Forget the official DLC — give the Northern Springs mod for Fallout 4 a try
Fallout 4 is a fairly large game — but one modder thought it could be even more. Between the core game and official DLC you can easily spend upwards of 200 hours in Fallout 4 exploring the wasteland and developing settlements. Modder Jshrapnelc apparently didn't believe was enough, so they developed a mod that's actually larger than the official expansions Bethesda has released. It's called Northern Springs and is a must-have mod for Fallout 4.
Available for free, the mod is constructed much like an official DLC from Bethesda, which tasks the player with picking up a quest in the Commonwealth that takes him (or her) to the icy wastelands in the north. The recommended level to hit the snow is 40 so it's certainly plausible to consider this additional end-game content. With more than 25 quests to complete, four new companions, 50 points of interest, three settlements, and two player homes to explore there's plenty to do here.
Winter is coming
Northern Springs even goes as far as to offer four new roles to help survivors make some caps on the side, including cage fighter, deathclaw hunter, book collector, and bounty hunter. With all this in mind and the possibility of meeting the Vault-Tec man who got me into Vault 111 from the get-go, I set off at level 36 because I'm hardcore and not a fan of laying around with my female lead to get her levels up a little. I want a challenge.
But boy, was the mod author not wrong with the level recommendation. Playing on survival, it wasn't going to be an easy ride regardless but Northern Springs is a dangerous place. It takes me back to the lands of Fallout: New Vegas where the game killed me off multiple times, albeit in a slightly different fashion. The included quests are a nice touch to break up the exploration of a new land, though some are a little rough around the edges and buggy, and opting to become a deathclaw hunter gave my character something to do.
The mod is certainly in its early days as numerous quests need tweaking, some characters need alterations and the sound levels need a little rebalancing — nearly blew my head off the battle music was that loud compared to the rest of the tracklist. Still, a mod that was developed by a single soul, it's commendable and is a vast new land for survivors to explore and interact with. It's not perfect and isn't near the level of polish one would expect from official content (though, it's Bethesda), time will make it a better experience.
The choice of music is also a little jarring to begin with. It's more synthwave than 40s, but did grow on me after some hours put into Northern Springs.
If you do try and install the mod, it's in beta and the developer is working on any feedback and bug reports submitted by the community, so if you encounter anything that shouldn't be there, be sure to give them a heads up on Mod Nexus. We rounded up some of the best mods in Fallout 4 on PC, which you should check out if you want to add more than this mod alone.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.