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Fallout 3 : Essential mods, system requirements and troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Game Tweaks and Modifications' started by BlackZero, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    This thread is being created at popular request with the aim of concentrating on Fallout 3 image quality enhancement and to ensure all systems will see an image quality improvement based on individual system specifications, currently general game overhaul or leveling mods are not being included.




    All the information will be split into 4 sections:



    1. Mod management/ system requirements

    2. Texture and landscape mods/ general image enhancement mods

    3. Troubleshooting

    4. Updates






    Section 1: Mod Management and System Requirements




    System Requirements:


    Most image mods, when installed, will have larger system requirements than the standard un-modded game. To ensure maximum possible image quality with acceptable performance; all mods will carry a system requirement recommendation in the form of a rating tag/tags.


    [L] Lower End
    [M] Mid Range
    [H] Higher End

    [A] Recommended for 'ALL' systems



    Not following the recommended system rating/requirements may lead to some or a mixture of the following problems:

    Very slow load times
    Stuttering
    Crashes





    Defining a system


    For each individual rating your system must meet or exceed:



    Higher End system [H]

    ATI HD 4870/ Nvidia GeForce GTX 260/ 9800 GX2
    Intel Core 2 @ 2.4 GHz/ AMD X2 @ 3.0GHz
    4GB DDR2



    Mid range system [M]

    ATI HD 4850/ 3870X2/ Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX/ 9800 GTX
    Intel Core 2 @ 2.13 GHz/ AMD X2 @ 2.4GHz
    2GB DDR2


    Any system that fails to meet all the requirements for the Mid Range [M] category should be considered Lower End [L] for the purpose of mod system requirement recommendations. High levels of Antialiasing or Anisotropic Filtering will cause a severe performance hit so these settings should be kept to a minimum and only used with Mid Range [M] and Higher End [H] systems.









    Mod management



    Before the game can utilise any mods you will need to use an archiveinvalidation file to ensure all modified files are recognised by the game, I recommend using the archiveinvalidationinvalidated installer.



    Note: When using an archiveinvalidation tool the arhiveinvalidation.txt file must be removed from the main Fallout 3 folder.








    Archiveinvalidationinvalidated [A]


    By Quarn

    v1.0.5 (02/02/2009)



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=944



    Description:






    Fallout Mod Manager [A]


    By Timeslip



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=640



    Description:










    Section 2 : Texture and Landscape Mods/ General Image Enhancement Mods





    The following 2 mods ('4Aces') attempt to change almost all aspects of the game's image quality with a minimal performance penalty, these can be considered as a single all-inclusive package, recommended only for Lower End [L] or Mid Range [M] systems and as an alternative to the 'Landscape Retexture Mods' below.



    '4Aces TexMesh' is a huge mod and tries to change almost everything texture/mesh related from sharper textures to higher resolution lod/normal maps. The dowload size weighs in at over 1.5GB; so the instructions below should be followed to avoid any issues. The mod comes in packed archives (*.bsa) and will replace the original archives shipped with the game, so no need to worry about any mods you are currently using as they will remain in the data folder and should work correctly as long as your archiveinvalidationinvalidated file/tool is present. This mod installs differently from others so you must read the instructions provided.




    4Aces TexMesh [L] [M]


    By KMA



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3288



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:





    Download Instructions

    There are a large number of files and I recommend downloading all of them, however the fallout 3 nexus servers can be slow at times so mirrors have been added, the main texture and mesh files (in single file form) should be downloaded from filefront mirror (present as a tab) and 'all' the rest (patches etc.) directly from fallout 3 nexus.







    Along with the 4aces textures/meshes mod above, another 'complementary' mod released by the same author is ' 4Aces HiRes Pack', the significance of this mod is that it incorporates a few important mods such as NMC's landscape and megaton texture packs and goes further by improving texture quality of vehicles and interiors, it should have a smaller overall performance impact than using each of these mods seperatley and when used with the mod posted above can be considered a complete game texture quality overhaul.




    4Aces HiRes Pack [M]


    By KMA


    Download size: 1GB (Inc. addons)

    Uncompressed: 2.2GB



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3793

    (Using the mirror is recommended for a faster single file download)




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]





    Description:









    Landscape Retexture Mods


    Note: The following landscape retexture mods will all consist of three texture resolution sizes and sytem requirement rating will be based accordingly, in many cases the max resolution version is currently not recommended for most Higher End [H] systems. As a general rule, all the following mods should be installed in the order they are posted; this is to reduce compaitibility issues and to ensure maximum image quality is retained.







    Terrain pack


    By NeilMC




    Deafult size textures 512x512 [L]


    High resolution textures 1024x1024 [M]


    Max resolution textures 2048x2048 [H]



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=774



    Screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:



    Note: The tree roots and shinier roads patches are also recommended but at the corresponding texture quality size as the terrain pack you have installed.






    Rocks addon for Terrain pack:


    By NeilMC




    Default Resolution 2048x2048 [L]


    High Resolution 4096x4096 [M] [H]


    Max Resolution 8092x8092




    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=866




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Description:





    Megaton Texture Pack


    By NeilMc




    Default Resolution (same resolution as original textures) [L]


    High resolution (200% larger) [M] [H]


    Max resolution (400% larger)




    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1662




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:






    Rivet City Texture pack


    By NeilMc




    Default Resolution (same resolution as original textures) [L]


    High resolution (200% larger) [M] [H]


    Max resolution (400% larger)




    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3612



    Screenshots:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:








    Armour and Weapon Retexture Mods





    HRezTextures (armour) [M] [H]


    By Daedalusxxx




    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=621




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Description:


     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  2. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    Weapons Hi res new bump texture and moified skin texture [M] [H]


    By xraygggdimon



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=617




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:











    General Image Enhancement Mods



    The following mods can be used alongside any of the '4Aces' or Landscape and Retexture Mods above and are recommended for most systems.






    Character/ NPC Mods:





    Josef Greys Makeup Face Retexture [A]


    By JosefGrey



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=205




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]




    Description:





    Darknss RealEyes v2cHQ plus ExtraColours [A]


    By Darknssfalls



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=276



    Screenshots:



    [​IMG]



    Description:






    Weather/ General Environment Mods




    Fellout 3 [A]


    By Hattix



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2672




    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:






    Green Green Grass of Home [A]


    By Duns_Inc




    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1214



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Description:








    GreenWorld [A]


    By Khyrin1129



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2456



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:






    PureWater [A]


    By Khyrin1129



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=2599



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Description:


     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  3. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    Enhanced Night Sky [A]


    By CptJoker71



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=442



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Description:







    krzymar HI-RES Moon [M] [H]


    By krzymar



    LINK:


    http://fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=538



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    Description:






    Interface/Map Enhancements



    UI Alternative 1:



    MTUI [A]

    By Kibosh



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=43



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:






    UI Alternative 2:



    DarNified UI F3 [A]


    By DarN



    LINK:

    http://www.bethsoft.com/bgsforums/index.php?showtopic=929918&view=findpost&p=13472914


    Screenshots:



    [​IMG]



    Description:







    Loading screens: Alternative 1




    CLOSE TO FALLOUT - Menu Screens [A]


    By MaFFej



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=584



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:







    Loading screens: Alternative 2



    Scenic Loading Background [A]


    By Pappiman



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=4411



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:





    Color Hi-Detailed map and icons [A]


    By MAX HARDMAN



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=1789



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:






    Misc./ Fun Mods




    Umpa Animation Beta [A]

    By umpa



    LINK:

    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=634




    Video


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_upvg3jO2s



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:






    Super Mutant with Faces and Lips and Color Variation [A]


    By Zenl



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3320



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]




    Description:






    Fallout 3 - Lightsaber v0.9 Beta [A]


    By Moraelin



    LINK:

    http://www.fileplanet.com/196115/190000/fileinfo/Fallout-3---Lightsaber-v0.9-Beta



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG]



    Description:





    The Battlestar Galactica officer's uniform [A]


    By Calliste



    LINK:


    http://www.fallout3nexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=817



    Screenshots:


    [​IMG][​IMG]



    Description:











    Section 3 : Troubleshooting



    Following the system requirements outlined in section 1, and the installation instructions for each individual mod, should largely reduce the chances of major issues. However some people might still experience difficulties, a list of known/common problems and possible solutions are outlined below.






    The following instructions assume the game worked correctly with default settings, and any issues occured after installing mods.




    1. After installing a mod, you see no difference ingame.


    Make sure you are using an archive invalidation file, the 'bInvalidateolderfiles=0' command is set to 'bInvalidateolderfiles=1' in fallout.ini and any *.esp files are enabled in the the game launcher's data files menu or in any mod manager you are using.




    2. The game keeps crashing at launch.


    Posibble solutions:

    A. Certain mods (such as the darnified UI) require changes to the fallout.ini file, not following the instructions can cause crashes at launch.

    B. Certain mods will cause conflicts with those already present or if the correct load order is not set, if you recently installed a mod; try disabling it and reading the instructions for possible conflicting mods in use.

    C. After reinstalling the game, using an older fallout 3 folder (*/documents/My Games/Fallout 3) can cause conflicts, rename/delete this folder after backing up save games.




    3. The game crashes after loading a save game.


    Try following the instructions in no. 2, ensure any mods used do not conflict with each other, and any mods used when saving are present on re-loading that save game.




    4. The game crashes randomly.


    Try following the instructions in no.2, this is also a known issue when using high resolution texture packs on a system that doesn't meet the recommended system requirements outlined in 'section 1'.




    5. Missing textures/flashing textures/ funny coloured textures.


    Can be caused by conflicting/missing mods or not using a valid archive invalidation method.




    6. After installing a mod, the game constantly stutters or after a while the game suddenly drops to a very low fps and the only way to fix this is to save and restart.


    This is mostly caused by using high resolution texture mods with a system that doesn't meet the recommended requirements, however fallout 3's game engine also suffers from a memory management problem which can at times cause a sudden fps drop, this is something that must be fixed by the game developers. In some cases using the 'PCB' command (Purge cell buffers) in the console mennu can reduce memory related stuttering and eliminate the need to save and restart.




    7. The sky rapidly changes colour causing flicker.


    This is a common problem when using most re-texture mods on an sli/crossfire based system. Until and unless a game patch or graphics card drivers address this issue; the flickering while loading textures can be reduced by lowering ingame settings or using lower resolution texture mods.




    8. Using transparency antialiasing causes a grid to appear around objects making them flicker or become only partialy visible.


    This is present when using either ingame transparency AA or when forcing it through the driver's control panel, the latter however causes the grid to appear differently and may cause closer items (such as fences/grass) to appear partialy transparent. It is currently recommended to leave the transparency AA option disabled in both the game launcher and driver control panel.




    9. The game feels like it's stuttering/jerky even though fps is quite high.


    Fallout 3's game engine seems to suffer from some frame skipping issues, using high resolution mods is likely to increase this, people using multi-gpu systems may notice this more often. This can be reduced by using lower ingame settings, having the display driver's 'max frames to render ahead/ prerender limit' option to 0 may also help to make the game feel smoother, however this will carry a small performance penalty. Using any number in between 0 and 3 for the prerender limit may cause the game to become unresponsive upon loading a new area.




    10. The game stutters/loads on a constant basis on a high end sli/crossfire based system.


    Disabling sli/crossfire and running on a single gpu will likely result in a much smoother gaming experience on most high end systems. This is something the game developers will need to fix.








    Section 4: Updates





    1. Wrye Flash



    Using Wrye Flash will eliminate the need for manually installing and uninstalling mods and automatically detect the majority of compatibility issues which can lead to crashes and poor performance.






    I have since written a step by step tutorial on using Wrye Flash (based on Wrye Bash for oblivion) to manage Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas mods.


    Managing Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas Mods with Wrye Bash/ Wrye Flash






    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  4. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Fantastic thread mate, thank you very much!!!
     

  5. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    Nice Guide !! :thumbup:
     
  6. Smellbow

    Smellbow Master Guru

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    awesome job, thanks very much. im looking forward to additions :)
     
  7. x-speed69

    x-speed69 Ancient Guru

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    wow this is really nice, thank you very much.
     
  8. Hootmon

    Hootmon Maha Guru

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    Thanks, BlackZero!

    When you say 'same resolution', do you mean use all Medium, or use all of the same absolute values. If its the latter, then some combinations arent possible.

    For instance, the highest rez Rocks mod is 8096, and none of the other have that option. Im assuming that if I pick the middle size each item Ill be OK.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  9. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    For the rocks and terrain pack; the recommended size for each system is specifically denoted by a [M] or [H], so for the rocks both systems should use the 4096x4096 rock textures.

    I have however corrected a part where that distinction was not very clear by including the corresonding 'resolution or size'.


    Ps.

    The mods sections are complete, unless there are any updates or better alternatives come to light. I will now concentrate on the troubleshooting section.

    People are welcome to make any suggestions for alternative mods in each category or additions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  10. kapu

    kapu Ancient Guru

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    I have to say this bolded :

    This thread OWNS

    Anyone who considered F3 not good "enough" , try with mods, and it will blow you ;)
     

  11. gridiron whirlw

    gridiron whirlw Ancient Guru

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    What a fantastic job, BlackZero :bigsmile:

    Thank you so much, for your time and effort.

    This should be a sticky.
     
  12. Matt151b

    Matt151b Master Guru

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    Thank you. Awesome post. Would write more praise, but one hand covered in cheetos. Just one question. Where is link for high res moon?
     
  13. Cybermancer

    Cybermancer Don Quixote

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    Great job, BlackZero! My "thread of the year", so far! :D
     
  14. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    Corrected.
     
  15. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    You're the man! :thumbup:
     

  16. ALien8ed

    ALien8ed Master Guru

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    Fantastic work and very much appreciated... ;)
     
  17. Flopster

    Flopster Banned

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    Yeah, these mods definetely increase gaming interest, since the textures, which Bethesda made are real crap, new ones just look astonishing. I would definetely play F3 again with the new textures, butmy pc is just too crappy.

    So, these textures will improve performance?


    Shouldn't this thread be a sticky???
     
  18. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    I might even re-install the game. Only played it for a few hours when it came out, then I had to re-install my os and lost my saves and never really got round trying it again. I'm really tempted with all the "green mods and the blue water" mods, they take away the yellow film that's apparent from the original game...
     
  19. Gromuhl'Djun

    Gromuhl'Djun Ancient Guru

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    Great collection! This thread'll come in handy whenever I have to reinstall FO3 :)
     
  20. Grahf

    Grahf Ancient Guru

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    I'm an Oblivion and Fallout vet who already knows his around the Nexus site and texture mods, so I figured this thread would be useless to me.... Man was I wrong!!

    Great thread, very informative! TY!
     

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