How to start supply lines and move settlers in Fallout 4

One of the questions we often get is how to start supply/trade routes between settlements and consequently how do you move settlers between your settlements in Fallout 4. Once you go through the process it is quiet easy, but at first it may seem confusing because the interface doesn’t clearly show how to do these things. Lets just get one thing out of the way first – supply lines are not trade routes. There is no such thing as a trade route in the game. No income will come out of establishing supply lines.

We have some more guides about problems with settlements:

There are many reasons why you would want to establish supply routes. First of all, settlements that are linked via supply lines share their workshop inventory. This means that if you have a surplus of one crafting material (back in Sanctuary for example), but you want to build stuff in a new settlement with nothing in its workshop inventory and you have a supply line going, you will be able to use resources stored in Sanctuary. You might want to have one settlement entirely dedicated to trade and all your settlers are busy tending to their shops. That might mean that you do not have enough food in that settlement. You have to haul it from another settlement that might be a dedicated farming community. This is what a supply route is for. It can also help you get rid of settlers you don’t want. Provide resources from one settlement to another that is lacking it and sharing workshop inventory. Settlements with open water access can provide that resource to the others so you do not have to spend craft materials to build water purification systems and pumps everywhere. You might even want to make some of the unique settlements, like Boston Airport (which has no food or water supply available), the pride of the city so you have to bring in all the resources from other settlements.

First thing you’ll have to do is have Charisma level 6 and Local Leader perk active. This means you dedicated yourself to settlement management.

Fallout 4 supply route setup

Setting up a supply line will cost you one settler that will from then on be dedicated to moving supplies between settlements. Open up the Workshop menu while in a settlement (hold V on the PC for example) and walk up to an unassigned settler. In the bottom of the screen you will see available commands for that settler and one of them will be Supply Line (press Q on the PC). Once you press the command a list of all available settlements will open up and you can choose which settlement you want to link to. Confirm your selection and presto – you have these connected. You can go into your Pip-Boy map and choose to show supply lines on the map (again, bottom of the screen shows available commands – one of them is Show Supply Lines).To cancel a supply line you will have to wait for the assigned settler to come to one of the settlements (just sleep in a bed). You will see a Provisioner settler at one point. Open up the Workshop Menu and either tell him to move to another settlement or assign him to do some other job in the current settlement and he will cancel his supply route duties.


Moving settlers to another place in Fallout 4

Another thing that is similar to establishing supply lines and is often asked about is how to move settlers to another settlement. Maybe you have too many people at Sanctuary and you want to build a thriving community at another, more central, location in the Commonwealth. Perhaps you have better vendors at a peripheral settlement. This is also done via the command menu found on the bottom of the Workshop menu. Open the Workshop menu and walk up to the settler you want to move. Move command should show up in the bottom command menu. Once you press it you will get a list of available settlements and the settler will go there. Just make sure you have enough resources at the target settlement to support new population. One thing to note is that named settlers, like Mama Murphy and the rest of the people from Concord, can not be moved to other settlements.

Use the bottom command menu to move a settler to a new location

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  1. P

    Does every settlement need to be linked to each other? Or are A and C connected if A + B and C + B?

    1. H

      No, it isn’t needed to connect every settlement, so (A+B) + (B+C) = A+C

      1. S

        is it like that with food and water as well? cause i wanna have a mega farm in one settlement to feed the other settlements but i dont want to have to use all the settlers in that place just for supply lines

        1. B

          From what a friend of mine has figured out you only need the specific amount of food and purified water at each settlement to satisfy the food and water needs of each settler. EX: Sanctuary has 10 settlers, Red Rocket has 3. If you have 3 food items and 3 purified water in the workbench at Red Rocket you’re not going to need any water or food growing at Red Rocket.

          1. N

            This is incorrect. Each settlement has to grow enough food and water on their own land to supply their settlers. You can however, manually pick the food and put it into the workbench and use it at other settlements to grow crops. It does not feed other places though.

          2. N
            Not Me

            @Nate. I moved one guy to Red Rocket, and both water and food were 0’s in the red color font. I then used banphrionsa.aa’s method and placed 1 purified water and 1 tato into the Red Rocket workbench. The water and food status remained 0, but were now green font instead of red. Green is good I’m thinking. So it seems that the settlement just needs enough food and water in the local workbench. They don’t need pumps or crops planted for that location.

      2. Y

        That’s only true when the item exchanged in the same. Sending metal to B from A and then to B from C means A and C effectively share metal. However, if food is sent from B to C instead, A and C do not share items, as food and metal are not the same.

    2. A

      Hey can someone help me out? I think I lost man murphy because she is not at satuary hills. The only time I saw here was when I had paladin dance with me and she came running out of a house and she was marked as an enemy same with everyone in the settlement including paladin danse. What’s going on? Plus I can’t find her normally anywhere!

      1. I

        Try building her special chair, if you can

  2. S

    There are some settlers who has the “move” option greyed out. They are just called settler and aren’t named. What is the reason for this?

    1. G

      Incorrect. They are in some cases/fact named NPC’s called Settler. That’s because, like the settlers at Tenpines Buff, they are part of a mission and as such “demi-essentiel” if that is an applicable title. Anyway, like Sturges and co. they aren’t able to move to other settlements, but they are great to keep around your pre-existing settlements to do the basic chores.

      1. R

        no true i have moved Sturges through suply lines 🙂

      2. G

        They can be moved – I have Sturgess living at Starlight Drive-In and he went back to Santuary for a while to build the Institute Diverter before wandering back home to Starlight Drive-In

  3. P

    A great tip is to make sure you “store” things that you built that you no longer need or might want later. Don’t scrap it. You lose the rare components when scrapped. A lot of settlements have power wires and such set up that you can store and use at a different area. Even though these items are stored in the workshop, they do no appear to be available between settlements. As far as I can see. Maybe a perk? I have no idea.

    1. B

      That’s correct, because the Supply Lines will only ever share items that can be used as craftable resources. If you put anything else in the workbench such as guns, armor, or even excess food and water items, they will not be shared. I always recommend building a separate container next to your workshop for other things to keep yourself from getting confused.

    2. I

      @P this brings up a good question, How do we transfer built items (such as walls, generators ect) between settlements?

      1. G
        Gosu No0b

        I think you store them in your workshop at the point of origin and get them at a workshop at another settlement perhaps?

  4. D

    Hi, I have a question. In Saunctuary I builded 20 beds, I have more than enough food, water, energy and security, I builded a Radio beacon and its on. I have played like 18 hours and 2 ingame weeks, but not single settler came. Any idea why ?

    1. K

      I have made Sanctuary my main base of operations and Im sort of regretting it. You are right, it doesnt seem to grow. This is extremely annoying when you have shops set up that require settlers. It has a large plate of land however its not entirely clear to build a mansion with all the things in the way. I think I will instead make Starline Drivein or Specture Island my new main bases. They’re huge and can grow significantly more, thus making the stores more useful.

      Also I noticed that named NPCs are unreliable when it comes to waiting at stores. Better just go Settlers.

      1. P

        You need to add a settler becon or whatever it is called. Find sturges and do his questline, he will force u to add key components to your settlement.

      2. S
        Smoove D

        I think the beacons only work at those locations where you are told to set up beacons. So I just set up a beacon at skyline and sent incoming settlers from there to sanctuary, sunshine, etc.

        1. M

          No, I’ve set up radio towers anywhere i wanted, and Settlers came.

      3. I

        Sometimes you have to make sure your beacon is turned on or not “cross-wired”..I have had to turn off and restart the generator connected to it at a couple different settlements…just check on your Pip=boy to see if the station is active.,…

      4. Z

        Your population at any given settlement is limited by 10 + Charisma Rank (permanent or temporary). So with a Charisma of 6, you can have 16 people at a place. With equipment, chems, and an 11 Charisma, you can hit like a 42 population. But some of it is temporary (either from Purple Mentats, or equipment).

        1. Y

          No, i had 18 settlers when carisma was 3

      5. J
        James S.

        They say that sanctuary is the most glitched settlement. I started a supply line from sanctuary the castle and I’m going to make that my main settlement. It has endless water there so there’s an idea for you as far as setting up shops.

    2. M

      The higher your Charisma, the more settlers can get in a settlement.

    3. L

      Yes the amount of settlers is judged by carisma you can have 10 + carisma score so if you have 3 carisma you will get 13 settlers I just found out though you can move settlers from base to base just like assigning them just look for the move option at the bottom of the screen, square on ps4. Plus it will allow you to move extra people if your wearing clothes to boost your carisma. So to recap put on your best suit and flashy glasses go to a settlement your tired of defending and send them to sanctuary

      1. Y

        No, i had 18 settlers when carisma was 3

    4. S

      dont build soo many beds. settlers will not come. if you have 5 settlers and 20 beds settlers will not show up for some reason. build 7 beds max for 5 people. 20 settlers are not gonna show up out of no where because there are beds. try essentials/specialty items (couches and high security) too, they help.

    5. L

      Built, not builded.

    6. S

      I’m sorry, but the word you want is “built” , not builded.

  5. L

    I´ve got a problem. Today I established supply lines and looks like I am supplying other farms by electricity. I don´t know if it´s a bug or what but I have enough generators to supply home base + extra spare energy, but my electricity number is still red. Is it possible?

    1. S

      You have to make sure the generators are connected to what needs power i connect the all to one pylon then go from there never have to worry about it

  6. D

    Under the building tab, Power then Miscellaneous, you have a structure called recruitment tower.
    Build and Power it up in the desired settlement and settlers will come.

    (when powered, you should get a recruitment radio channel)

  7. M

    Hi, I’ve been playing for 24 hours and i cant seem to get the stores working. I can assign someone to a store but they don’t sell anything, it just brings up a trade items menu (not the store menu). If you can tell me how to fix this that would be great!


    1. V

      Give it a day or two, the option will come and with time there inventories will increase. At least that is how I noticed it.

      Now to figure out how to get the fancy rocket shaped lamps to light up….

      1. J

        Place a switch next to the lamp. 🙂

  8. J
    Jamie Macdonald

    You need to command the settler to work in the store, Build menu click on settler go to store and the Go command will change to assign, Same as every other thing like extra scrap bin plant gathering guard posts etc

  9. S

    I have a question; do Provisioners count towards the population count of a settlement?

    1. A

      I think they do. I wrote out the assignments for my settlers at Sanctuary Hills on paper to keep track of which one was doing what (i.e. blue shirt lady – farming) and I came up with a gap. I have 18 people and only had a list of 12 I could find that were assigned to local tasks. Then I realized that’s because I had previously sent off 4 settlers as provisioners for Sunshine Co-op, Greentop Nursery, and then 2 out of Tenpines Bluff, the Abernathy Farm, and County Crossing. I’d check which but I’m currently away from my game. My understanding of it is that even those who do nothing (i.e. Mama Murphy) and those who aren’t often around count towards the population of whatever settlement is set as their point of residence. i don’t think it shows what the starting direction is for caravans, so which population the provisioners count towards is a crapshoot. On a side note, I don’t believe that companions count towards a settlement’s population so you’re golden on that.

      1. K

        They do, but they’re pretty much hard assigned by the game. Ex: Preston is counted within Sanctuary’s count… easy to verify. And he behaves as a roaming guard. Mama Murphy is the same way… if you leave her alone and just observe her, she’ll auto-assign to food early on until you build her chair, then she won’t move from the damn thing. Near as I can tell, unassigned settlers will act as Scavengers feeding into the Workshop of whatever settlement they are at. (The ones assigned to actual Scavenger Stations get a boost to this.)

  10. J

    Can you use stats from gear to get higher perks or do you need to increase it at the top of the chart?

    1. G
      Gosu No0b

      You can not. You have to invest points in that particular tree to unlock the perks. Armor bonuses do not count toward perks.

      1. F
        Fell Out

        Yes it does. I had armorer with only 2 points spent in Strength. The other points came from legendary armor.

  11. X

    What about for PS4 and Xbox1?

    1. G
      Gosu No0b

      It is exactly the same as on PC, only the buttons you use to command your settlers is different. Look at teh bottom of your screen to see exactly which buttons correspond to Supply Lines command

  12. M

    Just established supply lines for the first time today, all from Sanctuary. Slept a few hours, then before I went to fast travel to Red Ricket Truck Stop I saw my Provisioner I had sent returning with a packed up Brahmin. Went to the truck stop to see if everything transferred but only a few things are there…like 1 steel, 1 wood, 1 rubber, etc. At Sanctuary, I have a few hundred already. Thought, maybe the guy who’s a Provisioner now has to make more trips before I have access to it all? So I made a bed at Ted Ricket Truck Stop and slept 12 hours, but the workshop still had the same amount. Slept 12 hours again, still the same. Where’s all my stuff that I have at Sanctuary? What gives?

    1. J
      Jack Sevening

      I seem to be having the sam problem as you.

      1. F

        Supply lines only alter the numbers in the Workshop Menu (where you build new structures from), it doesn’t actually link /storage/ in any fashion, instead it combines whatever Junk (and the relevant Aid, for food) materials you have in all the different workshops which are connected by supply lines.

        The way to tell if it’s working is to open up workshop (hold select on Xbone) in one location, scroll up to a random item to see your totals (buildings, wood, prefab1 is fast and easy just up four times), then look at your resource totals for building. Next fast travel to the site you think you have a supply route too and repeat step one- if the totals for materials are the same in both locations, then your supply route is active.

    2. A

      Firlz is correct. It doesn’t show in the workshop material amounts made available through trade routes; it is only made apparent when an item is selected to craft. I expect this will change in some manner through the inevitable patch lineup.

      1. D

        Also, the workshops share the resourses, but, you can not transfer the items. If you have all your junk in one settlement, you still have access to the resourse, but not to that certain item.

  13. M

    So I’ve invested alot in the airport and since they can’t grow food there I’ve set up a supply line to it from a farm and also stored a lot of food in a crate there.
    Still it says Food 0
    Do I just wait or what?

    1. G
      Gosu No0b

      Food will stay at 0 at the airport, but it won’t be marked as red. This means you are OK with food since you are hauling it from the farm.

  14. J
    Joris van den Outenaar

    Hey people. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Provisioners (the settlers that run the supply lines) dying. I recently encountered one in a gunfight with two mongrels, and he did win, even though his only equipment was some raggy clothes and a pipe pistol.

    I also discovered you don’t have to give them ammo: they have infinite ammo like your companions did in New Vegas.

    1. G

      Provisioners are marked as essential, thank god. So just like companions, if killed they will fall down for a short while and recover their health after a few seconds and stand up.

    2. A

      I don’t know about the brahmin, but the provisioners are indeed essential. Settlers of any and all kinds have no need for a steady supply of ammunition. I don’t know if they need starting ammunition to fire weapons, but they don’t lose ammo once it’s there. Companions are different in that they have infinite ammo with their starting weapons, like Preston with his laser musket. However, if you change from their starting weapon, such as giving Preston a pipe pistol or Piper a shotgun, they will indeed need a steady supply of ammo. Curie (in her synth form) is particularly difficult to use in this way as she lacks any starting weapon. At the stage I am in the game, I don’t have a reliable enough stash of ammo to equip them with anything but their starting weaponry.

      1. E

        I noticed too that companions use amoo for weapons exept their starting weapon. Giving them some armor and melee seems to work fine with Curie.

    3. A

      Whether they will patch companion ammo to include all weapons remains to be seen. If not, expect a mod to solve the problem.

  15. J

    Ive moved my main settlement from Sanctuary to The Castle and for some reason i cannot get any settler to accept the supply line back to Sanctuary so i can use the stuff. Any help?

    1. N

      The way it sounds, you would already have a Supply Line, as Sending a Provisioner from Sanctuary to Castle completes the supply line. No need to have one going from Castle to Sanctuary, because Someone is already doing this job. 🙂

  16. A

    Did you really have to include a spoiler in one of those photos?

    1. K
      Kill me now

      I know like wtf

  17. L

    My issue is that I can store shops I set up in sanctuary but it seems I can’t just place them in a different settlement as I please. Does this mean I’d have to build another shop at the new settlement?

  18. D

    Any buildings, turrets, armor, weapons, aid items (other than plantable crops), etc. you store in your workshop are not shared between settlements through the supply lines. Only junk items and base crafting supplies. So you have to build new shops at the new settlement.

  19. A

    Is there a max on how many line’s go into one settlement?

    1. A

      Not from what I can tell. However, you may want to keep a limit on it because the provisioners still count toward their starting point settlement’s population. I think a better way to do it is keep it limited based on proximity, meaning one route in and one route out. I think that because resources appear to be available along a chain of settlements, you wouldn’t need connect every settlement to every other settlement, but you could certainly try.

  20. T
    Thomas Anastradis

    wow thanks for the spoiler of the vault tech ghoul, guess i didnt need to find that out on my own

    1. D

      Thanks for mentioning what the spoiler was, because the photo has gone, but your comment remains.

  21. T

    Hey so I have the Local Leader perk rank 1, but the Supply Line option just doesn’t appear when I open the workshop menu in any settlement. The only command it shows I have access to is ESC to leave the workshop. Any idea what’s up?

    1. N

      Open the workshop menu.
      Highlight the person you want to assign to a supply line and there should be an option at the bottom for it (Q on pc).
      Press the button and then pick where you want them to be going for the supply line.

    2. K

      I thought supply lines needed local leader level 2 perk.

  22. Big fat frogs are living in my basement

  23. J
    J Billz

    thank you so much this article is a life saver and i realize how much of a dumbass i am haha

  24. T

    Hello folks, I’ve followed the procedure described above under “Fallout 4 supply route setup” and it does not seem to work. I’m on a PS4 console and I use one PS4 user for my game, my wife uses another user (don’t know if this is signifiant so I mention it here). For example, one of my supply lines that radiates from Sanctuary goes to Outpost Zimonja. I set that up a couple of weeks ago at the beginning of this month, December 2015. My inventory on my workshop at Sanctuary has 37 springs, 33 steel. On the workshop for Outpost Zimonja, inventory shows 11 springs, no steel.

    What I’ve been doing the whole time is having to fast travel to one settlement (or Diamond City) and grab the materials I need for food, defence, beacons, whatever and fast travel back to the settlement in question. The supply route thing simply is not working for me.

    I am certain I have followed the procedure in the above article as well as similar on the Fallout wikia and another on a different site. I have supply lines radiating everywhere, but inventory does not seem to be shared.

    Can anyone help me with whatever pieces I am missing? Thanks in advance.

    1. N

      Sounds like you’ve setup the lines correctly – but as mentioned in previous comments, it will not update those listed item quantities. What to do to test that you are connected properly would be to try and build something out of Steel – Example @ Zimonja build a prefab metal shack, it should allow you to build it even though you have 0 Steel showing. It allows the use of other resources, but keeps the individual totals at each outpost.

  25. I

    okay i want to get rid of tenpines bluff (and oberland station) like completly. because their to small and cant do much with them that i cant do in another settlement, but the problem is i cant move the two “main” settlers from tenpines So if i put one of the settlers (that cant be moved) on a supply run then while their at the designated supply run destination(lets say sanctuary) and command them to do a task (say as a guard in a guard post or as a harvester) will they stay in sanctuary or will they go back to tenpines. I hope that made sense.

    1. N

      I need help with this too, im dying to move those settlers from those same places but the move option is greyed out. They aren’t named and unless they still have some mission to give me I don’t get why I can’t move them. Having 2 settlers in those tiny bases is annoying. Can anybody offer some advice?

      1. M

        some of them simply can’t be moved. they’ve lived there a long time and you’re helping them build up their home, not trying to make them live elsewhere, at least story-wise. you could just ignore them. if you need spare settlers just set up a recruitment tower in an area where you have tons of beds food and water spare and they’ll come. then you have more people you can use for whatever your goals are.

  26. S


    Thanks for the guide, very helpful.

    I’ve established a supply line but I can’t display the route on my Pip-Boy, any ideas? I’m playing the PS4 version.


  27. B


    Talk about settlers being a thieving bunch of crims, I had 23 sets of power armour setup in Sanctuary, I now have 4 left. The settlers keep pinching them and roaming around the the bloody country side. then Preston, the dumb arse, stole my fat man outta of my storage and proceeded to shoot bandits with 97 nukes. WTH… I have even resorted to putting jet packs on all my armour and leaving it on roof’s, but the bugger’s till pinch it. Pfft settlers.

    1. A

      That’s because you left the fusion cores into armours. Settlers are smart enough to use power armours if they are powered. Now, if I remember well, you have to manually eject the power core form the armour when a settler is walking in it and he will exit the power armour and you can take it back(and never leave it again with the fusion core in it) . As for the ammo, never leave it in workshop with its appropriate weapon :))

  28. B
    Been Eltoon

    Right….. can I just confirm I understand this correctly.

    If I’m in Settlement A and I link it to Settlement B. Then travel to Settlement C and link that to Settlement B and then link Settlement B back to Settlement A. Then travel to Settlement F and link that to Settlement B, then travel to Settlement F and link it to Settlement Q. Travel to Settlement Q and link that to Settlement A, B, C, D, but not E, F, G & H, then got to Settlement I and link that to J,K,L,M,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y & Z, then finally got to Settlement E and link that to Settlement B,J,E,F,G & H can I still get to my inventory from Settlement N?

    1. K

      sesame street would be proud of you

  29. P
    Paul Siems

    I found this site and nothing after 2017 and now Im asking question in 2021. As Piper would say ‘ Is anybody out there’
    My problem is I moved Marcy and Jon to Boston airport as they were so sad all the time. I built them a home and supply them with food, they are the only ones that live there. Now I can’t move them anywhere else when using ‘move’ all settlements grey out. I am level 136 I have tried just about everything. Would anybody have any ideas.

    1. K

      Hi Lewis I want you to know that I hear you. I don’t know the answer to your question, but I do hear you

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