At Jan 23, russian missile attack on Kharkiv left my dad without a home. He was at the night shift on his work during the attack, so he's in one piece himself, but the explosion destroyed his apt completely, together with most of others in the building.
We want to get him a new apt, away from the shelling danger zone. With the savings of our relatives and close friends who volunteered to help, we are able to scrap around $23k - but this is simply the limit of everyone of those around, who are somehow able to help. Sadly, it's not possible to buy a decently habitable apt here (so it would have at least basic repairs and furniture available) that is ready for a person to live in, for this money. The lowest plank of average price available for this is ~$35k, so we need $12k more.
I want to try to get the rest of the needed sum to give dad a place to live in now, rather than to have him living at least next 2 years in hostels (there are huge lines of people in line, who are still waiting for new apts from the govt, as it simply can't keep up with all the destruction russia brings to the near-frontline regions), considering his old age and chronic health issues.
I've made a fundraiser at my BuyMeACoffee page - there's a progress bar there, so you can also see how it goes, and contribute if you are willing and able to.
Thank you in advance - and let's try to make this happen, shall we? ❤️🩹
Dragon's Dogma is one of the most memorable RPGs once you play at for at least couple days. Simple, somewhat predictable storyline, but still good enough to keep you on board - and on the other hand, beautiful game world with the fast-paced combat, stylish animations, epic skills that can rival and even outclass those in most of RPGs released 10 years after, and generally, a Japanese game design passion projected into a WRPG, resulting in unforgettable experience.
DDDA is a well-polished game with minimal number of non-critical bugs and it still feels great even a decade after the release. At the same time, with just a small number of mods, you can noticeably improve its graphics and speed up loading times & general performance. Gameplay-wise, there are also things to polish. It's a common fact that melee warrior classes are falling behind ranged ones in this game, that Mage is just a boring version of Sorcerer, and some other nitpicks - many of which you can rebalance and improve.
Welcome to the modding guide for Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - a short, but comprehensive list of the best mods for both graphics & gameplay, with detailed yet simple installation instructions for everything, and extra tips when needed. Experience DDDA as all new yet again!
Do not re-upload this guide to other website and/or resources, do not claim it as own work and do not sell it. In the rest - feel free to translate into other languages (just message me in Discord first), I'd be glad if you'll link it to help other people and so on. I'm here to serve - the more people can have stable modded game, the happier I will be :)
Initial release. Version 1.0 for Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen at December 2023.
This project is completely free. Still, it takes insane amount of my time to build and expand it - the modding guides and other related modding content already took me over 7,500 working hours in total. I'm also living in Ukraine during the russian invasion, and have to support two families at once. The extra work I'm doing to support our defenders, air raids and PTSD caused by the war also make every inch of the work I do more difficult than before. The more independent and confident I will fee myself as an author - the less stress and more free time I'll have - and so, the faster new updates and videos will arrive, and new projects will appear as well. But support only if you really want it and able to:
Q: So I should install ALL mods from this list?
A: Current state of the guide allows you to install every single mod (with just a couple of mutually exclusive ones) from it and enjoy the game without worrying for compatibility or performance issues. At the same time, it's totally up to you. If that's your first walkthrough of DDDA, it's probably better to install only mods from Essentials and Graphics section. If you're already familiar with the game - you can (and it's recommended to) grab also the mods from Gameplay section.
Q: What game version is needed for modding?
A: If you don't have the game yet and only planning to buy it now, get the Steam version. There's also a GOG version - if you already have the game there and don't want to buy it again, GOG version will do as well. Steam version is newer in terms of game updates rolled out, and thus, fully compatible with all mods, while GOG version can have issues with some mods due to the inconsistency of the file difference between the version. This said, there's a patch that makes GOG version equall to Steam version, so it's a fixable moment. Just if you're buying the game right now - get it in Steam to spare an extra step to do for modding.
Q: What kind of monitor is the best for playing DDDA?
A: In-depth yet easy to understand article here, give it a read.
Q: I have the game in language other than English, is it a problem?
A: Before modding the game, make sure it's in English, or to change game language back to English, both audio and subtitles. The guide is made for English version of the game. Some mods like simple texture replacers will work fine no matter the language, but as for most of bugfixing and gameplay mods, there is no guarantee that they will work with non-English version of the game properly, or work at all with localized version. For your own hassle-free experience, mod the game in English. I won't be able to give any troubleshooting support for non-English versions.
Q: Can I continue my saved game after modding?
A: You [must] start a new game after you'll install the mods. Some mods will require a new game for sure, some others will work on existing save, but there's no 100% guarantee. Plus, if you'll install lots of mods, with all the improvements and changes, you'll want to experience the game refreshed look and gameplay fully, from the beginning.
Q: I also want to install Reshade preset or ENB, do good presets exist for this game and are they listed here?
A: Yup! DDDA has good ENB support, which is superior to Reshade in this case. Some beautiful ENB presets are listed in the guide.
Q: I got infinite loading screens/My game freezes, crashes or doesn't launch/I have various other weird glitches/My mods don't seem to be working - while I have a modern rig which clearly should be able to handle the game.
A: Please read "Preparations" and "Essentials" sections carefully. Do NOT skip them - read through and follow it. Read it and install all the things needed before starting to install mods themselves.
Q: I have some other questions related to modding. Help!
A: Feel free to join our Discord server and community members or I will try our best to help you :)
Q: Wait, why the popular [mod_name] is not listed here?
A: One of the main goals of the guide always is to keep your game stable. If some highly endorsed mod is not in the guide - it's either actually pretty buggy and/or just being too old and not quite compatible with the current game version, which can cause glitches and stability issues.
Q: Where are you from? A few words about you?
A: Ukraine. Gamer, One Piece & JJBA fan and gym addict living through the russian genocidal invasion. Web-developer in past, fitness trainer and nutritionist now (as hobby asides from content creation).
1) Make sure your game is NOT installed in Program Files and no active overlays are running.
Answering possible question - yes, Program Files (x86) is the same. Why so? Most of game clients suggest to install there by default! True that, but unmodded and modded game are two different things. When game is modded, there are many additional files which didn't exist there in first turn, overlays or script extenders/injectors, etc - and it's needed to be ensured that system has full access to all of them. Program Files is a system folder, and because of this modded games can be often messed up without you even knowing that - so to make sure it won't happen, install your game anywhere - just not in Program Files. If it's same drive that has your Windows installed on it - it's ok too, just once again, not.. well, you got it :) GOG is DRM-free so you can install your game anywhere at all basically - it doesn't require for game to be installed inside GOG directory. With Steam, you may just want to create an another Steam directory out of Program Files, and install DDDA there.
Similar situation with overlays - disable Steam overlay, GOG overlay, various things like Afterburner etc - most of overlays can mess up things, creating unneeded problems with a modded game. NVIDIA overlay is known to be fine. It's also recommended to disable your AV software if your have any (Windows Defender counts as well), or at least add DDDA executable to its whitelist.
2) Make sure you have archive unpacking tool installed. Any known program will do - 7-Zip, WinRar etc. You'll need it to get the mod files/folders from the archives that nexusmods downloads are.
3) Game directories notably related to modding. - DDDA root folder, aka \Path_To_Your_DA2_Installation\ - DDDA nativePC folder, aka \Path_To_Your_DA2_Installation\nativePC\ - DDDA rom folder, aka \Path_To_Your_DA2_Installation\nativePC\rom\ (basically, inside nativePC folder).
4) How DDDA mods look like and how to install them?
DDDA have to be installed manually. Modern mod manager are not made to properly instally install DDDA mods. Secondly, there are simply not so many good mods for this game as, let's say, for Skyrim - it's not possible to have something like over a 1,000 mods setup, so you'll be absolutely fine without a mod manager, and the guide helps you with installation instructions.
DDDA mods, in vastly majority of cases, are files with .arc extension that have to replace original game .arc files. The .arc file is, simply said, a "special" archive file that contains many loose files packed inside it, but it can't be unpacked by regulral unzipping tools like winrar/7zip. It's recommended to always backup the same-named game .arc files before you'll replace them with the modded .arc files. Just copy them somewhere else on your PC (or make a copy of the file in its own folder and just add something like "_BACKUP" to the copied file name) to be able to rollback if needed without the need to re-download entire game again. Generally, this won't be needed if you'll follow the guide instructions closely - but it's still always better to be safe than sorry.
Mod files always go to \Path_To_Your_DDD2_Installation\nativePC\ folder, and there - in one of many subfolders that contain the same-named files as the mod files are. Some mods have folder structure made with the full path, such as \nativePC\rom\wp\w1\ (just for example, the exact folder where certain mod file should go will differ from mod to mod) - in this case, all you have to do is to grab mod's "nativePC" and place it in DDDA root folder, or mod's "rom" folder in DDDA nativePC folder. For mods that don't have this premade folder structure, the guide will provide you with installation instruction for all files.
When placing the mod files, always overwrite existing files in the game folder/s.
5) Apply the 4GB patch to the game.
DDDA is an old, 32bit game that can't use more than 2GB of your RAM - no matter if you have 16, 32, 128 - it still can't use more than 2. Modded game will need to use more often, which can lead out-of-memory related crashes. This patch helps with the problem. Download the file (as shown here) somewhere on your PC. Unzip the archive.
Launch the "4gb_patch" executable. If your whatever AV will warn you about the file, it's 100% safe to ignore the warning (most of AVs are throwing such warnings about 99% of .exe files) - this is a patch used by millions of people around the world for many years and it's totally safe.
Choose your "DDDA" executable file that's located in DDDA root folder (this one) and that's it - program should notify you the executable was patched.
6) Make a temporary folder to DDDA mod downloads. Create a new folder anywhere on your PC (just not in the game folder itself), and name it, let's say, "DDDA Mods Temp". Download all your DDDA mods here.
7) [Optional] - needed only for GOG version of the game. Install the Parity Patch - GOG to Steam.
If you have Steam version of the game - skip this step. Download the "Gog to Steam Parity Patch" file to your DDDA mods temp folder and unzip the archive. Place "rom" and "sa" folders to DDDA nativePC folder. Overwrite all existing files. This mod files will bring your GOG game version on pair with the latest game update that Steam has (and GOG doesn't).
Note: Now, if some mods will separate GOG version of file/s to offer, you can no bother with these and use the default version, as your game files are identical to Steam version.
8) Mod conflicts. The current version of the guide is made in the way all mods (with just a couple of mutually exclusive ones and couple times where you'll need to perform simple manual actions under step by step instructions) in it are compatible with each other - you will not need to bother about compatibility issues at all, just install and forget. The only way to solve compatibility clash between two mods is to merge them, and this process is untrivial - not hard to learn, but pretty tedious for a newcomer, so the a bit of extra benefit in terms of features you can get from this is often arguably worth the efforts. If the guide users will frequently request the update with tutorial of how to merge mods, I will provide it in the future.
9) Download ARCTool Simplified. You will need this tool just once, and optionally, one more time again, to perform a simple manual work to merge some essential mods. I'll provide step by step instructions of what to do. Download the file to your DDDA mods temp folder, unzip the archive, and name the folder, let's say, "000 ARCTool Simplified". Depending on how your archive extracting tool (7zip, winrar etc) will unpack the archive, there may be no parent folder, but just arctool executable and other files. In this case, create a new folder, name it "000 ARCTool Simplified" and place the files in it.
10) Make sure VSync is [disabled] in game graphics settings. Multiple reports from players on various forums in internet pointed that having ingame VSync setting enabled can cause visual issues. It's recommended to disable it. Plus, we'll be using other means to limit FPS.
Essential mods improving game look and stability.Don't Blind Me Dims the glow of your lantern, weapon enchants and some of the most ridiculously bright skills. Download [one] of the main files (I personally prefer the "Full Medium" one) and place "nativePC" folder to DDDA root folder. Ovewrite when asked. Cleaner Female & Male Body Texture Cleaner, high-resolution skin for both male and female characters. Download the "Cleaner Female Body Textures (and male) v2.5" main file and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Cleaner UI Project This mod replaces the UI (interface) throughout the whole game with a clean minimalistic look. No more ugly yellow scrolls and jagged text boxes! Note: this mod installation will require a bit of manual work to make it compatible with two mods above - so you can just skip it if you don't want to bother with this - but better go throgh these steps and don't worry - it's a simple to understand instructions. Plus, a few other (optional but great) gameplay mods will require similar steps to do, so if you're aiming on getting most of the mods from the list, get the needed experience now.
Now, we'll install the ENB and choose [ONE] ENB preset. What's ENB? If you know what Reshade it - for DDDA, ENB is similar, but much more powerful - it provides better adjustable shaders. Even purely "cosmetic immersion" features of ENB are superior to Reshade - for instance, there's Letterbox ("cinematic black bars") effect in both Reshade and ENB. Reshade's letterbox obstsructs the ingame UI which makes it nearly useless. ENB's letterbox is compatible with ingame UI and appears "under" it, and so on.
If you don't know about neither ENB nor Reshade - you can consider this a sort of an overlay filter that allows collor tweaks, but also much more than that - better (or, in case of DDDA ENB) or even brand new shadows, improved AA and AO, improved skylighting effects, superior bloom and some other effects.
But what if you don't want to have game visual look changed? Can you skip the ENB then? Absolutely not! Thing is, asides from improved and new shaders, ENB also acts as the stability improver - it speeds up loading times and improve game's memory management. If, for some reason, you don't want ENB shaders - still, install the ENB core and any preset, and then just disable its visual effect in the game by pressing SHIFT+F12 - you'll still have performance improvements working.
Now, ENB presets themselves. I personally strongly recommend Rudy ENB as it has the best balance and gives a nice cinematic touch.Rudy ENB for DDDA Amazing balance in everything and a nice cinematic touch. Reforged ENB 2 Vanilla+ preset in terms of color correction. Luminance ENB Aiming on photorealism, brighter preset. Stamp's ENB More vibrant preset. CR Enb for DDDA "Creamy" looking preset.
Improved to higher quality models and textures of landscape, settlements, items and characters. Also some mods that change items (armors, weapons, clothing) appearance for a more practical of stylish look.
First of all large texture packs for the world and equipment:Remastering Dragon's Dogma Sneak Peek 2 - Gransys High quality, hand-made retextures of Gransys environment and structures. Download "4k Gransys Environment Textures" and "4k Structures (fm files)" files. The .arc files from "4k Gransys Environment Textures" should go to \nativePC\rom\stage\stage100\area and .arc files from "4k Structures (fm files)" should to go \nativePC\rom\stage\stage100\fm Remastering Dragon's Dogma Final Sneak Peek - Gran Soren HD textures from the same author, for Gran Soren. Download the main file and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. LDK's Armory Improved textures for over 400 pieces of various equipment. Download the main file and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder.
Equipment retextures and model replacers:New Chimeric Plate Model replacers for Chimeric Armor. Note: This will replace 1 .arc file that is already modified by LDK's Armory mod, but imo, it's looking and fitting better. If you won't like that, just overwrite the "m_a_body0600.arc" file with the same-named file from LDK's Armory again. Oblivion Armor Set HD Upscaled textures of x4 resolution for male Oblivion Armor set. You need 4 files without "OR" in the name. Place "m_a_arm7004.arc" to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_arm\m, "m_a_body7004.arc" to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_body\m, "m_a_helm7004.arc" to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_helm\m and "m_a_leg7004.arc" to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_leg\m folder. Carrion Set Black Retexture Carrion set black retexture for male and female with no sleeves and bulging skulls removed. Download the "(male and female) Carrion Set - Black (Belt fixed)" file and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Elfin Surcoat Replacer for Trophy Jacket and Emissary Greaves. Download either main [or] optional files (with sleeves/sleeveless) and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Captain's Armor Set (Without Mantle) Removes mantle from Captain's Armor Set. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Grave Veil Mask Only (Male and Female) Removes the veil for Grave Veil turning it into a mask. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Carrion Veil (Veil Removed - Mask Only) Removes the veil for Carrion Veil, turning it into a mask. Download one of the main files and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Grounded Gryphic Cuirass Removes the over-the-top scales on the shoulder and the waist of the Gryphic cuirass, in a way that more closely resembles Dragon's Dogma Online's version of the set. Male version. Download the main file and and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Grounded Gryphic Cuirass - Female Version Same change, female version. Download the main file and and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Cloakless Immortal's Helmet Does the cloak on the Immortal's Helmet bother you? Let's remove it then. Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_helm\m folder. Not needed if you'll be using the 3 mods below. Immortal Hero Vestments Replaces BBI Immortal's armor pieces with pieces from Hero's Set and a matching Grand Surcoat. Male only. Download all 3 mod files. Surcoat .arc file should go to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_body\m folder, gloves - to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_arm\m folder and boots - to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_leg\m folder. Immortal Hero's Tattered Mantle Matching cape swap for the armor swap mod above. Place two .arc files (not in the "f" and "m" folders, just two files) to \nativePC\rom\eq\a_acc folder. Hero Immortal's Helm Matching helm swap for the armor swap mod above. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Subtle Dragon's Den and Dragon's Roost Glow Dragon's Roost and Dragon's Den glow too much. This mod will tone the glow down a bit. Place the .arc file to \nativepc\rom\wp\w2 folder. Note: Yup, exactly in "w2" folder, the mod page instructions has a typo with "w1". Saving Grace retexture Makes Saving Grace a bit less gold'ish. Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w0 folder. The Bloodsword of the Soothing Rose (Flamberge) Handmade high-quality textures for the Flamberge to make it resemble an intricate knightly weapon. Get the 2k version and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w0 folder. The Ordealseeker (Virge of Madness) A retexture of the Virge of Madness to make it much more fit, making it look more practical and versatile, for a Knight or Soldier, as well as of higher quality. Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w0 folder. Sword of the Maiden (Iron Sword) A retexture of the Iron Sword to make it much different and higher in quality and actually look iron. Get the main file and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w0 folder. Framae Blades Replacers Choose one of 3 versions and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w1 folder. Blackwing Bow Replacers Ironically, the strongest bow for Magick Archer class has arguably the most ugly model. Time to fix this with several model swaps of your choice. Choose one of 5 versions and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w2 folder. Revenant Wail Replacers Choose one of 3 versions and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w2 folder. Darkening Storm Replacers Choose one of 4 versions and place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w2 folder. Adventurer's Set Swaps models and retextures several different equipment pieces to visually form and "adventurer" style set. Read the mod page for the items changed. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Oblivion ninja replacers Replaces several equipment pieces to result in "ninja" like set to be possible to be assembled. Read the mod page for the items changed. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. If you want the black helm replacers, also get the optional file and install on top. Shields model swap Swaps models of 15 regular shields to magic shields. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Weapon Pack Magic Shields The opposite swap. Four magic shields replaces with normal small shields. Place the .arc files to \nativepc\rom\wp\w2 folder.
Character related retextures:HD Hair and Beards Upscaled hair and beard textures for both player and NPCs without noticeable performance hit. Download both main files and place their respective nativePC folders to DDDA root folder. A proper short beard A basic retexture of beard 29 to make it more of a short beard rather than the few stubs you find on a badly shaven teenager. Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\eq\beard folder. Aelinore and Quina hair replacers Replaces couple of character creation hairs with the hairstyles of these characters. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Selene's Hair for Arisen and Pawn Replaces hair 50 with Selene's hair. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Cara Delevingne's thicc eyebrows What the mod name says - thiccer brows, thus, absolutely optional mod depending on your personal taste. Mod doesn't provide the .arc file but the loose files - thus, you will need to update your own current "game_main.arc" file with this mod file, same as you did for the Cleaner UI mod, and then drop the updated and repacked "game_main.arc" file to your DDDA rom folder. Barefoot Quina Removes sandals from Quina's default outfit. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Young Fournival Fournival modded to look younger, based off of some concept art from the artbook. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder.
QOL - "hide if it annoys you" mods:Quiver begone Removes the quiver (purely visually only, you'll still have arrows to shoot) from your back. Hides only normal quivers, the magical ones will be visible. Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\wp\w2 folder. Lantern begone Completely hides the lantern (the light will still work). Place the .arc file to \nativePC\rom\om\f20 folder. Invisible Magic Shields) You will still block, but kinda with your hand only, if you want so. Place the .arc files to \nativePC\rom\wp\w2 folder. Invisible Staffs Makes Legion's Might and Sanguine Stalk staves invisible. Place the .arc files to \nativePC\rom\wp\w1 folder. Invisible Diadem (Male and Female) Now you can wear your +10 Magick stat head gear with confidence and without clunky thing on your head. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Invisible Mistletoe Circlet (Male and Female) Same for Mistletoe circlet. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Invisible Dragon Band (Male and Female) And Dragon Band. Choose one mod version and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Invisible Dragonroar (Male and Female) And Dragonroar. Choose one mod version and place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder.
Various gameplay mods:Maelstrom's MME Series 1 - Sprinting Stamina Drain Five versions to choose from to reduce stamina cost for exploration running. Mod doesn't provide the .arc file but the loose files - thus, you will need to update your own current "game_main.arc" file with this mod file, same as you did for the Cleaner UI mod, and then drop the updated and repacked "game_main.arc" file to your DDDA rom folder. The only difference is you will need to choose [one] folder to use depending on preferred reduction value. I'm personally using the 50% one. Maelstrom's MME Series 2 - Carry Weight Similar mod from the same author, this time for more carry weight. Five versions, from 25% to 200% bonus. Same installation steps. 50% or 100% versions are good options, imo. Maelstrom's MME Series 4 - Jump Height One more to increase the jump height. Three versions - 25%, 50% and 100% higher jump. Same installation steps. I personally recommend the 25% or 50% version (25% is preferred). 100% (double jump height) both looks and feels really weird, imo - plus can allows plenty of kinda cheating moments. Maelstrom's MME Series 3 - Quest Rewards The last mod of the series, with 3 options - 50% more gold from quests, 100% more gold or 100% more Gold/XP/Discipline Points and Rift Crystals. Same installation steps. Warrior Tweaks Warrior is practically one of the weakest and tedious to play classes in the game, and while many players absolutely love it, buffing its weakest aspects a bit is a good idea. This mod improves Warrior's basic attacks and some of the skills to make them rely a bit less on their stats and weapons, and prove themselves better compared to other classes on highest difficulty setting and endgame challenges, as well as to clear weaker enemies faster and more stylishly. Place "sk" and "wp" folders to DDDA rom folder. A must-have mod for both long-time Warrior fans and those who are about to play this class for the first time. Roll Dodge Skill For Fighter Replaces the shield Cymbal attack skill with dagger Forward Roll skill to make the Fighter class more flexible. As for me personally, this doesn't make much sense balance-wise, but can be a great mod QOL-wise for some players perspective. Place nativePC folder to DDDA root folder. Magickal Modifications A must-have spells overhaul for anyone playing as Mage and Sorcerer. From just corrected hitboxes for spells that were already great, up to complete spell overhauls for those that were clearly underpowered or not flexible.