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Make It Your Own
Mods. PC gamers love Mods. Not only do they give you the ability to tweak the game to your own personal preferences, but they also increase the lifespan of the game by giving players the ability to add new and unique content. Mods are, in fact, one feature which definitively separates PC gaming from consoles. And when it comes to mods, there are few developers that create more mod-friendly games than Bethesda.
Fallout 3 continues the trend. Based on the same engine as Oblivion, which has literally thousands of mods available - including ones that completely renovate the gameplay - Fallout 3 is clearly built in a way that makes modifications simple. The release of a fully featured game world editor reinforces the point.
As great as mods are, though, they also suffer from a lack of quality control. The best thing about mods is that anyone can make one. This is also the worst thing about mods. It is possible to spend hours trawling through mod listings in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. But if you simply want a few sure bets to enhance your gameplay, then you've come to the right place.
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Fallout 3 Mod Manager
As mod-able as Fallout 3 is, it's stock mod manager, just like the one in Oblivion, leaves much to be desired. It does not deal well with mods that do not evolve the world editor, it sometimes causes conflicts between different mods, and managing a large list of mods is unwieldy.
That is where the Fallout 3 Manager comes in. This manager promises to install a mod - any mod, including ones that don't use the world editor but instead mess with graphic files (and other files) in order to create the desired effect - with only one click. The Mod Manager also helps with conflict resolution, and provides advanced features of interest to those actually making mods.
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Ever wanted to command the Enclave? Maybe not, actually. But download this mod, and you'll find out what it's such a good idea. When this mod started, it simply gave the player the ability to call in a squad of Enclave troopers to his location. These troopers would act like the player's squad-mates, engaging in combat with him. This is, of course, rather imbalancing in most situations. But it is also insanely fun, and adds a new aspect to the game. Want to become a bandit, raiding every town with your Enclave commandos at your back? Go right ahead. It's you versus the world.
Since its introduction, the mod has added numerous features, making you more of a general than anything else. Want to call in a carpet bombing? Sure thing! Want to call in a squad of attack robots to destroy your enemies? Sure thing! You can even take prisoners, and do with them as you please.
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High Resolution Texture Pack
Some of the best mods for Oblivion have been those which changed the textures. Although Oblivion was demanding at the time it came out, the rapid pace of PC hardware quickly made it easy for more computers to run. High-resolution texture packs helped ensure that players with cutting-edge hardware could push their gaming computers to the edge.
Now the same is becoming true for Fallout 3. This is hardly surprising, considering that Fallout 3 is actually not a graphically demanding game. It was built, after all, to be played on consoles as well as the PC, and gaming consoles have far less graphical horsepower overall. If you've invested a few thousand dollars in an insane gaming rig and you want to push it to the max, then downloading this terrain pack is a must. While Fallout 3's textures typically have a resolution of 512 x 512, this pack adds the option of resolutions at 1024 x 1024 or 2048 x 2048, dramatically improving the game's visuals.
You will need some serious horsepower for this, however. If you're not running the game's visuals at max already, then you may not be able to use this mod very well.
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Where To Get More
These are three of the Fallout 3 Mods I have enjoyed the most, but there are literally thousands already available, and a surprising number of those are worth downloading. The best place to get Fallout 3 Mods at the moment is the Fallout 3 Nexus, a website the mirrors a popular Oblivion website which also ranked mods and kept them available for download. Go explore the downloads. The top-fifty list has some mods that are particularly robust, considering that Fallout 3 has only been out for a few months. You can't go wrong with the ones there, but if you have a particular part of the game you'd like to see changed, or you'd like to see a particular feature added, then simply search. Someone has probably made a mod for it.
Read this collection of guides for everything you need on Fallout 3 weapons cheats, console commands and mods.