In Fallout 4, the player starts with 1 skill point in every attribute and receives an additional 21 points to add to these attributes. The number of points in them directly affect what perks the player can take in a linear fashion.
The total amount of starting points is 28, which is considerably lower than in previous games that gave you 40. However, they can be increased through finding bobbleheads, magazines, and spending points when leveling up; much like the Intense Training perk from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, in Fallout 4 each level-up allows the player an option to increase a single SPECIAL stat instead of choosing a perk.
Character building starts when a Vault-Tec rep arrives at your door and asks for you to sign a few papers, and the option to re-spec these stats will be given after leaving Vault 111. This will prompt the SPECIAL screen to pop up, and you can begin to select where you want your points to go. Each stat starts with 1 point in each, and the game gives you 21 other points to enter. Remember to carefully plan where you put your points, as it affects what you are able to do in the future. If you don`t like your setup, you can change them when you are exiting Vault 111 for the first time, along with your name and appearance.
In Fallout 4, the primary statistics from which in game values such as Hit Points or Carry Weight are derived uses the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system. The main article on S.P.E.C.I.A.L. describes its meaning and importance to the Fallout series, whereas the main article for primary statistics gives more detail specifically for Fallout 4.
S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stands for:
|Strength||Melee Damage; Carry Weight|
|Endurance||Max Hit Points; Action Points at sprinting|
|Charisma||Speech Check Persuasion Chance; settlement size; Price Reduction|
|Intelligence||Experience Point gain|
|Agility||Action Point Maximum|
|Luck||Critical Hit recharge; many other aspects|
Unlike the primary statistics, derived statistics are not explicitly stated in game and are instead calculated based off of the primary S.P.E.C.I.A.L. values. For example, the player character's experience modifier is not stated in the pip-boy, but can be calculated (derived) based on Intelligence; each point in INT earns an additional 3% bonus xp, e.g. (5 INT)*(3% bonus) = (15% experience modifier).
See main article for more derived statistics.
Perks are Integral elements of the level up system which grant special effects and improve abilities as a replacement to Skills in previous games. In Fallout 4, a choice of one perk/perk rank or improvement of one SPECIAL stat is granted at every level. Perk availability is dependent on your SPECIAL stats which is shown on an In-game Perk Chart; the higher the SPECIAL stat, the more perks are available to choose from. Each SPECIAL has 10 perks attributed to it, reflecting the ten levels of a SPECIAL Stat. For example, the Lone Wanderer perk requires a Charisma of at least 3. Some perks also grant special bonuses. For example, the Bloody Mess perk grants a chance to have enemies explode into a gut-strewn paste as well as additional damage in combat each perk level.