Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of Bethesda’s parent company ZeniMax Media has put Bethesda in the gaming industry’s spotlight. Unsurprisingly, rumors about a new Fallout game began circulating soon after the news of Microsoft’s latest acquisition broke, with the idea of an Xbox and PC exclusive Fallout 5 hitting Game Pass on day one seeming like a money-making idea just waiting to happen. There has been no official word of such a thing happening yet, however, so many players have been returning to 2015’s Fallout 4 to get their Bethesda fix.
With the increased attention on Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic RPG, now seems like a good time to highlight some of the secrets and gameplay mechanics that many players still haven’t discovered over five years since the game first hit stores.
8 Earn An Early SPECIAL Point
Fans of Fallout 3 will likely remember the You’re Special book from early in the game. The book is part of Fallout 3‘s first quest, allowing players to choose their skills.
The book makes a reappearance in Fallout 4, and many players will have seen it at the very start of the game. What some people won’t know, however, is that if they return to their house after leaving Vault 111, the book will grant them a SPECIAL point.
7 Use V.A.T.S To Destroy Grenades
The Fallout series’ V.A.T.S mechanic is one of the franchise’s most iconic features — Bethesda’s iteration of it is likely the most well-recognized, with its bullet-time-like execution allowing players to target specific enemy body parts to produce desired effects.
Besides providing a neat alternative to the relatively standard FPS slant that the recent Fallout games’ combat systems revolve around, the V.A.T.S system is handy for destroying incoming grenades. Enemies in Fallout 4 seem to be competing in some sort of post-apocalyptic NFL, as they have frustratingly good accuracy when throwing their explosives, making this trick a great defensive strategy.
6 Change The Pip-Boy’s Display Color
This little-known mechanic may not be able to save a player’s life like the previous entry, but it’s a neat feature that will appeal to die-hard Fallout fans that pump numerous hours into the game and therefore spend a ton of time on their Pip-Boy.
Bethesda doesn’t just let players pick from a pre-determined list of colors either, as the Red, Blue, and Green sliders let players pick exactly the color that they want for both their Pip-Boy and HUD.
5 Celebrate Christmas
A nice detail for those who enjoy getting into the festive spirit, it’s possible to celebrate a post-apocalyptic Christmas. On the 25th of December (in-game time), Diamond City will be decked out in holiday gear with Christmas trees and lights giving the place a festive glow.
Christmas isn’t the only holiday tradition celebrated in Fallout 4. If the horrors of a post-apocalyptic world aren’t terrifying enough, then players will be glad to know that Diamond City also gets decked out in Halloween livery on the 31st of October.
4 Play Fallout’s Version of Donkey-Kong
Players can play actual games on their Pip-Boy should they locate the relevant holotapes. Red Menace, found within Vault 111, is a parody of the classic arcade game Donkey-Kong. The iconic hero and villain pair of Mario and Donkey Kong are replaced by Vault Girl and an anthropomorphic Chinese Flag, respectively.
Fallout 4 isn’t the only game in the series where Red Menace is referenced. The game disc can be found in Fallout 76‘s Appalachia, and in Fallout Shelter, Mister Handy will brag about his high score in the game.
3 Quicksave During A Conversation
Although the dialogue in gaming has come a long way since its inception, there can still be times in any RPG where players pick a speech option that they think is friendly but accidentally end up threatening the NPC’s family and declaring war on their village.
Thankfully, a simple but useful trick can help players with this issue in Fallout 4. When coming across a set of dialogue options that the player is unsure about, they can play it safe and quicksave to ensure that they can swiftly return to where they were if the option they picked turns things pear-shaped.
2 Recruit Unique Merchants To Your Settlement
Unique merchants, unofficially known as Level Four merchants, can be recruited to a settlement. Not only do unique merchants generate more income than level 3 merchants, but they can also provide legendary armor when assigned to a tier 3 store.
There are eight unique merchants in the game, four of whom are found in specific places: Anne Hargraves, who is at the WRVR broadcast station; Tina De Luca, who is in Vault 81; Vault-Tec rep, who is in Goodneighbor’s Rexford Hotel; and Trader Rylee, who is at the Longneck Lukowski’s Cannery. The other four unique merchants, who are randomly encountered, are Smiling Larry, Ron Staples, Doc Anderson, and The Scribe.
1 Buy A House In Diamond City
One benefit of a post-apocalyptic world is that house prices aren’t too extortionate when homes are built with metal scraps. It’s possible to buy a house in Diamond City, which can be extremely handy as it gives players a convenient spot to operate from.
The house can be purchased for 2,000 caps from Geneva, the secretary of Diamond City’s mayor. Not only is the house a nice space for the price, but players can also customize it to make their new house a home.