Mod turns Fallout 4 into a dread-soaked horror experience

Fallout 4 can be a bit spooky from time to time, and often startling when ghouls come lunging toward you, but it's not a horror game. You can make it one now, though, using a mod called Pilgrim—Dread the Commonwealth. Dread is definitely the right word: just watch the trailer above and see Fallout 4 turned into what looks like a mix of the Stalker games and The Road. It's bleak, yo.

Pilgrim combines a horror-based ENB with an overhaul of Fallout 4's weather system, citing as inspiration the 2015 film The Witch, directed by Robert Eggers. In fact, future plans for Pilgrim include replacing your chipper loyal companion Dogmeat with Black Philip, the alarmingly sinister goat featured in the movie. In the meantime, the mod transforms your pet pooch into a nightmarish hound with glowing eyes. I'm sure he still loves you, though.

There's a lot going on in the mod, in case you were thinking it's just a few tweaks to make the world look spooky and unsettling.

"The ENB features lens emulation, film grain, adjustable letter-boxing, optional sharpening, and a lift shadows function that can be disabled for deeper shadows," the mod page reads. "A new camera emulation system has been designed by TreyM using a new tonemapping method that emulates the way a digital cinema camera captures footage on a film set. A new weather plugin has been created with this new tonemapping method in mind and is tightly integrated with the ENB, which means the weather plugin will only work properly with Pilgrim."

There's also an original soundtrack and dynamic music system "that adjusts based on the current weather, as well as a brand new set of exploration and combat music composed and created specifically for Pilgrim which replaces the vanilla music ." Furthermore, features can be toggled on and off until you find a mix you're comfortable with. Performance-wise, you might take a minor hit, "dropping only 5-6 fps average and about 10-12 fps in cities on a single GTX 970 at 1080p. Two extra presets of the ENB with lowered quality settings have been created for weaker systems." 

There are instructions on Pilgrim's page at Nexus Mods to help you get it installed and running, and you'll need to disable any other weather mods or 'darker nights' mods you happen to be using. DLC areas aren't covered by Pilgrim yet, either. 

By the way, Fallout 4 is free to play this weekend. It's a great chance to check it out if you haven't done so yet.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.