Why pay for glorified mods?
Bethesda seems to be headed straight for another fiasco with their Creation Club, quite similar to how the Paid Mods Workshop went years ago. It didn't help that a lot of the content available from the get-go were things that you, for the most part, could find equivalents for in the already existing mod circuit—oftentimes free and better of quality. In fact, that alone has to be the single most frequent argument made: "All these mods exist already, for free." But are they? Well, probably, otherwise I wouldn't have put that title up there.
Below is a list of all the Creation Club armors and the direct or closest free equivalent, if there is any. I've taken some information about these Creation Club armors from JuiceHead's video where he shows all the currently available items and talks about them.
Chinese Stealth Armor
Worn by both the Crimson Dragoon troops and Black Ghost counterinsurgency squads during the Great War, Chinese Stealth Armor relies on light modulation technology to render its wearer virtually invisible.
Iconic as Fallout 3 armors come, this armor from the Operation Anchorage DLC was one of the best armors to have when intent on sneaking your way through the wasteland. It very much has a stealth suit vibe, reminiscent of other games, such as Splinter Cell. Except, this armor would come with an automatic stealth boy that activated when crouching.
In Fallout 4, this Creation Club armor is not modifiable as opposed to most other armors. That aside, it functions exactly the same as it did before in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
The Nexus equivalent by Unoctium is quite unlike the Creation Club equivalent. Not only does it feature the invisible mode as expected, but also comes with an array of extra features and modifications:
Turn your hostile environment to your side by using the Gravitational Force Expulsion modification to turn the energy from a large fall against your enemies, or use the Electromagnetic Repulsor Field to turn the force from your enemies blows into deadly arcs of electricity. Progressive modifications to the suit can increase it's distance in which one can leap, and the speed which one can run - and a specially, gifted patriot, can utilize the Static Electricity of their speed against their enemies with the Myson Electricity Capacitors.
Modular Military Backpack
Make this backpack yours with over 30 different add-on pieces, patches and colors. Featuring increased carry weight and multiple bonuses for surviving even the harshest Wasteland conditions.
As long as I can remember modding my Fallout games, backpacks have always made an appearance sooner or later. They always started out as pieces from other Fallout armors, picked off and prepared to function as simply an equippable attachment. But soon enough, shapely and unique backpacks were made. This iteration of a backpack in Fallout seems to have learned more from its cousins than the Stealth Suit has. It makes full use of Fallout 4's armor customization system to change the look and attachments of the backpack, and even comes with an array of skins with many pertaining Fallout 4's many factions. The varying attachments also boost your characters' stats in varying ways, such as improved reload or healing speed. Being one of the most expensive items of all the Creation Club items, it certainly demands that price for a reason.
For now, it seems Bethesda has beaten modders in terms of modularity. Their backpack is quite modifiable to a large extent. However, in turn, there is simply a larger variety of free backpacks to choose from that vary in size, shape, and even theme. There are simply too many to list, but here are a few that stood out to me.
ProvisionerBackPack by m150 is a backpack that is as rickety as it looks, perfectly befitting a trader in the style of the game. Wearable Backpacks and Pouches by Aldebaran90 is a series of backpacks that really nail down the overall style of the game, providing options not just for those wanting to look heavily packed, but small pouches for the those with a lighter load. However, if you're more of a Power Armor fanatic, Anataron has you covered with their JetBackPacks mod. With it, you'll never ever have to wonder whether you should sacrifice your Jetpack for more carrying weight. You simply get to have the best of both worlds!
Pip-Boy Paint Job
Pip-Boy Paint Job – Onyx This black paint job is ideal for any Vault Dweller who prefers stealth, sleekness and subtlety. Creation craftable via Armor Workbench.
Pip-Boy Paint Job – Swamp Camo With its mottled yellow, brown and green, the swamp camo Pip-Boy paint job is perfect for those waterlogged slogs through Bloodbug-infested terrain.
Pip-Boy Paint Job – Chrome From the rims of a Chryslus Cherry Bomb directly to your wrist, nothing says “style” like a chromed-up Pip-Boy.
Not every item has to be highly complex. Reskins are as simple as they come. Though an important detail on these is that you can switch out these skins at a workbench, just in case you've bought more than one skin for your pipboy.
Pip-Boy Customisation Framework aims to give its users the ability to modify the Pip-Boy's appearance at the armor workbench when a compatible textures pack is installed, otherwise you still can modify the its appearance of the screen or add one of the available Misc mods. If used by Mod Authors it will allow them to easily make stand-alone Pip-Boy's that are also compatible with other Stand-alone Pip-Boy's that use this Framework.
While Bethesda included the neat feature to let you switch pipboy skins on-the-fly, the modding community had them beat by almost a year with the Pip-Boy Customisation Framework by Aether89. In the past, you could only have one Pip-boy skin active at one time, and having multiple Pipboy skin mods enabled would result in all but one being overwritten. Using this framework and mods that support it, this will be a thing from the past.
Are you tired of wandering the commonwealth with that sh*tty mcdonals pipboy? if the answer to that question is YES then i suggest you to download this mod. WITH THE NEW HOLO PIP-BOY 8000 YOU CAN BE THE HERO EVERYONE WANTS
But, what about skins themselves? What if I told you that, if you thought the backpacks had lots of great examples, the sheer variety of Pip-Boy Skins will blow your mind? For example, Holographic Pip-Boy 8000 is a mod by Turetu that not only reskins your Pip-Boy but turns it holographic. It even comes with a simple system to let you recolor the holographic effects themselves.
Are you tired of carrying that heavy Pip-Boy around your arm? No? Ah well then... This is awkward... BUT if you are, boy do I have news for you! This is the completely new PIP-Pad! It's a handheld Pip-boy ready for anything you throw its way!
What if you grew tired of that lumping hunk of metal attached to your arm and would like a bit of a more modern take on it? Well, AlexScorpion has had your back all the way since Fallout 3. For the more seasoned modding veteran, AlexScorpion is of particular fame for creating mods such as the Pipboy PDA and Readius, both of which were unique looking replacements for the Pip-Boy that he eventually gave permission for others to re-release in his absence. But it seems that skilled modders just can't stay away, as we soon enough found a new iteration of AlexScorpion's skilled work in the shape of the PIP-Pad, a Fallout-styled take on the tablets that we know and love today.
Power Armor Paint Job – Black
Black as a Commonwealth night and just as intimidating, this custom Power Armor paint job is well suited for any combat situation.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to take an existing texture and give it a black version. Despite that, modders like me can't help but seek out a black version for their favorite armors. This particular black paint job for your favorite Power Armors is listed under Onyx and comes with a variety of scratches, depending on which type of armor you're applying it to.
Black armors tend to lack a certain complexity to them, meaning that it isn't very hard to do a simple search on Nexus Mods and find a black skin for whichever Power Armor you desire. Instead, I've opted to highlight a particular black paintjob that looks nice and thematic, featuring a slightly intimidating logo along with the shiny black paint. It's called the Spec Ops Paint Job by TanisDuncan and even improves stealth in dark areas and increases Agility with all pieces painted.
Crafted using pipes, springs and a healthy dose of psychotic self-reliance, this fully modded shotgun is perfect for a quick and violent solution. To just about anything.
A weapon heavily inspired by the concept art from Fallout 4, the weapon doesn't feature a lot of variation in terms of modifications, having an amount similar to the vanilla double barrel shotgun.
Funnily enough, the aforementioned Homemade Shotgun doesn't seem to share that distinctive skin and style that most of the other homemade weaponry in vanilla Fallout 4 have. However, it seems one modder was well ahead with their own vision of how such a shotgun would look, which in its own way looks eerily close to the concept art as well. The Pipe Shotgun Collection by Elgoes demonstrates what a lore-friendly pipe shotgun would look like, going as far as to even come with a far wider array of modifications, such as a quadrupel barrel that in some cases make it look as ridiculous as it no doubt will be deadly.
Why did i make it? There are loads of handmade weapons in Fallout 4 but a handmade shotgun was still missing. A friend of mine convinced me to start modding and told me that there already was a half build handmade shotgun model in the game files. This was not being used by Fallout 4 so i edited the model and worked on creating a fully usable and mod able weapon for in-game.
Hellfire Power Armor
Big, beautiful and utterly terrifying, the ultra-protective Hellfire Power Armor is the perfect way to bring the fight to the enemy... and end it quickly.
This has to be the most controversial item on the entire list. The piece that possibly inspired the very notion that, in turn, inspired this article. There isn't much to say on this piece of armor short of the fact that it has lived on in legend ever since its inception. Made by the Enclave after the Great War, it is considered the best power armor across the board, easily rivaling even the best vanilla Fallout 4 has to offer. However, some have already made note that the armor isn't designed ideally, and YouTuber Oxhorn even points out that there are clipping issues with the armor and the frame.
Despite that, the armor does come with a wide arrangement of skins as you would expect from a regular piece of armor in the game.
Ironically, had Bethesda simply resorted to stealing mods—which they were initially accused of—they'd quite possibly have ended up with far better entries for their Creation Club. The best example of this has to be the Hellfire X-03 Power Armor by unoctium. The detail shown in the screenshots alone are stunning, but they really put Bethesda's version to shame when seen up close, as evidenced by Oxhorn's earlier mentioned video. The attention to detail is absolutely stunning, and I must say in this case, a clearly superior item.
In some cases it was clearly obvious that there would be no real mod equivalent. Especially in the case of Morgan's Space Suit from Prey, as it is forbidden on Nexus mods to use any existing resources from a different game without explicit permission from the copyright holders. Creating them from scratch but in the image of an existing item tends to be less of a problem. But since the Space Suit doesn't exactly fit Fallout's lore or aesthetic, the likelihood of a modder taking up the task was quite small.
In closing, I would like to stress that mod websites such as Nexus mods are havens for free mods. Short of the Prototype Gauss Rifle, there was nothing on the list that made me think I wouldn't find something better on the Nexus. Most of the mod items presented above can be easily found with a simple search, but I found it was useful to still make this list, if only to make a point.
And that point is that Bethesda will never succeed in their efforts to sell mods if they can't manage to find a way to make it attractive and fair. Projects like these cannot succeed without wholehearted effort. These modders have managed to upstage Bethesda at their own game, yet again. They are individuals or small teams, driven only by a dream or a vision. Bethesda needs to seek out individuals of such caliber and employ them for efforts like these. If you don't give it your best, you won't create the best. And a critical thinking consumer will only settle for the best.
The saddest part is that, in essence, the Creation Club was a good idea. It had the potential to be a worthwhile angle for modders to create a little bit of income. But Bethesda's lack of effort and willingness to think things through has robbed them yet again of that chance.
Therefore, I feel obligated to remind you that you can donate to these modders on their respective Nexus mod pages, if they have this enabled. Without it, the only resources that they have to continue making these mods are their own time and patience. Either way, your support is appreciated.