Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Fallout 4 horror mod The Wilderness will leave you feeling spooked and afraid

Uneasy mode.

Ever felt like Fallout 4 could stand to be a little more, well, Blair Witch? If you fancy stumbling around in the dark while being chased by unseen forces, this might be the mod for you.

The Wilderness is a chunky Fallout 4 PC mod by El Ha that offers a worldspace "at least as big" as Nuka World, with a bunch of abandoned buildings and a spooky main quest. It's a map that often feels deliberately barren, with the player encouraged to traverse vast distances in search of shelter and supplies. Thanks to the gloomy atmosphere created through a combination of bad weather and a synth-heavy soundtrack, it's easy to get jumpy - and you'll probably find yourself getting creeped out by the landscape as much as the actual jumpscares. Any good horror is about tension, after all.

Although there are basically no humans, there are plenty of horrible critters to keep you occupied on your travels.

On installing the mod, players are presented with a fast travel option north of Sanctuary called "The Wilderness". Travelling there (and walking forwards a little bit) will transport you to The Wilderness itself, a vast wasteland that feels a lot more abandoned than anything in the Commonwealth. You can explore the area in your own time if you fancy, but to start the main quest, you'll need to rummage around in the skeleton near the start area. This will give you your first map and a rather ominous quest message about avoiding "whatever is following you".

Feeling suitably unsettled, you can then head out into the world to explore and discover clues about what's going on. The mod only gives you the occasional pointer about where to go and largely leaves the player to explore. While this definitely adds to the feeling of isolation, at one point I found myself walking in circles for a little too long. My advice is to first head west and find the extended map in the Painter's House, then continue either north or west until you find more buildings.

Oh, and don't hang about for too long in any one area, or else you may come face-to-face with your pursuer. If you don't mind spoiling the surprise and want to see what that's like, here's the video of my encounter below. Hiding doesn't work, by the way.

Cover image for YouTube videoFallout 4 The Wilderness monster
A (brief) encounter with The Wilderness monster

Despite falling victim to the monster, I still think the creepiest thing I found during my time with the mod might have been the guy in his underpants on the edge of the map who made heavy breathing noises whenever I went near him. I'm yet to finish the main quest, however, so I suppose there's still time to top that.

If you're thinking of giving this a try yourself, modder El Ha recommends that you play this as a survival experience, noting that the mod is not about mowing down enemies in a "slaughterfest". It's also recommended that you leave any human companions at home for lore reasons, and frankly, it's a scarier experience when you're on your own. You can download The Wilderness on PC over on Nexus Mods - give it a whirl, if you dare.