Modding DCS

1. About modding

Modding DCS is generally understood as changing aspects of the game by alterations of the software. Some mods are universally supported, others do break the integrity check of the game, others might even be illegal or considered cheating.
If you're interested in the general aspects of modding check out Wikipedia, especially the section about legal issues in modding as well as the game mod specific page.

At DELTAFORCE we only use supported mods and heavily encourage staying away from any balance altering mod.

Common mods we use

  1. Skins (also called Liveries)
  2. Supported “Saved Games” mods for example additional model assets, menu themes etc.
    • Anubis Hercules
      OvGME Repository:
    • Civil Aircraft Mod (CAM)
      OvGME Repository:
    • Military Aircraft Mod (MAM)
      OvGME Repository:
  3. Missions (usually provided via our events)

Recommendations for managing DCS mods

Mods can be installed manually or they can be managed by a mod manager like OvGME.

  • Manual install:
    • This is the preferred method if you use a single mod only (e.g. the DELTAFORCE skins)
  • Use of a mod manger:
    • If you use multiple mods or plan to do so a mod manager like OvGME.
    • If you use ANY core file altering mod (mods that go directly into the game directory).
      Not only will it save you trouble after a patch, it will also provide you with a backup in case anything goes wrong.

2 Installing mods manually

Most mods come with a readme that explains the installation. Be aware of game file altering mods though: a properly done mod will make sure to use the officially designed folders for its type.

To install common mod types manually simply drop their content folder into the respective folder they belong in.

The root folders will either be:

  1. In your “Saved Games\DCS(.openbeta)” folder, or
  2. in the main games folder (not recommended)

Mods we use at delta force, like the DELTAFORCE SkinPack, are set up so they work with the *Saved Games* folder.

The specific relevant sub-folders are:

  • Missions files:
    C:\Users\“YOUR_USER”\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Missions
  • Liveries (skins):
    C:\Users\“YOUR_USER”\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Liveries
  • Mods (e.g. mod packs or whole aircraft / assets):
    C:\Users\“YOUR_USER”\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Mods
  • Scripts:
    C:\Users\“YOUR_USER”\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\Scripts

Avoid dropping mods into the main game folder, that's what the specific “Saved Games” folders are for. Often that's unnecessary and will be harder to clean up.
Common unnecessary examples are skins that the maker requests you to put directly in the DCS directory into the CoreMods or Bazar folders.

3 Installing mods using a mod manager

OvGME is a mod manager widely used by the DCS community to install mods and keep them up to date. At DELTAFORCE we support the use of OvGME, for example for our skin pack.

3a - OvGME installation and set up

  1. Download OvGME (link hosted by DELTAFORCE), install and run it
  2. Create the configuration - at least one for “Saved Games”, optionally another one for the core game
    1. Configuration title:
      Give the profile a descriptive name. Recommendation is “Game - Save Location” - so for example: “DCS - SAVED GAMES”
    2. Configuration root folder:
      Specify “your users” saved games folder (example: “C:\Users\”YOUR_USER“\Saved Games\DCS(.openbeta)\”)
    3. Configuration mods folder: will specify where OvGME will store mods locally as a source to be enabled / disabled.
      We recommend a folder you remember for easy cleanup and manual imports like: “C:\Users\”YOUR_USER“\Documents\OvGME\DCS Saved Games Mods\
      Within that folder OvGME will:
      1. look for mod packages you install manually by moving them there
      2. save mod packages you import via it's import feature
      3. store mod packages it downloads from a configured repository
    4. Custom configuration backup folder: (OPTIONAL)
      This is an optional backup location to where original files will be stored in the case they exist and will be overridden by a mod activation.
      If you don't specify this the backups will go to “C:\ProgramData\OvGME\{random_profile_string}”

3b - Getting a mod pack

Manual download and import

An OvGME ready mod package can just be downloaded manually and

  1. a) be copied into the “Configuration mods folder” or
  2. b) imported through OvGME.

We will use the latest as an example.
For a) just download the mod directly into the “Configuration mods folder” for the Saved Games profile or move it there if you already have it downloaded.
For method b) open OvGME, select “Mods” in the menu and then select “Import Mod(s)…”- You then have to browse to the location you saved the mod-archive in, select it and “Open” to import.

Configure a repository for integrated download and updates

This method will allow you to download mods and updates for mods directly from OvGME.

  • In the OvGME menu go to: „Mods“ → „Repositories“ → „Configure“
  • Copy and paste the link to the repository .xml file into the URL box.
    Make sure it's HTTP (OvGME doesn't support HTTPS)
    For example for the DELTAFORCE SkinPack
    Click on „Add“ and „Close“
  • Query
    In the OvGME menu go to: „Mods“ → „Repositories“ → „Query“
  • Download
    Click “Download All” or select a mod and then click “Download Selected”

3c - Activate the mod pack

  • Activate
    Double click the mod or select it and click on “Enable Selected”

3d - Reoccurring: updating a repository

Each time an update for a repo is announced the query will need to be triggered again. It will check for an updated version and download it.

  • Query
    In the OvGME menu go to: „Mods“ → „Repositories“ → „Query“
  • Download
    Click “Download All” or select a mod and then click “Download Selected”