Fallout 4 Perks guide (2023)

Fallout 4's perks are just the beginning. Be sure to check out Polygon's full guide to Fallout 4 for tips, tricks and help.

Every video game with a skill tree is a mirror of a player's personality. Some recreate themselves in a virtual world. Others use games as an outlet to become someone completely different than their real life persona.

The Perks progression system in Fallout 4 is complex, but it isn't complicated. It's thoughtfully designed in ways that provide flexibility to accommodate a wide array of play styles. After spending untold hours in Fallout 4's post-apocalyptic world, we've got handle on how certain perks will benefit specific gaming personality types.

The Vault-Tec SPECIAL chart includes summaries of each perk, so carving your own path isn't especially difficult. Our adventurer types below can nudge you in the right direction, depending on which side of your personality you'd like to unleash.

Mastery First

If you're the compulsive type who wants to be the master of one attribute as soon as possible, Fallout 4 offers that possibility, within reason.

Since you start the game with 21 points to spend (plus an additional point for the "You're SPECIAL!" book under Shaun's crib), you can raise any attribute to 10 and unlock the basic version of all 10 perks before the game begins in earnest.

Being an early master at Strength or Endurance will make you ready for the initial outdoor hazards and hostiles of The Commonwealth. If you want a greater challenge (aside from playing Fallout 4 at a harder difficulty setting), focus instead on Luck. Its benefits aren't as immediate as other attributes, but Luck-based perks like Idiot Savant and Better Criticals are just as useful in the long run.

Fallout 4 discourages you from focusing solely on one attribute at a time. The requirements for the advanced versions of any perk are gate-kept by level requirements. Technically, you can just stockpile perk points until your levels are high enough to unlock those advanced perks, but you'd be missing out on other growth opportunities in other attributes along the way.

(Video) Fallout 4 - Perks Guide

The Well-rounded Traveller

For all of the dangers you'll face in The Commonwealth, spreading your perks evenly across all the attributes is a reliable way to sand off the merciless world's rough edges. In fact, many of the low-level perks are well placed because of their usefulness during the game's initial hours.

Spreading the statistical love has its practical benefits, but that doesn't mean you need to methodically go row by row. Don't be afraid to jump around the wall of perks from time to time. For example, you can access the weapon-modding perk known as Gun Nut before you're able to unlock Hacker — though the latter is a more useful perk to many players.

Fallout 4 Perks guide (1)

Growth Spurt

For some adventurers, opportunities to gain experience take priority. The beauty of Fallout 4 (and many Bethesda role-playing games for that matter) is that almost any activity will give you some XP, even if it's just a handful of points. If you're looking for a couple of XP boosts, there are a few methods:

  • Unlock Luck - Level 05: Idiot Savant. This perk's three ranks grants you a randomly triggered XP multiplier. The trade-off is that order to increase you chances of this boost, you need to keep your Intelligence low.

  • Get regular rest. Some specific acts of sleeping and reflection grant you temporary XP multipliers. If you manage to romance a companion, you'll be able to sleep with them, triggering the Lover's Embrace perk. Quiet Reflection is triggered if you spend time sitting in a pew in All Faiths Chapel in Diamond City. Lastly, you can enact Well Rested if you sleep in a bed in either the Dugout Inn at Diamond City or Hotel Rexford in Goodneighbor.

  • Stick with Piper. If you don't mind a long-term relationship with a companion (who you'll meet when you reach Diamond City), reaching maximum affinity with her will grant you double XP every time you complete speech challenges and discover new areas.

The Mainliner

Whether your time is limited or you gravitate to the essential plot points of a game, there's nothing wrong with focusing on Fallout 4's main story. Are there any perks that are essential to completing any story quest? No, but there are a few areas where having expertise in specific fields would be a huge help.

(Video) FALLOUT 4: Top 10 BEST PERKS in Fallout 4! (Most Useful for ALL Character Builds)

High Charisma can help persuade NPCs to give up key items instead of bribing them. This attribute also helps to talk down hostiles during a violent situation.

There's also a quest that requires travelling to a large high-radiation area, so either have lots of anti-radiation items like Radaway, a power armor suit or Endurance perks spent on radiation resistance.

Finally, having Intelligence Level 06: Science will allow you to build large generators, which can help with a construction job during one of the last story quests.

Note that reaching the end of the Institutionalized quest isn't the game's true conclusion. Completing that quest will certainly provide some closure, but that doesn't mean your adventure is over. There are now more avenues open to you, though we encourage you to get to know the game's various factions by this point, which brings us to ...

The Team Player

To learn more about the various factions, visit our Companions Guide for details on which group works for you. You're also welcome you dabble in each faction for several quests. Eventually, pursuing specific quests for one faction will block you out of further progression with an opposing faction, but such is life. You can't please everyone all the time.

Like the main story, no specific perk is essential to completing faction quests, but it certainly helps to be proficient in combat, charisma and radiation protection. If you have a fondness for The Minutemen, you should focus on combat since you'll have some intense firefights where other factions and hostiles lay siege to one of your strongholds.

The Social Butterfly

Outside of Fallout 4, there are very few RPGs that let you hone a persuasive silver tongue with tangible and practical results. Relying on your personality means devoting a lot of your perk points toward Charisma.

Being high in sociability and likeability has benefits beyond one-on-one conversations, too. You can save ammo and health by talking your way out of a tense situation or a suspenseful stand-off.

(Video) Top 10 Best Perks to have for Fallout 4 (Best Perks Guide Including Survival Mode) #PumaCounts

There are even greater Charisma benefits relating to commerce. Improving the Cap Collector perk will give you better deals at vendors. Local Leader will allow you to establish trade routes between settlements and open stores.

The Confrontationalist

Are you the type of player who never avoids a fight? Then focus on the combat-centric perks littered throughout all the attributes.

Fallout 4 gives you the flexibility to hone your skills in one weapon type like automatic rifles or pistol, but given that ammo for all types of firearms are littered throughout The Commonwealth, it certainly wouldn't hurt to be proficient in different kinds of guns.

You should also unlock defensive perks in parallel with offensive ones. Refractor and Toughness are two such perks and both can be upgraded four times each.

Fallout 4 Perks guide (2)

The Efficient Operative

This is the type of player who wants to spend as little time as possible indoors. You're the type who loots corpses of only essential items like caps and stimpaks and not much else. You're not interested in exploring every hallway and room in a hospital or factory. You just want to reach each objective waypoint and be done with it.

If that sounds like you, then it would behoove you to master both lockpicking and hacking. Even though many indoor areas have alternate routes that do not require lockpicking or hacking competence, having experience in either (preferably both) will significantly shorten your quest.

If you really want to feel like a time-efficient Fallout 4 secret agent, we recommend clearing the Tradecraft Railroad quest. Doing so will unlock one of the best semi-automatic pistols in the game, the Deliverer. It's highly moddable and is incredibly VATS-friendly. Hit percentage during VATS is higher than normal and AP cost for each shot is low.

(Video) Fallout 4 Ultimate Character Creation Starting Guide! - Choosing Best Perks & SPECIAL Stats! (FO4)

The Quest Addict

You might be one of the many who want to prolong Commonwealth adventuring as long as possible without triggering main story quests, and Fallout 4 is happy to oblige. You can easily put in 50 hours of fulfilling exploration and questing without even reaching the Diamond City, one of the early main quest destinations.

Whether it's a conversation with a settler or a merchant, side quests can trigger when you least expect it. The only question is whether you have the skills that will make your quests easy or difficult. Discovering locations and quests means spending a lot of time outdoors, which is why we recommend being somewhat well-rounded while also emphasizing both Strength and Endurance. That way, you can hold your own during unexpected encounters while being prepared for non-aggressive surprises, like areas that happen to be high in radiation.

Fallout 4 Perks guide (3)

The Collector

Most of Fallout 4's attributes have some perk related to the countless items you can amass during your time in The Commonwealth. If the accumulation of goods and wealth is a priority for you, we suggest working your way to these perks:

  • Luck - Level 02: Scrounger. This perk lets you find extra ammunition in containers. It can be upgraded three times.

  • Intelligence - Level 05: Scrapper. This perk lets you salvage components from weapons and armor. Upgrade it once for the ability to salvage rare components.

  • Charisma - Level 03: Lone Wanderer. This perk is beneficial only if you don't mind travelling alone. Its three levels offer various degrees of damage dealing and protection. For an item gatherer, its first two levels increase your carrying capacity. If you prefer to have a companion, you can ignore this perk and take advantage of your partner's ability to carry items.

The Adapter

No matter how much we've learned from our own playthroughs, we can't anticipate every player's possible path to fulfillment. If you're unsure about any of the aforementioned perk distribution methods, we have one last path you can try.

(Video) Fallout 4 - Top 10 Perks

One way to be ready for any situation is to save perk points and only applying them as needed, based on your current predicament. You might not prefer hacking, but there might be one specific door during one specific quest that is locked with a Master level terminal, and you're too impatient or uninterested in looking for alternate routes. Or there could be a specific NPC you might want to win over. Then you can spend points on Charisma. You might also develop a fondness for specific activities that you don't normally enjoy in other games, like sniping or lockpicking. Hoarding perk points ensures you'll be more prepared for situations you may not have anticipated.

Table of Contents


Is it possible to get all perks in Fallout 4? ›

To unlock every perk and maximize each base SPECIAL stat, including the 7 perk ranks added with Far Harbor and the 7 perk ranks added with Nuka-World, the player character must get to level 286. If the SPECIAL-bobbleheads and "You're SPECIAL!"

What order do you get perks in Fallout 4? ›

If you're not sure how you are going to play Fallout 4, start with early perks like Locksmith, Hacker, Life Giver, and Action Boy to round out your basic skills and then take it from there. If you find yourself being drawn to scavenging and settlement building, start spending in the intelligence and charisma trees.

What is the best overall build in Fallout 4? ›

The 15 Most Powerful Builds In Fallout 4, Ranked
  1. 1 Infiltrator. The strongest build according to fans is the Infiltrator; it's designed to take advantage of the Deliverer pistol in V.A.T.S. to drop enemies.
  2. 2 One Punch Man. ...
  3. 3 The Negan Build. ...
  4. 4 Human Deathclaw. ...
  5. 5 Death Incarnate. ...
  6. 6 Black Ops. ...
  7. 7 Ninja. ...
  8. 8 Walking Tank. ...
May 30, 2022

What should I not miss in Fallout 4? ›

Fallout 4: 12 Secret Side Quests Everyone Missed & How To Start Them
  • 5 Trip To The Stars.
  • 6 Atom Cats. ...
  • 7 The Devil's Due. ...
  • 8 The Great Hunt. ...
  • 9 Last Voyage Of The USS Constitution. ...
  • 10 Hole In The Wall. ...
  • 11 Brain Dead. ...
  • 12 Trouble Brewin' ...
Apr 11, 2022

Is Luck useful in Fallout 4? ›

Luck is a very useful special stat in Fallout 4 because it contains powerful perks that revolve around finding more items in containers and dealing more damage with critical hits.

What is the rarest thing in Fallout 4? ›

Fallout 4: 10 Rarest Items In The Game, Ranked
  • 8 The Problem Solver.
  • 7 Perfectly Preserved Pie.
  • 6 2076 World Series Baseball Bat.
  • 5 Wooden Toy Soldier.
  • 4 Happy Birthday Sweet Roll.
  • 3 The Psychotats.
  • 2 Wedding Rings.
  • 1 Leopard Print Bandana.
Dec 19, 2022

How many legendary perks can you equip? ›

One Legendary Perk Card can be equipped to each slot, and you can unequip them at any time in exchange for 1 Perk Coin (more on Perk Coins below).

Does ghoulish change your appearance? ›

It does not. You are only Ghoulish on the inside according to the perk.

Do you still get perk cards after level 50? ›

How do I get Perk Card Packs? Will I ever stop receiving Perk Cards? No, once you hit level 50, you will have a choice of changing your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. point allocation or choosing a new Perk Card.

How does Fallout 4 perk chart work? ›

When you level up you select a perk from a new perk chart found within the game. It's there on the right. Each SPECIAL has a perk assigned for each rank of the SPECIAL, from one to 10. You can select any perk up to the rank of your SPECIAL.

What is the most op weapon in Fallout? ›

Arguably the most powerful weapon in the game is the Nuka-Nuke Launcher found in Nuka-World. It's essentially a Fat Man that has been modified to hurl modified mini-nukes known as Nuka-Nukes at foes.

What is the strongest outfit in Fallout 4? ›

The 8 Best Armor Sets In Fallout 4
  • 8 Operators Heavy Armor.
  • 7 Rescue Diver Suit.
  • 6 Apocalypse Armor.
  • 5 Combat Armor.
  • 4 Mechanist's Armor Set.
  • 3 Synth Armor.
  • 2 Disciples Metal Armor.
  • 1 Marine Armor.
Feb 18, 2022

What is the scariest place in Fallout 4? ›

Fallout 4: The 10 Creepiest Locations In The Game, Ranked
  • 8/10 East Boston Preparatory School. ...
  • 7/10 Grandchester Mystery Mansion. ...
  • 6/10 Museum of Witchcraft. ...
  • 5/10 D.B. ...
  • 4/10 Atom's Spring. ...
  • 3/10 Fens Street Sewer. ...
  • 2/10 Pickman Gallery. ...
  • 1/10 Dunwich Borers.
Sep 7, 2020

Can you get pregnant in Fallout? ›

Pregnant dwellers will give birth after a few hours if they are happy and there is enough space in the Vault. If there is not enough room, either upgrade or build additional Living Quarters.

Is there a legendary ripper in Fallout 4? ›

Inside just beside the entrance to the bunker, on a cabinet you will find the Ripper. It can also be bought from Arturo, in Diamond City. Additionally, Ripper weapons with legendary effects can be looted randomly from legendary enemies.

Is Luck better than skill? ›

Skill is the ability to fire knowledge readily in performance and execution. We know how to do something, and when the moment comes, we can do it. Luck has three specific features — it works for an individual and/or organization, it can be good or bad, and it's reasonable to expect something else could have happened.

Does Luck affect chest loot? ›

With custom loot tables, chests and mob drops can be affected by luck.

Does Luck affect crates? ›

Only enemy drops are affected by luck. The drop rates of items from grab bags like crates or Oysters are unaffected.

Are there any secret places in Fallout 4? ›

Even though it's been out for a few years, there are lots of secret and hidden places in Fallout 4 that the average player may not be familiar with. Hidden references to other pieces of fiction, quirky rooms, and even spots that have unique game mechanics.

Is there a sea monster in Fallout 4? ›

Look for a kid standing at the edge of a dock. He's fascinated by what he perceives to be a sea monster in the distance. Using the quest marker, swim to the location of this alleged sea monster. It turns out that it's the Yangtze, a Chinese submarine.

Should I make my perks legendary? ›

The main benefit to Legendary Skills is that it removes the level cap and allows players to theoretically gain as many Perk Points as they like.

Does making a skill legendary remove perks? ›

Yes, you lose the effects of the perks as well. The point is that if you make a skill legendary, you still have the same amount of perk points as before, but now that the skill is set to 15 again, you can level it up once more and gain more perk points.

What is the best legendary perk? ›

Legendary Ranged Weapons
  • Anti-Armor. For guns, Anti-Armor can be a GREAT Legendary effect to find on any ranged weapon. ...
  • Bloodied. This is probably the best perk to have on a Ranged Weapon. ...
  • Berserker's. I recommend this ONLY on certain builds. ...
  • Junkie's. ...
  • Two Shot.

Where can I get free Fusion Cores? ›

While they don't carry an abundance of fusion cores, there's at least one guaranteed in each of these places.
  • Wilson Atomatoys Factory.
  • Super Duper Mart.
  • Cambridge Polymer Labs.
  • Suffolk County Charter School.
  • Starlight Drive In Settlement.
  • ArcJet Systems.
  • Back Alley Bowling.
Nov 8, 2021

Is adamantium skeleton worth it Fallout 4? ›

The Adamantium Skeleton perk has an effect that can be very useful depending on how you personally play Fallout 4. This perk makes it harder for you to break your limbs, which is helpful if you get hit a lot during combat.

How many points does it take to max out a perk deck? ›

It costs a total of 13,700 Perk Points to fully unlock all 9 cards in a single deck, and 301,400 Points to unlock all 22 decks. Gaining perk points is simple - after earning XP, go to the Skills & Perks screen and view the Perks Deck tab (selected in the upper left).

Do perk points expire? ›

In the Perks program, your points will expire 12 months from the date of earning them.

How many blood points does it take to get a character to level 50? ›

To get to level 50 with a Killer or Survivor, the player has to spend roughly 1.6 million Bloodpoints in the Bloodweb.

Can you lose perks Fallout 4? ›

Once the Sole Survivor has earned their perk, it's permanent; they can't lose it even if the affinity level with that companion changes or they have another companion follow them.

How to level up fast in Fallout 4? ›

15 Ways To Level Up Fast In Fallout 4
  1. 8 The Learning Curve Quest.
  2. 9 Find As Many Intelligence Bobbleheads As Possible. ...
  3. 10 Wear Equipment That Boosts Intelligence. ...
  4. 11 Abuse Mentats Before Acquiring XP. ...
  5. 12 Maximize Your Intelligence Stat. ...
  6. 13 Join The Brotherhood Of Steel. ...
  7. 14 Farm Side Quests. ...
  8. 15 Use The Idiot Savant Perk. ...
Jun 30, 2021

What is prioritize strongest weapon? ›

Updated “Prioritize Strongest Weapon” setting

The goal behind this setting is to allow players to traverse quickly with melee equipped and be combat-ready after using an ability or interacting with the Spike, ult orbs, etc.

What is the best gun to buy in Fallout 4? ›

The Overseer's Guardian, arguably the best weapon in Fallout 4, can be found just to the southeast of Oberland Station, or slightly northwest of Diamond City.

What is the most customizable gun in Fallout 4? ›

The SIG MCX is one of the most effective and powerful firearms out there. Players who love modern guns can use a mod to bring this assault rifle over to Fallout 4. The sheer level of customization options when it comes to this mod is pretty great, and is easily one of the more impressive parts of the overall package.

Who is the weakest Fallout protagonist? ›

Overall, the Lone Wanderer is arguably the weakest among the Fallout protagonists. While they arguably start on par with the Vault Dweller of Fallout, their achievements in the base game don't come close to the Vault Dweller's, who managed to wipe out a super mutant threat.

What's the hardest boss in Fallout 4? ›

Here are 10 of the toughest any gamer will encounter.
  • 8 Albino Gatorclaw.
  • 7 Assaultron Dominator.
  • 6 Novatron Eliminator.
  • 5 Synth Eradicator.
  • 4 Ancient Behemoth.
  • 3 Assaultron Gorgon.
  • 2 Mythic Deathclaw.
  • 1 Liberty Prime.
Oct 16, 2022

What is the rarest power armor in Fallout 4? ›

The Piezonucleic Torso is one of the only individual power armor pieces that are unique in Fallout 4. This piece of armor is a quest reward for completing the mission "Cambridge Polymer Labs."

Is there a hazmat suit in Fallout 4? ›

The Hazmat suit can be found on the far Eastern side of the map and is located in Hugo's Hole. Hugo's Hole is next to a large quarry so if you can see that, you are in the right location. Once you reach Hugo's Hole, you'll want to take some Rad-X to protect your from the radiation inside.

What should I do first when I start Fallout 4? ›

Fallout 4: the first 10 things to do in the apocalyptic wasteland
  1. Fiddle with your favourites. Selecting your favourite items will be key to survival. ...
  2. Make a loot map. ...
  3. Play the metagame. ...
  4. Become a private investigator. ...
  5. Dress up Dogmeat. ...
  6. Enjoy a lover's embrace. ...
  7. Find your faction. ...
  8. Jump with a jetpack.
Nov 9, 2015

Do Starting Stats matter Fallout 4? ›

So starting with some SPECIAL stats low, isn't going to be an issue. It'll make you work harder for some Perks, or it might affect some of the survival abilties you have, but eventually you'll be able to reach all of them and level them up too.

Can you get pregnant on Fallout 4? ›

NO YOU CANNOT MAKE YOUR CHARACTER PREGNANT WITHOUT MODS. Anyways, your female lone survivor was pregnant a few days ago before the start of the current setting of Fallout 4, giving birth to Shaun who I HATE AND WAS HAPPY WHEN I KILLED HIM.

How should I distribute my points at the beginning of Fallout 4? ›

Recommended Fallout 4 Builds
  1. Strength > 3 Points.
  2. Perception > 7 Points.
  3. Endurance > 8 Points.
  4. Charisma > 1 Point.
  5. Intelligence > 1 Point.
  6. Agility > 7 Points.
  7. Luck > 1 Point.

What happens if you stop paying for Fallout 1st? ›

In the event your Fallout 1st membership expires, you'll still be able to access any Atoms received and resources stored in your Scrapbox; you just won't be able to deposit new additional crafting components.

What attribute should I level up first? ›

Endurance is the most important stat to level up early on, no matter your chosen Elden Ring class, because it increases your stamina. Stamina is required for attacking, blocking, dodging, running, and just generally staying alive during fights. It's by far the thing you need most at the beginning of the game.

What is the most overpowered gun in Fallout 4? ›

Arguably the most powerful weapon in the game is the Nuka-Nuke Launcher found in Nuka-World. It's essentially a Fat Man that has been modified to hurl modified mini-nukes known as Nuka-Nukes at foes. These Nuka-Nukes deal a whopping 833 damage at a decent range from the enemy.

Can you flirt everyone Fallout 4? ›

Simply put, Fallout 4's romance options are not mutually exclusive. You can flirt with, sleep with, and develop relationships with multiple characters concurrently, with both companions and regular NPCs.

What is the most iconic weapon in Fallout? ›

The Fat Man personal nuke launcher is one of the most iconic weapons in the entire Fallout series.

How to have babies Fallout 4? ›

Two Dwellers will decide to embark on a romantic snuggle if you place a male and a female together in the Living Quarters room. After a few minutes of small talk, cheesy pickup lines and awkward, musicless dancing, they'll run off to the back room and return soon after, the female now with child.

Who can you sleep with in Fallout 4? ›

Sex and romance plays a substantial role in Fallout 4, and IGN's complete wiki guide will get you started to the road to building relationships and flirting with every available companion. At this time, Piper, Magnolia, and Preston are confirmed romantic options.


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