Modding:Using XNB mods
An XNB mod replaces some of your game's .xnb files to change the game in some way. This is an older type of mod, and is no longer recommended.
- 1 FAQs
- 2 Alternatives using Content Patcher
- 3 Using XNB mods
- 4 Troubleshooting
What are XNB mods?
XNB mods work by replacing your game's data files (which have a .xnb extension). For example, let's say you want to change Abigail's portraits; you can replace Content/Portraits/Abigail.xnb with a modded version to do it. (See editing XNB files for more info on the XNB format.)
Why are they discouraged?
XNB mods have a lot of limitations, often conflict with each other, usually break when the game updates, are hard to install and remove, etc.
Consider only using SMAPI mods and content packs. These have several benefits over XNB mods:
|feature||XNB mods||SMAPI mods||SMAPI content packs|
|ease of installation||✘ different for every mod||✓ drop into Mods|
|ease of uninstallation||✘ manually restore original files||✓ remove from Mods|
|update checks||✘ none||✓ automatic alert in SMAPI console|
|compatibility checks||✘ none|| ✓ incompatible mods are disabled before they cause problem|
✓ compatibility list is regularly updated with updates and workarounds
|mod compatibility||✘ each file can only be replaced once||✓ almost universal||✓ high|
|translation support||✘ difficult to translate||✓ built-in translation API||(depends on the content pack)|
|game compatibility||✘ broken by most game updates|| ✓ SMAPI automatically rewrites many mods for compatibility|
✓ open-source mods are updated quickly
Do they work on Linux, Mac, Windows, or consoles?
XNB mods work equally on Linux, Mac, and Windows. Consoles aren't supported.
Can they corrupt my save?
Yes, but it's uncommon. Make sure you back up your save files occasionally, and remove any custom content before uninstalling an XNB mod. In most cases, you can fix save corruption by undoing the last save.
Do they disable Steam achievements?
Alternatives using Content Patcher
Content Patcher is a SMAPI mod that makes XNB-like changes with all the benefits of SMAPI content packs. Many XNB mods have a Content Patcher equivalent, or have been updated unofficially to use it. Consider using these instead where available.
Modders: when migrating XNB mods, only use Action: Load if you actually need to replace the whole file (e.g. portrait mods). Don't use Action: Load for dialogue mods or to change a small part of a file!
|mod name||original author||Content Patcher equivalent||links|
|Abigail Portrait With Subtle Bow and More Accurate Bow Sprites||Androxilogin||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.1)||original|
|Animal Crossing Digspot - Worm Replacement||yuiidragon||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.1)||original|
|Badass Sam||Apogirl02||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Bath House Hot Spring||MiniPantsu||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Bathroom After 2nd House Upgrade||DevilBro||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.4)||original|
|Bernese Mountain Dog||Gweniaczek||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Better Artifact Digspots||joyous1ariella||Bouncy Chests by ShneekeyTheLost (1.0)||original|
|Better Grass Visibility||mmanlapat||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.1)||original|
|Better Void Chicken||vvillow||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Bird Replacments for Babies and Toddlers||Ankokou||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Darker Wood and Gold Craftables||Eemie||unofficial update by Fyn (1.0)||original|
|Emily Sprite and Portrait Overhaul||tolerdesigns||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.0)||original|
|Eemie Classy Interior||Eemie||unofficial update by Asher404 (1.0)||original|
|Haywrites Narrative Overhaul - Year One Edition||Haywrites||unofficial update by Asher404 (1.0)||original|
|Improved Shed Mod||wintrparkgrl||unofficial update by ShneekeyTheLost (1.0)||original|
|Kitty Scarecrow Replacements||Jinxiewinxie||unofficial update by f4iTh (1.0)||original|
|Linus With Clothes||Goodledoodoo||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Marshmallow Unicorn||summonercat||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Matching Slime Hutch||SlushieSlowpoke||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.0-Final)||original|
|More Accurate Dwarf||spacedoggity||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.0)||original|
|Nerdy Hot Maru||tolerdesigns||unofficial update by MouseyPounds (1.2)||original|
|No More Bowlegs||Chrysanthe||unofficial update by f4iTh (1.0)||original|
|Non-Default Replacement Chickens||Lavapulse||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Realistic Animal Replacements||Crucifigo||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Rocky Junimo Hut||Gweniaczek||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Sebastian - New Hair and Moto Jacket||ktruong||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Slime Animals||Sabishi1985||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
|Spouse Rooms Redesigned||endermaryn||unofficial update by Fyn (6.0)||original|
|Tokiri's Pet Replacements - Dog (Fox)||Tokiri||unofficial update by magicalgirl44 (1.0)||original|
|Tokiri's Pet Replacements - Horse (Ridable wolf)||Tokiri||unofficial update by magicalgirl44 (1.0)||original|
|Villagers Anime Portrait||Bunnihime||unofficial update by f4iTh (1.0)||original|
|Yet Another Dog Mod||captain kaltz+||unofficial update by paradigmnomad (1.0)||original|
Using XNB mods
If you're looking for mods, the most popular are a good place to start.
You can find mods in a few places:
|Nexus Mods|| Most mods are released here.|
(Registering an account is free, just don't choose a package when you register.)
|Chucklefish mods||Some mods are released here (most are also on Nexus).|
|Stardew Valley forums||Some mods are posted directly in the forums. Some hidden gems are only here, but finding them can be a challenge.|
Before you download a mod...
- Does it work with the latest version of the game? XNB mods may be outdated and cause problems. Try checking the mod description or comments. Generally avoid any XNB mod not updated after the last game update.
- Don't download from stardewvalleymods.net. (Mods here are usually outdated, since the site republishes mods without permission for ad revenue.)
Installation is different for each mod; check its mod description for details. But in general:
- Download the XNB mod and unzip it somewhere (not in your game folder!).
- It should contain some .xnb files.
- Find your game folder.
- Replace the existing .xnb files under Content with the ones from the mod. Make sure you replace the correct files! There are different files with the same name (like Content/Data/hats.xnb and Content/Characters/hats.xnb), and replacing the wrong file will cause in-game errors or crashes.
Either restore the original files that mod replaced (hope you kept track!), or reset your game files.
Reset content files
If you know which mod caused the problem, uninstall it.
If you're not sure, the simplest option is:
- reset your game files;
- reinstall each XNB mod one by one;
- test after each install to make sure it didn't cause problems.
See Modding:Player FAQs#Troubleshooting for more suggestions.