Fallout 4: Best Survival Build

Discover the Best Survival 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 Survival 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 Survival Build in Fallout 4

The Fallout 4 Survival build is designed to help players complete a Survival Mode playthrough. Survival mode is a hardcore difficulty mode that turns off manual saving, gives ammunition weight, and the player takes twice the damage. Moreover, the Survival mode introduced exhaustion, hunger, and thirst, designed to experience what it would be like in the Wasteland. Lastly, you will not be able to travel fast; therefore, expect to make calculated decisions on what to bring. You can expect a much more difficult experience, yet a rewarding one, if you complete the game.

To complete survival mode, your build must focus on crafting, scrounger, and the best damage reduction perks in Fallout 4. We’ve designed this Fallout 4 build specifically towards the mechanics experienced in Survival Mode, which can be brutal and fun. A workaround to fast travel and helpful tips for surviving thirst are listed below.

Survival Build ProsSurvival Build Cons
Crafting AvailableNon-Weapon Focused
Settlement BuildingSpecific Perks Required
Gains Materials EasilySolo Gameplay

Features and Mechanics for Best Survival Build in Fallout 4

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

  • Damage – Explosive
  • Range – 48 Meters
  • Weapon – Spray N Pray Submachine gun
  • S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats
    • Strength – 3
    • Perception – 4
    • Endurance – 2
    • Charisma – 6
    • Intelligence – 7
    • Agility – 2
    • Luck – 4
  • Best Perks – Scrounger, Local Leader, Science, Lone Wanderer, Gun Nut
  • Companion – Dogmeat

Survival Mode Tips

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips

The two most important tips for playing Survival Mode in Fallout 4 are using the Brotherhood of Steel Vertibird signals for traveling and settlements for water purification.

The Brotherhood of Steel faction can be allied with, allowing Vertbird Signal grenades to be used. Throw these on the ground, have a Vertibird pick you up, then point where you wish to go on the map and get a ride. You can return to the Brotherhood HQ Prydwen and get more grenades. This travel method somewhat forgoes the pain of not having fast travel.

Settlement building and local leader allows you to connect settlements regardless of distance. Thus, you can craft workstations, weapon benches, and water purification buildings. Then, you can pick up the water from your workstation and have a nearly endless supply of clean water to drink, heal, and sell.

Rely on chems like Psycho for a massive boost in damage. Moreover, with the Medic perk, you should collect chems and use stimpacks liberally to keep yourself alive and reduce damage. In survival mode in Fallout 4, you need every statistical advantage possible, and consumables give a massive boost, though try not to get addicted by using the same type frequently.

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

The best S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats for the Survival build are Charisma and Intelligence because Charisma allows for settlement connection and Intelligence for advanced crafting. Intelligence also has Scrapper, Gun Nut, and Medic perks, all useful on a survival mode playthrough. Charisma has Local Leader and Lone Wanderer, two of the best. Next, Perception is useful for locksmith and demolition expert—strength for Armorer, and Luck for Bloody Mess. Agility and Endurance are your dump stats and are not used for this build.

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

  • 3 Strength (S): influences your carrying capacity, melee damage, and the effectiveness of melee weapons.
  • 4 Perception (P): affects your accuracy in VATS, the chance of detecting stealthy enemies, and the ability to pick locks and spot traps.
  • 2 Endurance (E): It affects your maximum health, radiation resistance, and ability to withstand environmental hazards.
  • 6 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.
  • 2 Agility (A): It affects your overall movement speed, ability to sneak effectively, and performance in VATS.
  • 4 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

Local Leader Perk

Scrounger, Local Leader, and Lone Wanderer are the best perks for a survival mode build in Fallout 4. The scrounger perk helps find ammunition, which is brutal in survival mode. Local Leader allows you to connect settlements and network all your materials anywhere in the Wasteland without fast travel. Lastly, Lone Wanderer gives you increased damage, damage reduction, and carrying capacity, all for just three perk points.

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

  • Scrounger – finds extra ammunition and scrapper perk helps find materials needed for crafting.
  • Local Leader – allows you to connect settlements and build workstations and shops at each location.
  • Science – allows for the best crafting mods and combined with armorer and gun nut helps increase damage and survival.
  • Lone Wanderer – the all-in-one best perk for survival and damage increase.

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 characters overall power.

Level Progression

In a survival mode build and playthrough, your initial levels and perks are designed to aid in collecting and crafting. Resources and materials will be limited, and so will fast travel, so Scrounger and Locksmith are imperative. Moreover, once you unlock Armorer, Gun Nut, and Science, you can upgrade your weapons, armor, and power armor to increase damage and survivability. This is better than focusing on weapon-based perks immediately because collecting and traveling will be difficult.

Using the Local Leader Perk, you can set up water purification stations throughout your settlements. Water and connecting settlements are among the most important factors for a smooth playthrough in survival mode. Moreover, you can build stores, offload equipment, and earn caps passively. Then, in later levels, we will take Commando, Bloody Mess, and Demolition Expert. These perks stack with one weapon, Spray N Pray (automatic explosive rounds). Your damage, survival, and ease of play will be much better if done this way up front vs. having damage perks and zero ammo or water.

Level 1 – 10

Fallout 4 Best Perks for the Survival Build Level 1-10

During the first 10 survival levels, the locksmith and scrounger are imperative to collect items and save ammunition. Having damage perks does nothing if you don’t have any ammunition. Moreover, Local Leader allows you to connect settlements and store supplies wherever you go without fast travel.

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

  • Level 1 – None
  • Level 2 – Scrounger
  • Level 3 – Locksmith
  • Level 4 – Lone Wanderer
  • Level 5 – Gun Nut
  • Level 6 – Chemist
  • Level 7 – Scrounger 2
  • Level 8 – Local Leader
  • Level 9 – Armorer
  • Level 10 – Medic

Level 11 – 20

Fallout 4 Best Perks for the Survival Build Level 11-20

From levels 11 to 20, focus on unlocking crafting. Upgrading your armor, weapons, and power armor will do more than weapon damage perks. Use Power Armor based on how many cores you obtain, and look to upgrade the Pipe rifle. You can even get .50 caliber rounds and make it a deadly, cheap rifle or automatic weapon until later levels.

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

  • Level 11 – Scrapper
  • Level 12 – Locksmith 2
  • Level 13 – Science
  • Level 14 – Gun Nut 2
  • Level 15 – Armorer 2
  • Level 16 – Science 2
  • Level 17 – Lone Wanderer 2
  • Level 18 – Locksmith 3
  • Level 19 – Local Leader 2
  • Level 20 – Lead Belly

Level 21 – 30

Fallout 4 Best Perks for the Survival Build Level 21-30

From levels 21 to 30, focus on increasing crafting and taking damage perks like Demolition Expert and Commando. At levels 25 and 30, enemies become much stronger, so expect heavy combat.

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

  • Level 21 – Medic 2
  • Level 22 – Bloody Mess
  • Level 23 – Scrapper 2
  • Level 24 – Scrounger 3
  • Level 25 – Gun Nut 3
  • Level 26 – Armorer 3
  • Level 27 – Demolition Expert (get +1 Perception bobblehead)
  • Level 28 – Science 3
  • Level 29 – Commando
  • Level 30 – Medic 3

Level 31 – 40

Fallout 4 Best Perks for the Survival Build Level 31-40

After the initial 30 levels, you should have a solid foundation of perks. Now look to increase damage and max crafting.

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

  • Level 31 – Demolition Expert 2
  • Level 32 – Commando 2
  • Level 33 – Demolition Expert 3
  • Level 34 – Commando 3
  • Level 35 – Demolition Expert 4
  • Level 36 – Commando 4
  • Level 37 – Scrounger 4
  • Level 38 – Save
  • Level 39 – Gun Nut 4 + Armorer 4
  • Level 40 – Lone Wanderer 3

Level 41 – 50

Fallout 4 Best Perks for the Survival Build Level 41-50

From levels 41 to 50, you can choose to focus on power armor or not. While power armor is incredible, maintaining it and hauling back massive amounts of materials without fast travel comes with a downside. Therefore, we recommend adding damage perks. However, you can increase your intelligence and forgo Mysterious Stranger for Nuclear Physics if you don’t mind constantly hauling materials.

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

  • Level 41 – Science 4
  • Level 42 – Commando 5
  • Level 43 – Bloody Mess 2
  • Level 44 – Bloody Mess 3
  • Level 45 – Mysterious Stranger (Luck +1 bobblehead)
  • Level 46 – Mysterious Stranger 2
  • Level 47 – Bloody Mess 4
  • Level 48 – Mysterious Stranger 3
  • Level 49 – Medic 4
  • Level 50 – Mysterious Stranger 4

Gear and Weapons

Fallout 4 Spray n' Pray
Fallout 4 T-60 Power Armor

Spray N Pray is the best weapon for a survival mode build. This weapon has explosive rounds and is a unique submachine gun. Thus, you gain damage bonuses from Commando, Bloody Mess, and Demolition Expert! Look for any weapon that contains explosive rounds and can be fired automatically. The random Vendor, Cricket, sells Spray N Pray. She roams around Diamond City, Warwick Homestead, Bunker Hill, and Vault 81. Alternatively, you can make a Pipe Rifle or most rifles automatic and gain the commando perk. Cryolator is found in the first vault and a good replacement as well.

Look to obtain various sets of power armor and upgrade them as you progress throughout the story. You can upgrade leather and combat armor to gain more damage reduction. You want to upgrade the legs for sprinting AP reduction and arms for stability. Look to our power armor modifications, where you can eventually get a Jet Pack!


Fallout 4 Dog Meat Companion

Dog Meat is the best companion for the Survival build because he 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 Survival build.

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