Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 4 may not be the most revolutionary open world game we were expecting from the developer but damn if isn’t tons of fun. The game world and sheer attention to detail that dots the Commonwealth is a treat to behold, especially if you plow through the main quest and want something to tide you over. Then again, this is a Fallout game, which means many different approaches can be taken and many different builds can be used to approach the game in unique ways. Sneaking around, sniping from a distance, collecting everything you see or just plain trouncing the world in Power Armour, here’s our top eight picks for character builds you should try in Fallout 4.
In a game like Fallout 4, which has especially improved its shooting mechanics this time around, you’ll always want to go for the best gun. Ammo may be tough to find though and you may need to rely on melee attacks more often than you’d think. So why not just go all melee, all the time? Up your Strength and Agility, with a few points into Endurance, and invest in the Big Leagues perk which increases your melee weapon damage significantly and can knock off heads. Those interested in going bare-fisted can try Iron Fist since it does double damage and paralyzes foes at rank 5.
Life Giver and Toughness are essentially for increased resilience and health along with some decent health regeneration. Look into getting Moving Target as well since it reduces the damage you can take while sprinting, Rooted for increased melee damage and resilence (plus automatically disarming melee foes at rank 5) and Pain Train for staggering foes if you have Power Armour on. It’s not a bad idea to acquire the Blacksmith perk as well, especially if you want some of the better weapon mods later.
The Power Armour Fiend
Power Armour is amazing in Fallout 4. In fact, with all the Fusion Cores and variety of Power Armour out there, why would you ever want to step out of it? Those who prefer to rely almost exclusively on their Power Armour will find plenty to like with this build. You’ll need a lot of points in Intelligence above all – Strength should be your next priority in order to take advantage of the Heavy Gunner perk.
Nuclear Physicist is essential since it can extend the duration of Fusion Cores while perks like Toughness and Life Giver will give you that extra damage resistance. Quick Hands isn’t a bad perk either but it’s better to prioritize it for last, especially given the high Agility requirements. A word from the wise: Carry a shotgun and handgun along with a sniper rifle around with your Fat Man or Gatling Gun. Not only will these help when you run out of ammo for your heavier weapons but they’ll be particularly useful for cleaning up smaller goes. Invest points into their respective perks for increased damage in each class. If you’re focused on high powered weaponry but want to smack enemies in the face with your gun occasionally, then the Basher perk is good for later on. It provides increased damage every time you bash an enemy with your gun and at rank 3 it’s possible to inflict critical hits and cripple your opponent with a gun bash. Down the line, the Science perk will be useful as it lets you upgrade your Power Armour with more powerful mods.
The Sam Fisher
Others prefer the full frontal approach but you like to be sneaky. You’re core approach is stealth but you’re not one to stay at a distance like the sniper. That being said, the Rifleman perk wouldn’t be too bad for you when you’re required to do massive damage but we’ll get to that.
You’ll want to spend points on Perception, Intelligence and Agility. While a high amount of Perception will grant you the Rifleman perk for increased damage with sniper rifles, Pickpocket and Locksmith will be useful for stealing items from enemies and finding alternate means of navigation. The Sneak perk works in great tandem with Pickpocket as it allows you to remove a Fusion Core from Power Armour, thus exposing the target inside to a beating. Mister Sandman is the perk for those who want to carry a silenced weapon since it significantly increases their damage. If you want increased melee damage as well then go for the Ninja perk since this will also buff your ranged sneak attacks. Gun Nut and Hacker are two other great skills since the former lets you craft effective silencers while the latter can be used to access stores of equipment, hack sentry bots and turn off searchlights and much more. Depending on your approach, you may want to go for the Sniper perk or Gunslinger. We’d opt for Gunslinger since it emphasizes the up-close nature of this build all the more.
There are collectors, brawlers and sneaky thieves but the Gunslinger is all about hitting those criticals and annihilating groups of enemies with one pull of the trigger (and a little help from VATS). Make no mistake – you won’t be sniping enemies from a distance or tanking massive damage from a Deathclaw. What you will be doing is killing hordes of enemies while also being able to deal large amounts of damage to bigger targets.
Key stats to focus on are Perception, Agility and Luck. The Gunslinger perk is obviously your number one priority since it allows you to deal double the damage with non-automatic pistols along with a chance to disarm foes and even cripple them. Quick hands is also good for reloading your weapon all the faster. Action Boy/Girl and Gun-Fu are going to be your VATS-related skills to turn to. While the former allows you to regenerate your action points faster, the latter essentially increases the damage applied to your next target while in VATS. This means your second target receives 25 percent more damage, the third target receives 50 percent more damage and the fourth target suffers a critical hit (if the perk is at rank 3 that is). Combine this with the Concentrated Fire perk, where every attack on the same body part increases accuracy (and damage if you level it up fully) and you have a potent build for dealing with scores of foes. Grim Reaper’s Sprint is something decent to have down the line though you won’t want to rely on it too much. It allows for up to a 35 percent chance for each kill to restore all your action points. When it procs, it’s definitely worthwhile.
A class dedicated exclusively to picking up items and storing them? Weird as it sounds, it’s possible. This works best for those who want to focus on building settlements and collecting nearly everything they can find. You’ll level up mighty slow but hey, given how contributing to the settlement gives you experience, you can make up for that in no time by building multiple settlements simultaneously. It’s a hard knock life but hey, it’s still a very legitimate way to earn XP and level up. Then again, if you’re not one for console commands and just want everything then this also works.
Concentrate on Endurance, Charisma and Strength from the outset. Strength is essential for the Strong Back perk which gives you +50 carrying capacity and even lets you fast travel when over-encumbered. You can also sprint while over-encumbered though this will use up Action Points in the process. The Lone Wanderer perk is also useful for increasing your carrying capacity and the best part is that you can take Dogmeat along with you since he doesn’t count as a companion per say so the perk still triggers. Plus, he can carry some stuff as well. Lifegiver and Toughness will be necessary to survive the wasteland and for those focusing on settlements, the Local Leader perk is essential. Not only can you establish supply lines between settlements but you’re also capable of building workstations and stores at rank 2. If you get your Charisma high enough, then you can also take the Inspirational perk which lets your companion carry even more items.
You’re not a fan of companions. Sure, they provide more storage capacity and company at odd hours but they can slow you down and otherwise compromise the mission. You fight alone and die alone (or something like that) but you don’t need back-up. This build is concerned with fighting solo and doing damage by yourself while also managing without the addition of some one else to carry your stuff.
Invest three points in Charisma while focusing on Strength, Endurance and Perception with a few points in Agility and Intelligence. The Perception stat will give you Rifleman which increases the damage of non-automatic rifles significantly and Sniper which gains a 25 percent accuracy rating in VATS on rank 3. Invest in the Lone Wanderer perk to increase your carry capacity and the amount of damage you can withstand. From here, it’s really up to which weapon class you want to specialize in though I recommend Gunslinger for increased damage with non-automatic pistols. Medic, Rad Resistant and Life Giver are great for upping your overall life stats while avoiding radiation and regenerating health. If you’re feeling particularly evil, then go for the Cannibal perk as well to feast on Super Mutants and Ghouls and recover health in the process.
It’s weird how many of the perks for this class could be applied to others to instantly up their viability. That being said, you can run a dedicated sniper class to explore the Commonwealth with style, finesse and an over-abundance of patience.
Perception, Luck and Agility are your friends but unlike the Gunslinger, you’ll be taking the Rifleman and Sniper perks for increased damage and accuracy with sniper rifles. It also helps to get the drop on enemies and disappear when it’s convenient so pick up the Sneak perk. Not only does it make enemies much harder to detect you but upon losing sight of you, distant enemies will immediately give up looking. This is all the more useful when combined with the Ninja ability which significantly buffs the damage of ranged attacks by 3.5 times. Considering the amount of damage that snipers can deal, this isn’t a bad combination to have as it allows you to get the drop on foes and immediately head-shot them, whether manually or with VATS.
Better Criticals is also a must since it increases the damage done by critical attacks while Critical Banker allows you to save up to three critical hits to use in later opportunities. Depending on how you want to play, you’ll be able to pop a few enemies, duck back into cover, earn a couple of critical hits and then eventually mop up the rest with your banked criticals. The banked criticals can also be a great way to save up shots for tougher enemies that you’ll encounter later. Action point regeneration may be an issue since sniper rifles take a large number so make sure to get the Action Boy/Girl perk later to regenerate your AP and Grim Reaper’s Sprint for a chance to restore all action points with a kill.