This is a quick walk-through of how to begin modding for Mass Effect: Andromeda. I'll cover where to find the tools, how to set them up, and how to begin installing mods. If you prefer to use video tutorials, Warranty Voider and Wavebend have created a few of those, which I'll link in the appropriate spots, as well.
Installation: Wavebend's Recovery Tool
Before you do anything else it's best to install and run Wavebend's Recovery Tool , available on the Nexus. There are installation instructions there, so I won't copy them. This tool isn't required, but it's strongly recommended. It backs up only those files which MEA Explorer allows someone to modify. So if something goes wrong, you can simply reinstall the files which might have been altered, which significantly reduces the time required compared to reinstalling or repairing the entire game.
Installation: MEA ExplorerFirst, you'll need to install the latest version of the modding tools. These are available from GitHub, here: https://github.com/zeroKilo/MEAExplorerWV.
Click the green "Clone or download" button, then choose "Download ZIP".
Once you've downloaded and unpacked the .zip file, you'll be in a folder called MEAEXplorerWV. Click on the folder named AnselSDK64, then the "Release" folder inside of it. You'll see two .dll files, named "AnselSDK64.dll" and "AnselSDK64_org.dll". Copy these files and paste them into the same folder where your MassEffectAndromeda.exe file is located. In my case, this would be Program Files (x86) -> Origin Games -> Mass Effect Andromeda.
Now you're ready to open the Explorer itself! Head back to the MEAExplorerWV-master folder and click on the MEAExplorerWV folder, followed by the "Release" folder inside of it. The Explorer is, sensibly enough, named "MEAExplorerWV.exe", so go ahead and open it.
When you open the Explorer for the first time, you'll be prompted to specify the location of your MassEffectAndromeda.exe file. Once this is done, the Explorer will remember that location for the future, so you'll only need to do this once. This is a pretty self-explanatory process, but you can also see Warranty Voider demonstrating this feature in a video here .
That's it! Congratulations, you've just installed the Mass Effect Andromeda Explorer. Now you can get to the fun part: mods.
As in the previous sections, if you prefer a video tutorial, you can find one here.
Any mods you want to install should be in .meamod format. As an example, I'm going to install the Heleus armor - Casual outfit (appearance swap) mod. I downloaded the .zip file from the Nexus and unpacked it, then opened the Explorer.
Click on the Mod Manager button, highlighted in the image below.
A new window will pop up. Click on the "Mods" button in its top right corner, and a menu will drop down.
Choose "Load List" in this menu, navigate to the folder containing the .meamod file you want to install, and select that file.
You'll see something like the below image. Depending on how many files the mod is going to edit, there may be several lines like this one. Since this is a simple swap, this mod only has one.
Click on the "Mods" button again, and this time, choose "Run All" or "Run Checked". In the bottom window, you'll get a "Running Job" message. If there are multiple lines/multiple files being edited, the manager will run through each of them. This shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes, depending on how many files the mod is editing. When the manager is finished, you'll get a "Done" pop-up. (See below.)
And...that's it! If you want to install more mods, follow the same process. If one is enough for now, you can close the manager and Explorer and go ahead and start playing. Have fun!
Help! I'm having problems!
Well, that stinks. But it happens sometimes. Here's a list of common issues, and here are some other places you can poke around and look for help.