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A settler is any person who decides to join a settlement. They can be found all around the Commonwealth, especially near settlements.


Settlers are the common people of the Commonwealth. They can include wanderers, former residents of Diamond City or Goodneighbor, scavengers, former raiders or Gunners, synths covertly working for the Institute, or rescued by the Railroad. Even wastelanders trying to scrape out a living, and other people, will sometimes give up their solitary life as a wanderer and move to a soon-to-be-thriving settlement, usually under the protection of the Commonwealth Minutemen. Some work on guard duty, or grow crops for a living. A few safety-concerned settlers might give up their set-back life as a farmer and join the Minutemen in favor of protecting their fellow citizens.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Interactions overviewEdit

General Services Quests
Essential: noIcon cross
Companion: noIcon cross
Merchant: noIcon cross
Repairman: noIcon cross
Doctor: noIcon cross
Rents bed/room: noIcon cross
Starts quests: noIcon cross
Involved in quests: noIcon cross

Other interactionsEdit

  • Able to trade equipment.
  • Able to equip gear, including weapons, armor and grenades.
  • Assume a trade role when assigned as such.
  • The leader of a settlement can give the player character radiant quests, which commonly involve exterminating nearby ghouls, raiders or super mutants, or dealing with a kidnapping.
  • Killing or injuring one will turn the entire settlement hostile if not done covertly.
  • However, if you have an arena (Wasteland Workshop add-on), settlers can be killed there with no repercussions other than a happiness drop.

Settlers in allied settlementsEdit

Speaking to a settler from one of your settlements will allow you to access their inventory and select their equipment much like you would a companion. They can be armed with better weaponry than their default pipe pistols, but don't consume ammunition provided they have at least one unit of the correct ammunition for their weapon. The same holds true with grenades. The only exceptions are the missile launcher or Fat Man, as these are tagged with "NPCs Consume Ammo".

Settlers assigned as shopkeepers have additional dialogue options when spoken to, similar to other merchants. Select "trade" from the dialog tree to access their inventory. Speaking to a shopkeeper settler outside of their operating hours will go straight to their personal inventory as normal. Doctors seem to be an exception: A settler assigned to a Clinic stand will not have a trade dialogue option when spoken to during business hours. To access their inventory, either wait for the shop to close or unassign and reassign them from/to their shop.

Settlers assigned to a guard post will man that post as well as up to two other unmanned guard posts. They will walk in a patrol circuit between such posts, making it pragmatic to place groups of three in relatively close proximity. They rarely leave these posts, to the extent that they do not sleep when the player is visiting (like any settlement resident, they still require a bed).

Unassigned settlers default to gathering any unassigned crops. Assuming the player is present, during daylight hours these settlers, as well as those assigned to a Scavenging station, will patrol the settlement when not working, and if chairs are present will periodically stop to sit and eat. At night, settlers will gravitate towards the most well-lit parts of town, particularly around a food stall, if built, regardless if occupied or not. Thus, strategic placement of chairs and lights can allow these settlers to assist in monitoring a settlement's perimeter for intruders or, conversely, herd them towards a settlement's center.


Apparel Weapon Other items On death
Street urchin rags (children) Pipe gun
Double-barrel shotgun
Covenant house key (in Covenant) Synth component (Synth settlers only)


  • They are typically equipped with a pipe pistol or, less frequently, a double-barrel sawed-off shotgun along with a token amount of the requisite ammo. Most appear with basic clothing such as flannel shirt and jeans, but sometimes appear wearing more protective gear such as a drifter outfit, spike armor, or cage armor. It is also common for them to have a bobby pin, a handful of caps, and a food item.
  • An NPC designated as Settler is not protected from death in the same manner as a provisioner or companion. They cannot be killed by other hostile NPCs and will be merely knocked out, except for a human settler against a synth infiltrator after having recently been banished from the Institute, if any. However, they can be killed by the player, and should one be knocked out, any damage done to them by the player will kill them. One is advised to avoid using explosives in combat near owned settlements.
  • In settlements that are already populated by settlers prior to being acquired by the player (such as Tenpines Bluff, Greentop Nursery, County Crossing, Oberland Station, etc.), the original settlers usually having significantly less health than Settlers recruited via a recruitment beacon. Original settlers generally only have 40 health, while recruited settlers often have 100 health. This does not apply to named settlers (such as Preston Garvey's group, the Abernathy farm family, the Finch farm family, etc.), who usually have more health than unnamed settlers.
  • Food in inventory does not count towards settlement food for the day when it's in red.
  • They only need one round of ammunition even though their weapon reloads.
  • They will use a stealth boy if in inventory upon entering combat.
  • They will not use stimpaks unless in power armor with the medic torso mod.
  • When in combat, they may take, and automatically equip, better weapons from any accessible location, or container, in the settlement, including the workshop. This always applies to melee weapons, but they will only pick up weapons which require ammo if they already have that ammo type in their inventory, or can acquire it from another location, or container, in the settlement.
  • When wearing a suit of power armor, they will walk through water; this is useful for supply routes to Spectacle Island.
  • Settlers may use unoccupied power armor if there are enemies nearby. They can be ordered to exit the armor once combat ceases.
  • Some settlements come with named settlers, and once the settlement is unlocked, they can be used like any other settlers. However, most of them are restricted to their default settlement and cannot be moved to other settlements, nor can they be used as provisioners. The Minuteman settlers (including Ronnie Shaw) in the Castle also count as these. Some of these settlers may also be merchants by default, even without assigning them a vendor stall.
  • Child settlers that come default in some settlements have some limitations. They cannot be traded with and cannot be assigned to guard duty. But they can be assigned to some duty, such as farming. The exception is Meg who cannot be assigned to anything.
  • Some settlers will drop a Synth Component when killed by the player. This can happen even before being banished from or even before entering the Institute. These settlers are likely synth infiltrators.
  • Synth infiltrator settlers might sabotage generators at settlements and engage in combat with other settlers. A synth infiltrator will precede an attack by Institute synths. Immediately prior to the attack, any synth infiltrator(s) will damage settlement defenses to aid the synth attackers.
  • Synth infiltrators may show strange stats and behavior (randomly pulling out their gun and staying awake, or having natural energy resistance) but this is not necessarily consistent (a Settler may have 0 natural energy resistance, but will have a Synth component on their body if killed, and will side with Institute forces if they raid the settlement, or attack other settlers that aren't fellow synths).
  • The only way to absolutely confirm that a Settler is a synth infiltrator is to save the game, kill the settler, examine their inventory for a synth component and then re-load from the save. If confirmed to be a synth, the Settler can then be moved to an empty settlement, or ordered to go somewhere out of sight of the other Settlers and killed while sneaking. If the murder is observed or detected by (most) companions or other settlers, they will turn hostile towards the Sole Survivor. The arena from the DLC Wasteland Workshop is also a good way to dispose of synth infiltrators. You can build a minimalist arena with no spectators, only platforms (as an "execution ground") for this purpose only.
  • Settlers native to the Island have different appearances, stats, and dialogue from the settlers of the Commonwealth or Nuka-World.
  • It is possible to send settlers in the Commonwealth to settlements in Nuka-World or the Island, and vice-versa.


Settlers appear only in Fallout 4.


  • [platforms tag needed] If the player attempts to equip a settler with clothing they already have equipped, the game may crash. Weapons, armor and hats don't seem to cause this. [verification overdue]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone Settlers may spontaneously stop working. They can be reassigned to resources temporarily but they will revert back to their unassigned state after a short time. [verified]
    • Reassigning the settlers to their resources after leaving the area and returning to it later appears to fix this.

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