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Preface

Ground Zero is the fifth and final experience being offered by the Fallout 4 Experiences team. Ground Zero focuses on an alternate vision of the Commonwealth that has instead been overtaken by the ramifications of a deadly viral outbreak. As a military operative it will be your mission to enter the Commonwealth and eradicate any trace of the virus and its infected victims. There are also features around base-building and survivor rescue/recruitment if you are interested in the "rebuilding society" angle of things. Most vanilla quests/NPC's and much of the base game content has been replaced with more appropriate dynamic systems for a zombie apocalypse playthrough with other missions/quests/objectives to lead you along your way. Ground Zero boasts breathtaking visuals, a fully reworked soundscape, and zombie hordes the likes of which you have never seen and should be great fun for any zombie game fans.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Given everything that goes on in this experience, it is our most hardware-intensive, but we have linked many performance-saving options in the "After Installing Ground Zero" section below so that most modern hardware should be able to handle it.  If you have similar or better specs than mine listed below you should expect a smooth 60 FPS by default without any necessary changes (with the exception of certain areas where an overabundance of actors are loaded in or Downtown Boston which is always demanding and poorly optimized due to the base game development.  I highly recommend you do an hour-long test playthrough before you actually get into playing and see if you find the FPS to be sufficient first.  If it isn't, be sure to try the performance tips below or reach out to us on our Discord server linked at the bottom of this page.

My computer specs for reference:

CPU: i7-9700k

GPU: RTX 2070 8GB

Storage: Samsung EVO 1TB SSD

RAM: 16GB DDR4

OS: Windows 10

Resolution: 2560x1440

This experience requires all Fallout 4 DLC (except the high resolution texture DLC which you should disable if you have installed).

Before You Install

Click below to expand As with any modlist, it is recommended you start with a clean install. Uninstall Fallout 4 through Steam if it's already installed (yes even if you already have a modded setup this is the safest approach) then proceed to Documents/My Games/Fallout 4 in File Explorer and delete everything inside that folder. Then navigate to wherever you have installed Fallout 4 (steam/steamapps/common/Fallout 4) and delete everything left inside that folder. Now you must install Fallout 4 in a non-Windows Protected folder (NOT within Program Files, Program Files x86, Documents, Desktop, or any other other protected folders on the OS/C Drive). The default install location for Steam games is in a Windows-protected folder Program Files (x86) which we do NOT want as it can cause many issues with permissions and read/write access to your game files. If you already have a Steam Library set outside this default location, you can simply install Fallout 4 there. If you currently only have a Steam Library created with games being installed to the default Windows-protected folder on your C drive, please follow the steps below based on whether or not you have a separate hard drive from your OS drive. If you have another hard drive in addition to your OS drive: * Open Steam and click on Steam in the top left corner then click on Settings. Go to the downloads tab listed on the left panel that opens and select the Steam Library Folders option. When the popup appears, click on the plus button to the right of any listed drives and then create a NEW FOLDER on any of the other drives (not your native C Drive where steam default installs to) and click select. A new steam library folder will be created on your other drive in this new folder (reference image https://imgur.com/KiuYDe2/). * Navigate to the Library section of Steam where all of your games are listed and click Fallout 4 then choose to Install Fallout 4 as per usual, but when prompted to choose an install location, specify the new SteamLibrary folder you just created on a separate hard drive instead of the default location on your OS drive and proceed to install as per usual. If you only have one hard drive for your computer (the OS drive) and your Steam games install to the default location in a Windows-protected folder: * Use this tool (https://github.com/LostDragonist/steam-library-setup-tool/wiki/Usage-Guide) to create a new Steam library in a non-protected location on the same drive as your current library. By default, Steam only allows you to have one Steam library instance to install games to on a single drive so this is the only safe way to create a new library outside protected folders for those who only have a single hard drive. After the new Steam library is created, install Fallout 4 from the Library section of Steam where all your games are listed and specify this new library folder as the install location. In either case, make sure you LAUNCH Fallout 4 through steam when installation is finished to allow the game to set registry keys and create the initial game configuration ini's. You should see a popup notifying you that the launcher is configuring your settings based on a preset that matches your hardware. After clicking OK to the popup, launch the game to the main menu and exit. Lastly, right-click on the listing for Fallout 4 in the Library tab of Steam and select Properties... Under the opening General tab UNCHECK the box next to enabling Steam Overlay in-game. Under the Updates tab set the first drop-down for update method from Automatic Updates to "Only update this game when I launch it" so that any potential game updates don't mess with your modded setup.

Installing Ground Zero

Click below to expand Download Wabbajack from the home page (blue download button) https://www.wabbajack.org/#/ Place Wabbjack.exe in a new root folder on one of your drives (e.g. E:/Wabbajack). Run this exe and then once Wabbajack is fully installed open it and select the big Browse Modlists button on the left. Search for Ground Zero among the offerings here. You can filter by Fallout 4 at the top to help your search. Then click the download button for the Ground Zero listing. You’ll then have to specify 3 paths for install. Target Modlist: Should automatically be specified after selecting this in the UI. Installation Location: The location where this modlist will install to. Create a new root folder ideally on the same drive as where you have Fallout 4 and Wabbajack installed and path to this folder here (e.g. E:/Ground Zero) Download Location: Will default to a Downloads subfolder within your installation location path. It is fine to leave this as is unless you want the downloaded archives to go to another folder/drive where you have more space which you can specify here. Avoid using Windows-Protected directories for all of the above (Program Files, Desktop, etc.). Click the Play button and if you are a Nexus Premium user it will all automatically go through everything for you. Otherwise you will have to click through and download for each mod.

After Installing Ground Zero

Click below to expand Once everything is finished Wabbjack will turn green and say Installation Complete. If you have any issues installing please ping me in the #gz-support channel on our Discord Server (https://discord.gg/strraNQxEQ) and I will respond ASAP! Now go to the folder where you installed this modlist to and open the folder within called Game Folder Files. Copy ALL of the contents within the folder named Game Folder Files to your game directory (where the game is installed; i.e. steamapps/common/Fallout 4). Make sure you copy all the contents WITHIN the Game Folder Files folder to the ROOT of where the game is installed (where the game’s executable is) (reference image if you are confused https://imgur.com/1Nu9KzL). DO NOT COPY THE ENTIRE MODLIST TO YOUR GAME FOLDER. DO NOT COPY THE ENTIRE GAME FOLDER FILES FOLDER TO YOUR GAME DIRECTORY! ONLY COPY THE FILES WITHIN THE GAME FOLDER FILES FOLDER! To actually play Ground Zero, launch ModOrganizer.exe from within the installation directory for this modlist. It should default to F4SE as the executable in the top-right corner of MO2 and then click the Run button next to the F4SE executable listing to play!

Game Folder Files

Holotape and MCM Configuration

IMPORTANT NOTE:  You can either watch this video or read through the text section below this (where it says click below to expand) to configure holotapes and the MCM as necessary for this experience.  The video is still recommended to watch (at least the second half) regardless as it covers some of the gameplay systems in greater depth than I could convey via text.

Click below to expand After starting a NEW game and exiting the vault, DO NOT LEAVE THE IMMEDIATE AREA SURROUNDING THE VAULT as you must configure some holotapes and Mod Configuration Menu settings BEFORE you start or you will not have the intended experience! I have included a video walkthrough on how to do this above this text, but if you aren't comfortable watching a video in English, I have included text instructions below as well. Follow one or the other. 1) Open your pip-boy and navigate to the Misc tab and open the SKK Actor Replace & Respawn Manager holotape and then change the following settings: * Turn Find & Replace ON and this will present all the options. * On the main page, set the 4th line respawn use ihourstorespawncell to 6 hours * Still on the main page, set the 6th line Innocent Actor Protection to OFF * Open the Find Actor Keywords MENU at the bottom of the main page and then scroll to the very bottom and click the last line Custom Keywords File [select] so it changes to [SELECTED]. Do not change anything else in the menu and click submit changes at the bottom. * Now select the replacement actors MENU at the bottom of the current page, scroll to the bottom of the replacement actors menu and click on the last line custom actor file DISABLED [switch] so that it changes to ENABLED. Don't change any other settings on this page and click submit changes at the bottom. You are done with this holotape. 2) Configure the MCM settings via the provided MCM Settings Preset. Be sure to walk around the vault a bit until you see a text popup that reads "START: NPCs Travel Version 295" indicating NPCs Travel has finished initializing. Now pause the game and click the Mod Config option at the top. Then click the top MCM Settings Manager option and then under the presets section on the right click the Apply button to the right of the GZ MCM Settings preset and click OK to any prompts that appear and then click the reload MCM button on the left to finish. Take time to look through each MCM entry to configure settings to your liking. You can set hotkeys and configure most aspects of gameplay via GCM, etc, and most of what you can do are covered in detail in the video above. Almost every aspect of gameplay is configurable. *VERY IMPORTANT LAST THING TO DO OR THE MODLIST WON'T WORK AS INTENDED!! Go to the Commonwealth of Decay MCM menu and leave all settings at their defaults but click on the very bottom/last option "Start Mod" which will show on the right a big Start Conversion button currently switched OFF (reference image https://imgur.com/Vx9Gprw). Click the button once to switch it on which will provide a text popup that reads "Close the MCM and wait." Close the MCM and pause menu entirely and you will see a text popup in the top left that reads "Open World Preparing" and while this runs do not have the pip-boy or pause menu open and DO NOT MOVE! Move away from your computer for 10-15 minutes while it runs and do not interact with the game. Continue to wait until you receive a large text box in the middle of your screen indicating that the Open World is ready for you. Do not move from the vault area until you see this text box appears! Once that popup appears, click ok, save the game, and close to desktop, then run F4SE again via MO2. This is so that all the game systems kick in proper and now you can finally play. Grab the universal workbench next to the vault exit and grab supplies from the stash behind the player home in Sanctuary (including a personal journal and weather holotape so don't miss it; watch the video for more info on this!) Be sure to keep reading below for other important information before starting if interested.

Performance Tips

Click below to expand This is our most intensive experience given everything that goes into it. There are no crashes, freezes or stutters reported in testing, but FPS may drop at times depending on hardware. If you are on older hardware (the kind that struggles to run any modded setup or even the game in vanilla) first try switching to the performance profile via the profile drop-down in MO2. Otherwise, you may want to consider the options below. General tips for saving performance on EITHER profile: * Ensure your graphics drivers are up-to-date. This is the first and most important thing you should check. * In the ENB GUI (open with the END key), under the Effects tab on the left, click the checkmark next to Enable SSAO so that it is unchecked and thereby disabled. The lack of AO is hardly noticeable in this setup, and it drains a lot of FPS having it on. * Simply disable the ENB preset altogether while you play by pressing the F12 key on your keyboard. More meant as a last resort as you will not receive the intended visual experience but FPS cap and other fixes from ENBseries will remain intact. * Open console (~) and type the line gr quality 2 and press enter. If that does not improve FPS by much, type the line gr off and press enter. These lines will reduce the quality of or entirely remove godrays which will have a noticeable FPS improvement during sunny weathers * Set the game resolution to 1080p instead of the default 1440p. Open MO2’s INI editor and switch the isizeH and isizeW values to 1920 and 1080 respectively under the [Display] section of the fallout4prefs.ini tab (reference image https://imgur.com/f64WmSQ).

ENB

Click below to expand Ground Zero includes its own ENB preset that you placed in your game directory from the Game Folder Files folder after installing this modlist. If anything isn't to your liking visually, please check out my How to Configure ENB Presets Tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n67F7oYvN8c) to learn how to configure any preset to your preferences. Important Note: This preset will lock your FPS to 60 max by default. This is intended as the game runs into issues running above 60 FPS even with High FPS Physics Fix. If you want to disable this, open the enblocal.ini in your game's root folderand change the line EnableFPSLimit= under the [Limiter] section from true to false. In order for this preset to look as intended for you and for the game to look as visually striking as possible, I highly recommend your calibrate your monitor both through the NVIDIA/AMD Control Panel (right-click Desktop and the option should appear, then for NVIDIA in the left side panel click Adjust desktop color settings under the Display header, and I'm not familiar with how to do this for AMD) and through Windows display calibration (reference image https://imgur.com/a/BYf4BC2; search for Calibrate Display Color in your Windows search bar or Windows settings panel).

Buffout and Crash Logs

Click below to expand If at any time you crash while playing this setup, a crash log will be produced by Buffout in your Documents\My Games\Fallout4\F4SE folder and will be named something along the lines of crash-2020-12-04-23-32-30.log. Please share these with me in our Discord server (https://discord.gg/strraNQxEQ) and I will attempt to troubleshoot the cause. I haven’t come across any repeatable, avoidable crashes yet in the latest version of this experience!

For whatever mods you install over this experience, you do so at your own risk/discretion as our support is limited only to what is available in the experience already. Do not expect support if you haven't read through this entire page of documentation or if you have modified the experience in any way.  Check out our Resources Hub if you want to learn more about creating your own experiences!

Questions/Comments/Concerns?