No video game can ever be considered perfect, especially when modern titles are so vast and ambitious that even the designers themselves struggle to iron out issues months after launch. Thankfully, with Fallout 4 – a title which has its fair share of bugs and balancing issues – it's possible to enable user-generated mods which fix problems, introduce new gameplay mechanics and even offer fresh weapons. We've compiled 15 essential mods you'll want to try out below.
Best Fallout 4 Mods: Beast Whisperer
Sure, human companions in Fallout 4 are entertaining to a point, but when you've been foraging around the wasteland for months with all of survival hope slowly diminishing, the last thing you really want is someone else moaning about how much their feet hurt or how hungry they are.
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The answer? Recruit some animals to be your buddies! This mod grants access to the Beast Whisperer collar, which can be placed on the creatures you capture in cages to turn them into faithful pals. Fancy some four-legged friendship? This is the mod for you.
Best Fallout 4 Mods: Armorsmith Extended
The armour system in Fallout 4 is pretty great, allowing you to equip all manner of outfits to give yourself a better chance of survival out there in the wilderness. However, there's room for improvement - and Armorsmith Extended has improvements in spades.
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The change that really matters is the fact that you can now wear outfits underneath suits of armour, allowing you to show off your sense of style even when you're suited, booted and ready for combat. You can also wear a bandana or gas mask with any helmet that doesn't totally cover your face. There's plenty of other good stuff here, but the fact that you can now customize your appearance an entirely different level makes this an essential mod for seasoned Fallout 4 players.
Best Fallout 4 Mods: Lowered Weapons
Very much like running with scissors, it's not wise to dash around with a gun pointing forwards all the time. Sure, you're ready to tackle any oncoming foe, but it's not particularly realistic or safe - and therein lies the focus of the Lowered Weapons mod. This simple change forces your character to lower their weapon when not firing it, which makes the whole experience that little bit more immersive.
Best Fallout 4 Mods: Eyes of Beauty
The character models in Fallout 4 are full of rich detail and unnervingly realistic, but there's one element which doesn't quite sit right with us – those eyes. They're not awful as such, but they could certainly be a lot better – hence the Eyes of Beauty mod.
You can customize your character's eyeballs to make them more detailed, striking and lifelike; some of the textures are taken from actual medical picture repositories, and with a 512x512 resolution, they offer twice the detail of Fallout 4's standard eyes.
Best Fallout 4 Mods: Bullet Time
Fallout 4's V.A.T.S. mechanic is great, and allows you to target various limbs on enemies for precise damage. However, if you feel that it removes too much control, you can install this mod which slows down time when you're shooting, but calls for a little more skill than V.A.T.S. does. While you might assume this turns the game into a Matrix-style snorefest, it actually ramps up the challenge as you have to be much more precise with your aim. It also ironically makes things feel more face-paced, as you don't have V.A.T.S. kicking in all the time.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – The unofficial patch
Fallout 4 is a beast in terms of scope, and taking this into account it's easy to cut Bethesda a little slack in relation to the many bugs that litter the wasteland – and we're not talking about those hidden under tiny rocks, either.
The developer is constantly improving and refining the experience, but a team of fans have taken it upon themselves to go the extra mile and clean up the game independently. The unofficial patch fixes hundreds of gameplay, quest, NPC, object, item, text and placement bugs and is one of the first mods you should install. While it doesn't add any new content, it makes the whole experience more pleasurable.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Take Cover
Fallout 4's cover system is radically improved when compared to previous entries in the series, but still leaves a lot to be desired when compared to others in the genre.
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This mod aims to rectify that by offering a raft of improvements, including a third-person camera so you can judge your surroundings better, and a lean-and-shoot option plus the ability to quickly vault over cover to place yourself in a better tactical position. You can also edit how your character enters cover to get more control over the process.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Deckard's Coat
This cosmetic mod will allow you to indulge in all of your Blade Running fantasies. Enable it and you'll feel like you're skulking the rain-soaked streets of Los Angeles tracking down rogue replicants. OK, so that might not actually be true, but by golly you'll look amazing on your wasteland explorations (Rutger Hauer poetry sadly not included).
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Better Settlers
Building settlements is a big part of Fallout 4, and once you've done this you're bound to attract settlers. If you're bored of staring at the same generic faces all the time then this mod will allow you to introduce some much-needed variety. Better Settlers not only makes your townsfolk more varied, but it also equips them with better gear and makes them more effective at withstanding assaults. That means your settlement should be a more secure place to live, too.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Doom on your Pip-Boy
Your Pip-Boy isn't just a handy tool for staying alive – it can run classic games to keep you occupied during down time. This mod takes things to the next level by offering a scaled-down version of Doom. It's still in the very early stages so don't expect much, but it's a perfect example of how inventive these mods can get.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – See-Through Scopes
The use of weapon scopes in Fallout 4 is, by default, a bit rubbish, so we're thankful that a mod exists which makes the process appear more realistic.
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With this mod enabled, when you use your scope you'll be presented with a cool animation of it being raised to your eye, and you also benefit from peripheral vision during the aiming process. This is the perfect example of how user-made mods can iron out some of Fallout 4's weaknesses.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Campsite
The wasteland is a pretty hostile and unforgiving place, so it's little wonder that Fallout 4 encourages you to seek proper, solid shelter before taking a few hours of shut-eye. However, if you're feeling really adventurous then you can enable this mod and camp anywhere in the game. The mod allows you to erect a tent, build a campfire and use sleeping bags to rest in. You can even cook food on the fire.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Be The Dog
One of the more amusing mods, the title of this one should be self-explanatory. Instead of venturing through the game on two legs, you can assume the role of a dog – either the famous Dogmeat or another canine character.
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You still get the trusty Pip-Boy – strapped rather awkwardly to one of your four legs - but you can't use power armour or guns. Instead, you'll have to rely entirely on your teeth and the assistance of Dogmeat; that's right, you can still recruit the pooch companion even though you're a dog yourself.
Best Fallout 4 Mods – Classic V.A.T.S.
V.A.T.S. – Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, in case you didn't know – has been a massive part of the Fallout series for a while now. With Fallout 4, Bethesda changed things up a little by slowing time rather than stopping it completely, and not all fans were pleased with the alteration. If you're one such fan then you can switch to the "classic" V.A.T.S. – as seen in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas – by installing this mod. With it enabled, time will pause while you pick your targets, rather than slowing to a crawl.
Best Fallout 4 Mods - Atom Bomb Baby
One of the more bizarre weapon modifications available for Fallout 4, Atom Bomb Babies is literally what it says on the tin – you fire baby projectiles which explode on contact. Amusing and rather unsettling in equal measures, it might not strictly be an essential mod, but it's so strange to see in action you'll have to try it out at least once.
What's your favourite Fallout 4 mod? Have we missed something off the list? Let us know in the comments below and we'll update!