How to Add Crossbows to Fallout 4!
Fallout 4 doesn’t exactly have a shortage of weapon choices, particularly when you consider the hundreds of automatic weapon mods out there. However—maybe because the game was made with a modified version of engine used for Skyrim—there is one type of weapon that is conspicuously absent from the base game: crossbows.
We’re going to show you how to fix that with a sweet mod by TrickyVein called Crossbows of the Commonwealth, which you can download for free from Nexusmods.com. The mod adds a new crossbow to the game that you modify heavily, along with bolt-crafting options. The crossbow looks and feels right at home in Fallout 4’s wasteland—and it’s quite fun to use!
Here’s a little video of the crossbow in action to get your trigger finger itchin’:
Before we cover how to install the mod, we first need to make sure your game is ready for mods. If this is your first mod for Fallout 4, you’ll need to make some minor tweaks to the base game to ensure mods will work in-game.
However, before we show you those steps, it’s wise to take a moment here to back up your game files. If you have the space, make a copy of the vanilla (non-modded) game, which is typically installed at C: > Program Files (x86) > Steam > SteamApps > Common > Fallout 4. Just copy the entire folder and paste it somewhere else and rename it Fallout4.bak. If you should inadvertently break your game by incorrectly installing mods you can use this backup folder to get things back to the game’s default state without re-downloading the game.
Next, back up all the files here: C: > Users > [Your Profile] > My Documents > My Games > Fallout 4 for the same reason. If you need to revert the game to its default state, simple restore these original files.
If it’s not clear already, a disclaimer: Adding user-created mods to your game can result in some nasty things such as corrupted saves or your game failing to launch. Proceed with caution and at your own risk. Read all tips and notes from each mod’s author and do your best to thoroughly research any mod before adding it to your game. It’s best not to add more than one mod at a time, too.
Prep Fallout 4 for Mods
Now, let’s prep your game to enable game mods via the following simple steps (NOTE: there’s an excellent wiki describing the process in detail here, and an excellent video by “Gopher” that walks you through this complete process here):
• Navigate to your Fallout 4 Folder at the following location “Documents/My Games/Fallout 4”
• Highlight "Fallout4Prefs.ini" and "Fallout4.ini"
• Right-click, select Properties and ensure that these files are NOT marked as read only
• Open Fallout4Prefs.ini with your favorite text editor (Notepad will work just fine)
• Navigate to the very bottom and you will see the line [Launcher]. Directly underneath this, add the following line: bEnableFileSelection=1
• Save and Close
• Open Fallout4Custom.ini
• Add the following lines to your Fallout4Custom.ini:
• Save and close.
That’s it—now you’re ready to start adding mods to Fallout 4! Well, almost ready….
Install Nexus Mod Manager
The next step is to download and install Nexus Mod Manager (NMM), which is a great tool that makes it simple to install, track and deactivate mods with a single interface—it’s a must if you think you’ll be adding even a handful of mods. This is also a good time to sign up for a free account on www.nexusmods.com, which you’ll need to download the mods covered here.
Next, install NMM by clicking on the downloaded installer file. One of the first things the program will do is scan for supported games, which can take a while. You can wait for this to finish, or simply stop the search, manually select the games you want to use with NMM from the list and then select Quickstart.
NMM will then ask you to set a download path for your mods, which you can specify or go with the default option. Next, select Yes to let NMM handle the management of mod categories for you as this is best when starting out—you can always elect to change this later, but we’ve never felt the need.
NMM will now launch. Go to the bottom left of the program window and click on the red login icon. Enter your account credentials for nexusmods.com, check the “stay logged in” box and then “Login”. (Note: NMM may ask for permission to manage "plugins.txt". If so, select "yes".)
Now it’s time to have some crossbow fun!
Time to Add Crossbows to Fallout 4!
First we need to download the Crossbows of the Commonwealth mod, which you will find on the Nexus here. Take some time to read all the info from the mod author, and watch some of the videos, too, as they are quite entertaining.
Select the files tab and you will see two download options for the main mod file. The first option is the default and gives you the ability to craft the crossbow and ammo in-game and distributes the crossbow in the level lists for Raiders. This means your enemies may have crossbows too, which we think is only fair. If you disagree select BOTH the of the main files (Crossbows of the Commonwealth and Stand-alone Version) and then “download with manager”.
Next, download the update file that matches your choice above using the “download with manager” option. In our case we've chosen the version that distributes the crossbows in the game. You’ll see both files (Crossbows of the Commonwealth and the 1.2.1 Update file) in the bottom left Download Manager window pane in NMM. Once they’ve downloaded you’ll see them listed in the main Mods window above—make sure the Mods tab is selected.
To install Crossbows of the Commonwealth just select it in the Mods window so it’s highlighted and click the green checkmark to the left. You can monitor the installation process in the Mod Activation Queue window on the bottom right.
When the main mod file has finished installing, highlight the update mod file in the Mods window and click the green checkmark. Select “overwrite all” in the pop-up window that appears, or the update file will not have any effect.
Verify both mods have green checkmarks next to them in the Mods window and you’re good to go. Simply launch the game via the “Launch Fallout 4” button on the top-left side of NMM’s interface (above the Plugins and Mods tabs).
Note: if you DO NOT want the crossbow distributed throughout the game you should install three files: first install Crossbows of the Commonwealth, then the Stand-alone Version file (select overwrite all option when installing), and then the 1.3.1 Stand Alone update file (select overwrite all when installing).
Once in game you justplay until you find a crossbow on an enemy, which didn’t take us very long. Then visit the Weapons Bench to discover what resources you need to construt the various mods you can use to customize your crossbow to suit your play style. You will need to visit a Chemistry Station to make bolts.
Crossbows of the Commonwealth adds a ton of fun to Fallout 4. The mod fits right into the game world and puts some serious power in the hands of stealthy players, with the tradeoff of longer reload times than traditional weapons.
Let us know what you think of Crossbows of the Commonwealth, and tells us your favorite Fallout 4 mods, in the comments section below!