Looking for Fallout 4 Steam Deck modding guide? You’ve come to the right place. We will not only discuss how to mod Fallout 4 on Steam Deck but also discuss the best mods you can download and right optimization settings to play Bethesda’s legendary RPG.


Modding “Fallout 4” on the Steam Deck and Deck OLED transforms the gaming experience, offering new possibilities and enhancements.

Firstly, switch your Steam Deck to Desktop Mode. This mode provides a more traditional PC interface, essential for modding games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 on Steam Deck.

Start By Downloading Fallout 4 Script Extender (F4SE)

Navigate to the F4SE (Fallout Script Extender) website using a browser like Chrome or Firefox installed on your Steam Deck. Download the non-VR version of F4SE, a script extender crucial for modifying “Fallout 4” files in a recoverable manner. This tool is essential as it ensures that any mods that don’t work as expected can be removed, reverting the game to its original state.

Find the downloaded F4SE file in the Downloads folder, accessible via the Dolphin file explorer. Extract the files from F4SE, which will place them into a new folder in Downloads. Highlight all the files in this new F4SE folder and copy them in your Fallout 4 game files folder.

This folder is usually located in the Common folder inside SteamApps folder on your Steam Deck (Steam Library > Steam Apps > Common > Fallout 4).

Preparing Steam Deck For Modding Fallout 4

Start by navigating to the Steam Deck’s Start Menu, identifiable by the Steam Deck logo located at the bottom-left corner of the screen. In the search box, type “Discover” to locate the Discover app. This app functions as a software center for the Steam Deck, allowing you to find and install various applications.

Once the Discover app is open, use the search box at the top-left to type in “ProtonUp-QT.” This action should reveal the ProtonUp-QT application in the search results.

Click on the Install button next to ProtonUp-QT. ProtonUp-QT is a utility that enables the download of different versions of Proton, a compatibility layer that allows Windows-based games to run on Linux-based systems like the Steam Deck.

After installation, open ProtonUp-QT from the Start Menu. This will bring up the ProtonUp-QT interface, a straightforward UI that allows you to manage different Proton versions and related tools.

Installing SteamTinkerLaunch via ProtonUp-QT

In ProtonUp-QT, look towards the bottom-left corner for a button labeled “Add version.” Clicking this button starts the process of adding a new Proton version or tool. A menu will appear with various options. At the top, under the section labeled “Compatibility Tool,” find and click on the drop-down box. From the list, select SteamTinkerLaunch, a plugin crucial for modding games on Steam Deck.

Once SteamTinkerLaunch is selected, navigate to the bottom of the window where you will find three buttons. Click on “Install” to initiate the installation of SteamTinkerLaunch.

Allow ProtonUp-QT to complete the installation process. This might take a few moments, depending on the internet connection and the size of the plugin.

Changing the Proton Version to SteamTinkerLaunch

Open the Steam application on your Steam Deck and navigate to the Library section. Here, you’ll find all your installed games. n the Library, find “Fallout 4” listed in the left-hand column. Click on “Fallout 4” to bring up additional options.

After selecting “Fallout 4,” choose “Properties” to access the game’s settings. In the Properties window, click on the “Compatibility” tab. In the Compatibility tab, select the option “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool.” This setting allows you to choose a custom version of Proton or a related tool for the game.

From the drop-down menu under this setting, select “SteamTinkerLaunch.” This change instructs the Steam Deck to use SteamTinkerLaunch as the compatibility tool for “Fallout 4,” enabling advanced modding capabilities.

After selecting SteamTinkerLaunch, close the Properties window. Your Steam Deck is now configured to use SteamTinkerLaunch for “Fallout 4,” setting the stage for mod installations and modifications to the game.

Install Vortex Via SteamTinkerLaunch

Vortex is a popular mod manager that facilitates the installation and management of mods for games like “Fallout 4.” SteamTinkerLaunch, on the other hand, is a plugin crucial for enabling mod support on the Steam Deck. Together, they form a powerful combination for modding games efficiently on the Steam Deck platform.

Begin by starting “Fallout 4” through Steam on your Steam Deck. This action should automatically open SteamTinkerLaunch instead of launching the game directly. SteamTinkerLaunch serves as a bridge between the game and the modding tools.

In the SteamTinkerLaunch interface, you will have a brief window to act. Look for two buttons at the bottom-right of the screen: “Main Menu” and “Skip.” Quickly click on the “Main Menu” button. This will bring up a new menu with various options, including compatibility with Mod Organizer 2 and Vortex.

In the menu, select the option for Vortex. This will bring you to a screen with several options, but the primary focus will be on installing Vortex.

Click on the “Download” button to start downloading Vortex. Once the download is complete, hit “Install.” It’s worth noting that the progress bar might not show much movement initially. If this occurs, it’s typically normal behavior for the installation process on the Steam Deck.

After the installation is complete, the final step is to start Vortex. Click on the “Start” button, and after a short pause, Vortex should open up. Vortex Mod Manager can initially seem daunting due to its various options and settings. However, the setup process is designed to guide you through the essential steps, making it easier to understand and use.

Vortex allows you to add new mods, enable or disable them, and manage your mod list effectively. Mods are typically downloaded to your Downloads folder, which Vortex can access for mod installation.


  1. Internal Storage for Game Installation:
    • An essential point to note is that mods installed via MO2 (Mod Organizer 2) or Vortex often function correctly only if “Fallout 4” is installed on the internal storage of the Steam Deck.
  2. Folder Structure Verification:
    • After mod installation, it’s important to verify the folder structure within the game directory. Unlike Windows, Arch Linux (the operating system of the Steam Deck) treats folders with different cases (like “F4SE” and “f4se”) as separate entities. This distinction means mod files could be placed in different folders than intended, potentially leading to mod failures.
    • Regularly check the “Data” folder in the “Fallout 4” directory to ensure all files from mods (like meshes, textures, scripts, audio) are correctly merged and not split into separate folders due to case sensitivity issues.

Playing Fallout 4 with Mods

  1. Using Vortex with Steam Tinker Launch:
    • When adding new mods, open Steam Tinker Launch and then use Vortex to manage and install these mods. However, if you simply want to play “Fallout 4” with the existing mods, you don’t need to start Vortex each time.
    • Launching the game through Steam Tinker Launch automatically loads the game with all the enabled mods, streamlining the process and ensuring a smooth gaming experience.

Common Problems and Solutions

  1. Vortex Installation Issues:
    • A common problem some users face is the inability to install Vortex properly. The installation process may freeze and not progress, even after extended periods.
    • A potential solution is to install a specific version of Proton-GE, such as Proton-GE 7-43. Having this version on your system can resolve installation issues with Vortex. It’s not necessary to actively use this version for the game; its presence on the system can aid the installation process.
  • Regularly check for updates to Proton, Vortex, and SteamTinkerLaunch, as updates can sometimes resolve compatibility issues.
  • Back up your “Fallout 4” game files before extensive modding sessions, ensuring you have a recoverable point in case of any major issues.

Best Fallout 4 Steam Deck Mods

Majority of Mods work fine on Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED. Here are some quality of life, visual, and performance mods you should try.

Quality of Life Mods

  1. Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch: A comprehensive mod fixing numerous bugs and glitches throughout the game, enhancing stability and overall experience.
  2. DEF_UI: This mod overhauls the user interface, providing more intuitive and customizable HUD and inventory management, significantly improving the game’s usability.
  3. Place Everywhere: Allows for more flexible placement of objects in settlement building, bypassing the usual restrictions and enabling more creative freedom.
  4. Full Dialogue Interface: Replaces the dialogue wheel with a full display of your character’s spoken lines, allowing for better-informed dialogue choices.

Visual Mods

  1. Vivid Fallout: An all-in-one texture overhaul that enhances the game’s graphics while being more performance-friendly than the original textures.
  2. Enhanced Blood Textures: Improves the realism of blood effects, providing a more immersive combat experience.
  3. Caliente’s Beautiful Bodies Enhancer (CBBE): A highly customizable body mod for more realistic and high-quality character models.
  4. True Storms – Wasteland Edition: Dramatically improves weather systems in the game, adding more immersive and varied weather effects.

Performance Mods

  1. Boston FPS Fix: Specifically targets and improves performance in the Boston area, which is notorious for causing framerate drops.
  2. Optimized Vanilla Textures: Reduces the size of texture files without compromising visual quality, enhancing game performance, especially on the Steam Deck.
  3. Fog Remover: Removes or reduces in-game fog, which can help improve game performance and visibility.
  4. Shadow Boost: Dynamically adjusts shadow draw distance based on current framerate, balancing visual quality with performance.