The Most Essential Banished Mods

By Anna Blackwell 17 Oct 2018 0

Modding is a great way to breathe new life into a game that you’ve learned inside and out, and since you all seemed to like our Rimworld guide, we've deiced to take a look at another great game, Banished. This gritty city-builder/strategy games released in the distant past of 2014, and focused on survival more than anything else.

It was a bit flawed on first release, but it was also an instant classic - now, with the benefit of time and a still-active community, there's never been a better time to jump in and take the game for a spin. Below is a modest collection of mods, split into the categories of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and then some of the popular collections.

Banished 1

How To Install Banished Mods

Before we dive in, there are some differences this time. Banished, unlike Rimworld, seems to have a bit of an issue with the Steam Workshop, especially with copy-cat mods and other clutter. So most of the mods on this list instead come from Nexus Mods or Banished.info which take a little bit more effort to get working.

Thankfully the Banished website has this handy tutorial:

To install a mod for Banished, you just need to move the mod file (modname.pkm) into the WinData folder. The default locations are:

  • With Steam: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Banished\WinData
  • With standard install: C:\Program Files\Shining Rock Software\Banished\WinData

If you’ve ever modded Minecraft, this is essentially the same. If you’re completely new to this, don’t worry, even if you make a complete mess of it (which we all do the first time), just clear the folder. If that doesn’t work, reinstall and you’ll be right as rain again. Let’s go!

Mods That Make Life Better

More Terrain  by Cygnus54

The base selection of Banished can wear a little thin after a few dozen playthroughs so why not spice it up a bit? Build a swamp village, or combine this with the Jetty and Bridges mod to recreate Esgaroth.

More Terrain

More Terrain also adds ‘Larger’ and ‘Huge’ map sizes which are welcome additions if you want to build a real city.

Fix Field Placement  by ragingnonsense

As we’re all aware, in real life it is impossible to farm on anything other than perfectly flat ground, Banished simulates this very well but sometimes realism can be frustrating.

Fix Field Placement changes the field placement so you can farm wherever your settlers can walk. It also fixes issues like fields flattening hills, unreachable squares, and increases the max field size, orchard density, and worker slots.

Fishing Dock + 25 or 50% by DCase

Pescetarians everywhere rejoice! The fishing dock in vanilla Banished is a little underwhelming and rarely pulls in enough to feed a sizeable village but thanks to these handy little mods, you can finally feed the people. As they say on the tin (get it?), you have the option of a 25% increase or a 50% increase, depending on how much you want to empower the fishing dock.

UI Improvements by Discrepancy

UI improvements fixes some of the smaller issues (including one I forgot was an issue) and gives you longer town names, a larger toolbar to fit mod items, and a larger town hall inventory.

UI Improvements

Wildlife by Zenchina

We’ve got bigger fields, better fishing, it would be sacrilege to not mention the improved hunting/gathering. Wildlife increases the radius by 50% for hunting lodges, gathering huts, woodcutter, herbalist, and forester as well as increasing the worker slots for these buildings. Wildlife, like the rest of the improvement mods, will make food gathering a little easier, so keep that in mind when choosing your difficulty settings.

Nomad Zero Pop  by DCase

Failing in Banished is a gutting inevitability. Disease, starvation, or just plain ol’ freezing to death, your settlers are all going to die off eventually (in my experience, though maybe I just suck). Nomad Zero Pop still requires the necessary buildings to draw/allow nomads but allows you to continue playing your town after a complete wipe.

Nomad Zero Pop

Mods That Add More Stuff

Fences and Decorations by Discrepancy

Town doing well? Little Timothy eating enough this Winter? Great, now you can work on making the streets look less barren. Fences and Decorations adds a bunch of stone and wood walls/fences as well as crates, barrels, lamp posts, lanterns, and carts to bring some more life to your town. It’s kind of like a model train set except with more death.

Fences and Walls

Celtic Buildings  by Discrepancy 

Take the vanilla Banished experience to ancient Scotland with standing stones, palisades, and Celtic roundhouses. Like most DS mods, this one adds a bunch of well-integrated items that just add a lot of flavour to the base game. Lugh’s Stone also allows nomads to join at 0 population.

DS Celtic Houses

Jetty and Bridges  by Discrepancy

A massive DS mod that adds the ability to build jetties and bridges as well as stilted versions of most buildings and a few new additions like the mollusc farm. It also adds a few decorative canoes which, like a true Sims veteran, I really appreciate.

Jetty and Bridges

Having the ability to build out over the water changes the vanilla experience a lot more than would be expected and is something I really recommend you try. Make your own little Venice or Esgaroth.

Popular Mod Packs/ Big Changers

Colonial Charter  by Black Liquid

Ever wanted a more colonial feel for Banished? Well you’re in luck, Colonial Charter puts you in the buckled shoes of a disgraced European noble who has been set to the new world to found a colony only to find they’ve been understaffed and ill-equipped, just like the vanilla game. This is one of the biggest mods for Banished and has been likened to a DLC in scope and quality, definitely one to look into if you’re looking for something fresh.

Colonial Charter

Megamod by Black Liquid and others

Modding can be a real pain as you fight through mod conflicts, unexplainable errors, and sudden failures. If you want a modded experience but want to avoid the possible headache, the lovely folks over at Black Liquid Software have compiled a massive pack that adds lots of new buildings, crops, items, and tools.

One Last Thing

I’ve kept this list to the Nexus, Banished.info, and Steam Workshop as those are the most known and beginner friendly but there are a ton of mods over at worldofbanished.com. Once you’re ready, drop on by and fall even deeper into the modding rabbit hole!

Do you have a favourite Banished mod not on the list? Let us know in the comments!

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