Guide:Fallout

From STEP Modding Wiki

Contents

Introduction

Fallout has been one of the greatest of RPG franchises since its initial release way back in 1997. Mods have kept the games alive since then with Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas being some of the most lively modding communities around. This guide will cover some of the basic and advanced features that go along with modding Fallout 3 and New Vegas which will save time and headaches.

Getting Started

Since both Fallout 3 (FO3) and Fallout New Vegas (FNV) run on the Gamebryo engine, many of the programs used to mod them will be identical. Any differences between the two will be denoted with game specific instructions.

Game specific information will appear throughout the guide like so:

Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
Information specific to Fallout 3.
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
Information specific to Fallout New Vegas.

Every section of the guide will cover a different area of modding Fallout games, from different mod managers to complex mods that have difficult installations. having a clean installation of a game is the first section, so that the Fallout game directory is pristine and ready for modding.

Installation
Utilities
Mod Managers
Extenders
Selected Mods
Troubleshooting

Video Tutorials

There are a few video tutorial series for Mod Organizer and Fallout New Vegas. All of them are recommended for users that prefer watching videos.

  • Official STEP Mod Organizer Video Series by Gamer Poets
    • Covers Mod Organizer and STEP thoroughly with emphasis on Skyrim, but all directions can be applied to Fallout games. Many of the videos were reviewed by the author of this guide.
  • Fallout New Vegas Mod Organizer Series by Gopher.
    • Covers Mod Organizer and Fallout New Vegas with great examples of very popular mod installations. Reviewed by the author of this guide.
  • Mod Organizer for Fallout New Vegas Series by Dirty Weasel Media.
    • Covers Mod Organizer and Fallout New Vegas and uses Fear and Loathing examples. Video maker has had an open dialogue about MO for FNV with the author of this guide.

Installation

Installing Fallout games is most commonly done with Steam. There is another version of FO3 and that will be covered.

Before installing either game it is important to remember that Fallout (and really any game that is going to be modded) should be installed outside of the Program Files or Program Files (x86) folder to avoid Windows UAC restrictions. Some mods may not operate correctly if they are installed in that folder. This also means that Steam should probably not be installed inside those folders. To move Steam follow the directions here.

Utilities

LOOT

  • Author: LOOT Team (but mostly WrinklyNinja)
  • Note: Mod Organizer has a sort button that uses LOOT, but this is still required.
  • Installation: LOOT Installation Video
    LOOT

Originally BOSS v3.0, but it is so different that a new name was required.

xEdit

Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
FO3Edit
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
FNVEdit
  • Author: ElminsterAU, zilav, and xEdit Team
  • Notes: A small STEP mini-guide on conflict resolution is available here. Mod Organizer users might skip to the #Setting Up Mod Organizer section for installing xEdit.
  • Installation: Make sure to install directly into the game's root folder. This video can be applied to any xEdit version: TES5Edit Installation
    TES5Edit

It would really be impossible to have a heavily modded or stable game without this amazing little tool. Essential for anyone wanting to mod a Bethesda game.

LODGen
Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
FO3LODGen
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
FNVLODGen
  • Author: ElminsterAU, zilav, and xEdit Team
  • Notes: Mod Organizer users might skip to the #Setting Up Mod Organizer section for installing xEdit.
  • Installation: Make sure to install directly into the game's root folder.
Merge Plugins Standalone
  • Author: matortheeternal
  • Installation: Download the main file. Extract the contents to a folder, i.e. C:\Games\Utilities\Merge Plugins or in the game's root folder. Start Merge Plugins Standalone from its folder to make sure that the game profiles are identified. If not, then point Merge Plugins to the game's location.

This is a standalone version of the merge plugin script.

Mator Smash
  • Author: matortheeternal
  • Installation: Download the MatorSmash.zip file. Extract the contents to a folder, i.e. C:\Games\Utilities\Mator Smash or in the game's root folder. Start Mator Smash from its folder to make sure that the game profiles are identified. If not, then point Mator Smash to the game's location.

This mod can replace both the Bashed Patch from Wrye Bash and creating a Merged Patch in xEdit. It is still in development, but the functionality has reached a point that is now useful.

Mod Managers

It is hard enough to mod, but doing it without a mod manager is masochistic. There are a few different mod managers and each one offers different levels of complexity for modding Fallout. No matter what a mod manager should be used by anyone that is using more than ten or so mods.

Fallout Mod Manager - FOMM - Fork

  • Author: Q Timeslip and kaburke
  • Note: Some information before using:
  • FOMM works for both games with just one installation.
  • The older version of FOMM is not supported and should not be used.
  • Bug reports and feature requests are done on the New Vegas Nexus.

This is a continuation of the FOMM development.

Mod Organizer

  • Author: Tannin
  • Version: v1.3.11
  • Description: One of the most versatile mod managers available is Mod Organizer. It is the mod manager available that will keep the installation directory clean of any mod that is installed in the Data folder. It accomplishes this by using a virtual directory and running all the modding utilities and launching the game through Mod Organizer.
  • Note: There is some information to be aware of when installing Mod Organizer:
  • Installation: To use MO for multiple games it must have multiple installs in different locations. It is recommended to put each install of MO into the game directory of each game that it will be installed for. MO Install Video
    Works for Skyrim/FNV/FO3/Oblivion
  1. Open the Mod Organizer archive.
  2. Extract the Mod Organizer folder to the installation directory.
    Fallout Guide
    Fallout 3 Specific:
    For Fallout 3, extracted files should go into .../Steam/steamapps/common/Fallout 3 goty.

    MO can be installed anywhere if that is desired, but the game's root folder is the most common practice.
    Fallout New Vegas
    Fallout New Vegas Specific:
    For Fallout New Vegas it should go into .../Steam/steamapps/common/Fallout New Vegas.

    MO can be installed anywhere if that is desired, but the game's root folder is the most common practice.
Setting Up Mod Organizer
  1. Start MO and set it up to download mods from the Nexus, follow the directions provided on the Mod Organizer Guide. Linking to Nexus
    • Do not start downloading any mods yet. This is especially important if it is desirable to change the default download location to a different drive which is very useful for users that have the game and MO installed on an SSD.
  2. Click the Profiles buttonProfiles MO.png.
    1. Now highlight the Default profile, make sure Archive Invalidation is checked, and click [Copy].
      • Ticking Local Savegames will make all saves from the profile from being used by any other profile.
    2. Rename the profile to the desired name, and click [Okay], then [Close].
      • Users wishing to setup a base profile should do so now, then copy the base profile again to setup the modded profile. See Gopher's MO video to setup a base profile. Setting Up MO Profiles
      • This procedure can be repeated for copying any profile in the future.
  3. Click the Executables buttonGear MO.png and set up the programs that will be run from the MO launcher using directions from the Mod Organizer Guide. Third Party Programs
    1. Recommended programs to add: LOOT, xEdit (FO3Edit or FNVEdit), LODGEN (FO3/FNVLODGen), Merge Plugins Standalone, Mator Smash and Wrye Flash or Wrye Flash NV. Only add the GECK if necessary.
      • MO LOOT Installation
        . Other programs can be installed similarly.
      • LOOT has one extra instruction to setup:
        1. In the Executables menu select LOOT.
          Fallout Guide
          Fallout 3 Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "--game=Fallout3", without quotations.
          Fallout New Vegas
          Fallout New Vegas Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "--game=FalloutNV", without quotations.
        2. Click [Modify], then [Close].
      • xEdit can be setup for multiple games using one installation of the program. This example assumes that there is a C:\Games folder with Steam and MO installed within, adapt this example as needed.
        1. Get FNVEdit.
        2. In C:\Games folder, create a "Utilities" folder.
        3. In C:\Games\Utilities folder, create a "xEdit" folder.
        4. Extract the downloaded archive into the C:\Games\Utilities\xEdit folder.
      • The following example is to use xEdit as the editing tool.
        1. In Mod Organizer, select the Executables menu and either pick xEdit if it already exists or type in the new one to the Title text field.
        2. For the Binary, click [...] and navigate to the C:\Games\Utlities\xEdit\TES5Edit.exe and click [Open]. (Do not worry about the name)
          Fallout Guide
          Fallout 3 Specific:
          In the Arguments text box, type "-fo3 -edit", without quotations, then click [Add] or [Modify].
          Fallout New Vegas
          Fallout New Vegas Specific:
          In the Arguments text box, type "-fnv -edit", without quotations, then click [Add] or [Modify].
        3. Close the dialogue by pressing [Close].
      • This is how the same executable can be used as the LOD Generator for which ever game you are running.
        1. In Mod Organizer, select the Executables menu and type in the name for your game's LODGen to the Title text field. e.g. FNVLODGen
        2. For the Binary, click [...] and navigate to the C:\Games\Utlities\xEdit\TES5Edit.exe and click [Open]. (Do not worry about the name)
          Fallout Guide
          Fallout 3 Specific:
          In the Arguments text box, type "-fo3 -LODGen", without quotations, then click [Add] or [Modify].
          Fallout New Vegas
          Fallout New Vegas Specific:
          In the Arguments text box, type "-fnv -LODGen", without quotations, then click [Add] or [Modify].
        3. Close the dialogue by pressing [Close].
      • Merge Plugin Standalone has one extra instruction to setup:
        1. In the Executables menu select Merge Plugins Standalone.
          Fallout Guide
          Fallout 3 Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "-profile Fallout3Profile", without quotations.
          Fallout New Vegas
          Fallout New Vegas Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "-profile FalloutNVProfile", without quotations.
        2. Click [Modify], then [Close].
      • Merge Plugin Standalone must be setup for MO use. Merge Plugins
        Installation starts at 5:34
        1. Start Merge Plugin Standalone through MO and then click [OK].
        2. Select the Settings (gear icon).
          1. Goto the Integration tab.
          2. Tick the "I'm using Mod Organizer" checkbox.
          3. Set the "mod manager path" to MO's installation folder.
          4. Click [OK]
        3. Close Merge Plugins Standalone.
      • Mator Smash has on extra instruction to setup:
        1. In the Executables menu select Mator Smash.
          Fallout Guide
          Fallout 3 Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "-profile Fallout3Profile", without quotations.
          Fallout New Vegas
          Fallout New Vegas Specific:
          Next to the Arguments text box, type "-profile FalloutNVProfile", without quotations.
        2. Click [Modify], then [Close].
      • Mator Smash must be setup for MO use.
        1. Start Mator Smash through MO and then click [OK].
        2. Select the Settings (gear icon).
          1. Goto the Integration tab.
          2. Tick the "I'm using Mod Organizer" checkbox.
          3. Set the "mod manager path" to MO's installation folder.
          4. Click [OK]
        3. Close Mator Smash.
  4. Set up optional settings as desired:
    1. Click the Settings buttonWrench MO.png. General Settings
    2. Choose style, language, mod folders, customize mod categories among other things.
    3. For changing the default download location, follow these instructions:
      1. From the Settings menu, make sure the General tab is open.
      2. Tick the Advanced checkbox.
      3. In the Download Directory textbox, either type the location to store downloads or click the [...] button and navigate to the location that should be used for downloads.
        • If MO is going to be used for multiple games, then it is a good idea to put the different download folders in one place for ease of access. For example:
          1. Setup a "Games" folder on the storage drive, G: for this example.
          2. In the G:\Games folder, create a "Mod Organizer" folder.
          3. Now create another folder in the G:\Games\Mod Organizer folder called "downloads <game>" for each game that MO is used for. Example image
          4. Enter this path in the Download Directory textbox, ex: G:\Games\Mod Organizer\downloads Fallout 3 for the Fallout 3 version of MO
  5. Check that the official DLC is sorted correctly.
    1. In the left pane make sure the official DLC are listed as the first mods when sorted by priority. Left Pane: Columns
      Fallout Guide
      Fallout 3 Specific:
      The Unmanaged Vanilla mods should look this image here and start with Priority of 0. Fallout3 may or may not show as a mod in the left pane.
      Fallout New Vegas
      Fallout New Vegas Specific:
      The Unmanaged Vanilla mods should look this image here and start with Priority of 0. FalloutNV may or may not show as a mod in the left pane.

Mod Organizer should now be installed and properly set up for modding from this point forward.

Nexus Mod Manager

  • Author: dominatorhc, duskdweller, ipokezombies, kaburke
  • Description: Nexus Mod Manger is probably the most versatile mod manager in terms of the amount of games it can handle. In terms of features for Bethesda games, compared to other mod managers, it is not quite as rich. Recent development for it has added some nice features that show promise for NMM in future. For users that just want to install a few mods and play Fallout, NMM is perfect. For users that want to have control over every little aspect of hundreds of mods, then a different solution should be considered.
  • Installation: Download and run the installer. During installation it is recommended to install the program somewhere other than the C:\Program Files folder to avoid Windows UAC problems that can affect modding.
  • Note: Nexus Mod Manager videos:

Wrye Flash

Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
Wrye Flash
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
Wrye Flash NV
  • Author: valda, Uttomo, and Sharlikran
  • Installation: Follow these instructions:
Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
Open up the ''Wrye Flash - Standalone Executable'' archive from where ever it was downloaded to.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Extract the entire contents to the "...\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty" folder, not the "Data" folder.
Start Wrye Flash right now to correct an annoying setting:
From the Mods tab, right click the File on the top bar and make sure Lock Times is UNTICKED.
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
Open up the ''Wrye Flash - Standalone Executable'' archive from where ever it was downloaded to.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Extract the entire contents to the "...\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout New Vegas" folder, not the "Data" folder.
Start Wrye Flash NV right now to correct an annoying setting:
From the Mods tab, right click the File on the top bar and make sure Lock Times is UNTICKED.

Sharlikran, valda, and Utommo have started developing Wrye Flash NV again, but they could use some help, so anyone with python experience should consider lending a hand on Wrye Bash/Flash/Flash NV/Smash coding.

Extenders

There is a wide arrange of addition enhancements to Fallout games that do not fit in any category. This section covers those enhancements.

Script Extender

Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
FOSE
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
NVSE
  • Author: Ian Patterson, Stephen Abel and Paul Connelly.
  • Installation: Follow these instructions:
  1. Download the last version.
  2. Extract the files from the archive into the game's folder, NOT into the Data folder. The src folder and text files are not needed.
    • For Steam, the game is located in ...\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty or FalloutNV
    Fallout New Vegas
    Fallout New Vegas Specific:
    In the ''Data'' folder "right click->New->Folder", then name it "NVSE". Only do this if the folder '''DOES NOT''' exist.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Open up the ''Data/NVSE'' folder and "right click->New->Text Document", then name the file "nvse_config.ini".                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Open ''nvse_config.ini'' and add the following:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [Memory]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB=400                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ScrapheapsizeMB=128                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Save and close.

    The value for DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB must be between 200 and <500. 400 seems to be the best value for Fallout New Vegas, but it is recommended to play around with it a bit.

Without FOSE and NVSE, many mods that add incredible features of Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas mods cannot be used. These are essential mods for any gamer.

Stutter Remover

Fallout Guide
Fallout 3 Specific:
Fallout Stutter Remover
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas Specific:
New Vegas Stutter Remover
  • Author: SkyRanger-1
  • Requirements: FOSE for Fallout3 or NVSE for Fallout New Vegas
  • Installation: The mod is package with the Data and src folders. The contents of the Data folder needs to be extracted to the Game folder.
  • Mod Organizer users, follow these instructions:
During install right click Data and select "Set data directory".
Setting Up Stutter Remover

This mod has an INI file that has some options users should be aware of. Changes should be made from the INI using a text editor, such as Notepad++. The INI is found in either "...\Fallout 3 goty\Data\FOSE\Plugins" or "...\Fallout New Vegas\Data\NVSE\Plugins".


Mod Organizer Guide
USERS
Changes should made by right clicking FSR or NVSR in the left pane of MO and select the INI-Files. "FOSE/plugins/sr_Fallout_Stutter_Remover.ini" or "NVSE/plugins/sr_New_Vegas_Stutter_Remover.ini" should be listed in the top left box, click it, and use the following to make changes accordingly:
Master section (Enable/Disable NVSR functions):
Master = {
        _comment = You can turn on or off each distinct feature from here.
        bManageFPS = 1     <-- Use this for FSR or NVSE to manage FPS.
        bHookGetTickCount = 1
        bHookCriticalSections = 1
        bHookLightCriticalSections = 1
        bHookHashtables = 1
        bReplaceHeap = 0     <-- Needed for heap replacement, only for advanced users, detailed info in the readme
        bReplaceGetTickCount = 1
        bLogToConsole = 0
        bFastExit = 1
        bFlushLog = 1
        iSchedulingResolution = 1
        bReplaceRandom = 1
        bExperimentalStuff = 0     
        iMainHookPoint = 1
}
FPS section:
FPS_Management = {
	bInject_iFPSClamp = 1
	fMaximumFPS = 60     <-- Default is 30, but should bet set to monitor refresh rate or either 1/2 or 1/3 refresh rate
	fMinimumFPS = 20
	iFPS_Report_Period = 4000
	fExtraSleepPercent =0.05
}
Heap Section (used for Heap replacement):
Heap = {
	_comment = Heap replacement can produce MAJOR improvements in performance on Oblivion at a significant cost in stability
	_comment = It crashes instantly on Fallout3 last I remember checking
	_comment = It seems to work on Fallout: New Vegas ?
	_comment = Algorithms: 1=FastMM4, 2=Microsoft (slow on XP), 3=SimpleHeap1, 4=TBBMalloc, 5=ThreadHeap2, 6=ThreadHeap3, 8=tcmalloc
	_comment = Algorithms numbers 1, 4, and 8 require external DLL files in the Data/OBSE/Plugins/ComponentDLLs folder
	iHeapAlgorithm = 6     <-- Only #2, #3, #5, and #6 are the only methods supported by FNV at the moment
                                   #3, #5, and #6 require a change to iHeapMainBlockAddress in Experimental section
                                   From NVSR Readme:
                                   1: FastMM4 heap.  This requires an external dll (BorlndMM.dll) to be present in
                                      Data\nvse\plugins\ComponentDLLs, otherwise it will prevent the game from starting up.  
                                   2: Windows standard heap.  OS dependant.  A really bad idea on XP, but okay on Vista and Windows 7.  
                                   3: SimpleHeap1, made by me.  
                                   4: TBBMM, aka TBBMalloc.  Made by Intel.  Fast.  This requires an external dll (tbbmalloc.dll) to be present
                                   5: ThreadHeap2, made by me.  Fast.  
                                   6: ThreadHeap3, made by me.  Fast.  
                                   8: tcmalloc.  Made by Google.  Usually fast.  This requires an external dll (libtcmalloc_minimal.dll) to be
                                      present.  
                                   Note that heap algorithms 3, 5, and 6 are statically sized based upon the iHeapSize setting.  Heap algorithms
                                   1, 2, 4, and 8 will resize themselves as needed.  The fastest algorithms tend to be 6, 4, 5, and 8, but it
                                   varies from computer to computer.  
	bEnableProfiling = 0
	iHeapSize = 250     <-- This only affects heap algorithms #3, #5, and #6, default is 250
	bEnableMessages = 0
	bZeroAllocations = 0
}

Cannot recommend this plugin enough. In addition to the fix for the stutter bug, it can do so many more things. Many of them are really advanced for even advanced modders. To understand some of these functions a decent knowledge of software architecture and imperative, procedural, or declarative programming is required. This does not mean that those advanced features should be avoided. Overtime this section will expand with more details and suggestions for general users. Right now all the information is taken directly from the readme which is the best source of information for the mod.

Plugin Mergining

Plugin merging can be vital to Fallout New Vegas users because of the plugin limit of 140. It can also be used by anyone that is near the 254 plugin limit or that is having stability issues with their current load order. Fear and Loathing in New Vegas makes use of merging plugins many times throughout the entire guide. The instructions from this section can be used for just about any mods.

Plugin Merging Instructions
Video play triangle.png
Related Videos:

GamerPoets' video covers everything about Merge Plugins Standalone and was made in conjunction with Mator, the creator of the application. It covers every topic on the application for each mod manager.