Vermintide 2's Photomode mod lets you pose your own Warhammer art

Vermintide 2's modding scene is still young—Fatshark only opened the Steam Workshop for their game on May 31—but you can already download mods to display your ping, make bots better at carrying tomes, and insert some unused voice files back in. The mod that most interested me is Photomode, created by SkacikPL (who you may know as the modder responsible for The Witcher 3's first-person mode). It lets you fly around outside your body taking screenshots of Vermintide 2's lovely levels, all those ramshackle Tudor houses in Helmgart, the windmills in the wheat fields, elven ruins in the forest, and barbaric tent towns in the frozen north.

You can also snap shots of the action as you disembody ratmen, send marauders flying, or perhaps fall off a cliff like a dummy.

Before installing Photomode you'll need to grab the Vermintide Mod Framework. With that placed at the top of your mod load order you'll be able to access a new menu by pressing F4 that enables various options relating to any mod you've got. 

In the case of Photomode that includes options to disable the HUD by tapping F5, allow bots into the Keep between matches so you can pose them for group shots (though you won't be able to change which hero you're playing if the one you want to switch to is taken by a bot), and turn on modes that make you invisible to enemies or disable them entirely for the ultimate chill Warhammer experience of 'sightseeing mode'.

Pressing F9 lets you fly out of your body, and automatically pauses the action if you're playing solo (press P to unpause). There's no limit on how far away you can travel, which means you can sneak a look into areas you obviously aren't meant to see, where lights shoot up from beneath trees, gaps appear in the ground, and buildings are tilted at weird angles.

There are more complex options you can fiddle with as well. Bring up the chat window and enter /pmsetenvparam followed by one of the commands from this list to mess with environmental parameters—check out the difference between "/pmsetenvparam sun_enabled,0" and "/pmsetenvparam sun_enabled,2" for instance. 

There's also a command to enable posing characters in set animations, though that's a more involved process. To start with you'll need to type /pmplayerindex to get ID codes for each character, then scroll through this list of animations to pair with them. The format is /pmplayanim [ID code],animation so for instance "/pmplayanim 110000103dbbb6f:1,idle" would play the idle animation for the character with that ID. Not every animation is available for every character, and it'll take a lot of experimentation, typing in commands then hitting F9 to move the camera around and see if they're posing, to find the good stuff. You can have some fun with them, though. Here's Kerillian in "prologue_stand" looking unconcerned by warpfire.

A less fiddly way of tweaking screenshots is dropping lights at your position by pressing L. You can dump strings of them wherever you want some extra glow on a character, and pressing O will remove the last one placed if you overdo it. If you want to get fussy, these commands let you alter their default orange glow, whether they cast shadows, and so on.

At the moment having any mods active will mean you have to play in the Modded Realm, where there's no character advancement or rewards to earn. That will change once Fatshark begin their program of sanctioning mods that don't upset the balance or allow cheating, and I assume plenty of the popular quality-of-life mods will be among those sanctioned. If you're messing about with Photomode though, you're probably not that bothered whether you earn chests or level up while you're doing it.

Vermintide 2 is a hectic game, one where hordes of enemies are summoned at regular intervals, at least one of the other players will rush on to the next area at the first opportunity, and dawdlers are easy targets for hook rats. But it's also a nice one to look at, crammed with environmental detail and suggestions of an entire world beyond the border of what's visible. Until someone makes a full-on open world singleplayer Warhammer RPG, messing about with Photomode in Vermintide 2 is the closest we'll get to exploring its spooky forests, pseudo-German settlements, and Skaven tunnels at our own pace, snapping off screenshots like tourists of the Old World.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.