Fallout 4 – The Ultimate Performance Guide for Enthusiasts & Modders

Do we need another performance guide? No, not really. However. This is a performance guide aimed at gaming/highend PCs. Why? Simple. Fallout 4 and especially its engine has many annoying quirks that cause FPS drops, unstable framerates, stutter, etc and usually it is not even the hardware’s fault but much more the engine’s like how it works or what it can handle and what not. Anyway. This is this type of guide so I think it will be helpful for enthusiasts and modders.

Precombined Meshes – Fix Low FPS Inside Big Cities Like Boston

We all know this. We are having a nice stroll inside Boston and then, BOOM, the FPS drops to 30FPS and of course exactly at this moments we get picked up by raiders and mutants. MEH. But why does this happen? Simple. The whole game has been build with a help, because Bethesda knew that the engine can’t handle the bigger cities just like that. That is why they created a system called precombined meshes. This improves the performance inside cities by a A LOT. Areas around Bunker Hill often had 30-40FPS for me but after this fix it was 60+. Bethesda already used those precombined meshes by default but they are not as optimized as they could be plus a lot of mods break those meshes and this can cause horrible FPS drops.

How to fix. So far the only fix is by installing a mod named Boston FPS Fix.

I personally recommend you to load this mod as one of the lasts. I know that LOOT always sorts this as one of the first but this way it rarely helps, especially for heavy mod builds. A lot of mods change the precombined meshes and break them, usually without even needing to touch them. This mod should override all previous changes to the precombined meshes. Now keep in mind that this could theoretically break mods, I never had this issue though and I used probably like 200 mods at once. I think it is safe to say that it does not. I also recommend using this additonal paladinbaileyredrocket plugin. There is no reason not to and I never got why it isn’t by default in the AiO.

In the future there might be more options than the Boston FPS Fix. I heard of some people working on a way to create precombined meshes yourself. The most effective way possible with mod support, etc. Maybe once.

Use Load Accelerator – For HYPER Fast Loading Screens!

We all know it. We fast traveled to a place and there it is… The absolutely annoying loading screen which often takes 30-60 seconds. And this ALL the time. Boy was I ♥♥♥ after a while. I couldn’t bear this thing anymore. And I have fast hardware and an SSD. The reason for those slow as hell loading screens is again the engine. It uses a vsync all the time to limit the game to 60FPS, because without this you will get all sorts of glitches. Sadly this is also applied in the loading screen and probably makes the loading screens 5-10 times longer. My average loading screens are 5-10 seconds now. Before they were 30+.

How to install. Download the mod here.

Just move the DLL + ini into the folder where your Fallout4.exe is located. This is one of the very few mods that isn’t functioning as a traditional mod, but much more as a rendering plugin for the exe. It disables the FPS limit inside loading screens.

Reduce fDirShadowDistance – Better FPS in Some Areas Inside Boston (Financial District)

I know how this sounds. Reducing a setting to get better FPS… There is a good reason I tell you this. The FO4 engine can’t handle the amount of shadows that are thrown inside some parts of Boston. We are actually talking about a engine bottleneck, not a hardware one. Not even a Nasa PC could help here. The fDirShadowDistance handles the shadows that big and complex objects cast. Around the Financial District this is the worst and often causes below 30FPS. You can try it yourself if you don’t believe me. I had 60+FPS after this.

The fix: Now what we are doing is changing only one line. You can leave the shadow distance on ultra in the Fallout Launcher. But keep in mind that you have to do this ini edit all the time if you use the Fallout Launcher again.

Open the fallout4prefs.ini and search for a line named “fDirShadowDistance”. And change the value after the “=” to 3000. That’s it already. After this you will see a massive boost in some areas inside Boston since the engine isn’t bottlenecked anymore.

The ini is usually located in the documents – games area but can also be somewhere else if you use Mod Organizer and profiles. I bet you will find it or know where it is.

Disable Weapon Debris PhysX – Fix Weird 1FPS Drops

Now I know for sure that not all suffer from this. My old 970 GPU never had a issue with the Weapon Debris setting from Nvidia. But on my 1070Ti it sometimes causes very weird FPS drops. We are talking about 1-3FPS. I am not even kidding here. The triggers seem to be some of the particles from this specific Weapon Debris PhysX setting. Grenades or punching the wall (yes, really…) usually caused this issue for me. After the FPS drop I usually had to reload a previous safe or reload the game but sometimes it went away after some seconds. Usually this caused my GPU usage to go to 100% usage instantly until those FPS issues are fixed. I found people which describe similar issues quite often but barely anyone had a fix for them. I hope that this might be your fix for this weird issue.

I don’t know if all those 1FPS drops are caused by the same issue. It could be that you suffer from something similar but this doesn’t help you. If you know other fixes for such issues, feel free to leave a note for me and others since this problem seems to be uncommon and many people can’t fix it at all. I already saw some videos about this on YouTube after the game launch and I am not even sure if this setting was already in the game back then. Because there was a update at some point which added Nvidia settings to the game.

Don’t Use Ultra Godrays – For Pre GTX 1000er Series GPUs

While I didn’t want to include this at first since it is one of those lower settings guide, I still did since it can be imporant for some people. Even for those with a 970+.

The Ultra Godrays setting killed FPS even on my old 970. Not anymore on my 1070Ti but still. What helps is already lowering the setting to anything below Ultra to see noticeable improvements in godray heavy areas. You can do this in the Fallout Launcher.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13553 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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