Game updates often result in plugins becoming temporarily unavailable as developers work to make them compatible with new changes. This leaves players unable to access custom mods essential to their experience until updates get released.
While frustrating, there are constructive ways to respond when these update-related plugin issues arise that will have your game back up and running smoothly as quickly as possible.
This guide covers professional troubleshooting steps including identifying incompatible plugins, best practices for monitoring update status, re-enabling plugins correctly once updates are released, preventative measures to limit issues, and additional solutions for persisting problems. Follow these tips to get past update-related plugin problems.
What Causes Plugins to Become Unavailable
When a game developer releases a major patch or update for a game, it often includes changes and fixes to the core game files and code. This means plugins and mods that rely on interacting with specific game files or functions can break when those files or functions get changed in an update.
The developers of plugins or mods then need to update their creations to work properly with the updated game. However, this takes time. So in the meantime, the plugins get temporarily disabled to avoid crashing the game for players.
Waiting for Developers to Update Their Plugins
Once you encounter the “plugins unavailable” message, unfortunately, all you can do is wait patiently for the creators of your favorite plugins to release updated versions.
Depending on the complexity of the necessary changes, updates could take anywhere from a few hours to a few days or even weeks. Some plugin developers may even decide an update is too much work and abandon older plugins altogether.
It’s frustrating, but try to remember these are almost always hobbyists and solo creators providing plugins for free in their spare time. Updating takes significant work.
How to Know When Plugins Have Been Updated
Most plugin host sites like Nexus Mods will notify you when a plugin in your library has been updated by its creator.
You can browse manually as well by sorting by recently updated. Check plugin comments too – fellow users will often report back on whether the update successfully made a plugin functional again.
Enabling Plugins After Updating Games
Once you’ve updated your game and verified your plugins have released compatibility updates, re-enabling them is straightforward:
- Launch game
- Navigate to Plugins menu
- Check box next to plugin to re-enable
- Confirm load order is still correct
- Save & relaunch game
Double check the game loads correctly and your plugins are now fully functional again before starting a game.
While there’s no surefire way to completely avoid that “plugins unavailable” message, a few precautions can help:
- Turn off automatic game updates – This gives you more control to update only when necessary plugins have released compatibility updates.
- Research must-have plugins – Focus on popular plugins from developers committed to updating. These get updated priority.
- Wait to start new games – Hold off on installing or starting plugin-heavy saves if you know a game update is imminent.
Understanding the Importance of Game Updates
While disabling plugins temporarily is inconvenient, game updates ultimately enhance the play experience and are very important for continuing enjoyment.
Updates fix performance issues, bugs, and exploits used for cheating, and generally improve stability & functionality over time. They’re key to ensuring an actively maintained, smoothly running game.
So while waiting for plugins to update can try one’s patience, it’s a necessarily evil in the world of modern gaming.
Plugins Help Customize & Enhance Game Experiences
When properly maintained and kept updated, plugins let gamers richly customize and enhance their experiences:
- Adjust graphical options – Advanced plugins can introduce graphical changes like hi-res textures that go beyond developer-intended options.
- Skip tedious parts – Don’t enjoy certain quests or tasks? Plugins can let you bypass them.
- Experience new adventures – Custom stories, quests, areas, and more let you squeeze more enjoyment out of favorite games.
- Tweak & transform – From cosmetic item changes to altered magical abilities to new species options, plugins offer tons of ways to put your personal stamp on adventures.
So ultimately the patience required during the updating period pays off for many gamers seeking to tailor adventures to their exact preferences.
Warnings About the Risks of Unsupported Plugins
Gamers anxious to reactivate plugins should keep a few warnings in mind:
- Outdated plugins risk destabilizing games, preventing saving, and resulting in crashes & lost progress
- Poorly supported plugins may slowly accumulate small conflicts eventually causing performance hits
- Plugin conflicts can be tricky to diagnose & fix once they set in & start cascading
- Corrupted saves can result from pushes to continue an unsupported plugin because restoring older saves may be the only fix
- While waiting is annoying, it still beats the alternative! Have a backup non-modded game & save handy too.
Multiplayer Games Typically Disable Plugins Entirely
For online multiplayer games that disable the functionality of third-party plugins entirely there’s zero choice but to play vanilla when participating.
Plugins could be leveraged in ways that give players unfair advantages, allow harassment, or circumvent systems in ways that compromise competitive integrity & enjoyment.
So while single-player mods expand enjoyment greatly, stepping into multiplayer means leaving mods behind for the sake of fairness.
Managing Single & Multiplayer Plugin Setups
Thankfully most modern games make switching between single-player modded setups and multiplayer vanilla straightforward.
- Skyrim seamlessly disables mods when entering Elder Scrolls Online
- Fallout 4 does the same when jumping into Fallout 76
World of Warcraft Classic lets players maintain isolated plugin-supported single player instances separate from main multiplayer servers
Toggling between the two plugin modes works wonderfully in games built to accommodate both well. Just expect limitations when engaging in any shared/competitive multiplayer environment as that necessarily depends on uniform adherence to developer intended balance, mechanics, and content availability.
What to Do If Issues Persist After Updating
In rare cases update-related plugin issues stubbornly persist even after updating games & add-ons. Some troubleshooting next steps if that happens:
- Isolate Problem Addon – Disable all plugins, and enable them one by one checking stability each time to identify any problem addon
- Report Issues – Alert the plugin creator to any isolated post-update issues needing further troubleshooting
- Update Other Mods – Check all other installed mods besides plugins for potential updates needing to be applied
- Repair Game Install – As a last resort, repair/reinstall the game to fully reset everything to factory condition
While extremely inconvenient, this scorched earth troubleshooting sequence should resolve virtually any issues arising after game and plugin updates get applied down the road.
Embrace the Plugin Update Process
The disabling of plugins due to game updates can be temporarily inconvenient. Ultimately the update process keeps gaming experiences smooth, bug-free, and sets the foundation for future amazing plugin expansions.
With a focus on patience and keeping plugins rigorously updated, gamers can embrace updates as an integral part of enjoying their enhanced customizable adventures long-term.
The temporary inconvenience paves the way for improved stability and compatibility enabling plugins to customize and transform gaming adventures in wonderful ways for years to come.
Having plugins suddenly become unavailable due to a game update can certainly be disruptive for a gamer. However, maintaining updated games and addons is an essential process for maximizing enjoyment long-term.
By understanding what causes plugins to break after game updates, keeping patient during the update period, taking preventative measures, and troubleshooting any persisting issues, players can take the update inconvenience in stride.
Ultimately keeping games freshly updated is what makes awesome ongoing mods and custom adventures possible in the first place. So embrace updates as essential growing pains on the road to gaming glory!