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 & MGE

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Patch name Format Notes
Morrowind Code Patch .EXE Includes 4GB patch
MGE XE latest beta .EXE Link is correct, see "files"

1.D About MGE and downloading shaders

The latest Morrowind graphic extender enables higher resolutions, better shaders, bump-mapping, and much more.
All extra shaders and settings can be downloaded here.
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 with FPS Optimizer Build with MGE XE
500 MHz Intel PIII, Celeron, or AMD Athlon Anything Any modern Intel or 2+ Ghz AMD processor
256MB RAM 2GB RAM 4GB RAM
GeForce2 GTS, Radeon 7500 Anything 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

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

Mod Name Mod Type Notes
Illy's Solsteim Rumour Fix .ESP Adds a filter to topics for Solstheim
Mesh Fix Folder Fixes meshes & UV mapping
Correct Meshes Folder Fixes misc. Meshes
Detailed Correct UV Rocks Folder Better rocks
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
Mesh Improvements Folder Better meshes for clutter
Mesh Improvements Optimized Folder Optimized Meshes
Ingredients Mesh Replacer Folder Meshes for ingredients
Dunmer Lanterns Replacer Folder Meshes for lanterns

2.C Objects & Clutter

Morrowind Xailan 0088.png

Mod Name Mod Format Notes
AOF Containers Folder New barrels, kegstand, wooden bucket, and sacks.
Detailed Tapestries Folder Sharper tapestries
Papill6n various graphics things Folder Replaces a lot of forgotten objects
AST Beds Remastered Folder Replacer for beds
Better Kegstands Folder Replacer for kegstands
Wood Furniture Folder Only textures with "cherry" in the name needed
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
Ket's Swirlwood Furniture retexture Folder Retexture for the fine dunmer furniture

2.D Housing

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Apel's Lighthouse Retexture Folder The lighthouse remade
Imperial Houses and Forts Retexture - Ordo Arkitektora Folder Replaces imperial housing 1 2 3 4
Telvanni - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Plus these 1 2
Shacks Docks and Ships - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replaces docks, shacks & boats 1 2 3
Vivec Normal Mapped for OpenMW Folder OpenMW not required 1 2 3 4
Daedric Ruins - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Replacer for daedric ruins 1 2
Sewers - Arkitektora of Vvardenfell Folder Retexture of sewers
Hlaalu Normal Mapped for OpenMW Folder OpenMW not required 1 2 3
Redoran Bump mapped Folder Replacer for Redoran housing 1
HD Architecture Meshes Folder Only download HAM Skar (2048/4096)
Dwemer Ruins Retexture Folder Retexture of Dwemer ruins
Dwemer Mesh Improvement Folder Remesh of dwemer towers
Full Dwemer Retexture Folder All things dwemer retextured
Stronghold Retexture Folder Stronghold retexture
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 Patch 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
Good clothes Folder & Esp You need all the ESPs and updates 1
Robe Overhaul Folder & Esp Use the basic version
New Gondolier Helm Folder Retexture of gondolier helmets
Unique Finery Replacer UFR Folder & .ESP Install "no robes"-.ESP

2.G Weapons

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Ice Blade of the Monarch PBR Folder Lore-friendly replacer
Mehrunes' Razor PBR Folder PBR prototype not required
Correct Iron Warhammer Folder Brings the warhammer closer to lore

2.H Armor

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes
Unification Compilation: Armory Folder & ESP This can be used standalone
HiRez Armors- Native Styles Folder Update
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"
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
More Realisitc Dwemer Armor Folder Use this if Skyrim style is preferred

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"
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
Silt Strider Replacer Folder New meshes and textures

2.J Flora & Landscape

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Mod Name Mod Format Notes Alternatives
Unification Compilation: Nature Folder & .ESP The ESM is not needed
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 & .ESP Sheogorad flora & landscape
Hackle-lo Fixed Folder New mesh & texture
Tyddy's Landscape Retexture Folder "HQ" version recommended 1 2
Apels Ascadian Isles Retex Folder Texture replacer for the Ascadian isles region
Vurts Bitter Coast Trees II Folder & .ESP This as well
Vurt's BC II Trees Collision Fix (And Other Fixes)_1.0 Folder FPS gain in most cases too
Vurts Grazeland Trees II Folder & .ESP See here if meshes are missing
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 Optional gameplay changes

Mod Name Mod Format Notes
NX9_guards_complete Folder & 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
Chapels of Vvardenfell Folder & ESP Adds imperial chapels
Hold it 1.92 Folder & ESP Makes NPCs hold items, Use the main .ESP.
Passive Cliffracers .ESP Less aggressive cliffracers. Optional
Fun Game Tweaks .ESP Fatigue, combat and magica acts more as Skyrim.
Morrowind Buy A House .ESP Adds houses that can be bought
Sunrise and Sunset Season and Latitude Scaling .ESP Variable sunset and sunrise

2.M Worldspace Edits

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
Caldera Mine Expanded .ESP & Folder Enhances the Caldera Mine area
Wondoors Glow .BSA .ESP & Folder Windows/doors glow during night, register BSA, Patch

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. Generate distant land with all plugins that isn't gameplay-related. Set grass density to 60%.
5. Install the STEP shaders if you haven't already, copy the settings too.
6. 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.
Very low FPS? Consider using Morrowind FPs Optimizer instead of MGE.

3.D Shader library for MGE XE

With additional shaders the game graphics can be further enhanced and customized.

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 (fixed by Ket Golosov) 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

4. Troubleshooting

4.A Plugin master file dependency fix

If you see this error, follow this tutorial.

Plugin master file dependency fix.jpeg