full of mods
The Village of Nordhagen from the water

Not satisfied with your Fallout 4? Fear not, here are 75 Fallout 4 mods that will drastically improve your gaming experience.

November 10th, 2015 saw the release of the fifth main instalment of the Fallout game series, to mixed reviews. Of course the modding community would immediately try to fix some of the oversights with simple mods. But it’s taken until now, two years later, to really get to the point where the full potential of the game world can be explored and enjoyed.

Here are 75 (WOW) Fallout 4 mods that are essential in getting the BEST possible play experience out of the game. Whether you got it on launch night and you want to replay it from scratch, or you’re just getting it now, this guide will help you get a whole new game.

Pre-game

If you’re getting these all from the Nexus, the easiest way to install and use them is the NMM, which you can get from the Nexus site.

Before you start loading up a pile of mods, it should be made clear that many of these mods will require the Fallout 4 Script Extender. F4SE allows many previously limited Vanilla functions to be Extended by a mod, so get that FIRST.

After that, you’ll want to get the Mod Configuration Menu. A recent addition, so not many mods use it yet, but expect more and more to be updated for compatibility in the future.
Oh, and since Bethesda hates to be corrected, they patched in a function that turned off achievements for modded games. This mod fixes that.

And of course read the descriptions and file lists so you don’t miss any compatibility patches between these mods and any others you may have/want.

Startup Mods

Start Me Up

The choice to mix a traditionally open-world game with an unusually linear character backstory had some severe effects on the feel of the game. Where previous games would give the player character (PC) a light backstory with an almost improvisational motive for being in the story, FO4 had the PC start all the way back before the war, with a family and established morals and motivations.

Start Me Up provides a more open start, allowing you to choose what your background is without abandoning the whole main quest. You can go full vanilla, you can go vanilla but skip the arduous opening sequence (saving 10 to 30 minutes of pointless gameplay), or you can go right off the rails and start in some random location with an assortment of gear and a hint that there may be a vault to the North.

alt start mods are hard
Good thing you woke up from that creepy dream.

CBBE + BodySlide + Superhero Bodies

These three mods together fix the glaring oversight Bethesda made in their character design: it’s not very good. The vanilla player character models are low-poly, the textures are anaemic, and the body shape options are so limited they may as well not exist.

With the three of these mods you can create a highly detailed, highly customised character to play as, ranging from the hyperrealistic to the physically absurd.

To add detail to the facial part of the PC I suggest adding LooksMenu.

The only real problem remaining between these mods is that Bethesda, in their quest for simplicity, use the same models for both the PC and the NPCs. So your super-custom character, representing 3 hours of your life, is going to be on every shopkeep, farmer and raider you see, unless you also install: Unique Player Body System and More Varied Body Shapes.

Establishing Yourself

Better Settlers + Diverse Children + Orphans of the Commonwealth

Now that we’ve fixed the oversights of the PC, we can spend some time on the NPCs you’ll be spending a fair amount of time with: your citizens.

The settler system in FO4 is surprisingly stable, but the settlers are all carbon copies, and not very bright. The three of these mods will improve the A.I. and habits of settlers, as well as add child settlers to the spawn lists because of course there will be children looking for a place to settle down in post-apocalyptia Todd! Diverse Children will ensure that they don’t all look the same, not only in your settlements but out in the wild too Todd!

settlement mods make post-apoc homesteading more realistic
Kids gotta earn their keep too. That’s an actual line BTW.

For an extra level of realism, you can add Killable Children and Raider Children, because that’s also a thing that would happen in post-apocalyptia. But I won’t judge you for not wanting that in your game.

Homemaker + Functional Displays + Mo Betta Scrap + Place Everywhere + Settlement Supplies Expanded

The concept of the settlement system is great, but the vanilla implementation was lacking in several areas. The placement system limited creative civil design, the privet hedges were permanent for some stupid reason, and why are we still limited to living in broken down suburb cookie-cutter houses or cabins made of garbage?

These five mods expand and improve the vanilla building system to be much more inclusive and open, so you can do a lot more with your little communities.

building mods can get a little silly
Homemaker also has things that are NOT homes.

Sim Settlements

Where the above five improved the vanilla settlement system, Sim Settlements aims to create a whole different way of managing your little towns. Why should you, the General of the Minutemen, Saviour of the Commonwealth, be building every log cabin in the State?

With Sim Settlements, your citizens can build their own damn civilisation! This is essentially a civic zoning system where you place building lots and agricultural plots and defensive positions, and then just leave. Your settlers will build whatever assortment of homes and businesses they see fit on the lots you’ve specified, and can upgrade them automatically.

Or you can defeat the whole purpose of the mod and micromanage the place if you really want to.

town-building mods can be fun
Small town civic planning at its’ finest. Now if only the pond was clean…

The only downside is that the residential system is so low-density I find myself building boarding houses in the smaller settlements anyway. But there are a surprising number of expansion packs for Sim Settlements, so maybe someone will make one for apartment buildings. You can find all the expansions on their Wiki.

Snappy Housekits

The Snappy system is another option for making big, beautiful communities on your land. The pieces range from prebuilts in small, medium and large, to individual pieces that you can use to create sprawling mansions, compounds, palaces, or even highrise apartments.

building mods can be impressive fallout 4 mods
Snappy prebuilt large house. Shed for scale.

Miscellaneous Settlement Mods

These are self-explanatory, and very useful in settlements, especially if you’re using the above mods:

Working Food Planters
Solar Panels
Quieter Settlements
Longer Power Lines
Higher Settlement Budget
Crafting Workbenches
Brighter Settlement Lights
Better Generators
Settlement Keywords Expanded
Advanced Settlement Turrets Set
A Rainbow of (Child) Beds
Craftable Working Showers etc…
Conduits and Pylons Various Power Ranges
Disassemble and Transport Junk Chem
Immersive Generic Dialogues
Lootable Vault-Tec Containers and Wood Crates
Mystic Pines Settlement Tall
Settlement Markers
Snappable Junk Fences
Spring Cleaning (steady hands only)
Stackable Concrete Foundations

Gameplay Mods

Touch of Green + Vivid Fallout + True Storms

These three make the environment more believable and less boring to look at. Touch of green adds green to much of the vanilla dead plant life. Because if it’s 200 years later and plants still haven’t come back, there won’t be enough oxygen for everyone anyway. The game would consist of you stepping out of the vault and finding out there hasn’t been a soul alive for 50 years and eventually you die from chronic oxygen deprivation.

Vivid fallout is an improved texture pack that actually takes less VRAM to display than the vanilla textures. The texture files are smaller, but more detailed, so you end up getting somewhat better visuals, and a significant improvement in FPS.

This is especially important on a lower power machine, and in zones with a lot of stuff to render, like downtown.
Also good for FPS: Fog Remover.

True Storms is a fully independent weather system vastly superior to the vanilla game. There are times I have to look outside to see whether the thunder I’m hearing is real or in-game. It’s THAT good.

the best three environment mods at the same time fallout 4 mods
It’s raining, it’s greening, look at that bark texture too…

We Are the Minutemen

WATM seeks to make the Minutemen, a supposed army, act like an army. WATM adds patrols, better uniforms, and management options. It also reduces the number of distress calls you get over the radio, because nobody is attacking Fort Starlight THAT often!

now if only we had some better dog armour mods fallout 4 mods
Two Minutemen and their dog out on Patrol.

Worsin’s Immersive Power Armour Garage

The most annoying thing about Power Armour in FO4, aside from the fact that it breaks the rules of previous games, is the lack of customisability. WIPAG adds an enormous selection of visual upgrades to Power Armour, with packs available from flames to an assortment of camouflage.
Goes well with More Power Armour Mods and Jetpacks Unlimited

More Where That Came From

Diamond City Radio is a small and limited station with a very annoying announcer. While we can’t do much about the announcer, we can expand the rest of the station.

Through the magic of modding, we can add 111 lore-friendly songs that were not previously in the rotation. It’s quite pleasant to have such variety, especially when most IRL stations have about the same selection as the Vanilla station.

Full Dialogue Interface

Remember the good old days when people fully thought about what to say before they started talking? Yeah that. This mod brings back the full text dialogue options so you know exactly what you’re about to say before you say it. Available in a variety of visual styles.

Hidden Goodies

This mod is one of my own (shameless self-plug). I found that much of the world map was untouched by the main and side quests. But I went exploring anyway, and there’s a lot of detailed stuff out there.

So I put together this mod to encourage exploration, by planting interesting things in all these underutilised locations. It spans the whole map, even the Glowing Sea, so have fun finding all this stuff.

one of many little mods in the big hidden goodies mod
Just a silly little modded weapon I made. They say it’s been soaked in so much rum and acid rain it’ll kill you if you drop it on your foot.

Illuminated Billboards

The assorted billboards and posters of the Commonwealth are beautifully crafted, but easy to ignore. This is especially true at night. Bring in the Radium paint!

While we realised the dangers of radioactive paint some time ago, Fallout world never did. This mod makes all these posters luminous so you can appreciate the art even at 2:00 A.M.

too bad there aren't cheaper sandwich mods fallout 4 mods
Little steep for a sandwich… Runaway inflation, if we’re not careful that’ll be a thing IRL.

Lowered Weapons

If someone walked up to you with their gun pointing right in your face, you’d assume you’re getting mugged. Even, or especially, in post-apocalyptia, basic firearms etiquette is important.

Lowered Weapons adds a first-person animation set that points your weapon down and left while you’re not firing. Makes trading with some random much less confrontational.

Mellow Scavvers

Speaking of trading, why are the vanilla scavengers so trigger-happy? They’re never going to make any money if they shoot their potential customers. So I made a mod that fixes this (another shameless self-plug).

The vanilla scavvers used the same A.I. package as the raiders, so I made a unique package for the scavengers. Now they won’t shoot you for coming close, and they’ll even sell you stuff.

IDK why there aren't other mods that fix this fallout 4 mods
Before my mod, she’d have shot you soon as look at you. Why’s she got a firing range in the woods anyway?

PIP-Pad

The vanilla PIP-Boy is a novel idea at first, but it gets old when you start changing outfits. You put on a suit, you want to see the suit. You put on armour, and you want to see the armour. But the PIP-Boy is ALWAYS there!

Now, you could get one of the PIP-Boy invisibility mods, but that’s less immersive than wearing it to bed. So you get the PIP-Pad! Now you can avoid the problem of wearing a PIP-Boy permanently, and still have a logical excuse to use V.A.T.S.

The PIP-Pad has a handful of auxiliary skins as well, in case you don’t like the look of the original.

often overlooked among other immersion mods fallout 4 mods
PIP-Pad with Tron skin. Looks even better if you change the screen colour.

Welcome to Goodneighbor

I remember walking into vanilla Goodneighbor and being overwhelmed by how underwhelmed I was. WTG expands Goodneighbor quite a bit, adding detail and new buildings, shops and encounters. You really feel like you’re walking in a small town for the disenfranchised now.

Modular Leather Armour

The leather armour in the vanilla game is ‘OK’. But it’s 2287 dag-gummit! You want, nay, you NEED armour that’s better than ‘OK’!

Well now you can have it. Modular Leather Armour is a complete system of customisable leather armour. There is a variety of colours, styles, and loadouts to customise YOUR character’s look. You can even have armour that doesn’t show up at all if you want, without losing protection.

Don’t forget to get the CBBE or SHB packs if you’re using those mods.

NPCs Travel

Despite the plethora of stuff in the wilds of the Commonwealth, it feels lonely sometimes. That’s because there’s nobody around.

NPCs Travel adds 276 new NPCs for you to encounter on your epic journey. Their locations are random, so you’ll never know who you’ll meet or where.

Publick Occurrences Expanded

How does Piper pay the bills? She’s supposedly a journalist, but I’ve only ever seen her put out four issues.

POE adds a large collection of issues for you to read, including reports on stuff YOU do. There’s still the matter of getting the articles to Nat so she can print and distribute. But you’re going there to sell chems to Solomon anyway right? Wait, you’re exchanging junk with crazy Myrna, that’s it.

Hellway to Spectacle Island

Yes, that’s the correct title; no it’s not ironic. This mod adds a sandbar with a crumbling road between Warwick Homestead and Spectacle Island.

Two things about Spectacle island annoy me: Raiders and Provisioners. There’s no way the raiders are swimming across the irradiated ocean just to mess with you. And the Provisioners aren’t swimming a Brahmin loaded with supplies over either. So how are they getting there? Magic. Magic is the only explanation in the vanilla game. But now we have a new explanation.

One caveat though: There’s a reason this is called a ‘Hellway’. I won’t spoil it, but I will say: I hope you like shellfish.

Bow and Arrow

How is it that nobody in post-apocalyptia knows what a bow is? It’s one of the oldest projectile systems, and comparatively simple to make.

Well you’re no dummy, so now you can make a bow, and arrows, and any number of mods. The animations are not great – it looks like you’re holding a rifle – but PC animations are difficult, so give it time. Next up: the sling (maybe).

the only truly essential of the weapon mods currently fallout 4 mods
Not bad group. Just like a real bow, it takes some getting used to the arc.

Any Terminal at Any Height

Is Bethesda heightist? Probably just lazy. But it’s still annoying if you want to play a taller or shorter character.

Whether by console command or using the included ‘magic tool’, you can change the size of your character. But the terminals are very picky about the height of their users. This mod allows you to use a character of non-standard height, AND any terminal. Sometimes you have to use it twice for it to work… Bethesda’s fault.

Everyone’s Best Friend

Dogmeat is the best, isn’t he? Everyone loves Dogmeat, so he should be on ALL our adventures. Why then does the vanilla game insist on leaving him behind when you want to travel with someone else?

Well, let me tell you something, it wasn’t supposed to. The original plan was to have Dogmeat available as a permanent companion, and everyone ELSE would get swapped out. This mod returns that option.

Improved Map with Visible Roads

The vanilla map is awful. Nobody wants to use a grainy, vague map with no roads on it. So now we don’t have to, we’ve got a better one. This mod has a number of options, all of them better than the vanilla map in some way.

Move (Get Out The Way)

Your companions, your settlers, your dog, they all have one thing in common. Sometimes they will stand in your way. And I’m not talking figuratively. I mean they will literally stand in a doorway or stairwell or narrow hallway, and they will not move.

This mod allows you to shove them, or any random NPC, out of the way without doing any physical damage or ‘aggroing’ them.

Lightning Round

Here are a few mods that affect the overall gameplay, but are minor and whose titles are self-explanatory:

Read Notes from Containers and Corpses
Streetlight Radius Fix
Better Mod Descriptions
Configurable Power Armour Fusion Core Drain
Essential Professor (Goodfeels)
Expanded Ballistic Weave
Faster Terminal Displays

What are you still doing here? Go play!

Let’s not forget that the true value of a game is the fun you have playing it, and despite its many flaws, vanilla Fallout 4 WAS fun.

So if you’re not interested in replay value or immersion, or getting the most out of your experience, feel free to ignore this article completely. I understand.

But if you like this kind of thing, drop a comment or a like. And if you know of any mods you think are essential, that I’ve missed, feel free to embarrass me publicly.
Wouldn’t be the first time…