The world of Fallout 4 is filled with all sorts of deadly creatures, robots, raiders and more. Even with its improved shooting mechanics, the way of the gun might not always be the best course of action. I tend to see a lot of people playing a pretty standard all around wasteland warrior, and that can get pretty boring if you ask me. I’m here to give you some alternate builds to help you get more out of that blasted wasteland they call the Boston Commonwealth and help get you ready for the upcoming first wave of DLC.

Game Details 

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Genre: First-person/Third-person shooter, Action RPG

Modes: Single-player

ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)

Before I get into the break down of each of these character builds, I just want to mention that these are only suggestions and can be altered to suit your purpose quite easily. Especially since in Fallout 4 there is no level cap, so you if you so choose you can build a character that is maxed out in everything given enough time, for more info on that check out my review of the game here. Otherwise I’ll be giving you three starting character builds all specialized right from the start of the game to excel in one or two key areas depending on your play style. This will include a breakdown of recommended SPECIAL stats and perks. Each one of these builds should also help you tackle the first wave of DLC coming to Fallout 4 as well. Also be sure to check out my overview of the upcoming DLC here.

Review: Fallout 4, welcome to the Boston Commonwealth Wasteland

DLC Overview: Brand new Fallout 4 add-ons for more post apocalyptic gaming action

This first build is one I first tried in Fallout New Vegas, after I became the head of the Khans. Since they were the main chem makers in the game and I for some reason really enjoyed wheeling, dealing and all that fun stuff that comes when you are the leader of a gang. Luckily for me I already had a character who had a high intelligence so I could hack into anything which made adapting to this mad scientist build super easy. In Fallout 4 we can take this build even farther and with the DLC Automatron you can become a mad scientist with a robot army at your disposal. So you are definitely going to want to start with a high intelligence of at least 8  but if you do max it out, that’s not a bad thing. 

As a mad scientist for your perks you will definitely want Science, Hacker, Chemist, Gun Nut and Robotics Expert (this last one is super important if you plan on playing Automatron). If you did max out your intelligence I would also recommend getting the Nerd Rage perk, as when push comes to shove you want to shove back, really hard. I would also recommend spending some SPECIAL points on perception and agility as these will help you get access to perks like Awareness  which will show you enemies weakness in V.A.T.S, or with agility the Action Boy/Girl perk will grant you faster action point regeneration.  Now when playing this build you should have access to some good weapons be it guns or energy and all the mods you would want for them. Then you should also be making all the chems you possibly can, as they will give you the edge in combat, that is unless your robot slaves haven’t already taken care of business for you at this point.

Mad Scientist

Main SPECIAL: Intelligence

Secondary SPECIAL: Perception and Agility

Main Perks: Science, Hacker, Chemist, Gun Nut and Robotics Expert

Secondary Perks: Awareness and Action Boy/Girl

This next build is one for all you out there who really love the new settlements in Fallout 4. For some of us the the settlements are just a diversion but for others it’s the bread and butter of the game. This character build will help you maximize your settlement building and resource gathering. The main SPECIAL stats we are going to look at here are Charisma and Luck. Charisma is for the perks that directly relate to you being a leader and the Luck is for finding supplies, extra caps and ammunition. You won’t need to max these out, but by maxing out Charisma it will allow you to have more people come to, work at, trade with and live in your settlements.

For your Charisma perks you are going to want to start with Local Leader, since this is what will let you get the ball rolling in regards to most thing related to settlements. This is also the perk that allows you to get supply lines running between your settlements, which will become vital the deeper you get into to settlements. You will also want to make sure to get the Cap Collector perk, in addition to giving you better selling and buying prices, it will also allow you to invest 500 caps in a store which will permanently a stores buying capacity. With the DLC Wasteland Workshop in mind you might also want to invest in the Wasteland Whisperer perk, as it will make pacifying all the creature you plan to cage much, much easier.

As for Luck, you don’t need to max it out but if you do it can have some interesting benefits. First you’ll want to get the Scrounger and Fortune Finder perks, these will help you collect more caps and ammunition, which will help you buy more parts and keep you loaded up for those enemies who plan to assault your settlements once they become a worthwhile target. Any of the other perks in the Luck tree are worth getting as they can all be pretty beneficial in all sorts of circumstances and some are just plain entertaining, like the Mysterious Stranger and Bloody Mess perks.

Settlement Guru

Main SPECIAL: Charisma

Secondary SPECIAL: Luck

Main Perks: Local Leader, Cap Collector and Wasteland Whisperer

Secondary Perks: Scrounger and Fortune Finder

Now this last build is something a lot of people will look over this time around as the shooting in Fallout 4 has been improved so much, but if this build is done right you will have a ton of fun. One word of warning, this will make the beginning of the game pretty tough but once you pass that hump you will be laughing it up as you stand toe to toe with some of the wastelands biggest and baddest foes. I like to call this the Melee Maniac, and just as you guessed this is a melee focused build. This is a no brainer for your main SPECIAL stat, you’re going to want to max out Strength so you can get all the perks you need to ensure you are dealing the most damage and shrugging off all the damage foes will be firing your way. Next you’ll want to make sure your Endurance is pretty high as it will help you take more damage and if you want, some interesting ways to regain health. As long as you are willing to sacrifice your humanity that is.

Right off the bat (no pun intended) for this kind of character I would totally recommend maxing out Strength so you can get all those awesome perks that will make you a powerhouse right away.  Now right away you’ll want to invest in either Iron Fist or Big Leagues, depending on if you want to use a melee weapon or not. Both have advantages over the other but both come with drawbacks, mainly by carrying weapons or not. Another thing to note that if you go the way of the Iron Fist, you’ll most likely have a harder time in the start of the game but it will be worth it when you are going Bruce Lee on enemies left and right.

Regardless if you chose to go bare handed or not you’ll definitely want to be sure to get the Armorer and Rooted perks. These are both great from a defensive standpoint and will help you take the damage as you dish it out. Also with the ease of availability of Power Armor in Fallout 4, the Pain Train perk can be lots of fun but keep in mind you will also need some Intelligence to get the Science perk to help you maintain your chosen set of Power Armor.

As strong as you are going to be with this build, you also want to make sure you have enough health to not be just a glass cannon, so you’ll definitely want to put some SPECIAL points into Endurance. This means you’ll mainly want to get the Toughness and Life Giver perks at the bare minimum as these will grant you extra damage resistance and health points with each rank respectively. If you do however decide to max out your Endurance along with your strength then you have some interesting choices. You could keep your moral self and go with something like Adamantium  Skeleton, which with each rank reduces limb damage.  Or you could forgo mankind with the Cannibal or Ghoulish perk here too, as they will grant you some cool bonuses, like healing from radiation and well cannibalism, but are you really ready to pay that price?

Melee Maniac

Main SPECIAL: Strength

Secondary SPECIAL: Endurance

Main Perks: Iron Fist/Big Leagues, Blacksmith, Armorer and Rooted

Secondary Perks: Toughness, Life Giver, Adamantium Skeleton and Cannibal or Ghoulish (if you want to be that kind character…)

The best part about Fallout 4 is regardless of what way you want to play it’s up to you and each one of these character builds is just a starting point. However regardless of the character you want to build its best to start off with something clear in mind as you want to be able to utilize one or two key tactics right away, be it guns, melee attacks, sneaking past  enemies or just being able to access some areas via hacking or lockpicking. Also keep in mind that soon they will be releasing the Survival mode, which will make the game that much tougher but if you play to your chosen character’s strengths it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

Remember if you want to pick up the latest and upcoming DLC, you’ll need to get some pre-paid cards and Best Buy has got you covered.

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Brad Pajuluoma
Being a child of the 80s Brad grew up playing any and all video games he could get his hands on from the 8 and 16 bit era. As he grew older, video games turned into a life passion. He now works as the QA Lead for one of Toronto’s leading mobile developers. Aside from playing any and all video games he can fit into his hectic schedule, Brad is also a DJ. He enjoys playing some of today’s latest and greatest electronic dance music at clubs here in the city.


  1. Character builds are great. I remember messing around with straight hand to hand combat builds back in the Oblivion days. Nowadays, I’m more “Indiana Jones vs. the Swordsman” where I just want to do whatever’s most practical and gets the job done quickest, so I’m straight Indy shooting the guy after he runs his huge show beforehand.

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