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In Fallout 4, most modifications for projectile (non-energy) weapons require only the Gun Nut perk. However, some require both Gun Nut and Science!, which normally is only used for energy weapon upgrades (I think recon scopes need both, for example).

As I'm considering starting over on a new character, and having no intention of using energy weapons, I'm debating not getting 6 points in Intelligence.

Then, as a purely projectile (or melee) weapon focused character, which modifications will I be unable to craft for my weapons if I don't have the Science! perk?

  • There's a bit of confusion between the question title and the last paragraph of your question. The title implies all non-energy weapon, the last paragraph implies "projectile weapons", so... guns/launchers/etc. I was going to make a comment on one of the answers that some melee weapons also need Science!, such as the upgrades for General Chao's Revenge, but wasn't sure it was applicable. According to the question title, it fits, but not in regard to your last sentence. – king14nyr Nov 19 '15 at 17:25
  • @king14nyr Good point. I originally only intended for ranged weapons to be included, but I think information about melee weapons could be useful for others, so I included them in the last sentence. – Svj0hn Nov 23 '15 at 8:56
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You wouldn't be able to craft night-vision or recon scopes on any weapons, that will be the majority of what you'll miss out on. The only other non-energy weapon is the Junk Jet which requires 1 point in Science! for some damage upgrades.

Power armor as well, requires Science! for some upgrades. Everything else requiring Science! are energy weapons.

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EDIT: Relevant things that require the Science perk:

  • most everything energy-weapon related

  • night vision and recon scopes as well as specialised scopes (e.g. Gauss Reflex Scope)

  • power armor upgrades

  • settlement defense turrets


As per this (incomplete) wiki article right here, you will mostly miss out on mods for Energy weapons and Missile Launchers.

You will also not be able to craft some turrets for settlement defense as well as upgrades for all types of power armors.

  • That list is (so far) very incomplete, I believe. But the general idea may hold true. – Svj0hn Nov 19 '15 at 17:00
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    It occured to me and I went to check out some weapons regarding possible upgrades. Just took a while longer than I anticipated. Will update with more information. – bhnn Nov 19 '15 at 17:03
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Science! of various ranks provides a variety of weapon mods, for projectile weapons though you'd only be losing out on the recon scopes. That said, recon scopes only require Science! rank 1...

  • Recon scopes for most weapons (pistols, rifles, etc)
  • Night vision scopes for some weapons (launchers, sniper rifles, etc)
  • Can convert a mini nuke into a MRV launcher (requires Science! rank 3)
  • All energy weapons, all parts (plasma, laser, gamma ray, etc)
  • A damage upgrade for the Junk Jet

Outside of weapons, Science! allows you to upgrade your Power Armor, build laser turrets at your settlements, and more broadly; intelligence helps with some missions (for example the USS Constitution missions) where it opens up some additional options for completing the mission.

  • There are also a few others sprinkled in there, as well. One I can think of off the top of my head are the upgrades on the junk jet. Any mods that have element damage like that are out without Science! – king14nyr Nov 19 '15 at 16:41

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