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Published on December 7th, 2015 | by KBMOD Community

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Fallout 4 – HGTV: Commonwealth Edition

Molly aka GoodVibes is a community member, Bethesda enthusiast, and variety Twitch streamer. If you haven’t already, give Molly a follow on twitter. Anyone can now submit content to the site by following the process at https://kbmod.com/contribute/ .

Struggling with designing a comforting and welcoming home for both you and your settlers in Fallout 4? Is everyone pissed that your settlement resembles a garage sale? I am in no way a certified interior designer but I love Fallout 4 and I’ve spent a good 70+ hours cleaning, re-arranging, and decorating the Commonwealth wasteland. So I hope to provide some insight to improve your wasteland decor knowledge and settler happiness, or at least make you think, “Well my shack looks better than hers and she thinks she knows what she’s talking about, friggin’ dingus. I must be doing something right.”

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There are many guides to reaching that 100% settler happiness goal for the Benevolent Leader achievement and, surprisingly enough, good decor plays a huge factor. Here’s the important stuff:

Food – Keep your settlers happy by having at least one “food” per inhabitant. Mutfruit is the most efficient crop to accomplish this with because it is the only crop that produces one “food,” while the rest only produce a half “food.” Remember to have someone assigned to farming each crop, as well; otherwise they will fall in disrepair from neglect and you’ll have to either repair or replace them. Each farmer you assign will automatically choose up to 6 crops to tend. So if you have 12 plants on your farm, you need 2 settlers assigned to the area. Don’t worry about assigning your farmers to 6 crops individually. Assign them to one so they take on the farming role and the AI will take care of finding any available crops that need tending.

Water – Similar to food, have at least one “water” per settlement inhabitant. Water doesn’t need any sort of settler assigned to it. Both the amounts of food and water can exceed the one unit per inhabitant ratio and should do so to maximize settlement happiness. The ratio is just the minimum before your neighbors start complaining.

Power – Getting a handle on how exactly to provide power to your town is a little tricky at first, but just keep in mind how many of your placed items require power and which ones simply need a pylon near them to be turned on. Items that need to be directly connected to your grid (made up of generators, copper wire, and pylons) will have an amount of power in their description and a node to connect a wire to, whereas items such as lights will simply have a lighting bolt with no amount. Lights need a power pylon near them to turn on and you can experiment with how large the radius around the pylon is and how far away from it you can place a light and it will still turn on. Lights can also be indoors with the pylon outside and they will still work. I tend to stay away from anything that gets any more complicated than that. The building switches and other power items tend to get a little buggy and finicky the more complex your projects get. But bugs and all I still love you, Bethesda.

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Defense – The more defense the better is usually the case to keeping your townsfolk cheery. The ratio to follow is one “defense” per settler PLUS your food and water amounts added together. So say you have 16 settlers, 20 plants, and 22 water in your stat bar in workshop mode. That means you would need 16+20+22=58 “defense”. Defense is usually pretty easy to build up, and it can get complicated but doesn’t need to be. I placed a bunch of automated turrets that don’t require power around the perimeter of my settlement and on rooftops and easily got over 70+ defense.

Beds – This is self-explanatory. Make sure you have enough beds for your population size and make sure they’re accessible. The amount of people your town can hold depends on your charisma. The default amount is 10 plus however many points you put into charisma. So if your Charisma is at 6, you can have a max of 16 settlers. Setting up a settler beacon obviously speeds up the process of attracting new citizens as well.

Size – This actually pertains to the number of objects in your settlement, not the amount of people. There is no given number as each settlement differs in work-able area. I’ve filled up Abernathy Farms with buildings, crops, furniture, etc and haven’t met this limit so I believe it’s fairly generous but the bar next to “size” is your indicator as to how much you’ve crammed into your boundary. There are ways to trick the system into thinking some objects don’t actually contribute to this amount but I’m sure some mod will come out that will allow you to manipulate and expand your boundaries and size in the future.

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Lastly, Happiness. This is a very involved stat. There are ways to build settler happiness quickly and non-aesthetically but I see no fun in that, unless you just want to get the job done. Luxury and expensive items are the key to building this stat. TVs, radios, top-tier barter shops, complex defense systems, lights, ample chairs, lots of decor, etc will all contribute to building a cheery atmosphere. Some of these things require perks such as Science and Local Leader. I got my farm’s happiness to 100 by just putting two points in the Local Leader perk, so you can still be frugal with your level-up spending. Also, believe it or not, your presence as mayor makes a huge difference in satisfaction. Just by sticking around and mingling with the peasants you’ll brighten their day. Leave for a while to quest and you’ll come back to a lowered happiness rating. It’s like they enjoy social interaction or something, ew.

Anyway, interior design is somewhat of an art and it comes natural to some people and other people have to take a more methodical, calculated approach to making their abodes aesthetically pleasing. I’m somewhere in the middle of that but here are some approaches I’ve found to be helpful:

  • Place floor coverings like rugs first. You can’t add rugs after you’ve filled a room with furniture but you can put as much junk on top of a rug that you’d like.
  • I place furniture in this order, always keeping in mind what I can fill space with later on: beds > chairs > tables > containers > various decorations. Placing a bed first or another large item gives the room a focal point and something to build the room around. You don’t want to fill a room with no set goal then come to find you have no room left or have forgotten to place a bed/sofa.
  • As far as decorations go, I place them in this order: large items (like vending machines) > plants > wall coverings (flags, paintings, etc) > lights.
  • Try to go with a theme when decorating a room. Maybe it’s a kitchen/dining area? Put up vending machines, a bar with stools, an Eat-O-Tronic, and some cabinets. Maybe it’s a suave bedroom? Use dark furniture and mountain/flower landscape paintings. Maybe it’s a room with a coastal flare? Use lighter, pastel colored furniture and lights, and use beach scene paintings. Maybe it has an industrial vibe? Use metal furniture, lots of trunks, and sparse decor, like a room you’d find on the Prydwen. If you like the miss-matched vibe of using all different types of furniture in one room, more power to you. I personally like having sets of chairs and couches that match each other in a room, as well as tables and cabinets that look like they could be a part of a set.
  • Be sure to hunt down and collect all 5 Picket Fence magazines, as well. They add some some items such as plants and better lighting that make great statements.
  • Lastly, keep your needs in mind when decorating. What do you have/want in your own house/room? A tv, bookcase, shelves, drawers, etc, all of which can be put into your Commonwealth home.

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Included are some pictures of rooms I’ve decorated in my own game that I don’t think are half bad. Maybe they’ll spark some creative thought for you. If you have questions about anything Fallout related, settlement or not, feel free to @ me on Twitter. I’d love to shoot the shit. I also occasionally do wasteland design streams on my Twitch channel as well.


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