Fallout 4 Tips & Tricks: Your Wasteland Survival Guide

After playing more than 30 hours of Fallout 4, and written an impression of what I experienced, it’s time to share some help to any would be wasteland wanderer who wants to traverse the Commonwealth. Here’s some quick tips to start out early on.

Minor spoilers on locations and companions.

Here’s some recommendation build to try: sniper/ninja- focus on perception and agility, V.A.T.S Roulette- Luck and Agility, Full on Crafter- Charisma and Intelligence.

What Makes You  S.P.E.C.I.A.L. ?

Your stats operate on a scale of 10. But don’t be afraid to max it out up to 10 from the get go! Not only do you get early access to the last level of perks, but when you find the S.P.E.C.I.A.L bobbleheads you can increase it further up to 11.

Already invested in 9 stats? Use a level up to train that stat and get it to 10 before picking up the appropriate bobblehead. You can’t train it anymore once it reached 10.

Head back to Your Old Home

In your home, there’s a Grognak the Barbarian magazine (which adds ) and a You’re S.P.E.C.I.A.L book. The book grants a free stat point of your choosing.

Not sure which one is it? It’s the one where you encounter Codsworth.

Level 6 Perks Are Useful

I advise you to spec at least 6 points to a perk you like. All of the perks unlocked at level 6 are useful.

Strength gives you Strong back that increases weight limit (perfect for hoarding) with higher ranks of it can even allow you to run and fast travel even when you’re carrying too much, Luck unlocks Better Criticals, increasing Critical damage. Intelligence has Science! which unlocks crafting  mods for energy weapons and needed for upgrading power armours. Endurance has Rad Resistance, which makes you resist more rads. Rad.

The most useful of all would be level 6 Charisma, which unlocks Local Leader. If you’re planning to invest with building settlements this would be the perk to get early.

Branch Out Your Perks

The perk rankings are gated by level, and the whole system is designed to not lock you in a specific playstyle, unlike previous Fallouts. By the time you hit level 20 or so try out some other perks that sounds cool and attainable. Don’t be afraid to use a level or two to just increase stats, there’s no level cap. By level 30 or so if you keep on focusing on perks of your main stat (assuming you play a specialised build that has a high stat on one or two attributes) you’ll run out of options, but to branch out.

The best practice on setting trade routes is use one settler only for trade routes per settlement. This will free up more settlers to do other jobs like guard duty, tending crops, and take care of shops.

Managing Resources

Put all of your collected junk on any of the crafting benches (workshop, armour bench, weapon bench, cooking stations, chemical workbench) instead of a container. When accessing any of the stations for crafting, all of the junk is accessible, so no need to ferry the junks from one station to another.

But you do have to ferry junks to one settlement to another, unless you picked up Local Leader. The trade routes mean that settlements connected will share the junk stored, so no need to carry them yourselves.

Once unlocked, enter the workshop, highlight a settler and press the supply line button (Q on PC by default, check the button prompts) and select a settlement you wish to connect via trade route.

While everyone is saying (even the in-game tool tip) is saying adhesive is rare, my situation differs.

Tag Resources

When browsing the crafting menu,  if there’s a resource missing (say, adhesive), press “tag for search”. Now whenever you see an item that has elements of adhesive, there’s a magnifying glass icon denoting that you’re probably need it. If you feel the need to question if each junk is worth picking up then use tag for search. You can tag multiple items too. Now you won’t miss that piece of duct tape or wonderglue and then complain when crafting that you simply can’t find enough adhesive.

This only works when you’re missing the said resources. If you already have them, pressing tag will untag them.

Some Resources Can Be Crafted

As mentioned, adhesive is hard to find, but requires a lot of use. To mitigate this, you can craft vegetable starch at the cooking station. The items required are easily found in farms and well-built settlements with plenty of food and water resources. So get farming!

The magazine racks do not hold all of the collectible magazines, so build a few of them if you intend to collect them all.

Show Off Your Collection

You can craft magazine racks and stands (in furniture, shelves) and bobblehead display (furniture, misc) to put all those collected magazines and bobbleheads on display. You still keep the perks and bonuses you got from them.


Aim Down Sights, Cover, and V.A.T.S

Fallout 4 plays more like a shooter now. So your skills in FPS can be carried over. If playing a character with low perception, hitting targets in V.A.T.S can be challenging, especially at long distances. But if you can aim down and net a headshot, then consider that an advantage.

Some weapons are better suited to be used in real-time than using V.A.T.S. Automatic weapons is better by just aim down the sights. Faster, non-automatic weapons work well with V.A.T.S. So an auto receiver is better with normal shooting whereas hair trigger receivers work well in V.A.T.S.

You can also use cover. Face a wall, and aim, you will lean to the side.


Learn About Your Companions

Companions now have more personality, and whatever you do in the Wasteland can make them like or dislike you more.

For example, your Minuteman buddy Preston will eventually gives you the rank of General of the Minuteman before being your companion. He respects you as one. Then came the Brotherhood of Steel member who wants to recruit you as one of them and expects you to be ready to take orders from them. Preston doesn’t like that idea. He’s also have a soft spot for a certain type of humanoids.

Piper the journalist, on the other hand, is always strutting herself to bend some rules to get to the truth, but doing so not for fame or glory, she just wants to do what she believes in as good. It’s why she wouldn’t mind you picking locks, but don’t like you haggling for more pay.

There are hints of their personality. Let them roam free in a settlement or town. Hear their small talk. Surely you’ll get the idea how each companion ticks, and behave accordingly when they are around.

Or you can always consult the wikis.

Why bother you ask? Raise their affection high enough and you will unlock personal quests and special perks.

Give Companions Weapons and Gears

Companions, and settlers, won’t automatically use the best gear you hand to them now. You must explicitly equip it to them ( there’s an equip button in the trade menu). Note that new weapons handed to them require ammunition, unless it’s the same type of ammo used by it’s default weapon.

Transferring Mods

Be on the lookout for weapons with mods. Depending on how you build your character, you might not get access to the more advance mods. You can however transfer these mods to other weapons. Go to the weapon bench, and craft the standard version of the part. Now that previous mod is now added to your inventory (my mods) and can be equipped to other weapons of the same type.

About Fusion Cores

Don’t deplete all of the fusion core’s energy! Replace it with a fresh one before it dissapears. You can sell it back at a high price (how much the charge is left isn’t considered).  You also need 3 fusion cores to access Vault 81, so give them 3 with barely enough energy, and keep the full powered one for your own use.

Remember the engine thing when you rip out your first fusion core in the museum? Keep an eye out for those. There’s no repercussions on taking them.

Also, fast travelling with power armour won’t use any energy from fusion cores.

Beware of Nukes!

The world is littered with nuclear, and it’s not just the radiation. Be careful when fighting in places with lots of cars, getting cover behind them is dangerous as the car can explode ( remember, these cars are powered by mini nukes). Also be wary of some suiciders who use mini-nukes, and enemies with power armour. Shoot the hand that hold the nuke and the fusion core respectively and it’ll explode into a mushroom cloud. Keep your distance!

Save Those Stimpaks

Stimpaks are handy when in combat as it can heal limb damage. So save them for it. Use food,drink from water or sleep to boost HP outside of combat if possible. Foods found in the wasteland generate radiation, which caps your max HP. But cooked foods made in the cooking station don’t, and have additional boosts to boot.

You can heal companions that are downed in combat with a stimpack. But they can’t die, and will heal back when all there’s no enemies nearby, so consider that too.

Screenshot from the Pip-Boy app. Why the high luck you asked? It’s base 10 plus two armour pieces that adds 2 luck each

Using the Pip-Boy Companion App

The companion app works as intended, and useful for some instances. Having a map open all the time with real time positioning could help you when you get lost. Switching clothes and armour to see if it looks cool on you becomes faster and easier. You can have a friend help out more than just backseat gaming by letting them control the app, helping to change quests and dish out healing items while in combat.

Sure, skipping this would still be a viable way to play, but give it a try. Setting it up is also hassle-free. Just connect your mobile device to the same network as your console/PC and you are good to go.

If you’re lucky, legendary encounters can net you loot with unique perks and bonuses.

On Legendary Enemies

Throughout your adventures you will come across legendary enemies, denoted by the star at the end. Their main shtick is that they can ‘mutate’, refill back their health once it’s too low. Defeating them earns you a random loot with a star, which guarantes special properties.

Do note that legendary enemies spawn randomly. Some are so rare that it will be gone after a reload. So try your best in defeating them for the chance of random loot.


Hopefully this simple tips can help you out in the wasteland. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there already, so do scour the wasteland Internet for more info if you need. Especially on how to build those settlements.

Good luck and have fun!

[This article originally appeared on the author’s personal site, meckronos.wordpress.com]


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept