Survival Mode Woes

Survival mode needs... something. The hourly rate at which you have to eat, drink, etc. just doesn't feel right and there are other things that I just do not enjoy.

· 7 min read
Survival Mode Woes

So, the problem I'm having is that my ideas are all over the place. I'll start one project and then have an idea for another and then blah blah blah there are 150 projects and nothing done. You saw my list of things last month, and the only thing accomplished was porting someone else's mod (a good thing, mind you, the old version of SMU needed updating very badly).

One of the main purposes of this website besides the Load Order Framework is to use it as my modding journal, not necessarily to inform people of my projects (that's like a bonus for anyone following, I guess?), but to keep me organized and actually working on them. It gives me a goal to work on.

Survival Mode Overhaul

Wasteland Imports has its own survival fork but at this point, I'm just using the assets. It has a tentative name for under-the-hood naming purposes but that could change. I don't know if this will be my magnum opus for Fallout 4 or whatever but the project is quite large.

Survival mode needs... something. I don't find the vanilla system fun at all. When Fallout 76 came out, how the devs had implemented the survival mode in that game was almost perfect for my playstyle. The eating and drinking timers weren't too in-your-face about being in survival mode, whereas, in Fallout 4, it feels forced and tedious.

There's also the VATS freeze issue when not playing with a mod outside of VATS for aiming.

Settler Training Idea

While not the primary focus, a primary focus in the mod is getting help from settlers during survival mode. They're pretty useless during workshop attacks, but what if you could level them up? Mod conflict with this project is going to be a thing but finding the workarounds to fit into the nooks and crannies is an interesting challenge.

I really like how Fallout Shelter allows you to be able to level up your dwellers' S.P.E.C.I.A.L.s by assigning them to various objects. After looking at what we have to work with the settlement system, I think I might be able to integrate my own real system that also does it for Fallout 4.

Trying this with keywords

There's a lot more that needs to be done, but it's a starting place, at least. I may or may not have to do custom events to get things to work properly.

New Furniture Objects

We've already got the Weight Lifting Station, Balance Beams, and Arena objects that were included with the DLC. These could be used for the settlers traing sessions. There are three potential problems this could cause. One, other mods could change them, and then a player does not realize my mod isn't working because another mod has modified them. Two, mod-added objects that look like the vanilla won't have my scripts attached so won't work properly. Three, the mod file size will increase if I create all new objects specifically for this. The third problem is easier to deal with than the first two and the lesser of the three problems.

So far I have made a new desk object out of the Vault-Tec DLC security guard station. This will be the basis for the Learning For Fun! Station. The original object was all one object and the top had to be separated from the bottom and the chair removed. It will have a vanilla furniture animation when complete, although there are some animation resources provided by Kinggath and another modder that I might look through. I know the basic principles, but I've yet to really work with furniture animations at the mesh level so it's a good learning experience.

It does not look like much, but it was for me. Meshes are not my forte.

Adding a quest to unlock it for Vault 88 is pretty much going to be hit or miss since players can tell the Overseer to take a hike at the end of the DLC's main quest, but I could add a quest to Vault 81 or a note in one of the other vaults to unlock it. Or I could have a settler talk to you after you start building there. I kind of like that idea the best. (But also have a holotape for the impatient people.)

Legendary Settlers

I like the idea of having specialized settlers. Like all the named people you meet during your travels. Connie Abernathy is a vendor, for example, but she really doesn't do much else to provide for the settlement. If she were to be bumped up into something more interesting, maybe a quest giver of sorts, then she'd make Abernathy Farm much more interesting.

But what if we take that and not only give her positive traits but negative traits? If we're focusing on survival mode, then it needs to feel like survival mode.

Legendary Settler Traits
This needs refining because I have too many, but it's a good start to the Legendary Settler Trait System.

Getting these to be randomized on settlers without the game crapping on itself is going to be a challenge. I may have to create a separate mod especially for this one with new settler faces, leveling bonuses, and traits/perks. In fact, that's now on the list. I should probably do that first and get the perks and such hammered out and working before integrating into survival mode.

Hunting Module

One of my favorite Skyrim mods is Hunterborn.  The skinning, butchering, and foraging are really fun experiences, and I'd like to do my own thing with hunting and scavving in Fallout 4. I feel like I've got enough programming knowledge to be able to do it now. Using FO4's Custom Events and doing a full hunting system seems like it should go in a survival mode overhaul.

Custom Events
Custom Events

We have a lot of robots thanks to Automatron so a focus is going to be on scavving robot parts from not only the robots but from other things such as Synths and turrets. I also like the idea of foraging, not only using Dogmeat but a Robot or another companion so I'll need to make an extension to add more companions. I'd also like to get the settlers involved in the foraging going beyond their little bit of scavving from workshop stations.

Structs for Huntmaster System
Structs for Huntmaster

Integrating other animals and maybe some flora into the Commonwealth needs to happen as well. Nuka World has ambush points for Stingwings. Those need to be added and I'm thinking of maybe extending the lore for them, and they produce some kind of wasteland honey for crafting purposes, but it's just a tentative idea.

Having craftable foods gated behind the hunting system is on the table but I do want players to be able to customize things so if that happens, then a global has to be set on each of the vanilla crafting recipes as well as the new crafting recipes.

I have no plans on integrating with other crafting mods since having two crafting overhaul mods in the same load order makes no sense, but more on that later.

I don't know how much will be implemented but the tentative ideas are as follows:

Custom Events

Kills are tracked with Custom Events.
We're also tracking the number of kills for the purposes of "leveling up" skills. Bonuses can then be awarded to the player for achieving each "skill level". Skills are tracked via internal variables as well as global variables.


Used for tracking how many kills and what type. The player is awarded a perk level in the Pip-boy every 25 kills up to a maximum level of 10.
Perk: PAM_HM_HuntmasterPerk, set up similarly to Magazine perks for purposes of simplification. Perk increases hunting knife proficiency which is used for calculating during each processing event.


Used for tracking how many animals are skinned and type. Player levels in order to gain proficiency at receiving undamaged pelts.


Used for tracking how many kills are processed. Player levels up to receive bonus cuts of meat and cooking recipes using those meats.


Used for tracking how many times the player has foraged. Player levels up to receive bonus flora and cooking recipes using that flora.


Used for tracking how many times the player has scavenged. Player levels up to receive additional junk items, components, useful armors, weapons, etc.


Used to track how many times the player has scavenged parts from robots. Player levels up to receive rewards.


Skinning is there for "immersion" and to allow the player to gain "levels" for each animal/creature skinned for bonuses for the other systems. Pelts are used for armor mods and bandages.  Skinning is only done by the player.


Butchering can be done by both the player and companions. Or a player can hire a butcher at an owned settlement for 25% fewer resources. If a companion or settler is commanded to do the butchering, then the butchering animation must be done after spawning a table to process the carcass since the animation is a standing one for NPCs. Player will learn new meat recipes for every 25 animals butchered.

  • Animal parts (eyes, heart, venom, bones, etc.)
  • Swallowed bottlecaps (because it will never be not funny – revenge upon the Shifty Looking Space Cow)
  • Random other swallowed items (such as half-eaten chew toys for dogs)
  • Bonus meat

Foraging  &  Scavenging

Foraging allows the player to collect flora and consumables while Scavenging focuses specifically on junk, weapons, and robots. Both will allow the player to find Legendary objects. Dogmeat and your companions can be commanded to forage and scavenge and works in a similar fashion to Dogmeat's fetch ability.
For the player only, Scavenging goes one step further in that it replaces both Skinning and Butchering for robot actors.


  • Legendary Armors
  • Teas & Drinks Recipes
  • Chems, new chem recipes
  • Bonus flora
  • Shrooms and other items for chems
  • Plans for booze distiller
  • Plans for booze fermenter
  • Notes, magazines
  • Lunchboxes
  • Bottlecaps


  • Legendary Weapons
  • Robot parts, mods
  • Junk items
  • Components
  • Plans for Robot weapons
  • Notes, magazines, robot toys
  • Bottlecaps


So. Yeah.

If anyone wants to talk with me about these ideas, come chat with us on Discord. There are still a lot of things to do and these are currently just in the initial stages of planning.

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