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Plugins Question


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I tried reading the Plugins and You thread, and my head started to hurt. I'm hoping someone can either confirm that I understood correctly or set me straight if I'm wrong.

I've got a Fallout 4 mod that I'm working on that has a settlement menu framework that I want to be a master, for other mods to add objects to.

I then want to have a number of "plugin" mods that can be added to that first mod to add content to the menu, allowing the user to choose which packages of objects they want to use, and excluding the others.

Am I understanding correctly that if I flag the master with .esm and .esl, it will load as a master without counting against the plugin limit, and then if I flag the plugins as .esl, they will correctly load after the master, and still not count against the plugin limit?

None of this overrides anything vanilla or makes any cell changes, so I think having them as .esl files shouldn't be an issue.

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Yes, if you set your master up with the ESM flag, and your plugin with the ESL flag, you can do what you're describing. There's no need to set the master up with an ESL flag as well because it's generally not going to be an issue.

Just keep in mind that while ESL lets you extend the limit, there is still a hard limit of 4096 files. The practical limit is somewhat lower based on available file handles provided by the OS though.

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That's 4096 ESL flagged files. Theoretically. As I said, in practice Windows file handles will limit you to far less. Probably somewhere around 1200 or so.

You can still have up to 248 regular .esp files alongside the ESL stuff in Skyrim SE, and 247 for Fallout 4 with all the official DLCs.

You should also keep in mind any active Creation Club content will count against the ESL totals just like any other mods.

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Oh, okay. That shouldn't be an issue, I think. I'm not planning on adding an extreme amount.

I can always provide combined ones as well, for anyone who is actually (the mind boggles!) running thousands of .esl files in their game and needs to save on the count. For instance, if someone's using all of the faction-specific stuff, they could just use FactionsComplete instead of FactionsBrotherhood, FactionsMinutement, etc.

Thanks for the info!

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The file handle limit is based on the VC++ runtimes, and it's usually 2048 open handles. For the entire application, which is part of why BSA archives are a thing. So for our purposes in modding, the theoretical limit of 4096 ESL flagged files can't ever be reached, and because the game needs to have various file handles open at any given moment, it's not likely you'll ever make it to 2048 either. So while ESL flagged files will let you go over the 255 plugin limit, how far over depends greatly on how many mods you're using and how many of them ship with loose assets.

It's this issue which is why loose assets are such a major problem. If everyone packaged their mods properly using BSA archives, that's less file handles for the game to keep open.

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1 hour ago, Arthmoor said:

The file handle limit is based on the VC++ runtimes, and it's usually 2048 open handles. For the entire application, which is part of why BSA archives are a thing. So for our purposes in modding, the theoretical limit of 4096 ESL flagged files can't ever be reached, and because the game needs to have various file handles open at any given moment, it's not likely you'll ever make it to 2048 either. So while ESL flagged files will let you go over the 255 plugin limit, how far over depends greatly on how many mods you're using and how many of them ship with loose assets.

It's this issue which is why loose assets are such a major problem. If everyone packaged their mods properly using BSA archives, that's less file handles for the game to keep open.

Ooo... was not aware of that. I thought loose files was just a speed issue.

I definitely need to repackage my mods.

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