10 tips for surviving Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic wasteland
It's rough out there, here's a helping hand
The Boston wasteland can be a very intimidating place. Whether it's worrying about the mutated insects, deadly raiders, or just plain old radiation, one thing's for sure; Life's not easy in the wasteland. Thankfully, we have some useful tips to make your life a bit easier.
Learned folk is more successful
Intelligence increases the amount of EXP you earn. So, naturally, the more INT you have the better - especially early on. I recommend starting a character with 10 INT and then during your first few (now faster) levels fill in the raw SPECIAL points instead of perks to customize your character more to how you want to play. If you’re going to put endless hours of gameplay into your character, why not get the most EXP you can?
If you are anything like me, you roll your eyes the moment the word “crafting” is uttered. I get it, boy do I get it. Throw that mindset out into the wasteland. In Fallout 4, crafting is both literal and figurative. Waiting for just the right weapon to drop is poppycock. Take a more aggressive stance and upgrade your weapons to make them do more damage, shoot further, and help you survive.
I’m not just talking about “ZOMG best gun NA,” but more of creating the perfect tools for your playstyle. I’m playing a Stealthy McStealthington character. Fitting my guns with silencers was a huge step in the right direction. Now take this heavy combat armor I’m wearing. Let's greatly reduce the weight (ultra-light) and add the shadow property to actually enhance my stealthing. Sure I could have made the armor have more defence but then again why does defense matter when all your foes die before they even know you’re there?
You scrap bro?
If you plan on crafting (which I just told you to do), you’re going to want the Scrapper Perk. Oh, hey look, it’s under Intelligence, how convenient. This bad boy tells you what junk can be scrapped into and how much of each resource you’ll receive. At rank 2, the resources you “Tag for Search” now glow as you approach them. THEY GLOW AS YOU APPROACH THEM. There is a whole lot of junk in the commonwealth. I don’t care about your strength or power armor, you’re going to get over encumbered at some point. You’re going to have to pick and choose what you pick up.
THEY GLOW AS YOUR APPROACH THEM!
While we’re on the topic of perks, let’s discuss combos. As you're leveling your character, you always want to keep in mind how to make her/him better in combat. Combos are your answer. Certain perks work really well together. Remember my Stealthy McStealthington character? This character only uses pistols. Maxed Gunslinger gives 100% pistol damage, maxed Ninja grants x3.5 on a sneak attack, maxed Sandman grants 50% extra damage to sneak attacks from silenced weapons, and maxed Lone Wanderer grants 30% weapon damage - max out Sneak and you’re one shot-ing super mutants from the shadows with ease. This is just one example, find your own combos to fit your playstyle!
Dogs don’t have souls
As a quick side note, and because I mentioned Lone Wanderer. The loyal canine companion Dogmeat does not count as a companion for the purposes of Lone Wanderer. That means if you max out this perk you can still get all the benefits of it while taking Dogmeat with you across the Commonwealth. I mean, if you don’t want increased carrying capability, damage reduction, and a damage bonus - you do. Plus, Dogmeat rules.
Don’t marry one weapon
There are so many weapons and weapon combinations in Fallout 4. Don’t decide you’ve found “the one” and only take it out on romantic excursions in moonlit ghoul parks. I’m not saying don’t have a go-to, but have a variety. Although I said my character only uses pistols, there are many pistols. I carry one of each ammo type. If you rotate your weapons or use them in specific situations, you run out of ammo less. Through crafting, you can often change what type of ammo guns use, change that so you can keep the gun while using a different ammo type of another favorite gun. The pipe guns have the most variety so use them to fill your gaps.
Don’t forget you can often change weapon types through crafting. Example, I found an awesome legendary laser rifle. One quick change to the stock and now it’s an awesome legendary laser pistol. Keep that in mind.
Drugs have their place
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa - I know what I just wrote. As a professional educator, it is difficult for me to recommend the benefits to drug use in reality - but, in Fallout 4, there is an exception. First off, crafting drugs is easy EXP. Secondly, the right drug at the right time can make the difference between life and death. Earlier in the game, there were a few times where a good dose of Psycho-Jet allowed me to
defeat difficult bosses. Addiction is a thing (there are perks to reduce it), but there are also cures to addiction. If you go down a drug path, know a good doctor. I hear lots of players ignore drugs - give them a try, the first dose is free.
(Side note, drugs are bad IRL)
Vendors as repeat offenders
Vendors and caravans refill their stocks with identical goods. Learning who has what can be very useful. Maybe you just want to refill your ammo. Maybe you want to buy out all of Trashcans’ baseballs everyday because you need cork for crafting. Whatever your reason, this is helpful to know and learn. It’s even better with a high charisma.
A safety net named VATS
This is the only tip of the ten that I feel is a bit of an exploit of the system. So decide to use it if you want. Basically, you can’t fool VATS. If the coast seems clear or things are too good to be true, there is usually something horrible waiting for you. Even if YOU don’t see any foes, VATS does. Clicking on VATS will show you where all landmines are in front of you and often where enemies are hiding behind walls. You can even check which ghoul is playing dead. Randomly clicking on VATS even when you don’t plan on shooting can be a lifesaver. It also helps with swarms of things.
Monogamy is wasted in the wastelands
Companions have great and FREE perks if you max out their relationship. So max out as many as you can. Once you’re done with one companion, throw them to the curb and start putting the moves on the next person, super mutant, or robot! It’s your moral compass on how bad you want to feel about this, I’m just here to tell it as it is. Thus far, I haven’t seen any repercussions to having several lovers in one place. No Persona 4-esque Valentine's Day meltdown here! You get the “Lover’s Embrace” temporary perk from whoever is close and they don’t fight with one another. Everyone swings both ways too so, enjoy that.
Dogmeat will always be there for you.