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Fallout 4

Suggested Starting SPECIAL Attributes

Nathan Garvin

In older Fallout games, your SPECIAL attributes greatly affected various derived statistics. In Fallout 4, some still do, although the primary purpose of SPECIAL attributes in Fallout 4 is determining what perks you have access to. Simply put, each SPECIAL attribute now has ten perks tied to it, one for each base rank you can have in that Attribute. You can start with a score of 1-10 in each attribute, and at each level up you gain a point to assign in a perk (which have between one and five ranks per perk) or you can use that point to increase a SPECIAL attribute, which will give you whatever derived statistic that attribute governs as well as access to higher tier perks. If you have, say, a Strength score of four, you can buy the first four perks in the Strength tree (Iron Fist, Big Leagues, Armorer and Blacksmith). Since the perks you have access to are far more important than the derived statistic you’ll get from the attribute itself, the suggested starting SPECIAL attributes will be based on what perks are worth getting, although it may be a good idea later to boost certain stats for perks that become useful later on.


Suggested Starting Score: 2

The best perk in the Strength tree is Armorer, which can be obtained with a humble three points of Strength. You can obtain the Strength Bobblehead fairly early on, as well, so there’s no need to boost Strength too much at the outset. By the time you get the Bobblehead (and hence access to Armorer) you’ll be ready to start crafting better armor, which is less essential at the beginning of the game than having weapons. The best offense, and all that. If you reach a high level and want convenience, you might want to boost Strength up to rank six to get some points in Strong Back, but otherwise you should start the game with two points of Strength and let the Bobblehead take you to three for Armorer.


Suggested Starting Score: 6

The low starting score for Perception is deceptive, because two of the best skills are in this tree. Rifleman requires only a measly rank two, and is arguably the best weapon skill in the game, while Locksmith requires rank four. Locksmith, however, is not the second great skill that was mentioned earlier (although it is very good in its own right), that honor belongs to Concentrated Fire, which requires a Perception score of ten. This is unfeasible at the start, as it would require you to gut other perks that are arguably more valuable. Any high Action Point build would be wise to invest in Concentrated Fire, which requires boosting Perception quite a bit, but since the best rank of Concentrated Fire requires you to hit level fifty, it can wait. Start the game with six Perception, the Bobblehead is found very early on, and make do without Concentrated Fire until much later.


Suggested Starting Score: 1

Endurance is entirely a dump stat - even though it does give a nice Health bonus per point, this is retroactive and can be obtained later on - if that strikes your fancy. As for perks, the determining factor of starting attributes, Life Giver (requires three Endurance) is decent. The rest of the perks in this tree are pretty much garbage, or so expensive that they’re not really worth it (Solar Powered, which is a slight improvement over Life Giver). Start out with one point in Endurance, and if you bother leveling to the point where you have perks to burn, consider getting Life Giver.


Suggested Starting Score: 1

Another dump stat, Charisma continues to fail to impress in Fallout 4. Like Endurance, the best perk in the Charisma tree - Lone Wanderer - can be found at rank three, but the Bobblehead takes a bit of effort to get, and isn’t easy for low-level characters to handle - which is fine, because the best rank of Lone Wanderer requires you to hit lever forty first anyway. Start with one rank in Charisma, and, once you’ve grown sick of your companions, mined them for their companion specific perks, and have the Bobblehead, spend another point in Charisma to get Lone Wanderer. If you level a lot and really, really love settlement building, Local Leader will help keep your settlements happy, and will turn a tidy profit with proper investment and patience. Wasteland Whisperer is also a nice perk, but it’s hard to recommend ever leveling Charisma up to rank nine for it.


Suggested Starting Score: 4

The highest perk you should aspire for in Intelligence is Science!, which at rank six requires a bit of an investment. For the early-going, however, you don’t need Energy Weapons, so Science! can wait a bit. Hacking, however, is something that will make life easier from the get-go, and there’s really no point in ignoring every terminal in the Commonwealth because you’re waiting for the Intelligence Bobblehead. On the other hand, you can get your hands on the Bobblehead pretty early but for the sake of argument, make life easy on yourself and just start out with four points in Intelligence, and boost it up to five with the Bobblehead, then six to get Science if/when you find an Energy Weapon you’ve fallen in love with. Coincidentally, four Intelligence gives the best return on XP with “Idiot Savant”, and Intelligence scores of five and six aren’t much worse, either, so a moderate Intelligence build will also score you plenty of bonus XP with “Idiot Savant” in the long run.


Suggested Starting Score: 6

This one is a bit rough. Each point of Agility gives you precious, precious Action Points, which are very good for the suggested build. They’re not necessary, however, and a starting Agility score of six allows you to access the excellent Action Boy/Action Girl perk (Agility five required) and Sneak (Agility three required). The goal, however, is the Ninja perk (Agility seven required), which will require you to obtain the Agility Bobblehead. Unfortunately, this Bobblehead happens to be located at the far south-eastern end of the map and is guarded by powerful Raiders and Mirelurks, so it’s quite difficult for a low-level character to run and grab it (although not impossible). Still, let it wait and invest in Ninja when you get the Bobblehead, as the Quick Hands, Blitz and Gun-Fu perk are of lesser interest for this build.


Suggest Starting Score: 8

Luck is the highest attribute you’ll start out with, putting a whopping eight points into at the start of the game. Why? Because it has the highest concentration of great perks of any attribute, and because the derived statistic Luck itself affects - charging your Critical Meter - is quite good. Critical Hits are auto-hits and deal double damage (or more!) to any foe you target in V.A.T.S. Getting these often will make killing things much easier. It doesn’t hurt that many of Luck’s perks synergize stupidly well with each other, including Better Criticals, Critical Banker (invest in this as soon as possible!) Grim Reaper’s Sprint, and Four Leaf Clover. Also, the Idiot Savant perk will grant you bonus XP for the entire game, which ends up paying for itself and then some. The highest tier skill you’ll want - Four Leaf Clover (requires nine Luck) - is also one of the more optional perks in this build. Still powerful, there’s no rush to get it, so it can wait for the Bobblehead.

So, to summarize, here are the suggested starting SPECIAL attributes for this build, which is a high Action Point, sneaky V.A.T.S.-abusing build. Each Bobblehead will add one point to each attribute, and early on you can find the “You’re SPECIAL” book which adds another free point to any attribute of your choice (Perception is recommended, as you’ll want to boost it to ten eventually).

SPECIAL Base Bobblehead/Book Training Final (Level 60)
Strength 2 +1 3
Perception 6 +2 +2 10
Endurance 1 +1 +1 3
Charisma 1 +1 +1 3
Intelligence 4 +1 +1 6
Agility 6 +1 7
Luck 8 +1 9
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    16 December 2015
  • Last Updated
    11 May 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin, Greg Wright

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It’s just another day. Having just been accepted into Vault 111, you spend the morning with your family going about your daily routine. That is until alarms blare out, signalling a nuclear attack. You and your family sprint towards the Vault along with everyone else in the neighborhood just as a bomb explodes nearby. After surviving the blast, you are lowered into the Vault and enter cryosleep. Two hundred years pass and you awake to a world ravaged by nuclear war. You are the Sole Survivor and what awaits you is a mystery as you set out to conquer the Wasteland.

Our guide will be a complete companion while you journey through the wilds of Fallout 4. You can find a plethora of information including the following:

  • A start to finish walkthrough with every area in between covered.
  • Combat details, SPECIAL explanation and general gameplay information.
  • VATS And You!: Getting to know your PIPBOY.
  • All faction quests explained including the consequences of favoring one over the others.
  • Information on Settlements and items for construction.
  • Bobblehead locations, collectibles and full Trophy/Achievement guide.
  • Settlement Guide complete with how to set up and manage settlements, what perks are beneficial etc.
  • Companion chapter detailing each companion character, where to acquire them and the pros/cons of each.
  • A detailed Character Creation guide fully examining the best builds and what each perk does.
  • Automatron and Wasteland Workshop DLC information provided, including a full walkthrough for Automatron.
  • A complete walkthrough of the “Far Harbor” DLC complete with information on every side quest.

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