Icon disambig
For the hardest difficulty mode in Fallout: New Vegas or the achievement/trophy unlocked for beating the game in said mode, see Hardcore mode.
For the difficulty mode of the same name in Fallout Shelter, see Survival mode (Fallout Shelter).
For the Fallout 76 gameplay mode, see Survival (Fallout 76).

Survival mode is a unique gameplay mode in Fallout 4 with significant differences to other modes. Survival mode was added to the game for all platforms on March 29, 2016. It replaced the existing Survival difficulty, which was renamed to Very Hard.

General featuresEdit

Survival mode can be accessed in the options menu. Unlike Hardcore mode used in Fallout: New Vegas, Survival mode can be set before starting a new game. This mode also cannot be toggled freely. Once Survival mode is activated, turning it off will permanently disable it from being reactivated for that save file.

In survival mode, autosave and manually saving from the menu has been disabled. The only means of physically saving the game is to sleep in a bed, on a mattress or in a sleeping bag. The exit save function is still available, but is a temporary save that is deleted automatically upon loading. Additionally, the use of console commands is disabled.

Ammunition now has a set weight, per round, based on the ammunition type. For example the 10mm round has a weight of 0.025 per round, where as the mini nuke has a weight of 12. If one becomes overencumbered, their Agility and Endurance will drop by 2, they will suffer from Fatigue and they will take constant damage to their legs. Rather than permitting fast travel while overencumbered, the perk Strong Back eliminates these negative effects. Further to this, carry weight for the Sole Survivor and their companions has also been reduced.

Locations take 35 in-game days for non-cleared locations and 80 in-game days for cleared locations to repopulate enemies and loot, as opposed to the standard 7 and 20 days respectively. Additionally, the workshop's inventory has been restricted, which may affect the availability of production items.

While fixed enemy locations have increased repopulation times, the occurrence of random enemy encounters is two days or less.

* It is possible to start to sleep for an hour, then cancel out. Time will not progress, but the effects of one hour of sleep will be applied, and the game will be saved.

Travel and navigationEdit

Fast travel is disabled, with the exception of entering the institute, which can only be entered via fast travel while they are an available faction. Being a member of the Institute however, will not allow one to bypass fast travel's elimination as the only outward teleportation point is the C.I.T. ruins. However, traveling via Vertibird using a Vertibird signal grenade is unaffected.

Alongside the changes to fast travel, the compass's range of detection has been significantly restricted to a matter of yards for locations of interest and completely removed for NPC detection, hostile or otherwise. Enemies will still show on the compass if they are quest targets, e.g. in the Taking Point or Randolph Safehouse quests.


In combat, there have been several key changes. Firstly enemies have had their attack strength and overall health/damage resistances increased, resulting in more challenging battles. Also the encounter frequency of higher level enemies has been increased, adding an additional layer of difficulty.

Experience Points however, have been doubled. Additionally a new perk, Adrenaline, is automatically applied to the Sole Survivor for every five enemies they kill. This perk gradually increases up to a 50% increase in damage, but the bonus resets to zero upon sleeping.

Health and well-beingEdit

Prior to Survival mode being added, only Fallout: New Vegas' hardcore mode made food and drink a necessity. In Survival mode, the Sole Survivor must remain hydrated, eat periodically and have a regular sleep cycle in order to survive. Failure to manage one's well being will result in negative effects such as Fatigue, Hunger and Thirst, reducing maximum AP, and increasing the risk of contracting an illness. Illness risks come from various sources, such as food, drink, chem use, being hit by many creatures' unarmed attacks, immersion in water, or rain. Immune deficiency can be caused by certain chems, further increasing the risk of disease. Poor sleep quality (more specifically: sleeping too frequently, for shorter periods) also increases the risk of disease, meaning that a pattern of using low-quality sleeping places (sleeping bags, mattresses) will indirectly increase the risk of disease.

Healing Edit

Additionally, sleeping in a bed for less than 7 hours will not heal all Hit Points (HP). There is a sliding scale of health recovery for sleep durations of less than 7 hours. Furthermore, the healing rates of all health-restorative items are significantly slowed, rather than being instant, and the use of medicinal items such as stimpaks, RadAway and chems can result in thirst, hunger and immune deficiency, which will then increase the risk for the Sole Survivor becoming ill. However, visiting a doctor for purposes of restoring health, removing rads and curing addictions still carry no side effects. Paying a doctor to "Cure Health" will remove all diseases, in addition to restoring the player character to full health.

Crippling Edit

If one is crippled in any form, this no longer recovers with time and must be rectified with a stimpak, by sleeping in a bed until the Sole Survivor is well rested or by visiting a doctor for treatment. The third rank of Adamantium Skeleton however, largely negates this effect, as it makes the Sole Survivor's limbs immune from the effects of crippling.

Downed Companions Edit

When downed in combat, companions will no longer heal themselves automatically and thus require a stimpak to recover from their injuries. If left unattended, they will leave the Sole Survivor's traveling party and return to their most recent settlement to recover. Codsworth will require a Robot repair kit for healing if Automatron add-on is installed.

Generic robotic companions constructed at the robot workbench as part of the Automatron add-on function differently from other companions. As they no longer hold essential status, they will explode on death, becoming unrecoverable.


There are five stages in each category of wellness that span in-game hours. The increasing thresholds for each form of wellness are on a curve, for example, it takes about 6 hours to go from well-fed to peckish to hungry, then a further 12 hours to go from hungry to famished. The following table shows the approximate times that it takes for a character to go from completely satisfied to the listed condition in each area. In-game time is expressed in "hours" and real-time is expressed in "minutes." These effects can be sped up when using certain items. Stimpaks and other drugs inducing dehydration, RadAway causing hunger, etc.

Effect Values Edit

Hunger and Thirst Edit

Generally speaking, the value that an item contributes or hinders one's wellness is equal to the monetary value of the item used (as shown in the Pip-Boy inventory, not as shown during trading with a vendor). Benefit effects tend to use the full value, while negative effects tend to use a fraction of the negative value.

Disease Risk Edit

The same principle does not apply to disease, which instead uses an flat additive percent chance based on the category of item or exposure event involved, ranging from +1% (normal food) to +12% for highly-risky foods, with a typical value being around +5% (eg creature bites/claws) to +7% per exposure (eg chems and normally-risky foods).

Only the high-risk events also trigger an immediate, intra-day check for contracting a disease. Other exposure events simply accumulate risk in the disease risk pool. The disease risk pool is checked upon going to sleep, or on any high risk event (subject to some cool-off timers). Whenever the disease risk pool is checked, it is either cleared down fully (after a new disease is contracted) or drained slightly (if no new disease is contracted).


Thirst will negatively impact the Intelligence, Luck and Perception stats, until corrected. Drinking dirty water, either bottled or direcly from open water sources such as puddles and rivers, increases the possibility of contracting an illness. As a means of ensuring one has a steady supply of water, the Sole Survivor can now fill empty bottles with dirty or purified water. Dirty water is obtained from sources such as rivers, puddles or ponds. Purified water is obtained from water pumps and water fountains, or direct (without needing to supply an empty bottle) from the workshop inventory of a settlement with a water supply surplus, as in a vanilla game.

THIRST Parched Thirsty Mildly Dehydrated Dehydrated Severely Dehydrated
Effects -1 INT -2 INT
-1 PER
-4 INT
-1 LCK
-3 PER
-8 INT
-2 LCK
-5 PER
-10 INT
-3 LCK
-7 PER
Periodic Damage

In-game (hours)

4 hours 9 hours 18 hours 30 hours 45 hours

Real-time (mins)

12 mins 27 mins 54 mins 90 mins 135 mins

While sleeping, the increase of thirst is 25% of normal, ie 75% less than standard.


While the Sole Survivor is hungry (including Peckish - anything other than Well Fed), the healing and bonus properties of normal (non-wild) food consumption is suppressed until enough is consumed to make the survivor "well-fed."

Eating normal food that grants a bonus (e.g. the +1 Agility of deathclaw steak) while not Well Fed will remove the bonus if it is already active. For example, eating a deathclaw steak while not hungry to gain the bonus, then becoming Peckish, then eating a second deathclaw steak to become well-fed will negate the +1 Agility bonus and would require eating a third deathclaw steak to regain it. This is probably a bug.

The amount of food that must be eaten to reduce hunger is relative to its quality (which is equal to its nominal price), i.e, a ribeye steak satisfies hunger more than a grilled radroach. Certain foods, such as soups and certain crops, will satisfy both hunger and thirst, to the same value as their nominal price, so in effect have double worth or double effect.

Wild plants in general do not reduce hunger, but they do apply their other buffs regardless of whether the player is Well Fed or not. Razorgrain also behaves this way, which is almost certainly a bug. Certain wild plants (wild corn, wild mutfruit, wild tarberry, silt bean) behave like normal plants, not wild plants, in this regard.

The Cannibal perk has a special interaction called Dark Craving when eating a corpse is used to satisfy hunger.

HUNGER Peckish Hungry Famished Ravenous Starving
Effects -1 END -1 CHR
-2 END
-3 CHR
-4 END
-1 LCK
-5 CHR
-8 END
-2 LCK
-5 CHR
-10 END
-3 LCK
Periodic Damage

In-game (hours)

6 hours 12 hours 24 hours 36 hours 64 hours

Real-time (mins)

18 mins 36 mins 72 mins 108 mins 192 mins

While sleeping, the increase of hunger is 25% of standard, so 75% less.


Sleeping for at least one hour on any bed, mattress or sleeping bag will save the game, and remove any Fatigue the player character has developed from being tired (but not Fatigue from hunger or thirst). The Sole Survivor cannot sleep more than 3 hours in a sleeping bag or a tent, and more than 5 hours on a mattress. To sleep for longer amounts of time, it is required to use a real bed. Attempting to sleep for longer than these times will result in one waking up at the time threshold.

More frequent sleeping increases the risk of contracting a disease, particularly if there is exposure to disease risk events between sleeps. This is because while sleeping clears down the accumulated disease risk, a minimum risk is imposed by Fatigue (including hunger and thirst), and a disease check is forced each time the player goes to sleep, checked prior to any reduction in the disease risk pool.

Sleeping for seven hours or more allows one to recover full health and if sleeping in a bed as opposed to a mattress or sleeping bag, will ensure one is well rested and minimizes risk of illness. Being asleep for any period of time, in any bed, of any type, will force a check for illness.

There is no correlation between player character actions and any particular disease type, eg parasites. lethargy, insomnia or weakness. Disease type is almost totally random, the only exception being that the game will not assign the same disease type consecutively. (But might well assign first one disease, then a different one, then the first one again).

Consuming caffeinated drinks such as Nuka-Cola will delay the need to sleep for some time. However, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks will typically cause increased Thirst rather than reducing it.

SLEEP Tired Overtired Weary Exhausted Incapacitated
Effects -5% AP Refresh -1 STR
-15% AP Refresh
-1 AGI
-1 LCK
-2 STR
-30% AP Refresh
-2 AGI
-2 LCK
-4 STR
-50% AP Refresh
Can't Sprint
-4 AGI
-3 LCK
-6 STR
-75% AP Refresh
Can't Run

In-game (hours)

27 hours 40 hours 55 hours 69 hours 82 hours

Real-time (mins)

81 mins 120 mins 165 mins 207 mins 246 mins

Note: The in-game / real-time data in the tables above are approximations only.


  • PCIcon pc Playstation 4Icon ps4 When first joining the Railroad after completing Tradecraft, the message "You can now fast travel to and from Railroad HQ" still appears, despite the fact that fast travel is disabled in Survival mode.[verified]
  • Playstation 4Icon ps4 Starting in Survival mode and later changing the game mode will not change the water production from Water Purifiers.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc Cleansing the Commonwealth for Knight Rhys seems to have a bug when getting the Clear Breakheart Banks quest. No flag appears on the super mutants, and no objective is given for finishing quest. Since use of the console isn't allowed, no fix is available.[verified]

See alsoEdit

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