In the days since I first installed mods in Fallout 3, the Nexus Forums have evolved into an absolute wonderland of new game content. It’s hard to believe how many games can be modded these days, and how high quality some of the mods are. I’m always in grateful awe of those who will take the time to provide new material to extend the life of the universes I love to explore. And in Fallout 4, a game that certainly has its flaws, the opportunity to tweak and adjust the experience can make the difference between playable and unplayable.
My tastes in Fallout 4 mods are varied. Some of these mods were initially selected to right some of the game’s basic wrongs. Others were chosen for their ability to enhance its environments. Here are ten of my favorites, covering everything from atmosphere and weather, to music, Workshop items, and more.
10. True Storms
For a lot of people, the main appeal of the modern Fallout games lies with their freedom of exploration. There are few things as enjoyable as aimlessly wandering an open world environment, and as far as those go, the series has some of the best. True Storms, a weather mod for Fallout 4, can extend some of your virtual sightseeing hours by adding several new weather types, new visual effects and textures for rain and dust patterns, new thunder and lightening effects, and enhanced interior audio during storms. If you’re only happy when it rains, then you’ll probably adore True Storms.
I kinda get why Bethesda decided to partition the game’s save files so that achievements can’t be earned while mods are turned on. After all, mods can be used to cheat. But given that absolutely no one cares about achievements except the player who earns them, it’s safe to say that the only person they’re really cheating is themselves. Anyway, I personally only tweak the game to add new radio stations or weather patterns, and why should that be punished? Enter this mod. Called simply “Achievements”, it allows the player to keep collecting their sweet virtual cred even while using mods in the game.
8. Better Mod Descriptions
One of the more frustrating things about the armor and weapons mod system in Fallout 4 is the vague descriptions on each. How does one gauge the difference between “better” damage and “superior” damage? What is the “improved” rate of firing? With this mod you get some much needed specifics, making it much easier to decide which mods are going to be worth the time it will take to gather their materials. For example, here are the descriptions for the .50 Hunting Rifle, the first as it appears in the game, the second as it appears after the mod.
Before: Exceptional Damage. Changes ammo type to .50 Caliber. Improved rate of fire.
After: +75% Damage. Uses .50 Rounds. +25% Fire Rate. -25% Reload Time.
There, isn’t that much better?
7. More Where That Came From Radio
I’m a big fan of any mod that allows you to have more fun while exploring an open world environment, and for me, new Fallout radio stations are a big part of that. More Where That Came From not only adds 111 (!) songs to your Pip-Boy, they’re thematically appropriate and lore-friendly too, from “Atomic Cocktail”, as performed by The Slim Gaillard Quartet, and Arthur Crudup’s “I’m Gonna Dig Myself a Hole”.
6. Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch
It’s sad that Bethesda can’t be trusted to fix all the issues in their games. With every game comes the inevitable unofficial fan-made game patch. If you have the means to download and install mods, this should probably be your first one. Bonus: it’s been optimized to work with most mods.
5. Craftable Ammo
Another reason I like to use an occasional mod? Weird game oversights. There are some absences in Fallout 4 that just don’t make sense. Take for instance the lack of craftable ammunition. Fallout: New Vegas had craftable ammunition. Fallout 4 has craftable armor and weapons. Why not ammo as well?
I imagine it has something to do with increasing the game’s difficulty. Less ammo means the player has to either rely on melee weapons or carry a wider variety of guns, which takes up a lot of space in an inventory that, thanks to the crafting and settlement systems, already has increased demands on its carryweight. However, I’d argue that in the scheme of things, a post-apocalyptic society would probably be more capable of finding ways to produce new ammunition than they would the advanced weaponry seen in the Commonwealth. In fact I imagine it’d be among the first things they do. Right this egregious wrong by downloading this mod.
4. Carryweight Modifications
Speaking of carryweight, screw inventory restrictions in all their forms. They were only moderately inconvenient in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, but they’re intolerable in Fallout 4. That said, the game would be too easy without them. And while you can add to your carryweight through console commands, something about it feels cheap, like you’re cheating. Probably because you are. So if you’d like to balance the weight restrictions a bit better and tweak them according to character stats in a more lore-friendly way, this mod’s for you.
3. Everyone’s Best Friend
Given the quality and depth of the companions in Fallout 4 (featuring some of the best writing in the entire game), it’s downright criminal that the player can only have one companion at a time. According to the author of this mod, there’s evidence that the game was originally intended to allow the player to travel with both Dogmeat and one of the other companions simultaneously (as with past installments of the series, which allowed for two). For whatever reason, this was taken out of the final version of Fallout 4. But luckily you can put it right back in again with Everyone’s Best Friend.
2. Fallout 4 Seasons Project
This mod favorably reminds of The Sims 2: Seasons, arguably one of the best expansions in the Sims franchise. Fallout Season Project adds winter, spring, summer, and fall to the Commonwealth, with new weather patterns and environment effects for each. Sadly, the mod doesn’t “change over” from season to season; you’ll have to set them by activating different files. It is however still an interesting look at what the wastelands would be like with proper seasonal patterns, and puts a fresh spin on the sights, which is especially fun if you’re a Fallout 4 screenshot junkie.
1. Homemaker Expanded Settlements
Of all the settlement workshop related mods, this one is probably the best. It includes seven new build sets, several prefab building units, hundreds of new decorative, lighting and household objects in the game that were not included in the workshop, crop planters, new farmable crops, and a batch of new barriers and fences to bulk up defense. With all of these potential improvements at your fingertips, you can turn Fallout 4 into The Sims 4 and transform the Commonwealth into your post-apocalyptic kingdom.