Stay FROSTy is an experience entirely based around attempting to provide a complete and stable FROST experience. For those that have never heard of it, FROST Survival Simulator is a hardcore total conversion mod for Fallout 4 that overhauls literally every aspect of the game to play like something else entirely. As a survival simulator, survival is the goal and several difficult gameplay mechanics are implemented to make that exceptionally difficult. FROST started out as a single overhaul mod envisioning the Commonwealth as a frozen hellscape and taking place in the year 2077, but FROST has since evolved into an entire suite of interconnected addons from several authors that round it out to become the most comprehensive overhaul of Fallout 4 in existence. Care has been given to ensure that the lore, balance, and mechanics of FROST and its addons fall perfectly in sync with one another. Stay FROSTy uses the Below Zero Modding Guide, which instructs users on how to use all FROST mods and officially endorsed addons together, as its foundation. I recommend anyone interested in creating their own FROST-based modlist give that guide a look. This experience provides that core experience with some minor personal tweaks and additions such as changes to the visuals and other QoL additions recommended by the FROST team but not necessarily included in the guide. So for those looking for a complete and comprehensive FROST experience out of the box, this is it!
Important Disclaimer: We are not officially affiliated with FROST or any of the development team members, though we do have their support and keep in constant contact with them. If you have any issues or questions about this experience, direct them to the Fallout 4 Experiences Team via the Discord server linked at the very bottom of this page and NOT on the FROST Discord server!
This experience, like FROST itself, is a grueling and punishing experience almost to the point of being unbearable. For those new to FROST, we've included an optional MCM settings preset that should make it somewhat easier for you to get acquainted, but recognize that FROST is intended to be a very difficult experience. This is not just "the Commonwealth but it's winter". The Fallout 4 you once knew is gone and you will have to learn and adapt to an entirely new play style that involves patience and strategy. If that does not sound appealing to you, you may want to consider one of our other experiences. You have been warned!
My computer specs for reference:
GPU: RTX 2070 8GB
Storage: Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
RAM: 16GB DDR4
OS: Windows 10
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 Stay FROSTy
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 select the big Browse Modlists button. Search for Stay FROSTy among the offerings here. You can filter by Fallout 4 at the top to help your search. Then click the download button for the Stay FROSTy 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 FOLDER at the root of a drive, ideally on the same drive as where you have Fallout 4 and Wabbajack installed and path to this new folder to install to (e.g. E:/Stay FROSTy) 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 Stay FROSTy
Click below to expand Once everything is finished Wabbjack will turn green and say Installation Complete. If you have any issues installing please message in the #frosty-support channel on our Discord Server (https://discord.gg/strraNQxEQ) and we 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 Stay FROSTy, 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. Make sure the listed profile is Stay FROSTy! Click the Run button to launch!
Game Folder Files
Click below to expand Open the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM) by pausing and clicking the Mod Config option at the top. After opening the MCM, open the top MCM Settings Manager listing and you will see 2 listings in the right pane under the Presets section titled SF MCM Settings Standard and SF MCM Settings Beginner with an option next to it to apply for either which you should do now (reference image https://imgur.com/BMmYDnR). Apply Standard OR Beginner (not Both) based on whether you want a traditional, hardcore FROST experience and are familiar with FROST (Standard) or if you are looking for a more forgiving experience and are newer to FROST (Beginner). Click yes on the prompt to apply the preset then reload the MCM when prompted on the left and now everything will go into effect! You can change any MCM settings per mod to your liking afterwards here but everything has already been set to provide the ideal, intended experience. Feel free to poke around in the various menus here to see what you are able to configure to make things easier or more difficult based on your experience in playing. You're ready to go! Continue reading the below sections for important information related to the experience if you wish.
Important Information About Stay FROSTy
(Optional, But Highly Recommended)
Click below to expand Graciously provided by community members HoneyDrops and ModalSoul -For choosing a start, the Access Tunnels is the canonical start (though all are compatible with the lore more or less) and middling difficulty. I would advise against the Glowing Sea or Spectacle Island starts if you are new. The highway start is probably one of the easiest starts. -Drops are de-leveled, you can find high end weapon mods pretty easily, so crafting perks are less useful. -Gun perks boost accuracy in VATS and lower sway, they don't boost damage. -Aim for the head, especially with ferals. You want to use as few bullets to kill anything, and ferals will quickly regen the far lower damage they take elsewhere. A combat knife is probably the best melee weapon, quick and easy to control for headshots. Don't bother with VATS for melee. -Ferals are good for leveling, especially early on. No sanity loss from them, and easy to dispatch in mass, and no ranged attacks. They do irradiate you, cause disease and can poison you. -Med-X will deal with poison from them and mutcrabs. Always keep some handy for when your get poisoned. -Bleeding damage is super powerful and ignores armor, watch out for NPCs with such weapons, but they are also great choice for you. -Always loot any guns for any ammo in them, you can immediate toss them to say weight if you have better. -Drugs are your friend, they are just as if not more OP as in the base game. -All super mutants are replaced with ferals, gore bags rarely contain a very nice goodie. -All mirelurks are now mutcrabs (some are bears), being near water is even safer than the base game. -Caltrops are an easy way to slow down ferals or outright kill mutcrabs if you are having issues, and are fairly easy to craft. -The intimidate perks from charisma are extremely good, as does charisma help you to manage sanity via perks that prevent addictions to alcohol and double their effects. Bartering matters now, as do speech checks. However, charisma is a little all or nothing, where you either want good investment, or to dump it and take Wanderer. -Charisma and Endurance are critical, but perhaps no special moreso than Strength. Carry weight is very precious, generally hard to come by, and extremely limited. The ability to collect and bring back what you find is basically core to your survival. If you're new, just don't skip on Strength. -In the same vein, get used to melee combat. Learn the counter and takedown system native to vanilla Fo4 and use it to your advantage. Melee weapons and perks cause more damage, while unarmed strikes are easier to target the head with (similar to stabbing with small knives) and come with benefits to maintaining your sanity. -Not taking your sanity seriously is a fatal mistake. Negative sanity has no bottom and can be difficult to impossible to crawl out of after a time. One of the main debuffs of insanity is the negative disposition almost everyone will have to you, particularly traders, and the fact that VATS and your overall weapon accuracy will plummet so far into the ground that bullets will come out of your gun at impossible angles. If you plan to go insane, build for it via the available perks and cannibalism. -The radiation cloak ghouls have is completely devastating. It is a LOT of radiation, and when they hit you, you get an additional boost. Radiation is difficult to deal with because radaway and fungal purge both increase thirst/hunger by a lot. Do not take radiation lightly, and look out for a biohazard suit so that you can negate the rad cloak. -Don't worry much about water (so long as you know where to get it and collect bottles, you're fine). Don't worry much about sleep. Food. Food is the true grind. Take Hunter (END 2). -Explosives do roughly 4-6x their damage in vanilla. Use them. Land mines will almost instantly kill you, so reload and grab them. -"Survivors" will reduce your overall sanity, even with the Sanity Tweaks mod installed. This occurs even when they attack you. You should be aware of this and check on your sanity regularly. Going after cannibals or other non-survivor NPC types is a safer way to preserve your sanity while doing combat and exploring. -Along those lines, take addictions seriously. Nuka Cola replenishes thirst, but an addiction is -3 charisma among other issues. Alcohol addiction reduces your sanity by -20, and you'll lose -20 every time you're on alcohol and then lose its effects again while addicted. This is totally unsustainable. -You might be used to not using VATS, but VATS is pretty useful for ensuring your shots get off at short range, especially with a shotgun (it will ensure all of your spread actually hits the head and does a lot more damage). -Similarly, scopes seem to largely negate the accuracy penalties that FROST comes with; a good weapon with a scope will be your best friend before you get any accuracy boosting perks. -If you're new to FROST, you're probably not used to thinking of XP boosting perks as essential given that vanilla Fo4's levelling rate is already so high. In Frost, however, because your true enemy is time, levelling up faster is just essential. Whether this means a high intelligence or using Idiot Savant (note that you can both use high intelligence perks and maximize Idiot Savant by letting thirst debuff your intelligence), have a plan for levelling up faster.
Click below to expand Stay FROSTy 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 folder and 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).
Click below to expand This is not a very intensive setup and should be able to run above 60 FPS on most modern hardware. My hardware is listed at the top of this readme for which I am able to maintain a constant 60+ FPS at almost all times without any distracting FPS drops or extended stutters. General tips for saving performance: * In the MO2 INI editor, set fshadowdistance= and fdirshadowdistance= to 5000 for both in the fallout4prefs.ini * In the ENB GUI (END key to open), 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. * Set the game resolution to 1080p instead of 1440p if you have a 1440p or 4K monitor. 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).
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 modlist!