Mod Selector v0.8

Flight Simulator Mods


Mod Selector v0.8

The MSFS mod selector solves a common problem in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS): even though only a few weeks after release, there are hundreds of high-quality community-created mods to enhance MSFS experience even further, installing a large number of them considerably slows down MSFS startup time to an unbearable point.

A simple manual solution is to manually copy only the mods you want to use at one time before starting the simulator.

The Mod Selector assists you in this by automating the selection process: it allows you to easily group mods by type and (for world enhancements which would be most mods) by continent, country, and even by city as well as by aircraft type (for aircraft mods).

Here’s how this works:

  • Start up the Mod Selector before starting MSFS.
  • You must register each mod once with the Mod Selector.
    • If a mod is already in Mod Selector’s online mod database, it will register automatically.
  • Simply select all the mod categories you want to activate.
  • The Mod Selector will automatically copy the relevant mods into your Community folder / move away all unwanted mods into a temp folder.
  • Then, start MSFS and enjoy a significantly decreased startup time.

New and noteworthy!
Starting with version 0.7, Mod Selector builds its own open-source online mod meta-information database everyone can contribute to!
Mod Selector now auto-discovers meta-information already present in the database.
A more comfortable UI for adding mods will follow soon. Stay tuned!

For detailed instructions, please read the readme at https://github.com/captn-nick/MSFS-Mod-Selector.

(This “description section” on flightsim.to is limited in the number of characters.)

Usage warning
This program is very early beta. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! It is highly recommended that you create a backup of your mods (MSFS Community folder) before using this program.

Until V. 1.0 is reached, please expect breaking changes with each version jump!

Project roadmap
All of this is subject to change.

  • V. 0.9: Wizard for adding mods to mods.txt.
  • V. 0.10: Improve mods adding wizard with automatic online mod information lookup.
  • V. 0.11: Make continent sub-panel sizes adjustable; show mod selection feedback.
  • V. 0.12: Local / online individual mod search by keywords.

Prerequisites
Mod Selector requires Java to run.

Download
Download the latest version ZIP file.

Content
The program consists of 4 components:

  • MsfsModSelector.jar: the program file.
  • mods.txt: a text file containing information about all the mods managed by the Mod selector.
  • config.properties: a text file containing all configurations for the Mod selector.
  • mod-repository\mods.db.txt: a text file containing information about all the mods known to Mod Selector, whether you possess them or not. You can regularly update this file from a central repository on the internet to get the newest mod definitions.

Setup
No setup is required.

  • Simply unzip the content of the ZIP file into the MSFS “Packages” folder.
  • You will need to add all mods which you want to manage manually to mods.txt first, see below.
  • Finally, start the Mod Selector by double-clicking the program file or via the command line, see below.

Make sure that the directory structure is correct:

  • Packages/
    • MsfsModSelector.jar
    • config.properties
    • labels.properties
    • mods.txt
    • Community/
    • Temp/
    • mod-repository/
      • mods-db.txt
    • (other folders of MSFS)

Files / folders in italics are options, see below.

If you placed the Mod Selector into your MSFS “Packages” folder, the Mod Selector will recognize the sub-folder “Community” as the directory to place all active mods into, and the sub-folder “Temp” as the directory to temporarily store deactivated mods. Mod Selector will create the “Temp” directly if it doesn’t exist already.

Alternatively, you can config those paths manually, see below.

Config

The config.properties files contains the Mod Selector configuration. A single config consists of a

key=value

entry.

The following keys are of note:

  • path.community: the full path of the Community mod directory
  • path.temp: the full path of the temporary mod directory. Disabled mods will be stored here.
  • ModType.defaultSelection: defines which mod types are selected by default.
  • Continent.XY.Countries: defines which countries to show in the UI for individual selection and in which order for continent XY.
  • Country.XY.showCities: set to =false to not show any individual cities for this particular country in the UI. Defaults to =true.
  • Cities.minMods: defines the minimum number of mods which must be linked to a city in order to show it individually in the UI.

Note:

  • For the paths, backslashes have to be doubled (\\ instead of \).
  • You are free to define your own countries. As long as at least one mod is designated to this country (and defines a continent as well), Mod Selector will be able to link this country to its continent, i.e. a country does not have to be listed explicitly in any Continent.XY.Countries entry. To do so, add a new country definition to your labels file (see below) and, optionally, use it in a Continent.XY.Countries definition.
  • You are free to define your own cities simply by linking them to any mod (see below). For cities, no config is required. All cities explicitly linked to any mod will show up in the UI in alphabetical order.
  • The US are their own continent simply because that way we can group mods on two levels by state and city which seems to make sense.

Labels
Mod Selector comes with pre-defined labels for mod types, continents, countries, and more. However, you can change those labels or add your own ones (e.g. to add available countries).

For this, simply create a labels.properties file in the folder which contains the program file.

labels.properties uses the same key-value entry format as config.properties.

The following keys are of note:

  • ModType.XY: defines the name of mod type XY as it is displayed in the UI.
  • AircraftType: defines the title of the “aircraft” section as it is displayed in the UI.
  • AircraftType.XY: defines the name of aircraft type XY as it is displayed in the UI.
  • Continent.XY: defines the name of continent XY as it is displayed in the UI.
  • Country.XYZ / Country.XY: defines the name of US state XYZ / country XY as it is displayed in the UI.

Note:

  • To add a country to Mod Selector, simply add its definition to labels.properties and use it in your mods.properties file. As long as at least one mod is designated to this country (and defines a continent as well), Mod Selector will be able to link this country to its continent. Optionally, add it to the Continent.XY.Countries definition in your config file (see above) to explicitly show it for individual selection in the UI.

Adding a mod
For detailed instructions, please read the readme at https://github.com/captn-nick/MSFS-Mod-Selector.

(This “description section” on flightsim.to is limited in the number of characters.)

Start and usage

  • Start the Mod Selector by double-clicking the program file or via the command line, see below.
  • If there are startup errors / warnings, see below.
  • Otherwise, the main UI will show up.
  • In the top bar, you can globally select / deselect entire mod categories. Note that liveries are not bound to any of the geographical areas below.
  • In the main UI, you can select / deselect mods by continent, country, and city.
  • Click on Apply to move all activated mods into the Community folder and all deactivated mods into the Temp folder.
  • (Click on Deactivate all to quickly move all mods from the Community folder into the Temp folder, regardless of your current selection.)
  • Then, startup MSFS.

Please note the way geographical selection works. Geographical selection is actually “subtractive”. That means: If you don’t activate a sub-region (country / city) that sub-region will be deactivated even if the parent region is activated. Selecting a parent region will only activate all mods which are not explicitly part of one of the listed sub-regions.

For instance, if you select Europe and France but not Germany, no mods from Germany will be activated; however, all mods from France will be activated plus all mods from regions of Europe which are not explicitly shown in the UI. For instance, if you had a mod linked to Liechtenstein and Liechtenstein is not explicitly listed as a country of Europe it will be activated only when Europe as a continent is selected.

Same goes for cities: if you select Europe and France but not Paris, and also not Germany but Berlin, no mods from Germany will be loaded but mods explicitly linked to Berlin will; all mods from France will be loaded but none explicitly linked to Paris will; as in the example above, Liechtenstein mods would also be loaded.

Deselect Europe and all of its countries and cities except for Berlin to activate no single mod in the entirety of Europe except for all which are explicitly linked to Berlin.

In that way, selecting an entire continent / country (with cities) actually means “activate the rest of…”. I believe this is a good solution. Otherwise, we would always have to present you an explicit “the rest of” option for all “container” regions.

Known limitations

This program is very early beta. I have created it as a very quick & dirty solution for my own personal use but eventually decided to release it publicly, even if of little use. Known limitations include:

  • First startup initializing may take some time.
  • No auto-discovery / assistance to add mods. All mods have to be added manually in the mods.txt file.
  • Mod Selector will not remember the last selection but always start up in the default selection.
  • Only limited possibilities to re-arrange geographical areas on the UI.
  • Doesn’t help identifying individual mods. Mods are simply kept in their (oftentimes chaotically named) directory structures.
  • (Development: unclean build process.)
  • And probably a few more improvements which would be “nice to have”…

Credits: QuickNick
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Useful Information:
- How to install Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Mods
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 System Requirements
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Multiplayer
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 VR
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Price
- Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Release Date

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4 Responses

  1. cheech says:

    any example of the mods.txt ? what exactly has to be writen in there?
    i have here e.g. an North American Airport, folder name airport-2S1-quelcertoleo-vashon in Temp folder.
    So i thoght to add the line: AP NA airport-2S1-quelcertoleo-vashon
    into the mods.txt
    but that java programm never started on my machine. i took out some corrupted addons, added the “Temp” folder, add all my addonds from “Community” folder into the Temp folder.tried to start..nothing!
    started again in command line, no errors..
    if u provide us with possible nice tool, u also have to provide us with more precise infos!

  2. chech says:

    ..nice idea.. but NOT WORKING AT ALL! please give us more SPECIFIC infos what should be added into the mods.txt!

  3. Peyton says:

    could not get to work.. installed java and followed instructions.. nothing happens when i click on it.. I changed the path for the community and made a temp folder.. added the double \\ nothing worked no matter what i tried

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