- Fallout 4 Settlement Build Ideas – A Whole New Sanctuary - May 18, 2023
- Fallout New Vegas Come Fly With Me Guide - April 15, 2023
- Fallout 3 The Power of Atom Guide - April 2, 2023
I’ve never been much of a fan of life simulation games, and for that reason, I often find myself engaged in heated arguments, which usually involve me questioning what sort of person would give up their free time to play The Sims. Honestly, have a word with yourself. That being said, I have always been a lot more accepting of games that include aspects of the Sim franchise in more ambitious titles, often allowing players a means of procrastinating and putting off the whole saving the world plot for a little while.
That might be decorating your Vivarium in Hogwarts Legacy, kitting out your house in Skyrim, or building a base in just about any traditional survival game. It’s laughable just how easy it is to forget the fate of the world because of trivial building mechanics, and that was very much the case for me in Fallout 4.
My son Shaun was missing, the world I once knew was an unrecognizable wasteland, and all my friends were dead. Yet, despite all that, I found myself ignoring my very pressing parental obligations to turn Sanctuary into a veritable oasis of the Commonwealth. I must say, I was very proud of the bucket of bolts settlement I managed to create with gathered resources from all over the Boston wasteland.
However, when I finally put the finishing touches to my apocalyptic port in the storm, I thought, ‘What now.’ Well, there was only one thing for it. I had to start over again somewhere new. However, If you’re also in this position, you might find yourself frozen in place, with the pressing question, ‘What do I build’ weighing you down.
If so, then you have stumbled on the right article, my vault-dwelling amigos. In this guide, I aim to showcase some amazing builds within Fallout 4 that will serve as inspiration for many of you that need some hot ideas before you start crafting your settlement. Surviving in the wasteland is never easy, but with a place to call home, it gets a whole lot easier. So without further delay, here is Wasteland Gamer’s Fallout 4 Settlement Build Ideas guide.
What is a Settlement in Fallout 4?
Settlements in Fallout 4 are essentially bases that the player can unlock and then customize as they see fit. Players will be able to bring their companions and residents from existing settlements to the settlement of their choice, and they will be able to use resources found on-site, in other settlements, and in the wasteland to create structures, resources, defenses, and more.
There are a ton of settlements to choose from, especially if you have access to all the DLC content. If you have all the Fallout 4 Expansions, then you will have the choice of up to 36 different settlements, each with its own perks and pitfalls.
If you want a more in-depth guide on how settlements work in Fallout 4, and want to know what settlements you should prioritize for your first build, then this guide will help you immensely.
So before we jump into the amazing build ideas that we have curated for you, we need to lay down some ground rules so that you know how we picked these builds ahead of the plethora of others.
We want this selection to be the best of the best, allowing you to build the settlement of your dreams, and to do that, we used these selection criteria below:
- All Settlements chosen and assets used must be available in the vanilla game (no mods required)
- Every selection must be unique from any other chosen entry
- We will be considering overall build difficulty, creativity, and functionality as a base
- I will try to include a variety of settlements, not just loads of Sanctuary builds
Alright, the radiation storm seems to have subsided, so it’s time to crawl out through the Fallout and get going.
Power Armor Paradise
- Creator: Thanatos
- Settlement: Red Rocket Garage
We begin with one of the more functional builds on this list. This build may not be as warm and inviting as some of the others on the list, but you have to admit, it’s pretty damn cool. Thanatos uses the roof of the Red Rocket Garage to build a Power Armor garage where you can store and customize seemingly infinite sets of Power Armor.
I don’t know about you, but when I stumble across a Power Armor set in the wasteland, my first thought is usually, let’s get this bad boy home and fix it up. If you have that same thought, then this build is something you might want to incorporate into your settlement. Who needs the Atom Cats when you have this setup at home?
The Bird’s Nest
- Creator: Rosie Graves
- Settlement: The Castle
The Castle can be a hard settlement to fortify, especially because of the crumbling Castle Walls that allow practically any old Mirelurk to wander in. Now, your first thought might be to build walls around the perimeter, but who has the resources to do that?
Instead, you might want to consider building up, allowing you to get a birdseye view of your assailants, and snipe them off with ease. This bird’s nest design is a great centerpiece for any Castle build, and it won’t cost you a tonne of resources to put together either.
- Creator: Unknown
- Settlement: Spectacle Island
The great thing about Spectacle Island from a building perspective is that the build limit is much higher than other options in Fallout 4. This means that there is much more scope for huge builds on this island. A great example of how to make the most of this freedom is this amazing Colosseum building. We are probably all aware of the Roman Colosseum, and I have actually been there myself, so I can say with some confidence that it’s pretty old and brittle.
The same cannot be said for this monumental structure that offers an incredible defensive base in the wasteland. I would love to see even the most ravenous Deathclaw try to break into this fortress. This metal shell stands tall, but houses a cozy village settlement in the core of the structure. It’s a haven away from the death and destruction outside, and from an architectural point of view, it’s a real looker too.
- Creator: xMoridarx
- Settlement: Covenant
I really wanted to include a Covenant build here because it’s a really tricky settlement to mold into something new. The build limit is pretty pathetic, and the defenses left behind after you take over don’t work. However, with a few supply lines established, and after you strip it for parts, you can do something pretty magical.
Fallout 3 fans will fondly remember Tenpenny Tower from their time in the Capitol Wasteland, and Covenant Tower is a way of paying homage to Alistar Tenpenny’s elitist establishment. While the build limit does make decor an issue, even having the ability to build this large vertical structure in this settlement is awesome, and I imagine with a bit of creative thinking, you could make this derelict tower a home.
The Taffington Pyramids
- Creator: Unknown
- Settlement: Taffington Boathouse
If you are someone that has made a settlement with Taffington Boathouse as your base, then chances you are probably got hung up on the big ol’ boat near the property. Well, when you look at this build, what was there at the beginning is practically unrecognizable, which is usually a sign of a very unique build. This build takes Taffington Boathouse and turns the place into a site for two wooden pyramids.
The one on the left is adorned with a series of turrets, making it a giant warning sign for anyone who dares attack your base, and then the right-hand pyramid seems like a very classy living quarters. Not to mention the abundance of plants, which is always something I can get behind.
All in all, this is a wonderful use of the space, the structure is both functional and eye-catching, and I reckon you could pull this build off on other settlements, provided you have a whole bunch of wood in your inventory.
Grey Garden Overlook
- Creator: King of Cranes
- Settlement: Grey Gardens
Of all the settlements in Fallout 4, I feel that Grey Gardens is one of the most underrated build options. It has a ready-built farm when you arrive, and you also have the option of building upward onto the freeway overpass above. What’s not to love about that? Well, King of Cranes seems to agree with me, as they chose this settlement as the site for this amazing build. I absolutely love the way that this Gray Gardens build seamlessly rises from the ground to the overpass, allowing players to navigate floors with ease.
Plus, you just have to look at the expert craftsmanship to see that there is so much room to slot in just about anything you like, such as a bar, a Power Armor Station, a defensive lookout, and much more. Due to the verticality of this build, it makes it a practically impenetrable fortress, and if you have been neglecting Gray Gardens up until now, maybe this is the build that will inspire your own.
- Creator: Mccabe
- Settlement: Covenant
If you weren’t crazy about the strip it back and rebuild approach to a Covenant build, then maybe you will appreciate McCabe’s design that simply adds value to Covenant’s existing infrastructure. As I mentioned, Covenant can be hard to truly mold to your will, as you largely have to leave things as they are. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This design shows how the player can add a top layer to Covenant, and make the place a prison.
This can be an awesome build for roleplaying, as this can serve as an authentic-looking Slaver compound like Paradise Falls, and thanks to all the existing amenities available in Covenant, you don’t need to work too hard to make it a functional settlement. Just make sure you replace the turrets so none of your prisoners escape!
Claustrophobic Hangman’s Alley
- Creator: Sephiroth042
- Settlement: Hangman’s Alley
Of all the settlements in Fallout 4, I think my favorite was Hangman’s Alley. Not because it was the prettiest, or the most fun to build with. It was mainly because, in Survival Mode, it was a great central location to return to time and time again. However, I will admit that it was hard to ever get it to look aesthetically pleasing. Well, with the very limited scape, Sephiroth042 manages to create a very cramped but cozy Hangman’s Alley build.
I can’t even begin to explain how limiting this tiny settlement can be when trying to put all the essentials for a solid base in there, and from the looks of things, this build has everything you could possibly ask for, and then a little bit more. It’s such a cohesive design that uses every inch of this space wonderfully, and hopefully, this will help you optimize your Hangman’s Alley Builds.
Home Plate Homerun
- Creator: BWTF_Ben
- Settlement: Home Plate
Due to the settlement mechanics within Fallout 4, there wasn’t really much need to have the player buy houses like they might have done in Elder Scrolls Skyrim, for example. However, there is one exception to the rule that allows players to purchase Home Plate in Diamond City. This is technically a settlement, and one that really allows you to become an interior designer extraordinaire. It can be a little tricky to make this settlement look unique without mods, but the best attempt I have come across is the one by BWTF_Ben.
This iteration of Home Plate has a selection of incredible room designs, such as a neon-soaked bar, a cozy reading nook by the fireplace, an armory, and a kitchen area. I have to concede that practically any other settlement offers more room for creativity, but for those struggling to make Home Plate as inviting as your other settlements, this might help.
- Creator: Derzelaz
- Settlement: Spectacle Island
While Fallout 3’s DLC doesn’t even come close to comparing with FNV in my book, I will admit that Point Lookout was a pretty special DLC add-on. I loved the opening stages where the player is dropped off at the desolate, spooky pier and must try to make sense of this new, mysterious seaside town. Well, if there was ever a Fallout 4 Settlement build that captured the magic of that DLC, it’s this one.
This build on Spectacle Island is one of the most outstanding and cohesive designs that I have ever seen, taking this barren, remote island and turning it into an inviting and picturesque seaside haven. You have the boardwalk out front, and just up the stairs, you have a portside town full of life. I will concede that the rest of the island is a little underutilized and plain, but I imagine that’s due to the building limitations. Overall, it’s an incredible build and something that would only work on spectacle island.
- Creator: Unknown
- Settlement: Nuka World Red Rocket
Now we have a DLC build, and what a hell of a build it is. It’s hard to believe that this arena began as a Red Rocket garage stop, but thanks to the huge build area this settlement offers, all of this was made possible. The idea behind this one is to replicate an arena not unlike The Thorn in Fallout New Vegas or the Imperial Arena in The Elder Scrolls Oblivion. You can see the battlefield down below, and the viewing galleries that extend on either side of the area.
It’s a crazy build that shows just how much the DLC build locations have to offer if you are willing to get to know them. So maybe you should build an arena of your own and sit down for an ice-cold Nuka Cola as two of your finest combatants juke it out!
- Creator: Jordan Drenglish
- Settlement: Spectacle Island
We finish up with a very colorful entry that was made all the way out on Spectacle Island. Jordan Drenglish has managed to take this non-distinct lump of land and turn it into a neon-bathed oasis. Heck, you would think this was a snapshot of Night City at a glance. Okay, that’s being a little generous, but just look at what he accomplishes here. The place has so many little nooks and crannies to explore.
It looks like what you wish your Fallout Shelter build looked like, and despite it being such a jam-packed space, everything looks like it has its own bespoke area, like the farming zone down the bottom, or the Bobblehead museum on the left. It does look a little light on defenses, but hey, if you have the resources to build this. Then chances are you have a pretty good boomstick to protect yourself with.
Builds With Mods
For all you PC players sitting there thinking, I could do so much better than this with a few mods, I hear you, and I won’t have you leave disappointed. Here’s a handful of builds that you would only ever be able to manage with the use of mods. Enjoy:
Howl’s Moving Castle
- Creator: Lopan1111
- Settlement: Finch Farm (I think)
Here’s a little fun fact about me. I absolutely adore Studio Ghibli, and Howl’s Moving Castle is my all-time favorite. I even have a little Calcipher tattoo on my arm, which is why I let out a little squeal when I stumbled upon this build right here. Now, cards on the table, I’m not exactly sure where the mod assets end, and the build begins. I would imagine that this is a preset you can download, and then you can build on top of it.
However, I would imagine that even though a lot of the building will be taken care of already, there will be plenty of opportunities to add some Howl-related references and make the place feel more homely. Plus, if Howl’s been living there, the place would be absolutely filthy. Provided Sophie isn’t worm food or some sort of feral ghoul, maybe you can enlist her services.
- Creator: Grod4L
- Settlement: Sanctuary
Of all the builds on this list, this one is by far the most ambitious and impressive. I mean, look at this place. Bethesda couldn’t have made a better-looking city if they tried. It makes Diamond City look pathetic. This build utilizes every single square inch of Sanctuary and turns that little stretch of road into a high street adorned with attractions, shops, and establishments you would expect to see in your own city, never mind a makeshift settlement after a nuclear war.
The more you look and explore Sanctuary City, the more in awe of this project you become. It has a bank, a hotel, a bar, an arena, a clinic, and a tourist center. I could go on, but you get the picture. This modded settlement build truly makes Sanctuary the Minutemen capital it deserves to be, and if you haven’t explored this place before, now is the time.
- Creator: GPG Shepard
- Settlement: In The Sky
Then lastly, we have a little crossover entry, as we take to the skies for a settlement in the sky. This settlement aims to replicate Bioshock Infinite’s Columbia, and does so with a decent level of accuracy. Firstly, the settlement is literally floating over the Commonwealth, which is the most important part of making this a believable Columbia clone. However, it also has patriotic Red, White, and Blue banners all over the place, as Comstock would have wanted.
The place also has a selection of statues from Fallout’s assets, and also a few borrowed from Bioshock too, and of course, the whole place looks like a lively 1950s carnival, akin to Bioshock Infinite’s opening scenes. Plus, the place also has lots of posters and artwork which advertise plasmids and Vigors. Honestly, if you didn’t look down at the wasteland below you, you could fool yourself into believing you were Booker Dewitt. If you haven’t seen this for yourself, you need to go check it out!
A Roof Over Your Head
So there you have it, a handful of amazing Fallout 4 settlement ideas that you can take with you to serve as inspiration for your next lavish build. While you might not want to completely mirror these builds, I would wager that at least one of these ideas will have sparked an even more ambitious one in your mind’s eye. Just do me a favor; when you do finish your build, reach out to me and give me a tour. That’s all I ask. I hope this was all you needed and more, and as always, thanks for reading Wasteland Gamers!
Question: How Many Settlements Are There in Fallout 4?
Answer: It depends if you have access to the DLC content or not. If you do have access to all the DLC, then you will have access to all 36 settlements available without mods. However, if you just have access to the vanilla game, then you will have 29 settlements to choose from.
Question: What is The First Settlement You Find?
Answer: This really depends on how you play the game. As soon as you get out of Vault 112, you can head off in just about any direction. However, if you play the game as the developer intended, you will likely find Sanctuary first, closely followed by the Red Rocket Garage.
Question: How Do You Unlock A Settlement?
Answer: Unless there are specific criteria like finishing a quest, the player will only need to clear the area of all hostiles and then interact with the Workstation to unlock the settlement they have found.