Adjust to the Light
Light is actually more of strong presence this time around in Fallout 4. No, you don’t have to worry about seeking shade due to some angry sun that wants to punish a world that just can’t give up on war. However, things are often brighter this time around in interesting ways.
Fallout 4 takes place in a wide open wasteland in and around Boston. There are plenty of unique locales scattered around the exceptionally large area that offer some interesting light situations. From dark caves filled with threats both human and synthetic, to neon lit dens of iniquity. Picking people out in the dark or among tons of spotlights is often difficult when not using V.A.T.S., and that can be a problem in certain parts of the game. Learning how to use the light to your advantage while also not letting it inhibit your activities is a very valuable skill to have.
Loot Absolutely Everything
This normally goes without saying in games like Fallout 4. After all, you’ll want all the weapons, food, and ammunition you can get your hands on. However, there has always been those odd knick-knacks in Bethesda games that never really served a purpose. Plates, brooms, cups, radios, pieces of wood, kickballs, whatever it is, pick it up.
Fallout 4 has a new crafting system that is used for both upgrading weapons and armor, as well as building necessary items for your settlements. Naturally, in an irradiated wasteland, raw materials are extremely difficult to come by, which is where all of those previously useless items come into play.
Every single item can be broken down into different materials (which you can see if you view the item in your inventory). Steel, wood, rubber, plastic, oil, cloth, and more will provide everything you need to build an impenetrable fortress or a sweet set of armor.
Don’t Rush Into Things
Enemy AI has received quite the upgrade since the last Fallout game. These bastards are smart and they move in packs that can adapt to anything you’re trying to dish out. Melee types that rush you relentlessly, shotgun abusers, and those annoying ones that like to hang in the back as they snipe at you from behind cover can all be found in the game.
All of these are manageable as long as you have control of the situation. Take your time when approaching a new area. A bit of scouting can go a long way as you’re able to pick off anyone who might alert other baddies. Take your time and weaken enemy forces from a safe distance before rushing in and being the badass that you were always meant to be.
Not All Weapons Are Created Equal
While playing Fallout 4, you will come across many weapons. Rifles, ray guns, revolvers, launchers, you name it and you will probably find it somewhere in the wasteland. One thing you should note, though, is that all guns behave differently.
Each weapon has its own nuances for you to grow accustomed to. If you find something that suits you well, stick to it, even if you find something stronger of a different type. For instance, if you like revolvers (strong, pretty accurate, usually slow) you may want to stick to things of that type, especially if you’ve built your play style around it. A shotgun may offer more power, but nowhere near the amount of range and accuracy.
On top of weapons handling differently, different ammo sizes offer varying amounts of power and some are more rare than others. One of the most common ammo types is 10mm, so always make sure to keep a gun capable of firing these on hand (they have decent power and are your most well-rounded option). Always keep stock of your ammo reserves, they have no weight so carry as much as you want, but take note of which ones you seem to find the least.
Invest in the Aqua Boy Perk
You’ll be surprised how much water is present in the Boston wasteland of Fallout 4, and how disgusting it all is. This is an area that survived an atomic bomb, so nothing is as healthy as it once was. This pretty much prevents you from swimming and severely limits your mobility in certain areas. Nothing is worse than trying to clear a raider encampment on the docks only to be pushed into the water and die a pretty embarrassing death.
The Aqua Boy Perk solves this problem by making you 100% immune to the effects of being in water (wouldn’t recommend drinking the stuff, though). Not only that, but you will also be able to breath underwater, as well. Not too shabby, huh? If you decide to go for the second level of the perk, you will become completely undetectable while submerged. This will make for some quick getaways if you get in over your head and happen to be by water.
Make Sure to Check and Swap out Your Companion’s Armor
There are several companions you can find and have tag along with you in Fallout 4. All of them are able to use weapon and armor just like you (although some have specific armor limitations). If you give your partner some weapons, they will swap between them as they need to, so they’re pretty self-sufficient in that regard. Armor is an entirely different story.
Unlike in Skyrim (where companions auto-equipped the strongest pieces of armor they had), your Fallout 4 buddies won’t put anything on; even if they’re running around in nothing more than their skivvies. You’d be wise to give them a hand and make sure that they have on the best of the best. Make sure to load them up with all of your junk, while you’re at it.
Visit Your Settlements Often
First, this is to make sure that all of your lackeys are content so you can provide them whatever it is that they need. This can range from more food resources to a well-placed turret so that they can rest easy at night. Keeping them happy isn’t incredibly difficult, so make sure to be a good leader.
Second, it’s so that you can dump all of your junk in a box somewhere. All of the random things you collect will quickly weigh you and your companion down, so you’ll want to relieve yourself of the weight whenever you get a chance. Keep in mind that you can neither sprint nor fast travel when weighed down, so don’t force yourself to leave things behind and have to take two trips. Just store it all in a safe place and return to your adventure.
If you invest in the Local Leader perk (found under the Charisma branch) you can link all of your storage units so that you can have access from all of your settlements.
Make Sure to Establish a Lot of Settlements
Settlements are a place with a bed you own, which means you can get the Well-Rested perk from sleeping (10% increase in XP earned for a period of time). They have craft tables so you can upgrade your armor and weapons, and some even come with chemistry and cooking stations, as well (which normally require specific perks to build).
On top of that, if you happen to unlock the mortar strike ability, having more settlements (where you can build artillery units) will give you a larger area in which you can use it. Settlements pretty much do nothing but help you out, so be fruitful and multiply.
Never Give Your Companion a Fat Man or a Missile Launcher
This is the final tip for you and easily the most important. The companion AI isn’t all that bright (which you’ve probably figured out by their inability to dress themselves). This doesn’t mean they’re completely useless (they are pretty resourceful in a gunfight), but this often means they could not give two craps about you or your well-being.
Companion AI will run through all ammunition before resorting to melee weapons, even if you’ve given them some really neat ones.
What this means is that if they got a missile launcher or a Fat Man they will use it, even if it’s in a very small room. Fallout 4 seems to like to close players in to create a sense of dread, which means you’ll often find yourself in a cramped hallway with an enemy on one hand and your companion with a silly grin as they launch a nuclear payload directly at you. Don’t become a statistic, keep all propelled explosives out of your companion’s reach.
These tips will help get you started and ready for the long journey ahead of you. With some diligence and smart thinking, you’ll soon conquer Boston in no time. If you have any more tips for your fellow Vault Dwellers be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below. And for even more Fallout 4 guides, check out our expanding wiki!