I've been playing my Bethesda games modded for years, but there's a concept I never quite grasped (I think). I've got too many mods in Fallout 4 for the lead byte that handles the load order, and need to trim back below 255.

I loaded up FO4Edit after a LOOT sort and selected every ESM and ESP that wasn't a Bethsoft original. The merge created with the only errors being on some armor textures, so I thought it would work. When I took the merged patch back into NMM, it showed my merge had some dependencies I needed to re-enable:

Dependencies Unresolved

Even after re-enabling them, MANY features are missing from my Fallout that have nothing to do with conflicts. Things like survival console override, a shell casing discharge mod, and Northland Diggers were just not present in the game. I think maybe I don't get the point. The understanding I had of a merged patch was:

    1. Have too much stuff to load
    2. Sort with LOOT
    3. Run FO4Edit 
    4. Create merged patch (right click bottom plugin in load order and choose merge. 
    4. Start NMM
    5. Disable all plugins, then re-check the plugins not a part of your merged patch
    6. Check the merged patch
    7. Load Fallout4 and enjoy 255+ mods and/or increased stability

My understanding was that the merge created a single reference pointer collection that targets all of the files used by the plugins which have been merged. Clearly I've missed a beat. I tried Googling this, but inevitably the instructions for making a merged patch all referenced similarities to creating a bashed one, and bashed instructions referred to how to make a merged one. After going in circles, it's been hours and I still have yet to actually play. What'd I miss? Is there a "For Dummies" version of the instructions out there for those of us who let our brains relax on the weekend?

  • Question, do you have a full mod list or a way to download them? I think I can figure this out but it'd require me getting the mods and tinkering until I finally get it.
    – Codingale
    Feb 27, 2017 at 11:20
  • @Codingale : You can't, as the loader is still a 32-bit loader, but that's limited only to .esp/esm files. Merging ESP files allows you to load additional mods, as one ESP then loads the files for more than one mod. My personal mod list is pretty fluid; I use the Nexus as my source. What you see above was my exact list at the time I started having trouble.
    – CDove
    Feb 27, 2017 at 12:40
  • I don't follow what you're asking then. So you're trying to merge the 13 esh mods and it doesn't let you? I thought you'd be able to have at least 50 mods unless there are conflicts but, are you saying those mods prevent you from loading for that reason or?
    – Codingale
    Feb 27, 2017 at 13:23
  • Since then my mod list expanded greatly. The example above is a sample of the mods I have now and have attempted to merge. There is no error for specific mods, but the process of merging doesn't eliminate the need for the other ESPs, which tells me either I don't get it or I've done it wrong somehow. I just knew at the time I'd hit the mod cap, because I always hit the mod cap, and I've made a few of my own mods I'd like to merge before I upload them.
    – CDove
    Feb 27, 2017 at 15:45

3 Answers 3


Not a part of making a merged patch: "Step 5: Disable all plugins, then re-check the plugins not a part of your merged patch"

Merged patch instructions are:

̶1̶.̶ ̶L̶a̶u̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶F̶O̶4̶E̶d̶i̶t̶ ̶ ̶2̶.̶ ̶E̶n̶s̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶p̶l̶u̶g̶i̶n̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶p̶l̶a̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶c̶h̶e̶c̶k̶e̶d̶ ̶(̶.̶e̶s̶m̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶.̶e̶s̶p̶)̶.̶ ̶ ̶3̶.̶ ̶C̶l̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶"̶O̶K̶"̶ ̶ ̶4̶.̶ ̶W̶a̶i̶t̶ ̶u̶n̶t̶i̶l̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶a̶s̶t̶ ̶l̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶p̶a̶n̶e̶l̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶"̶B̶a̶c̶k̶g̶r̶o̶u̶n̶d̶ ̶L̶o̶a̶d̶e̶r̶:̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶i̶s̶h̶e̶d̶"̶ ̶ ̶5̶.̶ ̶R̶i̶g̶h̶t̶-̶c̶l̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶e̶f̶t̶ ̶p̶a̶n̶e̶l̶,̶ ̶h̶i̶g̶h̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶"̶O̶t̶h̶e̶r̶"̶,̶ ̶c̶l̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶"̶C̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶M̶e̶r̶g̶e̶d̶ ̶P̶a̶t̶c̶h̶"̶ ̶ ̶6̶.̶ ̶C̶l̶i̶c̶k̶ ̶"̶Y̶e̶s̶"̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶u̶n̶s̶u̶p̶p̶o̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶n̶a̶t̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶a̶t̶c̶h̶,̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶"̶F̶O̶4̶M̶e̶r̶g̶e̶d̶"̶ ̶ ̶(̶T̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶s̶o̶n̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶d̶e̶v̶e̶l̶o̶p̶e̶r̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶W̶r̶y̶e̶ ̶B̶a̶s̶h̶ ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶k̶i̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶w̶e̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶e̶n̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶i̶n̶c̶o̶r̶p̶o̶r̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶u̶t̶i̶l̶i̶z̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶x̶E̶d̶i̶t̶ ̶M̶e̶r̶g̶e̶d̶ ̶P̶a̶t̶c̶h̶)̶ ̶ ̶7̶.̶ ̶E̶n̶s̶u̶r̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶n̶e̶w̶l̶y̶ ̶c̶r̶e̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶.̶e̶s̶p̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶i̶v̶a̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶t̶t̶o̶m̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶l̶o̶a̶d̶ ̶o̶r̶d̶e̶r̶.̶

  1. Learn to manually edit plugins with xEdit (super easy - check out youtube).

FO4Edit Merged Patch is unsupported as heck. Do not use. The priority rules are jacked for the time being.

Disabling pieces of a Patch is more of a Wrye Bash thing, and even then you're better off taking a second and finding out why they're to be a part of the BP.

As far as merging plugins themselves - that's different than creating a merge patch. Creating a Merged Patch allows xEdit, using its rules, to assign higher priority to resources inside of a low-priority plugin.

From Diennes (paraphrased): If you have a mod that gives Piper black skin, and another that gives her a fancy hat, and it's loaded/installed like this: fallout4.esm piperblackskin.esp piperfancyhat.esp

Then you'll likely end up with a fancy-hatted piper, but no black skin because the fancy hat mod overwrote the black skin.

FO4Edit sees that fallout4.esm's Piper and piperfancyhat.esp's Piper are identical, except for the fancy hat. FO4Edit then assigns the other piperfancyhat.esp's Piper resources a low priority (because they're the same as the master), which allows piperblackskin.esp's skin resources to take priority over piperfancyhat.esp - even though it's lower in the load order.

HOWEVER - it doesn't take more than a few minutes to learn, via youtube, how to merge plugins by yourself with FO4Edit. In this Piper example, once you know how to do it, it would literally take less than a minute to merge them. (this is not a merged PATCH, it's "merging plugins"

•Load with FO4Edit

•See conflicts highlighted in red in the left panel - click them

•See details in spreadsheet in right panel - click and drag her skin to overwrite the "fancyhat" default skin

•Done (once you save)

For Fallout 4, you will be able to get by very nicely with this approach:

• RTFD - read the fallout descriptions, on nexusmods, especially the install/uninstall parts, and compatibility.

• In the "Mods" tab of NMM, sort by install date to get an idea what order they're installed in.

• Download LOOT (the one in NMM is wonky for a lot of people) and use it

• Pay attention to what's overwriting what - for famous mods this is usually covered in the "install" part of the mod's description.

We should all probably be using Wrye Bash for everything, but most of us remember it as a leveled list merger for MO Skyrim. And there's no GamerPoets or Gopher videos for using it as a mod manager.

Alrighty - done.

  • Update - on my current game, I just cleaned up the mods manually so with a few exceptions (that I could live with) I didn't bother making Merged Patches. Just made one and holy heck the dev team isn't kidding when they say it's not supported. Learn to manually edit your plugins (99% of it is drag and drop - super easy) and forgo the merged patch. The current rules have T.O.P. textures given priority over Vivid All-in-One. I love xEdit, but the MP function is VERY unsupported. Aug 13, 2017 at 4:53

A Merged Patch doesn't merge your plugins, it only merges very small plugins that make very small changes. What a Merged Patch does is, generally, merge leveled lists, NPC dialogue options, item placements and other things that would otherwise get overwritten by the mods at the end of the load order. What you're looking for is merging plugins together, which has a completely different method to do it and can't be automated easily, since it's very easy to screw up.

  • So would this mean selecting the entire mod list and manually choosing the "winner" for each attribute, or is this going to require using the CK to open each mod and manually build a plugin? Would very much appreciate details on the "different method" and how to go about it.
    – CDove
    Apr 24, 2017 at 12:19

You're really asking how to combine plugins. A "merged patch" is a specific type of patch that doesn't do that, but rather resolves conflicts between mods by overriding conflicting records to include all the changes (you still need all the original mods for that). If some records in a given plugin have no conflicts, they're not in the merged patch.

Elianora describes how to combine plugins here:

Essentially you create a new plugin into which you copy all records from any plugins you want to combine. Then you can safely load only your combined plugin without any of the originals, since it includes everything, not just the overrides for conflicting records.

  • Three years late to the game here, but... I've followed all the steps above, and my merged mod still depends on the contributing mods being enabled. The whole point is to disable those mods and get them out of the load order. What step am I missing? Mar 25, 2020 at 15:38
  • Follow-up to previous comment: As long as the merged mod appears below all its contributors in the load order, this "DISABLED" warning is irrelevant. Cool. Mar 25, 2020 at 17:25

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