Channel the majesty of the old Wild West in Fallout 4 with a Gunslinger build. This entire build is structured around one perk: Gunslinger. In its most basic form, this perk boosts the damage of non-automatic pistols, and by the end, the perk enables double damage and the chance to cripple your enemies.

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For a Gunslinger build you want to prioritize non-automatic pistols, such as the Deliverer, Pipe Revolver, and the classic 10mm pistol in the early game. Here's how to get the most out of your pistol-slinging build in Fallout 4.

Updated August 12th by Harry Alston: We're returning to this Gunslinger build to include some more information regarding the best weapons and stats for your pistol-whipping build.


What Are The Benefits Of A Pistol/Gunslinger Build?

A Pistol or Gunslinger build is a great idea for a new(ish) player to Fallout 4. Pistols are available throughout the world and are often some of the very first weapons you find on your adventure.

There are a few different playstyles that you can opt for:

  • Critical Damage Gunslinger Build - Stack your points into Luck Special Stat and opt for critical damage.
  • Stealth - Creep up on your enemies and land powerful shots before they can turn their - maybe - more powerful firepower on you.
  • Vats-focused - Pistols have a pretty low AP cost, which means you can make more use of Vats than with other weapons.

It's important to remember that you might not be putting out big damage with a pistol until the endgame. Their base damage is quite low, and you really need to spec into this specific build to be successful against very strong opponents.

Best Stats For A Gunslinger Build

fallout 4 special stats

Using pistols in Fallout 4 is easy, rewarding, and can be extremely powerful with the right set-up. Because pistols are so easy to come by in the base game, it's a perfect build for new players who just want to deal as much damage as possible. Once you've done a run with a pistol, you can start trying out some more wacky builds. Here are the stats you should go for first to get the most out of your pistol.


A strong Gunslinger build is all about VATS. Stringing together attacks with the relatively low AP cost of pistol shots is the best way to deal maximum damage. Agility boosts your AP, and it boosts it quickly. And the first level of Agility gives you access to the Gunslinger perk, which you need for this build.


Perception boosts your accuracy in VATS, ideal if you want to hit those perfect shots with your pistol. Each point boosts accuracy by 10 percent and unlocks some useful perks later along the line, like Concentrated Fire.

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The pistol, VATS, and high critical damage chance that comes with Luck is really the foundation of your damage output as a Gunslinger. With boosted AP, and the low cost of pistol shots anyway, you'll be able to ping off crit hits like there's no tomorrow. High luck is definitely recommended for a Gunslinger build.

Side Note:

Intelligence, Charisma, Strength, and Endurance aren't overly important to the success of a Gunslinger build, but there are elements from each stat tree that might be useful.

For example, Hitting 6 points in Intelligence is good for the Science perk later in the game, and you will probably want at least some Endurance just to boost your HP.

Our preferred way to play with the pistols is the Lucky build. Big crit damage. Here are the rough first stats you should use for this build:

  • Strength - 1
  • Perception - 6
  • Endurance - 3
  • Charisma - 1
  • Intelligence - 1
  • Agility - 8
  • Luck - 8

You should max out Agility and Luck by the end game, and you can boost that 10 Luck all the way to 20 with a set of Lucky gear.

Best Perks For A Gunslinger Build

fallout 4 perks

Aside from maxing out the Gunslinger perk whenever you can, which is important to keep up your damage output, there are a variety of other perks that are useful for this build.

There are also some perks that you should just pick up during any Fallout 4 playthrough, like the Locksmith perks, and some of the Stealth perks if you're opting for a more sneaky playthrough.

By the end, you'll be so strong that anything left in the end-game is easy to do. Here's a closer look.

Gun Nut, Available at Intelligence 3

There is a reason to go for some early Intelligence in your stat tree, and that's to get access to the Gun Nut perk. Although pistols are plentiful, you probably want to start modifying your arsenal to make it easier into the late game. Each level of Gun Nut lets you access better gun mods, so you can start building more powerful weapons.


Penetrator is a great perk to pick up if you're opting for a full Vats build. This will make it harder for enemies to hide from Vats shots around corners and other obstacles.

Critical Banker, Available at Luck 7

This perk works brilliantly with Four Leaf Clover, the next perk available in the luck tree at level 9. Basically, Critical Banker lets you save a critical shot in VATS, which means you can push out priority damage on stronger enemies rather than wasting an important shot on some sniveling grunt. At its max level, you can save an ultra-powerful 4 critical hits.

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Grim Reaper's Sprint, Available at Luck 8

Grim Reaper's Sprint makes a lot of sense in a VATS-heavy Gunslinger build. At its base level, it introduces a 15 percent chance for any kill in VATS to max out your AP level. You can see where we're going with this: plenty of AP, perks that boost your AP, and Grim Reaper's Sprint to make it so you have a virtually full bar by the late game.

Better Criticals, Available at Luck 6

In a build that relies heavily on VATS, Better Criticals makes a lot of sense. Pair it with Grim Reaper's Sprint and Critical Banker and you have a source of most of your pistol damage. At its base level, Better Criticals increases crit damage by 50 percent, and by its final level, it will increase crit damage to 2.5x.

Four Leaf Clover, Available at Luck 9

Yep, we're sticking with the VATS perks. Four Leaf Clover increases the chance of each hit in VATS refilling your critical meter back up to max. At its final level, the chances of filling the bar back up are very high. Four Leaf Clover is something you should pick up after you've already got your hands on the above perks.

Gun Fu, Available at Agility 10

Gun Fu is definitely one of the most fun in the game. It works particularly well with a Gunslinger build. As a pistol-wielder, you typically deal high damage to single targets. Gun Fu allows you to translate that damage into a knock-on effect, dealing extra damage to each subsequent VATS target. Clearing a room with Gun Fu really makes you feel like an apocalyptic Clint Eastwood.

Best Weapons For A Gunslinger Build

Fallout 4 Power Armor And Minigun On Player

Pistols come thick and fast in Fallout 4. They're easy to find and pretty reliable right from the beginning. Here are some of the best pistols to pick up while on a Gunslinger run:

  • .44 Magnum, the old reliable, this gun is available right from the start of the game and can be found in plenty of loot crates, it's a good way to start out your journey
  • Old Faithful, an energy pistol that works best for sneak characters, but is still a decent upgrade on the Magnum in the early game, sold in Diamond City
  • The Gainer, this is like the .44 Magnum, but cooler as it sets people on fire, located at the Vitale Pumphouse behind a locked door
  • Kellogg's Pistol, the perfect weapon for a VATS-heavy Gunslinger build as it resets your AP with every critical hit
  • Deliverer, arguably one of the best weapons in the game and the ideal complement to a Gunslinger build, increases VATS chances and reduces overall AP costs

NEXT: Fallout 4: The Best Unique Weapons, Ranked (And Where To Find Them)

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