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Fallout 4 Beginner's Guide - A Mod List to Get You Started (V0.2 - beta)

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Fallout 4 Beginner's Guide - A Mod List to Get You Started (V0.3 - beta)

Last Updated - 2020-06-09


Table of Contents


1 - The Preamble

2 - Some Useful Information

3 - The Mod List

4 - Installation

5 - The Options

6 - Troubleshooting

7 - Tips and tricks

8 - Misc Stuff (Place holder really)



#1 - The Preamble


So, what is this list? Well, it originally started as a continuation of a mod list started by Aylis (found here). At one point last year, she dissipated due for a time from the LL due to illness, and has since returned to continue her work. Rather than be a version of that list, In the time I started this mod list, It has evolved greatly in scope. Though I may not have watched as many MxR videos as she has, I have been combing through the nexus for a few years now, and can now present you with a good starting point for your fallout 4 modding experience.


This work of mine will serve 2 purposes: 1) To give those who are new to modding a rough idea on how it all works, as well as some tips and tricks to get it all working. 2) To enhance the basic fallout 4 experience, while leaving you enough room in your mod list to customize it to your own preferences. I will also go through a number of useful tools and processes to help further enhance the modding experience, as well as recommend a number of other mods that can help enrich your game.


And remember: This list would not be possible without the long hours of hard work that have been put in by the various mod authors of both the LL and Nexus community. So if you have a few mods you really like, don't forget to give them their props by either endorsing (Nexus) or giving them a thumbs up (LL). 



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#2 - Some Useful Information


(Warning) This section contains some basic information on modding. If you know what you are doing, feel free to skip this section.


Modding 101 (The Tools of The List)


No, I’m not going to go into what modding is and what it does. I should hope that by the time you find this guide, you already know what it is, you just don't know how to do it very well. Rather, I am going to over a few points and the tools that are used to get this mod list up and running. I should also point out that this is not ALL the tools available out there. This is meant to be a beginner’s guide. While I will touch on two or three of those tools at some point, let’s focus on the ones that matter:


Mod Organizer 2


Currently, there are three (that I know of) programs that you can use for modding that are not in beta: The Nexus Mod Manager (NMM), Nexus Vortex (Vortex), and Mod Organizer 2 (MO2). NMM is dead. If you are still using it, stop, just stop right now, delete all traces of it from your computer, and then continue reading. Nexus Vortex is the mod manager being developed by the people over at Nexus Mods (The site where most of these mods will come from), and is the successor to NMM. It is a viable alternative to MO2, though what exactly it all does currently I could not say because I have not used it since the early beta. But don’t let that stop you from trying it if you want. That being said, there is a reason(s) why I prefer to use MO2.


I should also give an honorable mention to Wyre Bash. This mod manager program is still in the beta. I look forward to trying it when version 1 of it comes out, but I digress.


So, to be clear, Mod Organizer 2 is the recommended mod manager for this mod list. The reason for this is a very powerful one. Unlike Vortex and NMM, MO2 does not install mods into Fallout 4's folder. Rather, it creates a virtual data folder that it runs when you start a game through it. What this basically means is that you can do whatever the heck you want to your mod list, bringing it to the point of reducing your game to a smoking pile of virtual rubble, and it won’t mess with the base game files.


What does this mean? Basically, if you have to restart from scratch, you won’t have to reinstall fallout 4 and most of your mods. By creating a virtual data folder, it not only ensures that you can save the majority of files from becoming corrupted, but MO2 also comes with some tools that can help you troubleshoot your mod list. More on that in section #6. As for why you can’t save them all, well, we’ll get to that a little later (see Do I Merge, Replace, or Make it separate). All that matters right now, is that MO2 is the recommended mod manager for this mod list.



Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE)


If you are going to do any modding in fallout 4, and I mean ANY modding, you are going to need F4SE. I’m not going to go into what it does, because I don’t know everything it does from a mod maker’s standpoint. What I can tell you, is that F4SE is the backbone for most of the fallout 4 mods out there. If you want mods to work correctly (or at all in some cases) you will need to run the game with F4SE. How do you do that? We will get to that later on.





So, you’ve been playing the game for awhile, and racked up a considerable amount of time on your current save (*cough* 100+ hours *cough*). You check in on what’s new on the Nexus, and you see a shiny new mod you just have to try out. So what is one to do? You (like I have) download the mod, plug it into your list, and get back into the game. Unfortunately, 10-15 minutes later, you release that this mod just doesn’t work for you or your mod list, and you try to get rid of it (like I have). But, despite your best efforts, your save gets pooched in the process. Fortunately, there is hope.


FallrimTools is a tool that you can use to edit/clean your save game files. This means that when you need to remove a mod(s) from your mod list that your current savegame cannot live without, FallrimTools can let you remove the remnants of that mod from your safe game so you can keep using it. More on this tool in section #6.


FO4 Edit


Of the more advanced tools you will be using, FO4 edit will probably be the first. This editing tool will allow you go into the records of a mod, or even the base game files, and fiddle with them in various, and sometimes, interesting ways.


FO4 Edit has a number of uses, but the few that will probably be mentioned in this thread are: Cleaning mods, Flagging ESPs as ESPESLs, and making adjustments to records so they work as intended. That last one is a little more advanced than the first two, so don’t expect to be doing that one in this guide. It could come up though. RNGJesus knows I’ve had to do it more than a few times for Skyrim SE when I didn’t think I would have to. You never know.



The Fallout 4 Creation Kit


Creation kit is one of the main tools used to make mods in fallout 4. I will not lie: If you do not have some sort of programming experience, it can be a very daunting (some might even say, scary) tool to use.


Unless you plan on making your own mods, the primary use for the Creation Kit is to convert mods from ESP to ESLs. In rare cases, if you feel up to the challenge, you can go into a mod’s records to try and fix a particular error, or to tweak something (*cough* armor stats *cough*). But having done this a few times for Skyrim SE, I can say that this is very advanced. If you have to modify anything with the creation kit, make sure you have good instructions, and that you follow them to the letter.



The Load Order Optimization Tool (LOOT)


I don’t want to talk about LOOT. Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with LOOT where every time I use it, it ends in a kind of messy divorce that would make any children involve hate both of their parents. But, I have to, because this is an important PSA that must be said. So why do I end up hating LOOT so much?


LOOT is a tool that you can use to automatically sort your mod list. Ideally, you install all the mods you want to use in whatever order you find them, and then you run LOOT. LOOT will then magically sort your mod list so that everything will work and play nice. In small mod lists (and perfect worlds) this will actually happen. Unfortunately, it is rarely a perfect world.


LOOT is supposed to work by sorting your mod list based on requirements, load errors, and a database of notes, messages, bug warnings, etc. I also believe that LOOT might also be sorting mods based on their category tags (i.e. weapon mod, armor mod, texture, cheat, etc.). Unfortunately, even if you manage to deal with all the load errors, that doesn’t guarantee that your mods will work as they are supposed to. Not all issues produce an error message. And while LOOT can help give you a general idea of what your mod list is supposed to look like, it lacks the ability to fine tune it to make sure everything actually works as intended.


The other issue with LOOT that I had is mod priority. Mind you, this may have been resolved in more recent versions, but let me explain.This issue was particularly annoying with texture mods. Some mods need to load in a given order in order to get desired effects. Using this mod list as an example, there is a reason why the large texture packs are in the foundation section, and not in the texture sections. The large packs load first, then the other texture mods load individually, either replacing individual textures in the packs, or filling in blank spaces as it were. This results in the final product. If you were to have those texture packs load after the individual texture mods, they’d get wiped out by the pack, and you wouldn't notice a difference.


Now, despite my innate loathing for LOOT, one should not discount LOOT altogether. As I said, in smaller and simple mod lists, LOOT can actually do a good job. LOOT can also be useful in larger mods lists, telling you where some issues might be that you might have missed. LOOT taught me a quite a bit about mod order and sorting in that respect, mostly by having to fix what it broke. 


If you plan on using LOOT on your mod list, make sure you backup it up first in case you need to revert after a LOOT sort. LOOT is just as likely to cause problems as to solve them.


As far as this mod list is concern, it is already sorted and tested for compatibility and whatnot. That is a nice, fancy way of saying DO NOT SORT THIS MOD LIST WITH LOOT!!!!




Foundation Mods


Foundation mods are mods that are essential, and should probably be included in every mod list you make. Some of these mods fix bugs, and some expand part or parts of the functionality of Fallout 4. Thankfully, this list is much, much smaller than the Skyrim SE version. Also, do not confuse Foundation mods with the Foundation section of the list. They are two separate concepts. 


The Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch


Despite their best efforts, Bethesda’s fallout offerings have been released, with a few bugs (That is me being so nice it hurts). Despite all the patching they did, they didn’t manage to get them all. This is where the Unofficial Fallout 4 patch comes in. This community driven mod picks up where Bethesda left off, fixing hundreds of bugs and issues found by the community. It really does make a difference. The Patch is also a requirement for a few mods on the Nexus, as it fixes functionality that the mod relies on. 



Armor and Weapon Keywords Community Resource (AWKCR)


Another foundation mod, AWKCR is a framework that was created to help standardize a number of things that are used in the creation of mods, mainly keywords used in mod records, as well as creating a bunch of generic workbenches for other mode authors to use, instead of making literally EVERYTHING at the chem lab. This helped set standards for fallout 4 mod authors to make sure that everyone’s mods could play nice with one and other. Most mods are made to be AWKCR compatible. Those that aren’t (like CC mods), will have had AWKCR patches made for them, if there is demand for them. While AWKCR adds a few things to the game, it's main purpose is to serve as a framework for other mods.


Armorsmith Extended (AE)


Oh boy, this is a big one. Armorsmith Extended does a lot to the clothing and armor of Fallout 4. It overhauls a lot of how the armor system and its modding at the armor bench work. Most of it is for the better. It makes regular clothing items viable, and gives a wider array of customization options to vanilla items that were limit, or not customizable at all in the vanilla game. There is a catch though.


If you mosey over to the AE files page on the Nexus, you will notice that it has a whopping 108 files. And no, that doesn’t include the old files. If you go through the list, you will notice that a good many armor and clothing mods were not made to be AE compatible. What this means is that these mods, and many others, do not get to use all of AE’s bells and whistles. In order to get them to, you may need a patch. Is the patch necessary though? No, not always. It depends.


Some of the patches for AE and/or AWKCR fix keywords and other minor issues to bring the mod in line with the current AWKCR standards. Some patches also tweak the base mod’s functionality, like armor values or crafting requirements. They also tend to move the crafting component of the mod from the chem lab to one of the AWKCR benches (usually the armorsmith bench for clothing and armor). Since some of these patches are still in ESP format, what they do may not be worth taking up a mod slot. If there is an AE and/or AWKCR patch for a particular equipment mod you want to use, read through the description and see what it does to determine if it is worth getting.


I should also point out, for the sake of completeness, that there is a small set of mods available on the Nexus that were made with the intent to replace AE, and even AWKCR. Apparently, AE can bloat the game a bit apparently, and these replacement mods are lightweight, and can improve performance without sacrificing functionality. I will not lie, my curiosity has been peaked, and I am currently testing a non AWKCR mod list to see what the results will be. If they are good, I might post the modified list here somewhere. In the meantime though, and for beginners, I strongly recommend sticking with the AWKCR + AE combo to start with until you get some xp under the proverbial belt. These two mods are still the standard, and will most likely be the standard for a long time to come. 



Looks Menu


Though it’s not in the foundation section of this mod list, Looks Menu is still a very important mod. Looks Menu updates the vanilla character creation menu, and expands it. I’ll leave you to look at the mod page to see everything it does, but basically, it expands the original character creation menu to give more options, and to allow content from other mods to be applied to an existing body from the same menu, without having to jump through several flaming hoops in the process. Basically, it makes it a lot easier to customize your character.


CBBE or Fusion Girl


So, the vanilla body, male or female, is not much to look at, literally. Besides being a little on the puny side, it has underwear permanently welded to it, so no matter what you do, you will never truly be nude, ever. It's also the same body that the player shares with every NPC in the game. Call me crazy, but someone who got stuck in the freezer for some two-hundred years when things were still good-ish, should not physically resemble the current population of the former United States of America. Fortunately, there are alternatives. There’s four or five of them at the last count, but the two this mod list will focus on are Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Enhancer (CBBE), and Fusion Girl.


CBBE is the older body, and might be familiar to those of you who have modded skyrim before. Pretty sure at this point, CBBE is the most common body used in Fallout 4 modding. The majority of clothing and armor mods are based on the CBBE body. Fusion Girl on the other hand, is the next gen body. It comes with an improved skeleton and physics that makes it look better in general, and is a preferred body for use with animations. What animations? The shall we say, the slooty animations one can find on Lover’s Lab, and that are generally persona-non-gratta on the Nexus.


Which body is better? Well, there is no easy answer to that. Both are easy to setup (As you will see in section #3). Fortunately, things have progressed enough that one can use both with the save basic build, plus or minus one or two mods (As you will see in section #3). However, there is a bit of a catch. 


While fusion girl is a better looking body over body, it does not have the same depth of support that CBBE does. Most armors, new and old, are done in CBBE. While there is a growing number of conversions for a variety of armors, the pickings are still on the slim side. CBBE armor on a FG body can look, weird, and act weird at times. If you want to use ced item with FG, you will either need to do the conversion yourself (there are several good guides on how to do so out there), or find someone who can. 


My suggestion is this: If you are going for a particularly slooty mod list with lots of the lover’s lab mods, then you may want to go with the Fusion Girl body. If you are looking for a more enriched but generic playthrough, stick with CBBE.  


As I said, it is possible to switch between the two on the fly without starting a new game by switching between profiles. HOWEVER, you will need to build 2 sets of bodyslides: 1 for CBBE, 1 for Fusion Girl. Reffer to the bodyslide entry in section #4 for more details.



Bodyslide and Outfit Studio


Bodyslide is one of those foundation mods that is in pretty much every mod list. And for good reason. Just installing your bodies, clothes and armor isn’t enough. If you really want to get the bang for your buck, and maybe even just show up in the game, they need to be properly fitted and built to your chosen form. Otherwise you can end up with clipping or, on rare occasion, weirdly-sized body parts. This is where Bodyslide comes in.


Bodyslide allows you to customize both the body you are going to be using, and the clothing you will be putting on that body. You can either build your own preset, or you can use one of the hundreds on the Nexus (probably a few on LL too, but I cannot recall any at the time of writing this). Both CBBE and Fusion Girl come packaged with some body presets. There’s also others, like the Atomic Beauty (for those of you who like the big, back breaking breasts). Not my cup of tea personally, but seems to have a following. Regardless of which way you go, you will need to build your body, clothes, and armor to make sure they all fit properly, and to generate the necessary files to use the items in game if they do not come pre-packaged with the clothing or armor mod. Depending on the mods you use, you will also need the morphs. More on that later (Section #4, Building Your Body, Clothes, and Armor, for those of you who want to skip ahead).


Outfit Studio comes packaged with bodyslide. It is a more advanced tool that you can use to modify the presets for a given piece of clothing or armor. If you use the Fusion Girl body and want to convert a CBBE clothing or armor piece to fit, this will be the mod you use (several guides on how to do this can be found on the Nexus).




Other Good Things To Know


This section contains a some additional information on modding. Some of it is explains the mechanics of modding, and some of it is some good tips to follow when building your mod list. 





So, when it comes to modding, the first big number you need to learn is 255. That is the maximum number of active ESPs and ESMs that Fallout 4 can handle before things start to go sideways. What are these things? These are basically the executable files of a mod. If a mod actually has to do something other than replace existing files like textures, it will need a file to tell the game (and your mod organizer) what to do.


ESM are master files. You only see these in large mods and frameworks. ESMs are used by other mods (Usually ESPs) to access the parent mod’s functionality or resources. ESPs are either child mods that need an ESM and/or other ESPs to work properly, or stand alone mods that do their own thing. At 256+ bad things start to happen, assuming you can get the game to actually run without crashing before reaching the main menu. So how does one get past the 255 limit? The answers (at least, one of them), is ESLs.


ESLs are mod files that do not count towards the 255 ESP & ESM limit. Unlike those two, ESLs load into their own memory space that is separate from the one ESMs and ESPs use. You can literally have several hundred ESLs running on top of the 255 ESMs and ESPs already installed. Whether your game will actually run though, is another story, but that’s besides the point. ESLs do have their limits though. Unlike ESPs and ESMs, ESLs have a limit on the amount of records that they can contain. ESLs also cannot be parent mods. That means if you make an ESL, you cannot make that mod the requirement of another mod. ESLs are at the bottom of the heap, no if, ands, or buts about it. Because of this, ESLs tend to be small, specific mods. 


ESPESL is an ESP flagged as an ESL. This is the lazy man’s conversion of a mod with an ESP into an ESL, without actually doing the conversion. Converting an ESP into an ESL takes a bit of work, and includes using the fallout 4 creation kit. When you just need to make a little bit of room to add that last mod into your list, trying to do a full conversion of an ESP into and ESL can be more trouble than it’s worth. Fortunately, through the use of  FO4 Edit, one can flag an ESP as an ESL, so that even though it is an ESP, it will load like an ESL. HOWEVER! Even though it is flagged ESL, it has to stay in the proper order in your mod list. Also, not all mods can be converted into an ESP flagged ESL. The mod still has to conform to the ESL standard before it can be flagged. I'll go into this a little more in section #7. For now though, you just need to be aware that they exist.



Lining Up All Your Ducks (Mods) in a Row


While I will be going into this in more detail in section #4 and #6, the basic idea is that the order of your mod list (and your plugins) matters. I touched briefly on this earlier when talking about LOOT, but here is the actual, main reason why this is important. When the game loads your mod list and data folder, it does so from the top of the list, sequentially to the bottom. If memory serves, ESMs are loaded first, followed by ESPs. ESLs as mentioned, are loaded into their own separate memory from ESMs and ESPs. While ESPESLs might be loaded into the ESL memory, they still effect the overall ESP load order.


When you are building a mod list, the order of your mods matters. As mods are loaded, if a newly loaded mod has something already present from the previously loaded mod, the new mod takes precedence, and overwrites whatever the old mod put there. This is an important concept to remember, because depending on how mods are ordered can mean the difference between your game running smoothing, or grinding to a freeze or CTD. This is particularly important for patches. If the patch comes before the mod it is supposed to patch, then the patch will be ignored and replaced by the original mod.


The general rule of thumb is to have the mods that make the biggest changes (like overhaul mods, texture packs, etc.) at the top of your mod list, and the smaller more specific mods beneath them. It is of course not as simple as that, but proper mod sorting is a subject of various views, and really depends on the mods you want to use. Some mods have their own special load order that may be contrary to normal practice. Rare, but I have seen it. 


While there are one or two tools (^!@#$(&*#LOOT @#(*$@(#*%&) that can be used to sort your mod list, they can cause just as much harn as good. If you do use them, be prepared to move things around to get them working correctly. And again, DO NOT USE LOOT ON THIS MOD LIST!!!



Do I Merge, Replace, or Make it Seperate (Rename)?


One of the things you will run into when installing mods, is the option to merge or replace. When you install a mod with the same name as a mod already in your list, these two options: Merge, Replace, Rename, or Cancel. Merging and replacing can be confusing. It is also one of the few ways you can kill a mod in MO2, forcing you to do a clean install of the mod.


The general rule of thumb when given the option to merge or replace is to replace when updating, merge when patching. In terms of updating, if the update you download for a mod is the full version of the mod, then you want to replace the old mod with the new one. If you are trying to patch a mod, or are updating a mod with an update patch, then you want to merge. In MO2, merging replaces the old files with the new ones, leaving the old untouched files intact. Replacing blows away the old mod completely.


However, unless specifically told to do so, it’s generally better not to merge patches with the mods they are patching. This is particularly true for AWKCR and AE patches. There are two reasons for this. 1) Sometimes the patch will not have the effect you might want. If you merge the patch into the mod, you will need to reinstall the whole mod in order to get rid of the patch. 2) Keeping track of patches, particularly in large lists, can be annoying. Did I already patch this mod? Wait, which patch did I use for this one again? I have faced both those situations more times than I might want to admit. Better to keep your patches separate unless you absolutely need to merge. Not usually a problem, since most patches do not have an ESP or ESL.



Modding and Your Computer


So you want to mod your Fallout 4 to give it all sorts of neat bells and whistles. Before you do though, you ask yourself, can my machine handle it? Does my computer have the fortitude, processing power, and just plain grit needed to give me the game play experience I want? I don’t know, but if you’ve haven’t asked yourself that question, you probably should now.


By the time you’re done building your mod list, you’re pc is going to be running the game with a lot more resources than just the minimum requirements needed to run Fallout 4. Or possibly even The recommended requirements. That is because some mods, particularly large overhaul mods that change large swaths of the game, tend to come with a lot of extra code and whatnot that needs to be run along with the base game. This can eat up a lot of processor, ram, physical drive space, and give your video card a workout the likes of which would give it nightmares for the rest of its life (if video cards could have nightmares).


That being said, not all mods are going to try and break your computer. But be aware of the limitations of your computer. Make a modding experience that not only works for you, but also for your computer, so you don’t have play through stuttering, long load times, and CTDs or general windows crashes that come from your computer waving the white flag and begging for mercy.


This mod list (When we get to it) will not be too heavy on the running (with one or two notable exceptions maybe. MAYBE). If you are running Fallout 4 on a lower end system, be prepared to make some sacrifices to get the best performance out of your game.



1k, 2k, 4k, 8k . . . How Many ks Can You Handle?


Textures are going to play an important part in the building of any mod list. The higher the ks, the more detailed the texture. The more detailed the textures, the better it looks. The better it looks, the more it’s going to make your video card work. More work can mean longer loads, longer processing, and slowing things down overall.


If you are running the game closer to the minimum requirements, you aren’t going to be running 4k and 8k textures. Even if you are running a higher end rig, too many 8k textures might still cause you consternation (Unless your running a 1080 or some other ridiculously high end and ubber expensive card). Fortunately, this is easy to manage.


1k textures are deceptive. Despite being low end, they are still often used by some mod authors (See some of SavrenX's mod descriptions), and can look pretty decent. Most of the time, you'll see 1k texture as part of texture packs. There are not many dedicated 1k textures for things like clothing anymore, simply because even low end machines can handle 2k textures now. 2k and 4k textures are more common, with 2k being something of the standard, and 4k being higher end. 8k textures are still rare. If you encounter a mod where textures matter, you will usually be given options for different ks of texture in the download section.


Which textures you use will greatly depend on your system. A good middle ground I use is a mix of 2k-4k, with 2k textures as the base, and 4k giving a pop of detail to the things you really want to stand out. Running a base of 4k can really push your video card, and slowed down the game noticeably when I tried it. Mind you though, the 8k skin textures are very nice.


A final note on textures. Bethesda may have put out a High Resolution Texture Pack, but they are not quality high resolution textures. Some of the resolutions are sporting a ridiculous large file size for the sometimes itty-bitty texture they are replacing, while others are just not as good as they could be. While some texture mods do play nice with the HIgh Resolution Texture Pack, you are better off without it. For the 58gb of space that it would take to install it, you will get so much, much more out of this mod list. Plus, though I haven't crunched the exact numbers, i'm pretty sure all the textures used in this list come out to under 58 gb.



To Script, or Not, To Script


Scripts are one of the primary tools used by both the game and mods to determine things like behavior, event outcomes, and so on. Most mods that do stuff (i.e. process) will have scripts of some sort. So, scripts are not a bad thing. But, like textures, you can have too much of a good thing.


The more scripts that are running, the more processing time it will take chew through all those scripts. This can cause the game to slow down, or even freeze up until it is done processing. There is also an actual limit on the amount of scripts the game can run. Because of this, mods that are scriptheavy can have an impact of the game's performance. Run enough of them, and they can cause the game to freeze or even CTD. However, that can take a lot of scripts to do, and scriptheavy mods on their own are not a problem. Its when they multiply that the problems start.


Most mod lists can handle a few scripheavy mods without too much of an overall impact on performance. I say overall, because some mods can cause long load times. A good example of this is Sim Settlements. If you try to fast travel to a fully build Sim Settlement, expect the load to take a little longer than normal. Try to limit the use of scriptheavy mods in your list. I usually shoot for 2 to 3, 4 depending on the mods. 


How do you know if a mod is Scriptheavy? Well, there's no easy way unfortunately. Some mods will say they are scruiptheavy in their mod page. If the mod's files are not packed into a ba2 archive, you can check for script's manually after it's installed. There's also the fun way of just turning the mod on and seeing how it affects the gameplay, but that might not be due to scripts. 


Two of the heaviest scriptheavy mods I know of at the moment are Sim Settlements and Pack Attack NPC Edition. It is possible to run the two together, but generally, you might want to try just one or the other.



The Creation Club (CC)


If you have already played Skyrim SE or Fallout 4, you should know about the Creation Club. For those that do not, the Creation Club is Bethesda’s attempt at cashing in on modding, by getting some of the more notable modders from the community to create content that can be sold in the CC for real money. The modders get a portion of the revenue, so there is incentive to try it out. In fact, the only time the game really gets updated anymore is when the Creation Club gets new toys to sell you.


Sufficed to say, the Creation Club did not go over very well with some people when it first came out. Concept aside, every time the game is updated, some mods like F4SE and Looks Menu, which rely data and memory references, get mucked up with each new update, requiring them to be updated as well. Granted, as long as you don’t update fallout 4 (that will be covered in section #5), you don’t have to wait for those mods to update before you can play with them again. But. . .


As annoying as the Creation Club can be, it has come out with some interesting toys. Lots of new guns, new armors and power armors, player homes, quests relating to ced items, paint jobs for power armor, armor, weapons, and pip boy (not really worth the pennies they are charging though), and even a few dogmeat alternatives. However, some of it, like the X-02 power armor, have already been made into mods, and have been around for some time. The only difference between some of the CC stuff and the existing mods is that the CC stuff still gets updated from time to time. Not always an issue mind you. Mods in the CC are also tested to make sure that they are compatible with the base game (though there are still bugs).


Whether you get anything from the creation club or not is up to you. I personally have most of the guns and power armor, and few other things. The Anti-Material Rifle is a personal favorite, though it really needs the AMR equilibrium patch to fix the numbers.


One final point to make on the Creation Club. Bethesda regularly refreshes what goes on sale in the CC, and sometimes puts some items up for free. Most of the time it's paint jobs, but once in a blue moon they'll put something a little more pricey out, like one of the dog variants. Even if you don't end up buying anything from the CC, it doesn't hurt to check in once and awhile to see if there's a freebie for grab.



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#3 - The Mod List



(Optional)      : Optional mods are not necessary, but still generally recommended.

(Group XY)     : Grouping of mods that work together. Usually a main mod, some child mods, and maybe a patch or fix. Keep them together, and install                                      everything in the group unless told otherwise. 

(See #n)         : There is a supplemental note about this mod in the section #n. Not too important, but something you might want to be aware of. 

(CBBE)            : This mod requires CBBE to be installed in order to work properly. If you are using Fusion Girl, do not install this mod.

(FG)                : This mod requires Fusion Girl to be installed in order to work properly. If you are using CBBE, do not install this mod.

(Option)         : This means you can do something to tweak the mod. Not necessary, but strongly recommended.

(ScriptHeavy) : This mod has a lot of scripts. Do not use too many of these or you could suffer performance drops.

(Warning!)     : Important note, make sure you read it.

(Choose 1)     : If multiple options are listed, only use one of them. Trying to use both or all of them will cause problems.

🔻                 : This mod will need to be Update whenever Bethesda updates Fallout 4. 

grey mods     : Mods that are greyed out can be found on the same page as the previous link in the list. 



Before we can start installing mods, we need to take care of a few things first.


Fallout 4

No, i'm not going to tell you to install the game. I am going to say that you need to run the game from steam at least once in order to ensure it has properly installed all the necessary background stuff, including files. If you skip this step, you can sometimes get weird results from your modded game. Also, if you have the High-Resolution Pack installed, get rid of it. Bethesda's not-so-high-end textures are not worth the disk space compared to the textures that will be added by this mod list. 



🔻Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE)

Download and extract the folder from the archive. I usually keep the archive in the fallout 4 game folder (Default location at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Fallout 4\). In the extract F4SE folder, copy f4se_1_10_1xx.dll, f4se_loader.exe, and f4se_steam_loader.dll into your fallout folder.

(Option) For good measure, you should also copy over the Data and src folders as well. If you get a prompt asking to overwrite, just say yes. If it is asking for an overwrite, that just means you've probably already installed these folders before. Some mods will require the use of the contents of these folders, so best to get it done now then have to go back and do it later.



ENB for Fallout 4

Go to the latest release page (Currently v0.399) and download. Extract the archive into a folder. Do not extract this archive directly into you Fallout 4 folder. Copy ONLY d3d11.dll and d3dcompiler_46e.dll into your fallout folder. 

These two files are required to run any ENB preset, and are rarely (if ever), packaged with the ENB preset itself. (ENBs are covered in section #4)



Mod Organizer 2

Download and Install MO2. When you start it up, it will look for games. Select Fallout 4, read through any tutorials that pop up, and you are ready to go.


(Warning!)If you play around with mods long enough, the folders where MO2 stores all its files is going to get very big. Mine currently sits at around a 170gb (and has since grown now that I am close to finishing this guide). This includes all the mods downloaded and installed, as well as the overwrite folder (covered in section #4), and some other FO4 mod-related stuff. But most of that comes from the downloaded and installed mods. If you have multiple HDDs in your computer, I recommend not putting your modding content on the C drive.


This can be done by clicking on the configuration menu (the crossed wrench and screwdriver in MO2), and going to the paths directory. Click on the button beside the Base tab, and navigate to where you want to put the folder. DO NOT manually change the individual folders. If you do that incorrectly, it will create a headache. Once you change the base directory, the individual folders will update on their own.




(Warning!) While it can be done, if you are using MO2 to mod more than 1 game, DO NOT, put the folders together in the same place. This can be confusing and messy. My recommendation is to create a parent folder where you want to put your Fallout 4 content (i.e. Fallout 4 Mod Storage), and have MO2 install its folders in there. Use a separate parent folder for each game that MO2 is going to mod over.




FO4Edit will be necessary in order to run Ruddy88's Simple Sorter. Download the file, and extract the contents into a folder. I recommend putting it in the same fallout mods parent folder MO2 is using. Once That is done, you will have to add the executable for FO4Edit to MO2. (See MO2 – Adding Executables in section #4 for more details).



MXPF - Mator's xEdit Patching Framework

Yes, this is from the Skyrim section of the Nexus, but it does work with Fallout 4. This mod will be necessary in order to get Ruddy88's Simple Sorter working. Just manually download the file, and extract the contents of the file into the FO4Edit folder. 



This is where the mods that will form the backbone of your mod list go. This usually includes texture packs and framework mods. 

(Warning!) Make sure you install the mods in the order they are presented. Deviating from the listed order can cause problems depending on how you deviate.



Armor and Weapon Keywords Community Resource (AWKCR)                     

Armorsmith Extended                                                                                     

Bodyslide and Outfit Studio                                                                            

(Optional)(See #6) Start Me Up - Alternate Start and Dialogue Overhaul      

High Resolution Texture Pack by Valuis                                                           

True Grass                                                                                                         

Grass Reworked

SavrenX Organic Gore

SavrenX Food and Foodware

SavrenX HD 1k Buildings and Interiors

SavrenX Landscape Interior Building DLC

SavrenX HD Junk and Props DLC

SavrenX HD Settlements and Clutters

SavrenX HD Settlements and Clutters DLC                               

FO4 Landscape Overhaul HD

(Optional) FO4 Landscape Overhaul Sand Ripples                   

(Option)(See #4) Luxor8071's HD Texture Packs AIO                                      All 4 parts are large download

(Option)(See #4) Luxor8071's HD texture Pack AIO Pt 2 

(Option)(See #4) Luxor8071's HD Texture Pack AIO Pt 3

(Option)(See #4) Luxor8071's HD Texture Pack AIO Pt 4

(Option)(See #4) Diamond City HD                                                                Large download 

(Option)(See #4) Vault 111 HD                                                                       Large download

Vault 111 Exteriors 4k

Water Enhanced

Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch




Anything that changes the look of the game environment goes here. 


A Better Bullet

Ash and Goo Pile 2k


Better Leaf Piles

Bloody Realistic - HD Blood textures in 4k 2k 1k

Burnt Magazines and Comics Retexture

(Choose 1)Commonwealth Conifers Redux OR

(Choose 1)Boston Natural Surroundings

Delightful Ivy - HD Vine Retexture                                                                                   Olive Green

Electrical Tower 8k 4k 2k

Fallout 4 Ultimate Window Overhaul

EOW - Pre-War Books Retexture

Improved Map With Visible Roads                                                                                      

Improved Map With Visible Roads - Far Harbor                           

Improved Map With Visible Roads - Nuka World

Lily Pads

Pond Scum Remover                                                                                                            

(Option)(See #4)NMC's Texture Bundle                                                                           Do not use esl, it has issues with the Sanctuary Bridge Textures

Real Roads HD

Vault Crates Retexture

2K Shack Tarp Texture Replacer

Chain Link Fence HD

Sandbags HD

Sideway Bricks 4k 2k                                                                                                        

Airplane 4k                                                                                                                       

Delightful Dead Fish - HD Retextures for the Commonwealth and Far Harbor DLC       

Sanctuary Hills - Repair and Cleanup

Components Redone

Better Ammo Boxes

Better Ammo Boxes - Far Harbor 45-70                                                                           

Better Ammo Boxes - Nuka World 7.62

(Optional) Nuka-Cola Bottlecap Replacer

Pulowski Preservation Shelter 2287 Edition

Robot Model Kit 2k Retextures and Collectible Boxes

Retextured Chems v.1 - Ephla's Unique Chems

Retextured Chems v.2 - Ephla's Unique Chems

Retextured Water - by Ben Ephla

Nuka-Cola (2K)

Retextured Terminals - by Ben Ephla

(Optional)Vault Girl Mod - Neo's FOMOD Version (Textures)

Military Grade Duct Tape Olive-Green Retex

4k and 2k Safe Retexture

Retextured First Aid Kits - Ephla's Unique First Aid

Sweet Roll 5000 - XTREME Sweetroll Mesh and Texture Replacer                                       Cause the Vanilla sweet roll just doesn't look like food. . . 

Teddy Bear HD

Ultimate HD Flag Replacer - BoS                                                                                         

Ultimate HD Flag Replacer - CIT Prewar Flag (Institute)

Ultimate HD Flag Replacer - Minutemen

Ultimate HD Flag Repalcer - Railroad

(Choose 1)Ultimate HD Flag Replacer - Lore-Friendly US Flag OR Stars and Stripes

Armor Rack Female Mannequin Fix - CBBE - Fusion Girl - Atomic Beauty

Vehicle Overhaul

Fusion Flea HD

Bus Stop HD

Wasteland Nights - Moon and Stars Textures

HD Moon With Phases

(Optional)HD Moon With Phases - Smaller Moon                                                               




Something that is going to modify the HUD or any of the menus goes here.




Mods that change the PC's appearance (and possibly others) are for this section, including player presets


(Choose 1)Fusion Girl or Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer (CBBE)


Female Neck Tweaks

HN66s and Xazomns Distinctive Teeth for Fallout 4

The Eyes of Beauty Fallout Edition

Nuanced Eye Reflection

deLuxe Makeup - Eye Liner

deLuxe Makeup - Lip Liner                                                                                                                        

Ponytail Hairstyles by Azar

(Optional)Commonwealth Cuts - KS Hairdos - ApachiiSkyHair

(Optional)Ks Hairdos - Addon(s) with Physics                                                                                          Only needed if Commonwealth Cuts is installed

(Choose 1)SavrenX Detailed Hair or 

(Choose 1)Hair Tones Redux - A Hair Color Overhaul

Simple Clean Face for Woman

(Choose 1)(Optional)Radiation Queen - Fusion Girl - CBBE - Skin Textures or

(Choose 1)(Optional)FSM Body Textures Redux CBBE Textures and Presets (Base Female) or                                 You only need 1 of these skin textures

(Choose 1)(Optional)8K Realistic Skin Textures - Fusion Girl - CBBE - ABeauty - Unique Player Compatible



NPC and Creatures

Mods that modify the appearance of NPCs or creatures go here. New NPCs and Faction overhauls can go here as well



Physics and Animations

Mods that add or change animations go here, including physics


CBP Physics for Fallout 4

Zaz Extended Skeleton (ZeX)                                                                                    Needed for Bodytalk regardless of if you use FG

(CBBE)MTM CBP Physics Preset

(FG)ZCBP - CBP Configs for ZeX Bodies (BT2 - Fusion Girl)


Female Sexy Sitting and Standing Animation Replacer                                            Install Sitting positions only

Lowered Weapons

Pistol Reanimation Pack

Hunting Rifle Re-animation Replacer                                                                    




New armors and equipment goes here


(FG)Fusion Girl Vanilla Outfits

SavrenX HD Vanilla Armor

SavrenX HD Vanilla Clothes

SavrenX HD DLC Armor and Clothes

SavrenX Super Mutant HD Armor

(Optional)Black Titanium Power Armor Frame

(Optional)Cross Chosen of Atom                                                                                           If getting the textures from Patreon, merge with main file

(Optional)(FG)Cross Chosen of Atom For Fusion Girl                               

(Group 2)Cross Courser Strigidae                                                                                          Merge Main file with meshes and skinpack if downloaded

(Group 2)(CBBE)Cross_Courser Strigidae - CBBE 1st Person Fix

(Group 2)(FG)Cross_Courser Strigidae For Fusion Girl - Bodylisde

(Group 2)Cross_InstituteExpeditionarySuit                                                                            Merge Skinpack and Cbbe files (If using Cbbe) with main file

(Group 2)(FG)CROSS_InstituteExpeditionarySuit for Fusion Girl - BodySlide

(Choose 1)CROSS Armor Integration - Courser Strigidae and Expeditionary Suit or Institute Replacer

Gunner Army Military Camo Pack

HN66s SIRIUS.12 Assault Suit -CBBE- and -SHB-

(FG)HN66s SIRIUS.12 Assault Suit - Fusion Girl BodySlide Conversion

Nuka World Armor Only

Handmade Post-apocalypse Hazmat Suit

Proto Vault Suit

SavrenX Power Armor HD DLC

Strac Hats

Eyewear and Mask Retexture

Backpacks of the Commonwealth




Any sound related mods go here, including new radio stations, and main menu replacers


Faded Glory - A Post-Apocalyptic Soundscape (Remastered)

Lost Audio Tweaks

Lost Audio Tweaks - No RAO Replacer

Lost Audio Weaks - Faded glory Patch

Commonwealth Gunfire Overhaul - realistic weapon sounds

(Optional) Barefoot Footstep Extended

(Optional)(Choose 1) Barefoot Footstep Extended Sound Package Original Version or                     

(Optional)(Choose 1) Barefoot Footstep Extended Sound Package Alternate Version


Consistent shell audio

Ghouls Add Sound Caiena

(Optional)More Where That Came From - Diamond City Radio Edition

NPC's Institute Laser Weapon Sound FIX

Project Reality Footsteps FO4

Quieter Settlements

Realistic Conversations Fallout 4

(Optional)Realistic Conversations - More NPCs                                                             

Realistic Minigun Sound Replacer

(Optional)STFU Military Checkpoint Announcer                                                            Cause some people REALLY hate that guy

Atomic Radio

(Optional)(Warning!)Old World Radio - Boston                                                             6gb download, but lots of good music and DJs

(Optional)(Warning!)Old World Radio 2                                                                         1.2gb download, but worth it.




Mods that change gameplay mechanics go here


(Optional)(Group 3)Bobble Girl - with Slooty Vault Suit

(Optional)(Group 3)Bobble Girl Loading Screen

Cleaner and Dirtier Soups

Better Companions - All In One

Everyone's Best Friend (Dogmeat and Companion At Same Time)

Immersive Dogmeat - Smart - Silent - Sneaky

Dogmeat - Doors are NOT for Dogs (No Door Opening)                                           

Companion Infinite Ammo

Companion Heal Thyself                                                                                              So they can be their own medic

EXP From Companion Kill (No Damage Required)                                                      Very good to have if you use Ivy and her handcannon

Realistic Sprinting - A Logical Approach

Improved Adhesive

(Optional)Legendary Modification

(Optional)More Feral Ghouls. A Zombie Mod

More Realistic Cats

(Warning!)One Minutemen Radiant Quest At A Time                                                 Do not install if We are The Minutemen is installed

Realistic Ragdoll Force

Shell Rain

Distributed DLC Leveled Lists                                        

Smokeable Cigars - Cigarettes - Joints - With HardCore Auto Save
🔻(Optional)(Group 4)Place Everywhere

(Optional)(Group 4)Scrap Everything

(Optional)(Group 4)Snappable Junk Fences                                                               Makes building those walls around your settlements a lot easier

(Optional)(Choose 1)PiP-Pad or 

(Optional)(Choose 1)PipboyRemover

(Optional)Pip-Pad Sleeve Fix                                                                                      

Encounter Zone Recalculation





Mods that add or alter lands, new interiors, or quest mods


Better Landscape grass

The Beantown Interiors Project

Bridge from Far Harbor to Longfellow's Cabin

Far Harbor Shack

Goodneighbor Expanded

(Warning!)Immersive and Extended Lexington                                                      See section #6

Inside Jobs - Commonwealth Interiors Add-On

Stumble Upon Interiors

(Optional)Ketaros Treasures                                                                                  Adds a fun little scavenger hunt with some decent rewards

(Warning!)South of The Sea (Massive Glowing Sea and Swamps Expansion)      See section #6

The Lost Vault

Maxwell's World

Tales From The Commonwealth




Mods that involve crafting and adding new non-equipment items like furniture and other settlement-related items


Craftable Display Shelves

Crimsomrider's Unique Furniture

(Optional)Deployable Turret Pack 2 -- New Portable and Workshop Turrets                            Defends your settlement or take them with you

Dog Bed for Dogmeat

Increased Build Limit Enhanced 4K                                                                                             Khala is a Starcraft reference

JaL - Just a Ladder (redux)

Looks Mirror

Lovers Luxury bed - The Lady Killer (STANDALONE - MYBed)

(Optional)Water Purifiers on Land

Move that Workbench

Move Settlement Spawn Point

PWR - Passive Water Resources vol. 1

Repaired Wall-Clock - Vanilla and Homemaker Mesh Replacer

Singing Settler

Solar Panels                                                                                                                                install 1.2a, then merge with 1.3.1

Workshop Rearranged

Less shitty industrial wall lights

Dino's Decorations - clutter arrangements for your settlements

Professional Ammo Crafting (P.A.C)                                                                                          



Patches and Fixes

Patches for mods go here. This also include patches for sorting mods like VIS and VIS-G


AWKCR - Color Swap Mod Slot Hider

Beantown Interiors Full Optimization Patch

Tales from the Commonwealth Visual Fixes

BloodPack Mesh Fix

🔻Crafting Highlight Fix

Far Harbor Bed Fix

Far harbor perk fixes

Faster Workshop (Workshop Lag Fix)

Fixed Alpha Maps

Flicker Fixer

Less Exaggerated Blood Impacts

Limited Time MoleRat Disease and Craftable Cure                                                                          A feature that is a bug

(Optional)NeuraLOD - Higher detail LOD

Plasma Impact Fix


Radio Model Replacer

Remove Trish's Note

Robco Fun - Red Menace Magazine

SavrenX HD Vanilla Armor - Fix

SavrenX HD Vanilla Clothes - Fix for Suit Dirty and Mobsters

SavrenX Better Robots and HD Liberty Prime - Turret Decal Fix

SavrenX HD Settlement and Clutters - Fix oxygen Tank

SOTS All Vers. AWKCR -AND- Armorsmith Extended Patch

(Optional)Start Me Up - Patch for Far Harbor                                                                                 Only needed if using Start Me Up

(Optional)Start Me Up - Patch for Nuka World                                                                               

Transparent glass werks and bottles bugfix

Workshop Rearranged Patch Pack                                                                                                   



Weather and Lighting



Elevator Light Fixed

Enhanced Lights and FX

Radiant Clouds and Fogs

(Choose 1)True Storms - Wasteland Edition or Vivid Weathers

True Storms - Nuka-World Addon                                                                            

World of Thunder - True Storms Addon                                                                   Only needed if using True Storms

(Optional)Darker Nights

Remove Interior Fog

Live Action Mr. Handy - Eye Lights - Includes Automatron DLC

Night Time God Rays

Vanilla Reflection Maps

Workshop Spotlight Fix

Workshop Lightbulb Emittance Fix

Wasteland Illumination DLC                                                                                     Use non DLC if you do not want the Far Harbor Patch

Wasterland Illumination - Far Harbor Addon                                                          



Armor Override

Armor patches go here, as well as any power armor mods or patches


(Optional)Camo Combat Armor

BoS Jumpsuit Retexture

Militarized Minutemen - Uniforms Patches and Insignia Addon

(Optional)(Group 5)Consistent Power Armor Overhaul                                                                    Make sure you use the AWKCR replacer plugins

(Optional)(Group 5)Brotherhood Power Armor Overhaul                                                                 for everything in this group

(Optional)(Group 5)Power Armor Materials AND Paints (PAMAP)

(Optional)(Group 5)More Power Armour Mods (More Power Armor Mods)

(Optional)(Group 5)More Power Armour Mods - Automatron                                                         




Weapons and weapon patches


Less Bulky Laser Rifle

Laser Rifle Full Grip Stock

SavrenX Weapon HD DLC

RobCo Recon Scope Replacer

M26 Fragmentation Grenade Replacer

Worn But Cared For10mm Pistol Retex

Post-apocalyptic homemade weapons. Replacer (Assault Rifle)

Post-apocalyptic homemade weapons. Replacer (Laser Musket)

Post Apocalyptic homemade weapons. Replacer (Pipe Guns)

M1928A1 Thompson - Day of Infamy

Anti Materiel Rifle - F4NV

Service Rifle

Wattz Laser Gun

Wasteland Melody's Chinese Assault Rifle

Chinese Assault Rifle Animations

Chinese Assault Rifle - Replacer

(Optional)See Through Scopes                                                                     This one can add a truck load of esps depending on what you pick. 



 Lover's Lab

This section of the guide is based on the excellent AFF Installation Guide Saya Scarlett and can be found here on Lover's Lab. What is presented here is a cut down version of the complete list that adds animations for humans and some creatures, as well as trio of mods to actually trigger ced animations. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of mods from LL. You can find a complete list at the bottom of the guide, and I will touch on some of them later in section #5.

(Warning!)It should go without saying that everything in this section involves sex, and lots of it, but only sex. If you do not want to have any sexcapades in the commonwealth, feel free to skip this section. 

(Warning!)This LL setup does not have any pose support installed. If there is enough interested I will add a section to this guide for installing poses.


Vioxsis' Strap-On's of Fallout 4Advanced Animation Framework (AAF)

VanillaSexAnimations, Kinky/Aggressive and CreatureSexAnimations
Vioxsis' Strap-On's of Fallout 4


[AAF] FO4 Animations by Leito                                                                                                    Dog and Super Mutant animations                                          Atomic Lust

Mutated Lust                                                                                                                                Creatures and Super Mutant animations

SavageCabbage Animation Pack                                                                                                  Various Animations

(UAP) Ulfberth's AAF Patch - For MM Only                                                                                  Yes, this is required for patching purposes.

Staged Leito Plus Erection Fix

AAF Sex Em Up

AAF Prostitution

AAF Violate




Mods you create create from the override folder go here, as well as some mods that absolutely positively have to be at the end of the mod list. 


Outfit Switcher - Hotkey Loadouts

Bodyslide Override                                                                                               See Section #4 for details how to create this file

Unlimited Companion Framework

Ruddy88's Simple Sorter                                                                                      Extract into FO4Edit Folder. See Section #4 for further details.


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#4 - Installation


Installing the mod list is pretty straight forward. Below are some steps that you will need to carry out before, during, and after the mod installation process.





You will need to do the following before you start installing mods.



Getting Fallout 4 Ready to Use Mods


Before you can run mods in FO4, you first need to modify the ini file. The ini file is a file that contains a number of settings that is read when FO4 starts. In order to get Fallout to see and use mods, you need to tell it to. 


Navigate to the Fallout 4 folder in your My Documents folder (usually found in C:\Users\<Profile Name>\Documents\my games\Fallout4). If you've already run the game (Like you were supposed to in Section #2). You should see a file called Fallout4Custom.ini. If not, you can create one using a blank text document. Just make sure to replace the txt at the end with ini. Open this file in notepad, and go to the bottom of the file, and add the following as it is written:






Once you've added those three lines (copy and paste recommended) save and close the ini file. Fallout 4 is now ready to start running mods.



Other Edits


Some mods will require you to add or change other lines in Fallout4Custom.ini, Fallout4.ini, or Fallout4Prefs.ini. Make sure you follow the instructions given, and to not modify anything else unless you really know what you are doing. 


If a mod in this list needs to add something it will mention it, but even then, always check the description page of a mod for any special instructions.



MO2 - Using Separators and Empty Mods


By right-clicking anywhere in the mod section of MO2 and mousing over All Mods you will find two options to help keep your list organized: one to create an empty mod, and one to create a separator. Both of these can be used to create headers to separate the different sections of the list in MO2, but the separator is the better of the two. Not only will it bold the separator title, it will indent the title so there is a clear break in the list. Using an empty mod as a section header will only grey it out, so it can be missed. You can see from the example image below the difference between the two.






During Installation


The Following Steps will need to be done while installing mods, and will affect certain mods in the list.



MO2 - Adding Executables


In order to get tools like Bodyslide FO4 Edit and to see your mod list, they are going to have to be run through MO2. If you try to run something outside of MO2, it will look at the game's data folder, and won't see much of anything. 


To add a tool to MO2, click on the blue and green gear icon at the top of the screen, then click on the plus sign beside Executables, and click add from file. Select the exe file of the tool you want to use. Once once done, click apply, then okay to close the window. tools added to MO2 can be found in the drop down list box beside the run button. If you want to make a shortcut to the tool, select it in the list box, then click on shortcut under the run button, and choose where you want to the shortcut to go.






Mods That Need Some Extra Work to Get Working

A few mods in the list have some extra steps that are required to get them working as intended. Nothing too complicated, but it can make a difference.




Once BodySlide is installed, the output folder has to be changed to point to the overwrite folder. This will be necessary for the creation of the BodySlide Override. It also ensure that you'll know where to find your body and clothing nif files should you need them.


Once you have installed BodySlide and outfit studio, add BodySlide's executable (BodySlide x64.exe) to MO2. It can be found in the BodySlide mod folder under tools\BodySlide. Once BodySlide has been added, run BodySlide from MO2.


Inside BodySlide, click on the setting button at the bottom of the window. In the settings window, click on the advanced tab to expand it, then click on the browse button beside the output path textbox. Navigate to MO2's fallout4 overwrite folder and open it, then click select folder. Once the location is appears in the text box, click ok, then close BodySlide for now.







Texture Packs with Optional ESLs


Some of the texture packs in this mod list come with optional ESLs you can download. These replace the ESPs packaged in the main file, and help to save some space. However, if you install the optional ESL file (You can merge these with their perspective packs), the ESP does not go away, and will appear in the plugins list along with the ESL. You can either just make sure the ESP is not enabled, or you can go into the mod's folder and delete the ESP. 


The current mods that include opetional ESP downloads are:

Luxor's HD Texture Pack AIO 1-4

Vault 111HD

Diamond CIty HD

LooksMenu Body Tattoos (CBBE) (EVB or vanilla)                               (Not a texture pack I know, but you follow the same process)





Post Installation


The following steps must be completed once all of your mods are installed and activated. This is necessary because a mod's ESM, ESP, ESL, or ESP flagged ESL will not appear in the plugins list, until there's a little check mark beside the mod in the mod list.



Sorting your Plugins


As previously said, this mod list is sorted to work. However, the load order of the plugins has to be tweaked a little. Once all the mods are installed, move any ESM files to the top, then move the ESLs to the top of the list under the ESMs. The ESPs and ESPESLs stay exactly in the same order. The easiest way to do this I find is by activating the mod list one section at a time. Once a section is activate, move any ESMs up, then any ESLs. Once done, the top of your mod list should look something akin to this. Again, DO NOT move the ESPs flagged as ESLs!






Building Your Body, Clothes, and Armor


Once all your mods are loaded and your plugins sorted, the next step is to build your body, clothes, and armor in BodySlide. This is done to make sure that 1) they work and 2) they fit your desired body. Not doing so can result in clipping issues, where clothing can stick out too far, or not far enough, showing the skin underneath. 


The first step is to build the body. The reason you build the body first, is so you find the preset you like. Presets are a pre-packaged set of sliders that are used to shape the body. Both CBBE and Fusion girl come with a basic set of presets, and you can find many, many, many more on the Nexus. Or, you can build own, but I do not recommend that for first time users, as there is a lot of sliders that need to be tweaked just right to make a body look good. 


Once you've picked your preferred preset and built your body, you can build everything else. This is where it can get a little tricky. If you only have the one preset, you can just batch build (by pressing the batch button in bottom left-hand corner of the BodySlide window). However, some presets come with clothing versions of a preset (CBBE has a few of these). These clothing presets make minor changes to the body so that it looks a little better in clothing (like adding the lift from a bra). You do not need to use these, but in my experience, they do make clothes and armor that cover the torso look better. This will require you picking through your list of buildable clothing and armor and building pieces individually. Generally, when I do have a clothing preset, I build everything with the base preset first, and go through a batch build, disabling everything except for torso-covering pieces. Again, not necessary, but it can make for a better looking figure. Before you build anything though, and I mean ANYTHING, make sure there is a check mark beside morphs (set beside the batch build button). Why? Well. . . 



Morphs and Why You Need Them


Morphs is an option that you can use when building your bodies, clothing, and armor. Morphs can do a couple of things, but for the purpose of this guide, here's why you might need them. 


Certain mods have an effect(s) that can cause parts of the body to grow and/or shrink. The most common of these is the stomach with pregnancy mods, but there is also one or two mods on LL that can cause breast and butt growth. However, by default, you will not see these changes unless the body, clothing, and/or armor you are wearing have the morphs necessary to show the growth. Basically, by building something with morphs, it adds the necessary bits that allow the body or items you are wearing to stretch or compress. Building clothing with morphs can also help make them fit a body better without having to go in and messing with the presets. Again, there is more to morphs than that, but that is the part you need to be aware of for the purpose of this guide. 


When building anything in BodySlide, I recommend to always build it with morphs enabled. Aside from sometimes helping make things fit better and reducing potential clipping issues, if you do play with something like a pregnancy mod, it only takes 1 item to cause the morphs to be hidden. Unless you are using a mod that specifically says to not build morphs, always build with morphs. 



The Overwrite Folder and Bodyslide Override


MO2's overwrite folder is where all files generated by MO2 and the installed mods are stored. This includes any bodyslide files you create with bodyslide. Originally (from what I have read), The original intent of the Overwrite folder was to be a temporary place holder for generated files so they can get packaged up into user-created mods and added to MO2. Least, that seems to be the original idea. In practice though, stuff that gets generated in the overwrite folder tends to remain in overwrite until something goes horribly wrong, and you have to clear it out to try and resolve whatever issue you may be experiencing. In my own experience, there is usually no problem leaving files in the overwrite folder. The exception to this is bodyslide files. 


Depending how how often you change bodies or presets, things can get weird. If you are also like me, and have to switch between the Fusion Girl body and the CBBE body, than that can further complicate things. This is where creating your own mod out of the overwrite folder's contents comes in handy. OF course, if you only ever plan to just use one body, you can skip the following. If you just want to create a backup 


Once you have installed and activated all the mods, and built all your bodies and clothing pieces, go into the overwrite folder. You should see a meshes folder in there. If there is anything else, either delete it, or move it OUT of the overwrite folder temporarily. This is because when MO2 creates a mod out of the contents of overwrites, it unfortunately takes EVERYTHING in there, and you only want the meshes. If you carry over an old F4SE folder, or MCM folder (neither of which you should have yet unless you've already started the game), it could cause problems down the road. When you are ready to create the mod, go to the very bottom of the mod list, and you will see overwrite in red. Right-click on overwrite, select make mod, and give your mod a name. Press Ok, and your new mod will be packaged and added to the mod list. 


Now, all that being said, You could do this on your own just by archiving the meshes folder yourself. However, this is the simpler approach, and if you do these things in order, you won't actually have to go into the overwrite folder and move/delete stuff. 


Now, as for why you would want to do this, having a default package of bodyslide files is always a good backup. Depending on how much you add to the game, and how much you change things around, you can spend upwards of half an hour or more building meshes. Having to do it all over again, can be annoying. Having a base set of meshes as a backup to fall back on is always a good idea to have, even if it is just the default in game clothing. And if you are like me, and regularly switch between CBBE and FG for whatever reason, having a seperate CBBE and FG mod of bodyslide files helps keep things running a little more seamlessly.



Ruddy88's Simple Sorter (RSS)


Ruddy88’s Simple Sorter is the only sorting mod I will recommend for Fallout 4 at this time. Unlike other sorting mods, RSS uses scripts to create an ESP that contains all the sorting information. This pretty much eliminates the need for compatibility patches, as well as a number of other issues I don’t want to get into at this time.

Ruddy88 has a detailed installation guide on the mod page's description section. All of the pre-requisites have now been added into the mod list, so all you should need to do is the part where you have to run the script. HOWEVER, I highly recommend you READ THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS!!! Simple Sorter requires a little work to get working, so make sure you READ THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS!!!


(Warning!)You must run the Simple Sorter Script after your mod list is completely installed and activated. If you change your mod list, you will have to re-run the script in order for any new items to get picked up for sorting. This is why it is the last step. If you are just adding things like textures that don't add new items to the game, you won't need to re-run simple sorter.



Adding an ENB to Enrich Your Fallout Experience


To be honest, I did not start using ENBs until I started to mod Skyrim SE. The few ENBs I did try way back then did not impress, though admittedly, I also didn't know what I was doing and what to look for (I also didn't pick the right ENBs either, but that is a different story). But what is an ENB? Or ENB Presets as they are called on the Nexus.


ENB Presets are used to change the overall lighting in FO4, and add some other visual effects. This can completely change the way your game looks. Think of an ENB preset like playing with the contrast on your monitor, but on steriods, and with lots more options, but only affecting the game and not your monitor. Some ENBs, like Vogue ENB or PRC try to enhance the overall look of the game. Others, Like Pilgrim, try to give you a completely different Fallout experience. 


In the old list, Aylis Recommended using the Fusion - ENB Preset. I'm not the biggest fan of it cause it has issues with some mods that are particle heavy. Currently, I am testing a few other ENBs, and will update this section once I'm done. 


(Warning!)All ENBs have to be installed manually into the fallout 4 game directory. Do not try to install them with MO2 or any other mod app, it will not work. When Installing an ENB, make sure you read the installation instruction usually found in the description of the mod.


the one patch AAF folder.png

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#5 - The Options


So, if you followed this list and installed all of the options, You should have about 190-200 ESPs and ESMs installed. This will leave you with room for 50+ more ESPs and ESMs that you can install, not counting the loads of other ESLs you can add to it. 


Since I wanted to leave as much free room as possible, I left out a number of other mods that I often play with, for various reasons. This section will contain a list of ced mods for you to explore. 




Guns, guns, guns! And maybe a few melee weapons (not many). Unless stated otherwise, all mods and their patches should go in the Weapons section of the mod list.


Loads of Ammo - Switchable Ammunition Types


An ammunition framework that lets you craft or find multiple ammo types that you can swap on the fly. This allows you to use a variety of effects with different guns without adding a legendary effect to them. It's a good system, but can get a lil unbalanced if paired with a vanilla weapon stat overhaul.



New Calibers


Another ammunition mod, New Calibers allows you to convert guns so they use different munitions, either vanilla or one of the many added by this mod. Unlike Loads of Ammo, a gun has to be converted at a weapons bench in order to accept new ammunition. New Calibers has patches for many of the gun mods on the nexus, with new gun mods getting a patch not long after its initial release. It is an interesting system, but because there are so many different types of munitions, you can end up finding everything but the ammo you are looking for.



Doombased Weapons Merged (Weapon Pack)                          

Doombased Weapons Merged Balancer                                    


Doombased weapon's pack contains a plethora of weapons, some of which might be familiar to those of you who've played the earlier fallout games. All weapons are injected into the level list, and can also be found scattered around the commonwealth. The balance patch is really recommended, mostly for the Catalyst shotgun: It is very OP. Fun to use granted, not so fun if someone else uses it on you, specially with the explosive rounds



Skibadda Weapon Pack                                                               


Another good gun pack, but definitely overpowered. It comes with a number of miniguns, and the mk22, a big, heavy gun that makes a great turret to defend settlements with, but you really need the cheaper turret patch to make them (Don't believe me, see the vanilla requirements ><). Otherwise, all weapons have been added to the level list. Be careful with this one, as a enemies sporting these guns can do a lot of damage.



Misriah Armory

(Optional)Misriah Armory Addons


Those of you who are fans of the Halo series will like this one. Misriah Armory recreates a number of the halo series weapons in fallout 4. These are some nice guns, and go great with the two Halo armor mods also available on the nexus (the ODST Battle Armor, and the Mjolnir Mk V(B) Assault Armor)



New Vegas Uniques Mega Pack


20 Unique weapons from Fallout New Vegas recreated in fallout 4. Scattered around the Commonwealth, these uniques have quests to find them. The Mysterious Magnum is a personal favorite. 





A modder's page rather than a mod page, Deadpool2099 has recreated a number of weapon mods from Fallout New Vegas to fallout 4. You've already seen his work in the form of the Service Rifle and the Wattz Laser Gun in this mod list. The Hunting Shotgun and the Bullpup Bozar are also favorites of mine, but feel free to try out his other offerings too.





Ah, the Aquilla. One of my favorite guns in a modded fallout 4. His other guns are good too, and the factor alone has an almost ridiculous number of barrels to try. If you do want to give the factor a try, I also recommend getting the Factor Expanded and Additional Barrels and Sniper fix for Factor - Modular Rifle mods. They contain some fixes and even more barrels for this weapon. 


One of the other interesting things about VigVam33's mods is that he seems to be building up a story with each one. Hoping down the road he will release some sort of quest / adventure mod. Time will tell.



Cross Blades, Cyro Lance, Ruger MkV, Break Action Laser, and PlasRail


Another modder with with some quality mods, Neiro doesn't just do armor. He has a few good weapon mods worth trying out. His blades mod also comes with some throwable knives that that can be charge to release a plasma explosion on impact. He also did the Archimedes-II, but I am not a fan of that one, as it was a bit of a pita to get working. 


Beretta M9-FS Pistol (92FS)


A very good handgun. I often use this one in lieu of the 10mm when I start a new game that doesn't involve some sort of vanilla weapon stat overhaul. There used to be a replacer mod for it to replace the 10mm, but it and a number of other replacers Aylis had in her list seem to have been removed by the author. Why is it not in this? When I made this list, I tried, TRIED, to keep things as close to the vanilla game as possible. Because of that, unfortunately, the beretta did not fit that criteria, but don't let it stop you from trying it yourself.



DKS-501 Sniper Rifle - Standalone


The fallout 3 sniper rifle brought to the commonwealth. A Pretty good alternative to the hunting rifle. I found it to be a little weak closer to endgame, but I also play a survival+ game usually.



Insanitys Celtic Katana


Those of you who have modded skyrim probably know of InsanitySorrow and his weapon mods. This is a port of one of his katanas from Skyrim to Fallout 4. The only issue with this one is that you will need the console to get it.



Battlefield 1 Animation Pack - Hunting Rifle


Not a weapon per say, but this mod replaces the vanilla hunting rifle with a scratch made version based on the rifle from Battlefield 1. It is a very nice gun, but it can cause some compatibility problems with mods that alter the hunting rifle's stats. 




Clothing and Armor

Unique clothing and armor (mods not linked to any vanilla assets), as well as any BodySlide files go into the Armor section. Most patches go in the patch section. If you want to use clothing or armor replacers, they should go into the armor override section. 


Fallout 4 High Heels System                                                                 Place in Physics and Animation

(CBBE)Skeletal Adjustments for CBBE - Knee Fix                                  Place in Physics and Animation


This adds physics to high heels. There are a number of new shoe mods that use the HHS, but it also seems to be compatible with older shoe-related mods as well. Read the installation instructions on the description page for the full details.



HN66s EasyGirl Outfits for CBBE and SHB - Bodyslide

CBBE Physics for HN66s EasyGirl Ver 5


An oldie but a goodie, Easygirl is a collection of clothing and a few armor pieces that one can mix and match. Also include a very nice standalone version of Elder Maxson's coat. Unfortunately, there is currently no bodyslides for fusion girl, and there probably won't be given how old the mod is. This was a clothing set I've been using for years, and only recently replaced in my mod list with some of Vtaw's offerings.



Fortaleza Armor - CBBE - BodySlide


Fortaleza is a bit of a pain in the ass to get setup, but it can be worth the hassle. This set of armor mods is completely modular, allowing for a variety of combinations. Unfortunately, each armor set comes in it's own mod, with ESP. Fortunately, there is a merge patch to help cut down the plugin bloat. There is also a set of bodyslides for Fusion girl. 



Niero (Again)


Aside from his armor's currently in the mod list, Niero has made a number of other armor and clothing mods over the years that are very good. The Mojave Manhunter and the Handmaiden are two that I like to use for companions (or myself). Many of his more recent offerings also have alternate textures and color scheme packs that you can download from either patreon or Gumroad for free (links usually found in the download section of the armor in question). 





Another mod author with a long list of credits in both Skyrim and FO4, Elianora has a number of nice armor and clothing mods. Her Prudy vault suit is one that was on Aylis' old mod list that I would have carried over if it had a regular vault suit replacer. She's also done some housing mods as well that are worth a look at, aside from the Far Harbor shack already in this mod list. Unfortunately, Elianora's most recent work has been for the Creation Club, so you will have to pay for those if you want to try them out. 





Though he has only recently started posting his work on the Nexus, Vtaw has come out with some nice clothing packs that are definitely worth looking at. His clothing mods have also been getting Fusion Girl Bodyslides, so there's no reason not to try them. 





This very slooty set of clothing mods has had an interesting history. TheKite is not a modder, but an artist of racy and risky works (you can find him on Hentai Founder here). The armors were originally made by Niero based on TheKite's designs, who after awhile tried to make them disappear when he cleaned up his mod profile. While they were off the Nexus for awhile, they remained in circulation until they came back onto the Nexus under Th3Kite. Not sure who's running that profile, but the mods are here to stay for now at least.


These clothing sets are very NSFW, and come with replacers. These were actually some of the first mods I found and used when trying to make a much slootier playthrough (Before finding LL), and look pretty good. 



Nano Suit 6.2


Not to be confused with the newer Nano Suit based on the Crysis game trilogy (you can find it here), Nano Suit 6.2 is an alternative to the assault armor in the mod list. It is a decent armor set with slightly higher crafting requirements, a sword, and a working (I think) jet pack. Unfortunately, no one has yet to create a fusion girl bodyslide for it. It's a decent armor, and was on Aylis' mod list, just not my cup of tea as it were, but still worth an honorable mention.



NCR Ranger Veteran Armor or NCR Veteran Ranger - F4NV


The NCR Ranger armor is in my opinion, one of the best looking non-powered armors to come out of the Fallout series. The reason there is two different mods to choose from is because they both come with caveats.


The NCR Ranger Veteran Armor has been out for a few years. It's a good armor set, and has an alternate riot gear version that can also be found somewhere in the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, the mod has issues. Some of the armor mods that can be added to the armor do not work as intended. If you add them via the armor bench, they won't appear, until you take the armor off, and you won't be able to get rid of them until you put the armor back on, and remove them via the armor workbench. The armor's pip-boy light also does not work correctly, and will need a patch file to get working. 


The F4NV version of the armor is the newer one. I haven't had a chance to test it out in detail, but it's more closer to New Vegas version in terms of stats and functionality than the first. While the mod itself works, the bodyslide packed with it are crappy. It is also locked in a trunk with master level lock. Fortunately, there are updated bodyslide files available, as well as patches to either craft the armor or get it in some other way.


Whichever version you end up using, you need one or two patches to go with it. Patches can go in the Patches and Fixes section of the list.



Tau Ceti - Fully Modular Combat Armor


The Tau Ceti is an interesting armor set. While fully modular, what you can turn it into will depend on what perks you have leveled, making it a mid to end game armor set. Some of the mods are very NSFW. Currently, there is only CBBE bodyslide files available for it, though I may try my hand at creating FG bodyslide files for this myself.



ALSL Vault Suit Unzipped CBBE BodySlide


One of several unzipped vault suits available on the Nexus. This one is my personal preference because it is compatible with the proto vault suit retexture, and has Fusion Girl bodyslide files available.



Rings Of The Commonwealth


This mods adds a variety of rings with various stat boosts. They are spread out well enough that you'll find low power rings at the start, and higher powered ones as you level and search the commonwealth.



Rad-Ban Eyewear Inc.

(Optional)Armorsmith Eyewear Mod Patch                                                              Place in Patches Section, download from Rad-Ban page

(Optional)Nuka Scratch Patch                                                                                   Place in Patches Section, download from Rad-Ban page

(Optional)Start Me Up - Rad-Ban Eyeware Four Eyes Trait Patch                              Place in Patches section


Rad-Bans is a set of several stylish glasses that was originally on Aylis' list. Again, not my cup of tea, but worth an honorable mention. Make sure you place the Rad-Bans AFTER the Eyewear and Mask Retexture mod in the armor section of the list. The Four eyes patch is necessary if you want to get the bonus from that trait while wearing Rad-Ban glasses. 



West Tek Tactical Optics - Night Vision Thermal Vision Goggles and More

(Optional)WestTek Tactical Optics - Toggle HotKeys                                                 Place in Patches


I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with this one. I love the idea, and it's a good mod, but I have had issues getting it to work in the past, especially the toggle (Hence the patch). Some of the functionality is also already present in AE in the form of the targeting HUD platform. That being said though, it is definitely an interesting armor mod to try. If you are going to try this one, there are also some other optional patches to better integrate it with other clothing parts.




Companion Options

Additional Companions and mods that alter companions. Should all go in the NPC and Creatures section unless otherwise noted.


Heather Casdin - A Unique Companion Experience by llamaRCA


Next to Ivy, Heather is one of the best companion mods available in FO4. She is has many, many voiced lines, can learn to hack, has quests, and will even buy and sell stuff. The only reason she isn't in this mod list is that she has some stretchy boob / compatibility issues with AAF I am still trying to work out. Those aside, she is definitely worth trying, and does not take up a companion slot, so she can travel with you and another companion without the need for a companion mod. 



Everyone's Best Friend (Dogmeat and Companion At Same Time - No Console - No Hack)


This mod will let you bring dogmeat with you without taking up the companion slot. This one might make it into the mod list in a future iteration. 



Unlimited Companion Framework


If you want to travel with more than one companion (besides heather, and the above dogmeat mod), this mod will let you bring a whole crew with you. However, bringing everyone with you can cause performance issues. Also, Ivy 5.2 is supposed to come with her own companion framework, so this mod might become redundant in the future.



Housing Options

Mods that change existing player homes or add new ones can be found here. Unless otherwise stated, they should be put in the world section of the list


Faction Housing Overhaul - All In One


An overhaul of the three faction player homes (Rooms) by Elianora. It also adds two new ones: One for the minutemen general in the Castle, and another for the Railroad in their HQ.


Sanctuary Hot Springs Settlement and Home


This mods adds a nice home on the east side of Sanctuary, complete with outdoor hotspring and waterfall. It's a nice place for those who want to use Sanctuary as their home base, but don't want to get stuck in with the residents. The only real issue is that it is not connected to the sanctuary workbench by default, so if you want to access Sanctuary's supplies, you will need to assign a supply route.



Body Options

Mods that that are specific to the player body should go in PC, while NPC related mods go in the NPC and Creatures section.


Unique Player and Followers REDUX                                                            Place in NPC and Creatures. All three files are on the same page

Unique Player - Enable CBBE Presets                                                           

Unique Player and Follower - CBBE Bodyslide Files                                      Very Important, do not forget this one!

(Optional)(CBBE)FSM Body Texture - Unique Player


Unique player allows you to assign different bodies and body textures to the player, Vanilla companions, and the general population. This means you can Make Nora look liked a ripped amazon, while the rest of the denizens of the commonwealth stay puny. Well, that's one possibility anyways. More practically though, if you have a skin texture that has tattoos added to it, you can make so that only the player character has that skin, while everyone else can use a standard skin. Unique Player works well for a CBBE Setup. There is a Fusion Girl file for Unique Players, and I am currently in the process of testing it out. 


After installing all 3 parts of the Unique Player mod, you can go into Bodyslide and build bodies for the player, Cait, Curie, and Piper. Unfortunately, if you want custom male bodies for any of the vanilla male companions, you will have to go into the Unique Player and Follower Redux folder, and add them to their folder in the mesh and textures folder as needed. I also recommend deleting the plethora of ESPs in the folder as well. You only need to activate one of them, the rest are just options. I normally use UniqueFemalePlayerAndFollowersDLC.esp, but you can use any of the ones in there to suit your needs. Just remember to ONLY activate 1 of them in your plugins list.


If you are using the FSM body textures, make sure you install the unique player one as well as the base and companion mods. To install custom skin textures for other body mods, you will probably ahve to manually copy them into the player texture folder.


If you do not want to use the FSM Body textures, unqiue body textures will have to be manually added to the respective character folders in the Unique Player mod. This will depend on the texture mod in question, so be sure to read the installation instructions if there are any.



Building Options

Mods to expand your building options, or present you with new ones. Unless otherwise stated, these mods should be placed in the Building section of the mod list.


(ScriptHeavy)Sim Settlements                                                                      Place in Foundation

Sim Settlements Mega Pack - Year One

Sim Settlements Mega Pack - Year Two                                  

(Optional)Sim Settlements - IDEK's Logistics Station


The vanilla settlement system sucks. It leaves much, much, to be desired. While some mods can help make it better, Other mods like Sim settlements overhauls the system to make it more interesting and fun. 


Sim Settlements allows you to create plots. Housing plots, farming plots, commercial plots, industrial plots, etc. You assign settlers to these plots, and as long as they have the necessary requirements (usually just power), they will build themselves up over time, such that after some initial prep and building, you can go wander the Commonwealth, and return to find a built up settlement that you didn't have to build yourself. Heck, if you are really lazy, you can assign a mayor to the settlement, pick a blue print, and the mayor will do all the work for you. You will need to provide him or her with the necessary building material though (that's where the salvage beacons can come in handy).


For all the good it does though, Sim Settlements is very scriptheavy, and can cause slow downs when in or around Sim Settlement built settlements. This is particularly true if you go to a settlement that has done a lot of building since your last visit. Trying to fast travel to such a settlement can cause the game to freeze as it tries to catch up, and even CTD on occassion, so you might have to hoof it there to see and load the changes the first time around.


The above mods are for a basic Sim Settlement setup that I like to use. I normally use the 3 in 1 version, but if you want to lighten the script load, the base version works just as well. The two expansions, Rise of the Commonwealth, adds the ability to assign a mayor to a settlement, while Industrial Revolution adds the expanded industrial plots. Industrial Revolution also adds some extra goodies to the Commonwealth. The Year One and Two Mega Pack is a collection of build items put out by Kinggath, the creator of the Sin Settlements mods, and is a collection of plans from other mods made by the community. The IDEK station allows you to create supply routes automatically by assigning a settler to the plot. Once assigned, he will connect to the next nearest settlement (Once it is claimed and populated). You can also send stuff through the IDEK plot to other settlements. Unfortunately, IDEK only seems to recognize the vanilla settlements, though I am still doing a little testing on this.



Settlement Keywords Expanded                                                                     Place in UI, requirement for Settlement Supplies Expanded

Homemaker - Expanded Settlements

Settlement Objects Expansion Pack (SOE)

Settlement Supplies Expanded (SSE)


Homemaker, SOE, and SSE add a ton of new items that you can craft in the settlement menu. They are also a soft requirement for Atomic Lust and SavageCabbage's animation pack. Specifically, some of the furnitures can be used by animations in the two packs. Refer to their respective pages if interested in the details. SOE also includes some extra power generators, that give a better range than just going from large to generator.



Prisoner Shackles


If you want to lock up up your settlers, your enemies, or yourself (you kinky person you), these two mods can give you the means to do so, creating a number of settlement objects worthy of a Raider lair. These two are also soft requirements for SavageCabbage's animation Pack.



Vault-Tec's AROD Water Purifier


Big, clunky, indestructible, and produces 1000 water. The AROD is based on a device found in the bowels of vault 88, precisely where the magazine item you need in order to craft this monstrosity is located (Be mindful of the guardians, they will fight you for it). The Indestructibility is necessary, as once you plop this monstrosity down, you will not be able to build enough defenses to adequately protect your settlement. It also requires almost 1000 pieces of material to build, including 400 steel, 200 rubber, and 120 screws, not to mention the 100 power needed in order to get it up and running.


I will not lie: I used the console to get the required materials the one time I build this sucker. As interesting as it it, overkill does not begin to describe this mod. Unless you plan on providing water to every single settlement you own from the AROD, you're probably better off using some of the alternatives from the PWR mod already in the list.




Lover's Lab Options

Unless stated otherwise, all mods in this section go in the Lover's Lab section of the mod list.


Sex Attributes - Framework

Sexual Harassment


These two mods are an interesting pair. The first gives you sex related stats. The second, lets you get approached by various denizens of the Commonwealth for various sex-related reasons, from blackmail, to doms, to even hypnotism. And fans, who are not always the good the kind. Other sex mods are also starting to add the pieces to tie into sex attributes, so it is not just a one off.



RSE II: Framework Resources ESM                                                              This needs to go first

[AAF] RSE II: Combat Surrender and Abductions

[AAF] RSE II: Brothels & Prostitution
[AAF] RSE II: Random Shenanigans

(Optional)RSE II: Abductions Addon Pack

(Optional)RSE II: Reproductive System Effects

(Optional)RSE II: Advanced Needs Settlement Solutions

(Optional)RSE II: Wastelanders Rash                                                            Careful with this one, it's a killer


RSE (Realistic Salacious Encounters) is a pseudo sexy overhaul of the commonwealth. It adds a number of interesting features, some of which are similar to AAF Violate, Sex'em UP, and Prostitution. While it is possible to use both sets at the same time, it takes some configuration work. Generally, it is better to play with one set or the other.


The main reason RSE isn't in the list is cause Flashy (JoeR), has been working on, and just recently came out with his newest creation, Crime And Punishment. I'm going to play around with it and RSE3 and see how things work out, so this one might get added to the mod list down the road. 






World and Quest Options

Mods that alter the game world in some way, or add new world space, as well as quest mods. Unless otherwise stated, they should all go in the World Section of the mod list.


Highway runner


This nifty little mods makes a few changes to the world so that you can more easily access, and travel along, the various raised highways in parts of the commonwealth. Travel along the highways is much faster than on the ground, and (usually) safer. This is a good one to have if you play with fast travel disabled, or limited in some way.



Make the game Harder Options

These mods make the game harder in various ways. Most will go into the Override section unless mentioned otherwise.



Extended Agony

(Optional)Global Food and Drink Health Removal                                       Highly Recommended


Agony is one of those mods that literally makes your playthrough more painful. It makes diseases and broken bones much more harder to heal, and with the optional Global Food and Drink Health Remover, the only real way to restore your health is with Stimpacks. This makes combat a lot more dangerous, particularly on survival mode.


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#6 - Troubleshooting


Despite your best efforts, things will go wrong. It is inevitable when modding Fallout 4. This section will cover some common issues, as well as explain a few useful tools for helping with troubleshooting.



Some Suggestions to Help You Troubleshoot


 Read The Mod's Description! (Yes, I am serious)


Mod Authors will generally try to find and fix issues with their mods, as well as warn you of any potential mod conflicts.  This is usually done on the description of the main page or description section of the mod page. You can also look at the posts for the mod to see what other problems might have been encountered. Other important information can also be posted in the mod description, like any potentially necessary lines that need to be added to one of the Fallout ini files.


Even if ced reading doesn't give you the answer you need, it might help point you in the general direction of a solution. Or you can post your problem, and maybe someone can help you. 



Narrow Down The Problem


Trying to figure out what is wrong with your modded game can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Narrowing down the problem can be tricky, and takes both a little detective work, and knowing what the mods in your list are supposed to do. Once you narrow down what the problem is though, you can usually find a fix or workaround (Usually).


When trying to fix something in Fallout 4 and your mods, knowing which mod is causing the problem is half the battle. Sometimes the larger half. Once you know what mod or mods is causing the problem you are encountering, finding a fix gets easier. You can go to the mod's page and check the posts and change logs to see if the problem has been encountered, or you can post a message to ask for help. Worst comes to worst, you can disable or uninstall the mod(s) in question.


However, there will be times when finding the problem is not easy. This is no more truer than with Random CTDs. I have in the past literally spent hours troubleshooting seemingly random CTDs, going so far as to disable all of my mods, and re-enable them section by section to try and figure out which mod(s) is causing the game to crash. I've also had a few instances where I have had to complete delete and rebuild my mod list from scratch, reinstalling EVERYTHING and testing as I go to try and figure out where the problem is (AAF compatibility issues has been a known culprit of this extreme action). That's my way of warning those of you who are new to modding to expect some fights, and more than a little frustration trying to get your game working the way you want it to sometimes.


Fortunately, not everything has to be a fight. Once you have a nice, stable, working mod list (like this one), trying to narrow down problems is relatively easy to do. Most of the time, they will be due to a new mod that you've added to your list that ends up fighting with and/or breaking something, or an old mod that was updated, and ends up breaking something else in the process. If something suddenly starts to go wonky, you can usually narrow down what section the problem might be in based on the problem (weapon, landscape, textures, overrides, etc).



Keeping Mods Up to Date (Most of the Time)


If you are expecting me to say that you should always keep your mods up to date, no, not always. While some mods (like those that need up to be updated after a Bethesda update) have to be updated in order to get the game working, not all mods need to be updated every time the author puts out a new version. This is particularly true if that new version is a beta version.


The problem with new patches, is potentially new problems. Some new versions of a mod might even completely change the mod (looks up Ivy companion 4 and compare it to ivy version 5 as a good example), or become incompatible with something else (sorting mods). This brings to mind the old adage, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Now, that being said, 95% of the time, you do want to update your mods when new versions come out. If you are not sure if you want or need to, look at the changelog and see if it is worth patching, or maybe waiting a little longer for the next iteration. But be warned, you're going to have to update those mods eventually.


One final point I will make on this subject is for MO2 users. MO2 when it checks for updates can sometimes give false-positives. This can be due to either a out of date meta file, or MO2 itself mismatching mods. The meta files in questions are packaged with Mods and are used by MO2 to keep track of version information. There are few mods (the current version of scrap everything comes to mind as an example) where the version in the meta file does not match the actual version of the mod itself. In the given example, the current downloadable version of scrap everything (2.5.5) has a meta file that reads as being when it is installed in MO2. It is still the version 2.5.5 installed, it's just being incorrectly reported to MO2.


The second issue comes from when MO2 checks the Nexus for the current version of the mod. This is an issue particularly noticeable with patches and fixes. When MO2 goes to check to see if there is a new version of a mod out, It will sometimes incorrectly report that a newer version is out. Usually, the latest version of the main mod on the page. That means if you have two or three mods from the same mod page installed, usually the main mod and some patches or optional files, when the new version of the main comes out, the other two might be reported as being out of date. Not sure why exactly this happens, but it does happen regularly. 



Conflicts are NOT Always an Issue


I see this one come up more with people who use Vortex. They will install a mod, and they will get a message telling them that there are X conflicts that are going to occur. This is not necessarily a bad thing. More importantly, if you are installing a patch or fix, then you might want to see this pop-up.


A conflict basically means that the files you are installing are going to overwrite already existing files. As I said, with patches and fixes, this is what you want to happen, because these are the files from ced patch patching the existing files. In a no patch situations, this usually occurs when base files are being replaced. A good example of this would be the texture packs in the foundation section of the mod list, and the individual textures in the texture section. Those textures lower in the list replace those from the packs, if there are any matching texture files. A bad example though, could be files that are packaged in an older mod, that replace newer versions used by other mods further up in the list. The old might work, but the new ones would have issues if the old files are missing parts that they need in order to function properly.


Now, As I said, this is a question that usually comes up with Vortex users. While MO2 does have conflict problems just like vortex, because nothing usually get actually overwritten, there isn't any way to find conflicts when installing mods. Instead one checks for conflicts after all mods are installed and activated by checking the data tab to see the virtual data folder that MO2 will use when it runs the game. Most entries in here will be in black. Those that are in red are files that have a conflict of some sort. The mod that wins the conflict (i.e. the mod lowest in the load order) will be shown beside the file. If you want to see more info, you can right-click the entry, and go to Open Mod Info. In the window that pops up, there is a tab for conflicts that can show you which files are fighting for supremacy. Which brings me back to my original point.


Are all conflicts good then? No, but they are not all bad either. If you get a conflict warning, check to see which files are being overwritten. If the mod ends up causing you a problem, these conflicts might help out figure out what the issue might be.




Start Me Up and Starting From The Beginning


If you have modded Skyrim, you probably know that you can build your mod list, and start a new game usually without a problem. Unfortunately, you are not always so lucky with Fallout 4. If you start a new game with mods installed, you have the potential of running into two very frustrating bugs that don't always have a good fix. Well, the first one doesn't, but the second one does. 


The first bug that might be familiar is the Vault 111 door not opening when you use the pip-boy to open it. This is one I am quite familiar with unfortunately. To the point where I almost never go through the opening game sequence anymore (See Saving your Saves in Section #7 for more details on that). This where Start Me Up comes in. 


Besides adding traits back into the game, Start Me Up also gives you the option of skipping past escaping Vault 111. If you do decide to go through Vault 111, and the door does gets stuck, well, you might be in trouble. There is a patch for Start Me Up that might be able to open the doors (found here), but of the few times I've texted a new game with Start Me Up, I have not run into the door problem. If you do a search on google, you can find some other ways to get around this problem, but whether they work for you or not is another question. There's a good reason why I almost never start a new game anymore. . .


The second bug you might run into is with Codsworth when you return to Sanctuary after escaping Vault 111. Sometimes, when running mods, if you talk to him and then you go to search Sanctuary for Shawn, Codsworth will not move and his dialogue gets stuck. Unlike the vault door issue, there's two easy fixes for this one. 


Before you talk to Codsworth, avoid him. Take the long way around him so he does not see you and try to interact with you. You do this on the way to the two houses with bloat flies in them. Go into the houses, kill the bloat flies, then go back and talk to Codswroth as normal. Instead of going to search for Shawn, you'll get the option to tell him that you've already done that, and you'll go straight to the Concord part of the conversation.


If for some strange reason that doesn't work and you still get stuck on searching for Shawn, download and install this mod, which should force the I already search to come up. Once you are done talking to Codsworth, you can remove the mod from your list, it has served its purpose.



Mods that may or may not cause problems


THough I try to keep only mods on the list that will integrate seamlessly, that is not always possible. This can be for a plethora of reasons that I will not go into, as that would take awhile. There is also the issue that some people do not encounter the same issue(s) that others do. In the cases where I do run into these types of issues, I will outline them here. 


Immersive and Extended Lexington


Some people (including Aylis) have run into problems with walls and some other assets not loading. In my testing so far, I have yet to run into this issue myself. I am unsure if this is just a loading issue, some sort of mod conflict, or something. If anyone has any additional information to share, I would be interesting to hear it. 


South of the Sea


Unsurprisingly, being still in the beta, the mod has a number of issues. Some of it works, and some of it doesn't. Unfortunately, I have yet to get into the glowing sea for any amount of time to do testing, so I do not know as of yet how stable/unstable it is. I'm keeping this one in the mod list, because I do like the CoA overhaul included within it. 




AAF and The Creation Club: Mods That Don't Always Play Well Together


Most of the time, AAF and the animation mods can work together with the Creation Club content without causing problems. A few of the animation mods also have optional patches in their FOMODs for creation club content. However, a few of the mods do not work well with AAF, and can have some, interesting glitches. You can still use those mods, but if you plan on running AAF animations, they can make the experience wonky.


Modular Military Backpack


The Modular Military Backpack, while a good mod overall, will not get unequiped when running AAF animations. Not sure what equipment slot it uses, but it is one that is not seen by AAF currently. Also, the Backpack straps are notorious for causing clipping issues. 



The Sentinel Control System


Remember when I said that some CC mods can create, interesting, glitches? The Sentinel mod is one of them. When the sentinel is in range to be chosen as an actor in an animation, it can get chosen. Unfortunately, you won't see sex acts involving power armor. Rather, AAF creates a featureless, generic, dummy male actor that takes part in the animation. Some other mods can also flag the Sentinel as a valid NPC for their functions, which it usually is not, resulting in other problems.



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Love the guide so far, I am working on installing the mods now.  A few things though; you talk about Vis and Vis-G but I don't see them in the list.  Any chance on having a what to select for the DEF_UI? 

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1 hour ago, cloudmc said:

Love the guide so far, I am working on installing the mods now.  A few things though; you talk about Vis and Vis-G but I don't see them in the list.  Any chance on having a what to select for the DEF_UI? 


You will have some work with it (about 15min for running a script through Fo4edit), but there is no million compatibiliy .esp / .esl.

Btw, with Vis-G you will have a lot of CTD.

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1 hour ago, cloudmc said:

Love the guide so far, I am working on installing the mods now.  A few things though; you talk about Vis and Vis-G but I don't see them in the list.  Any chance on having a what to select for the DEF_UI? 

DEF_UI - Download both main files and install them.
During the first file's installer, on the second panel select DEF_HUD and DEF_INV options, one Language and Screen Ratio based on your preferences, then next and On the fourth panel select "I already have XML files" option, then click and select Finish.
Delete the Translate_xx.txt file from Fallout 4\Data\Interface folder.
[MO2 Users: On MO2 Right-Click over DEF_UI and Select Information, then go to the File tree tab, click the arrow next to interface, right-click over the Translate_xx.txt file and Select Delete or Hide, then click Close].


Now install Vis G  or Valdacil's Item sorting.


(Yes ripped from nexus)


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@jahrnI might have to look at R88SimpleSorter, I use to use Vis-G with Aylis's list but I did get a lot of CTD.  I think I ended up getting Vis but had to get lots of patches.  It looks simple enough and they have how to use it with DEF_UI.  Only thing I worry is some of the mods seem to be duplicating the function of DEF_INV or at least I think they are.. (one in particular to me seems to be keyNuker and keyRing, as I remember before keys where rolled up when I was using Aylis's list so there was something in it that did it.)    Right from DEF_UI "- DEF_INV contain KeyNuker so you no need to install it anymore, but still can endorse lyravega"


@mashup47  Thanks, but I wasn't looking for a general how to install DEF_UI, I was looking to see how asebw did it since I didn't see any sorting mods.  Part of the DEF_INV needs to have sorting a sorting mod installed to function.  So my assumption was that asebw wasn't using DEF_INV but I wanted to double check that.

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@asebw  Few changes possibly, if you use DEF_INV you don't need keyNuker, and the Mirelork Hood Fix is included in the Unofficial Patch 2.0.2 and greater so we don't need this.

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On 2/18/2020 at 12:32 AM, jahrn said:


You will have some work with it (about 15min for running a script through Fo4edit), but there is no million compatibiliy .esp / .esl.

Btw, with Vis-G you will have a lot of CTD.

That is actually the one I am currently testing for this list.


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2 hours ago, cloudmc said:

@asebw  Few changes possibly, if you use DEF_INV you don't need keyNuker, and the Mirelork Hood Fix is included in the Unofficial Patch 2.0.2 and greater so we don't need this.

Eh, bit of a busy week on my part, so I apologize for not getting to this sooner. Going down the list, I haven't included ViS, Vis-G, or any of the other sorting mods in the mod list itself because I haven't historically been able to get them to work consistently. Vis and Vis-G are particularly notorious for being crash happy because if anything in your list generates items that are not compatible with the two, you end up with crashing. The others are slightly better, but still not something I want to personally endorse since I don't personally use them. I give them an honorable mention so that people are aware of them if they want to try them out themselves, but I will not support VIs or ViS-G on this mod list because they are just too much of hassle to get working most of the time.


Keynuker is one that will probably be removed at a later update. I've had issues in the past with def_inv not doing the rolling and sorting properly without a sorting mod, but it looks like that might not be an issue with the newer version. I added it to the list as an alternative to sorting keys and whatnot if Def_inv wasn't doing the job. Still doing testing on that part. I am also in the process of testing R88SimpleSorter, and that one might be the one I add to this list.


As for Def_UI, I generally use the vanilla version. Some of the alternate HUD options I've tried in the past do not appeal to me, and I've never really been annoyed enough with the vanilla HUD to go in and change things around. 

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1 hour ago, cloudmc said:

@asebw  Few changes possibly, if you use DEF_INV you don't need keyNuker, and the Mirelork Hood Fix is included in the Unofficial Patch 2.0.2 and greater so we don't need this.

I am aware of the mirelurk hood fix being redundant. This was actually something I put in during the first draft, and was supposed to take out afterwards that I apparently did not. Thank you for catching that.

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And it begins....  The Lost Vault was removed for now... "Hidden at 15 Feb 2020, 9:40PM by Spiffyskytrooper for the following reason:
Sorry for the inconvenience. Mod has currently been hidden at the request of a collaborator of the mod, as he's withdrawn his assets from this creation. I will update as soon as I find the time, so this mod can be accessed again"

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Dang. Not the first one though. Another I took off the list at the last minute came back on a few hours after I posted the list ><. 

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Ok not sure what I did wrong.. It appears AAF Prostitution is messing me up.  I am trying to finish the When Freedom Calls.  All I can say to Preston is "darling, are you looking for a good time"

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50 minutes ago, cloudmc said:

Ok not sure what I did wrong.. It appears AAF Prostitution is messing me up.  I am trying to finish the When Freedom Calls.  All I can say to Preston is "darling, are you looking for a good time"

This quest is known to bug out even with no mods installed.

Really you should disable mods if your going to do main game quests.

.You have to kill all the raider's




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23 hours ago, mashup47 said:

This quest is known to bug out even with no mods installed.

Really you should disable mods if your going to do main game quests.

.You have to kill all the raider's

Yeah, that quest can fuck up with or without mods. Depending on how the fight in concord went, you might have a raider hiding somewhere in the back streets. If not, you'll have to reload a save that is pre-fight and try again. It can be cleared with mods installed, might need a try or two unfortunately.

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Update #1 - 2020-02-25


This update includes the addition of simple sorter (a sorting mod that can actually be used ><), as well as a few added textures.




FO4EDIT                                                                                                          Added to Pre-Installation

MXPF - Mator's xEdit Patching Framework                                                    Added to Pre-Installation

Retextured Chems v.1 - Ephla's Unique Chems                                             Added to Textures

Retextured Chems v.2 - Ephla's Unique Chems                                             Added to Textures

Retextured Terminals - by Ben Ephla                                                             Added to Textures

DEF_UI Iconlibs Rescaled and FIxed                                                               Added to UI

(Optional)More Feral Ghouls. A Zombie Mod                                               Added to Override

(Optional)More Feral Ghouls. A Zombie Mod - Zombie Walker Patch         Added to Patches, found on the same page as more Feral Ghouls. Only necessary if                                                                                                                                                    using Zombie Walkers

Ruddy88's Simple Sorter                                                                               Added to Final





Keynuker and Keyring - Hidden Keys                                                             Removed from UI, Redundant now that Simple Sorter is in place.

Mirelurk Hood Fix                                                                                           Removed from NPC and Creatures. Mistakenly left over when I put the list up (oopsie)

The Lost Vault                                                                                                 Removed From World. Taken down from the Nexus by the mod author for the time                                                                                                                                                     being. Should return. 





Ruddy88's Simple Sorter                                                                                Added to Section #4 - Installation

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Do you have an issues in Vault 114?  I can't seem to go in to the 2nd area.  After I fall down and then when you open the door to the vault it's like I am clipping outside of the world.  I can't find where the world is even if I tcl to try to walk back.




even starting a new character and getting out of the vault followed by coc vault11402 I end up in a bugged area



Traced to Remove Interior Fog

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