Fallout 4 Guide: Complete Weapon And Armor Modding Basics

One of the big changes in Fallout 4 is its deep and extensive crafting/modification system. This allows you to do anything from constructing housing and defense structures for your own settlements, to modifying and repairing your own weapons and armor. If you want to know how to successfully build your own settlement, click here. If you want more info on effectively scrapping materials, click here. If you want to know how to modify your weapons and armor, keep reading.

You can also go directly to: Weapons || Armor

The Basics

You can craft weapon mods from both weapon parts and random wasteland junk. To turn weapons and junk into crafting sources, you’ll need to scrap them. Our scrapping guide, linked above, tracks which crafting components can scrapped from which junk items. To craft weapons, a weapons workbench is necessary. Armor is modded separately at its own workbench.

The important thing to remember before you begin modifying and crafting is that you should collect as many items and loot as you can carry, and bring it back to your settlement once you’re ready to start. Scrapping those items will leave you with a fresh set of components to work with. Make sure to always grab superglue, since adhesive is necessary for every weapon and armor mod.

To take as much advantage of weapon mods as possible, you should try to grab the following perks when you can:

  • Gun Nut (requires 3 intelligence), which gives access to base level and Rank 1 gun mods,Blacksmith (requires 4 strength),which allows you to craft melee weapon mods,
  • Science (requires 6 intelligence), which opens up high-tech mods for advanced crafting.

To fully explore armor mods, you should grab these two perks:

  • Armorer (requires 3 strength)
  • Science (requires 6 intelligence)

Weapons 

 You can modify virtually every non-legendary weapon in the game; this guide will focus on guns commonly found in the initial stages. There are four types of guns: pistols, shotguns, rifles, and energy weapons (rifles and pistols). Each of these is made up of five or six smaller components. The type of gun determines which components can be modified. While there are many variations of guns to be found throughout The Commonwealth, these are the most common you’ll find in each group, especially towards the beginning of the game.

Pistols

  • 10mm Pistol
  • .44 Pistol
  • Pipe Pistol
  • Pip bolt-action pistol
  • Pipe Revolver

Rifles

  • Pipe Rifle
  • Pipe Bolt-Action Rifle
  • Pipe Revolver Rifle
  • Hunting Rifle
  • Submachine guns
  • Combat Rifle
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Syringer
  • Railway rifle

Shotguns

  • Double-Barrel Shotgun
  • Laser Musket
  • Combat shotgun

Heavy Weapons

  • Flamer
  • Junker Jet
  • Minigun
  • Missile Launcher
  • Fat Man

Laser Weapons

  • Laser Pistol
  • Institute Pistol
  • Laser Musket
  • Laser Rifle
  • Institute Rifle
  • Gatling Laser

Plasma Weapons

  • Plasma pistol
  • Plasma Rifle
  • Plasma scattergun
  • Plasma sniper rifle
  • Plasma thrower

Explosives

  • Baseball grenade
  • Cryo grenade
  • Fragmentation grenade
  • Pulse Grenade
  • Molotov cocktail
  • Plasma Grenade
  • Bottlecap mine
  • Cryo mine
  • Fragmentation mine
  • Nuke Mine
  • Pulse Mine

Melee Weapons

  • Baseball bat
  • Board
  • Lead pipe
  • Wrench
  • Pool Cue
  • Rolling pin
  • Security Baton
  • Sledgehammer
  • Super Sledge
  • Tire Iron
  • Boxing Glove
  • Knuckles
  • Power Fist
  • Deathclaw gauntlet

Other

  • Gamma Gun
  • Gauss Rifle
  • Alien Blaster Pistol
Mods

There are six components that can be found on most guns. These are what you can modify. Each component modification comes with different advantages and disadvantages. We’ve listed the general pros and cons for each component below.

  • Barrels: these mods generally increase a weapon’s range and accuracy, while increasing its weight.
  • Sights: Usually increase accuracy. Sight mods for some weapons also add minimal extra weight.
  • Receivers: Depending on which receiver upgrade you choose for which weapon, these can affect accuracy, damage, and weight either positively or negatively.
  • Grip: Modding this part almost always increases accuracy and weight.
  • Muzzle: Increase accuracy at the cost of reduced range.

It is important to note that for energy weapons, the barrel, stock, and sights components work the same way, but muzzles work differently, and capacitors replace receivers.

  • Capacitors: affect damage and can add burning damage over time.
  • Muzzles: Can change the way the beam shoots from the gun; usually allowing the beam to cover a wider area, and reducing range while adding accuracy.

Armor

 Fallout 4 does not properly explain the different types of armor to the player. There are three types of armor: under-armor, over-armor, and power armor. If you want to upgrade your power armor suit, check out our guide for that here. Normal armor consists of thinner outfits, or “under-armor,” that allow for heavier “over-armor” body armor to be worn on top. There are also “outfits,” like the black vest and slacks, for example, that provide armor and energy protection, but do not allow for over-armor to be worn as well. Lists of the different armor types can be found below.

Under-armor
  • Army fatigues (comes in a “dirty” variant as well)
  • Baseball uniform
  • BOS uniform (comes in orange and gray variants)
  • BOS Officer Uniform
  • Corset
  • Flannel shirt and jeans
  • Green shirt and combat boots
  • Gunner guard outfits
  • Harness
  • Long Johns
  • Military Fatigues
  • Minuteman outfit
  • Raider leathers
  • Road leathers
  • Synth Uniform
  • Undershirt and jeans
  • Vault Jumpsuits (75, 81, 111, 114)
Over-armor sets

Comes in pieces for chest, right/left arms, right/left legs.

  • Leather
  • Raider
  • Metal
  • Combat
  • Synth
  • Diamond City Guard
Mods

For under-armor, over-armor, and outfits, there are two types of mods.

  • Mod 1 increases the damage and energy resistances, respectively. There can be some extras found based on the individual armor piece.
  • Mod 2 includes a large variety of mods. Depending on the piece of armor you’re modifying, they can reduce armor weight, reduce damage, increase carrying capacity, and more.

With all of that information, you should be well on your way to becoming a Fallout 4 modding expert. If you want even more help, you should check out our other guides, like getting the best of the combat system, creating your character, cooking and chemistry, Easter eggs in the wasteland, and unlocking Holiday decorations.

This guide may be further updated to reflect newfound information.