Fallout 4’s Top Mods Are Undoing The New Update

Players just want their old mods back.

Fans waited years for Bethesda to drop a current-gen update for Fallout 4. But less than a week after the long-awaited patch dropped, PC fans are now hard at work finding ways to remove the new changes.

The two top downloads on Fallout 4’s Nexus Mods page are currently the Skip Next-Gen Update mod and the Fallout 4 Downgrader mod. As the names imply, both the popular downloads are built to circumvent the free upgrade Bethesda released April 25.

While the update provided a bevy of fan-requested quality-of-life features such as an option to increase the game’s framerate, improved textures and resolutions, and faster load times, it also broke hundreds of community-created mods, a big part of what has helped the nine-year-old game stay relevant for as long as it has.

The Skip Next-Gen Update mod tricks Steam into thinking it’s already installed Bethesda’s upgrade, preventing auto-updates, while the Downgrader restores an older version of the game, allowing players to use many of the mods they had access to before. Together, the two mods have earned more than 35,000 downloads as of Monday.

The two top mods for Fallout 4 on Nexus are for rolling back Bethesda’s recent update.

Despite its timely release just a few weeks after Prime’s well-received Fallout TV show, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 update has had a disastrous launch on all platforms. Broken textures, brand-new bugs, and a borked rollout for certain tiers of PlayStation Plus subscribers all muddy the most approachable game in the series at an important moment for the franchise.

But beyond some of the unexpected jank that’s come with the update, it’s Bethesda’s ambivalence towards their mod community that is the most frustrating. Bethesda has regularly praised the modding community, and since Fallout 4, has gone as far as openly implementing ways of downloading fan-created ideas for their games even on console."

“Our modding community has been with us for 20 years,” Bethesda’s Todd Howard said during a Reddit AMA in 2021. “We love what they do and hope to see more make a career out of it."

Fallout 4 is a game that thrives when players install mods that improve or add to the vanilla experience.

Bethesda Game Studios

And yet, the company gave players and modders little warning about their mod-breaking update. Shortly after the initial announcement, Bethesda said they worked to minimize the impact it would have on existing mods, but admitted that it couldn’t prevent the effects it would have on version-sensitive mods.

Bethesda’s efforts haven’t been as effective as one would hope. Popular mods like Sim Settlements, which lets Fallout 4’s NPCs join players in creating settlements, and the game’s community-created Script Extender, which many other mods rely on to function, have all been affected. This in turn means players using them, often at the recommendation of the most prominent players and content creators in the Fallout community, are dealing with broken or inaccessible save files just weeks after picking the game back up.

Potentially ruining the saves of millions of players jumping back into the most recent and approachable entry in the series is a confounding choice from Bethesda. There has to be a better way to do this.

The mod community has arguably kept Fallout 4 relevant some nine years after its release.

Bethesda Game Studios

Perhaps the most tragic of the mod situation is Team FOLON’s Fallout: London expansion. The April 23 release fate for this ambitious single-player fan project was set in stone months ago, but has since been delayed indefinitely after Bethesda surprise announced their patch.

“You’d think they’d at least have a conversation to just be like ‘Look, you guys are clearly notable, let’s make sure we don’t ruin this for the fans,’” Fallout: London project lead Dean Carter told the BBC last week.

Fallout: London should have been a lay-up for Bethesda. The fan-made expansion, which features a new map, quests, creatures, perks, factions, weapons, animations, and a revamped dialogue system with original voice acting, requires Fallout 4 and its expansions. A brand-new, (albeit unofficial) expansion is exactly what the franchise needs right now. Had Bethesda played nice, they could have stirred even more interest (and sales) among new and returning fans looking to get their Fallout fill after the show, without having to do much work.

Fallout: London should have been a layup for Bethesda had the developer embraced the buzz around the fan-made expansion.


Instead, Bethesda has frustrated fans and the very community that has kept their games in the conversation, all while making a nine-year-old game just a little worse.

As much as Bethesda likes to champion the creators and communities that make their games special, they’re doing a pretty terrible job doing right by them. At a time when Bethesda could use a win following the mixed reception to 2023’s Starfield, all but ignoring such a vital part of their identity is causing unnecessary harm to their public image.

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