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Character Build: The Director (FO4)

Tags: #Albino Fallout Build  #Character Build Power Armor  #Fallout 4 Build  #Character Build Sharpshooter  #Character Build Commando  #Character Build Energy Weapons 
  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    The Director

    Seeing as the entirety of my Fallout 4 time is going to spent exploring Far Harbor in the very near future I thought I’d try and finish this up first. The name of the build comes from the title given to the leader of the Institute, a title which can be passed on to the player if they choose to side with them. As befitting the title, our character does whatever he can to lead the Institute in the right direction, which, due to his particular skillset, oftentimes means leaving the safety of its walls in order to complete key objectives, which can range from simply reclaiming a synth to the destruction of the Brotherhood of Steel.


    Strength (2): As the Director doesn’t use melee weapons and X6-88 (the companion of choice for this build) can be used to make up for any deficiencies in carrying capacity Strength isn’t particularly useful here. Just put it at two to start with so you can grab the Armorer perk once you get the bobblehead, which can be picked up from Mass Fusion anytime, no need to wait until you go there during the main quest.

    Perception (7): A solid Perception score is essential for being at least somewhat accurate in VATS. Grab the bobblehead here so you can reach the eight Perception required for the Sniper perk.

    Endurance (2): This build uses the best armor available in the Commonwealth so between that, letting X6 take hits for you, making good use of healing items, and simply playing carefully, you can get away with a low Endurance score. That being said, you should still get the bobblehead here so you can perk Life Giver later on.

    Charisma (1): This is more or less unnecessary for the Director. The low selling / high buying prices aren’t a big issue, the reduced maximum population for settlements is irrelevant to this build, and you can simply pop some Grape Mentats if you absolutely need to persuade someone.

    Intelligence (9): As befitting his role as the head of the Institute, the Director is exceptionally intelligent. While you don’t need the bobblehead here for any perks I still recommend picking it up.

    Agility (1): While the Director doesn’t put any SPECIAL points into Agility at the start of the game he does put the extra point from You’re SPECIAL here; combined with the bobblehead and a point from a level up that puts the final score at four, leaving you with enough AP to get off a few shots in VATS, but not so much that it becomes the primary means of handling combat.

    Luck (6): While this build is certainly capable of handling itself against the average enemy crits are invaluable for tougher fights, making a decent Luck score a valuable investment. Grab the bobblehead here so you can perk Critical Banker later on.


    Listed (roughly) in order of priority. All of them should be maxed out (with the exception of any DLC exclusive ranks) unless indicated otherwise.

    Nuclear Physicist: This will ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of the fusion cores you use for your power armor. I, uh, probably should’ve mentioned the fact that this is a power armor build sooner. :P

    Locksmith/Hacker: The Director searches every nook and cranny for materials to scavenge during his expeditions for the Institute, and these perks ensure that no lock will stand in his way.

    Commando: The Director relies on primarily automatic weapons to get the job done, so this is an essential perk. Be sure to pick up You’re SPECIAL as soon as you’re out of Vault 111 so that you’ll have the required amount of Agility to get this perk by the time you start running into automatic weapons.

    Rifleman: For long-range engagements the Director uses a semi-automatic sniper rifle, which is where this perk comes into play.

    Science/Armorer: Both required perks for upgrading your weapons and armor.

    Life Giver: As this is a low Endurance build, the health boost from this perk is great for some extra survivability, and having a constant source of health regeneration is very helpful.

    Better Criticals / Critical Banker: Both of these are essential perks for making the most of out of your criticals.

    Scrounger: Since the Director burns through Fusion Cells rather quickly and Plasma Cartridges (the other ammo type used) are hard to come by this perk definitely comes in handy. Furthermore, you can sell all the other ammo types to the Synth Requisition Officer at the Institute in exchange for even more Fusion Cells and Plasma Cartridges, as they just so happen to be the only two types of ammo stocked there (and in above-average amounts too).

    Sniper: Gives a variety of nice boosts to the Director’s secondary weapon.

    Robotics Expert: Demonstrating the superiority of man over machine, the Director is capable of exerting complete control of robots through hacking.

    You should be at level 50 once the build is complete.


    Like the synths that are often sent into the field with him, the Director relies on a set of Synth Armor (with the Field Helmet) in combat. This set has some unique pieces that can be bought from the Synth Requisition Officer, not to mention the generic legendary armor pieces you can find during your travels. Underneath it you can wear the Synth Uniform; X6-88 has one that you can take in his inventory, despite the fact that his outfit of choice is actually the Courser Uniform. Alternatively, you can go for the Courser look by using one of their uniforms and the Patrolman Sunglasses. If you do go that route, note that the Courser Uniform is compatible with Ballistic Weave, so you may want to infiltrate the Railroad before destroying them in order to acquire that particular piece of technology.

    Regardless of your choice, for heavy combat missions involving attacks on well-defended locations (like Boston Airport, for example), you’ll want to go with a full suit of power armor instead; by endgame I recommend using the X-01 variant with the Institute paint job. Also, sometimes when I was wandering the Institute I'd swap out my usual armor for one of their lab coats (Father's Lab Coat after completing the Main Quest), as it's more appropriate attire for the location, particularly for Directorate meetings.

    Aside from the weapons listed below, I also recommend making use of Synth Relay Grenades; they're useful for taking the heat off of you.

    The Director’s go-to weapon is a pretty solid gun. While it has no particularly notable strengths it doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses either, making it an ideal choice for most engagements.

    This one is used for the long-range fights that the Director’s primary weapon isn’t suited for. It can also be used to repeatedly knock enemies over with the second rank of Sniper and take accurate headshots in VATS with the third.

    Neither of the Director’s other two weapons have particularly high DPS so against particularly sturdy opponents this is the way to go. The rarity of Plasma Cartridges means that you’ll want to use this one sparingly though, even with Scrounger.

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  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    First like!! even though i hate the institute because i love the railroad, great build!

  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    Thanks! I'm not really a fan of the Institute either, but I wanted to do at least one playthrough where I sided with them.

  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    A very nice Institute-centric addition to our growing library of builds. I especially like the synergistic feel you've woven in with a focus on intelligence & technology. I see this is the use of automatic laser/plasma weapons, power armor, & synth support. 

    On first play though, I hated the look of synth armor...but it's actually grown on me. And some of the higher level pieces are extremely protective. I especially like the look of the field helmet these days, and have been looking for a way to utilize it.

    Kudos Albino!

  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    Oh - what do you wear under the synth armor?

  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    Yes I wanted to know that too!!

  • Member
    May 18, 2016

    Good stuff Albino! The Institute power armour with the Institute rifle is a great look, it's a pity the Institute weapons are so weak - though it seems you've made up for that with perks like Sniper.

    Did you make much use of the relay grenades? They seem like the sort of thing that would really fit in with this character.

  • Member
    May 18, 2016


  • Member
    May 19, 2016

    Thanks Motty! I'm not really a fan of how the synth armor looks either (with the exception of the Field Helmet, that actually looks cool), but I can tolerate it enough that I can run a build wearing it. Underneath it I'm wearing a Synth Uniform; X6-88 has one that you can take in his inventory, despite the fact that his outfit of choice is actually the Courser Uniform. I forgot to point that out in the build; I'll add a note about.

  • Member
    May 19, 2016

    Thanks Ponty! The Institute weapons are rather weak, sadly, but they're definitely usable, though they do burn through Fusion Cells rather quickly (hence the use of Scrounger). I installed Weapon Balance Overhaul to remedy this (it buffs the Institute lasers to make them stronger than their standard variants, among other things), but I have it disabled for character build playtesting in the interest of making sure that my builds are playable on vanilla.

    I did use the synth relay grenades (they were a big help during Airship Down), but I tended to forget that I had them, which is probably why I forgot to mention them in the writeup; I'll go ahead and add a note about them.