Modding Microsoft Flight Simulator with Vortex

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Revision as of 14:02, 22 September 2020 by Pickysaurus (talk | contribs) (How it works)
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Microsoft Flight Simulator

From light planes to wide-body jets, fly highly detailed and accurate aircraft in the next generation of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Test your piloting skills against the challenges of night flying, real-time atmospheric simulation and live weather in a dynamic and living world.

Released: 2020

Genre: Simulation

Engine: Custom

Nexus Mods

This guide is designed to help you set up Vortex to install and manage mods for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

How it works

When installing an add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator, Vortex will look for the manifest.json file which usually marks the main folder.

If it can't find a manifest.json or a layout.json file, Vortex will assume that it's a mod that is intended to modify the vanilla files in the game. It will then compare the files in the archive to those in official game folder to try and work out which aircraft it is intended for. If Vortex can't find a relevant aircraft, it will present a dialog box asking the user to choose which aircraft to install it to. Once the app knows which aircraft the mod is intended to edit, it will automatically create a community folder mod using the files provided.

In the event that Vortex can't work out which aircraft the mod is intended to edit, it will show an error message informing the user of the problem with the archive.

In our research, we discovered that Microsoft Flight Simulator loads the mods from the Community folder in alphabetical order, so Vortex will assign each mod an index between AAA-ZZZ. This index is used to control the load order of your mods, which can be altered from the Load Order tab inside Vortex by dragging the entry higher or lower to adjust the priority. To update the installed files you must deploy each time a change takes place here. This is especially useful if two mods edit the same thing and you want to control which changes actually appear in game.

In addition to this, Vortex will automatically merge configuration and localisation files to prevent collisions and ensure all your content shows up properly in game. This is done each time mods are deployed and requires no user input. If you look in your Community folder, you'll see a mod called ZZZZ-merged-config, this does not appear in the load order (as it should always come last) and contains the merged files to overwrite those found in mods loaded before it.

Supported mod types

Type Description
Official Mods These are mods created with the Official Blade & Sorcery SDK and can be loaded directly by the game. These can be identified by the manifest.json file located at the root of the mod archive. Each mod will be placed in its own folder in BladeAndSorcery\BladeAndSorcery_Data\StreamingAssets.

Below is the recommended file structure to use when uploading a mod of this type:

Overwrite Mods If neither manifest.json or mod.json are present in the archive, Vortex will install the mod as an overwrite to the files found in BladeAndSorcery\BladeAndSorcery_Data\StreamingAssets\Default.

Packing your mod for Vortex


Vortex is telling me my mods are outdated, why is this happening?

Each time you install a mod, Vortex will compare the version of the game that the mod was designed for with the currently installed version of Blade & Sorcery. If the mod was created for an older version, it may not be loaded properly by the game. The mod may still work but it is advisable to install the latest version.

When I install some mods Vortex says are not compatible, why is this?

Prior to Update 6 of Blade & Sorcery, a community tool known as ModLoader by MulleDK19 was used to load mods. At the time of writing, this tool has not been updated to be compatible with U6 and any mods that depend on it will not work. Please check to see if there is a newer version of the mod.

Can I stop the admin prompts when deploying mods?

The admin prompts are caused by Vortex's Symlink deployment. This is often selected as the default, however, you can switch to Hardlink deployment under "Settings", then "Mods". You can learn more about the different deployment options here.