The override directory of a Neverwinter Nights installation contains files that are added to—and sometimes replace—core game resources when Neverwinter Nights starts. The files placed in this directory are also called "overrides". These files cause changes in all modules, as opposed to hak paks, which only affect modules that make use of them.
Files placed in the
override directory will replace resources of the same name in the core resources, and are themselves replaced by resources of the same name in either the module being played or a hak pak associated with the module. That is, the priority order from low to high is core, override, module, then hak pak.
Good or bad?
Overrides have a shady reputation because of their history. They have been used and abused throughout the lifetime of Neverwinter Nights, sometimes because there was no alternative at the time. Yet they still have a beneficial role to play when used as originally intended, and even the final patch (1.69) of the game makes use of the
override directory for a few files (due to technical and time limitations).
Things that are bad candidates for overrides include changes to the game's structure (such as custom classes) and anything that is specific to a particular module or server. Such overrides have a high likelihood of breaking modules not designed with those overrides in mind. (For example, the prelude to the original campaign breaks if a new character uses a custom class.) Things that are good candidates for overrides include players' personal preferences (such as GUI alterations) and anything that is seen as a universal improvement of an existing feature (such as an AI enhancement). Caution should be used, though, when using an override to improve something other than graphics, as such improvements could potentially upset the balance of a module (or even break a module in rare cases). Those unwilling to experiment should look for overrides that have good reviews.
An exception to the above is the use of a module-specific override to enable custom classes at character creation in a multiplayer game. While such an override is generally a bad idea, this is the only way to accomplish this particular task, as hak paks are not loaded until after character creation in a multiplayer game. Thus, for this specific purpose, such an override should not be considered "bad". On the other hand, it is a good idea to keep such an override in the
override directory only when needed.
- Patch 1.69 override files — For players who have accidentally deleted the override files from patch 1.69, comprising