Mods Fill Fallout with a Breath of Fresh, New Air

I’m a console player. Have been and probably always will be. I was lucky enough to be gifted a beautiful Razer Blade laptop this past Christmas, but there’s just something about holding a controller and listening to the gentle whrrr of the Xbox’s fans that I just can’t escape. When Fallout 4 released on a slightly chilly November evening in San Francisco, you can bet I had my eyes set on the Xbox One’s copy. Sure, I’d miss out on turning Deathclaws into Randy Savage or amping up the reality of the wastelands, but I’d at least get to run around and steal everything that wasn’t hammered down. You can only imagine my surprise when I heard all those mods might be a possibility for consoles, too.

The Fallout 4 PC community has been busy making mods since day one; creating the coolest, strangest, funniest, best-of-the-best mods for all PC players to enjoy. While us console plebs sit in our darkened rooms running never-ending errands for that damn Preston. (I get it, dude. You need my help. But the rest of the Capital Wasteland does, too. And their quests are way more interesting.) But our wait time is almost over! Grab some Nuka Colas and Gwinett Brews and rejoice! Mods are making their way to the consoles. According to Bethesda, Xbox One players should expect mods in May, while PS4 should expect them in June. The Mods will be released in a new DLC named “Creation Kit.” According to Polygon the DLC is “…[a] free toolset based on the same utilities Bethesda used to make the games. The kit facilitates the sharing of the mods.” A whole new world of possibilities have been opened for the world of Fallout 4. So, without further ado, here are the five Fallout mods I’d blow up Megaton for.

Bring Nature Back Into the Wastes

The world has been utterly destroyed, but Mother Nature has battled her way through it and survived. It sure doesn’t feel that way when your Sole Survivor takes their first steps into the Commonwealth, though. Of course the land will be a bit arid, the water will be tainted with radiation, and the animals have mutated into horrible creatures, but it sure looks bland on the TV screen. PC Players had the same thought and promptly created some mods to bring Mother Nature back in Fallout 4. “Enhanced Wasteland,” “Vivid Landscapes,” and, my personal favorite, “True Storms” are all deserving of a worthy shared spot. When combined, they create a whole new Wasteland. “Enhanced Wasteland” and “Vivid Landscapes” are pretty self-explanatory; a more beautiful Commonwealth is ready to be explored by battle-scarred survivors. “True Storms” is a bit more of an interesting mod. I’ve only experienced three types of weather in the Wastes: sunny, rainy, and ominous-radiation green storms. While the radiation storms have me running to the nearest building (while cringing in my seat because I hate the sound), the rain is more of an inconvenience at most. “True Storms” brings the rain, snow, fog, hail, and radioactive storms that make the Glowing Sea seem like a day at the beach with Dogmeat. “True Storms” features long-lasting weather, more extreme weather, and players can even customize the options to their own tastes. Make it rain (literally), Bethesda!

What was I saying…?

Bethesda upped their game for Fallout 4 when it came to dialogue. The Sole Survivor has a voice! (Alas, the Lone Wanderer still remains a mute.) The Sole Survivor is voiced by either Mass Effect’s Courtenay Taylor or Halo’s Brian. T Delaney, giving the character another layer of depth. The problem is you kind of have no idea exactly what your Sole Survivor is going to say. During conversations you have four vague options to choose from, often one of the options is just labeled “Sarcastic.” Okay then. I’m sarcastic and dry as the Sahara Desert, but even I like to formulate my snark before I unleash it on the world. Earlier Fallout games feature a menu list with your character’s dialogue options (though they were mute…) Luckily, modders have a solution to this problem as well. With a simple installation of this mod, you can see what your Sole Survivor could say next. Now do you don’t have to reload a previous save because you didn’t like what you said.

Ammo needs love, too

I’ve always been a fan of crafting in Bethesda games. I want my armor to protect my ass, I want my weapons to shoot some ass, and I want some potions to cure my ass (or make me a superhero.) The crafting is especially detailed in Fallout 4, each piece of armor and each weapon can be optimized to the player’s tastes. You can create whatever ingredient you need for armor, weapons, and various settlement structures at the chemistry table. But you have to loot bullets off corpses. The “Craftable Ammunition” mod allows players to craft their ammo! It’s as simple as it sounds. The mod includes every type of ammo in the game and allows you to create all that ammunition at a chemistry station. No more touching gross ghouls or smelly super mutants. Ammo is at the tip of your fingers.

“There’s just something hypnotic about maps.”

I get lost walking a new way to work, so Google maps are an essential in my real life. It’s definitely the same sentiment when it comes to video games. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gotten lost in a damned dilapidated building in Fallout. The “Improved Map with Visible Roads” mod gives the Pip-Boy map one hell of a makeover. It not only display visible roads but areas of water, train tracks, and topography. It also improves the placement of map markers, allows players to add a gridline to the map, and has adjustable brightness! Never again will you have to walk around empty buildings in circles. But even with that mod I’d still get lost…

Great job, pupper!

I think it’s an almost undeniable fact that Dogmeat is the cutest follower the Sole Survivor will ever have. And he loves you no matter how many houses you rob. I always wonder what he’s up to back at the Red Rocket Station when I’m off finding my son. But now with the “Be the Dog” mod, I can see the post-apocalyptic world through his eyes. This mod allows you to play as a copy of Dogmeat (or any other puppy found in the wasteland.) Instead of barking to friends and strangers, he speaks with an East Coast accent. The Sole Survivor dog even comes equipped with his own puppy-sized Pip-Boy. The best part? You can still have Dogmeat as a follower! Two heroic pups traversing the Wastes! What could be better? There are a few setbacks to playing as a dog, though. Without thumbs you really can’t hold onto those firearms. Luckily, Sole Survivor dog has a few vicious attacks. The setbacks aren’t much of a problem compared to the novelty and humor of playing as an adorable German Shepherd. So, grab your puppy pack and conquer the Commonwealth!

Honorable Mention: Deacon Romance

I cannot be the only one in the Fallout fandom that wished Deacon was a romanceable follower. His snark, lies, and constant wardrobe changes are enough to make anyone swoon. The Sole Survivor can get busy with a robot, but a Wasteland bad boy is off limits apparently. I’ve scoured the internet for a solution to this problem, and from what I can surmise, the only way Deacon will notice me is if I make craft a damn love potion. I feel like I can speak on behalf of Deacon fangirls and fanboys everywhere that we demand a mod to make our bad boy ours forever.

Mods add a unique and interesting twist to video games. Games that feel stale and boring are transformed into a brand new obsession. I’m counting down the days until these great mods are made available to console players. Don’t forget to tell us what your favorite mod is in the comments! I’ll be off creating a whole new apocalypse.

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