Fallout 4: Vault-Tec – Get 100 Settlement Happiness The Easy Way

On PC, PS4 & Xbox One: Thanks to the miracles of modern post-apocalyptic science, earning 100 happiness in a settlement is easier than ever before.


Want to earn the Benevolent Leader achievement / trophy for Fallout 4 without all the fuss? Thanks to the futuristic prototypes found in the Vault-Tec Workshop add-on, that possibility is a reality. It’s easier than ever to crack the bizarre code behind Bethesda’s weird happiness system. Still filled with bugs and quirks, the happiness-generated machines unlocked in the Vault 88 quest can overpower the 80 happiness barrier and help push you to the limit.

This is a simpler solution than most, and won’t require expensive shop kiosks or high levels of charisma — although that stuff still helps. By using fewer settlers, you can make the tiny group happier with less resources required. It all happens faster too. There’s a lot of preparation, and it takes some patience, but this is by far the easiest method to earn Benevolent Leader that we’ve discovered so far. Check out the full guide below.

Explore Gameranx’s massive list of guides, how-to’s, secret locations, and everything else a fresh Vault 111 escapee needs to thrive on the Fallout 4 Ultimate Commonwealth Guide and become a true post-apocalyptic survivor.

Uncover everything you need to know about the Vault-Tc Workshop DLC with these guides on Gameranx:

Vault-Tec – Get 100 Settlement Happiness The Easy Way

This method requires the Vault-Tec Workshop add-on, but many of the concepts can be replicated in the vanilla version of Fallout 4. Using new Vault 88 workshop items, earning the coveted 100 Happiness in a settlement is easier than it’s ever been.

Before getting started, you’ll need to complete the Vault 88 Overseer quests and unlock a particular set of Vault resources. You won’t need all of the prototypes, but having them all will make your task easier.

Vault 88 Experimental Resources:

Select the following experiment parameters when completing Overseer Barstow’s quests.


  • Power Cycle 1000 (NOT REQUIRED)
    • Environment Enhancement:
      • Construction: (4) Steel, (3) Screws, (2) Rubber, (2) Copper
      • Results: Assign settlers to work on the Power Cycle to produce 2 Power (Only during daylight hours.)
  • Soda Fountain
    • Mood Enhancement:
      • Construction: (6) Steel, (3) Glass
      • Results: Assign settlers to work on the Fountain — Requires 2 Power, Produces  15 Happiness
  • Phoropter
    • Eye Care:
      • Construction: (4) Steel, (2) Nuclear materials, (3) Glass, (2) Aluminum
      • Results: Assign settlers to work on the Phoropter — Requires 3 Power, Produces 10 Happiness
  • Slot Fountain
    • Lost Revenue:
      • Construction: (4) Steel, (2) Screws, (3) Plastic, (2) Gears, (2) Circuitry, (500) Bottlecaps
      • Results: Requires 1 Power, Produces 15 Happiness

The Power Cycle 1000 experiment will not increase happiness, but the other experiments in the same range can cause death. The Environment Enhancement absolutely will not cause death, or lower happiness.

The Phoropter features the Subliminal Messaging parameter that increases happiness by 15. Don’t select this, as some players report that settlers will drop dead from the side effects.

Preparing Vault 88 For 100 Happiness

To earn 100 Happiness with minimal effort, you’ll need to prepare the settlement properly.

  • Gain 2 Settlers. You should have only two settlers in your vault.
    • Get rid of Overseer Barstow and deactivate the radio beacon once you have two regular settlers. Clem and one of the interview subjects gained during the quest “A Model Citizen” will work.
    • Overseer Barstow cannot be assigned to work. That makes her useless. Get rid of her!
  • Create a supply line to Vault 88 using one of your other settlements with abundant water / food supplies.
    • Don’t use one of your two Vault 88 settlers to establish a supply line. You’ll need them for other tasks.
    • Once a supply line is established, check to make sure your food / water resources are green in the workshop menu. If not, make sure your other settlements are producing plenty of overflow water / food.
  • Remove all beds! Beds are notoriously buggy. Delete all pre-existing beds.
    • While you’re at it, remove as many “yellow”-marked objects.
    • It also helps to NOT reactivate the other three areas of Vault 88.

Character Requirements:

The new additions to Vault 88 make life much easier. You won’t need to construct expensive trading kiosks anymore to increase happiness.

  • You must be Level 20 to activate the Vault 88 quest.
  • Otherwise? Charisma 6+ might help.
    • Local Leader / Cap Collector are NOT REQUIRED.

Basic Construction Requirements:

These are the basic resources required to cover all the needs of your two settlers.

NOTE: All required materials are easily located in Vault 88. Break down every ‘yellow’-marked object in workshop mode to gain tons of parts. Near the East tunnels, you’ll find generator parts that are packed with rare crafting materials.

  • 2 Beds
    • Any beds will work. Even sleeping bags.
    • Place beds in a covered structure. A prefab shack with a door, for instance.
    • This is (very likely) required, even in the Vault 88 underground. Weird!
  • 2+ Automated Defense Turret
    • Build enough defense turrets until the workshop menu meter for defense turns green.
  • 2 Small Generators
    • These two generators are required to power the Phoropter, Soda Fountain, and Slot Machine.

Vault 88 does not need a Recruitment Radio Beacon. The beacon is located near the entrance, down the stairs from the main Vault-Tec workbench.

Overview – 100 Happiness Guide

Are you prepared? Before moving on, make sure your settlement needs are all green — food, water, defense, and beds should all be green.

  • Do you have only 2 settlers? Do they have beds in covered rooms with a door?

You’re almost good to go. Complete all experiment quests and get these variants:

  • Mood Enhancement Soda Fountain
  • Eye Care Phoropter
  • Lost Revenue Slot Machine

These three devices cover all your basic needs — thirst, health, and play. Now you’re ready to start earning happiness. Here’s how it’s done.


Follow these steps to unlock true happiness for your settlement — or just earn the Benevolent Leader trophy / achievement, then abandon the schmucks.

  1. Unlock Vault 88 at Level 20 and complete Overseer Barstow’s quests. Unlock these experiment parameters as you complete the quests.
    • Mood Enhancement Soda Fountain
    • Eye Care Phoropter
    • Lost Revenue Slot Machine
  2. During the quest “A Model Citizen” — select to remove the second settler. You only need two.
    • At the end of the quest chain, make sure Overseer Barstow leaves Vault 88.
  3. Turn off the Vault 88 radio beacon when you have exactly two settlers.
    • If you get more settlers, send them to a different settlement!
  4. Remove all current beds and build two more. Existing beds are very buggy!
    • Make sure to build your two beds in an interior room that is enclosed and has a door.
  5. Place turrets until your defense requirements in the workshop menu are green.
    • Raider attacks are very rare in the vault, but just to be safe, place your turrets in the central room. Somehow, raiders get inside even if the doors are closed.
  6. Assign a settler (from a different settlement) to connect a supply line to Vault 88. Do this at any point once the area is unlocked.
    • Why? To make sure your food / water supplies are green. If they are not, make sure your connected settlements on the supply line produce TOO MUCH food / water. The surplus goes to other settlements in need.
  7. Construct all the experimental Vault resources; the Mood Enhancement Soda Fountain, the Eye Care Phoropter, and the Lost Revenue Slot Machine.
    • Connect these device to the small generators.
      • Assign one settler to work at the Soda Fountain, and one settler to work at the Phoropter.
    • The Slot Machine does not require workers. Settlers will randomly use the machine during the day.
      • You can also use the Barber Chair to an easy happiness boost, or build a second Lost Revenue Slot Machine to cover happiness.
    • Without these extra happiness resources, happiness will max at 80. With these devices, it will increase to 98-99.
  8. Everything is in place! Now all you have to do is wait.
    • Happiness will not increase while you are resting or sleeping. It only occurs in REAL-TIME — go out into the wasteland and explore, or just leave the game running for awhile.
    • If you want to be absolutely sure everything is working, idle in workshop mode. Switch workshop mode on then off to refresh the numbers and see if your happiness is increasing.
  9. When your settlement happiness reaches 96-99, it’s time for a visit. Return to your settlement and idle for a long period of time. Staying in a settlement will increase happiness.
    • Wait long enough, and eventually you’ll finally hit the coveted 100 happiness. Congratulations! You’ve just earned the Benevolent Leader trophy / achievement.

This is the simplest method for earning 100 happiness we’ve found. It still takes a lot of time, but you’re almost guaranteed to go over the edge with all these happiness generating devices.

Remember; the size of your settlement doesn’t matter. This can be earned at any settlement. Also, the size bar of your settlement does not factor into happiness calculations. Decorations also don’t matter. All that matters is that needs are fulfilled, citizens have a roof to sleep under, and they have lots of extra sources of happiness.

Found your own method for infinite happiness? Think we’ve hit a snag somewhere along the way? Let us know in the comments!