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29-03-2013, 02:13 PM #1
Fallout: Mod Vegas-Modding New Vegas in 2013
EDIT: Added some gunk on compatibility and load orders on first page in thread, as I'm not allowed to put them in here because of too many words
Edit 2: Added the link to the new ENB shaders and lite package, which are very good and simiallry stable, highly recommended
The last few weeks I’ve had a couple of PM’s and comments asking about modding Fallout: New Vegas so I thought I would try and collect it in one place for ease of use. Also, there isn’t really much in the way of an exhaustive review like this in one place as far as I’ve seen in my searches, the best you can get is usually a screenshot of load orders without any indication as to what said mods so, so I figure I will set this up for posterity. All the links are included, so you like what you read, just click on the link and that's you. The time saved through this, multiplied, will free you up to do more to help make the world a better place. It's also intended to ensure that people who worked incredibly hard to make games better for people like me, for no charge, get the tiniest morsel of thanks and promotion in return.
This is a long post so if you just want to focus on just a few mods you'd be best to just skim the relevant sections. If you don’t want to read it, if it’s too long for you, then don’t read it. If you want to abuse me for posting something that you feel is too long for you to read then be gentle with me sweetie.
From the outset, this isn’t a how to guide, more of a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make a yummy Fallout Pie. Modding NV doesn’t require much effort or knowledge, so long as you can unpack things, find directories and install stuff so an exhaustive step by step is not necessary.
There are however 47 million billion mods (one hundred per cent true fact) available for the game and looking through the options takes hours. What you need is a sucker who decided to spend precious moments of mortality doing that so you don’t have to! Well, dear reader, I was-am-that man. Follow all, or some, of these steps, and your Mojave will improve notably from a well written but rather empty locale into a sprawling, evocative organism with genuinely thousands of more things to look at, talk to and shoot.
Lore friendliness is a big concern of mine so all of the extra content is Fallout friendly and designed to basically make sense. If you want to have a shoot-out with Vertibirds and 50 naked women while wearing My Little Pony T shirts there is a mod for that, but it’s the not the sort of thing this selection will offer you. But if you want the wasteland to feel dangerous, settlements to feel more civilised, night-time to be horrible, violence amongst factions to be frequent and generally the world to be a more populated and dynamic place- i.e a suitably immersive and real context for the game's excellent concept and writing-then this will get you that.
Note on performance: In all honesty I have no idea what the threshold of this game given how badly engineered it is. I offer no guarantees on whether applying these will break your computer, improve it, turn it purple or whatever, and you do it all at your own risk. In most instances mods and affects are easily removed, but you should always back up and be prepared to reinstall when messing around with substantial mods for any game. All I know is that these work for me seamlessly with a GTX 660, 8 Gigs Ram and i5 3570K Processor overclocked to 4.5GHz but I have no idea whether you'll need anything approaching as powerful as that to get it all to work.
Let’s Mod some shit
In order to install, and remove, most mods you will need to use Nexus Mod Manager, and create an account for it too. It is simple, does the job and has never done anything else I haven’t asked of it. Tutorials on it are readily available, if you need one, but it’s pretty intuitive. It always pays to read the instructions or readme for every mod though, as not all of them can be installed directly through NMM. In which case, install them as directed.
Most mods requite New Vegas Script Extender, so download it and install as instructed. Finally, install the Mod Configuration Manager in order to allow you to manage several of the more complex or system heavy mods in-game, on the fly, spontaneously, and such like.
Let’s Make it work, sort of
NV is a supremely moddable game but it’s also an inherently broken one. No one in their right mind will argue that you shouldn’t expect crashes every few hours in New Vegas even without mods. To be honest I haven’t noticed further instability even running 70 + mods, it’s just that broken that it will crash every few hours at best no matter what you’re doing and however heavy your game folder is. But the below mods are essential, safe and will give you more playtime before a CTD than without.
Purge Cell Buffers
New Vegas Configator
Let’s Make it challenging
Even on hard-core mode, NV is easy. Easeh. EZ. Obviously if you think it isn’t, you’re a baby but also, this will make the game even harder for you, because you’re a baby. For everyone else, take note of the below to spice up the survival and FPS elements considerably.
Project Nevada is basically essential, integrates seamlessly, and makes the core mechanics both more tangible and pressing considerations. There are four modules available which add a variety of things, I would install them all but do what you want, have it your way Burger King. The most essential elements add bullet time and sprint mechanics, cleverly utilising AP, but you can also change the rate at which you gain experience, intensify your Needs requirements, alter damage, pretty much any of the core elements really. The Nevada base stats work very well and are a big improvement on the vanilla.
Manual Reload means you have to…manually…reload…your guns. No swapping between guns to reload, no shooting nonstop. If your magazine runs down, your gun goes click, nothing happens, you go “Oh shit I forgot to reload” and you’re very quickly in danger. It adds an awful lot to your shooting game and means you have to be far more tactical, both before and in the heat of battle as you either search for cover or run away, and greatly increases the relevance of the reload perks. Also affects the AI so that goes for both of you, you'll be hiding behind rocks and stuff like nobodies business.
You can further spice it up with the Increased Weapon Jamming mod which increases the likelihood of poor quality guns failing to fire without first going through one of the lovely jamming animations. Also, Bob Marley sometimes appears when it happens, a bit like the mysterious stranger perk. Maybe. Makes maintenance of equipment essential, and adds a lot more drama, randomness and plausibility to fights. It can happen to the AI too!
Bottlecaps Have Weight-No more carrying around 10,000 of a thing with physical impunity
DFB-Random encounters-You’ll never guess what it does. Adds hundreds of logical spawn points (mainly around highways) where encounters can randomly occur. You can determine how often they take place, difficulty level of mobs, the chance of a group spawning alongside another mob and having a fight, whether they have bosses, how many there are and so on. This goes a long way to making the Mojave feel lawless and unsafe, especially as you watch traders get splatted from afar by raiders. It also allows for more creative resolutions to conflict situations-hiding from legion assassins? Just bait them into a random Viper camp and retreat to a safe distance.
World of Pain-more on this below but it adds horrible encounters and dungeons if that’s your thing.
Let’s Make it immersive
More people, more things, more places
Electro City- adds lampposts and such like to places where it makes sense. If you’re using one of the Weather mods it’s pretty much essential to counteract the darkness. Makes towns and Vegas brighter and safer, and the wasteland more forbidding and empty and unpleasant by extent. More than that though, it also comes with a jaunty and very fitting sense of fifties aesthetic and humour subtly but notably communicated throughout. It’s not just lights, you get the whole electrical company with it, complete with engineers, billboards and the like. Lovingly and expertly done.
Project Reality-other weather mods exist but this is my guide so screw them. The focus is on a more apocalyptic and grim skyscape, and offers radioactive rainstorms, ghostly voices at night, air raid sires and all sorts of fun things like that, but really I just like it because the lighting it provides is great and seems to effect everything very nicely. I just stick it on pleasant cycle and leave it at that for absolutely gorgeous sun rise and sun set and inky black nights. Also comes with a nice DOF and heat haze effect if you want it.
Wasteland Flora Overhaul-Two flavours-dead wasteland or fertile. I go with fertile. Adds lots more plants and trees, turns the wasteland into more of a Wild West dessert which I personally find to be more appealing than the vanilla dusty plains.
New Vegas Redesigned 2-could perhaps go under the visual improvements bit, I suppose it depends on how realistic you find turnips with painted on smiley faces as a head substitute. If that default option is not for you, then New Vegas Redesigned gives people faces which are both a) human and b) painstakingly designed to fit their respective character. It really is quite brilliant and improves human interaction at a stroke.
Companion Sandbox-nifty wee mod that scripts companions to do stuff like sit down, gamble, take a drink and the like rather than just watch you with glassy stares.
Radio Stations-Conelrad, Wasteland Pirate Radio, Mojave Music Radio and Blues Radio New Vegas will add hundreds of new and appropriate tracks. There are others, but this is a good start.
New Vegas Interiors-adds an extra bunch of interiors to explore, complete with loot and enemies and such. Well integrated into the game.
New Vegas Interior Lighting Overhaul-makes interiors far more appropriate basically. Somewhere with natural light seeping in will feel bright, somewhere without any will be pretty much impossible to navigate without your Pip Boy light.
New Vegas Uncut -Outside Bets. The last in the excellent uncut series, adds a couple new dialogues and encounters, and quite a few new NPC’s which were originally removed from the game for some reason, notably around Nelson which is now occupied by more than three legionaries.
The Strip Open-The Strip , with all of it’s magnificent eight buildings(?) without arbitrary gates interposed. Goes from making it look rubbish to completely unremarkable, a big difference all the same.
New vegas Uncut-Freeside Open-This is more like it. Removes the random gates from Freeside and turns it into one full area. Gamblers now cross the main road to get into Vegas, usually accompanied by a bodyguard, and thugs wil terrorise them, and you. Random fights are common. Squatters will occasionally rush the gates to the Strip and get shot up by Securitorns, they’ll also steal things from you occasionally. Turns the area into a violent, lively neighbourhood and threshold to vegas. Also gives Rotface a complete quest.
A world of Pain-114 new locations, from shacks in the Wasteland to massive underground dungeons stocked up with bad guys. A lot of them are occupied by enemy mobs who will cause you trouble if you’re not well levelled, but they are easy to ignore if you’re sensible . The main value though to my mind is that this mod adds about 300 NPC’s including more NCR troops, wandering mercs and so on, as well as the shops and homes some of them live in. Adds a lot of enemies but it also adds a lot friendlies too. The world is, I would guess, probably at least a third more populated as a result. The NCR and Legion benefit from this especially. You aren’t the only drifter in the Wasteland anymore, or gay in the village depending on which perks you chose. Goodsprings for examples is now occupied by more than the 6 people who live there.
Let’s make it look decent enough
Visual tweaks which are so impressive that in certain lights it will look like a game from 2010......
ENB Shaders-there’s a variety available. The most latest incarnation (1.50) provides a dramatic improvement but I’m not convinced that it isn’t at the expense of some faustian pact, as my game went from running flawlessly in heavily populated areas to terribly in the exact same scenarios after a few hours of playtime. So I’m steering clear, but plenty other people seem to manage fine with it. It’s also worth having a play with ENB palette options too.
This lite package, with use of some jiggery pokery, produces a decent approximation at no performance hit what so ever for me, so that’s what I’m going with from now on.
NMC textures-Available in various sizes, I went for small. Retextures a lot of things to a higher fidelity.
Poco Bueno- Install this over NMC for some more textures, and better versions of the ones that clash.
Weapon Retexture Project-Textures most guns, and very fine they look too.
Enhanced Blood Textures-Make blood more bloody and rich
EVE-This does a lot of things, but essentially improves the physics and special effects considerably. Energy weapons in particular are brilliant with this. Violence is considerably more violent.
Darnified UI-Makes text wee, far less intrusive and utilise space better.
Dynavision-A dynamic depth of field mod which you can control in-game.
The Imaginator-allows you to do make New Vegas looks pretty much however you want it to look. In game mod which allows you to control saturation, brightness, colour tonality, lighting, DOF, LOD, and comes with a ton of presets. You can make it look like a Sergio Leone western, grindhouse exploitation flick, psychedelic Technicolor, really pretty much anything you can be bothered to tweak up to.
Cinematech-adds film grain effect. Works with the Imaginator. If you want static pops, tears in the screen and other old timey effects and the like then this will give it to you.
Good Ol Pip Boy- A pre Fallout 3 flavour Pip Boy which I think is nifty.
The Rugged Race-Allows you to play as convincing old people or people with scarred/burnt faces, which is the only way to play as far as I’m concerned.
Weapon Animation Replacer-Stalk the Wasteland with your gun in hand looking badass as opposed to the default “crippled or in need of the toilet”.
Let’s make it miscellaneous
Super Size your Mojave Meal
If it wasn’t for Besty-You want a Brahmin as a companion who runs away every time you get into a fight? Betsy is for you. Uncut from the game for some reason, this brings her back. Make sure to install with the Freeside Open compatibility patch if you’re using Freeside Open.
Niner-You want a companion who looks like a white Fifty Cent and who is patently from Yorkshire even though he claims to be from Denver? Probably not? Ok. If you want a companion who is scripted and acted as well as, if not better than, the default companions though, with some fun quests, and who adds an awful lot to a play through up to reaching Vegas then this mod is superb.
Willow-haven’t personally used this mod yet but Willow is regarded as essential by most people so I’m including her here. Fully voiced, quested etc. There’s also an appearance mod available to make her more Willow and less Buffy. The traits she can give seem a bit OP but that’s your problem to deal with. Edit: You've got an even bigger problem now becuase the mod dosen't seem to exist anymore either. Work your way out of that one.
Roleplayer’s Alternative Start-Choose all your characteristics in a shack without having to go through Doc Mitchell’s patter, and then enter the world in a random location or in Goodsprings. Also allows you to choose a history, replete with associated and well considered effects-e.g Down on luck Caravaneer starts with Heavy Loader or Shotgun Surgeon perk but minus one Luck.
New Vegas Bounties 1 and 2-Hugley acclaimed, fully acted and well written quest mods which add hours of extra content.
Unlimited Companions-Take as many companions as you like with you. Good for roleplaying a fellowship but awful for balance, as any more than the default three will see you kill battalions with ease.
That’s all the salient ones I can think of right now, if I think of any more I’ll add them and make a note of it. If you want to offer your own suggestions or recommendations, please do so below. Have fun!
Last edited by sonson; 19-07-2013 at 12:42 PM.
29-03-2013, 02:38 PM #2
Thank you thank you thank you for this, I looked at modding New Vegas the other day (Tuesday, actually) but when I was snapped back to reality by the puddle of dribble in my lap I decided to put it off and just get on with a new playthrough of the vanilla game. I haven't read this yet but this looks to be extremely useful and exactly what I need.
Edit: Have you got anything that makes the UI usable with Surround or Eyefinity resolutions by any chance? The game looks stunning on three monitors but the UI becomes completely broken.
29-03-2013, 02:38 PM #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2012
- Austin, TX
Only thing I can add is I still get a lot of mileage out of the FXAA Injector (works with Skyrim, FO:NV, among other games) instead of the ENB Shaders. It's a little tricky to install (with the 4GB loader make sure the files are copied into both top dir and the exes/ subdir) but let's you toggle on/off with the Pause key to see the effect, really makes a solid visual difference with no framerate hit on my old GTX 470.
29-03-2013, 02:49 PM #4
Where were you last week?
Oh, right. On the 'What are you playing' thread telling me this.
29-03-2013, 02:50 PM #5
29-03-2013, 02:59 PM #6
This makes me want to reinstall the game tonight.
Great guide - bookmarking it.
29-03-2013, 03:14 PM #7
29-03-2013, 03:19 PM #8
Excellent thread, thanks for the effort. The only two additions I would make are JSawyer.esp, a rebalance mod made by the game's lead designer, and Cirosan's Classic Overhaul, another rebalance mod that makes the gameplay more dependant on your stats and skills. I've used them both in combination and they noticeably improve the combat.
29-03-2013, 03:30 PM #9
Cheers for this, sonson. I played through NV and some DLC already once and also used some of the mods you've listed here, but reading your posts in the "What are you playing at the moment" thread, I got really curious about your mod-setup. I'll probably give NV another spin soon, this is exactly what I was looking for for that.
29-03-2013, 03:31 PM #10
Also, compatibility muddies the waters of New Vegas modding, I'm assuming most (if not all) of sonson's suggestions work together, is that right? If not, I'm guessing they're an either/or sort of thing, I don't really intend to grab all of those mods though. I would have thought JSawyer might clash with Project Nevada if they're working to the same end.
29-03-2013, 03:41 PM #11
29-03-2013, 03:49 PM #12
29-03-2013, 04:37 PM #13
- Join Date
- May 2012
Thank you so very much for his comprehensive list! I've been meaning to jump back into FNV with mods, but that scene is horribly daunting. Your recommendations are well organized and explained, and now I'm inspired to go lose myself in the wasteland all over again :)
29-03-2013, 06:57 PM #14
The post about Compatibility and Load Order
Compatibility: I have all of these mods installed, without any issues or conflict, so I can confirm that they are all compatible alongside each other, so long as you install the relevant compatibility patches (a mod's instructions will inform you of their existence if they are necessary.) If you apply mods with Common sense you shouldn't have many issues.
Most mods just add or replace generic things and as such aren’t going to cause a problem; the worst that will happen is that they just don’t work because you didn’t change an .ini or something. This is the case for the majority of those listed below. Properly damaging issues only come about when there are various options contesting for the same space, and these tend to come from mods which seek to integrate several elements rather than just add or take away from them.
The Strip Open and Freeside Open for example turn what was originally several areas into one, and this affects cell placement. The game needs to recognise as one space what it used to think was three. Properly crafted, as is the case with these examples, this will be seamless; but in the event that it was poorly done whole areas, NPC’s and quests could be missing, because the mod is not properly communicating to the game what it’s trying to do so the game is running as normal but with various data compromised by the mod to random effect. So basically, be wary of total conversion mods and be very careful to check the feedback and known issues entries with these. Most of them will not place nice with other mods.
Load Order: In most cases, your Load order will sort problems out. The Load order is simply the order in which elements are..ngghh..loaded, with the top elements being first and the bottom last. .ESM’s must come first, followed by .ESPs. Quite a few .ESP’s cannot run without an .ESM and other .ESP’s in the order before it (NMM will indicate if this is the case) and if these are not present the mod, and often game, won’t work. That’s the only complex bit really.
The elements loaded last will always “beat” the ones that come before, so as a rule you want the ones that make the most changes to come at the end. FNVEdit also allows you to make a patch which will clean up any stray gubbins bleeding out which you can then put at the very bottom, to further smooth this process. If after this you’re still running into issues then your problem is more than I can help you with I’m afraid.
Example: When first running Freeside Open I was loading it last, after New Vegas Redesigned, as it was the mod which changed by far the most. However, FNVEedit notified me that there were conflicts as it was introducing meshes for NPC’s which NV Redesigned had not incorporated, given it only changed contents from the vanilla game. In this instance I could have made a patch, but I decided to just run Redesigned last instead in the hope that its meshes would win out over Freeside’s ones. And it did so yay. No continuity errors or other problems.
If it hadn’t, and a patch didn’t help, then I would have had to recognise that without significant tweaking the two were not compatible in certain areas and either take the risk of that affecting the wider game, or just choosing the one over the other.
29-03-2013, 08:46 PM #15
- Join Date
- May 2012
hmm, now I want to go back and finish this. Never managed to get the 4GBexe working, though I am running it through wine
30-03-2013, 05:32 AM #16
30-03-2013, 07:42 AM #17
Unless the one you're talking bout it's some other mod?.
Last edited by Battle Programmer Spike; 30-03-2013 at 08:11 AM.
30-03-2013, 03:04 PM #18
Sorry, I've sorted it now. I was thinking it was stuff you picked up as you went along as per normal clothes but instead it's basically just a palette to change how you look I realise now. Great recommendation, thanks!
Last edited by sonson; 30-03-2013 at 03:14 PM.
30-03-2013, 03:28 PM #19I assumed it was something..adult. I'm not sure if that says more about the modding community or me,
30-03-2013, 04:18 PM #20New Vegas Interiors-adds an extra bunch of interiors to explore, complete with loot and enemies and such. Well integrated into the game.
The writing added by the various texts on computers and notes was of a low standard, jarring in comparison with the good quality generally found in the game. This was made much worse by glaring errors in spelling and grammar. Additionally, the new areas were cluttered and the mod creators made an odd choice in allowing almost all objects to be picked up, even when they generally weren't in the main game (TV sets, tricyles and the like). I'm assuming that this was to allow people to take them to decorate their own homes, but it just didn't feel right. The partial coverage of the mod also didn't help - some settlements had nearly all interiors added while others were untouched.
Basically, you'll very quickly know the areas added by this mod because they feel amateurish and out of place, and for me actively detracted from the game's atmosphere. I really like the idea behind it, but it really needs an overhaul in execution before it becomes a must-have mod.