- 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: Action Points
AP Regeneration, VATS, Sprinting, and Boosting AP.
This guide is a companion piece to what I wrote on The Vault Assisted Targeting System (VATS). Here, we'll focus on Action Points (AP) and how regeneration, sprinting, and other things work. I'll also attempt to list the chems, foods, and other factors that contribute to AP along with Agility. If you're doing a VATS-heavy build, this information can help you plan your character.
How Action Points Work
Action Points Basics
Every character starts with 60 AP +10 per Agility, so a character with 8 Agility has 140 Action Points. AP are used three ways in Fallout 4
- In VATS - to fire weapons, each of which has a cost based upon the type of weapon and its modifications.
- Power Attacks - This is used with melee weapons. You canhold the attack button to execute a power attack
- Sprinting - This gradually drains your action points.
How AP Regeneration Works
Action Points are regenerated at a rate of 6% per second (taking 16.66 seconds to from 0 to full) when outside combat, but halved during combat (so 3% per second). This means the larger your pool of Action Points, the more AP your character will regenerate per second. So if you invest heavily in Agility and take perks like Action Boy or Action Girl your investment will be rewarded with rapid regeneration of AP and being able to use VATS very frequently. This is especially improved when you have Luck-based Perks like Grim Reaper's Sprint, which restores AP 35% of the time when you make a kill.
The Powered legendary mod which states it 'increases AP refresh speed' modifies the base amount by an additional 5% per second, so can double AP regeneration. In testing it took roughly 8 seconds to fill the bar instead of 16. Since combat halves AP regen, the powered mod will negate that penalty. The Commando Chest piece sold by Teagan aboard the Prydwen has this modification, and it can be found randomly on other gear. That same NPC sells a commando helmet that reduces VATS AP costs by 10%, so it's a potent combination.
Characters who sprint do not use a percentage of AP, but rather a set cost per second based upon Endurance. So high Endurance/high Agility means being able to run very far. I did a test with 1k AP to determine it was not percent based.
Boosting Action Points with Armor Mods
While some weapons with legendary mods may do things like reduce AP cost (Righteous Authority) or recover them on critical hit (Relentless/Kellogg's Pistol), you won't gain action points through a weapon. The main means of boosting AP are found on armor. Your character has 6 slots of clothing that can be worn. Clothing that goes beneath armor, and 6-7 slots of armor depending if your helmet is one piece or glasses and a hat.
While many items are sold that have Agility bonuses, most of them are just named versions of legendary armor you may find randomly. Commando Armor is one noteworthy 'set'. It features a helmet and it's easily accessible, bought from the Brotherhood of Steel after you've advanced the story enough to make it to their base. This increases AP refresh speed (chest) and reduces AP cost by 10% in VATS (helmet). To get a full set that boosts Agility AND AP, you'll need to find pieces over time and get lucky with Legendary Affixes. Other items of interest are:
- Army Fatigues - +1 Str/Agi and can fit under armor. National Guard Training Yard.
- Baseball Uniform - same, Monsignor Plaza and University Point
- Military Fatigues - +2 Agility, National Guard Training Yard
- Minuteman Outfit - +1 Agi/Per, take one from Preston Garvey (sometimes) by trading, and also at The Castle once that quest is complete.
If you get lucky and find armor that raises agility or AP through a legendary effect, know that you can additionally put a Misc mod on all non-power armor called Light/Ultra-Light build. Light build increases AP by 2 on legs/arms and 5 on chest, while Ultra-light does 5 on limb armor and 10 on chest. You can get up to +30 AP from having these modifications on all equipment, but it does require the Armorer Perk and you will sacrifice other things like deep pocketed. To make up for this, you may want the Strong Back perk which increases carry weight by +25.
Power armor features many modifications, not many of which involve Action Points. You can get more having regular gear given the +50 you could have from Military Fatigues + Ultra-light on 5 pieces. This is in addition to any +Agility effects you receive from legendary mods, though you may find similar on Power Armor. The Head can be modified via Armorer and Science to provide reduced AP cost in VATS, while power armor torsos can increase AP refresh speed.
Of note, the Torso may also be upgraded to convert damage into Action Points. Right arms can be upgraded to reduce the AP cost of power attacks in unarmed melee. Lastly, painting all Power Armor parts with Hot Rod Paint will give a boost to Agility, as well - you can get that in the same location as the Unarmed Bobblehead.
Buffing Action Points with Food and Drugs
The following is a comprehensive list of all items that either restore AP or boost your maximum Action Points. It is here mainly for your reference to save you looking through things, as not many of these are possible to gather in large numbers. Save these for tough fights and carry a few AP recovery items on you for tough times if you're playing on high difficulty. You can also see my guide to Chems in Fallout 4 for info on acquring some of these.
|Mirelurk Egg Omelette||restores 50 AP per each consumed|
|Ice Cold Alcohols||+35AP (many varieties)|
|Nuka Cherry||+25AP, +50HP per each consumed|
|Nuka Cherry (Cold)||+35 AP, +75HP per each consumed|
|Nuka Cola||+10 AP, +20HP per each consumed|
|Nuka Cola (Cold)||+20 AP, +45HP per each consumed|
|Nuka Quantum||+100 AP, +400HP per each consumed|
|Nuka Quantum (Cold)||+125AP, +650HP per each consumed|
|Increasing Max AP|
|Buffjet||+35AP for 25 seconds|
|Calmex||+3 Agility, 2x Sneak Attack multiplier, +3 Perception for 8 minutes|
|Cooked Softshell Meat +15 AP for 1 hour|
|Deathclaw Steak||+1 Agility (+10 Action Points) for 1 hour|
|Jet Fuel||Faster AP Regen, +35 AP for 8 minutes, also slows time|
|Mole Rat Chunks||+5 AP for 15 minutes|
|PsychoJet||+35 Max AP, Faster AP regen for 8 minutes|
|Roasted Mirelurk Meat||+10 Ap for 30 minutes|
|Slocum's Buzzbites||+25 AP for 1 hour (Can get addicted. Uses Mirelurk Egg, recipe at Slocum's Joe Corp. HQ in a safe)|
|Ultra Jet||+100 AP 5 seconds, slows time as well.|
|Wine||+15AP for 3 hours|
|X-Cell||+2 All Stats. Only here for completion's sake, they are very rare leveled loot and probably never sold.|
Closing Thoughts on AP
I've tried to list everything that affects AP, but may have missed some. Share your advice for others below. Certain weapon mods are worth mentioning, but I plan a full guide to each weapon one day. For now, know that having a sharpshooter's grip provides a small reduction in AP cost, scopes raise AP cost, and having a sight is better than no sight in terms of AP only. Shorter stocks on rifles lower AP cost at the reduction of accuracy (particularly manual sniping). To learn more, see my Vats Guide, which covers AP costs in general.
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.