How Fallout 4 Mods Will Work On Console

How Fallout 4 Mods Will Work On Console

Fallout 4 is gonna have mods on Xbox One and (hopefully) PS4. But consoles aren't like PC's wild, wild wasteland. There are rules.

First, the good news: Bethesda wants there to be as little red tape as possible. Want to render your Fallout 4 save a smoking pile of irradiated scrap (that's jealously guarded by creepy fucking trains)? Go for it.

"Just like Skyrim, there are mods that can break your game pretty wildly, and so we have some safety things on the console for that, but at the same time, we are going to let people break their game," game director Todd Howard explained to IGN.

Console mods won't be subjected to much of an approval process, either. At least, not if Howard and co can help it. The hope is that transferring them from PC will be a snap.

"We don't want to [be heavy handed about approval]," he said. "We'll see how we have to go through that. The plan is that it goes through Bethesda.net, but... outside of things that we would normally take down — we take down things on Steam Workshop if it's got things that are illegal, or things like that — we'll do the same thing."

Now the question on every wannabe wasteland-defacer's mind: what's off-limits? Did you guess "everything except nudity and licensed material"? Then you're supremely wrong and might live in an alternate reality (how do you grow such formidable mustaches, asking for a friend).

"Either your nudity or porn, that kind of stuff, or you're taking assets from Halo," Howard said to IGN. "Though, Microsoft might allow that. We'd have to get approval. But like, generally, if someone is using assets from another game, we have to say, 'No, you can't do that.'"

How Fallout 4 Mods Will Work On Console

A screenshot from a Fallout 3 mod.

Which is kind of a bummer given how many hilarious and/or terrifying Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Skyrim mods have come out of worlds colliding in ways that are oh-so-wrong yet oh-so-right, but it's not the end of the world. Who knows? Maybe the restriction will bring more creativity out of modders who aren't usually into making original material.

As for nudity, I've never personally used any sex/romance/nudity mods in Fallout or Skyrim, but I know that large communities have formed around them. They're not all winners, but it's one of the more fascinating sides of the modding community, if only because these games were super not made to support this stuff. It's kind of a shame to see Bethesda slamming that vault door shut and locking it up tight. Oh well, somehow I imagine the PC modding community will more than make up for it.

There's still one big question, though: how much say will Microsoft and Sony want in the process? Once upon a time both console-makers were known for extremely strict certification processes for almost all content, downloadable or not. They have slackened their chains in recent times, but you never know — especially with something as untested and prone to chaos as player-created mods.

For now, though, Bethesda's stance seems promising, if not ideal. Now then, anybody want to start planning out a play-as-dogmeat mod? And also a mod where all human characters are replaced by dogs, and your adventure companion is a loyal, completely naked dude from a vault where everyone was brainwashed to think they're dogs?

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @vahn16.


Comments

    Is it a copy of the entire game, one with Mods, one without?

    And the copy with mods wont' be able to achieve achievements?

    If Sony are wanting to make good on their 'for the gamer' tagline line then they'll do everything possible to get this working with as little getting in the way as possible. Queue mods ending up on the PS Store starting at $5 for minor mods. Hopefully though, Bethesda have quickly learned from the whole paid mods debacle on Steam and won't try and pursue that again.

    I can't see it'd be much of an issue on PS4 though. As was said in a different article, mods mostly change the game files, not anything with the OS. It'll just be a case of enabling mods access to do that, which shouldn't be a problem as it'd work like a patch does.

    The only problem I can see is if you break the game with too many mods in the wrong order (how they're going to tackle the load order issue on consoles will be interesting), it needs to be easy to wind back the mods otherwise it'll be a very sizable (I'm assuming) download/reinstall. Potentially millions of console users will have to be educated or educate themselves in how to install mods correctly, and I can see more than a few when the game won't load after they install 100 different mods that conflict with each other

      It really depends on the security built into the console's operating system. Some consoles have put all their faith into code signing on the assumption that all code that has passed through QA and been blessed with a signature is good, and everything else can't run so doesn't matter.

      This is a problem if you can get a piece of unsigned code to do something the authors didn't expect, such as trying to load corrupt save games and causing buffer overflows. Turning the entire game engine into an attack surface would make this kind of problem a lot worse, which is probably the main reason why mods are uncommon on consoles.

      Of course, if the console's security takes a different approach then this isn't such a problem. Take Android or iOS for instance: it treats each app as an untrusted piece of code, and sandboxes them from each other and from various operating system services. In this case, getting a single app to misbehave is only a problem for that app: everything else is unaffected. If the new consoles have adopted this security strategy, then mods may be viable.

      Hopefully though, Bethesda have quickly learned from the whole paid mods debacle on Steam and won't try and pursue that again.

      I would have honestly thought they'd cancel any plans to bring mods to consoles after that. I mean it didn't fail simply because the concept was evil, even if they were doing some shady shit, it failed because that sort of distribution model requires a level of legitimacy and support that you just won't get from random modders. The modding scene is all about breaking rules while consoles are all about control and protocol.

      I've also got to wonder, will Fallout 4 be 'dumbed down' for this feature? People were happy to see no 360/PS3 release because that allows the game the freedom to play with the power of the current gen consoles, but if you put mods into the equation then suddenly you've got to reserve some of that power for non-optimised functionality.

    Also, more Thomas the Tank Engine and other childhood show mods please

    Unreal Tournament on PS3 had the right idea, you'd download any mod to a USB drive and install it from that, no need for any form of certification, if the mod existed you could install it.

    Not sure why you'd do it any other way, although I haven't read any technical details on this feature yet.

    Bethesda/valve are almost definitely reviving the paid mods store on steam sometime around fallout 4s launch. I'm sure console players are gonna have to pay up too

    Woohoo nude mod for the xbox :)

      Cant wait for the super mutant/ghoul lovemaking

    Will console players be willing to spend the time with mods that don't work?
    Or are they getting vetted by Bethesda to make sure they work out of the box.
    Every modding experience I've had has involved tinkering, crashes, unloading mods, reloading mods etc.

    Last edited 17/06/15 4:48 pm

      And I think this is exactly where things will fall apart with their 'hands off' approach.

      PC players who use mods even a little know the score, but more importantly they also generally know HOW to deal with issues if they arise. Your average console gamer likely will not. Console gamers for the most part are far too used to expecting everything to just work first time every time, it's kind of the whole point of consoles really.

      I fully expect posts raging about how the game is broken, etc, all because someone without a clue installed a mod that jacked things up and they think it's all Bethesda's fault. While it kind of will be, it just wont be in the manner they think.

      Last edited 17/06/15 10:53 pm

    yeah this is a gateway. a gateway to? exploits. running unsigned code and custom firmware. you know someone is going to do it.

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