Welcome to Viva New Vegas, a fully modular vanilla-plus modding guide for Fallout New Vegas!
IMPORTANT: Everything in this guide is written down for a reason! It is vital to read everything! You can NOT skip any paragraphs/instructions and expect your game to function as it should.
Viva New Vegas is a modding guide for Fallout New Vegas that will carefully walk you through how to install all the mods you will need for a perfectly stable, smooth, and most importantly, enjoyable experience.
Unlike other modding guides, it is built with customization in mind. Mods are subjective, so every mod listed in the guide is 100% optional.
Custom patches and a hand-made load order and will be provided for the guide, and they will still work if you skipped any mods.
The guide is highly accessible for everyone, no matter your modding experience. It has meticulously-detailed instructions, with additional notes, explanations, and/or images for the more complex instructions. It is incredibly important that you read all the instructions very carefully, even if you believe you are experienced enough to skip them. There are many small instructions that are vital for your game to function, and could be easily missed if you aren't careful. Although you don't need any modding experience to use this guide, it is expected for you to be relatively experienced with operating a computer in general.
Every mod in the guide has been carefully picked out and play-tested. There are no outdated or broken mods, and no mods that will negatively impact performance or stability.
There may be less mods than you may be used to with a modded game, but there is good reason for that. Fallout New Vegas is an extremely fickle game, more so than Skyrim or Fallout 4. Even seemingly harmless mods can cause major issues. Many of the most popular mods were made right after the game came out, and as modding has advanced a lot since then, they are outdated and unsafe to use. One category I'm sure that a lot of people will be disappointed in is the Visuals. My opinion on visual mods is this: Fallout New Vegas is a ten year old game, and it looked dated even by 2010 standards. You will never be able to make the game look "good". Any visual improvements you make to the game come at a cost. ENBs may make for pretty screenshots, but they are near-impossible to play with due to the many bugs, performance problems, and vision-obscuring effects they use. Texture mods may improve some textures, but they can also cause performance drops and stuttering. They also create a great disparity between the new textures and the vanilla textures, both in quality and in style, making for some jarring texture transitions or seams. Fancy weather mods may add some cool new effects and make the game more realistic, but the new weather effects can be very buggy, performance intensive, and obtrusive. Overall, I do not think that these types of mods are worth it.
If you are looking to add more mods to your setup, please wait until after you have completed the guide, or else we will be unable to help you on Discord should you need it. Unfortunately, I do not have the time or energy to provide support for setups that install extra mods on top of the guide. If you do plan on adding mods after you finish the guide, please reference this list of mods that you should avoid using. I can not stress enough that is only recommend to add your own mods if you are an experienced modder and know how to manually make conflict resolution patches and sort your load order!
Viva New Vegas uses by far the best mod manager for any Bethesda game, Mod Organizer 2. MO2 is much better than any of the other available mod managers, like Vortex, Nexus Mod Manager, or Fallout Mod Manager.
It has a virtual file system, meaning that the original game folder will be completely untouched, allowing for easy switching between different mod configurations and easy management of loose files conflicts.
The guide also uses no automated load order, conflict resoluton, or merging tools. For more information about why these tools (and others) are unsafe, please reference this list of tools you should avoid using.
The guide will make the game run much better than vanilla. As the game is ten years old, you do not need a very strong PC to run it.
The game is much more CPU-intensive than GPU-intensive. Installing the game on an SSD can drastically improve load times and decrease stuttering.
Here are the recommended specs for being able to run the guide at 60FPS in 1080p:
While these specs will be fine for just following the guide, you will need better specs if you plan to run big texture mods. You'll need more than 4GB of RAM and a GPU with at least 3GB of VRAM. As New Vegas is such an old and unoptimized game, you will only get diminishing returns on performance as your specs get better.
For reference, here are my specs. I am able to run the game in 1080p at around 120 FPS everywhere except the most intensive (and unoptimized) areas like The Strip, where it stays around 90 FPS.
Even with specs as good as mine, I still lose anywhere from 10-20 FPS on average depending on the area when I have a full texture mod setup.
Have any questions? We have a Discord dedicated to the guide. If you run into trouble, have any questions, or just want updates on the guide, be sure to check it out!