Fallout 3

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About this mod

A rebalance mod intended to keep the game interesting and challenging for experienced players.

Permissions and credits
  • Spanish

For a full list of changes, see the changelog.

Hardcore Mode
  • A near-exact recreation of the Hardcore Mode found in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Dehydration, Starvation, and Sleep Deprivation are a constant concern.
  • Stimpaks and Rad-Away now heal over time.
  • Sleeping cannot be used to heal or restore limbs.
  • Limbs can only be healed with Doctor's Bags or through healing services.
  • Ammunition has weight (player only).
  • Campfires can now be used for crafting foods. Recipes are scattered around the wasteland for more potent meals.

  • Damage dealt and received is far more deadly, making each encounter difficult but satisfying.
  • Your limbs will require more frequent attention.
  • Enemies have modified combat behavior: some are over-zealous and lay suppressing fire from out in the open and some will use cover extensively. All enemies will use their ranged weapons from farther way.

Carry Weight
  • You and your companions' inventories will need to be strictly maintained. Decide how much firepower you want versus how much medicine and food you think you'll need.

  • Leveling up requires 50% more XP than vanilla.
  • You gain much fewer skillpoints per level.
  • You can only pick 1 Perk every other level.

  • Agility will now affect your movement speed and has a more significant impact on your available Action Points.
  • Charisma now determines the amount of followers you can have, much like Fallout 1 & 2. You gain a party slot for every 3 CHA, meaning you you can limit yourself to no followers by having 2 CHA or less.
  • Perception now affects your ability to aim ranged weapons.
  • Endurance makes up a larger portion of your available Hitpoints. Temporary boosts/penalties to endurance will now affect your maximum HP.
  • Intelligence provides fewer skillpoints at each level up.

  • Tagging a skill allows that skill to increase by two for each point spent, though no longer gains an immediate bonus.
  • Skill Books take a cue from Fallout: New Vegas; there's fewer to collect, but they provide a larger skill bonus for less skill gain overall. Now your character's skills matter much more.
  • Barter now has a significant effect on vendor prices and the cost of vendor repairs.

  • Skill and attribute-boosting perks have been reworked or outright removed.
  • Under-utilized and downright useless perks have been buffed or changed significantly to increase the variety of chosen perks.


Install the FOMOD with your mod manager of choice.

Uninstall the old version and install the new. No other process is needed, do not create a "clean save" under any circumstances.

This mod is perfectly suited to be paired with mods that add/change weapons, creatures, NPCs, quests, and locations. If used with other
re-balance mods, it should be loaded below them for the best experience.

Known incompatible mods:
  • FO3 Wanderers Edition
  • RI - Primary Needs *
  • Simple Needs *
  • BasicNeeds *
  • Imp's More Complex Needs *
  • AmmoWeight *
  • Revamped Leveling
  • Custom Beginning - Deluxe Edition

* These mods ARE compatible if you disable Hardcore Mode and load them after in your load order.

  • Q: How do I change the mod settings?
  • A: The setup menu will appear once you gain control during the tutorial (right before you murder a radroach). If using an alternate start mod, it will appear as soon as all your controls are enabled. You can re-open the setup menu at any time by pressing 'Home' on your keyboard, or by the [Vicious Wastes] inventory item if you have the hotkey disabled.

  • Q: What happens if I don't start a new game?
  • A: Bad things.

  • Q: Is <insert mod> compatible with this?
  • A: It's very likely. If in doubt, load Vicious Wastes below and build a merge patch. If that doesn't solve the majority of incompatibilities, let me know and I'll see if I can make a patch.

  • Q: How does uninstalling this mod affect my game?
  • A: Perks affected by Vicious Wastes will need to be removed from your character and re-added. You'll need to restore your SpeedMult to its original value (100) using the ModAV command (do not use ForceAV). You'll also miss out on the skillpoints you would have received with the vanilla skillpoint formula.

  • Q: Why isn't the mod split into optional plugins?
  • A: Almost every change is related to another change. Separating the mod into modules would either result in a lot of redundancies or changes being flat out inappropriate without another plugin.

  • Q: Can you make <change> optional?
  • A: The mod is about as configurable as it gets. If an option doesn't exist, it's likely because it's not feasible to implement.

  • Chems are there to help you, so make use of them. They can make a significant difference in the outcome of an encounter.
  • You can hold down the activation key to drink from a water source non-stop.
  • If you're running low on water and your only choice is a filthy toilet, try taking some Rad-X before taking a swig.
  • For low STR characters, you may find it helpful to make frequent use of Ant Nectar, Alcohols, and Buffout.