Fallout 4's New Survival Mode is… Intense

fallout 4, survival mode, new, information

In a post on the popular website Reddit, redditors ShaneD53 and rayQuGR appear to have teamed up to bring us the first real details on Fallout 4‘s revamped Survival Mode.

The game’s publisher, Bethesda Softworks, shared the link on their official Twitter, adding “our fans are too smart… more to come.” If they’re right, Survival Mode looks like one heck of a challenge. These details were extracted from in-game files, but Bethesda says work is on-going.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll experience in the new and improved (more-lethal) Survival Mode.



If you can’t view the video: since Survival Mode is a big kick in the teeth, you’ll find that both manual and quicksaving are disabled. If you want to save the game, you’ll have to find or build a bed, then sleep for at least an hour. Oh, and not all beds are created equally. The kind of bed you sleep in determines how long you can stay asleep. For example, sleeping bags will help you save the game, but won’t provide all the benefits of a full night’s rest – and sleep is important. It counters Fatigue. The more Fatigue you’ve built up, the less Action Points (AP) you’ll have for other actions, like V.A.T.S. and sprinting. The amount of Fatigue you have is displayed in red on the AP bar (just like Radiation impacts your health).

In combat, expect to take more damage – it’s now more lethal for everyone, including your enemies. Taking cover behind objects and carrying out sneak attacks will help you survive for a longer period of time. You can increase the damage you deal even further with the new “Adrenaline” perk, which is automatically granted as part of starting Survival Mode. Unlike other perks, the only way to increase your rank of the Adrenaline perk is by getting kills (hostile or otherwise). The higher your Adrenaline rank, the higher the damage bonus. Of course, you need to balance this with something, so sleeping for more than an hour will cause your Adrenaline rank to lower. You can check your current Adrenaline rank at any time in the Perks section on the Stat tab in your Pip-Boy. If you get into a big battle and your companion goes down, he or she will no longer automatically get back up, and will return home if abandoned without being healed. Similarly, crippled limbs will no longer auto-heal after combat and will remain crippled until healed by a Stimpak.

Does that backpack feel heavier? It should, because bullets and shells now have a small amount of weight, which varies by caliber. Still too easy? Don’t worry – items like fusion cores, rockets, and mini-nukes will really weigh you down. You’ll notice the difference during the long-haul, too – Fast Travel is no longer an option. If you want to go somewhere, you’re walking. Oh, and exceeding your carry weight reduces your Endurance and Agility stats and periodically damages your legs and health.

When you’re out breaking ankles in the Wasteland, be sure to keep your eyes peeled, as enemies will no longer appear on your compass. Additionally, the distance at which locations of interest will appear on your compass has been significantly shortened.

If this doesn’t seem tough enough, you’ll find it difficult to survive without taking proper care of yourself. You must stay hydrated, fed, and rested to remain combat-ready. Going for extended periods of time without food, water, or sleep will begin to adversely affect your health, hurting your SPECIAL stats, adding to your Fatigue, lowering your immunity to diseases, and eventually even dealing physical damage to you. Diseases? That’s right! Comprised immune system and a few questionable decisions can end up getting you killed. Eating uncooked meat, drinking unpurified water, taking damage from disease-ridden sources, such as ghouls and bugs, or using harmful Chems all put your body at increased risk for various ill effects. When you are afflicted with an illness, a message will appear onscreen. You can view specifics about your current illnesses by navigating to the Status section on your Pip-Boy’s Data tab and pressing a button to view your active effects. There are cures, however. Antibiotics can be crafted at Chem Stations or purchased from doctors, and will heal the various effects of sickness.

In other changes, locations you’ve cleared will now repopulate enemies and loot at a significantly slower rate.

If you’re a glutton for punishment, the revamped Survival Mode is currently in testing and will be available soon, according to Bethesda. Once it’s released, to enable Survival Mode, press [Pause], select “Settings,” then “Gameplay” and choose “Survival” from the “Difficulty” options. If you dare.