After Fallout 4's next-gen update, its most essential Xbox and PC mod may be causing stutters and FPS drops

 Fallout 4.
Fallout 4.

What you need to know

  • One of the Fallout 4 mods often considered "essential" for the game is the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch, or UFO4P. The mod fixes countless bugs with the vanilla game and is available on both Xbox and PC.

  • Following the release of Fallout 4's next-gen update, though, several PC players have reported (one with video evidence) that UFO4P is causing hitching and stuttering issues in their game. One player on Xbox has reported the issue as well.

  • A UFO4P team member has pointed to a recent Digital Foundry analysis of vanilla Fallout 4 on console that shows the base game has stuttering issues after the next-gen patch, but many players say the stuttering only occurs in their game when UFO4P is installed.

  • I loaded Fallout 4 up with nothing but UFO4P installed to test it myself, and found there were fairly consistent, albeit rare, stutters in denser parts of Fallout 4's map like Lexington and the downtown Boston areas that went away when I disabled it. However, your mileage may vary.

Since its release in 2016, one of the most popular mods for Bethesda's post-apocalyptic 2015 RPG Fallout 4 has been the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch, or UFO4P. Frequently updated with countless fixes for the game's various bugs and glitches, it's widely considered to be one of the most essential mods for the game ever developed. At the time of writing, it's the fourth most popular mod of all time on the Fallout 4 Nexus Mods hub with over 8 million downloads, and it's also the second most downloaded Fallout 4 mod on Xbox. Without a doubt, it's one of the best Fallout 4 Xbox mods and best Fallout 4 mods on PC.

UFO4P is a staple in many players' load orders, including fans who prefer a vanilla experience, and several mods depend on it to function — after all, extensive bug fixes benefit everyone and help make Fallout 4 as stable of a foundation for mods to add onto as it can possibly be. However, following the release of the controversial Fallout 4 next-gen update (and a follow-up patch for it), UFO4P may be causing stutters and framerate drops for players that have it installed.

I first caught wind of this when browsing the Fallout modding subreddit and noticing a few recent trending posts about these issues (such as this one from a few days ago and another from May 14), in which several players have reported experiencing them on PC until disabling UFO4P. User u/flatfeet recorded video evidence of this (edited and unedited) that shows some specific spots in Sanctuary where the stutters occur, and said in a now-deleted exchange in the UFO4P comments (it begins at the bottom of page four) that they've "done many tests" with "just this mod." In busier areas of Fallout 4's Commonwealth, they also said that the stutters happen "walking 30 seconds in any direction" and that they "usually last two or three times longer" than the ones in their videos.

Arthmoor — member of the UFO4P team and the uploader of the mod itself — directed u/flatfleet and others to a recent Digital Foundry analysis of vanilla Fallout 4 posted after the "Next-Gen Update 2" patch that shows the game has some hitching and stuttering issues on Xbox Series X|S and PS5, saying that what's shown "likely applies equally to PC as well" and that "any issues with variance are NOT caused by the UFO4P" and are instead "inherent to the NG update."

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However, many players still maintain that the Unofficial Fallout 4 Patch is the source of the stuttering problems on PC, as they say they experience consistent hitching problems with it enabled and smooth performance whenever it's uninstalled. Reportedly, further comments about the issue on the UFO4P page were removed; the comments were then locked, with Arthmoor stating that "our team needs a break from all the BS associated with bad information about the patch and it's interaction with the NG Update."

For what it's worth, I loaded up a vanilla Fallout 4 save with nothing other than the UFO4P mod installed to run a few quick tests, and found that I did come across a handful of fairly consistent hitches in denser parts of the map like Lexington and the downtown Boston area. These went away completely when I disabled the mod, so there definitely seems to be something specific to UFO4P going on here. Notably, the stutters I encountered were rare and short, but your mileage may vary — it wouldn't surprise me if the problem is influenced by the combination of hardware in your system, especially since game performance issues tend to have inconsistent severity from player to player in general. I have an i5-12600K rig with an RTX 3070 and a Samsung 980 PRO SSD, while u/flatfleet (who seems to have a worse experience) said they play on a machine with an i9-13900K, an RTX 4090, and a Samsung 990 PRO SSD.

Fallout 4 power armor
Fallout 4 power armor

If you've noticed stuttering issues in Fallout 4 on PC recently and have UFO4P installed, try disabling it and seeing if that fixes your problem. You may want to disable it regardless until this situation gets figured out, though it's a great mod and one I'd keep installed if you aren't running into drastic hitching issues with it in your load order (disabling a mod this big mid-playthrough is risky, so if you aren't far along in one, you may want to start over). Note that I've only seen one report of the Xbox version of UFO4P causing stutters, so the problem may be less prevalent on console.

Some sort of problematic interaction between UFO4P and the Fallout 4 next-gen update is one of several reasons for players to be annoyed with the latter, with some others being its terrible ultrawide support and the fact it still hasn't fixed crashes for NVIDIA RTX GPU users caused by the Weapon Debris setting (modders took care of that, thankfully). At least you can downgrade Fallout 4 to roll the update back, and reportedly the version of UFO4P under "Old Files" on its files page does work with the pre-NG update Steam version of the game even though it's "for use on GOG versions of Fallout 4" that haven't gotten the new patches yet. It "will be removed once that version has been updated," however, as the UFO4P team doesn't keep older releases of the mod available to download.

Fallout 4 itself is benefitting greatly from the ongoing Fallout player count resurgence, as it's one of the best-selling games right now thanks to all the fanfare brought about by the excellent Fallout TV show. It's arguably one of the best Fallout games to play if you're checking out the legendary RPG series for the first time, and one of the best titles available on Xbox Game Pass.