Fallout 4

About this mod

Dust Devil is a modlist and as such its main intent is to simply list mods. The opening steps can be used to achieve a stable foundation for modding ANY Fallout 4 setup followed by a modlist of mods I recommend and prefer to create the ideal desert overhaul experience.

Requirements
Permissions and credits






With this modlist I set out with the intention of making Fallout 4 look and play as closely to Fallout New Vegas (and a little bit of 3 where necessary) as possible through mods.  Since F4NV is still likely years off, this setup has helped me curb my enthusiasm in the meantime and I'm hoping some of the mods from here may do the same for you!  Of course no number of mods can truly fix every aspect of F4 into something more akin to classic Fallout, but I like to think this modlist comes close outside of certain gameplay elements and of course the quests and environment as I and others working with me have scourged Nexus for every known mod that likens F4 to FNV.  In that way this is only meant to really serve as a community resource for those looking to emulate the classic Fallout feel in Fallout 4.

Dust Devil is, first and foremost, a modlist, and by that I mean that although it should provide you with a solid foundational setup to easily build off of as you see fit into your ideal desert-themed overhaul, it will not handhold through the entire modding process nor provide you with all necessary patches for a 100% stable and issue-free experience as is the case with an actual modding guide.  Unlike my full modding guide Whispering Chills which does just that, everything after the foundational setup steps is more meant to be used as a point of reference.  Although I use all of the listed mods together in my setup, I cannot guarantee 100% stability on your setup if you choose to do the same.  There are many quirks in modding that result in different variables interacting in different ways, and this gets even more complicated once you start deciding to throw in your own mods.  The primary goal of this modlist is to instill good modding practices and to be used as a frame of reference when modding any setup, but I simply don't have the time or resources to create something as holistic and comprehensive as Whispering Chills for every thematic setup I have in mind.  Nevertheless I do want to get this out there for those who may be interested as I often receive questions of what my setup consists of when posting images of this build.


DISCLAIMER:  I take no responsibility for your game breaking completely if using every mod in this modlist.  The initial parts of this modlist should get your game in a state of general stability and then it will be on you to build off in any direction you wish with the listed mods in mind.  I have thoroughly tested this setup and as mentioned earlier I use every mod in this modlist without any major issues and have had no crashes so far.  I thoroughly read through the description for each mod, took heed of load order advice from each author, followed general modding practices I've gained from my background in the BRB community and years of modding F4, and checked for conflicts in xEdit to pare down the modlist and help determine load order, but I am only human and there are almost certainly going to be some quirks and minor issues you may notice in using the entire modlist.  I am happy to assist or answer any general questions in the BRB Community Discord server, but just know that anything pertaining to the actual modlist and the mods you choose to install is entirely on you in terms of getting it to work.  I will provide my own load order and modlist at the end that works for me as well as linking resources that relate to conflict resolution and patching in xEdit that may be necessary to ensure a seamless experience, but that end of it will be on YOU.  If you came here to learn good modding practices and how to create your own ideal modded setup you've come to the right place.  If you want everything done for you and don't feel like going to such an extent for modding there are resources linked at the bottom of this modlist for just that which provide a more guided or automated approach.

Most mods, and by extension modding guides and modlists, require all of the DLC to work properly.  Modding without DLC or with the Game Pass version of F4 will not work as intended and will severely limit your modding opportunities.







Feel free to check out my Fallout 4 Custom Soundtracks mix to help get you in the mood!


My specs for reference:

CPU:  i7-9700k
GPU:  RTX 2070 8GB
Storage:  Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
RAM:  16GB DDR4
OS:  Windows 10
Resolution:  2560x1440

Using every mod in the modlist as well as the provided ENB preset I average 60+ FPS at most times.  Even though Fallout 4 is a 5 year old game, it can still be very intensive on CPU and GPU resources, especially when heavily modded.  Take this into account before starting to ensure your system is strong enough to handle everything being thrown at it with the mods you add.  Also take note of the fact that no matter what mods you use, Downtown Boston will always suffer heavy FPS drops due to poor optimization of the base game.  This occurs no matter how good your hardware is and how solid your modded setup is.  I don't say any of this to discourage you from trying the modlist out, but it's good to keep realistic expectations given the limitations of the game itself as well as your own hardware.

This modlist uses Mod Organizer 2 as the basis of its modding lessons.  Mod Organizer 2 is an amazing mod manager specifically designed for use with Bethesda games, and there is a good reason why it is the main go-to mod manager for every modern Bethesda modding guide.  If you aren't familiar with or have never used MO2, let this be your opportunity to start.  I can't tell you how many I've come across who installed a modding guide using NMM/Vortex, immediately regretted it, and then started over using MO2 instead, so why not start the right way?  There is nothing to lose or be afraid of in trying it as all of the instructions you will need to use MO2 effectively will be provided with plenty of detail even for those completely new to modding.  If you are intimately familiar and comfortable with modding in another mod manager I still HIGHLY RECOMMEND you at least try to do this using MO2, and given MO2's portable virtual directory setup, it will not mess with any other modding setups you have for games using other mod managers as it will be its own independent instance.  If you have any confusion, frustration, or questions along the way, please feel free to leave a comment in the Posts section of this mod page or visit the new BRB community modding Discord for live support.  Nexus Mod Manager (the GitHub community fork) is problematic in its placement of modded files directly in the game folder and Vortex can make troubleshooting difficult in its limited functionality, load order rules, and poor handling of loose files.  You can easily switch back to your other favorite mod manager after finishing this setup if you come to find MO2 is not for you.

Even if you aren't using the modlist itself, this foundational setup involving everything up to the modlist itself can be used as a basis for stability with ANY modded setup.  These tools and setting configurations are important to ensure stability and are vitally important to carry out no matter which mods you're using.


Lastly, green highlighted text indicates a link so always click on these to be redirected to the link location.  The setup steps include several links to images that may help guide and assist you visually along the way.

Visit the BRB Community Discord server for any questions regarding these initial setup steps.  We will not be supporting any modding setups that do not make use of these initial foundational setup steps (Installing Fallout 4 through INI and Game Settings Configuration).





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This officially marks the point of no return.  Assuming you have gone through the steps above you should have a stable foundation for any modded setup, and now you are free to go off in whatever direction you wish knowing you at least have done all you can to ensure your game is crash-free and has stable performance before embarking on the process of installing mods that will throw everything into question.  Just to be safe you should launch F4SE through MO2 one last time before starting to install mods just as a baseline so you know that things are generally stable that way it is easier to track down a cause of crashes or other issues later on and isolate between the base game and mods.  I have and will provide you with the tools and general direction necessary to mod in an efficient manner, but it is now on you to ensure your modded setup is the best it can be and includes only the mods you want to include!  Below I will provide the modlist I'm using as well as a custom ENB preset tailored to this setup which you may enjoy as well as a recommended load order and modlist (left pane) order all meant to be used as a general framework but not something you have to follow to a T. 

Things to note before starting to install mods:

  • Sorting mods in the left pane can be just as important as sorting plugins under the Plugins tab in the right pane.  Left pane order determines the order of priority between loose files from mods (i.e. files that aren't packed into .ba2 archives or plugins) and right pane Plugins order determines the load order of mods and which changes override from each mod in case of conflicts.  Mods that you want to take priority over other mods should be loaded lower in the load order as the lower the load order placement, the higher the priority.

  • If you ever get a popup asking about unpacking a mod's BSA, select NO!  There is no need to unpack Bethesda archives when installing mods.

  • Occasionally when installing mods you will receive a popup that asks you to merge, replace, or rename the mod to be installed.  This occurs whenever a mod you are installing has the exact same file name as another mod you already have installed.  Typically this occurs when installing patches, hotfixes, or updates to mods already in your modlist.  The safest option is always to rename the mod to something more appropriate like "<modname>-AWKCR Patch" or "<modname>-UPDATE" and it will then be installed as a separate mod in the left pane.  So long as the new mod you install after renaming is placed lower in the left and right panes of MO2 it will then automatically overwrite any files it needs to from the other mod that caused the prompt to appear to begin with.  Merge or replace can be used as well to save space in the left pane and minimize plugins in the right pane if the mod being installed is in fact just a patch or update to another mod.  You can always play it safe and just rename the mod in any case if you're ever unsure.

  • I have broken this modlist into common categories.  These categories are derived from the BRB load order methodology which generally is of the belief that mods should generally be installed in the order of these categories and kept together in these common categories.  There are exceptions to these categories of course and there is no 100% agreed upon rules or methods when it comes to determining load order outside of using xEdit, which will be covered briefly at the end of the modlist.  In addition to being a helpful, logical means of organizing the mods this also happens to be the exact order I installed the mods, so doing the same could potentially yield similarly positive results (but no guarantees as you know!  Just a general guideline).  You only have to install the mods you like and don't necessarily have to install every mod in the modlist as this is only meant to be used as a point of reference for ideas and to introduce you to mods you maybe didn't even know existed!  Feel free to order mods into their respective categories if you add more for the sake of organization and as a starting point.

  • Add mods slowly, ideally by category/in sections, and launch the game through F4SE every so often testing on a NEW save game each time.  Ensure all the mods you added operate as intended and that you aren't getting any major bugs or crashes.  This is an ESSENTIAL part of any modding setup as it becomes much easier to isolate a problematic mod or load order issue if you install things piecemeal in this way and not all at once.  If you start getting issues, begin by disabling mods one-by-one or section-by-section and starting a new game each time to determine the issue.  Always try moving the mod around in the load order before considering removing it entirely.

  • Not all mods in the modlist are exclusively related to the theme of the guide but rather just preferential/foundational mods I tend to use in any modded setup that I just wanted to throw in for those perhaps unaware of them as a good foundational setup.

  • From what I've tested, every mod linked below is functional on its own (though how it interacts with other mods is a different story).  I've not included any mods I know to be outright broken, redundant, deprecated or outdated.  Read the description of every mod before installing it so you know what it does and anything important to note about it.  If adding your own mods it is important to read the description, go through posts and bug reports to see whether others are having issues with the mod, and generally do research through Reddit forums, Google, and other means to determine others' experiences with the mod.  The most popular mods can sometimes be deceptive as lack of updates/support has rendered them broken and full of issues over time even though they were popular at the time of release, so remain vigilant!

  • You can visit the BRB community Discord server where we can assist with general modding questions as well as setup, but we will not necessarily be there to make patches or help you make everything work together.  That is on you.  We give you the tools and pointers but this is your journey and we simply don't have the ability to accommodate such requests.





There are certain tags that are used throughout with varying meanings which are explained below: 

  • (Script-Intensive) indicates a mod that is very intensive on the number and frequency of scripts being run as part of its usage, which can cause issues such as stuttering, minor bugs, or even crashes if too many script-heavy mods are used together in the same playthrough.  Consider carefully before adding too many script-intensive mods.  

  • (FPS-Intensive) indicates a mod that is known to have a significant impact on FPS.  I wouldn't include the mod in the modlist if I didn't think the FPS hit was worth what it adds to the experience, but it is worth noting as these mods are the first to look at removing if you are suffering consistently low FPS.  

  • * indicates a mod that is highly recommended and particularly related to emulating the look or feel of FNV.  Mods without this are just ones I included out of personal preference for more holistic coverage.

We are here for general tips and assistance in the BRB Community Discord server, but you MUST make use of the setup steps above (Installing Fallout 4 through INI and Game Settings Configuration) for us to be able to help you!  Without a solid foundation from the steps above, mod installation will almost certainly lead to critical issues for which we will not be able to troubleshoot.


Core Mods & Fixes (Generally Recommended for Any Modded Setup)

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HUD & UI

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Equipment

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Factions

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Gameplay

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NPC-Player Appearance & Animations

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Visuals

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Audio

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Final Additions

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ENB (Custom Dust Devil Preset)

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Closing Notes


Load Order

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FO4Edit-Patches

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Holotape and MCM Configuration

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Good luck out there!















Other Guides/Modlists


Desert Modlist (Dusty Dude Abides Immersion Series) - Another desert-themed modlist that served as a huge source of inspiration for this modlist.  Both modlists are unique in their own ways so be sure to check out this one for more desert-themed modding stuff!

Whispering Chills - My horror overhaul modding guide which transforms Fallout 4 into an unparalleled comprehensive horror experience.  Features all the steps, guidance, and patches you need to get right into the experience with as little hassle as possible; new modders welcome!

BRB (BiRaitBec) Guide Tribute Edition - The guide that started it all and arguably the most-used and well-known of all time in the Fallout 4 community, now hosted on the Discord server linked here (and also where I am based out of and offer support for my work).  BiRaitBec, the author of the original guide on Nexus, is no longer active, so we are continuing his work and creating new works using his foundation as inspiration (such as with this modlist) in the Discord server.  The new community-based BRB guide will soon be released on Nexus after which point the link here will be updated.

Poet's Optimization Guides Collection 2 - Created by one of the veterans of the BRB community and features exceptional depth into modding Fallout 4; touching on unique areas of focus like LOD Generation and other technically-rich information that will arm you with some of the best modding knowledge available out there for this game.

MOFAM - The Lexy's SSE or STEP guide for Fallout 4 which features a process that involves nearly 720 mods in total covering nearly every aspect of Fallout 4 in exceptional detail.  If you are experienced in Fallout 4 modding and looking for more advance tips and tricks as well as a means of combining 100's of mods that otherwise would not work together properly, this will be a great resource for you!

Way to the Lost - A preference-based modlist similar to this one but more comprehensive effectively covering every major aspect of Fallout 4 and available on the Nexus for over 3 years now!  A great one-stop shop for a fun Fallout 4 modded setup. 

The Midnight Ride - Lightweight, stability-focused modding guide from the creator of the greatest Fallout New Vegas guide of all time (in my opinion) Viva New Vegas!  If you're looking for a very solid foundation involving only essential mods that is then easy to build off of, The Midnight Ride is a great starting point for any setup.

Fallout 4 Enhanced Edition - Hardcore, Horizon-based modlist unlike anything you will ever experience in Fallout 4, but certainly not for the faint of heart!  By the end of it you will be able to say you know what it's like to truly suffer while playing Fallout 4 (in a fun way of course).

Wabbajack - Automated modlist installer for those who don't wish to learn how to mod the old-fashioned way or are tired of doing so.  Fallout 4 Enhanced Edition is also available on this platform as well as several other high-quality modlists all with unique themes and goals.  I personally recommend trying Magnum Opus!




Questions/Comments/Feedback?


Please visit the BRB Community Discord server or use the Posts tab of this modlist page.  Note that I spent a lot of time sifting through and testing every mod in this modlist and if there are any mods included or not there is likely good reason for that.  If you feel I've missed anything essential, especially any mods that would help enhance the classic Fallout/desert overhaul theme, please let me know!