fallout 4 starting stats depicted by several cartoon vault boys

Most Important Starting Stats in Fallout 4

As with previous games, Fallout 4 lets you pick your starting stats point by point. But where should you put those points? To help you out, here are the most important starting stats in Fallout 4.

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Most Important Starting Stats in Fallout 4

A green screen with several statistics including strength, perception and more.

The most important starting stats (or SPECIAL stats) in Fallout 4 are Strength and Perception. That’s not to say you should max them out, but I’d recommend putting at least one extra point into each, raising them to six. And you should absolutely not dial them back to 1 so you can bulk up your other stats.

Why? Because, in the early stages of the game, Strength and Perception count for an awful lot. You absolutely will run out of ammo and end up flailing at enemies with whatever melee weapon you have on hand. If you have next to no strength, you might as well be hitting them with a feather duster.

Perception affects your accuracy in VATS, which is crucial for taking on multiple enemies. You can run away fast enough to give your VATS time to recharge, but the better your Perception, the more damage you’ll do in slo-mo.

But don’t your initial stat choices affect the way your character develops? Absolutely, but Fallout 4 gives you more freedom to level up your stats later. You can start out with a Charisma of 1 and still max it out as you play.

Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 3 made it quite hard to boost your SPECIAL stats, but in Fallout 4, you can increase them by spending points when leveling up. So you’re not locked into building a strongman or a sharpshooter just by putting a point or two into Perception and Strength.

All Fallout 4 Starting Stats Explained

But what do these stats do, exactly? If you’re scratching your head, here’s the lowdown on how each of them impacts your character.

1. Strength

Strength affects melee damage and just how much you can carry before your character becomes encumbered. If you want to build a bruiser, level up your strength when you can.

2. Perception

Perception impacts your accuracy in VATS, as well as your lockpicking and trap-disarming abilities. So if you’re making a gunslinger, Perception is your friend.

3. Endurance

The higher your Endurance, the more health you have. Endurance also governs how quickly your action points (basically stamina outside of VATS) when you run.

4. Charisma

Charisma determines how charming you are and affects both conversation options where charisma is a factor. It also impacts the prices you get from merchants.

5. Intelligence

There aren’t any low intelligence options in Fallout 4, unlike in Fallout: New Vegas, but having higher Intelligence gives you more experience whenever an activity earns you XP. It also makes hacking a little easier.

6. Agility

Agility informs both your sneaking skills and your action points. So with more Agility, you’ll be able to get more shots off in VATS, and you’re less likely to get detected when crouch-sneaking.

7. Luck

Luck’s benefits aren’t as obvious as the other stats, but it affects your critical hit change, how many caps you can stumble across and other activities where the game essentially rolls a die.

Many of Fallout 4’s perks also require a specific stat level, so levelling up can unlock more powerful perks. There are some character interactions where a particular stat will open up additional conversation options.

All in all, Strength and Perception are the most important stats in Fallout 4 but it’s easier to level up your stats than in previous games.

The above article was updated on May 4, 2024 by Chris McMullen to add a breakdown of each stat in Fallout 4.

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Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.