Fallout New Vegas
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About this mod

A rebalance mod intended to keep the game interesting and challenging for experienced players.

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  • Damage dealt and received is far more deadly, making each encounter difficult but satisfying (more info)
  • Your limbs will require more frequent attention.
  • Enemies have modified combat behavior: some are over-zealous and lay suppressing fire from out in the open and some will use cover extensively.
  • AI will use ranged weapons from very long distances.

Carry Weight
  • You and your companions' inventories will need to be strictly maintained. Decide how much firepower you want versus how much medicine and food you think you'll need.
    • Strong Back is now able to be picked at level 16 and grants a carry weight bonus of +20.
    • Power Armor will boost your carry weight by 50% of the armor's weight if you have Power Armor Training.
    • Companions are the most efficient way to increase how much you can carry with you.
    • Chems and Alcohol can help alleviate carry weight restrictions.

  • The level cap has been set to 30 to keep character development meaningful and to reduce late-game power.
  • Leveling up requires 60% more XP than vanilla
  • You gain slightly fewer skillpoints per level.


  • All attributes now have significant drawbacks and benefits, bringing them in line with Fallout 1 & 2:
    • Perception now affects your accuracy with ranged weapons.
    • Agility will now affect your movement speed and has a more significant impact on your available Action Points.
    • Endurance makes up a larger portion of your available Hitpoints.
    • Charisma determines your party size. You can lock yourself out of all recruitment if your Charisma is low enough, or have up to three companions if you're a fountain of charm.

  • Skill Magazines are much less potent, making your character's skills much more important.
  • Skills with limited usefulness have been buffed so that they are valid choices:
    • Barter has a major effect on vendor prices and now affects the cost of vendor repairs.
    • Survival is very important for Hardcore Mode and is required to get the most usefulness out of food items.
    • Medicine will greatly ease your journey across the wasteland, due to healing items being quite weak by default.

  • Many perks have been re-balanced to create meaningful, and sometimes difficult choices when selecting perks.
  • More info

  • Melee weapons have had their reach re-balanced so that the switchblade isn't one of the farthest-reaching weapons in the game.
  • A number of fragile weapons have had their conditions improved.
  • Extremely valuable, comon weapons found throughout DLC have had their values reduced.
  • Weapons have their spread capped at a minimum of 0.1, to make long-ranged weapons less overpowered.
  • Throwing weapons can now be found in plentiful supply from various vendors around the wasteland. Stats and values have been
  • adjusted to make them more worthwhile.
  • More info

  • Medium and Heavy Armors now utilize the Damage Resistance stat alongside Damage Threshold, making those armor classes much more powerful than previously.
  • With Power Armor Training, Power Armor will compensate for a portion of its own weight when equipped.
  • More info


  • Extensive 'Loot Difficulty' feature, which allows you to make loot as scarce as you want.
  • Many recipes have been rebalanced and expanded upon to make them more enticing to take advantage of.
  • Fall damage has a lower damage curve, but kicks in at shorter fall distances. Falling 6 ft will mostly just hurt your legs, but farther distances can be very painful.
  • Backpedaling is slower than walking, making it a poor tactic when fighting melee and unarmed opponents.
  • NPCs will use antivenom items if in their inventories, including companions.
  • Water sources provide minimal healing, varying based on the quality of water.
    • Water sources are no longer an instant cure-all for dehydration. Holding down the action button will still rapidly restore your dehydration, but a single sip will no longer remove an entire H2O stage at a time.
  • Food has notably more radiation, based on the mutations of the creature it derived from.
  • Alcohol now has variety in the benefits and penalties they grant.
  • Chems & Aid items in Hardcore Mode now have penalties to needs.
  • Radiation in the world is much more deadly.
  • Courier's Stash items have been distributed around the world:
  • Spoiler:  

  • Strip Credit Check raised from 2000 to 5000 caps.
  • Snowglobes give 500 caps when turned in to Jane.

Extra Features

Vicious Wastes also includes a number of totally optional features that you can enable to tailor the experience to your needs.

  • No Food Healing removes healing from all food items and water sources.
  • No Pip-Boy in Combat will block your use of the Pip-Boy in the middle of combat.
  • Encumbrance reduces your run speed depending on how full your inventory is.
  • Deadly Radiation reduces your max health the more irradiated you are.
  • Expired Stimpaks are weaker variants of Stimpaks that can spawn in loot.
  • Damaged Equipment allows you to reduce the condition of all the weapons and armor you find.
  • Expired Food allows spoiled/rotten foods to be found in loot.
  • Damaged Ammo allows old/damaged ammo variants to be found in loot.
  • Toxic Waste enables toxic waste pools scattered around the vanilla game to now cause damage (see images)

For additional difficulty, I recommend using Bleedout alongside Vicious Wastes.



Install the FOMOD using Mod Organizer 2, Nexus Mod Manager, Fallout Mod Manager (, or Vortex. Manual installation is not supported.

  1. (optional) Make a backup save
  2. Install the new version over the old version, replacing all files.

Do NOT create a "clean save" under any circumstances, your save file will be ruined.

  1. Remove all Vicious Wastes esps.
  2. Remove "Vicious Wastes" folder from data/
  3. Remove "Vicious Wastes" folder from data/textures/
  4. Remove "Vicious Wastes.esp" folder from data/sound/voice/
  5. Remove "Vicious Wastes.ini" folder from data/configs/. If a Vicious Wastes folder exists inside, delete that as well.
  6. Remove "vitomatic_page_*" textures from data/textures/terminals/ and data/textures/terminals/english/

Do NOT uninstall the mod on an existing character and then continue that game. Your save will be permanently ruined. You can technically resolve the dozens of issues using console commands, but it's not worth it.

This mod is compatible with the vast majority of other mods. All of the important changes are made in non-intrusive ways. More delicate changes are not as compatible, but are much less important to the overall intended experience.

To maximize compatibility with other re-balance mods (not recommended), Vicious Wastes.ini has a number of options for disabling/configuring scripted portions of the mod.

See this page for information on how to extend Vicious Wastes' functionality to improve compatibility with your own mod(s).

Mods that are generally compatible:
  • Weapon mods
  • Armor mods
  • Food & Chem mods
  • Crafting mods
  • Quest & Location mods
  • Companion mods

Known incompatible mods:

  • DUST

Vicious Wastes has a Mod Configuration Menu for enabling features and adjusting some settings. For more advanced tweaking, see "Vicious Wastes.ini" under .../data/config/.

You can add additional INI files to .../data/config/Vicious Wastes/, which will allow you to override settings within Vicious Wastes.ini.

Vicious Wastes also makes heavy use of config files. These can be found in your data/Vicious Wastes/ directory. These files are user-friendly instructions for how the mod tweaks weapons, armor, misc items, ammo, etc., and they are fully customizable.


  • Q) What happens if I don't start a new game?
  • A) If you wish to install the mod mid-game, please follow the first step of upgrading before doing so. Magic (item, hardcore/radiation penalties) and perk effects, whether temporary or not, can become permanent if changed mid-game while the player is under the effects of them.

  • Q) Is <insert mod> compatible with this?
  • A) It's very likely. If in doubt, load Vicious Wastes below and build a merge patch. If that doesn't solve the majority of incompatibilities, let me know and I'll see if I can make a patch.

  • Q) Can you make <change> optional?
  • A) If the change isn't already optional, it's because controlling it through a script would reduce compatibility with other mods.

  • Q) I can't recruit any companions/why won't companions talk to me?
  • Charisma now determines how many party members you can recruit at any given time. With the default settings, you gain 1 party slot for every 3 Charisma points. This means that with less than 3, you won't be able to recruit anybody, and with 9 or more, you can recruit up to 3.
  • Check for the following if you have issues recruiting companions:
    • Your base Charisma is equal to, or greater than 3 (as per default settings)
    • The latest version of JIP NVSE is installed correctly and running.
    • The latest version of New Vegas Script Extender is installed correctly and running.