- 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 SPECIAL & Perks
What Stats Do and Links to Perk Strategy
The Fallout 4 Stats and Perk system are intimately tied together. You start the game with 1 point in each stat with 21 points to spend - so you have a total of 28 right away. In order to unlock Perks further down the tree, you need a higher SPECIAL stat level in order to do so. However, these stats do not only increase the number of Perks available to your character. They also give your character bonuses for each point you have, and their combined effects can be a big factor - for example the synergies with Strength/Perception with Agility when using VATS.
When you level up, you can either choose to increase one of the Perks or elect to take a point in Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, or Luck and grant your character a small bonus in specific areas, while also unlocking additional Perks. This guide will initially teach you about the basic bonuses you get for each point, while later in guide development I will use it to link to pages about the individual perks, categorized by stat. While I'll eventually make a list of ALL Bobblehead locations as well as magazines, I will say where the Bobbleheads for these stats can be found on this page.
Jump to a Stat
How SPECIAL Stats Work
There are a few things to note before getting started. First, you can get a stat's base value to 11 by waiting to take the
Secondly, if you unlock a perk at, say, Luck 6, you will not find that later you need Luck 7 in order to advance that perk. Only level is the secondary requirement, and the game rewards you for having a high stat by having no level requirement on all perks at rank 1. Perk availability is only determined by your base stat, never affected by drugs (like Buffout, which gives +2 Str/+2 End) or gear bonuses - so you can't get around needing a flat 6 Charisma to get the Local Leader Perk, which many players will want.
You can find a You're SPECIAL book in your character's home upon return (found in the nursery) which will let you select one SPECIAL stat to increase, but this can not be used to get a Stat to 11.
SPECIAL Stats & Bobblehead Locations
(Click for Guide to Strength Perks)
Game Description: Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much you can carry, and the damage of all melee attacks.
What the Stat Does for your Character: Every point of strength adds +10 carry weight for your character (who has a starting carry capacity of 200). Additionally, Strength increases melee weapon damage by 10% for each point. A normal Super Sledge was used to test this - it technically has a base damage or 40, but even a character with 1 strength will see it as 44. Yes, you will see Strength show itself impacting the damage stat on melee weapons. It shows you what damage you can do with them, which is appropriate. A character with 10 strength gets +100 carrying capacity and deals double damage with melee weapons - the unmodified Super Sledge becomes 80 damage.
Strength checks are not a thing in Fallout 4's base game. All checks are Charisma-based.
Where to Find the Strength Bobblehead: Inside the Mass Fusion Building on the top level. Sits atop a statue.
(Click for Guide to Perception Perks)
Game Description: Perception is your environmental awareness and "sixth sense," and affects weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S.
What the Stat Does for your Character: As the game's description says, Perception increases accuracy in VATS. It's assumed it gives a +% to the weapon's base accuracy, but only while using that mode of fire. Normal accuracy is based on your own aim. High perception can let you hit further with a short-range weapon in VATS and will make it practically guaranteed you can make a shot with a medium-long-range weapon so long as you're at a reasonable distance the target isn't hidden. Perception might also affect the distance that you can detect enemies, if it works at all like Fallout 3. You may also, with your heightened sense of touch, be less likely to break a lockpick. I could not see a change in Pickpocketing success rates when adjusting perception, though it may affect how accurate your 'detection' meter is. I could see no change in direct success rates though agility does boost the %chance to steal.
I highly recommend this stat for a good sniper build, thought if you yourself do not use VATS much, agility would be better in order to increase your success rates while sneaking and scoring sneak attacks. Perception may occasionally come up in dialog options, as you may 'notice' something about an NPC and get to use your awareness to your own benefit.
Where to Find the Perception Bobblehead: Inside the Museum of Freedom, found very early in a game. You can find it in the room where you initially meet Preston Garvey. It is sitting on a desk.
(Click for Guide to Endurance Perks)
Game Description: Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. It affects your total Health and the Action Point drain from sprinting.
What the Stat Does for your Character: Endurance gives you more HP per level up, but thankfully its effects are retroactive. You get 2.5 + 0.5 per Endurance per level. Taking this at level 100 would give you 50 additional hp, while taking it at level 10 would give only 5. Therefore, it gets more useful to have high endurance as you gain levels beyond 10-20. With higher armor values, it makes a bigger difference on your survivability.
The reduction in AP drain from sprinting can come in handy. Obviously having more Agility to have more AP to begin with is useful, but if you're going to run up on an enemy and blast them in the head using VATS, this is the way to go! You'll have more AP by the time you get there with the slower drain. At present it's unknown if this affects anything else, but more HP is important to many builds so it will find its way into a majority of them. It is not worthwhile to bother trying to get 11 Endurance given the difference of 0.5hp x level, as opposed to, say, +10% more damage from melee for 11 strength or 10 more AP from Agility. You're better off to put a point into something more useful - if you want survivability, there are many perks that do that.
Where to Find the Endurance Bobblehead: Poseidon Energy, far Southeast in the Commonwealth. You'll find it in the main area, far up in a room you must climb ramps to reach.
(Click for Guide to Charisma Perks)
Game Description: Charisma is your ability to charm and convince others. It affects your success to persuade in dialogue and prices when you barter.
What the Stat Does for your Character: With each point in Charisma, you'll get roughly 5% off the sale price in stores. I say roughly because the price is not cut in half at level 10 - it'll get you not quite 45% off the sale price. It may vary a bit based on other factors that are unknown to me. You seem to get about 2% increase in sell values when you're the one doing the selling, so all in all it can help you to get quite a lot more out of a typical exchange with a shopkeeper - many of us are finding we don't need to interact with shops very often, however, due to all the great loot found out in the wastes. Still, when you come across something that actually costs thousands of caps, it make a big difference..
Charisma will come into play more often in quest dialog than any other SPECIAL stat, so it may help to improve your rewards and indirectly give you opportunities for better money and items from questgivers. Overall, I've found having 6 Charisma is very useful because of the Local Leader perk (which I think you should take early), but can't say that in my 'normal' gameplay that it would be very useful to me to go beyond that. You always have the option to quicksave before attempting to persuade an NPC, though I have not bothered to do so.
The Charisma bobblehead is far enough into the game to get that it's probably better to just get to 6 directly and take that 7th point from the Bobblehead as a bonus and go back to Charisma later in the game if you want to max everything out. The Party Boy Perk you can get for 7 Charisma could be immensely useful given you won't be made an Alcoholic and can get +3 Luck with it maxed out, which WILL impact VATS combat given you will have the chance to Critical Hit more often.
Charisma allows a pacifist style build with the Intimidation perk, where you aim a gun and can pacify lower level enemies. It's not going to be 100% reliable, however it may help a lot in combat to turn one of the attackers against their own allies.
Where to Find the Charisma Bobblehead: Found inside Parsons State Insane Asylum. You must be on the quest chain with Mr. Cabot in order to get inside, only after meeting a Ghoul named Edward Deegan who sometimes shows up at Bunker Hill in a bar.
(Click for Guide to Intelligence Perks)
Game Description: Intelligence is a measure of your overall mental acuity, and affects the number of Experience Points earned.
What the Stat Does for your Character: Intelligence has only one role in Fallout 4's base game. For many players, you will take points in this to get Perks and nothing more. This is because of all the bonuses listed from the stats on this page, +3% experience per point is not much. That's it - 3% per point. When you're able to wear gear and take mentats to boost Intelligence on turning in big quests to level faster anyway, it just doesn't come out as useful as the other SPECIAL stats in terms of what it provides directly. That's not to say it's useless, because you need it to unlock some great Perks.
The big redemption for Intelligence is the great Perks allowing you to modify high-tech weapons and make Fusion Cores last twice as long. For those who do not care about this, it's good to get to say that it only takes 4 Intelligence to be able to hack Advanced Terminals and up, so you do not need to invest many points to get past those security checkpoints and turn turrets and Protectrons against those they're charged to protect.
Where to Find the Intelligence Bobblehead: Inside a room on the Northern side of Boston Public Library's second Floor. You'll find it there, sitting on a computer.
(Click for Guide to Agility Perks)
Game Description: Agility is a measure of your overall finesse and reflexes. It affects the number of Action Points in V.A.T.S. and your ability to sneak.
What the Stat Does for your Character: Each point of Agility will give you +10 points of Action Points for use in VATS. Characters start with 60 AP +10 for the 1 Agility they'll have. How many attacks that agility's AP gets you is based on the weapon's firing rate. Additionally, higher agility will give you a percentage chance reduction in being caught while sneaking. It's presumed this is about 10% each, but hard to tell. A high agility build that also features Perception makes for a wonderful sniper, but Agility may also come in handy if you're using melee weapons to sneak attack opponents or using VATS with fast-attack weapons. Agility also directly affects the percentage chance to steal from an NPC. Higher agility will make you more likely to be able to steal high-value items without getting caught.
Where to Find the Agility Bobblehead: The Wreck of the FMS Northern Star is in the far southeastern corner of the map.
(Click for Guide to Luck Perks)
Game Description: Luck is a measure of your general good fortune, and affects the recharge rate of Critical Hits.
What the Stat Does for your Character: Luck affects the chance you will find items such as ammunition and caps at random throughout your adventures. Additionally, since Fallout 4 gives you control over Critical Hits (press space during a VATS attack), it affects how quickly the meter will fill up. Many of the luck-based perks are quite interesting, and may make for a fun build - but one based entirely on chance. The amazing Grim Reaper's Sprint perk, along with Better Criticals and Critical Banker require you to have a high luck stat. The earlier you get good 'luck' the sooner you can benefit, as all those containers/kills you secure throughout your adventure could contain more items in them if you had luck. In this way, it indirectly affects your available resources and may be a better overall pick than Charisma as far as shopping goes - more caps found and less ammo to buy!
Where to Find the Luck Bobblehead: On Spectacle Island, in a nearly sunken boat.
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.