When you first look at the Fallout 4 perk chart, it can feel overwhelming. Where should you start when building a character? To help new players get the most of out of their level progression, we have a list of perk recommendations for several common play styles.
The primary skill allocation breakdown suggests where you should place the majority of your points when creating your character. Once you have that settled, follow the perks recommendations. We’ve listed the amount of stars you must have for each of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. columns to unlock each perk in parentheses so you know when you can invest in them.
Who It’s For: Players who prefer their action up close and personal.
Primary Skill Allocations: Strength, Endurance, Agility, Luck
Early Perks: Iron Fist (Strength 1), Big Leagues (Strength 2), Toughness (Endurance 1), Life Giver (Endurance 3), Armorer (Strength 3), Blacksmith (Strength 4), Bloody Mess (Luck 3)
Late Perks: Basher (Strength 8), Adamantium Skeleton (Endurance 7), Blitz (Agility 9), Rooted (Strength 9)
Melee maestros should invest most heavily in the strength and endurance columns of the perk chart, especially early on in the game. This allows you to quickly acquire the most critical perks for close-quarters fighting like Iron Fist, Big Leagues, Toughness, and Life Giver (more hit points are always a good idea for this play style). If you want to customize melee weapons, we suggest getting the Blacksmith perk early on as well. Slight tinkering to pre-existing weapons can give you big damage increases. The best end-game perks are Blitz, which significantly increases your melee reach in V.A.T.S., and Rooted, which gives you big damage resistance and melee attack boosts.
Who It’s For: Players who like to keep their distance, using rifles over SMGs and shotguns. This player probably uses V.A.T.S. more commonly than others.
Primary Skill Allocation: Perception, Intelligence, Agility, Luck
Early Perks: Gunslinger (Agility 1), Rifleman (Perception 2), Awareness (Perception 3), Gun Nut (Intelligence 3), Science (Intelligence 6), Scrapper (Intelligence 5), Action Boy (Agility 5)
Late Perks: Better Criticals (Luck 6), Critical Banker (Luck 7), Quick Hands (Agility 8), Sniper (Perception 8), Penetrator (Perception 9), Concentrated Fire (Perception 10)
The perception column is the most important for ranged weapons, as it has the best perks to get early in the game and late into your playthrough. Thanks to Fallout 4’s improved gunplay, you don’t need to use V.A.T.S. all the time, but if you prefer this strategy we recommend putting a lot of points into luck to get the Better Criticals and Critical Banker perks. You can find good ranged weapons and even get them by some side characters, but if you’re having a hard time coming across rifles with good scopes, you should invest in intelligence to get the Gun Nut, Science, and Scrapper perks to build them yourself.
Who It’s For: Players who love exploration and plan to invest a lot of time into weapon/armor crafting and building settlements.
Primary Skill Allocation: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Intelligence, Luck
Early Perks: Fortune Finder (Luck 1), Scrounger (Luck 2), Gun Nut (Intelligence 3), Cap Collector (Charisma 1), Hacker (Intelligence 4), Scrapper, (Intelligence 5), Lead Belly (Endurance 2), Aqua Boy (Endurance 5), Pickpocket (Perception 1), Locksmith (Perception 4), Armorer (Strength 3)
Late Perks: Local Leader (Charisma 6), Strong Back (Strength 6), Science (Intelligence 6), Rad Resistant (Endurance 6)
The best perks for a scavenger play style are spread across the various skills. If you plan to haul a lot of resources back to your settlements for crafting, you may want to spend the strength points right off the bat to get the Strong Back perk, which increases your carrying capacity by 25. You also want to put a lot of points into intelligence, which has the most critical weapon modification perks like Gun Nut, Scrapper, and Science. To keep people flowing to your settlement you will want to get your charisma up to six so you can unlock the Local Leader perk as well.
Who It’s For: Those who prefer to stick to the shadows and execute surprise attacks instead of going into buildings guns blazing.
Primary Skill Allocation: Perception, Charisma, Agility, Luck
Early Perks: Gunslinger (Agility 1), Sneak (Agility 3), Mister Sandman (Agility 4), Moving Target (Agility 6), Animal Friend (Charisma 5), Rifleman (Perception 2), Awareness (Perception 3), Locksmith (Perception 4), Pick Pocket (Perception 1)
Late Perks: Ninja (Agility 7), Better Criticals (Luck 6), Critical Banker (Luck 7), Robotics Expert (Intelligence 8), Wasteland Whisperer (Charisma 9), Intimidation (Charisma 10), Night Person (Perception 6), Sniper (Perception 8)
Agility and perception play the most critical role in building a stealthy character, so dump a ton of points into these skills immediately. This allows you to acquire the Sneak, Awareness, Locksmith, and Pick Pocket perks early in the game. You have a lot of great end-game perk options for this play style spread across the various skills. If you drop a lot of points into charisma, you can get perks like Wasteland Whisperer and Intimidation, which allow you to pacify creatures and enemies, respectively. The Robotics Expert perk on the intelligence tree lets you hack robots to power them off, and the luck tree has great options for improving your critical strikes, which can do a ton of damage during sneak attacks.
Who It’s For: Players who want to see a little of everything that Fallout 4 has to offer. If you like to dabble in the various play styles, this is the build for you.
Primary Skill Allocation: Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility
Early Perks: Locksmith (Perception 4), Life Giver (Endurance 3), Lone Wanderer (Charisma 3), Medic (Intelligence 2), Hacker (Intelligence 4), Scrapper (Intelligence 5), Action Boy (Agility 5), Sneak (Agility 3), Weapons perks of your choosing
Late Perks: Strong Back (Strength 6), Local Leader (Charisma 6) Inspirational (Charisma 8), Science (Intelligence 6), Better Criticals (Luck 6)
This build is best for tourists who like to vary their play styles. If you’re not sure how you are going to play Fallout 4, start with early perks like Locksmith, Hacker, Life Giver, and Action Boy to round out your basic skills and then take it from there. If you find yourself being drawn to scavenging and settlement building, start spending in the intelligence and charisma trees.
Who It’s For: Players who want an unconventional experience playing through the game, relying on luck, charisma, and questionable ethical decisions over straight up brains or brawn.
Primary Skill Allocation: Charisma, Endurance, Luck, Intelligence
Early Perks: Mysterious Stranger (Luck 4), Idiot Savant (Luck 5), Lady Killer (Charisma 2), Chem Resistant (Endurance 4), Rad Resistant (Endurance 6)
Late Perks: Night Person (Perception 6), Ricochet (Luck 10), Chemist (Intelligence 7), Nerd Rage (Intelligence 10), Party Boy (Charisma 7), Cannibal (Endurance 8), Ghoulish (Endurance 9), Solar Powered (Endurance 10), Steady Aim (Strength 7)
This crazy build gives you a lot of fun options for turning the Fallout 4 story on its head – will the cannibal idiot ever find his son? Tune in next time to find out! Narrative dissonance aside, it can be fun to play as a dumb-luck idiot, vampire, ghoul, or drunk. The luck and endurance trees offer the most ridiculous perks, so spend accordingly.
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