Mods for Newbies
By:Rocky and Xian Saint
Published : 31th December 2001
Last updated
: 19th October 2005
Feedback : Here
Reference Links : None


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Introduction

This report is a guide for installing and playing Ghost Recon modifications. It is aimed primarily at "newbies", anyone who is unfamiliar with the Mods system implemented by Red Storm Entertainment in Ghost Recon. Quick learners can jump straight to the Easy Start summary at the foot of this page.

Types of Mod

Mods can consist of any combination of the following types

  • Maps
    • Brand new maps featuring new landscapes to play on.
  • Missions
    • Mission mods can come either as a whole new campaign, or single missions. They provide new mission objectives, played on the same maps as in the standard Campaign.
  • Weapons
    • Weapon mods add new weapons to the Ghost's arsenal, or modify existing weapons characteristics.
  • Skins
    • "Skins" is a modders term for the uniforms worn by the characters, or even the facial characteristics. A new skins pack will usually suit the Ghosts out in new uniforms or camouflage.
  • Total Conversions
    • Total Conversions are the big daddy of Ghost Recon mods, they contain everything: new maps, missions, weapons and skins.

 

Downloading

Mods can be sourced from several locations. The following list is not comprehensive, but lists the most reliable and extensive locations to find mods.

These sites can provide mods in one of 3 ways.

  • Download directly from their own server
  • Redirect to the mod author's site for download
  • Redirect to a File Archive for download

Sites that serve files directly from their own server have heavy overheads, bandwidth charges to pay their ISP. If you use these sites please bear that in mind and support them with donations, and/or visit their sponsors. Without tangible support from site visitors services like File Archives will disappear, please remember that.

Sites that re-direct to another location are probably doing so to avoid the very large expense of providing files from their own server.

What does this mean to you, the person downloading the mod? There is no difference, whether you download directly from a site, or an off-site file archive, you should receive the file in the same manner, free of charge.

For example, select your mod from GhostRecon.net downloads, and the mods details will be displayed along with a Download button, and in some cases a "mirror" link. Clicking the Download button will take you to the site where we have uploaded the mod for you to download from. At the moment this is most likely to be Filefront. If there is a problem with that download location, you can click the "mirror" link as mentioned before to grab the mod from a different location.

Before you start downloading mods I suggest you make a new folder on your hard drive to store all your downloaded mod installers. This will make it easy to find them, and keep your folder structure tidy. Make a folder somewhere on your harddrive and call it "Ghost Recon Mods" - like in this example.

Installation

Before installing any mods it is best to understand how mods work with Ghost Recon. If you open your file manager and examine the Ghost Recon folder you will see a folder called "Mods". Inside that folder there will be a list of other folders. Each one of those folders contains a complete mod. The one called "origmiss" is actually the original missions that the Ghost Recon campaign is made up of!

Whenever you install a mod, what it does is makes a new folder in the Mods folder, and names it after itself - and puts all the files necessary to run the mod inside that folder, simply really.

Installing a mod should be a simple case of running the downloaded file, and it installs itself to the correct location inside the Mods folder without overwriting any files. Usually that will be the case, but it is not always the case. For that reason, I will outline the recommended installation procedure for installing a mod. It might look excessive, but it could save you from having to reinstall Ghost Recon. Remember mods are written by fans, not (usually) by professionals.

The downloaded file may be a zip file or an exe file. If it is a zip file you will need to extract the file to somewhere on your hardrive. If you are confident about installing mods, you can unzip it directly to the Mods folder of Ghost Recon, with the unzip folder structure intact.

What I recommend, is that you always unzip the contents to a temporary folder first. Examine the contents of the folder (1) locate and read the Readme.txt file and (2) make sure that all the files are going to go into a new mod folder, and not into any existing Ghost Recon folders. If you spot an existing folder name check the filenames to ensure that no files are overwritten. If you spot a file that is going to be overwritten by a mod, it is good practice to make a copy of the file before installation. Once you are content with the contents simply copy the mod folder into the mods folder of Ghost Recon, by copy/pasting the folder named after the mod.

If the downloaded file is an exe file, this means it has been packaged with an installer, which should hopefully make the whole process alot easier. Run the installer and check that it is installing to the Mods folder of Ghost Recon. If the location shown in the installer is not where your mods folder is located, browse the installer to the correct location, and hit "next". The mod will then install, upon completion you will probably be offered the option to read an instruction text. Always click to read that document as it will probably contain important information on activating the mod correctly.

Activation

Now you are ready to play your new mod! Open up Ghost Recon and click on Options, then select the Mods button. From the list on the left select your mod and activate it, so that it appears on the right. If you have to try more than once to activate the correct mod you are running an old version of Ghost Recon and should download the latest patch.

Sometimes in order to ensure the mod is fully activated you need to shut down Ghost Recon, then start it up again. This is especially important if you are installing a weapons mod. So if a mod does not work first time, do not condem it to the recycle bin, simply restart Ghost Recon.

An easy way to select mods is to use 3rd party Mod Activation tool. These tools can be launched before you even start Ghost Recon, and will allow you to select your mods, and launch right into Ghost Recon with the mod activated and ready to play! You can download tools that do this from the Tools section of our download page.

If the mod is a new mission, or multiple missions you will usually find it by entering the Quick Mission section. Simply select the mod from the list and start! With a campaign (several linked missions) select to start a new campaign, then select the mod title from the campaign list, and then instead of the usual missions you will be presented with a brand new challenge.

With weapon mods you may start any type of game and should find the new weapons listed on the Equip screen.

Multiplayer

One of the joys of using mods is playing with fellow "human" players in multiplayer combat. Humans appreciate a high quality mod where as the computer A.I. doesn't really care. Often times mods are designed specifically with multiplayer gameplay in mind. Some of the more common multiplayer modifications include skins for clan specific uniforms, weapons mods for a wider variety and balance, and level retexturing to introduce an almost "new" atmosphere. It is quite amazing how unique the same map can appear when it has been modified and retextured; it's almost like a brand new map.

All this may sound good, but for a new guy (or newbie), it may seem a little overwhelming. It's surprisingly simple and with just a little bit of information, you'll soon find yourself a MP Mod expert and often times you'll wonder why some of the mods weren't included with the actual game.

This guide has already listed where to download the mod, what to do with it, and how to activate it. For multiplayer mods, all that's left is finding a game, and see what mods are being used. This is extremely easy using the Ghost Recon multiplayer screen.

From this screen, you will see a list of the servers you have entered (either LAN or Internet). If you don't have any IP addresses entered, see our news page for a partial list of IP addresses or check the games thread in the forum section. Once you have some games entered, you will notice the last column is the active mods section.

If there is a mod name listed there, then you also need to have this mod installed but you don't have to have it activated to play. The server will check your mods folder and if the mod is installed then you will enter the multiplayer screen. If you don't have the mod installed, when you join you will see this screen.

One thing to note is you have to have the newest version of a mod. If the mod maker updates the mod version, then you also have to have this newer version or it will not work. If you have more than one mod in your mods folder, then you will continue to the multiplayer screen as normal, only whichever mod is activated by the host will be utilized and the rest ignored.

If you use Gamespy (or similar utility) it will normally be listed in the room description what mod is required. If you join a game and don't have the correct mod you will be treated to the same screen as shown before. It's interesting to note that if you have mods activated you can still play in a MP game that's not using those mods. The mod information is just ignored. This saves you the trouble of deactivating all the mods every time you play multiplayer games. Also, what some clans do to prevent others from joining (without passwording the server) is to make a unique mod that their members install and then only they can play on that server because no one else will have that specific mod.

That is a basic overview of how one would utilize mods in multiplayer mode. If for some reason it doesn't work, there are a few things to try. First, verify that you are using the same exact mod. Many mods have similar names and you have to have exactly what the server is using. Next, check your mods folder to see if the mod is there. If it is, activate it and setup a multiplayer game yourself, just to see if the mod is listed in the active mod section. If all else fails, it isn't necessarily your fault. Something on the server may have changed or there may be a different mod running. If trouble persists, ask for help on a reputable forum or consider deleting that mod and reinstalling it. Always remember with all mods, that they aren't officially supported and they may corrupt your game files which may require uninstalling and reinstalling the game all over again. You've been warned. Now go download a mod and hop online. Enjoy!

Easy Start Summary

All Ghost Recon mods are installed in their own new folder in the Ghost Recon Mods folder. So if you have a mod called "New York" installed, you will see a folder called "New York" in the Ghost Recon mods folder. All Ghost Recon mods are self contained in this manner.

Once you have downloaded the mod it will either be a compressed archive like a zip or rar file, or it will be an exe installer. If it is an exe installer, simply run the file and it will auto install into a new folder in the mods folder. If it is a zipped up file like a .zip or .rar you should decompress the file to a temporary location, make sure the entire contents are in their own folder (named after the mod), and then simply drag that folder into the Ghost Recon mods folder.

Now start Ghost Recon and go to Options, then activate the mod from the listing on the left.

Rocky

 


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