Whispering Chills is a horror experience unlike any other. It is intended to be entirely standalone in that you don't need to enjoy or know very well how to play Fallout 4 to be able to enjoy it as a horror fan in general. Perfect for anyone experiencing burnout in their other modded setups. It is about as "lore-unfriendly" as you can get purely using the engine as a vessel to craft an entirely new experience through a unique combination of mods that enhance/rework its core mechanics and add new content that entirely change its core focus. Unlike most other Bethesda games where the horror element feels tacked on at best even using mods, the amazing modding community around this game has afforded us the opportunity to overhaul the Fallout 4 experience into an entirely unique other experience. The core premise revolves around an alternate vision of the Commonwealth where a door to the paranormal dimension has allowed for literal hell on earth to take over and has left very little remains in its wake. Your ultimate goal and place in this hellscape is for you to decide.
We've stripped away several trademarks of the base game to distinguish this as a standalone experience based in its own universe. Almost all vanilla NPC’s have been replaced with terrifying monsters from several mods installed in the modlist. All vanilla questlines have been replaced with more fitting, horror-based ones. It involves a custom dynamic spawn system using SKK mods as the foundation, allowing us to breathe an unprecedented level of creature variety into the Commonwealth (including spawning GRIM creatures without having to activate the curse). The entire soundscape from music and audio cues to ambient noises and creatures sounds have been reworked to fit the environment. And this is just the beginning. If you are looking for a truly unique and DIFFERENT playthrough for Fallout 4, this is it!
My computer specs for reference:
GPU: RTX 2070 8GB
Storage: Samsung EVO 1TB SSD
RAM: 16GB DDR4
OS: Windows 10
With this modlist, I sit above 60 FPS in every area that I can otherwise in vanilla. Even though Fallout 4 is a 5 year old game, it can still be very intensive on CPU and GPU resources, especially when heavily modded. Take this into account before starting to ensure your system is strong enough to handle everything being thrown at it with this setup. Also take note of the fact that no matter what mods you use, Downtown Boston will always suffer heavy FPS drops due to poor optimization of the base game. This occurs no matter how good your hardware is and how solid your modded setup is. There will be performance options and a performance profile detailed later in the instructions on how to use for those on less powerful hardware. Generally, this is not a very intensive setup when it comes to number of mods installed, visual fidelity, and overall resource loading and should run with the main profile without any adjustments just fine on most systems, but there options are there just in case.
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 Whispering Chills
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 Whispering Chills among the offerings here. You can filter by Fallout 4 at the top to help your search. Then click the download button for the Whispering Chills 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:/Whispering Chills) 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 Whispering Chills
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 #wc-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 Whispering Chills, 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 Whispering Chills - Main Profile! Click the Run button to launch Whispering Chills!
Game Folder Files - Read CAREFULLY! Very Important!
Click below to expand After exiting the vault, DO NOT MOVE! Configure the following holotape settings as shown below by opening each holotape listed from the Misc tab of your pip-boy. SKK Actor Replace & Respawn Manager should be enabled and configured as shown BEFORE Fallout 4-76 Open World. It is recommended you open this page and read through this on a separate device so you can configure settings while the game is open on your computer. Do not move from where you exited the vault until you have done everything as outlined below including Holotape/MCM configuration and restarting the game!!: SKK Actor Replace & Respawn Manager Holotape Enable this mod by activating it from its holotape under the Misc tab in the Pipboy. Now very carefully follow the steps below to correctly configure the mod to replace vanilla actors with custom actors from mods installed in the guide. * Activate the mod with the option that appears when you open the holotape. Then set everything in the initial menu as shown in this image (https://imgur.com/dqedtrh) and click submit changes at the bottom. * Click the actor keywords menu listed at the bottom after submitting changes and set it exactly as shown in this image (https://imgur.com/2l2iNjs) (the only change you need to make is to click on the last line in this menu for custom keyword files so it shows it as SELECTED) and then submit changes * Lastly go to the replacement actors menu and scroll to the bottom to change the custom actor file line to ENABLED as shown in this image (https://imgur.com/ZLf9BHk) and then submit changes. You can now close the holotape. Fallout 4-76 Open World Holotape Tweak all settings in this holotape exactly as shown in this image (https://imgur.com/iZSxlSW). Setting everything exactly as shown here is vitally important. You will have to click on the top replace humans with option several times to reach the CUSTOM option. All other options in the holotape not shown in this image are entirely up to your preferences. I would, however, recommend you NOT change anything on the last line relating to companions as some users reported issues when changing this setting. When finished click ENABLE Fallout 4-76 Open World [GO] at the bottom. After you click Enable Fallout 4-76 Open World in the holotape, you will see a text popup that says "Fallout 4-76 is Preparing the Open World" in the top left corner. This will continue to appear every few seconds until it is finished (typically takes 2-3 minutes). Do not move while you are waiting and instead proceed to configure the settings below while you wait. When it finishes you will see a new text popup appear that says Fallout 4-76 Open World is Ready (reference image https://imgur.com/a/8N0spus). Whispering Hills Holotape Whispering Hills has a holotape where you can configure settings related to the Otherworld. You can either craft it at a chemistry station or the Universal Workbench or open console (~ tilde key) and type help whispering 4 note and then player.additem (using the 8 digit ID returned from the help command) to spawn it via console and have it appear in the Misc tab of your pip-boy (reference image https://imgur.com/pDzUGT2). The otherworld is when the Hell Dimension temporarily opens and waves of creatures will attack you in complete darkness. The only way to escape is to hide inside a building and sleep until it (hopefully) goes away or kill each wave of the attacking horde. You can increase/decrease the frequency of this event as well as the number of spawned NPC's per wave if you feel the default settings are too intense or not intense enough. I would recommend you not mess with anything under the tabs not related to the Otherworld as this may affect visuals or settings in ways that were not intended or optimized for the provided ENB/visual setup.
Click below to expand While you wait for Fallout 4-76 Open World to finish running, open the Mod Configuration Menu (MCM) by pausing and clicking the Mod Config option at the top. Be sure you have configured your holotapes and set up everything else you need to be ready to play because after you apply this preset FallSouls will go into effect and the game will no longer pause via the pause menu or pip-boy as it does traditionally. Certain things like opening console (~) and message boxes will still pause the game but most traditional means of pausing will no longer work. After opening the MCM, open the top MCM Settings Manager listing and you will see a listing in the right pane under the Presets section titled WC MCM Settings with an option next to it to apply which you should click now (reference image https://imgur.com/Z1jASPs). 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. After you see the message that Fallout 4-76 Open World is ready, you must save and then fully exit the game, relaunch, and reload that save before starting to play. This is to get everything set in working order and properly initialized before you really start to play. You're ready to go! Continue reading the below sections for important information related to the experience if you wish.
Important Information About Whispering Chills
(Optional, But Highly Recommended)
Click below to expand -Avoid Concord at all costs! Preston can't save you there and you certainly won't be saving him. -Find shelter at night and get some rest. Exploring at night is a death sentence only made more certain if you happen to receive an otherworld event while exploring outdoors at night. -Whispering Chills is a very difficult setup. You will have to avoid many combat encounters and sneak your away around early on. If the early game grind feels too difficult due to lack of humans to loot and lack of quest-based XP boosts, there are a couple helpful commands you can enter into the console (~) in-game to assist you. Player.setlevel x where x is the level you wish to be set to can be used to raise your level along with gaining all the corresponding perk points. CGF "Game.AddPerkPoints" x (include the quotes) where x is the number of perk points you wish to add can be used to simply add perk points to use in the level up menu without actually levelling up your character. You can also install the Cheat Terminal mod (https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/13285?tab=files) and place it anywhere in your load order to make for a far less difficult experience where you have the ability to adjust any aspect of the game or spawn in items freely. Bear in mind the higher you set your level, the more difficult things will become as higher level enemies will spawn per our dynamic custom spawn system. -FallSouls MAY break certain quests from tracking in the Data tab of the Pip-Boy (never experienced this myself). This, however, works in my favored preference as I encourage open exploration and coming across objectives naturally. If it bothers you, try reloading the game or setting the Pipboy option to OFF in the MCM for FallSouls. -WC includes a patch for the universal workbench from Equipment and Crafting Overhaul. Grab this next to the vault 111 exit and you can construct just about anything anywhere so long as you have that on you. Disabling most mods in the setup may break this patch and newly-added items will not be included. -There are several premade player homes and new questlines/locations added for you to explore. Not all of these will appear on the map or as a quest in your pip-boy immediately so keep exploring and you're bound to come across some hidden gems. Certain quests are also unlocked and will automatically trigger at certain levels. -You are not intended to use power armor in WC. Most premade sets have been removed and pieces are harder to find. Just know it will detract from the intended experience in using it. -There should be no sources of radiation. No need to carry items to mitigate radiation. -A nomadic build is the intention. Move/explore by day and hide/rest by night. Going out at night is a death sentence in most cases especially if you activate the SKK Feral Nights holotape as advised. There are only about 5-6 hours of daylight per day in WC. -Don't get too attached to any locations or settlements as the unrelenting spawn system will likely find a way to exploit it. -The spawn system has levelled lists so as you increase in level, you will face increasingly difficult enemies throughout the Commonwealth and during Otherworld events. -Don't forget to take advantage of the stash behind the player home (where Codsworth is roaming in front of). It is buried under the far back fenceline and can be a bit difficult to find but just keep scanning the ground back and forth and it's there. The stash includes flares which are essential for use during otherworld events. You can also craft flares at the universal workbench. -You can craft camping gear in the universal workbench and set up anywhere a fire, tent, and sleeping bag. You must drop the camping items from your inventory to "place" them for use and don't forget to pick them up when done! Vitally important as in some cases you will need rest but have nowhere to get it.
Click below to expand Whispering Chills 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).
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. If you are on older hardware (the kind that struggles to run any modded setup or even the game in vanilla) there is a performance profile available for you to try. Click the Profiles drop-down in MO2 and change it to the Whispering Chills - Performance Profile. Functionally, this profile is identical to the main profile just with some added tweaks and optimizations based around using the game’s “medium” profile. It won’t look all that different visually but should perform much more smoothly for those struggling to maintain above 60 FPS. General tips for saving performance on EITHER profile: * In the MO2 INI editor, set fshadowdistance= and fdirshadowdistance= to 5000 for both in the fallout4prefs.ini (this will already be set in the performance profile so more meant for the main profile). Shadow draw distance will be reduced, but not in a significantly noticeable way given the vision-obscuring fog * In the ENB GUI, 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 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!
ECO Workbench Patcher
Click below to expand Equipment and Crafting Overhaul (ECO) otherwise known as the modern day alternative to AWKCR/AE includes a convenient universal workbench which can be picked up right next to the vault after you exit (situated between two shipping containers just beside the vault entrance). After picking up the workbench, you can place it down anywhere by dropping it from your inventory and then interact with it to craft any item you wish without having to stop at an official settlement workbench. This modlist comes with a pre-configured universal workbench patch, but if you add or remove any mods you must create your own or disable the patch (last plugin in the load order). If you wish to create your own universal work bench patch you can follow the steps below: Select ECO_WorkbenchPatcher as your executable in MO2 and click the Run button to start it (reference image https://imgur.com/7Tga3No)! A command prompt window will appear asking if you'd like to run the patcher. Simply enter the letter Y and press enter. When FO4Edit opens, allow it to load all plugins by simply clicking ok on the module selection popup that appears. Once all plugins are finished loading a popup will appear asking to select options for ECO Workbench Patcher. Leave everything checked and click the New Patch button (reference image https://imgur.com/hfbOUrV). When prompted to select plugins just click ok which will add all other plugins as masters to the patch. Name the patch something appropriate like "ECO Workbench Patch" and click ok. Then click ok again and the script will start running! It should be done in under a minute. Once a popup appears indicating the script has finished running you can click ok once more and close this FO4Edit window entirely. Now back in MO2, your newly created plugin will appear at the bottom of your load order in the Plugins tab in the right pane. Be sure to check it on, and you'll be good to go (reference image https://imgur.com/YX1sMxc)! You can leave this patch plugin last in your load order. In-game, you should now be able to craft any items/weapons/equipment added to the game via mods within the universal workbench.