Based on the sheer number of amazing mods availabe in the Modding Hub & Steam Workshop including skins, maps, gamemodes, etc., it comes with no surprise that many of you enjoy using mods in custom games to expand or enhance your gameplay experience. Unfortunately however, many of you may have ran into an issue where you are unable to launch a custom game because you or someone else in the lobby has yet to finish downloading the required mods. This blog post aims to alleviate this frustrating experience by explaining what and why this is happening and offer a workaround to potentially prevent it from happening in the future.
So what the gardening is going on? Basically, every time you launch COH2, the game automatically starts re-downloading every mod you are currently subscribed to. This happens in the background while you are running the game. Now, when you join a custom game that is using a mod you aren’t subscribed to such as a map or win condition, the client will not start downloading these mods (which are required to start the match) until all of your subscribed mods are finished downloading first. Unfortunately for those who have subscribed to many mods (especially skins), the download size and thus time for this to finish can be quite long, resulting in you most likely getting kicked from the lobby or just quitting.
So why the pudding does it do this? Essentially this is done to make sure you and everyone you play custom games with has the same, most up-to-date versions of each mod. If this was not the case and two or more people tried to play the same mod but were running different versions of it, there would undoubtedly be a synch-error, causing the match to crash.
Alright, so what the pudding garden can we do about it? The simple answer is to just unsubscribe from your mods. But you love your mods you say? I don’t blame you! The good news is that unsubscribing from a mod doesn’t remove it from your PC or inventory. You can still equip it and use your mods in custom games as normal. However, unsubscribing from a mod does prevent the mod from automatically being re-downloaded every time you launch COH2, thus allowing you to easily download new mods when you join a modded custom game. The caveat to this solution is what I mentioned above, essentially if the unsubscribed mod is ever updated and you play a match with someone who has the updated version, you will likely experience a de-synch error, forcing you to go to the Modding Hub or Steam Workshop, re-subscribe to the mod, re-launch the game and then un-subscribe from the mod again.
Finally, if you would like to also stop the game from auto-downloading other players’ aesthetic items such as skins, decals, and faceplates, go into options -> graphics -> and uncheck "custom aesthetics". This will also prevent you from seeing any custom aesthetics in-game (including your own) but is great for players who are not interested in such things.
Hope this helps and happy hunting!