‘Fallout 4’ Settlement Guide: How To Build And Object Control Tips

The Fallout 4 Settlement building guide continues following coverage of character perk selection and getting started. This article will cover what you need to do to meet your Settlement needs, along with tips on how to build what you want. Tips on how to control and manipulate objects in the Workshop mode are also covered to help get past some of the PS4, Xbox One, and PC role-playing game’s quirks.

Build What Your Settlement Needs

A settlement’s needs are primarily based on the number of settlers and meeting these needs will increase happiness. You’ll need one food, water, and bed resource for every one settler. The total number of residents in a settlement is determined by your character’s charisma plus 10.

Food can be planted (there’s plenty to find in Sanctuary Hills and nearby) and settlers will automatically assign themselves to harvest unless told otherwise. Water can be retrieved from ground wells or by putting water purifiers in a stream or pond (this will require power). Meanwhile, beds are easily built from the Workshop menu under the furniture option.

Fallout 4 Mama Murphy (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
After the basic needs are filled, you can work on defense. How much or how little is up to you, just know that fences don’t add to your settlements defense rating and can be put off at first. The Machinegun Turret is the best starting point as it provides 5 defense points, does not require power, and has a relatively simple recipe of 8 Steel, 1 Circuitry, 2 Gears, and 2 Oil.

Tip: The defense rating of a settlement should be equal to the sum of food and water being produced in order to keep settlement happiness up.

Tip: You don’t have to turn every Settlement into “Fortress Maximus” surrounded by fences. You can get by fencing and gating off important areas such as farms to keep intruders out while the Settlement defenses and you deal with them.

Build What You Want

Once you get the needs out of the way, you can start building the post-apocalyptic homestead of your dreams. Clearing out the broken down houses in Sanctuary Hills provides a couple of nice slabs to get started with, but any building you construct should start with the floors first.

The Workshop menu offers wood floors that allow you to neatly align wood or metal walls around your floorplan. Building in Fallout 4 is literally a snap with the Minecraft-esque construction system, but there are some limits and quirks.

There are three ways to manipulate objects in the Fallout 4 build mode.

  • Use the controller triggers or left and right mouse button to rotate an object to put it how you want it.
  • Hold ‘A’ on Xbox, ‘X’ on PS4, or ‘E’ on PC when an object is selected and use the left thumbstick or mouse to move it along the horizontal plane forward, backward, and side to side. You can also use the mouse wheel by itself to move an object forward and backward.
  • Hold ‘A’ on Xbox or ‘X’ on PS4 to move the object up and down vertically. On the PC, hold ‘E’ and use the mouse wheel to move the object up and down.

You can press ‘A’/’X’/’E’ to pick up an individual object. However, holding the same button/key will pick up the selected object plus the other objects attached to it.

You will be fighting the snap object system in the process as there is no way to turn it off except with a console command that is only available on the PC. One of the biggest fights is dealing with the uneven ground. One way to get around this if you are placing walls or other barriers is to start at the bottom of a slope and build uphill. The other way is to create a stepped approach illustrated by Fallout 4 Builds in the following video.

Only the two “Shack Foundation” building pieces can clip into the ground by default without the use of any console command or mod. One is made of concrete and the other is wood, so you’ll want to use them based on the materials on hand and what kind of look you are going for. For example, the concrete “Shack Foundation” is superb for filling in holes at the fort.

Another use for the “Shack Foundations” is to set the level at which you want to build objects. For example, use a “Shack Foundation” to set the base height of a catwalk along your Settlement wall by setting it at the height desired and attaching “Small Floor” pieces to it. Then you can remove the “Shack Foundation” once it is set.

Fallout 4 Shack Foundation (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Multi-story buildings should use the “Shack Upper Floor” piece to build each floor off the ground floor. You can use the “Shack Stairwell” to get from one floor to the next but simply leaving a hole in the floor and using the tall “Stairs” piece is easier and more flexible.

Tip: PC users that get frustrated by clipping can toggle clipping on and off by using the “Tcl” console command. Console commands are access by pressing the ‘~’ key.

Have any tips you’d like to share? Put them in the comments below.

[Image via Reddit User deadcrowisland. Note: Each of these guides will feature a build from a member of the Fallout 4 community.]