Guide:Morrowind

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Guide: A modern Morrowind

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Morrowind is hailed as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. The graphics, unfortunately, remind us of its age.
This is correctable with mods, and thanks to the modding community a modern Morrowind experience is possible.
The following things are emphasized when choosing mods for this guide:

  1. Mods that have more detailed textures and meshes
  2. Mods that are closer to the vanilla style
  3. Mods that tend to "blend in" with the game environment
  4. Mods that perform well on modern hardware

Morrowind STEP gallery
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1. Install & Utilities

1.A Install Morrowind

1.B Install Utilities

Utility Format Notes
7-Zip .EXE Install 64-bit version, only use 32-bit if 64-bit doesn't work
Mlox .EXE Fixes load order, use standalone .EXE
Wrye Mash .EXE Handy for save game cleaning
IniColorEdit .EXE Changes colors, info

1.C Install MCP

Patch name Format Notes
Morrowind Code Patch .EXE Includes 4GB patch

1.D Install MGE XE

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Morrowind graphic extender can be found here with detailed install procedure.
It enables higher resolutions, better shaders, bump-mapping, and much more.
After install, adjust the resolution to what the system is using(for example 1920 x 1080).

1.E System Requirements

This is the minimum specifications for a good gaming experience, anything more powerful than this will run fine.

Base Game Build without 2.J Build with 2.J
500 MHz Intel PIII, Celeron, or AMD Athlon Intel i3, AMD Quad core 3.5 GHz Intel i3
256MB RAM 2GB RAM 4GB RAM
GeForce2 GTS, Radeon 7500 GTX 750 Ti, R7 360 GTX 950, R7 370

1.F Installing Mods

All files except .EXEs(they go into the game folder), needs to be placed in the data folder. From the MW Modding Wiki:

"The Data Files folder (or just data folder) is where all of the data that the game uses is stored. 
That's the music, textures, meshes, etc. This is also where all mods are installed, and where their data (again the meshes, textures, music, etc) is stored.
To find the data folder, first make sure that you are looking at the game folder. From here you should see a folder called Data Files.
That's the folder we need, open it up and you should see more folders marked as Meshes, Textures, etc.
Though don't worry if you don't. You should also see some files called Morrowind.esm, Tribunal.esm, and Bloodmoon.esm.
These are master files. Mods are similar to these, but would end with .esp. These are called plugin files."

2. Mods

Note: If you want to use Morrowind watercolored textures, simply install 2.a, 2.b and MWC, then skip to 2.k

2.A Fixes

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Note on installation: Install in the same order as listed, and always let the files overwrite.

Mod Name Mod Type Notes
Mesh Fix Folder Fixes meshes & UV mapping
Correct Meshes Folder Fixes misc. Meshes
Correct UV Rocks Folder Add this too
Correct UV Trees Folder Fixes UV for trees
Correct UV Mudcrabs Folder Fixes Mudcrab UV
Patch for Purists Folder Replaces UMP and countless of mesh fixes

2.B Meshes

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Mod Name Mod Type Notes
Quarl's Misc Item Replacer Folder Better meshes for clutter
Mesh Improvements Folder Better meshes for clutter
Mesh Improvements Optimized Folder Optimized Meshes
RR Mod Series - Better Meshes Folder Remember to install the fixes
Better Meshes plus Optimization Folder Optimized meshes
Better Flora Folder Flora meshes, choose "No collision" folder
Ingredients Mesh Replacer Folder Meshes for ingredients
Dwemer Mesh Improvement Folder Smooth dwemer meshes
Dunmer Lanterns Replacer Folder Meshes for lanterns

2.C Objects & Clutter

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Papill6n various graphics things Folder Replaces a lot of forgotten objects
AST beds Folder Replacer for beds
Better Kegstands Folder Replacer for kegstands
Wood Furniture Folder Improved wood textures
Arukinns Better Books and Scrolls Folder Replacer for books and scrolls
Guar Skin Banners Folder Hires banners
Improved Kwama Eggs and Egg Sacs Folder Replaces Kwama eggs & sac
One True Faith - Saints and Frescoes Retexture Folder Hires frescoes, "2K" recommended
Dunmeri Urns - Aestetika of Vvardenfell Folder "HQ bump mapped" is recommended
Long Live The Limeware Folder Limeware replacer
Long Live The Glassware Folder Glassware replacer
Long Live The Plates Folder Replacer for plates
Better Skulls Folder Replacer for skulls
Apel's Various Things - Signs Folder New tavern signs
R-Zero's Random Retextures - Dwemer Coin & Quill Folder Quill & dwemer coins retextured
EKM Vanilla-Based Paper Lanterns Folder Paper lanterns retextured
Pherim's Small and WIP Mods Folder Download everything except the Nixhound Replacer
Ket's Potions and Beverages Retexture Folder Potions and beverages retextured

2.D Housing

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Imperial Houses and Forts Retexture - Ordo Arkitektora Folder Replaces imperial housing 1 2 3 4
Telvanni - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Patch if you use non bump-mapped 1
Shacks Docks and Ships - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replaces docks, shacks & boats 1 2 3
Velothi - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replaces Velothi Housing 1 2 3
Daedric Ruins - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replacer for daedric ruins 1 2
Sewers - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Retexture of sewers
Hlaalu - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replacer for Hlaalu Housing 1 2
Redoran - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replacer for Redoran housing 1
Dwemer Ruins Retexture Folder Retexture of Dwemer ruins
Darknut's Better Dwemer Ruin Towers Folder Remesh of dwemer towers 1
Full Dwemer Retexture Folder All things dwemer retextured
Stronghold Retexture Folder Stronghold retexture
White Suran 2 Folder & .ESP Makes Suran white, only install main file
Mournhold Overhaul v21 Folder & .ESP Don't activate the .ESP 1 2 3
Hires Town Road Markers Folder Retexture of town markers
High-res Skaal Retex Folder Retexture of Skaal buildings

2.E NPCs

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Races Redone Folder & .ESP All in one 1
New Beast Bodies Folder Argonian bodies
Animation Compilation Folder Updated animations

2.F Clothing

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Darknut's Better Clothes Textures v1.0 Folder Textures & meshes for clothes 1
Better Robes Folder & Esp Textures & meshes for robes
Robe Overhaul Folder & Esp Textures & meshes for robes
New Gondolier Helm Folder Retexture of gondolier helmets
Unique Finery Replacer UFR Folder & .ESP Install "no robes"-.ESP

2.G Armor

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Better Morrowind Armor Folder Install this patch
Darknut's Armor Textures 1024 1.2 Folder Armor textures
HiRez Armors- Native Styles V2 Folder Patch & fixes 1,2,3
Armors Retexture - Outlander Styles Folder Armor textures
Less Bulky Pauldrons Folder Install both included patches
Colovian helm and heavy leather boots retexture Folder The link is correct, see under "files"
Pluginless NoGlow Folder Removes enchantment glow
Royalguard better armor Folder Replacer for royal guards in Tribunal
Daedric Lord Armor Morrowind Edition Folder & .ESP Extra helmet
Orcish Retexture v1.2 Folder Parts of orcish armor redone
New Fists of Randagulf Folder New mesh and texture
New Lord's Mail Folder New mesh and texture
New Dwemer Armor Mod Folder Use this if vanilla style is preferred

2.H Weapons

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Better Weapons Folder Performance-hungry weapon meshes
Darknut's Little Weapons Mod Complete Folder Texture folder has two options, pick one
Oriental Mesh Improvements Folder Weapon meshes
Iron Mesh Improvements Folder Iron meshes
Improved Weapon Meshes - Steel Folder Steel Meshes
Improved Weapon Meshes - Ebony Folder Ebony meshes
Real Reflective Weapons - Iron Folder Weapon retexture
Insanity's (Dwemer) Weapons of Morrowind Folder Dwemer weapons redone
Ice Blade of the Monarch PBR Folder Lore-friendly replacer
Mehrunes' Razor PBR Folder PBR prototype not required
Correct Iron Warhammer Folder & .ESP Brings the warhammer closer to lore

2.I Creatures

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Darknut's Creature Textures Folder Retexture of creatures
Darknut's Creature Textures addendum Folder Retexture of more creatures
Netch Bump mapped Folder Retexture of netch
Kwama forager bump mapped Folder Link is correct, see under "files"
Silt Strider Bump mapped Folder Retexture of silt striders
Cliffracer Replacer Folder Retexture of cliffracers
Nix-Hound Replacer Folder Retexture of nixhound
Guars replacer - Aendemika of Vvardenfell Folder Retexture of guars
Kagouti replacer - Aendemika of Vvardenfell Folder Retexture of kagouti
Alit replacer - Aendemika of Vvardenfell Folder Retexture of alit
Better Spriggans Folder Spriggan replacer with glow maps
Better Scamps Folder Scamps redone

2.J Flora & Landscape

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Note: See section 1.E.

Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Skies .IV Folder Skies and weather redone, read instructions
Plant life retexture Folder Retexture of most plants & fungus
Caverns Bump mapped Folder New cave textures
Apel's Asura Coast and Sheogorath Region Retexture Folder Sheogorad flora & landscape
Underwater Static Replacer Folder New meshes and textures
Emperor Parasol Replacer Folder Link is correct, see under "files!
Comberry Bush and Ingredient Replacer Folder Retexture of comberry
Pherim's Fire Fern - Plant and Ingredient Folder Retexture of fire fern
Hackle-lo Fixed Folder New mesh & texture
Tyddy's Landscape Retexture Folder "HQ" version recommended
Vurts Solstheim Tree Replacer II Folder & .ESP Solstheim trees
Vurts Bitter Coast Trees II Folder & .ESP Bitter coast trees
Vurt's BC II Trees Collision Fix (And Other Fixes)_1.0 Folder FPS gain in most cases too
Vurts Leafy West Gash II Folder & .ESP Vanilla Friendly West Gash
Vurts Ascadian Isles Trees Replacer II Folder & .ESP Ascadian isles trees Remiros' Ascadian Isles Trees
Vurts Grazeland Trees II Folder & .ESP See here if meshes are missing
Vurts Mournhold Trees II Folder & .ESP Mournhold trees
Vurts Groundcover Folder & .ESP Only activate .esp when generating distant land Green animated grass

2.K User Interface

Mod Name Mod Format Notes
HD Concept-art splash screen and main menu Folder Hires main menu & splash screens
Better Dialogue Font Folder Hires UI font
Arukinns Better UI Folder Retextured UI
HD Intro Cinematic - English Folder Intro in HD
Ultimate Icon Replacer Folder New icons

2.L Gameplay changes

Mod Name Mod Format Notes
NX9_guards_complete .ESP More diverse guards
Delayed DB Attack V2 .ESP No more early attacks from DB
The Road to Mournhold .ESP Adds a quest to go to Mournhold
Illys Solstheim Rumour Fix .ESP Less NPCs know about Solstheim
Hold it 1.92 .ESP Makes NPCs hold items, Use the main .ESP. Optional
Passive Cliffracers .ESP Less agressive cliffracers. Optional
Fun Game Tweaks .ESP Fatigue and running behaves as it does in Skyrim. Optional
Morrowind Buy A House .ESP Adds houses that can be bought. Optional
Sunrise and Sunset Season and Latitude Scaling .ESP Variable sunset and sunrise

2.M Worldspace Edits

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
RR Mod Series - Telvanni Lighthouse Tel Vos .ESP & .BSA .INI edit required, instructions here
RR Mod Series - Holamayan Monastery Replacer .ESP, .BSA & Folder .INI edit required, instructions here
Atmospheric Plazas .ESP Vivec plazas edited
Concept Art Ghostfence Replacer .ESP & Folder New Ghostfence
Cavern Of The Incarnate Overhaul .ESP & Folder .ESP optional
Mountainous Red Mountain .ESP & Folder More menacing mountains

3. Setup & Tweaking

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3.A Graphics Card Settings

Turn off antialiasing and anisotropic filtering in the graphics driver. Set the GPU to full performance if possible.

3.B Plugins

1. Open the launcher and activate all plugins except those noted.
2. Run Mlox to sort your plugins.
3. Check that the game, starts, if not, deactivate plugins until it starts.

3.C MGE XE

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1. Start MGE XE Gui.
2. Set AA to "4" and AF to "8".
3. Check that resolution and refresh rate matches the monitor settings. Turn Vsync off for now.
4. Press "Shader Setup", double click the following: Eye Adaption, SSAO Fast, Sunshafts, Bloom Soft. Press "Save" and check "enable shaders".
5. Set UI Scaling to 1.8, select "Range Vertex" as your Fog mode. Go to "Distant Land" tab.
6. Check "Use Distant Land", set draw distance to 2.0 cells. Uncheck "Use High Quality" under "Fog".
7. Set water reflections to "Landscape" & "Nearby Statics". Enable Dynamic Solar Shadows & Per-pixel lighting shader.
8. Open distant land setup wizard. Press "select all" and "continue". Set grass density to 25% and let the wizard generate textures and meshes.
9. Open "In-game" tab, and check the following: "Responsive menu caching", "Allow Yes to all errors", "Thread Loading", "Show FPS".
10. That's it! Check game performance and tweak until acceptable FPS is achieved. Vsync may be turned on after this.

Note: If you have good FPS, but still experience stutter, see Texture optimization

3.D Shader library for MGE XE

With additional shaders the game graphics can be further enhanced and customized.
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Mod Name Sample Notes
Adaptive HDR by Seventyfour Sample Alternate HDR
FXAA by J.Bottcher Sample Low-cost AA and softening
Film Grain by wrinklyninja Sample Simulates analog film noise
Watercolor Sample Enhanced colors and bleed
Bloom by Seventyfour Sample Better Bloom
Water by Seventyfour Sample Green water shader, place in \Morrowind\Data Files\shaders
Old Photo by Zilav Sample Desaturate, sepia, and vignette in one
Sky Bloom by peachykeen Sample Alternate Bloom
Fog-linked DOF Sample Distance blur
Lumasharpen by CeeJay.dk Sample Sharpens textures
Bokeh by Various Sample Bokeh DOF
Gamma Correction by Apel No sample yet Adjusts gamma and luminance
Depth of Field by Vtastek No sample yet Included fog-blur
Water shader by Vtastek Sample Put in \Morrowind\Data Files\shaders

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Settings for the screencaps in this section:
Mgexe.png Distantland.png

4. Troubleshooting

4.A Plugin master file dependency fix

If you see this error, follow this tutorial.

Plugin master file dependency fix.jpeg