This time around I’ll be telling you how to get Fallout: New Vegas working on your linux system, solving some of the issues… and probably creating some more (where I hope you will also help me figure it out). By the way, Fallout 3 is basically the same game engine as New Vegas, so everything here should work for it as well.
Step 1: Get the game
The first step is obvious, either buy the game or find an Full-demo, I’d recommend the stand alone version, as getting the one from steam might complicating things a bit.
Myself, I grabbed the Ultimate edition version, stand alone and easy to install1.
Oh! And of course you’ll also need to get a form of the wine application (wine is not emulation).
Step 2: Prepare the prefix
I’ve mentioned before, and I intend to post a exclusive article on this later. But keeping your wine games each on its separate prefix is good practice, all of its configuration is safe from others prefixes and technically everything you need is in there (good for packaging too).
Anyway, this time I’ve used a different tool, I’ve found Q4wine. A newer Qt based tool, for your wine prefixes management. It makes creating and configuring your prefix really easy, embedded with winetricks shortcuts and extra configuration options, even multiple wine versions to choose from (though you have to set them up yourself).
After creating your desired prefix, make sure you’re using 32-bit, as wine 64 was reported not working so well. run the following:
winetricks d3dx9 vcrun6sp6 quartz ddr=opengl
Quartz may be optional, you should test without it first or read more below. One caveat some users reported, is sound really finicky, with stutters, for me it had a huge delay while shooting weapons, the fix to this is to get an original dsound.dll (directsound) placing it manually on your
drive_c/windows/system32/ folder and adding a override2.
After all this setup, my winecfg window only had the d3dx9, quartz and dsound overrides. Remember to set fake drivers, and desktop integration if you so desire.
Step 3: Install and test
This part should be easy and should vary with your version of the game. No one seemed to report any issue installing it yet, and I have done it even without the setup above. In my case, which was the Ultimate edition, all I had to do was extract the contents of both ISO into one directory, didn’t even had to mount them, and the game installed in one go.
After the installation, you should find in the install dir (mine was
drive_c/FallouNV) the FalloutNV.exe and FalloutNVLauncher.exe. Run the Launcher and do some initial configuration.
Initially for me, the game ran pretty fast, but had some graphical glitches and missing features, only after installing the d3dx9 package that I’ve noticed, a huge drop in performance but a lot more quality in the scenes. I’ve tuned it down and it works pretty well, one note though: do not leave your settings on ultra as some of these may go beyong the limits, bringing performance to a crawl.
One small detail, leave “water refractions” disabled, as it caused some weirdness with scenes nearby water3.
Step 4: Play it
At this point you should be able to start the game and test it out. Start
FalloutNV.exe directly or create shortcuts to it. One of the beauties of Q4wine, is that I can take one of multiple launchers I’ve set-up and copy it to anywhere I want as a .desktop file (application launcher).
If for you the game has failed to launch or encountered a miserable crash, you should check up on the winehq for other users with similar issues. At this point for me, the game runs pretty smooth and stable, I was able to go a long way through the story without a single crash, and was only when adding mods that more issues came present, as I’ll discuss below.
Step 5: Further Configuration
Audio: wine has a long standing rivalry with pulseaudio, many reported screwed audio while using both, for me initially it was screwed up too, I’ve found two ways for them to work together. One is to give your device the
tsched=1 option4 on the
/etc/pulse/default.pa, which is probably default if haven’t tweaked anything on it.
Another alternative to this is to allow the wine application to use the alsa driver directly, make so pulseaudio doesn’t grab the device all for itself5. But I also don’t want permanently disable pulseaudio or change my custom configuration. So instead I’m going to use the
pacmd tool to change pulseaudio during runtime:
pacmd unload-module module-udev-detect (or module-alsa-card or whatever module is used to grab the device) pacmd load-module module-alsa-sink device=dmix
This will unload the module that is grabbing your sound device and then load a alsa-sink that will let other applications use the alsa device as well. All without killing pulseaudio.
Config file tweaks: There are two major files to look for some tweaks, the
Fallout_default.ini that resides in the main folder, and the
FalloutPrefs.ini that is on your user folder. Remember to make backup copies of the originals in case things go screwy.
One very useful tweak is chaging how the mouse jumps around in some dialogs, just add these entries to Fallout_default.ini in the
fForegroundMouseAccelBase=0 fForegroundMouseAccelTop=0 fForegroundMouseBase=0 fForegroundMouseMult=0
For me the game turned out terribly unstable after adding a bunch of mods a visiting lots of places, one of the configs that helped a bit with crashes and hangs was adding the
iNumHWThreads=2 parameter to the
[General] section of the default.ini file. you may want to experiment with the value given, but it seems that more than 2 cores used make the game more unstable6.
There are a lot of tweaks available, more important for us are the loading & memory ones, it seems Fallout has a very limited RAM usage and most crashes are due to memory issues. check on this page and experiment to your liking.
Step 6: Modding (
and screwing up your game)
Now its the fun part. Fallout 3 and New Vegas are great games on themselves, but they’re left a bit unfinished on some aspects, thats where mods come in for our better enjoyment, and the game turns out greater than before. Fortunately modding the game works just as well on linux, unfortunately modding also makes the game a whole more unstable as it did on Windows.
Some of the essential mods work without issue, one problem with most is that they come pre-packaged for a mod-manager, of those none work on linux. All mods must be manually installed by you, generally only placing them inside the
Fallout New Vegas/Datafolder is enough for them to work, you will need to activate the .esm or .esp files in the launcher and then set a load order.
Here are some notable mods of worthy mention:
- New Vegas Script Extender (or NVSE for short) required by bunch of other mods, has its own launcher and works pretty good.
- Load Order Sorting tool the only tool that also works on linux, used to sort your load order, pretty useful.
- New Vegas Anti Crash (NVAC) a little nvse plugin that may help with crashes.
- Project Nevada an overhaul mod that adds a bunch of optional cool stuff.
- Zan Autopurge protector automatically purge memory to avoid memory related crashes.
- Archive Invalidation invalidated the one that allows custom textures and whatnot.
Step 7: Is that another step, seriously?
No seriously, just to wrap it up. So far I’ve been having a blast on this game. But lately it has became more and more unstable, usually hanging while loading another cell. sometimes texture from females goes missing right before the crash, I increasingly suspect its the memory issue, and some of the mentioned above really helps with it. My last try, switching direct rendering to openGL seemed to do the trick, will test and report back.
Enjoy, share this and let me know how you like this article or how can I make it better. Oh, and of course, if you found something relevant on how to make the game work or need help setting it up, leave a comment below. cheers!
- Torrent hash: E1FA83AF474E4FE4C97D5A7BB88E16D6F1D25B3E ↩
audio stuttering issueon the winehq page ↩
bizarre bugon the winehq page ↩
- https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio/Troubleshooting#Glitches.2C_skips_or_crackling ↩
- http://wiki.winehq.org/WineAndPulseaudio ↩
- check the various customization options in this and this sites. ↩ ↩