This section contains a highlight of the best and in some cases, essential mods from the Fallout: New Vegas PC community.
The aim here is to improve and increase the enjoyment of your experience without changing the 'feel' of the game too much (excepting a few especially high quality mods in the 'extra' section, recommended for adding a twist or two if you're playing multiple times).
Within each category, mods are listed roughly in descending order of recommendation, and then by similarity (difficulty mods will be listed near each other, for example). Essential mods are bolded.
Mods are generally easy to install -- simply download the file, extract to your C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\fallout new vegas\data folder, run the launcher, click 'Data Files', activate the mod, and play. A rare few will require you to extract to the main 'fallout new vegas' folder, or do not require activation.
It's recommended to use this guide in conjunction with our PC tweak guide.
If you have any questions, suggestions, etc., head to this thread.
Note: as always, be sure you have the latest drivers for your sound card (integrated or not) and video card, and the latest DirectX files, as these often fix tons of performance issues.
- Offers improved performance by removing non-essential items from the world like rocks and some books. Intended for all users, and also helps reduce some of the annoying clutter that doesn't really contribute to the atmosphere at all.
- Absolutely critical if you're playing on a high-resolution monitor. Like its Fallout 3 cousin, this mod overhauls the user interface to take full advantage of large monitors -- no more giant text filling up half the screen! The status screen has been revamped, too, so no more clicking through tabs. Currently it's in beta, but is already a massive improvement and seems to be quite stable. Note the colors are customizable in-game as are the finer details via an XML file.
- Adds some nice depth of field to outdoor and indoor areas -- this essentially blurs object in the distance to emphasize the feeling of distance and put the focus on closer objects and characters. A welcome biproduct of this is smoother looking objects. 'IE' is the recommended version -- there are many which can cater to your preference. Has no performance impact. Excellent alternative to the poorly done Enhanced Shaders mod.
- Through technical trickery, makes textures appear more detailed with no performance loss.
- Removes the poorly textured trash found throughout New Vegas, improving FPS in the process.
- Minimizes or removes HUD info on screen based on context with the aim of improving immersion.
- Technically a hack of sorts, this solution comes courtesy of Widescreen Gaming Forum. With just a few simple changes to .ini files, you can game properly using all of your available monitors. Users have reported mixed results, however, so for now you may have to tinker some more based on the info in the link to get it to your satisfaction. If a straightforward solution comes about, this will be updated. Reportedly works well with DarNified UI, and better with some XML tweaking. See this thread and/or the WSGF thread for details.
- More cosmetic options for character creation.
- The closest thing to an official "hardercore" mod, this one comes from developer Obsidian's own Josh Sawyer; it makes the game more challenging and addresses some bugs. All DLC content and Fallout Mod Manager (or similar) are required (see Utilities section below). 20 hours of testing went into it; conflicts are entirely possible.
- Halves the frequency and length of the kill camera for non-VATS kills.
- Overhauls the throwing weapons mechanics to be more realistic and enjoyable. Now you can pick up weapons after throwing them most times, craft throwing weapons, convert regular weapons to throwing weapons and vice versa, and more.
- A gameplay overhaul focused on making the game more harsh and difficult, from longtime modder Arwen. Highly recommended if you don't find Very Hard enough of a challenge.
- Mod from Neoseeker user Machienzo which increases the rates of which your dehydration, hunger and sleep deprivation meters increase (double, triple, custom). Good alternative to Arwen's mod for those that don't want a complete overhaul. May not be advisable after the 1.2 patch.
- A highly customizable gameplay overhaul package based on the premise of the renowned XFO mod for Fallout 3. XFO allows you to tweak leveling rates, balancing, loot rarity, and a hell of a lot more as time goes on. The idea is to allow you to customize your own experience based on your preferences, issues you have with the vanilla gameplay, etc. Currently XFO is in alpha, hence its placement toward the bottom of this section, but a beta release is on the way along with a full-fledged release eventually.
- Allow you to turn off or on quests so you can explore the wasteland as you please with no interruptions.
- Currently in beta but fully usable, this tool provides extended functionality for many mods, and is required by some. Easily installed by dropping all files into the \fallout new vegas folder -- note despite explicit instructions, it seems the files will not extract directly to the default folder, so just extract the main folder and move them manually. Beyond this, no further action is required on the part of mod users. Essential.
- The 'official' mod manager for New Vegas, currently in beta. Mod managers provide some extra management functions for mods which may prevent incompatibilities. Be sure to keep it updated and use the 'auto sort' function. Do not actually load NV through FOMM, or mods may not work. Strongly recommended.
- The New Vegas equivalent of the excellent FOOK 3 mod, this one overhauls the game with bug fixes, graphics and texture improvements (icons for just about everything, enhanced blood, weapon retextures), useful features (Melee Lock-On, added hotkeys), and additional content. Essential. Be sure to check the in-game FOOK settings to make sure they're to your liking.
- A highly customizable "set of theme modules" from the team that brought you Fallout 3 Wanderer's Edition. This package is designed to be highly customizable -- using all of its features will result in a significantly different experience from vanilla, however you can pick and choose which features you like, some of which (dynamic crosshair, grenade hotkey, sprint, etc.) can be recommended to all. There is a strong emphasis on polish, compatibility, and ease of use, so consider it essential.
 Extra content
- Adds a ton of weather effects including sandstorms, rainstorms, rain, RADstorms, and lots more. Visual tweaks are implemented to better suit the new content. Recommended after playing through vanilla.
- A load of bounty missions to extend gameplay. Fully voiced.
- Chapter two. Strongly recommended to play the first chapter beforehand.
- Allows you to continue playing with your character after beating the game. Recommended you install a level cap remover mod with it to maintain the fun.