There’s something big arriving this week which can make or break Bethesda’s attempts to craft a massive online wasteland — Fallout 76. The game will eventually have its own curated mods (unlike the ones that users have recently made). I know everyone’s hoping that mod support for Fallout 76 will be extensive simply because Bethesda’s games have often been an amazing playground for modders. That’s what brings us to this feature — the best Fallout 4 mods of all-time.
I’ve chosen one to three mods for each category from the Fallout 4 Nexus website (although there are also some honorable mentions). These mods have enriched my playthroughs; with ESP merging I was actually running the game with 250 mods. I’ll also explain why I think a certain mod is head and shoulders above the rest, though that doesn’t do any disservice to other creators. Lastly, I did not include any mods which lean heavily on NSFW content (sorry CBBE).
Note that all images used in this article are from their respective creators.
Armor and Clothing
HN66 Sirius 12 Assault Suit by Humannature66
Humannature66’s armor set redefines cool and stylish as you adventure in Fallout 4’s wasteland. Rather than look like a scraggly scavenger, your Sole Survivor looks like a member of a highly-advanced mecha strike team. Think of it like you just ransacked The Institute or the Brotherhood of Steel and came away with a bunch of insanely eye-catching stuff. And yes, before you ask, there’s a sexier version too. Because why not?
Pampas armor set by Ralfetas
While I did say that there won’t be anything that’s quite NSFW, some slightly sexy armor sets and bodysuits would still apply. The Pampas set by Ralfetas works in this regard. Yes, it does have armor pieces that border on making female characters sexier (they are for CBBE, after all), but it’s still fairly fitting and not too skimpy (or “slooty” as Fallout 4 players might call it). There’s also the more fan-servicey and slightly NSFW Fortaleza set.
Eli’s Armor Collection Remade by Elianora
If the two examples above weren’t lore-friendly enough for your tastes, then Elianora’s creations might interest you. Her clothing designs and mash-ups are impeccable. They actually fit how a normal civilian might dress today (or during 2076, assuming you found some retro clothing). It’s perfect for players who do want custom outfits without necessarily being too outrageous.
- Nano Suit and Nano Armor by Vasstek
- Rad-Ban Eyewear by Cedaie
- Kerrigan Bodysuit by Guffeh
- Precursor Suit by Ellise
- K-9 Harness by Fadingsignal
- Black Widow Armor and Pipboy, the Courser X-92 Power Suit, and Atom Girl Outfit by Deserter-X and NSK13
- And, of course, anything made by Niero, from his Courser Strigidae outfit to the Militia Woman set and the Cross Cybernetics. Note that some outfits made by TheKite are a bit NSFW, though.
T-49 Armor of the Storyteller by Unoctium
Hands down a work of genius, Unoctium brought Shoddycast and YouTube favorite The Storyteller and his memorable Power Armor in Fallout 4. Yes, this download actually includes The Storyteller, and all his jabs and quips, as well as his eyebot EDNA.
TES-51 Skyrim Power Armor by EdibleGrenade12
One of the cooler additions to Power Armor mods happens to take inspiration from another Bethesda game — The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This creation by EdibleGrenade12 has gorgeous details and even comes with its own loading screen image.
- Enclave X-02 Power Armor also by Unoctium
- Bioshock-inspired Submersible Power Armor also by EdibleGrenade12
- NAVI Power Armor and Bodysuit by Justice 123
- Warhammer 40K Relic Space Marine by Metaking
ACR-W17 by N7R
There are a number of awesome realistic and fictional weapon mods in Fallout 4. However, I do believe the ACR-W17 might be the best of the bunch. That’s because of N7R’s implementation of a progression system. The ACR-W17 is fully customizable, and new attachments would be unlocked depending on how often you use the weapon. For instance, you could have additional medkits strapped on the weapon itself, which heals you for an amount.
Remote Explosives by Fadingsignal
Sure, you can throw your grenades or molotovs and wait for them to explode, but what if you can plan ahead and place your remote-detonated explosive traps around your settlements? How about sneaking around a raider camp and placing mini nukes while patrols are unwary? Fadingsignal lets you do just that in this mod that makes combat more dynamic.
Crossbows of the Commonwealth by TrickyVein
Some weapons recreate or modify existing archetypes. Others, like the Crossbows of the Commonwealth mod by Trickyvein, completely change your style of play. They’re weapons that are perfect for a stealthy run. Be careful if you miss or if you’re trapped in a firefight, though, because crossbows are a pain in the ass to reload.
- DKS-501 Sniper Rifle by LtCommander
- Simonov PTRS-41 Anti-Tank Rifle by Kazumamqj
- The classic M1 Garand by AsXas
- The Cross Cryolance and Break Action Laser by Niero
- Weaponsmith Extended which was uploaded by Gambit77 but contains the bundled work of many awesome modders including the Crossbows of the Commonwealth, DKS-501 Sniper Rifle, and more.
Heather Casdin by LlamaRCA
Heather Casdin is far and away one of the best companion mods ever made for any game — period. The character has a ton of voice lines and even has a unique affinity and quest system. As you progress through the game, Heather tells you of her tragic story, eventually opening up to you as you kill more synths or drink some of her herbal concoctions.
Ellen the Cartographer by Guicool
Another brilliantly made companion is Ellen the Cartographer from Guicool. She’s voiced by none other than Potastic Panda (Ambriel companion from Skyrim). While Ellen does follow the vanilla system, it’s done in such a refreshing way that you truly feel that she’s part of the base game.
Amazing Follower Tweaks by Dheuster
No matter how many new companions you might download, you’ll ideally need a companion system to manage all of them. Amazing Follower Tweaks (AFT) is perhaps the best mod that can do that. It doesn’t just allow you to use multiple companions, it also adds a plethora of options like setting their outfits, poses, home locations, and even automatically clean and build settlements. AFT basically has the functions of many other companion management mods and then some. It’s also “mod-friendly” in that it internally checks if certain companions might “break” their scripts.
- Vermillion Frost and the upcoming Europa by Xxvvxx
- Random Panser by Taryl80
- Mollie the Cheerleader by Vault75
- 06 The Synth Follower by Galejro
- Wastelander Barb by Netherworks
- Ada2Human and Wintermute by Lazygirl
Overhauls And Makeovers
FROST Survival Simulator by Naugrim04
FROST completely changes the way anyone plays the game. That’s because it’s a unique survival simulation set in the Fallout 4 world. Say goodbye to most NPCs and questing in general, because now your only objective is to survive for as long as possible.
Atomguard by Galejro
Atomguard brings something that fans of Skyrim‘s Dawnguard DLC might love, and that’s the ability to play as a bloodthirsty vampire. Your playthrough will be completely different. It’s not just because of new quests and locations, but because you’re out for the living. You can even raise the dead. Oh, and you’ll also get to see Serana again.
- Horizon by Zawinul
- DECAY by Thumblesteen
- Commonwealth Cuts/Apachii SkyHair by ImAarwyn
- Ponytail Hairstyles by Azarkiowa
- The Loving Piper, Cait, and Curie series by Koozebane
Visual Improvements And Immersion
Vivid All-in-One by Hein84
Vivid All-in-One is a mod that changes how Fallout 4 looks with all the options available upon installation. From the landscape to the vegetation, to even the weather, the mod has it all. The best thing about it is that you no longer need to install existing mods separately.
DECENT ENB by Zyd232
Although there are a number of ENBs and reshades out there that truly make for a photorealistic experience, DECENT ENB was always my choice. It does its job well, which is making the wasteland look more vibrant and scenic while also not letting performance take a major hit.
Technical And UI Improvements
Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch by the Unofficial Patch Project Team and Arthmoor
Was there ever any doubt that this would be an absolute necessity? Bethesda games are notorious for having lots of bugs and technical issues. The Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch tends to correct many of those.
When Fallout 4‘s Creation Kit initially released, a number of downloads tend to be wonky. Then came improvements in the form of the Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE), which allowed modders to go beyond what the game normally allowed them to do. Meanwhile, the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM) has a number of mods that continue to use it. Their settings can be changed using MCM as opposed to using the console or having a Pipboy tape.
- Valdacil’s Item Sorting by Valdacil
- DEF_UI also by Valdacil
- Looks Menu by Expired978 and the Looks Menu Compendium by AGodComplexPikachu
- Improved Map with Visible Roads by MM137
- Extended Dialogue Interface also by Registrator2000
Settlement And Crafting
Sim Settlements by Kinggath
To say that Sim Settlements is an amazing mod would be to do it a disservice. It’s a mod that could’ve been an actual paid DLC in its own right. That’s because of the painstaking work that Kinggath has done to revamp what settlement building and management can be like. The mod is so massive, with multiple updates and add-ons, that it ended up with its own section in the Nexus website as well.
Armorsmith Extended by Gambit77
Armorsmith Extended is one of the must-have downloads for any Fallout 4 playthrough. That’s because of the sheer number of changes it does to your crafting needs. Before, whether you were a modder or a regular player, creating your own armor in Fallout 4 could be a bore. With Armorsmith Extended, most armor pieces are now visible on your character (even Super Mutants can wear accessories). It’s made the most out of character models in that multiple slots are available for various attires.
Better Settlers by Thom293
Let’s face it, how many times do you end up seeing the same bland faces looking at you to save them from raiders or ghouls? How many times does Preston tell you that a settlement needs your help, only to see Joe and Jane Schmoe again? With Better Settlers, you can have 240 new folks that can populate your settlements with a variety of customization options. Yes, they can even have distinct hairstyles based on makeover mods that you have.
- Legendary Modification by Tealz
- Any Mod Any Weapon (AMAW) by LucasGod
- Brighter Settlement Lights by Elvani
- Scrap Everything by ShadowSlasher410
- Place Everywhere by TheLich
Quests And New Locations
Atomic Radio and Tales from the Commonwealth by Kris Takahashi
If I didn’t have this mod, I would feel that my Fallout 4 playthrough was just a bit, well, sadder and emptier. That’s because Tales of the Commonwealth fleshes out the wasteland with new and interesting characters. You could be exploring the outskirts of Diamond City, or watching the riverside, and you’d encounter unique NPCs that give you side quests. You’d also meet new companions, and there’s even a radio station included.
Fusion City Rising by Recluse and Thuggysmurf
Once you’ve finished your Fallout 4 playthrough there’s nothing left to do. Maybe you’d like to do some side quests and whatnot, but nothing’s ever the same. With Fusion City Rising, you’ve got something to look forward to during the late game experience. It adds multiple new locations, quests, factions, and even three new companions. You can also check out the follow-up from Thuggysmurg called Outcasts and Remnants.
- The Code by EjiroTono
- America Rising: A Tale of the Enclave by Otellino
- Maxwell’s World by Trainwiz
- Project Valkyrie by Thuggysmurf
- 50 Ways To Die at Dr. Nick’s by Rbddc12
- Vault 1080 by Ex0dus13
Grab These Fallout 4 Mods
And there you have it, folks. These are the mods that have served me well in multiple Fallout 4 playthroughs. With Fallout 76 coming out, maybe you’ll find the time to enjoy it. Or maybe not. If it’s the latter then perhaps you’d go back to Fallout 4 and try out some of these mods.
As mentioned up top, I used to run the game with 250 mods active — although I did learn to merge ESP files just to be below the limit. Although I regretfully could not list everything even if I wanted to, all of these creations (and more on the Nexus, Moddb, and the Creation Club) are a labor of love for the talented people that made them.
Are there any other mods that you’ve enjoyed over the years? Let us know.