With CD Projekt Red ending a new era of Cyberpunk 2077, the troubled sci-fi shooters is finally adopting mod support.
It's the dawn of a new day as CD Projekt Red tries to drag the glitchy carcass of Cyberpunk 2077 into a bigger and brighter future. Alongside a series of massive patches over the course of 2021, we're hopeful that the first of the (delayed) DLCs will drop, as well as some sort of update about what's going on with the addition of multiplayer. Added to this, there's great news that Cyberpunk 2077 is officially offering mod support.
It's fair to say that things didn't exactly go to plan when Cyberpunk 2077 launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on December 10. With the game already being delayed THREE times from its OG release of April 16, there are accusations the company released the game in an unfinished form to avoid further backlash. If this is the case, it was a gamble that didn't pay off. While the PC version has been praised, some argue it should never have been released on current-gen consoles. As well as pulling the game from the PlayStation Store, refunds were offered, and investigations are underway into what really happened.
Thankfully, Cyberpunk 2077 has been running pretty well on PC and avoided most of the drama its console cousins have faced. Yes, we've had all the usual glitches of broken storylines and exploding NPCs, but with the modding community behind the PC version, it's started to patch itself from within. With this in mind, CD Projekt Red is finally turning to the Cyberpunk community for help.
How is Cyberpunk 2077 offering mod support?
Over on the official Cyberpunk 2077 Modding Support Tools page, there's a relatively basic kit to get you started. Still, it's better than nothing. As a hopeful look at how modding could evolve, the page reads, "Tools will be continuously updated alongside with game patches to ensure compatibility". Here's what you get if you fancy yourself as something of a wannabe Netrunner:
- Metadata: Per game release, required by some of the tools
- ArchiveDump: A utility for listing contents of game data archives
- TweakDump: A utility for listing contents of game Tweak DB (game settings) binaries
- TweakDB IDs: A list of IDs of Tweak DB entries. Generated using TweakDump and tweakdb.str metadata
Since Cyberpunk 2077's lamented launch, we've seen sites like Nexus Mods explode with mods to improve the game. Some of the hottest include better vehicle handling, an in-game UI, and putting the game into third-person (like it was originally supposed to be). Other cosmetic mods change the colour of a character's ponytail or add a Borderlands-inspired filter to everything. Even if CD Projekt Red is still being dragged through the mud, the modding community is alive and well in Cyberpunk 2077.
Was Cyberpunk 2077 mod support always planned?
Mods always keep single-player games going for years or even decades after they released so they're super important for longevity.
But was this new era of Cyberpunk 2077 mod support always planned? In 2019, CD Projekt Global Community Lead Marcin Momot explained, "Obviously, we would love to support the modding community in the future, but for the time being we want to focus on releasing the game first". While you'd expect the devs to continue tackling the plethora of problems or the upcoming next-gen releases for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, mod support might seem like an odd choice to prioritise. Still, are any of us really complaining?
Looking back at the rest of CD Projekt's games, it actually makes sense that mod support has been saved until now. The last big release was The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which also added mod support a few months after release. There were critiques that The Witcher 3's modkit wasn't as impressive as the first two games, so we'll have to wait and see how Cyberpunk 2077's goes down with the creative community.
With modding already going strong in Cyberpunk, some might be asking what's the point in making it official. Putting it simply, it takes out the middleman and should streamline the whole process. Then again, this is Cyberpunk 2077 and we could soon see headless NPCs wandering around Night City.
Images via CD Projekt Red