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Best starting SPECIAL stat placement

Fallout 4 Starting Stats

Hello! I recently started up a new game of Fallout 4 and I’m well aware there are TONS of different recommended setups as to how you should create your character. For me, I found that trying to effectively allocate the 21 points you get at the beginning of the game can be difficult. I JUST WANT EVERYTHING, RIGHT?

Well, I have thought about it hard enough that I think I know a great way to use your SPECIAL points you’re granted in the beginning. This is not how I set up my character in any of my playthroughs, as I came up with this setup afterwards, so this is a bit of a theory speaking technically. This is also speaking generally. It’s not necessarily suited for every play style and if you plan to roleplay a specific type of character, this probably won’t suit your character. Lastly, this is NOT designed for survival mode.

Here’s the setup, explanation down below:

  • Strength: 3 points, bringing you to 4 strength
  • Perception: 2 points, bringing you to 3 perception
  • Endurance: 2 points, bringing you to 3 endurance
  • Charisma: 6 points, bringing you to 7 charisma
  • Intelligence: 6 points, bringing you to 7 intelligence
  • Agility: 0 points, bringing you to 1 agility
  • Luck: 2 points, bringing you to 3 luck


Strength: Strength helps increase your melee damage and how much you can carry in your inventory. For me, the second part of that is the more important aspect, as I tend to collect junk for settlements, and higher carry weight allows for less stops at my settlements to transfer said junk. Also, it helps when you have heavily modified guns, armor, etc. Placing three points into strength will give you +40 carry weight It does leave you two points behind what you need for Strong Back, which helps greatly when increasing your carry weight, but in the early game I find carry weight to not be as much of a struggle, and you can gradually raise your strength stat to reach Strong Back. Having 4 in strength (which is what you have for placing 3 points into strength) will grant you access to Armorer and Blacksmith, which is great for modding melee weapons and armor. Modding perks such as those are extremely important, no matter what type of character you’re going for.


Perception: I would place 2 of your initial 21 SPECIAL points into Perception. Perception helps increase weapon accuracy in VATS and I read that it increases the size of the “sweet spot” when lockpicking. Both of these are decent bonuses. It’s approximately a 4% increase in VATS accuracy per perception point. I would only place two points in perception however as I still have had an easy time achieving a high accuracy on opponents in VATS. Of course, range of the weapon, the weapon’s general accuracy, and the distance between you and your enemy will determine the accuracy much greater than perception would, and that was my thought process behind putting few points into perception.

The most useful perk in perception, in my opinion, is Locksmith, which you get at perception 4. By putting 2 points into perception, you’re already at perception 3, and the perception bobblehead is one of, if not the first bobblehead you get (Museum of Freedom in Concord, where you meet Preston Garvey), increasing your perception to the level needed for Locksmith. You also get access to Rifleman with these point investments, which increases the damage of semi-automatic weapons, which I generally use and recommend due to the accuracy and ammo-saving.


Endurance: Endurance was a tough decision for me. Why? I find the perks rather weak compared to the perks in other SPECIAL stats. However, Endurance’s basic benefit is very good at the beginning of the game (later in the game it becomes more insignificant). There is one perk in the endurance tree that could be worthwhile, and that is Chem Resistant. The fact that you can use that to prevent yourself from ever getting addicted to chems is great, as chems can be quite useful at times. Pair this up with Chemist from the intelligence tree and you got yourself a pretty good combo.

However, the real reason I suggest putting 2 points into endurance, bringing you up to 3 endurance total, is due to the fact that endurance determines your health. In the beginning of the game, this is great. You start with 80 HP + endurance x5. So having 3 in endurance, you start with 95 HP, which is nice, and endurance increases your HP gain per level. Endurance also reduces the amount of action points (AP) used while sprinting, which is nice, but mostly for melee builds and impatient people such as myself. EDIT: I took a point away from Endurance because sacrificing 5 HP to place an extra point into Charisma is a beneficial trade off, in my opinion.


Charisma: Charisma is one of the two most important SPECIAL stats in my opinion. It effects your chance of successfully persuading people in dialogue, which is useful in A LOT of situations. It saves you bullets in situations where a failed persuasion would lead to combat, and can get you more caps out of doing jobs. Just a couple examples but charisma is important for other reasons too. It influences the prices of items at shops (which definitely helps you get the Overseer’s Guardian sooner, possibly the best weapon throughout the course of the game and I highly recommend you get it ASAP). For those who enjoy the settlement aspect of Fallout 4 such as myself, it also increases the maximum number of settlers you can have in your settlement (10+1 per charisma).

Enough talking about the greatness that is the base bonuses of charisma, and now on to the perks. 6 points in charisma brings you to charisma 7. You get access to Local Leader at Charisma 6. Here is where I struggled. Local Leader really isn’t important until you start working on your settlements, which I tend to save for later when I decide to take a break from quests. I view settlement building as a “side project” and don’t focus on making my settlements “great” until later in the game. Until then, Local Leader really isn’t that important.

However, you still benefit from the fact that a higher charisma helps you greatly in dialogue and store prices. Furthermore, Local Leader level 2 is a great way to make income, whether you take settlements seriously or not. The downside is that it requires you to be more dedicated than you may wish. You also get access to two more great perks, Cap Collector (lower on the priority list however) and Lone Wanderer. Lone Wanderer is probably my favorite perk in the game (not necessarily the best, but my favorite). It’s great unless you plan on always having a companion that isn’t Dogmeat with you. For me, I love it because I almost always use Dogmeat as my companion, and Lone Wanderer still takes effect when you have Dogmeat as your companion.

Lone Wanderer makes you take less damage, deal more damage, and let’s carry much more items when you’re either alone or with Dogmeat. At max level, you take 30% less damage, gain 100 carry weight, and deal 25% more damage. It’s a great perk. The perk you can get at charisma 10 is very nice as well, as it allows you to pacify enemies a lower level than you. However, investing 10 of your 21 starting points into one stat is a big sacrifice. EDIT: I added the point I subtracted from Endurance into Charisma. This gives you more leveraging power in dialogue. This also saves you a point in leveling towards 10 Charisma.


Intelligence: In my most recent game, I started with max intelligence. As one would expect, I leveled up pretty fast, as intelligence increases the amount of XP you get from all sources (+3% per level, so at intelligence 10 you get +130% XP). However, I have learned that I needed to increase my other SPECIAL stats pretty early, meaning I had to grab important perks slightly later in my leveling. The main reason this didn’t set me too far back is because I leveled fast, meaning I could invest more points earlier in the game. This was nice, but not balanced very well in my opinion. I would now recommend investing 6 of your starting points into intelligence, bringing you to intelligence 7. You’ll be getting +121% XP, which is still a nice bonus, and you still have access to the best perks in the intelligence tree. Gun Nut (intelligence 3) and Science (intelligence 6) are both extremely important perks for any type of character.

Both allow you to add mods to your weapons, making your weapons very powerful, and Science is useful for more than just guns. Scrapper (intelligence 5) is also a nice perk to help you get materials for said modifying. Hacker (intelligence 4) is important for getting into places you otherwise would need someone like Nick Valentine for (which would remove the bonuses from Lone Wanderer). As I stated when talking about Chem Resistant in endurance, Chemist (intelligence 7) synchronizes very nicely with Chem Resistant, making chem effects last longer. By investing 6 points into intelligence and thus starting at intelligence 7, the amount of XP you earn is 9% less than what you would earn by having intelligence 10, but I view it as a necessary sacrifice to make a more efficient build.


Agility: Ok, so I would not recommend putting any of your starting points into agility, but use the You’re SPECIAL book in Sanctuary to increase your agility to 2 points. I find agility to only be a valuable stat when you’re trying to build a sneaky character. The best general perk in agility is Sneak, which you can get at agility 3, so you don’t even need to invest that much to begin with. The only real issue I ever encountered while having low agility is the lack of action points, but I haven’t encountered a situation where that drastically hindered my ability to function in the game.

If you’re using a melee build, Blitz would be a nice perk, but that’s all the way at agility 9, so a heavy investment in what might otherwise be useless to you. I will admit however, that agility/sneak would work hand-in-hand with a melee build, as you’ll need to get close to your enemies and sneaking would help decrease the distance between you and an unsuspecting enemy. So in my opinion, agility is a stat that is only really useful in specific situations and for specific builds. I would just use the You’re SPECIAL book to increase my agility.


Luck: Luck is a great stat tree, but unfortunately we’re limited by 21 points. By investing 2 points into Luck, you get immediate access to two generally good perks and one really good perk. Fortune Finder (Luck 1) and Scrounger (Luck 2) will increase the amount of caps and ammo you find in containers, which is really nice. More caps means you can buy more stuff and sooner. Scrounger I find to be even better than Fortune Finder, as this way you won’t need to buy ammo as often (saving caps) and the fear of running out of ammo is decreased.

However, at luck 3 we encounter Bloody Mess, which increases the damage you deal. Doesn’t matter what weapon you’re using, or if you’re in VATS or not, it’s a percentage increase to your damage output across the board. It’s very good. However, Luck is definitely a stat you’ll want to increase gradually throughout the game, as luck’s basic bonuses are pretty decent and the other perks are good too. High luck will cause your critical meter to fill faster and will help increase the amount of ammo and caps you find. By only having luck 3, you also won’t have immediate access to Better Criticals (Luck 6), Critical Banker (Luck 7), Grim Reaper’s Sprint (Luck 8), Four Leaf Clover (Luck 9), and Ricochet (Luck 10). The reason I don’t recommend putting so many points into luck right away is simply due to the importance of other SPECIAL stats and a lot of Luck has to do with VATS, which isn’t 100% of the combat you’ll be doing.

I hope you enjoyed! What are your recommended starting stats? And please remember this is my opinion, so please don’t send me hate! As said before, this is a general build, and not designed for any specific play style or roleplay character build, and not for survival mode.

NOTE: Removed one point from Endurance and put it into Charisma, so the stats are like this: Strength: 4 Perception: 3 Endurance: 3 Charisma: 7 Intelligence: 7 Agility: 1 Luck: 3

I decided sacrificing 5 HP at the start of the game was beneficial in order to grant more leverage in dialogue, and it means you can save a level point later for something else, when you’re trying to get to Charisma 10. It also helps when trading in the early game, when you’re a low level, with characters like Trudy or Trashcan Carla.

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