The Fallout games, at least since Fallout 3, have been absolutely massive games in both scale and popularity. The post-nuclear war setting is rife with interesting stories to experience and monsters to kill. Fallout 4 was the last single-player entry in the series before Fallout 76 took the game into a persistent multiplayer experience. A large appeal of these games is how you are able to actually role-play and immerse yourself in the game world, which isn’t so easy with other players jumping around in their underwear. Thanks to mods, it has never been a better time to revisit the last “pure” Fallout game.
Just like Skyrim, Fallout 4 mods are incredibly popular. Some are inspired to fix the numerous bugs and glitches Bethesda games have become famous for, while others look to add new features. As open and dynamic as the base game is, mods just open the door to an almost endless supply of tools you can use to extend the life of your game. With so many mods available, it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start. We’ve sorted through all the best Fallout 4 mods out there and came up with the best ones you should install before stepping out of the vault once again.
One of the major complaints players of Fallout 4 had, both from the hardcore and casual fanbases, was about the dialogue system. The scope and versatility of conversations had admittedly been going down ever since the original two titles, but by the time Fallout 4 came out, all we were given were four vague (sometimes just a single word or two) approximations of what your character will say. This led to many instances of players misinterpreting the tone or meaning of what option they were picking. For an RPG, that’s a serious immersion breaker. Enter the Full Dialogue Interface mod.
The mod is simple. So simple, it’s a wonder it wasn’t just the default. Rather than give you a hint at what your character will say, this mod will write out what your character will say in full. It also redoes the conversation UI so that the text is displayed in a vertical list format, just like it was in previous games. The mod comes in two versions: Full and lite. Both versions work with both keyboard and gamepad support, with the difference between them being that the lite version retains the original conversation UI from the base game.
Admit it — we all spend way too much time in character creators. Or we would like to, anyway, but often run up against the game’s limited options when trying to either recreate ourselves or craft our ideal vision of who we want to role-play. When you’re going to be embodying a character for dozens upon dozens of hours, you should at least like what your character looks like. The default options are by no means limited, but there can never be enough options.
The LooksMenu mod improves character customization in a ton of ways. Right away, you’ll notice the feature list is much larger than the default, making it that much easier to move through the list and find what you want to change. You can also now adjust specific features on your character via a list rather than selecting it from the face model, which can be finicky at the best of times. Other than that, you’re getting new skin forms, colors, and hair colors, and you can even adjust the resolution of face textures.
Originally made for Skyrim, the True Storms mod has been added to Fallout 4 with even more enhancements and features than the original. This mod is all about making the frankly underwhelming dynamic weather system much more impressive. But even beyond just improving the look, texture, particles, and sounds of existing weather, the mod also adds in brand new forms like radiation rain, heavy dust storms, heavy fog, and more. There are better-looking lightning flashes in the distance and 20 new thunder sound effect variations to make each strike and boom feel unique.
While the mod could’ve been left at that, the modder went an extra step and even gives players sneaky bonuses during storms and an increased chance for Feral Ghouls to come out during radiation storms. The mod works in both the Commonwealth and Far Harbor areas and finally makes the weather feel like an actual element in the game you need to pay attention to rather than just a cosmetic change that happens every once in a while.
Even at launch, Bethesda games are never really marketed or praised for their graphical quality. They aim for scale and depth rather than being technical marvels. That’s fine, but that does make their visuals age much quicker than other contemporary titles. While mods can only do so much, completely redoing the lighting alone goes a long way to making Fallout 4 look more like a modern game. Once you see what more realistic and dynamic lighting does to a scene, how it adds so much more depth and contrast to areas, it will be impossible to go back. It is especially impressive when navigating with a flashlight.
The Enhanced Lights and FX mod reworks all interior lights, lighting effects, and ambient lights for the entire game. Each light source will cast its own light, more shadows will be cast, and interior lighting will be dependent on true light sources. If there’s no light source inside at night, it’s going to be dark like you’d expect. The mod is also great for being light to run. It won’t drag down your frames per second much, if at all.
Somebody had to do it, right? It is only a matter of time after a Bethesda game comes out that some brave soul takes it upon themselves to fix as many of the bugs and glitches as possible. The Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch describes itself as an all-in-one patch that aims to, over time, address every single bug within Fallout 4 that the developers haven’t fixed themselves. At least, all the ones possible to fix via modding, anyway, which is still quite a bit. You do need the latest version of the game to run this mod, as well as all of the officially released DLC expansions, but otherwise, this mod is made to be as easy to use as possible.
Listing all the changes this mod makes would be overwhelming. What you can expect are hundreds of bugs related to quests, NPCs, objects, items, gameplay, and text placement fixes, and no changes that can break the game. It is made to run with as many other mods as possible, making it an easy recommendation to start with, and is even created by the same modding team that made the Unofficial Oblivion and Skyrim Patch mods. Clearly, this team has the knowledge and passion for this kind of thing, and it shows with this mod.
Day and night cycles are nice, but wouldn’t it be nice if entire seasons could change? This mod won’t allow for seasons to change automatically — the modders explicitly mention that it is technically impossible — but you can at least set the game to match the season you want. Each season has a major impact on the look and feel of the environment — fields covered in snow that change to blooming with flowers or trees covered in orange and yellow leaves that change to bare winter branches. It can make even well-known locations feel new again.
This mod gives you seven different season choices to swap between: Autumn, Autumn — Golden Grasses, First Frost, winter, Spring Thaw, spring, and summer. Autumn — Golden Grasses, First Frost, and Spring Thaw are all transitional seasons, letting you get even more specific with what time of year you want to play in. Again, you can only have one active at a time, but switching them is quick and easy. There’s a reason this mod has won multiple awards and has been recognized by many major outlets as one of the best Fallout 4 mods out there.
The first friendly face you encounter in Fallout 4, excluding your robot butler, is the loyal pup Dogmeat. He’s your introduction to companions and can stick with you through the entire game. (Or so long as you don’t have another companion.) For whatever reason, Fallout 4 denies you your loyal pupper if you have another companion. After some digging, the modders discovered a lot of evidence in the game’s code that Dogmeat wasn’t originally intended to count as a companion in the same way other NPCs do. Because there were systems already in place for this to work, this mod was able to be made using only in-game functions.
Emotional reasons aside, it makes no sense for Dogmeat to be treated as a full companion in the base game. He doesn’t have Live or Love, doesn’t affect your Lone Wanderer perks, and there are even other characters with affinity interactions with him for healing that cannot happen unless both are in your party. There are other mods that go the other way and try to make Dogmeat have all the functions of a normal companion, but why should you have to choose between your dog and anyone else?
This is a quick and easy mod that might seem unnecessary, but if you have, or intend to, spend dozens of hours in Fallout 4, you’ll be glad for the variety. You are no doubt familiar with the Diamond City Radio from the game. This station plays songs from before the war to give a cool soundtrack to your adventures. That’s all well and good, but just like the real radio, you’ll quickly hear all the songs and get sick of them. This mod bumps up the number of songs to a massive 111, which is three times more than what was originally included. All of these new songs are lore-friendly, come from the correct era, and thematically fit what Diamond City Radio would play.
This mod also cuts out all the little interstitials by DJ Travis, so it just rolls from one song to the next. Odds are you’ve gotten just as sick of his jokes as the base songs, which will still be in the rotation. The modder also created an additional mod that works with this one that adds Christmas songs if you want to get in the holiday spirit. That can be used on its own, or they can be shuffled in with the other 111 tracks.
Now that we’ve covered the fixes, improvements, and enhancements, let’s get into some actual new content. The Outcasts and Remnants mod is a massive, full-DLC-sized quest that can add around 20 hours of gameplay to Fallout 4. This mod will introduce new quests, obviously, plus brand new locations, factions, and companions that are all fully voice-acted. Without giving too much away, the plot revolves around answering some lingering questions in the series, such as how Gunners got access to such advanced gear and if the DC Enclave in Fallout 3 had a backup plan. There is a main story to beat, but also repeatable quests for more content.
There are five new factions added in (though you may recognize one if you’ve played previous entries in the series) and two new companions, and it’s automatically triggered after beating the quest called Reunions in the game’s main quest. If your character is already past that point, there is an alternate way to access the quest. You don’t need anything but the base game for this mod to work, but there are a few other recommended mods made by some of the same team members that work well together for even more content.
For a completely different mod expansion that caters more to the horror fans out there, check out Vault 1080. This is a more story-focused adventure, heavy on atmosphere and setting while light on any real combat. It is also a far shorter experience, taking about an hour or so to get through, but it’s a memorable hour for sure. There’s just one new quest here that will lead you through four new areas. You trek through a dark and moody marsh, into a dilapidated church, and onto the multiple floors of the titular Vault 1080. The story you piece together is as horrifying as the setting but leads to a satisfying conclusion.
This mod includes a slight lighting update as well, specifically to volumetric lighting. That extra work makes the misty, dark, and gloomy environments much creepier and immersive to wander through. There’s no need to be any specific level to tackle this narrative expansion. Just download the mod, and the quest Church of the Valley will be added to your objectives. Follow the marker and get ready to be spooked.
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