Best Starting Stats / Builds | Fallout 4

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Starting builds are important in Fallout 4. Any mistakes you make in investing your points can be corrected, but it’s a slow process. Which SPECIAL stats you put points into will depend on your preference. In previous games, you could also complete the whole thing without putting any points into skills or perks.

Check out our list of unique / rare weapons in Fallout 4 with special bonuses.


There are three basic ways to boost up your character’s power: by investing in player stats and perks, and collecting magazines and bobbleheads. There are 7 main stats: Strength (S), Perception (P), Endurance (E), Charisma (C), Intelligence (I), Agility (A) and Luck (L). Investing points in these stats unlocks up to 10 levels of perks you can also invest into. These perks have their own upgrade progression, making them stronger with each level.

General info

  1. If you want 10 points on a SPECIAL stat, invest only 8 in it while creating your character – you’ll be able to raise it later using a bobblehead and the You’re SPECIAL skill book.
  2. There is no good or bad build, in general. Maximizing the power of your build comes out of your own play style. If you like ranged combat, investing points in Strength is a bad choice. If you want to maximize role play, you’ll want to invest points in Charisma. If you are an explorer with a focus on surviving the harsh environment, you’ll want to invest points in Endurance and Perception. If you want to level up fast, you’ll want to invest points into Intelligence, and so on.
  3. Here is the basic and most common understanding of all seven stats:
    • Strength: Increases inventory space and helps a melee character’s damage output.
    • Perception: Increases environmental awareness and weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S. Mainly good because of its perks.
    • Endurance: Increases total health and damage resistances.
    • Charisma: Allows for special conversation options. Role play stat.
    • Intelligence: Increases total exp gained.
    • Agility: Gives more AP in V.A.T.S.
    • Luck: Increases critical chance.
  4. No matter which build you choose, you should always pick the perk at Perception lvl 3 (Awareness).
  5. You start with 21 points to distribute into your SPECIAL stats. No stat can go lower than 1, so when you’re done 28 points will be invested in all.

Character Based Starting Builds

These builds don’t rely on specific weapons – you can use them with any weapon without being in any kind of disadvantage because of it.
Don’t forget to collect MAGAZINES and BOBBLEHEADS!

Leveling Build (faster exp)

S: [6]; P: [4]; E: [2]; C: [1]; I: [8]; A: [3]; L: [4];
Best companion: Nick Valentine (good close combat skills, opens doors and terminals)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: Optimized for high experience gain and mobility. Decent inventory space and survivability, more AP, more sprinting.
  2. Perks: Strong Back (STR 6, 2 points), Locksmith (PER 4), Hacker (INT 4), Scrapper (INT 5, 2 points)
  1. There might not be so many radiation weapons at the start of the game.
  2. Lack of Charisma and other stats result in longer quests, more shots needed to bring down enemies, etc…

Utility / Crafting Build (armor, weapon mods)

S: [4]; P: [4]; E: [3]; C: [6]; I: [6]; A: [1]; L: [4];
Best companion: None (with Lone Wanderer perk) or Preston Garvey (more damage and resistance when fighting groups)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: Jack of all trades, master of none. Focusing on gaining all important crafting, mod and utility perks.
  2. Perks: Armorer (STR 3), Blacksmith (STR 4), Strong Back (STR 5), Locksmith (PER 5), Lone Wandered (CHA 3, 3 points), Local Leader (CHA 6, 2 points), Scrapper (INT 5, 2 points), Science (INT 6), Mysterious Stranger (LCK 4)
  1. Low health / damage resistance
  2. Low AP
  3. No companion

Good Guy / Bad Guy (Karma)

S: [5]; P: [4]; E: [1]; C: [8]; I: [5]; A: [1]; L: [4];
Best companion: Piper (more XP from conversations)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: Quests will be easier to complete with higher rewards, feeling that you are not missing anything from the story.
  2. Perks: Strong Back (STR 5, 2 points), Local Leader (CHA 6), Party Boy (CHA 7, 3 points), Inspiration (CHA 8, 3 points), Scrapper (INT 5), Mysterious Stranger (LCK 4)
  1. Charisma bobblehead is hard to get (locked behind quest chain).
  2. Low number of action points
  3. Low health

Weapon Based Starting Builds

These builds rely on certain weapons. Unlike the non-weapon builds, these have low intelligence, making leveling slower but killing faster.

General

S: [8]; P: [6]; E: [2]; C: [1]; I: [2]; A: [5]; L: [4];
Best companion: Nick Valentine (can open up locks and terminal, good at close range combat)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: Loads of inventory space, strong melee combat, decent survivabity and movement, more XP at night.
  2. Perks: Strong Back (STR 6, 2 points), Night Person (PER 6)
  1. Due to the lack of charisma, you’ll suffer in conversations and have to do a lot of leg work.
  2. Same thing with low intelligence and endurance – less exp and less sprinting, hp…

Heavy melee build (STR/END)

S: [8]; P: [3]; E: [8]; C: [1]; I: [2]; A: [1]; L: [5];
Best companion: Strong (good melee aid) or Preston Garvey (more damage against groups)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: Great inventory space, focus on melee damage, less damage received. You can replace Luck with Agility and go for the rank 9 perk later on. It gives a significantly greater melee distance. Great for heavy weapons, unarmed, melee and weapon bashing. Thanks to high endurance also great for exploring – can breathe underwater, less radiation poisoning.
  2. Perks:Big Leagues (STR 2) or Basher (STR 8), Strong Back (STR 6), Rooted (STR 9), almost all perks from Endurance (especially the last 3)
  1. You won’t be able to pick advanced locks and hack advanced terminals (INT 4 and PER 4 required).
  2. Less accurate with ranged weapons, lowest number of AP available.

Stealth / Long Range Build

S: [1]; P: [8]; E: [2]; C: [1]; I: [1]; A: [7]; L: [8];
Best companion: Deacon (more sneak attack damage) or MacCready (better headshot chance) or Hancock (faster crits when irradiated)

Pros Cons
  1. Stats: High accuracy, easier to spot enemies, great burst power and damage with long range weapons.
  2. Perks: Sniper (PER 8), Penetrator (PER 9, 2 points), Sneak (AGL 3, 5 points), all Luck perks above and including rank 4
  1. Lowest inventory space, easier to get killed in melee combat.
  2. For max power use with weapons optimized for accuracy.

Perks List

These are only the basic levels (without upgrades). For the complete list of perks check out our Perks List Guide.
Also, BOBBLEHEADS increase S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats or upgrade perks and MAGAZINES unlock and upgrade unique perks that are otherwise inaccessible!

best starting builds perk chart






29 thoughts on “Best Starting Stats / Builds

    1. Ketchua

      Something got mangled during the update, we’re going to put it back up right away.

      Edit: I remembered just now – we’ve refined the Luck build into the Stealth/Long Range one. The starting stats are basically the same, it’s just the perks that have changed. You could take that one and go heavy on Luck instead of Perception.

      Reply
  1. Guillaume Roy-Fontaine

    Hey, me again, I was looking at the Good Guy / Bad Guy (Karma) build and there is a mistake… Strong back is STR 6 not 5…

    Reply
  2. james

    Best perks are to unlock the weapon and armour modding then craft your pistols to heavy damage and quick reload. then select gunslinger perk and then you can kill enemies fast with pistols 🙂 also get the +20 hp perk so you can get close and shoot them

    Reply
  3. Jessie

    3 str – so u can make armor mods because your not going to have a lot of health
    6 perc – the higher the better if your focused on sniping and other long range tactics in vats
    1 end – since your long range primarily you should be able to avoid most damage
    6 chr – so you can have great dialogue choices and settlement options
    4 int – so you can hack terminals
    7 agi – sneak attacks and more attacks before the enemy gets to you
    1 luck – build focuses on immediate gain rather than chance so luck isnt as important

    This is a typical build i’ve used in every single fallout game. Basically your a stealthy sniper with access to all locations and story options. You can unlock any door, talk you way into or out of any conversation. Hack any terminal and have near max action points to keep firing from a distance. Cons to this build is you cannot carry much weight and you can die rather easily.

    Reply
  4. Steven Mathews

    imo write down all the perks you want to go for in notepad or whatever, with their corresponding stat requirements. reorder the list from most to least wanted. pick your stats.

    Reply
  5. Pi

    Lots of people dizzin luck for some reason, I find luck awesome and most important. I went for any range shooter / demolished type.
    Str -2
    Per – 6
    End – 3
    Char -1
    Int – 4
    Agl – 4
    Luck – 8
    The first perk I took was idiot savant which is awesome .. How else can u get x3 or x5 exp on quest completion .. I just wish I kept my int lower than 4 to get bonuses from savant more often. Better criticals, grim reaper and 4 leaf are working super awesome together especially with my guns that have refill AP on critical. I love shooting in vats and getting close and personal .. That’s where critical banking kicks in .. I finished swan in one setting standing my ground with double barrel of course that’s where demolishon expert comes to play dealing extra damage with bottlecap mines.. All above mentioned perks have only 2 stars .. I can imagine I will have a loop going on by lev 42 .. 3 criticals banked.. AP refills on every critical from weapons .. Better criticals maximize damage.. Grim reaper refills on kill as a back up.. 4 leaf fills critical on any shot.. It is amazing!!! I hope it works as I imagine it would.. I didn’t bother with any other luck perks.. Some other perks that I took include gun nut, perk that increases rifle damage, hacker, action girl, armorer, damage resistance perk and energy resistance perk to name few.. I don’t care about strong back, neither any charisma nor endurance besides above mentioned.. I put few point extra into perception for better vats targeting and agility for more AP in vats .. Level 32 at the moment .. I do like soften up enemies from afar with my laser sniper so thinking sniper perk for holding breath better and concentrated fire sounds good too.. Not gonna take richochet since I like do my killing myself… By the way I am traveling with mccready ( Kurt Russell in classic 1982 the thing movies ) who is helping with shooting heads off.. By the way give him energy sniper rifle he is very good with that just keep him ticked on ammo!!!! Anyway don’t get too obsessed with prefect build since u can always add more points but can’t take away. I wish I went int 1 – the exp u get from savant perk will be so superior it is not even funny… Anyways luck is awesome it works for me and it will for you too.. Stay lucky my friends!!!

    Reply
    1. J R Tomlin

      Going 1 in Int means you can’t upgrade your guns which pretty much cripples a gun build. Same with 2 in str. You can’t upgrade your armor.

      Reply
      1. Lanny

        Tip for those upgrades:
        1. Go Stealth.
        2. Get gunslinger and ninja ASAP. Better Criticals when you can.
        3. Do Liberty Trail.
        4. Use The Deliverer like a Boss.
        5. Do RR missions.
        6. About the third one, you’ll have all the upgrades for The Deliverer you could do with crafting.
        7. Take out three legendary Deathclaws using VATS + Crit banking + Grim Reaper at level 35.
        8. ???
        9. Profit.

        Reply
  6. Jessica

    thanks so much for this guide!, but I feel people underestimate Strong(and other noisier followers like codsworth) for stealth builds.
    while unorthodox they offer unique trap style game play and diversions while you sneak around back.

    Reply
  7. Shade

    Here’s my favorite build
    Str: 2
    P: 6
    E: 6
    C: 1
    I: 1
    A: 4
    L: 8
    The luck and perception work well together, plus the agility for Action Boy and Endurance for tanking it out with high XP gain.

    Reply
  8. SHADOWSOUL

    Well I’m new to fallout so I’m not going for builds but a average one is this good
    S:6
    P:4
    E:3
    C:3 but 4 after book
    I:5
    A:4
    l:3

    Good?

    Reply
  9. Steve

    I have a kind of good skills for my person. This is what they are.

    Str: 5
    P: 3
    E: 3
    C: 11
    I: 4
    A: 5
    L: 1

    I don’t know how this is but could you please tell me. By the way im only level 26 or 27. I lost track. But could you help me by telling me where I should put my points? For future purposes.

    Reply
  10. Steve

    I also have something else…

    I am a person who like stealing ( only when needed), buying and selling ( a lot), using guns not melee weapons ( actually I use melee sometimes but not always), and also asking for more money when doing a quest. Mostly doing stuff like that. If you could that would be a big help.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Gosu No0b

      You have a Charisma build. You will want to invest into skills that pacify your targets. If you also want to steal I would go for agility because that helps your sneak skill. It seems that you have everything setup the way you want it. I wouldn’t change much.

      Reply
  11. Rickyslayer9

    For easy leveling and weapon upgrades, I use a Str: 10 Chr: 6 int: 8 and this allows me to level fast, carry a lot of items and build connected settlement quickly and efficiently. I use my settlements for caps and materials, as i can have water (purified water to sell) for caps and as I scrap, I get materials, as well as my scavenging station, and it allows me to upgrade quickly. A good thing I do, is to set up water. Go out and complete a quest. Gather your water that is stored. Sell it at diamond city. Either upgrade your current weapon (by buying materials for upgrade at diamond city) or buy a new weapon. Rinse. Repeat

    Reply

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