Ben plays games

Installing 200 Fallout 3 mods in one click

Fallout 3

I’ve been testing Nexus Mods’ newest feature, Collections. For games with a well-established Nexus modding community, there’s no faster or easier way to dive into a heavily modded experience. Here are some thoughts on the feature, which is still early in development.

A Collection is, as the name suggests, a collection of mods curated by a collection author who has gone to the trouble of doing the laborious part of modding for you: finding many disparate mods that will embellish and enhance every aspect of your experience and testing their compatibility with one another.

In addition to testing potentially hundreds of mods to ensure they work nicely together, Collection authors must provide an installation guide and screenshots that show what the effect of installing all these mods will be.

All this is just one half of the magic. The really exciting part is how Collections can be imported directly into Vortex, the Nexus mod manager, where they begin to download and install with a single click.

I’ve been modding games long enough to have done my fair share of trawling the web to find and build a monstrous assortment of mods before installing and testing them one by one. It’s an hours-long process, even if you’re blessed with a healthy download speed and the arcane wisdom granted by one of the many detailed modding guides available. By comparison, this feels like a dream. Short of cloning someone’s modded installation byte for byte, Collections are the truest realisation of replicating someone’s awesome mod setup for your own enjoyment to date.

Collections can be all-encompassing game overhauls that touch on every aspect of your playthrough, or they might be intensely focused on a specific element. You might find a collection that retools fundamental game mechanics, while another might focus squarely on remastering visuals with high-resolution textures and effects. Of course, many collections attempt to do both, and more.

I tested the feature out with one of those latter, all-encompassing collections for Fallout 3. A short while later, I had a 200-mod installation of Fallout 3 running flawlessly.

If you’re curious, the Collection in question is available here.

This Collection actually has a few extra companion collections that go with it, so after just a few clicks I ended up with a modlist of 291 active mods.

Another great thing about Collections is that you can tweak them, such as by disabling any mods that you’d prefer not to have. I don’t really jive with the “sexy” armour mods included in the above collection, for example, so it’s great that these can be easily discarded.

The only tool I’ve come across which does something similar to Collections is Wabbajack. It’s a brilliant utility built on the same idea of sharing curated mod lists and automating their installation. The developers had to do some really creative (and, I'm assuming, difficult) work involving automating clicking buttons for you on the Nexus website, as there’s no API for them to use as a third party tool. As excellent as Wabbajack is, it’s hard to argue with the simplicity of Collections, which have the advantage of direct access to the mods hosted on Nexus.

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