LOOT is a plugin load order optimiser for TES IV: Oblivion, TES V: Skyrim, Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It is designed to assist mod users in avoiding detrimental conflicts, by automatically calculating a load order that satisfies all plugin dependencies and maximises each plugin's impact on the user's game.
LOOT also provides some load order error checking, including checks for requirements, incompatibilities and cyclic dependencies. In addition, it provides a large number of plugin-specific usage notes, bug warnings and Bash Tag suggestions for Wrye Bash.
While LOOT is able to calculate correct load order positions for the vast majority of plugins using only their content, it cannot do so for all plugins. As such, LOOT provides a mechanism for supplying additional plugin metadata so that it may sort them correctly. An online masterlist is provided to supply metadata for many plugins that need it, while users can make their own metadata additions, which are saved in their userlist.
LOOT is intended to make using mods easier, and mod users should still possess a working knowledge of mod load ordering. See Introduction To Load Orders for an overview.
LOOT does not support Windows XP or earlier.
LOOT can be installed either using its automated installer or manually. To install LOOT manually, extract the downloaded archive to a location of your choice.
If LOOT was installed using the installer, then use the uninstaller linked to in the Start Menu to uninstall LOOT. If LOOT was installed manually:
LOOTfolder in your local application data folder, which can be accessed by entering
%LOCALAPPDATA%into Windows' File Explorer.
When LOOT is run, it will attempt to detect which of the supported games are installed. If a default game has been set, LOOT will run for it, otherwise it will run for the same game as it last ran for. If the relevant game cannot be detected, or if there is no record of the last game LOOT ran for, it will run for the first detected game.
LOOT can also be launched with the
--game=<game folder name> command line parameter to set the game to run for. If the supplied game folder name is valid, the default and last game values are ignored. The default folder names are
If LOOT cannot detect any supported game installs, it will immediately open the Settings dialog. There you can edit LOOT's settings to provide a path to a supported game, after which you can select it from the game menu.
Once a game has been set, LOOT will scan its plugins and load the game's masterlist, if one is present. The plugins and any metadata they have are then listed in their current load order.
If LOOT detects that it is the first time you have run that version of LOOT, it will display a
First-Time Tips dialog, which provides some information about the user interface that may not be immediately obvious.
The header bar provides access to LOOT's main features. Most of these features get disabled while there is at least one plugin editor open, so if you're trying to use an option that is faded out, first close any editors you have open.
LOOT's active game can be changed by clicking on it in the header bar, and selecting another game from the menu that is displayed. Games that have no install detected are disabled have their menu items disabled.
The masterlist update process updates the active game's masterlist to the latest revision at the location given by the game's masterlist repository settings. If the latest revision contains errors, LOOT will roll back to the latest revision that works.
By default, sorting first updates the masterlist. LOOT then calculates a load order for your plugins, using their internal data and any metadata they may have. If a cyclic interaction is detected (eg. A depends on B depends on A), then sorting will fail.
Once LOOT has calculated a load order, the plugin cards are sorted into that order. The masterlist update and sorting buttons are replaced withand buttons, which apply and discard the calculated load order respectively. Changing games is disabled until the calculated load order is applied or discarded.
LOOT is able to sort plugins ghosted by Wrye Bash, and can extract Bash Tags and version numbers from plugin descriptions. Provided that they have the
Filter Bash Tag present in their description, LOOT can recognise filter patches and so avoid displaying unnecessary error messages for any of their masters that may be missing.
Any errors encountered during sorting or masterlist update will be displayed on the
General Information card.
A few items in the main menu are not self-explanatory:
Redate Pluginsis provided so that Skyrim modders may set the load order for the Creation Kit. It is only enabled for Skyrim, and changes the timestamps of the plugins in its Data folder to match their current load order. A side effect of changing the timestamps is that any Steam Workshop mods installed will be re-downloaded.
Copy Contentcopies the data displayed in LOOT's cards as YAML-formatted text.
Refresh Contentre-scans the installed plugins' headers and regenerates the content LOOT displays. This can be useful if you have made changes to your installed plugins while LOOT was open. Refreshing content will also discard any CRCs that were previously calculated, as they may have changed.
Each plugin is displayed on its own
card, which displays all the information LOOT has for that plugin, and provides access to plugin-specific functionality, including its metadata editor. Each plugin also has an item in the sidebar's tab. The sidebar item contains the plugin's name and icons for plugins that load BSAs or have user metadata. Clicking on a plugin's sidebar item will jump to its card, while double-clicking will jump to its card and open its metadata editor.
The plugin card's header holds the following information, some of which is only displayed if applicable:
Has User Metadataicon.
Bash Tag suggestions and messages are displayed below the plugin card's header.
If LOOT suggests any Bash Tags to be added, they will be displayed in green text, while any Bash Tags to be removed will be displayed in red text. For completeness, the list of Bash Tags to add will include any Bash Tags that are already specified in the plugin's description field. Users generally don't need to do anything with this information, as if they're using Wrye Bash it will automatically apply LOOT's suggestions, and if they're not using Wrye Bash then this information doesn't apply.
LOOT's plugin messages are a valuable resource, acting as a means of providing users with information that they might otherwise not obtain. It is important for a stable, healthy game that you act on any messages that require action. If you think a message suggests an unnecessary action, report it to an official LOOT thread. If you encounter a message that is non-conditional, ie. it suggests an action but is still displayed on subsequent runs of LOOT after the action has been carried out, also report it to an official LOOT thread, so that it can be made conditional.
Clicking thetab in the sidebar will replace the sidebar's plugin list with a list of filter toggles that can be applied to hide various combinations of plugins and other content. The available filter toggles are:
Do not clean, or the equivalent text for the language selected in LOOT's settings.
There are also two other filters:
LOOT uses metadata to supply plugins with messages and Bash Tag suggestions, and to help it sort plugins that it can't otherwise sort correctly. Users can add to their plugins' metadata through each plugin's metadata editor panel, and plugins with user metadata are indicated with a
Has User Metadata icon.
A plugin's editor panel is accessed by clicking the
Edit Metadata item in the plugin's menu. Multiple plugins can have their editor panels open at once. While at least one editor panel is open, the plugin sidebar also displays any non-zero plugin priorities, to aid setting new priority values.
The editor's header bar is similar to the header on the front of the plugin card, minus the
Has User Metadata icon, and with the addition of
Cancel icon buttons and a row of tabs. The tab contains the following inputs:
Enable Editstoggle must be on for LOOT to use any user-added metadata, otherwise it will be ignored.
Global Prioritytoggle controls how LOOT compares plugin priorities. If off, the plugin's priority will only be compared against plugins that conflict, and empty plugins. If on, the plugin's priority will be compared against all plugins.
Priority Valueinput sets the plugin's priority value, which is used to modify plugin position relative to others. Plugins with higher priority values load after plugins with lower priority values. Plugins have a default priority of 0.
The other tabs contain metadata tables, which are detailed below. New rows can be added, and existing user-added rows can be removed, though rows containing metadata from the masterlist cannot. The, and tables can have rows added by dragging and dropping plugins from the sidebar into the table area.
|Load After||This is a list of plugins which, if present, the current plugin must load after, but which are not required. This metadata can be used for resolving specific compatibility issues. Each entry has three fields:
|Requirements||This is a list of files that are required by the current plugin for it to function correctly. The current plugin will be loaded after any plugins listed. LOOT will also display an error message if any of the listed files are missing. Any file, not just plugins, can be listed here, and each entry has the same three fields as for the load after table.
Note that listing a plugin's masters as requirements is unnecessary, as LOOT already checks them.
|Incompatibilities||This is a list of files that are incompatible with the plugin. LOOT will display an error message if any of the listed files are found. Any file, not just plugins, can be listed here, and each entry has the same three fields as for the load after table.|
|Messages||A list of messages that are to be displayed for the plugin in LOOT's report. These have no bearing on a plugin's position in the load order. Each message has four fields:
If a message's condition determines that it should not be displayed, then it will not be displayed, no matter the language. However, if a message's condition determines that it should be displayed, but the language is specified and doesn't match the language LOOT is running in, the message will not be displayed.
|Bash Tags||A list of Bash Tags. These are used by Wrye Bash when generating a Bashed Patch, and are detailed in Wrye Bash's readme. LOOT's metadata includes Bash Tag addition and removal suggestions, and any Bash Tags that came with the plugin are also displayed.
As LOOT can suggest Bash Tags be added or removed, it is possible for the same Tag to appear twice, being suggested for addition and removal. In such cases, removal overrides addition.
Each Bash Tag has three fields:
If a plugin's masters are missing, an error message will be displayed for it. Filter patches are special mods designed for use with a Bashed Patch that do not require all their masters to be present, and so any plugin with the
|Dirty Info||A list of dirty plugin CRCs and related information. Each row has five fields:
LOOT uses the information supplied to construct a warning message for the plugin if it matches any of the given CRCs.
|Locations||A list of URLs that the mod to which the plugin belongs can be found at. This metadata is not currently used by LOOT, but it may be useful to record it. Each location has two fields:
LOOT's settings may be accessed by clicking
Settings button in LOOT's menu bar. The settings are detailed in the table below.
|Default Game||If set to something other than |
Autodetect, this overrides game autodetection. If the game specified is not detected, LOOT falls back to autodetection.
|Language||Controls the language LOOT uses. Any plugin messages that do not have translations in the selected language will be displayed in English, if available, or in their available language otherwise.|
|Enable Debug Logging||If enabled, writes debug output to |
|Update masterlist before sorting||If checked, LOOT will update its masterlist, should an update be available, before sorting plugins.|
LOOT's game-specific settings can be customised in the games table. New game profiles can be added, making it easy to use LOOT across multiple copies of a game, including total conversion mods. LOOT ships with settings for the
Nehrim - At Fate's Edge total conversion mod as an example. Game profiles can also be deleted, though the active game cannot have its profile deleted, and LOOT will recreate the profiles for the four base games it supports (Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas) when it is next run.
The game settings are explained in the table below.
|Name||The name of the game, or another identifying text, that is displayed in menus and the LOOT's title bar.|
|Base Game Type||Every game LOOT runs for must use the plugin file format and load order system of one of the following games:
|LOOT Folder Name||The sub-folder which LOOT uses to store the game's files in. Each game must be given a unique sub-folder.|
|Master File||The game's main master file. This is specified as it must load before all other plugins. Note that Skyrim-based games will always load Skyrim.esm first, so this column must always be set to |
Skyrim.esmfor such games.
|Masterlist Repository URL||The URL of the repository that LOOT uses to update its local copy of the masterlist. If left empty, masterlist updating will be skipped.
Masterlist repositories are Git repositories that are configured to allow unauthenticated read access and contain a masterlist file named
|Masterlist Repository Branch||The branch of the masterlist repository that LOOT should get masterlist updates from.|
|Install Path||The path to the game's folder, in which the Data folder lies. Either this or a registry key must be supplied.|
|Install Path Registry Key||The registry key, in |
LOOT is very much a community project, and contributions from its users are very welcome, whether they be metadata, translations, code or anything else. The best way to contribute is to make changes yourself at GitHub! It's the fastest way to get changes you want applied, and you'll get your name automatically immortalised in our credits.
If you encounter an issue with LOOT, check the Frequently Asked Questions wiki page in case a solution is available there.
Otherwise, general discussion and support takes place in LOOT's official forum thread, which is linked to on LOOT's homepage.
If you want to submit metadata, the easiest way to do so is to add the metadata to your own LOOT install, then use the Copy Metadata feature to easily get it in a form that you can then edit into a masterlist on GitHub or post in the official forum threads.
Information on dirty plugins is very welcome, but for such information to be useful we require at least the filename and the CRC of the dirty plugin. The CRC may be calculated using Wrye Bash or 7-Zip, with other sources being unverified as correct. In the case of 7-Zip, the
CRC checksum for data is the one required. In addition to the CRC, the number of records removed (the ITM count) and/or undeleted (the UDR count) are also welcome.
LOOT is developed by a team on GitHub, with contributions from users. A full list of GitHub contributors may be found here. A list of team members may be viewed on the project wiki. Unless otherwise noted, team members can be contacted on the Bethesda Softworks Forums or on The Nexus Forums via the private messaging system.
LOOT's masterlists were largely converted from BOSS's masterlists, and so credit is due to the very large number of sources and people who have contributed to them.
In addition, the following are credited with application-related support:
LOOT is distributed under the GNU General Public License v3.0, aside from the documentation, which is distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License v1.3. The full texts of the licenses are included with LOOT in the accompanying GNU GPL v3.txt and GNU FDL v1.3.txt files.
While the GPL license allows anyone to make derivative works of LOOT, the LOOT Team encourages those thinking of doing so to first discuss their reasoning for such an endeavour with the Team. It may be that what the derivative work would do differently is already planned for a future version of LOOT or would be happily integrated into LOOT, thus avoiding any extra effort by others.
LOOT has been specifically designed to prevent it being locked into the LOOT Team's official masterlist repositories. Nevertheless, the LOOT Team appeals to the community to avoid the distribution of unofficial masterlists, as this would only hamper the effort to create one set of stores for load order information. Any issues with a masterlist are best brought to the attention of the LOOT Team so that they may be remedied.
GNU Free Documentation License Version 1.3 Notice:
Copyright (C) 2012—2015 WrinklyNinja
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
A copy of the license is included in the file named "GNU FDL v1.3.txt".
Only program history is recorded here. A full history of masterlist changes may be viewed by browsing the GitHub repositories.
settings.yamlincluded with the installer was very old.
codecvt to wstringerrors.
.esmextension as a plugin. It now checks more thoroughly, by attempting to parse such files' headers.
Copy Contentitem in the main menu, to copy the plugin list and all information it contains to the clipboard as YAML-formatted text.
Refresh Contentitem in the main menu, which re-scans plugin headers and updates LOOT's content.
First-Time Tipsdialog will be displayed on the first run of any particular version of LOOT.
View Debug Logmenu item has been replaced with a
Open Debug Log Locationmenu item to make it easier to share the file itself.
Debug Verbositysetting with an
Enable Debug Loggingtoggle.
UDRshave been replaced by the more technically-correct
Hide inactive plugin messagesfilter has been replaced by a
Hide inactive pluginsfilter.
[spoiler][code]...[/code][/spoiler]tags for easier pasting into forum posts.
Copy Namemenu item has been removed, as plugin names can now be selected and copied using
loot_create_db()when invalid paths were supplied.
loot_load_lists()ignoring userlist paths, and accepting invalid paths.
loot_eval_lists()accepting invalid language codes.
loot_get_dirty_info()never outputting the
loot_write_minimal_list()causing a crash when passed an invalid output path.
loot_get_build_id(), which outputs the shortened revision ID that the API was built from.
.gitfolders preventing repository deletion.