Playing Fallout 4 on Xbox One, some of the quests require you to swim.

For example, in Thicket Excavations, you need to swim underwater to repair pipes. Unfortunately, the pipes are quite a bit underwater, and the water is irradiated. Sully Mathis suggests you look for the bubbles, at the surface, to identify where the leaks are. However, I still die before I fix the pipes, in part due to difficulty with the swimming controls.

What are the swimming controls?

  • 2
    What difficulty are you having with the controls? They seem simple and intuitive, so without more detail I have no idea what problem you might be having.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 20:42
  • 1
    Thanks for the comment DC-OK details you say :) Well for instance in GTA (Grand Thief Auto) swimming controls used were as follows: LS was pushed to the 12:00 position together with RB to dive, to surface LS was pushed to the 6:00 position and A used together. LS left/right & A to swim on the surface. So using these controls in Fallout 4 no luck. In Fallout LS & RS do enable some control but not enough to succeed in the task. My dive and surfacing and swimming are not exact enough. So am I missing something? Thanks for any advice!
    – Greg
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:43
  • 5
    Nobody mentions this: exit your power armor. Power Armor sinks like a rock.
    – Yorik
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 16:32

4 Answers 4


To swim, simply look in the direction you wish to move, and move forward.

It might also be benefitial to pick up issue 7 of the Wasteland Survival Guide, found in Old Gullet Sinkhole, as this will reward you with a perk that increases swimming speed by 25%

I believe the issue you are having lies elsewhere, in regards to this quest.

The first thing you want to be doing is bolstering your radiation resistance. I watched a level 20 friend complete this, and the first thing he did was use some Rad-X. It significantly decreased the amount of radiation he absorbed. You could also go for more permanent protection, such as lead armor, or a reinforced Vault 111 jumpsuit. It might be handy to carry a Rad Away on you, just in case, and have it mapped to the d-pad.

You will notice an elevator of sorts, further down past Sully. If you press the button, the elevator will rise up, although it takes a little. Inside this elevator is a lock box with a Novice lock, holding a Rad X.

The second thing you want to be doing is paying attention to those bubbles. By identifying the bubbles forming at the top, you can identify where the leaks are, before having to dive in. Furthermore, the bubbles emit directly from the leaks, allowing you to dive down and fix them quite quickly.

The valves are yellow-coloured, and stand out from the pipes. If you follow the pipe directly down, they are impossible to miss. You simply have to use them, there is no hold down or turn animation to wait through. The second I hit the valve, I am moving on to the next, or surfacing for air.

  • 1
    Personally just did this, myself. Confirming the swim controls, and tbh, I made it out at roughly 30% radiation, and no radiation resistance.
    – user106385
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 6:13
  • There's also a hazmat suit with 1000 Rad Resist, though I can't remember where I found it. I thought I would find more so I never made a note of it. Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 8:16
  • 1
    Also, the aquaboy/aquagirl perk permanently removes all radiation damage from swimming and lets you breathe underwater, making this quest rather easy to complete.
    – psouza4
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 16:07
  • Not at my computer, but I think Spacebar (or jump button on console) will move you up as well.
    – aslum
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 17:31
  • @VanBuzzKill IIRC the hazmat suit is in the Polymer Labs.
    – Autar
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 10:16

The swimming controls are not different from the regular moving controls.

On XBox One, you'll use the two sticks to move, and that's it. Look in the direction you want to move, and go forward, backward, left, or right. If you want to swim upward, look up and press forward on the movement stick. If you want to swim down, look down and press forward on the movement stick.

There's no separate control for diving or surfacing.

Note that you sink in Power Armor, and can't swim. You can walk on the bottom, and don't run out of air, though.

I've done the quest you're referring to without too much trouble, and I've had to swim for other reasons, including retrieving equipment off a raider that fell into the river when he died. Find your objective, aim directly at it, and press forward. The bubbles really do indicate where the pipes that need fixed are.

When you're near the surface, you can jump to help get yourself back on dry land.


To answer the question directly stated, you swim with the same controls as walking, simply orienting your view in the direction you want to move.

To answer the question of why you're dying before you can fix the pipes:

As a quick and easy workaround, you could wear a Hazmat suit. This will pretty nearly prevent all radiation damage.

I know of three Hazmat suits:

  • One is located in the locker room of the Cambridge Polymer Labs (south of Cambridge Police Station). This is available very early in the game.
  • Two are located around the Beryllium Agitator chamber, in a late-game quest.

Please note that this will not stop damage from lack of air - despite the apparent air-tanks on the back of the suit.

Alternatively, you can find and consume some Rad-X, which will increase your radiation resistance by +25. This will prevent some radiation damage - possibly enough to allow you to complete your task, and should last several minutes. This will also be more effective if you have perks.

Alternatively, you could get the first level of the perk Aquaboy (/Aquagirl), which provides the following benefits:

Water is your ally. You no longer take radiation damage from swimming, and can breathe underwater

This will require 5 Endurance, and a spare perk point.

  • I'm pretty sure you can also just buy a Hazmat suit from one of the vendors in Diamond City. Myrna or Fallon's Basement.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 20:43

Don't use armour suit, make sure to use rad remove.

  • Could you got more into detail about both of these? How would armour hinder you? At what rate do you need to use the Rad Remove?
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 9:59

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