Vortex helps you identify and address issues with your mod/plugin list by notifying you in various ways. This article covers some of the most frequent error messages and notifications Vortex displays, what they mean, and how to address them.
Cyclic Rules Error (Plugins)
This indicates that one or several of your custom plugin rules are contradictory. For instance, if you set plugin A to load after plugin B and plugin B to load after plugin A, the two rules contradict each other and Vortex will be unable to sort your plugin list and instead put out the error message “Plugins not sorted because of cyclic rules”. This can also be caused by cyclic rules regarding plugin master/slave relationships.
Note: This is an example of two cyclic rules that will prompt Vortex to output an error message. Alternatively, group-specific rules can be the cause as well. In general, LOOT utilises elaborate rules to ensure a conflict-free setup and will at times even ignore conflicting group rules to achieve that end. However, at times LOOT will be unable to do that resulting in the same "cyclic rules" error. As the internal LOOT sorting system Vortex employs is free of cyclic rules, this only occurs with rules you set up yourself. If you click on “More” you will be provided with more information as to which plugins are affected by cyclic rules to help you resolve the issue.
To resolve the error, remove the rules causing a cyclic interaction and prompt Vortex to sort your plugins again by clicking "Sort now" in the plugins toolbar.
Cyclic Rules Error (Mods)
Similar to contradictory rules regarding plugins prompting an error message, the above is displayed when one or several mod specific rules are contradictory (such as but not limited to "Mod A must load before mod B, and mod B must load before mod A). Clicking on "Show" will reveal more information about the mods involved in the cyclic interaction:
Clicking on the hyperlinked mods (in our case that would be UIExtensions and AddItemMenuSE) will bring up the "Cycle" dialogue, visualising the cyclic rule interaction between the two mods:
Clicking the connection between the two mods once will remove one of the rules causing the cyclic interaction. Close both dialogues to return to your mod list once you have removed the rule(s) causing the error.
Note: Don't forget to deploy your mods for the updated rules to take effect.
Failure to set Game Mode
Vortex will output this error message when it is unable to activate a certain game mode i.e. on switching managed games. This can occur if you disable a game-specific extension while the given game is "active".
This error message indicates that one or several of your enabled plugins are missing a master file. In other words, one or more enabled plugins are unable to find one or several other plugins that they depend on.
A plugin missing a master is also highlighted by the bell icon in the flags column in your plugin list:
Click on "More" in the error message to receive more information:
In the example above Hunterborn-Skytest Patch.esp depends on Hunterborn.esp as well as SkyTEST-RealisticAnimals&Predators.esp. As Hunterborn.esp is disabled in our plugin list, Hunterborn-Skytest Patch.esp is unable to find it, resulting in the missing masters error. To resolve this issue, enable the master file, in our case Hunterborn.esp.
FNIS not installed
This error message occurs if you have enabled the setting to automatically run FNIS on mod deployment, while not having FNIS installed.
To remedy this fact, either turn the automation setting off, or download and install FNIS (Skyrim Classic version, Skyrim Special Edition version) and enable its corresponding plugin.
Loose files may not get loaded
Failed to run tool
When managing a Bethesda title (The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout series) that utilises BSA or BA2 archives, Vortex will inform you of a quirk in the game engine that prevents loose files (unpacked mod files) from being loaded.
To remedy this fact, simply allow Vortex to change the filetime on the vanilla BSA files by clicking "Fix" on the notification. There is no drawback to this, and it is therefore highly suggested that users allow this fix.