Mods can do a lot to enhance your game, and Dragon Age has a dedicated mod community creating everything from new adventures (for DA:O) to utilities to give more functionality to our game. DA 2 doesn’t have a released toolset, meaning our ability to mod is limited, but skilled modders have created some great Dragon Age 2 enhancements anyway. Here are the ones I found most useful and most fun:
All Chests Unlocked
For those who those who’d rather not need to keep a rogue in the party at all times. You will not get the exp you would have gotten from unlocking the chests, however.
Completely opens up the abilities for use by everyone, so any mage can be a healer, for example, and your Hawke can use companion specializations. Only works for new games or new companions unless you enable it with the developer console. This mod is designed to go with the Total Freedom mod which strips the pre-reqs from abilities and cuts cooldown times in half.
Making the apostates in your party seem a bit less stoopid. No more party mages strutting around the Gallows with their staves in plain view, hovering rogue daggers, or weapons that intrude in screenshots.
Autorun & Tab Toggle
Very simple, but immensely helpful: No more running through the game with your finger on the Tab key in order to show all interactive items. (This script also works for DA:O)
Tired of your enemies exploding in ridiculous buckets of blood and limbs at a pin-prick? This mod turns it off.
Dragon Age Save Generator
Some save games were messed up in imports between DA:O and Origins DLC, leaving important points flagged improperly. Given how the gameworld in DA 2 reflects those decisions, with different quests and cameos depending on key decisions from the past, this can be major disappointment. With this save generator, you can set the plotpoints you should have had or want to try for DA 2 without replaying the entire DA:O and its DLC.
This adds options to the Character Creator and Black Emporium Mirror, including allowing the iconic, default Hawke appearances to be edited.
Origins-style Hair Tweak
This hair appearance mod addresses the fake, ultra plastic look DA 2 hair tends to have, making it more similar to the style we saw in Dragon Age: Origins.
Improved Texture Mod
Improved textures for the game that work with DX9 rather than requiring DX11.
Sunnie’s Evolving Item Packs
Some of the game’s most awesome items, re-coded to level up with the user. No more debating whether to trade in the better-looking gear your character has outgrown for an uglier model with stats more appropriate to your level. Includes items like the Staff of Parthalan and iconic Champion Armor, even companion weapons and shields. At the link, scroll down to see the full list of mods. This modder’s offerings of useful items just keeps growing so check back often. If you love the Champion armor look, don’t miss Sunnie’s Champion Starting Gear which puts your new characters in evolving Champion gear, with iconic weapons, from the beginning. Another don’t-miss item pack from the same modder: Sunnie’s DA2 Custom Items – 120 of the game’s coolest weapons and armor now made available from in-game vendors (full list at the link).
Companion Armor Variations
During gameplay the armor of companions can change. This usually happens during their storylines, and, for some, only if romanced. This mod applies the variations for the love interests (of your choice, or all) without having to romance them or complete their storyline first.
Shelf-less Armor Variations
In this mod project, the DA 2 armor sets with odd crumb-catchers (such as the champion armor sets) are re-worked to remove the shelf-like protrusions. This is one of the most-requested modifications, and it’s great to see such excellent work being done for it.
Gives all three versions of his cameo a little bit of a revamp to be more in keeping with his Origins appearance.
Exiled Prince DLC needed for this one, obviously.
Alternate War Dog
Makes your war dog grey and black like one shown with the Black Emporium DLC description.
A lot changed about Anders between Awakening and DA 2, some things more implausibly than others. We may not be able to do anything about Cullen getting custody of the voice actor they shared and Maker-knows-what happening to Ser Pounce-a-lot in Amaranthine, but with appearance mods we can try to give him back a look more similar to his roguish Awakening appearance. For a slighter tweak, this Anders Mod (the one marked “oldhair”) uses his Awakenings hairstyle with his DA 2 face. Or, if you’d rather see him as the pretty boy heartbreaker, still, even with all that’s happened to him, try version 3.