If a stat is at 10 and you pick up the "You're SPECIAL" book (+1 to any SPECIAL stat), 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 debuff 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 had 10 in intelligence base, and then drank some Whiskey to temporarely reduce my int to 9 and then took the book I was able to pick intelligence as my stat to increase. When the duration of the Whiskey ended my total base int was at 11.

So my question then is what ways do we have to temporarely 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 SEPCIAL. (No console commands)

Edit: Changed question to better reflect what I'm actually wondering about. Edit 2: Moved list to answer. Edit 3: Updated explanation of how the "You're SPECIAL" book works to be more precise.

  • As you've basically answered this question yourself, I think the anwers for how to lower each stat should be posted as an answer to it. Obviously update luck once you find out how to lower that tempoary. – djsmiley2kStaysInside Dec 2 '15 at 9:44
  • Yeah. Change the title to something like "How can I minimize my SPECIAL stats?" or somesuch. That would be a great question, actually, especially for the reasons you're stating here. [Check this question] to see how chems stack, it should be the same for debuffs, though it doesn't answer your question. – leinaD_natipaC Dec 2 '15 at 10:58
  • @djsmiley2k I moved list of stats to an answer. I'm not exactly an avid stackexchange user so not sure how this should look to best provide useful information. I also still need help to fill in the gaps. – EJS Dec 2 '15 at 11:28
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    @leinaD_natipaC Updated question as adviced, so that it better reflects what I'm actually trying to ask. – EJS Dec 2 '15 at 11:29
  • Waitaminute. If you have 10 on one stat, then lower it to 7 with debuffs and then use the SPECIAL book, can you end up with 13 on that stat? Or is 11 the maximum? I'm also taking for granted that after that you can up your stat again with a bobblehead. – leinaD_natipaC Dec 2 '15 at 12:26

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
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The list is still incomplete. In particular I'm unable to find any way to reduce Luck.

  • Strength: Daytripper
  • Perception: Fury
  • Endurance: Addiction to Buffout
  • Charisma: Daddy-O
  • Intelligence: Alcohol of any kind. For example Whiskey.
  • Agility: (Limb damage?)
  • Luck: ?
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  • 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. – leinaD_natipaC Dec 2 '15 at 12:22
  • @DCShannon Updated list with your information. – EJS Dec 3 '15 at 8:42
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    There is a chem called X-Cell that increases all SPECIAL stats by two. Would addiction to it reduce all stats? I haven't actually used it, which is why I'm unsure about it's addiction withdrawal symptoms; I'd test but I'm at work now. – Unknown Zombie Dec 3 '15 at 14:26
  • There's additional information in this other, recent answer you could add to your answer: How many chem addictions are in Fallout 4?. – DCShannon Jan 6 '16 at 21:48
  • @UnknownZombie Based on the chem addiction answer I linked, X-Cell addiction does indeed debuff all your special stats. – DCShannon Jan 8 '16 at 21:04

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.

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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.

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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.

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  • The overloaded debuff unfortunately only works in survival mode, I just tested it in normal (And wiki confirms) – Alan Sep 4 '19 at 16:01

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?

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  • 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 Jan 14 '16 at 2:28
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    You should not put questions in your answer. – pinckerman Jan 14 '16 at 3:03

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