A Green Iguana with new textures from the Planet Zoo Extraordinary Exhibits Remaster mod.
Image via Nexusmods

Top 10 Best Planet Zoo Mods & How to Install Them

Trying to create the ultimate zoo? You'll want to check out these amazing Planet Zoo mods.

Planet Zoo is inherently a game bustling with creative potential, but player-made content takes it to even higher places. If you want to build the sanctuary of your dreams, read on below for my ranking of the best Planet Zoo mods. I’ll also show you how to install them because I’m nice like that.

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How to Install Mods for Planet Zoo

There’s no better place to find mods for this game than at NexusMods. Every entry on this list is from there and I’ve made sure to include some handy links below for easy access. If you’ve never used the website before, the process isn’t as intimidating as it looks.

  1. Your first step is to create an account to gain access to the mods they host, whose contents are within a zip file. Each in the list below has an option to download through Vortex or Manually. The first creates a more automated system, but it does require an additional program to download. I recommend going with a manual download for simplicity’s sake.
  2. After they’re downloaded, you’ll need to find the “ovldata” folder within your Planet Zoo game folder. You can find it quickly by going on Steam, checking the game’s Properties, and clicking on Local Files.
  3. Open the win64 folder and inside you’ll find the ovldata folder. All that remains is to extract each mod’s contents and paste them into the folder.

The Best Planet Zoo Mods to Download Right Now

10. Faux Rocks Pack

A water-based enclosure surrounded by different rocks from the Faux Rocks Pack mod.
Image via Nexusmods

Aesthetics play a big part in every zoo, which is why Faux Rocks Pack is a wonderful mod. It adds over 80 different rock pieces to be used as decoration or within your habitats. I’ve found that there’s enough variety to truly use these anywhere, ensuring your various enclosures look unique and distinct for their inhabitants.

9. Grizzly Bear Remaster and New Variants

A changed model of a Planet Zoo bear from the Grizzly Bear Remaster and New Variants mod.
Image via Nexusmods

With this being a simulator, it makes sense that some players prefer things to be as realistic as possible. The Grizzly Bear Remaster and New Variants mod provides these North American animals with a more natural design while also adding new variants and potential colors. I’ll admit that I do like the chubbier design from the base game, but it’s nice to have the option to play with the more realistic look.

8. Extraordinary Exhibits Remaster

A grey and yellow-spotted Burmeister's Leaf Frog from the Planet Zoo Extraordinary Exhibits Remaster mod.
Image via Nexusmods

While most Planet Zoo mods overhaul existing creatures or add new animals for the larger outdoor enclosures, there’s not many for the smaller exhibit animals. Aiming to fix that is the wonderful Extraordinary Exhibits Remaster. Not only does this improve the textures for these species, but it also massively expands it with 40+ additional variants. This is typically an area I would forget about, but this mod turned it into a favorite of mine.

7. Dodo

A Dodo standing in an enclosure from the Dodo - Extinct New Species mod.
Image via Nexusmods

Everyone’s favorite bird and symbol of extinct animals can join your zoo with the Dodo – Extinct New Species mod. This unique addition has separate models for its different life stages, preferences, and UI images. It could be my bias speaking since I like the Dodo, but I’m always happy to add these birds and keep them thriving. Now I can make my zoo of nothing but Dodos. I can already see the huge queues!

6. Tyrannosaurus Rex – New Species

A large T-Rex from the Planet Zoo Tyrannosaurus Rex mod.
Image via Nexusmods

There are plenty of Planet Zoo mods like the previous entry that add extinct animals, but none quite like Tyrannosaurus Rex – New Species. Any dino lover is sure to enjoy having the most iconic of the prehistoric beasts added to their enclosures. While I’m equally happy and sad that they’re not as deadly as they are in Jurassic World Evolution 2, I could never say no to having one of these in my zoo.

5. Unicorn

A group of three unicorns from the Planet Zoo Unicorn mod.
Image via Nexusmods

If you want something arguably more outrageous than creatures long extinct, head into the fantastical with Unicorn – New Species. The horned equine is based on the Plains Zebra and comes with its own variants and Zoopedia information. Others like me who played the original Zoo Tycoon are sure to notice some influence from there as well.

4. Planet Zoo Aquaria Pack Beta

A lineup of fish props on a wall from the Planet Zoo Aquaria Pack.
Image via Nexusmods

Next on the list is the Planet Zoo Aquaria Pack Beta. This is part of a much larger modpack that will expand the aquatic aspects of the game. While there are numerous ocean-based animals available to download and planned to be a part of that modpack, this specifically adds various props to use. To be more precise, it holds 400+ props including coral, statues, and of course, fish. Your aquariums will look completely different thanks to this behemoth of a mod.

Even though it only recently came out, myself and plenty of others have looked forward to it for a while. I recommend checking out the currently standalone animal mods as well to fill up the aquariums. I enjoy Planet Zoo so much more with these massive watery additions, and your zoo’s visitors are sure to, as well.

3. Freebuild – Expanded Building

Changed Planet Zoo creative tools from the Freebuild Expanded Building mod.
Image via Nexusmods

I can’t deny that I was a little let down by some of the building limitations and how often things would be obstructed in the base game. That’s the basis for Freebuild – Expanded Building. Not only does it remove the “obstructed” limitation, but it also massively expands your building options. Terrain tools have a much larger maximum size while paths can be built longer and narrower. Whether you want to make something a bit wacky or simply more realistic, this mod allows for far more creativity. It’s a must-have in my eyes.

2. PZPLUS – Planet Zoo Plus

Configurable file settings from the Planet Zoo PZplus mod.
Image via Nexusmods

No mod expands the base version of Planet Zoo more than PZPLUS – Planet Zoo Plus. In addition to some quality-of-life additions such as unlocked ride limits and increased guest view distance, I’m also a fan of the increased facility ranges and UI Sorting changes. The cherry on top is that all the features and changes it adds are individually toggleable. As much as I enjoy mods that provide a complete overhaul, I prefer ones like these that let me tweak which features I want to use.


A cobra on a green background - the logo of the ASCE mod.
Image via Nexusmods

Last, but certainly not least is ACSE. This is arguably the most important Planet Zoo mod since it allows other mods to make changes to the game engine. Every entry on this list as well as many other mods won’t work unless I have ACSE downloaded too. For being a simple installation and the basis for so many other works, I have to give it the top spot.

That covers my list of the best Planet Zoo mods. If you would like to see what else we recommend from Nexusmods, check out our list of the best Granblue Fantasy Relink mods.

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Samuel Moreno
Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.