Fallout 4 Load Order Framework

💡
As of 7/25/2021, the Updated Load Order FAQ and Assistance Thread for All Platforms on the Bethesda Community Forums is no longer active. Mods and Load Order Discussion has migrated to Discord. Come connect with other Fallout 4 mod enthusiasts!

Join us on Discord Follow on Twitter Buy us a coffee

Introduction

The Fallout 4 Load Order Survival Framework is designed for all platforms -- Xbox, PS4, and PC -- using specific categories of like mods set out in a specific, logical order.  The Framework was originally posted to the Load Order FAQ and Assistance Thread All Platforms on the official Bethesda.net forums and maintained by oddlittleturtle and thejeepdriver along with an in-depth instruction manual and worksheet for download.

The framework categories themselves have origins from previous Bethesda titles and were originally developed by Wahker, but they are tailored to the Fallout 4 experience as users of the original Parent Thread played and more mods became available for console download.

The current categories and definitions listed below have been further modified as more information and mods have been made available to Xbox.

Plan Your Play Through

Planning a Modded Play-Through
Fallout 4 Load Order Tips: Survive Load Order Disorder by planning your play through as you build your LO Framework.
Think of what you want to accomplish as you choose mods for your Framework.

When building your load order framework, remember:

  1. The Framework is just a guide. Everyone's load order is going to be different based on what mods you add to the game.
  2. You are responsible for your own game. Read all possible documentation and follow any special instructions regarding any mod you want to use. Please use common sense.
  3. Modding your game is not plug-and-play. Mods require testing prior to enabling and upkeep while playing. Creation Club changes to the engine sometimes require load order finessing and fluffing after updates.
  4. Plan ahead. Think about what you want to accomplish during your playthrough prior to downloading. We're limited to 150 mods and 2GB on Xbox and 100 mods and 900 MB on PS4 while PC players are limited to 254 normal plugins. The website keeps up with GiB while the in-game manager keeps up with GB. The Creation Engine is not designed to handle plugin removal and scripted mods break lists they edit -- such as the workshop menu or workshop power grid – if removed.
  5. Start fresh between each new character. As part of your planning process, console users should clear their reserve space to remove any Creation Club content, delete any old saves, and only download Creation Club content you plan to use in that playthrough.
  6. There is no such thing as a 100% stable load order. Shit happens. It's software, and mod authors are hobbyists who enjoy sharing their fanworks with the community. Save often.
  7. The console is not a high-end PC. Unfortunately, the limits placed by the developers are there for a reason. Plan your load order before downloading and use mods responsibly to keep from breaking your console.
  8. Obey the Rule of One. Mods do not merge on runtime. That is why load order is so important: Whatever is below is going to override what is above. Some mods simply will not work if another mod is blocking what a mod needs to run. Mods that alter or rebuild precombines will not work with others that also rebuild them.
  9. Save often.

Blank Load Order Framework Template

A Google worksheet for your planning needs. Download a copy of the Blank Framework Template to help you keep up with your load orders outside the game. Build your Framework as you plan your playthrough.

Download the Blank Framework Template
💡
Players on mobile devices will need to download the Google Sheets app.

Load Order Survival Guide

Totally new to modding your game or need a refresher after a hiatus? Full How-to and example mod placements: A Vault Dweller's Survival Guide to Load Orders.

Questions?

If you have questions about specific mods that haven't been included in the guide, please join us at the Parent Server and ask your questions there. Keep in mind that the answers to your questions may depend on other mods in your load order so have your Framework link handy to share with us. You can also join us on the official Bethesda Studios Discord server or the Collective Modding Discord server.

Receiving Assistance

We're here to help. Everyone has a starting point so don't hesitate to ask. If you’re having difficulty, frustrated, or just want to connect with other mod users and discuss how mods work together, come join the discussion at one of the Parent Servers.

Terminology and Jargon

If you're totally new to adding mods to your game, we have a list of commonly used terms and jargon found in mod descriptions.

Troubleshooting

If you're experiencing crashes like the "Scrap Crash" or "Operation Not Completed" or encountering other issues while adding mods to your game? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on our website or within the pages of the Survival Guide.

Mod Category Definitions

The game reads each plugin you download and keeps an index of it. Use the framework categories below to build your framework index. What is below will override the top. You can find example mods along with other information about certain mods in A Vault Dweller's Survival Guide to Load Orders.

Conflicts, Compatibility, and Overrides

If you've never heard of Conflict Resolution or Load Order, read more about that on the FAQ: What is Load Order?

💡
Remember: Compatibility patches go below the last mod that they're patching. Crashes can occur if the header info is placed in the wrong order or if you place these in the wrong order. Patches can also not work as expected if they're scripted and get loaded before the mods they're supposed to patch.
💡
Using Cheat Mods: Cheat Mods allow you to skip things that may or may not be hard coded and could therefore cause game bugs not normally seen in-game. Save often and only use one cheat mod. Bug reporting with cheat mods enabled is by their very nature impossible.

Master Files

These automatically jump to the top, sort them in the same order as everything else. If using the unofficial patch, it should be the first mod in your load order so other mods can override it unless specified by an MA whose mod records need to be overridden by the unofficial patch – as is the case with Clean My Settlement REDUX.

Example Mods

  • Armor and Weapons Keywords Community Resource (AWKCR)
  • Sim Settlements
  • SimpleGreen
  • Unlocked Settlement Objects
  • Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch

Mods that are ESLs will load before all other user-generated mods regardless of where the in-game manager places them.

Fast Starts and Frameworks

SKK’s Fast Starts will need to be run as high as possible when using them. This category is reserved for those mods.

Plugins/patches for masters that are not affected by the following categories also will go here, such as the DLC patches for NAC.

Faction and AI Overhauls

Mods in this section are enemy and faction level lists, AI packages and faction data that need to run above any Gameplay changes or settlement mods.

  • Enemy level lists
  • Faction level lists
  • AI packages

Example Mods

  • Distributed DLC Level Lists
  • Deadlier Commonwealth

New Landmasses

New Creation Club VR settlements or DLC-sized works.

Vanilla world edits go near the bottom due to Fallout 4’s Optimization System.

New Factions

New factions that are NEW factions and enemy lists or need to overwrite the faction lists above. These are enemy and faction level lists.

Those that have world edits will go with mods that add world edits.

Example Mods

Capital Wasteland Behemoths

Vanilla Quests Modifications

Self-explanatory.

Most bug fixes are now contained in the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch. Mods that affect Survival Mode’s HC_Manager and HC_ManagerScript go here (only use one mod that touches HC_ManagerScript).

This section could contain patches to vanilla quests that have no effect and are not affected by any mods below. Patches to the Creation Club creations that have no effect on the categories below may be placed here.

(Formerly called Bug Fixes, Unofficial Patches)

Example Mods

  • V.A.T.S. Freeze Fix
  • Mods that feature vanilla dialogue changes

Subsections

  • Followers
  • Survival Mode
  • Workshops

Settlement and Workshop Menu Items (Vanilla Menus)

Mods that add to your menu with vanilla keywords - no overhauls or mesh replacement. The menus are considered ‘hard edits’ to the vanilla workshop menu FormLists.

Many PS4-only building mods fall in this category.

💡
It is a bad modding practice to remove mods in the middle of your game. Many mods in this section will de-stabilized the game if removed in the middle of a play-through.
💡
Mods in the Powered Objects section will cause the Scrap Crash (regardless of gaming platform - PC, PlayStation, or Xbox) if removed in the middle of a game due to how the Power Grid functions.
💡
Mods that add craftable NPCs or have workshop assignable stations generally do so by hooking into the main Workshop Parent script. Treat mods as DLC in order to avoid complications, strange behaviors, save game corruption, or game instability.

Example mods

  • Manufacturing Extended
  • Workshop Interactive Objects
  • Craftable Cats

Subsections

  • Powered Objects
  • Workshop Assignable
  • Decorations
  • Other

Settlement and Workshop Menu Items (Scripted)

Mods that add to your menu via Script Injection. Regardless of script-injection, mods that add powered objects, workshop assignable objects, and craftable NPCs should be treated as DLC and not removed in the middle of the game.

Building mods with a holotape or chem.

Example Mods

  • Settlement Menu Manager; Any mods requiring SMM
  • Custom Vanilla Objects
  • Creative Clutter DLC
  • Dead Wasteland

Subsections

  • Specialized Toggle Menus
  • Pre-SMM Scripting
  • Settlement Manager Plugins
💡
Warning: It is a bad modding practice to remove mods in the middle of your game. All mods in this section break workshop menus if removed improperly.

Settlement and Workshop Menu Overhauls

Mods that alter the items in the menu; model replacement/additional snap points; Menu Overhauls

Example mods

  • Vanilla Extensions
  • Workshop Rearranged
  • USO addons
  • Patches for Workshop Rearranged
💡
It is a bad modding practice to remove mods in the middle of your game. Many mods in this section will destabilize the game if removed in the middle of a play-through.
💡
Mods that add craftable NPCs or have workshop assignable stations generally do so by hooking into the main Workshop Parent script. Treat mods as DLC in order to avoid complications, strange behaviors, save game corruption, or game instability.

Game-Play Changes and Tweaks

Changes to how you play the game.

Mods that alter major systems may have to be looked at under the hood for compatibility with scripted mods. Major systems’ alterations, such as those that dramatically alter Survival Mode, Settlements, or Followers with hard edits to the scripts will need to go higher in the load order.

Subsections

  • Game Settings
  • New Survival Mode Mechanics
  • New Game Mechanics
  • Alterations to Vanilla Game Mechanics
  • Perks and Effects
  • Object Level Lists
💡
Warning: Use caution with perk mods due to Engine Bug. PS4 Players should use caution with perks that all you to have all the perks at once on top of being leery of perk mods in-general due to game bug.

New Companions and Pets

New companions that are added to the vanilla system or use a separate system.

💡
Some companion mods that add references to the world may work better under Quests, nearer the bottom of the load order. It depends on other mods you plan to use.
💡
Some mods may also require mod-added hairs and should be placed below the hairs or the hairs brought up into this section. Again, it depends on what other mods you plan to use. Read descriptions and dependencies prior to download.

NPC and Companion Changes

NPC overhauls such as those that change faces of companions/npcs or hard edit names of settlers.

Subsections

  • Overhauls (faces)
  • Followers
  • Settlers
  • Other

Radio and Audio Mods

Self-explanatory.

💡
There is an exception with certain audio mods: weapon sounds and footstep sounds - those are considered weapon and armor modifications (some mods could directly edit the footstep sounds on an armor form itself)

Radios are quests that function in the background providing the music set on different frequencies the radio object will use.

💡
Warning: Do not restart radio mods if they suddenly stop in the middle of your game. This is indicative that the Mod Author used an older, incomplete tutorial when setting up their mod. It will play through the song list only once and then stop. This is normal functionality of such a mod and is, unfortunately, working as expected given the tutorial used.

Visual, Texture, Atmospheric Improvements

Only choose one of each.

Do not stack weather or lighting mods.

Textures and meshes in this section are pure texture and meshes and blank plugins only.

Subsections

  • Weather
  • Greenifiers/Foliage
  • Textures

Lighting and Water Changes

Water mods, lighting

Water is a complex object in the game world. Many mods that manipulate it, however, do so by only two methods, mesh edits or lighting edits. Mesh edits come before lighting so the lighting can then affect the new edits to meshes.

💡
Keep in mind that some lighting is not designed for use with certain meshes and certain meshes are not designed for certain types of lighting.

Vanilla Settlement Changes and Tweaks

Mods that implement changes to the workshop parent script or the workshop bench. Some mods that extend the borders of settlements could be placed here if no other settlement mods, scrapping mods, or world edits are present.

💡
This section may be deprecated at a later date in lieu of using Vanilla Quests and New Settlements due to the number of new mods that add new settlements and Workshop Framework/Sim Settlements. It totally depends on what mods you’ve chosen as to whether or not a mod you use will actually need to go in this section.

Sorting Mods

Only use one. Sorting mods generally work by renaming every object in the game to match RegEx text in the HUD. They are considered overhauls and require a HUD overhaul, such as DEF_UI to work.

Examples

  • Val's Sorting
  • Better Sorting
  • AWKCR addons such as Armorsmith and UCO
  • Ugh. Keys

HUD and DEF_UI Mods

The HUD (Heads Up Display) or the GUI (Graphical User Interface) is a series of animated Flash programs. Xbox does not have access to F4SE (Fallout 4 Script Extender) so the HUD is programmed in Flash and XML. PC does have access to F4SE. DEF_UI has largely been replaced by Fall_UI on PC.

💡
Take note that some do not work due to age and the HUD being too updated, make sure to read the documentation and mod page comments on both Bethesda and Nexus. HudFramework on PC is a master file, while it is not on Xbox for load order. DEF_UI is an F4SE mod on PC while it is not on Xbox.

💡
Warning: keyNuker has been obsolete since Nuka World DLC came out. DEF_UI, by the same mod author, replaced it as the newer version when crashing began to happen at the Transit Station. Unfortunately, DEF_UI will crash on console on the way to the Transit Station. HUDFramework and its patch must be used to mitigate the issue.

💡
Some camera mods, such as those with INI settings adjustments to third-person camera (and some first-person adjustments), require script updates to surgery chairs due to engine-level bug. Those mods may work better if placed with Vanilla quest changes or they may work better if placed lower in the load order. It is entirely dependent upon certain animation mods the player has chosen.

Example Mods

  • HUDFramework
  • DEF_UI
  • Holotime
  • Quick Trade

Subcategories

  • Camera
  • HUDFramework
  • Main Menu/DEF/FallUI
  • Scopes/Other SWF
  • INI
  • Other

Pip-boy Map Mods

Pipboy Replacers, Maps, Map markers

The Pipboy is a complex object that functions as a way to access inventory, is part of the player skeleton, and is part of the HUD menu system. It contains animations that are both 3D Havok-engine based and 2D Flash programming. Some older animation mods may break the animations and some mods that promise more frames per second speed up the HUD animations where it is difficult to select certain inventory items when using the gamepad or mouse click.

If the Pipboy breaks, it becomes impossible to access the inventory, quest data, radio data, or to see player status.

Subcategories

  • INI (initialization files, such as those that remove the Pip-boy FX)
  • Replacer
  • Maps
  • Pip-boy HUD

Character Model Replacers, Enhancers

Meshes that enhance characters. Hair, hands, EVB, CBBE, makeup, new animations

Skin tints such as freckles, eyebrows, makeup, and scarring are race edits. Replacers are fine to stack but hard edits to the HumanRace file are impossible to duplicate across multiple mods and incredibly hard to patch. Each entry has to have a unique identifier on the HumanRace form.

💡
Warning: Some very old animation mods added animations by directly editing HumanRace. This, unfortunately, makes several weapons' mods animations incompatible. Newer animations correctly duplicate HumanRaceSubGraphData to add new animations and keywords for new weapons.

Subcategories

  • Skeleton/Animation (does not include weapon animations. Adjust as necessary for Pip-boy replacers and camera modifications)
  • Face/Face Morphs
  • Body (Human)
  • Body (Creature)
  • Stats (Creature)
  • Hair
  • Eye

New Weapons, Armor, Clothing, etc. (non-craftable)

Weapon, clothing, armor Level lists additions that do not require AWKCR to function (these are NOT items that are placed into the world).

Non-script-injected mods will require compatibility patches.

Craft Your Own

Fallout 4’s Crafting System is complex and some armors, weapons, and robot parts are connected not only to crafting but to the leveled item lists via specialized keywords on the weapon itself. This complexity was one of the reasons Armor and Weapons Community Resource (and other mods like it) was created. It also makes the lower portion of your load order difficult to manage if using too many weapons mods. Poorly implemented mods in this section (as well as other weapons and armor sections) could possibly have adverse effects on game performance.

Mods that add craft-able items to a Chemistry Station, Power Armor bench, Armor bench, Robot Workbench, etc. This category includes new workbenches.
With more and more crafting mods available, observe the Rule of One: Only choose one crafting overhaul. Determine what type of crafting system you want and if any patches are necessary. There is no “easy button” for this section.

Power armor is a complex object that is a furniture object with animations and a level list inventory. It also has a script for Fusion Cores which are affected by perks, disease effects, and magic effects. Some power armor modifications work better higher in the load order, and some work better placed lower.

Purely crafting with the workbenches that don’t add to the level lists. These are not barrels or linings added to vanilla weapons since those are armor and weapons modifications on the weapons and armor themselves.

Example mods

  • Equipment and Crafting Overhaul
  • AWKCR-dependent mods
  • Other craftables such as robots

Subcategories

  • Framework/Overhaul
  • Chemistry Bench
  • Armor Bench (wearable weapons)
  • Power Armor Bench
  • New Workbenches
  • Armor and Weapons Community Resource Addons
  • Equipment and Crafting Overhaul Addons
  • New Recipes

New Settlements, World Edits

New settlements and some player homes must hook into Workshop Parent to function properly. Do not uninstall in the middle of a play-through. Where these fall on your Framework may be determined by other mods in your load order and may work best placed at the end. They also have a tendency to run together with new quests.

Any mod that adds a new settlement or player home requires a new game for edits to work properly and hook into Workshop Parent properly. Workshop Parent runs prior to the Chargen screen at the beginning of the game.

Example Mods

  • Player homes
  • New Settlements
  • Single-cell edits
  • Interiors that do not disable precombines.

New Quests

These are mods that may or may not show up in the Pipboy data tab either as the main quest, side quest, or miscellaneous quest. Some mods may contain world edits for markers and triggers which may or may not have persistence.

This section could also contain new dialogue that has a specialized priority (beyond being load order specific) so that dialogue shows up. Most of this section will require a new game start to take effect, so read the descriptions carefully.

Example mods

  • Tales of the Commonwealth
  • The Machine and Her
  • Larger area edits that include NPCs
  • Weapons and armor added to the world, not in level lists or crafted
  • New Dialogue

Weapon and Armor Modifications

These are vanilla weapon overhauls, such as those that rename weapons or change their stats, weapon/armor replacers, or mods such as barrels, ammo, receivers, etc.

Armor linings, while craftable, are added directly to vanilla armor and may need to go below quest mods. The same with weapon barrels, scopes, and such.

Subcategories

  • Framework/Overhaul
  • Replacer
  • Armor Bench
  • Weapon Bench
  • Weapon Sound/Animations
  • Ammo

Example mods

  • Equilibrium
  • See-Through Scopes
  • New barrels
  • New weapon and footstep sounds
  • New weapon animations
  • Any patches to the above weapons and armors

Scrapping, World Edits, Landscape and Terrain

World edits that disable the precombines. Also contains world edits that break and rebuild precombines.

Only choose one scrapping mod.

Read the documentation carefully - for example Sim Settlements and Immersive Gameplay contain scrapping so no other scrapping mod is needed - as a result neither can be used together without issues.

💡
Landscape elevation is tied to previs and so careful load order management is necessary.

Example Mods

  • Scrap that Settlement!
  • Enhanced Lighting and Effects (requires previsibine repair  to avoid performance issues)
  • Beantown Interior Project (requires BI Optimization Patch to avoid performance issues)

Framework Bottom

Specialty mods that need to override the top

  • Immersive Gameplay (place above PRP, if using)
  • Previsibines Repair Pack
  • Cheat Terminal
  • Place Anywhere
  • Full Dialogue Interface
  • Start Me Up REDUX
  • Patches to anything above that will not work anywhere else

Mods That Fit More Than One Category

Some mods may fit into more than one category. It is imperative that you read the descriptions, mod author's FAQs, and the comments section of every mod you want to use before you install it. If you have any questions after a thorough exam, you can always ask the mod author on their mod page (if they are active), on their Discord, or on the Parent Server. PC players have additional tools while console players do not.

If a mod affects multiple categories, place it lower in your load order unless the mod author gives specific instructions on placement - like bottom of the load order for Immersive Gameplay or Freecrafter.

Load Order Glossary
Fallout 4 Load Order Tips: Survive Load Order Disorder by knowing what a mod author means in their description.
Glossary
How do I use the load order Framework Template?
Fallout 4 Load Order Tips: Survive Load Order Disorder by knowing how to use the Google Load Order Template.
Instructions for filling out the worksheet
How many mods can I download?
Fallout 4 Load Order FAQ: How many mods can I download? Xbox, PS4, PC limitations.
Download limitations on all platforms


ODD'S MODS

Quality of life mods that make sense.

Download

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Ask questions, get help, learn load orders, report bugs, make suggestions, share screenshots and playthrough stories.

Join Us! Follow us!

SUPPORT US

Donations welcome.

Help us keep our site and newsletter ad-free.

Donate

Buy Merch

Support our site and tell people how you really feel.

Ugh. Swag.