Fallout 4

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About this mod

Provides Alternate start, Quick start, Normal start options. When you use one of the alternate start paths, there are over 800 dialogue edits, with voice and lip sync, so your character is no longer the mother/father of Shaun (or even a Vault Dweller, if you want). Great for role players.

Permissions and credits
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • German
  • French

2022 update
You should be using Start Me Up Redux instead!
It fixes many bugs and issues with this old version.

...if you still want the old version, read on below...


This mod provides a menu at the beginning of the game, after the bathroom scene, with three options:

Alternate start: wake up from this dream as a different person, not the parent of Shaun:
  • You can be a pre-war vault dweller, starting in Vault 111:
    • Follows the alternate plotline, where you are released from the vault by mistake
    • At the terminal, select your own SPECIAL stats and up to 20 traits
  • You can start as a wastelander outside of the vault, and select:
    • Your own SPECIAL stats
    • Up to 20 Traits
    • One of 38 different occupations, including factions (affects your starting gear)
    • One of 38 different start locations (sorted by difficulty)
    • How much or little starting gear you have (four difficulty levels)
    • Your starting level (so you can pre-level-up your character)
    • Randomize any or all of the above

Quick start:
wake up from your memory, in your pod in Vault 111:
  • Follows the normal plotline, but you skip all the prewar stuff and get to playing
  • At the terminal, select your own SPECIAL stats and up to 20 traits

Normal start: nevermind, just play through normally (basically a 'cancel' button)

  • Full version: makes over 800 dialogue edits with voice and lip sync so you don't have to play as the "concerned parent" character, replacing those with voiced and lip-synced lines from the rest of the game (so it's the original voice actors). The dialogue lines vary depending on which start path you choose. There are two choices here - one for if you're using the popular Full Dialogue Interface mod, and another for if you are not.
  • Basic version: just provides the alternate, quick, and normal start options. No dialogue edits, no options to start outside the vault. This mod is minimally invasive, and makes only as minor edits as I could get away with. Mainly this is for people who are testing mods or just want the "quick start" aspect of the mod.


Also, read the review of the mod on Game Face: START ME UP: How one mod fixes Fallout 4's biggest issue. Thanks for the review!

Check out Start Me Up on Nexus Community Picks for March 2017. Thanks to rcoll for the submission!


Do you have any warnings?
  • Obviously, don't use this mod with other alternate start mods or others that alter how you start. You may want to avoid using this mod with mods that significantly alter the game's dialogue and quests (or if you do, check them for conflicts in Fo4edit). Otherwise, you can use this with any other mods you want.

Does this mod have the usual alternate start problems that other mods have?
  • No. The vertibirds have sound. You can go back inside Vault 111. There are no weird Vault 111 sounds in interiors. The radio stations all work fine. The main quest starts normally. No faction issues, even with the raider start - only your handful of local raiders are in your faction. Very few persistent references and ZERO edits to any cells, worldspaces, or locations.
  • Known Issues as of v6.0:
    • Sometimes the player voices are a little too dramatic or emotional, considering it's not your child anymore. Not much I can do about that.
    • Some of the faction start dialogue may still treat you as new to the faction. These issues will be fixed in later updates as people complain about them.

Are these other mods compatible with Start Me Up?

Help, the mod isn't working!
  • Make sure you downloaded the correct version of the mod
  • Make sure StartMeUp.esp and StartMeUp - Main.ba2 are both located in your /Fallout4/Data/ folder
  • Make sure StartMeUp.esp is enabled in your load order
  • Put StartMeUp.esp at the bottom of your load order
I started outside the Vault, how do I start the main quest?
  • Follow the quest Rumor of a Vault in your Pip-Boy to start the main quest.
I started outside the Vault, and I can't start "Getting a Clue" with Nick Valentine?
  • Follow the quest Rumor of a Vault in your Pip-Boy to start the main quest. (If your character doesn't know about the kidnapping, how can they report it to Nick Valentine?)
I want to use the Enclave or NCR or expansion pack start option, what mods do I need to also have installed?
  • For the Enclave start, at least one of these is needed: Enclave X-02 or Enclave X-03 or Enclave Officer (standalone version)
  • For the NCR Ranger start, you will need to install NCR Ranger
  • For the expansion pack faction starts, you will need the appropriate expansion pack installed.
  • The plugins above need to be in your load order, but it doesn't matter where.
Help, I'm not getting config items from other mods when I start the game?
  • If you are not getting holotapes or config items from other mods, it's because those mod authors probably did not follow best practices for adding items to the player. I can't possibly accommodate the hundreds of mods that add config items into Start Me Up (and, no one ever tells me what mods they are using, so I don't even know what specific mods add these config items that people are complaining about).
  • The best practice is to use a quest script, attached to a custom quest that is set to be "Start Game Enabled," and then used an Event OnQuestInit() block in the quest script to automatically add the config item to the player (perhaps with a script timer, if need be). This means that the item gets added regardless of what the player does, when the player installs the mod, or how the player starts the game.
  • Your options are to add the config items manually using the console (see your mod's page for details on how to do this with each mod) or to wait to install Start Me Up until you're out of the vault, in which case the dialogue would switch over to the vault-based alt start dialogue. Or, petition those mod authors to fix their mods - this has been a modding best practice since Morrowind (2002). Plenty of mods that add config items work fine with Start Me Up... the ones that were designed correctly.
Can I use this mod if I already started a new game without it?
  • Yes! If you install the mod on an existing game, the dialogue will shift over to the Vault-based alternate start (the first choice on the alt-start menu). So your character will still say they were in Vault 111, but just they aren't the parent of Shaun.
What "silent player" mod can I use with this?
  • The best choice is Silent Protagonist by CoffeeAddictUK. Download Silent Protagonist, and also the patch for Start Me Up that's on the Start Me Up download page. This patch is compatible with all versions of Start Me Up, including 4.x and 5.x.
What do I do if I want to play as a ghoul?
Is there an XBOX or PS4 version available?
  • An XBOX version isn't going to happen because of:
    • the malicious community of XBOX users that kept flagging the mod and getting it deleted by Bethesda's auto-moderation system
    • the extra work of maintaining two additional versions of the mod for XBOX
    • the difficulty of debugging the XBOX version (no XBOX here, and no debugging tools allowed anyway)
    • Bethesda.net's unfriendly treatment of mod authors (we don't have much control over our mods on that site)
    • Please don't message me with requests to reinstate the XBOX version; it's not happening until Bethesda fixes their site and repeals their "report this mod" user-based moderation system.
  • A PS4 version is impossible due to Sony's restrictive policy on mods; Start Me Up requires scripts and audio files which can't be used on PS4.
I checked your mod for errors in Fo4edit and found some?
  • These errors are all carried over from Fallout4.esm. If you check Fallout4.esm for errors, you will find the same ones, as well as hundreds more. Just because Fo4edit reports an error, it doesn't necessarily mean anything is broken.
Will there be versions available in other languages?
  • No, unless someone else makes it. To make this mod, you have to edit over 800 audio files. You'd have to have a copy of the game in the language you want to use, and be a fluent speaker and reader of that language in order to make the edits correctly.
Can I translate this mod? How?
  • You can certainly try. It would be a huge amount of work since you would need to create over 800 dialogue lines by hand. I have never done a translation of a mod ... but here's what I think you need to do:
  • Open the StartMeUp.esp in your Fallout 4 translation program and convert to your language:- - (1) all of the dialogue lines (what the player or actor says in their subtitles)- - (2) all of the dialogue prompts (what the player clicks on)- - Then save it as a "StartMeUp_XX.STRINGS" file (where XX is the language code - "fr" for French, "en" for English, etc). Put the file in /Fallout 4/Data/Strings/.
  • Unpack "StartMeUp - Main.ba2" with the BAE (Bethesda Archive Extractor)
  • Use Yakatori Audio Converter to convert the .fuz files from the .ba2 to .wav files so you can listen to them
  • For each English .wav file in Start Me Up (over 800 of them): (1) Use Fallout 4 Voice Reference Tool (Fo4VRT) on your-language's Fallout 4 installation and find matching your-language dialogue lines in the game, spoken by the correct actor. - - You will have to make many of them by hand using Audacity, cutting and splicing the words together, merging multiple voice files or often just deleting a word or set of words. Mastery of both your language and English is important to get the meaning right.- - Save each file you made as the SAME file name (.wav file name) that was used in "StartMeUp - Main.ba2" (2) Once you do that, use Yakatori Audio Converter to make a copy of all the .wav files to .xwm (192kbps). It can do them all in batch, just drag in the folder. It's pretty fast. (3) Once you have created all 800+ new .wav files in your language, and made sure they all have the same file names as then English ones, you need to generate .lip files for each one with the 32-bit version of the Creation Kit (the 32-bit alternate .exe file comes with the main CK). You can't use the English .lip files or the faces won't match the words. Supposedly you can do all the .lip files in a batch by running some command line options for the 32-bit CK but I just made them by hand. But, for 800 files and since you don't know where they all are in the CK, I would really try to do them in batch: https://www.creation..._files_by_batch (4) After that, just run LipFuzer.exe (also comes with the CK) in your main /Voice/StartMeUp.esp/ folder, which will create a merged .xwm and .lip into a .fuz. This is fast, as it does them all in a batch. So, for every dialogue audio file inside "StartMeUp - Main.ba2" you will have four files following this format:00000000.wav <- made by you with Fo4 VRT and Audacity, this is the hard work00000000.xwm <- converted from .wav file with Yakatori, this is easy00000000.lip <- made with 32-bit Creation Kit .exe file, hopefully in batch using the command line and hopefully easy00000000.fuz <- made with LipFuzer.exe, this is easy
  • You will now have over 3200 files that you created (.wav, .xwm, .lip, .fuz * 800 files, so at least 3200 files) and also a new StartMeUp_XX.STRINGS file that has XX-language text in it instead of English. To maintain compatibility with any future updates for StartMeUp.esp, you should do this: * Put the audio files ONLY in a new .ba2 called "StartMeUp - Voices_XX.ba2", where XX is the language code ("fr" for French, "en" for English, etc). This .ba2 will always override the Main.ba2 from Start Me Up. Inside the .ba2 you will need to keep the same folder structure: /Sound/Voice/StartMeUp.esp/(each character's voice folders) * Find your StartMeUp_XX.STRINGS file that you made at the beginning (where XX is the language code) So, the user would download and install the English version of Start Me Up from my page. Then they would download and install the XX-language translation, which consists of two files: (1) "StartMeUp_XX.STRINGS" (the text lines you translated) - goes in the folder: /Fallout 4/Data/Strings/(2) "StartMeUp - Voices_XX.ba2" (the audio files you made) - goes in the folder: /Fallout 4/Data/ These files would make the text and audio in your language but wouldn't overwrite anything in Start Me Up. Then if I need to make updates to StartMeUp.esp, like the scripts or StartMeUp.esp, your translation will still work fine.
Can I change the dialogue back to normal after installing the mod?
  • You can change the dialogue without uninstalling the mod, which would minimize the likelihood of savegame damage which can happen when uninstalling mods.
  • Open the console (~ key) and check the state of the mod's global variables by entering:
    • help "SMU" 3
  • This will give you the state of the mod's global variables. The important ones are:
    • SMU_FollowedVanillaPath = 0 if you chose an alternate start, = 1 if you chose quick vanilla start, = 2 if you chose full-length vanilla start
    • SMU_VaultStart = 0 if you started outside the vault, = 1 if you started inside the vault
    • SMU_CanTalkToNick = 0 if you are NOT aware of the baby kidnapping (i.e. started outside the vault and haven't completed the quest Rumor of a Vault), or = 1 if you either completed the quest or started in the vault
  • You can change the state of the globals by entering the appropriate commands. For example, if you started outside the vault but want to revert to the normal plotline, enter these three commands:
    • set SMU_FollowedVanillaPath to 2
    • set SMU_VaultStart to 1
    • set SMU_CanTalkToNick to 1
  • You can confirm that the globals have been changed by repeating the command: help "SMU" 3
  • If you are on XBOX you're hosed, since there's no console. You can disable the mod and see what happens (it should be fine, but no guarantees), you can start a new character, or you can live with your decision.
What changes have been made to the plot for the alternate starts?
  • For the Vault 111 alternate start: You still see a baby kidnapped at the beginning (but it wasn't your baby) so you are asking around about a kidnapped baby (if you want to), and learn about the Institute abducting people. But it's much less urgent than it was in the normal game. You can say stuff like, "I'm just passing through" instead of all four responses being about the baby. And if you keep following that thread, eventually, you're out to stop the evil organization that snatches people (or join them). Obviously this is not as strong of a "pull" as your own son being abducted. But on the other hand, it solves a major problem with the original plot, which is "If my son is so important, why is the game constantly distracting me with side quests? Shouldn't this be solved immediately?". And of course, it's not YOUR son, just some kid, and all of the dialogue reflects that according. This is my personal favorite way to start the game, as it makes the most sense and melds most seamlessly with the original game's plot.
  • For the non-Vault alternate starts: You can find out about the abduction of the baby by going into Vault 111, by following a simple quest "Rumor of a Vault" that you get when you start. If you don't go into the Vault and find the evidence, you won't be able to continue the main quest past rescuing Nick Valentine, as you won't have anything to report to Nick nor any reason to go after Kellogg. The rest of the game is similar to the Vault-based alternate start in terms of dialogue edits, except for the places where you tell people you're from a Vault. The non-Vault alternate starts skip a little bit more dialogue than the Vault-based alternate start, which skips almost none. This is because there are a few scenes, like the first part of the interview with Piper, where all you really talk about is the Vault. Likewise, the "pull" of the main quest is not as strong - why does Father care about you? Why do you care about some Vault-dweller's abducted child? But, it is what it is, and it works out well enough.
  • Regarding Codsworth, there were some issues, as a lot of his dialogue, and the whole reason he's willing to help you (or even leave Sanctuary), depends greatly on your pre-war relationship. Consequently, he is treated as a crazy robot who's mistaken you for his former owner. This is reflected in a number of your interactions with him, but he still refuses to believe you when you tell him he's mistaken. It was either that, or dumb down and remove so much of his dialogue that he becomes very generic and dull.
What are the start locations, exactly?
  • Inside Vault 111 - in the cryopod
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: if you want the alt-start story that makes the most sense, you should start in the vault. So basically you are released by mistake (instead of Nate/Nora, who are dead in their pods), as a pre-war vault-dweller. The rest of the alt start points (below) remove any dialogue lines that refer to you as a vault dweller, being 200 years old, etc. so the plot line of the game is more of a departure.
  • Start Location (recommended class/gear choice)
  • Outside Vault 111 --- (vault enthusiast)
  • Sanctuary Root Cellar --- (survivalist)
  • Robotics Disposal Ground --- (scavenger)
  • Ranger Cabin (SW of Sanctuary) --- (hunter)
  • Raider group (NW of Sanctuary) --- (raider or mercenary)
  • Red Rocket (South of Sanctuary) --- (mechanic)
  • Concord house
  • Old bus (SW of Concord) --- (drunk)
  • Drumlin Diner --- (trader)
  • Tenpines Bluff --- (farmer)
  • Lonely Chapel
  • Rocky Narrows Park
  • Wildwood Cemetery
  • Lake Quannapowitt
  • Relay Tower 1DL-109 (in SE part of map)
  • Union Hope Cathedral
  • Vault 81 (outside) --- (vault enthusiast)
  • Diamond City outskirts --- (baseballer or citizens)
  • Boylston Club --- (wealthy citizen)
  • Goodneighbor --- (thug, thief, etc.)
  • Bunker Hill --- (trader, doctor)
  • Relay Tower 0MC-810 (in NE part of map)
  • Greentop Nursery --- (farmer)
  • Roadside Pines motel --- (raider or mercenary)
  • Egret Tours Marina --- (sailor)
  • Fairline Hill Estates
  • South Boston (near the Castle)
  • Crater of Atom --- (Atom novice)
  • Somerville Place
  • Parson's Creamery
  • Glowing Sea --- (radiation explorer)
  • Outside Quincy --- (sniper, scout)
  • Atom Cats Garage --- (greaser)
  • Near Spectacle Island --- (sailor)
  • Murkwater (in far SE swamps)
  • Nordhagen Beach --- (farmer)
  • Nahant Oceanological Society --- (scientist)
  • Hugo's Hole (in Dunwich Borers)
  • Click here for a map of all the start locations
What are the character classes, exactly?
  • Vault Enthusiast
  • Survivalist
  • Scavenger
  • Hunter
  • Raider (not allied with faction)
  • Mechanic
  • Gangster
  • Trader
  • Farmer
  • Drunk
  • Doctor
  • Scientist
  • Mercenary
  • Ballplayer
  • Drifter / Thug
  • Thief
  • Sailor
  • Greaser
  • Scout / Sniper
  • Radiation Explorer
  • Brotherhood of Steel Initiate (no power armor, not allied with faction)
  • Railroad Tourist (not allied with faction)
  • Escaped Synth (not allied with faction)
  • Minuteman/woman (not allied with faction)
  • Church of Atom Novice (not allied with faction)
  • Gunner Conscript (not allied with faction)
  • Forged member (not allied with faction)
  • Chinese Agent
  • Wealthy wastelander
  • Poor wastelander
  • Cannibal
  • Enclave remnant (must have installed one of: Enclave X-02 or Enclave X-03 or Enclave Officer (standalone ersion) - you get power armor, but no frame)
  • NCR Ranger (must have NCR Ranger installed)
  • Rust Devil (must have Automatron installed; not allied with faction)
  • Trapper (must have Far Harbor installed; not allied with faction)
  • Pack member (must have Nuka World installed; not allied with faction)
  • Operators member (must have Nuka World installed; not allied with faction)
  • Disciples member (must have Nuka World installed; not allied with faction)
What are the traits, exactly?
  • Broad Shoulders (replacement of Hoarder) - Your broad shoulders add +25 to your carrying capacity (+15 in Survival mode), but due to your high center of gravity, you are more likely to be staggered by incoming blows.
  • Bruiser - A little slower, but a little bigger. You may not hit as often, but they will feel it when you do! Power attacks deal 30% more damage, but cost 30% more Action Points to perform.
  • Claustrophobia - You have a fear of enclosed spaces. You gain +1 to all SPECIAL attributes when outside, but suffer -1 when indoors.
  • Early Bird - Hey early risers! Enjoy a +2 to each of your SPECIAL attributes from 6 am to 12 pm, but suffer -1 from 6 pm to 6 am when you're not at your best.
  • Fast Metabolism - Your metabolic rate is twice normal. This means that you are half as resistant to radiation and poison, but your body heals at double the normal pace.
  • Fast Shot - You don't have time to aim for a targeted attack, because you attack faster than normal people. Automatic and magazined weapons fire 20% faster, and AP costs are 20% lower, but you are 20% less accurate.
  • Finesse - Your attacks show a lot of finesse. You don't do as much damage (-30% for normal attacks), but you cause more critical hits (10% constant chance any time).
  • Four Eyes - While wearing any type of eyewear, you have +1 Perception. Without eyewear, you have -1 Perception.
  • Gifted - You have more innate abilities than most, so you have not spent as much time honing your skills. You gain a permanent +2 to each SPECIAL stat, but gain experience at half the normal rate.
  • Good Natured - You studied less-combative skills as you were growing up. People are 20% easier to persuade, vendor prices are 20% better, but your overall damage is reduced by 15%.
  • Heavy Handed - You swing harder, but expend more energy. Your melee attacks do 20% more damage and are more likely to stagger, but cost 20% more action points.
  • Hot Blooded - When your health drops below 50% you gain +15% more damage, but you also suffer -2 to your Agility and Perception attributes.
  • Kamikaze - You boldness grants you +20 Action Points and +10% Action Point refresh rate, but your reckless nature causes you to take 20% more damage from weapons, explosions, and radiation.
  • Loose Cannon - You love big guns, but your enthusiasm means you get carried away. Heavy weapons do 30% more damage, but are 30% less accurate.
  • Night Owl (opposite of Early Bird) - Staying up late, you a +2 to each of your SPECIAL attributes from midnight to 6 am, but suffer -1 from 6 am to 6 pm when you're not at your best.
  • Small Frame - You are not quite as big as other people, but that never slowed you down. You gain +2 Agility, but your limbs are 20% more easily crippled.
  • Trigger Discipline - While using ranged weapons, you fire 20% more slowly but are 20% more accurate.
  • Unsightly (similar to Four Eyes) - You may be good or bad, but you're definitely ugly. While wearing any type of mask, you get a confidence boost for +2 Charisma. With a bare face, you have -2 Charisma.
Why did you name the mod "Start Me Up"?
  • I considered the usual "Another Life" or "Alternate Start" names, but I wanted something more unique and recognizable. Also, there is the Rolling Stones song with the same name, which has a really hilarious music video.

While I built this mod from scratch myself, I did look at how some other mods were built, so credit is due:
I also couldn't have done this without some great software tools and help:

Additionally, I'd like to thank (in no particular order): Gribbleshnibit8, chucksteel, JaxFirehart, luthienanarion, TrickyVein, pintocat, Puppettron, retlaw83, RoyBatterian, TJMidnight, Risewild, Scorpion,  deadboy, and the rest of the Tale of Two Wastelands team for their help learning all this modding stuff over the years.