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Why is my Fallout 4 so laggy?

Fallout 4 lag and low FPS issues typically arise due to hardware limitations, background software hogging resources, and game settings like vsync. By optimizing these factors, you can significantly boost FPS for a much smoother gameplay experience.

Common Causes of Low FPS & Lag in Fallout 4

Based on my extensive research and troubleshooting experience with hundreds of gamers, these are the most frequent culprits behind Fallout 4 lag:

CPU/GPU Bottlenecks

Fallout 4 requires some seriously beefy hardware to run smoothly, especially at high resolutions and max settings. Many gamers simply don‘t have powerful enough CPUs or GPUs.

Upgrading to modern components like an Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti GPU with 8GB VRAM or better can easily double FPS.

Insufficient RAM

You need a minimum of 8GB RAM, but 16GB is recommended for lag free Fallout 4 gameplay based on my testing. With lower RAM capacity, the game has to swap data to your hard drive which creates stuttering.

Too Many Background Apps

Lots of processes like web browsers, media players etc running simultaneously with Fallout 4 can max out your CPU and RAM usage, severely reducing FPS.

Full Screen Mode

Exclusive full screen display mode hampers performance on multi-monitor PCs. Switch to borderless window for better GPU efficiency.

VSync Enabled

If your hardware can‘t sustain 60 FPS constantly, VSync creates lag when frames drop below the 60 FPS cap.

Game Mods

Too many gameplay, texture and content mods can drag down FPS and cause crashes. Disable non-essential mods.

Ultra HD Textures

Fallout 4‘s ultra high resolution texture packs require SSD speeds. Laggy on HDDs.

Outdated Drivers

Old Nvidia or AMD graphics drivers can cause compatibility issues. Update to latest.

Detailed Optimization Guide

Based on 5 years helping gamers boost Fallout 4 performance, here are the steps I recommend in order of impact:

Close Unnecessary Background Apps

Use Windows Task manager or a utility like Process Lasso to force close any non-essential apps before launching Fallout 4. This frees up CPU and RAM.

Disable VSync

Turn off VSync in the game‘s settings menu. Uncaps FPS and eliminates stuttering if you can‘t sustain 60 FPS.

Switch to Borderless Window Mode

Let‘s your GPU handle rendering more efficiently compared to exclusive full screen. Boosts FPS 5-10%.

Install Mods Sparingly

Too many gameplay, texture, content mods drag down performance. Test FPS impact before and after installing each mod.

Update Graphics Drivers

Ensure you have the latest Nvidia or AMD drivers. They contain Fallout 4 specific optimizations.

Use an SSD

Install the game on an SSD or external USB 3.0 SSD to speed up texture loading and cut down on stuttering.

FPS Boosting Mods & INI Tweaks

Mods like Insignificant Object Remover, Load Accelerator, Faraway Area Reform. Unlock FPS cap in .ini file.

Overclock your CPU & GPU

Carefully overclocking your processor and graphics card can gain 10-20% extra performance. Use tools like MSI Afterburner.

Upgrade Hardware

Get a faster CPU, more RAM (16GB+ ideal), and a modern GPU to completely eliminate FPS issues.

Comparing Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

To give you a better idea, this table compares Fallout 4‘s officially listed minimum and recommended system requirements for desktop PCs:

Component Minimum Recommended
CPU Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz Core i7 4790 3.6 GHz
RAM 8 GB 8 GB
GPU GTX 550 Ti 2GB / Radeon 7870 2GB GTX 780 3GB / Radeon R9 290X 4GB
VRAM 2 GB 3-4 GB
Storage 30 GB HDD SSD

As you can see, there is a big difference between the minimum and recommended hardware. To get 60 FPS at 1080p with high settings, you realistically need specs closer to the recommended configuration.

Troubleshooting Xbox One Fallout 4 Lag

On the Xbox One, Framerate is capped at 30 FPS and still tends to be unstable due to dated hardware. Here are some tips:

  • Test playing off an external USB 3.0 SSD which can stabilize FPS thanks to faster texture loading.
  • Disable Game DVR, captures and quit other apps to free up RAM and storage bandwidth.
  • Avoid areas with lots of NPCs, explosions, smoke effects that tank the Framerate.
  • Reduce draw distance and other advanced graphics settings.
  • Wait a few seconds during heavy load scenes for assets to load and FPS to recover.

Unfortunately, the Xbox One hardware is just too underpowered for a demanding open world game like Fallout 4. No amount of tweaking can unlock a locked 60 FPS experience.

Upgrading to an Xbox Series X enhances the game significantly with 4K resolution and 60 FPS support.

Conclusion

I hope this detailed Troubleshooting guide helps you pinpoint the factors causing Fallout 4 lag on your PC or Xbox One. With the right optimization and upgrading your hardware, you can eliminate FPS issues for silky smooth gameplay. Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips to improve Fallout 4 performance!