Ground Zero focuses on an alternate vision of the Commonwealth that has instead been overtaken by the ramifications of a deadly viral outbreak. It features TWO profiles: Survivalist and Operative.
Operative is more of a fast-paced, casual, fun shoot-em-up experience taking place in the initial weeks after the virus has overtaken the Commonwealth. This profile focuses on rescuing survivors, building outposts, and mowing down massive hordes of zombies with a wide array of modern weaponry and QoL features. As a military operative it will be your mission to enter the Commonwealth and eradicate any trace of the virus and its infected victims.
Survivalist is a scaled-back, hardcore survival experience with much in common to our Lost World experience. It takes place years after society fell to the virus with the Commonwealth covered in lush flora and rust. You will immerse yourself into an experience similar to an open world The Last of Us where you struggle every minute to survive against deadly zombie hordes, vicious raider gangs, and the ever-looming threat of viral infection.
For both profiles, 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 immersion 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:
GPU: RTX 2070 8GB
Storage: Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
RAM: 16GB DDR4
OS: Windows 10
Things to Check Before Installing:
1) Ensure you have a LEGAL steam copy of Fallout 4 with ALL 6 official DLC (Automatron, Far Harbor, Nuka World, and the 3 workshop DLC)! These are absolutely required with no way around it. The easiest way to obtain these is by purchasing the GOTY Edition or Season Pass on Steam. You do NOT need the Ultra High Resolution Texture DLC. Uninstall this DLC if it is installed!
2) Set your game language to English in Steam.
3) Ensure that Fallout 4 is NOT installed in the default Steam location (Program Files x86). See the Before You Install section below on how to move your steam library if it is.
4) Do a clean reinstall of Fallout 4 by following the Before You Install section below. Dirty, outdated installs of Fallout 4 are the number 1 cause of issues in Wabbajack modlists! Start the game once via Steam after reinstalling.
5) If you have been using Vortex you must use its Purge feature to purge all of its mods out of your game folder. Do not use Vortex while playing with Wabbajack modlists!
6) Carefully read the instructions below. This experience WILL NOT WORK FOR YOU if you ignore anything written here and we will not help you.
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. Check out our Discord server linked at the bottom of this page for support if you have any questions or follow this video tutorial on how to install Wabbajack modlists if looking for a visual aid: https://youtu.be/Na7-MHiy9Ck
After Installing Ground Zero
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can either watch this video or read through the Game Folder Files and Holotape and MCM Configuration section below as necessary for this experience. If you choose to watch the video, you only need to watch the first 13 minutes and everything after that is purely optional and applicable only to the Operative profile. You must watch this video or continue reading below before playing EITHER profile!
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/OG6Zf85). 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! Now open the ModOrganizer.exe from within the installation directory for this modlist (ONLY use this executable! DO NOT use any pre-existing MO2 instances you may have installed). In the top-left corner, there is a profile drop-down where you can choose between the Ground Zero - Operative profile and Ground Zero - Survivalist profile. Key differences between them are detailed in the preface section of the documentation above and shown in the two trailers. Once you decide on which profile you want to play, you must copy the contents of the appropriate ENB preset into the game folder as there is not one activated by default. You must copy the contents WITHIN the Operative ENB Preset or Survivalist ENB Preset folder into your game directory right next to the launcher depending on the profile you are playing (reference image otherwise watch the video linked above; https://imgur.com/8fQYWUT). To change ENB presets when you change profiles, delete the preset contents you copied into the root of the game folder and copy the contents from the other ENB preset folder into the root of the game directory in the same way. Ground Zero has no ENB preset by default so you will have incorrect visuals if you don't do this. Make sure you are using the correct ENB preset for the profile you are playing. The ENB preset is optional for either profile but highly recommended for the Operative profile. Only use the ENB preset for the survivalist profile if you have similar or better specs than me as listed in the preface section of the documentation above as the survivalist profile is VERY FPS intensive! Watch the video linked above if you are uncertain on how to do any of this! To actually play Ground Zero, verify that F4SE is the executable in the top-right corner of MO2 (as it should be by default) and then click the Run button next to the F4SE executable listing to play! Ask on our Discord server linked at the bottom of this page if you have any launch issues!
Game Folder Files - VERY IMPORTANT! Read carefully or watch video above!
Holotape and MCM Configuration - VERY IMPORTANT! Read carefully or watch video above!
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. Before starting please note that you can open the ENB GUI to configure visuals by pressing the END key, and you can press the F12 key to enable/disable the preset. Alternatively, for the survivalist profile in the Mod Configuration Menu you can go to the MCM for NAC X and change visuals under the NAC X Presets and NAC X FX sections quickly and easily to achieve your desired look. This NAC X visual configuration is only an option for the survivalist profile. Watch the video linked above for a visual representation of this. Now carry out the following steps for EITHER profile: 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 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 before starting. Be sure to keep reading below for other important information before starting if interested. The performance tips section is ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT for the survivalist profile.
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) 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 (or don't even copy it into/delete it from the game folder) 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 will often save a lot of FPS. * 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 if you have a monitor at a higher resolution. 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). *If none of the above helps you get to a playable FPS please join our Discord server linked at the bottom of this web page and we have other things you can try to improve FPS at the cost of some visual fidelity.
Click below to expand Ground Zero includes its own ENB preset for both profiles (and remember you must copy the preset into the Fallout 4 game folder for the profile you are playing per the Game Folder Files section of the documentation above). 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. 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!
Complex Sorter Patch
Click below to expand If you add or remove any mods to this modlist you need to rebuild the Complex Sorter patch which properly tags all items and injects all recipes into Equipment and Crafting Overhaul's Universal Workbench. To do this, first deactivate/uncheck the GZ Survivalist/Operative CS Patch .esp plugin already at the bottom of the load order (right pane plugins tab in MO2) then select Complex Sorter from the executables drop-down in the MO2 instance for Ground Zero and run it. In the window that appears, it will prompt you to select which plugins to load in for patching. Leave all plugins selected and click ok to proceed and a big popup window will appear. In the window, click the Change button next to M8r Complex Sorter.exp in the bottom-right corner Output ESP section and then select New ESP and give this plugin a unique name. Then simply click the Generate Patch button in the bottom left and let it run. Once it finishes, it will be added to the right pane Plugins tab at the bottom in MO2. Activate/check this plugin and you're good to go. Leave the old CS patch.esp disabled. Let us know in our Discord server if you have any questions on how to do this.