In a post I wrote a little while ago I talked about the Bethesda creation club and their new paid (but not really paid) mods (but not really mods.) After the story interested me I decided to give Fallout 4 another whirl after trying and failing to find any interest on it’s release back in 2015. My disappointment on the game as a whole not withstanding, I found the game’s Survival Mode, added in an update mid-2016, had breathed new life into the Commonwealth. Inspired by my recent 100 hours getting my jugular torn out by irradiated dogs, here’s a few tips on how to make it through thiss unforgiving difficulty setting.
Collect Empty Bottles
Yes, if you have a less than capacious carrying capacity then lugging around all of the junk you stumble across may sound like a hassle, but in Survival mode you’re going to need water to live. Funny, that. A couple of times every in-game day you’ll find yourself getting thirsty, stunting your action points and making you sick if you don’t get some fluids in you… But most all naturally occurring water sources in the Commonwealth are irradiated beyond any real use. Carrying around your own empty bottles ready to fill as soon as you find a pure water source means you’ll have all the clean water you need to survive on your post-apocalyptic adventure. (An easy water source early on are the sinks in Vault 111, or you can just abuse the awful settlement crafting system and build yourself a water pump which inexplicably purifies any groundwater it produces.)
See Delicious Animal? Kill Delicious Animal
Hunger is also a problem, and there ain’t no place for vegans after a nuclear holocaust. In your travels you’re sure to find murderous hotdogs, walking seafood buffet Mirelurks and mouthwatering Brahmin herds. Don’t let these innocent creatures suffer another day in this hellish future- Fucking kill them! Feast on their succulent flesh. Not right away, obviously. Eating raw meat has only slightly less awful consequences in Fallout 4 than it does in real life. Luckily there’s a cooking station right there in your home town of Sanctuary waiting for you to practice your culinary skills, or you can be proactive and build one yourself with the right perks.
Don’t Pay Money to Die
If you have the Automatron DLC, you will get a quest at level 15 to save a traveling caravan from a band of marauding robots. For gods sake, don’t do it until you’ve built up your character a bit. Completing this quest sets you on the main quest line for the DLC, causing extremely deadly robots to start randomly spawning all over the Commonwealth, and they want to ruin your fucking life. This one might be because my sneaky sniper build is almost totally ineffectual against their cold steel skin, but these things appearing all over the game hampered my enjoyment of the game so much I actually rolled back my save a good few hours to avoid it happening altogether. I would still recommend the DLC though, when you’re ready for it- the villainous Mechanist is a cool character, especially if you choose to engage him as the Silver Shroud, and you gain the ability to build and customise your own robotic companions when the quest is complete. Speaking of building stuff…
Don’t Build Stuff
I’m specifically talking about Settlements themselves, here. Getting a few perks in weapon crafting can dramatically increase your murder prowess, but that shit takes materials, yo. Materials that you should not spend on making the world a more civilised place. Materials that the innocent folk of the Commonwealth have in spades. So, as soon as you unlock a settlement, job one is to trash the fucking place. Scrap everything that isn’t nailed down, demolish their houses, leave the settlers cold and alone, and move on. “But Joebotnik,” I hear you cry, “I thought you said junk is a pain to lug around!” but fret not- those Settlers you just evicted? They’re your pack mules now! With the Local Leader perk you can convince some poor shmuck to carry your worthless trash from settlement to settlement, meaning any crafting material you leave at one location can be accessed from another. Dictatorship sure has it’s merits. Ave, true to Caesar.
Hopefully these few things I’ve picked up will help you on your way to… ugh… find your son and get the most enjoyment out of staying alive in the harsh environments of Fallout 4. Let’s face it, after dealing with Cazadores in Fallout: New Vegas, the Commonwealth is a cakewalk.