Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips: Top 10 Survival Tips

Survival mode is a brutal new way to experience Fallout 4. So I have curated a concise list of survival mode tips to ease your journey through these unforgiving wastelands.

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips
Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips

Survival mode has landed on other Fallout games, like in New Vegas by the name of “Hardcore Mode”. It’s more of a difficulty than a mode that completely disables auto-saving and fast traveling. So next time you feel like being brave in survival mode, do check if there’s a mattress nearby to save first. In addition to saving, ammo has weight, and your character takes 200% increased damage.

So is there any way to make your journey through this treacherous mode a bit easier? Well, here are some survival mode tips I recommend you try for your Fallout 4 playthrough. 

Update: The Survival Mode Tips Guide has been updated with more tips to help you win the games!

Key Takeaways

  1. Choose Engagements Wisely: Knowing when to engage and when to observe can give you an advantage.

  2. Value Pre-War Money: Pre-War Money is valuable currency in survival mode; don’t overlook it.

  3. Preparation is Crucial: Stock up on food, water, weapons, and healing items for survival.

  4. Settlement Building: Building settlements is vital for resources like food, water, and rest.

  5. Weapon Specialization: Focus on one weapon type and experiment to find your best fit.

  6. Aim for Headshots: Headshots deal maximum damage, but stay aware of your surroundings and use stealth.

  7. Beneficial Perks: Perks like Aqua-girl/boy, Strongback, Scrapper, and Local Leader can help in survival mode.

  8. Self-Preservation: Prioritize your survival over helping others; it’s a harsh world.

  9. Charisma Matters: Charisma is essential for bartering and peaceful interactions.

  10. Plan, But Don’t Overwhelm: Planning and strategy are important, but don’t get bogged down by mechanics.

Tip#1 Be Wary of Your Environment

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips
Jim, the dead guy!

In survival mode, paying close attention to your surroundings is paramount. Enemies are tougher, and survival requires a more cautious approach. Here’s why:

  1. Stealth is Key: Running and gunning won’t work; use stealth to navigate the map safely.

  2. Strategic Engagement: Choose your battles wisely; knowing when to engage and when to stay hidden is crucial.

  3. Save Points: Always ensure you have access to a bed or nearby settlement before engaging in risky encounters. Saving regularly can prevent the loss of hours of progress.

By combining stealth, smart engagement choices, and strategic saves, you can enhance your chances of survival in the challenging world of Survival Mode.

Tip#2 Remember To Collect Pre-War Money

Caps are invaluable in this mode. Unlike looted items, they don’t weigh anything and can be sold for 8 caps each. I strongly recommend my friends to collect them in stacks to build your wealth.

Alternatively, if you have enough caps, they can be used as a cloth resource to make beds in your settlements. Survival mode certainly alters your playstyle compared to the main story.

Tip#3 Preparation Is Key To Survival

Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips
Better Be Prepared

As discussed earlier, enemies in the survival mode are much more brutal than in the main story.

  1. Food and Water: Carry an ample supply of food and water to maintain your stats while exploring.

  2. Weapons and Sleeping Bag: Ensure you have weapons for self-defense and a sleeping bag to rest if you have room for them.

  3. Healing Items: Stock up on healing items like Antibiotics to cure illnesses that can afflict you.

  4. Inventory Management: In survival mode, hoarding items isn’t an option. Micro-manage your inventory carefully and bring only essential items for your journey.

Plan carefully and carry only what you truly need on your journey.

Tip#4 Manage Your Settlements

Building settlements takes on a critical role in your survival strategy. Here’s why it’s essential:

  1. Bed for Rest: Every settlement should have at least one bed for sleeping and saving your game. Resting is crucial to manage exhaustion and maintain your character’s well-being.

  2. Water Pump: Include a water pump in your settlements to provide a clean and reliable source of purified water, which is safer and more beneficial than stagnant water found in the wastelands.

  3. Cooking and Chems Stations: Set up cooking and chem stations in your settlements to prepare food, water, and healing items, ensuring you have essential supplies on hand.

  4. Well-Rested Perk: Sleeping in a crafted bed provides the Well-Rested perk, granting a 10% XP gain increase for 8 hours of sleep, making it a valuable resource for character progression.

Tip#5 Don’t Be A Jack Of All Trades

Alright, let’s talk weapons now. And this is also one of the best survival mode tips for you. Try not to start specialising in several weapon types; instead, stick to one.

This way, you’ll carry less but only powerful weapons with you. Secondly, other mechanics need your attention, so specializing in different weapons will only add unnecessary grind.

An effective approach to this is you specialize in two different types of weaponry. For example, you could use an assault rifle and a marksman/sniper rifle.

This way, you’ll be ready for short-mid, and long-range encounters. You could try mixing and matching to see what works for you. 

Tip#6 Always Aim For A Headshot


Landing headshots is a crucial tactic for maximizing damage and conserving resources. Here’s why it’s important:

  1. Damage Efficiency: Headshots deal the most damage per shot, which is essential when you’re rationing ammo and health items in survival mode.

  2. Stealth and Awareness: Effective use of headshots requires awareness of your surroundings and the use of stealth. Sneaking up on enemies or catching them off guard increases your chances of landing a successful headshot.

  3. Practice Makes Perfect: While headshots may be challenging due to the small target size, practice can improve your accuracy. With time and experience, you’ll become more proficient at nailing critical headshots.

Tip#7 Most Helpful Perks

Perks in Fallout 4’s survival mode are game-changers. Here are my best perks to consider:

  1. Aqua-girl/boy: Dive into contaminated water undetected, without taking radiation damage. Ideal for stealthy navigation.

  2. Strongback: Carry more items in your inventory, including food, water, weapons, and healing items, making your travels easier.

  3. Scrapper: Get more components from salvaging weapons and loot, essential for crafting defenses, armor, and weapon mods.

  4. Local Leader: Complements settlement building by creating supply lines, linking resources and inventories between settlements. A valuable perk for resource management.

More Fallout 4 Guides: Fallout 4 Best Starting Stats

Tip#8 Don’t Answer Call For Help

I know what it looks like but believe me, it’s for your good. In this mode, it’s more about the survival of the fittest rather than being an overpowered killing machine. You’ll get distress calls from a nearby settlement being attacked but facing enemies head-on is a suicide mission.

If it makes you feel better, the settlement residents cannot be killed by the attackers. Sure some items will get damaged here and there, but you’ll be able to tend to them as long as you are breathing.

Tip#9 Charisma Is Vital

The Charisma stat can be incredibly valuable for several reasons:

  1. Bartering Skills: Charisma improves your buying and selling prices with vendors, allowing you to get better deals and conserve your limited caps.

  2. Peaceful Interactions: A higher Charisma stat helps you navigate conversations more peacefully, reducing the chances of conflicts and hostile encounters—a critical strategy in survival mode.

  3. Charisma-Boosting Gear: You can also boost your Charisma with specific clothing items like outfits, glasses, hats, and clothing, which can collectively increase your Charisma by up to 4 points without investing in the attribute itself.

Tip#10 Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

Survival mode in Fallout 4 may sound daunting, but remember, it’s all about enjoying the game. Don’t get overwhelmed with the mechanics. Take your time, let the tactics develop naturally, and remember that death isn’t permanent; you’ll start at your last save.

My Experience In Survival Mode

With countless hours invested in Fallout 4, my early experience with the survival mode was brutal with everything brutally challenging. I am expecting the same situation with you, but this does not necessarily need to be overwhelming. The game adds a balance, even to the brutal difficulty of the mode.

This balance mechanics, coupled with my tips can help you achieve an ideal playthrough of the game. Seriously, if you are up for a spice in the gameplay, this survival mode is the perfect choice to go for. 

In the end, if you have more queries, share them with me in the comments section below to this guide. 

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