Carl's Fallout 4 Guide
for PC, Xbox One, and PS4

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Fallout 4 Hacking Tutorial

Finding the Password, Resetting, and Removing Duds

A step-by-step tutorial to hacking terminals in Fallout 4 This tutorial should give you a good strategy for deducing the password of any terminal in Fallout 4, so long as you have the required perk to hack the computer in the first place.

Hacking in Fallout 4 is not particularly hard to some people, although I know there are some out there who will struggle to get the right password. Every 4 tries, the terminal will reset with a 10-second lockout, after which you can try again. Hacking absolutely requires the Hacker Perk, because your character simply finds them too hard to attempt. So, unless you're using a companion who is skilled at Hacking (Nick), you will eventually want these points invested - at least up to Rank 3, which lets you have access to Master Terminals (and thus those with the best loot/effects).

The Rank 4 perk simply prevents the cooldown, which may be helpful in tense situations however is rarely necessary. All terminals give you a second try after 10 seconds, so you can attempt it as many times as you like. A Master-level password is certainly more challenging to guess, but with the process most of us use, you should have no trouble. There are also ways to remove duds and reset the number of attempts you have.

How to Hack

You get four tries to guess the password when hacking in Fallout 4 You get four tries, but the lockout is not permanent. You can also remove duds with symbols that begin and end with () and reset attempts with others like []

I'll show you an example so that you can follow along with how I choose the correct password. It's not 100% foolproof as sometimes there are multiple words that meet the criteria. First, finding items in brackets or parentheses that start/end with () and [] can remove duds and reset tries. Save the latter for later in an attempt. You'll know you've selected one that has an effect because it will highlight the whole string, as in (.), as opposed to just the first symbol.

Now, I've removed a dud and selected Loyalist. The likeness to the actual password was only 1. So I need a word that has at least one of those letters in each of the spots, but if it has more than 1 in comparison to the word Loyalist, I know it's the wrong one. See, Citizens cannot be it because in none of those spaces does the word Loyalist have something in common:


I do not choose Citizens because no letters line up. So I can take the word loyalist, and try to find a word that has ONLY ONE letter in the same spot as Loyalist. I try Resulted, because the L in the 5th slot is the same when I spell it out in my head while looking at the word:


Now, I've got a likeness match of 3. Resulted is very close to the right word, but I've only got 2 attempts left. On Expert/Master Terminals there are fewer attempts resets and dud removals available. They're just a bit harder than Novice, really because of that one reason.

I try Supplied, but I want to point out something here as it's a good example. You can use previous words to help show you that it can't be the right word.


These have 3 letters in common, but I'd previously guessed Loyalist and it told me only one letter matched the right password. I can also compare that attempt with the word I'm thinking of trying:


These have two in common - it told me there was only 1 letter correct about Loyalist. So now I know it's something else.

I can now go on what's left and realize that the password is Unwanted. The only thing it has in common with other words exactly matches what my first attempts told me:

LOYALIST - 1 in common with UNWANTED - with the others ending in TED that A being in the middle correct is very helpful.
RESULTED - 3 in common with UNWANTED
SUPPLIED - 2 in common with UNWANTED
UNWANTED - this is the password for this terminal.

I can now use the terminal to unlock the door. I can now use the Terminal to unlock the door, which could not be lockpicked.

In Closing
Hope this helps some of you new players get the Hacking system in Fallout 4. You can always take notes (in a text file) on where you saw terminals you couldn't hack at low level, as well as safes you couldn't open without more Locksmith. Some Companions are able to hack terminals, just don't expect Dogmeat to do it.

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