There are 30 settlements you can find in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4, each of which needs a lot of love and care to be happy. Put enough work into it and you can have homes all around the city to relax in. Who says the end of the world has to be a chore?
Here’s some tips on how to make the wasteland a nice place to live.
First of course you’ll need a place to hang your hat. Any location you find that contains a Workshop can become a settlement, although various locations require different tasks to found them. Generally, you’ll get a new location by either clearing out all the monsters currently residing there, or by convincing an existing settlement to join up with your Minuteman crew by doing some good deed for them. But basically: if you see a workshop, you can start planning your new city.
Lay down some crops for food, water pumps for water, and some defenses, and people will start flocking to your settlement. The very first thing you’ll need to bring them in is the Settlement Recruitment Beacon (Power>Miscellaneous) which needs a power generator to run. Wire it up and the radio will signal to the people of the wasteland that there’s shelter to be found here.
Want an easy way to dole out responsibilities for your townsfolk? Create a bell (located under Resources>Miscellaneous), place it near your fast-travel marker, and ring it. This will cause everyone currently in the settlement to come to you, saving you the trouble of hunting them down one by one. Then just talk to them and assign them to whatever tasks you please—like defenses or food gathering.
This is also useful for finding missing companions! In an odd move, Bethesda decided that once you dismiss a companion you never wanted to be able to easily find them again, so unless you remember exactly which settlement you sent them to and where in that settlement they like to hang out, you’ll have difficulty locating them. If they’re in your current settlement, however, the bell will send them running.
Scrap, Scrap, Scrap
Don’t be afraid to destroy all the junk around your settlement to make way for better stuff. While in Workshop mode, you’ll see any potentially scrappable object highlighted. If it’s highlighted in yellow, scrap away with no fear, because that stuff is useless junk. Green highlights indicate something that still has a use (like radios and beds), but of course that stuff can be scrapped as well.
If there’s an object you want to build but don’t have the materials for it, tag it! Once an object has been tagged you’ll find objects in the world highlighted when they are built out of components you need. Not only will they have a little magnifying glass next to the name, entire containers will be highlighted in yellow, making locations much easier for you to search. Make sure to tag at least one item that requires adhesive, because we all know how valuable it is in the wasteland…
Speaking of Adhesive! The absolute best way to get more is through cooking Vegetable Starch. It requires Corn, Mutfruit, Purified Water and Tato- in other words, all stuff easily harvested from your land. Combine it all and you’ll create this wonderful superfood that’s worth 5 adhesive. This isn’t really used to build anything in your settlements, but any guns or armor you make will require it.
Make sure that your defenses are at least twice the amount of your food and water combined, unless you like the idea of having to come back to protect the settlement from raiders and super mutants who see an easy opportunity.
Turrets are the standard for defense, but there’s a better way. After clearing out The Castle for the Minutemen and completing a number of missions you’ll meet Ronnie Shaw, who will introduce you to artillery. Not only are these worth a hefty six defense when assigned, they can be combined with smoke grenades to call in airstrikes on nearby enemy encampments, which is an awesome sight to behold. Defense and offense all at once!
Be a Charismatic Leader
Charisma is the most important stat for happy settlements. Your maximum population in a settlement is 10 plus whatever your Charisma is, so make sure to beef it up when you level up. At a charisma rating of 6 you can also put points into the Local Leader perk, which is essential to connect supply lines. If you don’t have the levels in Charisma you can just wear some nice clothes or use some meds to increase them. Don’t forget, alcohol gives you +1 charisma, in the game if not in real life.
While you might find yourself putting most of your work into Sanctuary, as it’s the first settlement you come across, as you find more and more across the wasteland you’ll want a way to share supplies. After all, if you have a ton of steel sitting in a town miles away it’s not going to be helping you in your construction of your new location. After getting the Local Leader perk you’ll be able to assign a settler to set up a supply line, and he or she will ferry items across the wasteland for you. It’s essential, unless you like the idea of staying in one location for the whole game.
They can even share resources this way, although you’ll need a lot of food and water in one location if you want to feed everyone
Build from The Ground Up
If you’re building houses, put down floors first. Placing walls can be a pain without a flat foundation. Floors also let you plan out your structure and decide on how big you want to make it, unless you just go with one of those boring prefab homes.
It may be tricky to get objects to lay where you want them, but you can rotate them or move them around, even after placing them using the trigger buttons (R2/L2 RT/LT). Much easier than trying to align them perfectly by walking around the environment.
When you have a surplus of settlers you might want to build one of these and assign someone to it. It will give you random resources that can be used for crafting!
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Not only will getting your Settlement to 100% happiness make you feel all special inside, you’ll unlock a Benevolent Leader achievement/trophy.
How do you make people happy? Keep them fed, safe, and occupied. Make sure you have at least one food, water and bed for every settler, and then start building stuff to keep their mind off of their horrible lives. TVs and radios for every home are a good start.
Decorations like rugs and paintings give them better things to look at that the ruined world, and you can build shops like restaurants and clothing stores to make them even happier as they become happy little consumers. The most important resource, though? You! Spend some time with your people and they’ll appreciate it.
What’s the point of being mayor if you can’t pocket a few caps on the side? Place shops and not only will it make people happy, but you get a cut of the profits. Check on them every couple of days and you’ll be able to collect.
Also, don’t forget you can also sell your crops to increase your profits. It’s very easy to do so since these mutant fruit grow in a manner of minutes and give you a decent amount of caps for each one. Who cares if your people need to eat– you need to buy more ammo!
Just be sure to keep the little people in mind as your influence grows. Absolute power armor corrupts absolutely, after all.