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When I discovered settlements were added to the Fallout universe, my first thought was how I could construct the ultimate mega fort, capable of repelling any attack, whether it be from super mutant behemoths or The Brotherhood of Steel paladins.
Of course, this desire sent me spiraling down a path wherein I tried to find the most defendable settlement in the game. Of course, you could sit yourself down in Diamond City, but that’s no fun.
This leads me to the topic of our article today, Spectacle Island. A location that is the direct competitor of places like Sanctuary Hills, Nuka-World Red Rocket, and Starlight Drive (a personal favorite of mine).
This Spectacle Island Fallout 4 guide will take a closer look at Spectacle Island and everything that makes it tick. Whether it is a good place for your next settlement or whether it should be better left alone. So, with all this in mind, let’s jump right into the good stuff.
The Formation of Spectacle Island
In the Fallout universe, something called the great divergence occurred in the 1950s. This is the point in time that the world of Fallout diverged from our own, creating the separate timeline and world we know today. Therefore, the history of Spectacle Island up until this point is the same as our own.
The island earned its name way back in the early 1800s; it resembled a pair of spectacles from an overhead perspective. At this point, the population of Boston grew so quickly that the garbage problem got out of hand, forcing the government to store all the trash on this island, creating a foul-smelling monstrosity of a landmass.
Of course, this all changed in the 1900s when the government decided to turn the entire place into parkland, covering the trash with rubble from recent building projects and a layer of clay before the topsoil was added.
This project, combined with the years of trash depositing, makes Spectacle Island much larger today than in the early 1800s.
After the redevelopment project was completed, several businesses tried to make a go of it on this island. Hotels and the like are open for business here. However, they were subsequently shut down after illegal practices such as prostitution and gambling was discovered.
However, as you wander around the Island, centuries after this project took place, the player will find skeletons poking out of the rubble and trash, especially around the coast of the island.
This suggests that these bodies had been part of the rubble placed here in the early 1900s, and the tidal erosion has merely uncovered them all these years later.
All of this points to something much more sinister occurring on the island than we previously thought. Perhaps there is some link to the criminal dealings of the former businesses on the island.
Finding Spectacle Island
If you decide that Boston and the greater Commonwealth area aren’t for you and you’d rather settle somewhere a little bit more out of the way, Spectacle Island might be for you.
To find this island, travel to the most southeasterly location on the map until you reach Warick Homestead or the Wreck of the F.M.S. Northern Star. You can spot the island off the coast in the distance from either of these locations.
Before you make your journey to the island, I recommend ensuring you have plenty of Rad-X and RadAway. Both of these will be necessary as there is no way of reaching the island without traipsing through some heavily irradiated water.
If you decide to make your way into the water from Warwick Homestead, you will be met by several Mirelurks well before you manage to get a couple of breast strokes in. Thankfully, these creatures will all be rather standard and cause little to no threat to any decently leveled player.
Once you complete your swim or power armor-enabled walk across the ocean floor and make it to the island, you will find a couple of empty and torn-apart shacks and a couple of dead settlers.
Locations Near Spectacle Island
As Spectacle Island is rather difficult to get to and will require the player to transport a lot of materials across the water once a settlement is started, we should take a look at some of the nearby locations where the player can salvage some materials from.
Of course, Spectacle Island is surrounded by many interesting locations, such as Poseidon Energy and the Quincy Police Station, but for the interest of this article, let’s stick to some of the more useful spots.
Atoms Cats Garage
One of the closest locations to the island is the Atom Cats Garage. Here, you will find some much-needed upgrades to your power armor and the Unarmed Bobblehead.
However, in relation to your settlement needs, you will find a great deal of miscellaneous junk around this location, filled with vital components for the generators and water systems your new settlement will desperately need.
Once the player takes down another Mirelurk Queen and secures this location for the Minutemen, the player can use this location as a staging area for settling Spectacle Island. As a settlement itself, the player can benefit from the workforce and supplies that the location may already have.
FMS Northern Star
While this location may not be particularly profitable in terms of supplies for your island, it is definitely somewhere you will want to explore and clear out of raiders to gather a good deal of ammo and other such supplies for potential raids on the island.
Exploring the Island
When you land in this new area, the dead settlers and eerie feel of the place will be rather disconcerting. I felt as though something was going to attack me at all times during these first couple of minutes.
As you head in from the coast, the island is completely deserted, with only the bodies of former residents giving any hint of post-war life here. Then, as you proceed, you will find some more ruined houses and some submerged boats scattered around the coast of the island.
On top of this, to the island’s north side, you will also find a number of shipping containers that the original settlers stacked, turning them into makeshift accommodations and a defendable spot. However, this clearly didn’t work too well, as this area is also littered with the bodies of settlers.
At the very center of the island, the player will see a radio tower and a small hut connected to it. When you arrive here, you will find a note with instructions to help get the beacon up and running again.
Apart from this, the tower is pretty much devoid of anything useful or any other clues as to what happened to the settlers here. However, the note in the hut tells the player that the beacon there emits some sort of ultra-sonic frequency that somehow keeps Mirelurks away from the island.
Annoyingly, nothing else is really left around the island or in the entire game to tell us how they managed to create this noise.
Getting the Settlement Running
As you explore Spectacle Island, you will begin to notice that it has everything one might expect from a settlement area in Fallout 4, including the telling workshop bench. However, upon your first landing, you won’t be allowed to start your settlement straight away. First, you’re going to have to get that beacon going.
To do this, follow the instructions left for you inside the radio tower. This note will tell the player that the generator will need to be running before you flick on the circuit breaker in the radio tower hut.
When I first read this, I thought I was going to have to set up a generator here myself, like most other settlement areas in the Commonwealth. However, as you leave the tower’s hut, you will see some powerlines connecting to the beacon; these wires will run down to the island’s south shore.
As you follow these wires, you will see that they lead onto a partially submerged tugboat that the previous settlers have so kindly built a wooden walkway out to. Once inside this boat, you will find the main generator and the circuit breaker switch. Flip this on and wait for everything to power up before exiting the boat.
As you exit, the boat and the player will come under attack by numerous species of Mirelurks and one Mirelurk Queen. There will be enough coming after you that if you choose to stay and fight, you will have a difficult time indeed.
However, I would advise saving your ammo and running back to the radio tower. Once here, flip the switch, and the beacon will kick into action, emitting a strange sound at first. According to the note, once this sound fades, a signal that can only be heard by Mirelurks will remain, expelling them from the island.
What follows is very weird. All the Mirelurks that were attacking you will turn on their fishy heels and leave the island. However, these creatures will remain hostile, preventing the player from traveling fast for a time.
After the beacon is up and running, the player will be allowed to set up their settlement and make the island their own.
Resources and Settlement Details
Spectacle Island is not exactly rich in terms of base-building supplies. There are little to no large deposits of metal on the island, as one would expect from such locations. However, there is a great source of wood in the copious trees that stand all around the island.
Outside of this, you will be able to find at least one seed or specimen of the common plants in Fallout 4 – tato, razorgrain, wild mutfruit, melon, and tarberry.
Once you get everything set up, the building cap of the area will already be half full due to the huge amount of trees on the island. However, once a decent number of these trees are cleared out, you are left with the single largest build area of any settlement in Fallout 4.
The player can even build structures up to ten stories high when standing on the lowest point of the island.
Also, if you do find yourself running out of materials for building, the player should dive under the water that falls within the settlement area. Here, you can find lots of metal in the form of barrels, crates, and other pieces of scrap.
Problems with a Settlement Here
As this settlement is slightly different from all the others in the game, there are a couple of annoying things about setting up a settlement on the island that you should consider before spending a lot of time building some monstrous construction here.
- The settlement exists over two cells, meaning that the player can cross over into the second cell and see stuff on the other side of the settlement stop working or bug out. Sometimes, you can even see trees on the horizon that you know you have cut down due to the default terrain loading in. While other settlements also have more than two cells, Spectacle Island is so large that the game cannot generate it all in one go.
- As the settlement is surrounded by water, attackers seemingly spawn at random all over the island, ignoring any defensive walls or structures you may have in place. This can result in the player having to run all over the island to find the last few attackers.
- I personally did not have this issue, but some players have reported several issues with power lines on the island. Most of this is due to the cell issue discussed earlier, but many also have difficulties using the power from the default boat generator.
How Does the Island Compare to Other Settlements?
As discussed, Spectacle Island certainly has some drawbacks when considering the location for a potential settlement. However, the same can be said for many such locations.
For me, the best of both worlds when it comes to security and ease of access has to be The Castle. The settlement was literally designed to repel enemy bombardment. However, the drawback of settling here, that you don’t get on the Island, is having to deal with the Minutemen and Preston in particular.
Outside of this, if you are looking for great all-rounders, you could check out spots such as Kingsport Lighthouse or Longfellow’s cabin, but neither of these spots is particularly easy to defend.
A lot of people also rank Spectacle Island alongside places such as Covenant and Home Plate, but I don’t think these locations can even be considered in the same list. After all, both areas are pretty much complete and bustling communities before the player even arrives there.
What Happened to the Settlers?
As you walk around the island, you find numerous bodies of previous settlers who made their way to the presumed safety of an island after the Great War.
However, you would assume that with the island being surrounded by Mirelurks and the settler’s apparent need to install some sort of beacon to ward them off, they were all killed by said Mirelurks.
Although, as I walked around the island, I found one thing that slightly confused me – the body of one random raider. The only named settler we know of is a man named Randy, whose body we also find near the dead raider.
While we cannot say for certain the fact that all the islanders and the raider is dead by the time the player arrives, I would guess that it was the Mirelurks that killed everyone, only after a group of raiders landed on the shores of Spectacle Island and turned off the generator in an effort to sabotage the settlers, making them easier targets.
However, I don’t think they realized just what they had done before it was too late.
While this island is not exactly teeming with readily available pieces of loot, there are some spots that treasure-hunting players should be sure to investigate.
- The same barge that houses the generator for the beacon will also have the Luck Bobblehead inside, as well as a Fat Man.
- On the northeastern side of the island, a barge houses multiple locked safes. All of these safes, numbered 1 through 4, will have varying degrees of lock difficulty. Once you crack into them, there will be some decent loot inside, depending on the player’s level.
- If the player leaves this barge and heads southwest, they will find a fifth safe, locked with an Advanced Lock. Inside, you will find some leveled loot.
- Inside the biggest and most proper-looking house on the island, a location that some refer to as the island mansion, you will find a mini-nuke sitting in the middle of the ground floor.
The Little Details
While Spectacle Island is far from an important location in the general story of Fallout 4, it does have its own little quirks that players who wish to set up a settlement here should know.
- Once the generator on the boat is up and running, it will provide the player with a bonus of 20 points of power for free when starting your settlement.
- As the settlement is surrounded by water, settlers will not normally come as they do for other settlements. To acquire new settlers for this location, the player must set up the recruitment beacon, leave, and return to the island. When they return, new settlers will have loaded in.
- Most new settlers will spawn near the radio tower.
- This location is not associated with any quest in the game except the unmarked Bobblehead quest.
- If you decide to complete the game with The Railroad, the player can convince P.A.M. to locate their new safehouse on the island during the Mercer Safehouse quest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: How Do You Get to Spectacle Island in Fallout 4?
Answer: To get to Spectacle Island, the player must travel to the southwestern corner of the map. If you manage to reach somewhere like The Castle or Warwick Homestead, the player will be able to see the island on the nearby horizon.
However, to reach this location, you will need to swim through some pretty irradiated water, requiring some RadAway and Rad-X.
Question: Does Spectacle Island Get Attacked like other Settlements?
Answer: Even though Spectacle Island is completely surrounded by water, everything you can expect of a typical settlement in Fallout 4 occurs here. However, due to the location and the water that surrounds it, some things can bug out from time to time.
Since you can build defenses around the entire island, leaving only water outside of this radius, attackers will routinely spawn on the island itself, behind any defenses you may have created, circumventing your efforts.
Question: Should I Set Up a Settlement on Spectacle Island?
Answer: In my opinion, while it may seem like a cool location for a settlement all the little bugs that come along with it make the island more of a problem than it’s worth.
Firstly, as the settlement is large enough to exist over two game cells, you will routinely have issues with things not working once you leave one cell into another. This messes up the smallest things in the settlement, never mind any complicated building plans you may have.
So, there you have it, a guide to one of the most unique and interesting locations in Fallout 4, a location that many may have missed if not directly searching for some extra Fallout content.
I discovered this location when collecting all the bobbleheads for that unmarked quest. However, after I secured the little trophy, I enjoyed searching the island for answers and the mysterious air left behind by those previous settlers.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and have answered some of your burning questions about the location. I look forward to seeing you again soon.