Character creation in Fallout 4 involves two key components to your game. The first is that you’re going to choose your character (primary choices are sex, build, and facial features), and then you’re going to choose your starting stats. You’ll get a short brief combat period, followed by the tried and true “are you sure you want to keep your character” moment where you’ll have one last chance to adjust how your character looks and your starting S.P.E.C.I.A.L points (we’ll call them stats from here out).
This guide will have minor spoilers – some things during character creation impact later events in the game.
As far as how your character looks, I do want to take a brief moment to comment that you’ll probably want to take that second chance to readjust. With the new system you can easily set certain parts of your face off in one direction or another, and lighting takes a big toll on how you look throughout the game. For me I had to make some minor adjustments to my chin and lower jaw area to set it back to symmetry.
Spoiler: The combination of various attributes from you and your partner will impact how Shaun looks, your baby, later in the game.
Spoiler: Default names are Nate and Nora. Codsworth, the robot, can only say specific names, otherwise he won’t be able to say your name. With that known, if you want the default preset, Nate and Nora are the names to go with. Your partner will die, so any modifications to how they look will only impact Shaun.
Spoiler: Gender doesn’t impact romance options. Romance options remain available for either gender with your companions.
Spoiler: You can modify your apperance again later in the game with something similar to a plastic surgeon.
As for spending your stat points, well that’s an entirely different story. You’ve got the 7 traditional stats: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Each point increases a specific trait (damage, accuracy, health, conversations/bartering, hacking/XP, stealth/AP, and critical strike respectively) and gives access to specific tiers in the perk tree. There are no skill points, when you level up you get a perk point, which you can spend on the perk map.
When building your character, the absolute safest build is probably 5 points in everything but luck, and then an additional 4 points where you want to specialize. With this you’re probably not going to be really good at any one thing, but at the same time you won’t be at risk from overspecializing.
Important: DO NOT max any stat out. Bobbleheads will give you additional stat points. So going a full 10 into anything isn’t useful, unless you want it above 10. Perks max out at 9 points, so more than 9 and you just get the benefit of the increase.
However – do not worry at all about where you put your points. As you level up, you can put additional points into every stat, so that you could very easily by say level um, hrm 28 – 70 is 42, so within 42 levels you could max everything out. This is entirely possible, as the game has no level cap, so you don’t specifically need to fret too much about where your points go.
Our Fallout 4 Perks guide is a handy online resource to check the perks now, if you want, without having to go in-game.
So my biggest piece of advice is to think early game and plan accordingly. You’ll probably not have a ton of ammo, but you’ll also need to utilize VATS as much as possible. So I’d aim to either make a neutral build (5 in almost everything but luck, because I’m not a big fan of luck) or make something with a good bit of health and action points. You also may want to focus a lot on the story and stack a bit more Charisma at the start and most everyone will argue that lots of Int early on will make the game easier.
Difficulty is on-the-fly adjustable. The only difference in various difficulty settings is the odds of a legendary encounter showing up (which gives you really good loot), but on easier settings you don’t need the extra loot to get through the game. So if you put 9 points in Luck and Agility, you’ll still be able to get through the game, at least long enough to raise your combat stats up a bit (or in that build you’d probably do fine since you’d build the crit meter really quickly).
Finally, Perks add a ton. My biggest suggestion is immediately after you gain the PipBoy in the elevator, go through and look at the perks, then readjust based on what you want. If you played Fallout series before and want to go a specific route like hacking, then look at perks like Hacker, while Concentrated Fire for instance will help if you aim to use a lot of VATs and long range attacks.
Anyway, hopefully this should help you get starter and not worry too much. To reiterate – you get the usual second chance to redo your character before you leave Vault 111. Don’t worry too much about your SPECIAL points, because you’ll be able to fine tune it by choosing a SPECIAL point over a perk as you level up.
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