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How to upload your mod to Steam Workshop


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Xenonauts is now compatible with Steam Workshop. Mod creators are able to upload their mods to Steam workshop and reach a far larger audience than previously; this post explains the upload and release process.

These are the simple instructions:

  1. Create your mod
  2. Ensure your mod conforms to our modular system
  3. Create a "modinfo" xml file for your mod
  4. Zip it up
  5. Use modmanager.exe to upload it to Steam
  6. Release the mod via the Steam Workshop website

You can download an example mod here that will be a useful reference for how to create your own mod. This is the Soviet Weapon mod; it changes the graphics for several ballistic weapons and activates the AK-47 Xenonaut sprites: http://www.xenonauts.com/devfiles/SovietWeaponPack_v1.zip (the weapons.xml file should be opened in Excel)

Here are the detailed instructions:

1) Create your mod: This is the hardest and most time-consuming part of the process - creating a mod that people will want to play. Make sure you read the stickies and resources in this forum and then get creative!

2) Ensure your mod conforms to our modular system: Our "modular system" is what allows the game to simultaneously load two mods that both alter the same file without getting confused - if both mods alter the exact same value, the game will take the settings from whichever mod the user set to have the highest priority.

You can find the documentation for this system here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/11433-Documentation-Modular-mods-system

3) Create a modinfo.xml file for your mod: The modinfo.xml file gives the game launcher information on the contents of the zip file that it has downloaded from Steam; if you don't have one then your mod will not appear in the launcher mod manager even once it has been downloaded to the correct directory.

The format is pretty simple to understand - you can just re-purpose the modinfo file in the example mod if you want.

4) Zip your mod up: You need to create a .zip file that contains your modinfo file and the mod contents. The archive should be treated as the /assets/ directory, so if you have a file that needs to go to /assets/ then just put it in the root of the .zip archive.

Alternatively, if a file needs to go in /assets/strings/ then you need to create a /strings/ directory to include in your zip file.

5) Use ModManager.exe to upload your file: ModManager.exe is the propgram used to upload or remove files from Steam's servers. Here are the instructions on how to use it:

  • Go to your Xenonauts install directory and open ModManager.exe
  • Open Steam desktop client and log your account in
  • Click on Steam >> Connect in ModManager.exe
  • Fill in your mod details in the Upload Mod tab of ModManager
  • Click "Start Uploading"
  • (You can remove or edit mods using the Edit Existing Mod tab)

6) Release the mod via Steam's website: You can access the Steam Workshop for Xenonauts here: http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=223830

If you are logged into the website, you should be able to find the mods you have created. The sidebar allows you to edit your files; it is important to set the visibility of the mod to public once you are ready to release it!

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

It should be mentioned that if you are updating your already existing mod in steam, it is also very important that you name the zip file differently than in the prior version before pickin it in the ModManager tool (see point 5).

If you don´t rename the zip before the re-upload steam will not update, (no new "change notes" appears for you workshop item in steam) and the ModManger tool will just confirm with a "mod updated successfully" while the servers side zip was not overwritten. Found out by trial and error...

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What is the file size limit to upload to the steam workshop? I´ve been working the last weeks on my mod and now I get the "file size to big" error in the modmanager uploading tool :(

 currently the mod´s zip file is 126mb

Edited by Casaubon
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I  think it´s rather 75mb, lacking offical information about this is really a pain in the ass, esp. if you have to cut away work worth several of hours and to rely on trial and error.


edit: sorry for the rant! it seems the Xenonaut Mod Manager Tool threw bad errors such as "file size too large". Could upload files now that are slightly larger than 75mb after several attempts.

Edited by Casaubon
failed to verify own claim
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