25 best Fallout New Vegas mods

Christopher Livingston at

When we first covered the 25 best Fallout: New Vegas mods in 2010, just a few months after the game's release, we knew it was just the tip of the modding iceberg. From small tweaks to aesthetics, to added quests and characters, to massive overhauls of the game's inner workings, there are now nearly 15,000 different mods to enhance and extend your New Vegas experience.

Here's our freshly revised and updated list of 25 of our favorite mods (in no particular order!) for Fallout: New Vegas. If we've missed one of your favorites (we're sure we have) and you want to let us and other readers know about it (we're sure you do), mention it in the comments!

And, if you're new to using mods with Fallout New Vegas, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to get these mods, and others, installed and running smoothly.

How to install New Vegas mods

Here are the three most useful tools in getting these and other mods installed properly:

The first is the Nexus Mod Manager, which makes downloading, installing, ordering, activating, and deactivating mods much easier than doing it manually. Nicely, it also works for Skyrim, Oblivion, and Fallout 3. It will also check to see if you've got the most current version of all your activated mods, and let you know if one of them has been updated. Here's a Wiki page explaining how it works. You'll also need an account at nexusmods.com (it's free).

Another important tool is the New Vegas Script Extender. Typically, more complicated mods require this. It's easy to install, and there's a readme contained within the download with full instructions.

Finally, there's the Mod Configuration Menu. This provides a settings menu for certain mods, accessible when you pause the game. Not all mods require this, but it's handy to have to adjust mod setting while in-game.

Finally, before trying to install anything, carefully read the mod description page. It will (usually) tell you how to install it, and (usually) list any other mods or files you'll need to make mods work. Keep in mind, not all mods get along with each other. If you've installed several and you're having issues, try deactivating them and then reactivating them one at a time. It can help you narrow down where the incompatibilities lie.

1. New Vegas Bounties

It's just not a true Western without a little bounty hunting, is it? The Bounties mod combines enjoyable writing with excellent custom voice acting while providing a series of increasingly difficult bounty missions that will have you crisscrossing the map to hunt down various outlaws and scoundrels. When you finish rounding up those varmints, there's even a second installment.

Note: both Bounties mods require this third file to run.

2. Nevada Skies

For an environment as harsh as the desert, and for a setting as unstable as the post-apocalypse, the weather in New Vegas is surprisingly humdrum. Nevada Skies adds a ton of exciting new weather systems to make every journey an adventure. You'll endure crashing thunderstorms, deadly radiation storms, smothering sandstorms, and hell-on-earth firestorms. It also provides other features like darker nights, new high-def sun and moon textures, and better-looking cloud systems.

A new item in your inventory lets you play with the settings until you create the perfect randomized weather system for your adventures, be it by adding a blood red sky, driving rain, or just an occasional gentle snowfall.

3. MTUI

Play enough FNV and your mouse's scroll wheel will probably wear out and fall off. The interface was designed for console users sitting far from their screens, so the game's fonts are far too big and the display doesn't make the most of your PC monitor's real estate. MTUI fixes this by fitting much more text on your screen, letting you see more and scroll less.

4. Realistic Headshots

Shooting people in the head should probably kill them, and getting shot in the head should probably kill you. Realistic Headshots makes that happen, upping the damage to catastrophic levels when you score a direct shot the dome. Don't worry, this won't make the game too easy: your chance of a headshot in VATS is greatly reduced, and some monsters and robots will still be able to shrug off the damage. Besides, your own noggin is now far more vulnerable to incoming lead as well, so wearing a helmet is a major priority.

5. Project Brazil

This ambitious mod represent years of work by several modders and contributors. The Project Brazil mod takes place in California with a whole new Vault society and a massive, dangerous overworld to explore as you partake in a new main quest and side missions. It's still technically in beta, so there may be bugs here and there, but it's absolutely worth checking out if you want an entirely new Fallout experience.