Lists seem to be the big thing on the internet at the moment. I guess it’s because you don’t have to sit through reading long prose, sifting out the information that you deem valid. Instead, you can just read some numbered bullet points and skip the ones that seem pointless. So, in that vein, here’s five helpful tips to success in Fallout 4, as chosen by me, a guy who is currently in the early stages of playing the game.
1) Upgrade your lock-picking and hacking
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from playing RPGs like Fallout, it’s that anything worth having is locked behind a door, or within a cabinet. To get to those items, you usually need to be pretty nifty with a lock pick, or dandy on a computer. In Fallout 4, to get to the really good stuff, you need to have maxed out your lock picking and hacking skills – and the earlier you do it, the better. This isn’t just because you’ll get all of the awesome loot, it also means that you’ll be able to by-pass sections of some missions and reach areas that otherwise would have taken a fair bit of toiling to reach. Plus, you know, all of the awesome loot.
2) Find Strong
If there’s one companion that you want guarding your back, it’s Strong. He’s not only strong, as the name would suggest, he’s also a Super Mutant, which makes him hardened to the wasteland and all of its creepy-crawlies, Raiders, mutant bears and gigantic demon like Death Claws. Not only that, but he also has an intriguing quest, his life mission if you will, to find the ‘milk of human kindness’. That’s right people, Strong is a Super Mutant with a penchant for Shakespeare. Well, a penchant for his butchered concept of what Shakespeare meant by the ‘milk of human kindness’. Strong believes that the ‘milk’ is an actual drink that will give him the secret power of humanity – and I’m in no hurry to tell him otherwise, if it means that I have a gnarly, rough Super Mutant covering my back.
3) Collect EVERYTHING
When it comes to role playing video-games, I’m a hoarding kleptomaniac. If it isn’t nailed down, it’s going in my inventory. If it’s too heavy to carry, it’s going in my companion’s inventory. I remember playing Skyrim and looking through my inventory one day to notice that I had twenty lumps of cheese hidden away in my pockets – that’s far more cheese than any fictional, digitally created, individual could need. In Fallout 4, however, that pointless crap that you usually accidentally pick up whilst you’re traversing the map actually has a use. You can use it to build up your settlements, to mod your weapons and armour and to create home-made drug cocktails! Finally, all of those type-writers, plastic cups and empty Nuka Cola bottles have a use.
Picking up random ammunition is a great way of making easy caps, even if you don’t have the weapon to go with said ammunition. That’s because ammunition, in Fallout 4, has no weight – this means that you can pick up as much as you want, and then sell it all on for a neat profit!
Collecting everything also helps when it comes to quests. Often, you’ll be asked to recover items by NPCs, and I’ve occasionally found that I’ve already found those items whilst looting. You can then just hand it over with a simple “I’ve already found it” and boom! Some of the easiest XP you’ll earn in the wasteland.
4) Be charismatic
Guns don’t kill people, convincing other people to kill people kills people. Though guns do also kill people, especially when the people that you’ve convinced to kill other people use guns to kill them. Unnecessarily convoluted statements aside, using your words can be just as effective as using bullets. Sure, it might take longer to weave your way out of a situation with whit than it would to shoot that situation in the face, but it’s a hell of a lot more satisfying to beat your enemy with charisma. In Fallout 4, you are able to talk your way out of most situations and, quite often, you can gain some awesome rewards for doing so. I always upgrade my Charisma skill to max, early on in the game, because it can help you get out of some sticky situations. It also means that you’re very good at extorting extra caps from missions – it all adds up!
5) Find locations to boost your XP
Possibly the easiest way to gain XP is to find new locations. Each location will give you a boost of XP, and literally all you have to do is show up and discover it. Sometimes you’d don’t even need to be that close to the location. It might not give you a lot of XP, but it will definitely help you boost early on in the game, especially if you look for densely populated areas of the map, such as Diamond City, which will have lots of small places to find. All you have to do is go for a wander, and you’ll be rewarded with easy XP. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how many of these locations you’ll be re-visting later on in the game. If you’ve found them early on, you can just fast travel to them and save the hassle once you’re further in the game – win, win.
If you have any other handy tips for surviving in the wasteland, let me know in the comments below!