When Skater XL (opens in new tab) launched in July, fans were disappointed. Though it had been in Early Access since 2018, two years later it still felt light on mechanics compared to other skateboarding games. But now, barely two months since that release, modders have come to the rescue. They haven't just added cosmetics and maps—they've completely opened the game up. Players can now edit all of their stats to customize how Skater XL plays—down to adjusting how strong the gravity is, making tricks like the one above possible.
Modders have completely transformed the indie skater into their own vision of what a skating game should be. They've made all in-game stats adjustable, given players complete control over the camera, and made other changes to help it resemble real-life skating. They've also added their own parks, boards, skins, and more to help them customize their shredding time.
"Folks seem to feel like the game is a bit too 'floaty' and are looking for a more realistic feel, at least here in the 'hardcore enthusiast' Discord," said mcbtay, one of the modders who helped reshape SkaterXL. The XXL Mod (opens in new tab) and Stats Menu (opens in new tab) give players complete control over how fast they go during certain tricks, how the board responds to your character's feet, and adjust dozens of other options and character stats.
These two mods let players adjust things like the in-game gravity system, altering how high they can pop their tricks and how quickly their board flips over. Players can use these mods to mimic either Tony Hawk's arcade style, Skate's more hardcore mechanics, or something in between.
It's not just about how the skating feels—it's about how it looks. BabboSettings (opens in new tab) and Mac's Camera Utils (opens in new tab) let you adjust the angle, blur, focus, and other elements to give you the ideal camera shot while playing. They'll even let you change the environment to add fog for an early morning backdrop. It works well if you want to create a virtual skate reel or if you just want your time on the board to look clean cut.
Graphical and gameplay changes wouldn't be as cool if you couldn't skate around with friends. XL Multiplayer (opens in new tab) adds both public and private servers so players can roll around together and capture replay clips for a sick video.
Modders have also flooded Skater XL with their own custom map and cosmetic creations—from their own skating brands to their favorite real-world skate spots. They've added the Sanatorium (opens in new tab) from Skate 3, a map where you play on a moving truck bed (opens in new tab), and even Bob-omb Battlefield from Super Mario 64 (opens in new tab).
When Skate first launched in 2007, a 'fake skate' community grew alongside it. These people, much like mcbtay and other modders, created their own skating brands, filmed skating reels, and more. Skater XL's modding scene is an extension of that.
Several in the community are looking to make fake skating as close to the real thing as possible. They want the game to be as realistic as grinding actual pavement, sometimes to their own detriment.
"You'd be surprised at the levels of realism some folks want," mcbtay said, referring to the Board Wear (opens in new tab) mod that's been the cause of thousands of broken boards. It simply makes boards breakable tools, giving players the weird satisfaction of snapping it during a trick. "Board snapping is commonly asked for. I personally just use the board wear mod to make my board look used, like I've really been skating on it."
The BabboSettings mod also lets players make the in-game camera a fisheye lens, which is the preferred way to capture skateboarding videos. It makes rails look longer and staircases look bigger—turning the grinds and pop filmed this way into more impressive feats.
JBooogie, the modder behind SoundMod (opens in new tab), spent a month recording over 160 various foley sounds and then replaced the in-game pops, grinds, and scoops with his own. They sounded so nice the community tried to get them added to the game officially.
Easy Day Studios has made modding Skater XL easy. They've implemented a Unity Mod Manager that let modders patch their code directly into the game. Now they're helping the community manage their mods by moving them to the mod.io platform (opens in new tab) where all current mods can be found (the community has also formed a Discord server (opens in new tab)).
Skater XL has grown to become an extension of the original Skate community, and modders here are happy with the amount of freedom they've created for themselves.
"I got pretty involved in the 'fakeskate' scene back when Skate 3 was really big. So joining into this community was nice to see a lot of those same folks still interested in the genre," mcbtay said. "One of the things that really got me into this game was the customization available through modding."