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Adding Mods to your Starbound Server

Last updated: 06/14/19
written by  Nodecraft Staff

Get the Mods

Non-workshop mods are installed the exact same way on the server as on your computer; just use the File Manager to access the server's mods folder. The easiest way to get Steam Workshop mods is described below, and starts with subscribing to the mods in Steam Workshop, and letting steam download them automatically to the client on your local computer.

Subscribing to the Mods

Navigate to the workshop for Starbound on Steam, find the mods you're interested in and click on them to open up their workshop page. Then click the green "+ Subscribe" button. It's that simple.

Subscribing to Starbound mods on the Steam Workshop

When it's subscribed to, the button changes to say "Subscribed" with a checkmark, and steam has begin to automatically download the mods in the background, to the local computer files. For a large number of mods, you might have to wait a little while for steam to finish downloading them all.

Find the Mods on your Local Computer

To find where steam stores the mods it just downloaded, please do the following:

  • Right-click on "Starbound" in your game library, and the menu shown below will pop up. Click on "properties" at the bottom.

Starbound game properties within Steam

On the next pop-up window, click on the "Local Files" tab across the top, and then on "Browse Local Files".

Starbound browse local files in Steam

And you will see this view of the game files on your local computer, as shown below.

In the list of files, you will see a "mods" folder. That unfortunately is not where steam put the workshop mods that it downloads automatically. The "mods" folder is where you add your own manually placed mods.

To get to where steam hides the mods, click on the arrow in the upper left to move up one level.

Starbound mods folder location

In the next level up, you will see a list of all the Steam games installed, and you will click that same arrow one more time to go up another level.

and you should see this…

Starbound mods folder location with workshop

The Workshop folder is where Steam stores all the content that it downloads for all games. Click on the folder to open it.

  • Then click on the folder Content.

  • Inside Content are folders with numbers on them. Those are the master ID numbers of Steam games.

The ID number for Starbound is 211820, so click on that folder.

Inside there, you will see a folder for every mod that you subscribed to. They are numbered with the Steam workshop ID for that mod. Inside each folder is a file called "contents.pak". And that's where we run into a small wrinkle that must be fixed at this stage…

When you move the mods to the server, they can't be left inside those numbered folders. The "contents.pak" files all have to be directly in the mods directory on the server, they cannot be left in those folders.

And they can't all share the same name, so they will have to be renamed at this point.

Rename the contents.pak Files:

Every contents.pak needs to be renamed. The easiest and simplest thing is to rename them to the workshop ID on the folder they're contained in. We will be improving our control panel to better support this in the future, with some tools to improve the management of these mods.

As you rename them, you can move them out of their folders (you won't want or need those folder, just the .pak files).

Upload the .pak Files to the Server

Once you have them all renamed, you can select them all, and use a utility to zip them up.

Then upload that zip file to the server, to the folder /mods and you are done.

When the server is restarted next, it will attempt to load all the .pak files in the /mods folder.

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