This page describes some setting changes you can make or mods you can use, and best practices to make sure that Sim Settlements runs well on your system.
The method used by Sim Settlements to create its buildings bypasses the building limit meter for the most part, and this can be both a blessing and a curse. While it allows you to get highly detailed settlements built without needing any special mods or tricks to increase your build limit, the build limit in general was designed to prevent your system from crashing. Also, because Sim Settlements uses an upgrade system that results in your buildings creating more polygon-intensive models over time, your frame-rate may be lower after returning later on. With that in mind, here are some things you can try if you find that your frame rate drops really low or your game crashes when hanging out in settlements with a lot of Sim Settlement structures.
- Create yourself a fast travel target that is near the edge of your settlement and facing away from it. You can build this mat under Resources > Miscellaneous. This will reduce the amount of things your game needs to render the moment you arrive.
- Try setting Upgrades to Manual in the Holotape options. While this isn't the most fun of options, it may help with stability on lower end systems, as you get to individually choose which of your plots upgrade once they are eligible so you can see what effect that building upgrade has on your frame rate.
- Limit your plot count to a smaller number to start and add more slowly. This will give you more control over how many new polygons are added to your settlement.
- Avoid the High Resolution Texture Pack from Bethesda. Almost all of the Sim Settlements buildings use the Fallout textures, which means that they will be updated to the very high resolution textures provided by that pack.
The Scrap Mod Problem
- Mods like Scrap Everywhere and Spring Cleaning will inevitably destroy your frame rate (and possibly the navmesh). These types of mods function by disabling or destroying systems in the game designed to make your framerate smoother. If you're running into FPS issues, especially in your settlements, disabling mods like these will help quite a bit - though keep in mind that anything you scrapped while they were on will return. Best bet is to remove them on your next play-through.
- PC Users: Place Everywhere has a great alternative to scrap mods, if you press Insert on your keyboard it enables "Extra Object Selection" which will let you scrap everything that can be accessed in the game without disabling the Precombined data (which is the problem with those scrap mods).
- Try reducing your graphic settings by level (i.e. Ultra to High). While the game may work well on Ultra settings by itself, Sim Settlements is creating much more complex models than the default game does for your settlements - so the same settings may not work as well for you.
- Try to limit your plot count to about 35 in any given settlement. Beyond this and your Xbox will not be able to handle the load. If you aren't using any other non-plot objects, or have disabled all of the performance options as described below, you may be able to push above this.
As of patch 1.1.9 a Performance Options section exists in the City Manager 2078 Holotape. These options allow you to disable certain object types from being spawned in most plots. At the time of this writing, their are eight types of objects you can disable via the Performance Options menu. The settings labeled (High Impact) will be the best place to start if you are having severe frame rate issues.
- Detailed Models
- This will disable complex models, and if possible, replace them with lower polygon versions.
- Detailed Lights (High Impact)
- This will disable non-primary building lights. These are lights with shadows, or smaller lights meant to add more detail as opposed to the primary lights which are meant to help you see the building at night.
- Animated Objects
- This will disable animated models, and if possible, replace them with static versions.
- Special Effects (High Impact)
- This will disable things like smoke and fire.
- This will disable objects that play the radio stations.
- Sound Emitter
- This will disable objects that play some sort of looping sound effect.
- This will disable pets and extra NPCs created as part of the building plan.
- Clutter (High Impact)
- This will disable the settlers non-furniture belongings as well as the randomized clutter.
Note: none of these options are applied to the VIP homes, where the object types are key to VIP having any meaning. VIPs are rare, so they should have minimal impact overall.
If you find your game crashing all of a sudden and are having trouble getting into your game in order to try some of the suggestions, the below information may help.
Check load order
If you've added any new mods since the crashes began, they could be the cause of your trouble. More often than not, the order they are being loaded is the problem. Try moving the new mods further down in your load order If you are unfamiliar with load order, on your Mods screen in game, there is a Load Order option. Selecting this screen allows you to rearrange the order each mod is loaded within your game.
If the crashes occur while fast-traveling, try fast traveling to a nearby point instead and then walking to the next destination. If your settlement, or the area you are traveling to, is especially dense, your system may not be able to handle rendering everything there at once.
Additional PC Changes
On PC, you have a few extra options due to being able to control ini files, as well as access to mods that won't work on Xbox.
The below can help if you're experiencing frequent crashes and have a fairly large mod load as too many scripts running simultaneously can cause a crash.
Documents/My Games/Fallout4/ directory, you should find a file called
Fallout4Custom.ini. If you do not, open Notepad and save a new file in that folder with that exact name. Open the file, and look for a section titled
[Papyrus]. If you do not have this section, go to the bottom of the file and add it as a new line. Just below the
[Papryus] heading, add the following lines:
[Papyrus] fUpdateBudgetMS=2.4 fExtraTaskletBudgetMS=2.4 iMinMemoryPageSize=256 iMaxMemoryPageSize=1024 iMaxAllocatedMemoryBytes=307200
Note: If any of those items already existed in your file, you'll want to update the numbers to match the above instead of adding extra copies of those same items.
The above settings double the amount of memory and time allotted for scripts to run in your game. If you find that these numbers make your situation worse, you can delete the lines or reduce the numbers to something slightly less than double and try again.
- Texture Optimization Project
- This mod replaces most of the game's textures with less intensive versions that can have a dramatic improvement for some players.
- Insignificant Object Remover
- This mod allows you to completely remove small details from the game such as procedural grass, small rocks, and other insignificant objects that can have a big performance hit for some players.
Note: Before using any of the mods below, please read their descriptions and use at your own risk. They often require external DLL files and may be more complex than the average user is comfortable with.
- ENB Boost
- Some users have had success with ENB Boost, which is an advanced mod for allotting more memory to the game to help with crash issues. Please read the entire description on the mod's page before installing.
- Shadow Boost
- This advanced mod will dynamically shift the use of shadows based on framerate to help stabilize frame issues by sacrificing shadows during heavy load times. Please read the description on the mod's page before installing.
- Load Accelerator
- This advanced mod will disable VSYNC during load screens to decrease the time it takes to get out of the loading screen. For some users this eliminates crashes when fast traveling. Please read the description on the mod's page before installing.
- Load Order Manager - LOOT
- LOOT is a piece of software that attempts to optimize the order your mods are loaded to reduce conflicts. This can often resolve random crashes. Despite it being listed as from a Skyrim page, it does work with Fallout 4.