Fallout 4’s Mod Tools Won’t Be Ready Till Next Year

It’s hardly a Bethesda RPG if you can’t replace some part of it with the chugging terror of Thomas the Tank Engine, but Fallout 4‘s mod tools won’t be ready at the game’s launch on November 10th. Speaking to IGN, Bethesda’s VP of Marketing Pete Hines said that, their “entire focus is on finishing the game.”

“Nobody cares about mods if the game sucks,” said Hines. “This has always been our philosophy. We shift energy to construction tools, the creation kit, and all of that stuff once the game is done, and we start to figure out what all of that is going to look like.”

Modding tools have long been a component of Bethesda’s games, but the tools for Skyrim, Fallout 3 and Oblivion all came post-release as well. In the case of Fallout 4 [official site], the situation is likely complicated by the tools also being designed to work on the Xbone.

“The idea is that [the tools] will work on all platforms, but the truth is the system doesn’t exist,” continued Hines. “It’s still being built and worked on and it’s going to take awhile. It’s going to take clearly into next year because we can’t even start it…”

Bethesda games tend to be perfect for modding not only because they release a robust toolset for making them, but because their open world’s are usually easily tilted or twisted towards neighbouring genres. It’s hard to play Fallout 3 for example, with its meager radiation effects and half-hearted need to drink water, and not imagine what it would be like to play upon a harsher, more survival-focused wasteland. Skyrim similarly begs the question of what it would be like if the cold weather was actually dangerous. Mods that those things now exist for both games, and it seems likely that Fallout 4’s scope will leave similar dangling threads for modders to run with.

Or, for reals, they’ll just add Thomas the Tank Engine.

If you can’t wait till next year to start modding Fallout 4, you could always spend your time modding Fallout: New Vegas to look more like Fallout 4.

Otherwise here’s Fallout 4’s E3 presentation in full, which includes detail of its new building and crafting system:


  1. SigmaCAT says:

    Am I the only one who’s really really turned off by the Pixar look?
    Don’t get me wrong I love Pixar, but this is Fallout, not a cartoon is it?

    • swiftshlock says:

      Well, well, that’s no way to talk about Mr Howard’s meticulously styled coiffure!

    • Nevard says:

      It really doesn’t look at all like Pixar and have never understood why people will make these false comparisons as if they sound more convincing than just saying “I don’t know how it looks” without comparing it to something it doesn’t look like.

      • Harlander says:

        Does Pixar even have a single style?

      • SigmaCAT says:

        I’m sorry, I had just woke up and I agree my comment comes off as uneducated and globally eurh. I’d go as far as to say it was completely dumb.

        What I meant is that the art they have shown so far (at least what I’ve seen as I didn’t want to tease myself too hard) looks a lot like shiny, round/smooth 3d cgi; I tend to link these candy look-alike, pillowy models to what I perceive as Pixar’s, erm, rendering methods perhaps?

        The way Pixar has of designing such characters made me usually feel very comfortable with the movie’s world, and I’m getting mixed signals from this Fallout 4’s graphic identity; skins look shiny and spotless (isn’t the air dry in the wasteland?), the dog looks well fed and his fur is shiny, suits look brand new… I saw few wrinkles and cracks, I’d imagine a modern day Fallout looking a bit grittier, at least darker? I mean, the look of the world shouldn’t be welcoming.

        In short, stupid morning comment, this doesn’t look at all like Pixar, but they are making it look very cute (cute like Toy Story), and I never thought of Fallout as cute, I wanted to dope myself and get wasteland-mirage-vision, not build things (it’s after 6, what am I a builder?)

        • Zenicetus says:

          I get what you mean with the Pixar look. I think it’s because the textures on furniture, the Vault suit, and the protagonist’s skin don’t have much surface detail, especially compared to a recent game like Witcher 3. That gives them a hint of cartoon look.

          It’s especially noticeable in the house interior before everyone runs off to the shelter. No, it’s not literally as low-detail as a Pixar project, but it does look a little off, compared to other recent AAA games. I could get used to it, if the game is good otherwise.

          • Cinek says:

            It’s not about detail, it’s about making stuff look clean. You can have lower level of detail, yet dirty and everything but cartoonish.

          • Zenicetus says:

            I dunno… there is still something odd about the smooth textures in places. Look at the closeup (linked below) of the header image, especially the left hand at the bottom of the frame, the Pip Boy, and the back of the guy’s neck. Almost looks like it was put through a watercolor paint effect that smoothed out the surface detail in the 3D model:
            link to content.bethsoft.com

            Anyway, too soon to start griping about the graphics, since this may not be the final look. We’ll gripe about the graphics later on. :)

    • Enso says:

      Two things have me concerned from whats been shown so far. First, the shift to third person, fully voiced player character in dialogue sequences and second, the kind of combat shown with the (em)power(ed) suit.

      A lot of games have trailers full of action to market to a specific demographic, even if it isn’t 100% indicative of the experience.

      However, along with the other choice, it acts as warning signs to the kind of design philosophy they have for this game. One that moves in a direction further away from what I want a fallout game to be. One that is less immersive and more like a playground or one of those art experiences you get where they drag you round a warehouse as actors do little skits with audience participation. Fragments of different people’s ideas sewn together, rather than a truly immersive experience.

      • Harlander says:

        Fallout 3 felt a bit like that to me. I quite enjoyed it, but it’s usually better when things have the sense that they fit together.

      • mona says:

        It looked like Bioshock Infinite to me, and I do not want to play Bioshock Infinite, I want to play Fallout. The only reason I’m still intending to get Fallout 4 right now is the building stuff, plus the potential it has to be a different game once mods are added on top of that.

    • hamilcarp says:

      You might want to get your eyes checked.

      • SigmaCAT says:

        Does it look anywhere near “dark” to you?

        Also, kudos on not reading the other comments, you could seem like you’re a normal human being with critical sense and the like. Life must be fun with you in it

    • Dominare says:

      life tip: whenever you’re thinking of asking “Am I the only one that….” the answer is no.

  2. Kestrel says:

    “Nobody cares about mods if the game sucks”

    Tell that to New Vegas and Oblivion.

    • bills6693 says:

      I, uh, enjoyed both of those games without ever modding them. Especially oblivion. Much more than skyrim.

      • Brinx says:

        Yeah, I think Oblivion was great, when it was first released and it accomplished a lot of great things, that hadn’t been done before. I would argue however, that modding (especially the great modding communities for Oblivion and Skyrim for instance), while providing many great things, also tends to highlight the flaws of the original game (or at least the missed possibilities of it). This is why they seem so flawed in hindsight.

      • montorsi says:

        People generally tend to claim Bethesda games suck in retrospect just because you can mod the ever-living-crap out of them. This despite in the weeks after release literally everyone talking about what a great time they are having in X Y or Z.

        New Vegas wasn’t quite so heavily praised because of the hilarious amount of bugs but it’s an alright game. Obsidian’s humor has always been a little hit or miss for me as well, so I’m sure there are those who like it quite a bit. Oblivion was all the talk at release so I’m not sure what he’s on about.

      • Tyrric says:

        Agreed. I play through every Bethesda game unmodded the first time through, and possibly the second time as well if I find myself getting overwhelmed with choices.

    • Lionmaruu says:

      Both new vegas and oblivion are great great great games, and both are flawed game too.
      I hate the main “destroy the stupid portal on “doom-land” quests but the guilds quests make up for it, in fact, oblivion is still my favorite elder scrolls game of all time. if they ever made that skyrim+oblivion mod I’ll be on it really fast!

      And I spent the same time or more on new vegas than on fallout 3 if anything just because it doesnt crashes every 5 mins and has a much better gameplay and factions (I love fallout 3 for its baren landscape and feeling it gives you, but the engine is shoddy).

      so far there are no perfect bethesda games, skyrim probably is the most game that came close, but still I dont like the guilds missions and the cities are barely as interesting as the ones on oblivion or morrowind, even if they look awesome.

    • Cinek says:

      o_O you have some very weird taste.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Oblivion was very poorly done. Generic, substandard setting. Todd Howard ballyhooed AI that turned out to be next to nothing. Grindy repetitive gameplay. Bandits that ended up with better arms and armor than the King of the Universe’s. Erratic quest lines, which showed more the skill (or lack thereof) of the individual developer responsible for them. Took a lot of modding and DLCs to pump it up to some decent level.

      You can like it all you want, but here there were four copies of Oblivion here at the house. Within two months they were gone off every computer.

      And then there was Fallout 3’s contrived, sadsack ending.

      I guess we should just be happy that Bethesda provides these skeletons for their user base to put the meat on.

    • sharkh20 says:

      New Vegas is infinitely better than Fallout 3.

  3. Amatyr says:

    So the inventory system and UI will be broken on PCs until next year.

    • demicanadian says:

      Just think of it as of an opportunity to save moneys on GOTY edition

      • WALLS says:

        might be worth torrent/demoing the unmodable version prebuy. after the depth of the witcher, fallout will have to raise the bar for me to put money into its relative mediocrity

        • martyr1777 says:


          Especially just to find out if they are using the same 5 voice actors they’ve been using since Oblivion lol.

        • vargata says:

          well, witcher is a crap so its not hard to do better…

    • Barberetti says:

      That was my first thought. Oh well, guess I’ll be waiting until the mod tools are released before playing this one. With a bit of luck, the 7 patches will have all dropped by then as well.

    • jacobvandy says:

      It took 3-4 months for Skyrim’s Creation Kit to be released, too, but SkyUI was released within the first 1-2 weeks.

      You don’t need mod tools to make mods… It just makes it easier.

  4. BradleyUffner says:

    They have that backwards. People care about the mod tools MORE when the game sucks, because it let’s people make the game not suck any more.

    • LegendaryTeeth says:

      Yeah, this. I for one have no intention of ever playing an un-modded Bethesda game. They make a good space to explore, but there is always a lot of fixing that needs to be done before it’s properly good.

    • Asurmen says:

      I agree with Bethesda. No amount of moding will help a completely broken at its core game, because no one will care about the game enough to fix it.

      • Deano2099 says:

        Depends what you mean by “broken at it’s core”. I think even a game like that, if it had something worth salvaging, people would put the effort into fixing it. KOTOR2 and Vampire: Bloodlines come to mind. Were Alpha Protocol moddable you can bet it would have been fixed up.

        And the daddy of them all is Neverwinter Nights, the campaign in the original release was absolute guff, but the mods with new adventures were terrific (as were the expansions).

        • Asurmen says:

          Well, none of those examples were broken to the core in my mind.

    • Harlander says:

      There’s obviously a vaguely Laffer Curve-esque relationship between suckiness of game and.. uh.. moddiness of mods.

    • vargata says:

      not necessarily, im a modder myself but i dont care of generally crap games (like x rebirth). i want the base game to be on a level to touch it. i wanna add to a world worth playing, not fixing the game…

  5. Traddles says:

    Disclaimer: I believe today is an amazing time to be a PC gamer, and I am largely very positive about the industry, Bethesda, and the Fallout franchise.

    That being said, I get very “turned off” by the following couplings of information: “…entire focus is on finishing the game” & the mod tools will go “clearly into next year”…. the announcement of mod tools alongside their announcements at E3 & “because we can’t even start it…”

    It’s just frustrating, I suppose. I think Bethesda was strongly sending the message at E3 that mods and mod tools would not only be a priority for all platforms (particularly PC), but that they would also be available on release (particularly for PC). Perhaps this was never stated or announced, but the implications were VERY heavy.

    Now, they don’t seem to have any real timeline for mod tool completion? They can’t even start it yet? The system doesn’t exist? I understand this is a huge undertaking, but it just doesn’t match up with what Todd was selling to us at E3. I love Bethesda… love their games… it just seems a bit shady. A bit like “padding” your E3 presentation?

  6. jrodman says:

    “…focus is on finishing the game.”

    Does that mean they actually will this time? *rimshot*

    • Zenicetus says:

      Probably not, but I’d be surprised if the recent Batman fiasco and Steam’s new return policy doesn’t have at least *some* impact on what they consider ready for release. The audience is a little more trigger-happy now on returns, and they can’t afford that.

      Of course “focus is on finishing the game” should be read as “focus on hitting the end-of-year Holiday sales window” So, who knows…

  7. ukpanik says:

    It will be released once the payment infrastructure for mods is complete.

    • Cinek says:

      That’s exactly what I’m worrying about.

    • jrodman says:

      With the proposed profit split, I really hope their efforts just result in lost money for Bethesda.

  8. SaintAn says:

    After what they tried to pull with modding recently I think its best that everyone just pirate FO4 until a year after the mod tools launch just to be safe. Don’t want to get ripped off. Plus, that’s about how long it took until the really great Skyrim mods started coming out.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Another option there might be to, you know, simply wait for a year – without playing it – and then decide if you want it.

    • Jekhar says:

      ^ This. I don’t know how you go from “don’t want to get ripped off” to “i’m free to rip them off”. Just don’t play the damn thing and wait until the desired features are in.

    • Syra says:

      That’s quite a leap. If the only thing holding you back is mods, just don’t play it until you can have the best experience.

      To be clear though, there are plenty of good reasons to pirate a game, and withe Bethesda’s recent track record of buggy ass incomplete games I would be happy to “try before I buy”, make my mind up and then buy it when it meets my desired price point, given that it is good enough to be worth buying.

      Sad state of affairs though as I’m a consummate Fallout fan, but then I prefer 1&2 to the newer console shooter ones.

    • Sakkura says:

      The really great SkyUI mod was released within a couple weeks, IIRC.

  9. Scumbag says:

    But… how can I be immersed in a Bethesda game if I cant give molerats huge, hulking boobs?

  10. Distec says:

    Radtits are DLC.

  11. Seth_Keta says:

    Ooh, I applaud Bethesda. I really like this strategy. Sell the game without modding tools, then launch the modding tools and paid mods a year later, once everyone has forgotten about what they did to Skyrim. At that point it’ll be too late for refunds. The rage shall be amusing to watch.

  12. martyr1777 says:

    So they are under so much pressure to get the game out, working, on time they can’t get the mod tools out for a whole other year?

    Mods are one of the biggest reasons to get Bethesda games. Sounds to me like the game will have many issues on release and won’t be worth looking at until the mod community gets their tools.

  13. hamilcarp says:

    Although the warning signs were there, I am deeply saddened to see the possible death of the Gamebryo engine’s vibrant modding scene. I am quite certain that this delay in releasing mod tools means that we will be severely limited in our ability to add to and modify the game to the same degree that has been possible with previous Bethesda titles. I hope I’m wrong but this news, along with the monetized mod experiment, does not bode well.

    • ffordesoon says:

      They also delayed the mod tools for Skyrim, Fallout 3, and Oblivion for a similar amount of time. That didn’t exactly stunt the growth of the modding scenes for any of those games.

      Personally, I’m a lot more worried about the fully voiced PC’s impact on the mods. On the one hand, it would be cool to see fans mod new voice packs for the PC in. On the other hand, it’s a lot tougher to add new quests and quest options and stuff, because if you want your mod to fit into the game as seamlessly as possible, it’s got to have male and female VO for the PC.

      • hamilcarp says:

        “They also delayed the mod tools for Skyrim, Fallout 3, and Oblivion for a similar amount of time.”

        Nope they released the mod tools for those games within a couple months at most. This will take much longer, they are working to make the mod tools universal across Xbox and PC, if that doesn’t set off any warning sirens I don’t know what will. I just don’t see how they can develop comprehensive mod tools across both platforms. All signs point to far more limited potential for modding.

        • ffordesoon says:

          No, they’re going to allow players to use mods on consoles. They’re not putting the tools on consoles.

          • Barberetti says:

            From the top:

            “In the case of Fallout 4 [official site], the situation is likely complicated by the tools also being designed to work on the Xbone.”

            “The idea is that [the tools] will work on all platforms”.

        • ninnyjams says:

          “This will take much longer.”

          That’s a big leap you made there. They didn’t say that.

  14. 20thhussars says:

    Is anyone else turned on by Todd Howard???

  15. Jayson82 says:

    It is kind of tradition now to wait for the modding tools, that will still not stop people modding the game. In fact there are currently mods been made for it before it has been released.

    Unless people plan to steam roll there way though the game it will take that long to finish it before they want to start play with modding fallout 4