Fallout 4

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Blot

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Deadblot2

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Let's boost that fps, shalt we?

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We made it to hot! You guys are incredible :D



I've been on a mission, a quite incessant one, to optimize this ridiculously dated engine Bethesda is using for this game. After close to two years of trying to do that, I wanted to share my findings with the community, and help those who are struggling. I found that they're not many optimization guides for FO4 that go super in-depth, and most are outdated by this point, so I undertook that burden and created this. I've tried to balance this for newer modders as well as veterans. Throughout the guide, you'll find that most tweaks/ mods don't really get you from 30 fps to 123, but all of them together leads to buildup in performance. This is all but definitive, as many mod authors are trying to create mods and or INI tweaks that may make themselves present in the future, so I will do my damnedest to update this guide when that happens. I know it looks long, but atleast try to give it a look, I put some screenshots every now and then for some eye candy (If you didn't notice I'm a very tactical-everything type of lad). Now without further ado, let's begin.

Also as a little disclaimer before we begin, this guide does its best to maintain visual fidelity as well as crank performance to the absolute max, so if you're looking for a high performance game that still looks good, this guide is for you!





Credits: Screenshot by me, SAS and CTSFO armor by ZARGE, respectively, and AAR weapon by Ardent




Before you start anything, please make sure to uninstall the Official Bethesda HD Texturepack! It is unnecessarily massive and covers a minuscule amount of objects in this game. Your textures will look 1000 times better with mods like Luxors HD and is much much smaller.


First of all, I highly recommend you guys to start off with a clean, new, freshly-installed game. I also advise to follow guides like BiRaitBec's or similar, I'm using the prior myself. However, it is very important that you disregard any guide's section on FPS optimization and stability, as this guide will have you fully covered in that aspect.

If you don't like guides and want a barebones method on how to setup for a modded FO4, then you can follow these steps below.

1. Download and setup F4SE: Open up the archive and drag everything to the root Fallout4 Folder, where the executable (.exe) is located. 

2. Launch the game and exit, this will create your INI's that we will need to configure for later.

3. In your "My Documents/My Games/ Fallout4 folder" you should see that there are two INI's, Fallout4 and Fallout4Prefs.

4. Now create a new blank Text document and name it "Fallout4Custom" and change the file type from .txt to .ini.

5. Open the new INI file and and make sure it is blank, save and close. Make sure to always launch the game from "F4SE.exe" going forward.





Congrats, that's the setup pretty much done, below are the programs needed for later that we will use, so have them downloaded and handy.

BethINI - For proper INI tweaking. After Downloading, create a folder titled "BethINI" or similar in your FO4 Root directory and place the files there.

Fallout 4 ENB Binaries - Used for memory allocation, can also be optionally used to vastly improve the game's lighting and postprocessing effects. Download the latest version, .428 at the time of 6/6/20.

Do NOT use Private Profile Redirector, as it conflicts with some ENB performance tweaks and causes other absurd issues. Startup time is no longer an issue thanks to Boris' latest update to the binaries.




From the ENBseries archive you downloaded, you're going to want to open it and open the Wrapper Folder. Drag the following files into the Root directory where the executables are:

- d3d11.dll
d3d_compiler_46e.dll
- enblocal.ini


Optional (Recommended) - Now you can choose to download the dozens of ENB presets found on Nexus, whether it be Visceral, PRC, or Film Workshop. I'm using an early release version of L00's Enhancer ENB paired with NAC-X (also in development), which can both be found in their Discord. However, a very important thing you make sure you don't do, is overwrite your enblocal file when replacing or setting up new ENBs!


In the ENBlocal.ini file: 
Despite popular belief, I have tested out the game running with forced memory size set to true and the Video MB set to 8096. But as someone mentioned in my posts, it actually harms overall performance. So I decided to test it myself and it actually helped my FPS by around 5 frames. So if your ENB comes with this set to true, make sure it is false.

Values should be:

[MEMORY]
ForceVideoMemorySize=false
VideoMemorySizeMb=

Some people may benefit from turning this value to true, so play around with the VideoMemory size and the Force value and see which one is the most fitting for you.



Credits: Screenshot by me, Settlement Objects from Cerruti1889 and textures from Luxor's AIO pack. Armor is COD CTSFO on ZARGE's Discord.





Old section:

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I have gone through a change of heart and reverted my recommendations on FO4 Fi FPS Fix. I will not neglect the fact that me and so many others expected a 8 gb file to be a silver bullet to a long-standing issue. It wasn't, frankly, and I've fully switched from that unfinished mod to Boston AIO FPS Fix. However, this doesn't mean I won't keep an eye out for that mod in the future. Here's what you need to do:

1. Download the Unofficial Patch

2. Go to the Boston FPS Fix Page and download the Boston AIO Installer and the PaladinBaileyRedRocket File. The prior requires you to have all official DLC installed.

3. The mod is on hold for now update wise, but another mod author has created a bug fix / compatability patch that fixes some locations, go grab it here and endorse it after.

Load order placement as written by the author of BFPS:

-  Start at top for most compatible, but least effective. Move down to override mods that kill performance
-  Start at bottom, before scrap mods, for most effective; but more conflicting. Move up based on the mods you have conflict with.





Alternative Precombines Mod Spotlight: ShadowofTheWind's Mods







Screenshots were not taken by me! All credits go to The Black Pearl Discord Server's gallery


Synopsis:

Have you ever wanted to completely overhaul the game's environments? Lush Forests? Snowy Tundras? Dry Deserts? Well ShadowoftheWind has got you covered! He has been putting in incredible work towards creating these new mods, as well as optimizing other old classics such as Rustbelt Flora. By optimizing, I mean rebuilding
all of the world's meshes so that you don't have to worry about a thing. No Boston FPS Fix needed! All the user needs to do is to put his plugins at the bottom of the loadorder, and it should be smooth sailing. Please, I can't recommend enough to check his mods out on his official discord server.


INI Specific Settings *IMPORTANT*

Navigate to your My Games/Fallout 4 folder and find both the Fallout4.ini and Fallout4Custom.ini.

Open the Fallout4.INI first, and find these settings:

[General]
bUseCombinedObjects=
bUsePreCreatedSCOL=

I was informed that these settings are not present by default in the configs, which is good! They are automatically set to 1 when they are created by the game, so if you see these lines present with anything other than 1 (like set to 0), be sure to switch it back! Otherwise, leave them out of both the Fallout4.ini and Fallout4custom.ini.

Thanks to Luxor and DarkDominion for this info!




Another big addition people have been letting me know about is PhyOp

It's an absolute huge overall optimization of the base game textures, as well as the DLCs which are all packed into BA2s. It includes over 40,000 optimized textures! Give it a download with NMM or any other mod manager, it's also pretty big, covering almost 8 Gb in textures if you download the Base Game+ DLC Packs. It also comes in Performance and Regular additions as well, so download accordingly.


Mods to Look Out For

Natural 2K Face textures - Causes massive  stuttering, and will make your gave shortly freeze when any NPC spawns. Trust me, not worth it.

Unless...

You create an archive of the loose textures. There's a tutorial here, but I'm sure that there is a packed version of the mod available. I wasn't aware of this earlier, my bad!

ELFX, Ultimate Interior Lighting Overhaul, etc. - Any mods that add more lighting effects and dynamic shadows in interiors will tank your frames in large indoor locations. For example, with ELFX installed, the interior entrance to Converga was giving me 40 frames give or take, which I usually run 100+ fine without any lighting mods. For ELFX, there is an optional patch here that removes a lot of its dynamic shadows to gain a good chunk of FPS back.

Flora FX Overhaul - Looks absolutely awesome, but really only works with the vanilla trees anyway. The particles this spawns from trees is a lot for the engine to handle. If you can take - 10 or so FPS outdoors in the wilderness it's up to you. 

Scrap Everything, or mods that break precombined meshes - These will override the settings we just tweaked in the config files, so don't use them. If you're unsure, scan the description of the mod again or ask in the posts, it me be referenced there. Rsiyo's Locations is a mod that I use that does not break any combines, and is highly recommended. The "Expanded" series of mods tanks my FPS and does break combines and so the SpiffySkyTrooper's several landscape mods like Rustbelt Flora and Desperados Overhaul, so be warned. A great forest mod I use is DeathByKitty's "A Forest" mod, released without editing worldspace cells and keeping precombines intact.

And lastly, do not use Baka scrapheap Script "Memory Extender"! As someone once told me, "you can fill as much water as you like into an already full cup, but it will be wasted and overflow". Basically, this mod aims to to allocate more memory towards the engine's scripts. But it is pointless because the game can only process the game as fast as the FPS. Don't get tricked by shiny bells and whistles!



More mods that will help

Before all of these, in September of 2020 a revolutionary mod was released for Fallout 4. From those who brought you SSE Engine Fixes for Skyrim SE, comes Buffout 4, a comprehensive F4SE Plugin that fixes numerous bugs in the game Engine, resulting in far fewer crashes. It even adds proper crash logging, so posting your crash problems becomes 10 times easier! While it may not necessarily boost performance, it is now a must-have for everyone who plays this game. Please download and endorse it! 

Some things to consider: While Buffout has many internal fixes for the game's engine, it also supports a memory tweak that switches the game to use OS allocators instead of the conventional system. I have personally found that these settings do more harm than good, causing increased crashes across a 5 hour test-run. I have provided a pre-configured file for the mod in the files section of this page, which allows the user to enjoy the bug and stability fixes without OS allocators, which has brought me the most stable results after hours of testing.



Insignificant Object Remover - Depending of the options you choose in the installer, "Full" being the most extreme, you could see slight increases in FPS in cities and by bodies of water. Give it an install, doesn't even take away from visual fidelity.

High FPS Physics Fix - Great mod for users like me who try and get this game to run at a higher refresh rate and framerate. It should be fully compatible out-of-the-box. If you want, tweak the ini inside your F4SE folder and change settings at your own discretion. Also makes Load Accelerator obsolete.

NueraLOD - Absolutely, in my humble opinion, the best LOD mod for this game that doesn't even need to be created using FO4Edit. I've noticed that after installing the main package, I was stuttering less and my LODs looked gorgeous. Give it a shot!

Some users have reported this to cause minor stuttering/fps loss, so just be careful with this one and test it with your loadorder, k?

Sprint Stuttering Fix - Your final and definitive solution to all the annoying stutters and camera jitters with sprinting. It's a simple F4SE plugin that increases the memory cap on the game's sprinting to avoid jitters on uneven surfaces. Compatible with everything including Raw Input.

Canary Save File Monitor - Not necessarily a performance booster, but has saved me from inevitable corrupt saves. It simply monitors your save file for data loss and warns you when you load the game, so you can avoid wasting time playing on a corrupt save and roll back immediately.

A new corpse cleaner has been added to the files, download it to reduce corpse despawn time (24 in-game hours to 1) in order to increase performance and reduce save game bloat.

Fallout Priority - Allows Fallout to get a majority of the CPU usage and minimizes lag caused by other programs. This helped stabilize my FPS as well as reduced input lag. No more manually going into the Task Manager every time and setting the exe to High Priority!


That's it for this section. I'm not even going to lie, this is the most impactful section of this guide. If this doesn't help, I don't know what will.


Credits: Screenshot by me, armor by ZARGE, Settlement Objects from Cerruti1889, and Honey Badger by WarFighter





Before we start, those of you experiencing game-breaking crashes that are super frequent are likely using the game's NVIDIA weapon debris, which doesn't play nicely with the newer NVIDIA GPUs (10 series and above). You have two options, either disable the feature completely or use this mod, which will allow you to use it without anymore crashing, but the downside is that it disables their collision, so it won't look as cool. I personally use the latter.

Now to Bethesda INI Tweaker...

Open BethINI.exe from your folder we created earlier, and choose Fallout 4 from the dropdown menu.

In the main or "Basic" tab of the program, you'll want to pick either High, Medium, or Low, I'll trust that you know you're own PC's capabilities, so I'll leave you to decide. But there is very important thing to disable, this game's V-Sync (iPresentInterval)! It was made for 30 FPS consoles, and that doesn't translate well for PCs. So take my word that this setting needs to stay off.

Move to the "Details" tab and make sure Decal Quantity is set to low, If you use mods like Enhanced Blood Textures you want to make sure this is set to either High or Ultra.

Field of View - This part will kinda suck. I know everyone and their mothers wants a higher Field of View over Bethesda's default claustrophobic 70, but it comes with a drawback. Increasing FOV, greatly decreases Frames Per Second. Sucks, right? Yep. More FOV means more things in view, meaning more things for this engine to render, which is bad. So your choice on this one, I personally go with around 80-85, 90 is too much of a hit. There is however a new mod - FPS Boost-Free FOV- that increases the view range of the skeleton instead of the acutal FOV, meaning less rendering, more FPS, and greater spacial awareness. If you aren't sold yet, it is even compatible with body replacers like CBBE, so give it a shot!

Particles (a.k.a IMaxDesired) - I've found setting this value to less than 600 helps FPS remain stable in large firefights, specially when using particle mods like EPO.

For the sake of a clearer image, and a slight performance boost in combat, use Blur Killer.

Short quote from its modpage:
Spoiler:  
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View Distance category - Object Detail fade should be set to "Low" or "Poor", helps out in cities and towns. Decals can remain High or Ultra.

Grass section - Especially on lower end systems, grass could have a pretty significant impact on FPS. Make sure Grass Diversity is max at 15 and Density is either:

20 - Densest, hardest-impacting FPS

40 - Dense, may have a different impact system based, loss of 2-4 FPS

60 - Lease Dense, what I use, not much of a flora guy. FPS will not decrease.

When using different grass mods, adjust density accordingly. For example, Grass density at 20 is not that dense for Grasslands, but much too dense for True Grass, etc.

Shadows and Godrays - Skip down to the Godray / Shadows section of a guide, we'll have a talk later.

Once finished, head back to the Basic Tab, check Recommended Tweaks, and hit "Save and Exit".



These two upcoming sections vary quite a bit per setup, so please pay attention. They could potentially give you a 10 FPS boost to what you already have.

Open your Fallout4Prefs.ini, I'm sure you where to find it by now.

We're going to have a look at some different settings.
 
Particulary:

fDirShadowDistance=
fShadowDistance=


and

iShadowMapResolution=

The top two go in tandem, what you set to one you must set the other.

For fDirShadowDistance and fShadowDistance, here are your options.

= 2000 - The setting I use and is best for even low end systems, could give you maximum framerate boost in dense areas if you're okay with Shadows rendering not too far away from you.

= 3000 - This setting is for those who want a boost, but prefer to have shadows seen from farther away, a.k.a don't want shadow popins. Not as much of a boost than 2000.

= 5000 - For "Performance Screen-Archers", it won't really help. +4 FPS, give or take.



For iShadowMapResolution, set to 2048 for Sharper Shadows up close, or 1024 for blurrier shadows and a 1-2 FPS Boost.

Now, make sure to edit these values:

fBlendSplitDirShadow= to 96.0000
fMaxFocusShadowMapDistance= to 450.0000
iDirShadowSplits= to 3
iMaxFocusShadows= to 3
iMaxFocusShadowsDialogue= to 3
uiOrthoShadowFilter= to 3
uiShadowFilter= to 3



This will be the shortest section of the guide. You decide whether:

I think I have a pretty decent machine, and can handle Godrays.

If so, use the Ultra Godrays Fix, will help immensely with different scenarios involving them.

Or if you think you can't handle rays, or want to squeeze out every last frame, simply go to BethINI Details section and disable them. Done.



These are some "Desperate Measure" tweaks I recommend you use if you're game is still struggling to maintain your ideal framerate.

1. Ugrids and Exterior Cell Buffer

Despite people claiming that messing with Ugrids causes weird shit related to quests and dialogue, I've found through a 12 hour playthrough for there to be abosultely nothing wrong. Everything was working as it should, and decreasing Ugrids actually helped my frames a bit.

So if you want to do this, simply head to your Fallout4Custom INI and find the [General] section.

Add/ tweak these following settings:

uExterior Cell Buffer=(set to 16 for more fps, set to 9 for even more)
uGridsToLoad= (set to 3, more fps. set to 2 for even more)


Save and exit.

2. Thread tweaks.

An idea ported over from my old guide, I found out that disabling certain Multi Threaded based rending helped out my performance, for some odd reason. Feel free to try it out. Go to your Fallout4Custom INI and add/find:

bMultiThreadedAccumulation=
bMultiThreadedRenderingUNP=


They are default set to 1 (enabled), but I found that setting them to 0 helps framerate stability, while others reported to me that it did fuck-all. So hey who knows, it might help your game.

3. Decreasing resolution

Another big one. I play on a 144hz 1440p moniter, most games on 2560×1440 Resolution. But with Fallout 4 specifically, playing at a normal 1080p gave an overall boost of around 8-11 frames per second. So what I'm trying to say is that if you can find your moniter's ratio, (mine being 16:9), and decrease the resolution down 1 increment, you could find quite a boost in FPS if you're willing to sacrifice the sharpness of the image. I had a workaround for blurrier resolutions on my monitor, which was to increase Sharpness of my ENB and tweak TAA to make it less blurry, found here.


4. Shadowboost

Dynamically reduces and increases shadow distance based on the desired FPS designated by the user. It's developement currently stopped at much earlier versions of Fallout 4, but thanks to user kediwah, it is back up and running at its former glory for the latest version of the game. If you don't mind shadows constantly changing distances during gameplay, there isn't a mod I couldn't recommend more. Check it out.









Thank you for all the time you've given to read this, I hope your game is even more stable and has increased from 40 fps to 41 atleast :]

Oh yea, and despite the recent feedback on Final Fantasy VII remake, I fucking love it to death, screw the purist haters ;] ALSO YUFFIE IS HERE POG

Mod Credits for Screenshots:

Addendum: Cerruti1889 for the settlement objects, sorry for not crediting you earlier! I think I've done a pretty okay job at crediting the amazing mod authors who made them. Otherwise it goes as follows: Ardent for most armor/weapon mods I use, the gloves shown in the last screen are from his amazing work combined with a retexture. L00 for their amazing ENB and weather, this game looks fucking beautiful thanks to you. ZARGE for your armor ports, bless your kind heart. Warfighter for your gun mods, fight through the hate brother <3 And BORIS for ENB series. And yea, Bugthesda for this poorly optimized dumpster fire of Fallout 4 


Have a great day and stay safe everyone! - Blot