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Anyone who has spent a lot of time in either Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, including myself, know that melee weaponry really isn’t the most viable option. In both of those games, firearms are the way to truly dominate the Wasteland, regardless of whether you’re into plasma rifles or 12-gauge shotguns.
Melee builds have gone under the radar ever since, even during the release of Fallout 4. Many people assume that melee builds in Fallout 4 are just as inefficient as they were previously, but I come bearing good news: melee builds are fantastic in Fallout 4.
Investing in a melee character in Fallout 3 for example would yield very unimpressive results. Bethesda Game Studios have luckily fixed this balancing issue and have designed Fallout 4 to have weapons, perks and strategies that will really deal out incredible power with DPS that is comparable to firearms. If you want to get a quick rundown on how to access the untapped potential of a Fallout 4 melee build then you have come to the right place.
How to Level your Character for a Fallout 4 Melee Build
The first thing you need to know is how to level your character right from the very beginning. Unsurprisingly, you want to have maxed out Strength in your SPECIAL stats but there’s a little more to it than that for having the most optimized build.
When customizing your character at the very beginning of the game you want to max out both Strength and Endurance to 9. Strength and Endurance cover your damage out and your HP/stamina points respectively. These will both be essential for having the highest DPS possible.
As an extra tip, feel free to use the SPECIAL Book inside Shaun’s crib to give yourself a 10th point in Strength if you plan on using Power Armor.
Next, you’ll want to put 2 points in Charisma, 2 points in Intelligence and 6 points in Luck. The extra Luck points are necessary for activating certain perks which will be very beneficial to a Strength/melee build.
The Best Perks for a Fallout 4 Melee Build
To really get the most out of your melee build you will need to know which perks will grant you the best bonuses for your specific play-style.
Idiot Savant is one of the most important perks for this build. It will give you more XP based on having a high Luck and low Intelligence, which you should have if you followed the steps in the previous section. At least two points should be in this perk but feel free to add more.
Iron Fist is essential if you plan on going for unarmed combat, but Big Leagues is essential if you plan on using melee weapons.
The Rooted perk will be excellent because you will deal extra damage when standing still (and yes, that includes while in VATS mode).
Bloody Mess is unsurprisingly essential as you’ll get a 15% damage boost overall.
Lone Wanderer will be another excellent perk to select as you will receive a 30% defense boost as well as a whopping 50% damage boost. Of course it will only be active when you have no companions (with the exception of the canine partner Dogmeat) but the benefits to damage and DPS outweigh the cons of having no traditional companions.
The Best Weaponry for Fallout 4 Melee Builds
Now comes the truly fun part of this article: deciding on which weapons you will use to smash the monstrosities of the Wasteland to complete smithereens.
The only true viable options for unarmed combat users will be the Furious Power Fist and the Deathclaw Gauntlet. The Furious Power Fist can be found on a behemoth located at the pond in the Boston Common. He is inside of a boat that you need to hit which will summon the behemoth. Kill him and you will earn your prize.
A Deathclaw Gauntlet can be found at the Museum of Witchcraft. You’ll need to kill the Deathclaw there, take its Pristine Deathclaw Egg item and bring it to the nearby nest, then you will receive your reward.
For melee weapons, you fortunately will have a lot more to choose from. A great early-game choice would be Grognak’s Axe which has solid staggering effects. You can find it over at Hubris Comics.
The Shishkebab is a returning item from older Fallout games and while it doesn’t scale as well as other weapons, its fire/plasma energy damage can come in handy. Find it at Finch Farm and do a quick side quest to receive is as a reward.
Kremvh’s Tooth is an amazing choice, not only because it is fast but mainly because it deals bleed and poison damage. Nab this brilliant weapon over at Dunwich Boers, though know ahead of time that it is guarded by many raiders.