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Fallout 4 – The best mods upgrading visuals and improving mechanics

The Best of ...Apr 23, 2016 at 12:00p PSTby Maiman

Fallout 4 – The best mods upgrading visuals and improving mechanics

Our series of articles dealing with the best mods for your favorite games is back, this time focusing on Fallout 4. Which mods are worth your time? How to install them? The answers to those and many more questions can be found below.

The Fallout franchise has been a long-time favorite among gamers and modders alike. The number of mods available for each subsequent installment in the series – from Fallout 3 onwards – reached hundreds in just a couple of days upon launch, effectively immortalizing the brand and bringing lots of fun. Any of the 3D Fallouts can be seen in a different light even years after the game’s original release date.

Fallout 4, the latest entry in the post-apocalyptic franchise, is no exception to that rule. Unfortunately, while wading through the ocean of available modifications, it is easy to get lost and discouraged, as many mods are simply mediocre. Mindful of the issue, we have prepared the following selection – a list of the best, most interesting, most beautiful, and most relevant Fallout 4 mods currently available; all of them are easy to install, and each ensures that your journey through the Commonwealth is a much more engaging and pleasant experience.

All mods have been tested on the latest available version of the game (1.4.132.0.0).

Installing mods for Fallout 4

Making sure the mods work

To ensure that the modifications work properly, complete the following procedure before installation:

  • Find the Fallout4Prefs.ini and Fallout4.ini files in the Documents/My Games/Fallout4 folder;
  • Select both files, right click, and select “Properties”. Then uncheck the “Read only” option;
  • Edit Fallout4Prefs.ini using a text editor (e.g. Notepad) and go to the last line on the bottom of the file – it should look like this: [Launcher];
  • Add the following line below:

bEnableFileSelection=1

  • Save and close the file;
  • Open the Fallout4Custom.ini file using a text editor;
  • Add the following lines at the bottom (unless they are already there):

[Archive]

bInvalidateOlderFiles=1

sResourceDataDirsFinal=

  • Save and close the file.

Nexus Mod Manager

Fallout 4 supports the content available on Nexus Mods website. This means that you can download the mods using the Nexus Mod Manager software (later on referred to as NMM). NMM allows you to automatically install, enable, and disable all kinds of mods. The nexusmods site dedicated to Fallout 4 has a very nice feature: it will inform you if the modification you would like to download requires any additional applications or plugins to work properly.

How to use the Nexus Mod Manager:

  • Download and run the latest Nexus Mod Manager software.
  • Wait until it finishes scanning your drive for games, or cancel the scan and choose the game manually.
  • Select the right modification in the Mods tab (the mod itself may be placed in an automatically generated subfolder) and click the second button from the top (the green check mark) – the mod will be enabled
  • NOTE: To download files from nexusmods.com you need to have an account there.

ENB Mods – what are they and how to install them

ENB is a general name referring to all modifications based on the files created by Boris Vorontsov. The files enable games to support advanced post-processing features that are supported partially or aren’t supported at all by default.

Enabling post-processing can have a significant impact on the performance of Fallout 4. ENB mods are recommended only for users with powerful rigs.

How to install the files enabling you to use ENB presets:

  • Download the latest version of ENB Series;
  • Extract the archive. Copy the contents of the WrapperVersion folder into the game folder (the one containing Fallout4.exe)
  • From now on, copy every new preset into the game folder, overwriting files if required.

Photorealistic Commonwealth – improved visuals

Photorealistic Commonwealth ENB introduces a significant number of visual tweaks. As most other ENB presets, it changes color balance, enables advanced anti-aliasing, adds dynamic focus range and complex ambient occlusion. It’s hard to depict all those changes even using a graphics comparison – you just have to see it for yourself. Thanks to the config files included with the mod, each individual visual option can be easily managed. If you decide to install the default version, you can expect the framerate to drop by about 10–15 fps, and in the case of Lite version, expect the performance to drop by about 5 fps.

Creator: l00ping

How to install: Download your preferred version of the mod manually. Refer to the instructions provided in the ENB Mods – what are they and how to install them section.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers (Lite version)
  2. Download the mod from our FTP servers (default version)

Vivid Fallout – improved landscape textures

Fallout 4 looking better than vanilla without performance loss? Why yes, it is most certainly possible thanks to the creator of Vivid Fallout, a mod sharpening and upgrading the overall quality of textures we see in the in-game environment. The mod is available in several versions, including Best Choice (relatively easy on the hardware), a version for weaker rigs (1K – the texture size is reduced by half), for somewhat more powerful ones (2K), and one for truly powerful machines (4K).

Creator: Hein84

How to install: Download your preferred version of the mod manually. Then opy the content of the “Data” folder to [game_folder]\Data.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Grasslands – more grass

The nuclear blast may have turned the Commonwealth’s vegetation to ash at some point, but the nature is not so easily killed, right? “Right”, said the creator of Grasslands, a mod that not only makes the grass cover up the Boston wasteland, making it a bit more lively, but also – contrary to what one might expect – keeps performance drop at a decent level. The add-on is available in two versions: the more saturated “Healthy” and the more bleak, distinctly Fallout-like, “Unhealthy”.

Creator: Doodlezoid

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

WET – improved water textures

Water Enhancement Textures is a patch that beautifies all things water-related, mostly by increasing texture resolutions. It also improves the looks of waterfalls, splashes, character’s footprints left on the bottom of various ponds, and so on. Furthermore, the mod enables you to customize water opacity, water radiation levels in individual ponds. <br>It also increases the intensity of rainfalls and improves water drop reflections.

Creator: SparrowPrince

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

True Storms – improved weather effects

The True Storms mod will make extreme weather conditions truly extreme – also on the visual side. The add-on overrides the sound effects of storms and blizzards, increases the density of fogs, shortens the day, and reduces the overall brightness. Furthermore, it can sharply increase the risks we are exposed to when venturing into the Glowing Sea. First and foremost, however, it enhances the visuals, presenting the travelers with numerous breathtaking experiences when traversing the wasteland.

Creator: fadingsignal

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose which effects are to be enabled.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

OCDecorator – interior design made easy

A simple and intuitive way to create your own base of operations that would reflect the owner’s character is every wanderer’s secret wish. OCDecorator makes the dream come true, at least in Fallout 4. The add-on expands the list of objects available in workshop mode with numerous static decorations, easy to place on shelves, tables, and such. At the same time, it completely nullifies the risk of your precious, hand-crafted house made out of boxes of Abraxo cleaner crumbling down at the slightest gust of radioactive wind.

Creator: mcface

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose which options are to be enabled.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Homemaker – more objects to place in your settlements

Homemaker is a mod that’s sizeable in many aspects. It will certainly please both interior and exterior decoration lovers. The add-on introduces more than a 1000 new objects craftable in the workshop. The list includes beds, chairs, generators, turrets, traps, ammo cases, fountains, tanks, cars, flags, barrels… and many, many other things no one really needs but everybody wants to have. All that for a reasonable price of a few (hundred) resources!

Creator: NovaCoru

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose which options are to be enabled.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Spring Cleaning – remove anything you want from your settlements

Ever had the feeling that your settlement wasn’t really yours, because you couldn’t get rid of that one irritating tuft of weed spoiling your backyard? If so, your days of torment are over. Spring Cleaning enables you to remove literally anything that can be found in any of your settlements. From grass, through paving slabs and stones, to critical structural elements of buildings – nothing can avoid dismantlement, if that is your wish. After all, this are YOUR settlements, right?

Creator: Nverjos

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Craftable Ammo – your own ammo workshop

“There’s no ammo like too much ammo”, as an old gaming saying goes. In strict accordance with the proverb, the Craftable Ammo mod was created, enabling you to make your own bullets using chemistry stations. You can craft almost any kind of ammunition required to feed your guns, and the mod is available in two versions: default (with perk restrictions) and unlocked (you can craft the ammo you want even without necessary perks).

Creator: kr1ck

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. Ammo can be crafted at any chemistry station.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Take Cover – fight smart in TPP

Although the majority of players prefer to play Fallout 4 in first-person view, and this game’s protagonist certainly isn’t called Marcus Fenix, the decision to get completely rid of cover mechanics in TPP appears to be way off the mark. Where the developers fall short, however, the modders can shine; Take Cover allows you not only to stick to things like walls and fences, but also jump over obstacles and fire blindly.

Creator: registrator2000

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. To take cover, sprint towards the intended surface.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Full Dialogue Interface – complete dialogue options

One of the main sources of complaints in Fallout 4 was the way the developers handled dialogues, making them an oversimplified, hardly intuitive guesswork. Full Dialogue Interface eliminates the factor of uncertainty and provides a breath of old-school air, allowing you to see exactly what your character intends to say. Furthermore, it enables you to freely choose all of the visual details of your dialogue interface, including things like text shadow, or numbering of dialogue options.

Creator: Cirosan

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose which options are to be enabled.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Improved Map – a superior topographical depiction

Fallout 4 is a game packed with all kinds of content – it can be easy to get lost there, especially if even the thing as indispensable to safe navigation as the map requires us to constantly strain our eyes and zoom in just to see our destination (without a dozen of other points of interest). Here’s where Improved Map with Visible Roads comes into play. The add-on increases brightness and contrast on the map, highlights all the roads visible on it, adds a grid, and marks the most important locations with numbers. Time to venture into the Commonwealth with our goals clear in sight!

Creator: mm137

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose which options are to be enabled.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Personal Radio – play your own songs in your own radio station

Is there something better than butchering a Deathclaw to the sounds of Atom Bomb Baby? Why, of course, slaughtering a whole pack of Deathclaws to the sounds of your favorite tune! The Personal Radio mod introduces a whole new radio station, allowing you to handpick up to 40 tracks to be played on air. Want more classics form the ‘50s in your personal Fallout soundtrack? Think it would do better with some hardbass dubstep remixes? Not a problem, Personal Radio is here to oblige.

Creator: junior99au

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager. During the installation process you will be able to choose how many tracks are to be included on your playlist. Convert the files to .wav and rename them with numbers (1, 2, 3, and so on). Then, go to [game_folder] \Data\sound\fx\mus\radio\PersonalRadio and overwrite the .wav files you’ll find inside with your own songs.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers

Lowered Weapons – immersive weapon position

The Commonwealth is a dangerous place. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have your gun at the ready. Which doesn’t mean you have to be constantly aiming it. The Lowered Weapons mod changes the way your character holds weapons in FPP, significantly increasing the immersion. Your leisurely strolls through the wasteland will now give off a more professional, military vibe, and if you encounter some hostiles, it takes no more than a split second to raise the weapon to aim.

Creator: lesma666

How to install: Download and enable using the Nexus Mod Manager.

  1. Download the mod from our FTP servers