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Fallout 4 encumbrance: how to lighten the load

By Eurogamer readers in response to yesterday's article. Thanks!

Well then! Yesterday's article on Fallout 4 encumbrance sparked an interesting debate, didn't it? After over 300 comments on Eurogamer, a decent-sized thread on NeoGAF, and loads of tweets and Facebook posts, it's clear to me I picked up on an issue lots of Fallout players had an opinion on.

There were plenty who agreed with me, plenty who (vehemently) disagreed with me, and plenty of people who sort of saw my point but also sort of didn't. That's cool! But I should stress now that I'm loving Fallout 4 despite my issues with encumbrance and the game's inventory management. That, perhaps, didn't come through in yesterday's article as clearly as I'd hoped.

I should also stress that I love Eurogamer comments, because in among the odd post telling me to go away and play Call of Duty ("You are exactly the problem with gaming today. Just go watch a movie until you learn to breathe through your nose"), there were some great tips for dealing with encumbrance in Fallout 4.

So, as a follow-up to yesterday's article, I thought it would be helpful - and fun - to gather together some of the best comments with the best tips for lightening the load. There's some cool stuff in here I didn't know about, such as weapon mods adding weight despite not being used (you're free to ditch them).

As an aside, the comments threw up some awesome ideas for making Fallout 4 a bit smarter when it comes to weight management. For example, as many have suggested, why not give companions the ability to return to a settlement with the spoils of a scrap run, leaving you, the star of the show, to soldier on? The companion could then meet you outside - or fight their way back in. One for the next Elder Scrolls game, perhaps.

Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments. And, of course, if you're on PC and encumbrance is really getting you down, well, there's a mod for that. I'm on PlayStation 4 so... here goes!

Perhaps I was playing Fallout 4 wrong after all.


There are systems in place for it. Pocketed Armour and Buffout drugs for those temporary moments when you grab too much and need to fast travel back to base.


I can see how it could get tiresome, but the perk system seems to be designed to mitigate this if you want to badly enough.

So you really, REALLY want to be a pack rat? Strong Back, Lone Wanderer and Armour Modding perks should give you enough over and above the usual Strength based limits.

Or you could designate crafting specific runs where all else (except Legendaries) is ignored in favour of junk collection. Play as you do, so to speak.

I like the load limit in TES games, don't mind it in Fallout. Helps me role play properly a little more.

Edit: Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Chems. Use as required for your playstyle, and if required often enough to cause addiction, get the Chemist perk that makes you immune to addiction and pop them like you're a '90s candy raver at Gatecrasher.


I do have a tip: mods. Any gun mods stay in your inventory even if you've stored the actual gun in a workshop (no idea why). So you can go through and store the mods too and if like me you've done a lot of crafting this can free up 20+ carrying capacity as the mods weigh 0.5 each.


By making Rank 1 of all perks obtainable at the very first level up (dependent on SPECIAL level), you really can compensate at every turn. Want your mouth to be your primary weapon from the get go? Max Charisma and get Wasteland Whisperer as the first perk. Want to be a crafting focused pack rat? Pump Strength, get Strong Back as your first perk, Lone Wanderer as the second, Scrapper as the third, travel with Dogmeat on junk runs (Lone Wanderer works with him along, and he doesn't talk back when you load him up).

Will you miss out on damage and stealth and accuracy and survival related perks right off the bat? Yes, but YOU choose that, and own that choice. The alternative, of course, is to play on PC and not on PS4, and solve the niggle with one console command. And you own that choice too.

What if you could send companions packing?


Mutant Dog steaks for the win. That extra 25+ of carry space it temporarily provides is a life saver.


The last rank of the strong back perk lets you fast travel while you're over-encumbered which is quite handy. Have to be a fairly high level to get it but it's well worth getting as it makes the experience a bit more hassle free.


Just pick up things that are valuable. Valuable means better gear, expensive gear, or stuff containing one of the few components you're not collecting massively in excess of your usage. My weapon modding is bottlenecked on glue. There is no point me continuing to hoover up all the other components that I already have in abundance until I find more glue. I'll never use it all. I'll never find that much glue! Now, I'm selective. I actually find this is a far more engaging form of scavenging gameplay than hoovering everything up regardless. It makes me feel more like a scavenger, and less like a Katamari.

'All junk has value' stops being true when you are collecting faster than you can spend. Bethesda could give you infinite carry capacity or weightless junk, but then they really would be encouraging you to hoover up every single piece of trash you find. The current system is there to try and lead you towards a gameplay balance that is slightly less junk focussed, one where you scan a room for value instead of clearing it bit by bit. This lets you get back to the exploring and fighting sooner.

The game is putting friction in your path to try and stop you doing it. That's because, and this is speaking as a reformed addict, letting go really is much more fun. Before you hack the game to play it your way, at least try playing it their way. Some junk is supposed to just be junk. Leave it. If you do later find you're short of it, don't worry, it's everywhere.


This is a comment from a guy that decided to go with a stealthy sniper type build and because of it has 1 strength and 1 charisma. With that I currently have no option of getting the perks strong back, lone wanderer, inspirational (lv3 of the perk), or local leader (for supply lines and traders). I have 210 carry weight (as standard), and I don't have a problem. Why? Because that's what I chose.

I CHOSE to be slightly more combat oriented and can deal a good amount of damage with my pipe rifle to the head. The flip side of my CHOICE is:

  1. If I want to deal with settlements and grow them it's gonna be a pain in the ass.
  2. If I want to gather all the junk I want for mods and my settlements at the same time pick up all weapons and armour that enemies drop, I can't, it's not feasible for my character build.
  3. Wearing heavy armour (like metal) is a problem (both weight and successful sneak check).
  4. Carrying a specific weapon for all situations isn't gonna happen. I cant afford the 20 lbs or so for the rocket launcher or big boy.

So what are my options?

  1. Dump a whole bunch of perk points to increase my special stats so I can then spend more to get the perks. That wont happen, let's be smart about this.
  2. Be creative. Over by a few lbs? Drink a beer. A bit more? Always have a Buffout handy.
  3. Remember what your settlement needs, If you're good on glass don't pick up the bottles, if you need ceramics, pick up the ashtray. If you cant remember, tag the resource at your workbench.
  4. This is my rifle, there are many like it but this one is mine. Also a silenced sidearm. Take with you only what you need when it comes to weapons.
  5. Get organised, rename your weapon or armour and put a 1 at the start. It sorts alphabetically so they will get sorted to the top. Makes it faster to dump stuff at the trader or into a container.
  6. Don't pick up armour, it wont sell for much, also check the value if you do pick it up and only take the ones that have a good price to weight ratio. Also remember those armour pieces so you don't have to check every time. Finally, because I don't have armour perks I probably won't need so much leather anyway.
  7. Consider adding a pocketed mod to the armour.
  8. Sacrifice lower DT by using lighter armour (until I find more combat armour) and play more carefully and stealthy and take out priority targets from a distance, and not run in like an idiot (holy shit, this is the playstyle I chose). Alternatively get toughness perk or similar that have a way of mitigating incoming damage.
  9. Find better ways of making caps (I refuse to use the glitch), making an excess of purified water, or making jet, then when I want to sell it, put on my sleaziest used car salesman outfit that raises charisma to get a better price for it. Then use those caps for rare materials that my settlement needs. Haven't tried to rename outfits, but if you can name them so you can find them faster. Or keep them in a separate container.
  10. Use caps from option nine to buy more fusion cores and take power armour for increased carry capacity, also if there is a paint (like hotrod that increases agility) that increases strength, use it.
  11. Test out if your companions are limited by weight or number of items, if latter give them the heaviest stuff.
I still want this plate.


  1. Don't pick everything up. You don't need every set of leather armour, every 10mm pistol, every hat, bandana, pack of gumdrops you come across. If you do feel the need, then just make regular trips back to your settlements.
  2. In your inventory, go along to the 'Mods' page. These mods are not currently equipped to your guns - they're all your previous ones - and so can be ditched. I lightened my load by over 40 by storing all my old mods.


One helpful thing to remember is that it actually isn't all that worth picking up most enemy guns and armour this time around. Junk is far more valuable. Once you get Scrapper rank 2 you might want to start picking up guns to salvage rare parts, but for the most part, you should be leaving those bodies clothed.

Strip 'em for their ammo and drugs but leave the armour behind.


A mistake I made until a couple hours ago was completely neglecting my Aid category. I had dumped all my junk, weeded out my weapons to only the necessary guns and grenades (I had something like 25 lbs of mines I never used), but was still over encumbered without power armour. Then I looked into the Aid category and realised I had 50 lbs of crap that I was never going to use, so I cooked a bunch of it, dumped all of the processed foods into a cooler in my house, and threw all the chems in a dresser.


Yeah, it's a bit annoying, but it really doesn't take long to build up your strength and invest a few points in the 'Strong Back' ability, which will add 50 lbs carrying capacity, allow you to use AP to run when over-encumbered, and permits fast-travelling once you've maxed out the ability. You can also create pocketed armour to increase how much you can carry.

It's not super thrilling to use your levelling points on such a relatively non-fun ability, but it honestly doesn't take very long to level-up four times, so if you find over-encumbrance to be so over-encumbering, I would suggest levelling up your character in a way that better suits you.

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