern titles, its modding community has been so prolific that other titles have attempted to emulate its dedication (chief among them its follow-up, Fallout 4, which featured a planned mod that seeks to replicate the entirety of the game into 4's engine). Some of the more popular mods include:
- Tale of Two Wastelands, a project that functionally adds the entirety of Fallout 3 (and its DLC expansions) into New Vegas' engine, replicating gameplay mechanics and attributes into the former that weren't there at release (such as crafting). This full-scale mod, played solely in Vegas, has cultivated its own subcommunity that is making content intended to be compatible with ToTW.
- The Someguy Series, a collection of linked mods by creator Someguy2000 that adds numerous hours of gameplay on top of the base experience, ranging from bounty-hunter contracts (as seen in New Vegas Bounties, a three part quest mod series lauded for its excellent story and challenging combat), Russell (a Ranger companion) and the quest mod The Inheritance. Even years after its release, the series still stands out for creating an interlinked story (such that it confers an Old Save Bonus depending on whether you've completed specific missions in two different mods) and crafts a very different picture of The Courier through its overarching plotline.
- One mod that received significant attention was the "JSawyer" mod, named after lead game director Josh Sawyer (and created by the man himself) — which functionally acts as a "Director's Cut" of the game, reintegrating some minor cut content, redistributing the Pre-Order Bonus items throughout the gameworld instead of dumping them on the player in the intro, and a host of other changes designed at improving the experience of the basegame. Since the original version of JSawyer is very unfriendly to other game mods, an improved version with less compatibility issues called JSawyer Ultimate Edition was created by a modder named PushTheWinButton.
- The game has also received several restored content mods, including Moburma's "New Vegas Uncut" series (which restored minor character interactions and an unused companion, Betsy the Brahmin), Simply Uncut (a wide-ranging assortment of restored and semi-reused content that fleshes out many aspects of the gameworld, including unused Legion content) and multiple projects aimed at reworking both The Strip and Freeside into their own respective single worldspaces without loading screens (along with reverting changes made in patches that took out elements of both locations in an attempt to run better on consoles).
- Project Nevada is one of the oldest and longest-running mod projects, creating a complete overhaul of New Vegas's gameplay.
- New Vegas Enhanced Content (NVEC) is a "supermod" that takes many of the community's most popular bugfixes and enhancement mods and brings them together under a single mod.
- Killap's Fallout 2 Restoration Project adds tons of material, mostly stuff that was cut because it couldn't be completed on time (such as rescuing Sulik's sister, the EPA, a secret Hubologist compound with loot, and several ending messages including a positive end for the deathclaws), but also multiple bug fixes and various minor improvements. The only problem with the Megamod and the Restoration Project is that Fallout and 2 were not designed with mods in mind, so the mods are somewhat unstable... but at any rate still better than unpatched Fallout 2.
- Another notable type of mod for Fallout 2 is one that makes Miria a legitimate companion, allowing her to level up and gain combat skills, even giving her a romance arc with the main character. Somewhat amusingly, no such mods exist for Davin.
- An unusual quirk of the Fallout 1/2 modding community is that it is largest in eastern Europe, with the result that there are multiple massive, intricate mods that are, or at least for years were, only available in Russian.
- Freedom Force has much more fan-created content than official add-ons, most famous is The Strangers which is about the size of the original game and features much more technically advanced missions and powers. One mission features a four way battle between The Strangers, a pod of atlantains, a berserk shape-shifting robot, antarctican demon hunters and the Legions of Hell.
- Using Grim Dawn's mod editor, someone has created a Diablo II remake named Reign of Terror. It's not 1 for 1 remake however, it's more of a mashing between the two. It uses Grim Dawn's dual-class system, its devotion mechanic while using the look and feel of Diablo II. It also borrows some assets from Titan Quest.
- Romancing SaGa 3. So many hacks were made to that game to include characters from various anime, video games and manga — even other SaGa characters, and even adding bosses from the previous Romancing SaGa games and Apollo from Final Fantasy Legend II. On top of that, the hacks even change the music and add new spells and scenarios. Hacks also include a new boss from the Romancing SaGa Ultimania: The Mother of Death, Saruin, Schirach, and Elore; Saiva the Goddess of Destruction.
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy's Game Boy Advance remake, while well-lauded for its various quality-of-life improvements (such as no Save-Game Limits, less tedious bulk purchasing of items, spells working as intended) and new content such as four Bonus Dungeons, was criticized for watering down the difficulty too much without adding any sort of "hard mode" to compensate. Thus, the Mod of Balance was created, offering the challenge of the NES/Famicon version but with all the modern touches of the remakes. At least that was the original intention of the mod up to version 2.2; version 3.0 onwards is an overhaul of the game with no class change system, instead offering twelve unique classes instead of six.
- Fedorajoe's Final Fantasy hacks Final Fantasy III General Leo Edition and Final Fantasy II Playable Golbez Edition have General Leo surviving Kefka's attack on Thamasa and Golbez joining the team after the Giant of Babil, respectively. Both rename certain enemies to match later installments, balance the gameplay, fix the "Blind Idiot" Translation, and remove their game's respective ninjas.
- Final Fantasy IV Unprecedented Crisis is an extensive ROM hack of Final Fantasy IV that at first, seems to only modify the gameplay (such as making Edward useful and giving Cecil access to Black Magic), but when a certain event doesn't happen, a whole new chain of story events happen, like there being 8 elemental lords (the original four and a new set of four).
- The Final Fantasy VI mod called Final Fantasy VI Brave New World is a very popular one that overhauls the game to be a more balanced experience. Most of the broken tricks and bugs are removed or toned down, the Esper system is heavily reworked to allow different builds, and a fair amount of Cast Speciation has occurred to make all the characters more unique, while the difficulty has been raised somewhat.
- The PC version of Final Fantasy VII has a very active modding scene; the port is notoriously bad, being hindered by a staggered development cycle and numerous incompatibility problems. As such, the modding community has come up with a variety of patches and tools solely for fixing the game; there's even a custom-made graphics driver. There's also a huge volume of superficial mods, offering replacement character models (for both field and battle areas), high-definition textures, total menu overhauls, a complete retranslation effort and a tool to replace the in-game MIDI files with custom music.
- There is also the New Threat mod which retranslates the game, rebalances the enemies and bosses as well as the stats, the Materia and the equipment, and adds a few more scenes and features.
- A mod for the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VIII called International GF Job System (the title reminding you of anything?) not only fixes some of the gameplay issues, but even manages to flesh out the Junction system through modifying the magic spells and, most importantly, the Guardian Forces by making them act more like the Job System found in most other Final Fantasy games like V.
- Final Fantasy X is perhaps the most player friendly of the installments; barring the Superbosses in the Monster Arena and the difficult bosses, the game shouldn't give you any trouble if you know what you're doing. The PAL version rebalanced the difficultly somewhat, but for some real scares, try firing up the Punishment mod. Even former pushovers (the ones who croaked if you so much as lobbed an Aeon at them) now require a truckload of buffs.
- While most mods to the game are discouraged as cheating and violate the Terms of Service, Final Fantasy XI PC versions are a frequent subject of mods. The least invasive and generally considered most benign (and easiest) involves modifying the game's data files to change the music for various areas or the visual appearance of monsters, NPCs, or player characters. There is a fairly significant mod community dedicated to this. On the somewhat more invasive level, a third-party application exists to provide one of the most heavily player-demanded features, the ability to run the game windowed instead of full-screen, and supports a plugin interface to load additional mods into the game. This program is both highly popular and highly controversial, with many players in stark disagreement as to whether the bundled plugins count as cheats (though there are other plugins and third-party apps that are more generally accepted as obvious cheats) or simply features that should have been included in the first place. Square Enix has a policy of banning players who openly admit to using it, and occasionally breaks it with updates, but has not made a concerted effort to address it, and has recently caved on the player demand for Windowed mode, and released it... without all the mods they say violates the ToS, leading to the usual reaction.
- The original Final Fantasy Tactics was practically tailored for modders, and not just for customizing sprites. You can find many of them here.
- For starters, the AI was terrible, the difficulty was broken, and — most bizarrely — enemy units never upgraded beyond knights and archers. The "1.3" mod ramped up the difficulty (well, it is hosted by insanedifficulty.com), strengthened the enemy units, and tweaked mages to be a little less, well.. useless. This mod definitely qualifies as Nintendo Hard; the days of finishing off Altima with two Climhazzards are over.
- Don't forget balancing out overpowered equipment (such as making Excalibur's Haste effect temporary instead of permanent), giving previously useless equipment like most daggers a reason to be used via stat boosts or special effects, balancing out overpowered classes (I'm looking at you, Orlandu), and giving story battles more varied units to fight against.
- The Knights of the Old Republic games don't have any official tools, despite using basically the same engine as Neverwinter Nights; this, however, didn't stop fans from developing third-party modding tools and making a cornucopia of mods of varying quality, some even altering/"enhancing" the game, as well as the addition/alteration of some rather epic side/main quests. That's not even counting the additional items, restored content, models, skins, and bug fixes, etc. for a game that didn't even have an official toolset...
- A couple of famous mods are a dialogue pack that restores much of Juhani's dialogue and adds about 20 pages worth of purely fan-made dialogue. The top of the line, however, is Silveredge9's Brotherhood of Shadow which includes three new recruitable characters, fully voiced dialogue, at least a dozen all-new locations, flashbacks to your hunt for the Star Forge as Darth Revan, the fateful battle where you got captured, and single-combat against Mandalore at Malachor V! The only drawback is that, due to its magnitude, it will not play nicely with other mods.
- Similar to the Baldur's Gate example is "The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod", a fan made mod that consists of a wide array of material that was cut from Knights of the Old Republic II when it was rushed for a Christmas release, along with over a thousand bugfixes. The mod was years in the making, and was finally completed in July 2012.
- There's also Knights of the Old Republic III: The Jedi Masters, a Fan Game that takes the form of a full-conversion mod for KOTORII.
- Visual Mods are very popular among World of Warcraft players. So popular that Blizzard has worked some of the mods into the main game, such as Raid Assist (which helps with said Raids by designating targets and tanks) or an option to speed up quest descriptions. Other mods provide additional information on items or change the UI (User Interface) to the players likings.
- World of Warcraft is entirely supportive of addons that function entirely within provided scripting commands. On the other hand, data mods — even seemingly innocuous client-only mods like model changes or (sigh) nude patches are forbidden. If one were to alter models they could set it so the flag in PVP Battleground was a mile high, making it easy to find the enemy flag carrier at any time.
- Many of those popular mods that were made into the main game (enemy stats, talent previews, quest tracking, raid warnings) have been in the game for so long most players probably won't remember what playing the game was like when those were only available with mods. (When, after patch, every single mod had to be updated...and these weren't just content patches that'd render the mods useless...There are numerous bug-fixing patches)
- The classic BBS door game Legend Of The Red Dragon was infamous for its ability to use plug-in style mods, which were referred to as IGMs (In Game Modules). A great many of these simply heaped treasure and items on players for free.
- Mega Man Star Force DX is a mod that greatly improves upon the original experience by restoring cut content, adding quality of life enhancements, and new postgame content. Enough so that it's been compared to Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix in terms of quality. Can be found on the Rockman EXE Zone.
- The first three generations of Pokémon can be modded with some ease thanks to the proliferation of ROMs and hacking tools.
- A fairly famous (at least in the Nuzlocke) community) is Edge's Alt Evos, which adds Gen (I)V Pokemon and Alt Evos.
- Like Moemon: A mod which simply replaced all the Pokémon sprites with moe gjinka.
- And then there's Touhoumon, a hack of FireRed that replaces each Pokémon with Touhou characters, complete with all-new types, stats, and attacks for flavor.
- Similarly, someone on /m/ has started a FireRed hack that replaces Pokémon with various Humongous Mecha, changing the names of types (for instance "FIRE" become "Hot-Blooded") and moves.
- A lot of Pokémon hacks also edit game mechanics to change how some of the Pokémon evolve. This is largely done to eliminate the version splitting and trade evolutions.
- There's also the infamous hack Pokémon Quartz, full of bizarre new Pokemon and some really weird dialogue. Despite its flaws, it has fully edited areas and new scenarios, which was actually impressive for the time since Pokémon hacks then were mostly just graphic or text edits.
- Nowadays, most Pokémon hacks are a lot more than graphical or text edits, containg completely new maps, scripts and, in some rare cases, new mechanics and completely rewriting the game. Pokémon Brown and the other hacks of Coolboyman are famous for doing the latter. Rarely is a Pokémon hack completed, however, with most "hackers" getting bored very quickly.
- There's several "Anime" hacks of FireRed / LeafGreen that try to re-tell Ash's Indigo League journey. You can take your own liberties, or you can take a Self-Imposed Challenge by only catching the Pokémon that Ash caught in the anime and only evolving them when he did.
- Pokémon Adventures — Red Chapter is a hack of Fire Red that serves as an interactive re-telling of Red's adventure in the the Pokémon Adventures manga series.
- There are two hacks that allow you to catch every single Pokémon in it, by giving any Pokémon species some place to be found in. Said hacks are namely Pokémon Emerald 386 for Pokemon Emerald and Pokémon Platinum: Enhanced Edition for Pokémon Platinum. While 386 adds nothing (aside from the aforementioned possibility to catch every pogey in-game) to its source material, Enhanced Edition is the original game turned up a notchnote : more challenging, with several trainers other than you taking a level in badass as well, thus requiring players to be at least strategically skilled and with a good enough knowledge of the good ol' Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors. This includes being able to catch wild Mewtwo(s) even before getting to Victory Road, Route 201 entirely devoted to catch HM slaves, and the rematch against Cynthia revealing a party entirely made of Olympus Mons.
- A group from /x/ has set out to mod Pokémon Fire Red into nightmare fuel for everyone's enjoyment.
- Pokemon Blue Kaizo and Pokemon Crystal Kaizo are both complete hacks that allow you to catch 151 Pokémon and 251 Pokémon, respectively. However, as indicated by the name Kaizo, they are super hard mode versions of the original, as opposed to mere hard modes.
- The Pokémon Black creepypasta has been recreated in playable form through a mod of Pokémon Red.
- There are also randomizers for the Pokémon games that can randomize what Pokemon you can catch, to what Pokémon your opponents have, all the way to randomizing what Pokémon evolve into.
- Pokemon Fire Red Rocket Edition has you play as a member of Team Rocket, experiencing the main story of the original Fire Red exploring a side of Kanto from a much darker perspective.
- Even fan remakes of the Pokémon are not safe. Someone will come along and hack into it, because of course the game needs Metroids in it
- Freelancer has some rather good mod communities, notably Crossfire, which actually makes the economy dynamic like it was supposed to be when the game was announced, Discovery Freelancer, which adds more content and optimizes certain elements for multiplayer roleplay, and Freeworlds, a total conversion of Freelancer into the Star Wars universe.
- Swords of Xeen is an interesting case. A mod of Darkside of Xeen, it received official support from New World Computing and was included in some compilations of the saga, even if it's not considered canon.
- A fan mod of Chrono Trigger called Crimson Echoes (TV Tropes page here) was set to be released May 31, 2009, after almost five years in development, which basically turned it into a whole new game. A cease and desist letter was issued May 9, 2009.
- An alpha version was leaked, and is available about the Internet, but the version that was 98% done is not in public hands. However, a 99% complete version is.
- There is also a video playthrough of the 98% complete beta available to view on YouTube, enabling you to see the interesting story that the creators constructed.
- The beta got leaked in January 2011, and a mod of Crimson Echoes called Flames of Eternity had already been released before then as well. http://www.the-games-blog.com/chrono-trigger-crimson-echoes-is-on-the-internet/
- Torchlight has support for mods out of the box, as well as an editor, and achievements for playing the game with one, five, or ten mods installed.
- Mount & Blade and its expansion Warband have a very large, very active modding community. Hundreds of minor mods and dozens of total conversions have been made, and more are released all the time. There's even a Star Wars mod in the works.
- Angband has been repeatedly modded into an entire family of Roguelikes: Steamband, Animeband, ZAngband, Hellband, Tales of Maj'Eyal and so on.
- Titan Quest has its own modding community, although one mod gets recommended even to first-time players in lieu of the baseline. Consistently. That would be Underlord, which started out by, like Baldur's Gate's Unfinished Business mod, reinstating content that couldn't be implemented in time for Immortal Throne's release, and wound up tweaking and expanding all the masteries (and completely remaking at least half the Thief mastery, now Occult) so all the mastery dyads possible were actually viable. There's even been a mod, Lilith, that's essentially a completely new game that just happens to use TQ's engines.
- Be warned, however, that Underlord also severely amps up the difficulty, to the point that the starting zone monsters can kill you. Easily.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends II have a community found here dedicated to making all sorts of mods from fixing balances, adding new abilities and even custom characters that were not in the games initially for various reasons.
- Unlimited Adventures is a somewhat meta example; the program is a Game Maker, so making mods is the whole point, but some people have figured out ways to create "hacks" which give the designer possibilities far beyond these offered in the program (editing items, for example.)
- Despite the Mass Effect franchise never getting a set of mod tools released, fans took it upon themselves to create their own homebuilt tool, ME3Explorer, and start building their own mods. These include remastered visuals and assets, mods that added or changed the outfits of characters, brought in new weapons and armor, full-scale gameplay overhauls and even new levels:
- One of the first mods released for the game, Mass Effect 3 Happy Ending Mod (Extended Cut required) rewrites the ending to have Shepard survive the firing of the Crucible, via him/her never meeting the Catalyst and getting rescued by a shuttle from the Normandy. The most recent version of the mod has the ability for Shepard and their love interest to hug at the Normandy's memorial wall, along with new slides of other characters not mentioned in the epilogue.
- The Ark Mod is functionally the game's "fifth DLC" — a set of linked missions that form a Sidequest Sidestory, and follow Shepard and their crew as they helm a mission on Palaven's moon, Menae, before attempting to stop the Reapers from discovering the whereabouts of the Andromeda Initiative. The mod includes a boatload of armor and weapons brought over from Andromeda, new gameplay encounters, and also restores unused environmental content for the N7 missions that were cut from the vanilla game.
- Both the Immersive Thessia Mod and the Ambient Audio Overhaul Mod, both by modder Orikon25, restore a large chunk of content that was removed from Priority: Thessia (one of the game's major plotline missions) and restore various audio cues and sounds found throughout the game. The two mods, along with Priority Earth Overhaul Mod (listed below), the Prologue Overhaul Mod (which restores content to the game's opening mission) and various level streaming / bugfixes were released as "The Orikon Collection", an unofficial "remaster" for the game.
- The Expanded Galaxy Mod is an ambitious project that introduces a wide range of content that dramatically overhauls the game. Not only do you gain the ability to take any of your squadmates from Mass Effect 2 on N7 missions, but they have new armors to wear. You now receive an Old Save Bonus of all your weapons from the previous game in a secure chest aboard the Normandy, and can purchase and unlock additional weapons and armors throughout the game. The requirements for the Golden Ending are now harder to achieve, and the galaxy dynamically changes as you progress through the story — some War Assets are permanently lowered by fighting and skirmishes, and other, new assets have been placed throughout the planets. The Normandy is completely redesigned — not only does it now have a shooting range and additional upgrade capabilities, but you can actually recruit additional crew members, including more medics, a barman, a sushi chef and more engineers. There are also new sidequests and missions, including a Harder Than Hard "Evacuation of Thessia" mission where you're tasked with flying the Normandy around the planet to rescue fleeing refugees and key assets before the Reapers catch you. Crew members can be invited up to the captain's cabin at any time, and there's additional romance content for certain characters like Liara. There are even special achievements and shuttle bay items depending on the player's decisions during the story and what they've done in the previous games.
- The Priority Earth Overhaul Mod is Exactly What It Says on the Tin — a full-scale restoration/reworking of the final mission. Along with restoring a host of cut content (including unused Joker dialogue, new goodbye scenes with James and Garrus and an appearance by the Quarians and Geth if you brokered peace), the mod dramatically overhauls the London hub to feature more soldiers and ambient dialogue, along with rebalancing enemy spawns, showing the consequences of the battle on the forces you've gathered throughout the game (notably, if you saved the Destiny Ascension in ME1, you'll see it dramatically explode in the sky as you progress through the mission) and adds new encounters and expanded level areas. Not to mention there's an entirely new cutscene that takes place if you choose the "Refuse" ending, showing the Reapers leaving Earth after wiping out Earth's fleets and razing the planet.
- Dark Souls had its fair share of mods after being ported to PC. It's mostly new textures for weapons, armors and characters (including the obligatory nude mod), some HUD changes and fixes for better connectivity. The rest of the mods are focused on making the game even harder than it already is, such as the obligatory item location randomizer, and "Estus Quest", which is the normal game except your primary healing item is locked behind the Superboss of the DLC, and on top of that you are also afflicted with a permanent take-double-damage debuff until you beat him.
- A mod called Dark Souls: Remastest by InfernoPlus of Cursed Halo fame, named as such as a tongue in cheek response to the shoddy release of Dark Souls Remastered. Numerous balance adjustments have been made to address basically every single flaw the original game had, so many that it'd be easier to watch the video itself to cover them. Much like Cursed Halo, Remastest also shares a similar level of (optional) silliness, featuring working recreations of several of Halo's weapons and outright costumes of the crewmates from Among Us including a working Social Deduction Game, to name a few.
- The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has the Full Combat Rebalance mod, which alters just about everything, from the skill trees to animations, to make the combat feel more responsive. What makes this notable is that it was made by a developer of the third game in his spare time.
- The Mother series has a small but steadily growing modding community, with EarthBound (1994) being the most popular one. Hacks tend to go anywhere from adding new enemies to the game, retranslating the game to be more faithful to original, along with uncensoring certain sprites, reusing base aspects from the original game to make a new story, or completely reconstructing the game by adding in new enemies, areas, abilities, and storylines to become games in their own right. For some of the more famous examples, see EquestriaBound, The Halloween Hack and Hallow's End.
- And of course, that's not even counting Mother 3's famous Fan Translation.
- Special mention goes to Mother: 25th Anniversary Edition, a hack of the original version of EarthBound Beginnings, which attempts to make the game more enjoyable and less frustrating for new players. Along with tweaking the game's Random Encounters and adding more items, the graphics were greatly enhanced (surprisingly still within NES limitations), the music was tweaked slightly (you won't always hear the same music in every battle) and it applies the dialogue changes from the MOTHER 1+2 Fan Translation.
- There's also MaternalBound, which attempts to make EarthBound more like its original Japanese version. The author of this hack also has an edit of the above hack, Mother: 25th Faithful Edition.
- There's also the Holiday Hex, a short but fun ROM hack with heavy Christmas and Easter themes in it.
- Nexus Clash players have cooked up a wide range of extensions that substantially improve the interface of the game. One player combined them into a single conglomerated extension that draws on the benefits of all the rest, which most veteran players now use. In recent years, the development team has been eagerly mining the game-mod community for ideas to improve the base game.
- While Grand Theft Auto is very well known for its moddability for the PC version, most famously realistic cars replacing the fictional, low-detailed cars in III, Vice City, and San Andreas, it also gained infamy in 2005 with the infamous Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In the game, CJ can have sex with various women, but the depiction is limited to seeing them entering the woman's house. Hot Coffee re-enables a Dummied Out sequence where the player not only gets to watch but controls the action to a degree. It was later patched. The discovery led to a brief revival of the Games Are Evil panic. Incidentally, PC players tend to avoid said patch not because they want to enable it but rather because it disables all modding function (although it has since been reversed). The Steam version of GTA San Andreas are pre-patched.
- The PC release of San Andreas has considerable popularity in Japan because of or leading to the mass number of Touhou Project mods made for it.
- Great Theft Car is a fan-made expansion of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that follows CJ who wants to find out who burned down his house one year after the canon storyline.
- The Grand Theft Auto series of games has always appeared to be ripe for multiplayer, but it was never implemented by the designers. Enter Multi Theft Auto, a mod that allowed for the player of the PC version to play multiplayer with large numbers of players and its own custom game modes. Multi Theft Auto was released for GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas, and is massively popular with the PC players for all of them. Rockstar got the hint with the PSP version of Liberty City Stories, which had online multiplayer for up to six players. They completely polished it for GTA IV, with 16-player (32 for the PC) support and 15 game modes. GTA IV's multiplayer has some similarities to MTA, including customizable character models, the whole city to explore and fight in, and some game modes. Later for Grand Theft Auto V there are huge focus on online mode post-release, even more so than the single player story mode!
- Grand Theft Auto IV has your standard set of mods, but the mod that turns the vehicle friction to -9 leads to some... interesting results.
- Vice City plus Back to the Future. That is all.
- GTA United tried to make Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas accessible in one game. Unfortunately it's a Perpetual Beta that is long since abandoned.
- Fortunately there's a Spiritual Successor called GTA Underground, which not only combines the aforementioned cities but also Bullworth, Carcer City and even a few original locations. Sadly, that too has been deleted and no longer available.
- Whoever made GTA Anderius should be on shrooms. Only available in Russian though.
- Mushroomia, from the creators of the aforementioned Anderius. The title speaks for itself.
- Also "GTA: Criminal Russia" has an all-new 90s post-CCCP fictional Russian city and countryside, complete with contemporary cars and music.
- Things To Do in San Andreas overhauls the titular game with a lot of, well, things to do, a lot of which are Dummied Out/Beta content or taken from the other 3D Era games, including the Stories ones, as well as applying various bugfixes and restoring cut dialogue.
- Darkmyre Gaming is a massive, massive modding community that sees fit to turn the game into a police sim replete with booking speeding motorists to delivering death notices to next of kin. Primarily focused on Australian police mainly New South Wales they have done other countries as well, and were actually in the news when the real police learned of this, took it the wrong way (as in playing a Cowboy Cop in a crime sim) and were uncomfortable.
- LSPD:FR and LCPD:FR are similar to Darkmyre, but for Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto IV, respectively. LSPD:FR and LCPD:FR focus on the LSPD/LSSD and LCPD respectively, but in a much more realistic manner than the regular in-game police, allowing the player to pull over other drivers, pursue suspects, call for backup, and get into the occasional shootout, with additional mods that can add different features note or different call-outs, though most of the modding community focuses on replacing the game's fictional police vehicles with real police vehicles note .
- While there are modders who replace the fictional cars with real ones, there's also modders who have expanded on the fictional cars Rockstar made, making "lore-friendly" versions of various real world vehicles that Rockstar hasn't. A lot of these vehicle mods can be found in Vanillaworks Extended.
- The Escape Velocity series featured the ability to mod the games simply by dropping the mod (or plug) into the Plug-ins folder, much like the Apple Macintosh's operating system could be modified by dropping new extensions/control panels into the System Folder. The most complex mods, however, require overwrite of key data files; ironically, the total conversion mods for the third game that allow you to play the first two games (mods that were released by the publisher) fall into this category. For the most part, it was not so much that it required overwriting as that it was easier to design total conversions to require you to switch out the core data files for the TC's data files than to have loads and loads of empty resources to keep things from the original game from showing up when they shouldn't. Perhaps notably, both sequels began life as total conversion projects for the previous game.
- Being an ASCII-based, non-graphical game, Dwarf Fortress is quite friendly to modders. Some of the more common changes to the game include new wildlife, plantlife, and races, the ability to play as non-dwarven races, and changes to existing animal stats. Like fire-breathing bears.
- It's also been modded into Ancient Roman Fortress, Fallout Fortress and—inevitably—Pony Fortress. There are both "beginners' versions" that are less sadistically difficult that turn your dorfs into little Terminators and versions that make every monster six times stronger. There's also some really dreadful cheating possibilities in playing with the raw files; it's possible to make your forges spit out Unobtanium, for instance, allowing your tiny outpost to fleece an Elven caravan out of everything they own in exchange for one earring.
- Fantasy Gun Control? Averted!
- The Wiki has a more extensive list.
- Notably, the author of the game has said he wants the game to be as mod-friendly as possible. An example is that while he doesn't plan to have explosives in the "vanilla" game, once it's finished, he wants modders to be able to add this with just a tiny bit of code.
- Cortex Command, for now, is almost entirely a user-mod based game.
- Minecraft, having been open to modders since the beginning, has a very large modding community with lots of mods to add on. Some add simple things like improved crafting recipes, others add entire new worlds.
- A community under the name of Bukkit has numerous plugins used on multiplayer servers (well, on the easier to manage Bukkit servers) with a variety of features. Some are for anti griefing measures, such as disabling damage to terrain by explosions and disabling fire from spreading, to having an in game economy for role playing purposes. The Bukkit community has gained so much attention and popularity that the developers of Minecraft have plans to incorporate the game with the Bukkit plugins to make modding easier. The plugins can be found here.
- There are also modpacks (multiple mods bundled into one) such as Feed the Beast, Yogbox, and so on.
- Minetest is an open-world voxel game similar to Minecraft and even more moddable. It has had a "modding API" from the very beginning, also because its own built-in contents are connected over this API instead of being hard-coded. Essentially, Minetest itself is only an engine, but it comes with a game named minetest_game that takes its elements out of "mods". This means that you can not only add more mods to minetest_game, but you can also install wholly new games completely independent from minetest_game, ranging from countless more or less faithful Minecraft clones for those who complain that everything that makes Minetest different from Minecraft suck to games that simulate Australia or post-apocalyptic wastelands to Lord of the Test that takes you to Middle Earth.
Starting with version 0.4, the focus on modding grew when the new Minetest developers threw lots of features out of minetest_game, making it fully playable but somewhat bare-bone, and leaving it to the community to soup it up with mods. Even with minetest_game, Minetest has been turned into a modding platform.
- A modding community has sprung up for Terraria on its official forums. As part of the Journey's End update, the modloader tModLoader was released as free DLC, effectively giving the playerbase the green light to keep modding the game.
- Starbound has its mods uploaded both on the official forums and the Steam Workshop, the former is usually installed by simply extracting the mods content into the mods folder of the game. It also has a mega-mod project, Frackin' Universe, which adds a lot of gameplay mechanic changes and features, for the cost of very long initial loading.
- The Simpsons Hit & Run has the Donut Mod, as well as many other mods.
- Factorio, by design from the devs, is highly moddable through Lua. Modders are able to easily create new prototypes and scripts by writing them in the mod's Lua files. These mods range from quality-of-life mods, such as extended reach, automatic research, and a creative mode, to difficulty-increasing mods such as Bob's Mods, Angel's Mods, and Marathon. All of these mods are hosted are on the official mod portal.
- Kerbal Space Program Has 3 different mod repositories, with the mods inside ranging from autopilots and info displays to extra planets to new parts or an overhaul of the parts that are there and completely new experiments to run and tech trees to unlock with those experiments. There are also mods that replace the default planetary system with ones like our own and make rocket engines function more realistically.
- Watch_Dogs may have had a handful of mods made for it unlike the juggernaut that is GTA, and the vanilla game was released to lukewarm reviews at best, but there has been a number of mods which aim to breathe new life into the hacker-themed open world game, like the LIVING_CITY mod which adds new sidequests and opens up previously-restricted interiors, a Chevrolet Camaro, and Elsa and Anna of Frozen of all people, not to mention Carl Johnson from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas from the very same modder who brought CJ and Big Smoke to Sekiro.
- The modding community for Saints Row isn't quite as big as Grand Theft Auto's, but it's there if you know where to look. One of the best known mods for the entire series is Gentlemen of the Row for Saints Row 2. Among other things, this mod adds additional clothing and other customization options, new weapons, graphical tweaks, and some desperately needed bug fixes. Given the game's trainwreck of a PC port, getting Gentlemen of the Row is strongly recommended.
- Operation Flashpoint, a 'soldier sim' FPS by Bohemia Interactive was released in 2001, and still has addons and total conversion mods being made for it today. Its two sequels, ARMA: Armed Assault and ARMA II, maintain the modding community of its predecessor. The sheer volume of content people created for the former bears special mention. The developers kick-started it by including the mission editor, which allows players to create anything from a simple run around and kill a few guys scenario to full-blown combined arms battles far exceeding the complexity of the game's default missions. People soon went from creating their own missions to creating new weapons, soldiers, vehicles, and eventually whole new islands and a new Capture the Island mode, which is a pseudo-RTS game mode in which players battle for an entire island, using resources to build bases and buy equipment). In ARMA II the most "out there" examples would probably be naval combat and in particular submarine warfare of all things, both of which were probably never intended to be implemented by the devs... yet the modding community found a way. There's also been "cops and robbers" and Grand Theft Auto-style Wide-Open Sandbox "missions". The DLC for ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead was actually designed to facilitate this: British Armed Forces and Private Military Company consist of their respective campaigns and higher-quality textures/sounds for their respective units and weapons — which were already in OA, so that add-on creators could make use of them even without having the DLC.
- The Sims and its sequels allow easy creation and importation of new clothes, faces, and furniture. Website after website can be found with downloadable items that players have designed themselves. Briefly, The Sims 3 was changed to make it mod-unfriendly, but a later update changed that, if not back to the original mod-friendly design. It's also worth noting that Sims is perhaps the most popularly modded game, with the top sites for modding it getting tens of thousands of views a month. Also, a lot of the mods tend to add special features that would've made the game Rated M for Money if they had been actually included in the base game — there's one which uncensors nudity, one which lets you kill people, one which gives your Sims realistic genitals, and one called the "Super Nude" which turns the "Woo Hoo" action (which is simply two people going under the covers, making moans and laughing as the bed shakes in the unmodded version) into a full-blown 3D hentai session.
- FreeSpace 2, thanks to the release of its source code by Volition (under the Freespace 2 Source Code Project), is a frequent subject of Game Mods in the space sim community. The original relase's multiplayer is still functional with dedicated server hosted by the community.
- SimCity 4 has quite a bit of mods available at Simtropolis. These mods can go from simple stuff like making the streets' dead-ends more rounded or making the water darker and more realistic, to downright cheating like ordinances that completely erase all pollution and crime from your city, to simple building addons, to entire expansion sets like the Network Addon Mod that adds avenue interchanges, diagonal-straight highway interchanges, roundabouts, walkways, train-street stacks, light rail and more, to completely new games like the SimMars mod that sets the game in Mars.
- The mid-1990s game Transport Tycoon Deluxe no longer even works on most computers without the help of DOSBox, due to its DOS-based format. However, OpenTTD is an open source emulation that still attracts lots of Game Mods called NewGRFs, from replacement graphics to entire new industry chains, alterations to the interface and even whole new modes of transport (tramways recently added to complement the buses/trucks, trains/monorails/maglevs, planes and boats already in the game). One of the simpler NewGRFs, to begin with, replaces the locomotives' in-game names with the real ones (e.g. "TIM" and "AsiaStar" are replaced with "TGV" and "Eurostar"). Other NewGRFs include train sets (sometimes at "encyclopedic" scales), landscape sets, town building sets and such inspired by certain parts of the world so you can make your OpenTTD game look and feel like North America, Australia, Japan or even more like England.
- One of the requirements for the 1.0 release was that OpenTTD have full graphics, sound and music of its own under free and open licenses. From a Transport Tycoon Deluxe viewpoint, OpenTTD is fully modded by default. This can be reversed, however. Also, multiple alternate music sets have become available meanwhile.
- If NewGRFs, AI scripts, game scripts and such don't cut it, and you need changes that require modifications to OpenTTD's code, there are so many patches for it that there have been and still are several patch packs that usually come with pre-compiled Windows binaries. Some past patches have found their way into the official trunk meanwhile, most notably Cargo Distribution.
- The Zoo Tycoon series has a large amount of fan-made mods made for it, usually to add creatures and objects not included in the game (such as many different extinct animals, mythological beings and cryptids and even some fictional monsters.). The first game even had an entire mod creation program created for it named APE — since the animals were sprite-based, it was fairly easy to recolor them if you knew how.
- Zoo Tycoon 2 has had some particularly noticeable mods through the years, such as Radical Remake, which gives the game a complete makeover to make it look more realistic, and Paranoia, which focuses on cryptids and mythical monsters.
- Tons of custom content are available for Creatures and its sequels: Objects, creature breeds, and occasionally new worlds/add-on rooms. Official tools to make CC have been available nearly from the start.
- The Petz PC games have a dedicated modding community full of people, called hexers, who use hex-editors to create their own breeds of Dogz and Catz — and even other creatures, from Horsez to Dragonz. Eventually, a hex-editor called LNZ Pro was created especially for Petz editing, and a tool called "Petz Workshop" made it possible for users with no hex-editing ability to visually design new Petz breeds in a user-friendly interface. Aside from new kinds of petz, people also like to create custom food and toyz, along with pretty much anything else imaginable. This is also true of the sister game, Babyz, which runs on the same engine and is editable with the same tools. Although, most mods in Babyz tend to focus around making toyz, clothes, and hairstyles instead of whole new body shapes.
- Falling Sand Game 4.4, the original powder game, allows for its physics files (which are just text files) to be modified easily. A community has sprung up around modding the game.
- Wing Commander Secret Ops is another favorite of the space sim fan community, for its relative ease of modifications. Its immediate predecessor, Prophecy, has even had multiplayer activated by dedicated fans, the core code for which was Dummied Out due to production time constraints (but not before an ad was published hyping its multiplayer capability).
- Vega Strike got many mods in status from abandoned to frozen waiting for engine improvement to regularly updated. Includes Wing Commander/Privateer universe and whatnot. Aside of stats and models, has Python scripting for things like non-cockpit GUI,generation of dynamic universe and missions logic, XML-customizable AI, and XML+Python stock missions.
- iDomination is a game mod for the Total Extreme Wrestling series, which put you in charge of a Professional Wrestling promotion. Death Of The Territories is another such mod, which puts the player's promotion in the midst of the rise of WWE and the death of the other major promotions in the '80s.
- Orbiter is essentially just a framework on which mods can be installed. There are literally thousands of them available, from ultra-high-resolution planet textures (running into the hundreds of megabytes per planet) to accurate-to-the-second-and-centimeter recreations of every single manned spaceflight ever launched from Vostok to the Space Shuttle and everything in between, flyable versions of pretty much every experimental spacecraft, test plane, and lifting body to ever end up on a drawing board, fictional ships from every sci-fi universe imaginable and plenty of original ones as well, building block kits for constructing your own surface base or space station....the list goes on. The mods considered most essential are Orbiter Sound, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and UCGO/UMMU, which add a cargo system and a life support/crew system to the game respectively.
- For the player extremely concerned with realism, there's a fanmade scenario floating around that includes the full constellation of active satellites in Earth orbit in updated-in-real-time accurate position. They would have included inactive satellites and space junk too, but most computers would have been unable to handle it.
- With the right mods and enough time on your hands, it's possible for you to play out the entire history of spaceflight in sequence starting with Chuck Yeager's first supersonic flight and continuing through the decades up to the present day and beyond.
- The mods have also extended to the creation of fanmade cooperative 'campaigns' in which players work together, each one flying a mission in sequence, to accomplish an objective; the frequent 'Orbiter Forum Space Station' campaigns are an archetypical example.
- The open-source space simulator Celestia is also basically a frame to add mods, that range from more detailed textures or newly discovered celestial bodies to real or fictional spacecrafts and space stations, entire solar systems (also fictional or not), and even (pictures of) galaxies. Just search for the Celestia Motherlode as it's known.
- IL-2 Sturmovik's avid global modding community makes lots of new maps, skins, missions and campaigns, addon planes and total conversions on a regular basis. Some more complex mods are a bit harder to implement into the game than others, but generally, the modding community has made mods for anything related to prop and jet plane combat flight simulation of the 20th century (particularly things from the WWI era up to the 1950s).
- The WWII submarine simulation game Silent Hunter has a huge amount of mods, most of which are oriented to give even more realism to the game (and make it even harder). Plus they may add new ships or planes and -in the case of Silent Hunter III- you can even add sounds and short videos taken from the movie Das Boot.
- The MechWarrior Living Legends total-conversion mod for Crysis Warhead — which adds in battlemechs, jet fighters, power armor, massive maps, and a huge array of vehicles and weapons. After a number of aborted sequels to MechWarrior 4, it became the fandom's MechWarrior 5
- The X-Universe games contain a built-in script editor, and mods have been released that do everything from tweaking the AI to reduce Artificial Stupidity to (in one case) replacing the entire scenario with Babylon 5. Egosoft, the developer, is surprisingly open to mods, and for every game since X2, has released a Bonus Pack of signed scripts written and maintained by X forum member Lucike. This is important for two reasons. First, is that normally, adding scripts marks the game as modified, removing forum users from contention in rankings, which use in-game statistics uploaded to the forum. And second, having a modified game also disables Steam Achievements. Having the bonus pack scripts being signed, means they are 'vanilla' content and as such won't mark the game as modified. In the X3 trilogy Egosoft often added content developed for fan mods into the main game, making them Ascended Fanon. The OTAS corporation in X3: Terran Conflict began life in a mod for X3: Reunion, and X3: Albion Prelude's 3.0 patch will be almost entirely composed of content developed by a modding group called the AP Community Project.
- The Tachyon: The Fringe "Bloodstar Mod" would add a bunch of unattainable NPC ships to multiplayer, at the cost of replacing all the Bora & Galspan ships and breaking the single-player campaign.
- Vector Thrust is designed ground up for mods with text-based game configuration files, extremely adaptive AI that can learn how to use custom-made weapons, and fully functional mission, map and campaign editors. Being a Spiritual Successor to Ace Combat, it's practically begging for its fans to churn out remakes of the classic PS2 series.
- The X-Wing Alliance Upgrade is a project that replaces all of the game's models and backdrops with much more detailed versions. The mod began almost as soon as the original game was released, and has been continuously releasing new packs for fifteen years. Making the effort even more impressive is the fact that aside from commercial 3D modelling and graphics editing programs, all of the tools used by the project were made by the community, with no toolkits or other resources provided by the developers.
- Both X-Wing: Alliance and X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter received further modifications in the form of new campaigns, ships, battles, and missions called ShipSets. And again, all using tools and editors developed internally by the modding community itself.
- TIE Fighter Total Conversion integrate the TIE Fighter missions in X-Wing Alliance. It has very impressive visual updates and a remastered iMUSE soundtrack. They also added Reimagined missions which provide a whole new gameplay experience. Like X-Wing Alliance, you also have your own quarters and you collect souvenirs from completed missions.
- The Microsoft Flight Simulator series was built around this, with the default game providing a bare-bones world and developers stepping up to provide more detailed options. Microsoft Flight being completely closed off to third-party developers had a huge part in its Fanon Discontinuity status amongst die-hard flightsimmers.
- Story of Seasons:
- Harvest Moon: Magical Melody: Rainbow Edition is a patch that allows Gay Options in Magical Melody.
- Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town: True Love Edition lets you marry the same-gender. There is also a Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands version.
- Harvest Moon: A Proud Life is a mod of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life that swaps around the models and changes the dialogue so that you can marry the same gender.
- The Pride Parade mod for Harvest Moon: Animal Parade adds in Gay Options.
- Stardew Valley has a very large and dedicated modding community:
- One of their best works being Stardew Valley Expanded. This mod is one of, if not the, most famous mod, which as the name indicates greatly expands the village of Pelican Town, and adds new characters with some of them even being romanceable.
- Ridgeside Village is another popular fan-made expansion mod, which adds the eponymous neighbouring town to the game, introducing new characters, including over 14 new romanceables, locations and a new storyline.
- The second most played mod after Counter-Strike, and also the second most played non-new release or MMO game online (after Counter-Strike) is Defense of the Ancients, or DotA. It has become far more popular than normal-style Warcraft 3 multiplayer matches.
- The gameplay style got so popular that it got its own genre name — Multiplayer Online Battle Arena — and various games and companies have jumped onto the bandwagon. These include Riot Games' League of Legends, Gas Powered's Demigod, and Dota 2 by Valve Software.
- In a funny case of History Repeats, a Dota 2 custom mod called Dota Auto Chess got so popular that various games and companies jumped on the bandwagon to create their own versions. These include Riot Games' Teamfight Tactics, Blizzard's Hearthstone: Battlegrounds, and Dota Underlords by Valve Software.
- Once upon a time Warcraft II had a mod called Kali, with the esoteric function of emulating a local area network between all players who were using Kali across the Internet. Blizzard took notes and built Battle.net.
- The Obvious Beta release of Warcraft III Reforged removed a lot of well-liked features, chiefly the ability to play custom campaigns. The Quenching mod was made in response to that particular issue.
- Total War:
- In general, for every Total War game released, savvy players know it's only a matter of time before a bunch of modders get together to put together and release a mod that aims to correct any historical inaccuracies and gameplay issues.
- The Europa Barbarorum mod for Rome: Total War began with the intent to revise the game scenario to be as historically correct as possible. The current 1.2 version is a hugely ambitious mod incorporating retextured units, an extremely detailed trait system intended to simulate various aspects of cultural and political life of the time, building descriptions giving considerable amount of historical background information and, perhaps most notably, having original unit voices and commands replaced with new ones in Latin, Attic Greek, Gallic, Q-Celtic, Punic, Pahlav and Proto-Germanic. They have even offered their expertise to Paradox Interactive for the title Europa Universalis: Rome Another mod, Rome: Total Realism, aims to do much the same. Explaining the differences between the two would take up this whole page, and in the end which one you use is a matter of personal preference. Both are excellent, however. The Extended Greek Mod also aims for realism and enlargement of the game, but also seeks to preserve the "look and feel" of vanilla Rome.
- There is a very popular mod based on The Lord of the Rings called The Fourth Age: Total War. This mod takes an abandoned manuscript for a LotR sequel by J. R. R. Tolkien called "The New Shadow" and runs with the concept by interpreting Middle-Earth as it may be in a Total War scenario, with Gondor dealing with its people turming evil. It is also filled it with tons of references to Tolkien's work and keeping it true to the spirit of the stories. Even six years since Rome: Total War was released, this mod is still being worked un and updated due to the developers' insistence on detail, making sure it is released as bug free and finished as possible and also due to the flexibility in design that Rome was. Currently the team is on version 2.6, which has the factions of Rohan, Dunland, the Gondorian regions of the Reunited Kingdom and other factions which have all be fleshed out and fit into the world. Due for release this year is version 3.0, which will add Elves, Dwarves and Dale as playable factions, as well as opening up the western and norther regions of Middle-earth, including the lands of Arnor, the northern part of the Reunited Kingdom.
- There are numerous mods for Medieval II: Total War, some of the most popular being Stainless Steel, Broken Crescent, and Third Age: Total War. Third Age has become what many consider to be one of the biggest and most comprehensive mods ever. It transports the base game from medieval Europe to Middle-earth, complete with hundreds of new units, generals, and game mechanics meant to simulate Middle-earth.
- The Chinese fanbase's mods that usually explore periods of time that a Western player may not have heard of in other video games (aside from Three Kingdoms, because well... it's Three Kingdoms). There are mods that focus on the fall of the Song Dynasty and the fall of the Qing Dynasty that ranges from the 2nd Opium War up to the Boxer Rebellion. Future mods will also include the Ming Empire, the Imjin War, and even something more obscure: The First Sino-Japanese War. Late 1800s Korean military probably has never showed up in a video game, let alone in historically accurate dress.
- A hugely ambitious mod for Napoleon: Total War — a game that is far more difficult to mod than its predecessors — sets the game in the First World War. It includes period accurate artillery, gas weapons, flamethrowers, tanks, and mass swarms of infantry. It can be found here.
- The Total War: Warhammer games have received extensive modding, ranging from map tweaks to new units to balance overhauls to the introduction of entire factions. The most individually notable is Simply Fun Overhaul: Grimhammer (usually shortened to SFO or Grimhammer), a game-wide rework of units stats, game balance and abilities intended to make the game play much closer to its tabletop inspiration, and which more recent mods are often designed to be compatible with.
- Battle For Middle Earth is a popular modding target, given the setting and concept of a Lord of the Rings strategy game, with most mods attempting to tweak the gameplay, add new canonical factions, or make the overall game more like the books or films. The two most famous are likely Edain, which retools the second game to add systems from the first, and Age of the Ring, which focuses more on heavily upgrading the gameplay of the second game. Both also end up significantly upgrading the number of factions on display, going from seven major factions in the base game and expansion to nine in the former and eleven in the latter.
- Dawn of War: When the game first came out, fans knew that they weren't going to get all of the 10+ different armies (not counting sub-armies) that are available for the tabletop wargame. So naturally, mods to put the other armies into the game were begun before the game was even finished, as soon as the beta was released. Of course, due to the Expansion Packs that came out late, nine of those armies presently are or soon will be in the game, including many ones that had mods in progress. This doesn't stop the modders, who are shifting to gameplay tweaks, adding units not in the game, and making present units closer to their tabletop abilities.
- The Heroes of Might and Magic franchise has a number of mods, particularly mods for the third game.
- In the Wake of Gods is a massive mod for III that mainly focuses on adaptable script language, but with new creatures and adventure objects as well. Its very flexible, and is the basework that many other mods are built on.
- Horn of the Abyss is arguably the most popular mod for III. It adds tonnes and tonnes of new content, including new playable towns without replacing any existing ones (something previously thought impossible), new neutral creatures, new terrain types, balance changes for lots of old content, and fully-realised campaigns with animatic cutscenes. It also heavily focuses on lore-friendliness and a feeling of consistency with the base game.
- Heroes of Might and Magic III: The Succession Wars is a full conversion mod that resdesigns III's Real Is Brown aesthetic into a near one-to-one version of II's cartoony 16-bit graphics. It also restores many features lost in the transition between games.
- Equilibris is a mod for IV that finishes many of the features that were never added to the original game due to 3DO's bankruptcy. As the name suggests, the main goal is balancing the game properly, but it also adds new features to the map editor, creature dwellings that were previously absent, and new map objects.
- Command & Conquer: Various games have total conversion mods that usually use a later engine for an older game: Tiberian Dawn on the Tiberian Sun engine, all previous games on the Generals engine, Tiberian Sun (Reborn) and Red Alert (A Path Beyond) on the Renegade FPS engine, and I didn't mention Tiberium Wars yet.
- There was a Generals-to-Red-Alert-2 TC but when news of Red Alert 3 came out, development ceased. Another promising project was Halogen, a Generals TC to Halo — however, Executive Meddling on the part of Microsoft (more specifically a cease-and-desist letter, no doubt due to Halo Wars being in development) destroyed all trace of it.
- The Tiberian Sun/Red Alert 2 engine is practically a modder's wet dream, with all unit, etc. parameters being written into INI files in plain English and requiring nothing more than Notepad. While many things are hardcoded into the executables and are thus untouchable, modders found a way around that too with RockPatch (buggy EXE hack), NPatch (even more buggy EXE hack) and more recently Ares (DLL injection, still in alpha version).
- While not technically a mod, there has been an open-source recreation of Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert, and Dune 2000. This same project is trying to extend the engine to be capable of recreating Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2.
- Games from Paradox Interactive have a lot of mods. Paradox make life easy for the mod community by storing most of the game data in text files, so they can be edited with nothing more complicated than Notepad, and have dedicated sections on their official forum.
- It's not surprising that Total Annihilation had a large number of mods, including total conversions, given the game was popular; it is rather more surprising that its much less successful sequel, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, had just as many. The versatility of the engine often resulted in additional races or total conversions that many believe are better than the original game.
- A team of fans has reverse engineered the Total Annihilation engine to create their own Spiritual Successor, titled Beyond All Reason.
- Spring, a TA-inspired engine positively saturated with great games (most of them free) that are all referred to as "mods".
- A strangely popular pursuit is taking one RTS game and making a total conversion mod to essentially turn it into another RTS game 'as seen through the first game's engine'. For example, there are mods that turn Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 into Red Alert, Total Annihilation into Red Alert, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms into Cossacks: European Wars, and so on and so forth. Attempts are being made to make StarCraft run on Linux by using the Strategus engine. Strategus doesn't support free-roaming units, idle animation, critters, or many of the mechanisms used in Easter Eggs at all, and the creep, Pylon power, and building liftoffs would require at least some minor modifications to the engine itself... good luck with that.
- Jagged Alliance 2:
- v1.13, whose name is derived from v1.12 being the last official patch. The mod, continually updated to this day, which completely revamps the game and even adds an online multiplayer mode! Some of the gameplay changes such as the New Inventory system (revising characters' gear so that they would have to wear Load-Bearing Equipment "containers" such as vests, backpacks, and rucksacks), the revised equipment system and the 100-point Action Point system were great. To get an idea at how huge this mod is, it adds in around 725 new firearms into a game that originally had around 20.
- The Unfinished Business expansion was built specifically to support new campaigns. It even included tools for editing things that were previously hard-coded.
- Two major mods were created by hacking the original game's source code. They are Urban Chaos and Wildfire, both developed simultaneously by two different teams for several years after the release of the original game. Eventually, the company that owned the rights to JA2 at the time offered both teams the chance to release their mods as commercial expansions (similar to the Half-Life/Counter-Strike deal). The Russian team that made Wildfire eventually took the offer, their mod was released commercially, and the package included the source code for the game executable (published under a semi-open license, paving the way to 1.13).
- By 2010, Jagged Alliance 2, Unfinished Business and 1.13 have several dozen campaigns available between them, not to mention many MANY item packages, map packages, and other enhancements. JA2 is easily one of the most heavily modded games released before the year 2000, overtaking even such games as Fallout in sheer volume.
- For a game released in 2003, Homeworld 2 has a lot of mods. These come in two flavors, discounting total conversions:
- The first are mods that aim to enhance how the two races play out. The most popular are arguably the Complex Mod, and the Point Defense System (PDS) mod. Both added tons of extra features and customizations, essentially making the game more complex (especially in, well, Complex, where rank, soldier population, and morale system is introduced). PDS started out as...a small mod for point defense systems, which became the popular mod they are now. The Tactical Fleet Simulator mod aims somewhat differently unlike the former two. While Complex and PDS emphasizes grand strategy with a lot of decked out units and careful planning, TFS gives decked out units purposely built for intense, fast-paced combats which ups the "tactics" aspect more than "strategy" aspect, which the game is already good for anyway.
- The second flavor are mods that try to insert additional races, while mostly retaining original units. These can either mean original units, or factions from the original Homeworld. So far, the most successful one is the Chinese-made FX mod, which adds almost all of HW 1's factions, some of them having completely new starships. Their crowning awesome is that they added the Progenitor race from HW 2, which, in-game, only consists of 4-5 separate units at best. They expanded the race using both unused concept sprites, mishmashed existing units (which they did VERY well), or design from scratch.
- As for total conversions, there's a rather sweet one here: Battlestar Galactica Fleet Commander, a total conversion for — shock — Battlestar Galactica. Here's a nice video displaying gameplay, in this case Pegasus taking on three Cylon basestars.
- There are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of mods for Civilization IV. Firaxis, the developer company, actively encourages modding:
- Fall from Heaven, a mod that replaces historical recreation with dark fantasy, and adds more than a few layers to the game. Also contains a healthy dose of World Half Empty and horror for flavor.
- Several mods were developed by dev team members themselves and came bundled with the original game, including Next War (a heckuvalot like Nineteen Eighty-Four) and Final Frontier (a space-based mod with an original storyline, which has itself been modded for various science-fiction things, such as Babylon 5). Additionally, "Rhye's and Fall of Civilization," the Civilization IV form of the great Civilization III mod "Rhye's of Civilization," was also bundled despite being a fandom mod.
- The Better AI mod (Exactly What It Says on the Tin) is used in the base of the Beyond the Sword expansion.
- Not only are there mods of Civilization IV, but there are modmods of these mods, and on top of that, modmodmods.
- Civilization V:
- An in-game mod browser includes the Vanilla Enhanced Mod (game balance), the Unofficial Patch (bug fixes), and NiGHTS (reworks the whole game; no relation to the Sega game of the same name). There are even mods that cross the boundaries of designer, genre, and setting, such as bringing in Asari, Geth, Quarian and Turian civilizations, although by the nature of the game, most of the units still look human.
- The Vox Populi, which completely reworks a number of mechanics (including city-states being more complex and the tech tree being heavily overhauled), improves the AI, adds systems like corporations and vassal states, and offers a Balance Buff to many civs.
- There are various "ethnic units" mods, which do exactly what they say, making it so that, for instance, Zulu don't have white-guy spearmen until they're upgraded into Impi. There are mods that add in whole extra mechanics, often from the old games, such as tech trading and disease.
- There are mods that add new civs to the game, which number in the hundreds if not thousands. On the serious end of the spectrum, you have new civs that add important or obscure historical civs that the base game skipped (from the Goths to the Congo to the Papal States to Nubia to Australia to Sumeria to Scotland), or even split up the base-game civs to reflect different or notable periods in their history (for instance, breaking up India into the Gupta Empire, the Mughal Empire, and modern India). Then you have ones that add in fictional civs like the Seven Kingdoms, Mordor, the Militaires Sans Frontieres, or the NCR. And then you have ones that just take random characters and base a nation on them - including the entire Madoka Magica cast, Hatsune Miku, Batman, Bateman, CIA, and the notorious Game-Breaker, Gabe Newell.
- There are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of mods for Civilization IV. Firaxis, the developer company, actively encourages modding:
- Master of Orion 3 coded an incredible amount of its game data in easy-to-modify spreadsheets. Given the number of Game Breaking Bugs and incredibly odd mechanics in general, many players found a modded game the only playable version.
- Magna Mundi, a popular mod for Europa Universalis III, got an upgrade to "full game", developed by the mod team but for commercial release instead. As did Arsenal of Democracy and Darkest Hour for Hearts of Iron 2. In fact Paradox encourages moders to form teams that will create something for them to publish.
- Red Alert 3: Paradox was a highly ambitious Red Alert 3 mod notable for it`s accompanying wiki project, which is slowly building a detailed 1960s Cold War world out of the highly limited basis of the original game.
- The Space Empires series from III onwards. III shipped with a modding tool, while IV and V run on text files.
- The 4X game in space game Galactic Civilizations 2: The Dread Lords, especially after the expansion packs are added, can be modded quite significantly. Mods can include new technologies, whole new tech trees, weapons, planetary buildings, ships, races, and more. There are many total conversion mods that turn it into Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, and more. The game's data is stored in organized text files and can be edited using Notepad, however many editing tools, including some official ones, are available.
- Rock Raiders was built primarily using .wad files, and so extraction tools have been made to reveal simple English code, easily changable models and animations, levels that editors were made for, easy images, etc. Now more building, monsters, levels, raiders, new models and animations, even overhaul mods are being made.
- Myth II came with a couple of very good editors; it was actively modded for many years, and to some extent still is. In this player's experience, it has more stand-alone mods than any game made before 2000 except Doom, Quake, and Half-Life... and the fact that it's the only non-FPS on that list says something. Moreover, many of those mods (The Seventh God, Jinn, Chimera, Bushido) are large campaigns on par with the originals, and have been included as bonus content in commercial releases such as The Total Codex and Myth II: Worlds.
- StarCraft has several mods as well, with the Gundam-inspired Gundam Century (ultimately having gotten killed while still in beta from a combination of disillusionment on the part of the creator and a cease-and-desist letter on the part of Bandai) being only one of them. Huncraft is an Hungarian-exclusive game mod, that works in the spirit of an actual expansion pack, only with fully translated unit speeches, menus and tooltips.
- The Fire Emblem series — particularly the Game Boy Advance installments — has quite a prolific Romhacking scene, to the point where there are multiple communities dedicated to Romhacks. Some hacks are simply translations of games that didn't get exported, but some are a little more complicated. Particularly ambitious ones include Elibian Nights, an extensive Mission-Pack Sequel to Blazing Blade, Project Ember, a full remake of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade that revamps almost every character and system in the game, and Sun God's Wrath, Vision Quest, and The Last Promise, which have completely new stories, maps, and casts, blurring the line between a mod and an outright fangame. And then there's Dorcas Emblem...
- Randomization mods are quite common, with the exact settings varying from the game being fundamentally the same but with the playable cast having different classes or swapped join times, to a complete anarchy where iron swords have siege weapon range and single-digit hit rates.
- "Reverse Recruitment" is something of a variation on the above, in that it swaps the order of recruitable units: typically leading to the 11th-Hour Ranger now being the main protagonist and vice versa. To avoid completely destroying the game's challenge, these mods also increase or reduce the stats of the new unit in line with the one they're replacing, which can lead to the surreal experience of the max-level master Swordmaster or mighty Sage being a level 1 weakling who needs to be spoon-fed XP. Binding Blade's reverse recruitment is particularly famous, as it swaps the main character for Karel, a character infamous for boasting the highest growths in the franchise by far—meaning that when de-leveled, he ends up with a base statline of mostly zeros.
- For the most hardcore players, 0% growth mods are quite easy to make. These mods remove the game's stat growths on level-ups, effectively locking characters to their join-time stats and resulting in a kind of fanmade Harder Than Hard mode. This forces the player to rely on Crutch Character units and the few forms of guaranteed stat growth that do exist, such as statboosting items or class-change bonuses. The exact level of difficulty this provides varies heavily from game to game, though that hasn't stopped some people from outright speedrunning them.
- While mods of the 3DS games are harder to come by (mostly due to Nintendo's policy on homebrew), one of the better ones known out there is a mod that allows the randomization of classes and the order one receives units, in addition to the growths, and in the case of Fire Emblem Fates, the personal skill of the character. There's also the 'Gay Awakening' and 'Gay Fates' mod that, despite the name, allows for same-sex marriage supports and other marriage supports that otherwise wouldn't be possible in game (such as Chrom/Cordelia and any marriage with a character that only marries the Avatar normally).
- Advanced Strategic Command have sets ranging from Battle Isle recreations to its own "more realistic" group, and beyond, being optimized for easy creation of rulesets. Even if you can set one sprite per weather, a custom sound for each weapon, etc, only one sprite per unit/building/object/terrain is really necessary and abstract elements of Tech Tree don't need even that. Data packs are additive and can be cherry-picked on each map, and raw game data other than sprites and maps is all written in plain text and with object inheritance, so properties universal for e.g. all infantry, all drydocks or all anti-air cannons are written only once, in parent class. And what you can't do in data, you can do on a map by using Lua.
- Super Robot Wars usually tends towards translation patches, but a few modded games exist. One noteworthy example is Super Robot Wars: Original Generation 2: Axel Version, which swaps the roles of Super Robot Wars Advance's main characters, having Axel Almer get amnesia and join the heroes while Lamia Loveless stays with the evil Shadow Mirror.
- The Game of Thrones mod for Crusader Kings II, making the game of thrones literal.
- There's also the mod After the End: A Post-Apocalyptic America, which transplants Crusader Kings mechanics into a Feudal Future/After the End North America (the map also includes parts of South America).
- FTL: Faster Than Light has an impressive modding community, with an entire sub-forum on the official forum just for mods. The mods range from purely aesthetic mods (such as "Better Planets and Backgrounds"), to new ships you can play the game with (anything between "old-school fighter-planes from World War II" and "the TARDIS" have been created), all the way up to total-game-overhauls, such as "Captain's Edition," "Infinite Space" (no, not that one) and "Descent Into Darkness".
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown's community brings us the Long War mod, which extends the campaign, but more importantly, makes it FAR more difficult, to the point that the readme for the mod has several warnings that no matter how good you are at the base game, you're going to want to play the mod on Normal difficulty the first time. A deeper tactical focus and expanded class and item trees makes the game genuinely different. The game's developers themselves said that it "takes the game to a whole new level".
- OpenXcom started as an engine remake for X-COM: UFO Defense and X-COM: Terror from the Deep, but with easy moddability in mind — using YAML (whitespace-formatted text) and common multimedia formats (MP3, OGG, GIF, PNG). Mods vary from minor cosmetic fixes — like uniform colour scheme for all laser weapons or auto mode for heavy laser — to changing terrain — like adding extra UFO floor plans or accelerating operatives' speed on the damned exit ramp — to total conversions — like Xeno Operations, Piratez or The XCOM Files.
- Anbennar brings Europa Universalis IV's colonial era setting into a Dungeons & Dragons-esque world.
- Due to its highly modifiable nature, tons of mods are available on the Steam Workshop and other sources. They range from graphics tweaks to rebalancing the gameplay to introducing entirely new stuff (primarily skins, portraits, traits, or ships up to Planet Spaceship and beyond!).
- Being Space Opera-themed, there are total conversion mods based on popular franchises in that same genre, such as ST: New Horizons for Star Trek, and Fallen Republic for Star Wars.
- Hearts of Iron:
- Hearts of Iron 4 might as well be the Garry's Mod of Strategy Games. The simple "focus tree" system, alongside the events, allows to anything from simple and silly "change your ideology, conquer the world" trees, to complex, story-driven mods with tight continuity. The simple way of crafting stories and the facility of adding new leaders made the mod a goldmine not only for mods set into alternate histories, but there are popular, massive mods on fictional universes such as Fallout and My Little Pony.
- Modders of Star Trek: Armada have made the ultimate showdown between Star Trek and Star Wars. Choose between the UFP, the Klingon Empire, the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Can be found here.
- The "Welcome to Hell" mod for Resident Evil 4 turns nearly every normal mook (not counting the ambient snakes in containers and set bosses like Mendez, Del Lago, etc.) into their Demonic Spider cousins instead; Dr. Salvador for Village inhabitants, Super Salvador for Island inhabitants, and Garradors for Castle inhabitants. Only those who truly want pain and suffering or a nightmarish challenge would ever try this mod just because of those changes.
- Starting around April 2020, AI Dungeon 2 updated with the ability for users to make custom scenarios/prompts public for others to play. Naturally, a vast majority of these prompts consist of either Rule 34, shitposts, or, oddly enough, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure of all things. Its imitators such as Novel AI also included such features.
- Guitar Hero has a rather active modding community focusing around custom songs: the use of an MP3 and a custom note chart to create songs not on the game disk. Said community was the inspiration for the custom song feature in World Tour.
- And speaking of World Tour, the Definitive Edition mod not only brings quality-of-life improvements to the game, it also ported over most if not all content from previous and subsequent Guitar Hero installments. On top of that, it also adds support for custom content such as new concert venues and characters, which naturally led to some interesting Massively Multiplayer Crossover band lineups.
- Both the arcade and PlayStation 2 versions In the Groove can be hacked to include custom themes and songs. As it is based on a DanceDanceRevolution simulator which requires fan-made content to play, it is very easy to port content made for StepMania over to In the Groove. Even without hacking, the arcade version allows players to play custom songs and custom stepcharts for pre-existing songs.
- Most DanceDanceRevolution arcade cabinets can also accept custom stepcharts from either USB or PlayStation memory cards. A hacked cabinet can also have custom stepcharts built-in, as well as allow modifiers like Fuwafuwa (usually found only in Oni courses) selectable in regular play, and change the color scheme/theme.
- Tomb Raider has a level editor, which was released back in 2000, but to this day still has many users developing content for it. It is easy to use due to its Invisible Grid system, but this is somewhat restrictive and gives a very "blocky" appearance. The level editor is for an old PS1 game engine, but modifications and patching have allowed for almost-PS2 quality graphics. Notable levelsets include:
- Tomb Raider 1: Revised and Unfinished Business Remake, almost perfect recreations of the original game and Gaiden Game keeping as faithful as was possible with the engine at the time (some things had to be modified or removed). They were created because the games were totally unplayable on most modern computers without the use of extra programs (which cost money)
- Himalayan Mysteries, an Original Flavor epic that took five years to make, elaborating on the story behind the original continuity's claim that Lara was involved in a plane crash at age 17, rather than age 9 as stated in the Continuity Reboot.
- TR Search HQ: Emergency, a bizarre, Painting the Medium-esque game in which Lara must stop the level editor itself from being hacked. Contains "British Mountain Ranges" just a few minutes away from Lara's mansion in Surrey.
- Tomb Raider 4 Gold: Fading Light, notably based on the developer's concept for a Tomb Raider: 4 Gold that was cancelled.
- Tomb Raider Anniversary: Retold, a fan-made remake of the original Tomb Raider which comes from fan disappointment with Crystal Dynamics' remake (Tomb Raider: Anniversary). The goal is to produce a more faithful and respectful remake of the original game, with elements of the cancelled remake that was being made by Core Design prior to the Continuity Reboot. After almost two years of development, the first quarter of the game has been released to mixed reviews due to flaws in the control scheme and dull (by TRLE standards) lighting. The project leader was a bit delusional about the quality of his work, and developed an ego problem. That's not a mean thing to say because he's the one typing this. It would appear that TRLE users hate it, while standard-fare TR fans adore it.
- Heboris started off as a simple clone of Tetris: The Grand Master 2 — The Absolute PLUS. Official development of it stagnated in 2002, but 2ch posters decided to take it upon themselves to add many mods to it such as more rotation systems and more modes. These additions were collaborated into Heboris Unofficial Expansion. Unfortunately, development has stopped because the code—a mix of C++ and a Japanese game script—has turned into a complete mess, and attempts to expand on it have proven futile. For this reason (somewhat), a new Tetris clone, NullpoMino, has been produced, and is much more add-on friendly. Many mods for NullpoMino, such as the Tetris: The Grand Master ACE modes and the infamous Phantom Mania mode, were incorporated by the author into later releases, with credit given to the original modders.
- FCEUX, an NES emulator, features Lua scripting. Lua scripts can directly modify the game's variables. They can also accept user input. The result: Mario, meet Kirby Canvas Curse. Another example is Neill Corlett's script for Metroid, which adds some elements of Super Metroid, like automapping, and even allows mouse interaction on some screens. SNES9x, an SNES emulator, also does Lua scripting, as shown here.
- Midway produced unofficial sequels of Pac-Man despite only being the distributor of the games for Namco. One of these was Ms. Pac Man, based on a hack of the original game called Crazy Otto, developed by another company with no official connections then to Pac-Man. Incidently, of the Midway Pac-Man games, only Ms. Pac Man was adopted by Namco.
- PC sports games have active modding communities, mainly FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer: every new season of each game is shortly followed by hundreds of mods adding kits for unlicensed teams, faces for generic-looking players, additional teams and leagues that were not represented in the vanilla game, or even gameplay tweaks. The list goes on and on. By the way, PES mods aren't restricted to PC, and can be made for PlayStation 2 too, with certain specific editors.
- Darius Gaiden got an official (allegedly) hack called Darius Gaiden Extra, which cranks up the autofire rate, rearranges the stages, and adds an option to play all 28 stages, instead of just 7 of them. Strangely for an arcade game, it also adds a pause function.
- Star Trek: Bridge Commander starts out with only a few dozen ships of okay quality. Players have added HUNDREDS of ships with quality that makes most older computers cry (due to high numbers of polygons and large textures). There's even new play modes and campaigns, as well as UI and interactivity improvements. Star Trek Online (and Cryptic's next major project, Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter) have the Foundry, a custom mission creator that works the same way that Neverwinter Nights' Aurora toolset does.
- The Glider PRO scenario "SeaCaves" was more than just a custom level; it included a patch for the game program which changed the graphics for just about everything to fit in with its Under the Sea environment. Only the glider itself still looked the same, except for a temporary transformation into a dolphin.
- Aquaria has a built-in level editor and a menu option set aside for accessing mods. The modding community doesn't really extend far beyond the game's official forum, but there have been some fairly decent mods created, including a fan-made prequel to the game proper.
- Ultimate Knight Windom XP lives from this. Being essentially a Gundam VS-based game on its own, it was just a matter of time before packs like SEEDmod, Wind00m and a buttload of various graphic, robot and pilot mods appear. And there's still more to come.
- Robot Arena 2 has the DSL: Total Conversion mod, which completely revamps the game, ironing out some bugs, adding all new components to make the game more realistic, and even including replica robots of such famous machines as Biohazard, Razer, Nightmare, Chaos 2 and Hypno-Disc. Said modded version is far more popular than the original version.
- Having character Cameo appearances in games continues to be a popular hobby among amateur modders, particularly with First-Person Shooter and Wide-Open Sandbox games. For instance, a number of Half-Life 2 players (mostly those who play the single player games like Episode 1 and Episode 2) have substituted Alyx Vance with other famous characters such as Samus Aran , Princess Zelda , Miku Hatsune , Renamon , and Ayane , to name a few examples, just to watch them perform actions normally not expected of them.
- Oni has a mod community dedicated to producing the Anniversary Edition which replaces some Dummied Out content and seriously upgrades the original combat AI.
- Thanks to the Exult engine, mods can be made for Ultima VII.
- Many a Creepypasta deals with a hacked (or haunted) game.
- Marble Blast Gold has a massive database of custom-made levels, most of which also include custom-made pieces. There are also modifications to the game engine as a whole, most notably Marble Blast Platinum.
- M.U.G.E.N was built to be customized, with a highly extensible and completely transparent scripting language. Though released as a fighting game engine, it was originally intended to be a shooting engine, and total conversions have included turning it back into one, among other game types.
- Star Wars: Battlefront has a rather large community, mostly focusing on II, ranging from smaller mods such as single maps to the total overhaul that is Battlefront Extreme.
- Veggie Kart is a currently-in-progress conversion of Mario Kart 8 that replaces the entire cast of Super Mario Bros. characters with characters from Veggietales. Yes, this is an actual mod, and a trailer for it can be found here.
- The Binding of Isaac Rebirth has all of the game's assets and parts of the source code open to the community, though they first must be unpacked. Because of this, the remake is significantly easier to mod for than the original game and thus has a dedicated modding community. Alongside other details, most mods include new rooms, custom characters and even new enemies. Afterbirth+ has built-in Lua support and integrated Steam Workshop.
- Of note is the Antibirth mod, which would later be upgraded and turned into the official Repentance expansion.
- The Pro Cycling Manager series will get a number of fanmade mods released every year, due to the fact that Cyanide Studios does not have license to use every real team and rider in the game. The mods from the biggest communities usually includes real names for every rider and team already in the game, as well as the inclusion of many other teams and riders, as well as balancing the stats differently.
- Unofficial mods for ATOM GRRRL!!, The Fruit of Grisaia, Nekopara, Everlasting Summer and Littlewitch Romanesque have been released that restore the adult content removed from their Steam versions.
- Vs. Skate Kid Bros, by Two-Bit Score Amusements, is a 1988 arcade add-on for Vs. Super Mario Bros.. Changes to the game sprites include Mario being replaced with a guy on a skateboard who turns into a man in a red wifebeater and boxer shorts after picking up a quarter, who also collects soda cans, stomps on tanks, and infiltrates the castles of America to defeat football players and pick up hot babes until one finally takes off her top and invites seven of her friends.
- One of the most common and popular mods for Battle Garegga is a visible Dynamic Difficulty (known more commonly as "rank") counter, as keeping rank managed is one of the most important aspects to securing a no-continue clear.
- Among Tabletop Gamers, this is known as "homebrew," and can range from an Obvious Rule Patch (AKA "house rules") to custom gear, to fan or crossover armies, to entire settings.
- NG+++ is a very popular mod to the video game Antimatter Dimensions linked here. It adds ton more content including 2 more prestige layers and several more mechanics. The mod page also has several more mods of that game, with many possible combinations, but some can break.
- Within the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater community, THUG PRO is considered to be the definitive way to play the series, especially in light of the much-maligned Pro Skater 5 instalment. Loads and loads of characters and parks abound, which includes those from the first few titles from the series as well as some bonuses like Andy's room ripped from Disney's Extreme Skate Adventure among others.
- Prestige Tree has several mods that involve different resources and introduce new gameplay mechanics, with some of the more complete ones having pages on this wiki.
- Among Us has seen a number of different mods spring up in 2020 and 2021:
- One of the most widespread and popular is the Town of Salem-inspired Town of Us. This mod adds 13 different roles specific to Crewmates, 6 neutral roles, 8 roles specific to Impostors, and several modifiers that any player can potentially get; this greatly changes up how the game is played and adds a lot of new strategies. Role examples include the Mayornote , Sheriffnote , Jesternote , The Glitchnote , Minernote , and Assassinnote . Modifiers include Tiebreakernote , Torchnote , and Giantnote . A full explanation of the roles can be found here. Its creators also created an entirely new map called Submerged, an underwater facility with two floors that can be accessed by elevators. It features several entirely new tasks, twists on existing tasks, and is compatible with the Town of Us mod.
- Another popular mod is "The Other Roles". This mod is very similar to Town of Us, but adds in even more roles such as the Jackalnote , Lawyernote , and Baitnote , makes some roles both Good and Evil, such as turning the Assassin into Good and Evil Guessers and adding Good and Evil Minis, and tweaks other roles, such as changing the Mayor's ability to getting an extra vote in meetings instead of banking votes and making Town of Us's Torch ability into a role called Lighter.
- Ketsui Arrange is a ROM hack of Ketsui that adds option formation control like in Battle Garegga and rank control and rewards for turning up rank like in DoDonPachi Resurrection Black Label. The mod received considerable attention within the shmup community and some fans even burned the mod onto actual Ketsui arcade boards.
- The author of the fanfic series Vow of Nudity released a Minecraft skin for one of the protagonists. The other protagonist is downloadable for Koikatsu Party, the game the author uses to make her story illustrations.