Feature

Eight Mods That Would Make Fallout 4 More Fun

by Jeff Cork on Dec 02, 2015 at 08:06 AM

The Game Informer staff has spent hundreds of hours exploring Fallout 4’s wasteland. Along the way, we’ve been collecting more than bobbleheads and magazines. The game does a lot of things right, but there’s certainly room for a number of quality-of-life improvements. As you probably know, mods are coming to both PC and consoles this time around. The game is a lot of fun, but it has its share of annoyances, quirks, and other things that we’re hoping enterprising modders will be able to take care of. Here’s what’s on our list.

A Better Map
The default world map isn’t wonderful, but it gets the job done (even if we can’t zoom out quite as far as we’d like). Drill down into the local map, however, and it all falls apart. It’s a splotchy mess that’s confusing to navigate – a problem for a map. We’d love to see something simple and clean. Getting around in some of the game’s interiors can be particularly disorienting, and pulling out your Pip Boy should provide clarity, not another thing to puzzle out.

Better-Quality Construction Materials
We get it. Fallout 4 is set a few hundred years after a nuclear holocaust, and things are appropriately worse for the wear. It might not exactly fit the overall aesthetic, but we wouldn’t mind being able to build things with slightly less-gritty textures. We spend enough time scouring horrible places for materials, do we need to rest our weary bones on a mattress that looks like it served double duty as an operating table? As our own Matt Bertz put it, let’s see some construction materials that don’t make your house look like an abandoned shack in the Justified hollow.

Home Improvements
Of course, asking for better construction materials means that we’re building out our own settlements in the first place – something that’s not a given. The game does a dreadful job of explaining how the base-building works, and we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that only a minority of people dig any deeper in that aspect of the game than the first few Minutemen missions. It’s a shame, considering some of the cool things that people have been doing with the tools. It would be great if someone put together the interactive tutorial that Bethesda didn’t include, giving novices a rundown of the basics of building up to wiring, defenses, and other aspects that are easily overlooked.

Come Back, Companion
Companions have a bad habit of running ahead, finding alternate paths, and getting lost in the worst way. It can get them into trouble, like when they run into the center of a super mutant base or trigger traps. You can order your buddies to stay put, but once they’ve run off it’s not possible to get them to return to your position. Hollering their name might not be the most effective way to remain concealed, but it would help keep them under tighter control. Give us a way to pull them back to our location when they’re not in our line of sight – and give us the option of putting an icon representing their position on the compass, too. It’s especially easy to lose track of Dogmeat in the brush. The functionality already exists (kind of) in the bell you can build and ring to summon friends to your location in settlements. Perhaps a handheld version would do the trick?

[Click on the next page for more mods that would improve the experience...]

Corpse Finder
Fallout 4 is filled with things to pick up, many of which can be broken down into useful raw materials. Bethesda helpfully lets players flag required items and, with a little help from the level-two Scrapper perk, highlights them in an impossible-to-miss green glow. Mopping up the scene of a battle and looting bodies, however, isn’t quite as easy. Depending on the environments, it can be surprisingly tough to track down a raider’s corpse. We’d love to see an upgrade that lets players enter V.A.T.S. after a fight and see where all the dead guys are. The trickiest part of a fight shouldn’t be after the lead stops flying. 

Starting Over
Bethesda’s games have earned a reputation of being destinations for people who put a particular premium in the role-playing part of RPG. Fallout 4 gives players an origin story that, while feeding into a more finely tuned overall narrative, eliminates several options for players who want to tackle the Wastelands on their own terms. We’d love to see a few additional starting options, similar to how players in Dragon Age: Origins could choose their own histories. Barring that, how about letting players begin the game outside Vault 111, next to a crate filled with whatever items they’d miss by not going through the vanilla opener? Not everyone wants to have a family.

Better Persuasion Options
Players who like sweet-talking their way out of trouble (or into better reward tiers) are familiar with Fallout 4’s persuasion system. When special dialogue options are available, they’re highlighted by colors that represent how likely players are to succeed. That’s great, though there are a couple of problems with it. First, the yellow through red color scale can be tricky for people with color-blindness to sort out. Also, it’s unnecessarily vague. How about supplementing those color-coded speech options with the percentage of their success? 

The Obvious Ones
We’ve focused on a variety of different mods, but we don’t want to minimize the importance of the obvious ones. The first batch of mods on console are bound to be things that let players tweak or eliminate their encumbrance levels, max out their perks and SPECIAL skills, respec, and fill their bases with crafting materials and ammo – things that modders have already done on PC. While these won’t win any prizes for originality, console players haven’t had access to these kinds of quality-of-life cheats, and they’re sure to be embraced.