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Fallout 4: Hacking and Lockpicking Guide

Learn to hack and pick locks like a pro.

In Fallout 4, lockpicking and hacking are invaluable skills that can help players gain access to important information or materials throughout the Commonwealth. This guide offers an overview of these skills as well as the perks required to hone your character’s abilities.

If you need help with any other quests, areas, or items in Fallout 4, then head over to our Fallout 4 guides walkthrough hub, featuring a variety of tips and tricks to obtain some of the best gear in the game.

Lockpicking in Fallout 4

Players must unlock certain perks to pick Expert and Master locks.

When players stumble upon a locked container or room with a locked door in Fallout 4, they have the chance to pick the lock and acquire its precious contents. The concept of lockpicking is fairly simple. First, players need to have at least one bobby pin in their inventory in order to pick any lock. Purchase bobby pins from a vendor, or scavenge for them throughout the world.

Approach the locked container or door that you wish to pick, and press unlock. Use your mouse to move the bobby pin slightly in either direction, then carefully start to rotate the screwdriver with your left mouse button. The lock will likely show a bit of resistance, which can be felt when using a controller. If the lock resists, change the position of the bobby pin and try again.

As you start to get close to the correct pin position, the lock will begin to rotate. The closer your bobby pin is to the correct position, the more you will be able to rotate the lock before it resists. Keep making slight adjustments to the bobby pin's position until the lock can make a quarter turn to unlock the device. If you encounter too much resistance, the bobby pin will break and you will need to start over with a new bobby pin.

Locks will range in difficulty between novice, advanced, expert, and master. In order to attempt lockpicking above novice level difficulty, players must acquire the Locksmith perk, which further requires a Perception level of 4 for the perk to become accessible. Acquiring the several ranks within the Locksmith perk will grant access to more difficult locks, but you must meet the level requirements. Ensure that you do by bringing up Special chart on your Pip-Boy.

Additionally, if you really want to get through a lock and don't feel like waiting to get the perk you need, PC players can use console commands. Press the tilde key to bring up the console, then click on whatever you're trying to unlock with your mouse. Type Unlock and press Enter. If you did this correctly, the device you are trying to access will unlock for you.

Hacking in Fallout 4

Hacking a terminal can be maddening if you don't know what you're doing.

While traversing throughout the Commonwealth, players will encounter encrypted computer terminals that typically control access to a corresponding locked room that contains valuable goodies. Players can hack these terminals by guessing the correct password to unlock the door. At first, hacking can seem a bit confusing. However, with a bit of patience and pattern solving, you should be able to get the hang of hacking in no time.

Begin by approaching the computer terminal you wish to hack, and press unlock. This will bring you into the terminal screen, which will display several columns of words wedged in between random characters and symbols. The words are potential passwords, and it is your job to figure out which word is correct. Some words split between two lines, but are still viable candidates. All potential passwords will have the same number of letters for the given lock. The number of attempts you have remaining is indicated by a series of green squares near the top of the columns, and usually begins with four attempts. As you scan the list of characters, you may be able to highlight groups of symbols. Selecting these groups can potentially remove dud words or reset your number of attempts.

Begin by selecting one of the words in the list to make your first guess. Picking a word that has a similar structure to some of the other words can potentially help narrow down the list. Highlight a word and select it to make your guess. If you are lucky, you might unlock the terminal on the first try. In the high likelihood that you chose incorrectly, your entry will be denied and your guessed word will be listed on the right corner of the terminal screen with a Likeness number. The Likeness number indicates the number of letters in your guessed word that exactly match the terminal password in both letter and position. The Likeness number can aid you in narrowing down the potential password from the remaining set.

Compare your initial guess to the remaining options available, keeping the Likeness number in mind. Even a Likeness of zero can help indicate which letter positions are not found in the password. If the Likeness is above zero, look for words in the list that share the same letters in the same positions as your guessed word. The higher the Likeness, the more you should be able to narrow down the remaining options.

Failing to select the correct password in the allotted attempts will cause you to be locked out of the terminal for 10 seconds, after which you can try again. However, each fresh attempt will offer a totally new set of words for you to work with. Keep in mind that terminals with red unlock text are owned by someone. Hacking an owned terminal is a crime that, if detected, can cause NPC’s to become hostile toward you.

Like lockpicking, hacking has four levels of difficulty: novice, advanced, expert, and master. Hacking terminals above novice requires the Hacker perk, which is accessible with an Intelligence level of 4. The Hacker perk is also needed for building Terminals in the Workshop.

Players who are adept at both lockpicking and hacking can benefit highly from the valuable materials and information to be found in locked items.

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