From the ashes of atomic fire rose new factions to rule the wasteland, each with their own iconic locations to call home. The Minutemen have The Castle, The Brotherhood of Steel have the Prydwen, And The Institute has MIT. Now it’s your turn to begin forging your path in the Commonwealth with settlements!
Settlements are a key component in Fallout 4 that offer the player a means to let their creativity run wild by building up war torn ruins into beautiful homes for themselves and friendly NPCs. They allow you a safe place to rest, re-arm, or otherwise just show off your artistic side. Whether it be a small village of wooden shacks, to a massive metal fortress with laser turrets on every wall, Fallout 4’s workshop gives you the tools to shape the wasteland to your liking.
The first settlement each player will encounter is Sanctuary Hills, the player character’s home before the war as seen in the intro phase. Fresh out of the vault, you can start building right away by finding the red workbench that is located at all settlements. After interacting with it you’ll be able to access “Workshop Mode” by holding down the button/key used to adjust your player view by default.
It is highly recommended that you complete the quest When Freedom Callsby saving Minuteman Preston Garvey and company from Raiders (and a little surprise toward the end of the quest) in the town of Concord down the road from Sanctuary. Doing so gives you the opportunity to unlock more settlements in the future by completing Minutemen (MM) side quests.
Afterwards, Preston and the other survivors will make their way to Sanctuary Hills and begin the side quest Sanctuary. A character named Sturges will request numerous tasks of you to make Sanctuary livable for him and the rest of the new settlers you saved, such as constructing beds and planting food. This side quest should help familiarize you with the settlement mechanics that will be covered in this guide.
Setting Up and Maintaining Settlements
With each settlement you come across you’ll want to start off by gathering as much raw materials to build things as possible by “scrapping” them. Scrapable items can range from a screwdriver on the ground, to an entire building: the possibilities are endless! While doing so, be sure to scan the settlement for natural resources such as plants and water sources.
There are 5 essential components to creating a well-oiled settlement:
The amount necessary for each of these 5 things is co-dependent on the number of settlers you have in each individual settlement. A deficiency in any of them results in low happiness among settlers.
Feel free to go through the list and check out each guide we have prepared for you. We promise not to bog you down with unnecessary information — within each guide you see above is an overview of essentials and some useful insider tips.
Now, let’s discuss what settlement locations are available to you and how to unlock them!
In the base game of Fallout 4, there are exactly 30 potential settlement locations throughout the commonwealth. Obtaining these settlements can be as easy as walking up to the workbench and activating the settlement while others may require you to do a quest, kill the current residents, or have certain conditions fulfilled in order to make it available to you.
It is strongly encouraged to actively complete Minutemen quests as they unlock a significant amount of the settlements in game. These quests will typically require you to assist settlements both old and new in things such as rescuing settlers or killing hostile entities.
How to unlock: No requirements. Simply locate the workbench and begin building!
For Fallout 4 players both old and new, Sanctuary is one of the most popular “main base” settlements.
With a vast size, open space, bounty of natural recourses, and far distance from the war-torn area that is downtown Boston makes Sanctuary a very safe and appealing area for players to come home to after a long trek through the Commonwealth filled with blood, bullets, and radiation. If you are a newcomer to Fallout 4, it is highly recommended to use Sanctuary to learn and experiment with the vast amount of features found in the games workshop mode.
Red Rocket Truck Stop
How to unlock: Kill the molerats infesting the settlement. No other requirements!
Located south east of Sanctuary on the road leading into Concord. There is a power armor station in the garage by default and a chemical lab in the back of the station. You can also find the iconic K9 companion Dogmeat here!
How to unlock: Complete the quest “Returning The Favor”. If you’re feeling lazy, you can also just kill the Abernathy family residing at the farm.
Located south of Sanctuary Hills and Southwest of Red Rocket Truck Stop. There is a large number of crops here that you can harvest and plant in other settlements!
Sunshine Tidings Co-op
How to unlock: Clear out the feral ghouls infesting the settlement or complete a MM quest
Head far south of Sanctuary over the lake. This is a large abandoned pre-war commune with plenty of open space to build. Watch out for the ghouls!
Starlight Drive In
How to unlock: Clear out the molerats infesting the settlement or complete a MM quest.
Located southwest of both Sanctuary and Red Rocket. This bombed out drive in theatre is an ideal player base for it’s open space, large size, and natural water source in the center of the settlement. (Be sure to scrap the radioactive barrels contaminating the water first!)
Ten Pines Bluff
How to unlock: You must complete a radiant side quest given either by the MM or the residents themselves. Or you know, just kill them?
Located east of Sanctuary Hills. There are some crops at this location you can harvest. The overall smallness makes this settlement more appealing as a farm or pitstop for the player.
How to unlock: Complete the quest “Troubled Waters” given by the robots or a MM quest.
You can reach Graygarden by travelling Southwest of Starlight Drive In. The main component of this settlement is a crop filled greenhouse filled with a large amount of crops that you can harvest. This is an ideal location to farm food. Did we mention that all the residents are robots?
While you can destroy the robots, it’s strongly discouraged. when unlocking this settlement, you’ll already have several resident robots available to assign to crops and other resources.
How to unlock: Complete a side quest given either by the current residents or the MM. Yes. You can kill them too.
A small railway checkpoint located south of Graygarden. With a small building perimeter, is recommended to build vertically if you decide to utilize this settlement. A small field of crops is also housed here.
How to unlock: Complete a MM quest in which you’ll have to kill the resident raiders, or go there without Preston Garvey’s blessing and kill the raiders yourself. Either way, someone is dying.
A raider hole located in the Boston ruins southwest of Oberland. The premade fortifications make this settlement easily defendable, though it lacks much building space and natural resources.
Egret Tours Marina
How to unlock: Phyllis can give the settlement to you through a speech check about her late grandson. Or you can just kill her. You never really know if someone is a synth.
A river dock south of Hangman’s Alley with a clearly visible water source. A hermit named Phyllis is the sole resident. She believes she might be a synth.
How to unlock: Complete a radiant quest from the residents or a MM quest. Sorry Grim Reaper, but you can’t kill this man and his kids this time
A tiny farm run by a father with his children located south of Egret Tours Marina. It ain’t much but it’s honest work!
How to unlock: Wipe out the raiders or complete a side quest for the RAILROAD faction.
A vertical settlement just north east of Ten Pines Bluff A friendly power armor clad raider and his raider friends live here. Why not go and say hello?
How to unlock: **SPOILERS** After entering Covenant, begin the quest “Human Error” by talking to Honest Dan. You have a choice to free or continue to imprison a synth named Amelia. Either results in unlocking the settlement. WARNING: if you free Amelia BEFORE talking to Honest Dan, you will render the settlement UNOBTAINABLE; even if you wipe out the settlers.
Amongst the ruins of the commonwealth southwest of Starlight Drive In is an ordinary gated community. With friendly smiles all around, delicious lemonade made by the local Mr. Handy, and absolutely zero dark secrets, this neighborhood is a perfect space for your player character to call home! …. Or is it?
How to unlock: Kill the bloodbugs infesting the settlement or complete a quest from the MM or Railroad
A beautiful irradiated lakeside home east of Covenant. Make sure to bring some bug spray (or a gun) because the bloodbugs are out tonight!
How to unlock: Complete a quest for the residents or the MM.
A settlement housing a greenhouse northeast of Taffington Boathouse. A perfect settlement to farm food and rest your head!
How to unlock: Complete a quest for the local ghouls or for the MM.
A bombed-out swimming pool with some friendly ghouls working on their tan. The swimming pool makes for a good water source and area to grow tarberriers!
How to unlock: Complete the quest Out of the Fire, or a MM quest.
A small dysfunctional family farm south of The Slog. Watch out for random hostile encounters! A raider gang known as “The Forge” is close by.. and let’s just say, they really love eating BBQ.
How to unlock: Complete a side quest for the residents or the MM
Southwest of Finch Farm is- you guessed it. Another farm! This settlement houses a pair of settlers and tons of mutfruit crops by default. So get to harvesting!
How to unlock: Kill the vacationing raiders or complete a Railroad quest.
A raider hole with a beautiful view of the irradiated ocean! Perfect vacation spot for the family.
How to unlock: Eliminate the “residents” of the settlement or complete a quest for the Railroad.
A settlement north east of The Slog with a lighthouse and a dock to catch mirelurks! After 200 years the lighthouse is still shining bright. You should go up their and switch the bulb out though.
How to unlock: Wipe out the feral ghouls (bring a lot of ammo) or complete a Railroad quest.
A beautiful ocean side manor South of Kingsport Lighthouse. Limited space and an unscrappable building limits the imagination for this settlement. But hey, it’s nice to look at and you can host all of your radiation raves here.
How to unlock: Complete a quest for the residents or for the MM.
An actual beach house! (shack) A perfect place for farming and soaking up the radiation
How to unlock: Wipe out the feral ghouls or complete a Railroad quest.
This urban settlement East of Egret Tours Marina not only houses a ton of feral ghouls, but also a legendary treasure! Can you find it?
Murkwater Construction Site
How to unlock: Clear out the Mirelurks and their queen
Located south of Jamaica plain is a bombed-out construction site located in a swamp. Be careful as there are a sizeable amount of Mirelurks roaming the area. Perfect settlement for misunderstood Scottish ogres.
How to unlock: Complete the quest Building a Better Crop for the residents or a quest from the MM and Railroad
Southeast of Jamaica Plain is a farm and water treatment plant managed by Roger Warwick (or is it?). Flat open space perfect for building and harvesting.
How to unlock: Complete a Railroad quest and Eliminate the mirelurks and their majesty the Mirelurk queen (or king depending on level). Explosive would be useful in this situation. A lot of them.
South of the island is a boat you can take to reach this massive open settlement space where you can let your imagination run wild! But before you can do that, grab your fat-man launcher and get ready to fight a massive beast of a monster; a mirelurk queen!
How to unlock: Complete the Minutemen quest “Taking Independence” and the follow up, “Old Guns” to unlock the crafting stations.
The fallen base of the Minutemen north east of Jamaica Plain. It is occupied by Mirelurks and their queen. The Castle is a heavily fortified settlement with artillery pieces and a lot of open space to build. If you’re going to be king (or queen) of the commonwealth, you’re going to need a castle!
How to unlock: Complete the quest “The Battle of Bunker Hill”
The famous battle site from the American Revolution! Bunker Hill houses a large trading post attracting caravans and raiders alike. Perfect place to rest in the war-torn commonwealth.
How to unlock: Go through the Brotherhood of Steel questline or eliminate them. Tip: It’s easier to just go through the questline,
A small but open space to build at an airport. The biggest perk is you have power armored brotherhood of steel paladins protecting the surrounding area.
How to unlock: Talk to the Diamond City mayor’s assistant, Geneva. She will give you the keys to the house for 2000 caps
A premade home in the jewel of the commonwealth for all you lazy players! Just kidding. This is the safest settlement to be in within peaceful, synth free confines of Diamond City.
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