S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

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AMK - Complete - Retranslated (english)
By cum chalice
This guide will walk you through installing AMK from scratch, along with the translation patch. As well as other optional addons / tweaks. This mod ONLY uses some graphical changes from Complete 2009, nothing else.

This guide will also explain how to, very easily, downgrade your game version while still being able to play through steam. Gone are the days of messing around with registry keys using regedit. Rejoice.
 
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Intro
This guide will, hopefully, be as straightforward and comprehensive as possible, leading to a smooth and simple installation, whether you are experienced modding STALKER or just beginning.
However keep in mind, STALKER likes to break, so it is very possible you may run into issues somewhere.

The installation process is quite simple, it's mostly overwriting/adding files to your gamedata folder.

This guide should also work with all purchase versions (steam, GOG, retail) but will mainly be focused on the steam version. The only difference would be the folder locations. This guide will also assume you are using windows 7.

First, if you don't already have 7-zip, I highly recommend you download that before continuing.
7-zip [www.7-zip.org]

Next, download this mod pack containing all the necessary and optional mods that will be contained within the guide. All the files will be contained within folders labeled with their appropriate steps so its easier to follow along and find things.

You can download the mod pack here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/gfcs0jsio20t28x/STALKER%20SoC%20mod%20pack.7z?dl=0
(1.36GB download size)
Step 1: Setup and Downgrading your game's patch version
Before we install any mods, launch the vanilla version of stalker, this will generate some of the required folders and files we will be editing. Start a new game and then quit back to the desktop.

Open up Windows Explorer and navigate to:




In a separate window, navigate to:




In a third window, open up your downloaded mod pack and head into the step 1 sub-folder.
These will be the 3 main folders we will be installing to and tweaking.

Open up fsgame.ltx using notepad (all .ltx files will be edited with notepad). This is located in your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Make the following changes:
From:
$game_data$ = false| true| $fs_root$| gamedata\
To:
$game_data$ = true| true| $fs_root$| gamedata\

Now we'll downgrade our patch version. By default the steam version is v1.0006.
Long ago, this was a very annoying process, especially when using the steam version. It involved going into regedit and manually making changes to registry keys in order to trick the game into thinking it was at a different version, then manually patching it to the proper version. Luckily, this is no longer necessary and now we can simply drag and drop files to downgrade.

Bring up your mod pack window and extract the contents of Shadow of Chernobyl 1.0004.7z
Move all the files/folder directly into your STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite any folder/files.


You can now launch STALKER and check the version number in the bottom left corner while at the main menu, just to verify the downgrade. Quit back to the desktop.
Step 2: Installing AMK 1.4
Here we will install the main part of this mod pack.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 2 sub-folder.
Extract amkmod1.4_amk_en_setup.7z and run the .exe contained inside.
The installer should auto-detect where your game is installed. If it for some reason doesn't; direct it at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl

AMK is heavily configurable, so you have a lot of options to add or exclude things. If you notice your resolution is not listed, just choose the closest one to it.





















Most of the options are self-explanatory, but some are a little more obtuse.
Binocular frames - If enabled, this option will highlight npcs as either friendly, neutral, or hostile while looking at them through your binoculars (this is enabled, by default, in vanilla).

Post effects of being shot- This will be the main option you want to make sure you don't miss, as this can potentially ruin your experience. If enabled, when you get shot, your camera will sometimes spin around and/or you'll drop your gun. The idea was an attempt at replicating the disorientation you'd experience from taking a rifle round to the chest. Some people like this option as it adds a large amount of difficulty. I personally find it obnoxious and I would recommend disabling it.

After installing AMK 1.4 we will run a patch for it. Run AMK-EN _Patch_2.0.94_for_FINAL.exe
It will have a very similar installer as the previous one. Look through the options and make sure to match them with any changes you made using the first installer.

AMK 1.4 should now be installed and functional, minus the English translation patch, which we will install last.
Step 3: Installing AMK complete and Weather Overhaul 3.1.1
AMK 1.4 is a great way to improve the gameplay of vanilla STALKER in order to breathe new life into it, however, it doesn't offer much in the way of graphical upgrades. Luckily we have AMK complete. With this method, we will be taking some textures, meshes, shaders, and sounds from the STALKER Complete 2009 mod. While STALKER Complete 2009 is generally derided by the community, it can increase the graphical quality if you extract certain files from the archived version.

This step is quite simple but has a lot of parts to it. Make sure to complete all of them in order.

Navigate to:



Find the following files and cut/paste them onto your desktop, we will come back to them a little later.
  • ui_hud_progress_rad.dds
  • ui_hud_shkala_rad.dds
  • ui_icons_actor_amk.dds

Delete the entire ui folder.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 3 sub-folder.
Extract the contents of STALKER_Complete_2009_1.4.4.7z
Go into the gamedata folder, drag and drop the following folders:
  • meshes
  • shaders
  • sounds
  • textures
Into .../STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl/gamedata
Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

Cut and paste
  • ui_hud_progress_rad.dds
  • ui_hud_shkala_rad.dds
  • ui_icons_actor_amk.dds
from your desktop into your newly created ui folder, this will be in the same location as before.
.../STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl\gamedata\textures\ui


Next, we will install STALKER Weather Overhaul 3.1 and then patch it.
SWO changes the outdoor lighting as well as weather effects.

Extract the contents of SWO_3.1.1_csfm.7z
Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.
The contained user.ltx file is recommended, but not required.
Open up your C:\Users\Public\Documents\stalker-shoc window and back up your user.ltx file. Drag and drop the new one in.

This mod contains several options to choose from. Head into the "options" sub-folder, drag and drop any of the corresponding gamedata folders into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

Extract the contents of SWO_v3.1.1_UPDATE.rar
This installation is basically the same as the main mod, select the same optional folders you chose from previously, drag and drop those gamedata folders into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

The last part of this step is to extract the contents from amk_complete.7z
Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

This step is done. Finally.
Step 4: Installing Absolute Nature and Absolute Structures
This step is very simple and requires little work, as both the mods have .exe's that will do the file transfers for us.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 4 sub-folder, then into Absolute Nature.

Extract the contents of Absolute_Nature_SoC_v1.3.7z
Run the .exe and select your desired texture quality. This mod doesn't upscale any texture resolutions, meaning they can work with minimal impact even on modest PCs.






















Move over to the Absolute Structures folder and extract the contents of Absolute_Structures_SoC_v1.0.7z
Run the .exe and select your desired texture quality.
Step 5: Installing STALKER Shaders Max
STALKER isn't a terrible looking game but it is very dated. Shaders Max will help apply some more modern looking shader effects, including: shadow jittering, SSAO, motion blur, and even sun shafts, among others.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 5 sub-folder.

Extract the contents of STALKER_Shaders_MAX_1.05.rar
Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.
Now select a preset graphics option, Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.



You can edit the ShaderSettings.txt file contained in your selected preset folder to your liking, the text file should have instructions written within it.

NOTE:
The Dynamic Depth of Field files contained in this mod do not work with AMK. DO NOT install them
Step 6: Installing LURK animations for AMK
This mod will take some of the weapon skins / animations from the popular LURK mod and add them into AMK.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 6 sub-folder.

Extract the files from LURK Animations for AMK.7z
Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

Navigate into the included ScopeTextures folder, select either Standard or Widescreen, depending on your monitor. Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.
Step 7: Installing AMK Retranslated
We're almost done.

Like a lot of other mods, AMK was originally developed in Russian. The default translations are terrible, with many unreadable conversations and missing text. This mod will over-haul all the translations making them much more readable and grammatically correct.

In your mod pack folder, head into the step 7 sub-folder.

Extract the contents of STALKER_AMK_Retranslated_0.3.rar
Drag and drop the included gamedata folder into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.
The moment of truth and final graphical tweaks
At this point, you should launch the game and make sure everything is stable.
Launch STALKER and start a new game. Go through Sidorovich's dialogue, head outside, open your inventory, try saving and loading your game to check that nothing is immediately broken. You can also change your graphics settings, resolution, keybinds, etc.

I will avoid giving specific gameplay tips, simply because there are a million suggestions you can find online. The two suggestions I will make are:
Play with crosshairs disabled. This aids in immersion and hipfiring is almost always suggested against.
Play on the highest difficulty (master). STALKER's difficulty scaling works in a way where enemies will deal very high damage and take very high damage, same as the player. This makes engagements with enemies very deadly, for both you and them. On lower difficulties enemies tend to turn into bullet sponges.


If you've avoided any crashes you can start tweaking some graphical settings to get as much out of the game as possible. Quit back to the desktop.

Switch over to your C:\Users\Public\Documents\stalker-shoc window and open the user.ltx file.

Fixing shadow bugs:
There's a common, shadow related, bug people encounter, it is easily fixed by changing only 1 line of code.
In your user.ltx file locate the following line and change it from:
r2_sun_near 1.
To:
r2_sun_near 20.

Level of detail for maximum quality:
This change is intended for higher-end machines if you notice an FPS drop you can always revert the change. It will make textures at long distances look sharper.
In your user.ltx file locate the following lines and change them from:
r2_ssa_lod_a 64. r2_ssa_lod_b 48. r2_tf_mipbias 0.
To:
r2_ssa_lod_a 96. r2_ssa_lod_b 64. r2_tf_mipbias -0.5

Enabling hardware anti-aliasing and vertical sync:
Despite STALKER having AA and vertical sync options in its options menu, they don't work. You can force AA and v-sync through the control panels for your video card. This process will be different depending on the brand (NVIDIA or AMD) of card you have. It's a simple task and there are a myriad of tutorials online if you've never done this step before. Expect FPS drops if you're on a less powerful machine.

FoV fix:
The default STALKER FoV is on the low side, so feel free to change it.
First switch to your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory and navigate to
/STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl/bin
Backup a copy of your xrGame.dll file.

In your mod pack folder, head into the fov fix sub-folder.
Extract the contents of fov_switcher_v17.7z
Drag and drop the bin folder and fov_switch.cmd into your main STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl directory. Accept any requests to merge and overwrite.

Launch fov_switch.cmd this will bring up a command prompt with a bunch of information and ask you to input a number between 1 - 58.

To save you some time I'll list the relevant numbers here:
6 = FoV 67.50
7 = FoV 75
8 = FoV 83
9 = FoV 90

Choose whichever number suits your fancy, type it in and hit enter.
If you launch the game after this point and it's suddenly crashing, copy & paste your backed up xrGame.dll file back into .../STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl/bin

Head bobbing fix:
If you've played around in the game a bit but find yourself disliking the head bob effect, apply this change. A lot of people seem to suggest opening the console and typing in cam_inert 0.1 however this change is applied to multiple other camera functions as the command is directed at the camera inertia function and not specifically the head bobbing. It will fix head bobbing, however, I like to go to the root of the issue to directly change it.

Navigate to :

Open up the effectors.ltx file
Handily, right at the top are the lines of code we want. By default the head bobbing variables are set to:
[bobbing_effector] run_amplitude = 0.075 walk_amplitude = 0.005 limp_amplitude = 0.011
The lines should be pretty obvious, having different variables for running, walking, and limping.
I don't mind the head bobbing, as long as it's toned down. So my settings are as follows:
[bobbing_effector] run_amplitude = 0.005 walk_amplitude = 0.001 limp_amplitude = 0.003
Feel free to adjust it as you see fit.
If you want to completely remove it, change the variable(s) to 0.0000
If you want to make yourself potentially puke, set the variable(s) to something goofy like 0.400

Intro skip:
To skip the THQ / GSC Game World animation on startup, just add -nointro to the games launch options
Closing
Hopefully after all this your game is running smoothly and I didn't miss any steps. I'm not an expert but I can try and help torubleshoot if issues arise. Sometimes it requires a complete re-install, such is the nature of modding STALKER.
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1 Comments
SilverHaren Jun 15, 2019 @ 11:02am 
Very useful guide. Installed AMK mod with ease, and I am now ready to play some good ol’ stalker again. Great guide with pictures and clear descriptions of which files to put where and how.
Thanks a lot.