Logo The Midnight Ride

Mod Organizer 2

In this step, we will install and configure Mod Organizer 2.

What is Mod Organizer 2?

Mod Organizer 2 (MO2) is an open source game mod manager, mainly used for Bethesda games.

MO2's main characteristics are:

Why Mod Organizer 2?

Mod Organizer 2 has been chosen as The mod manager for our guides due to its ease of use, and its ability to keep the game's folder clean.
This is important because it allows for easy conflict resolution and mod management, and makes correcting mistakes trivial - installed mods in the wrong order? Just drag them into the correct position!
Compared to Vortex, MO2 doesn't hide the most important parts of modding from the user, making it easier to understand what is happening and why, albeit at the cost of potentially looking scary at first.
That said, we are well aware that MO2 is not perfect, and it has its own set of issues and limitations, but it is the best tool for the job.

Installing Mod Organizer 2

  1. Download Mod Organizer 2 from here.
  2. Once the download has finished, right click the file and open its Properties.
  3. In the properties window, if present, tick the Unblock checkbox at the bottom of General section.
  4. Unblock file
    This operation is required because Windows can block MO2 files from loading.
    If you used the installer, this action is not needed as it handles it automatically.
  5. Extract the archive into a folder where you want your TMR instance to be, for example C:\Modding\MO2\The Midnight Ride.
  6. Folder MUST be outside of the default Windows folders (such as Program Files x86) and outside of the game's Root folder.

    It's discouraged to store MO2 on Desktop or Documents if you use OneDrive or similar cloud providers, due to potential issues and degraded performance.

Configuring Mod Organizer 2

  1. Run ModOrganizer.exe inside the Mod Organizer 2 folder you extracted before.
  2. You will be prompted with a pop-up called Creating an instance, in which you should just select Next.
  3. Create a portable instance.
  4. Portable instance
  5. Select Fallout 4.
  6. Enable both profile-specific options.
  7. Keep the Location file path as default.
If you have MO2 installed on an SSD or a HDD with little space, you can check the Show advanced options box and change the Downloads file path to a different drive with more space. This will not effect download/game performance, and the downloads can be deleted after the mods have been installed.
  1. On the last page, select Finish.
  2. MO2 will launch and prompt you with Category Setup, select Do Nothing.
  3. If you see a pop-up called Register?, select Yes.

Adding Exceptions to Defender

  1. Open Windows Security.
  2. Open Virus & threat protection.
  3. Click Manage settings under Virus & threat protection settings.
  4. Scroll down and click Add or remove exclusions under Exclusions.
  5. Add a Folder exclusion and point it to the folder Mod Organizer 2 is in.
  6. Add another exclusion for your game folder (the game's root folder, not documents).
This operation is required because Windows can block MO2 and mod files from loading due to how MO2's virtualized filesystem works.
If you used the installer, this action is not needed as it handles it automatically.

If you are using a third-party antivirus, you will need to find the exceptions menu and add those 2 folders mentioned previously.

Configuring Settings

  1. Select the X in the bottom right of MO2 to close the log window.
  2. Select the MO2 settings button at the top of MO2 to open the settings.
  3. In the Theme tab, you can select a different style of your choosing from the drop-down menu at the top.
  4. In the Nexus tab, select Connect to Nexus.
  5. Connect to Nexus
    • This option will not show up if you have already connected your Nexus account on a different MO2 instance.
  6. MO2 will open your browser and prompt you to authorize the connection.
  7. Once you authorize it, you can close out of your browser and of the MO2 settings.
  8. Allow MO2 to restart.

Configuring INI Files

Running BethINI

In this step, we will download and run BethINI, which will allow choosing optimized presets and more specific options all through an easy GUI.
  1. Download BethINI PIE,
  2. Extract the archive anywhere outside of the default Windows folders, such as C:\Modding Tools,
  3. In MO2, click on the dropdown in the right pane next to the Run button. Right now, it should be displaying Fallout 4. In the resulting dropdown, click <Edit...>. A window titled Modify Executables will pop up. Click the + sign in the top left, then Add from file. Navigate in the resulting window to where you placed the BethINI Pie executable (BethINI.exe). Double click it. This will return you to the Modify Executables window. Press Apply in the lower right, then OK. The window will close.
  4. This sets up BethINI to run as an executable through MO2, which is necessary for it to be able to access mods and other files that MO2 handles. You can repeat this process for any other executable you may need to run through MO2, such as xEdit.
  5. Click on the dropdown in the right pane again. Select Bethini.
  6. Click Run.
  7. Make sure Fallout 4 is chosen. Press Select Game.
  8. Make sure the Game Path is accurate to where you installed Fallout 4, then make sure the INI Path is pointing towards something like Documents\MyGames\Fallout4.
  9. Select a BethINI preset depending on your hardware (I recommend High for an average system, do NOT use Ultra. Lower-end systems can use Medium or Low; Keep in mind that this does NOT effect texture quality), then do the following:
    1. Apply Recommended Tweaks,
    2. Set Display Mode to Borderless Windowed,
    3. Set Anisotropic Filtering to 16x,
    4. Select the resolution you want to display the game in,
    5. Edit the other settings to your liking, such as the FOV value or if you want to have subtitles,
    6. Save and exit by clicking one "File" in the top left -> Save. Say yes to resulting popups.

Custom INI

  1. Download the Custom INI.
  2. Head over to your MO2 Profiles folder in File Explorer (you can do this by clicking the folder icon in MO2 and clicking on Open Profile folder).
  3. Download and extract the archive, then paste the Fallout4Custom.ini file next to the other INIs. If prompted to replace, click Yes.

Mod Installation Instructions

If a mod is tagged it means that the mod may be performance intensive on lower-end systems. It can be skipped without any problems.
When the guide says to install a mod, it will be formatted as follows: Main File - Example 1.5. This is referring to the mod's category on Nexus and file name.
The guide will list a mod's specific file name, category and version if you need to do more than just download the latest main file.

Download example

Standard mod installation procedure:
  1. Unless instructed otherwise by the guide, download a mod's latest main file using the Mod Manager Download button.
  2. Once the download has finished, open Downloads tab in MO2 (right pane, below executable selector).
  3. Double-click on the mod to install it.
  4. Enable the mod on the left pane.
Sometimes, a mod will not have a Mod Manager Download, or will be hosted on a site other than Nexus.
If that is the case, do the following:
  1. Click the Manual Download button (or whatever the download button is for the respective site).
  2. Once the download has finished, click the MO2 archive button button at the top of MO2.
  3. From the new window, navigate to where the file was downloaded to and double-click it.
  4. Finish the install as you would with a Mod Manager Download mod.
When downloading multiple files from the same page, you will be prompted with a box in Mod Organizer 2 with the options Merge, Replace and Rename.