Fallout 4

About this mod

Horizon is a large scale overhaul of Fallout 4 that rebalances and expands the gameplay from the ground up.

It contains thousands of changes, redesigned systems, and new additions to very carefully balance everything together.

Permissions and credits
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Horizon is a very large full-scale overhaul of Fallout 4 that rebalances and expands all gameplay.

It contains thousands of changes, redesigned systems, and new additions to very carefully balance EVERYTHING together.

Horizon is heavily focused and balanced around Survival Mode, however it can be used with any difficulty mode if you wish.

What the heck is Architect?

Architect is the engine/framework for Horizon, contained in an ESM file.  Architect can actually be used without Horizon if you wish.  In Horizon v1.9+, the installer menu will allow you to choose to install Architect by itself.

Why would you use Architect without Horizon?

While it's not recommended, installing Architect without Horizon, allows players to use many of the features of Horizon, without effecting Fallout 4's main data.  Architect by itself is 99% compatible with most mods, and contains no FO4 overrides.  While I highly recommend everyone try the full version of Horizon, using Architect by itself gives players more options (for example: if they choose to run a large list of mods that may be incompatible with Horizon.)

Please note that Architect by itself (without Horizon), is largely untested.  Player feedback will be necessary to iron out any problems.

WARNING:  If you just updated to the newest version of Fallout 4, be sure to UNCHECK the "Main Menu" UI option in the Horizon installer. 

The "MainMenu.swf" file will cause crashes right now if you updated to the newest version of FO4.  For those who didn't upgrade FO4, you can still use it.











If you don't take 5 minutes to follow the installation instructions the first time, you could be wasting hours of your time (and possibly other people's time.)  Don't be "that guy" who doesn't read the instructions and has dozens of problems with their Fallout 4 installation, and possibly a broken save file (which you'd have to restart again to fix properly.)

  • MO2 Mod Manager is highly recommended for sorting load orders much easier.
  • Please do not PM me questions about Horizon, they will be ignored.
  • Horizon players on Discord can answer 99.9% of all questions.

If you have a problem, ask in Discord (https://discord.gg/gW2xdaH) in the
#help-and-strategy channel, and players there can help you.

Horizon Discord:


A central place for players to ask questions and discuss stuff about Horizon.  There's multiple text channels for different discussions and topics.

  • All bug reports and feedback go through discord.
  • Many previews and teasers are posted on discord for upcoming Horizon versions.
  • Please read the "Code of Conduct" on the Discord server.
  • Please keep conversions civil, polite, and about FO4.
  • Please don't ping me on discord (I also don't accept any friend requests on Discord.)

Horizon Wiki (Player-created):


(This is a great resource in which many players have contributed to, however please note it is not maintained by me.)

Notes On DEF_UI:

Horizon comes with a heavily modified custom version of DEF_UI (the original DEF_UI was created by Neanka.)

If you choose to use another version of DEF_UI, or alternative UI mod, you absolutely MUST use Horizon's "iconlibs2.swf" file, and it's XML config files.  As of v1.9, MessageBoxMenu.swf, fonts_en.swf, and ExamineMenu.swf that come with Horizon are required, otherwise your game will look broken.

Patch Notes and other info can now be found in the forums tab:


  • The forums tab is for information only.
  • Discussions are disabled for this site.
  • If you wish to discussion things or ask questions, you must use Horizon's Discord server.


  • v1.9.4 - Very large update - Improved harvesting, new loot/salvaging options, and lots of other stuff
  • v1.9.x - Waaaaaaaaaaay too many things, check the patch notes in the posts tab sticky!
  • v1.8.x - Way too many things, check the patch notes in the posts tab sticky!
  • v1.7.x - New settlement addons, new combat pet management, new weapons, dynamic encounter tweaks, and much more
  • v1.6.x - Large overhaul to all NPCs and scaling, kill tracker, dynamic encounters, many new weapons, settlement changes, and more
  • v1.5.x - Skill System, Companion Leveling, Workshop additions... too many things to write here!  See the patch notes!
  • v1.4.8 - New large Architect structures, Cargo Bot supply lines, New custom workshop lighting, Workshop Ration system
  • v1.4.x - New Architect structures, Settler Outfitter overhaul, new laser and plasma weapons, new personal toolkit and scrapping, and more
  • v1.4.2 - Architect additions and fixes, misc fixes, new nuclear fragments from scrapping junk
  • v1.4.0 - Architect v1.0, New death revival system, New explosives, New scrapping tool, Settlement changes, New crops, New vendors, New buildings
  • v1.3.0 - Production overhaul, Cargo Bot additions, new Katana, Doctor access in GN, detailed mod descriptions, HC mode, and a lot more
  • v1.2.1 - Adjustments for 1.2, Economy tweaks, new versions of the tavern/townhouse, new purifier pump, black color theme for institute guns
  • v1.2.0 - Settler Jobs, Ammo Switching, Armor/clothing overhaul, Settler Outfitter, Backpacks, new outfits, and many other things (read the patch notes)
  • v1.1.4 - Fixes to heatlh problems with Triggermen, and a few other minor fixes
  • v1.1.2 - Alpha Wrist Device system overhauled, additions/tweaks to damaged weapons, new clothing variations, weapon addon system, and more
  • v1.1.0 - A brand new crafting system called the "Experimentation Lab", many weapon/NPC/loot changes, Raider additions/changes
  • v1.0.7 - Triggermen overhaul, partial Nuka World NPC balancing, DLC weapon upgrades/changes, Cooking categories, Legendary names, etc.
  • v1.0.6 - Incinerator weapon, Townhouse prefab, a new type of ballistic weave, ammo/weapon changes, misc fixes
  • v1.0.5 - Bug fixes
  • v1.0.4 - New settlement building prefabs, 29 new mail events, super mutant/deathclaw changes, settings holoetape, misc changes
  • v1.0.3 - New turrets for Robotics Expert, and new dogs for Attack Dog. Feral ghoul balancing, misc DLC fixes, and other adjustments
  • v1.0.2 - Re-enabled 1 of the DLC factory machines
  • v1.0 - Focused specializations, weapon perk overhaul, dogmeat/attack dog updates, mailbox, crop overhaul, hacking devices, and more

  • v0.999e - Pre-patch for 1.0: New methods of breaking into locks, new companion weapons, Raider Overhaul compatibility patch, and more
  • v0.999d - Pre-patch for 1.0: Update to medical items, Weapons Lab crafting station, Cargo Bot updates, new Timescale addon, fixes, misc changes
  • v0.999c - Pre-patch for 1.0: New Save Game consumable item, Large overhaul of the Caravan Travel, misc fixes/tweaks
  • v0.999b - Pre-patch for 1.0: New system to catalog magazines into Recipe Perks.  Fixes for ammo crafting and ammo loot. 
  • v0.999 - Large Update:  Doctor overhaul, poison overhaul, ammo crafting, vendor overhaul, NPC changes, many more things..

  • v0.91 to v0.998 - Initial Beta versions

  • Check the forum tab for full patch notes.


News for v1.9.x

Horizon 1.9 is a massive undertaking, which is basically a "beta" of Horizon 2.0.  The only reason I'm not just calling it 2.0, is because I won't have everything finished right away.  v1.9 will be the first step, and then after everything is expanded, I'll label it as Horizon 2.0.

I have no ETA for releases above v1.9.4 yet, but I'm hoping to get it out as soon as it's feasible.


Horizon 1.9 is a major overhaul of many systems.  I plan to continue this, as well as add more content to the game.

Horizon completely overhauls Fallout 4 in order to rebalance and expand the entire game.

It contains thousands of detailed changes (and millions of data edits) and a very large assortment of brand new additions.  The goal is to make Fallout's gameplay more balanced, challenging, and interesting throughout your entire playthrough at every level (which is not something that developers usually can easily achieve in an open world game.)

Combat, exploration, crafting, and survival, are key aspects of the Fallout games.  Unfortunately they sometimes quickly fall to the wayside and become boring, uneventful, and lose their purpose after a few levels.  Horizon reclaims these aspects, by making your entire playthrough more challenging and interesting.

Horizon is created for and balanced around Survival Mode, but it can be played without it.  I have included optional difficulty modes so that Fallout players of all skill levels can enjoy survival mode (or non-survival mode) and the changes Horizon introduces.

First, be aware that Horizon is meant to be an entire Fallout 4 replacement overhaul, and not a "drop in" mod.

Horizon is designed to be played over an entire playthrough from start to finish, and not intended to be removed in the middle (or added to an existing save game.)

The mod covers almost every aspect of gameplay, with a large assortment of features:

  • Skills - A REAL skill system that allows you to improve skills based on perks, magazines, and even performing activities.
  • Companions - Companions can level up with you and gain stats.
  • Medical - Healing in Horizon requires actual medical treatment, and you can no longer be healed otherwise.
  • Aid - Many brand new healing/buff/utility items have been added to expand survival and quality of life.
  • Combat - Combat is more challenging, while removing the "bloated" health pools many enemies have.
  • Weapons - All FO4 weapons and attachments are completely overhauled and rebalanced.
  • Custom Weapons - Many newly assembled ranged and melee weapons for you and NPCs to use
  • Armor - All FO4 armor is completely overhauled, and includes updated and new mod slots for clothing and armor
  • Armor Pieces - All armor pieces can be worn over clothing, and optionally hidden or changed cosmetically
  • NPCs - Many NPCs have a custom scaling system to allow them to properly scale with your level.
  • Loot - A VERY large amount of changes were made to loot in order to balance and add detail to the game.
  • Containers - Many new items and loot changes make looting containers and NPC's more detailed.
  • Lock Breaching - Horizon has it's own system of breaking into locks and terminals, aside from the standard methods.
  • Ammo - Ammo is much more difficult to acquire, can be crafted, and contains many new ammo types
  • Ammo Swapping - Many weapons can swap ammo types in the field, using a special toolkit item
  • Perks - Many perks have been completely redesigned to provide new bonuses and have new purposes.
  • Specializations - Based on the perks you have, you can choose 2 combat-based specialization at specific levels.
  • Survival - Many changes have been made to rescale and rebalance how survival mode works.
  • Items - Junk items have been expanded to provide more purpose for crafting (including MANY new items.)
  • Magazines - Collecting magazines actually has an extra purpose, which grants skill and unlocks certain recipes.
  • Crafting - The crafting system is greatly expanded, and has recipes that can be unlocked through various methods.
  • Settlements - New settlement objects: defenses, vendors, decorations, and new types of crafting stations.
  • Progression - A new settlement progression system, that has goals/rewards for settlement builders (still in development.)
  • Buildings - A very large settlement system that allows you to place entire buildings, as well as many utilities
  • Dynamic Encounters Enemies will hunt you down based on your kill counts and your current threat level
  • Kill Tracker Kills for many enemies are now tracked in more detail, and rewards are granted based on counts
  • Travel - A new fast travel system to allow you to travel between settlements.
  • Mail - A new mailbox system is created, to allow you to receive messages and items from various NPCs.
  • Levels - All levels are rescaled in Horizon, to provide a more classically controlled environment.
  • Scrap - Weapons and ammo can be scraped into useful parts, made to craft other weapons/ammo or devices.
  • Storage - Cargo Bots that can be summoned to carry junk back to your settlements.
  • Sorting - Horizon has it's own inventory sorting fully intended to be used with DEF_UI's icons.
  • DLC - All DLC's are optional, but contain full support to rebalance DLC elements as well.
  • Misc - Many various minor tweaks and bug fixes.
  • Addons - Multiple difficulty modes, optional gameplay addons, optional screen effect tweaks.

One of the biggest features of Horizon is all of the healing and survival changes.  Eliminating all the free/easy healing makes the game much more strategic.  You can no longer be healed for free from sleeping, eating, and level-ups.

In Horizon, the player's health pool is somewhat larger than normal, but enemies will wear you (and your supplies) down.  The fact that it's much harder to regain that health back in Horizon, means you need to make better choices.  All healing (except doctors) is now fixed-values, which means that the larger health pool won't be directly effecting heals themselves.  This is what allows the healing system in Horizon to work so well.

I believe this creates a much more intense survival experience.  Instead of just getting "1-shot from full health and reloading your save game", you gain more time to re-evaluate your situation immediately, and respond to it.

  • Food/Water/Sleep/Perks/Level-ups no longer restore health
  • Bandages and First Aid Kits can be used to heal wounds
  • Limb damage can only be cured by "Trauma Kits" (and doctors) now (crafted only; at the chem station.)
  • Combat Stimpaks are a fast way to heal while in combat, but are more difficult to acquire
  • Adrenaline Injectors are used as a crafting ingredient, or to heal your downed companions
  • New crafting ingredients are added to some recipes (some require salvaging, some crafting)
  • Pharmaceuticals are crafted under the "Utility" category of the chem station, and are used to craft medical supplies
  • Your health pool (and enemies too) does NOT increase when you gain levels

Doctors are completely overhauled in Horizon.  They offer a brand new menu-driven system, where you are now charged for exactly the amount of curing you need.  The menu system also allows you to cure EVERTHING at once, or specific conditions if you wish.  A full report of your Doctor's Bill is given beforehand, so you can see the prices of everything.

The full list of all documented changes are contained in the Health Management article.

Although it can be used in any difficulty, Horizon is built for Survival Mode.   It makes many adjustments to smooth out your survival experience, as well as makes some things more challenging.

New methods of curing individual illnesses are added to the game, giving you more flexibility.

  • Advanced Antibiotics - Cures all illnesses (this is the old standard antibiotics)
  • Basic Antibiotics - Cures only infection
  • Poison Antidote - Cures poisons
  • Jet Coffee - Cures Lethargy
  • Atomic Scotch - Cures Parasites
  • And many other items also provide new bonuses and cures

Radiation is also more difficult to remove, so avoiding it is best.  Doctors will be a primary source of curing large amounts of radiation, but you can still use items such as RadAway for curing smaller amounts when you're out in the field.

Poison damage is overhauled in Horizon.  The duration of poisons are greatly extended, but it will no longer kill you quickly.  Antidotes can be purchased or crafted, and doctors can also cure poisons.  Poison resist is much smaller now, but these smaller amounts can be very effective.

Fire and Cryo damage is also changed.  Fire-based weapons usually do real "Fire" damage now, with separate Fire resistances.  These resists are also in very small amounts, but can be very effective.

Horizon also reduces some annoyances, like making you eat and drink so frequently.  Instead, eating 1-3 cooked meals for the day (like a big dinner), and you'll be good to go until tomorrow.  However, gaining nourishing food and water takes much more effort now.  Most pre-war food and crops will have high radiation and little nutritional value.  Ideally you want to aim for real cooked meals.  If you lack the skills to hunt and cook your own food, you can always try buying some, or relying on what you find from exploring.

Because healing and radiation are more difficulty now, I also remove some needless annoyances such as chems/stims making you thirsty or hungry.  These types of things are just unnecessary when the rest of the game is balanced better.

As you can see from the banner, all icons are also color coded specifically to help you identify buffs and debuffs better.  Horizon's UI colors are best viewed if you use a pale colored UI theme (or something close to white.)

Horizon has a optional (and popular) game mode called "Desolation Mode", which makes the game feel much more like a survival game.  It greatly reduces the loot, and rebalances a few other settings to make the game more challenging.  This mode is highly recommended if you want a more challenging survival feel.  You can select this option from the installer.

The leveling progression is much different in Horizon.   Reaching level 30 is roughly like reaching level 60 in vanilla FO4.  However, everything is rescaled around this.  Try not to compare it directly to vanilla FO4, because the entire system works differently.

Even though you are getting half the levels for your time spent, you will get bonus perk points every 5 levels to help customize your character just as much as before.  Every 5 levels you can invest in a new rank of the VANS perk to receive 5 bonus points for training.

Almost every perk is tweaked, balanced, or overhauled in one way or another.  My goal is to make so many perks actually feel useful, that you almost have trouble deciding what to take.  Which is exactly the type of thing you want in a perk system for any game.

Some perks are completely redesigned to offer a new purpose:

  • Hunter - Allows you to harvest meat and other parts from animals and creatures
  • Survivalist - Each rank grants you new types of survival-based items you can craft
  • Technologist - Allows you to salvage robots, synths, and certain appliance/machinery containers
  • Iron Defender - Grants you defensive benefits with each rank
  • VANS - Now grants you bonus perk points every 5 levels (this offsets the slower leveling progression)
  • Medic - Each rank grants you new types of medical supplies you can craft

Weapons perks are overhauled to provide a better system of customizing your combat training.  While each perk is focused on specific weapons, many of these perks have benefits that can be used for a wider range of weaponry.  Rank 3 of each of these weapon perks, unlocks the corresponding Focused Specialization.

  • Marksman - Improves range and accuracy for ballistic weapons, and armor penetration for ballistic rifles.
  • Future Soldier - Improves different aspects of energy weapons.
  • Gunslinger - Improves reload speed, hip accuracy, and other benefits.  Bonuses are focused on pistols and shotguns.
  • Commando - Improves hip fire accuracy and other bonuses focused around assault weapons and combat knives.
  • Big Leagues - Improves melee armor penetration and other bonuses.
  • Demolition Expert - Improves explosives and fire-based weapons. Grants ability to craft explosives.
  • Attack Dog - Improves the damage of your canines, and allows you to call in a Guard Dog for assistance.
  • Robotics Expert - Allows you to place Mini-Turrets, and hack robots.

Focused Specializations are a new system that allows you to focus on one particular area of combat.  Once you choose a specialization, you can untrain it, but it has a high cost.

  • Sharpshooter - Improves damage with specific rifles
  • Cyborg - Improves damage with energy weapons
  • Duelist - Improves damage with Pistols and Double-Barrel Shotguns
  • Master Commando - Improves damage with assault weapons, Combat Knives, and Throwing Knives
  • Maurader - Improves damage with melee weapons, and adds benefits to power attacks
  • Demolitionist - Improves damage with explosives and fire-based weaponry
  • Animal Handler - Improves your canines' damage and damage reduction
  • Combat Engineer - Improves your Mini-turret damage

Horizon's loot system is VERY detailed, and covers a large array of containers and NPCs.  Many new items are added to the game to increase the feel that you're in a living world.  Many new components are also added to expand the crafting system.

Containers often contain more appropriate loot.  Locked containers also give more appropriate bonus loot based on the type of container (safes, ammo boxes, etc.)

Horizon also gives purpose to some crafting ingredients that weren't widely used before, adding more diversity to hunting down materials.  Certain junk items are even converted into real crafting ingredients (such as tools), instead of just being worthless scrap.

The economy of the Commonwealth actually feels more like a real thing now.  Caps are much more valuable than they were in vanilla Fallout 4.  Many items and services (such as doctors) are more expensive, and you will often find yourself actually needing to use them occasionally now.  You may even need to buy cooked food and water, something that probably was rarely ever done before.

Ammo is very expensive, and more difficult to find (depending on your survival option modes.)  You will most likely find yourself buying ammo (or gunpowder) wherever and whenever you can.  You may want to consider a wider range of weaponry to make use of different ammo.  Ammo crafting is available in Horizon too (seen further below.)

The first thing you need to understand with Horizon is that combat is rebuilt from the ground up.  I started with player damage at a standard 1.0x multiplier, and rebalanced the entire game around it to create smoother and more fluid gameplay from level 1 to 40+.  One of the main goals with Horizon is to reduce (or eliminate) any bloated scaling from leveling and buffs/perks (for both NPC and player.)

NOTE:  If you're playing Horizon, and some unarmored raider (i.e. 0 DR) is taking more than 2 headshots from a 10mm round at point blank, you MAY have mod conflicts.  Generally speaking, enemies in Horizon should feel more realistic (and far less spongey) than vanilla Fallout 4.  The scaling is all based on your weapon upgrades while you level.  Range is also a factor, trying to snipe an enemy out of the weapon's range can result in up to -50% damage.

Enemy Scaling 

In Horizon, many NPCs scale with your level, and should be more challenging throughout your entire playthrough.  The problem is, simply changing NPCs to match your level is not a real method to scale NPCs (this is a common misconception by novice mod developers.)  Horizon has a custom scaling system that actually adjusts the resistances and damage of NPCs dynamically based on your level.  You may notice skulls on some enemy names, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are impossible to kill.  It just means they are potentially tougher than normal.

The reason Horizon does this, is to attempt to eliminate the problem of having low level NPCs in zones lingering around and becoming WAY too easy later on.  On the flip side, it also eliminates the problem of high level NPCs being way too bloated.  My custom scaling system will allow these NPCs to at least attempt to put up a fight regardless of how many levels you have on them.

Because of the fact that health is more difficult to regain, NPCs should sometimes be dealt with cautiously.

  • Running away and regrouping might be a valid option now.  
  • Sneaking by enemies instead of engaging them might be a valid option now.  
  • Using tactics you normal don't use (like explosives and traps) might be a valid option now.  

Enemy Variety

Many enemies in the game are now MUCH more varied, so you will see different sub-types of enemies more often, throughout the ENTIRE game.  In vanilla Fallout 4, you would often not see certain types until high levels, which honestly felt horrible unrealistic and boring.  In Horizon, all enemy types are rebalanced to work at all levels.

Keep in mind, that different types of enemies may have more or less armor!  This can greatly effect how fast you can kill it, including how many headshots an enemy takes.

As of v1.9+, this system will be greatly expanded and polished, so that enemies who are wearing armor will definitely have appropriate armor stats based on their appearance.  An enemy wearing plain clothes and a cloth hat (not helmet), might actually have 0 DR (Damage Resistance.)  And another enemy wearing full body armor and a helmet, will have very high DR.  So a guy in clothes will die to 1-2 headshots, and a guy in full armor with a helmet... will definitely not.

Enemy Vulnerabilities

NPC vulnerabilities are more drastic and varied in some cases now (i.e. Headshots on humans deal more damage, etc.) Some enemies also have brand new vulnerabilities.  For example, a Protectron has a heavily armored torso that absorbs a high amount of damage, but it's flimsy legs and combat inhibitor are it's weak points.  A mirelurk's shell absorbs a lot of damage (much more than vanilla FO4), but their front is vulnerable.  Some enemies are more vulnerable to certain damage types, such as fire or explosive damage. This puts more emphasis on either aiming well or using specific tactics.

Critical damage is completely overhauled.  Critical damage is much lower, but can still be built up with perks and bonuses.  Critical hits can also occur outside of VATS now, depending on the perks you invest in.  Sneak attacks are also greatly reduced, mainly because of targeted vulnerabilities adding more damage.  Overall, they are much more reasonable, without completely unbalancing combat.  In vanilla FO4, ridiculously high sneak attacks were possible, but part of the problem was that NPCs also had bloated health (and the DLCs kept adding even MORE to that.)  Horizon fixes both of these problems.

Enemy Loot

Many NPCs are also given more variety in their loot drops.  For example, Raiders (and raider-based loot containers) drop more appropriate loot that raiders might have.  Many enemies have a chance to drop a damaged weapon instead of a functional weapon.  Weapons that are completely "Destroyed" are basically junk that should be scrapped for useful "weapon parts."  Some creatures now drop new parts that can be scrapped into rare materials (ex: Deathclaws.)  Aside from adding more flavor to looting, these items also fill in gaps for giving rewards for creatures that normally felt like they weren't even worth the ammo.

Keep in mind that while Horizon tries to add a lot of realistic elements to the Fallout world, it's not an "ultra realism" mod.  I try to balance a good sense of realism with challenging (and balanced) gameplay.  There's just some things that I believe don't work well if you try to make them too realistic.

Many weapons and weapon mods are rebalanced in Horizon.   Weapon damage in Horizon is based on a slightly more realistic "damage per hit" rather than "damage per second", because of the fact that ammo is much harder to acquire now.

Automatic firing modes are now equal in damage to semi-auto.  Some weapons that felt underpowered (like Submachine Guns) were brought up to a usable status.  Weapons like the .38 pipe gun, remain low damage at low levels, but higher level receivers will allow it to be upgraded much better now.

Many weapons can have their ammo swapped in the field (as well as firing mode), using a Weapon Toolkit.  Horizon also expands the ammo types, to include many new calibers and specialty rounds such as API (armor piercing), Cryo rounds, Pulse rounds, Venom rounds, and more.

I've specifically hand selected weapons to have specific "ammo sets", to create variety and specific purposes for each weapon. Having too many ammo conversions on every weapons would make everything feel too stale and lack variety in weapons.

The Tech Lab (formerly the "Robotics Lab") is a new crafting station, used to craft tools, parts, electronics, and settlement ingredients.  Ideally, you will want one of these very early on in your main settlement.

A few useful items are:

  • Wilson - A device used to call a robot that can send junk back to your settlements (more on this further below)
  • Lock Breaching Tools - Used to break locks and hack computers
  • Turret Deployment Parts - these parts can be carried with you, to make setting up simply pipe turrets at new settlements easier
  • Supply Kits - these are used to supply Caravan Travel Hubs and Settler Missions
  • Cargo Bots - These are crafting ingredients used to build new settlement devices and wrist device upgrades
  • Filters - Used to either craft gas mask upgrades or directly craft purified water bottles
  • Portable Memory Device - Allows you to save your game
  • Tools, parts, bottles, etc.

The Weapons Lab is a new crafting station, used to construct/disassemble ammo and explosives, and build weapons.

Horizon has it's own carefully balanced ammo crafting system. Everything is based on the average damage per shot of each round. Ultimately it should feel fair for any ammo type crafted, including explosives.

Horizon also adds many new calibers, including specialty rounds such as API, Cryo rounds, Pulse rounds, and many others, which can be crafted in the Weapons Lab.  Specialty rounds require rare ingredients.

The special ingredients required to make ammo can come from loot drops, vendors, scrapping junk, or scrapping other ammo.

  • All grenade, mine, and trap recipes, are moved to the Weapons Lab
  • Ammunition: Contains recipes to load your own ammunition
  • Weapons: Companion weapons, and external mod-created weapons
  • Disassembly: Contains recipes to scrap ammo/explosives into parts
  • Contracted Work: Some recipes can be used without specific skill-based perks, but at a cost

NOTE:  Please note that mods that add new calibers or ammo crafting are NOT compatible (or needed) with Horizon.  If you choose to use mods like Armor Keywords, those workbenches do absolutely nothing for Horizon.

Cargo Bots are a system I created to deal with transporting junk (or anything) back to your settlements remotely.

You can call on "Wilson", who is a named Cargo Bot, using a consumable device from any location. Simply interact with Wilson, and you can open it's inventory and have it send items back to your "Scrap Storage" container (which can be accessed from any settlement.)

The Cargo Bot theme also extends to a new carry weight system.  Each slot you upgrade in the Cargo Bot Station, will add a stealthed Cargo Bot that increases your carry weight. Different slots require different perks and factions.  This can be a great system for those who wish to extend their total carry weight, but want an interactive reason for doing so.

The Caravan Travel system offers a way to travel to other settlements, even on Survival Mode.

It consists of a "Supply" system, that needs to be restocked in order to travel. The system is very easy to use.  The amount of supplies that are consumed, is based on the distance you travel.  There are 2 objects you can craft for this:  an outdoor hub, and an indoor radio console.

Horizon has an array of new settlement objects to expand your options.

Resource Management Table
  • This crafted object can be interacted with to control resource production
  • Some resources require Fuel to find/process materials (purified water, wood, concrete, steel)
  • Fuel can be found from existing junk containing "Liquid Fuel" or can be crafted as a more expensive last resort
  • Resource utilities will give a very small amount of happiness (this is mainly just to flag it as a workshop object)

Water Purification Units
  • Purification Units are the only way to produce purified water bottles now, through the Resource Manager console
  • The generic "Water" settlement resource now gives Dirty Water to the workbench instead of purified water
  • Each purifier grants a significant amount of happiness for the settlement

Command Mailbox
  • This mailbox allows you to receive messages and items from NPCs, based on different events
  • It can be accessed from any settlement

New defenses were added
  • Watchman's Tower - A new guard tower that can automatically upgrade itself based on your Workshop Tech Level
  • Command Tower - A new guard tower that can automatically upgrade itself based on your Workshop Tech Level
  • Sentry Post - A simple rubber mat with a decal (so you can see which way it's facing) for a guard
  • Custom Pipe Turret - A simple turret that is easy to deploy into new settlements
  • And More..

I've created a few new decorated vendor meshes that I've always wanted to see
  • Full Bar (Tier 3 Food Vendor)
  • Diner Counter (Tier 3 Food Vendor)
  • Weapon Warehouse (Tier 3 Weapons Vendor)
  • Medical Center (Tier 3 Medical Vendor)
  • General Store (Tier 3 General Vendor)
  • Armor Outlet (Tier 3 Armor Vendor)
  • Tailor Shop (Tier 3 Clothing Vendor)

More settlement objects and information can be found in the Settlements and Crafting article.

Horizon/Architect greatly expand settlements by adding new devices and gameplay mechanics.

Settler Missions allow you to assign settlers to job stations, and then send them on missions.  Mission reward you with Settler Skills, as well as different materials and loot.

There are many different production stations, which allow you to produce things such as wood, steel, concrete, oil, and even new materials such as Brahmin Milk.

Resource Stations provide many utilities to help with resource management.  Each station allows you to create 1 supply line to any other settlement, which works just like settler supply lines do, except they don't require a settler (or the extra lag and collision from brahmins, etc.)

You can (and should) also setup a Master Workbench, which allows ALL of your linked supply lines to synchronize all items to 1 workbench.  Setting up a Master Workbench is required for certain production features, and will greatly speed up certain item checks in Architect, including the ZX-1 Experimentation Lab.

And v1.8 will be greatly expanding settlement progression even further!

Horizon was originally aimed at players who enjoy the survival aspects of Fallout, however it can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels. I have included varying difficulty levels so that any player can enjoy Survival Mode (or any difficulty) and all the changes Horizon brings.

There are 5 Combat Difficulty levels to choose from during installation:

  •  Novice - NPC damage is reduced to 1.0x, player damage increased to 1.5x and medical crafting is easier (only recommended for casual or newer players)
  •  Wanderer - NPC damage is reduced to 1.0x, this difficulty is similar to the default, but gives a even 1:1 damage ratio
  •  Survivor - NPC damage is 1.5x. This is the default mode.  (RECOMMENDED - This is what I personally play on, so the mod is tuned for it.)
  •  Veteran - NPC damage is increased to 2.5x, and doctor costs are increased
  •  Outcast - NPC damage is increased to 3.5x, and doctor costs are increased (Never recommended)

There are 3 Survival Difficulty modes to choose from during the installation:

  •  Scavenger Mode - This adds extra loot (ammo, meds, etc.) to the game
  •  Standard Mode - This is the default balance for Horizon (no plugin is installed with this selection)
  •  Desolation Mode - This reduces loot (ammo, meds, etc.) and makes certain survival mechanics more difficult

If you're not a hardcore player or heavily experienced with FO4, don't feel embarrassed to use "Novice" or "Wanderer" difficulty.  It's still very challenging and provides you with ALL of Horizon's features.  I want to have difficulty settings that allow everyone to enjoy all the changes I added with Horizon.  If you're finding "Novice" difficulty to still be too hard, feel free to send me a message, and I'll try making adjustments to this difficulty mode.

It should also be said again, that you can play Horizon on any Fallout 4 difficulty.  You do NOT need Survival Mode.  Casual players can definitely play Horizon.  

Changing Options While Playing

You definitely CAN reinstall Horizon mid-playthrough and change any of these difficulties at any time!  However, just realize that changing the survival difficulty plugins may have some lingering changes in game (i.e. loot containers or NPCs may not be updated until they fully respawn.)

NOTE:  Be sure to check and re-sort your load order after you reinstall!

Recommended Options to Choose Based on Gameplay Styles:

Hardcore Survival Players:
  • Choose "Desolation Mode" in the installer
  • Choose the style of Horizon combat difficulty you want (recommended is Survivor)
  • In game, make sure that "Survival Mode" is selected

Casual Survival Players:   
  • Choose "Scavenger Mode" in the installer
  • Choose "Novice" or "Wanderer" difficulty
  • In game, make sure that "Survival Mode" is selected
  • NOTE:  Yes! You can still play Survival Mode, even with Scavenger and Novice enabled!

Casual Non-Survival Players:   
  • Choose "Scavenger Mode" in the installer
  • Choose "Novice" or "Wanderer" difficulty
  • In game, choose any FO4 difficulty below "Survival Mode"

Mod Choices

When you choose to play Horizon you have to make a hard choice:

    A>  I want to experience Fallout 4 in a properly balanced RPG environment with meaningful progression.

    B>  I just want to play Fallout 4 in an open sandbox environment for fun, and I don't care about balance or finishing the game.

You have to make a choice.  There's no middle ground with Horizon.  If you choose to install random mods, with no patches, and unsorted load orders, you're going to get the "B" option.  At this point, please do NOT ask for help, or complain that Horizon isn't working.  This is 100% your doing.  Horizon can't magically fix the assortment of mods you installed.

If you want a well-balanced RPG experience, you need to be careful with which mods you install, and how you sort your load order.  If done correctly, you'll have a great experience with Horizon and Fallout 4.

This means you have to pay attention to which mods you install, what they actually do, install patches if needed, and sort your load order.  When choosing which mods to install, you can make it much easier if you ask yourself: "do I really need this particular mod? does it really impact the game that much?"  In some cases, certain mods work fine with Horizon (possibly with a patch), and in other cases they might not do anything or possibly cause problems.

You can also access the FO4-Horizon wiki to see what other players recommend:  https://fo4horizon.fandom.com/wiki/Guide/Modding_Horizon


  • Fallout 4 version 1.10.64+
  • Starting a fresh new game (after the mod is installed)*
  • Sorting your load order properly (examples are shown further below)
  • A custom modified version of DEF_UI, which is included in Horizon's installer


  • NEVER merge Horizon's ESP files into new ESP files**
  • NEVER rely on "LOOT" to sort Horizon's files in the load order
  • NEVER use another mod's loose "HC_Manager.pex" file (or your survival mode will be broken)
  • NEVER use a sorting mod (Horizon uses it's own sorting system for the entire game)
  • NEVER install mods manually (use a mod manager such as MO2), and if you install manually, don't ask for help


  • While Fallout 4's "Survival Mode" difficulty setting is not required, it's recommended
  • All of the Fallout 4 DLCs **

NOTE:   If you don't sort your load order properly for Horizon, you will definitely break Horizon's functions and balance.

New games - Using an existing non-Horizon save game is NEVER recommended, as it does not use the proper allocated stats or spawns or experience/levels, and defeats the intended purpose of this mod.  You can possibly test Horizon with an old save (maybe), but always start a fresh new game when you start your real playthrough.

** DLC - Horizon functions perfectly fine without the DLC's, but keep in mind it was created and balanced with an entire playthrough of all Fallout content in mind.

Recommended Mods that go well with Horizon/Architect:

  • Everyone's Best Friend (patch not needed - load this BEFORE Horizon)
  • Mods that can safely remove radiant quests from DLCs
  • Hair mods (AzarPonytailHairstyles.esp is a good one)
  • Texture and Weather mods usually work fine (Horizon also has it's own optional texture mod and weather mod)

Optional Mods that can potentially fit well with Horizon/Architect:

  • Crossbows of the Commonwealth (patch included with Horizon)
  • Weapon and Armor mods that are properly patched to work with the current version of Horizon
  • Homemaker (patch included with Horizon)
  • Other settlement building mods

Mods that are completely INCOMPATIBLE:

  • VIS or any sorting mods
  • Armorsmith Extended is NOT compatible with Horizon*
  • Settlement scrapping mods (such as Scrap Everything) are NOT compatible with Architect's Enhanced Settlements addon
  • Any mod that edits any FO4 misc items, armor, weapons, ammo, etc.
  • Any mod that edits any FO4 perks
  • Any mod that changes Survival Mode
  • Many mods that edit NPCs or loot directly
  • Many mods that edit Power Armor

*Armor Keywords (AWKCR) should technically work fine though, as it shouldn't directly conflict with Horizon.  However, it's often unneeded for custom weapons and armor mods which are properly patched for Horizon.


Horizon is an extremely large overhaul mod.  Understand that there are limitations to compatibility with many mods.  And in some cases, mixing certain mods would either not make any sense or could break Horizon.  It's not my intention to box out mods, but it's simply due to the nature of creating a massive full-game overhaul, that some mods will just never work with it.  In some cases, a compatibility patch might solve this problem.

Horizon is your main priority in your mod list, since it completely overhauls all of Fallout 4... everything else is secondary.  You may find you don't even need certain mods that you might have with a standard vanilla Fallout 4 mod list, or that they simply just do not work with Horizon.  If you can't understand this part, you'll be dooming your own Fallout 4 installation.  Horizon can't magically fix incompatible mods, or fix broken load orders.  You have to ensure your load order is good before starting a new game.

MO2 Mod Manager is HIGHLY recommended.  It allows you to easily choose the options you want when you install the mod, and makes sure ESP files are loaded in a proper working order.  Vortex users will need to seek help from other Vortex users, as it could be more confusing to have a proper load order in Vortex.  And lastly, manually installing should never be done, and is done so at your own risk!

Read the official Horizon installation instructions here:

Read the official Horizon installation instructions AGAIN:

Seriously.  Follow the instructions, or you're just wasting your own time (and possibly other people.)  This happens numerous times every day where someone asks why their icons don't work, or the field kit disappears.  You DIDN'T setup FO4 for modding properly, and/or your load order is broken!  

Steps to prevent breaking Horizon or having issues:

1.  Follow the load order instructions on the article.  An example load order list is provided in there.

2.  Don't install mods that are redundant with Horizon.  Sorting mods will not work, and will break Horizon.  Horizon has it's own sorting, and all of the sorting is setup specifically for the hundreds of item changes from vanilla.  Horizon comes with custom DEF_UI modifications and configs to use this sorting with icons.  Horizon has many many features, find out if your other gameplay mods are even needed first.

3.  Learn what your mods do, before installing them!   Mods that change similar gameplay data to Horizon are most likely either not necessary or not wise.  You may not even need them.  Blindly installing a bunch of gameplay mods along with Horizon could just break your game, or ruin the experience, or be completely unnecessary.

4.  Make sure Horizon is fully installed and working before you start to venture too far into your new playthrough.  You can tell if it's working when you choose your SPECIAL stats in the beginning, in that it will allow you to choose 29 points, instead of 21 (more on this below.)  If you don't get any pop-up messages when leaving the vault, your game is not setup correctly for modding.

5.  NEVER "clean" or modify Horizon's files directly.  They are setup a certain way on purpose.  Leave them alone!  If you want to tweak numbers, create your own ESP patch files which can load after Horizon.

6.  NEVER merge Horizon's ESP files into a new ESP file.  This will ruin your save game data.  There's no reason to ever merge the Horizon ESP files...  ever.  With ESL flagging these days, there's really no reason to every merge any files at all.

Horizon players often create patches for Horizon to work with other mods.  Please keep in mind, I have absolutely no control over these patches, and they may not be updated for the newest version of Horizon, or they may not even work properly.


  • Mod Manager - Have a working mod manager (MO2 is recommended)
  • Update Fallout 4 - Make sure you are using a recent version of Fallout 4
  • Enable Modding - Make sure that Fallout 4's INI files are modified to enable moding (as shown above)
  • Clean Start - First start with no mods installed (Horizon should be the basis of your installation)
  • Horizon - Install Horizon by itself (at first), and read/select the options in the installer
  • Fallout Difficulty - Manually select Survival Mode or another difficulty in game (this is NOT automatic)
  • Testing - Test Horizon in game.  Check the pip-boy, inventory, crafting, etc.
  • Add Your Other Mods - When Horizon looks OK, then you can figure out which mods to install with it
  • Load Order - You MUST sort your load order properly; ask other players for help if needed
  • Testing Again - Test Horizon and your mods in game
  • New Game - After you are 100% sure your load order is correct, then you can start a fresh new game

If you miss any of those steps, your game will most likely not work correctly.  And if you don't test Horizon before installing other mods, you're just putting yourself at risk of having to re-start a new game multiple times because things are broken.


Large overhaul mods like this realistically CANNOT be uninstalled from an existing save game.  You can attempt to do so at your own risk.  Otherwise, uninstall the mod, and start a new game.


Q: Raiders are taking 4 or more headshots just to die, is something wrong?

A: Possibly, yes.

You either: 
A> Have mod conflicts, or mods increasing raider armor (this is your doing, not Horizon's)
B> You are using weapon upgrades below your level, or very weak calibers (5mm, etc.)
C> You're trying to hit enemies well outside of the range of the weapon you're firing

Generally speaking, an unarmored raider should die in 1-2 headshots from a 10mm round at level 1.  As long as you keep your weapons upgraded, it should stay consist as you level.  In many cases, you'll even start to notice that higher calibers will easily 1-shot an unarmored enemy in the head.

Enemies who are wearing armor will obviously take more hits, REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU AIM because Fallout 4's resistance system effects all body parts equally.  This is how Fallout 4 works.  Horizon v1.9 will attempt to polish this system much better however, in that it will make the appearance of armor match the numbers much better.

Hitting enemies outside of the weapon's "range" can reduce damage up to -50% the further you go.  You can't snipe enemies with a level 1 started weapon with no upgrades.

Q: Food/water is healing me -or- [insert junk item] isn't showing the right scrap -or- hunger/thirst isn't working.

A: You have some mod conflict which is overwriting my changes.  Make sure Horizon your load order is correct, and that you are using properly working patches

Q: Food doesn't seem to be satisfying my hunger very well or at all.  What's wrong?

A: If you want Survival Mode, you have to select Survival Mode in Fallout's options menu.  Horizon will not automatically do this for you.

In Horizon, the first hunger stage is extended to 24 hours and requires 96 food points (item value.)  The amount of food points that is required per hour is the same as it was in vanilla.  However, by extending this window, it allows you to consume larger meals without them being wasted.. as well as not being pestered so often to eat food.  Cooked meals are the goal in Horizon, in which they only require 1-3 meals per day.  Eating garbage food, gets poor results, which at a minimum would be 6 foods per day.  Water is roughly 3 bottles of purified water, or 9 dirty waters per day.

If you have parasites, this will make you require twice the amount of food.  Cure parasites before eating!

If this doesn't match your in-game experience, you may have mods conflicting with items or the HC_manager script.

Q: I can't get enough purified water.

A: Survival Mode isn't supposed to be easy.  There's plenty of sources of clean water out there, you just need to find them.  You can buy water from certain vendors, you can find a lot of it by exploring, you can craft it using water filters, and you can produce it with water purifiers in settlements.  You can also craft "Sanitized Water" which still has rads, but doesn't have any diseases.  You should never drink dirty water (in fact, by default, Horizon doesn't let you consume dirty water, because it's considered diseased and poisonous to your pre-war body.)

Q: It shows I can craft an item, but it says I lack the requirements.

A: It's highly likely you lack some of the required ingredients, which may be listed further below (scroll down the ingredients list with the mouse wheel.)  In Horizon 1.8, most recipes only require 5 ingredients, which should be visible.  However, the ingredient list only shows 5 at a time, so you may need to scroll down in some rare cases (such as patched recipes.)  In version 1.9+, Horizon's version of DEF_UI will be expanded to show more.

Horizon has it's own item sorting system built-in, using a modified version of DEF_UI (which is included with Horizon's installation.)

There are 2 preset configs to choose from when installing Horizon:

  • Vanilla - A simple layout with only 1 sub-menu for the keyring
  • Sub-menus -  keys, passwords, holotapes, notes, magazines, etc. (recommended)
The "component tags" can be seen by installing my DEF_UI addon during Horizon's installation.  It also adds icons to crafting menus.

It is not recommended to install another version of DEF_UI unless you absolutely need an ultra widescreen SWF file and you know what you're doing.  Currently, Horizon does not have support for ultra widescreen SWF files, but may in the future.

Adding custom icons when renaming weapons and armor:

Weapons and armor have icons by default, but you can still add/replace your own if you wish to sort them to the top.  This is good for weapons that you want to rename/customize and be able to find easier.  In Horizon v1.9+, this will not be necessary, as there's a new attachment for sorting/locking.

I added a few custom tags you can use inside of your weapon/armor renaming.  This will allow them to automatically sort at the top.

How to add your own tags in-game to weapons/armor:

(1star)  = Star
(1aim)  = Crossheirs
(1gun)  = Pistol
(1pistol) = Pistol
(1rifle) = Rifle
(1melee) = Axe
(1armor) = Armor
(1helm) = Helmet
(1skull) = Skull
(1atom) = Atom
(1power) =  Power Armor Helmet

Example:   (1rifle) Combat Sniper Rifle

This will show an icon in front of the name, and it will sort at the TOP of your inventory.

Also note, you can use different types of brackets to change where it sorts, in case you want items on the bottom:

(1star) <- first
|1star| <- last

There is some documentation in game, located in your Field Kit -> Documentation Menu.

There are some documentation articles (in the Articles tab), however some of this info is outdated:

WARNING: Many changes are listed in the documentation.. reading all of them may cause drowsiness!


  • Your health pool may be much larger than normal, but do not let this fool you into a false sense of security.  Getting that health back will be much more of a challenge now, since the only sources of healing are actual medical attention. All healing is fixed values, so a larger health pool does not mean larger heals!

  • You can't magically heal your wounds by eating food or sleeping anymore, so focus on finding and carrying enough medical supplies.  Make sure you craft enough first aid supplies and trauma supplies for any trip.  If you can't tend to your own wounds in the field, you're dead.

  • You may come to the point where ammo is so low, you'll need to melee targets down here and there.  Keep a gun on hand for each ammo type. Also remember that you can buy ammo, and craft it.  Use melee on easier targets to conserve ammo.

  • Explosives and traps will suddenly become much more useful (and much more deadly towards you) now.  Use tactics with these.  Setup mines/traps before you engage tough enemies, throw grenades down hallways, rockets from range, etc.

  • Sneaking can also extremely helpful, and a huge part of the survival feel.

  • Eating a real cooked meal is much better than eating a lot of small garbage food (especially if each one stacks extra rads.)  Cooking has become much more useful now, and the Hunter and Survivalist perks go along with it very well.

  • For settlements, I always recommend using self-contained food and water production at each settlement.  The supply line works great for sharing workbench resources, but it doesn't seem to work well for sharing food and water.  The way I balanced food and water, it is easier for high populations to manage now.


Q: Is there console versions available?
A:  No.  It would be impossible with Horizon.

Q: I really like all the new changes, but the gameplay is just too hard for me and I'm stuck in a save game where it's impossible to advance.
A:  Try re-installing Horizon with a lower difficulty mode.  You can change both the combat difficulty and loot difficulty separately.

Q: Can you make this mod compatible with [insert mod name]?
A:  I do not make patches, however there are many Horizon players who do.  Try searching Nexus for them.  Many patch authors out there have created patches for Horizon, just be sure that the patch is up to date and works properly.  I can't guarantee all of them will even work or not cause new problems.

Q: How do you get your Pipboy screen to look so sharp looking and show colored objects?
A: You'll need to edit your "Documents\My Games\Fallout4\Fallout4.ini" and add the following:

Note that Horizon comes with a "Z_Horizon.ini" file which should automatically do this.


Please note that this is absolutely NOT a mod compilation or mod pack.  With the exception of DEF_UI, everything in Horizon is custom created by myself.  Years of painstakingly tuning data, creating new objects, and creating custom scripts to make everything work exactly how I want it to.

I use FO4EDIT, Creation Kit, Outfit Studio, and NIFSkope to create everything included in this mod. The mod installer menu options were created with "FOMOD Creation Tool" by Wenderer.


Zawinul - Almost everything in Horizon itself

Phlunder - For providing a few custom icons tuned for Horizon, and a few SWF modifications to make DEF_UI more polished

The original DEF_UI was created by Neanka (with additional updates by Valdacil, Old Nick, ParasiteX, and sekoms.)  Modifications for the Horizon version were made by Zawinul and Phlunder.

Horizon-related Additions and Compatibility:

JacobBruce - For publicly providing a work-around for the VATS freeze fix (which is included in Horizon's HC_Manager.pex)

Many people who have provided patches, wiki info, and other Horizon-related things:

... and many others (sorry if I forgot you, there's too many people who have made patches and wiki work, and I appreciate the work you've all done - if you've done a lot of work on patches/wiki, let me know)


Special thanks to EVERYONE who has helped test Horizon and provide feedback over the years! 

Over the course of Horizon's history, many players have helped shape and improve Horizon.  There's too many people to list that helped with bug reports and feedback, but as always, this is greatly appreciated! 

And thanks to all the mod makers over the years (in and out of Fallout) who have inspired us to keep making new mods.