If you pick up the You're SPECIAL! book to gain +1 to any SPECIAL stat while a stat is already at 10, you normally won't be able to pick that stat. You will be forced to pick a stat that is at 9 or lower. So you normally can't use the book to go from 10 to 11 in a stat.

However I tested how the book works with stats that are affected by a de-buff because this would reportedly enable you to get the stat bonus even if the base stat is 10. Here's what I did and what happened:

  1. When I just took the book with 10 base intelligence and no int modifiers I could not pick Intelligence as the stat to increase.
  2. If I have 10 in Intelligence, drank some Whiskey to temporarily reduce my INT to 9 and then took the book, I was able to pick Intelligence to increase. When the duration of the Whiskey ended my total base INT was at 11.

So, what ways do we have to temporarily decrease each stat by at least 1 point in order for this to work with all stats? I would like to compile a list that at least covers each SPECIAL stat, without console commands.


7 Answers 7


One surefire way to get SPECIAL stat debuffs is to get addicted to a chem and go into withdrawal.

Below is a list of which chems produce a debuff to each special stat, and how much if not just -1. This is based on the screenshot Pierre-Luc Pineault put up in his excellent answer to "How many chem addictions are in Fallout 4?"

Something else relevant to note from that post, is that combination drugs like Bufftats addict you to the drug indicated by the prefix. Buffout, in the case of Bufftats.

  • Strength: Psycho, X-Cell, Fury, Buffout, Overdrive
  • Perception: X-Cell, Calmex (-2), Fury, Daddy-O
  • Endurance: X-Cell, Buffout
  • Charisma: X-Cell, Daytripper, Mentats, Alcohol
  • Intelligence: X-Cell, Daddy-O
  • Agility: X-Cell, Calmex (-2), Overdrive, Med-X, Alcohol
  • Luck: X-Cell

This list is not exhaustive but should work for most:

  • Strength: Daytripper
  • Perception: Fury, Drugged water from HalluciGen*
  • Endurance: Buffout addiction
  • Charisma: Daddy-O
  • Intelligence: Alcohol of any kind. For example Whiskey.
  • Agility: Med-X addiction, Overdrive addiction, Calmex addiction
  • Luck: Daytripper addiction, or equip Tattered Rags**

It should also be noted that X-Cell addiction will debuff ALL stats by -1

* Drugged Water from Hallucigen gives a stackable -1 PER de-buff
** Tattered Rags have a hidden -1 LCK de-buff

  • I'll test when I get back home. But your best bet is probably to get addicted to as many drugs as you can at the same time. I haven't found any fallout-4-specific lists of hangover effects, though they're probably similar to fallout 3's. If I understand correctly, you want not only what effects debuff each stat but also how to get the maximum total debuff across all stats, but taking a chem interferes with that chem's hangover. Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 12:22
  • There's additional information in this other, recent answer you could add to your answer: How many chem addictions are in Fallout 4?.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 21:48

I just tried it. Using addiction debuff along with the SPECIAL cheat does not work. I tried this for strength, endurance, and agility with no result. What does work is using the chems that have an immediate stat reduction such as Day Tripper and Fury. This will only work for strength, charisma, intelligence, and perception, but using the proper chems and the SPECIAL cheat will work. Then you can get the bobblehead for another further +1. You can always take the perk based bonuses such as Solar Powered and Night Person as well, but until the DLC and mods come out that is the best I think anyone can do who has an Xbox One or PS4.


In order to increase stats past 10 with bobble heads you don't need to do anything other than having your stat at 10 naturally when you pick up the bobble head. No need to mess with debuffs.

The debuffs are only needed to increase a stat past 10 with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. book from sanctuary.

Beyond that, I found a debuff that will work for agility and endurance and is easier to use than the withdrawal debuff from a drug (which wasn't working for me to increase agility anyway).

Simply make your character over loaded and it will reduce your agility and endurance by -2. This is particularly nice since it's incredibly easy to do.

  • The overloaded debuff unfortunately only works in survival mode, I just tested it in normal (And wiki confirms)
    – Alan
    Commented Sep 4, 2019 at 16:01

Some players here have confused the terms 'addicted' and 'withdraw'. For example, I had a base agility of 10. Using x-cell (x4 as it rate as one of the most addictive) I used them while I stood in front of the agility bobblehead... WAIT for x-cell effects to wear off (a few minutes). At this point you will suffer from withdraw of x-cell giving -1 to agility. With my agility at 9, I grabbed the bobblehead. Now my agility shows 10, but I'm still in withdraw so I remove the addiction, 11 agility.


For agility theta radiation lowers it by 1 and being incapitated lowers it by 4 Also Overweight -2


Tattered Rags also work. All addictions I've had so far to Psycho, Med-X, Buffout, Mentats, Jet and Alcohol all have had no effect. But what does seem to work is being drunk or on the drugs that debuff you while you do it. I'd assume to max out your specials the most you could combine debuffs from clothing plus drugs/alcohol at the same time to further the effect before getting any bobbleheads. My question is what drugs/clothing debuff you?

  • Addictions have a debuff effect when you're in withdrawal, including Psycho, Med-X, Buffout, Mentats, Jet, and Alcohol. You can see a list of all these effects in a screenshot here.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 2:28
  • 2
    You should not put questions in your answer.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 3:03

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