According to Steam, Fallout New Vegas still has thousands of active players every day. With those statistics, we decided it would be smart to give everyone a list of essential mods to download. Keep in mind that many of the mods listed here require most if not all of the DLC, so be sure to get them!
These mods will make your game look better, play better, and just add loads of new content. To see some gameplay with these mods in action, look here.
BE SURE TO READ THE DESCRIPTIONS FOR EVERY MOD, ENABLE ARCHIVE INVALIDATION AFTER INSTALLING THE MODS, READ EVERY PAGE OF THIS ARTICLE, AND BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD EVERY SINGLE MOD IN ORDER TO MINIMIZE ERRORS AND MAXIMIZE AWESOMENESS! ALSO, AFTER INSTALLING ALL OF THESE MODS, LAUNCH THE GAME THROUGH “fnb4gb.exe” OR YOU WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!
Here are some initial tips…
- Mods are almost always installed into your Fallout New Vegas\Data (e.g., C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\Steamapps\common\Fallout New Vegas\Data
- Some mods come with separate versions for the DLC for New Vegas, so do not use those esp’s or esm’s if you do not have the appropriate DLC.
- It’s not only the graphical mods that lower frame rates, so don’t over do it if your PC is not capable.
- INSTALL THESE MODS BEFORE STARTING A NEW GAME!
Also, many large mods use New Vegas Script Extender so you might as well download that right off the bat to ensure compatibly with the vast majority of mods.
Some of the other immediate mods you must download are listed below.
Fallout Mod Manager
You must get the Fallout Mod Manager, which makes managing mods much easier and is necessary for adjusting mod load order, which is very important. Luckily it comes with a nice installer.
You’ll need to select archive invalidation in FOMM, but there’s no need to actually launch the game through this program.
Large Address Aware Enabler
This mod is an absolute necessity for those who download graphics mods, otherwise the game WILL become unstable. It allows FO:NV to use up to 4GB RAM instead of 2GB. Installation is a bit different, but just read the instructions carefully and you’ll be fine. You will have to launch the game with the included exe.
The Mod Configuration Menu
This mod lets you customize other mods, and enable/disable features with them. Some of the mods listed in the guide require this and NVSE which is listed above.
Since the engine is identical to FO3, the console commands are the same. I’ll just copy everything from the FO3 guide here.
The console is a command prompt that lets you use developer-like functions. The default key for this is the tilde key, which is above TAB and below Escape. All the good stiff is listed here, but I’ll list some important things that most people would be interested in.
Just enter the bolded command listed below, and a value which I’ll explain right after it.
- fov <number value>– This changes the field of view. I personally prefer 75 which is more realistic. Most people prefer 90, since it lets them see more on-screen. But this just gives you a fish-eye look and it’s less realistic. It’s only good for Counter-Strike or Unreal Tournament players. So here’s an example of how I use this command: fov 75
- set timescale to <number value> – This changes the ridiculously fast time scale. I prefer 5, which means that one real hour is equal to five in-game hours. Default value is like 30 which is way too fast. Here’s how I use the command: set timescale to 5
- setscale <number value> – This controls the scale of an object. 1 is the default scale for everything. So setting this value to 2, for example, doubles the object’s size. This must be used after first clicking on an object while the console is opened. If you want to change the player scale, use this: player.setscale 1.1. Note that 1.1 is just an example. This makes your character significantly taller. Increasing your size also increases movement speed (naturally) and strength.
- addscriptpackage 4083b – This makes the selected NPC follow you. To use this, open the console, click on a non-hostile creature, and enter that command. They’ll follow you until death, or sometimes you might have to re-enter this after reloading a save. Also, sometimes your follower won’t follow you past a loading screen. I haven’t gotten any of them to follow me into Metro stations.
- removescriptpackage 4083b – Sick of your new follower? Just enter this command, and it makes them leave you alone.
- coc <cell ID> – This stands for Center on Cell. Using this combined with a cell ID (which can be found on FO3’s wikia website) teleports you to a new location.
- tcl – This enables/disables collisions, or no-clipping as people call it. Entering it once enables no-clipping (or disables collisions, same thing), while entering it again enables collisions. This is useful for if you get stuck between some objects and can’t move.
- tfc 0/1– Toggles free-fly camera. This command is used to set up screenshots. tfc 1 pauses the game and lets you float around as a spectator. tfc 0 returns you to your body and unpauses the game.
- tm – Removes all menu interfaces. To get the menus back, just enter the command again.
- player.placeatme baseid – This command places an object or creature in front of you. I personally use this to spawn creatures, pit them against each other, watch them fight and make bets. To use this command, combine player.placeatme with a base ID in the same line, then enter it. Base ID’s can be found on Fallout 3’s wikia website, and for Mart’s Mutants (a mod you’ll see later on)
- prid baseid – This command is helpful in many situations. It selects an actor, or anything, without actually having to see them. For instance, in combination with the addscriptpackage 4083b you can use this to have followers continue with you into new cells. You just need to get the actors id by clicking on them and enter prid _____ then once you enter the new cell, type in moveto player.
Ok now lets move onto Graphical Modifications.
These mods are modifications that will enhance the graphical fidelity of Fallout New Vegas. Fallout New Vegas isn’t a very demanding game, but when using this many graphical mods it can become quite stressful on even top end GPU’s. You might want to check and see if SSAO is enabled like in our Fallout 3 guide. Make sure Ambient Occlusion compatibility is set to the Fallout 3 profile. Now let’s look at the mods:
NMC Texture Pack
This is an amazing texture mod for Fallout New Vegas, replacing most textures in the world with high res models ranging from 1024 x 1024 to 2048 x 2048 for the FULL pack. They also include Performance and Lite packs for lower end systems, and Minimum/Medium/Maximum bump maps depending on your system. It’s quite self explanatory; an enthusiast PC should be fitted with FULL NMC textures.
FNV Project Reality MK1
This is a fabulous lighting and weather overhaul mod. It looks great and isn’t as performance heavy as some of the ENB’s out there, but is still quite demanding. For 1080p and using all of Project Reality’s settings, a GTX 660 Ti/7870 or better is recommended. However, the “Subtle DOF” setting hardly helps with visuals and is the reason for reduced frame rate. Disabling it doubled my frame rate (30 to 60).
Caution: This mod is supposedly incompatible with other weather mods and it is incompatible with Nevada Skies! Also, some may prefer the look of Fellout, so look at the bottom of this page for a comparison.
Fellout changes the color scheme to make NV look more natural and realistic.
See for yourself!
This mod totally revamps interior lighting to make it much more dark and realistic, it’s a must have.
Fallout Character Overhaul
An overhaul for character models, a must have.
Wasteland Clothing HiRes Retexture
This outstanding mod retextures most of the clothing.
This mod gives you some insane blood particle effects as well as much higher resolution textures. Another must have for New Vegas.
Wasteland Flora Overhaul
Vurt is at it again. He now has Flora Overhaul out for NV and it’s incredible. He’s included 2 versions, fertile wasteland and dead wasteland. I personally use dead wasteland but it’s up to you! Can’t live without this mod, nice job Vurt.
Project Reality vs Fellout
These two mods don’t conflict, but some might not like the look of Project Reality since it shifts the game from its orange/brown hue to grey. So here are photos for comparison, using all of the other mods in this guide. If you choose to use Fellout and Project Reality, do NOT use Nevada Skies, and ensure that Fellout is loaded first in Fallout Mod Manager.
Fellout and Nevada Skies are used in this photo, plus high quality SSAO.
Fellout, Nevada Skies, Project Reality, and high quality SSAO are used in this photo.
So make your preference and choose! I’m sure you’ll choose one or the other.
That’s about it for graphical mods. It’s time to check out the essential gameplay mods.
This section will list a collection of mods that improve or alter the gameplay of Ballsout New Vegas. Nothing here is too drastic, such as Project Nevada. I tend to stay away from huge overhaul mods.
This is the most amazing mod for New Vegas, adding tons of new locations as well as new factions, new quests, and new weapons. Many of the locations added are some of the most interesting ones in the game.
A simple, self-explanatory mod. It makes casinos more populated, opposed to being ghost towns.
Like the similarly named mod for Fallout 3 and from the same developer, this is a necessary mod for realism and difficulty. No more 10-20 shots per enemy!
This simple mod allows you to continue playing the game after you’ve finished the main quest. A must have.
This mod adds over 200 ‘new’ weapons. These weapons are all classics from the original 2 Fallout games. Adds onto the already incredible variety of Fallout New Vegas, a must have!
Weapons of the New Millenia
From legendary modder Millenia, this mod adds a bunch of new breathtakingly detailed weapons. You may want to use it with this mod.
Millenias Weapon Collection
This isn’t a single mod, this is MANY mods. I’ll be linking to his profile where you can find 6 pages worth of new weapons, retextures and more! Only download the ones released AFTER Weapons of the New Millenia mod, since it includes all previous works.
Don’t bother with individual retextures, since he has a pack listed here.
AR-15 and AK Pack
EVE – Essential Visual Enhancements
EVE is one of the most well made and most beautifully crafted mods I’ve found for New Vegas. It’s a mod that adds tons of new particle effects for laser/plasma weapons, new impact effects, and even retextures a few weapons. Unlike it’s Fallout 3 counter part it’s completely stable. Truly a must have!
Oddly enough, this is one of the more crucial mods for New Vegas. It makes it so headshots are actually lethal. This may not be for everyone, but I was always annoyed how most humanoid enemies could take multiple shots to head. Be warned, this also affects you, if you get shot in the head you’re going to die!
This mod adds loads of new mutants to the game and even increases the spawns around the wastes so you’re in for a challenge if you download this mod! Unfortunately it’s very performance heavy due to the increased spawns. Only use if you have a very high end CPU.
This mod was “under moderation” on the nexus, so I’ll leave a link for there as well as to a working mirror.
Another crucial mod, this mod opens up many of the boarded up buildings around the Mojave and gives them detailed interiors. This mod is a must have, but make sure you read the incompatibilities list to make sure it wont cause crashes.
Realistic Power Armor
This is a simple mod, it makes the Power Armor more powerful. It increases it’s damage resistance among other stats and also gives it a few unique abilities.
Looks like that’s about it for Gameplay mods.
Now I’ll list some must have misc mods!
These are mods that are more or less optional. Most of them are very good and can improve your game but others may not be your taste. Just pick out what you like.
Weapon Animation Replacer
This mod adds a ton of new animations, and you can configure which ones you want for first and third person individually. This mod is a must have. Install it AFTER all other weapon mods.
Bornagain Book Of Water
This is a mod that compiles all of Cabal120’s retexture work. He has 2 packs, one with all his armor retextures and then another with mutant retextures. For now, I only recommend downloading the armor retextures.
Invisible Wall Remover
Simple mod that gets rid of all the invisible walls found through out the Mojave. A must have despite its simplicity!
This is a very large and comprehensive mod that aims to fix every single issue in New Vegas. It’s too much to explain so just read about it on the mod page, it’s a must have though.
Caution: This requires all the DLC’s except Couriers Stash.
A simple mod that adds headbob to the game.
This mod adds a first person mesh. Excellent!
A simple mod that increases the max number of bullet casings that remain on the ground, and makes them remain on the ground for 5 minutes.
NPC Project Mod(s)
This is a great collection of mods by the same author. They each add tons of detail and NPC routines to their corresponding area. These have proven to be very well made and stable. They even add onto a few related quests. These are must haves for immersion lovers!
*Read the description page carefully! If you install Freeside first, don’t overwrite the NPC Project esm with any of the others, it’s the newest version!
Before moving on, have a look at what your Fallout: New Vegas folder should look like after installing the above mods. A few things: you don’t need a FOMM shortcut here, and I don’t think fnv4gb needs to be installed here.
Below is what your Fallout: New Vegas Data folder should look like, which contains all of the mods.
A few unneeded files are here (text files and fomod folder) but whatever.
Load order is important. Open Fallout: Mod Manager once all mods are installed, double check to see if Archive Invalidation is checked, and then check off all the mods (a check means they will load). Then rearrange them so that the master files are always above the slave files. For example, all of these mods are for Fallout: New Vegas, therefore FalloutNV.esm should be at the top, then the DLC ESMs. All ESMs should be above all ESPs. Here is my load order as of May 2014, it’s perfectly stable. Use it as a reference, yours should be made very similar.
Also keep in mind that once you’ve installed all mods, you should enable Archive Invalidation. If it already was enabled, disable it and re-enable it. This can fix many errors.
That’s all for now. We’ll continue to update this thread with new mods. Leave any suggestions in the comments as well!