Fallout 4 is a massive, immersive, and terrifying action RPG follow up to, you guessed it, Fallout 3. Hubris and that can-do 50s attitude have resulted in a world completely ravaged by nuclear war.
Hits a little close to home in 2019.
As the lone survivor of a commercial fallout shelter, your job is to create a character that is strong enough, smart enough, and generally lucky enough to survive the the irradiated landscape. No small feat to be sure, but we've got you covered with tips and guides to get you started.
Do you have what it takes to dive into this wasteland that, clearly, Bethesda dropped quite a bit of time and money into crafting?
What is Fallout 4?
Fallout 4 is Bethesda's sprawling hybrid of an open world RPG and a first person shooter. The marriage of the two styles really comes together in this ambitious game. They took what had been working about the series and doubled down on production value. The result is a completely new game that feels immediately familiar to anyone who has played a game in the series or a game in the FPS genre.
The game is set in the same alternate American timeline as prior fallout games, but that timeline and world have been expanded to an almost unimaginable level.
The player inhabits a future Boston that has been devastated by nuclear war. Monsters, irradiated landscapes, and extremely well-rounded nonplayer characters abound. Again, the game is huge, and, several years after its initial release, a walkthrough is not without merit.
How to Play Fallout 4
So you think you're ready to venture out of the relative safety of the fallout shelter and into the big scary world? And I do mean scary. This game is immersive enough to create real-world nightmares.
This guide will break down some of the simpler tips to get you started on what will probably end up being dozens of hours of storyline.
1. Decide on a Platform
Fallout 4 was released for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and the PC. There are minor differences in gameplay, namely input controls, as well as graphic renderings. As best we can tell, the PC does have a little bit more oomph in the graphics department.
The issue of input is also really key. Especially when it comes to the combat features that we'll discuss shortly. A keyboard and mouse really allow for a level of accuracy that I just can't match on a controller... no matter what controller.
This is all about preference.
2. Immerse Yourself In The Story and Set Up The Lone Survivor
The gameplay begins with a bit of backstory which is really a treat for those who've played earlier iterations of the fallout series. Instead of starting in the post-apocalyptic hellscape that you'll be playing the majority of the game in, the game actually starts with a bit of a tutorial set before the bombs start falling.
So, you've got 15 minutes to really understand the basic game mechanics, how to move around, interact, etc. before there's any chance of combat or dying by way of big scary monster.
Take the time to really delve into this portion of the game. And pay attention because what you learn here is extremely important. I skipped through it as fast as I could my first run through and realized I completely missed what was happening.
3. Crafting System
The crafting system in this game is fantastic. You can combine just about anything to upgrade your armor, weapons, power-ups, health potions, etc.
Not only that, but Bethesda has added the ability to craft entire settlements. No more having to watch HGTV... do it right in the game.
Pretty much every item in the game that finds its way into your inventory can be crafted into something useful. The first crafting area/workshop is the burned out tire shop. When you're first starting out, scrap everything in the shop and start to build out your first melee weapons.
Mine was a rolling pin with nails. You can probably do better.
4. Combat System
The game utilizes a pretty standard FPS combat system with an RPG portion tacked on.
The VATS combat (Vault Assisted Targeting System) portion works kind of like "bullet time" in a traditional shooter. Time is slowed down and your character can target certain specific areas of enemies to inflict more or different types of damage.
Utilizing the VATS costs Action Points which take time to rebuild. A headshot does the most damage but is the most difficult to execute, whereas a body shot is easier, and does moderate damage. So, choosing how to kill your enemies takes on a more complex level of decision making.
One big difference from earlier Fallout games is that VATS doesn't stop time. It only slows it down, so you have to keep moving to avoid damage.
Most of the time you'll want to stay in the regular FPS fighting style and not waste your Action Points. I made this mistake several times early on.
5. Armor System
If you know anything about the Fallout Series, it is probably the Power Armor. It's iconic. It represents everything you need to survive in a nuclear wasteland. It's a gigantic powered exoskeleton that keeps you safe from what you will run into.
But it's not the only armor in the game. The game introduces a layered armor system. So, while you may be expecting to live and fight in power armor, chances are you're going to be casting power armor aside in favor of other armors that are more battle appropriate.
6. Navigation and Storage
Unlike some other sandbox style games where certain quests need to be opened in order to explore major new areas of the map, pretty much every map location is available early on. The only issue is, if you step outside your ability, you will be murdered. Horribly, brutally, murdered.
So, part in parcel with navigating the map is remembering to save. Save often. You'll have no idea you're in over your head until it is entirely too late.
In addition to saving, one major aspect nobody ever seems to tell a new player is that the crafting tables and sanctuaries can hold all of the garbage you pick up around the map. And they're linked! So, use this network of storage areas to save in your explorations.
7. Explore and Side Quests
The meat of the Fallout world is enjoyed through exploring. In addition to creating a terrifying gaming experience, Bethesda sought to make it immersive, and, at times, downright funny.
Sure, the humor is dark, but it is a nice touch. It makes it seem like the characters are really just living life, oblivious to anytime before the bombs went off. It pulls you in as a player.
There's also just a ton to do. There are more than 140 side quests. You'll meet random characters, pick up extra companions, find new weapons, and have a few laughs. The side quests keep the game fresh, well beyond the main storyline.
I could easily see spending more time in Fallout's Boston than regular Boston in the winter. Maybe they're onto something...
8. Use our Fallout 4 Walkthrough
There's absolutely no way to explore with any level of satisfaction a game the size of Fallout 4 in an article like this. All I can do is get you started in the right direction, and scratch the surface of what this game is all about.
To really get into this game, you're going to need to commit some serious hours. To cut down on a few of those hours, use our Fallout 4 walkthrough so you're not aimlessly wandering around waiting to be obliterated.
One area where this game really shines is in character development. Like everything else, the list of characters is gargantuan. Seriously. There's something more than like 110,000 hours of voice acting over more than 400 human characters in this game.
That's a tremendous amount of interaction.
Knowing how to interact with the various characters inside the game, who to avoid, who to use to your advantage, and who to simply blow up, is absolutely vital to your success in this game.
Pay special attention to the companion characters. Not only do the companions add extra firepower to your team, but they help you carry heavy items back to your sanctuary areas. Use them wisely.
Pro tip. Know the fallout 4 special stats
The game's special stats are actually a pretty interesting evolution in the Fallout series. "SPECIAL" is an acronym that stands for "Strength," "Perception," "Endurance," "Charisma," "Intelligence," "Ability," and, finally, "Luck."
Each stat has ten points to earn, and ten Perks to unlock. If you've played just about any modern RPG, you're familiar with the concept of an ability tree, and while the combinations and permutations mean the game's tree is expansive, it doesn't feel foreign.
Where older iterations of Fallout would allow you to create a more well-rounded character, if you were willing to do the requisite grinding, the special stats evolution forces you to create a more well defined, character. It makes the character you do create feel more intimate... more like a real character fighting through the wasteland.
More Awesome Game Options
Hey, I get it, the game is basically like committing to a semester abroad. If you don't have the time or patience for it, we've got a bunch of other games that should keep you busy.
- Plague Inc really shouldn't be considered responsible. But if you're into the whole pathogens wiping out humanity thing.
- Victor Vran is an action RPG focused on killing demons... nobody likes demons... not even demons.
- Supremacy 1914 is an excellent HTML5 based real time strategy game set during the first world war.
Fallout 4 is massive, and I do mean massive. And that's without the downloadable content that Bethesda is pumping out to expand the gameplay further.
It feels strange to say, but they've made a nuclear hellscape about as enjoyable as it could conceivably be.
While there's no way to really convey the level of commitment to gameplay, storyline, map development, and character development, hopefully, I've provided enough fallout 4 tips to get you started on your journey.