Fallout 4 by Bethesda is a huge game, in particular if you play it on Survival mode. In Fallout 4 Survival Mode, fast travel is disabled and the total weight you can carry is severely limited. Everywhere you want to go, you’ll have to go there the old-fashioned way: on foot (or in a Vertibird, when you’ve unlocked that possibility). Also, since Fallout 4 is the item collector’s dream, everything can be taken and everything is useful. So, inventory management is king.
A few tips for those struggling with inventory management on Fallout 4’s survival mode:
1. Pick the right companion
There are a bunch of people (and robots) available to be your travelling companion in Fallout 4. Problem is, you can only take one of them along at any time. However, you can also opt to travel alone, and in that case the Lone Wanderer perk is useful. This perk allows you to carry an additional 50 pounds of equipment with you. But be warned: you can’t even take Dogmeat along, since he also counts as a companion. In the end, 50 pounds is really not a lot compared to what some companions can carry for you.
The Lone Wanderer perk has four levels, but only the first two increase your carry weight, to a maximum of an extra 100 pounds at level two. Be aware that increasing the perk level over two does not increase your carry weight any more.
As for the companions, ordinary humans and robots can carry just about what you can carry yourself (at a strength level of 7 or so). I can usually offload my entire store of armor, weapons and junk load at least once onto a companion, which is really much more than the 100 pounds of extra carry weight that the Lone Wanderer perk bestows. However, the most advantage is brought by robot companions.
As soon as you’re level 15 and have followed Ada’s distress signal, you’ll unlock the Robot Workbench which allows you to build custom robots. Use this to build a custom Automatron and see your total carry weight go through the roof! The Automatron can carry about three times the weight that you can carry yourself, letting you loot entire buildings in a single trip! Still, you don’t have to build a custom robot to get this bonus. You can also modify Codsworth or Ada or any other robot companion at the Robot Workbench and give them new legs to boost their carrying capacity (and some serious guns while you’re at it).
Using robot companions has another advantage. What I normally do when I arrive at home base is talk to my companion and use the available shortcut go get everything their carrying so I can store it in containers at my base. For human companions, this unfortunately means that you’ll also remove and custom armor and weapons you’ve given them to wear, making the shortcut useless. You’ll need to click every single item to transfer it to your own inventory in order to avoid accidentally removing their own items. With robots, this is not so, since their guns are modifications that do not show up in their inventory.
2. Sort into different containers
If you’re a micromanagement crazy like me, you’ll want to use the armor pieces and guns that you find to equip the settlers that live in your Minuteman settlements. I started out following Fallout 4’s own classification system by storing all armor in one container, all guns in another and so on. However, the sorting system in Fallout 4 is flawed. Prefixes like “Sturdy” or “Leaded” cause armor pieces to appear in unexpected places in the alphabetical list. When you’re looking for combat armor pieces to create a set to give to a settler, you’ll need to scroll through your entire list of armor (which will soon run into the hundreds of items). But it can’t be helped.
What I ended up doing is creating containers for raider armor, leather armor, combat armor etc. and separate the pieces into that. That way, I can properly see how much combat armor I have and give it to my settlers.
3. Use supply lines
You can’t live without supply lines. When you establish supply lines between Minuteman settlements, all junk that you’ve stored in the settlement workbenches is shared between them, so that you don’t have to haul junk from one place to the other. This is very important, because it will save you hundreds of trips. All of your settlements should be connected to each other with supply lines. In order to do this, you’ll have to have at least two settlements and the Local Leader perk.
To set up a supply line, go to one of your settlements and go into settlement build mode. Then face a settler and select the option Create Supply Line. The game will ask you which settlement you want to connect to. Note that this means you’ll have one less settler to do useful work in your settlement, but since your settlements will eventually fill up with plenty of them, it’s not a problem.
There’s a caveat though: the settler (the “provisioner”) you assigned to the supply line will now start travelling between settlements, dragging a pack Brahmin along. This makes him vulnerable to raiders on the road. It’s best, therefore, to equip the provisioner with decent armor and weapons before setting up the supply line. If you forget, you’ll need to wait until he appears at one of the two connected settlements and give him his equipment then.