The leveling and character progression in Fallout 4 has been reshaped to be more flexible in exploring and going along with story content. It gives players more freedom to decide the way they want to play, define their own build and create a unique character. This development results in Fallout 4 becoming the finest version ever in the Fallout Series.
How Leveling Works?
Players can level up through the same system – by collecting experience points. Whenever a character’s experience points reach the appropriate amount, the level will be raised up.
Experience points can be gained mainly in 2 ways. The first one is to kill creatures. The amount of experience points from killing a creature differs according to difficulty – the more difficult the creature you kill, the more experience you will get.
The second one is to complete quests, which can be main story quests or side quests. Questing usually rewards with a big chunk of experience. Whenever you are thirsty for leveling, it is recommended to complete quests as much as possible.
In addition, experience points can be gained by doing some skills like disarming a bomb or trap, doing lock picking, or some speech challenge. However, this method do not give as much exp when compared to grinding and questing.
The more levels a character has, the more experience points will be required in the next level. There are no details about the proportion of required experience for each level, so far. (We will add it to this page once we have the correct information.)
Intelligence attribute gives a bonusin experience accordingly. The more Intelligence a player has, the more bonus experience he will earn. Investing in intelligence is always recommended. But do not put too much points in it since you need to spare some points for dps attributes like Strength or Perception.
No Level Cap
This is the first time in the Fallout series where there will be no level cap. Players can level the character and upgrade all perks to max as long as the player still enjoys the game. The leveling will always be in progression, which means you still gain experience even though the character has already completed the story content.
Since there is no level cap, Fallout 4 will be using a system called “Rubberbrand”. It is a system to prevent a player to have excessive levels. The core part of the Rubberbrand is to increase a level in accordance to player’s level. Meaning if your level is high, the enemy you encounter will be more difficult. This is purely aimed at making the game balanced and entertaining, no matter how high your level is.
There is an improvement in leveling speed for Fallout 4, where the pace of leveling will be slightly faster than Fallout 3.
The removal of leveling cap narrows the gap between each level. The benefit of this change is that a character will move faster through levels especially in early on. This grants players opportunity to customize their characters sooner. However, the leveling tends to be quite slow during the late game.
Attribute in Fallout 4 is called S.P.E.C.I.A.L. and it determines the way you want to play the game. The acronym comes from the first letters of 7 attributes: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck. Each attribute gives you different stats and perks in which we will talk about later on.
The attribute setup will start after you finish choosing the character’s appearance. When it comes to choosing S.P.E.C.I.A.L, the game will lead to a cinematic scene where a Vault Tech agent comes to your home and ask you for more information. Then, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L screen will pop up. Players will be given 21 points to adjust S.P.E.C.I.A.L attribute, as to how he wish he want the character will be. Each attribute will start at 1. The total S.P.E.C.I.A.L. point will be 28. The cap of each attribute is 10.
More S.P.E.C.I.A.L could be gained through weapons and armors.
Each attribute gives you:
Strength: This stat determines how strong you are, the more strength you have, the more you can carry. Strength also increases the amount of melee damage a character can input.
Perception: It is your environmental awareness or sixth sense. This attribute improves your weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S.
Endurance: This is a physical stat or fitness of character. It affects character’s health point and how long a character can stand the damage. In addition, Endurance determines how long you can sprint. The more Endurance you have, the slower action point is depleted by running.
Charisma: Charisma enables character to charm and convince other people. It affects the influence to persuade people in dialogues and a chance to succeed in bargaining
Intelligence: This affects character’s wisdom. The more clever your character is, the more experience you will earn resulting in faster leveling.
Agility: This shows how swift your character is, agility improves an ability to sneak. However, it increases the number of action point a character will require.
Luck: The status of fortune. It increases the chance of getting items. Also, Luck improves the critical recharge rate. Critical can be chosen to land on enemy at will but you will need to wait until the critical cooldown is ready. If you have more luck, the more often you can land a critical hit.
Perks are abilities that grant a player’s character additional skills, passive abilities, or improves a character’s non-combat talent. Each perk gives a unique benefit to the character.
S.P.E.C.I.A.L and Perks Relationship
The number of attribute stats you have indicates the amount of perk you will get. Since each attribute provides one perk, there are literally 70 perks in the game.
Perks are parallel with S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Every time a player has more attributes, more perks in that attribute line will be unlocked. For example, if you want a sneak ability, you must get agility to 3 in order to get the sneak perk. It’s important to decide what perks you want to have, before picking attribute during the character creation, in order to have all your desired perks.
The higher level perks will require high levels of attribute as well. If you want Intimidation skill, an ultimate ability to control people, you need to get Charisma attribute to 10 to unlock this perk.
Intimidation is definitely a useful ability but there’s a price you need to pay. Adding Charisma to 10 means you have to sacrifice other attributes and leave them in the low number. Let’s say if you want to max one attribute, it is inevitable to have other attributes at low level.
Perk will have its own rank which is ranged from 1-10. Each of them can be upgraded to increase the effectiveness. The more level in the perk rank is, the more effective it becomes. For example, if you upgrade a perk called “Gun Fu”, giving additional damage in V.A.T.S. regardless of weapon, you will be able to deal more damage in V.A.T.S. and select more targets.
Perk rank could only be upgraded step-by-step and it is bound with character level. For instance; you need to have level 46 with level 4 Iron Fist first, before upgrading it to level 5.
There are currently 275 perk ranks in total, from 70 available perks.
How to Earn Perks?
Perk will be available to choose whenever you level up. Characters will be rewarded with one Perk point per level. You can spend the point to upgrade the perk you want. However, you can only upgrade the perks you unlock. As mentioned in the previous section, perks are tied with attributes (S.P.E.C.I.A.L.)
There’s a perk chart that will list all available perks for all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. in the game. Study it and plan your perk wisely.
There are also separated perks a character can gain. These are individual perks that is not related to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. You can get it by collecting in-game magazines to receive extra perks. For example, there are 10 comics books called Grognak the Barbarian comics. Each book will grant you Barbarian perks which will allow bonus critical damage for your melee attack.