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Advanced tips for the hardcore wastelander

Build yourself a base camp and use it.

Don’t be a nomad. Set yourself up in a room near your primary base. Build a crate for stuff to sell, a crate for special things to keep, and a crate to dump your main inventory in so you can carry tons of stuff when you’re going on a vendor run. You can even build yourself a little bobblehead rack and make it feel more like home. Basebuilding can be a chore when you have to do it as part of a quest. Take your time and build whatever you want. It’s actually more fun that way.

Create your character around your favourite companion

Companions are more than pack mules. Well, some of them are. Once you’ve got a few essential Perks you can begin to build your character around your favourite companions.They have strengths and weaknesses too.

Valentine is great at picking locks, and you’ll gain an extra chance to hack terminals if you unlock his perk. If you want to level up quicker, Piper’s Gift of the Gab Perk will help you with that provided you have good Charisma. Deacon’s your man if you play like a ninja. You’ll also need to consider your actions around them. Preston likes it when you’re generous and try the peaceful route. Play to their strengths.

Leave nothing on the table

When you’re about to finish a cave, building, base or whatever it is – let’s be honest, they’re all dungeons – find a container near the exit and offload all your loot into it. Then run back and forth collecting all the junk and putting it in the container too. Remember that everything is useful in Fallout 4, especially the dull stuff like glue and duct tape. Once you have it all stashed, you can fast travel back and forth between vendors, Workshops and the crate by the dungeon door to efficiently clear it out. Most dungeons loop around, making this easier.

Not all ammo is dropped randomly

The majority of ammo drops (when you open a locked crate, safe, suitcase, etc) are random in Fallout 4, which is why it’s a good idea to keep one weapon around for each ammo type.

But give up hope of finding a mini nuke from a random crate. These are only found in specific locations. The same goes for cannonballs, blaster rounds, flares and cryo cells. However, they can be bought from a vendor for the right price.

Get your big boy pants on

It’s not just weapons and armour that gives your character buffs. There’s a whole set of seemingly normal clothing that can boost your stats in the Commonwealth. Liam’s glasses from the Plugging A Leak quest will boost your Intelligence stat by +2. Check out corpses in the castle for Minute Men uniforms that boost your Charisma by +1. Zeke’s jacket and jeans will grant you +4 Unarmed Damage – he’s the dude you kill when helping out Travis in the Confidence Man quest.

The lesson here is clothing isn’t just about looking good. Check out any garment with someone’s name or rank attached to it.

How to find missing companions

If your companion goes missing, backtrack to your last fight; they may be stuck in stimpack mode squatting on the floor. If you haven’t seen them for a while and you think they may be a way off, try sleeping on a bed or waiting on a chair. This will often teleport them to you.

Your companion sticks more closely to you if you have your weapon out or are sneaking, by the way. This is pretty crucial if you’re entering a new area and you’re unsure what to expect. You don’t want them thundering forward swinging a bat if you’re trying to recon the place.

Keep your friends close

If you’re trying to romance a companion or just increase your relationship with them – which will eventually unlock their Perk – command them to stay by your side. Now do something you know they like, such as modding armour, picking locks, hacking, or in Strong’s case, eating a dead body. It’s a bonding experience for you both.

Obsessing over guns isn’t just for psychos

Research weapons and armour. Did you know armour comes in three tiers – standard, sturdy and heavy? Did you know that each weapon type comes in several varieties, and some have higher base stats than others? It’s worth knowing how your gear stacks up with no mods, because you may be cheating yourself out of a vital few points of damage by applying all your best mods to an inferior base weapon.

Keep the mods, junk the weapon

You may find a shitty weapon with a great scope on it. Before you sell or scrap equipment, consider modding it first. This will remove any especially keen add-ons you can’t yet produce yourself. If you change a suppressor back to no muzzle, for example, that suppressor goes into your inventory (in the Mod section) and you can attach it to another weapon you intend to keep.

This is especially worthwhile for armour, but be careful with weapons – it costs materials to go back to short and standard, and glue and screws are always in short supply.

Workshops are the best place to store everything

Don’t just store junk in your Workshop inventory. Put all your mods and raw food in there, too. It’s all accessible from any crafting system in the same Workshop zone. Don’t lug it around like a fool. No one enjoys shuffling through the inventory in the middle of a rad pit trying to make yourself 1% lighter. Be prepared before you leave your base.

Keep an eye out for Exceptional weapons

Exceptional weapons are not the same as Legendary weapons. Legendary weapons are random drops that have a random attribute assigned to them (30% more radiation damage, etc) whereas Exceptional have specific perks and effects. You’ll find a growing list of them here, and if you don’t use them yourself consider giving them to your companion.

Take a pew

Okay, so you know that sleeping in a bed repairs broken limbs and restores all health. And you also know that getting into bed with a companion grants you +15% XP for a little while.

BUT did you know that sitting on the pew inside the All Faiths Chapel in Diamond City also grants you an extra +5% XP for a limited time? No, you did not. You’re welcome.

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