Fallout: New Vegas has stood the test of time in a way few other games have. Even thirteen years after its release, many fans call New Vegas the best the franchise has to offer. The game casts you as a courier in the post-apocalyptic Mojave Wasteland, a desert region on the brink of war. Your actions determine the fate of the land, and the game handles this weighty narrative excellently. This powerful story, coupled with the iconic setting and ambiance, has created a truly unforgettable title.
But while the legacy of Fallout: New Vegas has withstood the test of time, the game itself is showing its age. Its graphics are not getting any prettier as technology advances. New Vegas also suffers from some noticeable performance problems, especially on modern PCs. Players trying to revisit the game must contend with lag spikes, audio issues, and crashes. The game’s age also means that its biggest fans have likely seen most if not all it has to offer. If you want a more stable New Vegas experience with brand-new content, you should check out some of the many mods that have been created by fans since it launched. Here are a few of the best mods you can start with.
Just Assorted Mods
Despite the miscellaneous name, Just Assorted Mods, or JAM, is an indispensable collection of upgrades for Fallout: New Vegas. Created by modder Yvileapsis and others, JAM includes features like holding your breath for steadier aiming, a feature that’s now standard in Fallout 4. The mod adds dynamic crosshair and hit marker options, as well as visual objective markers to help navigate the Mojave. One of the most exciting new features is sprinting. It’s easy to get tired of the protagonist’s leisurely walking pace after multiple playthroughs. Adding the option to sprint goes a long way toward getting you into the action with less waiting.
Weapon Mods Expanded – WMX
Weapon Mods Expanded was created by legendary Fallout modder Antistar. His work on a similar mod for Fallout 3 inspired Obsidian to implement a weapon modding system into New Vegas. This New Vegas mod iterates on that system in a number of ways. With WMX, every single weapon, including unique guns, can receive up to three mods. You can also apply pre-existing mods to an expanded selection of guns. Of course, WMX also greatly expands the number of mods in the game. If you love Fallout: New Vegas but wish it had more of the dynamic weapon customization element found in Fallout 4, WMX is the mod for you.
The Living Desert
The Mojave Wasteland is excellently crafted and rich with history and conflict. But technical limitations and an infamously short development period have somewhat restrained its scope. As a consequence, certain parts of the world can feel empty, even when they shouldn’t be. Even though the game is set in a post-apocalyptic desert, it’s also a war ground between two massive armies, and the home of a prominent settlement in the form of the titular New Vegas. With such a cultural confluence at hand, the game could definitely stand to feel more lived in.
This is where ElPascal’s Living Desert mod comes into play. The mod adds more travelers and patrols wandering the roads to bring life to the setting. Scripted events will play out to make this influx of new NPCs feel more integrated to the world. Most excitingly, the Living Desert mod will react to your choices. Major events like wiping out the leaders of a certain faction or setting up an alliance between two gangs will cause dynamic events reflecting these changes throughout the wasteland. The mod even repopulates previously uninhabited locations on the map, introducing new groups of NPCs for you to contend with as you wander the Mojave.
LStewieAl’s Tweaks and Engine Fixes
Given the advanced age of Fallout: New Vegas, a mod that can help fine-tune the experience is very welcome. LStewieAl’s Tweaks and Engine Fixes is one of the best out there. It provides an overwhelming amount of changes to the game, from bug fixes in the game’s engine to optional changes to the gameplay experience itself. Using these tweaks, you can adjust how steep a slope you can walk over, modify the amount of XP you earn, sleep in chairs, and much, much more. With an old game like Fallout: New Vegas, there’s always a risk of pushing the system too far by installing too many mods. This massive mod removes that risk by adding more tweaks than you could ever need in one simple package.
Roleplayers Alternative Start Fallout New Vegas
Like its cousins from Bethesda, Fallout: New Vegas has a very long intro. Your new player character must sit through a lengthy conversation with Doc Mitchell, who guides you through the character creation process and gives you a brief tutorial in the basic mechanics of the game. This opening is well-written, and provides a good introduction to Fallout: New Vegas, but after multiple playthroughs, it can start to lose its welcome. Bethesda-published open world games often receive alternate start mods from fans, and New Vegas is no different.
One of the best alternative start mods in Fallout: New Vegas comes from Nexus Mods users Gribbleshnibit8, Pintocat, and Scaredwolf. Roleplayers Alternative Start not only lets you start a new save file without the scripted tutorial in Goodsprings, it lets you customize that start much more extensively than most similar mods. With this mod, you can craft a full history for your character, including faction and social status. All of these choices factor into your starting location, which the mod randomizes from a list of 95 hand-picked spots across the Mojave Wasteland. New starting quests give you a head start in the wasteland, and the skills you choose to excel in directly influence your starting gear. With Roleplayers Alternative Start, not only can you skip the Goodsprings tutorial, you can start a new life completely independent from the game’s storyline.
Project Nevada is a truly massive overhaul mod, introducing a wide array of new mechanics and features. These include tweaks to the core gameplay experience, as well as brand new mechanics and weapons. Fortunately, Project Nevada is also completely modular; players are welcome to pick and choose the parts that they’re most interested in playing with. If you’re worried about the stability of your copy of Fallout: New Vegas, this is a strong selling point on its own.
The core Project Nevada module features a comparatively modest spread of features, including immersive visor overlays for various helmets and goggles. Like the aforementioned JAM mod, Project Nevada includes a sprint mechanic, as well as a tackling system to knock opponents down in combat. Dynamic crosshairs, dedicated grenade hotkeys, and improved zoom for weapons with scopes help shake up combat encounters as well. The base modu ,le offers several more helpful features, and of course, it’s only the beginning. Other modules include cybernetic enhancements for your player character, optional difficulty scaling tweaks to increase the game’s challenge, and dozens of new firearms. With the help of Project Nevada, you can customize New Vegas to your heart’s content.
JSawyer Ultimate Edition
JSawyer is one of the most legendary mods for Fallout: New Vegas, and with good reason. Joshua Sawyer, lead designer and director of Fallout: New Vegas, created the mod himself. JSawyer contains the legendary developer’s personal tweaks, mostly based around rebalancing and increasing the difficulty of the game. While it’s not official by any means, it does provide insight into the creative process of the iconic game. It even restores some cut content that didn’t make it into the finished version of Fallout: New Vegas.
The original JSawyer mod came out not long after Fallout: New Vegas. Like the base game, it’s beginning to show its age. Luckily, fan and Nexus Mods user PushTheWinButton has recreated the mod as JSawyer Ultimate Edition. The mod has been rebuilt from the ground up to maintain compatibility with modern systems while retaining the original mechanics. This mod presents a substantial challenge compared with the base game. The maximum player level is much lower, and the amount of XP needed to level up is much higher. The player’s carry weight is also significantly lower, and the main healing item, Stimpaks, now have weight. Fallout: New Vegas fans who want a greater challenge devised by the lead developer himself should definitely check out JSawyer.
Like many other major video games, the list of mods for Fallout: New Vegas is virtually limitless. If you can imagine a change that could be made to the game, chances are there’s a mod out there that will make it happen. The mods presented here are just a few of the best the community has to offer. If you’re growing tired of the basic New Vegas experience, this is an excellent start for shaking things up.