While traveling through the many landmarks of the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor can experience random encounters. The Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide separates them into eight different types of encounters:

  • Static encounters - "These usually occur in a specific area, which could be anywhere in the Commonwealth."
  • Fluid encounters - "The entities you may encounter are moving, and the location cannot be pinpointed. Expect a higher chance of these occurring if you stay on roads."
  • General encounters - "You can find these encounters almost anywhere in the Commonwealth."
  • Campsite encounters - "Expect these encounters at any campfires you may stumble upon. One example would be just east of Concord, in the small parking lot."
  • Choke point encounters - "Expect the following to occur in areas where you have limited maneuverability, such as a bridge crossing."
  • Animosity encounters - "These encounters occur anywhere and typically involve two factions or enemy types that have particularly strained or nonexistent diplomatic relations with one another."
  • Treasure Hunt encounters - "These follow a similar pattern: you encounter a dead person with a note on their corpse. If you read the note, you're pointed in the direction of a (random) location, and a map marker appears to reveal where a steamer trunk is located."
  • Companion encounters - "Do you have a particular companion by your side? Then expect the following to occur during your time with them."

All encounters are sorted and named by the aforementioned guide.

Static/scene encounters

Deceased Fellow

You chance upon a dead guy. Check his pockets for a note mentioning treasure in a [random] location.— VDSG

A note can be found during a random encounter and will be in the inventory of a dead settler or scavenger. After reading the note, the unmarked quest "Pick up the item" will begin and a marker will appear on the Pip-Boy map indicating the cache.

Raiders versus Farmers

A farmer runs to ask for help as you witness a fracas.— VDSG

Wounded Dog

Fo4 RE wounded dog.jpg
Why not patch this dog up and name her? Later on, she may appear to help you.— VDSG

A non-hostile mongrel or attack dog can be encountered anywhere in the Commonwealth. If the wounded dog is patched up and named, it might appear again to help in a fight.

Mole Rat Ambush

Whack those pesky mutations when they pop out of their holes.— VDSG

Dead Meat

A dead brahmin, Yao Guai, or other carcass you can loot.— VDSG

Wild Pack of Dogs

FO4 Pack of Wild Dogs.png
During an exploration, you chance upon a resting pack of dogs.— VDSG

Gene the Reluctant Dog Vendor


If you own a settlement with a workshop, you may chance upon this trader. Use your Charisma and he'll sell you a dog.— VDSG

While traversing the wasteland, the Sole Survivor may encounter a man named Gene. He will offer to sell his dog for 250 caps, but is then hesitant. Convincing him to sell the dog will allow it to be sent to a settlement, granting that settlement +5 to Defense. Gene can be encountered multiple times, and a new dog can be purchased from him each time.

Super Mutants and Prisoner

Fo4 super mutants and prisoner.png
Fo4 rotten landfill super mutants and prisoner.png
A victorious raiding party of greenskins return with a victim. Free the victim if you wish.— VDSG

If the super mutants are killed, the freed prisoner will sprint off and, if followed, he will eventually end up in Sanctuary Hills. If talked to, he will only answer with generic NPC dialogue. As a settler, he does not add to the settlement population number and can not be traded with, like normal settlers. He seems to lack the scripting to assign him to jobs like farming or defense. If commanded using the workshop, he will obey but as soon as the workshop is closed, he will run back towards the same fixed spot he stopped at when first reaching Sanctuary Hills.

The settler can be assigned to a settlement, which will result in normal actions. It can be fixed by switching to workshop mode, and "moving" the settler to Sanctuary (or any other settlement). They will then be assignable, and talk normally.

Deathclaws Duel

Two deathclaws fighting

Two of these powerful beasts are battling.— VDSG

There is a chance that two deathclaws will spawn and begin fighting one another until one of their health runs low and the losing deathclaw retreats. Once the fight ends, both deathclaws will turn hostile and attack.

Vicious Dogs and Farmer

Vicious Dogs and Farmer.png
Three vicious dogs are attacking a farmer ill-equipped to defend himself.— VDSG

If rescued, the farmer will give up to 250 caps as a reward.

Travelling Vault Merchant

You meet a guard and merchant on their way to a vault. Speak, and the vault's location is revealed.— VDSG

Raiders and the Pink Paste

Three dead raiders.

A dead raider or two have some strange paste on them. Apparently this came from Suffolk Country Charter School. Why not visit there?— VDSG

While wandering the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may come across three dead raiders in what appears to be a failed intervention. On one is a note, in which one unnamed raider attempts to stop their friend Hank from eating food paste, which is making him act more and more harsh and insane. This encounter is repeatable. Upon reading the note, Suffolk County Charter School is marked on the map.

You've Got Crabs

Mirelurks occasionally scuttle around and ambush you. Time to crack a few shells.— VDSG

The Postman

The Dead Postman.png
Despicable foes have slain this postman, who has letters you can read. Some reveal locations to explore.— VDSG

One finds a dead settler wearing a postman uniform. On the settler's body are three random letters. Some reveal locations to explore.

Stingwing versus Radscorpion

Two examples of mutated wildlife aren't getting along.— VDSG

Pickman's Prey

A pile of dead Raiders, evocatively staged, each marked with a strange calling card.— VDSG

There is a card upon these a few dead raiders, and it leads the Sole Survivor to Pickman Gallery.

Vertibird versus Raiders

Expect death to Raiders from above before the craft heads back to Boston Airport.— VDSG

Vertibird Patrol Drop

Expect two Brotherhood of Steel soldiers, or a soldier and a scribe, to be dropped off.— VDSG

Super Mutants Raiding Party

Up to four greenskins are returning to a Super Mutant stronghold. Check the leader's corpse for a note. After you kill them, of course.— VDSG

Up to four super mutants (all wielding missile launchers) can be encountered. Upon seeing the Sole Survivor, the super mutants will all start firing their missiles at them. The leader of the group carries supermutant's orders.

Roving Eyebot

A still-functioning Eyebot plays a verbal advertisement for job openings asIn-game spelling the Cambridge Polymer Labs. Why not head there?— VDSG

While wandering the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may come across an eyebot who advertises employment opportunities at the Cambridge Polymer Labs. If investigated, this opens up a quest.

Unfriendly Deathclaws

Occasionally you stumble into the frighteningly sharp fangs and claws of a roaming Deathclaw.— VDSG

The Return of Manta Man!

An amateurish superhero is seen fighting Mole Rats, or a variety of enemies. Usually badly. He's no Silver Shroud.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a delusional wastelander who calls himself Manta Man, after a comic book character. If dressed as the Silver Shroud, he'll refer to the character in that way and talks similar to how the Sole Survivor talks in-character.

Jack is Back

If you sided with Jack Cabot, you'll find him with Edward Deegan and can sell him items he requires.— VDSG

Lorenzo is Undying

If you sided with Lorenzo Cabot, you'll find him investigating dead ghouls. How pleasant.— VDSG

Vault 81 Dead Dweller

One example of how living underground extends your life is when you encounter a dead vault dweller with a note for Vault 81 and a mention of Doctor Penske.— VDSG

Mutant Hound versus Yao Guai

Two brawling and sinewy animal mutations take a distinct dislike for one another.— VDSG

Bloated Animal Corpse

A dead Radstag Doe, Yao Guai, or Brahmin is feeding a few Bloatflies, Bloodbugs, or Radroaches. Yuck.— VDSG

Super Mutant versus Stingwings

Can a greenskin and his hound survive a nasty sting or two? You're about to find out.— VDSG

Feral Ghoul Ambush

A dead farmer and Brahmin are decoys for a Feral Ghoul, who lies in wait to pounce on anyone investigating.— VDSG

Resting Radstags

Two radstags are snoozing in a wilderness location. Unless you arrive and make a noise.— VDSG

It is possible to see both radstags hovering in the air resting until you make a noise. Both will then fall from the sky and run off.

Eyebot Advertisement

Eyebot Advertisement.jpg
An Eyebot still outputs prewar advertising.— VDSG

A wandering eyebot can be found spouting advertisements for pre-War companies. This encounter is separate from the "Roving Eyebot" and does not reference Cambridge Polymer labs.

Two Faces, One Synth

Art and Art, In-game.

You stumble into two men with the same face. Each claims the other is a synth. Who do you believe?— VDSG

The Sole Survivor can come across two men, identical in appearance and both named Art. One Art is a human and the other is an identical synth. One Art has the other on his knees and is preparing to execute him with a shotgun. Both Arts will claim to be the real one and state the other is an Institute synth sent to kill the other and take their place. If the Sole Survivor decides not to interfere, the human Art will execute the synth and walk away. A very difficult speech check can convince the kneeling Art to admit to being a synth, at which point he will encourage the Sole Survivor to assist him in killing the real Art. A simple speech check can convince the standing Art to lower his weapon, at which point the kneeling Art will draw a weapon and attack him.

Alternatively, the Sole Survivor can simply attack one of the Arts. The synth Art will have a synth component on their body, indicating whether or not the Sole Survivor has chosen correctly. If the standoff is interrupted, the two Arts will begin shooting at each other, turning the event into normal combat. If the Sole Survivor has the Awareness perk, the synth will have significantly higher resistances compared to Art. Oddly, this encounter is repeatable regardless of the outcome; if the Sole Survivor has previously attacked one of the Arts, that Art will be hostile in all subsequent encounters (as a result, the two Arts will immediately engage in a firefight instead of the normal dialogue).

Companion reactions

  • Robert MacCready "likes" it when the Sole Survivor tells the attacker to kill the kneeler.

Two and a half monsters

On the western edge of the map, following the main road west from Mass Pike Interchange, a fight between two deathclaws and a behemoth can be found in a field, near an abandoned storage warehouse and a broken down power station. Getting too close to the fight can place the Sole Survivor in the attention of these giants.

Fluid encounters

Smiling Larry

Fo4 larry mercenaries.png
Fo4 smiling larry caravan.png
Have you bought anything from this trader? His two guards look tough.— VDSG

While walking along a road the Sole Survivor may encounter a trader named Smiling Larry who sells some items. The trader can be recruited if the level 3 weapons emporium has been unlocked, and more than 30 settlers are in the settlement (includes those living in settlements connected to the one chosen to send him to). Once he is assigned to the emporium, he will sell the legendary Ripper, Reckoning.

One of the places Smiling Larry can be encountered is on roads that cross over Doc Weathers' trade route, as well as the railroad tracks just south of Tenpines Bluff (pictured at right). Also, the east-west road just north of Drumlin Diner is a fluid random encounter spot.

Mister Gutsy

A Mister Gutsy is on patrol, looking for Chinese infiltrators. Have you seen any?— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a Mr. Gutsy attempting to enforce an identity check by Provisional Governor Graham. Out of the four dialogue options, if anything other than the offensive retort is chosen, the Mr. Gutsy will state that the player character has failed to identify themselves properly and will become hostile. Choosing the offensive retort will confirm citizenship and he will say if one happens to come across any communists to report them immediately. He will then leave the area.

Workshop Armor Vendor

The Scribe.png
Are your workshops impressive enough? If they aren't, hire this chap.— VDSG

Another Level 4 merchant, the Scribe, who can be sent to settlements. Like Larry, they will be found on roads, but wears a BOS uniform. To recruit him, one will need at least 10 settlers in a settlement and a level 3 armor emporium.

Brotherhood of Steel versus Raiders

Skrap Rat encounter.jpg
If the Prydwen has arrived, these two factions encounter each other. Diplomatic relations are strained to nonexistent.— VDSG

One meets a hostile Skrap Rat and her group of scavengers.

Brotherhood of Steel versus Deathclaw

If the Prydwen has arrived, three Brotherhood of Steel scouts find themselves facing an apex predator.— VDSG

The Gossiping Trader

Chance upon a trader who has some pertinent rumors regarding theIn-game spelling some primary locations across the Commonwealth— VDSG

Super Mutants versus Raiders

These two factions are constantly battling for territory. Usually, though, the territory is a stronghold and not out in the open.— VDSG

Deathclaw Hunting

My, that's a big-clawed, scaly beast you've inadvertently stumbled into.— VDSG

"Preston Garvey"

Preston Garvey impersonator
Some chancer appears asking for a donation to the Minutemen. Pay up, refuse, or confront him.— VDSG

While wandering, the Sole Survivor may come across a smooth talking man claiming to be Preston Garvey. He will request a donation of 100 caps for the Minutemen. If the Sole Survivor tells the impostor that they know Preston, or that they are the general of the Minutemen, the impostor will run away.

Escaped Synth

FO4 Timothy.png
You spot a synth in Institute janitorial attire who requests the location of Bunker Hill.— VDSG

If the Institute is still active and the Railroad quest Boston After Dark has not been completed, the Sole Survivor may spot a male synth, Timothy, who is wearing an Institute jumper. He will ask to provide directions to Bunker Hill. If one has previously visited Bunker Hill, they have the option to point him in the right direction, or ask for caps.

A Girl and Her Robot

Kat and Gus

A child merchant named Kat and her impressively dangerous protector Sentry Bot Gus are wandering the landscape. Time to trade?— VDSG

While wandering, the Sole Survivor may come across a little girl, Kat, and her sentry bot guardian, Gus. She can be found at various locations, such as near Sanctuary Hills on the east-west orientated road just north of Drumlin Diner. Her robot Gus is capable of basic defense as well as basic offense against some of the local creatures and enemies.

Runaway Settler

The settler may or may not be under attack, but once the settler is safe, the player character can assign the settler to a settlement. A possible location where this spawn may transpire is the bridge on top of the coastal hideout, where several settlers may be found running from a group of raiders. Whether any settlers survive depends on the player character's actions.


The Sole Survivor will hear an explosion in a nearby shack. Inside they will find a chemistry station with several bottles of alcohol on it and a dead moonshiner.

Malfunctioning Robots

The Sole Survivor can sometimes happen across a few assaultrons spouting random nonsense. Upon noticing the Sole Survivor, they will all charge, screaming, "WHAT A PRETTY BOY."

Named Feral Ghouls

Fo4 former Sanctuary neighbors.png

The Sole Survivor can sometimes stumble across a pack of named feral ghouls. Their names are Mr. Donoghue, Mrs. Donoghue, Mr. Sumner, Mrs. Sumner, Mr. Parker, Mrs. Parker, Rosa and Rosa's son. These are all the names of the Sole Survivor's neighbors in pre-War Sanctuary Hills. This is a repeatable encounter, even if the ghouls are killed.



A member of the Atom Cats wearing a full suit of power armor will be scouring a wrecked car for parts. If spoken to, he will mark the Atom Cats garage on the Sole Survivor's map, then walk off. In addition, if one pickpockets his fusion core, he will exit the power armor and walk off, and you can take the armor after he walks out of range.

Kelly and her Brahmin

Kelly and Brahmin.png

A woman named Kelly can be found traveling the wasteland with a brahmin. She will offer to sell the brahmin for 100 caps. It can be sent to a settlement to improve the efficiency of farming at that settlement. If asked whether the brahmin is stolen, Kelly will become evasive. The brahmin may be a synth, and if killed, a synth component can be found on its body. Additionally, the brahmin may die a few seconds after sending it to a settlement.


Upon exploring the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may run into a small pack of mole rats, one of which has a few fragmentation mines strapped to its back. As evidenced by the mines, these mole rats may have come from Kendall Parking.

Gassy Settler

An unnamed settler is found in random locations in the Commonwealth using a cooking station during the encounter. As the Sole Survivor approaches, they are warned not to come any closer. Upon further questioning the settler will announce that they are gassy from eating some bad cans of meat they got from a man named Lukowski, and will mark the location Longneck Lukowski's Cannery on the Sole Survivor's Pip-Boy.

Vault 81 Prisoner

A Vault 81 prisoner can be encountered in the wasteland being held by two raiders. Freeing the prisoner will mark the location of Vault 81 on the Sole Survivor's Pip-Boy. You will also get the miscellaneous quest to investigate Vault 81. When talking to the freed prisoner they will state that they should never have left the vault and that they would never go out on exploring missions again.

Settlers in Trouble

One may come across three or four settlers fighting a group of hostiles (most likely raiders). If the Sole Survivor assists and keeps them from being killed, the survivors will join you and you may send them to any settlement you choose.

Settlers recruited from this event act oddly. If reassigned to a different settlement, they may still be involved in radiant quests from the original settlement, hiking back so they can be talked to, to pick up the quest. If one or more of the settlers are killed during the encounter but the remaining settlers are recruited, the dead settlers are also treated as having been recruited, and a radiant quest may require speaking to the dead settler.

One may encounter Children of Atom fighting a few Gunners. The Children of Atom will be using gamma guns.

Bobbi's Recruiter

You're stopped and asked to help out in Goodneighbor.— VDSG

A non-hostile Triggerman will appear asking if you would be interested in making some "scratch" by taking on a job. When questioned about the job the Triggerman will reply that any questions are to be directed to Bobbi No-Nose in Goodneighbor. Your map will then be updated with the Goodneighbor location and a miscellaneous quest to talk to Bobbi No-Nose.

Three Albino Radstags

The Sole Survivor may encounter three albino radstags marching down a road. One of these locations is outside Med-Tek Research.

Gruel, the raider chef


One meets Gruel, a hostile raider chef. He carries Gruel's list.

Wattz Electronics Barker

One meets a Protectron holding a Wattz flyer note.

Stash and Company, Part 2

General/object encounters

The Locked Fridge

Fo4 Guy trying to open a locked fridge.jpg
Someone is trying to open a locked fridge. Will they be successful?— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a scavenger attempting to open a novice-locked refrigerator. If approached, they will become hostile. Inside the refrigerator is a random gun, some caps, and matching ammo. This is possibly a reference to an identical encounter in Fallout 3.

With the Intimidation perk, it is possible to pacify the scavenger, open the refrigerator and leave. Once far enough away, he will take the gun from the fridge and will use it if approached again. However, this seems related to the AI always picking nearby weapons, as he will not leave and act as if it's still locked, additionally, any caps inside will remain there.

The Hatch

FO4 Lynn Woods2.jpg
A scavenger blows open the doors of a bomb shelter. Deal with him, then head inside and see what you find.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a hatch and a scavenger in the wasteland. Upon talking to the scavenger, he will state that the hatch is "his." Putting the cursor on the hatch will prompt "detonate," and doing so will result in a mini nuke-like explosion, after which the player character can enter the bunker to find a skeleton and some minor loot in what seems to be a collapsed fallout shelter.

Alternatively, the Sole Survivor can wait for the scavenger to detonate the hatch. After this, the scavenger will excitedly shout that it worked and enter the shelter. He will become hostile if the player character follows him into the bunker.

This is also a reference to Locke blowing the door off of "the Hatch" in "Exodus, Part 2," an episode of the TV series Lost.

Water beggar

Fo4 Thirsty guy.jpg
A parched chap hopes you have some water. Offer him some if you're a kindhearted type.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a settler kneeling by the side of the road. If talked to, they will claim they are tired and ask for water. If the Sole Survivor is currently carrying any purified water, they may offer it to the settler. They will thank them, and if talked to again, will say that they just need to rest for a bit longer before moving on. There is no option to send them to an owned settlement after giving them the water.

Poisoned Gal

Fo4 Irradiated Woman.png
An irradiated dame hopes you have some RadAway. Offer her some if you're a kindhearted type.— VDSG

Similar to the water beggar, the Sole Survivor may encounter a woman who claims to be dying from radiation and asks for RadAway. It's even possible for this woman to be generated as a ghoul, who are supposed to be immune to radiation. If you give her some, she thanks you and says she needs to rest before continuing. There is no further option for interaction. If one returns to the location at a later date she will be smashed by a safe.

  • If you refuse to give RadAway to the woman and return later, she will be replaced with a dead ghoul.

Safe Landing

Fo4 Safe Landing.jpg
Did you find a locked safe lying in a small crater? Then unlock it!— VDSG

One can sometimes come across a locked chest (from Novice to Master) in a small crater, suggesting it was thrown away by a powerful explosion or dropped from the sky.

Vault-Tec Van

Fo4 Vault Tec Van With Skeleton.jpg
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Larry, last seen heading to a Commonwealth Vault, please inform the Documentation Department. He has an note regarding the Vault in person.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor can find a fairly unique van in quite good shape, but empty. On its right side is a skeleton in rags and a torn note that reads: "M. Henderson. I hate to remind you again, but you failed to meet your quota last month. We still have spots to fill in Vault 95 and you have not been pulling" The rest is torn and the other side reads: "...are making people uncomfortable. This is your last warning. If you don't reach your target this month, you're out. Ralph Jones." Part of the signature is torn, but the last part reads: "... Manager, Vault-Tec"

Settler Burial

Fo4 Settler Burial random encounter.png
FO4 Settler Burial Settlers Pastor's Vestments.png
A group of settlers are burying a friend.— VDSG

Occasionally, the Sole Survivor will witness a preacher and three settlers gathered around a fourth buried settler. Upon approaching, the preacher will hold a short eulogy, followed by the settlers saying their goodbyes to the departed. The first attendee (male) mourns a good friend, the second one (female) mourns the person she loved and a third one (male), Marcus, bitterly questions the point of grieving after the deceased, before breaking into tears, declaring it's not fair, as he is "the asshole of the group" and should have been the one to die in his place. The others console him before the preacher ends the funeral.

  • None of the four can be talked to, they just answer with the generic greeting for dialogue-less NPCs.
  • The preacher wears the Pastor's vestments.

Mac's Bar

FO4 Mac's Bar.png
Mac is setting up a bar. Is this a strange place for a bar? You decide.— VDSG

Occasionally, the Sole Survivor may find a bar set up in random places that belong to a man named Mac. The Sole Survivor can purchase drinks and initiate a conversation with him about the bar location.

Brahmin Corpse with Mines

Fo4 Brahmin Corpse with Mines.jpg

The body of a brahmin with three mines.

Junked Car with Ambush Feral Ghouls

Fo4 Junked Car with Ambush Feral Ghouls.jpg

A yellow colored sports car Rocket 69 with two feral ghouls waiting in an ambush.

Greaser taking parts from a car

Greaser taking parts from a car.png

Duke is one of the Atom Cats. He can give the coordinates to their garage.

Radioactive barrels

Fo4 Radioactive Barrels.jpg

A few radioactive barrels.

Brahmin Corpse & Vermin

FO4 Bloodbug on Bramin.png

Two bloodbugs sitting on the body of a dead brahmin, sucking his blood, or two bloodbugs soaring above the body, or three bloodbugs over the body of a radstag. When the Survivor approaches them, they take off from the dead body and attack the protagonist.

Pile of Burning Tires

Fo4 Pile of Burning Tires.jpg

A large pile of burning tires. Caution, flammable.

Simple Minefield

Fo4 Simple Minefield.jpg

Several frag mines, compactly lying and which can be neutralized.

Vertibird on ground vs. Gunners

FO Vertibird on ground vs Gunners.jpg

The Sole Survivor, after the arrival of the airship The Prydwen in the Commonwealth, can detect in a random location level three Gunners opposing level four members of the Brotherhood of Steel.

Radioactive barrel + giant glowing frenzied creature

Fo4 Radioactive barrel and giant glowing frenzied creature.jpg

A frenzied glowing creature, found near radioactive barrels.

Campsite encounters

NOTE: Some campsite encounters only occur at night.

The Walking Wounded

The Walking Wounded.png
A wandering doctor has finished treating a patient.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter another level 4 workshop trader called Doc Anderson having just patched up a settler.

That's Not a Sandwich

FO4 Мikey and Moss.png
Two (vaguely idiotic) settlers argue over some food.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter two men, Mikey and Moss, debating what the definition of a sandwich is. This is a long-standing debate in epistemology.

This may also be a reference to the decision of the Massachusetts Superior Court White City Shopping Ctr., LP v. PR Rests. LLC, 21 Mass. L. Rep. 565 (Mass. Super. Ct. 200), where the court ruled that a sandwich consisted of at least two slices of bread, and therefore "under this definition, this court finds that the term 'sandwich' is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans."

Daddy and Daughter

Fo4 Clinton and Charlie.png
A father and daughter share a campsite.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a man named Clinton and his daughter Charlie talking about a variety of topics. These topics can vary from the duo getting a dog, the death of his wife, and if Charlie can sleep with a light on that night.

Runaway Synth Camp

Self Admitted Synth.png
A Group of settlers has discovered that one of their own isn't as "fleshy" as once thought.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may happen upon a man, Fred, and a woman, Angie, holding a third man and self-admitted synth, Jules, at gunpoint. Jules claims he ran away from the Institute and only wants to get to Bunker Hill. The Sole Survivor has four choices on how to resolve the issue. Saving him using any of the three possible medium speech checks results in him fleeing away in gratitude. This encounter does not add Bunker Hill's icon to the Pip-Boy map, but if you catch up to Jules after saving him and talk to him twice, he'll give you a variable, but small, amount of caps.

  • If coming upon on this encounter with Jules already dead, Fred and Angie will be hostile to the Sole Survivor.
  • The quest The Nuclear Option must not be completed.

Stash and Lexa Dead

Poisoned Settler

FO4 Poisoned settler.png

Settler complaining of poisoned potted meat from Longneck Lukowski's Cannery.

Drug Dealer

FO4 Mass Fusion containment shed4.jpg

The Survivor may randomly encounter a drug dealer.

Bartender at camp with friends

Fo4 Ron Staples on bench.png

Ron Staples is a merchant resting around a fire in the company of two scavengers. May be sent to work in the settlement.

Merchant of Dreth

FO4 Dreth with Bodyguards.png

Dreth, an old woman, an itinerant merchant. Trades in weapons, ammunition, medicines. She is guarded by two mercenaries, neutral with respect to the Survivor.

Chokepoint encounters

None Shall Pass!

FO4 Customs Gunners.png
Three Raiders (or Gunners) are manning a choke point, demanding Caps for you to pass.— VDSG

A trio of Gunners/raiders will approach the Sole Survivor and demand a "toll fee" of either 100, 250, 500, 1000, or 2000 caps. Saving just before they talk to you and reloading can result in a different start price of those three. Refusing to pay up or sprinting past them will cause the raiders/Gunners to turn hostile and attack. The Sole Survivor can use persuasion to attempt to lower the toll fee. Starting at 2000, you can persuade them down to 1,000, 500 and 400. Starting at 1000, you can persuade them down to 500, 400 and 350. Starting at 500, you can persuade them down to 250, 200 and 150. Starting at 250, you can persuade them down to 200, 150 and 100. Starting at 100, you can persuade them down to 75, 50 and also let you go for free by the raider saying "God, You know what? Just go already. This ain't worth my time" (after letting you go for free, the three raiders will remain neutral).

As the raiders/Gunners will follow the Sole Survivor in order to speak to them, they can be lured into an ambush with nearby monsters or other hostiles. If you have enough luck, you get the option to "fake it" and the raider (or Gunner) will take whatever caps you claim to have.

Mr. Gutsy's Curfew

Fo4 Mr. Gutsy's Curfew.jpg
This robot demands you to return to your home.— VDSG

The Sole Survivor may encounter a Mr. Gutsy attempting to enforce a mandatory curfew created by Provisional Governor Graham. If the Sole Survivor agrees to return home but remains in the area, the Mr. Gutsy will become hostile, stating that you have broken curfew. If one persuades him by claiming to be on military business, the Mr. Gutsy will state you are 60% confident and let the Sole Survivor pass. Also, if you have luck 7 or more, you get an additional option labeled: "Will you comply" by repeating the "Will you comply?" phrase enough times, he will be forced to initiate a self-destruct sequence due to looping error, or he will simply attack.

Raiders Accosting Farmers

FO4 Robbers.png
Three Raiders are trying to extract a toll from some farmers. Help the farmers out if you wish.— VDSG

A group of three raiders can be seen trying to shake down a pair of farmers for money. After some back and forth between the two groups in which the farmers state they have nothing of value, the raiders will decide to just kill the farmers and turn hostile. If the Sole Survivor kills the raiders and saves the farmers, they will thank the Sole Survivor. If the Sole Survivor approaches too closely while the raiders and farmers are talking, the raiders will immediately turn hostile and attack.

Synth Relay Choke Point

Kicked out of the Institute? You may get attacked by teleporting synths and a courser while you are near a chokepoint.

Nervous Farmers

A group of farmers ask you to holster any weapons you're carrying. Comply and you can pass. If not, expect hostility.— VDSG

Choke Point Mines

FO4 Random mines.png
Disarm a set of mines at this location, or face a crippling injury.— VDSG

At various locations, one will sometimes find a group of seven live fragmentation mines.


If you have completed the quest Last Voyage of the U.S.S. Constitution, you might be stopped by some unfriendly looking scavengers who say you jumped their claim of the ship. They immediately turn hostile afterward.

Stash and Company, Part 1

Stash and Company.png

At the beginning of the story, where the Survivor meets a chem dealer named Stash. She wanders around the Commonwealth, accompanied by two guards, brother and sister Simon and Lexa.

Marowski Says Hello

Fo4 Marowski Says Hello.jpg

One will meet three Triggermen who give the Survivor a request from Marowski to visit him at Hotel Rexford.

Animosity encounters

Active Sniper

Some Lunatic with a sniper rifle enjoys shooting up the location you're entering.— VDSG

A hostile sniper wearing full combat armor will attack anyone he comes across, including the Sole Survivor; similar to Sam Warrick from Fallout 3. This may occur at the crash site of a massive airliner southeast of Tenpines Bluff.

Child of Atom vs Gunners

Feel free to watch both these enemy factions make (lightly irradiated) mincemeat of each other.— VDSG

A violent fight occurs between the Children of Atom and the Gunners that you can simply spectate.

Brotherhood Soldiers/Vertibird Fighting Enemies

Once the Brotherhood arrives in the Commonwealth, you may notice a Brotherhood of Steel vertibird flying around and suddenly land to drop off forces. The forces dropped off are either field scribes or Brotherhood of Steel knights in T-60 power armor. Often they will come into conflict with raiders, super mutants, deathclaws, or even Gunners. You can assist in the fighting or let it go on and let them fight each other. The same can happen with a random patrol you find wandering the wastes. Note: attacking the field scribes will have another pair of knights in T-60 power armor drop off at your location to defend them.

Minutemen vs Enemy

Fo4 MinutemenVsEnemy.png
Fo4 MinutemenVsEnemy2.png

You will need to be allied with the Minutemen, after which you will see some of them defending a settlement or a specific area against a number of enemies from a certain faction. However, you can only encounter the Minutemen fighting the members of a major faction if the faction attacking is enemies with you.

If the Minutemen were successful defending the area, they will remain in the vicinity, until the Sole Survivor leaves. If engaged in dialogue, any of the members may respond with comments referring to the Sole Survivor's rank of general.

  • "Nothing new to report, General"; "All quiet, General"; "Area secured, General".
  • "This site's in good hands"; "This site belongs to the Minutemen"; "Got the area covered".

Super Mutants versus Ghouls

Sit back and watch infected bony fingernails scrape against overly large green hides.— VDSG

Scavengers versus Robots

Just a bunch of scavengers fighting a losing battle against a few Protectrons with maybe a Mr. Gutsy, who is yelling patriotic insults. If you fire a shot near any of the scavengers or robots, they will turn hostile and attack you.

Gunners versus Behemoth or Mirelurk Queen

A trio of Gunners are making impressive inroads against one of the Commonwealth's true giants.— VDSG

Ricky Dalton and the Raiders

Once Railroad Quest: Tradecraft is complete, you may see him fighting off Raiders.— VDSG

Treasure hunt encounters

A Dead Raider's Note

Gets you caps.

A Dead Junkie's Note

FO4 Treasure Hunt Junkie.jpg

Gets you chems.

A Dead Gunner's Note

FO4 Dead Gunner Treasure Hunt.png

Gets you a gun and a mod.

Three Dead Scavengers

You will find some scrap and some junk.

A Dead Farmer's Note

You find a synth with a modded gun, junk, and some scrap.

Hadrian's Note

Starts miscellaneous quest, The Treasures of Jamaica Plain.

Automatron encounters

Merchant and Robots

Fo4AUT Merchant and Robots.jpg

Merchant and two caravan guards against four Mechanist robots (merchant and guards always die).

Far Harbor encounters

  • Gulpers vs Trappers (assault)
  • Trapper vs Atom (assault)
  • Children of Atom camp (camp)
  • Mirelurk Nest (object)
  • Trappers vs Fog Crawler (scene)
  • Angler Ambush (scene)
  • Wolves vs Fog Crawler (scene)
  • Vertibird Land Troops

Nuka-World encounters

Assault encounters

  • Disciples vs Super Mutants
  • Operators vs Gunners
  • Pack vs Scavengers
  • Disciples vs Traitor Operators
  • Operators vs Traitor Pack
  • Pack vs Traitor Disciples
  • Bloodworm Ambush + Corpses
  • Cricket + Corpses
  • Traders
  • Swarm + Corpses

Chokepoint encounters

  • Enemy Raiders
  • Bloodworm Ambush
  • Operator Toll

Object encounters

  • Bloodworm Ambush + Corpse
  • Crickets + Car
  • Harvey

Scene encounters

Dead Pack + Deathclaw

Weylan's Folly.jpg
Who's Alpha now? Bitch!The Test

While wandering Nuka-World or the Commonwealth, the Sole Survivor may come across a deathclaw and the five Nuka-World raiders it had just killed. One of the corpses carries the holotape, The Test.


  • Swarm + Corpse
  • Raiders vs Ghouls
  • Bloodworm vs Trader
  • Resting Radgazelles
  • Resting Brahmiluffs
  • Feeding Radants
  • Feeding Rad-Rats
  • Opposing Gangs

Travel encounters

  • Raiders + Prisoners
  • Raider patrol
  • RadGazelles
  • Brahmiluffs

Other encounters

Other random encounters may also happen that are not described in the Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide.

Scavenger near destroyed robots

A scavenger may spawn near any robots destroyed by the player character.

Raiders near dead npcs

Some raiders may spawn near any NPCs killed by the player character.