The main tool to use to manage Borderlands 2 / Pre-Sequel mods, and prepare your game for running mods, is the Borderlands Community Mod Manager, or BLCMM.
Click here to download and install BLCMM (Most Recent Version: v1.1.8, on November 9, 2018)
BLCMM will auto-update to the latest version, if needed, from its splash screen.
Preparing Borderlands for Modding, Method 1 (BLCMM, Currently Broken!)
Note: Since the April 2nd (2019) patch to BL2 and TPS, BLCMM’s hex editing (described here) is broken. You can still use BLCMM for everything else it does, but for now, the hex editing described here will not work. Move ahead to Method 2 for a version which does the trick in the meantime!
The first time you start up BLCMM, it will launch a dialog to help you prepare BL2 and TPS for accepting mods. The main two things which have to happen is hex-editing the game to accept the console commands we need, and setting up a console key to use in the game. It will look like this:
If you don’t have those options, there should be some text describing what to
do to fix it. Click the
Apply button for
Hexedit executable, and then
choose a console key from the dropdown. Then hit the
OK button and your
game should be ready to run mods!
If you want to return to this screen at any time, you can get to it with the
Tools -> Setup game files for mods menu option.
NOTE: Cracked versions of Borderlands are very often not able to run mods properly, since BL2+TPS modding relies on using Gearbox’s “hotifx” mechanisms to do their work. Also, the Russian-localized version of BL2 can’t currently be patched.
Preparing Borderlands for Modding, Method 2 (Hex Multitool)
Another way to hex-edit your BL2/TPS executables to enable the console fully is to use c0dycode’s Hex Multitool. The Hex Multitool is a utility which allows you to make several changes to the Borderlands executable files, including the console changes. It can’t be used to manage mods like BLCMM does, so you’ll still need BLCMM, but it’s a good way to do these edits (especially as of April 2019, when BLCMM’s hex editing is broken).
The current Hex Multitool version can be found here: BL Hex-Multitool .NET 4.5.zip (requires .NET 4.5)
Because of how BL2/TPS modding works, all of your mods that you use have to
be combined into a single file to run from the console. Some folks start
with a bigger modpack like UCP, and then add more mods to that
file. You can get some information about those modpacks on the
Major Mod Packs page. If you’re using one of those modpacks,
save it in your game’s
Binaries directory. When you open BLCMM, it should
find them automatically, though if they’re named something different you
may have to
File -> Open to get to it.
If you don’t want to use a bigger mod pack, that’s fine - you can choose
File -> New file in BLCMM to create a new file. Just save the file in the
Binaries directory (with a name like
patch.txt if you want to
stay consistent with the usual names) and use that as the base.
From this point forward, when you open BLCMM, it will open your main patch
file, and you can use
File -> Import mod file(s) to import new mods. They’ll
be stored in a
mods folder, and you can toggle them on/off with the checkbox
next to their names. Use
File -> Save (or
Ctrl-S) to save the patch file
after each change! See Finding Mods for some tips on finding
mods to use.
Note that if BLCMM was able to detect your Borderlands installation directory,
its Open/Save dialogs will have a button on the side to go directly to your
Binaries directory, so you shouldn’t have to find it yourself:
Actually Running Your Patch File
Once you have your patch file in the game’s
Binaries directory, you should
be able to execute it from the console.
Windows Users: You must execute the mod from the main menu. Wait a few
seconds for the game to talk to the Gearbox servers to do a bit of setup, then
hit the key that you configured for the console, and then type in
exec patch.txt (or
exec reborn.txt, or whatever the filename was that you
used). Depending on how your system saved the file, you may need to end up
doing something like
exec patch.txt.txt instead).
Mac/Linux Users: You must execute the mod from the Press any key screen,
but you have to have been to the main menu at least once first. Once you get
to the main menu, wait a few seconds for the game to talk to the Gearbox servers,
Esc and then “yes” to go back out to that Press any key screen.
Then hit your console key and use the same
exec commands that Windows users
use. Note that there are a few extra gotchas when running mods on Mac/Linux.
If you are running UCP for Borderlands 2, you will get a message on the screen telling you to check your character’s skill tree in-game to make sure that the patch applied properly, otherwise you will probably see nothing.
NOTE: Whether or not you use UCP, Reborn, or any other combination of mods,
they should always be stored in your one single patch file, and you should
only ever execute a single file from the console. Never
files one after the other – just use the one.
If you have any problems running mods or suspect that something’s not working properly, see the Community / Support section.