It's been over a month since Fallout 4 hit the scene and the gaming world went crazy. Heck the porn world went crazy too. They actually LOST record sales because of Fallout 4. Name a game that's pulled that stunt before! Since my dear wife got upgraded our system to Xbox One and got the Fallout 4 package, I've spent some serious time playing this game. I'm almost a level 60 now and I'd like to share some observations. These are tips for those of you coming to the game a bit late. Some of these observations haven't been posted in any other tip pages that I have seen (and I've been looking!).
First of all, the end all be all of Fallout info is the Wiki. It's an undeniable source of information. But now my tips in no particular special order:
SETTLEMENTS: This is the big new thing to Fallout. Building settlements. All the tip pages I've read tell us that you need food, water, and beds for your settlers. That's the bare minimum to keep happiness above 50. You need at least 1 count each of food and water per settler as well as 1 bed per settler. Here's what they don't tell you;
-Don't go build crazy on your settlements unless all your settlers have what they need. That means planning ahead. You should build your settlement for the possibility of no less than 20 settlers. That means 20 beds need to be incorporated into your build one way or another. This is important because there is a cap on how many elements you can build into a settlement before it's "full". If you reach "full" and don't have beds for new settlers, you'll be looking for hacks and tricks to get past the cap. And there are tricks to be sure, but some report they can screw up your game. I've tried one and it did nothing at all. Probably only works for PC. I find, if you plan ahead, you don't need tricks. I've gotten by just building "bunk houses" for my settlers and tossing mattresses on the floor. So long as you cover those basics, you can pretty much build whatever you want. But you will run out of room eventually. Now for more basic tips.
-Try to assign all settlers to something if you can. Busy settlers are happy settlers. Well, usually. It will be challenging to give absolutely everyone a job once you start hitting that 15-20 person bracket, but you really want them all to have something to do. Crops and defense are the easiest assignments, but there's the junk station too that you can assign them. You can also have more than one create supply lines to other settlements. Supply lines are very important as they link food water and building materials from one place to another. Then you can put little shops on your settlement and they can work at those and even earn you some caps.
-Defense! Your defense for any settlement should be a minimum of your total food plus your total water. You'll have to set up a lot of defense on the ground, but try to build defense out of reach if you can. Elevated defenses have better range and are harder for enemies to damage. You really can't have too much defense. I go overboard on purpose and aim for over a hundred no matter where it is (or as close as I can come). Defense is also an integral part of happiness.
-Light things up! Power is also on the happiness checklist you can find in your Pip boy under Data/Workshops. Give them power. Wire things up and put in fancy lights. Would you like to live without electricity? Seems your settlers don't either.
Here is my personal checklist of minimums for building your settlement. OH, and if you you don't have to set up a beacon for any settlement right away... DON'T. Build it first, invite people afterward. You'll thank me. 20 beds, 20 food, 20 water, 20 power (if you have access to water, use water purfiers! they will need power so add to both for your settlement), 80 defense (some of it should be settler assigned but you can cover that anytime), 1 of each workstation (like armor, weapons, chemistry, etc), 1 junk station (larger spaced settlements could have 2 or 3), 4 shops (but the more you can build in toward at least one of each, the merrier), 1 brahmin trough per every 2 brahmin (that aren't supply liners). Make sure you have designated areas for your crops and water (if you don't have access to a major water source).
PERKS: Okay, building your character is as complex as it ever was but there is one area of perks that are absolutely imperative. Scrapping and crafting perks are essential to your survival. So is the aquaboy perk. When building your character stats, make sure you have stat levels needed to get these perks! Here are my minimum suggestions for theses perks:
-Strength: 4 so you cover blacksmith and armorer perks. You may not care about blacksmith, but armorer is a MUST to get all you can get out of your armor. So at least a Strength of 3 for that. Don't forget that Strength affects your carrying weight too and hording junk has never been more important.
-Perception: 4 to cover your locksmith. Picking locks WILL get you further than hacking.
-Endurance: 5 for Aquaboy. Breathing under water in this world is way too handy. You also don't take rad damage from being in water. There is a LOT of water in this game.
-Charisma: 6 if you care about settlements at all and want to make the most of them. This is for your Local Leader perk. You can't build shops or set up supply lines without it. It's also important for speech checks in missions. If you don't care about those things, you should have at least a 3 for Lone Wanderer to increase your carry weight when alone (even with Dogmeat) by 50 lbs.
-Intelligence: 6 to get the absolute most out of your crafting because of Gun Nut and Science! perks. Science! is a level 6 perk. Your hacking is also covered under this stat and there are places that you will need your hacking at Master (well at least one place that I know of). You also want the Scrapper perk that is a level 5. You could say this area is loaded with important perks.
-Agility: I set mine at 2 and raised it to 3 later on. Agility is full of great "kill em" perks, but you don't need them as much as you do the crafting perks to really get ahead on your character. Here is the really cool thing, even without the bobbleheads, you can put a perk selection into raising any stat you want to build your way up in more perks later in the game. So, it's not like you will miss out on any of these by not getting them right away. At a level 50 I was taking down Deathclaws with handguns before they could reach me. And I haven't raised my Agility for the other killer perks yet.
-Luck: Again, I set this at 2 and raised it to 3 later and now I have the bobblehead. Luck is nice, but not as important this time around as those essential crafting perks.
Now I'd like to point out a couple of tips that will help you in wandering the wastes that I also haven't seen mentioned elsewhere.
HUNTING FOR HEALTH: You know all those packaged foods you can find in the Fallout games? The Dandy boy apples, Instamash, bubblegum, and Cram? Screw em. Don't waste your carry weight on them. They may give you health, but they also give you rads, and rads (especially in early game) suck. Eat what you kill instead. This will start with radroaches, bloat flies, and blood bugs, but you'll find that gathering meat and using the cook station (every time) will not only support your health, but give you some useful boosts. The bigger the monster, the better they are to eat. And one in particular is the Radstag. Eating cooked radstag raises how much weight you can carry just long enough to get you to a place to dump your junk! So if you go over your carry limit by 2 or 3 pounds, munch a Radstag steak! I've done so well with this method, that I've only had to use stimpaks very rarely and in extreme situations. I have built up over 300 stimpaks in my inventory to carry around! I've never had to pay for a stimpak either!
Best early hunting consist of Radstag, Mutant Hounds (Mutant Hound Chops reduce your rads!), and Stingwings.
CYCLE YOUR WEAPONS: You should make sure you have at least one good weapon for each ammunition type that you can pick up. 38 is the most common ammo, but if you do it right, you'll always have just enough to kill your enemies. I carry about 3 weapons (whatever has the highest amounts of ammo at the time) while gathering up ammo I find for my other weapons. By the time my current weapons get low, I can swap them out for my others and be just fine on ammo. And the longer you play the better it gets as you add perks and whatnot.
SCAVENGING: Search everything you kill. Raiders are loaded with stimpaks and radaways along with ammunition and scrappable weapons and armor. Eventually, you may only take the ammo and health goods because you want to use your carrying weight for other goodies. I go through any location and wipe out all resistance before searching for junk. I take all the bad guys' stuff and jump back to home base with it. The I return and go through the place again and again until I've wiped out all the cool goodies I can get. Eventually, it will all respawn and you can go do it again. You'll never truly be without scrappables and junk stuff. You'll even find great hot spots for special parts.
BE A DRUG DEALER: Yeah, really. At chemistry stations you can blend things like Buffout and Jet to make Buffjet and since these are ALL OVER THE FREAKING WASTELAND, you can make decent caps off them if you find yourself wanting to purchase anything from junk dealers. I buy from shops rarely, but when I do, I walk away with what I wanted and all their caps to boot. I don't bother selling weapons. Don't have to.
Now, before I go, I want to share something funny you can do with your settlers. It's not necessary, but it's actually kind of hilarious. Give them weapons and armor. When you do, you can actually EQUIP them, but sometimes they'll do it themselves. I've given a couple of settlers miniguns and watched the fun during raider or gunner attacks. You don't have to give them ammo, that seems to come out by magic. So dress em up and arm them for deathclaws. It's fun.Make them your own personal circus. Why not?
Have fun with these tips and feel free to add your own in comments! Time for me to go play!