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Fallout 4 provides examples of the following tropes:

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    A 
  • Abandoned Mine: The Dunwich Borers location. Used by the Dunwich company pre-war, it's currently being used by raiders. As you get deeper into the mine however, you'll find feral ghouls, who scare the raiders so much they blocked access off to that portion of the mine. And then you get further into the mine, start having some weird visions/hallucinations, and discover that the executives of the Dunwich company were using it for rituals involving human sacrifice.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Far Harbor introduces a gun that shoots bowling balls and Nuka-World has squirt guns that can shoot acid or radioactive glowing soda.
    • The vanilla game has the successor to the Rock-It Launcher, the Junk Jet, which fires anything you can load into it. The Railway Rifle makes a return to this game, too.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Much like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim , leveling continues on for as long as you want it to. If you do want to fill out every single perk and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute, then you need to grind like hell to reach level 272, although finding the seven SPECIAL bobble-heads and the "You're SPECIAL" book reduces it to level 264. The effective "hard" level cap is 65,535, but it's near impossible to reach due to the combination of the sheer amount of grinding required to reach it and the fact that even if you do somehow reach it, the game will crash if you try to go any further.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Among many traditional series Hollywood Science moments: in the prologue, a nuclear bomb (presumably, the same dirty device that created the Glowing Sea) actually goes off within your field of vision, and you can actually see the rush of wind and heat... but you're not blinded if you're looking directly at it, even if you would be in real life. Rule of Drama applies here. Oddly enough, you can find a data log from a survivor of the blast that mentions being both blinded and deafened by the detonation, and they weren't that much closer to the bomb than the Sole Survivor was.
    • The fact that society would still be in shambles (and that skeletons and items would still be as they were just after the bombs fell) over 200 years after the fact alone is a serious break from reality. It's unlikely that humans would fail to clean up and get back on their feet after two centuries, especially with in-tact records and technology. Of course, if civilization was fully rebuilt, the entire settlement system would have no point and wouldn't allow the player to establish their own society in the Commonwealth.
    • Along the same lines, Natick and the Broadmoor National Wildlife Sanctuary (the real-life location that corresponds to the Glowing Sea in-game) is a good twenty miles as the crow flies from Minute Man National Historical Park, where Sanctuary Hills is located. It's implausible that a shockwave could travel unimpeded over urban and heavily forested terrain for that distance to begin with. Not to mention The Island in Far Harbor also having been seemingly affected by the nuke, despite being over 150 miles away from Boston.
    • In the game, cooking is the primary way to get rid of radiation in food and water. In real life, not even thorough cooking will suffice to protect you from the effects of radioactive food on your body, and animals, your primary means of getting this food, have their bones as the primary carriers of radiation. It's an Acceptable Break because there is no other way to produce non-radioactive food in the game. It's also an acceptable stand-in for making raw food safe to eat in a game system that (normally) does not account for diseased animal meat.
    • The Ridiculously Fast Construction and Easy Logistics that go with settlement-building and crafting. Painstakingly ripping apart a town for weeks for every little nut and bolt or manually watching your workers take breaks for food and water would not make for a fun game; this system is complicated enough as it is.
    • While the Sole Survivor's control over the Minutemen as their General (and over the Institute as their future Director) largely consists of you receiving orders from someone else to help with that faction, it still counts as this since having to actually listen to and manage the endless complaints and bickering between the various Minutemen Colonels and members of the Institute's Directorate would be incredibly boring and frustrating.
  • Ace Custom: The Deliverer, a silenced pistol acquired from the DIA Switchboard that was formerly the Railroad's headquarters, unique in the wasteland. The Railroad's chief technician, Tinker Tom, has heavily modified it before it ends up in the Sole Survivor's hands.
    • For Power Armor, you can get a full set of legendary T-60 armor if you have the Automatron DLC and follow the Brotherhood of Steel questline. You get the Tesla arms and chest from Ivey in Fort Hagen. From the Brotherhood, you can get the Visionary's helm and Exemplar's chest piece as quest rewards and the legs, Honor and Vengeance, can be bought from Proctor Teagan after promotion to Paladin and Sentinel, respectively.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: The luck-based Idiot Savant perk lets you prove that it's better to be lucky than wise! It randomly gives you the ability to get three times the EXP for anything that would grant EXP, with a higher chance of kicking in if you have low INT. The upgraded version gives five times and the final version has a chance of giving triple kill XP for a time when it activates (but negates the quintuple bonus while in effect making it less good overall).
    • Sierra Petrovita (appearing in the Nuka-World DLC) managed to cross the Wasteland from Washington D.C. to somewhere around Boston and enter the heart of a Raider-controlled city, one you were nearly killed entering, all the while seemingly completely oblivious to the danger she is in. Yet the Raiders barely even notice her, while she acts like a cliché tourist.
  • Achievement Mockery: The achievement "Touchdown!" is earned by being killed by a Super Mutant Suicider or the Mini-Nuke launched by a Fat Man.
  • Action Bomb:
    • Some Mole Rats can have mines strapped to them, blowing themselves up on you if they get near. One unmarked location seems to be the home of the crazy person who puts the mines on the Mole Rats; things get very messy in there.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Super Mutant Suicider that runs at you with a glowing, beeping Mini-Nuke. And you can still snag the nuke it carries but only if you kill it with a head shot or body shot. Blasting It Out of Their Hands or shooting the right arm will make it blow prematurely and only give you the (admittedly useful) "nuclear material".
    • Sentry Bots and Legendary robots will now explode in a mini nuke-sized explosion when killed, with Legendary Sentries exploding twice. Take caution when facing them.
    • Any robot that can have all its weapon carrying limbs removed can and will do this. This is most notable with Mr.Handy's and Mr.Gutsies because its rather easy to shoot their limbs off and they are much faster than the player.
    • With the Robotics Expert perk, you can hack robots and reprogram them to self-destruct. Higher levels of the perk let you sic the soon-to-explode robot on your enemies.
  • Actionized Sequel:
    • The combat in 4 takes a lot of cues from other first and third person shooters: dynamic crosshairs and iron sights, V.A.T.S. works more like Bullet Time than Turn-Based Combat, quick melee, and grenades are now treated as secondary weapons to be used tactically rather than a primary weapon in their own right. These in turn build up on the changes introduced in 3 and New Vegas.
    • It is also a lot harder to make stealth / Pacifist Runs compared to Fallout 3 and New Vegas. While in those games a character could basically master stealth by level 5-ish depending on builds, the new perk system in Fallout 4 makes mastering any skill — stealth included — impossible until your character is at level 38, the minimum level for "Sneak"'s last rank. And even then that's just for the perks. True stealth mastery that'll let you sneak past enemies in close quarters requires one to find a lot of related skill magazines. Meaning that if a character wants to avoid combat, they'll have to scour the Wasteland and kill a lot of things to get there.
    • There's a much bigger focus on boss fights than previous games, where Talking the Monster to Death was a viable option. In 3 and New Vegas, you could talk down any human that you have to fight as part of the story, such as Col. Autumn or Legate Lanius. No such option exists for Kellogg, who has to die one way or another from your encounter with him. Similar such problems arise at the end of the main story, regardless of faction. This continues in the Automatron DLC; while you can talk the Mechanist down, it's only after a very long battle against numerous waves of the Mechanist's Mecha-Mooks, which can't be skipped even if you're a master diplomat. A master hacker able to figure out how to unlock a certain elevator at the start of the dungeon, on the other hand...
      • The boss fights are also far more challenging than in previous games, especially Fallout 3. Bosses often weren't that much more sturdy than common Mooks, and even if they were, that's what nuclear catapults are for. Now bosses and mini-bosses often have special attributes that cap the amount of damage that can be done to them in one shot.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The Commonwealth strangely has a worse economy than the D.C. Wasteland just ten years prior and that place was a literal nuclear wasteland! Mark ups for merchants selling and markdowns for merchants buying has increased 150-1122%. This may be due to the developers strong-arming players into using the game's crafting system to get anything (but said crafting system doesn't let you craft ammo or build weapons, so...). Boston merchants really seem to hate "giving up" their caps.
    • Thankfully, this has been mitigated with the Contraptions Workshop add-on, which allows for both ammunition and weapon manufacturing.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: The original Silver Shroud serials, which can be heard over the radio, are jam-packed with alliterations.
  • Adult Fear:
    • The threat of nuclear war looms, and its oppressive inevitability can be felt thanks to newscasters and door-to-door fallout shelter salesmen. And then it actually happens.
    • You get to experience firsthand having your baby stolen from you while you are powerless to stop it.
    • Your child grows up to be an incredibly amoral person who barely knows you, and in the endings where you oppose the Institute, hates you.
  • Adventurous Irish Violins: Being set in Boston, they were pretty much a given. The ambient music has a prominent track of calm but spirited violin that plays in peaceful places in the city.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Multiple examples with the various Hubris Comics characters who show up. A black guy who thinks he's Manta Man (originally a blond, being a Captain Ersatz of the original Aqua Man) can show up as a random encounter and The Mechanist from Automatron is a double example. While we never see the original version's actual face, his voice in the Silver Shroud radio dramas sounds like he's supposed to be a white guy. The Mechanist in Fallout 3 was a black man while the new one is an Hispanic woman. Depending on how you customize your character and/or what companions you give the costumes to you can also do this to the Silver Shroud and Grognak the Barbarian.
  • After-Combat Recovery: The party in the Game Within a Game, Grognak & the Ruby Ruins, has all members' health returned to full after a battle. But not their Focus.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Just like previous games the player can buy a personal house in Diamond City to store goodies and rest at. Unlike previous Fallout games the new build mechanic allows them to make their own furniture and decorations to tidy up the inside with. Of course, if you don't feel like forking over your life savings for the key to the place you can always go rescue some settlements for the Minutemen, which will give you the option of building your own house from scratch.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Sentry Bot Sarge within the Minutemen Castle. Once a Minuteman-allied robot, the years spent abandoned have done bad things to its AI, and he immediately turns hostile upon activation.
    • The Synth responsible for the Broken Mask incident, who shot and killed a dozen Diamond City residents.
    • It is revealed that the Robobrains under the Mechanist were these, twisting their directive to save the people of the Commonwealth into killing them instead. That's what you get when you use the Wetware CPU of a criminal's brain.
    • Averted with Codsworth and Curie who should be as insane as all the other Mr Handy/Gutsy robots around the wastes but managed to keep their focus.
    • Also averted with Greygarden's Overseers Green, White, and Brown, all of whom are completely lucid (if a little quirky).
  • A.K.A.-47: As with previous entries, a number of the game's firearms are heavily based on real-life guns.
    • The "Submachine Gun" is a Thompson M1A1 "Tommy Gun" with a drum magazine.
    • The ".44 Pistol" is a Smith & Wesson Model 29.
    • The "Deliverer" is a Walther PPK chambered in 10mm.
    • The "Hunting/Sniper Rifle" is a Remington Model 700, with the Marksman's Stock modfication converting it to the VTR model.
    • The "Assault Rifle" somewhat resembles an MG 08/15, a German made LMG adaptation of the Maxim Gun, and when equipped with the long barrel modification, it has similarities to the Lewis gun.note 
    • The "Radium Rifle" introduced in Far Harbor is a retrofitted WWII-era Volkssturmgewehr.
    • The "Handmade Rifle" introduced in Nuka-World bears a striking similarity to the eponymous Kalashnikov rifle family, with some of its sniper variants closely resembling the Dragunov sniper rifle. It's even chambered for the same 7.62mm caliber. When fitted with a light stock, the Handmade Rifle greatly resembles the Type 56-2 assault rifle, a modified Chinese copy of the original AKM design.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • If you didn't kill him before the final quest, in any scenario where the Sole Survivor does not support the Institute, Father ultimately dies knowing that his own mother/father is about to destroy his life's work, still convinced that the Institute was the only hope left in the world. His last interaction with the Sole Survivor is to bitterly tell them to leave. Even if you strongly oppose the Institute and his mindset, it's very easy to feel bad for him.
    • The Sole Survivor has the option of judging Kellogg this way, after viewing his memories and seeing evidence of the tragedies that shaped how his life turned out.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: If the Sole Survivor chooses to use speech and caps to persuade the Commonwealth settlers to support the Raiders then they're reluctant but do so willingly. May qualify as Gray and Gray Morality since the Raiders are appeased by your actions.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: Thankfully averted. If you strike an enemy with a shot from long range while sneaking, they may not necessarily know where you are. Some will shoot in your general direction, and melee-based foes will attempt to head towards you in the hopes of flushing you out. But so long as you can drop them all fast enough, or are able to move to a different spot, they will never know what hit them.
    • Invoked with regards to Preston Garvey during the Nuka-World main questline. Claim any Commonwealth settlement for the Nuka-World Raiders and he will know instantly no matter how far away he is at this moment. Oh, and don't expect a warm welcome next time you meet him. This is Justified, though, if you've reclaimed The Castle, as they know when any settlement is having problems right away.
  • All Up to You: So, you're the new General for the Minutemen huh? Well, we need you to go and resolve every single settlement's problems, and if there's a gang of Raiders/Ferals/Super Mutants messing with them, or a settler's been kidnapped, only you can resolve it. Can get incredibly annoying as turning in a quest to Preston Garvey will often prompt him to immediately give you another quest that another settlement is having an issue that you have to take care of. Fortunately, you can avoid this by running away from him fast enough once he starts mentioning another settlement needing help. This allows you to turn in the previous quest, and avoid automatically picking up the next one. However, if you're in the Castle with the radio up and running, or listening to their broadcast, they will also announce missions that then get added to your quest log in between the music.
    • A user-created mod fixed this by limiting Preston to a single settlement mission at a time, and would prompt you for another. It is amusingly titled "Enough Already Preston Garvey!"
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • The Institute and the Brotherhood launch a major attack on the Castle in the "Defend the Castle" and "With Our Powers Combined" respectively, and it's up to you to defend them. In "End of the Line" and "Tactical Thinking", you do this to the Railroad.
    • A more low-key example is the original version of the game's treatment of settlements, specifically if one your settlements comes under attack. Though you're generally given sufficient time to reach it and fend off the attackers, if you fail to respond at all, your settlement can get sacked. It doesn't matter if you've made an impenetrable wall of turrets and fences with limited entry/exit points and given all the settlers good weapons and armor. If you didn't help defend it, almost everything that can be broken will be, and you'll have to spend a lot of time and resources repairing all the turrets, crops, and generators to get them all back to working order. Thankfully, this was patched in a later version, and you don't have to be at a settlement for it to successfully defend itself.
  • Alternate History:
    • Scollay Square, an area in the Boston wasteland, no longer exists in real life Boston. But prior to being demolished, it was a major locale in the 1950s. Just one of those points of diversion in the timeline. Likewise, it's mentioned that the Boston Red Sox hasn't won the World Series since 1918 even in 2077, whereas in real life, the team did win in 2004.
    • Bedford Station is an abandoned train depot haunted by feral ghouls and the terminal there has messages that makes it seem like trains still pass through there. In real life, Bedford, Massachusetts was home to a train station until 1977, and the abandoned traincar that was left by the depot is actually part of a restaurant now.
  • Alien Sky: The sky gets weirdly yellow-greenish during a "radiation storm." It is possible to have brief moments in the Glowing Sea where you can see the sky, however more often than not the sky will look this way for hours and hours. It's a good thing you have a map as a lack of a sun or a moon can make getting lost in the sea very easy.
  • Always a Bigger Fish:
    • In the West Everett Estates, you can find a computer terminal that includes logs from the families who walled themselves up there after the bombs fell. The final log entry is from the leader of a band of Raiders who killed the families and took over the buildings as a base of operations. This is important because when you encounter the locale, it's occupied by a force of Super Mutants and includes the corpses of a few dead Raiders. And of course you can kill all the Super Mutants and loot the place for yourself.
    • The Raiders at Concord follow Gristle, who himself follows a Raider named Jared at the Corvega factory in Lexington. Jared in turn is small potatoes compared to some of the other Raider leaders.
  • Always Accurate Attack: Critical Hits. They will hit that part of the enemy without fail and for increased damage, even if said enemy's body part moved behind cover.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: In addition to the villainous human organizations, several creatures are exclusively murderous.
    • Super Mutants keep this trend from their Fallout 3 counterparts, despite being seemingly a little more intelligent. Pretty much all of them save for a few ( namely Strong, Virgil, and Erickson) will attack on sight.
    • Radstags are an exception, and will only fight if you or — as is more likely — your companion attack them first. Leave them to their own devices and they will leave you alone in turn.
      • Doubly subverted thanks to the Far Harbor DLC. The so-called Devolved Radstags have mutated to the point where they've grown large fangs and attack everything on sight that's not a member of their own species. Yes, that includes humans and every other animal up to and including Yao Guai and even Fog Crawlers.
  • Amazon Brigade: A female Sole Survivor has the opportunity to form one during quest "Memory Interrupted." Bring a female companion and go full Amazon with Glory.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Nuka-World, boy howdy. It's got crazed robots equipped with deadly soda based weaponry, giant parasitic worms that can burrow underground and nest in corpses, mutant Deathclaw hybrid creatures, painted Feral Ghouls, mutant cola crabs that glow in the dark, and so many safety standard violations its a wonder the place wasn't immediately closed and burnt to the ground. Oh yeah, it's also home to one of the biggest Raider outposts on the entire East Coast, with no less than three separate gangs fighting for dominance of the place. Even before the Great War it wasn't much better and had a lot of shady shit going on in the background.
    PA Announcement: "Attention Nuka-World guests, lost children and items can be claimed at the security office for a small fee..."
  • Anime Hair: The unlockable Megaton Hair is a hairstyle approximately a foot high and shaped like a mushroom cloud.
  • And I Must Scream: The reactions of almost all the human candidates for the Robobrain program after their brains were extracted but before their memories were wiped. One candidate was seen as the most ideal because instead of screaming, he calmly promised to kill every single person in the facility if they put him in a robot chassis instead of back in his original body.
    • The Nuka-World quest Cappy In A Haystack adds a similar example to the list. Before the world fell to atomic war, John-Caleb Bradberton, inventor of the Nuka-Cola soft drink, struck a deal with a high-ranking Army general: In exchange for Nuka-World's specialized beverage chemists lending their expertise to a military chemical and weapons program, the Army would give Bradberton access to a highly experimental life extension program so he could outlive the coming apocalypse. He realized too late that it wouldn't be possible to preserve more than his head, but he went along with it anyway. And so he became a disembodied head in a jar mounted to a control console, utterly alone and unable to do anything but stare at the same wall for more than two centuries. When he is eventually discovered by the Sole Survivor, he begs them to shut down his personal vault's power so he can finally die.
      • The real salt in the wound for Mr. Bradburton is the sumptuous setting he was left in. Here you will find the only intact versions of a Pre-War car and motorcycle in the entire game, still shiny and new. A car and a motorcycle, for a head in a jar, with no body. Who did they intend these vehicles to be driven by?
  • Androids Are People, Too: While Synths are treated no better than tools by the Institute and are discriminated against as a whole by the Brotherhood, there are factions such as the Railroad who treat them as people, saving and protecting runaway ones.
    • Even as far as the Railroad is concerned, Deacon himself lampshades that this trope is only in full force for the Gen 3 Synths that are nigh indistinguishable from regular humans. He says that the line really begins to blur between many Railroad members about whether they should also help the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Synths and questions when do you begin to say enough is enough.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Like in Skyrim, the credits never actually roll. Once you've determined the future of the Commonwealth, missions for your chosen faction continue.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Via the settlement mechanic you can now grow crops in abundant quantities. An exploit recognised early on involves growing and selling these crops to the various shopkeepers and merchants in the Commonwealth leads to an abundance of caps that can then be spent with these same merchants and is one of the best ways of ensuring a plentiful supply of the resources needed for other endeavours (including fusion cores for using power armour, stimpaks, ammunition and the resources needed for further crafting and improvement of settlements). The most efficient ways to do this feature prominently in online guides to the game that were formulated very soon after its initial release.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: You can design settlements, including the insides of houses, in the game. So it's up to you to design the layout, power sources, features, comforts, crops, and defenses for the citizens who move in and inhabit them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Before the climactic encounter with Kellogg, a Fat Boy and ammo can be found shortly before. Bethesda realized that the Disc-One Final Boss encounter might be too difficult for certain builds, so players could just blast him and his henchmen even before opening dialog with him.
    • You have the ability to break out of conversations and perform other actions before selecting a dialog choice when talking with someone. This is especially helpful if you have clothing or aid items that increase your charisma. This feature enables you wear your normal armor and stock your items right up to the point when you need to use your charisma aiding items and clothing to pass a speech skill check. It's also helpful if you realize it's pretty dark and want to turn on the Pip-Boy light so you can see the other person.
    • Companions in general have several improvements to them. Firstly, as long as the companion in question is travelling with you, they cannot be targeted in V.A.T.S. (though friendly fire is still possible and can sour your relationship with them). Secondly, companions will always teleport to your side after a few seconds should you go to an area they cannot easily access, or load to a new area. Thirdly, companions are incapable of dying so long as they're in your party, with enemies ignoring them when they get too low on health- you have the option to dose animal and human companions with a Stimpak to get them back in the fight instantly, but they will recover on their own eventually.
    • You have the option to tag specific pieces of scrap so that items that can be broken down into that material will have an icon next to them in menus, making it very easy to track down what you need.
    • Regardless of how far into the game you get, if it's necessary to hack a terminal or bypass a locked door to progress in a main story mission or a major quest line, one of two things will happen: the terminal/lock will be at Novice level (therefore not requiring any points in the Lockpick or Hacker perks), or a key/password for the item will be nearby. In addition, terminals only lock out for ten seconds after failing to hack them, as opposed to being permanently locked. This interval can also be eliminated with the right perk.
    • A "Quicksave" feature was added for the console versions of the game. Saving the usual way takes several button presses and takes some time on the consoles, which may dissuade the player from wanting to interrupt the game. Quicksave allows the player to save progress with a single button press and is very useful before entering dangerous areas where the player risks being killed unexpectedly. (This feature has existed on the PC for all of Bethesda's other Fallout games as well as most of the Elder Scrolls series.)
    • Power armor ingress/egress is mildly time-consuming (merely waiting for the animation to complete), but in a combat situation, where seconds count, this could be disastrous. Thankfully, anyone entering or leaving power armor in the proximity of hostiles makes extra haste, including the Player Character.
  • Worried you might leave one of the Total Hack holotapes behind in a security control terminal? They auto-eject back into your inventory after you're done tampering with that turret or protectron it's connected to.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: A very subtle one from Nick Valentine:
    Nick: You good to keep going? I don't sleep or eat or anything like that, but if ya need to, you do it.
    • Ada has a similar line.
  • Apocalyptic Log:
    • The prologue gives a brief one when a news program is interrupted by reports of nuclear detonations as the Great War begins.
    • In the game, there are logs like this scattered all over the place, the first of them being the security and Overseer's logs from Vault 111. A few of them may highlight a new area for you to find, but most are just there for ambience.
  • Apocalypse Not: Post-war Boston is relatively intact compared to the Capital Wasteland and even the less devastated Mojave, coming complete with skyscrapers and running electricity. This has made the Commonwealth a bastion of civilization in the Wasteland comparable to that of the Core Region in the NCR. Director Todd Howard mentioned at E3 2015 that only a single bomb was shot at Boston. Said bomb fell short of hitting Boston proper, landing somewhere southwest of Natick and leaving only an area called "the Glowing Sea", which is still filled with lethal radiation even 210 years later. The regional flora still did not take well to the Black Rain, however, as most regional flora in other games.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: Unlike in 3 or New Vegas, guns do not have a hard maximum range: instead the "range" stat refers to distance within which they deal full damage. More distance past this decreases damage until reaching double the weapon's range, where it will do halved damage, and further distance doesn't penalize damage any more.
  • Arc Words: After realizing America and China were going into all-out war, despite it meaning nuclear armageddon, a newscaster voiced by Ron Perlman says the series-wide Arc Words.
    Newscaster: We do, we do have... we do have coming in confirmed reports of nuclear detonations. My God, our soldiers were right... war, war never changes.
    • The (male version) of the Sole Survivor was to give a speech the day of the war, and was practicing it in the character creation mirror. You later find the building he was to go to, and can use the microphone to give the quote.
    Sole Survivor: War. War never changes.
    • The Nuka-World DLC has "the real deal," often used to refer to how the Sole Survivor is extremely efficient at getting things done.
  • Armored Coffins: Vertibirds are this to virtually memetic levels, due to being deathtraps both for the occupants and for anyone on the ground nearby when they inevitably fall from the sky in a fiery explosion. Sometimes the only way you'll know that there was a Vertibird nearby is when your activities are interrupted by an explosion followed by a rain of flaming debris and Brotherhood corpses.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A terminal in Saugus Ironworks details people who failed "The Forged", how they failed, and their punishments. Three of these charges, which resulted in the offenders being fed to a forge, were: cheating on a trial, fleeing from battle, and refusing to change their name.
  • Art Evolution:
    • The art design of the game got completely overhauled from the previous games where now environments are vibrant and have more color, almost every monsters, mechanical designs, and weapons, even staples of the series like what Vault doors look like got revamped (they are now somehow even bigger and the one you starts in has an entrance elevator.).
    • Character creation is much more in-depth this time. In addition to preset shapes for features such as your eyes and nose, you can now fine tune the size, position, and shape of your facial features much better than in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. You can even morph their body within a "Thin-Muscular-Large" parameter, meaning that every human, Synth, and Ghoul NPC no longer share the same physical build.
    • The Ghouls are slightly different than in previous games. A fair number of them are able to keep their head of hair and many now have completely black eyes. They also have varying levels of decomposition and don't all speak in raspy voices. Feral Ghouls also look more like lumpy, hunchbacked mutants rather than straight zombies, with bulging heads and twisted limbs. Overall, Feral Ghouls in Fallout 4 look more like actual real-life burn victims or patients suffering from severe degenerative disease, rather than the high-fantasy undead zombies they looked like in Fallout 3.
    • The Pip-Boy interface and icons now looks more high res, having a more solid font than in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. The Pip-Boy icons are now even animated humorously. It was also redesigned to have the switches and dials on the right side, where someone could actually use it when wearing it on their left hand.
    • Mirelurks are no longer bipedal crustaceans, instead looking more like oversized mutated crabs or lobsters depending on the species.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Everyone is a whole lot smarter now.
    • Humanoid enemies are much more competent, and hostile NPCs won't just stand in place shooting at you. Enemies will move around to avoid your fire, will duck behind cover to heal and reload, peaking their heads out to look for you and fire back, and will fire around corners without stepping out to expose themselves. When facing multiple enemies they'll fan out to attack from multiple directions, particularly melee enemies who will sneak around and rush you from behind if they can. Enemies will use suppression fire to pin you down, and anyone who has grenades will use them to flush you out of cover and prevent you from camping. When attacking a group of enemies from range, even if you're in sneak and have a suppressor on your rifle, they'll start firing at your location and come to look for you random, because even though they can't actually see you they can tell which direction the gunfire is coming from.
    • Non-humanoid enemies are also considerably more intelligent. Mutated animals (such as Wild Mongrels) will attempt to circle the player while in combat. Deathclaws are now intelligent enough to weave to the sides to dodge gunfire. Feral Ghouls, instead of serving as shambling bullet catchers, are now flailing, erratic, and extremely aggressive adversaries. Mirelurks now cover their faces with their pincers when they are charging at you. In cases where the enemy is incapable of finding its way to you (such as Deathclaws being unable to climb a truck), they will retreat to cover and stay there until you either manage to shoot them from another angle (which makes them retreat even further) or come down to ground level, which renders you vulnerable to attack once more.
    • Sneaking is a bit more difficult in this game than previous titles. Unlike The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim where the enemies were infamously bad about dismissing arrows as the wind and going back to milling about as their friends were being slaughtered one by one, enemies in this game will always be paranoid if you manage to shoot or kill one of them. In large dungeons or the open world, enemies will even leave to go tell the rest of the mooks to be on their guard. they also tend to react appropriately to the type of sneak style being used, constantly searching the map for the up close and personal assassin types and taking cover when there is a sniper.
    Raider: Stay sharp! I think this asshole is using a Stealthboy!
    • Companions and other NPCs can pick up weapons on the corpses of other characters and will use them. Dogmeat often fetches items for you or points out more hidden caches by barking and pointing when you're not fighting.
    • Random NPCs in towns will comment on your exploits that they've seen or heard you've done, such as your answers to Piper's questions for her newspaper. Additionally, some of the stuff you do while exploring the ruins of Boston will also be reflected in comments that other NPCs mention in their computers. For example, if you kill a named raider during your travels, a rival raider leader may comment that said raider was killed by someone, right after you've killed them as well.
    • Enemies attacking settlements, (at least those specifically attacking a settlement during a "Defend..." quest, not those who randomly spawn nearby and simply wander in) will usually attempt to enter from the weakest points in the defenses. Once inside they will always target the settlements generators if they are vulnerable, which most turrets need to function and can easily be the most difficult to repair after the fact.
  • Artificial Human: Third-generation synths blur the line between this and Cyborgs. Aside from the ambiguous "Synth Component", 3rd Gens look, act, smell, and feel just like real human beings. Even when you catch a glimpse of their construction methods, their bodies are constructed with actual tissues piece-by-piece, manufactured from real human DNA. Synths feel pain, bleed, and have the same organs as humans. So far, the only known concrete difference between them and humans is that their personalities and memories can be erased or overridden, and even then, as Memory Loungers prove, there's some gray area.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Unfortunately, there are still some issues.
    • AI characters apparently do not realize that radiation is harmful, and so will make no effort to avoid it. In particular, the mission-founded settlement at Starlight Drive In has a large radioactive crater smack dab in the middle, and the settlers apparently love nothing more than to go and stand right next to it. They don't die, but the process of losing all their health and getting back up wipes their commands, including instructions to carry out jobs to support the settlement. It's necessary to remove the radioactive barrels through the settlement building interface in order to keep everyone from dying.
    • AI Settlers pathfinding becomes worse and worse the more complex a player built settlement becomes, leaving half or more of your population just standing around and shops and defense posts unmanned, so forget about making that Megaton replica.
      • Although part of that is the happiness level in the settlement. The less happy the settlers, the more likely they are to abandon their assigned jobs.
      • It's an Enforced Trope sometimes. A lot of enemies intentionally lack the buffs to their AI mentioned in artificial brilliance, seemingly to reflect that said enemies are dumb as hell in universe. A good example of this is that low level raiders will take cover behind the very explosive cars. Higher level raiders not only don't do this, but will tell any of their colleagues who do to stop being dumbasses.
    • Many of the hostile factions are pretty trap-happy, laying booby traps all around and in their territory. However, sometimes they don't remember where these traps are. This can lead to situation where Super Mutants and Raiders charge through their own minefields or get hit by their own tripwire rocket launcher in their eagerness to attack you.
    • Any melee based NPC will try to get up and close to a Super Mutant Suicider. Said Suicider will also explode should any hostile creature get close, including half dead Radroaches that they could easily stomp on...
    • Enemies armed with the Fat Man are extremely unpredictable because they treat it as if it was a normal ranged weapon, seemingly unaware of its power or arcing fire. They'll occasionally blow themselves up when firing it from cover or enclosed spaces, miss often by only taking direct shots without factoring in splash damage, and disregard all potential collateral damage to their allies. What's more they think nothing of firing it at point blank range in an unintentional suicide attack, so you can't dead-zone them.
    • Vertibirds will almost always get shot down eventually wherever they appear, though given that they are the only flying enemy/ally in the game composed of multiple NPCs, this can be somewhat forgivable. Still they almost always die because they try to orbit around allies they are escorting or enemies they are trying to kill. This strategy makes them harder to hit but also exposes them to far more groups of enemies who will take potshots at them and eventually down them. To make matters worse they often deploy the only person assigned to the mini gun when they land, depriving them of their most effective weapon.
    • Dogmeat gets this pretty bad. Unlike other companions, he is programmed to run in front of the player and seems to predict their movement to better get ahead. Good dog behaviour perhaps, but terrible for a companion since he'll frequently barge into trouble. He'll open rigged doors, blunder through minefields before you can disarm them, saunter through tripwires, walk directly into enemy camps while you probe the outskirts, and will constantly dodge attempts to access his inventory.
    • Companions still have no concept of stealth, and can be highly unpredictable when you're in stealth (either trying to kill everything all the time or ignoring enemies that are attacking them).
    • Companions are set to teleport to you periodically to prevent you from getting separated from them. If you're in a tight space in a building however the game tends to teleport them into an adjacent room or even onto the floor above or below, usually right into a group of enemies.
    • Trying to get companions to enter power armor can be a real chore. They will often try to run straight into it rather than coming up from behind as they should, and to make matters even more frustrating they will give up trying after only two seconds.
    • NPCs don't really handle the verticality of the world very well. Settlers will often deduce that the only way to get down from a roof isn't to take the stairs you carefully placed to let them up there, but to walk off a nearby ledge. Raiders, and especially Gunners due to their raised highway forts, will occasionally walk right off the edge of their vantage points and die instantly on contact with the ground.
      • Some of the issues with AI and verticality, such as Settlers not using the upper levels of multi-story buildings in settlements, can be fixed with mods, although several other problems remain.
    • During the "Defend the Castle" quest, it quickly becomes clear why the Minutemen lost control of the castle in the past. They seem to have no understanding of the value defensive fortifications, as they will mindlessly charge out of the castle to attack the oncoming Synth army instead of staying behind the walls and letting the enemies come to them. They will also turn on you if you accidentally hit one of them with a stray round or explosive, which is hard to avoid when they are constantly charging in front of you to rush the foes. This severely limits your weapon selection for this quest, as a few stray rounds or splash damage from a grenade can actually turn your own garrison against you in the middle of the battle.
    • Similarly, Settlers assigned to guard duty will abandon their fortified positions during an attack. It's quite jarring to see a guard equipped with a sniper rifle leave his guard tower that is flanked by turrets to charge right up to melee weapon-wielding Super Mutants before he starts shooting.
    • Kidnapping missions are generated at random, regardless of how well defended a settlement is or the armament of the victim. This can lead to some extremely baffling and frustrating situations, such a settler wearing power armor and armed with a plasma rifle being kidnapped from a settlement with over 150 defense turrets covering every possible angle of approach.
    • Before it was patched, the first few months the radiant Minutemen quests were generated randomly without regard to defences you set up or equipment of your settlers, leading to a heavily fortified settlement with well equipped inhabitants being afraid of three ghouls at the other end of the commonwealth or even getting kidnapped. Similarly, attacks on settlements needed your immediate attention and personal presence to be successful, just as regardless of any defences and equipment, even if your turrets would take out the attackers before you even had time to find out what's going on, so that four raiders could destroy your whole infrastructure. Both issues have been addressed though, so that well defended settlements won't endure kidnappings anymore and if attacked and ignored send you a message that they succeeded in defending themselves.
    • Settlers will sometimes ignore the beds provided for them and stand around all night, which reduces the settlement's happiness score. The only way round this is to open the settlement interface and manually assign them to beds.
      • In some cases, this can be caused by the NPCs not having enough room to carry out their lying-down animation, which can be fixed by making sure that there aren't any objects too close to the right side of the bed (from the perspective of someone lying down with their head on the pillow).
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Many gun animations are set up in a way that would be unsafe in reality. For example, the bolt action weapons are left-handed bolts used by right-handed shooters. In real life, this would result in the trigger hand remaining on the trigger while working the bolt action, the rifle being pointed into the air instead of downrange at the target, and the hot spent casing being ejected in the direction of the shooter instead of away.
  • Artistic License – Military: In Fort Strong, terminal entries state that live mini-nukes were used with the experimental Fat Man, and continued to be used after the range was shown to be insufficient and multiple people were killed by the nukes blowing up too close to them.
  • Ascended Extra: Arthur Maxson, previously a young boy of seemingly little significance in Fallout 3 makes a return as the East Coast Brotherhood's Elder.
    • The Institute and the Railroad were both introduced in 3 as part of a side quest, with a few references to the sad state of the Commonwealth. Here, they're both major factions who drive the plot forward.
  • Ascended Fan Fic: The game introduces dozens of features from fan-made mods for Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.
    • Creating and defending communities in the wasteland from Wasteland Defense (construction/raid mechanics) and Real Time Settler (resource/settler mechanics).
    • The sprint meter, helmet visor, dynamic crosshairs, and being able to equip grenades as a secondary weapon from Project: Nevada.
    • The ability to use action points to go into Bullet Time instead of V.A.T.S. from DK_BulletTime.
    • Music tracks from the CONELRAD mod — more specifically, "Atom Bomb Baby", and "Crawl Out Through The Fallout".
    • Holding your breath to steady your aim while using a scope from the FWE mod.
    • The lighting system of the game looks astonishingly similar to the extremely popular ENBSeries mod, most often used to make Skyrim and Fallout 3/New Vegas look prettier.
    • The rain, sand, and radiation storms from the Nevada Skies mod.
    • The ability to make your own robots (from the Automatron DLC) sounds somewhat similar to the Robco Certified mod.
    • The updated survival mode takes several cues from various mods such as Project Nevada that disable the use of fast traveling and try to make the game more immersive such as being able to get diseases.
    • An unusual case is the titular Pip-Boy of the Pip-Boy edition. As smartphones rose to prominence, a lot of people got the idea to modify the Pip-Boy that came with Fallout 3's legendary edition into a phone case.
  • Ascended Glitch: In 3 (and New Vegas), Radscorpions would sometimes glitch underneath the ground, and would fall through when you got close to them. Now in 4, Radscorpions are one of only two enemies (the other being Mole Rats) that gain this ability as an attack.
  • Asshole Victim: Plenty in the game.
    • Almost every Raider can be considered one, especially named ones that keep a journal talking about how they tortured and killed people For the Evulz, so don't feel bad killing them because they'll kill you given the opportunity.
    • The Gunners also count, since they're shown to be Sociopathic Soldiers-For-Hire that do anything for the right price, and just generally act like complete Jerkasses.
    • For a non-Raider/Gunners example, look no further than Bobbi No-Nose, Goodneighbor's resident Ungrateful Bastard who contracts the Sole Survivor for a daring heist on Diamond City's mayor McDonough's strongroom. It soon turns out that her actual target is Hancock's private warehouse, and she's doing it less for the money and more out of spite because he's a popular leader and she's not. Bear in mind that Hancock welcomed her to Goodneighbor with open arms when she had nowhere else to go. Considering how well-liked Hancock is among players, most won't think twice about giving Bobbi her comeuppance the moment the opportunity arises. Needless to say, no tears are shed on either side of the screen.
    • A non-villainous one is Ricky Dalton, a Railroad "tourist" who's overbearingly insulting and confrontational no matter how helpful the Sole survivor tries to be with him. You can do a hard speech check to convince him to run interference on the Synths infesting the Railroad's old headquarters while you infiltrate the compound, which everyone involved seems to be aware will get Dalton killed, and invariably does. Deacon doesn't have a problem with it, either.
  • The Atoner: Ada, a robot working with a group of caravaners, seeks your help to avenge the deaths of her friends after the route she'd chosen leads them into an ambush by the Mechanist's robots.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some hostile factions/species have super-sized versions far larger than any other of their subtypes. These are the Super Mutant Behemoths and the Mirelurk Queens, both of which stand at roughly 20 feet in height. Even more monstrous creatures — namely truck-sized Hermit Crabs and building-sized Fog Crawlers — were introduced with the Far Harbor add-on. All of them have two things in common: you really, really, really don't want to get hit by their attacks... and they respawn regularly.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Sentry Bots can be dispatched much more easily by attacking their fusion core, which deals a huge amount of damage to it. The trouble is that it keeps said core protected in a hatch, only opening it when it overheats to cool itself down.
    • Likewise, Mirelurks will usually die from two good hits to their face. That, however, requires getting past their massive and extremely tough shell, a fact they will exploit by charging you with their heads down to minimize exposure and crouching to block hits.
    • Deathclaws are vulnerable in their unarmored belly area. Good luck trying to hit them there, though, since they know how to dodge, and tend to be bent over when moving towards the player.
      • Deathclaws also become much easier to kill when their legs are crippled, reducing them to a helpless crawl.
    • One of the stock phrases that Paladin Danse shouts in combat as a companion is this, word for word. Though he shouts it at random whether the enemy has a weak spot or not.
    • Subverted by Protectrons and Assaultrons. Their heads actually receive less damage than their bodies. Their legs and arms are somewhat frail, but on most robots, destroying their arms just sets off their self-destruct mode.
    • A well-placed shot to the fusion core of an enemy's Power Armor will set off a chain reaction that, after a few seconds, will cause them to blow up like a bomb. The fusion core is on the back of the Power Armor and a very small target, but unlike Sentry Bots, it's completely exposed.
  • Attack Reflector: The 10-Luck Perk is Ricochet, which gives enemies' bullets a chance to bounce off you and kill themselves, with a higher chance of kicking in when you are close to death.
  • Authority in Name Only: You can be named the leader of both the Minutemen and the Institute over the course of the game, but this just results in someone else giving orders to you to complete quests for the faction.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Plasma weapons are functionally useless at long range compared to laser weapons and conventional firearms for one simple reason: travel time. Lasers and slug throwers do damage almost as quickly as Hitscan weapons. A plasma weapon gives targets that have seen you plenty of time to dodge so that multiple shots can easily miss, making them frustrating to use unless fired point-blank or modded to be full auto for More Dakka.
    • Laser weapons themselves are less useful for sniping than kinetic weapons because they can't be silenced. They can kill a single target well enough, but if you try to pick off a large group, they will be alerted by your first shot. They also don't get the benefit of a stealth kill damage multiplier perk because of this.
    • Radiation weapons due to their Crippling Overspecialization. Human and non-mutant animals are the only ones vulnerable to it, and they represent maybe a third of the things you'll be killing in this game. They're useful for selling at least and, unfortunately, very deadly in the hands of the Children of Atom. The Kiloton radium rifle from Far Harbor is probably the best due to the fact that it has the "Explosive" legendary effect and shoots really fast, the radiaton damage is more of a bonus.
    • Missile Turrets. They're turrets that shoot missiles. Rapidlynote . They give the highest level of settlement defense, and are extremely likely to deter raiders and the sort from attacking. That being said, it's a very bad idea to rely exclusively on them, since they lack the concept of a blast radius. Taken Up to Eleven during Defend the Castle, considering the fact the Synths can teleport to the top of the walls to try and flank you. The missile turrets are unaware of the possibility that there might be friendly settlers within close range of their targets, or even other turrets.
    • The jetpack mod for power armor fits this as well. It allows fast vertical movement, bypassing a lot of barriers and level geography, but it eats Fusion Cores like candy, visibly draining your charge meter with every use, and you'll usually get only a few seconds of thrust at a time, due to the high Action Point cost.
    • The Junk Jet has been rendered impractical since junk is now extremely important for all kinds of crafting, so why would you want to get rid of it? There are some resources you can spare — steel is common enough, for instance — but objects made of only one resource are rare, and usually too heavy to justify carrying around to use as ammo. Junk jet items are also orders of magnitude larger than bullets, and thus more likely to be intercepted by cover the target may stand behind or near to. It's much easier to hit someone's body protruding behind a pillar for example with a bullet than with a basketball, which is far more likely to partially hit the pillar and bounce off.
    • An invoked example of Technology Marches On, the opening narration shows a scientist working on the Pip-Boy 1.0. It's a giant hulking contraption with a clunky metal frame and heavy circuitry that was three times larger than the wrist of the wearer.
    • The Big Boy with the MIRV Launcher Mod: The Two Shot Legendary Effect with the other Mod effectively multiplies your payload from two to twelve, but also increases the blast radius to the point that it's better to carry a regular Fat Man indoors, and shortens the trajectory so much as it stands nearly as great a danger to you as it does to your targets.
      • The Fat Man in general. Yes, it one-shots pretty much anything players can come across, but it's total overkill against the vast majority of enemies. Add to that its extremely high weight, its rare and expensive ammunition, its not-quite-trivial handling due to the nukes' ballistic arc, and as well as the above-mentioned likeliness of blowing yourself to kingdom come as quickly as the intended target, and you have an awesome weapon that should only be grabbed in the certain knowledge that the task/quest at hand involves an otherwise challenging boss battle with no allies anywhere in the vicinity. That goes double in Survival Mode where carry weight is severely reduced and even ammo has weight, with mini nukes being by far the heaviest ammo type in the game (one single nuke weighs as much as a powerful military rifle).
    • In general, any weapon that has an ammo type that enemies do not drop, is not generally found as loot, and that only a handful of merchants carry in limited (sometimes very limited) quantity is prone to becoming this, even if the weapon performs otherwise fine. Notable examples are the Broadsider, the Railway Rifle and the Cryolator.
    • The Syringer can also fall victim to this. Its ammo needs to be crafted, and requires some rare components, making it too precious to use freely, yet the weapon's weight can make it impractical to keep around "just in case" you meet someone worth using it on. It's ammo is proabably worse as their effects aren't all that impressive for their costs as it's far easier to just shoot people rather than poison them/make them bleed out/reduce their damage resistance or gamble on wether or not they'll spawn a bloatfly on death.
    • The Harpoon Gun from the Far Harbor expansion is a very powerful weapon, but it only holds a single shot and it has an insanely long reload time that's all-too prone to being interrupted (forcing you to start all over again). It's also not particularly accurate. If you're being attacked by multiple enemies or a single enemy that's too durable to be killed by a single shot, you're in for a world of hurt.
    • The Automatron expansion brings with it the ability to create various robots who can be used as companions or to perform tasks at settlements. After many difficult fights against Sentry Bot enemies, it may come as a pleasant surprise that you can now build one of your own. Unfortunately, creating one and outfitting it with worthwhile parts requires massive amounts of rare resources. They're also huge, which makes bringing them indoors as a companion extremely difficult and they have odd pathfinding difficulties on top of that. They also break for cooldowns mid-fight, leaving them helpless and with their fusion cores exposed, ripe for being picked off by enemies (which causes the Sentry Bot to explode violently.) Finally, many of their best weapons are inaccurate at anything beyond a short distance and are prone to breaking mid-fight, which can cause them to activate their self-destruct sequence. Even if you are right next to them. Their only practical uses are for guard duty in open settlements (getting around the pathfinding issues mentioned above) and as muscle to bring along when you know you're headed for an outdoor battle in an open area.
    • Several perks fall under this category, with Pain Train being a good example. Yes, it undoubtedly has quite some entertainment value in addition to dealing damage and possibly knocking enemies down by simply sprinting into them. The downsides? It must be upgraded to the highest perk level to be able to knock down actually dangerous foes like Deathclaws, it requires the full 10 points in Strength to even unlock, it only works while wearing power armor, the damage it deals is insufficient to kill low-level raiders even at the highest perk level, all of that on top of sprinting draining action points and fusion cores at an alarming rate as well as requiring a certain inrun distance to reach full speed, thus making it largely useless from up close. Finally, in a game full of enemies that either wield powerful long-range weaponry or specialize in ripping their victims to shreds in melee, charging into close combat while having an entire arsenal of guns in all flavors available is not exactly a tactic one could call sound. It's far simpler, safer, easier and cheaper (from a perk point of view) to just grab a BFG and rain death on the targets from afar.
    • The Nuka World DLC adds several new Nuka Cola flavors, and the ability to mix these flavors together to boost their effects. Introducing Nuka-Cide, the result of mixing all Nuka Cola flavors into one super drink, restroing a whopping 1,200 Hit Points, 300 Action points, +50 Max HP, +20 Max AP, +35 Rad Resistance, and +35 Carry Weight. Very rarely is a player ever going to need all these effects at once, and making it requires you to mix together nine Nuka Cola variants, some of which are rare enough as it is, into one drink. Most players would be better off carrying around the individual flavors to use as needed, or making some of the 'lesser' mixes.
    • The Broadsider from the main game: it's a cannon that hasn't been used for centuries, lasted a nuclear war, and now carried by a husband/wife. All of this means that you have a gun that's stupidly heavy (27.4 lbs), has poor range and acurracy (with no pointer while sighted as well), carries a single shot at a time (it's a naval cannon) unless upgraded, and lobs rare, pricy, and heavy (in survival mode) cannonballs in pronounced arcs. Its cut ammo (a timed-fuse cannonball and "nukes") would have made it even harder to justify carrying. However, it still deals decent explosive damage, and has a tight enough area of effect that it can be used in close range, and cannonballs are easier to find with Automatron installed, as you can use Eyebot Pods to find them in counts of 34-40.
    • Vault 88. Being able to build your own Vault as a settlement is an awesome idea. However, the cavern you get to build in is so huge that, without mods or glitches, there's no way you can build a fully functional and furnished Vault that fills all of it, the grid-based building restrictions means you can't build one large continuous unit like most Vaults are, and it can be a pain in the ass routing power throughout the Vault due to how its power systems work. Also, the Vault has several side-entrances and its passages criss-cross, so when it gets attacked, it can actually be difficult to track down every enemy in the Vault area and kill them. Finally, the main Vault cavern huge — a Vault built just in the main cavern will easily be big enough to hit the population cap, and will take thousands of units of resources to build. The summation is that there's no need to utilize all the building area Vault 88 gives you, you probably wouldn't have the resouces to do if you wanted to, and the game won't let you build so much anyway.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Naturally for a Fallout game. Your companions include such colourful individuals as Piper Wright, Nick Valentine, John Hancock (no, not actually the guy), Deacon, and Strong. Codsworth's rather comprehensive name database allow you to take names like "Mr. Badass", "Ms. Furiosa" or "Mr. Snake Plissken". Or you could Invert this trope and pick something really lame like "Mr. Assface".
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  • Badass Bystander: If you arm your settlers properly, they'll be able to make hay of many threats like Super Mutants, Gunners and even freaking Deathclaws without your assistance.
  • Badass Longcoat: There are a number of longcoats in the game, and each one could fit. Special mention however goes to the Silver Shroud outfit: a long, black trench and the Silver Shroud's iconic scarf. It even comes with a Nice Hat and a Cool Gun to complete the look. If you're siding with the Minutemen, you can also get the Minutemen General's outfit, which is a mix of an American Revolutionary War-style coat and Captain America's costume, and sports decent defenses, low weight and a bonus to Charisma.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Largely averted, unlike the many stripperific outfits in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but there are a few instances.
    • The Road Leathers outfit shows a narrow band of skin around the waist when worn by a female character.
    • Harnesses, both the regular and the Gunner variants, have women wear nothing above the waistline but a greenish strip of cloth to (barely) cover their bra, plus some straps to keep the trousers in place.
    • Nuka-World plays it completely straight with the Nuka-Girl rocketsuit, which basically combines skintight white leggings with a skimpy long-sleeved top with Absolute Cleavage, topped off with heeled boots and a glass-bubble space helmet. Justified, though, since she was intended by Nuka-Cola as a pinup model mascot. It looks identical on a male, though.
    • The Disciples raiders also boast some fairly revealing getups that fit the trope to a T.
    • The Grognak the Barbarian costume, which is incredibly skimpy for both female and male PCs.
  • The Barnum: There's a man hanging out in the South Boston area near the remains of the Minutemen's former base of operations (The Castle AKA Fort Independence) who gives out supposedly useful cards called Charge Cards in exchange for 110 caps each. He claims that these cards are useful in bypassing the need to spend bottle caps with vendors everywhere in the Commonwealth. In reality, these cards were only valid before the bombs fell and they are no longer of relevance in the post-apocalyptic world; in other words, he's a scam artist who rips off unsuspecting Wastelanders of their hard earned caps just to satisfy his greed. He even calls you a "retahd" straight to your face whether or not you accept his offer, immediately blowing his guise as a scammer. Surely enough, this puts him into Too Dumb to Live territory.
  • Battle Butler: Codsworth is a literal one once he joins you as a companion.
  • Battle Couple: The Sole Survivor can become one with their romanced companion, if you take them along.
  • Batter Up!:
    • The Baseball Bat is back as a heavily customizable weapon, and baseball plays a role in the game's setting. One of the settlements, Diamond City, is inside Fenway Park. Shopkeeper Moe Cronin wears an ersatz Red Sox uniform and sells baseball equipment as weapons and armor, believing that baseball was a Blood Sport where people beat each other to death.
    • Up to Eleven with the Grand Slam Perk, which gives up to 100% melee damage and has a chance to slam some poor bastard's head off. HOME RUN!
    • Nuka-World has also added several powerful mods for bats, including freaking jets mounted on the side! Naturally, if the player is skilled enough to make use of these mods their homemade baseball bats can easily become one of the strongest melee weapons in the game.
  • Bayonet Ya: One of the new weapon mods, which increases a weapon's melee damage but slightly lowers ranged accuracy.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Yao Guai, giant mutant bears, are back and are as mean as ever.
  • Bear Trap: Far Harbor allows the Sole Survivor to make their own at crafting stations. If they have the right skills the player can even make an upgraded version with extra limb damage.
  • Beef Gate:
    • Typically any areas where Deathclaws are prevalent are meant to be explored when you're a higher level, with hopefully better gear as well. If they're not around though, any enemies with a skull by their name should also give you a hint that you're probably not strong enough for this place yet. It's not that they can't be killed; you'll be at an extreme disadvantage if you attempt to fight them, such as doing less damage to them than an enemy that's about your level or lower.
    • The early portion of the main quest has you traveling southeast from Sanctuary Hills, first to Concord and then to Diamond City. If you take a fairly direct path to both places, the enemies along the way are quite manageable for a low level player. However, if you venture too far from that path, the game will randomly spawn high level Yao Guai nearby you as you travel. At a low level and with the fairly weak early-game weapons, they will be a massive challenge to defeat.
  • Benevolent A.I. : In contrast to previous games, many of the robots have both evolved far beyond original parameters and remained extremely friendly to humanity. Codsworth, Curie, Nick Valentine, and Ada are among the nicest and most polite of the recruitable companions, and the Commonwealth residents in general. Many other robots and A.I.s (like Synths) encountered throughout the Commonwealth, like the Graygarden Supervisors, have stayed friendly while their programming has evolved and gained sapience (if a bit eccentric at times).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Your friendly canine buddy will viciously tear out raiders' throats when they're down.
    • Many of your more benevolent companions count as this, with Preston Garvey never hesitating at disintagrating Raiders with his Laser Musket.
  • BFG: Several, as usual: the Missile Launcher, the Broadsider, the Gauss Rifle, the Minigun and Gatling Laser, the Harpoon Gun, the Junk Jet, the Flamer, the Cryolator, and of course, the Fat Man.
  • Big Bad: Depends on what faction you choose to side with, either way you'll have to go war with one of the two most powerful by the main story's end. These include facing Elder Arthur Maxson, the Synth-discriminating leader of the Brotherhood of Steel, or 'Father', the leader of the mysterious and human-replacing Institute.
    • You yourself can become this to the entire Commonwealth by allying with the Nuka-World raiders, conquering peaceful settlements by (threats of) violence, bullying others into supplying your troops and killing, enslaving or robbing people blind left, right and center.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Besides the Radscorpions and Radroaches from earlier games, there are giant mosquitoes known as Bloodbugs, and giant Scorpionflies called Stingwings (which are this game's answer to Cazadores). The Nuka-World DLC delightfully introduces the player to all sorts of mutated ants, from examples the size of a large dog that merely want a bite out of the Sole Survivor's legs, to others the size of small dogs that come in erratically flying swarms. As if that wasn't creepy-crawly enough, giant, heavily armored cave crickets are also on the hunt for some tasty human flesh. And of course the DLC doesn't skimp on all the regular chitin-armored nastiness mentioned above either. It even goes so far as to give especially large Radroaches the new trick of spawning an entire swarm of smaller roaches that burst forth from their Broodmother's dead carcass. Watch your toes.
  • Big Good: The player character can become one of these like in all Fallout games. The thing is, this can happen very early by you taking over the Minutemen and becoming their General.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The band of Raiders at the FMS Northern Star wreck speak entirely in untranslated Norwegian.
    • Yao Guai, the mutated bears, can be translated from Chinese as monster. In-game fluff explains that the name was given to them by Chinese POW's (which is a Call-Back to the Chinese "internment" camp found at Big MT in Old World Blues).
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Henry Cooke. When you first meet him, he's presented as a calm and reasonable person, but in the quest related to him, you can find out that he's been doing exactly what he's been accused of (sleeping with another man's wife), dealing drugs, willing to murder, and will sell you out when things get too much for him to handle. And if all that wasn't enough, he's also an informant for the Institute.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Irrespective of which faction you support, your son Shaun dies. If you helped the Brotherhood, the Railroad or the Minutemen, you meet your son on his deathbed for a poignant last scene as your forces storm the Institute and destroy his life's work. But at least with the Institute gone, the Synths are finally free from their slavery, the remaining scientists can join the Minutemen and actually help the surface world, and the people of the Commonwealth can sleep easy as a new society is formed. Of course, unless enough tech is scavenged from the Institute, it's likely the Synths will be reduced to a Dying Race, but Hope Springs Eternal.
      • More-so bittersweet if you supported the Brotherhood, as the Commonwealth enjoys a level of stability and prosperity never seen before... at the cost of putting an end to the Synths, whom are viewed by the Brotherhood as a threat to mankind's continued existence. It's also likely that sapient Ghouls will be next on their checklist...
    • Even in what's generally considered the happiest ending, the Minutemen ending, can result in a war with the Brotherhood which results in a Minutemen victory... and the Prydwen being blasted out of the sky, lost with all hands including all of the children on-board.
    • Even if you side with the Institute, Shaun is not long for this world; he has end-stage cancer, and because the treatments would turn him into a Super Mutant or a monster like the Master, he has elected to instead let the disease run its course and Face Death with Dignity. This is on top of the fact that the Brotherhood and Railroad have been wiped out, the Institute's practice of Kill and Replace will continue unimpeded, and the Synths still in the Institute will likely remain slaves forever.
    • Liam Benet, a.k.a. "Patriot" gets one of his own in the Railroad ending. As the person responsible for getting rogue Synths out of the Institute in the first place, Liam was basically the reason that the Railroad was able to exist. After the Railroad storms the Institute, all the Synths are freed, the Commonwealth is rid of its boogeyman, and everyone and everything Liam ever cared about is atomized by the explosion of the Institute's reactor. He commits suicide after reaching the Railroad HQ. His suicide note is a bitter indictment of both the Railroad and the Sole Survivor. Desdemona keeps his fate secret between her and the Sole Survivor, giving him a hero's funeral for the sake of Railroad morale.
    • Far Harbor embraces this as there is no Golden Ending. Even getting all three factions on the Island to live in peace comes at the price of keeping DiMA's crimes secret, and helping him murder someone and two Synths having had their mind wiped and replaced, which goes against the very purpose of Acadia. All other endings require the destruction of at least one faction.
  • Black and Grey Morality/Grey and Gray Morality: Of the three factions that can't be reconciled in the game, the fact that you can choose the one that kidnaps and murders random people to replace them with robot clones in order to more efficiently steal resources from starving Wasteland dwellers to side with without feeling you're making the evil choice highlights that all of the main factions are flawed, and that it's up to the player to decided which faction is the lightest shade of grey. And even the Railroad, the nominally "good" faction, are so fixated on Synth liberation that they're firmly grey as well. The only outright "good guys" in the setting are the Minutemen, who are inadvertently rendered grey themselves by the fact that you can convince them to side with any other faction, even the Institute. The player, however, can subvert this.
    • The Triggermen are ruthless killers modeled on the Mafia, but they have a surprisingly progressive hiring policy — they have no problem allowing ghouls in their ranks.
    • A Sole Survivor Overboss can actually get through Nuka-World without hurting anyone who didn't deserve it. They can talk settlers into selling their land to them rather than simply being forced off of it at gunpoint, and can also bribe other settlers into financing your operations. This appeases the Raiders and keeps them from going on a rampage (unless you want them to).
  • Black Comedy/Denser and Wackier: While not necessarily at the level of New Vegas, the game clearly has a darker and sillier sense of humor than 3. Just to pick a few examples, there's the Raiders of Hardware Town & downtown Boston (near Trinity Church) talking about the "Grenade guy" (who was so bafflingly bonkers that he even managed to confuse the Super Mutants enough to let him go free) and Codsworth complaining to the Sole Survivor upon their return of the futility of trying to clean a collapsed house.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Fallon's department store and Fallon's Basement are references to Filene's and the associated surplus/overstock bargain store.
    • The model for Purified water, which is in a can instead of a bottle like the previous games, is an almost exact replica of real cans of emergency drinking water, just with the label changed from "MacDonald Bernier Co." to "MacDougal-Bernard Co."
    • The beverage Vim! from Far Harbor is based on the real-life brand Moxie, a soft drink that's popular in greater New England and coined the term "moxie" as a synonym for, well, vim.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • "Our intentions are peaceful." Says the giant, heavily-armored airship surrounded by minigun-equipped Vertibirds.
    • "It's a training exercise." Says the Railroad Sole Survivor to a young Brotherhood Initiate. Right after you shoot a half-dozen of his older comrades right in front of him in the Railroad ending.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Institute's nasty case of Bystander Syndrome has given them this in regards to the Commonwealth. As the Institute's been led to believe that the Commonwealth is utterly doomed and the surface world is a lost cause impossible to save (due in part because of the dismal failure that was the Commonwealth Provisional Government), they believe they need to safeguard the future of humanity by turning the Institute into a utopia and recolonizing the Wasteland after the surface dwellers have died off. Thusly, in their eyes it's perfectly acceptable to screw with the surface, as the people up there are essentially "dead men walking" anyway.
  • Blue Is Heroic: The Minutemen is the most benevolent group in the Commonwealth, and their flag has their sigil on top of a blue background. The Uniform worn by their Generals is a dark blue, as well.
  • Blood Knight: Super Mutants in general. Most Raiders are also implied to be this.
  • Body Horror: The Putrid Glowing One has been in such a state for so long that either fungus or tumors are growing from them, which serves as makeshift armor.
    • Older Gen 2 Synths can suffer a rare mechanical case of this trope when they suffer damage. The more and more they're injured, the more and more their plastic "skin" breaks off, revealing their circuitry-based innards.
  • Bonus Boss: In Far Harbor, the Red Death, which you face as the last quest for the Mariner. Well, it's built up that way. It's actually just a tiny Mirelurk that goes down in one shot.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Played straight with human and humanoid enemies once you have a strong enough gun and the right perks for it to do more damage. Subverted or averted with other enemies, as their head may not be their actual weak spots, such as Mirelurks being weak to face-shots, but they often hide it behind their claws and thick husks. And Deathclaws having a mostly unarmored belly being their weak point, so shooting them in the head is less useful. This is also mandatory for dealing with Feral Ghouls and it's not just because they're "zombies": Glowing Ones (Feral Ghouls with a ton of radiation in them that makes them glow) can actually bring other Feral Ghouls Back from the Dead as well as heal the ones still alive! You gotta shot 'em in the head to make sure they're down (or use the Bloody Mess perk to gib them). It also helps kill the Ghouls playing dead (because they do that now).
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Deliverer pistol. It does high damage using cheap and plentiful 10mm rounds and it comes with a suppressor already attached. The feature that sets it apart from other 10mm pistols is its action point cost. With a little bit of upgrading, you will be able to fire an entire 16 round magazine or two of them with a full AP bar (although you can never fire more than one magazine's worth within one VATS sequence). It's little wonder that stealth gunslinger builds tend to swear by it.
    • Any of the early-game pipe weapons which use the extremely plentiful .38 ammo. They'll take care of low-level enemies for quite a while, allowing you save the comparatively rare ammo for your better weapons for tougher enemies. The mods for them are also relatively resource cheap compared to other weapons, and can be accessed at lower levels of the Gun Nut perk.
    • In previous games, food was largely useless (unless you were playing New Vegas' Hardcore mode). This time around, food is much more useful because it heals a specific amount of hitpoints, not a percentage like Stimpaks. Especially in the early game this makes food far more practical than the rarer Stimpaks, which require perk investment to get up to a high percentage. Because most uncooked food irradiates you, and radiation subtracts from your max health, the "Lead Belly" perk is suddenly a lot more important, too. In addition, not only does cooked meat now heal a large amount of HP, it also has beneficial temporary buffs, and no longer poisons with radiation when eaten. Some can even heal radiation. Cooking also gives experience and increase the item value in case you wish to sell them instead of eating them, steaks from rare meat like Deathclaw Steak and Mirelurk Queen Steak are worth quite some caps.
    • The humble 10mm pistol, previously a ground-level only weapon, remains a competitive sidearm for quite a while if you keep its mods up to date. Take a couple levels of the ammo finder perk, and you'll be pretty set with ammo for it as well.
    • The Laser Musket is the bog-standard Minutemen weapon and one of the very first guns you'll find in the game. However, if you level up the relevant perks and slap on a six-crank capacitor, this baby can one-shot Legendary Mythic Deathclaws — even before finding an Instigating one. Putting a long extended bracketed barrel, a high-powered scope, and a focus muzzle attachment also allows you to really reach out and touch someone too.
    • When it comes to salvaging, you can't go wrong with Tin Cans. They weigh only 0.1 pound, but a single can breaks down into two units of Steel, making hoarding cans the best source of Steel in terms of weight-to-yield ratio, and since Steel is needed for a large number of settlement construction projects, you'd do well to grab every can you see. While you're at it, grab every Power Relay Coil and Fuse you see for the Copper, needed to build nearly everything under the "Power" tab, and they too are very lightweight for the Copper you get from them.
    • The perks for crafting weapon mods do only that and each of the 4 perks needs 3 or 4 points to fully utilize. This might seem boring compared to perks that let you pacify enemies but modding weapons is a very practical way to keep your guns relevant and let your armor resist more damage.
    • The Strong Back perk has four ranks. The first two are nothing fancy, just a +50 total carry weight. The third lets you run while encumbered using action points, which isn't all that helpful. The fourth lets you fast travel while encumbered, which is an incredible time saver when you consider how much junk you can cart out of a single building.
    • For factions, the Railroad and the Minutemen. While the Brotherhood and the Institute have ridiculously advanced and amazing technology, the Railroad and Minutemen are just poor Wastelanders. However, the Railroad uses disguises and sneaky guerrilla tactics to sabotage their enemies' superior technology while the Minutemen can both Zerg Rush their enemies and attack from miles away with 19th century artillery, hitting hard enough to curb stomp even the Brotherhood.
    • Fortune Finder and Ammo Scrounger are pretty mundane, increasing the chances of caps/ammo/fusion cores appearing in containers. But in this game, as caps are much harder to come by and the shopkeepers are a lot stingier than in past games and only carry limited amounts of ammo. Having enough cash on hand to buy materials you need and having enough cores to keep you in Power Armor continuously suddenly get a lot more likely with these two inconspicuous perks.
    • The Aquaboy/girl perk. Since it's right up against the coast, there are a lot of irradiated rivers and lakes dotting the map, which are annoying to go around but give a healthy dose of radiation to directly cross, not to mention just how many indoor areas have basement flooding. With the Aquaboy perk, water radiation is completely negated, allowing you to just swim across with no trouble.
      • And it's amazingly useful in Survival mode, as almost no enemies spawn in the water, or even close enough to come after you if you're far enough out in the water, and the few exceptions can be avoided by ducking to the other side of the river, or taking the next step of the perk and become totally hidden in the water. And if you swim to the right place and take the correct path when you get out, you can walk directly to Diamond City, Goodneighbor, Bunker Hill, the Castle, etc, all without interacting with a single enemy at all.
    • The Rad Resistance perk. With the changes to the radiation mechanic, creatures which do radiation damage on top of physical damage, and the increased scarcity of RadAway, having radiation resistance is all the more important.
    • Much like previous games, Black Widow. Since you'll run into an almost disproportionate amount of male enemies compared to female, it basically amounts to 5/10/15% extra damage that requires just 2 Charisma.
    • The Local Leader perk has a non-trivial cost in SPECIAL points and gives no bonuses for combat, crafting or character interaction, but it is de facto vital to settlement management as it enables assigning Provisioners, which network settlements' crafting resources, water, and food when assigned a route.
    • The Rifleman perk. Descended from Small Guns, previous entries' most Boring, but Practical skill, Rifleman gives you damage and armor penetration bonuses, with later ranks adding a small chance to cripple enemy limbs. The thing is, Rifleman applies to all, rifle-type guns that aren't fully automatic, including shotguns and non-automatic energy weapons. This means it will help you all the way from the simple pipe rifles of the early game to technological marvels like the Gauss Rifle. Beyond that, Rifleman guns are the only weapon type that is effective at any range (with heavy guns and explosives being weak/dangerous up close, plus Unarmed, Melee, and Pistols being unusable at longer range). Oh, and since the perk motivates you to use semiautomatic guns, you'll use (and in Survival, have to carry) less ammo overall.
    • There are all sorts of possibilities for crafting housing for your settlers, limited only by your imagination or your ability to copy things from YouTube. Alternatively, you can snap some Floor And Roof segments together, put Shack Walls around them, stuff the thing with beds and call it a day.
    • The Instigating Legendary effect. Competing with Legendary effects that freeze or torch enemies, turn them to goo, or never need to be reloaded, an Instigating weapon deals double damage to enemies at full health. Useless on an automatic weapon, Instigating sniper rifles and heavy melee weapons (particularly on stealthy characters who can score a powerful sneak attack critical) can kill most enemies with a single hit. An Instigating Laser Musket with a six-crank capacitor can kill a Deathclaw with a single sneak attack critical at range.
    • In-universe there's pipe guns and Laser Muskets. Fashioned out of scrap, pipe weapons are the go-to choice of offense and defense for most of post-War Boston's belligerent population due largely to their light weight and vast customizable options, having the most in game with the least number of perks (Gun Nut 2, and Science! 1) to make them. The Minutemen Men use Laser Muskets as their go to weapon, formed out of scrapped laser guns and pre-War muskets and powered by a crank. While Laser Muskets need to be cranked after every shot (similar to a real musket) the times cranked increases the power every odd crank (1-3-5) allowing the weapon to be more versatile than it's appearance suggests. Additionally a large squad of Minutemen can unleash a devastating barrage of laser fire in short order without the need to carry (micro)fusion cells to power their weapons.
    • The Combat Rifle. It's a step up from the pipe guns in the early levels and it uses the same ammo as the submachine gun. Normally, you can discard it in favor of other guns with higher damage. Fair enough. You have that option. Later on in the game, the Combat Rifle becomes pretty much the Weapon of Choice for raiders, Gunners, and other opponents, replacing the pipe gun completely. They're so commonplace you can find enough of them to equip virtually all of your settlers in your settlements across the Commonwealth. Oh, and they can be customised to be either semi-auto or full-auto and can be made as a sniper rifle as well, and be fitted with different ammo types. Simply put, the Combat Rifle becomes the mainstay gun of the Commonwealth.
  • Born in the Wrong Century:
    • Downplayed, but Nick Valentine fits the bill, given how he's a Hardboiled Detective Synth who acts like he's walked straight out of The Maltese Falcon. Justified though in that his personality and neural patterns are that of a Pre-War police officer.
    • Obviously, the Sole Survivor was literally born in the wrong century.
  • Boss Battle: In contrast to Fallout 3, which generally avoided straight boss fights (with the exception of the Super Mutant Behemoths, Commander Jabsco, and General Jiangwei), Fallout 4 has a number of boss fights that occur during the main quest line or major side-quests, such as the Concord Deathclaw, the Castle Mirelurk Queen, Swan, Elder Maxson (potentially), and Kellogg himself.
    • Automatron features Ahab, a unique Sentry Bot equipped with armor and weaponry no other robot in the entire Commonwealth utilizes. The final battle against the Mechanist's hordes also includes a couple of unique and very dangerous Automatrons.
    • Nuka-World comes up with Puzzle Boss Colter and Flunky Boss Oswald the Outrageous, the latter being a Skippable Boss. All the Raider gang leaders at Nuka-World count as Flunky Bosses due to being constantly surrounded by their own Mooks.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • One can find Legendary Enemies with a star next to their names. Not only are they much deadlier and tougher, but when they reach half health, they can mutate, regaining all their health and making them even deadlier!
    • The Mirelurk Queen (level 50 boss fought with multiple Minutemen helping you out) can be found on one of the uncleared settlement areas in a marsh. And you have much less help here. You can, however, prepare before attacking it, unlike the one at The Castle.
    • Generally speaking, the larger the enemy, the more dangerous they are. Super Mutants aren't too difficult to beat once you've gotten decent gear and perks. But run into a gigantic Behemoth, and you probably don't want to go toe to toe with it, at least at low levels. Even plain ordinary humans wearing power armor will be more difficult to defeat than their counterparts.
  • Boss Remix: If you encounter a dungeon boss, or a particularly strong opponent like Deathclaws and Sentry Bots, the epic remix of the main theme ("Dominant Species")will play instead of the usual combat theme.
  • Boss Room: Beware of any suspiciously open space with no enemies, whether inside a building or a marked location in the open, especially if there is no apparent way back up if you jump into it. Deathclaws are a common sight in such places.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Played Straight with a legendary weapon mod called "Neverending" which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. If you find a weapon with this mod, it will draw directly from your ammo supply. It's an amazing mod to have for a sniper rifle, full auto weapon, minigun, missile launcher or Fat Man.
      • Hilarity Ensues when you get a Neverending Laser Musket, as you can now crank infinitly for ludicrously high damage.
    • Averted with enemies wielding powerful weapons such as the missile launcher or the Fat Man. They don't have an unlimited ammo supply like most other enemies, so it's possible to goad them into wasting their supply, rendering their weapon useless and making them much easier to beat. Though if you can kill them before they fire at all, you can take their entire supply of rare ammo for yourself.
    • Also Averted for companions when not using their default weapon: while they can pick up or be given nearly any weapon (and often do of their own volition) they still need ammo. If they use their default weapon, it's Played Straight and they will never need ammo for it.
    • Played straight with your settlers. Give them a gun and one round of ammo for that gun, and they will happily fire away forever. This doesn't work for missile launchers or the Fat Man, but does work for powered armor; they don't wear out the fusion core.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The settlement system allows a slow but easy way to make caps, and linking your settlements with provisioners allows you access to crafting materials at any settlements for modifying your equipment, but otherwise there's limited practical benefit to diving into the settlement network. But it is immensely satisfying for many players to rebuild the world one piece at a time and provide food and shelter to hundreds of civilians across the wasteland.
  • Brain Uploading: Nick Valentine's base personality was created this way. He's a second generation synth who is completely mechanical (as opposed to third generation synths, who are organic enough to have DNA), but his personality is patterned after the uploaded brainwaves of the real Nick Valentine, a policeman who lived before the Great War, hence his Hardboiled Detective look.
    • You can also help one of your robotic companions do this, allowing her to upload her robotic personality into a Synth body, so that she can develop human emotions. (Gaining the properties of a Human companion in the process)
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:The Diamond City Radio announcer is describing the Minutemen taking over The Castle: "There were monsters? Fish? Monster fish?"
  • Brick Joke:
    • There was an achievement in Fallout 3 called "The Bigger They Are..." for killing all Super Mutant Behemoths. A similar Achievement/Trophy in Fallout 4 is named "... The Harder They Fall".
    • Long after being teased at in one of the viral promotional videos for Fallout 3, you finally get to see Jangles, the Moon Monkey.
    • A more meta one: the artist behind the Pip-Boy in Fallout 3 really regretted that he put the knobs on the left side rather than the right. No need to worry: It's on the right side this time.
  • Bring It: One of the many things the Sole Survivor will scream when they're high on Psycho before attempting to hammer in face of the closest bastard near them.
  • Broken Bridge: Certain areas are blocked off or sealed with keycards you don't have depending on where you are in the main quest. For instance, if you go to Fort Hagen, the basement is inaccessible until you get the quest that leads you down there. You can enter the building, but all you'll find is a few synths. In the ruins of Boston, an entire building is sealed off until the quest that requires you to search it.
  • Bullet Time:
    • Jet now provides this effect rather than simply refilling AP.
    • During combat the V.A.T.S. system was changed to slow down time to a crawl rather than stopping it outright, allowing for dynamic shots.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Once you reach a high level and have decent armor on, low level enemies will essentially be doing this to you. You can easily One-Hit Kill them, but they'll still attack you anyway even if they're clearly outmatched. It's a similar situation from Skyrim where you can single-handedly kill a dragon, absorb its soul, and then some low level bandits nearby decide they can take you out. One could argue that they're simply defending their turf, especially if you're about to loot their place. But they'll still do this if you just happen to be walking by close enough to them. Could also be Justified in the case of Raiders, as unlike Skyrim's motley crews of bandits, Raiders often use psycho-active drugs which make them more aggressive, plus they tend to be quite unhinged anyway.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Madison Li, last mentioned to have left for the Commonwealth, returns as one of the department heads of the Institute.
    • LIBERTY PRIME IS REPAIRED AND ONCE AGAIN READY TO DESTROY ALL CHINESE COMMUNISTS!
    • Nuka-World features the return of Sierra Petrovita and the Hubologists.
    • The leader of the kids of Little Lamplight, Mayor MacCready, is all grown up and is currently a mercenary, and available to be a companion.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Rejecting certain quests or quest stages is often simply not an option. In the most prominent example, the Sole Survivor is offered to help ambush and rob a caravan by two characters. The player can't outright refuse to participate; the closest to actually rejecting their offer is having the Sole Survivor declare that they could just kill the two conspirators and rob the caravan themselves.
    • In a rare case for a Fallout game, you cannot persuade Kellogg AT ALL about anything when you finally catch up to him. The only thing you can control is how demanding, desperate, angry or snarky you are when ordering him to tell you where Shaun and the Institute are. The situation inevitably turns violent.
    • During the first mission with Deacon and the Railroad, you're given the option to either perform a frontal assault on the Railroad's old base, or go in the back way. Going in full-frontal reveals that the Synths turned off the power. Since the elevators can't take you down to the old base, you have to go through the back tunnel anyway.
    • If you side with a faction other then the Institute, you eventually get a mission to destroy it by blowing up their reactor. Taking over the Institute with any faction, including the Brotherhood, is simply implausible due to both the logical and logistical issues of taking over an entire society of people who would be opposed to your respective faction, but opposing the Institute means that you have to destroy it.
    • If you intend to finish Nuka-World's story properly, you have to take over a settlement in the name of one of the Raider groups. Worse yet, Preston Garvey will refuse to work with you afterwards if you raid any settlement.
      • Of course, this is an aversion. If you're playing a good character, the only "proper" way to complete the story, is to just continue killing Raiders until they're all dead. Upon completion of the related "Open Season" quest, everything unlocks - meaning the only thing you have to do without, are things you wouldn't want to do in the first place.
    • If the player is aligned with the Brotherhood and then begins the Far Harbor DLC, the next time they speak with Lancer-Captain Kells will unavoidably initiate dialogue where they report the location of the synth refuge at Acadia and trigger the quest "Search and Destroy", where you have to join up with a group of Brotherhood soldiers and wipe out everyone there (which can include Kasumi Nakano if you've not finished the main quest). The same can happen with the Institute: speaking to Dr Moseley in Advanced Systems will initiate the quest "Forbidden Knowledge", where the Institute invades Acadia and reclaims all the escaped synths. This quest is more optional than "Search and Destroy", however, as Moseley is a far less important character than the radiant-quest-giver Kells. Thankfully, it's easy to ignore the Brotherhood attack group in Far Harbor if you're unwilling to destroy Acadia.
  • Butt-Monkey: Vault Boy in the 7 "Vault-Tec Educational Materials" shorts. He gets killed or severely injured at least twice a episode.
  • Bystander Syndrome: The Institute has this, with them believing the Commonwealth to be a lost cause and seeing any abuse they inflict upon the surface as "acceptable" since the people living up there are doomed anyway.
    C 
  • Call-Back:
    • A couple of characters from Fallout 3 are either mentioned or present in the game. This includes Dr. Madison Li, Arthur Maxson, Dr. Stanislaus Braun, Sierra Petrovita, Confessor Cromwell, and Mayor MacCready.
    • You also encounter one in the form of a settlement name, oddly enough. At the start of the game you can look through Vault 111's terminals, in which it is logged that one of the few Vault-Tec workers who failed to make it to the Vault was named Nordhagen. One of the settlements you can ally with later is called Nordhagen Beach, suggesting that Nordhagen survived and started a settlement.
    • You can also encounter the Vault-Tec rep from the intro later in Goodneighbor's hotel. Hilariously, he's wearing the exact same outfit.
    • A lot of reoccurring scenery elements from both 3 and New Vegas have been painstakingly rebuilt for this game. What makes this special is that there are usually a dozen or so new recurring scenery elements that could easily fit the same role, but the old switchboards and posters still pop up now and again.
    • Kellogg's flashbacks mention him working for the Shi, the Chinese-descended people living in San Francisco, who haven't been seen since Fallout 2.
    • In Far Harbor, High Confessor Tektus mentions that "the great prophet" Confessor Cromwell in "the holy city" of Megaton told the Children to go north and spread the word of Atom, which is how they eventually ended up on the Island.
    • Possibly unintentional, but most of the songs playing on the Minutemen's radio stations — Radio Freedom and the Settlement Recruitment Beacons — are the same as those played on Enclave Radio in Fallout 3, further showing how the Minutemen are the Enclave's Foil.
    • A fictional version of the Mechanist is the Big Bad in the Silver Shroud radio drama being broadcast by Kent Connolly. Kent also mentions in passing listening to a crossover episode of said drama involving Captain Cosmos.
    • The Glowing Sea is very similar to The Glow from way back in Fallout 1, being a highly-radioactive impact site from a nuclear bomb.
      • It shares certain similarities to the Divide from New Vegas as well. Particularly how the locations within them tend to have more poetic names than the rest of the Wasteland (eg. Forlorn Reactor, Crater of Atom, Forgotten Church, and Courier's Mile). Both also are full of Demonic Spiders, have utterly alien atmospheres compared to the rest of the Wasteland, and have non-natural storm systems that occasionally imperil their neighboring regions (dust storms from the Divide (courtesy of the Think Tank) and the radiation storms of the Glowing Sea (courtesy of the Great War).
    • MacCready at one point couldn't resist quipping "Tunnel Snakes Rule!", mentioning how he heard quite a bit of it back in the Capital Wasteland.
    • Cherry Nuka-Cola from Fallout Tactics (which was loathed by consumers in-universe) makes a return in this game, as Nuka-Cherry, where it is actually loved in the Commonwealth and New England.
    • The Wattz Consumer Electronics building is one to Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas. Wattz Electronics made the laser weapons from 1 and 2, as well as the cattleprods and handheld radios.
    • Nuka-World adds a squirt gun that shoots acid.
    • Nuka-World brings back Nuka Cola Quartz and Nuka Cola Victory, both of which last appeared in New Vegas.
    • The quest "Taking Independence" refers back to the similarly named "Stealing Independence" from Fallout 3.
    • A "Fusion Pulse Charge" is used to help destroy the Institute's main reactor in 3 endings. Another previously appeared in Fallout 3 for an equally destructive purpose — the detonation of Megaton's nuclear bomb.
    • Near some gravestones at the Museum of Witchcraft, one can find a hollowed out rock, containing a note, along with a weapon and supplies. The note itself is from someone known only as "S" to another person named "E". In the note, "S" regrets missing "E" in Megaton, and mentions that it looks like history is repeating itself. This is a Call-Back to the hollowed out rock south of Megaton, in Fallout 3 - which also includes a weapon, supplies, and a holotape titled "As Requested" - also by "S" and addressed to "E".
  • Caltrops: These were added to the crafting recipes in Far Harbor. The vanilla version is very cheap to make and does minor damage while the poisoned version is a bit more powerful and useful.
  • The Cameo:
    • The voice of Ron Perlman, who served as the narrator in previous Fallout games, appears in the prologue of the game as a newscaster on the day of the Great War. He even gets to say his famous "War never changes." line.
    • Shinji Mikami, known for directing God Hand, Vanquish, several Resident Evil games, and the Bethesda-published The Evil Within, voices robot vendor Takahashi's single line.
  • Cane Fu: Walking Canes are one of the new weapons players can find in Boston. They generally suck compared to most other melee weapons, but find a legendary one and slap a few mods on it and it can be a decently powerful weapon, especially during the early game.
  • Canine Companion: In series tradition, you can recruit a dog party member named Dogmeat. He's the only one that's unfailingly loyal (in the base game, at least).
  • Cap: In the settlement areas, there is a limit to how many things you can build. Once you reach the cap, the game won't let you build anything else in the settlement unless you remove something else first, including yellow-highlighted materials that for the most part are only useful as scrap, such as destroyed cars. For PC players, there are mods out there which lets you raise said cap, but be warned that putting too many things in a small area can slow the game down when in that area on lower performance PCs. There is also a bug working on both console and PC, where placing weapons in the workbench during the construction mode will effectively increase the cap.
  • Central Theme: This is primarily related to the companion stories, but shows up in the faction quests and the main quest, too. It's "Letting the Past Define You" (which can be seen as an evolution of New Vegas' Central Theme being to begin again and let go of the past). All of the companions are either struggling to reinvent themselves, traumatized by their past, working through some serious baggage from their past, or some combination of the above. The sole exception being X6-88, who is just a slave of Father. Additionally, this theme ties into the Sole Survivor having defined themselves as a parent, spouse, and Pre-War soldier/lawyer (professions which no longer exist) versus the fact they must build new lives in the Wasteland without those prospects. They can either try to recapture the past by becoming a soldier in the Brotherhood of Steel, aligning with the Institute to be with Shaun, joining the Railroad to seek justice for the oppressed, or leading the Minutemen into forming what the Pre-War U.S. should've been, or struggle to build a new life on their own. The fact that Shaun is about sixty-years-old and your spouse is long-dead means that the past is impossible to recapture, even if you can try with Synth Shaun or symbolically marrying a new companion with your Tragic Keepsake wedding ring.
    • A secondary running theme is trying to decide who or what makes up human civilization in 23rd Century post-apocalyptic America, which is populated by a scant handful of "pure" humans, irradiated humans, mutants (both Super and not), Ghouls, robots/A.I.s, and Synths — all of whom have to try and live together. Unfortunately, some think they're better than others.
    • Generally speaking, Fallout 4's main theme seems to be about examining how people let loss alter their identity in countless different ways. Everyone in the Commonwealth - with special focus given to the Sole Survivor, their companions and the main factions - have lost either something or someone important in their life, and now they are struggling to reinvent themselves with a new identity while coming to terms with that previous loss.
    • The main theme of the Far Harbor DLC is suspicion and secrecy - Everyone on the Island has their own Hidden Depths and Dark And Troubled Pasts, and the Sole Survivor can decide to either force the truth into the light or accept the lies while letting the truth fade away into the Fog.
    • Nuka-World's main theme is hedonism, with the three different Raider gangs representing indulging one's vices to the fullest extent in different ways - The Disciples indulge their bloodlust, the Pack indulge their pride and domination over others, and the Operators indulge their greed. It's also likely not a coincidence that the DLC is set in the ruins of a massive theme park that was practically a monument to the hyper-capitalist & over-consumption-based hellhole that Pre-War America really was.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In a sense, Codsworth's explanation of what he had been doing for the past 210 years while waiting for someone to emerge from Vault 111. At first, his dialogue is darkly hilarious, what with him shouting about the futility of trying to get radioactive fallout out of vinyl wood. However, getting into later conversations with Codsworth has him reflect far more seriously on the intervening decades, with him then mentioning to the Sole Survivor about how he's seen countless people get torn apart by the Wastes or resort to horrific means to survive, and how utterly impressed he is by the Sole Survivor for them staying a good person.
  • Charged Attack:
    • Weapons like the Gauss Rifle and Junk Jet can be overcharged by holding down the trigger, whereupon their next attack will do additional damage. Since weapon repair is not an issue in this game, you can overclock your weapons as much as you like.
    • The Laser Musket can only hold one shot before it needs to be re-cranked, but that doesn't mean you can't make the single shot much stronger by cranking it again. By default, you can add an additional charge to a standard musket, and mods allow you to upgrade it to holding six charges at once. Combine it with a long range scope, and you've got an extremely powerful — if slow to charge — laser sniper in your hands.
  • The Chessmaster: The Sole Survivor can become an evil one by allying with the Minutemen and establishing dozens of thriving outposts all over the Commonwealth, then using them (or some other faction) to deal with the Big Bad... and then conquering all those juicy settlements for the Nuka-World Raiders to extort the terrified settlers for ludicrous amounts of money far in excess of anything the player could rake in as a Minuteman.
  • Chewing the Scenery:
    • The Sole Survivor can play up the part of the Silver Shroud if they take the quest of the same name. The finale of the quest itself allows you to really get into character, so much that you terrify a bunch of raiders who think you're the real deal.
    • Captain Ironsides can do this from time to time as well, such as claiming they're slightly closer to sea after their ship leaves one building, only to then ram into a highrise in the downtown Boston area if you helped them fix the rocketship up.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: Just like in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, the Bloody Mess perk makes your enemies explode when you kill them. This game gets a little creative by localizing the mess to whatever part of the body that you hit. For example, smashing a Raider with a sledgehammer, exploding his head and body so only his limbs remain. An upgrade to Bloody Mess now allows the shrapnel of the exploded enemy to explode other nearby enemies, too!
  • City Noir: Goodneighbor, where Scollay Square is located, is dark and rainy. There's also Nick Valentine, a Synth Hardboiled Detective, who comes with a trenchcoat and a revolver.
  • Cliché Storm:
  • *Click* Hello: Albeit without the click; the Charisma 10 perk "Intimidation" basically lets you take take a page out of the Payday crew's book and lets you to pacify any human target below your level simply by pointing your gun at them. Higher ranks of the perk allows you to give them commands.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Invoked in Vault 95. The residents were all addicts put on a five-year rehabilitation plan, whereupon a massive supply of every kind of chem was revealed. They promptly did one of three things: grab part of the stash and fatally overdose, start fighting over it, or resist and hide as long as they could until despair and loneliness drove them give in. The entire Vault population was wiped out.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Weapon bashing humanoid enemies in 3rd person cam allows you to pull this yourself by sometimes performing a grappling move instead. Sometimes, all you do is kick or push the enemy away. Others, you kick their feet out beneath them, pick them up and drop them, or punch them a couple times before clotheslining them. There, now you have a defenseless opponent.
  • Commonplace Rare: Certain crafting materials are this:
    • Adhesive. All of your weapon and armor mods require it; hell, it's the first part on the list. While you could go through the trouble of scrounging for every bottle of wonderglue and every roll of duct tape left in the Commonwealth, it's just easier to just buy up (or grow) the right veggies (corn, mutfruit, and tatos) to mass-produce vegetable starch at a Cooking Station. (Vegetable Starch breaks down into 5 units of Adhesive.) If you're impatient, you can also buy big shipments of it from many traders, though it costs a fortune.
    • Aluminum. Large quantities are required to repair more advanced models of power armor and to create power armor mods. If you're a frequent user of power armor, you'll be grabbing every single aluminum can and alarm clock you can find.
    • Screws. All kinds of weapon mods need them, some settlement adjustments need a lot. What makes it worse is that tons of junk items that should logically contain plenty of screws yield none at all. You'll quickly find yourself scanning each office area for desk fans, typewriters and other relatively heavy junk items just for the one or two screws within. The Scrapper perk exists specifically to address this problem, which you really should take before scrapping armor and weapons.
    • Oil has a similar problem. Luckily, you can make it yourself at the chem station, though you'll among other things need bones and acid, which are both not that easy to come by themselves.
    • Chances are, with the exception of steel and wood, you'll be hurting for every type of crafting component at least once in any given play through if not repeatedly. And even those two, while seemingly abundant, can run out pretty fast if you decide to build a major settlment structure, since building floors and walls can use it up again quickly.
  • Competitive Balance: Between pistol-type and rifle-type weapons. Pistol-type weapons tend to have better "from the hip" accuracy (read; aiming with the crosshairs instead of using the aiming sights), a higher rate of fire, and better recoil than rifle-type weapons, in exchange for lower damage, accuracy, and range. The result is that two otherwise identical weapons behave very differently depending on if they're in a pistol or rifle configuration; pistols give you a more fast-paced gameplay where you can rapidly fire at enemies in real time, while rifles are better for slower-paced fights where you have time to aim and line up your shots to make them count.
  • Confusion Fu: Feral Ghouls are dangerous because you can't predict when they'll suddenly break into a run and charge you. They often wait longer than they need to before going on the attack, which can be annoying to melee players trying to knock them down quickly.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted, at least early in the game. If you get caught in the open with no cover to hide behind for multiple ranged attackers, or can get easily surrounded by melee enemies, such as in a small room or a really narrow hallway, you can die pretty quickly. Once you've upgraded your gear and have decent perks, then it can be played somewhat straight against anything other than Elite Mook encounters.
    • Then there's Preston Garvey's team-up perk, which increases your damage and defense when mobbed by three or more enemies, enforcing this trope.
  • The Conspiracy: The Institute rules the Commonwealth through proxies and Synth agents who operate behind the scenes. They do not take a direct hand in controlling events but make sure any threats to their power are neutralized before they get anywhere near them. They also have a nasty habit of removing any Pre-War tech by sending in an army of synths to destroy it and massacre any people there before anyone knows what they've found.
  • Continuity Nod: The Brotherhood having a Cool Airship is one to the opening of Fallout Tactics, where the Brotherhood sends members with undesirable opinions east in them to hunt Super Mutants. In fact, Lancer Captain Kells even mentions that they had less advanced airships built in the past but was unsure of their fate, a nod to the Broad Strokes canon of Tactics.
    • Kellogg's memories reveal that he was a former citizen of the NCR and ran security for the Shi.
    • The baby's crib mobile plays the same tune that was played for the infant protagonist of Fallout 3. On a dresser nearby is a baby book, "You're SPECIAL!", the book you selected your stats from in Fallout 3. Even better, picking up that book 210 years later gives you one free point in any stat up to 10.
    • The Children of Atom, who were last seen in Fallout 3, make a return, having expanded far beyond the Capital Wasteland.
    • Also coming back from Fallout 3? LIBERTY PRIME!
    • It's also revealed that Dunwich Borers, the same folks behind the infamous Dunwich Building in the Capital Wasteland, had a branch in Boston.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel is led by a now-adult Arthur Maxson, previously seen as the young ward of Elder Lyons in Fallout 3.
    • On the topic of now-grown characters, one of the companions is MacCready, a.k.a. Mayor MacCready of Little Lamplight. One of his random comments is "Tunnel Snakes Rule" which he says he heard somewhere and it felt appropriate, implying Butch never made the Tunnel Snakes amount to much.
    • Another one to Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel. Cherry Nuka-Cola wasn't much of a commercial success, and general opinion was that it was fairly mediocre. Apparently, Cherry Nuka-Cola is actually liked in The Commonwealth. Also serves as a callback to New Vegas, where Sunset Sarsaparilla is immensely popular in the Mojave, but was a commercial failure on the East Coast.
    • The Institute is in many ways what Big MT from Old World Blues would be like if the Think Tank got their act together and weren't a bunch of insane lunatics. Which, echoing Dr. Mobius's warnings, makes the Institute even more dangerous.
    • One of the skill magazines, an issue of Astoundingly Awesome Tales, is advertised to be about a man falling in love with his own brain. The Courier can attempt to seduce their own brain if they have the right perk in New Vegas.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel now has an attitude extremely similar (if not identical) to the Midwestern one. While Arthur Maxson himself is mentioned as being made Elder by the original West Coast ones back in the Lost Hills, who haven't been seen since Fallout 2.
    • The family TV in the Pre-War prologue will occasionally play some of the Retraux viral commercials for Fallout 3 before returning to the news broadcast.
    • Similar to the Boomers in New Vegas, the Minutemen can gain access to some heavy ordinance in the form of WW2-style artillery. Which they can use to shell the Brotherhood and Institute.
    • The terminal files of Vault 75 mention Dr. Stanislaus Braun from Fallout 3 as one of the pioneers behind that vault's particular project. Sounds about right. He's also frequently mentioned by Overseer Valery Barstow in the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC, with him even having added some personal remarks onto the research notes for the Vault's experiments.
    • The S.A.F.E. test administered to visitors of Covenant is actually the G.O.A.T. from Fallout 3.
    • A Pre-War newspaper discusses the fact that the U.S. President had evacuated the White House prior to the nuclear strikes and fled to a Poseidon Energy oil platform off the California coast, which is where the Chosen One would encounter the Enclave during Fallout 2. It's also a nod to Chris Avellone's Broad Strokes Universe Bible for the series, which included this event in its timeline.
    • Deacon claims to have won the override codes of Robert House in a poker game. However, he tries to use them on a Mr. Handy, forgetting that those codes only work for RobCo robots and not General Atomics.
    • The Automatron DLC brings back The Mechanist, who still has a love of ridiculously dramatic doors even if its not the same guy from Fallout 3. Also. the history of the Robobrain namely, brains of criminals being forcibly extracted for them closely mirrors the history given out by Fallout 1 lead designer Chris Taylor in an old interview, plus the info given in J.E. Sawyer's tabletop RPG.
    • The Nuka-World DLC states that Nuka-Cola Wild was created to compete with Sunset Sarsaparilla after the Nuka-Cola Corporation failed to buy out the rival drink. Likewise, Vim! Pop in Far Harbor is in a similar niche to Sunset Sarsparilla in the previous game, what with it being a regional alternative to the more common Nuka-Cola.
    • A Robobrain in Maine built from a former actress is still upset about losing a role to Vera Keyes, who has by this point been dead in the Sierra Madre Casino for 210 years.
  • Continuity Snarl: The presence of X-01 Power Armor in Nuka World contradicts Fallout lore. The X-01 is essentially the Enclave's Advanced Power Armor in all but name and was explicitly constructed long after the Great War. Even the loading screens emphasize that fact, so the presence in Nuka World (along with the Pre-Great War history behind the suit) contradicts established canon.
    • A bigger snarl is the T-60 suits and how they are depicted in game. Previous lore had the T-51 as the pinnacle of power armor in use by the U.S. military, but in Fallout 4 the T-60 is shown to have been even more advanced and in large deployment, starting to phase out the "outdated" T-51 soon after the Anchorage Reclamation. Previous lore stated that the T-51 suits were only finished and deployed a little over a year before the bombs fell, while the T-45s were states as being the models used during Anchorage Reclamation. In Fallout 4, it's shown that the T-60s were used by National Guard units to enforce martial law. Also, the suits are abundant enough that the Brotherhood of Steel is able to field a small army of them, as well as the Atom Cats having enough of them to arm their small group. Overall, the T-60 is shown to be the most commonplace model of power armor in the Commonwealth (and implied to be the most common in the Capital Wasteland as of Fallout 4) where as previously they did not even exist. It is possible that the BoS found a cache of T-60 armor and decided to manufacture that in place of the T-45 that they were using before, since Danse does say they can manufacture more power armor, now.
    • Power Armor in general is this. Before, power armor pieces were not compatible with other models, each type being a ground up build. Now all Power Armors use a universal powered exoskeleton. The way they are powered is also retconned, as older fluff had the suits powered by Electron Charge Packs and only the T-45s were known to be power hogs. Now all suits use Fusion Cores and consume the same amount of power, thanks to the universal frame.
    • A log in a vault seems to imply that Jet is a pre-War invention, which contradicts the fact that Myron invented it in Fallout 2. While Fallout 2 also had contradictions regarding when Jet was invented, it never went as far as implying it was completely pre-War, and Avellone expressed that contradiction was completely non-canon, confirming that Myron was the intended inventor of Jet.
  • Controllable Helplessness: When you first get awakened in your cryo-pod, you can do nothing except move the camera around and watch the events before you unfold.
  • Cool Airship: The Brotherhood of Steel has a Zeppelin-esque airship dubbed the Prydwen. note  It took four years to gather the materials and another four to make it.
  • Cool Car: The Pre-War flashbacks show retro-futuristic cars. Previous Fallout lore establishes that they are nuclear powered.
  • Cool Plane: You can fly around in Vertibirds and shoot enemies with the minigun on the side.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: You can lead futuristic knights with an American Humongous Mecha into battle against a cabal of evil scientists with their own army of Terminators, or vice versa. Or, you can smack down both factions with your own army of American revolutionaries with wind-up laser muskets and old howitzers, possibly teaming up with a secret spy agency-style Underground Railroad organization in the process.
  • Cope by Pretending: Codsworth, when you first find him after leaving the vault, acts as if nothing at all is wrong. After talking to him some you can ask if everything is alright with him, at which point he breaks down telling you how he's tried to keep up the house despite all of the large problems.
  • Crapsaccharine World:
    • In keeping with franchise tradition, the Pre-War era is shown as a bright, vibrant, 1950s-esque period, where everything is seemingly perfect and normal. Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the series' backstory knows this isn't the case. Even if a nuclear war hadn't erupted, civilization was still going to collapse anyways thanks to the new plague and a world-wide oil shortage. Not to mention the near constant rioting, martial law, and general corruption of every facet of society, as well as the Enclave's original plans of leaving Earth behind. The United States and China were among just a handful of nations who even still existed — the European Commonwealth and the nation-states of the Middle East were just straight-up gone, having either collapsed into anarchy or blown themselves up years before the bombs fell.
      • Despite this, the trope is Deconstructed as the depiction of the Pre-War era includes people who were genuinely happy, interracially mixed, and possessed women in high-powered positions like law. It seemed the perpetual 1950s and fascist government didn't keep people from living their lives and improving society in small ways.
    • The Institute is this. It's a Raygun Gothic paradise on the surface, looking a bit like Mass Effect's Citadel. Everyone is devoted to studying science, chemistry, and using their knowledge for the betterment of mankind. The Synths wandering around are mostly fawning and subservient... and utterly terrified. Inhabitants frequently make comments which indicate the Synths flee or behave in manners which show their intelligence, yet aside from a few Internal Reformists, they get dismissed brutally. The Institute also dabbles in darker pursuits, as shown by a hidden FEV lab, stocked by kidnapped Wastelanders experimented on only For Science!.
      • Their technological superiority also does not make them nearly as powerful as they claim. They do have an enormous edge in bioscience, being able to essentially build biological Synths from scratch, all of whom are superior to baseline humans in every way. They also have the edge in the exotic sciences, developing teleportation, which is unlike anything seen even before the Great War. They also have developed an advanced hydroponics system that can comfortably feed at least a few hundred people, and have the best medical treatment on the entire East Coast. Where their tech falls down, however, is in the all-around inferiority of their laser weapons and their lack of Power Armor which is a proven battlefield asset as demonstrated by the Brotherhood. Also, their initially inadequate power supply forces them to be too conservative to make bolder strides. These inadequacies mean they lag behind the Brotherhood of Steel in terms of military force and general ability to act in the Commonwealth.
      • In fact, when comparing the Institute to their closest counterpart in the Fallout Verse — the Think Tank — the Institute only comes across as more dangerous than them in the sense that the Think Tank are just a bunch of Lethal Joke Characters stuck in Creative Sterility that would just annihilate the entire Mojave Wasteland virtually on accident if they ever got out of the Big Empty. Meanwhile, the Institute may not be as incredibly powerful as "the gods of the Big Empty" (as Ulysses aptly put), but they're far more dangerous by being actually sane, able to actually create new things and not just destroy, and thusly have been able to control the entire Commonwealth for roughly 60 years while actively guiding it towards the world they want to build.
  • Crapsack World: The Commonwealth, albeit to a slightly lesser degree than the Capital Wasteland in Fallout 3 or the Mojave Wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas.
    • There are constant radiation storms blowing in from the radioactive crater to the south. The water in the rivers and lakes is still highly radioactive, although you can become resistant to it. Any form of meat is radioactive unless you roast it into something that won't slowly kill you. All seed crops are also radioactive until cooked in some way.
    • The Commonwealth is full of hyper-aggressive hostile mutated creatures, from Mole Rats to Feral Ghouls, to Deathclaws who will all try to rip your face off on sight.
    • The vast majority of communities are composed of Raiders, trigger-happy mercs, and Super Mutants — each and every one of which will try to shoot you on sight. Creating your own peaceful settlements as a sanctuary from the hell outside will attract constant raiding parties from all of the above.
    • Despite being seen as the Commonwealth's largest and most luxurious surface settlement, Diamond City is really closer to Megaton than it is to New Vegas on the scale of living standards. Its citizens still live in makeshift metal shacks built on top of the stands instead of the largely intact buildings outside. There's a school, a bar and a church, but these are the height of the luxuries on offer, and dredging the city water supply for garbage still yields the occasional human skull. The city appears at first glance to be safe from destruction despite the constant battle outside between its guards and the Raiders/Mutants, but this is a subversion; Diamond City once had a gaping hole in its defensive wall covered by nothing more than a bookcase until Piper Wright published an article about the danger to spur action to fix it. Generally, the city itself is much more vulnerable than its people or mayor are ready to admit.
    • The two largest factions both want to improve the Commonwealth in their own way, but both sides believe incredibly cruel methods including systematic oppression, terrorism, slavery (in the case of the Institute) and even genocide (in the case of the Brotherhood) are needed to make it happen.
    • The Island in Far Harbor is a Crapsack World all on its own. A constant radioactive Fog that had driven people insane blankets most of the Island and probably all of it, if the Fog Condensers hadn't been made to protect them from the other... inhabitants.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • The Hazmat Suit gives an impressive +1000 to radiation resistance and an additional hidden effect that further multiplicatively reduces radiation down to negligible, reducing all forms of radiation short of direct consumption to minimum. It outperforms even the heavy metal N-B-C protections and sealants on a full suit of power armor in terms of radiation shielding. It's indispensable in the Glowing Sea, which is pretty much radiation personified. It also has no ballistic or energy defense whatsoever, can't be modded, and is a full-body outfit, meaning it can't be worn with anything else. And considering the creatures that call the Glowing Sea home (Deathclaws, Stingwings, Radscorpions and other Demonic Spiders), you're really better off climbing into your Power Armor.
    • Metal armor has the highest ballistic damage resistance of all the normal armor types. It also has abysmal energy resistance in a game where anywhere from a third to half the things shooting at you have some sort of energy weapon. In addition, it's the heaviest type.
    • Radiation weapons and radiation damage in general. All mutants (animal and humanoid), robots, and ghouls are immune (the latter are actually healed by it). Furthermore, enemies in Powered Armor are also very resistant to radiation. The only ones vulnerable are normal humans and dogs. This isn't so bad if the radiation damage is a mod to a ballistic or laser weapon, but straight radiation weapons like the Gamma Gun are highly situational.
    • On the level of factions, both the Institute and Brotherhood of Steel come across as this.
  • Critical Hit: Back as usual, but now a sort of Limit Break instead of something that happens by chance: attacks in V.A.T.S. fill up a Critical gauge which you activate at will, also in V.A.T.S. They also now have the very nice effect of always hitting. The Critical Banker Luck perk even allows you to store/stack critical hits for later.
  • Critical Hit Class: Many of the Luck Perks can make a build like this. Critical Banker allows you to store up to four Critical Hits, the final rank of Grim Reaper's Sprint replenishes Critical meter when it triggers, Four Leaf Clover can randomly build the critical meter just by hitting enemies, and Better Criticals makes the criticals hurt even more. And while weapons don't have crit chance multipliers anymore, mods can increase crit damage and some legendary weapons deal extra crit damage, charge the crit gauge faster, or have special effects when they crit (like causing frenzy or freezing).
  • Critical Status Buff: A lot of items in the Far Harbor expansion (weapons, armor, and consumables) only work or work better when your health is low; either being based on how naturally low your health is, or how many rads you have.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Codsworth seems somewhat goofy and unworldly at first encounter- until he volunteers to help clean up Sanctuary for you, whips out a rotary saw and flamethrower, and curb-stomps some rad-roaches.
    Codsworth: I've got a circular saw with your name on it!!
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: While more lightly-applied than most examples, spurning a companion's romantic advances for good pretty much forces you to be a total asshole about it, because letting them down gently will only cause them to keep bringing it up over and over again. And you'll sometimes have to do it more than once.
  • Crutch Character: Codsworth is the second earliest companion you can recruit, and his buzz blade and flamer will make short work of the weak early-game enemies you'll be facing. However, as he can't be equipped with armor or weapons like your other companions, his power and defense Can't Catch Up. With the Automaton DLC, however, Codsworth can be upgraded into a far more powerful fighting machine.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The battle against Kellogg can become this. If you look around the building enough you'll come across the password to the fort's armory. Inside, along with relatively normal weapons and bullets, is the Fat-Man and a single shell. After talking to Kellogg you can back out the open door before the battle begins and fire the round at him as soon as he turns red ending the battle before it even begins.
    • As a testament to just how awesomely powerful the rebuilt Liberty Prime is, it's possible for the thing to come up against a Super Mutant Behemoth. If that happens, Prime will pick the Behemoth up, squeeze the abomination in its hands until it goes limp, and then casually toss its lifeless body aside like trash. Needless to say, in the face of such destructive power, the Institute fare little better.
    • If you decide to ignore the main quest and explore the Wasteland in the early game, you can easily wind up facing much more powerful enemies than you can deal with at a low level. On the flip side, if you've already leveled up a few times before going to Concord, some of the early Minutemen quests can become Curb Stomp Battles in your favor. (For instance, showing up to the Museum of Freedom with much better Power Armor and Heavy Weapons than you can find on the roof, then mowing down all the Raiders and the Deathclaw with relative ease.)
    • If you get a little luck with the Legendary drops and go hard for the weapon mod perks early, you can turn what should be a trip to the last save point into a case of turning this trope on its head. Shooting a Deathclaw in its tender underbelly when you're barely leveled beyond the point where you fight the one in Concord is one of the game's most satisfying payoffs.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Applies to both Fallout 3 endings (with or without expansions). Terminal logs in the Prydwen mention that Sarah Lyons was killed in battle soon after the death of her father, meaning that she survived the battle to retake the Purifier. Also, with the presence of the Eastern branch of the Brotherhood of Steel, it was obvious that the Lone Wanderer used Bradley-Hercules to destroy the Enclave's Mobile Base Crawler at Adams Air Force Base instead of betraying the Brotherhood by firing the remaining missile salvos at the Citadel. The Prydwen is even mentioned as being built at Adams Air Force Base, and at least partially from parts scavenged from the Mobile Base Crawler.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: You find these things all over the place. They may or may not activate in your presence. You can't pick them up, but you can bash/shoot their heads off. Some have even been rigged up as trap triggers.
  • Cyborg: Third generation Synths seem to be this in some form or other; most Coursers sport unemotional personalities, but Gen 3s having DNA and being indistinguishable from humans is mentioned more than once. Kellogg is also explicitly a cyborg, with one of his parts playing a significant role in the main story. This functions to prolong his life, distorting the Sole Survivor's perception of how long ago Shaun was kidnapped.
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