Setting up Fallout 4 to work with Mods & ENB
These changes are absolutely necessary for Fallout 4 to work properly with mods. If you start
the game before making these changes, Fallout 4
will most likely not make it past the main-menu before crashing.
With the exception of number 4 and 5, these changes are absolutely necessary for Fallout 4 to work with mods.
1: Drivers Settings
2: INI files
4: Texture Compression (Optional, but highly recommended)
5: Windows (Optional)
1 - Drivers Settings
In order for the ENB to work properly, the games own anti aliasing MUST be disabled
Open up the nVidia Control Panel, go to "Manage 3D settings" and choose "Program Settings" and find Fallout 4.
Set the following parameters:
|Anti aliasing - FXAA||Off|
|Anti aliasing - Gamma correction||Off|
|Anti aliasing - Mode||Off|
|Anti aliasing - Transparency||Off|
|Threaded Optimization||On *ONLY if you have a multi-core CPU|
The ENB uses it's own anti aliasing. Enabling the drivers AA at the same time
will result in weird errors like flickering textures, stutter, incorrect
brightness and missing effects.
*If you use ATI/AMD or Intel graphic card, use Google to find out how to apply similar settings.
2 - INI Files
Some mods require certain settings in "Fallout4.ini",
"Fallout4Custom.ini" and "Fallout4Prefs.ini".
*The files are usually located here: "C:\Users\(USERNAME)\Documents\My Games\Fallout4\"
Open the file with notepad and add/change the following lines:
*Add this only if you have a
[General] *Needed for the mod, Ultra Quality God Rays Performance Fix
[General] *These settings will generally improve performance when using mods
uExterior Cell Buffer=64
[General] *Needed for a couple of mods with new locations
[General] *These are my recommended settings. Lower numbers = shorter loading times, but higher chances of degraded textures
[General] *If the settings above are too demanding for your system, use these settings instead. It will still help prevent degraded textures
[Display] *Prevents a rare error with black textures at a certain angle
[Grass] *This is only needed if you use the green vegetation mods
[Interface] *Set any FOV value you want. I prefer 90, but use any. (Default is 75)
[Archive] *Needed to load mods
[HAVOK] *Add this only if you have a multi-core CPU
[Controls] *Reduces mouse-lag
[Archive] *Needed to load mods
Add/change the following lines:
[General] *This is only needed if you use the
green vegetation mods
Add/change the following lines:
*Needed to load mods
[Display] *Gives better performance than true full-screen
[Display] *Change these numbers to match your resolution
[Display] *These are my recommended settings. Higher/lower numbers gives shorter/longer shadow drawing distance. Details: (LINK)
[Display] *Prevents a rare error with black textures at a certain angle
[Display] *This should force the engine to only load high quality textures
[Display] *Reduces mouse-lag
[Display] *Needed for FallUI
[Camera] *These are my recommended settings. It controls the camera distance in 3rd person view. Higher numbers = More distance
Launch the game and make sure everything works
proceed to the Mod-List
*The rest of this section is for after the mods have been installed
3 - Load-Order
Info: The load-order is a list that determines in which order Fallout 4
loads additional content (mods). The load-order has 255 slots which are loaded into the
memory one by one in the exact order they are listed, top to bottom. If identical data
appears (If two mods contain data in the same records), then the last mod
(furthest down), overwrites whatever came
before. Also, if a mod has references to another mod, this other mod HAS to be
listed in the load-order before the mod with the dependency. If a mod is
depending on something that is missing or listed later in the load-order,
will either not load those mods, load them with errors, or not even start. Besides dependencies, some mods
also edit the same data, and the load-order dictates which data takes priority.
These "conflicts" can cause all kind of errors if the mods are not placed correctly. Having a correct load-order is
absolutely necessary for the game to work with mods.
If you didn't install all mods, but lets say, only installed the ones without a colored square, then you won't find all these items in your own load-order. Whenever an item is "missing", just skip it, but keep everything else in the exact same order from top to bottom.
Note: DON'T use Loot. I know it's tempting to have a program sort the whole thing, but unfortunately Loot isn't able to sort the list correctly. You can of course start by sorting with Loot, but then you NEED to correct the load-order yourself afterwards.
Start NMM and click the "Plugins" tab. Then sort everything according to this list
*Items with red text should be unchecked
Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch.esp
TheMarshland.esm *I recommend disabling this file until you want to use the "Marshland DLC" mod
StarlightDriveInAndDiner - COOLBLUETRIM.esl
Fixed Gobo Effects.esp
Laser Weapon Sound FIX.esp
bleu Nuka Cola Storage Rack Fix.esp
Vault 111 Floor Guide Fix.esp
Mole Rat Disease Fix.esp
More Realistic Cats.esp
Reverb and Ambiance Overhaul.esp
Waterworld - Very Translucent.esp
Basic Ammo Crafting.esp
Crimsomrider's Unique Furniture.esp
Canned Goods Crafting.esp
Craftable Vault 81 Cure (Earned).esp
Firelance2.5.esp *I recommend disabling this file until you want to use the "Xander's Aid - Neeher DLC" mod
SakhalinWasteland.esp *I recommend disabling this file until you want to use the "Fallout Sakhalin" mod
cat_wildlands.esp *I recommend disabling this file until you want to use the "Barrenwood" mod
RAO - OWR patch.esp
plenty 'o' exploration.esp
Calvin Coolidge Institute.esp
Eli_Chestnut Lodge DLC.esp
Immersive S Boston Military Checkpoint.esp
Solace Player Home.esp
Submarine Base Echo.esp
The Lost Vault.esp
Eli_Faction Housing Overhaul - AiO.esp
Eli_Rockin Red Rocket.esp
Eli_Crafting Shiz 9000.esp
The Eyes Of Beauty.esp
Synth Overhaul - Black Patch.esp
Synth Overhaul - No level requirements Patch.esp
Synth Overhaul - White Patch.esp
dD-Action Ragdoll Force.esp
Realistic Death Physics - ALL DLC.esp
AR70 Assault Rifle.esp
Enclave Paint DLC.esp
DA Lingerie Set black.esp
Dickys Pinup Outfit.esp
Dicky_s Pinup Outfit - AE AWKCR VISG.esp
HACS Red Dress.esp
Cammy Tactical Suit.esp
VtawWardrobe5.esp *I recommend disabling this file during play-through, and enable it for screenshots only
TNR Shoulder Lamp.esp
TNR Shoulder Lamp - Settings.esp
Hot Mama Bandits Gunners 04.esp
Hot Mama Bandits - Raiders 05.esp
Hot Mama Mechanist.esp
Hot Mama NPCs IX-B.esp
Hot Mama Bandits Children of Atom 03.esp
Hot Mama Companion Piper.esp
Hot Mama Institute Courser.esp
Hot Mama Murphy.esp
Hot Mama NPCs Settlers 20.esp
Yet Another Cait.esp
Multiple Floors Sandboxing.esp
FO4 NPCs Travel.esp
AA FusionCityRising - HotC.esp
AA HotC - Standalone - SE.esp
AA HotC - Standalone - SE - AE Patch.esp
Lasers Have No Recoil.esp
Improved Jetpack Flight Model.esp
Faster Terminal Displays (20x).esp
Live Dismemberment - Mental.esp
Live Dismemberment - Mind-Blowing.esp
Live Dismemberment - POSTAL.esp
Live Dismemberment - Brutal.esp
Live Dismemberment - Insane-o.esp
Live Dismemberment - Liebermode.esp
Live Dismemberment - Regular.esp
FO4 Timescale 3.esp
Cel Respawn Timer 96.esp
Fixed flickering puddles.esp
Remove Interior Fog - All Dlc.esp
Wasteland Workshop Streetlights.esp
When done sorting the list, launch the game and make sure everything works
*You will most likely experience heavy lag while moving over a distance. Don't worry. The next step will fix that.
Note: If you start a new game, and the loading-screen seems to be stuck, just hit "Enter" a couple of times. This may happen because some of the mods show a splash-screen. When starting a new game, the splash-screen from mods sometimes doesn't show, even if active. This pauses the game from loading. Just hit "Enter" a couple of times, and everything will load properly.
4 - Texture Compression
Due to the vast amount of high resolution textures, it is highly recommended to
compress the texture folder into ba2 files. Fallout 4 can read much
faster from a ba2 archives, instead of loose texture files. Even if you play the
game from a dedicated SSD, loading time and in-game texture streaming will be
significantly faster when packed into ba2 archives.
For this, you need the latest Archiver2 tool from Bethesda. If you don't want to install the entire Creation Kit just to get this tool, download it here (LINK) instead. Unpack to anywhere you want.
Note: This step should only be performed once you have installed all the mods you want to use.
Compressing the textures:
1: Launch Archiver2
2: Go to Settings
3: Set format to: DDS (This will compress the file in a way that is faster for seeking)
4: Set Maximum Archive Size to 2000. (Larger archives will slow down texture streaming)
5: Select "Add folder"
6: Go to the Texture folder inside Fallout 4/Data, and click "Select Folder"
7: Wait till all textures are listed. (This may take a couple of seconds) Then click "Save As"
8: Go to the Data folder inside the Fallout 4 folder, choose a name (In this example "Texture_Bundle") then click "Save"
*Don't worry if you see some red lines with errors. They are actually not errors. It's just the tool indicating that a certain file won't be added to the archive. No textures will be left out. This only occur if a mod author for example left a photoshop files or forgot to remove a thumbnail.db file from a mod. Files that actually shouldn't be in texture folder anyway. Those files will be excluded, as the DDS method only allows for textures to be included.
9: Wait till the process is done, then exit Archiver2. (It will take some time)
When done, open the Data folder and see how many files the tool generated.
In this example the tool created 6 files (Texture_Bundle01.ba2, Texture_Bundle02.ba2, Texture_Bundle03.ba2 ....)
10: Add the file-names to [Archive] in Fallout4.ini
*The file is usually located here: "C:\Users\(USERNAME)\Documents\My Games\Fallout4\"
Open and edit with notepad
Find "sResourceIndexFileList=", and add the file-names after what's already there. (See image for an example)
11: Save and close.
12: The only thing left to do, is renaming the uncompressed texture folder, otherwise the game will still use the loose files, instead of the archives you just created. Go to the Data folder inside the Fallout 4 game-folder, and rename the "Textures" folder to e.g. "Textures_Backup".
If you need the space, then you can safely delete the folder instead, as you can always extract the files again from the archives. Just note that whenever you want to add, remove or update a mod that contains loose texture files, then you will have to do the process again. Adding/removing mods will be a lot faster if you already have the unpacked textures in a backup folder.
That's it. The game will now be able to load textures significantly faster, which should eliminate any stutter or persistent low-res textures.
Note: You can also pack other files than textures, but that will not help performance. This may in fact have the opposite effect.
Congratulations! The game is finally ready.
Launch the game and notice the smooth, lag-free HD experience
*If the game is still laggy, maybe you forgot to delete/rename the Texture folder? (Number 12 above)
5 - Windows (Optional)
Having a fast and stable system is absolutely necessary to run a heavily modded Skyrim. If you have a high-end system, you should have nothing to worry about, even with all mods installed. But if you have a semi-old or medium-spec system, it will be put to the test. Skyrim needs the best possible conditions to perform.
Optimizing Windows is kind of a huge subject, so this won't be a detailed tutorial, but rather a suggestion of what to look out for.
1: Make sure your system is virus/mal-ware free. (It's a given, but I'm
writing it anyway)
2: Have as few unnecessary programs running in the background as possible.
3: Never have real-time anti-virus programs running. 99% of anti-virus software can and will significantly slow down any computer, all while doing an extraordinarily poor job at protecting against viruses. The best way to protect your computer against mal-ware and viruses, is by having a great firewall, preferably at router level, so nothing gets to the computer in the first place.
4: If you use a software firewall on your computer (Not all routers have great firewalls), then use one that doesn't require a lot of resources. Also turn off the useless built-in Windows firewall & services. I can recommend Comodo Firewall. It's free and can be customized to use very little resources while doing a pretty decent job.
5: Get rid of junk-driver-programs. Keep the drivers of course, but uninstall or disable the useless services that constantly run in the background. Like scanner, printer or audio "service" programs that comes with most drivers.
6: Get rid of junk-apps. Weather apps, search bars and joke apps etc., They use your connection to bring you useless commercials and junk, which takes up recourses.
7: Get rid of PunkBuster, if you have it. Go to services, and check if "PnkBstrA" and/or "PnkBstrB" are running. If they are, stop and disable them. (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services) *If you use Comodo Firewall, you can block PunkBuster from ever being installed again, and prohibit execution of any PunkBuster services. You would be surprised how many games that silently install this garbage program. It's a good idea to check, even if you never installed PunkBuster yourself.
8: Clean the temp-files. I can recommend CClean. It's free, and comes in both 32bit and 64bit versions.
9: Check Windows start-up list and disable any and all useless junk programs. I can recommend CClean for this too. (Tools - Startup)
10: Clean Windows Task Scheduler. Get rid of the useless checks that makes your system slow down at randomly when Windows hit a timer. (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Task Scheduler)
11: Never ever use iTunes. Besides being the slowest, most incompatible and absolute worst media player ever made, it will also decrease performance on any system, and runs the weirdest background "services" at random. I would recommend to stay away from any Apple products in general. No offence to Apple-users, but Apple is simply just not capable of making quality software.
12: Stop and disable useless background services. (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services) *I made a recommended list: (LINK)
13: If you have a multi-core CPU, like a Core-i5, i7 or i9, disable Core parking. (Google how, there are lots of guides)
14: Always have the latest graphics card drivers installed. Don't use the ones from Windows update. Get it from the manufactures website instead.
GeForce Drivers (LINK)
AMD Drivers (LINK)
15: Make sure that you have the latest drivers and redistributables installed. List here: (LINK)
More Windows 10 specific tips