Fallout 4 Melee Build – Bash Everything As Big Bertha – The Ultimate Guide

Written by Jazz Andrews

Hey there, I'm Jazz! a marketing specialist, crochet enthusiast, meditation enjoyer, beginner rock climber and fellow human being, just like you. I don't play video games anymore, but I'm keeping this guides up for anyone they may be useful for. Have fun out there 🙂

January 4, 2021

Want to play Fallout as a big boned bad ass chick called Bertha? I sure did (I suppose you could be a beefy bloke called Bob as well, whatever floats your boat). If so this guide is for you.

Big Bertha is intended to be played at the highest difficulty setting so this build focusses a lot on endurance and strength to stay alive. We also want to be able to enjoy all the standard aspects of Fallout like looting, crafting and selling, so we’ve really maximised carry weight.

For all the starting SPECIAL choices below we’ve gone one lower than the level needed for our highest perk. That way when you collect the bobblehead for the attribute in question it will bump you up to the level required for that perk trees top level perk for the build.

Fallout 4 Melee Build: SPECIAL & Perks

Strength: 7

Get one point with bobblehead and one point with special book to make it 9. Primary skill. For beating up enemies, also for a big carry weight. We want Bertha to be able to carry as much stuff as possible. Seeing as how we have to base a melee character around strength, we may as well take advantage of the carry weight buff that provides.

  • Strength Perks:
    • Big Leagues – for hitting stuff.
    • Armorer – for good armor.
    • Blacksmith – for making good melee weapons.
    • Strong Back – For carrying more stuff and moving while encumbered.
    • Rooted – This is a great perk for damage buffs while standing still. 

Perception: 3

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 4.  If it wasn’t for the locksmith perk we wouldn’t be investing in this tree at all.

  • Perception Perks:
    • Locksmith:  Just not as fun to play without being able to pick locks.

Endurance: 5

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 6. We’re going to be playing on the hardest level so we gotta be tough.

  • Endurance Perks:
    • Toughness – for taking less damage.
    • Lifegiver – for more max health.
    • Chem resistant – to get the immunity at level 2, so we can take heaps of psycho and buffout to give us an edge in difficult fights.
    • Rad resistant – to get that radiation resistance.
  • Endurance Perks Not Taken:
    • Ghoulish: Reason being that we want to be able to cook food to make use of the potential stat boosts and to fit in with our survivalist vibe. This takes away one of the benefits of Ghoulish of getting extra health from uncooked food (due to the rads giving you extra health). This would be a viable option in this build but you would need to tweak your other endurance perks. It’s a matter of personal preference really. We went the route of rad resistance instead, which is at odds with this perk.
    • Lead belly: Likewise with above, we enjoy cooking in the wasteland. We’ll have a large carrying capacity to carry around all the meat we collect so that we can make use of campfires when we find them, so we’ll have plenty of rad-free food. Negating the need for this perk.

Charisma: 5

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 6. 

  • Charisma Perks:
    • Cap collector: With all the loot you’ll be able to carry around, it makes sense to be able to sell it for a decent amount.
    • Lone Wanderer: You don’t need a companion to help you carry stuff and you’ll be tough enough to handle groups of enemies on your own. This will boost your toughness and carrying capacity even further. Even better, if you’re like me and you can’t play without Dogmeat at your side, this perk still gives all benefits when accompanied by Dogmeat, as for the purposes of this perk he doesn’t count as a companion.
    • Local Leader: As you’ve taken the workbench perks for armor and melee weapons, you’ll want to be able to access your junk between settlements, so you’ll want the first stage of this perk for setting up supply lines.

Intelligence: 1

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 2. Okay, so you’re not the smartest cookie. No big deal.

  • Intelligence Perks:
    • Medic: Make stimpacks and radaway more effective.

Agility: 1

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 2.  We’re not using any guns so don’t really need this. We’re also going to be focusson on non-vats combat, to be able to spend perk points in other areas.

  • Agility Perks: N/A

Luck: 4

Get one point with bobblehead to make it 5. You’re not smart, and you’re not agile. But you are pretty lucky. You’re a big, strong, tough, charming, lucky kinda gal.

  • Luck Perks:
    • Fortune Finder: Find more money in the wasteland.
    • Bloody Mess: Only a little extra damage, but the bloodyness just fits in with our vibe.
    • Idiot Savant: This will trigger more often because we’ve kept our intelligence nice and low. And will help counteract the loss of XP afforded by the lower intelligence score. 
The above initial build will leave you with 2 left over SPECIAL points, not required for our goal perks. Put those 2 points where you will. I'm going to put 1 point in Strength, making 8 in initial setup and 10 after finding the bobblehead and the special book (for melee combat and carrying capacity), and 1 in endurance, making it 6 in initial and 7 once the bobblehead is found (for health and rad resistance).

Fallout 4 Melee Build: Gameplay

The whole point of Fallout is the freedom to choose the way you play. So I’m not going to get too bogged down in advice for step-by-step gameplay. But I will provide a few points on some early game strategy that I recommend.

1. Get the perception bobblehead first because it’s located in the first main quest when you meet Preston Garvey at the Museum of Freedom, so you’ll likely be heading that way anyway. We want to get this one first so we can level up lockpicking ASAP. That ensures we don’t miss out on loot from locked containers in the early game. I’d save spending my first perk point until after getting the Perception Bobblehead so you can put it in lockpicking.

2. Next head down to Boston. On very hard difficulty this is going to be difficult. So make sure to wear some of the armour that you got from the raiders in the Museum, take Dogmeat or another companion along to help. You’re getting the Intelligence Bobblehead next so you can get Medic. As you’re playing on very hard and have lots of health points that will need regenerating you want to be able to get better use out of your stimpacks and radaway ASAP. The Boston Public Library has a side door with some lockpicks next to it. Pick the lock, enter and follow the video below to run and grab the bobblehead.

How To Speedrun The Intelligence Bobblehead in Fallout 4

3. Now you’re not too far from the Luck Bobblehead, so head east to Spectacle Island to get this Bobblehead so you can unlock Idiot Savant. This will give you a great boost to XP gain which will help you level up quicker early on so you can get all the other perks you’re going to need to be a total badass in the Commonwealth. You can find the Luck Bobblehead on the second storey of a shipwreck near the bottom of the island.

Where you go from here is up to you, have fun adventuring wanderer!