Fallout NV Mod Conflict Troubleshooting

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Overview

Troubleshooting is a logical process of elimination. If all logic fails, you have to revert back to a vanilla game and slowly re-install mods, testing each one thoroughly before adding the next. It is a trade-off of "time" versus "effort". Where that tipping point lies is up to you. This is why you are always advised to follow a slow "install and test each mod one at a time" procedure when first setting up your game. Then you know specifically which mod is causing your problem, which saves time.

Checklist

Standard list of things to ask yourself about your current FNV problem:

  • Are you getting an error message? What is that pointing to as the source of the problem: the game, Steam, or Windows?
  • What most recently changed (as far as what you have deliberately done to your game is concerned: New, updated, or removed mods or plugins)?
  • Try renaming both the INI files in the "C:\Users\<YourAccountName>\Documents\My Games\FalloutNV" folder, and let the game rebuild them. (There might have been some unexpected changes.)
  • Did it need to be added to MCM/oHUD/UIO? (Those mods need to see it when they are installed. See the wiki article HUD-UI-Menu issues and re-install them.)
  • Are you using a FNV4GB Loader? (Increases available memory. But see the question about 32/64-bit Windows. It's related.)
  • Are you using an ENB preset? (Alters the graphics environment, including INI changes.)
  • Are you using SweetFX? (Alters the graphics environment, including INI changes.)
  • Check the game graphic & ENB/SweetFX options do not conflict with video driver settings. (Anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, anisotropic sample size, v-sync, anything else that is mentioned.)
  • Are you using LOOT to sort your mod "load order" (LO)? (Reduces mod conflicts.)
  • If you are having a "texture" problem, check you have "ArchiveInvalidation" enabled.
    • Open your mod manager.
      • Mod Organizer (MO): Select your "Profile". Turn on "Automatic Archive Invalidation" in the "Configure Profiles" dialog. Close the mod manager.
      • Fallout Mod Manager (FOMM): Depending on the version you have, find "Archive Invalidation" either under the tools tab or find the button "Toggle Archive Invalidation".
      • Nexus Mod Manager (NMM) or the newer "http://www.nexusmods.com/newvegas/mods/54991/ Fallout Mod Manager" (FOMM): if there is a "check mark" shown next to "Archive Invalidation", remove it and close the mod manager. Open the mod manager, open the "Tools" and place a "check mark" next to "Archive Invalidation".
        If there is not a "check mark" next to "Archive Invalidation", place one there and close the mod manager.
      • Wrye Flash (WF): click on the "Installers" tab, then right-click on the "Package" column header (gray bar) and click to place a "check mark" on the "BSA Redirection" context menu entry. Then right-click on the "Package" column header again and select "Anneal All".
    • For other texture problems, see the TESTG Troubleshooting section.
  • If any LOD files (distant landscape terrain) have been added, re-run TES4LL. (See the TESTG site for a glossary of terms and descriptions of/links to utilities.)
  • If the LO has changed, re-run FNVLODGen after LOOT. (Rebuilds LOD quadrants (quads), which are "load order" dependent.)
  • Use FNVEdit (loading the entire LO) to check for Masters that are missing or loading after Dependencies. See wiki tutorial Missing Masters.
  • Are you using a Wrye Flash Bashed Patch or a manually created "merge patch" file? (Resolves record level conflicts.) See S.T.E.P. Merging Plugins Guide which covers both approaches. (Use of "Mod Organizer" is not required.) Use the Wrye Bash Pictorial Guide to quickly get functional with "Wrye Flash", which I think is the easier approach for a novice modder.
  • Was there an update to a mod that has been included in a "merged plugins" or "merge patch" file? Rebuild the "merge" file.
  • Did any system or driver updates occur? (Third party processes might be the cause if nothing else changed.)
  • Finally, the problem might be an overheating hardware component. This usually shows up after a period of time which is typically fairly consistent but unpredictable as to when it manifests. Try installing and keeping an eye on a temperature monitor, such as Speedfan (freeware). Your motherboard manufacturer probably has one available as well.

Mod Conflict Isolation

If you have to isolate a mod conflict, try first "disabling" half your mods, and testing. If the problem disappears, then you know the mod conflict lies in the "disabled" half of the mods. Re-enable half of those "disabled" mods while disabling the other (previously enabled) half, and test. Keep repeating this "halving" process until you have narrowed down the mod that causes the problem only when it is active. This is the quickest way to isolate a problem mod.

If disabling mods does not pin down the culprit, then you have to uninstall them to completely remove their influence, because they overwrote something which is causing the problem. You can use the same "halving" technique but often it will be quicker to just uninstall everything and start over from a "vanilla" game that you have tested has no problems.

If you un-installed and re-installed the game but even without mods it crashes on startup, likely you forgot to clear out your "C:\Users\<YourAccountName>\Documents\My Games\FalloutNV" folder. The game places your specific versions of the Fallout and Fallout_prefs INI files there, along with your "save games". Try renaming the "Users" folder INI files first. Then if that fails move the "saves" elsewhere, delete that FalloutNV folder's content, and re-install again. If you have to re-install again anyway, be sure to install to a folder that is not under the default "C:\Program Files" folder tree. See Installing Games on Windows Vista+ for the rationale and guidance.

When the above is not sufficient to resolve your problem, please report what steps you have tried so we don't waste time suggesting you repeat something. In such cases, report the actual steps: not just "I followed the guide". We need to know you didn't miss or misinterpret something.

It's always useful to post your LO (in "Spoiler" tags. Use the "Special BBCode" button in the "Reply" menu bar). LOOT can copy your LO into a file suitable for posting here. (It's under the ":" with three dots to the extreme right in it's menu bar.)

Towards Game Stability

  • If you want a stable game, don't make any changes to your setup once you start playing and making "save game" files. Even updates to current mods run the risk of making things unstable after the point they are added. If you do update, ensure you know which save to revert to prior to that update if it goes wrong.
  • Removing a mod that has stored some elements in a "save file" will leave residue (even with a "clean save") that can cause problems down the road. It's better to find out what causes problems before you start to play in earnest.

Specific Solutions

Issue: Application load error(s)

Specifically error codes: 5:0000065434/P:0000065432

  • Cause: Indicate the Steam Client is not loaded.
  • Solution: The client may be in "Offline" mode and minimized, but must remain running while launching the game, even with "nvse_launcher" or "fnv4gb".

Issue: Vanilla game CTDs on startup

Un-installed and re-installed the game but even without mods it crashes on startup.

  • Cause: Likely you forgot to clear out your "C:\Users\<YourAccountName>\Documents\My Games\FalloutNV" folder. The game places your specific versions of the Fallout and Fallout_prefs INI files there, along with your save games. These are not replaced when you verify/re-install the game.
  • Solution1: Try renaming the "Users" folder INI files first. Then if that fails move the "saves" elsewhere, delete that FalloutNV folder's content, and re-install again. If you have to re-install again anyway, be sure to install to a folder that is not under the default "C:\Program Files" folder tree. See Installing Games on Windows Vista+ for the rationale and guidance.

Issue: Problems point to Steam as the source

Errors such as a "Preparing to Launch" message loop, or nothing apparently happening when you click to start any Steam game, or system error messages ask to troubleshoot Steam.

  • Cause: A corrupted "ClientRegistry.blob" file.
  • Diagnostic: First, confirm this is a Steam problem with the following steps.
    • Use the "verify local files" option in the Steam Library.
    • Ensure the launchers (FalloutNV.exe, FNV4GB.exe, nvse_loader.exe, nvse_steam_loader.dll, etc. as appropriate) are up to date.
    • If you have the game installed in the default Steam location (under "C:\Program Files"), ensure the initial launcher or the shortcut used is set to "run as administrator". (All other files will be launched using this launcher's environment and credentials.) If you are having problems with the game installed elsewhere, try setting the launcher to "run as administrator" as a test.
    • If all this fails, and if this problem is happening with all of your Steam games, then you have a "Steam Issue". The fix is simple.
  • Solution:
    • Ensure you have completely closed down (as in "log out" and wait for it to close) the Steam Client.
    • Locate your "Steam" (not the game) folder (i.e. "C:\Program Files\Steam") and delete the "ClientRegistry.blob" file. (Though you could try just renaming it.) This How to FIX Steam Preparing to Launch Loop other Steam Problems 3.5 minute video shows you how to do exactly that if you are better with visual explanations.
    • Now when you try launching your game the issue should be solved (or at least you should get a different error).

Issue: CTD on interior/exterior/"fast travel" cell change

  • Cause1: Most crashes on cell-change are caused by the autosave feature choking because it's trying to write data into a save it corrupted the last time you changed cells. Note this may mean your last several saves are corrupt. Auto-saves are dangerous because they are seldom able to tell when the game is in the middle of doing something else critical.
  • Solution1: Most importantly, completely disable all manner of autosaves in the game options. CASM and CASM with MCM attempt to provide more control over such situations. They are better than the built-in mechanism, but don't rely upon any auto-save exclusively. Manual "full saves" after waiting about five seconds with nothing happening are still safest. Also, use Clean Quick Saves to create a new "quick save" file every time. You will need to periodically clean old ones out, but the purpose of a quick save is for a "temp" for safety's sake rather than a place to go back to. They do not save as much data as a "full save".
  • Cause2: Crashes on cell transition will happen more often the more mods you have that affect NPC's & levelled lists.
  • Solution2: You can't run different mods like that, reliably, without a "bashed" or "merged" patch. See S.T.E.P. Merging Plugins Guide for a description of both approaches.

Issue: HUD-UI-Menu messed up or missing

  • Cause: An XML file is missing an expected element. Usually this is caused by a mod installation overwriting the XML file in question.

Issue: Game in slow motion

  • Cause1: Fallout INI files are configured with wrong (too high) MinimumFPS setting.
  • Solution1: Edit the INI files to lower the MinimumFPS setting to something like 20. This, while noticeable, is still playable. If the game is still too slow, you will need to reduce either the texture quality or screen resolution, or both.
    Make backups of the INI files before changing them.
  • Cause2: Data\nvse\plugins\NV_Stutter_Remover.ini has "iFPSClamp" set to something other than 0.
  • Solution2: Edit the "NV_Stutter_Remover.ini" setting to "iFPSClamp=0".
    Make backups of the INIs before changing them.
  • Cause3: Many mod scripts running, especially during mod initialization. If specifically in Goodsprings, be aware that the "Weapons.of.the.New.Millenia" "cache cabinet"/"cheat chest" is known to cause this, but only in Goodsprings.
  • Solution3: Review your mods and reduce the number that initialize only in that specific area.
  • Cause 4: Your hardware can't cope.
  • Solution4: either reduce game settings for texture quality and/or screen resolution to less demanding levels, or invest in better hardware. Specific component upgrades recommended are (in order of effectiveness for the price):
    • System RAM,
    • Video RAM,
    • Faster CPU processor (number of cores is much less important for 32-bit games like FNV; but this option will often require a motherboard upgrade as well, typically making it more expensive than the previous 2 options),
    • Faster disk drive. (This is the slowest solution; even an SSD, though that is the best choice for this option.)

Issue: Unable to add either of two "weapon mods" to a weapon

  • Cause: The mod "Weapon Mod Manager" only checks the first of 3 possible mod slots. If this is blank, it assumes there are no mods available.
  • Solution: Edit the "Items | Weapon" entry with GECK so the first and second "Mod Info" tab slots under "Game Effects" are not empty.

Issue: Keyboard and/or mouse don't work with a game controller installed

  • Cause: The game checks for it before the keyboard, and if detected ... disables the use of the keyboard. Merely being connected can cause the game to ignore the keyboard and mouse. Game controllers usually do not have the ability to be programmed to send key strokes and mouse buttons to the game interface. FNV requires a controller (such as the XBox 360) which is "Xinput" compatible.
  • Solution1: Third-party controller adapter software.
    • Xpadder ($9.99) - maps keyboard keys and mouse button actions to your game controller buttons.
    Xpadder also allows you to map the mouse pointer to your game controller sticks.
    Xpadder can also handle combinations, sequences, toggles, triggers, shift sets, multiple controllers and more.
  • Solution2: A "Keyboard/Video/Mouse" (KVM) switch that mechanically let's you switch those devices between one computer and another MAY be a possible solution if your game controller will connect to it and you can disconnect the controller from the computer by means of the switch instead of unplugging it.
  • Solution3:
    • Disconnect the game controller from your computer.
    • In the game's Main Menu, select "Settings" and then "Key Mappings".
    • In the bottom right corner click on "Device" and change it from "controller" to "keyboard/mouse". ** Then exit the game and restart it from the vanilla launcher. (This necessary so it will update the hardware settings in your INI files.)

Issue: Micro-stutters even with NVSR installed

  • Cause: The stutters come from the game looking for control inputs from the controller first, then the keyboard/mouse.
  • Solution: Disconnect the controller if you are not using it, and in the "C:\Users\<YourAccountName>\Documents\My Games\FalloutNV\Fallout_Prefs.INI" file look for "bGamePadRumble=" and ensure it is set to "0".

Issue: Scope zoom distortion problems

Playing with widescreen (16:9) and high resolution (1920x1080 or higher) and have a problem with scope zooms (white square edges or just edges in the reticle and the scopes have an outstretched circle).

  • Cause: Game masking that is automatically applied to scopes.
  • Solution: add the line "fScopeScissorAmount=0", in the "[Display]" section of all 3 INIs.
    Make backups of the INIs before changing them.

Issue: Screen brightness gets darker as the game progresses

  • Cause1: Conflict between ENB and SweetFX settings.
  • Solution1: Identify the conflicting settings in the INI files and choose one.
    Make backups of the INIs before changing them.

From TweakGuides: fGamma=1.0000 fGammaMax=0.6000 fGammaMin=1.4000

The above variables are useful particularly for those with older monitors. They are the same as the in-game Brightness slider, however here you can adjust both the overall brightness level with fGamma as well as altering the upper and lower limits allowed, in case you need to adjust Brightness beyond the limits allowed in the game (FalloutPrefs.ini).

  • Cause2: Don't ignore your monitor's role. Monitors are like TVs: they react to the ambient light levels in the room. Do not play in a completely dark room.
  • Solution2: You need a source of steady light level (a non-flourescent lamp) to prevent your monitor reacting to game light levels.
  • Amelioration: A mod that gives you more control over lighting in-game: The IMAGINATOR. This might be useful to confirm some mod is the culprit, by loading it near the end/bottom of the LO.

Issue: Full-Auto Iron Sights animation jump

With "full auto" weapons, when aiming down the "iron sights" in 1st person and firing (even with "JIP Select Fire" set to single shot) the whole weapon seems to jump down so that the iron sights are below the actual aim point. When you stop firing it returns to normal.

  • Cause: When you fire it starts the full-auto attack loop and screws up aiming through the scope or iron sights.

Issue: First person camera is off

  • Cause: Your problem might be a result of changing the "Field of View" (FOV).

From TweakGuides: fDefaultFOV=75.0000 - Shows the default Field of View in degrees for the game, which is 75 degrees. Changing the Field of View using this variable doesn't seem to work properly as it is not applied when the game starts, so instead you will need to use the FOV console command (See Console Commands section) each time you start them game to set a different field of view.

Update: It has been discovered that by inserting the line fDefaultWorldFOV=75.0 at the bottom of the Display section of the Fallout.ini file, and assigning it a value equal to the FOV you want, you can now permanently change the default Field of View in the game. Remember however that if you change the default FOV, you may also need to change the FOV for other screen elements - see the fRenderedTerminalFOV and fPipboy1stPersonFOV commands below. Note also that you can alter the fDefault1stPersonFOV=55.0000 value to alter how much of your body/weapon is shown in front of you (Fallout.ini).

  • Solution: Other than adjusting the various FOV settings, try tweaking the following default values (which set the camera position relative to the head node in 1st person view) in the INIs [General] section:
    Make backups of the INIs before changing them.

fCameraPosX=0.0 fCameraPosY=9.5 fCameraPosZ=6.0 bUseThirdPersonArms=1 bTPArmsEnableIronSights=1

Issue: Lag or "micro stutters" even with "New Vegas Stutter Remover" installed

  • Cause: Companions impose heavy script processing penalties. More than two companions, while possible, will definitely cause lag according to the game developers. The game is unable to tell if a vanilla companion is "actually with you" or merely "befriended" but sitting elsewhere (such as in the Lucky 38 suite).
  • Solution: Release ("part ways" from) unused companions to return to where they were recruited. If you are not informed you have lost the Perk granted by that companion, you have not actually "released" them. There are "companion dismissal terminals" found in the game to help with this for companions, even those not currently with you. One is found in the Lucky 38 Casino by the Casino floor elevator and another in front of the Gun Runners HQ shack outside Freeside's East gate.

Issue: Pink Screen or textures

  • Cause1: Usually this means you are running out of graphics VRAM (the physical memory on your video card); typically from too many High Resolution Texture replacement packs. These pink textures can show on faces, hands, and hairs, but also can happen with entire loading screens. When you start seeing this "pink stuff", a CTD is just around the corner.
  • Cause2: If you are on Windows 10 the game can handle less "High Quality" / "High Definition" textures than in Windows 7 due to how Win10 handles DirectX 9 games. The video RAM gets locked at 4GB maximum (even if you have a TitanZ card with 12 GB on board), thanks to Microsoft's implementation of DirectX 9 games in their latest OS (Win10 at the time of this writing). So in short, if your game ran fine in Win7, it will and cannot handle as many textures as it could before upgrading. This can cause your symptoms of pink textures or worse a CTD if you had more than 4GB total of video memory loaded under Win7.
  • Diagnostic: You can see if reducing the in-game "texture quality" setting from "High" to "Low" makes a difference, or if reducing your screen resolution down to 800x600, or both, makes any difference to confirm the above are the cause.
  • Solution: There are several things you can try:

* Uninstall some HD texture replacement packs. * Run the game at a lower screen resolution. * Reduce the texture resolution down by half each time (i.e. from 4096x4096 to 2048x2048, 1024x1024, or 512x512). See the Utilities "DDSOpt" and "Optimizer Textures" on the TESTG Utilities page. * Upgrade your video card. However, note the limitation in Windows 10 in "Cause2:" above.

  • For advanced users: If you have a Windows 10 Education, Professional, or Enterprise edition you can use the included Win10 Hyper-V system and try running the game in a Win7 "virtual machine". See HyperV on Windows compatibility for the hardware requirements and a walk-through of the installation process. Note this requires you to have or obtain an ".iso" file of the desired OS install media. (If none of this option makes sense, you probably don't want to mess with it. Otherwise, educate yourself as it is beyond the scope of this wiki.)

Issue: Black Screen on startup

  • Cause1: Usually if the game "freezes" but doesn't CTD during the loading screens, it's due to a missing or incorrectly referenced ESM (master file).
  • Solution1: Use FNVEdit (loading the entire LO) to check for Masters that are missing or loading after Dependencies. Make sure all your ESM files are loaded first, with the game ESM (FalloutNV.ESM) as the very first file and those of the DLC next in the order they were released: DeadMoney, HonestHearts, OldWorldBlues, LonesomeRoad, GunRunnersArsenal, ClassicPack, MercenaryPack, TribalPack, and CaravanPack. Use LOOT to get a basic sorted mod order. Note that some mods have ESMs that use the ESP extension, so if LOOT sorts them into the ESM group, leave them as it is determining that from the file headers and they really are ESMs.
  • Cause2: A Black screen but you can hear sounds and the game seems to be running usually means you have too many plugins active. The game has a "hard cap" at which it issues a warning when you exceed 139, but you can start to have problems anywhere between 130-140 active plugins depending upon your system. Here "plugins" refers to both ESM and ESP files that are active in your "load order" or present in the game "Data" folder.
  • Solution2: Try temporarily disabling enough plugins to get under the cap and see if that gets your screen back. If so, then you need to look into permanently reducing the active plugin count by means of a "bashed" or "merged" patch file, and "merged plugin" files. See the wiki article Merged Plugin Guidelines for Personal Use where the subject is discussed.
  • Cause3: A Black screen but you can hear sounds and the game seems to be running could mean you have corrupted a HUD-UI-Menu XML file, or have installed a mod that overwrites one. This can usually be confirmed by loading the game without any active mods or "save game" (i.e start a new game). If the screen remains black, you have an XML file issue.
  • Cause4: A Black screen with CTD during the loading screens is usually an indication of a mod conflict or a dependent plugin (i.e. an ESP) loaded before a master plugin (i.e. ESM for the same mod). Use FNVEdit (loading the entire LO) to check for Masters that are missing or loading after Dependencies.
  • Solution4:
    • Check the date/timestamp on the files in question. Even LOOT can occasionally set the times too close to each other when sorting. They need to have at least a full minute difference to not be considered "the same time" by the game. The ESP must have a later time than it's related ESM. You can use a "file properties" tool like Attribute Changer (freeware) to manually adjust any or all three timestamps (created, modified, accessed) on the files, or try manually moving files around in your mod manager. Note that no two files should have the same "modified" date/timestamp in your "load order" or other problems will arise.

Issue: GECK is missing text in fields

GECK seems to be missing the text associated with certain columns of information (Editor ID, Topics, etc.). Typically this is a "list box" type field.

  • Cause: This occurs in the GECK for both "Fallout 3" and "New Vegas". Some update to Windows caused the column's right border to be shifted to the far left of the field.
  • Solution: Place the mouse cursor in the top left corner of the "blank" field that is missing text until it changes the cursor shape into a "+" (column resize) cursor. Left-click and hold while dragging to the right, and the missing text should be displayed. Continue dragging to the right until everything is shown or he mouse cursor is no longer the "+" shape. When you release the mouse button the idsplay field should be fixed.

Issue: Can't open the game console under Windows 10

  • Cause: The "key binding" to open the console is hard-coded in the game and apparently this binding is broken under Windows 10. There is no game provided mechanism to change this.
  • A mod Console Rebind uses NVSE as a workaround that may help in this situation.

Issue: Find the source mod of an item in-game

  • Cause: The only way to use the console to identify an object in-game, is to have the object in an Actor's (your character, an NPC, or container) inventory.
  • Solution:
  1. Open the in-game console.
  2. Click on the PC, NPC, or container.
  3. enter "showinventory" in the game console.
  4. The FormID will be displayed at the top of the screen. See this article Help:Form IDs for an explanation of how to interpret the FormID. The first two characters are the "load order index" (in hexadecimal, starting with "00"). The "load order index" tells you the source mod.
    Note that a "00" "load order index" means it's from the game master file (i.e. FalloutNV.ESM). The "FF" index means it is a "spawned" character or item, which happens when you drop the item to the ground.
  5. If you have NVSE installed, then you can use the console command ' GetModIndex "pluginname.esX" ' to get it in game. Supposedly the NVSE console command "gbo" (GetBaseObject?) will as well.

References

Nexus wiki articles referred to by this article:



Nexus wiki articles that refer to this article: