Don’t let the brilliant blue skies and friendly German Shepherd fool you. Fallout 4‘s Bostonian wasteland is a mammoth, unforgiving land of raiders, mutated creatures, radiation sickness, and murderous robots.
A terrifying amount has changed since New Vegas was the go-to place for your post-apocalyptic kicks. But with these seven tips – spanning everything from levelling up to partnering up – new wasteland wanderers will avoid ending up at the bottom of a Super Mutant’s meat bag.
1. Nothing goes to waste in the wasteland
Scavenging, looting, and scrapping are the holy trinity in Fallout 4 – three things you’ll need to do repeatedly to survive in the irradiated Commonwealth.
Leave no burnt-out vehicle unsearched, no locker unopened, and no corpse unfrisked because every single item in the game has a value. And we’re not just talking about what a trader will pay you for it.
The value of ammo and health-boosting aids goes without saying, but the other junk you amass can be turned into raw materials for crafting and base building. You don’t need to lug all of this stuff around with you – store it at the nearest workbench to access from any crafting station.
2. V.A.T.S. the way to do it
The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System has been a highlight of our wasteland wandering since Fallout 3, and this time-freezing ability is your best friend in Boston. Aside from Dogmeat, of course.
V.A.T.S. has undergone sweeping changes in Fallout 4 – it now slows time to a crawl, rather than stopping it – and learning when to use it is your ticket to Super Mutant-slaying glory.
What V.A.T.S. is ideal for is pinpointing hidden enemies. When you’ve come under fire, but don’t know where that infernal Raider is shooting from, V.A.T.S. will flush him out. But it isn’t always the answer – when a stampede of Ghouls is rushing in your direction, unleashing a real-time volley from an automatic weapon is a smarter course of action.
3. Why be a lone wanderer when you can partner up?
No matter how much you enjoyed flying solo in the previous games, we urge you to give partnering up a shot in Fallout 4.
Companions have never been more useful out there in the wasteland, and you’ll meet all kinds of colourful characters who are more than happy to join you on your quests.
Dogmeat can sniff out items and give your enemies a nasty bite, while the likes of robotic private eye Nick Valentine and intrepid reporter Piper always have your back in a firefight.
4. Focus on specific perks when levelling up
There’s always the temptation to try and strike a delicate balance when it comes to levelling up your perks and scaling the level tree in any role-playing game. But in Fallout 4 we suggest focusing on specific attributes that suit your style of play.
Players have the flexibility to do this because the game offers uncapped levelling up – you can always come back and boost the skills you’ve neglected later on.
It takes a while to figure out what kind of wasteland wanderer you are, but study the levelling tree closely and think carefully about where your future experience points should be invested.