Today a new reward system was announced by Dark0ne, Nexus Mods site owner, where mod creators can earn money or rewards for their efforts. The system uses Donation Points as the backbone, of which the final total value represents the amount of money donated by Nexus Mods to the donation pool. These Donation Points are earned each month with the amount earned based on how many unique downloads your mod has received for that month. The amount of DP will depend on factors such as how much money Nexus Mods has donated that month, and how many unique downloads all the other files from other authors have received.

Right now, 1.000 Donation Points will be equal to $1, though the mod authors will be given options besides cashing these in for direct monetary rewards. While the intent is to have more varied rewards added, currently they just include Premium Membership and three Charities (in addition to the direct payout via PayPal). Additionally, these Donation Points will be able to be shared with other users on the site, whether they are people who’ve helped them before or simply as a favor.

Before any payouts happen at this stage, there will be a 3-month delay first so any kinks can be buffed out while as many mod authors as possible can already prepare by opting in. Furthermore, Dark0ne says that the donated money in the first couple of months will be lower than he and his team hope will be the eventual goal, stating that he’s set aside $100.000 from the Nexus Mods’ own funds to cover for the next 12 months for this system but adding that he’s intent on a system that allows users to donate to the pool as well. The FAQ further expands on this by saying that the monthly goal for the Nexus is to add at least between 5.000 to 10.000 to the pool monthly.

This announcement brings a less fortunate one along as well. With the rising prevalence of VPN’s, proxies and TOR, it has become impossible to accurately track unique downloads from users who aren’t logged in or don’t have an account. Up until now, these users could download mods up to 2MB in size. In order to battle their potential influence that could lead to fraud or abuse, this has now been removed and any downloads of any size will now require the user to be logged in with an account.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that the system will not only be opt-in, but will present mod authors with the ability to set various permissions pertaining to some specific situations. These can range from whether the mod author would like other authors to be able to receive Donation Points from mods using their assets/mods, or whether they are required to contact the original author first.

Money ands Mods have been a sore subject ever since the Paid Mods debacle happened back in 2015. Some feared that involving money with mods could risk the hobbyist nature of it, amongst other reasons. Others argue that Mod Authors have every right to get compensated for the hours of work they pour into their creations, even if they use existing licensed games as a platform for it. The more recent Creation Club is Bethesda’s attempt to merge money and mods together, using a vetted approval system to sift through submissions that authors would like to see them earn money with. While this system has had its own fair share of criticism from the modding community, this time Bethesda hasn’t backed down with it yet. It would seem the Nexus Mods websites are throwing their hat into the ring as well to tackle this issue.


Quick Take

To call this a touchy subject is equal to an elephant in the room that’s doing Salsa dancing. Up until today, I thought there just couldn’t be a system that both rewards mod authors fairly and keeps everyone reasonably happy, not without an extra party fronting the money. In the very least, I stand corrected in thinking no company or website would ever risk their own money for this. Whatever your opinion, there’s no question Nexus Mods is dedicated to sustaining the modding scene, going so far as to even invest not just once, but monthly through a reward system that doesn’t cost the user or mod authors any money or effort of their own. It’s almost selfless, and certainly unlike what you’d expect a company to behave like.


Himpe Kenny

Staff Writer

Writer in Mind, Gamer at Heart, I finish as many games as I can to give my impression in a useful way. A heart for moddable games and addicting mechanics so you'll spot me playing those a lot.