There’s a very simple reason why people are still playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim five years after it was first released: mods. What was a relatively standard open-world RPG quickly became a land of flying trains and super-powered Nords - and it was all thanks to the game’s dedicated fanbase. By changing the world in both bizarre and subtle ways, modders extended the life of Skyrim more than any Season Pass could ever hope to.

When Fallout 4 launched late last year, PC gamers knew it was only a matter of time before similar mods started to transform the Commonwealth. In a matter of weeks, players could fight with lightsabers, build infinitely huge settlements and fight alongside Buzz Lightyear - but the goofy, off-kilter mods were only the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to mods, players can enhance and improve upon the foundation that Bethesda created: everything, including the game’s graphics, environments and effects, can be tweaked for a better experience. These are just ten of the best Fallout 4 mods out there - if you needed another reason to head back into the wasteland, look no further.

Macho Claws

Created by:
• AronaxAE and FancyPants

If you’ve ever played Skyrim, then you likely remember the mod in which the game’s dragons were replaced by Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage. Five years later, the creators of Skyrim‘s best mod have returned to create Fallout 4′s best mod: ‘Macho Claws’. If you thought Deathclaws were scary before, just wait until they start snapping into Slim Jims.

Armorsmith Extended

Created by:
• Gambit77

Compared to its predecessor, Fallout 4‘s armor system is infinitely more complex, but even so, there are still a few key features missing from the vanilla version of the game. The ‘Armorsmith Extended’ mod fixes all of that and then some: Gambit77 completely reworked how layered armor works, meaning that players can finally wear exactly what they want, when they want.

As an added bonus, Armorsmith Extended is compatible with just about every major inventory mod out there - which means that your new duds shouldn’t mess with any other tweaks you’ve already made.

Borderlands FX

Created by:
• Reddit_is_Wrong

That being said, fancy new armor doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t look good. While there are plenty of graphical upgrade mods (which we’ll get to later), it’s entirely possible to make Fallout 4 look almost exactly like Borderlands. It’s a bit more work-intensive than other mods - you’ll need to modify some .ini files for it to work - but the end result is pretty amazing. If you somehow thought that Bethesda’s take on a post-apocalyptic Boston wasn’t quite vibrant enough, this should definitely help.

Vivid Fallout - Landscapes

Created by:
• Hein84

Of course, if you were hoping for a more realistic look, then you’ll probably want to stick with the ‘Vivid Fallout’ mod. Created by Hein84, the mod replaces the game’s basic landscapes with reworked, high-def textures. It also bumps up the contrast quite a bit, which helps fix the game’s somewhat washed-out look. Vivid Fallout may not sound like much, but it’s a perfect example of a tiny change that ends up making a huge difference.

Spring Cleaning

Created by:
• Nverjos

Even with updated environments, the base version of Fallout 4 doesn’t let players alter them all that much - especially when it comes to settlements. Sure, you can clear some of the trash away, but some of the detritus is inexplicably immune to player commands...unless you download the ‘Spring Cleaning’ mod, that is.

Basically, if you ever wanted to demolish the bombed-out buildings taking up space in Sanctuary Hills (and who doesn’t), Spring Cleaning finally gives you that power. It’s still something of a work in progress, but anyone who ever wanted more control over their settlements should definitely give it a download.

True Storms: Wasteland Edition

Created by:
• fadingsignal

Inclement weather was a welcome addition to Fallout 4, but there’s no denying that Bethesda could have pushed the rain and radiation storms a bit further. If you’re one of the players who was hoping to fight through harsh thunderstorms and thick fog, the ‘True Storm’ mod is exactly what you’re looking for. Not only does the mod up the ante for existing storms, but the mod also introduces completely new weather patterns - who’s ready for giant rolling dust storms?

Darker Nights

Created by:
• unforbidable

It’s hard to get more straight-forward than the ‘Darker Nights’ mod - if you haven’t figured it out already, the mod makes nighttime in Fallout 4 darker. Considering just how bright the vanilla version of the game is, the mod makes a whole lot of sense - just be ready to get ambushed a bit more often than you’re used to.

Enhanced Blood Textures

Created by:
• dDefinder

For whatever reason, Bethesda really upped the blood spray in Fallout 4 - the only problem is that they didn’t adjust the splatter to match it. Not only does the ‘Enhanced Blood Textures’ mod fix the ridiculous blood spurts during combat, but it adjusts and adds in new splatter effects so that everything works together. It’s probably not a great mod for those with weak stomachs - but for everyone else, EBT is a great set of tweaks.

Full Dialogue Interface

Created by:
• Cirosan and Shadwar

While fully-voiced dialogue was a great idea on paper, Fallout 4‘s conversations are one of the most derided additions to the game - and for good reason. Previous games in the series clearly described what each dialogue option was, while Fallout 4 only offers a brief (and sometimes misleading) summary. Thankfully, the ‘Full Dialogue Interface’ mod fixes these issues: not only are full lines of dialogue displayed, but the awkward controls of the original game have been replaced by a far more functional set of inputs.

Creature Followers: ESP Version

Created by:
• BOTLANNER and DamienTibbert

Now that you’ve reworked the dialogue, environments, settlements, blood splatter, weather and (most importantly) deathclaws, it’s time to rule over the Commonwealth with an iron fist. That may sound impossible - but, with a Super Mutant Behemoth or Giant Radscorpion by your side, nothing is impossible!

The ‘Creature Followers’ mod does exactly what its title implies: players can tame and control any of the wasteland’s ravenous mutated creatures, including everything from synthetic gorillas to Mirelurk Queens. It’s like Dogmeat, but if he was actually useful...

Obviously, these ten mods only scratch the surface of what’s possible - but, for anyone who’s just starting to change the world of Fallout 4, these are a great place to start!

For hundreds more mods like these, check out the Fallout 4 section of Nexus Mods.

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