Getting Started with Knossos

Knossos Mod Manager is a centralized application to setup, install, and update FreeSpace 2 Open and the ever growing list of mods that it supports. Knossos offers a searchable library of mods which can be easily installed and ready to play with minimal effort. Featuring multi platform support for Windows, Linux, and macOS, plus automatic dependancy resolution and updating for mods, Knossos is the go-to app for FreeSpace 2 Open users.

Installing Knossos

Knossos is available for download from the Knossos website.

Follow the instructions for your operating system to download and install Knossos. If an installer is not directly available for your operating system then it may be possible to build Knossos from the source code yourself. Follow the Github link on the Knossos website to learn more.

NOTE: Although Knossos is available for macOS, recent FreeSpace 2 Open versions are not due to a loss of the macOS build system. Future development of FreeSpace 2 Open for macOS may be limited, or outright impossible, however it should still be possible to create your own macOS builds for now.

Setting up Knossos

After installation is complete, launch Knossos and follow the instructions shown.

NOTE: For most of the mods available, a copy of retail FreeSpace 2 is still required. FreeSpace 2 is available for purchase from GOG.com (preferred) and from Steam.

Select a location for the Knossos library, then click Continue.

It is recommended to set the Knossos library to a location with a large amount of available storage, as users will commonly install dozens of mods which can total 70-80 GiB in size.

Screenshot of first setup step

Knossos will then check to see if FreeSpace 2 is already installed.

If an existing installation is found you will be asked to confirm it's location. Select Yes to confirm the location, or No to browse for the correct location.

Screenshot of second setup step

If you do not already have FreeSpace 2 installed, and you purchased it from GOG, Knossos can install it for you just by locating your GOG FreeSpace 2 installer.

You may also Skip installation of FreeSpace 2. You will still be able to play the limited number of total conversions available, which do not require an installation of FreeSpace 2.

You may return to install FreeSpace 2 at another time from the Settings menu.

Screenshot of third setup step

Once the basic setup is complete Knossos will automatically download and install the current stable release of FreeSpace 2 Open. The progress bar at the bottom of the Knossos window will keep track of the status. This can take some time on slower internet connections however, so please be patient.

Using Knossos

The Knossos window has four main points of interest: Home, which shows your currently installed mods, Explore, where you can find new mods to install, Develop, where you can share your own mods, and Settings, where your base configuration and default preferences are located.

The Home tab lists your currently installed mods.

Hovering your mouse cursor over a mod gives you the option to play or view information about that mod. The arrow icon at the bottom right will allow you to launch the mod in the editor, set custom settings for that mod, view the debug log, and more.

Animation for using mod from Home tab

From the Explore tab you can find and install a growing selection of mods. The search box at the top left of the window can be used to quickly find any mod that you are interested in.

Hovering your mouse cursor over a mod will allow you to view details about that mod as well as install it.

Screenshot of the Explore tab in Knossos

In the Develop tab you will find information related to modding for FreeSpace 2 Open and making your creations available for others to play through Knossos.

Modding is outside the scope of this how-to, however resources, turorials, and guides covering modding for FreeSpace 2 Open are available through the Hard Light Productions website.

Screenshot of the Develop tab in Knossos

The Settings menu, available through the icon at the top right of the window, will allow you to adjust Knossos settings as well as the global settings for running FreeSpace 2 Open.

Simply click on the title for each section in the settings to display your options.

The Global Flags section will allow you to set your default game preferences for all mods.

Animation for the Settings menu