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Fallout 4: Survival Mode Tips and Tricks

Fallout 4 Survival Mode

This guide contains spoilers.

Survival mode is sure to drop out of beta soon, and there is a lot of information floating around about it, half of which is just bad or wrong. For people heading into the great adventure (or anyone else really) I have decided to assemble some of my best tips. Some of these are obvious, others are apparently not. If you have tips I haven’t covered, let me know and I will might add them.


Survival Mode Tips

  • The most obvious tip is to save often. Beds, mattresses, and sleeping bags are all very common and you should keep an eye out for them. People who complain about losing 20 minutes of gameplay when they die are doing it wrong.
  • Plan out what you are going to carry with you, your weight is limited.
  • Remember that you need stimpacks/repair kits to keep your followers going.
  • Get your settlements making food and water for you, you are going to need it. Remember that cooked food is always better to carry. As a general rule the more expensive a food is the more hunger it satiates.
  • You need to think tactically. For some this is easy, for others…not so much. You will get nowhere if you charge in to everything blindly. Scope places out before approaching, keep close to cover and cut as many angles of fire as possible in case thier are unexpected enemies. Plan a way out in case things get too hot…simply turning and running will get you shout in the back. Prioritize enemies with heavy weapons or throwables.
  • Pick a weapon type to focus your build on and stick with it. Make sure your secondary weapon can use the same perks (for example, if you are a sniper build a non-automatic shotgun uses he same perks). At the very start you will have to make due with what you can find, but as the game progresses you want to be good with one type of gun to keep your kills fast. All weapon types are viable except heavy weapons
  • The biggest complaint people seem to have is that molotovs can one-shot you. Although this only happens at early levels, it can be quite a pain. The easiest solution is to get asbestos lining for your armour, as it is available almost immediately. Also remember you can shoot molotovs out of the air with VATS if you are a gunplay type, or charge under them with Blitz if you are a melee type.
  • If you are having a hard time, do drugs. This also applies to Fallout. A bit of Medx to help with the damage, a bit of Jet to slow time and get kills quicker. I’m not a huge fan of chems, personally, but Jet has helped me with some of the bitchier survival fights (Mechanist, Kellogg).
  • Don’t be a slave to your quest log. Running off to Concord right off the start with crappy equipment is not a great idea. Go grab some gear and levels by helping out Abernathy and Tenpines first, clearing locations and killing stuff in the north along the way. Hold off on Corvega if one of the farms sends you there.

Speaking of Concord…people seem to have a lot of trouble with it. Go ahead and skip this part if it doesn’t apply to you. I’ll go into some detail about one possible way to approach the fight, as an example of how tactics and forethought help in survival instead of just charging in to things blindly. You can save in the first house on the right as you enter Concord. Remember to never charge in to fights, the street fight as you approach the museum is a lot easier if you let Preston poke away at things from his balcony while you sneak up and take potshots from cover. Once the raiders are dead SAVE before going in to the museum…there is a sleeping bag down the hill behind the museum in the trash heap.

Do NOT use the laser musket inside the museum, use whatever weapon you brought with you until you get to the roof. Once you have the power armour and minigun do NOT jump down. Stay on the roof and use the laser musket to poke at the raiders from range. Use the roof to cut off angles of fire from below so only one or two raiders can hit you at any time. Once the deathclaw emerges ignore the raiders and focus fire on it until you are out of rounds for the musket. Once the musket is depleted pull out the minigun and hop on down. Make immediately for the blue building on the right with the balcony (past the bookshop).

This building allows you to get a good angle on the street below and close range with the minigun, which you should fire in controlled bursts as opposed to spraying wildly. If the deathclaw enters the building and tries to come up after you you can hop down and reposition in another shop, or even run for the church and climb the steeple….always have a second way out, never back yourself into a corner. Once the deathclaw is dead… SAVE before talking to Preston.


  • Refreshing beverages. That’s it, that’s the tip. With the new anti-radiation arch, you shouldn’t need much radiation treatment in the field…and when you do, radaway is for suckers. An RB will get rid of your rads AND heal the fuck out of you. Stimpacks are for suckers too, unless you have a broken limb…and RB does much more healing AND does it faster. Radaway and stimpacks have negative effects that RBs don’t. Oh, and it cures your addictions. Seriously, these things are OP as hell in survival.
  • Your robots can heal you. Give your robot companions Regeneration Field and they rapidly heal you outside of combat. This is extremely useful in survival. You can go so far as to plop a healing bot in each of your settlements for free healing as well. Again, stimpacks are for suckers.
  • Doctors can cure sicknesses. I mean, this seems pretty obvious, but people seem to overlook it. The “cure me” option doesn’t just give you HP back, it heals parasites, insomnia, infections, lethargy, etc.
  • Lead Belly is much more useful in survival than vanilla. If you can’t be bothered to cook your own food then blowing a perk point here may be worth it for you. It might also help if you never sleep and just chug cola like an insane person. Personally, I’d rather cook.
  • Your companions can be told to target specific enemies. Nobody I have talked to knows this, because in vanilla it seems pointless. Are you approaching two enemies with missile launchers with just a 10mm? Well, that’s stupid of you…but anyways, press the command button on your companion, then point at one of the enemies and it will allow you to command your friend to attack. As your buddy gets blown to pieces by the missiles you can run away….erm…I mean, you can focus on a single enemy. This works especially well with Dogmeat since his takedown attacks can take even the nastiest legendary out of the fight for a few seconds.

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