Fallout 4 Guide to Surviving the Commonwealth

A short and quick guide for beginners of Fallout 4

A short and quick guide for beginners of Fallout 4
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In the world of Fallout 4, it seems like everyone and their sister is trying to kill you. Ghouls, Super Mutants, Raiders, Gunners, feral dogs, people you make mad, even giant mosquitos want you dead. It may all seem like a bit much, and like it can be hard to get going in the beginning. But I’m here to help.


With everyone out there trying to kill you, it might be a good idea to have someone watching your back. Here are three of the best companions to have early on in the game. 


Right off the bat, try and get Dogmeat. He is a great companion to have around the early stages of the game. Dogmeat will find supplies for you during your time together -- guns, ammo, and even parts (like duct tape and screws) that you will need for crafting. He will find it all for you, you just need to ask.

Dogmeat is pretty good in combat as well. He has the ability to hold down enemies for you so you can kill them more easily, and he can be made even more useful with the “Attack Dog” perk. Dogmeat will also come in handy in the beginning, because he can hold things for you if you begin to carry too much weight. In the beginning of the game, this can happen a lot because you feel the need to take everything.

Dogmeat is also good to have around whether you are planning on being nice or a jerk to everyone. Regardless of what you pick, he will always love you -- that’s a good boy!


Cait is a good companion to have after Dogmeat. She can be found in the Combat Zone, which is east of Diamond City. Cait is a pit fighter, so she's tough as nails. She is more geared towards the person who likes being sarcastic about everything and only wants to help others if they get something out of it in return -- like caps or guns. 

She is skilled at picking locks, which is great if you are still a lower level and haven’t had enough time to put a lot of perk points into lockpicking. Her main weapon is a double barrel shotgun, but you can give her any weapon and some ammo and she will use that gun instead.  

In order to get on her good side you can either be sarcastic, be rude to everyone, pick locks in front of her, or take drugs and drink alcohol in front of her.  Once you have earned enough brownie points with her, she will tell you about her pats and how rough her life has been. She will tell you that she is addicted to drugs and that she would like your help to end her habit. This will give you’re the quest “Benign Intervention”, which will take you to Vault 95. There you will help Cait overcome her drug addiction. Once that is out of that way, you will have the option to romance her if you want.

Nick Valentine


This guy can only be described as the bee’s knees. You will meet him along the main quest line once you have gone to Diamond City. He is a crowd favorite amongst fans of Fallout 4, and for good reasons. He is a wise-cracking guy who is also a synth. He is a very skilled gun fighter, and he looks like he popped right out of a 70s noir film -- complete with detective duster and a fedora. He is, however, a very moral character. So if you’re looking to be a jerk, this isn’t the guy for you. If you are looking to play the “Jesus” of the Commonwealth, then he is your guy.

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When it comes to guns, it all really depends on the kind of player that you want to play. If you’re looking to play a mainly melee character, then you won’t want many guns. If you’re looking to play a heavy type character, you will want guns like the flamer, mini gun, missile launcher, and the Fat-Man by your side at all times. If you’re looking to play a small guns type character like myself, you will want guns like pistols, shotguns, and combat rifles.

I would suggest that you carry a little bit of everything, if possible. Try and carry a short range gun (like a shotgun), a medium range gun (like a combat rifle), and a long range gun (like a sniper rifle). All of these guns will come in handy and will keep you prepared for all situations.

I would also suggest carrying a melee weapon like a bat, super sledge, or even a sword. These really come in handy when fighting ghouls, because you don’t need to waste ammo trying to shoot them when they are moving so fast. You can just wait for them to get close, use V.A.T.S and take them out mostly in one or two hits.

I would also suggest that at lower levels you pick up all the guns you find, even if you already have them.  You can either scrap the gun for parts, or you can sell them for caps -- both will come in handy. You can even get a perk that allows you to get parts like screws when you scrap guns.


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Again just like guns, this really depends on the kind of character you are going to play.  There are a few basic options to pick from early on in the game: raider, leather, metal, and combat armor. All offer different kinds of protection.


Raider type armor is a good choice early on, because it offers protection against both energy and normal damage and is fairly light. A maxed-out raider chest piece, for instance, offers 24 damage resistance, 20 energy weapon resistance, weighs 17 pounds and can be sold for about 48 caps.


Next is leather. This is the lightest option, with a maxed out chest piece only weighing about 14 pounds. This type of armor offers a higher energy weapon resistance at the loss of normal damage resistance. If you’re planning of fighting a lot of synths and robots, this would be a good armor choice for you.  A maxed out chest piece offers 24 damage resistance, 36 energy resistance, weighs 14 pounds, and can be sold for about 75 caps.


Next is metal armor, which is really good against normal damage resistance. Metal armor is the heaviest, with a maxed out chest piece weighting about 23 pounds. But it offers the most damage resistance as far as basic armor types go. This is great for fighting raiders, super mutants, and just about anything that does melee damage. But it is not so strong against energy weapons. A maxed out chest piece offers 37 normal damage resistance, 25 energy weapon resistance, weighs 23 pounds, and can be sold for about 190 caps.


Last but not least, there is also combat armor, which offers equal protection against both energy weapons and normal damage. But it doesn’t offer as much protection as armors that are specific to one or the other. For example, a maxed out combat armor chest piece offers 35 normal damage resistance, 35 energy weapon resistance, weighs about 15 pounds, and can be sold for 220 caps. The armor is great because it covers you on all bases, but doesn’t offer as much specialized protection as other armors could offer.


There is also synth, Diamond City guard armor, and power armor -- but those are armors that you will find later on in the game.


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Early game tips

Here are some basic bullet point tips that will help you in your journey through the Commonwealth.

  • Loot every enemy, because you never know what they may have.
  • Always take guns and armor -- even if you already have it, it can be sold or scrapped.
  • If you are carrying too much weight, give some of your things to your companion. As Sam from Lord of the Rings once said “Share the load.”
  • Add stimpacks to your favorite bar. I play on console and I have it set to down on the D-pad, it allows me to heal up quickly without having to go into my Pip-Boy.
  • Give your companion better armor and guns if you can spare them. This will allow them to be more effective in combat and will help them go down less often. You can also have them get into power armor.
  • Collect all the duct tape you can find. Don’t ask questions just do it.
  • Scrap all the useless crap in settlement’s that you can, it gives you lots of, steel, wood, rubber and aluminum which will allow you to build bigger and better things.
  • Experiment with different weapon and armor mods, this will allow you to become even stronger and look even cooler.
  • Don’t die and quick save often. One of the worst parts about Fallout 4 is dying, and having to start like 20 minutes back because the game didn’t autosave. So if you can, try not to die -- but if you must, quick save often.
  • And last and definitely not least, remember one very important thing. War….War never changes.

There you have it, a short little beginner’s guide to everything Fallout 4 has to offer you.  I hope this helps you in your adventures as the Lone Survivor. Good luck out there and God speed.

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