Why won’t Mass Effect mods work?! A troubleshooting guide

It is a fact commonly known that Mass Effect is not easy to mod – some (I) might even say it’s the most frustrating modding experience ever. Even though I’ve written countless tutorials and guides, and even created a video on how to mod, things don’t work for some of you. I don’t always have time to answer the questions you guys leave on my blog (sorry!) … so, if you’re looking for help or answers, try the FAQ first, and if that doesn’t help, try this troubleshooting guide!

What’s your major malfunction?

I can see the hair mesh but the texture is just one big black, blocky blob.

After installing a mod, my Shepard’s neck and ears are black!

I can see the modded mesh, but my textures are messed up

I can’t see the modded mesh

I can see both the mesh and the textures but it’s super shiny and/or weird colors

When I try to open the game, it crashes or infinite loads

When I try to open a save, it crashes or infinite loads

ME3Explorer gives me an unhandled exception error

ME3Explorer’s Tocbinupdater says “No updates” even though I just installed a mod

When I try to replace textures using ME3Explorer, it tells me I don’t have enough mip maps

Texmod won’t load any textures

I see black textures

I don’t see the armor/outfit I modded in my closet

My closet crashes when I get to a certain outfit

I have another problem

MassEffect3 2015-08-25 00-12-21-19

 

I can see the hair mesh but my texture is just one big black blob.

This happens when the texture is not applying to your mesh. Are you running the .tpf file through Texmod? Is the hair mesh you’re replacing the one that is Allers’ hairstyle (named Jessica in Meshplorer)? The .tpf will ONLY apply to Allers’¬†hair, so if you’re replacing another hairstyle, it won’t work. You’ll have to create a new .tpf using the hash of the new hairstyle (so much effort).

After installing a mod, Shepard’s ears and neck are black!

This is a black texture bug caused by ME3Explorer/Texplorer NOT MY MODS. My mods (mesh and texture) do NOT touch the “scalp” part of Shepard. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A MOD PROBLEM. This has happened to me once and I have no idea why, unfortunately the only fix was to reinstall the game.

I can see the modded mesh, but my textures are messed up

This means your texture changes aren’t applying.

Are you using a .tpf file with Texmod?  Try putting your texture higher in your load order. It might be conflicting with another mod.

Using one of my hair mods? Using hair texture .tpf with Texmod? Make sure¬†that¬†you changed your hair_diff¬†to “BIOG_HMF_HIR_PRO.Hair_PROJessica.HMF_HIR_PROJessica_MDL” using Gibbed save editor.

Trying to replace the intro outfit? Sometimes, the game will autosave with the “dirty” version of the CTHi texture if you reload the game from the beginning and you’ve already gone through the intro scene once (i.e. the part where the council room explodes and you’re thrown against the back of the wall). Replace the “dirty” CTHi texture with the one that you want and you should be golden.

I can’t see the modded mesh

Did you copy over a .PCC file (containing the mesh)? Check that you actually overwrote the original file when you copied it over.

Trying to mod an outfit? ¬†Check that you’re wearing the right one. ¬†Unlock all the possible outfits in your closet using an edited coalesced file.

I can see both the mesh and the textures but it’s super shiny and/or weird colors

The glow happens when you manually install my mods and try to use a Casual Outfit as an Armor instead, or try to replace any armor other than FBDa (Defender). The spec map for Casual Outfits is completely different from Armors, so it will always be shiny, especially the skin areas that are showing.  If you want to wear a casual armor as outfit, try using Mother of all Mods (MOAM) which allows you to equip Casual Outfits as armor.

When I try to open the game, it crashes or infinite loads

You probably didn’t run Tocbinupdater in ME3Explorer. ¬†Almost all CTD are caused by forgetting to run Tocbinupdater.

Next, make sure you have all the DLC.  I made all these mods with all the DLC installed (From Ashes, Leviathan, Citadel, Extended Cut, Omega).

If it keeps crashing, keep trying to launch the game – sometimes it takes me four or five attempts before the game actually launches successfully without crashing. No idea why, but persistence seems to make it work eventually.

If it keeps crashing after a dozen tries to relaunch, you might just have to reinstall.  Sorry!

When I try to open a save, it crashes or infinite loads

You probably have an extra blank space somewhere in your Gibbed save file. This usually happens if you copy/paste the hair_diff or hair_mask code for my hair mods and you accidentally copy an extra space at the end.

If you’ve checked for spaces and it still crashes/infinite loads, try loading a different save. ¬†It can help you pinpoint if the problem is the whole game or just an area of the game. ¬†For example, if you’re trying to load a save¬†where you’re in the Normandy and it’s not working, try loading a save where you’re in the Citadel instead.

If a different save works, the problem is probably with whatever environment you’re trying to load. ¬†Try reverting back to the original .pcc file for that environment.

ME3Explorer gives me an unhandled exception error

Usually, this means your system is out of memory – I don’t know a fix, but it seems like you need to upgrade to a better computer :)

ME3Explorer’s Tocbinupdater says “No updates” even though I just installed a mod

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. ¬†Sometimes mod files happen to be the same size by some happy coincidence. ¬†Try launching the game and see if your mod works – if it doesn’t, and it’s still saying “No updates” when you run Tocbinupdater, you’re shit out of luck, sorry!

When I try to replace textures using ME3Explorer/Texplorer, it tells me I don’t have enough mips

This is a new “problem” in ME3Explorer after Rev 653. It’s not really a problem but it is a hassle. ¬†You just need to resize your texture image (.dds) and then resave it to generate new mip maps. ¬†The number of mip maps depends on the image size. So, if your image is 512px x 512px, you’ll have 10 mips. If ME3Explorer/Texplorer is telling you you need 11 mips, just resize the texture to 1024×1024 and resave it. If you need 12 mips, resize to 2048×2048 and resave. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this tutorial on editing textures.

Texmod won’t load any textures

This weirdly happens sometimes – certain .tpf’s don’t load, while others do, all in the same instance of running Texmod.

First, make sure there are no mod conflicts, e.g. two texture mods affecting the same mesh. ¬†If that doesn’t change anything, try applying textures manually via ME3Explorer instead.

I see black textures

Not sure exactly what causes this problem, though I’ve read that it might be ME3Explorer rev ¬†753. Try downloading the dev build 717 and using that instead.

I don’t see the armor/outfit I modded in my closet

You need a modded coalesced file that unlocks all of the bonus outfits for Shepard to wear. You can download mine here.

My closet crashes when I get to a certain outfit

My game sometimes crashes when I scroll all the way to the last outfit or last armor in the closet. ¬†My only solution is not to scroll all the way to the last outfit or armor, naturally. ¬†Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything good at the end anyway :)

I have another problem

Sorry, kid, you might be screwed.

7 Comments

  1. Kaitie November 16, 2015
    • girlplaysgame November 18, 2015
  2. jhannah0104 January 31, 2016
  3. Chris February 21, 2016
  4. Vlastilena March 13, 2016
  5. Aliss May 3, 2016
  6. yaoirose22 September 24, 2016

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