- New - A guide to making a Pistol/Gunslinger Build
- New - A guide to making a Melee Build
- New - Scav Magazine - All locations and details
- For New Players - Read the walkthrough.
- New - Open Season
- New - Power Play Quest
- New - Raider Outposts
- New - Nuka World Endings Guide - Options and Benefits
- The Grand Tour
- Faction Perks and New SPECIAL Ranks in Nuka World
- Gage (Companion)
Fallout 4 Melee Build
Great Perks and Tips for Playing with Melee Weapons
Melee builds are viable even on upper difficulties in Fallout 4, particularly when you invest in the right perks. This guide to a melee build will highlight some of the best perks you can take to enhance your character's damage potential, durability, and make them viable. First we'll look at SPECIAL point priorities then get into the individual perks you should consider and why they're worth a few points.
SPECIAL Stat Priority Order
- Strength - A natural choice. Each point raises your carry weight and lets you deal 10% extra damage with melee weapons.
- Agility - This is primarily for the purpose of unlocking perks and taking advantage of VATS' damage resistance (95% while carrying out attacks).
- Endurance - You'll need to get up close and personal far more often than any ranged character. You can take this later if your HP are fine, it is retroactive so you get far more HP when you take a point at a higher level.
- Luck - For crits, you will one day benefit greatly from grim reaper's sprint, critical banker, etc. Idiot savant is also an incredible perk for a melee build that will not invest much into Intelligence.
- Charisma - Only marginally more useful than below. If you're playing as a raider you won't need local leader, but charisma has its uses in speech checks and bartering. You just won't need many of its perks. Inspirational will be handy if you want to roll with a companion one day, but getting 3 points for Lone Wanderer and using Dogmeat reduces your need for this.
- Intelligence and Perception - These two stats are nearly useless to you as a melee player, and you're kind of lucky in that due to ranged (particularly snipers) needing a bit more of everything. You will likely want 4/4 in order to have access to hacker and locksmith, but that is all! Late-game, 6 points in INT for Science! could come in handy depending upon what modifications for your weapons and armor require.
Most Important Perks for a Melee Build
These are not necessarily in the order you should get them, but are somewhat ranked by the power potential they provide. If you for example went all strength to get Rooted, you'd be shorting yourself on some other perks for a time. Making your build a bit balanced and gradually getting all the perks is part of the fun. Use your best judgment and do what feels right based on your character's current needs.
Big Leagues (STR 2)
Obviously this is the most important perk here, and you should take it every time it's available for another point. It can get upgrades at 7, 15, 27 and 42. This will help you outpace your enemies in damage so that you can go toe to toe with deathclaws and smash gunners before they can harm you.
Blitz (AGI 9)
Blitz lets you initiate VATS from greater distances with its first rank. With the second, it'll let you get the jump on opponents from a rather large area while also increasing the amount of damage you do based upon the distance. It's possible to teleport between enemies with this perk and quickly clear a room if you've got the AP for the job.
Rooted (STR 9)
This is an amazing perk for a melee build. Every time you stop, rooted instantly kicks in and provides you with +50 damage resistance (at rank 2) and +50% Melee damage. The third rank isn't worth it, but the first 2 are incredible. This does work with VATS, even if you're moving. As soon as you stop, and you're considered stopped. Far, far better? It works with blitz even when you initiate melee from longer ranges and stacks with its damage, so you're doing well over double damage from long range.
Blacksmith (STR 4)
Lets you upgrade your melee weapons freely, although you can always take parts off other weapons of the same type and replace them with standard variants. This synergizes with big leagues, as it gives you larger bonuses when you upgrade a piece of gear and have the melee perk.
Armorer (STR 3)
You'll want to survive battles, and this helps you do so. It's a no brainer to take some ranks in this, particularly if you won't use power armor. It's especially helpful if you want to sneak around in light armor to make your ninja stealth attacks more effective. You can nearly triple the DR/ER of a piece of armor when it's fully upgraded and may even increase your AP or carry weight.
Lone Wanderer (CHA 3)
This will help you get a start. There's a reason I put this on the list and not Inspirational, and that's due to the heavy CHA investment that Perk requires. Use this with Dogmeat and you'll get reduced damage taken, increased damage dealt and more carry weight. If you have Nuka World you can get +25AP from a fourth rank, which may give you an extra VATS activation. If you do prefer having a companion, someone ranged would indeed be helpful. However if you follow this build you may be so OP that it won't matter. You don't need Inspirational to go after perks. Skip Attack Dog until later if you go with Dogmeat.
Ninja (AGI 7)
Deal up to 10x damage with sneak attacks. This is more important than crits for initiating, though crits are better when in a big battle. Sneaking up on enemies is hard, right? No. Not with Blitz, which will raise your initiation range. So you can sneak attack quite far away and deal huge damage to enemies, based on blitz, rooted, ninja, and big leagues all stacking. One shot the toughest enemy within range with this perk.
Sneak (AGI 3)
This makes utilizing Ninja just a bit easier, though it's probably not going to be super high on your priority list for a melee character. Naturally enemies will detect your movement and sometimes you may want to get at someone who is a little further away for your big 10x damage sneak attack. This can help achieve that.
Idiot Savant (LCK 5)
This is just here to help you level, since you do not have need for heavy investment into INT until much later when you may want the Science! Perk or any other. Idiot Savant increases total XP gains regardless of how much INT you have, and in fact works even better when you have both.
Better Criticals (LCK 6)
Each rank increases critical damage by 50%. Since you are using Blitz, you're going to be raising the critical meter. May as well make us of it. No, sadly, you won't do some crazy 20x damage when combined with ninja - sneak attacks are added to critical hit damage, not multiplied.
Critical Banker (LCK 7)
Storing Critical Hits for when you really need them is something that is highly useful strategically, particularly in big battles. It also lets your meter overflow so that no crit meter gains are wasted (like when you're just a fraction of a bar away from full). What is more, you may sometimes get a free critical hit when you store one with this Perk!
Grim Reaper's Sprint (LCK 8)
Gives you a chance to refill AP any time you score a kill in VATS, so you can sometimes use blitz straight away after a ninja kill and queue up more attacks. It's an incredible addition to your arsenal. With rank 3, you will see this happen roughly every 3 kills and will additionally get a refill of your critical meter!
Other Perk Recommendations
Aside from the obvious, such as hacker, strong back, and locksmith, you may also find great use out of other perks:
- Action Boy or Action Girl - Increases AP regeneration substantially and with Nuka World can raise max AP.
- Four Leaf Clover - Every hit in VATS gives you a chance to refill your critical meter. Synergizes well with critical banker and grim reaper's sprint. You can spend nearly as much time in VATS as you want.
- Bloody Mess - To raise your base damage, stacks nicely with Big Leagues, but don't take it until you've got a lot of these others
More Fallout 4 Guides
Share Tips and Strategies Below
- Raider Outposts in Nuka World
- Nuka World - Play as a Raider in this DLC
- Far Harbor - Learn about the DLC, its secrets, and read walkthroughs
- Automatron - Guides to building bots and quest walkthroughs
- Settlements - An in-depth guide to Settlements and managing them
- Melee Build - the best perks for a melee character
- Sneaking - Learn to be stealthy
- Critical Hits - Shots to Crit and Crit damage mechanics
- Tips for Making a Build - General advice for creating your own build
- Action Points - AP and all the things that affect it
- VATS - all about the V.A.T.S. and AP usage on weapons
- Gameplay Tips - pointers that will help new players
- Making a Sniper Rifle Weapon mod examples. Heavy hitter and fast-firing Comparison - two guns from the same base.