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Available Mods

How to install Mods

Since Alpha 22, Pioneer has had support for modding. This is done by allowing core game data to be added to or given preference by data in your userdir (that is, 'My Docs/Pioneer/mods' for Windows, '~/.pioneer/mods' for Linux, and '~/Library/Application Support/Pioneer/mods' for OSX).

Once you have downloaded a mod, you simply place the .zip file in the /mods folder described above. There is no need to extract the files.

If a file in a .zip is identically named with one found in the Main pioneer/data directory, the version in the .zip will be used. You can use this fact to easily modify the core game files of Pioneer

This method can be used for any file under the main Pioneer/data directory and applies to ships, buildings and stations, systems, music, fonts, textures, whatever.

However, there are still some mods not packaged in the mod format (.zip). Overtime these are being repackaged by members of the Pioneer community, but in case you have a mod that is not in the correct format then the data in these style of mods must be placed in the correct folder within your main Pioneer/data directory and not in the mods directory described above. But be warned, make a back up of the files you are about to overwrite as this can not be undone and if you do want to return to a 'vanilla' Pioneer, you will have to re-install Pioneer.

List of known Mods

Overtime all the mods here can also be found on the Pioneer Mods page at sourceforge

Current known Mod Packages
Mod Name Mod Description Author(s) Version Tested with Pioneer* Size Download link
Graveyard Example of bundling multiple files in a mod. Adds a custom system "Graveyard" (up and to the right of Sol) and a script that does something when you jump there. RobN 1.0 20131229 1kb
RedSol Example of replacing a core file. Replaces the system def for Sol with one that has a red star. RobN 1.0 Alpha22 1kb
Skyboxes Nebula backgrounds when in space pebblegarden 1.0 2015 8Mb [1]
Lanner ship The Lanner ship unclear 1.0 2015 1.58 Mb [2]
Vuzz's Milkyway skybox Vuzz's skybox is the most realistic version of the Milky Way for Pioneer. impaktor 20150912 1.34MB [3]
Moon Heightmap Higher res heightmap which replaces the 2mb default heightmap. Ae-2222 1.0 Alpha26 - - (all current versions) 33Mb
Character Generator Upgrade (facegen mod) A small upgrade that adds some new hair, eyes, clothing, uniforms, additional accessories and other improvements to the existing character


baobobafet 1.1 Compatible with most as well as current v20140217 8Mb [4]
Wave Explorer (ship mod) includes 2 custom pilots HiRes2048x2048_Wave-e -see info below or visit baobobafet 3.5 v20140217 - (all current versions) 18Mb [5]
Wave Explorer (ship mod) includes 2 custom pilots LoRes1024x1024 version of the Wave-e (for increased graphics performance on lower end systems) see info below or visit: baobobafet 3.5 v20140217 - (all current versions) 8Mb [6]
Apollo LEM Lunar orbit save file for Alpha26 Low fuel LEM landing challenge (-w- cargo to jettison) 3 saves with Lunar lander in unpowered orbit over moon with low fuel(requires HighRes.Moon_Apollo.LEM.a26Mod) baobobafet 1.0 Alpha26 520kb [7]
Interstellar Shuttle 1700 Adds a modified version of the standard shuttle to the ship roster with hyperdrive capability, ecm, missile, cargo/fuel scoop options and more cargo space.(includes a new shuttle skin and solar array for bottom of existing standard shuttle (readme inside zip file) baobobafet 1.3 Alpha 30 3560kb [8]
Enterprise 1701a (static ship) Replaces the Long Range Cruiser (static Ship) with the NCC 1701a "Enterprise" at realistic scale. (readme inside zip file) baobobafet 1.2 Alpha 30 1.78mb [9]
Ship Decals Mod 256x256 This is version 4.0 - includes 8 ship decals. IMAGE here: baobobafet 4.0 Alpha 27-30 3mb [10]
Controller Templates Not really a Mod - This is for people who have - or are familiar with either Xpadder, 3D Pro Joystick or the G-13 Gameboard. Extreme 3D Pro Joystick Xpadder profile and G-13 gameboard Basic Template - printable key & joystick button reference. Version 3 (More info see above) baobobafet 3.0 Most Alphas up to 26 4490kb [11] [12]
3DPro Joystick Profile This is an update supporting the new view keys, for Extreme 3D Pro Joystick Xpadder profile with Template - printable joystick button reference. Version 5 (see pic: ) baobobafet 5.0 Alphas after 28 (all current versions) 2.31mb [13]
Pioneer default keyboard reference In pdf printable format(see PNG pic: ) baobobafet v201305.93bao Alphas after 28(all current versions) 7.3mb [14]
Pioneer custom mouse pointers Small simple mods containing only custom mouse pointers joonicks 20151001 1-4kb [15]

  • Version number represents what the module was tested/built against. There is no guarantee that it will work for later versions.

List of known Mod Compilations

Current known Mod Compilation Packages
Mod Name Mod Description Author(s) Version Tested with Pioneer* Size Download link
HiRes Moon & Apollo LEM Mod High res Moon heightmap & flyable Apollo Eagle Lander with docs & nav maps. contrib by Ae-2222 & baobobafet 2.0 Alpha 30 35.3Mb [16]
  • Version number represents what the module compilation was tested/built against. There is no guarantee that it will work for later versions.

The who/when/where for mod storage/testing/package compilation is still to be established. As with all things concerning Pioneer it is up to interested parties to resolve this. There is the beginnings of a discussion on the discussion page as not everyone is on the mailing list yet (another could be started on a specific task page if anyone wants to). You need to register to edit pages and contribute.

Creating A New Ship Mod

This is in response to the couple of people who are interested in doing art, perhaps even leading the direction it can go in.

For programmers there's a path which involves creating a GitHub account, forking the Pioneer repository, creating branches, configuring remotes, making commits and submitting Pull Requests.

For Artists and scripters there's another way which is hopefully preferrable for everyone!

To follow this "tutorial" you'll need at least a way of creating ".zip" files, on Windows I use the 7-zip program.

This example is being written for Windows but the ideas are broadly transferrable even if the exact file paths and locations aren't.

MyFirstShip mod

There's links to a few existing mods above but they're very simple things:

  • They're just zip files containing some directories and files,
  • Their contents are "Added" to Pioneer unless replace something like a script, ship, texture, etc,
  • They use the same directory structure as Pioneer.

The example that most players are enthusiastic about is adding a new ship which is the first step on the long road to a total conversion!

(For additional information see: Making_your_first_ship )

To start with we want to make this task easy for ourselves so lets try the following to create a "mod" called "myfirstship":

  • Go to wherever you've extracted your Pioneer download to,
  • Open the folder "data" and look down the folder names as there's two we're interested in,
    • "ships" and "models",
  • open the "ships" folder,
    • copy and rename the file "wave.lua" to "myfirstship.lua",
    • open the file in a text editor and change the following lines like so
      • from: name='Wave Heavy Hypersonic Fighter'
      • from: model='wave',
      • To: name='My First Ship Tutorial'
      • To: model='myfirstship',
      • save your changes to the "myfirstship.lua" file,
      • now go back up to the data folder,
  • open the "models" folder, then the "ships" folder,
    • copy and rename the folder "wave" to "myfirstship",
    • open the "myfirstship" folder,
      • rename the file "wave.model" to "myfirstships.model",

Now run Pioneer with the parameter "-mv myfirstship" so the command line should look like "pioneer.exe -mv myfirstship" this will open it in the modelviewer mode so you can see if everything has worked.

If you run Pioneer as usual then you should be able to go to the ship yard and buy your very own "My First Ship Tutorial" spaceship. Of course it will look like the Wave heavy Hypersonic Fighter, and it will handle like it and be like it in every possible way because it's a perfect copy of it

If you want to make it look different so it's easier to spot then a quick thing you can do is edit the texture "wave.png" in your "/data/models/ships/myfirstship/" folder, perhaps just paint the white a bright red or something which will make it easy to tell that you've changed it.

Obviously we're not done turning all this effort into a mod yet, we've just copied a ship definition ("myfirstship.lua") and the model data for it.

So lets open a new folder window (if on Windows) and:

  • Create a new folder somewhere you won't lose it, "My Documents" for windows users or the home folder on Linux etc, call it "tutorial" this time (to avoid confusion),
  • In this folder create two more called "ships" and "models",
  • With the "models" folder create another folder called "ships",
  • by now you should have something that looks like:
    • /tutorial/ships/
    • /tutorial/models/ships/
  • now you're going to _move_ the "myfirstships.lua" file you edited earlier out of the "/pioneer/data/ships/" into the folder "/tutorial/ships/" folder,
  • next you must _move_ the folder "myfirstship" from "/pioneer/data/models/ships/" to "/tutorial/models/ships/",
  • now create a "readme.txt" file in the "tutorial" folder and add your name to it for now,
  • Add everything inside the "tutorial" folder to a zip archive - to do this with 7-zip just selected everything inside the tutorial folder, right-click, open the 7-zip submenu and choose the "Add to archive",
  • Make sure that you choose to use "zip" compression and call the archive "".
  • Finally, put the file "" into the "mods" directory - this IS NOT usually where you extracted the Pioneer download.
    • On Windows it will be in a folder under your "My Documents"/"Documents" directory for example:
      • "/My Documents/Pioneer/mods/"
  • Now double check that you really did MOVE the files and folders, i.e; go back to where you first copied the wave files and folders and make sure that there aren't any "myfirsthip" files or folder there because they should now all be inside the zip file (and safely backed up in the "tutorial" folder).
    • The reason this step is important is that you might have made a mistake with the zipping process and the mod is actually now broken, however it will look like it works because the original files are still being found by Pioneer in it's own data directory.
  • Finally, the mod should have been packaged up into a zip, it should be in the "mods" directory, and you've made sure the Pioneer data folder is clean.
  • Run Pioneer and make sure your mod works.

There are many steps that take just a second or two and lots of bits you can skip once you know what you're doing.

You can have as many ships within a single mod as you like, this technique just gives you a copy of the Wave to edit and play with.

You can, and should, replace it with your own mesh and edit the parameters it uses for thrust and equipment etc.

So how does this get my ships into the Pioneer download?

Easy, you create your mod, test it, try it out, share it via this forums download area so that others can play it, respond to criticisms to improve it and then ask the Core Team to include it in the main distribution.

This is basically the same process that we go through for programmers submissions but without having to understand Git and GitHub.

It's also more direct to players and fans of the game who often use several mods together to make Pioneer play how they want it too.