An interesting mechanic in Fallout 4 is the ability to assist the Minutemen in reclaiming the Wasteland via the creation of settlements for other wastelanders to live in. With enough elbow grease, players can carve out a mini-empire in the Commonwealth that will provide a steady supply of caps, supplies, items to buy, and even military assistance in battle.
Among all of the settlements that are obtainable in the game, there are some that rise to the top in terms of what they can offer the player. Whether it’s a defendable area, land for crops, or pleasing aesthetics, here are the best settlements in the game.
Updated By Benjamin Baker On February 3rd 2020: When constructing your empire in the wastes of the Commonwealth you are going to need to build up a ton of settlements. In fact, it’s easy to say that having more than ten settlements is in your best interest to maximize caps flow, item production, and give yourself helpful waystations of your own design. So for those looking to truly conquer the Boston area here are some additional settlements to keep in mind.
15 Warwick Homestead
The Warwick Homestead is an abandoned waste treatment plant converted into a settlement. The main building is rather large and with some clever use of staircases and walkways it can make for an interesting and highly defensible location.
There is also a decent amount of farmland and the Warwick family will have a few Gourd plants already in place. As awful as it sounds to make a home out of a waste treatment plant, the Warwick Homestead is actually a decent place to house your allies and produce food.
14 Kingsport Lighthouse
The Kingsport Lighthouse has a medium sized building area, but already comes with a lighthouse, home, dock, and a small area for farmland. It also has natural defenses in the way of the ocean and rock ledges, this forces attackers to come either by the dock or the driveway, easy points to defend without having to be there.
Granted it may not be the largest or most impressive settlement, but it is sustainable and a great contribution to your empire. Build the defenses, assign scavengers, build farms, and connect it to your trade routes.
13 Finch Farm
The Finch Farm is rather unimpressive when you acquire it. There’s a water pump, cooking station, small cottage for a family of four, and a small plot of land with crops already in place. You’d be forgiven for slapping a few farmers and defenses in place and moving on, but there’s untapped potential here.
The building height extends up to the overpass above, meaning with a set of staircases you can extend your settlement up to this vantage point for additional housing, granting access to the streets above, and incredible defenses. In the end it doesn’t compare to others on this list, but it can look impressive if you want it to.
12 Starlight Drive-In
This former drive-in movie theater is now an empty parking lot with several rusting cars and barrels of radioactive waste. Those cars and the radioactive barrels can be scrapped for valuable resources to give you a large flat surface upon which you can build the base of your dreams.
It’s perfect for large scale housing to stack survivors on top of each other. It also makes a great location for your Power Armor collection to be displayed proudly in a personal gallery.
11 Egret Tours Marina
Egret Tours Marina may seem like a terrible place for a base given the run down buildings and random encounter spawn point (the latter meaning this place will be under attack often). But it’s valuable for both you as the player and your empire with the right setup.
This base is flowing with water to be produced and shipped to other settlements and it’s proximity to the Edge of the Glowing Sea makes it a great staging point for adventures into this dangerous territory. Focus on defenses, pumping clean water, set up some workshops and a trading post or two for supplies, and you have a strong outpost.
This tiny town is a great settlement for the player almost as soon as it’s obtained. There are walls surrounding the entire settlement, lots of inhabitants, and a robot named Deezer who, on a daily basis, provides a can of Deezer’s Lemonade that heals 50 hit points.
The reason it ranks so low is that the settlement is one of the smallest in the game and there are already houses in place, which means it’s not very customizable. Plus the nifty gun turrets on the walls are a one-time thing, as they can’t be replaced once destroyed.
9 The Mechanist’s Lair
Part of the Automatron add-on, The Mechanist’s Lair is a great settlement in terms of usability and unique aesthetics. It's the home of the infamous Mechanist, who sought to pacify the Commonwealth with her robots. This lair of hers acts as the perfect camp for those with a little role-playing flair.
This underground base has a secret entrance that can house those playing as a mad genius or villainous type. Admittedly, it will have to be supported by another settlement as it cannot grow its own food, but the robotic factory has a great atmosphere for darker characters.
8 Sanctuary Hills
The former home of the Sole Survivor prior to the nuclear holocaust can once again be their home as they embark on a quest to find their kidnapped son. While it will never live up to its former glory, players can rebuild Sanctuary Hills into a makeshift post-apocalyptic suburb straight out of the Rick And Morty episode "Rickmancing The Stone."
Logistically, it has lots of space for the population and decent farmland, but it ranks low because defending it might be a problem with so many access points. Not to mention it’s a little depressing to live there considering the death of your spouse and neighbors.
7 Echo Lake Lumber
This former lumber mill is one of the larger settlements in the game and makes for a great base. It does require a lot of work to clear out the garbage, but this nets a ton of wood and other materials for building, so it’s definitely worth it.
There’s a hedge that provides a natural wall, lots of space for farming, and the main building is more than sufficient for housing settlers. It’s a solid settlement that can be self-sufficient and easy to defend after cleaning it out and getting everything set up.
6 Bunker Hill
This settlement is a great place to hole up and survive a siege. It’s surrounded by a sturdy wall with a large door barring entrance to hostiles. It also has a large obelisk standing in the front, but unfortunately, it doesn’t permit any construction on top.
One of the best perks with this settlement is the steady supply of caps from trading that the town already engages in. After securing it and without any investment, the player immediately has a supply of passive income, making it one of the better settlements to obtain, even if you don’t want to build or use it.
This quirky settlement easily makes the top five for just how useful and customizable it can be. The Graygarden comes with a team of Mister Handy robots busily harvesting and maintaining a greenhouse. In addition to the pre-built garden is the fact that the robots themselves require no water or food to sustain themselves. This means that all of that food can be used by the player, sold to merchants, or used to sustain settlements that aren’t self-sustaining.
Another perk to this settlement is that the highway above it is part of the building area. So creative players can build a massive staircase leading up to it and incorporate that space into the settlement.
4 Vault 88
This unfinished vault can be obtained by the player and serve as a new underground home. It’s a vast space that rivals the biggest settlement in the game and can be tailored for any purpose. The quest to obtain this vault also gives the player access to prototype technology that can improve settlers' lives and make the job of maintaining a network of settlements much easier.
Unfortunately, because of the limitations in building sizes in the vanilla version of the game, the space in Vault 88 can’t fully be utilized. Although, this can easily be circumvented with some light modding to make an epic underground base.
3 Abernathy Farm
At first glance, there’s not much to this settlement. It’s a simple farm built around an electrical pylon. But this humble farm sports the highest building limitation in the game: a whopping 20 stories for the player to build in.
Even for those without the ambitions of building a 20-story fortress, it’s a fully-functioning farm with tons of land for even more crops. With a wall and modest defenses, it’s a great source of food for your network of settlements.
2 The Castle
As the empire of settlements expands, it’s only fitting the player should live in a castle. Once cleared of Mirelurks, this fortress of stone serves as the perfect base that comes with beds, medical facilities, an electrical system, an industrial water purifier, and a stash of turrets.
It’s perfect for those who want something premade and ready to go, and it's highly defensible once the holes in the wall are repaired. The only reason it doesn’t rank higher is that it’s already close to its build limit and doesn’t allow for much customization. But who needs that when you have a castle!
1 Spectacle Island
Easily the best settlement in the game is this massive private island. Once the beacon is turned on, it wards off Mirelurks, and power is supplied by a ship generator. It also boasts the largest amount of square footage and has a decent height limit, giving lots of creative potential.
Admittedly, it does take a lot of work. There’s a lot of garbage, much of it underwater, and very little infrastructure apart from free power. But given the size and the natural defenses provided by the ocean, it can make the perfect location for players to build their own private island paradise or wasteland fortress.
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