This guide is for all Crusader Kings 3 players and it shows how to use a portrait editor to change character appearance. You will need a text editor and debug mode to make the changes. Do read on…
How to Change Character Appearance in Crusader Kings 3
Finding DNA for Appearance change
- You can skip this section if you are going to create a brand new character.
- Go to your document folder.
- Open folder named “Paradox Games”
- Find the folder named “Crusader Kings III”
- Open folder named “save games”
- Find the file with the extension .ck3 where the character you wish to edit is.
- Copy the file somewhere safe.
- Right-click the file and unpack it.
- Open the gamestate file in a text editor.
- CTRL+F the unique ID of your character or find the character by name.
- Protip: to find the character by its ID search for <ID=>. For example, if the character id is 102583 search for 102583=
- Copy the string in dna= and boot up the game to begin editing.
Working with the DNA for Appearance Change
- Go into Crusader Kings 3
- Open the console
- Select “Portrait editor“, first-row 3rd column
- Click paste DNA string without quotation marks
- Play around with the genes
- Don’t use genes’ sliders too much or the game will crash
- Protip: the portrait changes only when you touch sliders or buttons.
- Alternatively, select a 3D view and observe the character from there. Left-click rotates the camera, right-click moves the camera.
- Once done editing, add clothes to your character so that it is not naked in the main menu.
- Once satisfied, click copy DNA string from the button on the right.
- If you are editing your heir, spouse, or your player character, also copy the persistent DNA.
- Paste these temporarily in an empty text file so you don’t lose your hours of work.
Applying DNA to Change Character Appearance
- Save the game and exit it.
- Navigate to your folder with the saved games.
- Copy the save file to a safe place and unpack it.
- Open the gamestate file with a text editor.
- Find the character by ID whose DNA you wish to edit.
- Replace the character’s DNA with your own edited DNA. Remember to preserve the quotation marks.
- If you are editing your heir, spouse or playable character you might need to paste the persistent DNA as well.
- Go to the top of the gamestate file
- Find the meta_ portrait you need.
- Copy and replace the genes dictionary. Do not replace anything else unless you know what you’re doing.
- Save the gamestate file and add the extension .ck3. If you do not know how to change file extensions, Google it.
- Rename the file so that you preserve the original in the save folder.
- Place the edited .ck3 file back into your save folder.
- Start the game
- The portrait in the main menu may not be updated. Wait until you enter the game to check whether you’ve made a good edit.
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