Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition

31 ratings
Pip-Boy Radio Stutter Fix
By Agent Seamoose
Have you ever wandered the wastes and turned on your Pip-Boy's radio to enjoy some good vintage music but were interrupted by lag, stuttering and grainy effects from the songs? You compare them to the tabletop radios and those sound better than your personal radio and you wonder why? You just want music! Well, here's a fix.
   
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Going Into The Files
To fix the stutter of your radio's music, you need to go into the .ini files of Fallout 3. Usually, it's found in Documents/My Games/Fallout 3 and you should see a file that says FALLOUT.INI or just FALLOUT for those with specific file settings.

Let's make sure it's not Read-Only so right-click on the file and go to Properties. If the little box that says Read-Only is checked, uncheck it and hit Apply.

Now open the .ini file.
What to Change
The .ini files tell the game what to load, how to load and provides instruction on how to run. Be careful to what you change in this file because it can cause you to CTD (crash to desktop), or even have a BOSD (blue screen of death). Press Ctrl+F and search iRadioUpdateInterval. This should take you to a line that says:

iRadioUpdateInterval=250

Change 250 to 1024 so the entry says:

iRadioUpdateInterval=1024

Press Ctrl+S to save or go to File -> Save and Exit

Open the file again and make sure the change was saved. If it was, exit and go to Testing. If it didn't save, repeat the step above until it does.
Testing!
Play Fallout 3 and test it out! Most likely, it will have fixed the stuttering of the music and all is well in the wasteland! :D Until that Deathclaw sneaks up behind you.

If it still stutters, go back to the .ini file check to see if the changes you've made are saved. If they aren't, change that entry.

If it's changed and it still doesn't work, then you have to look for a codec fix but I don't trust those since some can carry malware, even official ones.

Anyways, that's the guide. I hope it helped and that you can enjoy music in the wastes! :)
Notice
There are reports that this fix doesn't work for everyone. Whether or not it is because the guide above only works every other time, I cannot say. However, I have helped a few people fix their radios by making sure they have the Multi-Core fix. This configuration change is almost necessary if you're running anything other than Windows Vista and below as it forces the game to draw more resources to sustain itself. If you don't have this set up, here's how:

  • Go into Fallout.ini file
  • Ctrl + F and find "bUseThreadedAI"
  • There should be a line that says "bUseThreadedAI=0" Change that 0 to a 1 so it reads:
    bUseThreadedAI=1
  • Under this line, type in "iNumHWThreads=2"
  • Do the changes look like this?

    bUseThreadedAI=1
    iNumHWThreads=2

    If so, save the changes made (Ctrl + S or File -> Save) and load the game up and check.

I hope this helps others as it helped those I messaged on Steam.
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23 Comments
Adventurer Jan 9 @ 4:48pm 
@Slownick What were they set to before you changed them? Windows Groove Music? Windows 10 does not give me an option to change .ogg to open in Windows Media Player but it does for .mp3
Slownick Jun 13, 2021 @ 1:20pm 
The way I solved it, I changed the default program for paying .mp3 and .ogg in W10 settings to Windows Media Player. The program might not be on the list so you need to download WMP codeck pack on the Intenet. The game takes codecs from your PC and this is what presumably causes the problem.
davidmac92 Jan 19, 2021 @ 9:46am 
what worked for me was deleting save files
Isotope-of-Iodine Dec 27, 2020 @ 4:27am 
:steamthis:this has worked for my game! thank you! NO STUTTER! I did both tweaks at the same time then ran it and it was fixed. I just reinstalled too in the last week witch did not fix it. Thanks again!:steamthumbsup:
Quinn Nov 30, 2018 @ 5:44am 
For anyone still having the problem, this worked for me:

- Just press ESC until it works.

Go ahead and follow this guide to be safe, but if all else fails, pausing the game a whole bunch solved it for me. Sadly it only works once per song, once the stuttering appears again a quick pause and unpause should do the trick! :)
malimber Nov 22, 2018 @ 4:17pm 
I found the fix below elsewhere and it worked for me (Windows 10). Stops working if I alt tab but I don't consider that a big deal. Restarting FO3 fixes it again. I only did the mp3 suggestion as I did not have ogg in my list.

go to control panel, programs, default programs. click on associate a file type or protocol with a program. set .mp3 and .ogg to windows media player. this fixed the audio issue for me.
Agent Seamoose  [author] Sep 3, 2018 @ 12:53pm 
@odin4905 Sorry it hadn't been much help. I haven't looked into any more solutions since I haven't played Fallout 3 in quite a long time, thus the guide hasn't been updated to include any other options. If you don't mind restarting progress on Fallout 3, I'd recommend playing it through Tale of Two Wastelands, since I never encountered many bugs like this while using it, plus it runs a bit more stable than Fallout 3 on W10
odin4905 Sep 3, 2018 @ 9:23am 
These tips did nothing for me. But I've noticed the Game World Music(the ambient music that plays anywhere you are) seems to be interfering with the Pipboy Radio music for whatever reason. At least for me.

I don't use the Ambient music AT ALL. But every time a new song comes on Pipboy radio(for some reason only the songs have the issue) I do these steps:

1) Bring up Pipboy

2) Push ESC

3) Open Sound Options

4) Move Music Level to full

5) Close Menu

6) Push ESC AGAIN

7) Open Sound Options

8) Move Music Level to Empty again

9) Close Menu

SOMETIMES I only need to do Steps 1-5. Other times I need to do the full 1-9. What a strange issue. But so far, one way or another, this is working.

When the next song starts, I must usually repeat.
Bog Jun 21, 2018 @ 1:06pm 
my game dosnt crash so I am fine
I just deal with the stutter
Agent Seamoose  [author] Jun 21, 2018 @ 11:11am 
@bognog04
If you don't use it, I strongly recommend you do alongside the line below. It makes the game more stable by using more of your system's resources