Problem - Item, Race, or Quest is Missing

If you're clicking on this page, it's probably because one or more of your custom items, races, or quests are not showing up in your mod. You've played it again and again, and can't seem to find it. Here's a few pointers on where you should look in the files, and what you should do to solve the problem.

In all of these cases, it's really vital that you test, test, and re-test before you start ripping your mod apart. The default game comes with a great number of races, events, and items that can be randomly generated. That your custom race, event or item hasn't shown up in the past two or three games proves nothing. Pure dumb luck could result in a particular tidbit of your mod not being seen in a dozen games or more, even when there's no actual bug or problem preventing it. The human mind has evolved to be really good at detecting patterns, even where patterns don't actually exist. Keep this in mind before you do delete anything, or spend a lot of energy chasing a problem that might not even exist. When in doubt, play your mod a few more times.


Missing Races:

  • The first place to check is the "RACES" block in game.ini. If the file name of your race isn't in that section of that file, the game will never load them. A typo here will prevent your race from spawning1.
  • Then you need to make sure the race has a FLAG to tell the game when it should appear. If the (race).ini files lack a proper FLAG, the race will never show up on the map.
    • To make the race show up in every game2, it should be set to FLAG always.
    • To make the race show up with the same frequency as the zorg or tchorak, it should be set to FLAG random.
  • There are some FLAGs that can knock your race out of the running and keep them from ever showing up on the map.
    • "FLAG never" will stop it from randomly generating, and only allow the race to be placed by special quests.3 If you haven't made a quest to generate them, the never flag will prevent your race from showing up. To solve this, delete the never, and replace it with random or always.
    • "FLAG shroud" will hide the race. They'll be placed on the map, but their fleets, planets, and even the stars they're located at, will be invisible. And since you can't fly to a planet that isn't visible on the map, you'll never know that they were spawning. To solve this, just delete the shroud.

Missing Quests:

  • The first place to check is the "QUESTS" block in game.ini. If the file name of your quest isn't in that section of game.ini, the mod will never load your quest. Typos can kill your quest, too.
  • Then you need to make sure the quest has a FLAG to tell the game when it should appear. If the (quest).ini files lack a proper FLAG, the quest will never show up on the map.
  • KEYS may also be the culprit for why your quest isn't showing up. In particular, you should check if the KEYS on your quest also appear on any quest that has FLAG always.
    • If two or more quests have the same KEYS and the "always" FLAG, the game only loads whichever one appears first in game.ini. It doesn't randomize them. If you want only one of them at random to show up, set them both to "event".

Missing Items:

  • The first place to check is the "ITEMS" block in game.ini. If the file name of your item isn't in that section of game.ini, the mod will never generate your item. Typos, such as forgetting the prefix and underscore, or accidentally including the ".ini" at the end will prevent your item from generating5.
  • Then you need to make sure the item has a DIST entry to tell the game where it should appear. If the (item).ini files lack a proper DIST, the item will still be wishable, but will never end up on a random planet. To make an item relatively common, put "DIST dead cold warm hot toxic" on the item, then it can spawn at practically any planet in the game.
  • KEYS may also be the culprit for why your item isn't showing up. Are there any other items that share a keyword with yours?6
  • There's another possible problem that can only come up if you're trying to generate the item at a custom planet, or at least an unusual planet via a quest. Gas giants and the devastated system have a FLAG called "noitems" that keeps items from spawning there.

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