What's the point of Masterbundles, do I need them?

So after having an entire folder deleted because of a failed masterbundle export, I’m now questioning if I actually need to use masterbundles or if I can just gloss over them because they seem to just make the whole modding process more complicated for seemingly no reason. What benefit does having masterbundles provide? I know a lot of people use them when making custom maps, but why? What makes them superior to just using the old method of unity3d files? They seem to work perfectly fine in my experience. So far my attempts to follow guides and set up a masterbundle have all ended with either nothing happening or files getting corrupted/deleted.

I don’t know how it would’ve deleted an entire folder, what guide are you using for them?

Master bundles aren’t complicated at all once you do them the first time. The main thing with them is that they share common assets to reduce the file size of your mod. Regardless of how many assets you have, it makes exporting a single click process as well although some people use unity3ds for testing new items still.

If you want an example of the file size difference, I upgraded GHJ’s Layered Clothing mod to master bundles a few years ago.

The original mod and its expansion took up 50.723 MB of space according to their workshop pages.
The master bundle upgrade, which combined the two mods, is given as 0.522 MB.
The difference here is that a copy of the shirt mesh was included in every unity3d file, the master bundle only needed one copy.



A good summary of the main reasons. When every asset needed to be updated because of shader changes, the introduction of masterbundles turned that process from thousands of clicks to a single click.

When we wanted to reduce the game size and improve load times, being able to more efficiently reuse assets (models, textures, audio…) has been great.

If modders want to quickly iterate on something, they can still use individual .unity3d files. But creating masterbundles is fairly straightforward. The main thing to remember is that file hierarchy matters. Folders should be 1:1.

This was one of the guides I attempted to follow, at around 6:20 the guy explaining also experiences the same issue I had where the folders that had all the .dat files and such are reduced to just a generic “file” and are deleted. All the folders, .dats, and english files have to be remade if this occurs.

Also I see, I assumed that file size was one of the reasons for using masterbundles but I didn’t know how big of a difference it would actually be.

I’ll probably just continue using the individual asset bundles until I have my mod done and attempt to upgrade everything to masterbundles after.

I definitely have never seen that issue in the video.

I don’t know if this’ll help any but I’ve got my file structure here, Bundles is the folder in Unity which has my marathon.masterbundle asset label applied. I based my setup on the Hawaii assets when master bundling was introduced. May want to make a backup of your .dat files before bundling just in case it happens again.

It’s a bit of an ideal scenario with clothing since every item type will use the same mesh, just with a different texture.

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