***Updated for 2021***
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.
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.
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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
- 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.
You need a mod manager for this game, whether it’s Mod Organizer 2 which leaves your core game intact so you can’t break it by installing mods.
The Mod Configuration Menu – This mod lets you customize other mods, and enable/disable features with them. Many of the mods listed in the guide require this and NVSE which is listed above.
Yukichigai Unofficial Patch – YUP – An unofficial patch, bug fixes only with no subjective changes.
Unofficial Patch NVSE Plus – More bug fixes applied on top of YUP.
lStewieAl’s Tweaks – Tons of quality of life and gameplay options which you can enable and disable at will.
Console Paste Support – Lets you paste text and improves console usability in a few other ways too.
NVTF – New Vegas Tick Fix – Removes stutter and fixes high frame rate physics.
NVAC – New Vegas Anti Crash – Pretty self-explanatory though it also improves exception handling. Funny how many stability mods this game needs.
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 – Even potato PCs can handle the LARGE one.
FNV Realistic Wasteland Lighting – A weather mod that results in an enhanced vanilla-esque look.
New Vegas Redesigned 3 – An extremely detailed overhaul for character models, a must have.
Weapon Animation Replacer – New weapon animations and this is needed for Weapons of the New Millenia.
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.
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.
IMPACT – Ballistic VFX overhaul, not much overlap with EVE.
IMPACT – Compatibility Edition – Compatibility addon for IMPACT, a must have.
This section will list a collection of mods that improve or alter the gameplay of Fallout: New Vegas. Nothing here is too drastic, such as Project Nevada. I tend to stay away from huge overhaul mods.
JSawyer Ultimate Edition – Reimplementation of Josh Sawyer’s own mod, the director of Fallout: New Vegas. It includes cut content, some balance changes to make for more hardcore gameplay and role-playing, and more.
Mojave Arsenal – Adds ammo variants, reloading parts, weapon mods as loot in the game world.
A World of Pain – 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.
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.
Colt Rangemaster Hunting Rifle – Classic Fallout Weapons fails to implement this classic Fallout gun, so this mod does it for us.
CaliberX – Adds new weapon calibers, compatible with the weapon mods listed above.
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! Note that this mod adds lore unfriendly creatures like Terminators and Xenomorphs from the Alien movies. So after you install it, add this file to your data folder (overwriting the one that’s there) to remove them. If I missed any, delete them with FNVEdit which is a straightforward, self-explanatory process.
DSOAL – This is a wrapper for DirectSound3D. The game has an incomplete buggy implementation of DirectSound3D that’s not used by default, but this converts it to OpenAL and seems to fix the issue. It’s not only for headphones either – by modifying alsoft.ini you can enable surround sound support as I do.
When it comes to load order, make sure all ESMs are on top, with the official game and DLC ESMs being above the others. YUP should be at the top, IMPACT should be near the bottom with EVE below it. JSawyer Ultimate should be at or near the bottom, keep Interior Lighting Overhaul near the bottom with FNV Realistic Wasteland Lighting below it. The rest shouldn’t matter too much aside from having compatibility patches below the mods they’re made for (common sense).
To launch the game with these mods, launch NVSE through your Mod Manager. Your mod manager may use its own INI files, so the graphics/control/game settings you set might not apply this way, so you’ll have to redo them.
NVIDIA users can enhance the visuals further with HBAO+ (ReShade MXAO breaks). This article shows how. The 0x00000005 flag is recommended (Call of Duty: World at War) over the official one.