In Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor can build and manage their own settlements at various sites around the Commonwealth. The workshop interface is used to place and connect pre-fabricated structures as well as individual pieces (walls, floors, roofs, etc.) letting the player character construct their own home base(s) as they desire.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Locations
- 3 Overview
- 4 Necessities and dependencies
- 5 Settlement attacks
- 6 Notes
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Bugs
- 9 References
Once built, these settlements can be customized extensively. Inside buildings and structures, furniture, decorations, and lights can be placed for aesthetic purposes; outside these structures, the player character can plant crops, create water and power supplies, and tend to the defensive needs of their new settlement. To accumulate resources for their settlements, the player character can scrap most interactive inventory items.
Once a settlement reaches a certain size and/or the player character obtains necessary perks, they can invite others to set up shop at their base by building unique resources such as the trading post, which adds a vendor NPC stocking in-game items. With the required perk, it is also possible to establish supply lines between settlements to share resources and inventory among them.
Settlements require constant maintenance with NPCs tending to more basic functions such as crop harvesting. However, without this, crops will fail and equipment will need repair over time. The player character will have to use the workshop and have the required junk to complete the repairs. Walking up to a damaged or failed item while in workshop mode, the player character will be offered a selection to scrap/repair the observed item.
Most of these sites can be obtained during the Minutemen quests; however, others will require visiting them and completing location-specific quests.
There are 37 unlockable settlements total with 30 in the base game, one in Automatron, four in Far Harbor, one in Vault-Tec Workshop and one in Nuka-World. Most are obtained by completing an objective or killing hostiles/residents in the area then opening the workshop.
|Location||Image||How to obtain control||Crafts||Notes||Ref ID|
|Abernathy farm||Complete Returning the Favor, drive away or kill the Abernathy family.||0006F5C5|
|Boston Airport||Complete Shadow of Steel or eliminate the Brotherhood of Steel by destroying the Prydwen and then clearing the airport ruins of ghouls. One may complete Duty or Dishonor before destroying the Prydwen to skip this.||Food cannot be grown at this location. Cannot build recruitment radio beacon.||000B3506|
|Bunker Hill||Talk to Kessler after completing The Battle of Bunker Hill.||00019956|
|The Castle||Eliminate the mirelurk queen that takes up residence at the Castle after destroying a certain number of eggs.||Also a Clinic. Some of these crafting stations are only available once the quest Old Guns is completed.||00066EB6|
|Coastal cottage||Eliminate the only raider that takes up residence.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||00168945|
|County crossing||Complete a Minutemen quest.||0009B1DB|
|Covenant||Side with Covenant during Human Error and speak to Jacob Orden, or kill the current settlers.||000E0505|
|Croup Manor||Eliminate the resident ghouls.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||001654BD|
|Egret Tours Marina||Kill Phyllis, or access the personal logs in her terminal and confront her about Samuel (or through a persuade conversation option).||00164321|
|Finch farm||Complete Out of the Fire or kill the members of the Finch family.||0009B19D|
|Graygarden||Complete Troubled Waters or kill the resident robots.||0009B18F|
|Greentop Nursery||Complete a Minutemen quest.||0009B1F1|
|Hangman's Alley||Eliminate the resident raiders.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||001F0711|
|Home Plate||Buy the key from Geneva at the Mayor's Office in Diamond City for 2000 caps.||All stations are outside in the market area. Restricted building options. Can't be added to a supply line.||00141DF5|
|Jamaica Plain||Eliminate the resident ghouls.||Some workstations are outside the build area and unlinked. Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||001654CF|
|Kingsport Lighthouse||Eliminate the resident Children of Atom worshipers.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||001654B8|
|Murkwater construction site||Eliminate the resident mirelurks.||There is a mirelurk queen that can respawn here after not visiting the area for seven in-game days. Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||0016D28E|
|Nordhagen Beach||Complete a Minutemen quest.||0009B1BE|
|Oberland Station||Complete a Minutemen quest.||0009B1D1|
|Outpost Zimonja||Eliminate the resident raiders.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||00024A26|
|Red Rocket Truck Stop||Settlement available by default.||This is the place where Dogmeat will be first encountered. Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||00054BAE|
|Sanctuary Hills||Settlement available by default.||This is the place the Sole Survivor lived in before evacuating to Vault 111 in 2077, and can return to immediately after emerging from Vault 111. Can be used as a Minutemen settlement.||000250FE|
|The Slog||A unique tarberry farm centered around a pre-War swimming pool. Can be a Minutemen settlement.||0009B197|
|Somerville Place||Complete a Minutemen quest.||-||-||001E81EA|
|Spectacle Island||Restore power to the circuit breaker and defeat the resident mirelurks.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. Has the largest build area of all settlements.||00161F4B|
|Starlight Drive-In||Eliminate the resident mole rats.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||0001D0E2|
|Sunshine Tidings co-op||Eliminate the resident ghouls.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||001654D5|
|Taffington Boathouse||Eliminate the resident bloodbugs.||Can be used as a Railroad safehouse.||00135A90|
|Tenpines Bluff||Complete a Minutemen quest.||One of the common settlements where the Sole Survivor can be sent to as part of The First Step.||0009B1AC|
|Warwick Homestead||Complete Building a Better Crop or complete a Minutemen quest.||0009B1A5|
|The Mechanist's lair||Complete Restoring Order.||Food cannot be grown at this location. Cannot build recruitment radio beacon.||00B218|
|Longfellow's cabin||Complete Walk in the Park.||020650|
|Dalton farm||Complete second part of Blood Tide in Cassie Dalton's quest.||038EAC|
|National Park visitor's center||Obtained after talking to Uncle Ken during The Hold Out.||00AB20|
|Echo Lake Lumber||Complete Turn Back the Fog and return to Small Bertha||01C6AE|
|Vault 88||Complete Better Living Underground.||000FEF|
|Nuka-World Red Rocket||Complete Power Play or Open Season and restore power to the Nuka-World power plant.||00BCE7|
The Sole Survivor can acquire a variety of radiant quests from miscellaneous settlers. After joining the Minutemen, these quests are also obtained when talking to Preston Garvey or listening to Radio Freedom. These quests involve completing a variety of objectives for the settlers, from wiping out a nearby Raider gang to repairing a damaged generator. Completing these quests is the main way to acquire new settlements, and also provides a constant supply of busywork to earn caps and XP.
Throughout the game, there are unique NPCs that aren't available as followers, yet can be persuaded to join an owned settlement, provided the requirements are met.
- Gun Nut allows for the creation of more advanced defenses.
- Science! (at various ranks) is required for the creation of assorted advanced power-focused structures and defenses.
- Local Leader allows for settlements to be connected by supply lines, sharing many of their resources.
- Rank 2 of the perk is required for vendor stalls and crafting stations.
During the Nuka-World add-on, the Sole Survivor has the ability to lead the three raider groups included in the expansion (Operators, Disciples, and the Pack) and capture settlements through violence. These captured settlements are called raider outposts and will be populated by members of the raider group that helped capture it. While they will no longer be referred to as settlements by characters in the game, these outposts are settlements for the purposes of achievements and trophies.
The differences between a Minutemen settlement and a raider outpost are few but significant; for example, one can lead raiders to capture other settlements, extract tribute from Minutemen settlements, and make other settlements your vassal states. In addition, captured and intimidated settlements will pay the Sole Survivor in caps back at their home base in Nuka-World. After Power Play however, whatever raider group was betrayed, and any outpost they control will no longer pay tribute following the quest. This will start Cleaning House, where the Sole Survivor must destroy the enemy outposts. However, one can no longer fast travel to those outposts. Get in there the old-fashioned way and eliminate the raiders.
To establish a raider outpost, the player character must speak to Shank. They will then be given the option to capture a new outpost or intimidate a settlement to supply nearby outposts. Both jobs will allow the use of violence or intimidation. When violence is chosen, the player character will be joined by three gang members of their choosing and must kill or cripple the settlers and their Minutemen backup. Intimidation can be used on settlements with named non-random NPC settlers, where the player character can threaten or bribe the residents.
Take caution when establishing the first raider outpost as this will drop Preston Garvey's affinity to the lowest level, even if he is not present. Therefore, it is advised to move him away from any desired settlements before establishing any raider outposts or become the overboss of Nuka-World prior to becoming the general of the Minutemen.
It is not possible to establish a supply line between two raider outposts, but all raider outposts are automatically linked to each other, so it would be unnecessary. It is also not possible to establish a supply line between a raider outpost and a regular settlement, so a separate supply of building materials will be required for raider outposts.
In order to convert the outposts back into Minutemen settlements, one will need to kill all of the raiders at that outpost. If the raiders go hostile, then the turrets will also go hostile as well. Be warned, that once all the raiders at that outpost are killed, the Sole Survivor will be declared an enemy to the Nuka-World raiders, thus losing control of all outposts and failing any incomplete Nuka-World raider related quests, starting Open Season, the quest where the Sole Survivor must execute the Nuka-World raider gang leaders (Nisha, Mags Black, William Black, and Mason) in order to put an end to slavery to the traders of Nuka-Town.
Necessities and dependencies
These stats need to be maintained to sustain or stagnate the growth of a settlement. Each necessity would also act as a dependency on other necessities; i.e. people need water, food, beds, and protection to live and thrive.
- The population of the settlement. People are required to collect from resource units and man objects the Sole Survivor builds. Each settlement has a default max population of 10 settlers plus each point of Charisma the character has, which has a base max of 22 (10 from leveling and +1 from bobblehead and You're SPECIAL! magazine respectively ) before factoring in extra charisma from armor and consumables. A radio beacon is generally required to attract more settlers, but one can send companions to settlements and can recruit a few non-companion characters to join. Alternatively, settlers can be told to "move" from an already populated settlement.
- Provisioners will still count to the population of a settlement, but only to the one that they were sent from.
- Increasing populations and lower happiness scores will increase the time for new settlers to arrive using the radio beacon.
- If more than four settlers are either unassigned or assigned to provisioner jobs, no more settlers will arrive on their own.
- Dependencies: water, food, beds, defense, radio beacon
- How much food the settlement is producing. Increased by placing food resources. The settlement needs one unit of food per settler to keep the settlers happy. (Most plant objects produce 0.5 units of food, Mutfruit being the exception.)
- Every 24 in-game hours and several real-time minutes, independent of the timer for the food resource to be manually harvestable by the player character again, and subject to a minimum elapsed real time, every food resource assigned to a farmer in excess of population needs will generate roughly 0.75 food items of the same type for every whole unit of excess food production of that type, which will be added to the settlement's workshop inventory. The exact food type produced is affected by the settlers' preference for consuming certain food types (e.g. tatoes). The figure of 0.75 is affected by settlement happiness and the presence of brahmin.
- Excess food will not be automatically stored in the workshop at any settlement whose workshop already contains more than 10 food items (including items that cannot be produced by settlement resources, like meat, gumdrops, etc). This cap on excess food storage increases by 1 per settlement population.
- Dependencies: people, water. Crops will die without water.
- How much water the settlement can produce. The settlement needs one unit of water per settler to keep the settlers happy.
- Single pumps produce small quantities of water; large scale water manufacturing is possible, but the large pumps and purifiers (both normal and industrial grade) require materials, power, and a body of water in which to operate.
- Every 24 in-game hours and several real-time minutes, subject to a minimum elapsed real time, a settlement regardless of population will produce roughly 0.75 purified water per unit of water production in excess of population requirements (if any). This water will be stored automatically in the settlement's workshop. The figure of 0.75 is affected by settlement happiness.
- Excess water will not be automatically stored in the workshop at any settlement whose workshop already contains more than 5 drink items (including items that cannot be produced by settlement resources, like dirty water, alcohol, etc). This cap on excess water storage increases by 1 per every 4 units of settlement population.
- In Survival mode, manual water pumps (only) can be used by the player character to satisfy thirst and convert empty bottles to purified water.
- Water pumps and purifiers, both large and small, are susceptible to damage during raids and may need to be repaired in case of an attack.
- Dependencies: power (only with water purifiers and powered pumps).
- Generated power is used to operate anything that needs electricity, including lights and defense turrets.
- Power is required for some turrets, traps, lights, and furniture items.
- Generators are connected via wire. Each wire costs 1 copper unit, regardless of length. Distance is limited and power pylons and relays, or multiple generators, may be required to power larger grids.
- Repair generators after attacks, they are the main target
- Dependencies: n/a
- Measures the apparent defensive improvements the settlement has based on settlement buildings with defense ratings. Only provided by defenses built at a workshop; mines do not count toward settlement defense rating, even though they can destroy attacking forces if the player character is also present. Some creatures are able to be captured using cages (featured in Wasteland Workshop), which also add to the defense rating, such as deathclaws and yao guai. The settlement needs one unit of defense per settler to keep the settlers happy.
- Defensive improvements range from fortifications, which require assigning a settler as a guard, to autonomous turrets (small turrets run on their own power, while larger ones require separate power sources), as well as an assortment of traps.
- Settlers can be provided with weapons and ammunition, and arrive in settlements with their own. As long as they have at least one unit of ammo in their inventory, they will not run out. Settlers themselves do not contribute to the defense rating, rather, well armed settlers will be better at repelling attacks, provided the Sole Survivor is present.
- One can build a siren near a guard post and the guard will activate the siren upon spotting an enemy. The siren will alert settlers in the area that enemies are approaching, and they will move towards the siren to help defend.
- There is also a wandering salesman named Gene who sells junkyard dogs that provide 5 defense.
- Enemies that a settlement will face is based on the level range of the cell the settlement is located in on the map. In general, settlements located further south will face tougher enemies.
- Each point of defense lowers the chance of an attack by 1%.
- Each population unit lowers the chance of an attack by 0.5%, in addition to any other defensive value the settler provides.
- Each unit of food and water production at the settlement increases the chance of attack by 0.1%.
- Each edible and/or drinkable item stored in a settlement's workbench increases the chance of attack by 0.1%.
- The minimum chance of an attack upon a settlement per day is 2%, regardless of defenses. The maximum chance is unknown but assumed to be 100%. Whatever the chance is, a settlement cannot be attacked if it has already been attacked in the last 7 in-game days.
- The defense values do not directly correlate with actual combat efficiency. An Mk. 5 machine gun turret can kill enemies several times faster than an Mk. 1 heavy machine gun turret but will contribute less to the settlement defense value.
- Dependencies: people, power (with certain turrets and traps).
- The number of beds in the settlement. The settlement needs one bed per settler to keep the settlers happy; ideally, the bed should be covered from rainfall.
- Settlers normally assign themselves to available beds automatically upon arrival or as beds are built. It is possible that settlers will not assign themselves to a bed unless the total needs for all settlers are met. After additional beds are built, it may be necessary to manually assign all settlers to individual beds.
- In some settlements with preexisting beds, such as Abernathy farm, Tenpines Bluff, and Covenant, settlers often require manual bed assignments. Others such as Sunshine Tidings co-op work automatically. Problem settlements may show a proper amount of beds in the building overlay, but settlers may comment on the bed situation and settlement happiness will be negatively affected.
- Even in settlements that do not start with preexisting beds, it is possible for happiness to suffer without settlers complaining, simply because they have not automatically assigned themselves to beds. Manually assigning beds to ensure each settler has a bed is a good way to ensure there are no hidden negatives dragging down happiness.
- Scrapping/disabling/ignoring all preexisting beds in a settlement and building new ones in their place may help avoid this problem from the start. To disable a bed on PC, enter the console, click on the preexisting bed, type disable, then exit the console and build a new bed in its place. This can also be done to a bed that will not accept manual assignments. Otherwise, building additional beds equal to the preexisting ones may be required.
- To quickly identify all settlers without a bed, sleep or wait until midnight when settlers other than guards and provisioners will go to bed. Any others left awake require manual assignment.
- Assigning a job to a settler in a problem location may cause their bed assignment to be lost, so assign jobs before manually assigning beds.
- Dependencies: n/a
- This is the morale of the settlement. Increasing a settlement's happiness will increase the productivity of its settlers. One may lose control of a settlement that is very unhappy.
- Happiness primarily correlates with providing for the needs of the settlers. Keeping settlers happy is as simple as keeping all the other settlement resources (food and water, beds, and defense) at sufficient levels. Each of these needs to be at least equal to the number of settlers; power itself does not affect happiness but is required to operate more efficient machinery.
- The displayed happiness value is calculated by adding together all happiness points and dividing by the total population.
- Shows the number of objects that have been placed by the player character within the settlement, as well as the maximum amount of objects that can be placed through the Settlement interface. Every existing or user-built item takes up settlement size. If the settlement size is maxed, other objects within its boundaries must be scrapped in order to place more structures.
- It is possible to bypass the in-game size limit of settlements by dropping items to the ground and scrapping or storing them manually. Each scrapped item refunds a small number of allotment points allowing to build more objects. Placing large amounts of objects in any settlement may cause frame rate issues and lag while in that settlement.
- With the Local Leader perk, food/water and junk resources can be shared between settlements connected by a supply line allowing the player character to quickly build out new settlements or even specialize them.
- Dependencies: n/a
Once the Sole Survivor has control of a populated settlement, they will need to defend it from attacks by raiders, super mutants, and other hostiles. Impending attacks will be reported by the Sole Survivor's Pip-Boy, showing up as a miscellaneous objective.
Attacks can either be attended by the player character or unattended. Very different resolution is used for these two distinct cases.
The Sole Survivor can travel to the settlement to deal with the attackers if they so choose. Any friendly NPCs present, including settlers, companions residing at the settlement, as well as (with Automatron) robots, can assist the settlement if attacked, but only if the player character attends the attack in person. An attended settlement defense is resolved using the normal combat system, meaning that turrets, traps and mines can also be involved in the defense. Fighting continues until all attackers are dead. Damage caused to settlement objects during the fighting is also determined by the combat system. Note that friendly fire is just as capable of damaging settlement objects as enemy fire. It is also possible for the player character to inadvertently kill friendly NPCs during the battle.
Unattended (off-screen) attacks
If the player character does not attend, or does not reach the settlement in time, the unattended attack will be resolved off-screen, with the results being reported as on-screen pop up. Failing to defend the off-screen settlement attack successfully will cause temporary damage to various settlement objects, permanent loss of some inventory items, temporary reduction to settlement workshop values (power, water, food, etc), as well as temporarily reducing happiness. All temporary effects auto-heal over time, though the player character can expedite settlement object repairs in person. Increasing the defense rating of the settlement reduces the chance of an attack occurring, as well as increasing the chance of a successful defense, and moderating the damage in the event of an unsuccessful defense.
Several Minutemen quests also include scripted settlement attacks. These attacks use similar mechanics, but with greater rewards (and sometimes greater consequences for failure).
During an attack, the attackers can damage various settlement objects including turrets, water pumps, purifiers, generators, and crops. If the attack is resolved off-screen and results in a failure, damage will be applied to a random selection of settlement objects. Settlement-related quests will also apply scripted damage to settlements from time to time. This damage will repair itself over time. Settlement object damage repairs will consume the required materials from the workshop or supply lines automatically; the Sole Survivor can also use the workshop to repair settlement objects manually using some of the materials required to build the object.
Damaged settlement objects will no longer perform their functions. For example, a damaged turret will not fire, nor will it contribute to the settlement's defense rating. Damaged crops, purifiers, and pumps will not contribute to food or water supplies. This can result in a significant further reduction in happiness if a settlement is subject to frequent attacks, so building up settlement defenses is crucial to maintaining a happy settlement.
The chance of a settlement being attacked is calculated as follows:
The final attack chance can never go below 2%. The food and water in these formulas also include that stored in the workbench, meaning that the attack chance may increase for settlements with excess production.
Example: If a settlement has 7 food, 6 water, 2 defense, and a population of 5, the attack chance is calculated as follows:
Attack success chance
When a settlement attack is triggered (and the quest objective appears) and the player character is away from the targeted settlement, there is a chance it will be able to defend itself without the player character's interference, completing the quest objective. This chance is determined by comparing the defense strength (defense rating + population) + a random number between 1 and 100 and the attack strength ((food + water in the settlement) +/-50%) + a random number between 1 and 100. The defense strength is capped at 100, so it's not useful to have more than (100 - population) defense when not responding to settlement attacks. The amount of food + water and the attack strength is also capped at 100, so the maximum attack strength is 50-100 (100 +/-50% = 50-150, capped at 100). When the random numbers are added to the attack strength and defense strength, the total attack value is capped at 150 but not the defense which can go up to 200. This means that high defense is more likely to win, but even when it's maxed out there is still a fair (30.6%, roughly 1/3) chance to lose to an attack on a "rich" settlement
- Objects that are joined into the full structure can be moved as one object. In build mode, hold the select button ('e' for PC) on one element and the whole structure will be selected and moved as a whole.
- If more than four settlers do not have a job, no new settlers will arrive. Brahmin produce fertilizer and improve crop yield. Joblessness does not affect happiness. Robots (excluding most robot companions, such as Codsworth, but including Ada) can never have individual happiness other than 50, which tends to bring settlement happiness down or up towards 50.
- Production stops when workshop inventory reaches certain, rather modest, levels.
- The largest water producing settlements are Spectacle Island at 10,000+ water, the Castle at 2,500-4,000 water, and Sanctuary Hills at up to 3,200 water.
- It is possible to have ghouls as settlers outside of the ghoul settlement of the Slog. They arrive as normal settlers and can even be replaced by a synth. They arrive from a normal random pool of possible settlers.
- Unlike a current companion, settlers and non-current companions do not consume ammo. As long as they have a small amount of ammo in their inventory they will be able to use any weapon given to them. This means one can give them very advanced and/or ammo-hungry weapons such as miniguns, flamers, or plasma weapons as long as given to them at least 1 "shot" for it.
- The same holds true with grenades.
- This does not work for the missile launcher or Fat Man as these are tagged with "NPCs Consume Ammo".
- The exception to this exception is robots, who have unlimited ammo for all built-in weapons including missile and fat man launchers (can build on sentry bot chassis shoulder slots in Automatron add-on).
- A proportion of any excess water and crops will be placed in the workbench.
- Water and crops will be placed in workbenches after 24 in-game hours and several real-time minutes. Staying in the same settlement as the workshop or staying directly next to the workshop does not influence the time it takes for water and crops to be placed in the workshop.
- Purified water and food in any large quantity does not stack in the workbench for more than one production cycle. If 40 purified water is placed into the workbench, for example, no more will be placed there until it is removed.
- Water production ("water farming") can be used to make large sums of money from the settlements, especially when paired with trading booths to sell the water to.
- Crops can be picked manually in addition to being deposited automatically in the workbench, thus nearly doubling the yield.
- Caps from stores will continue to accumulate whether removed or not.
- Settlement population is limited by the player character's Charisma. The default cap is 10, +1 for each point in charisma, meaning a player with an adjusted charisma of 10 will see a population cap of 20 (10+10). This can be increased to 43 with a few special items, and the use of charisma boosting clothing and consumables.
- While in the workshop menu, the player character can scrap certain static objects into components such as cars, lamp posts, mailboxes, toilets, etc. If a container is scrapped its contents will be transferred to the workshop, even if it is a locked container such as a safe.
- When the workshop menu is open one can assign settlers to structures, such as trading stands, guard posts, and crops. The Sole Survivor can also order them to walk somewhere, to permanently move to a different settlement, or to set up a supply line with another settlement.
- Setting up a supply line between settlements allows sharing items classed as aid, misc, junk, mods or even ammo between them for the purpose of crafting, and aid for the purposes of settlers' consumption. This applies to all items apart from weapons and armor, and even includes weapon/armor mods and Automatron robot parts.
- Scavenging stations can be used to gather raw resources. Such as steel, concrete, nuclear materials, rubber, cork, etc. What resources one gets appears to be random. The player character needs to assign a settler to work the Scavenger bench.
- A single settler assigned to harvesting food can work 6 food units worth of crops, whether they're the standard 0.5 units per plant or mutfruit's 1.0 unit per plant.
- A single settler assigned to defense will patrol between several guard posts and can support the benefit of up to three guard posts (giving a total of 6 defense per assigned guard assuming the Sole Survivor has sufficient guard posts).
- Traps (the Tesla arc, radiation emitter and flamethrower trap) require power and will go off immediately if hooked to a live power connector. They can be hooked to a switch for manual triggering, or to laser tripwires or pressure plates for automatic triggering. By default, any presence will set off these automatic triggers. If a terminal is connected to these triggers it may be used to modify them so only a hostile presence sets them off. Traps must be repaired after they are triggered.
- Building a bar results in the settlers going out in the evening to have a drink, they will then sit and drink around the bar, if chairs are provided close to it. They often make a line near a bar or a store even when no one is serving there.
- After a questline with Bunker Hill one will begin to see caravans from there after building a trade caravan post, found in resources → miscellaneous.
- Power will occasionally become red in Workshop mode despite being more than sufficient. This indicates a broken power generator that needs repairing or something that requires power has been placed but is not hooked up to a placed power source.
- It is possible for some settlers to be synths, which may cause an attack on the settlement from the Institute. These settlers may also reveal themselves or be found out, which will cause them to become hostile and usually quickly killed by the rest of the settlement.
- Food and water are "consumed" by settlers, while any excess water and food that generates in the Workshop container are indirectly shared between settlements, meaning one settlement can produce enough food for multiple settlements.
- If called upon to defend a settlement but can't find any hostiles upon arrival, it usually means a group of attackers has not yet arrived at the settlement but is closing in and is about to initiate an attack. Patrol the perimeter and check the surroundings, but be careful not to leave the settlement's boundaries for a preemptive strike. The game may fail to register the defense as successful in such a case, leaving with no more attackers to kill and a mission objective that can't be completed anymore.
- To maximize a settlement's chances of defensive victory while away (without sacrificing settlement happiness), the settlement's defense rating should be equal to (or greater than) 100 minus the total population of the settlement, and there should only be enough food and water (each equal to the total population) and no more. For example, if a settlement has a population of 13, it should have at least 87 defense, exactly 13 food, and exactly 13 water.
- Results of a settlement attack simulation using Bethesda's algorithm (sample of 10M simulated attacks for each case):
|Food + Water||Defense + Population||Attackers win %|
- Having tamed/caged creatures in the settlement heavily raises the chance of it to be targeted by attack groups, and most attacks will come from members of the same species of creatures the player character captures in the settlement.
- Machine gun turrets and heavy machine gun turrets have multiple levels that are built randomly, ranging from Mk. I to Mk. 7. The level of the turret can be changed by storing it, then building it again. When building a turret, look at the model on the side before placing it; another version can be chosen (randomly) by going back to the main turret list, then re-selecting the turret type. The color of the barrels on the turrets changes based on their level, as does the ammunition and damage they have. It appears that the turret levels level similarly to enemies, based on the distance from Sanctuary Hills. Higher-level turrets do more damage and have stronger ammunition (explosive, incendiary, etc.). The text on the barrel and body of the turret describes the ammunition carried in the turret.
- If the frequency of Minutemen quests to help existing settlements becomes excessive, they can be slowed by leaving them at the final stage of talking to Preston Garvey. By waiting at the final step, the full quest timer will expire before another is generated, at which point the quest completes and the XP will be given without ever speaking to Preston. However, quests initiated by settlers directly rather than by Preston or Radio Freedom will fail if not turned in by the end of the quest timer to the settler. This also does not apply to calls to defend settlements from raids.
- Unassigned settlers will produce 1 junk item as salvage per update. Settlers assigned to a salvaging station will produce 2 junk items as salvage per update. Junk production will cease if there are more than 100 junk items in the workbench; this limit is increased by 5 per population.
- Brahmin "settlers" boost the production of up to 10 random food resources by 50% and produce 1 fertilizer per each brahmin per update, with a maximum production of 3 fertilizer (from 3 brahmin) per settlement. Fertilizer production will cease if more than 10 fertilizers are in the workbench.
- Each settlement has an "update timer" that activates every 24 in-game hours and several real-time minutes, starting when the workbench mode is first made available. The timer for a settlement pauses whenever workbench mode is activated there, while in-game time and the update timers for all other unlocked settlements continue. When a settlement's update timer triggers, the following events occur:
- Excess settlement food, water, salvage, and fertilizer production is deposited in the settlement's workshop, if the workshop storage limit for each type of item has not been exceeded.
- If insufficient food and/or water is produced in the settlement (with each settler requiring 1 unit of each resource daily), each human or ghoul settler at the settlement consumes 1 edible item and 1 drinkable item from workshop storage. If insufficient edible or drinkable items are present in the workshop, they will be taken from other settlement workshops connected to the settlement by supply lines, if they are available. If there is insufficient food or drink items in the supply network, settlers that were unable to eat or drink will have their happiness capped at 30 until the next update.
- The chance for an attack is calculated and checked against a random number to see if an attack occurs.
- The temporary happiness adjustment is multiplied by 0.8, with fractions dropped.
- These events take place in a different order at each settlement, mostly related to internal ID numbers.
- Trash cans are able to gather random junk items.
- The existing buildings in settlements such as Red Rocket truck stop and The Slog appear to lack navmesh on their roofs which means that the AI will not walk along with them unless floor pieces are placed down over the top.
Behind the scenes
During a game jam session at Bethesda, programmer Michael Dulany developed a system for building and furnishing player bases, which worked its way into Fallout 4 as the settlement workshop system. It was on the verge of being cut for a long amount of time during development, but remained in the game and became one of its tent-pole features.
- Sanctuary Hills, which are composed of a larger number of exterior cells, and in the case of Spectacle Island, this can occur without even leaving the island. It will not affect settlements which only consist of a single cell, such as County crossing.[verified]
This is a fundamental limitation of the simulation engine, so there are no methods to permanently prevent this from occurring, though several workarounds and temporary fixes exist:
When away from a settlement, the Pip-Boy's workshop section on the data screen may show incorrect values for a settlement's statistics, such as water and beds. This occurs when the player character enters an exterior cell close enough to a settlement such that only a subset of the settlement's exterior cells are loaded into the simulation engine. The result is that only those objects in the loaded cells are included in the statistics. Unfortunately, the settlement will experience the expected negative consequences of this, such as the happiness score dropping, and settlers may become unassigned from their beds. The effect will be more noticeable in larger settlements, such as
- Returning to the affected settlement and opening the workshop should correct the statistics. In the case of Spectacle Island, you may have to travel to the center of the island to ensure all the cells have loaded.
- Replacing all pre-existing beds in a settlement may prevent settlers from becoming unassigned from or not assigning themselves to these beds. On PC, if scrapping is not possible, select the bed to be removed in the console and using commands disable and then markfordelete will permanently remove the selected beds.
- One can fix this by group selecting preexisting beds and moving them onto a floor. Scrapping or storing the floor will then delete the bugged bed. This feature is disabled after 1.6 patch.
- Manually assigning all settlers to a bed using the command option in the workshop menu may prevent settlers from becoming unassigned from their beds.
- If a distress pulse is dropped on the ground in a settlement and then scrapped using the building screen it will permanently emit a distress signal.[verified]
After choosing 'barter' at a user-created settlement shop, the trade window may open to two blank lists (player character and settler inventories are empty), where the settler has 0-6 caps and nothing can be done except exiting.[verified]
- Exiting the trade menu, selecting the 'all items' category in the Pip-Boy, and then retrying barter may resolve this bug.
- Sturges or Marcy Long rarely being present at a store if assigned (though still bartering from wherever they are), robots at Graygarden tending plants regardless of assignment, and original settlers in Greentop Nursery assigned to guard posts spending time sitting in chairs inside the house, while new settlers assigned the same roles do not. For assignments like guard duty where being in the correct location matters, a new settler may be a better choice.[verified] Settlers with a coded routine may continue it at the expense of an assigned job. This occurs mainly with original settlers from before a settlement is unlocked and some named settlers. Examples include
When fast traveling to a settlement, settlers may be seen standing on the roofs of natural or player character-built structures with no way of getting to the top of them.[verified]
- Fast-traveling to the settlement again should make them return to the ground.
- Beds that are under a cover (even in an entirely enclosed building) may not be recognized as such, impacting settlement happiness.[verified]
- If a switch or generator is stored or scrapped when the wire is being pulled out, sparks may remain hovering and cannot be removed.[verified]
Settlers assigned to stores (except clinic) placed above the water at Nordhagen beach, refuse to engage in dialogue. [verified]
- Simply moving those emporiums away from the water and placing them on a dry surface resolves this.
- [verification overdue]
Settlers assigned to stores (except clinic), placed some distance outside of the ring of fog condensers at Longfellow's Cabin, will not sell items.
- Moving the stores closer to the fog condensers resolves this issue.
- Sometimes, if a settler is re-assigned from food production to a new task, all other settlers doing food production stop working on food, and food production drops to zero. [verified]
- Normally, when assigning a settler to a crop plant, the game will automatically assign the settler to any other untended plants at the settlement. Sometimes this does not happen, and only the individual plant is assigned. Restarting the game (not reloading a save) will fix this. [verified]
- Hangman's Alley or Tenpines Bluff, it may be reported that the settlement is being attacked, even if there are no visible raiders, which will still lead to a success/failure defense. [verification overdue] In hard to reach settlements, such as
- The History of Bethesda Game Studios - Narration: "Another game jam gem came from physics programmer Mike Dulany. He knocked together a system that allowed players to build and furnish their own bases. This systems, workshops, ended up being one of the tent-pole features of Fallout 4. But the truth is, it almost didn't make it into the final game."