The Fallout 4 character system – Everything we know about perks

All of the details from the Fallout 4 Character System and what we now know.

Bethesda Softworks has released a new video full of character system details for Fallout 4 fans. The new video covers the character system, S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls at a high level and perks. While it is not exhaustive, it provides enough detail to have a good grasp of the system and shows enough for educated guesses along the way. Here is what we know:

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  1. Perks are no longer directly available at each level. Instead, a point is granted each level (the implication is each one per level, but it could be X per level and Y per 5 levels we just don’t know).
  2. That point can be spent on leveling the S.P.E.C.I.A.L skill itself or acquiring a rank of a perk.
  3. Available perks are limited by how many points you have in the related SPECIAL
  4. Each rank of a perk is limited further by level (and possibly more, the video only shows a rank 3 while the max is 5 ranks. The Intimidation skill shows up to rank 3 and it is limited by Level 23 for rank 2 and Level 50 for rank 3)
  5. The base number of perks is 70, 10 for each S.P.E.C.I.A.L. 
  6. The total number of perks with ranks included is 275.

The Leveling Screen

The character system in Fallout 4 is going to be different from previous Fallout games, but the system does seem more refined. You can get a broader perspective on perks in the new UI and see how they are interrelated with the S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls, but it seems that you will have to make more tradeoffs in perk selection. The overall system seems easy to digest, though.

The character system video provides quite a few other juicy tidbits. They are broken down out below.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L.s & Perks

There are many notable items here. First off, you can directly level your S.P.E.C.I.A.L.s, which previously was only available via Bobble Head or a few perks. No more Bobble Heads? Maybe.

Notable items also include the V.A.N.S. perk, which adds waypoint indicators. This means that waypoint indicators are not just a toggle in settings, but are now a difficultly tradeoff. This will allow for character builds that provide more power but leave you very much lost in the wasteland.

Also, you will notice the multi-rank perk Intimidation includes the ability to pacify enemies as well as various levels of control. There is a perk that makes you immune to alcohol addiction, Party Boy, and perks for better settlement management like Local Leader.

Below is each perk seen in the video, broken down by S.P.E.C.I.A.L.. The heading is the S.P.E.C.I.A.L., the Perk name is bolded. The key below the perk name shows the level of SPECIAL the perk is at, the total ranks available and the requirements for that rank. All perks shown are Rank 1 unless indicated.

S is for Strength

Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much you can carry, and the damage of all melee attacks.

Big Leagues

Level: 1 Ranks: 2 Requires: STR 2

Swing for the fences! Do 20% more melee weapon damage.

P is for Perception

Perception is your environmental awareness and “sixth sense”, and effects weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S. Now you instantly gain 1 point.


Level: 2 Ranks: 2 Requires: PER 2 and ?

Keep your distance long and your kill-count high. Attacks with non-automatic rifles do 20% more damage.

E is for Endurance

Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. It affects your total Health and Action Point drain from sprinting. Now you instantly gain 1 point!


Level: 1 Ranks: 2 Requires: END 1

If nothing else, you can take a beating! Instantly gain +10 Damage Resistance.

C is for Charisma

Charisma is your ability to charm and convince others. It affects your success to persuade in dialogue and prices when you barter. Now you instantly gain 1 point!

Cap Collector

Level: 1 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 1

You’ve mastered the art of the deal! Buying and selling prices at vendors are better.

Lady Killer

Level: 2 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 2

You’re charming… and dangerous. Women suffer +5% damage in combat, and are easier to persuade in a dialogue.

Lone Wanderer

Level: 3 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 3

Who needs friends, anyway? When adventuring without a companion, you take 15% less damage and carry weight increases by 50.

Attack Dogs

Level: 4 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 4

Your faithful canine companion can hold an enemy, giving you a greater chance to hit them in V.A.T.S.

Animal Friend

Level: 5 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 5

Commune with beasts! With your gun, aim at any animal below your level and gain a chance to pacify it.

Local Leader

Level: 6 Ranks: 2 Requires: CHR 6

As the ruler everyone turns to, you can establish supply lines between your workshop settlements.

Party Boy

Level: 7 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 7

Nobody has a good time like you! There’s no chance you’ll get addicted to alcohol.


Level: 8 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 8

Because you lead by example, your companion does more damage in combat, and cannot hurt you.

Wasteland Whisperer

Level: 9 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 9

Master the post-apocalypse! With your gun, aim at any Wasteland creature below your level and gain a chance to pacify it.

Intimidation – Rank 1

Level: 10 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 10

Time to show everyone who’s boss! With your gun, aim at any human opponent below your level and gain a chance to pacify them.


Intimidation – Rank 2

Level: 10 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 10, Level 23

When you successfully pacify someone, you can taunt them to attack.

Intimidation – Rank 3

Level: 10 Ranks: 3 Requires: CHR 10, Level 50

When you successfully pacify someone, you can incite them to attack.

I is for Intelligence

Intelligence is a measure of your overall mental acuity, and affects the number of Experience Points earned. Now you instantly gain 1 point!


Level: 1 Ranks: 1 Requires: INT 1

Let Vault-Tec guide you! The path to your closest quest target is display in V.A.T.S.


Level: 2 Ranks: 4 Requires: INT 2

Is there a doctor in the house? Stimpaks restore $40 of lost Health, and RadAway removes 40% of radiation.

Gun Nut – Rank 1

Level 3 Ranks: 4 Requires: INT 3

No description shown. Presumably access to rank 3 gun mods, or maybe just a damage bonus.

Gun Nut – Rank 2

Level: 3 Ranks: 4 Requires: INT 3, Level 25

You gain access to Rank 4 gun mods.


Level: 6 Ranks: 1 Requires: INT 6

Take full advantage of advanced technology with access to base level and Rank 1 high -tech mods.

A is for Agility

Agility is a measure of your overall finesse and reflexes. It affects the number of Action Points in V.A.T.S. and your ability to sneak. Now you instantly gain 1 point!


Level: 2 Ranks: 2 Requires: AGI 2

Rigorous combat training means automatic weapons do 20% more damage.


Level: 3 Ranks: 5 Requires: AGI 3

L is for Luck

Luck is a measure of your general good fortune, and affects the recharge rate of Critical Hits. Now you instantly gain 1 point!

Bloody Mess

Level: 3 Ranks: 4 Requires: LCK 3

+5% bonus damage means enemies will sometimes explode into a gory red paste. Watch out for flying eyeballs.

Better Criticals

Level: 6 Ranks: 1 Requires: LCK 6

Advanced training for enhanced combat effectiveness! Criticals do 50% more extra damage.

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Stephen Johnston
Stephen is the founder of and A life-long gamer who enjoys RTSs, MMOs, RPGs, City Builders, 4x games and FPSs on easy mode. He also enjoys introducing his children to the wonderful world of gaming.