The Best Way To Play Fallout 3 & New Vegas in 2024 With Mods - IGN (2024)

It’s never been easier to play Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, especially for those with an Xbox and Game Pass. Benefits like FPS Boost – which makes games that traditionally run at 30 frames-per-second run at a smoother 60fps – and native 4K are possible on Xbox Series X and S thanks to backwards compatibility enhancements, but it’s not quite so straightforward if you’re playing on PC.

If that’s the case, to get the best experience you’ll need to use mods – fan-made modifications that add a bunch of quality-of-life add-ons to make the Fallout experience the best it can be. What’s more, the best is Begin Again - A Tale of Two Wastelands, which is a curated collection of over 300 mods that bring two classic Fallout games – Fallout 3 and New Vegas – together in one seamless adventure.

Although that might sound daunting, especially if you’re new to PC gaming or haven’t used mods before, it’s actually a lot simpler in practice and we’ll walk you through the process one step at a time. And while the effects of mods are far-reaching and can be anything from small fixes to complete overhauls of a game, for the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on mods that fine tune and improve Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, which are relatively old games that can sometimes struggle on today’s hardware.

What You Need

It goes without saying but you’ll need a gaming PC, plus a copy of Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition and a copy of Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate. Note, it has to be these versions of the two games because they include all of the DLC expansions – the versions on Game Pass do not have these, so won’t work.

You’ll also need a account, which is free to create and is the place where you can find all the mods you need. Lastly, you’ll need to download Wabbajack, which is an automated mod-list installer that makes the process of installing mods – especially ones like Begin Again, which comprise lots of smaller mods – much easier. And that’s it - you’re ready to go.

Why Begin Again - Tale of Two Wastelands is The Best Fallout Mod

Simply put, this tailored list of over 300 mods, maintained by SpringHeelJon on Nexus Mods, is the ultimate way to enjoy both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It adds countless quality-of-life improvements, texture enhancements, deep in-game customization options, and balance changes, but most importantly merges both the D.C. and Mojave Wasteland into an interconnected experience, with the inclusion of a brand new quest that sees you restoring power to a train station deep within the ruined American capital. It is, in our opinion, the best way to experience Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas on PC and is the perfect introduction to the games if you’ve just finished watching the TV show.

The list of benefits it brings to the games is extensive, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Vanilla UI+, as well as the HUD Editor, help to enhance your PC-specific experience. Not only can you fully customise your HUD, moving, removing and resizing whichever element you see fit, but you can also benefit from more in-game information too, like your Pip-Boy displaying extra weapon and armour stats, typically unseen in the console version.
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  • Mods like SawyerBatty and PerkSawyer provide gameplay tweaks that help re-balance your time in the Wastelands, by making adjustments to difficulty, stats of weapons, armour, and items, removing the level cap, and more. They’re based on a previously released modification by Joshua Sawyer – the project director and lead designer of Fallout: New Vegas – called the JSawyer New Vegas mod.
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  • For returning vault dwellers, the Tale of Two Wastelands Quick Start modification is, as the name implies, a handy mod that bypasses the somewhat slow opening of Fallout 3, skipping past the entire Vault 101 introduction and starting you just outside the vault door. Don’t worry though, if you’re new or are just feeling nostalgic, this mod is entirely optional and can be easily disabled.
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  • Just Vanilla Sprint is a mod first introduced in Fallout 4 and here adds the ability to sprint in both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, something that was never included in the original games.
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  • The B42 Melee Bash adds melee attack options for non-melee weapons, allowing you to pistol whip and gun butt to your heart's content.
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  • Another welcome addition from the list is the Higher Resolution Screens mod, which scraps the original, low resolution 720p output of screens like your Pip-Boy, computer terminals, and character creation menu, and instead renders to your native screen resolution. 1440p and 4K users rejoice!
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  • Originally Fallout 3 and New Vegas suffered from clunky movement controls on console, so we’re thankful that modder SpringHeelJon included both the Diagonal Movement and 360 Movement mods to the Begin Again list, allowing for more responsive controls, procedural leaning around corners, and generally making Fallout 3 and New Vegas play like more recent Bethesda games.
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  • Something we take for granted in the likes of Fallout 76 and Fallout 4, but wasn’t originally included in Fallout 3, was the option to aim down sights. It was first introduced in New Vegas and is added to Fallout 3 thanks to Begin Again. Not only does this make a huge difference, making combat more tactical, but the list also throws in the extra addition of being able to cook grenades too, which adds another layer to an already stacked cake.
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  • If you’re someone who uses The Child at Heart perk, which offers unique dialogue options when talking to children and other certain NPCs across the D.C. Wasteland, this one's for you. The Clothes HD - Kids mod remasters all the clothing for children in both Fallout 3, and New Vegas, making use of 2K and 4K textures. Don’t worry, other textures, like weapons, environments, and other items have also been upgraded too.
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  • There’s also full integration of DLC-specific weapons and armour sets across both games. This means you’re able to use unique weaponry like the Holorifle, once exclusive to Fallout: New Vegas’ Dead Money DLC, while exploring the irradiated landscapes of Fallout 3.
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  • Additionally, there’s a tremendous amount of in-game customization options on offer. Want to tweak how much XP you earn from a specific action, or you’re thinking about disabling certain NPC behaviour that really bothers you? It’s all possible and is easily accessible, allowing for greater customization than ever before.
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  • To top it off, Begin Again - Tale of Two Wastelands also features a ton of in-game fixes for past bugs, to keep your Fallout experience crash-free and running smoothly.

How It Works

Now you’re sold on adventuring into the Wasteland, here’s how you get everything to work.

  1. First, download and install both Fallout 3 and New Vegas, ensuring they’re both entirely clean installations. This is really important, because any left over files from previous playthroughs on your hard drive could cause issues, so ensure they’re deleted.
  2. If you haven’t already, visit and download Wabbajack, then launch the program.
  3. Once open, head to the options tab within Wabbajack and sign into your Nexus Mods account, allowing the following mod list to begin downloading.
  4. Locate the Begin Again - Tale of Two Wastelands mod list, which is located under the Fallout: New Vegas game category from the drop-down menu at the top.
  5. Lastly, you’ll be asked to create a folder into which the mod list will be installed. Once that’s done, you can get installing.

Modding a game has never been simpler but it is worth noting that each mod list comes with its own, more specific install instructions, which you’ll always want to follow, so don’t skip that step! Thankfully, Wabbajack automatically opens these instructions in your browser whenever you begin an installation. Also, while Wabbajack can automate the entire download and install process, unless you’ve got a Nexus Premium account – which costs just over $5 a month – you will be asked to manually click download on each modification pop-up that occurs. But don’t worry, it’s only a single extra step and Wabbajack still fully handles the installation and setup for you.

Once installed and you’ve fully read over the mod list's own instructions, you’re ready to venture into the Wastelands! So whether you’re visiting for the first time after watching the Fallout TV show, or you’re just coming back round for another radiation-fueled ride of these classic RPG icons, rest assured you’re playing the very best versions of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.

Jesse Gomez is the UK Video Producer for IGN.

The Best Way To Play Fallout 3 & New Vegas in 2024 With Mods - IGN (2024)


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