The 10 Best mods for Planet Zoo, and how to install them

Expand your zoo to animals that don’t even exist anymore.

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator NicholasLionRider

As far as games go, Planet Zoo is a wonderful sandbox of creative freedom. Even then, the base game can be a little limiting. Planet Zoo fans have taken it upon themselves to create a rich and fulfilling game state on their own. From new buildings to the cutest, freshly-made animals, the best mods are all right here in alphabetical order — as well as a quick explanation on how to install them in your game.

Related: Planet Zoo – Building controls and tips

ACSE

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator ilodev

While many Planet Zoo mods are fun creative tools or flashy new creatures, this mod is one of the best because it does one simple thing: it lets you add mods to the game. Planet Zoo can be a little particular about modding, so adding this mod will allow your game to interact better with the other mods you download.

To add ACSE to your game, go to Nexus Mods, the hub for Planet Zoo mods. There, search the ACSE mod and download its files. Then, you’ll want to unzip the contents of the file into the Planet Zoo/Win64/OvlData/ folder. From there, other mods should be easier to run.

African Lion Remaster

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator NarwhalerN

While it’s the wide range of animals that draws people into Planet Zoo, the African Lion is the face of the franchise. However, the textures on the African Lion haven’t always been the best. For an even more majestic king of the jungle, this remaster is a fan favorite.

When installing this mod, simply go to Nexus Mods, download the files, unzip them, and place them in the trusty ovldata folder.

Like many Planet Zoo mods, you need to have ACSE installed for this mod to run properly.

Animal Addition Mods

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creators LeafProductions, PureWinter, Mergiee, and Tompsognathus

No matter what other features you love about Planet Zoo, the true in-game and real-life money-maker for the series are the animals. It’s no surprise that the vast majority of mods are about adding new and thrilling creatures to the game. Whether it’s a fluffy, friendly Harbor Seal or the extinct Quagga, there are hundreds of new animals to add to your game. Just scroll through Nexus Mods and download new beauties to your heart’s content.

Some of the most popular animals ever include the North American River Otter, the Maned Wolf, the Emu, the Alpaca, the Suffolk Sheep, and the Serval.

To download an animal mod, most of them run similarly to other mods: download, unzip, and move the files to the ovldata folder. However, unless you get a specific animal pack, you will have to download each animal one by one. Also, be careful to check if the specific animal mod of your choice runs on ACSE or Planet Zoo Plus. The two integration mods don’t always work well together.

Animal Overhaul

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator PureWinter

As beloved as Planet Zoo is, there are many parts of the game that fans found lackluster, especially when it came to building their personalized zoos, habitats, and guest experiences. To try to curb that, PureWinter created a holistic, quality-of-life improvement mod that fans love. It stops animals from loathing vegetation-filled habitats, so you can create lush savannah scenes. With this mod, all animals can be fed by guests. Animals also tolerate larger herd/flock/etc. sizes. Overall, this Animal Overhaul just lets you have a more well-rounded, animal-interactive, enjoyable game experience.

When installing Animal Overhaul, go to Nexus Mods. Download the mod and then unzip the files. Then, copy and paste every content folder from this mod and put it in the ovldata folder.

Exhibit Prop Pack

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator NicholasLionRider

Each person goes into a Planet Zoo game with different goals. Some people are looking for a great attraction, others a long lineage of amusing animals. There are others who are expert enclosure designers. With over 150+ in-exhibit elements like rocks, faux trees, shelters, and more, the Exhibit Prop Pack lets your habitat design thrive.

If you’re itching to let your creativity go wild, download this mod off of Nexus Mods. Then, unzip the files and place them in the ovldata folder.

Like many Planet Zoo mods, you need to have ACSE installed for this mod to run properly.

FreeBuild

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator Kaidenic

One of the most frustrating parts of vanilla Planet Zoo can be the path and terrain tools. The default tools have certain radius rules in their code that don’t allow them to overlap, other than in very specific scenarios. If you want to create some free-hand creative paths, it can be next to impossible.

FreeBuild, however, takes away a lot of those restrictions and lets you create paths and terrain your own way. Many players find this mod invaluable.

Before you go searching for FreeBuild, make sure you have the ACSE mod (mentioned above) so that FreeBuild can run properly. Similarly, you also will need the KaiCore- General mod to prep your game. Then, you can find the FreeBuild mod on NexusMods. Download the most recent file version. Then, place the files in the ovldata folder. Afterward, you should be able to FreeBuild at your leisure.

More Sandbox Color Morphs

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator ChallengeOfTheDark

In vanilla Planet Zoo, albinism and special animal colorings is a thing that happens very rarely. It can take a lot of unpredictable breeding to get a true albino tortoise or elephant. If you want the odds to be a little more in your favor, install this mod and have a one-of-a-kind zoo.

When installing the More Sandbox Color Morphs mod, head to Nexus Mods. From there, you can find the mod and download it. Then, unzip the files and place them in the Content6 folder in your Planet Zoo game folders.

Like many Planet Zoo mods, you need to have ACSE installed for this mod to run properly.

While it does not need the ACSE mod to run, the mod is compatible with ACSE. Conversely, it is not compatible with the Planet Zoo Plus mod.

More Animal Name Languages

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator CibCDC

This one’s pretty simple: if you want regionally-applicable names for your animals, ones that actually reflect the culture they came from, this mod is for you. Whether you like cultural accuracy or want to see your language better represented in the game, this mod helps make the game a little more inclusive.

Luckily, downloading the mod is simple, too. Head to Nexus Mods, download its files, then unzip. Move those files into the ovldata folder and then you should be set. All you have to do afterward is go into the animal.fdb and type in the language of your choice. The modder has added 25 language options, so you have a lot of choices.

Planet Zoo Safari Animal Pack

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator NicholasLionRider

Beyond the base game, Planet Zoo has a handful of fleshed-out DLCs that add buildings, themes, features, and animals to the game. However, these additions aren’t free, so some modders took it upon themselves to create their own versions of these popular expansions. Offering 40+ African animals, the Safari Animal Pack is a great way to get your favorite savannah or rainforest creatures.

To install the mod, head to Nexus Mods and download its files. After unzipping those folders, place them in the ovldata folder. Then, you should be able to access a whole host of new animals!

Like many Planet Zoo mods, you need to have ACSE installed for this mod to run properly.

Planet Zoo European Midnight Pack

Image via Planet Zoo Mod Creator CibCDC

When Planet Zoo releases an expansion pack, it normally comes with creatures, buildings, and themes. If you want new themes for free, mods are the way to go. Mods like this European Midnight Pack and the Safari Props Pack are great ways to decorate your park. This mod, with over 5,000 downloads, is one of the most popular of Planet Zoo’s Nexus Mods.

If you want to download this mod, go to Nexus Mods and download the files. Then, unzip them and place them in the ovldata folder.