Happiness (Fallout 4)

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Happiness is a gameplay mechanic in Fallout 4 which shows how satisfied settlers are in a settlement. Reaching 100% happiness in any settlement will reward the Benevolent Leader achievement/trophy.

How it worksEdit

Each store provides some certain happiness bonus. The system sums all bonuses and divides the sum by the number of settlers in your settlement. The result is added to the base 80% happiness. To know how many stores you need for your settlement, you can use this simple formula: X*20=Y, where X is number of settlers in your settlement and Y is total bonus you need for getting additional 20% happiness. The result can be used to choose stores. In order to get 100% happiness, sum of all store bonuses in the settlement should be equal Y or higher.

For example, for making 100% happy 2 settlers you need total 40 bonus for your settlement (2*20=40). So for 2 settlers you can use: 1 tier 3 bar (bonus 40), or 1 tier 3 clinic + 1 junkyard dog (30+10), or 1 tier 2 bar + 1 tier 2 clinic (20+20), or 4 junkyard dogs(10*4), or 1 tier 3 clinic + 1 tier 1 general store(30+10), etc.

it is recommended that, if you're having troubles getting to 100% happiness, that you dismiss any companions to another settlement, as an issue with companions counting as a settler can arise.

Happiness sourcesEdit


The table below lists the happiness given by stores at a given rank. For further details on how to craft these stores see the settlements article.

Type Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Food and drink 15 20 40
Clinic 10 20 30
Clothing 8 10 10
Trader 10 10 15


The table below lists the increase in happiness in a settlement by having a given animal live there.

Type Happiness
Junkyard dog 10
Cat 10
Gorilla 20

Note: the Gorilla contributes both directly (by adding 20 points to bonus happiness) and indirectly (by adding 10 points to the settlement defense) to the total happiness of the settlement, so it's by far the best creature to have around if you want to make your settlers happy.

Basic one settler methodEdit


This method for obtaining the achievement is based on the way that the game calculates Happiness via several actor values including Bonus Happiness being the main factor in raising Happiness beyond a cap of around 80 up to the required 100 which is governed by the HappinessTarget. There is also a modifier which appears to reflect some variables such as success or failure of settlement attacks but this is less important for attaining the achievement this way.

The main factor to consider is that, currently, with one Settler assigned the full bonus is applied, so 80 + 20 = 100. For every additional Settler added the bonus applied is effectively divided between them i.e.;

With 1 x Settler the full Bonus Happiness (20) from a Bar is applied. It would take 20 x Settlers each assigned to 20 Bars to achieve the same increase.

This basic method uses the minimum of resources and just 500 Caps. This is chiefly to reflect the above game mechanic but also to demonstrate that it is possible to get this achievement without a heavy investment in time and perk points. Also, with no resources to damage, there is very little likelihood of an attack. More Defense is fine as is a Rank 3 store but not essential.

The other consideration is that, based on the game files, it is only the crafted Store shops which include a reference to "make the settlement happier" in their tooltips, that actually provide Bonus Happiness. No other decorations etc. provide this contrary to a lot of early speculation.

There is one other source of this bonus which is the Junkyard dog NPC obtained via a random encounter with Gene. It is possible to have more than one which opens up the only current opportunity (without use of console commands) to get the achievement at Level 1 with no Charisma or perks. However it is totally random and not easy to do this reliably.

With the addition of the Wasteland Workshop add-on, a junkyard dog can also be captured using a dog cage. Whether a junkyard dog or another hostile dog is captured is random, but players can change the type of creature that appears by saving before opening the cage, and then reloading until the desired creature appears.

The only other variable appears to be penalties for not providing the required basic resources and defense; or not placing beds under cover for instance. Plus some variance for quests completed, attacks defended or failed which should not factor in this method.

Though possible to do this with more settlers, it simply requires a lot more resources for the same end result. Also, if a settlement is being used then the Happiness may well be below 80 and will require even more time to raise. This way gives you 80 Happiness right from the start. Finally, the more resources, turrets, generators etc. the higher the chance of attacks which would further complicate the process.


It is recommended to use Red Rocket truck stop to do this being a smaller settlement (less building required to attain yellow/ orange Size/ large settlement stage but note that this may not be necessary; check below in the method) but any settlement will work. The main consideration is that it is initially empty and workshop interface stats are at zero other than the base 50 Happiness.

Due to the current zero stat bug that can occur when travelling away from settlements, it is recommended not the leave the settlement for the duration of this process.

What you will needEdit

¹Depending on the game localization, it can also be called Shop but basically the Food & Drink Rank 2 store.

A supply line is not necessary; indeed, it may actually take the resources for other settlements so it is recommended to not have one. No crops planted. No water pumps constructed etc. All Water & Food required for the one Settler should be placed in the Workshop storage, sufficient for around 10-15 in-game days (1 Food/ 1 Water per day) The settler (not a companion) is assigned from another settlement. You do need the ability to use the Workshop.


1. Go to the chosen settlement and craft the Sleeping Bag (3 Cloth) and place it under cover (i.e. indoors/ under the canopy or you get a penalty)

2. Craft the basic Machinegun Turret (8 Steel, 1 Circuitry, 2 Gear, 2 Oil) and place it on the roof (out of reach from attack helps)

3. Build one Stores > Food and Drink > Bar (Rank 2) (5 Wood, 3 Steel, 500 Caps,)

4. Place sufficient Purified Water and Food (i.e. Mutfruit) in the Workshop storage. Allow for one unit of each per day for the Settler. Around 10 in-game days minimum. Better to allow for 15 units of each to be safe (if it runs out Happiness will drop) Remember Mutfruit = 1 Food. All other crops = 0.5 Food so double amounts if using these.

5. Before proceeding confirm via the Workshop interface that all values are 0 (green not red) except Defense which should be 5, Beds 1, Happiness 50 (base value) and the Size bar is orange.

For the achievement (based on the tooltip text) the Size bar on the interface must move from green to yellow/ orange colour which signifies a large settlement. The simplest way to do this if you have not done any scrapping here is to spam craft 91 x Wooden Crate (3 Wood, 273 total. These can be scrapped afterwards, returning one Wood). Otherwise just craft these until Size turns orange.

Note: It may in fact not be necessary to push the settlement Size to large as is stated in the achievement tooltip (and why nearly all guides suggest it) There are some examples of the achievement being gained while the Size was never pushed to large. The choice is up to the player whether they try without or with to be sure. If the choice is without pushing to large Size and the achievement doesn't register, then follow the original instructions and try that way.

6. Once confirmed move an existing Settler from another settlement via the Workshop interface to the prepared settlement and assign to the Bar store. If all went as planned you now have a settlement with Happiness 80 already (which appears to be the maximum level with no bonus)

The process should now have started. The Happiness should have reached the maximum 80 without the bonus and there should be an green Up Arrow next to Happiness indicating it will increase to the Happiness Target.

Now we have the pretty tedious part which is unavoidable because the rate at which Happiness will rise is governed, at least partly, by time played and not just in-game time. So you can't simply Sleep for 10 days and have the Settlement reach 100 in a matter of minutes.

It is suggested to make saves after each up tick to ensure progress is not lost due to a crash etc.

Suggested Daily (In-game) RoutineEdit

Once the settler is assigned it is suggested to use the following daily (in-game) routine;

First day it wont rise so sit in a chair and Wait until 8:00PM then:

8:00PM > 8:00AM Sleep (make another Sleeping Bag for this is easiest. or just Wait)

8:00AM > 12:00PM Just open the Workshop window and idle in-game and watch for the Happiness to tick upwards. Often it will happen within 1-2 actual minutes,if so then move to next stage. If not wait for around 10-15 real minutes then move to next stage regardless if it ticked up or not.

12:00PM > 8:00PM Use a chair and Wait, then repeat cycle and sleep until the next in-game day. Repeat until Happiness 100 and the achievement pops up. Around 10 in-game days

Note: It is also possible to simply leave the game window open and go AFK. However this routine appears to speed up the process if you prefer to get it done faster and can actively manage it. Also there is always the chance of a random attack and the defense getting damaged which will drop the Happiness value, while AFK.

Notice that as the Happiness rises closer to the target 100 the daily up tick decreases until you only get +1 each day for the last points. Something like this;


After approximately 10 in-game days it should reach Happiness 100 and the achievement will trigger.

  • It is possible via the console to check these values on the settlement workshop. Check the Console commands - Settlements article for more details.
  • Further details of current values and sources of the bonus are included in this Reddit post.
  • For further details of this method and the Happiness mechanic in general check this Reddit post.

Method with Clinics and 20 settlersEdit

This achievement/trophy is, by common consent, the most arduous one to unlock as it requires an enormous investment in resources and even more in time. The following tips are proven to work. Since this method will most likely make a painful dent in your budget and can result in a lot of trouble with other settlements, it is advised to run it on a separate save and reload once the achievement has been unlocked.


  • 10+ Charisma (necessary for attracting the maximum amount of settlers)
  • Local Leader perk at level 2
  • Medic perk at level 1
  • Science! and Gun Nut perks as required for various defence turrets
  • ~30,000 bottle caps and a good supply of building materials
  • No active supply routes to and from the chosen settlement

1. Choose a suitable settlement. The Starlight Drive In is a good choice, although many players prefer Sanctuary Hills. Note that Sanctuary Hills is prone to several glitches and bugs, such as Mama Murphy taking up a settler slot without doing anything to support the settlement, which makes unlocking the achievement much more difficult.

2. Supply your settlement with everything that's necessary to support a full population of 20 settlers - 20 beds (type doesn't matter), 20 food, 20 water and at least 100 defense. The beds need to be placed under a roof. A radio beacon is of course necessary to attract settlers; alternatively you can transfer personnel from other settlements. Decorate the settlement with reasonable amounts of paintings, active TVs and other recreational equipment until the "Size" bar in the upper right corner turns yellow (this also fulfills the trophy requirement of a "large settlement").

3. Assign four settlers to food production. If possible, equip them with clothing you can easily recognize - this will help with keeping the workers apart later on.

4. Build 16 Surgery Centers (tier 3 clinics from the Shops menu) and assign them settlers as they arrive. Again, equipping them with distinctive clothing is helpful to keep them apart from new arrivals and the crop farmers. Make sure every single one of your settlers is given a task, as idleness decreases their happiness. Your happiness rating should already be climbing by now, which is denoted by a green upward arrow next to the count.

5. Once all this is done, wait without leaving the settlement. Leaving often glitches the settlement ratings and causes them to decrease for no apparent reason, so you're stuck in town until you have the achievement. This is easily the most annoying part of the whole process since the happiness score increases very, VERY slowly. Anything from 2 to 13 real-time hours has been reported necessary to max out the happiness rating, depending on the initial value. To speed up the process, sit down somewhere in-game and wait ('T' button on PC) for 12 hours. Stand up, check the happiness. If nothing has changed, repeat. If the score has increased, sleep for 24 hours, rinse and repeat. Keep an ear open for any sounds of combat in the meantime and defend your settlement if the need arises. If everything has been done correctly, the achievement/trophy will eventually pop up.

Note that this is one possible approach to becoming a Benevolent Leader, though seemingly the only one that effectively works at this time. Other players have achieved the same result at other settlements with fewer settlers and correspondingly fewer shops, but the overall strategy remained the same.

Additional Remarks

  • Tier 3 stores, AKA Emporiums, are mandatory. The lower level models won't do the trick, no matter how many of them you set up.
  • Note that only clothing stores, traders, bars and clinics make settlers happier. Weapons and armor vendors have no effect whatsoever aside from turning a small profit in caps every now and then.
  • If your happiness rating flats out at around 97-98, quicksave and reassign your crop farmers to additional Tier 3 Shops. This will of course severely impact food production but, strangely, not overall happiness. After 2-3 in-game days, maximum happiness should be achieved this way.
    • You can also try removing objects until you are under the budget maximum, then re-adding them back if it seems to get "stuck". This seems to refresh the polling system.


  • While waiting for happiness to rise, player does not have to stay in the settlement. But due to the number bug, it's better to visit the settlement regularly (and to open workshop menu each visit) until happiness reached 100%. Numbers in workshop menu are always correct and visiting the settlement forces the game to update itself and to fix errors.
  • There is some additional information about happiness in workshop menu such as, the red arrow next to Happiness means that happiness is reducing, a green arrow means that it's rising and no arrow means that happiness is stable. It can be checked after assigning workers to your stores, green arrow should appear immediately. But to see it player should quit workshop and open it again(for quick update).
  • Weapon and armor stores do not provide any bonus.
  • This achievement is also obtainable quickly with console commands. After selecting any workshop at any settlement, set the target happiness to 100 with setav 00127238 100, and the current happiness to 99 with setav 00129157 99 and wait for the happiness to update to 100. Setting the current happiness to 100 does not trigger the achievement.
  • Regarding the number bug, it appears to happen when fast traveling, except when fast traveling back to your settlement. If your arrow is green, happiness will increase, even when you are away from you're settlement, but it is advisable, while working toward this achievement, to cease all fast traveling.

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