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.

Health and well-beingEdit

Prior to survival, only Fallout: New Vegas' hardcore mode made food and drink a necessity. 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. Additionally one can contract an illness from various sources, such as over sleeping on a mattress or from use of medicinal items.

Additionally sleeping in a bed for less than 7 hours no longer heals Hit Points (HP). Furthermore, the healing rates of restorative items are significantly slowed and the use of medicinal items such as Stimpaks, RadAway and chems can result in thirst and in some instance cause the Sole Survivor to become ill. However, visiting a doctor for purposes of restoring health, removing rads and curing addictions still carry no side effects.

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. 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.

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. Generic robotic companions constructed in the robot workbench as part of the Automatron add-on function differently than 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.

Generally speaking, the value that an item contributes or hinders your wellness is directly proportional to the value of the item used. Benefits tend to use the full value, while negatives tend to use a fraction of the value. This does not apply to disease, which uses an flat additive percent chance based on the item involved.


Thirst will negatively impact the Intelligence, Luck and Perception stats, making it more likely one will drink directly from manual water pumps, water fountains and open water sources such as puddles and rivers. Drinking from irradiated sources has the possibility of afflicting one with 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.

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% less than standard.


While the Sole Survivor is hungry, the healing and bonus properties of food consumption is suppressed until enough is consumed to make the survivor "well-fed." However, eating something that grants a bonus (e.g. the +1 Agility of deathclaw steak) while hungry 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.

The amount of food that must be eaten to do this is relative to its quality (or 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.

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% less than standard.


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. 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 and any further attempt to sleep may result in an illness (e.g. parasites.)

Sleeping for seven hours or more allows one to recover 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 only asleep for one hour in any bed, even at a workshop settlement, will still grant a high risk for illness, in particular parasites. Lethargy, insomnia and weakness are common.

Consuming caffeinated drinks such as Nuka-Cola will delay the need to sleep for some time.

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