Fallout 4 Mod Makes The Textures Worse So The Game Runs Better

It's no secret that Bethesda games at launch are, shall we say, not as optimised as they could be. We're not talking ArmA 3 levels of FPS drops, or X: Rebirth-esque performance. But some patches are definitely in order.

Fortunately, there are modders out there who are trying to help. And that's what the Texture Optimisation Project tries to do. The plan: make Fallout 4 run faster, by making the textures just a tiny bit, uh, worse.

According to the NexusMods description, the basic textures in Fallout 4 are massive. 2048x2048 for the ground, 1024x1024 for plants and so on, which is beyond what most rigs are capable of when you extend that fidelity over the entirety of the apocalyptic wasteland.

"Therefore what I have done and am doing is trying to fix that problem and retain the vanilla art style as best I can, while reducing the texture size, and using proper compression on textures that shouldn't be in dxt5 format for the actual graphical return you get," modder torcher wrote.

By utilising this method, the mod massively helps the framerate stuttering and performance on low-end computers.

To install, you'll need to enable mods first by editing the Fallout4.ini file:

Go to \Documents\My Games\Fallout 4\ In your Fallout 4.ini, edit the following line: sResourceDataDirsFinal=STRINGS\ to sResourceDataDirsFinal=STRINGS\, TEXTURES\, MUSIC\, SOUND\, INTERFACE\, MESHES\, PROGRAMS\, MATERIALS\, LODSETTINGS\, VIS\, MISC\, SCRIPTS\, SHADERFX\ In your Fallout4Prefs.ini, add the following line under [Launcher]: bEnableFileSelection=1

And then you'll need to install the Texture Optimisation Project mod through your preferred means. There are instructions on the mod page if you need how to do that (although automated solutions like Nexus Mod Manager exist too).

This might be a super helpful mod for people running the game on graphics cards with a low amount of VRAM, or those unhappy with Fallout 4's performance on AMD cards. If you are looking to improve the game's performance on either card, incidentally, turning off god rays should help a little. You can also use Bilago's configuration tool, which will give you a lot more flexibility than the in-game options.


    This is the kind of thing which shows why modding should be protected.

    I don't understand how the existing textures can be such high resolution, they don't even look that good? Things like the art direction and the lighting look amazing, but I honestly thought the textures were low resolution.

    If anything, I was waiting on modders to UP the resolution. Genuinely surprised/confused to see the textures were already 2048x2048

      Don't worry. Give it a few days/weeks and there'll be a 'high res' pack available which is basically the vanilla textures with a sharpen filter run over them.


        Every damn time, I don't understand how people think it looks good.

        Last edited 23/11/15 5:06 pm

          "Shit, the ENB-injector made half my textures stretch over the horizon and clip through the buildings! Look at the floor look at the floor loo-- dammit. Now I've gotta re-edit my YouTube video."

            I'm pretty sure the type of people that do that in games are the same ones that overdo HDR in photos.

            And by those type of people I mean Stevie Wonder.

        Don't spread outright misinformation like that. The textures would have been created at a much higher resolution like 4096 then downsized for consoles and to make a smaller download. They would simply release the textures at their original resolution.

        At least I assume that's what they'd do if they were competent developers, I'm certain they wouldn't just do a "sharpen filter".

          I should clarify - I meant the fan-made mods. The official Skyrim ones were as you suggested, but a quick review of the nexus for texture mods is filled with what I was accusing of.

            Ohh right. Mind you they usually make new textures from scratch by throwing together some photos from CGTextures, I usually am not a fan of that kind of thing either though.

              Yeah, me either. Some of them look really nice until they get wrapped around a rock or tree that isn't suited to it. You would think that editing some close-up photos of trees that can be cobbled together into a wrap-around texture would be better than anything people create from imagination, but as they say in Hollywood...

              "Cows don't look like cows on film. You gotta use horses."
              "What do you do if you want something that looks like a horse?"
              "Enh, usually we just tape a bunch of cats together."

      Well from a programming point of view it is insane how many things are going on at once like what the hell? and the textures eh not so hot but there also not just textured copies their all different pieces what i mean by that is the models are layered in a way that every different detail on an object has its own well presence in a way, fallout 4 isn't visually stunning compared to other games still pretty good but technically witcher, metal gear or uncharted aint got jack they just don't

        I'm not saying the game looks terrible by any means, I was one of the people defending it around launch. I'm just saying that clearly the old engine is holding them back. Which makes sense, it IS an old engine - but it shows. It's not 2015 AAA level. The comparatively poor performance is not justified by the graphics.

        The Witcher, for example, had less explorable areas but it also had far superior graphics, more NPCs, better character movement/mechanics (and that's not something I thought I'd say about The Witcher), better NPC AI, better dynamic weather, better physics and so on.

        I adore the game, but I'm just saying I hope they move to a new engine for the next Elder Scrolls. They're being hamstrung in the same way, say, DayZ is.

          I feel ya, big fan of Elder Scrolls and Fallout, but they REALLY need a new engine. I had really hoped this time round we might get seamless indoor/outdoor environments; like it's 2015 guys, come on.

            I do sort of understand the area loading screens, a lot of the explorable areas are MUCH larger than those in comparable games. I just figured that since each area is loaded as a separate instance, they could use the (assumed) "spare" memory for other things like better textures, more NPCs or some such.

            Hopefully the next TES game does bring with it a new engine.

      The issue is about the file size of textures as well as objects having higher res textures then is needed, i.e a white coffee cup might have a 1024 texture when realistically a 512 would be more then enough. The mod author has run into his own problem as pointed out to him which he is in a midst of fixing.

      "So people are having wonderful performance with v0.11 which is awesome! however someone pointed out the relativity of dxt1 to BC5 texture compression for normal maps with BC5 being almost lossless and dxt1 looking like minecraft. typically for only 120kb more data per file. so therefore ill be redoing all the normal and specular maps in BC5 for update 0.12, also i HOPE that redoing everything in its "proper" format MIGHT fix all the visual bugs people have been seeing all in one go"

      I am waiting for the mod to update before I try again because it has a rather nasty habit of killing grass far away drastically reducing long distance view fidelity. For my mid system (3770k and a 970) it introduces more problems than solves... Not trying to sound like a self-entitled jerk I understand and value his contribution to Fallout being a modder myself.

      As for the lack of detail there is also a massive issue/bug in the game where textures fail to change from there low res lod versions to there higher res versions. Once bugs like these are taken care of textures should appear much sharper. Bethesda wrote a thank you letter to fans for making it the most successful launch they had yet (750 million worth of sales in 24 hours) also addressing the update schedule which they seem enthusiastic about addressing all issues and making this the best game yet in terms of polish.

      Last edited 23/11/15 9:50 pm

    I like playing this game, it is fun.

    I don't know. What is the different between that and just set your texture lower in game. It does the exact same thing.

      The texture setting does nothing. It's believed a hd pack is coming which will make the setting actually do something atm however there is no change medium to ultra

      Last edited 23/11/15 9:40 pm

    Haha I specifically remember having to install something like this when Oblivion first came out because my graphics card didn't support a certain shader. I ran everything on the lowest settings but needless to say I sunk a lot of time into that version of Oblivion. Maybe I should go back now and actually play it how it was supposed to be played?

    When you play at 4k like I do, 2k textures seem sometimes kinda stretched.

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