Fallout 4 Character Creation Guide
What is your name?
Obviously, you can name yourself whatever you want, so this is more of a quality of life suggestion than anything. Codsworth, your robot butler can say roughly 900 names, so interacting with him is a little more enjoyable when he says your name instead of "Sir" or "Ma'am."
The following list may not be appropriate for all ages, but you probably already knew that.
Design "both" of your genders
During character creation, spend some time on your spouse's appearance as will make the story a bit more personal and it impacts your child's appearence (It's a neat caveat Bethesda put into Fallout 4). As you go through the story, you will appreciate taking the time later on. Trust me.
You are S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
Each level gives you an ability point, you can put ability points into your S.P.E.C.I.A.L., and there is no level cap, so there's no reason to freak out about how you spend your points during character creation. That being said, you should try not to spend points in your S.P.E.C.I.A.L., there's plenty of good perks out there and your first 20-40 levels depend greatly on how you spend the points (theoretically, you can max out everything, but it will take a lot of time unless you find an exploit).
|Strength||Determines how much you can hold and how much your melee attack/bash does|
|Perception||Determines accuracy in V.A.T.S. and your ability to steal from NPCs|
|Endurance||Determines how many hit points you have and how many AP sprinting takes.|
|Charisma||Determines chances for successful speech dialogue and better prices while shopping|
|Intelligence||Determines amount of experience gained from doing stuff|
|Agility||Determines the amount of AP (action points) you have and your ability to sneak|
|Luck||Determines how fast your crit bar fills up in V.A.T.S and the chances of finding legendary gear.|
For a quality build (a build that can do just about anything), you should use the following build. The main drawback is that the build does not make use of the luck attribute. Note that it is not optimized at all for bobbleheads, so this should be considered a beginner build.
+ I recommend spending the You Are Special! book point here. It will allow you to mod fist and melee weapons with the Blacksmith perk.
You Are Special! Book
The You Are Special! book gives you a free point in any one SPECIAL stat. It can be found in Shaun's room in Sanctuary Hills after you exit Vault 111.
It is possible to cap a base stat at 12 by using this book. To do that, make sure the stat you want to increase is already 10, find a way to reduce that stat temporarily (normally through an addiction or alcohol), then pick up the book and choose that stat. When the stat reduction is removed, your base stat should now be 11. Then go pick up the bobblehead for the given stat to cap it at 12.
There are bobbleheads that can be found throughout The Commonwealth that increase your SPECIAL stats. You can use these bobbleheads to increase your base stats above 10 if you raise the stat to 10 before picking up the bobblehead. You will not be able to raise your stat above 10 if you already picked up the bobblehead.
Location: Museum of Freedom, on the desk with a broken terminal on the top floor of the building.
Location: Boston Public Library, on a large computer in a room in the northwest corner of the building.
Location: Mass Fusion Building, on the top of the statue in the lobby (you'll have to climb to the top floor, then jump down).
Location: FMS Northern Star, on a wooden beam that's part of the scaffolding of the ship.
Location: Poseidon Energy, on the desk next to a broken terminal in the middle of the room where Cutty is.
Location: Spectacle Island (southeast corner of the map), in a locker on a wrecked boat.
Location: Parsons State Insane Asylum, on the desk near the terminal in Jack's office where Edward is found.
I call these breakpoint perks. These are the perks that build the base of your character.
Lone Wanderer (CHA 3)
This is a really cheap perk and it's really strong as long as you don't use a companion (duh). It's unique since it gives you carrying capacity out of the STR tree. It gives percent damage reduction (!!!) and a percent damage increase at later levels.
It combines two perks that are somewhat expensive into one single, cheap perk. Inspirational, the perk that has the opposite effect, requires 8 CHA and STR's Strong Back perk requires 2 points just to match the first level's benefit (another win-more perk, since STR increases carrying capacity anyways).
Plus, I don't like having a follower anyways, since they can be pretty dumb and glitchy; they like to get stuck on walls or get lost on a somewhat regular basis.
Toughness (END 1)
Lots of damage resistance for almost nothing. Decent armor pieces provide 5-10 damage resitence, so consider each point spent as an extra arm or leg.
Refractor, it's counterpart, is also good, but really expensive (PER 7).
Life Giver (END 3)
Even though damage reduction is generally better than hit points, you can't cover all of your bases all the time (especially early on). 20 max health isn't a lot, but it's going to help early on (20 health is effectively 4 END or 2 levels). The passive health regeneration on the third tier of the ability is why I like it.
Action Boy / Action Girl (AGI 5)
Since this is Fallout and the game has V.A.T.S., you should use it. Getting a cheap 25%-50% boost to regeneration is well worth the two points spent in this perk,
Bloody Mess (LCK 3)
5-15% damage increase. Solid choice.
Hacker (INT 4) and Locksmith (PER 4)
You can complete the main storyline without either of these perks, but you should pick at least one (but probably both) if you do any sort of exploring in the game; basically, if you're going to play the Fallout way, you're going to want these.
From a perk standpoint, crafting is very expensive. four points into Armorer, four points into either Blacksmith or Gun Nut, two points into Scrapper, and two or four points into Science! so I'm not entirely sold on it (it's pretty much twelve levels).
Armorer (STR 3)
Upgrading armor is really handy. It keeps you alive.
Blacksmith (STR 4), Gun Nut (INT 3), Science! (INT 6)
You're probably going to want to upgrade those guns; this unlocks better scopes and such, so can be pretty important.
Scrapper (INT 5)
Virtually required if you want to modify weapons; it makes modifying weapons early possible (and inexpensive).
In order to build everything in your settlement, you need at least 6 charisma and 6 intelligence for the following perks.
Local Leader (CHA 6 - Rank 2)
The Sims is part of Fallout now, as long as you want to play it. This perk is notable because it opens up a neat aspect to the game, but you don't need it. If you want to build settlements, make sure you get 6 CHA and this perk.
Medic (INT 2 - Rank 1)
Needed for clinics.
Cap Collector (CHA 1 - Rank 2)
Needed for advanced shops.
Science! (INT 6 - Rank 1)
Allows you to build large generators and better defenses.
Hacker (INT 4 - Rank 1)
Required to build terminals.
Gun Nut (INT 3 - Rank 1)
Required to build better turrets.
Party Boy (CHA 7)
The first tier of this perk is pretty bad since it's easily avoidable (don't drink alcohol if you don't want to get addicted to alcohol #LifeLessons). But doubling the affects of alcohol is potentially really strong and 3+ LCK is really good.
And there's always the roleplaying aspect to the game, a drunk-ass Wasteland cowboy is pretty neat. Look out, John Wayne.
Black Widow (CHA 2), but maybe not Lady Killer
If you really want to min/max, this perk can be quite strong. The Black Widow perk is much stronger than Lady Killer by the nature of the game as men are more common in Wasteland combat.
Refractor (PER 7)
Flat energy resistence. A more costly version of Toughness. It's expensive, so I don't think it's a great perk.
Pick one of the following perks and focus on it. You may want to choose a second one as a backup to fix a weaknesss.
Iron Fists (STR 1***)
STR increases fist/melee damage, so you're going to want more.
Big Leagues (STR 2***)
STR increases fist/melee damage, so you're going to want more.
Heavy Gunner (STR 5)
Rifleman (PER 2)
Demolition Expert (PER 5)
Explosives are useful on higher difficulties, but the damage shouldn't make much of a difference. The primary purpose of the explosive is to disable the enemy so you can take it down easier; taking out a leg and kiting your opponent is sometimes necessary.
Gunslinger (AGI 1)
Pistols, but not automatic pistols.
Commando (AGI 2)
I call the bottom most perk in each tree "ultimates" (or "ults"). The neat thing is that none of them are necessary (you can't even unlock the third tier of them until level 50), but you can unlock them extremely early if you build your character with them in mind.
The big two are Nerd Rage! (from the INT tree) and Ricochet (from the LCK tree) and if you shoot for both of them, they work together. Ricochet procs more often when you are at low health and Nerd Rage is active at low health. Focusing on low health can be handy for a few reasons: (1) it's relatively easy to control your health, (2) radiation sickness naturally lowers your health, (3) you can play the game normally and still receive benefits of the perk when you need them most.
Nerd Rage! (INT 10)
So, Nerd Rage!... It's basically lots of free chems when you are low health (and being low health occurs farily often with how radiation works). 20% more damage and 20+ damage reduction are both huge.
Ricochet (LCK 10)
Ricochet is effectively a golden gun and golden guns are powerful (one shotting or one hit knock outs should be considered over powered). However, there are a few drawbacks to this perk... Range and, well, RNG. It can be a win-more effect if you play with ranged weapons. In that case, range is your friend and you should already be winning the fight if it's ranged; melee tends to be a problem and this perk does not help you in meleee range (and that's bad). RNG being the other problem, the ability could proc to often or not enough and since it does work on bosses, fights can end too quickly sometimes.
Concentrated Fire (PER 10) - Honorable Mention
In a vacuum, this should be the most consistent ultimate perk. Due to the fact that V.A.T.S. has a special place in this game (I'm sorry, no pun intended), it's arguably the most natural progression to an ultimate but it doesn't really shine until level 50 and most of your problems are solved by then. It will be slightly better if you specialize in handguns since you spend less ability points per shot.
Solar Powererd (END 10) - Honorable Mention
The runner up perk is Solar Powered (from the END tree). Free chems (you should notice a trend by now), reducing radiation, and returning health are all nice, but without controlling time, the ability is only up at best half the time. The requirements are strange, since you get +2 END when you've already invested 10 points into END (clearly a win-more situation) and to use the perk to it's fullest, you need to be a melee build. You can run into weight management issues as you play with STR toggling on and off.
These perks look good, but probably aren't worth it. Most of these are perks for builds that would require lots of points in a different tree without offering much synergy.
Rad Resistant (6 END)
Radiation is something you can largely ignore. If you're exploring, wear a hazmat suit or your power armor and use Rad-X or RadAway.
Ghoulish (9 END)
This perk is too expensive for being really bad. Radiation poisoning reduces your health and this does nothing to prevent that. Short term gains for long term losses (unless you go see a doctor or have a bunch of Radaway). Just stock up on Stimpacks and food instead. Now consider that Cannibal is 8 END and effectively provides the same healing effects (at a slightly higher moral cost).
Nuclear Physicist (INT 9)
Energy weapons are not radiation weapons.
Blitz (AGI 9)
That's a lot of AGI points for a melee perk. Might be handy to close the gap, but armor is probably a better call.
Pain Train (STR 10)
Pain Train requires you to use your combat suit and combat suits are pretty expensive because fusion core maintainence sucks. Unless you are willing to invest 9 INT for Nuclear Physicist, it's best to avoid this trait unless you are natually dumping STR for melee combat.
Idiot Savant (LCK 5)
Just. Play. The. Game. You don't need to waste points to make leveling easier. If you really want to level fast, just find an exploit instead of wasting three points in this.
In defense of this perk, it will always provide a boost to experience (even at 15 INT) and you can save the game before quest turn ins and repeat until it procs.
Gun Fu (AGI 10)
I have a rule when it comes to games. Walls of text normally means it's good. This does a lot, 25% increased damage, 50% increased damage, 100% crit. All of these are really good, but it requires multiple targets to do anything, and it's really hard to find groups large enough to have this perk shine.