On my very first playthrough of Fallout 4, I maxed my Charisma as soon as possible. Truth is I believed Charisma was the best attribute in Fallout 4. Thousands on hours later it still is essential for all my play throughs. Without good Charisma you possibly leave a lot of experience points on the table. I recently earned 100 XP for a Charisma check with a sniper build. That’s a huge amount. But anyway enough of my gaming history and onto the breakdown of the perks in the Charisma attribute.
Tier 1 is Cap Collector. If you aren’t building settlements this perk isn’t all that necessary. Although the first two ranks give you a significant price discount over any other option it’s true value is in the settlement building as you must have the first two ranks to build stores at settlements. The third rank, which grants you the ability to invest caps in shops is a pass. You’ll have plenty of shops built at each settlement to sell all you loot. If you aren’t building settlements and still want the caps, you’re better off investing two perks in Fortune Finder under the Luck attribute.
Black Widow/Lady Killer perk is Tier 2. If you’ve built a female character this is a more useful perk as there are more male enemies than female and the bonus damage is nice. But it isn’t world beating, either. By the end game when this perk shows its most usefulness in combat, your weapons will be plenty powerful enough. The other benefit come from Charisma checks as it’s easier to convince the opposite sex and the Intimidation perk is more successful. Perk points best allocated elsewhere.
The Tier 3 Lone Wanderer Perk is the premier perk under Charisma and one of the best perks in the game. Let’s face it, companions are stealth killers and at best are poor shots and have little use in combat, except an overhauled Codsworth or Ada, both of whom can be devastating in combat and have a high carry weight. With the Lone Wanderer Perk you get a significant boost to carry weight +100 with rank 2, outdoing Stongback by 50. At rank 3 you also inflict 25% more damage while taking 30% less damage. And with rank 4, with the Far Harbor DLC, you get an addition 25 action points, a good bonus for V.A.T.S. users. And if you need to carry more loot bring Dogmeat along as he doesn’t count against the Lone Wanderer perk.
Speaking of Dogmeat, the Attack Dog perk can be had at Tier 4. The perks sound good but they really aren’t worth the investment unless Dogmeat is integral to your play through. Holding an enemy, maybe crippling a limb, and causing bleed damage isn’t likely worth the perk points as there are far better damage multipliers available. Give these a pass unless Dogmeat is with for the entire play through.
Tier 5 brings Animal Friend into the mix. You can pacify, incite to attack, or give specific commands to animals of the Wasteland. Other than provide to comic relief by bringing in a bloatfly to cause chaos, these aren’t worth the points. Easier to just kill the animals and the raiders. Maybe a Beastemaster-style play through is worth it or building arenas but honestly it’s more gimmick than useful.
Local Leader at Tier 6 is primarily for settlement building. You’ll need both ranks to combine with Cap Collector to buildshops, it only one rank to create supply lines and be able to build workstations in every settlement, which is beneficial as you can stop anywhere to improve armor or weapons, cookfood or make chems negating the need to always go to Sanctuary or Red Rocket or the Castle.
Like to drink? Well, the Partyboy/girl perk at Tier 7 is for you. This is actually a great perk for a variety of builds, especially and melee character as you can get even more strength by consuming alcohol. Plus your Luck goes up, and if you’re running a low Intelligence build with the Idiot Savant Perk, you can imbibe before turning in quests to 8mprove the chance of your XP multiplier. It’s a high investment into Charisma but probably a worthy set of perks.
The Inspirational perk at Tier 8 is mostly a pass. Yes it prevents you from harming your companions and them from harming you, but are companions worththis very high investment in Charisma to get? Since you’re far better off with the Lone Wanderer Perk, I would say no. Unless you already have high Charisma adding points to get here and then take these perks isn’t a great option.
Tier 9 and 10 are essentially identical to Animal Friend only they apply to wasteland creatures and people. Now maybe having a pet deathclaw is your thing or having arena fights with humans, creatures, and animals is also your thing. Either way these aren't worth getting until later in the game for any reason other than role-playing. Of course I'm going to be hypocritical under the Intelligence attribute in the next post as it has an option just like these only for robots.
Being able to manipulate others and have them do your bidding can be a fun and entertaining option, but the real strength in Charisma is the ability to dig out additional information and earn XP while doing it. I mean it is equally fun to squeeze more caps out of the tightwad residents of Diamond City. And, of course, the settlement system isn't fully optimized without the appropriate Charisma perks to make it happen.