Hello citizens of the Commonwealth! Today I wanted to give you a list of what I think are the 5 most essential perks for any survival mode playthrough, or really any playthrough in general. These perks are useful for ANY build, and don’t require a ton of SPECIAL stat point investment. In fact, all of them can be obtained with 4 points or less invested into each SPECIAL tree. Also please note that these aren’t in any particular order, and when you pick up these perks is up to you and depends on your build. So let’s get started! Number 1 on our list is Scrounger.

Scrounger can be found in the Luck section of the SPECIAL tree and only requires 2 luck to unlock. Ranks 1, 2, and 3 of this perk increase the amount of ammo found on both enemies and in containers. This also includes fusion cores, and while still rare, you’ll occasionally find around 4 fusion cores in random containers throughout the commonwealth. It’s important to note that while this perk is amazing, it only affects the following ammo types: Also, while the first 3 ranks of the Scrounger perk are useful for any build, the 4th rank has a random chance to gain ammo when firing the last round from your clip. If you’re like me, or pretty much anyone that has been playing First Person Shooters for a while, you probably reload every chance you get, so this perk probably won’t see much use. In fact, I would have to make a conscious effort to use the last rank of this perk. In my opinion, absolutely pick up ranks 1 through 3, but take a pass on rank 4. Number 2 on our list is Lone Wanderer. Found at the 3rd level in the Charisma tree, some players may find this pick a little controversial because it requires you to forgo the use of a companion, but hear me out.

The multiplicative boosts to both damage dealt and damage absorbed, along with the carry weight bonus, far outweighs the userfulness of a companion on survival mode. Understandably, many players probably overlook this perk on their first playthrough because they want to have companions with them to see their dialogue and because, well, companions are kind of cool… at least at first. What you’ll soon realize though, is that companion usefulness in combat is very limited, and after a while their canned dialogue responses tend to get really old. Not to mention, on Survival Mode companions need to be healed with a stimpack whenever their health gets too damaged, and this tends to happen a lot. They do add some free carry weight, but the Lone Wanderer perk helps to make up for this loss. The one exception would be Ada, mainly because when fully modded out, she has a ridiculous amount of carry weight. But even with gatling lasers and missile launchers as weapons, her damage output is very low.

Number 3 on our list is gun nut, which can be unlocked after taking 3 points in intelligence. The intelligence tree is, in my opinion, the most useful SPECIAL tree in terms of useful perks for Survival mode. Gun nut allows you to craft increasingly powerful modifications to your weapons using adhesive and other parts found from scrapping junk and other weapons. The mods on weapons drastically affect how powerful they are, and I feel like this is a no brainer for anyone that wants to deal good damage in any difficulty of the game. Of course, if you’re going for an exclusively melee build, feel free to drop Gun Nut for blacksmith, the melee counterpart to this perk.

Also, A quick note on weapon modding: mods are also key in determining which perks a weapon will gain damage bonuses from. As an example, a laser weapon with a “Grip” type of handle is considered a pistol. In this form, it benefits from the “Gunslinger” perk, which increases damage bonuses to pistols. If a “stock” type of handle is used instead, it will benefit from the “Rifleman” perk instead. Pipe rifles on the other hand, have their weapon type determined by their barrel. Note that if a weapon is made automatic, it will only benefit from the commando perk, regardless of whether it is an automatic rifle or pistol. Number 4 on our list is Locksmith. There isn’t too much to say about locksmith. Ranks 1 through 3 let you open Advanced, Expert, and Master level locks on safes, doors, and anything else that’s locked.

There are a ridiculous amount of these to lockpick in the game, and you’d be severely hindering yourself if you decide to not take this perk. To “unlock” this perk, you need to invest 4 points into Perception. This is made even easier by the fact that the perception bobblehead is located in the Musem of Freedom in Concord, easily accessible in the early game. The final rank of locksmith makes your bobby pins invincible, but personally I always end up with hundreds of unused bobby pins in all of my playthroughs. Our final essential perk is Armorer, which can be unlocked after invesing 3 points into strength Regardless of whether you’re using power armor or not (and I HIGHLY advise you to use power armor full time in Survival Mode), the Armorer perk is important. This allows you to craft better versions of your armor, whether it be leather, combat, power armor, or some other type. Many of the more useful power armor mods like the jet pack also require the Science perk to unlock, but Armorer will at least allow you to upgrade the damage resistance and durability of your armor. Well guys, I hope you found this list useful! All of these perks can be taken with minimal investment into their respective SPECIAL trees, and will make your journey through Survival Mode much easier.

Do you agree with my picks? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll also leave a link in the video description to my Fallout 4 ultimate survival build. If you’d like to see this build in action, be sure to check out my Fallout 4 Survival Mode playthrough. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the Commonwealth!.

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