Fallout 4 – 15 Starter and Advanced Tips and Tricks Before You Play

So, you finally decided to take the plunge and try Fallout 4, maybe because of the hit show from Amazon (recently renewed for a second season). However, even long-time players are returning for that post-apocalyptic nostalgia hit, especially with the next-gen update on April 25th. Whether a brand new player or something jumping in for the first time, here are 15 tips and tricks to remember when playing, from the basic to the advanced.

Explore Sanctuary

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When you emerge from Vault 111, it will be in Sanctuary. It’s undergone some drastic renovations, but while you might want to venture out into the world immediately, take the time to explore the town. There’s plenty of loot to discover, from a Grognak the Barbarian book that increases critical hit damage with unarmed and melee attacks to a “You’re SPECIAL” book, which allows for putting one point into any attribute. If you indulge in lockpicking, it’s worth returning for the Advanced safes (though beware of the Novice-level safe in the Hawthorne house).

After encountering and recruiting Dogmeat, return to Vault 111 and venture to the Overseer’s room to find the Cryolator. It’s behind a Master lock, but if you ask Dogmeat to retrieve it, then it becomes accessible from the early going. Though not the best weapon – plus additional ammo gets costly – it might be handy for the early going.

Overseer’s Guardian

Overseer's Guardian Combat Rifle - Fallout 4

If you want one of the best weapons in the early game (which scales pretty well into the mid and end-game), go to Vault 81, just southeast of Oberland Station and Relay Tower 1DL-109. Venture to Combes’ Commissary after completing the quest and buy it. This unique combat rifle fires an additional projectile, thus dealing more damage, and its ammo type is also fairly common. It’s best used as a mid-range weapon, especially when paired with the Rifleman perk, but you can also modify it into a fully automatic weapon for close-range combat.

Indulge in Crafting

Fallout 4

Get used to workbenches – they can significantly overhaul weapons, modify power armor, improve and repair armor and much more. Make sure to pick up the Gun Nut and Blacksmith perks for ranged and melee weapons (Science! for energy weapons) – they allow access to higher-level mods for even more potent combinations. Based on the options available, you can improve a weapon’s accuracy, ammo capacity, recoil and even reduce its Action Point cost.

Recommended Junk to Collect

Fallout 4 places a pretty big emphasis on collecting materials throughout the Commonwealth. Picking up everything that you can feasibly carry is a good idea, though some items like phones, toy cars, saucers, cooking oil, typewriters and clipboards are more useful for the components they provide. Make sure to periodically transfer junk to the crafting station at your settlement to avoid encumbrance, though remember to set up supply lines (which require the Local Leader perk), so they’re available to all player-owned settlements.

Tag for Search Specific Materials

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of materials when going out and collecting, there’s an easier way to sort through all the junk for those necessary components. Go to the Junk tab in your Pip-Boy and change to “Component View.” Select the one in question and then “Tag for Search.” When you venture out into the world, look for items with a magnifying glass icon, and they’ll have the tagged components.

How to Easily Get Adhesive

Fallout 4 - Vegetable Starch

As you craft more and more, it becomes clear that some components, like Adhesive, are rarer than others. While you can purchase it from several vendors like Penny in Covenant and Myrna and Percy in Diamond City, there’s an easy solution: Vegetable Starch. You need a bottle of purified water, three corn, three mutfruit and three tatos. Use these at a cooking station and then scrap the result for five Adhesives. You can grow the vegetables at a settlement and use a purifier to obtain the water.

The Best Perks

You should ideally play Fallout 4 without thinking much about becoming overpowered. The best options ultimately depend on your build, but Gun Nut, Armorer, Hacker, Toughness, Locksmith and Rifleman are pretty good, as is Lone Wanderer, which increases damage dealt, carries weight and Action Points (which are essential for V.A.T.S.), and reduces damage taken if you don’t travel with a companion (and Dogmeat doesn’t count). Strong Back increases carry weight and significantly reduces encumbrance penalties. If you like to rely on V.A.T.S. in combat, Awareness and Action Boy/Girl is ideal.

Leveling Up Quickly

There are several intriguing perks to choose from, and since there’s no level cap, you can eventually keep leveling up and take everything. But what if you want them now? What if you want to use a specific level-gated Power Armor? Crafting and breaking down Adhesive is a great way to earn XP and level up quickly. However, you can also put some points into Intelligence, scrap whatever you see in Sanctuary and then build an obscene amount of fence posts for easy XP out of the gate.

Build Water Purifiers for Insane Profit

Purified water sells for high amounts in the Commonwealth, so how do you best exploit this for maximum profit? First, build some Industrial Water Purifiers and ensure they’re running constantly. Sleep for 48 hours and then move the purified water to a container now and again. Take it all to the nearby vendors (or wait for Carla to show up and sell it to her), and repeat the process to swim in Caps.

Avoiding and Curing Rads

fallout 4

Since this is a world that just suffered a post-nuclear fallout, radiation or Rads are something to be wary of because they can reduce your overall maximum health. Your Pip-Boy will warn you of locations with high Rads, but it won’t be obvious until you’re actually suffering from the same. Don’t swim in the ocean or bodies of water that set your Pip-Boy off. As you progress, items like Radaway, Refreshing Beverage and Mysterious Serum will counteract Rads. The Hazmat Suit and Power Armor can also provide Rad Resistance, though becoming completely immune is difficult.

Well Rested Perk

Rest well and rest often, and not just because it’s good for you in real life. Sleeping in-game not only restores your health but also provides a limited-time buff that increases XP earned by 10 percent. Every little bit counts.

Use V.A.T.S. to Spot Mines

Fallout 4 - Cambridge Polymer Labs

Even if you’re good at aiming, V.A.T.S. is ideal for dealing significant damage to enemies (which various S.P.E.C.I.A.L. perks help facilitate). However, they have another useful function – detecting mines. If you enter a location like Boston Airport or College Square in Cambridge and are wary of mines, activate V.A.T.S. to spot and take them out.

Hacking With Brackets

Hacking can be tough, especially with the limited retries and potentially being locked out of a terminal. However, there is a way to reduce the filler passwords or even reset the number of tries: Matching brackets. Look for symbols and punctuation marks between the same types of brackets. There are conditions, though – it doesn’t work on whole words and the brackets must be on the same line, but it can make things much easier.

Reset the World

fallout 4

Want to rematch against particular enemies or reset cleared locations? Try sleeping for 30 days straight on Normal difficulty – this will cause them to reset (though some say it’s 20 days). Uncleared areas usually take seven days to respawn, so it’s a good idea to not kill everything and then sleep for seven days to reset it. Just make sure you’re not close by at that time).

Play Without Fast Travel

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This may seem a little scary to those who played Starfield, but no fast travel (or very minimal amounts) is the best way to play Fallout 4. You encounter different random events and occurrences, discover areas with interesting backgrounds and stories and much more. Min-maxing and fully optimizing a run is fine, but sometimes, it’s also about the journey and what you find.

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