Obsidian’s Fallout: New Vegas, despite being five years old, is still enjoying a booming modding scene. But what are the best Fallout: New Vegas mods? We’ve rounded them all up in this useful list, picking out the finest new quests, the fanciest texture upgrades, and the most useful fixes.
If you’re planning on revisiting the nuclear-scorched earth of the Mojave Wasteland before the Fallout 4 release date, then these are the mods we recommend bringing along for the ride.
How do I install Fallout: New Vegas mods?
Installing a single mod into Fallout: New Vegas is easy. All you need to do is place the new files you’ve downloaded into the ‘Data’ folder of your Fallout: New Vegas installation. If you have the Steam version, typically this will be:
C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\Common\Fallout New Vegas\Data
Windows will alert you that you’re overwriting files, so press ‘OK’ to accept the changes. It’s best to make a backup of your Data folder before you start modding in case you need to return Fallout: New Vegas to its original form.
You’re probably going to want lots of mods installed though, so it’s best to use the Fallout Mod Manager. This installs and uninstalls mods for you with a lot more ease than doing it manually. To set it up, first download and install the program. It’s then useful to create a folder on your hard drive called ‘Fallout New Vegas mods’ or something similar. Downloaded mods come in .zip files, so use something like WinRAR to extract the mod files into your new ‘Fallout New Vegas mods’ folder.
In Fallout Mod Manager, open the ‘Package Manager’ using the button to the right hand side of the window. The new window will have a button labelled ‘Add FOMod’. Click this, and then use the file browser to find your mod folder and select the mod you wish to install. The mod will now be displayed in the Package Manager window, with a tick box next to it. If the checkbox is ticked, the mod will be active in your game. Simply untick if you want to remove the mod.
Essential Fallout: New Vegas mods
Fallout Mod Manager
WIthout the Steam Workshop to make things smooth and easy, you’ll need a Mod Manager to help you get all your mods installed with the correct load orders.
New Vegas Script Extender
Adding lots of mods to the game may require an extension of Fallout: New Vegas’s scripting capabilities. This tiny New Vegas Script Extender mod will make sure the game’s script is sufficiently extended to allow hundreds of mods to work simultaneously.
Mod Configuration Menu
Generally with mods if you feel the need to change something you have to close the game and alter some files. The Mod Configuration Menu adds a management page to the pause menu, allowing you to make some alterations without ever leaving the game.
New Vegas Anti-Crash
Fallout: New Vegas is a little on the buggy side unfortunately, and can be quite susceptible to crashing to desktop. NVAC is a simple mod that helps reduce the chances of crashing.
4GB Fallout New Vegas
When using lots of big mods like textures, you may find that Fallout: New Vegas begins to struggle with its small allocation of virtual memory. FNV4GB is a tool to load Fallout New Vegas with the Large Address Aware executable flag set so the entire 4GB Virtual Memory Address Space can be used by the game.
Bethesda and Obsidian are renowned for publishing games riddled with glitches and other breaks. Despite numerous post-release patches, Fallout: New Vegas has never been completely fixed. Thanks to the mod community though, things are significantly better these days. Mission Mojave has 27,000 fixes for various bugs throughout New Vegas and its DLC packs.
Graphical Fallout: New Vegas mods
New Vegas Redesigned 3
New Vegas Redesigned addresses a few issues related to lore and world, but it’s key focus is recrafting every NPC to better reflect who they are. If they’re a grizzled war veteran, scars are added and skin made rough. A young, happy, beautiful NPC will have clearer a complexion. These HD retextures, and adjustments to proportions and structure, make New Vegas’s NPCs just that little bit more believable.
NMCs Texture Pack for New Vegas
There’s a lot of world in New Vegas, and NMC’s Texture Pack reskins almost all of it with high-definition textures that will make the Mojave Wasteland look so much sharper. Roads, buildings, trees, and plenty of items have their textures replaced, making this a one-stop-mod for overhauling a huge percentage of New Vegas’s visuals.
Since you’ll be spending so much time outside in Fallout: New Vegas, you’d might as well make sure that blue sky is doing something interesting. Nevada Skies adds 320 new cloud variations to the game, alongside some fantastic weather effects such as sandstorms, rain, rainstorms, RADstorms, thunderstorms, and even snow.
Wasteland Flora Overhaul
Adding 101 different trees and plants to the wasteland, Flora Overhaul brings a subtle sense of beauty to the otherwise barren and sandy Mojave. The mod creator is aware that too much living flora could be counter to Fallout lore, so the mod comes in three different grades: Fertile Wasteland is the whole lot for a much leafier world, Dead Wasteland is a compromise between living and dead plants, and ESP-less uses just retextured versions of the original withered tree models.
ELECTRO-CITY Relighting the Wasteland
Say ‘Vegas’ and the first thing that comes to mind is likely the lights. Neons, flashing LEDs, and burning bright bulbs. You’ll find barely any of that in New Vegas, but ELECTRO-CITY is the mod to add the shine the world needs. Hundreds of new lights are added, from street lamps and signs to burning barrels. Lighting is often key to an immersive graphical experience, and this mod makes sure the light is there.
Fellout is one of the most popular Fallout 3 mods thanks to its ability to wipe out the sickly green filter that washes over everything. The New Vegas variant takes a similar approach, stopping the game making everything look a cosy orange and replacing colours with hot, desert tones that make the desert feel a lot more unforgiving.
Essential Visual Enhancements
The Essential Visual Enhancements mod addresses all the various animations and effects that occur in combat, be that the ejection of a bullet from a gun, or the blood squirt as said bullet impacts on enemy flesh. Explosions, particle effects, critical hits, and impact wounds are all reanimated and overhauled to look significantly more impressive and violent.
FNV Realistic Wasteland Lighting
A less intensive alternative to Nevada Skies, Realistic Wasteland Lighting adjusts the intensity of sunlight and adds subtle weather affects to help create a more photorealistic Mojave Desert.
The ENB of the Apocalypse
When combined with Realistic Wasteland Lighting, ENB of the Apocalypse helps achieve the excellent photo realism than ENBs are associated with. The NMC Texture Pack is also recommended to make the most of this ENB’s graphical enhancements.
HQ Dust Storm FX
Dust Storms happen frequently in New Vegas, but chances are that you’ve mistaken them for bad periods of fog. The clouds simply look more like heavy mist than whipped up sand. This HQ Dust Storm FX mod makes sure that the sand storms look like the gritty nightmares they are.
This interesting ENB adds an atmospheric, colorful, and intense look to the Mojave Wasteland, rejecting photorealism for a world that pops with excitement. Not only is Oxide ENB a more fun-looking alternative to The ENB of the Apocalypse, it also includes its own weather and lighting systems, so there’s no need to combine with other mods.
New Vegas is a great RPG, but it lacks when it comes to the shooter elements. Guns lack any feedback and feel like peashooters compared to the best FPS games out there. IMPACT remedies this by changing the impact effects when bullets hit different surfaces, with new bullet hole decals and particle effects upon impact. The calibre of gun you use changes the size of the hole you make, and ejected shells are now weapon appropriate.
Gameplay Fallout: New Vegas mods
There’s not a game out there that couldn’t be improved with the addition of big stomping robots, and this mod proves it (at least for Fallout). TitanFallout is, as the name suggests, a mod that adds the robotic mechs of Titanfall to New Vegas. With a new gadget you can call a Titan drop, which will rain down a hulking metal man. It can fight alongside you like an NPC follower, but you can of course climb aboard and use it’s massive machine gun yourself.
Project Nevada is made by the team behind Fallout 3’s Wanderers Edition, one of our essential Fallout 3 mods. It’s designed to make New Vegas a more challenging, more fun game, through the installation of a variety of module. You can pick and choose which ones are installed, allowing you a degree of control about how far you stray from the ‘vanilla’ experience. The modules cover Core systems like health, vision, and bullet time, Cyberware: which implants you with a variety of bionic enhancements, Rebalance: which overhauls all the RPG systems of the game, and Equipment: which adds a huge selection of new usable gear to the game. For an instant change to the way New Vegas plays, Project Nevada is essential.
Weapons of the New Millenia
Weapons of the New Millenia adds 45 amazingly detailed weapons to New Vegas, with wonderful high-definition models and textures. They’re all modern-day guns you’d recognise from the likes of Call of Duty and ARMA, so if you’re a bit of a weapons nut and would like to replace Fallout’s rag-tag shooters with something more realistic, then this is the mod for you.
Weapons Mod Expanded
One of the most exciting things coming to Fallout 4 is the ability to modify weapons at a crafting bench, bolting on all kinds of additions like scopes, silences, and stocks. But you don’t have to wait for Fallout 4 for that kind of thing; just grab Weapons Mod Expanded for Fallout New Vegas and strap a laser sight onto your revolver, a choke on your shotgun, or a variety of other great and useful modifications for many of the game’s guns.
New Vegas Enhanced Camera
If you’re going for the immersive New Vegas experience, the one thing that’s going to get in your way is the camera. It makes you a floating set of eyes rather than a real person for starters, and every time you do something like sit down or die the game insists on pulling out to third person. Keep your eyes firmly in a body with the Enhanced Camera mod, which gives you a physical body you can actually see working, and won’t ever pull you out of it.
Every two levels you progress in Fallout, you get to choose a new perk to add to your ability-enhancing collection. But if the selection you have to pick from just isn’t good enough, then this mod is for you. It adds, as the name More Perks suggests, more perks to the game, adding bizarre abilities such as being able to spontaneously grow fruit from your own body, or become hopelessly addicted to stims.
King of the Ring
One of Fallout’s most unusual mods, King of the Ring adds boxing to the game. Step into the ring, slip on the gloves, and thump you opponent down to a third of their health to be crowned the winner.
Nipton is one of New Vegas’s key towns, but rather than being a hub of life it was razed to the ground. Nipton Rebuilt turns it into the town it could have been, and you can take control and become Mayor. With some funding from your own pocket, you can start to add new areas to Nipton and encourage its growth into a busy new location in the Mojave Wastes.
New Vegas Bounties
New Vegas Bounties is a new questline mod tasks you to hunt down and eliminate the Mojave Wasteland’s Most Wanted. A dastardly collection of rogue rangers, fiends, raiders, drug smugglers, cannibals, and pistoleros, they all have a massive price on their head waiting for you to collect. Be wary though: they’re all mean and tough, and won’t come along quietly.
A World of Pain
Adding a massive 114 new location to New Vegas, A World of Pain is the right choice for challenge-seeking explorers. Alongside smaller outposts is a huge underground complex, filled with difficult monster encounters and even a few quest lines. There’s plenty of loot to find, including MkII weapons to help you overcome these new difficult areas.
It didn’t take long before modders decided they needed to bring a bit of the unreleased Fallout 4 into New Vegas. The Garage Home, as seen in Fallout 4’s reveal, can now be yours to live in in Fallout: New Vegas, bringing with it a couple of new weapons for you to defend your new hovel with.
Whilst some mods have been inspired by Fallout 4’s reveal, other mods actually inspired Fallout 4’s development. Undoubtedly Wasteland Defence was one of them, which is a mod that allows you to build your own fortress, rig up a set of defensive measures, and then trigger raid attacks that you must fend off. Essentially a tower defence mini-game, it’s one of New Vegas’s most interesting and accomplished mods.
DUST Survival Simulator
Survival games are all the rage right now, and DUST transforms New Vegas into one, too. The whole game has been rebalanced to work as a survival sim, with thirst, hunger, and keeping yourself healthy now a main priority. Whatsmore, all friendly NPCs have been wiped out, meaning the only quest in the game is to simply survive.
A fully voiced quest line with 1,300 lines of dialogue, The Inheritance sees a mysterious stranger approach you with the request that you deliver a package. This unfolds into a choice-heavy main quest and a series of smaller side quests, all designed to be lore-friendly and offer a balance of ultra-violence and finesse approaches. It includes some interesting ‘evolving dungeons’, which if emptied of enemies will be occupied by a rival force when you next return.
Project Brazil is more than a mod; it’s a complete new campaign. You even select it from the New Game option on the main menu, and it has an opening cinematic and everything. You take on the role of an Orphan from California’s secretive Vault 18, and head out on a quest involving a war between the Super Mutants, the Survivalist Raiders, and the New California Republic. Six new companions can join you, and a whole new area in the Black Bear Mountain National Forest is available to explore. It’s basically an amazing piece of DLC, all for free.
Realistic Stealth Overhaul
Playing stealth has always been an option in Fallout, but never a particularly good one. Realistic Stealth makes a lot of changes to the systems to make sneaking about a far more effective approach, ensuring that detection is based on line of sight, and that back stabbings work as they should.
New Vegas has some of the best companions seen in a Fallout game, but we’ll never refuse additional buddies, provided they live up to Obsidian’s quality bar. Niner is a brilliant companion; tough, drug-addled, and dog loving. He’s voiced with over 500 lines of dialogue, and constantly makes observations about the world. He also has his own quest line that develops as you travel through the Mojave Wasteland.
Run the Lucky 38
The Lucky 38 casino and hotel is in need of a new owner, and you’re just the person. Re-open this establishment, put in some capital, and start to expand one room at a time with the Run the Lucky 38 mod. The casino is also a key part in some of Mr. House’s conspiracies and ventures, and having ownership of the place may shed light on one of New Vegas’s most shadowy characters, should you wish to investigate.
Josh Sawyer was director on Fallout New Vegas. When the game shipped, he wasn’t entirely happy with the final result, and so spent time tinkering and tweaking with the game’s core systems in the months after release. He went on to release the JSawyer mod, a set of big fixes and changes that work to bring New Vegas closer to his vision. The ‘Director’s Cut’ of New Vegas, if you will. You’ll find health is significantly reduced, how much you can carry is lower, and you can’t progress any higher than level 35. A distinctly more challenging experience for the hardcore Fallout fan.
Fallout: The Frontier
One to watch rather than grab now, The Frontier is currently in development and due to release late in 2015. Taking you to a brand new region of Portland, Oregon, The Frontier is a snowy wasteland designed to be super-harsh. The weather has an impact on your health, so you’ll need to dress appropriately or risk death by frostbite and hypothermia. The total conversion mod adds a main quest, side quests, hunting, and even a fire propagation system to the game.
If your anticipation is high for your next trip to a bombed-out apocalyptic shooter, you’ll want to read everything we know about Fallout 4’s storyline, new features, mods, and system requirements.