This Easy Fix Makes Fallout 3 Playable On Windows 7

This Easy Fix Makes Fallout 3 Playable On Windows 7

If you’re having trouble getting Fallout 3 to play ball with Windows 7, then this neat little program might solve your woes.

With Fallout 4 just around the corner, many Fallout fans are taking the opportunity to hit up Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, the originals or some of the many mods floating around the internet.

But there’s a slight problem — since Fallout 3 was released, a lot of gamers have upgraded their computers and operating systems. And as many have found, Fallout 3 doesn’t play particularly nicely with Windows 7 — or at least the 64-bit version.

An old-school solution was found years ago that involved editing the fallout.ini file in the game folder that forces the game to only use two cores. But if editing .ini files is a bit too advanced for you — it’s really not, and you should get used to it for when Fallout 4 comes out — then there’s a new fix available on NexusMods that makes life easier.

“This is an easy install and allow inexperienced users the ability to easily get back into the game,” oliv897 writes. They stress it’s largely just an automated fix of what was posted on the Steam forums, but with the proliferation of PC gaming it’s likely that there are still plenty who can benefit.

Installation is fairly simple: download the file from NexusMods, drag the Fallout3Fix folder into the location advised and overwrite files when asked. If the initial folder doesn’t resolve the crashing, a second folder (titled Fallout3FixPatch) is provided.

It’s a 15kb download, so if you’ve been avoiding Fallout 3 on PC because of the errors you’ve got no excuse to avoid a playthrough. Until Fallout 4 comes out, that is.


  • I wonder what the demographic is for users not advanced enough to edit an INI file / advanced enough to search out a mod/fix on NexusMods? What’s the overlap like on those two groups? I’m incredulous that there’s enough overlap to warrant this one.

      • I… Wow.

        Maybe I’m underestimating things, but I’d have thought with something like this, if you’re Googling “Fallout 3 Win 7 crashes” and it directs you to a site telling you to edit the ini file (a text file) it would also have some fairly basic instructions. That’s where I’m approaching things from. It’s not that far a step from “Googling to solve your problem” to “Following the site listing the fix to apply the fix.”

        • That’s fair, I have an anxiety around Google fixes currently though.

          I tried to follow a Google fix a little while ago about how to fix a Microsoft Office issue, and one thing lead to another which meant I had to system restore and lost a bunch of important documents and my pretty full Steam library.

          I have done this before with editing files with Star Wars Battlegrounds and Age of Wonders with success, but I’m too scarred currently to do it again. I don’t think my Alienware has Microsoft 7 though so I ‘m not particularly perturbed by crashes lol.

          • Entirely fair to be paranoid, I’ve seen fixes go bad many times. What’s the saying in IT? Something like “Enough knowledge to destroy it, not enough knowledge to fix it.” or something like that (not casting anything against you, just stating!)

            How old is your Alienware? I’ve got an AW laptop from 2011 that’s running Win7, I’d have thought most recent-ish ones (say 2010 onwards) would be running Win7 and 99.99% of those would be running the 64bit versions.

          • I think I bought it early last year sometime? I’ll have to check the operating system, pretty sure it’s Windows 8 though.

          • Ahh, right well that’s another story entirely. I honestly forget that Win 8 exists. Personal bias.

          • I’m confused. System Restore doesn’t modify your Documents folder. It certainly won’t cause you to lose games from your Steam library (although they may need to be reinstalled).

            Unless by “System Restore” you mean re-imaging the hard drive with a clean install of Windows? (AKA emergency recovery, backup partition, etc type of thing – computer manufacturers all give their own fancy names here).

          • they clearly screwed up something that shouldn’t of screwed their system as badly as it did, so who knows what they actually did.

          • I have repressed the memory so deeply it hurts to remember. M
            I was trying to update my drivers so that The switcher III would run on my laptop around this time too so it’s a little murky.
            Tl;dr one of the videos I was watching recommended deleting certain registry keys, I believe this is where I went wrong.

          • Also, I’m pretty sure I needed to completely reinstall the operating software. Again, it’s a time of my life that hurts to remember haha :p

          • Yeah ok. That is a bit more than a “System Restore” and would definitely wipe your documents out 😉

          • To clarify, I had to reinstall from the library .eg had to re-download rather than repurchase them 🙂

    • My 9 yr old falls in this group. He could probably get his head around the edit ini bit due to his minecraft love, but he’d always pick the easy way over editing the ini direct. He broke NV a while back trying to change fov. He’s learning though.

  • The overlap would be huge.

    But then again NexusMods do have a mod installer interface….

  • I didn’t even realise there was an issue playing F3 on Win 7 64 Bit.. is it something that changed after all the DLC for it was out or something?

    I’m pretty sure I played completely through F3 and FNV on Win 7 x64.. otherwise it was on XP x64, but I’m pretty sure it was on win 7. In fact, this article on Kotaku is the first I’ve even heard of the issue.. I usually notice these things.

    • I played F3 on Vista back then when it was released. Was Vista 32 bit I believe since it was quite a crappy laptop. I have heard of the windows 7 issue and it is listed on the steam page as well.

      Notice: Fallout 3 is not optimized for Windows 7 and later.

  • On win10, think I tried this and NV still hard locks. Don’t remember it happening on Nvidia card I had (390x now)

  • Nice, thanks for the mention.. I used to be “one of those people” until I worked out how, I just wished there was an easier option 😉

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!