System Shock 2 Modding Guide - Saleck.net
System Shock 2
Modding Guide
Version 1.02
Updated - 1st June 2013

Mods. From texture upgrades to total conversions, they can make System Shock 2 look and feel brand new again. Here's a selection of some of the best mods out there as well as how to apply them.
You'll also learn about Fan Missions here and how to play them.

The Program Files Folder
Using SS2Tool to get your game mod ready
How to install mods
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Graphical Mods
Weapon Model Mods
Enemy Model Mods -!Spoilers Ahead!-
Music Mods
Miscellanious Mods -!Spoilers Ahead!-
Translations
The Cam_ext.cfg file
Fan Missions



The Program Files folder
Let's start off with some important information.

The Program Files folder is a protected folder within your Windows installation that works differently from other folders on your computer.

The long story short is that if you have your copy of System Shock 2 located within either the Program Files or the Program Files (x86) folder, you may encounter problems and some, or all, mods may not work at all. This varies from machine to machine and some people may not have a problem at all.

If you think you might be being affected by this, try moving or reinstalling your copy of Shock 2 from the Program Files folder into another folder like 'C:\Games' and launch it. If mods are installed correctly, they may start working for you.

If you are using Steam, you can make another Steam Library Folder using the Steam Library Folders feature. Go to View > Settings and Click the 'Downloads' Tab to find it.

Click Add Library Folder and make it anywhere you want.



Once you've done this, you can reinstall System Shock 2 into this new folder and move any save files and mods you have from your old installtion into this new installation!


Using SS2Tool to get your game mod ready
SS2Tool is a great program that allows you to apply multiple fixes to the game as well as getting the game fully up and ready for using mods.

SS2Tool Download Page

Download this tool, run it and point it to your System Shock 2 installation. Make sure that everything in 'Getting Mod Ready' is checked and Install the tool.

This tool will not function if your copy of System Shock 2 is installed in the Program Files folder. You will need to follow the steps in the Program Files section above.

In the Steam version of the game, Multiplayer is not disabled in this version of the game. However, if you use SS2Tool v5.1 without Enabling it in the Game Features option screen, it will become disabled again. If you intend to play Multiplayer co-op, remember to Enable it.

How to install mods
To install any mods, you will need to go into your Shock 2 installation folder.

In here, you will see 2 important folders: DataPermMods and DataTempMods. These are the folders in which your mod files will go.

DataTempMods (DTM) is a testing folder where you can place your mod files to see if you like them or if they work. They will overwrite any mods stored in DPM that would otherwise conflict with the mod you are testing.
DataPermMods (DPM) is for any mods that you are 100% sure that you like and want to use. Put the mod files in here so you can free up the DTM folder for testing any other mods you might like.

You can keep mods in both files if you like. DTM will load ahead of DPM when playing so you don't have to overwrite any files in DPM. if the game all of a sudden stops working properly, you can delete any recently added files in DTM without affecting any of your mods installed in the DPM folder.

Mods can come in one of two ways:
Standard .ZIP / .7z file. Simply extract with your ZIP software.
SS2Mod file. SS2Mod files are ZIP files with renamed File Extensions. You can either rename it's extension back to ZIP or extract the contents of any SS2Mod file with your ZIP software.

Inside these files you will find one or more folders. Fam, Mesh, Snd and Obj are just a few examples of what these files are called. Ignore any mod.ini files as they were used by a now non-functioning mod manager and are no longer necessary.



The general rule when modding, if you don't know which order you should apply your mods, is to apply the bigger stuff first and any smaller mods after. A lot of the graphical mods listed below will generally not conflict with each other. Mods that alter the SHOCK2.GAM or any .MIS files however will conflict with any other mod that alters/uses those files.

Just remember to never alter or overwrite any of the files inside the Data folder. These files are the default files and should not be touched unless you know what you're doing.

So now you know all this, all that needs to be done now is to choose what mods you want to use. Here are some of the best ones.

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Graphical Mods

SHTUP
by ZylonBane et. al
Current Version - Beta 6
http://www.shtupmod.net/
This mod upgrades all of the object textures as well as fixing typos, graphical errors and continuity errors. This mod sticks to the Shock 2 artstyle very closely and is highly recommended for all players.


Four Hundred
by ACC
Current Version – Release 15
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=4240
http://gaarabis.free.fr/index_ms.php3?topic=shock2fh
This mod upgrades the terrain textures in the game. This mod is a relatively new one as altering terrain textures was not possible until the arrival of the 'NewDark' patch. Highly recommended for all players.

Here are some screenshots of the game with both SHTUP and Four Hundred combined. Mouse over to compare.

SHTUP 1
SHTUP 2
SHTUP 3
SHTUP 4
Hi-Res Space Textures
by Vurt
Current Version – v1.1
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=4135
For a game set in space, you'll need some brand new space textures! A huge improvement over the original textures and definately worth checking out. Highly recommended for all players.

Vurt's Space Textures
Flora Overhaul
by Vurt
Current Version – v1.0b
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=3181
Upgrade the plantlife onboard the Von Braun with his very nice collection of improved models and textures. Highly recommended for all players.

Vurt's Flora Overhaul
Hi-Res Water
by Vurt
Current Version – v5.1, older versions available
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=4167
Water water everywhere so let's all upgrade the old water textures with these hi-res, better animated water textures. Highly recommended for all players.

Vurt's Hi-Res Water
Organics / Goo - -!Potential Spoilers!-
by Vurt
Current Version - Varies
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=4139.0
Improves the visuals of the annelid goo, egg textures and other smaller elements. You can mix and match from many different pieces of this one. Recommended for all players.

Vurt's Organics and Goo
Vurt's New Eggs


Weapon Model Mods

Enhanced Psi-Amp
by Eldron
Current Version – v2
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=82
Every OSA agent will want to wrap his mind around this new Psi-Amp model. It stays faithful to the default look and feel of the original Psi-Amp. Highly Recommended.




Tacticool Weapon Replacement Mods
by Mercurius
Current Version – varies
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=691
Here are some of the best weapon mods out there. Looking extremely cool whilst staying very close to the original's look and feel. No new sound files are added to these weapon mods so mix and match any of the mods as you see fit.

Wrench
Pistol
L. Pistol
Shotgun
Grenade Launcher
Assault Rifle

Enemy Model Mods -!Spoilers Ahead!-

Rebirth 02
by Cyberblutch, ZylonBane, Voodoo47
Current Version – 02
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=8
This mod package vastly improves the models and textures of all of the monsters aboard the Von Braun and the UNN Rickenbacker including the Hybrids, Midwives, Assassins and Rumblers. It is worth seeing the default monsters first before you decide on using this but if the thought of looking at an enemy model made with less than 100 polygons fills you with disgust for your fellow man then go ahead and apply this mod.

Hybrid
Hybrid Shotgunner
Hybrid Grenader
Midwife
Cyborg Assassin
Rumbler

Alternate Hybrid RebirthSkins
by ImpyNickers
Current Version – v2
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=4219
If you feel that you want a Hybrid texture that looks closer to the original game's version then simply apply this set of textures over your installed copy of 'Rebirth 02', it will not work unless you have that installed first.

Hybrid Alternative
Hybrid Shotgunner Alternative

Music Mods

SHMUP
by Schatten
Current Version – v1.1
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=657
Shock 2 uses dymanic music recorded at a very low bitrate and split into many small pieces. This mod replaces the music files with higher quality versions taken from the soundtrack of the game. Highly recommended to all players.


Miscellanious Mods -!Spoilers Ahead!-

Anomalies, Discrepancies and outright Bugs
by Straylight, Kolya, Nameless Voice and Miracle.Freak.
Current Version – v0.3.0
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=25
A massive bugfixing and balancing project that tries to stay as close to the developers intentions as it can. If you intend on playing co-op with this mod installed, make sure any people playing with you also have this mod installed.


Impossible Multiplayer Difficulty
by Crion
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=61.0;attach=1750
This mod will, upon creating a co-op session, set the difficulty to Impossible over the standard 'Hard' difficulty setting the game defaults all co-op sessions to. If you intend on playing co-op with this mod installed, make sure any people playing with you also have this mod installed.


No Spiders
by Jocke
Current Version – v2
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=134
Attention all arachnophobiacs! Now you need no longer fear the corridors of Deck 4 and beyond as all spiders have been completely removed from the game. If you intend on playing co-op with this mod installed, make sure any people playing with you also have this mod installed.


Translations

French Translation
by Koyla
Current Version - Beta 1
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=585.0
Translate your copy of Shock 2 into French with this mod.
Traduire votre copie de Shock 2 en français avec ce mod.


Italian Translation
by Koyla
Current Version - v1.2
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=1593.msg8034#msg8034
Translate your copy of Shock 2 into Italian with this mod.
Tradurre la tua copia di Shock 2 in italiano con questo mod.


Spanish Translation
by Arkero99, Darkpadawan
Current Version - v2
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=683.0
Translate your copy of Shock 2 into Spanish with this mod.
Traducir su copia de Shock 2 en español con este mod.


Polish Translation
by Unknown
Current Version - v1
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=659.0
Translate your copy of Shock 2 into Polish with this mod.
Przekłada kopii Shock 2 język polski z tego moda.


Czech Translation
by Vex, Miracle.Freak
Current Version - 'NewDark' edition
http://www.systemshock.org/index.php?topic=662.0
Translate your copy of Shock 2 into Czech with this mod.
Přeložit kopii Shock 2 do češtiny s tímto módem.


The Cam_ext.cfg file

The cam_ext.cfg file contains a collection of hidden settings to add things such as Bloom and Anti-Aliasing effects.

Simply find the file in your Shock 2 directory and Open it with Notepad. Find the D3D9 render options section about halfway down and have a look at what you can alter.

To enable commands simply remove the semi-colon in front of it. Example:
;multisampletype 8
becomes
multisampletype 8

You can have a good read and decide what options you want to enable. I like to enable the following:

multisampletype 8 - Enables Anti-Aliasing
postprocess 1 - Enables Post Processing Effects
bloomscale 4
bloom_range 2
bloom_saturation 0.7
bloom_threshold 0.85

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This guide is Copyrighted © Saleck. Feel free to print/re-post this guide anywhere but please give credit where credit is due. That is all I ask :)