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

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Fallout 4: Sneak

Perk Strategies & How Best to Use Them

Covert Ops manual in Fallout 4, which helps with enemy detection along with the Sneak Perk Covert ops manuals add to the Sneak perk in order to make you even harder to detect.

Fallout 4's Sneak Perk allows you to use stealth effectively, but is best coupled with Agility. Taking at least the fourth rank is recommended if you want to play a sniper/assassin or melee sneak build. Here are the five ranks of the perk, its level requirements, and Perk IDs for people who'd like to cheat:

Sneak Perk
RankRequiresPerk DescriptionPerk ID
1Agility 3Become whisper, become shadow. You are 20% harder to detect while sneaking.4c935
2Level 5You are now 30% harder to detect while sneaking, and no longer trigger floor-based traps.b9882
3Level 12You are now 40% harder to detect while sneaking, and no longer trigger enemy mines.b9883
4Level 23You are now 50% harder to detect while sneaking, and running no longer adversely affects stealth.b9884
5Level 38Engaging stealth causes distant enemies to lose you.b9881

Sneak PerkGameplay Effects & Utility
The first point of the Sneak Perk gives more than the others, but as I explain in my Stealth guide, this multiplies the benefit you get from agility. The game seems to take your agility into account, then multiply it with this and covert ops manuals to determine how good your character is at sneaking. This, coupled with light, weight of clothing, line of sight, and enemy perception. So, characters with higher Agility will benefit more from this than those without it, but taking just one point will certainly make low perception enemies have a harder time detecting a character with lower agility. The gains from Agility are small (as is typical of SPECIAL bonuses), but this can multiply their impact, and with the help of darkness allow you to walk behind opponents. Actually, it's amazing how well hidden you can be even without armor suited to stealth - I've had feral ghouls walk directly in front of my character without being noticed (they have a Perception of only 4).

At rank 4, you get a new benefit but it's important to make the distinction between running and sprinting. Most of us are probably running at all times, but slowing down (caps lock on PC) will greatly reduce the noise you make while moving. When you take rank 4, you can move at normal speed without affecting stealth at all.

Rank 5 is useful for when you need to escape combat to heal up, as you may in Survival difficulty. You may sprint away, then using your stealth will drop the meter back to where enemies' interest in you is reduced. Of course, it'll also help if you make a mistake and aggro a huge group and need to re-establish 'Hidden' so that you can perform sneak attacks. The AI can be rather dumb when it comes to snipers.

The side benefits of this perk are helpful at times when exploring raider and gunner-infested locations where traps have been set, and will save you from needing to disengage your stealth to run from mines (which you can shoot with a silenced weapon without this perk).

Overall if you desire a stealthy character, you will want at least the first 4 ranks (since the last doesn't improve detection) unless you are going to trick out your armor to aid in stealth (low weight and better in darkness) and track down all the covert ops manuals in the game. With all those things combined, you'll be almost undetectable.

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Share Tips and FAQs (6)

Was hoping for more info (but I realize my questions are about the stealth mechanic, not just the Sneak perk).

How much difference does the Muffled mod on leg armor make? And if you have Sneak at Rank 4, is it no longer necessary/applicable? Which would actually me sneakier, muffled on my legs or reducing their weight via ultra-light?

Is there a way to gauge just how much different clothing weight makes? Like are there brackets (e.g. 0-20lb, 21-50lb, 51+lb), is it scaled per pound so every 0.1lb impacts it a small amount, just based on Normal vs Sturdy vs Heavy armor types and not literally the weight? Does currently equipped weapon's weight factor in too? Helm or hat? Be awesome to know something like "every 10lb effectively negates 1 agility worth of stealth" or something like that.

If core sneaking is based on agility, and the Sneak perk multiplies this by 20-50%, I'd love to know the percent each Shadow mod adds, the actual percent bonus/penalty tied to gear weight, the percent that the Chameleon bonus adds (the invisibility is I think just fancy fx; I assume it's really a stealth multiplier like the Sneak perk, Shadow mod, etc). And how all these things stack, assuming they do.

How does companion stealth work? I know that Strong refuses to sneak. Who does and doesn't? This would be nice to know for pairing with a sneaky hero. I read somewhere that companions actually had the Sneak perk themselves (most of them have it at level 4 I think - or maybe they have it at whatever level you have it). If I load up my companion with +agility, shadow, and/or chameleon gear, will it make them harder to detect?

It was never obvious to me from the perk descriptions, but it's worth noting that the "no longer trigger traps" bonus is always on, not just when sneaking. So even if you never want to sneak, level 3 is great to ignore land mines.
25th January 2016 1:31pm
So much of this I can only guess at, only had so much time to playtest this. I will definitely come back to it as I love playing sneaky myself. I'm glad you asked all this as it got me snooping around the code and I think I can learn more.

Overall testing the sneak mechanic is somewhat complex, because you need to keep conditions the same and see how far you can get. Then there's a random chance they hear you based on the %, which likely grows the closer you get. I WILL get to more about that down the road and investigate armor mods.

From what I see in the game code, it looks like the muffled effect might give a 10% improvement to sneak, this based on the number it shows for falling damage (50%). It shows 10.0 for magnitude while falling damage shows magnitude 50. So it might be 10% increase each for that mod! Based on that, I would think that muffled would be better than ultra-light but it may depend on how heavy the armor is in the first place if that makes sense?

I sure wish I could speak on how weight affects things, don't think the weapon factors in though it does seem it is flatly total weight of the armor. But that would only affect sound when moving and not when standing still and sniping.

I'm not a big fan of companions but will try to look up their stats. I know that some behave better than others and you would think that their armor weight matters too. I am glad that at least them being detected does not affect whether you're detected at least so long as they don't cause enemies to come close or look at you.

I will try to investigate the code and playtest some to see what I can come up with and edit this and the actual page about stealth. Might even make a page on armor mods and list the hidden effects that they have (those that are described but without specific numbers).

Edit: Oh yes, and I do think rank 5 of Stealth doesn't improve stealth further. Having all 4 ranks and as much agility as possible does have a huuuge impact on detection. As I said, I think it takes your agility first then multiplies by the perks. Maybe muffled adds to the 50% from the perk to give you 70%?
27th January 2016 6:53am
Really appreciate it. Even if all your answers weren't fully detailed (yet!), that was still a lot of additional useful info.

Sounds like for muffled, it's definitely still good, and now I need to decide if I need the bonus sneak over the bonus action points.

And with agility playing such an important role, a question that comes to mind is, all other things being equal, would I rather a piece of armor have +1 agility or Chameleon. There's probably some break point where if your base is <x agility, you need more agility, but if it's already >x, the chameleon is more total boost.
27th January 2016 1:33pm
Yeah that's a tough one as far as chameleon. I will try to look at code and see if I can find more boosts and further detail the sneak guide. Thanks for all the great feedback!
31st January 2016 7:30am
We're getting deep into survival now, in the heavy Fallout 4 community. Stealth has a whole new element to the game and is a core function, so it would be great if we could get some comphrensive numbers on "sound" generated by armor so its possible to see what our options are. I tested a lot of stealth in game, and I sincerely think that the only *real* element into stealth after you get those basic perks is armor weight and the noise you make when you move. Honestly, I aim for that classic Fallout 3 or Skyrim style stealth where you can walkprime a nuke nade, total rogue style. So ignoring every other aspect of stealth which we all understand well at this point, lets focus on SOUND/NOISE.

Using the lightest form as leather as an example, would it be better (sound wise) to apply Ultra Light or would it be better to have muffled? How much, in the case of leather, would these mods affect sound?

If muffled ends up being better, the exciting part is you could potentially get away with some really awesome stuff (especially with mods). Like maybe the weight from even Marine armor is significantly muffled if you manage to find all pieces with it on, allowing end game Survival Mode players the ability to survive 1 hit kills while retaining some classic stealth gameplay.

The only missing link at the moment is NOISE. All in all my set on my stealth build adds up to being able 4 ~ 5 weight total. I have 7 agility and Sneak 4. I can generally sneak BY enemies in buildings (Fort Strong for example) if they're about 2 arms lengths away before they hear me (and instantly become catious/agro) but honestly I want to see if its possible to get better results and nearly touch someone before they can hear your clothes moving. If Muffling my ultra light leather set (raising it to like... 9 weight or more) is better, then we can also work that that range (maybe 10 weight is good to be silent, 7 weight lets you pickpocket while they are alert, <5 weight lets you almost touch), or maybe an ultra light that weighs 4 is as good as it gets for silent movement.
13th July 2016 6:55pm
Fallout 3 or Skyrim style stealth where you can WALK UP AND prime a nuke nade***
13th July 2016 6:56pm
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Far Harbor DLC Guides

See my Far Harbor Guide for new features in the DLC. There, you can also watch the trailer and view new weapons that can be found. The area is massive, so we can expect plenty of quests and exploration in a foggy, rugged area with new and challenging creatures to battle.

Pleae note there are different endings for this DLC, something we all wanted! It's like the actual end-game of FO4 in that you can choose the outcome.

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