Fallout Character Building » Discussions

Character Build: The Gearhead (FO4)

Tags: #Motty Build  #Character Build Power Armor  #Fallout 4 Build  #Character Build Sharpshooter  #Character Build Craftsman  #Character Build Automatron 
  • Member
    April 3, 2016

    I love the idea of using whatever you find in the Wasteland to turn trash into treasure and junk into survival tools. It’s one of the most alluring parts of open world gaming and specifically the world of Fallout. Scavenging pieces to make the total creation greater than the sum of its parts. With the release of Automaton came even more opportunity to salvage, hack, invent, and build. 

    He was the “MacGyver” of the military before the bombs fell. Able to craft and fix anything from anything, his ingenuity turning junk and everyday items into wonderous inventions and weapons earned him the nickname “The Gearhead.” Smart and just the right amount of peculiar, he feels more at home on his own with his thoughts, inventions and robotic helpers than people. 

    S – 5
    P – 4 (get bobblehead in Concord for Demolitions Expert asap)
    E – 3
    C – 3
    I – 9
    A – 3 (special, bobblehead)
    L – 1

    Brotherhood of Steel: Get access to tech and Power Armor (including a free Jet-Pack after the main quest), work on the biggest Robot of all (Liberty Prime). The real prize of this faction for this build is this little known bonus: Teegan sells over 200 railway spikes per reset after finishing the main story! This makes the Railway Gun your easy go-to weapon.

    Companion: Danse, ADA

    Recommended Bobbleheads: Perception, Agility, Repair, Explosives, Energy, Big Guns, Barter


    Rifleman – Boost the rifle damage of The Gearhead. Especially making the main weapon, the Railway Rifle totally dominant.

    Heavy Gunner – For Junk Jet, Missile Launcher, Broadsider

    Demolitions Expert – able to craft anything into an explosive as well as giving the broadsider and missile launcher an extra kick.

    Scrapper – part of the scavenger role and helpful to keep track of and store up building components.

    Lone Wanderer – you’re better on your own, but using a robot companion later on fits the role too.

    Science – necessary for upgrades and weapon mods.

    Nuclear Physicist – better power core life is helpful early on and useful later when using Jet-Packs.

    Robotics Expert – super overpowered perk and amazing in Automatron play through. Can shut down, self-destruct or order them to attack.

    Hacker – part of the role of being a super smart techie, useful for hacking and and easier access.

    Gun nut (Junk Jet / Railway Rifle) – I hate spending points on this perk, but using unique guns like the railway rifle and junk jet mean you can only upgrade them with this perk. You’re simply not going to find a modded railway rifle. Also, if you want to outfit your robots with the best weapons, you need at least 1 rank.

    Armorer – for PA and robot upgrades

    Blacksmith - primarily used for robotic melee weapons upgrades, but also RP friendly.

    Action Boy – later after agility bobblehead and investment, helpful to recharge AP for use in PA and Jet-Packing. 

    Life Giver - adds a little extra boost for adventuring.


    Power Armor (see below for details), Mix and Match Armor (Raider, Robot, Metal), Road Goggles (+1 INT and looted from Zoe at onset of Automatron), Ballistic Weave Dirty Army Fatigues (+1 Str & Agi) or Bomber Jacket, Ushanka Cap (+1 INT)

    Junk jet, Railway Rifle, Laser Rifle, Broadsider, Missile Launcher, homemade bombs & mines (ideally an explosive minigun, which I never found)

    Junk Jet notse (read my full review here): Only acquired in Call to Arms, you have to join the BoS to get access to it in ArcJet systems. You can use anything in your junk inventory as ammo and damage is set no matter what it is. Pre-War Money is the prized jewel as it is weightless in your inventory (at least, outside of new survival mode). It is not a great long-range weapon as it cannot be sighted. It cannot be silenced. It is not highly modifiable. It only benefits from Heavy Gunner. But, you can KILL A SPUERMUTANT WITH A TEDDY BEAR!!! Or plunger. Or Jangles the Moon Monkey in VATS slow-mo. Bottom line, it’s too fun and too fitting for the RP to avoid, but it won’t be a long-term weapon.

    Getting Started and Play Through Notes:
    From Vault 111, setup shop at the Red Rocket. Go ahead a grab the PA and bobblehead in Concord and meet-up with Danse in Cambridge. He’ll do the heavy lifting through ArcJet Systems, which yields the Junk Jet (not to mention Righteous Authority and entry into the BoS).

    Run a few missions to gain experience and maybe upgrade your PA before heading south to Diamond City and Big John’s Salvage yard. This is a tough fight, so come prepared. Once you clear the yard, find John’s bunker and the Railway Rifle.  Make sure you frequently visit Arturo, Myrna, Kleo and Daisy to stock up on their limited Railway spike supply. Once you’ve got access to the Prydwen, Teegan also carries them and as noted above, he has over 200 spikes per cycle after the main quest! This makes using the Railway rifle an easy primary weapon choice.

    Collect as much junk as you can carry on every outing. Don’t forget to scavenge plants and animals for cooking and bomb creation. Perk Lone Wanderer and take Dogmeat with you and load him up too. Collect baseballs, lunchboxes and other items needed to make homemade bombs and mines. Track down Wasteland Survival Guides and at least a few Jerky Junktown issues to round out the scavenger vibe.

    At level 15, Automaton kicks in. Make sure to loot Zoe at the first stage for your road goggles. Fighting robots is unique in that some will be super easy to take out, and some will wreck you in one hit. Be warned! Once you hit this stage, take ADA as your companion.

    Build up the Red Rocket into your robotics and invention yard. Collect Power Armor, especially make sure to grab the new Tesla Armor from Automatron. Create mix and match sets. Much of my playthrough I used a T-51 helmet on T60 Tesla Torso & Arms, with modded legs. Upgrade the helmet with Internal Database for more INT. The final suit swapped in the X0-1 Helmet and explosive leg vents, while keeping the 3 Tesla pieces with a jetpack for a fine looking kit with plenty of pop & protection. 

    The Gearhead could be considered an OCD hoarder. Collecting all the junk in the Wasteland, but organizing it meticulously. Lining up his PA suits and assigning his robots to duties, this is no ordinary junkyard scrapper. He’s super smart, inquisitive and wants to figure out how technology works. All of this fits fairly well with the BoS. He gets to track down tech, work on rebuilding the biggest robot of all (Liberty Prime) and take out the selfish, God-Playing Institute. As for Father, The Gearhead believes he is flat out lying, thus he has no qualms about taking him out with the rest of the scientists who he believes have used their intellect perversely.

    Closing Notes:
    Play around with different combinations of bombs, robots, mines, gun mods, Power Armor and as much miscellaneous crafting as possible, The Gearhead is not for those looking for a quick, OP playthrough. Heavy on roleplay and crafting may turn some off, but the Fallout 4 world is begging to be played this way! Thanks Raid and Al and others for renaming help (Formerly: The Picker). Tip of the cap to our original host - Mason, who originated the player card idea featured at the top. And lastly, if you fancy some light reading, I'm writing a short story called Grease and Guile based on this character, using very short journal entry style chapters which can be found in The Story Corner.

  • Member
    April 3, 2016

    My god, this is beautiful. This is what I'd probably become if FO4 became the real world. Going to start on it right away! Just a shame robots count as a companion for LW :(

  • Member
    April 3, 2016
    Hey thanks! Yeah it's pretty close to an autobiographical build as I'd get too :) Although I'm not that smart or deadly. But you know. Have fun!
  • Member
    April 4, 2016
    Cool build! Love me some Railway Rifle, had a lot of fun with that thing...

    My one gripe is the name though... He literally sounds like he's come straight out of the Mystery Men. Imagine him strolling up to some raiders...

    "Who's this guy?"
    "I'm... the Picker"

    I dunno, it could just be me, but I feel like you could break out a thesaurus and get a much cooler sounding name to suit a rags to riches kind of playstyle.
  • Member
    April 4, 2016
    I don't know the mystery men, but I will say I have a bunch of names/adjectives for this build and I couldn't decide. And I'm admittedly prob the worst at naming. So I don't mind the critique haha Maybe there's a better one? Anyone want to help? A few were gearhead, converter, Tech Survivalist, Sentinel Survivalist, Recycler, Explosive Rifleman, Boneyard Picker, Boneyard Collector etc
  • Member
    April 4, 2016
    Landfill, Packrat,
  • Member
    April 5, 2016
    Gearhead sounds better to me. Still keeps with the scavenger vibe but also incorporates the crafting aspect too. But it's your build though, you go with whatever you want, it could just be me who doesn't like the name.
  • Member
    April 8, 2016
    Oh, so this build isn't going around the American wasteland searching for historic relics and Old World heritage?
  • Member
    April 8, 2016
    Not the way I played it. It's more about picking the best junk and turning it into useful creations. But u could play it that way too.
  • April 10, 2016

    This build looks quite good. The X-01/Tesla Power Armour combination looks really cool. The railway rifle and the tips where to find the rails is much appreciated aswell as some builds don't consider if the primary gun is resourceful enough to be a "primary" gun. Overall, great build, I've been playing a scavenger build like this recently and it's been a lot of fun.