The end days have arrived. The arrival of a new Bethesda game often signals an end to countless social lives, as hundreds of hours are hungrily gulped up by these broad and brilliant open-ended role-playing adventures. Fallout 4, Bethesda Game Studios' first game since 2011's Skyrim, and a follow-up to 2008's much-loved Fallout 3, is no exception. In offering a vast post-apocalyptic Boston with which to sculpt your own stories, this promises to be an epic like no other.
Boston's new, a destroyed future that's riddled with stories of America's grandiose past, and elsewhere Fallout 4 places a new emphasis on crafting and building your own homestead and community. With so much to take in, you'll perhaps want a guiding hand to help you through the wasteland, guide your through the biggest quest lines and lead you to the greatest loot. That's where our comprehensive guide - which we'll be updating over the coming weeks - will no doubt come in handy.
Fallout 4 walkthrough
On this page - Prologue, Vault-Tec, Vault 111, decontamination pod, starting stats
Our quick guide to polishing off the opening section of the game.
Fallout 4 - Out of Time, Codsworth, Vault 111, Sanctuary, Concord, Red Rocket
Leave the vault, catch up with Codsworth and make it alive to Concord.
Fallout 4 - When Freedom Calls, Preston Garvey, Power Armour, Fusion Core, Deathclaw
Help the setters, gain your Power Armour and clear out Concord.
Fallout 4 - The First Step, Tenpines Bluff, Robotics Disposal Ground, Lexington, minutemen
Find Tenpines Bluff and defeat the Corvega Assembly Plant raiders.
Fallout 4 - Jewel of the Commonwealth, Diamond City, Piper, Trinity Tower Radio
Reach Beantown Brewery, get intel on Shaun and locate Diamond City.
Fallout 4 - Unlikely Valentine, Nick Valentine, Vault 114, Park Street Station
Track down Nick Valentine and find Vault 114.
Fallout 4 - Getting a Clue, Kellogg, cigar, Dogmeat, Geneva, Ellie
Get some new intel on Shaun and start the investigation at Kellogg's house.
Fallout 4 - Reunions, Fort Hagen, Command Centre, Brotherhood of Steel
Infiltrate Fort Hagen, then make sure it's toast for Kellogg.
Fallout 4 - Dangerous Minds, Doctor Amari, Memory Den, Goodneighbor, Hancock
Meet Doctor Amari at Memory Den and have a rummage through Kellogg's past.
Fallout 4 - The Glowing Sea, Virgil, Rocky Cave, Crater of Atom, Institute Courser
Find your hazmat suit and track down Virgil near the Crater of Atom.
Fallout 4 - Hunter / Hunted, C.I.T., Greenetech Genetics, Z2-47, K1-98, Jenny
Head to Greenetech Genetics and finish the fight with Z2-47.
Fallout 4 - The Molecular Level, Road to Freedom, Freedom Trail, code, Desdemona
Get on the trail to freedom and suss out the code.
Fallout 4 - Tradecraft, PAM, Deacon, tourist, Carrington's prototype, Deliverer
Meet up with Duncan and grab a few extra goodies along the way.
Fallout 4 - Mercer Safehouse, Signal Interceptor, Tinker Tom, Reflector Platform
Wrapping up the penultimate quest in the game.
Fallout 4 - Institutionalised, Allie Fillmore, Justin Ayo, Madison Li, Clayton Holdren
The end is coming! Completing the final main quest in the game.
Other Fallout 4 guides
Fallout 4 - all Bobblehead locations
Tracking down all 20 of the game's performance-boosting Bobbleheads.
Fallout 4 - Companions, Affinity and Romance
Finding and befriending every Companion in Fallout 4.
Fallout 4 - cheats and console commands
Cheating your way to PC victory with an assortment of console commands.
Fallout 4 - getting started with base building
Ian's got your back with a video guide to building your base.
What does it take to run Fallout 4 at 1080p60?
Digital Foundry walks you through optimising the game on PC.
Fallout 4: Far Harbor guide
A full walkthrough to Fallout 4's biggest DLC expansion, but where to find the best armour and weapons.
Fallout 4: How to start Nuka World DLC
Fallout 4's final add-on Nuka World is out now and here are its opening moments.
Hello, and welcome to the marvellous, fusion-powered future - 2077 to be precise! After the opening cut-scene, you'll get your first glimpse of your new ugly mug in the mirror. If it's not to your liking, don't worry, you're free to make a better, more aesthetically pleasing one using the game's extensive character customisation tools. When you're happy with your tinkering, confirm your changes and prepare to slip into first-person mode.
Explore your home and greet the Vault-Tec salesmen
Your first task is to explore your beautiful, slightly space-age suburban home - so poke your recently-adjusted nose around the place and see what's what. Along the hall to the left of the bathroom you'll find your bedroom and son's nursery, while the living room and kitchen - where Codsworth, your genial robotic manservant awaits - lie to the right. After a short time, you'll hear the front door bell ring - so enter the living room and open the door.
Speak with the Vault Enforcer on your doorstep (selecting the conversation options that take your fancy) and eventually you'll learn that you've been pre-selected to take shelter in Vault 111 - should total atomic annihilation occur. Accept the salesman's offer then prepare to fill in your registration form.
Fill out the registration form and choose your starting stats
This bit of admin enables you to choose your character's name and starting stats. You've 21 points to spend as you wish across the categories of strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility and luck - with explanations of each appearing on-screen should any confusion arise. You can place four points in each category for an initial even spread if you choose, or you might prefer to specialise in certain skills. Spend your points wisely and confirm your selection to continue.
When you're done, your visitor will leave and Codsworth implores you to drop in on your wailing baby. Head back to the nursery along the corridor and play with Shaun. Next, spin the crib mobile as instructed and let your wife know how you feel about going to the park later. As soon as Codsworth interrupts your conversation, leave the nursery and return to the living room - you'll see an important news broadcast on the television.
Make your way to Vault 111
It seems that things are about to get nuclear - so thank goodness you just agreed on that new vault plan, eh? Quickly slip through the front door and follow your wife along the street. Up ahead, an attendant directs you along a footpath to the right. Join the throng of people racing toward the vault and wind your way through the woods, crossing the bridge and moving up the hill.
At the entrance barrier, speak with the solider on duty and pass through the gate. On the other side, follow the attendant along the path and step on the circular platform as instructed. Just in the nick of time, you'll descent to the apparent safety of the vault, passing deep into the bowels of the earth.
Enter the decontamination pod
When the elevator comes to a halt, climb the steps ahead and follow the walkway along into the vault. Pass through the security gate at the end of the route, then grab a jumpsuit from the attendant on your right. Next, follow the doctor along the hallway. When he comes to a halt, activate the decontamination pod on your left as instructed and ready yourself for a long, not-entirely-peaceful slumber. Shortly, the prologue will come to a close.
- The next part of our walkthrough explains how to complete Fallout 4: Out of Time.