The upcoming overhauled Survival Mode in Fallout 4 is reported to disable fast travel (this report was linked to by Bethesda).

This got me thinking about whether it's possible to have a network of self-sufficient settlements without fast travel. It sounds like a worthy challenge.

My first Fallout 4 character had a large network of settlements and occasionally one would be attacked - even when the Defence rating was higher than Food + Water. With fast travel I could easily "warp" to the settlement and wipe out the attackers.

With my second character I never used fast travel and avoided settling up even one populated settlement. Without fast travel I couldn't see how I'll be able to traverse across the map in time to "save" the settlement from attack, and could see my entire gameplay involving trekking from settlement to settlement dealing with raiding parties.

So - is it possible to create properly self-sufficient settlements which remain undamaged and happy - even if I never visit them after the original setup?

  • I'm sure you could mitigate your need to visit with a high defense but I would assume the random attack might rarely take place. You'll still need to stop in and pick up your water/caps/etc. at some point though. Mar 8, 2016 at 22:39
  • I see three separate questions, ultimately hinging on supposition: minus one. Lack of fast travel will obviously be dealt with by Bethesda, this isn't just some mod. In the meantime, you're asking how to disable radiant quests, what defense rating is high enough that they'll stop coming and how to keep them happy. All of which I'm sure have been addressed.
    – Mazura
    Mar 8, 2016 at 23:10
  • 2
    This shouldn't be a problem: "... running straight from outside Vault 111 to the opposite corner of the map took us just under 20 minutes." How Big Is F4?
    – Mazura
    Mar 9, 2016 at 1:43
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    I really hope they overhaul the stupid settlement attack mechanics before doing this. Why do I have to go and frigging defend a settlement that is literally a fortress of doom with a ring of heavy laser and missile turrets.
    – l I
    Mar 9, 2016 at 2:22
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    You know that when you fast travel, ingame time also passes? The farer you fast travel the more time passes. If a settlement gets attacked you have a certain time limit to response to the attack, no matter if you fast travel or go there without fast travel. Measured by ingame time, it's even faster to not use "fast" travel.
    – Bounce
    Mar 9, 2016 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


Patch 1.4 has changed how defending settlements against attacks works (even if slightly). You will now receive a notification showing the result of the attack if you decide not to participate in the battle. I usually participate in all battles so I have yet to see a notification like this.

I was once stuck in the middle of a long quest when Sanctuary got attacked, I received the FAILED message (this was pre 1.4) approximately 1 hour after the attack began, so could this be the standard?

I also never use fast travel as, in my opinion, I make many more discoveries and pick up tons more valuable loot when moving along the map myself. And as I said, the only times I miss settlement battles is if I'm stuck in a long quest.

By the way, I have 14 settlements so far, all with 80+ happiness. Just make sure you're producing enough resources (food, water) and have enough beds and turrets and the settlement should grow nicely without much intervention on your part. Make sure they are all connected with Supply Lines so you can share building materials between them in case you do have to stop by and build more beds, crops etc...

Don't forget that you can check on your settlements using the PipBoy in the DATA section under WORKSHOPS I believe (although it is a little buggy at the moment, it will give you an overview of what needs fixing and where).

Settlements are a great part of the game in my opinion, they give you places across the map to dump your junk, fill up on purified water (excess water produced will end up in your workshop) and when Survival Mode gets released, you'll have save points as you will only be able to save progress when sleeping in an owned bed.


Your question is based on a false premise.

Time passes in game when you fast travel. Not only that, but it can actually be faster to run there.

Keep in mind that there are still fast travel options in the survival game which you can use to speed things up, even though you can't just teleport anywhere. You can use Brotherhood vertibirds after clearing Fort Strong for Elder Maxson. These are faster than running, so should be even faster than fast travel. You can also teleport to the Institute after finishing Institutionalized, but can only teleport back out to the CIT Ruins. Still, if CIT is closer to the settlement than you currently are, this can save you a lot of time.

Furthermore, in my experienc,e failing to participate in a settlement defense often has little to no noticeable penalty, assuming that your defenses are sufficient. You may need to visit and repair a few things.

After a couple days of play time on survival, I don't find managing my settlements to be any more difficult than it was previously

  • I'm not sure about that third section. In my experience, even if your defense is much greater than your food+water (I've had this happen even by a magnitude of nearly 10), if you don't go to the settlement to watch the turrets take out the attackers, you'll fail the quest, and then you'll have to repair a lot of things in your settlement. And not just defenses, I've had power/crops/etc. need repairing after a failed defense. Not the most catastrophic, but very annoying... I don't want to keep wasting oil on repairing turrets that should've easily taken care of the attackers...
    – king14nyr
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:18
  • @king14nyr That's true, you have to repair stuff sometimes. Added that.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 14:27
  • @DCShannon - I know that time passes when you fast travel, although I didn't realise that it's sometimes faster to run - interesting. While I could run from attacked settlement to attacked settlement it's not going to make for very enjoyable gaming if I have 10 settlements spread across the map. Mar 9, 2016 at 21:32
  • @BaronGrivet I agree that may not be the funnest thing ever, but it doesn't sound any worse than the rest of the game would be without fast travel. I really do ignore settlement defense objectives fairly often.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 9, 2016 at 21:36

I can confirm that if you do build defenses high enough, even if you do not defend the settlement you CAN get a successful mission without stepping in at all. I would try keeping defenses a more considerable amount higher than food + water. My settlements that have a smaller gap between defenses and resources don’t stand as much of a chance without my intervention. Try with defenses at least 10+ but maybe even 20+ Over your total resources, as widely spread as possible, and test it. Like someone else mentioned, there aren’t huge negative consequences if they do lose and you get a fail. Just beef them up a little more and test again. Also seems that the higher your resources the higher numbers in raiding parties but that could be coincidence or related to level? Again spreading out and keeping a significant gap helps loads. Another thing to keep in mind, loot extra weapons and armor even if they are crappy or useless to your build and drop them off among settments that get attacked more frequently. If they have more munitions they can defend themselves more effectively without you. Even lengendary weapons and armor that are not as useful to your build, any extras can give you settlements a huge boost. There’s enough scrap out in the commonwealth without needing to scrap weapons and armor too.

  • Also forgot to mention, I can’t confirm this but i have a speculation that if you do not intervene and a single settler dies in the battle that may be why the mission considered it a fail? Adequate weapons should help with this considerably so they aren’t trying to duke out melees with super mutants like morons. But again this is speculation. I had issues with sanctuary because of this (I think) but I forced all the settlers to switch to long range rifles and that’s when they started making do on their own.
    – Ashlyn
    Mar 24, 2018 at 6:29

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