Have you managed to answer the question, “What makes you SPECIAL?” If not, you’re in the right place. Fallout 4 wants you to answer this fairly early in the game, and it’s easy to mess up when you can’t.
Ultimate Fallout 4 Perks Guide
The game’s leveling system is designed in such a way that it is largely governed by seven attributes. Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. These are called S.P.E.C.I.A.L, and they decide what you can and cannot do in the game.
How SPECIALs Work
Each SPECIAL has its own sets of perks – ten of them, to be precise.
Every Rank in a SPECIAL unlocks one perk by order. If you have Rank 1 in Strength, only Iron Fist will be unlocked. If your Rank is 3 in Strength, then Iron Fist, Big Leagues, and Armorer will be unlocked.
Here’s a list of all the perks in the game, and how exactly they benefit you.
Fallout 4 Strength Perks
No guns? No problem! All you need is a punching weapon like brass knuckles, and you’re good to go. This perk increases the damage of punch attacks with every Rank (5).
Sometimes, you want to give your fists are rest, and your shoulders an exercise… by hitting people in the face with something you can swing.
If that’s the case, Big Leagues is for you, as it enhances your damage with melee weapons with every Rank (5), with the last rank increasing chances of an insta-kill or crippling your enemies.
What good is a man in the Wasteland without any protection? Armorer allows you to modify armor pieces you find in the game, with every Rank (4) unlocking a new Rank of craftable mods.
Not happy with a conventional bat? Why not add some spikes to it! Blacksmith gives you the ability to craft and modify melee weapons with mods. Each Rank (3) unlocks a new level of craftable mods.
Bad, mean looking weapons are attractive, which is why you’ll probably salivate at the sight of a minigun, or a rocket launcher, or even a Fatman, or simply all of them. Heavy Gunner adds extra damage with Heavy Guns with every Rank (5).
Lift heavier and more objects, as if you were a truck! Strong Back adds plenty of additional carry weight, then allows you to run while overburdened, and even fast travel with excessive weight in the final Rank (4).
Do you like run-and-gunning? Yeah, the ironsight is overrated, which is why you want to hip-fire a-plenty! Steady aim greatly improves the hip-fire accuracy with every Rank (2).
Get up close and personal, even when you’re carrying a gun! Basher vastly increases your bash damage with the butt ends of your weapons with every Rank (4).
Do you enjoy standing still and just hacking away at enemies? Doing so with Rooted will now do extra damage with every Rank (3), and can even disarm enemies that use melee against you with the final one.
All aboard the Pain Train! Use your Power Armor to ram into enemies when sprinting, doing a lot of damage and staggering. Don’t expect the stagger to work against creatures your own size though! Each Rank (3) greatly increases the damage.
Fallout 4 Perception Perks
Sticky fingers and a swift hand can get you real far, as long as ‘friend’ is looking away.
Pickpocket makes pickpocketing easier, and allows you to place grenades in a person’s inventory, and even steal equipped weapons and items (including clothes!) at higher Ranks (4).
You love rifles. I love rifles. Everybody loves rifles! Keep a nice distance from that person you don’t like and shot them one at a time with a rifle, and let the Rifleman perk aid you in making your gun both deadlier and more accurate.
Each Rank (5) increases damage with non-auto rifles and later ranks add armor penetration and chance to cripple limbs.
Sometimes you just want to know a person you’re killing a bit more. If you feel that desire, perhaps Awareness is for you. It displays a target’s specific Damage Resistance in VATS, so you can shoot them where it hurts.
Found a locked door? No problem! Pick a few Bobby Pins from the nearest dressing table and begin pocking away! Picking higher level locks is what Locksmith will let you do, and at final Rank (4), your Bobby Pins will never break!
Are you a Michael Bay fan? If you are, chances are you’ll love this perk, as it makes your booms go bigger than ever, and lets you craft some of the best explosives you can dream of. Each Rank (4) increases explosive damage.
Call the inner Dracula in yourself as you venture in the night, with enhanced Intelligence and Perception when that awful Sun isn’t shining on your face.
Annoyed by all the lasers flying around? Try making yourself a partial mirror! Refractor increases your Energy Resistance with every Rank.
Are you okay with keeping long distance relationships? Why not show your friend how painful they can be! Each Rank (3)of Sniper perk makes sniping from distance an easier task.
Walls aren’t nice when they offer protection to people you don’t like. Show them you mean business with the Penetrator perk. Each Rank (2) allows you to target enemy body parts that are blocked by walls.
Your obsession with specific body parts during VATS will only benefit you. Use this perk to add increase accuracy after every attack on the same body part during VATS. Each Rank (3) increases this accuracy.
Fallout 4 Endurance Perks
Try to become Wastelandman! If nothing else, you’re pretty good at taking a beating, or absorbing bullets. Each Rank (5) increases your Damage Resistance by 10.
You hunger is so strong, not even Radiation can do much about it! Line your internals with some lead and take less radiation from eating or drinking with each Rank (3).
Be your own savior! Increase your health with this simple yet effective perk, with every Rank (3) adding 20 to maximum health.
Drugs are bad, m’kay? Unless of course, you’re resistant to getting addicted. Get high without the withdrawal effects. Rank 1 reduces chances of getting addicted by 50%, whereas Rank 2 makes you immune to it altogether.
Aquaboy / Aquagirl
There’s plenty of water in the Commonwealth, so why not go for a swim? Each Rank (2) increases your ability to swim in the irradiated water of the Wasteland.
Gradually line yourself internals with lead to make yourself more Radiation resistant. Each Rank (3) adds 10 Radiation Resistance.
Take inspiration from Wolverine and infuse yourself with some indestructible metal!
Just make sure you don’t lose your memory though. Each Rank (3) reduces limb damage by 30%, until it finally becomes impossible to break a bone.
Hello Clarice. Eat mortal flesh to heal your wounds! Just don’t do it around the nice folks (including companions, Ghouls, and others) or they’ll judge you… and maybe even attack you. Each Rank (3) increases the variety of flesh you can eat.
Don’t show it to others, but you’re secretly a Ghoul from inside! You’ll be able to heal yourself with Radiatoin with this perk. Each Rank (3) will increase the amount of healing, with the final Rank making some of the Feral Ghouls friendly!
Ah, don’t you just love the Sun? Catch them good rays with this perk and benefit from sunlight.
You gain increased Strength and Endurance during day time, and at higher Ranks (3) you’ll be able to slowly heal radiation damage as well as regenerate health from the sunlight.
Fallout 4 Charisma Perks
You’re so charming that vendors will improve their buying and selling prices. Each Rank (3) improves this feature, and Rank 3 allows you to invest a total of 500 Caps to raise a store’s buying capacity.
Black Widow / Lady Killer
A charmer by face, and killer by hand. You have extra damage against the opposite gender. Each Rank (3) increases the damage done by 5 percent.
Friends are overrated. Explore the Wastelands alone! You gain increased carry weight and reduce damage with every Rank (3) when traveling alone, with the final Rank increasing your damage!
Train Dogmeat to become as mean as yourself! Each Rank (3) allows him to hold an enemy down and inflict extra damage.
So what if that Yao Guai is irradiated? Your charm is so good animals might befriend you if you aim your gun at an animal below your level. Each Rank (3) adds the ability to pacify as well as order your animal friend.
Inspire through leadership in your settlements! As the ruler, you’ll be able to estlablish supply lines (Rank 1) and also build stores and workstations at your settlements (Rank 2).
Don’t be afraid to participate in drinking games anymore! Remove any chances of getting addicted to alcohol, and let the effects (Rank 2) be doubled. Rank 3 increases your Luck by 3 while you’re drunk.
Lead by example, and bring the best out of your companions! Each Rank (3) improves your companion alongside you, from damage to carry weight!
For some reason, creepy things like Mirelurks aren’t considered ‘animals’. No problem! Use Wasteland Whisperer and pacify such Wasteland creatures who are below your level. The Ranks (3) work in a similar way to Animal Friend.
Sometimes you need more than just animals and creatures by your side. Use your influencing power on humans now as well! The perk works in a similar manner to Wasteland Whisperer and Animal Friend.
Fallout 4 Intelligence Perks
Are you lost? Let Vault-Tec guide you! The path to your closest quest target is displayed in VATS.
Get the best out of your medication! Your extra bit of medicine knowledge boosts your health restoration and Radiation removal. Each Rank (4) increases Stimpaks health restore and RadAway radiation removal.
Don’t act like a stooge by using the pea-shooters you find across the Wasteland. Build your own guns! Each Rank (4) unlocks new types of gun mods for your weapons.
You know programming language better than those who make computer terminals. Use your skills to hack high rank terminals with every Rank (4).
If all the junk around you doesn’t make you happy, you should be ashamed of yourself. Invest in Scrapper to salvage uncommon components from every-day items!
Take full advantage of your know-how and unlock new high-tech mods with every Rank!
Be a genius who is addicted to drugs! Each Rank (4) increases the duration of chems you consume.
Machines are your servants, as long as you know how to tinker with them. Use this perk to gain the ability to hack a robot, and even command it with higher Ranks (3)
You know too much about the atom to let nuclear weapons and items be so inefficient. Each Rank (3) increases Radiation weapon damage and also increases Fusion Core duration in Power Armor.
Become the embodiment of Bruce Banner! Whenever you get low on health (below 20%), your damage resistance increases and you do more damage with each Rank (3). HULK SMASH!
Fallout 4 Agility Perks
Yee-haw! Use your Wild West techniques to inflict more damage with non-auto pistols. Each Rank (5) increases damage by 20%.
Trigger happy much? Those automatic weapons will come in handy when you have this perk. Each Rank (5) increases damage and improves hip-fire accuracy.
You’re virtually wearing some fuzzy rabbit slippers, as it’s really hard to hear you sneak! Each Rank (5) increases difficulty for enemy’s to detect you by 10%.
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I shall die when I’m wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Kill sleeping folks instantly and do more damage with silenced weapons!
Action Boy / Action Girl
Amp it up! Your Action Points will regenerate much faster with every Rank (2).
Can’t Touch This! You’re too good to be hit when you’re moving about. Each Rank (3) grants you +25 Damage Resistance and +25 Energy Resistance when sprinting. Hammer Time!
Become the shadow assassin. Your sneak attacks do way more damage with every Rank (3) of this perk.
Don’t let the design of your weapons bother you. With this perk, you can reload faster, and at 2nd Rank reloading weapons costs no Action Points.
Get uncomfortably close to your opponents from uncomfortably long distances without a sweat wit this perk. Each Rank increases the VATS melee distance and damage.
You know what’s cooler than a martial artist? A martial artist… with guns! Use your awesome reflexes to take out multiple foes during VATS, doing increased damage to your second target and beyond with every Rank (3).
Fallout 4 Luck Perks
Discover the hidden wealth in the Wastelands. You’ll find more Bottlecaps in containers than you know what to do with.
Each Rank (4) increases the amount of Bottlecaps found in containers, with the final rank making it possible for enemies to explode in a shower of caps.
No ammo? No problem! Just look in the closest container and you’ll find plenty. Each Rank (4) increases the amount of ammo you find in containers.
Oops. You accidentally somehow blew the person you were trying to hurt into flesh spray. Each Rank (4) adds to the effect of exploding corpses.
I could swear some mysterious dude appeared and shot someone for me while I was using VATS. Make this happen more often with this perk with every Rank (3).
Your stupidity makes you SPECIAL. Randomly receive 3x/5x XP from any action. The lower your Intelligence, the greater the chance.
Lady Luck is kind enough to make your criticals hurt really bad. Each Rank (3) greatly increases the amount of damage Criticals do.
Somehow, you can actually manage to save criticals in VATS. Each Rank (3) allows you to save one additional critical.
Grim Reaper’s Sprint
Kill stuff in VATS and get a chance to restore your Action Points Each Rank (3) increases the chance of this happening, with the last rank also giving a chance to fill your critical meter.
Four Leaf Clover
If you like VATS, chances are you like Criticals. With this perk, each hit in the VATS has a chance of filling your critical meter. Each Rank (4) improves this chance.
Sometimes you just gotta let Lady Luck handle everything. There’s a chance an enemy’s ranged attack will ricochet off you and instantly kill them. The closer you are to death, the higher the chance with each Rank (3).