Getting Started with Knossos


Knossos Mod Manager is a centralized application to setup, install, and update FreeSpace 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 dependency resolution and updating for mods, Knossos is the go-to app for FreeSpace Open users.

Installing Knossos

The best Knossos version currently available is Knossos.NET. It is faster and supports more features than older Knossos versions. Also, Knossos.NET is actively developed and continually improved by a group of open-source developers.

Knossos.NET releases are available on GitHub, with builds available for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Grab the installer which best matches your operating system and architecture and follow the instructions therein to get up and running.

NOTE: Other versions of Knossos, such as classic Knossos and NuKnossos, are still available but no longer in active development and are not recommended for use. However many getting started guides have not yet been updated to recommend Knossos.NET over those other versions.

Setting up Knossos

After installation is complete, launch Knossos and the Quick Setup Guide will start automatically. The guide will walk you through basic setup and provide some helpful tips to get you going after the quick setup is complete.

Once the quick setup is complete you are ready to install and play any mods of interest. If you would like to run through the setup steps again you can access the Quick Setup Guide at any time from the Settings menu.

The Quick Setup Guide window, introducing the process and finding help on Discord

Tip: When selecting your game library path in Knossos, it's recommended to use a location with a large amount of available storage. Users will commonly install dozens of mods which could easily total 70-80 GiB in size. It's also possible to use an external drive for your game library if necessary.

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

Using Knossos

The Knossos window has five main points of interest: Play, which shows your currently installed mods, Explore, where you can find new mods to install, Community, where you can find links and resources to help you get the most out of FreeSpace Open, Multiplayer, where you can see active games on PXO and easily set your credentials, and Settings, where your base configuration and default preferences are located.

The Play tab lists your currently installed mods. Hovering your mouse cursor over a mod tile provides a list of options for that mod, separated into two tabs: Main and Advanced.

The Main tab gives you the option to play the mod, view it's details, and adjust settings or configuration. The Advanced tab allows you to play the mod with a debug build of FreeSpace Open, open the mod with a mission editor, or uninstall it.

Screenshot of the Play tab in Knossos

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 Community tab you will find resources and links to get support, connect with others in the FreeSpace community, and learn about creating your own mods for FreeSpace Open.

Screenshot of the Community tab in Knossos

The Multiplayer tab offers a quick view of the currently active servers on PXO, quick setup or a standalone server, and a place to easily set your PXO game credentials.

Screenshot of the Multiplayer tab in Knossos

The Settings menu will allow you to adjust Knossos settings as well as the default settings for running FreeSpace Open, including video and audio settings and joystick configuration.

Screenshot of the Settings tab in Knossos

Additionally you can use the Engine tab to find other FreeSpace Open builds to install and try, the Develop tab to create and share your own mods, and the Debug tab to view logs for Knossos and FreeSpace Open or easily upload them for support purposes.