Useful, Fun (And Free) 'Fallout 3' Mods Already Available

Even though Bethesda Softworks just released the "Fallout 3" modification kit for PC on Thursday, gamers were hacking away at "Fallout 3" before that.

It's unlikely that the user-created modifications will make their way to the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 versions of "Fallout 3," but PC gamers have no such obstacles.

There are actually several modifications already available that I'd love to have incorporated into my own "Fallout 3" experience, which ended last week.

Here are my three favorites:

"Dogmeat Armor"

Why I'd Want It: Bethesda may have included the classic "Fallout" character Dogmeat, a friendly companion animal, but they don't include many tools to help the poor guy survive. "Dogmeat Armor," a small jab at the infamous horse armor downloadable content for "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion," makes it so Dogmeat can never die.


Why I'd Want It: To make weapons in "Fallout 3," you need to collect items for a recipe. To make new chemicals, you simply ask your personal laboratory to make some and 24 game hours later, it's available. You can't choose which chemical it spits out, however. This mod not only allows you to pick the desired chemical, but adds another layer of depth to the game by requiring certain items to "reverse engineer" their creation.

"Slower Leveling"

Why I'd Want It: This addresses a critical complaint I wrote about not long ago. When the quest for experience points ends, it's detrimental to the end-game enjoyment of "Fallout 3." This modification simply makes it take significantly longer to reach the level cap and even includes tweaks to encourage new types of play. For example, combat, lockpicking and other endeavors now earn you less experience, but exploring the wasteland and discovering new areas -- the true joy of "Fallout 3" -- now nets you much more.

"Unreal Tournament III" was the first game that allowed PC modifications to be used on a console plattform. In that case, PlayStation 3. Microsoft nixed that feature for the Xbox 360 version because it's difficult to manage the content.

Bethesda hasn't expressed an interest in delivering user-made content to the console versions of "Fallout 3," but let's hope they consider it, because I'd love to have these new options in a second run through "Fallout 3."

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