Fallout NV Mod Conflict Troubleshooting

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Contents

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 don't like LOOT's results, or wish total control over your LO, see the wiki article Load order and you for an approach to organizing the LO and creating a "merge patch" file to manually resolve 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 Fallout Mod Manager - Forked (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.
    • When in doubt, it will never harm things to try toggling "ArchiveInvalidation" off and then on again.
  • Are you missing any of the "game fixer" mods? See the Issue: Vanilla game bugs sub-topic for a list of specific recommendations.
  • 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.)
  • Did you install Steam under the default location of the "C:\Program Files" tree? This causes many "strange" problems not otherwise explainable. As painful as it may sound, read the wiki article Installing Games on Windows Vista+ and move at least FNV. That article has a link to the official Steam Procedure.
  • 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. In particular you have to watch out for mods that use scripts to permanently change form and leveled lists (such as, purely as an example, Millenia's Weapon mods). This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing as there are compatibility advantages to using this "script" technique. Such mods usually point this out in their description. But it is something to pay attention to when experimenting. 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

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

  • Cause-1: 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.
  • Solution-1a: 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.
  • Cause-2: If the CTD occurs before you get to the Main/Pause Menu, likely it is a "missing master file" required by a mod.
  • Solution-2: See the wiki article Missing Masters for a tutorial on how to determine the missing file and fix this problem.

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: How to disable the Steam Overlay

Sometimes it is necessary to turn off the Steam Overlay in the Steam Client in order to resolve a conflict.

  • Cause: The Steam Overlay uses a technique that can conflict with other applications or tools using a similar technique. This solution assumes disabling the Steam Overlay is the preferred method of resolving this conflict.
  • Solution:
    • Open the Steam Client.
    • Select "Steam | Settings" from the top menu bar. This will open a "Settings" window.
      • Select the "In-Game" option.
      • Disable (uncheck) the "Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game" option.
      • Click on the "OK" button to close the "Settings" window.
    • (Optionally) Select "Go off-line". Without the Overlay, there is no real reason for the processing overhead of being "on-line" to the Steam Server. This will require restarting the Steam Client, but will thereafter remain in effect until you choose to change it again.
    • Minimize the Steam Client. (Even in "off-line" mode, it is necessary to start the Steam Client for the DRM licensing engine to enable play.)
    • Launch your game from a shortcut on the desktop.

Issue: Vanilla game bugs

Most that have been officially patched or are XBox or PS console only are available on the Wikia Fallout Portal page.

Issue: Unable to draw weapons, fire, or crouch

Also related: Sunny Smile's initial greeting dialog is actually that from a later stage:

Initial greeting: "Cheyenne, stay. Don't worry, she won't bite, unless I tell her to."
Later greeting: "Yeah alright. Let's just get done with this first and we'll talk later. Preferably somewhere I can get a stiff drink and Cheyenne can cool down".
  • Cause: Removal of all "tumbleweeds" from the game. The first "tumbleweed" seen upon exiting Doc Mitchell's house after creating a character is scripted. It's absence (i.e. a mod to remove all tumbleweeds also removes that script event) breaks the game.
  • Solution:
    • Temporary: Move to somewhere you know you should be able to use all those functions, open the in-game console (<~> key), and enter "EnablePlayerControls" (without the quotes) and hit <Enter>.
    • Permanent: Uninstall any mods that remove all tumbleweeds before creating a new character. Often this functionality is incorporated into "performance" mods, so if it isn't mentioned in the description some testing may be required. However, once the character has stepped outside of Doc Mitchell's so the scripted "tumbleweed" event occurs, they may be installed.

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

  • Cause-1: 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.
  • Solution-1: 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".
  • Cause-2: Crashes on cell transition will happen more often the more mods you have that affect NPC's & levelled lists.
  • Solution-2: 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.
  • Cause-3: The default game "heap size" is too small for some modded games.

Issue: CTD without warning, "Out of Memory error", or stops responding

Happens without error messages, as if the game runs out of memory, or the OoM error message.

  • Cause: The vanilla game's default "heap size" is very conservative and can easily be exhausted by a modded game. There are a couple of distinct types of "heap" and it is not clear which is running out of memory. One is used in programming to implement a data structure such as a priority queue, and another in memory management as an area for dynamic memory allocation and swapping code around. Both types are commonly used.
  • Solution-1: Increase the heap allocation size. Initially use either the "Sheson memory patch" or NVSR. The current NVSR (v4.1.36) "heap replacement" can also run into "out of memory" errors regardless of the algorithm chosen in some situations. Both can work together, but even if they are not attempting to change the same heap allocation (unknown), their combined effect with the suggested sizes is to use up almost 1GB of game memory (out of 2-3.8GB) for this purpose.
    • 1a: Activate the "Sheson memory patch" (unknown type of heap) in NVSE. This may require creating the "Data\NVSE" folder, and the file "nvse_config.ini" in that folder. (They are not automatically created by NVSE when you install it.) Copy and paste the following two lines into the "nvse_config.ini" file:

[Memory]
DefaultHeapInitialAllocMB=448

Using a size of "240" or "256" is suggested if you are not using FNV4GB or some other means to utilize the maximum ~4GB of game memory.
    • 1b: Alternatively, The mod New Vegas Stutter Remover (requires NVSE) contains both an adjustable heap size and alternative heap algorithms (unknown type of heap). These are disabled by default for maximum stability, so it is necessary to read the provided documentation and edit the NVSR INI file.
      • A larger heap size of 450(MB of RAM) is suggested, but Intel processors work more efficiently when they align with multiples of 16 bytes, so I suggest using a heap of 448, 464, or 512.
      • There are several "heap algorithms" and only some experimentation on your part will tell you which works best for your system. This is documented in the INI file (located in the "Data\NVSE\Plugins" folder) as well as the download page.
      • The current NVSR (v4.1.36) "heap replacement" and algorithms can be reliably demonstrated to increase the number of CTDs and "out of memory" errors under certain circumstances, so only testing will tell if it is a solution for you. However, many have success with it in typical modded games. Other features of NVSR are still of practical use.
  • Solution-2: Enable two "purge cells" options in the "Fallout.INI" file:

[General]
bPreemptivelyUnloadCells=1

and

[BackgroundLoad]
bSelectivePurgeUnusedOnFastTravel=1

Solutions 1 and 2 can safely be combined.

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

  • Cause-1: Fallout INI files are configured with wrong (too high) MinimumFPS setting.
  • Solution-1: 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.
  • Cause-2: Data\nvse\plugins\NV_Stutter_Remover.ini has "iFPSClamp" set to something other than 0.
  • Solution-2: Edit the "NV_Stutter_Remover.ini" setting to "iFPSClamp=0".
    Make backups of the INIs before changing them.
  • Cause-3: 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.
  • Solution-3: Review your mods and reduce the number that initialize only in that specific area.
  • Cause-4: Your hardware can't cope.
  • Solution-4: 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: Distant terrain/LOD flickers rapidly

This problem seems to occur more frequently with high-end systems, but across all sorts of platforms and video cards.

  • Cause: Known as "Z-fighting" or "stitching", this is a complex problem in 3D rendering where two or more "primatives" such as "layers" have similar or identical values in the "z-buffer", so they essentially occupy the same space. The result is the pixels from each layer "fight" to be the one displayed on screen, especially when the point of view changes. This causes a flickering, noisy display of first one then another color pixel. See the "Z-fighting" article from Wikipedia for the full technical description.
  • Solution: There is no single solution that applies to every system, and some of these effects cannot be resolved by the player. See the S.T.E.P. Project Guide Z-Fighting for examples of the issue and some INI tweaks that may help. An FNV user tried some similar suggested by Gopher in this video and had the most success with adjusting the "fNearDistance=" value. He reports that anything above "10" results in clipping with arms and weapons in first person mode, but a balance can be reached with some testing.

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.
  • Solution-1: 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.
  • Solution-2: 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.
  • Solution-3:
    • 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: 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

  • Cause-1: Conflict between ENB and SweetFX settings.
  • Solution-1: 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).
  • Cause-2: 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.
  • Solution-2: You need a source of steady light level (a non-flourescent lamp) to prevent your monitor reacting to changing 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 center

  • 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-1: 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-1: 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.
  • Cause-2: The stutters come from the game looking for control inputs from the attached game controller device first, then the keyboard/mouse though both are enabled.
  • Solution-2: Disconnect the controller if you are not using it. Regardless, in the "C:\Users\<YourAccountName>\Documents\My Games\FalloutNV\Fallout_Prefs.INI" file look for "bGamePadRumble=" and ensure it is set to "0".

Issue: Pink Screen or textures

  • Cause-1: 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.
  • Cause-2: 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 "Cause-2" 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

  • Cause-1: 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).
  • Solution-1: Use FNVEdit (loading the entire LO) to check for Masters that are missing or loading after Dependencies. See the wiki article Missing Masters for more detailed instructions.
In general, 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:
    • FalloutNV.ESM
    • DeadMoney
    • HonestHearts
    • OldWorldBlues
    • LonesomeRoad
    • GunRunnersArsenal
    and then the "pre-order packs":
    • ClassicPack
    • MercenaryPack
    • TribalPack
    • CaravanPack
Mod EMS files should follow.
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 flagged as ESMs.
  • Cause-2: 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 even if not active.
  • Solution-2: 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.
  • Cause-3: 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.
  • Cause-4: 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). See the wiki article Missing Masters for more detailed instructions to check for these problems.
  • Solution-4:
    • 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 the mouse cursor is no longer the "+" shape. When you release the mouse button the display 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.
  • Solution: 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

This is often desired to determine the source of a missing texture or mesh (the White "!" on a Red background symbol 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 (the PC {your character}, an NPC, or container) inventory.
  • Solution:
  1. Open the in-game console (<~> key).
  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. In short, 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 the Lutana NVSE Plugin installed, you can use it's console command search "<item name>" (double quotes required), which will show you a list of matching items with FormIDs.
  6. If you have NVSE installed, then you can use the console command GetModIndex "<pluginname>.es<X>" (double quotes required) to get "load order index" in-game (i.e. GetModIndex "DeadMoney.esm").
    • The NVSE console command "gbo" (GetBaseObject) after selecting the item will return the "base object id". The FormIDs listed in the Object window of GECK are "Base IDs". A "Base ID" is only associated with an object template in the editor, never with an instanced object in-game. Note: Will return the leveled character/creature form if called on references spawned by one. Use "gbf" (GetBaseForm) to return the NPC/creature base form instead. Source: GECK Wiki.

Issue: ENB is not working

  • Cause: Almost always this is due to faulty installation.
  • General instructions for installing the ENB series are (read everything first):
  1. Download the latest ENB series Graphic Modifications version file for the game in question (i.e. FNV will be used as an example), along with any "Patch" file that may exist. This is explained in the description on that "Downloads" page, so please take the time to read it to avoid confusion. The files are in separate sub-sections lower down on the same page.

    Note the "Installing" section contains important instructions regarding the placement of certain files. Copy these if necessary. Failure to heed this is the second most common cause of failure.

    • Scroll down to and select the game (i.e. "Fallout 3/New Vegas") under the "Graphic Modifictions" section. This will take you to the game version page, where you should select the latest version. (At the time of this writing it's v0.278 for Fallout.) If you intend to use a specific ENB preset, check that it does not require an older version first. If it is merely suggested, then try the latest version anyway.
    • Clicking on a version number will take you to another page that provides a one-line summary of the changes for each version EXCEPT for the version you selected. (This is how you know you are on the correct page.) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and "click" on the "<down arrow> download" button's icon to start the download process of the version you selected on the previous page.
    • If there was a patch file for your game listed, return to the "Download" page, scroll down to the "Patches" section, and click on the Patch file (i.e. "Fallout 3/ New Vegas").
    • This will take you to another page with the patch file. Select the "description" of the patch underneath the word "Download" on this page to start the download process. (The patches have their own numbering system independent of the "Graphic Modifications" file series.)
    The other "Tools" and "Converters" files are not needed for the Fallout games; though the "VRamSizeTest" tool can be useful when looking into the VRam requirements for various games which do not have ENB installed. (ENB will report the same VRam size information when properly installed.)
  2. Once you have downloaded the ENB Series files, follow the instructions you noted earlier from the "Installing" section on the "Downloads" page. Inside the "Graphic Modifictions" version archive file, you will find two sub-folders: "wrapper" and "injector". Choose between either the "wrapper" or the "injector" method of installation. It is suggested you try the "wrapper" method first. If that fails, uninstall ENB and install the "Injector" method instead. Failure to uninstall the "wrapper" method files first will result in confusion about the correct "injector" method files to place and edit.

    FNV4GB.exe users should note that the "D3D9.DLL" file from ENB "wrapper" method needs to be placed in the "Fallout New Vegas\exes" folder, along with the "FalloutNV.EXE" file they moved there when installing that executable.

    I recommend you unpack the ENB version file archive to a folder outside of the game. Then copy the CONTENTS of the "wrapper" folder to the game root folder (i.e. "<Steam install path>\common\Fallout New Vegas"). (Do not drag the "wrapper" folder itself, only the files and folders inside of it.) This way you will be able to refer back to tell exactly which were copied over if you have to uninstall them.
  3. Choose and download an ENB "Preset" configuration from the Nexus or other download site. The author of ENHANCED SHADERS - ENB by tapioks for instance is focused on achieving a Balanced and Playable preset. Others are often focused on creating particular "atmospheres", but read their descriptions carefully. Expect that you may need to try several before finding the one best suited to your preferences and system performance. Again, unpacking the preset outside of the game and copying it's contents over will provide a means of determining what needs to be uninstalled if necessary.
    Follow the installation instructions of that preset, which usually consist of placing it's contents in the game root directory (i.e. "<Steam install path>\common\Fallout New Vegas"), or wherever the game's original executable resides.

    Such presets (along with ENB itself) generally cannot be installed successfully using a mod manager, because mod managers assume they belong in the game's "Data" folder. This is THE most common error. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

  4. Now you need to make certain adjustments to the game "Graphics Settings". (Note: this part is specific to FNV. Other games may require other means to access these setting or the specific settings to be altered.) Use the original game launcher (not FNV4GB.exe or "NVSE_Launcher.exe" if you have them installed), and select "Options" to get to the "Graphics Adapter and Resolution" window.
    • Turn off "Antialiasing".
    • Turn off "Anistropic filtering".
    • Enable "Screen Effects: HDR".
    • Click on the "Advanced" button and select the "Water" tab.
      • Disable (uncheck) the "Water Displacement" check box.
      • "Close" the "Advanced" window.
    • Click on the "OK" button to close the "Options" window.
    • Select "Play" to proceed to the Main Menu so the game will save the changes to your settings.
    • Now "Exit" the game without proceeding any further.
  5. Now check the video card controller to ensure you have also disabled any of those same settings for the video card.

    Make backup copies of any INI file before editing or overwriting.

  6. Usually an ENB preset will have already made specific edits to the default ENB INI files, which it will overwrite. However, this is not considered "best practice" because only about a third of the ENBLocal file is related to the preset and the remainder is specific to your system. Instead you should use their file as a guide to edit the ENB settings in your own files. You can choose to edit those settings either "in-game" (using the "<Shift+Enter>" key combination to enter and exit ENB "edit" mode), or by directly editing the ENBLocal.INI (or ENBInjector.INI) file, or other files as directed. See the Warning about ENBLocal.INI entry of the S.T.E.P. Project ENBseries Guide for specifics.

Please refer to the S.T.E.P. Project "ENBseries Guide" pages for each INI file for information regarding the purpose of each setting before electing to make such changes. It is easy to forget the changes to all files when testing various presets. There are separate S.T.E.P. guides for each of the ENB INI files as well as Troubleshooting tips.

Issue: ENB Transparency/Translucency problem

See through some weapons, walls, or the ground in some locations with ENB enabled.

  • Cause-1: Conflicting settings. ENB has better support for nVidia than AMD, as that is what the developer uses so bear that in mind. AMD users may need to use "work-arounds".
  • Solution-1: Check the settings in both the GPU (video card) control panel AND the game options/INI. The following are separate solutions that have reported success, in order of popularity.
    • The "anti-aliasing" option should be turned off in both.
    • The "anistropic filtering" option should be turned off in both.
    • "Water displacement" in the game options should be "off", and "HDR" should be "on".
    • Set "iMultiSample=0" in your INI.
    • Don't use the "Steam Overlay". Launch the game from a desktop shortcut after running the Steam Client, or go to Steam Options (in-game) and uncheck "Steam Overlay". Other DX overlays may also have a similar effect.
    • Adjust ENB settings (in-game use "Shift-Enter" from the game's Main/Pause Menu to access the ENB menu; or edit the ENBLocal.INI file directly):
      • Disable "Ambient Occlusion".
      • Disable "Detailed Shadows".
      • Save the changed settings, (and if in-game use "Shift-Enter" to return to the game and check the result).
  • Cause-2: ENB incorporates a "Fix for Transparency bugs. From some people, this "fix" causes the problem instead.
  • Solution-2: Use the in-game editor or in the ENBLocal.INI file; locate the "[FIX]" section (at the bottom of the INI file) and change the "FixTransparencyBugs=true" line to "=false". Save.

Issue: SweetFX not working

  • Cause-1: Attempted to install with a mod manager.
  • Solution-1: Similar to ENB, SweetFX needs to place it's files in the game root folder, or wherever the original game executable resides. Do NOT attempt to install with a mod manager (they assume files need to go into the "Data" sub-folder).
  • Cause-2: SweetFX uses much the same trick as overlays like FRAPS, Overwolf, and the Steam Overlay do; so they can conflict. It does have some allowance for working with the Steam Overlay, but this is not always successful.
  • Cause-3: Can't SweetFX be used with FNV4GB?
  • Solution-3: Place the SweetFX DLL files in the "Fallout New Vegas\exes" folder, along with the "FalloutNV.EXE" file moved there when installing that executable.
  • Cause-4: Can't SweetFX used with ENB?
  • Solution-4: Note that both SweetFX and ENB have their own D3D9.DLL files. It is necessary to enable both to be used. The following procedure assumes both post-processors are installed separately and are not packaged as a single combo.
    • Uninstall any previous installations of both SweetFX and ENB.
    • Install SweetFX and it's preset first.
      • Configure it.
      • Open the game.
        • Use the "<Scroll Lock> key" to toggle SweetFX on and off.
        • Enable the "monochrome" setting to confirm visually that SweetFX is working correctly.
      • Close the game.
    • Rename the SweetFX version of the "D3D9.DLL" file to "SWEETFXd3d9.dll".
    • Now install the ENB files: both the main series "Graphic Modifications" and any applicable patch, and the chosen preset files. See sub-topic Issue: ENB is not working for general installation instructions.
    • Configure ENB and check that it is working correctly.
    • Exit the game.
    • Now, in order to get both the ENB and SweetFX DLL files to be used together, edit the "ENBseries.INI" file (in the game root folder: i.e. "<Steam install path>\common\Fallout New Vegas") with the following:

[PROXY]
EnableProxyLibrary=true
InitProxyFunctions=true
ProxyLibrary=SWEETFXd3d9.dll

and save.
    • Now when you start the game you should be able to see effects from both post-processors. Look for the ENB message on the title screen, and use the "<Scroll Lock> key" to toggle SweetFX. You don't need to load a save to see the effects of both. If all appears well, then try loading a save game and check the results.
    • If the game crashes, try temporarily disabling one or both of the effects.
      • For ENB, use "<Shift+F12> key" to toggle entirely; or "<Shift+Enter>" to enter the editor mode and disable the "use effects" checkbox.
      • For SweetFX, use the "<Scroll Lock> key" to toggle it's state.

Issue: Removing a Project Nevada Implant freezes the game or CTDs

This is particularly evident when removing a "skill-based" one (i.e. raises the Sneak skill).

  • Cause: It appears that, by design with this mod, not only are there distinctions between individual doctors (all are not equally skilled; some need the "cybernetic surgery" book before they can install implants), but it also tracks which installed a particular implant. More investigation is needed into the untrapped error that is causing the freeze or CTD itself.
  • Solution: It seems the only safe way to remove a PN implant is to use the same doctor who installed it, especially with "book trained" doctors like Doc Mitchell.

Issue: Corpses disappear too quickly

This is not a bug, or something that can be "fixed". It takes some understanding of how this necessary game "garbage collection" works.

  • Cause: Corpses count against the number of actors in a cell. All actors (dead or alive) have scripts running against them which affects your processor load. Too many can crash your game, so the game runs "garbage collection" routines to remove them.
  • Mitigations: Could not find a vanilla INI setting for this, but the "Bashed Patch" (BP) from "Wrye Flash" (WF) has an adjustable "Combat: Max Actors" setting. The BP also has a "Max Active Actors" setting, and a multiplier of that for the number of "Dead Actors". Someone claimed you could have about 80 actors max, and about 50 before taking an FPS hit. "Your mileage may vary."
    • Corpses with a Quest marker never disappear (perma-corpses). Named NPCs (like "Joe Cobb") usually have this marker.
    • Normal corpses disappear in exterior cells when the cell respawns or is purged (i.e. fast travel or switching to an interior cell), so you need to loot first.
    • Corpses in an interior cell don't disappear because such cells don't respawn. (Note that does not apply to "containers" which are flagged to respawn.)
    • You can't "carry" (<grab> key) a body through a door or fast travel with it.
    • Adding an item (even one that was originally in it's inventory but removed) to a corpse turns it into a "container", causing the corpse to persist through a cell respawn.

References

Nexus wiki articles referred to by this article:



Nexus wiki articles that refer to this article: