Fallout 4: 15 Important Things It Doesn’t Tell You About

There are things I only worked out how to do in Fallout 4 [official site] after hours and hours of play, so I thought I’d spare the rest of you from similar confusion. From fuss-free shopping to streamline construction and power armour management, and of course figuring out how to run those blasted settlements, here are a few must-know pieces of hard-earned wisdom. Some apply to total greenhorns, some might surprise even people fairly deep into the game – and I’ll add to them as more occur.

I can’t quite decide if the game just got itself into a bit of a muddle when it comes to explaining its many, many less than obvious systems or if it truly has a sink or swim philosophy, figuring that it’s far more satisfying for players to work everything out for themselves. I suspect the former, to be honest, given its many other glitches and that most of the features it fails to document are down to user interface obfuscation (and a complete absence of relevant tutorial) rather than delightful things one might stumble across through experimentation. (Although I include a couple of those too).

1) How to use the Perk menu

This comes under the category of stuff for near-newbies. That Perks unlock screen in the Pipboy? Looks as though it’s just a single screen, doesn’t it? No arrows, no scrollbars, no prompts- but in fact it scrolls way down, revealing a whole mess of other perks, including the arguably vital likes of Lockpicking and Science, plus returning favourite Bloody Mess. Right-click and drag to move around it, or alternatively move the cursor to the edge of the screen. You can also pointlessly zoom in and out a tiny bit with the mouse wheel. Sadly there are no ways to organise or filter it to be more easily-browsed.

2) How to find your Power Armour

You can’t shove a suit of Power Armour in a cupboard, so what to do with it if you’re running out of Fusion Cores or simply want to stroll around in your civvies for a while? Well, just get out of it and leave it wherever – and a new icon will appear on the map showing where you’ve left it.

3) How to repair Power Armour

If you do wear Power Armour regularly, you’ll notice that, unlike regular armour, it can get pretty messed up, even to the point that you can’t wear it any more. You’ll want to repair it regularly, which you can do by walking close to a Power Armour Station – the yellow upright frames which look like a partially-dismantled Aliens powerloader – getting out of the armour and then hitting Use on the Station (E by default). Repair and upgrade options should then pop up. Keep a lot of Steel around for repairs, by the way.

4) Easy junk storage

And while we’re talking about crafting stations, did you know that you can store stuff in them? If there’s somewhere you visit frequently, the stations make an easy and logical place to leave items you don’t need with you at all times. This is doubly useful in terms of junk; I know I spent a few too many hours hauling around a backpack full of toasters and microscopes because I was worried I’d forget which shelf or trunk I’d stuck them all in otherwise. There’s even a shortcut to dump all Junk – i.e. everything that isn’t a weapon, armour, aid or quest item – into a crafting station. Just press R to enter Transfer mode (not E to Use) then T the shift all junk over.

5) Making more space in settlements

Speaking of Settlements, there are a couple of less than obvious tricks worth knowing about. The first two you probably did work out by yourself, but I’ll stick ’em here for the record. One is that you scan scrap a great deal of existing crap in settlements – lamposts, beds, rusted cars, even some derelict buildings – by pressing R while in build mode. This reduces them to a few components parts – usually steel and wood – and dumps it directly into the the settlements’ storage. (You can access this storage from a crafting station, as described above. You can also network crafting stations between settlements – see tip 8). You can also do this to useful and decorative stuff, and also to any weapons or armour – though they require either doing it from a crafting station or by manually dropping the item in question on the ground then entering build mode and doing the R to scrap thing.

6) Moving and storing existing furniture and crafting stations

Secondly, you can relocate or store intact existing furniture and stations that you want to keep. Go into build mode, hover the reticule over the item in question and press E to select it, which lets you move it around, or Tab to send it into storage. This means you can access it from elsewhere without having to build a brand new whatever it is.

7) How to assign roles to settlers

Thirdly and most importantly/least obviously, if you’re anything like me you’ll have been frustrated about how to assign settlers to tasks such as farms and defences. Sometimes a new settler will walk up to you and ask if there’s anything they can do, but if you miss the prompt that’s it, they’ll never ask again and will just hang around like a bad, useless smell. What you really have to do is enter Build mode, go hover the reticule over a settler and press E – you can then tell the settler to walk somewhere, or point the reticule at a construction and you can assign them to it. No more withered Tato plants.

8) How to share storage across all settlements

This Settler assignation function serves an extra, perhaps even more useful purpose – you can use them to essentially network crafting stations, so anything you’ve stored in them becomes accessible from any of your settlements. No more repeatedly hoofing it between Sanctuary Hills to Red Rocket because you haven’t got quite enough fuses in one place, in other words. You’ll need to have unlocked the Local Leader perk for this, which itself requires a Charisma of 6. With that done, repeat the build mode / find spare settler process above, but press Q to activate a Supply Line rather than E to Command – you’ll then be presented with a list of settlements. Choose one to form a link between it and your current location. Note that this will essentially remove the settler from the current place’s population, however, as well as dragging them off any other task they might have been associated with. It’s also worth nothing that you can also assign some companions to Supply Lines, if you’re short on spare settlers.

9) Where to get free Fusion Cores

I suspect this falls into the ‘sanctioned cheat’ category, as it’s also a cheery little semi-emergent experiment. If you’re doing the whole Power Armour thing, your most precious resource is Fusion Cores, those little glowing pucks which give your metal suit its defensive and mobile capabilities. You can find these hidden deep inside some buildings, and occasionally for sale at exorbitant prices – but the best way to get hold of them is from the Brotherhood Of Steel. If you won’t or can’t sign up with the big ol’ stern techno-fascists, how about stealing cores from them?

You don’t have to become their enemy to do this – just get your pickpocket perk up to 3 then keep your eyes peeled for suited’n’booted Brotherhood troops. Sneak up on them and you can steal the Fusion Core right out of the back of the suit. One hell of a design flaw if you ask me, especially as this then prompts the soldier to pop out of his now semi-non-functional suit and leave it right there, so you can then rob limb, torso and helmet armour upgrades from it. Or even the whole suit, if you’ve not bought one yet. If you’re enemies with the Brotherhood, this is also a powerfully effective strategy – sneak up, take the core and make them hatch out of their protective shell before you start fighting.

10) How to filter items while trading

A quick general shopping tip. Easy and vital when you know how, a massive pain in the wobbly bits if you don’t. When trading, you can switch between categories (i.e. weapons, apparel etc) rather than have to endlessly scroll through a long list which initially seems as though it can only be sorted alphabetically, by damage, value or weight. Just look for the little arrows to the left and right of ‘My Inventory’ or the trader’s name and you can cycle through the categories. If those arrows aren’t there – as they’re often not – you can click anyway and it will still cycle through. Saves a lot of legwork, this.

11) How to holster your weapon

Most people who played Skyrim or Fallout 3 will probably know this already, but it bears repeating for total greenhorns – hold down R (or whatever reload is bound to) to put your weapon away. As well as very occasionally making NPCs more amenable, having your screen clear of a honking great gun means you can see more of what’s going on, helps get into the roleplay spirit in towns and makes for cleaner screenshots.

12) Easy experience points

You get experience points from every kind of crafting, in addition to combat and quests. So visit science and cookery stations often to see what you can do with whatever crap is hanging around your inventory. Be it cooking scorpion meat or mixing drugs together, there’s usually some recipe you can fulfill, and after a long time in the wilderness you might find you get a big splurge of experience for it.

13) The importance of casual wear

Charisma doesn’t just affect your chances in quest-based dialogue and unlock new Perks – the more charming you are, the better the rate you get from traders, for both buying and selling. So don’t turn your nose up at all those sequin dresses and tatty suits with no armour rating but +2 Charisma – stick ’em on when shopping and you’ll save a pretty penny. The same’s true of the Day Tripper drug, which I guess is post-apocalyptic cocaine, though be wary of addiction or seeming like you work in the music industry.

14) Shoot from cover

There is a cover system of sorts. If you stand at the edge of a building/wall or behind an open door, you’ll notice that you can’t see past it. Unless you hit right click (or whatever you have assigned to sighted mode), at which point your character will automatically lean out and have a clear shot from relative safety. Bear in mind this only works while in first-person mode, however – in third person, you’ll just see whatever’s directly in front of you, which usually means whatever bit of brick or wood you’re skulking behind.

15) Companion inventories and appearance

You can dress up some Companions – in fact they can wear anything you can, power armour aside, and the same’s true of weapons. Talk to them, ask to trade, then send whatever items you want them to wear or carry over to the inventory. Select it (from the right-hand pane) and press T, and you’ll see it reflected in their appearance immediately. This is great both for co-ordinating outfits and making your chum of chums more combat-effective. Note that this broadly only works for human companions – although Dogmeat-specific armour can occasionally be found or bought.

There are more things like this. There will be still more things like this. Please share suggestions and questions alike below and I’ll update this with anything else that seems useful.

135 Comments

  1. yogibbear says:

    If your FPS sucks, first things to drop are Shadow Quality to Medium and Godlight to Medium and then you should be sweet. Able to get decent performance @ everything else Ultra @ 1440P on a 770GTX with those settings and having changed FOV to 90 and removing mouse acceleration and Y-scale scaling issue with the .ini tweaks available.

    • yogibbear says:

      Oh and my favourite tip that I just figured out cause I’m a total noob is you might be scrapping/selling all those lame weapons you find, but if it’s got a single decent mod on it, keep it take it back to the weapon mod station, remove the mod, then put that mod on your already modded version of the weapon and hey presto! you’ve got a Gun Nut Level 3 mod when you’re only Level 1 skilled on your weapon.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Oooh, that’s a good one. Have to try that, thanks!

        One thing not mentioned in the OP is that if you leave your power armor somewhere out in the woods, take the power core out. That stops bandits from looting the armor, which apparently will happen occasionally.

      • Crusoe says:

        Thank you for that!

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        gritz says:

        And before anyone goes looking for a “remove mod” option in this game’s terrible interface: by “remove the mod” he’s actually saying “remove the mod by building a standard mod in its place”

        Also note that unused mods take up 0.5 in your inventory, so don’t forget to stash them in your workbench before leaving town.

        • gmillar says:

          Can’t wait for someone to make a mod that lets you just break down a weapon into its parts instead of scrapping it or just swapping mods.

        • Holderist says:

          Only with guns. Removing armor mods costs nothing. Because, of course, taking off a modular scope is far more difficult than resewing leather.

      • james___uk says:

        THANKYOUUU!

    • RedViv says:

      Apparently the ugly blocks some people experience on lighting are also godrays, which you can only completely disable if you pull down the graphics to LOW in the launcher, and then manually switch up everything to where it should be, except for leaving godrays up of course.

      • tehfish says:

        I was having the exact same problem, but disabling godrays did not fix it, but this did:

        “Try changing the bVolumetricLightingEnable= value from 1 to 0 in both of the Fallout4Prefs.ini files(one in the game dir and one in Documents-MyGames-Fallout4)”

        Just posting this encase other people have the same bug :)

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The biggest thing I found was turning down the draw distance sliders ever so slightly. I turned them down to I’d say 80-90% and have been getting consistent a pretty 60fps with an FOV of 90 at 1920×1080 using a GTX 970.

      • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

        How is this a thing. The GTX970, the current gold standard of video cards, can have trouble maintaining 60fps@1080p running THIS? I guess then I should be happy my junk card can maintain a stable 50 with some options turned down…

        • try2bcool69 says:

          From what I gather, unless you unlock it in the .ini files, the game caps you at 60, otherwise the physics engine goes nuts and bodies start flinging themselves willy-nilly about the place.

          • socrate says:

            The engine is also pretty bad and seems also to be leaking…getting worst as you are playing.

            its also the first game that people end up having HUGE dps drop from godray which is a first…shadow as always been problematic for tons of dev…nowaday i do have to admit that most have figured it out…blizz have tons of shadow that don’t give you much trouble..at least not on my older pc..BF4 and battelfront gave me amazing graphic and detail with tons of crazy stuff happening at the same time in multiplayer at that and while i wasnt fond of the gameplay of battlefront i have to admit the game is beautiful graphically and run sooo smoothly on my old ass pc…while this game as fps problem on my top end job PC..which is kind of ridiculous ….not to mention the control that might aswell be unrebindable since the stuff you would love to rebind isn’t rebindable and was obviously made for console.

            Then again even next gen console have horrible fps problem with this…so yeah.

        • CapnSensible says:

          The 970 never was the “gold standard.” It was a budget version of the 980, and both were released on the same day. The actual gold standard currently is the 980Ti.

      • Nuclear Coffee says:

        What? What CPU do you have? I’m getting 80 fps with my 970 at 100 FOV

  2. Rhodokasaurus says:

    I’m not too far into the game yet, but what’s the purpose of fixing up settlements? It lets you do it almost immediately but doesn’t explain why you would. Is there a story reason later?

    Also, a related tip I found out- you should use the workshop to “scrap” all the junk you have, instead of storing it. If you scrap a piece of junk with multiple components (say, screws and steel), you get both components. If you build or modify something using this same piece of junk directly but only need steel, it’ll use up the item without saving the screws. I don’t know why they did it this way.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I’m early in also, just finishing up what amounts to an in-game tutorial quest for making Sanctuary into a full settlement. So I don’t know about end game reasons.

      I think settlements are in the game for two reasons. First, some people love this homesteading stuff (I’m “meh” on it). Second, it’s a role-playing thing that I find a little more appealing, about doing your bit to help restore civilization in the wasteland. And maybe something to putter around with, after finishing the main storyline.

      • Behrditz says:

        The “point” of them is that they harvest resources and can make money for you.

        • Darkz0r says:

          Not to mention the stores for buying ammo and stuff. I’m always out of E-cells, so you can keep visiting all your settlements with stores to refill stuff and sell junk to your own vendors.

    • Behrditz says:

      It has been confirmed on reddit that you dont need to scrap things. Its just a visual listing bug. If you use something with multiple resources, those “extra” resources will not show up while you are still in the menus, but you WILL be able to use them for crafting, and they will show up later.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      Is there a way to automatically scrap all the junk held in your workshop?

      • Whelp says:

        There’s no need. The junk items get broken down automatically while crafting, and your workshop doesn’t have an item limit as far as I’ve seen.

    • socrate says:

      Its just the new thing that every game need to have now…started with modding weapon then crafting now this…the sad part is they basically pasted ark and rust way of building without actually realising how it worked…they put that wierd thing of having corner in instead of the piece fitting into a corner…then you end up knowing it was half assed if you do the settlement mission when all the settler apart from the one you use to unlock new settlement and the first one you “get” they are all named “settler”…it kind of remove the…immersion from it all…seeing how easy it is now to make a random name generator these days its sad to see that amount of effort.

      Then again its bethesda were talking about,why do actual work when you know modder with do it for you and you end up with all the credit of being an awesome company then steal all these idea and way of coding their damn game for their next game in their series.

  3. Synesthesia says:

    Also, I learned this game is much, much comfortable to play with a controller. There, I said it. Building the settlement was a pain in the ass, moving from the mouse to the arrow keys to navigate the awful menus, and everything is a breeze now with my trusty xbox controller.

    I’m having fun with this one. Is this the first bethesda game i’ll finish?

    • Rhodokasaurus says:

      I agree, actually, and after using a controller it’s clear why VATS is still around. I’m having a lot of fun using VATS this time, though.

      Small tip for anyone using a controller- once I switched to it, my command console hotkey (~) stopped working. I thought it was broken forever. For some reason it just migrated to (‘).

      • wagger says:

        You can just hold the shift button and then move left/right through the menus using A/D.

    • snv says:

      Yes, but like with skyrim the reason large parts of the interface feel better fitting with a controller is just because they, once again, designed the UI around a controller.

      Since the actual pointing and shooting is so much superior with M&K vs. controller, this alone makes the decision a no brainer, though i liked the movement to analogue (i would like to do something like a mixed control)

      • Synesthesia says:

        I think that’s debatable, actually. I was fumbling around a lot with the mouse acceleration, and clumsy VATS with m and k, but as soon as i switched to controller i started to find combat a whole lot more satisfying.

        • akstro says:

          Normally I find FPS games unplayable with a controller but with the help from VATS when I need it, FO4 is definetly superior with a controller than KB/M. At least until there is a UI mod anyway.

          • socrate says:

            you must be the worst people in the history of FPS then…i can snipe someone from across the map with a M&K and kill anything in a milliseconds in close quarter combat…Vats is literally as useless as before if you know how to point a gun that shoot extremely straight…in a game with still bad ai….then again im guessing were talking about people that must play on easy and think this is hard in any way…im sorry but i can’t take people that think M&K is bad compared to a controller in an FPS

      • Kitsunin says:

        I think the FPSing really isn’t any better with a mouse and keyboard. That’s because it isn’t really a typical FPS, the mechanics here are really quite simple. There’s no ducking and dodging, for you or your enemies, that plus VATS means precision aiming has little use, which means the advantage of a mouse is almost entirely negated by the mechanics.

        And the easier use of VATS, dialogue menus, and shortcut item buttons makes things flow substantially better with a controller. And these are areas which I don’t think are due to a cruddy UI (though they are often made worse by it).

        • fish99 says:

          I’d say if your go-to weapon is a sniper rifle, getting headshot crits from range, then m/k is better. You get poor headshot %s at range in VATs. The perk to improve this needs level 26 and 8 perception IIRC.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Ah, and they actually hit when iron-sights-ing? I noticed that trying to “snipe” people from outside of effective VATS range with medium-range weapons missed most of the time, which caused me to decide controller-ing wasn’t such a bad idea. Might be due to the specific weapons or character abilities I was rocking though.

          • fish99 says:

            Using a gun with high accuracy stat and a scope, yes you’ll have no problems hitting headshots at medium and long range.

            The sniping mechanics in the game are poor though, since bringing up the scope takes too long, including a weird black screen transition, and for no reason it gets lowered between every shot.

          • socrate says:

            most people that think controller is good are basically playing easy difficulty or normal…even hard is stupidly easy in this game..very hard is the only thing you should play…even then you will find yourself hunting down legendary enemy or stuff that are basically bullet sponge to not 1 shot everything…and im not even using power armor or that stupid OP minigun they give you at the freaking start of the game of all thing.

            are gamer just that unskilled these days?…im just trying to understand why people push Themselves to being dumb and bad instead of perfecting Themselves and enjoying somekind of challenge…and i btw hate bulletsponge it just show how bad the AI is and show how bad enemy are really (they btw have infinite molotov and such) but this game need some challenge so upping the dps and health of them make it less retarded instead of me running around 1 shotting pretty much everything.

          • CapnSensible says:

            @Socrate or…OR…If you don’t want to 1-shot everything, don’t use a weapon that was designed to 1-shot enemies. You said before you were using a sniper rifle. Change it up then if it’s too easy and boring.

    • Phier says:

      This is why I’m not playing for months, Bethesda can’t be arsed to make a PC UI since Oblivion and I’m not paying over $50 for a pure port.

      • gmillar says:

        One of the big advantages of a mouse and keyboard is that we’re able to click on stuff freely, instead of being limited to a certain amount of buttons, which is why it’s much harder to design an interface that works for a controller. Still, it would be nice if they made separate interfaces for PC and consoles.

    • Stevostin says:

      Actually you don’t have to click, the basic shortcuts also acts upon those menus. Sorry to break it to you but you’re probably very slow at building base vs me after 5 minutes of trying that bit :)

    • Solidstate89 says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever played a Bethesda game with anything but a controller going as far back as Morrowind. Especially when they added dual-wielding in Skyrim and the LBM activated the equipped weapon/spell/whatever in your right hand.

      I understand what they did it, but it still messes with me.

  4. Blastaz says:

    Another article complaining about the lack of tutorial/ui. Makes a change from people complaining about hand holding/consoleification I guess…

    What’s a Dev got to do to catch a break?

    • anHorse says:

      There’s a difference between too many tutorials and flat out not giving the player key information in game

      The settlement stuff in particular is plagued by a crap UI and a total lack of explanation of functions. I worked out that each “assigned” worker will farm up to 12 crops by sheer trial and error.

      The game could really do with showing you the perk tree before character creation too, so the player doesn’t have to tab in and out to check that they’ve got the right stats for the stuff they want.

      • colw00t says:

        There’s actually really fantastic Help section in the pause menu.

      • Blastaz says:

        I think I was more interested in the idea that since Oblivion Bethseda have been attacked for simplyfing their games for console players. The opposite of course bring pre Internet pc games where everything was a trial and error pain in the Arse to figure out.

        When they actually implement an obscure system they get attacked for not hand holding…

      • gmillar says:

        Funny, because the game specifically told me how that works (it’s 6, not 12 by the way), in nice explanatory text on the screen, as I was doing it. Maybe you just need to be a bit more observant?

        • CapnSensible says:

          6 food, but he said up to 12 crops. Some many crops only produce .5 food, so yes 12 crops maximum is correct, just as he stated.

    • EhexT says:

      “What’s a Dev got to do to catch a break?”
      Make a UI that isn’t shit for once? Maybe they should try that?

      • socrate says:

        Bethesda”why do it when modder will do it for us”

        • Erayos says:

          And even if they took the time to make a good UI, a better modded one will eventually take its place.

  5. Flavour Beans says:

    Modding weapons? You’re going to need a ton of adhesive for this. You can find it in the field (generally glue and duct tape) or buy it off of vendors for ridiculous prices…

    Or you can go to a cooking station and make Vegetable Starch. Which breaks down into five(!) adhesive. Just get farming for corn, tato, and mutfruit early on, make friends with some of the other farms, and you’re set.

    • BookWrangler says:

      Holy crap that is helpful. Adhesive is the first thing I run out of. Screws are second (fans!).

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Also hot plates and toy cars (trucks too?) are good sources of screws.

    • Cronstintein says:

      Whoah that’s a good tip! I love the weapon/armor modding and have been doing quite a bit of it, resulting in constant shortages in adhesive.

  6. geldonyetich says:

    I figured out most of these after hours of play, but it sure wasn’t easy. One of the more trickier bits about #8, using the “supply lines,” is that named NPCs (like the ones you start out with in Sanctuary) can’t be assigned a supply line.

    Cheers on #14, the leaning out from cover. I was thinking it was rather unfair the NPCs got to do that and I couldn’t. I’ll have to try this.

    I’ll probably skip #9, the “free” fusion cores, because abusing that tactic too much will undermine the emergence. It’s a good technique to use on enemies, though, as the essential glitch here is that filching power armor cores doesn’t anger people when it should, rectified because raiders are overwhelmingly angry by default.

  7. Flavour Beans says:

    Cooking the meat you acquire in the game is important! Not only do you get more health from it, but you lose the radiation damage from it, and gain bonuses. Cooked meat becomes as good or better than stimpacks, depending on your situation.

  8. Zenicetus says:

    As a newbie, the main (important) thing I didn’t realize at first, was how weapon and armor crafting basically replace buying this stuff at vendors or looting it off bodies. That’s because I had been re-playing New Vegas recently, which works that way, and was in a NV mindset. This is more like Skyrim (duh), where crafting is more important for getting the good gear, at least at the stage I’m at now.

    Maybe I’m dumb, but it took me a little while to realize that if I picked up a ridiculous short-barreled, pistol-grip .308 rifle off a looted body, I could turn that into a badass long barrel sniper rifle with the right parts. Your first 10mm pistol can get very strong, very early with crafting. Same thing with leather armor in the early game. Vendors are now mainly for ammo and stuff you need for parts, like trays for aluminum. I’m suddenly obsessing over finding enough duct tape for glue.

    Protip: when you’re crafting weapons or armor, be sure to click on any item you’re constantly short on, like aluminum or glue, and it will add a little magnifying glass icon when you’re out looting stuff for parts, so you can help identify the more important loot.

    Luckily, I had already decided to build my character so he could get the Gun Nut and the armor crafting perk early. I think I might have re-rolled and re-started if I hadn’t done that, after learning how weapon and armor crafting work.

    • try2bcool69 says:

      I just pick up EVERYTHING and mule it back to Red Rocket.
      I will have the most clutter-free wasteland in the…err…wasteland?

    • Cronstintein says:

      Crafting is definitely a key aspect of what I’m enjoying in this game. 2 things though:

      1. Even without gun nut you can strip mods. Say you find a rifle with a scope you want (needs to be the same weapon base). You mod the found rifle and add generic sights. Then you mod your favorite rifle and you’ll be able to add the stripped mod w/o the skill or materials.

      2. The merchants will usually have 1 or 2 legendary items. These are usually the only things worth buying. Having a full set of legendary items is definitely worth doing :D

  9. Flavour Beans says:

    The key to powering anything when building settlements is power conduits. Build your generator, build a conduit on the building, connect a wire from the generator to the conduit, and anything within a certain range of the conduit will power up. You can connect power conduits to each other, too, to chain them to one generator.

    If the object just has a lightning bolt with no number, that means it requires power from a generator, but doesn’t deduct from the generator’s total power. The only things that impact the total are things that list the requirement as a lightning bolt and then a number. So you can have a whole building lit off of one generator, since the lights don’t take from the total.

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      doxasticpirate says:

      I’m still having trouble getting power to work the way I want. What’s the difference between pylons and conduits? I can run some things inside a house from a nearby pylon, but can’t seem to get the whole house lit…

      • Flavour Beans says:

        I think the pylons are just ways to manage cables around a larger area, like if you want a generator to power a few different buildings and don’t want the wires dangling in everyone’s faces. Conduits seem to be what channels energy into areas of a building. Like I said, you may need to spread out a few conduits on a larger building to power the entire thing.

      • Cinek says:

        Pylons are tall, conduits are small. You want to use conduits inside of the building (different types can be used on floor, walls, ceiling), while pylons work best outside.

        Oh, and for those who don’t know how to connect stuff – it requires copper, in building mode you just hover the connectible item and press space, then hover another connectible item and press space again.

        Copper is life – you want to have as much of it as possible. For me it is as much of a pain as fusion cores are.

        • Flavour Beans says:

          I’ve not had the fusion core trouble. Then again, I’m the sort of person who saves anything remotely decent for “when it’s really needed”. It’s how I got 200 hours in on Fallout 3 without firing a single mini-nuke. I was saving it for a rainy day that never came. But yes, copper is key, especially early on when you’re first monkeying around with power.

          • gmillar says:

            I’ve barely used the two suits of power armour sitting in my garage, but I did use one mini nuke on Kellog. Stealth-Boy and grenades is no fair.

          • akstro says:

            I’m EXACTLY the same. I have 2 power armors stored in Red Rocket and Sanctuary Hills and found a third locked in a train wreck but didn’t unlock it because I have no safe place to put it….

  10. Flavour Beans says:

    When you’re out explorin’ and lootin’, keep an eye out for weapon and armor stations scattered throughout the place. If you’re attacking, say, a Raider fort, and you’re planning on scrapping all their armor anyways, just scrap it all there and save on a ton of weight. I’ve fully looted places that would’ve taken two or three trips by scrapping in the field.

  11. criskywalker says:

    It doesn’t tell you how simplistic quests are and how they don’t seem to have any choice and consequence.

    Also it doesn’t say how bloody awful dialogues are. Sorry to make the comparison, but after The Witcher 3 and even Fallout 3/NV this game seems written by teenagers.

  12. JohnHue says:

    Followers can wear your Power Armour. Just order then to enter in it just as you order them anything else.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Came here to say the same thing. They also don’t need fusion cores to use it so you can always have them running around with it.

      I will try the whole power armour route on my second play through. Currently I’m doing the sneaky sneak way.

      • Whelp says:

        You can be sneaky in power armor. I know it’s counter-intuitive, but I haven’t noticed a difference in detection chance and sneak attack crits when being sneaky in armor vs. naked.

    • JuJuCam says:

      Want to add that once you’ve got a follower in a power suit, you can ask them to take it off through the dialogue menu so that you can perform maintenance. Took me a while to pick up on that, and in the mean time my follower was stuck in a chassis that only had chest armour plating since the rest had broken off.

  13. Darkz0r says:

    If you are mentioning “Easy experience points” you have to mention the “energy cables”. Simply connecting sometihng with a power cable (its free) gives you EXP.
    If you have 10 things in a circle, they all can be connected between themselves exponentially! Its infinite exp!

    • Flavour Beans says:

      Cables require copper. I’ve had instances where it wouldn’t let me hook things up due to lack of copper.

  14. Rhodokasaurus says:

    Minor thing: the color of your pip boy screen (found in display options) affects the color of your flashlight. I changed mine to a warm yellow and things are much more pleasant.

    • Flavour Beans says:

      This. Definitely. I like to change up PipBoy colour every so often just for variety, especially because of the flashlight glow. Mine’s set to a bronze colour right now that gives a real warm glow. You can also switch up the UI colour in the same place (mine’s currently a pale yellow-green).

    • hungrycookpot says:

      How does I flash light?

      • Zenicetus says:

        Hold down the Tab key (or gamepad button, I guess?) you use to access the PipBoy to toggle the flashlight on and off.

  15. sandman2575 says:

    Maybe too obvious to mention, but —

    As in Skyrim, you can pass time (to wait out those long, dark nights) by sitting or sleeping in a chair/mattress. Sleeping has the added advantage of regenerating HP.

    You can see the time of day on your PipBoy, in the lower left-hand corner of the Map and Data tabs.

    • p14c3b0 says:

      Not obvious at all since in all previous games you could just press t to pass time anywhere if you were not in combat, now you apparently have to find furniture to do that

  16. int says:

    How to holster your weapon; or rather, how to make your weapon completely invisible.

    • Belsameth says:

      This is litteraly in the article, you could try reading it! ;)

      Also, hold R (reload), that’ll do the trick.

      • hungrycookpot says:

        I think he’s making a facetious comment about how it sucks that “holstering” your rifle actually transports it into an alternate pocket dimension instead of slinging it onto your back.

        • Zenicetus says:

          I miss the way that worked in New Vegas. I could always tell what my current weapon was, since I used 3rd person view most of the time, and the game showed it holstered or strapped to my back. In F4, I’m constantly tapping my assigned Favorite number keys when a weapon is holstered, just to make sure I have the one I want ready, and I can’t always remember what I used last time.

          I guess they did this to make it easier modeling all the different clothing and armor types, but I still miss seeing my current “ready” weapon when it’s not actually in my hands.

  17. Mokinokaro says:

    Do not leave your armor out in the field. Raider are able to steal it.

    And no matter where you park it, pull out the power core or a settler might try to drive it (and then you need to pickpocket the core out to get it back.) If the settler dies while wearing you, you cannot get the armor back at all.

  18. dpoba says:

    hold shift then use W A S D in construction

    it will help for not changing to arrow keys… or joystick mode)

  19. Mokinokaro says:

    Also, the ingame help menu is actually extremely detailed and explains most features. It’s pretty much a complete manual.

    • Baines says:

      People haven’t read manuals for years. The proper method of learning is to post on the internet complaining about how unintuitive the game is.

    • Leucine says:

      Then maybe it should’ve been labelled something a little more sensible like “manual” or “instructions”. “Help”, in my experience, generally means it’s the bare minimum of information like controls, etc..

      I didn’t even bother clicking into it and had to go into the game there to see for myself that it existed, I’m so used to simply glossing over these things. Absent of a manual (and I haven’t seen one for years, curiously commensurate with the rise in in-game tutorials), one is left to rely on tutorials and those in FO4 are… poor, to say the least. The game really does a good job of not telling the player where to find relevant information.

      Bring back manuals, I say. But then, and I’m probably being too cynical in saying this, it is easier these days to let one’s community write up a wiki for free.

  20. raiders says:

    I crafted a bed to sleep in for my first night. Still have no idea how I did it. I’m loving this game!
    New motto for devs:
    “Hey you? Let my hand go!”

  21. HegemonyCricket says:

    A Reticule is a purse.

    A Reticle is the thingy wot you aim with.

    Spellcheck lies.

    This moment of Pedantry brought to you by the good folks at Annoying Tit Inc.

    • gmillar says:

      Actual dictionary:

      1.
      historical
      a woman’s small handbag, originally netted and typically having a drawstring and decorated with embroidery or beading.
      2.
      variant spelling of reticle.

  22. Shakes999 says:

    The dog looks good in a red bandana. Also, had to look up assigning people, scrapping your home base, and electricity. None of those are explained well at all.

  23. Danarchist says:

    Sometimes when I pull the core out of my power armor and run around with it in my bag for awhile it seems to recharge it. This doesn’t always happen however and I cannot for the life of me figure out what the variable is. Initially I thought when I added one to the armor it was just adding a full one, I have two suits now though and two cores and have confirmed there seems to be a bug or something here. Wish I could figure out what im doing lol. Maybe when I get shocked by lightning traps its recharging it hehe

  24. Rizlar says:

    There is a cover system of sorts. If you stand at the edge of a building/wall or behind an open door, you’ll notice that you can’t see past it. Unless you hit right click (or whatever you have assigned to sighted mode), at which point your character will automatically lean out and have a clear shot from relative safety.

    Wat.

    Luckily I had found out about most of the others, though stuff like assigning settler roles and repairing power armour I discovered outside of the game. Good to finally know what that power armour map icon means, thought it was raiders on my doorstep or something!

    • gmillar says:

      I can’t remember where I read it, but I knew about this before I even played the game…

  25. montorsi says:

    Incidentally, there is a fairly comprehensive help system you can access in the pause menu.

  26. Stevostin says:

    Indeed that’s stuff I found pretty quick just because I thought about trying. The UI is actually pretty good and efficient, unless you don’t try and don’t read help and just rush to complain on forum (just below you’re angry post about Bethesda “dumbing it down” oc).

    • carewolf says:

      Or you are on a PC and doesn’t need a stupid and efficient interface like consoles do.

  27. kingbiscuit says:

    Since there’s currently no easy way of managing your settlers, a useful tip is to equip them with a specific hat or item of clothing for their role. For instance my merchants have suits and bowler hats and my scavengers have welding goggles.

    That way when new settlers show up you know who isn’t assigned and you can put them to work.

    • sandman2575 says:

      Love this idea! Brilliant.

    • akstro says:

      I know why RPS doesn’t allow you to rate comments, but for brilliant bits like this I really really wish they did.

    • Dicehuge says:

      That is a brilliant idea. It’d maddening that you can’t easily see what tasks have been assigned to a settler.

  28. AyeBraine says:

    It’s a little surprising that item type sorting with arrows above trader inventory seems so obscure or not obvious. I mean these are arrows. They always mean cycling stuff in games. Even without playing Fallout 3, where they were ubiquitous. Or maybe I’m dumb and they’re really not obvious in F4? Text says they’re not always visible, is that so?

  29. BebopBraunbaer says:

    i am the only one having problems with #6 ? even the screenshot says that “tab” does “cancel” in this context. So how do i store the freaking alch lab ???

    • gmillar says:

      It has to be placed on the ground, then highlight it and press tab. It doesn’t work if you’re currently holding it.

    • Flavour Beans says:

      If I recall, you’re only capable of storing things that you’re able to build. Since building workstations is a perk you unlock later (I think it’s the second level of the Town Leader or somethin’ perk under charisma), you’re not able to stash them at the start. You can still move them, though.

      Same thing goes for all the picket fencing in Sanctuary and so on, but that’s unlocked differently… :D

  30. dmarze says:

    Sorry you guys are way ahead of me but I can not get Red Menace to load and locks up game…if anyone know probable bug please give me a hand. Computer is new and set with all bells and whistles…thanks

    • Henas says:

      Cap your framerate to 60. Should fix the console lock up bug. FPS beyond 60 seems to break the game.

      • dmarze says:

        Thanks much and will give that a try…appreciate rapid answer…now back to the grind…Happy Thanksgiving!

  31. Josh W says:

    Writer Discovers 15 Important Things Fallout Doesn’t Tell You About

    Bethesda developers hate him.

  32. pestilencemage says:

    TY For doing this, and continue to. Say what the key is bound to, not just the default control. It’s bad enough that I’m effectively forced to use wasd instead of my vastly superior okl; due to crappy programming making E an unchangeable key for some things, but when looking for how to turn on my headlamp, people would say Hold (button that is not the button I use) and thus the information is virtually useless unless I restore default controls and then switch them back after seeing what they were talking about.

  33. racccoon says:

    No Spoilers..Great guide..Well done.
    Its nice to know info & helpful for others who don’t know.
    hmm..I gotta edit my .ini files again as my pipboy has change to full screen overlap with no zoom out :(

    • racccoon says:

      console ~ fov 90 works
      the other additions to the preferences ini files etc does not seem to fix it. :(

  34. Premium User Badge

    Thulsa Hex says:

    This isn’t a gameplay tip, but I think it’s essential nonetheless: if you’re getting a solid frame rate but the game still appears to be stuttering, try running it in borderless windowed mode. Completely fixed it for me.

    • Siimon says:

      Seconded! Solid 60fps with lots of GPU/CPU to spare, but terrible microstutter – fixed by borderless windowed mode.

  35. Hawks says:

    “in fact they can wear anything you can, power armour aside”

    They can, actually, you can command them to enter it (to get them out again you have to bring up dialog and pick the “Talk” option).

    • Dr_Barnowl says:

      Plus, through the power of Companion NPC Physics, they don’t deplete power cores, so you can have a walking tank follow you around for free.

  36. Marblecake says:

    Apparently Dogmeat doesn’t count as a companion in regard to the Lone Wanderer perk.
    I haven’t confirmed this yet myself but will do so asap and let you guys know.

  37. Tinotoin says:

    I’d like to add that the official Pip Boy app is wonderful on your tablet or smart device. Having my tablet propped up with the map screen just a glance away is a godsend.

    You can interact with it exactly as you would in game, without having to bring it up on screen. It is clearly witchery.

    • fish99 says:

      I use it too, although the local map is corrupt on my tablet (Lenovo A10 /w kitkat) for some reason. Everything else works though. I usually have the world map or inv/aid tabs open.

      Honestly I think most people have just plain forgotten the app exists since I’ve seen almost no discussion of it anywhere. It’s super cool.

      • Dr_Barnowl says:

        I heard a vague hint that if you disable Windows Firewall for the game (not just the popup dialog), or maybe completely, that it fixes this. Not tried it yet though.

    • Awesomeclaw says:

      I tried using it on my phone but it was constantly disconnecting. It’s a shame because selecting quests and browsing the map is much more pleasant when using the app.

  38. Psycold says:

    “You can dress up some Companions – in fact they can wear anything you can, power armour aside”

    Um. You can totally put your companions in power armor. I found a second suit and I’ve had both Maccready and Cait travel with me wearing it. Also, they never use any fusion core power. I put a brand new core in the suit and played for about 4 hours then checked the suit and the core was still at 99/100.

    • Bolivar says:

      You actually expect the author of this article to use logic? To click on a settler and have him then click on a power armor to assign that settler? You ask too much of the guy. He’s actually under the impression that he struck gold with the blatantly obvious “tricks” he’s already posted. It’s not rocket science, yet some people have a really hard time figuring out even the most basic logical associations.

  39. Larathu says:

    Only one thing i would add to this guide, if you are unsure how something works go to the main menu and select Help (between load and settings) in there you can find detailed Tutorials on most things in the game, spent alot of time there myself while starting my settlements

  40. Bolivar says:

    Seriously? You guys actually couldn’t figure all of this stuff out on your own? Wow… General populace IQ has dropped over the past 30 years…. Jesus, everything in this article just requires straightforward LOGICAL THINKING. Nothing remarkably difficult or hidden under the hood. I’m amazed some of you can even muster the ability to turn on your computers. Oh wait, this is probably for console gamers… yeah, you’re excused then.

  41. Cookn10 says:

    So, just in case no one mentioned it above. You CAN get your follower to wear power armor, just command them from a distance and then look at any spare set of power armor that you own and have them get into it. Make sure that you move the armor so that it’s facing towards them though, because they won’t go around the back to get in.

  42. EstebanLB01 says:

    In the article you are just mentioning obvious stuff, in the settler assignment you didn’t mention anything about the ammount of crops and closeness between each other