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[Sticky] The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Modding Guide  

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Since not many people play this game anymore, I won't bother to do an article. Instead I'm making this thread for those who want to get Morrowind up and running, looking and feeling more modern. This is one of the highest rated TES games, and one of the highest rated games of all time. Despite it's age, everyone who likes RPGs and open world games should play it. Don't worry, it's not really clunky at all. The combat is bad, but there's a mod that fixes that which you'll see below. Visual quality isn't really a problem anymore either, as the images show.

Installing mods is usually as simple as dragging a Data Files folder into your Morrowind folder, or dragging other kinds of files into your MorrowindData Files folder. Just like Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, and Fallout: New Vegas.

People report better success modding the boxed version of the game opposed to the Steam one. Seeing as how a boxed one can only be purchased used, I went with the Steam one. I use all of these mods with no problem at all. But I did have to do one thing: disable Steam in-game for Morrowind. The game doesn't run otherwise, and this is a common issue so you might have to do the same.

The order in which you install mods is actually somewhat important, so I'll list them in proper order. But first, let me list some tips that apply not only to Morrowind, but many other games too.

  1. Before downloading any mods, launch the game first so that the ini files and what not are created.
  2. Once you've done this, download the mods you want. Preferably the ones that will be listed below. Once you have all your mods ready to go, you should avoid downloading new big mods (that have ESP or ESM files). Save games might not import properly if you do. If you're making a new game then it doesn't matter. So modding Morrowind is a bit more tricky than Oblivion and Skyrim.


Now for the mods I recommend using. Click the mod name for a link to the mod.

1. Morrowind Mod Manager

Everyone who uses mods in Bethesda games and Fallout: New Vegas should be familiar with this. It's used to select which mods to use, and to sort load order. It doesn't matter when you install this mod really. See the bottom of the page for load order details and more.

2. Morrowind Graphics Extender XE

Also known as MGE XE, this is a visual and audio compilation for Morrowind. It has a ton of options. MGSO is a bit better than MGE XE, but it has compatibility issues with Morrowind Rebirth so stick with MGE XE.

This mod should be installed before the retexture mods, and Distant Land should be generated AFTER installing ALL other mods.

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This is how Morrowind, a 2002 game, goes from this...

To this (and this is without the grass mod listed below, as it was before I discovered it):

3. Morrowind Code Patch

This is essentially a huge bugfixing mod, or a community made patch. Fixes savegame corruption issues and much more.

4. Morrowind Optimization Patch

As the name implies, its goal is to improve performance in Morrowind.

5. Project Atlas

This mod seeks to fix mesh errors or inefficiency to improve performance in Morrowind.

6. Tamriel Rebuilt

Tamriel Rebuilt is a must have expansion mod that adds the mainland province of Morrowind to the game. By default, this game only takes place on an island located in the center of Morrowind, called Vvardenfell, along with a smaller island in Solstheim. The actual main provincial body of Morrowind is missing... unless you use this mod.

7. Morrowind Rebirth

A huge overhaul mod with hundreds of changes and additions, all in an effort to make Morrowind look and feel more alive and diverse. This is an amazing mod and an absolute must-have.



8. TR Heads Replacer (and all the required mods that redo each race)

A great mod that makes face and hair meshes look much more modern.

9. Tyddy's Retextures

Various mods that retexture things in Morrowind. I only use the creature replacers/retextures.

10. Trimmed Grass for Morrowind Rebirth

This mod adds grass to the terrain of Morrowind and is compatible with Morrowind Rebirth unlike every other grass mod (and Morrowind Rebirth is a must, one of the best overhaul mods ever). Be sure to use the Ashland Grass for Morrowind Rebirth 261 addon. This is a huge immersion booster. To use this with MGE XE, do not enable this mod in Morrowind Mod Manager/Data Files (leave it unchecked). Instead, when you run MGE XE's distant land generator wizard, do it with this mod (all plugins/ESP files) selected. This will generate distant land with this mod enabled. Once it's done, ensure all of this mod's ESP files remain unchecked (otherwise the grass will be a solid object).


11. Landscape Retexture

This mod retextures much of the terrain in Morrowind to 2048 x 2048 high res textures. Great to have.

12. Combat Experience - Depth Perception

This is a necessary mod that tweaks the awful combat system of Morrowind. There are several plugins: choose only one. You see, Morrowind's combat is stat-based. It controls similarly to Oblivion and Skyrim, but your attacks only have a certain percent chance of hitting. Similar to Dragon Age: Origins and other RPGs, except it's real time and controls like Oblivion/Skyrim. The result is horrible.

This mod gives you a higher percent chance of successful hits in combat. You'll want to ignore the "BTB's character" ESPs, and just use either the +25%, +50%, +75%, or +100% ESPs without BTB's character changes. There's a separate ESP for each. I personally use +100% so my attacks hit almost all the time, like Oblivion and Skyrim.

13. Better Dialogue Font

A straightforward mod that makes text more readable at high resolutions.

Load Order

Before I go on, remember how I said that the order you install these mods is relevant. Going with the order listed above is safe, but really all that matters is this:

  1. MGE XE is installed BEFORE all retexture mods
  2. Combat Experience - Depth Perception is installed after Morrowind Rebirth
  3. Distant Land in MGE XE is generated AFTER ALL MODS ARE ALREADY INSTALLED
  4. Once distant land is generated in MGE XE, make sure you uncheck the Grass for Morrowind Rebirth ESP so that the grass doesn't appear as solid immovable objects in the game.
  5. Note that ESP files with a capital "ESP" as the file extension, opposed to lower case, will not show up in Morrowind Mod Manager! In this case, use an alternative mod manager or just change it to lower case .esp

If you follow this order and Windows asks you to overwrite files, say Yes to all. Now for the load order, you'll want it to look something like this:

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It should be in this order, though Bloodmoon.esm and Tribunal.esm can switch places and it won't matter. The rest does matter.

Note: If your texture mods don't work, which is a common issue on Steam version, download the "tes3cmd" file listed here (alternate link). Place it in your MorrowindData Files directory. Then open cmd (search for it in the Start Menu), and change the directory to your MorrowindData Files location like so.

cd C:Program Files (x86)SteamSteamappscommonMorrowindData Files

Once this is entered, enter the next command.

tes3cmd resetdates

This should ensure all mods are working properly.

So that pretty much sums up this thread. Good luck, you might need it. There are other great mods out there, like the Tamriel Rebuilt mods, but I haven't gotten around to trying them yet.



This topic was modified 7 months ago by Jester
This topic was modified 2 months ago 4 times by Jester
This topic was modified 2 weeks ago 3 times by Jester
Posted : 29/07/2013 1:09 pm
Member Moderator

Updated with Tamriel Rebuilt since it has been in a good state since late 2018. 

Posted : 30/05/2019 6:07 pm

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