Fallout 4 can be pretty tough - unless you're a god-tier Infiltrator like me.
Fallout 4 has been reissued in Game of the Year format, and that means it's time to revisit Bethesda's incredible RPG.
The most popular page of our huge Fallout 4 guide has always been this cheesy near-broken build. Whether you're a Fallout 4 beginner looking for a build guide or a veteran wanting to try a new approach, have I got an idea for you. Gather round, my darlings: I'm going to tell you how to break the game.
There are many ways to break Fallout 4, but this is my favourite: the classic glass rogue. We're going to be sneaking, using VATS and never, ever, ever getting shot. You don't even need to be able to shoot straight, which is handy for strict RPG fans. Heck, with a few tens of levels under your belt, you'll be turning the difficulty all the way up.
I call this build ... the Infiltrator. After spending about 100 hours with it, I've refined and tweaked it to make it even more deadly.
Getting started: SPECIAL stats
Let's start with the basics: selecting your SPECIAL stats and planning for perks. This provides the skeleton on which you'll construct your mighty vault dweller.
Note that as soon as you leave Vault 111 you can obtain an extra attribute point just by picking up the You're S.P.E.C.I.A.L. book in Shaun's room in your old house in Sanctuary Hills, so we're working with the assumption that you have 29 points to distribute (21 in the character set up screen, seven minimum starting stats and one from the book).
For this particular build, there's only one stat I insist upon as an absolute minimum:
- Agility: 7
However, I also strongly recommend picking up Perception 4, to enable the Locksmith perk. You can do without it, but it's a pain - and this is such a flexible, low investment build that you can easily spare the points.
Although you can do whatever you like with the rest of the points, I suggest two different S.P.E.C.I.A.L. set ups for you below.
- Expert tip: never set any of your SPECIAL stats to ten right off the bat; there's a Bobblehead out there with a bonus point for each SPECIAL stat. You'll also be able to increase your SPECIAL points whenever you have a spare perk point, and there's no level cap, so there's plenty of time to get those level ten perks.
This first approach is suitable for a full playthrough where you set up settlement chains and romance NPCs. It has low carrying capacity and health, but is otherwise pretty balanced. It actually includes one extra point of Agility which is unnecessary for the core perks you'll be using, but my preference is for higher Agility, to increase AP and improve stealth.
- Strength: 1
- Perception: 4
- Endurance: 1
- Charisma: 6
- Intelligence: 6
- Agility: 8
- Luck: 3
The alternate build below is for more action-oriented types who just want to get out there and murder baddies without all the faffing around with crafting, settlements and NPC romance, while retaining the core approach of a deadly rogue. The high Luck stat allows you to spam critical hits and utilise Grim Reaper's Sprint as a core skill early on, rather than saving it as an optional endgame add-on. It's slightly less squishy, too.
- Strength: 2
- Perception: 4
- Endurance: 2
- Charisma: 1
- Intelligence: 3
- Agility: 9
- Luck: 8
Hit up our list of Fallout 4 perks for more information here. For the sake of convenience, the very first perk I always pick up in any build is Locksmith. If you're happy to forgo extra loot and sneaky back doors, you can skip it.
The first core Infiltrator perk is Sneak. Any time you can level up Sneak, do it.
The next most important perks to pick up are Ninja and Action Boy/Girl. The first will increase your sneak attack damage, while the second will restore your VATS points faster.
We're going to be focused on a non-automatic handgun, so grab Gunslinger to boost your damage output (use any appropriate weapon until we get the one we're after - with a suppressor, if available). Take a couple of ranks of Gun Nut so you can craft mods for your gun, and as soon as you have a silenced weapon, take Mister Sandman for another bonus to damage.
It's a little bit whimsical, but I also take Bloody Mess when I've hit the cap on the other perks and want to hit a bit harder than I already am. The damage bonus is small at first, but really adds up. And everything explodes! It's great.
- Expert Tip: need more survivability? Customise this build by leaving out Bloody Mess and making Luck a dump stat. The extra points can be added to Endurance. Note that a lower Luck stat makes everything else in the game just a teensy bit harder.
Max out these essential perks as soon as you can, in order of priority presented above. If you're not high enough level to purchase any more ranks in the essential perks, turn your eyes to the next section.
Growing and changing
As you're levelling up, you may reach situations where you've maxed out all the above perks. When that happens I recommend the following secondary perks:
- For additional damage, Better Criticals, Gun-Fu and Grim Reaper's Sprint make excellent endgame additions to your repertoire, upgrading you from terrifying deadly to apocalyptic. If you don't care about settlements and crafting, grab these as soon as you can.
- Local Leader, Caps Collector and one rank of Medic are required for building and expand awesome settlements.
- Scrapper and more importantly Science will help you build lots of great stuff for settlements as well as better mods - if you're willing to collect loot and drag it back to a Workshop.
- If you have points to spare, Gun Nut is great for upgrading your weapons. You might also consider Armorer if you want to mod your armour for better stealth with effects like Muffled, but I tend not to bother as native Stealth is strong enough and armour is unnecessary if the enemy never sees you.
Whenever you can't obtain any of the perks mentioned above (or don't want them, in the case of the crafting and settlement stuff), chuck some extra points on your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats. This is what you'd need in order to get everything I've mentioned above. You won't be able to do all of this stuff till you're around level 50, so pick and choose at your discretion:
- Strength: 1
- Perception: 4
- Endurance: 1
- Charisma: 6
- Intelligence: 6
- Agility: 10
- Luck: 8
Expert tip: It's pure frosting, but after you complete everything above, you'll want to max out your Perception to continue increasing your potential for mass VATS murder. You may also want to push Strength up to six and grab Strong Back for the masses of treasure you'll find on your murder sprees. Everything else is completely unnecessary if you play this build as intended.
How to play an Infiltrator
Now that you know what you're aiming for, how do you put this baby to use?
We play slow and careful. Whenever you approach the entrance to a structure, sneak. Make sure your AP is full, then hammer VATS. As soon as you see an enemy in VATS with a hit chance of 65% or more, smack it; with any luck you'll get a sneak attack bonus.
- If there are multiple enemies, you may opt for one sneak attack on each of them to start with.
- Take out nearby and melee enemies first as they're harder to evade.
- If you have a choice of limbs with a good hit chance:
- Go for the legs of melee attackers.
- Hit the arms or heads of enemies using firearms.
- As soon as you destroy a limb, cancel your VATS attack and immediately re-initiate it to hit a different target.
- If you have destroyed the leg of a melee attacker, ignore it and move to another enemy.
At low levels, you may complete your VATS attack to find half a dozen angry baddies heading for you. Run away. Break line of sight and go into Sneak mode. Wait until they get over it.
Now just rinse and repeat.
This is very slow and annoying in the beginning, but by the time you have levelled up a bit you can walk into a room and kill everything in a single VATS session before they even know you're there. The whole "run away and hide" part never needs to happen again.
Of course, it helps to have the right gear.
The key weapon of the Infiltrator build is the Deliverer. This gun is awarded to you when you join the Railroad faction. Its amazing special power is that it uses less Action Points in VATS, and has an increased chance to hit.
So what? So everything. At higher levels of the Infiltrator build, I'm talking so many shots queued up in VATS that the vanilla user interface literally could account for them; until Bethesda patched the display, the game had no way to display how many shots you'd deal out in a single turn.
Get this gun and mod the shit out of it; if you haven't got the perks to craft mods, try checking in with Tinker Tom at Railroad HQ, as he sometimes sells Deliverer mods. A suppressor comes standard and shall never be removed. Do what you like with sights, although note that you'll be using VATS mostly. Get the most powerful receiver you can to increase the damage, but don't go automatic - you'll lose the benefits of the Gunslinger perk. (I don't recommend going automatic in general as it means using more ammo to get the same job done. If you really must, be sure to sub out Gunslinger for Commando when choosing perks.)
DELIVER US pic.twitter.com/EFwyPIBp7c
— Borderline Helpful (@draqul) November 12, 2015
You can sometimes find 10mm legendaries with the same perk as the Deliverer; they're not as powerful as a similarly-modded Deliverer, but make a good stopgap while you're waiting for the real thing. Just don't use up all your ammo at low levels!
For your back-up guns, look for anything with VATS, accuracy or AP-related bonuses (the Tinker Tom Special, purchasable in Railroad HQ, is a pretty good example), or just good old fashioned extra damage. Whatever you pick, try to put a suppressor on it.
Sneaking not your bag? Try the bombastic One-Punch Man.
Armour-wise, the lighter the better while your Sneak perk is low, but you can afford to go a bit heavier as you get harder to detect. To be honest, you won't need to; you will almost never be hit, so who cares? I tend to stick to leather, sometimes modded up with pockets, muffling and shadowing, and worn over clothing with native or modded-in damage reduction (the Railroad can help you with that). Fuck Power Armor right off immediately; it's not any use at all to this build.
There are a couple of Legendary armour bonuses that are worth grabbing if you find them. Chameleon makes Sneak unbelievably easy, although the visual effect is really annoying. VATS-enhanced armour pieces are pretty common once you're about 20 levels in, and are a big help.
Finally, you definitely want to snaffle any U.S. Covert Operations Manual books you find, as they'll permanently boost your Sneak ability.
Conquer the Wasteland
That's it. Congratulations! You're ready to absolutely smash Fallout 4.
Like I said, this is just one way to play; there are plenty of other terrific, über-powerful approaches for those who like frontal assaults, or can't be bothered faffing about with VATS. We'd love to hear about your builds.