How to Install LOTRO Plugins and Update Them

How to Install LOTRO Plugins and Update them - Addons Guide

Of the three MMOs that I have played only one proactively supports and encourages players to develop their own add-ons: LOTRO. Utilising a LUA API, developers can make tools for other players to use and enjoy, while being confined to only safe activities via the API’s restrictions. If you’re new to LOTRO, or have only recently discovered that The Lord of the Rings Online has addons, then I want to help you get started. Here’s my guide on How to Install LOTRO Plugins and Update Them.

Finding LOTRO Plugins

Before you need to know the installation process, you first need to find a theme or plugin that you’re interested in trying.

Aside from doing a search on your favourite search engine (mine is DuckDuckGoExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab)) the go-to place is LOTROinterfaceExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab). There you can find legacy and up-to-date plugins to download.

You can also find player-designed UI skins at this site too.

?Are LOTRO Plugins Free?

All of them. I believe it’s against LOTRO’s ToS to charge real money for plugins! Or any other in-game items for that matter. If someone tries to sell you something for real-world money (and it’s not LOTRO or SSG, obviously), run away and report them.

Then head back to LOTROinterface and see the many plugins that committed LOTRO players have developed for free!

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How to Install LOTRO Plugins Manually

To do a manual install requires only a few steps. Click or tap on the individual pictures to open the full-sized version.

Firstly you’ll need to find a plugin you want to download. Here’s an example:

Move on to Activation

Congratulations, you now know how to install LOTRO plugins! Once the plugin has been unpacked/unzipped, you can move onto the in-game activation.

Limitations of Manual Installation

  • While the installation of plugins is simple to do manually, you have no information on when that plugin has an update available.
  • When you do want to install an update you’ll have to redo the steps above every single time.
  • There’s no way, outside of the game, to easily see all the plugins you have installed.

Thankfully Plugin Compendium addresses all of these. So keep on reading, please!

Plugin Compendium – The Easy Way

Once you are happy you want to install a LOTRO plugin, tick the box and press the “Add” button.

Get Plugin Compendium

Plugin Compendium for Linux and Mac

LOTROinterface have a separate download for Linux and Mac. You can find the details hereExternal Link (Opens in New Window/Tab).

  • Note: when you have the (standalone) app, ensure you set the Plugin Install Path and Plugin Downloads locations in the Configuration Tab. If you don’t, you’ll get errors, or the Compendium won’t recognise plugins you already have installed.

Running Updates

Make sure you have the ‘check for updates on startup’ option checked on the Configuration Tab. When you load Plugin Compendium any available updates are immediately highlighted in yellow. This allows you to tick those that are out of date and hit the “Update” button to fix them.

If you do not have this option checked, you’ll need to use the “Scan” button to check for updates.

Note: if you do manual installs, then you’ll have to check LOTROinterface and download updates. This is why Plugin Compendium is fab.

Get Plugin Compendium

Activating Plugins in LOTRO

Installing a plugin is only the first step. The next stage involves a decision on your part

  • Is this appropriate for all my characters on a server?
  • Or is it for one, or only a few, of them?

Once you’ve decided that simply follow these instructions.

From the LOTRO Character Selection Screen

  • There’s a handy Manage Plugins button the login screen. Click it!
  • The Plugin Manager UI will open up.
  • In the right pane use the cunningly-named “Automatically Load For” drop-down box. Select individual characters or check “All Characters”.
  • Enter Middle-Earth as normal. If that plugin is activated for that character you’ll have its functionality.

If You Have Logged a Character In

  1. If you’re logged into a character press Ctrl+Alt+P. This opens the Plugin UI. This is the same UI as in the instruction above.
  2. Scroll to your new plugin and left-click it once
  3. In the right pane use the cunningly-named “Automatically Load For” drop-down box. Select individual characters or check “All Characters”
  4. If you want to use it now, usually double-clicking the name on the left will load it. After that it should become available for the characters you have selected, as soon as you login.

Removing an Addon

In one sense this is easy and in another it’s a tad tricky to remove all traces of a plugin. Here’s how to do it:

  • Plugin Compendium: on the “Installed Plugins” tab, tick the one(s) you want to uninstall. Then click the “Remove” button.
  • Manually: navigate to your Plugins folder, find the developer’s name and the plugin sub-folder. Delete that folder.

The tricky bit is that in the same location of the “Plugins” folder is a “PluginData” one. That is organised by server and character name and is less-than-comprehensively cleaned even by PluginCompendium. If you use one plugin on a lot of characters and then remove it, this could be a long job. That said, the data file are tiny and if you re-add that plugin at a later date, you’ll find that data restored in-game too.

Learn to Make Your Own Plugins

While tearing apart the code of a current plugin may be a go-to for some people, one of the LOTROstream team has a dedicated show for this purpose. “Plugin Along”, by “B4” (aka @BeyondShire on Twitter) would be a great place to learn and ask your questions too.

TL;DR Now You Know How to Install LOTRO Plugins, Go Explore!

For me it started with TitanBar (on a recommendation from another user, or at least that’s my excuse) and then it snowballed! I have tried many different plugins for various reasons and keep a bunch activated. That’s the joy of it – try it out and remove those that don’t make your LOTRO gaming better. So go on, now you know how to install LOTRO plugins, personalise your Lord of the Rings Online and have fun!

About the Author

Fibro Jedi
Fibro Jedi

I have been playing MMOs for about ten years and began writing guides to The Lord of the Rings Online in 2017. I've only been creating content about Final Fantasy XIV since 2022, but I am glad for the mix. My current games include LOTRO, FFXIV and the occasional Palia session too.

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