Marvel’s Spider-Man used to be one of Sony’s best PlayStation 4/5 exclusive titles, but on August 12, 2022, the game was finally ported to PC. Not only did that port let PC gamers play the incredible base game, but it also allowed longtime PC gaming fans to do what they’ve been wanting to do since the game launched in 2018: mod the ever-living heck out of it.
Mods, not to be confused with hacks or cheats, are fan-developed alterations/additions to a game. They can be as small as a simple unofficial cosmetic or as large as the addition of entirely new game mechanics. Some players might scoff at the concept of adding an easy mode to Elden Ring or improving vehicles in Cyberpunk 2077, but mods are an essential part of the PC gaming scene as well as one of the best reasons to own a gaming PC in the first place. Modding PC games is a time-honored tradition, and Marvel’s Spider-Man is simply the latest game to capture the imaginations of modders everywhere.
Many mods of console games ported to PCs typically focus on fixing those ports’ various technical issues, but the quality of this port is appropriately spectacular, there’s really not much to fix (aside from removing the overly long startup videos). So, the majority of mods for the game so far simply add even more costumes to Spider-Man’s closet. After all, Marvel’s Spider-Man already emphasized unlocking costumes from across Spider-Man’s history (each with their own unique abilities), so what’s one or two hundred more costumes to play around with?
Most of the costume mods for Marvel’s Spider-Man are merely cosmetic additions. Players can download and install various canonical costumes such as Spider-Gwen, Superior Spider-Man, and the Symbiote Black Suit. Mind you, those are perhaps most accurately described as new textures rather than new costumes. For instance, the Superior Spider-Man Suit doesn’t include any new bells and whistles; it just replaces the Advanced Suit during gameplay and cutscenes.
However, some mods go the extra mile. For instance, the ever-popular Symbiote Suit is already the subject of several Spider-Man mods that each add their own twists to that basic concept. For example, one such mod, the “Classic Symbiote Suit 1.5,” allows you to shift between regular Spider-Man colors and the Symbiote’s all-black scheme. That’s…amazing.
Of course, modders being modders, a good chunk of Spider-Man’s modded costumes effectively change the game’s protagonist and contribute to what could best be described as the most ambitious Marvel multiverse we’ve ever seen.
For example, there are mods that allow players to save innocent citizens as the Kingpin (which is really weird when you have to fight him), Mary Jane, and even Stan Lee himself. While some of those mods are…kind of horrifying, they all at least allow Spider-Man to “transform” into characters that exist in his universe. They’re also pulled from assets found within the actual game files.
Not all these modified model swaps originate from the game’s actual files, though. For that matter, not all those mod models even originate from the Spider-Man universe. So far, modders have figured out how to add everyone from Kermit the Frog and Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman to CJ from GTA: San Andreas to the PC version of Marvel’s Spider-Man. Yes, it’s all obviously a bit silly, but try not to have a good time watching Kermit do whatever a spider can.
Of course, since those skin mods are just simple asset replacements, they all use the same animations and voice lines as the originally intended assets. In other words, not only does the Kingpin mod still sound like Yuri Lowenthal, but some of that mod’s animations don’t even work properly since they were never meant for the Kingpin character model. In fact, many of these mods are simply broken. If players install the Aunt May mod, for instance, they’ll likely see her constantly pumping her legs as if she were riding an invisible bicycle rather than gracefully swinging between skyscrapers. Again, though, the results are hilarious, which is kind of the point.
Admittedly, that isn’t the case for all these mods. Anyone who ever wanted to explore New York in the Rhino’s oversized armor can do that with this appropriate mod, which replaces the regular Spider-Man animations with animations designed for Rhino (well…mostly). Gamers who can’t wait for the inevitable PC release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales can also just mod that character into the game right now complete with Miles’ suit and animations.
Since Marvel’s Spider-Man is such a recent release on PC (and because modders love to replace character models in video games), the list of alternative skins drawn from across the multiverse will only increase as time goes on. Just today, modders uploaded Spider Carnage, Mania, Big Smoke, and Master Chief skins. Time will tell where the game’s modding scene will go from here, though the history of PC game modding strongly suggests that the modding community has only scratched the surface of this one.