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How can I effectively prevent settlement growth (as in stop the population from increasing) in Fallout 4 while maintaining relatively high happiness (say at least 70)?

For example, if I want to use Graygarden only as a 10-farmers-only greenhouse and don't want any more people to settle there.

If the settlement has enough food, water and defense for those 10 people, will it automatically attract new settlers? Or is the recruitment radio tower mandatory? In which case not building (or turning it off) the tower would be sufficient to prevent the settlement growth?

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The default maximum amount of people that a settlement can have is 10. The Charisma trait is a major factor that affects how many people can be in a settlement. Basically, for each point of Charisma you have, add one to the default 10.

From the Wiki page for Settlements:

Each settlement has a default max population of 10 settlers plus each point of Charisma the character has, which has a base max of 21 before factoring in extra charisma from armor and consumables (the theoretical limit could be much higher once power armor charisma increases are calculated).

I believe that without a recruitment beacon (or with it turned off) no new settlers will arrive at the settlement (unless you send people from another settlement to it). The Wiki does not state otherwise. It also states that if four or more people are left unassigned, no new people with arrive at the settlement until those four plus people are given tasks:

If more than four settlers are either unassigned or assigned to provisioner jobs, no more settlers will arrive on their own.

This is a good way to prevent people from moving in, but it would leave you with 6 farmers only, and four freeloaders in your particular scenario.

The amount of food and water does not appear to be a factor for if people with move in. It's really only for calculating happiness within a settlement. It should be noted that the happiness level will only increase if the food and water level are greater than the total number of settlers in the settlement.

  • Alright, I'll leave the tower off and see in a few days if it works (I haven't been playing long enough to try it myself). Failing that, I'll try having 4 freeloaders. Thanks for your answer. – awa993 Jan 27 '17 at 15:00
  • The beacon is a mechanic that makes me laugh sometimes. Turn it on, people will come. Turn it off, and they won't. Even if their wandering the wilderness, and they see your settlement, they won't come. – Kaizerwolf Jan 27 '17 at 15:08
  • @Kaizerwolf Well yeah, without the beacon they don't know if you're just a bunch of raiders. What happens when you wander into a raider settlement? Even with it, you might just be trying to trick them. – DCShannon Jan 31 '17 at 0:28

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