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"Pack Attack: NPC Edition" applies social combat AI to NPC gangs. Rather than simply rushing you in the open as a group, these NPCs will break and cover, retreat and flank, run and hide, and even lie in wait. They're more likely to ambush, less likely to engage in suicidal charges, and more willing to switch to hand-to-hand combat when needed.

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Pack Attack Companion Edition Is Now Available!

Want to see PANPC AI applied to your vanilla companions? Now you can!
Go check out my recently released mod, Pack Attack Companion Edition -
and get some well deserved AI backup for the next time you take on a raider encampment.


What Nexus gamers are saying:

"This mod, combined with Horizon, makes for an incredibly tense combination. I am dreading taking on Corvega." - DakkaHarakka

"Watching them act more like real AI is a sight and no more shooting fish in a barrel type behavior is great." - Stiffon

Watch Nexus user TacticalAce take on a PA-NPCified Corvega (w/extra spawning):

PACK ATTACK (NPC EDITION): Gangs With Group Combat Tactics
by Greslin
v1.99 - released 5/21/21

I am now available for mod support over Discord. Visit me here about this or any other of my mods: https://discord.gg/jMUnXDV

Adapted and expanded from my mod "Pack Attack", this mod significantly extends the same concepts and ideas into a combat AI mod that specifically applies to biped gang enemies, such as Raiders and Gunners. As in "Pack Attack", enemies using this mod will adjust their tactics based on their social and threat awareness, switching between ranged, melee, defensive, and offensive tactics based on their perceptions of team advantage and individual risk.

Please note: Due to the rapid development and evolution of this mod, this description page may be incomplete, outdated, and/or inaccurate. For the latest information, please read the comments section. You can also find information about mod compatibility, MCM settings, and playing strategy in the Articles section.


Do NOT use this and my original Pack Attack mod together! That one was the original very crude prototype that gradually evolved into this mod, and Pack Attack NPC Edition (or PA-NPC, for short) includes and expands on all that mod's functionality. They will not play nice together!


To better keep track of everything and maintain my own sanity in the process, this mod's project changelog can be found here.


"Pack Attack: NPC Edition" applies the basic dog pack AI methodology from "Pack Attack" to NPC gangs, but significantly expands on it.

This mod makes major changes to how supported NPC groups fight. Rather than simply rushing you in the open as a group, these NPCs will break and cover, retreat and flank, run and hide, and even lie in wait. They're more likely to ambush, less likely to engage in suicidal charges, and more certain to switch to hand-to-hand combat if you get too close and they like their odds. In short, PA-NPC completely overhauls and upgrades the combat AI for all supported NPC groups.

And they will attempt to make these tactical decisions based on what is happening around them.

Each NPC gathers information from their experiences, coordinates information with their teammates, and even learns to a limited degree. This leads to fights that are never the same twice, that actively require you to consider the risks versus rewards of a particular assault or combat approach.

In addition, PA-NPC now contains several features for dynamic enemy spawning, non-combat AI, and upgrades/new abilities for individual NPC groups.  All in all, this project has now evolved into a general NPC upgrade for the entirety of the Fallout 4 experience.


There are many fine AI overhaul mods available on the Nexus. They all basically do the same things: adjust the global game settings and update the combat style definitions.

PA-NPC doesn't change globals, and rather than alter existing combat styles, it substitutes its own. Where PA-NPC differs is that it adds an additional layer of processing on top of the combat style system. Rather than having a single defined combat style (as in vanilla), PA-enabled animals have five of them, and biped NPCs (humans, etc.) have nine different combat styles, switching between them as their combat environment and relative perspective changes. To the best of my knowledge, Pack Attack is the only Fallout AI mod to have attempted this.

Important note: many AI mods, such as Arbitration and Search and Destroy, "improve" NPC attack behavior by making the vanilla system overall much more sensitive.  PANPC doesn't need the help.  Using them together will have unintended consequences.


As of v1.7, I have retired the non-F4SE version of PANPC.  The honest truth is that it's a hassle to support both user bases, and the non-F4SE base isn't large enough to justify it.  I may release bugfixes for it once in a while, but for now, v1.69 will be the final, canon non-F4SE version of PANPC.

The aim of this project is to improve the general enemy AI as much as possible through the use of group dynamics and tactics. To that end, I prefer not to leave any useful tools lying on the table, and without question that includes F4SE.

There are now two general releases of PA-NPC. The main release requires F4SE, and utilizes that additional capability to include factors such as detailed weapon comparison (i.e., don't take a pipe gun to a Gauss Gun fight). This will always be the primary release version, and while not every new feature will be based on F4SE functions, any new features incorporated into this release WILL NOT be backported to non-F4SE version.

The non-F4SE version remains version 1.69, and is available under Optional Files. I will continue to maintain this version only for critical (i.e., game breaking) bug fixes. Do not ask me to backport. If you want the new features, install F4SE.

Beyond simply not wanting to maintain two separate mods here, my other concern is game balancing. I spend a lot of time testing, tweaking, and testing again, and balancing takes a lot of time. As new features are included, I would have to do all that work separately for each version, and I'm not going to do that. Thanks for understanding.


IMPORTANT POINT: The Fallout 4 engine is designed to allow for the influence of combat behavior, but not the control of combat behavior (with a few exceptions). All this or any other mod can do is coax an actor into a certain level of aggression and combat behavior. So expect some strange behavior - once the combat starts, the NPCs are making their own decisions, and they may not always be the brightest ones.

This mod had its genesis in its predecessor mod, "Pack Attack". Pack Attack upgraded the Commonwealth's canines, emulating basic pack behavior and social awareness in combat situations. When a PA-enabled Mongrel is loaded into the game, it does an immediate scan for other dogs, and acts more confidently and aggressively when it has company.

In the vanilla game, an Actor (you, me, dogs, robots, etc.) has an Aggression stat (how likely it is to attack), a Confidence stat (cowardly/brave/foolhardy), and a general Combat Style (which specifies combat behavior in more detail). Normally these stats are hardwired into Actors, including dogs. If an Actor is a coward, they're usually - but not always - a coward forever. But those stats can be changed on the fly. "Pack Attack" constantly adjusted those settings for each dog as its fortunes changed in combat.

PA-NPC takes that same basic idea and expands it significantly for use with NPC gang enemies. When a PA-NPC is active, he (or she) will perform regular scans of the local environment and assess the local relative strength of his gang. If he finds other faction-friendly teammates in the area, he will act more confidently and aggressively. If he's alone and hurt, he's more likely to run and hide.

In addition, PA-NPC actors consider:

* High ground advantage: "Am I fairly safe up on this freeway or rooftop?"
* Visible weapon comparisons: "Am I bringing a knife to a gunfight?"
* Power Armor advantage: "Am I wearing power armor? Is my target?"
* Outnumbering advantage: "Am I feeling pretty good about our numbers here?"
* Group aggression: "Does it feel like we're winning this battle?"
* Target distance: "Is my target close enough to warrant a shift to hand-to-hand or melee combat?"
* Self preservation: "Is the smartest move here to run away and fight another day?"
* Radiation exposure: "Am I currently taking radiation damage?" (new to v1.7)

.. and much more.

PA-NPC uses more combat styles than the original Pack Attack did, and each NPC will shift styles as necessary between ranged, melee, and evasion tactics. As the gang dwindles in size, it will lose battle cohesion. If, on the other hand, the gang is winning, they will become bolder and more direct in their fire tactics.

Here are the important concepts:


Each PA-NPC, when first enabled, is assigned a random value within a faction-specified range that represents their natural courage. This value will rise and fall as the NPC gains experience and faces combat events. In general, a higher courage NPC is more likely to be confident and aggressive, as well as more willing to make command decisions. A lower courage NPC will be a follower more than a leader, be more apt to run and evade than charge and fight, and will more prefer fighting at a distance to up-close-and-personal slugfests.

The rest of this mod is based around this Courage value, which remains as long as the NPC reference is alive. In a very simple but very real way, they "learn" and individualize as they gain experience.


Countering the NPC's Courage stat is their Self Preservation stat. While not nearly as important to their decisions as is Courage, the NPC's SP stat will generally lower when they make kills or participate in command or revenge actions. It will rise as they take damage and when they flee. Self Preservation generally works against Courage, as the NPC attempts to decide whether to boldly attack, retreat, flank, or run for the hills.


As with "Pack Attack", the heart of this mod is the gang assessment system. Each active NPC is constantly searching within a dynamic radius (based on its Perception stat) for other friends and enemies. When it finds another friendly NPC, it evaluates that NPC's base health in comparison to its own, using that data to get a rough (and relative) collective estimate of the gang strength.

Here is how it works. Imagine we're talking about two raiders: Tiny Tim and Big Bubba.

Tiny Tim has a base health of 50HP. Big Bubba, on the other hand, is a much bigger guy: 150HP base health. Tim is going to look at Bubba and think, "Wow, that guy is three times my size and he's on OUR side. We can't lose!" and be more reckless as a result. Bubba, meanwhile, is more likely to look down at Tiny Tim and think, "I'm surrounded by guys a third of my size, and I'm going to have to do all the work here. This is not a great situation for me." He will be more likely to hang back and fight conservatively.

Each PA-NPC makes this assessment with each allied or friendly NPC in their scan radius, using the sum of those judgments as a base to assess the overall strength of the gang - from their own point of view. There is no "objective" pack strength. It's all relative, each NPC making imperfect decisions based on their own individual perspective.

Each NPC has a random bravery/anxiety factor that will make it a bit more anxious or bold than the others (to avoid duplicating behavior), and utilizes various other data points - wounded enemies (blood scent), its own health, and its most recent combat experience - to decide whether to attack, run away, be cautious, or go completely bloodthirsty insane. That base "courage" value goes up and down as the NPC gets hit, or makes kills. It is then used as the base for future evaluation calculations.

In general, as each NPC senses a weaker and more damaged pack, it will become more and more likely to retreat, evade, and hide. Likewise, if another NPC enters the fray, the other NPCs will react to the gang's suddenly improved fortunes and become more aggressive.


PA-NPC enemies operate in two basic modes: proactive and reactive. A proactive decision is a measured appraisal of the gang dynamics and tactical situation, followed by a random timeout period of up to 30 seconds before reconsidering their decision.

During the timeout period, the NPC is in reactive mode. Their decision making process is much simpler, more fight/flight. In this mode, the enemy NPC is much more likely to do something stupid, more likely to aggressively defend themselves, and more likely to run in panic. They will continue in this reactive decision mode until the timeout expires, at which point they'll make another proactive tactical decision.

Each proactive decision changes the NPC's aggression and confidence stats, as well as their combat style. There are melee and ranged, offensive and defensive fighting styles.


Certain factions - Gunners, Minutemen, Brotherhood, and Synths - now have what I call the Command ability. When a member of one of these factions gains a kill or two and raises their courage, the script will sometimes assign them a Command token that they can then spend on a high profile target (such as an enemy in power armor, or someone exposed on high ground). When they spend that token, the target is marked as a Command target, and nearby teammates will prioritize their fire focus on that target. The NPC that makes the kill gets a substantial courage bonus.


PA-NPC enemies will only count faction-friendly NPCs as part of their gang. This means in certain situations, it's entirely possible to have multiple NPC gangs slugging it out using PA-NPC tactic sets.


PA-NPC enemies make decisions based on what they can see and hear. LOS (Line of Sight) between NPCs is a big deal, and LOS is mitigated by a variety of factors, first and foremost low light. Staying in shadows, moving at night, and generally not making a good target of yourself are all tactics that play larger roles in PANPC than they do in the vanilla game. Crouch-sneaking, Sneak perks, high AGL, and avoiding LOS are all excellent tools for avoiding unprepared-for combat situations.

Likewise, PA-NPC enemies are MUCH more aware of their environments than are their vanilla counterparts. They will investigate noise, set ambushes, and will tend to be quieter (fewer "barks") when they are alone or relatively isolated. So be careful, because your enemies are going to be careful, too.

DAZZLE (v1.771+ only)

As of v1.771, PA-NPC enemies can be rendered temporarily (3-5 seconds) blind to the PANPC scanning systems.  During this period, they will take minor Perception damage, their aim will be severely degraded, and a large portion of their attempts to visually identify both targets and allies will fail.  They will take a minor courage hit, and if they are already having courage issues, they will be more prone to panic and retreat.

This effect will naturally trigger from time to time in the regular game when NPCs are exposed to sudden increases in light brightness. 

For players who prefer a more reliable method for dazzling their enemies, the PANPC download now includes an optional ESP that adds PANPC-enabled flash grenades and flash mines to the game.  They're adapted from their pulse cousins, do very little damage, explode with 1/10 of the force, and have about 50% more range.  NPCs caught in the explosion radius have a 50% chance of being dazzled (33% if the NPC is equipped with optics).

PANPC flash weapons should start appearing in loot and vendor lists at around level 10, and I'm not doing injector lists, so you'll need to reconcile the lists in FO4Edit if you have other mods statically adding grenades and mines to those lists.

SNIPER (v1.78+ only)

As of v1.78, PA-NPC enemies that are spawned armed with a ballistic weapon equipped with a long range mod (such as long barrel) will adopt an extended set of fire tactics, in addition to their normal actions.  These "Snipers" will crouch when they fire (for an aim bonus), will prefer ranged attacks from held, fixed positions, and will attempt to fight from the rear of groups while their comrades lead frontal assaults.  If a Sniper also has a scope mod on their weapon, they will get an additional 20% aim bonus, stacking with whatever other aim bonuses they currently have.  Finally, they will also have a 50% better view of the battlefield than their teammates.

Synths and super mutants do not use Sniper actions, no matter what weapon they are using.


Disabled by default, this feature allows you to automatically spawn in additional enemies when a PA-enabled NPC is loaded into game memory for the first time. The new enemies will be spawned from that NPC's leveled list, each with its own equipment and configuration.

In the MCM menu, you can adjust the odds of each NPC cloning a new spawn, how many possible spawns they can clone, and overall odds for generating the new clone NPC as a Boss, Higher Level, Tougher than PC, or PC-equal level.

For more information about this (or any other) MCM feature, read the MCM instructions in the Articles section.


Much like the extra spawns/clones, the Raiding Parties option (also enabled via MCM) occasionally sets a small group of enemies against you.  The type of enemy generally depends on the dominant gang in the area, and you can adjust the time interval and makeup of the groups in MCM.  They may come right at you, but they will most likely sneak up on and ambush you from a relatively safe spot. 

You can adjust the time interval as a matter of game hours: every hour, two hours, etc.  But this is only a general time, and a new raiding party will spawn into your vicinity at any point between 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after the set interval.  If you have the interval set to 2 hours, for example, the script will spawn a new raiding party anywhere between 1.5 hours and 2.5 hours since the last one.

If Raiding Parties and Extra Spawns are both enabled, the party will split up and each member will lead their own band of clones against your position. 


As of v1.74, PANPC now includes integration with "West Tek Tactical Optics" by fadingsignal.  If you have WTTO installed, NPCs (including companions) with WTTO optics gear in their inventories will equip them at night and in low light. NPCs with optics will not suffer from low light LOS (line of sight) penalties, while giving them a 20% aim bonus and greater team cohesion abilities.

The player does not receive any special bonuses in PANPC from West Tek Optics.


While fairly stable at this point, this mod is still very experimental and SIGNIFICANTLY changes how NPCs fight. All these changes are bound within the faction system (without changing any factions), and so hopefully should not break any quests. However, I can't guarantee that any particular version of this mod is perfectly ironclad, is save game safe, or won't CTD somewhere.

If you happen to encounter a situation where you believe this mod is breaking your game, please let me know in as much detail as possible. If you think you've found a bug, please read this article as well as the Compatibility Status page before reporting it. Thanks.


As of v1.7, only the base game and F4SE 0.4.0+ are required. The script will auto detect any DLCs and make the appropriate settings.

Likewise, the v1.69 legacy non-F4SE version is also fully DLC compatible, but does not require F4SE.

While MCM is required to use the MCM features, it is not required for using either version of this mod.

Unpack the RAR to install, disable the ESP in your load order to disable.


Always appreciated, never required.  I do this stuff because I'm a hopeless Fallout addict, have been for a long time, and like pulling out the wires to see what sparks.  Donations via Nexus are awesome and will result in a note of generous thanks.

All donations go directly to an important cause: my personal gaming fund.  Your donations allow me to play better games, use more of my time to play them, and dedicate more of my energy to making cool mods for them.  (And yes, Fallout will always be my first love.)


Thanks to my wife (Borderlands Assist Queen, fellow gamer, console girl, and partner in crime) for tolerating my Fallout fandom.

Thanks to Eden, our yellow Labrador, who is currently away nursing her new puppies and being a good momma. We miss her and look forward to her coming home.

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded, enjoyed, and perhaps even endorsed any of my mods for Fallout 4 and New Vegas. I write these weird little mods for myself, to try things out that hopefully keep the game interesting for me a little while longer, and it's nice to know that some of you good folks enjoy them, too. I appreciate the kind words, support, and occasional gamer angst.

I have no intention of porting any of my mods to console. I'm a PC player, and diving into the Bethesda.net pool doesn't interest me in the least.

This mod is still in regular development, meaning you should expect some bugs and items that need to be rebalanced. Your game saves, however, should be fairly safe at this point. Try it out and leave your feedback in the comments. I want to hear them!


See my other Fallout 4 mods:

Stash Those Caps - Makes caps truly portable again, just like in FO3/FNV
Insult To Injury - Implements a working FNV-like limb damage/recovery system in Survival mode
Companion Heal Thyself - Give companions the power to patch themselves
Passive Aggressive Piper - Add affinity checks to Piper's more annoying, sarcastic and flirtatious comments
Ferals After Dark - Makes feral ghouls a bit smarter and more dangerous after the sun goes down
More Realistic Cats - Buffs the cat race to make them behave more like, well, cats
Atomic Brahmin - When cows turn into mean, aggressive, highly unstable nuclear weapons
Pack Attack - Mongrel dogs shift attack behavior based on social awareness and threat assessment