Fallout 4: The Most Overpowered Perk You’re Not Using

Discover how to increase your damage and carrying capacity and reduce damage taken with one overpowered perk you’re not using in Fallout 4, Lone Wanderer!

Fallout 4 The Most Overpowered Perk You’re Not Using

The Most Overpowered Perk in Fallout 4

Because you gain 25% damage done, 30% less damage taken, and 100 lbs. of carrying weight when traveling without a companion, the Lone Wanderer perk is the most overpowered in Fallout 4.  Companions are often considered a helpful and valuable aspect of your build and combat performance. However, the Lone Wanderer perk far exceeds their utility.  Moreover, you can technically still use one companion, Dogmeat, who is not considered a companion. Lone Wanderer offers damage reduction, damage increase, and carry capacity with just three perk points spent. Simply put, there is nothing more effective at increasing your combat performance than Lone Wanderer, and you should start using this perk now!

In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about the most overpowered perk in Fallout 4 and how to use it!

Lone Wanderer Perk

The Lone Wanderer perk requirements and features in Fallout 4:

  • Requirements
    • Charisma 3Level 1 (rank 1)Level 17 (rank 2)Level 40 (rank 3)
    • Level 50 (rank 4) with Far Harbor DLC
  • Rank Bonuses
    • Rank 1: When adventuring without a companion, you take 15% less damage and carry weight increase by 50.
    • Rank 2: When adventuring without a companion, you take 30% less damage and carry weight increase by 100.
    • Rank 3: When adventuring without a companion, you do 25% more damage.
    • Rank 4: When adventuring without a companion, you have 25 more action points.

The primary requirement of Lone Wanderer is first reaching Charisma rank 3.  This is relatively easy, considering you can spend 1 point only on Charisma during character creation, then obtain the Charisma bobblehead to reach rank 3.  By level 17, you can reduce your damage by 30%, and at level 40, increase all damage types by 25%. For such a small perk investment, you gain the combat efficiency, freeing up perk points for other gameplay mechanics like Scrounger (ammunition), Scrapper (items), Local Leader (settlements), and Science (crafting).

Compare Lone Wanderer damage reduction to Toughness from the Endurance SPECIAL stat.  Toughness gives a damage reduction value, not a percentage-based damage reduction.  Thus, with 5 perk points spent on Toughness, you’re looking at the equivalent damage reduction from upgrading your armor.  The percentage-based damage reduction of Lone Wanderer “stacks” or adds to the value of normal damage reduction, far surpassing Toughness effectiveness.

Overpowered Damage Perks & Lone Wanderer

Fallout 4 Bloody Mess Perk
Fallout 4 Rifleman Rank 3 Perk

The Lone Wanderer perk percentage-based increases apply to all types of damage!  Therefore, you can combine any of your favorite damage perks for an additional stacking effect.  My favorite “stack” is Rifleman (80% more damage), Lone Wanderer (25% more damage), and Bloody Mess (15% more damage).   That’s 120% more damage coming from rifle attacks without upgrading your weapons; now that’s an overpowered perk you’re probably not using but should in Fallout 4!

Some weapons with explosive rounds can gain an additional damage modifier via the Demolition Expert perk.  Furthermore, you can stack Lone Wanderer with sneak bonus damage from Mister Sandman (silenced weapons) and Ninja (sneak damage).  This creates the most powerful build overall and is highly recommended for playing survival mode difficulty.

Attack Dog Perk & Lone Wanderer

Fallout 4 Attack Dog Perk

Consider spending one more SPECIAL stat on Charisma to reach 4.  With 4 Charisma, you can select the Attack Dog perk, which is helpful when using Dogmeat.  The Attack Dog perk not only makes Dogmeat more useful by crippling, holding, and causing bleed damage to enemies, but with rank 4, you take an additional 10% less damage when traveling with Dogmeat (not a companion defined by Fallout 4).  That puts you at 40% total damage reduction, like wearing a full suit of Power Armor!

Dogmeat Attack Dog Perk in Fallout 4

The downside to Lone Wander and Attack Dog perks are they require two DLC to gain the full ranks: Far Harbor and Nuka-World.  However, obtaining these two DLCs is relatively inexpensive and worth the price for the sheer amount of content within them.

Why Lone Wanderer Vs. Companions

Nick Valentine Fallout 4

Companions have two advantages over traveling solo or with Dogmeat: max affinity and story.  Each companion has likes and dislikes, which can be increased over time through your actions.  With enough time and attention, each companion may unlock a unique quest.  Once completed, or you reach max affinity, that companion offers a permanent bonus.  The benefit of these companion bonuses is that they persist even if you don’t have a companion following you!

Fallout 4 Close to Metal Nick Valentine Perk

Some companions require you to complete a quest first. Others require a certain threshold of positive actions. Thus, you can travel with each companion to avoid their permanent bonus by spamming those actions, then dismissing them for hard-fought battles where damage and damage reduction are critical to success.

Companions are terrible in combat.   Expect them to disrupt your stealth and cause you death when firing a Fat Man, only to have them run before you.

Using Dogmeat

Dogmeat companion with Armor in Fallout 4

Dogmeat Companion Features:

  • Location: Red Rocket Truck Stop
  • Prerequisites: Talk to him and ask to follow
  • SPECIAL Stats
    • Strength – 4
    • Perception – 14
    • Endurance – 4
    • Charisma – 4
    • Intelligence – 8
    • Agility – 14
    • Luck – 4
  • Hit Points: 150
  • Personal Quest: None
  • Perk: Attack Dog
  • Romance: None
  • Gift: None
  • Ability: Finds items

The most important aspect of using Dogmeat with an overpowered Lone Wanderer build is the Attack Dog perk. Dogmeat will randomly attack targets and bite their limbs, allowing you free damage. Dogmeat can also wear four pieces of armor, including head and torso. However, this is only for cosmetic purposes, so don’t expect additional damage reduction. When Dogmeat has an enemy in his grasp, you will have increased VATS accuracy, which helps land headshots and increase your overall damage. Lastly, Dogmeat is an essential character, so after you unlock him at Red Rocket Truck Stop, he won’t “die.” When Dogmeat reaches 0 health, he will be downed in an inactive state. Therefore, don’t worry if you hear a yelp; he will return soon!

Creating a Lone Wanderer Build

Fallout 4 Sniper Build Gameplay Preview

The best build for a true Lone Wanderer has at least 4 Charisma, 8 Perception, 3 Strength, and at least 3 Intelligence.  This SPECIAL Stat setup allows you to gain Sniper perk from perception and armorer and gun nut perks from strength and intelligence, respectively.  Moreover, 4 Charisma gives you access to Attack Dog and Lone Wanderer. 

Next, you can spend more SPECIAL stats on intelligence if you enjoy crafting for Science perk.  Two more points in Charisma give you the local leader perk for Settlement build.  However, for combat proficiency, you can spec Agility for sneak/stealth damage increases or Luck for RNG-based critical damage and bloody mess.

This is why Lone Wanderer is so compelling in Fallout 4. Combined with one damage perk and Attack Dog, you can have overpowered damage and damage reduction for spending 12 perk points.  This frees you up for other aspects of the game like crafting, settlement building, or Role Play and exploration!  Try the Lone Wanderer perk. It’s overpowered, and we think it’ll change how you play Fallout 4.

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