Learn to Mod Trove

To join the mod discussion you can visit the #modders channel in the Trovesaurus Discord server.

Video Getting Started with Trove Modding PotatoeUnicorn

PotatoeUnicorn leads the newest modders through all the steps needed to create, test and share their first mod.

#1 Introduction and Folder Setup

13:59

Introduction, finding the game install location, adding needed and suggested folders.

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Voxel Editors

All voxel editors have tools to modify Trove models in QB file format. Some editors make the process much easier and faster, but any of them are enough to make a mod. You can find lots of specific how-to videos on YouTube for each of the editing apps.

Qubicle:

MagicaVoxel

VoxelShop

  • https://blackflux.com/node/11
  • Free, works for Windows, Mac and Linux. Has unique feature of viewing your creation from all directions at once and layer-by-layer editing.

Zoxel

Troxel

  • https://troxel.js.org
  • Free. Works in any browser and supports in-built material maps. Troxel has essential minimum of editing tools

Metaforge

  • https://trovesaurus.com/page=3977/metaforge-guide
  • Free, voxel editor in-built in Trove game itself. Enter by typing /mf command in the game chat window. Creation process is identical to Build mode in Trove, but with unlimited blocks and flight.

 

Game Folder location

It is possible that your game files are located in different folders than mentioned in the video, but there is an easy way to find them that will work for everyone.

If you are using Steam to play Trove, open your Steam Library, right click Trove on the list and chose Properties. That will open a window with all the information for the game. Click on the Local Files tab on top and then on Browse Local Files.. button. that will open your Trove/Live folder.

If you are using only Glyph without Steam to play Trove, open the Glyph launcher, find Trove on the list displayed on Left side of main window. Right-click it and chose Settings. That will open up Settings window, in there click on Trove (if its not selected) and that will show following window with the Installation Path - this is the folder you are looking for. Click on Browse button to open it.

 

Override Folders

Override folders shown in the video will not work for overriding files in 2019 and 2020 folders. We suggest you start your Modding with modifying game files that were put in game before that. Luckily that is more than 90% of all the models, Interface and Visual Effects.

 

 

#2 Downloading Trove Tools and Extracting Trove Client

5:44

Using TroveTools.NET to unpack the client files for modding.

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Extracting Game Files

You need to extract game files to have files to modify. You can also go with downloading separate blueprints directly from the Trovesaurus website, but having your whole game client extracted and accessible is very useful.

Aside from doing that with TroveTools you can do it in a more manual way.

For that, you need a devtool_unpack_client.bat file, same as convert_to_blueprint and other devtools.

You can download file straight from the site, put it into your Trove/Live folder (see previous video and its comments on how to locate that), launch it and that will extract all game files into Trove/Live/extracted just like TroveTools would.

Download link : trovesaurus.com/files/devtool_unpack_client.bat

You can make same .bat yourself with the following code (provided by Ignitas on GitHub)

[spoiler=Code of devtool_unpack_client.bat file]

@echo off
if not exist "%~dp0\Trove.exe" (
  echo. Error: Couldn't find Trove.exe
  echo. Please but this .bat script inside your Trove folder and retry!
  echo.&pause&goto:eof
)

echo. This script will extract all client files to the extracted folder.
echo. All current contents of the extracted folder will be overwritten.
echo. Please make backups of your modifications before continuing!
set /p test=Do you want to continue? (y/n)
if not "%test%" == "y" exit

rmdir /Q /S extracted
call:extractFolder "%~dp0"

echo.
echo. Completed extraction of the clientfiles to:
echo. "%~dp0"\extracted
echo.&pause&goto:eof

:extractFolder
for /D %%f in ("%~1*") do (
  if not "%%~nf" == "extracted" (
    if exist "%~2%%~nf\index.tfi" (
      echo. extracting %~2%%~nf
      "%~dp0Trove.exe" -tool extractarchive %~2%%~nf extracted\%~2%%~nf
    )
    call:extractFolder "%~1%%~nf\", "%~2%%~nf\"
  )
)
goto:eof

[/spoiler]

To turn the code into the working .bat file you need to create a New text document, copy the code and paste it into the .txt file. Next, select Save As.. and instead of a New Text Document.txt type New Text Document.bat as the name. Clicking on Save will turn that .txt into an executable .bat . Change the name to devtool_unpack_client in case you have not already done that.

Place the .bat file into your Trove/Live folder and run it (double click on it). If placed in wrong folder the .bat will show an error message. If placed in correct folder it will ask for a conformation - press y and hit Enter if you'd like to extract the client.

Extracting files will take few minutes, .bat will show a 'Completed Extraction to..(folder path)' message when its done. Press any key to continue - close the .bat window.

Important Note: with each update in-game files get changed and/or new files get added. If you can not find something in your /extracted folder it is possible that files you are looking for have been released after your last unpacking and you need to run that again.

 

 

#3 Deciding what to mod

7:54

Tips on helping to decide what to mod including the Trovesaurus Idea Generator

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Sometimes Trovesaurus hosts modding contests  with support and guidance from Trove Developers. Such contests usually have a set theme and run for limited period of time, but participating in them gives a real chance to get your mods added to Trove! Check the Calendar for current and upcoming events.

We try to promote unique concepts and designs. More over, if your design is a copy of someone-elses intellectual property getting it in game could cause legal issues. You can use 'Inspiration and Credits' field to add any notes about source of the idea/design.

 

 

#4 Finding .Blueprint files and converting to .QB

13:43

Finding the .blueprint files and converting to .qb to work on

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File Types used in Voxel Modelling

There are various other file types that are used in voxel editors other than Qubicle. For example, MagicaVoxel uses .vox file format and Zoxel uses .zox. It does not matter in which format you keep your work-in-progress files, but as end result you should always export as .QB  , all voxel editors can do that. Only .qb files can be properly converted to .blueprint - file format that is used by Trove.

 

UI Blueprint

Ui blueprint contains the full model of mount/costume/ally etc. This is the file that is being displayed in the Trove Collections or when you get some collectable as an item - User Interface file. It is considered a good etiquette to include proper UI in your mods, and it is mandatory to have one if you are submitting your mod to Trove Developers.

Word of advice - do not rush with creating the UI, it is likely that after you think you are done with modifying all the parts of your mount or costume in you voxel editor you will still end up changing some details after previewing them in game. It makes sense to only make the UI when you are absolutely confident that all parts will remain the way they are.

 

Troxel preview on Trovesaurus

While this tool is most certainly useful and can help you with placing parts where they belong, please bear in mind that UI models displayed on the site can differ from the way things are constructed in game because in Trove characters and mounts have parts that are rotated, bent and squished.

Best example - Lunar Lancer. On the UI provided on the site (and in Collections) you can see the standing straight model but in game Lancer is bent and so if you add some sort of a belly to the model it will clip through all the chest and hips parts.

It is best to observe how a character, mount or any other model moves in game before rushing to extend or reduce size of its parts.

 

 

#5 Importing .QB files into Qubicle

10:34

Import the .qb files into Qubicle

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Position of Trove models

Voxel editors other than Qubicle have different interfaces, but the back-is-front is valid for all of them. Memorizing correct axis directions can be troublesome so just keep in mind that your edited model should always be rotated exactly same way as the model you are replacing. If you are having doubts - open the original .QB model that you got from converting blueprint of the part to .QB and doublecheck.

Importing QB files

Not all voxel editors support having multiple QBs open at the same time. Depending on your Voxel editor you might have to modify them one by one.

In most voxel editors you can drag and drop QB files from folders into your opened Voxel editor to open them. With Qubicle and Voxel shop you can drag in multiple qb files at once, but be cautious - this way it is easy to lose track of which part is which. One by one is slow, steady and fool-proof. 

#6 Attachment Points

4:30

An explanation of that pink block you will find in the models and why it is important.

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Attachment Points sum up

  • Every Blueprint - part - always has one and only one Attachment Point
  • Attachment Point - AP - tells the game where to place the model
  • Attachment point should always be one voxel colored 255.0.255 RGB or FF00FF Hex (same color)
  • Attachment point is only visible in Voxel Editors. Once you export and convert your QB back to Blueprint, the attachment point will turn itself into one of the voxels it is connected to. If there is no voxel attached to AP, it will turn invisible.

  • If the QB that you got from converting game-file Blueprint to QB does not have an Attachment point, it is likely that it was disconnected from the model and turned invisible. You can restore the attachment point by opening that original model part in Troxel - click on Blue Open button, select the QB you have just acquired from converting a blueprint, check the box of 'try to restore the attachment point position from the qb's mete data for models exported from Trove' and click on Open model. That will restore the Attachment point. Now you can Export your model with AP into any format that suits your needs.
  • If your modified part is located in unexpected place when you preview it in game - it is very likely that position or color of AP has been changed, or it was removed, or more than one exist in the blueprint

 

#6.5 Editing in Qubicle

13:06

A quick overview of some of the controls in Qubicle

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This part explains editing QB models in Qubicle voxel editor only. You can find in-depth tutorials for every other voxel editor on YouTube.

 

#7 Material Maps

13:00

An explanation of material maps and how they change the appearance of your model.

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Material Maps sum up

  • Material Maps are used to add texture effects to QB models in Trove. With them you can make voxels glow in the dark, shine like metal, be transparent like glass and so on. You will see the result only after you convert qb files into a blueprint and preview it in game.

  • To apply a Material Map to your model you must copy it and recolor into colors appropriate for each map. You must keep the Attachment Point in exactly the same location for all the Maps.
  • You must use EXACT colors provided in the guide and visual guide to make maps work. Even one point difference in color number will prevent the map from properly appearing in game.
  • Material Maps are separated between Type map, Alpha map and Specular map. 
  • Type map contains information about type of material. If all blocks on your model are meant to be Solid you do not need to create a Type map.
    • Solid - 255.255.255 plain white RGB. Use this color for Solid blocks. It is also used to color all 'non-specified' voxels on the map.
    • Glass - 128.128.128 RGB. Use this color to mark blocks as Glass. For all Glass voxels you need to specify Transparency on Alpha Map.
    • Tiled Glass - 64.64.64 RGB. Use this color to mark blocks as Tiled Glass. This will create an outline around every glass voxel. For all Tiled Glass voxels you need to specify Transparency on Alpha Map.
    • Glowing Solid  - 255.0.0 RGB. Use this color to mark blocks as Solid Glowing. This makes voxels glow in the dark and emit small amount of light around them.
    • Glowing Glass - 255.255.0 RGB. Use this color to mark blocks as Glowing Glass, this will create transparent voxels that glow in the dark and emit small amount of light around them. For all Glowing Glass voxels you need to specify Transparency on Alpha Map.

  • Alpha map is only applied to voxels that are mapped with one or other type of Glass on Type map. All voxels that are not glass should be colored into 255.255.255 pure white RGB. If you do not have any Glass blocks on Type, you do not need to create Alpha map. There are a total of 8 possible transparency settings for glass voxels.
    • RGB 16.16.16 - use this color to make your Glass voxels most transparent and barely visible in game.
    • RGB 48.48.48 - use this and following colors to make your Glass voxels more opaque.
    • RGB 80.80.80
    • RGB 112.112.112
    • RGB 144.144.144
    • RGB 176.176.176
    • RGB 208.208.208
    • RGB 240.240.240 - use this color to make your Glass voxels most opaque and almost Solid looking in game.

 

  • Specular Map will only work voxels that are mapped Solid on Type map. Voxels that are mapped Glass or Glowing on Type can only be mapped Rough (Default) on this map. If you are not using Type (and in that case not using Alpha map either) you can apply Specular Mapping to any voxel.
    • Rough - 128.0.0 RGB - use this color to apply basic Rough (Default) texture to blocks. It is also used to color all non-solid voxels on the map.
    • Metal - 0.128.0 RGB - use this color to apply Metal texture to blocks. They will become slightly darker, gain extra shine and start reflecting light like metal should.
    • Water - 0.0.128 RGB - this will not make your voxels liquid! Water mapping is similar to Metal, but has less shine.
    • Iridescent - 128.128.0 RGB - use this color to apply Rainbow shining effect to blocks.
    • Waxy - 128.0.128 RGB - use this color to apply soft shine to blocks and make them less reflective.

  • You do not have to use Material Maps, models can look good without them too.

 

#8 .QB to .Blueprint

14:38

Exporting the model from Qubicle into blueprints ready for Trove.

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Exporting edited models, their material maps and converting to .blueprint

Naming of your qb files is very important. With big projects you will have many parts, and with material maps the output amount of qb files can be 2-3 times bigger.

Most importantly, a part and all its Material Maps should share the same name. Each Material Map gets its own identifier. For a Type map you add _t, for Alpha it is _a and for Specular you need to use _s. Only this way will you be able to create a blueprint with all maps properly included.

(right click on the image - Open in New tab - to zoom in)

You only need to drag the MAIN QB onto the devtool_convert_to_blueprint.bat . If your main qb file and all its maps are named correctly and located in same folder they will be picked up and used to create that one blueprint.

torso.blueprint = torso.qb + torso_a.qb + torso_t.qb + torso_s.qb

You can turn your freshly made blueprint back into separate QB files using devtool_dungeon_blueprint_to_QB.bat and you will get all your maps + empty Entities file, just like you would get from converting a blueprint from game files to QB for the first time.

If you have your main QB and maps in the same folder but they do not share same name, some maps will not be included in the blueprint and will not work in game.

Each part - a set of same-named qb and material maps - must be converted into separate blueprint.
Only UI blueprint can contain multiple parts because it is not animated.

 

Note: every time you convert something to a blueprint, a blueprint is created in the folder where your QB files are, but also a second duplicate blueprint is created in the Trove/Live/blueprint. You can easily move the duplicate to Override and keep your files in Modding folder as backup.

 

#9 Testing your changes and the override folder

4:25

Moving the blueprints into the right folder so that your model can be seen in game.

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Blueprint files that you put in your Trove/Live/override will change the appearance of in-game models for you only. Other players will not be able to see any changes.

Each time you make changes to the override folder you need to restart the game to see those changes applied.

If you remove your files from the override folder all the models will be back to their original looks next time you launch the game.

Please note that if you have multiple mods (sets of blueprints) in the override folder you do not need to remove them all to restore looks of one model, you only need to remove files that replace that particular model. For example, blueprint files starting with c_p_neon_ninja_ (parts of costumes for Neon Ninja) have no effect on c_c_mimic_ (parts of Chaotic Mimic ally), and so removing blueprints starting with c_c_mimic_ will not restore looks of Neon Ninja costume.

If you removed everything from override but models are still different in game, check the Tmods that you have Enabled in Main Menu > Mods.

 

#10 Creating a .TMOD

8:40

Packing up your override blueprints into a single .tmod for sharing and publishing.

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Taking Screenshots

By default you can use F12 to take a screenshot in Trove. That will take a photo of your whole Trove window without the user interface (such as experience bar, health, skills etc) and the location of your saved image will be displayed in chat (only for you). You can change the button for screenshots in game Settings > Hotkeys.

If you are using other apps to take screenshots of your games (Snipping Tool, Greenshot or anything else) you can disable the User Interface manually by pressing F7. Press the same button once more to enable it again.

It is good to zoom in on your mod and make it the most noticeable thing in the picture. Un-equipping irrelevant parts such as Allies, Banners, Helmets, Weapons or Hats/Faces (if you have not created a special one to match your mod) could be a good idea too. You want to show your mod from the best possible angles to attract more attention from users and the Devs!

Example of bad (left side) and ok (right side) screenshot of a dragon.

Following chat commands can be of real help:

/pose - makes you character stand in a pose fit for a photo. Each class has a different pose.

/epicpose - makes your character mount up and stand in an epic position. With Epicpose you have few special camera angles and you can rotate your character with arrows. Special interface element will pop up as soon as you activate the command. Want to have a rotating character without a mount for a Gif? Un-equip your mount before using the command. Want a cool epicpose photo with your character on a boat? Stand in water, activate your boat (G by default) and use /epicpose after.

/hideplayer - hides your player together with the mount. VFX effects, allies and familiars like the little dragon of Dracolyte will remain visible. Only hides your own character on your screen, other players will still be able to see you.

/showplayer - disables effects of previous command, character becomes visible on the screen again.

/freeze_companion - new and absolutely marvelous command to keep your ally in one place. Only works in Club worlds. Ally will still perform all the idle actions like looking around or sitting but it will not move from its location. Extremely useful for taking screenshots or making gifs of allies.

/freeze_companion_false - disables effects of previous command, your ally will move together with your character once again.

/fxenable 0 - disables all VFX effects such as weapon and hat auras, flames, various visual sparkles and whatnot on mounts and dragons, portals, effects from skills and even clouds in the sky.

/fxenable 1 - returns all VFX effects back to normal.

 

Building a TMOD

It is possible to build a TMOD file with an in-game chat command, without using Trove tools, but you will need to be a bit more careful with the files. The Tmod chat command grabs ALL FILES PLACED IN ALL OVERRIDE FOLDERS, so you really need to keep those folders clean and organized unless you want to name all the blueprints you want to include. As shown in the video, TroveTools lets you manually select blueprints and other files you want to include.

The following text describes creation of a tmod with chat command without specifying blueprints:

First, make sure that you only have blueprints that you want to include in your TMOD in your Trove/Live/blueprints/override folder. 

Second, make sure you have an image of your mod of 400 pixels x 230 pixels in your Trove/Live/ui/override folder.  This image does not have to be anything particular, an in-game screenshot would work just fine as long as it has those exact dimensions. Any image that is bigger/smaller will be stretched or reduced in size to fit the in-game preview window for mods.

In your Trove/Live/blueprints/override and in your Trove/Live/ui/override you should be able to see your files like this:

Once you have all files in their location, launch Trove and and type a chat command in game.

The command:

/buildmod author="{Your Name}" notes="{Notes on mod}" title="{Title of mod}" preview="{path to preview picture of mod}"

Example usage:

/buildmod author="Etaew" notes="My first mod. Better model for chaos-chest ally." title="Better looking Chaotic Mimic" preview="ui/mod_image.png"

It is useful to prepare your command before using it in the game window. Type it out in any text editor where it is easier to see the whole line. Then copy it (select whole line, press Ctrl+C) and paste in game (hit the Enter to open chat window, press Ctrl+V to paste the command in there). Hit Enter again to 'send' the command.

If you did everything correct, you will see a list of files used and a message 'Successfully created mod' in chat. That will create a .tmod file in your Trove/Live/mods folder. Restart the game to see your mod in the Mods preview window in game.

WARNING: you can not have multiple TMODs replacing same files. If you have more than one tmod trying to replace same files the Mods window in game will display a warning and suggest you disable one (or more) of conflicting Tmods. You need to restart a game every time you disable/enable a mod to see the effect.

Also, Tmods are always in priority over all /override folders. You can have same files in Tmod and your /override, but only files in Tmod will be used by game. Disable the Tmod to let the game use files from /override.

For more in-depth explanation of creating a t-mod with chat command check out this guide: https://trovesaurus.com/page=1857/modding-101-chapter-6-creation-of-a-tmod .

 

#11 Sharing your .TMOD

11:24

Share your .tmod using the Trovesaurus website and how you can submit your mod to the Trove developers.

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Uploading Images

It does not matter in which order you upload images. Once you have more than one, you can open Images tab and reorder them any way you like and also set any image as Featured - first image users see when they open the post. You can also upload more images or remove old one at any time.

 

Submitting your mod to Developers

Once you have your mod posted, you can submit it to Developers - this list over here https://trovesaurus.com/mods/submissions .

What this means, every now and then developers from the Trove Team visit this website and pick some mods to add to the game as new loot for Chaos Chests or any other collectable. Having your mod Submited does not mean that developers WILL chose your mod, but it ALLOWS them to consider it for adding to Trove.

Developers will not send you a message asking for your verification of 'do you want your mod added to the game?', you are agreeing to that by pressing 'Agree and Submit' button.

However, if you change your mind you can always withdraw your mod from the Submitted list. You can not withdraw your mod if it already was accepted by Developers.

Please be sure to include the UI blueprint of your mod in the tmod file. Developers can not add mods that do not have that blueprint to the game.

 

UI blueprint of your mod

UI - User Interface blueprint/model is essentially what users see in their Collections or Inventory when they acquire or unlock costume/ally/mount/etc.

The UI blueprint must contain:

for Costumes  - a full assembled costume (without helmet and weapons)

for Allies - full assembled ally (all parts)

for Mounts - either a full assembled model (example - carpets or cycles) or a head piece (example - dragons or other mounts that have big complete models which would not look good when zoomed out to fit in Collections icon size.)

for Mag Riders - full assembled model (all parts)

for Boats - full assembled model (all boat parts, NO SAIL)

for Sails - full assembled model (all parts, SAIL ONLY, NO BOAT)

To create a UI put necessary parts of your mod together in one QB file, create Material Maps for it if needed, export and convert to blueprint like you did with all the other parts.

Check this guide if you d like to create a catalog image of your mod same way a Trove would https://trovesaurus.com/page=2340/using-the-catalog-tool-to-render-images-of-your-blueprints-modding--creations. This is completely optional and you do not have to create it, only if you want to.

 

Sharing your Mod on Steam Workshop

Once you have your TMOD, you can share your mod on Steam Workshop. Many players use it but you can not submit your mod to developers through it.

Check this guide for all the details about uploading to Steam: https://trovesaurus.com/page=1883/modding-101-chapter-7b-sharing-your-tmod-on-steam-workshop