Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide
Co-Authored by Shi-Ann Harrison
A very special thank you to my Niece for all of her help on this project. Thank you, Squeaker!
Thank you, Sammi Osborne
Thanks, Sammi! You're ability to find solutions for a game that you're not even playing still cracks me up and amazes me, all at the same time.
Fallout 4: Thank You, Bethesda!!!
The Workbench Introduction
Fallout 4: Update 6-13-2017
Fallout 4 is such a beautiful game full of quests, discoveries and things to do that seem never-ending. However, Settlement Building has become an obsession for me. Even if you don't care for this type of game but you love Sim City... this is still a great game for you!
As I sit here contemplating exactly the best way to write this guide that is intended to explain every aspect of building a settlement including all the facts and figures, tips, tricks and know-how. Still there are three ways to approach building your settlement in the game. I’ll start with the no cheat-no mod way of prospering and it’s really very simple.
First, I want to thank everyone that contributed ideas and information regarding the game and how-to guides on Settlements. I would love to list all of you but this information presented here from every online resource I found, tested and know that these methods actually work.
Secondly, thank you folks at Bethesda for making Fallout 4 one of the best games ever. Your hard work and sheer genius is appreciated by us, the fans. You took Fallout 3 and made my one regret about that game and turned it into a dream come true… Settlement Building. Thank you.
Fallout 4: Settlement Tips and Tricks
No Cheats and No Mods Settlement Building
So, when you first start out the game, these are the SPECIAL Perks you will need right away. Intelligence: 10 (Max out Intelligence always as this dictates how much experience you earn towards leveling up.) Charisma: 6 (You will need the Local Leader Perk Level 2 in order to build functioning shops and certain workshops such as the stove. Set strength to 6 to unlock the hauling perk. (Being able to haul a mad amount of weight is very important in a Mod-less game, as you’ll soon see.) Any points you have left, put towards Endurance with the long term goal of getting the Aquaboy Perk. (This perk won’t help you with settlements but there’s a lot of underwater to explore in the game.)
Now, exit the vault and hit the surface. Once the animation ends, check out the blue shed to your character’s left. There’s a few good items to grab but it’s also important to know that you have to hit the red button in here in order to activate the elevator allowing you to go back down into the vault as needed. Exit this, note the yellow crates just to your left. Grab the goodies from them and walk past the cones before taking a right. Close-by, you’ll see a faded blue shed of sorts. Head inside and grab the items. (HINT: You can pick up the barrels and carry them to sanctuary as scrap for steel.) Follow the path and cross the bridge. Resist the urge to explore along the left following the edge of the water. I made that mistake and found out there is a Raider and Mongrol back in that area. I died. Instead, cross the bridge and head, “Home”.
Sanctuary Hills Workbench
After a smidgen of story line and exploring the neighborhood as required, go to the house directly across the street from yours and check the workbench in order to activate it. Most settlements have certain requirements before you can use the workbench in those locations but Sanctuary simply requires you get past the story line.
Fallout 4: Settlement Workbench
Fallout 4: Scrapping Junk
(The workbench is accessible by you AND your settlers. Never store anything you want to keep, at a workbench.)
Now, you’re ready to build but where to start. First, let’s talk about scrapping. You can scrap just about anything but all that useless junk in Fallout 3 is now your bloodline to prosperity in Fallout 4. (Hint: You can also scrap weapons, armor and clothing but save those items for scrapping until you’ve unlocked the second level of Scrapper as this gives you rare items for building with as bonus along with the usual leather, wood, steel and cloth that comes from the more common stuff you’ll get.) With that said, scrap everything in Sanctuary. (Hint: the game is designed with logic, so always scrap from top to bottom and always build, bottom to top…in most cases.)
Fallout 4: Junk
Fallout 4: Easy Bottle Caps
With the assumption that you scrapped everything in the neighborhood, you should now have a decent amount of building supplies. (Please Note: Most items are always there no matter how many times you restart. However, I have noticed that some items can be random. Especially items in containers such as dressers, safes and mirrors.) Moving forward. You are now ready to build your first cash cow also known as, “The Water Purifier”.
Start by walking to the main bridge leading into Sanctuary and heading to the left. In Build Mode, look under, Structures>Wood>Floors and place four Shack Foundations in a square. Then, go back to the main menu and find: Power>Generators and build one, Generator – Large. Resist the urge to build more than this, even if you can. Next, look under: Power>Connectors & Switches and build a small, Switched Power Pylon on your platform edge closest to the water. Now, go back to the main, build menu and go to, Resources>Water>Water Purifier-Industrial and place one in the water as close to the bridge as you can get it. If you have the resources on hand, build a second one. Your generator can power two of the large water purifiers. Once you have them built, it’s time to run the wires for the electricity.
Running wires doesn’t seem to use any resources that I’ve ever noticed. Highlight your generator and push the indicated button labeled: Attach Wire. Anything that highlights in white, takes power. Look at the Switched Power Connector, (Always make sure that tiny little dot is actually on your desired object which can be annoying at times), but, once you have, click the same button again to attach the wire. Repeat the same process from the connector to the nearest water purifier. (Hint: You can wire multiple Water Purifiers together while running a single line to the necessary switch. This really comes in handy throughout the process of building your first fortress.
The Backside of Sanctuary Hills Manor
Fallout 4: Water Purifiers Questions and Answers
There have been a lot of questions regarding exactly how often the water regenerates and even more questions about why it’s not. For all those wanting to know, here is what my exhaustive research found and the solutions to those problems.
A) There is a Raider living in a shack as mentioned before and believe it or not, he will sneak into town and steal your water. So, as soon as you’ve got some armor and are stronger, take him out and occasionally check the shack for anyone that replaces him.
B) The more it rains, the better the water productions. I’ve actually noticed that during a dry spell, the water level drops to the point I’ve walked on a dry river bed. That’s really rare though.
C) DO NOT leave water in the workbench or in your inventory. Build an ICE machine near the workbench and always store your water in it. After you get settlers, leave everything in the workbench for them to use.
D) DEFENSE! For every point of resource, you build, you need to match that with one point of defense. The higher your defense, the more water you’ll get each time.
E) Footnote: Settlers use water. So, don’t freak out when your water numbers drop after settlers start moving in. Still, if you avoid moving forward in the store and stick to building Sanctuary first, that won’t be a problem. Just ignore the prompt to build a Recruitment Beacon.
Keeping those tips in mind, Purified Water Bottles appear in the Workbench usually at lunchtime every day so long as you keep your inventory and your workbench empty of water at ALL times. Kill the Raider and watch out for new ones trying to move in and building defenses will help you retain more water each day.
Here is why you want the water. Purified water is a valuable resource, especially when coupled with a high Charisma and the Cap Collector Perk. Each time you build a new object, you gain experience. The maxed-out intelligence will cause you to gain levels without even knowing you did while you’re building. In the meantime, you’re stocking up on bottles of water which go for about ten caps, (Money in the game), each. Each Industrial Water Purifier produces 40 Bottles per day minus various known and unknown elements. However, each bottle weighs 0.5 pounds. Hence, if you can carry 280 pounds minus 20 for Charisma boosting clothing, the max amount of water you can fast travel with is 520 bottles. Granted, that’s after getting about 12 to 14 Water Purifiers going but you can work your way up to that using the following place to shop: Dremlin Diner.
Fallout 4: Safe passage to Drumlin Diner
Fallout 4: Drumlin Diner
Fallout 4: Drumlin Diner
Drumlin Diner is a shop a little southeast of Concord and the closest place I found to shop. However, getting to it, is anything but easy unless you follow my fairly safe and easy path to get there. You only have to walk there once. After that, just fast travel back and forth. Start by crossing the bridge and grabbing the outfit off the dead guy and check the mongrel. Then, take a right off the bridge and follow the water’s edge while avoiding the gas station that’s just up the road from the bridge. (Note: Some people would argue this. However, with the Lone Wanderer perk, you can carry more and an extra 100 bottles of water for an extra average earning of $1,000 and since we’re after the money…take the right.)
Also, as indicated on the map, Drumlin Diner is on the other side of Concord and even more than the gas station, you want to avoid there for now. Instead, you’ll have to snake your way from Sanctuary to Drumlin in order to avoid setting off storylines or quickly finding yourself with another settlement to have to split your resources on. Then, there’s the nasty creatures that would easily kill your character this early in the game. Just follow the map and you should get there without any major entanglements.
Once you get past a brief situation at the diner, you should be able to talk to Trudy and start buying and selling.
Fallout 4: Trudy at Drumlin Diner
Fallout 4: Buying and Selling Tips
(HINT: Before you buy or sell anything, look at Trudy’s inventory under Apparel. Hopefully, she should have an article or two of clothing that adds a bonus to your charisma. Buy ONLY those items such as suits, black-rimmed glasses and certain hats or the pompadour. Once you have any of those, back out and put them on before selling water in order to get an even better price on your water and much cheaper prices on the things you’ll need.)
Avoid weapons, armor, aid and ammo with these three exceptions: Mutfruit, Tato and Corn. Always buy those three. (Hint: Combining 3 Mutfruit, 3 Corn, 3 Tato and Purified Water at a Chemistry Station will produce Adhesive which is used a lot in weapons and armor upgrades). After you grab those, start buying junk. This early on, you won’t be able to afford shipments but you should be able to get most of the junk she’s carrying.
Fast Travel home and you should appear under the carport close to the workbench. If you haven’t done so, move everything off the porch to clear some space. (Hint: NEVER drop items to be scrapped, anywhere other than the carport. Items have a bad habit of disappearing anywhere else).
Everything is now scrapped, I hope. If so, head back down to the water and build a second generator. It should fit on the same platform. With any luck, you can build at least, one more purifier. Also, you don’t have to build any more Switched Power Pylon. Just wire the generators together and then wire the new Water Purifier to the existing ones.
Fallout 4: Powering your settlement tricks and tips
Fallout 4: Settlement Electricity
Running Electricity is one of the hardest aspects of the game to figure out but not impossible. Wires always have to be free and clear when making connections. (Hint: use a connector on either side of the door frame, run the wire first and then add a door.)
Each connection point provides one square area of electricity. In other words, when you’re running lines, place your connectors the width of a single wall panel apart. (Hint, place your connectors at the seams of the floors and walls. By doing this, you can actually place a wall turned at a 95-degree angle, right on the seam without interference from the connector or wire.)
Understanding the power system is just as important as knowing how to set it up at the beginner level. Everything that requires power has a lightning bolt as an indicator. If there is a number present with the bolt, Your generator will have to produce that much. However, if a number is not present, a single three-volt generator would run ever light and TV in the house. (Note: Radios don’t require power to work thanks to their atomic batteries.) So, unless it has a number present, don’t worry about it.
Also, Generators don’t require anything once they’re built. However, just like weapon defenses, they will get damaged on occasion. So, check them and your connections periodically to make sure everything stays running smoothly.
If you keep adding generators and water purifiers, you can build around thirty purifiers requiring fifteen generators. All of the purifiers can be built using both sides of the main bridge.
(Update: Wind Generators produce very little electric but are extremely quiet versus the diesel-powered ones. Use the diesel-powered generators for running your Water Purifiers but stick to the wind Generators for where the people live. Much like the real world, pollution will have a negative impact on Settlers happiness. Clean, quiet and well-resourced is the way to go. You're not just building a place to crash. So, make sure your Settlers have everything they would actually need in real life.
Now, you’re getting rich and didn’t have to cheat to do it. However…
Fallout 4: MODs
Fallout 4: MOD Tips and Tricks
When it comes to Fallout 4, Mods has two totally different meanings. Armor and Weapons Mods and Bethesda’s new update under the game load menu that allows for Mods. Signing up with Bethesda.net is quick and painless and totally worth the mods currently available.
In the, “Base Game”, there are 31 known settlements not counting for expansion pack add-ons.
Fallout 4: Settlement Map Markers
Fallout 4: MOD Guide
As you can tell… you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you whilst building your Commonwealth Empire. So, maybe using Mods isn’t so much as cheating as it is a time-saving helper. Not to mention, some available mods actually give you brand new settlements to build with really great background stories to enjoy. One of my Favorite Mods is the mod that allows for new items that you can build for your kingdom. You don’t have to take any of the cheat mods unless you want to. However, do check out the mods for new items and structures to build. The person or people that are responsible for the Settlement Object Build Mod, update the mod daily with new and fun stuff to decorate with. From walls to the lighthouse I built near the lake in Sanctuary…it’s fun and so not cheating.
(Warning: Read the instructions with each Mod and make sure you are grabbing the right mod for the right version of the game. Some mods only work with Season Pass while others will only work with the Base (Vanilla) Game and so forth).
So far, I’ve tested almost ever mod available for the Base Game version, I currently have. The Season Pass, which contains all of the DLC for Fallout 4 is already on my Christmas wish list.
For Mods: Visit Bethesda.net
(Note: Some MODs listed have a [PS4] next to the title. If you are playing on the Xbox One or PC, change it from PS4 to your gaming system in order to find the right compatible MODs.)
Here’s a list of safe Mods that are in their exact required order, you can use with minimum graphic issues. Also, I’m listing them in their proper, “Load”, order. So, bear that in mind when setting these up.
MOD: (AWKCR) Armor and Weapons Keywords Community Research by Valdacil and Gambit77, Aldebaran90, Stndmunki, DrDanzel and ANDREWCX.
Just use the initials in the MOD search bar as you will need this for the last MOD on the list. Just make sure to place this MOD and keep it at the very top of the list.
MOD: [PS4] SimpleGreen by ANDREWCX
Once again, Andrew has outdone himself. SimpleGreen literally brings life back to the world. Be sure to read his description but this MOD is just WOW.
(Note: DO NOT use all four seasons simultaneously. Instead, pick the season you like most. SimpleWhite, SimpleRed and SimpleYellow, along with SimpleGreen make the four seasons but unfortunately do not switch automatically with the game date. SimpleWhite actually negated SimpleGreen from the MOD List.)
MOD: Unlocked Settlement Objects provided by ANDREWCX
(Update: The MOD name has been changed to: USO Base Game (Core Component)
This mod is my fan favorite. Every day, it gets updated with new objects to add to your sanctuary while only costing 1 Bottle Cap no matter which item you choose. (You can replenish your bottle caps at the Chemistry Station.) Be sure to look under every Build Menu heading with an, “M”, on it as that’s where you will find your new decorations.
(Update: AndrewCX and his buddies got together with Sony and Bethesda and worked out a new menu for this MOD. The January 8th update for the MOD required a complete restart of the game but was so well worth it. Not only does the new menu make it so much easier to find everything within the build menu, it solved the issues that were conflicting with Settlement Building Size. Kudos to all of them for making it happen.)
MOD: UCO Base Game (Core component of Unified Clothing Overhaul) by AndrewCX
This MOD offers a host of clothing options including armor modifications. Indeed, it would take its on guide to explain every aspect but to keep it short, for now, let's stick to the basics. The MOD allows you to remove Legendary Effects from armor and weapons to be added to something of your own design. The Color Swap is awesome when designing your armor.
(Note: Be sure to build the Ammunition, Armorsmith and Weaponsmith benches. These, along with a Power Armor Station, are found under cfrating in the Main Build Menu. All other crafting stations are under the new USO Integrated Menu off the Main Menu.
Ammunition: Using this bench requires settlement supplies. However, you can craft ammo at any Chemistry Station for much better results although this does offer some unique ammo such as cannon balls.
Armorsmith: This awesome workbench allows you to make a backpack for hauling extra weight, gloves, scarves, wigs and costumes on top of clothes and armor for you and Dogmeat.
Weaponsmith: This workbench categorizes weapons making it so much easier to know exactly which weapons are the most powerful in their category. Certain weapons offer bonuses towards attack against certain enemies, much like an elemental system in magic. When deciding on which weapons to make, bear in mind the three main types of enemies: Electrical, Human and Radiated.
MOD: Quick Hack and Pick by Cobal
Quick Hack and Pick eliminates fighting with terminals and cussing super-sensitive locks. Although it takes away the headaches you still have to upgrade the corresponding perks for lock-picking and hacking. The terminal will only have one word and a lock will open regardless of the bobby pin's position.
MOD: Happy Maker 9000 by jet4571
Happy Maker 9000 is a special jukebox that keeps your settlement at 100 Happiness. Judging from the Modder’s description, this person would be right. The requirements for getting 100% Happiness in Fallout 4 is one of the nearly impossible side-quests in the game.
(Update: Happy Maker 9000 does work. Once you get your first settler, if your happy meter still says anything but 100%, turn the Happy Maker 9000 off and back on and that will give you the full 100% rating.)
MOD: Craftable PERK Mags DELEVELED by Kisha
Originally, I had a MOD that simply gives you all the perks without any effort. However, that MOD was removed. The best replacement I could find was this MOD and the truth is, I like it better. Since I refuse to use a MOD to max out my SPECIAL, I am enjoying unlocking a star in one of the SPECIAL categories and then, hitting the chemistry station, where hte magazines are list by SPECIAL category, to make the PERK Mags for the next level I just unlocked. Doing it this way still requires you to level up while planning ahead for what perks you will need the quickest. Not to mention, now you have a ton of magazines for your magazine racks. Simply craft the magazine you need, go to your inventory and select it. A brief magazine animation will pop up and you will get the perk.
(Note: Be mindful of what you are doing and DO NOT read the magazines out of order. The easiest way to accomplish this, besides paying strict attention, is to simply store the ones you've read once you're done. There are a lot of magazines which can easily get a player confused.)
MOD: Power Armor Frame Crafting & More by 3lirc
This MOD is all about your Power Armor. With it, you can make and customize any Power Armor. You can also make Fusion Cores, custom paint jobs and my favorite part, you can move your completed armor like a settlement building object for decoration.
(Note: This MOD also provides you with an alternative Power Armor Station. By default, when you build this station, please note that it is facing backwards. If you simply place it, you'll quickly find your armor turned towards the wall versus towards you. Simply rotate the station and be sure to try and center it on the floor tile to avoid animation glitches when entering and exiting the armor.)
MOD: [PS4] FreeCrafter (Base Game) by ANDREWCX
This MOD allows you do build and crafting station you want without having to have the perks, caps or otherwise to do so. However, you don’t need it for that so much as you will want it for the Ballistic Weave. Ballistic Weave grants your armor mad amounts of physical and electrical damage resistance.
MOD: PS4 FreeMaker (Base Game) provided by ANDREWCX.
This Mod allows you to make anything you need at any Chemistry Station. By, ANY, I mean… you can use the Chemistry Stations at any settlement, town or anywhere you find one in the game.
MOD: Cheat Container by Vicyorus
Let's just call a spade a spade... next to the workbench in every settlement, a tool box will appear with 60,000 units of each Settlement Building Supply. Connecting all the settlements using caravans will give a player a total of 1,740,000 units of each type. So, yes this really is a cheat. However, it beats standing at the Chemistry Station crafting Settlement Supplies 100 at a time with the only alternative being, "Scrapping".
(Note: Since the tool box appears next to the workbench, you don't have to worry about the weight. Simply take everything from the tool box and transfer it to the Workbench. At this point, you can eitherr store the toolbox or leave it there for handy storage. The supplies DO NOT respawn.
MOD: [PS4] Eli’s Tweaks & Fixes by TheRealElianora
This MOD fixes certain issues within the game and improves the usefulness of items in the game without going way overboard. For example, Eli changed a medium generator from five volts to fifteen.
(Note: Basically, this MOD triples water and electricity to a more realistic output for their real-life counterparts. That is the goal of this MOD; to make the game more realistic. It also fixes the name issue with the Bobbleheads. Instead of reading, "Big Guns Bobblehead", the item will read, "Bobblehead-Big Guns". Also, important items, such as Pre-War Money will be found under MISC. versus Junk).
MOD: [PS4] Water Redux by Iamanise
I tried this MOD just for fun and discovered that it really does make the water a lot more realistic. Especially when you’re submerged. Just another awesome reason to grab the Aquaboy Perk.
MOD: Power Conduits Radius Increase by StormLord
This MOD increases the radius of electricity from 500 to 1500 making it possible to build a three-story building with complete power by simply making a power grid on the roof. Still, it’s not the radius increase I use this MOD for… it also removes the Size Limit from ALL settlements so I can build to my hearts content.
MOD: Clean & Smooth: Sanctuary Hills provided by okie1682
(AUTHOR Okie1862’s NOTE: Please place this mod at the bottom of the load order, always. You might set your load order but before loading your game, make sure you double check that this mod wasn’t shuffled in the list which happens a lot.) My Note on the matter: Put this MOD at the bottom of the Load Order with the only one exception, The [PS4] UCO: Unified Clothing Overlay, whether you have active mods or not in the load list…ALWAYS keep this one at the bottom or you will have issues except for the UCO Mod.
Fallout 4: Updated Mod List
Here is the updated MOD list as promised. These are listed in their proper, Load Order. As always, be sure you download the right MOD that is either, Base Game or with Downloadable Content or DLC, for short.
All of these MODs work well together in this order without any signs of issues. Credit goes to the folks that design these MODs. Each Bold MOD Name is the exact name you need to type in when searching Bethesda.net's Fallout 4 MODs for these.
Armor and Weapons Keywords Community Resources...or AWKCR
USO Base Game (Core Component). This one seems to like to take the third slot even after trying to move it within the order.
Custom Radio Stations
Power Armor Frame Crafting
Eli's Tweaks and Fixes
Get All Perks (This does not influence your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Instead, it fills in all of your perks except, V. A. N. S. This way, you still have to level up to unlock your SPECIAL to its maximum without have to use any points towards all the PERKS you'll want to have.)
Happy Maker 9000 (This MOD works great but it will not work until you get settlers. So, don't panic if your Happy Meter lingers at 50% between placing the Happy Maker 9000 and getting Settlers).
Also, if after you get a settler or two, if your Happy Meter is still stuck at anything but 100%, turn the Happy Maker 9000 off and back on.
FreeMaker (FreeMaker is your Settlement Builder's best friend.)
FreeCrafter allows you to make any item in the game.
Water Redux (This is an optional MOD but it really does increase the realistic beauty of the water in the game. For example: Swimming underwater isn't as clouded but more directly influenced by time of day, pollution and other elemental factors that were not present in the original design.)
Clean & Smooth: Sanctuary Hills (Keep all of the Clean & Smooth series of MODs grouped together in the MOD Order List)
Power Conduits Radius Increase (This MOD really cuts down on the amount of wiring required in the original game by expanding the area affected by conduits. In addition to this, the MOD also takes away the Build Limit Meter.)
UCO Base Game (I'm not sure why this appears twice in my MOD list after updating the MOD this morning but it seems to have no ill effect and this MOD is also said to aid in eliminating Build Limit issues.)
Fallout 4: Clean & Smooth Mod
Fallout 4: Clean & Smooth Sanctuary Hills
This mod literally removes almost everything from the Settlement…literally. However, starting off with a clean slate versus houses with giant holes in their leaky roofs is a welcomed improvement. It does leave a small square area of flooring with all of your workbenches. Since the town and all the scrap is gone, you’ll find plenty of building supplies to get you started at the workbench.)
Fallout 4: Update
Fallout 4: MOD Update and UCO
(Update) After leaving the vault and heading into Sanctuary Hills, visit the workbench BEFORE you talk to Codsworth to activate it. I’ve noticed a glitch that won’t let you use the workbench if you talk to him first.
(Each settlement requires the corresponding Clean & Smooth MOD.)
MOD: [PS4] UCO: Unified Clothing Overhaul by ANDREWCX
Modder’s Note: Make sure you install “AWKCR: Armor and Weapon Keywords Community Resource”.
With this MOD, you can add Ballistic Weave to any item of clothing including hats, glasses and your ratty Blue Suit which makes everything you can wear, usable armor.
The LOAD list in quick but exact order:
Eli’s Tweaks and Fixes
Get All Perks
Red Rocket Vault
Happy Maker 9000
Power Conduits Radius Increase
Unlocked Settlement Objects
Clean & Smooth: (Settlement Name here)
UCO: Unified Clothing Overhaul
The only real cheat mods is FreeMaker/FreeCrafter. The Rest of the MODs unlock stuff to build and make.
(Disclaimer: Be careful when using mods as some Mods will cause game crashes until removed. The list I provided here works just fine so far and you really shouldn’t need anything past this for Sanctuary. There are other Clean & Smooth mods for other settlements but the other mods I’ve listed, work throughout the Commonwealth. Fact is, you can access FreeMaker at any Chemistry Station you find, settlement or not!
Fallout 4: Reduce Settlement Size Meter Trick
Fallout 4: How to increase the size limit without using MODs
At some point, you’re going to see your size meter fill up and that doesn’t take long in Sanctuary where it starts out ¾ anyway. So, to get around this problem, you’re going to need anywhere from twelve to twenty weapons. (Hint: Power Conduits Radius Increase MOD removes the Size Limit from settlements except for the ones you have already been to. However, starting a new game fixes that).
Get close to the workbench under the carport and drop the weapons you’re using for this. (Note: using twelve to twenty of the same weapon will not work. So mix it up some.) Now, switch to build mode and STORE all of the weapons in your workbench. Then, remove those exact same weapons, drop and repeat. Gradually, the size meter will start to shrink. Just keep repeating these steps and you’ll grind it down in about thirty minutes to an hour. Yeah, it’s tedious but having the game stop you in the middle of building your new bedroom palace is really annoying.
FAIR WARNING: It is often said, they put the size limit in the game for a reason. Without getting technical, the more you build, the more the game pulls on your graphics card. With that said, I set out to test the limits of the trick for cutting back the size meter. After using the weapons trick to empty out the meter, filling it back up by building, then I emptied it out again and started building again. The game is only getting a little twitchy but part of that problem is a few of the models from the Object mod have a few bugs but 90% of the decorations from the mod work awesome. Granted, I have 2 five-story complexes, (one is 7 x 10 and the other is 5 x 10 with an attached Power Room big enough for twenty Large Generators plus the decor I’ve added so far. What’s working for me is simplicity. I’m avoiding clutter in my Settler Apartments and sticking to simple and neat. Remember, your graphics card isn’t displaying everything in Sanctuary…only what your character is looking at. So, keep it simple and above all else, have fun.
Update: Keep your settlement building small and easy to navigate. The problem with building a really huge structure is finding your settlers to assign them jobs. I spent an hour trying to find one settler that wasn’t already busy, to run my new store. So, ultimately, a huge settlement is awesome and fun but extremely difficult for finding the settler you need.
Fallout 4: "Measure Twice, Cut Once".
Fallout 4: Settlement Tips and Tricks
If you plan on building catwalks from one side of the road to another, start with laying foundation across the road to keep the everything aligned. You can always remove the foundation once you know the buildings will line up perfectly.
Also, use secret walls to keep settlers out of your private space and also to keep them from dangerous area such as the roof. Settlers will fall to the death and the Balcony Railing does not adhere to roofs making it very difficult to line it off with the railing. Secret entrances are always fun in a castle, anyway.
Since the game lacks inside doorways for some odd reason, using the metal doorways is the only option. The best way to place said doorway is by removing the square foundation piece, apply your walls to either side of where the doorway will be and then, add the doorway. Also, floors and roofs can be added to the top of a frame without causing an issue on the floor above the doorway. One more neat trick: If you line up the carpeted floor just right, you can actually lay carpet in the doorway. I will add a section to this guide with more details regarding, Doorway Tricks.
A) It’s best to survey the area long before you start building. Whether you used the Clean & Smooth mod or not, stick to the saying, “Measure twice, cut once”. Even under Clean and Smooth, the land is anything but perfectly flat.
B) Start at the bottom on everything and work your way up except when laying down your foundation. Started at the highest point of your build area and lower the foundation floor without allowing grass to poke through in that spot. You might not want the foundation really low to the ground but you also don’t want to get done only to realize you have foundation floating off the ground either at the lower points. (Yes, I did this. LOL)
C) After you have your floor and walls built, add a roof. Even though you’ll probably be building a second floor, and so on, always add a roof to each floor. For the longest time, I was getting annoyed with the gaps between my walls and the floor above it. Use the roof tiles on each floor fills in that gap and also adds additional protection from the rain. (Update: Upper Floors do the same thing but at half the cost since each piece is a ceiling/floor combo in one.)
D) My girl figured this out just watching me play the game. So, Kudos to Sammi for this tip. Use the hanging lights during construction. Out of all the available lights, the hanging lights provide the best lighting which, really helps when working in large areas of your estate. Ceiling fans and Industrial lights are dull.
E) When placing walls on the inside of your structure, you can try a couple of different tricks to help get the walls in the right spot. By default, inner walls will not lock into place making placement a pain in the butt. Again, thanks to Sammi, here’s another cool trick. Remove a section of the roof over the spot you want to build the inner wall and viola, the wall will snap in place. Then, just stick the roof piece back in place. Holding your mouth just right helps too. Cussing profusely, however, does not. LOL (Update: The easiest way around this problem is to simply remove the upper floor/roof piece where you want the wall to go. This is great to know when you’re laying 90-degree walls on the inside.)
Fallout 4: How to Align Interior Walls
Fallout 4: Settlement Tips and Tricks continued
F) I accidentally discovered this trick. Originally, I enjoyed using metal walls for added protection not that it actually matters to the game. However, I liked using the wood walls on the inside. What I did not know is that the wood walls will actually snap in place on the inside of the metal walls for a better looking home. This actually works for almost all wall types.
G) One problem I have is doors and doorways. The only doorway in the entire game that works on the inside is the Prefab Metal Doorway. This is really annoying when you have to sacrifice an entire building square just to slap a door on your bathroom. Even Modder’s are having trouble with the doors and doorways. The reason being is that Modder’s aren’t allowed to introduce any new elements into the game and can only work with pre-existing models from the game world. Bethesda Studios doesn’t mind modding so long as it doesn’t change the content of the game including the storyline. If a solution presents itself, I will update this guide to include the new info. (Update: I discovered a cool trick. Find the corner of the room near your doorway. If your alignment is correct, you can actually build a better looking floor in the doorway)
H) Eventually, if you do decide to get the expansion packs or DLC, you will be able to build elevators. Bear this in mind when building your stairwells. Usually, I good pattern is to build your bottom stairwell under: Wood>Floors>Stairs, anywhere but in the corners of your building. You will have to remove a floor piece and nothing can be built above where you’re placing your stairs. (Unless you want stairs that lead nowhere.) Place the second-floor stairs next to the top of the first set of stairs and continue this back and forth pattern being careful not to fall off like I have done some many times. Later, you can replace the stairs with the elevator without having to do a complete renovation on your structure. (Update: ALWAYS build two sets of stairs for your structures. Make one for the Settlers and a secret one for using as a utility stairwell. You can slap every, “Keep Out”, sign you want for areas you don’t want Settlers getting into but they’re not all that great at reading. So, to protect you private living area and access to your weaponized defenses or just the settler’s safety in general… cover up the entrance to secret areas versus using doorways with useless signs, with a wall.)
I) Much like stairs, internal doorways can only fit where there is no floor or roof since the doorway comes with both. (Rumor has it that metal doors do provide better protection than wood ones.)
Fallout 4: Settlers
Fallout 4: Settler Tips and Tricks
(NOTE: Settlers have full access to the Settlement Workbench. Once you start getting settlers, leave at least some purified water, food and other supplies in the workbench. However, you can also pass out supplies, weapons and armor to your settlers by using the Trade Option. Either works just fine but ALWAYS make sure they have what they want and need. Unhappy Settlers will leave.)
Once you have your, Kingdom of Sanctuary built, it’s time to take on an even bigger challenge… the people. Settlers can be very useful or a pain, depending on the situation. For example, Settlers like to sleep in your bed. Annoying. It’s all gravy. I simply wake them up, enter build mode and send them off on some stupid task so my Character can crash. Stay out signs seem useless at this point.
Settlers provide four very valuable services when used correctly. They tend the gardens when assigned to plants. They can also be assigned to provide security and protection for the settlement. Also, you can pick a settler and assign them to run back and forth between settlements allowing you to have your supplies shared among the settlements. Last but so not least, settlers can be assigned to run your shops or provide health care for the community. Let’s take a much closer look at each job. Any settler that doesn’t have an assignment will normally and automatically, start looking for scrap and items of use. So, if you find weird and random stuff in your workshop… that’s why.
Fallout 4: Settlers and Farming
Fallout 4: Farming
Each farmer will tend a maximum of six plants each day. Bear this number in mind for two reasons. A) Each settler requires 1 food per day. B) Only Mutfruit produces 1 food per day.
Tip: In the beginning, you will obtain five settlers once you continue with your first mission in Concord. Assign three of the people to tend your garden which needs to consist of: 6 Corn, 6 Mutfruit and 6 Tato to start building up your Adhesive resources. Build 6 more Mutfruit plants to feed the settlers and assign a fourth person to that section of your garden. Let the fifth and final member of the group do what he does best, and patrol. You don’t have to assign him… he does it all on his own.
Fallout 4: The Various Shops
Fallout 4: Settlers and Shops
Once your water and food resources start to grow with your fledgling population. You might be leveled up enough from all the construction to have the Local Leader level two perk and can now build shops. Also, focus on the Cap Collector perk which will allow you to invest money into shops.
When you know which settler you want to run which shop, load them down with the relevant supplies before assigning them to the shop. Settlers sell what they have on them and in order to, "Trade". with a settler running a shop, you have to assign them a different chore like farming, trade and reassign them back to the shop, and that's a pain.
Tip: Once you begin taking in settlers, always be sure to leave purified water and food in the workbench. Settlers aren’t smart enough to check the fridge, so keep that in mind.
(UPDATE: The items a shop carries is indicative of the items you give to him or her. Another contributing factor to the items a store carries is the items they can make by using the workbenches. In other words, if you open a clinic, be sure to add a Chemistry Station to your clinic.)
Fallout 4: Settlers and Clinics
Fallout 4: Settlers and Clinics
When building your settlements, always bear in mind that your settlers will need health care and it’s up to you to provide it. So, be sure to open a clinic to improve the happiness of the settlement. Entertainment and Health Care are keen attributes towards getting and keeping the people happy. It’s also a great way to provide medicine to the settlement without having to run around passing out Stimpaks and the like.
Fallout 4: Settlers and Supply Lines
A settler can be assigned to run supplies between settlements. Howbeit, be mindful that the person you assign to this task needs to be armed to the teeth as they are just as vulnerable to attack as you are. If you lose a supply line, check out the path between the two assigned settlements. It’s very likely the person you chose is either dead or pinned down by some Raiders. Either way, check the routes often to keep the Caravan Settler’s path safe.
(UPDATE: You can buy and sell to any of your Settlers running a Supply Line.)
Fallout 4: Defense and how it works!
Fallout 4: Understanding the Defense System
Some settlers will automatically take to patrolling while others will have to be assigned to guard posts. Fact is, with Guard Posts, you won’t get points for its defensive rating without assigning a settler, so keep that in mind.
For every point of resource you have, you should provide the exact same amount in Defense. For example, if you have 100 Water and 100 Food then, that means you have to have 200 Defense in order to retain your resources from very clever and sneaky thieves.
In the beginning, and without MODs, this is perhaps one of the most frustrating things to accomplish in the game. No worries however... until you can get your defenses up to par, you'll still get resources...minus whatever was stolen out from you. The closer you get to matching defenses with resources, the more resources you will find in your Workshop. Until then, expect to come up short on what you actually have going. I have noticed that with zero defenses, a Purified Water of 80 actually shows up as 56 bottles roughly in the Workshop.
Fallout 4: Closing Tips and Tricks
Think of settlers as an extension of your character. We’ve all wished we could be in two places at one time and with Settlers, you can… to a certain extent. Use these tips to maximize your settler’s productivity.
A) You can cloth and arm your settlers any way you want. Just like dressing and arming your character, you can change the weapons and armor/clothing of any settler.
B) Use the best armor and weapons you can make at the Armor and Weapons workbenches for the security and settlers assigned to run caravan routes. This especially includes upgraded weaponry and armor.
C) All defense weapons you can build such as the machine gun turret, has a fixed range…sort of. Trees and other obstructions will obviously interfere with range. However, connect a terminal to your electricity and any wired defense weapons will list their range which is usually about as far as any really good sniper rifle. Also, turrets actually cover 360 degrees although they simply idle back and forth when not in use. So, don’t stress which way their facing as much as what’s in the way of where they need to protect. Rumor has it that turrets located at on the third floor of a guard past by the main bridge will actually kill any Raiders coming up the road down by the Red Rocket gas station.
D) Settlers can be moved from one settlement to another simply by highlighting them in Build Mode and giving them the order to transfer. This is handy when you have a farmer in Sanctuary and don’t need one that you could really use at Abernathy Farms. The same goes for doctors and other specialists.
E) Clothing with special perk and armor effects work the same way on settlers as they do you. That’s good to know when dressing your characters for particular assignments.
F) Always spend time at each settlement you have, when possible. Just being in the settlement makes the locals happier. Also, talk to the settlers. Fulfilling special requests by the settlers helps with the Happy Meter, as well.
G) Fast travel is awesome when you’re bouncing back and forth between Trudy at Drumlin Diner and your settlement. However, once you start exploring, try to avoid fast traveling and grab everything that isn’t nailed down. Even crossing the same path can yield different results. Case and point, the first time I reached the diner, I got killed. On my second attempt to make it in one piece, I ran into this really cool dude from the Steel Brotherhood who gave me an invite to swing by his garage. So, walk, walk, walk…everywhere.
H) Avoid randomness. Completing mission before it’s actually assigned will cost more than just lost experience. So, practice patience and stick to one mission at a time. Same goes when talking to your settlers. If you strike up a conversation with one and they give you a quest, finish the quest before taking on another one or settlers will get grumpy and you’ll lose happiness. Finish what you start or avoid communicating with settlers until you do.
I) VERY IMPORTANT! Please Read. Your settler population is determined by the base amount of ten settlers plus an additional settler for each star you have in Charisma. So, if you have ten settlers base and six stars of Charisma, then your max population for any settlement will be, sixteen with the max settler cap of twenty.
J) Even if you assign a settler to run a route, that settler still counts towards your population cap in the town where the mailman originates.
K) ALWAYS be generous with you settlers. Weapons and armor are great but you can give them food, water and all kinds of presents. As it stands, I’m not sure if this affects the Happy Meter but just like companions, Settlers will use what’s available to them.
L) If you have a settler to spare in your settlement, assign him or her to repairs. You might have to shoot one of your turrets to set this up but that settler will repair everything as needed so you don’t have to.
M) Listen to settlers even when you’re not talking directly with them. Settlers love to share Commonwealth secrets and useful tidbits amongst themselves. So, eavesdropping is totally acceptable and highly recommended.
N) No guide online seems to be completely accurate. So, trust yourself and look everywhere and in every corner of the game. You’ll find things that aren’t listed yet such as the sewers in Concord. (Hint: the entrance is in an alley on the north-side of Concord. I’ll double check and post a pic before publishing this to help you find it.)
O) My co-author and niece, Shi-Ann, was having trouble getting settlers to move in. My initial response wasn’t inaccurate. However, I did find a cool solution to the problem thanks to Sammi’s idea. After building your Recruitment Beacon, tune in and listen. If you listen to the local beacon every so often, (to be determined but usually once a day), a new settler or two will arrive.
Fallout 4: Credits and Thank You's
This article will be updated frequently to include all new discoveries for getting even more enjoyment out of the game. If you would like to share your tips and tricks, please feel free to leave a comment and check back often. With that said, A very-super special thank you goes to you...the reader.
Above all else, have fun exploring what seems like endless possibilities. Thank you goes to everyone for their tips that culminated into this article. I would thank each of you individually but the list is vast. Hence, my reason for writing this. Everything listed here comes from roughly thirty or more different sources mixed with my own notes on the game. Still, thank you all.
This was written without Bethesda’s permission or acknowledgement. However, a very super-special thank you goes to the men and women at Bethesda for making this one very incredible game. The graphics are very realistic, the story is gripping from the get-go with the perfect blend of genres: Action, Adventure and RPG…but you even went one further and added Simulation and RTS. Awesome!
Once again, thank you goes to the guys and gals working on mods for the game. Some mods are cheats by definition but the mods that simply open up new objects for building or adds additional settlements, really opens up even more possibilities while eliminating certain headaches, like the leaky houses in Sanctuary post-war. Having to building a shelter over each house was a pain and at times, ineffective for sleeping in a dry bed.