Scrap… scrap never changes. That’s right folks, Fallout 4 is bringing settlement building to its loyal fans for the first time in the series. Popular mods to previous Fallout games like the Real Time Settler mod for Fallout: New Vegas provided proof-of-concept for the idea. The sky is the limit for settlement building in Fallout 4 with the Bethesda development team backing its implementation into the core game.
As described above, building a place to call home begins with the scrap system. Players can deconstruct existing structures and items to salvage them for scrap components. Steel, wood, concrete, rubber, cloth, aluminum, bottle caps, screws, gears, copper, ceramic, glass, oil, and circuitry are the building blocks that the Sole Survivor can use to rebuild. With said scrap, your character can choose from a wide array of prefabricated walls, floors, ceilings and openings to create their vision.
As you improve your settlement it will start to attract local residents and your population will begin to grow. In order to support the growing population the player will need to grow food and provide water to the inhabitants of their settlement. The morale of your settlement can be monitored with an in-game HUD (pictured below) that displays a number of stats pertinent to the success of your base.
Infrastructure plays an important role. You will need to support your settlement in Fallout 4 with necessary electrical and municipal utilities. Build pumps to deliver water. Craft generators to supply electricity. All of this will need to be managed and connected using a system of wiring, circuits, switches and terminals.
As any veteran to the series will know, the wasteland is a dangerous place. Don’t jeopardize your hard work and the safety of your settlers! Defenses are a must if you want to protect your home against raiders and ambushes. Defenses like turrets, flame throwers, guard towers, traps and trip wires can be used to deter enemy attackers and keep your loved ones (Dogmeat!) safe.
Storing items looted throughout your adventures was an important piece to the previous Fallout games. Finding a safe, nay, memorable place (any old dumpster will do!) to hide your valuables allowed for some additional inventory management beyond what your character could carry on their back. In Fallout 4, it is expected that settlement building will provide memorable and convenient (fast travel) access to long-term storage of loot.
As you uncover more and more of the wasteland, you will be able to build more settlements. Connecting settlements with brahmin caravans will improve the local economies. Some of the best items in the game can be purchased through the traders that settle at your locations. Settlement economies can be improved in a number of ways. Leveling up certain perks like “Local Leader” will unlock new traders and stores for your settlements – all of which can be utilized by your character. Thirsty? Build a Nuka-Cola vending machine. Antsy? Dunk on some fools by building a basketball hoop.
Fallout 4 settlements are ambitious to say the least. This is one of the most anticipated features of Fallout 4, and while the core system has much to be excited about, I can only imagine how great the community can make this feature with player-created mods.