Fallout 4: Settlers Tips, Tricks and Advice
Special Thanks goes to Shi-Ann Harrison for all of her effort put into this article.
Also, a very special thanks to Sammi for once again proving she should be playing this game but still doesn't..yet.
Summary Update: 09-11-2017
Settlers are so much more than just Non-Playable Characters, (NPCs). They are your friends and since you can arm them and give them the same armor as you... they are in essence... you. Although they are billed as Non-playable, Settlers can be given specific assignments when set as guards. That way, they keep your settlements safe while you're away. Settlers also act as your Sales Representatives for your growing empire and they even act as your heavy haulers when assigned to a supply route between settlements.
You can dress each settler any way you want to and give them anything you want, except Bottle Caps. The only exception to this is when you have the Perk that allows you to invest in a store. Outside of investing, Settlers make their own money and as a theory, I want to see which assignments increase settler riches the most. I'll post the results after I have finished this experiment.
In addition to the Settler Income Theory I'm testing, I also want to see if Settlers are capable of handling their own weapons and armor upgrades or is the animation of them working at a bench just an animation.
My last project theory to test is whether or not a settlement with purified water can be sold to a settlement with only water pumps. So, I am going to set up a Caravan between Sanctuary and Abernathy Farm. If, Purified Water starts showing up in Mrs. Abernathy's shop, I'll increase Purified Water output and start shipping it everywhere.
Fallout 4: Settlers (NPCs)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: One of the biggest problems I have had with using MODs is finding my Settlers stuck either halfway through the floor or in a wall. Another issue is that using the secret wall trick does not work. Settlers will find a way even where there should not be one.
There are two ways to avoid these problems. The first way is to store your valuables in the cellar at Sanctuary or the second way would be to keep a settlement strictly for yourself such as Red Rocket or Coastal Cottage. Using the second method will still require defenses to keep out Scavengers but NO ONE ever goes into the cellar at Sanctuary.
Currently, I am focusing on a section dedicated to dressing Settlers for maximum effect depending on which job each settler is assigned to.
Fallout 4: Keeping Settlers Productive
Update: 3-1-2017 Fallout 4 Population Increase Trick
Recently...as in this morning, I discovered that there's a way to increase the settler population for any given settlement. Wearing Charisma boosting gear/clothing will allow you to exceed the previous rule of thumb of: Each point of Charisma in SPECIAL adds an additional Settler with the settlement's default value of plus 10 for a total of 20 Settlers.
However, it was discovered that the original belief is incorrect. Instead, some players believe that the actual equation is Charisma x 2 equals Settler Limit. Hence, the ability to increase the population to 22 with getting the Charisma Bobblehead. Add in a max of 5 Charisma for clothing and that raises Max Settlement size to 32, without MODs.
Footnote: Settlers count towards graphic usage and are measured against Settlement Size. What this means; if you want 32 Settlers, cut way back on Object Usage or your game will crash.
Most players familiar with this have found 26 Settlers to work well enough. Leader Perk 2 requires Charisma to be at Level 6. In a, "No Mod", game where every level-up counts, Clothing will make up the difference, easily enough. Here's what you will need to shop for at Trudy's:
Black-Rim Glasses +1 Charisma
Any Suit and some Pre-War Clothing + 2 Charisma
Some Hats like the Trilby and the Pompadour Wig +1 Charisma
Level 10 Charisma: 10 x 2 = 20 Settlers
Apparel Total: 4 x 2 = 8 Settlers
Charisma Bobblehead: 1 x 2 = 2 Settlers
Maximum Settlers: 30
30 Settlers require: 30 Beds, 30 Food and 30 Water.
Recently, I discovered a serious issue with Fallout 4. I was working on my defenses in Sanctuary and thought, "I'll go ahead and build a Settler Beacon but shut it off until I'm done". Boy, was I wrong. Even with the beacon being shut off, settlers still showed up.
DO NOT place your beacon until you are absolutely ready. Apparently, the beacon will attract settlers regardless of being turned on or off. Lesson learned... wait on the beacon until you're ready to welcome the masses.
Fallout 4: Settlers are amazing!
Fallout 4: Settler Introduction
First piece of advice… DO NOT RUSH THROUGH THE GAME! Take your snail moving time. There is just way too much to enjoy in Fallout 4. Think about it like this. “You can’t see a blade of grass driving by in the car like you would if you were standing there.” – L. B. McAllister once said during a conversation we had. I miss you, Grandpa. Slow down when playing Fallout 4 and enjoy the finer points of the game like, Settler A. I.
His advice on paying attention to the details of every aspect of life pays beautifully in this game. Let’s crunch some numbers. There are 31 Settlements in, “Base Game”, (Base Game: A game without any downloadable content: DLC). Anyway, back to the math. So, there’s 31 settlements. Hang on to thirty-one for a second while we explain what determines population really quick.
Each settlement is allowed a base number of 10 settlers. In addition to this, each level of Charisma that you have, allows for an additional settler. So, if you maximize your Charisma, you could get 20 settlers for settlements, provided you have the beds to do so in each settlement.
So, 31 settlements multiplied by a maxed Charisma and the base ten Settlers allowed, equals: 620 Settlers… your army, your family, your servants…your kingdom. Fallout 4 is a ground-breaking game that will forever change the way we look at, Real-Time Strategy games. Most people, including myself, that played Fallout 3 would quickly think of Fallout 4 as a shooter/action type of game but what was true of Fallout 3 was thrown out the window and the video game genre of Real-time Strategy will hopefully be forever changed.
Settlers will poke fun of you if you do something random. Give them cigarettes and a lighter and if that’s their thing, they’ll walk around smoking. They are more than the four base conceptions of: Farmer, Provisioner, Shop Manager and Defender.
This guide series to Fallout 4, was and is being written with one thought in mind; helping you see just how much you are getting for the money you shelled out on this game. The people at Bethesda are beyond brilliant on details and imagination. Anyone who takes the time to dig deep on the game is still learning new everything about the game each time they pick up their controller and explore and if you stick with this series of guides we are writing, with your comments and feedback, we will discover just how awesome of a job they did, together… just like the Settlers, you and us are learning by doing and the things we will do…once we learn.
Start with Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide then follow up with this guide which is dedicated to the complexities of the, Settlers.
Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide
- Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide
Please note: This guide starts from the moment you step onto the elevator at Vault 111. Make sure you save before stepping onto the elevator and you will ALWAYS want to keep that save for restarting.
Fallout 4: Getting Settlers
Fallout 4: Increasing Settler Population
Settlers are proving to be even more incredible and less understood, with the passing of each day I have enjoyed Fallout 4. Originally, I thought they were just basic Non-Playable Characters or NPCs. Boy, was I wrong.
First things, first. Your settlement is complete and move-in ready. Still, a quick checklist of what is required might help.
- Suitable Housing
- Water (Preferably purified)
- Settlement Defense
Those are your primary and base needs. However, this second checklist will insure the happiness of your Settlers.
- Smart clothing
- Purified Water
- Bathrooms and comfort
- Lots of everything including junk, (Especially junk)
(Each section of each checklist will be carefully reviewed in the order presented. Use CTRL + F to use the search option if you need to find one of these headings quickly.)
Fallout 4: Sanctuary Hills - Modded and without MODs
Fallout 4: Suitable Housing
Since it is our hope that you started this series of guides with, Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide, which means you should have a fully functional start to your kingdom. With that hope in mind, we will move on to what we meant by the term, Suitable Housing.
Sure, you could throw the first bed against a wall and call it done but think about this, are you a beloved ruler of the people or a Slum Lord? All jokes aside, Settlers won’t stick around if they show up and their options for shelter in your settlement are a cross between a dumpster and a dead Bloatfly. So, in order to attract potential residents, make their homes nice and functional. Normally, I just build apartments for several good reasons but your game, your choice. Still, each Settler’s home should consist of a decent bed and a, Comfy Pillow. Make sure to add storage such as dressers. Just like your character, they need a place to keep their things. Add a bathroom, kitchen and living room. Radios and TVs are good happy makers for Settlers. Make sure that when you build the Settler’s homes to keep them easily accessed but secured. Ultimately, use everything in Building Mode that you can and make the Settler’s proud to call you, their leader.
Fallout 4: Workbenches - More than a place to make stuff!
Fallout 4: Workbenches
Fallout 4: Workbenches
Think of Settlers as being a group of individuals that are very similar to your own character’s day to day life. They will work the fields, protect the land and make things at the workbenches. Settlers are very industrious and well thought out. So, when you’re setting up your settlement, going overboard is not a bad thing. In other words, take a few to think about how in-depth the game allows you to get with your settlers. You can clothe and arm them. You can give them anything under the sun, except bottle caps without the right perk. Here’s a few suggestions.
Each time your settlement receives a new resident, try to give the Settler the following items using the, Trade Option during dialogue.
- Purified Water
- A suitable weapon with matching ammo
After giving these items according to the size of your charitable heart, be sure to equip the weapon and apparel. (Hint: Modified Armor makes a great gift for anyone on defense. Any apparel that increases Charisma should be given, and equipped, to anyone running your general store but more about this in a moment.)
(Important) The Workbenches are a community resource. Therefore, never store anything you want to keep in workbenches. Fact is, anything you store in you containers or workbenches is fair game and, “Restricted Area”, signs do not work. There is a simple solution. Build a secret wall entrance. Simply go into build mode, select the secret wall. Walk past where the wall was originally placed to get inside your hideaway and hit cancel. The wall will automatically lock back in place and you will never have to worry about anyone getting into your private things.
Time to rest…
Fallout 4: Settlers and Beds
Fallout 4: Assigning Beds
Fallout 4: Beds
After you have given your Settler medicine, clothing, a weapon along with food and water, it’s time to show them where to sleep. In, “Build Mode”, select the, “Command”, option and assign the Settler to his or her new home. (Note: assigning seems to lag for a brief moment. Please wait for a confirmation of the assignment before doing anything.)
Beds come in various shapes and sizes. Settlers are stingy sleepers so if you want twenty settlers in your town, you will need to build twenty beds. (Don’t forget: Settler Population is determined by base of ten settlers plus one settler per Charisma Rank.)
Fallout 4: Electricity for the masses.
Fallout 4: Power to the People
Fallout 4: Electricity
Settlers seem to have zero anything to do with electricity other than they do like using it. However, since electricity is a set and almost forget aspect of the game, there’s not much to say here except make sure that you keep public areas bright and private areas, cozy. Ceiling fans are great, right? No…not really. Ceiling fans would be perfect, all things considered. However, ceiling fans placed on the first floor either have a neat effect or an annoying effect…you choose. To me, it’s an annoying effect. The floor above the ceiling fan in question ends up with what looks like a laser light show and in real life, I don’t want that in my bedroom while I’m trying to sleep and I’m pretty sure the Settlers won’t either. To solve this problem, use the ceiling fan in a room beneath a room you plan on using a disco ball in.
Fallout 4: Water, water everywhere!
Fallout 4: Water for all!!!!
Fallout 4: Water (Preferably purified)
Greeting Settlers with clean water is always a great idea. Making sure you leave purified water in the workbench is even better. Purified Water production is king in making money early on in the game. However, once you start taking on the responsibility of Settlers, it’s a great idea to have Purified Water stored at your settlements across the Commonwealth. Also, keep some on hand at all times in case you meet a random stranger in need while out exploring.
Purified Water makes settlers happy but still remains the best source of income to fund your kingdom with and easily covers the needs of both.
Fallout 4: Farming and Food
Fallout 4: Food to Settler Ratio
Fallout 4: Food
Food to Settler ratio is one-to-one in terms of what Settlers require. Also, one farmer/gardener can produce enough food to feed three-to-six people. The reason for the variance is due to different plants, produce different amounts. Harvesting one Mutfruit Plant will feed one person but it takes a farmer harvesting two melons in order to feed one person. Although having a variety in your garden is important, Mutfruit feeds the masses. Still, if you want to make adhesive at a Cooking Station, you will need the following:
3 – Mutfruit
3 – Corn
3 – Tato
1 – Purified Water
A good idea is to build two gardens. Let one be for the Settlers but harvest the other one for your adhesive needs and trust me, you will need a lot of Adhesive.
Fallout 4: Defensive Strategy
Fallout 4: Settler Defense and Offense.
Fallout 4: Settlement Defense
Protecting your Settlers and making them feel safe is very important. Feel free to get happy with the turrets while focusing a lot less on barricades that require assigned settlers.
The range of any given Turret is primarily influenced by line of sight. Trees and other obstructions can severely limit range because of this. In order to get the most out of your turrets, place them as high as possible. A comment was once made that each turret has the full range of the best sniper gun in the game. It has also been said that turrets can take out hostiles on the road next to Red Rocket. Unfortunately, I haven’t experienced this happening. However, using a sniper rifle from the tower I built next to the main bridge clearly showed the range and shot would be possible.
Something to bear in mind is this. While installing turrets using the aforementioned advice, if your Settlers have access to the roof, they will pull a duh and walk right off the roof and get killed. Using rails helps avoid this but it also causes a severe limitation in range for your turrets. Although my advice for building a secret access to your home and the roof will help, you do have the option of using the quarter-floors as landings to put your turrets on as a way of raising them over the tops of the rails. Even then, the turrets will not be able to defend up-close, the structure they are on. That stiffs you with making sure you check your system for any damaged turrets but at least you won’t lose Settlers to an unfortunate nose dive.
Personally, I use what I like to call, “The Porcupine Effect”. The reason I call it this is simple. When building guard towers, I will place turrets, every other floor along with floodlights. The idea is to have your defenses cover both far and near.
Anyway, back to the Settlers…
Friendly Ghouls will show up at your settlements. Don’t chase them off! Ghouls make awesome defenders. Another thought… don’t give Ghouls Rad-X or Radaway as both are unnecessary. Radiation heals ghouls which also makes them immune to radiation storms.
Fallout 4: Clinics
Fallout 4: Clinics and Settlers
Fallout 4: Clinics
Healthcare is non-existent from my limited experience in the Commonwealth. I’ve focused so much on defense and settlements as you might have guessed, that I am at 9% completion. LOL. However, I’m going for every drop of awesomeness that I can squeeze out of Fallout 4.
Back to Clinics and Healthcare…
Every settlement needs a clinic… and what’s a clinic without a doctor? Talk to your settlers and get a feel for them. Granted, putting an outfit on a settler that boosts Intelligence, doesn’t hurt either.
Also, load your doctor down with any items that are related to the field of medicine, including soap and purified water.
As for Settler Hygiene, you can give your settlers soap, Fancy Hair Brushes, toothpaste and toothbrushes along with a supply of clean clothes.
Still, Clinics not only make Settlers really happy, they also give you a great place to pick up Medicine. When settling up your clinic, make sure to buy whatever, Dr. Settler might have that you will need. For some odd reason, you cannot give away Bottlecaps. However, you can buy from any of your shops, enter into trade with that settler and simply return the stuff. This might sound nuts but what you are really doing is investing in your businesses but more on that coming up next…
Fallout 4: Shops and Settlers
Fallout 4: The Economy of Shops
Fallout 4: Shops
Shops, including the Clinic, all share a certain economic system that you steadily influence in a variety of ways. The concept above all else for Fallout 4 is simple, everything matters…especially junk. Junk isn’t just junk in Fallout 4. Junk has a lot of value in several ways. Junk can be scrapped, given as gifts, sold which is the usual basic concept of most players. However, Junk also can be given in trade to your vendors as well as given as tools for getting work done. A farmer will work a field faster with a hoe then by hand and fertilizer helps too. A doctor can perform surgery with the right tools. So, always know the difference between the stuff that actually is scrap and stuff that’s worth keeping but more on that a little later on.
Now, I said all that to say this…
If you’re in a hurry, simply drop your junk at the Workbench. However, if you have time, give the junk to the vendors minus Farming and Medical junk. The more stuff a vendor has to sell, the more valuable items the vendor can acquire from traveling salesmen for you. Always check your shops like a customer and see how their inventory looks. The better the inventory, the better the economy of that shop and the more money you will make. Think of my advice as this, why would a farmer got to a clinic to buy fertilizer?
Getting back to an earlier statement I made regarding, influencing the economy. The only way to give Bottlecaps to Settlers is by buying from the vendors and then returning the items through the, Trade Menu.
Giving any of your Settlers, anything of real value is something they will sell if they do not want or need it. Generosity is the key to a flourishing society.
Weapons and Armor shops are two great places to keep stocked with their namesakes.
Just remember, your main source of making money comes from Purified Water sales and that won’t change. So, spoil your Settlers. After all, Settlers protect your home and keeps things running smoothly while your away. Not to mention, investing in your Settlers and Settlements means they will be there should you have to call in back-up during a battle.
Clothing shops is a neat store, in its own right. Finding clean clothes to sell… that’s where it gets tricky. However…
Fallout 4: Smart Clothing
Fallout 4: Assigning Clothes
Fallout 4: Smart Clothing for Settlers
Clean clothes are something most everyone can agree on and appreciate. Settlers share our sentiment. However, clean clothes will not help you alone. Most clothes have Perk bonuses. When assigning a settler to a job, make sure their clothes agree with the work to be done. Farmers produce more with a higher Endurance. Any of your shop managers should have clothes that are high in Charisma. Obviously, any guards or a Provisioner that runs your trade routes, should be armed and armored to the best of your ability.
Getting back to the shop types and their matching outfits:
Clinic: High in Intelligence
General Store: High in Charisma
Bar/Restaurant: High in Charisma
Weapons: High in Charisma but mixed with good armor
Armor: High in Charisma but mixed with good armor
Clothing: High in Charisma with style LOL
The higher the Charisma your Shop Managers have, the more return you will get on your investments. Again, talk to your settlers and learn more about them. Just like the real world, Settlers have personalities and various levels of Intelligence. They also have their own preferences in some instances which can make figuring out where to assign them a bit easier. Nevertheless, once you have this figured out, give them the right clothes for the right job and be sure to equip the new clothes in the Trade Menu.
Fallout 4: Stimpaks and other Medications
Fallout 4: Settlers need medication too!
Fallout 4: Medication
Settlers suffer many of the things you will in the game. The two most commonly used medications in the game are Stimpaks and Radaways. Using the Water Purifier production method, you should have no problem in buying medication every trip to Drumlin Diner or wherever you prefer shopping. Still, back-build your meds and keep them safe.
Each time a new Settler appears in a settlement, give them a few Radaways and a handful of Stimpaks so they can heal themselves. Ghouls are the exception. Since radiation heals Ghouls, Radways would probably make them sick and they know it. So, unless it was your intention to give them something to sell, just stick to giving them Stimpaks.
Once you have a clinic, Settlers can take care of themselves. However, until you have a clinic; leaving a few meds in the Workbench is a good idea.
Fallout 4: Purified Water
Fallout 4: Purified Water Delivery Service
Fallout 4: Purified Water
Purified Water is something I tend to lean heavily towards but for good reasons. Built as many Water Purifiers as you can defend and you’ve got your first industry up and running. Everything you need to know about that is in the first guide, Fallout 4: Settlement Building Guide.
However, once you start getting more and more settlers and settlements, you’ll quickly notice one thing… most of your settlements early on don’t have water at all and without water, you can’t build purifiers.
This is important to know. Sure, you can build Water Pumps which works for Settlement Requirements but Purified Water is vital to any good citizen within your kingdom and highly valued by your enemies outside the gates.
When you acquire a new Settlement, make sure you set up a Trade Route from your Purified Water settlement to the new one that lacks clean water. Even then, haul a bunch yourself to your new Settlement and dump it at the workbench minus what you give the current settlers.
ALWAYS make sure your Dr. Settler, General Store and Bar/Restaurant have plenty of Purified Water on hand. Settlers in the settlements with purifiers will simply grab what they want from the Workbench but you literally have to extend that supply through Trade Routes.
Fallout 4: Settler Bathrooms
Fallout 4: Settlers and Decorating
Fallout 4: Bathrooms and comfort
Having bathrooms for your settlers makes them happy even if it does not register. Luckily, you will not have to run any sort of plumbing like you did with electricity. Simply build private areas with bathrooms for your Settlers.
Believe it or not, although Bathrooms have zero effect on happiness, somehow it still does. Settlers enjoy convenience, safety and all the creature comforts of home. Be sure you have plenty of places for them to go.
Also, be sure to place radios and televisions along with couches, chairs and tables. Really take some time and help the Settlement look more like a home and less like, Megaton from Fallout 3.
Have fun with decorating and designing. True, it is a good story with a lot to be done in regards to Factions and Quests. However, Bethesda really worked hard to make the game as realistic as humanly possible so treat every aspect of the game with that thought in mind. Everything matters no matter how trivial it might seem.
Fallout 4: Settlers just want to have fun!
Fallout 4: Happy Settlers
Fallout 4: Recreation
Party like it’s 2287 A.D! In Fallout 4, recreation and fun are not lost on your Settlers. However, living in such a harsh reality makes recreation hard to come by. That is where you, the player, come in handy.
Your job is simple, make the masses happy while turning the Commonwealth back into a thriving civilization.
(I will be testing the many various possibilities regarding recreation and posting a follow-up soon with my findings.)
Until then… there are certain things that make Settlers smile and that, helps your Happy Meter.
Start with Radios and TVs and set plenty of them around each Settlement. Having a Clinic helps a lot. Fact is, shops raise happiness in general. Having guards produces happiness too.
(I will be checking into Guard to Settler ratio possibilities and posting those results here.)
One other thing makes Settlers happy. They hate confinement. Make sure your settlers can wander the settlement grounds and enjoy being outside. Maybe build a rec park. Fallout 4 provides all the makings for a basketball court, baseball field and Bowling.
Another source of recreation is the Bar. Try to build two spate bars that focus on their split uses. After all, a Bar can be a bar or it can be a restaurant. So, build one of each. People still enjoy eating out and shooting pool in 2287. A bar with a jukebox, pool tables and all the trimmings should be seriously considered.
Building an outdoor party deck is a fan favorite of Settlers. Again, they like being outside on pretty days.
Fallout 4: Junk is anything but junk
Fallout 4: Settlers and their junk
Fallout 4: Junk
Junk is everywhere in Fallout 4. Lugging said junk can be time consuming and at times, annoying. Throwing Level perks at: Strength, Strong Back and Lone Wanderer will help. Making armor with the mods for carrying extra weight helps as well. Maxing out Strong Back will allow you to Fast Travel even when over encumbered.
However, it takes a while to unlock all of those perks so here goes my suggestion. Using Corvega as an example, find a storage container near the entrance of any area and throw what you can’t carry. Fast Travel, unload and repeat. If you cleared the area and return immediately, all of your stuff will be waiting for you still.
In various parts of this guide, I’ve given suggestions regarding Junk and Settlers but here’s something you might not pick up on. Junk is used for scrapping and building. We all know this but what is easily overlooked is Settlers gossiping. Most of the time, they make veiled references to other areas. However, sometimes they will mention wishing they had something in particular. For example, Sturgis will tell you that he likes to, “Tinker”. In this instance, you would give Sturgis everything tool related. However, he takes tinkering seriously and will spend his free time repairing junk and your settlement. Load him and the workbench with plenty of building supplies and he will be happy.
The point of junk making smiles is actually an underlining, Easter egg of awesomeness and more than that, Junk is the décor of your Settlers. I do not mean the simplicity of decorating rooms but everything you find will serve some Settler’s need. So, with a doctor, think Medical supplies and equipment. With a Farmer, think: Shovel, Hoe, Seeds, Fertilizer and so forth.
Getting back to Sturgis, I want to test a theory that should I give him something broken, would he fix it. Or, if I give old clothes to the Clothing Shop Manager… would the tailor/seamstress repair the clothes. As far as that goes, I want to give them Abraxo, Purified Water and Soap and see the manager will mend and wash clothes too. Anyone knows… post it under comments and then, we will all know.
Fallout 4: Weapons, Armors and Legendary Effects...Coming soon!!!
Fallout 4: Weapons, Armors and Legendary Effects.
Weapons and Armor, Legendary Effects comes from discovering the Legendary Enemies hidden throughout the Commonwealth. This upcoming guide will cover every aspect of weaponry and armor with as much information on Legendary Effects and their best uses.