How do PC mods work?

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How do some mods make games look better?
Can someone explain to me what a mod is / does ? I've never used one before :)
Does is simply modify the game settings to unlock extra graphic usage or something?
 
Associate
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Several things depending on the game.

EXAMPLE - SKYRIM
Better Graphics (larger more complex textures etc)
UI options (better menus etc)
Extra effects (Weather, grass, water etc)
Weapons
Missions
Perks
Houses
... the list goes on.

EXAMPLE - RTS Games
Extra missions
New campaigns
New Units
Complete overhauls

EXAMPLE - CONSOLE GAMES
None - lol!!
 
Soldato
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Usually its replacing existing game files (such as texture improvements) or adding new ones like expanding story and content. New maps and weapons and vehicles.

Some games such as Skyrim or ArmA2 support modding by supplying the community with the tools to develop and implement mods. Other games such as BF3 do not.
 
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Depends on the mod really. Some will install higher resolution textures that will make the environment and characters look more defined and detailed. Others like the enb series for various games will add directx tweaks to force the game to render things differently (though this usually seems to be just lighting and contrast modifications).
I think these are the most common mods when it comes to graphics. To really improve games graphical capabilities would require rewriting parts of the game’s engine and not only is that difficult but in most cases you aren’t allowed to do it.
 
Soldato
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I would say a mod is a modification of the games file, so it can be a texture file where it can be much greater resolution so the graphics in-game look much better.
 

HR4

HR4

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Mods as mentioned can more or less be for anything concerning the game, from new content to enhancing either graphics or game-play, frame rates etc..

However, as with a game like Arma 2 for instance where there are literally 100’s of mods/islands, you can and will get bogged down by which ones to install.

So play the game of your choice and see whilst your playing what you would like to see in the game that makes it more fun, different or just plain better, then look to see if someone in the community that surrounds that game has made a mod that may cover what you want.

That would be the best way, chances are someone will have...

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