Fallout 4: Are The Graphics Really That Bad?

Are fallout 4 graphics really that bad

Fallout 4 was a highly anticipated game, and upon release, it was a highly criticized game. Fans felt the story was ultimately a bit pointless, the quests felt boring and repetitive, and fans noticed a lack of optimization as well, and this probably bothered them the most. For a game that looked average as well when it was released, it had no right to be so sluggish when played. Graphics were the most criticized aspect of Fallout 4, and in today’s post, we’re going to answer the question of why.

  • Article Breakdown:
  • Fallout 4 graphics are objectively subpar. It was definitely not something fans were expecting from a triple-A game.
  • The reasons for this can mostly be summed to engine limitations and the fact that everything in the game can be manipulated and interacted with, in order to preserve resources some aspects of the game’s visuals had to be toned down. 

Fallout 4 and the story of low-resolution textures 

The first things fans noticed were incredibly low-res textures that give Fallout 4 a somewhat blurry and fuzzy appearance. No one expected Fallout 4 to be the most gorgeous game out there, the game was after all set in an apocalypse and the world is supposed to look rough around the edges. However, the bleakness of the world has nothing to do with texture quality. 

low res monster fallout 4

What does have everything to do with texture quality are engine limitations and the fact that everything in the world can be interacted with. Fallout 4 was often compared to Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, a gorgeous game. The thing about Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is that even though it offers a lot of freedom while exploring the world and interacting with it, only a few objects placed around you can be manipulated in the same way as in Fallout 4.

In Fallout 4, almost anything can be deconstructed, moved, re-used, or modified. That can of freedom costs a lot of resources, and something had to give, in this case, graphics had to be toned down in favor of freedom. As Peter Hines stated

We push it visually as much as we can, while realizing that we are not making a game just for the sake of having it be the best-looking game out there, it’s not meant to be the most stunning RPG ever. That’s not the stated goal. We want this massive interactive world, where you can talk to people, choose your own path and everything in the world has meaning and is an actual object.

The world is massive and interactive indeed and it turns out that the world created for Skyrim was bigger after all, however, the world created for Fallout 4 is nevertheless impressive. 

It’s even more absurd to compare Fallout 4 to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which came out in 2016, as Uncharted offers no freedom at all and is an incredibly linear game. Only the scene you are currently in needs to be rendered, which frees up additional resources and, in turn, allows you to optimize the game graphically to no end. 


Here’s How Many People Play ‘Fallout 4’ in 2024 (User & Growth Stats)

All Fallout 4 problems can eventually be traced to the outdated engine that needs to be regularly updated to accommodate new functionalities for the games. Fans are really hoping for a drastic improvement to the engine capabilities with the release of Starfield. 

How do I make Fallout 4 graphics better?

There’s really not much you can do except install the mods that managed to fine-tune some overlooked aspects of Fallout 4. However, these mods are highly-demanding when it comes to hardware so try to keep the balance between visuals and performance as best as you can, Fallout can be a stunning game as well, but at a significant cost to your FPS. The following are mods that can improve various visual aspects of Fallout 4.  

1. Vivid Fallout 

As the mod creator stated the best, Vivid Fallout aims to retexture all of Commonwealth, most importantly Landscape textures. This mod adds details, shine, and even optimization to your game. When downloading the mod you have a choice between several versions, a lightweight “best performance version” as well as demanding “best choice version”. You can download the mod from this link

2. Subtle ENB

This simple preset aims to remove the washed-out/white-film look and restore the natural beauty of the game. The preset is optimized as best as it can be and balanced. Colors are not enhanced, instead the preset preserved the natural colors but made them pop out more with different lighting effects. You can download Subtle ENB by following this link

3. Fallout HD Overhaul 

One more texture replacement mod. As the author of this mod stated 10 thousand textures had been placed all over the world of Commonwealth which aims to improve the immersion and detail of the game in general. You can download the textures in ranges from 1K resolution to 8K resolution. Vivid Fallout mostly focused on landscape textures, this is not the case with Fallout HD overhaul as it replaces creature, weapons, and miscellaneous items textures as well. You can download the mod from this link

4. Enhanced Lights and FX

realistic lighning

Enhanced Lights and FX is a simple mod that overhauls lightning in the game by adding more god rays, more light sources, and more shadows. What makes this mode one of the most popular on Nexus is the fact that it doesn’t impact performance all that much. You can download the mod by following this link

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