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Could somebody help me with my load order?


Hello folks,
I'm pretty new to modding, despite having been playing with mods since Fallout 4 originally launched, years ago. But now, I'm trying to learn how to better understand how mods work and maybe even make some in the future if I can get a good grasp on the concepts.
That being said, I came to the Sim Settlements forums to ask this question because I've had positive experiences with this community, and the mods and modders that frequent this site seem experienced and helpful.

I use NMM and vortex to handle my mods, but I noticed that the "LOOT groups" that are provided with a base installation of Vortex do not accurately reflect those found on the "Load order Survival guide"

I've also noticed that most mods don't have a defined LOOT group tag upon being installed, they usually have the default tag.
So I guess my first question is, would it actually be worth my time setting up LOOT groups that properly reflect those found in the Load Order Survival Guide and subsequently editing the tags myself.
Second, If I posted my load order, could somebody help me organize it properly (it's long, about 130 mods, so even partial help would be nice).
I have a bunch of mods and patches for mods and while my game is mostly stable, I do have some weird issues that are more frustrating than anything else, most of which shouldn't be giving me issues at all, at least according to their descriptions and DL/install instructions on Nexus, and I understand that modders can't manually test every combination of mods to see if they cause problems. I would just like to be able to feel like I can fix issues for myself if they pop up, and understanding better how to manage my load order, and how to determine where a mod should go in said order, based upon what the mod does, will go a long way in regards to my ability to do so, not only for myself but also in order to give back to the community down the road. If you've read this far thank you for your time. Take care out there.

Edit: I should clarify that I mean and Vortex, not Nexus Mod Manager and Vortex.
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can I just clarify something - you say you use NMM and Vortex to manage your mods. Are you running two mod managers against Fallout 4?
If you are doing that, stop.

You need to choose one mod manager, and only one mod manager.

If you use more than one, you will wreak havoc on your game because they will constantly overwrite your plugins.txt file, and also a mod manager only manages the mods it is responsible for. It will not - by design - attempt to manage any mod it doesn't "own".

So, sit down and have a think about which mod manager you prefer and use that mod manager, and only that mod manager to manage your fallout 4 mods. (BTW there's no wrong choice here, it's all down to personal preference about what mod manager you like).


I think I might have misspoken. I used the abbreviation NMM in place of the site name. I was under the impression Vortex was the new dedicated mod manager for the site. I am only using one Mod manager; Vortex, I just download my mods from sorry for the miscommunication.

I will note, on that subject, that I do run LOOT after I download a new mod because even though LOOT is part of the Vortex database, it doesn't provide details about the mod so far as matching master files, missing navmeshes, etc. are concerned, the way the LOOT standalone program does, and even after I run the LOOT standalone program, I still go back into Vortex and sort my plugins using the LOOT instance found within Vortex. I hope that clarifies what I meant.


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ok, I get it now.

You should know that there is no requirement to use LOOT as it's built into Vortex.

If you use Vortex, and have AUTOSORT set to on, that is running LOOT for you. If you then run LOOT again, you're doing double the work for no reward. If you want to run LOOT outside of Vortex, set AUTOSORT to NO, and you're away, but it's a manual step that can be automatically done for you by Vortex.

LOOT itself is just a series of rules that says that in the event that mod B overwrites files installed by mod A, then mod B should load after mod A. That's all it is, a series of logical rules that decide where in a load order a mod should be placed, based on what files it changes.

In terms of Vortex not providing details about missing master files, this is wrong. Vortex provides full error messages if masters are missing and such. That's its purpose, and it's very good at it.

In terms of missing navmeshes, I don't know any mod manager that does that, and LOOT certainly doesn't. I'll ask you this question; "How would a mod manager know that a file is missing from an archive that contains mod files?"

The answer is, It doesn't. All the mod manager does is apply the contents of the mod files to your game directories. Some mods may add files, some mods may change files and some mods may delete files. Vortex, or any mod manager won't do any kind of validation of that, it will simply apply the contents of the mod files to the game files.

If you think LOOT is giving you that functionality, you're mistaken.

I should qualify here, this isn't meant to be read in any way negative. I want you to understand fully what your mod manager is doing, what LOOT does, and how you can save yourself a lot of time and confusion by running LOOT once, either via Vortex, or separately, outside of Vortex, so that you are not causing yourself extra steps which can alter your load order.

Pretty much everything can be put into 'default' and nothing bad will happen.

However, sometimes you get instruction from a mod author that their mod needs to load last in your load order.

If you want to 'force' that mod to load last, or at least near the bottom (there can only be one mod in last place after all), then you can change that mod's group from default to a mod that loads AFTER default, which means that everything in default will load, and the mod that needs to load last (or after default), will load once everything in default has loaded.

You have no reason to alter the groups for each mod - you can - absolutely - but this is micromanagement that will only cause you frustration in the long term because you then have to continually adjust groups to make each mod load where you think it needs to load.

Vortex/LOOT will do that for you using default values, and - no offence intended here - do it better than you (or I) can because that is what they are designed to do.

If you get time, can you put your load order into a reply in spoiler tags and people can take a look at it and offer you advice?

One thing I will suggest is to read the older posts in these forums. There are plenty of threads where load orders have been discussed and recommendations made. You would do a lot worse than look for any posts from @RayBo & @Whisper who have each contributed a ton of advice and knowledge on this topic over the past few years. Those guys, and more besides have contributed to quite a body of knowledge which should sit nicely alongside that guide you're referencing above.

I hope this helps you to get started, and as I have stated above, it's not meant to be in any way negative towards you. We all started somewhere, and my aim with this reply is to get you on the road to making your game as stable and as fun as it can be based on your mod selections.


I took this screenshot of my copy of loot telling me I have missing navmeshes from this file. this is the standalone copy of LOOT that I'm running. Vortex does not provide me with this information, so I run the standalone version to see what I need to clean in FO4Edits Quick Auto Clean function.
Active Mod Files:
00 Fallout4.esm
01 DLCRobot.esm
02 DLCworkshop01.esm
03 DLCCoast.esm
04 DLCWorkshop02.esm
05 DLCWorkshop03.esm
06 DLCNukaWorld.esm
07 Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch.esp [Version 2.1.1]
08 Homemaker.esm [Version 1.54]
09 ArmorKeywords.esm
0A HUDFramework.esm
0B CanarySaveFileMonitor.esl [Version 1.0]
0C PainTrainAndImpactLanding-BuffedAndReworked-LessThan.esl
0D TrueStormsFO4.esm
0E WorkshopFramework.esm [Version 2.0.5]
0F SS2.esm [Version 1.0.0g]
10 StorageBot.esl
11 VIS-G Item Sorting.esp
12 SOTS.esp [Version 1.10]
13 Stm_DiamondCityExpansion.esp
14 VIS-G Item Sorting Vanilla Weight Patch.esp
15 BetterModDescriptions.esp
16 BostonFPSFixAIO.esp
17 CROSS_PlasRail.esp
18 CrimeTown.esp
19 RenLightMod.esp
1A Some Assembly Required.esp
1B CastleRestored.esp
1C Eli_Armour_Compendium.esp
1D LOST Eli Compendium Patch.esp
1E RecruitableSettlers.esp
1F W.A.T.Minutemen.esp
20 Backpacks of the Commonwealth.esp
21 Quad_Lotus.esp
22 RecruitableSettlersFH.esp
23 recon-scope-on-all-farharbor.esp
24 AEH_ShackinUp.esp
25 Locksmith.esp
26 NPCPipboy.esp
27 CompanionHealThyself.esp
28 Fallout 4 Linked Storage Containers.esp
29 LOST - AWKCR VIS-G Tweaks.esp
2A LOST Diamond City Expansion Patch.esp
2B LOST Homemaker Patch.esp
2C TheMobileMechanic.esp
2D LOST Mobile Mechanic Patch.esp
2E SettlementMenuManager.esp
2F LOST Settlement Menu Manager Patch.esp
30 LOST True Storms Patch.esp
31 VisibleCompanionAffinity.esp
32 LOST Visible Companion Affinity Patch.esp
33 LOST Workshop Framework Patch.esp
34 Quad_Technetronic.esp
35 Quad_RAWLauncher.esp
36 SS2-PraRandomAddon.esp
37 SS2-PraRandomAddon-VIS.esp
38 OCDecorator.esp [Version 1.1.3]
39 OCDecoratorDLC.esp [Version 1.1.3]
3A OCDispenser.esp [Version 1.1.3]
3B VatsOverThere_IncreasedVATSRange_AimIncrease.esp
3C Factor.esp
3D LOST Factor Patch.esp
3E Factor_New_Barrels.esp
3F NewRecipesFH-VIS.esp
40 SS2_ruined_simsettlement_addonpack.esp
41 XP From Companion Kills.esp
42 CriticalHitsOutsideofVATS.esp [Version 1.1.2]
43 SS2Extended.esp [Version 1.0.0]
44 10mmSMG.esp
45 LOST 10mm SMG Patch.esp
46 SRO - Syringer Overhaul.esp
47 LOST Syringer Overhaul Patch.esp
48 AWKCRPowerArmorPaintEdit.esp
49 Quad_Accelerator.esp
4A PD_LowerWeapon.esp [Version 1.4]
4B LOST Plasrail Patch.esp
4C WestTekTacticalOptics.esp
4D LOST WestTek Optics Patch.esp
4E Campsite.esp
4F LOST Campsite Patch.esp
50 WestTekTacticalOptics-AWKCR.esp
51 LOST WATM Patch.esp
52 WorkshopPlus.esp [Version 1.0.10a]
53 LOST Workshop Plus Patch.esp
54 Conflict winner.esp
55 Pre-War Money is not scrap.esp
56 LOST Backpacks Commonwealth Patch.esp
57 Wasteland Water Revival - Zen Master.esp
58 LString_Bow.esp
59 LOST LString Bow Patch.esp
5A BobbleheadScienceVATSChanceINT.esp
5B CROSS_Cybernetics.esp
5C LOST Cybernetics Patch.esp
5D F4NVServiceRifleRedux.esp
5E LOST Service Rifle Patch.esp
5F GrenadeExpansionPack.esp
60 WattzLaserGun.esp
61 SigSauer127.esp
62 LOST 12.7mm Pistol Patch.esp
63 LOST Grenade Expansion Patch.esp
64 LOST Wattz Laser Patch.esp
65 SS2WastelandVenturers.esp [Version 1.1.0b]
66 BullpupBozar.esp
67 LOST Bozar Patch.esp
68 CROSS_Jetpack.esp
69 Companion Infinite Ammo and Unbreakable Power Armour.esp
6A Cross Cybernetic and Jetpack Fix.esp
6B Enhanced And Generally Superior Crafting Perks.esp
6C EveryonesBestFriend.esp
6D ExcavatorPA.esp
6E LOST Excavator Patch.esp
6F ExtraPerkPoints.esp
70 F4NVServiceRifleRedux_AWKCR.esp
71 FAR.esp
72 FlamerVATSfix.esp
73 Insignificant Object Remover.esp
74 LegendaryModification.esp
75 LighterBetterArmor.esp
76 Live Dismemberment - Brutal.esp
77 LongerPowerLines3x.esp
78 Loot Detector.esp
79 Loot Detector Item Manager.esp
7A LOST Loot Detector Patch.esp
7B Optimized Vanilla Textures.esp
7C PA-Quick Animations.esp
7D Power-Armor Compatible Powerfist Big-Leagues.esp
7E Power_Armors_Redone.esp
7F SAR Fix.esp
80 TrueStormsFO4-EarlierSunsets.esp
81 UNnaked Power Armor.esp
82 F4NVServiceRifleRedux_Patch_Uniques.esp
83 X01Light.esp
84 K9TacticalHarness.esp
85 UnknownZombie_bandanaFitsK9Harness.esp
86 LOST Bandanas K9 Patch.esp
87 LOST K9 Harness Patch.esp
88 More Smarter Companions Mod.esp
89 spacefiddle_Follower-Stealth-Distance-Fixes.esp
8A LegendaryModificationCSA.esp
8B Live Dismemberment - Insane-o.esp
8C Power-Armor Compatible Powerfist.esp
8D TrueStormsFO4-FarHarbor.esp
8E TrueStormsFO4-NukaWorld-FH-Compat.esp
8F TrueStormsFO4-EarlierSunsetsFH.esp
90 F4NVServiceRifleRedux_Patch_Uniques_AWKCR.esp
91 BetterModDescriptionsLMCSAVeryEasy.esp
92 LegendaryModificationGroknak.esp
93 Live Dismemberment - Liebermode.esp
94 BetterModDescriptionsLMVeryEasy.esp
95 LegendaryModification Enhanced.esp
96 BetterModDescriptionsLME.esp
97 LegendaryModificationMisc.esp
98 Live Dismemberment - Mental.esp
99 BetterModDescriptionsLMGroknakVeryEasy.esp
9A Live Dismemberment - Mind-Blowing.esp
9B BetterModDescriptionsLMMiscVeryEasy.esp
9C Live Dismemberment - POSTAL.esp
9D Live Dismemberment - Regular.esp
9E GrenadeExpansionPackAWKCRPatch.esp
9F GrenadeExpansionPackValsPatch.esp
A0 recon-scope-on-all-nukaworld.esp
A1 TrueStormsFO4-FarHarborExtraRads.esp
A2 TrueStormsFO4-GlowingSeaExtraRads.esp
A3 [SS2 Addon] SimSettlements SuperStructures.esp
A4 SS2WalledGardensAndMore.esp
A5 Raze My Settlement.esp
A6 Armorsmith Extended.esp
A7 SOTS_AWKCR_AS_Patch.esp
A8 LOST South of the Sea Patch.esp
A9 EnclaveX02.esp
AA LOST Enclave X02 Patch.esp
AB SAR X-02 Patch.esp
AC Hellfirenew.esp
AD LOST Hellfire X03 Patch.esp
AE SAR X-03 Patch.esp
AF NanoSuit.esp
B0 Crafting Mastery.esp
B1 BetterModDescriptionsAE.esp
B2 NanoSuit_AWKCR_AE.esp
B3 VIS-G We Are The Minutemen.esp
B4 FO4 NPCs Travel.esp
B5 LOST NPC Travel Patch.esp
B6 Scrap Everything - Ultimate Edition.esp


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ah ok, i see what you're saying. so fo4edit found the missing references and that is stored in loot's metadata.
i've never used that mod - i'd like to see what your vortex says about it given that vortex uses loot to sort mods and report issues. can you show that to me?
btw - i wouldn't use that mod in any game, it's literally telling you its broken and will break your game.


Sure thing. I always run it through FO4Edit's Auto Clean, and after I do, I no longer get the warning. I'll uninstall it anyway, per your suggestion.
Here is a print screen of Vortex with the mod highlighted, as well as the "clean" version in LOOT. on the right side, it is the one named "Crime town", second from the bottom of the list.


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Here it is in Vortex. I use the Standalone version of LOOT to show me the warning because it shows them all simultaneously, whereas in vortex I have to go through each one manually.


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ah, that's your mods page - you need to show the plugin's page. when loot/fo4edit work, they work on the plugin, not the mod. can you pull up the plugin page? there should be some little icons on the page, and i think one of them will look like a small bottle with a nozzle on it, indicating that the plugin "requires cleaning".


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yes, that's perfect.
do you see along to the right of the plugin the small white icon in the shape of a bottle with a nozzle on it? that is the vortex/loot interface telling you that the plugin requires cleaning.
now yes, you're correct that vortex doesn't tell you in the same way that LOOT tells you, but that's more to do with UI and available space than any omission on the part of Vortex.
You can set FO4EDIT up in Vortex, on the tools page to run autoclean on any plugin that LOOT thinks needs to be cleaned. I would recommend you go over to the Vortex Support page on nexusmods to find out how to do that, as it's been documented a few times.
So, what I am hoping you see here is that there's nothing missing in Vortex, compared to LOOT - but - your preference may be to use LOOT as a standalone - and that is 100% fine - just save yourself a headache and disable AUTOSORT in Vortex because what will happen is, Vortex will sort your plugins like this; (example)
plugin 1
plugin 2
plugin 4
plugin 3
plugin 5

It can do that if there's no requirement for plugin 3 and 4 to be sorted in a particular order as they don't interfere with each other.
Then, you can run LOOT outside of vortex and it will sort your plugins again, and you may get something like this;
plugin 1
plugin 2
plugin 4
plugin 5
plugin 3

This drives people NUTS because they've been used to manually crafting rules for years, but if plugin 3,4 & 5 don't touch each other and never interact then it makes no difference where they are in the load order, as they're completely independent and their load order doesn't slow down or otherwise hinder your game.

So, use LOOT or Vortex with Autosort=YES and you'll get a load order. Use both, and you'll still get a load order but you may see a plugin loaded out of the place you thought it was and that can give you a 'false positive'.

Any of that make sense?


I get what you're saying. I usually use the standalone loot just to see the yellow boxes that tell me if something is wrong with the mod, then re-sort it in Vortex, because I have noticed the Standalone version changing things. Now that I know Vortex gives me a warning in the form of those Icons, I will likely just use Vortex by itself, and just be more diligent about looking at the white Icons (I usually just look for the orange ones). Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about this. I really appreciate it.

So, what I'm taking away from this so far, is that unless the mod author specifically says to do so, I don't need to manually change anything in the load order.

I was only really concerned because, according to the Load order survival guide mentioned in the original post, A lot of my mods looked "out of place" even though the game was running without major issues. I thought that it might speed up the performance a little if I forced those mods into a specific spot. I also noticed that many of my patches were loading before the mods they patch, and to my understanding, that would make them virtually useless, since the last loaded mod "wins", so to speak. So I manually changed the rules for those patches to come after the mod they patch. (Most of the LOST AWKCR patches, for example.)
Also, I posted my mod list as you asked. I'm sure you saw it, but I figured on the off chance you didn't I'd let you know.

I have a pretty good computer set up that should be able to run this game at max settings no problem, I don't run it at max settings and it still gives me issues. I've done a lot of research on how to fix some of these issues, many of which come from the engine just being weird, and have implemented them, to varying degrees of effectiveness. I still get these crazy lag spikes under certain circumstances, like when I'm in build mode in one of my settlements, and it drives me absolutely nuts because I know for a fact it is not related to my hardware set up. I figured that it might be due to my mods just loading in a funky order.

Not to sound like a broken clock, but I just want to reiterate how much I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this. If I can get the game to run even a little bit more smoothly, I'd be a happy camper, and just a little help could go a long way in that regard.


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I think you're on to a winner here, there's really not a lot you're missing - just Vortex's somewhat questionable UI.
Okay, so on to your question about mods "looking out of place".
Let's say I've got fallout 4 and 4 mods;
1. mysuperduperweaponmod
2. mysuperduperarmormod
3. mysuperduperworkshopitemmod
4. mysuperduperradiomod

Four mods that will make my game next level.
They're all ESP files. So not masters, not ESL's nothing like that, just a bog-standard ESP.
The author of mysuperduperweaponmod tells me that this mod must load last, no matter what otherwise it will delete my game and steal all my money. I obey the instruction and I put this guy in a group that loads somewhere near the bottom of my load order. Done.

LOOT has taken my mod and loaded it after all the others because I took it out of the default group and put it in a group that loads after default.

My load order is this;

2. mysuperduperarmormod
3. mysuperduperworkshopitemmod
4. mysuperduperradiomod
1. mysuperduperweaponmod

But, in reality, that mod doesn't interfere with or touch the other three mods. They don't even know each other exists.
While my load order now "looks correct" there's actually no difference in my game performance, because these mods can be in any order.

Where it gets tricky is if you have a mod that updates scripts;

Let's say I have a mod myawesomequestmod and in that mod, I've altered some scripts that come with the game. For my mod to work, it must load AFTER the game mods. Well, the game mods are all ESM or master files, so my mod, which is an ESP will load after the game files and I'm happy. my game starts and my mod kicks in and I'm away.
Some time later there's a bug, so I roll out a patch mod. As this is a patch it MUST load after my mod file, so that any updates in my patch file overwrite what is put in place by my mod.
So my running order would be something like;
1. game master file
2. game master file
3. game master file
4. my awesome mod
5. my awesome mod patch

To make that rule, i can add my patch to a group that loads after default where my original mod is running and all is well.

That is an example of how to use groups to position your mods.

But there is another method that you may/may not know about.

In vortex, i can click my patch and set a rule to tell vortex to load my awesome mod BEFORE my patch and another rule in the patch that tells Vortex that my patch mod REQUIRES my awesome mod.

By setting these two rules, I don't change the group that the mods are in, but I tell Vortex to make specifically sure that my mod loads BEFORE my patch, and, if I suddenly disable my mod, the patch will show an error because a pre-requisite it needs (my mod) is not installed.

By adding rules at the mod level, I don't need to play with plugin groups - I can set rules to allow mod x to load after mod y, but not together with mod z. It gives you great control. Plus, the beauty of this is the data is stored in Vortex's internal database, so once you set up your rules, that's it, they're done for that game/profile.

A real world example of what I'm going on about.
With SS2, there is a clear notice that SS1 mods and packs cannot be used with it. No problem.

When I set up a new game for SS2, I made sure that if I loaded SS2 and SS1, I got an error as these two mods cannot load together. I put a rule in SS1 saying that it could not be loaded together with SS2 and did the opposite with SS2 so that it cannot load with SS1.

All my SS2 and SS1 packs are dependent on SS2 or SS1, so if I disable SS1, all the SS1 packs that depend on SS1 flag up an error, so I can identify them and remove them out of my SS2 game load order. If I disable SS2 all the mod packs that need SS2 flag up as well, so I can use this method to give some serious control to what mods load and where.

I also have some rules so that a patch for a given mod will ALWAYS load AFTER the mod it needs. One example of that is the mod Thematic & Practical, which has a patch file. I load them both in my game, but I make sure thanks to a rule that the patch will load AFTER the main mod has loaded. This allows me to forget about putting mods in groups and such, I just control mod order on a mod by mod basis.

This is a way for you to control placement of your mods depending on prerequisites, or other conditions.

Any of that make sense?


It does, I'm already familiar with setting up specific rules for specific mods. I had to force some of my mods to load in a different order because they were patches to another mod in the load order and they were trying to load before the mod they patched.
It sounds like I'm already doing things right, and that I'm actually more knowledgeable about this than I gave myself credit for, just over-thinking stuff. Thanks again for your help.


Active Member
diamond city expansion needs to be very close to the bottom of the load order. i do custom groups for my ordering needs down near the end i have something like this
1 location mods that don't change precombines
2 scrap mods that dont change precombines
3 patches for general mods
4 mods that change precombines location and scrap
5 patches for precombine changing mods
6 dead ass last mods

don't mind the numbering or names you can name groups how ever you want this is just something i came up with here. but this would be the last few groups in my grouping list. the whole point of the last 3 is that mods that change precombines like diamond city expansion don't play well with other mods and it needs to load lower then mods that change stuff but don't change precombines. then patches for the precombine mods these are patches that may also change precombines lets say diamond city expansion and diamond city outskirts there a patch that redoes precombiens for both this would load after them effectively making the correct load order and changes then dead ass last is what ever you have that needs to load at the bottom.

groups is how you dictate load order in vortex its easy and fast plus you know what they are since you made them.