Fallout 4 Best SPECIAL Stats Starter Builds

Fallout 4 – The Best SPECIAL Stats and Starter Builds

Bethesda Game Studios is dropping the long-awaited next-gen update for Fallout 4 today and many players, both new and returning, are venturing into the ruins of Boston and the Commonwealth. Thanks to the success of the TV show, thousands of players are flocking to Fallout 4, though beginners might initially be confused about what to throw into your starting stats. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best SPECIAL stats, what they do, their benefits and how you can begin creating some decent starter builds.

Fallout 4 originally launched in 2015 so enough time has passed for players to experiment with the best perks, skills and stats before heading out into the wastelands. This guide is meant to help new players venturing into the game after the next-gen update. Here’s a rundown of the SPECIAL stats and what you should be focusing on depending on your preferred playstyle.

SPECIAL Stats Breakdown

Fallout 4 Best SPECIAL Stats Starter Builds

At its core, Fallout 4 is an RPG and that means having plenty of role-playing opportunities to create your own character complete with their own specialisations and qualities. The first thing you’ll do upon exiting the vault is determine your SPECIAL stats. Initially you start off with 1 points in each stat with an additional 21 points to add to these attributes. To quickly give you a rundown:

  • Strength: A measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much you can carry and the damage of all melee attacks.
  • Perception: Perception is a measurement of your environmental and situational awareness. It directly affects weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), lock-picking skills, and successful attempts at stealing items.
  • Endurance: A measure of your overall physical fitness. It affects your total Health and the Action Point drain from sprinting.
  • Charisma: Your ability to charm and convince others. It affects your success to persuade in dialogue, prices when you barter, and the maximum number of settlers in settlements.
  • Intelligence: A measure of your overall mental acuity. It affects the number of Experience Points earned and reduces the number of dud words when hacking terminals.
  • Agility: 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.
  • Luck: A measure of your general good fortune and affects the recharge rate of Critical Hits.

The Best SPECIAL Stats

Fallout 4 Best SPECIAL Stats Starter Builds

It’s generally agreed upon that Intelligence is an important attribute to sink points into. This determines how much crucial experience points you gain as you level up, meaning you get additional points to put into upgrading your character with each level-up. We recommend putting at least 6-7 points into Intelligence (regardless of build) as that gains you a subtantial amount of experience points – enough to max out a lot of perks before completing the game.

Unlike Fallout: New Vegas, Charisma actually matters in Fallout 4. This is because Bethesda Game Studios did away with the Speech skill, meaning your Charisma impacts how organically successful you are in dialogue checks and persuasion. Since a good amount of time is spent talking to NPCs in the game, you might want to have a high enough Charisma to be able to talk your way out of situations, especially in the early game. Furthermore, Charisma also affects how many settlers you can have in settlements.

Your third best SPECIAL stat comes down to Perception or Agility. Perception helps you with your V.A.T.S. accuracy which is pretty useful in a gunfight. Agility also ties into V.A.T.S., giving you more Action Points so that you can fire off more shots.

As for Luck, Endurance and Strength, it really boils down to what kind of build you want to make. Strength is useful for a melee build and affects how much you’re able to carry, while Endurance ensures your survival with more Health. That said, Luck is arguably one of the weakest, if not the weakest, stat in the game. In New Vegas, Luck was exceptional because of gambling and getting more consistent critical hits. In Fallout 4, Luck mainly affects the recharge rate of Critical Hits, which becomes less useful the more you level up.

The Best Starter Builds

Fallout 4 Best SPECIAL Stats Starter Builds

Builds in Fallout 4 aren’t going to be as fleshed out as past games (mainly due to the new perks system), but there’s still room for creating ideal builds that specialise in specific skills. Here are some of our favourites starter builds and which SPECIAL points are required for them:

The Charming Diplomat: One of my go-to builds in Fallout 4 is something I call the Charming Diplomat. This build is mainly for players who want to be clever smooth-talkers, preferring the diplomatic approach to defusing situations over violence. With high points in both Charisma and Intelligence as your focus, you’ll be hitting those persuasion checks easily and gaining enough experience points to make this build extremely effective very early on in the game (sticking to the attribute’s associated perk trees, of course).

The downside to this build is you’re simply not going to be that good in combat. You can ideally put some points into perks that give you small advantages in combat, but your main spread of points will be dumped into Charisma and Intelligence above all. That said, you’ll have to rely on companions or animal friends a lot. Once you get the Intimidation perk, you can turn enemies against each other.

The Lone Sniper: Another fantastic build in Fallout 4 purely relies on rifles and being an absolute beast of a sniper. Unlike the Charming Diplomat build, you’re a person of very few words, choosing to engage your enemies from a distance with stealthy tactics and headshots. For this, your main SPECIAL stats need to be Perception and Agility (maybe just a bit of Luck too). Perception will upgrade your accuracy while Agility affects your sneaking, which a sniper really needs. Having those extra V.A.T.S. perks is also nice.

Of course, the downside to this build is your inability to converse well in dialogue. To be fair, you’re probably going to avoid solving your issues with speech as much as possible and just choose violence most of the time, picking off enemies in the shadows like a post-apocalyptic Deadshot.

Captain Caveman: The last build we’ll talk about is one I like to call Captain Caveman. No guns, no talking, all bonk. This build relies on being efficient with melee weapons, getting up-close and personal with enemies while tanking hits like a champ. Your SPECIAL stats should ideally focus on Strength and Endurance. Strength means you’ll be dealing good damage with melee weapons while Endurance ensures you’ll be able to take hits without dropping after a few bullets. Pick the best associated perks and you’ll be good to go.

The downsides to this particular build are quite obvious, so I only recommend it for the brave and bold. You won’t be great at using guns and ranged weapons, plus you might as well be screaming “unga bunga!” during dialogue. If that’s your idea of a fun build, I’m not going to stop you (it really is a fun build though).

Fallout 4 is available for PS4, Xbox One and PC with a next-gen update available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Editor-in-Chief of Nexus Hub, writer at GLITCHED. Former writer at The Gaming Report and All Otaku Online. RPG addict that has wonderful nightmares of Bloodborne 2.

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