Fallout 4: Top 10 Tips for Wasteland Survival

Surviving the harsh wastes of Fallout 4’s Boston needn’t be a chore with these top tips courtesy of Entertainment Buddha’s Jim Payne. Stock up on some bottle caps, grab a Nuka-Cola, and then head on down below to get prepared for your trip to the Wasteland!

1) Don’t rush

Fallout 4

It might be easy to want to power through the opening section and exit vault 111 but don’t. Instead use the time to familiarize yourself with Fallouts vastly improved aiming system, its pip boy layout and have a peek at its massive perk tree. Remember that before you leave the vault you will have a final chance to review stat and character creation choices.

2) Stay North


There is a very simple reason why you would want to stay in the Northern area of the map, at least for the first 10 or so levels, and that reason is instant and painful death. Well ok not quite that, but Fallout’s hardest foes lurk in the Southern areas and are more than willing to stomp on your newly created face. Don’t worry too much though as Fallout’s Boston map is the most intricate and detailed of any Bethesda RPG to date and there is plenty to get on with from the get go.

3) Start thinking about your character build early

Fallout 4

This might seem a bit trivial but some good early planning will prevent some headaches later on. Study the perk tree (accessed via the pip boy), if you have levelled up a few times you might notice the next layers have opened up a few perks. So go and have a look, remember Fallout 4’s perks have multiple ranks which you can view to see how a particular perk evolves without spending an attribute point. This makes it very handy to see where you would like to focus your character much later on as each perk rank above one star will require your character to be a certain level and remember, you don’t have to spend your attribute points if you don’t want to, especially if you want to save them for a particular perk.

4) Essential early perks

Fallout 4

Although you might be tempted to put your points into perks that grant you extra weapon damage or damage resistance, you might be better served putting those points into the various crafting perks. Not only will it serve you well further down the line but it will help you avoid carrying excessive numbers of weapons and armor, which will help massively with..

5) If it aint nailed down…take it


Well even if it is nailed down take it. There is so much ‘junk’ strewn all over the wasteland that contains useful components for crafting it would be silly to ignore them from the start. Fill your pockets, boots, hat and rucksack with as much they can carry and haul it all over to your nearest workstation. It’s worth remembering that all the junk you drop off into your workstation will be automatically dismantled when selecting things to craft, thereby saving you time and effort. Also there is a ridiculous amount of junk in the first few areas you will see, so don’t worry about running out of supplies.

(If you have yet to find a workstation, head southeast from the vault opening, past the town and over the bridge to find the Red Rocket Truck Stop. This area contains a workshop and is ripe for your first foray into crafting)

6) Overcome Over-encumbrance (sorry)


Ok so by now you have probably become over encumbered and have had your movement speed reduced to a painstaking plod. But fear not as there are a couple of things you can do to help reduce the load. Firstly, do you have any chems or booze that increase your strength? Take one and it will temporarily increase your carrying capacity and hopefully allow you to fast travel to one of your settlements. Or maybe you have a set of power armour? Did you know that your carry weight increases when you use power armour? Also, do you have a companion with you? Trade with them and dump as much crap into their pockets as you can.

If you are really stuck because you have a huge haul of stuff then there is one last thing to try. First, Limp your way to the nearest location that you have discovered. Then find somewhere safe to store your goods, preferably somewhere flat without too much foliage. Be careful using containers you don’t own as previous Bethesda RPG’s used to have a habit of making things disappear, so use them at your own risk. After finding a good spot, simply drop enough gear to take you back below your weight limit and fast travel to a settlement to drop off your goodies. Then you are able to fast travel back to your last location and repeat the process. A bit long winded but it could be your only option.

7) Choose your followers wisely

Fallout 4

So after a few hours it’s very likely that you will have access to two (or more) followers. But each follower has different uses. For example Dogmeat is good for a mixture of play styles. He has a pretty weak attack, but occasionally he will grab the arm of a humanoid opponent (more often if you have the attack dog perk) effectively trapping them on the spot for a brief period allowing you to get off a few good shots, or maybe you could close the gap and bludgeon them with your trusty pipe wrench? Codsworth is great for slicing up and toasting foes with a more powerful attack than Dogmeat but he won’t pin anyone down. Experiment with different companions but remember that some will react to the choices you make over the course of your adventures, changing your relationship in a positive or negative way. Also you can change the weapons of some companions, but be warned you will need to keep them topped up with the right ammo if you do.

8) Use a melee weapon when sneaking


Ok well this might seem like a no brainer, but it is surprisingly easy to forget if you are not a melee focused build. Not only do you get a 3x damage bonus, but you also have the advantage of it being a quiet weapon. Also you might be surprised at how far away you can be from a target and still be able to use V.A.T.S to score a hit, think ‘leaping distance’ and you won’t go far wrong.

9) V.A.T.S May not be the most suitable option

Fallout 4

Let’s be honest. In Fallout 3 V.A.T.S was a godsend because the hip fire and A.D.S were terrible, but thankfully one of the most improved aspects of Fallout 4 from its previous incarnations is the gunplay. This means it’s not always a good idea to use V.A.T.S at every opportunity and use up valuable action points. For example, over long distances V.A.T.S might give you a low percent chance of hitting a target, yet it can be easily accomplished using an aim down sights method allowing you to get a 2x sneak bonus at much greater distances, and the possibility of getting in some follow up shots. V.A.T.S excels at closer ranges or when there are multiple or fast moving targets, so mix it up depending on what’s going on in front of you.

10) Use the environment to your advantage

Fallout 4

There are lots of things in the wastelands that can be used to give you an edge in combat, the most common of which are abandoned cars. Shoot those suckers a few times until you see flames and wait for the satisfying explosion to tear apart your foes, but be careful as your enemies can shoot cars too, turning you into paste if you’re too close. Also be on the lookout for patches of oil to set enemies ablaze, ahhh barbeque.

Bonus Tips

V.A.T.S Lets you shoot grenades and other things.

Yep that’s right you can shoot grenades out of the air using V.A.T.S but you cannot shoot any grenades you see in an enemy’s ammo pouch, it has to be flying through the air. An exception to this is when you are confronted with a super mutant suicider, shoot the arm holding the bomb to create a gib shower out of nearby foes.

And finally…Save often!

The most easily overlooked tip is one of the easiest and most obvious, so make sure you make manual saves often to save you from any unnecessary pain.

Happy surviving folks!


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James Payne

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