Fallout 4 Hacking and Lockpicking Guide – How to Lockpick Locks, Hack Terminals

In post-apocalyptic times you have to set aside morals and sometimes do things in slightly controversial ways. In Fallout 4, this is especially true when you’re trying to get yourself some advantage by accessing locked computer terminals and doors.

For more help on Fallout 4, read our Crafting Weapons and Mod Upgrades, Scrap Farming Resources and Fusion Cores Locations Guide.

Fallout 4 Hacking and Lockpicking Tips

Thankfully, you have the necessary tools and the required skill-set to perform both. This guide will thoroughly cover how Hacking and Lockpicking in Fallout 4 works.

Fallout 4 Hacking Tips

Hacking is an extremely important part of Fallout 4, as many essential areas and unique items are locked away behind a secured door.

The only way to open such doors is by using a terminal. Unfortunately, almost all such terminals tend to have passwords, and aside from a handful of them, you won’t be able to find the password.

So what exactly do you do then? Yup, you hack the terminal. You can’t just start hacking immediately after you exit the Vault though.

The Hacker perk from Intelligence is detrimental to your hacking ability, and needs to be upgraded if you want to hack some of the most advanced terminals.

How to Hack
Hacking a terminal results in a mini-game that can be a little difficult to understand first. It displays two columns of what seems like utter nonsense at first, but you’ll quickly realize is that among the gibberish are a set of words.

These words are potential passwords for that terminal. You get four tries to guess which one is correct. If you succeed in guessing, the hack is successful.

If you run out of all the attempts, the terminal will lock down for 10 seconds, after which it can be hacked again. However, once it is locked down, the password and gibberish on the screen will change, making you start from scratch. Sometimes though, once a terminal is locked down, it can cause other complications, so try to avoid that altogether.

Although it may seem so at first, this isn’t merely a bling guessing game. Instead, you’ll notice a little notification on the bottom right corner every time you make a wrong guess.

This notification tells you how many letters in the word you picked actually belong in the actual password. It will only tell you this though if you have selected from the correct column.

For example, if you picked FALL and the real password was BALD, you’ll receive the notification that you had 2 correct: the ‘A and L’ letters.

However, if FALL was in the left column and BALD (the real password) was in the right, you choosing FALL will still result in a zero. This zero indicates that you need to switch to the other column and find the password in there.

When you’re down to your last guess, you’ll have to decide between three things: guess according to your previous attempts, or remove a dud answer (and give yourself another guess), or simply back away and let the terminal generate a new set of letters.

To remove a dud answer, look for brackets of jumbled letters. These are anything contained in the following symbols: {}, [], <>, or (). Select these and you should be given a new set of guesses.

Finding it Hard? Ask for Help!
Sometimes you’ll come across terminals that are either out of your league or simply too risky to hack. In such cases, one of your Companions, Nick Valentine, can be really useful.

Nick is an expert with computers and hacking, and will hack even some of the highest level terminals if you ask him to. Simply command him to hack the terminal and stand back and watch!

Fallout 4 Lockpicking Tips

Lockpicking is more oldschool, and uses the same minigame as the one observed in The Elder Scrolls series. Unlike Hacking, Lockpicking actually requires tools to lockpick. The tool used is a Bobby Pin.

You can find plenty of Bobby Pins throughout the Commonwealth. Make sure you have plenty around, as there are plenty of safes, doors, and toolboxes to unlock, all with some amazing items.

How to Lockpick
You’ll need to take higher levels of the Locksmith perk in Perception if you want to lockpick higher level locks.

In order to lockpick, you’ll need Bobby Pins. Considering you have those, simply interact with the locked safe/door/toolbox to start the minigame. You’ll see a close-up view of the lock, in which you’ve inserted a screw driver and a Bobby Pin.

You are supposed to move the Bobby Pin clockwise or counter-clockwise and try to find the ‘sweet-spot.’ The sweet-spot is the position of the Bobby Pin which will allow you to turn the lock fully.

Use your right analog stick or mouse to rotate around the Bobby Pin, then use the left analog stick or movement keys to turn the lock.

If the Bobby Pin is very far away from the sweet-spot, it will jam. Don’t try move the lock too much when it does jam, as the Bobby Pin will break. Turn the Bobby Pin a bit more clockwise or anticlockwise, then repeat the process.

The close you get to the sweet-spot, the more you’ll be able to turn the lock before it starts jamming.

Once you find the sweetspot, the lock will turn fully to open up. Practice this on some of the easier lockpicks in the game, then apply your skills on the more advanced locks once you upgrade your Locksmith perk.

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...