Icon disambig
For housing in Fallout 4, see Fallout 4 player housing.

In Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor can build and manage their own settlements at various sites around the Commonwealth. The new 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.

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 some of the best in-game items. 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.

Settlement sites


All possible settlements in the base game with the exception of Home Plate which lacks most settlement options, excluding add-ons

There are thirty-seven discoverable/unlockable settlements total with thirty in the base game, one in the Automatron, four in the Far Harbor, one in the Vault-Tec Workshop and one in the Nuka-World add-ons. Most are obtained by completing an objective or killing hostiles/residents in the area then opening the workshop.


Location How to obtain control Crafts Notes Workshop RefID
Abernathy farm Complete Returning the Favor, drive the Abernathys away or kill the Abernathys. Fo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 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. The workshop can be used to place other stations. 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. Fo4 Armor Work IconFo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 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. Fo4 Cook Work Icon 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 acces the personal logs in her terminal and confront her about Samuel (or through a persuade conversation option). Fo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 00164321
Finch Farm Complete Out of the Fire or kill the current settlers. 0009b19d
Graygarden Complete Troubled Waters or kill the resident robots. 0009b18f
Greentop Nursery Complete a Minutemen quest. Fo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 0009b1f1
Hangman's Alley Eliminate the resident raiders. Fo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 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. Fo4 Power Work Icon Limited building options. It cannot be added to a supply line. 00141df5
Jamaica Plain Eliminate the resident ghouls. Fo4 Power Work Icon Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 001654cf
Kingsport Lighthouse Eliminate the resident Children of Atom worshipers. Fo4 Weapon Work Icon 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. Fo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 0009b1be
Oberland Station Complete a Minutemen quest. Fo4 Cook Work Icon 0009b1d1
Outpost Zimonja Eliminate the resident raiders. Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 00024a26
Red Rocket Truck Stop This settlement will always be available. Fo4 Armor Work IconFo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Power Work IconFo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon This is the place where Dogmeat will likely be first encountered. Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 00054bae
Sanctuary Hills This settlement will always be available. Fo4 Armor Work IconFo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Power Work IconFo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon This is the place the Sole Survivor lived in before evacuating to Vault 111 in 2077, and is typically the first place the Sole Survivor discovers upon exiting Vault 111. Can be used as a Minutemen settlement. 000250fe
The Slog Complete a Minutemen quest. Fo4 Armor Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon 0009b197
Somerville Place Complete a Minutemen quest. 001e81ea
Spectacle Island See the guide to obtain Spectacle Island as a settlement. Fo4 Power Work IconFo4 Chem Work Icon Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. Has the biggest build area of all settlements. 00161f4b
Starlight Drive-In Eliminate the resident mole rats. Fo4 Cook Work Icon Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 0001d0e2
Sunshine Tidings Co-op Eliminate the resident ghouls. Fo4 Chem Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 001654d5
Taffington Boathouse Eliminate the resident bloodbugs. Fo4 Cook Work Icon Can be used as a Railroad safehouse. 00135a90
Tenpines Bluff Complete a Minutemen quest. Fo4 Cook Work Icon 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. Fo4 Cook Work Icon 0009b1a5
The Mechanist's lair Gametitle-FO4 AUT Complete Restoring Order. Icon robot workbench Food cannot be grown at this location. xx00b218
Longfellow's cabin Gametitle-FO4 FH Complete Walk in the Park. Fo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Power Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon xx020650
Dalton farm Gametitle-FO4 FH Complete second part of Blood Tide in Cassie Dalton's quest. xx038eac
National Park visitor's center Gametitle-FO4 FH Obtained after talking to Uncle Ken during The Hold Out. Fo4 Weapon Work IconFo4 Cook Work Icon xx00ab20
Echo Lake Lumber Gametitle-FO4 FH Complete Turn Back the Fog and return to Small Bertha xx01c6ae
Vault 88 Gametitle-FO4 VW Complete Better Living Underground. xx000fef
Nuka-World Red Rocket Gametitle-FO4 NW Complete Power Play or Open Season and restore power to the Nuka-World power plant. Fo4 Armor Work IconFo4 Power Work Icon xx00bceb


Recruitable settlers

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.

Related perks

  • Gun Nut allows for the creation of more advanced defenses.
  • Hacker is required for the creation of terminals.
  • Armorer is required to build power armor crafting stations.
  • Science! is required for the creation of assorted advanced power-focused structures.
  • Local Leader allows for two settlements to have a supply line, sharing resources.
    • Rank 2 of the perk is required for vendor stalls and crafting stations.
    • Cap Collector is an additional requirement for tier 3 shops.
    • Medic is an additional requirement for all medical shops.

Constructible items


During the Nuka-World add-on, the Sole Survivor has the ability to lead the three raider groups included in the expansion (The Operators, The 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 captured 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, you 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 to you 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 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 will be joined by three gang members of their choosing and must kill or cripple the settlers and either their Minutemen backup or Hired Gun backup. Intimidation can be used on settlements with named non-random NPC settlers, where the player 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 isn't 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.


The player character can get radiant quests that randomly select different settlements.[1]

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 long and prosper.


  • 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 21 (10 from leveling and +1 from bobblehead) 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.
  • Every 24 hours, independent of the timer for the food resource to be manually harvestable by the player character again, every food resource assigned to a farmer will generate one food item of the same type for every whole unit of food production of that type, which will be added to the settlement's workshop inventory.
  • Food will not be automatically produced at any settlement whose workshop contains more than 10 food items (including items that cannot be produced by settlement resources, like meat, gumdrops, etc). This cap on production increases by 1 per settlement population.
  • Dependencies: people, water. Crops will die without water.


  • How much water the settlement can produce.
  • Every 24 hours, a settlement with a non-zero population will produce 1 purified water per unit of water production. This water will be stored automatically in the settlement's workshop.
  • Water will not be automatically produced at any settlement whose workshop contains more than 5 drink items (including items that cannot be produced by settlement resources, like dirty water, alcohol, etc). This cap on production increases by 1 per every 4 units of settlement population.
  • In Survival mode, water resources can be used by the player character to satisfy thirst and convert empty bottles to purified water.
  • Dependencies: power (only with water purifiers)


  • How much power is available for the settlement to use. Power required for turrets, traps, lights and some furniture (TV).
  • Repair generators after attacks, they are a main target
  • Dependencies: n/a


  • Measures the apparent defenses 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 able to be captured using cages (featured in Wasteland Workshop) also add to the defense rating, such as deathclaws and yao guais.
  • 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.
  • Dependencies: people, power (with certain turrets and traps)

The defense values do not directly correlate with actual combat efficiency. A Mk. 5 machine gun turret can kill enemies several times faster than a Mk. 1 heavy machine gun turret, but will contribute less to the settlement defense value.


  • The number of beds in the settlement. The settlement needs one bed per settler to keep the settlers happy.
  • 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 which 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.
  • The displayed happiness value is calculated by adding together all happiness points, and dividing by the total population.
Basic needs
  • Each human settler can provide up to 80 happiness points by meeting their basic needs, which are:
    • A bed in which to sleep, which counts for 10 points.
    • For their bed to be covered from rainfall, which counts for 10 points.
    • One unit of food production per settler, which counts for 20 points.
    • One unit of water production per settler, which counts for 20 points.
    • One unit of defense per settler, which counts for 20 points.
  • Each non-human settler instead provides 50 happiness points at all times.
  • Guards and provisioners will not use their beds, but must still be allocated one to increase their happiness.
  • Food and water produced at the settlement only increases the settlers' happiness by being greater than the population. However, failing to provide sufficient food and/or water, either at the settlement or at one connected by a supply line, will impose happiness caps (see below) on individual settlers that will drag down the settlement's average happiness, and can't be countered by bonus happiness (see below).
  • Providing more than one unit of defense per settler will not provide any more happiness, but will reduce the chance of the settlement being attacked.
  • Decoration and noise levels have no effect on happiness.
Bonus happiness
  • Bonus happiness is divided among each settler at the settlement that produces it. A bonus happiness of 10 at a settlement with a population of 5 will increase each settler's happiness by 2.
  • The table below lists the happiness points provided by the presence of certain stores, and are marked with a happiness icon in the tooltip when building them.
Type Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Food and drink 15 20 40
Clinic 10 20 30
Clothing 8 10 10
General trader 10 10 15

  • The table below lists the happiness points provided by certain animals living in a settlement.
Type Happiness
Junkyard dog 10
Cat 10
Gorilla 20

Item Happiness Notes
Vault 88 overseer's desk 10 Can only be built at Vault 88
Pommel horse 2
Weight bench 2
Barber chair 5
Soda fountain / Prototype 5 Can only be built at Vault 88
Soda fountain / Mood enhancement 15
Soda fountain / Appetite suppressant 5 Can kill settlers
Soda fountain / Caffeinated 5
Phoropter / Prototype 5 Can only be built at Vault 88
Phoropter / Subliminal messaging 15 Can kill settlers
Phoropter / Vault monitoring 5 Can kill settlers
Phoropter / Eye care 10
Slot machine / Prototype 10 Can only be built at Vault 88
Slot machine / Profiling 5
Slot machine / Lost revenue 15

Happiness caps
  • Settler happiness can be capped, to ensure that happiness loss caused by failing to meet basic settler needs can't be countered with bonus happiness.
    • If a settlement has a lower defense rating than its population, all its settlers' happiness is capped at 60.
    • Every 24 hours, when a settlement updates, one edible item and one drinkable item is consumed from the workshop inventory per settler. If the settlement is linked by a supply line to other settlements, items in the connected settlements' workshops will be consumed if needed. Settlers that must go without eating or drinking due to lack of edible/drinkable items in any connected workshop will have their happiness capped at 30 until the next update. Food and drink stored in containers, instead of in the workshop, will not be consumed, but are also unavailable to settlers for retaining happiness.
    • Not having a sheltered bed will cap a settler at 60 Happiness.
Temporary Happiness Modifier
  • Happiness is also affected by a temporary modifier at each settlement, that ranges from -50 to +20. Each 24 hour "update," this temporary modifier is multiplied by 0.8, with fractions dropped. Most commonly this is a -20 adjustment, caused by a settler's death. Other adjustments are triggered by the activation of a Minutemen quest for the settlement (-20) and the completion of a Minutemen quest for the settlement (+20).


  • Shows the amount 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 items refunds a small amount 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.
  • Dependencies: n/a

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.

Settlement attack chance

The chance of a settlement being attacked is calculated as follows:

$ \text{Base} = \frac{\text{Food} + \text{Water}}{2} $

$ \text{Reduction} = \frac{\text{Population}}{2} + \text{Defense} $

$ \text{Attack chance} = \max(\text{Base}% - \text{Reduction}%, 2%) $

The attack chance can never go below 2%.


If a settlement has 5 food, 6 water, 2 defense, and a population of 5, the attack chance is calculated as follows:

$ \text{Base} = \frac{5 + 6}{2} = 5.5 $

$ \text{Reduction} = \frac{5}{2} + 2 = 4.5 $

$ \text{Attack chance} = \max(5.5% - 4.5%, 2%) = \max(1%, 2%) = 2% $


  • If more than four settlers do not have a job, no new settlers will arrive. Settlers include humanoids and brahmin, but exclude provisioners. Brahmin produce fertilizer and improve crop yield. Joblessness does not affect happiness. Robots can never have individual happiness above 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 companions, settlers 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 as long as given to them at least 1 "shot" for it. For weapons that use a minimum amount of ammo per activation, like the minigun, one will need at least that minimum. 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 DLC).
  • Excess water and crops will be placed in the workbench. In the case of the former, this can be exploited to great effect via industrial water purifiers, making them an excellent way to make large sums of money from the settlements, especially when paired with trading booths. Crops may be added to the workbench, but at a far slower rate than picking them manually.
  • Water and crops will be placed in workbenches after 24 in-game hours and 8 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 does not stack in the workbench. If 200 purified water is placed into the workbench, for example, no more will be placed there until it is removed. Caps will continue to grow 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 a base charisma of 10 will see a population cap of 20 (10+10). This can be increased to 43 with a few special items, and use of charisma boosting clothing and consumables.
  • There is a limit to the amount of settlement components that can be built; this is indicated in the workshop interface on the bar found in the top-right corner labeled as "Size." Currently, there is a bug (or actual game mechanic) that can circumvent the limit. Dropping unwanted Weapons then scrapping them (or merely storing them) will lower the limit either minimally or greatly, depending on the complexity of the item being scrapped (or stored). Weapons with multiple prefixes work best. This is due to the game treating items as part of the settlement components (the inherent mats that can be scrapped are components) and subtracts these "components" from the limit. Since this is probably a bug, there may be consequences using this exploit, so use at your own risk.
  • 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 junk and aid between them. This means things like steel, wood, melon, mutfruit and caps are shared.
    • Clarification: Food and water production will be shared for the purpose of feeding settlers, and items in workshop inventories will be shared for the purpose of crafting. This applies to all items, and even complete weapon/armor mods (and Automatron DLC robot parts) - you can deposit, say, a Laser Short Scope in the workshop at settlement A and then attach it to a laser gun at a weapon workbench at connected settlement B. However, they are not physically shared. The Sole Survivor can remotely consume purified water at settlement A in the process of crafting vegetable starch adhesive at settlement B, but cannot physically pull it out of settlement B's workshop and add it to their personal inventory. It does, however, mean that one can dedicate a few settlements for producing excess food and water while others scrap, do trade routes, man cannons, or do other tasks.
  • 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.
  • After a questline with Bunker Hill one can start to get caravans from there that will make the player character profit. One can find the 'trade caravan post' in resources → miscellaneous.
  • Settlers don't make a difference between a working store and a closed one. They often make a line near a bar or a store even when no one is serving there.
  • 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.
  • Try building turrets on elevated, otherwise inaccessible spots, such as the wall posts to both sides of the bridge leading into Sanctuary Hills or on rooftops. If no such spots are readily available, placing an elevated shack foundation and setting up the turrets on top of that works just as fine. This affords them much better sight lines, fields of fire and increased effective range. On top of this, this makes melee attacks against turrets a non-issue, as well as making grenades and missiles more likely to miss the turrets completely instead of doing splash damage. Just make sure the turrets can still be reached for repairs. Elevated shack foundations can be built on top of each other and linked to the ground with improvised spiral stairs that wind around them. Even a two-story tower of this kind stands roughly twenty feet tall and, when built in the village center, usually can and will annihilate everything that comes into sight of the settlement (not to mention the additional firepower one can install on every level below the upper one, if opted for the wooden foundations over the concrete model). This tactic frees from having to install electricity all around the settlement and allows to concentrate it on one or two spots which, given that raiding parties often spawn very near or even inside the villages, is where one will want to have the heavy guns anyway.
    • You can also remove the elevated shack and leave the turret "floating" in mid-air, which offers a whole 360-degree view of its surrounding area. If one is to do so, make sure you can reach it for repairs. The turret will remain in mid-air even after a restart.
  • If called upon to defend a settlement but can't find any hostiles when you arrive, 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.
  • 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 are 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.
    • Therefore, 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 %
0 1 48.5
0 25 27.7
0 50 12.2
0 75 3.0
0 100+ 0
50 1 85.7
50 25 70.4
50 50 49.5
50 75 28.3
50 100+ 12.8
100+ 1 97.7
100+ 25 91.4
100+ 50 78.4
100+ 75 53.7
100+ 100+ 30.6
  • 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.
  • Each settlement has an "update timer" that activates every 24 in-game hours, 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 reaches the 24-hour mark, the following events occur:
    • Settlement food, water, salvage, and fertilizer production is deposited in the settlement's workshop if the limit on each one has not been exceeded.
    • Each human settler at the settlement consumes 1 edible item and 1 drinkable item. 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 are 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.
  • Unassigned settlers will produce 1 junk item as salvage per update. Settlers assigned to a salvaging station will produce 2 junk items 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 3 brahmin or fraction thereof per update. Fertilizer production will cease if more than 10 fertilizers are in the workbench.
  • 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 them unless floor pieces are placed down over the top.

Budget settlement (Sanctuary)

Build supports 20 settlers, minimum 11. When setting up camp, place the medium generator, water purifiers and recruitment radio beacon close together. The generator can support all 3 items by itself. Each settler can maintain 6 units of food (6 mutfruit or 12 of any other crops), so 4 settlers can maintain 24 food. Settlers that do not maintain food can be set to guard duty. Each guard can man 3 guard posts, so 7 settlers can man the 20 guard posts required. Mutfruit plants can be obtained at Greentop Nursery, Graygarden, or Warwick homestead.

  • People - x1 recruitment radio beacon
  • Beds - x20 sleeping bag
  • Food - x20 mutfruit (requires 4 settlers)
  • Water - x2 water purifier
  • Power - x1 medium generator
  • Defense - x20 guard post (requires 7 settlers)

Minimum Cost

  • 11 settlers (supports 20)
  • 200 wood
  • 64 cloth
  • 117 steel
  • 20 mutfruit plant
  • 18 copper
  • 14 rubber
  • 8 ceramic
  • 4 oil
  • 3 screws
  • 3 gears
  • 2 circuitry
  • 2 crystal

Alternately, the player character can build x7 water pumps, at a cost of:

  • 28 steel
  • 7 concrete
  • 7 gears

Advanced settlement building techniques

There are some ways to get around the clipping of settlement objects with each other and preexisting objects in the world to allow the player to build more sophisticated structures. These can all be done without mods however some will require using the game console. See Fallout 4 console commands for the full list of console commands.

Mat exploit

This by placing a small door mat down and then placing a larger item like a chair on top of it (This will not work with snappable objects). When you select the mat by tapping down the select button it will also pick up the items linked on top; however the collision will only be enabled for the floor mat (If you hold the select button it will use the collision of the thing you are trying to move), enabling you to potentially clip the larger object into other objects provided the mat isn't clipping with anything. To increase the distance that the mat can reach try stacking rugs with the base (the one you want to move with) at the bottom.

Note: This also works with wall decorations and conduits. (tested with vanilla wall decorations/signs).

Pillar exploit

This is achieved by using a concrete pillar (found in the Wasteland Workshop Add-on) and placing it next to a structure. By holding the "Place" button, the structure and pillar will be highlighted. If only the pillar is highlighted, move it closer to the structure. Doing this does not allow you to clip the structure but to sink it into the ground. If you don't have the Wasteland Workshop Add-on you can use concrete foundation.

Pillar and mat exploit combo

By using the two above exploits, you can clip and sink objects into the ground. In order to do this, use the mat exploit to get the object you want to do the glitch with. Then place the pillar down next to it, next hold down the select button and it will use the collision of the pillar and mat, not the object on top of the mat. This will allow you to clip and sink the object.

Electrical Connections without limits exploit

By starting with the cursor on the object you wish to connect an electrical wire from and slowly moving toward an already existing wire that bisects the object until the wire is highlighted, one can press the button associated with connecting a wire and hear the sparking sound. Going to another place the wire could connect to and pressing the connect wire button will place a wire that is not bound by object interference or distance. Once the wire is placed, one must exit using the previous menu button or anomalies may occur.

Infinite population exploit

With add-ons, the max population of most settlements can be increased indefinitely with tamed creatures from the Wasteland Workshop add-on, and with robots built from Robot workbenches in the Automatron add-on. Settlers that the Survivor meets in random encounters or during the Automatron add-on's radiant quest Rogue Robot can also be recruited and sent to any settlement of the player's choice in the Commonwealth, Nuka-World, or the Island (with the sole exception being Home Plate), ignoring the maximum population limit.

Console: TCL

The console command tcl will disable clipping to yourself. It will also turn off clipping for any objects you place down or select while in this mode, allowing you to put other objects inside of it. If you have an object placed that you want to put another object inside of you simply select that object then deselect it to disable its collision. You can then place down an object inside of it. Once you remove the collision you will also remove the ability to select that item. To restore collision simply enter tcl into the command again to reactivate clipping. You can enter tcl again to go back into tcl and begin removing collision again.

This command is best used for junk wall placement to allow you to join the sections of wall together.

Console: modpos

Modpos will allow you to move any object in the game that is selectable within the console. To target an object, simply click on it when you have the console open. Modpos will require you to specify an axis and also an amount to move an object by. Because you are forcing the object to be moved through console this will ignore all collision and will allow you to move the object anywhere you wish. Each unit of movement is quite small and you can get a high degree of accuracy.

Some sample distances:

  • 1 full size floor object length = 256
  • 1 full size floor object height = 15
  • 1 upper shack floor object height = 22
  • 1 wall height = 202
  • Distance between floors (Z axis), non-prefab, using the standard 1 full square stair set = 224

Console: setpos

While Modpos moves a selected object a given distance, Setpos moves it to specified x, y, or z coordinates. Both ignore any clipping including with the original environment. Setpos is most useful when dealing with an item that snaps to another and the game will preview the object in the correct position but will not place it there. For example, you can get the coordinates of a wall while it is in the preview location, then place it on the other side of the floor in an allowed location, then use Setpos to move it back to the preview location already placed.

To use it, open the console while the object is snapped into the preview position. Click on the object and get its x, y and z coordinates in that location with:

getpos x
getpos y
getpos z

Close the console. Now place the object elsewhere in the same orientation, parallel to the final destination. With the object placed, open the console again, and with the object still selected use the following, replacing # with the number shown by Getpos for that axis.

setpos x #
setpos y #
setpos z #

If you need to scroll back up in the console to get the coordinate, the PageUp and PageDown buttons may be used.

Note: Fallout 4 uses the "Left-hand" coordinate system, where X is East/West, Y is N/S, and Z plus is up (world coords).

Console: Building all objects at internal workshops

It is possible to build all settlement objects at certain internal workshops which limit the items one can build, such as Home Plate and The Mechanist's lair, by opening the console, clicking on the offending workbench so that its reference is displayed and then entering addkeyword 5A0C8 and addkeyword 246F85.

Unlimited size

When you're building big settlements, often you are confronted with a full-size bar. This means that, according to the game mechanics, you can't place another item in your settlement. A quick workaround can help you to easily reduce your settlement size, which enables you to place more items.

  1. Place the weapons in the workbench
  2. Remove the weapons from the workbench
  3. Drop the weapons on the ground
  4. Enter workshop-mode
  5. Click on the weapons and store them in the workshop

Doing this will reduce your settlement size, and enables you to build bigger settlements.

With the Contraptions Workshop add-on, vacuum hoppers can be used to automatically drop weapons from the workshop inventory onto the ground.

Alternatively, on PC, it is possible to increase the build limit using console commands. The build limit is calculated using two actor values: triangles and draws. The following commands can be used to change these values:

getav 348 displays the current number of triangles
getav 349 displays the maximum number of triangles
setav 349 <amount> changes the maximum number of triangles to the specified amount
getav 34a displays the current number of draws
getav 34b displays the maximum number of draws
setav 34b <amount> changes the maximum number of draws to the specified amount

Using an amount of -1 disables the limits entirely.

Moving build structures

Objects that are joined into the full structure can be moved as one object. Example: If you have built a shack on one end of a settlement (walls and floors with lamps, desk etc.) you can move it as one item. In build mode, you hold your select button ('e' for PC) on one element (preferably you choose wall from outside) and the whole structure will be selected. Now you can move your shack on the other side of your settlement.


  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 Xbox OneIcon xboxone 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 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:
    • 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, selecting 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.
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 Xbox OneIcon xboxone If a distress pulser is dropped on the ground in a settlement and then scrapped using the building screen it will permanently emit a distress signal.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 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.
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 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 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]
  • Playstation 4Icon ps4 Xbox OneIcon xboxone 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.
  • PCIcon pc Beds that are under cover (even in an entirely enclosed building) may not be recognized as such, impacting settlement happiness.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 Xbox OneIcon xboxone 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]
  • PCIcon pc 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.
  • PCIcon pc Sometimes if you re-assign a settler from food production to a new task, all other settlers doing food production stop working on food, and food production drops to zero. [verified]


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