Nexus Mods announced a policy change regarding the hundreds of thousands of mod files it hosts. Starting in August, modders uploading mod files to the site will no longer be able to delete them. Instead, modders will only be able to archive their files and hide them from users’ eyes.
If this sounds strange to you, then you are not alone, and some modders are unhappy with this. However, there is a reason for this, even if no one agrees that it is a good reason. Nexus Mods has been working on a feature since 2019 called “collections”. The collections will be carefully curated lists of mods that any Nexus Mod user can create and share.
“The goal of the project our team is working on is to simplify modding so that the average user can spend less time worrying about mod conflicts and more time playing with mods. Using Vortex (Nexus Mods mod manager), a mod user can create a carefully curated list of mods and then load that list as a collection, including the mod load order, patches and fixes used, conflict resolution, etc. Then another Vortex user can add this collection, and Vortex will download and install everything from this list. “
– reads a long post on Nexus Mods.
This sounds like a handy feature, especially since there can be hundreds of mod lists for games like Skyrim, and it would be nice to be able to easily share those lists among other users. But Nexus Mods says that in order for collections to work smoothly, modders shouldn’t permanently delete their files:
“For our collection system, this means that no matter how much effort and time has gone into creating a collection of tens or hundreds of mods, as soon as one or more files in that collection are deleted by the mod’s author – for whatever reason – essentially a collection will immediately be “dead” until the curator can replace or delete a specific file. “
The solution that Nexus Mods have come up with is to no longer allow deletion of downloaded mod files. Instead, a modder who wants to delete their files will only be able to archive them. The files will not be directly accessible or uploaded to users or even displayed on the site, although the zipped files will still be available through the collections feature.
While collections can be a great feature, it’s not hard to see why some mod authors are so upset. It can definitely be frustrating when a long chain of dependencies breaks due to a mod being removed, but if you are a modder and decide that you just don’t want your mod to be available in Nexus Mods anymore, for whatever reason, then obviously you should be able to uninstall it (as you can on ModDB or the Steam Workshop – the latter of which also has a mod collection feature).
As for the files that the mod’s author wants to delete because it’s broken or no longer compatible, Nexus Mods says it will investigate a system where a corrupted file can be deleted individually at the author’s request. Nexus Mods administrators will also continue to delete mod files on their own if mod files violate its rules (for example, when using resources from another author without permission).
Deletion isn’t the only problem some modders have with the upcoming collection system. On Reddit and Discord Nexus Mods, some developers believe that collections are diverting users away from individual mod pages (where modders can collect donations for their work) in favor of simply using the collection (which could result in fewer donations). Some would like to be able to decide if their mod will appear in the collection, but Nexus Mods says there will be no subscription system for the same reason that modders won’t be able to delete files.
Some modders have already given up on Nexus Mods altogether, such as the Skyrim and New Vegas modder who uploaded their mods to ModDB and called the Nexus Mods a “thief’s den”. Another plans to delete his mods, but may re-download them after seeing the situation develop, stating, “I would like to have a collection of mods here, but also have all the freedom I had as a mod author.”
Other modders seem to be more or less in agreement with the new policy. “Curated high-quality mod lists are the best thing that ever happened to modding Skyrim, and they are the best thing that ever happened to me as an author,” says a modder on Reddit, who found a new audience for his mods after being included in mod lists for Wabbajack. , the Skyrim modlist installer.