12 best Fallout 4 perks for ass kicking Wastelanders
Fallout 4 has dozens of perks, and it will take you hundreds of levels to max them all. You needn’t bother; cherry pick the ones that suit your play style, and ignore the guff.
We’ve been playing Bethesda’s latest RPG, and we reckon we’ve nailed which are the most profitable, fun and useful perks from across the whole character tree. Some are almost mandatory in the early hours, while others are worth building towards for end game dominance. A few are just plain good fun.
Whether you stack your character for a specific perk right out of the gate and leave them unbalanced elsewhere, or trust that you’ll level up to hit your goals eventually, you should keep these in mind right from the start.
Base requirement: Perception 4
If you want the best ammo, weapons and gear quickly, save up a bunch of Perk points and get to Expert Locksmith as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than finding a door, ammo box or safe you have no way of unlocking.
The truth is the Fallout 4 map is massive, and with the best intentions in the world you will not come all the way back to this one building to dig out a safe in a basement once you’ve finally upgraded this perk later in the game. Get it now. You can access alternate routes through buildings too. Don’t walk away thinking, “I wonder what was in that?”
Base requirement: Agility 3
Because Fallout 4 is a shooter, many weapons don’t lend themselves to a stealthy approach for much of the game. That doesn’t mean you should ignore Sneak, though: you can melee with whatever you have equipped, and will benefit from a hefty damage multiplier if you’re undetected. The damage multiplier on ranged weapons is lower, but is terrific for snipers or just for getting in one really good smack before things really kick off.
At its highest level, Sneak is a beast; enemies will find it almost impossible to spot you, won’t hear you running, and will lose you almost immediately. This allows for an amazing assassin build using whatever noisy weapon you like – a shotgun will one hit kill almost anything with Sneak damage bonuses.
Base requirement: Strength 6
This is really a Perk for the early part of the game – and for hoarders who overload their long-suffering companions. Until you get to grips with crafting, the type of weapons that suit your play, the right armour and all that other junk, you’ll want to take everything you find.
Strong back ups the amount of shit you can carry by 25%, then 50%, and then lets you run even when you’re over-encumbered. Don’t leave anything behind. Haul it off and use it later.
Base requirement: Charisma 3
I hear you: companions are a pain in the butt. Sure, they can carry your stuff and run interference, but they also get stuck in doors, run off and attack enemies you’d rather disengage from, use up all your Stimpaks with their constant injuries, and disrupt your peaceful meditations on the beauty of the desolate landscape.
Well, wazz them all off and pick up the comparatively cheap Lone Wanderer perk instead. At base level it provides 50 extra points of carry weight and a 15% damage reduction when running solo. When maxed out, it dials these numbers up and adds a hefty damage bonus, too. Delightful.
Base requirement: Endurance 8
This one’s really nasty and only suits a certain dark style of play. Basically, you can survive by eating human flesh. You never need to loot or carry food again.
Take it further and you’ll be eating ghouls and super mutants too. Just make sure you have plenty of Rad Away, because that meat isn’t exactly clean. And a toothbrush.
Base requirement: Agility 7
An absolute must-buy for those planning on maxing out Sneak, Ninja adds additional bonuses to Sneak attacks, turning you into an incredibly lethal assassin. At its highest level, Ninja provides a 10x damage multiplier on melee Sneak attacks. Combined with a good melee weapon and the right conditions, and every firefight is over before it begins.
As discussed in the Sneak slide, at higher levels of that perk enemies will lose you preposterously easily, meaning you can use gun-and-run-away tactics even against bigger groups.
Base requirement: Luck 5
Bit of a weird one, this. You receive three times the XP for actions (and later kills too), and the lower your intelligence the better chance of randomly receiving the extra XP.
So if you’re a player who isn’t fussed about their intelligence and its bonuses – guns, tech and science perks – this is a way of exploiting an under-used stat.
Base requirement: Endurance 1
Veteran players may pooh-pooh perks like Toughness, but for beginners, it’s a winner. Maxed out it provides a whopping 50% damage reduction, meaning you take half the physical damage you should. Against firearms and melee attacks, the most common kinds of damage you’ll receive, it’s a literal lifesaver.
But the real value is in how cheap the first few ranks are. if you’re having trouble surviving in the Wasteland in the early hours, before you snaffle decent armour and other perks, Toughness is just a quick and easy solution to your problems. You don’t need to invest heavily, so you’re not wasting points you’ll miss when you reach end-game. Worth it to avoid seeing the death screen again and again, don’cha think?
Base requirement: Luck 3
This is the best Luck Perk of all and a favourite from Fallout 3. You inflict more damage and there’s a chance enemies will explode in a bucket of gore.
Push this Perk all the way to the max (4 stars) and there’s a chance enemies standing next to the one you’re targeting will explode too. Messy.
Base requirement: Intelligence 3
A relatively cheap perk, considering how useful it is: Gun Nut unlocks mods for firearms, starting at level 1 and rising with each investment. Increased damage, larger magazines, faster rates of fire – it’s all possible.
Modding guns is one of the easiest and best ways to increase your damage output. You can turn junk weapons into decent little boomsticks with a bit of tinkering, and if you’re dilligent about collecting and dismantling equipment it doesn’t take long to gather enough parts for some great upgrades.
Base requirement: Endurance 3
Sick of seeing your death animation? Not a glamorous Perk, but essential for anyone finding the going a bit tough. You get an extra 20% health with the first upgrade, and then another 20% on top with the second.
But it’s a three stars where it becomes a great Perk as it allows you to slowly regenerate health over time. It makes the search for food, meds and pure water much less of a priority meaning more space for weapons and ammo.
Base requirement: Agility 5
Another simple perk with a weighty pay-off, Action Boy/Girl causes your Action Points to refill faster. This in turn transforms VATS from something you might get to use once during an encounter to a rapid-fire tactical tool you can use to control the battlefield. Drop a few precision shots in the nearest enemy’s leg (or arm), and retreat coolly to reload while your points refill and they flounder around unable to chase you (or return fire). Free fire to finish them off. Badass.
This perk also gets you back in the action faster after sprinting away all your AP, which is excellent for the impatient among us.