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Installing Nexus Mods is a Pain in the Ass..

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....for a newcomer.


Steam is what I am used to. It's straight forward, no bs, just click and it downloads.Nexus not so much. It sucks and I don't get it.


I don't have the motivation to watch Youtube videos or scour the internet for answers. I remember Sims 3 mods back in the day were straight forward with Winzip and really simple. What is this mess named Nexus? By the way, I do not have any apps on my Windows 10 laptop for extracting files; I refuse to pay for the programs that were once free to use. I like buying games, but beyond that no expense. 



So if you got time and wanna help out, please provide an very simplistic step by step instruction on how to get these dang mods into my game 'cause I am about ready to throw my hands up. 



    Not a Robot, an Android

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I refuse to pay for the programs that were once free to use

Umm, 7zip is, and always has been free, and handles just about all forms of archive compression.


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I understand your frustration. Steam does make it simple to plug-n-play mods for games like Left 4 Dead 2.  However, modding a lot of games like FO3 takes some time and effort on your part. Even the most adept modders are continuously learning. It's kind of like a hobby. If you're familiar with Steam, you could have checked the discussion groups for FO3 and found this Tagged guide: 




This should help you get started on the right path. Blathering about it on this forum will not get you much sympathy from it's members.


Oh, and FYI: You've got a long and arduous road ahead of you, especially with FO3. It's probably one of the hardest games to mod, because of the way the DLC are implemented, and other things. 


Good luck to you. :D


P.S. The Nexus is a great place. It consolidates all the best mods, from some of the best modders out there. Just think how hard it would be to find everything here, scattered all over the internet. Hmm?



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You are starting with two known handicaps.  Windows 10 and a laptop.  FO3 was designed to work with a desktop computer with a graphics card (Nvidia or AMD), not an integrated chip.  It was also designed to work with the top hardware/software at the time it was released.

This would be a duel core CPU and Windows Vista.  It does run well on any Windows OS before Windows 10.  Using Windows 10 and a laptop will require a lot of research before you will be able to get the base game to run, let alone with mods.




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The whole point of a mod-manager is to take some of the uncertainty out of sticking mod files in your game folder. Dragging and dropping has more room for error than installing mods through a mod-manager. All of these programs will, or should, state what files or mods are overwriting what, as well as the source of those files. Something like Vortex is even safer in the sense that it uses a virtual filesystem, so if something breaks it can be easily removed and reverted to how it was before, unlike manually dragging-dropping files which can't be reverted easily unless a backup has been made. NMM, Vortex, and etc. also keep a list of all your mods installed, group the downloads together, and provide an easier method of installing/uninstalling them, in a nut-shell.


Both Vortex and NMM have detailed instructions for use, but generally the process is simple.

  1. Browse for mods on the nexus site for your game.
  2. Once you've found one you want to download, go to the downloads tab and select "Mod Manager Download" if applicable.
  3. If only a manual download is available, verify that there aren't any special instructions for installation and if not, the downloaded archive usually can be dragged into the manager and added that way, but with a game as old as FO3 it might be a good idea to check the file-structure beforehand. Most mods are set-up to be installed directly to the main game folder (called "Data", where the game executable is). So opening one of these files should show folders like "Textures" or "Scripts" which the mod manager will recognize and place them in the correct location. 
  4. All that's left now is to Install the new mod and sort the plugins if a new one has been added. It's a good practice to always sort after installing a group of new mods just in case. The program called LOOT is your sorting tool. Vortex has LOOT built in and can automatically sort plugins if the setting is selected in the program.
  5. Sometimes mods don't play well together and may need to have their plugins sorted manually, by-hand, to control overwrites/conflicts. Bethesda games load plugins linearly, so if you've got something like "John's First-Aid Retex.esp" as plugin #10 in your list, but have a mod that edits the same files lower down, like "Jane's Consumables and First-Aid 4k.esp" as #15, the last plugin to edit those files will overwrite any previous changes from an earlier plugin's edits. If the two don't edit the same files or don't fully conflict with each other, then you'll have changes from both loaded. There a multiple guides online for various Bethesda games that have a list of popular mods and how they should be sorted with other mods. LOOT also can be a little clueless as to where it should put plugins in your load-order but for FO3 I don't think it'll give you many issues.

That's pretty much the gist of it. There are other tools available for these games such as xEdit and Wyre Bash that allow you to view mod conflicts and create custom patches to correct them. One instance where using one of these programs to create a patch is necessary would be if you have multiple mods that add new items to world drops and NPCs, which is called a leveled list. If a patch is not made, only the last mod to add items will be accepted, and this overwrites any other mods that have loaded before it. Creating a patch makes sure that all items from all your mods are added to leveled lists. There are some guides on how to do this as well.


As you can see, if you want to start using mods for Beth games "for-real", there's a bit of learning involved and will require some effort on your part to understand how this all works, nobody else can do it for you.



Hope this helps and good luck.




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"Nobody else can do it for you." - Never a truer statement made, when it comes to modding "your own" game.


Personally, I wouldn't let LOOT touch my FO3 game, but maybe that's just me.  FO3Edit (xxxedit) is your one true friend when it comes to modding. If you don't know how to use this program in it's entirety, you're shooting shadows in the dark. It's the only certain way to achieve a pristine load order, with zero conflicts. After all, load order is all about conflicts... nothing else. I'll take xxxedit over LOOT, BOSS, or anyone's voodoo opinions on what should go where. Running a "conflict report" in xxxedit is your one saving grace. Enough said.


WryFlash is another program that's a must.  If you're not bashing (bash tags) your mods together, then you're a noober. Also, one click and all your Form IDs are dealt with too. I mean, unless you're using something like WMK, with it's plethora of Form IDs... then I could see using a merged patch. Bleh


I'll do a bash patch over a merged patch any day of the week. I've seen a merged patch make a complete mess of leveled lists with certain mods. 


Everyone has their own preferences. To each their own. However, this is not a plug-n-play activity. I said that earlier. I'd start off with some simple things first. Don't try and download all the top 100 mods and get them to work. Been there, done that. Doesn't work. There's a serious learning curve to modding games. It's why I started you off with that link above. Unfortunately, a lot of the tutorial stuff on this game is a tad dated, but it's still got some value to it.  Check out some of Gopher's old youtube videos while you're at it. They may help too. Like anything you mess around with... the more you f*** with it, the better you know it.


(Pro Tip) The top 100 mods isn't all that accurate any more. Do some filtering. There's new stuff that's better, but don't have the ratings of yesteryear. Just sayin'.






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I found the FOMM (Fall Out Mod Manager) to be the bees knees for Fallout 3. Much better than the NMM. I only have a few games from steam but I mod them from Nexus. I mostly mod manually but NMM works fine on most games, just not Fallout 3. I only recently started using win 10 and FO3 ran fine straight away. There is a little program called VooDoo you might look into. If like me, you have quite a few older games, it solves most compatibility issues.


First you want to create a folder to download your mods into. Put it anywhere except inside your game. Nexus always gives you the option to download manually. Do that. And download to your new folder.

The Fallout Mod Manager is on this site.

It will look confusing to start, but is is actually just a matter of trying it. Or even better watch a couple of tutorials on youtube. It will take the zipped file as is and install. But FO3 is kind of twitchy about load order and FOMM is very good at letting you mess around with that. It doesn't take long to see the logic in the load order that works, funny how computers are like that.

A basic rule of thumb is the bigger the changes the mod makes (like patches) the closer to the top it should be and the more changeable mods (like followers as their data changes all the time) should be near last to being loaded. Never have anything above your main game and DLC's. Though I've never thought to try that to see what would happen??


If you look inside the bin folder inside Fallout (where most mods are put) it is always alphabetical and has no bearing on load order.

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