Marvels of post-apocalyptic engineering: The best ‘Fallout 4’ settlements

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Fallout 4 is a big game. Not only is the world massive, packed to the brim with all manner of interesting quests, characters, and locations to discover, but it also sports a number of other gameplay systems that take your adventure beyond the usual exploration that Bethesda’s RPGs are known for. Most notable among these is the settlement feature. Not content to simply provide players with a method for crafting their own gear and weaponry, Fallout 4 features a robust set of tools that empowers players to create their own post-apocalyptic settlement. Whether that manifests as a sustainable farm of crops and mutated livestock, or a fortified fortress in the ruins of Boston is entirely up to you. These creation tools are highly flexible, too, and have produced some impressively creative structures from the Fallout 4  fanbase. Throw in a few mods and exploits of the game’s buggy framework, and the possibilities become seemingly unlimited. We’ve searched the internet for some of the biggest, most intricate, and most creative Fallout 4 settlements and structures out there to help inspire your inner Frank Lloyd Wright.

‘Bioshock Infinite’s’ Columbia

YouTuber GPG Shepard built a floating settlement in Fallout 4 based on Bioshock Infinite‘s floating city, Columbia, thus creating a gaming chocolate-and-peanut butter pairing. The floating metropolis is impressive and captures the bright, patriotic atmosphere of Columbia. If you’re interested in building your own version, GPG Shepard has uploaded a list of mods and objects used to build his settlement in the sky.

The Neon Curtain

From the outside, The Neon Curtain doesn’t give off the impression that it is luxurious, but once you enter through a secret door (and provide the right password), the place comes to life. This swanky settlement located in the Mechanist’s Lair has all of the trappings of an illicit speakeasy. From a full bar to poker and blackjack tables to an appropriately fashioned stage, its main room is elaborately detailed, and there’s also a high roller suite. The appropriately named hang out is illuminated by vibrant neon lights. Builder ccourier even offers some better-than-most lore on his creation.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki is renowned for — among other things — the fantastical designs in his movies, and the walking castle in Howl’s Moving Castle — a massive hermit crab of steel and fire — is one of his most impressive sights. Imgur user MichaelMartin managed to bring Howl’s abode to the gritty landscape of the Commonwealth. Built from a variety of pieces, this version of the castle has a distinctly New England vibe, thanks to the lighthouse and ship parts jutting out of its shell.

Back Alley Bowling

There’s just something about the look of old bowling alleys, and ArunsWorld’s Back Alley Bowling captures it. The cliche but appropriate star-covered carpeting lets you know that you’re in an old-style alley. A balcony overlooks the three-lane design, with a few pool tables and arcade machines to round out its on the nose style.

Photo: ArunsWorld

Cargo City

This massive freighter was intended to take the citizens of Boston to a more prosperous place, according to its builder alorion, but it wound up as a perpetually docked trading post. On the deck, it captures the grim aesthetic of the game. There’s a myriad of merchants peddling goods for caps, many of whom are not exactly savory individuals. The dilapidated interior of the freighter is just the right amount of cluttered, accomplishing a difficult feat for sprawling creations like this.

Photo: alorion

Red Rocket Bar and Grill

Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of great places to eat in post-apocalyptic Boston. Most of the time, you’re simply scavenging for scraps, and too much of it is less than ideal. Builder Time for Stories created an above ground restaurant to keep the fiends away while you’re chowing down after a long day out in the wasteland. This multi-floor, semi-enclosed grill also has furniture so you can kick back and rest after a hearty meal. And yes, there’s a giant red rocket on display.

Photo: Time_for_Stories

Dock Town

Built off the coast of Salem, this large settlement is separated into two different towns. There’s a trading city and an outpost. Scattered throughout the adjoining docks, builder busanko placed pop up shops such as a general store and a walk-in clinic complete with a pharmacy, each one with their own idiosyncrasies.

Photo: busanko

Sanctuary City

The scale of Sanctuary City, from NexusMods user grod4L, is absolutely astounding. Building on top of Sanctuary is nothing new; everyone gets their settlement sea legs by crafting Mama Murphy a nice new armchair, but this is something else entirely. More than three months’ work went into the construction of this monstrous city, and the combination of lights, buildings, and installed mods puts so much stress on his computer that it often dips below 10 frames per second in-game.

Photo: grod4L

Hydroelectric Dam

One of the most interesting aspects of Fallout 4’s building mechanic is how it allows you to transform the Commonwealth. Here, creator dakishimisan returns electricity to this small town with the construction of a massive hydroelectric dam.

New Starlight Hotel

Rytlockeisakitten built this enormous, intricately designed hotel after a recent trip to Southeast Asia. While many of the structure’s made in Fallout 4 tend to reflect the crumbling reality of the game’s setting, the New Starlight Hotel is bright, and feels far more welcome that the usual shanty towns and raider outposts populating the world.

Sanctuary Compound

Rytlockeisakitten makes a second appearance on this list, this time with a sprawling compound built over the bombed-out ruins of Sanctuary, Fallout 4’s starting location and the first settlement location in the game.

Scrap Dragon

This menacing mechanical dragon towers over the center of downtown Boston. Builder kavkavkav fashioned the beast out of scraps of junk, such as rusted cars, pieces of scaffolding, antennas, and other components strewn around the wasteland.

Wolverine Homestead

If Logan left you longing for life in a grim wasteland, this homestead may have the right atmosphere for you. The giant, illuminated, 8-bit Wolverine might be the first thing to grab your attention, but creator brady8807’s entire settlement is a sprawling estate featuring a massive main hall, replete with a recreation room, and several other wings filled with various crafting nooks and living spaces.

Photo: brady8807

Power Generator Sanctuary

UMPiCK24’s settlement is an impressive and robust creation. Using the town of Sanctuary as their base, UMPiCK24 has built out a well-fortified fortress, meticulously stringing wire beneath sky bridges and across the perimeter to power everything from well-decorated residences, sleeping porches, defense posts, workshops, and a massive portal sitting high atop of a multi-storied home. The entire settlement is powered by a giant set of wind turbines, and sustained by several well-places gardens and water filtration systems.

Photo: UMPiCK24

Minutemen’s Castle

The Castle, which is awarded to players late into the Minutemen faction questline, is one of the coolest settlements in the game. Apply some elbow grease and a few mods, and you’ll likely find yourself with an impressive settlement, much like redditor thelordonhigh cranked out. The extra-tall central pylon delivers power to the various wings and subsections of the Castle, like the power armor bunker, the radio tower, and various living and agricultural spots.

Photo: thelordonhigh

New Castle City

Reddit user Jordandrenglish crafted this colorful haven on his PlayStation 4 with no mods. The compact city, which was built upon the Castle foundation, features several neon signs, including a giant “1up” sign reminiscent of the extra life powerups in the Super Mario Bros. series. There’s even a creepy, eye-like tower standing in the middle of town, in case you were hoping for that sort of thing.

Photo: /u/jordandrenglish

Mech Hangar

The only thing cooler than power armor is a giant mecha, and redditor Cuon has built a mega structure to house both, overlooking a peninsula on the Commonwealth coast, no less. While this reimagining of Fallout 3’s Liberty Prime doesn’t actually make an appearance in Fallout 4, by tweaking with scale via console commands, the Brotherhood of Steel’s megalithic weapon returns. Surrounding the mech is a fleet of power armor frames, each with its own assigned spot and power armor workbench.

Photo: Cuon

Bliss

The wastes of the Commonwealth are a dangerous and unkind place. Sure, dilapidated ruins and scorched countryside inspire their own sort of beauty, but this settlement by DJWhitePeople combines aesthetic design with function and utility to bring real color and security back to the wastelands. Let’s just hope no roaming packs of Super Mutants catch wind of the colorful oasis.

Rubik’s Cube

Fallout 4 engineer Theowest put together his very own working Rubik’s Cube. This feat required not only mods and a ton of materials, but also a remarkable level of patience — 25 hours worth, to be exact. Each block is made up of 49 lighted panels, the colors of which can be switched via terminals on the ground connected by wires. All in all, that’s 2,646 light panels that must be individually powered via 180 generators, plus enough wires to connect it all. That’s a lot of resources.

Photo: theowest

Greygarden Overpass

Greygarden is a sizable homestead located near a collapsed section of overpass highway. The ground area is prime farmland, and the robotic inhabitants are charming. This settlement, however, takes advantage of that section of dilapidated overpass. Much like the Gunner faction in the game, RuxConk decided to take the high ground, building out thisir settlement high above ground for maximum security. The ground area is well fortified as well, enclosed within a large walled structure that provides easy access to the highway level.

Ten Dollar Tower

In Fallout 3, players visited Tenpenny Tower, an apartment building that somehow survived the Great War intact. Imgur user Grindolf claims that his Ten Dollar Tower is “10 times better” than the original, and it appears he’s a better architect than mathematician.

The new tower, while not as well-lit or… um… inhabited as the original, features some fun things, such as a bar, a bathroom, and a giant neon sign that reads “10$”. On second thought, maybe his math skills are in line with his planning skills.

Photo: Grindolf

Shantytown

Sanctuary offers players their first taste of settlement building. It’s common to see versions of Sanctuary with a few rebuilt homes, some fields for crops, and maybe some utilities like water filtration and power generators. FredtheBeard took things further, however, and built out an entire, singular structure using the real estate of Sanctuary as the base. Instead of a small homestead, Shantytown is a multi-tiered fortress with numerous rooms, hallways, and interior defenses. There’s even a sizable bar for settlers to congregate in the evenings.

Photo: FredtheBeard

Kingsport Lighthouse Castle

Is there anything more idyllic than a coastal home? This settlement is built around the Kingsport Lighthouse on the northeastern coast of the Commonwealth, which offers a unique focal point for the entire settlement. Barbaros Boston’s walled-off coastal escape includes the usual settlement fixtures such as defense turrets, workshops, item caches, and numerous suits of power armor on display. But this Kingsport Lighthouse settlement also features a charming beach house living space, a boat house and pier. The best part, however, is the modified lighthouse, offering a perfect place to gaze out at the sea.

Wasteland AT-AT

Fallout 4 is notable for creating compelling horizons, filled with interesting structures, building, and objects that invite curious adventurers to discover all manner of hidden items, characters, and quests stowed away within their dilapidated frames. Perhaps the only thing that can make the skyline of the Boston Commonwealth more interesting is the indomitable form of the AT-AT walker from The Empire Strikes Back. With Star Wars hype at a fever pitch, YouTuber Ops_Specialist was inspired to build his very own Imperial super-weapon in Fallout 4. While the quad-pedal terror isn’t operational, it serves as a a stylish and intimidating home for your wayward wasteland wanderer. What could be better than Star Wars crossed with Fallout?

Ode to ‘Blade Runner’

If you’re feeling Blade Runner vibes after watching the recent sequel, gaze upon this recreation of Ridley Scott’s consumerist dystopia. Another gorgeous homage from MichaelMartin, this settlement recreates the streets of future Los Angeles in all their grimy, neon-tinged glory. Dark streets walled in by towering buildings, neon signs cutting the gloom; given Blade Runner’s obvious influence on Fallout 4, this is a fitting tribute.

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