***Updated for 2019***
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.
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.
You must get the Fallout Mod Manager (or use your preferred alternative), 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.
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.
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 – 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.
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:
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.
Installation is simple but read carefully:
- Make sure all parts you’ve downloaded are in the same directory.
- Remove the number from each part, e.g. “12056” at the end of the file name.
- Extract part 1 only
Extract them into your data folder.
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.
An overhaul for character models, a must have.
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.
Vegetation replacer, multiple versions available for your taste.
New weapon animations and this is needed for Weapons of the New Millenia.
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 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 counterpart it’s completely stable. Truly a must have!
This mod adds a first person player mesh.
Bullet casings stay around for longer.
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.
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, and unlike other similar mods, makes appropriate changes to the game world to incorporate your ending.
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!
This mod adds tons of AR-15 and AK variants to the game.
From legendary modder Millenia, this mod adds a bunch of new breathtakingly detailed weapons.
New ammo types. Be sure to get the compatibility patch for Weapons of the New Millenia. Makes it so those guns that previously used incorrect calibers no longer do.
A weapon mod customization menu that is required by some of the above weapon mods.
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.
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! 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.
As the name implies. Their patrols are a bit too sparse by default.
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.
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.
Simple mod that gets rid of most of the invisible walls found through out the Mojave.
Simple mod that changes to HUD so it only pops up when it’s needed. Very immersive!
Children being invincible is immersion breaking. This fixes that.
This mod adds back various props that were removed to make the game playable on consoles.
Reduces the aim skill of lower level junkie type NPCs. I use the Medium version.
This is a massive unofficial patch for New Vegas. Caution: It requires all the DLC’s except Couriers Stash. This might be incompatible with all the rest of the mods, be warned. If it is, just disable it in your mod manager like I have to do.
This mod no longer exists, so I’ll just leave this here in case it ever returns.
NPC Project Mods
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! Install Freeside version LAST since it is the newest one.
When it comes to load order, make sure all ESMs are on top, with the official game and DLC ESMs being above the others. EVE should be at the very bottom, followed by Project Reality and then MCM. The rest shouldn’t matter too much.
Here is an example of my load order:
We also only recommend playing on the absolute hardest difficulty mode, and on hardcore mode.