Running Mods

This page deals with “traditional” text-based Borderlands 2 / Pre-Sequel mods of the sort that are found on the BLCMods Github. There’s a newer kind of mod called a Python SDK Mod which has a completely different method of installation and management. See that page for more info on those!

For “traditional” text-based mods, though the main tool to use to manage them, 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: v1.2.0, on May 22, 2020)

BLCMM will auto-update to the latest version, if needed, from its splash screen.

Preparing Borderlands for Modding, Method 1 - Steam Only (BLCMM)

Note: BLCMM cannot currently hex-edit the Epic Games Store version of BL2 or TPS. EGS users should use Method 2 (Hex Multitool) instead. Steam users can still use either, depending on your preferences.

Before you start running mods, you need to hex edit your BL2/TPS executables to enable the console fully. One way to do this easily is inside the Borderlands Community Mod Manager itself.

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:

BLCMM Setup Game Files Dialog

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 - Steam or EGS (Hex Multitool)

Alternatively, you can also do this using 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 supports several hexedits which BLCMM doesn’t do, such as setting maximum currency limits and backpack size, etc.

Hex Multitool doesn’t manage mods like BLCMM does, though, so you’ll still need BLCMM for that part.

The current Hex Multitool version can be found here: BL Hex-Multitool .NET (requires .NET 4.5)

Managing Mods

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 game’s 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:

BLCMM Binaries Buttons

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. You have to do this every time you launch the game.

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 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, then hit 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 Users: The “native” Linux versions of BL2/TPS have become rather out of date, unfortunately – neither have the most recent patches from Gearbox, and BL2 in particular doesn’t have the latest story DLC (Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary). That DLC made some changes to the game data, and many mods needed to be updated to account for the new data, and so won’t work totally properly on the native Linux version. As such, it’s actually recommended to run the Windows versions of BL2/TPS using Proton, rather than the native versions. To do so, right click on the game in Steam, go to Properties, and select Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool. Choose the latest Proton version, and you should be good to go! You can follow the Windows instructions above. If you choose to use the native Linux version anyway, all of the advice for the Mac section applies as well, so be sure to read that, and click through to the wiki for the extra gotchas.

When running most major modpacks you will get a message on the screen telling you to check your BAR page in-game to make sure that the mods applied properly. If they did you should see a message like this:

Running UCP Message

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 exec multiple 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.

Uninstalling Mods

If you’ve run a mod, but decided you don’t actually want to play with it. To “uninstall” the mod, just restart the game. Mods don’t make permanent changes.

If you’ve merged multiple mods into a single file using BLCM, and you only want to remove one of them, you can simply disable that category. To properly remove it from the file, enable structural edits in BLCMM’s settings, then delete should be an option whenever you right click a category.

Other Links

For information on some of the major mod packs, see Major Mod Packs. For information on how to find other mods to use, see Finding Mods.