The long-awaited updating – bringing console mods to Xbox One – has finally arrived. The update released this past Tuesday, adding a modding menu to the game’s home screen that gives gamers access to a browser and download system which is fairly easy to use for those who haven’t modded before.
Honestly, the system works much better than anticipated, which is probably the reason the entire update has been delayed nearly half a year after Fallout 4’s initial launch. The good news is that the wait was worth it, though – because the integration of mods onto consoles is actually easier to use than mods on PC, thanks to Bethesda’s new system.
Previously mods for Fallout 4 (and other Bethesda titles) had to be downloaded and managed manually or via third-party applications like Nexus Mod Manager. This involved a ton of work from the user and didn’t solve problems mods would cause within the game if they weren’t loaded properly, plus you had to create folders manually in order to keep your collection on file for later use. Every aspect of modding was done outside of the game and it could get insanely difficult at times. That said, modding was the reason players purchased Bethesda games on PC because it essentially allowed the Bethesda community to create an endless stream of bug fixes, additional content and new quests for fans to check out.
The new system Bethesda has built for modding on Fallout 4 changes all of that.
When booting up the game on your Xbox One, you’ll have to navigate to mods menu and connect your account to Bethesda.net. Once in the menu you’ll immediately have access to hundreds of Xbox One mods for your game which you can favorite (for easy access) and download to your game. Bethesda went ahead and sorted these into various categories such as weapons, weather and armor as well – which allows for much easier browsing. Once you’ve downloaded a mod it’ll be added to your library at the top of the menu, where you can turn it on or off as well as access the load order for your mods. This load order is key if you’re having mod conflicts because it determines how each file it loaded when the game boots up, so make sure to resolve any conflicts before diving into your game. After you’ve completed managing your assortment of mods your console will re-boot Fallout 4 and install all of them in the order specified. It’s quite genius, actually.
Essentially they’ve created a much more polished version of Steams Workshop, which allows users to browse, download and manage mods within Bethesda.net and Fallout 4. You don’t have to leave the game anymore if you want to install hundreds of mods and play around with them, which cuts half the pain out of the process. It’s a solid system despite a few brief connection issues (probably due to high initial traffic) and console hardware limitations, which only allow 2GB of mod data to be loaded currently and have frame-rate issues with mods adding new graphical enhancements or new NPCs to the world, but I’m sure those will be improved over time as modders become more familiar with console hardware and the limitations they provide.
Mods are currently available on PC and Xbox One, with the PS4 gaining access to them this month.