ATS Mod Sort/Load Order

While much of the content I publish in written form is to help others, I also write content for my blog site to serve as a reminder or simply an electronic organizer to myself in the event I need to perform a particular game uninstall/reinstall or even a full PC rebuild.  The topic for today will once again serve both purposes.  Today we’re going to discuss the sorting/loading order for mods in American Truck Simulator.  In theory this should also apply for Euro Truck Simulator 2 as well.  However, there are a few different requirements/recommendations due to ProMods.  I most likely will cover ETS2 in a separate blog post sometime in the near future.

I absolutely love mods, after all they make the games we already love even better.  I suppose you could call it an addiction, but I certainly don’t plan on stopping. At least not anytime soon.   Before I get into the meat of this discussion, allow me the opportunity to plug my mod spreadsheet.  I keep a fairly extensive listing of all the mods I’m actively using for game titles such as Farming Simulator 17, American Truck Simulator, Euro Truck Simulator 2 and even Flight Simulation (P3D).  While my YouTube channel focuses mainly on my FS17 game play, I do occasionally record my game play on other titles and publish those videos on YouTube.  Essentially it’s important to me, that if you take the time to watch one of my videos and you see a mod, or  you hear me discussing a mod…that you can easily locate where you can download that same mod.  It’s one of the reasons why I limit using private mods or mods that aren’t generally available to the public in my game play to only a select few.  Typically these will be FS17 maps I’ve been allowed early access to use, but release to the general public is imminent.    If you are interested in viewing my mod spreadsheet, just visit my blog site and click the link for Add-on and Mods Directory.  This will open a Google Docs Spreadsheet.  Just look to the bottom and select the tab for the game which interests you and you’ll find a list of all the mods I am using along with links where they can be downloaded.   Also, if you have a spare 5 minutes….please read a blog posting I wrote last year titled “Reputable Mod Sites for Farming Simulator Mods”.  In this article I discuss a few issues our gaming hobby faces and perhaps what we can all do to try to prevent it.

Order Matters

With all that out of the way, the number of mods I’m running in American Truck Simulator (ATS) is beginning to rival that of Farming Simulator 17.  However, the games themselves treat mods a little differently.  Unlike FS17 where we don’t need to worry about any specific order, with American Truck Simulator (and Euro Truck Simulator 2) sometimes the order in which we have our mods sorted does matter.  Having all of our ducks….err I mean mods in a row can mean the difference between a fun experience with mods versus a nightmare experience vowing to never download/install mods never again.

Differing Opinions

Just like many things in life, if you search long enough you’ll find many different theories regarding the sort/load order for mods in ATS and ETS2.  I’m simply going to share with you the order and method I use.  This same methodology should also work for you, but you are certainly welcome to do your own research and devise your own plan.

Order….Order in the Court

In a nutshell, here’s the sorting order I use.  I’ll spend some time below explaining what each of these categories mean and some mod examples, but I’ve been using this process for sorting my mods and it provides a nearly trouble free experience.  From top to bottom, this is how I sort/order my mods in ATS and ETS2.

Environment Mods, Sound Mods, Real Company Logo Mods, Map Mods, AI Vehicle Mods, Wheel/Tire Mods, Trailer Mods, Truck Tuning Mods and finally Truck mods.

Everything Explained

  • Environment Mods – These would include mods such as the No Boundaries or Immersive Symbols mods.  These are the types of mods that change some of the default SCS game behaviors.  The “No Boundaries” mod simply removes the barrier icons for roads which SCS haven’t developed yet.  In other words, the roads you can’t drive down.  The Immersive Symbols mod removes the load/unload icons and replaces these with cones or man-hole covers.  Very cool…very immersive!
  • Sound Mods – The Sound Fixes Pack is a good example of a sound type mod.  These would go here.
  • Real Company Logo Mods – If you are like me, you understand why SCS used company names like Wallbert (Walmart), 42 Print (Vista Print) etc.  but you also want maximum immersion when playing and you really would rather see the real company names.  Mods like this fall into this category.
  • Map Mods – Any modded maps for ATS would fall into this category.  But wait!!  It may not be as simple as that.  In order for some maps to work with other maps (Coast to Coast for example) you may need to sort the maps in a specific order to avoid any unnecessary frustration.  At the present time, the most common add-on maps for ATS should be sorted in this order Project Going North, CanaDream, Tonopah Reworked, US Expansion (formerly US 50/CA 99 Map), Rick’s Interstate 10, Coast to Coast, Mexico Extremo HBS Resources Model Package, Mexico Extremo, Viva Mexico.
  • AI Vehicle Mods – These are mods which enhance the default vehicles we see driving around the ATS map.  Mods which fall into this category might be the AI Traffic Pack by Jazzycat or any of his other wonderful AI traffic packs including Bus, Truck and Classic Cars traffic packs.
  • Wheel/Tire Mods – Any mod that changes the tires/wheels will need to be sorted in this order.
  • Trailer Mods – Mods which add different types of trailers to the game would be sorted in this order.  Examples might include SISL’s Trailer Pack, Real Company Box and Tanker Trailer packs.
  • Truck Tuning Mods – Engine mods, light tuning etc. would fall here.
  • Trucks – Ahhhh, my favorite category.  This is where I place my awesome Pete 389 by Viper2 and my Volvo VNL670 by Aradeth.

Well…there you have it.  If you use a different sorting order and that works for you, then I see no reason to change it.  However, if you are experiencing issues…then perhaps compare this order with what you are using and make small adjustments then test.  It could very well come down to a little trial and error to get it just right.

I hope this helps you.  If you are interested in supporting the GrizzlyBearSims blog site and YouTube channel, please consider becoming a Patron.  Full details available at https://www.patreon.com/GrizzlyBearSims  Thank you!

Until next time…

Happy Trucking!!!

JT

FS17 Console Mod Support

Over the past 72+ hours, the forum thread on the official Giants Farming Simulator 17 forum thread lit up with rumors of rumors of even more rumors regarding console mod support for the upcoming (and highly anticipated) release of Farming Simulator 17.  For the record, I’m not a console platform gamer and I haven’t been a console platform gamer since the mid 1980’s when I replaced my Atari 2600 with a PC.  I realize there are some advantages to console game play with certain game titles.  But for a game application like Farming Simulator, in recent releases the PC has been truly the best option and this has been down to the availability of mods.

A game like Farming Simulator is certainly an awesome game in its “vanilla” format.  But just like vanilla ice cream can be made so much better with some chocolate syrup, whipped cream and even a cherry on top, games like Farming Simulator become truly AMAZING with mods.  Perhaps one of the best use for mods in Farming Simulator is the variety of add-on maps available.  As someone who has enjoyed FS15 since soon after it released almost two years ago, I’m really not sure I would still be playing it today if I only had access to the maps released by Giants.

When Giants announced the release date for Farming Simulator 17, one of the really big news items was the availability of mods for the console platform.  This included mod support for Sony PlayStation and Microsoft XBOX console platforms.  Again, this was really BIG News and rightfully so.

However, late last week the discussion on the Giants FS17 Discussion Forum began to turn a bit sour with news about how Sony has blocked mod support for Fallout 4 and Skyrim.  Both had been previously advertised to have mod support and both were denied mod support.  A little more reading and it appears Sony blocked mod support for these titles because they do not allow mods which alter the game in such a way the player has total freedom over the game.  For those of us who play Farming Simulator, the mass majority of our mods don’t alter the game in this fashion.

Over the course of several days, many who had pre-ordered one of the console versions of FS17 had threatened to cancel as their stated sole purpose of purchasing was based on mod support.  I certainly don’t blame them.  However, Giants did finally respond in the forum thread with the following comment “You can relax, we’ve worked with Sony to find a solution that works for both sides and nothing has changed since then.  Mod support for both platforms, Xbox One and PS4, will be available at Farming Simulator 17’s launch”.

While Giants response is certainly good news.  In my opinion it somewhat strengthens the idea in my mind that nothing in life is certain.  At some point in time Sony (or even Microsoft) could block mods from FS17 and there is nothing Giants or you as the consumer can do about it.  Of course, I’m hopeful this does not happen.  In addition, will the process of submitting mods for the console version of FS17 become too difficult?  Will some modders refuse to make available their mods to these platforms?  So while FS17 will have mod support available to console gamers AND Sony and Microsoft will allow mods to their console platform, will the variety of mods be the same between PC and console?  If not, what then?

Any console gamer making the assumption that all mods for the PC version will be available to the console (and they function correctly) may be in for a really big surprise.  For example, I’m not a mod developer.  But if I were, would I make the personal investment of purchasing console hardware and FS17 just to test?

But this does bring my thoughts around to a somewhat related subject of how mod distribution is handled for PC users.  In short….It’s an outright mess!  But I think I’ll save these comments for a future blog article which I’ll write and release very soon.

Until next time…

Happy Farming with Mods!

Jerry

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