Now that Fallout 4 supports mods — free add-ons created by amateur programmers — for Xbox One, fans are coming back to Bethesda Softworks’ nuke-blasted Boston with fresh eyes.
If this is a new idea for you, that’s okay. Mods (as PC users think of them) haven’t ever been common on consoles.
Unreal Tournament III supported them on PlayStation 3, and it’s increasingly common to see games include tools that let users build their own content. But mods take things to another level, especially in the context of Fallout 4.
Creators build their content using PC tools that aren’t dissimilar from the ones that Bethesda used to make Fallout 4. In the simplest terms, that means you stand to see a much wider range of game-changing add-ons.
Where to start, though? The Fallout 4 mod selection is already quite robust — and growing rapidly — but we’ve picked out a small assortment of popular ones that offer a small taste of how you can change up your game.
1. Ish’s Respec Mod
One of Fallout 4‘s greatest strengths — and this really applies to the series as a whole — is how open-ended it really is. The stats you focus on and the Perks you unlock influence almost every facet of how you play the game.
There’s just one problem: Once you unlock a Perk or apply a skill point, it’s locked. You can start an entirely new game and make different choices, but there’s no way to backtrack on earlier choices.
Not without Ish’s Respec Mod, that is. Adding this creates a new chem called “Brainf*ck” which, when used, resets your entire Perk tree and refunds all the points you previously spent.
The chem is automatically added to many of the game’s vendors, but you can also craft it at a Chemistry Station using two Nuclear Materials and two Brain Fungus.
2. PEW Lasers
This is a simple mod that can have a profound effect on your enjoyment of Fallout 4. Assuming you use laser weapons, that is. If you don’t, this mod will make you want to.
PEW Lasers takes all of the laser weapon sound effects in Fallout 4 and replaces them with a verbal “pew pew!” sound. This is especially entertaining if you have a pet dog, as the high-pitched “pew” noise tends to catch their attention.
It’s difficult to really appreciate the value of this mod until you experience it for yourself. Just check out the video above to hear what a difference a little “pew pew” can make.
3. Improved Map with Visible Roads
Another simple, subtle mod, the title speaks for itself here.
The improved map makes roads, train tracks and coastlines much clearer and easier to read than they are on the map that you see in your vanilla Pip-Boy. It also features “corrected” map marker placement.
Note that some Fallout 4 mods require one or more of Bethesda’s three official add-ons, and we’ll note it when that’s the case. This one doesn’t actually require any of them, but it does bring the same improvements to the Far Harbor add-on’s separate map.
4. The Collector: Bobbleheads
The Collector: Bobbleheads isn’t quite a cheat, but it’s not recommended if you don’t want any help at all in uncovering Fallout 4‘s secrets.
Collectible Bobbleheads are scattered throughout the game, and each one you find confers some sort of permanent stat or skill bonus. They’re all well-hidden and not attached to any quest, so normally you just wander around and explore until you find them.
The Collector mod wraps a lengthy, multi-part quest around finding all the Bobbleheads. It was conceived as a way to help players enjoy this part of the game without actively cheating.
The quest doesn’t start automatically; you have to head to the Vault-Tec Regional HQ (it’s an unlockable map marker) and explore it until you find the working terminal that starts things off. The Bobbleheads all remain in their standard locations; the mod’s quest simply provides you with direction and purpose.
5. Deathclaw Follower Mod
Deathclaws are among the most fearsome beings in the entire Fallout universe. They’re giant, irradiated lizard-monsters that walk on two legs and are roughly as tall as a schoolbus. The sight of even just one is enough to send all but the highest level players scurrying in the opposite direction.
This mod asks: What if you could make friends with that kind of power?
Your Deathclaw follower isn’t quite as evolved as some of the other companions you can pick up in Fallout 4. It can fight and cart stuff around (via inventory transfer), but you can’t order it to move or investigate things and you can’t send it to take up residence in any of your settlements.
The Deathclaw’s home is the Red Rocket truck stop (the one near Sanctuary; not to be confused with the Red Rocket in the Glowing Sea). He chills out in the nearby Mole Rat den, a cave accessible at the bottom of a hill, due south of the Red Rocket map marker.
6. Snap’n Build
Fallout 4 introduces the concept of player-owned settlements, giving you the ability to build anything from crafting stations and basic goods to full-blown dwellings. The only problem is the selection of buildable structures, which is a little thin.
Snap’n Build addresses that. It adds a new selection to the “Structures” tab in Workshop mode that gives you access to a variety of architectural styles — including standard residential homes, bunkers, capsule-style dwellings and industrial buildings.
It’s not the easiest mod to get a handle on, but the same could be said for Fallout 4‘s Workshop tools in general. Snap’n Build won’t give you an easier time, but it does offer more options for those who really want to customize the look of their post-apocalyptic wasteland.
We’d recommend reading through the mod description before you install this one. That really goes for every mod, but it’s especially true for Snap’n Build. There’s a lot here, and the description offers a brief rundown of how to find and use it all.
7. WRVR – New Companion and Radio Station
There are plenty of companions to pick up in Fallout 4 — though one more doesn’t hurt — so this one’s really about the music. WRVR gives you a whole new radio station filled with familiar public domain music to listen to as you wander through the ruins of Boston.
Unlock some mods which need to be sought out, this one is active from the moment you install it. Just tune into the radio station to start listening.
The thing that stands out most is the amount of work that clearly went into making WRVR feel like it’s part of the universe. It’s not just a playlist of music; you get a full-blown programming block featuring a fully voiced DJ (Casey Kessler), commercials and even radio plays (also voiced).
This mod is completely harmless, and it only adds to your game. If you’re trying to avoid mods that could be construed as cheats, you have nothing to fear from this one.
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