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Learn what's SPECIAL about Fallout 4

Fallout 4 has arrived. Set around Boston, Massachusetts, it puts you in the role of the sole survivor of Vault 111 in what promises to be the best-looking and immersive Fallout episode yet.

For the best Fallout 4 experience you're going to want to play on PC. If you’re looking to build a PC system for Fallout 4 today, or to upgrade an older rig for the best possible performance with 60 FPS gameplay, NVIDIA recommends that you have a GeForce GTX 970 or GTX 980 Ti. Check out NVIDIA’s full recommended specs.

But beyond the visual side of things there's much more to look forward to in Fallout 4, including building your own unique character with his or her own set of individual attributes. Like previous Fallout games, it uses the SPECIAL system to manage attributes, each of which can then lead on to earning further abilities or perks. What's SPECIAL all about? Find out from these informative videos.


Life in the wasteland is harsh and supplies are scarce, so a good helping of strength can pay dividends. The stronger you are, the more you can carry, although if you get overloaded you won't be able to move as fast, and extra strength also means that you're better at handling melee weapons and using your fists. Very useful if you find yourself in a tight corner with no ammunition.


If you want to succeed in combat, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S., which enables you to target body parts with ease and know which bit you have the best chance of hitting. And to further tip the odds in your favor, with perception powered up you'll become more accurate with V.A.T.S. Perception's also useful for assessing the locals when you roll into town, and ensuring that when you try to steal something, you'll be less likely to get caught.


In a world ravaged by radiation, simply staying alive is a struggle, but you can make it less so by loading up your endurance. It makes you more resistant to radiation and injury, and it also makes it easier to keep your strength up by enabling you to eat a wider range of food, even if it's not especially palatable. Endurance is also helpful if you need to make a quick getaway; you'll be able to sprint for longer without flagging and getting your face chewed off by that super mutant.


You may be the Sole Survivor, but to get anywhere in Fallout 4 you're going to need the help of people you meet along the way, or at least you'll need to be able to convince them not to shoot you on sight. It's a distrustful place, and charisma's a great way to earn people's trust. You'll find it helpful in bartering and negotiating, and it even works with animals; perfect for making sure your canine companion Dogmeat does what he's told.


Strength and endurance and the like are all very well, but they're not going to be much help getting you through a locked door unless you plan to try and punch your way through it. For cracking door codes without smashing your knuckles up, you'll need a portion of intelligence, and you can also use it to seriously increase your firepower. Upgrading your weapons is a big part of Fallout 4, and better modifications come with greater intelligence.


Another way to get more out of V.A.T.S. is by ramping up your agility stats. Instead of increasing your accuracy, it gives you more action points, enabling you to take more shots in a V.A.T.S. turn and even take down multiple enemies in one go. Agility is also helpful if you're keen to avoid combat. It makes you more effective at stealth maneuvers, and makes it easier to carry out sneak attacks.


Finally, a bit of luck can help when everything else fails. With your luck turned up things might turn your way in all manner of situations. You're more likely to stumble across excellent loot, pull off a critical hit in V.A.T.S. mode, and enemy shots might just ricochet back and hit them.

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