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Fallout 3 Beginners guide to modding


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If you use this information all I ask in return is a simple thank you post 😄 I can usually be found in the chat room on a daily basis


READ! Read the description pages for each mod. Read the install instructions for each mod or utility. Read the Fallout 3 owners manual. No one was ever hurt by just reading.


WINDOWS 10 USERS - I "HIGHLY" suggest using this to bypass the problem of crashing or lockups and having to restart your computer - https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/23188 - I tried it with Fallout New Vegas and it works, I love it!


This guide will NOT work for any unofficial version of Fallout 3.




1) You need to run LOOT, Wrye Flash and FO3Edit, in that order.


Loot is not 100% and if that is all you're using you're going to have many problems as you progress through your play through, BOSS is no longer being supported and thus is out of date with newer mods. With many mods loaded, you should be using 2 other programs, Wrye Flash and FO3Edit. Sort the plugins with loot then click apply


LOOT = load order
Wrye Flash = verification of load order and primary and secondary file load
FO3Edit = verification of primary and secondary file load



2) Wrye Flash


2.1) When you run Wrye Flash if any checkmarks are not green, those mods are causing problems in your game, you make them turn green by dragging them up or down in your load order in wrye flash till they do turn green.


2.2) You HAVE to have either a merged patch or bashed patch file, once again Wrye Flash is your friend because it will automatically make you a bashed patch file when it loads your mods. A bashed patch file makes all your weapon and armor and other mods play nice together, it also keeps track of leveled lists in the game and makes them work better together also.


2.3) One other thing, make sure you enable ( check mark ) the bashed patch Wrye Flash makes, then right click it and choose rebuild patch as the one Wrye Flash makes is empty, which should always be last in your load order unless you're using an ENB, SUM, ASIS, or the Reproccer.

2.4) Make sure you go through both lists on the left and right panes of the window and make sure each entry that has a listing also has a check mark for the box next to it. Rebuilding the bashed patch is not going to help you if EVERYTHING is not included.

2.5) Concerning what the red, orange, and green check marks mean in Wrye Flash.


A) Red means a missing master file - basically a guaranteed CTD on startup.

B) Orange means that some ESP has requested its master files in an order that is different to the the order that you currently have them in. Orange mods are arguably more dangerous, because you won't necessarily get an immediate CTD every time, so you may be lulled into a false sense of security, whereas in reality you have an unstable load order.
Clicking on the orange/red mods will show you what masters they have, and what order they want them in. From here on in, it becomes like a puzzle: you need to manually drag and drop the various masters in your load order until their order is harmonious ( IE:. you've managed to provide the desired order of master files for every single ESP in your list simultaneously ) and all of your oranges have disappeared.

C) Green means you are good to go for that mod

D) If it's not possible to eliminate all orange mods, you may need to do one of the following:


  • Manually download and manually install the mod - sometimes they are corrupted, this has worked for other people in the past that I have helped one-on-one
  • Ditch one or two mods / patches - last resort
  • Sort the master files for the orange mod in FNVEdit - see appendix 1

Appendix 1 -


open WRYE
find an orange mod
load in FO3Edit only that mod and FO3Edit will load the rest ( best to do one at a time )
then right click the orange mod and pick sort masters
then close and save






WARNING - As of 8-11-2017


From alt3rn1ty - author of the Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide


Wrye Bashes Bashed Patch can import a lot of records for the old Oblivion game, but for newer games like Fallout the patchers all need to recognise the newer games records to be able to increase it capability .. But they need to be developed first (Wrye Bash for newer games is a work in progress) - Because of this people are impatient to get a solution to importing more record types so falsely believe using xEdits Merged Patch aswell as a Bashed Patch solves the situation : It does not, if anything it makes things worse and random.




Sharlikran - contributor to Wrye Bash

Gromulous aside from the quote from Alt3rn1ty, you might also want to mention what I said in my other post abut how Elminster originally made it for FO3 and FNV because there was no Wrye Flash for those games until Valda released his versions. The other thing that makes what Alt3rn1ty mentioned correct is because they don't patch all the records. Wrye Bash (with the proper record definitions and patchers) can patch all the records that make sense to patch. There are a few exceptions that you would never touch like the NavMeshes.

You could also add that it's inadequate because xEdit only looks at 10 records, 'LVLI', 'LVLC', 'LVLN', 'LVSP', 'CONT', 'FACT', 'RACE', 'FLST', 'CREA', 'NPC_'. Records like CREA are not in Skyrim, so if the record doesn't apply to the game, it's not used.



#1 rule - NEVER delete a mod once you install it unless you are making a new character - N E V E R !!!


3) FO3EDIT is used to do 2 things,


(A) verify that your load order is not missing any files that your mods need and


(B) verify that no primary files are being loaded after secondary files. When you run FO3EDIT it will throw up an error box and the error will be displayed at the bottom of the right pane / panel. All you have to do is read what it says and it will tell you exactly how to fix the problem in Wrye Flash. Yes, you can open Wrye Flash while FO3EDIT is open so you don't even have to write down what the error is 😄


Please remember that while LOOT is a great program it is NOT 100 %


Your DLC load order should ALWAYS match the date they were released, below

release order:

  1. Operation: Anchorage

  2. The Pitt

  3. Broken Steel

  4. Point Lookout

  5. Mothership Zeta

NO mod should ever be loaded before the DLC's, no exceptions.


Let me know if you need any more help 😄


Additional info that may be of use for some people below:


1) MotoSxorpio - If you have removed a plugin or changed load order, a reference ID for objects being missing could cause CTD.


2) Oubliette - Error checking mod combos isn't impossible it's just a pain to do and no one wants to do it for anyone but themselves - which answers your other question.

The following is standard trouble shooting for mod issues not pinned to a single mod (this is why you test every single mod in your install as you go, individually and with all your other mods - to pinpoint problems at the mod from the very beginning).

First - have you verified your game files through steam and updated to the latest patch?
Second - uncheck all your mods, start a new game, save after the chargen. This will be your 'tester save.' Do Not Overwrite or Delete this save.
Third - Enable five mods.
Four - Go into game with your tester save. Run from one end of the game world to the other. Go into a few cities. Interact with a few things that are mod related. See if anything crashes.
Five - No sign of problems? Repeat 3-5. It crashed or something's not right? Go to step 6.
Six - something crashed? uncheck one of the five mods then go back to your tester save, repeat step 4.

Continue until you have found and fixed your error.


LOOT - http://loot.github.io/


Wrye Flash / Get the NON-python version - http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/11336/?


FO3Edit - http://www.nexusmods.com/fallout3/mods/637/?


My other guides:


My Skyrim guide - http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/2235394-beginners-guide-to-modding/


My Fallout 4 guide - http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/3886575-fallout-4-beginners-guide/


My Fallout New Vegas guide - http://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/2247404-fallout-new-vegas-beginners-guide-to-modding/

Edited by gromulos
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Thanks, Gromulos. I'll give this a deeper try tonight.


My problem does not seem to be the load order (which I have verified via ## 1 & 2 per above). But FO3Edit returns many defects - which I do not have the time to deep dive into individually at this time. But it seems that a few of the major mods like MMM, EVE (am not using FOW) are causing some errors. Am e.g. experiencing CTDs when walking to the north west region of vault 101, or when walking from the Temple of the Union to Canterbury Commons.


I know that you are not able to evaluate what might have caused this. But do you have a recommended install order (not load order after installation - I think I'm good here) for the major mods? Maybe there's a forum entry here already that I've missed.






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i would have to know what errors FO3Edit are throwing up and what your load order is, please send me a PRIVATE forum message with your load order ( if large please use http://pastebin.com/ ) and screen shots of your FO3Edit errors - http://snag.gy/


I can help anyone in the above way but I prefer to keep the thread as "clean" as possible, thanks.

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