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Game Setup

Before we can proceed with the guide, a clean installation is required for both Fallout NV and Fallout 3.

Video Walkthrough Available

A YouTube video covering the steps in this section is available.

Install Location

It is vitally important to avoid any default Windows folders such as C:\Program Files, C:\Program Files x86, Desktop, Documents (not an exhaustive list). Windows User Account Control (UAC) monitors these folders which will interfere with the games and modding tools. A safe location is any non-default Windows folder, e.g. C:\Games\Steam. It is also recommended to install on an SSD, as this will vastly improve performance and loading times.

Enabling File Extensions

By default, file extensions (such as .ini, .dll, or .esp) are hidden in Windows File Explorer, which will make distinguishing between files more difficult. Open File Explorer from the Start Menu, from your desktop, or with the keyboard shortcut Win + E, and select View > Show > File name extensions to disable this behaviour.

Show file extensions in File Explorer

Uninstalling the Games

If the game(s) are installed, uninstall them now. Open your Steam or GOG library, right-click Fallout New Vegas and choose Manage > Uninstall. Next, delete all .ini files in Documents\My Games\FalloutNV. Repeat these steps for Fallout 3.

New Steam Library

Steam users must create a new Steam Library to install the game into, as the default library is in a default Windows UAC-protected folder (C:\Program Files x86\Steam). Open Steam > Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders and select a location outside of any default Windows folders (e.g. C:\Games\Steam).

"Steam Already Has a Library On This Drive"

If you want your new Steam library to be on the same drive as the default C:\Program Files x86\Steam, you must circumvent Steam's one-library-per-drive limit.

Installing the Games

Open your Steam or GOG Galaxy library, find Fallout New Vegas in the list and select Install. When prompted to choose a location, use the new Steam library you just created, or any non-UAC folder if on GOG. Repeat these steps for Fallout 3.

Important Locations

The guide will frequently refer to two important folders:

  • Root is the folder where Fallout New Vegas is installed.
  • Data is a subfolder inside root where the game's assets are located.
Root: Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout New Vegas
Data: Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout New Vegas\Data

Generating Fresh .INI Files

Run Fallout New Vegas through Steam or GOG. If you do not get a Detecting Video Hardware pop-up, ensure you deleted all .ini files in Documents\My Games\FalloutNV and try again. After clicking OK to the Detecting Video Hardware pop-ups, click Options. Choose either the High or Ultra preset then set your preferred Resolution. Click OK then Exit.

Now run Fallout 3 through Steam, GOG, or Epic. Click OK to the Detecting Video Hardware pop-ups, and exit the launcher.