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Fallout 3 modding FAQ

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Can I mod Fallout 3 on the Xbox 360?

Yes there are various ways of modding Fallout on the 360 with varying capabilities.

The most capable is using a JTAG'ed 360 or a developer's kit. With these you can apply G.E.C.K. mods, normally only available on the PC, onto your console.
Developers Kits are very expensive and rare so these usually aren't an option for most people.
To apply a JTAG to your console your console must meet certain specifications and requires you to modify your console. Doing so is a complicated process and if you don't know what you are doing then it could cause irreversible damage to your 360 whilst also voiding the warranty.

Visit the Discussion page or the websites listed below for more information.

WARNING: Taking a JTAG'ed 360 online will almost definitely get banned.

Another method is Save Editing.

All that is needed for this is a USB stick and a program on your PC that can read the 360 files from it. You can also use a Memory unit or your HDD if you have the right accessories.

To edit your save you need to extract your save from your storage device and open it in a Save Editor or a Hex Editor.
A Save Editor is the simplest method of editing your save as most of the complicated work is done for you but is limited to what the developer was able to put into it.

Some examples of what you could mod in a save editor are:

  • Stats
  • Skills
  • Race
  • Inventory
  • Location
  • Item Condition
  • Level


Using a Hex Editor opens up a few more possibilities but is more complicated as you are opening up the file and editing it directly yourself.

The most convenient method of modding your save is to convert your save to another platform, like the PC.
Doing this means you can use console commands to make any changes to the save that you want before converting it back to your chosen platform.

After editing your save you then need to use a program to Rehash and Resign your save to make sure that it will work on your 360.

Another possibility is to download pre-modded saves and resign them to your console and profile IDs.

NOTE: Save editing will not get you banned as you are only modding a single player game and it does not affect the enjoyment of other players. Also editing saves can make saves unplayable or have other undesireable results so always make sure to back-up your saves before modding them.

The following websites are thriving communites with tutorials, save editors and pre-modded saves:
Reapers Modz (Requires registration)
Game-Tuts.(Requires registration)

What file formats are used by Fallout 3?

All asset files are stored within "BSA" archives in Fallout's "/data" folder. All other game data is stored in "fallout3.esm" which can be edited with the Fallout 3 Construction Set.

Graphics

  • 3D Models: NetImmerse/Gamebryo "NIF" files (version 20.2.0.7)
  • Textures: DirectDraw Surface "DDS" files (DXT1, DXT3, and DXT5 format, 8.8.8.8 Unsigned is also supported)

Animation

  • Skeletal Animation: NetImmerse/Gamebryo "KF" files (version 20.2.0.7)
  • Lip Sync: Bethesda(?) "LIP" files (created using workaround with Oblivion Construction Set 1.0)

Audio

  • Speech: Ogg Vorbis "OGG" files (Mono, 44.1 kHz)
  • In-world 3D Effects: Waveform Audio Format "WAV" files (Mono, 22 kHz, 16 bit, PCM format)
  • Ambient Effects: Waveform Audio Format "WAV" files (Stereo, 22 kHz, 16 bit, PCM format)
  • Music and PipBoy radio: MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 "MP3" files (Stereo/Mono, 44.1 kHz, 192 kbps)
  • In-world 3D radio: Waveform Audio Format "WAV" files (Mono, 22 kHz, 16 bit, PCM format)

How do I extract data from the BSA files?

How to unpack BSA file format


Where can I obtain mods?

Where can I get modding help?


Modding Guides, Q and As

What about Performance Tweaks?

Oblivion and Fallout 3 share the same engine, so tweaking the fallout.ini and falloutprefs.ini files are very similar to Oblivion.ini

Examples of things to Change:

  • Open up Fallout.ini(in "My Documents/My Games/Fallout 3") and search the document for "thread". Any setting that has "=0" after it and the word "thread" in the name, change it to "=1". This should make better use of Dual and Quad-core systems. Also, increase iNumHavokThreads to 5 or so. Making these changes can disrupt the communication between the CPU and graphics card, causing the game and computer to lock, Particularly when exiting straight from the game. A work around, is to exit to the main menu, then exit the game.
  • NOTE -- It has been reported that the above tweaks may actually decrease performance (as noted in the this thread on the same subject in Oblivion).
  • TIP: If you experience your system to hang upon exiting the game try settting "bMultiThreadAudio=" to "0".


Also Change:

ifpsclamp=0   -> ifpsclamp=60

This should help with mouse lag and stuttering.

Please note, this should be only used as a last resort. It is preferable to simply lower the texture sizes to increase performance. What this option does is lock the frame rate to 60 frames per second. In this game there are brief sequences where the frame rate jumps to much higher than 60 frames per second. In practical terms, setting this option to 60 will slow down the time it takes to raise the pipboy 3000, it makes the reload time agonizingly slow and disrupts the VATS system.

Supposition, it is likely when making this game the programmers animated these sequences with many frames. However each event, such as reloading, has a set time for it to occur in irrespective of lagging and frame rate. The tweak that has a lock on frames overrides this set time.

Remember to back up any .ini files before you start "tweaking", and to experiment with each change to see what works best with your system.



12/09/09 - Lyddie Steel

Win XP, AMD (Something or other, Dual Core 2.4ghtz) 2gb RAM, Ge 6150le (128mb)

Fallout_Default.ini Changed

iPreloadSizeLimit=54428800
; was 26214400

iNumHavokThreads=3
;changed from 1

Compatibility Settings Changed to "Win 2000"


I was able to play ~30 mins with no CTD. On Low settings and below min specs! Load times have been increased by about 225% But Stability and almost no stuttering make it worth the wait!

What kind of file formats are in Fallout 3 for Xbox 360?

For all games on the Xbox 360, there are two main types: LIVE and CON. LIVE are typically used for anything downloaded off of the marketplace (DLC, Premium Themes, movies, etc). CON File means CONtainer Files. Those are typically used for saves, profiles, etc. LIVE Files, at the moment, can not be resigned to make them work on the hard drive after being edited (or added after not already existing on the hard drive) that is why GECK plugins can not work on the Xbox 360, because you would have to convert them to a LIVE File and then be able to resign them to make them work on the HDD (Hard Drive Disc). Because of Fallout 3 saves being CON files and there being a CON Resigner, you can edit these and have them working on the HDD again.


The live files are not an issue though, assuming you're trying to mod with a jtagged xbox 360, you can use a program such as XLAST, or le fluffie, you browse and unpack the live containers. Then you'll have access to the .bsa files, and you can manually install whatever DLC by editing the fallout.ini and dropping the .bsa and the .esm into the data folder. don't forget to add the esm at the top of the file

References

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