8 Best Settlement Building Tips for Fallout 4

Although Fallout was already an established franchise, Bethesda did add several new features in Fallout 4. One of the biggest additions was the ability to build settlements.

To some, this was a feature that was much needed to breathe some freshness into the franchise. To others, it was a frustrating add-on that was severely underdeveloped. However, if properly used, settlements can greatly enhance your gameplay.

Although the primary reason to build settlements is to have a home base where you can store things and have a steady influx of resources such as food, water, and caps, it can also be quite enjoyable taking a break from wandering the wasteland.

Without further ado, here are the eight best settlement building tips for Fallout 4.

1.) Scrap Everything

If this is your first time playing (or focusing on settlement building), it’s likely that your first settlement is going to be Sanctuary. To build a settlement, you are going to need a lot of resources. Thankfully, the game does well with providing you quite a bit of resources from the now abandoned and ruined neighborhood of Sanctuary.

Make sure to spend the first little bit in Sanctuary going all through as much of the area as you can while staying in “workshop mode”. From the fallen trees, to the run-down houses, to the various pieces of junk strewn about the area, there is a good chance you find everything you need to get started on a settlement that is sure to rival Diamond City.

One thing to note is that anything in a yellow outline is something that cannot be moved, stored, or rebuilt. Once you scrap that, it is gone. Green outlined items can be moved and stored.

2.) Start Simple

Now that you have enough resources to get started, make sure that you don’t get carried away right off the bat. The first thing to focus on is your own dwelling. Build a dwelling that will fit several beds (including one for yourself).

After that is built, focus on workbenches that can help develop your character. Some of the more useful modifications cannot be unlocked until later levels, but it’s good to at least have areas to start with.

An area to cook your food is also extremely useful. Food that is cooked is exponentially more beneficial and less harmful to your character than uncooked food.

Don’t forget that for your dwelling, you will likely want storage containers as well. As you progress through the game, you will find yourself collecting things that you won’t carry around such as underpowered weapons, clothes, and junk that you do not need. Make sure to have a container for each of these thing, and organize and categorize them in a way that makes it easy for you to find things.

3.) Bolster Defenses

Although you may have a settlement that rivals Far Harbor, enough food to feed your army of Minutemen, and enough water to help the USS Constitution to float, it is all useless if you get attacked (and trust me, you will get attacked).

There is quite a variety of defenses at your disposal. Although some of the seemingly higher-powered defenses require electricity, it is definitely wise to focus on non-electric defenses at the beginning. Make sure to invest in some fortifications as well as machine gun turrets.

One thing to remember is that fortifications do require a settler to man them. Something you may not know is that you can upgrade your settlers guns is by simply trading to them one of your own! This will great bolster your defenses without requiring any extra resources.

4.) Plant Food and Dig Wells

The old military saying is that an army crawls on its stomach. Although some of the settlements come with gardens already planted, there are naturally occurring resources that can be found throughout the area. Take of these resources, and then replant them in your own settlement.

Replanting resources in your settlement provides for two things. The first one is that it gives you a supply for food. Food is not the easiest thing to come by in the Wasteland. Knowing that you have a reliable and steady influx of food is one less thing to worry about.

The other thing it does is it provides food for your settlers. To be able to attract settlers, you need to have food to feed them. However, it is not enough to simply have the food planted, you also need to assign settlers to harvest the food. Each settler can harvest up to six points of food at a time.

Of course, food needs something to wash it down with. Water is actually something that is pretty easy to come by. The first thing you will likely build is a water pump. This is the cheapest way to get water, and it only requires a little bit of dirt to place it on.

As you progress through the game, you will be able to build water purifiers over areas of preexisting water. Although these are more expensive and require electricity, they provide more water than pumps do.

5.) Recruit Settlers

One of the things that the game does teach you is how to recruit settlers. It’s actually quite simple. Have the required resources of two Circuitry, two Crystal, six Copper, ten Steel, three Ceramic, and one Rubber, and a generator to hook it up to, and you have a constant radio station that is reaching out and inviting settlers to your Settlement.

One more thing to remember is that there are a few quests that you may run across that will allow you to send settlers to a specific Settlement. You can also move settlers from one Settlement to another if you so wish.

Remember that although settlers are not required at a Settlement, they are immensely beneficial and will collect resources for you.

6.) Develop Supply Lines

Supply lines are something that the game doesn’t really explain to you for some strange reason. However, they are one of the most beneficial aspects of settlement building. Developing supply lines allows you to essentially use any resources that are stored in a workshop at one settlement at another.

When you start discovering other settlements that you can build on, you will find that each one comes with various things to scrap. Some areas have huge amounts of things such as wood from fallen trees, or steel from broken down cars.

To try to transport these things on your person would take quite a lot of effort. To get around that, form supply lines from your settlements. Select a settler, and you will see the supply line option at the bottom of your screen. From there, select which settlement you want to send them to.

Make sure that as you progress through the game, you are constantly setting supply lines so that all your settlements are linked.

7.) Enhance, Enhance, Enhance!

Now that the basics of your settlement are done, you need to start enhancing your settlement. As you progress and add more resources to your settlement, it will make you a bigger target to various gangs of raiders and mutants. Make sure that your defense is always more than your water, food, and amount of settlers that you have.

On top of that, things like walls are extremely helpful in creating funnels of death. Make it to where there is only one entry and exit to the settlement, heavily fortify that area, and you will have a fortress on your hands.

Although machine gun turrets have already been mentioned, there are quite a bit of various turrets to choose from. Some require electricity, but all of the turrets add a certain amount of points to your defense statistics. Be sure to consistently be upgrading your defenses.

As you progress through the game, you can also unlock the ability to build various stores in your settlement. These stores can be extremely beneficial in increasing your settlement’s happiness. Along with that, they supply a modest, but constant income of caps.

8.) Decorate!

Although this may seem like a silly tip, one of the more fun things about settlement building is making your settlement your own. Especially if this is the one that you make as your main base, you’re likely going to be spending a lot of time here.

Fallout 4 includes a wide variety of useless things such as couches, bathroom essentials, rugs, pictures, and even weapon display cases. Although these provide no intrinsic value, there is something to be said for being able to go “home”.


In conclusion, the freedom that you have to build a settlement is only limited by your imagination and your build limit. Side note: there is a work around for that by dropping weapons in a settlement, then subsequently storing them. However, you run the risk of greatly slowing down your game while in that settlement.

So when you’ve had your fill of cleaning the wasteland of vile, mutated creatures, or you don’t know where to look anymore for your son, go back to your settlement, open a Nuka-Cola, and get to work on your settlement. You’ll find it a nice, refreshing change of pace.

Joshua Banks

I still vividly remember the first time I went through Super Mario World with my dad on the Super Nintendo. From that point on, I was hooked! From the first Medal of Honor on the Playstation 1, to exploring the Mojave in Fallout: New Vegas, video games are a great way for me to explore new places, strategize and defeat the competition, and have fun.

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