There is a lot happening in Fallout 4 and when you get started you might be overwhelmed or worry about making some mistakes. With out getting started guide, it should set you up for success in the Commonwealth, from where to get your first SPECIAL point to some wise words on quests, we should be able to help you make the most of your first hour or so in the game. Of course, there are some things to take note of even before we get into the tips: the game's tutorial extends past the Vault 111 sequence. Information on power armor and various mechanics of the world are given while questing. Stats aren't that important at the start, you can increase them by spending your perk points on them. The major differences between Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 are no more skills (all perks), power armor, modding/crafting, and settlements - beyond that, it's mostly the same game, just with improvements and a new ways to level up.

Oh and don't forget - play the game the way you want to. Don't worry about questing and you can walk away from a quest at any point and return to it. NPC dialog options show up when you walk next to them and you can walk away and return at any point.

Loot your Home

As soon as you leave the confines for Vault 111, you’ll be given a quest to return home. When you do, you’ll find several things to help you out, most importantly there is one free SPECIAL point located directly under the crib and a Grognar magazine on the counter. Furthermore, early on if you follow the quests, you’ll get a Bobblehead when you meet Preston.

Take note of the crafting stations in Sanctuary as well. This will be a big deal later on, as workbenches operate both as a place to craft, and a place to store things.


Outside of mods and cheating, there is a limited amount of fusion cores in the game. Therefore power armor actually is a finite resource, of which you can no longer operate as power armor (you can limp it around to where you need it to be). Your first fusion core is in the basement of the museum, along with your first set of power armor (assuming you don’t start exploring the world immediately). There is another one in the gas station you first come across (in the ground) and many more throughout the world.

Remember that when your power armor runs out of juice, that’s it. It’s there, and it’s going to sit there until juiced up again. Power armor is really only necessary for large scale defense missions and fighting Deathclaws, so it’s best to keep the fuel for when you need it. You can mod power armor at any power armor modding station.

SAVE OFTEN!!!!!!!!

Quicksave is the best tool you’ll ever have while playing for a variety of reasons, mostly relating to the idea that you can’t go back in a conversation. Once chosen, that choice is yours and yours only. Additionally, you’ll have to roll to see if you’re Charismatic enough to get one of the special options. Failing a roll? Well, oh well. But if you save, you can return back to it and do it all over again.

Additionally, saving is a good way of avoiding pain if you engage in a quest you can’t tackle yet or if you want to go somewhere else and do something else without having to backtrack. It also helps against game crashes. Mostly though, you’ll want to save often before conversations.

Another note on saving – save right before you ascend the elevator at the start – you can avoid the entire tutorial area without having to go back. Yay!

Loot all of the Junk

Unless you’re going to discard crafting, which you can, you’ll want to loot all the junk you find. You can store it at your workbench to avoid filling up your inventory. Be sure to loot everything you find. It’s really valuable for crafting and will save you a ton of time of grinding later in the game. The loot adventure really starts right as soon as the elevator ascends. There is a ton of things to loot in all of the houses and in the vault entrance.

Companions, Perks and SPECIAL

Be sure to give your stats a good look over and analyze your Perks. Some Perks have conditions that can easily be forgotten about, like if you have or don’t have a companion. Speaking of companions, remember to get your first three before you explore the world, speaking of.

Also note that lockpicking and hacking have Perks that determine the difficulty of either you can handle. This is introduced to you at the very start when you meet the Cyrolater, which you’ll need to come back later for when you have the appropriate Perk to snag it.

Do the Introductory Quests

Right out of the vault you might want to just leave and go and craft and explore and play around, but stop for a moment and do the REALLY short introductory quest line right out of the vault. You’ll need to walk in that general direction anyway. If you need a quick walkthrough – you first meet Cogsworth who ventures around with you house to house, doing some minor combat (this is where you can get that SPECIAL point fast). Then you’ll go to a gas station, with the only purpose to pick up Dogmeat (two companions now). When you reach the first town, you’ll find some raiders assaulting a museum. Immediately dispatch them, pick up the Laser Musket right outside the door, and then go inside.

Doing a short quest for Preston gets you your first suit of Power Armor, your first core, and Preston as a companion, along with tons of loot from some rather easy enemies (new armor, pistols, guns, ammo, etc.). A bobblehead is where Preston is and there is some major story elements that kick off here.

The story is actually compelling for the loot and introduction to mechanics, at least at the very start. Cogsworth and Dogmeat and Preston are skippable, by all accounts, but it’s probably best to snag your early companion, some early stats, and get a feel for the game.

One Settlement to Rule them All

You can have multiple settlements, but it’s best to use one to store all of your gear at and send your companions to. Everyone will probably suggest Sanctuary and it’s one of the earliest one you’ll probably start to build up, so that’s a great place to start.

Have Fun!

Lastly, be sure to have fun and play the game as you want to play it. There is so many different ways to approach Fallout 4 that you can’t go wrong choosing a direction and walking that way, or entering random places and seeing what’s up.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Fallout 4 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.