For gamers wanting a challenge, Fallout 4 Survival Mode is a big deal. Selecting it at the beginning of your game means you can only save when at a mattress or sleeping bag your character can sleep in. Also, you can kiss the fast travel mechanic goodbye. Your Sole Survivor will also take 200 percent more damage. If you get crippled, you cannot sleep if off. In Survival Mode, you will need either a stimpak or a doctor. Also, ammo has weight!

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So it's no wonder you would come here, because you need all the help you can get for this mode of gameplay. Here are some Fallout 4 survival mode tips.

Updated on June 2, 2021, by Allison Stalberg: By now, most Fallout 4 players have finished the game and its various DLC. What is there left to do? Survival mode! The difficulty level changes the way players traverse the wasteland and their tactics in battle. In such a mode, you will need all the advice you can get.

16 Settlements Are Your Friend

Settlement sitting on water.

You want as many settlements built as possible in your Survival Mode game. Why? It's how you will restock, store, and save your game. At every settlement, you will want a bed for yourself so you can save the game. It also gives you the well-rested bonus, which will give you a 10 percent increase in experience gain. You're going to need that.

You will want a chem and cooking station as well. Survival Mode adds a thirst and fatigue mechanic that is affected by different items. You will also want to create supply lines between these settlements for the easiest item management. Lastly, you will want a source of purified water.


15 Collect Pre-War Money

Money piles on a table in a storage room with Dogmeat.

Pre-War money is a valuable resource, especially in survival mode. The best thing about it? It weighs nothing! So you can collect as much of it as you want without reaching your weight limit.

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What makes the money a good resource is that each one sells for about eight caps. If you add charisma stats to that, it will sell for even more. Secondly, they count as a cloth resource so you can use them to make the beds you will desperately need in your settlements. So they are quite useful for both crafting and selling.

14 Save Often

Fallout 4 pause menu.

Pro-tip: save often, and have multiple saves. It is a given that you will die a lot in Fallout 4 Survival Mode, so saving is important to avoid losing progress.

However, sometimes saving the game can be risky. It is best to not save in combat, or in a place the player can get stuck. With only one save, that could be a bad experience. This is why it's recommended either to only save in safe settlements or to have multiple saves just in case you get stuck.

13 Don't Drink Dirty Water

12 Hands hovering over creek with a gun.

It is best to drink only Purified Water in Survival Mode. However, this does not mean you should not collect Dirty Water. It is great for cooking food like Noodle Soup, Radstag Stew, and Vegetable Soup.

Drinking Dirty Water is will make the player sick with radiation, which is incredibly dangerous in Survival Mode. Luckily, Purified Water is easy to get through collecting bottles and filling them all up at settlements. Also, Codsworth gives out Purified Water!

11 Collect Bottles And Keep Then Filled At Water Pumps

Building a water pump in a settlement.

Purified water is so important since there are many negative health effects in Survival Mode. An easy way to keep stocked on purified water is to collect and keep all bottles you find. That includes beer bottles, milk bottles, and Nuka Cola bottles.

This tip is connected to the settlement one because that is going to be your main source for Purified Water. With a total of about 29 settlements in the game, you will be thankful later when you have 29 different places to go to get purified water.

10 Specialize In A Single Weapon Type

Close-up of Furious Power Fist weapon and its stats.

Specializing in a weapon type will help you limit yourself to how many weapons you carry. You do not want to spread yourself thin for Fallout 4's survival mode, and you should instead try to be an expert in particular things.

You can probably specialize in one long-range and one short-range weapon to adapt to different situations if you want.

9 Always Engage Enemies In Stealth Mode

Pixelated vault dweller sneaking by raider on coach.

You're going to need all the tactical advantages you can get in combat, and a big one is the element of stealth. Since you get 200 percent more damage in survival mode, you will not survive a typical firefight. If you are seen, you best run away because you do not want it to be you versus five raiders or mutants.

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Your best bet of survival is to pick off enemies one by one without the others noticing. If you do not think that is honorable then survival mode is probably not for you.

8 Use Med X And Jet

Med X.

Do not worry about the sole survivor having an addiction, as that is much easier to fix than immediate death.

Players of Survival Mode have been fans of Med X for extra damage and Jet to slow time for the more difficult fights like Kellogg and the Mechanist. So, hoard those drugs and save them for when the going gets rough.

7 Always Aim At Enemy's Heads First

Gun scope view while hidden. It is pointing at an NPC's head.

You will want to do the most damage possible in a single shot to get your enemy down quicker, save ammo, and not get attacked while reloading.

The best way to deal the most damage is aiming for the heads of whatever you are fighting. However, heads are not very big so you might miss. This is why it's not a plan to stick to, it's only for the initial encounter. After shooting the head, you will probably want to aim for the torso since that is the largest target.

6 Make Pocketed And Deep-Pocketed Upgrades For All Armor

Characters at a crafting station in the wasteland.

Survival Mode severely limits your carrying capacity, so you need to find alternatives for boosting your ability to carry more items. One such way is to upgrade your armor with pocketed and deep-pocketed upgrades. Each pocketed upgrade increases your capacity by five and the deep pockets increase them by 10, so deep pockets would be preferable.

Besides installing pockets into your armor, you can also take the Strong Back perk to increase how much you can carry.

5 Do Not Go Rescue Settlements

Red Rocket settlement.

In Survival Mode, you cannot always be the hero. If it makes you feel bad to not rescue a settlement, just never tune into the Minutemen Radio channel and be cautious around Preston.

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Here is the good news: settlers cannot be killed by monsters. The worst-case scenario is that some damage is caused in a settlement. However, you can be killed by monsters and they come into settlements in hoards. It is very likely they will kill you. It is a fight that is not worth the trouble.

4 Don't Be Too Dedicated To Quests

Ada the robot in the wateland.

Similarly to ignoring settlement rescue, the player should just be careful about what quests to do and in which order. Doing certain quests immediately is a death wish. The beginning of your game in Survival Mode will be the most difficult, so it is a good idea to save a lot of quests for later or just skip them altogether.

That being stated, it can be worth saving the game, trying a quest to see if it's doable, and then reload the save from before if it turns out to be too difficult.

3 In The Beginning, Avoid Combat And Gain Exp In Other Ways

Diamond City entrance.

Luckily for Survival Mode players, experience can be gained in non-lethal ways. A lot of experience can be gained through cooking, crafting, exploring, and settlement building,

This actually works out well, as settlement building will both gain experience as well as create a safety network for the Survival Mode player to access beds, water, and crafting stations.

2 Collect And Buy Adhesive

Crafting mods for baseball bat.

Adhesive is your friend when it comes to upgrading and crafting all things. You are going to want to upgrade everything as much as possible too, especially weapons and armor.

Things that contain adhesive are vegetable starch (which you can cook), duct tape, and wonderglue. You can buy shipments of adhesive from most vendors as well.

1 No Companions And Lone Wanderer Perk

Sole Survivor with Dogmeat.

Companions are fun, but they will hinder your abilities in combat. They will attack enemies unprovoked, give away your locations to enemies, and be defeated.

You also get a really good perk if you have no companions. The Lone Wanderer Perk at maximum rank gets you 25 more action points, 30 percent less damage taken, 25 percent more damage dealt, and 100 more carrying capacity. Those are all very useful.

If you really want, Dogmeat does not count as a companion for this perk. So you can still have him, but don't be too surprised he provokes a Deathclaw.

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