Fallout 4 is a massive game with lots to do and chances are you’ll be looking for help with crafting, a quest, perks, or the location of an item.
Bethesda’s new title packs in hundreds of hours of gameplay. There are tons of places to explore, people to meet and speak to, weapons to create, and enemies to kill. You’ll also be outfitting your character with different attributes and perks.
While some people will want to go through the game without maps, hints and tips, a majority of you will find yourself looking up the different Perks, the items you need to craft something, and the objectives you need to meet to complete a quest.
If you’re in need of assistance, you have plenty of options. Some are free, others cost money. This year, I decided to throw down a little bit of money for a physical guide to Fallout 4. And today I want to help you decide if it’s worth your money.
Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games of all-time and I decided to go all out with Fallout 4. I bought the Fallout 4 Loot Crate. I bought the Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition back in June when the game first went up for pre-order. And I bought a physical Fallout 4 guide. The Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide Collector’s Edition to be exact.
The Collector’s Edition nets you a few different items. First, the guide itself. 543 pages of walkthroughs, maps, and detail information about weapons, junk and more. It’s an exhaustive look at Fallout 4’s world. More on it in a second.
It also comes with a free eGuide ($10 value) from Prima Games, an exclusive map of the Commonwealth (the area you’ll be exploring), and a Vault-Tec poster pack that detail the game’s S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes. A few thoughts on each.
Fallout 4 Guide
Let’s start with the big boy, the 543 page guide that details everything from Random Encounters to Perks to weapons crafting to locations of collectibles. It’s extensive.
So far, I’ve been using it to read about the different Perks (of which there are many and the crafting system (there’s a mind-boggling amount of customization). I’ve also been reading about all of the junk that’s out there in Fallout 4. Just about every single item you can pick up has a use and the guide is helping me understand their use.
The different sections are well-written and each page features colorful images and pop-outs that makes it easy on the eyes. There are also charts and lists that breakdown all of the little details for modding, crafting and more.
These are great but the standout for me, thus far, are the maps. Half of the guide is maps. These maps show you the location of collectibles, enemies, quests, and more. I’ve already used them to go back to find a few things I missed along the way.
Fallout 4 eGuide
All versions of the guide come with a free e-version of the guide. This is handy if you don’t want to keep flipping through the book trying to find what you’re looking for.
The eGuide is different in a few notable ways. One, it comes with interactive maps that allow you to filter out the noise and find exactly what you’re looking for be it a collectible or ammo or the way to the nearest door.
It also comes with Search. For instance, if I type in “Vault 111” it brings up everything relevant to that keyword. The search function has already saved me tons of time. You obviously can’t type a search query into a book.
The exclusive map of the Commonwealth is a neat collectible but I probably opened it for the final time yesterday. There’s no reason to use it when I have access to interactive maps on the computer and smaller more detailed maps inside the actual book. Maybe I’ll give it to my Mom for Christmas.
The Vault-Tec posters will appeal to hardcore Fallout fans but they don’t have much use after you look at them the first time. Maybe I’ll give them to my Dad.
Is the Fallout 4 Vault Dweller’s Guide Worth It?
This all leads to the all-important question. Is the Vault Dweller’s Guide worth it?
First, let’s talk Collector’s Edition. I’d avoid it unless you’re a big fan of Fallout or you really need some stuff to hang on your walls. The poster is cool but unnecessary for most people and I probably won’t see the posters again until I move. Most of you will want to go with the cheapest option.
For $16.41 at Amazon you’ll get the 500+ page book and the eGuide. (You can buy the eGuide on its own for $10 but I think the book is definitely worth $6.) For $0, you get Google and tons of free guides. So what it really comes down to is: How invested are you in Fallout and how much help are you going to need?
I’m probably going to put 200+ hours into this game so having these resources at my disposal is huge. Particularly the maps and the detailed charts and information about crafting. Free guides are free but almost none of them feature this kind of information in an easy-to-read, easy-to-find format.
I’ve played tons and tons of open-world RPGs and I’m finding value. I can only imagine how helpful these will be for those of you who are discovering the vast world of Fallout for the first time. If I had to take a guess? A lot.
If you don’t think you’ll spend a lot of time with Fallout or if you only use guides for the quest walkthroughs, you’re probably better off finding something for free on IGN or GameFAQs. Just know that they can be confusing, incomplete and hard on the eyes.
How to Fix Fallout 4 Problems Right Now
Now that Fallout 4 is in the hands on gamers around the world, we're starting to hear about some of the problems plaguing the Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions of the game. We've outlined many of these early Fallout 4 problems here.
Fallout 4 problems will continue to emerge in the days, weeks and perhaps years ahead. Heck, gamers are still complaining about Skyrim problems.
Fortunately, there are ways to fix many of these issues. We've put together a list of common Fallout 4 problems and fixes for those problems. The list is a great place to start if you're running into problems on Xbox One, PS4 or PC and you can't wait for a patch.