What Makes PC Gaming Unique? Part 1 - Mods Make the Games you Love Better

There are a few thing which distinguish the PC platform from any other platform out there. Mods are one, but what makes them so special? And what makes them the life blood of PC gaming?

Without talking about frame rate, resolution, power, price, or the amount/quality of games, I want to talk about what makes the PC platform unique. PC isn't just Windows, it encompasses all Operating Systems and hardware. Even ARM CPUs, which are mostly found in mobile devices but are starting to make their way into cheaper Laptops.

This is how I want to play Skyrim.

This is the first part of a mini-column about what makes PC unique, this part will tackle mods.

Part 2 - What Makes PC Gaming Unique? Part 2 - Swap, Refit, Improve, Personalize, Customize

Part 3 - What Makes PC Gaming Unique? Part 3 - The Vocal Are Not the Majority

What Can Mods do For a Game?

...they give a game which would last 200 hours the ability to last 500+ hours more.

I've recently been playing Skyrim, again. And wanted to go through and sort out all my mods, so I started up the game, and created a no mod clean save. After carefully uninstalling all the mods. Accomplished by using Nexus Mod Manager and uninstalling a few mods, loading and saving each time I did this to get a clean save. When done, I deleted the Skyrim folder to make sure it was fully clean.

I then loaded the game back up, just to have a look and made sure it still worked, the only way to describe what I saw is pure shock. By the lack of foliage, the lack of fancy lighting, swords are now paddles, I only have 'boring' armor, NPC faces are no longer animated, I don't have any fancy swords, etc.

This got me thinking about mods and the modding community, in general. 

Mods can make games look better

The first mods you will often see for games are textures or lighting. These simply improve fidelity of textures or add fancy lighting effects. They don't do much else apart from that. They allow you to show how powerful your PC is, by recording and playing back at 60FPS, or taking some beautiful screenshot. Some who do this are just show offs, others want to push their hardware as far as it can go.

Walking to Solitude never looked so good.

Mods extend the life of the game

The best mods are the complete conversions, in the case of RPGs large quest mods, or new lands mods (these are new areas you can explore, such as Falskaar).

These lengthen the life of the game, they give a game which would last 200 hours the ability to last 500+ hours more. I played Skyrim and Fallout 3 without mods for around 200 hours each.

 Modders always look to the stars! They can accomplish anything.

The ability to fix niggles in the game

Skyrim has many Unofficial Patches which fix little things in the game that Bethesda have overlooked. They add stability for further mod support, as Bethesda games can sometimes become very unstable when using many mods, even if they are all compatible with each other. Tools to allow the most novice user to mod are also available, such as Nexus Mod Manager or the Steam Workshop.

Closing mods comments

From making things even shinier, to extending the life of a game, to fixing small niggles, creating 250 hour new lands mods, new quests, even new weapons or powers, modders can do almost anything they want. They live right at the heart of the PC community and should be celebrated more. Some have even gained jobs from the modding work they have done.

So three cheers for modders and the mods they create!

Hip hip hurrah!

Hip hip hurrah!

Hip hip hurrah!

What do you think about modding? Does it even interest you? Let me know with writing bellow.

Featured Correspondent

-- Games are a passion as well as a hobby. Other writing of mine found on on www.etnl.co.uk

Published Apr. 17th 2018
  • Stan Rezaee
    Featured Contributor
    Mods are the reason I've put over 200 hours of gametime in Fallout: New Vegas. I've added mods that give new weapons, reskin the weapons to make it realistic or make the NCR and the Legion look more like a modern military force. Need to also look for some Skyrim mods.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    I feel the same way about Skyrim. I'd played roughly 250 hours no mods. Now... it's WAY more, mostly because the new lands mods. Like Falskaar.
  • StayNoLonger
    Featured Contributor
    Skyrim: Mod til it breaks. Mods are the reason everyone is forward to GTA V on PC, the possibilities are almost endless. Hopefully no one will expand too much on Trevor's character as I don't trust the internet in not making something creepy.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    I want to see modders push Trevor as far as possible. In crazy and murder spree ways, not the other one.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I so LOVE my Skyrim mods!!!
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    Can't forget about DotA, it was a user created mod turned into the largest multiplayer genre in gaming today.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Very true.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Of course! And the Watch Dogs mod, Dark Souls Fix mod? Many other mods from many other games.
    Arma, Witcher, TES, Fallout, etc etc
    All series which are helped with their mod support.

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