Even though it’s been less than a week since the release of Fallout: New Vegas, the PC modding community is already hard at work making the game better.  Being an experienced G.E.C.K user and Fallout/Oblivion modder myself, I decided to head over to the New Vegas Nexus and bring to you five mods that I feel are essential to improving your enjoyment of Fallout: New Vegas.

1. D3d9 Awesome Performance Fix – by Wing Pao Shiggz

1a. D3d9 Awesome Performance Fix – ATI Version – by Aleksei Vasiliev

If you do not yet have this mod, stop whatever you are doing and install it NOW.  For whatever reason, this .dll file will increase your frame rates across the board.  Nobody is quite sure how or why, but it has something to do with how F:NV detects your video card.  Just trust me and install it. You can thank me later.


Fallout decides its render path based on one of two things. The first is the name of your video card. This is an incredibly bad idea for a number of reasons; Fallout tends to guess information about your card wrong because of this and the result is terrible slowdown.  This .dll lies to Fallout about what card you have, resulting in much better performance with no visual quality hit (unless you’re unlucky or Fallout hates you)

Thanks Aleksei!!

2. Centered and Raised 3rd Person Camera -by Jahandar

It’s amazing the difference a camera angle makes on how you see the world of Fallout.  With this mod, not only will your character appear in the center of your HUD, but you can also zoom out and get a much better idea of your surroundings.  It makes such a difference in the way I explore the wasteland, that I even made my own video depicting the changes.  Enjoy:

3. MT UI – by Max Tael

It’s also amazing the difference this essential UI mod makes.  By adding smaller fonts, larger item selection areas, improved conversation menus, and a new background texture for speech windows, this mod makes playing on screen resolutions of 1024 x 768 and higher infinitely better.

Note the Improved Background Texture of the Speech Window
You Will Scroll Through Text MUCH Less

4.Realistic Lighting and Color – by Marcurios

This mod makes the world colors more realistic.  Similar mods existed for Fallout 3 and this one lives up to those standards.  It’s been hundreds of years since the bombs fell, so the world should be a little less brown by now :-)  This mod will also make your nights darker and more realistic.

*This mod will only work correctly with HDR enabled, although it does something with bloom in the way of color, it does not affect bloom lighting.

Check out the time lapse video below to see what a day in Goodsprings will look like with this mod.

Not Quite So Bleak Anymore

5. Civil Defense Radioby Macabre Productions

Now while this mod may not be essential, it sure is awesome.  A port of one of the best Fallout 3 radio mods, this mod adds a great new radio station to your Pip Boy 3000.

Hosted by Katrina, the station plays 55 music tracks from the era of the Atomic Threat, including 29 authentic public service announcements from Civil Defense Washington.

The songs, as well as the announcements are downright hilarious and fit the tone of the game perfectly.

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic [or Electronic] Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to the public of the United States in the event of enemy attack. It was intended to serve two purposes; to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and to provide essential civil defense information on 640-1240.

2 hours, 20 minutes of Music across 55 tracks
22 minutes of PSAs & Civil Defense
Custom station host dialogue

The station is fully scripted as per official stations.

Now, let’s see what the game looks and sounds like when you’ve got all of these mods installed!!

These modders don’t get paid and would greatly appreciate your support.  So after you’ve finished downloading them, be sure to leave an endorsement as well as a comment telling them how awesome they are.  Also be sure to frequently check back into the New Vegas Nexus for all of your modding needs.

*THIS JUST IN* by popular demand!!

Free Play After The Game Ends – by Goacbc

Although I certainly don’t find this mod essential, and have no issue with New Vegas having a finite ending, it seems as if many people just want to keep wandering the wastes after the main quest has concluded.  Very well then, have at it!!

Want to talk about the G.E.C.K or Fallout modding with me?  Want to try and convince me to finish my own mods!?  Email me at Dave@RipTen.com or follow me @DaveOshry on Twitter.

Modding - So Easy, Even I Can Do It.


      • Hi… hmmm… i never used mods on fallout 3 or fallout new vegas, i tried to mod fallout 3 but i failed… i need some help installing the mods, so… could you plz help me?

        So… i need to download the mods… then copy/paste them to the installation folder and then start the game and select data files and select it? i’m new with mods and i would be very happy if you post something showing the steps, tnx.

    • Actually, a nuke hasn’t hit the place. Vegas is still standing, nuke free. The lighting mod doesn’t work. It worked in Fallout 3 because the tint that was removed that time was a weird green colour which looked unnatural.

      The tint in New Vegas is a yellow/brown, which makes the light look warmer and the sky hazier, as it should in a hot desert. Removing the tint makes everything look too cold and sharp as though it’s below freezing.

      As for the UI mod, why would you go for MTUI over Darnified? MTUI is little more than a hotfix

        • Didn’t chose my words very well there, I shouldn’t have said it doesn’t work. I meant it doesn’t fit. It looks nice and I’m sure loads of people will like it but it but it doesn’t look more “realistic” as it claims.

          If anything it makes the game look significantly less like Nevada. Removing the tint is a good thing (tints are pretty lasy ways to do lighting) but there needs to be more work done on the lighting and colours to compensate for the loss of warmth for it to be able to claim the “realistic” tag

          • Have you tried playing with it on? I’ve tried both ways. The game still feels very warm, especially now with the sun glaring off everything during mid day. I also like that it has made the nights darker and more realistic. You have to remember that it’s still week one, so there will be many more in-depth environmental mods to come, such as there were with Fallout 3. I just wanted to make a list of some that I found really enhanced a day one New Vegas experience. From the feedback I’ve gotten, this list seems to have been very useful for Fallout players unfamiliar with modding. That makes me happy :-) That being said, please forward any mods that YOU find essential to me at Dave@RipTen.com It will save me the trouble of continually scouring the nexus!!

          • Thanks alot, i just finished my first playthrough in New Vegas without mods, and now I’m looking for mods and whatnot to make the second playthrough unique, your list was a great place to start. Keep up the good work!
            And of course, thanks alot to all the modders as well! :)

    • Haha, thanks. It was almost complete if you can believe it. Had several people test it, I just needed to finish the nav meshing and quest scripting then implement the rewards and consequences . . . I may revisit and finish it . . . one day . . .

  1. I’m going to have to agree with the previous poster, the lighting doesn’t seem to help the game. The game’s world is atmospheric. To make it brighter and lighter all over the place just takes away from the game.

    • The mod also makes the nights darker and more realistic! I find it quite nice given the amount of time that has passed since the bombs fell, but of course, all mods are optional :-)

    • Darn UI was a great Oblivion and Fallout 3 mod!! (Definitely essential) There will be thousands of mods released for New Vegas in the coming months, this is only the tip of the iceberg!!

  2. Thank you for this list of essential mods. Time scale mod would be one to consider for future additions to list. I have yet to find one to endorse or I would but default time scale is horrible. IMO

    • There are tons of mods being made as we speak!! This list is to help people improve their overall gameplay experience on day one.

      In the future, you can bet I will make more lists of great mods for F:NV, since there are sure to be many to come :-)

  3. I do not wish to brag or anything but you might want to take a look at my Anthony Lings Coiffure – Hair Eyes Lashes for FONV mod. A new, never seen, hair will be added to it within the next couple of days created by throttlekitty. I will be updating frequently as new hair mods are created and permissions are received for inclusion. Just because the world has had a bad hair day doesn’t mean you have to!

    • Yeah, that’s the one I wanted most as well. :/

      On a side note – Dave, I’m interested in getting into GECK modding, and I need someone to team up with. A friend and I are about to begin writing for a companion mod, planned to be voiced by me. I’m a writer and voice actor semi-professionally and I have a pretty good home studio setup here. I’d like to have you onboard if you want – drop me a line at josephbracken at hot mail dotcom and I’ll send you a link to my character voices showreel.


  4. The first mod on the list, the one to fix the framerate, has a drawback that probably only effects me for having 2 gigs of RAM. Anyhow, when I have it in my folder the framerate is fixed all the time, but all my commands have a 0.5 second delay that makes the game nearly impossible for me. I am planning on getting more ram in the near future, but if there’s a fix for that too I’d be more than happy to know it. Also, would anyone happen to know a good custom hair mod?

    • miong911 Well download any mod you see fit and copy and paste the files into your directory,like programs files 86x/Bethesda Softworks/Fallout New Vegas/Data and paste into here.Well thats my way of doing it but I’m sure theres other ways.Anyway try and google for some videos or maybe someone on here well better explain it to you.

      Dave thanks for the mods I really wanted the Free play MOd and well basically all of the mods XD,anyway thanks and keep it up.

  5. Ive stumbled across this list of five mods but am at a loss to how to go about installing them into the game. I bought NV through Steam and cant seem to find the folder i need to copy/paste into….HELP!!!


    • Drop the downloaded files in your install folder!! It’s that easy!! Then when you boot up FNV, make sure they are selected in Data Files. :-) Email me at Dave@RipTen.com if you have any more questions!!

      • ok i think i dropped it into the correct folder as on game boot it re-jiggered my GFX settings…BUT…its not in the Data files of the load screen…

        • the d3d fix will not show in data files. It just works!! Make sure you reset your graphics to the desired levels and enjoy the improved FPS!!

  6. I’ve tried both of the d3d fixes, but each one causes my graphics card to be incorrectly detected and all I get is a black screen when I load the game. Any ideas what’s wrong? I have a GTX460. Thanks

    • Unfortunately, I never finished it. People have recently been asking me to, but I simply cannot find the time. Maybe one day :-)

  7. The UI mod is awesome though the font may be even smaller in my case, scrolling through my items list is tiresome.

    I played a while with the realistic lighting and colours mod but after switching back to the original I knew it was better without the mod. Just feels warmer to me.. colours look overdone sometimes with the mod and some areas in caves for example became unviewable (yes I was using HDR).

    The ‘awesome performance fix’ didn’t work for me.
    So for whoever is using a HD4850 like me, I wouldn’t recommend it. Textures will start glitching hard in the distance and the framerate dropped (tested with latest ATI drivers).

    Civil defense radio is pretty cool :)

  8. This mods look amazing!Just look at the colored new vegas in the video.You modders are genius!This could change a tepid experience to a great one.Thanx to you all.A toast for you and keep the good work.Everybody agree.Hell yes!

  9. i would like the option to aim for the balls in vats, then see a slo-mo of the targeted package exploding