Notes to Self – Tips and Tricks for New Players to Vets

fallout 4 - Notes to Self - Tips and Tricks for New Players to Vets

This post is to help ease those looking to get into the game or to help others fill in their gaps of knowledge, any additions are welcome. Any controls added into tips below will be for mouse and keyboard, if you know the controller keybinds let me know and I'll add them.

You are S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

  • Each stat has bonuses to accompany point allocation:
    • Strength – Increases carry weight (+1 STR = +5 CW) and melee damage.
    • Perception – Increases how far enemies appear on compass, weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S. and your ability to detect sneaking foes. Also increases the sweet spot when lock picking*.
    • Endurance – Increases health (+1 END = +5 HP), disease resistance and reduces action point drain from sprinting and jumping.
    • Charisma – Increases caps gained when selling and reduces prices when buying (NPC only)*. increases rewards gained from group quest completed and depending on the amount of CHA allows you to share a perk card. For every 3 points in CHA you can share a lvl of a perk card (IE. 6 points in CHA to share a lvl 2 perk), you can only share one perk card at a time.
    • Intelligence – Increases chance to learn mods from scrapping weapons/armor, materials gained from scrapping* and the durability bonus to crafted items. Also reduces the number of possible passwords when hacking*.
    • Agility – Increases action points (+1 AGI = +10 AP) and your ability to sneak.
    • Luck – Increases overall durability and condition of items found as well as the charge rate of your critical bar in V.A.T.S.

* Effects possibly gained through perk investment

  • When you level up you can select a special stat to allocate a point to and then when it comes time for perk selection you may sort (Z/C) your perks per special category or all in one view alphabetically. You are not locked into a perk from the special stat you chose to upgrade.
  • Once a perk is combined and upgraded to the next level you cannot reverse the process.
  • After level 50, when you level up you may choose to either grab a perk card or reallocate a special point.
  • There are build planners you can use to get the most out of your build. Nukes Dragons and FalloutBuilds are the two popular ones.


  • In Junk tab, press component view (C) and mark (Space/E) rare materials for ease of finding. This will use a magnifying glass icon to tag the material itself as well as any junk that contains it in the world.
  • While in the Pip-boy, change Pip-boy view (V) to hologram mode so you can pull it up faster and still see what's in front of you.
  • In Stats, check Effects tab to view positive and negative modifiers affecting you. Diseases, mutations, equipment buff/debuffs, drug/food/thirst buffs/debuffs, withdrawals, and other status effects will appear here.
  • Hold Pip-boy button (Tab) to create a light for dark areas (Doesn't work when using power armor frame). For users with PA, use a headlamp mod on your PA helmet or unequip your PA helmet and wear a Mining Helmet.
  • You can sort (Q) your inventory by value, weight, condition and alphabetically.
  • Always check your keybinds that appear in any menu as a lot of them are situational (IE. component view option only appears in the junk tab).
  • You can switch targets (Q) and critical strike (Space) while in V.A.T.S.
  • Melee V.A.T.S. attacks will teleport you (up, down, all around) to your target if the V.A.T.S. chance is anything but 0%.
  • When you hack a terminal you can find strings of code to either reset tries or remove dud passwords. Look for strings that start with <, {, < or ( and end with the closing character >, }, > or ). Usually, you can remove all but 2-3 passwords before ever guessing. Alternatively, you can use 3/4 guesses, back out of the terminal and then retry and this will reset your guesses to 0/4. For actually hacking the terminal you would select a guess, this guess will give you a fraction. This fraction represents (Letters Matching in Proper Sequence / Letters in the Password). For example, if the correct password is ARBITRARY and you select IMAGINARY you will get a 3/9 because the ARY are in the same sequence for both words.

Power Armor

  • Hold E to enter and exit power armor.
  • Fusion cores drain faster if you sprint.
  • While in power armor you take no fall damage and swing 2 handed melee weapons with 1 hand.
  • You gain a small chunk of damage resistance while in a bare frame.
  • These will always spawn in the same locations around the map, do not be afraid to scrap them..
  • Once claimed power armor cannot be hijacked. That being said if you drop (R) a frame instead of placing it, it can be claimed by another player.
  • If left unattended for 2 minutes, your power armor will be recalled into your inventory.
  • Take advantage of PA frames by placing armor pieces onto the frame for storage. It will only weigh 10lbs and not take into consideration the weight or level requirements of the armor installed to it.
  • The Excavator PA will double the amount of ore you pull from nodes and increase your carry weight by 100.


  • Increasing your Intelligence will increase your chances of learning mods when scrapping weapons and armor.
  • You can craft weapons and armor just to scrap them and learn mods.
  • Scrapping a fully modded weapon or an unmodded weapon does not alter the chances of learning mods.
  • Attaching more powerful or stat improving mods will often reduce the weapons durability.
  • Mods also have an important description for effects they have on weapons that can't be explained with stats. Read your descriptions to get the most out of your weapon. (Good -> Improved -> Superior)
  • You cannot craft different types of ammunition, instead you craft different types of magazines (or barrels for syringer) to your weapon to apply different bullet effects.
  • You cannot remove mods. When you go to craft a mod the previous mod attached will be scrapped for basic materials (steel and wood).
  • Repairing condition of a weapon or piece of armor takes the same amount of materials to repair whether it's at 10% or 90% condition.
  • Broken items cannot be re-equipped and have no value until repaired.
  • Not all mods can be learned from breaking down weapons/armor as some require plans. There are also mods that have a very rare chance of being learned from scrapping.
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  • Adhesive can be found in its base form (Excess Adhesive). Most commonly found in any form of duct tape or glue. To create adhesive, gather purified water then find or grow corn, mutfruit and tatos. Craft vegetable starch using the cooking station (under utility section) and scrap it at any craft table.
  • Screws/Gears are found in tiny boxes in the world, note these spawns and recheck often to fill up on them. Screws are most commonly found in desk fans and some toys. Gears are most commonly found in gold/silver watches. They can spawn in instanced loot, but are somewhat rare. Also, you can pull a lot from a junk extractor.
  • Springs are most commonly broken down from clipboards and flip lighters. Also, you can pull a lot from an extractor for junk piles at most public workshops.
  • Ballistic Fiber can be found by breaking down military grade duct tape and military ammo bags. These are most commonly found in military camps/BoS outposts.
  • Plastic can be found in its base form (Molded Plastic), very easy to miss it looks like little sections of PVC tube. Most commonly found in toys, plastic forks/knives/spoons or food trays. Also, you can pull a lot from a junk extractor.
  • Aluminum is most commonly broken down from surgical trays, tv dinner trays, and ski poles. Most robots will drop aluminum as an uncommon material. You can mine ores all around Appalachia and combine them with acid at the chemistry craft table.
  • Lead is most commonly broken down from pencils, children's letter blocks, tin cans, and workout weights. Robots will drop lead as a common material. You can mine ores all around Appalachia and combine them with acid at the chemistry craft table.
  • Nuclear material is most commonly found in certain board games and the little blue glowing frogs. You can also find it on irradiated enemies.
  • Collect water from streams and bodies of water, not from water pumps. Water pumps collect 10 dirty water in the amount of time you could collect 150 dirty water from bodies of water. Also if you do intend to collect a lot of water pop a Rad-X or equip the Aqua Boy/Girl perk prior to collecting, this will greatly reduce any rads you would have otherwise taken. If you find a shallow enough stream/pond you will not take rads by standing in the water.
  • Purified water can be made using filters and dirty water, but I don't suggest this. Public workshops can be equipped with water purifiers and will continuously pump out cans of it. You can also build a water purifier in your camp once you get the plan.
  • Fertilizer can be found in several "dump" locations (Greenhouses mainly). It can also be crafted using spoiled food at the chemistry craft table. You can also build a deposit which will constantly fill with fertilizer and it comes with a Brahmin.


  • Objects take up varying amounts of budget. Objects in the stored tab fill up the budget.
    • Structure/furniture/decor are really low on budget (~0-2%),
    • Craft tables/generators/water/food was just a step above (~2-5%)
    • Turrets/traps were a decent chunk (~10-15%)
  • You can build crops and the small water purifier inside (secure) as long as you have access to the ground. To do this build around a small flat plot of land and leave an open area with no foundation on the ground floor. Or you can build campfires indoors or on your roof, you can grow crops on these.
  • You can lock doors and resource generators (water purifiers, excavators, fertilizer hatch). Any successful or failed lockpick from an intruder will activate your defenses. Teammates can interact with objects as though there are no locks present.
  • Place your turrets high so they will survive longer. Also place them so that they cover each others back and any doorways or resources you want to protect (spread them apart so a single explosive doesn't down your defenses). Also, place lamp posts where you suspect enemies might come from, not only will they stop to attack your lamp post and trigger your defenses, but they'll keep enemies from attacking objects out of your turrets line of sight.
  • If you are using any turrets that require electricity, HIDE YOUR GENERATOR(s). Same could be said for wiring connections. I don't have to fight all 5 of your missile turrets if I can two shot your generator or connections and kill the power to them.
  • A lot of the objects have variations, scroll left or right on an item to see the different versions.
  • To avoid issues placing your blueprinted C.A.M.P., remove stairs and foundations from blueprints before finalizing so only the house portion is blueprinted. Rebuild foundation from the stored tab, add stairs and drop your home into place.
  • If your home is a stored structure (blueprint in the stored tab), you can store it break it down into objects and rebuild it piece by piece. Furthermore, when you place a blueprint from the blueprint tab it will use up the objects it can in the stored tab and require materials to fill in any gaps. Blueprints will not take stored structures or sections into account.
  • Any object that shows up with a green glow can be placed whether it's locked or not. Objects you have not learned plans for and will not be able to be built will glow white.
  • Contractor perk also affects the material cost of repairing camp objects, or you can store an object and replace it to replenish its health for free (as long as it's not completely destroyed).
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Public Workshops

  • You can remove or scrap some objects loaded in with the world to free up budget. Some of them are just removed while others actually scrap for materials.
  • Public workshops are an outstanding place to find those rarer materials and resources more so in the early levels where purified water and rare junk is harder to find. If there is a junk heap that you can place an extractor on it will give you all the screws, gears, springs and adhesive your heart desired (I get about 30 of each in just a couple hours).
  • Plans you haven't learned yet may be available depending on the workshop. For example, a welcome mat to set where your fast travel spawns you in at.
  • Workshops have much larger budgets than C.A.M.P.s.
  • All tips in the C.A.M.P. section apply to Public Workshops as well.

Player Vs Player and Bounties

  • You can turn on pacifist mode in the options to avoid accidentally hitting someone and initiating a duel. I highly recommend turning on pacifist before entering a nuke zone. It's hard to see, grenades are exploding left and right, shits flying everywhere and you're going to end up tagging people you don't want to. Not to mention if the queens not alive, some people collect all the bounties and leave to drop their loot.
  • Damage scaling allows lower level players to stand toe to toe with higher level players (Don't take this one to heart, it's a mechanic implemented that seems to not have any effect or 10x the intended effect).
  • Hunter Vs Hunter is a radio station players may tune into to experience a different take on PvP where each player has an assigned target. Taking out your target forwards you their target, this continues until one player is left alive.
  • You can shoot your teammates if they are wanted. The bounty reward gets split by the team, even the wanted person receives a share of their own bounty.
  • If you are wanted, other players will no longer show up on your map. A bounties expiration clock is two weeks in-game (14hrs IRL).

Weight and Stash Limits

  • Scrap everything scrapable in Inv/Stash (weapons/gear and junk that can be reduced). Use only a main weapon (favorite hard hitter), secondary (light back up) and a melee (conserve ammo and main/secondary weapon condition). Don't carry your entire stock of ammo
  • Pull all unused power armor and frames and scrap. For power armor you can't let go, place armor parts on power armor frame store it. This will only take up the weight of the frame (10lbs).
  • Bulk aluminum and lead only (This seems to be changing, some other materials being bulked now reduces their weight). Nothing else unless you want to sell it. Only bulk materials can be sold. Plastic is worth more to make some ammos (shotgun/energy ammo).
  • Pull spoiled food. If you're lacking fertilizer, craft it at the chemistry table. If not toss bad foods. Only save non-perishables for back up. Toss/sell all but a small handful.
  • Dilute all stims possible with super duper and chemist perks equipped (1 Stim = 4 Diluted (w/ Chemist) or =8 diluted 33% of the time). Sell excess diluted stimpacks, keep only 40-50ish on you and 20 in the stash. Save 5 super stims, sell the rest. Save 5 RadAway/Rad-X, sell the rest. Save 5 antibiotics, sell the rest. Sell all drugs unless you are using them. Don't hold onto boiled water, only keep 10-15 purified water after dilution.
  • Craft as much ammo as you can. Ammo weighs less than the materials used for it.
  • Pull out all but 2-300 steel/wood. Craft C.A.M.P. objects and scrap them until you have the desired amount of wood left. Craft Throwing Knives from steel (Scrap, repeat and gain exp) and hand them out to nearest person or drop them. Pull out any resource you have vast qty of and drop/sell/bulk for sale (some do not need to be bulked).
  • Use Sturdy Frame/Portable Power perk for armor and other perks that reduce the weight of your favorite hard hitter if you're still having issues with carry weight. Most effective weight reduction perks atm seem to be traveling pharmacy and pack rat, but this can vary depending on how you play.


  • You can view your Atom challenges in the main menu (Z while viewing map). Pay attention to daily and weekly to make the most of your Atom wallet.
  • Atom store purchases are account based, meaning all characters on the account receive the items.

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