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How to Get Fallout 3 to Work on Windows 10

Get fallout 3 to work
Written by Kelly Houstan

Well, Fallout 3 is unquestionably one of the greatest role-playing games ever made. It was launched in 2008, the game has won a lot of awards and accolades. The list basically includes multiple Game of the Year awards for the year 2008 and some for 2009, Role-Playing Game of the Year, Best RPG, etc. Also, research conducted in 2015, estimated that nearly 12.5 million copies of the game had been sold as well! Just read this article to know all about How to Get Fallout 3 to Work on Windows 10. Let’s start!

It is also one of the primary reasons why gamers around the world love Bethesda Game Studios’ post-apocalyptic Fallout game series. Fallout 3 was followed via the release of Fallout 4 and Fallout 76. Although, more than a decade after its release, Fallout 3 still attracts many gamers. And reigns as one of the most loved and played games around the globe.

The game was, however, developed to run on the clunky computers of the previous decade, and also as a result, users tried to run the game on the newer and also more powerful PCs. That is operating on the latest and greatest of Windows faces some issues. One of which is the game crashing right after the player taps on the New button to start a new game. However, when has a minor inconvenience ever stopped gamers from gaming?

The wide fraternity of gamers has found multiple ways in order to run Fallout 3 on Windows 10 without even any hiccups. We have all the methods listed below in a step-by-step guide manner for you in order to follow and get gaming!

How to Get Fallout 3 to Work

To run Fallout 3 smoothly in Windows 10, users simply have to run the game as an administrator or in compatibility mode. These methods won’t work for many users, they can instead try to download the Games For Windows Live application or modify the Falloutprefs.ini config file. Both of which are explained below.

However, before we move on to the particular methods, just make sure you have the most updated graphics card drivers installed on your computer. Because these alone can solve a plethora of problems.

GPU drivers can also be updated using the below method:

  • To open Device Manager, just tap on the Windows key + X (or right-tap on the start button), and choose Device Manager from the power user menu.
  • Now expand Display Adapters via double-tapping on the label.
  • Right-tap on your Graphics Card (NVIDIA GeForce 940MX in the below picture) and choose Update Driver.
  • Now in the following pop-up, tap on Search automatically for updated driver software.

Your PC will automatically search and install the latest drivers for your graphics card. Make sure you have a healthy WiFi/Internet connection. Just like that, you can update GPU drivers through the companion application (GeForce Experience for NVIDIA and Radeon Software for AMD) of your graphics card as well.

How do I get Fallout 3 to work on my PC?

We will also discuss 4 different methods using which you guys can easily play Fallout 3 on your Windows 10 PC. So without even wasting any time try these methods.

Run in Compatibility Mode

Apart from running as an administrator, the users have also reported successfully being able to play Fallout 3 after running it in compatibility mode for Windows 7. So the operating system for which the game was originally designed and optimized as well.

  • In order to run fallout 3 in compatibility mode, we will have to head back to the game folder and open the properties window. Follow steps 1 to 4 of the previous method to do that.
  • When in the Compatibility tab, enable ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ via ticking the box to its left.
  • Tap on the drop-down menu below Run this program in compatibility mode for and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 3).

Get fallout 3 to work

  • Tap on Apply followed via OK.
  • We will have to repeat the above steps for two more files, namely, FalloutLauncher and Fallout 3 – Guardians of the eating kit.

So, just go ahead and enable ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for’ for both these files and choose Windows XP (Service Pack 3).

At last, launch Fallout 3 to check if the error has resolved. I hope you guys will be able to run Fallout 3 on Windows 10 without even any issues. However, if running Fallout 3 in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3) didn’t work. Then switch to compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 2), Windows XP (Service Pack 1). Or Windows 7 one after the other until you guys are successful in running the game.

Run As Administrator

In most cases, simply running the game as an administrator has been known to solve any and all the problems being experienced. Below is the method on how you can always launch Fallout 3 as an administrator.

  • We start via navigating to the Fallout 3 folder on our systems. The folder is found within the Steam application actually.
  • Open the Windows File Explorer via either double-clicking on its icon on your desktop or via the keyboard shortcut Windows key + E.
  • Now navigate to either of the two paths mentioned below in order to locate the Fallout 3 folder:

This PC\C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3 goty

This PC\C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Fallout 3

  • Just like that, you can open the application (game) folder via right-tapping on the Fallout 3 application icon on your desktop and choosing Open File Location.
  • Now just find the Fallout3.exe file and right-tap on it.
  • Choose Properties from the following options menu.
  • Then switch over to the Compatibility tab of the Fallout 3 properties window.
  • Turn on  ‘Run this program as an administrator via ticking/checking the box next to it.
  • Tap on Apply followed via OK to save the changes made.

Just go ahead and launch Fallout 3 and check if it runs now.

Modify Falloutprefs.ini File

If you guys weren’t able to run Fallout 3 using the above methods, you will have to modify/edit a config file called Falloutprefs.ini that is required to run the game as well. Modifying the file is not a complicated task and needs you to merely type a single line.

  • First, launch Windows File Explorer via pressing the shortcut Windows key + E. Now under the quick access section, tap on Documents.
  • Inside the Documents folder, just open the My Games (or Games) sub-folder.
  • Just open the Fallout 3 application folder now.
  • Now locate the falloutprefs.ini file, right-click on it, and choose Open With.
  • From the following list of applications, choose Notepad.
  • Head through the Notepad file and then locate the line bUseThreadedAI=0
  • You guys can directly search for the above line via Ctrl + F.
  • Then modify bUseThreadedAI=0 to bUseThreadedAI=1
  • If you guys can’t find the bUseThreadedAI=0 line inside the file, then just move your cursor to the end of the document and type bUseThreadedAI=1 carefully.
  • Add iNumHWThreads=2 in just a new line.
  • At last, press Ctrl + S or click on File and then Save to save all the changes. Now close Notepad and launch Fallout 3.

If the game still doesn’t really work as you want it would. Just open the falloutprefs.ini in notepad again and change iNumHWThreads=2 to iNumHWThreads=1.


Well, That is all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

Also See: How to Check Warranty Status of Apple

About the author

Kelly Houstan

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