Settlements Guide for Fallout 4 Wiki is about building various Settlements that will give you a better chance of surviving in the post-apocalypse. This guide will provide players with information to help them get the most out of their Settlements where they can provide beds to settlers, manage food and electricity sources, and construct buildings and structures to maintain the happiness of their community. This guide includes information on how to get started with building settlements, how to manage them, and how to get more settlers. If planned properly, settlements can be a very lucrative venture for players to spend time in. 

Helpful Links to Get Started in Building Settlements in Fallout 4:

  • For information on where you can rebuild locations, please see Settlements.
  • For a guide on enhancing your Weapons, Armor, and Settlements, please see Crafting.
  • To learn about the foundation of crafting, please see Workshop.
  • A quick guide about how to attract merchants to your settlements, please Stores.
  • Learn how to provide defensive units to your settlements in Defense.

As this is an organic ever-evolving guide, everyone should feel free to edit in their own suggestions.


Guide to Settlements Fallout 4

How to Unlock Settlements in Fallout 4

  • See Settlements for all available locations and how to unlock each one of them.

Settlements are fixed locations that players can choose to rebuild. This gives players full control over the location and become responsible for maintaining and protecting it. Unlocking a settlement in Fallout 4 is done by completing quests, reaching a specific condition like eliminating enemies or their current occupants, and obtaining specific items like a key or a housing permit. The very first Settlement introduced to players is the one found in the Sole Survivor's previous home before the war started, which is located in the Sanctuary. This takes place on your first day out of the vault where you will meet Preston Garvey in Concord. He will introduce you to the Minutemen and what they do to rebuild settlements which is creating a safe zone for settlers.

Fallout 4: Building a Settlement

  • Take scraps from all the ruined objects within your settlement and use them for rebuilding later.

If you're interested in putting some significant work into exploring settlement building in Fallout 4, there are a few basics first. And while any build can have some fun with settlements, be aware that Charisma and Intelligence-based builds have a lot more tools at their disposal early on. If you plan to build a network of settlements, having 6 in Charisma for the Local Leader Perk is a must. But again, this is not a gamebreaker if you're already deep into your playthrough.

Building settlements in Fallout 4 is optional. Players can go about their game without ever rebuilding a Settlement, however, they will miss out on a lot of benefits of having one. A Settlement will not only serve as your base in-between travels but you can also get access to free items, merchants, and stores that can improve your gear or exchange your items for money. Players can even build Supply Lines which lets them access resources from one settlement to another while using the various stations available in their Settlements without physically transferring those materials. 

Do some spring cleaning, it's about 200 years overdue! Scavenge your settlement so that it is free from debris like Ruined Houses, Mailboxes, Cars, and more. Not only will it make your new real estate empire look more tidy, but it's also a great way to scavenge Materials you need to begin constructing more useful Structures and stuff your settlers need to thrive. Just walk around your settlement in Workshop mode and look around you. Things that can be scavenged or stored will be highlighted. Anything that can be scavenged will be highlighted in orange, anything that can be scavenged or stored will be highlighted in green.

You can also move objects around in Workshop view mode, so if you're planning on doing a lot of Crafting, it may be a good idea to move all your stations and workbenches within close proximity of each other to minimize running back and forth. Just select a highlighted object with X/A and relocate it wherever you'd like.

To build a Settlement, players must first begin the nitty-gritty of taking scraps from ruined houses, destroyed trees, and broken objects to get the basic resources like steel, concrete, cloth, rubber, and wood. These materials will be used to rebuild your settlements as you take down the unusable ones. Make sure to keep the light poles on as you can use them to hang bulbs later on. Keep doing this task until you reach a good number of resources to build Crafting and Workshops, including Cooking Station, Chemistry Station, Armor Workbench, etc.

Power Resources

  • Having a power supply lets you get the most out of structures that can produce water which makes your settlers happy.

Put a Generator along one side of the house. Then create a "power pylon" from Connectors and Switches somewhere close to the walls of the room you wish to power. Press Y/Triangle to connect a wire between the two. At this point, your power pylon now has an AOE energy charge. From this point on, if you put lamps, TVs, or lights inside the room (basically only a wall separates your pylon from the inside), they will draw current from the pylon almost as if it were a wireless device. It has a range of around 5-7 meters.

If you wish to continue powering the house, create a "conduit" from the Power options. It's a small device that you can place either facing out from a wall or hanging from a ceiling. Run this around 15 feet from your pylon and attach it to the outside of the house somewhere, then again, connect a wire between the pylon and the conduit. Essentially it's like an extension cord for the pylon's range, allowing you to power the next room down the line. The conduit takes fewer materials to build, so you can string them all around the house if you wish (but this would require a bigger genny).

Pro Tip: If you want to test the existing range when you first place these items, just carry a TV set around with you. It will light up the screen as soon as you hit the AOE. If your light is in range it will light up as soon as you attach it to a wall and ceiling. Sometimes a new conduit isn't required; just move your light or appliance a few feet to one side.

You can attach several generators to a single Power Pylon to increase the power of that pylon. For example, if three medium generators (5 power units each) are attached to a single pylon, the power value of that pylon would be the sum of the power values of the generators (15 power units in this case).
In larger settlements, you can build a Generator Room with a large Power Pylon on top of it. For better management and well, the generators are so loud!

Food and Water Supply

Now that you have a Settlement built, you want to ensure the happiness of your settlers next with a constant supply of food and water. In Fallout 4, you can provide food to your settlers by planting crops and assigning settlers to manage them. This not only makes them responsible for taking care of the plants but also gives them a sense of responsibility and can increase their happiness. To increase your water supply, simply build water pumps throughout your settlement. However, if your settlement is in an area without its own supply, you can consider building Supply Lines to connect your resources from one settlement to another.

How to Manage a Settlement in Fallout 4

When you are inside a Settlement in Fallout 4, the player can switch to the Builder view which lets them change the perspective from 1st person to 3rd person. During this view, the player can see the Settlement's stats: Settlers, Food, Water, Beddings, Electricity, and Defense. All of these stats will directly affect the Quality of Life of your Settlers which is measured by the Happiness meter. These are the things that you will consider when building a Settlement which will ultimately serve as a safe place for them to commune.

Assigning Jobs to Settlers

Settlers can be assigned to a task. These people are not freeloaders and it's up to the players to manage them so they can have a productive and safe environment. While inside the Settlement, press V to view the Workshop menu and view available positions. Once assigned, the settler will stick with that job and continue doing that.  You may also try dressing up your settlers so that you can easily identify which posts they are assigned to. For example, farmers wear soiled clothing, lab coats for medical practitioners, and so on. You can do this by initiating a trade with them and giving them the clothing that you want them to wear. 

Provide Beds

Settlers like having their beds in Fallout 4, and if there's a lack of beds available, you will hear complaints from them. You need to make sure that you have an equal amount of beds or more than the number of settlers so that you can anticipate newcomers. For starters, you can provide them with Sleeping Bags and place them outside. These work just the same as the bed, but Settlers may prefer sleeping inside as it makes them feel safer, so you can consider placing beds under a roof, or inside a house.


As far as safety goes, there are often raiders that will attempt to take down your Settlements but you can fight them off by traveling to that settlement and by setting up Defensive units. This will keep raiders at bay and maintain the happiness of your settlers. Take note that as time goes by, these raiders will carry more powerful weapons so make sure that you are constantly improving your defenses as well.


The Happiness meter tells you if the needs of the Settlers are being met. You can boost their happiness by making sure that everyone has their own beds, constant food and water supply, and power resources. Some of them do not mind power loss but there are structures like water purifiers that need power. You can also try getting the Perk: Local Leader (Rank 2) which can boost a Settlement's happiness, or tune in to Freedom Radio and find out if any settlements require help.

Fallout 4: How to Get More Settlers

Something I should mention is that in order to get settlements rolling you need to attract other people. This happens is if you build a radio beacon tower to send out a message across the wasteland. Unfortunately, one of the items required is hard to find - crystal. You need two units. Cameras are a good source. As soon as you find a crystal, make sure to tag it in your inventory so it shows up when you explore (also, pick up a lot of anything that has ceramic, like mugs and ashtrays, and copper, such as light bulbs and other electronics - you need a lot of this to create powered items).

Once the settlers start coming in, make sure you have 3 or 4 extra beds built at any given time, or else they'll move on. Just put them inside empty houses, or build some shacks. Make sure your food production always exceeds your population and set up a water purifier down by the water in Sanctuary. Lastly, defense is important. Turrets cost more to build, but provide a lot of defense. In your settlement list on the pip boy, if any one place has an exclamation warning, that means this resource is lacking. I thought I had good defense, but it showed up as being a problem, so don't neglect it unless you want to return and find there's been a lot of raping and pillaging. Keep piling up turrets until the warning goes away.

Having a growing settlement can also have another benefit: traveling merchants. If you get yours going, then travel the road south out of Concord, you may see Trashcan Carla. Talk to her, buy a few things, and she'll start visiting your town regularly with supplies.



Advancing Your Settlement in Fallout 4

Setting Up Trade Networks

What are Supply Lines in Fallout 4?

  • Trade networks are a good idea if you want to build good settlements, as it allows them to share resources.
  • In order to establish a trade network you must have at least Charisma level 6, the local leader perk (rank 1), and a minimum of two settlements. Additionally you`ll need to assign a settler to that task. Make sure he/she is not assigned to do any other job, since they will no longer be able to do it! After selecting the settler in the workshop mode, an option will appear in the bottom to setup the supply line. Use that command, then the map section of the Pipboy will appear, where you can choose which settlements to connect. After a few ingame hours it´ll be up and running by itself. You can see which settlements are connected by checking the map and activating the "view trade routes" option. It might be a good idea to connect all your settlements in a circular trade route if possible.

Defending Your Settlements

Build defense units to protect your settlements

  • Be on the look out at later times for Synth infiltration of your Settlements. A sudden unexplained drop in happiness may indicate the presence of syths. Pay close attention to new settlers as they come in and be on the look out for synth weapons. You may also scan your settlers in VATS searching for high energy resistance. If missed, they may begin to murder your population from the inside, similar to the Afflicted Beggar in Bloodborne .
  • A good rule of thumb for defense is to erect enough defensive structures to set your defense value to equal or greater than your food and water production value combined. So if your Food is at 10 and your Water is at 10, aim for a Defense of 20.
  • Set up defensive positions at key locations within your community, especially at entrances. Think defensively and try to anticipate enemy movements. Setting up chokepoints where you can funnel enemies will allow your settlers to concentrate their fire as opposed to an all out skirmish.

Creating a Lucrative Economy

  • Setting up a series of water purifiers in a settlement that resides near a body of water is an effective way of generating caps income by selling the Purified Water you obtain as a result.
  • Plant Corn, Tato, and Mutfruit. You can combine these with Purified Water at a Food Crafting station to create Vegetable Starch (yields 5 adhesive). You can find these ingredients most quickly at Graygarden or plant them in any settlement.


Achieving 100% Settlement Happiness in Fallout 4

  • Have 1 Food for each person in your settlement. Each 6 plants can be attended by 1 Settler, who needs to be manually assigned in the Workshop. Mutfruit works the bests as they give 1 food. All other plants give 0.5.
  • Make sure you have enough water. You don't need water purifiers, simply enough for your people. This is rather easy to do.
  • Make sure you have enough beds per person. You can only have as many settlers in your Settlements as you have (10 + CHA). Supposedly wearing Armor with CHA will affect this value, but I haven't verified it. (you will need somewhere around 17 people to be considered a "large settlement".
  • Make sure you have enough Defense. Turrets work best as they are cheap and easy and don't require settler to man them.
  • Power is not a requirement for happiness. Just make sure you have enough to power up what you need
  • You will need about 15 tier 3 Stores. These are about 1800 Caps each and will need one settler each to run them. It doesn't matter which tier 3 shops you build (as far as I can tell) as long as you build a LOT of them. So build ones you meet the requirements for.
  • Miscellaneous notes. 1) Apparently dogs increase happiness, so if you can purchase one from merchants do so, 2) If you have works who won't work, send them to a different Settlement, 3) you can send settlers from other Settlements to the one you are working on, 4) spend time in your Settlement(s).
  • This is a long process. Happiness raises extremely slowly. Sleeping at your Settlement for long periods can help increase it faster if you have done all the things above.

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    • Anonymous

      Bars > Medic > Trader for happiness increase
      location of defenses is not really important as you described it. There are certain spawn points for when attacks happen. They will not need to be by the "entrance" to your settlement.

      • Anonymous

        ok oo while im here I may as well ask about settlements.. soo here goes is there any way to make a trip wire switch on electric once its been triped? I want to set up some flame turrets but they go off 1x then are useless till u repair them so id like to have them connected to trip wire somehow so that when tripwire is triggered it switches on the flame throwers.. also how can I make the atackers attack me from outside my colony so they gotta cross bridge at sanctuary? or anywhere els for that matter or do they just randomly spawn. I tried changing my fast travel spot to see if that worked but still waiting on an attack to see

        • Anonymous

          Wait! Synths can infilrate my Settlements and kill my settlers! Man, this game is full of surprises, I guess I'll have to take a better look at all my newest settlers from now on.

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