Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

 This topic has been pinned, so it's probably important
BenWah May 1, 2013 @ 1:51pm
ULTIMATE Fallout 3 Setup Guide READ THIS!
(Please skip this link and comment temporarily as i haven't had time to update this other version yet) An easier to follow version of this guide,
with more pics & vids and more updated is clickable below:

Those without any ATI or Nvidia card, who only have integrated intel HD graphics need step 4. Almost all other common crashes should have been fixed the recent update patch.

* Dual monitors? Either disable 2nd monitor (Windows key + P) or set same res on both.
* Causes fallout 3 crashes: teamspeak "overwolf", ASUS xonar "gx" & GamerOSD.

IF CRASHING WHEN CLICKING "PLAY" in the fallout launcher:
Click "options" and set your resolution to your desktop res, or try windowed mode.

In rare cases (badly modded prior installs and bad guides) it might be necessary to delete the 3 files found in C:\users\yourname\Documents\My Games\Fallout 3
(don't delete Saves folder). These will be recreated when you next run the game.

2) This step should not be needed anymore since a recent patch, but I'll wait a few months before deleting it.
This step solves most random and post-intro movie new game crashes!
Especially crashes when hearing the baby cry.

  • Edit with notepad:
  • My Documents\my games\Fallout3\FALLOUT.INI
    or C:\users\yourname\Documents\My Games\Fallout3\FALLOUT.ini
  • This may appear as "FALLOUT" in windows explorer.
  • IMPORTANT: DO NOT EDIT Fallout_default.ini !!! You're in the wrong directory!!!
  • find (control F) bUseThreadedAI=0
  • CHANGE to bUseThreadedAI=1
  • Immediately after this line, ADD this new line:
  • iNumHWThreads=2
Click here to see example.

3) Autosaves & save overwrites eventually ruin game with crashes & corruption.
While playing press escape, settings, gameplay, disable all 3 autosave options.
Always save to a "New Save". Really! (CASM mod does this for you automatically)

4) ONLY for "New Game" crashes BEFORE the intro movie plays:

Check the resolution set in fallout launcher options to see if it is sane, perhaps that alone will fix your problem.

Some computers do not have a video card, using only the wimpy graphics processor built into the CPU (Intel IGP). These users crash on the intro movie and need the following fix. STOP: This fix is only for people with intel HD graphics! If you have any ATI or Nvidia video card you shouldn't be using this!
  • Click here[www.nexusmods.com] and "download manually"
  • Right click the download to extract it
  • Drag only the d3d9x.dll file to your Fallout folder, probably at:
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty\
  • If Fallout Launcher Options still reports your card as "Intel HD", you put d3d9.dll in wrong directory!
  • Reset your resolution in fallout launcher options. Click "advanced" button and uncheck water reflections/refractions for performance reasons with IGP.

5) UPDATED Unofficial Fallout 3 Patch
Optional for those comfortable following an involved multi-step setup process that will fix a truly huge number of Fallout 3 Bugs.
Unofficial Fallout 3 Patch Page" [www.nexusmods.com]
* The site registration for Nexus is free and quick.

That's all the setup tips.
There are three more parts to this guide, you'll need to view them on page 1 of this thread or by clicking the main guide icon at the top.
Last edited by BenWah; Mar 5, 2022 @ 10:57am
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BenWah May 1, 2013 @ 1:52pm 

1) Install FOSE
  • Extract (unzip) this download.[fose.silverlock.org] (If you can't extract it, then install this.[www.7-zip.org])
  • Move the individual files to your main fallout3 directory (alongside your Fallout3.exe) typically at:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty
Use a desktop shortcut of "fose_loader.exe" to start fallout 3 from now on!
* Setting this shortcut to "run as administrator" may prevent crashes.
* It's possible to keep steam overlay by renaming falloutlauncher.exe to something else, then renaming fose_loader.exe to falloutlauncher.exe. Launch fallout 3 via steam library.


2) Skip if you've already installed the Unofficial Fallout Patch.
Archive Invalidation lets mods change graphics.
Run this once (Program Version)[fallout3.nexusmods.com] and delete. Other methods are inconsistent.
Once done don't ever touch Archive Invalidation options in your Mod Manager.

3) Enable accessing > 2GB ram (on 64bit versions of windows)
Better performance and stability, mandatory for larger NMC texture mods.
  • Download this.[www.ntcore.com]
  • right click the download to extract it (unzip it).
  • run the 4gb_patch.exe
  • you will see a file browser --
  • Navigate to and open the fallout3.exe at:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty\Fallout3.exe

4) Mod Managers let you activate and remove mods with a single click.
Deactivating a mod restores Fallout 3 files perfectly, as if it had never been installed.
That's a big deal, because juggling mods manually usually results in a mess that requires you to reinstall everything.
Add ALL of your mods via a Mod Manager to avoid these problems.

Choose to download either
You need to set "run as administrator":
  • Right click the Mod Manager's program icon, and select Properties.
  • Click compatability tab (top of window)
  • Click the "run as administrator" checkbox.
Sorry! This guide doesn't yet explain how to add mods to your mod manager.

When activating mods with NMM, in general choose NO when asked if the mod is an update, then choose "yes to all".

5) Mod Activation Order sometimes matters, since some mods overwrite the same files.
Fix activation order in your mod manager by deactivating all and reactivating in order.
The simple rule is that you should activate mods in the same order they appear in your plugin list, but the below list may be helpful for some:

Mod Activation Order recommendation
Unofficial Patch, NMC, FWE, [DarnUI, FWE support for DarnUI, Immersive HUD], MMM, EVE,
<All Other Mods>.

6) Without proper Plugin Load Order, everything breaks.
Download and run the Latest BOSS Installer[boss-developers.github.io].
After activating all mods, quit your mod manager and run "BOSS GUI.exe"
to automatically set plugin load order. Too easy!


7) FO3Edit (optional but beneficial)
Run FO3Edit[fallout3.nexusmods.com] after installing & activating all mods in NMM or FOMM.

When it finishes loading, right click on the left pane listing your mods, choosing "create merged patch", name it "Merged Patch", close & save. Confirm activation & order with FOMM/NMM.
This improves stability & handling of mod conflicts.

If you remove or add mods, manually delete "Merged Patch" from Data folder, then remake.
Last edited by BenWah; Jun 26, 2015 @ 12:01pm
BenWah May 1, 2013 @ 1:52pm 

Fast setup guide, not a substitute for docs.

Many major mods that work fine alone may conflict with others.
In Skyrim or Oblivion you can load 100 random mods, but not here.
I use all of these mods well together, but adding other major mods might affect stability (especially weather and lighting mods).
Mods that only change textures or meshes are relatively safe.

Note: Clickable Mod Titles Below

UPDATED Unofficial Fallout 3 Patch[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
LOTS of bug fixes, including crashing bugs. Strongly recommended.
Updated by Fallout bug fixing legend Tommy, adding his error corrections mod and many, many other community fixes.

CASM[fallout3.nexusmods.com] (automated save manager)
It is likely that you will eventually get a corrupted save game in Fallout 3.
CASM automatically creates new saves periodically, avoiding much frustration.
Simply add and activate with your mod manager.
Tweak by selecting "CASM options" in the "Items & Aid" section of pipboy.
I choose to automatically save every 3 minutes.

NMC Texture Packs[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Amazing graphics improvements!
Enable 4GB ram access on 64 bit windows (see step 3 of prior section).
Most people should use "Performance Pack".
If you have a gaming GPU with 64 bit OS & game on SSD, try Maximum pack.
I use the Max pack on a laptop Nvidia 660m GPU with SSD.

FWE (Fallout Wanderers Edition)[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
This mod is so good that I can't imagine playing without it.
Mega mod with huge list of features. Increases challenge, adds weapons, sprinting...
Manually download: part 1,2 & hotfix.
NMM ONLY: Must turn these 3 archives into 1 Before adding & activating:
Extract all 3 into a new folder called Data, being careful with overwriting order (hotfix last).
Right click folder to create an archive from it, and add via NMM clicking "add mod from file".

Activating the mod brings up a menu of checkboxes.
I don't check "followers enhanced" because it makes followers unkillable and conflicts with some follower mods like Robco Certified.
I like Alternate Travel (motorcycle), Restore Tracers (choose one or none not both),
Vats Halftime (adds difficulty: vats doesn't speed you up as much relative to enemies)
Tweak by selecting "FWE control panel" in the pipboy apparel menu.
Don't mix FWE with the "F0ok" mod.
I haven't tried a popular FWE alternative called "Arwen's Tweaks".

If you don't install FWE, strongly recommend installing these mods already built in:
Sprint Mod http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/1854/
FPS Grenade Hotkey http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/8112
Alternate Start Roleplayers http://games.softpedia.com/get/Mods-Addons/Fallout-3-Mod-Alternate-Start-Roleplayers.shtml

MMM (Martigen's Mutant Mod)[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
New varieties of existing creatures, several new species too. Adds challenge and mystery.
2 Files: "Marts Mutant Mod 1-RC61 FOMOD Ready" & "MMM-6_2-update"
Coming soon: Video link explaining how to install the new paradox "merged" version of this mod.

EVE (Energy Visuals Enhanced)[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Spectacular new energy effects, critical kills, weapons, impacts, sounds, everything!
Easy install, just download and activate.

Project Beauty (PB, Fallout Resigned)[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Far more detailed and convincing NPC faces.
I used this extensively until deciding they were too pretty for the wasteland.
A forthcoming version promises to be more lore friendly.
* If using "Blackened", must use hires not standard version.
Difficult install. Skip to 4:44 in this install video:

Blackened[fallout3.nexusmods.com] (better than foip)
YOU NEED THIS if you mix FWE, MMM, EVE, or PB.
You don't need this if you only run one of those mods.
Geeky experts have painstakingly analyzed and resolved all conflicts between FWE, EVE, MMM, and PB. This means you can run these big mods together in peace, knowing they will work well together. This is a great leap forward in the stability and quality of modded setups!
Special instruction for using MMM with Blackened:
ONLY activate MMM.esm, MMM.esp, and the 5 MMM-DLC plugins.
ALL other MMM plugins are built into Blackened or activated via pipboy. (even main menu.esp)

Project Reality[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Stunning sky & scenery improvement, weather.
Outstanding for ease of install, visuals, stability. Significant performance (fps) cost though.
Not compatible with other weather mods and some lighting mods.
Options are in the pipboy apparel menu, but don't activate the buggy radiation storms.
In your mod manager, manually force its plugin to load absolutely last (overruling BOSS).
Can disable effects in the DLC with this mod[www.nexusmods.com]
A great lighting-only alternative to this mod is "D.C. Moods."

GNR Enhanced (Galaxy News Radio)[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Adds 100 GREAT songs that fit theme perfectly. Many enhancements and fixes, including better coordination of 3-dog news reports with quest progress.

Fallout Reanimated[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Better humanoid stances and poses with weapons.

Darnified UI -- smaller HUD elements for a cleaner, less obstructed view.
FOMM ONLY (easier) http://ui.darnified.net/wip/F3/dui_f3a11.zip
NMM ONLY http://ui.darnified.net/wip/F3/dui_f3a11.7z
BOTH also need this hotfix: http://ui.darnified.net/wip/F3/dui_f3a11_HF.7z
ONLY IF USING NMM: Replace Font section of Fallout.INI as shown below: (copy & paste)
* must be the FALLOUT.ini in C:\Users\<yourname>\Documents\my games\Fallout3
DO NOT edit fallout_default.ini in your steam fallout program folder!
Mistakes editing this font section will lock your game on start.
[Fonts] ;sFontFile_1=Textures\Fonts\Glow_Monofonto_Large.fnt sFontFile_1=Textures\Fonts\DarN_FranKleinBold_14.fnt ;sFontFile_2=Textures\Fonts\Monofonto_Large.fnt sFontFile_2=Textures\Fonts\DarN_FranKleinBold_16.fnt sFontFile_3=Textures\Fonts\Glow_Monofonto_Medium.fnt ;sFontFile_4=Textures\Fonts\Monofonto_VeryLarge02_Dialogs2.fnt ;sFontFile_4=Textures\Fonts\DarN_FranKleinBold_Otl_12.fnt sFontFile_4=Textures\Fonts\DarN_Sui_Generis_Otl_10.fnt sFontFile_5=Textures\Fonts\Fixedsys_Comp_uniform_width.fnt ;sFontFile_6=Textures\Fonts\Glow_Monofonto_VL_dialogs.fnt ;sFontFile_6=Textures\Fonts\DarN_PetitaMedium_Outline_18.fnt ;sFontFile_6=Textures\Fonts\DarN_Forgotten_Futurist_Otl_18.fnt sFontFile_6=Textures\Fonts\DarN_Sui_Generis_Otl_13.fnt ;sFontFile_7=Textures\Fonts\Baked-in_Monofonto_Large.fnt sFontFile_7=Textures\Fonts\DarN_Libel_Suit_Otl_24.fnt ;sFontFile_7=Textures\Fonts\DarN_Klill_Outline_20.fnt sFontFile_8=Textures\Fonts\Glow_Futura_Caps_Large.fnt
* view&modify DarnUI options by pushing escape while playing and selecting "DUI F3".

Activation order is critical for UI Mods!
  • If using FWE(Fallout Wanderers Edition), activate DarnUI support for FWE[fallout3.nexusmods.com] right after DarnUI.
  • If using "Immersive Hud" mod, activate it next.
  • If using "Better High Detail Maps" mod, activate it anytime after DarnUI.
  • I use all of these together and it's great! Add Faster Pipboy & Smoothlight mods too.

Immersive HUD[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Hides HUD til relevant or toggled with "i" key. Long hold "i" for options.

Better High Detail Map and Icons[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Activate after DarnUI Mod. Leave "custom icons" unchecked (they're too small).
Author recommends Changing uPipboyColor value to 2930678016 in:
My Documents\My Games\Fallout3\FalloutPrefs.ini

SmoothLight - Pip-Boy Light Enhancer[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Pipboy light tripled range & better quality. Activate by holding tab a couple seconds.

Faster Pipboy[newvegas.nexusmods.com] (FO3 Compatible)
Opens and closes pipboy fast. Safe mesh-only mod.

More Map Markers[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Choose "No" when asked whether to download markers. "Yes" reveals (spoils) all locations.

(Paradox) RH_Ironsights[www.nexusmods.com]
Aim down the barrel of many guns.
Download and activate "Paradox RH_Ironsights" from the files section (link in above title).
Then look at the files section for the main RH_ironsights mod.[www.nexusmods.com]
Download and activate any "bridge" files that correspond to other mods you have installed.
For example, if you have FWE, EVE, and Fallout Reanimated mods installed, then you download and activate their bridges from the RH_ironsights page.
These bridges must be activated in your mod manager after both ironsights and the mods they bridge (FWE, EVE, etc..)
Use BOSS to sort and you're done.
Must change the excessive default gun sway via pipboy, items, aid, "gun oil".

Fallout 3 Tick Fix[www.nexusmods.com]
Attempts to reduce "micro stutter". I am now listing this in place of the old stutter remover mod.
Test with and without to see if it is helping or hurting.

Mothership Zeta DLC Retextured[fallout3.nexusmods.com]

Enclave Power Armors Retextured[fallout3.nexusmods.com]

Robco Certified[fallout3.nexusmods.com] (Difficult install)
My favorite. Command robot followers, upgrade them, craft new & strange "junk bots".
Download both "RobCo Certified v2" and "RobCo Certified v2 Patch Pack v1-41".
Read docs in both.
"Robco Certified v2 Omnipatch.esp" is an included compatibility patch for setups with all 3 of Zeta (5th DLC), FWE & EVE, an ideal setup for this mod.
Because of changes to the EVE mod after the Robco author retired,, you must use my modified omnipatch[fallout3.nexusmods.com] instead or your game will crash on start.
(A patch for EVE users without FWE is newly included at same link)
If using Omnipatch.esp, do not load the other ROBCO compatibility patches for zeta, eve, or FWE.
You can easily screw up this mod by loading too many of the included plugins!

For my setup mixing FWE & EVE, I only load:
Companion Core.esm, RobCo Certified v2.esm, Companion Core DLC Addon.esp, RobCo Certified v2 Omnipatch.esp.
That's it! Don't use RobCo Certified v2 Version Updater.esp or Mr Smith's (very buggy), and I suggest skipping the many other options for a first playthrough.

*must pack away bots before entering zeta to avoid crash.
*to avoid vault 87 capture crash, in cutscene as soon Col. Autumn starts walking away, hit the console key. Type in coc ravenrock03

Personal Achievements Log[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Keep track of and update g4wl achievements, without running g4wl.
If using FWE "Alternative Start", grab holotape leaning against Vault 101 exit.

Conelrad Civil Defense Radio[fallout3.nexusmods.com]
Theme fitting songs relating to A-bombs and the communist menace.
Historic Civil defense commercials.
Load plugin after GNR Enhanced if using both together.

Material and Textures Animations with NifSkope - Tutorial [www.nexusmods.com]
Want to make a mod? This will get you started!

Fallout Streetlights
I get asked about this mod a lot, I don't recommend it because it introduces a distracting bug causing nearby ground textures to blacken and flicker.

Mods currently under evaluation for possible future addition here:
Imperfection (pending author's merge)
Last edited by BenWah; Oct 28, 2019 @ 1:44pm
BenWah May 1, 2013 @ 3:20pm 

To avoid alt-tab crashes, simply push escape to bring up the menu before clicking alt-tab. Or set fallout3.exe compatibility mode to XP3 if you don't mind the border it creates.

Stuck in scenery? Type ` (top left key) to enable console, "tcl", `, then repeat when free.

Activate flashlight by long-holding tab.
Put away weapon by long-holding r.
Crouch to pickpocket. Crouching improves aim.
Delete old saves by right clicking them.

Game crashing on first "please wait" slide, before smiling pipboy appears in lower left?
One of your mods is looking for another mod (or dlc) that isn't there.
Usually caused by missing master, screwed up plugin order (try BOSS), or forgot to delete & remake merged patch after removing mod.
Example: You installed blackened for FWE+EVE, but never installed the EVE mod.
Or maybe you've reinstalled fallout 3 and need to delete your fallout.ini (DarnUI users)

Game running too fast? Lock game to 60fps via stutter remover, MSI afterburner, or other 3rd party tool.

Flickering with SLI? Disable SLI.

Windows 7 & Vista built-in sound codecs conflict with Fallout 3, wrecking game performance. Simply install a klite codec pack to fix (note radio stutter fix below)

Radio songs stuttering? (Fix for codec pack users)
Run http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/installedcodec.zip and disable "LAV Splitter" & "LAV Audio Decoder"

Steam doesn't show that you are in game? Right click fallout3.exe, properties, compatibility tab, UNCHECK run as administrator

Crash escaping base after "hold it right there"? Try default action mapping.

Mouse doesn't work at all?
In C:\Users\<User>\Documents\my games\Fallout3\FALLOUT.ini
Change bBackground Mouse=0
to bBackground Mouse=1

VATS lag in displaying percents? Unwanted mouse acceleration?
Sliding after stopping movement?
*Nvidia control panel, manage 3d settings, add fallout3.exe, change "Maximum pre-rendered frames" to 1, Apply.
*ATI GPUs: set flip queue size to 1 in ccc.

Slow? In FalloutLauncher.exe Settings, reduce shadow quality, AA and view distances.
Disabling water displacement & reflections can help.

Horribly slow computers can drastically improve framerate by changing this line in:
My Documents/my games/Fallout.ini
Edit this line changing the 1 to 0.
Cripples postprocessing and lighting quality, easy to change back if you don't like it.
I played over 100 hours on a crappy laptop using this, couldn't have otherwise.
Last edited by BenWah; Jun 27, 2015 @ 2:22pm
FakeSympathy May 1, 2013 @ 3:58pm 
I want to hug you so much right now! It worked! Thank you very much!
SeaGoblin May 2, 2013 @ 6:22am 
but doesnt using mods disable achievments?

my issue is just random freezes tha tmake me have to end task the game, changing the fallout.ini like in step 4 did not help me there
Last edited by SeaGoblin; May 2, 2013 @ 6:24am
FakeSympathy May 2, 2013 @ 11:14am 
Originally posted by tjhall1000:
but doesnt using mods disable achievments?

my issue is just random freezes tha tmake me have to end task the game, changing the fallout.ini like in step 4 did not help me there

I don't think there's achievement for fallout 3 on steam
rikashiku May 3, 2013 @ 9:44am 
Aaaaand I love you.
Nectar May 3, 2013 @ 11:52am 
I need some assistance, how can I access my saves after I have "installed" the fallout_fullscreen launch thingy? The game doesn't recognise my saves.
Scottie May 3, 2013 @ 2:23pm 
BenWah, I just did all the file downloading, extracting, editing, etc....stupid game still crashes when i click new game
Scottie May 3, 2013 @ 2:32pm 
here is the error details... can you tell what my problem is?
Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: Fallout3.exe
Application Version:
Application Timestamp: 4a40f18b
Fault Module Name: Fallout3.exe
Fault Module Version:
Fault Module Timestamp: 4a40f18b
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 006ddf7b
OS Version: 6.1.7601.
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: 0a9e
Additional Information 2: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789
Additional Information 3: 0a9e
Additional Information 4: 0a9e372d3b4ad19135b953a78882e789

Read our privacy statement online:

If the online privacy statement is not available, please read our privacy statement offline:

BenWah May 3, 2013 @ 8:43pm 
That error is a codec bomb from fallout 3 failing to play the intro movie.

Three things you can try depending on your setup:

If you have an Intel GPU (Intel HD 3000/4000 etc) and you're getting crashes when you click "new game" then try this:

If you have a codec pack (like KLITE), try uninstall it.
Or if you want to keep it and mess with it try
* find & launch "ffdshow video decoder configuration"
* Select second line on left window "DirectShow control", verify checkbox for "don't use in" is checked, select "edit", verify Fallout3.exe is in the list, if not add it.

If those don't work and you're running windows 7, you can also try disable desktop composition described in troubleshooting section above
Last edited by BenWah; May 3, 2013 @ 9:02pm
Scottie May 3, 2013 @ 11:29pm 
Thanks so much1 It was awesome of you to take time to help....it was the file that tricks the game into thinking you have a different video card that worked. i have an I5, lenovo. Thanks again and God bless!
BenWah May 4, 2013 @ 3:37pm 
Happy to help, I love this game and want to help more people play it.
Zeppelin May 7, 2013 @ 10:01pm 
What do you do with the Intel GPU bypass thing? do you extract it and move it to the fallout folder or something?
Seneca Raine May 9, 2013 @ 10:22pm 
Thank you for this, it's exactly what I look for whenever I start playing an older game again.
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