Fallout 4: Best Chemist Build

Discover the Best Chemist Build in Fallout 4 and how to create a powerful character with Perks, S.P.E.C.I.A.L., Stats, armor, and weapons.

Fallout 4 Best Chemist Build

This build guide has been updated for Game version 1.10.980 on PC and Free Next Gen Update on PlayStation and Xbox.

Best Chemist Build in Fallout 4

The Chemist build in Fallout 4 focuses on maximizing the effects of Chems. The downside of chems is addiction, but by level 22, you can become immune to chem addiction and gain powerful consumable bonuses. Psycho jet, for instance, gives the following bonuses: +25% Damage, +35 Damage Resistance, +40 Action Points for 25 seconds, and Slow time for 15 seconds. With the Chemist and Chem Resistant perks, you can use chems without any negative effect, carrying your damage and survivability. Often, players don’t even use chems, but their powerful effects, even outside of combat, can be maximized to make a fun and unique build.

The chemist will select the Rifleman perk because it applies to both Shotguns and Rifles as long as the receiver is semi-automatic. This build will also have high intelligence and be useful for crafting. The downside of the chemist is the lack of charisma and special stat. Thus, settlement build will either be later in levels or left alone. Moreover, you must continually craft and purchase materials for chems to maintain your consumable supply. However, chems and the resources to craft them at a CHemistry Workbench are abundant throughout Fallout 4.

Chemist Build ProsChemist Build Cons
Weapon FlexibilityLow Charisma
Insane Combat PowerNo Settlement Perks
Balanced CraftingReliant on Chems

Features and Mechanics for Best Chemist Build in Fallout 4

The Best Chems in Fallout 4

The following list presents all the essential Chemist Features and Mechanics in Fallout 4:

  • Damage – Ballistic
  • Range – 50-100 meters
  • Weapon – Shotgun and Rifle
  • S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats
    • Strength – 3
    • Perception – 5
    • Endurance – 5
    • Charisma – 1
    • Intelligence – 7
    • Agility – 5
    • Luck – 3
  • Best Perks – Chemist, Chem Resistant, Nerd Rage, Gun Nut, Bloody Mess
  • Companion – Hancock

S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats

Intelligence and Endurance are the best S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats for the Chemist build because they aid in chems duration or addiction. When you use a chem, there is a percentage chance of becoming addicted, lowering your overall stats, or some other negative effect. Therefore, many players avoid using chems altogether. Addiction requires going to the doctor or using valuable chems. However, with an Endurance of 4, you gain Chem Resistant perk rank 2, becoming immune to chems’ negative effects. With an intelligence of 7 or more, the Chemist perk increases the duration of chems and allows crafting. These two stats are critical to maximizing the potential of chems.

Below is the best recommended S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats for the Chemist build in Fallout 4 videogame RPG:

  • 3 Strength (S): influences your carrying capacity, melee damage, and the effectiveness of melee weapons.
  • 5 Perception (P): affects your accuracy in VATS, the chance of detecting stealthy enemies, and the ability to pick locks and spot traps.
  • 5 Endurance (E): It affects your maximum health, radiation resistance, and ability to withstand environmental hazards.
  • 1 Charisma (C): influences your success in dialogue options, ability to negotiate prices with vendors, and effectiveness in leading companions.
  • 7 Intelligence (I): affects the number of experience points earned, the quality of crafted items, and your effectiveness with terminals.
  • 5 Agility (A): It affects your overall movement speed, ability to sneak effectively, and performance in VATS.
  • 3 Luck (L): affects critical hit chance, the likelihood of finding valuable items, and the outcome of random events.

Additionally, consider collecting Bobbleheads throughout your Fallout 4 (FO4) adventure. Bobbleheads are collectible items scattered throughout the game world. Each bobblehead represents a particular attribute or skill, and when collected, it permanently increases your character’s corresponding stat or ability.

Best Perks

Chemist Perk - Fallout 4
Chem Resistant - Fallout 4

Here is the list of the best and recommended Perks for the Chemist Build in Fallout 4:

  • Chemist – this perk extends the duration of powerful chems. Chems like Jet has a short duration of 10 seconds, which can be tripled with this perk. Moreover, other chems that boost charisma, strength, and other stats can also be extended in duration. This is helpful when selling, dialogue persuasion checks, or hauling tons of materials from a raider hideout.
  • Chem Resistant – the perk to avoid the negatives of constantly using chems is chem-resistant. The benefit of this perk is it only takes two points to maximize and fits well with our chemical build, forgoing the annoying addiction and its negative effects.
  • Nerd Rage – one of the most powerful combat perks in Fallout 4 because it lowers damage and increases your damage when your health drops below 20%. However, Nerd Rage requires 10 intelligence thus we will get this towards the later part of the leveling process.
  • Gun Nut – a must-have crafting perk to change your gun’s weapon modification. Crafting weapons is important because the Rifleman perk requires the receiver to be semi-automatic. Thus, this gives you the ability to change and always have on or more weapons on you that benefit from this perk.

In Fallout 4, perks are special abilities and bonuses that enhance your character’s skills, combat prowess, and survival capabilities. Perks are acquired by spending perk points earned each time your character levels up. Perks are divided into categories, each corresponding to one of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes.  These perks offer a wide range of customization options, allowing players to tailor their characters to suit their preferred playstyles.  However, there are no respecs or redoing of Perks. Thus, your selections are vital to increasing your character’s overall power.

Level Progression

Crafting Psycho Jet in Fallout 4

For the leveling process, the first 20 levels will be focused on basic utility perks to make Fallout 4 more enjoyable. The scrounger perk helps with limited ammunition initially, the Locksmith with opening locks, and the Rifleman for basic damage added perk. Moreover, you will unlock Chemist and Chem Resistant right away, so rely heavily on chems for combat performance at the start. Locksmith will only require 3 levels to maximize, or you can use Cait companion to open locks.

In the middle portion of the leveling progression for the chemist, focus on maximizing your crafting skills. You can put a mod in your Combat Armor that extends the duration of chems by another 50% but requires the Science perk. Moreover, you can also use Power Armor and chems, so advancing intelligence is helpful. If you are a settlement crafting and building player, forgo Demolition Expert, increase your Charisma, and grab Charisma Bobblehead to get the local leader. This will give you less combat potential but more settlement ease if you enjoy that playstyle.

Finishing out the levels to 50, go heavily into damage with Bloody Mess, and maximize Nerd Rage. This should give you excellent damage reduction and increase your survivability. While there is no level cap in Fallout 4, these 50 levels should give you a solid start to the game and a well-rounded chemist build.

Level 1 – 10

Here’s a list of the best perks to select from levels 1 to 10 with the Chemist Build Guide in Fallout 4:

  • Level 1 – None
  • Level 2 – Chemist
  • Level 3 – Chem Resistant
  • Level 4 – Scrounger
  • Level 5 – Rifleman
  • Level 6 – Locksmith
  • Level 7 – Medic
  • Level 8 – Gun Nut
  • Level 9 – Armorer
  • Level 10 – Scrounger 2

Level 11 – 20

Here’s a list of the best perks to select from levels 11 to 20 with the Chemist Build Guide in Fallout 4:

  • Level 11 – Locksmith 2
  • Level 12 – Action Boy
  • Level 13 – Rifleman 2
  • Level 14 – Gun Nut 2
  • Level 15 – Armorer 2
  • Level 16 – Chemist 2
  • Level 17 – Save
  • Level 18 – Rifleman 3 + Medic 2
  • Level 19 – Locksmith 3
  • Level 20 – Scrapper

Level 21 – 30

Here’s a list of the best perks to select from levels 21 to 30 with the Chemist Build Guide in Fallout 4:

  • Level 21 – Science
  • Level 22 – Chem Resistant 2
  • Level 23 – Demolition Expert
  • Level 24 – Save
  • Level 25 – Gun Nut 3 + Armorer 3
  • Level 26 – Science 2
  • Level 27 – Scrapper 2
  • Level 28 – Science 3
  • Level 29 – Demolition Expert 2
  • Level 30 – Medic 3

Level 31 – 40

Here’s a list of the best perks to select from levels 31 to 40 with the Chemist Build Guide in Fallout 4:

  • Level 31 – Rifleman 4
  • Level 32 – Chemist 3
  • Level 33 – Action Boy 2
  • Level 34 – Bloody Mess
  • Level 35 – Bloody Mess 2
  • Level 36 – Bloody Mess 3
  • Level 37 – Intelligence +1 (and Intelligence Bobblehead)
  • Level 38 – Save
  • Level 39 – Gun Nut 4 + Armorer 4
  • Level 40 – Intelligence +1

Level 41 – 50

Here’s a list of the best perks to select from levels 41 to 50 with the Chemist Build Guide in Fallout 4:

  • Level 41 – Science 4
  • Level 42 – Nerd Rage
  • Level 43 – Nerd Rage 2
  • Level 44 – Demolition Expert 3
  • Level 45 – Chemist 4
  • Level 46 – Rifleman 5
  • Level 47 – Bloody Mess 4
  • Level 48 – Demolition Expert 4
  • Level 49 – Medic 4
  • Level 50 – Nerd Rage 3

Gear and Weapons

BioCommMesh Armor Modification Fallout 4
Fallout 4 How to Get Overseer's Guardian
Fallout 4 Justice Shotgun

The best weapons and armor for the chemist are a combat shotgun, combat rifle, and combat armor. The Justice Combat shotgun can stagger enemies, giving you an advance up close. Meanwhile, the Overseer’s Sniper rifle helps in long-range fights. Combat Armor can be crafted and tailored to your needs, specifically a mod, giving you extra time for chems. Below are our recommendations:

Combat Armor – this set of armor gives excellent protection and looks cool! A complete set can be obtained on the dead NPC Sal in Jamaica Plains. Below are the recommended armor modifications for Combat Armor:

  • Head: Ultra-Light Build most versatile lowering weight and increasing AP
  • Chest: BioCommMesh adds 50% to chems, giving it the best combat boost
  • Legs: Custom Fitted all around good for lower AP sprinting
  • Arms: Stabilized steady scopes for sniping

Justice is found in the Covenant southeast of Sanctuary and was purchased from NPC Penny. The Justice Combat Shotgun is a unique variant that can Stagger enemies. This Shotgun is perfect for up-close combat where a rifle won’t suit you.

Overseer’s Guardian Sniper Rifle – obtained in Vault 81 by vendor Alexis Combes. Vault 81 is west of Diamond City and requires three fusion cores and quest completion to enter. Alternative weapons are Pipe Rifle (early), Hunting Rifle, Combat Rifle, and Gauss Rifle (end game).


John Hancock Fallout 4

John Hancock is the best companion for the Chemist build because Hancock gives chems randomly in conversation. Moreover, he’s a former (maybe) chem addict and fits the overall narrative of the Chemist build. An alternative is Cait, who has similar background issues but more utility. When you max out her affinity, Cait’s passive bonus is better than John’s. However, depending on your decisions throughout your relationships, she may or may not like you using chems.

Where to find John Hancock Fallout 4

You can find John Hancock in Goodneighboor. He is the Major of Goodneighbor and will require a bit of questing to unlock and join your side.

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