Fallout 4 is an extremely complex game that does not tell you the rules clearly, contradicts what you want to do, fails to explain parts of the game that are sometimes very obtuse, and can has some very strong choices that you can miss if you either don’t know the setting, the game, or the way the system work. Fear not, though! After over 100+ hours, I’m compiling everything I think is critical to know about the game. Follow me as I explain things you may not know, thing I clearly didn’t know, and things I am clearly a moron for not understanding. This may take a few articles.
The Basics – Character Building.
Each of the four SPECIAL stats relates to a different priority within the game, and to a point will dictate how you interact with the game.
Strength is for melee damage (And Carry capacity. I had to look that up. See. Moron)
Perception is for — Vats Accuracy and Pickpocket
Endurance is for HP and sprinting
Charisma is for speech checks
Intelligence is for bonus XP
Agility is for Action Point Total and Stealth
Luck is for, well, being Lucky.
Fortuneatly, You can’t really mess up when assigning them. Outside of a few Very specific, and yet ultra common, builds, your not going to have a problem with any stat being low or high: They all have very tangible benefits. Even beyond that, though, every level grants you the opportunity to buy a perk or, alternately, up one of your SPECIAL stats buy one. You can easily reach desired Perks or stat levels.
There are, though, a few Perks to keep your eye on if you want to work with your settlements.
Science -1: Available at Intelligence 6, this will allow you to build the largest of the generators.
Gun Nut -1: Available at Intelligence 3, this will allow you to build potent defense turrets fairly early.
Local Leader -1: Available at Charisma 6, this allows you to link your settlements via Supply Lines.These are vital as they link the consumable materials between your settlements (more on this Here)
These are, in my opinion, essential to creating good settlements. With Science, you can power more of your settlement with less of an issue. With Gun Nut, you can easily defend your settlements from attacks with simple heavy machine guns. With Local Leader you can actually build settlements.
Perky: Things to Reach for with your first Perks
Raising your Special is a side effect to the real bulk of the Perk system, perks themselves. Here is where you can easily run afoul of some perks you’ll never use, but it is thankfully easy to correct.
There are a few perks that are universal. These, I have found, are worth going after in your first five or so levels specifically because they are good from the moment you get them and can vastly improve your quality of life. First, the Fortune Finder Perk. This one allows you to find more bottlecaps, everywhere. I’ve only taken the first level, but I’ve been more than happy with my cap count for most of the game, only running afoul of being broke once or twice. The second is Scrounger. This perk allows you to find more ammo in every container, which allows you to power your chosen weapon(s) easier. Even better, though, it allows you to have more caps than you’d expect, essentially acting as a second Fortune Finder, because ammunition is worth at least one cap, and often (Plasma, Gamma, .50cal) worth more. as they are weightless and you can carry an infinite amount of them, don’t be afraid to trade those missiles for stimpacks – saving your actual caps is where it is at. The third piece of Advice: get Hacker. This, to me, is extremely important. You’ll end up with a companion that can Hack, and a companion that can Pick Locks. The companion that Hacks is not allowed back into locked computers. The companion that Picks Locks can keep trying as long as you give them bobby pins. for this reason, and this reason alone, if you must pick a single tree to go down (int or per) and you cannot take the other, make sure you take hacking. It will be a lifesaver.
I emphatically advise that you choose a specific path and move forward with it through the whole game. Pick a specific venue of murder, and you’ll be rewarded. Sniper, Heavy weapons, Melee, Pistols and Rifles are all very solid choices, and they each have their own Perks that you’ll want to reach for, in their own SPECIAL stats. Heavy Weapons and Melee are in Strength, Sniper is in Perception, Pistols and Rifles are in Agility. I also suggest deciding on energy or ballistic weapons right from the start, and running up the Gun Nut or Science tree, respectively, as soon as you get the options. being able to tune your weapons is very strong.
Armorer is another must have, at least for me. Mostly because I get frustrated that I don’t have it, and that I keep forgetting to grab it. You’re going to piecemeal armor throughout the game, and being able to take the best that you have and modify it so that it fits your exact needs is key. I’ve grabbed rank 1, and its worked so far, but I really miss the fact that I keep forgetting to get rank 2.
You’re it: The Tag System
One of the things that seems only marginally helpful, but that is extremely useful, is the ability to Tag a component for search. You can do this either in the Component view of the Junk Menu or while at a workbench. After you do that, you’ll see everything with that component appear with an adorable little Magnifying glass next to it while your out exploring. You can tag multiple components, and let the magnifying glass lead your looting ways. Right now I have Ceramic, Copper, Adhesive and Aseptic all tagged, as well as steel. I don’t necessarily need steel, but its worth knowing what provides it.
Like Guns. And Armor. Did you know if you scrap both of the above, you can get materials. Simple things like a Pipe Pistol can turn into a wall section fairly easily, and if you’re going to go down that path, might I suggest that you grab Scrounger, as well, which increases the likelihood that breaking down weapons and armor will generate better components.
Oh, and your workshop? That connected to every other crafting location on in the settlement. Weapon Bench, Armor Bench, they make sense, but also the Chem Station and the Cooking Station. Its very useful to know that you can put your food and Chems into the workshop and not worry about pulling them into and out of containers to go cook.
Bringing the Heat: Modifying Weapons and Armor
Speaking of Components. You know how I mentioned the gun mods up above with Science and Gun Nut? Well, there is a caveat to that. See, You don’t need Gun Nut/Science to use the mods, you simply need it to create them. If you, like I, end up breaking down or even just swapping around the parts of a gun that you do have with a gun that you find, you keep the mod (in your inventory, unless you toss it into the workshop). Then, you can put it into any other version of the weapon that you want.
For example, I have three 10mm pistols. One has an Advanced Receiver, one had a Large Quick Eject Mag, and the other has a silencer. If you spend your materials to make basic, level 0 stock mods for these guns, you’ll replace the part and keep the Mod in your inventory. You’d do that with two, say the Advanced Receiver and the Silencer, and then you can take them and apply them to the gun with the Large, Quick Eject Mag. This can make upgrading your gun foolishly simple if you luck out and get a good weapon off an enemy early. Thankfully, the mobs in this game love to modify their weapons, and I’ve found all sorts of modifications all over the wasteland for my guns, including ones well at the end of the spectrum.
Basic Settlement Building: Supply Lines
Ok, so this one is a little more problematic, but is vital if you want to build or maintain settlements. One you get the Local Leader perk at Charisma 6, you can start building settlements. Prior to that, its just going to be a pain.
See, you have access to a settlements workshop, and they transfer between other crafting stations, but they don’t transfer across settlements, unless you unlock local leader and create a supply Line. In order to do this, you have to go up to a settler in workshop mode, and down at the bottom you’ll see a button that says “supply line”. Hit the button and assign the Settler or whoever to a route. Those two will now be connected, immediately, by a supply line. The settler will stay assigned to the settlement they originate from and will consume resources appropriately. This means that you actually want, at least in my case, to send a settler from the outlying location to your main hub, instead of the other way around. You want your main hub to be as large as it can be, so why consume population with people walking around in the wasteland?
Addtionally, supply lines are, well, lines. If Settlement A is connected to Settlement B, and Settlement B is connected to Settlement C, then Settlement A is connected to settlement C. In my opinion, this meant that one of my settlements, my main one, became the target of all my supply routes. If every site is connected to the main Settlement (Sanctuary Castle), Then every settlement is connected to each other. I might one day make a Trading Town, but I think that Sanctuary being my main hub is extremely characterful.
Furthermore, and even more importantly, Workshops will not share items. Instead, they will share a pool of components. You will never be able to transfer that Plasma Rifle from settlement to settlement. Instead, while in the workshop menu, you’re pool of resources to make new items is the combined pool of the connected supply lines. If you make a Heavy Machine gun turret at your newly minted and supplied Settlement, You could grab Crystal from Settlement B, Rubber from Settlement F, and Steel from Settlemen R to build it if you have none in your workshops inventory. you won’t have the actual components to view, but when looking at what you can build, you’ll just see a massive pile of components.
Well, I hope this helps, and if at least one person gets use out of it, I’ll have done my job. Let me know if there is anything I missed, and next time I’ll get some more down in text. I should also have a tour of my settlements, now that I have Gold Again, though I can’t figure out how to share my older screenshots. Its really depressing!