Fallout 4 Best Stats To Upgrade [How To Allocate Stats Guide]

The Source of Debate

If there is one thing that everyone who has ever touched a Fallout game knows by heart, it is the SPECIAL system. Time for a short history lesson; originally Fallout was an intended sequel to the original Wasteland on DOS. Wasteland was designed with an engine based on Ken St. Andre’s Tunnels & Trolls. To keep the same tabletop approach, Fallout was going to use Steve Jackson’s GURPS system. But after creative disagreements, the team at Interplay decided to create the one and only SPECIAL system. Standing for the seven stats: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, & Luck; these have been with gamers since the 90’s. In today’s essay, I will be going over my personal thoughts on how the SPECIAL system is use in Fallout 4. Describing what I believe to be the most important to focus on and the not so important.


This stat is what I consider to be the most important one to focus on. This comes downs to two vital points, Experience rates & Bottlenecking. Having a higher INT will increase your EXP rate, making it easier to level up and get more perks. Which kind of the point of playing an RPG. The second issue is that there are perks that are needed to fully enjoy the game: Gun Nut, Hacker, & Science; making the minimum INT score one can have is 6.

  • Nuclear Physicist is the top tier perk that will double the usage of Fusion Core; allowing you to use your favorite Power Armor for twice as long.
  • Scrapper is for those who are into modifying everything and building the perfect settlement as certain ingredients are harder to find without the perk.
  • Sadly, I think Nerd Rage is a poor final perk. By the time you invest into it, you’re a high enough level that dropping below 20% health is a rarity that barely justifies the perk’s benefit. Especially since similar effects can be achieved with Armor & Chems.


This stat is second to INT as it affects the gun play of your character. Having higher AGL will improve your sneaking and increase the Action Points used in VATS. Thankfully, there is no minimum here as all the perks are simply based on one’s play style. My favorite one is Ninja, but that is because I do sneak sniper builds.

  • Gun Fu being the final perk is a decent pay off for maxing the stat as it increases the damage you deal as you target more enemies in the same VATS shot. Doing automatic critical damage to every target after 3.
  • Moving Target is extremely useful in survival mode. Having an extra +50 Damage & Energy Resistance when you’re fleeing a squad of Gunner Captains that landed one to many headshots on you. Having that extra edge to live an extra 10 seconds can make the difference between healing up and getting revenge or reloading from a bed you saved at an hour ago.
  • Personally, Quick Hands is not that useful. It’s nice to have but the engagement distance that my fights occur at make the reload time improvement a moot point.


STR is a useful stat as it gives you an exponential increase to your Carry Weight & Melee Damage. So, if you prefer melee, this is your AGL. Normally weight is not an issue, but in Survival mode it is something that you must plan in advance since your weapons, ammo, and health items have weight; you cannot pick up everything you see. You’ll have to make multiple trips unless you want to take limb damage for being Over Encumbered. So best max out STR when you can as it will improve your character’s quality of life.

  • Armorer is the most vital perk since this unlocks the upgrade modifications to both your Armor and Power Armor. Combine with Science, you can unlock the Jetpack mod and access secrets rooms across the map.
  • Strong Back is useful for anyone who loves to collect material as it both increases carry weight and cancels certain effects of being over encumbered.
  • Pain Train is good on paper; the only flaw is sprinting in Power Armor drains the fusion core faster than normal. So, if you would like to use this perk, best to combine it with Nuclear Physicist.


Nothing is wrong with PER, but its usefulness is solely based how much you need it with the play style you decide to play with. PER affects: your general accuracy in VATS; your ability to sense enemies; lockpicking; & stealing. Some of these are more important than others.

  • PER has three perks that combine to make you a skilled headshot sniper. By combining Rifleman, Sniper, & Concentrated Fire. An effective combo but can become devastating if you also use Sneak, Mister Sandman, & Ninja. This is my personal combo set that I attempt to max as fast as I can.
  • Demolition Expert is literally useful for every build as grenades and mines are used alongside your main weapon. The Lv 2 of the perk give you an arc that lets you to accurately aim your throws.
  • Refractor works but is it extremely situational since it only increases Energy Resistance. So only a select number of enemies will be affected since the majority uses ballistic and melee weapons.


I’m conflicted about how I feel about LUCK; it is not as useful as in previous Fallout games, but the perks are good. LUCK affects your rate of spawn for a number of events and your Critical rate. In my opinion, Fallout 4 has the weakest random encounters; so, it really is just for the Crit rate.

  • Critical Banker is the best perk of the set as it lets you save up to 4 Crits that you can use on demand. Great for boss battles where you need to clear out health and cripple their limbs.
  • Fortune Finder/Scrounger are functional similar but are helpful as caps can be running thin if you aren’t a Murder Hobo and certain ammo are rarer than others, so finding extra extends your session of sniping with your .50 cal.
  • Idiot Savant is a self-defeating perk and is the one I consider functional the worst in the game. To take full effect of it, you can only have 1 INT. Which bottlenecks the possible builds and actions you can play with all for random EXP increases. The benefits of Idiot Savant can be matched with max INT.


END is a stat that matches the skill of the player; players fresh to the game will need it more than a seasoned veteran of the wasteland. END affects Health and Sprinting; good but the perks are all about keeping you from dying often. But a professional doesn’t die.

  • Ghoulish is functional the best one as it makes radiation something you can use. Max it and the glow isn’t as scary as it was before.
  • Aquaboy/girl is ironically super helpful as it turns the rivers throughout the map into high-speed highways to return from a long trek in less time that walking back. Assuming you play in Survival, otherwise you’d just fast travel.
  • Lead Belly makes sense; it removes radiation from food and water, the problem is that in Survival you still get sick from it. The illnesses do more damage than the radiation it prevents, making it useless.


CHA is controlling your Speech checks, Barter skills, and Settlement management. All important, but the approach is flawed and sometimes broken. My biggest issue with CHA is that is you only need a 4 CHA to experience the most it can offer a veteran player. This comes down to the design of the game rather than the stat itself. A fresh player may find Intimidation useful and passing speech checks feel rewarding; but as you grow you learn that the quests are written in a way than railroads you towards an outcome with little regards to the speech ability. And since speech outcomes are a literal random chance, non-survival players can just save scum until they pass it. Making CHA the worst stat in my mind.

  • Lone Wanderer & Attack Dog is the best combo from CHA and is what I get first as all the positive effects given by Lone Wanderer do not get cancelled if you travel with Dogmeat. Making you another Boy & His Dog.
  • Animal Friend/Wasteland Whisperer/Intimidation are all functionally the same with different targets; these are not bad to use and can be helpful, but I’d rather kill my enemies and gain the EXP than tame them.
  • Local Leader is only needed if you care about settlement development, otherwise you can literally avoid it and not miss anything.

Well, that was my thesis on Fallout 4 stat allotments; but this is the beauty of RPGs, I can decide to do the opposite of what I just wrote and will still have fun playing a new build. This guide is just my approach to min-maxing the game, but there is a whole different approach if I want to play like a barbarian or a drug addict or a cowboy. There is no right way to play, just have fun.

Thanks to the Fallout Wikia for the images.

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After falling into a Pit with nothing but a lifetime supply of food & water, a gaming computer, and an internet connection; Isacc is a creature of pure web culture.
Gamer Since: 1998
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Cuphead
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fallout: New Vegas, Team Fortress 2, Undertale

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