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Video Game / Sim Settlements 2

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The Wasteland is alive and (not) well...

Sims Settlements 2 (or SS2 in short) is a gameplay overhaul mod by Kinggath and his mod team, made for the video game Fallout 4. Released in 2020, Sim Settlements 2 is a sequel to the popular Fallout 4 mod Sim Settlements. This sequel is a technical overhaul of the original mod that introduces a new storyline through which the player learns the mod's mechanics.

In the mod’s storyline, the Sole Survivor works alongside Jake, who is bringing to the Commonwealth the gift of the ASAM. The ASAM Sensors automate building constructions, assisting the Sole Survivor in rebuilding the Commonwealth. As the Sole Survivor works with Jake to realize the ASAMs' full capabilities, the player learns more about Jake's past and contends with the varying factions standing against progress.

Gameplay-wise, Sim Settlements 2 takes the vanilla game's settlement system and expands it into a city-building simulator. Instead of constructing buildings piece-by-piece, players can zone plots that spawn pre-made building plans that settlers can interact with. From there, the player can expand settlements through the sub-systems, including building upgrades, dynamic needs, resource management, scavenging and caravan networking, recruitment of special settlers through side quests, and more.


Sim Settlements 2 is available for the PC and Xbox versions of Fallout 4 and can be downloaded from the Nexus or The mod’s official website is also available here.

Tropes Include:

  • Berserk Button: Jake is usually a level-headed man, but he loses his temper and yells at Aiden, who accuses Jake of getting a settlement killed by giving them ASAM Sensors and making them a Gunner target.
  • Cheat Code: The mod's included options include unlock options to unlock all of the plot types, building classes, and bulding plans, along with lowering the difficulty so that settlement building is a breeze.
  • Cliffhanger: On initial release, Sim Settlements 2 only had Chapter 1 of the main quest. Chapter 1 ends with the Sole Survivor arriving at Jake's place and finding it trashed, with Jake nowhere to be found. Afterward, a new quest begins with the name "The Disappearance of Jake Evans," which contains only a To Be Continued message and some pop-ups explaining what the player can do while they wait for Chapter 2.
    • Chapter 2 ends with the Gunners losing their HQ, but it's quickly revealed that another HQ in Province Bay is being used to stage a full-scale invasion of the Commonwealth.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Plot types are color-coded in Workshop Mode, through floating UI, and by their ASAM Sensor. The interface uses red for residential, blue for commercial, yellow for industrial, green for agricultural, grey for martial, orange for municipal, and purple for recreational.
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  • Command & Conquer Economy: In-universe, this is what the ASAMs are designed to invert by allowing ignorant, uneducated, or inexperienced citizens to build things themselves. The sensors scan the surrounding environment for useful materials and direct settlers to collect them and then explain how to build a structure. As Jake describes it, the instructions are so simple even a savage can follow them.
  • Due to the Dead: One Recreational class is the Cemetery, which lower the happiness penalty of settlers dying.
  • Enemy Mine: Depending on the player's choices and when they embark on it, it is possible to get support from the Minutemen, the Brotherhood, the Railroad and the Institute for the assault on Gunner Plaza thanks to just how much the Gunners have provoked everyone over the last ten years or so. It's tense, but your presence and the relatively short nature of the operation keeps things together until it is over and they can all go their separate ways. Another of your potential allies for much of the Chapter 2 storyline is Captain Algernon — a Gunner commander, albeit an old guard commander who disagrees with the direction Captain Wes has been taking them.
  • Exposition Fairy: Throughout Chapter 1, Jake walks both the player and the Sole Survivor through the main mechanics.
  • Fetch Quest: Sim Settlements 2 has a lot of quests that involve bringing specific items to the quest giver.
    • The main storyline have a lot of quest objectives where the Sole Survivor is Jake's hands on the field. This is most humorously implemented in "Memory Lane," where Jake promises to reveal his backstory in exchange for finding his screwdriver. This is likely a way for Jake to put off having to tell the Sole Survivor about his family.
    • In "Stashed Away," Carne Asada will join you as a settler if you retrieve his stash of chems from some raiders.
    • Deaf Nadine of "This Sister's Not With The Brotherhood" will only join your settlement if you fetch her some Brotherhood of Steel dog tags, to show that you're not a Brotherhood ally. Mercifully, you only have to bring her one set of dogtags, and you can always loot them off a corpse of a Brotherhood member killed by another party.
    • Early on, your only renewable source of ASAM units is through a group of Super Mutants, the leader of whom will only trade them for chalk (which he eats to calm his stomach). Chalk is surprisingly hard to find in the Commonwealth, meaning early expansion is dependent on scrounging for it until you find the ASAM schematics.
  • Foreshadowing: After you and Jake finish exploring Vault-Tec HQ and set out to meet the Ron, it becomes clear fairly quickly that the Gunners are the main antagonist of the mod.
    • During 'The Coolest Cat', the Sole Survivor encounters a pair of Gunners out in front of the Ron's office. If the player pickpockets them via the dialogue tree, they can acquire the duo's orders, which mention their target was spotted in Downtown Boston. Guess where you and Jake just were?
    • While doing work for Vault 81, one of your jobs will be to find a security patrol. While describing the mission, Deputy Overseer Mansfield mentions that mercenaries have been trying to interact with the vault. When you go to the patrol's last known location, you'll find the patrol has been killed by Gunners. Picking up the orders from their corpses reveals that they've been ordered to actively harass Vault 81, including blocking the water intake pipe that you had to clear out earlier.
  • Functional Addict: Gremlin of "Laser Love" confesses to being a chem addict when you first meet her, but is in her own words "a responsible junkie". Subsequent dialogue further highlights that she's probably on far too many chems, but in spite of this she's actually a competent engineer, and knows exactly what she's doing with all the dangerous tech she asks you to bring her.
    • On a similar note, Audra of 'Grey Matters' suffers from a mental condition that make her think too fast for her own body to handle, and has to take Jet to function normally, much to her brother Anton's chagrin.
  • Gameplay Automation: There is a customizable amount of randomization. This spans from letting the game choose a building plan for a plot to building an entire settlement through city plans.
  • Greyand Gray Morality: 'Grey Matters' involves assisting Anton in finding his sister and rescuing her from a raider gang run by Knox that's been drugging her with chems... according to Anton. As it turns out, she's living with a group of relatively harmless drifters (Knox is the only one with a gun), and has to take Jet to combat a mental illness. Anton wants his sister back and off Jet, not wanting his sister to be a junkie like their parents. Knox just wants to help Audra deal with her condition. There's no right or wrong answer, and whomever the Solve Survivor doesn't side with winds up dead while the survivor becomes a settler.
  • Holiday Mode: One addition to Sim Settlements 2 is dynamic holiday decorations on buildings and city plans. When it comes December in the game, expect many of the houses to look extra festive.
  • Hostage Situation: Early on, after helping Jake recapture his workshop and rescuing Preston and his group, a gang of raiders will abduct several of your new settlers and hold them hostage. Depending on your choices, you can bribe them into letting everyone go or get into a shoot-out.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every Commonwealth Police Department quest (excepting one optional quest which is miscellaneous and hence lacks an in-game name) has a three-word name where the first word starts with C, the second with P and the third with D — Calling Potential Deputies, Continued Professional Development, Catastrophe Prevention Drive, etc.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Quite a few of the oddities of the Commonwealth and the greater Fallout franchise are referenced, such as Jake commenting on how the Sole Survivor picks up everything that they see, or the extreme durability of most technology.
  • Justified Tutorial: Sim Settlements 2 introduces its mechanics mainly through its main questline. The player learns how to use the mod’s mechanics as Jake guides the Sole Survivor through how to use the ASAM Sensors.
  • Knowledge Broker: The Ron, whom can provide quests to find new settlers, as well as providing Jake with information regarding the ASA Ms.
  • Not in My Backyard!: Averted. Unlike SimCity games and its kin, the settlers don't care if you place a factory full of nuclear materials next to their house. Can't be picky in a wasteland.
  • Prolonged Video Game Sequel: On release, the story for Sim Settlement 2 exceeded the number of quests for Sim Settlements: Conquerer—and SS2 only released with Chapter 1.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: In "Who Can? ASAM!" the Sole Survivor meets a motley crew of wastelanders, which includes Stodge (a grouchy and wary ghoul), Hubert (a ditzy ex-Child of Atom who sometimes idly wonder why he suddenly smells), and Doc Shock (a Protectron medic). To boot, the settler who volunteered to be your diplomat for this bunch is Old Paul. You end up sending the crew to a settlement for a Justified Tutorial on city plans and mayor assignments. For mayor, you can choose Stodge, Old Paul, or even Hubertnote .
  • Refining Resources: Most buildings require food, water, caps, defense, or resources in order to continue operating. With industrial plots, in particular, more advanced classes often require specific resources from more basic buildings, especially the Advanced Industrial buildings.
  • The Remnant: This is stated to be what any Gunners encountered after End of the Beginning are — you took out their headquarters (and communications network with it), top leadership and much of their forces, ensuring an end to their ability to act as a Commonwealth-wide threat or even as a meaningfully coherent faction, but it will take time for units out on long-term missions and other bases to realise this, and even when they do that doesn't necessarily mean they'll abandon their identity as Gunners and loyalty to what's left of the faction. Not long after it turns out that the Gunners had an HQ outside the Commonwealth they rallied to, with a full-scale invasion of the Commonwealth now being readied.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: Buildings are constructed and upgraded in a matter of in-game hours. Justified, as the ASAMs' main point is that they automatically construct buildings. Characters marvel at how nifty these sensors are. There is also an option in the mod configuration menu to have the structures be constructed in slower and more realistic timeframes.
  • Scavenger World: Though the main Fallout timeframe is this, the RobCo ASAMs indicate that Pre-War America was becoming this due to resource scarcity. Industrial plots are designed to allow people to "legally" gather useful scrap, Agricultural plots are intended to let regular people grow their own food, and Residential plots allowed people to build their own homes. None of this would have been necessary if the world wasn't already falling apart even before the bombs fell, and the recordings from the ASAMs indicate that Pre-War city planners were using them and similar devices widely.
  • Shall I Repeat That?: Parodied with Deaf Nadine. A former NCR soldier who lost her hearing, she can misunderstand one of the Sole Survivor's responses and end up repeating much of her already-long-winded backstory.
  • Space Compression: Since Fallout 4 is spaced compressed, including in its settlements, almost every building is smaller than it would be if made realistically to match the shrunken-down settlement. However, this is alleviated by 3x3 plots, which allows for some more realistically-sized buildings.
  • Tech Tree: Throughout a playthrough, the player unlocks more building types and upgrades. Most of these are unlocked in a linear fashion; for instance, an upgraded organics material building is needed to unlock the rare materials building, which in turn must upgrade to unlock conversion. The mod's wiki provides a graphic of the tech tree.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor:
    • The Sole Survivor has full control over which plots are built and where. They can even dictate where settlers live, which job they work, and even which recreational buildings they frequent.
    • The player can assign a mayor to each settlement but in practice, the mayor merely grants some special effects to a settlement if they are a named NPC and occasionally type away at the City Planner's Desk. The player retains the real power behind settlements.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Where There's Smoke" is a turning point in the main questline, as the Gunners reveal themselves to be the mod's main antagonist faction and wage a gunfight with the Sole Survivor and Jake.
    • Right after, "Memory Lane" consists of Jake revealing much of his backstory, as he confesses to the Sole Survivor that he's in the Commonwealth to find his ex-wife and daughter.
    • The official website hides the name of the final quest of Chapter 1 as its real name, "The Disappearance of Jake Evans," gives away the chapter's ending.
    • By the standards of turns in the first chapter, over half of Chapter 2 is a series of these, every quest throwing in something that shakes up the status quo in significant ways. It doesn't calm down until "Moving Day" establishes a new baseline to last the rest of the chapter... only for the final quest of Chapter 2, Commonwealth Rising, to end on the reveal that the Gunners have a HQ outside the Commonwealth, in an area called Province Bay — and they are coming back to the Commonwealth with a full invasion force.
  • Worker Unit: Buildings are activated by assigning settlers to the lot. Like the original mod, plot assignments cause the building to become active. New to the sequel, the settlers' SPECIAL stats affect the output of some buildings and more advanced classes require a settler of a minimum stat. Each settler can be assigned to a home, a workplace, and a recreational plot that can increase their SPECIAL stats.
  • A World Half Full: A major theme of the mod is rebuilding the Commonwealth, rediscovering old knowledge, and bringing back civilization. Two of the new factions added to the world reflect this, one being a police force and the other being a network of doctors dedicated to treating diseases.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Buildings are constructed, upgraded, and maintained through resources. On lower difficulties, this requirement can be waved or consolidated into a single “scrap” component. On higher levels, the player must provide specific components based on the vanilla game’s components. These resources can come from industrial buildings, the Sole Survivor’s compulsive scavenging, or salvage teams that the Sole Survivor can call to cleared areas.