This guide explains how to easily install user interface mods on Fallout New Vegas with the User Interface Organizer (UIO). It’s based on my experience from developing and supporting a popular interface mod, and assumes an understanding of these terms:
“UI extensions” which modify the game’s menu files via the User Interface Organizer. You can determine a mod to be a UI extension if it’s mentioned at UIO’s supported mods list, or specifically requires UIO in its instructions. The Mod Configuration Menu, Project Nevada and Just Loot Menu are well known UI extensions. Generally, if a mod has a Menus folder and doesn’t contain any files outside the Menus\Prefabs folder, then it’s an extension.
“Base UI mods” which include modified versions of the game’s standard menu files. VUI+, Darnified UI and the HUD Editor are well known examples. Generally, if a mod has a Menus folder that contains any files outside the Menus\Prefabs folder, then it’s a base mod.
The guide also assumes that you’re using a mod manager and your best options are Mod Organizer 2 and NMM from Github. I personally find NMM easier but if you are going to use a lot of mods, go with MO2. I have tested and rejected FOMM-fork, Vortex, ModDrop, and Wabbajack for various technical reasons. FOMM-fork for example is a great manager but cannot install most NVSE plugins :(
Before you start, make sure that your mod manager’s Archive Invalidation option is enabled and that you have installed UIO version 2.09 or greater. Now apply the following steps in order:
- Install the Yukichigai Unofficial Patch. This one always goes first as it’s designed to be overwritten by other mods.
- Install any desired extension supported by UIO, overwriting files from step 1. Don’t worry about conflicts between extensions.
- Install the the Mod Configuration Menu and its bugfix, overwriting files from steps 1 and 2.
- Install your base UI overhaul (VUI+ or Darnified UI), overwriting files from the previous steps. This is the key part of this guide.
- If you are using Darnified UI, also install Darnified Font Dummies.
- Install any other base UI mod you like, but only if it’s compatible with your UI overhaul. Compatibility sometimes requires patches. If two base mods are instructing you to overwrite each other, follow the most recently updated.
When you run the game, UIO will automatically link your extensions with the base files, leaving your installed files intact. This means you can safely uninstall UI mods at any time, but remember to also uninstall any dependencies, e.g. if you uninstall DUI, also uninstall Darnified Font Dummies.
You can also check out this video which will explain some fine details on how to use MO2 to manually install files:
Example 1: VUI+, HUD Editor, Project Nevada, MCM and Pitt Gal
The list doesn’t include the YUP patch; this one goes without saying because it’s essential for a stable New Vegas game. By checking out the “Currently supported mods” list for UIO as well as the descriptions of our mods we figure out that:
- Project Nevada, and the MCM are extensions. Project Nevada contains old versions of the MCM’s files which means it must be overwritten by the MCM.
- VUI+ and Pitt Gal are base mods, and should be allowed to overwrite any extensions.
- VUI+ provides an addon for Pitt Gal which states that VUI+ should overwrite Pitt Gal.
- The HUD Editor is a base mod but it doesn’t conflict with either VUI+ or Pitt Gal. The author states that if you should let his mod overwrite everything but he obviously refers to compatible mods only.
So, we’re now ready to start installing according to our Installation Steps:
- The YUP patch is installed first and will be overwritten by any other mods.
- PN, and the MCM are installed. The MCM must overwrite PN.
- Don’t forget to install the MCM bugfix.
- The Pitt Gal is installed.
- VUI+ is installed and, in accordance with step 4 of our guide, we overwrite any files from the previous steps.
- The VUI+ patch for Pitt Gal is installed.
- The HUD Editor is installed. Thankfully, there are no conflicts :)
That was easy since VUI+ is designed for maximum compatibility.
Example 2: DUI, PN, MCM and Pitt Gal
Darnified UI is an old and highly respected interface overhaul. It has its own unique style, based on smaller fonts which are especially appealing to players who want to use additional HUD infographics. Although it was left in alpha stage, it’s fully functional and the majority of UI mods work fine with it.
- Like most extensions, MCM and PN are compatible with DUI.
- DUI requires Darnified Font Dummies as suggested by this guide.
- After a bit of searching we find the Pitt Gal Stats for Darnified UI NV patch
- After more searching we find another patch: Pitt Gal Stats NV - HUD FIX - DarnUI
We’re now ready to start installing, keeping in mind that patches should always be overwriting their parent mods:
- For the YUP patch, PN, MCM and Pitt Gal, we’ll follow steps 1-4 of our previous example.
- DUI is installed, overwriting any files from the previous steps.
- Darnified Font Dummies is installed. There are no conflicts.
- Pitt Gal Stats for Darnified UI NV is installed, overwriting any files from the previous steps.
- Pitt Gal Stats NV - HUD FIX - DarnUI is installed. There are no conflicts.
The HUD Editor was not included in this example because it’s a base mod and it’s not compatible with DUI. Overwriting them by each other will result in malfunction. That’s why base mods require patches or special instructions.
Uninstallation issues with UIO 1.31
This section should be of interest only for players who had not upgraded UIO to the latest version. It should help you resolve issues such as broken menus or warning messages after uninstalling a UI mod.
The old UIO version 1.31 directly modifies the base UI files after renaming the original ones to .uio backups. It restores the original files when you quit from the game menu but this won’t take place if the game is force-closed via Alt-F4 or a crash. If you rush to uninstall your base UI mod at this point, your mod manager will delete the temporary files instead of the renamed originals. Next time you run the game, UIO 1.31 will restore the backup files of the uninstalled mod, and your mod manager will consider these broken files as parts of the remaining installed UI mods. To fix this problem:
- Manually delete your Data\Menus folder (or any overwrites in this folder if you’re using MO2).
- Reinstall any mod that writes in this folder via right click and “Reinstall”.
Please remember to upgrade to the latest UIO version after that. Not only does it resolve this problem, but also improves UI performance by sophisticated low level optimizations.