Fallout 4: Best Melee Build

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

This guide has been created during Game version 1.10.163 on PC and Patch 1.34 on PlayStation and Xbox.

Melee Build Introduction in Fallout 4

In Fallout 4, the melee build offers a fast-paced, high-damage playstyle that can be fun without relying on ammunition. This melee build is unique because it uses melee weapons to damage targets while maintaining high survivability due to the perk selection. Moreover, we’ve crafted this build to gain some science and have optional crafting perks to enjoy the best weapon and armor modifications later in the game. Lastly, the melee build in Fallout 4 has the potential to stun enemies who attack you, allowing for incredible survivability.

The downside to playing melee is the lack of range damage; you are also vulnerable to stuns at close range. Moreover, the playstyle can be difficult when you need a few defensive and survivability perks before you can handle enemies efficiently. However, as your level progression unfolds, the build will gain much more damage and damage reduction, increasing the performance and fun factor. Our melee build does not use the VATS system or unarmed “fist,” but we will give you options for that playstyle in the skill loadout.

Melee Build ProsMelee Build Cons
High DamageRisky
No Ammo RequiredZero Range
Stuns and StaggerVulnerable to Stuns

Features and Mechanics for Best Melee Build in Fallout 4

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

  • Damage – Physical
  • Range – 1 meter
  • Weapon – Axe
  • S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats
    • Strength – 10
    • Perception – 1
    • Endurance – 10
    • Charisma – 3
    • Intelligence – 2
    • Agility – 1
    • Luck – 1
  • Best Perks – Big Leagues, Solar Powered, Rooted, Lone Wanderer
  • Companion – Dog Meat

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

The best S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats for the Melee build are strength and endurance. Strength increases your damage with melee weapons and allows access to the Big Leagues to perk, which increases melee weapon damage. Endurance is the next most important because it generally increases your survivability along with helpful damage reduction perks. Luck and Intelligence will be increased with perk points later in the build. Luck is helpful for Bloody Mess perk-boosting damage. Intelligence is needed to craft the best armor and weapon modifications. However, you can forgo intelligence and take Charisma if you wish to do a settlement build and Party Boy drinking alcohol to increase strength.

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

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

Big Leagues, Solar Powered, and Lone Wanderer are the best Perk for a Melee build in Fallout 4. Big Leagues gives a flat damage boost, while Lone Wanderer reduces damage and increases it for traveling without companions. Solar Powered dramatically increases strength and endurance, aiding survivability and damage when traveling in the daylight.

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

  • Big Leagues – is your main damage source perk that gives melee weapons a flat bonus. Melee weapons are not unarmed, and not gun weapon bashing, thus make sure you have a knife, club, axe, etc. to gain this bonus damage correctly.
  • Toughness, Life Giver, & Adamantium Skeleton – are general damage reduction or increased health perks. When playing melee, you need a heavy investment into damage reduction to survive constantly taking damage. Thus, you will start with a heavy investment into survivability to ensure the start is not brutal.
  • Solar Powered – this perk gives a +2 strength and endurance bonus during the day, giving you even more survivability and damage. Thus, make sure to turn to the day during challenging encounters.
  • Rooted – this is your main source of damage reduction and increased damage. However, you’ll need to be stationary to trigger its effects, so run up on a target and stay still while attacking if possible.
  • Lone Wanderer – without companions, you will have a massive boost to damage and damage reduction. You can also bring dog meat, which makes you even more durable.

Be aware that there are no respec (re-roll) or redoing of Perks. Thus, your selections are vital to increasing your character’s overall power.

Level Progression

The melee build will see a heavy investment in survivability perks at the start of the game. This is due to massive incoming damage and the fact that there are few ways to deal with it outside of food. Expect levels 10-20 to pick up offensive damage perks and start taking out enemies easily. Then, you transition into some crafting perks in later levels. You can increase your intelligence for science, which is technological crafting. Or, you can increase your charisma and focus on Local Leader for settlement build and gameplay. Charisma also unlocks Party Boy, which can increase strength and luck depending on what you drink.

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 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 1 – 10

Fallout 4 Best Perks for Melee Build Level 1-10

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

  • Level 1 – Lone Wanderer
  • Level 2 – Rooted
  • Level 3 – Big Leagues
  • Level 4 – Solar Powered
  • Level 5 – Life Giver
  • Level 6 – Toughness
  • Level 7 – Big Leagues 2
  • Level 8 – Life Giver 2
  • Level 9 – Toughness 2
  • Level 10 – Medic

Level 11 – 20

Fallout 4 Best Perks for Melee Build Level 11-20

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

  • Level 11 – Chem Resistant
  • Level 12 – Armorer
  • Level 13 – Blacksmith
  • Level 14 – Adamantium Skeleton
  • Level 15 – Big Leagues 3
  • Level 16 – Armorer 2
  • Level 17 – Lone Wanderer 2
  • Level 18 – Toughness 3
  • Level 19 – Medic 2
  • Level 20 – Life Giver 3

Level 21 – 30

Fallout 4 Best Perks for Melee Build Level 21-30
  • Level 21 – Save
  • Level 22 – Rooted 2 + Chem Resistant 2
  • Level 23 – Luck +1 (or bobblehead)
  • Level 24 – Luck +1
  • Level 25 – Bloody Mess
  • Level 26 – Save
  • Level 27 – Big Leagues 4 + Solar Powered 2
  • Level 28 – Bloody Mess 2
  • Level 29 – Adamantium Skeleton 2
  • Level 30 – Save

Level 31 – 40

Fallout 4 Best Perks for Melee Build Level 31-40

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

  • Level 31 – Toughness 4 + Bloody Mess 3
  • Level 32 – Adamantium Skeleton 3
  • Level 33 – +1 Intelligence (or increase Charisma and get Local Leader and Party Boy and forgo crafting)
  • Level 34 – +1 Intelligence
  • Level 35 – +1 Intelligence
  • Level 36 – +1 Intelligence (take crafting if used bobblehead)
  • Level 37 – Science
  • Level 38 – Science 2
  • Level 39 – Armorer 3
  • Level 40 – Lone Wanderer 3

Level 41 – 50

Fallout 4 Best Perks for Melee Build Level 41-50

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

  • Level 41 – Blacksmith 2
  • Level 42 – Big Leagues 5
  • Level 43 – Rooted 3
  • Level 44 – Armorer 4
  • Level 45 – Science 3
  • Level 46 – Toughness 5
  • Level 47 – Bloody Mess 4
  • Level 48 – Science 4
  • Level 49 – Save
  • Level 50 – Lone Wanderer 4 + Solar Powered 3

Gear and Weapons

The best weapon and armor to collect for the melee build is Grognak’s Axe and Grognak Costume. Grognak’s Axe causes more staggers and causes targets to suffer bleeding damage. Moreover, it can be obtained easily in the game, allowing you a powerful melee weapon at the start of Fallout 4. Grognak’s Costume comes with a temporary 25% increase in damage with melee weapons and a +2 increase in strength. You can still equip leather armor on the legs and hands, just forging the chest to gain bonuses.

Grognak’s Axe & Costume – you can find both Gronak’s items at Hubris Comics on a shelf. The location is east of Diamond City and north of the Trinity Tower and Combat Zone.

Leathers – equip leather armor underneath your costume for increased protection. Start with road leathers, then upgrade to sturdy and heavy as your levels advance.


Dog Meat is the best companion for the Melee build because it does not negate the Lone Wanderer perk bonuses. With three ranks into Lone Wanderer, you will take 20% less damage, do 25% more damage, and carry 100 more pounds. This is in addition to Dog Meat scrambling for items and distracting enemies.

Dog Meat can be found at the Red Rocket truck stop shortly after the game’s introduction. Moreover, you can gain the Attack Dog companion perk to increase Dog Meat’s affinity (affection) to the maximum. Attack dog increases accuracy in V.A.T.S. against enemies immobilized by dog companions. Unlike other companions, Dog Meat’s affinity is increased through leveling and spending perk points. We highly suggest using Dog Meat whenever possible to gain the most damage and reduce damage using the best Melee build.

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