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It seems in Fallout 4 (Xbox One), I cannot get my settlements to go above 80% happiness. I was told that getting your Charisma level up, building shops, and decorating settlements (as well as satisfying water levels, food levels, etc.) that the happiness level should continually grow until it hits 100%. This doesn't seem to be the case for me. I have the perks under the Charisma skill column that benefit settlements (such as the skill for shops) but it doesn't seem to matter.

I've also noticed that sometimes a happiness level will be decreasing, but after traveling to the settlement and then opening the workshop, the happiness level shows that it is decreasing and quickly switches to increasing without me doing anything.

Is there something I'm missing or doing wrong?

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    How much time do you spend in the settlement? You have to be there constantly and even then, I believe the happiness fluctuates inconsistently once it gets to about 80ish. I think the "best" way to hit 100% happiness is to have everyone run medical stands and just stand there yourself and wait around... – Vemonus Aug 26 '16 at 3:33
  • The happiness values in my pipboy have been inaccurate many times compared to the settlement workbenches. Sometimes they just say 0 for a while, then back to normal next time i check my pipboy – Dpeif Aug 26 '16 at 4:43
  • I haven't noticed the inconsistencies with happiness in my pipboy, however I have seen times where the happiness level of a place plunges and the population of the settlement is something like 50 people on my pipboy. But when I fast travel to the settlement, the population is a normal level (around 20). I'll have to try the medical stand trick, but what about the food levels? If everyone is running a shop, there won't be any food, or should I leave some people to harvest food still? – Timmy Jim Aug 26 '16 at 13:28
  • The method I have heard works (although I've never tried it, I play FO4 on PC so I don't much care about achievements) is to just hang around the settlement a lot. You may get unlucky and have a radstorm roll through, which will actually decrease happiness as everyone is taking damage, but hanging around long enough will help. – Kaizerwolf Aug 26 '16 at 14:22
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Happiness in Fallout 4 is rather frustrating.

TL;DR:

  • If you're certain that all your settlers' needs have been met (listed in full post below), synths may have replaced some of your settlers. Kill the synth, and your settlement happiness will go up.
  • You might also have a negative modifier being applied to your total happiness score based on a settlement-related quest or recent settler death. To offset this, and any other happiness-related bugs that may be present, add bars, clinics, and animals like the Junkyard Dog, Gorilla, or Cats (if you have the DLC).
  • If you're focused on getting one settlement to 100% quickly, make sure it has no children, and no robots (so Graygarden is not a good idea).

And while I can't seem to find solid evidence that staying in the settlement is required, players have reported that happiness sometimes decreases when leaving the settlement. If you're trying to go for that coveted 100%, stay in the settlement. When you see the happiness go up, sleep until the next day, then repeat. I got the Benevolent Leader trophy without doing this, but I thought it was worth mentioning nonetheless.


Here's the math behind the settlement happiness "score", which you can find in the scripts/workshopscript.pex (taken from this reddit post by /u/DerCapac):

  • Is there 1 food for the settler? If yes add 20 happiness (happinessBonusFood).
  • Is there 1 water for the settler? If yes add 20 happiness (happinessBonusWater).
  • Is there a bed for the settler? If yes add 10 happiness (happinessBonusBed).
  • Is the bed placed in a roofed area? If yes add 10 happiness (happinessBonusShelter).
  • Is the safety rating equal or higher to the total population? If yes add 20 happiness (happinessBonusSafety).

This makes a total of 80 happiness per settler.

However, these only apply to human settlers. Your settlers can be replaced by synths, which have a fixed happiness of 50. Robots also have a fixed happiness of 50. To find out if your settlement has synths, save the game, then start killing your settlers -- if their body has a synth component in its inventory, that settler was a synth. Reload your previous save, and kill that one (or however many synth settlers you found). Beware, other settlers may aggro you if you kill a synth "settler".

As you mentioned, stores provide bonus happiness. Bars and clinics provide the most happiness (large bar provides 40 happiness, large clinic provides 30).

If you acquire a Junkyard Dog or Gorilla, that will increase happiness as well, adding 10 and 20 bonus happiness respectively. If you have the Wasteland Workshop DLC, cats add happiness as well (a town full of cats is how I managed to get the Benevolent Leader trophy).

The resulting value is divided through the total number of settlers living in the settlement. If all of your settlers' needs are fulfilled, this means that we end up with a happiness value of 80 plus the bonus happiness of all stores divided by the number of settlers.

This reddit post also describes a happiness modifier applied after this calculation is made, based on settlement-related quests and settler deaths, both of which normally have a negative impact. The modifier is capped between -50 and +20, and the modifier is reduced by 20% each day.

After all of these calculations and modifiers are applied, you have the final value. The settlement's happiness will go up 20% each day until it reaches the calculated happiness value.

Various players have reported a bug where settler happiness either goes down, or does not do the normal 20% increase while you are not in the settlement -- however, none of the script files seem to explain this phenomenon. Nevertheless, it's worth taking into consideration. People have also reported that unemployed settlers (which includes those assigned to a supply line, and children) result in unhappiness, but there doesn't seem to be any proof in the scripts for that either. I'll update this answer if anyone has evidence otherwise.

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  • Hmm. There's no way to ID a synth without gunning them down? – user973 Aug 26 '16 at 15:48
  • Wow that's a lot of stuff to do. I have all the DLC so I can give it a go. I never knew synths could replace your settlers also! – Timmy Jim Aug 26 '16 at 15:49
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    @TimmyJim Don't get intimidated by all the math -- it's just there for you if you need further guidance after doing the stuff in the TL;DR. And yeah, if you have the DLC, go the cat route. Settlers love cats. – pushasha Aug 26 '16 at 15:52
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    @ヴァイシャリ I got it using a smaller population (I want to say around five people, will double-check when I get home) in Hangman's Alley. Easier to do with smaller population and small area (where you can keep track of everything going on). Hopefully that helps! – pushasha Aug 26 '16 at 16:25
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    @ヴァイシャリ The easiest way to get the benevolent leader achievement is with a settlement with one settler manning a large bar, no crops or water, a turret, and a bunch of water bottles and crops in the workbench. Just leave it alone and it'll go up to 100% a few points a day. Add a cat or dog if you want to make sure. – DCShannon Aug 26 '16 at 17:34
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There is an unresolved bug with settlements which prevents the various stats showing up correctly when you are away from the settlement, hence the happiness score shrinking according to the formulas pushasha has provided, and hence the suggestion that when you are all set up you stay in the settlement until you get the achievement.

References:

Beds/Defenses keep "disappearing" when not in the settlement https://steamcommunity.com/app/377160/discussions/0/494631967651150513/ https://www.reddit.com/r/fo4/comments/3shnrt/settlement_bug/

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