Bethesda: no user created mod support for Fallout 4 or Skyrim S.E. on PS4

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Bethesda: no user created mod support for Fallout 4 or Skyrim S.E. on PS4


After the big build up from Bethesda announcing the possibility of mods being implemented eventually. Fans were expecting a host of mods on their PS4s, on par with Xbox One that had mods since May 2016. Turns out Sony has other ideas and how it’s implemented.

Microsoft sat up and posted a few tweets taking aim at Sony...



Bethesda isn’t taking this setback lying down, issuing the following statement:



PS4 Mod Update After months of discussion with Sony, we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.

Like you, we are disappointed by Sony’s decision given the considerable time and effort we have put into this project, and the amount of time our fans have waited for mod support to arrive. We consider this an important initiative and we hope to find other ways user mods can be available for our PlayStation audience. However, until Sony will allow us to offer proper mod support for PS4, that content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PlayStation 4 will not be available. We will provide an update if and when this situation changes.



Was Bethesda already aware of this? Such a big let down has implications and the obvious ones are:

  • Where are Bethesda PS4 players going to play their favourite games with mods

  • Affects on future console purchase decisions with the upcoming Skyrim Special Edition

  • The possibility that mods on PS4 would create bad feeling for other games packed with expensive DLC content whereby Sony sees their cut and restricting mod support in favour of tactical DLC; leading to people questioning buying DLC/Season passes for other titles when games with day1 patches are already going for $60/£40 each.


Bethesda was working hard for several months implementing a well-developed in-game with an online user mod selection featuring hundreds if not thousands of mods, even sorted the mod load order automatically – manually selection is possible too. I would find it difficult for Sony to match deep mod integration, after all, the best people to help implement mods is the developers themselves.

Mods have to fit strict criteria for selection on consoles due to its limited tools and asset budget, what works on PC won’t work 90% of the time on consoles unless ported and it would be limited featured mod at that. Mods conflict, merge patches have to be created, dirty edits (overwriting vanilla assets or conflicting other DLCs/mods) are a no-no *cough* Nvidia’s 1080 mod on PC.

Some mods rely on constant updates, simpler mods released at launch still work to this day even though they were created without the Creation Kit because of their ingenuity. Perhaps Sony’s concern was justified as was apparent of the little oversight of mods being automatically submitted to and the influx of deliberately stolen mods pro-actively flagged by other users as such. NexusMods later updated the mod authors T&Cs restricting permissions on use to protect their work from misuse.

Going further back we had PAID Skyrim mods on Steam Workshop, including pointless mods going for silly amounts and yes a selection of stolen mods again, all leading to Valve cancelling the project and issuing refunds. The community didn’t welcome or want this feature and Valve thought otherwise before backing down, cancelling paid-for-mods altogether.

Valve’s software designer Alden Kroll said at the time: "We underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim's workshop. We understand our own game's communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating." Valve intended this as a platform to support dedicated upcoming modders but that didn’t pan out before issuing refunds – a lesson neither they nor the watching Sony execs will want to experience.

Some of these issues began because of lack of oversight of Bethesda in forcing paid mods far below the quality of existing mods, lacking a system in dealing promptly with issues, no verification of mods during submission and verifying authenticity. Bethesda, starting active discussions with Microsoft and Sony to implement mod support during the development cycle and not as an afterthought.

Fallout 4 was released on PS4 on 10th November 2015 and it took until 9th September 2016 to conclude the saga, no PS4 mods for Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition in its current implementation.


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