Black Mesa

Black Mesa

831 ratings
Setting up a "Custom" Folder
By Citizen⁵
Using a Custom folder, which Black Mesa doesn't provide by default, is a useful way to install add-ons that don't work when downloaded via the Workshop, use legacy modifications from the non-Steam version of the game, or just install mods that aren't packed into a VPK. Here's how to set up such a folder.
As I've learned the hard way, certain modifications to Black Mesa don't work when they're downloaded from the Workshop. This is because the game enforces consistency for certain files, which means that they can't be modified via Workshop items. Setting up this folder can override this enforcement, and can also be used to install add-ons that are non-VPK and made for the mod version of Black Mesa.

Note that in the case of mod version add-ons, incompatibility issues may arise due to differences between the mod and retail versions of Black Mesa. Be careful about what you try to install.

As of the 1.5 (Definitive) update you will no longer need to create the custom folder yourself - it comes with a fresh install - and the game will now properly read most custom assets from the Workshop!
Setting up the folder
The folder itself should go in your main BMS directory - that is, "SteamApps/Common/Black Mesa/bms". Simply create a folder in that directory and name it "custom".
Within this folder, the format for installing add-ons is as follows:
  • VPK based add-ons go directly in the Custom folder
  • Non-VPK add-ons go into a subfolder inside the Custom folder

To handle non-VPK add-ons, create another folder inside the Custom folder and name it whatever you want (like the "mods" folder shown above). This folder that you just created inside the Custom folder will be treated as an alternate main directory. This means that the root asset directories (models, materials, sound, maps, particles, etc.) for the add-on start from that folder. Your directory paths should be like this:
  • bms/custom/mods/models/your_model.mdl
  • bms/custom/mods/materials/your_material.vmt
  • bms/custom/mods/particles/your_particles.pcf
  • bms/custom/mods/maps/your_map.bsp

This is NOT correct:
  • bms/custom/materials/your_material.vmt

Never name one of your Custom subfolders after a loose directory, it will prevent you from starting up your game altogether!

Note that it is possible to set up multiple subfolders in Custom if you want, each with their own assortment of files. You can utilize this to sort your addons by type.
Setting up gameinfo.txt
YOU MAY HAVE TO REDO THE FOLLOWING STEP AFTER GAME UPDATES, OR AFTER VALIDATING YOUR GAME FILES! In these situations, gameinfo.txt is replaced, overriding any previous modifications.

Open the file "gameinfo.txt", also found in the "bms" folder.

Scroll down until you see a section named "SearchPaths".

At the top of this section (above all the other game+mod entries), add the line
game+mod bms/custom/*
like so:

Save the text file, close it, and you're done! The next time you start it up, Black Mesa will read the files you placed in the Custom folder.
Moving Workshop addons to the Custom folder
Once the Custom folder is set up, you can go ahead and move some custom content into it, including your problematic Workshop addons.

You can either use {LINK REMOVED} to obtain the files, or move it from your Workshop directory to the Custom folder.

To obtain the files from the Workshop:

  • Subscribe to the addon.
  • Find the addon's Workshop ID in the URL. If browsing the Workshop on Steam, make sure you have web addresses enabled (Steam > Settings > Interface > Display web address bars when available) so you can see the URL.

  • In file explorer, navigate to Steam\steamapps\workshop\content\362890 and search for the folder named after this Workshop ID.

  • Open this folder and copy the contents to your Custom folder.
  • Unsubscribe from the Workshop addon.
  • Enjoy your newly functioning custom content!

< >
jonahbarrett11 Sep 13 @ 7:01am 
:bms_crowbar: :gordon: :bms_headcrab:
djstylus31 Sep 2 @ 5:37pm 
The custom solution does not appear, please, I do not know if it is because something failed and it was bugged

ege Aug 20 @ 5:02am 
the file ''362890'' dosent exist for me
XOF Aug 3 @ 4:13am 
Actual BM version does not have a custom folder nor path in the gameinfo.
Jim Cambridge Jul 31 @ 5:28pm 
the definitive edition already has the path set to custom in gameinfo.txt, you might need to create the custom folder if it does not show. Custom Folder only needed for manual downloads or mods that instruct you to this
JULICRAX Jul 29 @ 4:54pm 
could you update the guide please yes???
Depon Darwin wingnut Jun 29 @ 6:45pm 
needs a update the files are different
Barney Calhoun Jun 19 @ 5:42pm 
Ozman Jun 5 @ 2:41pm 
This guide is outdated, the gameinfo file is different and the instructions are no longer clear.
kilook766 Mar 18 @ 3:38pm 
I took he called me dummy lol