This guide will give you the best tricks that you likely don’t know about in Fallout 4. These range from how to buy a house in Diamond City, to how you can recruit traders to your settlements and assign settlers to different roles. There’s a lot more, of course, and even the most experienced Fallout 4 players are likely to learn a thing or seven.
Many of our Fallout 4 tricks work very well with some of our other content. Be sure to visit the links that we include throughout this guide if you want to make the most of your time in the Commonwealth. If you would like to see a list of everything we’ve been working on in once place, including a walkthrough for the entire main story quest line, visit USgamer’s Fallout 4 Walkthrough and Guide.
Buy a House in Diamond City
Building settlements is a lot of fun in Fallout 4, but some people would rather just wander the Wasteland and not fuss with the needs of a few NPCs. If that’s the case with you, perhaps a house in Diamond City would suit you better. You can even customize it like you would a settlement with a workshop, so you’ll be able to make your own little post-apocalyptic living space. To buy this, visit the Mayor’s office in Diamond City, and bring 2,000 caps to make your purchase.
The Lone Wanderer Perk
As of right now, Dogmeat does not count as one of your companions in Fallout 4. This means that you can bring him along on quests, getting him to help you with carrying all that crap that you’re finding as you slaughter a few dozen Raiders. If you equip the Lone Wanderer Perk Rank 1 (Charisma 3) you can also deal 15 percent more damage, and carry an additional 50 weight. All of this adds up to more junk that you can scrap and use to build your settlement. Just be mindful this very well could get fixed in a patch.
Build Settlement Supply Lines
One of the biggest problems that we ran into was building settlements beyond Sanctuary. Most locations lacked the supplies that we needed, but there is a built in mechanic that can solve this problem for you. You’ll need to get the Local Leader Perk (Charisma 6). Once you do, enter the build mode at a settlement and then approach a settler. You should have the option to set up a supply line, allowing the Workbenches between the two to share resources. If it doesn’t work, try another settler.
Sell Nearly Spent Fusion Cores
Fusion Cores are worth a lot of money when you sell them, but they’re also worth a lot to the player who values their Power Armor. The good news is, you can use them and sell them as long as you play your cards right. To do this, use your Power Armor when you feel the need, and keep an eye on how much juice is left in your Fusion Core. When it’s nearly empty, replace it. Take the one that is almost dry to a trader and sell it back to them. You should get full price for this now useless item.
Rename Weapons and Armor
This is likely not something that will surprise everyone, but you can give your weapons and armor custom names at the Weapons and Armor Workbench. This is particularly useful if you mod your gear and need to remember not to sell it with the rest of your basic stuff. Plus, something just feels right about giving your custom double-barrel shotgun a unique name, like Lucile. Absolutely nobody wants to get shot with a weapon named Lucile, even in the digital world of Fallout 4.
Give Settlers and Companions Gear
Did you know that you can give your settlers and companions gear? It may not seem important, but if you give your settlers better weapons than they start with, they will be better equipped to defend your land if Raiders attack. The same applies to armor, letting them take more damage. As for companions, they are going to be a big part of your success in the Wasteland, so ensure that they have some good armor. Be careful about changing their weapon, though, as they have unlimited ammunition for the default.
Cook Your Food, You Barbarian
You know all that meat that you’ve been picking up from dead creatures that ended up on the wrong end of Lucile’s business end? Well, you can cook most of that, often removing harmful Rads and even giving that food special qualities that will help you out. You should find cooking stations all over the place while traveling the Commonwealth, but you can also build them at a settlement and then use that. You can even make Vegetable Starch, which gives you more Adhesive.
Change Your Pip-Boy / HUD Color
If you aren’t happy with the color of your Pip-Boy… change it. You can do this by visiting the game’s settings and playing around a little bit. It’s not very colorblind friendly (a problem for us) but you should be able to get the custom look you’re going for. If you play with it too much and don’t like the results, you can always switch it back to the default settings by pressing a single button. These color changes can also be applied to your HUD, if you want to be consistent with it all.
Give Your Settlers Proper Jobs
Just like you can assign your settlers to create supply lines, you can also give them important jobs around your settlement. Get into your Workbench view, and then look at a settler and choose to give them a command. You can then look at guard posts, work stations, trader kiosks, food resources and even beds, assigning your settler to whatever you choose. You can even choose to move them to a new settlement if you want to spread out your population a little bit.
Kill Anyone in the Entire Game
This one was something that we were told we could do by Todd Howard at the E3 presentation for Fallout 4, and that’s kill anyone we wanted. What we didn’t know, was that he really meant it. You can kill the leaders of the Railroad, Brotherhood of Steel and Institute factions, or any random NPC that you want. Just be careful, your actions have consequences. You could end up at war with these factions, or dealing with an angry family member, as we did after taking out a shady bartender in Diamond City.
Increase Your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats
When you level up in Fallout 4, you’re given a single point to spend on your Perks. What (amazingly) some people don’t realize, however, is that the point can also be used to increase your stats for each of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. categories. To do this, open the Perk chart (with one or more points to spend), and move to the top row. If you choose to place your point there, you won’t unlock a Perk, but you will increase that S.P.E.C.I.A.L. category by one level, thus giving you more options when choosing Perks.
You Can Recruit Traders
Did you know that you can recruit traders to join your settlement and work in your shops? We’re not talking about assigning settlers to trading kiosks, either. You can find NPCs who will up your shop game in a big way, such as Holt Combes in Vault 81, or the Vault-Tec representative in Goodneighbor. You’ll need Local Leader Rank 2 (Charisma 6) to do this, and some traders have population requirements, but it should give you access to some very unique and rare items in the game.
Dismantle Weapons and Armor
If you’re struggling to keep enough rare components stocked at your settlements, the Scrapper Perk Rank 2 (Intelligence 5) is for you. This will allow you to use Weapon and Armor Workbenches to scrap all of the weapons and armor that you’re never going to use. This can result in a boost of crafting materials such as screws, aluminum, copper, circuitry, nuclear material and fiber optics. It’s not going to help you putting up new walls, but it might be just what you needed to mod that special weapon.
Fallout 4 Has Dynamic Cover
We bet you didn’t know about dynamic cover, because until recently we didn’t know that. If you approach the edge of a wall on Fallout 4 and aim down sight, your character will actually lean and peek out. It actually works somewhat like the cover system in Battlefield 4, except that we tend to just stand in the open and fire blindly at the creatures of the Wasteland. Still, it’s there if you want to use it, which you most likely will if you’re going for the stealthy approach.
How Stealth Works in Fallout 4
Keeping with the sneaky ways, did you know that when the game tells you that you’re hidden it actually tells you a lot more than you think? You see the square brackets around the word? The farther those are apart, the more hidden you are. The closer they are together, the closer you are to being spotted. It’s a very simple system, but it’s one that you can use to your advantage now that you know how it works. Oh, and if it says you’re in danger, it’s probably time to stop hiding and start shooting.
You Can Pickpocket Fusion Cores
Ever wanted to roll up on the Brotherhood of Steel and put the whoop on them? Well, if you are good with pickpocketing, now you can. Sneak behind someone in Power Armor and pickpocket the Fusion Core, forcing them to get out and fight you on more even terms. We advise you save before you try this, just in case things go horribly wrong and you want to try again. Oh, and the Pickpocket Perk (Perception 1) is a really good way to up your chances of this working.
Change Your Post-Apocalyptic Appearance
If you weren’t satisfied with the way you looked when you left the mirror in the opening moments of the game (or when you left Vault 111 for the first time), you can still change that. For example, head to the market in Diamond City and start browsing the vendors. One of them is a doctor that, for a price, will do a little cosmetic surgery and change the way you look. It’s going to set you back a few caps if it’s really something you want to do, but beauty has no price limit, right?
Build Your Own Bobblehead Display
We stumbled onto this option while we were building in Sanctuary, but it’s a pretty cool way that you can keep track of the Bobbleheads you’re picking up around the Commonwealth. Build yourself a display, and then transfer your Bobbleheads over to see them neatly laid out on top. You can even do this with the magazines that you find, although there are far more of those to track down than the former. The image above shows you our weak sauce attempt at gathering these collectibles.
You Can Romance Your Companions
This was a fairly cool discovery for us, although we were slightly let down that the romance in Fallout 4 wasn’t on par with The Witcher 3. Still, it has its benefits, as each companion that you romance gives you a certain perk that you can use while wandering the Wasteland. For example, Piper’s Gift of Gab perk will give you double XP for completing speech challenges and discovering new locations. To romance a companion, do things that they like, and make sure to talk to them for conversation options.
Give Your Companions Power Armor
Another really cool thing that you can do with your companions is give them Power Armor to wear around, although the amount of Fusion Cores you burn through might be a sticking point. If you have a spare suit, or just want to bring one you’ve found back to your settlement, look at your companion and give them a command, then look at the Power Armor and tell them to use it. For a disturbing kind of fun, let them fight a Deathclaw in it and don’t intervene.
Swap Gun Mods Between Weapons
This is a really cool way to make the Gun Nut Perk a little less important in the early stages of the game, although you should absolutely invest in it. If you find a weapon that already has some modifications, you can un-equip those, and then use those modifications on another weapon that you’d rather upgrade. It’s a bit of a finicky system, so our advice is to play around with it after you’ve saved your game. Once you get the hang of it, always check your legendary drops to see if you can do some adjusting.
Dogmeat Knows a Few Tricks
You may have given Dogmeat a command and noticed that he can play fetch, but did you notice that fetch actually turns into options for seeking out enemies, or even grabbing up all the loot that might be in the area? Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t, but you should know and you should be using this system. We especially like it when we’re sneaking about trying to kill a batch of Raiders, and we just aren’t brave enough to go clear that room with Lucile. Dogmeat has our back, though.