This guide will show you how to customize your weapons in Fallout 4, helping you to deal more damage while facing off against your adversaries. The process of altering your weapons can be fairly involved, so we’ll start with the basics and work our way through every category that you can change. This system is also directly tied to your perks, so don’t expect to be crafting the ultimate weapon in the first two hours of the game.
You might also find our character creation guide useful, as well as our guide to base building and settlements. These two game concepts will pop up long before you start altering your guns, so it’s best not to try and run before you can walk. Plus, all of these mechanics are tied together in some way, so you must understand one to master the other.
Basics of Weapon Customization
Before you can customize your weapons, there are some things you’re going to need, and those are materials that you find by looting and scrapping. We suggest that you start with Sanctuary, scrapping every single tree (wood) and car (steel) that you find. You’ll want to ensure that you have lots of materials on hand before you try to customize your weapons, otherwise you won’t be able to make even the smallest alteration.
You’re also going to want to ensure that you have the Armorer and Gun Nut perks, unlocked at level 3 of the Strength and Intelligence categories. This will increase the number of options you have while crafting.
If you don’t see the Weapon Workbench, wait until after you complete When Freedom Calls, a mission that sees you bring some settlers back to Sanctuary after your initial trip to Concord. If you try before then, you might not find the Weapons Workbench, or be able to interact and craft with it. Once you have completed that mission, you’ll find the Workshop for base building, Armor Workbench and Weapons Workbench under a car port across the street from your original house in Fallout 4. Once you build your base you can even move these to another location in the same area, such as inside the walls of your base for safe keeping.
Approach the Weapons Workbench and choose Craft, you will be given a screen that shows your current weapon inventory. This will allow you to choose a weapon that you wish to alter, scrap a weapon if you have duplicates, or even rename one if you want to ensure that it’s easy for you to identify when you are browsing through your Pip-Boy.
Along the left side of the screen you’ll also see the current statistics for that weapon, and on the right side you can see what modifications are currently available for it. In a nutshell, this screen is more about giving you information than the modifications themselves.
Your Mod Slots are the different categories that you can modify on a weapon. For this guide, we’ll just use the Pistol 10mm that you picked up in the War Never Changes mission, although we altered ours and called it the Widow Maker. Here is a breakdown of the different slots and what they do.
Consider the receiver to be the body of your weapon, and the options that you can change can drastically alter the weapon’s performance to fit your play style. For example, you might go with a Light Frame Receiver, which would decrease the weight of the weapon, increase its value, and even decrease the damage. That doesn’t sound overly appealing, so maybe you’d rather go with the Powerful Receiver. Scroll down to that and you’ll notice that the Powerful Receiver modification bumps the weapon’s damage from 17 to 27, but also increases the weight. Of course, you have to have the materials required to make this change, and those requirements can be found on the right side of your screen.
This modification is fairly self-explanatory, at least in terms of which part of the gun you’re modifying. The barrel is likely to impact the Range and Accuracy of the weapon, and if you’ve played through the first few missions you’ll know that staying at a distance is a key to survival. For this, we went with the Long Light Barrel, bumping up the Range and Accuracy (as well as Value) of our weapon. We’re not telling you how to build the best gun here, so look for stats that will compliment your particular play style in Fallout 4.
When it comes to the Pistol 10mm, you’re going to have a lot less options to work with, but the stats that are affected also aren’t as plentiful. Expect the Accuracy and Weight to be the main things that are altered when you change out the Grip. For the Pistol 10mm (we mean Widow Maker), we opted for the Comfort Grip, partly because we only had the materials to make that modification at the time. That’s the thing with weapon customization in Fallout 4 - it’s not always what you want to do so much as what you have the ability to do.
The only changes you’ll see when you alter the Magazine of your weapon (at least with the Pistol 10mm) is the Weight and Value. This one is pure preference on a player-by-player basis, so make whatever change you feel is necessary, or that is worth making given your current material situation.
Again, you won’t see many changes from the Sight that you put on your weapon, but it will increase the Accuracy, which is a pretty big deal no matter how you look at it. Some of the options here are going to require materials that are hard to come by, so ensure that you’re modifying the weapon that you really want to use. If you’re just making changes for the sake of experimentation, you might find that you don’t have the materials required to alter your favorite weapon somewhere down the line.
The Muzzle of your weapon will be a game changer, and it will have an impact on the Range, Accuracy and Weight of the weapon you’re using. If you decide to go with the Suppressor option, you will also have the ability to sneak in and out of hairy situations without drawing attention to yourself. This is a huge advantage to have when you’re trying to take on a large group of Raiders, such as we did in The First Step, a mission that was true test of our skills early on.
Our advice would be to equip at least one weapon with a Suppressor. This way you always have the option to go in quietly if need be.
When it comes to modifying your weapons, you just have to spend some time getting to know the way the system works. We’d advise creating a save point before you do anything drastic, allowing you to go back and undo any changes that you absolutely hate. You may not think it’s a big deal, but given how few resources you’re likely to find scattered about, you can’t afford mistakes when it comes to crafting.
For a full look at USgamer’s Fallout 4 coverage, visit our Fallout 4 Walkthrough and Guide.