- 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 Gunslinger Build
Great Perks and Tips for Playing with Pistol Weapons
Playing a pistol-wielding gunslinger in Fallout 4 can be highly rewarding. This is a build I've used heavily and definitely recommend it to newcomers. It's easy as pistols are highly accessible. You can opt to sneak in order to get closer to your victims and make up for pistols' shorter range. While I almost always recommend some of the luck perks for their sheer power, I think it's even more relevant here. Pistols have a naturally lower AP cost than big sniper rifles, so you can take advantage of a faster-filling critical meter. This allows you to dish out big damage while taking very little due to the protection you get while executing attacks in VATS.
SPECIAL Stat Priority Order
- Agility - You want this for the AP it'll give you. Each 2nd point is almost guaranteed to let you execute another move in VATS. Building Luck and Perception early would be wise, however, because you can get the most important Agility Perks without much investment in this stat. Later, you can go all out with Gun-Fu and make this build really come to life.
- Luck - As explained above, pistols usually have a lower AP cost than rifles or automatic weapons. You will be able to regularly take advantage of critical hits so building upon that is wise. This will have a very positive influence on your character's total damage output.
- Perception - We want this perk in a gunslinger build primarily for the extra increase in accuracy when using VATS. Later in the game you may want to invest further to get good perks like concentrated fire and penetrator.
- Intelligence - You will one day want 6 points for Science, but going low INT early could let you use Idiot Savant while focusing on Luck/Agility in order to make up for not having much INT.
- Charisma, Strength, and Endurance - These are pretty much equally weighted. I won't recommend very many perks from these trees. Some are quite handy, like strong back and lone wanderer. Endurance you will want a bit more of as you approach 50+ so that your HP will rise dramatically. If you focus heavily on pistols, you will need to get relatively close to some dangerous enemies and sometimes can't finish them off with your AP pool.
Most Important Perks for a Gunslinger Build
These are not necessarily in the order you should get them, but are somewhat ranked by the potential they provide with early to late game in mind. If you for example went all Agility to get Gun Fu, you'd be shorting yourself on some other perks for a time. Building AGI and Luck are clearly the most important here, but toss a point into Perception every now and then to build up to Concentrated Fire later. You could get to 9 then take the Bobblehead. 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.
Gunslinger (AGI 1)
Take a point in Gunslinger almost every time it's available so that you can outpace your opponents in damage while simultaneously conserving ammunition.
Better Criticals (LCK 6)
Two ranks in Better Criticals will make your crits do triple damage, just to give you an idea of the reasoning behind this. You probably can't get this too early in the game, but it is important to the build.
Gun Nut (INT 3)
I rate Gun Nut as important because weapon mods will increase the base damage of weapons, which is then multiplied by ranks in Gunslinger. This gives your final damage value. This is also important to the gunslinger build due to the need to mod weapons. You may want a longer-ranged pistol with high AP cost so that you can effectively 'snipe' and a low-AP cost gun for close quarters and making great use of Gun-Fu while also building up the crit meter faster.
Sneak (AGI 3)
Not as important as it is to a sniper build, but this will help early-game. Your range won't be great due to the need to invest in Perception. Stealth can let you inch a bit closer to enemies before you engage, while also allowing for effective sneak attacks.
Action Boy/Girl (AGI 5)
Action Boy is handy early to mid game for increasing your AP regen rates when you do not have a large pool of action points. Less time out of VATS. It's not required at all, but very much recommended to take even one point in it. Any time you're executing moves in VATS, you're highly damage resistant (95%) and almost invincible. More time in VATS on higher difficulties is very helpful for this reason.
Four Leaf Clover (LCK 9)
This requires high investment in luck, so you will not get it early without shorting yourself in other areas. Because you can shoot often with low AP cost, four leaf clover gets many more opportunities to trigger. This will give you free crits regularly and synergizes fantastically with the next recommendation.
Critical Banker (LCK 7)
With four leaf clover offering free crits and this allowing you to save more than one, it's a really obvious choice. It's highly important to the build and helps a lot with the gunslinger playstyle. You don't want to waste a critical hit on a weak goon and at the same time won't get any meter charge from killing them. This relieves you of that dilemma and lets you save crits for when you really need the extra damage and 100% accuracy they offer. The latter thing is perhaps what is more important about critical hits to the build, long-range headshots when you only have a 5% chance to hit.
Concentrated Fire (PER 10)
While raising your Perception to gradually gain more accuracy, know that your end-goal is this incredible Perk. Concentrated fire will stack +10%/15%/20% accuracy on each shot to the same body part, and as a pistol user you're able to benefit most from this. The third rank begins stacking damage, as well. This means you may start with 5% chance to hit, then see 25%, 45%, 65% etc. up to the 95% cap. Each of those additional shots would also gain damage with 3 ranks. Obviously not going to be usable until high level, but very much important for taking out high-power targets. I rank this higher than Gun Fu because it will be used more often.
Grim Reaper's Sprint (LCK 8)
Each kill in VATS gets an increasing chance to refill your AP meter, allowing you to queue up more shots instantly. This will make Action Boy less useful, but combined they guarantee you can spend a lot of time in VATS. At its last rank, it will also give you a critical hit that can be stored via critical banker (one full meter's added to your current crit bank).
Gun Fu (AGI 10)
Where concentrated fire kicks in for single-target engagements with hard enemies, gun-fu is for clearing a room with style. It's one of the most OP perks in Fallout 4. The first target takes normal damage, but with rank 2, the second target takes 25% extra, the third 25% extra (the same amount). With rank 2 Gun Fu, it's second target 25%/third target 50%. With rank 3 you've got the same bonus but are doing a critical hit on the fourth target and beyond.
Why this perk is overpowered is the way it works, though it does require four separate targets for maximum potential. Shoot two goons, whether you kill them or not, and queue up multiple shots against a third more powerful target. Every single shot you deal on that third target would deal 50% extra damage. No, it doesn't stack but 50% extra damage is huge. With the third rank you would deal a crit on every shot on the fourth target you pick. Now imagine this with max better criticals, you're dealing 3.5x normal damage.
Even when you only have two targets, you can shoot the weaker target first then switch to a separate more dangerous individual and queue multiple hits. With concentrated fire, you'd also be stacking accuracy and extra damage on that second target by firing upon them multiple times. This also applies on the four target scenario with crits, adding up to insane damage. I'm not 100% sure how it's applied (probably additively) but it's powerful for a high agility gunslinger build.
Other Perk Recommendations for a Pistol Build
Aside from the obvious, such as hacker, strong back, and locksmith, you may also find great use out of other perks like Ninja and Mister Sandman for sneak attack damage. It depends how heavily invested you get into the sneak perk and the type of gear that you wear. This build easily becomes one of the most powerful in the game, with Kellogg's Pistol (main quest) and Deliverer (work with Railroad) being an awesome combo with the former sometimes being rated at something like 400 damage on a critical hit with Better Criticals.
With high luck Righteous Authority (gain from working with Brotherhood) can also be sick, since it will boost your already-fast crit building meter. RA + Kellogg's and you can infinitely spam VATS attacks, though it can get a little boring. Kellogg's can safely be fitted with a scope so that you can snipe with it, since it will refill AP on a crit and make up for the extra AP cost a scope adds to the weapon.
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.