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Fallout 4 Survival Mode detailed as beta version arrives on Steam

Fallout 4's Survival Mode has arrived in beta on Steam.


The update will be available on consoles next month, and along with the new difficulty mode, additional fixes related to this update are on the way.

Bethesda has provided a plethora of information on what to expect with the release of Survival Mode, but has also decided to remain "vague about the specifics of certain things," because it wants players to discover them on their own.

According to a post from the development team on the Bethesda website, Survival Mode will force players to make choices via contrasting motivations. This was modeled after "circular systems" found in games such as Dark Souls which "push against each other."

The result was the following "four major pillars" added for Survival Mode.

Strategy: Intensify decisions involving when to get into combat versus when to avoid it, and also make you think more about what gear to take into combat. Then back up those decisions with faster, more brutal fights.

Exploration: Slow down the pace of the game and encourage players to explore the nooks and crannies of the world.

Resource Management: Balance out items in the world that may be too easy to acquire or horde, giving players more to consider when planning their current loadout.

Role Playing: Increase the realism of the world and the issues one might face there.
Here’s how these goals are realized with some of the big changes in Survival Mode.

fallout_4_concept art2

As previously reported thanks to dataminers, manual, quick saving and almost all autosaves are disabled. Players will instead need to find a bed and sleep for at least an hour to save the game.

The type of bed slept in will also limit the length of time the player can sleep. Real beds, such as those in a player's home base, will offer the highest bonuses. Players can also spend caps to sleep in a real bed offered in the game world. It might be wise to build some real beds using Workshop mode as well, according to the post.

Scouting and gathering information will become handy when deciding whether to engage an enemy above the player's level. In order to save before jumping into a fight, players should find a bed closest to the encounter not only to sleep but to save the game in case of death. Fast travel is also disabled so players will need to walk the Wasteland to get to their next destination.

Players will deal out more damage in Survival Mode, but take it as well. To deal more damage, players can use the new perk "Adrenaline" but it also "slows you down and gets you to think about what you’re walking into." For every five kills, Adrenaline rank is increased, adding 5% bonus damage for up to an extra 50% damage at the max rank of 10. Note that Sleeping removes anywhere from two to all 10 ranks of Adrenaline, depending how long the player spends in bed.

fallout_4_concept art

Combat is also more strategic, as both the player and enemies are more powerful. Positioning and timing are more important than ever and Melee players will need to use block and parry more often to avoid massive damage.

Threats will also no longer display on the compass, unless added by a Recon scope. The distance at which locations of interest will appear "has been significantly shortened, which means players will no longer know what's waiting around the corner.

Exhaustion, hunger and thirst will also come into play. Going for extended periods without sleeping, eating or drinking will affect S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, adding to Fatigue, lowering immunity, and causing physical damage.

Note though, that certain items in the game can now have negative consequences along with positive effects. One may make you thirsty, hungry, tired, or lower immunity while having a positive affect on another. Be sure to keep an eye on each, as hunger and thirst will also affect fatigue.

Fatigue will work the same as radiation, but affects Action Points instead of Hit Points. The more fatigue builds up, fewer Action Points to spend on V.A.T.S. or sprinting will be available.

Several illnesses can affect the player in Survival Mode when Wellness decreases. Antibiotics can be crafted, bought or found, and alongside doctors, can heal your current illnesses. Certain creatures or using Chems can also give the player an illness. Stimpacks are also no longer a "fix-all miracle drug."

The Bethesda website has tons of information on the mode, so if you head over to the website you can find out more on: immunodeficiency, slower healing, crippled limbs, reduced carry weight, encumbrance, companion costs, how robot companions from Automatron are factored in, and loot and enemy rate.

As stated above the massive wall of text, Survival Mode is currently in beta on Steam, and the patch notes can be found below.

New Survival difficulty

  • Survival adds additional challenges including no fast travel, saving only when you sleep, increased lethality, diseases, fatigue, danger and more.
  • Characters set to Survival difficulty appear under their own Character Selection filter
  • Survival difficulty characters are not backward compatible with the 1.4 version of Fallout 4. If you opt out of the Beta, do not use Survival character saved games.


  • General stability and performance improvements
  • Fixed rare crash related to reloading a save that relies on Automatron
  • Fixed issue with the robot workbench camera not moving properly immediately after canceling out of the menu
  • Fixed issue with perks being repeatedly added when reloading a saved game while in robot workbench
  • Fixed issue with Ada not properly traveling to an assigned settlement
  • Robots can now be assigned as settlement vendors
  • Fixed issue with "Appropriation" where blueprints would not appear properly if the container had already been looted prior to getting the quest
  • In "Nuclear Option," entering the Institute using the targeting helmet on Power Armor no longer inadvertently causes the player to go into combat, and become stuck in the Institute
  • Fixed distance check with Robotics Expert perk

About the Author

Stephany Nunneley avatar

Stephany Nunneley

News Editor

Half-blind/half-dyslexic, bad typist, wine enthusiast, humanitarian, intellectual savant, idiot savior, lover of all things nonsensical, animal hoarder and highly sarcastic.

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