Installation FAQ (OpenXcom)

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For the sake of clarity, the current milestone (stable) release is v1.0. Nightly builds offer features not available in 1.0 and will eventually become the v2.0 milestone release. Though mentioned in this document, the 2.0 version doesn't exist yet!

All NIGHTLIES after May 1, 2015 follow a different folder structure! See Below.

What are milestones and nightlies?

Milestones are key "versions" of the game, packaged for all platforms with the appropriate installers. You can rest assured that everything that applies to a specific milestone version is never changing and is the same across all its builds and platforms.

Nightlies, or "nightly builds" are automatically made from the latest code, so they have no "version". They contain the latest changes as well as the latest bugs. There's no harm in using them, but they change frequently, so don't use them if you like stability. They need to be manually installed.

For example, the latest nightly builds offer limited support for TFTD as well as other features, while the 1.0 stable release does not.

What are the Data and User folders?

Assuming you installed the game in a OpenXcom folder:

The Data folder is where all the original and new game data is kept: In v1.0 it's your OpenXcom\data folder. When using nightlies, it's the OpenXcom folder itself. Allways check the readme included with the download, because features in nightly builds may change quicker than this page can be updated.

The User folder is where all your options, screenshots and saves are kept. For nightlies, it's also where your mods should be placed (in v1.0 they were in the Data folder instead). The default User folder on Windows is in C:\Users\<user>\Documents\OpenXcom.

For advanced users, you can also have multiple Data folders, as well as your Data folder inside your User folder. For all possible folder locations see here: https://github.com/SupSuper/OpenXcom#directory-locations

How do I manually install OpenXcom?

Just extract the ZIP to your install location and copy the original X-COM resources to the appropriate folders:

v1.0

Copy your X-COM: UFO Defense data to the data subfolder. You should apply the universal patch afterwards.

Your installation structure should look like this:

  • OpenXcom
    • data
      • GEODATA
      • GEOGRAPH
      • Language
      • MAPS
      • Resources
      • ROUTES
      • Ruleset
      • Shaders
      • SoldierName
      • SOUND
      • TERRAIN
      • UFOGRAPH
      • UFOINTRO*
      • UNITS

Nightlies (eventually to be used for v2.0)

Copy your X-COM: UFO Defense data to the UFO subfolder. You should apply the universal patch afterwards.


Terror from the Deep is not required, but if you want to include it:

Copy the X-COM: Terror from the Deep data to the TFTD subfolder. No extra patches are required.


Your installation structure should look like this if you have both games:

  • OpenXcom
    • common
      • Language
      • Resources
      • Shaders
      • SoldierName
    • standard
      • xcom1
      • xcom2
      • ...
    • TFTD
      • ANIMS*
      • FLOP_INT*
      • GEODATA
      • GEOGRAPH
      • MAPS
      • ROUTES
      • SOUND
      • TERRAIN
      • UFOGRAPH
      • UNITS
    • UFO
      • GEODATA
      • GEOGRAPH
      • MAPS
      • ROUTES
      • Shaders
      • SOUND
      • TERRAIN
      • UFOGRAPH
      • UFOINTRO*
      • UNITS

*optional

How do I install mods?

Make sure you have the required OpenXcom version. Mods will either be formatted for v1.0, the latest nightlie or have a minimum nightly build. You don't need to track down the specific one, anything later will usually work as well.

When in doubt, always check the mod installation instructions carefully.

v1.0

Extract the mod to your data subfolder.

Nightlies (eventually to be used for v2.0)

Extract the mod folder to your User mods folder (eg. Documents\OpenXcom\mods). This folder is automatically created after running the game once. Each mod should have its own subfolder, eg:

  • mods
    • Mod1
    • Mod2
    • Mod3

Mods made for the latest nightlies should already come packed in a folder. You will need to pack v1.0 mods for use with nightlies yourself, and any *.rul files should be moved into a Ruleset subfolder inside the mod's folder, eg:

  • mods
    • OldMod
      • Resources
      • Ruleset

How do I use mods?

How do I switch between UFO and TFTD?

Go into the Options > Mods screen from the Main Menu, then under the heading "Game Type" select the desired game. You can't access this screen from the Geoscape/Battlescape. However, any enabled mods will automatically apply to any savegames you load.

How do I update OpenXcom?

If installing a new version, or upgrading from v1.0 to a nightly build or v2.0, it's recommended you just delete the old install folder (backup anything you wanna keep) before installing the new version, since by default your User folder is separate.

If upgrading nightlies, you can also just install the new version on top of the old one.

Nightly saves and mods are not compatible with 1.0 unless otherwise stated. Always check the mod readme and installation instructions.

v1.0 saves and mods are fully compatible with nightlies, though mods will have to be repacked manually.

How do I update mods?

Delete the old mod folder and replace it with the new version. Don't install the new version on top of the old one.

Can I make a portable installation?

Yes, just create a OpenXcom\user folder and this will become that installation's User folder. Copy any content from your old User folder if you want to reuse it.

Can I have multiple installations/versions?

Yes, all installations have their own Data folder but share the same User folder. If you want multiple independent installations, give them their own User folder like you would for a portable installation.

v1.0 and nightly installs cannot share the same User folder.

How do I know I installed a nightly correctly?

If you downloaded the nightly from our website, the nightly build date should be shown on the Main Menu. However this will not be shown if you compiled it yourself, even though it's equivalent to a nightly.

How do I reset my options when my game won't start?

Delete the options.cfg file from your User folder.

How do I reinstall OpenXcom from scratch?

Backup any content you wanna keep (eg. saves), delete your OpenXcom folder and your User folder, and then reinstall.

Is there a video tutorial that might help me walk through this?

There is a video here: "OpenXCOM Nightly Install Tutorial" that explains installing the Nightly (both with the installer and manually) and installing both simple and total conversion mods.

For help installing and configuring the 1.0 Milestone version see this video.