15 Best Fallout 4 Survival Mods For A More Immersive Experience

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Surviving in a post-apocalyptic Wasteland is one of the core concepts behind the Fallout franchise.

Supplies are scarce, there are giant irradiated beasts out to get you, and almost everyone you meet is either trying to kill you or soon to be killed.

Still, once you get a hang of it, Fallout 4 is more about being a force of destruction and blowing everyone up for the good of your faction and your ideals – as well as finding your son.

If such an action-packed power fantasy isn’t what you signed up for, Bethesda offers you its survival mode where you can still do all of those things, except you need to keep yourself hydrated, fed, and otherwise healthy while you do it.

It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but is it enough?

Whether you’re just looking for small improvements or a completely overhauled survival experience, there’s something to scratch that itch in our ranking below.

15. Weightless Ammo for Survival

Weightless Ammo mod

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Among the hardest things while playing Fallout 4’s survival mode is managing your resources in general, especially your ammo, as it’s quite difficult to come by.

That said, isn’t it enough that you can’t find any? Does it also have to weigh a ton?

If you’re on the same page as me, modder KataPUMB has you covered.

With this mod your ammo will simply have no weight, and you’ll be able to stock up on as much as you want.

14. Survivalist Cabin

Survivalist Cabin mod

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Survival mode is all about the harshness of the Wasteland and facing the natural difficulties our society protects us from.

That said, it’s always nice to have a moment of respite, of reflecting on how far you’ve come and planning your next move.

To create the idyllic place for such activities, NexusMods user Worldgonwmad1 introduces a beautiful riverside cabin for all of you hunters and foragers out there.

13. Realistic Survival Damage

Realistic Survival Damage mod

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In survival mode enemies will easily to pieces one on one because of their increased damage.

Your frail mortal body, now with physiological needs, is simply no match.

Modder DarthBDaman decided they’d had enough of being pushed around by Raiders, and so created this mod which tweaks player damage to match the boost your enemies have.

It certainly makes the game a bit easier. But it’s also much more immersive, and enemies will no longer feel like total damage sponges.

12. Hydrating Survival Beverages

Hydrating Survival Beverages mod

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One of the biggest myths about coffee and Cola-type drinks is that they can’t hydrate you due to caffeine’s diuretic properties.

You can see this reflected in-game in the way Nuka-Cola isn’t effective in quenching your thirst.

The thing is, you’d need way more caffeine to let go of all the liquid being ingested, and therefore, these things do hydrate you!

Now thanks to 3VegasModder343, the mistake has been fixed in Fallout 4’s survival mode.

All Nuka-Cola, Vim products, and beer will hydrate you effectively – even though in real life, beer really doesn’t hydrate you at all.

Still, you’ll have an easier time not becoming a beef jerky under the Commonwealth sun now.

11. Lore-friendly Survival Chems

Lore-friendly Survival Chems mod

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Speaking of ingesting, when was the last time you used chems in survival mode?

NexusMods user MadMAX713 suspects it was a long time ago, and they blame it on how forgettable these items look.

To fix this, they added better meshes and textures to all chems so you feel compelled to use them, therefore improving immersion.

The creator also added a couple new chems into the mix.

These include a Serum, which mixes all of the herbal chems and their effects, as well as MREs, which can heal you, increase your healing rate and ward off fatigue.

10. Commonwealth Survivalist Gear

Commonwealth Survivalist Gear mod

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But improving the game’s survival aspect isn’t all about in-game mechanics and damage calculation – it’s about immersion, and living the fantasy of the survivalist.

To help us achieve that, modder TookieJones offers 12 new outfits, along with several accessories, which all fit the aesthetic and needs of a survival expert.

Become one of pop culture’s most stereotypical survivors, ranging from a plaid-wearing zombie killer to a TV-show ex-military survivor with over 20 compartments in their pants and bullets hanging from their chest.

9. Survivalist Go-Bags

Survivalist Go-Bags mod

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The same modder has come up with a collection of backpacks and duffle bags ready to be crafted by your Sole Survivor to immersively carry around all of their stuff.

Get one of these bags, a plaid shirt, some jeans, and a teen companion and you’ll be playing The Last of Us all over again.

8. Survival First Aid

Survival First Aid mod

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My favorite survival mods are those that introduce new needs and immersive challenges into the game.

Anyone can make enemies 10x harder to kill, but not everybody can make you feel more vulnerable in a real way.

One such mod is GhostFC3S Survival First Aid, which adds a wound and bleeding mechanic to the game.

Each time you get shot or stabbed, it’ll bleed until treated with a tourniquet and some other supplies.

As an added caution, the creator also nerfed Stimpaks to the point where they’re virtually useless. Managing supplies and barely scraping by – that’s the survivalist life.

7. Survival Stats Widget

Survival Stats Widget mod

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If rather than changing the entire game, you’re just looking for some QoL improvements for survival mode, you have to get the Survival Stats Widget by modder Neanka.

This add-on simply makes statuses such as hunger, hydration, fatigue and even caffeine levels easier to monitor by adding colorful bars related to each of your needs to your HUD.

6. Underground Railroad Redux – Immersive Fast Travel for Survival

Underground Railroad Redux mod

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The vanilla settings for Fallout 4’s survival mode try to make the game more immersive and challenging by completely eliminating fast travel.

While that may be fine and dandy at first, you’ll notice it gets old pretty fast.

If you don’t want to side with the Brotherhood of Steel for their Vertibirds, then you may want to take a look at this mod by GorillaTamer.

After installing it, you’ll have access to an Underground Railroad tunnel system that lets you travel to several points all across the Commonwealth.

5. Survival Outfit Collection

Survival Outfit Collection mod

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While most Fallout 4 mods compatible with the infamous CBBE Bodyslide are designed to make your character look as sexy as possible, they often lack in the immersion department.

Recognizing that dressing like a thot doesn’t generally keep you alive as a survivor, modder Aarwyn has added several new outfits meant to look casual yet show signs of the wear and tear that comes with living in post-apocalyptic America.

These outfits also provide resistances and boons to your survival skills, such as more carry weight on outfits with backpacks. You’ll look bloody, dirty and sweaty – but also, prepared.

4. Survival Saving – Holotapes Save The Game

Survival Saving mod

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Saving in survival mode is only possible when sleeping in a safe bed.

It’s a way to make the game feel harder, as well as prevent players from simply making a save before a difficult encounter and reload there if they fail.

While that’s notoriously effective and immersive, there are some situations where you absolutely must save, but the nearest bed is 20km away.

Thanks to modder Deez, you can now find special holotapes lying about in the Commonwealth that let you save once, wherever you are, and then get consumed.

It works a lot like ink cartridges in the original Resident Evil. And it’s my favorite expanded saving system for survival.

3. Survival Tent – Balanced Survival Saving

Survival Tent mod

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That said, I can’t but recognize how much more immersive and interesting it is to be able to build a tent and sleep in it so you can save.

That’s the option offered by modder ScottyDoesKnow, who’s added a tent-crafting system to Fallout 4.

They may be either disposable or recoverable, but they have different material requirements and, of course, different weight.

The tents themselves are aesthetically pleasing and, despite looking somewhat modern, feel right at home in the Commonwealth.

2. Flashy JoeR Advanced Needs 2 – Customizable Survival Mode

Flashy JoeR Advanced Needs 2 mod

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While activating survival mode in Fallout 4 is an easy and simple way to have a survivalist experience in the Wasteland, it’s not necessarily the most immersive option available.

Modder JoeR proves this by introducing the new and reloaded version of his Advanced Needs mod.

This add-on allows you to tweak almost anything you can think of regarding physiological needs, all from the comfort of your normal save.

Radiation levels, immunodeficiency, the possibility for food poisoning and even a menstrual cycle are only some of the new challenges awaiting your Sole Survivor.

1. FROST – Survival Simulator

frost Survival Simulator mod

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By far the most amazing and expansive survival-oriented mod is FROST, a complete gameplay overhaul that aims to turn Fallout 4 into an entirely different game, taking place right after the bombs fell.

All vanilla NPCs and quests are replaced by the cold and unforgiving world of nuclear winter, where your main focus is simply to survive as you explore the ruins of a once wonderful society and uncover its lore through visual storytelling,

It’s a cruel world out there, and you’re on your own in your quest to survive in it.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.