Next on the list for attributes is Perception. The Perception attribute is useful for a wide variety of play styles. And even more robust for role-playing or character creation than the previous Strength attribute. Perception grants the ability to shoot through cover, see at night, craft explosives, and increases your accuracy during a VATS firearm play style. Let’s get started.

Tier 1 in Perception gets you the Pickpocket perk. For the most part, this set of perks aren’t of any benefit. There isn’t any real need to pickpocket anyone in Fallout 4. At the later ranks you have the ability to steal weapons but by the time you get that perk you can already plant explosives in your intended victims inventory which will instantly kill them if not detected, which negates the need to actually steal and equipped items. I will definitely give this perk a thumbs up for fun factor though as placing live explosives is definitely worth spending a few perk points in the late stages to spice up the play through. Plus, it give you a legitimate reason for keeping all those fragmentation mines you’ve collected over 30 or 40 levels. A fun perk but not all that useful.

One of the best perks in the game is next in the Rifleman perk. Non-automatic rifles and shotguns in Fallout 4 are incredibly powerful. In fact the most powerful rifle in the game is only usable with the Rifleman perks, and that weapon is the Gauss rifle. No other rifle even comes close to the overall power of the Gauss rifle. With proper perk investment and smithing you can have your Gauss rifle exceeding 440 damage per shot. And if you find a VATS enhanced or two-shot legendary variant…look out bad guys. Not only do you get super powerful one shot per trigger pull weapons but with the Rifleman perk rank 5 your non-automatic rifles and shotguns also ignore 30% of opponents armor with the chance to cripple a limb.

Perception tier 3 introduces the Awareness perk. This perk is a total pass. Knowing the resistances of particular enemies isn’t all that necessary and it’s a good idea to give this entire perk a miss. Even rank two isn’t good enough to spend a perk point to get unless it’s late game and you want that extra damage. And if you aren’t using VATS this perk is worthless anyway. A non-VATS play through won’t be taking the time to pull up VATS to target a certain spot. Besides head shots are always best.

Locksmith is Perception tier 4 and this perk fits in they convenience perks. Although, I find Locksmith a necessity as I don’t like leaving any XP on the table. As you can imagine Locksmith grants you the ability to pick higher level locks in the game and can even grant you an unbreakable bobby-pin. Now bobby-pins are so common you’ll never need to get the last rank of Locksmith but if you do you can always sell the extra bobby-pins. Locksmith also allows you to uncover more loot and ammo, especially rarer ammo types like missiles and 2mmEC ammo for your uber-powerful Gauss rifle.

If explosions really get your blood pumping then the tier 5 Perception perk Demolitions Expert is a must. This perk enhances the damage from grenades and mines, and allows you to craft your own (although I say pass on crafting grenades due to the high adhesive costs). With rank two you get a throwing arc which is incredibly helpful for tossing grenades through windows. Additionally, the Demolitions Expert perk also enhances weapons like missile launchers, Fat Mans, and the awesome Spray N Pray sub-machine gun.

The Night Person perk at Perception 6 is an absolute pass if you’re running a low intelligence character who levels up with the Idiot Savant perk found under Luck. But if you aren’t and want to get the maximum XP then this perk is for you. But also the ability to skip the awful night-vision scopes is a huge plus when you grab the second rank of Night Person as you get the ability to see at night while in sneak mode. Word of caution with the second rank, though, and that’s to get out of sneak mode before reading any terminals as the text can become hard to read around the edges. The third rank of Night Person (if you have Nuka World) gives 30 extra HP. Give this rank a miss and add another perk to Endurance or something else.

At tier 7, the Refractor perk is certainly a perk that isn’t worth the high investment to get to if you don’t already have high Perception. And even if you do have high Perception you can eat foods that increase your energy resistance enough to get your through a fight. I would pass on this perk and add the points into Endurance for more HP overall. Much too high of a cost for any value.

Sniper, Perception level 8, is a good perk that goes to a niche perk as do the final two tiers in Perception. This is a high cost perk that gives you some overall value to scoped weapons with the first two ranks and its next bonus turns to VATS users. The second rank of this perk is where the real meat is as you have the ability to knock down your opponent. This frees you up to zero in on the next target while that other poor fool gets up again. Given all that, this perk could be passed on if you have the sneak attack multipliers from the Agility attribute. With those the ability to knock down an opponent is like a moot point as they will most likely be dead anyway. Some food for thought: A maxed Gauss rifle using the Sandman perks and the Ninja perks can sneak attack at over 2,000 damage (weapon damaged plus 30% for silenced weapons multiplied by 3.5 for Ninja sneak attack), enough to one-shot nearly every enemy.

Perception tier 9 and 10 are for VATS users only as the perks themselves require the use of VATS to be effective. The Penetrator perk is first at tier 9. The first rank grants the ability to shoot through cover with a reduction in accuracy. Now cover does include mirelurk shells and a piece of armor, but…If you decide to use a Critical Hit on your target, you will have the ability to penetrate everything. For example, targeting a fusion core from the front behind cover, which equates to multiple pieces of cover. This won’t matter as Critical Hits always hit. At rank 2 you suffer no lose of accuracy when shooting through cover.

Finally, the Concentrated Fire perk. Perception tier 10. This perk offers some significant bonuses for VATS users. At rank 1 you earn a 10% accuracy for every attack on a specific body part. What this means is if you target the head of your enemy with VATS six times you get that 10% bonus for every shot not just the overall attack. At rank 2 your accuracy bonus goes to plus 15%, and the creme de la creme rank 3. With the final rank you get an amazing 20% accuracy bonus AND 20% more damage. For some perspective let’s go back to the maximum damage from the Gauss rifle at 2,000. Now add an addition 20% to that amount for an unbelievable 2,400 damage.

Notable weapons in the non-automatic weapons category: The Last Minute (the Castle), and variant of the Gauss rifle that does an additional 50% limb damage. Righteous Authority (ArcJet systems) a reward for helping Paladin Danse, double damage for critical shots and critical meter fills 15% faster. The Railway Rifle, a powerful weapons that uses railway spikes. A reward from the RailRoad or can be found at Big John’s Salvage, and Bedford Station after level 20. Old Reliable, a two-shot lever action .45-70 found in Acadia with Far Harbor DLC.

The Perception attribute, unlike Strength, offers many valuable perks. Some are quite specific but most are an overall benefit to playing Fallout 4 as an explosives expert, a shotgunner, a sniper. And of course, if you’re into raw power with awesome damage output you’ll want to trick out your Gauss rifle and snipe away.


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