Best Fallout 4 Mods: Survive The Wasteland

While official mod support for Fallout 4 [official site] hasn’t arrived just yet, Nexus Mods have opened their proverbial gates. Their community is fast at work creating handy customisations and helpful leg-ups to see you right as you dive head first into the irradiated unknown. It’s not currently the most straightforward game to mod, however Nexus have made two videos that explain how to set things up beforehand, and each individual mod details how it should be installed in its description. Take this list as something of a Fallout 4 survival guide – a compendium of cool mods that’ll help you face the harsh aftermath of nuclear holocaust.

The majority of these mods are works in progress, so be sure to check back for future updates and better versions.

How to install Fallout 4 mods

The Best Fallout 4 Mods

Fallout 4 Configuration Tool / Fallout 4 Mod Manager

By Bilago and grasmann, respectively

Right, first thing’s first: best get our admin in order if we’re to stand a better chance of conquering the Commonwealth. Let’s look at settings and storage.

The Fallout 4 Configuration Tool is the best way to set about your settings as it lets you to tweak, tease and twist more than the game’s standard launcher and generic in-game menu allows. The journey ahead is a long and darned dangerous one – just ask Michael Radiatin’ – so make sure to adjust your mouse sensitivity to your liking, customise your resolution, and set colours for your HUD, Pip-Boy, and VATS before you set off. Perhaps you want to broaden your field of view, disable gore, or toggle the frame rate or mouse acceleration too whilst you’re at it? Pick and choose to your heart’s content, Sole Survivor. Best not lock yourself out the console if you’re interested in the remainder of this list, though. We might, ahem, tinker with that a little bit later on.

As noted above, we’re still waiting for official Fallout 4 modding support, however the Fallout 4 Mod Manager nevertheless offers a straightforward, streamlined setup to help organisation. If, like me, you find keeping track of your mods a progressively confuddling dealio, this application will serve you well on that front.

Stalker Lighting / Enhanced Wasteland Preset

By Garny and Razed, respectively

Okay, settings sorted. Now what the hell is up with how post-apocalyptic Boston looks?

From what I gather, The Internet’s opinion is split with regards to Fallout 4’s attuned vibrancy – Alec seems happy with the fact that “a brown fog has been lifted” this time round – but I don’t like it. Touch wood, I’ve never had to imagine the real world post-nuclear devastation, but I assume things will be bleak, dark and drained of colour. Or at least that’s what Fallout 3 and New Vegas taught me. For me, Fallout 4 needs toned down.

Enter Stalker Lightning, a mod which does just that. By swapping the buoyancy of the standard pallet for more appropriate nuclear-holocaustic hues, not only does Fallout 4 benefit aesthetically, it benefits atmospherically too. “I dont like the ugly Bioshock optics in Fallout 4,” reads the mod’s descriptor. “You can feel the post apocalyps [sic] atmosphere and I think it looks much better.” As do I.

However, if you side with the many other commentators who think Fallout 4 would be better served by more (more?!) colour, Enhanced Wasteland Preset adds a touch more vibrancy to the Commonwealth in order to make it appear “less washed out”.

no dotdotdot / PipWare UI Fallout4 Edition

By just and rebb, respectively

Now, onto the finer details of what we’ll be laying our peepers on amid the chaos in Boston: the user interface.

Whereas the similarly menu-heavy Skyrim has the wonderful UI-altering SkyUI mod, the Fallout series has never really had such a definitive go-to user interface mod under Bethesda/Obsidian’s care. This is likely because most of Fallout’s menu tinkering takes place within the confines of the Pip-Boy, thus practical limitations (the size of the device’s screen) are forced upon the process. But daft things still prove endlessly irritating, like when certain locations, quest info, or item descriptions over-run the set character length and swap out the ends of words with “…” Locating information quickly can become problematic when unable to see entire words, thus no dotdotdot offers a simple fix by reducing the letter sizing of longer words so as to avoid half-readable sentences.

Another handy UI-altering mod is PipWare UI Fallout4 Edition which changes how the mouse wheel works inside lists of menus. “Instead of scrolling one line per ‘mouse wheel unit’, it will scroll one page of items,” says the mod’s creator. Furthermore, PipWare UI FE allows you to tone down the size of the UI icons and also adjust how these are offset from the default position, meaning you can push the HP and AP bars to the furthermost corners of the screen, should you desire.

The main drawback of these equally helpful mods is that they don’t support one another, which is a real shame as they’d work very well hand-in-hand. There’s chat on each mod’s page of realising such a collaboration by way of multiple player requests. Fingers crossed it eventually happens.

Full Dialogue Interface

By Cirosan and shadwar

With our micro presentation sorted, how will we present ourselves to the world?

The well-worn adage ‘think before you speak’ becomes a shit-sight harder when someone else is putting words into your mouth that you can’t foresee. Fallout 4, you’ll notice, has swapped the rather extensive dialogue options of its predecessors for a diamond-shaped ‘quick’ prompt setup whereby you get to choose one of four suggestions that are indicative of what you might say, before making you unwittingly blurt out something else entirely. Conversations, in essence, become guesswork which is no good when trying to sweet talk your way around the multitude of Wasterlanders you’re bound to cross paths with.

The Full Dialogue Interface – made originally in Russian and translated to English – changes this by showing you exactly what you’ll say if you click x in response to y, meaning you’ll now have a far better sense of where to steer the conversation next.

What the mod loses in the transfer, however, is the handy one-word prompts which exist in the default system to delineate how dialogue gets delivered. Sarcasm is one such example Alice rightly identified as an issue here, and I agree with her suggestion that future versions of this mod will likely add the hints back to make chatting more cohesive.

Higher Settlement Budget

By GrimTech – PatrickJr

With our metaphorical house in order, let’s check-in at our literal one.

If you’re all about that base, you might’ve been let down by the size cap imposed on run of the mill Fallout 4 settlements. Of course, this arbitrary limit exists to keep things ticking over: governing how much shit you can cram into one space naturally prevents crashes, lag, frame rate issues and/or all of the above. With the Higher Settlement Budget mod in place, however, you can wave that size restriction goodbye and build to you burst – you or your CPU, whichever tires first.

Creator PatrickJr recommends installing the mod manually and not via the Nexus Mod Manager. The handy tutorial video above shows how to get it working in 60 seconds.

As a one-time Habbo Hotel aficionado (I know, I know), I could see myself sinking hours, days, weeks into architecting the most awesome abodes with this mod, but it’s something I’d do with caution. I agree, the limit cap is pants, but is building a sprawling headquarters while running the rest of that game into the ground really worth it?

Create Your Own Survival Rebalance

By The Iron Rose

And so it’s off out into the wild.

But what’s that? All this preparation has made you a bit of Wasteland wonder kid, capable of striking fear into the hearts of every man, woman and beast alike – even The Boston Bastard, you say? I see.

The Create Your Own Survival Rebalance mod lets you up the ante to suit your own play style. Whereas the pre-set Survival difficulty setting makes you take double the normal damage and only deal half normal damage in return, this mod allows you to customise how much pain you inflict and how much you take back – to the tune of 17 varying options – so as to rid the Commonwealth of “bullet sponges” and other unlikely or unbelievable combat-oriented occurrences.

It’d make sense to wax lyrical here about how this kind of mod adds a layer of depth and believability to what would be extremely trying circumstances in reality – that if a Super Mutant race actually existed, you wouldn’t likely stand much of a chance engaging one head on; that you’d need to rely on brains, not brawn, should you wish to overcome the trials and tribulations survival in these harsh and unforgiving elements would demand of you. Really, though, this mod is for hard bastards. That’s the bottom line.

Craftable Guns and Weapons / Craftable Ammunition

By The Iron Rose and Xylozi, respectively

Right, high time we introduced some weapons into this post-apocalyptic mix.

The Craftable Guns and Weapons mod and the Craftable Ammunition mod are a match made in Heaven. This would be a parallel interpretation of Heaven, of course, whereby instead of Saint Peter holding the keys to the divine afterlife as he stands next to two pearly gates, you’d instead have the gun-toting Simpsons character Colonel Tex O’Hara holding two guns stood next to two even bigger guns.

These mods add every type of ammunition and just about every type of ranged weapon as a craftable objects to Fallout 4’s Chemistry Stations. Standard bullets can be formulated as soon as you’ve sourced the raw materials, but more complex ammo is gated behind certain perks – Fusion Cells, for example, are made up of: 10x Cartridge Casing, 10x Connectivity Matrix, 10x Ignition Control; and require the Gun Nut perk at rank 2, and the Science! perk at rank 1.

The same applies to weapons, but those that can be crafted without satisfying addition perk demands include: 0.44 Pistol, 10mm Pistol, Combat Revolver, Assault Rifle, and the Sub-machine Gun. Yippee ki yay!

Brotherhood (And other factions) Fire team Support and Supply / Creature Follower ESP version

By Grant2600 and by BOTLANNER with credit to DumdogsWorld, respectively

Why stop at weaponry? Get your crew involved.

In Glasgow, the colloquial/slang term for hand is ‘hawn’. If someone requires ‘handers’, or ‘hawners’ as we say, it means that someone needs backup in a fight. The Brotherhood (And other factions) Fire team Support and Supply mod brings some top pedigree hawners to the Commonwealth.

Once installed, inputting bat files lets you summon knights, sentries, fire teams, a whole shitting Brotherhood of Steel company – including aid workers, recon, and ammo supplies – some Commonwealth Minutemen, and even Deathclaws to you side in an instant.

Similarly, the Creature Follower ESP version mod adds a follower to your side without occupying a follower slot (meaning you could in theory have two followers at any one time). Choose from: a Deathclaw, a Yao Guai bear, a Generation 1 Synth, a Generation 2 Synth, a cat (who won’t fight in combat, the bastard), a Mutant Hound, a Super Mutant Behemoth, a Raider Dog, a Gorilla, a Radscorpion, or a Vicious Dog. This detailed video explains how to install the mod and also shows the mod in action:

Bullet Time Mod (Alpha)

By hawkidoki

So when you find yourself in a tight spot, without the time nor means to deploy your hawners, what do you do? You slow down time.

Pulling from the Bullet Time Mods found in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, Bullet Time Mod (Alpha) creator hawkidoki has modded the behaviour of in-game drug JET, renaming it Bullet Time, making it weightless and also so that it incurs zero addiction.

At the moment, hawkidoki admits the lack of advanced or custom scripts limit how well the mod can perform but as it stands Bullet Time (Alpha) slows down time during shootouts, resonant of Action Quake 2 or the Max Payne series. So as to avoid spamming, a minimum requirement of 50 AP (about half of a full bar) is required to initiate a maximum seven seconds in Bullet Time, which incurs +5 radiation damage with each use. Activating and immediately deactivating drains your whole AP bar at which point you’ll need to accumulate 50 AP to reuse.

“Without advanced/custom scripts, F4SE or even GECK I cannot go any further,” says creator hawkidoki. “The solution I propose on [update] 0.7a is the most advanced and possible thing we can do with *.esp method only. I would like to tweak many aspects (minimum AP, AP drain etc.), but it’s most likely impossible.”

Those who aren’t particularly fond of using V.A.T.S. on the offensive should keep a watchful eye on this one, particularly when official modding support arrives.

Longer deathcam

By TAZ

In the end, though, the icy grip of death is inevitable.

No matter how much you plan, prepare, mod or, let’s face it, cheat, you’ll meet your maker out there in the unrelenting Wasteland before long. War Never Changes, they say.

So why not go out in style? Face your inexorable, inescapable, ineluctable doom with valour: hit the blood-stained irradiated asphalt in a blaze of slow motion glory. Instead of the standard three second delay between getting struck down and the requisite loading screen, Longer deathcam gives you up to three minutes to bask in the third-person theatrics your body is forced to endure as it drops to the floor, cold, motionless, succumbing to the deadened thralls of rigor mortis.

You’re not forced to sit through the entire three minutes, granted; hitting escape allows you to press on and the mod page also advises how to alter the duration manually. The extra time allows you to cheer on your companion however, who’ll inevitably take it upon themself to avenge your death, from the afterlife/comfort of your chair. Godspeed, fellow friend.

Honorable Mention

T-800 V3.0

By anjoss

While the other mods listed here should stand you in good stead in conquering the formidable Commonwealth, this one’s purely cosmetic. My words can’t do it justice, just look at the video above.

And so concludes our modded Fallout 4 survival guide. But how have you been keeping safe? What post-apocalyptic mods have we missed? Let us know below.

37 Comments

  1. Lord Byte says:

    The Full dialogue interface now does show [Sarcasm] and such indicators.

  2. king0zymandias says:

    That “stalker” mod looks horrible. It seems the guy has literally no knowledge of color grading. He’s crushing the blacks so much that he got rid of any detail in the shadows. In real life even in a really dark environment light rays don’t just hit something and then just disappear. The fake ambient light in the game was meant to simulate that light bounce/global illumination. Punching up the shadows and highlights, desaturating the colors, all of this is fine when done with care and subtlety. But this is just incompetent.

    • mrvega says:

      Please create a better one and post the luke here. Cheers bud, looking forward.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        link to i.imgur.com

      • MuscleHorse says:

        Ah yes, the “well YOU couldn’t do better!” argument. Nullifies all criticism.

        • Geebs says:

          With respect to all of the half-assed “photorealistic” colour grading mods that pop up for Bethesda games, my approach to “doing it better” has always been to buy a decent monitor and calibrate it – which I’m pretty sure is something that hasn’t occurred to the mod makers.

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            And if you do that, you might well notice that they already did some pretty decent tuning in vanilla mode, which means that whoever wants to create something different could do so by touching very little stuff.

            I’m 2.2 on all channels and all luminance levels and i can confirm that no matter how dark something is, there’s always detail. They did a great job, so would-be modders just need to alter some saturation here and some slight contrast there, not more.

            If they so desperately need, off course.

          • Premium User Badge

            Harlander says:

            How cheaply can you get a monitor that does good, calibratable colour reproduction?

          • Sleepy Will says:

            One of the Dells for about £120 if you shop around

          • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

            I guess the “cheapest” thing could be Dell’s semi-pro line, which would actually be their highest end offering but it still can not be called professional.

            But there are more ways to have a simple sRGB only capable monitor with good out of the box accuracy if you spy TFT central for a bit, i think there was some discontinued model from HP that had more or less no settings but was already set up pretty decently.

            Best thing possible would be the ColorEdge line from Eizo which is simply perfection, even down to the polarizing filter to get rid of IPS glow, uniformity correction and even an integrated colorimeter that pops down at set intervals. That is absolutely not cheap, but the smallest models of the least professional line are still top stuff.

            Cheap-cheap again would be to hunt TFT central for the one that appears the least fucked up for your budget. The rest is down to you when it comes to disabling all the extra crap that looks stupid like magic contrast 9000 and turbolol ubercolor crap.

      • king0zymandias says:

        Why? I don’t even play this game. Why should I bother? Just pointing out that the color grading is really badly done, and should be avoided.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I’m totally with you. It looks like when I turn the brightness down too far on my phone because I want to conserve batteries. Not in the slightest more “photorealistic”.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    The Survival Rebalance mod looks interesting, but unless I missed it, I don’t think it lets you adjust damage buff/nerf for specific enemy types. That would allow fine tuning for a few specific cases where human enemies are wearing no armor at all, but are incredible bullet sponges anyway (looking at you, Child of the Atom bastards).

    That would probably need a faction-specific setting too, so maybe it will take a while. By the time I level up some more, they won’t be a problem. But it still doesn’t look right.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      The purpose of the mod is to adjust, and mainly, do away with the damage nerf on survival mode. (enemies inflict double but take half) For a lot of people, they will use this to set the survival damage gradient back to the vanilla levels, or others, like myself, will use it to increase damage multiplier for the player, but leave the enemy bonus multiplier high as well in the interest of keeping combat lethal and fast.

      In vanilla survival, even critical head shots will often fail to significantly damage unarmored raiders. While it does succeed in making the game harder, it raises that difficulty in the most tedious way possible. Changing the multiplier does indeed unbalance armor absorption a little bit, and it does not adjust the scarcity of ammunition (to better preserve balance, it would be helpful to have the ability to reduce ammunition drops by the amount that damage is increased by) but I would not play survival mode without the increased damage rates. Sponges are boring to deal with.

      • popej says:

        Surprisingly the players damage modifier really doesn’t need much of a boost on Survival. I’m playing with 0.60x player damage (where as 0.50x is Survival default) and 5.0x player received damage.

        Both those figures sound pretty ridiculous but it works. It’s your player character that’s the worst damage sponge after all! 0.60x has a bigger effect than you’d think.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      I was hoping it was an actual “Survival” mod, where food and water are tracked. But this doesn’t really seem the type of game where that matters as much tbh…

  4. Zankman says:

    *Opens article*

    *Reads*

    *Is confused*

    Where are the porn mods?!?

    • SavageTech says:

      It says best Fallout 4 mods, not breast Fallout 4 mods ;)

  5. monsieurZb says:

    LONGER deathcam?! For the love of god, why would you want to do that?

    • stonetoes says:

      So that after you eat a mininuke you can watch your corpse gracefully ragdoll sixty feet through the air. Tis a thing of beauty.

    • popej says:

      It should be pointed out that you can skip the death scene if you wish.

  6. Stevostin says:

    The idea of a mod selection is excellent but clearly to me it’s a bit early to make a list. Most of those mods are very optional at best (by this I mean: degrading the game experience if you ask me).

  7. magogjack says:

    Ubisoft has to get their act together, it doesn’t seem to matter if you release an unfinished game if you foster a modding community. I’m going to have to test this with my russian copy.

  8. Siimon says:

    Here is what I use, in no particular order:

    Lowered Weapons
    Darker Nights (Light)
    no dotdotdot
    Lowered Sprint AP (75%)
    Easy Lockpicking (still requires perk)
    Easy Hacking (still requires perk)
    PipBoy 4k FTO
    Stars 4k FTO
    Carry Weight Mod (which, just like lockpicking/hacking, is more tedium than “realism” or w/e to me. I have my carry weight set at 500)

    Last, but not least, the Stuttering and Memory Patch by ENBoost that together with running in borderless fullscreen, 100% solved the micro-stuttering that plagued the vanilla game for me.

    On a side note: I’ve yet to see a re-shade mod for FO4 that doesn’t make the game look worse. That Photorealism mod is terrible! Photorealism it is not. Color -enhancing- it is not.
    I agree with the comment above somewhere that says that FO4 color tuning is actually really well made, but most people just have a monitor/TV that won’t accurately represent it.

    • Siimon says:

      The mod I so really desire: settler management/assignment menu.

  9. dethtoll says:

    That Terminator one is great just because of the VATS.

  10. popej says:

    There already is a ‘low loot’ mod. Not sure how it effects ammunition though.

  11. -Spooky- says:

    “Whereas the similarly menu-heavy Skyrim has the wonderful UI-altering SkyUI mod, the Fallout series has never really had such a definitive go-to user interface mod under Bethesda/Obsidian’s care.”

    Did is miss read the text? Darnified UI is the best on the market for Oblivion and FO3. *uhm*

  12. RegisteredUser says:

    Just wanted to say I would love it if you did an updated version of this when the GOY / UE comes out for those that wanta latest / most updated version of this for the best gaming experience possible for when the game is actually fixed and done. :)

  13. SaintAn says:

    Darker Nights is my favorite mod. It improves night time immersion so much.
    Here’s what it looks like on my game:
    link to imgur.com

  14. Cronstintein says:

    Yeah, darker nights is key.
    Also worth noting (all from Nexus):
    CamFast – Faster VATS stuff so it doesn’t take forever
    No Respawn – prevent camps from repopulating
    Simple Bug Fixes – title says it all.
    Create Your Own Survival Rebalance (choose your own damage modifiers)
    Place in Red – Huge improvement for settlements if you want to build something serious.
    Optimized Vanilla Textures – Serious FPS benefits with little/no visual degradation.

    Lots of little other stuff but those are my heavy hitters. Also, if you haven’t already, you can get a lot of benefit from .ini tweaks.