Can we have subfolders in the Community folder?

I suspect that the Community folder is going to get pretty noisy as more and more addons are applied.

Is there a way to group addons by category within folders to organize things a bit?

Do the top level folders have to have manifest and layout files for the whole subtree of each category folder?

I’d welcome any thoughts people have on the subject.

12 Likes

In lieu of no subfolders, I’ve renamed each of the files I’m putting with a prefix of "AIRCRAFT- UTILITY- AIRPORT- … then the original name. This keeps everything in order for me but doesn’t mess up the integrity of the original name. But I agree, subfolders would really be helpful when this thing really starts growing. For a stop-gap, this idea works and organizes the disarrayed community folder.

7 Likes

I would like to know as well. Is the Community folder MSFS’s version of the scenery library?

No harm in just trying it to see if it works with sub folders? If not nothing lost putting things back.
I’ve found I can rename root folders to something more meaningful and they still work.

1 Like

Hello at this moment the Community folder is not reflecting some add-ons? Has something happened or some maintenance information, thanks

1 Like

I’ve noticed that for some reason, some scenery items do not get “discovered” during load up of the sim, and I have had to put them in the content.xml file manually, after which they worked as expected.

On the subject of subfolders, I couldn’t get them to work, even if I included manifest and layout files detailing the subfolder trees. It looks like the naming convention is the way to go form the moment.

1 Like

Agreed, it would be nice and tidy to have at least 4 subfolders for Aircraft, Scenery and Airports and utilities, moving forward

3 Likes

I add a little prefix before my file names, that way you can set your file explorer filter to what you’re looking for and it keeps the rather large (and growing fast) mod folder neat for me. I use ACFT-filename or ARPRT-filename for example.

1 Like

How you can make sure that your add-on has been loaded properly? I tried a livery for a DA-62 and it showed solid disk for the rotating propellers, another livery showed the instrument panel with no labels, etc. I think people are rushing to make all these extras for the sim, and they are not good quality. I deleted all of them. Lots of bad liveries, be careful.

Subfolders do not work. The “content.xml” file only register files of the main folders. In any case, if it was possible to write the location of the files it will be a heavy task.

The way Angernerve suggests is very easy.

Another way will be to install addons in a folder out of the simulator, create there subfolders and use symbolic link to put them in Community.

2 Likes

To make a good alphabetical order you can put on each folder prefix for example: airport-xxx, airplane-xxx, liveries-xxx, tweak-xxx. Make sure there is no spaces between letters or symbols and will be fine.

1 Like

It can be done with using of symbolic links. Even better - You can keep Your addons wherever You want ! Here is my practice due to limited drive spaces:

  • I have created new folders called “MSFSAddons” on few hard drives, then inside of them I created subfolders called “3D”, “Airports”, “Fixes”, “Repaints” etc. whatever You want.
  • after downloading any 3rd party addon I am changing its original folder name to my own - I am using this pattern of folders renaming - for example: “USA_IL_C81_Campbell_FREE” for airports, “Netherlands_3D_Bruges_Landmarks_FREE” for any 3D objects. Such naming keeps things later on in an order easy to manage, add or delete addons.
  • I am putting all new addons with renamed folder names (as above) into proper subfolder of “MSFSAddons” on the different drive depending on my free space.
  • Now the main point ! the sim is reading addons only from main Community folder, but we can put there only a shortcut to addon folder being in completely different place by mean of “symbolic link” which makes sim to see the addon as if it is in Community folder !
  • how to do it in easy way ? I am using small, great app for symbolic links creation (called LSE or Link Shell Extension) which allows to drop sybolic links to Community folder (it is working in similar way as shortcuts)
  • how to make symbolic link ? aftere LSE installation it appears in right click drop menu - I right-click on the folder with addon - click “Pick Link Source” from drop menu, then going to main Community folder and click “Drop As” => “Symbolic Link” and ta-da ! we have nice “virtual” folder with the same name, which allows to keep in Community folder only things we want to use in the sim
  • note: I experienced huge loading time (20 minutes !) increase when my addons reached 400, so now I am putting in Community folder only symbolic links for the country or area landmarks I want to fly… unfortunately this is the only way…
    The other thing are airplanes - I do not have any new except default, so I am not sure if airplanes will work the same way, but will see…
    Hopefully this solution will help some of You to better manage Your addons, folders and drives !
    Good luck ! :+1:t2:
9 Likes

Thanks for the info.

Am I right in assuming that you can have order and structure in the “real” file locations, however, if you look in the community folder, you will see hundreds of symbolic links to the addon folders. One for each addon?

Firstly That’s very good, thank you for that description.

Secondly though, it’s something the average user shouldn’t have to go through in order to simplify their Community downloads, this really needs Asobo to change the behaviour to reflect a folder structure so all we do is drop it in and that’s that.
I’ve said elsewhere but this is a major oversight when it should’ve been blatantly obvious during the design phase, needs addressing sooner rather than later.

6 Likes

Yes to both. I just tried it. How you name your files determines your structure. It looks just like an ordinary shortcut for each.

I am glad it can be some temporary solution :slight_smile: Generally, Asobo should improve the way of addons management with time… maybe yes, maybe there will be no changes… as a veteran of FSX & P3D I can assume for now, that such partisan way can last forever too :wink:
@TheSevenflyer - exactly, they look just like ordinaly shortcuts, but mind they can be not copied - the whole destination folder will be copied if You try :wink:
@DizzyBasket7278 - yes, there is order and structure in real folders, while in the Community folder You see hundreds of symbolic links - here are some more practices I do:

  • in real file locations I am changing folders names with Country_3D_xxx or ICAO etc similar pattern to keep them at least alphabetically when dropped into the Community folder
  • I found that the more symbolic links I put in my Community folder (over 400 collected so far) the more impacting MSFS loading/starting - when reaching 21 minutes waiting till “press any key” screen I was totally shocked - I found that this impact was due to all 3D google-ports - don’t know yet if specific ones or all together - I see that some have only one big DDS texture inside, while other can have 3 to 6 thousands of DDS textures, hence overloading sim during the startup !
  • I found that airports have rather no impact, so I keep all symbolic links to airports and fixes permanently in the Community folder (it is ca 200 now and it is without loading time impact),
  • what about the rest of links (to over 200 3D google-ports) ? I moved them to special folder, let’s call it “hangar” with subfolders by area inside (to split by number of addos) - countries or continents, like UK, Australia, Asia, Africa etc.
  • as the symbolic links can not be copied, then I am moving (cut & paste) them from “hangar” folder to main Community folder - of course only the ones from area I want to fly with extra 3D improvements
    This is a kind of compromise for now, to keep order with addons, not to overload the sim but at price of moving symbolic links around (this way activating them or deactivating) - unfortunately to be done again and again before each start of the sim if I want to change flying (with details) area (so far so easy as in windows explorer I only select the links with “country_3D_something” and move them in or out)
2 Likes

Good point, wondered about it too.
I think they should improve that… community folder could become messy after a while.

I have a “livery” repaint that did show up, and now doesn’t.

I would find it quite amazing/revolutionary, that an add-on as complex as say the NG3, is simply able to be dropped into a community folder and the installation is complete.

Though I’m not certain, I don’t think the “final” or only way to install add-ons is upon us quite yet. If I’m not mistaken the SDK is still in development.

Also I hope that the MSFS development team will have fixed default features to the point that add-on developers can move on to bigger and better things like PCL, a NOTAMS system, and fully functioning circuit breakers.

All that said, the OP has an excellent question. But MSFS is still at an “alpha” stage in my view.

1 Like

@aracines Very good point ! It will be evolving and the more complex addons will be launched the more complicated will be any manual installation or changes - this was exactly the process over years in FSX/P3D - more and more folders in main game folder, external apps running, SODE and many others which at the end made it really a nightmare when looking for any crash or low FPS causes :exploding_head:
I agree - with MSFS definitely we are still deep in the infant age and with all its early diseases :crazy_face:
Let’s be patient and enjoy what we have for now :+1:t2:

1 Like