Even if you aren’t a massive gamer, you’ve probably heard of Fallout 4. There has been so much hype around it that there are probably a lot of people who bought it just to see what all the fuss is about.
But it’s not an easy game to dive right into, so there are probably quite a few people who have ended up hopelessly wandering around, dumping ammo into whatever’s moving, and dying every few minutes.
For anyone who has yet to find their feet in the Boston wasteland that is Fallout 4, here are 10 tips to help you make the most of the game.
Tip #1: Choose your starting statistics wisely
In the game, a player is given the ability to choose their starting statistics (stats). This can help you gain extra XP faster and give you an edge in certain fields, making it quicker to get those skills you really want.
The system is called Special, which stands for Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. The stats you begin with aren’t everything, but it’s good to have the right ones before playing the game (you’ll find it easier). Here are some pointers:
Try to get a good balance of all the different areas at the start so that you don’t struggle in one area. You can improve them later, by picking up bobble heads littered all over the world.
Investing in Endurance, Agility, Strength and Charisma at the start will help during the beginning of the game. Endurance will give you an edge in hit points (the power behind the bullet) and will dictate how much damage you take from shrapnel. Agility controls your action points (the amount of times you take action during battle). Strength determines what your character can do physically (how much stuff you can carry).
Finally, Charisma governs how Non-player Characters react and respond to you (by having stronger charisma, you will have more dialogue options available to you).
Tip #2: Radiation isn’t good
Getting too much radiation in your character’s body has a huge effect on your health within the game. The more your character is exposed to radiation, the more your character’s health capacity shrinks.
There are meals to help you: once you’re poisoned, you can use RadAway to get rid of it. Use Rad-X to temporarily boost your resistance to radiation.
Tip #3: Keep junk at a workshop
Due to the huge range of new customisation abilities, junk is a very useful asset to upgrade and customise your weapons, armour and shelter.
There is a good chance you will come across a lot of junk. Almost every single piece you find or pick up can probably be used for something at some point or another.
When you pick up junk, you can store it in workshops that are littered all over the world, as you don’t want your junk devouring you when you’re out exploring.
Junk can and will limit your movement, and you can only hold on to so much.
Make sure you stick to one workshop, and use that as a home base, as the materials don’t move from workshop to workshop. What you leave there will stay there. At the workshops, you can strip down the junk you have collected to the raw materials, and use that to modify weapons, or build things like a shelter.
Tip #4: Carry lots of different weapons
Ammo is scarce in the Boston wasteland, so it’s even more precious than ever before.
Always being on the lookout and scavenging can help with the ammo situation, but there is no guarantee you will find the ammo type you need.
Carry an array of weapons that cater to different types of ammo. This way, if you run out of ammo in a particular weapon, you can switch to another. It’s better to do this than inching your way around the map, hoping that you will find the rounds you need.
Some weapons also work better than others in different situations. If you meet Ghouls, you should use the shotgun.
If you meet a fortress of Raiders, use the sniper rifle to cut down the enemies before charging in. This way, you wouldn’t end up having to use a sniper rifle against enemies such as the rabid Blood Bugs.
Tip #5: Keep Stimpacks and ammo close by
As in the previous Fallout games, keeping Stimpacks and ammo close at hand is extremely beneficial. Do not go into a tough fight without a decent supply of both. Even though they are hard to come by, it’s good to have a few Stimpacks and a good amount of ammo before you fight relentless waves of enemies and tough bosses.
Tip #6: Look after your power armour
In Fallout 4, unlike in the previous games, the iconic power armour is quite easy to obtain. You can put on and take off your bulky hulking piece of virtually indestructible metal any time you want, and it pretty much stays wherever you leave it.
The armour is powered by fusion cores, which are quite rare at the beginning of the game. So you should avoid sprinting when possible, as this drains your suit’s energy really fast. Leave it in a safe place and only use it when you really have to.
When storing the suit, make sure you leave it in your own settlement or at least somewhere safe. Scavengers and raiders will steal it if you leave it out in the open.
Tip #7: Modify weapons; find a good set of armour
If possible, try to modify your weapons and have a good set of armour.
By modding your weapons, you can gain an edge over your enemies and/or completely change the gameplay to suit your environment and what you’re about to get yourself into.
It’s also good to note that some suits are actually moddable, just like weapons. You can improve your suit’s immunity to radiation, and boost physical and/or energy damage resistance.
Tip #8: Vats is one of your greatest allies
Like Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 also has a Vats system.
Vats, which stands for Vault-Tech Assisted Targeting System, basically slows down time to a crawl.
This means you can rip your enemies to shreds, as well as pull off critical hits, choose which enemies to target, and strategically plan your battle.
In Fallout 4, the feature isn’t as powerful as it was in previous games though. Even though it is a bit clunky and awkward, the huge benefits outweigh some of the minor flaws. If you train yourself to use it, it will become a very useful tool.
Tip #9: Set the game to auto-save
Fallout games, and Bethesda games in general, are often full of bugs and glitches. But that’s only to be expected when such an expansive world is created.
Players have come across headless characters, disappearing weapons and weird-looking bodies.
To avoid losing your progress (as the game contains hardly any checkpoints), change the system settings so that the game saves automatically every half hour or so.
Finally, Tip #10: Run away from your problems
Yes, in Fallout 4 it is ok to run from your problems. And by problems I mean being overwhelmed by enemy fire.
It is easy to find yourself outgunned and outmatched in the Boston wasteland, so if you don’t think you stand a chance, run away.
This will stop you from constantly dying. When you run away, you can return later on, after you have hopefully learned from your mistakes.
Your mistake could be that you simply forgot to bring enough ammo, or Stimpacks.
Or maybe you were in an area of high radiation, and losing health fast, which weakened you.
Don’t be afraid of “tactically falling back”, as no one will call you a chicken. No one in the game, at least.