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The Settlement Recovery Procedure - Instructions for Recovering a Problem Settlement (Part 1)

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following individuals for contributing to, influencing, or otherwise informing this guide:
  • GA_Darkerside
  • damanding
  • kinggath
  • woodfuzzy
Any errors or omissions are my own.
- snarkywriter



The Settlement Recovery Procedure

Is there an invisible perimeter around your settlement that you can’t pass without Crashing to Desktop (CTD)? Is your game crashing whenever you try to upgrade your Rise of the Commonwealth (RotC) city plan? Do you crash whenever you attempt to fast travel into your city?

We’re here to help! This guide will cover the procedures you can use to attempt to recover a settlement that is using an RotC city plan when you are experiencing a consistent CTD upon entering, nearing, or upgrading the settlement. There are two primary options you can use to attempt to fix the issue:
  1. City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery
  2. Console Remote Reset

Disclaimer:


These recovery/reset procedures are the nuclear option for your city. When you use them, you will reset the city/settlement back to an empty location containing only settlers/companions and the vanilla objects that are part of precombined meshes and thus cannot be scrapped. You have been warned.

While these tools are able to resolve many CTD issues, we cannot guarantee that your save can be recovered! You can do everything detailed below, and still lose your save. There are unfortunately too many possible load orders, conflicts, problems, and issues that go into each user’s save file for a simple set of instructions to fix. Please use these steps at your own risk.
 
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snarkywriter

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OPTION 1 - City Manager’s Holotape Recovery


City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery should be used when:
  • You are playing on PC or Xbox AND
  • You consistently CTD whenever you approach, enter, or spend time in the settlement in question AND
  • You are able to get close enough to the settlement in question to successfully use the City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery option

Kinggath has fortunately created a solution within the Sim Settlements City Manager 2078 Holotape which will allow users to attempt to recover their settlements when significant issues occur. The following procedure outlines how to use this function.

City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery Procedure

Step 1:
Save your game.

Step 2:
Walk or fast travel to a location near the settlement you wish to recover, NOT to the settlement itself. Once you arrive, slowly walk toward the settlement. Continue to approach the settlement until you experience the CTD, and note where your character is standing when the CTD occurs.

Step 3:
Restart the game and load the save you just made.

Step 4:
Once again, walk or fast travel to a location near the settlement you wish to recover, NOT to the settlement itself. Once you arrive, slowly walk toward the settlement until you reach a point just before where your character was standing when you crashed in Step 2, then stop moving.

Step 5:
Without moving closer, go into First Person mode, turn your character in-place until they are facing away from the settlement and look straight down at the ground. (This will help reduce the graphical load on your computer while the game is processing the recovery command.)

Step 6:

Open the Pip-Boy and play the City Manager 2078 Holotape. The Main Menu should appear on your Pip-Boy screen:

Options.jpg


Step 7:
Move your cursor down to the “Options” option, and select it. The Options Menu should appear on your Pip-Boy screen:

Options Menu.jpg


Step 8:
Leave your cursor on the “Gameplay Options” option, and select it. The Gameplay Options Menu should appear on your Pip-Boy screen:

Visual.jpg


Step 9:
Move your cursor down to the “Visual” option, and select it. The Visual Menu should appear on your Pip-Boy screen:

Visual Menu.jpg


Step 10:
Move your cursor down to the “Demolition FX” option, and switch it to “OFF” if it is not already off:

Demo FX OFF.jpg


Back out to the Main Menu of the City Manager 2078 Holotape.

Step 11:
Move your cursor down to the “Tools” option, and select it. The Tools Menu should appear on your Pip-Boy screen:

Tools Menu.jpg


Step 12:
Move your cursor down to the “Remote Self Destruct Sequence” option, and select it. You will get the following pop-up message in the middle of your screen, asking you “Which settlement would you like to destroy?” and showing a list of the settlements it has detected that are within range:

Popup 1.jpg


Step 13:
If the settlement you wish to recover is in the list, proceed to Step 14. If the settlement you wish to recover is not in the list, reload the save you made in Step 1 and try approaching the settlement from a different direction to see if you can get closer. If, after trying a few different directions, the settlement you wish to recover is STILL not in the list, proceed to the It Didn’t Work section of this guide.

Step 14:
Select the settlement you wish to recover from the list. You will get another pop-up message in the middle of your screen, warning you that this process cannot be stopped, and asking you how much of the settlement you wish to destroy:

Popup 3.jpg

  • The “Nope, Nevermind!” option cancels the Remote Self Destruct Sequence.
  • The “Destroy Them All!” option destroys all Sim Settlements plots with ASAM sensors.
  • The “Use Full Charges (Destroy Entire Settlement)” option destroys all Sim Settlements plots with ASAM sensors, and scraps everything in the settlement that can be safely scrapped.

Step 15:

Begin by selecting the “Destroy Them All!” option. Another pop-up message will appear in the middle of your screen letting you know that the sequence will run after you close your Pip-Boy. Select “OK” to close the pop-up:

Popup 6.jpg


Step 16:
Close the Pip-Boy and wait for 10 to 15 real-time minutes with the game running for the command to finish running. Do not leave the area during this time. Once 10 to 15 real-time minutes have passed, a message will appear in the top left corner of your screen letting you know that the build limit for the settlement has been recalculated:

Screen Message.jpg


Step 17:
Save your game again.

Step 18:
Turn back to face the settlement, then slowly walk toward the middle of the settlement. If you are now able to enter the settlement without crashing, congratulations, you’re done! The settlement should now be reset, all settlers should be moving around, and the workbench should contain all items.

If you are still crashing, reload the save you made in Step 17 and start the procedure again from Step 11. However, this time, select the “Use Full Charges (Destroy Entire Settlement)” option when prompted, and finish the procedure as before.

If you are still crashing after using both sequences, move on to the It Didn’t Work section of this guide.
 
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snarkywriter

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It Didn’t Work!

If you are on Xbox, there is currently no way to recover your save if the City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery option does not work. Xbox players do not have access to some of the more advanced developer tools that would be needed to attempt to recover their save file. You will unfortunately need to start a new character or avoid this settlement completely.

If you are on PC, please continue to the OPTION 2 - Console Remote Reset section of this guide for additional steps which may help you recover your save.
 
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OPTION 2 - Console Remote Reset


Console Remote Reset
should be used when:
  • You are playing on PC AND
  • You consistently CTD whenever you attempt to approach the settlement in question AND
  • You are unable to get close enough to the settlement in question to successfully use the City Manager 2078 Holotape Recovery option
PC Users have more options if you find you are having trouble with a settlement. If Option 1 isn’t working for you, you can try using the developer’s console. The following procedure outlines how to use a custom console command included with Sim Settlements to attempt to reset the city.

Important Note for Survival Mode Players:
Survival Mode unfortunately disables most of the tools players can use to debug and fix issues with a modded playthrough of Fallout 4. If you are playing in Survival Mode, there are several tools you will need to re-enable in order to debug and repair your save. Re-enabling these tools should be a best practice for any player who plays in Survival Mode with mods.

First, you will need to re-enable saving with the menu, the developer’s console, and fast travel. There are several options available on Nexus:
  1. Survival Menu Save Enable (https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/11542/)
  2. Enable Console for Survival Mode (https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/33164/)
  3. Survival Mode Fast Travel (https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/13797/)
  4. Survival Options (https://nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/14650/)
  5. Unlimited Survival Mode – F4SE (https://nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/26163/)
I personally use and can recommend Unlimited Survival Mode – F4SE, but it is a .dll extension file and requires F4SE to work. Luckily, it is version neutral so it works for all versions of F4SE after v0.4.2. The others are .esp files, for those who do not use F4SE.


Console Remote Reset Procedure

Step 1:
Save the game.

Step 2:
Move your character into an interior cell. I would suggest Home Plate, since there normally aren’t any hostiles there.
  • NOTE: This guide assumes you are using Home Plate as the interior cell.
Step 3: (optional)
Dismiss any followers you have.

Step 4:
Use a Chemistry Station to make a Town Meeting Gavel, available in the Utility menu, if you do not already have one.

Step 5:
Open the developer’s console by using the “ ~ ” (aka the tilde or grave) key on your keyboard. An image of where this key is on an American English keyboard is below:

Tilde Key.jpg


The game will pause, the bottom half of the screen will darken, and a command-line like cursor will appear. The command-line will have “---” in front of it.

Dev Console.jpg


This is where you type console commands using your keyboard. Do not click on anything on-screen. Make sure nothing appears in the middle top of the darkened area, then just type the following command:

tai

Press “Enter”. This command disables NPC AI calculations, which relieves some of the burden on the Papyrus VM scripting engine.

Step 6:
Type the following command in the console:

cqf kgsim_cpmanager ForceClearSettlement XXXXXXX

Press “Enter”. This command removes all workshop items from the problem city/settlement. Any items stored in containers in the settlement will be transferred to the settlement’s workbench, as will any resources generated by scrapping the workshop items.

You will need to substitute the “XXXXXXX” at the end of this command for the RefID of the settlement you want to reset. The list of vanilla and DLC settlement RefIDs is below. For the DLC settlements, the RefID in the list starts with “xx”, where “xx” is the Load Order ID of the DLC.

xxxxxxxx - Base Game Settlements:
0006f5c5 - Abernathy Farm
000b3506 - Boston Airport
00019956 - Bunker Hill
00066eb6 - The Castle
00168945 - Coastal Cottage
0009b1db - County Crossing
000e0505 - Covenant
001654bd - Croup Manor
00164321 - Egret Tours Marina
0009b19d - Finch Farm
0009b18f - Graygarden
0009b1f1 - Greentop Nursery
001f0711 - Hangman's Alley
00141df5 - Home Plate
001654cf - Jamaica Plain
001654b8 - Kingsport Lighthouse
0016d28e - Murkwater Construction Site
0009b1be - Nordhagen Beach
0009b1d1 - Oberland Station
00024a26 - Outpost Zimonja
00054bae - Red Rocket Truck Stop
000250fe - Sanctuary Hills
0009b197 - The Slog
001e81ea - Somerville Place
00161f4b - Spectacle Island
0001d0e2 - Starlight Drive-In
001654d5 - Sunshine Tidings Co-op
00135a90 - Taffington Boathouse
0009b1ac - Tenpines Bluff
0009b1a5 - Warwick Homestead

xxxxxxxx - Automatron Settlements:

xx000e4c - The Mechanist's Lair

xxxxxxxx - Far Harbor Settlements:

xx02064c - Longfellow's Cabin
xx038ea8 - Dalton Farm
xx00ab20 - National Park Visitor's Center
xx01c6aa - Echo Lake Lumber

xxxxxxxx – Vault-Tec Workshop Settlements:
xx000fef - Vault 88

xxxxxxxx - Nuka World Settlements:
xx00bce7 - Nuka World Red Rocket

Step 7:
Close the console and wait for 10 to 15 real-time minutes with the game running for the command to finish running. Once 10 to 15 real-time minutes have passed, save your game again.

Step 8:

Fast travel to a location near the settlement you reset, NOT to the settlement itself. Once you arrive, slowly walk toward the middle of the settlement. NPC AI is still be disabled, so they will all be standing in one spot doing nothing. Move to Step 9 only if you are now able to enter the settlement without crashing. If you are still crashing, skip to the It STILL Didn’t Work section of this guide.

Step 9:
Inside the settlement, re-open the console by pressing tilde, then type the following command in the console:

tai

Press “Enter”. This command will re-enable NPC AI calculations.

Step 10:
Slowly
walk toward the middle of the settlement and check for floating items along the way. There are still items which may need to be deleted, though not all are visible.

Step 11:
Use the Town Meeting Gavel. A popup menu will appear. Select the “Scrap This Settlement” option, then the “Yes, Clear It All” option.

Town Meeting Gavel Options.jpg

Town Meeting Gavel Option 2.jpg


The screen will go black. Wait for 10 to 15 real-time minutes with the game running for the command to finish running.
  • Note: Just because the objects disappear does not mean that they have been deleted; you still need to wait. This will clean up any leftovers like idle markers, lights, floating items, etc., and invisible markers, which take a bit longer to remove than the visible objects in a settlement.

Step 12:
Fast travel back to Home Plate, then save and exit the game completely (i.e., shut down Fallout 4). This clears out the system memory of all the nasty stuff you just did.

Step 13:
Load the game, then load the save you made in Step 12. Wait for 10 to 15 real-time minutes with the game running for the engine to settle, then Fast Travel back to your cleaned settlement.

The settlement should now be reset, all settlers should be moving around, and the workbench should contain all items. You’re done. Have fun. :)
 
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snarkywriter

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It STILL Didn’t Work!

Unfortunately, if these steps didn’t work, it is likely that the cell data in your save file for one of the cells the settlement occupies has been corrupted. As of the date of this post, there is no firm understanding of how this cell corruption occurs. It is possible in both modded and vanilla saves, and is extremely difficult to diagnose after it occurs.

There is currently no way to recover a save that contains a corrupted cell. You will unfortunately need to start a new character. The Sim Settlements team is exploring several possible causes for cell corruption, and will hopefully be able to trace the cause and provide a solution in the future. If you have coding experience and an interest in helping the community by tackling this issue, please contact @GA_Darkerside and @kinggath to offer your aid.
 
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