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Fallout 4 gets super realistic, as mod totally revamps Bethesda’s AI

Fallout 4 combat just got much more realistic and a lot tougher, as a new Fallout 4 mod transforms AI in the Bethesda RPG to react much more believably.

Fallout 4 realism mod: A man in a cowboy-style hat, Preston Garvey from Bethesda RPG game Fallout 4

Fallout 4 mods have kept the Bethesda RPG game feeling new, alive, and, occasionally, a lot more brutally realistic for the last eight years. As we slowly learn more about the Fallout 5 release date, and also look ahead to Starfield, returning to the Commonwealth for another trawl through the Glowing Sea is the ideal way to pass the time, especially now, as a brand-new Fallout 4 mod totally revitalizes the open-world experience by upending Bethesda’s NPC AI for much more believable, and much tougher, combat encounters. If you’ve ever felt like enemies in Fallout 4 are a little rigid or perhaps a bit too dumb, and want something that feels more organic and perilous, this one’s for you.

‘Real AI,’ by modder ‘Thumblesteen’ makes a transformative change to how NPCs think and behave in Fallout 4. The mod “recalibrates hundreds of engine level subroutines” to make enemies and other non-player characters react and behave in much more intuitive, responsive ways.

Fundamentally, Real AI removes what Thumblesteen calls “blinders” from Fallout 4’s NPC population. You might have noticed while playing that a lot of enemies only seem to react once you cross some kind of invisible threshold, and trigger their awareness. Not any more.

“Bethesda gave NPCs a series of invisible barriers that blocked their senses, meaning that they were essentially existing in a kind of bubble,” Thumblesteen says. “This mod removes that bubble, allowing NPCs to interact with the world around them and to actually engage with their environment.

“As a result, snipers will actually snipe. Flanking NPCs will actually flank you. Buildings, firing positions and environmental features will become real to the many inhabitants of Fallout 4, and they will behave much more like living beings.”

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As you can see in the above video, when walking through Boston itself, Raiders and other enemies who are perched in sniping spots or gun emplacements will now fire on you even if you’re several floors or streets away from them.

In the vanilla version of Fallout 4, you might see enemies patrolling a rooftop, but they won’t shoot or attack you until you’re actually in the building. Likewise, once you get inside, enemies often charge straight for you, seemingly ignorant of the available cover around them. With Real AI, this is no longer the case.

“It replaces hard limitations with soft limitations,” Thumblesteen continues. “To avoid the ‘psychic NPC’ problem, a lot of the NPCs have been given weaker senses. So even though the bubble is gone, they are still not without humanizing limitations. Their perception is now gradient depending on things like distance, line of sight, light levels, and numerous other factors. They can be fooled, distracted, outwitted, led astray, and ambushed. But watch out, they might sometimes do the same to you.”

Fallout 4 realism mod: A monstrous creature, the Deathclaw from Bethesda RPG game Fallout 4

Real AI also lends itself to stealth and sneaking in Fallout 4. If enemies lose sight of you, rather than charging from room to room, or just going back to prescribed patrol routes, they might blind fire or wait behind cover for an ambush. If you love Fallout 4’s world, story, and visual flair, but always wanted to give the combat a punch-up, you can get Real AI right here.

Alternatively, you might want to return to the Mojave (almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter) with the best Fallout New Vegas mods, revised and refreshed for 2023. Or maybe you can try some of the other best games like Fallout available right now.