ME3Explorer Wiki
Tip.png If you didn't follow the ME3Explorer Setup Guide when first setting up the toolset, you should do so now, before attempting to troubleshoot via the methods below.
x This article has been updated for ME3Explorer v3.0.

This article will help you troubleshoot the most common, general issues with ME3Explorer. If you run into problems when using the toolset this wiki should always be your first resource.

How to Troubleshoot a Problem[]

Being able to troubleshoot problems yourself is vital. This section will guide you through the process and refer you to other articles, as needed.

ME3Explorer Setup Guide (Getting Started)

If you started to use the toolset without completing the ME3Explorer Setup Guide, you're doing it wrong. Use the guide.

ME3Explorer v2.0

If you're using ME3Explorer v2.0 and haven't read the release notes, you should do so now.

Using the Tools

If you're unclear how to use a tool or run into an error during use, consult the corresponding wiki article for that tool. It will explain how to use it and should answer almost all questions. Tool article pages are kept updated as the toolset changes and include FAQ sections.

Navigating the Wiki

We've assembled this wiki to make the information on the forums more organized and easily accessible, and also to fill deficiencies. Please use it.

The TOC structure on the home page mirrors the toolset, but here's some additional links to get you started:

  • Using the Tools — See the subsection above.
  • Common FAQs and General Issues — These are found further down this page.
  • Texture-Specific Issues — See Troubleshooting: Textures. Also, don't forget about the Texplorer and TPF Tools articles.

Researching the Forum

The wiki is still a WIP, so remember to always research questions and problems on the forums, as well. Take some time to browse through Toolset Help and use the forum Search feature, which can be found on the top right of any page.

Remember, there's a very good chance someone else has encountered the same problem you have and a solution is already available. Finding it yourself will save you time.

Contacting the Mod Author

We can't provide mod-specific support unless it's indicative of a toolset functionality issue. We unfortunately don't have the volunteers or time.

If you have issues installing a specific mod, make sure it's compatible with the toolset version you're using. If you have questions about mod formats, read An Intro to Mass Effect Mods. If you exhaust all wiki User Resources and your issue with the mod still isn't resolved, then direct your question to the mod creator. They should have sufficient knowledge to discern if you are having a issue with the mod or the toolset.

Updating ME3Explorer

When running into issues, updating is always a good idea. This includes updating from a Stable release to a Beta release. For information on how to update both releases, see the ME3Explorer Setup Guide.

Vanillaing Your Game

When trying to install amod and all else fails, vanillaing the game and starting over with the problematic mod(s) can solve many problems. For details on how to properly vanilla see Troubleshooting: How to Vanilla.

If you are 100% certain only a few files have been altered and you know exactly which files they are, then it probably isn't necessary to completely vanilla. Instead, it may be possible to very, very carefully, delete the modded files (base game and all DLC) and restore the vanilla versions. This method is the most prone to error, and should only be undertaken if you are 100% certain you can identify the modded files.


If you miss even one modded file, your problems could persist. Deleting everything is usually the safer, more reliable option.

Remember! Do not use Origin's "Repair Game" feature on modded files. This will leave the "repaired" modded files in place that will not be properly vanilla'd.

We understand better than anyone that vanillaing takes time; we do it frequently. This is also how we know that reverting to a clean install solves most problems and why it is often our first suggestion. Users frequently make errors during mod installation and simply "wiping the slate" and starting over will solve problems that can otherwise be impossible to diagnose. Vanillaing on your own will often achieve quicker results than trying to troubleshoot via a help request on the forum. Assuming a manual backup is present, this can take just a few minutes.

A clean ME3 install and updated toolset version will solve many issues. If problems persist with a specific mod remain, try installing that mod before any other mod. To diagnose a tool issue, try installing multiple mods of the same format with that tool.

If problems remain after doing all this, then it's likely there is a toolset and/or mod issue. The next step is to report the issue to the mod author. They maybe unaware, since many users don't report problems. The author should also be able to provide guidance on whether the issue is toolset or mod related. If they tell you it's toolset related, be sure to exhaust all Troubleshooting articles before making a help request on the forums.

ME3 & Modding, Kinds of Mods, Wiki Scope[]

All questions and issues related to ME3 itself, modding ME3, and this wiki.

What's the scope of the ME3Explorer Wiki?

The purpose of the ME3Explorer Wiki is to teach modders and users how to use the ME3Explorer toolset. It is not a general "How to mod ME3" wiki; there are already many websites that do this. Tutorials present will demonstrate tool usage; they will not provide exhaustive information on how to mod the coalesced, or add new textures/hairstyles to the game. The wiki is also not a mod repository; you'll find no downloads here. Finally, we are a singleplayer-centric community; you won't find any information specific to multi-player here.

Is BW ok with modding?

Locating the patch version for ME3.

For single-player, yes. Multi-player is more complicated. See the main page for details.

How do I know if I have the final patch for Mass Effect 3?

Check your ME3 executable by right-clicking and selecting Properties. The final patch is 1.5.5427.124. More complete instructions are in the ME3Explorer Setup Guide.

Where can I find information about basic ME3 folder structure, etc?

Information about the game's directory structure, DLC folders, file types, and more can be found in the ME3Explorer Setup Guide, An Intro to Mass Effect Mods, and the DLC Content Developer Resource article.

What mod formats exist for ME3 and what are "DLC mods"?

See An Intro to Mass Effect Mods.

What's a "content mod"?

See An Intro to Mass Effect Mods. The distinction between content mods and texture mods is important since Texplorer's treebuilding function produces corrupt trees when scanning on texture-modded files. The scan may also fail under these conditions, or throw errors.

What order should I install my mods?

See An Intro to Mass Effect Mods.

General Toolset Questions + Problems[]

All general FAQs related to the toolset as a whole (i.e., not a specific tool).

Is the toolset open source and free?

Yes. No monetary donations, please. If you want to help, we ask that you donate your time, just like we do. Code is located on GitHub. Plenty of help requests are usually waiting on the forum. Share your knowledge if you figure out how to do something. Participate in development discussions. And, let us know if you enjoy the toolset — it keeps us motivated :)

Does installing mods with ME3Explorer cause any performance issues?

Nope. Especially in the case of texture rendering there is less of a performance impact than Texmod since the game is only rendering one texture for each mesh and not two.

I'm having problems downloading from SourceForge.

As of 24 April 2016 all SourceForge downloads have been removed. Download Stable releases from Nexusmods, and Beta releases for GitHub. Links are on the wiki's home page.

How do I know which version/revision of ME3Explorer I'm using?

Older stables use different backgrounds on the main window that includes a 3-digit number followed by a letter (108w, 109k, etc). This is the version. Starting with rev720, the version/revision is included in the GUI, in the upper right of the window.

With the release of ME3Explorer v2.0, the toolset has changed to a more standard versioning scheme (v2.0.1), and "revisions" no longer exist.

I'm having Windows User Account Control (UAC) problems with ME3Explorer.

You have a few choices:

  • Disable Windows UAC (User Account Control).
  • Place ME3Explorer somewhere else on your PC — not on the Desktop, in any type of ..\Program Files, or in ..\Program Data. Preferably, not on your C: drive at all.
  • Run as Administrator. Right-click ME3Explorer.exe and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, check Run as Administrator and then Ok.

The toolset is crashing on launch.

Toolset revisions up to 653 require a minimum of Microsoft XP, are built on .NET Framework 4.0, and are deprecated. Revision 654-v2.0.10 require a minimum of Microsoft Vista, are built on .NET Framework 4.5, and are also deprecated.

Beginning with v2.0.11, the toolset requires Windows 7 SP1 and .NET Framework 4.6.1. You can ensure your version of .NET Framework is updated via Windows Update.

The toolset seems frozen or stuck. What can I do?

This can happen with multiple tools, usually during treebuilding with Texplorer, updating with ModMaker, autofixing or building Texmod TPFs with TPF Tools, or running a TOC Update. See the FAQs for the relevant article for help.

If you can't exit the program normally, do a hard quit via Windows Task Manager. Launch Task Manager either with Ctrl+Alt+Delete or by typing "task" in your Windows Start Menu Search Bar and choosing the "View running processes with Task Manager" option.

The toolset's Debug Output is showing invalid paths. Updating them via the menu isn't working.

This may happen if you change your ME3 installation, corrupting the toolset settings. Navigate to C:\Users\[YOURNAME]\AppData\Local\ME3Explorer and delete this folder. It will clear the path configuration of ME3Explorer.

How do I uninstall ME3Explorer?

ME3Explorer is not "installed" (written to the registry), so it doesn't need to be "uninstalled". If you no longer want to use the toolset, just delete its main folder.

Why is it called ME3Explorer? What about the other games?

Warrantyvoider started the toolset with Mass Effect 3 and never thought development would get as far as it did. tool support for ME1 and ME2 are actively growing.

Game Launch Problems, Main Menu Errors, DLC Issues, Loading/Freezing[]

All FAQs related to problems with launching the game, main menu error messages, DLC corruption & authorization errors, and loading/freezing during the course of gameplay.

How do I know if my ME3 DLC are properly extracted (unpacked)?

Look at the slideshow to the right for a comparison of how the ME3 Extended Cut DLC looks extracted and unextracted.

How can determine which mod is the problem?

For DLC mods, this is easy. Disable all DLC mods by renaming their root folder with a prefix ("off_DLC_CON_MEHEM"); this will cause the game to ignore the DLC. Once all are inactivated, reload the problematic save to check that the issue has been resolved. If it is, then the problem is related to one of the DLC mods. If it isn't, then the problem is with your base game or BW DLC.

Assuming one of the DLC mods is the problem, exit the game and then re-enable ONE of the DLC mods. Load up the problem save and see if the issue remains resolved. If it is, then you haven't found the problem DLC yet. Keep repeating this process until the problem re-appears. Once it does, you've found the problem DLC.

If you have non-DLC mods, the only way to isolate the problem with certainty is to revert the files affected by those mods to vanilla state.

My modded game won't launch, or throws an error upon launching.

For ME3, use AutoTOC's Generate All TOCs feature. This should solve the problem.

For ME2, this can happen if you've installed a DLC mod without using the DLC Patcher. Consult ME3Explorer Setup Guide.

I get a "DLC Not Authorized" Error in ME3's Main Menu.

You should have installed the DLC Patcher during your initial setup, which prevents this from happening. Do this now by following the instructions in ME3Explorer Setup Guide.

I get a "Corrupt DLC" Error in ME3's Main Menu.

If your DLC are extracted, use AutoTOC's Generate All TOCs feature. This should solve the problem.

If your DLC are not extracted, this error can occur when a modded an SFAR has grown over 2GB in size. Re-TOC the modded SFAR using the Rebuild SFAR method in SFAR Editor 2. This will re-compress the SFAR (hopefully) shrinking it under 2GB.

Best modding practice is to permanently unpack all SFARs, which prevents the 2GB problem entirely. When running a treescan with rev707+, Texplorer will do this automatically. With rev738+ you'll be prompted for DLC extraction upon opening the toolset for the first time.

I get an infinite loading screen or my game freezes.

This can happen when loading a save using modded files or when transitioning between certain areas. If your DLC are extracted, use AutoTOC's Generate All TOCs feature. For any modded SFARs run a TOC with SFAR Editor 2.

Can I ever uninstall the DLC Patchers?

Sure, just delete the two DLL files and restore the vanilla DLL. But, then you can no longer mod your ME2/3 DLC.

Posting a Forum Help Request[]

When asking for help on the forums, the very first thing staff will ask for is a clear explanation of what you've done to solve the problem. If you can't relay this information accurately, then we can't help.


Please respect our time as you do your own.

Don't ask for help unless you've completed the ME3Explorer Setup Guide, referenced all Troubleshooting articles, consulted the tool articles for whatever is giving you trouble, and referenced any related User Resources/Developer Resources.

Help with Specific Mods

First, please remember that the Toolset Help isn't a place to ask specific questions about a mod. These types of questions should be directed to the mod author, where the mod is hosted. While we may try to help, there's a good chance the author will be able to provide better assistance — especially if your question pertains to the mod's content, proper functionality, etc.

Forum Etiquette

Next, it's important to realize two things when asking any mod author or forum staff for help. One, they already donate a significant amount of time to the project without fielding help requests. Two, many, many people come asking for help. Often users don't sufficiently research and troubleshoot a problem before asking for assistance. Instead, they get frustrated, maybe look a little, and then ask for help because it's easier. Multiply that times dozens/hundreds/thousands of users and you can see how mod authors and forum staff can suffer from "user fatigue".

Please approach these folks with humility and appreciation. Show them them that you've done your utmost to try to fix the problem yourself and you realize your time is as valuable as theirs. Most will appreciate the respect you've shown and help you to the best of their ability.

Making a Help Request

All that said, if you've made it through this entire Troubleshooting article and you...

  • Followed the ME3Explorer Setup Guide
  • Made sure you're using the most recent version of the toolset
  • Have exhausted Troubleshooting and made a concerted effort to search the forum
  • And, reverting to a vanilla install doesn't solve the problem...

Then it's then time to post a help request.

First, determine if you need a new thread or can just bump an existing thread with the same issue; search Toolset Help to find out. Then, prior to posting, follow the instructions in this thread.

Handling Bugs[]

Reporting a bug and asking for help are NOT the same thing. Most users should not report bugs unless they've already sought help on the forums. Advanced users may have adequate knowledge to recognize a bug when encountered.

If troubleshooting and asking for help fails to remedy your problem, then you've probably have discovered a bug. Awesome! See the article on Bug Reporting for details on how to properly submit a bug.

We want to know about bugs. Please do report them!

x Thanks to WV and Ottemis who originally started the FAQ section on the forums, and to Ottemis for her "The Art of Bug Reporting" thread. This article uses content from both as a starting point and continues to grow.