Monday, March 19, 2012

Fallout 3 - Cheat Codes - When and Why to Use Them

Fallout 3 - Cheat Codes - Why and When to Use Them

This is one of our posts on tips to optimize your Fallout 3 experience -- giving you the best gameplay experience through a careful mix of cheats and mods. For the full index, click here.

Careless use of Cheat Codes can break quests, so be sure that you are using it as a convenience instead of accomplishing a task or quest.

To open the console on the PC, press the ` or ~ key (typically above the Tab key, to the left of the 1 key, and under the ESC key.

What this does: Typically known as "toggle clipping", this turns off (for the player) the game engine's detection of barriers. You can walk through walls and into the air.
When to use it: Shortcutting. For example, you are in Megaton and have exited your house. You want to go Craterside Supply, which is at the other end of Megaton and with no straightforward route. Instead of spending a lot of time running up and down, just use this command and walk directly to it. Once you are outside Craterside Supply and standing on or above the platform outside the front door, use this command again to turn on normal physics.

What this does: "Toggle Lite Brite" seems to turn off the calculation of lighting. In exchange for the horrible rendering, you will get a massive FPS increase.
When to use it:
  • Sometimes even lowering graphics settings won't help, or you don't want to save your game, turn off the graphics settings, and come back. You might need to do this if you stumble into a busy area with a lot of combat and special effects (such as flamers). Also, if you have mods like Fellout
  • If you use a lighting mod such as Fellout or Realistic Interior Lighting, things can get very dark -- But AI opponents are not affected in the same way. Once you're in combat, you might want to use this to level the field.
  • Note that when you use it, the game still calculates lighting and takes it into account. It just doesn't draw the effects on screen. You cannot therefore see zones of light that can affect your ability to hide by Sneaking, but those lit areas will still affect your Sneaking.
What this does: Toggles "God Mode". Typically people use this to make themselves invincible and not use up any ammunition. But it has various other effects.
When to use it:
  • When this mode is on, encumbrance has no effect on you -- you can carry as much as you like and still run. Therefore, if you are in a safe location (e.g. Megaton) and want to haul stuff to the store, you might as well use this to run instead of slowly walk there.
  • When this mode is on, you do not use up ammunition. You must still have at least one shot in your magazine, or one grenade or landmine in hand. Turn this on to test weapons you have acquired and see their range, spread, and area of effect, without actually using up any ammunition.
  • Vault 106: This area has various scripted events that you can easily miss if you are skulking around and trying to stay hidden, instead of moving forward. For example, if you hear voices or noises and immediately retreat back and around a corner, you might miss seeing a scripted event that you would otherwise have seen.
tmm 1
What this does: Toggles Map Markers -- all map markers on your World Map are revealed and activated as if "found", so you can Fast Travel to them. You can turn this feature back off with tmm 0, or just reload a game where you haven't used this command.
When to use it:
  • To look for a location you know is nearby but can't remember where.
  • To see if there are locations of interest near your location.
  • Less permanent than using the Explorer perk.
player.modav <attribute or skill>
What this does: Adjusts an attribute (Strength, Perception, etc...) or Skill (Lockpick, Sneak, etc...) by an integer amount, either positive or negative. It will safely work whether you currently have modifiers or not. It can set a Skill to a value of over 100, but the game will still display 100 and you get no benefit from it.
When to use it:
  • You get one last chance to overhaul your character before leaving Vault 101. After that, you have no recourse to undo anything whenever you level up. You can use this to change skill point allocations.
  • Skill Books and Bobbleheads: There are various guides online that tell you how to optimize skill books and Bobbleheads by getting them only at certain times, because Attributes are capped at 10 and Skills at 100. Anything else you get after is wasted. If this annoys you, then instead of contorting your gameplay to get or not get Attributes and Skills at certain times, you can just adjust down your skill before or after using a Skill Book or Bobblehead.
    • To sort-of balance things out, I recommend shifting skill points to the skill with the lowest score. For example, you have Lockpick, 100 and you pick up a copy of Tumblers Today, which can give you 1 point in Lockpick, or 2 if you have the Comprehension perk. If your lowest score is Speech, then you could do player.modav Lockpick -2, then player.modav Speech 2, then use the skill book.
  • You have some attributes at 10 and you get the Almost Perfect perk, which sets all stats to 9. If you have already gotten some Bobbleheads for attributes, those are wasted. If this annoys you, after getting the Almost Perfect perk, use modav to bump up all attributes that are at 9 and that you have a Bobblehead for.
  • You have some weapons, but don't know which one is better because they are at a varying level of Condition. The best way to tell is to see them at 100% Condition.
    • First, get the Workbench Repairs mod which lets you repair items at the level of your current Repair skill. This is a useful and reasonable mod that I highly recommend.
    • Next, bump your Repair skill up to 100 using modav.
    • Finally, give yourself a lot of bottle caps so that you can repair everything to 100%: The console command player.additem f 1000000 will give you 1 million bottle caps.
  • Instead of fooling around with adjusting skills to accomodate skill books, you can try this mod that changes the behaviour and purpose of Bobbleheads and Skill Books: GQ SkillBooks and Bobbles Give SPECIAL Points.
player.addperk <BaseID>
player.removeperk <BaseID>
What this does: Adds or removes perks. The Fallout 3 Wiki has a list of perks and BaseIDs.
When to use it:
  • To change your character after levelling up.
  • To get perks you can't otherwise get (e.g., LadyKiller for a female character; Entomologist without the Science 40 prerequisite; or choose a different perk at level 2). To balance things out, whenever you add one, take one away with removeperk.
  • To add some interesting perks that are of dubious value and that you might otherwise not pick. Examples:
    • Black Widow / Lady Killer - You get very few lines of dialogue here. When they replace a Speech challenge, you don't get XP. The damage bonus applies to humans and ghoul targets only. I recommend taking one and giving yourself the other.
    • Child At Heart - You get very few lines of extra dialogue here throughout the entire game, and what you do get isn't very good or interesting. I recommend just giving yourself this one for free.
    • Comprehension - Just get it at first level so you can start reading Skill Books right away. Then use removeperk to discard whatever perk you chose at level 2.
    • Mister Sandman - Mostly used to get unlimited XP by "murdering" sleeping children -- children are not normally killable, so you can "murder" them an unlimited number of times. Also, sneaking up on sleeping hostiles is for all intents and purposes impossible (even harder than sneaking on awake enemies). Either way, you can just shoot someone in the head from a safe distance.
      • You can also get a mod that fixes sneaking on sleeping targets, but even if you successfully get the option to "Murder" a sleeping hostile, the animation causes you to stand up. The moment that you do, you are out of hiding and the hostile will wake up. You will still complete the murder (even though they are now no longer in bed, they will suddenly lose all health and drop dead when the murder animation is done) but not before they take a few shots and swings at you.
    • Mysterious Stranger - This weak perk is only good for the novelty of seeing the Mysterious Stranger show up to kill your target. I recommend you try it, then remove this perk. Default game settings for the Mysterious Stranger means he will only show up in VATS, shows up only 10% of the time, and only against a single enemy with 150 or less current Health.
    • LawBringer / Contract Killer - Normally mutually exclusive. And it's not so special that you should have to spend a perk on this or wait till level 14.
    • Gray Matters, Swing for the Fences - Cannot normally be acquired in the game.
    • Explorer - Marks all locations as "known".
      • Unlike the tmm 1 console command, you still cannot Fast Travel there until you have visited it and it is "found".
      • This will reveal some "secret" locations, but mostly it's useful to know where there are points of interest nearby so you can save a bit of wandering time and instead just move toward interesting locations.
      • If someone gives you a map marker, however, you will probably not be able to pick it out from all the others.
    • Deep Sleep - Sleeping in any bed for 8 hours gives you the Well Rested effect. Normally available only if you sleep in a bed you own.
    • Wasteland Survival Guide - To choose a different perk.
player.drop <BaseID> <number of keys>
What this does: Drops an item from your inventory.
When to use it: Drop keys. Keys that are picked up are added to a KeyRing in your inventory. The keyring is itself not actually an inventory item, but a type of submenu that shows what keys you have. You cannot normally drop keys. Keys are used automatically and you cannot therefore pick the associated lock for XP. To get the BasesID of a key, try this Fallout 3 Wiki page on keys in the game.
Example: Suppose you picked the pockets of Nathan and Manya in Megaton and got two copies of their house keys. To drop them, the console command would be  player.drop 430d0 2 . Once dropped, the key should then be on the ground at or very near you. You can move it about by Grabbing it, or just activate it to pick it up again.
Alternative: If you don't know the BaseID or can't look it up easily (e.g., it is a key from a mod), you can try the removeallitems command to drop most keys (some keys still can't be dropped this way, usually because they are essential to important quests).
  • First, find a container, such as a Metal Box or corpse that you can open and grab stuff from (you will need this to get your stuff back).
  • Open the console. Click on the container. On the top of your screen, if you selected it correctly (sometimes it takes some clicking about on the item) it should show the name of the object (e.g., "Metal Box") and a hexadecimal number. This number is the RefID, or Reference ID of the item. It is a unique number that identifies that instance of the object in the game world.
  • Now, use the  removeallitems command to dump your non-quest inventory items into that container. It MUST be a container or creature. If you do not specify a destination, this command will destroy your non-quest inventory items!
    • The command is player.removeallitems <RefID>, where RefID is the destination container.
    • Once done, open the container and pick up your stuff one at a time, avoiding the keys you don't want to take.
save <filename>
What this does: Lets you specify a file name when you save your game.
When to use it: It's faster than going through the menu. You can put in a descriptive save game name. Use in place of Autosave and Quicksave.

  • <filename> should be a single string, with no white spaces. Underscores are okay. If you use the same name as an existing save game, it will overwrite that file.
  • You can use the one-touch Quick Save and Quick Load, but many people have reported a corrupt-save-file issue with repeatedly saving over an old save game. Apparently Fallout 3 may be using shortcuts when it does that. Try to have "clean saves": Save games that don't overwrite another game.
  • A quick way to use Save is to open the console and type in save 1, for example, to save a checkpoint in your game progress. Next time you want to make a quick save, open the console and press the up-arrow key to bring up the most recent command. If you last used save 1, you could just backspace over the 1 and put in another number, and thereby have a number of backups ready in case you need to roll back for whatever reason. When you are ready to save a milestone for your game, you can type in a more descriptive name, such as save 0001b_Springfield_School_clear.

SetEssential <BaseID> 1
What this does: When you use this on a creature, it makes the creature "Essential": It cannot be killed, only knocked out temporarily. To get the BaseID, you need to open up the .ESM file in the GECK Editor and find where the creature or NPC is defined. The creature's Reference ID (what you get if you click on the creature while in Console mode) cannot be used. Or, you can download this, which has already done the lookup work for you.
When to use it: Protect quest characters. To turn it off, use the command setessential <BaseID> 0. You can also download the NPC Essential batch file to remotely do this for all key characters in the game. In case a character or creature you need does get killed, you can try clicking on it while in Console mode and using the command resurrect.

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