Dragon Age: Origins – Best Mods for 2021 (& How to Install Them)
Dragon Age: Origins is a fairly old game that still feels timeless. Players can improve and update the experience even years later by installing mods.
Widely considered one of the best RPGs ever made, Dragon Age: Origins still enjoys massive popularity and a dedicated player base even ten years past its initial release. In Dragon Age: Origins, players are first introduced to the dark fantasy world of Thedas and its politics and culture via one of six origin stories that triggers depending on the race and class combination the player selects: elf, dwarf, or human, and mage, rogue, or warrior. After a series of unfortunate circumstances, the player character is recruited, either willingly or because they have no other choice, to the Grey Wardens and must help stop the Blight.
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With so many possible beginnings for a character and so many different choices players can make with various outcomes that significantly change the narrative, players can return to Origins over and over again. However, the game’s age still sometimes shows, and players may be looking for more of a change during their next playthrough. These players can install mods to enhance or fundamentally change the experience. The best mods for Dragon Age: Origins change some aspect of gameplay, improve combat and skills, or add things to the game that have become fantasy RPG essentials. Here are some of the best mods for Dragon Age: Origins in 2021 and how to install them.
Best Dragon Age: Origins Mods
Players should always be careful when modding their game, as mods can sometimes cause games to act up and ruin a player’s save files. It is a good idea to back up all saves and any game files prior to installing mods.
There are many mods players can install, including cosmetic ones that help players design their perfect hero. Because these are often particular to a player’s taste, it is best for players to look through them and select the ones that work best for their needs. The ones in this guide are more widely applicable to all players.
Skip the Fade
Widely credited as every player’s most essential Dragon Age: Origins mod, Skip the Fade by hdhd allows players to bypass the labyrinthine trip through the Fade during the Broken Circle chapter. When the Sloth demon teleports the hero into the Fade, after they defeat Duncan at Weisshaupt Fortress, they will be immediately transported to each of their companions’ nightmares. Then, they can fight the demon. They will automatically earn all the extra attribute points they would otherwise need to solve puzzles to find in the Fade, and they will also receive all associated Codex Entries. For players who hate pausing the main story to try to navigate the Fade, this mod is a must-have.
Unlike most RPGs, including the other two entries in the Dragon Age series, there is no way for players to respec their characters later in the Origins once they have specialized and leveled up. Peter Kovacs fixed this with the Character Respecialization mod. Players can interact with the mysterious Raven who appears at camp to reset base attributes, specialization, spells, talents, and skills of their hero and any companions. If players have missed a gameplay-specific specialization, like Blood Mage or Duelist, they will not be able to add it via the Raven, but if they have already obtained it during the main story, they can add it back again.
Extra Dog Slot
Everyone wants to travel Thedas with a trusty Mabari companion. Unfortunately, unlike the dog in Dragon Age 2, the Mabari in Origins must be slotted into a party as one of the three companions rather than serving as a special, extra fifth companion. Fortunately, the Extra Dog Slot mod by Dheuster allows players to take their furry friend on every adventure without losing a companion slot. Players should note that this mod can be buggy if the Mabari dies. They will need to send it away and summon it again to fix the bug.
No Helmet Hack
The helmets in Dragon Age: Origins are notorious for looking somewhat silly, and the game does not come with a Hide Helmet function like its successors. Players who want to still look good in cutscenes and when fighting can download the No Helmet Hack mod by Yonline2. The mod places helmets in the cloak slot, and players can toggle visibility on and off using the No Helmet Rule Book. Players still maintain the helmet’s stats as though it were visible.
Alley of Murders
There are several DLC adventures for Dragon Age: Origins, but if players are looking for an extra challenge, they can explore the Alley of Murders. This is a fanmade expansion by AmstradHero that adds a quest that sends the hero and their companions to the hidden underbelly of Denerim to investigate a series of murders. The expansion is fully voiced and includes choices with clear and tangible consequences. This can add up to an hour of additional gameplay.
One of the more frustrating things about the early chapters of Dragon Age: Origins is the inability for non-rogue heroes (and even some rogue heroes) to unlock chests. This is particularly apparent in the Tower of Ishal during the prologue. Until rogues have a high enough Cunning score, players will miss quite a bit of loot. The Lock Bash mod by xatmos allows the hero or companions to bash or force open most locked chests or doors, attacking it until it is completely destroyed. Class and stats will affect how well characters can do this. Players should be careful, however; the mod is responsive, and players can sometimes “break” items in the chest or lose them in the rubble. Players have the option of turning this feature off if they would prefer. Additionally, if there is a high enough level rogue in the party, the bash action will instead simply command the rogue to open the chest without any additional input from the player.
How to Install Mods in Dragon Age: Origins
Installing mods for Dragon Age: Origins is fairly easy. Players will need to follow these steps:
- Download a mod or mods.
- Open the Downloads folder, left-click on the zipped mod folder, and choose Extract All. If the program is not a traditional zipped Windows file, players can open the folder with and extract mods using a program like 7-zip or WinRAR.
- Navigate to the game files for Dragon Age: Origins. This will typically be Documents > BioWare > Dragon Age > packages > core > override.
- Click and drag the extracted mod files from the Downloads folder to the override folder in the game’s file path.
- Launch Dragon Age: Origins.
Some mods have special instructions for installation. These instructions will often be included on the mod’s page or as a readme file. There is a chance players will need to download the CharGenMorph Complier from Nexus Mods as well to ensure some mods, particularly those ending in .xml, will work together.
Next: Dragon Age: Inquisition – Best Mods for 2020 (& How to Install Them)
Dragon Age: Origins is available for PC.
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About The Author Maria Meluso (758 Articles Published)
Maria Meluso is a staff game guide and game review writer for Screen Rant based in the Midwestern United States. She covers everything from massive, open-world RPGs to small-scale indie horror projects. She’s the kind of person who loves instructions and manuals but who is stubborn and competitive enough to wait to consult game guides until she’s hit game over at least 15 times. When not writing, you can usually find her playing fantasy RPGs like Dragon Age and writing screenplays.
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