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Fallout 4’s New Special Character System Explained

by William Schwartz


Bethesda Game Studios RPGs have traditionally had robust character creation tools that allow players to create interesting and unique characters to roam their massive open world games.  For Fallout it’s the S.P.E.C.I.A.L.  system of skills.  Both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas featured this system that would allow players to allocate points to a core group of attributes before ever setting foot onto the Wasteland.

Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck — These seven attributes have been the backbone of previous Fallout games and that’s going to be the case once again with Fallout 4.  Allocating your SPECIAL points in Fallout 4 consists of assigning 28 points across the seven attributes.  Each can have a starting value between 1 to 10.  Bethesda says that they will allow you to re-allocate SPECIAL abilities after you’ve played for a little while.

Fallout 4 Character System


Fallout 4 is XP based, unlike Skyrim’s skill based system.  Fallout 4 will have no level cap, but each time you do, you’ll be able to add a perk to your character.  A full list of the perk chart can be found in the image aside.

Each SPECIAL has a perk that is assigned for each rank of the system, this again ranges from 1 to 10.  You can select any perk up to the rank of your SPECIAL.  The higher your SPECIAL ability the better the perk.

You’ll need to allocate your points wisely.  Do you want a character who’s very strong and lucky?  Or perhaps one that’s intelligent and charismatic?  Any number of different types of characters can be created with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system and it can have a big impact on how your game plays out and the options that are available to you.

The video series below details the seven facets of the Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, starting with:

What Strength Does in Fallout 4

The Strength attribute allows you to do a number of things in Fallout 4.  As you’ll be scavenging for supplies in the wasteland, a higher strength rating will allow you to carry more items.  Strength also improves your ability to fight with things other than firearms.  The special video above details a melee item called the Ripper, a bat covered in barbed wire, or other more creative items. These creative items are likely tied to the new weapons mods system in the game.

Strength also comes into play when wielding different types of weapons.  Not meeting a weapon’s strength requirement in previous Fallout games have penalized things like accuracy or damage. Outside of the points that you can allocate towards the Strength attribute, Fallout games have also given you to opportunity to use both Perks and Items to increase your Strength. Consumable items found in the Wastelands have also been known to have the effect of increasing strength though only for a short time period.

What Perception Does in Fallout 4

Perception in Fallout 4 is tied directly to the VATS system and allows you to be more accurate in targeting specific areas on an enemy.  It also impacts lock-picking ability and attempts to steal in Fallout 4.  The video above also alludes to perception still being tied to your ability to detect nearby enemies, handling explosives, and using long range weapons like sniper rifles.

What Endurance Does in Fallout 4

Endurance allows your character to endure the effects of radiation and physical violence.  Giving your character food and water is necessary in Fallout 4 if you want to survive and there’s plenty of boxed good food to find in the Wasteland, but for those with higher endurance rating you can also nourish your character with certain enemies that you kill, whether they are radiated or not.  Endurance in previous Fallout games have also affected heal rates, poison and radiation resistance.  The video above also details “new options” for nourishment.

Higher endurance rating also affects how far you can run.   Previous games in the series have allowed you to increase Endurance via additional perks and gear.

What Charisma Does in Fallout 4

What Intelligence Does in Fallout 4

What Agility Does in Fallout 4

What Luck Does in Fallout 4

Coming Soon

- This article was updated on:October 14th, 2015

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