Fallout 4: 5 Perks to Survive in Survival Mode

The top 5 perks for surviving in survival mode, including details about their usefulness

Survival difficulty in Fallout 4 was recently completely overhauled by Bethesda Game Studios. This mode introduced several intriguing additions which make surviving in Fallout 4 a significantly more challenging experience.

The various dramatic changes to the game include the following:-

  • More damage from opponents, so death occurs after a few hits.
  • Much slower healing from stimpacks, food and water.
  • Fatigue from associated health concerns reduces AP, meaning less sprinting time and VATS.
  • The need to drink, eat, and sleep regularly -- lest stats be diminished and fatigue set in. Eventually, you could suffer periodic damage which eventually causes death.
  • Diseases can be contracted which have different effects. An example requires more sleep; another is an infection causing periodic damage.
  • Beneficial drugs (stimpacks, rad X, radaway) can be dehydrating, induce hunger and leave you vulnerable to sicknesses.
  • Limbs are not cured automatically; they require a stimpack or a bed.
  • There are no saves, auto-saves or quicksaves available. You can only save at a bed.
  • Ammunition weighs something now. Larger ammo, missiles, nukes etc are significantly heavy. Fusion cores are also very heavy.
  • Carrying capacity is significantly reduced.
  • Companions have reduced carry weight.
  • Companions will head home if not healed with a stimpack to recover.
  • There is no fast travel -- now you must travel the old-fashioned way.

With all those details discussed -- and I apologize if there are missing additions -- time to disclose the most important perks to assist in your survival within this now harsher landscape.

5. Ninja

Survival difficulty is undeniably difficult and all adversaries are remarkably efficient at causing your immediate demise; that's why the Ninja perk is perfect. Because this perk dramatically increases damage from sneak attacks (2.5x, 3x and 3.5x ranged damage for its three ranks), it's extremely useful for attacking unseen opponents. Realistically, the run-and-gun approach is not recommended on this difficulty; a more careful, tactical approach is. Combine this with a silenced weapon or a sniper rifle and aim at an enemy's weak points for maximum effect.

4. Sneak

Similar to the aforementioned perk above, Sneak is absolutely vital. Because this perk reduces the chances of detection by up to 50% -- and even prevents triggering hostile explosives and floor traps -- it's perfect for a subtle approach. The subtlety of sneaking behind opponents carefully, while watching for potential flanking adversaries, is an essential skill with sneaking -- and this makes it incredibly useful for the ambush / skirmish style encouraged within survival difficulty.

3. Chemist

Unfortunately, stimpacks can no longer be created by default -- and even more unfortunately, diseases are a relatively common occurrence. So, this makes the Chemist perk astonishingly useful. With this perk, not only do drugs gradually last longer depending on the rank, but you can craft antibiotics at workshops, which instantly cure diseases -- being caught in the wilderness with a nasty disease will seriously eat up your restoratives, negatively affecting your basic requirements. Also, as given away by the opening sentence, you'll be able to craft those lovely stimpacks, which are undeniably useful for surviving.

2. Strong Back

This is perhaps one of the most important perks available for survival difficulty. Strong back increases carrying capacity by up to 50 and allows you to run while over-encumbered. While the fast travel while over-encumbered aspect is naturally disabled, that extra carry weight is massively important. Think about it -- because ammunition weighs so much and fast travel is disabled, you'll be carrying everything potentially for miles and for hours, so having as much carry weight as possible means more resources for upgrading, restoratives for healing and ammo brought back to your settlements to prepare for future adventures.

1. Lone Wanderer

Let's face it, the artificial intelligence in Fallout 4 is particularly good at getting themselves knocked down; the AI is also talented at giving away your position and aggressively engaging adversaries when you'd rather they didn't. That's why it's best to go it alone, especially since their demise is almost as immediate as yours in open conflict. With the Lone Wanderer perk, you gain up to 30% damage resisitance and receive up to 100 carry capacity -- at the highest rank, damage increases by 25%. All of this combined makes your stealthy approach more efficient, allows you more carrying capacity, makes you tougher and allows more lethality; these attributes are absolutely crucial for your survival out there.

So there you have it, those are the top 5 perks to survive survival mode in Fallout 4.

Some honourable mentions include:

  • Black Widow / Lady Killer
  • Moving Target
  • Medic
  • Gunslinger / Commando / Rifleman / Big Leagues / Iron Fist
  • Toughness

Am I right? Am I wrong? Which perks are your most important for surviving survival mode in Fallout 4? Leave your answers in the comments.

Featured Contributor

Multi-instrumentalist; graduate in design, production and development; wordsmith; goodie-goodie; atheist; vegetarian / vegan; player of games (campaigner generally); previous maker of games. Favourite games include, Perfect Dark, Perfect Dark Zero, Final Fantasy 8, TES IV: Oblivion and Resident Evil 3.

Published Jun. 22nd 2016

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