Getting Started With a Custom Install

A lot of people prefer to use the Kobayashi Maru mod for their Bridge Commander installs. KM offers many advanced features, many that can't be found anywhere else and is multi-player compatible.

On the other hand, if you're like me you prefer to build your own install from scratch. It can seem like an overwhelming task if you're new to the BC modding scene. I'll begin this brief guide by listing what you need, in order, to get started.

1. After you've installed Bridge Commander, make sure to install the 1.1 patch.

2. Now that you have the patch installed, open up BCUT and install Foundation. You can select either Full or Basic installation. I recommend the full installation if you're not planning on playing the Single Player campaign. The full installation will install Foundation Technologies (FTech), the BCDebug file, and SubMenu v3.7.

3. Now that you have Foundation installed, lets install NanoFX 2.0 beta. NanoFX will enhance the games explosion effects and add the ability to use warp drive while in quickbattle. In the six years since its release it has become an essential part of any custom install.

4. The next step is the Unified Main Menu (UMM). This file is essential as it allows access to advanced customization options for many mods, including Bridge Plugin, DS9FX, and Slipstream.

5. Finally its time to install Bridge Plugin. This mod is essential for installing the latest bridges made for Bridge Commander.

You may want to enable Test Mode on your custom install. By doing this, you will get access to the Bridge Commander console, where you can get a console report. If something goes wrong with your BC install, the first thing you will be asked for is a console report. To enable Test Mode on your Bridge Commander install, simply do the following:

1. Right click and select properties on your Bridge Commander shortcut

2. Go to the "Target" box under the tab "Shortcut." Move all the way to the end of the text, put a space and then type "-TestMode" (without the quotations of course). Click "OK."

Alternatively, you can use BCUT's "Test Mode Starter" tool to create a separate shortcut with Test Mode enabled. To do so, simply do the following:

1. Open BCUT and select "BC Test Mode Starter" under "BC Tools."

2. Follow the instructions on screen.

If you need to get a console report, simply press the ~ key at any time and then type the word "dump" in the console. Press your "Print Sceen" key and then open up paint. Paste the image and save the image as a JPEG file. Upload it to the BCC or BCS Technical Support forums. Someone will be happy to help you.

To enable all the features of UMM, and to gain access to the mutators (necessary for operating mods), complete the following steps from the BC main menu:

1. Go to your "Configure" menu.

2. Click on the "Customize" button.

3. Under "Configurations," enable "Master Switch" and all options under "Startup Options" and "Custom Options."

4. Click on "Configure" again to see the changes. You should now have access to the mutators and individual mod configuration options supported by UMM.

These mods are the basic necessities of creating a custom install. Now that you have these mods installed you're free to install others. I'd recommend Sneaker98's MVAM Infinite, Defiant's QB Autostart mod, Galaxy Charts, and DS9FX Xtended, but be sure to look at the readme for EVERY MOD you download BEFORE you install it. Pay special attention to the installation instructions and requirements, as they vary from mod to mod. Also, it is always a good idea to install mods in order of release date, unless the mods installation instructions specify something different, so as to avoid potential problems. If you have any issues, the Technical Support forums are available at Bridge Commander Central. Be sure to have a console report ready.

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